Ellen (ebt1002) Reads On in 2016 - Chapter 13

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Ellen (ebt1002) Reads On in 2016 - Chapter 13

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Modifié : Déc 20, 2016, 5:30pm

This will be my last thread for 2016.

Déc 20, 2016, 5:28pm

Modifié : Déc 20, 2016, 5:33pm

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.

Modifié : Déc 20, 2016, 5:33pm

My Rating Scale:

= 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.

Modifié : Déc 20, 2016, 5:32pm

Personal Reading Challenge: Every winner of the Booker Prize since its inception in 1969
(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
1970: J. G. Farrell, Troubles (awarded in 2010 as the Lost Man Booker Prize)
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
1978: Iris Murdoch, The Sea, The Sea
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
1985: Keri Hulme, The Bone People
1986: Kingsley Amis, The Old Devils
1987: Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger
1988: Peter Carey, Oscar and Lucinda
1989: Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
1990: A. S. Byatt, Possession: A Romance
1991: Ben Okri, The Famished Road
1992: Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient ... and Barry Unsworth, Sacred Hunger
1993: Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
1994: James Kelman, How late it was, how late
1995: Pat Barker, The Ghost Road
1996: Graham Swift, Last Orders
1997: Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
1998: Ian McEwan, Amsterdam
1999: J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace
2000: Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
2001: Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang
2002: Yann Martel, Life of Pi
2003: DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little
2004: Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
2005: John Banville, The Sea
2006: Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss
2007: Anne Enright, The Gathering
2008: Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger
2009: Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
2010: Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question
2011: Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending
2012: Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies
2013: Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
2014: Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
2015: Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings
2016: Paul Beatty, The Sellout

Modifié : Déc 20, 2016, 5:55pm

Currently reading:

Currently listening (slooowly):

Modifié : Déc 30, 2016, 1:22pm

TENTATIVE plans for 2017.

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.

Modifié : Déc 20, 2016, 5:47pm

Déc 20, 2016, 5:33pm

I love your opening image!

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.

Déc 20, 2016, 5:55pm

>12 EBT1002: Thank you, Linda!!

Déc 20, 2016, 6:01pm

Dropping my star, Ellen! I love your thread topper - so cute!

Déc 20, 2016, 6:03pm

Happy new (last) thread, Ellen!

Déc 20, 2016, 6:05pm

>12 EBT1002: That's a stunning photo Ellen. Happy new thread.

Déc 20, 2016, 6:08pm

Happy new thread, Ellen. Adorable topper!

Déc 20, 2016, 6:16pm

Happy new thread, Ellen!

>1 EBT1002: Cute kitty.

Déc 20, 2016, 6:28pm

Happy New Thread dear lady. xx

Déc 20, 2016, 6:32pm

>15 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! Thanks for stopping by!

>16 katiekrug: Hey Katie, and thank you. Honestly, I'm having fun starting to think about my first thread of the new year!

>17 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte. I wish I could say I took the photo myself. But I agree that it's lovely.

Déc 20, 2016, 6:34pm

>18 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley! I love that photo of the kitten in the snow. I've used it before but it's such a great one to come back to.

>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. :-)

Déc 20, 2016, 7:20pm

Happy new thread!

Déc 20, 2016, 7:36pm

Happy new thread, Ellen. Lucky 13! Your reading plans for 2017 sound great; I may borrow some of them. I am thinking I would like to reread One Hundred Years of Solitude. Otherwise, I don't know.

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.

Déc 20, 2016, 8:05pm

Happy new thread, Ellen! I'll be following your reading plans closely next year, as we will share at least a few books, particularly those for Rachel's challenge as you mentioned in >11 EBT1002:.

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.

Déc 20, 2016, 8:28pm

I have a copy of The Unwinding sitting on the shelf, waving at me. February. Maybe we both can talk about it at the Feb. meeting of the group. It would be fun to know you are reading it too, and it would definitely keep me with my intentions at hand.

Happy new thread!


Modifié : Déc 20, 2016, 8:44pm

<12, >1 EBT1002:
Wonderful photos/pictures on your new thread and great to peek at your intended reads for 2017.

Déc 20, 2016, 11:25pm

Happy New Thread, Ellen. I certainly hope it will be your final thread of the year!

Déc 20, 2016, 11:31pm

Happy new thread, Ellen. I am planning on a number of re-reads next year as well and I am starting in January with Little Women, a book I loved when I was young. Hopefully the cold weather that the Pacific Northwest has been having is passed. I am a true West Coaster and prefer my weather mild and my Christmas to be green.

Déc 21, 2016, 6:51am

Happy new thread, Ellen!

Déc 21, 2016, 10:13am

Happy New Thread, Ellen!

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.

Déc 21, 2016, 7:12pm

>23 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

>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.

Déc 21, 2016, 7:17pm

Happy Final Thread, Ellen! LT has been hopping like crazy! This is our time of the year I guess! Are you going out of town for the holidays?

Déc 21, 2016, 7:22pm

>25 kidzdoc: Hi Darryl. I do think we have some similar reading objectives in the coming year, although some of the particulars may vary. I'll check out What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam by John L. Esposito. I'm definitely wanting to educate myself more about Islam.

>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.

Modifié : Déc 21, 2016, 7:23pm

Lunar Eclipse

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."

-Linda Bierds

^^I thought you might like this one, Ellen!

Déc 21, 2016, 7:47pm

>35 msf59: Oh Mark. I LOVE that poem! Thank you. You may have just provided the topper for my first thread of 2017. xo

Modifié : Déc 21, 2016, 7:47pm

On a totally different note, I saw this and it cracked me up.

Déc 21, 2016, 7:55pm

>37 EBT1002: Hah! I love it.

Déc 21, 2016, 9:24pm

>37 EBT1002: Perfect, 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.

Déc 21, 2016, 9:55pm

I love the poem, too.! Here's my new thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/243916

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.

Déc 21, 2016, 11:07pm

Ellen it's slow going with me reading A Strangeness in My Mind. I worked the weekend so I am trying to catch up now. Last November I went to a Q&A here in Houston. Pamuk discussed the book at length so I had a lot of spoilers. He said, "this is not a book club" so tons of spoilers from him. My first impressions are it's going about exactly how he laid it out. It's really a story about Instanbul as you said previously. I do get the comparison to Dickens in part 3. It is filled with details. I almost feel that Melvut is a little Forrest Gump in that he is starting to be everywhere or at least several important and opposing places. I'm about 25% in.

Déc 22, 2016, 7:50am

Happy newish thread, Ellen! Topper is adorable! Hope all's well!

Déc 22, 2016, 10:02am

Sweet Thursday, Ellen!

>37 EBT1002: Ha!

>35 msf59: I love this one, too, and it does make me think of you hiking.

I LOVED One Hundred Years of Solitude. Blew my mind when I read it. I think you'll have a good time with it when you get to it.

Déc 22, 2016, 10:04am

>41 luvamystery65: Yes, Forrest Gump. I was thinking that as well as I read. I'd like to hear Pamuk discuss this novel. I suspect if I knew more about Turkish history, I would appreciate it even more although I am enjoying it.

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.

Déc 22, 2016, 11:20am

Déc 22, 2016, 11:42am

>38 BLBera: Me too, Beth. I know I've seen it before but it's been long enough that it tickled me seeing it yesterday.

>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!

Déc 22, 2016, 11:49am

>41 luvamystery65: As much as I'm enjoying A Strangeness in My Mind, Roberta, I will say that it's a bit dense. Or just detailed. I keep thinking it's a blend of a tale of Istanbul and a tale of an ordinary guy and his family. I'm a wee bit past the halfway point and, compared to the sort of novel that has a huge/dramatic/traumatic/mind-blowing event at its center, this one has none of that. It's just life in the city. And, mentioning Pamuk and spoilers: my comments here are not to suggest that nothing happens. There are twists and turns and changes of fate. It's an interesting novel.

>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.

Déc 22, 2016, 11:53am

>41 luvamystery65: and >44 BLBera: Hmm, I had not made the Forrest Gump connection. I'll have to think about that a bit.

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: :-)

Déc 22, 2016, 12:42pm

Hi Ellen - I took care of Scout yesterday. She was a sick little girl, strep, and only wanted to lie on the couch and watch "Little Einsteins. Anyway, the Little Einsteins went to Seattle, where some birthday balloons almost hit the Space Needle. :) And if I don't see more LE for a few months, I am fine with that.

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.

Déc 22, 2016, 1:48pm

I created the thread for The 2017 REREAD Challenge.

Déc 22, 2016, 1:51pm

>49 BLBera: Scout is lucky to have you, Beth. I hope she feels better soon. And that you don't have to see any more LE for at least six months. :-)

Congratulations on turning in the syllabus! I hope that means you can relax into some reading now.

Déc 22, 2016, 4:04pm

I have a few things to do this afternoon; bake cookies and clean the refrigerator, but other than that. Here I come A Strangeness in My Mind!

Déc 22, 2016, 4:10pm

hi Ellen! You haven't read One Hundred Years of Solitude? That's like, my second favorite book in the world.

I am also slowly reading The Fire This Time. It's a good book for picking at.

Déc 22, 2016, 5:38pm

>52 BLBera: Good luck with the cookies, the refrigerator, and A Strangeness!

>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

Modifié : Déc 22, 2016, 6:51pm

Hmm, I read The Wind in the Willows when I was a kid. I think I was kind of " meh" about it. I liked Charlotte's Web much better, if one was going to read a book about animals. I was a dutiful child and read " the children's classics" as prescribed. But I preferred a good old mystery, like Harriet the Spy, Nancy Drew, and Enid Blyton for their tales of mystery and humour.

Thread of shame? Sure, bring it on! I've never read Watership Down , nor do I care for Margaret Atwood. Lots of shame here :)

Déc 22, 2016, 7:16pm

>55 vancouverdeb: LOL. I should have thought of a different word, Deb (and I briefly thought about it) as I pretty much forbid shame to show its face on my threads. :-)

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......

Déc 22, 2016, 7:17pm

Okay, I have about 40 minutes left in my work day. I'm going to spend it in good, productive, work activity.

Tonight P and I are meeting at a downtown restaurant and then going to hear the Seattle Men's Chorus at Benaroya Hall.

Until tomorrow......

Déc 22, 2016, 8:09pm

>48 EBT1002: It's not as over the top as Forrest Gump but just gave me the same vibe. Pamuk said it's a 50 year history of Instanbul so I can see why I'm getting that vibe.

>57 EBT1002: Enjoy your evening with P!

Déc 22, 2016, 9:14pm

Have a great evening, Ellen. Happy holidays.

Déc 22, 2016, 9:19pm

So glad you enjoyed the poem, Ellen! You know I thought of you immediately. Do you work tomorrow? I work the next 2 but then I am off for 3. I will gladly take it.

Déc 22, 2016, 11:57pm

Happy newish thread, Ellen. Lots of snow in your pictures. Are you still wishing for it? Believe me, it gets old pretty fast!

Modifié : Déc 23, 2016, 12:09pm

>58 luvamystery65: Totally makes sense.
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.

Modifié : Déc 23, 2016, 12:15pm

This was Seattle in February 1916:

Déc 23, 2016, 1:30pm

Beth posted the link to an excellent NPR article about fiction works that might help us better understand the results of the presidential election and related current events.

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

Déc 23, 2016, 3:50pm

Rachel posted the link to this Book Riot list on her thread and I want to use it to guide some of my own reading, too.
Book Riot Around the Globe in 80 Books

Déc 23, 2016, 4:50pm

I gave five stars to ten books in 2016. I think I'm just too generous, but anyway, if I separate them by genre, and I don't think about it too much, I get this:

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.

Déc 23, 2016, 4:51pm

Merry Christmas Ellen! Thank you for your time, your kind words and the books we enjoy together. However you celebrate, I wish for it to be full of joy.

Déc 23, 2016, 4:54pm

Books that are clamoring for my attention as I'm not thinking about this include:

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.

Déc 23, 2016, 5:29pm

>64 EBT1002: Not come across any of those. Will watch your thoughts with interest...

>68 EBT1002: Not read Sepetys: will check the wishlist now...

Déc 23, 2016, 5:33pm

Ellen, I am totally loving the idea of "THE THREAD OF SHAME"! The problem is, there are too many books to read in the time allotted.

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.

Déc 23, 2016, 5:59pm

Happy Friday, Ellen! I have not started my best of list yet, but I will be starting soon. No wonder, we are book buds: Seven Killings was my top read of last year and Evicted will be my top read of this year. Glad to see Millard and Mantel on there too. Love them both.

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!!

Déc 23, 2016, 6:04pm

While work has been quiet, I've gotten some work-related reading done. I'm finding Blackballed: The Black & White Politics of Race on America's Campuses to be a worthwhile read. Chapter 4, entitled "The Great American Half-Baked Sale" is an excellent examination of the impact of some states' anti-affirmative action laws on Black students' access to and experience of higher education, particularly at public flagship universities (of which UW is certainly one).

Déc 23, 2016, 7:53pm

Merry Christmas, Ellen! I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Déc 23, 2016, 8:11pm

All the best to you, Ellen, for the holiday season! Merry Christmas

Déc 23, 2016, 10:10pm

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!

Déc 24, 2016, 1:36am

>62 EBT1002: Our snow never sticks around either Ellen. It looked like it was disappearing, we were seeing green grass but then today's rain turned to snow again - will it ever stop?

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!

Déc 24, 2016, 4:40am

Ellen, Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and a great 2017!

Déc 24, 2016, 9:06am

Merry Christmas!!

Déc 24, 2016, 11:15am

A peaceful, happy Christmas, Ellen, to you and all those you care about.

Déc 24, 2016, 2:41pm

Merry Christmas, Ellen!

Déc 24, 2016, 8:13pm

Wishing you all the best for the holidays, Ellen.

Déc 24, 2016, 10:44pm

Merry Christmas from the Koons household to yours!

Déc 24, 2016, 11:11pm

This is the Christmas tree at the end of the Pacific Beach Pier here in San Diego, a Christmas tradition.

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!

Déc 24, 2016, 11:16pm

Deb, Shelley, Paul, Meg, Rhian, Chelle, Gail, Mamie, Judy, Linda, and Roni!
Thank you for the holiday greetings!

Déc 24, 2016, 11:20pm

104. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

"'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.

Déc 25, 2016, 6:30am

And so: another great classic which has been, perhaps, worn thin by the many adaptations to which we have been exposed. I can't help but see stupid stuff like Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol; or ancient TV productions. Reading it aloud seems like an excellent way to revisit the real genius of the story. And I love the quotation you post.

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.

Déc 25, 2016, 6:46am

Merry Christmas, Ellen.

Déc 25, 2016, 5:51pm

Merry Christmas Ellen

Déc 25, 2016, 6:19pm

Merry Christmas, Ellen! I hope you had a wonderful holiday. Hugs to my pal.

Déc 25, 2016, 9:45pm

>85 EBT1002: My daughter reads it every year, finishing either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Our family also loves the 1951-ish Alistair Sim movie version. 'Twouldn't be Christmas without it.

Modifié : Déc 26, 2016, 12:47am

Merry Booksmas, Ellen.

Déc 26, 2016, 12:53am

>85 EBT1002: i have a very old Christmas Carol in audio by Basil Rathbone. it's the one i listened to as a kid and i still expect to hear the clicks from the old 76 rpm. they cleaned it up when they redid it for audiobooks but it is still redolent of Christmases long past.

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.

Déc 26, 2016, 7:13am

Wishing you another day of holiday bliss!

Déc 26, 2016, 11:59am

Good morning, Ellen and happy day after Christmas!

>66 EBT1002: I'm so glad you enjoyed Destiny of the Republic. I love it as well.

Déc 26, 2016, 2:11pm

Hi Ellen - Unbelievable, but I haven't read any of your top ten books; they are all on my WL, however. The Ross books sounds good; I will definitely pick it up.

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. :)

Déc 26, 2016, 9:58pm

Ellen--Merry, Merry and Happy, Happy!! Stay warm and read. : )

Modifié : Déc 27, 2016, 11:40am

I got books for Christmas!

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

From Beth:
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!!!!

Déc 27, 2016, 11:42am

I'm so happy you received the books, and what great timing! I thought both would help fulfill your quest to read underrepresented groups. I loved The Gap of Time as well.

Happy New Year, Ellen.

Déc 27, 2016, 11:59am

I have The Hidden Life of Trees on my Kindle and I started it and was intrigued.

Congrats on getting books, I received a few also!

Happy new year ahead! good books good friends good times.

Déc 27, 2016, 1:01pm

>86 maggie1944: I agree, Karen, that A Christmas Carol has been perhaps too often covered and adapted and maladapted..... Reading it aloud is one of our annual traditions and I just love it. You're right that this approach silences all those kitchy and glitchy voices that have tried to undo its brilliance.

>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?

Déc 27, 2016, 1:06pm

>91 mirrordrum: Thank you, Ellie! That is a lovely Christmas tree!

>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.

Déc 27, 2016, 1:07pm

>101 EBT1002: Well then, Happy Boxing Day!!

Déc 27, 2016, 1:10pm

>95 BLBera: I am surprised by that, too, Beth.

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.....

Déc 27, 2016, 1:11pm

>96 Berly: and >102 Berly: Thank you for both sets of wishes, Kim!!!

Déc 27, 2016, 1:15pm

>98 BLBera: I'm excited about both reads, Beth ~~~ thank you again for sending them! We had discussed LaRose, of course, and Into the Beautiful North looks really good.

>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.

Déc 27, 2016, 1:24pm

>100 EBT1002: I absolutely love the 1970 musical Scrooge!. Albert Finney is good as Scrooge, but my favorite part is the Ghost of Christmas Present.

Déc 27, 2016, 1:27pm

>106 brodiew2: Another rendition with which I am unfamiliar. There are so many!

By the way, I once played Fezziwig in a stage production of A Christmas Carol. True story.

Déc 27, 2016, 3:09pm

>103 EBT1002: Wow, you have gotten a lot more reading done than I have over the holiday. I still have about 200 pages to go. It might take me until the end of the week because I'm also reading Swing Time, a library book with a long list of reserves that has to go back -- today. It may make my top 10 list for the year, Swing Time that is. I love Zadie Smith.

Modifié : Déc 27, 2016, 3:51pm

Ellen I finished A Strangeness in my Mind and left my thoughts on my current 75 thread.

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?

Déc 27, 2016, 5:27pm

>108 BLBera: I was motivated to finish A Strangeness in My Mind, Beth. And I had insomnia the other night..... Also, you're reading it simultaneously with another book (I'm anxious to read Swing Time in the new year). I guess I've read a couple of chapters of Blackballed while at work but mostly I've been dedicating my reading time to the Pamuk.

And .... I've finished it! So. More about that in a bit.

Déc 27, 2016, 5:30pm

>109 luvamystery65: Hi Roberta. I just finished A Strangeness in My Mind and will let my thoughts simmer a bit before I go read your comments on your thread.

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?

Modifié : Déc 27, 2016, 6:10pm

105. A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk

"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."


Boza sellers

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.

Déc 27, 2016, 6:11pm

One New Year's resolution I have is to be a bit more stingy careful with my ratings. I think 3.5 stars is accurate regarding my response to A Strangeness in My Mind but I know I have been too generous with stars with some other reads in 2016.

Modifié : Déc 27, 2016, 7:17pm

106. The Clothing of Books by Jhumpa Lahiri

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.

Déc 28, 2016, 3:35am

>112 EBT1002: Great review Ellen. I have just 'been in' Istanbul with Elif Shafak, and am tempted to keep reading the city. The history is fascinating to me.

Thanks for your kind and thoughtful words in 2016. They have been much appreciated.

Déc 28, 2016, 5:52am

Great Christmas haul, Ellen! Gorgeous photo's of Instabul! I've been meaning to read something by Orphan Pamuk but so far, ot dice. As part of my brother's job( pilot ) he was recently in Istanbul and sent me a few pictures , which is a lot of fun for me. Your pictures are ever so much more lovely!

Déc 28, 2016, 2:10pm

>115 charl08: Oh, Charlotte, I read The Architect's Apprentice last year and quite liked it! I have a friend/colleague who visited Turkey on a vast "European" tour a couple of years ago and she came back saying that Turkey is the one country to which she very much wants to return. She described the culture and the food in glowing terms. I will say that the city looks incredibly huge and densely populated, and Pamuk's novel captures that.

>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. :-)

Modifié : Déc 28, 2016, 2:13pm

I started reading Lilith's Brood by Octavia E. Butler last night ~~ getting a jump start on Mark's 2017 AAC. It appears to be an omnibus of three independently published novels so I'll have to decide whether I get credit for reading three books or just one..... And as library and other books are continuing to clamor for my attention, I may give myself permission to read it in three installments, with just one other book shoehorned in between each of these. But I'm already quite captivated by the story!

Déc 28, 2016, 4:56pm

Happy Holidays, Ellen!

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.

Déc 28, 2016, 6:02pm

Hi Ellen, All the best in 2017! Wishes for great health and great reading!
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.

Déc 28, 2016, 6:45pm

>119 jnwelch: Hi and thanks, Joe! I'm thinking that I'll start my new thread (which will NOT be a Thread of Shame!) tomorrow or Friday. If I chose a book of the year, I think I would choose Evicted, too. The primary metric is that I know it's the book I have most recommended to other readers.

>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!

Déc 28, 2016, 6:49pm

So I started reading Lilith's Brood last night but, as I dithered about what my next read would be, the age-old dilemma already asserted itself as a preview for 2017. I have stacks and stacks of books on my shelves, books I do actually want to read. I even have them "squirreled away" (to quote P) in my closet and on the shelves in my office. I also have lists of books I want to read for various LT challenges and group reads. And I have several books on hold at the library, and at least two library books sitting at home, waiting for me to read them. If I read the library books, which have due dates and queues of other readers patiently waiting their turn, I'll never get to the books I own, and I'll fall behind on the challenges. Which leaves the stacks and stacks of books on my shelves, and.....

I mean, it's a first world problem but can anyone out there relate? ;-)

Déc 28, 2016, 6:56pm

Nope. No idea what you're talking about ;-)

Modifié : Déc 28, 2016, 7:06pm

Hi, Ellen! It looks like you got a nice batch of Christmas books. I have heard interesting things about The Hidden Life of Trees. Looking forward to your thoughts. I have LaRose saved on both ebook and audio. Hope to get to it early next year.

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.

Déc 28, 2016, 7:08pm

I definitely feel your pain about our sagging TBR shelves. I am going to try and make an effort to really focus on some of these "neglected" outcasts, in the New Year. I can not even cull anything because everything looks so damn good. Grins...

Modifié : Déc 28, 2016, 7:16pm

>123 katiekrug: Thanks Katie. :-)

>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.

Modifié : Déc 28, 2016, 7:22pm

So good to hear you liked Kindred. Sweet!

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.

Modifié : Déc 28, 2016, 8:00pm

>127 msf59: Mostly that is all the culling I do, too, Mark. I think at least two of the books I took down the street were used/free books P had picked up for me that didn't really interest me. It was sweet that she tried, though.

Déc 28, 2016, 8:04pm

Honestly, I fear culling, because I spot book after book, that I want to read so bad. Wah!! Nothing more pathetic than a weeping postman.

Déc 28, 2016, 10:34pm

There is no cure for wanting more books, and absent books coming from the library, we are all drawn without resistance to the bookstores; maybe used book stores, but definitely books stores. And then there we spend our money on one more book which might sit in a pile for a long, long time.

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.

Déc 28, 2016, 11:25pm

I'm caught up on your thread now. Hopefully I won't get so behind again! I'm getting better about culling than I used to be. I need to do some measurements and begin ordering IKEA Billy bookcases. I want to replace some that are "sagging", and I need additional ones. I won't be able to order all at once, but if I can get a couple at a time, I'll eventually have what I need for what I really want to keep.

Modifié : Déc 29, 2016, 12:15am

>122 EBT1002: What, understand about squirreled away books? I have 7 full size book cases as well as some smaller bookcases in my office/basement/workout room, another doubled stacked bookcase in the spare room. Is that enough - well, no. I have a walk in closet with shelves; the only problem is that the shelves tend to sag if you put too many books on them. I have started to cull books to make room for new ones.

Déc 29, 2016, 12:53pm

Good morning, Ellen! I hope all is well with you.

>118 EBT1002: I have been aware of Octavia Butler for may years, but I've never read anything. Nice review. Have you read any of Walter Mosely's SF. He wrote one called Blue Light that I may have to revisit. I started it, but was quickly distracted.

Déc 29, 2016, 2:12pm

Ha! I had to clean out a room because family were visiting. Found a whole pile of books that I had forgotten about... Argh.

Déc 29, 2016, 4:39pm

>129 msf59: "Nothing more pathetic than a weeping postman." I agree. It makes me shudder every time I see one.

>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.....

Déc 29, 2016, 4:40pm

>134 charl08: "Found a whole pile of books that I had forgotten about...." LOL

Déc 29, 2016, 4:46pm

We have lots of IKEA Billy bookcases, too. I think it's one of the most favourite one around the world.
Hi Ellen, I hope work isn't too busy.

Déc 29, 2016, 6:15pm

>137 Ameise1: Hi Barbara!
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!

Déc 29, 2016, 7:24pm

One year ago today I had my stroke. Just about exactly one hour ago, too. Over the past week or so I have been experiencing somewhat increased levels of anxiety; somehow this anniversary felt important to get to.... and get past.
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.
Cheers, everyone!

Modifié : Déc 29, 2016, 7:38pm

And how perfect is this? -- My chair has arrived! They will assemble it and I get to pick it up this Saturday. HOORAY!!!!

Déc 29, 2016, 7:44pm

The perfect New Year's Eve: curled up with a good book on your amazing new chair! Woo hoo!

Déc 29, 2016, 7:55pm

>141 lauralkeet: I agree, Laura. I'm SO excited!!!!!

Déc 29, 2016, 8:30pm

Cheers, Ellen. I'd forgotten that your stroke was around the holidays.

The chair looks perfect. I might have to go shopping.

>122 EBT1002: I completely understand. I have eleven library books piled on my desk right now, while I am hoping to get to some of my books as well.

>123 katiekrug: Hah, Katie.

Déc 29, 2016, 8:37pm

Oh, Ellen, I skipped over your comments on A Strangeness in My Mind; I want to finish it before reading them.

Déc 29, 2016, 8:43pm

>140 EBT1002: The chair looks great, Ellen! Enjoy!

I am so glad you are enjoying Lilith's Brood. I will start my Butler later next week.

Déc 29, 2016, 8:56pm


Sorry for yelling, but I am so excited about your chair.

Déc 29, 2016, 9:37pm

The chair! Looks wonderful, but I still can't believe how much they cost. Enjoy! And congrats on passing that anniversary--your restaurant plans sound perfect.

Déc 29, 2016, 11:49pm

Ellen, we're very glad you're here with us as well.

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.

Déc 30, 2016, 4:39am

>140 EBT1002: What a great chair. A perfect reading place, isn't it? Glad to hear that work goes smoothly.

Déc 30, 2016, 7:26am

Congratulations. The chair is beautiful, and I imagine you will have many a lovely hour sitting in it! And, thank goodness, your one year anniversary has passed with no reoccurrence of the stroke. I think of it often as I hang out with people who are very prone.... there is one gentleman about whom we've been worried he had a small stroke and was not admitting it. I saw him yesterday and he seems very well. And of course, I remind myself of the warning signs as I need to be honest about my own health, too.

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

Déc 30, 2016, 7:55am

I am also so glad that you are here, Ellen - hoping that the evening and the Prosecco were delightful. And your chair!! I am so excited for you - you would think it was my chair. I know you have been lusting after it for a long time, so I can't wait till you actually get to sit in it in the comfort of your own home. SQUEE!

Modifié : Déc 30, 2016, 6:19pm

>139 EBT1002: I know it must be a relief to have passed that uneasy milestone. 3 years on from my "cardiac event" I didn't even notice the date this time. Here's to another healthy year for you-- and another, and another....

Déc 30, 2016, 11:27am

>143 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. I felt oddly elated after getting past the anniversary yesterday. And I'm super excited about the chair! I didn't expect it to arrive until February so this is a special New Years treat. I will, of course, have P take a photo of me sitting in it (reading) and I'll post said photo in order to best enhance chair envy all around!

>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.

Déc 30, 2016, 11:30am

>147 ronincats: I feel almost sheepish about how much the chair costs, Roni. I feel very lucky to be able to splurge on such a luxury. I expect it to last the rest of my life.....
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!

Déc 30, 2016, 11:34am

>150 maggie1944: The anniversary feels very significant, Karen. Yes, we all need to keep in mind the signs and pay close attention. Stroke is the number one cause of disability in the U.S.; that is no small thing. As resilient as our brains are, they are not invincible.

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.

Déc 30, 2016, 3:58pm

>139 EBT1002: heavens above, Ellen. i had no idea you'd had a stroke. dang, sister. i'll bet it's a nervy time for both you and P right along in through here. those first year anniversaries are tough as are these "little" intimations of mortality. give you joy of your survival and another whole year of reading well spent.

thank you for being a friend. you do enrich my life, you know, and i'm very grateful for that.

Déc 30, 2016, 4:01pm

>97 EBT1002: SCORE! i only know 2 of those and they are outstanding.

Déc 30, 2016, 5:11pm

>156 mirrordrum: Thanks, Ellie! You're a dear friend, too, and I'm glad we've gotten to connect via LT. You're right, the little reminders of mortality are powerful. They make me all the more grateful for connections with other decent human beings.


>157 mirrordrum: At least a couple of the books were new to me, too, Ellie, which I love!! :-)

Déc 30, 2016, 5:29pm

>158 EBT1002: we can count on Marky for the good stuff, can't we?

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.

Déc 30, 2016, 5:51pm

>159 mirrordrum: Oh, your presence in the discussion absolutely enriched my reading experience, too, Ellie! I want to do more shared reads, especially with difficult or challenging books. It definitely enhances my comprehension, consideration, and appreciation of the work.

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.

Déc 31, 2016, 6:38am

Looking forward to your continued company in 2017.
Happy New Year, Ellen

Déc 31, 2016, 11:59am

I finally finished A Strangeness in My Mind, Ellen. Great review; I love the pictures of Istanbul. My rating was the same.

Happy New Year; I'll see you around next year.

Déc 31, 2016, 5:01pm

That chair looks so comfortable, Ellen. Congratulations!

Happy New Year!

Modifié : Déc 31, 2016, 5:58pm

Happy New Year, Ellen! Ooh I love your new chair!

Déc 31, 2016, 7:31pm

Happy New Year, Ellen! Have a wonderful evening. See you next year!

Modifié : Jan 2, 2017, 1:54am