Joanne (coppers) Reads in 2016 - Part 3
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Here's my baby girl (she can't read, the sign says "Trail Closed")...
Speaking of babies, check out this adorable and tiny Bighorn Sheep.
January - Kim Thuy, Ru
February - Stephen Leacock, Sunshine Sketches (dnf)
March - Farley Mowat, Born Naked
April - I had had such good intentions.... :(
1. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby 3.75 stars OTS #1
2. Ru by Kim Thuy (CAC) 4 stars
3. This is Your Life, Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison 4.25 stars
4. Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe by Sandra Gulland 4.5 stars OTS #2
5. The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George 3.25 stars
6. Gumption by Nick Offerman (audio)
7. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
8. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi 4 stars
9. Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier 4.5 stars OTS #3
10. Small Victories by Anne Lamott (audio) OTS #4
11. American Housewife by Helen Ellis
12. Fifth Business by Robertson Davies OTS#5
13. Thin Air by Ann Cleeves OTS #6 4 stars
14. Bruno Chief of Police by Martin Walker OTS #7 4 stars
15. Boys in the Trees by Carly Simon (audio)
16. Born Naked by Farley Mowat (CAC) 3.75 stars
17. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (audio)
18. The Last Great Dance on Earth by Sandra Gulland OTS#8
19. Train Dreams by Denis Johnson OTS#9
20. The Dark Vineyard by Martin Walker
21. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (audio)
22. Black Diamond by Martin Walker
23. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari (audio)
24. Inside the Rise of HBO by Bill Mesce (LTER)
25. The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz OTS #10
26. The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan 4.5 stars
27. The Crowded Grave by Martin Walker
28. The Christmas Escape by Anne Perry (LTER) (audio)
29. Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler (LTER)
30. Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift
31. The Devil's Cave by Martin Walker
32. The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith (audio)
33. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
34. The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths
35. The Resistance Man by Martin Walker
36. English Creek by Ivan Doig OTS #11
37. Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris (audio)
38. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
39. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr 4.75 stars OTS #12
40. Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf 4.5 stars OTS #13
41. The Black Echo by Michael Connelly
42. August Heat by Andrea Camilleri OTS #14
43. Rolling Thunder by Chris Grabenstein OTS #15
44. The Last Policeman by Ben H Winters 4 stars OTS #16
45. Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter 4.25 stars
46. Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck (audio) reread
47. The Black Ice by Michael Connelly
48. Countdown City by Ben H Winters
49. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
50. The Opposite of Woe by John Hickenlooper 4 stars
51. Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck OTS #17 4 stars
52. Ross Poldark by Winston Graham OTS #18 4 stars
53. World of Trouble by Ben H Winters 4 stars
54. Dog Medicine by Julie Barton 4.5 stars
55. Wings of the Sphinx by Andrea Camilleri OTS #19 3.75 stars
56. Wintering by Peter Geye 4 stars
57. Demelza by Winston Graham 4.25 stars, OTS #20
58. The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim Defede. OTS #21 4.25 stars
59. The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
60. The View From the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman (audio)
61. The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner OTS #22
62. The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders OTS #23
63. A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny OTS #24
64. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson OTS #25
65. March: Book One by John Lewis 4 stars
66. The Track of Sand by Andrea Camilleri OTS #26 3.25 stars
67. The Poet's Dog by Patricia MacLachlan 4.25 stars
68. Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood 4.25 stars
69. News of the World by Paulette Jiles 4.5 stars
70. A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas (re-read)
71. Auggie Wren's Christmas Story by Paul Auster (annual re-read)
38. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I loved Rowell's Eleanor & Park. This one, not so much. I was a little bored by the love story and I really don't get fan fiction. There were some themes that I would have wanted to see explored more but as it was, it could have been 50 or so pages shorter. Still, I can see why the author is so popular, especially with the YA crowd. 3.5 stars.
My current read is All the Light We Cannot See. I love it and so it's my only current read.
I'm headed back to Denver at the end of July and if folks are interested, would love to get together again. This time I'm probably bringing mrsdrneutron!
>9 BLBera: I loved it, too, Beth. I was sorry to have it end.
>10 PaulCranswick: >16 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul!
>11 drneutron: And mrsdrneutron!! :) Let us know when you'll be here, Jim. I'll be going on vacation at the end of July and I hope I don't miss you! :(
>12 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks Reba!
>13 scaifea: Thanks Amber!
>14 witchyrichy: Thanks Karen! Hope your trip home went smoothly.
>15 Storeetllr: Thnaks Mary! Yeah, she gets impatient sometimes. :)
>17 billiejean: BJ! What a surprise! And thank you!
>18 nittnut: Thanks Jenn! Same to you. Weather was rainy, sunny, rainy, sunny......but a good weekend, nonetheless.
>19 charl08: Hi Charlotte, Thanks!
Hope you are enjoying All the Light. That one is a treat.
Hi Amy, It's so poignant. I'm enjoying it very much!
39. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
What a wonderful book! If I'm not the last one to read it, what are you waiting for?? 4.75 stars
I'm still waiting for my box from The Tattered Cover. But I still have plenty to read so no worries.
>30 rosalita: Hi Julia, I'm not sure why I waited so long to read it, but I'm glad I finally did.
>31 Donna828: Me, too, Donna, I'm looking forward to it!
>32 charl08: I hope you love it as much as I did Charlotte!
>33 witchyrichy: I couldn't agree more Karen! I hope your box arrives soon!
In addition to Our Souls at Night, I've also started my first Michael Connelly/Harry Bosch novel, The Black Echo (I love the TV series).
You're sure to love the Bosch series! My first was Concrete Blonde, which I read not knowing it was part of a series. I loved it so much I went back and started reading from the beginning. I like the TV adaptation, but the earlier books lay the groundwork for why Harry's the way he is and shouldn't be missed.
>36 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! Another fan! I keep finding that my TV watching is giving me more books to read. Not necessarily a bad thing...
>37 scaifea: It was on my TBR shelf for a long time, too, Amber, but I'm glad I finally got to it. I think you'll like it when you get to it!
I think it may almost be comfortable enough to give Skye a walk, as long as the pavement has cooled so we can cross the street. Hot (100F), sunny, dry, and breezy. Not good for the fire fighters...
I liked but didn't love All the Light We Cannot See. I read it during the most intense period of hype and I should know better than to do that. It almost always takes the shine off of even an excellent book.
>40 drneutron: Dang Jim! I'll be on vacation and will miss you and Mrs Doc. :( We all had such a great time when you were last here. I hope the rest of the Denver crew can make it!
I have been hearing about this book Lions, another rural novel set in Colorado. It sounds great. Have you heard anything?
I haven't heard of Lions but my library has, so I put a hold on it. It looks interesting - thanks for the heads up!
>43 BLBera: Hi Beth! We're off to the beach on Maui! I'm still not quite sure which books but currently, it looks like August Heat, Maine, and The Last Policeman, plus a slew of books on my kindle (which I won't bring to the beach). It should be a relaxing and bookish holiday!
>44 katiekrug: Hi Katie!
>45 AMQS: Hi Anne, Welcome home! Those were both great books! I'm so sorry to miss Jim but I hope you all have a great time!!
There's a tropical storm moving in. If the power doesn't go out, I might be around a bit tomorrow. (I was getting too much sun anyway.....)
Home again, home again...the first few days of vacation, the days ahead seem almost endless, but then suddenly, it's done... Had much fun, mostly beached it, which is fine with me, ate a lot of great fish and too much dessert. Missed my dog, though, and the cat, too. They're both happy to have us home. It was our first vacation without our son and we missed him (he's in NY this week, at a writers' workshop). Having direct flights from Denver to Kahului made the whole trip a lot easier and shorter but I know I will crash soon.....
Finished a couple books. I find the ocean very distracting. More on the books tomorrow!
40. Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
Truly a melancholy read about the loneliness of aging and the sacrifices that are made to the end. There's not much of a story here, but still, it's rich and deep and satisfying all the same. I'll miss you, Mr Haruf.
41. The Black Echo by Michael Connelly
The first book in the Harry Bosch series and good enough to make me want to continue on with it.
42. August Heat by Andrea Camilleri
An excellent choice for a vacation read and another good entry in the Inspector Montalbano series. Quick, entertaining and fun.
43. Rolling Thunder by Chris Grabenstein
Sea Haven NJ continues to be a pretty deadly place and there was quite a bit of violence in this one, but Danny's irreverent narration continues to keep it light and often funny, regardless. Fun in the sun down the shore.
Have a great weekend.
>68 rosalita: Hi Julia, Libraries tend to do that and it is very annoying. I'm going to have to hunt around for the next one when I'm ready to read it. It's a fun series!
>69 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul, I've had a few days to recover from vacation and then I'm back to the real work world on Monday. I can't say I'm anxious to go back....
>70 witchyrichy: Hi Karen, it's tough leaving the animals - this was the longest we've left our two 4 year olds. They've both been sticking to me like glue all weekend. Kind of nice. :)
>71 Ameise1: Hi Barbara, I liked the first Bosch book quite a bit and I'm about 60 pages into the next one! I've got a couple too many books going at the moment.
>72 Storeetllr: >73 Storeetllr: Hi Mary, Both are great and last night I started The Last Policeman which I know was a favorite of yours. I love it! I'll post more photos, although I didn't take that many. I have some from an actual camera that I have to put on the computer first. It always takes me a while.
>74 porch_reader: Hi Amy, it was such a touching book - I felt like crying the whole time I was reading it. But in a good way, if that makes sense.
>79 mstrust: Hi Jennifer, There aren't many shells on Maui. I love looking for them, too, and have spent some happy mornings on the beach on Sanibel in FL searching for shells. I'm also pretty fair, so when the sun swings around and the palm trees no longer give shade, a beach umbrella is a must for me, too. Thank goodness for Costco. We also go through a lot of sun screen!
So I saw in The Denver Post over the weekend that Robert Redford is scouting locations in CO to film Our Souls at Night. For a little while I thought that might be pretty good but then I remembered the last Robert Redford movie I saw, also based on a book. A Walk in the Woods. Pretty bad...
Have a great weekend, Joanne.
It was lovely seeing you on Thursday! Thanks for lunch! I had a great time. So happy you enjoyed Last Policeman. How's the Bosch coming along?
>83 PaperbackPirate: :)
>84 charl08: Well, of course!
>85 Storeetllr: We're all ready for any type of situation, aren't we? Bosch is competing with Hank Palace for my time. Both are keeping me happy! I'm so glad we were able to meet for lunch!!!!
44. The Last Policeman by Ben H Winters
With a giant asteroid headed on a direct collision course with the earth, when does it begin to not matter if a death is a suicide or a murder? Disaster is just six months out and for Detective Hank Palace of the Concord, NH police department, the answer is not quite yet. Entertaining story with some very likable characters. I dived right into the next book in the trilogy.
>91 charl08: Lots of fans, Charlotte, and for good reason! "Moreish"?
>92 porch_reader: It would be excellent between work stuff, Amy! Thought provoking and interesting without being overly taxing or even too dark (even though it's pre-apocalypse).
>93 BLBera: I'd recommend it, Beth! And yes, The Last Policeman is the first of a trilogy. (So yay! There are only three!!) :)
45. Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter
Interesting portrait of grief as a husband and his two young sons struggle in the aftermath of the sudden death of their wife and mother. Oh and a crow moves in to help them deal with the loss and stays until he is no longer needed. Almost poetic, its honesty can strike a chord or two. Blessedly short, yet really remarkably deep. Ultimately, I'm of two minds about it.
The Crow kept reminding me of the dog, who was a manifestation of Churchill's depression, in Mr Chartwell.
Book #45 is an interesting title, I assume taken from Emily Dickinson's poetic phrase of "Hope is the thing with feathers."
>97 Crazymamie: Lots of Last Policeman fans around here, Mamie! Another book I probably would not have found without LT.
46. Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck (audio)
I'm not sure why I thought I hadn't finished this when I listened to it a few years ago, but not long in this time, I realized I had listened to the whole thing. But never mind, it's Steinbeck and Gary Sinise's narration is so perfect, I listened again. And now I've read it once (decades ago) and listened twice and certainly recommend it.
>78 Donna828:, >80 Copperskye: I'm in!
Loved Travels with Charley when I read it a year or so ago. I listened to an audio, but not with Gary Sinise!
>78 Donna828: >80 Copperskye: I would LOVE a month in Florida this winter. I've gone down to visit with my parents for the past three years but they are not going to go this year and I found myself considering a trip on my own as it is a nice break from the winter grey.
>102 scaifea: Hi Amber, Skye has pretty much given up on chasing them but since Boomer gets little opportunity, she still thinks she can catch one!
>103 msf59: Hi Mark, I picked up The Mare when it first came out but didn't get anywhere with it. I'll be interested in your thoughts.
>104 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie!
>105 charl08: Well, I hope not, Charlotte! Those would be some scary bunnies!
>106 thornton37814: Hi Lori, Our cat seems to be most interested in the larger birds, especially the doves that stop by.
>107 AMQS: Boomer would love it if that happened, Anne!
>108 witchyrichy: My sister lives in Florida, I should visit her more! :)
I don't know if this story will translate, but you may know that I just returned from a vacation in Alaska. The best part of the trip was the 4+ days we spent in Denali. We stayed at a place called Camp Denali, deep in the park (almost at the end of the road). Every day, we could go on a guided hike and the guides were really excellent. They were young and fit, but they were also very knowledgeable, most of them with degrees in biology, geology, or other related fields. Anyway, the bus ride to each hike's starting point sometimes resulted in stops to view passing wildlife: bears, moose, caribou. And the excellent guides were very patient as much of the wildlife had become somewhat dime-a-dozen for them. Well, as we were driving along one day to our hike, I was riding shotgun and I saw a snowshoe hare on the side of the road. Afraid that the hare would run out in front of the van, I said (pointing) "bunny, bunny, bunny!" Folks in the back heard my enthusiasm but not my words and thought I had seen something outstanding, so the guide said into his little microphone with such obvious amusement in his voice "nothing to see, folks. There was a snowshoe hare on the side of the road and Ellen was just saying 'bunny, bunny, bunny....'" It was a moment. It might have been a had-to-be-there moment but I thought I'd share.
Hope the week is going well and I hope those current reads are treating you good.
>111 EBT1002: That's a riot, Ellen! I've never seen a snowshoe hare so I'm fairly sure I'd have done the same thing. :) I need to stop by your thread soon and see your photos and hear about your trip! I'll bet it was fabulous!
>112 Donna828: Hi Donna, I liked The Last Policeman more than Countdown City but I'm still looking forward to the last one. Hank Palace, the policeman, is a great character and it's an interesting premise. Mary is a big fan, too!
>113 msf59: Hi Mark, I think I'll continue to give it a pass. Too many other books calling!
My current books are a few too many but I like them all:
Poldark - I've been meaning to get to this one
Sweet Thursday - fun to revisit the characters from Cannery Row
The Hour of Land - gorgeous book, beautiful prose
The Opposite of Woe - Colorado-centric
47. The Black Ice by Michael Connelly
Another good entry in the Bosch series.
48. Countdown City by Ben H Winters
I'm kind of sorry that this is only a trilogy. I love the cover on this one. One more to go!
49. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Insightful. Should be handed out on street corners.
Are you listening to The Hour of Land? I was wondering if she reads it. I rarely buy new hardbacks but it is such a handsome book that I couldn't resist. And this way I can take my time with it.
Steinbeck is a joy! (But you already know that!) :)
Hi Joanne. Congratulations on reading 49 books!
>119 BLBera: Hi Beth, Yes, they are both good! It so hard to balance all the books we keep having to move to the top of the pile!
>120 Whisper1: Hi Linda, I think many of us struggle with those darn stars! Thanks for the congrats - I'm hoping to make 75 this year!
50. The Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer and Politics by John Hickenlooper
As entertaining as it was, I can’t imagine anyone outside of Colorado being interested in reading John Hickenlooper’s autobiography, which is really too bad (there are 5 other LTers with the book in their library). Hickenlooper grew up outside of Philadelphia and went to college in New England. He then traveled to Colorado where he worked as a geologist before joining forces with some friends to open the first brewpub in the state, the Wynkoop Brewing Co. From there he became a two term mayor of Denver and then the governor of Colorado, where he is serving in his second term. Hickenlooper is a natural storyteller and I found the book to be open and engaging. The recounting of the last several years of Colorado history, years when massive fires, floods and shootings dominated the news, was a bit bleak. I read the first half but then listened to him read the audio edition of the second half. I liked the audio more as I generally prefer to listen to memoirs anyway.
Just today, Hick rappelled, for the first time, down a Denver high-rise building for charity. Giddyup indeed.
I am listening to The Hour of Land narrated by the author. You used the words "gorgeous" and "beautiful" to describe it and I couldn't agree more. I am thoroughly loving it.
By the way, I do still rate my books but I agree that there is a lot of variability in how folks use the star ratings. I'm even inconsistent within my own ratings. Sometimes I will look back at a book and feel like my rating was just not representative of how the book has stayed with me. Anyway, you said you almost never rate a book less than 3.5 and I think my ratings are mostly in the 3.5 to 5 range, too. I do give some 3 ratings and I have a very few lower than that because I just don't finish them. And I choose books I think I will like and I'm usually right. And then sometimes I love them. That's the best. :-)
Have a great Tuesday!
Hope you're enjoying this cooler weather we've been having. Me, I am probably going to have to get the space heater fired up tonight so the birds don't freeze. :)
BTW, I finally officially adopted Rosie yesterday. So, yay! (Though Nickel is still sulking.)
>126 EBT1002: Hi Ellen! Alaska photos! I need to visit your thread! I'm reading The Hour of Land very slowly and I love it. And I definitely plan to revisit it on audio. Have you read Refuge? You'd like it, too.
>127 Storeetllr: Hi Mary! Great to see you. My thoughts, exactly, on stars and Pearl ruling! After three days with out of town guests, I spent as much time as possible outside today, by myself, just doing nothing but enjoying the sunshine and my book! Summer is going to be gone too soon.... Congratulations on your new family member! Rosie has lucked out and found a terrific home!
52. Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
I remember watching several episodes of Poldark on PBS's Chan 13 with my mother back in the 70s. She never missed one while I was a little more laid back about it (pre VCR days, hard to believe). So when the remake was televised recently, I made sure to watch it and I loved it so, of course, I had to read the book(s). I loved Poldark, it reminded me a lot of the R F Delderfield books I read as a teen.
Ross Poldark returns to the family's Cornwall "estate" after fighting in the American Revolutionary War to find his father dead, his house in near ruins, and his girl engaged to his cousin. Things can only improve from there and the story and the Cornwall setting are great fun. 4.25 stars
Eta - I really hate the tie-in covers on this series. :(
>134 charl08: Hi Charlotte! Yes, I agree! Or they should at least give us a choice! Once the tie-in version comes out, that's it.
54. Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me From Myself by Julie Barton
At 23, Julie Barton, suffering from clinical depression, is rescued from the floor of her NYC apartment by her mother and brought home to Ohio to recover. Therapists and drugs helped, but it was the love of a golden retriever puppy that allowed her to finally live her life. It’s not the type of memoir I typically read, but I was drawn in by the cover and blurbs by Pam Houston and Cheryl Strayed, and then immediately hooked by the narrative. Depression is a dark and difficult subject to read about but it is Barton’s recovery from the depth that brings light to the narrative. This is truly a memoir of hope, healing, and recovery. Julie’s candid story was often difficult to read and I cried through the final chapter and epilogue – from both joy and sorrow. I don’t know why this isn’t more popular here. Highly recommended! 4.5 stars
You also remind me that I've been meaning to read or reread some Steinbeck.
Have you read any other Ben H. Winters? I just read his Underground Airlines and it was tremendous.
Hi Julia, I've got Underground Airlines on my radar. Tremendous...well, I need to get to it! Actually, it was interest in reading this new one that prompted me to finally get to the Policeman trilogy.
My current reads are Wintering, The Hour of Land, and the audio of The View From the Cheap Seats.
Great news about Underground Airlines, Julia! It's going straight on my library holds requests, completely bypassing my Wishlist.
Hope you are enjoying Wintering and the Gaiman collection.
I have looked at The Last Policeman a few times and haven't picked it up yet. I can't tell if it's too science fiction-y for me.... I love a good mystery, though.
>143 rosalita: Sounds like an interesting book, Julia, and everybody seems to like it!
>144 Whisper1: Hi Linda, I'm quite sure that Lilly doesn't seem to know when you are in pain and need some extra comfort. She absolutely knows and does what she can to help you. How blessed you both are to have each other.
>145 msf59: Hi Mark, Yes, I remember you warbling about Winters' latest. It was one of the nudges that got me to start The Last Policeman. I'm listening to The View From the Cheap Seats and it is very good, with the added bonus of Gaiman's narration. Have you read it? You'd love the audio.
>146 EBT1002: Hi Ellen, it's a lovely hardcover. As soon as I picked it up in the bookstore, I knew I'd want to buy it. I held off for a whole week or so. :) I don't know what your threshold is for science fiction-y, but it's not very. It was a concern of mine, too.
P.S. I love the Poldark books, and was happy I had them in the old covers. I will say the actor on the cover in >131 Copperskye: is quite good in the BBC series, as is the rest of the cast.
She will forgive me, but for now, she is stubbornly hiding under the dining room table, fearful that I will take the brush in hand and get another bag full.
>149 Whisper1: Hi Linda, Poor Lilly! Skye's not too keen on getting brushed either. No matter how careful I am, I know I sometimes pull on her long feathers and she hates it. Any mats I just cut off, I don't even try to break them up. She very good about having her feet and ears trimmed up, though, which is good. I once knew someone who collected her dog's hair and had it treated and woven into sweaters for her two children. I think of that every time I gather up all Skye's fur piles, but I can't imagine sweaters....
55. The Wings of the Sphinx by Andrea Camilleri
This was the 11th book in the Montalbano series. I love this series - the stories are reliable and the characters familiar and both are good things. Add the touch of humor, and as always, I'm looking forward to reading the next one. 3.75 stars
56. Wintering by Peter Geye
Peter Geye has a wonderful way with prose and combines it with a harsh, unforgiving landscape that is really unforgettable. I liked Wintering but not as much as his two earlier books, especially Safe From the Sea. (I think it is just that the story appealed to me more.)
"Turn back, turn back, it's winter!!", I kept wanting to shout at the characters....
Have a splendid weekend.
I agree about Poldark: love the books but those tie-in covers are a little too much. I have Demelza on the e-reader but haven't gotten to it.
>164 witchyrichy: Hi Karen, Great to see you! I just finished Demelza. I have Jeremy Poldark (also with a tie in cover), and I'd love to start it, but I might wait until the second season wraps up on PBS. Hope your weekend is going well!
>165 nittnut: Hi Jenn! So far, so good! Beautiful October day today.
I wish you a wonderful start into the new week.
>168 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! So good to see you and hope all is well. Thank you for the pretty centerpiece!
57. Demelza by Winston Graham 4.25 stars
This is the second book in the Poldark series. I loved it. I'm looking forward to starting the third.
58. The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim Defede 4.25 stars
When US air space was shut down on 9/11, flights within the US were instructed to land at the nearest airport. International flights, however, needed to be redirected. Gander, Newfoundland, with its long runways, was the stopping point for 38 international flights. Thousands of passengers and crew were welcomed by the people of Newfoundland. They cooked, donated sheets and towels and clothing, and opened up their hearts and their homes to the stranded travelers. The magnitude of people - it took nearly two days just to clear the passengers from all the planes - made the whole ordeal all the more difficult (and all those people did not get to claim their luggage, ran out of prescriptions, and needed to be fed, all while dealing with the news from the US while far from home and family). For the most part, the emergency was handled with compassion, grace, and good humor on all fronts and Defede engagingly tells the stories of individuals caught in an unprecedented event.
Hope you had a great weekend! Maybe we can get together for lunch again one day soon. This Monday, I'm going to be cleaning like a madwoman - my sister is coming home on Tuesday from a week in FLA with her daughters & grandkids, bringing one of her daughters & the daughter's new boyfriend along to stay with us for awhile. I not only need to get my own stuff done (laundry, grocery shopping, deep cleaning the birds' area) but I want to be sure the guest room & bath is clean and the living area is neat, clean, vacuumed and dusted, at the very least, but I'm free Wed and Thurs. And there's always next week, assuming it doesn't snow. Haha.
Sounds like you're going to be busy! Nothing like houseguests to get a person into cleaning mode. I'd love to have lunch. I think I can do Thursday. (I'm supposed to be in Myrtle Beach this week but our hotel had some damage from the hurricane and is closed until mid-Nov. and our reunion was cancelled. Similar to last year. :( oh well.) Let me know! Or next week is good, too.
My current read is Wallace Stegner's The Spectator Bird, which is excellent!
>175 BLBera: Hi Beth, Funny how that happens - time just slips by and the books just keep piling on Mt TBR. I've been meaning to read Crossing to Safety for years and just can't seem to get there. Have you read any Stegner? News of the World sounds great and I'm glad you liked it - it's now on my list! I've had her Enemy Woman on the shelf for a while and one of these days, I'll get to it, too.
>176 RebaRelishesReading: Hi Reba, I loved Angle of Repose. It was a 5 star book for me. The Spectator Bird is similar in that there are two storylines, one current day (mid 1970s), and the other events of 20 years earlier. It's very good!
>177 witchyrichy: Hi Karen, We just watched Ep 3 of Poldark's second season. The events in the PBS show are moving ahead of the events in Demelza, and as much as I'd rather read the next in the series, Jeremy Poldark, before I watch it on TV, I can't resist. Wish I could read faster!
Have a great weekend.
59. The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
An entertaining YA/middle grade gothic ghost story with some excellent historical elements (Great Famine, poverty). Would make a fun read-aloud with older kids. Also, fabulous cover and a handsome book. 3.75 stars
60. The View From the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaimen (audiobook)
I liked this collection of essays but would have loved it, I'm sure, if I was more of a fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and graphic novels. Neil Gaiman's thoughtful musings and fabulous narrative voice were the ultimate draws for me. 3.75 stars
61. The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner
A couple looks back, through the sharing of an old journal, at a time they spent in Denmark 20 years earlier. As Joe reads his journal each night to his wife, the narration moves back and forth between their life today and near forgotten events of the past. I was surprised that it turned into quite a suspenseful (to me) page-turner near the end. A thoughtful, engaging look at love and life, and beautifully done. Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction in 1977. 4.5 stars
I spent some time cleaning the library. I have a whole shelf of Neil Gaiman including The View From the Cheap Seats.
>193 BLBera: Any Stegner is a good starting point. I haven't read The Spectator Bird but Angle of Repose was great. Crossing to Safety is another good read. The hardest one to read was The Big Rock Candy Mountain. A sensitive son and a tough, violent father but still a tender story of family.
>194 ChelleBearss: Chelle! So good to see you - you've made my night! Thank you!
>195 witchyrichy: Hi Karen! I haven't read a whole lot of Gaiman so, really, that audio was an odd pick for me, but it was pretty entertaining. Of the few I've read, my favorite is The Graveyard Book. I still need to read Stegner's Crossing to Safety!
Happy Sunday, Joanne. I put the Gaiman essay collection in my audio rotation.
Glad you enjoyed The Spectator Bird. I think I also have that one saved on audio.
Crossing to Safety is excellent. I am sure you will love it.
Darn, I have three unread Stegners and not a bird amongst them! I thought for sure I had Spectator Bird somewhere. I do have Falling Star. Have you read that one?
Enjoy your beautiful weather, Joanne. It's too warm here for my liking. It is supposed to be 83 degrees tomorrow. It will be good for the trick-or-treaters but I may have to turn on the A/C again. Hope was here for a week and her daddy turned the air conditioning on upstairs which I thought was a bit much as it was only in the 70s outside and cooled down to the upper 50s at night. We were glad to have them here, even if they were a bit warm.
>171 Copperskye: I read that, or something very like it a few years back. Sort of restores your faith in humanity, doesn't it?
>182 BLBera: Oooh Beth! Read it! Do!
>186 Copperskye: Skye is all grown up! Gorgeous photo.
>192 Copperskye: I need to get to The Spectator Bird sometime soon. Great review. :)
>198 porch_reader: Hi Amy, Thank you! I loved Angle of Repose. I think Stegner is so underrated and very much more than just a "Western writer".
>199 rosalita: Thanks Julia! I highly recommend The Big Rock Candy Mountain. I have got to get to Crossing to Safety!
>200 Donna828: Thanks Donna! She'd much rather run and play than have to sit still for a photo. Just like a child! Maybe that bird is hiding somewhere - I know my books seem to bury themselves under other books so they all get a little attention when I'm hunting for one. We are in that temperature sweet spot where the house stays comfortably cool all day and night with no heat or air conditioning. No thermostat wars yet! I love still being able to sit outside in the sun and read.
>201 nittnut: Hi Jenn! In this horrifying political season, The Day the World Came to Town was a balm for the soul. The Spectator Bird was a fairly quick read - shorter than the other Stegner's I've read. Just sayin'...
I am reading a historical Western set in the Nebraska sand flats that I think you would like The Bones of Paradise.
62. The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders
A charming fable about cooperation, community, and the importance of working for a common good. A lively moral lesson for children and a reminder for the adults in their life. The illustrations by Lane Smith are gorgeous. 4 stars
>211 BLBera: It's going to be a long 4 years, Beth. Not to mention the future repercussions...
>212 vancouverdeb: Hi Deborah, We get Trump. You have Trudeau. Oh Canada...wanna trade? :)
My reading has slowed, finished the latest Gamache and am currently reading Notwithstanding. It's sweet and undemanding.
>215 Whisper1: Hi Linda, Good to see you! I hope you get out here sometime, it's a pretty place. I'd show you around.
63. A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
The latest Gamache mystery. Less time was spent with the residents of Three Pines which I think was a good thing for a change. 4.5 stars
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Week!
We did get some snow this week, but just an inch or so and mostly on the grass. It was much needed!
Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!
Will your son be coming home for the holiday weekend?
>224 rosalita: Hi Julia, I hope you had a great day! Skye stayed under the table during dinner. She's such an optimist.
>225 Storeetllr: Rosie is smart to not want to be near the floor! Yes, Chris came down on Wednesday and is here for the weekend. He just left to meet some friends who are also home for the Holiday. We had John's kids here and the grands, too, but the house is quiet now and I'm pooped! (And overstuffed!) I hope you had a good day today, too!
>226 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul, that's so sweet, thank you, and to be sure, I feel the same about you. I'm thankful for my LT family and the good will shared by all here!
I'm glad the new Louise Penny hit the mark with you. I think she is getting better and better. They are my comfort reads.
>232 Donna828: Hi Donna, Not hosting makes for a more relaxed day...but no leftovers! Now I'm curious about the Schulz bio... Totally agree about Penny getting better and better. I wonder if she thinks about writing other stories, outside of those characters.
64. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
A gritty YA story of a young girl struggling in the aftermath of a devastating high school party. 4 stars
65. March: Book One by John Lewis
The first book (GN) in John Lewis' trilogy depicting his coming of age as an activist in the civil rights movement. 4 stars
Just to throw a BB your way: I am really enjoying The Shell Collector: Stories. This feels like something Peter Heller would write, if he did short fiction.
Believe it or not, my daughter got me to read it. She plucked it off my Kindle.
>237 charl08: Hello Charlotte!
>238 msf59: I picked up a used copy of The Shell Collector a year or so ago at the Tattered Cover and it's on my to be read soon shelf (whatever that means!). I had wanted to read All the Light first and I did this past summer so no excuse now. Glad you like it! I have so many short story collections to get to!!
Have a great weekend.
>241 BLBera: Ha! Scout knows you need a dog, Beth! :)
>242 PaulCranswick: Thank you for those crossed fingers, Paul! Alas, I don't have much hope, but you never know. Maybe I should grab some short books? :) I'm very much enjoying The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries, so maybe not... Thank you for the good wishes for the weekend and I send you the same!
I hope you had a nice weekend and got some reading in. i want to read News of the World. Wah!
ETA just seen >248 Copperskye: - great!
Looking forward to your review.
Have a lovely weekend, Joanne.
>252 PaulCranswick: Ha! Yeah, a bit different, Paul! And an excellent book.
I'm way behind in commenting on my reads. Luckily, my reading has slowed so there's less to comment on, so there's that anyway.
Currently, I'm very much enjoying The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries. So far, not at all cheesy, but rather a pretty high quality collection. I also started Old Filth, a book I've been meaning to read for a while now.
Were you watching The Crown? If so, how was it?
I will be getting ready for Christmas right up until the wire. I hope you are better prepared, Joanne! It's nice to be able to relax when the big day gets here.
66. The Track of Sand by Andrea Camilleri – Book 12 in the Montalbano series. A little gory and a little unconvincing but I love the series so, on to the next one.
67. The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan – A lost and found tale of a poet, his dog, and two children rescued from a storm. It’s a poignant children’s story about the power of words. However, there was a section of the plot that bothered me –
68. Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood - An early review book. Inventive story-telling by a master. I need to put more words together for this one…
69. News of the World by Paulette Jiles - In post- civil war Texas, Captain Kidd, an older, itinerant news reader, agrees to escort a young girl, who had been kidnapped by the Kiowa, home to her remaining family. Along the hundreds of miles journey, we get to know and love both the Captain and Johanna. Compact and satisfying. Thanks for the rec, Beth!
70. A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas – A re-read for me. Best read aloud or at least aloud in your head to get the cadence right.
71.Auggie Wren's Christmas Story by Paul Auster - An annual re-read. If you’ve missed out on this little gem, I suggest finding it. For the audio read by Auster, go here to an NPR link. A half hour or so well spent!
And like Deborah said, no need to fret about not hitting the "magic number". It's just a number, after all. This group embraces everyone no matter how many or how few books they read; that's one of the things that keeps me coming back!
Another one for you; I LOVED The Bones of Paradise, another historical novel, set in Nebraska's Sand Flats around the turn of the twentieth century. It had a very western flavor, with a woman as the protagonist. I think you'd like it.
I love your description of News of the World: "Compact and satisfying." I put it on hold due, also, to Beth's recommendation and I'm just waiting my turn in the queue.
I also enjoyed The Poet's Dog. Your quibble caught my attention, too, and I think you're spot on in describing it as a bit of "lazy" storytelling. It felt like she just wanted to get to the good part of the story and didn't worry too much about how she got there. Still, I did love it and it made me want an Irish Wolfhound.
Wouldn't it be nice if 2017 was a year of peace and goodwill.
A year where people set aside their religious and racial differences.
A year where intolerance is given short shrift.
A year where hatred is replaced by, at the very least, respect.
A year where those in need are not looked upon as a burden but as a blessing.
A year where the commonality of man and woman rises up against those who would seek to subvert and divide.
A year without bombs, or shootings, or beheadings, or rape, or abuse, or spite.
Festive Greetings and a few wishes from Malaysia!
>263 rosalita: You can also just listen to Dylan Thomas read it, Julia. Check YouTube!
>264 BLBera: I've already got The Bones of Paradise on my list Beth - thanks to you!
>265 thornton37814: We have some similar tastes, Lori!
>266 EBT1002: Or maybe something was cut...I don't know....Another book that would make you want an Irish Wolfhound, Ellen, is Sight Hound by Pam Houston.
>267 charl08: It's one you don't want to miss, Charlotte!
>268 EBT1002: Thank you, Ellen. Wishing you the peace and love of the season, as well!
>270 BLBera: Happy Holidays to you, too, Beth! I hope you're having fun!
>271 msf59: Merry Christmas, my friend! Enjoy your time with the family! I'm relaxing now after a day with the kids.
>272 PaulCranswick: Oh Paul, if only. Sending warm greetings your way and best wishes for a season of peace.
>273 RebaRelishesReading: Happy Holidays to you, too, Reba!
>274 ChelleBearss: Merry Christmas Chelle!!
>275 Storeetllr: Merry Christmas, Mary! Hope you are well!
>276 Crazymamie: Merry Christmas, Mamie!
Looking forward to your continued company in 2017.
Happy New Year, Joanne