Kidzdoc's Literary Journey Through the African Diaspora in 2023, Parte Dois

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Kidzdoc's Literary Journey Through the African Diaspora in 2023, Parte Dois

Muokkaaja: elokuu 6, 10:28 am

After a good start to the year my reading tailed off in February and March, due mainly to real life. Hopefully I can get back on track this month.

Currently reading:


If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery
Pessoa: A Biography by Richard Zenith

Completed Books:

1. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (review)
Your Hearts, Your Scars by Adina Talve-Goodman (review)
3. The Butterfly Hotel by Roger Robinson
4. Children of the New World: A Novel of the Algerian War by Assia Djebar
5. Eastbound by Maylis de Kerangal
6. No Justice, No Peace: From the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter by Devin Allen

7. Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead (review)

8. South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry (DNF) (review)
9. Everything You Always Wanted to Know about the Spanish* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) by Gaspard Chevallier
10. In the Ditch by Buchi Emecheta

11. Retrospective by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
12. All Else Failed: The Unlikely Volunteers at the Heart of the Migrant Aid Crisis by Dana Sachs
13. Boulder by Eva Baltasar

14. Kafka in Tangier by Mohammed Said Hjiouij, translated by Phoebe Bay Carter
15. Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov, translated by Angela Rodel
16. Standing Heavy by GauZ'
17. Foster by Claire Keegan
18. The Enlightenment of Katzuo Nakamatsu by Augusta Higa Oshiro
19. Second Star: and other reasons for lingering by Philippe Delerm

20. My Life as Edgar by Dominique Fabre (DNF)
21. Bigger Than Bravery: Black Resilience and Reclamation in a Time of Pandemic, edited by Valerie Boyd
22. Black on Black: On Our Resilience and Brilliance in America by Daniel Black

23. Fires in the Dark: Healing the Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison

24. Victory City by Salman Rushdie

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 29, 10:23 am

The African Diaspora: Fiction and Poetry

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
The Butterfly Hotel by Roger Robinson
Children of the New World: A Novel of the Algerian War by Assia Djebar
Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead
In the Ditch by Buchi Emecheta
Standing Heavy by GauZ'

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 3, 10:00 am

African Literature Challenge

January - NORTH AFRICA: Children of the New World by Assia Djebar
March - CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE or Buchi Emecheta: In the Ditch by Buchi Emecheta
July - CHINUA ACHEBE or Ben Okri
December - WEST AFRICA

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 29, 10:24 am

2023 International Booker Prize Longlist:

*Boulder by Eva Baltasar, translated by Julia Sanches ✅
*Whale by Cheon Myeong-kwan, translated by Chi-Young Kim)
*The Gospel According to the New World by Maryse Condé, translated by Richard Philcox
*Standing Heavy by GauZ’, translated by Frank Wynne ✅
*Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov, translated by Angela Rodel ✅
Is Mother Dead by Vigdis Hjorth, translated by Charlotte Barslund
Jimi Hendrix Live in Lviv by Andrey Kurkov, translated by Reuben Woolley
The Birthday Party by Laurent Mauvignier, translated by Daniel Levin Becker
While We Were Dreaming by Clemens Meyer, translated by Katy Derbyshire
Pyre by Perumal Murugan, translated by Aniruddhan Vasudevan
*Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel, translated by Rosalind Harvey
A System So Magnificent It Is Blinding by Amanda Svensson, translated by Nichola Smalley
Ninth Building by Zou Jingzhi, translated by Jeremy Tiang

*shortlisted book

2023 Booker Prize Longlist: TBA

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 20, 8:23 am

Dignidad Literaria: Literature and Nonfiction by Authentic Latinx Writers

Retrospective by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 1, 11:20 am

Medicine, Illness, Public Health and Science

Your Hearts, Your Scars by Adina Talve-Goodman

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 1, 11:21 am

Faulkner, Faulkner! Part 1: I own all five editions of the Library of America collections of William Faulkner's novels, and I intend to read one of them each year, starting with William Faulkner: Novels: 1926-1929. (I completely flailed on this goal last year!)

Soldiers’ Pay
Flags in the Dust
The Sound and the Fury

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 1, 11:32 am

Planned Reads for April 2023 (as always, subject to change):

Eva Baltasar, Boulder
Lucille Clifton, The Book of Light
Maryse Condé, The Gospel According to the New World
Nuruddin Farah, Maps
Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Retrospective
Vigdis Hjorth, Is Mother Dead
Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins, The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias
Perumal Murugan, Pyre
Dana Sachs, All Else Failed: The Unlikely Volunteers at the Heart of the Migrant Aid Crisis

huhtikuu 1, 11:31 am

This thread is now open! Help yourselves to pastéis de nata e um bica de cafe:

huhtikuu 1, 12:19 pm

Happy new one, Darryl! Those offerings look yummy!

huhtikuu 1, 1:18 pm

>11 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley!

huhtikuu 1, 2:00 pm

Happy New thread, Darryl!

huhtikuu 1, 3:15 pm

>13 streamsong: Thanks, Janet! I had meant to compliment you for the fabulous books you've read recently — I took three bullets from you! — but I must have fallen asleep last night before I finished my comment on your thread.

huhtikuu 1, 3:56 pm

Happy new thread, Darryl, and very belated happy birthday wishes!

huhtikuu 1, 3:59 pm

Catching up, Darryl. My reading is also wayyyy slower this year. Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day.

You've got some interesting reading projects planned as always.

huhtikuu 1, 4:37 pm

Happy new one!

>10 kidzdoc: Boy that looks delicious!

huhtikuu 1, 9:42 pm

>4 kidzdoc: Thank you for linking to all the threads, I can never find the newest month in the forest of 75er threads.

Oh, and happy belated birthday!

huhtikuu 2, 12:21 am

I’m looking forward to following your reading this quarter, the breadth of your interests is wonderful.

huhtikuu 2, 7:47 am

A new thread always reinvigorates me, a fresh start and all. Plus I love putting all my lists at the top. :-)

After a slump in March, I too am looking forward to sinking my teeth into some good books. I am reading A Room of One's Own Now, but then want to start Beneath the Lion's Gaze. Also have both Transcendent Kingdom and The Hired Man on my Kindle, both of which you enjoyed. So many books clamoring for attention!

huhtikuu 2, 9:02 am

Happy new thread!

huhtikuu 2, 10:13 pm

>15 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita!

>16 AlisonY: Hi, Alison! Even though I'm not working outside of the house my free time is considerably less than it was when I was a pediatrician in Atlanta. Caring for my mother and keeping her happy and occupied is mentally and physically taxing in addition to being very time consuming, and that combined with my responsibilities as a de facto home owner and tasks related to keeping my Georgia medical license, maintaining my hospital privileges in Atlanta, and applying for medical licenses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey has made it difficult to get much reading done the past two months. As you said, there aren't enough hours in the day, most days in my case.

>17 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita! The pastéis de nata and coffee are from Pastéis de Belém, a well known and loved café in Lisbon. I wanted to go there when I visited the Portuguese capital in 2018, but on the day that I went to Belém there were at least 20 people waiting outside, so I had the pastries elsewhere.

>18 ELiz_M: You're welcome, Liz. Fortunately it was easy to find the link to the April thread for the Africa Literature challenge. I plan to read Maps by Nuruddin Farah this month.

>19 dianelouise100: Thanks, Diane!

>20 labfs39: I agree, Lisa. I look to each thread as an opportunity for a fresh start, as well as a examination of how I'm doing in my yearly plans.

I would ideally like to join in the group read of A Room of One's Own, but I have plenty of books I want or need to get to before then, including one and probably two LT Early Reviewer books that I should read this month. I enjoyed Beneath the Lion's Gaze, and I hope that you like it as much as I did.

Unfortunately I've done very little reading this weekend, but hopefully I can do better next week.

>21 tangledthread: Thanks, tangledthread!

huhtikuu 3, 6:31 am

>22 kidzdoc: While my situation is nowhere near as hard and stressful as yours, Darryl, I have been surprised at how both of us being retired somehow leaves me with less time (and inclination) to read. Living in a village/small town instead of out in the country means there are more activities available; being householders instead of tenants changes our priorities; having my mother (fortunately still quite active) living nearby plus my daugter, her husband and our grandson even closer takes more time too. We care for Toby two days a week, which, although a delight, is quite tiring now I'm an OAP!

huhtikuu 3, 10:19 am

>23 CDVicarage: Right, Kerry! Several retired LTers have also commented that they have far less time to read than they did when they were working, and were surprised that this was the case. I don't consider myself retired yet, although I just hit the age (62) when I can start to collect Social Security benefits, although I would only get 70% of what I would obtain if I waited until I reached 67. My intent is to obtain my Pennsylvania and New Jersey medical licenses in the next few months, and then look for non-clinical positions that require an MD or DO (the two mainstream medical degrees in the US) and allow me to work from home while I care for my mother. Now that I successfully renewed my Georgia medical license and kept my hospital privileges at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, where I used to work, I can work some weekend shifts in the future when I visit Atlanta.

huhtikuu 3, 1:31 pm

If anyone is in the market for an Amazon Kindle e-reader the prices for them have been dropped considerably, according to an article I just read. My old Kindle Paperwhite won't hold a charge for long, and I almost bought the 2022 model for $100 last week for my birthday, but decided not to. Now that they are on sale for $80 that was too good to pass up.

Amazon's Kindle is back on sale for $80

huhtikuu 3, 2:21 pm

Just catching up with your new thread. Lots of great reading and insights as usual. Cheers!

huhtikuu 3, 2:36 pm

Cheers to you, Jerry! Hopefully I can catch The Jazz Odyssey later this afternoon.

huhtikuu 3, 2:40 pm

>27 kidzdoc: I hope you do! It will be my last show for a couple of weeks, as next Monday will find me in San Francisco and the week after that I'll be in Houston with some buddies to catch some music and a couple of Astros games. A fellow named Toby Gleason (the son of famous jazz columnist/critic Ralph Gleason) will be handling the show for me during those two weeks.

huhtikuu 3, 2:53 pm

>28 rocketjk: Sounds good. Is that the same Ralph Gleason who hosted Jazz Casual on NET, National Educational Television, in the 1960s?

huhtikuu 3, 3:18 pm

>29 kidzdoc: Yep, that's him.

huhtikuu 3, 3:26 pm

>30 rocketjk: Nice. I have a DVD of the Jazz Casual episode featuring the John Coltrane Quartet that aired in early December 1963, a few days after President Kennedy was assassinated.

You're definitely old AF if you remember when PBS replaced NET...

huhtikuu 3, 3:27 pm

>25 kidzdoc: Are you going to get the Kindle Scribe, or just the paper white?
I was tempted by a coupon I got via email, but my paper white is holding up fine for now. It would be nice to get a Kindle with audio, so I don't use my phone for audiobooks, but how many devices does a person really need (rhetorical question)

huhtikuu 3, 3:31 pm

>32 tangledthread: Neither; I ordered the 2022 Kindle, the newest but least expensive of the Kindle models, as far as I know. I like my Kindle Paperwhite, but it's nearly nine years old and it's definitely showing its age.

huhtikuu 3, 3:37 pm

>10 kidzdoc: whatever the coffee thingy is, I want! Nice new thread. Hope you’re doing well with your mom and all your other stuff (and, although i don’t see you as a Phillies fan, i do hope they win a game, eventually)

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 3, 3:56 pm

>34 dchaikin: Thanks, Dan! Those are pastéis de nata (singular: pastel de nata), the classic Portuguese custard tarts that were created in the 18th century by monks in the famed Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Hieronymites Monastery) in Belém, one of the westernmost districts of Lisbon. Your local Portuguese bakery will almost certainly make them.

My mother is having more frequent episodes of sundowning, usually at dinnertime, which is something I'll bring up when we see her psychiatrist later this month. Otherwise she's doing well.

I hope that you're starting the healing process after the recent loss of your mother. It's been nearly 16 months, but my father's death is still a profound loss, especially since my life was turned upside down by it and because my mother is (understandably) still in grief.

Oh, I'm definitely a diehard Phillies fan, and have been since shortly after we moved from North Jersey to suburban Philadelphia in 1974. They couldn't have started the season any worse, but fortunately there are 159 games left in the season.

huhtikuu 3, 3:57 pm

>14 kidzdoc: I'm glad you found several books of interest to you on my thread, Darryl. I read all over the place, most of them wonderful suggestions from people here on LT.

huhtikuu 3, 4:18 pm

>36 streamsong: Thanks, Janet. I already have Foster on my Kindle, Kamila Shamsie, author of Best of Friends, is one of my favorite writers, and your review of Demon Copperhead was quite enticing.

huhtikuu 3, 7:54 pm

>35 kidzdoc: i wish you the best with handling you mom’s care. I didn’t know you a big Phillies fan. My Brother-in-law grew up on them and we talk about them a bit. I like Dombrowski, the gm.

huhtikuu 4, 9:13 am

>38 dchaikin: Thanks, Dan. Caregiving has taught me to be more patient, forgiving, accepting, and flexible.

It's all but impossible to live in Philadelphia and not be a fan of the sports teams here! The same was the case when I lived in Pittsburgh while I was in medical school; I used to say that "you can't live in the 'Burgh for four years and not become a Steelers fan."

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 4, 2:20 pm

>37 kidzdoc: I had a wonderful reading month in March. I gave top ratings to five books (4.5 to 5 star ratings) and another just slightly below that. I'll definitely be reading more by Kamila Shamsie. Several people on my thread recommended Home Fire. Do you have any particular favorites of hers?

Here's the link for the next zoom cooking class that supports the refugee and immigrant center, Soft Landing in Missoula.

The chef is from Ghana and the class will be cooking groundnut stew, Ghanaian joffa rice and rice balls.

If you can't attend the class, they send out a recording of the session to everyone afterwards.

huhtikuu 4, 12:53 pm

>40 streamsong: Congratulations on your excellent reading month, Janet! I anticipate that April will be a far better month for me than February and March were.

I was surprised to see that I've only read three of the books by Kamila Shamsie that I own. The two I would recommend are Burnt Shadows, a 5 star read for me, and Home Fire, which I gave 4-1/2 stars. In the City By the Sea was far less memorable, and I have yet to read Kartography, Broken Verses, and A God in Every Stone.

Thanks for the link to the next United We Eat virtual cooking class; I'll almost certainly check it out. You're right, I cook at least two versions of groundnut stew, a vegetarian one with sweet potatoes, beans and blackeyed peas, and chicken mafé, both of which are delightful. I haven't made either one in a while, or Nigerian jollof rice for that matter, so I should cook them soon.

Let me know if you would like any or all of these recipes.

huhtikuu 4, 1:03 pm

>39 kidzdoc: It's all but impossible to live in Philadelphia and not be a fan of the sports teams here!
I managed. :-)

huhtikuu 4, 4:15 pm

huhtikuu 4, 10:34 pm

>42 qebo: Oh, Katherine! LOL!!

huhtikuu 12, 7:34 am

Hey Darryl, just wanted to mention I'll be going to Philly for a couple of days, May 25-27 (my train leaves that afternoon). If you'd be available to meet up one of those days, I'd love to do it, but know it may be hard to coordinate your mom's care to make it happen.

Your April reading plans look intriguing and I look forward to hearing about any of the books you get to. Hope you have a good day!

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 13, 5:40 am

>45 bell7: Hi, Mary! I'm glad that you'll visit Philadelphia next month, and needless to say I would love to get together with you. I found out late last night that my cousin Tina, who visits us once every month or two from Michigan and can stay with my mother in my absence, as she did when I met Katherine, Zoë and Mark in Philadelphia last summer, will undergo surgery this afternoon at the University of Michigan Medical Center. With any luck it will be a fairly routine laparoscopic cholecystectomy, removal of her gallbladder, which is full of gallstones (cholelithiasis) and probably infected (cholecystitis), as she has been febrile since Monday. If that's the case she should recover quickly, and the chance of her coming to see us in late May is definitely possible. However, given the length and severity of her illness I'm concerned that she may need an open cholecystectomy, which would require a longer recovery period and make a visit from her next month far less likely. I'll keep you posted.

huhtikuu 13, 7:55 am

Please do! And I hope everything goes smoothly with Tina's surgery today. I'm sure it's stressful even if routine.

huhtikuu 13, 5:28 pm

>47 bell7: Thanks, Mary. Tina's surgery is being postponed until at least tomorrow, due to at least two laboratory abnormalities that need to be treated and investigated before she goes to the OR. She is feeling better, after more than 16 hours of IV antibiotics, and she is in good spirits.

huhtikuu 18, 10:17 am

The shortlist for this year's International Booker Prize shortlist was announced at the London Book Fair this morning:

The Gospel According to the New World by Maryse Condé, translated from French by Richard Philcox, a novel about a child abandoned in Martinique who grows up to become a Christlike figure.

Boulder by Eva Baltasar, translated from Catalan by Julia Sanches, which is about two women who settle in Iceland together and the challenges that they face after deciding to have a child.

Standing Heavy by GauZ’, an author from Ivory Coast who uses a pseudonym. The novel, translated from French by Frank Wynne, follows the lives of undocumented immigrants in France who work as security guards.

Still Born by the Mexican author Guadalupe Nettel. Translated from Spanish by Rosalind Harvey, it follows two best friends who share an aversion to motherhood only for one to fall pregnant.

Whale by Cheon Myeong-kwan, translated from Korean by Chi-Young Kim. Originally published in South Korea in 2004, this magical-realist novel follows the life of an ambitious young woman who builds a movie theater designed to look like a whale.

Georgi Gospodinov’s Time Shelter, translated from Bulgarian by Angela Rodel, is a complex novel in which a psychiatrist creates historical spaces for dementia patients to help them retain memories. The experiment proves so successful that soon whole countries are considering living in the past.

The winner of this year’s prize will be announced on May 23 at a ceremony in London.

The Guardian: International Booker prize reveals ‘very cool and very sexy’ shortlist

The New York Times: Subversive Novels Dominate Shortlist for International Booker Prize

huhtikuu 18, 10:38 am

>49 kidzdoc: I saw this earlier. This is a good list! I'm eager to read all of them.

huhtikuu 18, 10:59 am

>50 RidgewayGirl: Same here, Kay. I can borrow the electronic edition of The Gospel According to the New World from Hoopla through my local library system, I have the Kindle edition of Boulder, and I received the paperback edition of Whale yesterday as part of my Archipelago Books subscription, so I'll plan to read those books this month, and the remaining three in May.

huhtikuu 18, 8:59 pm

>49 kidzdoc: Ooh, Time Shelter is calling my name...

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 19, 7:56 am

>52 labfs39: There is one available copy of Time Shelter in the Free Library of Philadelphia system, so I requested it this morning, and I'll plan to read it this month, along with Boulder and Whale. I have less than 80 pages to go in Retrospective by Juan Gabriel Vásquez, so I'll probably read Boulder, which has barely more than 100 pages, next.

ETA: I just ordered Standing Heavy and Still Born from The Book Depository.

huhtikuu 19, 4:06 pm

>53 kidzdoc: Unfortunately there are only three copies of Time Shelter in the state of Maine library system, and two are checked out and the third is on site use only(!). But good old soon-to-be-defunct Book Depository is shipping me one.

huhtikuu 23, 9:41 am

What a great-looking list! NYPL has a few of those, and I have an advance copy of Whale, which—given my pokey reading—is probably where I'll start, seeing as I have no chance of reading six books before May 23.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 23, 10:00 am

>54 labfs39: My copy of Time Shelter that I requested from the Free Library of Philadelphia last week is still listed as "Not ready for pick up", which makes me wonder if it is actually available or not. I can purchase the Kindle version of it for $9.99 with my $3.00 discount, so I'll probably go that route if none of the library systems I belong to has a readable version of it. (Our local library has the e-audiobook version via Hoopla, but I haven't been able to successfully read any audiobooks.)

>55 lisapeet: Sounds good, Lisa. I should finish my current book, All Else Failed: The Unlikely Volunteers at the Heart of the Migrant Aid Crisis by Dana Sachs no later than tomorrow, and I'll resume reading Boulder by Eva Baltasar afterward.

ETA: Considering that I've only finished one book in April so far I think the chance of me reading all six shortlisted titles by May 23 is slim.

huhtikuu 24, 4:49 pm

Hi Darryl, I see from my last 5-year diary that today in 2017, after dinner at the Baltic restaurant, we went to see Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead at the Old Vic, and that David Haig as 'the Player' was wonderful. I think it was Daniel Ratcliffe as either R or G. Oddly hadn't noted that in my diary.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 24, 7:21 pm

>57 Caroline_McElwee: Right, Caroline! My Facebook timeline told me the same thing, as I posted about us seeing it in 2017. Daniel Radcliffe starred as Rosencrantz, Joshua McGuire played Guildenstern, and, as you said, David Haig was wonderful as The Player; I enjoyed his performance most of all. My post tells me that the play debuted in London 50 years ago that month, also at The Old Vic.

ETA: Did we see it with anyone else?

huhtikuu 26, 3:35 pm

>54 labfs39: I picked up a copy of Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov from my nearest branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia earlier this afternoon. I'll start reading it tomorrow, after I finish Boulder by Eva Baltasar. I don't live in the city, but this branch, in Northeast Philadelphia, is only 15-20 minutes (7.7 miles) from home, and as a Pennsylvania resident I'm eligible to get a library card for free.

toukokuu 5, 8:54 pm

Sorry for my absence here for the past week. My mother was hospitalized from Saturday to Wednesday, and I've hardly read anything during that time. I've started reading Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov, and I hope to finish it by Sunday or Monday.

toukokuu 5, 9:02 pm

>49 kidzdoc: Thanks for the list. I have to admit that I have not read any from it. Time shelter and The Gospel look like good ones to start reading.

Sorry to hear about your mother's hospitalization. I hope she is recovering as well as she can at home. ((hugs))

toukokuu 5, 9:47 pm

>60 kidzdoc: I'll keep you and your mother in my thoughts. Take care.

toukokuu 6, 11:20 am

Sorry to hear of your mom's hospitalization. Hope you are both recovering well at home.

toukokuu 6, 11:30 pm

So sorry to hear about your mom. Sending healing thoughts.

toukokuu 7, 3:03 am

>60 kidzdoc: Sorry to read your mother stayed in hospital for some days, Darryl.
Must have been hard on you both. Take care, and (((hugs)))

toukokuu 7, 8:23 am

Sorry to hear about your mother's hospital stay.

toukokuu 7, 9:34 am

>61 figsfromthistle: You're welcome, Anita. So far I've only read Boulder from the International Booker Prize shortlist, which I found mildly interesting but quite forgettable. I'm only 1/5 of the way through Time Shelter, but I'm enjoying it so far.

My mother is doing much better than she was when she came home on Wednesday, and she'll start seeing a physical therapist at home to improve her strength.

>62 RidgewayGirl:, >63 markon:, >64 banjo123:, >65 FAMeulstee:, >66 torontoc: Thanks for your kind thoughts, Kay, Ardene, Rhonda, Anita and Cyrel.

toukokuu 7, 9:32 pm

I'm sorry to hear about your mother, Darryl, but I'm glad for both of you that she's home now.

toukokuu 8, 10:02 am

>68 lisapeet: Thanks, Lisa.

toukokuu 9, 2:49 am

Joining the well-wishers. I had lately some occasion to help out a little with rehab exercises and it's scary how quickly function is lost.

toukokuu 9, 5:47 am

>59 kidzdoc: I'm curious what you think of Time Shelter. My library would have a copy of it.

toukokuu 9, 6:36 am

>71 Ameise1: If I can interject, I'll say that I'm 70 pages in, but really enjoying it. I've marked lots of passages where either the writing is fantastic or the ideas are unusual and interesting.

toukokuu 9, 7:06 am

toukokuu 15, 12:55 pm

>58 kidzdoc: It was just us that time Darryl. We weren't sitting together as we bought tickets at different times.

>60 kidzdoc: >67 kidzdoc: Stressful Darryl, but glad your mom is feeling better, if having work to do to advance that.

toukokuu 18, 10:42 am

Book #15: Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov, translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel (shortlisted for the 2023 International Booker Prize)

My rating:

This inventive and daring novel is narrated by an unnamed Bulgarian writer who befriends a geriatric psychiatrist named Gaustine, who creates rooms in a building in Zürich that are set in different decades of the 20th century which are furnished with authentic furniture, newspapers & magazines, radios & televisions and other items, and elderly people with dementia are invited to spend time in a room that reminds them of their past, in an effort to stimulate their memories and enrich their lives. The experiment is wildly successful, and Gaustine opens similar clinics in other cities. He becomes concerned about what will happen to these patients once they return to the realities of the 21st century, and that, combined with the interest of the public to recreate beloved periods in European countries, in which the citizens of each country can vote to choose the decade they would wish to live in. These peoples take on roles of famous figures and ordinary citizens of the decade that their countrymen chose, and recreate the past, with utmost seriousness, but also with some unintended consequences.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first part of Time Shelter, which dealt with the clinics for patients with dementia, but the author, like Gaustine, tried to do too much in creating cities and countries that attempted to recreate the past. Reading it was akin to a children’s game I used to play, in which kids would hold hands in a park, run around in a circle with increasing rapidity, and the kids at the periphery would progressively fly off in different directions, dizzy and disoriented. This was a very clever novel with compelling ideas, and perhaps it would benefit from a second reading for me to truly appreciate it.

toukokuu 18, 11:05 am

>70 LolaWalser: Thanks, Lola. You're right; my mother is still fairly debilitated two weeks after she was released from the hospital. Fortunately a physical therapist will be coming out to work with her, and I've finally convinced her to resume using her recumbent bicycle.

>71 Ameise1: Hi Barbara, my opinion of Time Shelter is, I think, essentially the same as another Barbara, Simone2; it was more clever than good.

>72 labfs39: I also loved the first 100+ pages of Time Shelter, Lisa. I'll check your thread shortly to see if you've finished it, and, if so, what your thoughts were about it. It became quite a slog toward the end, so much so that I had to return the book to the library before I was finished, and read the last 70-80 pages in the Kindle version I purchased on Tuesday.

>74 Caroline_McElwee: Ah. I did not remember that we had seats in different sections for Rosencrantz and Guilderstern Are Dead, although I recollect the two of us having a pre-theatre dinner at Baltic beforehand.

My mother has started to decline significantly in the past two or three months, and that has created a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety in me, which is one reason that my reading has plummeted lately. Her five day hospitalization was a much needed break for me, but the past two weeks have been especially tough.

toukokuu 18, 11:26 am

>75 kidzdoc: Interesting review, Darryl. There are more and more places in Europe (Netherlands, a small place in Switzerland too) where people are trying to recreate neighborhoods for people with dementia. Patients can thus go shopping themselves, go to a coffee house, etc., without being lost or being offensive. The first evaluations seem to be promising.

toukokuu 18, 11:31 am

>77 Ameise1: Thanks for letting me know about those places, Barbara! I'm not aware of such places in the United States. They must have been the inspiration for Time Shelter.

toukokuu 18, 1:52 pm

>75 kidzdoc:

I want to read that; I've had at least one of Gospodinov's books unread for ages... I'm sure all that's very tongue-in-cheek, as the idea of recreating any bit of the European past is frankly nightmarish.

>77 Ameise1:

Wow. Public neighbourhoods? I can't begin to imagine how that works without running into a gazillion ethical problems...

toukokuu 18, 2:01 pm

>75 kidzdoc: Excellent review -- I like the imagery.

>79 LolaWalser: I immediately thought the same. There are some eras that maybe shouldn't be recreated. I mean, here in the US, most end up being problematic for large portions of the population.

toukokuu 19, 8:17 am

>79 LolaWalser: Perhaps I have expressed myself wrongly. These are not neighbourhoods where people with dementia live together with healthy people. You have to think of it as being like a clinic, but not a house, but more like a neighbourhood where people with dementia live under care, but can move freely in the streets, shops, etc. without anything happening to them.
In the canton where I live, Zurich, there is an institution for people suffering from dementia that functions almost like a 'monastery'. It consists of various buildings, including a gardener, a farm and a wood workshop. The people feel very comfortable there. They can continue to do skills they have always done themselves, at their own pace and according to their own possibilities. For example, there are residents who grow their own vegetables, which are then processed, cooked and eaten together. Others take care of the animals. The point is that these people don't just sit around, but don't let skills they once had wither away.

toukokuu 19, 9:02 am

I wish your mom well, and i wish you well in taking care of her. I enjoyed your review of Time Shelter.

toukokuu 20, 8:53 am

>79 LolaWalser: I hadn't heard of Georgi Gospodinov before Time Shelter was longlisted for this year's International Booker Prize, and even though I only rated it 3-1/2 stars I would be willing to read more of his work.

>80 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, Kay.

>81 Ameise1: Very interesting! Thanks for that clarification and explanation, Barbara.

>82 dchaikin: Thanks, Dan. The past couple of months have been challenging and nerve wracking, especially the past two weeks, and I recently recognized that I also need help, as I'm starting to come apart at the seams.

toukokuu 20, 10:48 pm

Sorry to hear that things are getting tougher with your mom. Do get some relief for yourself. Stress is so bad for your health. Please do what you need to do for yourself to feel better. This will also help your mom in the long run. Thinking good thoughts for you and your mom.

toukokuu 21, 7:58 am

Sorry to hear that things have been so rough with your mom. I've been following along on your Facebook page, but I didn't know your anxiety was flaring up. Take care of yourself—first rule of caregiving (and the hardest for me to follow).

As for Time Shelter, I'm in the slower second half, and have set it aside for my book club book which we will discuss on Monday. I like Gospodinov's writing and the topic of memory, both personal and national, is interesting to me, so I will go back to it. I agree that it doesn't extrapolate to a national scale well. I liked the personal stories better.

toukokuu 21, 9:08 am

>83 kidzdoc: I recently recognized that I also need help, as I'm starting to come apart at the seams.
That can't be good for anyone. Finding support can be a process in itself, so I hope you have clear options.

toukokuu 21, 9:11 am

>83 kidzdoc: Sorry to read it is getting harder taking care of your mother, Darryl.
I hope you can find the help you need soon.

toukokuu 21, 9:53 am

You have a lot going on with your mom, and it's good that you have recognized you also need to take care of yourself, and have reached out. I hope life becomes more manageable soon. I really admire what you are doing for your mom.
You may be too overwhelmed to join us, but as you had expressed an interest, I wanted to let you know I have set up a thread for a group read of Faulkner's The Hamlet starting June 1.

toukokuu 21, 10:04 am

I'm sorry (but not really surprised, I suppose) that you are struggling, Darryl. I hope you can get help.

toukokuu 21, 10:04 am

>85 labfs39: Thanks, Lisa. I haven't mentioned anything on my Facebook page, as I prefer to keep my private affairs to myself in such a public format, but my mother has definitely declined over the past 2-3 months, which is making it harder and more stressful to care for her. My stress has been multiplied by multiple personal and professional ones, along with serious crises involving my beloved cousin and best friend from high school, who comes over several times a week to bathe and dress my mother. My baseline anxiety has now spiraled into frequent anxiety attacks, and two pretty bad panic attacks, including one on Mother's Day. My mother had a follow up appointment with her amazing psychiatrist, who is at the top of my list of Best Doctors Ever, and when I told her what I was going through she kindly agreed to take me on as a patient; I'll see her on Friday.

I agree; the personal stories about reminiscence therapy in Time Shelter were far more compelling than the ones about the peoples of different European countries. I understand what Gospodinov was trying to do, and it wasn't bad by any means, but it didn't work that well for me.

Earlier this morning I finished Standing Heavy by GauZ', another book from this year's International Booker Prize shortlist, which I enjoyed far more than Time Shelter. I'll give it 4 1/2 stars, and write a review of it later today. Next up will be Foster by Claire Keegan, followed by The Gospel According to the New World by Maryse Condé. I won't finish the International Booker Prize shortlist by the time the winner is announced on Tuesday, but hopefully I'll do so by the end of next month.

I also received three short novels from Archipelago Books as part of my annual subscription, My Life as Edgar
by Dominique Fabre, The Enlightenment of Katzuo Nakamatsu by Augusto Higa Oshiro, and Second Star: and other reasons for lingering by Philippe Delerm. Each of them look interesting, so I'll try to read all of them by the end of the month, and then start The Hamlet by William Faulkner for The Snopes Trilogy group read, followed by The Covenant of Water by Dr Abraham Verghese, which is the novel I'm most excited about reading so far this year.

>86 qebo: You're right, Katherine. Fortunately my mother's and now my soon to be psychiatrist is fully aware of what's going on, as my mother was seeing her when my father was alive, and she met me at least two years ago, when I drove my parents to see her. Each time we see her Dr W asks how I am doing, so I felt comfortable telling her that I was having anxiety and what seem to be panic attacks recently.

>87 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. I feel considerably better, now that Dr W has agreed to see me this week.

toukokuu 21, 10:11 am

>88 arubabookwoman: Thanks, Deborah. I'll also get more help from my best friend and closest neighbors, who are now aware of what's going on with my mother and me.

I was just about to post my eagerness to join in the group read of The Hamlet on your thread. I pulled out my copy of William Faulkner: Novels 1936-1940 from The Library of America, which includes The Hamlet, and I'll start reading it no later than the first week of June.

>89 CDVicarage: Thanks, Kerry. In addition to her local neurologist my mother is also seeing an Alzheimer's specialist at the Penn Memory Center at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia, which has resources for caregivers of people with dementia, and I'll inquire into what services I can get when we go there early next month.

toukokuu 21, 1:23 pm

Hi Darryl - I'm glad that you will be getting some needed emotional support. Perhaps a visiting aid could give physical support helping your mom with all the daily tasks.

I had a counselor once tell me that being a caretaker is like pouring precious water into another person's cup. You need to find a source of renewing your own before it runs dry.

toukokuu 21, 2:18 pm

Hi Darryl, so sorry to hear that things are hard. Alzheimer's really is an awful disease. (and anxiety is no picnic, either,). I am glad to hear that you are looking for support and hope that you can also get some more help with the caregiving. If you need another resource, I am a big fan of the Alzheimer's Association and their classes and support groups.

toukokuu 21, 3:35 pm

Daryl, I just finished The Covenant of Water and I highly recommend it. It’s a book I had to take breaks from - it’s quite a saga - but it was worth finishing.

I wouldn’t have been able to do what you do for your mother. But you obviously were well loved by your parents and you are returning that love through your caring for her.

toukokuu 21, 5:06 pm

>90 kidzdoc: I'm really glad you will be getting some professional help Darryl, and from someone you already greatly respect. I hope it will allow you to recalibrate, and bring your own health back into balance as far as is possible under the current circumstances.

toukokuu 21, 5:50 pm

I appreciate so much your openness about what you are experiencing. My 84 year old father is only now considering seeing a therapist and it's a whole process reassuring him that seeking help isn't weakness and that there are more options in therapy than pursuing a Freudian psychotherapy for the rest of his life or group therapy like in Bob Newhart Show.

toukokuu 22, 11:55 am

I am sorry that you are going through issues dealing with your present situation. My only suggestion- get as much help as you can for your mother.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 22, 3:44 pm

>75 kidzdoc: Interesting review of Time shelter Darryl. And I'm glad it brought out >81 Ameise1: the description of clinical "villages." I also was unaware of them.

>76 kidzdoc: I'm also glad you have a trusted professional to reach out for help for yourself. And hope that among your friends, neighbors, and clinic you'll find resources to help with your mother's care as well.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 23, 12:32 am

I’m reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. These lines made me think of you and your mom. Hope all goes as well as it can in the future.

Don’t be ashamed to need help. Like a soldier storming a wall, you have a mission to accomplish. And if you’ve been wounded and you need a comrade to pull you up? So what?

toukokuu 23, 8:17 pm

That's all a lot, Darryl. I'm glad you've got good support—that genuinely hard stuff requires all the backup you can muster. You have lots of friends here, too, and I hope some of that well-wishing energy reaches you through the ether.

toukokuu 27, 10:22 am

Thanks for your kind and supportive messages, everyone. I saw my mother's, and now my, psychiatrist yesterday, who diagnosed me with major depressive disorder (MDD), recurrent, of moderate severity, along with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). I started taking two psychotropic medications for these conditions this morning, I'll start seeing a therapist, and I'll see my psychiatrist again in six weeks.

In talking about this openly I'm taking a page from one of my dearest friends in Atlanta, a pediatric psychiatric nurse practitioner I worked with in the hospital, whose husband, the CEO of MARTA, Atlanta's public transit system, committed suicide early last year. Although Erin and her lovely adult daughters were traumatized by Jeff's unexpected death, she bravely chose not to hide what happened, and instead they talked about it openly, including to the local and national media, including CNN, in an effort to destigmatize and uncover the mental health crisis that has affected so many children and adults in this country, and elsewhere. Apologies if this is TMI for some folks.

>92 streamsong: Thanks, Janet. Everyone agrees that I could use help with my mother, more than what I'm getting now, along with respite.

I like that comment from the counselor; I agree completely.

>93 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda. I haven't done so yet, but I plan to join caregiver support groups through the Alzheimer's Association and the Penn Memory Center.

>94 dianeham: I'm glad that you enjoyed The Covenant of Water, Diane. I'll start it very soon, possibly as early as this weekend.

You're absolutely right; my parents were as loving and supportive as I could have hoped for, and although it is a struggle and a challenge, I am simply returning what they have given to me my whole life.

>95 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline.

toukokuu 27, 11:04 am

>96 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, Kay. There is definitely a stigma associated with mental illness that can be difficult to overcome, especially in men, and my gender is far too reluctant to admit that they need help.

>97 torontoc: Thanks, Cyrel. You're right, of course.

>98 markon: Thanks, Ardene.

>99 SqueakyChu: That's a great quote, Madeline. Thanks for posting it.

>100 lisapeet: Thanks, Lisa.

toukokuu 27, 1:12 pm

{{hugs}} Darryl, and good for you for not only recognizing the the time is now for reaching for help, but also for sharing that journey. I am willing to bet that that alone, has a value that will surprise you. Keep up the good work!

toukokuu 27, 2:22 pm

Wishing you well, Darryl. And kudos for reaching out to a therapist.

toukokuu 27, 3:34 pm

>101 kidzdoc: Hoping the medications and therapy put you in a better place soon Darryl.

toukokuu 28, 7:39 pm

>103 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. I agree, I think it will be helpful to let others, particularly family members, close friends, and physician colleagues, know about what I'm going through, especially since many of them have been concerned and worried about me since I had to abruptly resign my position at work nearly 18 months ago. In addition, I'm certain that other people I know well are also dealing with depression and/or anxiety, and their advice and input will be greatly appreciated. I'll start reaching out privately to them over the next few weeks.

>104 dchaikin: Thanks, Dan. I hope that you find relief for your anxiety as well.

>105 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline.

kesäkuu 24, 4:32 pm

Hey Darryl, I was just thinking I hadn't seen you post in awhile and thought I'd stop in and say hi. Thinking of you & your mom.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 25, 10:41 am

>107 bell7: Hi, Mary! I hope that you're doing well. Despite my absence from LT this month I'm doing much better, and so is my mother. My reading has picked up recently, as I'll finish my second book of the week later today. Both books have been superb: Bigger Than Bravery: Black Resilience and Reclamation in a Time of Pandemic, edited by Valerie Boyd, and Black on Black: On Our Resilience and Brilliance in America by Daniel Black; I purchased both books from Harriett's Bookshop, a Black feminist bookshop in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia, in January. After I finish Black on Black today I'll resume reading The Hamlet by William Faulkner, then start The Covenant of Water, the new novel by Dr Abraham Verghese that has received rave reviews so far. He is one of my favorite physician writers, so I can hardly wait to start reading this book. I also plan to start Pessoa: A Biography by Richard Zenith, the 1000+ page definitive account of Fernando Pessoa, and I'll finally get to his masterpiece, The Book of Disquiet, later this year.

kesäkuu 25, 10:51 am

Glad you’re doing well, and glad you’re reading. Those titles sound good.

kesäkuu 25, 10:54 am

>109 dchaikin: Thanks, Dan! I intend to resume my activity on Club Read either next week, or certainly in the beginning of July, and write reviews of the two books I've read this week.

kesäkuu 25, 1:18 pm

Good to hear things are improving for you and your mom Darryl, and that you are having more time to enjoy reading.

I remember Laura (Laurelkeet) visiting Harriettes when she was living in Philly.

kesäkuu 25, 1:40 pm

I can only echo what Caro above has offered. Thinking of you.

kesäkuu 25, 2:35 pm

Yay, Darryl's in the house!

kesäkuu 25, 3:12 pm

I can well understand that you have been struggling with your mental health Darryl, in your efforts to care for your mother. Earlier in the year I was also feeling very stressed about the situation with my own mother, as her dementia worsened, and with a lot of practicalities to be sorted in relation to her house. But your situation seems so much more stressful than anything that I have had to deal with. I hope that you do find a way to support your own mental health.

kesäkuu 25, 4:07 pm

>108 kidzdoc: I'm doing much better, and so is my mother
Glad to hear this.

kesäkuu 25, 6:23 pm

>108 kidzdoc: Glad to hear it, and looking forward to your reviews! The Covenant of Water has been extremely popular at my library, and I will probably be buying another copy in the new fiscal year. I've been keeping busy as ever, but things are good with me.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 26, 6:46 pm

Glad to hear things are better and that you are enjoying some reading time. Bigger than Bravery and Black on Black both sound quite interesting.

I've purchased an audio copy of The covenant of water because I know I won't be able to read it in the next few months - but I can listen in the car and at home.

kesäkuu 29, 5:44 pm

Hi Darryl, Just catching up with threads. I'm happy to read that you and your mom are both doing better. I bought a copy of the Zenith translation of The Book of Disquiet when I was in Lisbon last year, but somehow it went missing during our journey home (actually, I think it got left in the trunk of our rental car). Anyway, I'm on the lookout for another copy. My wild guess is that I'll find one in Strand Bookstore now that I'm New York. Speaking of which, shoot me a PM if you have the time and mental space for a meetup. Sometime during the next 11 months I'm sure I can work an Amtrak trip to Philadelphia. Best, Jerry

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 31, 8:42 pm

Hello again, everyone! I'm back, for at least the time being, especially since this year's Booker Prize longlist will be announced tomorrow. I like this year's panel of judges, so I'm particularly optimistic about the books that will be chosen. I may be able to finish Victory City by Salman Rushdie today, and I'll start The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese afterward. This weekend I finished Fires in the Dark: Healing the Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison, a book about the field of psychotherapy, said to be the oldest branch of Western medicine, and some of its most influential healers, and I"ve started reading Pessoa: A Biography by Richard Zenith.

>111 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. Unfortunately July has been a traumatic month, thanks to a close former friend who invaded our privacy by unexpectedly moving in with us and caused a great deal of stress and discord in our previously peaceful home. After a heated argument she moved out, and we probably won't ever see each other again. Now that things have settled down I look forward to being able to concentrate on reading for pleasure again.

Yes, Harriett's Bookshop is in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia, where Laura and her husband lived for a time. Interestingly that bookshop is closed for the summer, as the owners opened a bookstore in Paris, Josephine's Bookshop. There is a sister bookshop in the Delaware Valley, but it's considerably further away than Philadelphia (we live 6-7 miles from the city border), so I'll wait until they reopen to go book shopping in person again.

>112 avaland: Thanks, Lois.

>113 labfs39: Hopefully I'll be around for longer, Lisa!

>114 SandDune: Thanks, Rhian. Yes, my situation is stressful, especially since it doesn't take much to provoke a significant anxiety attack, given my generalized anxiety disorder, which I now realize I've had for many years. However, someone always has it harder than we do, and for me that person is one of my closest friends, a pediatrician who lives in Las Vegas and has two elderly parents who live in Chicagoland, a father with dementia who was recently transferred to a memory care center (which is not going all that well), and a mother with atrial fibrillation and episodes of congestive heart failure who is in and out of the hospital. She has been working in the office during the week, and flying to Chicago on weekends, which is worse than anything I've had to do.

I hope that your mother is doing relatively well.

>115 qebo: I'm headed in the right direction, thanks to medications and weekly sessions with my psychotherapist, but I'm not as mentally well as I was at the end of June. Hopefully August will be a much better month for me and my mother.

heinäkuu 31, 1:38 pm

>116 bell7: I'm glad that you're doing well, Mary! I only read a few pages of The Covenant of Water several weeks ago, so I'll start from the beginning when I pick it up in a day or two. I'm hopeful that both it and Victory City are chosen for the Booker Prize longlist tomorrow.

>117 markon: Thanks, Ardene. Bigger Than Bravery and Black on Black were both very good, and I'll plan to review both books next month.

>118 rocketjk: Hi, Jerry! I actually have two copies of The Book of Disquiet, one translated by Richard Zenith, and the other by Margaret Jull Costa:


I plan to read both versions, starting with the Zenith translation, but only because he wrote Pessoa: A Biography. Costa is possibly my favorite translator, especially for her interpretations of novels by José Saramago, António Lobo Antunes, and Bernardo Atxaga, so I'll read her version at some point as well.

I would think that you would find The Book of Disquiet at the Strand. If not, I would try the main branch of Book Culture, on W 112th St between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave, which is a few steps from Tom's Restaurant of Seinfeld fame.

Yes, we definitely have to get together, either in NYC or Philadelphia. I can either drive to Center City Philadelphia or take a SEPTA commuter train to 30th Street Station (Amtrak and NJ Transit trains arrive at the lower level, and SEPTA commuter trains at the upper level). Katherine (qebo) might be interested in joining us, and possibly other LTers as well. I can do day trips to either city whenever my cousin from Michigan visits us, but probably not before October.

heinäkuu 31, 1:57 pm

I've just caught up with your thread. I hope things perk up in August for you (and your mother!) and I look forward to your next book reviews :-)

heinäkuu 31, 3:14 pm

Hoping you turn a positive corner in August, Darryl. Glad you're still reading and look forward to your Booker news as you're always hot off the press.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 31, 3:18 pm

I've missed your presence on the threads, Darryl. So sorry about your recent upsetting situation at home. I hope the resolution puts an end to your distress about that situation. Anxiety, I found during pandemic, is truly debilitating. I support all of your work in trying to deal with that as well. Hope we can meet in better times.

heinäkuu 31, 3:47 pm

Good to see you back posting, Darryl. I am walking a parallel path to you, re dealing with my mother's care issues and the stress(es) inherent in that. Deep breaths.....

heinäkuu 31, 4:18 pm

>120 kidzdoc: "starting with the Zenith translation, but only because he wrote Pessoa: A Biography."

For what it's worth, a bookseller in the Bertrand Bookstore in Lisbon told me that Zenith is the only English translator who came close to getting the real flavor/atmosphere of Pessoa and The Book of Disquiet. That was only one person's opinion, of course. I'll be interested in how you judge the two versions.

Nice to see you posting.

heinäkuu 31, 7:26 pm

Darryl, you surprised me with the news that the Booker Prize was being announced tomorrow, because I hadn't even seen the shortlist, but luckily I am not that out of touch and I can happily peruse the longlist tomorrow.

I'm glad your guest issue is resolved. It is rough when that doesn't work. I hope it wasn't too unsettling for you mother.

heinäkuu 31, 8:52 pm

>121 Dilara86: Thanks, Dilara. I've been especially bad at posting reviews so far this year, and I have four LT Early Reviewer book reviews outstanding, two of books I've read, and two I haven't gotten to yet, including my win for July, August Wilson: A Life by Patti Hartigan, so I need to get cracking.

>122 AlisonY: Thanks, Alison. I'm still the administrator of the Booker Prize group on LibraryThing, so I feel obligated to be up to date on the prize dates and the books that are chosen for the prize. The longlist will be announced at 9 am BST tomorrow, or 4 am Eastern Daylight Time in the United States, so the announcement will take place in less than eight hours.

>123 SqueakyChu: Thanks, Madeline. This situation is now behind us, fortunately.

>124 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. Fortunately my mother's mental status is worsening only very slowly, and in many ways she is actually doing better since my father's death 19 months ago, probably because he was struggling to care for her, given his own moderate cognitive impairment. The worst thing about this situation is that I or someone else has to be here nearly 24/7 to care for her, and since the only other person who is reliably able and willing to do that is a dear cousin of mine from Michigan, who visits us every month or two. If Tina is here I can make day trips to visit friends or drive back to Atlanta, where I lived and worked for 25 years; if not then I end up missing out on meeting anyone unless I can take her with me. This year’s Pediatric Hospital Medicine Conference is taking place this week in Center City Philadelphia, about half an hour’s drive from home, and many of my work partners will be there, but Tina isn’t coming here until next Monday, so I won’t be able to attend the conference or meet up with any of them. Sigh…

>125 rocketjk: That’s an interesting comment about the Zenith translation of The Book of Disquiet by the bookseller in Livraria Bertrand, Jerry. As I’m sure you’re aware, the book is compiled from roughly 500 passages that were contained in a trunk in his flat that was discovered only after his death in 1935. I just took a cursory look at the beginning pages of both editions, and it seems that neither one starts in the same place, so I’ll be interested why Zenith and Jull decided to start where they did, and if one of the translations is more cohesive than the other. Given Zenith’s painstaking work to write this 1056 page biography I would guess that his version is more in keeping with Pessoa’s intent, if he had one.

BTW, I assume that you went to the nearby Café a Brasileira and saw the sculpture of Pessoa outside of the café.

>126 RidgewayGirl: Whoops; thanks for your eagle eye, Kay! I meant to say that the longlist will be announced tomorrow morning; the shortlist will be revealed on 21 September, and the winner on 26 November.

The unwanted guest situation was very traumatic for and confusing to my mother. It’s a very long and, frankly, not very interesting story, but her unexpected presence caused a tremendous amount of distress in my mother and was very uncomfortable and anxiety producing for me as well.

elokuu 1, 5:13 am

The Booker Prize 2023 longlist in full:

A Spell of Good Things by Ayòbámi Adébáyò
Old God's Time by Sebastian Barry
Study for Obedience by Sarah Bernstein
If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery
How to Build a Boat by Elaine Feeney
This Other Eden by Paul Harding
Pearl by Siân Hughes
All the Little Bird-Hearts by Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
Prophet Song by Paul Lynch
In Ascension by Martin MacInnes
Western Lane by Chetna Maroo
The Bee Sting by Paul Murray
The House of Doors by Tan Twan Eng

Find out more:

elokuu 1, 6:49 am

Darryl, are there any places/agencies where you are that can provide respite care for your mom to give you a break in between your cousin's visits? I know that sort of thing exists here in my city for families of disabled children or elders. Even for a 24-48 hours period, to give you a chance to, say, go to your pediatricians conference, would give you the peace of mind you need and a much needed break and *you* time.

elokuu 1, 7:23 am

Sorry to read about a stressful month, Darryl, and hope August will be a much nicer month for you.

>128 kidzdoc: Only one book has reached my TBR, the Sebastian Barry. It was recently published in Dutch translation, and I haven't seen any of the others yet. I do hope for a translation of Paul Murray's The Bee Sting, as I loved his Skippy dies.

elokuu 1, 9:25 am

Hello again, Darryl, it’s good to be hearing your online voice, and just in time for the Booker list, and thanks for posting it. Two have been on my WL, the Sebastian Barry, and This Other Eden.
I’m glad you’re finding good ways to cope with the anxiety of being caregiver for your mother. That’s so difficult.

elokuu 1, 9:56 am

I hope you continue to get better, Darryl. It sounds like you are getting the help you need.

>128 kidzdoc: Interesting list. I haven't read any of them.

elokuu 1, 12:00 pm

Wow, absolutely zero of the Booker longlist books were on my radar. Some familiar authors of course, but nothing is grabbing my attention. I'll let my LT friends take the plunge first and see if any reviews catch my eye. Thanks for posting!

elokuu 1, 1:57 pm

>128 kidzdoc: Oh, I'm happy about Western Lane, a small, quiet book. I really liked it. And I'm reading The Bee Sting now and enjoying it. Also very happy for Jonathan Escoffery. A lot of unfamiliar titles there, which is fantastic.

elokuu 1, 5:17 pm

>119 kidzdoc: Sorry to hear about the invader Darryl, I hope August will be quieter.

I think the Pessoa will go on the list, he cropped up a lot in An Unnecessary Woman.

>128 kidzdoc: I loved The House of Doors?

elokuu 1, 7:28 pm

>129 jessibud2: Good question, Shelley. A social worker from the home care agency visited us this afternoon, and from her I got information about private home aides, along with adult day centers that can provide half or full day care. The adult day center sounds like a good option, so I'll visit the center the social worker recommended early next week. I'll also contact our county's Agency on Aging to see what other services she would qualify for, and if her insurance would cover part or all of the care costs. Having someone watch her for eight hours in a day, presumably including bathing, meals, and medication administration, would give me enough time to do many of the things I would like to in the Philadelphia area, and make it easier to work from home.

>130 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. Now that Cheryl and her drama are out of our lives, we should have a much more relaxing and peaceful month ahead.

I requested A Spell of Good Things and If I Survive You from one of my local libraries, so I'll plan to read at least those books this month. I own but haven't yet read Skippy Dies.

>131 dianelouise100: Thanks, Diane. The only longlisted book I had heard of is The House of Doors, and since I loved The Garden of Evening Mists and The Gift of Rain I'm pleased that it was chosen.

>132 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. I have a great psychiatrist and psychotherapist, so I'm definitely getting the mental health help I need. The next step is to get help for my mother, and respite for me, and today's visit from the social worker was very helpful in that regard.

I haven't read any of the longlisted books, either. I was very surprised that Victory City by Salman Rushdie and The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese were not selected.

>133 japaul22: You're welcome, Jennifer. It may be a couple of weeks before I start any of the longlisted books, as I intend to finish Victory City and The Covenant of Water first.

>134 RidgewayGirl: Even though none of the books I predicted would make the longlist did, I'm still excited over the ones that were chosen, and I look forward to finding out more about them, and reading them. Now that I'm no longer able to visit London and The Book Depository is no longer in existence it may be difficult to procure all 13 books before the winner is announced in late November (BTW, the shortlist will be announced on 21 September, and the winner on 26 November).

>135 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. Cheryl was one of my closest friends for nearly 50 years, so her dishonesty and deceit was very hurtful to me, and I'm not sure that we can ever repair the damage both of us caused to our relationship. It's sad, but I have no regrets about the way I handled things, especially since I offered her $3000 as a gift to help her afford a place to live, which everyone says was far too generous. She didn't accept my offer, and after she lashed out at me and blamed me for her personal, family and financial problems two days after she left, while taking no accountability for her near complete role in her problems, my offer is off the table.

I'm still very early in it, but Pessoa: A Biography is excellent so far. The US edition has 1056 pages, so I won't finish it until the autumn.

I need to get to An Unnecessary Woman.

I'm glad that you loved The House of Doors; I'll have to see if it's available in the US yet.

elokuu 2, 9:00 am

>127 kidzdoc: someone else has to be here nearly 24/7 ... I won’t be able to attend the conference or meet up with any of them
How very frustrating and disappointing.
>136 kidzdoc: private home aides, along with adult day centers that can provide half or full day care
I hope you can find some sort of assistance. 24/7 caretaking with no respite is admirable but has to be a strain as it limits what else you are able to do.

elokuu 2, 7:20 pm

Good to see you posting again Darryl

elokuu 7, 12:33 pm

Like you, I was very happy to see Tan Twan Eng's newest book on the Booker list. His writing is so beautiful. Lois had alerted me to the Paul Harding book, but I haven't read it yet. Sounds intriguing though. The others are mysteries. I too was surprised by the omission of Covenant of Water.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 7, 8:01 pm

>139 labfs39: The internet tells me that The house of doors by Tan Twan Eng will be released in the US in October. I'm tempted to preorder it, since I liked his other two novels so much. And there is another I'm interested in reading: In Ascension by Martin MacInnes.

Glad to hear from you Darryl, and I'm sorry that your former friend was so disruptive.

elokuu 8, 6:51 am

>140 markon: I wish I could order it now from Book Depository!

elokuu 8, 8:09 am

Phew, Darryl. Wish you a good August. I started In Ascension on audio on Aug 1, the day the longlist came out. It’s terrific on audio so far. I’m pleased Paul Harding is on the list. I own that book. I’ll read Enon first (you don’t need to).

Muokkaaja: elokuu 16, 6:26 pm

Hi Darryl. I just wanted to mention something I came across this afternoon, and it made me think of you (as well of myself!). I was listening to this radio program in my car today and missed part of it but I found it online when I got home and re-listened. The guest was a clinical psychologist whose focus is on the caregivers of dementia patients. Of course, my ears perked up because I feel so close to the edge myself these days and felt that finally, someone was recognizing that. She has also just written a new book which I have now requested from the library. I thought you might be able to relate to the conversations of the callers as well as be interested in the book. I hope the links work.

The show:

The book, reviewed in The Guardian:

Hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself.

elokuu 26, 10:31 pm

Hi Darryl! Just catching up on a lot of folks' threads now, since I've had my own long summer—nothing like yours, and I'm glad you were able to resolve the difficult guest situation and are looking into setups for your mom that will give you a bit of respite. One thing that I've seen for myself, and talked about with friends too, is that for a bunch of us who were powering through tough situations of one kind of another REALLY WELL, this summer we all just seemed to... slump. That kind of long-term stress just accretes, you know? And at some point no matter how good a job you're doing of holding up your piece of the world, at some point you just have to sit down and recoup. That's what I've been up to, anyway, and I wish us all some respite.

I read about half of If I Survive You for last year's LJ Best Short Stories judging—frustrating in that I can't finish a lot of the candidates I read because I just have to get a good taste of them and then on to the next—but that's one I want to go back to (though not this month because I'm working my way through the 2023 collections). I liked the voices and rhythm of the stories a lot.

syyskuu 26, 12:44 am

Dear Darryl, I don't visit Club Reads anywhere near as much as I should but I am missing your posts and am quite concerned about you dear fellow.

I know you have your hands and most everything else full these days with your caring responsibilities but please know that there are a lot of us out here in the ether who care very much about you.