Bookmarque’s Padded Cell 2023 - It’s a kind of madness (2)

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Bookmarque’s Padded Cell 2023 - It’s a kind of madness (2)

Editado: Set 11, 12:17 pm

Ok, so the other thread was getting a bit long and we're on the slide to year end and so here's a new thread. Testament to how little I post now since it's only the 2nd one. Hm. Things ebb and flow.

Here's a little friend I found a couple of weeks ago to welcome you -

But the real reason for my new thread is a conversation about Goodreads that a couple of folks are having on the Book Riot podcast. It is ironic that the very things they want are here on Librarything, but so far not one mention of this site as an alternative that doesn't have the politics, histrionics, backstabbing, review shenanigans, laughable recommendations and bad author behavior that they are complaining about. I'm not at the end of the bit, so maybe LT will get mentioned, but it is sort of maddening.

Set 11, 11:23 pm

Happy new thread!

I keep mentioning LT to people in book-related Facebook groups, but Goodreads seems to completely dominate the conversation.

Set 12, 3:43 am

Beautiful photo. Ever thought of offering a selection to a calendar company? I'd be a customer. I have wall calendars with the fine work of Paul Rezendes, and I think yours are as beautiful and maybe even more interesting. Like this little guy.

I tried Goodreads early on and was just not attracted. It seemed juvenile to me. One thing it does have going for it, though, is an appealing name. I would not wish for an influx of GRers; sounds like they would change the culture.

Set 12, 8:15 am

>1 Bookmarque: Lovely photo. Happy new thread!

>2 Karlstar: I have had several friends come in and set up accounts here, and then never come back to use them.

>1 Bookmarque: & >3 Meredy: We have had several waves of refugees from other sites over the years. A bunch from Shelfari, and a handful from Goodreads when they had made some unwelcome changes over there. (I can't remember what.) The ones that stayed all blended in nicely.

Set 12, 12:32 pm

>4 clamairy: My sister and brother actually have accounts here, but do not participate in any forums that I know about.

Set 12, 1:46 pm

I tried goodreads for a while. I found it too busy and commercial for my liking. Its objective is to promote book sales rather than providing the type of cataloguing service delivered by LT. I understand it is 100% owned by Amazon. This is bound to influence how it operates and develops.
While LT benefits from our cataloguing our books and tagging them, it provides a great space for readers to have interesting and informative discussions on books, book issues, et al. It is also a great place for piffle parties.

Set 12, 4:25 pm

Piffle should definitely be in the Plus column!!

I'm not convinced that Goodreads users could or would change the climate here since the tools and the systems in place aren't the same and can't be influenced the same way - for example lack of commenting on reviews and the way we deal with spam so quickly. I also think that the revamped recommendations algorithm we have here is much better than the Amazon sales driven one GR has.

But anyway...I just thought it was funny that all the bitching the podcasters were doing would disappear because the reasons for it don't exist here.

Set 13, 5:32 am

Lovely turtle! Is it a painted turtle?

I've looked at Goodreads and sometimes go there to look for book reviews when LT doesn't have many for a title. But you have to filter out an awful lot of crap to get to what you need. I've not been tempted to create an account there.

Set 13, 8:00 am

Yep, it's a painted turtle. That's all I was able to photograph this year from the kayak. I did move a medium-sized snapper off the road the other day using a shovel I keep in the Jeep just for that purpose. It was remarkably ungrateful. LOL.

Funny, the only thing I use GR for is to snag a photo of a cover that doesn't exist anywhere else.

Set 14, 9:10 pm

I want a turtle! I think it would be a fun and cute pet.

I have a GR account. I use it to mark books I want to read. I usually create a challenge on it and then keep track of the books I’ve read. I tried doing chats in different groups and just couldn’t get into them. I felt the chats were harder to navigate than here. I’d much rather be in the pub with you all. :)

Set 15, 4:30 pm

Turtles are great, but reptiles in general have very specific requirements around temperature and full-spectrum lighting that can make them a little more challenging to keep. I had an iguana for years so I know this firsthand.

Anyway...ducks on the other hand might be easier!

Set 16, 11:31 am

>11 Bookmarque: It's wabbit season!

Out 3, 11:37 am

So it's October and I've started reading some more eerie or scary books starting with Hyde by Craig Russell. It's a pastiche and is read by the wonderful James Cosmo, a Scottish actor most known for Braveheart, Troy and Highlander. It's dark and dreary as you can imagine.

Also finished up a short video I shot the same day as the duck photo up there, but it's of a heron going about its heron-y business.

It's about 4 1/2 minutes long. Narrator is yours truly.

Editado: Out 3, 11:42 am

Oops, also forgot to say that I stumbled on a Stephen King podcast that I've just started listening to and really like so far. It's the Fangoria King Cast. The guys who host it are younger than me, but not ridiculously so and are true fans. They have a guest each week that picks which story or novel they will discuss, and any film adaptations. The very first episode wasn't even a "King" book per se, but The Running Man which is a Bachman book. And the second ep is about Cycle of the Werewolf that has a special place in my heart for strange reasons. If I'm not careful I'll never get through Holly which is his latest and that I'm 300 pages into. LOL.

Out 8, 10:06 am

>14 Bookmarque: For some reason, I'm really late finding your new thread! But I wanted to note that i absolutely agree with you about the better (nicer) environment here on LT. I gave GoodReads a try but really never warmed to it. Then when I heard about all of the review wars over there, it really lost all attraction for me.

With regard to the podcast, does the work of film adaptation go into any depth? Or is it more general chat about "oh, yes, they made a movie of it back in 1974"?

As always, great photos!

Editado: Out 8, 6:57 pm

Hey Jill. It depends on how much the guest knows about the adaptation - sometimes they talk a LOT more about any film than the book, but it is generally pretty even-handed. They know their stuff and usually start a discussion with the guest's "origin story" when it comes to Uncle Steve. Mine would be as follows -

When I was about 13 (1981-ish) I was babysitting for some kids and one of the parents was reading Different Seasons so I picked it up. This is the book with four novellas - The Body (Stand by Me), Apt Pupil (Apt Pupil), Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (Shawshank) and Breathing Method (no adaptation to my knowledge). It was a bit too adult for me, but I'd already read Papillion so I wasn't too out of it in terms of books over my head. I felt a little dangerous reading it - Apt Pupil really shook me. But I was hooked and still am.

From there they discuss the book, go off on tangents and eventually get into whatever film was made of it. There are repetitions of books/stories since guests will choose the same ones as other guests. Elijah Wood talked about Misery. He came to King from movies and I am completely the opposite, so it's sometimes amusing to see it from the other way with much younger people.

I did finish Holly though and have The Institute sitting giving me looks since I'm too nervous to open it. I have visions of a cross between Firestarter and Lord of the Flies.

Out 10, 6:39 pm

So here's a video featuring that duck up there and a bunch of other crazy quackers -

Out 10, 10:07 pm

>17 Bookmarque: Nice! Thanks for posting that.

Editado: Out 12, 10:16 pm

>13 Bookmarque: & >17 Bookmarque: I love both of these videos for different reasons. What's not to love about a bunch of bobbing duck butts? That heron, though... They are so majestic in their own odd way. For years I was wondering why they were called blue, when they really look slate gray. And then I saw one in flight and it all made sense. You caught that amazing color there on the undersides of the wings when your young one finally flew away. And I think you're right about its age because the rare adults I can get close to here have some additional feathers on their heads.

Editado: Out 12, 1:07 pm

Thanks clam. The ducks crack me up. They are the funniest birds hands down. Herons though, are odd in their own right. As adults they can be very blue, especially in certain light. They will move south soon, but I think they're still around.

These guys certainly are since they don't migrate. This is one of a pair that has the area just down river as their territory and there's a place you can pull over and photograph them if they're hanging around. I stop and shoot the island the tree it's sitting in is on as well since in all seasons it can be beautiful even without eagles.

Not the best eagle photos I've ever taken since I was far away, but I like the action.

Out 12, 9:06 pm

>20 Bookmarque: Wow! Action shots are cool!!

Out 13, 5:46 am

>20 Bookmarque: I'm impressed that it could fly through the tangle of branches without visible difficulty.

Out 13, 9:01 am

Thanks guys. It was great timing.

On a sad note, I learned that one of my favorite audiobook narrators died - Richard Ferrone. It's been a little over a year since his death, but because a reviewer over on audible headlined a review with RIP Richard Ferrone, I am now sad about the loss of that voice. He is Lucas Davenport for me and apparently the new narrator is a huge let down for fans of the audiobooks. I was already disappointed that the people who decide these things didn't bring in Eric Conger for the newly combined Prey and Flowers books. A lost opportunity to combine both series narrators and an even worse one that they didn't go with him to pick up the Prey books in the wake of Ferrone's death. A virtual slap in the face for whoever missed the obvious.

Bah. My day started out so good, too.

Out 16, 1:14 pm

Getting around to editing some of my fall photos -

Here's the island the eagle is on in the photos up there -

Phew! More to come, but I'm way behind.

Out 16, 2:53 pm

>24 Bookmarque: Ahhh, rest for the soul. Love those.

Out 16, 3:16 pm

>24 Bookmarque: Love the work you do! The third one in particular (green plant set amongst brown leaves) is fabulous.

Out 16, 3:43 pm

>24 Bookmarque:
Super pictures

Out 16, 4:36 pm

>24 Bookmarque: I love all your photos :)

Out 16, 5:45 pm

Glorious, as always. Thank you.

Out 16, 7:59 pm

>24 Bookmarque: Ooooh. Thank you. We have no colors here, yet.

Out 17, 7:39 am

>24 Bookmarque: Gorgeous! I love the fall colours and the fungi. And the little frog is adorable!

Out 17, 4:42 pm

Thanks everyone. Here's another mushie for you!

And a shot of camera & tripod for scale -

Out 17, 5:39 pm

>32 Bookmarque: That's a pretty substantial shroom. Do you happen to know if it's the dangerous sort?

Your circle of ferns amid the colored leaves reminds me of Andy Goldsworthy.

Editado: Out 17, 7:23 pm

It's huge isn't it? It's Amanita muscaria guessowii which is American fly agaric and is poisonous, although not as deadly as its cousin -

The white amanitas are hard to precisely ID without a microscope, but most of them fall under the umbrella called Destroying Angels and they will all kill you dead. It's thought that the European version of Fly Agraic was used in Viking rituals prior to battle and may have contributed to the berserker state. However, the ratio of hallucinogenic to toxic compounds found in the European version (which is red) are inverted in the American version (which also comes in red in the West), so it will make you more sick than invincible.

Off to google Andy Goldsworthy...

Oh that guy...didn't recognize the name, but I've seen his incredible creations before. I'm flattered, but cannot take any credit for its creation.

Out 17, 5:58 pm

>34 Bookmarque: You didn't construct it, no, but you saw it with the eye of an artist.

Editado: Out 17, 7:26 pm

Aww, thanks Meredy. You're very sweet. Here's some more Amanita muscaria guessowii for you -

That's just out of the egg and into a largish button stage. This is a bit more advanced than the giant one, they usually end up flat or a bit concave -

Certainly one of the most photogenic of mushroom species.

Out 17, 8:32 pm

Wheee, thanks! Do you have a picture of Alice's mushroom?

Out 17, 10:05 pm

Great stuff, thank you!

Editado: Out 18, 11:30 am

Funny, many speculate on exactly what that might have been and amanita muscaria is a possibility as is some kind of psilocybin species. Between that and the caterpillar's hookah it was a hell of a trip!

I went out in yesterday's intense fog -

It burned off and we got bluebird skies for the rest of the day.

Out 18, 11:50 am

>39 Bookmarque: Those are quite appropriately spooky to fit in with the end of October. Also, I am a big fan of mushroom photos when I see them in my yard it is almost impossible not to run get my phone and snap a shot or two. Very photogenic beings.

Out 18, 1:54 pm

>39 Bookmarque: Very atmospheric. MrsLee is right about the spooky factor.

Out 19, 10:48 am

>39 Bookmarque: Those photos could be from Scotland! Very beautiful and mysterious.

Editado: Out 19, 12:17 pm

Thanks guys. Fog and fungi are some of my favorite things. Here's a look at what I think are all the same species, commonly known as Funeral Bells -

They are decomposers and fruit on dead or dying trees. Their Latin name is Galerina marginata, but their common names, Funeral bell, Autumn skullcap, Deadly skullcap, among others, give you the true nature that lies behind their cute little facades. They will kill you dead. There are antidotes, but you better get to one quick.

Out 20, 8:31 pm

>39 Bookmarque: I always find the fog alluring. We don't see as much of it in the South Bay as they do a few miles north in San Francisco (or as much as I was used to in eastern Mass.). Once when we had a particularly fine fog here, the kind where you can't see the house across the street, I got on the light rail and rode it all the way to the end of the line and then back to the opposite terminal. It was lovely with everything disappeared.

Out 23, 9:05 pm

Fog is a photographer's best friend.

Out 24, 3:30 am

>45 Bookmarque: That is surpassingly excellent fog and color-through-fog, not to mention the ghostly trees.

Out 24, 8:42 am

>45 Bookmarque: I love this one.

Out 24, 12:50 pm

>45 Bookmarque: Very appropriate for the season.

Out 25, 6:36 am

>45 Bookmarque: Wonderful! A perfect image for October.

Out 25, 8:16 am

Thanks peeps. Glad the fog is working for you - I love them and have more to process. Not many, but a few. I do have more traditional fall photos though -

Four different segments of the Ice Age Trail!

Out 25, 9:16 am

So beautiful! The trails into that sea of yellow are so enticing.

Out 25, 9:45 am

Out 25, 10:35 am

>50 Bookmarque:

Out 25, 10:58 am

Thanks everyone. Fall is winding down now and maybe we'll have snow next week. It's late this year as we usually get a dusting or two in mid-October. So here's a throwback to early spring -

A 5-minute video at a nearby creek that has no name as far as I can tell. I've looked on several maps and found nothing. I love it anyway.

Out 25, 4:25 pm

>50 Bookmarque: I love seeing all the leaves and it isn't hard to summon up the sound of feet moving through them at their driest point in autumn.

Out 25, 4:56 pm

>54 Bookmarque: The frost is late here too. I actually picked a couple of ripe cherry tomatoes Sunday.

Editado: Nov 3, 3:05 pm

Thanks peeps. Ah yes, walking in leaves in fall is one of life's joys. Never gets old. Of course we've had some snow, but it's mostly melted now.

The second installment (with Helen Mirren!!!!) of the Sherlock Holmes dramas on audible is coming on the 9th. Check out the artwork -

And in preparation I'm listening to the first one. So much fun. Hopefully they keep all the good stuff from the first in the second. Seems like all the actors are back for their roles!

Nov 6, 6:28 pm

For a while now I’ve been meaning to revisit some of Stephen King’s works - story collections and novels, and maybe now I’ve hit on a way to structure this by tying it to the King Cast that I’ve recently discovered and started listening to. Maybe something like 1 novel a month next year with some stories and/or movies sprinkled in. Just now I read two stories - 1408 from Everything’s Eventual and Jerusalem’s Lot from Night Shift, and will get to their corresponding podcast episodes probably tomorrow. It’s not anything like a real discussion, but I like hearing other fans geek out over Uncle Steve’s output.

I’d like to get to The Langoliers next - it’s a novella in Four Past Midnight and maybe read The Mist again as well as some other things. Could be fun.

Editado: Nov 7, 11:12 am

King Project

Think I have a rough plan of the books and a few short stories -

Langoliers (1)
Salem’s Lot (3)
The Mist (4)
Desperation (2)
The Jaunt (3)
Children of the Corn (5)
Doctor Sleep (1)
Gerald’s Game (1)
Misery (3)
Secret Window, Secret Garden (1)
The Dark Half (1)
Needful Things (3)
Crouch End (2)
Thinner (2)
Rose Madder (1)

Not going to do these in this or any particular order, but I’d like to get to all of them in the next year or so. Langoliers and The Mist are novellas, The Jaunt, Children of the Corn & Crouch End are short stories, but the rest are novels. The numbers are how many podcast episodes are dedicated to that work, although with Children of the Corn a fair number of the movies are tied in as well. So much crap spawned off of a decent story. Funny.

And as far as movies go, I’ll watch them when I can, but I doubt I’ll go out of my way to get any of them. It should be fun. I’ve been meaning to get back to some of these for years (Rose Madder & Desperation particularly) and some will be “rewards” for getting onto this project (Needful Things, Salem’s Lot). Not that any of this is a chore, but since I’ve not read the ones I’ve meant to, something is broken and hopefully this will reconnect me with Uncle Steve’s back catalog.

The oldest novel here is Salem’s Lot and the newest is Doctor Sleep which is still 10 years old. I keep buying and reading his books although I have deliberately skipped one, The Institute although I do own the hardcover. I might add that one as well, but we’ll see. It could be too cruel and sadistic to me, but I don’t know that for sure. The synopsis definitely allows for that.

Editado: Nov 8, 1:28 pm

It's funny, sometimes in the cover module in the home page, one will come up that makes my spidey sense tingle. This time it was cover art for one of the previous cases from a couple of years ago. Hm... not a super popular item and kind of obscure. Sure enough, a new season of the Lovecraft Investigations podcast went up last month!

Woo hoo! Of course I'll have to go back and re-listen to the first three (oh twist my arm!), but I'm really happy it's continuing. And that I have other places to listen to it other than the BBC Streaming app, but that still works, too.

Have listened to the original Moriarty so I'm all set for when that drops tomorrow and then I'll get to these and a glut of audiobooks I have on deck, too. So much choice! I LOVE the audio drama Renaissance we seem to be in right now.

Oh and you can get it in your podcatcher (I use Castro) and also the original Apple podcast app. Oddly the link I found to Amazon says it's not available in my region, but it might be for purchase instead of just streaming.

Editado: Nov 8, 2:52 pm

King Project

(short story in Everything’s Eventual)

King’s take on the haunted hotel/hotel room trope, but he sets it in a nice hotel instead of a rundown or rural one. This is a semi-”boutique” hotel in New York city. I like this.

“...few creatures on earth are so paranoid as the writer who believes, deep in his heart, that he is slumming.”

Love how King tells us Mike only made it 70 minutes and that his charred tape recorder is left as evidence. Did Mike make it? We don’t know at this point. It’s delicious as is that something, a mere 11 minutes, is recorded and we are dying to know what.

(parenthesis thing)
he does to slide under thoughts into straight narrative is such a hallmark of his writing and conveys perfectly the covert or unintended influence or motivations of the characters.

I liked it in the sense that so much is built up by Olin’s warnings that we expect more than we get, but we get so much more than he mentioned. Every person who goes into 1408 is affected differently. The whole phone thing with the numbers and the random non-sequiturs is so crazy and unhinged and utterly original. I had deja vu while reading so I’m sure I remember it from the first time I read this.

Jerusalem’s Lot (short story in Night Shift)

I’ve read this story several times and broke open an oversized hardcover with extremely creepy illustrations by Glen Chadbourne for this go-round.

Right off the Rats in the Walls (Lovecraft) vibe comes through. The reference is really an aside in Charles’s letter to Bones about hearing them, but not finding any holes or droppings. Eerie.

The writing comes off well as a pastiche of the style of yore (1850). So much explanation and exposition in the writing - flowery if you’re not used to it. Plus all kinds of conversations related as if verbatim (and maybe they were, people used their memories for other things back then). The even older writing from past documents and letters has similar hallmarks of its age, primarily odd Capitalizations of even Common words.

Rust-clogged, tenebrous, eldritch, noxious, defiled, foetid, stench, spectre, pall, mouldering, corpse, lunatic, pall, psycho-pompotic, putrescence, yogsoggoth, viscid, pustulant - see what I mean? Drips with visceral unease.

“It still lives” - the idea for It noodling around in his head?

I love the ending with the ever-present rats in the walls, this time in 1971. Fabulous.

Nov 8, 2:42 pm

>61 Bookmarque: Is 1408 a short form of The Shining or something else entirely?

Nov 8, 2:49 pm

>62 Karlstar: Something else entirely, but not out of the ballpark. Man enters room, madness ensues.

Nov 8, 3:06 pm

>62 Karlstar: >64 ScoLgo: There is also a movie starring John Cusack and Samuel Jackson. I believe there are two versions with different endings.

Editado: Nov 8, 3:12 pm

>64 ScoLgo: You are correct. The different endings, so far as I recall, are from over "focus grouping" the film to death during development. Testing with different audiences showed that one ending was terrible in one case, and great in another so it got cut differently and I think, mistakenly distributed that way, too. Another way to tell the movie got really stepped on is the amount of ADR that was done. ADR= automatic dialog replacement and is anything, but. You can tell when it's done because it doesn't sound like the actor was in the same room and you'd be right; it's done post-production. I haven't seen it, but people say that it's some of Cusack's most emotional work.

Nov 8, 3:19 pm

>65 Bookmarque: One is the 'Director's Cut', for whatever that may be worth.

I've always liked both Cusack siblings. John's role in Grosse Point Blank was especially memorable for me, ("You can never go home again, Oatman... but I guess you can shop there." - LOL ;).

Editado: Nov 8, 3:23 pm

Yup, according to imdb, the Director's cut is really different than the release version.

I love GPB!! Have had it on DVD for ages and think he and Joan just click so well there. Great dialog and unexpected weirdness. Like Ackroyd. Jeez. Might be time for a re-watch!

Nov 13, 6:40 pm

Am getting toward the end of the 4th part of the Lovecraft Investigations podcast/drama. In doing so I listened to the first 3 parts and I forgot how much fun these are and how intricate and batshit insane. They all end sort of cliff-hangery, but I like them even if I have to wait for more. When the next part comes out (assuming there is one), I'll enjoy revisiting the old ones again.

Will finish it tomorrow and go through withdrawal.

Nov 14, 5:48 pm

Just went over my tallies for the year to make sure everything matches and I'm at 98 books for the year so far. I use books pretty loosely since I count the story-based podcasts like above. Not a huge year, but an entertaining one for sure.

Nov 14, 6:19 pm

King Project

Crouch End
short story in Nightmares and Dreamscapes

So...I don't know what to make of the decision to set this story in London, but have it so much a part of the Lovecraft universe. I mean, both King and H.P. are New England boys by birth, breeding and their fiction. Even so, it's a very creepy tale - the changed kids (claw hand??!) and that Lonnie doesn't notice??!! Later he's clearly in shock and denial - scared, literally, out of his mind?


I haven't seen the TV show that was made from this, but by all accounts it's dreadful and best avoided.

Nov 16, 9:05 am

Went on a rural ramble the other day. Always have to stop for old barns when they look this cool. I think it's maybe being saved judging by the huge tarp. The house across the yard is abandoned, but the fields are still being worked. All part of the way land is used up this way.

Nov 16, 2:47 pm

Finished another video today. Fall on a favorite trail -

Nov 16, 3:53 pm

Nov 16, 5:21 pm

>72 Bookmarque: Ah, the peace. Yesterday was glorious here. I was up in time to see the sunrise which was full of red, orange, gold, purple and pink with layers of clouds. The trees around my house were in full golden and amber fall glory. The only problem was the noise pollution. The traffic from the freeway was especially loud that morning; I could still hear a drip now and then of the previous night's rain falling from the trees. Then the homeless people camped in the creek below our house began screaming and cursing. I said goodbye to my yard and came inside. At least I could still see the beauty.

Nov 17, 8:05 am

Thanks peeps. I shot quite a bit of fall footage and have an idea for another video with some of that.

Sorry about your noise pollution, MrsL. I remember you pointing out the creek behind the fence and all the problems with people back there. The drip of water off the trees does sound pretty nice though. As does the colors in the sunrise. Living in the sticks has its ups and downs, but I can get away from manmade sounds if I put my mind to it. Oh sure the occasional gun or chainsaw comes into it, but it can be done.

Nov 17, 2:03 pm

>72 Bookmarque: Well, I just subscribed to that channel! What a wonderful talent you have.

Nov 17, 3:40 pm

Awww, thanks Jill. I'm only using it as a hosting platform, but I'm happy to have you watch whatever I put up.

Nov 18, 2:52 am

>74 MrsLee: What a beautiful and poignant little vignette. The sort of vivid miniature that I see in places like the New York Times. For a moment I could see and hear what you saw and heard.

Nov 18, 9:31 am

>72 Bookmarque: A very pleasant video, thank you for making it and posting.

Nov 18, 11:46 am

>72 Bookmarque: Lovely. I have to ask one thing. Was that a baby maple tree growing inside the perfect fern?

Nov 18, 1:40 pm

You could be right, clam. There are fresh bright leaves in the center with yellow leaves fallen on it. Fun stuff.

Editado: Nov 18, 3:58 pm

King Project

Just started The Langoliers which is the first novella in Four Past Midnight first published in 1990. I have my original hardcover that I bought then and that's how I'm reading it. I can't recall the last time I read it, but it was probably around then. I have probably reread it in the early 90s.

In the intervening years I've read a couple of classic science fiction books that share a similar trope; sleepers escape the event. In this story everyone who is sleeping on the flight wakes up to find everyone else is gone, leaving behind metal objects like jewelry, pacemakers and the occasional wallet. I'm a bit baffled as to the "logic", but the phenomenon reminds me of...Earth Abides maybe...(or was that a rattlesnake bite?) or maybe it was Day of the Triffids where our main character slept through "the event" and now has to make his way through the disaster.

It's also an ensemble piece in the sense that we've got a random collection of people who have to band together to deal with the big problem. All types - super competent leaders, spineless agitators who only cause problems, mother types, regular joes/janes, all kinds mixed in and Uncle Steve has the best time with them. He does this a lot whether it's as small a space as the grocery store in The Mist or a whole town like Castle Rock or the country like in The Stand. Plenty of human foibles as fodder.

Nov 19, 12:19 pm

Nov 20, 7:02 am

>72 Bookmarque: This is gorgeous. I love all the fungus.

Nov 20, 7:37 am

>84 Sakerfalcon: Thanks much. We got a late start, but eventually the mushrooms came. Am currently trying to put together a "highlight reel" around my best photos for the year. Usually I do a regular blog post, but this time I might try adding video since I shot so much of it. Next year will probably be worse when I get the updated version of my camera with better video capabilities. Crazy. Who thought I'd be able to do this with my regular cameras when I first picked one up in the 80s?

Nov 20, 12:55 pm

I’m not a subscriber, but if you are, Spotify might have gotten a bit more valuable with the addition of 15 hours of audiobook time. As a long-time and pretty happy Audible customer, I’m interested in how they will deal with this. At the moment there are lots of titles included with my subscription in the Plus Catalog as well as all the Audible Originals that I think add a lot of value, but if a certain amount of Amazon Music was also included, now that’s going to be a tough thing to beat. Since getting decent internet speed (Starlink! Woo hoo!) I’ve considered a music streaming service, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Apple’s media + storage bundle is tempting, too, since I’m an all Apple girl now. But with this new development with Spotify, I think I’ll wait to see what Amazon’s response will be, if anything.

Also, a PSA for all you with an Audible subscription - check your wishlist often. Today four books I had on there are now in the Plus Catalog and so I can listen for no extra dollars or credits. Kinda nice. I also check what’s included in Prime and sometimes there are some nice surprises there, too. The streaming wars are a headache a lot of the time, but occasionally there are upsides.

Nov 20, 2:16 pm

>86 Bookmarque: Thanks for the heads up. I always forget to check for what's included. I have had the good fortune (more than once) to go in and look for something and find out that it was free. I pay extra for Amazon Music Plus, or whatever they call it. There are no ads, but I can only stream in one location at a time. (I can't leave music on at home, and then listen to music in my car at the same time. I used to leave classical music playing for the dog while I was gone. And I still leave it on for the cat, just out of habit.) I can stream the same music on multiple devices in my home at once though.

Editado: Nov 20, 2:22 pm

Yeah, the bottleneck in the Prime Music thing is a pain. Even the plan included with Prime is only for one person per account, so my husband has it because he shares the account with me. Weird. We still have Sirius XM in a couple cars so the app works well for streaming here. No ads, but you can't customize a station like you can with Amazon, Apple or Spotify, not that we've had good luck with the Amazon station creation. So it's fine for now and mostly why I haven't done any other music streamers. Plus Sirius XM works anywhere in the state and we have a LOT of cell dead zones.

Nov 20, 3:30 pm

I have had very good luck with my created playlists on Amazon. Plus, you can share them, which is very nice. You can just verbally ask Alexa to create a playlist, and then add songs to it (from any station or other playlist) as you're listening to them. It's very handy.

Nov 21, 9:00 am

King Project

Finished The Langoliers yesterday. My thoughts -

P 49 - Lauren’s lie is a nice hook. In the end it doesn’t amount to much, but he makes you think it will.

As we get into Toomy’s head I’m reminded how well King does the lunatic outsider. Reading his rapid unraveling is so unsettling and full of menace. The fish from the depths metaphor to explain Toomy’s condition is pretty darn great.

“Deep in the trenches carved into the floors of the Pacific and the Indian Oceans, there are fish which live and die without ever seeing or sensing the sun. These fabulous creatures cruise the depths like ghostly balloons, lit from within by their own radiance. Although they look delicate, they are usually marvels of biological design, built to withstand pressures that would squash a man as flat as a windowpane in the blink of an eye. Their great strength, however, is also their greatest weakness. Prisoners of their own alien bodies, they are locked forever in their dark depths. If they are captured and drawn toward the surface, toward the sun, they simply explode. It is not external pressure that destroys them, but its absence. Craig Toomy had been raised in his own dark trench, had lived in his own atmosphere of high pressure.” p 60

And on the next pages - “He did not know about the fish that exist in trenches, living their lives and dying their deaths without ever seeing the sun. He did not know that there are both fish and men whose bete noire is not pressure, but the lack of it. He only knew that he had been under an unbreakable compulsion to buy those bonds illegally and with many lies and shenanigans, to paste a target on his own forehead.”

Later still - “Who knows how the fish captured in one of those deep trenches and brought swiftly toward the surface - toward the light of the sun it has never suspected - may feel? Is it not the least possible that its final moments are filled with ecstasy rather than horror? That it senses the crushing reality of all that pressure only as it falls away? That it thinks - as far as fish may be supposed to think, that is - in a kind of joyous frenzy, I am free of that weight at last! in the seconds before it explodes? Probably not. Fish from those dark depths may not feel at all, at least not in any way we could recognize, and they certainly do not think…but people do.

He had been firmly caught in the net, and felt the dizzying rise and the stretch of his skin as it tried to compensate. They could not now change their minds and drop him back into the deeps."

It’s a great way to encapsulate Toomy’s sense of himself and his absolute ignorance of normal human interaction and perception. Dinah senses some of it and ultimately those two things set up his ultimate sacrifice later on.

As is the gun at first, but since we already know that it won’t fire (just like Bethany’s matches), we instead anticipate how Toomy’s plan will backfire (ha, yeah, I did that) and we want that so badly now since he’s been built up as such a villain. All part of a master manipulator - King really knows how to ratchet up emotions in his Constant Readers.

Once again we get a kid with some kind of paranormal ability, usually girls. This time she’s barely aware that she has it, but it turns out to be vital to all their survival and he makes Dinah one of the heroes in the book. The other is the writer, of course.

Love the Gary Larson reference - Pilot ghost stories - yeah, that would have been a good one.

I really like the comparison of their situation to other old and isolated human disappearances like Roanoke - that the rest of the world is there and chugging along fine.

P 144 “they were opening all the depths of forever”

The plane taking off scene reminds me a lot of the one in Independence Day when the White House explodes.

And that ending - happiness & escape? Well for most of them anyway. OMG? Did he fall and hit his head?

Nov 24, 3:28 pm

Day three of organizing our music collection - well, the digital part. For some insane reason when I went from Windows to Mac, I neglected to move all the downloaded and ripped music to the big external hard drive. Really dumb. Luckily most of it was on a thumb drive in the Jeep so I could transfer all of that over, but it wasn't complete so I've been filling in gaps today by ripping CDs. Crazy, but oddly fun, too. I'm wondering if a NAS would be a better way to go with this, but we don't have that much so the 8TB drive will handle it with no trouble.

Nov 24, 6:07 pm

Sounds fun, but time consuming. I lost a lot of my music when I bought a new iPhone. I think most of the songs are on my phone, I just can’t access the playlists anymore. Weird.

I thought of you yesterday. My cats were acting like something was in the yard. I went to look thinking I’d see a squirrel. Instead I saw these black and orange birds I had never seen before. I looked them up and they were varied thrushes. I’m pretty sure they aren’t normally in my area. They were very pretty.

Nov 24, 6:57 pm

Oh sounds like a cool bird! Not sure I've ever seen one. Bummer about your music. I would cry if I lost my CDs and Vinyl. Cry. Hard.

Here's a fun one that has a history in my collection -

It's a pop band/project by Tony Carey who was the original keyboardist in Rainbow (Ritchie Blackmore from Deep Purple's other band).'s just about a perfect 80s pop album, but it also has a concept album vibe. I loved it when I first heard it in the 80s since Why Me got a lot of play on MTV. So I had a tape. Played it so much I was afraid it would break and it was the 90s and it was out of print. So I'd play it like once a year and that was it. Kept looking on the fledgling Amazon to see if a CD was produced.

Lo and behold, one day there was. I snapped it up and breathed a sigh of relief.

Then a few years go while rummaging in a bin of used records I found it again.

I've had this same album on three different formats since about 1983. Hilarious. Timeless. Happiness.

Nov 25, 8:41 am

Starting to get my yearly stats together and come up with my best books for the year and we’re either going to have to stretch the term ‘book’ a bit, or I’ll have to include a category for audio drama as well. I listened to a lot of those and will keep on because they’re fun and there seem to be more all the time. I have 3 apps to listen with, mostly Audible, but also SoundCloud and BBC Sounds. There are standouts in that category, but not as many in books. Only one 4.5 star book for the year and some of the others I rated higher were re-reads, so I don’t know that I should count those. Silly, I know, but book nerds have rules, right? What do you guys think? Should I include audio dramas on my Best of List or leave them aside?

On a separate note, I have a couple of RSIs out there that involve stuff like this that is mostly me wanting to be helpful when it comes to audio dramas. But neither seem to be interesting to anyone else, so I’ll probably have to come up with another solution. Maybe a list with some commentary on the production and links to where you can find it. More work for me, but it might be useful. That said, it’s probably going to be an echo chamber since I seem to be the only one who has cataloged a lot of these here. Maybe I shouldn’t bother. Hm…

Nov 25, 3:55 pm

>94 Bookmarque:. This is a problem that many purveyors of "Best Books" lists are having to confront. I would go ahead and include audio dramas on your list. (Although providing some sort of a definition of what you mean by the term "audio-drama" would be useful. Just to keep everyone on the same page.)

Nov 25, 8:18 pm

>94 Bookmarque: I agree with jillmwo in that you should include the audio dramas.

Nov 25, 9:20 pm

>94 Bookmarque: >95 jillmwo: Is an audio drama basically what we used to know as a radio show?--actors' voices and sound effects performing an audio-only script?

Editado: Nov 26, 8:39 am

Thanks guys - I will include them - anything that got 4 or 5 stars will be on the list no matter what it actually was.

Yeah, I think a radio show or radio play would be right - they're making a comeback with smartphones and audio subscriptions and services. They're like movies for your ears - a cast of actors, foley/sound effects, spatial audio production (people sound far away when they are, etc.) and music/scores. I consider them anything that features acting rather than straight up reading of a text. So with books narrated by many people, you have to see if the it's still just a reading not a play/drama based on said book; that would be an adaptation. For example I have The Complete George Smiley Radio Dramas: BBC Radio 4 Full-Cast Dramatisation which are exactly what's on the tin and not readings of Le Carre's books. They are faithful to the stories, characters and plots in each novel (who would mess with a Le Carre plot??), but I don't have them combined with any of the books because they are not the books.

Of course some are original scripts and storylines and aren't directly adapted from anything else. Then there are the hybrids. If you've watched The Fall of the House of Usher on Netflix, that's has a very loose connection to the story it takes the title from, but also sprinkles in a ton of other Poe story and poem references. An audio drama that does this well is the Lovecraft Investigations series. Basically we start out with a season based on The Case of Charles Dexter Ward but it is updated for the 21st century and adds a lot of other elements that reach far into the seasons to come. The rest of the series dive into other aspects of Lovecraft's world. I'd classify those as things based on the source material rather than straight up adaptations of it.

Phew, I hope that makes sense. Not quite through my first cup of coffee this morning!

Nov 26, 9:14 am

On the contrary, Bookmarque, that's extraordinarily coherent for a "first cup of coffee" type of explanation! When I did my write-up of annotated editions, talking about Sayers' The Man Born to be King, I was surprised that I could find on YouTube a 1967 series of "radio-plays" of Sayers' material. (And the Scholarly Kitchen editor was particularly anxious that I link to them from the blog post.) It hadn't occurred to me that this would be a natural outgrowth of podcasts, etc. -- the return of some form of dramatic rendition that one could listen to while jogging or something.

Nov 26, 9:26 am

>98 Bookmarque: Thank you for that. So I'm assuming that modern versions of the dramas do not have the weird echoey sound of the original radio broadcast dramas?

Nov 26, 9:46 am

Thanks Jill, glad it made some kind of sense. LOL. It's amazing that what is old has become new again. TV killed off radio in the US, but the BBC has always had radio dramas and so I think the natural extension to other types of stories that can be told in audio format has a better foothold in Britain. With Apple's original Podcasts, things got started again in the US, but it's not terrestrial radio or even satellite so far as I know, but streaming and subscription services that drive it. I think it would be fun to hear 60s-era Sayers adaptations.

Oh yeah, the audio quality is MUCH better now MrsL. The reason is that sound design and production have improved so darn much and that basically you don't have every actor in one room with the foley guy in the corner - the whole isn't done live if you follow. Like making any movie, you have sets, remote locations, scenes and actor schedules to manage. Some productions are done entirely in a studio and some have real locations that you can actually hear. There is something about two people talking outside or in a real building that has an acoustic effect that is hard to reproduce in a studio even with a good sound designer and engineer. Plus, foley and audio effects are created and captured separately and used specifically to fill in information. Right now I have thousands of these available to me in various places - mostly they come from subscription services where you could also purchase royalty free music, but a library also came with my video editing software and so I can have whooshes and cars, guns and bird wings. If none suit, I can record myself starting my car or lighting a match or pouring coffee and then edit those sound clips to suit whatever situation I need to use them in. It's come a long way.

Phew. Now two cups of coffee in and I'm getting carried away!!!

Editado: Nov 26, 10:10 am

Ok, so here's an audio drama that I just finished the other day - the much anticipated sequel to the first one from 2022 -

Moriarty: The Silent Order

I liked it, but it wasn't as good as the first one since I think a lot of the element surprise was removed since we knew that Holmes was re-cast as a bad guy. In the first series it was fun to see his pompousness and sadism come out to flip him from good guy, but that's known and so we just see him go from bad to worse. Moriarty is also flipped and has been recast as hero who turned to crime to clear his name and find the real killer. There is a shadow government that is responsible for his frame up and now we get into that a bit more; enter Helen Mirren as Porlock, our arch enemy. That part was pretty fun, but some of the scenes and set up were a bit long. In the end, we've got a new tragedy and of course Holmes is up to no good and that will carry the next installment which I will be anxiously awaiting!

Nov 27, 11:53 am

Saw this in passing this morning Bookmarque and immediately thought of you and your photography of insect life. The URL will take you to the opening chapter of a book focused on What Its Like to be a Bee.

Nov 27, 12:47 pm

Oh cool, Jill, thanks! I have a few books from Princeton Press, they do a nice job with natural history so I've added this one to my wishlist on Amazon.

Editado: Nov 28, 10:40 am

One of the few non-fiction books I read this year was What are You doing Here? by Laina Dawes - subtitled A Black Woman's Life & Liberation in Heavy Metal

Frankly eye-opening and sad, too. It's an interesting take on the very sharp musical divide along racial lines that we have. Frankly, I'd LOVE to meet up with her at a metal show. We'd headbang like nobody's business! As a black woman she's so much the outsider in the worlds of Punk and Metal that she is often made to feel physically threatened by going to the shows that she wants to see. Sometimes it’s some asshole throwing the N word at her. As if that isn’t bad enough, she's shunned by blacks and called a race traitor because she doesn't listen to Beyonce or Jay Z. Her parents forbade rock and roll in the house growing up and insisted she listen to "black" music. She feels boxed in and conflicted and has to constantly assert that, no, in fact she's not turning her back on her "blackness". Sad and crazy, but interesting.

It also cleared up some of the reasons that black musicians walked away from rock and roll since their role in helping to create it. For me this phenomenon was always puzzling and one of the reasons bands like Living Color, Fishbone and what Lenny Kravitz did, are so much the odd man out. Even with guitar gods like Jimi Hendrix and Prince, they are both non-conforming in their musical decisions. Jimi more than Prince, but it's there.

In some ways I feel her pain, although being white, heavy metal is more accessible to me, but as a woman I've always gotten strange looks when the subject of music has come up. Those who don't listen to metal think it's all "screaming", but that's just ignorance. Still, it's difficult to have to constantly "defend" the genre in the face of it and that people basically close down when you try to explain or get them to listen.

That's most of my review, but click the link and you can see a lot of the passages I highlighted. Quite an eye opener and even 12 years later I don't see much change in this us and them attitude. Dammit, we should all be able to partake of the art around us. It isn't created for just one specific type of person, is it? I like to think that creators put their work out there to be consumed by all; everyone is free to enjoy or excoriate at their own direction, not that of some cultural overlay that is hurtful and unnecessary.

It reminds me of a guy who runs a YouTube channel where he reacts to watching videos and listening to music that is far outside his generation and culture as a 30-something (?) black American male. He's discovered just how great stuff is - Queen, ZZ Top, Tool, Zeppelin and Hendrix. None of which he'd ever heard except in movies or in passing somewhere. While he doesn't love everything, it's so touching watching him react to what is exceptional in the performances and songs he hears, regardless of when they were made or the race of the people making it. I wish more would jump on his bandwagon.

Nov 28, 11:20 am

>105 Bookmarque: One of my colleagues when I worked at Tower Records in Philadelphia was a Black woman who loved punk and Goth and is a drummer in a local punk band. I imagine this book would resonate very strongly with her,, based on comments I remember her making about the reactions she got to her taste in music.
Dammit, we should all be able to partake of the art around us. It isn't created for just one specific type of person, is it? I like to think that creators put their work out there to be consumed by all; everyone is free to enjoy or excoriate at their own direction I agree, this is how it should be.

Nov 28, 5:12 pm

>106 Sakerfalcon:
Words of wisdom.

Nov 29, 8:08 am

I did put that little snippet in my review because it's now I feel. I've never been drawn to rap or hip hop, but now I understand a little more the resentment of white rappers from black ones. Once again whites tread on "their" territory and even though the racist strictures and policies of literal white and black physical spaces don't exist anymore, the idea of having something sheltered and wholly their own persists. The upshot is whites could intrude into black clubs to hear this new rock and roll thing, but blacks could not go to white clubs to do the same. So the safety of those spaces was gone and musicians and singers abandoned rock and roll for forms that whites didn't love so much and couldn't readily create their own icons with (Elvis, Everly Brothers, Big Bopper, Bill Haley, etc.). It's pretty darn sad that music became so divisive because of racism back then because it persists today when there is so much opportunity for it to bring us together instead.

Dez 1, 12:54 pm

We had more fog yesterday morning so I stopped by my favorite spot on the Wisconsin river -

Dez 1, 1:26 pm

>109 Bookmarque: Ooooh! Lovely!

Dez 1, 3:30 pm

>109 Bookmarque: Looks like your territory jumped from fall to winter abruptly, like ours did.

Dez 1, 9:40 pm

I love the fog!

Dez 2, 7:53 am

Thanks peeps!

Winter has been slow coming. Barely any snow so far and the river has only now begun to freeze. I'd like a couple feet of snow so I can go play in it, but nothing on the forecast. Was bound to happen though because husband got a new snowblower and put the old one on consignment at the same store. Unless something happens soon both will sit there for a long time.

Dez 2, 10:17 am

>113 Bookmarque: The purchase of a snowblower is a very near guarantee that you will not see snow in the twelve months immediately following that purchase. (I suspect there is some kind of a corollary with lawn mowers. Pennsylvania had a drought the year we bought one.)

Dez 2, 10:43 am

Dez 2, 10:54 am

>114 jillmwo: Or if it works like here, nary a snowflake until the day after the guarantee on the blower expires.

Dez 2, 11:54 am

>114 jillmwo: Yep, that happened the year I bought The Husband one. No snow the rest of the year. But it sure has come in handy since that first year!

Dez 2, 12:03 pm

Yup, we probably won't get anything until April! And all the cars we drive in winter have the snows on so that's another nail in the snow coffin. Deer rifle season wrapped up a couple weeks ago and without snow it was much harder to see and track them. Not sure how that affected the tag count this year, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was down.

Dez 3, 9:31 am

The universe is basically laughing at me. We got 1/2 an inch of snow overnight.

Dez 3, 12:34 pm

Dez 3, 2:53 pm

>119 Bookmarque: Well, maybe it's just a polite sniggering. It's not an outright guffaw! Smile sweetly out the window at it and the universe may remember its manners.

Dez 4, 6:46 am

>109 Bookmarque: Gorgeous photo!

Dez 6, 1:03 pm

Dez 6, 1:27 pm

>123 Bookmarque: Calvin and Hobbes are wonderful.

Dez 6, 1:42 pm

Best part of the paper for years and the first thing I'd read.

Dez 6, 1:48 pm

Dez 6, 2:10 pm

>126 Bookmarque: Is it working yet? Do you have wifi on your sled? A word to the wise, be careful what you wish for.

Dez 7, 5:42 am

Calvin and Hobbes is the best!

Dez 7, 8:17 am

>126 Bookmarque: I don't remember this one! That must mean it's time for me to read all those collections I bought a few years back. 😂

Dez 7, 10:02 am

>129 clamairy: I was thinking the same thing. I have a shelf full of comics, and bought the full collection of Calvin and Hobbs for my husband. We used to buy a paperback of them each year for stocking stuffers, along with Pearls Before Swine and Get Fuzzy. Darn kids wanted to take those with them when they left home, but we still have plenty.

Dez 7, 11:26 am

One of the reasons my husband and I knew we were made for each other was the fact that he had these on his fridge and they're two of my favorites -


Dez 7, 11:30 am

This one is in my laundry room. It's all yellow and faded and the tape is brittle, but I love it -

and of course it reminds me of this -

Dez 7, 12:18 pm

Great stuff, thanks for the Calvin and Hobbes. The strip came up on Jeopardy this week.

Dez 7, 2:26 pm

>133 Karlstar: I was about to tell her the same thing!

Dez 7, 3:44 pm

Thanks for posting Calvin and Hobbes. I needed the smiles :)

Ontem, 10:42 am

Calvin and Hobbes is my all-time favourite comic strip! It never fails to make me smile.

Ontem, 11:24 am

Glad everyone got some grins with these. Hard not to. Here's another lunch strip and a favorite -

Ontem, 9:02 pm

>137 Bookmarque: lol! Awesome.