Ellen (ebt1002) Reads On in 2016 - Chapter 13
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In doubt? Call 911.
Time is of the essence. Tell them you think someone is having a stroke.
I'll abandon this traditional post in the new year but I appreciate everyone humoring me while I posted it on every thread of 2016.
= Breathtaking. This book touched me in a way that only a perfect book can do.
= A wonderful read, among my favorites of the year.
= A great read; truly enjoyable.
= Not quite great but I'm truly glad I read this.
= Pretty good, with a few things done particularly well.
= Average, and life is too short to read average works.
= A bit below average. A waste of time.
= Nearly no redeeming qualities. Really rather bad.
= Among the worst books I've ever read.
Honestly, I'm rarely going to complete any book earning fewer than two stars but I reserve the right to rate them based on my experience.
1. Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod by Gary Paulsen
2. Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson
3. In Defense of a Liberal Education by Fareed Zakaria
4. Hell is Empty by Craig Johnston
5. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
6. Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel**
7. Ru by Kim Thúy
8. The Pure in Heart by Susan Hill**
9. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
10. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
11. The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown audio
12. The Manticore by Robertson Davies
COMPLETED IN FEBRUARY
13. Plumdog by Emma Chichester Clark
14. Epitaph: A Novel of the OK Corral by Mary Doria Russell
15. This is Your Life, Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison
16. The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys
17. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
18. Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth
19. Bone: Out from Boneville by Jeff Smith
20. A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters audio
21. That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo
COMPLETED IN MARCH
22. A Cure for Suicide by Jesse Ball
23. And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile**
24. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak**
25. 78 Keys by Kristin Marra**
26. Dodgers by Bill Beverly**
27. Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard audio
28. That was Then, This is Now by S.E. Hinton
29. A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin
**Off my shelves
30. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson**
31. Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat
32. 19 Varieties of Gazelle by Naomi Shihab Nye
33. The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng**
34. As the Crow Flies by Craig Johnson
35. Without: Poems by Donald Hall
36. Sweetland by Michael Crummey
37. Mothering Sunday: A Romance by Graham Swift
38. The Translator by Leila Aboulela**
39. A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far: Poems 1978-1981 by Adrienne Rich
40. The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church
COMPLETED IN MAY
41. The Arab of the Future by Riad Sattouf
42. Ruby by Cynthia Bond
43. Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker
44. This House of Sky by Ivan Doig
45. Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund**
46. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond audio
47. A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa
48. Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey
49. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
COMPLETED IN JUNE
50. The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah
51. The Green Road by Anne Enright
52. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris audio
53. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
54. The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
55. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith**
56. Pax by Sara Pennypacker
57. Last Orders by Graham Swift
**Off my shelves
58. Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden**
59. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
60. Life on Mars: Poems by Tracy K. Smith
61. The Little Red Chairs by Edna O'Brien
62. White Sky, Black Ice** by Stan Jones
63. The After Party: Poems** by Jana Prikryl
64. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
65. Denali's Howl** by Andy Hall
66. The Arab of the Future 2** by Riad Sattouf
67. Excellent Women** by Barbara Pym
COMPLETED IN AUGUST
68. A Catskill Eagle by Robert B. Parker
69. Solstice** by Joyce Carol Oates
70. State of Wonder** by Ann Patchett
71. The Paris Wife** by Paula McLain
72. Gallows View** by Peter Robinson
73. Death Takes Passage by Sue Henry
74. The Bookseller** by Mark Pryor
75. Missoula by Jon Krakauer audio
COMPLETED IN SEPTEMBER
76. A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James**
77. Papa Gatto by Ruth Sanderson illustrated
78. Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
79. Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves
80. The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
81. Empire of the Summer Moon** by S.C. Gwynne
82. A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning** by Robert Zaretsky
83. The Sellout by Paul Beatty
** Off my shelves
84. This Must Be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell
85. A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler
86. The North Water by Ian McGuire
87. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
88. A God in Ruins** by Kate Atkinson
89. The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks by Terry Tempest Williams audio
90. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
COMPLETED IN NOVEMBER
91. The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters
92. Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
93. Bright Dead Things: Poems by Ada Limón
94. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
95. Jimmy Bluefeather by Kim Heacox
96. The Blackhouse** by Peter May
97. The Poet's Dog by Patricia MacLachlan
98. Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter
COMPLETED IN DECEMBER
99. White Noise** by Don DeLillo
100. Maman, What Are We Called Now? by Jacqueline Mesnil-Amar
101. Paris Nocturne** by Patrick Modiano
102. Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
103. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
104. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens read aloud
105. A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk**
106. The Clothing of Books by Jhumpa Lahiri**
** Off my shelves
(For some reason, the touchstones won't work for this post.)
1969: P. H. Newby, Something to Answer For
1970: Bernice Rubens, The Elected Member
1971: V. S. Naipaul, In a Free State
1972: John Berger, G.
1973: J. G. Farrell, The Siege of Krishnapur
1974: Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist and Stanley Middleton, Holiday
1975: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Heat and Dust
1976: David Storey, Saville
1977: Paul Scott, Staying On
1979: Penelope Fitzgerald, Offshore
1980: William Golding, Rites of Passage
1981: Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children
1982: Thomas Keneally, Schindler's Ark
1983: J. M. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K
1984: Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac
1986: Kingsley Amis, The Old Devils
1988: Peter Carey, Oscar and Lucinda
1990: A. S. Byatt, Possession: A Romance
1991: Ben Okri, The Famished Road
1993: Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
1994: James Kelman, How late it was, how late
1997: Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
1999: J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace
2001: Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang
2003: DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little
2004: Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
2006: Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss
2007: Anne Enright, The Gathering
2010: Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question
2013: Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
February: THE UNWINDING: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer
April: STRANGERS IN THEIR OWN LAND: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild
June: HILLBILLY ELEGY: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
August: LISTEN, LIBERAL: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? by Thomas Frank
October: THE POPULIST EXPLOSION: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics by John B. Judis
December: WHITE TRASH: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg
I'm also thinking I'll finally read The New Jim Crow which has been on my radar for a while.
And I have Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis to read.
I will host the 2017 Reread Challenge, for which I will reread at least four works.
Some ideas for rereads:
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
My Name is Asher Lev by Chiam Potok
Indian Killer by Sherman Alexie
Mark has created his AAC list; here are some initial thoughts:
January- Octavia Butler -- Lilith's Brood
February- Stewart O' Nan -- I've had Snow Angels on the TBR shelves for eons.
March- William Styron -- The Confessions of Nat Turner
April- Poetry Month - undecided
May- Zora Neale Hurston
June- Sherman Alexie -- I've read a lot of his work and this may be another candidate for my reread challenge, maybe Indian Killer.
July- James McBride
August- Patricia Highsmith -- The Talented Mr. Ripley and maybe Strangers on a Train and/or The Cry of the Owl
September- Short Story Month
October- Ann Patchett -- Maybe Bel Canto, which is on the TBR shelves.
November- Russell Banks -- I LOVED Cloudsplitter so maybe that will be a reread for me. Or I have Lost Memory of Skin on my shelves.
December- Ernest Hemingway -- Maybe A Moveable Feast
I have also said that I want to read, more intentionally, books by/about marginalized or oppressed peoples, diaspora, global regions that tend not to get represented in "mainstream" publishing circles. I don't have a clear picture of this yet but it is an intention that will guide my reading selections in 2017. I'm anxious to read A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz.
Three more books that I believe fit into my 2017 plans to read toward greater understanding of the political landscape:
The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics by George Lipsitz
An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
In April, I'm hosting the CultureCAT Challenge (gulp). My topic is Religious Diversity & Freedom.
I'm tentatively planning to read Islam: A Very Short Introduction and Judaism: A Very Short Introduction, both editions from the Oxford Very Short Introductions Series.
And maybe A History of God or The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong.
There are also a handful of authors by whom I have read one or two (or three) works and collected several others. I would like to dig into them in 2017, as well. They include:
Haruki Murakami -- I've read After the Quake.
William Trevor -- I've read The Story of Lucy Gault, The Hill Bachelors, and Felicia's Journey.
Mario Vargas Llosa -- I've read The War at the End of the World.
May you have a wonderful holiday. And, may 2017 be filled with light and laughter...and plenty of time to read the books you covet.
>19 brodiew2: Thanks, Brodie! Now if only we would get a wee bit more snow.... Ha.
>20 PaulCranswick: Thank you, kind sir. I'm looking forward to another year of amazing reads and out-of-control threads. :-)
I like the nonfiction selections, so I may join you in reading some of those. I'm giving Just Mercy to my son-in-law for Christmas, so I imagine I'll get it back at some point.
Otherwise, I tend not to plan. We'll see what my book group comes up with. I would like to read Bastard of Istanbul - I loved the other works of Şafak that I've read.
A Tale of Love and Darkness is magnificent. I also loved a similar book by Amos Oz's good friend Sari Nusseibeh, titled Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life. Both books were 5 star reads for me, and each would easily make my top 100 nonfiction books list.
I'll almost certainly read Audacity of Hope in 2017 as well.
I have several books about Islam and Muslims in America that I hope to read this year, including What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam by John L. Esposito. I'll plan to read it in April.
Happy new thread!
Wonderful photos/pictures on your new thread and great to peek at your intended reads for 2017.
Love the kitten in the snow up top. And I'm a pushover for cardinals in winter. There's something so spectacular about that red among the white.
You're reading The Fire This Time? Great! I'm very curious about that one.
>24 BLBera: Hi Beth. Oh, reading One Hundred Years of Solitude would be a first for me and it's on my bucket list.
Honestly, this is way more planning than I like to do and I'm trying to keep it as loose plans (and reminders of a few things to which I'm outright committed). If I don't make notes, I'll just end up like a feather in the wind.... which may happen in any case!
I do hope you join me for a nonfiction read or two. I was telling Karen (Maggie1944) at lunch today that I have a lot more nonfiction reads on the 2017 docket than is my usual dose. And when I read nonfiction, it's more likely to be a memoir and maybe a biography than a political analysis. Although I loved Evicted! So, we'll see how this goes.
>26 maggie1944: Hi Karen. It was great to see you at lunch today (and I'm glad the place I recommended came through with yummy food!). I will hope for as many co-readers of some of the nonfiction works I'm planning to read as I will need discussion and dialogue! I'm glad Rachel is hosting the challenge of reading the six works that were called out in a (New York Times?? -- I think so. Or maybe it was the Washington Post) article, starting with The Unwinding.
>27 mdoris: Hi Mary and I'm glad you like the topper for my new thread. I'm already thinking about my first thread for 2017.....
>28 ronincats: Hey Roni. It will be my last thread of the year, I am confident of that. I hate maintaining overlapping threads so I tend to wait until at least the 30th or 31st of December before launching my first thread of each new year but I'm not sure I can wait that long this year. As my sister said on the phone today, time to put 2016 behind us!!!
>29 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy. Now that Jim has created the 75ers group for 2017, I will create a thread for the 2017 Reread Challenge in the next few days. I hope you'll post, however briefly, about your reread of Little Women.
>30 scaifea: Thanks, Amber!
>31 jnwelch: Hi Joe. Yes, kittens and cardinals in snow.... both are charming.
I am SLOWLY reading The Fire This Time and I'll let you know how it lands on me when I can dedicate more true attention to it. I'm letting A Strangeness in My Mind consume my brain cells at present. The couple of essays I've read so far in Jesmyn Ward's collection were quite good.
Mt. Rainier National Park
"We are standing on the access road to Paradise.
Seven miles from the gates. We are standing
on the centerline, the moon on our faces, the mountain
at our backs. Were it less than full, we might see,
in its northwest sector, the Land of Snow
and the Ocean of Storms. Because it is full, we can see,
just over our shoulders, how the Ramparts climb up
toward the glaciers. We might see near the Sea
of Showers, the dark-floored crater of Plato.
How the glaciers, just over our shoulders—
Pyramid, Kautz, Nisqually—shine. How the spreading
bedrock shines. As if we are starting again,
we have placed—there—on the moon’s widening shadow
Kepler, Copernicus, Archimedes, Aristoteles.
And opened a Sea of Fertility. A Sea of Nectar.
As if we imagine a harvest.
No sound it seems, on the slopes, in the firs.
Nothing hoots. Nothing calves. Although
through Nisqually’s steep moraine, rocks
must be shifting, grasses cinching their eternal grip.
Look, in the blackness, how the moon’s rim glows,
like a ring from an ancient astrolabe.
We are standing in the roadway. There is nothing
on our faces but the glow of refracted dust.
At our backs, the mountain is shifting, aligning itself
with the passing hours. First ice. Then stone.
Then the ice-green grasses. We are standing
on the centerline aligning ourselves with the earth.
We are standing on the access road as if we imagine
an eternal grip. Look—they are rotating on, now.
Already a pale crescent spreads
past the Known Sea and the Muir Snowfields—
as if we are starting… —past
the Trail of Shadows, the ice-green grasses,
the seas of nectar, the craters of rest,
the gardens of nothing but passing hours."
^^I thought you might like this one, Ellen!
I have had little to nothing to say this year, but I have followed a few threads, yours included. I'm looking forward to 2017 and a new lease on LT.
Be sure to check the book group's thread as Bill provided another great idea for how to pick books.
Good seeing you today. Meet-ups are such a great celebration of Library Thing and all the good things this site has brought us. BTW, I did go up to U. Books and bought a coloring book calendar, and Ancillary Justice. I think I might start it tonight, or maybe The Unwinding.
I also mentioned on my thread that I would have liked a map with the different neighborhoods labeled. My paperback edition does not have one.
>39 bohemima: Gail! So nice to see you!!!! I'm glad to know that you've lurked a bit, and that my meme brought you a smile.
>40 maggie1944: Hey Karen. Thanks for the link to your new thread; I will swing by and drop off a star. And I'll look at the book group thread, too. I'm curious about Bill's idea. Also, unless someone else wants to do it (or already has done), I'll start us a new thread in the 2017 75ers group.
I'm glad you found a coloring book calendar. Enjoy!
>42 Carmenere: Hi Lynda and thank you! All is indeed well here. I'm glad it's so quiet on campus (so I can catch up on LT a bit....heh).
>43 jnwelch: Sweet Thursday, indeed, Joe! I'm "in charge" today and tomorrow (VP on vacation) and it's crickets in the office so far this morning. I'm sure we'll get some activity at some point today but I hope not too much....
I love the poem Mark posted and it absolutely transports me to Mt. Rainier, one of my favorite places on Earth. I just this morning made reservations to camp up near Mt. Baker, another favorite place. I hope that, with P's surgery likely to occur in the summer, we can also squeeze in at least a weekend at Mt. Rainier.
I own One Hundred Years of Solitude. Maybe it would be a good 2017 book, perhaps for after I reach my 75-book goal. Heh.
My edition doesn't have a map of the area, either. I did go look at a few maps online but mostly just trying to develop a mental map of Turkey within its region and Istanbul's location within that. I hated Geography in school and am therefore not well versed in global geography. One of the things I love about reading globally is that it helps me fill that gap. Now that I have a story within which to set the location, it will live forever(?) in my brain. Would that my teachers would have more effectively used stories (and literature?) to interest me in history and geography.
>45 The_Hibernator: :-)
I'm plodding away with A Strangeness in My Mind. I didn't get in much reading yesterday (see above, but know that I've turned in my syllabi, hope to get through a healthy chunk today.
Congratulations on turning in the syllabus! I hope that means you can relax into some reading now.
>53 banjo123: It's true, Rhonda. I know I need to read it. What's your first favorite book in the world?
It has also come to light, over on Joe's thread, that I've never read The Wind in the Willows. Joe and Caroline are suggesting I rectify this.
Perhaps instead of a REREAD challenge, I should be hosting a Thread of Shame? You know, where we read the things we've always meant to get to and that our best LT buddies can't believe we haven't yet read. Oh wait, that's about half of LT! Ha! (The other half is new books that grab our attention and keep us from getting to those books we've always meant to read.....)
Can anyone tell that I'm getting NOTHING done at work today???? :-D
Thread of shame? Sure, bring it on! I've never read Watership Down , nor do I care for Margaret Atwood. Lots of shame here :)
I was also an avid mystery reader as a kid, especially Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. I don't know how dutiful I was......
Tonight P and I are meeting at a downtown restaurant and then going to hear the Seattle Men's Chorus at Benaroya Hall.
Thanks, Ro. Our evening was fine but not stellar. P's hip was really bothering her so we left the concert at intermission. It was okay; it was getting late and one of us (me!) had to get up and come to work this morning.
>59 BLBera: Thanks, Beth!
>60 msf59: I am indeed at work today, Mark. I get to close up shop and send the skeleton crew home early and then I have the next 3 days off. Next week is similar: I work Tuesday through Friday followed by a 3-day holiday weekend. It was hard to get out of bed this morning.....
>61 Familyhistorian: Meg, I am still wishing for snow. I know that it can get old quickly but since we get it so rarely and it never sticks around, wishing for it falls into this odd privileged space: if we get it, it won't last long. So, really, there is little downside to wishing for it! Heh.
Here are some particular books recommended by two of the interviewed authors:
Jennifer Haigh's Book Recommendations:
Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock
American Salvage by Bonnie Jo Campbell
Burning Bright by Ron Rash
Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish
World and Town by Gish Jen
Nickolas Butler's Book Recommendations:
Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton
Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
Book Riot Around the Globe in 80 Books
Top Fiction Reads of 2016
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
Bring Up the Bodies Hilary Mantel
A General Theory of Oblivion by Jose Eduardo Agualusa
Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth
Top NonFiction Reads of 2016
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Medicine, Madness and the Murder of a President
Top Poetry Reads of 2016
Without: Poems by Donald Hall
Bright Dead Things by Ada Limon
Top Children's Lit Read of 2016
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Top Memoir Read of 2016
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson
If I think about it, I'll want to put some 4.5-star books onto one or more of these lists. I may do that, but not right now.
The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah
Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves
The North Water by Ian McGuire
The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
But I'm not thinking about it.
My all-time favorite book is Pride and Prejudice. I realize that loving P & P is a little bit contingent on one's age and state of mind for the first read of it, so I have given up encouraging others to read it. But it has been a life-saving book for me-- when my life gets tough, and there are people around who have the potential for creating a homicidal rage, I am able to imagine that they are characters in P & P; friends of Mr. Collins, perhaps, and that makes them funnier and less annoying.
I may have to try to make room for Salt to the Sea. That was such a joy to read.
Did I see Knockemstiff up there? I am a big fan of DRP!!
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!
Great picture of 1916 Seattle. I think the west coast used to have snow as a more regular thing back then.
I hope you have a great Christmas!
To all my friends here at Library Thing, I want you to know how much I value you and how much I wish you a very happy holiday, whatever one you celebrate, and the very best of New Years!
Thank you for the holiday greetings!
"'I wear the chain I forged in life,' replied the Ghost. 'I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?'"
I read this aloud to P over the past two evenings. It's becoming a Christmas tradition. A lovely novella and perfect for reading aloud.
Best wishes for a lovely Christmas Day, and hope for a new year filled with great book group discussions, rewarding books read, fun and warm events, and most importantly peace on earth.
my favorite line from the audio is when the ghost of Christmas past tells Scrooge to come with him out of the window.
Scrooge: "out of the window? but i'm a mortal. i'm liable to fall."
Ghost: "Bear but the touch of my hand here upon your heart and you shall be upheld in more than this. Come."
this year, i'm reading Dickens's The cricket on the hearth. delightful.
How goes A Strangeness in My Mind? I put it down, and missed Mevlut. While, this won't be one of my favorite reads of the year, I will definitely look for more Pamuk next year.
I hope you're having a happy Christmas. Mine was great. Now, I am watching Scout while her parents take a few days to go snowboarding. Right now she is taking a nap. I can see that she still hasn't recovered from her strep.
Anyway, I hope to get some reading in while she naps, after doing the dishes, picking up, etc. :)
From my sister-in-law:
The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
From Mark/not-so-secret Santa:
Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon Poems! by Pablo Neruda
The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson
The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea
LaRose by Louise Erdrich
(The books from Beth weren't really a Christmas present so much as an exchange of completed books from our shelves, but they arrived on Christmas eve!)
Life is good and I have some excellent reading ahead of me. Yay!!!!
Happy New Year, Ellen.
Congrats on getting books, I received a few also!
Happy new year ahead! good books good friends good times.
>87 Ameise1: Thank you for the holiday auto, Barbara!
>88 luvamystery65: and >89 msf59: Thank you for the Christmas wishes, Roberta and Mark!
>90 laytonwoman3rd: Hi Linda. I didn't grow up hearing A Christmas Carol read aloud (that would have required a family different than mine...) but P's father read it every year. So I have taken up the tradition.
I'll check out the 1951-ish movie version. Perhaps true to the brilliance of the novella?
>92 mirrordrum: Ooh, I would think that Basil Rathbone's voice would be wonderful for a read-aloud of A Christmas Carol!
And yes, that exchange between Scrooge and the first Ghost is wonderful. It's interesting; I chose the quote I chose because I think it is perhaps the most famous.
>93 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda!
>94 brodiew2: Hi Brodie! Boxing Day is another big day in our family. We visit long-time family friends down in Olympia, graze all day, and catch up on the year's goings on. I also went for a run around the rural loop on which they live. It's a beautiful, hilly 3-mile road with views of the south Puget Sound. It's one of my favorite running routes on earth.
I now have but one chapter left in A Strangeness in My Mind. I'm mentally composing my "review."
It's lovely of you to watch Scout while her parents go skiing. Such a sacrifice. ;-)
As I told Brodie above, Boxing Day is almost as busy in our family as Christmas day. We drove down with P's brother and SIL, picked up FIL, and drove to the house of some long-time family friends. It's always a joy to see them. Our niece and her husband and their two kids (ages 12 and 7) also stopped by so we got to see them. I went for a 3-mile run around the rural loop on which they live; it's one of my all-time favorite running routes (of which, I admit, I have several). And I spent a bit of time petting their fragile 20-year-old cat who is definitely on his last legs. Such a sweet old feline.....
>99 maggie1944: I hadn't really noted anything about The Hidden Life of Trees, Karen. I love the story that accompanies the gift, though: my sister emailed P to ask if I already had the book or had read it. Sister apparently said to P: if she's read it, you'll know it, because she would have talked about it." P looked on all the shelves in the house and reported back that she didn't think I had read it (since she didn't recall me talking about it) and she didn't see it on any of the shelves, but 'remember that Ellen has books squirreled away all over the house and her office so I can't guarantee that she doesn't already own it.' Ha. P knows me well.
I listened to Simon Vance narrate A Christmas Carol this year. Very nice. I love your Christmas tradition with P.
>108 BLBera: Beth we are reading twins right now! I'm also reading/listening to Swing Time. Started out with the audio, but it expired and now I'm reading the ebook. I left my hardback with the bookstore staff as I'm scared I'll forget it for the signing. I've just started part 4. This is my first Zadie Smith. What should I tackle next?
And .... I've finished it! So. More about that in a bit.
So cool that you and Beth are both simultaneously reading A Strangeness in My Mind and Swing Time. The odds have to be low.....
I read White Teeth years ago and have been considering it as one of my rereads in 2017. I never got around to reading NW; it seemed like it got less enthusiastic reviews? So, I'm also interested in Beth's answer to the question: Which Zadie Smith work should I tackle next?
"Boza seller, come on up."
"He didn't see it as a place that had existed before his arrival and to which he'd come as an outsider. Instead, he liked to imagine that Istanbul was being built while he lived in it and to dream of how much cleaner, more beautiful, and more modern it would be in the future."
"Mevlut liked to listen to him and daydream as he sat in the front seat of the Dodge, watching hundreds, thousands of lights shining out of cars and windows; the depths of the dark, velvety Istanbul night; and the neon-colored minarets going past. Mevlut used to toil on foot through mud and rain, up and down these very same streets, and now here they were slipping right through with ease. Life, too, slipped by in much the same way, speeding up as it ran along the tracks laid out by time and fortune."
Orhan Pamuk's long novel is as much the story of Istanbul as it is the tale of Mevlut, a Boza seller who moves to Istanbul as a child in 1969 to learn the trade from his father. Mevlut falls in love with a girl he sees at his cousin's wedding; he begins to send her beautiful and heartfelt love letters and eventually they elope together with the assistance of yet another cousin. Mevlut almost immediately realizes that the girl with whom he has run away and to whom he is now committed for life is not the girl with whom he fell in love. Rather, this is her unattractive older sister. Thus begins the life of Melvut, a man of principle and ambition, and the family with whom he is forever bound. As Istanbul's population explodes, political winds shift, and modernity intrudes upon their culture, Mevlut and his cousins dream of wealth and property; their minimal education and the intractable class barriers make advancement difficult. But they also dream of love and hold fast to family; on these, only time can intrude.
I've never heard Pamuk speak but I believe he loves the city of Istanbul. This novel, a bit of a slog at times, was nonetheless enjoyable and a fascinating glimpse of Turkish culture and history since the 1960s.
This is a delightful volume that took me less than an hour to read. The reworked transcript from a speech Lahiri gave in Italy in 2015, it is a philosophical musing on the relationship between a book and its cover. While nothing momentous emerges from the text, it is an entertaining peek at one author's thoughts about covers and her own dual identity.
Thanks for your kind and thoughtful words in 2016. They have been much appreciated.
>116 vancouverdeb: Istanbul looks like a beautiful, huge, and densely populated city, Deb! I think I would be overwhelmed but I'm also very intrigued. Anyway, my photos are from the internet so I get to choose the ones I like. :-)
Great "Top Books" lists up in >66 EBT1002:. I also loved Seven Killings, Evicted, Without: Poems and Pax. I need to do mine. Evicted will be my book of the year, I know that much.
I love your Thread of Shame idea. I'd have had Moby Dick and War and Peace on there, but I managed to read both of those. Flaubert is one author I need to read.
Great to read your "best of" list (>66 EBT1002:) and I agree with >119 jnwelch:, I think Evicted was my best book of 2016 too.
Love your book haul from Christmas (>97 EBT1002:). See some that I have on the reserve list at the library that I may have to wait until I'm 100 to read! Long wait predicted so I look forward to hearing your opinions about them first.
>120 mdoris: Hi Mary and thank you for the new year wishes! See my note just here ^ regarding Evicted as my book of the year, too. I'm still recommending it to people all the time!
I mean, it's a first world problem but can anyone out there relate? ;-)
So glad you to hear you started your Butler. I have not read her but I will kick it off with Kindred. Maybe, sometime next week. Lilith's Brood sounds really good too.
>124 msf59: Mark, I considered rereading Kindred for your challenge (and for my reread challenge). I loved it when I read it a couple of years ago. There are images/scenes that still live vividly in my mind. As you may know, I'm not usually much of a science fiction reader and, so far, I think Lilith's Brood barely qualifies but I am loving it in the early going.
>125 msf59: Culling is almost out of the question. I did take about four books to one of the Little Free Libraries in my neighborhood, finally realizing that I don't really have enough interest in reading those books. Not when I consider all the other books that I really do want to read!
I thought about putting a moratorium on placing books on hold at the library. I know myself too well.
If I can't reserve them at the library, I'll simply purchase the books for which you all (yes, you!) are going to hit me with blue bullets because I. Must. Have. Them.
^That sentence is suspect. But you get my meaning.
Funny, the only culling I do, is a rare duplicate or something I may have listened to on audio and forgot to pluck it from the shelf. That is it, my friend. When I acquire a book, (and I am picky) I plan on reading it...eventually anyway.
I end up with so many advanced copies, from several sources and keeping up with these is also a chore but of the good kind.
On the other hand, perhaps it will be read immediately and make the reader feel completely justified for having bought the damn book.
I just read the first of the John Lewis graphic books about the civil rights movement, and I liked it. I'm picking up book 2 right now.
>130 maggie1944: There is no cure for loving books. And if there were such a cure I would refuse to take it.
I thought we were reading those John Lewis books for the month of March, Karen. Not that we're not allowed to be overachievers and all, but.....
>131 thornton37814: Lori, I LOVE IKEA Billy bookcases! I have several of them about the house and the office....
>132 Familyhistorian: Yes, it's that need to make room for new ones that motivates the occasional culling episode, Meg. I have books in bags that I bought at bookstores, stored side by side along the floor of my closet (and our house was built in 1931 so the closet is tiny!). I know it's not good for the books to be stored in such a manner but I just need more space!
>133 brodiew2: Hi Brodie. I'm well, thank you (and it's quiet at work today).
I loved Butler's novel Kindred. I'm not usually much of a SF reader but so far Lilith's Brood is keeping me very interested. I'm looking forward to my train ride home so I can read.
Although I also want to listen to the recent Fresh Air episode on which Terry Gross interviewed Carrie Fisher.....
Hi Ellen, I hope work isn't too busy.
On the contrary, work is very quiet this week. I've gotten some things done and just this afternoon had a very productive meeting. But I've also been messing about on LT much more than usual!
So here I sit, incredibly grateful for the past year despite the fact that I, like so many others, consider it to have been a very tough year. But I'm here. And I'm SO glad for that.
Tonight P and I are going to a favorite Italian restaurant in our neighborhood where we will indulge in a glass of Prosecco, at least.
Sorry for yelling, but I am so excited about your chair.
You've done some wonderful reading this year, as always. I'm never "current" in my reading, but meander about as suits my fancy.
I'm looking forward to your re-reading challenge and to seeing more of your thoughtful reviews.
Happy Sunday! New years Saturday evening's plans are to have three ladies come over and play Rummikub with me. About 9 pm, +/-, we will toast with some nonalcoholic bubbly, and all head to our homes. A perfect event for us, exciting and a good prelude to watching fireworks on our TVs. ha ha ha
>144 BLBera: Makes total sense. I tried not to include any spoilers, per se, but I do encourage you to finish reading and comprise your own thoughts. It will be interesting to compare!
>145 msf59: I plan to enjoy the chair A LOT, Mark. :-)
I'm continuing to enjoy Lilith's Brood.
>146 luvamystery65: No apologies needed for yelling about my chair, Roberta! I'm also super excited. We'll go pick it up tomorrow morning before watching my Huskies football team likely lose to dominant Alabama. Then I will settle into the chair for the evening, book and bubbly at hand as Laura suggested above.
Thanks for the congratulatory words. Our evening was lovely and I'll post more about that in a bit.
>148 bohemima: Thank you, Gail! Nothing like a health scare to increase one's gratitude! And it has been a good reading year. I'm looking forward to more great book discussion in this group in 2017.
>149 Ameise1: That chair will see lots of reading hours in the months and years to come, Barbara. I'm SO excited!
Your evening with friends playing Rummikub sounds wonderful! I love games like that but rarely get to indulge. Enjoy!
>151 Crazymamie: Thanks, dear Mamie. And our evening was lovely indeed. I even indulged in the spaghetti and meatballs (I love their meatballs!!) although I saved some for today's lunch.
Yes, I have been lusting after one of the Stressless chairs for years. I can hardly believe I'm finally going to have one of my very own!
>152 laytonwoman3rd: Thank you, Linda! I predict that the anniversary will pass with less fanfare next year. It does, as I know you know, feel good to get that first one over and done.
thank you for being a friend. you do enrich my life, you know, and i'm very grateful for that.
>157 mirrordrum: At least a couple of the books were new to me, too, Ellie, which I love!! :-)
i'd also meant to thank you specifically for so kindly including me in the reading of Brief history of seven killings. reading it along with friends enriched the experience, and it was an experience indeed.
gird your loins for Night Women, my dear. it's a tough read and it left me with a great sense of wonder and admiration for James and for the characters he brings to life. it almost seems more appropriate to say he "channels" the women.
if you think of it, it would be worth while to listen to 5 minutes of Robin Miles' narration on audible.com. this is a rare fully-voiced narration. that is to say, she somehow manages to do Jamaican men and women, British and Scottish white male, and characters of all ages. it's a phenomenal performance.
I'm looking forward to Night Women but I can well imagine that Marlon James's writing will once again have tremendous impact. I relish the thought. :-) I'll check out the audio clip. I appreciated the two or three brief clips I listened to for Seven Killings as it helped create the voices in my imagination.
Looking forward to your continued company in 2017.
Happy New Year, Ellen
Happy New Year; I'll see you around next year.
Happy New Year!