Alcott Acre's Home, Room 2

É uma continuação do tópico Alcott Acre's Home, Room 1.

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2024

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Alcott Acre's Home, Room 2

Jan 31, 11:25 pm

Well, let's get the introduction out of the way. My name is Stasia and I have been happily married to the recently retired Kerry for almost 36 years. We have 6 children, 4 of whom are my stepchildren and 2 of whom are ours together. We also have 8 grandchildren. 2023 was a tough year for our family as we lost my father and stepdaughter, Nichole, within days of each other back in February.

I love to read and it has been a huge solace to me over the past year - I call it "burying myself in books." Since Kerry retired December 29th, it is going to be interesting to see how his retirement affects my reading! I am playing it safe and just shooting for 100 books read this year. I also suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (known to me familiarly as 'stupid CFS') and it seems like my bouts are becoming longer each time it springs up, so it affects my reading for the worse - just witness last December.

That's about it, I think, so come on in and grab a cuppa!

Editado: Jan 31, 11:40 pm

For the past 2 years, I have concentrated on reading the works of one author in particular. In 2022, I read through all of Jane Austen’s works. In 2023, I read all of the volumes of In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust. For 2024, I have decided to do something a bit different and, using Classics for Pleasure by Michael Dirda as a guide, am going to go through each of the chapters of the book and select one work from each.

So for February we have:

Heroes of Their Time:
Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings by Abolqasem Ferdowsi
Njal Saga, Laxdaela Saga, Grettir Saga, Egil Saga (The Icelandic Sagas)
Plays and Poems by Christopher Marlowe
Germinal and other novels by Emile Zola
Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger - My pick for the month
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee

What would you have chosen? Why?

So for January we have:

Playful Imaginations:
The True History; Lucius, or The Ass; Dialogues of the Dead by Lucian
Rameau’s Nephew by Denis Diderot
Crochet Castle by Thomas Love Peacock
Seven Men; A Christmas Garland; Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm
The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hasek
Brothers and Sisters; Manservant and Maidservant by Ivy Compton-Burnett
The Best of S.J. Perelman by S.J. Perelman - Completed January 9, 2024
Invisible Cities; The Castle of Crossed Destinies; If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino
Amphigorey; Amphigorey Too; Amphigorey Also; Amphigorey Again by Edward Gorey

Editado: Ontem, 9:05 am

Shared reads:

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman - Completed February 14, 2024
Derring-Do for Beginners by Victoria Goddard - Completed February 12, 2024
The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne - Completed February 18, 2024
An Interrupted Life by Etty Hillesum - March with Caroline
Martin Dressler by Steven Milhauser - March with Mary and others
The Hand of the Emperor by Victoria Goddard - March with Mary
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell - March with Mark and Donna
The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki - April? With Mark and Laura
The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham - May with Mark and Jim
Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer - May with Kim
The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason - August? with Mark, Ellen, and Linda P
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson - September with Mary (bell7)
Bound to Please by Michael Dirda - December with Ellen and Benita

Editado: Ontem, 9:26 pm

February's TIOLI Challenges:

Challenge #1: Read a book whose title begins with the same letter as your screen name
All the Little Bird-Hearts by Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi - Completed February 3, 2024

Challenge #2: Read a book whose average rating on LT is 4.0 or above
Code Girls by Liza Mundy - Completed February 12, 2024
Derring-Do for Beginners by Victoria Goddard - Completed February 12, 2024
The Postcard by Anne Berest
Unlikely Allies by Joel Richard Paul - Completed February 22, 2024
Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts by Rebecca Hall and Hugo Martinez - Completed February 2, 2024
What Could Possibly Go Wrong? by Jodi Taylor

Challenge #3: Read a love story
My Darling Caroline by Adele Ashworth - Completed February 21, 2024

Challenge #4: Read a book that has something to do with hair
My Hair Is a Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera - Completed February 1, 2024

Challenge #5: Rolling Challenge – Match first letter of book title to the phrase “Hearts and Flowers”
The Backworlds by M. Pax - Completed February 19, 2024
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
Enchantment by Katherine May - Completed February 19, 2024
The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne - Completed February 18, 2024
Reborn: Journals & Notebooks 1947-1963 by Susan Sontag - Completed February 8, 2024
The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut - Completed February 25, 2024
Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger

Challenge #6: Read a book where changing one letter makes a new title
The Art of the Wasted Day by Patricia Hampl
The Six: The Untold Story of America's First Women Astronauts by Loren Grush - Completed February 24, 2024
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

Challenge #7: Read a book with the name of a city in the title or author's name
How to Say Babylon by Safiya Sinclair - Completed February 22, 2024
Vanishing New York by Jeremiah Moss

Challenge #8: Read a book published in a Year of the Dragon (1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024)
Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler - Completed February 4, 2024
Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf - Completed February 5, 2024
Random in Death by J.D. Robb - Completed February 6, 2024

Challenge #9: Read a book whose title conveys menace
Killing England by Bill O’Reilly - Completed February 3, 2024
Sinister Twilight by Noel Barber
Strangers in Death by J.D. Robb - Completed February 22, 2024
Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby - Completed February 13, 2024

Challenge #10: The “Balance it Out” Challenge - Read a book whose author has the same number of letters in both their first and surname
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman - Completed February 14, 2024
English Creek by Ivan Doig
Freedom’s Daughters by Lynne Olson
Patriots by David Drake

Challenge #11 Read a book for the Zodiac challenge (Aquarius - author or character born Jan 20 to Feb 18)
Bleak House by Charles Dickens - Completed February 16, 2024
The Common Reader by Virginia Woolf

Challenge #12: Read a book about the Soviet Union's former "sphere of influence", or by an author from that region, or about Vladimir Putin's regime
Voroshilovgrad by Serhiy Zhadan - Completed February 10, 2024

Challenge #13: Read a book set predominantly in a European capital city
Time Was Soft There by Jeremy Mercer - Completed February 18, 2024

Challenge #14: Read a book with two or three words in the title
Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman - Completed February 16, 2024

Challenge #15: Read a book with a single author who was born and died in the 20th Century
Collected Poems by Philip Larkin - Completed February 16, 2024

Editado: Fev 2, 6:25 pm

Black Studies Reading
Must reads for this year: King: A Life by Jonathan Eig and When We Ruled by Robin Walker
1. Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho - Completed January 5, 2024
2. Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts by Rebecca Hall and Hugo Martinez - Completed February 2, 2024

Jewish Studies Reading
Must reads for this year: The Instructions by Adam Levin and Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History by Joseph Telushkin
1. 28 Days by David Safier - Completed January 25, 2024
2. The Archive Thief by Lisa Moses Leff - Completed January 28, 2024

Editado: Fev 22, 12:17 pm

Series Reading - I will post these as I read them:

The In Death series by J.D. Robb
Creation in Death - Completed January 3, 2024
Random in Death - Completed February 6, 2024
Strangers in Death - Completed February 22, 2024

The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
A Breath of Snow and Ashes - Completed January 18, 2024

The St. Mary’s books by Jodi Taylor
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

The Decker/Lazarus series by Faye Kellerman
Grievous Sin - Completed January 31, 2024

The Three Pines series by Louise Penny
The Brutal Telling

The Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear
An Incomplete Revenge

The Jackson Brodie series by Kate Atkinson
One Good Turn

The Shetland Series by Ann Cleeves
White Nights

Editado: Fev 22, 9:29 pm

The War Literature Challenge - I will be attempting to read at least 2 books toward each monthly challenge.

JANUARY - The Ancients (Greeks, Romans etc)
A War Like No Other by Victor Davis Hanson - Completed January 9, 2024
The Battle of Salamis by Barry Strauss - Completed January 31, 2024
Persian Fire by Tom Holland - Completed January 29, 2024

FEBRUARY - The American War of Independence
Killing England by Bill O’Reilly - Completed February 3, 2024
Unlikely Allies by Joel Richard Paul - Completed February 22, 2024

MARCH - The War of the Roses

APRIL - Wars of Religion

MAY - The Napoleonic Wars

JUNE - The English Civil War

JULY - Colonial Wars

AUGUST - World War Two

SEPTEMBER - The American Civil War

OCTOBER - American Follies (Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and the Gulf Wars)

NOVEMBER - World War One

DECEMBER - The Spanish Civil War

WILDCARD - Pick your own fight!

Editado: Ontem, 9:27 pm

The “Read More Sci-Fi” Challenge - using the Esquire list found here ( and the book Science Fiction, The 101 Best Novels, 1985-2010 by Damien Broderick and Paul di Filippo as guides
1. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers - Completed January 22, 2024 (Esquire List #29)
2. The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut - Completed February 25, 2024 (Esquire List #18)

The “Indie List” Challenge with the list supplied by Berly
1. All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews - Completed January 29, 2024
2. The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne - Completed February 18, 2024

The Around the World in 80 Novels Challenge inspired by the book of the same name. I want to try and expand my reading horizons to places I have rarely or never been. In addition to reading from the book that inspired this challenge, I will also be using Around the World in 80 Books as a reference.
1. The Missing File by D.A. Mishani - (Israel) Completed January 31, 2024
2. Bleak House by Charles Dickens - (England) Completed February 16, 2024

Editado: Fev 24, 8:00 pm

The Monthly Nonfiction Challenge - I try to read at least 100 nonfiction books a year and this challenge is instrumental in helping me achieve that goal. Last year, I was just short with only 96 nonfiction reads in the year, so I am hoping to improve that number in 2024!
January The Archive Thief by Lisa Moses Leff - Completed January 28, 2024
February Code Girls by Liza Mundy - Completed February 12, 2024
FebruaryThe Six: The Untold Story of America's First Women Astronauts by Loren Grush - Completed February 24, 2024

The American Authors Challenge - This is one that I dip into and out of as the case may be
January The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain - Completed January 11, 2024
February Reborn: Journals & Notebooks 1947-1963 by Susan Sontag - Completed February 8, 2024

The British Authors Challenge - I have never participated in this one before and I suspect that, like the American Authors Challenge, it will be one into which I dip only on occasion
January The Serial Garden by Joan Aiken - Completed January 4, 2024
February Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman - Completed February 16, 2024

Jan 31, 11:36 pm

Now to wait for the Touchstones to load. . .

Fev 1, 12:06 am

Hi Stasia and happy new thread. I love your Classics for Pleasure challenge. I think I'll see if I can get a copy of Dirda's book to peruse through.

Fev 1, 12:28 am

>12 EBT1002: Yeah, I wanted to try something different this year for my main challenge and after reading Dirda's book last year thought I would use it as a mainspring for this year. I hope you enjoy the book if and when you can get hold of it, Ellen. Since Classics for Pleasure is only 11 chapters long, in December I play on reading Dirda's Bound to Please.

Editado: Fev 1, 12:36 am

>4 alcottacre: Speaking of shared reads, do you still want to do these? I have them on my shared list with you as a partner. : )

Feb - The Hearts Invisible Furies by John Boyne
May - Here I Am by Jonathan Foer

>7 alcottacre: I love your series!! I share several of them.

>9 alcottacre: What's up next from my Indie Series? I am honored! And maybe I can join you.

Fev 1, 2:25 am

Happy New Thread, Stasia! I really loved The Hearts Invisible Furies, and I hope you do too - and you too, Kim.

Fev 1, 6:19 am

>8 alcottacre: for March I would HIGHLY recommend you read The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman. It's very, very good.

Fev 1, 6:27 am

Happy new thread, Stasia!

Editado: Fev 1, 6:48 am

>14 Berly: Yes! I still do want to do the Boyne and Foer books. I forgot to put a "shared reads" post on my January thread and had to put it together piecemeal for this one, knowing full well I would forget something and someone. Sorry, Kim.

As far as the Indie series goes, I am reading Townie by Andre Dubus III, although we could just substitute the Boyne book if you prefer since it is on the list. Just let me know.

>15 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deborah! If you loved the Boyne book, then I am likely too as well. Probably Kim too :)

>16 fuzzi: I have read The Sunne in Splendour, fuzzi, and agree with you - it is very, very good.

>17 Kristelh: Thanks, Kristel!

Fev 1, 8:46 am

Happy new thread, Stasia!

Fev 1, 8:47 am

Happy new thread!

Fev 1, 9:31 am

Happy new thread, Stasia

Fev 1, 9:54 am

Sweet Thursday, Stasia. Happy New Thread. I have another errand to run this AM and then I will hunker down with The Bee Sting for a couple of hours.

Fev 1, 11:09 am

>19 katiekrug: >20 figsfromthistle: >21 jessibud2: Thank you, Katie, Anita, and Shelley!

>22 msf59: I hope you enjoy your hunker down, Mark. I am currently reading Orlando by Virginia Woolf and am hoping to stay hunkered down with it for a bit.

Fev 1, 12:10 pm

Happy new thread Stasia!

Fev 1, 12:13 pm

I liked Orlando and hope you enjoy your hunkering down with it.

Fev 1, 2:14 pm

>24 RebaRelishesReading: Thank you, Reba!

>25 Kristelh: I am enjoying it thus far, Kristel, although my hunkering keeps getting interrupted, lol.

Fev 1, 3:53 pm

Happy new thread, Stasia!

Fev 1, 6:59 pm

Happy new thread, Juana. xx

Fev 1, 7:05 pm

Happy new thread, Stasia!

Fev 1, 7:39 pm

>27 curioussquared: >28 PaulCranswick: >29 atozgrl: Thank you, Natalie, Paul, and Irene!

Fev 1, 8:38 pm

Happy new thread Stasia!

Fev 1, 8:56 pm

Happy New Thread!

Fev 1, 8:56 pm

Here's the next readathon:

Fev 1, 9:23 pm

>31 mdoris: >32 SilverWolf28: Thank you, Mary and Silver!

>33 SilverWolf28: Kerry will be out of town this next weekend, so I am hopeful of getting a lot of reading done :)

Fev 1, 10:47 pm

Finished tonight:

34 - My Hair Is a Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera - Juvenile; I will let you in on a little secret - I hated my hair when I was growing up (I am not overly fond of it now either, mind you). I have naturally curly hair and my sister's hair was straight as a board. Guess which one I wanted? In this book, MacKenzie is teased about her hair so she goes to a family friend, Miss Tillie, who gives her advice for taking care of her hair so she can avoid the teasing and that she can come to appreciate her hair. I have a granddaughter (coincidentally named MacKinzie, very close to the name of the girl in the book) whose father is a black man. I have a daughter who is involved with a black man. I know absolutely nothing about caring for the hair of a black or half-black child, but I know a lot more after reading this book than I did before! Cabrera thoughtfully includes an entire section (about 4 pages) on how to care for black hair and a couple of recipes for homemade hair care products. Overall, I thought the book a good read aloud book for kids with advice given by Miss Tillie that is thoughtful; Recommended (4.25 stars) Library Book

So what if it is a kid's book? Everyone knows I am just a big kid at heart!

Fev 1, 11:29 pm

>35 alcottacre: So now you have a shared read there.....

Editado: Fev 2, 12:53 am

>18 alcottacre: Yay for shared reads!! : ) Can we read John Boyne's The Heart's invisible Furies the second half of February? I have to squeeze in a RL bookclub read. : )

Fev 2, 7:48 am

Happy new thread, Stasia!

Fev 2, 11:55 am

>35 alcottacre: I had/have perfectly straight hair, Stasia, but I've always wanted curly hair. At my insistence my Mom on a few occasions gave me a perm, which was ok for about a day, then rapidly turned to frizz. As an adult, I tried a couple of time for a perm with very expensive salons, and got the same result.

Fev 2, 12:05 pm

Happy new one, Stasia! Enjoyed your comments on My Hair is a Garden. Isn't it funny how we always wish for the kind of hair we don't have? I have very fine, fairly curly/wavy hair and I've always wished for something else...a long straight pony tail or at least wavy hair with some body to it. As I age I'm getting better about just living with what I've got though :)

Fev 2, 12:16 pm

Happy new thread, Stasia!
I do hope 2024 is a better year for you. And for all of us!

Fev 2, 12:46 pm

>36 quondame: Cool beans! I look forward to your thoughts on the book, Susan.

>37 Berly: I have it the book on hold at the library, Kim, and will not be picking it up until next week. I can probably renew it if I need to.

>38 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita!

>39 arubabookwoman: Well, maybe we can do mutual hair transplants, Deborah :)

>40 RebaRelishesReading: Yeah, my hair is not fine at all, Reba. As I age I'm getting better about just living with what I've got though :) I am getting better about it too, Reba, but not satisfied, lol.

>41 mstrust: Thanks, Jennifer! I hope 2024 is better for you too.

Fev 2, 4:02 pm

Happy new one, Stasia!

Fev 2, 5:20 pm

I'm just glad to have some hair left. A year or so ago about half of it seemed to fall out.

Fev 2, 6:26 pm

>43 drneutron: Thank you, Jim!

>44 quondame: I have been having the same issue, Susan, so you are not alone!

Fev 2, 6:33 pm

Finished this evening:

35 - Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts by Rebecca Hall and illustrated by Hugo Martinez - Graphic Novel; I remember the days when graphic novels were referred to as comic books and pretty much got short shrift among serious readers. If someone looks at this book and gives it short shrift, they are depriving themselves of not only a very good read, but the opportunity to learns some "hidden history" to which the title refers. Hall, who is an historian and the granddaughter of slaves, wanted to write her dissertation about women-led slave revolts and finding the information needed was difficult and, in some cases, downright impossible (CYA much Lloyd's of London?) Without belaboring the point, Hall stresses that our history is impacting our present. One note on the artwork - while I do not mind the book being in black and white, which I find fitting in this case, I do not particularly care for the art style itself; Recommended (4.25 stars) Library Book

"Legal doctrine teaches a clear idea of justice, but the world only showed me justice distorted. Everywhere I looked, racism and sexism warped the very possibility of justice."

Fev 2, 6:55 pm

>42 alcottacre: Actually I plowed through the book I was reading today and I should be good to start soon, so get Boynes whenever it becomes available. : )

My hair changes all the time, largely due to whether or not I am on Prednisone. Currently I am getting tired of straight and may switch shampoos to see if I can get some waves going again. The grass is always greener on the other side becomes the hair is always straighter/curlier on her!!

Fev 2, 8:13 pm

>47 Berly: I will pick up Boynes on Tuesday as planned then, Kim. Thanks for letting me know.

The grass is always greener on the other side becomes the hair is always straighter/curlier on her!! Lol

Fev 3, 1:55 am

Well, Stasia, how is going with your husband retired? I must admit having Dave home sick this past few days is driving me a little batty. He did redeem himself a little today when I purchased some ginger, which he like to use for tea in the evening. He also said thanks when I got him a heated up bean bag for his cold hands. A taste of things to come.

Fev 3, 1:50 pm

>49 vancouverdeb: Well, Deborah, it is going. Mostly what he has done is play board games with me and watch television. I am not sure if this is a side effect of being tired after the cruise or if he plans on spending his retirement this way :)

Fev 3, 3:44 pm

Finished this afternoon:

36 - Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi - Nonfiction; This was a re-read for me although it has been so many years since I first read it that I cannot even remember when that was. The subtitle to the book, "The Nazi Assault on Humanity," pretty much says it all, does it not? Levi did not limit the assault of the Germans to only on the Jews, which he could have done, being of Jewish heritage himself (he hailed from Italy). He was a member of the Italian anti-fascist resistance which led to his arrest in December 1943 when he was 24 years old. He ended up in Auschwitz until 1945 when the camp was liberated. Levi tells his story in a straight forward manner - it is not a sob story, but rather a telling of the facts of what he encountered under the Nazis in Auschwitz. He talks of hangings and shootings, he talks about the lack of food, water, medicines, he talks of the "Selection" process, etc. He does not philosophize a ton in the book but rather concentrates on what was, not what might have been; Highly Recommended (4.5 stars) Mine

"To destroy a man is difficult, almost as difficult as it is to create one: it has not been easy, nor quick, but you Germans have succeeded. Here we are, docile under your gaze; from our side you have nothing more to fear; no acts of violence, no words of defiance, not even a look of judgment."

Fev 3, 3:46 pm

You are full of good reading plans for February, Stasia. I am pretty much going to wing it. My book group will be discussing Horse next week. I read it in '22 so will probably do a quick reread of it. My memory for the details isn't all that good except for the fact that I loved it. I won't mind taking a second look.

I'm glad Kerry likes to play board games with you. I don't watch much television, but my husband does when he's not working. He plans to work as long as he can breathe so I don't have to worry about him sitting in front of the TV all day. He thinks I am a little obsessive with my reading...imagine that!

Fev 3, 3:57 pm

>52 Donna828: Well, we will see if my reading plans come to fruition. I did not get all the books read in January that I wanted to. As far as Horse goes, I just read it for the first time last year and I really liked it. I hope you enjoy it just as much the second time around as you did the first.

I do not watch much television either - too many books to read. You, obsessive about reading? Say it isn't so!

Fev 3, 4:01 pm

Happy new thread, Stasia! Looks like you're kicking off February well, while I haven't finished a book yet :D

Editado: Fev 3, 11:16 pm

>51 alcottacre: I'm still reading Survival in Auschwitz, a shared read for us both (!). Though this is the first time reading this book, I've periodically read Holocaust books over my lifetime. I do so in order that it never fades from memory as I lost my maternal grandparents in Auschwitz. I am reading this book very slowly as it is very sad reading. As I read it, I become more aware of things around me. What a chill in the air feels like. How one person treats another. What the taste of a food dish I especially like tastes like. Then I try to imagine the worst as was described by Primo Levi. At the point of the book in which I am now (the onset of another winter), he feels as if he no longer will survive. There's a point when one gives up on life. I remember back when my mom was being treated for breast cancer. She was taking radiation, but there was a point at which she said no to further treatment as her physical condition had deteriorated so much. It was her parents who died in the Nazi gas chambers. During my reading of this book, I continue my silent prayer that my grandparents died quickly and painlessly, and I give thanks that their descendants live on. This is a tough read for me. I'll make it through the end of this book for sure.

Fev 3, 11:04 pm

>54 bell7: Well, I know you will finish a book some time this month, right?

>55 SqueakyChu: I knew that you had lost family in the concentration and death camps, Madeline, so I cannot imagine how hard it is for you to read a book like Survival in Auschwitz. It is hard for me to read and I did not (as far as I know) lose anyone in my family to those circumstances. My mother-in-law, Tee Doster, did the same as your mother - she basically said 'Enough is enough' while being treated for cancer and refused any more because she was so worn down and out by it. I think that it is remarkable that anyone survived the treatment at the hands of the Nazis as it would just have been so easy to give up completely.

Fev 3, 11:09 pm

Finished tonight:

37 - Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard - Nonfiction; Aside from the ridiculous title (England is obviously not dead), this is a pretty good read - it is nonfiction that reads like fiction and goes by pretty quickly. However, there is a disturbing lack of depth here and there are no sources cited. There are footnotes throughout the book, but they are more by way of explanation than anything else. As an "introductory" book to the American Revolution it is pretty good - the authors took the time to detail what the major players discussed in the book did after the war - but I would not recommend it as anything more than that; Guardedly Recommended (3.75 stars) Library Book

Fev 4, 1:13 am

Dave is driving me not very batty at all , now that he is recovering . A big relief, Stasia. I think he'll be okay for retirement. He likes to get out stunt kite flying, walks the dog, , reads, and he is kind of a putterer. He likes to fix cars , whatever. He isn't much TV, partly since he has always worked shifts, so he couldn't really keep up with TV shows in the evening. That might change when he retires.

Fev 4, 8:57 am

>58 vancouverdeb: Well, I hope Dave keeps not driving you batty, Deborah! I am hoping that once Kerry is home from Nacogdoches tomorrow he will settle into some kind of routine that does not involve quite as much TV. So far his retirement, which is only about 5 weeks old, has consisted of the holidays, a cruise, and a trip to Nacogdoches :)

Fev 4, 8:58 am

Today is my traditional "day off" technology so I will likely not be back until later tonight unless I complete a book, which I am hoping to do.

Fev 4, 9:55 am

Happy Sunday, Stasia. I see you are doing some uplifting reading. 😁 I will add Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts to the TBR. I am always in the hunt for a solid GN.

Fev 4, 1:16 pm

>46 alcottacre: One of the things I found really interesting about Wake is that the author, who is about my age, is the granddaughter of slaves. Not the great-granddaughter or great-great-granddaughter. The granddaughter. And she is living now. The 1860s seem like so long ago when you look at a calendar, but in her family it's just two generations.

Fev 4, 2:27 pm

>59 alcottacre:, His retirement isn't real yet. He is just on vacation mode. I think it takes awhile to realize that you're retired and not on vacation. Good luck Stasia.

Fev 4, 3:05 pm

Thanks for the new thread, Stasia. I like at least to skim all the posts, and seeing a thread with 150, or 200, or even 300 (yeek!). Those I avoid. I read Survival in Auschwitz late last year.

Fev 4, 5:14 pm

>13 alcottacre: Hmm, I'd like to join you for the December read of Bound to Please. It doesn't have to be a formal shared or group read, but I'm making a note of it on my thread. It gives me a few months to obtain a copy. *smile*

>46 alcottacre: I'm going to purchase a copy of that. I am always on the lookout for a good Graphic Novel. I don't read a lot of them and this sounds like it would be up my alley.

Fev 4, 7:35 pm

>65 EBT1002:
I second that on the Bound to Please. I took a BB way up-thread on that title and found out our library has that book. I would be happy to join in a group read. I was thinking that this would be a perfect book for the September Nonfiction challenge, which is essays. However, I have other titles that I can read for September and December would work for me to do a group read.

Editado: Fev 4, 7:51 pm

>61 msf59: I know that you enjoy good GNs, Mark, and I think Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts is a good one. I cannot wait to see what you think of it.

>62 cbl_tn: I never thought of that, Carrie, but you are right. What a great point!

>63 Kristelh: Since my retirement was a 'forced' retirement - I had to retire for medical reasons - I was never in vacation mode. I think you are right, Kristel. After all, he has had the holidays (vacation), a cruise (more vacationing), and is visiting his daughter Felisha this weekend (yet more vacation mode)!

>64 weird_O: I understand that problem completely, Bill. I have waited to post on some of my friends' threads because when I returned from the cruise it was like everyone had hundreds of posts on their threads!

>65 EBT1002: As Mark often says of the group reads, the more the merrier. I have read several of Dirda's books and enjoyed them all, so I expect I will enjoy Bound to Please as well. I would love to share the read with you, Ellen.

I hope you do enjoy Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts if and when you get to it.

>66 benitastrnad: Great, Benita!

Fev 4, 7:57 pm

Finished tonight:

38 - Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler - Well, I know that I am going to be in the minority on this one, but I just did not enjoy it all that much. I am not sure that if it had not been a shared read that I would have finished it and I absolutely cannot fathom why it won the Pulitzer. I tend to think of Pulitzer Prize winning books as those filled with gorgeous prose and characters who linger with you long after the book is closed. Nope, not for me. This story of essentially one day (with a lot of flashbacks) in the life of married couple Ira and Maggie is more a story of the foibles that each of the parties has. Maggie was driving me up a tree the entire book. Their children Jesse and Daisy put in appearances as does Jesse's ex-wife, Fiona, and their daughter, Leroy. I suppose all of these stories are meant to fit together as a cohesive whole, but the story just did not work for me. There were parts that I enjoyed, but not many and not nearly as much as I wanted to; Not Recommended (3.25 stars) Library Book

Fev 4, 8:12 pm

>68 alcottacre: - Sorry that one didn't work better for you, Stasia. I read it in 2016 and rated it 3.5 stars and called it an uneven read for me. For some reason, I thought I had liked it better. Memory is a funny thing :)

Fev 4, 8:17 pm

>68 alcottacre: I am glad to know that I am not the only one who did not think it a stellar read, Katie. Like I said, there were parts that I enjoyed - so I guess you could call it an uneven read for me too. Memory is notoriously unreliable - at least mine is :)

Fev 4, 8:20 pm

>59 alcottacre: Mike has received some very nice headphones as gifts from me - which allows him to watch TV or listen to music as he likes during those times when I don't like.

Fev 4, 8:25 pm

Stasia, I will have to see what I think of Breathing Lessons. I've liked most of the Anne Tyler that I've read. The one I did not like was Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant.

I was of age to retire when I did but mine was one that happened without my really being able to acknowledge it. My husband was very ill with his brain cancer and there was no way I could continue to work.So I kind of slipped into retirement like you and after my husband died, I was dealing with grief and a new state of widow. I might still be working otherwise because I liked my job. I can truly say I don't miss it, though.

Fev 4, 10:50 pm

>68 alcottacre: There was a TV movie starring James Garner and Joanne Woodward made from Breathing I recall, those two improved the story just by being in it.

Fev 5, 9:32 am

>73 laytonwoman3rd: Yeah, they would, woudn't they?

Fev 5, 9:33 am

Kerry is returning home today and I have stuff I need to do before that happens, so I will back later on today at some point. . .

Fev 5, 9:33 am

Hallo, how art thou today Stasia?

Fev 5, 8:44 pm

>76 Owltherian: Hey, Lily! I am just fine although it has been a busy day around these parts. How are you doing?

Fev 5, 8:46 pm

I have got to get some reading in tonight as the day has just escaped me - busy with chores and whatnot. Kerry arrived safely home about 3:30 this afternoon. I will try and check in a bit later!

Fev 5, 11:37 pm

Finished tonight:

39 - Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf - There is a lot of sly humor in this book which surprised me. There is a lot of discussion about the differences between the genders especially as the main character switches - and I am sure a lot of what Woolf had to say flew right over my head. One disturbing aspect of the book for me is the use of the word "nigger," which I know was in common use when the book was first published, but I find it disturbing. I am going to have to re-read this one, I think. I also believe it is one that I will be thinking about after having read it and trying to parse out all that Woolf was trying to say; Guardedly Recommended (3.75 stars) Library Book

One of my favorite quotes from this or any other book: “The taste for books was an early one. As a child he was sometimes found at midnight by a page still reading. They took his taper away, and he bred glow-worms to serve his purpose. They took the glow-worms away and he almost burnt the house down with a tinder.”

"Each was so surprised at the quickness of the other's sympathy, and it was to each such a revelation that a woman could be as tolerant and free-spoken as a man, and a man as strange and subtle as a woman. . ."

Fev 6, 6:44 am

Meet up day with Catey and Beth today. Catey and I are meeting up early to play our monthly/every 6 weeks play of Ark Nova. Kerry and I also have things to do today, so it looks to be another busy one! I am also trying to finish Random in Death. I feel like I am having to sneak in reading these days, lol.

Fev 6, 6:53 am

>77 alcottacre: Ack sorry, went to bed due to being very lightheaded. I'm good so far though.

Fev 6, 8:16 am

>79 alcottacre: I've read Orlando a couple of times, and seen the film, and saw a stage production last year. As you might guess, it's one I like. I love the description of the icy Thames breaking up. I think Orlando is still a man at that stage?

Fev 6, 9:24 am

>81 Owltherian: Sorry about the lightheadedness. Take care of yourself!

>82 SandDune: I saw that there was a fairly recent film so I am going to try and watch it at some point. Yes, I think you are right about Orlando being a man when the Thames breaks up.

Fev 6, 9:41 am

>83 alcottacre: Yeah, its better today but i still am lightheaded. I think its because my period

Fev 6, 9:55 am

Happy new thread!

Fev 6, 9:57 am

>84 Owltherian: That will do it. Make sure you are getting plenty of rest. I have found that sleep tends to help me when vertigo strikes me.

>85 foggidawn: Thanks, foggi!

Fev 6, 9:58 am

>86 alcottacre: Yeah, i will probably try to sleep when i get home from the hell everyone calls school

Fev 6, 9:59 am

>79 alcottacre: Orlando the lectomane! I relate.

Tuesday orisons, Stasia! *smooch*

Fev 6, 12:21 pm

Morning, Stasia! I didn't realize that Kerry wasn't back until yesterday. Wow! Glad he's home!!!!

I know you'll be happy to learn that I heard from Nathalie, deern, on fb last night. She is still in the world, and I'm thrilled to know it's so. I hope that she may return to LT; she certainly spoke warmly of her people here.

Fev 6, 12:25 pm

How art thou today?

Fev 6, 12:53 pm

Oh, Tim got Ark Nova for Christmas but we haven't tried it out yet. Glad to know it's one you like! Happy Tuesday, Stasia.

Fev 6, 3:01 pm

>79 alcottacre: I saw a great dramatic version of this on stage last year Stasia. It had 8 VWs including some played by men.

Fev 6, 6:32 pm

Hi, Stasia. I am sure you are deep into your game day. Enjoy. I am into the 2nd half of The Bee Sting. I am enjoying it very much. FYI- I picked up my copy of The Razor's Edge today. 😁

Fev 6, 7:41 pm

Stasia, I am loving The Last List of Mabel Beaumont. It's excellent , so far, for me. I think you would enjoy it. I described it a bit on my thread on in my reply to you. It's a BB I got from either Donna or Joanne, I'm not such. It's so touching.

Fev 6, 8:18 pm

>87 Owltherian: I hope you are able to get some rest!

>88 richardderus: ((Hugs)) and **smooches** for you today, RD!

>89 LizzieD: Oh, that is wonderful! I have not heard from Nathalie in years.

>90 Owltherian: It has been a busy day here, Lily.

>91 curioussquared: I love Ark Nova, but be prepared - it is not for the faint of heart. It is a long, involved game. I highly suggest that you watch at least one of the tutorials on YouTube about how to play the game at least once before trying to play.

>92 Caroline_McElwee: That is cool, Caroline!

>93 msf59: I am so glad that you are enjoying The Bee Sting, Mark. Yay for The Razor's Edge! Looking forward to reading that one again. It has been years since I last read it.

>94 vancouverdeb: Thanks for the additional input, Deborah!

Fev 6, 8:22 pm

Finished tonight:

40 - Random in Death by J.D. Robb - Another solid entry into my all-time favorite series, this one finds Eve tracking down a murderer killing teenage girls with an old-fashioned weapon, a syringe filled with drugs meant to kill and bacteria meant to infect. What is more, it looks like this murderer is not any older than his victims. He is killing girls randomly making it more difficult to track him. How many more will die before Eve and her team catch up to him? A lot of good old-fashioned police work in this one to go along with the old-fashioned weapon.; Recommended (4 stars) Mine

Fev 7, 6:57 am

I slept and didn't wake up during the night! Yay! Anywaysssss how are you?

Fev 7, 12:41 pm

>97 Owltherian: That is great news, Lily! I am doing fine today. It has just been a busy morning.

Fev 7, 12:46 pm

>95 alcottacre: Good to know, Stasia! Maybe I will leave Ark Nova to Tim and his friends. I typically enjoy shorter, less involved games more.

Fev 7, 12:53 pm

>99 curioussquared: Ark Nova is in no way or form a short or less involved game, Natalie. It sounds like this one may not be for you. Even playing on BGA, Catey and I normally take between 90 minutes-2 hours to play.

Fev 7, 1:38 pm

>98 alcottacre: I bet, i've had a busy day myself.

Fev 8, 1:24 am

I didn't get much reading done today, but wanted to swing by to say hi to one of my sister The Bee Sting readers. I'm about to set my laptop aside (I just can't keep up with all the threads or I'll never actually read anything!!) and dig back into it. I'm ready to be done with Imelda and move on to Dickie (I believe he gets a section). I'm not sure I'll love him any more than I do her. I'm in Mark's camp of rooting for the kids!

Fev 8, 1:25 am

By the way, Kim mentioned today that you are interested in visiting Portland for a meetup. P and I are planning to move back to Oregon, just south of Portland, in the next year or so. Even if we don't live there yet, I would love it if we could overlap our visit so I could meet you in person!

Fev 8, 7:46 am

>101 Owltherian: I hope you have a great day today, Lily!

>102 EBT1002: (I just can't keep up with all the threads or I'll never actually read anything!!) Oh, I hear that! I remember the "good old" days when I read every thread every day, lol.

I read The Bee Sting a couple of months ago, but I remember it well. Had Prophet Song not won the Booker last year, I would have rooted for The Bee Sting to win.

>103 EBT1002: I would love to visit Portland at some time but, as I pointed out to Kim, that kind of trip would need to be budgeted for since Texas is not right next door to Oregon. We will try and coordinate your move and my trip, what do you say? I would love to meet the Pacific Northwest contingent!

Fev 8, 8:01 am

Today is my normal grocery list and meal planning day. Besides that, I anticipate playing at least one board game with Kerry, a staple of my daily agendas nowadays.

I hope everyone has a great day!

Fev 8, 8:27 am

Sweet Thursday, Stasia. Enjoy your board game with Kerry and whatever reading you get in. I am heading out to see Jack in a little while.

Fev 8, 8:54 am

Enjoy your day, Stasia. I wish my husband enjoyed board games. The only one I've ever known him to really have fun with is Ticket to Ride. When our daughter is home, he will occasionally agree to a couple rounds of Trivial Pursuit, but that's it.

Fev 8, 9:01 am

>96 alcottacre: All time fave eh! I'll add it to the list!
(I just went and looked at it and there are 59 books! Wow!)

Fev 8, 9:07 am

Absolutely agree with you Stasia that had Prophet Song not won the Booker, I would have been routing for The Bee Sting, a book that was a heart-breaking in its way as Prophet Song.

Fev 8, 2:38 pm

>106 msf59: We did have a good time playing and I am currently reading Voroshilovgrad, which is nothing if not an interesting read for me. Have a lovely time with Jack!

>107 laytonwoman3rd: Ticket to Ride is one of Kerry's favorite games too and whenever Beth, Catey, and I meet up on Tuesdays, if it is Beth's turn to pick games, Ticket to Ride is sure to be played. I love that we can play it online since we do not live anywhere close to each other.

>108 ChelleBearss: Chelle, do yourself a favor and start with book 1. This is a series where the characters are dynamic, not static, so you want to start at the beginning :)

>109 arubabookwoman: Yes, it was. I almost wish that there were ties for the Booker, but I still give the slightest nod to Prophet Song.

Fev 8, 6:00 pm

Finished this afternoon:

41 - Reborn: Journals & Notebooks, 1947-1963 by Susan Sontag - Nonfiction; I can say with 100% certainty that Sontag and I would not have gotten on in real life. Our philosophies are too far apart. ("Don't be kind." Huh?) However, I can also say that I admire the width and breadth of her reading. The journals themselves I do not think lend themselves well for publication. They are choppy and disjointed in areas. As most journals go, people make private notes to themselves with little to no context and that is the case of Sontag's journals. I did appreciate some of the glimpses into her though. I also wondered at times how her son felt on editing the journals since he and his father, whom Sontag divorced when David was young, are mentioned more than a few times; Guardedly Recommended (3.75 stars) Library Book

"My reading is hoarding, accumulating, storing up for the future, filling the hole of the present."

Editado: Fev 8, 8:27 pm

Hi Stasia, >109 arubabookwoman: I just finished This Other Eden another contender for the Booker and like Prophet Song i found it a heart breaker.

Fev 8, 8:32 pm

Here's the next readathon:

Fev 9, 1:51 pm

Hi Stasia; found you! I'm jumping in here to wish you happy new thread!

Editado: Fev 9, 2:54 pm

>112 mdoris: Yeah, there were a lot of books to recommend amongst last years Booker lists including heart breakers, Mary.

>113 SilverWolf28: Thanks, Silver. Unfortunately thus far today I have not read a word.

>114 humouress: Thank you, Nina! I am happy you found me - I did not realize that I was lost :)

Fev 9, 2:55 pm

Today has been a rough day for me to this point. Hopefully it will improve. I hope to be back later! My groceries just arrived. . .

Fev 9, 4:03 pm

>115 alcottacre: I did not realize that I was lost That's how it is, sometimes.

>116 alcottacre: I hope it has improved. Groceries can be good - especially if you remembered to get chocolate :0)

Fev 9, 4:20 pm

>117 humouress: Lol

I do not eat chocolate, I am afraid. I am both allergic to it and just do not like it either :) Weird, I know.

Fev 9, 9:37 pm

Well, in my bid to lose weight I wish I could say I didn't love chocolate, but I do, Stasia. Likewise, if Prophet Song had not won the Booker, I would have been very happy with The Bee Sting. Sorry you had a rough day.

Fev 9, 10:06 pm

>111 alcottacre: I get that Stasia. Don't think that she would have been a pal of mine either.

Fev 10, 1:42 am

>118 alcottacre: Being allergic to something tends to be a big turn-off for me, so not that surprising. I hope you had some treats for yourself in the groceries.

Fev 10, 8:21 am

Happy Saturday, Stasia. I should finish up The Bee Sting today. It sure is a lot to take in. I am leaning toward a positive review but it did feel a bit big and unwieldy.

Fev 10, 5:10 pm

>121 humouress: I got plenty of fruits and veggies, Nina, which are both treats for me :)

>122 msf59: I understand about feeling it was a bit big and unwieldy, Mark, but I hope you felt the book was worth the effort!

Fev 10, 5:38 pm

Finished this afternoon:

42 - Voroshilovgrad by Serhiy Zhadan - One of the things that I truly appreciate about the TIOLI challenges is when they make or encourage me to read outside of my comfort zone and Suzanne's "Read a book about the Soviet Union's former "sphere of influence", or by an author from that region, or about Vladimir Putin's regime" definitely does that. Up until this challenge, I had never even heard of author Serhiy Zhadan. I would love to say that this book was just the bee's knees for me, but I cannot do so. According to Hoopla, which is where I had to check it out from since my local physical library did not have a copy, the book is "Dystopian" and has "Black Humor." I can see the dystopian, as the landscape depicted in the book seems to be pretty much of a wasteland, but I do not get the black humor at all. I really, really wanted to like this book much more than I did, but the swearing in every sentence (and there is much in the In Death books, but in this book it was absolutely ridiculous) and the treatment of women as though they were there simply because of their gender and what they could do for the men in the book did not win it any points with me either. There are some very good descriptive passages throughout, but they were not enough to salvage the book for me; Not Recommended (3 stars) Kindle - Hoopla

Fev 10, 7:46 pm

Hope your next read is better, Stasia. And happy weekend!

Fev 11, 12:55 am

Good to see that Random in Death was a good one for you, Stasia. I'm still pursuing my reread of the series and haven't actually read the newer ones yet. I hope to get to them soon.

Best of luck finding your feet with Kerry's retirement. I can't imagine how I would negotiate that, not that I had to by the time I reached retirement age.

Fev 11, 2:04 am

Stasia, good for you , not purchasing many new books. As Dave is retiring March 21 is his last day, I am hoping to purchase just one book per month. Fingers crossed - for both of us.

Fev 11, 7:34 am

>125 AMQS: Thank you, Anne! I hope you have a lovely Sunday!

>126 Familyhistorian: I am still reading the older In Death books too, Meg, it just happened that Random in Death came out this month so it got slotted in. I am still hoping to read Strangers in Death yet this month.

My getting used to Kerry's retirement is still a work in progress! I know for sure that it is taking time away from LT, but I am sure that I will find a happy balance at some point. When that will be, who knows?

>127 vancouverdeb: I have not stopped buying books entirely, Deborah, but it has slowed considerably - although I did warn Kerry that in May I get to buy 19 books for my Thingaversary.

Crossing fingers. . .

Fev 11, 7:34 am

Today is my traditional "day off" technology, but I do hope to be back at some point if I actually manage to complete a book.

I hope everyone has a great day!

Fev 11, 10:42 am

Happy Sunday, Stasia. I finished and reviewed The Bee Sting. Once again, thanks again for sharing your copy with me.

Fev 12, 9:09 am

>130 msf59: No problem, Mark, and I am over shortly to look at your review.

My CFS decided that this was the weekend it was going to strike, so I took a ton of naps and slept a lot. Reading, not so much. Ugh. Maybe it will leave me alone after just the 2 days??

Fev 12, 12:00 pm

I hope you're feeling better soon!

Fev 12, 12:47 pm

I hope you feel better! I'm stopping by with smiles remembering the two meetups when we were together. I still can hear your laughter.

Fev 12, 7:11 pm

>132 mstrust: Thanks, Jennifer.

>133 Whisper1: Oh, we had such good times together, didn't we, lovey?

Fev 12, 7:19 pm

Finished this evening:

43 - Code Girls by Liza Mundy - Nonfiction; This was a book that the subject matter was of paramount interest to me even before this month's Nonfiction Challenge and it was a very good read. The story of the women who served as code breakers during WWII is an interesting one. Fully between 70-80% of the code breakers that worked during that time period were women, many recruited directly from colleges. This is a highly readable book that moves along at a very nice pace and allows the reader to get involved with the women's work as Mundy explains it so well. My big quibble with it is the lack of footnotes throughout. There is a nice section of "notes" in the book that may be what are supposed to be footnotes? Not sure on that. There is also a nice bibliography included. African American women and their role is briefly mentioned and I would like to have seen it expanded; Recommended (4.25 stars) Mine

Fev 12, 7:25 pm

Hi Stasia--Sorry about the CFS reoccurrence. May it be a short one. : ) Code Girls sounds great. I'm really enjoying The Heart's Invisible Furies!

Fev 12, 7:30 pm

>136 Berly: Yeah, I was kind of hoping that CFS would bypass me the entire year given how much it hung around me in December - 3 out of the 4 weeks of the month, but I guess I am grateful it was gone when Kerry and I were on the cruise.

I hope that, if and when you get hold of it, you enjoy Code Girls as much as I did. I am glad you are enjoying the book for our shared read too!

Fev 12, 9:46 pm

Finished tonight:

44 - Derring-Do for Beginners by Victoria Goddard - This was a shared read with Mary as we continue to wend our way through Goddard's Nine Worlds series and this one was a treat from beginning to end. We are introduced to Damian to begin with, a young man considered to be long on physical strength, but short on brain power. Then along comes Jullanar, who was supposed to be going to college only to arrive and discover that the college is temporarily(?) closed down, so she decides to call upon her aunt unexpectedly and beg to be allowed to stay until the college reopens - and besides, she has a gift from her father to the aunt. Damian and Jullanar meet and the budding friendship between these disparate people is a joy to watch and well-told in Goddard's hands. And then, something complete unexpected happens. . .; Highly Recommended (4.5 stars) Mine - Kindle

Fev 12, 9:49 pm

>135 alcottacre: And they proved pretty crucial in tipping the balance on the allied side, Stasia.

Happy Monday night from my Tuesday morning.

Fev 12, 9:50 pm

>138 alcottacre: This one was one of my favorites of what we've read so far, though I still love The Hands of the Emperor the most.

Fev 12, 9:55 pm

>139 PaulCranswick: Yes, they did! Thanks, Paul.

>140 bell7: I agree on both counts, Mary. The Hands of the Emperor was the first Goddard book that I read and I still love it the most too.

Fev 12, 10:01 pm

Sorry to hear that your CFS has flared up, Stasia. I hope you will soon be feeling 100 % again.

Fev 13, 4:24 am

Also hoping the CFS disappears. I'm glad it wasn't in evidence on the cruise.

I'm going to have to find some Victoria Goddard; I see so much love for her work all over LT. There aren't any of her books on my Overdrive libraries but Susan pointed me in the direction of a Kindle deal - at which point I discovered that I'd already bought it. Twice 🙄 Well, at least I have no excuse now. Maybe that can be my 'author beginning with G' in ... *counts* ... April.

Fev 13, 9:36 am

>135 alcottacre: My dad was an Arabic interpreter / Middle East code breaker during the Vietnam war (though oddly he was stationed in Ethiopia). When I read Dan Brown's book about the NSA, they made a big deal about a woman character being a code breaker, and dad just laughed. Dan Brown needs more research and less formula, IMnsHO.

Fev 13, 3:10 pm

>142 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deborah. Unfortunately, I am off to take a nap just as I was getting on. . .

>143 humouress: Thanks! I really think you will like Goddard if you give her a chance, Nina. Fingers crossed!

>144 The_Hibernator: Wow, does he! Brown should look back at history into the code breakers before Vietnam, right?

Fev 13, 6:51 pm

Boo to the CFS! Be gone with you!!

Fev 13, 8:32 pm

>146 msf59: Thanks, Mark. I really wish that worked! I am ready for bed already - and that is after having an hour long nap this afternoon. *sigh*

Fev 13, 8:45 pm

Finished tonight:

45 - Thirteen Doorways Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby - Young Adult; This was a recommendation from Mary (bell7) and it was a very good one, so thank you, Mary! I was contemplating what to say about this book - it is not an easy one to pin down as there are layers upon layers here and then I read the Author's Note at the end of the book: "It is a story about girls. It is a story about how the world likes to punish girls for their appetites, even for their love" and I thought, that sums it up nicely. Frankie and her sister are really being punished for their mere existence throughout the book, no less so because they are girls. The ghosts introduced into the story are all female, each with a different story; Highly Recommended (4.5 stars) Library Book

"I had the same questions I always had. Why was I going in circles, what were the magic words, why did the world spasm with such horrific pain, why, why, WHY?"

Fev 13, 9:44 pm

>148 alcottacre: That was my first book of the year and I thought it was a great start to my reading year. I'm glad you enjoyed it, too!

>135 alcottacre: you got me with this one. There seems to be no end to WWII stories, and we're all the better for it.

Fev 14, 11:09 am

>148 alcottacre: Yay, Anne! I am glad to know that you liked it - although I may have known it and just forgot, lol.

I agree that we are better for WWII stories. I hope that you enjoy Code Girls if and when you get to read it.

Fev 14, 11:11 am

Happy Wednesday! Hopefully you are feeling better

Editado: Fev 14, 11:12 am

>148 alcottacre: why, why, WHY?

The refrain in my brain since time immemorial....

Fev 14, 11:15 am

Finished this morning (I tried really hard to finish it last night, but I kept falling asleep):

46 - Anxious People by Fredrik Backman - This was a shared read with Peggy, who encouraged me to finally get this one read. There were a couple of major detractors for me in the book: 1) For me, it got off to a very slow start. Once it got going, I enjoyed the read, but it took a while to get there; 2) I found the omniscient narrator irritating as he/she was dropping hints, going off on tangents, and foreshadowing throughout. That being said, overall I liked this story - a bank robber who tries to rob a cashless bank and instead ends up taking an apartment full of hostages. Eventually we learn the stories of not only the hostages, but the bank robber and the police officers who are trying to get the hostages out safely. Parts of the book are hilarious - the police interviews, for example, especially of the real estate agent. Much of the book are just universal human truths; Guardedly Recommended (3.75 stars) Mine

Fev 14, 12:01 pm

I am listening to a different Fredrik Backman book. This one is Britt-Marie Was Here and I am really enjoying it. Most of Backman's books have moments of hilarity and that make them great listening while I am knitting type of books. Backman is one of my favorite books with which to relax. I am also happy that his books are successful here in the U.S. We need more books from other places that aren't all Nobel Prize winning authors or block buster thrillers, but books about other aspects of life.

Fev 14, 4:39 pm

Hi Stasia my dear, a belated Happy New Thread my dear friend.

Fev 14, 8:42 pm

>154 benitastrnad: I have not yet read that one, Benita. I will have to see if I can locate a copy.

>155 johnsimpson: Thank you, John!

7:30 at night and I am heading to bed. Gotta love CFS, right?

Fev 14, 11:17 pm

I like Backman. He's funny. Hope today was a better day for you. : )

Fev 14, 11:32 pm

Dear Friend, as always you read such incredibly interesting books, and so very many books as well.

>137 alcottacre: Opps, I missed the information about you and Kerry on a cruise! Will and I had wonderful times on two crusies we took. Recently though I've read there are a lot of problems on the ships. I remember sitting on chairs on the bow of the boat late at night. The stars were incredible in the dark sky. His cousin started to sing and Italian song while having both arms widely separated. We laughed so darn hard. It was one of our favorite memories of all the time we were together.

Fev 15, 2:48 pm

>157 Berly: I like Backman too, Kim, but Anxious People was a bit of a miss for me. I am certainly intending to read more of his books!

>158 Whisper1: Thanks, lovey.

We had no problems on our ship, Linda, thank goodness. I am not sure we are ever going on another one though - I am fairly certain that I am not a "cruise person," although that may change if we ever get the opportunity to go on an Alaskan cruise. I am so glad you have happy memories of your time with Will while on your cruises.

Fev 15, 2:52 pm

So, today has me off kilter again. I slept a mere 12 hours last night - thank you, CFS! My days are starting to get into somewhat of a schedule, but I am not getting to spend time on LT like I used to do. Kerry and I are playing at least 1 board game a day and we are undertaking some of the projects that have needed doing here, so my time is being dispersed elsewhere, and now CFS on top of that plus the normal chores that I have to do. Not to mention the fact that I need to read! Hopefully I will be able to get back to LT as I want to be. Please do not think it is you - I know it is me.

Fev 15, 4:51 pm

Sorry to here about the CFS Stasia, I know it is frustrating.

Fev 15, 9:32 pm

Here's the next readathon:

Editado: Fev 16, 3:41 pm

>160 alcottacre:
I am slowly getting back into a reading routine and for that reason I am getting much more read in the last two weeks than I did in January. Of course, it is because I have more time to read now. I am also doing a bit of cooking again and enjoying that. The neighbor boys have been coming over to help me and we have a good time cooking and baking.

I discovered, quite by accident, that I have two teenaged cousins who are readers, so I have been giving them books to read that have been stacked up here for a couple of years. I am trying to give them away because I think I am going to go to the ALA conference this summer. It is in San Diego and if I go, I know I will come back with a haul of books to replenish those I give away.

Fev 16, 4:24 pm

>162 SilverWolf28: Thanks, Silver.

>163 benitastrnad: It takes a bit to get back into the reading routine, doesn't it? Once your routine is off-kilter for any reason, I have found, it takes a while to get back to it. I am glad you are finally getting back to yours, Benita!

Yay for the cousins who are readers!

Fev 16, 4:33 pm

Finished this afternoon:

47 - Bleak House by Charles Dickens - Audiobook; this is a re-read for me, having read it with the 75ers in a group read all the way back in 2009. I listened to the book on audio this time around as I cannot hold my Nonesuch Press humongous edition of the book any more and I will say that Miriam Margolyes (Professor Sprout from the Harry Potter films) was an outstanding narrator! She did the voices of everyone from Esther to Jarndyce to Jo excellently. This book revolves around a Chancery case, Jarndyce vs Jarndyce, a case which has been unresolved for a good many years and shows no signs of ever ending. There are 2 wills and multiple beneficiaries involved. We are introduced to many characters who have an interest in the wills including Esther Summerson, who turns out to be the illegitimate daughter of one of the beneficiaries under one of the wills. Esther becomes the ward of John Jarndyce along with two other characters, Richard and Ada. There are two many offshoots to go through them all, but IMHO this is Dickens' best novel. There are characters that we care about and social issues that Dickens brings to the fore; Highly Recommended (4.5 stars) Mine

Fev 16, 5:54 pm

>163 benitastrnad: Isn't it great when we discover younger family members love to read? I really enjoy my conversations with my son, Kyran, these days as he discovers some of the great books and really wants to talk about them. He of course assumes his dad has read all of them already (not always the case).

>165 alcottacre: And as a case in point, Stasia, I am struggling to get to Bleak House in time this month - The British are Coming was such a detailed and immersive read that it has swallowed up a huge chunk of my time.

Hope the CFS leaves you alone properly and soon, dear Stasia.

Fev 16, 7:01 pm

>166 PaulCranswick: My daughter, Beth, and I are sharing a lot about the books we are reading these days too, Paul. She was not a reader growing up - it was not until she began reading the Harry Potter books that she took a serious interest in reading and even though she is now in her mid-30s, she prefers young adult books. I have absolutely no problem with that! I am just thrilled she is reading at all.

I am sorry that you are struggling to get Bleak House read, Paul, but I certainly understand - you have had your hands full lately! The British Are Coming sounds awesome. I have read other of Atkinson's books, but not that one.

Well, I had yet another nap already today. I feel another coming on soon. I am hoping CFS goes away soon!

Fev 16, 8:53 pm

Finished tonight:

48 - Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman - I had never read anything by Newman before but as she was one of the authors (and the only one I could get my hands on copies of the books unfortunately), I decided to give her a try. However, urban fantasy is not really a genre that I enjoy and this (to me) lackluster effort did not help install a love of it in me. First off, I thought the world building could have used a little more work - the 'alternate' London theme has been done numerous times now and better than here, and second, I did not care for what appears to be the main character, Cathy, at all. I say 'appears to be the main character' because another character, Max, could be the main character, I am just not sure. I actually halfway liked him and Will, who is Cathy's fiancee whether she wants him to be or not. The most cardinal sin to me of the book though is that it ends on a cliffhanger and I absolutely hate that!; Guardedly Recommended (3.5 stars) Hoopla Digital - Kindle

Fev 16, 11:12 pm

Finished tonight:

49 - Collected Poems by Philip Larkin - Poetry; Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan of poetry - I try (and keep trying), but it just does not speak to me. I want to understand what the poet is saying to me, but most of the time I just get frustrated in trying to figure it out. I wish I could say that this collection is the exception that breaks my rule, but no. I am sure that Philip Larkin was a very talented poet, but not for me, despite my attempts at reading the poems aloud and re-reading them. *sigh*; Not Recommended (3 stars) Library Book

Here is one that I did like:

If hands could free you, heart,
Where would you fly?
Far, beyond every part
Of earth this running sky
Makes desolate? Would you cross
City and hill and sea,
If hands could set you free?

I would not lift the latch;
For I could run
Through fields, pit-valleys, catch
All beauty under the sun -
Still end in loss:
I should find no bent arm, no bed
To rest my head.

Fev 17, 8:46 am

Well, maybe this bout of CFS is gone? I slept "normally" last night - as normal as I ever do, getting about 4.5 hours of sleep. Here's hoping and fingers crossed!

Fev 17, 8:49 am

Hi Dear Friend. I am glad you slept "normally" last night. I remember your un normal sleeping patterns. Fingers crossed with you.

Fev 17, 9:43 am

>169 alcottacre: I recently gave up on Philip Larkin too. I tried a few, then tried a few more, but nothing suggested he was worth any more of my time. I have much the same attitude toward poetry as you do, Stasia. Sometimes it hits me right in the heart, or mind, but so much of it is just too specific to the poet's own way of seeing things and does not transfer to me.

Fev 17, 10:30 am

HOORAY for a normal night's sleep for you (even if it's not enough!)!!!

Likewise, HOORAY for Bleak House, my favorite Dickens. You make me want to drop everything else and pick it up again. *slaps hands* For one thing, I need to finish Anxious People.

Fev 17, 9:38 pm

Oh, only 4.5 hours of sleep, Stasia! I would need more than that. I'm glad you are feeling better. It's great to have you on threads. Yes, the Women's Prize for Literature will be challenging for both of us, and Booker season too. Philip Larkin is not too my taste either. I'm not big on poetry, I confess.

Fev 18, 9:59 am

>171 Whisper1: Thanks for the fingers crossed, lovey!

>172 laytonwoman3rd: I am glad to know it is not just me, Linda. I keep trying though.

>173 LizzieD: I am sure you will get to Bleak House again when the time is right, Peggy!

>174 vancouverdeb: I have been living on between 4-5 hours of sleep pretty much my entire life, Deborah. My mother will tell you that even as a child I never slept much. The only exceptions were when I had mononucleosis almost 36 years ago and nowadays when my CFS kicks in, which I really hate. I do not like wasting time sleeping.

My local library has a few of the newly announced Women's Prize for Nonfiction nominees, but I do not know what I am going to do about the Women's Prize for Literature nominees and Booker Prize longlist nominees for this year. Of course, I still have not finished last year's for either!

Fev 18, 10:00 am

Today is my traditional "day off" of technology although, here lately, it feels like they are all days off LT. *sigh* I do hope to be back with a couple of books to report on, including one that has been a dandy.

I hope you all have a lovely Sunday!

Fev 18, 10:06 am

Happy Sunday, dear lady.

Happy that the CFS has been vanquished for now!

Fev 18, 12:59 pm

Enjoy your CFS-les Sunday off, Stasia! *smooch*

Fev 18, 2:43 pm

Stasia, I've been meaning to read Bleak House for a long time. I did attempt a giant, hardcover beast I got from the library but couldn't hold it comfortably to read even in my 30s, which I think was how old I was when I tried it. I also tried audio with Simon Vance, whom I love, but it was wrong time, etc. Maybe I'll try again on audio and look for Miriam Margolyes.

Callia went through a long stretch where she stoped reading. I think she fell out of the habit in college with so much schoolwork and never really got back in... until her boyfriend's mother gave her a Kindle she had won in a drawing. Now she's hooked again, which I love. I've never been interested in e-reading, but admittedly I've never had a Kindle. I'm just glad she's fallen in love with reading again!

Fev 18, 6:18 pm

Wow! You have read so many already!

Fev 18, 8:02 pm

Hi Stasia. Your day off is about the only day I have free for posting on LT. I'm glad that your CFS is better. How on earth can you function on 4.5 hours of sleep. I need at least 8 hours and feel better when I get up to 9. I guess we're all wired differently, right?

I'm glad you and Kerry are getting some game time in each day. Maybe if and when spring comes, he will be able to tackle some of the outside chores and keep busy.

I have good memories of Bleak House. There are a few books by Dickens that I haven't read but those shiny new reads keep calling to me.

Have a great week ahead with family and the books.

Fev 18, 10:10 pm

>177 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul, on both counts!

>178 richardderus: Thanks, RD. ((Hugs)) and **smooches** back at you

>179 AMQS: I cannot recommend the Margolyes-narrated edition of Bleak House on Audible highly enough, Anne. I hope you enjoy it if and when you get a chance to read it.

I completely understand Callia's reluctance to read when she was in college. When I went back, I did not want to look at any other books after studying from textbooks so much. It was then that I rediscovered my love of board gaming and now I try to balance both my love of games and my love of books :) I am glad that Callia has rediscovered her love of books again!

>180 thornton37814: Thanks for stopping by my thread, Lori!

>181 Donna828: Well, Donna, I think the need for less sleep than "normal" is the one thing that I inherited from my father that I am happy about. My daughter Beth seems to have inherited it as well. I have functioned on that amount of sleep pretty much my whole life.

Yeah, I am sure that when the weather warms up here on a consistent basis he will be spending more time outside and in the garage. At least I hope so because all of the sitting around watching TV cannot be healthy for him, can it?

I certainly understand about the shiny new reads!

Fev 18, 10:19 pm

Finished tonight:

50 - The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne - This was a shared read for me with Kim, a book of her Indie list. The only Boyne book that I had read prior to this one is The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, which I loved. After this one, I am definitely going to have to read more of his work. This book is the reason that I love to read: I cannot be a gay Irish man growing up in an age where homosexuality was illegal, looked down upon, preached against, when AIDS was labeled a "gay" disease, when prejudice was running wild - but John Boyne can make me feel like Cyril Avery, a fictional character, whose autobiography this book is. There is a bit too much happenstance (although it is a necessary evil in this book to drive the action at times) and a bit too much melodrama, there is a lot of humor here to help balance it out. I flat out loved this book; Highly Recommended (4.5 stars) Mine

Fev 18, 10:42 pm

WOW!! What a great review of The Heart's Invisible Furies. I'm going to the library tomorrow to get a copy. I've read other books of his, this one also sounds like a great one!

Fev 19, 12:29 am

>184 Whisper1: It is a great one, Linda! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Editado: Fev 19, 2:16 pm

Finished tonight:

51 - Time Was Soft There by Jeremy Mercer - Nonfiction; This is a re-read for me, a kind of biographical love letter to the Shakespeare and Company bookstore still in existence in Paris, France. Mercer was a Canadian crime reporter and journalist when a threat is made against his life, so he decides to head to Paris where he ends up succumbing to the charms of the great bookstore and living there for a time. He makes it sounds like some kind of commune, to be honest, as the people there become a weird kind of quasi-family with members coming and going all the time. George Whitman, the owner, basically allowed people to live there for free as long as they needed and Mercer, who had very little money, was one of the people that lived there; Guardedly Recommended (3.75 stars) Mine

"That night beneath the bridge, feeling safe at the bookstore and among my new friends, I confessed everything. They understood because they knew we all had our demons, that we all wanted help to beat them away, and all we needed was a place like Shakespeare and Company to do it."

Fev 19, 1:03 am

Glad you enjoyed The Heart's Invisible Furies so much. It's been a long time since I have read Bleak House but I gave it 5 stars when I read it. My brother in law is also a " short sleeper. " I think he sleeps maybe 5 hours a night. He does find it frustrating at times, waking up so early in am. He purchased a fancy camera , in part, so he can head out at 5 - 6 am to take pictures of nature and what not.

Editado: Fev 19, 5:19 am

>183 alcottacre: Not read Boyne yet, so adding to list.

>186 alcottacre: I have this, so need to hunt it down. I have been to Shakespeare & Co several times Stasia, and bought much loved books there.

Fev 19, 6:04 am

I enjoyed both Bleak House and The Hearts Invisible Furies when I read them. Boyne is an author who can write many different types of novels.

Fev 19, 6:55 am

>187 vancouverdeb: I think that some people just do not need as much sleep as others do. I find it frustrating at times too - I have been up since 4:22am this morning - but on the other hand, I get stuff done at those hours because I am the only one up, although Kerry gets up fairly early too. He has been up for almost an hour now :)

>188 Caroline_McElwee: I think you will enjoy Boyne when you get to him, Caroline, although I have only read 2 of his books. YMMV.

I am jealous of your going to Shakespeare and Company!

>189 Kristelh: You obviously have good taste in books, Kristel. Lol. Good to know about Boyne!

Fev 19, 7:03 am

We have people coming out to look at our foundation this morning. We had a quote for the work on it done about 3 years ago - $26K, which is almost a third of the value of our house. We are hoping that we can get a more reasonable estimate this time around. . .

Fev 19, 7:22 am

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Fev 19, 7:28 am

Goodness, 4-5 hours of sleep a night? I probably could manage that for a week, if I had to, but come the weekend I would be catching up with a vengeance. I'm really not a morning person.

Shakespeare & Company sounds like a place I need to visit!

>191 alcottacre: I hope you do find a more reasonable estimate. A third of the value of the house is a lot. On the other hand, you do need the foundations to hold up the rest of the house :0)

Fev 19, 8:58 am

>165 alcottacre: Probably my fav Dickens. I hope sleep returns to you soon!

Fev 19, 9:39 am

When we lived in Dallas, we had to have some extensive foundation work done - something like 16 piers. Not Fun!

Fev 19, 10:35 am

>193 humouress: 4-5 hours is normal. Last night I got 2.5 hours of sleep, lol.

You and me both regarding Shakespeare and Company!

Yeah, what we were not told when we bought the house is that the pier-and-beam foundation has no beams. . .

>194 Tess_W: Yay, Tess!

>195 katiekrug: No, it is not going to be fun no matter what the cost is, I am fairly sure of that!

Fev 19, 10:36 am

The foundation repair people are on the way. . .

Fev 19, 11:27 am

>186 alcottacre: I really liked that one too. It's an interesting, and sometimes fun, world to inhabit for a time, minus the whole "I'm destitute" aspect.
>196 alcottacre: Yikes! I'm sorry you aren't sleeping, and that you have those construction issues. Maybe it won't be as bad as it sounds?
Wishing you a good week.

Fev 19, 11:39 am

*Fingers crossed* that the stuff about the foundation goes as well as it can.

Editado: Fev 19, 1:36 pm

Hi Stasia, I am a BIG John Boyne fan. He was out of favour (canceled) a while ago for doing something that the PC group decided was not good but I can't remember what that was. He has just written a new book Water but don't think it is a available yet. It is a novella part one of four each one based on an element. i have read 4 of his books but not The Boy with the Striped Pajamas but I have seen the movie based on the book that was very moving. Sounds like I should read the book! I loved The Heart's Invisible Furies!

Yes good luck with the foundation estimate! Yikes, that is a lot of $$!

Fev 19, 1:24 pm

I usually need around 7 hours of sleep to be happy and pleasant to be around :) I am amazed you can function on so little, Stasia! Hoping the foundation repair quote is good news.

Fev 19, 1:32 pm

>197 alcottacre: Crossing all crossables for affordable news.

Fev 19, 2:21 pm

>198 mstrust: Yeah, I could have lived without the "I'm destitute" aspect too, but then I suspect he would not ended up having lived at Shakespeare and Company. Thanks, Jennifer!

>199 bell7: Thank you, Mary. We are supposed to get an estimate from this guy either tonight or tomorrow.

>200 mdoris: I have no idea what the thing with John Boyne was and, unless it affects his writing, do not care to know. I am happy to hear that you are such a fan of his, Mary! Thanks for the heads up on his latest.

>201 curioussquared: Somehow I manage to function on little sleep. I cannot explain it, I just do it. Thanks for the good wishes about the foundation, Natalie.

>202 richardderus: Thank you, RD. That should do it!

Fev 19, 2:26 pm

Finished this afternoon:

52 - The Backworlds by M. Pax - Audiobook; I listened to this one as part of the tribute to Julia (rosalita) that is going on over in the ROOTS group. I got to meet her in person a couple of times at the annual Joplin meet up when she drove down from Iowa. Unfortunately I did not care for this book overmuch. It is sci-fi and I expected to like it more than I did, but I found that the world-building was lacking (I felt like it was more expected of the reader than the author to fill in the blanks), I wanted to know more of the main character Craze's backstory, and the writing was just pedestrian IMHO. Listening to the audiobook in this case was not a great experience either as the narrator was not all that wonderful. *sigh*; Not Recommended (3 stars) Mine

Fev 19, 2:45 pm

I haven't read any Boyne, though I have a few in my stacks.

Regarding controversy surrounding him, the one that leaps to mind is the spat he got into with the Auschwitz Museum and Memorial on Twitter when it took issue with his much loved The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

Fev 19, 3:33 pm

>205 katiekrug: I don't think he got cancelled over this, but there was another incident where one of his books talked about ingredients for red dye. However, it was clear that he and his editors only did the most cursory of research because the ingredients he mentioned in this historical fiction novel were the fantasy ingredients you would need to make red dye in The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild video game rather than any sort of red dye in real life 😂 More funny than cancel-worthy.

Fev 19, 4:59 pm

>205 katiekrug: I have only read 2 of Boyne's books, but they have both been excellent IMHO. I did not realize that he got into trouble with the Auschwitz Museum over The Boy in the Striped Pajamas but I cannot say that it surprises me all that much.

>206 curioussquared: That one I do find funny.

Editado: Fev 19, 5:30 pm

Finished this afternoon:

53 - Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age by Katherine May - Nonfiction; This was a recent recommendation from Caroline and I am so glad my local library had a copy (although I prefer the cover of Caroline's book to the one that my local library has on theirs, lol). The book is May's take on not only why she needs to get back to the enchantment she had of life as a child, but also how she is taking steps to do so: stepping back and appreciating nature, meditating, etc. I understand this need - it is one of the reasons that I take Sundays off from technology. I had to laugh at the section where May was trying to take notes in a class where a teacher told her not to - that would have driven me up a tree. I have almost a compulsive need to take notes and make lists :) Although I did not love the book as much as Caroline did, I certainly did appreciate what May had to say for the most part; Recommended (4.25 stars) Library Book

"Enchantment is small wonder magnified through meaning, fascination caught in the web of fable and memory. It relies on small doses of awe. . .It is the sense that we are joined together in one continuous thread of existence. . ."

May reminded me that I still need to read Braiding Sweetgrass!

Fev 19, 8:24 pm

>207 alcottacre:
The dispute with Boy in the Striped Pajamas was also put on a list of books that the ALA (American Library Association) has major problems with. It is considered to be historically inaccurate. This is also the reason why the Auschwitz Museum and the American Holocaust Museum withdrew the book from their list of recommended readings. Part of the dispute has to do with the fact that many people think that it is a true story despite its subtitle, which is :A Fable. (Notice that LT doesn't have those words attached to the touchstone for this work. Boy in the Striped Pajamas: A Fable even if you type in the entire title the words "A Fable" are dropped from the touchstone.)

The Auschwitz museum stressed that it is important to understand that the book is a work of fiction. Likewise, the children's and YA divisions of ALA have also posted warnings about that same issue. They also go on to say that "the events portrayed could never have happened." There is also concern that "some of the books historical inaccuracies and stereotypical portrayals of major characters that help to perpetuate dangerous myths about the Holocaust." It happened about 2022. Basically it comes down to the fact that the book and the movie tend to make sympathetic characters out of the German families and created a idea that the German families were "victims" too. At the time of the controversy about 35% of the schools in the UK, and clsoe to that number in the US were using the book or the movie in curriculums to teach about the Holocaust. The controversy caused enough outrage that major Holocaust groups did surveys and studies regarding its use.
What was discovered was that students who were interviewed about the book correctly identified it as fiction, but they nonetheless characterized it as realistic and truthful. Furthermore, many students who participated in studies regarding the use of the book in classrooms, stated that their understanding of the story contributed significantly to one of the most powerful and problematic misconceptions about the history of the Holocaust, that "ordinary Germans" held little responsibility and were by and large "brainwashed" or otherwise entirely ignorant of the atrocities committed. For these reasons this book is NOT recommended for use in classrooms.

Fev 20, 6:51 am

>209 benitastrnad: I had to watch that movie in class. It was depressing.

Fev 20, 7:40 am

Morning, Stasia. Yep, I am back and trying, very slowly, to make the rounds. Hooray for The Heart's Invisible Furies! Another fan here.

Editado: Fev 20, 8:24 am

>209 benitastrnad: Thank you for all of the information, Benita. I agree that The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is certainly "historically inaccurate" and I understand why The Auschwitz Museum has problems with it.

That being said, I also understand that the book is fiction and I can see why there are certain age groups of children who will not. I home schooled Beth and Catey and I would have been hesitant, if not decidedly reluctant, to use this book in our classroom. If I had used it (it was published after they had graduated), it would only have been with a lot of discussion.

>210 Owltherian: I am glad to hear that the movie is depressing, Lily. It should have been.

>211 msf59: Hey, Mark! Happy to see you here.

Fev 20, 9:04 am

Today is my meet up day with Beth and Catey. It is my turn to pick what we are playing today, so we will be playing Isle of Cats, one of my current favorite games :)

Editado: Fev 20, 10:11 am

Hi, Stasia! Your thread is always such fun to visit. I’ve added Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age to my TBR pile/mountain.

Have a great day with your daughters!

Karen O

Fev 20, 10:30 am

>209 benitastrnad: First nail in my purpose-built Boyne coffin. Second was disliking the whininess of his response to his boyfriend leaving him...I do not blame the guy, if he is IRL like he is in his books.

Then came The Heart's Invisible Furies and all was over between us. I am just not Mr Boyne's reader.

Have a great time today! *smooch*

Fev 20, 3:31 pm

I'm temporarily caught up with you, Stasia - I know as soon as I say that, I'll be a very quickly be hundred posts behind again.

That's an interesting discussion on Boyne. I have not read any of his books, but I can see where the Boy in the Striped Pajamas has some problematic themes.

I like the idea of your technology free day. What all do you include in that? Computer obviously, TV? phone?

Fev 20, 7:25 pm

>214 klobrien2: Hey, Karen! I hope you enjoy Enchantment when you get to it. There is nothing earth shattering in it, but it is a well-written reminder that sometimes we need to take it slow and appreciate what we have.

>215 richardderus: Not every author is for everyone, I will freely admit, as there are some authors that just do not work for me either, Richard - Mohsin Hamid is one for me. I am sorry to hear that Boyne is one for you.

>216 streamsong: Hello, Janet. It has been a while since I checked in on you too, so I need to remedy that! As far as my 'technology free' days go, I rarely watch TV to begin with and if sports are on, I generally watch with my husband as we enjoy them together. However, my computers are strictly off limits or I will spend my entire day on them - it is just too easy to do, I have found. I do not restrict my phone either, but almost never use it on Sundays - although I have one friend that I try and touch base with once or twice a month on Sundays.

Fev 21, 8:42 am

Another day, another foundation guy. . .

Fev 21, 9:57 am

>218 alcottacre: Fingers crossed.

Fev 21, 3:38 pm

>219 humouress: We are supposed to have an estimate from him tomorrow. Then we can compare the estimates from the guy on Monday with the guy today and see how they shake out.

Thanks, Nina.

Fev 21, 3:46 pm

Finished this afternoon:

54 - My Darling Caroline by Adele Ashworth - Thirty odd years ago, every weekend my mother and I would go to a used bookstore and buy romance novels. When she and my father divorced, we had accumulated hundreds of them and guess who got them all? Yeah, I was the lucky one. I have dispensed with most of them, but this is one of those that I kept although I rarely, if ever, read romance novels these days. What set this one apart for me were a couple of things: in my romance-reading days, I always preferred historical romances, which this one is and secondly, this one has believable characters who are both interesting. Caroline is a bona fide genius but the problem, of course, is at that time women were only considered to be slightly higher than worms in the natural scheme of things. Brent is was an English agent used to spy on the French during the Napoleonic wars and when he comes back to Britain, finds that the cousin who was left in charge of the estate while he was gone, has lost parts of it that Brent wants back and, in order to get them, he is forced to marry Caroline. These two individuals are the basis of what is a very good love story - and a believable one (although there is an occasion of happenstance with which I take exception); Recommended (4 stars) Mine

Fev 21, 5:46 pm

I finished The Heart's Invisible Furies!! I have to sit on it a while before I write my review. Didn't love it quite as much as you (preferred The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - even though that one isn't exactly historically accurate), but it was still a solid read and I would be up for more by Boyne. : )

Fev 22, 1:48 am

Well, Stasia, I made my February book purchase today. My last read ( which I have yet to review) The Fox Wife, I enjoyed so much I had to purchase her first book, The Ghost Bride, which my library didn't have. When the library doesn't have a book, what's a person to do?

I'm thinking of try a technology free day on Sundays. I tried it Sunday evening and it was kind of freeing. It was like the " old days' where I just talked to people on the phone, read and watched TV. I think I will try it again. My sister does not own a cell phone, and there must be something freeing about that. I might send her an email and then phone a few days later because I've had no reply , and she says " oh , I was too busy to bother with the computer" . Good for her - though I wish I could text her.

Fev 22, 6:32 am

Hi Stasia, I hope your latest foundation quote is better than the first! That process can be so frustrating.

Fev 22, 7:34 am

>223 vancouverdeb: When the library doesn't have a book, what's a person to do? No idea! How could this happen? Isn't a library supposed to have every book we want to read? Lol

>224 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. We are supposed to get the quote today, so we will see.

Fev 22, 7:37 am

Sweet Thursday, Stasia. I hope those books are treating you fine. I am enjoying both I Have Some Questions For You & Fire Weather. I am finally getting to see Jack today. Yah!

Fev 22, 7:43 am

Finished this morning:

55 - How to Say Babylon by Safiya Sinclair - Nonfiction; This book should have come for multiple trigger warnings for me as it hit me in so many places. At least my father was not physically abuse me as Sinclair's was to her. She still had to deal with the psychological damage that he caused her from the emotional abuse he handed out to not only her but her brother and 2 sisters. He is a singer and a Rastafarian and his religion colored everything for him, including the way he dealt with his family. Her book is a moving memoir tribute to her family and the way they overcame the abuse he unthinkingly handed out to them. Kim and I were just talking about the way I survived yesterday and I told her I would not be here without my mother. Sinclair puts it this way: " I saw them - all the women who had put one foot in front of the other and pushed their hands into the dirt. Women who had survived. The women who made me."; Highly Recommended (4.5 stars) Mine

Mark was good enough to send this ARC to me and I would like to pay it forward. If you are interested in the book, please PM your address to me and I will send it your way. First come, first served.

Fev 22, 12:32 pm

Finished this morning:

56 - Strangers in Death by J.D. Robb - Audiobook; This is one of my favorite books in the series due to these lines: "You're a liar and I'm going to prove lt." Lieutenant Eve Dallas does not like Ava Anders from the start, but obviously cannot prove that the woman murdered her own husband because Eve just doesn't like her. Plus, Ava Anders was in St. Lucia when her husband, Tommy, was murdered so there is that too. Meanwhile, Baxter and Trueheart have a seemingly unsolvable murder on their hands as well; Recommended (4.25 stars) Mine

Fev 22, 8:53 pm

Here's the next readathon:

Fev 22, 9:27 pm

>229 SilverWolf28: Thank you, Silver. I am in again!

Fev 22, 9:40 pm

Finished tonight:

57 - Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution by Joel Richard Paul - Nonfiction; A mere 14 years after Suzanne recommended this book I have finally got around to reading it! Subtitle notwithstanding, most of the action in the book centers around Silas Deane, the poor beleagured merchant mentioned. His involvement in trying to get France to support the fledgling States in the American Revolution pretty much cost him everything - possibly including his own life as it is unclear as to whether he was murdered or not. The second hero mentioned, the playwright Beaumarchais, worked from France to drum up support while trying to recoup his wealth and status from the king. The third personage, the spy d'Eon, really had little to nothing to do with the Revolution although he/she was involved with Beaumarchais. Paul does a great job of telling the story and frankly, I had no idea there were so many spies operating during that time period!; Recommended (4 stars) Mine

"When one considers all the duplicity and corruption that characterized the times, one might wonder whether this was the dawn of the Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Deception?"

Fev 23, 12:56 pm

Hi Stasia and a very belated happy new thread.

Mostly skippety-skip-skip…

From your last thread, I’d already pretty much decided to use my first Audible selection for Yellowface, and am still inclined to do so for when I get home from surgery next Friday.

I’m sorry to read about your sister’s FiL passing, and the nieces and nephews losing both grandfathers in a year.

>1 alcottacre: I hope Kerry’s settling in nicely to retirement.

>8 alcottacre: I have actually liked the two Bill O’Reilly/Martin Dugard books that I’ve read. Killing England is on my shelves, waiting with 4 more.

>49 vancouverdeb: and >50 alcottacre: I’m empathizing with you both. Bill mostly watches/keeps TV as background noise and stays on the couch playing with his cell phone.

>59 alcottacre: I am hoping that once Kerry is home from Nacogdoches tomorrow he will settle into some kind of routine that does not involve quite as much TV. I had to accept the fact that Bill’s TV is to him as my books are to me and Jenna’s PS5 is to her. My only quibble is that he’s in the living room, which is the central room downstairs, and I can mostly hear the TV whenever it’s on, like now.

>71 quondame: I’m envious of Mike’s being willing to use headphones, Susan.

>96 alcottacre: Just ordered it, so I am officially all caught up on having the series, just need to read the most recent 5 waiting on my shelves. I’ve got a reprieve on #59 until September…

>131 alcottacre: Sorry about CFS rearing its ugly head.

>165 alcottacre: I haven’t read but three by Dickens, and this is my absolute favorite. I’ve started and abandoned three others, and right now he’s not even on my radar. In addition to loving the book, I also loved the 2005 mini-series.

>169 alcottacre: Poetry isn’t my jam either, but except for e.e. cummings, I prefer my poetry to rhyme. Larkin’s does that beautifully, at least from the one you posted.

>170 alcottacre: I hope the CFS is gone, too.

>225 alcottacre: I hope this quote is kinder to you than the last quote.

Fev 23, 3:21 pm

>231 alcottacre: "When one considers all the duplicity and corruption that characterized the times, one might wonder whether this was the dawn of the Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Deception?"

I quibble with the "or" because it was evidently *both* based on results.

Happy weekend, and still whammying for good foundation news. *smooch*

Fev 23, 3:31 pm

Just popping in to say Hi!

>227 alcottacre: Ooh, I can see how this one hit hard after our talk.
>228 alcottacre: Much more fun!!

Happy Friday. : )

Fev 23, 4:04 pm

>231 alcottacre: *ow*ow*ow*

You got me! Must read soon.

Fiend incarnate.

Fev 24, 12:42 pm

>232 karenmarie: Hey, Karen. Thanks for dropping by!

>233 richardderus: Thanks, RD. We did get good foundation news - and they will start on it March 4th.

>234 Berly: Hi, Kim!!

>235 richardderus: Good. It is about time I hit you instead of you hitting me, RD!

Fev 24, 12:44 pm

Good and bad news here: The good news is that we have signed a contract for much less money than our original quote, so our foundation is going to get fixed starting on March 4th. It is supposed to be done within a week.

Bad news: The CFS is back. I struggled with it all day yesterday and was in bed early (for me) last night. Enough said.

Fev 24, 12:50 pm

Sorry to hear that the CFS is back, Stasia. I'm glad that you have signed a contract for your foundation that is much less expensive than the original quote, and it will be done quite quickly.

Fev 24, 1:39 pm

>237 alcottacre:
I did the good news/bad news thing this week as well. Bad news was that I was felled by a pestilence and spent two days in bed. The good news was that I spent many waking hours reading and the rest of them sleeping. I got lots of good reading done, but I felt lousy. I am doing better today and am baking two King Cake's to take to a potluck tomorrow.

Fev 24, 4:11 pm

>208 alcottacre: Glad you enjoyed it Stasia. Me too on Braiding Sweetgrass

Fev 24, 4:27 pm

>237 alcottacre: Glad you got a better quote for your foundation troubles, Stasia.
Sorry about the CFS acting up...

Fev 24, 7:50 pm

>238 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deborah. I am crossing my fingers that things progress on the foundation as they are supposed to.

>239 benitastrnad: I am sorry to hear about the pestilence, Benita, but glad to hear that your waking hours were well spent! Hopefully the lousy feeling will leave completely soon.

>240 Caroline_McElwee: Maybe we should do a shared read of Braiding Sweetgrass, Caroline?

>241 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita!

Fev 24, 7:54 pm

Hooray for the good news on the foundation. Boo on the CFS. Hope you're able to bounce back from this latest bout soon and finish all the books you want to this month.

Fev 24, 7:58 pm

Finished tonight:

58 - The Six: The Untold Story of America's First Women Astronauts by Loren Grush - Nonfiction; When I was a child, we lived for a time in Florida and I was entranced with the idea of being an astronaut - we built our own model rockets and sent them soaring into the air and I loved that! Then we moved to Texas. End of building rockets etc, but I have never lost my fascination with space. Grush's book is an excellent look behind the scenes at how American women were finally given the opportunity to make it into space. The biggest ding on the book for me is giving the information about the women as they were growing up because their childhoods were very similar and there is only so much you can say about them. However, all of these women grew up to be successful in their own ways before they ever entered or were accepted for the space program. They had to overcome a lot of discrimination - some of which continued even after they were assigned to their space flights. The training was hard and took years and most of them got to go up into space more than once. One of them, Judy Resnik, paid for her service in the space program with her life, as she was one of the astronauts aboard the Challenger; Recommended (4.25 stars) Mine

Fev 24, 7:59 pm

Wishing you a stress free and tiredness abated weekend, Juana. xx

Fev 24, 8:13 pm

I am glad you were able to find a reasonable quote for the foundation work and that you will have it fixed soon. Hope the rest of your weekend goes well and that you begin to feel better.

Ontem, 1:35 am

>237 alcottacre: Yay!

Boo! Hoping the CFS doesn't stay too long. Is there any chance that you'll be able to get rid of it permanently at some point?

Ontem, 6:11 am

I'm glad the foundation quote was acceptable, Stasia. Really sorry about the CFS. Hope it clears up quickly.

Ontem, 8:55 am

>244 alcottacre: It sounds like a really good story, one I wish more attention got paid to. I am so sorry the current rush of developments about CFS and its origins are not turning into treatments yet.


Editado: Ontem, 9:02 am

>245 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. Fingers crossed. xx

>246 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita. I hope you have a lovely Sunday!

>247 humouress: Nina, to date, there is no known cure or even treatment for CFS to my knowledge. Doctors are not even sure what causes it.

>248 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. I hope the CFS goes quickly too!

>249 richardderus: You snuck in when I wasn't looking, RD. The Six is good and I hope you get a chance to read it at some point.

Ontem, 9:03 am

So today is my normal day off technology and I am hoping to get lots of reading (I want to finish at least 1 book today) and game playing done - and hopefully I will not need to take 3 naps like I did yesterday.

I wish everyone a lovely Sunday!

Ontem, 9:22 am

Happy Sunday, Stasia. Glad to hear the news about the contract, sad to hear about the returning CFS. Good luck with that, my friend.

How to Say Babylon is a tough read at times but I thought it was very well-written. Glad you got to it.

Ontem, 9:28 pm

>252 msf59: Thank you, Mark. I completely agree about How to Say Babylon.

Ontem, 9:33 pm

Finished tonight:

59 - The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut - Well, it has to be said - I just did not get this book. I enjoyed the set up of Winston Niles Rumfoord and his dog, Kazan, materializing every 59 days - and then going out into space. I thought it was neat that he could get Malachi Constant somewhat ready for what laid ahead in his future. And then the wheels came off for me. I know that the book is supposed to be a satire based on some of the reviews I have read, but I did not find it funny - my sense of humor is just not the same (I am really beginning to wonder if I actually have one!) and all I felt was stupid for not understanding. *sigh* This book is #18 on Esquire's 50 Best Sci Fi books and I have not got a clue why; Not Recommended (2 stars) Mine