Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Fourteen

É uma continuação do tópico Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Thirteen.

Este tópico foi continuado por Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Fifteen .

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2023

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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Fourteen

Editado: Dez 4, 7:12 am

-Lincoln City, Oregon. Kathy's final resting place.

-Rick, Kathy, Mark. Tennessee. 6/22

“We need the tonic of wildness... At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”

~ Henry David Thoreau

"The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and hillsides,
The feeling of health . . . . the full-noon trill . . . . the song of me rising from bed
and meeting the sun..."

-Leaves of Grass- Whitman

Editado: Nov 9, 7:38 am

Editado: Dez 4, 7:17 am




77- Old God's Time by Barry Sebastian 4.6 (audio)
78- Chain-gang All-stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah 4.2 stars
79- 100 Poems That Matter by The Academy of American Poets 3.7 stars P
80- The Colony by Audrey Magee 5 stars w/Stasia
81- A Fever in the Heartland by Timothy Egan 4.3 stars (audio)
82- Dinosaurs: A Novel by Lydia Millet 4 stars
83- The Last Ranger by Peter Heller 4 stars (audio)
84- The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride 4.6 stars
85- The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson 3.2 stars
86- Trespasses: A Novel by Louise Kennedy 4.2 stars


87- Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel 4.3 stars
88- All Hands on Deck by Will Sofrin 3.8 stars (audio)
89- Juliette by Camille Jourdy 4 stars GN
90- The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng 4.7 stars
91- No Ivy League by Hazel Newlevant 3.5 stars GN
92- Tom Lake by Ann Patchett 4.5 stars
93- Nowhere Girl: A Memoir by Cheryl Diamond 3.8 stars (audio)
94- Fourth Wing (The Empyrean, 1) by Rebecca Yarros 3.8 stars
95- Eyes of the Rigel by Roy Jacobsen 3.7 stars E
96- The Dragons, the Giant, the Women: A Memoir by Wayétu Moore 3.5 stars (audio)
97- Night and Dana by Anya Davidson 4 stars GN


98- The Singapore Grip (Empire Trilogy) by J.G. Farrell 4.6 stars w/Benita
99- This Other Eden by Paul Harding 4.7 stars
100- Almost an Elegy: Selected Poems by Linda Pastan 4.8 stars P
101- Funny Things: Charles M. Schulz by Luca Debus 4 stars GN
102- The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade 4 stars (audio)
103- Skippy Dies by Paul Murray 4.5 stars
104- Our Strangers: Stories by Lydia Davis 3.7 stars E
105- In the Morning I'll Be Gone (3) by Adrian McKinty 4 stars (audio)
106- How to Say Babylon: A Memoir by Safiya Sinclair 4.3 stars
107- Clementine: Book One by Tillie Walden 3.8 stars GN
108- The Body Lies by Jo Baker 3.7 stars (audio)
109- A Wing and a Prayer by Anders & Bev Gyllenhaal 4.6 stars
110- Tell Me Everything: The Story of a PI by Erika Krouse 4.3 stars (audio)
111- Chenneville by Paulette Jiles 4.2 stars


112- Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris 4.6 stars
113- The Killer Vol: 1-4 by Jacamon & Matz 4 stars GN
114- Gap Creek by Robert Morgan 3.7 stars
115- The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman 4 stars (audio)
116- The Comfort of Crows by Margaret Renkl 4.3 stars
117- The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott by Zoe Thorogood 4 stars GN
118- Hiroshima by John Hersey 4.5 stars (audio)
119- Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward 3.2 stars
120- The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Tóibín 4.3 stars
121- Crude: A Memoir by Pablo Fajardo 5 stars GN
122- Prophet Song by Paul Lynch 4.8 stars
123- Good Night, Irene by Luis Alberto Urrea 4.2 stars (audio)
124- Roaming by Jillian Tamaki 3.5 stars GN
125- Gun, with Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem 4 stars
126- Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up by Lesley M.M. Blume 4.2 stars (audio)


Poetry: P
GN: Graphic Novel

Editado: Dez 4, 7:18 am

^ I was able to do some shared reading, this past year, with a few of my book buddies and I really enjoyed it. I would like this to continue through 2023. Primarily, I would like to read books off shelf, but I am still catching up with a few titles that I missed in the past year. I also would like to do a few rereads. I will list some titles and if you are interested, we will set a firm date.

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst w/ Jeff, Benita June
East of Eden w/Linda P, Lynda, Meg, Paul, Anita, Susan- July
The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng w/Donna, Caroline, Rhonda September
The Singapore Grip w/Benita September
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray w/Stasia, Benita, Anita, Ellen?? October
Gap Creek w/ Judy, Benita November
The House of Doors w/Ellen, Stasia December


One Hundred Years of Solitude January?
The Bee Sting w/Judy Mid-Jan
Summer by Ali Smith with Anita?
The Sparrow reread with Stasia??

Nov 8, 7:31 am

The Wild Swans at Coole

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake's edge or pool
Delight men's eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

-William Butler Yeats

Editado: Dez 4, 7:20 am

Hello?? Great Horned Owl chicks.

Nov 8, 7:33 am

Happy new thread!

Nov 8, 7:51 am

‘Morning, Mark! Happy new thread and happy Wednesday to you.

>1 msf59: and >2 msf59: Thanks for sharing the pics.

>6 msf59: I still love that pic of the GHOs.

Nov 8, 8:20 am

Happy new thread, Mark! Beautiful picture toppers, too.

Nov 8, 8:26 am

Lovely toppers, Mark. Happy new thread.

Nov 8, 8:35 am

Happy new one, Mark.

Nov 8, 9:31 am

Happy New Thread!

Nov 8, 9:38 am

Happy new thread, Mark!

>1 msf59: What a beautiful place to be laid to rest. Vale Kathy!

>2 msf59: And some Jackson and Juno to cheer us up.

Nov 8, 11:47 am

Happy new thread Mark!

>1 msf59: That is so beautiful. May her memory carry that beauty forever.

>2 msf59: Of course Jackson is the cuter one, of course he is.

Nov 8, 12:16 pm

>7 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita.

>8 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. Glad you like all the pics. I love sharing them.

>9 bell7: >10 jessibud2: >11 katiekrug: >12 mahsdad: Mary, Shelley, Katie & Jeff.

>13 FAMeulstee: >14 quondame: Thanks, Anita & Susan. My youngest sister who passed about 30 years ago, had her ashes spread in the same spot. They will be good company.

Hooray for Jack & Juno!

Nov 8, 12:27 pm

^ I decided I wanted more money in my vacation fund, so I am taking on a part-time job. For about six months I have been doing Door Dash, (a delivery service) a couple of days a week but found it very inconsistent and plus it added wear and tear on Sue's Sentra, along with gas expenses.

I am now working for a tiny company called Kids Kab, transporting 6-7 children to the same grade school. Twice a week, with the option to work more- 2 hours in the AM. 2 in the PM, plus I bring the van home after my AM run and return it after my PM shift. Not a bad gig. The kids are adorable. kindergarten to 6th grade and all are Hispanic. There is a bilingual program at this particular school. Yes, I need to really brush up on my nearly non-existent Spanish. Adios!

Nov 8, 1:19 pm

New 🧵 orisons, Mark.

Congratulations on the new gig!

Nov 8, 1:22 pm

Happy new thread, Mark!

>16 msf59: I need to brush up on my non-existent Spanish as well. Your new job sounds like a wonderful way to learn it!

Nov 8, 2:12 pm

>16 msf59:
This sounds like the perfect part-time job. So far I am not thinking about a part time job, but that may change after I have my first year of retirement under my belt. I am still trying to figure out how to get enough reading time in my day and all the other chores done. I am also looking at how much money can I spend on vacations during the year and am thinking that some kind of part time job will be in my future - just not now.

Nov 8, 2:17 pm

I read a few more pages in Gap Creek last night and this morning, but I am only on about page 70. I am finding this book to be difficult to read. I think that your word "serviceable" describes it exactly.

This book got so much publicity when it was published that I wonder if part of my problem with it is that my expectations are high. I started reading this book several years ago and quit at about the point I am at now. Generally I follow the Pearl Rule (if you don't like a book after 50 pages just pack it in and get another book to read), but I intend to keep reading this one. Oftentimes if one just gets over a hump the book can turn out to be very good, as was illustrated by the last book I read with you - Skippy Dies. I am hoping that this is the case with this book.

Nov 8, 2:22 pm

Gap Creek was published in 1999 and that makes the book 25 years old. I wonder if part of the popularity of it back then was the detailed descriptions of the daily grind that small farmers had back in the late 19th century? That kind of life style is very foreign to us. We have all these gadgets that allow us free time and I don't think that there are very many people who worry about calloused their hands are. Even men. Most of us don't even vacuum our own homes. We have Roomba's for that.

I found the description of how to use a cross cut saw very interesting. Morgan must have intimate knowledge about the adage of "pull - don't push!" Breaking that scene down into that intricate of a description means that he probably has used a cross cut saw at some point in his life.

Nov 8, 6:05 pm

>17 richardderus: >18 alcottacre: Thanks Richard & Stasia!

>19 benitastrnad: >20 benitastrnad: >21 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. I took 2 1/2 years off before starting a part-time job, so take your time, my friend. Sue is still working but putting vacation money aside is always a minor concern. Hey, we like to travel.

I finished Gap Creek, earlier than expected. It ended somewhat abruptly, setting up a sequel. I thought it was a decent read but I also can now understand why we have put this one off for so long. It is an average read, at best. I prefer Morgan's NF. I think I will skip his poetry.

Editado: Nov 8, 6:09 pm

-Nick Anderson

Nov 8, 6:09 pm

Happy new thread mate.

>1 msf59: Nice tribute to your sister up there.

Well done in working part time. I'm sure that the kids are in safe hands.

Nov 8, 6:13 pm

Happy new thread, Mark! I like the pictures and tribute to your sister in the topper. And the picture of Jackson with the binoculars was too good not to repost, right?

>16 msf59: The Kids Kab gig sounds like a great solution to a part-time job!

Nov 8, 6:44 pm

>24 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. It is going to be an emotional weekend, as we head to Oregon on Friday. My niece has been really struggling. She was very close to her Mom.

>25 atozgrl: Thanks, Irene. Happy Wednesday! Not surprisingly, the pic of Jack with the binos is one of my absolute favorites.

I like the flexibility and easy routine of Kids Kab. I think it will be a good fit.

Nov 8, 7:14 pm

>26 msf59: I will be thinking about you buddy, give your niece an extra wee hug from your pal from Malaysia.

Nov 8, 7:33 pm

Reprise >14 quondame: Happy new thread Mark!

I was probably commenting at the same time as you were!

Nov 8, 11:18 pm

Happy New Thread, Mark. A lovely tribute to your sister, Kathy , Mark. Lincoln City is a beautiful place. I visited there in the early 2000's . I'm glad your pt work is working out well. I am sorry about your niece missing her mom so much. Hugs.

Great pictures of Jackson there!

Nov 9, 7:35 am

>27 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. I will pass along the hug. I am sure there will be a lot of those.

>28 quondame: Thanks, Susan. I did respond to you the first time. I just grouped you in with Anita. ❤️

>29 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb. We try to visit the coast, every time we go to Salem. It is about an hour from there. Pretty drive too, across the small mountain range. Kathy loved it there.

Nov 9, 7:39 am

>16 msf59: Congrats on the job! I agree that Uber would have been far too hectic, unreliable and not worth it for the pay. Grade school kids are mostly adorable and not rude like older ones so it should be kinda fun! Also great that you are driving a mini van and not a big yellow bus.

Nov 9, 7:39 am

I missed a couple of your threads, Mark, and am so sorry not to pass along my condolences earlier. A beautiful resting spot for sure. Take care.

Nov 9, 7:46 am

>31 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita. Sweet Thursday. After taking the 8 hr bus safety course, I decided never to drive a full-sized school bus. Too many kids, too much responsibility. The mini-van and 6-7 kids fits me perfectly.

>32 labfs39: Thank you, Lisa. Good to see you, my friend. We head to Oregon tomorrow for a long weekend, to put Kathy to rest.

Editado: Nov 9, 8:15 am

112- Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris 4.6 stars

‘’’Black butterflies,’ he says softly...’Burnt fragments of poetry and art catching in people’s hair.’”

Zora is a teacher and an artist. She is in her mid-50s, living in Sarajevo. It is 1992 and war is erupted in her city. She sends her husband and daughter to England, to wait out the storm. She stays with her art and her students. Soon after, the city is surrounded and the siege begins, with violence breaking out everywhere around her. This is a novel of destruction and survival. Not always easy to read, but Zora’s journey is a remarkable one. It will also be a story that will stick with the reader, far after closing its covers. Beautifully done.

**Thanks to Anne for sending me this much beloved copy. I will also be passing it along, to keep this wonderful train going.

Nov 9, 9:05 am

>34 msf59: All the YAY! I'm glad you were so affected by it.

Nov 9, 9:19 am

Happy new one, Mark!

Nov 9, 10:31 am

Buenos dias, Mark!

>16 msf59: Felicitaciones por tu nuevo trabajo. Espero que tu español mejore rápidamente, ¡como estoy segura que lo hará si los niños pequeños te enseñan! Bravo por el dinero para el fondo de vacaciones.

Mi español era bueno cuando era joven, luego lo perdí por falta de uso. Ahora sé lo suficiente como para aprender una palabra o dos. (thanks to Google Translate…)

>23 msf59: Trump makes a mockery of pretty much everything except his own ego.

>26 msf59: I’ll be thinking about you. And I’m sorry to hear that your niece has been struggling – losing her mother is never-ending heartache when you’re close.

Nov 9, 10:40 am

>1 msf59: Beautiful spot, Mark. We all take such comfort in nature and the sea.

Your part-time gig looks interesting - enjoy!

I have to get to Black Butterflies one of these days. So glad to see that everyone loves it.

Nov 9, 1:20 pm

>33 msf59: Wishing you safe travels, and a good visit with family, although I wish the reason for the visit was something more cheerful. I'm sorry your niece has taken it so hard, though that's very understandable. I'll send my hugs for her along with you as well.

Nov 9, 2:30 pm

>26 msf59: >27 PaulCranswick: Give her a hug from Texas too, please. There has been far too much death going on in the group this year.

>34 msf59: I really need to get to that one soon!


Nov 9, 3:43 pm

I read a bit more in Gap Creek today and am speculating that part of what caught the reading publics attention with this book is Robert Morgan's attention to detail. In particular, the details of life back in the late 19th century. This attention to detail could be a function of Morgan being meticulous or it could be there on purpose to give the reader a sense of what life was like for women in that time period. I suspect the later motivation.

I find it interesting that most people consider Morgan to be a historian, but there is little in his background that leads me to believe that he is a trained historian. I think it is his way of depicting the life of that time period that makes people think of him as a historian.

I just finished reading about what it took to wash clothes. It is a physically demanding job until the advent of mechanization. I recall a conversation with my grandmother about this. She told me that a typical day for her was to get up and fix breakfast, then start the water for washing clothes, then fix lunch, then finish the washing, then fix supper. Taking care of the garden, the chickens, and the smaller children in her family was done by the older children. This description matches what Morgan has described in the book.

Nov 9, 4:37 pm

Hi Mark, I will be thinking of you and your family as you head to Oregon this weekend to celebrate your sister Kathy's life. I'm sure it is not an easy time for your niece.

Great to get news of your part time job. You will be able to tell some wonderful stories, especially after you brush up on your Spanish.

Loved the pic of Jackson with the binoculars. Happy new thread!

Nov 9, 4:58 pm

>35 richardderus: It was a terrific read, RD.

>36 drneutron: Thanks, Jim.

>37 karenmarie: Buenos dias, Karen. Sorry, I translated what you wrote into English. I could only make out a few words. I really want to make an effort to learn more Spanish. For the job and the fact that we like vacationing in Mexico or Central America. It comes in handy.

Obviously, mixed feelings about the Oregon trip but at least the family will be together to offer support.

Nov 9, 5:01 pm

Wishing you the best for your travels this weekend, and hope you find solace in celebrating Kathy's life with family and others who loved her.

Nov 9, 5:04 pm

>38 Copperskye: Thanks, Joanne. The Oregon coast is beautiful. A perfect resting spot. I hope you can find time to bookhorn in Black Butterflies. It is a keeper.

>39 atozgrl: Thanks, Irene. My niece was particularly close to her Mom, unlike her oldest daughter, (no need to comment on that here). They actually shared a duplex. Kathy also took care of her grandson on a regular basis. He is only 6 or 7. I will include your hug, when I see the family.

>40 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia. I will be sharing lots of LT hugs. Such a wonderful group.

Nov 9, 5:16 pm

>41 benitastrnad: I completely agree with you on the attention to detail in Gap Creek. Probably the most interesting thing about the book. There was no sugar-coating or romanticizing there, which I really appreciated. In regard to Morgan being called a historian. He did pen a bio of Daniel Boone and it looks like he wrote one of 2 other historical nonfiction titles. Maybe, that earned him that honor.

>42 mdoris: Thank you, Mary. It will be a bittersweet trip but it will also be a celebration of a life. Hooray for Jack & the Kids Cab gig!

>44 lauralkeet: Thank you, Laura. Tears will be shed but I am also hoping for smiles and laughs too, as we celebrate her life.

Nov 10, 8:02 am

‘Morning, Mark, and happy Friday to you.

>43 msf59: Since I translated English into Spanish, you’re allowed to translate Spanish back into English. *smile*

I am so sorry about your sister, glad you’ll be there with family to celebrate her life and catch up and get/give support.

Nov 10, 8:12 am

>47 karenmarie: Happy Friday, Karen. I will try to fit in my Spanish lessons, whenever I can. Not sure how well, I will succeed but as long as I can speak it a bit and understand it a bit, I will be content.

Thanks, in regard to my sister. It should be a lovely celebration.

Editado: Nov 10, 8:20 am

" Margaret Renkl presents a literary fifty-two chapters that follow the creatures and plants in her backyard over the course of a year... With fifty-two original color artworks by the author’s brother, Billy Renkl, The Comfort of Crows is a lovely and deeply moving book from a cherished observer of the natural world."

I absolutely adored Renkl's book Late Migrations and of course, with a title like The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year, how can I resist? I have had a e-galley of this for some time. It was published in October. It should also be a comfy read for my Oregon trip.

Nov 10, 8:23 am

Safe travels, Mark.

Nov 10, 8:28 am

>50 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie. It will be an emotional weekend and a bit of a whirlwind but we plan on celebrating a special life too. Have a good weekend.

Nov 10, 9:04 am

Wishing you a good weekend, Mark. It is good to offer each other comfort, and your niece will be glad of an extra hug!

Your new job sounds great, and you will be learning Spanish, but do those kids still have to learn English? Or are they bilingual?

>49 msf59: That’s lovely!

Nov 10, 9:23 am

>49 msf59: Safe journey, and a sweet homecoming, Birddude. You sure picked a perfect read for it all.

Nov 10, 9:42 am

>52 EllaTim: Happy Friday, Ella and thank you. I will add you to my Oregon hugs list. I am sure these Hispanic kids are being taught English in school. They are still very young and still learning. I think most of their parents are still speaking mostly Spanish.

>53 richardderus: Thanks, RD. I will be taking comfort in the Renkl collection.

Nov 10, 1:07 pm

>46 msf59:
I think he gets tagged as a historian because of the biography. It is an assumption that is easily made by people doing the interviews. These are usually TV persons or sometimes radio shows. At least, that is what I saw on YouTube. However, you would think that they would at least do their homework before they interview somebody.

Nov 10, 1:10 pm

I hope you have a safe journey, Mark. Take care, old friend.

Nov 10, 1:35 pm

>1 msf59: What a beautiful resting place Mark.

>2 msf59: Love the boy birder.

>16 msf59: Sounds like a nice way to top up the travel fund.

Nov 10, 5:08 pm

Safe travels, Mark, and hope the comfort of family embraces you all.

>49 msf59: - I have been wanting this book ever since I heard it was coming out. Thanks for reminding me!

Nov 10, 8:32 pm

Visiting family at such times is bitter sweet, Mark. I hope being there with everyone holds more sweet moments for you.

Nov 11, 9:49 am

Thinking about you, today, Mark.

Nov 11, 12:27 pm

thinking of you

Nov 11, 11:55 pm

Thinking of you , Mark. I'm glad the day went well, according to your facebook post.

Nov 12, 11:14 am

Greetings from Salem, Oregon. The memorial service for my sister went beautifully. It was followed by a wonderful pot-luck lunch. A perfect send off. We then went to a brewery and played games, which Kathy would have loved. We are going to the coast today, with her ashes. It was favorite place to visit. The weather here is damp and chilly but I am going to try and squeeze in some birding first.

Thanks for all the nice comments. Hugs have been delivered, with more to come.

Nov 12, 11:26 am

Hello Mark. Your topper photo is beautiful and what a great place for Kathy. I'm glad the wake and time with family have gone well.

>49 msf59: That sounds like a great read. I look forward to your thoughts.

Nov 12, 2:02 pm

>4 msf59: I am reading The House of Doors soon, so I'll join you!

>16 msf59: Congrats on the new save-money-for-vactations gig!

>63 msf59: Sorry to hear about your sister. I am glad the service went well and I hope your visit to the coast does too -- love the photos up top. Big hugs my friend.

Nov 13, 12:01 am

May beauty and serenity, love and understanding come to you with every memory of your sister.

Editado: Nov 13, 8:58 am

'Morning, Mark. Glad to hear that the service/pot-luck and etc. went well on Saturday. I hope the spreading of her ashes at the coast also went well.

Edited to add: Blue Jays, Cardinals, and a Downy Woodpecker on the Suet Feeder right now.

Nov 13, 1:14 pm

Monday travel-day orisons, Birddude.

Nov 13, 2:12 pm

Stunningly beautiful spot. A fine place to return to the earth.

Nov 13, 11:54 pm

Hi Mark, I've been thinking about you and your family and was glad to hear that the service etc. went well. The Oregon coast is such a beautiful place and, I'm sure, will make a perfect resting spot.

Congrats on your new job, spending time with these children sounds like a great way to keep yourself young!

Nov 14, 5:57 am

>63 msf59: Glad everything went smoothly. It sounds like you found the perfect way to honour her.

*sending hugs your way*

Nov 14, 7:15 am

Thanks everyone for the lovely comments and keeping the Warbler's thread warm and cozy. I am home but give me a little time to get back in the groove...

>67 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Back to the grind, my friend. I am sure my feeders need topping off.

>68 richardderus: >69 laytonwoman3rd: >70 DeltaQueen50: >71 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Richard, Linda, Judy and Anita. It was a wonderful send-off but it also reminded me of how much we are going to miss her. ❤️

Nov 14, 7:51 am

>2 msf59: Morning, Mark! I love this “mini me” pic of Jack!
What wonderful times you two are spending together. He’ll never forget it.
Hope your reading is going well.
I have the Jesmyn Ward book in my TBR line up. Look forward to your thoughts.

Nov 14, 1:43 pm

>73 Carmenere: Hi, Lynda. Good to see you. Glad you liked the "mini-me" pic of Jack. That one is special. The books have been treating me just fine. Thank you. I also just started the latest Ward. More on that in a moment...

Editado: Nov 14, 1:49 pm

"Let Us Descend is a reimagining of American slavery, as beautifully rendered as it is heart-wrenching. Searching, harrowing, replete with transcendent love, the novel is a journey from the rice fields of the Carolinas to the slave markets of New Orleans and into the fearsome heart of a Louisiana sugar plantation."

^ I am big fan of Ms. Ward. Let Us Descend will be the 4th book of hers I have read. Her earlier novels have taken place in contemporary Louisiana. This one is historical, and it reminds me a bit of The Underground Railroad, after reading the first 40 pages or so. I also received an ARC of this one, which was published at the end of October.

Editado: Nov 14, 2:03 pm

-Taylor Jones

Nov 14, 3:03 pm

>76 msf59: Heh. This is just a wee tiny bit too far, no?

Well, hoping the adjustment period to homecoming is easy and quick.

Editado: Nov 14, 3:44 pm

>76 msf59: - There was an article in today's online NYT by none other than the wonderful Margaret Renkl about this! Not sure if it will be accessible to non-subscribers but give it a try:

Nov 14, 4:37 pm

>63 msf59: I am so happy to hear that the memorial service went well, Mark, for all of your sakes.

>75 msf59: This one has recently popped up at my public library. I really need to get it read.

>76 msf59: My daughter Catey told me about this the other day and I thought that she was joking.

Nov 14, 6:25 pm

>77 richardderus: It probably is a bit much, RD and will be endlessly complicated but it looks like it is happening. Lots of creative minds to come up with new names. I wish them luck.

Nov 14, 6:26 pm

I am about half done with Gap Creek and I will finish reading it, but can say it isn't the best work of fiction that I have read. (Skippy Dies is taking that prize.) I do think that part of the reason that it was so popular is all the detailed description of the daily work that people did back in that time period. It really makes a person stop and think about how much different life is now from then. I am going to be a bit slow on this one, as I am now turning my attention to a different book - My Father's Paradise by Ariel Sabar. I will finish Gap Creek but will be slow in getting it done.

Nov 14, 6:34 pm

>78 jessibud2: I love Ms. Renkl, Shelley. I just finished her latest book The Comfort of Crows which was such a treat. Thanks for sharing her timely article. I like how she concludes it:

"Naming birds for their identifying characteristics instead of for the people who “discovered” them may be little more than symbolic, with hardly any pragmatic effect on the birds’ prospects for survival in a burning world. But symbols have always mattered to our species. Like names themselves, they tell us something about who we are, what we value, how we belong to the world. If renaming the birds becomes part of a broad reorientation toward nature itself, it’s a symbolic gesture that could be the start of saving it all. The birds and us."

Nov 14, 6:38 pm

>77 richardderus:
I don't think that the birds should be renamed. Just let it be. The mistake is part of the history and should be a reminder to all of us not to name anything for anybody who hasn't been dead for 50 years. If we followed that rule it is likely that most people would not think Winfield Scott important enough to name anything after him, let alone a bird. At UA a whole spate of building names have changed as the university tries to become more humanly correct without dealing with the underlying causes of bigotry by increasing the number of minority students enrolled, but that is also a subject for a different day.

However, in my opinion, naming species for the people that discovered them is a different matter. Most of those people might get an obituary in some obscure academic journal but they weren't and won't be household names. Whatever their political, social, and cultural beliefs, they did contribute to science and better understanding so just leave their names on species. I strongly suspect that someday the whole Linnaean classification scheme will prove to be obsolete and it will all be changed again. I was aghast that somebody named a rose for Princess Diana, but I guess that should be expected and accepted, even though fifty years from now, few people are going to know her name. So the same thing should apply to names given to species.

Nov 14, 6:47 pm

>82 msf59: - I may just bite the bullet and splurge for the new Renkl book, Mark. I've had my eye on it. I have and love her first 2 books.

Nov 14, 6:49 pm

>79 alcottacre: Hi, Stasia. It was a nice send-off for my sister. Glad I was able to share the moment with family and friends. That said, this loss is going to hurt for a long time. Not far into Let Us Descend but it is keeping my attention.

>81 benitastrnad: I was going to send you a PM and ask you how you were coming along with Gap Creek. You beat me to the punch. It doesn't look like you will be reading any of the other Gap Creek books, right? Glad you going to at least finish it. 😁

Nov 14, 6:58 pm

>84 jessibud2: It will be worth it, Shelley and it includes many lovely illustrations that were created by Renkl's brother, Bill.

>83 benitastrnad: This will be a contentious issue, Benita. No question. I don't have a problem with it. I am sure most birders have no idea who these people were, so they won't be missed.

Nov 14, 7:03 pm

>86 msf59: - He also did the illustrations for her first book, Late Migrations. Beautiful.

Nov 14, 7:06 pm

>87 jessibud2: You are right, I forgot to mention that. What a terrific book that one was.

Nov 15, 6:31 am

‘Morning, Mark! Happy Wednesday to you.

>76 msf59: All of my bird books are now out of date. And, Fort Bragg here in NC is now Fort Liberty, so the official purging of Confederate names is slowly moving along.

Too dark to see the birds. Louise said she saw a bald eagle in her back field the other day. We've each seen them at our houses, and one memorable day we saw one together at her house.

Nov 15, 7:25 am

>89 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. We might as well wait to update our birding guides. Still dark here too. Hooray for the bald eagle sighting. Maybe you will get a fly over one of these days.

Editado: Nov 15, 7:55 am

I love you. I miss you. Please get out of my house.

Nothing today hasn’t happened before:
I woke alone, bundled the old dog
into his early winter coat, watered him,
fed him, left him to his cage for the day
closing just now. My eye drifts
to the buff belly of a hawk wheeling,
as they do, in a late fall light that melts
against the turning oak and smelts
its leaves bronze.
Before you left,
I bent to my task, fixed in my mind
the slopes and planes of your face;
fitted, in some essential geography,
your belly’s stretch and collapse
against my own, your scent familiar
as a thousand evenings.
Another time,
I might have dismissed as hunger
this cataloguing, this fitting, this fixing,
but today I crest the hill, secure in the company
of my longing. What binds us, stretches:
a tautness I’ve missed as a sapling,
supple, misses the wind.

-Donika Kelly

^For Karen H 😁❤️

Nov 15, 10:33 am

>86 msf59:, >83 benitastrnad: I wonder if the chaos caused in the knowledge-transmission industry is worth it. I suspect not. I concur about the Linnean system's eventual obsolescence, and expect that transition to be epically awful in its chaotic, inevitably disruptive application...happily for me, I don't use the darn thing, so I got no skin in that, or this bird-based, game.

Happy Wednesday's reads!

Nov 15, 5:48 pm

>92 richardderus: Happy Wednesday, RD. I got in plenty of book & Juno time today.

Editado: Nov 15, 5:59 pm

^Lincoln City, Oregon. We spread some of Kathy's ashes here. I also saw a bald eagle flying over the ocean, along with some brown pelicans.

Nov 15, 7:06 pm

>94 msf59: - Beautiful. {{hugs}}, Mark

Nov 15, 7:08 pm

>83 benitastrnad: Renaming might not be such a bad thing. Here in Holland lots of species have been given dutch names, so as to make it easier for the general public to get to know them (lots of insects were only known by their latin names). The result was creative and fun, and made remembering characteristics a lot easier!

Nov 15, 8:37 pm

Beautiful pictures, Mark. Hugs. I don't think I mind renaming birds. I was unaware of that until I read about it on my thread. It may take me a while to actually do it myself, but I will adapt. In BC , and the rest of Canada we have renamed places and streets etc, and it has not been a problem for me. I suspect I may always think of Anna's Hummingbird as just that, but we'll see.

Nov 15, 11:04 pm

Hello Mark - I'm just starting to catch up after a bit of an absence. I'm so very sorry about the loss of your sister - may her memory be a blessing to you and the rest of your family. The Oregon coast is an exquisite and peaceful resting place, I think. Sending you hugs and deepest condolences.

Nov 16, 7:44 am

Happy Thursday, Mark!

>82 msf59: Lovely picture, I love crows!

>94 msf59: Beautiful places to leave some ashes, both the beach and your previous picture at the top.

Nov 16, 7:53 am

>95 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. Return {{hug}}...

>96 EllaTim: I will have to agree with you, Ella. Good to see you.

>97 vancouverdeb: Sweet Thursday, Deb. Return hug! Thanks for chiming in on the bird name conversation. Like all change, it will take some getting used to but I think it will all work out.

>98 PlatinumWarlock: Thank you very much, Lavinia. My LT pals have been so warm and comforting. Good to see you back.

>99 FAMeulstee: Sweet Thursday, Anita. Glad you like the pics. Beautiful resting spot.

Nov 16, 9:30 am

‘Morning, Mark, and sweet Thursday to you.

>91 msf59: Thanks. My need for alone time is legendary and currently non-existent.

>95 jessibud2: Nice pics, good place to spread some of Kathy’s ashes. Yay for the Bald Eagle and Pelicans.

The usual suspects on my feeders this morning so far.

Nov 16, 10:08 am

>101 karenmarie: Sweet Thursday, Karen. I hope you get a routine in place at home, where you both are comfortable enough. Good luck. Have a lovely lunch with Irene.

Nov 16, 11:55 am

Thursday orisons, Mark. Hoping you have a good one today.

Nov 16, 12:01 pm

>94 msf59: That is a part of the country that I would love to visit at some point. Thank you for sharing the pictures, Mark. I can see why Kathy would love this spot.

Editado: Nov 16, 5:33 pm

>103 richardderus: It has been a very Sweet Thursday, RD. Thanks!

>104 alcottacre: Oregon is beautiful, Stasia. It offers so much. I hope you make it there.

Nov 16, 6:13 pm

Mark - So good you made it safely Home to your Jackson and Juno

and, again, so sorry for now being without your sister.

Nov 17, 7:43 am

>106 m.belljackson: Thank you very much, Marianne. Have you seen any sandies flying overhead yet? I have not.

Nov 17, 7:51 am

"In 1943, Irene Woodward abandons an abusive fiancé in New York to enlist with the Red Cross and head to Europe...Taking as inspiration his mother's own Red Cross service, Luis Alberto Urrea has delivered an overlooked story of women's heroism in World War II."

I am a big fan of Urrea. This will be my 7th book, that I have read by him and he has been remarkably consistent. I have been meaning to read Good Night, Irene since it came out in May. I wasn't intending to listen to it on audio (although he works very well in that format) but it came up recently on the Audible Daily Deal and that sealed it. It is off to a very good start.

Editado: Nov 17, 8:23 am

116- The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year by Margaret Renkl 4.3 stars

“According to birding tradition, the first bird you see on the first day of the new year sets the tone for your next twelve months.”

“The world will always be beautiful to those who look for beauty.”

“To follow politics these days is to court bewilderment, denial, complete despair. Too often I feel I am living in a country I no longer recognize, a country determined to imperil every principle that I hold dear...Immersing myself in the natural world of my own backyard.”

I loved Renkl’s essay collection Late Migrations and was looking forward to her latest, The Comfort of Crows. It did not disappoint. Told in 52 chapters, it follows her thoughts and observations, as she studies the birds and the plant life in her backyard. Her first bird of that year was a crow. She writes beautifully and touches on many things like climate change and habitat loss. You will not have to be a birder to enjoy this lovely book.

Nov 17, 10:46 am

'Morning, Mark! Happy Friday to you.

A site visit from the electric company still has the birds spooked - nary a one in sight. Yesterday I saw a Mockingbird on the side mirror of Jenna's car, a Downy on the suet feeder, along with a Red-Shouldered Hawk on the pasture fence line. That, in addition to the usual suspects.

Nov 17, 10:50 am

>109 msf59: I'm very much a crow-fancier, so I was half-sold before you reviewed it so highly. Now on the TBR *fist-shake at wicked TBR-fattening Birddude*

Editado: Nov 17, 12:02 pm

>107 msf59: Hearing their sound yesterday morning, I looked up and saw two Sand Hills flying toward you!

Today is National Take a Hike Day, so I walked all the 3.3 acre inside paths,
roamed the adjacent farmer's 150 acres where I used to run with my two dogs, Khayman and Chee,
and removed pieces of low hanging barbed wire from the path the deer travel out back.

Nov 17, 12:29 pm

>109 msf59: - I bought it, Mark. Yesterday. A little present for myself. Can't wait to dive in.

Nov 17, 3:10 pm

>110 karenmarie: Happy Friday, Karen. Hooray for the mockingbird and the red-shouldered hawk.

>111 richardderus: I will look forward to your thoughts on "Crows", RD. She is a fine writer.

>112 m.belljackson: Happy Friday, Marianne. Hooray for National Take a Hike Day! Glad you got those steps in. About 40 sandies flew over my house a little while ago. I heard more but could not see them, despite the clear blue skies.

>113 jessibud2: Yah! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on The Comfort of Crows, Shelley!

Editado: Nov 17, 3:28 pm

118- Hiroshima by John Hersey 4.5 stars

“On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima was destroyed by the first atom bomb ever dropped on a city. This book, John Hersey's journalistic masterpiece, tells what happened on that day. Told through the memories of survivors, this timeless, powerful and compassionate document has become a classic.”

John Hersey was an American journalist and was one of the first writers allowed into Hiroshima, right after the bombing. First published in 1946, this short, powerful account centers on 6 of the survivors. In their own words they describe the day of the bombing and the horrifying aftermath. It is painful to read at times but their own resilience shines through. Forty years later, Hersey returned to Hiroshima and updated their stories. I am so glad I stumbled on this classic book and it made a terrific audio experience too, narrated by the masterful George Guidall.

Nov 17, 3:47 pm

>115 msf59: - I had to read that one in (middle?) school, and it has stayed with me.

Nov 17, 3:51 pm

>115 msf59: One of the few times I saw my mother cry during a read was this one, which we read together sometime in the middle 70s. It was so horrifying. It still horrifies me. An excellent document that I'll never read again.

Weekend-ahead orisons.

Nov 17, 4:00 pm

Happy Friday, Mark! Some great reading gone on in this corner of the LT world.

>108 msf59: I've had my eye on this one; I'll be interested to hear your thoughts. I enjoyed Urrea's The Devil's Highway.
>115 msf59: I read Hershey's book a couple years ago for the first time, too. So powerful. What took us so long to read this one?? I'll bet it worked well on audio. I have to find out what else he's written.

Nov 17, 5:51 pm

>108 msf59: I bought that one recently and really need to get to it! Thanks for the reminder, Mark.

>115 msf59: Dodging that BB as I have already read it.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Nov 17, 9:48 pm

I'm here with wishes for a great weekend, Mark. I hope you get to spend some time with all your favorite things.

BTW, have you decided if you are going to be reading The Bee Sting in January or February?

Nov 18, 6:51 am

>116 katiekrug: >117 richardderus: I am not sure how I missed this one, Katie & Richard, but I am glad I finally discovered it.

>118 kac522: Hi, Kathy. Great to see you. I am just getting ready to head down to the lakefront for some birding. I highly recommend reading more Urrea. Not sure how we both missed the boat on Hiroshima but at least we finally got to it.

>119 alcottacre: Happy Saturday, Stasia. Glad you have a copy of Good Night, Irene at hand.

>120 DeltaQueen50: Happy Saturday, Judy. Why don't we shoot for mid-Jan on The Bee Sting? Sound good?

Nov 18, 6:52 am

I am heading to the lakefront with my birding buddies for some early morning birding and owling. Only in the 20s at the moment...

Nov 18, 6:53 am

‘Morning, Mark, and happy Saturday to you.

>114 msf59: I’m envious of the Sandhill Cranes flying over your house. We’re not in their range at all. 😢

>115 msf59: I read this book long before I joined LT, and still have my Bantam 1966 mass market paperback upstairs in the Retreat. I worked with a woman two years older than me born in Japan in 1951, who told me that her grandparents simply disappeared when the bombs dropped – I don’t remember if they were in Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

Nov 18, 1:49 pm

>121 msf59: Mid-January for The Bee Sting sounds great, I will pencil it in. BTW I see it's on the long list for The Tournament of Books coming up in March.

Nov 18, 1:52 pm

>122 msf59: Have you thawed out yet?

Nov 18, 4:46 pm

>123 karenmarie: Happy Saturday, Karen. Not much LT time today. I love hearing and seeing the cranes flying overhead. I wish you would get a chance to experience it. Glad you were able to read Hiroshima. Interesting story about your Japanese friend and the bomb.

>124 DeltaQueen50: Glad we are able to read it together, Judy.

>125 richardderus: It wasn't that bad, RD. Of course, it was chilly at first but once the sun came up, things warmed up quickly. A beautiful morning on the lakefront.

Editado: Nov 18, 4:50 pm

^One of my favorite views of the Chicago skyline, on a gorgeous fall morning. This is looking west from the Adler Planetarium. The Shedd Aquarium is on the left and the Willis Tower, aka the Sears Tower is smack in the middle. Mostly geese, gulls and cormorants at this location.

Editado: Nov 18, 6:32 pm

Hey Mark, Hope your weekend is going well.

Of COURSE the Christmas Swap is happening. Come back over to my thread where I deal out some light mocking.

The thread's listed there, or in a couple posts in the Group Announcements page.

I was about to message you, it wouldn't be the same without you! :)'

ETA - Nice picture of the skyline!

Nov 18, 6:49 pm

>128 mahsdad: Hey, Jeff. My weekend is going just fine. Thanks. I am very happy to hear that Christmas Swap is happening. I don't always drop in the Group Announcements thread, so I didn't see your post.

Nov 18, 7:37 pm

Its all good Mark. I struggle with the best way to notify people without being too much of a pest. In years past, I would post on the most active threads, but with some I thought that was an intrusion, so I just posted to the group announcement thread and mine.

If nothing else, I was going to message the regulars, like yourself this weekend, to make sure no one was left out.

Nov 18, 8:42 pm

Happy weekend, Mark! Glad to hear that you are enjoying the Urrea. I want to read it soon, it was really interesting to hear him speak.

And I do love Margaret Renkl so I will probably read her new book, even though I don't love crows.

Nov 19, 7:56 am

>130 mahsdad: Hi, Jeff. Good to see you over here. Maybe, you spoiled me, by dropping by and letting me know about Christmas Swap. I guess I got lazy. 😁

>131 banjo123: Happy Sunday, Rhonda. I think you will really enjoy both the Urrea and the Renkl. No worries- crows are mentioned but are not the central theme.

Nov 19, 8:18 am

"It is Ireland in the early 1990s. Helen, her mother, Lily, and her grandmother, Dora, have come together to tend to Helen's brother, Declan, who is dying of AIDS. With Declan's two friends, the six of them are forced to plumb the shoals of their own histories and to come to terms with each other.​"

Toibin has been another very reliable author for me but I have not read some of his earlier work. I have had Blackwater Lightship on shelf for a number of years and decided now was the time, thanks to this month's AlphaKit: T. I am also keeping up my roll on reading books set in Ireland.

Oh yeah- Blackwater Lightship was short-listed for the Booker when it came out in 1999.

Nov 19, 8:23 am

The Earthlings

The Earthlings arrived unannounced, entered
without knocking, removed their shoes
and began clipping their toenails.
They let the clippings fall wherever.
They sighed loudly as if inconvenienced.
We were patient. We knew our guests
were in an unfamiliar environment; they needed
time to adjust. For dinner, we prepared
turkey meatloaf with a side of cauliflower.
This is too dry, they said.
This is not like what our mothers made.
We wanted to offer a tour of our world,
demonstrate how we freed ourselves
from the prisons of linear time.
But the Earthlings were already spelunking
our closets, prying tools
from their containers and holding them
to the light. What’s this? they demanded.
What’s this? What’s this? And what’s this?
That’s a Quantum Annihilator; put that down.
That’s a Particle Grinder; please put that down.
We could show you how to heal the sick, we said.
We could help you feed every nation, commune
with the all-seeing sentient energy that palpitates
through all known forms of matter.
Nah! they said. Teach us to vaporize a mountain!
Teach us to turn the moon into revenue!
Then the Earthlings
left a faucet running and flooded our basement.

-Matthew Olzmann From Poem-A-Day

I am currently reading Constellation Route, a collection by Olzmaan. I like him a lot.

Nov 19, 9:59 am

>127 msf59: Lovely skyline view! Glad you didn't turn to an ambulatory piece of tundra while you were out and about in the chill of the morning.

I know you just can't wait for Jack to come back. Such a grampa!

Nov 19, 10:08 am

‘Morning, Mark! Happy Sunday to you. Good luck to your Bears. I don’t even know if the Panthers are playing today…

>127 msf59: Excellent photo, glad you had a great day birding with your buddies.

Nov 19, 10:36 am

>109 msf59: I am glad you enjoyed Comfort of Crows, Mark. As you know, I am savoring it, one essay each morning.

I thought I would share that Boswell Books (my local indie, for those who don't know), is hosting a virtual event with Ms. Renkl tomorrow night, Monday, Nov. 20. Here is how you can join.

If you can't make it, I am sure the video will be posted on their Youtube channel shortly after.

Nov 19, 10:41 am

Hola, Mark! My, you’ve been busy, but what else is new? Thanks for taking the time out to visit my thread.

Love the pics of Jackson. I love how he is following in your footsteps—those binocs! As promised, I posted a few pics of my darling grands.

Have a wonderful Sunday, and kudos on the new gig. It sounds perfect!

Nov 19, 1:25 pm

>115 msf59: An excellent follow up to reading Hiroshima is to read Fallout : the Hiroshima cover-up and the reporter who revealed it to the world by Lesley Blume. I read it earlier this year, and it was excellent. I had no idea the extent of the coverup that the US government was largely successful in implementing until Hersey's book. Note that it was May 1946 before Hersey managed to get permission (in part from MacArthur) to go to Japan, and then he had to smuggle himself into the restricted areas.

Nov 19, 1:36 pm

>135 richardderus: Hey, RD. Not a bad skyline shot, right? Especially for a cellphone. Jack is still hanging out. We just went to the park with him and I pushed him on the swing, which he never tires of.

>136 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. Your Panthers are playing the Cowboys. My Bears are playing the tough Lions. I am recording it and will catch up in a little while. We are still enjoying our Jackson time.

Nov 19, 1:42 pm

>137 alphaorder: Happy Sunday, Nancy. Always good to see you. I will try to remember to tune in to the virtual event with Ms. Renkl. I would love to hear her speak. Thanks for sharing that with me.

>138 Storeetllr: Happy Sunday, Mary. I will have to stop by and check out the pics of your grands. Yep, between the new gig, volunteering, birding and Jackson time, I am keeping busy and so far, I have no problem with it. May that continue...

>139 labfs39: Hi, Lisa. Good to see you. Thanks for the tip on Fallout : the Hiroshima cover-up. It does sound like an excellent follow-up to Hiroshima. I will immediately add it to my TBR.

Nov 19, 1:49 pm

>134 msf59: I know those Earthlings. I have been those Earthlings. Ack!

Nov 20, 3:53 am

>94 msf59: Oh Mark, I'm sorry to hear of your sister's death. I am such a rare visitor these days, is is sad to arrive at your thread in trying times.

>115 msf59: I loved this book. It was incredible, and I hope my kids will read it one day if they ever start to enjoy books (yes, I am still waiting for that to happen!).

Nov 20, 7:10 am

>142 quondame: Bad earthlings!!

>143 LovingLit: Thank you, Megan. My LT pals have been very comforting during this tough time. I not only lost a sister but a good friend. She will be missed.

Hiroshima should be required reading. I am glad I finally got to it.

Nov 20, 8:28 am

'Morning, Mark! I hope your Kids Kab and Trail Watch duties go well today. I just looked at your weather, expecting it to be colder than it is here, but here it's 28F and there it's 45F. Go figure.

Lots of the usual suspects. I saw a Downy at the suet feeder yesterday, pecking at the last little bits of suet, so put a new cake out. I ran out of the hot pepper suet cakes and have a box of regular so put one of those out. We'll see if 1. The birds like it and, 2. The Critters don't pull the feeder in and take the cake out. I can't tell if anybody ate any yesterday.

Nov 20, 12:31 pm

>127 msf59: One of the places that I would like to visit is Chicago. It is high on my bucket list! Love the picture. Thanks for posting it, Mark!

>133 msf59: I have not yet read that Toibin either. I will be curious to see what you think of it.

Have a marvelous Monday, Mark!

Nov 20, 1:05 pm

>94 msf59: Beautiful spot, Mark. Such a sad loss.

>133 msf59: I pulled The Blackwater Lightship off my shelves a couple months ago so I could read it soon. It's still not soon, apparently. Hope you're enjoying it.

Nov 20, 3:05 pm

Happy New Sunday, Birddude! You had a gracious plenty of Jackson time...I know you feel lucky.

I got Black Butterflies today, thanks again for sending it. I'll have to keep it going on its journey through the LTverse.

Nov 20, 3:27 pm

So sorry to hear about your sister Mark.

Nov 20, 6:30 pm

>145 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. Everything went off swimmingly today. Thanks. How did the non-hot suet do? I only glanced at my feeders today but I did fill everything.

>146 alcottacre: Hi, Stasia. I hope you make it to Chicago one of these days. Fingers crossed. The Blackwater Lightship has been very good. I am sure I will be giving it a big thumbs-up.

>147 Copperskye: Thanks, Joanne. It was a tough weekend. I hope you bump up The Blackwater Lightship. It has been excellent.

>148 richardderus: Hey, RD. Thanks for letting me know that you received Black Butterflies. Looking forward to your thoughts on it.

>149 SandDune: Thank you very much, Rhian. She will be missed.

Editado: Nov 20, 6:38 pm

"Witty, enigmatic DI Annika Strandhed heads up the Marine Homicide Unit, tasked with solving murders in and around the Scottish waters.">

We have been enjoying the first season of "Annika", a British mystery series. Fans of Nicola Walker will particularly like this. She is a delight. She also must be one of the hardest working actors in Britain. We are watching the DVD set. It also available on Masterpiece.

Editado: Nov 21, 6:58 am

-Clay Bennett

Editado: Nov 22, 9:40 am

‘Morning, Mark! Happy Tuesday to you. I hope your Kids Kab duties go well today.

I can’t tell if the suet feeder had any takers yesterday. But on the upside, no critters tried to get at it. The big news is that Jenna and I saw a White Red-Tailed Hawk on the pasture fencing yesterday.

>152 msf59: Yes, please. I cannot believe this excrescence is still allowed to be out and about.

Nov 21, 9:20 am

I have a sudden urge to go back to church....

Nov 21, 11:39 am

>154 richardderus: Haha. The congregation would be seeing visions and talking in tongues before Mass was over.

Nov 21, 1:37 pm

>153 karenmarie: Hiya, Karen. Good news on the suet feeder. I hope that trend continues. Did you say that you saw a white-tailed hawk? We saw them in Texas but they rarely ever travel much farther north from there. If you did, that would have been amazing.

>154 richardderus: Now, I love reading those kind of news stories. What a friggin' hoot. I wonder if someone had that on video? 😁

>155 Storeetllr: Amen, to that, Mary.

Editado: Nov 21, 1:38 pm

-Pat Byrnes

Nov 21, 2:31 pm

>152 msf59:- How about adding a gold-plated muzzle to that box?

Editado: Nov 21, 6:31 pm

>158 jessibud2: Excellent idea, Shelley.

I couldn't find a gold-plated muzzle:

Nov 22, 7:58 am

>94 msf59: Glad your sister's send-off went well Mark. These sad moments end up being so memorable. Beautiful photos of the sea.

>109 msf59: I really enjoyed Late Migrations.

>127 msf59: A beautiful day.

>151 msf59: I am looking forward to Series 2 of Annika, I enjoyed the first series. I wasn't sure if I'd get used to the character talking to camera, but soon did.

Nov 22, 9:44 am

‘Morning, Mark! Happy Wednesday to you. I hope you enjoy the bird walk and see lots of birds for the group you’re leading.

>156 msf59: As soon as I looked at what I wrote, I knew it was wrong and hoped you wouldn’t see it before I fixed it to Red-Tailed Hawk. Sigh.

>157 msf59: Heh.

Nov 22, 9:46 am

I stopped by Wild Birds Monday to get one of my tube feeders fixed and learned that I am not the only one whose feeders went silent over the summer. Evidently all the rain that we had caused natural food sources to be overly abundant, so feeders across the state remained empty. The manager of the store said they fielded calls from anxious birders all summer. I hadn't considered that possibility (I thought maybe my seed had gone bad, or a neighbor's cat was discouraging customers.) Mystery solved.

Nov 22, 1:50 pm

>161 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. We had a very nice bird walk, despite the clouds and cold. We saw 19 species, including bald eagles and a pair of Carolina Wrens. No problem on the typo with the red-tail. It happens to me too.

>162 labfs39: Hi, Lisa. Good to see you. Summer can be slow for the backyard feeders. Birds are tending to their young and or finding natural food sources. I still see many of my regulars through those months. Good luck with your feeders through the winter.

Nov 22, 4:29 pm

>151 msf59:
I am watching season 2 of this show on Masterpiece Mystery. I don't like it as well as I did Unforgotten, but I do think it is a good show. At first the talking to the camera was annoying, but I have become accustomed to it.

I also think that her leaving Unforgotten has made it a better show. There is lots more complexity to that series as the characters who are left have to learn to deal with a new head of the department as well as with the cases they work on.

I am also saying goodbye to Doc Martin. This is the last season for that show.

It won't be long and there will be a new season of Call the Midwife.

Nov 22, 5:13 pm

I've watched the first season of Annika and one episode of the second. I'll be keen to watch the new season Call The Midwife too. I'm currently watching season I'm not sure of Vera. I'm quite enjoying it. Another season on Midsomer Murder is coming up late this month, I think of Acorn TV ( or Britbox) But I think it is Acorn TV.

I agree with Benita, when Annika talks to directly to the camera, it annoys me, but I did get used to it in the first series.

Nov 22, 6:39 pm

Hello, Mark. I am amazed to see that it's been over a week since I last visited. How is that possible?

>63 msf59: >94 msf59: I'm glad to hear that the memorial service for your sister went so well and that you had good time with family. The spot where you spread her ashes is beautiful. You can certainly see the power of the ocean on the day you were there.

>115 msf59: >144 msf59: Hiroshima was required reading for us. We had to read it in Junior High. It made quite an impression on me. I haven't forgotten Hersey's descriptions of what happened. It still bothers me when people say after a natural disaster that "it looks like an atomic bomb went off." They might be correct to say that it looks like a bomb went off but not an atomic bomb. People aren't going to be vaporized in a natural disaster.

>127 msf59: Gorgeous view of Chicago! It reminds me of the last time we were there. I had to look up the year, it was all the way back in 2006! How has it been so long? We went there to see an exhibit on King Tut and the Egyptian pharaohs at the Field Museum. We also went to the Shedd Aquarium while we were there. It was over Thanksgiving when we were there, and I remember standing in the Aquarium parking lot taking some pictures of the lake and skyline, and freezing my fingers off because it was so cold. Unfortunately, that was all for naught, as the drug store where I took the film to be developed lost the pictures.

Wishing you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 22, 6:42 pm

>164 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Thanks for chiming in on "Annika". Yes, the gimmick with her talking to the camera, takes some getting used to but I think Walker makes it work. I have been curious about "Unforgotten." I will have to check it out. I have not watched Call the Midwife in many years. Still good?

>165 vancouverdeb: Hey, Deb. Glad to hear you are also enjoying "Annika". We have 2 eps left of the 1st season. I stopped watching CTM after 4 or 5 seasons. I am amazed that it is still going strong.

Nov 22, 6:48 pm

>166 atozgrl: Happy Wednesday, Irene. Good to see you. The visit to Oregon went well, despite the sadness and tears. Hoping for the best for her family there.

I don't know how Hiroshima got by me. I agree with you, it should be required reading. A natural disaster? Come on! Is this from a flat-earther? Were you just visiting Chicago as a tourist? It is beautiful down on the lakefront and the museums are wonderful. I just don't care for the traffic and the crowds, so I don't get down there very often.

Editado: Nov 22, 6:49 pm

Nov 22, 6:54 pm

Hi Marc! Thanks for pointing out ‘Annika’. I missed it, and it turns out I can still watch season 1. I liked Unforgotten as well.

Nov 22, 7:51 pm

Dear Mark,

Happy Thanksgiving from an appreciative non-celebrator.

Nov 23, 7:31 am

>170 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. Good to see you. Glad you are also enjoying "Annika". I will have to give "Unforgotten" a try.

>171 PaulCranswick: Hooray or this Book Club! Thanks, Paul. ❤️

Editado: Nov 27, 4:17 pm

"On a dark, wet evening in Dublin, scientist and mother-of-four Eilish Stack answers her front door to find the GNSB on her step. Two officers from Ireland’s newly formed secret police are here to interrogate her husband, a trade unionist. Ireland is falling apart. The country is in the grip of a government turning towards tyranny and Eilish can only watch helplessly as the world she knew disappears."

Prophet Song doesn't need much introduction since it has been lauded by many of my LT pals, plus earning a slot on the Booker Short-list. This will also continue a perfect streak of terrific Irish novels, that I have managed to read over the last six months. It already has me in its forbidding grip after 40-plus pages. A big thank you to Deb for sending this book my way. ❤️

*Has anyone read any of his other novels? He, of course, has me curious about his earlier work.

Nov 23, 7:58 am

'Morning, Mark! Sweet Thursday, Happy Thanksgiving to you.

>163 msf59: Nineteen species is impressive.

>169 msf59: Cute. And do you and Sue spoil Jackson? *smile*

Nov 23, 8:16 am

>174 karenmarie: Thank you, Karen. Sue spoils Jack more than I do, but I have my moments. ❤️

Editado: Nov 23, 8:38 am

Happy Thanksgiving! Wild Turkeys avoid urban areas, especially in Northern Illinois, so they are rarely seen here. This might have been my last sighting of one, in my county, about 3 years ago. I do love seeing these majestic creatures, along with this little guy.

Nov 23, 9:34 am

>176 msf59: Such an adorable turkey! (applies equally to both photos)

Enjoy your family feast.

Nov 23, 4:54 pm

Happy Thanksgiving, Mark. All the best to you and your family.

Nov 23, 5:09 pm

>168 msf59: Yes, we were in Chicago as tourists. My husband and I, and my sister and her husband from Utah, went back home to Illinois for Thanksgiving with my mother. But instead of staying home, we drove up to Chicago to see the exhibit at the Field Museum. We took one of mom's friends with us. The traffic wasn't bad when we arrived--whatever time we got there, it was a slow time because of the holiday. But the traffic when we left Chicago was bad. I wouldn't want to have to drive in Chicago on a regular basis.

A number of times after a natural disaster, I've seen local people being interviewed on TV about it saying that it looked like an atomic bomb went off. They need to read Hiroshima to understand what the effects of an atomic bomb really are.

>176 msf59: That's a pretty turkey! I don't remember seeing any wild ones that were that colorful around here. I used to see wild turkeys fairly often in the fall when I got back into Apex on my late afternoon commute home from work in Raleigh. There was a family of them I'd see crossing the road around the same area in town. Unfortunately, Apex has boomed since then, and there are subdivisions and shopping centers in that area now, so who knows what happened to the turkeys. The ones I saw had plain, dark coloring, not as pretty as the one in your picture.

Nov 23, 5:26 pm

We have hoards of turkeys here in Maine, year-round. They are a danger to life and limb on slippery winter roads when you suddenly come across a flock sauntering across the road.

Nov 23, 6:51 pm

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Mark! Great pictures! I sure did love Prophet Song. It had me in it's grip right away too. I hope you are as enthralled with it as I was! :-) I'm sure you will be.

Nov 23, 7:16 pm

>176 msf59: There is so much to be thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving Mark!

Nov 24, 12:25 am

>176 msf59: Happy Thanksgiving Mark. Very curious to read the wild turkeys are infrequent by you. Suburban and urban Minnesota are overrun with turkeys to the point that people have been attacked by turkeys who are too territorial. There is a flock that frequents several crab apple trees at my work so I see wild turkeys several times a week.

Nov 24, 7:40 am

>177 richardderus: Happy Friday, RD. We had a good holiday and an excellent meal. We did miss our Jackson though.

>178 DeltaQueen50: Thank you, Judy.

>179 atozgrl: Hi, Irene. I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. Any other plans to return to Chicago? In regard to the coloring of the turkey, I wonder if it has anything to do with the breeding season?

>180 labfs39: Ooh, hoards of turkeys! Cool. As long as they aren't being a problem, I wouldn't mind having them around. I can definitely see an issue with them in the road, though. Yikes.

Nov 24, 7:46 am

>181 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb. It was a good holiday. Prophet Song has been excellent but also very unsettling.

>182 quondame: Thank you, Susan. I hope you had a good holiday too.

>183 Oberon: Thanks, Erik. Great to see you. I know there are large numbers of turkeys in Wisconsin and Minnesota. They must not be bothered as much by the urban sprawl up there, or their numbers are so big that they have no choice but to forage in those areas. I hope you don't get attacked. 😁

Nov 24, 8:07 am

Happy Leftovers Day, Mark! Enjoy your dagwood sandwich (assuming you like turkey sandwiches with everything on 'em).

Nov 24, 8:18 am

>186 richardderus: Morning, RD. The only downside of going to someone else's house for Thanksgiving dinner, is there are no leftovers so no turkey dagwoods for me but there also is no clean-up so that makes up for it a bit.

Nov 24, 6:17 pm

>184 msf59: We did have a nice Thanksgiving, thank you. We took our friend whose sister was unable to come down to visit him out to lunch yesterday, and we had a traditional Thanksgiving meal. We were quite stuffed by the end.

We don't currently have any plans to get to Chicago. I don't know when we might make it again. I'll have to plan to go during baseball season, so I can see all the changes at Wrigley Field, both inside and outside the ballpark.

Nov 25, 7:42 am

Wi-Fi woes...😒😒

Nov 25, 10:05 am

>189 msf59: hissboooohissss all over the wifi woes, Mark! I hope they get sorted soon.

Nov 25, 10:44 am

‘Morning, Mark! Happy Saturday to you.

>176 msf59: My goodness. Gorgeous bird, excellent photo. Louise has seen wild turkeys near her back fence line over the years, but I haven’t been as lucky. Or as diligent in looking outside.

What? You like seeing Jackson? *smile*

>187 msf59: I sent home leftovers with our company and we still have lots. Making a 17-lb turkey for 6 people is key, of course.

>189 msf59: Sorry about the wi-fi woes.

I don't have any feeder visitors, bu as I wrote on my thread, I saw thee Brown Thrashers scavenging in the grass near the Tiger Grasses this morning. Made me happy, of course.

Nov 25, 1:50 pm

>176 msf59: That face! That smile! *meltmeltmelt*

We had lots of wild turkeys in Colorado. They are so different looking from the farm raised ones.

Hope you’re having a great holiday weekend!

Nov 25, 1:56 pm

Oh dear, Wi-Fi troubles . 😟 I hope you get that sorted out soon .

Nov 25, 2:42 pm

>173 msf59: I gave Prophet Song 5 stars and am really hoping that it wins the Booker Prize tomorrow!

Have a wonderful weekend, Mark!

Editado: Nov 25, 5:34 pm

>189 msf59: The Wi-Fi Woes... Sounds like the making of a great blues song....seriously, hope it all works out soon!

Nov 26, 7:38 am

My Wi-Fi woes continue. Day 3. The tech comes out tomorrow. Sighs...

Thanks for the visits. I don't like posting on my cell, plus it is chewing up data. I should get lots of reading in...

Nov 26, 10:00 am

Hi Mark! Happy Sunday. Sorry about your continuing Wi-Fi woes. I hope the tech can sort it out tomorrow.

In the meantime, I've had finches, Cardinals, a White-Breasted Nuthatch, and several Carolina Wrens. Hungry birds.

Nov 26, 10:10 pm

Hi Mark.
I thought of you yesterday when we went on a hike in our favorite regional National Wildlife Refuge. We didn't see any moose (but we know they are there) but we saw plenty of birds including a female pileated woodpecker and a pair of graceful swans flying overhead. We also saw a porcupine resting and trying to stay warm high in a pine tree!

I was pleased to see Prophet Song win the Booker. I gave it five stars and I think it is one of the best novels I have read in a very long time.

Nov 26, 10:12 pm

Oh, and I need to check out Margaret Renkl. I haven't yet read any of her works.

Nov 27, 8:40 am

I Hope you get the wifi fixed soon Mark!

Nov 27, 9:12 am

Very frustrating Mark.

Nov 27, 10:07 am

Big hiss-boo on your ongoing wifi woes!

Prophet Song won the Booker last night.

Nov 27, 10:15 am

'Morning, Mark!

I saw a Carolina Chickadee earlier, but that's been it on the bird front so far.


Editado: Nov 27, 12:18 pm

^Hooray, the Wifi- woes are over! It looks like one of our neighbors was having work done on Friday and the tech took us offline, at the outside box. WTH?? I will swing back by later to catch up.

Nov 27, 12:27 pm

>204 msf59: Woot! I am so glad for you!

Have a marvelous Monday, Mark!

Editado: Nov 27, 4:21 pm

Congratulations to Mr. Lynch for winning the Booker Prize! I finished Prophet Song today and I think it was a worthy pick.

Nov 27, 5:07 pm

Prophet Song indeed a worthy winner, I think, Mark. Glad you are back on line. I got a text from William letting me know that he and Serenade and Melissa and Miles are sick with covid. Drat! We have plans to get together on Saturday, but will they we be well and not contagious? Argh. This is our Christmas get together because Dave is working over Christmas and all the weekends from here on. This will be their second round with covid, the last one in September of 2022. I've offered to drop by anything they need at the front door, but so far, so good. WTH? That's a " heck" in my case.

Nov 27, 5:44 pm

Montana has been beautiful and cold this time. We did a short hike on Saturday at Natural Bridge Falls. It is located in a National Forest east of Livingston, MT. Then on Sunday we drove down to Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone. There is a new road and entrance from Gardiner to Mammoth Hot Springs due to the flood in 2022. I'm not a fan of the new road. It is much harder to navigate and much higher in the mountains. They are still having to repair bridges on the Yellowstone River so I get it that they need a different road for all the tourists, but I would recommend that you don't eat before you drive that road. We did a short walk at the Mammoth Hot Springs, but couldn't walk far because many of the trails and walkways were closed for repairs and maintenance. I stayed at my sisters house today and read all day. She went to work. We will go out tomorrow and I will return to Alabama tomorrow.

Nov 27, 6:35 pm

>200 SandDune: >201 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Rhian and Caroline.

>202 richardderus: >203 karenmarie: Thanks for keeping my thread warm, Karen & RD, as I dealt with these Wi-fi woes. Should be back to full-strength tomorrow.

>205 alcottacre: It has been a marvelous Monday, Stasia, despite the bone-chilling temps. A good book day too.

Nov 27, 6:45 pm

>207 vancouverdeb: Aw, bummer, Deb. Sorry to hear that your family has Covid. I hope their symptoms are mild and I hope that you can try to squeeze in another get-together before Christmas. How frustrating.

I know you have been singing the praises of Prophet Song for some time and now I can see why. I have only read This Other Eden off the short list and found that one to be excellent as well. I think they picked the right one.

>208 benitastrnad: Hey, Benita. I didn't realize you were in Montana. We have our first Glacier National Park camping trip planned for next September. I have been trying to get to Glacier for 10-15 years. Safe travels back home.

Nov 27, 6:49 pm

-Harry Bliss

Nov 27, 7:29 pm

>206 msf59: I completely agree. Prophet Song was a 5 star read for me as well.

>211 msf59: I have a slightly smaller than that one stack of books propping up a lamp in my bedroom too :)

Editado: Nov 27, 9:09 pm

>204 msf59: Glad to see you're connected again, Mark! It sounds like the same kind of thing happened to you that happened to us several years ago. We had a new family move into the house next to us. They got the AT&T internet that had been installed in our neighborhood not long before. (We had all kinds of problems getting it set up originally at our house, which I won't go into, but our service had been stable a while by that time.) A few months after they moved in, they hired some workers to remove the small deck in the back of the house and replace it with a patio. They went out of town for a short trip, and when they got back, they found that the workers had cut their internet line, even though it had been marked. So they had to call AT&T out to repair their line. Then we lost internet. We discovered that when AT&T came out to repair their line, they cut our line. (Both lines were connected to the same box near the street.) Apparently the repairman didn't bother to check to see whether more than one house was connected. So then we had to have someone come back and get us reconnected. Aargh! Seems like the workers they're hiring to do this kind of work aren't very careful; or maybe not very smart.

Nov 27, 10:29 pm

>63 msf59: What a lovely tribute to your sister Kathy. I want my ashes scattered when I die. We don't have an ocean nearby but the wooded neighborhood trail we walk on every day will be perfect. Besides, I will have deer and foxes to keep me company.
>94 msf59: Beautiful setting with some fond memories. Thanks for sharing with us, Mark. I know this is a hard time for you and your family. Grieving is tough. May your memories and time with family, friends...and books help you through the process. I think time with Jack and Juno will also be comforting. Hugs to you my friend.

>109 msf59: This looks like a wonderful book. I was recently commenting to my husband on our daily walk about the many crows in our neighborhood and lack of songbirds. Of course, a few days after that we had a flock of cedar waxwings come through and feed on some of our bushes. They also congregated on top of the HVAC unit under our kitchen window so I had a "bird's eye view" of them. Their coloring is so distinctive, and I love their happy chirping.

>176 msf59: We have some pretty sassy turkeys around here. We saw some recently on the trail walk and Penny went crazy. She is getting used to the deer, but those turkeys sure got her worked up.

On the book front... Good Night, Irene was a favorite of mine earlier this year. I am #1 on the library list for Prophet Song. It is finally in processing. Hooray!

Nov 28, 5:55 am

>204 msf59: Glad you are connected again. It is a strange feeling to be off the grid

Editado: Nov 28, 7:39 am

>212 alcottacre: I don't keep books in my bedroom but I still can completely relate to this cartoon. 😁

>213 atozgrl: Hi, Irene. It looks like we had similar issues with AT &T. Of course, that is not including the 3-plus hours spent talking on the phone with tech support, which could have been used for book-time. Sighs...

>214 Donna828: Hi, Donna. Good to see you. Glad you got caught up. Thanks, in regard to my sister. She will be sorely missed. I have requested that my ashes be spread at some favorite wooded spot. I would prefer a mountainous area but there are not any close.

I hope you can bookhorn in the Renkl and hooray for sassy turkeys. I enjoyed Good Night, Irene.

>215 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita. I am back!!

Nov 28, 8:15 am

‘Morning, Mark! Happy Tuesday to you.

>204 msf59: I hope they take the days you were offline off your bill. WTH is absolutely correct.

>209 msf59: You’re welcome.

>210 msf59: My sister reports that my niece has Covid but so far her wife and 2 kids haven’t gotten it.

>211 msf59: Good one. Although it’s a cat in my case, I like the foot warmer. And like you, >216 msf59:, I don’t keep books in the bedroom, just my Kindle, which goes upstairs and downstairs with me every day. I read paper books downstairs only these days.

Nov 28, 9:14 am

>211 msf59: I resemble this cartoon far too closely for comfort. My saving grace is the cord has a switch halfway down it!

Glad you're back in the 21st century, Birddude.

Nov 28, 10:10 am

>218 richardderus: Hey, RD. Yep, I am happy about my return to the nest. Now, keeping up and catching up is another story. Sighs...

Glad to hear your bedside lamp has a reachable switch. 😁

Editado: Nov 28, 10:43 am

"Gumshoe Conrad Metcalf has problems—there's a rabbit in his waiting room and a trigger-happy kangaroo on his tail. Near-future Oakland is a brave new world where evolved animals are members of society, the police monitor citizens by their karma levels, and mind-numbing drugs such as Forgettol and Acceptol are all the rage."

I have been meaning to read Lethem's earlier work for years now. I know fans really appreciate those books, so I decided to start with Gun, With Occasional Music, his debut. It is off to a fun, Chandleresque start. This will be my 3rd Lethem. I really liked Motherless Brooklyn.

AlphaKit: L

Nov 28, 12:19 pm

Yes, I am in Montana spending the holiday with my sister. It was irony that my plane was delayed in Birmingham due to ice. The nighttime low on Thanksgiving Day in Birmingham was 35 degrees and we were scheduled to depart at 8 AM for Denver. It was a clear bright sun shiny morning. We pulled away from the concourse, went about fifty yards, and sat, and sat, and sat ... Finally after about 45 minutes the pilot came on and said that we were being delayed because the deicing truck was having mechanical problems. We sat there for 1 hour and 15 minutes total before we took off. About 9:15 AM the sun came over the airport terminal building and low and behold "melted the ice off the wings" (according to the pilot) and we were allowed to take off.

When I heard that explanation I snickered to myself. Clearly, nobody in that airport had a father like mine. Starting around Thanksgiving time, all the vehicles parked in our yard at home had to be parked with the front windshield facing southeast. The reason - when the sun came up in the morning it would start to melt the ice on the windshield and scraping the ice off wasn't a big of a problem as it could have been. (This was important because 4-wheel drive pickups were very high off the ground and it was hard to reach the window to scrape ice.)

I made it to Denver had had 7 minutes to get to the plane that was leaving for Bozeman. The Unwritten Laws of the Universe did NOT take a holiday. My plane from Birmingham came in to Concourse B, Gate 68 and the plane from Bozeman was taking off from Concourse B, Gate 7. Yes. Clear across the entire airport from where I was. I am getting older and don't walk as fast, but I did make it to Gate 7 in time, because they had just started boarding.

When I got to Bozeman, I had to wait for my sister because the plane arrived early.

All-in-all, it wasn't a bad day to fly. I suspect it went much better than it did for those people who flew between Sunday and Wednesday last week.

Nov 28, 12:59 pm

>216 msf59: At my house, Mark, if it has a horizontal surface there is a book (and probably a stack of books!) on it.

>220 msf59: I really liked Motherless Brooklyn too, so I will be curious to see what you think of that one.

Have a terrific Tuesday, Mark!

Nov 28, 4:39 pm

Nov 28, 6:41 pm

>221 benitastrnad: Sorry to hear about your flight issues, Benita. What a pain in the butt. I am glad it didn't delay you. I hope your trip home is much smoother.

>222 alcottacre: You sound like a true book-lover, Stasia. Gun, With Occasional Music has been a joy to read. I am sure you will enjoy it too.

>223 Caroline_McElwee: 😁

Editado: Nov 28, 6:42 pm

-Steve Breen

Nov 28, 7:26 pm

I'm finally catching up on your thread, Mark - yikes to the Wi-Fi, I'm glad you're reconnected!

>211 msf59: I relate completely!

Nov 28, 8:08 pm

>216 msf59: 3-plus hours on the phone with tech support? Yikes! I hope it's fixed for good now.

>211 msf59: That looks familiar, although in my bedroom the books are stacked on the dresser rather than the night stand.

Nov 29, 5:26 am

Well, got a text from William this evening. They have both covid and the flu! Wm ended up in emergency Sunday morning and has either myocarditis or pericarditis as a result. It a viral infection of either his heart or the sac surrounding it. He thought he was having a heart attack, my 33 year old healthy young son. But, he was home the same day and it is expected to fully recover. Melissa ended up at the hospital Tuesday, as she has been running a high fever for over a week. The doctor wanted to see her and check her over. They think she initially had covid and now has the flu. She is home, but if she still has a temp on Saturday, they are supposed to take her back. So all them are sick with covid and the flu. Sigh. It's given me a some insomnia, , worrying about it all . William will followup with the doctor in a couple of weeks.

Nov 29, 7:18 am

>226 bell7: Good to see you, Mary. Happy Wednesday! Nice to be connected again.

>227 atozgrl: It was 3 hours between my wife and I. We took turns. LOL. Hey, the dresser gives you more space, right? 😁

>228 vancouverdeb: Aw, I am sorry to hear all that, Deb. The family got hit hard. I hope William makes a full recovery. Good luck to them all and I hope you get to see those grandkids soon.

Editado: Nov 29, 7:36 am

Glad to see your wi-fi woes are gone, Mark.
No fun to be disconnected from the internet, not being able to see friends here.

In the first years living here we had sometimes wi-fi problems. Then we got glass fiber, and never had problems again :-)

Yes, we will read Ali Smith's Summer next year. Maybe others will join us.

Hope all is well, and happy Wednesday!

Nov 29, 7:55 am

>230 FAMeulstee: Happy Wednesday, Anita. During my Wi-Fi woes, I could check in with my cellphone (using my data), so I wasn't completely in the dark. I just didn't like the inconvenience of posting on my cell.

Glad we can finally read Summer together.

Nov 29, 10:11 am

I feel this in my very bones. Happy Humpday, Birddude.

Editado: Nov 30, 11:03 am

‘Morning, Mark. Happy Wednesday to you.

>221 benitastrnad: >220 msf59: I do not know who BB’d me with Gun, With Occasional Music, but it’s been on my shelves since January 25th. I just pulled it down and may, just may, start it. It’s really hard to resist a rabbit in his waiting room and the trigger-happy kangaroo on his tail…

>225 msf59: Had to think about this one for a bit, but yeah. Got it.

I've had Cardinals, Tufted Titmice, Carolina Chickadees, Downy Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, Mourning Dove, and finches in the last day or so. Oh, and a Red-Bellied Woodpecker yesterday afternoon. It seems to be early lunch for them right now, lots of activity.

Nov 29, 1:33 pm

>232 richardderus: And you are not alone, RD. Fits perfectly.

>233 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. I am thoroughly enjoying Gun, With Occasional Music. It would help if you were also a fan of classic hardboiled crime novels.

Looks like you are getting plenty of action at your feeders. Yah!

Nov 29, 1:38 pm

>224 msf59: Unfortunately my local library does not have a copy of Gun, with Occasional Music so I will have to look further afield for it.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, Mark!

Nov 29, 6:33 pm

>235 alcottacre: I may be able to hook you up with that one, Stasia. It has been a good Wednesday, which includes a special sighting...

Editado: Nov 29, 6:44 pm

-Eastern Screech Owl (red morph).

2023 has been a tough year for owl sightings so I was very pleased to get incredible looks at this basking screech owl today. We have had luck at this particular spot, in this particular tree cavity. Glad to see another owl take up residence. She had no problem with our presence either. She just kept snoozing.

Nov 29, 6:46 pm

Great pic!

Nov 29, 6:54 pm

>238 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie. Good to see you.

Nov 29, 6:55 pm

-Joe Heller

Nov 29, 7:33 pm

>237 msf59: Wow, what a great picture Mark!

Nov 29, 9:04 pm

>237 msf59: She looks very nicely tucked in, doesn't she?

Editado: Nov 29, 11:40 pm

Good to see you have your wi-fi back, Mark. I sympathize with your 3 hours on the phone with the tech company. I have a similar story. I get Netflicks on my TV only my provider decided to upgrade so users needed a new digital TV box so I asked for one. They sent it to me by mail. But it didn't work when my son set it up. I needed a new modem. I asked them to send me one. It didn't arrive within a week, so I called again. They said they'd send me another one. It didn't arrive. I called again. This time they sent out a person who brought the new modem, set everything up and made sure my TV worked and I got Netflicks. I was without TV for just over 3 weeks and was starting to get used to it.

Nov 30, 3:27 am

Your latest batch of cartoons are hilarious! Even the Donald Trump-themed one. haha.

Also, 3 hours on the phone with the tech co?? Outrageous!

Nov 30, 7:17 am

>241 mdoris: >242 alcottacre: I think that this might be one of the only owls that likes to bask at the opening of their cavity. Lucky me!

>243 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Sweet Thursday. You wi-fi/TV story has me beat, that is for sure. That is absolutely ridiculous. Did you at least get a month off your bill?

>244 LovingLit: Hi, Megan. Great to see you. Glad you like the cartoons. I like sharing them. I think we can all share experiences, being stuck on the phone with customer service or tech support. Ugh!

Editado: Nov 30, 7:56 am

^Looking forward to my Jackson day tomorrow. ❤️

Nov 30, 9:39 am

>246 msf59: Have a great Jackson day tomorrow, and may the wait feel less long than you fear it will.

Nov 30, 10:45 am

>246 msf59: He looks like a thoughtful little fellow. Enjoy your day!

Nov 30, 11:06 am

‘Morning, Mark! Sweet Thursday to you.

>234 msf59: I am a fan of classic hardboiled crime novels, just haven’t read any lately.

>237 msf59: Congrats on the sighting, and I love the pic. A Ginger Owl…

>246 msf59: Yay Friday Jackson day.

Just the usual suspects at the feeders right now. I cleaned out and filled the bird bath yesterday, but no takers right now.

Nov 30, 1:39 pm

>248 laytonwoman3rd: Hi, Linda. Jack is just 2, so he doesn't have many "thoughtful" moments but this certainly looks like one of them. 😁

>249 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. Hooray for hard-boiled crime novels & ginger owls. Lots of action at my feeders but mostly house sparrows. Sighs...

Editado: Dez 4, 7:19 am

Letter to the Person Who Carved His Initials into the Oldest Living Longleaf Pine in North America

Tell me what it’s like to live without

curiosity, without awe. To sail

on clear water, rolling your eyes

at the kelp reefs swaying

beneath you, ignoring the flicker

of mermaid scales in the mist,

looking at the world and feeling

only boredom. To stand

on the precipice of some wild valley,

the eagles circling, a herd of caribou

booming below, and to yawn

with indifference. To discover

something primordial and holy.

To have the smell of the earth

welcome you to everywhere.

To take it all in and then,

to reach for your knife.

- by Matthew Olzmann

Nov 30, 2:59 pm

>232 richardderus: Love it. My dad and I were always hoping to be abducted by aliens ha.

Nov 30, 3:00 pm

>237 msf59: So so lucky Mark. What a beauty.

Nov 30, 3:29 pm

>253 Caroline_McElwee: I like Richard's cartoon too, Caroline. I love seeing owls, especially special ones like these.

Nov 30, 3:36 pm

Just speed reading thru the threads and noticed your Lethem comments. He's a big favorite of mine.

I've read Guns... really enjoyed it. I've read 4 others by him.

I have 2 on the shelf now. The Wall of the Sky, the Wall of the Eye, an story collection, and The Feral Detective.

Nov 30, 5:41 pm

>255 mahsdad: Hey, Jeff. I will watch for your thoughts on those Lethem titles. I am especially curious about the story collection. I have She Climbed Across the Table on shelf.

Nov 30, 11:14 pm

Hi Mark!

Remember I mentioned going to visit Lewis Lancaster the Buddhist scholar? Well, that happened. He is quite charismatic in a quiet way, which has to be a challenge since he was supine in an hospital bed with sticky socks peeking out from under the blanket. He was just about to be moved out of the isolation room, now that he no longer has pneumonia.

He had wonderful stories, but the best was how he got funding to digitize the Korean Buddhist cannon - he was given 1 minute on Korean TV, and what he said was that all his efforts within Korea had produced almost nothing, so he was going to try raising funds in Japan. Somehow the Koreans came up with funds almost immediately and within weeks they had 30 people entering data.

I was doubled over with laughter and my sister-in-law didn't really clue in until several beats later. What a wicked fellow. He has the knack of looking as if he's paying close attention to you while you're speaking or he's answering - and he may be, that works - with a bit of sparkle.

He described what he had done as upaya, but looking that up he may have meant upaya-kaushalya but didn't feel we had the background - we didn't - to know the difference

Dez 1, 7:28 am

>257 quondame: Happy Friday, Susan. Thanks for sharing your Lewis Lancaster story. I had not been familiar with him but he sounds like quite the character. Were you a nurse at the time?

Dez 1, 7:29 am

‘Morning, Mark, and happy Friday to you.

>256 msf59: I have She Climbed Across the Table on my shelves, too, but have pulled Gun, With Occasional Music off my shelves and am staring at it right now.

I see the usual suspects on the feeders and in the Crepe Myrtle.

Dez 1, 7:31 am

>259 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I am glad you pulled "Gun" off the shelves. It's a start, right? Grins...I also have She Climbed Across the Table on shelf, if you ever want to do a shared read of that one.

Still dark here and raining...

Editado: Dez 1, 7:42 am

Happy December! Wow! November was another terrific reading month. I clocked in 15 titles, (6 off shelf). Also, a strong contender for book month of the year, with 6 books at 4.3 stars and above. I kicked off the month with Black Butterflies, which was an excellent start and the hits kept coming. My favorite novel was Prophet Song which just won the coveted Booker Prize. My favorite nonfiction was the GN, Crude: A Memoir, followed closely by Hiroshima. The only misfire was Let Us Descend, which I had high hopes for but it just didn’t work for me. Let's see what I can do in December.

December Plans:

The Secret Wisdom of Nature: Trees, Animals, and the Extraordinary Balance of All Living Things by Peter Wohlleben
Life Among Giants by Bill Roorbach AlphaKit: R
Orbital by Samantha Harvey (e-galley)
The House of Doors by Tan Twan Eng (shared read)**

^If anyone wants to join us on The House of Doors, I plan on starting it after the 15th.

Dez 1, 7:50 am

Hi Mark,
I saw something this morning I have not seen before. After putting my feeder out, a couple of juncos (who had been waiting!) came to my lawn immediately. They usually peck around on the ground though I have seen them on the feeder occasionally. But one of them flew up to the feeder, fluttering wings in place, like a hummingbird, before landing on the feeder perch. He did that a few times. I never saw any bird except hummingbirds do that. Have you? I certainly haven't seen juncos do that.

Dez 1, 8:02 am

>262 jessibud2: Good morning, Shelley. I am not sure I have seen juncos doing that particular behavior. Also, not sure what caused it. I do see juncos at the feeders, including the thistle feeder. Seeing anything else interesting at your feeders?

Dez 1, 9:00 am

Well, I looked out the window the other day and saw 4 pigeons on the ground but they took off immediately. Something must have spooked them. You'd think they'd know better by now than to show up on my lawn these days but it was only that one day and so far, since I started putting the feeder back out, I have had: juncos, sparrows, red-breasted nuthatches (one of my faves), house finches, cardinals (I wasn't fast enough yesterday to get a photo of Mr. and Mrs. together on opposite perches of the feeder, so sweet), and am still waiting and hoping to see goldfinches. Nothing too exciting, overall, but I am just happy to be seeing them back. After an entire summer of no feeder, I am amazed that they found me again!

Dez 1, 9:14 am

Happy Jackson day and happy Friday, Mark! Sounds like you had a great reading month, and hope December is just as good to you.

I may try to join you with House of Doors, we'll see how the month goes.

Dez 1, 9:24 am

>264 jessibud2: Boo to the pigeons but hooray for the red-breasted nuthatch. I am glad you get to see them regularly. They are a rare visitor to our feeders but I will keep an eye out for them this winter. Sadly, I have been overrun with house sparrows these days. Sighs...

>265 bell7: Happy Friday, Mary. We hope you can join us for The House of Doors. I have been looking forward to this one.

Editado: Dez 1, 11:30 am

>258 msf59: I've never been a nurse. Back in 1970? I volunteered at a hospital and noped medicine as a career bigtime.
LL is the widower of the aunt of two of my childhood friends who are still friends with my brother. He was hospitalized with a couple of respiratory illnesses on his return from Taiwan this year where he was collaborating on Buddhist Maritime Silk Road Exhibit.

Happy Jackson day!

Dez 1, 12:19 pm

>127 msf59: Great Chicago photo, Mark - I used to live along the Lake Michigan coast on South Shore Drive -
my favorite view was the Waves Crashing!

Dez 1, 12:44 pm

>216 msf59: "Mountains" are at Devil's Lake and at Parks along the Wisconsin River...

Dez 1, 12:50 pm

>240 msf59: Hey - at least AARP can get you into Chicago!

STONES skipped Madison this time - boo - they were pure outstanding entertainment last time around!

Dez 1, 2:38 pm

>246 msf59: I hope you are having a great day with Jackson!

Dez 1, 2:57 pm

Kinda cold and dark and wet out there--what are you & Jackson up to today?

Editado: Dez 1, 5:46 pm

>267 quondame: "noped medicine"? It has been a fine Jackson Day!

>268 m.belljackson: >269 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. I am sure the lakefront looked quite different back in your day, right? Sorry, to hear that the Stones will be skipping Madison in 2024. They will be here, at Soldier's Field, in June. Tickets are about $120 each. I think I paid less than $10 bucks in '77/78.

>271 alcottacre: >272 kac522: Happy Friday, Stasia & Kathy. It has been a very nice day with Jackson. He is talking up a storm. The cruddy weather has kept us indoors but Sue just took him to the library for an hour or so. I am squeezing in some reading.

Editado: Dez 1, 5:49 pm

-Bill Bramhall

-Pat Byrnes

Dez 1, 7:47 pm

>273 msf59: My sister (the MD/PhD) made me sign up for pre-med when I made the mistake of letting her know I was changing majors. I did get some use out of the courses and background, but it put a lot of stress on my last 2yrs at Berkeley which I did not need and only barely survived with a diploma.

Dez 2, 7:28 am

>275 quondame: I got it now, Susan. Happy Saturday!

Editado: Dez 2, 7:37 am

We had a good Jackson Day. I am sure that is shocking news. Jack got a bigger car seat and can now face forward, so we can see him and point out big trucks. He also picked out a few books on his own, (although the reading didn't last long). ❤️

Dez 2, 7:37 am

'Morning, Mark, and happy Saturday to you.

>274 msf59: I particularly like the tombstone.

Only some of the usual suspects here this morning, but Louise reported a Kinglet and a White-Throated Sparrow yesterday.

Dez 2, 7:51 am

>278 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Glad you like the appropriate tombstone for Mr. Kissinger. Dark and gloomy here at the moment.

Editado: Dez 2, 8:20 am

The Dream Won’t Come True

When we pull into the Sheetz station
on one of the first warm days of spring to gas up,
the ’80s ear bug “Sara,” loud over the speakers,
makes us glad to be alive. We’re ready to commit
to a rewards card because gas is cheap
and the song reminds us of being young,
which today means not yet
orphans and still surprisable. Inside are hundreds
of caffeinated drinks both hot and cold.
We’re fire and ice, goes the Starship song,
like the Frost poem, “Fire and Ice,” and both
are deadly serious in the same silly way.
Rebecca De Mornay starred as Sara in the music
video, and a woman appropriately less
hot as the singer’s mother, both lost
to him, despite the upbeat tempo.
More pop than the Jefferson Airplane of the ’70s,
the pedigree’s there, unlike Grace Slick’s clothing
that night at Gaelic Park when rain shorted
the amps out and stripping seemed to soothe
the crowd. It’s no good to go back
in time. My father-in-law, an old socialist,
met his buddies for coffee at his local Sheetz,
originally a small east coast franchise. People talk
of “good” or “peaceful” deaths as if they’ve seen one,
but it’s always looked like agony to me,
despite the morphine. And knowing at the end
of a hard life that shit gets even harder makes me
long for oblivion, the storm in Sara’s ice-blue
eyes, Grace Slick’s wet breasts. The candles
on the evergreens in spring, so named for their
brightness, their floating phosphorescent fires,
are cold to the touch. Some say the world will end
in fire,/Some say in ice. No time is a good time
for goodbyes. I’d once have asked, of poem and song,
Where do we go when we say goodbye?
Now, when we download the Sheetz app
and the Shell logo appears on our phones,
we feel the energy drain from our bodies.
What will we ever know?
We dream together below bright waves of distraction
like this poem, which I could end with Frost or fire,
song lyrics, dead dads, Sheetz or Shell. You choose.
Does it matter how it ends if it can’t end well.

-by Kathy Fagan

Dez 2, 9:42 am

>274 msf59: Perfectly sums up the legacy of the man.

Happy weekend-ahead's reads, Birddude. I'm recovering at last, so yay me!

Dez 2, 12:17 pm

>237 msf59: Oh wow, that's a beautiful shot!

(Jackson's pretty darn cute, too!)

Dez 2, 2:07 pm

>182 quondame: Happy Saturday, Joanne. Thanks, in regard to the ESO and yes, Jack is pretty darn cute.

Editado: Dez 3, 7:47 am

"Old Tjikko is a 9,550 year-old Norway spruce, located on Fulufjället Mountain of Dalarna province in Sweden...The tree has survived for so long due to vegetative cloning. The visible tree is relatively young, but it is part of an older root system that dates back millennia. The trunk of the tree may die and regrow multiple times, but the tree's root system remains intact and in turn sprouts another trunk. The trunk may only live for about six hundred years, and when one trunk dies another eventually grows back in its place."

^Really hard to imagine, right? Wow. This oldest living spruce tree was mentioned in my current read The Secret Wisdom of Nature.

Dez 2, 3:06 pm

>s84 - Mark, your touchstone goes to a book of a similar but not the same title. I heard a great interview last year I think, by a Canadian author who did a lot of research of underground networks in forests. Her book is called Finding the Mother Tree. I haven't read it yet but what you posted here reminds me that I want to.

Dez 3, 1:24 am

>284 msf59:
This, and other trees with like root systems were discussed at length in Hidden Life of Trees. It was a very good book.

Dez 3, 7:51 am

>285 jessibud2: The full title is The Secret Wisdom of Nature: Trees, Animals, and the Extraordinary Balance of All Living Things ― Stories from Science and Observation but it is the same book. The last book in a nature trilogy. I have not read the first 2.

>286 benitastrnad: The Secret Wisdom of Nature is part of the same trilogy that includes The Hidden Life of Trees, which I have been meaning to get to. I am sure there is plenty of crossover, in regard to trees.

Editado: Dez 3, 8:26 am

-Middle Spotted Woodpecker

This woodpecker was mentioned in The Secret Wisdom of Nature. The author is from Germany and I was curious if any of my European friends had seen one? It looks like a combination of our downy and red-bellied woodpecker.

Dez 3, 9:48 am

>288 msf59: Pretty birdo, that one. Enjoy your meetup with Joe today!

Dez 3, 9:54 am

>289 richardderus: Glad you like the woodpecker, RD. Looking forward to my visit with Joe.

Dez 3, 11:40 am

‘Morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you.

>284 msf59: Wow. Just…. Wow. Thanks for sharing this.

>285 jessibud2: Today seems to be my day for getting BBs from people on other people’s threads. Thanks, Shelley.

>288 msf59: You’re right – it looks like a Red-Bellied and Downy combo. Way cool.

I've had a female Red-Bellied visiting the feeders a lot in the last several days.

Yup, enjoy the meet up.

Dez 3, 6:57 pm

>288 msf59: Yes, I have spotted it once, although not in my country, but on vacation in Germany.
There is an other woodpecker, the Great Spotted Woodpecker, that is more common here, and that one I see regular here

Dez 3, 8:16 pm

>291 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. Glad you liked the "Old Tjikko" and the middle spotted woodpecker. Of course, I had a terrific Meet Up with Joe.

>292 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita. I am glad that you were able to see a middle spotted woodpecker and that you are able to see a great spotted on a regular basis.

Este tópico foi continuado por Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Fifteen .