LovingLit hits the books | thread 2

É uma continuação do tópico LovingLit hits the books ~ thread 1.

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2021

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LovingLit hits the books | thread 2

1LovingLit
Editado: Mar 13, 3:49pm


The world

2LovingLit
Editado: Jul 12, 1:00am

Books read in 2021
January
1. Plague 99 by Jean Ure YA
2. Radicalized by Cory Doctrow 4x novellas
3. The Spy who came in from the Cold by John le Carre audiobook
4. Sliver by Ira Levin
5. The End of the End of the Earth by Jonathan Franzen NF, essays

February
6. The Glass House by Eva Chase audiobook
7. Down all the Days by Christy Brown
8. Lowborn: Growing up, getting away and returning to Britain's Poorest Towns by Kerry Hudson NF
9. The South by Colm Tóibín audiobook (DNF)
10. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

March
11. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie audiobook (DNF)
12. How to Think about Weird Things NF
13. Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy by Serhii Plokhy NF, audiobook
14. The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf NF
15. Love you: Policy for intergenerational wellbeing by Girol Karacaoglu NF

April
16. White Teeth by Zadie Smith audiobook
17. Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez NF, audiobook
18. Precarity: Uncertain, Insecure, and Unequal lives in Aotearoa New Zealand Shiloh Groot et al (eds). NF
19. The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
20. Statistical by Anthony Reuben NF
21. Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss

May
22. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
23. Lea by Pascal Mercier audiobook (DNF)
24. Nothing to be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes NF
25. The Lives of Edie Pritchard by Larry Watson audiobook
25.5 Red Dress in Black and White by Elliot Ackerman (DNF)

June
26. Gods of Metal by Eric Schlosser NF
27. The Rings of Saturn by W. G. Sebald NF
28 First Person by Richard Flanagan audiobook
29. Bright Swallow: Making choices in Mao's China by Vivian Bi
30. Recollections of My Nonexistence: A Memoir by Rebecca Solnit NF, audiobook

3LovingLit
Editado: Ontem, 12:25am

July
31. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge verse
32. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson YA
33. The Good Terrorist by Doris Lessing audiobook
34. Levels of Life by Julian Barnes NF
35. Still counting : wellbeing, women’s work and policy-making by Marilyn Waring (BWB text...reread)
36. The Wine of Solitude by Irene Nemirovsky
37. Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl NF
38. The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin

4drneutron
Mar 13, 3:58pm

Happy new thread!

5LovingLit
Mar 13, 4:14pm

>4 drneutron: Thanks doc!

6quondame
Mar 13, 6:40pm

Happy new thread!

7PaulCranswick
Mar 13, 7:33pm

Happy new thread, Megan.

I do have to pose the question whether The Satanic Verses was qualitatively worth all the trouble it caused him?

8LovingLit
Editado: Jul 25, 6:29pm

Currently reading:


>6 quondame: thank you!

>7 PaulCranswick: I was getting drawn into the plot a little bit, and was interested in the good/bad themes, but when it came to listening (on my walks) I was very nonplussed at the thought of it. I was listening but not really hearing, if you know what I mean. And that is definitely not the case with the current audio! I am enthralled with the Chernobyl story (which is good, as it is encouraging my walks!!).

9weird_O
Mar 13, 9:12pm

Hello, Megan, oh good friend. Thanks for your several posts when I was (and still am) in some despair. Not disposed to scrolling through 200 to 300 posts, I'm endeavoring to hop into new threads as they are launched. So here I am.

I got the second vax yesterday, and on Tuesday, I'll be driving my daughter back to her home in Quincy, MA. About a 5 to 6 hour drive. I've never seen this apartment, so I'll spend a couple of days, then return to PA.

Working on a couple of short books.

10PersephonesLibrary
Mar 14, 9:06am

Happy new one, Megan! :D

11charl08
Mar 14, 9:17am

Happy new thread Megan. Hoping for some more beautiful shots of your tramps in beautiful NZ.

12LovingLit
Editado: Mar 14, 6:16pm

>9 weird_O: the long threads of doom can be imposing! Rest assured that I am totally cool with dippers-in, so far as thread visits go. Any comment on any part of the thread or any book (or any thing) is fine with me :)
I hope your drive goes well, and that your second vax renders you an iron-clad defence agains the dreaded Covid!

>10 PersephonesLibrary: Thanks :) I sometimes put off starting a new one as it feels like hard work transferring the stuff over, but really, I am incredibly light on the intro info, so I needn't worry at all!

>11 charl08: I have two small trips planned for the end of the month. One is an overnight away to a tiny cabin; we are getting that one in before daylight savings ends as the cabin has no electricity. Will be sure to post pics!

13FAMeulstee
Mar 14, 7:23pm

Happy new thread, Megan!

14ChelleBearss
Mar 15, 9:45am

Happy new thread!

15LovingLit
Mar 17, 3:13pm

>13 FAMeulstee: >14 ChelleBearss: Thanks guys!

RL book club was on again off again this week. Usually it's Monday every 4 weeks but last Monday when we confirmed it one person was all "Oh, today? I cant come, can we make it next week?"....no, someone else cant, so its the following Tuesday instead (which is this week). Come Monday this week someone is like, "can we have it tonight instead of tomorrow?"...everyone else says OK. Next minute it's an hour prior to start time and its called off. (One person was feeling off, and another's friend's mother had died the other day and she was feeling it.)

So. I am all about ready to blow my mind and just say "CANT WE ALL JUST MAKE A TIME AND STICK TO IT?".

Sheesh.

16johnsimpson
Mar 17, 5:44pm

Hi Megan my dear, happy new thread dear friend.

17LovingLit
Mar 18, 3:26am


I finished Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy by Serhii Plokhy...my first really good book of the year. Wow I enjoyed almost every minute of it :)

18AMQS
Mar 18, 9:02pm

Happy new thread! >17 LovingLit: seems daunting, but it has terrific reviews, including yours.

19LovingLit
Mar 18, 11:30pm

>18 AMQS: Hi Anne! I trust you are well? It isn't daunting, as it lays out all the facts in a very, factual way. It doesn't really dwell on the personal injury/loss aspects as much as it does the structural factors (administrative, political and social) that led to the disaster. It is very very informative, and extremely well written.

20AMQS
Mar 18, 11:45pm

>19 LovingLit: Thanks. I'll have to look for a copy.

I am well - getting stronger every day and doing PT for real. You'll get a kick out of this as you wind down your summer - we got 30 inches of snow last weekend!

21Berly
Mar 19, 1:38am

Happy new one!! I am hoping to get back in the LT swing of things. : )

22LovingLit
Editado: Mar 19, 3:58am

>20 AMQS: 30 inches! *mental calculation aided by Google* what!? That's over 76 cm!! I can barely fathom. We just had our last strawberries here (the last of the season, like the first, gets to live out its last minutes in my glass of bubbles). And our cherry tomatoes are probably as red as they're going to get.

>21 Berly: Hi Kimmers! ;)
Great to see you emerging from the fog of RL and all that entails. My RL doings of today follow.

I had a day off today (just one of the benefits of only having one part time job now) - I watched W compete at an inter-school police-style agility course thingy. His team got third, so although they missed out on a trip to Wellington to compete in the nationals, they won the prize of having the police come to school and cook a BBQ for the kids!

Then I collected 4 large tyres from across town for my brother, visited an old friend for coffee, and stopped in at a retro shop to try on fun 1960s and 1970s clothes. Too much cool stuff, so bought nothing aside from some gift tags and stickers. Yesterday after work however, I purchased two books....I couldn't decide which one would be for me and which one would be for my sister's birthday...


Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lodato, and The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson

And, did the final, final revisions for the now-accepted journal article. Phew. (Then the usual dinner, home stuff once the kids were home.)

23karenmarie
Mar 19, 6:01am

Happy new thread, Megan!

>1 LovingLit: I do love maps.

>15 LovingLit: How frustrating. When our book club meets (it’s been a year since we last met), we meet on the first Sunday of each month except for holiday months, when we push it a week. In 22 years we’ve only changed it one time. If you can come great, if you can’t, you’ve missed it. Of course there are 12 of us and we can usually scrounge up 5 or 6 at a minimum.

>22 LovingLit: Your day sounds like a lot of fun. I didn’t realize Bryson had a ‘new’ book out.

24msf59
Mar 19, 7:36am

Happy Weekend, Megan. Happy New Thread! We are starting to see a warm up here and I look forward to getting out for my birding jaunts whenever I can. And you have early fall weather, right?

25TylerStevenson
Mar 19, 7:54am

This user has been removed as spam.

26LovingLit
Mar 20, 1:24am

>23 karenmarie: I think we were doing that thing where we post on each other's thread at the same time again!
Book club woes continue, I am now in charge and after sending the message out only one has confirmed. If I ask everyone to confirm do I sound like a wannabe-CEO? lol

>24 msf59: I love the hopefulness of Spring :) We are starting to feel autumnal now, with leaves turning and the vege garden on its last legs!

27johnsimpson
Mar 20, 4:54pm

Hi Megan my dear, i hope you and the family are all well and hope you are having a good weekend. Sending love and hugs to you all from both of us dear friend.

28LovingLit
Mar 21, 2:31am

>16 johnsimpson: >27 johnsimpson: Hi JS, thanks for dropping by. A busy but rewarding weekend. Including standing around for 6 hours heating sausages on the BBQ to sell at a rugby league fundraiser. I am pooped.

29weird_O
Mar 21, 12:20pm

I am so glad that spring is arriving here.

30LovingLit
Mar 21, 4:25pm

>29 weird_O: we are having Spring-like temps here, so I guess its same/same for you/me a few weeks yet!

Today I walk.
I have downloaded White Teeth by Zadie Smith to walk with. This is partly to rectify the shocking absence of books from the female-authors-from-the-UK-called-Smith genre (also includes Ali).

31figsfromthistle
Mar 21, 5:53pm

Happy new one!

32PersephonesLibrary
Mar 22, 4:46am

I own books from your particular female-authors-from-the-UK-called-Smith list - but to be honest I haven't read anything yet.

... spring was here but has left us for a few more weeks...

33LovingLit
Mar 23, 12:50am

>31 figsfromthistle: progress!

>32 PersephonesLibrary: I own a few too! And I have been instructed by a fellow bookclub member to read On Beauty immediately (however, since I am already reading White Teeth, I cannot, in good conscience, do that). However, I can report that I am loving White Teeth!

34LovingLit
Mar 25, 12:23am

Work today. Extra hours have arrived, as promised, and I am apparently needed every available milli-second.That is rather a big ask, particularly for a people-pleaser like myself who may have in the past taken that as a literal request. I have managed to see it for what it is though, and am refraining from going back in in the evenings.
So, my bank balance may be fattened but so will my waistline from hours spent at work meaning fewer hours spent walking!

35LovingLit
Mar 28, 1:59am

Book purchases! Each was $4, and each is in great condition. :)
Me an my lovely other biked into town to a 2nd hand book sale and a pop-up food festival. Met a friend, had a cocktail (vodka, baileys, coffee liqueur, and a couple of shots of espresso), and hung out in the lovely autumn warmth.


Hot Milk by Deborah Levy (Booker shortlist), The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain, Salvador by Joan Didion, and, Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (Booker winner 2017)

36PersephonesLibrary
Mar 28, 5:44am

>35 LovingLit: Nice haul!! I could imagine to read every one of that! My March book buying/getting ban was spoiled right away so I postponed it to April. It's our Reading Month here anyway, so I will only read what I have already got. :) At least I try to convince myself of it!

37richardderus
Mar 28, 11:20am

I HAVEN'T LURKED SINCE THE 18TH?!? Wow...and woe.

HOORAY for the accepted journal article! And I see there've been some interesting additions to the TBR. Hot Milk has a great title!

*smooch*

38LovingLit
Mar 28, 10:25pm

>36 PersephonesLibrary: My eyes were bigger than my capacity to store OR to read the books I wanted. I also got one for my mum, Nomenclature of colours, since she is a maker and user of paints.

>37 richardderus: Glad to see you resume your lurking :)
I am pleased the article will go ahead. Funnily, this will be the second article authored by the same three authors in the same order. We were to be A, M, K, but the K of the trio bore the lions share of the re-writes so was bumped up the author order. So now we have an article A, K & M (2020) and one that is A, K & M (2021). Same same but different :)

39LovingLit
Editado: Abr 28, 2:22am

Easter holidays coincided with a significant birthday for my brother, so we headed south. There are SO MANY amazing photo opportunities, so I have had to be ruthless and select only 3.


The Arrow River this afternoon; an idyllic swimming hole (water very cold though), and picnic spot.


Mountain biking along by the Shotover River (Queenstown), Little Lenny, my niece and my brother.


And, a happy coincidence, my brother's 50th birthday :)

40PersephonesLibrary
Abr 5, 4:27am

>38 LovingLit: That's awesome!

>39 LovingLit: Wow, very cool pictures: The mountain biking one looks almost like a painting - perfect composition! :)
It looks like you had a lovely Easter Birthday bash!

41richardderus
Abr 5, 12:17pm

>39 LovingLit: The Shotover River shot (!) is the most perfect. They all look excellent from a content PoV!

Quite the age spread in your family. I'm ten years younger than my parents' oldest, too.

42FAMeulstee
Abr 5, 3:36pm

>39 LovingLit: Lovely pictures, Megan.
Little Lenny doesn't look that little between your niece and brother.

43LovingLit
Abr 6, 1:26am

>40 PersephonesLibrary: I love that one too! I had to lighten it up a bit as the foreground was a little dark. So the lightened product has ended up painting-like :)

>41 richardderus: We always have a wonderful time there, as my brother is an outdoor-head. He knows all the good sports to bike/walk/kayak/trek to. And is energetic enough to round up all the kids to go too...something I can sometimes not muster enough effort to do.

>42 FAMeulstee: Yeah, you are right, the kids are now not little any more! The cousins are aged between 9 and 14 these days.

44LovingLit
Abr 6, 2:31am

Just one more from the holiday long weekend...a view of my brother's property. I can't get enough of it!



45charl08
Abr 6, 4:54am

Love the sunshine in your pictures! Looks like a wonderful time was had by all.

46scaifea
Abr 6, 8:05am

>44 LovingLit: My gosh, that looks like a painting! Beautiful.

47karenmarie
Abr 6, 8:32am

Hi Megan!

>26 LovingLit: I hope your book club has finally met with more than just two of you.

>35 LovingLit: Nice to hear about your adventure, exciting to see the books you’ve chosen, especially Lincoln in the Bardo. It is one of the few books I’ve rated 5*. I’ve read it twice and listened to it once. I went down the Didion rabbit hole just now but instead of buying Salvador I bought Blue Nights.

>39 LovingLit: All three photos are wonderful, but that middle one of the Shotover River is a lighting marvel.

>44 LovingLit: Wow.

48richardderus
Abr 6, 10:45am

>44 LovingLit: what >46 scaifea: said! I thought it *was* a painting.

Have you read any of Octavia Cade's books? The Stone Wētā is a really good fall-into-winter cli-fi read.

49LovingLit
Abr 7, 4:27am

>45 charl08: the low light make photographing easy :)

>46 scaifea: It could do with being a little lighter, but it looks so inviting and warm, I am pretty happy with it being an accurate representation of the actual thing

>47 karenmarie: Lincoln in the Bardo looks to be a fairly unconventional format! I fear how I will go with it, but can safely anticipate at least a few months wait before it gets to the top of the tbr pile ;)

>48 richardderus: I haven't read The Stone Wētā, or even heard of it! But I do have this pic of little Lenny holding a dead one...will that do? lol

50EBT1002
Abr 9, 5:48pm

>22 LovingLit: Congrats on completing the final, final revisions for the journal article!!!

I'm glad you got to celebrate your brother's 50th in person -- and his property does indeed look lovely!

Have a wonderful weekend!

51richardderus
Abr 9, 7:58pm

>49 LovingLit: Ha! Cute image!

Now go read the book. *smooch*

52PaulCranswick
Abr 9, 10:32pm

>44 LovingLit: Lovely photo, Megan, as were the earlier Queenstown ones.

53LovingLit
Editado: Abr 11, 7:31pm

>50 EBT1002: There were so many final revisions, it was a miracle it even got anywhere. Yee ha for eventual publication!

>51 richardderus: Coincidentally, I was just at that little holiday house this weekend, and the last time I was there was when that picture was taken. Which was quite a few years ago, now that I look at the picture!!! This time I took W and his friend. Two x 12 year olds. And, boy, did they get silly :) It was fun.

>52 PaulCranswick: It's pretty easy to capture that kind of scenery in those parts. It's everywhere you turn.

54LovingLit
Abr 13, 6:00pm


BOOK 16
White Teeth by Zadie Smith

I timed my walk this morning perfectly to catch the last 48 minutes of this book on audio. I have been chipping away at this one for at almost a month - long as it is - and finally got there.

The story is sprawling, epic, and chokka-block with details. There is so much packed in and around the story, and I loved all of it. The sentences were imaginative and ingeniously constructed, and the plot was compelling. I guess the sheer length is potentially off-putting for some, but I was carried away by the whole thing.

I might come back later with some thoughts on a criticism of the book that its hyper-detialed plot line is self-indulgent (To which I would respond: huh? Ever heard of Philip Roth, Jonathan Franzen and Richard Ford??!? It seems it was alright for them.) But that's for later. For now I bask in its afterglow.


55BLBera
Abr 13, 11:42pm

Happy newish thread, Megan.

White Teeth is one of my favorites, and I've read it several times now. It holds up pretty well.

I love your photos!

56karenmarie
Abr 14, 8:56am

>49 LovingLit: Lincoln in the Bardo is a very unconventional format and doesn’t work for everybody. I loved it so much that I also bought the audiobook and then listened to it and followed along in the book a year and 7 months later for my RL book club.

57LovingLit
Abr 15, 1:12am

>55 BLBera: I just read an article discussing how the novel holds up 20 years on, and it was very interesting.

>56 karenmarie: I love that idea! reading along is such a multi-sensory experience. I must try that one day.

58ffortsa
Abr 17, 6:56pm

>57 LovingLit: Reading along with listening works really well for writing that has a decided accent, for instance, Irish novels that are technically written in English but have that Irish rhythm. I read Night Boat to Tangier that way and it was perfect.

59figsfromthistle
Abr 17, 9:05pm

>44 LovingLit: What a stunning view!

Hope you have a great weekend

60LovingLit
Abr 17, 9:06pm

>58 ffortsa: that makes a lot of sense. I have found that reading books where the 'voice' is colloquial can take some time to get used to. But reading and listening would be a great way around that.

61LovingLit
Editado: Abr 17, 9:23pm


BOOK 18
Precarity: Uncertain, Insecure, and Unequal lives in Aotearoa New Zealand edited by Shiloh Groot, Clifford van Ommen, Bridgette Masters-Awatere, and Natasha Tassell-Matamuia

This is a text with academic roots. Each chapter addresses an aspect of the precariousness that is increasingly characteristic of modern life. Chapters address the lived experience of people who are excluded from permanent employment, and those who are marginalised due to citizenship status, gender, race or poverty. It does what it says on the box, and describes and explores a whole raft of related issues.
It must be fate, as although I picked it up prior to being offered a small contract to do some analysis of interview transcripts for a social services provider here, it is super relevant. So, it has served as background reading for that, which is just as well, as I have a meeting tomorrow about progress!


62LovingLit
Editado: Abr 17, 9:25pm

>59 figsfromthistle: thanks! A big day yesterday for (not so) little Lenny. He had a pre-season mini tournament for rugby league. They played 5 short games, the first of which was in the cold cold rain. They did super well, winning 4 and drawing one, so ended up winning the tournament. And, to cap it off, he was awarded tackler of the tournament! (for his team...) He and his team were tired and happy kids yesterday afternoon.
Edited for spelling :)

63LovingLit
Editado: Abr 18, 5:17am

Currently on a bit of a reading bender:


The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin, Statistical: Ten Easy Ways to Avoid Being Misled By Numbers by Anthony Reuben, Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss, and, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

64FAMeulstee
Abr 18, 5:22am

>62 LovingLit: Congratulations to Lenny, his team winning the tounament AND being best tackler should make him happy!

65scaifea
Abr 18, 8:58am

Aw, yay for Lenny!! It sounds like he had a wonderful day!

66richardderus
Abr 18, 11:04am

>61 LovingLit: I love Serendipity, he's my favorite god.

>62 LovingLit: Yay Lenny!! (It sorta freaks me out that armful-of-Lenny of the time I met you here is now playing rugby, albeit youth rugby.)

>63 LovingLit: Such a great list of reads!

Happy Monday, hope the contract meeting is going well.

67BLBera
Abr 18, 11:26am

>62 LovingLit: Congrats on the tournament win and your star tackler.

68LovingLit
Abr 19, 4:58am

>64 FAMeulstee: It sure did. And a tired one the following day. Tonight, however, we were meant to re-instigate the 'normal' bedtime, so I best get on to that as it isn't happening on its own!

>65 scaifea: Whatever anyone says, it is fun to win something sometimes.

>66 richardderus: There's a chance I might be pulled into the writing team for the research project, so that is extra serendipitous. And simply just cool, cos the writing part is my favourite part (she says now, before any of the blood sweat tears and hair pulling has occurred).

>67 BLBera: Yay! It was fun to watch, although, I did start to get (too?) invested in the score nearer the end of the tournament.

69msf59
Editado: Abr 19, 7:27am

>39 LovingLit: >44 LovingLit: The photos are gorgeous! Such a beautiful setting.

I will have to do a reread of White Teeth. I remember being impressed with it but I do not remember anything else about it. It has probably been 20 years or close to it. I also had One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich on my radar at one point but it had fallen off. Maybe you can put it back on there.

70LovingLit
Abr 19, 3:35pm

>66 richardderus: Hi Mark! I am not sure I can put Ivan Denisovich back on your radar. Despite it being a very short book, it seems to be taking me months to read. I feel that at the time it was published it would have been revelatory, but is a little less so now.

71richardderus
Abr 19, 5:25pm

>70 LovingLit: Yep. A nonce-book, like a nonce-word; one that says something vital in its moment but is, in the final analysis, not a lasting and important part of The Culture; eg, "grok" from Stranger in a Strange Land was big for a minute in the later 60s and is now restricted to ubergeeks when they're discussing their profound grasp of a piece of software.

72quondame
Abr 19, 9:13pm

>71 richardderus: Ubergeek I still uses it to express the common phenomenon of someone not groking the essence of something.

73figsfromthistle
Editado: Abr 19, 9:52pm

Happy beginning of the week.

>63 LovingLit: I quite liked One Day in the Life. Enjoy!

74Berly
Abr 19, 11:04pm

>54 LovingLit:. I just found two Zadie Smith's that I haven't read yet in my bookshelves. On Beauty: A Novel and White Teeth!! So glad you liked the last one. Maybe I'll read that one first.

Love all your photos. SO glad you got to spend your bro's 50th with him in person, and yes, the views are lovely.

Congrats to Lenny!!

75LovingLit
Editado: Abr 20, 2:54am

>71 richardderus: I have never heard the word nonce before! You will be pleased to hear that I Googled the definition and that I now know a new word :)

>72 quondame: Uh oh, another new word.

>73 figsfromthistle: I wonder if one of my issues was that I didn't stay on course. I have let it sit for too long. That's it- my resolution is to complete it this week!

>74 Berly: I have On Beauty on by bedside table as well...and am under immense pressure from a bookclub buddy to read it asap. Want to do a read-along with me!?
And, yes, it was fab to see the half century in in person. Unfortunately not all the family was there due to some now longstanding tensions. Which sucks, but was the best thing on the day for a smooth experience for the birthday boy.

76LovingLit
Abr 20, 3:09am


BOOK 17
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez

My work colleague repeatedly recommended this to me, and frequently interrupted both our work to start up conversations about issues it raised. The conversations hooked me, so, naturally, I read it. And I am so glad I did.

Although the title is a fairly good representation of what to expect, I reckon the book is really more a feminist social history of (dum dum duuunm) the western world. All the points made do tie nicely back to the lack of research and consequent lack of data on women though. The complete and utter failure to consider the female as distinct to the male in so many fields was rather astounding. I mean, you can forgive the people of yore, but in the last few decades?? Puh-LEASE! It did rile me up from time to time, and now our mission is to get all our other colleagues to read it. (Seeing as we work with interpreting and representing data.)

So. Recommended? It sure is!

77SandDune
Abr 20, 4:57pm

>75 LovingLit: I think I ought to mention that the word ‘nonce’ means something completely different in casual British usage and can refer to a child molester. So I would hesitate to describe something as a ‘nonce-book’ myself, in case it was taken in completely the wrong context.

78LovingLit
Abr 20, 5:31pm

>77 SandDune: Yes, that is very useful to know. Thank you :) I think I shall play it safe and refrain from using it altogether!!

79BLBera
Abr 22, 7:32am

>76 LovingLit: This does sound fascinating.

80richardderus
Abr 22, 11:38am

>76 LovingLit: That's a very, very underreported subject. Like medicines being designed for and tested on men because women's bodies are just so complicated and besides they don't need as much medical care as men.

Or some such idiotic self-justification for laziness.

And as data is the oil of this century, women need to be included in the design and collation of its collection and use.

81LovingLit
Abr 22, 7:39pm

>79 BLBera: It was so so super interesting and engaging. Peppered with examples too, so that really brought it to life.

>80 richardderus: Yessireee. I was fascinated to learn that medical school training has barely caught on to the fact that females have *different things inside them* to the average male. Lol.

82cushlareads
Abr 22, 8:05pm

Hi Megan - I am back on here at at last and catching up (as usual). Lovely to see all your photos and read about the boys - wow, can't believe how big they are!! Hope school holidays are going well and uh, good luck on the earlier bedtime thing...

83karenmarie
Abr 23, 8:39am

Hi Megan!

>62 LovingLit: Congrats to Lenny.

>68 LovingLit: Whatever anyone says, it is fun to win something sometimes. Absolutely. My daughter’s soccer league (she was 6 at the time) decided that winning didn’t matter so they didn’t keep score. Every child on that field and every parent on the sidelines knew what the score was and when ‘our’ team won, we were ecstatic. Pfui about not winning.

>71 richardderus: RichardDear, I use frequently use grok and even though I was an ubergeek who wrote software in the day, now I apply it to anything that needs to be grokked.

>72 quondame: 👍

By the way, the Traveling LT book, Fup, given by you to nittnut, who gave it to me, is now winging its way to Scotland to a ROOTs friend Jackie_K. (yes, my name’s in the cover, too.)

84PaulCranswick
Abr 24, 8:30am

>71 richardderus: >75 LovingLit: & >77 SandDune: I am increasingly fascinated by the different use of words between North America and the Commonwealth countries (UK in particular due to personal experience) and Rhian is of course right that the description of a "nonce-book" to us Brits would be misinterpreted completely!

Have a lovely weekend.

85LovingLit
Editado: Abr 27, 3:17am

Books have been on the back burner this last few weeks, films have been at the forefront!
-What Maisie Knew (2012- omg so good)
-Laurel Canyon (Documentary about the California sound in its transition from folk to rock in the 1960s)
-The Truman Show (an oldie but a goodie, reminiscent of Sliver by Ira Levin in that it foresaw trends in voyeurism)
-Moon (Directed by Duncan Jones, son of David Bowie)
However, I have been loving a chance find that I grabbed from the library last weekend...Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss. It has a rather garish cover, but is a fun and easy read with a good story :) I snatched a cheeky 20 mins of reading on my bed in the late afternoon sun this very day (mwa ha ha).

>82 cushlareads: Ommigosh, hi Cushla! It is holidays, right!? You must have a tiny bit of time on your hands. I must come find your thread :)

>83 karenmarie: Happy to see Fop continue on to a new destination. I am sure it arrived in NZ in some American's suitcase.

>84 PaulCranswick: It could get people into some trouble, or at least some strange situations :)
When my ex was in Scotland (from Perth, Western Australia) and kept using the word "wee" (wee this, wee that) his friends thought he was hanging about with someone new, and wondered if he had broken it off with me...Australians are not used to using "wee" for something small.

86LovingLit
Maio 2, 9:32pm

Finally finished One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. A short but slightly tedious book in the end. Important in its day, and for posterity, just not one I was overly enamoured with.

Now, back to Red Dress in Black and White! Which attracted my attention on account of its lovely cover (how fickle I am).


87johnsimpson
Maio 3, 3:40pm

Hi Megan my dear, hope all is well with you and the family and that you had a good weekend.

We are both fine and are waiting expectantly for Amy to give birth to their first child and our second Grandchild, Amy's due date was last Thursday and so far no sign of he or she yet, i think it feels nice and comfy where it is and it will appear when it is good and ready, lol.

Sending love and hugs to you and the family from both of us dear friend.

88richardderus
Maio 3, 6:07pm

I, too, loved What Maisie Knew in its 2012 filmed form. Alexander Skarsgard was terrific. I also very much liked the first three-quarters of the book.

It must feel like being released from boulder duty, Sisyphus, to be done with Denisovich.

89LovingLit
Maio 4, 2:52am

>87 johnsimpson: good luck for your impending grandfatherhood (2nd time round), such an exciting time.

>88 richardderus: I always feel I am cheating on the book if I see the movie first (or only!). Ivan Denisovich is, gladly, now but a memory. I am on to a Julian Barnes treatise on death, called Nothing to be Frightened of. Tis a lovely jaunt towards death, with many literary and other creative musings.

90richardderus
Maio 4, 1:22pm

>89 LovingLit: Oh, you *are* on a delicious grimdark bender, aren't you. ::side-eye:: what are you studying?!

91LovingLit
Maio 4, 5:16pm

>90 richardderus: haha. Let's just say I identify as a melancholic.

92LovingLit
Maio 4, 5:20pm

Meanwhile I am tasked with high school applications for the elder of my babies. :(
It's not that I don't want him to grow up, it's just that I don't want him to not be at the local primary school, where he and his friends use this (our house) as a home base, coming and going in small, changeable groups, between our and other's nearby homes.
Also, applying is a drag as I can't stand admin (or uncertainty).

93LovingLit
Editado: Maio 5, 4:44am

To add to >92 LovingLit:, above, here is what I am 'Currently reading'.
In truth, I am actively only reading the first five. The last ones were started in 2018 or 2019. One of them is lost (I think my dad has it), two I intend to carry on with, and two I just can't face, so will probably abandon at some point.



94charl08
Maio 5, 4:51am

>93 LovingLit: I break my "currently reading" down like this too.

Wondering which ones you can't face...

95charl08
Maio 5, 4:53am

ETA and High School - wow, big changes ahead. Hope the admin is not too time /soul consuming.

96karenmarie
Maio 5, 7:53am

Hi Megan!

>92 LovingLit: High school applications? Plural? You have a choice or they have to choose you? Enquiring minds.

97richardderus
Maio 5, 12:48pm

HIGH SCHOOL!!!!

nnnnoooooooooooo

98London_StJ
Maio 5, 7:56pm

>92 LovingLit: Aahhh! Totally wild.

99LovingLit
Maio 6, 11:06pm

>94 charl08: >95 charl08: I can't face The Dispossessed or The Temple of the Golden Pavillion :(
And, I know! Humph. He's convinced the local one is no good, and as that is the only one we are guaranteed entry into, it presents an issue. So, I will apply for a few other nearby ones, and let fate help our decision.

>96 karenmarie: Yes, there are several in our area, but we are only zoned for one. (every home in NZ is zoned for one public high school which they are guaranteed attendance.) But, son #1 feels the teachers there are "corrupt" and the students there all "smoke drugs". So, although I highly doubt this is the case, we are going ahead and applying at a few places. As we are out of zone for them, however, I doubt we will get in.

>97 richardderus: I knooooooooow! (right?)

>98 London_StJ: Babies grow into adolescents, it seems. You too know this :)

100quondame
Maio 7, 12:15am

>99 LovingLit: Not sure what you find offputting about The Dispossessed, it happens to be my favorite LeGuin SF. She's such a good writer that the characters and plot carry the burden of it's issues quite competently and don't require the reader to labor.

101LovingLit
Maio 7, 7:34am

>100 quondame: in honesty, it was more the case that SF is not my genre. I was attempting to broaden my horizons, and (as usual) it hasn't worked out. Dang it.

102PersephonesLibrary
Maio 9, 3:58pm

Hi Megan, sounds like exciting and busy times ahead! Fingers crossed that your son can attend the highschool he wants! Have a lovely start of the week!

103LovingLit
Maio 10, 4:48am

>102 PersephonesLibrary: we'll see in a few months! It's nowhere near as competitive as in other countries, but, due to issues like "white flight" where middle/upper middle class parents eschew their local school for a "better" one in a richer area, sometimes the local schools are left with fewer resources and fewer parents who are willing to push for better at schools, and this can lead to a downward spiral for certain schools.
Also, my city has a real snobbery problem with secondary education. The first or second question someone asks when they meet you is what school you went to, and you are judged on your answer! All but one of my kids' cousins go to private secondary schools and not only can't we afford one, we actively want to support the local one.

104London_StJ
Maio 10, 4:49pm

>99 LovingLit: I do indeed. My oldest is now larger than me in every way, and I find it delightful. I hope he grows into a gosh darn giant, especially because he has such a big heart already.

105scaifea
Maio 11, 7:37am

>99 LovingLit: >104 London_StJ: Mine already *is* a gentle giant. He's taller than both me *and* Tomm, and his voice is comically deep. And he's 12. Adorable.

106LovingLit
Maio 16, 7:37pm

>104 London_StJ: >105 scaifea: Good men they soon will be!

Meanwhile I have had a hectic weekend of a friend's graduation, the boys' rugby league, and volunteer work at the inaugural architecture festival here in my home city (where I was guiding small behind-the-scenes tours at the Arts Centre, a collection of lovely old buildings only recently reopened since being earthquake damaged *ten* years ago).

Also, I am reading way too many books and cannot keep up!

107richardderus
Maio 16, 8:50pm

Happy new week's reads!

108LovingLit
Maio 17, 4:17pm

>107 richardderus: which are The Lives of Edie Pritchard by Larry Watson (on audio) and The Rings of Saturn by W. G. Sebald. Finally a couple I can get stuck in to!

109richardderus
Maio 17, 6:04pm

>108 LovingLit: Good reading indeed! Enjoy.

110LovingLit
Maio 17, 11:53pm

>109 richardderus: Although I am nearly finished the Julian Barnes, the rest in >93 LovingLit: haven't really grabbed me (yet). And, due to not having a suitable audiobook (I abandoned Lea by Pascal Mercier after 90 minutes of boredom to the point of pain), I hadn't been doing my walks, so have been suffering!!!

111LovingLit
Editado: Maio 18, 12:28am

List of Nobel Prize for Literature winners:
(the writers I have read are in bold, with the books of theirs I have read following)

1901 Sully Prudhomme
1902 Theodor Mommsen
1903 Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
1904 Frédéric Mistral
1904 José Echegaray y Eizaguirre
1905 Henryk Sienkiewicz
1906 Giosuè Carducci
1907 Rudyard Kipling
1908 Rudolf Christoph Eucken
1909 Selma Lagerlöf
1910 Paul Heyse
1911 Maurice Maeterlinck
1912 Gerhart Hauptmann
1913 Rabindranath Tagore
1915 Romain Rolland
1916 Verner von Heidenstam
1917 Karl Adolph Gjellerup
1917 Henrik Pontoppidan
1919 Carl Spitteler
1920 Knut Hamsun
1921 Anatole France
1922 Jacinto Benavente
1923 William Butler Yeats
1924 Władysław Reymont
1925 George Bernard Shaw
1926 Grazia Deledda
1927 Henri Bergson
1928 Sigrid Undset
1929 Thomas Mann
1930 Sinclair Lewis
1931 Erik Axel Karlfeldt
1932 John Galsworthy
1933 Ivan Boenin
1934 Luigi Pirandello
1936 Eugene O'Neill
1937 Roger Martin du Gard
1938 Pearl S. Buck (The Good Earth)
1939 Frans Eemil Sillanpää
1944 Johannes Vilhelm Jensen
1945 Gabriela Mistral
1946 Hermann Hesse (Knulp: Three Tales from the Life of Knulp, Beneath the Wheel, and Siddhartha))
1947 André Gide
1948 T.S. Elliot
1949 William Faulkner (As I Lay Dying)
1950 Bertrand Russell
1951 Pär Lagerkvist
1952 François Mauriac
1953 Sir Winston Churchill
1954 Ernest Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea, A Farewell to Arms)
1955 Halldór Laxness
1956 Juan Ramón Jiménez
1957 Albert Camus (The Plague, The Stranger, The Adulterous Woman)
1958 Boris Pasternak
1959 Salvatore Quasimodo
1960 Saint-John Perse
1961 Ivo Andrić
1962 John Steinbeck (so many, but not East of Eden or The Grapes of Wrath!)
1963 Giorgos Seferis
1964 Jean-Paul Sartre
1965 Michail Sjolochov
1966 Sjmoeël Joseef Agnon
1966 Nelly Sachs
1967 Miguel Ángel Asturias
1968 Yasunari Kawabata
1969 Samuel Beckett
1970 Aleksandr Solzjenitsyn (A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich)
1971 Pablo Neruda
1972 Heinrich Böll
1973 Patrick White (The Vivisector)
1974 Eyvind Johnson
1974 Harry Martinson
1975 Eugenio Montale
1976 Saul Bellow (Ravelstein, Herzog)
1977 Vincente Aleixandre
1978 Isaac Bashevis Singer
1979 Odysseas Elytis
1980 Czesław Miłosz
1981 Elias Canetti
1982 Gabriel Garciá Márquez (Clandestine in Chile: The Adventures of Miguel Littin)
1983 William Golding (Rites of Passage, Pincher Martin, Lord of the Flies)
1984 Jaroslav Seifert
1985 Claude Simon
1986 Wole Soyinka
1987 Joseph Brodsky
1988 Nagieb Mahfoez (Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth A Novel)
1989 Camilo José Cela
1990 Octavio Paz
1991 Nadine Gordimer (Telling Tales, The Conservationist, July's People)
1992 Derek Walcott
1993 Toni Morrison (Jazz, Sula, Home)
1994 Kenzaburo Oë
1995 Seamus Heaney (Human Chain)
1996 Wisława Szymborska
1997 Dario Fo
1998 José Saramago (Blindness)
1999 Günter Grass
2000 Gao Xingjian (Soul Mountain, One Man's Bible)
2001 V.S. Naipaul
2002 Imre Kertész
2003 John Maxwell Coetzee (Disgrace: A Novel)
2004 Elfriede Jelinek (The Piano Teacher)
2005 Harold Pinter
2006 Orhan Pamuk
2007 Doris Lessing (The Fifth Child, Ben in the World)
2008 J.M.G. Le Clézio
2009 Herta Müller
2010 Mario Vargas Llosa
2011 Tomas Tranströmer
2012 Mo Yan
2013 Alice Munro
2014 Patrick Modiano
2015 Svetlana Alexievich (Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets)
2016 Bob Dylan
2017 Kazuo Ishiguro (An Artist of the Floating World, The Buried Giant)
2018 Olga Tokarczuk
2019 Peter Handke
2020 Louise Glück

112FAMeulstee
Maio 18, 10:04am

>111 LovingLit: We have some writers in common on this list, Meg.
I haven't read Saul Bellow, athough we have many on the shelves. Not sure yet where to start with him.

113LovingLit
Maio 18, 4:43pm

>112 FAMeulstee: I was surprised to see that I had not read some of the bigger names, Alice Munro, V.S. Naipaul, Gunter Grass.....I still have some big reads to get under my belt! (thank goodness, right?)

--------------

The other day I advised my lovely other that we really must slow down our discretionary spending, and then I bought this:

Stranger Shores by (Novel Prize for Literature winer) J. M. Coetzee.
Oops.

114FAMeulstee
Maio 18, 4:50pm

>113 LovingLit: Right, Meg, no books left TBR would be a true disaster! Glad I know that would never happen ;-)

115LovingLit
Maio 18, 4:51pm

>114 FAMeulstee: it is a pretty good position to be in, yes :) My tbr pile is an exciting prospect! So glad I have added yet another to it just the other day. Haha.

116richardderus
Maio 18, 6:34pm

>115 LovingLit: ...specially delighted to have done so after saying "gotta slow the outflow," of course....

117LovingLit
Maio 18, 8:47pm

>116 richardderus: heh, too true :)

118LovingLit
Maio 23, 2:23am

Yesterday I walked almost 9,000 steps to and around the rugby league fields, supporting the boys at their games and helping out with Club Day (and keeping tabs on other people's kids).
Phew! Good exercise, and good games to watch, and (not-so-Little) Lenny was awarded Tackler of the Day again for the second time in 4 games.
No reading whatsoever though.
*sad face*

119PaulCranswick
Maio 23, 2:52am

>111 LovingLit: I have managed something by 72 of the 117 Laureates, Meg and have work by 14 more on the shelves in Malaysia. Conceivably I may pass 80 this year.

From your list the only one I haven't read yet is Patrick White though I do have a few on the shelves.

>118 LovingLit: I would have thought that Lenny was strong in the tackle - he looks like a tough little fellow!

120LovingLit
Maio 23, 4:05am

>119 PaulCranswick: Lenny is strong in the tackle, you are right! lol. His 'rip-shit-and-bust' demeanour sees him well on the field.
Meanwhile, last weekend his fearless brother received the unprecedented honour of being awarded both of the two awards on offer per game: Player of the Day *and* Tackler of the Day! I have absolutely no idea where they get their energy from, as I prefer to sit and read all day.

121roundballnz
Maio 23, 4:25am

Popping a star as i crawl from under my rock ( non reading mojo rock) ......

122LovingLit
Editado: Maio 23, 5:07am

>121 roundballnz: Not reading huh? What happened to that stack of library books??

In other news, here is me last weekend paying attention to our guide showing us some architectural features so that we were able to guide other people during the architecture festival. I am wearing the spotty shirt and the cool sunglasses (towards the right).



123PaulCranswick
Maio 23, 5:59am

>120 LovingLit: Way to go the pair of them!

>121 roundballnz: An Alex sighting!

>122 LovingLit: A Megan sighting!

124scaifea
Maio 23, 8:45am

>122 LovingLit: I searched the photo for you before I read your intro for it and knew right away that that must be you: the cool one with the cool glasses!

125richardderus
Maio 23, 10:00am

>122 LovingLit: You do indeed look absorbed.

Lovely week's reads, Megan!

126LovingLit
Maio 23, 6:47pm

>123 PaulCranswick: he he. It's all happening here Paul!

>124 scaifea: I love my cool glasses, they have a graduated lens that makes everything warm and orange to the top half, and then warm yellowish towards the bottom half. It makes it seem sunny every day!

>125 richardderus: You can take well-behaved student out of the classroom, but you can never remove the well-behavedness from the student. Or something.

127roundballnz
Maio 24, 4:14am

>122 LovingLit: ah that would be the last 12 months or so of not much reading thing ... recent library haul proves that has ended ....😎🤓

very absorbed .....

128LovingLit
Maio 25, 6:35am

>127 roundballnz: well that is a relief then ;)
Me though, I have been oscillating between days when I read like a trojan, and *entire days* going without. Sheesh, where is the balance?

129LovingLit
Editado: Maio 27, 4:52am

Ommigosh. Is it possible to be tired on behalf of your child(ren)? Little Lenny had school rugby today, then after school basketball then trained with a friend's team for rugby league. Three lots of sport in one day? Sheesh.

Or maybe it's me that's tired: I worked 8am -2pm, went for a speed walk (to exercise out the work frustrations- don't ask *sigh*), took W and a friend of his to a high school open day, cooked dinner, took said dinner to a pot luck dinner around the corner, and am now home (nearly 9pm).
OK, we're all pooped!
Good night :)

130scaifea
Maio 27, 8:40am

>129 LovingLit: Well, I'm certainly tired on Lenny's and your behalf (behalves?)!

131roundballnz
Maio 28, 12:36am

>129 LovingLit: Wait W is starting High school soon ( i.e. next year??) how did that happen ...😎

132BekkaJo
Maio 28, 5:20am

>129 LovingLit: I'll just have a snooze here....

Feel your fatigue - with things opening up again, there is so much going on and I've got out of the habit. Plus finding being back in the office exhausting. Ah well - half term next week and I'm off for once - at least till Friday anyway.

133LovingLit
Maio 28, 7:29am

>130 scaifea: thanks- it behooves me to appreciate your behalved tiredness ;)
(too far? never)

>131 roundballnz: Yes, it is true. Although he has been behaving as a teenager for a few years now, he will actually be one this year.

>132 BekkaJo: We are always open here, so do not have that excuse (happily). I forget from time to time the hideousness of it all for other countries! I am glad you are out and about again.

134LovingLit
Editado: Maio 28, 7:40am

Books...well, let's just say I've been watching films :)
Nomadland (wow- that is a slow burner, in all the fabulous ways that Frances McDormand films are)
Silence of the Lambs (mostly on mute so as not to be scared)
The Pianist (mostly on mute so as not to be traumatised)
But- I bought a book at a gig I was just at: Nadia Reid's collected lyrics 2015-2020. She is a wonderful melancholic folk singer, and I was in the front row tonight (see pic below!). The venue is one of the theatres in the recently re-opended-after-earthquake-repairs Town Hall, the same venue where I saw Rufus Wainright play.
At the merchandise stand there was a small book of her lyrics, so I bought that and shall report back about the contents. I can report that the gig was just amazing, what a voice (google her and see).


135scaifea
Maio 28, 8:24am

>133 LovingLit: Never *ever* too far. Never.

136karenmarie
Maio 28, 8:28am

Hi Megan.

>122 LovingLit: I love the pic. Your spotty shirt and way cool sunglasses are the reason, of course.

>129 LovingLit: I’m exhausted just reading about your exhausting day.

>134 LovingLit: I have Nomadland on my shelves and want to read it before seeing the movie, although Frances McDormand is always stunning.

137richardderus
Maio 28, 6:34pm

>134 LovingLit: There was a book involved. That means all is well.

*smooch*

138LovingLit
Editado: Maio 30, 2:39am

>135 scaifea: I agree! Word play is what it's all about.

>136 karenmarie: My way cool sunglasses were a way cool $10, secondhand. Very pleased with them, I was :)

>137 richardderus: Yes the involvement of a book was the icing on the cake. I haven't read it yet but need to by tomorrow if I want to include it on my May stats.

And today we have rain. Rain rain rain.
The districts to the south of my city have been declared to be in a state of Civid Defence Emergency. We are at very little risk here thankfully, so are just watching films, roasting dinner, and chilling out. Oh, and the kids have been skim-boarding on the back lawn which is 2 inches under water :)
Eta: we have a state of emergency here too now, and school is closed tomorrow, dangit.

139richardderus
Maio 30, 12:56pm

>138 LovingLit: Autumn-into-Winter rains are a bit heavier than my Spring-into-Summer ones, apparently. And gratefully on my part...but I'm sad to learn of the school cancellation. Disrupts everyone's day, the kids included.

Better week ahead!

140LovingLit
Maio 31, 12:04am

>139 richardderus: The sting was taken out of the school closure by my lovely other staying home with the kids while I went into work this morning...I waited til it was light though as wanted to make sure I was driving on road and not lake!
And not that I am home again, the surface flooding has made it fun this afternoon for us to wander the neighbourhood, pretty exciting to see the road completely under in parts, and the cars taking turns to pass over in the middle (where the centre line 'ridge' makes the water there the shallowest).

Lenny wanted to swim in it where the stream in the reserve had merged with flood water collecting in the large swale (designed for just such a purpose). I encouraged him not to...gawd only knows what manner of faecal matter is in the flood water!

141FAMeulstee
Maio 31, 7:42am

I thought of you when I saw the flooding at the news, Megan. Glad to know you are safe for now.
Hoping the water goes back to more normal level soon.

142msf59
Maio 31, 7:53am

Hi, Megan. I am a big fan of all the recent films you saw but I kept the volume turned up on all three.

Sorry to hear about all the rain and flooding. Has any of that, effected your immediate area?

143LovingLit
Jun 1, 6:30am

>141 FAMeulstee: you saw our flooding in the news? Wow, I am amazed. The rain having stopped as forecast, the waters have receded. Pretty much back to normal for us, apart from the adverse weather forcing the cancellation of last weekends and this weekends planned trips away (MEGA SAD FACE).

Last weekend's due to not being sure if we would have been able to get back (we wouldn't have) and this weekend's due to the access road (to a friend's family farm with A WOOD FIRE SPA POOL) being washed out in places. As I said, *mega sad face*.

>142 msf59: Wow I am impressed that you can handle the drama of those films. I am a terrible sook when it comes to thrillers, suspense or awful things happening to people. So I tend to avoid traumatising films :) But some classics you just have to watch, even if the sound is off half the time!

144charl08
Jun 1, 7:54am

Sorry to read about the flooding and the cancelled plans. Hopefully there will be rescheduling in the near future?

145weird_O
Jun 1, 9:38am

Only been 2 1/2 months since I've visited your thread, Megan. But I did scroll through the entirety of what I missed. All good stuff.

146richardderus
Jun 1, 9:29pm

>143 LovingLit: Oh dreck! That's really barftastic news. I'm so sorry.

...wood fired spa...*sob*

147LovingLit
Jun 2, 2:17am

>144 charl08: trying to reschedule for Spring...so all is not lost.

>145 weird_O: Aw, cheers, Bill! Two and a half months huh? That's a while. I hope you're doing OK, I must come over to visit your thread!!

>146 richardderus: Barftastic!! I love it :) Yes, it is. I know there's plenty more crappy things that could go wrong, so I will chalk this one up to "ah well". ;)

148LovingLit
Editado: Jun 3, 7:27am

Abandoned book

Red Dress in Black and White by Elliot Ackerman (DNF)

I got all the way to page 79, when the following phrase ended it for me: "They sat out on a pine-board-slatted terrace painted white."
Is the pine-board painted white? They why does it matter that it is pine underneath? If the pine-board isn't painted white then what is? Then, soon after, I got angry at another sentence describing in depth (for no particular gain) how the retro arcade game Space Invaders goes. That's it, I'm done.

I am so harsh these days. I think it's a consequence of giving too many books the benefit of the doubt, and reading on til the end when I really should have abandoned earlier; so, here we are.

An aside: Aaah, beautiful book covers, when will you stop tempting me!

149richardderus
Jun 3, 10:07pm

>148 LovingLit: Oh dear. You must've swallowed a good chunk of bile from it already. That sentence doesn't even make me think about it...just sorta *is*, y'know?

I love that title, too. Ah well, they can't all be winners, can they.

150LovingLit
Jun 4, 9:48pm

>149 richardderus: Although I hate to give up on a book, I am now getting really good at it!!

151LovingLit
Editado: Jun 5, 9:24pm


BOOK 26
Gods of Metal by Eric Schlosser NF

This short little number explores the acts of religiously motivated, non-violent activism carried out under the banner of the Plowshare Movement. But really it is about the vulnerability of the US nuclear weapons arsenal. It makes me want to read Command and Control as well.



152LovingLit
Jun 10, 8:26pm

Oooh, a new author for me, and a Booker Prize-winner at that! Richard Flanagan's First Person. It's on audio, and is encouraging me on my at-least-twice-weekly walks :)

153Berly
Jun 12, 11:27pm

>75 LovingLit: Well, thanks for the invite to do a shared read back in April. Except for that fact that that I fell off the LT planet, it would have been great!! LOL . Sorry I missed it.

Sounds like you and the boys have been more than busy! And you had to deal with a flood. Sorry. Good for you on the walks--I am trying to fit that in, too. I just tried in-person TKD this week--man am I out of shape! LOL.

Sending hugs.

154LovingLit
Jun 13, 6:35am

>153 Berly: Oh yeah, the suggested shared read...what was it again? lol. I have as bad a memory as I do consistent LT patronage!

155msf59
Jun 13, 7:44am

Hi, Meagan. I am glad you are enjoying First Person. I had not been familiar with that title but I highly recommend The Narrow Road to the Deep North, if you can ever track it down.

156richardderus
Jun 13, 12:23pm

Howdy do, Miss Lady ma'am. Happy to see you out and about a bit.

157LovingLit
Jun 13, 4:50pm

>155 msf59: It took me a little while to get hooked, but I am definitely hooked now. It is subtly clever, and I can really feel the plot building.
I do plan to read The Narrow Road to the Deep North, and, as I already own it, can start any time...which means I will probably wait another few years ;)

>156 richardderus: I am in and about today...working from home on a wee side hustle doing contract research write-up for an NGO. Feels pretty good as this is my sweet spot for paid work....but, the glitch is that (as usual) it is low pay. *le sigh* The story of my life.

158karenmarie
Jun 14, 8:30am

Hi Megan.

>148 LovingLit: I’m smiling at what made you abandon the book and agree that some things are just ridiculous and should never have made it past an editor.

I abandon books regularly. Some because they’re not worth it, but some simply because it isn’t the right time.

>152 LovingLit: And onto the wish list it goes.

159LovingLit
Jun 16, 5:22pm

>158 karenmarie: First Person is very interesting to read while I try to meet my own writing deadline...it is literally about a writer trying to meet a deadline!

160LovingLit
Editado: Jun 19, 5:40am


BOOK 28
First Person by Richard Flanagan (on audio)

My first Flanagan, and I am a convert. The story is of a ghost writer and a job he cannot refuse, of the frustrations of dealing with a subject who refuses to be 'dealt with' (Heidl), and the actual plot, which rages on throughout.
The treatment of Heidl is superb. In reading of him, I myself shuddered at the mere thought of having to interact with his like - in any context. The man was rendered so completely, and so completely well, that this alone (as a character study) is worth of the 5-star rating. The story came in long, drawn out sections in which you can savour the language and feel the feels, and then was more quickly paced and plot-driven. It was all pretty marvellous really, and I was convinced of this from not that far in.


(ETA: Half star deducted for overuse of the word 'conspiratorial' and descriptions of a 38-week pregnant-with-twins woman who needed assistance to turn over in bed, AND was in care of a toddler, as 'content/glowing/happy').

I actually posted a review! Go me!

161richardderus
Jun 19, 12:44pm

>160 LovingLit: descriptions of a 38-week pregnant-with-twins woman who needed assistance to turn over in bed, AND was in care of a toddler, as 'content/glowing/happy'

LOLOL
don't imagine he's ever met a 38-weeks-pregnant person

162LovingLit
Jun 19, 5:00pm

>161 richardderus: I'll admit to letting off an audible scoff when I read that part. Even though I have heard of content/glowing/happy pregnant women, I was not one of them, and I didn't even have two in there! Hehe.

163quondame
Jun 19, 5:25pm

>162 LovingLit: I did experience a stunningly calmer mindset for 4-5mo of my first pregnancy - and if that baby hadn't been stillborn and a second pregnancy might well have been similar. We couldn't help but worry through my last pregnancy. Fortunately we got Becky and a different set of worries.

164richardderus
Jun 19, 6:19pm

>163 quondame:, >162 LovingLit: Completely agree that it's possible to be content and glowy the first 30 weeks.

Possible.

After 32 weeks, nuh-uh. I've never seen it (two women pregnant by me; sisters/stepsisters by the cartload all pregnant at least twice apiece; lots and lots of experience IMO) and I think people who say they have are lying through their teeth w/a major agenda of some freaky sort.

165LovingLit
Jun 20, 3:08am

>163 quondame: I can totally see how you wouldn't be able to transfer that calm demeanour to your second pregnancy. I'm sorry you had to go through that. I was never the glowing pregnant expectant mother...indigestion, fear of miscarriage (from having experienced a few), dog-tiredness, big lumbering bodily-ness....lol.

>164 richardderus: hehe, yeah, that qualifies you for an opinion. I learned about toxic positivity the other day....I know a few who, in pregnancy, would negate all the difficulties of it by *constantly* talking about how blessed they were. I bet they now have "live laugh love" t-shirts lol

166SandDune
Jun 20, 4:35am

>160 LovingLit: The only thing I’ve tried to read by Richard Flanagan is Gould’s Book of Fish which was a ‘Did Not Finish’ for me, which is pretty unusual. Can’t remember why I hated it, but I did. Mr SandDune was very impressed by The Narrow Road to the Deep North but I haven’t read that one.

I actually remember feeling OK after 32 weeks ... I felt lousy early pregnancy with bad morning sickness, but I finished work 7 weeks before the due date and while I’d been feeling very tired at work, once I’d stopped I felt really good for several weeks. But then I had no child at home and was able to swan around taking little rests whenever I wanted. But the last three weeks were dreadful (Jacob was 2 weeks late) and I really felt like a beached whale.

167LovingLit
Jun 20, 6:05am

>166 SandDune: oh my goodness, morning sickness, I forgot to even mention morning sickness in my list of pregnancy-related irritations. (Or, should I call it all-day sickness...) lol- motherhood huh? It's a privilege and a trial.

168richardderus
Jun 20, 9:57am

>165 LovingLit: Oh my gawd yes...positive talk as a way to avoid heading yourself into The Abyss, while I get that it's very helpful *to*you* is a gigantic PITA to those around you. How long they tolerate it is a sign of how deeply they love you.

169quondame
Editado: Jun 20, 11:35pm

>165 LovingLit: As an adult I always suffered from anxiety with more than a dash of bipolar. Pregnancy totally rewrote my emotional interior and allowed me to brush off stress in complete knowledge that I was busy with something more important. My boss would insist that 3 things had-to-be-done, I'd look back and say, pick 2. If he didn't, I'd just work on what I preferred. Of course I was working the tail end of a project that wouldn't exist by the time I expected to be off maternity leave. It turned out that the prototype I whipped together sweetened the "customer" i.e. a govt. branch, enough that I was able to rejoin the reconstituted group for their next endeavor with a lot of good will.

Of course the next time I went through the pre-birth classes I was a wee bit impatient with all the other expectant moms who wanted this time to be perfect. When the question of what we would like different this time cycled around to me "a living child" wasn't what they were expecting.

170LovingLit
Jun 21, 5:54am

>168 richardderus: positive talk is all good, if it's supportive. But I found with this person it was more moralistic than that...'you should be grateful for what you have' etc. Which really only serves to undermine your feelings and make you feel worse! Sheesh, thank goodness that time/person is in the past!

>169 quondame: omg, I can't even imagine. Perspective is sometimes hard earned. I do love your story about 'owning' your pregnancy though, and that translating into pure confidence with your boss. Whenever I have felt 'bolshy' with my boss, all I have ever achieved is what is really just a basic entitlement for an employee. I am not very good at standing up for myself.

171LovingLit
Jun 23, 10:49pm

Deadline met, writing received well. New deadline issued for new piece of writing (currently in progress). But tonight I am allowed a pass-out to go to a friend's exhibition opening. He does collages which mostly include dolls faces. I am excited :)

172roundballnz
Jun 24, 1:07am

see you have discovered Richard Flanagan .... can be problematic as you have found - oops 😎

currently seem to be bingeing on Carlo Rovelli audio books

173charl08
Jun 24, 8:22am

>171 LovingLit: Sounds good Megan. I've just booked to go see a gallery - first time in months. I can't wait.

174richardderus
Jun 24, 2:26pm

>171 LovingLit: ...which mostly include dolls faces. I am excited :)

...I'll just be over here on the other side of the planet having heebie-jeebies and collywobbles and nightmares...

175jnwelch
Jun 26, 5:00pm

Hi, Megan. I thought The Narrow Road to the Deep Northwas terrific. I haven’t read any other Richard Flanagan books, and you’re making me think I should fix that.

176LovingLit
Jun 26, 10:00pm

>172 roundballnz: Indeed! I am sold. Luckily I have a few up my sleeve for my next Flanagan

>173 charl08: Gallery might be a tad of a stretch. It is a small side room attached to a music venue. Still, there as art, so by definition, I guess it's all good ;)

>174 richardderus: You go ahead and heebie-jeebie. I feel your pain. Dolls sure are a good source of the heebie-jeebies. (Think Chuckie from Child's Play...*shudder*)

>175 jnwelch: I wondered whether The Narrow Road to the Deep North would be traumatising on account of the subject matter. This may have put the brakes on my reading it!

177Berly
Jun 27, 5:21pm

Delurking to say Hi! And you don't want to get me going on pregnancy woes. Jessica (my oldest) and I both almost didn't make it! And that's why we adopted our second. ; )

178LovingLit
Jun 29, 10:44pm

>177 Berly: holy moly! That sounds slightly more than a woe, but, yes, we can sometimes gloss over the troublesome aspects of pregnancy.

179LovingLit
Editado: Jul 1, 9:23pm



Finished Recollections of my Non-Existence by Rebecca Solnit.
I managed to get used to her spoken idiosyncrasies and saw it through to the end, and was VERY pleased I did :)

180richardderus
Jul 3, 8:06pm

Solnit's a tremendously important thinker and, imo, not the most facile of writers. I do not say this aloud because I've really had enough of being insulted...but good gracious, does the woman have a keen eye and a damned near lethal flensing knife of a tongue.

181LovingLit
Jul 5, 3:40pm

>180 richardderus: it's funny as when someone comes to your attention you feel as though they have just popped out of nowhere into the media and public consciousness...but there they were the previous decade or three, plugging away at their craft, and getting themselves to launching point. That's what I like about memoirs/biographies...you get the backstory.

182LovingLit
Jul 7, 6:52am


The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge: read it again, just cos I love it. Only took half an hour... frightened Lenny (who is home sick) by reading it out loud theatrically. Heh.

183LovingLit
Jul 8, 2:36am


Bargain! Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, on my radar for ages (since I read and enjoyed Fever 1793 and Shout). $5 from the Hospice Shop this afternoon (and a lovely woolly hat, thank you very much).
*happy*

184LovingLit
Jul 8, 2:37am


The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge: read it again, just cos I love it. Only took half an hour... frightened Lenny (who is home sick) by reading it out loud theatrically. Heh.

185karenmarie
Jul 8, 6:48am

Hi Megan.

>160 LovingLit: Congrats on your review. I agree on your reasons for taking half a star off. I wasn’t content/glowing/happy pregnant at 38 weeks either, and I didn’t have a toddler to cope with. I’ve always wanted to let men experience a personal one-hour trip through pregnancy – morning sickness, aches and pains, unwieldiness, delivery, and the first month or so of the total exhaustion after baby arrives. Jenna was late and came by C-section.

>177 Berly: Jenna and I would not have made it 100 years ago for sure. Yay for modern medicine.

>179 LovingLit: I’ve finally gotten around to her Men Explain Things to Me and ... enjoying isn't the right word, but definitely engaged and agreeing with her points.

>182 LovingLit: I got a bee in my bonnet and re-read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in February. Glad I read it, glad I probably won’t ever read it again in this lifetime.

186quondame
Jul 8, 2:38pm

>184 LovingLit: I remember my mom reading this aloud, and think it was more than once, more like a regular practice, though I doubt that was the case. The impression is deep however many times it happened.

187richardderus
Jul 8, 3:45pm

How art thou, O Child Unnerver of the Ancient Marinerese stripe?

Generalized Tropical-Storm Disorder has struck my environs. The Wicked Elsa is on her way up the Appalachian Trail to my little coastal refuge. I wish you a *blubblubburblegasp*!

188LovingLit
Jul 8, 4:35pm

>185 karenmarie: I have read Rime of the Ancient Mariner three of four times now, and plan to read it again. Although, I can't tell why my post repeated itself in >184 LovingLit:!

>186 quondame: I don't recall being read aloud to even once as a child, although I would have been as a pre-schooler.

>187 richardderus: OMG- RD, please stay safe! And have books and hot drinks at hand.

189LovingLit
Jul 8, 4:46pm

Today I had planned to work, then realised I didn't really need to as someone else has the master version of the report we are both working on, and there's not much point in making changes on seperate documents...but now the co-author has hand-balled the report back to me in what might either be a massive power play, or, simply expedient. :)
So. Off I go to the library to work...too many distractions here, and it's too cold!

190quondame
Jul 8, 5:57pm

>188 LovingLit: My mother was ill much of my early childhood, manic depression, and detached retinas, and while she may have read to us as little children I don't remember that - but we did read alouds somewhat later, starting with Sherlock Holmes. There was Shakespeare and Sophocles and obviously Coleridge. Some of the plays we took parts in reading.

191LovingLit
Jul 12, 12:57am

>190 quondame: they sound like intense tomes for the family readathon! I am impressed.

192quondame
Jul 12, 1:22am

>191 LovingLit: My mother went through an active intellectual phase before the family had enough money to support shopping for fun. Not that it was fake or that she didn't have an active intelligence, but somehow actual money was much more comforting to her than she would have liked anyone to notice (and I wasn't clued in enough not to let on that I had noticed).

193LovingLit
Jul 12, 6:00am

>192 quondame: we never shopped in our household. I was surprised as an adult when I visited a high school as part of my job to see kids listing shopping as "something they liked to do for leisure"; it genuinely hadn't occurred to me that that was a viable leisure activity! I was/am so naive, as that wasn't that long ago for me!!

194quondame
Editado: Jul 13, 2:03am

>193 LovingLit: Oh, shopping was a competitive activity in multiple ways during my pre-teen years - money was saved for the big sales and I was always jockeying with the demands of my clothes horse older brother for a share of department store booty when we drove into LA for the after Christmas or 4th of July sales. We'd window shop Beverly Hills in the evening, but buying full price was right out. I learned about avoiding clothing made for the sale and going for items with real markdowns.
As much as my mother loved shopping, she really was target oriented and not just passing time - she'd look for what she wanted carefully, not getting distracted by other things. Which in one case I think was very sad as we were shown a string of oriental pearls that were so luscious and glowing it's hard to describe their impact, but she went for the diamond she had wanted for years. There was also a piece of Chinese carved amber that was a world in itself that I bypassed for a jade bracelet that was my goal.
She really spent the bulk of her time before my father's retirement cooking, working out recipes for main dishes, pastry and candy which was tricky in the desert altitude. She was temperamentally a crafts person, happy when her hands were busy and pleased with her creations. And the food was good though there are some dishes which over exposure has spoiled for me.

195PersephonesLibrary
Jul 12, 4:07pm

Thanks for calling me. ;-) I will try to catch up with everyone!

196msf59
Jul 12, 4:56pm

Hi, Megan. I am glad you stuck with the Solnit! Yah! I like that cover of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Sadly, I have still never read it.

197LovingLit
Jul 13, 12:22am

>194 quondame: wow- that is a shopping game plan if ever I saw one. My mum loves second hand shopping for a bargain, and although I have had the odd great find courtesy of her, mostly the things she shows me just elicit a shrug or blank stare!! (She seems to equate labelled clothing with good taste, but I know what I like and what I don't, and certainly don't care if it is by a designer!)

>195 PersephonesLibrary: I just popped over to see what you meant, and was reminded that I did, in fact, call you! lol

>196 msf59: She was interviewed on our National Radio programme the other week, it was fab, and I recognised her voice straight away. I will be sure to give you a copy of the Ancient Mariner if/when I get to meet you in NZ!

198quondame
Jul 13, 2:05am

>197 LovingLit: I loved so many of the items my mother bought for herself, but very few of those she bought for me. And she wasn't at all happy not to have her every gift received with enthusiasm.

199LovingLit
Editado: Jul 15, 7:37pm

Oh maaaan!
With the cancellation of a trip this weekend, that makes three of our last three planned weekends adventures cancelled due to adverse weather. Last month we had our trip to a cabin at Mt Barker cancelled, the following weekend the same adverse weather had taken out the access road to our next holiday house, and last night at 1130pm I got a text to say that the rugby league tournament this weekend has been cancelled due to another big weather event. (A *red warning*- whatever that means.) The arrow on the map below shows where we were headed to (from Christchurch on the East coast.)
Bags packed and nowhere to go.



But- we still have a city trip organised. So, although the rugby league game we were going to Auckland to see was Covid-cancelled (the team had to remain in Australia due to travel restrictions), we are still flying up there for a couple of nights.
Please please please ye weather goddesses, let this trip go ahead!

200LovingLit
Jul 15, 8:15pm

Update re: >199 LovingLit: The road is now closed due to a slip, so, yeah. Good call after all!

201richardderus
Jul 15, 8:51pm

>199 LovingLit: Apparently 90mm of icy rain's already fallen and 50mm more expected by Sunday! Ew. Far better, if more boring, to stay in Chch.

I'm so glad y'all were nowhere near the slip.

202richardderus
Jul 15, 8:52pm

Oh, and here's another good word: "indehiscent." As in, "How very sad for you that you're mentally indehiscent."

203LovingLit
Jul 15, 9:08pm

>201 richardderus: wow- modern technology huh, you are all over the weather forecast. My dad uses a Norwegian forecasting website for his info, so I guess we are all over the world now!
Indehiscent-dehiscent...*mind blown* (huh- that was actually relevant, right??!)

204richardderus
Jul 15, 9:26pm

>203 LovingLit: I got curious...what the heck is a "red warning"? The kind of uninformative bureaucratese I love to poke fun at. Y'all's MetOffice made me click *three*times* to get that info!

I know, right?! Mind-bogglingly useful word just...lying there in the Botany Lab.

205karenmarie
Jul 16, 10:23am

Hi Megan.

>192 quondame: and >193 LovingLit: All I remember is grocery shopping with the family. We only had one car, and typically the grocery shopping was one child with a parent doing that while the other parent stayed home with the other two.

Clothes shopping for school clothes was the local department store sending boxes of clothes to the house, where we’d try them on. Mom would keep the bare minimum for us to survive the year – we’re talking one or two dresses here and three or four shirts/two pairs of jeans for my brother– and then send the rest back. Shoes were one pair per school year and that’s why I have hammertoes. After the department store home-shopping thing was stopped, mom would choose clothes for me, none of which I ever liked at all. Sigh.

>199 LovingLit: Sorry about the bad weather and cancellations. I hope your city trip can go ahead. 🤞

206quondame
Jul 16, 3:07pm

>205 karenmarie: Until I was 11 or 12 my best clothing was hand-me-downs from a cousin a year older, but I don't remember any of that in my teens and about then my mother had control over significantly more money and 2 fewer children to dress from it - my sister was fiercely independent even before she left for college when I was 11 and while my older brother was a budget chomping clothes horse his wardrobe came out of his college budget for the most part. And my younger brother has never been made to care how he dresses, though his current wife has achieved minor improvements.

I had some input on what was chosen, but she really didn't get that me wearing clothing I thought suited me was better for my self-image than wearing what she thought suited me. Styles were changing rapidly in 63-67, so there was no way everyone could have been happy, especially as my no-bust big butt body was totally different from her big-bust, no butt figure.

207LovingLit
Jul 17, 12:46am

>204 richardderus: it's a very wishy washy phrase, right? Designed to signal warning I guess.

>205 karenmarie: >206 quondame: We all pretty much had second hand clothing. My mum is still the avid op-shopper. And, probably 80% of my clothes now are purchased second hand. My love for used clothing came in spite of a lifetime of them- now I like that used clothes don't contribute to waste/climate change/slave labour.

208quondame
Jul 17, 1:10am

>207 LovingLit: Well, I did purchase a few used pieces back in 2018... But almost all my current wardrobe is Gudrun Sjödén which makes an effort to be green and produce timeless styles. I have way too much now, so maybe I can help others have pre-loved pieces. I do love that what I bought this year goes with what I bought in 2017, but it has taken me 3 years to learn that just because I like something doesn't mean I'll wear it much.
I tend to wear dresses or long tunics over pants for comfort and coverage and go for the dark jewel tones. Also, 80% has pockets, big useful pockets for the most part.

209msf59
Jul 17, 7:47am

Hi, Megan. How is the winter going there? Have you read Terry Tempest Williams? I know I have warbled about her often over the years. If you have not, I think you would like her. I just finished When Women Were Birds and found it to be another gem

210LovingLit
Editado: Jul 20, 8:40pm

Some snaps from our big city getaway- which (yay!) came to fruition!


^Above we have my kids and (the tallest one in the couple, and the one under the orange rainbow) at NZs only theme park with rollercoaster. We went to Auckland with Lenny's friend's family, and the mother from that family's twin sister and little boy :) So, with 6 rugby league boys hitting the city we were needing active activities! Hence the swimming, ice skating, walking and fun park fun.


^Me, excited about the menu, and the cool art inside :)


^Cool laneway off the Queen St in Auckland CBD.


^Me and 2 of my boys on the ferry to cute Devonport, and my boy (l) and his friend braving the apartment pool.

211LovingLit
Jul 20, 8:37pm

Also, I bought 5 books ;)



Azadi by Arundhati Roy (essays)
Intimations by Zadie Smith (essays)
Noonday by Pat Barker
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
Levels of Life by Julian Barnes (essays), which I have almost finished.

212LovingLit
Jul 20, 8:42pm

>208 quondame: pockets! Yes, pockets :) I need pockets in my clothes too.

>209 msf59: Winter is getting on now, but am glad we are past the shortest day. The little trip to Auckland was a nice break from the cold cold though, as their average temperature is much warmer than us down south. We were lucky to have missed a couple of -4 degC frosts while up north :)

213richardderus
Jul 20, 9:44pm

Ooohhh, lovely outing! I know you were enjoying yourself...did you get B2? I love a steamed bun...and even made time for an extra-local bookshoping!

All the fun for each of you. Thanks for sharing it all!

214LovingLit
Jul 20, 10:07pm

>213 richardderus: I got A2 :) A *delicious* beef noodle soup. It was 100% the right side of spicy for me. The night before I had a different noodle soup from a small place on a side street, and that morning I had had fish ball egg noodle soup from a food court. It was an embarrassment of riches so far as noodle soup was concerned.
Side note- brave of me to have fish ball egg-noodle soup just before hitting the fun park and doing the death drop! Rest assured, it stayed put ;)

215PaulCranswick
Jul 20, 10:41pm

>210 LovingLit: & >211 LovingLit: Looks like a great trip, Megan. I read the Frankel book fairly recently and it is very powerful.

216charl08
Jul 21, 3:25am

Looks good Megan, and busy! Glad you fitted in the books too. I loved the Smith essays.

217FAMeulstee
Jul 21, 4:55am

>210 LovingLit: Looks like a lot of fun, Megan!

218LovingLit
Jul 21, 6:11am

>215 PaulCranswick: I have been wanting to read that one for ages....looking forward to it would be a stretch, but, you know what I mean!

>216 charl08: I was pleased to get two goes at the second hand bookshop in the city. It was a luxury to get to go with my lovely other as we hardly *ever* get to go out together.

>217 FAMeulstee: Fun it was! Go go go it also was :) I was just so pleased to have had a holiday work out given that our last three were cancelled due to bad (bad) weather!

219LovingLit
Editado: Jul 22, 5:26am


BOOK 34
Levels of Life by Julian Barnes

The cover is pretty cool, but I found the content confusing. Three essays: the first two pretty similar, but the third felt like what the author really wanted to write about only couldn't, as the piece was too short to be a *whole book*. I really only wanted to hear about Barnes' experience of his wife's death, and the references in that to the first two essays (about pioneering balloonists of the 19th C) just felt forced.

220richardderus
Jul 22, 3:17pm

>219 LovingLit: Oh boo hiss! Not the desired outcome at all.

Better read next time, Megan.

221LovingLit
Jul 22, 9:12pm

>220 richardderus: danggit huh? Can't win 'em all!

222PaulCranswick
Jul 22, 11:24pm

>219 LovingLit: I find Barnes an interesting writer who was once good friends with Martin Amis but who now are apparently daggers drawn with each other.

I have not always enjoyed his novels which are usually "too clever by half" but I particularly liked Arthur & George and also thought A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters very good in parts.

Prefer him to Martin Amis though any day of the week.

223LovingLit
Jul 22, 11:54pm

>222 PaulCranswick: I haven't had a good hit rate with the Amis lot. Still haven't read Old Devils (in spite of owning two copies), and The Second Plane: September 11: Terror and Boredom contained a description of torture that traumatises me to this day.
But, I have enjoyed many a Barnes novel and non-fiction ramble...
-Flaubert's Parrot
-The Sense of an Ending
-A History of the World In 10.5 Chapters
-Arthur & George, and
-Nothing to be Frightened Of.

Would be interesting to know why they fell out. I am sure it will have something to do with egos.

224PaulCranswick
Jul 23, 12:32am

>223 LovingLit: Goes back to Barnes' beloved wife again, Megan.

Pat Kavanagh was one of the leading literary agents and Martin Amis one of her key clients. Barnes and he were bosom buddies and Barnes is Godfather to Amis' son. When Amis ditched Barnes' wife as his agent it precipitated the huge fall out.

Julian Barnes' late wife was apparently extremely beautiful and I remember Laurie Lee in particular being quite enamoured of her and she had a famous affair with Jeanette Winterson who wrote Written on the Body for her.

225charl08
Jul 23, 1:33am

>223 LovingLit: I really liked his writing about France and French literature, a subject which I know very little about, collected in Cross Channel.

226PaulCranswick
Jul 23, 2:48am

>225 charl08: I remember buying that collection too back in the nineties and quite enjoyed it too.

227kidzdoc
Jul 23, 10:07am

Oh, dang. I'm sorry that you didn't like Levels of Life, Megan. I haven't read my copy of it yet.

228BLBera
Jul 23, 10:50am

Hi Megan - Too bad Levels of Life didn't work for you. I loved The Sense of an Ending and have been meaning to read Flaubert's Parrot. One of these days...

>210 LovingLit: Your outing looks fun.

229LovingLit
Jul 24, 3:08am

>224 PaulCranswick: wow, the trials and tribulations of the literary world huh? I have read Laurie Lee and Jeanette Winterson, so feel very in the in crowd now ;)

>225 charl08: I haven't heard of that one!

>226 PaulCranswick: A good one for a Francophile, I guess.

>227 kidzdoc: I wouldn't say I disliked it (too much!), just that it didn't gel.

>228 BLBera: I loved Sense of an Ending, and quite enjoyed Flaubert's Parrot as well! He is an incredible writer, it cannot be denied. I just love discovering the ways in which people put together words so spectacularly.

230LovingLit
Editado: Jul 27, 1:08am


BOOK 36
The Wine of Solitude by Irene Nemirovsky

I bought this one from the library sale, in large print format, as a rest-for-my-eyes book :) Consequently, I was able to read it today at the kids' league games (in the car while W's team was getting thrashed) and on the couch this afternoon (amongst Little Len's birthday party while the kids were all outside running around like crazy).

The book had so much potential, and I enjoyed a short story/novella from the same author a while back, so I was surprised that this one amounted to so little (for me). It tells the story of a well-to-do girl (turned young woman throughout the novel) whose mother is emotionally absent, and whose father is mostly physically absent. Helene is the victim of some heartless actions from her mother, and as a child imagines retributive - but non-specific - acts all the live long day. When she is old enough, she steals away her mother's lover, witnesses with increasing pity her mother's eventual decline into old age (which in itself is no retribution, since we all age, but for the mother, ageing was raged against, and was a hard fought and lost battle), and eventually, in the last few pages, abandons her on the day of her husband's funeral.

So, although a few intense things happen, there really isn't much closure for Helene, and no real redress for the hurt she experienced at the hands of the mother who resented her existence. So, all in all, a little bit of a non-starter.

231LovingLit
Editado: Ontem, 12:34am


BOOK 38
The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin

This book was so good. I think I am gonna cry. I listened on audio, but will seek this out in print as well. Willy is pretty much my favourite contemporary author. If you like Steinbeck, read this, and all of Vlautin's back catalogue.

232FAMeulstee
Ontem, 7:30am

>231 LovingLit: I like Steinbeck, Megan, so I will look for Willy Vlautin. My library has a few titles.

233richardderus
Ontem, 7:43pm

>231 LovingLit: I was so bummed not to get a copy of the DRC of it! I'm glad you enjoyed it, I expect I will too once my hold comes up.

Enjoy the weekend!