AnneDC is back (and late) for 2020

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2020

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AnneDC is back (and late) for 2020

1AnneDC
Editado: Jan 1, 3:49pm

Hi LT friends! I am very excited to be setting up a thread here after a bit of a break. I thought I had taken a year off, but it turns out my last thread was in 2017! Time flies?

Since I barely remember how to do anything on the site, I am going to stay away from fancy thread toppers and trackers and just make some lists. Otherwise I might end up waiting another year.

I am Anne, I live in Washington DC, I read a lot or at least I used to, and I joined this group in 2010.

I'm very happy to be back and I welcome all visitors new and old.

Books Read in 2020

January
1. The Topeka School - Ben Lerner
2. Free Day - Inès Cagnati
3. A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
4. Disappearing Earth - Julia Phillips

February
5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling (reread)
6. A Better Man - Louise Penny
7. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous - Ocean Vuong
8. The Great Divide: The Conflict between Washington and Jefferson that Defined a Nation - Thomas Fleming
9. Soulless - Gail Carriger (reread)
10. Molly Fox's Birthday - Dierdre Madden
11. Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America - Ibram X Kendi
12. Love - Toni Morrison
13. Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland - Patrick Radden Keefe
14. Night Boat to Tangier - Kevin Barry

March
15. Emma - Jane Austen (audio) (RR)
16. White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism - Robin DiAngelo
17. Tracks - Louise Erdrich RR
18. Gem of the Ocean - August Wilson
19. 1776 - David McCullough
20. The Power - Naomi Alderman
21. The Juniper Tree - Barbara Comyns
22. Goodbye Without Leaving - Laurie Colwin

April
23. Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom - David W. Blight (audio)
24. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (reread)
25. All-of-a-Kind Family - Sidney Taylor (reread)
26. Eight Cousins - Louisa May Alcott (reread)

May
27. The Dutch House - Ann Patchett
28. Cooked - Michael Pollan
29. Why Read Moby-Dick? - Nathaniel Philbrick
30. Hawthorn & Child - Keith Ridgway
31. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - John Le Carre (reread)
32. Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie
33. Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng

June
34. How to Be an Antiracist - Ibram X Kendi
35. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone - Lori Gottlieb

July
36. So You Want to Talk About Race - Ijeoma Oluo

August
37.Too Much and Never Enough - Mary Trump
38.Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling (reread)
39.Girl - Edna O'Brien
40.Joe Turner's Come and Gone - August Wilson

September
41. All the Devils are Here - Louise Penny
42. Dominicana - Angie Cruz
43. Caste - Isabel Wilkerson
44. Rage - Bob Woodward (aptly titled)
45. The Lies that Bind: Rethinking Identity - Kwame Anthony Appiah
46. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

October
47. Still Life - Louise Penny (reread)
48. The House at Sea's End - Elly Griffiths
49. Clock Dance - Anne Tyler
50. Dying of Whiteness - Jonathan Metzl
51. The Searcher - Tana French
52. Career of Evil - Robert Galbraith
53. Cry, The Beloved Country - Alan Paton
54. The Bat - by Jo Nesbø
55. An Abundance of Katherines - John Green

November
56. Lethal White - Robert Galbraith
57. Big Sky - Kate Atkinson
58. When Will There Be Good News? - Kate Atkinson
59. Blackberry Wine - Blackberry Wine
60. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom - August Wilson
61. Started Early, Took My Dog - Kate Atkinson
62. Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie
63. Hypothermia - Arnaldur Indriðason
64. Hamnet - Maggie O'Farrell
65. The Death of Ivan Ilich - Leo Tolstoy
66. My Mother Was Nuts - Penny Marshall
67. Exhalation - Ted Chiang
68. Of Thee I Sing - Barack Obama
69. Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness - Peter Godfrey-Smith
70. Dolly Parton, Songteller - Dolly Parton
71. More All-of-a-Kind-Family - Sidney Taylor
72. Why We're Polarized - Ezra Klein

December
73. Dream City - Harry Jaffe and Tom Sherwood
74. Troubled Blood - Robert Galbraith
75. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
76. Juliet Takes a Breath - Gabby Rivera
77. A Child's Christmas in Wales - Dylan Thomas
78. The Children of Green Knowe - L. M. Boston
79. Holidays on Ice - David Sedaris
80. The Perfect Nanny - Leila Slimani
81. Fear and Trembling - Amelie Nothomb
82. The Piano Lesson - August Wilson
83. Weather - Jenny Offill
84. Everything Inside - Edwidge Danticat

Currently Reading

Team of Rivals - Doris Kearns Goodwin
Lost Children Archive - Valeria Luiselli

2PaulCranswick
Fev 2, 2020, 5:04pm

Yippeeee!

Lovely to see you back Anne.
I have missed you.

3katiekrug
Fev 2, 2020, 5:17pm

Hi Anne! It's great to see you back!

4brenzi
Fev 2, 2020, 7:10pm

Hey Anne, great to see you.

5AnneDC
Fev 2, 2020, 9:01pm

>2 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! I have missed you too! Thanks for the welcome and for finding my thread so fast. I will try to come by and catch up on yours. No doubt you have many by now.

>3 katiekrug: Hi Katie. It is good to be back. I am going to try to do some speed-skimming to see what others are up to.

>4 brenzi: Bonnie, same. I look forward to seeing what you have been reading. And it's reassuring that this group is here waiting for me after all this time.

6PaulCranswick
Fev 2, 2020, 9:23pm

>5 AnneDC: The pace is a little more leisurely than you might remember, Anne!

7figsfromthistle
Fev 2, 2020, 10:14pm

Happy reading!

8lkernagh
Fev 2, 2020, 11:06pm

Lovely to see your thread pop up in the group, Anne!

9norabelle414
Fev 2, 2020, 11:42pm

Welcome back, Anne!

10lauralkeet
Fev 3, 2020, 6:48am

It's nice to see you back with us, Anne!

11BLBera
Fev 3, 2020, 1:55pm

It's great you are back, Anne. I look forward to many more great suggestions from you. I've missed you!

12drneutron
Fev 3, 2020, 4:40pm

Welcome back, Anne!

13arubabookwoman
Fev 3, 2020, 5:39pm

I’m glad you’re back. I hope to keep up with you!

14AnneDC
Fev 3, 2020, 11:02pm

Ooooh--visitors!

>6 PaulCranswick: Maybe so, Paul, but it still seems brisk to me.

>7 figsfromthistle: Thanks for visiting! I will stop by your thread soon and see what you are reading.

>8 lkernagh: Hi Lori! I need to find your thread, now.

>9 norabelle414: Thanks Nora! Are you still going to Arena Stage these days? I am.

>10 lauralkeet: Thanks Laura. I'm just back from a visit to your thread.

>11 BLBera: Hi Beth! I've missed your reading inspirations.

>12 drneutron: Thanks Jim. Glad to see you're still holding things together around here!

>13 arubabookwoman: Hi Deborah--me too. I was just lurking on your thread and will stop back by to leave a note.

I did forget how hard it can be to keep up around here.

15LizzieD
Fev 3, 2020, 11:20pm

Another YAY!!!! Anne's back!!!!!
I do look forward to seeing what you're reading and what you're thinking about it!

16norabelle414
Fev 4, 2020, 9:06am

>14 AnneDC: I am! It's still wonderful. I just went to see A Thousand Splendid Suns last week, and it was great.

17AnneDC
Fev 5, 2020, 6:22am

>15 LizzieD: Peggy, you found me. So far, very little about reading and even less about my thoughts, but I will get back to this soon. I've missed hearing what you're reading.

>16 norabelle414: Me too. We are subscribers and also just saw A Thousand Splendid Suns in January. It pressed me to finally read the book before going, since I've had it lying around for years. It was interesting to experience book and play so close together. The play was relatively streamlined, which made sense.

18AnneDC
Fev 5, 2020, 6:38am

Now I remember, I used to make these ambitious lists every month.

In hindsight I think that contributed to a negative spiral in my approach to reading, but I still can't resist the list. I'll think of it as more of a menu.

February Reading Ideas, or Books I Might Read This Month

Currently Reading and would like to finish:
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling
Stamped from the Beginning - Ibram X Kendi
The Great Divide: The Conflict between Washington and Jefferson that Defined a Nation - Thomas Fleming
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous - Ocean Vuong
Say Nothing
A Better Man - Louise Penny

Options

One Person No Vote - Carol Anderson
Frederick Douglass - David Blight
In the Existentialist Cafe - Sarah Bakewell
Molly Fox's Birthday - Dierdre Madden
The Lost Children Archive - Valeria Luiselli
Night Boat to Tangier - Kevin Barry
The Source of Self-Regard - Toni Morrison
Silver Sparrow - Tayari Jones
Team of Rivals - Doris Kearns Goodwin
Enormous Changes at the Last Minute - Grace Paley

We'll see what happens. It's a short month.

19PaulCranswick
Fev 5, 2020, 7:14am

>18 AnneDC: Some of those are also on my to do list shortly. I will read something by Valeria Luiselli this month and Barry, Madden & Morisson are authors I have enjoyed. Team of Rivals is another I keep looking at to read and its scale keeps replying "OK, a little later!".

20FAMeulstee
Fev 6, 2020, 12:17pm

Happy reading in 2020, Anne!

>18 AnneDC: February is a short month, but one day more this year ;-)

21BLBera
Fev 6, 2020, 3:49pm

>18 AnneDC: Great lists, Anne. I've had the Bakewell on my shelves for a long time and hope to get to it this year. I want to read more nonfiction.

22brenzi
Fev 6, 2020, 7:16pm

>18 AnneDC: Ahhhh yes....lists...of books. Pretty hard to resist Anne. I loved The Lost Children Archive, one of two books I read in the past several months that made me download a specific song onto my Apple Music. The other one was from the Deborah Levy book The Man Who Saw Everything.

I also hope to get to Night Boat to Tangier sometime soonish too.

23alcottacre
Fev 6, 2020, 7:19pm

Glad to see you back, Anne!

24AnneDC
Fev 6, 2020, 11:31pm

>19 PaulCranswick: Team of Rivals is a doorstopper for sure but I have slowly but surely been working my way through bios of American Presidents and I'm up to Lincoln, so it is time to start it. I may not finish it this month but that is okay.

>20 FAMeulstee: Anita I had forgotten about Leap Year!

>21 BLBera: I pulled it off my shelf because it has a purple cover and fits a February challenge, but there are worse reasons to choose a book!

>22 brenzi: OK Bonnie maybe I will start Lost Children soonest. And I'm very curious about the song...

>23 alcottacre: Hi Stasia it is great to be back!

25AnneDC
Fev 6, 2020, 11:48pm

My January Reading

Well there was not that much of it so no excuse not to come up with some thoughts. I only read four books--which I guess is one a week which is more than I averaged the last couple of years, but way less than when I was last on LT. All were fiction, which is a switch because I haven't been reading that much fiction lately.



1. The Topeka School - Ben Lerner

Rating: 3.5
Format: Print
Source: Gift

Why I read this now: My husband always gives me books for Christmas. (Yay!). I used to write out suggested booklists for him but now he just buys me all the books from the NYT 10 best books of the year list. I love it, except...it seems I have a hard time getting to all the books, and so I have quite a backlog. So a reading goal for the year is to eliminate the backlog. I started off my reading year with a fiction and a non-fiction selection from this year's haul to take on vacation--The Topeka School was the one that caught my eye.

I am not sure what to say about this one. I wanted to love it, and it was an engaging read, and beautifully written--in fact, it is in many ways a book about language and its use and misuse--but ultimately it fell a little flat, and did not leave a lasting impression.

The book is about a suburban family in Topeka, Kansas--Adam, who is a high school senior when the book opens, and his parents Jane and Jonathan, both psychologists affiliated with an internationally renowned psychiatric institute. Structurally the novel switches perspective with every chapter--some chapters give us Adam's perspective, others Jane's, or Jonathan's. In between chapters there are sections in the voice of Darren, a boy Adam's age who attended the same preschool, but their paths have since diverged in many ways. The story also jumps around in time, turning back to the past and also jumping to the future. I liked the structure of the story a lot.

In some sense this is a coming-of-age story built around Adam, but I was more interested in the parents' perspectives, especially Jane's, and found myself looking forward to the chapters told from her perspective.

As you can gather from reading any blurb about The Topeka School, a prominent theme is toxic masculinity and white male anger--maybe I was expecting something revelatory about this topic, instead I was left feeling like I spend more than enough time having to consider these themes in RL.

26AnneDC
Fev 7, 2020, 12:11am

My other January reads were very different kinds of books, but they had some real similarities
1. They each stood out for me because of their extraordinary sense of place.
2. Each was told entirely from the perspective of women and girls
3. Hardship and struggle and violence and tragedy were constant themes



2. Free Day - Inès Cagnati

Rating:4.3 stars
Format:Print
Source:My shelves

Why I read this now: This is an NYRB Classic--a subscription I have had for the last several years. I love receiving these books monthly and I enjoy reading them but, as with my Christmas gift books, I have built up quite a backlog. So a goal for the year is to try to read them as they come in, and this was the December selection.

From the Foreword by Leisl Schillinger

How do you learn the stories of people who are too impoverished, powerless, or uneducated to write their stories themselves? Often it is outsiders who relay them, through leaps of empathetic imagination—as Harriet Beecher Stowe did with Uncle Tom’s Cabin, awakening the conscience of the nation by exposing the cruelties of American slavery, or as Jane Wagner did with her 1969 children’s book, J. T., calling attention to the plight of the urban poor in a novella about a boy who rescues a stray cat whose miseries resemble his own. But sometimes, authors who have overcome daunting circumstances emerge from profoundly adverse environments to give voice to personal travails in their own words. The experiences they describe land in us with disturbing power and commanding authenticity. Consider Jeanette Walls’s The Glass Castle, or Tara Westover’s Educated.
Inès Cagnati is such an author. Her novels and short stories about the Italian immigrant community in France in the middle of the 20th century resurrect a transitional era that might otherwise have passed without leaving a trace. Her quietly devastating debut novel, Free Day, which won France’s Prix Roger Nimier in 1973, offers an insider’s view of what it feels like to be an outsider, not only in the land in which you live but in the family to which you were born.


Free Day was such a vivid depiction of its setting and exposed me to a community I had no idea existed. The story itself is compact and quiet, bleak and heartbreaking. 14-year-old Galla is riding her bicycle through a frigid landscape from the high school, where she boards during the week as a scholarship student, to her home 20 miles away on a remote, marshy farm. This is a trip she makes every two weeks, but this particular trip is more of a surprise visit. Galla is an outsider at school, where her family's poverty sets her apart from the other students, and she is attending school over the objections of her family, who wanted her to remain at home where her help is essential. Clearly Galla is a remarkably persistent and determined 14-year-old.

Almost the entire book consists of Galla's thoughts as she pedals along. Very little actually happens, except for enormous things that happen.



3. A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini

Rating:4.2 stars
Format:Print
Source:My shelves

Why I read this now: I've had this on my shelves forever, and never got around to reading it, but I had tickets to see a play based on the book and I thought there would be no better time to get to it. I always like to read the book first!

A Thousand Splendid Suns is by the same author as The Kite Runner, which I read when it first came out. Both books throw the reader into the heart of war-torn Afghanistan. Since A Thousand Splendid Suns focuses on the experience of women, it is a different level of repression and brutality--both from outside forces and within families. Warning: the violence is a lot to absorb. A satisfying ending almost makes up for the abuse and tragedy.

The novel proceeds chronologically and centers around two women whose lives eventually intersect profoundly. Mariam is the illegitimate daughter of a rich man in Herat, whose mother, a domestic servant in the household, is sent to live in a remote village to avoid dishonoring the family. Laila--a future neighbor of Mariam's in Kabul--is the youngest child of a scholarly father and his free-spirited wife, whose life is profoundly shaped by the chaos and violence of successive Afghan regimes. The book is also an excellent primer on recent Afghan history.



4. Disappearing Earth - Julia Phillips
Rating:4.5 stars
Format:Print
Source:Gift

Why I read this now: Another Christmas gift book from the NYT best books of 2019 list.

Disappearing Earth is set on the Kamchatka Peninsula on the remote eastern edge of Russia. At the beginning of the book, two sisters disappear on a summer day in this isolated location. The remaining chapters function as seemingly unrelated stories, each centered around a different person (mostly women, men are secondary characters here), although the stories are all very subtly interconnected and contain slight clues to what happened. It's the kind of book that has you flipping back to earlier chapters to check on a detail. (Not a good candidate for audio.) Each chapter could stand alone as an individual story of hardship, disappointment, or tragedy, but in combination they paint a rich portrait of a unique community, exploring the urban center of Petropavlovsk as well as the indigenous villages and peoples of the peninsula. Recommended.

27Donna828
Fev 7, 2020, 1:36pm

Hi Anne, I was excited when I saw you posting around the threads. Welcome home! It's always good when readers come back into the fold.

I've been curious about The Topeka School which I may or may not read. Haha, you didn't exactly give it a ringing endorsement. I totally agree with you on Disappearing Earth and look forward to seeing what else you will be reading this year.

I'm a little jealous of your 'backlog' of books. My husband never knows what to give me for holidays…now I have a great idea for him! Thanks.

28lkernagh
Fev 7, 2020, 5:31pm

Great batch of reviews, Anne! I agree with your review for the Hosseini book. I loved both The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Smart move on your husband's part re: Christmas presents. ;-)

29brenzi
Fev 7, 2020, 8:12pm

Well now I think I may scratch The Topeka School off the list. Hmmm. I also loved Disappearing Earth Anne and cant wait to see what she does next.

30alcottacre
Fev 7, 2020, 8:20pm

>26 AnneDC: Adding Free Day and Disappearing Earth to the BlackHole. I have already read A Thousand Splendid Suns. Thanks for the recommendations and reviews, Anne!

31BLBera
Fev 7, 2020, 9:36pm

I was also struck by the vivid sense of place in Disappearing Earth, Anne. Free Day sounds like one I would love. Onto the list it goes! I had the NYRB subscription a few years ago, but I stopped it when the books began to pile up. Maybe I should reconsider...

32LizzieD
Fev 7, 2020, 11:06pm

Happy to have you back, Anne!!!!
You have me with *On Earth....Gorgeous*, and I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed *Molly Fox*. I hope you choose her and enjoy her too.

33lauralkeet
Fev 8, 2020, 7:33am

Hi Anne, I recently read Disappearing Earth, too. Nice review. I liked those subtle interconnections and yes, I flipped back and forth a lot!

34arubabookwoman
Fev 9, 2020, 9:06pm

Some interesting reading here. I have wishlisted Free Day, and just coincidentally my library hold on Disappearing Earth just came in so I will have to get to it this week or next. And overall I liked A Thousand Splendid Suns when I read it a long while ago, though I remember having some issues with it.
I recently tried to read The Topeka School. I had heard good things about it, and I really wanted to like it. But I just couldn’t force myself to finish it (I read about 50 pp) before it was due back at the library, and nothing about it is calling me to check it out again to finish it. I love the cover though!
Lucky you to have a NYRB subscription, and to receive gifts of all the NYT best books of the year!

35PaulCranswick
Fev 9, 2020, 9:15pm

>26 AnneDC: I like NYRB classics too although they are not so easy to get over here in Malaysia.

>25 AnneDC: a prominent theme is toxic masculinity and white male anger--maybe I was expecting something revelatory about this topic, instead I was left feeling like I spend more than enough time having to consider these themes in RL.

I like that! Not sure I will read that one anytime soon, Anne.

36AnneDC
Fev 14, 2020, 1:45pm

Whoa--falling behind already!



Happy Valentine's Day to all.

Because it is Valentine's Day I just started Love by Toni Morrison, even though I have at least 5 other books going at the moment.

>27 Donna828: Hi Donna! I have so missed keeping up with your reading since we read so many similar books. I really don't want to put anyone off of The Topeka School--what I really want is for others to read it and discuss. It is a book I might have read too many reviews for before picking it up. I will be by to check out your thread before long.

The other great thing about getting or giving 10 books for Christmas is the potential for lots of individual presents.

>28 lkernagh: Thanks Lori. I still have And the Mountains Echoed somewhere around the house which I'd like to get to.

>29 brenzi: Bonnie, don't scratch it totally off your list on my account. I would love for someone to tell me what I missed!

>30 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! So nice to see you again. I have yet to make it over to your thread but the weekend is coming.

>31 BLBera: I totally hear you about the book pile-up. The rational thing to do is of course to cancel the subscription. I should, too. But I do love the way those books look lined up on my shelf, and I find the selections are not books I would ordinarily pick up.

>32 LizzieD: Peggy I think I may have Molly Fox because of you. I decided to start it on my own birthday which was last week. I will post some thoughts about On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous soon as I just finished it--very sad and beautiful.

>33 lauralkeet: Thanks Laura.

>34 arubabookwoman: Deborah--interesting (and validating!) that you couldn't finish Topeka School. I didn't have any trouble forcing myself to finish it, I found it interesting, but what I noticed was that when I went to review it I didn't have the book in my possession, and I just couldn't call up any clear impressions. Not a great sign. And that definitely colored my review. But like you, I had heard good things about it, and sometimes that's just too much pressure!

>35 PaulCranswick: Well, if you do read it I'd love to know what you think, Paul. I hope you are having a good week.

37thornton37814
Fev 17, 2020, 10:45am

Welcome back to the challenge!

38PaulCranswick
Fev 26, 2020, 6:52pm

Hope all is well, Anne.

Another flurry of activity nigh?

39AnneDC
Mar 1, 2020, 9:28pm

>37 thornton37814: Thank you Lori. I am enjoying being back.

>38 PaulCranswick: Paul I had high hopes for a big flurry of activity this weekend but I seem to have frittered my weekend away. I have finished a bunch of books in February so an update is in order.

I just noticed I am actually on track to 75 this year, not that it matters much. However my reading declined in parallel with my absence from LT, and it is good to be reading more.

40PaulCranswick
Mar 20, 2020, 8:08pm

Please don't leave us again so soon, Anne. Just happily got used to you being around again and then we don't see you for three weeks. xx

41LizzieD
Mar 21, 2020, 11:51pm

Just checking in and hoping that you and yours are staying safe and well! Let us hear from you please, Anne.

42AnneDC
Mar 23, 2020, 10:27pm

I am here! and just fine. Getting settled into my new normal--which should allow for more reading time and time for LT.

43Chatterbox
Abr 1, 2020, 12:54am

Sorry I'm just catching up with you know, but so glad to see you back here on LT. I notice you're reading War & Peace -- is that a coronavirus project?? I just pulled my Kindle version up from the cloud recently in order to take a crack at it!

44PaulCranswick
Abr 3, 2020, 9:12am

Have a lovely, peaceful, safe and healthy weekend, Anne.

45PaulCranswick
Abr 12, 2020, 3:41am



I wanted my message this year to be fairly universal in a time we all should be pulling together, whatever our beliefs. Happy Celebration, Happy Sunday, Anne

46PaulCranswick
Abr 25, 2020, 5:39am

Anne, Anne, Anne don't leave us again so soon!

47AnneDC
Maio 3, 2020, 8:07pm

Nice to see you >43 Chatterbox: Suzanne and hello >44 PaulCranswick: Paul, Paul and Paul! I am not leaving, just finding it a little challenging to be online when I'm not "at work", and I'm finding the balance between work and life more difficult to manage than in ordinary times. It's a little mystifying, it doesn't seem like it should be so hard. I thought I'd have lots of time for reading and LT given that I rarely leave the house, but that has not turned out to be the case.

Suzanne, for sure War and Peace is a coronavirus project. I actually started it in 2019, but now it's sort of an "if not now, when?" project.

In April I have been apparently not reading that much--I finished up the David Bligh biography of Frederick Douglas, which I've been reading for a couple of months, and which has given me a lot to think about. Some girlfriends and I had a visit planned to Frederick Douglass's house here in Washington for the end of April, but obviously that did not happen. Maybe someday.

Instead I've been drawn to favorite books from my childhood, and thoroughly enjoyed escaping into All-of-a-Kind Family, Eight Cousins, and The Secret Garden, none of which have lost their original charm for me after all this time.

48PaulCranswick
Maio 3, 2020, 10:32pm

>47 AnneDC: Great to see you back, Anne.

War and Peace didn't call to me during this extended lock-down.

49BLBera
Maio 6, 2020, 2:34pm

Hi Anne - I understand what you are saying. I thought I would have a ton of time to read, and that hasn't been the case. I, too, am drawn to comfort reads -- or at least to things that are light and amusing.

Stay well.

50PaulCranswick
Maio 10, 2020, 12:58pm

Hope you are heaving a relaxing and peaceful Sunday, Anne.

51PaulCranswick
Maio 23, 2020, 7:12pm

Wishing you a lovely long weekend, Anne.

52PaulCranswick
Jun 13, 2020, 7:48am

Nice to see that you updated your reading at least Anne!

Have a great weekend.

53PaulCranswick
Jun 26, 2020, 7:18pm

Seems like it is only me posting here Anne?,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

54PaulCranswick
Jul 4, 2020, 11:31pm

In this difficult year with an unprecedented pandemic and where the ills of the past intrude sadly upon the present there must still be room for positivity. Be rightly proud of your country. To all my American friends, enjoy your 4th of July weekend.

55PaulCranswick
Set 5, 2020, 10:49pm

Still only little ole me.

56LizzieD
Set 5, 2020, 11:34pm

And me .... We do wish you and your family well, Anne. We look forward to your coming back to us.

57AnneDC
Set 8, 2020, 12:28am

My goodness--have I really been away this long? Where oh where did the summer go? (I really mean that--it feels like a blur.)

Thank you, >55 PaulCranswick: Paul, for keeping my thread warm, and >49 BLBera: and >56 LizzieD: Beth and Peggy, it is always always nice to see you!

It's Labor Day and the start of a whole new season, and school year--fall always feels like a good time to start over, so I will aim to spend a little more time here, and to do a little more reading. When I went to update my thread, it seems I haven't been reading much, either! Podcasts and news feeds and I don't know what else.

58PaulCranswick
Set 8, 2020, 3:19am

>57 AnneDC: Yippeeee! Nice to see you back, Anne.

59lauralkeet
Set 8, 2020, 7:21am

I'm glad you're back with us, Anne!

60BLBera
Set 8, 2020, 10:05pm

Nice to see you back, Anne.

61LizzieD
Set 8, 2020, 11:04pm

YAY! Welcome back to your place, Anne!

62AnneDC
Out 1, 2020, 5:28pm

>58 PaulCranswick: Paul, and >59 lauralkeet: Laura, and >60 BLBera: Beth and >61 LizzieD: Peggy So good to see you and thank you for stopping by!

As is obvious I haven't spent much time here on my thread. But I did finish reading War and Peace yesterday! Comments to follow. I have been reading for many months and did set myself a stay-at-home goal of reading a chapter a day. (Some chapters are 2-3 pages and the whole book is over 1200 pages so this was the slow and steady strategy.)

My other pandemic goals have been to do online yoga every day, do on online Spanish lesson every day, and read the New Yorker every day. All of these have been very successful and make me feel like I am getting things done.

For October I'd like to aim for a daily LT visit. I think I can do it.

Besides War and Peace, the month I read
All the Devils are Here - Louise Penny
Dominicana - Angie Cruz
Caste - Isabel Wilkerson
Rage - Bob Woodward (aptly titled)
The Lies that Bind: Rethinking Identity - Kwame Anthony Appiah

I will be back tomorrow with some comments on books.

63norabelle414
Out 2, 2020, 4:34pm

Congrats on finishing War and Peace! I found it much more satisfying than I was expecting.

64PaulCranswick
Out 2, 2020, 9:52pm

>62 AnneDC: Ahh War and Peace - that explains it! Bloody Tolstoy!

65LizzieD
Out 2, 2020, 11:34pm

Hi, Anne!!!!! Reading other things besides War and Peace makes you a champion! I need to reread it - I do believe I'm a better reader now than I was thirty years ago. It won't happen any time soon though.

66BLBera
Out 4, 2020, 8:39am

Congrats on finishing War and Peace, Anne. I remember how I felt when I finished. I can't wait to see your comments on your reading. I loved Dominicana. I also loved The Warmth of Other Suns and would like to pick up Caste at some point. And the new Penny!

It sounds like you are meeting your stay-home goals. Yay! I feel like I've accomplished a lot by getting dressed in real clothes. :)

67AnneDC
Out 12, 2020, 10:52pm

Hi >63 norabelle414: Nora! It took me literally years to read it--I started it a couple of years ago full of resolve and then set it aside. When I restarted this time I belatedly realized I was rereading parts I had already read--a lot of battles that I already knew the outcomes of, for example. I am glad I read it and I'm glad I'm finished!

>64 PaulCranswick: Paul, I can't completely blame Tolstoy for not showing up here, since I was only reading a few pages a day until relatively recently, but sometimes I do struggle with the tradeoff between posting, and reading posts, versus reading actual books.

>65 LizzieD: Peggy, I didn't read W&P all in one month or I wouldn't have gotten to anything else. It's been my bedside table book for much of the pandemic. This is the first time I've read it although I've read many other Russian chunkster novels, some of them multiple times--it's always felt like a gap so I'm very pleased to have checked it off the bucket list.

>66 BLBera: No comments yet, Beth--soon. Caste was very thought-provoking and even more pointed than Warmth of Other Suns (which is a book I go around recommending to everyone.) It was interesting to read it in the same month as The Lies that Bind, about different ways we think about identity. (Creed, Country, Color, Class, Culture). Reading them together made me feel the Appiah book was crying out for a chapter on caste, especially since it would have fit in with the alliteration.

Getting dressed in real clothes: My director does these working-from-home survey to check in on how we are all doing. In a recent one one of the questions was "how many days a week to you get dressed in real clothes, not necessarily including shoes?" We decided this meant wearing something other than what you wore to bed.

I'm reading lighter stuff this month, so far--rediscovering some series that I haven't picked up and a while, and some favorite authors.

68BLBera
Out 14, 2020, 3:12pm

I've been surprised by my reading during the pandemic. During the summer, I would have expected that my reading increase, but it didn't. I am so happy to be back at school although the combination Zoom and in-person classes is exhausting. By the end of the week, I need a nap!

69PaulCranswick
Out 27, 2020, 11:06pm

I have also had a "seasonal" dip in reading. I don't really know why it always seems to happen at this time of year because we don't get four seasons here!

70LizzieD
Editado: Out 27, 2020, 11:50pm

Naps are good, Beth. That is all!
I must look more closely at Caste, Anne. Thank you for the nudge.

71PaulCranswick
Nov 6, 2020, 8:54pm

>70 LizzieD: Almost bought that one yesterday, Peggy, but I had better wait for the paperback!

72PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2020, 9:10pm



This Brit wishes to express his thanks for the warmth and friendship that has helped sustain him in this group, Anne.

73figsfromthistle
Nov 26, 2020, 9:13pm

Dropping in to say hello! I hope you are having a nice Thanksgiving.

74PaulCranswick
Dez 25, 2020, 1:00am



I hope you get some of those at least, Anne, as we all look forward to a better 2021.

75AnneDC
Jan 1, 3:52pm

Thank you Paul, o faithful visitor to my thread! I will try valiantly to keep up with you in 2021.

>73 figsfromthistle: Thank you for dropping by and I will hope to see you in the 2021 group.

Good riddance to 2020!!