richardderus's fifth 2023 thread

É uma continuação do tópico richardderus's fourth 2023 thread.

Este tópico foi continuado por richardderus's sixth 2023 thread.

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2023

Entre no LibraryThing para poder publicar.

richardderus's fifth 2023 thread

Abr 9, 10:30 am

1 World Trade Center versus Zeus.
(from 9 April 2023's NYT newsletter)

Editado: Maio 19, 8:02 pm

Editado: Abr 10, 2:46 pm

018 You Deserve Nothingby Alexander Maksik

Rating: 3.5* of five

THE Publisher Says: Set in an international high school in Paris, You Deserve Nothing is told in three voices: that of Will, a charismatic young teacher who brings ideas alive in the classroom in a way that profoundly affects his students; Gilad, one of Will's students who has grown up behind compound walls in places like Dakar and Dubai, and for whom Paris and Will's senior seminar are the first heady tastes of freedom; and Marie, the beautiful, vulnerable senior with whom, unbeknowst to Gilad, Will is having an illicit affair. Utterly compelling, brilliantly written, You Deserve Nothing is a captivating tale about teachers and students, of moral uncertainties and the coming of adulthood. It heralds the arrival of a brilliant new voice in fiction.


My Review
: A brief review of my sexual history: I was sexually abued by my mother in my teens; I, in turn, used my youth and physical charms to seduce a man (who was not my teacher and held no authority over me) more than twice my age; I can never repay him for the glory of introducing me to the raptures of consensual sex. So, while I understand coercive sex from the victim's PoV, I also know teens are sexual creatures and fully aware of the power and pleasure of being desired. Sex itself needs no justification, it's just fun as anyone who's had it knows. (Rape is not sex it's abuse of power by bodily means.)

It's the consent part that troubles me here, not the age gap nor the idea that a seventeen-year-old could set out to bed someone more than twice their age. A teacher is in a position of power and a student wants to level the playing field by using sex? Yes, makes sense...but the adult needs to be the one who says a firm "NO" while in a position of power over the young bundle of hormones. I'm not discounting Maksik's assertion that Marie wanted to do it with him; I've been that youthful aggressor myself; I'm saying it was his job to stop the situation because he was the adult and could...or should...see the dreadful consequences of this power imbalance. The young woman maintains she's dealing with a lot of shame and guilt for (I gather) having had an abortion.

A few quotes I quite like, but also point to Maksik not quite hiding the truth of the matter at hand from us:
I would fight for him and against anyone who wouldn't. It wasn't complicated. In the beginning love never is.
Everything can change, but only with abandon.
Cowards spend their lives alone. Either with people who can't hurt them, or with no one at all.
The thing is you have to fight the whole time. You can't stop. Otherwise you just end up somewhere, bobbing in the middle of a life you never wanted.

I find it hard to fault the beautiful simplicity of these aperçus, yet equally hard not to see them as coded mea exculpas for his past behavior.

I don't presume to tell you what you should think of Maksik, or his behavior; I trust you can make up your own mind about him as a person. I think the reality of reading for many, if not most, of us is that we don't or can't separate the writer from the writing (eg, I'll never consume anything at all by Jo Rowling the TERF), so I think you should know whose bank account you're notionally fattening before you buy the book to read it.

Should you, in fact, read it? I say a qualified yes to that, because I like but don't love the writing; and because I don't respond to cishet desire with any kind of enthusiasm. But it's a first novel, so one forgives the occasional longueur without much effort. Since many of y'all are yourselves heterosexual, that won't be a problem (so I assume). There's nothing explicit in the text except reciprocal sexual desire.

Over to you, then; but don't ignore it just because the author's not a nice guy.

Editado: Abr 17, 12:09 pm

PEARL RULE #1 @ 52%

I'd Rather Not: Essays in post post #137.

Abr 9, 10:31 am

don't make me stop this thread

Abr 9, 10:31 am

Quit whining...oh, okay, go on and have it your way.

Abr 9, 10:45 am

Happy new one, RD! Nice topper. I'm first?!

Abr 9, 10:50 am

And I'm second?

Editado: Abr 9, 11:08 am

>7 jessibud2: >8 karenmarie: Crowns for each of y'all!

Abr 9, 11:25 am

>1 richardderus: Quite the topper, RD. I am sure that the sparks will continue to fly as the thread progresses.

Editado: Abr 9, 11:28 am

Love the topper, but the lightning should be striking the grifter’s tower.

Happy new thread!

Edited to correct punctuation error.

Abr 9, 12:09 pm

>10 PaulCranswick: Sparks have a way of happening when I'm around, true enough. That photo made my skin prickle!

Abr 9, 12:11 pm

>11 Storeetllr: NO NO NO, nothing natural should ever give 45 an excuse to get more money from his dupes. Only self-inflicted damage! (Preferably lethal, and soon, but I digress...)

Abr 9, 12:35 pm

Wowzer, and I look forward to your new thread!!!!!!!

Abr 9, 12:46 pm

Happy new thread!

And as for the most satisfying fantasy demise for Dolt 45 - I'll take a lightning bolt out of a cloudless sky, with Jehovah-on-his-throne visibly casting it.

This should, of course, take place during a huge rally, and be caught on camera. The video will be presumed faked, of course, but perhaps Jehovah might deign to follow up by eliminating other folks equally worthy.

Abr 9, 12:49 pm

>14 LizzieD: Thank you, Peggy! I'm glad you're here...makes the place feel more like home now.

Abr 9, 12:52 pm

>15 ArlieS: If she existed, I'd pass that right on up the food chain to her inbox, Arlie. I'd like some more baroque elaborations, like the yawning pit of Hell opening up before Trumplethinskin gets fried then falls screamng into the Fiery Pit...but Life is so tediously ordinary, innit.

Abr 9, 12:59 pm

>17 richardderus: Yeah, I'm not holding my breath.

The aneurysm that somebody else suggested would be a quite acceptable alternative.

And it has the advantage of actually being possible.

Abr 9, 1:03 pm

>18 ArlieS: ...but too damn late. If it'd appened in 2000, or 2010, it'd be fine. Now the damage is done and Cheeto Benito, the creature from under the sewage treatment plant, dying is purely about revenge and ill-will. Not edifying motives, but motives they are.

Abr 9, 3:12 pm

HAppy new thread, Richard!

Abr 9, 3:47 pm

Happy new thread, Richard!

My mind is creative enough to suggest some other statisfying ways to end 45. I like all previous ways mentioned, but I would prefer a way that doesn't kill immediately... I think he deserves at least a few days on the edge.
I really try not to hate, as it tends to turn towards yourself. I forgave my mother the day before she died, I am not up yet to doing that again towards 45 and similair politicans on this side of the Atlantic...

Abr 9, 3:52 pm

Happy new thread, RD.
Excellent image in the thread topper - love the power of the natural world.
Hope you've had a good weekend.

Abr 9, 4:43 pm

It just has to be public and clearly not the fault of anyone else -- I can hear the MAGA crowd now blaming and threatening and demanding retribution.

Abr 9, 5:01 pm

>20 figsfromthistle: Thank you, Anita!

Abr 9, 5:06 pm

>21 FAMeulstee: "Forgive" is not a word or concept I'll bother to apply to 45 or his models or minions. They do not merit my effort in reaching into my ever-flattening bag of lovingkindness to offer some to those who are sure their hatred is RIGHT and JUST.

...I've never claimed that I am not also part of the problem...


Abr 9, 5:10 pm

>22 Helenliz: It's so spectacularly beautiful as well as horrendously dangerous and aesthetically exciting. Such a wild admixture!

Thanks for the well-wishes, Helen.

Abr 9, 5:12 pm

>23 RebaRelishesReading: They'll do that no matter what, Reba, we're not gettin' shed of their deeply disgruntled rageaholic antics any time soon.

Abr 9, 6:18 pm

Happy New Thread!

Love the topper image. Lightening shots are so neat.

Abr 9, 8:36 pm

>28 mahsdad: Thanks, Jeff! I agree that lightning is a superb subject for photography, because we can't really see it otherwise we don't know what the heck it actually looks like without photos like that one.

Abr 9, 9:01 pm

Happy New Thread, Richard. I hope you had a great day. I can't wait to eat all that Tex Mex!!

Abr 10, 1:07 am

Happy new thread, Richard. Look at you with a pic on top of your thread and one that shows the power of being back and live!

Abr 10, 7:09 am

'Morning, Rdear. Happy Monday to you.

Don't have much else, alas.


Abr 10, 9:00 am

Happy New Thread, Richard dear. *smooch*

Abr 10, 9:15 am

>30 msf59: thanks, Birddude! Sunday was perfectly okay. I think the days of the week recede in importance to me in my daily life more and more. I guess that's normal, isn't it, for older folk.

enjoy all the yummy yummy combo platters and rellenos and refritos and breakfast tacos ("lengua" is tongue, "al pastor" is pork) and pretty much everywhere will offer you horchata (pronounced or-CHAH-tuh) as a bevvie. The water there tastes horrible so don't drink the tea, but horchata is really good and masks the horrible water better.

Abr 10, 9:17 am

>31 Familyhistorian: Ain't that the truth, Meg? I'm glad to see you here.

Abr 10, 9:18 am

>32 karenmarie: Merry New Sunday, Horrible! It's enough that you came to visit. *smooch*

Abr 10, 9:18 am

Happy new one, Richard!

Abr 10, 9:19 am

>33 ronincats: Thank you, Roni! *smooch*

Abr 10, 9:19 am

>37 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

Abr 10, 9:33 am

Lightening can be quite beautiful. A friend of mine used to harness lightening with a rod in the sand and then dig up the glass. Each item was unique and quite interesting.

Happy Mondaying, Richard! *smooch*

Abr 10, 10:39 am

>40 figsfromthistle: What a great art project that was, Anita! I love the idea and its simplicity. Happy New Sunday!

Abr 10, 12:13 pm

>27 richardderus: I'm afraid you're right Richard -- but I get polyanna-ish moments sometimes.

Abr 10, 12:20 pm

>42 RebaRelishesReading: The last time I felt at all pollyannaish was before Little Ronson Ray-gun was elected after the traitorous scum who ran the country after his assumption of power betrayed the hostages in Tehran.

Abr 10, 12:21 pm

>43 richardderus: That may have been honest optimism, eh? I think of pollyannaism as more unjustified optimism lol

Abr 10, 12:26 pm

Happy new one, Big Daddy! A topper and everything! Nicely done, and I love the topper you chose. Hoping that New Sunday is kind to you. *smooch*

Abr 10, 12:45 pm

>34 richardderus: There's so much less day-of-the-week structure when you don't have work (or school) days.

Abr 10, 12:54 pm

>44 RebaRelishesReading: It was a horrible betrayal of all that I believed about democracy when Carter...good man, not a great the bounce, but it wasn't unexpected...I deliberately ignored all the signs and all the rumors swirling around Texas, so it seems like pollyannaish thinking (though permaybehaps moreso in hindsight).

Abr 10, 12:56 pm

>45 Crazymamie: Thank you, my dear's very sunny and still breezy enough to be chilly so I am wearing a lovely red long-sleeved shirt I got as a gift from Someone or Another. ;-p

Abr 10, 12:57 pm

>46 ArlieS: ...and how I love it this way, Arlie!

Abr 10, 12:57 pm

Abr 10, 1:26 pm

>41 richardderus: He ended up doing this for a year and then gave up. I suppose he did not have enough interest/buyers because the formations just looked like rock and were not clear the way people would expect. He gave me one's somewhere in a box.

Abr 10, 2:57 pm

>51 figsfromthistle: I can understand his frustration. I still think it's too bad!

Abr 10, 4:26 pm

Happy new thread, Richard. New Sunday *smooch*

Abr 10, 5:15 pm

>49 richardderus: I likewise.

Abr 10, 5:26 pm

>53 bell7: Thank you, Mary! *smooch*

Abr 10, 5:26 pm

Abr 10, 6:36 pm

Happy new thread, Ricardo!!! Smooches.

Abr 11, 7:10 am

'Morning, RD! Happy Tuesday to you.

So, a friend of mine, who knows my current reading interests, just sent me Thrust: A Spasmodic Pictorial History of the Codpiece in Art by Michael Glover. You can imagine the guffaw when I opened the envelope.

*smooch* from your own Horrible

Abr 11, 7:52 am

Morning, Richard. I hope your week is off to a good start. We will be in the 70s for the rest of the week, so that will feel heavenly. Off to Rehab duties shortly...enjoy your day.

Abr 11, 8:08 am

Happy whatever-day.
Should be M-day, as it's the first working day of the week, but must be Tuesday, as I'm in the office. Although as my lunch order didn't arrive, who knows what day it is?!

Abr 11, 9:01 am

>57 Berly: Thank you, Berly-boo! *smooch*

Abr 11, 9:12 am

>58 karenmarie: LolOLOLoL

The codpiece-ripper is a worthy subgenre of romance, indeed. That's priceless! Enjoy it...and do report back on its aesthetic merits.

Abr 11, 9:14 am

>59 msf59: It's beautiful here, too, though not as warm as your area is. Which, I hasten to add, is hunky-dory by me!

Abr 11, 9:19 am

>60 Helenliz: No lunch order?!? A civil-rights violation! How can one be expected to endue the rigors of stupid bosses and ignorant cusomers without a solid backstop of food?

Abr 11, 10:22 am

Good morning, Richard! I'm not sure how I missed you yesterday, but I'm booing and hissing at myself.

I'm enjoying Exit Strategy, which I've been hoarding. Favorite line comes when Mensah asks, "What's your real name?" the reply is "It's Murderbot." That touches me and makes me smile every time I think about it.

Abr 11, 12:27 pm

>47 richardderus: I agree the world would be a fine place if it were filled with Jimmy Carter clones but he was definitely a mediocre president.

Abr 11, 1:47 pm

Happy Tuesday, RD!

I keep meaning to thank you for the Nestl pillow recommendation. TW very much likes the body pillow, and it inspired me to order king pillows since ours needed replacing, and I really love them!

Abr 11, 5:25 pm

>65 LizzieD: I'm not surprised you're loving Exit Strategy Peggy! There's nothing on Earth like the pleasure of reimmersing yourself into the world that someone witha genuine gift has made for you...bliss.

I'm always glad when you're here, dearie-me-lass, no matter when it is.

Abr 11, 5:27 pm

>67 katiekrug: I'm so glad, Katie, they've made me much more comfortable at night. It's great they've worked out for y'all too.

Abr 12, 7:54 am

'Morning, Rdear! Happy Wednesday to you.

Pillows. Sigh. I need to throw out every single one in the house - upwards of a dozen or more - except perhaps the down pillows, which all need to be washed and try to find new ones that work for Jenna and me. Bill has two scruffy ones he likes, and I wouldn't get rid of them 'cuz I'm nice like that.

*smooch* from your own Horrible

Abr 12, 9:27 am

>70 karenmarie: Good luck as you go a-pillowing. I hate the process because it's a stab in the dark as pillows aren't returnable. The one I've got now, made for side-sleepers, simply defeated me when I tried to assemble it, and while it's quite comfortable enough in the cover it came with, i bought it to get the gel-cooling benefits. It quite simply did not come with instructions nor was the website's video any use at all as the sound was poor, the woman yapping on never actually assembled the pillow, nor did what I received resemble what was shown in that video.

May your experience be the antithesis of mine.

Abr 12, 10:24 am

>71 richardderus: You have to assemble a pillow????? Do I even live in this century?

Good morning, Richard! I wish you a satisfying day. I'm off to roust my mom and give her our Wednesday breakfast of yogurt with good stuff in it.

Abr 12, 10:31 am

>72 LizzieD: Honestly, Peggy, I wouldn't've bought the pillow if I'd realized there were NO INSTRUCTIONS on how to do it.

Abr 12, 11:09 am

Happy mid week!

>71 richardderus: How do you assemble a pillow?! I know what you mean though. It is tricky to find a comfortable pillow. I usually end up buying two before I find one that works for me.

Abr 12, 12:19 pm

>74 figsfromthistle: In my case, Anita, you don't. It has three pieces...stuffing, cover with stuffing inside, gel cover...that in thteory all work together. Spoiler alert: they don't.

Abr 12, 12:57 pm

Speaking of pillows, have you tried silk pillow cases? They stay nice and cool and are so soft and kind to my old hair and face. I imagine if I could find a decent pillow to use with them, I’d never want get to get out of bed. Oh, wait.

Abr 12, 1:02 pm

>76 Storeetllr: $50 for a pillowcase would cause my entire body to convulse if I so much as gestured towards the 1-click button.

Abr 12, 1:23 pm

What being forced to listen to TV feels like

Abr 12, 2:00 pm

Is it the Nestl pillows you're having issues with? I left mine stuffed as it came, but TW took some of the stuffing out to make his a bit flatter.

Sorry about the endless TV... xx

Abr 12, 2:14 pm

>78 richardderus: Oh, dear! I'm so sorry. I was at the dentist with Abby the other day, and they of course had a tv on in the waiting room, and it was making me crazy. And that was just for a short time. You poor, poor thing.

Hoping your day improves, my dear. *smooch*

Abr 12, 2:26 pm

>79 katiekrug: It is the Soma side-sleeper's pillow I got that gives me fits, the Nestl body-pillow was just fine as it came. I wanted the gel *cover* for the summer, not just the infused memory-foan like the Nestl has, because my head sweats so much more than the rest of me.

I hate commercials. I hate MeTV's 1950s-60s-70s reruns. The two together make me glad i don't own a claw hammer.

Abr 12, 2:28 pm

>80 Crazymamie: The only way I'll have an improved day is if Old Stuff decides to go get drunk again therefore leaves for several hours. Of course he's thoroughly unpleasant when drunk, so it's an illusory reprieve.

Abr 12, 2:51 pm

Yeah. Definitely not the flirty kind of pillow talk going on around here. LOL. But the timing is perfect -- my neck was hurting this morning because my pillows are old and they've gone flat on me. Time to get some new fluffier ones!

>82 richardderus: Seriously, after all this time, can't they give you a new roommate? Surely there have been openings! Ugh.

Abr 12, 4:00 pm

Why did this make me think of you? Of course, it is just as true for me.

Abr 12, 4:18 pm

Hi Richard, Happy New Thread my dear friend.

Abr 12, 7:18 pm

>83 Berly: no indeed, not that kind of pillow talk! LOL

I'm way too annoyed about the Soma side-sleeper for that, but honestly I'm unsure if that's my primary irritant or just Life, the Universe, and Everything is the problem....

Abr 12, 7:19 pm

>84 ronincats: LOLOL

I resemble that remark! I love it, Roni, and thanks!

Abr 12, 7:20 pm

>85 johnsimpson: Greetings, john, rhank you for the kind wishes. I'm in need of the reminder that the entire world isn't made up of irritating, annoying, stupid people so your timing couldn't be better.

Abr 13, 4:58 am

Happy Thursday, Richard dear!

>88 richardderus: Not all people are annoying, irritating, and stupid, although it might feel that way sometimes.

Abr 13, 8:24 am

Good morning, RD! Happy Thursday to you.

>78 richardderus: Yup. The ear pollution is out here in central NC, too. Bill has learned to turn the volume down if he’s going to do some work or otherwise play on his computer, but it was his companion before we got married. In fact, he had one in the bedroom. I told him he got his choice – me or the TV – and he wisely chose me. *smile*

>80 Crazymamie: Waiting room TV is torture, too, Mamie.

>81 richardderus: Bill recently got some adjust-the-foam-bits pillows. He gave me one to try, and it gave me fits, and I hated that I could feel every single little foam piece, even with a pillow case. I think Jenna likes it. I like a firm pillow AND a down-type pillow and go back and forth during the night.

>82 richardderus:


Abr 13, 8:35 am

>89 FAMeulstee: I'll have to take your word for it, Anita, since I'm so over-sensitized to the stupids that I can't trust my judgment. Anyway, I'm happy to see you here for your weekly visit! *smooch*

Abr 13, 8:37 am

Morning, BigDaddy! I'm sorry that your roommate is so annoying - I can't imagine not being able to get away from that or have the room to yourself for a few precious hours. *smooch and a bear hug*

>84 ronincats: I love this!!

Abr 13, 8:44 am

>90 karenmarie: Goodness! I think those pillows sound awful! I can't feel ant of the foam shreddies inside the pillow or I'd've burnt the goddamned thing in the street. The pillow works as a pillow but not as a gel-cushioned one to keep me cool. The curved inner shape is very, very comfy and I can't fault the support level, or the absence of neck stiffness, so I'm better off than it sounds like you were.

The Nestl body-pillow is also exactly right in support terms. Its cover is cooling bamboo fabric but it won't do for my head because it's slick. That grosses me out.

Television: the intruder who wo't go away or shut up.

Abr 13, 8:47 am

>92 Crazymamie: I'm grateful for the sympathy, Mamie. I can't change an almost-80-year-old's character flaws and I'm not legally allowed to maim or kill him.

Abr 13, 8:50 am

>94 richardderus: Right. Because then you get a whole new roommate situation.

Abr 13, 8:55 am

>95 Crazymamie: Considering the pool of possibilities, the mind boggles and the spirit quails before the hellscape that opens up.

Abr 13, 8:58 am

This is why I have multiple pairs of noise-cancelling headphones. That way people can live, and I can remain out of jail.

Abr 13, 9:19 am

>97 Crazymamie: I do, too...but they make me sweat and that makes me resentful...there is no winning here, I just endure the cigarette-and-unchanged-underpants reek with silent judgment.

Abr 13, 9:41 am

Sweet Thursday, Richard. Sorry to hear that you still have to endure your roomie's unpleasant proclivities. Ugh. Otherwise, I hope you are doing ok. Another day of 80F and sunshine. I could get used to this...

Abr 13, 9:59 am

>99 msf59: 80° is within hailing distance here too, but we've still got an onshore breeze to take the curse off. I am very relieved. In general it's been a very nice Spring indeed, so no major complaints. Enjoy your Thursday!

Abr 13, 11:39 am

Thursday smooches for you, RDear. We had rain mixed with snow again yesterday so your temperatures feel VERY far away at the moment.

Abr 13, 12:07 pm

>101 MickyFine: ...oh...oh how I long for a lovely day of wintry mix instead of late-May weather...lucky you, Micky!

Abr 13, 1:39 pm

My new T-shirt - from a prior thread of yours - is on the way. I only feel a wee bit guilty; I just donated a fair number of T-shirts that didn't fit, or weren't much loved, in an attempt to make more space, and could stand to have even fewer.

Abr 13, 1:52 pm

>103 ArlieS: oh, the "You Are Here" one? I hope you enjoy it when it arrives, since it says so much in such a compact way.

Abr 13, 1:59 pm

>104 richardderus: Yes, that's the one.

Abr 13, 4:58 pm

>77 richardderus: Yeah, $50 a pillowcase is a bit rich for me too. The two I bought - the first one in 2015 and the second a couple months ago - we’re about $20 each (standard size). The first one is being sold now for $36. Inflation and/or corporate greed? Whatever. It lasted eight years, and I’m still using it, so definitely worth it ($20).

Abr 14, 6:48 am

‘Morning, Rdear. Happiest of Fridays to you.

>94 richardderus: What? No justifiable homicide in NY? Sheesh.

Two thoughts: My mother always called TV “The Idiot Box” and she’d randomly come into the living room and turn it off, telling us to do something else.

And, it was 84F here yesterday afternoon. I had to navigate with the walker into my closet to find a short-sleeved shirt to wear to go pick up my SUV, because winter-weight mock-Ts and other winter gear mostly need to get put up. This switching from winter to summer stuff sucks – never did it in SoCal.

*smooch* from your cranky Horrible

Abr 14, 9:42 am

Morning, Richard! Friday happiness to you! *smooch*

Abr 14, 9:51 am

>107 karenmarie: Thanks for the sympathy, Horrible. I think 'justifiable homicide' might be the thing that pushesthe libertarians over the electoral top eventually, though in a country as heavily armed as this one, the consequences of such a doctrine boggle the mind and cause the soul to quail before the hellscape they'd bring into being.

much as I resent it, Old Stuff gets to live. Dammit anyway.

The Babble Box was my name for it. Incessant noise, none of it interesting or meaningful, to a background of cachinnation fit to give a boy a headache.

Abr 14, 9:53 am

>108 Crazymamie: Friday happinness wishes duly passed to the Goddesses for Their approval. Will report back on the decision They hand down. *smooch*

Abr 14, 9:54 am

>106 Storeetllr: Hi Mary! I didn't see any $20 ones, but TBH that's out of my range, too, just not as outrageous as $50. *smooch*

Abr 14, 9:55 am

Abr 14, 10:09 am

Richard, I share your frustration with THE BABBLE BOX. I can't tell you how much I loathe CBS daytime programming. If I'm not going to be in the same room with my mom so that I can hear her when she wakes up, I just was well be somewhere else - same with sound-canceling headware. Since she is sleeping more and more, I can at least tune to another channel, but I really am not interested in anything much and would really, really like to read in quiet. I have now have an internal dialog with MSNBC that I'd like to get rid of. I tell myself that it could be worse and that I should use the opportunity to build my ability to concentrate.
Oh. Good morning, Richard. I wish you a satisfying day.

Abr 14, 10:39 am

i wish you (and me!) a silent one, Peggy. *smooch*

Hilarious!! Being Rickrolled on medieval instruments adds a fun dimension to the irritating tune we all love to hate.

Abr 14, 12:49 pm

I spent one night in a "nursing home" after my double-knee-replacement a few years back. My roommate insisted on having the TV on all night!! At 6 a.m. I phoned my husband and told him I couldn't stay there anymore and he rescued me about 8. He's a wonderful guy that way :)

Abr 14, 1:12 pm

Civilizations in decline are consistently characterised by a tendency towards standardization and uniformity. -Arnold Toynbee

Abr 14, 1:14 pm

Abr 14, 2:02 pm

I too dislike waiting-room TVs. For quite some time, I took Judi to various appointments and would sit in the waiting room reading. Usually I had disposable ear plugs in my pocket that I could usually get inserted well enough to quell the sound. On more than one occasion I turn the set off if no one else was waiting.

You are a better man than I am, Gunga Derus.

Abr 14, 5:07 pm

Abr 14, 5:19 pm

>119 weird_O: I'm not willing to go to jail for cleaning the gene pool (too late, I might add) so I'm disinclined to do irrevocable things...making me practical, but cowardly.

Abr 14, 5:20 pm

>120 Caroline_McElwee: Inarguable, isn't it, Caro?

Abr 16, 7:15 am

'Morning, RDear. Happy Sunday to you.

>109 richardderus: You are benevolent in allowing OS to live.

I snuck upstairs yesterday while Jenna was out with friends, using the cane I'm not officially supposed to be using yet, but holding onto railings, furniture, and walls. I left evidence of my visit - the toilet paper folded into that little pointy shape like they do at hotels. She told me later that it was either me visiting upstairs or someone living in the attic... I assured her it was me. When I woke up this a.m. I wondered why I was achy, but then realized that my venture used new muscles, dammit. And, I have callouses on my palms from the walker.

*smooch* from your own Horrible

Abr 16, 8:59 am

>123 karenmarie: "Benevolent" or merely too aware of consequences to run unnecessary risks...either way, here he is and here he stays.

I'm glad you're still hiding the house-elf in the attic from Jenna...she'll enjoy being a slave-owner more when she's older and tireder. I found the walking "aids" much more painful to use than they were helpful so never got to grips (!) with them. If I ever need a hip-joint replacement, I'm going to be in serious trouble...the knee surgery of the Aughties would even be impossible in today's physical regime. No way could I use a walker or rollator of any sort. Best hope I don't end up needing one....

Abr 16, 9:44 am

Hiya. Zoomed through ~ didn't catch-up very well, but glad to see you've improved mightily and "real" RD-type book reviews.

I am skimming everyone's USA-related political posts because I still have a headache from the tax return falderol and the Canadian landscape is equally bereft of intelligent candidates.

I've no new books or new reading to mention. Cheers...

Abr 16, 2:28 pm

>121 richardderus: Practical is the way to go. And think of all the people here who would miss you if a certain crime was committed and the TV went silent? Smooch.

Abr 16, 2:33 pm

Good Sunday to you, Richard. I cruised through last night, but I was too stupid even to speak.
We're doing our best. I trust that you are too.

Abr 16, 3:09 pm

>125 SandyAMcPherson: Hey Sandy, glad to see you here! Political mishegas is entirely optional here...attend or ignore as your mood dictates. Sometimes there's no room for even the best of times to have new stuff in 'em and this ain't the best of times for anyone I know. *smooch*

>126 Berly: Hey there Berly-boo! No worries...much as I despise Old Stuff I disapprove of prisons too much to do something that would guarantee my dying inside one. No. Thank. You. Please.

>127 LizzieD: Hi there Peggy! I was too stupid to post here yesterday, either, so you're not alone. Some days be like that. Saturday just was one, I have no notion of why.

Abr 16, 3:56 pm

>114 richardderus: Brilliant! And then I disappeared down a rabbit hole of medieval covers.

>117 richardderus: *applause*

Hope the week to come treats you well.

Abr 16, 4:53 pm

>129 Helenliz: thanks, Helen, but that doesn't seem overly likely...everyone else has a civil right to make noise and i have none to silence.

Abr 16, 8:58 pm

Hi! Hope you had a nice weekend and didn't get too wet. We just had lots of moist air and a few almost nothing sprinkles, though last night there were a few lightning and thunder strikes that shook the windows. Exciting!

>111 richardderus: What size pillowcase do you use, Richard?

Abr 17, 8:28 am

‘Morning, RD, and happy Monday to you.

>124 richardderus: I guess OS is the lesser of potential evils. At least you know his ways and can either control or manipulate him some. And, LOL, I’ll have to admit to the house-elf in the attic, but I’ve given him clothes and he’s choosing to stay, Dobby-like.

My friend Kirk, who had a knee replacement a year ago, will be getting a hip replacement next month. His doctor only ordered 2 weeks of in-house PT for him after the knee. He’s got great mobility in that knee, BTW, but sheesh. I know I would be crippled for life without going to PT with Max.

Ix-nay to you needing hip replacement, ever.

>129 Helenliz: I go down rabbit holes all the time, Helen. Enquiring minds and all that.


Abr 17, 9:02 am

>131 Storeetllr: I stayed indoors, Mary, so never got wet. I'm afraid the slick boardwalk feels like too big a risk of falling for me to go out unaccompanied. Since the strokes, I'm much more aware of such risks...I went out in the sunshine and had to call Rob from my phone as I walked along t prove I wasn't just leaving the phone in my room. This is apparently a very big stressor for him.

I have stacks of queen pillowcases for my regular pillows. I got a king-sized one for the side-sleeper pillow because its shape demands the extra fabric.

Abr 17, 9:50 am

Good morning, Richard, and a brighter day to you. I had no idea how omnipresent thoughts to ward off falling would become in my old age. We do our best.

Abr 17, 10:12 am

>132 karenmarie: I got so desperate to restart his reading habit that i offered to buy him the latest Patterson dice, just a huffy "NO"...then offered to buy him headphones for his TV..."USE YOUR OWN GODDAMN HEADPHONES i DON'T NEED TO"...but that meant i could finally get the side-sleeper pillow and a backup two-pounder of coffee, so all is not lost.

I despise his cigarette-reeking unwashed, dirty-clothes-clad carcass.

Abr 17, 10:18 am

>134 LizzieD: Good morning, Peggy dear lady...brighter is not on the cards, I'm afraid, as there's a dank blanket of fog all over the seaside. But that's really necessary for the plant life to thrive so I look at it as aerial irrigation. *smooch*

Editado: Abr 17, 11:18 am


I'd Rather Not: Essays by Robert Skinner

Rating: 3* of five, because I laughed out loud several times

The Publisher Says: An endlessly entertaining collection of wayward autobiographical tales about a search for a richer life thwarted at every turn by beagles, bureaucrats, and ill-advised love affairs

The unlikely story of how a failed dishwasher, tour guide, cabinet maker, bus driver, bookseller and literary journal publisher became one of Australia's hottest humor essayists

Perfect for fans of humorous, thought-provoking authors like Sloane Crosley, Jenny Lawson, Samantha Irby, and David Sedaris

This wryly subversive book of adventures (and misadventures) offers an original and utterly hilarious take on work, escape, and that something more we all need.

Robert Skinner arrives in the city, searching for a richer life. Things begin badly and then, surprisingly, get slightly worse. Pretty soon he's sleeping rough and trying to run a literary magazine out of a dog park. His quest for meaning keeps being thwarted, by gainful employment, house parties, ill-advised love affairs, camel trips, and bureaucratic entanglements.

The book's 14 essays/stories can be savored one at a time, or binged.


My Review
: "Robert's distinctive voice possesses uncommon immediacy, at once humorous and soulful, self-effacing and wise. Perhaps most important of all, he is endlessly entertaining." --thus spake the Publisher with Forkèd Tongue

A read that proved, after some initial good laughs, to be an Aussie manchild whinging about how he hates masks and lockdowns because he can't go out a-hunting anymore. ::eyeroll:: Being a male is embarrassing sometimes, increasingly often in fact.

The overwhelming impression I got, the longer I read, was that Robert's friends needed to stage an intervention and smack some sense into him...nit because he chased the dream of being A Force in le monde littéraire, but for doing so without any kind or sort of financial support. As I get older, I see things like this differently from the "let's see what happens" 'tude of youth. There are service providers whose budgets are torpedoed by your failure; there are creatives whose livelihoods (seldom monetary, more in terms of exposure and credibility) you're gaming the system with; and none of them desrve to pay the price for your lack of foresight.

Had this collection aimed its various barbs at the craptastic record of capitalism vis-a-vis the Arts, and/or making it a sugar-coated case for the desperate need for Universal Basic Income, instead of playing it for the "humor" inherent in a grown man sleeping outdoors, trying to get unemployment without seeking work, then whinging about how much he hates lockdown and masking up in a fucking pandemic I'd be smilingly recommending it to you as a browsing book. I don't think humor is best consumed in a binge. As it is, consume at your own risk of overdosing on one young guy's offended sense of his own privilege shockingly not generating wide public support.

Abr 17, 10:51 am

019 Eastbound by Maylis de Kerangal (tr. Jessica Moore)

Rating: 4.5* of five

The Publisher Says: Aliocha is racing toward Vladivostok with other Russian conscripts packed on a trans-Siberian train. Soon after boarding, he decides to desert. Over a midnight smoke in a dark corridor of the train, the young soldier encounters an older French woman, Hélène, for whom he feels an uncanny trust. He manages through pantomime and a basic Russian that Hélène must decipher to ask for her help. As they hurry from the filth of his third-class carriage to Hélène’s first-class sleeping car, Aliocha becomes a hunted deserter and Hélène his accomplice with her own recent memories to contend with. Eastbound is both an adventure story and a duet of vibrant inner worlds. In evocative sentences gorgeously translated by Jessica Moore, De Kerangal tells the story of two unlikely souls entwined in a quest for freedom with a striking sense of tenderness, sharply contrasting the brutality of their surrounding world.


My Review
: First, read this:
Hélène smiles. She agreed to take Aliocha in without hesitation, without even really weighing his request, and whether suspect ease or absence of discernment it doesn't much matter, she felt overwhelmed by this young man, absolutely unique in the world in the face of his request, and she who had reserved both bunks in the compartment so she might be alone with an opening onto Siberia to remember and imagine—two ways of seeing clearly—she had welcomed this stranger. She turns her eyes and lets them drift outside: what's done is done.
...this sordid scenario where she gave herself the lucky draw, proclaimed herself the hero, the stranger who descends from the sky, saves you and then slips away, ready to rack up self-convincing statements—I did my utmost, I did all that I could—all the while knowing she’s incapable of believing it: the worm of guilt is already lodging itself in her gut.

At the end of a tunnel, the craggy relief engulfs the window and obscures the sky whole, leaving it to the traveller to invent the most plausible or the most wild off-camera scene, but Hélène doesn't need to invent anything, everything is happening here, right here in front of her: all she has to do is look at the soldier sleeping on the bunk to feel that his presence is absurd, out of place, and to see that something's off here, something's shortcircuiting. In the end, whether it was this young man or a bear stretched out there, it would amount to the same thing, the same enormity, as though the real was suddenly crumbling, subverted by powerful dreams or completely other substances capable of catalysing metamorphoses, as though the real was tearing apart under the pressure of a faint but immutable deviation, something far bigger, far stronger than it—but no, there are no dreams in Hélène's head, no drugs in her blood, the young man is well and truly there —indeed, he is the real, the tangible present moment of life, here, breathing with his mouth open a little, body rising and falling imperceptibly with each breath, and if she were to place a hand on him, on his pale and downy cheek, on his shoulder, she knows she would feel him alive, he would stir, open an eye and wake up.
...and {the mothers} gather around Valentina Melnikova, President of the Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers—they’re fearsome, boiling mad, determined, and if the cameras turn up they rush to fit their eager faces in the frame: I don’t want my son to go, and he’s not even a drinker! When reprieves run out, the next option is the false medical certificate, bought for an arm and a leg from doctors who slip the cash directly into their breast pockets, and the families who’ve been bled dry go home and get smashed in relief. If this doesn’t work, and when anxiety has bitten down night after night to the quick, then come the direct attempts at bribery.

No matter who or what it is you're running from, you end up entwined with other people...maybe not the same people you started your journey with, but in a connection, a relationship of some sort, with a person or some people...that is the one and only escape you, any more than Author De Kerangal's characters, cannot make happen, no matter how bad you think you want it. It is the crux of this intense record of the collision of the runaways here, a privileged outsider and a miserably exploited insider each of whom needs to run away from Life's consequences. They don't know each other and can't get conventionally acquainted because they share no verbal language, but they recognize each other unerringly as fellows of the social class "runaway". Neither can really be blamed for the intensity of the drive to escape circumstances they do not like and reckonings they cannot afford. Anyone who has made a major life-decision will comprehend this readily. It's not like we haven't faced our own inflection points; maybe we lacked the courage—or the intense, impelling force of terror—of these two who went through with separate but intertwining truly terrible decisions. Maybe we were just luckier than either of them. But I expect most will find the fact of the read to be that they are relatable, real-feeling fictional creations. These two impulsive seekers are people.

How Author De Kerangal achieves this feat is using deft and economical prose, concise to the point of terseness, that focuses our attention on externals and surfaces and appearances...that uses the novella's tight time constraints to force the reader's, just as the characters', experience of the story into the damned claustrophobic confines of a crowded car of, a narrow corridor on, a train, then finally a small but private compartment on a long, transcontinental train...the longest single line in the world crossing the vastness of Siberia at a steady, slow 60 kph (about 40mph). Then she forbids more than passing expansion of your awareness and attention by adding a hazardous dimension of being hunted for a dangerous act of commission, of each being guilty of an actual legally definable crime. Like the classic films noirs of the late 1940s through the 1950s...most especially 1952's The Narrow Margin, another claustrophobic train-set escape-from-consequences story (unaccountably to me not widely known or loudly praised) that ends ambiguously, not resolving the fates of the protagonists with the finality of lesser stories. What the payoff of the read is can be summed up in that most uncommon of endings: the open field, the wide horizon, the absence of compulsion at last in a story that has heretofore been about the characters' compelled actions all stemming from each one's initial impulsive law-breaking decision. Unlike the usual affect of such an ending, Author De Kerangal's storytelling creates the sense of a satisfying ending out of this indeterminate state.

This is a pleasure read for those waking up to the reality that this is a world whose misfortunates live lives that are not thought of as valuable in and of temselves, but only as compulsory and unwilling sacrifices to tired and rotting systems...patriarchy, its running dog of war...whose zombies continue to create and devour ever more victims world seemingly without end. These souls, previously NPCs, are finally coming into the focus of the world's storytellers. Ever more urgent in the increasingly callous and uncaring world many around the globe are working assiduously to create.

I'm not quite there on making this a five-star read only because its bottled-in-the-train structure, finely crafted though it is, did not quite do full justice to Hélène's point of view. I knew Aliocha and victimized insider's fears more intimately than Hélène's uniquely powerful-because-outsider status and honestly felt deprived by this. An extra 15pp fleshing out her very multivalently privileged character would've been the final shove into five-star-read-hood, and would still have left this a tight, compact novella.

Abr 17, 3:18 pm

Spiffy new glasses, bag, cushion...same old face.

Abr 17, 4:47 pm

I just came from Karen's thread and saw your picture there, RD! What a dishy dude! Love the bag and the rocking new glasses. Looking good!

Abr 17, 6:24 pm

>139 richardderus: Good looking, Richard dear!!!
I miss your beard, but this makes you look younger.

Abr 17, 6:27 pm

>139 richardderus: Love the new glasses. Looking good! I like the beard trim as well..nice for the warmer days ahead!

Abr 17, 6:28 pm

>139 richardderus: Wow -- lookin' good sir!

Abr 17, 11:50 pm

>139 richardderus: !!!!! GOOD for you! I love this look and the glasses and the bag and the smile. *Smooch*

Abr 18, 6:52 am

>139 richardderus: That's a fabulous photo, Richard. You're looking so fit and well!!

Abr 18, 7:11 am

>139 richardderus: - Great pic!

Editado: Abr 18, 7:38 am

‘Morning, RDear.

>133 richardderus: Your spiffy pic from yesterday was for your boardwalk stroll? I’m glad you’re easing Rob’s mind re your phone. He sounds like such a sweet young thang.

>134 LizzieD: I think about falling all the time, and that’s way before being attached to a walker with my knee replacement surgery. As Jenna says and which irritates Bill: It is what it is.

>135 richardderus: I know that you actually got OS to read and am sorry he didn’t take you up on your offer. Too bad he won’t use headphones either. When Jenna was a baby in the other house, the sound of Bill’s TV went right down the hall. I told him headphones or else. He complied, but not graciously.

Ugh. I either didn’t know or had forgotten about the smoking. Doesn’t his wife visit anymore? Doesn’t anybody there make sure he’s in clean clothes?

>137 richardderus: Duly noted and NOT added to my wish list. It’s like anybody who says “I don’t like hospitals” or “I don’t like going to the dentist”. Nobody does, so just man up or woman up and be an adult.

>138 richardderus: Ah, back to the seriously meaty reviews. 👍

>139 richardderus: So good to see you out and about and spiffed out.

edited to add my *smooch*

Abr 18, 8:15 am

Morning, BigDaddy! You are looking SO good in that photo! Love the new glasses on you.

>138 richardderus: Excellent review, and I had already added it to The List just on your say so from your post on my thread. Adding my thumb to that if you posted it.

Hoping Tuesday is kind to you, handsome man! *smooch*

Abr 18, 11:40 am

Such a lovely photo of you, Richard. The new glasses look great. *smooch*

Abr 18, 11:45 am

>139 richardderus: Hey, it's a good face!

((Hugs)) and **smooches**, RD

Abr 18, 12:44 pm

>139 richardderus: heja, you're looking gorgeous. Big waves from over the pond.

Abr 18, 1:14 pm

>138 richardderus: Got me.

>139 richardderus: Looking good, man.

Abr 18, 2:23 pm

Nice photo, Richard. Good to see visual proof that you’re up and at ‘em.

Abr 18, 2:29 pm

>140 vancouverdeb: you're way too kind, Deb! But thanks for the boost.

Abr 18, 2:30 pm

>141 FAMeulstee: I am amazed that so many people say that I look younger! To me I look old and tired...what do I know?

Abr 18, 2:31 pm

>142 figsfromthistle: thanks, Anita. I'm pretty sure I will leave the beard off until Autumn.

Abr 18, 2:33 pm

>143 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks a lot, Reba. I feel old but it's lovely to hear that I don't look it!

Abr 18, 2:35 pm

>144 LizzieD: Peggy, you silvertongued flatteress, you! I'm sure I'll be more used to this look as time goes by.

Abr 18, 2:37 pm

>145 lauralkeet: I appreciate the compliment, Laura since I don't feel tip-top just now. I'm glad I look okay at least!

Abr 18, 2:38 pm

>146 katiekrug: I appreciate that, Katie and a Tuesday *smooch*

Abr 18, 5:07 pm

>139 richardderus:, Looking good Richard, my friend.

Abr 18, 5:18 pm

>149 MickyFine: Hi Micky...thank you for the kind words.

>148 Crazymamie: howdy do, Mamie me lurve!

Abr 18, 5:18 pm

>150 alcottacre: Stasia! Lovely to see you here...*smooch*

Abr 18, 5:21 pm

>151 Ameise1: Kind Lady, I am delighted to see you on LT again! I hope you will be back often.

Abr 18, 5:22 pm

>152 swynn: I'm glad my aim is true, Steve. And thanks for the compliment.

Abr 18, 5:24 pm

>153 Familyhistorian: Yeah, I'm getting a lot better in shockingly fast time! Good to see you here, Meg.

Abr 18, 5:24 pm

>161 johnsimpson: Thank you, John!

Abr 19, 7:22 am

You sure don't look like a man so recently knocked down by strokes! And I agree that you look younger and about to sprint out of there! Keep up whatever good work has made this so, my friend!

Abr 19, 7:43 am

Hiya, RDear. Happy Wednesday to you.

I've got the 6-week followup with my surgeon in the a.m. and PT in the p.m. Darned doctor stuff, although this was of my own free will.

*smooch* from your own Horrible

Abr 19, 9:32 am

Abr 19, 9:54 am

>168 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. I am amazed and awed at how complete the recovery has been. I am so far beyond lucky it's scary. I worked at it but work doesn't always work. I live among people who are nowhere near as lucky as I am. My gratitude awareness work is a daily job.

Abr 19, 10:00 am

>169 karenmarie: Horrible my dear, your voluntary medical choice was a good investment in your old-age mobility. The health benefits are going to be long-term, and hugely worth it. My leg/foot/knee surgery in the Aughties still pays me back in mobility terms.
I hope you get a clear report from the doc and a lot of pain at PT because that's the way you heal.

Abr 19, 10:01 am

>170 weird_O: Yo, Weird One!

Abr 19, 1:48 pm

>166 richardderus: Keep up the good work, Richard.

Abr 19, 1:53 pm

>174 Familyhistorian: I'm in the batter's box and swingin away, Meg!

Abr 19, 3:57 pm

Good afternoon, Richard. I love the gratitude. It keeps us - sweet. *smooch*

Editado: Abr 19, 7:34 pm

>133 richardderus: I’m glad you are taking your phone with you on your strolls.

The larger sizes are probably why the prices are greater than what I paid for pillowcases.

>139 richardderus:. Lookin’good!

Abr 19, 7:48 pm

>177 Storeetllr: I thank you, Mary.

Yes, size does matter....

I see the sense in it, so I adjusted my behavior. It's getting easier to remember to take it with me.

Abr 19, 8:26 pm

>139 richardderus: looking snazzy with your new frames and bag! *Smooch*

Abr 19, 9:40 pm

>179 bell7: *smoochiesmoochsmooch*

Abr 19, 10:44 pm

>139 richardderus: Thumbs up for the glasses for sure.

The only comment about appearance (as I normally keep my beard at least at beyond stubble point) is that you seem to have lost a good deal of weight dear fellow. Suits you mind, but try not to lose any more - no-one want less of RD!

Hani insists that I start on a healthy living programme with her after the trudge of Ramadan and was dismayed at her eye roll when I pointed out the importance of sex in my calorie controlled diet!

Abr 20, 5:17 am

Happy Thursday, Richard dear!

>171 richardderus: And I am glad you were so lucky, and working hard on recovery. As I am grateful for your return here.

Abr 20, 8:35 am

Hiya, RDear, and happy Thursday to you.

>172 richardderus: Got a good report, details on my thread. And yes, pain at PT, ‘cuz that’s what’s needed. I’m glad your 80s surgery is still providing mobility benefits.


Editado: Maio 3, 4:01 pm

021 The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization by Vince Beiser
title: The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization
publisher: Riverhead Books
date: Copyright 2018 by Vince Beiser
page(s): 1-4
The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization is a book I forgot that I had on my Kindle until I saw it promoted today on DelanceyPlace com.
from The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization by Vince Beiser. Sand, the most important solid substance on Earth:

{Sand is the} most impor­tant solid substance on Earth, the literal foundation of modern civilization. … Sand is the main material that modern cities are made of. It is to cities what flour is to bread, what cells are to our bodies: the invisible but fundamental ingredient that makes up the bulk of the built environment in which most of us live.

"Sand is at the core of our daily lives. Look around you right now. Is there a floor beneath you, walls around, a roof overhead? Chances are excellent they are made at least partly out of concrete. And what is concrete? It's essentially just sand and gravel glued together with cement.

"Take a glance out the window. All those other buildings you see are also made from sand. So is the glass in that window. So are the miles of asphalt roads that connect all those buildings. So are the silicon chips that are the brains of your laptop and smart­phone. If you're in downtown San Francisco, in lakefront Chicago, or at Hong Kong's international airport, the very ground beneath you is likely artificial, manufactured with sand dredged up from underwater. We humans bind together countless trillions of grains of sand to build towering structures, and we break apart the mol­ecules of individual grains to make tiny computer chips.

"Some of America's greatest fortunes were built on sand. Henry J. Kaiser, one of the wealthiest and most powerful industrialists of twentieth-century America, got his start selling sand and gravel to road builders in the Pacific Northwest. Henry Crown, a billionaire who once owned the Empire State Building, began his own empire with sand dredged from Lake Michigan that he sold to developers building Chicago's skyscrapers. Today the construction industry worldwide consumes some $130 billion worth of sand each year.

"Sand lies deep in our cultural consciousness. It suffuses our language. We draw lines in it, build castles in it, hide our heads in it. In medieval Europe (and a classic Metallica song), the Sandman helped ease us into sleep. In our modern mythologies, the Sand­man is a DC superhero and a Marvel supervillain. In the creation myths of indigenous cultures from West Africa to North America, sand is portrayed as the element that gives birth to the land. Bud­dhist monks and Navajo artisans have painted with it for centu­ries. 'Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives,' intone the opening credits of a classic American soap opera. William Blake encouraged us to 'see a world in a grain of sand.' Percy Bysshe Shelley reminded us that even the mightiest of kings end up dead and forgotten, while around them only 'the lone and level sands stretch far away.' Sand is both minuscule and infinite, a means of measurement and a substance beyond measuring.

"Sand has been important to us for centuries, even millennia. People have used it for construction since at least the time of the ancient Egyptians. In the fifteenth century, an Italian artisan fig­ured out how to turn sand into fully transparent glass, which made possible the microscopes, telescopes, and other technologies that helped drive the Renaissance's scientific revolution.

"But it was only with the advent of the modern industrialized world, in the decades just before and after the turn of the twentieth century, that people really began to harness the full potential of sand and begin making use of it on a colossal scale. It was during this period that sand went from being a resource used for wide­spread but artisanal purposes to becoming the essential build­ing block of civilization, the key material used to create mass-manufactured structures and products demanded by a fast­-growing population.

"At the dawn of the twentieth century, almost all of the world's large structures -- apartment blocks, office buildings, churches, palaces, fortresses -- were made with stone, brick, clay, or wood. The tallest buildings on Earth stood fewer than ten stories high. Roads were mostly paved with broken stone, or more likely, not paved at all. Glass in the form of windows or tableware was a rel­atively rare and expensive luxury. The mass manufacture and de­ployment of concrete and glass changed all that, reshaping how and where people lived in the industrialized world.

"Then in the years leading up to the twenty-first century, the use of sand expanded tremendously again, to fill needs both old and unprecedented. Concrete and glass began rapidly expanding their dominion from wealthy Western nations to the entire world. At roughly the same time, digital technology, powered by silicon chips and other sophisticated hardware made with sand, began reshap­ing the global economy in ways gargantuan and quotidian.

"Today, your life depends on sand. You may not realize it, but sand is there, making the way you live possible, in almost every minute of your day. We live in it, travel on it, communicate with it, surround ourselves with it.

"Wherever you woke up this morning, chances are good it was in a building made at least partly out of sand. Even if the walls are made of brick or wood, the foundation is most likely concrete. Maybe it's also plastered with stucco, which is mostly sand. The paint on your walls likely contains finely ground silica sand to make it more durable, and may include other forms of high-purity sands to increase its brightness, oil absorption, and color consistency.

"You flicked on the light, provided by a glass bulb made from melted sand. You meandered to the bathroom, where you brushed your teeth over a sink made of sand-based porcelain, using water filtered through sand at your local purification plant. Your tooth­paste likely contained hydrated silica, a form of sand that acts as a mild abrasive to help remove plaque and stains.

"Your underwear snapped into place thanks to an elastic made with silicone, a synthetic compound also derived from sand. (Sili­cone also helps shampoo make your hair shinier, makes shirts less wrinkle-prone, and reinforced the boot sole with which Neil Arm­strong made the first footprint on the moon. And yes, most fa­mously, it has been used to enhance women's busts for more than fifty years.)

"Dressed and ready, you drove to work on roads made of con­crete or asphalt. At the office, the screen of your computer, the chips that run it, and the fiber-optic cables that connect it to the Internet are all made from sand. The paper you print your memos on is probably coated with a sand-based film that helps it absorb printer ink. Even the glue that makes your sticky notes stick is de­rived from sand."

The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization

author: Vince Beiser
publisher: Riverhead Books
date: Copyright 2018 by Vince Beiser
page(s): 1-4
The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization

Abr 20, 8:56 am

Copy/paste on the Pixel is clunky, but the excerpt reminded me of why I liked the read.

Abr 20, 9:00 am

>181 PaulCranswick: I have indeed lost too much weight, PC, and am assiduously regaining what I can as fast as I can. The trouble with that is I can't point to the spot I want it to go back on to...more's the pity.

Abr 20, 9:02 am

>182 FAMeulstee: Thank you most kindly, Anita... I'm glad to be able to participate in the shenanigans again. *smooch*

Abr 20, 9:08 am

>183 karenmarie: No no, dear, not 80s... Aughties...00s.

I'm doing another round of OT today for My hand. It is helping, so I am eager to go.

I'll look in at yours directly. *smooch*

Abr 20, 9:18 am

>188 richardderus: Blech. Brain misfire. Not enough coffee. Yay for OT. *smooch*

Abr 20, 9:25 am

>189 karenmarie: I wondered about that. Not like you to miss something like that... since my blood caffeine level is low, too, I relate.

One thing that I am not is lazy. I *want* to do this work so I can have the rest of my life back. The OT lady really likes that attitude.

Abr 20, 9:45 am

>184 richardderus:- I saw that today, too, Richard, in the Delancey newsletter. It looks like a fascinating read.

Abr 20, 10:00 am

>191 jessibud2: I am delighted to say that it's every bit of that, Shelley. Author Beiser writes with brio, if not always the careful organization I'd prefer. I was not, however, ever bored. Perfect library check out!

Abr 20, 10:09 am

>190 richardderus: I really like your attitude too, Richard. To quote my SiL, "Do some of your best!"


Abr 20, 10:22 am

>193 LizzieD: "do some of your best" LOLOL
Your SIL is a pip, Peggy!

Abr 20, 11:10 am

>1 richardderus: Happy new thread!

Abr 20, 12:13 pm

>195 ocgreg34: Thanks, Greg, good to see you here.

Editado: Abr 20, 1:27 pm

>184 richardderus: Fascinating! Lovely prose.

Have a great day and yay for the OT! *smooches*

Abr 20, 1:50 pm

>197 Storeetllr: He done good, no? I encourage you to give it a whirl! *smooch*

Abr 21, 8:12 am

>185 richardderus: Interesting read. I think I saw a documentary about sand being used to build the islands in Dubai. Who would have thought that we are slowly running out of specific type of sand. Apparently theres a quota on how much each country can have each year.

I shall put this book on my list. Interesting that sand is used for so many things.

HAppy Friday!

Abr 21, 8:24 am

'Morning, Richard Dear. Happy Friday to you.

PT and my house cleaner are on the schedule for today, along with a grocery store pick up order. We're going to have fresh strawberry short cake Saturday night after dinner. Still early in the season for strawberries, but we'll make it work.

*smooch* from your own Horrible

Abr 21, 8:36 am

>199 figsfromthistle: The entire concept of the world running out of *sand* even if of a particular *kind* of sand is mind-blowing. !!!

Abr 21, 8:38 am

>200 karenmarie: PT then Alex? Your schedule runneth over! Happy weekend ahead's reads. *smooch*

Abr 21, 10:22 am

A good mid-morning to you, Richard. We have a gorgeous day, and I hope yours is too!

My SiL was a pip and a character. She's the first I ever heard say, "Fine as frog hair," and she preserved some of her grandmother's retorts to children.....
Child: "What's that, Grandmama?"
GM: "Layovers to trap meddlers."

Child: "What fur (for)?"
GM: "Cat fur to make kitten britches."

You're welcome.
DSoYB! *smooch*

Abr 21, 12:00 pm

Friday happiness to you, BigDaddy! *smooch*

Abr 21, 12:06 pm

It's Friday (as you know). Are you going to have a fabulous weekend?

Abr 21, 1:17 pm

>203 LizzieD: "Layovers to trp meddlers" LOL you go, Mamaw!


Abr 21, 1:18 pm

>204 Crazymamie: Thanks, sweetness! Same back at'cha.

Abr 21, 1:20 pm

>205 weird_O: I sure hope so, Weird One. I hope to be in silence for a good bit of it.

I hope yours will be excellent as well.

Abr 21, 1:58 pm

Hey, compadre.

>139 richardderus: man, you’re a skinny guy these days. Looking good! I’m sure the sleek look is better for your health, too.

Great reviews, as usual.

Sorry to hear your roommate continues to explore the varied and many ways to be an SOB.

I’ve been thinking about Gideon the Ninth, after finishing it. I think “a fantasy with queer characters” is a better way to describe it than a “lesbian fantasy”. The latter overstates it IMO; the lesbian element isn’t prominent.

Editado: Abr 21, 3:56 pm

Oops - thought I was on my thread!

Abr 21, 2:47 pm

>209 jnwelch: I thank you, Joe, for the sympathy... I need to find ways to relate to Old Stuff that won't make me crazy but won't make him feel empowered to keep behaving awfully. Work-in-progress is almost never a comfy stage in a relationship.

I agree that the GIDEON THE NINTH story, the whole series in fact, is more a fantasy story with queer characters than a lesbian fantasy story. Kind of mind-blowing to me... this is the way I want storytelling to be. But I find I still want to highlight my lesbian sisters being the primary movers of the action... it's never a simple equation, is it?

I'm too skinny just now, but am working on getting good weight back on. I truly wish I could just point at the places I want the padding back, instead of just getting a roll of blubber.

Abr 21, 2:53 pm

>210 jnwelch: That looks like it will be excellent, thanks for sharing it with me!

Abr 22, 8:18 am

Rough week for me with two epipen allergic reactions, but I made it here. Love the new photo of you and the glasses rock! You do look like you could stand to eat a tad more starch and I wish you luck with sending it where you want on your frame. If only I had that problem instead of needing to drop a few pounds. ; ) Wish you some roommate silence in your future. Smooches.

Abr 22, 9:02 am

'Morning, RD!

>211 richardderus: I need to find ways to relate to Old Stuff that won't make me crazy but won't make him feel empowered to keep behaving awfully. Sorry his life is so awful that he thinks he can make your life awful, too.


Abr 22, 9:55 am

>213 Berly: I'll gladly take the few pounds that you have to spare, Berly-boo! Just need to perfect the point-and-click technology for installation at the proper area.

I'm so sad that you're having the reactions often enough to make the EpiPen so necessary. *smooch*

Abr 22, 10:02 am

>214 karenmarie: Old Stuff's life is, like all the rest of us, a series of crappy decisions that he kept making despite all the evidence that they were bad ones.

Hard for me to get a lot of sympathy worked up for him. He's a bog-standard addict, no one else is a real person but all are extras in the movie of his life. Tedious and predictable, yet still gratingly irritating to me.

Goodness knows I'm deeply familiar with the syndrome, yet here I am getting irritated by it. One would think I had never been to therapy at all!


Abr 22, 10:15 am

Good morning, Richard. Theory is one thing, and it's good as far as it goes. Living with an addict is something else entirely. I direct you to continue to protect yourself as you can and applaud your continuing to offer help.

I wish you some joy along the way! Good reading!!!

Abr 22, 11:16 am

>217 LizzieD: I shall endeavor to comply, Peggy, and thanks for the reinforcement. I come here for my joys. Books are solace for me as for so many of us. THE WORLD IN A GRAIN is keeping me focused and educating me at the same time. Very weird to get so into sand!


Abr 22, 12:29 pm

>218 richardderus: Sounds like you are coping well even though having to "cope" surely isn't pleasant. Hope you find lots and lots of great books to get lost in.

Abr 22, 12:55 pm

Well behind, so grazed through.

>139 richardderus: You look great RD, wouldn't know what you have recently been through at all. No-one is good at assessing a photo, because in our heads we are all aeons younger.

Abr 22, 1:51 pm

>219 RebaRelishesReading: The truth is, Reba, I have no good reason to complain because Old Stuff is well socialized enough to know he is best off not talking to me at all. His drunken nastiness is periodically annoying but most of the time he's quiet. I need to keep in the front of my mind that he could still be trying to talk endlessly to me.

I can't change him so I need to change myself.

Abr 22, 1:55 pm

>220 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caro! I'm still appalled and resentful that I didn't grow up to look like Tom Selleck. Or Sean Connery. Wasn't that on the onboarding paperwork? I thought for sure it was one of the guaranteed outcomes. *hmmmf*

Editado: Abr 23, 10:51 am

Quick delurk to say howdy.
My BPPV gradually fading but I haven't worked up the courage to check out any library books. Superstitious, the whirling dervish in my brain might re-emerge! Of course there are at least a dozen unread novels and biographies in Mt. TBR I could try out as a test and no problem with due dates.
The review about 'silica' a.k.a. 'sand' was fascinating.

Abr 23, 6:28 am

'Morning, RD! Happy Sunday to you.

Up too early, blech, but I can always take a nap.


Abr 23, 10:48 am

>223 SandyAMcPherson: Silica v silicon v sand v silicone is one of the challenges the book presents. I don't think there are many people who think deeply about the differences among the terms.

Keep the tower low and you can make a dent in it. That track record of success is crucial to keeping the brain lock from clamping down.

Abr 23, 10:52 am

>225 richardderus: Indeedy. I edited the silicon/silica typo.

Why that typo-imp (demon auto-correct?) lives on in my OS I just do not know....

Abr 23, 10:59 am

>226 SandyAMcPherson: ... because tech scum designed it, of course! The Kami in your phone are patterns of the scum who designed the darn thing. Silica sand is hugely desired and quite unusual. I never knew that I didn't know that. Never had a ghost of an idea that I even needed to know it.

Abr 23, 2:06 pm

>227 richardderus: 😵‍💫 I had to re-read that post a few times before its meaning sunk in. So nice to know it is tech-idiocy and not owner-operator malfunction.

Abr 23, 2:37 pm

>228 SandyAMcPherson: Pifflepoff! Owner error is the scum's way of blaming the victim of their incompetent and/or indifferent design "process".

Abr 23, 4:56 pm

>226 SandyAMcPherson: >227 richardderus: The good news is, it's almost always possible to turn off auto-incorrect. The bad news is, figuring out how to do so can be a major research project, and forced updates sometimes set things back to their default values.

Abr 23, 5:51 pm

>230 ArlieS: I have found that the damn thing always always turns itself back on within a day. It's just not worth the trouble. As the tech scum intended, since autocorrect collects vast oceans of data worth massive piles of cash. None of which ever leaves the scum's clutches, one notes

Abr 23, 7:49 pm

Re: typo…

The missus has a coaster reading “Autocorrect is now my worst enema”

She’s had some memorable autocorrects…

Abr 23, 8:21 pm

>232 drneutron: LOLOLOL I think Danita has found the perfect retort to autocorrect.

Abr 24, 12:05 am

>232 drneutron: >233 richardderus: I want that coaster!! LOL

Abr 24, 7:17 am

'Morning, RDear. Happy Monday to you.

One cup of coffee down, still trying to sweep the cobwebs out.

*smooch* from your own Horrible

Abr 24, 7:33 am

>232 drneutron: Awesome!

Popping in like a passing sparrow to hope the week is a good 'un.

Abr 24, 7:52 am

Happy Monday, Richard!

Abr 24, 9:35 am

>234 Berly: I want it as a t-shirt myownself. But want it I do.

Abr 24, 9:43 am

>235 karenmarie: Hey there Horrible. I've caffeinated and Ensured. I see it's gorgeous outside and promises to be seasonable, ie under 65° so I am delighted.

I challenged my system yesterday and ate fish. It went badly. Quite quite badly. I won't be doing that again for a very long time.

It really stinks because I quite like fish. (Not canned tuna, of course, but real fish.) The consequences are, however, not to be courted.

::sad trombone::

Abr 24, 9:44 am

>236 Helenliz: Welcome Passerine traveler!

Abr 24, 9:45 am

>237 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita!

Abr 24, 9:55 am

>239 richardderus: So sorry about the fish experiment! Life, sometimes, is just not fair. But nice weather is a balm for the soul.

Have a great week, Richard!

Karen O

Abr 24, 9:58 am

Bummer about the fish. I hope the ill effects are over quickly.

New Sunday *smooch*!

Abr 24, 10:02 am

>232 drneutron: Or, my favorite: *It’s never duck.*

Sad about the fish.

Glad you’re enjoying the lovely seasonal weather!

Abr 24, 10:02 am

>239 richardderus: Oh yuck, nothing worse than barfy stink fish.
And in New York you should be in a prime place for excellent quality fish. Deepest sympathy.

Abr 24, 10:05 am

>242 klobrien2: Hiya Karen O.! I'm so glad to see you here! I'm still getting back into the swing of thread reading and I've lost yours. I'm on the way over to find it though.

Abr 24, 10:08 am

>246 richardderus: Yay! I’ve missed seeing your smiling posts! Lots of hugs for you!

Karen O

Abr 24, 10:08 am

>243 katiekrug: New Sunday *smooches* back, Katie! I'm thrilled to report that the after effects are truly After. Won't be doing that again soon.

Abr 24, 10:12 am

>244 Storeetllr: it actually WAS ducking once recently and it autocorrected to "sucking" which had me howling... like when I typed "forecourt" and it autocorrected to "foreskin" which I do use more often than "forecourt" but REALLY O great AI?

Editado: Abr 24, 10:17 am

Good morning, Richard. I'm sorry about your finny fish gone wrong. I could give them up quite easily, but losing shellfish would make me very, very sad.

>231 richardderus: That's my experience too, Richard.

>232 drneutron: Made my day! Thanks, Jim.

>244 Storeetllr: Another good one, Mary! It reminds me of my first year teaching in this poor county when I had one student who had made it to the 11th grade without being able to read a word. I had him working on consonant blends ("English has never been this hard."), and to fill in the blank under the picture of a pickup, he had chosen "fruck" - a word in our vocabulary to this day.

Abr 24, 10:16 am

>245 SandyAMcPherson: Hry there Sandy! It wasn't that the fish was was, in fact, delicious... but my system responded to it with utmost hostility. I've had the problem of iodine sensitivity for quite a while now, but I believe in challenging things to see if they are still true.

It's still true.

Abr 24, 11:44 am

>232 drneutron: I love that!!

Auto correct is annoying but there were some memorable typos made even before spell check. For example, a place where I worked once sent a letter to 300 students telling them how many "shit cases" they were allowed to bring on a trip.

Editado: Abr 24, 12:49 pm

>250 LizzieD: 😂 Love it!

ETA As a former reading tutor at the L. A. Central Library, but who mostly taught (or tried to teach) English as a second language, I totally get this.

Abr 24, 1:25 pm

>252 RebaRelishesReading: LOLOLOL SOMEone got a serious dressing -down for that one....

Abr 24, 1:34 pm

>250 LizzieD: How do, Peggy! The shellfish have been off the menu for decades. The gout might not be caused by foods, but it can be exacerbated by them.

The very idea of us peons DARING to deny the tech scum their rents...! No wonder they have a "turn-it-back-on" code implanted in our devices (that most of us do not own).

I think the fruck is waiting for me....

Abr 24, 1:48 pm

As someone married to "tech scum," I would just gently point out that it is impossible to build something super complex that works intuitively for 100% of users. We all have frustration about things that don't work the way we want them to or think they should but then there are others who have different frustrations but can easily navigate our problem areas. Such is life.

*backs quietly out*

Abr 24, 2:05 pm

>256 katiekrug: My goodness Of Course it's impossible to please or even make sense to everyone! But the tech scum I rail at aren't the engineers but the scum that run the companies. The engineers are in a hopeless position of pleasing all and sundry. No engineer would ever release anything to the public because it's never really *done*.
Just like authors, there's always Something That Must Be Fixed.

The Wayne and his cohorts aren't the problem at all.

Abr 24, 2:12 pm

Sorry about the fish. The only fish I can eat is canned tuna, so you have my sympathies. I can do the shellfish though so there's that. Wishing you easier-on-your-body meals today. : )

Abr 24, 3:06 pm

>232 drneutron:. Love it! Debbi had “lift” in a text autocorrected to “Lufthanza”. How is that even possible?!! Perhaps some programmers somewhere are giggling.

I hope your week is starting off well. Tucker Carlson getting booted off Fox has sure amped my spirits.

I’m reading a YA fantasy called Flowerheart that, as the title suggests, is so light and sweet and choco-licious that I suspect you’d be puking and getting the vapers. I’m kinda embarassed, although I swear I was led to it by enthusiastic reviews.

Please come over when you can and say something sardonic. I badly need a restorative.

Abr 24, 3:29 pm

Sorry to hear of the fish experience. I like fish, but admit to being very unadventurous when cooking it. Himself is allergic to it, so it's not a frequent visitor to the menu.

Abr 24, 3:50 pm

>258 Berly: I'm pleased to say that today is chili day at dinner, nary a finny thing to be seen.


Abr 24, 3:54 pm

>259 jnwelch: I could not be more thrilled that Fox decided to back away from the lunatic fringe for its pandering. Who replaces Carlson will tell a very interesting tale. I don't expect much in the way of change, but any replacement will be someone I don't like, given the corporate owners of the network.

Abr 24, 3:57 pm

>260 Helenliz: Thanks... luckily it's not an issue for today's eating. As Himself shares my sensitivity, I expect you really need to eat fish when out to enjoy a restaurant meal.

Abr 24, 5:27 pm

Bye, bye Tucker! Bye, bye! Bye, bye!

DH suggests that perhaps Fox will hire Don Lemon to replace him.....

Enjoy your chili, Richard. *smooch*

Abr 24, 5:43 pm

>264 LizzieD: DH is, I fear, trippin' balls if he more than briefly thinks that Don Lemon could pass their color test.

The chili was good enough, especially after a dousing in chipotle sauce.

Abr 24, 9:17 pm

>254 richardderus: actually I don't remember anyone getting in trouble. It had been through several sets of hands before it went out so no one person to blame. We all just laughed ourselves silly when we discovered it.

So sorry about the fish ;(

Abr 24, 11:29 pm

Abr 25, 8:03 am

‘Morning, RDear! Happier Tuesday than Monday, I hope. Ugh to a bad fish experience.

>239 richardderus: I quite like canned tuna but have come to prefer canned albacore and have some made up into albacore salad in the fridge. Sometimes it’s hard to easily get protein, so it’s an easy quickie meal with Hint of Salt Triscuits or half a sandwich with multigrain bread. For real fish I only bake wild caught salmon, with EVOO and lemon, perhaps every week or so.

>251 richardderus: Ah. Iodine. So no iodized salt, right?

>259 jnwelch: That reminds me that I got pissed off at a job in SoCal in the early 1980s and for an obscure error message wrote “Your ass is grass and we’ll all be lawnmowers.” After I left the company, several years down the road in fact, a friend finally found it embedded in subroutine within a subroutine. It had become infamous, but alas, he removed it.

>264 LizzieD: Yay! Bye bye Tucker AND Don Lemon. Of course they’ll both end up with more money at extreme news outlets or websites.


Abr 25, 9:29 am

>266 RebaRelishesReading: OIC

Times were different if all it engendered was a good laugh among colleagues.

I'm sadly accustomed to the fish issue. It's been over a decade that I haven't done well with the sea's foods. It only got bad about 5 years ago. It hasn't changed since, but I keep hoping.

Abr 25, 9:30 am

>267 LizzieD: No! You weren't in utter po-faced seriousness?! You stun me, Madam...


Abr 25, 9:48 am

>268 karenmarie: Tucker Carlson will land somewhere else for sure because his white supremacists will follow him. It's disgusting but inevitable since "race"is a stupid person's way to feel better about their inferiority.

Don Lemon I can't see being so lucky as I don't know what constituency he defines or represents.

I love your error message and don't get why your friend decided to delete it.

Iodized salt is the main discomfort I have in eating out. I don't and never have used a lot of salt. Now even less... but kosher salt is iodine free. That's a point in favor of the rules.

Abr 25, 10:05 am

*smooch* for Tuesday, Richard.

Abr 25, 1:16 pm

>261 richardderus: ooh, chili! Sounds great! Hope your week is going well!

Karen O

Abr 26, 8:16 am

'Morning, RD! Happy Wednesday to you.

Wordle, PT, puttering, reading, perhaps working on my spreadsheet...

In other words, another day in paradise, central NC style.

*smooch* from your own Horrible

Abr 26, 8:55 am

Happy Wednesday, Richard. I hope you are doing well. I am back from my Texas trip and now I am getting ready to leave for a camping trip. The busy Warbler. I will check in on my return.

Editado: Abr 26, 9:58 am

>272 LizzieD: Happy Humpday, Peggy! I got busy yesterday and never made it back here.

I finished the fifth Aunt Bessie book, AUNT BESSIE FINDS.I can't say that this series is great literature or even particularly good writing, but they are charming and easy to fall into. Plus they are quite cheap. Worth one's time and gold, if a comfortable cozy blood-free visit to the Isle of Man is what one craves.

Now on to Laura Frankos's new book, BROADWAY REVIVAL. It's an alternate history tale of one grieving widower's quest to change Broadway history. The author is Mrs. Harry Turtledove which has to be hard since he's such a huge force in the alt history genre. The book is good fun so far.


Abr 26, 9:38 am

>273 klobrien2: The chili here is perfectly adequate if bland, as anything made for a large group must be. It's not "real" chili, either, as it has beans in it. Still and all, I am glad to see it when it shows up. I keep a bottle of Cholula hot sauce on hand for amendment purposes.

Happy Humpday! *smooch*

Editado: Maio 19, 7:57 pm

025 Aunt Bessie Finds by Diana Xarissa

Rating: 3.25* of five

My Review: can't say that this series is great literature or even particularly good writing, but they are charming and easy to fall into. Plus they are quite cheap. Worth one's time and gold, if a comfortable cozy blood-free visit to the Isle of Man is what one craves.

This outing is particularly light on any semblance of a puzzle but does mix things up and give us some hints of trouble to come. Deffo not the place to start, nor an especially satisfying entry in what one hopes will be a *mystery* series, but a comfortable cozy read.

Abr 26, 10:06 am

>274 karenmarie: Horrible my dear! It seems to me that you have a lovely day planned and it should only be the same going forward...if The Universe has any semblance of kindness in it, it will be!

I'm glad to report I'm in a similar agreeable state today after a long chat with Rob discussing his impending return. We're not sure yet what his new duties will be or even where they will want him to go... same place or another one?... but we're glad to get to see each other in reality. It put me in a very good mood this morning. As I'm sure you can imagine.
*smooch* for a lovely day!

Abr 26, 10:08 am

>275 msf59: Welcome home Birddude! I'll be over to yours soon to see what news you have for us. Enjoy the camping trip.

Abr 26, 10:16 am

Happy Wednesday to you too, Richard! Cherish the warmth of Rob's impending visit. YAY!!!!

So Mrs. Turtledove writes. Who knew? I'll maybe check her out. I suddenly find myself picking up, reading a bit, and putting down several adequate books that aren't HP although HP7 is in the mix. That's a step forward for me!
On the downside, I find myself wanting to start a jigsaw puzzle, which is a time-sink I don't need. The one I want is in the attic though, and I can't reach the cord for the steps without standing on something, so I'm resisting.

Abr 26, 10:19 am

Morning, Richard! So happy you followed my link and appreciated the article--I thought it quite excellent. I commiserate with your difficulty with fish and seafood--I would find that devastating, although like you, I'm sure I would adjust. Your photo above I haven't commented on but find very attractive.

Abr 26, 10:28 am

>281 LizzieD: Mrs. T does indeed write and, if anything,
with more facility than the husbeast does. He tends towards a fragmented narrative style that can be off-putting, but usually is in service of such a deeply engrossing story-verse that I don't give up on the enterprise.

Her book, this time at least, is more unitary. There are only three viewpoint characters and that's a major reduction from the husband and his minimum half-dozen.

Abr 26, 10:42 am

>282 ronincats: That's a lovely compliment, thank you, Roni! I'm hearing that I look younger without the beard, even from Rob, who really likes it. He's not quite sure the new look is to his taste but is willing to work with it for now. After all it's just hair and that grows back if that's what he ends up wanting. I don't give much of a damn. He's the audience I am aiming to please, after all.

I miss lamb and seafood and eggplant and fish, but I don't miss the trouble they cause. Once in a while, I keep challenging my system to see what I can get away with... so far fish is just a no-go but eggplant is okay every once in a while. Lamb, maybe annually... lobster likewise. Luckily (he grumbled grudgingly) I live in a place where lamb and lobster are never going to be served. Eggplant shows up about once a month so every other time I indulge.

Abr 26, 12:22 pm

>276 richardderus: A cozy, blood-free visit to the Isle of Man sounds perfect right now. Maybe a Kindle version...must check. --

actually it was available on Audible and I have some spare credits so now it's on my phone -- perfect for a lazy day by the fire

Abr 26, 12:35 pm

>285 RebaRelishesReading: it's number 6 in the series, Reba, but I think you're experienced enough as a cozy reader to get your freebies'-worth. Aunt Bessie is a treat of a character what with her little mannerisms and her trencherman level appetite. If you have ever had sticky toffee pudding you will either be craving one or eating one before you finish the read.

You've been warned. On your waistline be it :-P

Abr 26, 1:20 pm

>232 drneutron: Love it Jim.

Abr 26, 1:21 pm

>278 richardderus: I'm going to go find me an Aunt Bessie book! Cheers!

Karen O

Abr 26, 1:51 pm

>283 richardderus: I am so sick of the modern trend to large numbers of viewpoint characters. I'll probably officially DNF yet another book of that kind soon - it's on its last renewal, due back on May 8th, and I'm only on page 128 of 500 - and in this case the multiple viewpoints are an appropriate device, given the plot (alternate universes with leakage between them; we get to see the "same" person as they'd be in various time lines, though I don't think the viewpoint characters are limited to his analogues.)

Abr 26, 2:36 pm

>287 Caroline_McElwee: It really was a hilarious one, Caro.

Glad to see you here!

Abr 26, 2:39 pm

>288 klobrien2: The series comes in handy-dandy alpha order, Karen O. The first one is Aunt Bessie Assumes and I myownself got hooked from the moment she bustled onscreen.

Abr 26, 2:44 pm

>289 ArlieS: Even when it's the correct choice of structure, Arlie, I need to be in the mood for it. Otherwise I just feel put-upon. I realize that I am old and cranky but one does want to smack the verbosity out of many a speculative fiction writer.

Literary fiction writers OTOH are too far down the rabbit hole to be rescued.

Abr 27, 5:24 am

Happy Thursday, Richard dear!

Today is Kings Day over here. Willem-Alexander is our king for 10 years now, but in my mind it still should be Queens Day on April 30th. We will get back Queens Day when he resigns, next in line are his three daughters.

Abr 27, 5:33 am

>293 FAMeulstee: Excellent, Queens for the win!
Does your national anthem change according to the gender of the monarch? Singing "God Save the King" felt very odd after having sung queen all my life. It was funny, in a way, most people were so concentrated on getting "King" right (and not singing Quing) that we all missed the "send HER victorious" a little further through the verse!

Happy Thursday, RD. Is there a 26th and final Aunt Bessie book? That title list does rather commit that author to a long streak of writing. I wonder when you decide that's a good idea...

Abr 27, 6:12 am

>294 Helenliz: Indeed, go Queens :-)
No, our national anthem was written in the 16th century, and is about one of our Kings forfathers, who was not King. He was leader of the Dutch Revolt. Our nation actually was a republic back in the days, and only became a kingdom after Napoleon, when the allies decided we should become a kingdom.
So no mixing up like in "God Save the King", only a Kings day instead of Queens day, on a different date.

Abr 27, 8:29 am

‘Morning, RD! Happy Thursday.

>279 richardderus: I’m glad that you were in a ‘similar agreeable state’ yesterday after a discussion with your YGC. Yay for his impending return.

*smooch* from your own Horrible

Abr 27, 8:54 am

>291 richardderus: Unfortunately, it looks like the Aunt Bessie books are ONLY on Kindle? I have a Barnes and Noble brand Nook, no Kindle…

I’ll keep the books in the back of my mind…

Good day to you!

Karen O

Abr 27, 9:54 am

>293 FAMeulstee: Happy Monarch's Day, Anita, and a long and prosperous reign for Wllem-Alexander and his daughter after him.


Abr 27, 10:00 am

>294 Helenliz: Hello there Helen...yes, unlike Sue Grafton, Xarissa has been through the entire alphabet. Impressive on the one hand but indicative of, shall we say, a different level of quality than that of La Grafton. Still these are enjoyable farb. Plenty good enough to read when you just want to escape the ugliness of Real Life.

Abr 27, 10:04 am

>295 FAMeulstee: I'd forgotten that the transition to monarchy was imposed from outside the Netherlands. Meddlesome Metternich!

Abr 27, 10:07 am

>296 karenmarie: I am glad he's coming home at last. We've sacrificed a lot for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and while I don't resent it or regret it, I am ready for the rewards to start. Hugs would do me fine for now....


Abr 27, 10:23 am

>297 klobrien2: I am surprised to say that the books are only on Amazon, Karen O. I was sure that there was an epub file available from her website. It seems not... though now that Kindle uses epub files, the two might be interchangeable.
Este tópico foi continuado por richardderus's sixth 2023 thread.