SqueakyChu is going FRUITY in 2023 - 2nd Quarter

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2023

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SqueakyChu is going FRUITY in 2023 - 2nd Quarter

Editado: Jun 1, 10:15 pm

Hi Folks!

Here are my ongoing stats for 2023:

Total pages read this year: = 5,072
Reading rate: increased to 34 pages/day
Books on Mount TBR: decreased to 383

In appreciation of our very own pawpaw tree that started fruiting well in 2022, I dedicated this thread to FRUIT! I hope you enjoy the pictures!

Editado: Maio 25, 10:24 pm


Photo of soursop fruit on tree by Tatters - Flickr CC/A

1. Kensington International Day of the Book Street Festival, Kensington,Maryland, USA - April 23, 2023. We released about 1,500 free books that day!

15. Benjamin Banneker and Us - Rachel Jamison Webster - TIOLI #1: Read a nonfiction book concerning a person about whom you want to learn more - 351 pages
16. Shubeik Lubeik - Deena Mohamed - TIOLI #12: APRIL SHOWERS rolling challenge (word in title or author's name/L in title) - 518 pages
17. Shadows of the Fragmented Moon - Shubhrangshu Roy - TIOLI #7: Read a book that shares at least one word with the first listed title (of, the - 2 points) - 114 pages

Editado: Maio 31, 10:58 pm


Photo of pomegranates on tree by Jonny Hunter - Flickr CC/A

1. Gaithersburg Book Festival - May 20, 2023, Bohrer Park, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA - We released about 1,400 free books that day!

18. The Obstacle is the Way - Ryan Holiday - TIOLI #14: Read a book where the title has a word or phrase you don't want to encounter while walking in the woods (obstacle) - 201 pages
19. The Ruined Map - Kobo Abe - TIOLI #13: Read a book by a foreign author (Japan) - 297 pages
20. I Am Still With You - Emmanuel Iduma - TIOLI #6: Read a book whose author has at least 2 of the letters that spell May in their name (ma x2) - 228 pages
21. Five days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City - Wes Moore - TIOLI #2: Read a book with at least 2 title words that begin with vowels (O, A, A) - 285 pages
22. Meditations - Marcus Aurelius - TIOLI #1: Read a book with a ten-letter (or more) word in
the title, sub-title or author's name - 191 pages
23. Tzili: The Story of a Life - Aharon Appelfeld - TIOLI #12: Read a book with 2 or more words of exactly 5 letters in the title (story, life) - 185 pages

Editado: Maio 30, 9:56 pm


Photo of mandarins on tree by Malcolm Manners - Flickr CC/A

1. BookCrossing meetup in Virginia, USA - When?! - Where?!

none yet

24. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari - TIOLI #6: Read a book by an author new to you - 266/443 pages = 60%
25. Spare - Prince Harry - TIOLI #12: Read a book with a title starting with "S" - 29/410 = 7%

26. What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank - Nathan Englander - TIOLI #2: Read a book whose title includes at least three words beginning with the same letter (W) - 0/225 pages = 0%

Mar 26, 9:12 pm

Love the fruit photos!

Mar 26, 9:15 pm

Happy new one, Madeline. >2 SqueakyChu: - I love pomegranates and have a bowl of seeds in my fridge as we speak. I deseeded one just the other day and use those seeds in everything: cereal, yogurt, salads, yum!

Mar 26, 9:32 pm

Happy new thread Madeline!

This thread didn't star automatically, so I'm glad you planted a pointer!

Mar 26, 9:44 pm

Happy new one!

Mar 26, 10:10 pm

>5 laytonwoman3rd: >6 jessibud2: >7 quondame: >8 drneutron: Thanks all! I'm a big fan of pomegranates. I love to open them, seed them...but most all, I love to eat the seeds (like Shelley) on everything!

Mar 27, 11:49 am

>9 SqueakyChu: What's the best way to open them? thank you - love the taste, but haven't found an easy way to get to the seeds.

Mar 27, 2:55 pm

Happy new thread!

Editado: Mar 27, 4:29 pm

>10 m.belljackson: Picture the pomegranate like our planet earth. Cut off the Arctic Circle and the Antarctic Circle (without cutting into any of the seeds). Make cuts into the skin, but not into the seeds, as six longitudinal lines equidistant around the equator. Now push up on Antartica with your thumbs (holding the rest of the world with the rest of your fingers), and the planet will split open. Enjoy the seeds!

>11 _Zoe_: Thanks, _Zoe_!

Mar 28, 6:44 pm

Happy new thread!
And another fan of soursop? I mentioned soursop juice on my thread a few days ago, it's delicious.

Mar 28, 7:18 pm

>13 mstrust: I've never eaten soursop. I'd liKe to try it, though. There's a place near me that sells soursop ice cream. I might give that a try! :D

Mar 28, 7:35 pm

HAppy new thread!

Loving all the pictures of fruit trees. I have a few trees planted in my yard but most of the time the squirrels and birds get to the fruit before I do :). This year I have a few gaps/clearings in the forest and I am going to plant a few fruit trees ( despite my parents saying that its a bad idea!). the least that can happen is that it will be good for pollination.

I quite like the paw paw fruit. this is something that does quite well in my forest and it grows quickly enough.

Enjoy the rest of the week.

Mar 28, 7:36 pm

Happy new thread, Madeline.

I am a fan of soursop or as it is called in these part Durian Belanda (Dutch Durian).

Have you tried pomelo?

Mar 28, 9:06 pm

>15 figsfromthistle: Why do your parents think that planting fruit trees is a bad idea? Some require more care than others, but that should be a good thing. What kinds of fruit are you thinking of growing? I would love more fruit trees beside our lone pawpaw tree, but I don't have any more room in my yard for another tree.

>16 PaulCranswick: Nope. I never tried pomelo, but I would love to try them. I think my grocery store had them recently, but since my husband can't eat grapefruit (due to adverse effects with his medication), I thought they were too much like grapefruit for me to buy for us.

Mar 29, 1:02 am

>17 SqueakyChu: Well they taste a little similar but not quite as acidic. I am certainly not competent to comment on the suitability for your husband given his medication.

Mar 29, 3:20 am

Love the fruit trees. We have nothing that exotic in the garden, just a plum tree. That is sometimes a little over active... Shouldn't complain! No blossom yet, it usually flowers quite late. But the buds are forming, so it won't be long.

Mar 29, 8:15 am

>18 PaulCranswick: I’m willing to try them given given the chance because I Love grapefruit.

>19 Helenliz: A plum tree is good! Do you bake with the plums?

Abr 2, 9:35 pm

15. Benjamin Banneker and Us - Rachel Jamison Webster

Read a nonfiction book concerning a person about whom you want to learn more (Reason: The museum dedicated to Benjamin Banneker is located in an area I frequently visit. I'd like to know more about this individual.)

This was an incredibly beautiful, well researched, and moving book. The author, Rachel Jamison Webster, one day discovered unexpectedly from a cousin that she was a direct descendant of Benjamin Banneker. However, the author is white, and Benjamin Banneker, was a noted astronomer, surveyor, naturalist, and author of almanacs as well as a free black man at the time of the American Revolution.

In this book, the author talks about what the life of Benjamin Banneker was like as well as the stories of his parents and grandparents. I was stunned to learn that there were free black men in the colonies at that time. As I read through the book, I learned much about black history of which I was not aware. I also learned about the author as she moved back and forth in time to describe current events of racial significance as well as how she developed a relationship with other descendants of Benjamin Banneker to learn as much as she could about their mutual family line.

I felt very much immersed in this story as I am from Baltimore, frequently visit Oella where Benjamin Banneker lived, and have spent time on his family grounds which is now a museum.

The author brings great writing skills into bringing alive the painful story of race in America. She is such a fabulous writer. What a delight it was to read her writing about the history of her own family and see how relevant her family’s history is to race relations today.

Rating - 5 stars

In the year since the first decoding of the human genome in 2003, we have ample evidence that race is not a biological fact as much as it is “a technology of power” used to perpetuate dominance, and exclusion. The establishment of race, and the idea of a dominant white race, against which other races are measured, has always been a politically and economically motivated lie.

Abr 2, 9:40 pm

>21 SqueakyChu: A five star read obviously catches my notice, Madeline. Does look jolly fascinating.

Editado: Abr 2, 9:51 pm

>22 PaulCranswick: I loved that book, Paul. It was an LT Early Reviewer! When I first got it, I looked at its length and just frowned. However, when I started reading it, I was just sucked in.

I read it very slowly just to savor it. I have a close connection to the area in which the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum is located (Catonsville, Maryland, USA). I've visited it several times without taking much note of details of this free Black man's life (in the time of the American Revolution!). He was really fascinating, and I learned so much.

I hope to pass along this book to my friend who lives in Catonsville, Maryland. She visits the museum grounds often. I hope she chooses to read this book and later leave it in the Little Free Library on the museum gounds.

Abr 2, 11:36 pm

I'm rather late, but Happy New Thread, Madeline. I have a thread in the 75's now, so pop by and visit sometime, if you get a chance. I'm still doing jigsaw puzzles, my other ' addiction " besides books. I don't always post them on Instagram though.

Editado: Abr 2, 11:53 pm

>24 vancouverdeb: Thanks! I love your comments on my Instagram account! It seems as if I've only been posting pictures of jigsaw puzzles and food there recently.

Heh! About my Instagram puzzle pics...If any puzzle is missing any pieces, that puzzle doesn't get rewarded by having its picture on my Instagram account! :D

Abr 3, 7:10 am

Belated happy new thread, Madeline!

Love the fruit pictures, especially the pomegranates.

Abr 3, 8:34 am

>21 SqueakyChu: I have Benjamin Banneker, which I read pre-LT, and remember it as a straightforward biography. Having a family connection would add interesting layers, so I've added your book to my WL. I wasn't aware of the museum.

Editado: Abr 4, 12:15 am

>26 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. I love pomegranates as well.

>27 qebo: It's such a great book, Katherine. It adds a lot of interesting layers as it is a newly published book which talks about contemporary racial issues, especially those we thought we had left behind.

Another interesting topic this book discussed was cultural appropriation in that the writer was a white woman who had no knowledge previously of her descendancy from Benjamin Banneker before she decided to write this book. The newly discovered living black parts of her family had differing reactions to her writing this book. This book was part memoir, part biography, part current events, part historical fiction (in that some scenes were imagined as they would have occurred based on Webster's research).

The museum is actually closed for repair now, but the grounds are open, and they are lovely. Barbara, Jose, and I went there on Juneteeth last year. Sadly, because of my hearing problems and loud music (of course!), I couldn't understand the spoken presentations. However, we did enjoy the cooking presentation (which this museum does frequently) and visiting the cabin (a reproduction of the one that was burnt down by pranksters just after Banneker died). Barbara is thinking about becoming a volunteer there as she lives near the museum. She also agreed to release some Little Free Library books for me into a Little Free Library which stands on the museum grounds.

I loved this book so much and am finding it hard to part with, but I am of the age I can't hold onto every book I love! :D

Abr 4, 8:54 pm

Nice review of Benjamin Banneker and Us, Madeline!

Abr 4, 10:27 pm

>29 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl. Sometime I pick an Early Review just right--like this time!

Abr 5, 12:26 am

Hi Madeline. I haven't visited in a long time. I love the images of fruit! As always, you are so very creative.

Abr 5, 5:12 am

Madeline, I wanted to stop by in order to wish you a joyous Passover.

Editado: Abr 5, 11:37 pm

>31 Whisper1: Hi Linda! Thanks for stopping by. I hope all is well with you. Speaking of fruit, I am now about to make an apple cake! :D

>32 PaulCranswick: Thank you so much, Paul. This year Passover will be very special as it will be the first time since pandemic onset that two families (mine and one other) that had to Zoom seders in the past will be having in-person seders. The other family always hosts Seder #1 and I host Seder #2. Now...back to my cooking and baking. :)

Abr 5, 6:21 pm

>33 SqueakyChu: That is one good thing to come from the horrors of the lockdowns, Madeline, that the moments we were becoming perhaps more blase about and which should have been treasured are much more special to us right now.

Abr 5, 11:44 pm

>34 PaulCranswick: Fortunately, those seders with the second family, I was never blase about. We have always treasured our holiday time together since we started doing this when I was in high school (60 years ago!). When we started, it was my high school friend, and all her family including her grandmother. Now we are grandparents, and tonight's Seder included a 93-year-old member. We Zoomed our seders during pandemic because this was a holiday in which all of us wanted to be together as best we could.

Abr 6, 1:06 am

>35 SqueakyChu: In my family we celebrate both Christmas and Eid. Last December 25, I missed my mother inordinately as all Christmas dinners/lunches were such a wonderful affair as remembered in my youth. At the end of this Ramadan we will have our "Raya" meal and I always enjoyed travelling to Johor Bahru as my MIL used to cook her special Biriyani for me (which is non-traditional, but she knew how much I adored it).
Now both our mothers (Hani and I) are gone it is going to be a challenge for us to instill that same magic into those celebrations as we ourselves enjoyed.

Abr 6, 1:10 am

Wishing you a Happy Passover , Madeline and family . I am glad you are able to have Passover with a another family this year.

Abr 6, 2:17 am

Happy Passover Madeline as you enjoy the experience with your family, and that of another.

Editado: Abr 7, 2:59 am

>36 PaulCranswick: Paul, we are still trying to create the same sense of awe and fun that we and our kids had at Passover seders long past for our youngest family members (six of them, ages 2 to 10 years). Anything is better than pandemic Zoom, but today we are trying out having the kids spend a real "holiday" all together at my younger son's house before coming here to our seder tonight. They all plan on taking a hike to look at an eagle's nest!

In years past, everyone just went to stay at Grandma Emmy's house for the entire two day holiday. There are too many of us now to do that, but we will try to recreate what we can...and even make up new traditions. Every year I make beets for hors d'oeuvres. This year I made beets using both red beets and golden beets. They were a hit (and so pretty!)

>37 vancouverdeb: Thank you so much, Deb. It's exhausting, but fun.

>38 Whisper1: Thank you, Linda. It's good to be able to be with another family after four years. What wasted years we were forced to have due to pandemic. Every moment together is precious.

Abr 6, 10:32 pm

Thanks for being such a faithful visitor to my thread, Madeline. I appreciate it. I am sure you will create the awe and fun that wish to for your family and exhausting as that is, I am sure you manage it. We celebrate Easter at my sister's place on Sunday. I am taking a cake for dessert, so I won't have to do too much. I opened up a 1500 piece Heye puzzle today and I am looking forward to that too.

Abr 6, 11:59 pm

>40 vancouverdeb: Happy Easter to you and your family, Deb. The Seder’s over that I hosted. We had a ton of fun together, but the house is a big mess. So be it. Tomorrow is another day.

Abr 7, 1:39 am

>39 SqueakyChu: "Every moment together is precious." Indeed. x

Abr 7, 6:08 am

>17 SqueakyChu: Oh they have nothing against planting fruit trees......they just don't think that it is a good idea to plant them in the forest. I also have no more room in the yard as I already have 6 fruit trees. I just thought that I have a lot of space in the forest area of the property so I should try it there.

HAppy weekend!

Abr 10, 1:08 am

It's amazing that your granddaughter is already helping you with your thousand piece puzzles, Madeline! She must be a very bright little girl.

Abr 10, 8:47 am

>44 vancouverdeb: My husband gives her little patches of color to work on. It might just be that she wants to do what others are doing!

Abr 16, 3:30 pm

I lost you there for a while and I have been an abysmal LTer this year, but Hi, Madeline! Sounds like your Easter celebrations went well -- I am happy for you. : ) Wishing you happy reading.

Abr 16, 9:43 pm

>46 Berly: Hi, Kim! While I don’t celebrate Easter at all, I did have a very joyous Passover week. Wishing you lots of fun reading ahead this spring as well.

Abr 26, 2:55 am

Ah! Well, I am glad you enjoyed Passover then. : ) And I do hope you enjoy the reading ahead. That's always the plan isn't it?

Abr 26, 4:59 am

Just wanted to stop by and say hello, Madeline. I didn't make any TIOLI impression this month so hopefully in the next one I can rebound!

Abr 26, 6:40 am

Hi Madeline. Somehow, your thread got unstarred for awhile. I have no idea how that happened but I found you again!

Back to the pomegranate for a minute. I learned another, easier way to cut them open. First, I take the back of a spoon and smack it all over, to loosen the seeds inside. Then over the sink (I usually place a glass mixing bowl in the sink to catch the juice and loose seeds), I score it all around, in one score. Then I pull it apart so it's in half. I then half each half and start to pop out the seeds. The thing I have to remember is to wipe down the countertop and white window shutters after I'm all done because, inevitably, some of the juice splashes. If I forget to do that, not only will it stain, but it looks like blood and someone might think a murder had taken place! ;-)

Abr 26, 11:23 am

>49 PaulCranswick: Hi, Paul!

>50 jessibud2: Lol! I’ll stick to my method!

Editado: Abr 27, 10:27 pm

16. Shubeik Lubeik - Deena Mohamed

TIOLI #12:
APRIL SHOWERS rolling challenge (word in title or author's name/L in title)

Wow! What a fabulous book!

This is the story of a kiosk owner in Egypt who comes into possession of a box containing three bottles, each containing one wish. However, wishes are not so simple in this story.

There were so many things I loved about this book. I like graphic novels anyway, but this story was so unique. I was fascinated that it was written by an Egyptian and took place in Egypt. I loved that Arabic terms were used and translated in footnotes. I enjoyed reading a book whose two main characters were different religions. I also appreciated the moral of the story as well as the ending. The drawings were terrific. There was nothing not to like about this book. Well, maybe that it was so long, but seriously, it could not have been even one page shorter. I guess it was perfect.

Rating - 5 stars

God, people really do waste wishes.

Abr 26, 9:20 pm

>52 SqueakyChu:- wow, that sounds like a great book. Where did you find it? I am going to see if my library has it. Great review

Abr 26, 10:25 pm

>53 jessibud2: Shelley, It was a new book at my library. I never heard of it before, but I was browsing the new fiction list on my library's website, and it looked so good! It really turned out to be great! It's over 500 pages long...but it's a graphic novel, after all.

Another cool library thing happened today. I recently read a book by Ryan Holiday called Stillness Is the Key. I had never heard of that author, but someone left this book in my Little Free Library, and it looked interesting. The author gives practical advice based on the Stoics and other wise dispensers of advice. I found the book very helpful in dealing with my anxiety. I recently started following this author on Facebook. The author recently published a new book called The Daily Dad with parenting advice. I'm thinking that would be a terrific gift for my younger son, but I'd like to read it before I give it to him. Since it is just being published, my library didn't have a copy of it. My library takes suggestions for books to buy (which I knew, but I never suggested any book). However this week, I thought I'd suggest that my library buy this new book by Ryan Holiday. Today I received an email that the library is purchasing that book! Cool, eh? I can't wait to read it!

Editado: Abr 27, 10:23 pm

17. Shadows of the Fragmented Moon - Shubhrangshu Roy

Read a book that shares at least one word with the first listed title (of, the - 2 points)

Reading this book of poems was an experience. I had no idea what I was reading about and only felt relief when I finished it. Obviously I was not a good target reader for this slim volume of poems based on two ancient Asian Indian wisdom texts, the Yoga Visistha and the Ashtavakra Gita. I do not like to meditate, I do not desire to perform yoga, nor do I hope to attain nirvana. I struggled with this volume, thinking I should be able to understand or appreciate it more than I did.

I found one short poem that I actually kind of liked because it seemed like a picture to me. It was this one...

The Sky, The Ocean

The Sky, The Ocean
Best of friends
Tied forever
Free from each other
The one there,
Because the other too is
Interdependent, interconnected
In the oneness of being
The ocean, curious,
Rising to kiss the sky;
The sky dispassionate,
Umoving, unrelenting
Embracing the ocean
To make itself whole.

I do admit that I read through this book in a short time rather than read and focus on just one poem every day or so as the author advises. I think maybe the poems are meant to illustrate the impermanence of each human being and relate that bliss is the ultimate state of being. That concept is a bit too ethereal for me at this time of my life.

As I was reading this book, I felt there was a certain beauty to it, but I wished I had gotten more out of it than I did. Now I feel slightly unsure about passing this book along to others because the book's theme is so esoteric. I appreciate the author sharing this book with me. I sincerely hope that future readers of this book will appreciate both its beauty and its meaning.

Rating - (I left this book unrated because I neither liked nor disliked it. I simply did not understand it)

Editado: Maio 28, 10:25 am

For those of you within driving distance of Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, come to the Gaithersburg Book Festival on Saturday, May, 20, 2023, where I will be stationed at the BookCrossing tent hoping to give away *hundreds* of FREE books along with my fellow Bookcrossers. I'll be there wearing my name tag (SqueakyChu, of course!).

Editado: Maio 11, 8:49 am

18. The Obstacle is the Way - Ryan Holiday

TIOLI #14:
Read a book where the title has a word or phrase you don't want to encounter while walking in the woods (obstacle)

Truthfully, I’ve liked another of this author’s books better, but this was an interesting read albeit less useful to me. The premise of this book is to use any obstacle to improve ourselves rather than allow it to cause more problems. I think this idea might be more helpful to someone who is more amenable to change. I happen to rant about things I don’t like. I realize I am a good target for this book, but I’m probably less amenable to its suggestions because I don’t want to be. However, I will keep them in mind when facing future obstacles. Who knows? Maybe this book was useful to me for more than I am now giving it credit.

Rating - 4 stars

Subconsciously,we should be constantly asking ourselves this question:Do I need to freak out about this?
And the answer—like it is for astronauts, for soldiers, for doctors, and for so many other professionals—must be:
No, because I practiced for this situation and I can control myself. Or, No, because I caught myself and I'm able to realize that that doesn't add anything constructive.

Maio 8, 12:44 am

Weirdly, I put into practice tonight exactly what the book in message #19 preached. The situation was that my daughter came to visit with her dog today. Unbeknownst to both of us, the dog peed and pooped on a carpet in a back bedroom. I later discovered and cleaned the poop, but the urine left a noticeable yellow stain on the rug. The rug was dirty otherwise, but that yellow stain was the worst. I had my husband start cutting up the wall-to-wall rug and removing it. Underneath (which I already knew) was the hardwood floor in good condition. It will be hard work to clean and reorder the room, but it had been necessary. I'm feeling happy about the tranistion that started with me being upset. Maybe I can start to practice making obstacles "the way". We'll see. It's certainly a less upsetting option.

Maio 8, 12:51 am

>57 SqueakyChu: Hmm, I find I've already freaked out way before I have any thought about whether I could have not done so.

Maio 8, 10:22 am

>57 SqueakyChu: I wonder if most of the people who could benefit from this advice are also quite voluntarily resistant to it? I am slightly less likely to "freak out" over obstacles, and to look for the solution, or the "way" through than other people close to me. But I don't have much success in persuading them to try it my way!

Maio 8, 10:54 am

>57 SqueakyChu: - Sounds like a book that most people would benefit from. I am a freaker-outer but a quiet one. I don't scream or yell or run around. I tend to want to vent to someone privately, and I seethe. Probably much worse for my health, to seethe, but that's just who I am. Since my mother got sick, and I have had to deal not just with her health and financial issues, but also with her horrible husband (and subsequently, the courts), I have met MANY obstacles. More than I ever imagined possible, I have learned to work around them in my own ways and in many cases, I have had success. Not all, for sure, but I have always been a problem-solver and at least doing that gives me something constructive to do!

Editado: Maio 8, 4:02 pm

>59 quondame: >60 laytonwoman3rd: >61 jessibud2: The interesting thing is that this author made an impression on me with what he had to say in another book about anxiety. I think I will try harder to put into practice his advice about obstacles...which is not really his advice per se, but rather advice gleaned from the philosophy of Stoicism and other prominent and admired individuals.

>59 quondame: I find I've already freaked out way before I have any thought about whether I could have not done so.

That has been so me! There must be some better way. It seems I'm always ranting about something.

>60 laytonwoman3rd: I wonder if most of the people who could benefit from this advice are also quite voluntarily resistant to it?

I think you're right!

>61 jessibud2: I have learned to work around them in my own ways and in many cases, I have had success.

I think that's the point the author is trying to make. It's not to deny obstacles, but to address other ways of handling them. My way has always been to get angry and start ranting and raging. One of my my sisters-in-law has completely stopped talking to me for doing this. That might be a blessing in disguise, but still. :)

Editado: Maio 15, 12:05 am

19. The Ruined Map - Kobo Abe

TIOLI #13:
Read a book by a foreign author (Japan)

I had a really tough time with this book. There were several reasons that I finished this story, although I really did not want to. First, I won this book from a fellow Bookcrosser who sent it to me because it had been on my wishlist for a long time. The second reason was because I have read works by this author before and have always found his stories weird and wonderful. The last reason was because I wanted to find out what happened to the man who disappeared in the beginning of the book.

To me this book was bizarre, but not in a way that I liked. I had an extremely hard time following the story line. I could not understand why individuals were behaving as they were.

The story itself is about a woman who reports that her husband disappeared six months ago. She hires a private investigator to find him, but she is providing little to no information to help the person she hired. As the investigation proceeds, individuals prove to either be helpful or not, or they tell the truth or lie. The ending was about as bleak an ending of any story I have recently read. Others may think this a creative book, but I did not enjoy reading it.

Rating - 2 stars

My companion looked at me in surprise. Since he was trying to see me through glasses that had slipped down his nose, his face was somewhat elevated, and some hairs left by the razor stood out like thorns above his pointed Adam's apple.

Editado: Maio 15, 7:40 pm

20. I Am Still With You - Emmanuel Iduma

Read a book whose author has at least 2 of the letters that spell May in their name (ma x2)

This is a beautifully written book about one man's search for identity, and in doing so teaches its readers about the Nigeria Civil War in the late 1960s and its aftermath in contemporary times. The only thing I remember about Biafra as a child is seeing pictures of starving Biafran children in the news.

This book gave me an opportunity to learn about Biafra in a very intimate way as the author returned to Nigeria, his country of birth, in search of more information about his father's brother Emmanuel who died in the Nigerian Civil War, but whose body was never found. I thought this a compelling read since I had formerly worked with individuals of the Igbo tribe and was delighted to have this opportunity to learn more about this and other tribes of Nigeria.

I was startled and saddened to learn that the remnants of Biafra are still in a continuous struggle with the government of Nigeria despite the passage of decades of time.

The very ending of the book was a complete surprise, but I'd like for that information to surprise you, the reader, as well when you get to it.

Rating - 4 stars

Death as the extinguishing of light. The quickness and suddenness and permanence of it, how unexpected it can be—not as in the gradual dimming of the afternoon sun, but rather the darkness that results from flicking a switch.

Maio 19, 12:06 am

21. Five days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City - Wes Moore

Read a book with at least 2 title words that begin with vowels (O, A, A)

This was an excellent book. It is the story of the five days following the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man in Baltimore arrested in 2015 for possession of an "illegal" knife, placed into a police van, and somehow during that ride ended up in a coma after which he died. The area in Baltimore in which Gray lived and died is where I lived as a child. I no longer live in Baltimore, but I feel so much pain for that city so I read this book with great interest.

It is told from the perspective of several people who reacted to the death of Freddie Gray: among them are a black police captain, a white public defender, a black woman whose own brother died at the hands of Baltimore police, and the chairman/CEO of the Baltimore Orioles. All of these accounts are very moving. However, reading this alone will not change a thing about systemic poverty and its consequences unless we, the readers, get involved.

When I first learned about the author, he had been nominated to run for the governor of Maryland. Not knowing anything about him, I read his autobiography, The Other Wes Moore. At that time he was the CEO of one of the largest anti-poverty organizations in the country. He is now the governor of Maryland. He is both a black man and a resident of Baltimore. I have so much hope for what he can do to help Baltimore recover from the trauma of Freddie Gray's death. I very much appreciated reading his thoughts in this book.

Rating - 5 stars

Freddie's short life is a dramatic truth: wealth and income inequality define modern American life. Millions of children are condemned to lives that are shorter, less healthy, and with fewer opportunities by virtue of their zip code, and, often, the color of their skin. They live in hypersegregated, intensely impoverished neighborhoods, create and reinforced by a web of policies, systems, and institutions.

Editado: Maio 28, 12:01 pm

22. Meditations - Marcus Aurelius

Read a book with a ten-letter (or more) word in the title, sub-title or author's name (meditations)

I read this book because I have read a few books by the contemporary self-help guru Ryan Holiday. I've enjoyed his books because I don't find them cultish as he draws his inspiration from the Stoics and other more contemporary individuals whom I hold in esteem. I saw this book and wanted to read the source of Holiday's inspiration. I have never been interested in reading anything by ancient Greeks (Marcus Aurelius lived in the second century), but I found this book fairly easy to read. I made the decision to read the Introduction after I read the book's narrative as I am fairly ignorant of ancient Greek history. I found that was an excellent way for me to enjoy the book a bit better.

Of the contents itself, I found many interesting and useful suggestions. I realize that what Marcus Aurelius wrote was merely notes as a guide for himself and never meant as a publication for others to read. His suggestion that I found most useful personally was to work toward a sense of calmness. The theme I had the most difficulty with was to not fear death. I can't say I'm there yet or ever while be. I enjoyed learning about Stoicism (and even where the word stoic came from). I am glad the opportunity presented itself by coincidence to read this book as I got my copy from a fellow Bookcrosser at a recent book festival.

Rating - 4 stars

Remember… that everything has always been the same, and keeps recurring, and it makes no difference, whether you see the same things recur in hundred years or two hundred, or in an infinite period.

Maio 28, 12:02 pm

>66 SqueakyChu: You're prompting me to reach for my copy of this work. I know I dipped into it decades ago, but the older I get...well, you know. I'm not afraid of death, but I've seen a lot of the last miles of other people's journey, and I don't really want to take the trip.

Editado: Maio 28, 1:13 pm

>67 laytonwoman3rd: As I get older and as I see friends of my same age die, I am not comfortable with death. I see Marcus Aurelius’s point, though. Somehow I can’t imagine avoiding fear and grief when dealing with the subject. It’s hard to deal with.

Maio 28, 6:24 pm

>66 SqueakyChu: Here are two Marcus Aurelius favorites:

"Every moment think steadily as a Roman to do what you have in hand
with perfect and simple dignity, and feeling of affection, and freedom, and justice;
and to give yourself relief from all other thoughts."


"But cast away the thirst after books..." !!!

Maio 28, 7:26 pm

>69 m.belljackson: - "But cast away the thirst after books..."

Too late......;-)

Maio 28, 7:31 pm

>69 m.belljackson: Funny. I read Meditations simply because I had previously read books by Ryan Holiday.

I think I spent half the time writing down quotes while reading Meditations. There were some good ones!

>70 jessibud2: True! :)

Maio 28, 8:02 pm

>64 SqueakyChu: & >65 SqueakyChu: Some good books to add to my hitlist, Madeline.

I am in mourning for my club this morning as Leeds United got relegated last night from the EPL.

A new manager, new owners (hopefully), plenty of new players and we'll come again.

MOT as they say in West Yorkshire.

Editado: Maio 28, 10:13 pm

>72 PaulCranswick: Yeah. I was reading about that. So sorry about Leeds' relegation (for your sake). I saw that re the Americans, people felt McKennie wasn't that good and they missed Tyler Adams because of his injury. Strange how Americans go to Europe to play in the Premiere League...and suddenly they are no longer doing that!

On the other hand, I do like relegation. I wish we had that here. That prevents too many teams from being in the same league. We will have 30 teams in the US Major League Soccer (MLS) when they add San Diego. Some of the teams are so bad that it is not fun to watch a super good team whip a really bad team. At least in relegation, better teams play better teams.

Maio 28, 9:43 pm

>73 SqueakyChu: Tyler Adams was a huge miss for us, Madeline and I honestly think his absence cost us dearly in the final analysis.

I don't care much for relegation this morning but in all fairness it does keep the season interesting for those not necessarily contesting trophies. A genuine pyramid built on sporting merit is the essence of the sport - just so happens we have no divine right to eat at the top table.

Maio 28, 9:58 pm

You will note that my football blues at least got me thinking about the TIOLI in June.

Editado: Maio 28, 11:19 pm

>75 PaulCranswick: Yay! At least that's good! :)

Regarding my team, DC United, this year my television is not even broadcasting the games (in my own area!). I had to buy a subscription of $100/year at Apple TV to watch my own team play. Just soccer. Other sports are broadcast on television. :( I'd like to see them try that with American football!

Maio 28, 11:03 pm

>76 SqueakyChu: That is terrible, Madeline. I thought that the sport was growing rapidly in the States or is that the problem? Baseball and American Football and Basketball protecting their dominance?

Editado: Maio 28, 11:20 pm

>77 PaulCranswick: It's all about money. By doing this, Apple TV gets the right to televise all the MLS games. Occasionally a few games will be released to local channels. However, a fan of a team wants to watch all the games, not just a few during the season. The sport of soccer is growing a lot. That is why everyone wants a piece of it. There's lots of money to be made as American players are getting more credibiity and become good enough to play in Europe. While that's happening, cities are building for-soccer-only stadiums, and paying huge sums of money to get well-known players to play here. Prices of professional soccer tickets continue to rise.

This Apple TV is a ten-year streaming deal. Ten years!! If they raise the price of the subscription in the future, there is no other way for me to watch my local team.

I found this article which explains the Apple TV deal. This article is from The Los Angeles Times. LA has their own MLS team (the LA Galaxy).

Maio 30, 1:04 am

Thought I'd stop by and say hi, Madeline, but must confess I never watch sports on TV or elsewhere.

Maio 30, 9:50 am

>79 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. Thanks for stopping by. Not watching sports is fine as long as you read books. LOL!

Editado: Jun 1, 12:08 am

23. Tzili: The Story of a Life - Aharon Appelfeld

TIOLI #12:
Read a book with 2 or more words of exactly 5 letters in the title (story, life)

This is such a tragic story. It's fiction, I know, but the author is Aharon Appelfeld, a Jew who was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II as a child, but who escaped and survived the war. I have read other novels by this author. He doesn't write about concentration camps, but in his novels he writes about what happened to Jews who suffered other tragedies.

This story is about a young teenager who is totally abandoned by her family so she must do whatever she needs to do to survive. Sometimes she is alone; sometimes she is with others. The story is heartbreaking, but a necessary read. Readers do need to know what it felt like for Jews to endure the war years in Europe, even if they were not murdered.

A jarring part of this story for me was near the end when I discovered that Tzili ended up in Zagreb. Zagreb is a city in Croatia, part of the former Republic of Yugoslvaia. My maternal grandparents lived in what is now Croatia, but they died in Auschwitz at the hands of the Nazis.

I generally don't like to read novels about this period in history, but I hesitatingly do read novels by authors who themselves experienced deep trauma at the hands of the Nazis. They have stories to tell.

Rating - 5 stars

Death is not as terrible as it seems. All you have to do is conquer your fear.