BanjoReadsOn2024---Thread # 2

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Keskustelu75 Books Challenge for 2024

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BanjoReadsOn2024---Thread # 2

1banjo123
Muokkaaja: toukokuu 26, 5:38 pm



2banjo123
Muokkaaja: toukokuu 26, 5:42 pm

And welcome to my new thread! The photo is from a recent trip to the Columbia River Gorge. And here is a poem that I like:

Rain
by Raymond Carver

Woke up this morning with
a terrific urge to lie in bed all day
and read. Fought against it for a minute.

Then looked out the window at the rain.
And gave over. Put myself entirely
in the keep of this rainy morning.

Would I live my life over again?
Make the same unforgiveable mistakes?
Yes, given half a chance. Yes.

3banjo123
Muokkaaja: toukokuu 26, 5:46 pm

Favorite Reads of 2023:

By The Sea by Abdulrazak Gurnah
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
Greta and Valdin by Rebecca Reilly
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Dubois by Honoree Fanzine Jeffers

And favorites for 24, so far:

Fraud by Zadie Smith
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
The Future by Naomi Alderman

4banjo123
Muokkaaja: Tänään, 7:09 pm

Currently Reading:

Chenneville

Read in 2024

1. Goodnight Irene by Luis Urrea. 1/6/24
2. The Rose Code by Kate Quinn. 1/9/24
3. Girl With Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. 1/14
4. Solitary by Albert Woodfox
5. Braiding Sweetgrass
6. St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell
7. Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman

8. Backcast by Ann McMan
9. Fraud by Zadie Smith
10. I'm Glad My Mom's Dead by Jennette McCurdy
11. A Little More About Me by Pam Houston
12. We are Watching Eliza Bright byA.A. Osworth
13, Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow
14, Magic for Liars
15. The Netanyahus by Joshua Cohen
16. Permafrost
17. The Flight of the Iguana

18. My Vietnam, Your Vietnam
19. The Future by Naomi Alderman
20. The Bee sting by Paul Murray
21. The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen
22. The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
23. Above Ground by Clint Smith
24. The Rachel Incident by Caroline O'Donoghue
25. When Women were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill

26. Deep River by Karl Marlantes
27. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout (re read)
28. The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
29. A Man Called Ove
30. This House of Sky (DNF)
31. invisible bridge
32. Mister Monkey by Francine Prose
33. The Enchantment of Lily Dahl by Siri Hustvedt

34. Bad Behavior
35. Two Nights in Lisbon
36. Wild Things by Laura Kay
37. All Fires the Fire by Julio Cortazar
38. Create Dangerously by Edwidge Danticat

39. The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb
40. Trespasses by Louise Kennedy
41. Winter Love by Han Suyin
42. Toms Lake by Ann Patchett
43. Our Town by Thornton Wilder
44. The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
45. Brotherless Night

46. In Memoriam by Alice Winn
47. A Man of Two Faces by Viet Thanh Nguyen
48. Starter Villain by John Scalzi
49. Alcestis by Katherine Beutner

5banjo123
Muokkaaja: toukokuu 26, 5:59 pm

I have been busy, and am pretty behind on my thread. So I do have reading to catch up on, and also a report on our trip to Ashland, which was loads of fun. We saw 3 plays, and also had a chance to relax, take walks, and eat lots of good food.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival has had a hard time of it financially, and have had to cut back quite a bit. The pandemic was a hard time to be a repertory theater. Thus, there were only 3 plays to choose from, but they were all good. We saw MacBeth, a dynamite production, Born with Teeth which is a newish play, centering on imagined conversations between Shakespeare and Christopher Marlow. Also From Virgins to Villains a one woman piece about the authors experiences as a Shakespeare actor.

We were also able to attend Prologues for the first two plays, which gave some background about the productions, and really helped us understand them better. It seemed that this year the Festival was really focussed on putting the productions in historical context, so I learned a lot about King James, witch-hunting, and the persecution of Catholics and atheists.

6banjo123
toukokuu 26, 6:06 pm







Here are some pictures from the MacBeth production. I thought that the way that they focused on the witches was really cool.

7banjo123
toukokuu 26, 6:12 pm



And here's a picture from Born With Teeth. It turns out that a computer analysis found that Henry VI was co-written by Marlow and Shakespeare. Which that kind of co-writing was normal during the time, often playwrights were commissioned for a play and would portion out parts of it to other playwrights. The play imagines a series of conversations with the two as they wrote Henry VI, I thought very well-acted and thought provoking. Marlow and Shakespeare were very different characters, each reacting to their rather difficult historical circumstances.

8banjo123
toukokuu 26, 6:15 pm

I couldn't find photos for Virgins to Villains, but it was an exploration of the women in Shakespeare's plays, and how the experience of acting influenced the author, Robin Goodrin Nordli.

9PaulCranswick
toukokuu 26, 6:25 pm

Happy new thread, Rhonda. xx

10jessibud2
toukokuu 26, 6:42 pm

Happy new thread, Rhonda. It feels like it's been eons since I last saw a live theatre production. Hopefully, I will remedy that this summer.

11figsfromthistle
toukokuu 26, 8:09 pm

>1 banjo123: Stunning!

Happy new one

12atozgrl
toukokuu 26, 9:54 pm

>1 banjo123: What a beautiful picture! The view is spectacular, and the clouds in this photo only enhance it.

Happy new thread.

13drneutron
toukokuu 27, 10:46 am

Happy new thread!

14RebaRelishesReading
toukokuu 27, 11:58 am

Good morning, Rhonda. Love the phot of the gorge and enjoyed the comments on Oregon Shakespeare Festival!

15ChrisG1
toukokuu 27, 1:25 pm

Happy new thread & thanks for the photos! I'm reminded it's been far too long since I spent some time in the Columbia Gorge.

16banjo123
toukokuu 27, 1:27 pm

>9 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul!

>10 jessibud2: Thank, Shelley! I hope you get to some theater soon.

>11 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita! The gorge is pretty magic

>12 atozgrl: Thanks Irene. I was happy with the photo.

>13 drneutron: Thanks, Jim

>14 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks Reba, we do live in a beautiful part of the world!

17banjo123
toukokuu 27, 1:28 pm

>15 ChrisG1: And Hi Chris! The Gorge is such a treasure.

18banjo123
toukokuu 27, 1:35 pm

Book-wise, I have several to catch up on.

Two Nights in Lisbon by Chris Pavone

I am not generally a thriller fan; every now and then I will pick one up, it will start intriguing, and then the writing and characters turn dull, and the plot seems obvious. Usually I don't finish. I almost quit on this one, for the obvious reasons, but I kept going and actually enjoyed the end. (I had guessed most, but not all of the plot.)

It's about a woman who is enjoying a stay in Lisbon with her new husband, when the husband disappears, she goes to the police and the consulate. There's a few twists in the plot, mostly around some "me-too" type issues. Some of the writing about sexual violence is pretty heavy-handed---the book would have benefited from sticking to the plot a bit more. Also, IMO, from more character development--but I think that about most thrillers.

19banjo123
Muokkaaja: toukokuu 27, 5:24 pm

Wild Things by Laura Kay

I read this for the Lesbian book group. It's about a group of young people in England, who buy a house in a village (sort of a suburb) of London and name it Lavender House. The main character has a long standing crush on her best friend Ray, and the two of them are in on this group, so, romantic tension.

This book started out cute, but there was too much cute and not enough substance to sustain it.

20jessibud2
toukokuu 27, 3:56 pm

>19 banjo123: - Rhonda, your touchstone goes elsewhere, lol! (Sendak) ;-)

21banjo123
toukokuu 27, 6:06 pm

>20 jessibud2: LOL, I fixed it now! But I do love Sendak.

22banjo123
toukokuu 27, 6:09 pm

All Fires the Fire by Julio Cortazar

This is a book of short stories by an Argentinian writer. I enjoyed most of the stories, but they are pretty literary and conceptual, so probably not for everyone. I think my favorite was the first, where a community forms when there is a traffic jam outside of Paris that lasts for days.

23banjo123
toukokuu 27, 6:21 pm

Create Dangerously by Edwidge Danticat

This was published in 2010, a collection of essays about Haiti, and also about being an immigrant/refugee. Danticat is such a good writer! And I learned a lot about Haiti.

Here's a passage:

"I too sometimes wonder if in the intimate, both solitary and solidary, union between writers and readers a border can really exist. It there a border between Antigone's desire to bury her brother and the Haitian mother of 1964 who desperately wants to take her dead son's body out of the streets to give him a proper burial, knowing that if she does this she too may die? So perhaps after those executions when those young men and women were reading Caligula, Albert Camus became a Haitian writer. When they were reading Oedipus Rex and Antigone, Sophocles too became a Haitian writer."

24The_Hibernator
toukokuu 28, 1:45 pm

Happy new thread!

25FAMeulstee
toukokuu 28, 3:00 pm

Happy new thread, Rhonda!

26BLBera
toukokuu 28, 6:00 pm

Happy new thread, Rhonda. I love the photo at the top.

I really want to attend some plays at Ashland! The plays sound amazing.

>23 banjo123: I'm pretty sure I have this one, and it sounds really good.

27msf59
toukokuu 28, 6:29 pm

Happy New Thread, Rhonda. Love that stunning topper. I also like the Carver poem. I love his short fiction but never really explored his poetry.

28Berly
kesäkuu 1, 10:54 pm

Happy new thread! It was great to see you today. : ) I am jealous that you went to the OR Shakespeare Festival. I hope they continue to get back on track -- it's such a wonderful venue. Hope June is a great month for you.

29vancouverdeb
kesäkuu 2, 12:46 am

Happy New Thread, Rhonda! Lovely topper! I saw the photo's of the get together in Portland, I think it was, on Facebook and I'm glad you all enjoyed your time together.

30banjo123
kesäkuu 2, 6:01 pm

Thanks for the new thread greetings, Rachel, Anita, Beth, Mark, Kim, Deborah!

Beth and Kim, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival was very worthwhile. I just wish there was a train between Portland and Ashland, so we didn't have to drive.

Beth, I did think of you when I was reading Creating Dangerously It seems up your alley.

Mark, I found that Carver poem in a poetry box in the neighborhood, but since have bought a book of his poetry, and it's good.

And Kim and Deborah, the meet-up was super-fun. It was nice to be in a quieter environment, so we could really talk.

Unfortunate about Powell's; but today we met up with my sister and brother-in-law for coffee on Hawthorne, so stopped by the Hawthorne Powell's, and there was a copy of Chenneville on the sale table, so I bought it.

31banjo123
kesäkuu 2, 6:06 pm

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb

I think I mentioned in >18 banjo123: that I am not really a thriller person. We read this for book group. It was actually my pick, but I guess I didn't quite realize it was a thriller. It seems that the thriller genre is low on character development, which ends up being a problem for me. Also, I guessed the story pretty quickly.

I did like how the book gave a picture of the Classical Music world, and what it's like to be an African American in that world. The extent of racism was disturbing, and apparently mostly taken from the author's own experience.



32RebaRelishesReading
kesäkuu 3, 6:54 pm

>30 banjo123: Congrats on a sale copy of Chenneville -- I think you'll enjoy it.

33banjo123
kesäkuu 8, 4:56 pm

>32 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks, Reba, I am looking forward to it.

Both of my book groups met this week, so I'd like to report that other people were much more positive than me on Wild Things and The Violin Conspiracy. So if you are interested in either of these books, don't let my griping get in your way.

34banjo123
kesäkuu 8, 5:04 pm

Trespasses by Louise Kennedy

I thought this book was really good. It's set in mid-70's in a Belfast suburb, and the main character, Cushla, is a young Catholic school teacher; who balances teaching, helping out in the family bar, and caring for her alcoholic mother. She also has to balance being Catholic during the Troubles, and teaching her young students hope, despite the violence surrounding them. She falls for an older man, who is Protestant, and married.

35alcottacre
kesäkuu 8, 7:03 pm

>6 banjo123: Reminds me of my days when I was in my 20s and used to go to "Shakespeare in the Park" every year. *sigh*

>23 banjo123: I need to read that one! Thanks for the recommendation, Rhonda!

>34 banjo123: I keep putting off reading that one despite Mark's glowing recommendation of it. I really need to get it read! Thanks for the reminder.

Happy new-ish thread!

36The_Hibernator
kesäkuu 9, 11:20 am

>31 banjo123: I don't read thrillers (or mysteries) often. I find them easier to predict than other genres. And the whole fun of reading a thriller is not knowing till the end.

37banjo123
kesäkuu 9, 10:07 pm

>35 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia! Trespasses really is good, I hadn't realized that Mark was also a fan.

>36 The_Hibernator: Thanks for stopping by, Rachel! I think with thrillers, I am intrigued at first, but it doesn't hold because I really need more character development. Reading 2 thrillers close together made me realize how important that is to me.

38banjo123
kesäkuu 9, 10:16 pm

Winter Love by Han Suyin

This one was from my shelves, it had been a pick for the lesbian book group, but I missed that month and had never read it. It's an older book, written in the early 60's; when all lesbian fiction had to have a tragic ending. This book is quite well-written, and gives us an unreliable and unpleasant narrator, Red, who is studying medicine in england in the 40's. She falls for a fellow student, Mara, who is married. There aren't many men around, and close "friendships" between women are common, but it's expected that the woment will eventually marry men.

A difficult book, I don't especially recommend it, but I don't regret reading it either.

39PaulCranswick
kesäkuu 9, 11:25 pm

>37 banjo123: Agreed. It is a very good novel.

40vancouverdeb
kesäkuu 10, 1:40 am

Glad you enjoyed Trespasses, Rhonda. I did too.

41WhiteRaven.17
kesäkuu 11, 12:35 am

Hi Rhonda, catching up on some threads. What a beautiful photo up top. Hope you have a great week!

42Berly
kesäkuu 18, 12:10 am

Hi there. Tresspasses was a good one. Glad you got your hands on Chenneville -- happy reading! And try to stay cool this week...!

43banjo123
kesäkuu 19, 6:47 pm

>39 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul!
>40 vancouverdeb: I am glad that you also liked it, Deborah.
>41 WhiteRaven.17: Hi Kro! It is really a beautiful spot.
>42 Berly: Thanks, Kim! I am looking forward to Chenneville.

I have been busy. We went up to Seattle over the weekend, saw a baseball game (go, Mariners!) and a soccer game. Also visited with Mrs. B's cousins, who came down from Vancouver BC to visit. That was really nice, we hadn't seen them in some time.

Unfortunately, came home to some bad news, my dad is in the hospital, and not doing so well. He is 93 and had been very independent, but had developed weakness in the past weak, and they are pretty sure it's leukemia, which doesn't have a great prognosis in the elderly. So that is taking most of my emotional bandwidth right now.

44banjo123
kesäkuu 19, 6:51 pm

I did read a couple of books Toms Lake by Ann Patchett. It was OK, but not my favorite Patchett.

Once I had read it I also read Our Town; as it is referenced heavily in the book. I would like to see it performed, I think that reading didn't do it justice. I know there are film versions, but it seems like it was written for the stage.

45jessibud2
kesäkuu 19, 7:16 pm

>43 banjo123: - Oh Rhonda, so sorry to hear this news about your dad. So many of us are walking/have walked this road recently. {{hugs}} to you both.

See if your library has the dvd of Paul Newman's performance in Our Town. He was the Stage Manager and it's a lovely production. I just finished Tom Lake very recently myself.

46vancouverdeb
kesäkuu 20, 12:19 am

I'm so sorry to read about your dad, Rhonda. Take care .

47RebaRelishesReading
kesäkuu 20, 7:30 pm

>43 banjo123: So sorry to hear about your father, Rhonda. It's tough to lose a parent ... or any one else you love of course. Wishing you comfort and peace through this.

48atozgrl
kesäkuu 21, 9:22 am

>43 banjo123: Rhonda, I am sorry to hear about your father. My FiL also had some form of leukemia in his late 80's, and he didn't do well either. You have my sympathies. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time. Sending ((hugs)).

49banjo123
kesäkuu 23, 2:23 pm

>45 jessibud2: >46 vancouverdeb: >47 RebaRelishesReading: >48 atozgrl: thanks for the hugs and good thoughts, Shelley, Deborah, Reba and Irene.

My dad died on Friday, we are all now in a bit of shock. It was so fast, as he just started to get sick a week and a half ago. I think that everyone had a chance to visit in his last days, and Friday we took turns so he always had someone with him. The hospital staff were great.

He was 93, and of course, mostly it is a blessing that he went fast, and with minimal pain, but still it is hard.

50jessibud2
kesäkuu 23, 2:38 pm

{{Rhonda}}. Of course it is still raw and of course it is painful. I am happy that most everyone had a chance to visit. Be gentle with yourself.

51atozgrl
kesäkuu 23, 4:08 pm

>49 banjo123: I am sorry to hear your news. My MiL was also 93 and her health was declining, but when she passed in December it still came as a shock to us because we didn't expect anything so sudden. Even elderly people like your father can surprise us with a sudden passing. I'm glad your family was able to visit him and that the hospital staff were so good. That does help. My thoughts and prayers are still with you and your family.

52The_Hibernator
kesäkuu 23, 4:31 pm

Sorry for your loss Rhonda!

53RebaRelishesReading
kesäkuu 24, 12:12 pm

>49 banjo123: Condolences on your Father's passing, Rhonda. Indeed it is a blessing that he went fast and with minimal suffering but losing a parent, or anyone you love, is difficult. Notional hugs to you.

54drneutron
kesäkuu 25, 4:38 pm

So sorry for your loss, Rhonda.

55banjo123
kesäkuu 25, 5:05 pm

Thanks you all for the condolences, Shelley, Irene, Rachel, Reba and Jim.

I am still feeling pretty raw, and on top of this have come down with a cold and so it's all just yuck. I am trying to mostly rest.

56PaulCranswick
kesäkuu 25, 8:55 pm

My sincere and deepest condolences on the loss of your dear father, Rhonda. I saw the lovely photographic tribute to him that you posted to FB and I hope that when my own time comes my daughters have similar things to say about me. xx

57msf59
kesäkuu 26, 8:36 am

I have been absent on your thread, so I missed the news about your father. Our deepest condolences, Rhonda. He sounds like he had a good full life. I hope you feel better, my friend.

58banjo123
kesäkuu 28, 5:12 pm

>56 PaulCranswick: thank you, Paul. My dad was pretty cool, and maybe next week I will be ready to post a little tribute to him.

>57 msf59: Thanks, Mark! My dad was really happy with his life, we recently had a conversation about it and he had no regrets. So, that is a comfort, but I still wish he were here to talk with.

59banjo123
kesäkuu 28, 5:15 pm

Completed books:

The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan. This was a re-read that held up really well.

Brotherless Night by V.V. Ganeshanathan -- also a really good book. But so hard!

60vancouverdeb
kesäkuu 28, 6:48 pm

I'm glad you enjoyed Brotherless Night , that I have been promoting so much on my thread. Great also that The Kitchen's God's wife held up well for a re - read, Rhonda.

61BLBera
kesäkuu 29, 9:13 pm

I am so sorry to hear about your dad, Rhonda. take care.

62banjo123
heinäkuu 4, 6:36 pm

>60 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deborah, and thanks for the prompts to read Brotherless Night.

>61 BLBera: Thank you, Beth.

63charl08
heinäkuu 5, 2:21 am

So sorry to read about the death of your father. Sending my condolences to you and your family.

64banjo123
heinäkuu 6, 5:01 pm

> 63 Thanks so much, Charlotte!

65banjo123
heinäkuu 6, 5:02 pm

Here is the obituary that my sister wrote for my dad, in case anyone is interested.

Ron was born in Dogwood Neck, South Carolina, right between Boggy Swamp and Brown Bog. Growing up on the farm, he got to know animals of all kinds and people of all characters. He stole the sugarcane and wrapped himself in the long skirts of his favorite grandmother, Sarah, for safety.

As an adult he gravitated towards strong-minded women. He met Teace in college at the University of South Carolina, and one day while sitting beneath a statue of a man on horseback he sang to her "Don't sit under the horse's tail with anyone else but me." The relationship, started so auspiciously, could not be anything but true love.

Being either romantic and in love, or thrifty and considering military benefits (depending on which of them you asked), the pair eloped when Ron was drafted in the Korean War. They moved to El Paso, where he was stationed, and when the war was over they continued west, to California, and finally making a home in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Ron worked as an electrical engineer, eventually starting his own company, Energy Control Systems.

They were by then a family of six, with three sassy daughters and one artistic son. Ron was surrounded by strong willed women and every animal his wayward children could drag home. In time, he had the very best and sassiest granddaughter, and his family seemed complete. Unfortunately, Teace had heart disease and became disabled by a series of strokes. Ron cared for her devotedly until her death in 2002.

After Teace passed away, Ron spent more time at the Atkinson Memorial Church. As a young man, he had taught the children Creative Pot Banging in Sunday School, much to the congregation's chagrin. As an elder, he took part in a similar, more accepted, activity - the Sunday Forum.

Ron began dating another strong-minded woman, Dolores, who he knew from church. Soon he had a very happy life, doing jigsaw puzzles and traveling with Dolores, getting to know her daughters, watching his granddaughter grow up, and surreptitiously snuggling all of the cats he professed to dislike. He once told his eldest daughter that his 80s were his best years.

During the course of Ron’s life the world changed, apparently trying to keep up with him. In the course of his long life, he learned to make soap, to psychologically assess Korean war veterans, to design alternative energy sources, and to trade stocks online. He was fascinated by green technology and would extol the virtues of heat pumps and solar panels. When Ron passed away at 93, it was much too soon for all who loved him.

66jessibud2
heinäkuu 6, 7:37 pm

A lovely tribute, Rhonda.

67The_Hibernator
heinäkuu 7, 12:11 am

That's a great obituary. 😊

68drneutron
heinäkuu 7, 9:56 am

Yep, it is!

69banjo123
heinäkuu 7, 3:52 pm

>66 jessibud2:, >67 The_Hibernator: and >68 drneutron: Thanks, Shelley, Rachel and Jim. I thought that my sister did a great job with this.

I am doing OK; it feels like I am tireder than usual; and stressed out about details. I have been working on planning the memorial service, which will be at the end of July, and dealing with my dad's estate.

Sadly, our cat, Francis passed away last week. He had been active and quite the character, and had outlived his prognosis, after having heart disease, kidney disease, thryroid issues, IBS and intestinal cancer. He had just become too stiff and painful, and we used an at-home euthanasia service, so the end was very peaceful. The house is way too quiet now.

70jessibud2
heinäkuu 7, 4:08 pm

Oh, Rhonda, losing Francis so soon after your dad is just too much. No wonder you are exhausted. It's emotional exhaustion, for sure. Please be gentle with yourself and rest. You will get through this but go easy
((Hugs))

71BLBera
heinäkuu 7, 4:19 pm

>65 banjo123: What a wonderful tribute, Rhonda.

I am sorry that Francis is gone. You have had a tough few weeks.

72banjo123
heinäkuu 7, 6:06 pm

>70 jessibud2: and >71 BLBera: Thanks Shelley and Beth. I told Francis that he had bad timing. He did hold on as long as he could, though.

73banjo123
heinäkuu 7, 6:25 pm

And here is a picture of Franny, from happier days.

74RebaRelishesReading
heinäkuu 7, 7:32 pm

>65 banjo123: Very nice, Rhonda. Thanks for sharing that. I think I would have liked your dad.

Then losing your cat too. So sorry. Too much at one time.

75atozgrl
heinäkuu 8, 5:16 pm

>65 banjo123: That is a beautiful tribute to your father.

>69 banjo123: And I am so sorry to hear about your cat too. My sister lost three of her cats last year (all were old and having health problems) and that was very hard on her. To have this follow so closely on your father is very difficult. Please do take time for yourself. We'll be thinking of you.

76banjo123
Tänään, 6:48 pm

>74 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks, Reba. I bet you and my dad would have gotten along great.
>75 atozgrl: Thanks Irene. Three cats in a year...that would be very hard. So far our other two are doing fine.

I've been doing OK. This week was mostly easier, but then yesterday we met with the minister to plan my dad's memorial service. It was a good talk, but I have been sad ever since. And now I am trying to find pictures of my dad for a photo-board, and seem to have lost some photos, so I am feeling incompetent.

77banjo123
Tänään, 6:59 pm

And now to do some quick reviews.

In Memoriam by Alice Winn --- Really a good book, though a hard read. Winn based her novel off of the memorials printed in the student newspaper of an English Public school, for students who had died in World War I. It's a war book, and a love story, a five star read for me.

78banjo123
Tänään, 7:02 pm

A Man of Two Faces by Viet Thanh Nguyen I like Nguyen's fiction, but this memoir was too repetitive and didactic. I was interested that he was going to tell his mother's story; a Vietnamese refugee who struggles with mental illness. However, he didn't so much tell the story but talk about the politics behind it, and that didn't work for me.

79banjo123
Tänään, 7:06 pm

Alcestis by Katharine Beutner

This was the lesbian book group choice. I missed the group, so not sure how others liked it. I thought it was pretty good, a retelling of Greek myth with a feminist twist. Other writers do this better, but still, a solid read.

80banjo123
Tänään, 7:08 pm

Starter Villain by John Scalzi A fun romp with a political subtext. I am glad to have read this as I NEEDED something less serious.