Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Three

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

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

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2024

Entre no LibraryThing para poder publicar.

Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Three

Editado: Fev 22, 9:46 am

-Soren Martinsen (Danish artist)

"Barred Owls"-Elisabeth Sommerville (Canadian artist)

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

~ Henry David Thoreau

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

-Leaves of Grass- Whitman

Editado: Fev 2, 7:16 am

Editado: Fev 22, 9:50 am




1- The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan 3.6 stars GN
2- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez 3.8 stars
3- North Woods by Daniel Mason 4.5 stars (audio)
4- The Yard Dog: A Mystery by Sheldon Russell 3.7 stars
5- Heretic: A Memoir by Jeanna Kadlec 4 stars (audio)
6- All the Quiet Places by Brian Thomas Isaac 4.2 stars
7- Miles Davis and the Search for the Sound by Dave Chisholm 4.7 stars GN
8- Homeland of My Body: New and Selected Poems by Richard Blanco 4.6 stars P
9- The Thing with Feathers by Noah Strycker 3.6 stars
10- Sing, Wild Bird, Sing by Jacqueline O'Mahony 3.7 stars (audio)
11- Yellowface by R. F Kuang 4.6 stars
12- After the Plague: Stories by T.C. Boyle 4.3 stars


13- Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson 5 stars (audio)
14- Barnstormers: A Ballad of Love and Murder by Scott Snyder 4 stars GN
15- Trail of the Lost by Andrea Lankford 4.2 stars (audio)
16- The Bee Sting by Paul Murray 4 stars
17- The Leftover Woman by Jean Kwok 3.7 stars (audio)
18- The Turner House by Angela Flournoy 4 stars
19- Monica by Daniel Clowes 3.6 stars GN
20- The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing by Kevin Young 4 stars P

P: Poetry
GN: Graphic Novel
E: e-reader

Editado: Fev 22, 9:51 am

^ I have really enjoyed doing our shared reads in 2023 and I would like this to continue through 2024 and beyond. Primarily, I would like to read books off shelf, but I am still catching up with a few titles that I missed in the past year. I also would like to do a few rereads. I will list some titles and if you are interested, we will set a firm date.


The Bee Sting w/Judy, Linda, Ellen, Juli, Kim, Rhonda Feb
Martin Dressler by Steven Millhauser w/Kim, Linda P, Jeff, Bill March (Pulitzer winner)
The Sparrow reread w/Stasia, Donna? March
The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki w/Stasia, Laura April?
The Razor's Edge May w/Stasia, Jim
Summer by Ali Smith June w/Anita?
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle reread w/Joe, Linda L, Bill
The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason w/Ellen, Linda P, Stasia Aug?

Fev 2, 7:18 am

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

Tell me what it’s like to live without

curiosity, without awe. To sail

on clear water, rolling your eyes

at the kelp reefs swaying

beneath you, ignoring the flicker

of mermaid scales in the mist,

looking at the world and feeling

only boredom. To stand

on the precipice of some wild valley,

the eagles circling, a herd of caribou

booming below, and to yawn

with indifference. To discover

something primordial and holy.

To have the smell of the earth

welcome you to everywhere.

To take it all in and then,

to reach for your knife.

- by Matthew Olzmann

Editado: Fev 22, 9:53 am

Hello?? Great Horned Owl chicks.

Fev 2, 8:00 am

Morning, Mark, and happy new thread!

Caste has been on my list for a bit - I need to get round to it.

Boy-o that Jackson is just a delight, even just in photos. I'm so glad you share him with us!

Fev 2, 8:05 am

Happy new thread, Mark!

Sorry you weren't feeling well.
I had the similair two weeks ago, and still have some congestion left. Gladly all other symptoms are gone now.
Thanks for sharing all the lovely pictures on your previous thread.

Your toppers are both amazing.

Fev 2, 8:18 am

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

From your last thread, I love ‘Swifties rule the planet!!!”

>1 msf59: Excellent winter pics.

>2 msf59: Great pics of Jackson.

I've got a male Cardinal on the wild bird seed feeder, a Carolina Wren on the suet feeder, a Carolina Chickadee on the suet feeder, having chased off the Wren.. Now I've got a Tufted Titmouse hovering, and a female Cardinal on the wild bird seed feeder.

Fev 2, 10:08 am

Happy new thread, Mark!

Fev 2, 10:09 am

Hello Mark! How are you today?

Fev 2, 11:53 am

Love the toppers and hope you are feeling all better very soon Mark!

Fev 2, 12:25 pm

Howdy. I have been doing some reading, but really busy with funeral and all the afterwards stuff. Today I start writing the thank you notes. I have spent five days looking for my address book. Somehow in all the hubbub it disappeared and nobody knows where it went to. It is upsetting because my whole lifetime of friends etc., is in that book. I am sure that when everybody starts unpacking they will find it, but in the meantime I am lost without it. Phone numbers are gone (since nobody puts their phone number in a phone book anymore) and business numbers for all kinds of things. It is aggravating and upsetting. I have a few groceries to get today and soup to cook for a church soup dinner, so that will keep me busy and keep me from worrying the gnat of "WHERE IS IT!"

Fev 2, 1:35 pm

Happy New Thread, Mark! Great toppers as always and hope you're feeling a bit better today.

Editado: Fev 2, 2:29 pm

Happy new thread Mark!

>1 msf59: Now that's a topper! Wow!

>2 msf59: And the best ever smiles!

I hope you are feeling much better soon!

Editado: Fev 2, 2:38 pm

>7 scaifea: Thanks, Amber. Happy Friday. I cannot praise Caste high enough. Get to it sooner than later. Worked well on audio too. Hooray for Jackson!

>8 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. Getting a little better each day. I can't believe tomorrow will be a week.

>9 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. Happy Friday. Hooray for Swiftie & our little Jackson! I have not had a chance to check out my feeders much.

>10 katiekrug: >11 Owltherian: >12 mdoris: Thanks, Katie, Owl and Mary. Doing better. 🦉

Fev 2, 2:43 pm

>13 benitastrnad: Did your Mom pass, Benita? If so, this is the first mention of it that I have seen. I am so sorry for your loss. She is resting in peace now. Sorry, you can't find that darn address book. Any luck?

>14 kac522: Thanks, Kathy. Doing a bit better today. I am seeing some sunshine out there at the moment and it looks to be a warm, sunny weekend. We could USE it!!

>15 quondame: Thanks all around, Susan. Just missing my Jack today.

Fev 2, 2:44 pm

>16 msf59: your welcome!

Fev 2, 2:46 pm

Happy new thread, Mark! Hope you are feeling better and better. : )

Fev 2, 3:05 pm

Happy new thread Mark!

Best of luck to you dealing with Jackson cutting out his second nap but to my mind you were lucky that he kept up a second nap for as long as he did. My son cut his out in his first year.

If you are looking for DeltaQueen (Judy's) thread it is on the Category Challenge.

Fev 2, 4:14 pm

Happy new thread, Mark! The Jack pics are as cute as ever,

Fev 2, 4:34 pm

Hi Mark. I hope you are feeling better.

Fev 2, 5:07 pm

Happy new thread, Mark! I'm glad to hear you are feeling better, and hope you are back to full strength soon.

Fev 2, 6:45 pm

>18 Owltherian: Did you like my owls up there in my topper?

>19 Berly: Thanks, Kimmers. Making headway. It has been a grind.

>20 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. It looks like Jack is mostly taking his daytime naps when he is being driven around. It is always tricky that he doesn't nap late then it effects his bedtime. I found Judy!

>21 drneutron: Thanks, Jim. I am bummed that I didn't see Jack today.

>22 Whisper1: >23 atozgrl: Thanks, Linda & Irene. I am about 75-80% recovered so getting close.

Fev 2, 6:48 pm

Happy new thread, and great pictures!

Fev 2, 6:50 pm

Happy new one, Mark.

I will echo those who appreciate your thread toppers buddy.

Fev 2, 6:58 pm

>25 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda. Were you joining us on The Bee Sting?

>26 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. Enjoy your weekend.

Editado: Fev 2, 10:23 pm

Hi Mark, just to make it easier, I dropped by to leave you a link to my 2024 thread:

Fev 2, 7:44 pm

Happy new one! Glad you are feeling better!

Fev 2, 8:15 pm

>1 msf59: You know me, I love the owls!

>2 msf59: He is such a lovely boy! And growing up far too fast.

>4 msf59: My local library has a copy of The Winter Soldier, which I have not read, so I may join you in that one, if I may?

I am glad to hear that you are on the upswing. I hope that over the weekend you can fully recover.

Happy new thread! Have a wonderful weekend!

Fev 3, 7:48 am

Hi Mark, happy new thread. And lovely pictures.

Glad to hear you are feeling better.

I had some bug as well, and am doing better too. But my own Marc, my husband has caught it now, and is really feeling lousy.

I started The Bee Sting. Ah, poor Cass. Murray has me reading holding my breath for her, as things are not going well.

Fev 3, 7:56 am

>28 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy. I will be sure to drop by.

>29 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita.

>30 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia. Hooray for Jackson and the owls. I will put you down for The Winter Soldier. The more the merrier, right? The Bee Sting is off to a fine start.

>31 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella. Happy Saturday. I am hoping to put this cold/virus behind me. It has been hanging around for a week now. I hope your husband kicks it quickly. I am so glad you are also reading The Bee Sting. I am about 130 pages in. I am liking both Cass and PJ.

Fev 3, 8:14 am

Ode to a Dolly Parton Drag Queen

She lip-syncs “Hello God,” then “9 to 5.”
She struts. Or does she fly? Like the soul,
a rhinestone, she tells us, will never die.
She’s a blush-pink Bible. Patched together,
she’s a cosmic doll. Mirror of a mirror,
she winks, her face the only face. Anchors
of abundance, her breasts are the news—
more is more is more. A baptismal font,
a witch-walk down the last dirt road,
she’s hillbilly blood on a silk bandana. Marilyn
or Medusa? Caked lipstick on a flatbed truck.
She’s Styrofoam in a cowgirl case. Starlight
on a stage. She’s all eyeliner. She will not scare.
She’s the endless tease of her acrylic hair.

by Bruce Snider

Fev 3, 10:23 am

'Morning, Mark, and happy Saturday to you.

I hope you get to see Jackson this weekend, and I've got the usual suspects at my feeders this morning.

That's it.

Fev 3, 12:29 pm

Happy Saturday, Mark! Hope you're feeling better. Our feeders are busy this morning. After raining (in early Feb!) all night, it has finally switched to snow and the birds and squirrels are wet and hungry.

Fev 3, 5:28 pm

>17 msf59:
My mother died on January 17, right in the middle of that super cold and snow that we had. The funeral was January 25, and I had a house full of people here. The roads were a mess for the funeral because when the cold moved out the warm moved in. The snow melted and turned the roads to a muddy morass. The county dumped 10 loads of gravel on a half mile of road to the cemetery but we were able to get in and out without mishap. There were people from all over. I am getting cards from away and without the address book I have no way to get acknowledgements to them. After four days of looking for it, I decided I have to let it go. It will show up someday and in the meantime I will need to start over. As soon as I can get to a Barnes & Noble I will purchase a new Moleskins ring binder address book and start over.

The house was full of people and dogs for a week, and the entire week of January 21 through 27 and the weather was freezing fog for 6 days straight. I could handle the fog and the roads, but I am sure that somebody who was in the house moved the address book and it will take years to find it. I just hope that they didn't think it was junk and throw it out.

It is raining today and the snow is all gone from the yard, but the snow is still a foot deep in the shelter belt and the tall grass in the pasture outside the house. The roads were just beginning to dry out and be passable and now they have returned to being a muddy morass. I am cooking soup for the church soup lunch tomorrow and that is making the house a nice cozy place to be this afternoon. In about a half hour I will hit the books. I am reading some nice escapism epic fantasy. The Chorus of Dragons series. I am on book five Discord of Gods.

Editado: Fev 3, 6:53 pm

>36 benitastrnad: Sorry to hear about your Mother and all that you have gone through afterward.

Your devotion has been beautiful and inspiring.

Fev 3, 8:39 pm

Happy New Thread!

Fev 3, 10:13 pm

Happy new thread, Mark. Love the photo toppers; the ones of Jackson are, of course, particularly charming.

Fev 3, 11:23 pm

>32 msf59: Glad to hear that you are enjoying The Bee Sting thus far, Mark! I agree, the more the merrier when it comes to shared reads. I love the various points-of-view.

>36 benitastrnad: I am sorry to hear about your mother, Benita. I knew from comments that I had seen here in the group that there was a death in your family but I was not sure who the deceased was. In mid-January I was out of town and out of touch.

I hope you are feeling much better soon, Mark!

Fev 4, 1:03 am

I'm glad you are enjoying The Bee Sting so much, Mark and I hope you are feeling better. I hope you can soon see Jack. Wm and family flew out to Hong Kong for a week, so they are returning this weekend, but they weren't sure what day they would fly back, as they are flying stand- by. I'll look forward to seeing them.

Fev 4, 8:03 am

>34 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. Sorry, I never got back here yesterday, I was hanging out with Jack & Co. We had a good day together.

>35 Copperskye: Hi, Joanne. Thanks for checking in. Have you been seeing anything different or just the usual suspects?

>36 benitastrnad: Once again, I am sorry for your loss, Benita. It sounds you have had a busy 2 weeks. Fortunately, you were surrounded with family. What are your plans now? I am sure there is a lot to take care of.

Fev 4, 8:12 am

>38 SilverWolf28: Thanks, Silver. Good to see you stop by.

>39 bell7: Thanks, Mary. It doesn't look like I am tiring of sharing my pics with Jack. That will continue.

>40 alcottacre: Happy Sunday, Stasia. I am enjoying The Bee Sting. I got NO reading in yesterday. Got some catching up to do and I am feeling much better. Thanks.

>41 vancouverdeb: Happy Sunday, Deb. Yep, enjoying The Bee Sting and hope to read a nice chunk of it today. I got to spend the entire afternoon with Jack yesterday. Love this kid, despite his "stinker" moments. I hope WM and family return safely.

Editado: Fev 4, 10:04 am

Fev 4, 9:36 am

'Morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you. Glad you got your Jackson fix in yesterday, even if you had to share him.

>44 msf59: Sweet pic.

Normal bird visitors, and I need to fill the sunflower seed and suet feeders.

Fev 4, 9:52 am

Morning, Karen. Sue took that pic on Friday at the library. Absolutely nothing happening at my feeders at the moment.

Fev 4, 11:53 am

The goldfinch have found me, and I am swamped with them. I almost didn't recognize them in their nonbreeding plumage. I also had a chickadee yesterday for the first time. I was wondering where they were since they are the Maine state bird. My sister just returned from St. Lucia where she saw some interesting birds: the Antillean crested hummingbird, St. Lucia parrot, gray trembler, black finch, and bull warbler.

Fev 4, 1:19 pm

Happy new one, Mark! Hope you’re feeling tip top again.

Love all the Jackson pics. They made me smile.

>36 benitastrnad: So sorry to hear of your loss, Benita. My deepest condolences.

Editado: Fev 4, 4:55 pm

>47 labfs39: Hi, Lisa. Hooray for the return of the goldfinch. I NEED to stock up on some thistle. I have been out for awhile. Bad Mark. I am sure your sister loved St. Lucia. The birds sound amazing. Is she able to identify them herself. Is the bull warbler also known as the golden-cheeked warbler. I had not heard of the bull. I also had not heard of a gray trembler. Very nice bird. Reminds me of our brown thrasher.

-Gray Trembler

Fev 4, 4:56 pm

>48 Storeetllr: Thanks, Mary. I am nearly back to normal and seeing Jack gave me a boost.

Fev 4, 5:05 pm

Happy New Thread, Mark.

I got briefly distracted from the group read of The Bee Sting (the story is on my thread but the upshot is that I had to visit the local public library to get my borrowed e-copy to load onto my kindle and, in the meantime, I started another book). I have now DNFd the other book and will start The Bee Sting today!

Fev 4, 5:37 pm

Hi Mark, good to hear that you are feeling better and that you got to see Jackson! I have been struggling a little with Paul Murray's lack of punctuation but I am enjoying learning about this family. So far I would say that I enjoyed Skippy Dies a little more, but The Bee Sting is shaping up to be an excellent read. I am at abut the half way point in the book.

Fev 4, 5:42 pm

Hi Mark! You would be proud of us, Wendy and I signed up for a bird-watching class through Audubon, and today was our first class; at Sauvie's Island. Lots of cool birds.

Fev 4, 7:39 pm

>52 DeltaQueen50:
I hate it when authors don't use punctuation. Don't they know that the reason punctuation was invented was so that readers could use them as interpretive signals to help in understanding the authors intent?

Fev 4, 8:13 pm

>44 msf59: The echo'd grin on the first and the total involvement in the second are great captures!

Fev 4, 9:38 pm

>53 banjo123: That sounds like a great adventure Rhonda!

Fev 4, 9:53 pm

>49 msf59: My sister hired a guide and went on a three hour bird hike one morning, and that's where she saw most of the ones I listed.

Fev 5, 7:22 am

>51 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen. Looking forward to your thoughts on The Bee Sting. I am just over 200 pages in and enjoying it very much.

>52 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy. All good here. Glad you are buzzing along with The Bee Sting. I should be nearing the halfway point by tomorrow. Honestly, I didn't mind the lack of punctuation until Imelda's section and then it was very obvious. Still not bothering me a whole lot.

>53 banjo123: Hooray for your Audubon bird-watching class! Yes, I am proud of you both. Sounds like a great location too. I hope this really sparks your interest in our feathered friends.

>55 quondame: Nice observation, Susan. He LOVED his cupcake.

>57 labfs39: It sounds like an awesome birding hike. Does she keep an Ebird list? St. Lucia also sounds like a beautiful location.

Editado: Fev 5, 9:40 am

-Clay Bennett

Fev 5, 9:48 am

‘Morning, Mark! Yay for Trail Watch duties so you can enjoy being outdoors.

>49 msf59: You’re right, its profile is similar to a brown thrasher’s. We have thrashers here year round.

>59 msf59: Got that right. He’s evil.

Fev 5, 12:02 pm

>59 msf59: Lol! (It took me a minute, but then it's early here)

Editado: Fev 5, 12:35 pm

>59 msf59: LOL

Aloha Mark. I have one more week on Kauai and I plan to relish every moment.

I’m on page 103/16% of The Bee Sting and so far, so good. The lack of punctuation doesn’t bother me either. I’ve not yet gotten to an Imelda section so we’ll see how that rolls for me. I think lots of contemporary authors eschew punctuation. I’m not sure of their reasoning but I feel like it’s a fairly common practice.

ETA: bird report on my thread. :-)

Fev 5, 1:46 pm

>60 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. Trail Watch went well. It was nice being out and it was birdy too, which is always a bonus. Hooray for the brown thrashers. Glad you get to see them year-round.

>61 Copperskye: Yep, the evangelicals (GOD knows why!) still adore this repellent man.

>62 EBT1002: Aloha, Ellen. Enjoy that last week in paradise. Glad to hear you are moving right along with The Bee Sting and not being annoyed by the lack of punctuation. I will stop by soon...

Fev 5, 2:21 pm

>42 msf59: Mostly just our usual feathered friends. We had a few magpies on the suet last week and a couple starlings yesterday but neither stayed long, I'm happy to say. There were two very large raccoons under the feeders when I went to let Skye out the other night (thank goodness I put the lights on before I opened the slider!). Our squirrels do cleanup very well so I don't think there was much for them.

>44 msf59: Such a cutie!

Fev 5, 7:24 pm

>59 msf59: IJBOL

Love this one immoderately, Birddude.

Have a great rest of the week.

Fev 5, 10:13 pm

I’m on page 166/26% in The Bee Sting. Just finished the first (?) PJ section. I’ve got a bad feeling about this….

Fev 6, 7:13 am

>64 Copperskye: Other than the magpies we see many of the same backyard birds. We have not seen any racoons back there since we got Juno.

>65 richardderus: Glad I was able to assist putting a smile on your face, RD. We need that from time to time and it is especially nice to get it at the orange gasbag's expense.

>66 EBT1002: I am on page 280, fast approaching the halfway point. I agree the PJ section was building up to a troublesome conclusion. I really liked the Imelda section.

Fev 6, 7:38 am


For him
Must be
The shivering of
A great drum
Beaten with swift sticks
Then at the closing hour
The lights go out
And there is no music at all
And death becomes
An empty cabaret
And eternity an unblown saxophone
And yesterday
A glass of gin
Drunk long

-Langston Hughes From Poem-A-Day

Fev 6, 8:15 am

'Morning, Mark! Happy Tuesday to you.

>68 msf59: As you know, I'm not much into poetry, but I've always adored Langston Hughes. I came to appreciate him more when Jenna did a project on him in ... 4th?... grade.

I just had a Red-Bellied on the wild bird seed feeder, but I still need to fill all three feeders. I did get the bags with both kinds of seed into the house. I'll grab a suet cake from the pantry and take all three out to the front porch later this afternoon. I hope. *smile*

Fev 6, 8:45 am

Tuesday orisons, Mark. Another beautfiul day here, and I hurt all a cruel jest by old Stepmother Nature.

Fev 6, 9:39 am

Happy new thread!

Fev 6, 9:54 am

>44 msf59: I love that smile!

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Fev 6, 9:55 am

Hallo, how art thou Mark?

Fev 6, 10:03 am

>69 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Glad you like the Hughes poem. Nothing at all happening at my feeders. WTH?

>70 richardderus: Morning, RD. Some to hear about the pain. I hope some relief is on its way. Cloudy here at the moment, but will get up into the 40s.

>71 foggidawn: Thanks, Foggi!

>72 alcottacre: We all LOVE that smile, Stasia. Have a great day.

>73 Owltherian: I am very well, Lily. Thank you. Nice to see you making the rounds.

Fev 6, 10:05 am

I'm trying to get to everyone and ask, quite hard with all the threads.

Fev 6, 12:47 pm

>67 msf59: You are both way ahead of me in The Bee Sting I have just finished the (first?) Cass section. But you are wetting my curiosity.

Fev 6, 1:04 pm

Good morning, Mark.

I'm in the middle of the Imelda section. I can see what people mean about the lack of punctuation -- as in, no punctuation. It makes her section stream-of-consciousness and makes her voice distinctive from the voices of Cass and PJ. And it takes a bit more concentration. Once I figured out the critical role played by uppercase letters, it has been easier. Imelda's is not my favorite section but it's hard to say why. And I have a ways to go yet.

>76 EllaTim: I liked the PJ section you're about to start.

Fev 6, 1:19 pm

Hi Mark, how're you doing? Another nice day for us. After we got all the snow and frigid cold out of the way, it's been gorgeous out.

Editado: Fev 6, 1:57 pm

>75 Owltherian: It is tough to keep up around here, Lily. I will have been here 16 years this June and it never gets easy. Don't drive yourself crazy. Still the best place on the internet. 😁

>76 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. Reading at your own pace is exactly what I want in a shared read. We all try to be careful about spoilers. I am glad you are reading along.

>77 EBT1002: Aloha, Ellen. His use of capitalization is very helpful in the Imelda section. It will probably be my favorite section, mainly because so much is revealed here. Will it be Dickie's turn next? Honestly, he isn't that interesting. LOL.

>78 lindapanzo: I am doing fine, Linda. Thanks. Like you, I have been waiting for the sun and warmer temps. Nice to be back on the trails. Of course, more sunshine would be even lovelier but I don't want to push it.

How are things with you?

Fev 6, 2:05 pm

>79 msf59: I will try, in history we learned about Adolf Hitler and I apparently don't know how to spell Czechoslovakia on paper

Fev 6, 2:52 pm

Fev 6, 4:23 pm

>68 msf59: The structure of that poem fascinates me more than the content.

Fev 6, 5:58 pm

>80 Owltherian: Are you in high school? No worries, I wouldn't know how to spell Czechoslovakia either.

>81 Caroline_McElwee: Glad I made you chuckle, Caroline.

>82 quondame: I also really like the structure of the poem too, Susan.

Fev 6, 5:59 pm

>82 quondame: and >68 msf59:
I had actually skipped over the poem but your comment, Susan, made me scroll up and read it. Twice. I like it a lot.

Fev 6, 6:00 pm

>83 msf59: Yep, I'm a freshman in highschool.

Editado: Fev 8, 5:33 pm

^ I am currently at the 360 page mark in The Bee Sting, so just over halfway. I also started the 4th section featuring Dickie, so we see the story from his point of view. I am enjoying the book very much and curious to see where these various narratives go. Each of these characters have flaws so I am not sure which of the adults are a favorite. Of course, I am rooting for the kids- Cass & PJ.

How is everyone else coming along?

Fev 6, 6:07 pm

>84 EBT1002: You skipped over the poem? The nerve...

>85 Owltherian: I think you are the youngest visitor to grace my thread. I am honored. I hope you don't mind hanging out with the old folk. 🦉

Fev 6, 6:09 pm

Hehe, thats quite an achivement if i say so myself.

Fev 6, 6:46 pm

Take a deep bow, Lily.

Editado: Fev 6, 6:47 pm

-Arcadio Esquivel

Fev 6, 6:49 pm

*bows* Haha- i'm 14 almost 15 years old, and honestly its an achievement to be the youngest person on your thread

Fev 6, 7:18 pm

Are you following the exploits of Flaco, a Eurasian eagle-owl, in NYC? Flaco was imprisoned in the Central Park Zoo, until someone created an opening in the metal mesh of his cage. Although Flaco had been considered incapable of fending for itself outside the cage, the owl's been observed from a distance in the last year. He's demonstrated an ability to hunt for squirrels and other small animals for food. Here's a gift link to the most recent story from the New York Times.

Also, about group reads: In addition to Martin Dressler, I'm in for the Murakami. I'd go with The Razor's Edge, but I read it a few years ago, and that one reading has me sated. Someone was organizing a group read of The Known World. Do you know who it was?

Fev 6, 7:30 pm

Aren't the different characters fascinating in The Bee Sting, Mark? I just loved getting into the different characters head's and understanding their back stories and " where' they came from . A great read.

Fev 6, 10:13 pm

Hi Mark and fellow "Bee-Stingers". I totally agree with Deb above regarding the various characters. The author makes it difficult to remember that these are fictional characters not real people. I have quite strong opinions on each of the family members. I will probably finish the book tomorrow and I already know that this will be a book that I long remember!

Fev 7, 5:56 am

Hi Mark! Happy Wednesday to you.

>86 msf59: Yikes – quick scroll by. A bee is a bug. I do not like bugs, although I appreciate their importance.

>90 msf59: I do not recollect Arcadio coming to my house recently…

Too dark for the bird report.

Editado: Fev 7, 7:15 am

>92 weird_O: Hey, Bill. I have been following the Flaco story and it is a fine one. Thanks for sharing the link. I had never been able to read it all. Flaco seems to be striving in Manhattan. Wishing him the best, despite the dangers that lurk.

I will add you for the shared reads. I hope you can make them. I did see someone was doing a group read of The Known World but forgot who it was.

^Flaco. Eurasian Eagle Owl. Central Park. See Bill's link above^

Fev 7, 7:17 am

Ahhhh- i love owl pictures- especially baby ones, and honestly my favorite is a Tawny Frogmouth

Fev 7, 7:22 am

>93 vancouverdeb: I am in complete agreement with you, Deb. Curious to see where the rest of the story goes.

>94 DeltaQueen50: I am so glad to hear that you have been fully immersed in The Bee Sting, Judy. Hoping for a good outcome for this family. I think we picked a winner here.

>95 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Sorry about the "bug". I will try not to make a habit of sharing them. I do not like getting stung and I do get reactions from it but I nevertheless love bees.

No Arcadios here either. 😁

Fev 7, 1:04 pm

>83 msf59:
What's the matter with you two? Spelling Czechoslovakia is easy. It is Czech -o- slovakia. Czech is the name of the language spoken in the united kingdoms of Bohemia and Moravia and Slovakia. Slovakia is the name of a region from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. Each of those three (Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia) are three different countries that are the home territories of three different Slavic tribes. Bohemia and Moravia united back in the 1200's and Slovakia was added to the mix after the end of WWI when the Austro-Hungarian Empire was broken up. All this is something that people in my part of the US learned back in grade school because the majority of the residents around here have family names like Strnad. In general the Slavic tribes are a mixed up mess with the major European powers drawing boundaries willy-nilly after WWI and that still causes trouble today. The Bosnian War in the Balkans is an example of the most recent flair up, and some say that the current war in the Ukraine is another example of the post WWII mash-up.

Fev 7, 1:33 pm

>99 benitastrnad: Not everyone knows how to spell countries you know! I'm just learning this so i wouldn't ever know how to spell absolutely everything there is to learn.

Fev 7, 1:38 pm

>99 benitastrnad: You tell them, Benita!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, Mark!

Fev 7, 2:27 pm

>99 benitastrnad: What's the matter with you two? Don't hold back, Benita. Tell us what you really feel.

Fev 7, 2:41 pm

>102 weird_O:
Somebody had to say it for all of us Czech's in the U.S. Or as we say out here - Bohemians - and we aren't talking about the lifestyle. We are talking about the ethnicity. After all, life ain't easy for somebody with a name with four consonants in a row! At least it doesn't have an x in it.

Fev 7, 4:04 pm

>96 msf59: Sad that the poor fella will not have owlets. Maybe he can find a fellow traveler.

Wednesday orisons, Birddude.

Fev 7, 5:32 pm

So, I am going to be an outlier on The Bee Sting -- I didn't like it very much. In fact, if I hadn't been reading it with all of you it would have been a DNF. So, I'll keep my specific negative comments under wraps until more of you have finished and I look forward to your positive comments to help me appreciate this tome more. : )

Fev 7, 5:37 pm

Mark do you or any other LT birdwatchers watch the You Tube feed of Jackie and Shadow. They are eagles and are currently sitting on three eggs. There is a live feed by Friends of Big Bear Lake, and then shorter versions of highlights for each day. Currently they are almost buried in deep snow. It is amazing to watch (and addictive), and if you haven't already, I recommend you check it out.
I don't know how to do links, but if you go to You Tube and search for Jackie and Shadow, the films will come up.

Fev 7, 5:47 pm

>99 benitastrnad: "What's the matter with you two?" Sorry Ms. Strnad! We will try to do better. Should we write Czechoslovakia on the chalk board 50 times? You are getting an extra big apple before class tomorrow. 😁

>100 Owltherian: Like DUH!!

>101 alcottacre: Don't encourage her, Stasia. Having a fine Wednesday. I hope you are too.

>102 weird_O: We sure stirred up the Czechs/bohemians, Bill.

Editado: Fev 7, 5:59 pm

>104 richardderus: Of course, Flaco is looking for some female company but there are no Eurasian eagle owls to be found. According to the article, he might be able to make sexy times with a great horned owl but doesn't show any interest in that alternative.

>105 Berly: Nothing wrong with being an outlier, Kimmers. It will not affect our friendship, I promise. Clearly, this type of novel, including Skippy Dies is not for everyone, so I knew that going in. I should finish it on Saturday.

>106 arubabookwoman: Thanks, Deborah. I have followed different eagle cams in the past but cannot say for sure if I discovered Jackie & Shadow. I will seek them out.

Here is the YouTube link:

^They are currently snowed in.

Fev 7, 6:29 pm

>107 msf59: I don't even know how to spell definitely correctly first try *sad face* its really annoying when I'm trying though.

Editado: Fev 7, 6:37 pm

>109 Owltherian: No worries, Lily. At least we have spell check. Benita will call all of us out if we err, young and old. She is our resident hall monitor.

Fev 7, 6:38 pm

>108 msf59: Wow, that webcam of the eagles is the coolest. Poor things must be so cold!

Fev 7, 6:38 pm

>110 msf59: Ah, that makes more sense why is English so hardddd- maybe that's why i have a 0 rn lol.

Fev 7, 6:49 pm

>111 mdoris: Yep, Mary the weather there looks brutal. Those are dutiful parents.

>112 Owltherian: Good luck with that English, Lily.

Fev 7, 6:50 pm

>113 msf59: I am currently doing an overdue Romeo and Juliet essay that should have already been done

Fev 7, 6:51 pm

>92 weird_O: Good story. I feel a bit sorry for the owl though. No mates. Thanks for posting.

>108 msf59: Wow. Tough times out there!

Fev 8, 1:07 am

Hi Mark. By the time you read this, it may be Sweet Thursday.

I'm just at the halfway point of The Bee Sting. Today wasn't a very active reading day but involved walking, dolphin watching swimming, working on a jigsaw puzzle, staring at the ocean, etc.

Anyway, I am appreciating the novel but I'm not sure I'm liking it exactly. I'm still in the Imelda section and, although I have gotten the hang of the no-punctuation-absolutly-none-at-all voice, I'm not sure it was necessary. I'm thinking Paul Murray used this device to make her voice distinctive but I feel like he is a talented enough writer to have accomplished that without making the reader work so hard. And I don't mind working hard as a reader! So maybe I'm not entirely sure what I'm frustrated about in this section. It is good to be getting the back story.

I wholly agree that none of the adult characters are coming off entirely well but I'm rooting for Cass and especially PJ! I'm super curious to find out what happens.

Fev 8, 7:57 am

>114 Owltherian: I hope you got the essay done.

>115 EllaTim: Sweet Thursday, Ella. We just have to hope that Flaco has a relatively peaceful solo life.

>116 EBT1002: Hi, Ella. Sweet Thursday. Your description of your day sounds wonderful. Sorry, The Bee Sting isn't really speaking to you. Except for the over-length, I am enjoying it quite a bit. Maybe, you will enjoy the Dickie section more, it ties in better with the current story. I should get over the 500 page hump today.

Fev 8, 8:03 am

‘Morning, Mark, and sweet Thursday to you. I hope the spell of good weather coming your way allows for lots of outdoor time for you.

>99 benitastrnad: I’m fifth generation Czech-American, Benita. Bohemian, actually. My uncle used to drive my grandmother, his mother, nuts by making Bohemie jokes. My family settled in Iowa in the 1860s, near where dear Julia lived, actually.

>103 benitastrnad: I think Owltherian is quite young, Benita, so perhaps cutting her some slack would be a good thing.

Mark, I finally filled the bird feeders yesterday and the birds are happy. Just the usual suspects, although I did see a couple of Goldfinches yesterday.

Fev 8, 8:12 am

>107 msf59: Don't encourage her, Stasia.> Aw, why not?

Have a wonderful Jackson day today!

Fev 8, 8:21 am

>118 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Hooray for another Bohemian and filling the feeders. I agree, give Lily/Owl a break.

>119 alcottacre: Sweet Thursday, Stasia. Benita definitely needs no encouragement. 😁

Looking forward to seeing my little boy a little later.

Editado: Fev 8, 8:25 am

Asked for a Happy Memory of Her Father, She Recalls Wrigley Field

His drinking was different in sunshine,
as if it couldn’t be bad. Sudden, manic,
he swung into a laugh, bought me
two ice creams, said One for each hand.

Half the hot inning I licked Good Humor
running down wrists. My bird-mother
earlier, packing my pockets with sun block,
had hopped her warning: Be careful.

So, pinned between his knees, I held
his Old Style in both hands
while he streaked the sun block on my cheeks
and slurred My little Indian princess.

Home run: the hairy necks of the men in front
jumped up, thighs torn from gummy green bleachers
to join the violent scramble. Father
held me close and said Be careful,

be careful. But why should I be full of care
with his thick arm circling my shoulders,
with a high smiling sun, like a home run,
in the upper right-hand corner of the sky?

-Beth Ann Fennelly

Fev 8, 10:46 am

Happy Thursday, Mark! Hope all is well in your world

Fev 8, 10:59 am

Happy Thursday, Birddude! Hoping all remains well there, and waves from chilly sunny LongIsland.

Fev 8, 5:00 pm

Hi Mark, I finished The Bee Sting and have posted my thoughts on my thread. I tried not to put any spoilers in but you may want to avoid my thread until you are done with the book as I have been discussing it with some other LTers.

I think this was an excellent choice for a group read! Everyone seems to have a different opinion of the book.

Fev 8, 5:33 pm

>122 ChelleBearss: Sweet Thursday, Chelle. Good to see you. All good here, my friend.

>123 richardderus: Hey, RD. I had a fine Jackson Day. He was perfect. Unseasonably warm here but very windy.

>124 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. I will stop over once I finish the book, which will most likely be on Saturday. I am not surprised at all at the mixed response. It is one of those books.

Fev 8, 5:37 pm

^I just landed at the 500 page mark in The Bee Sting. I was beginning to warm up to Dickie as I made my way through his lengthy section but by the time I finished it, I was frustrated with his character again. These are definitely flawed people. We are back with Cass now, hoping for some relief from the pressure cooker.

Editado: Fev 9, 8:03 am

Trail of the Lost: The Relentless Search to Bring Home the Missing Hikers of the Pacific Crest Trail by Andrea Lankford 4.2 stars

Andrea Lankford was a park ranger and first responder, who lead many rescue missions, tracking down missing hikers through our National Parks. She left the force and became a nurse but was drawn back into the mysteries of several missing hikers that disappeared on the PCT, (Pacific Crest Trail). With bulldog determination, she begins to piece these stories together, discovering some disturbing revelations along the way. This true-adventure story is a marvel and it definitely helps that Lankford is also a gifted writer. She is a new hero of mine. Highly recommended.

These are some of Lankford's accompishments. Like I said she is a STUD:

"Andrea’s outdoor accomplishments include thru-hiking the entire 2,200 mile length of the Appalachian Trail, kayaking from Miami to Key West, cycling from Fairbanks to the Arctic Ocean, and being the first (with Beth Overton) to mountain bike the 800-mile Arizona Trail from Utah to Mexico."

Fev 9, 8:34 am

>127 msf59: ...but women are the weaker sex, the bile...sorry bible...says so. She took a mans accomplishments as her own, obviously.

/outraged sarcasm

Fev 9, 8:44 am

'Morning, Mark! Happy Friday to you.

I just had a gorgeous male Red-Bellied Woodpecker on the suet feeder. Now there's a White nuthatch on it. Otherwise, all the usual suspects.

Editado: Fev 9, 8:46 am

>128 richardderus: I agree completely, RD. Interesting that the majority of missing hikers are men, (yes, more men hike than women but regardless). Yes, women are tough but also much less reckless. They also face more danger, especially from the opposite sex. Most of these searchers in this book are women. I found that impressive.

>129 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I have peeked out at my feeders several times this AM and have seen nothing. With our warmer temps, they may be feeding elsewhere.

Fev 9, 9:11 am

Jackson Day!

Fev 9, 9:46 am

>127 msf59: - That sounds really good! Adding it to my list.

Editado: Fev 9, 10:36 am

>131 msf59: Cutiekins!

Trade ya cute for cute.

Fev 9, 11:19 am

>131 msf59: Looks like a fantastic day was had!

Fev 9, 11:26 am

>127 msf59: Interesting. (On the discussion of women the weaker sex, did you know more women are ultra-long distance Marathon runners?)

>131 msf59: Looks like a great day.

Fev 9, 11:59 am

>131 msf59: Wonderful pictures of Jackson! Just when you think it can't happen, he gets cuter!

Karen O

Fev 9, 1:54 pm

>133 richardderus: WOW! Gorgeous barn owl. What a shot!

>134 Storeetllr: It was a good day, Mary. Hoping for some more, later this afternoon. Fingers crossed.

>135 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. I am completely with you on the women front. It is hard to believe that it is 2024 and women are still be disparaged. A shame.

>136 klobrien2: Hi, Karen. Jack was in such a good mood yesterday, which sure helped. It sounds like Sue is having a tougher time today. Bummer.

Fev 9, 5:10 pm

>131 msf59: A man of many accomplishments, your Jackson!

Fev 9, 5:24 pm

>131 msf59: looks like Jackson day was a hit! Happy weekend

Fev 9, 8:39 pm

>131 msf59: Mark I thought the 4th picture would be you completely exhausted instead of cutie pie Jackson!

Fev 9, 9:23 pm

Sweet Jackson, Mark! What fabulous pictures! It looks like you both had a great day!

Fev 10, 7:54 am

>138 quondame: He certainly is, Susan. 😁❤️

>139 figsfromthistle: It was, Anita and we got a Part Deux too. No complaints here.

>140 mdoris: I never thought of that, Mary. That would have been perfect.

>141 vancouverdeb: Hooray for Sweet Jackson! Glad you like the pics, Deb.

Editado: Fev 10, 8:01 am

"The Leftover Woman finds two unforgettable women on a shocking collision course. Twisting and suspenseful and surprisingly poignant, it's a profound exploration of identity and belonging, motherhood and family. It is a story of two women in a divided city--separated by severe economic and cultural differences yet bound by a deep emotional connection to a child."

I never did read Kwok's Girl in Translation and I think I owned a copy at one point. Suzanne snagged me a copy of The Leftover Woman from ALA last summer. Recently, it also came up as an Audible Daily Deal so I decided to go with that format. I am an hour or so in and it is keeping my attention well enough.

Thoughts on Kwok?

Fev 10, 8:39 am

>143 msf59: I read an Early Reviewer copy of her debut novel Girl in Translation roughly fourteen years ago when it came out. I wrote an embarrassingly gushing review. I have yet to read anything else by her, however. I'll look forward to your impressions of The Leftover Woman.

Fev 10, 8:47 am

>144 labfs39: Well, that is good to know, Lisa. I think the mixed reviews on Girl in Translation kept me at bay. I may reconsider if I enjoy her new one.

Happy Saturday!

Fev 10, 9:30 am

'Morning, Mark. Happy Saturday to you. My bird feeders don't have any visitors right now, but there were a few sparrows and finches visiting earlier.

Fev 10, 2:12 pm

Happy weekend, Mark! Is there another Jackson visit on the horizon?

Fev 10, 5:37 pm

>146 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. My feeders have been pretty quiet too but I haven't been checking as much today.

>147 Storeetllr: Thanks, Mary. Happy Saturday. We are going to New Orleans next weekend, with Bree and Sean, (their first big getaway) so we won't see Jack for awhile. Fortunately, we clocked in some nice time with him the last couple of days.

Fev 10, 6:42 pm

Hey Mark, thought of you when I saw this article from the library:

Fev 10, 6:49 pm

>143 msf59:
I read Girl in Translation when it came out and I wasn't that impressed with it. It was good, but I didn't think it was on the same level as Min Jin Lee's work. I have two of her titles in my TBR list, Leftover Woman is one of the two. I have a copy of Searching for Sylvie Lee in my collection of books, so I should get back to her work and see if 10 years has made a difference in her writing and my reaction to it.

Fev 10, 6:49 pm

Woohoo! Two birds in the birdbath today. Firsts. I had taken the heater out because of the evaporation issue, but today reached 50 and the ice melted enough for two mourning doves to take a quick polar bear dip.

I also spent some time at my sister's today helping her with her Africa photos. She went to Tanzania five or six years ago. She got some incredible bird photos (despite the fact that she was new to using a big-kid camera and had serious lighting issues), including some beautiful bee eaters.

Fev 11, 7:43 am

>149 kac522: Happy Sunday, Kathy. Thanks for the link. Very thoughtful of you. Interesting titles on there. I have read/listened to Owls of the Eastern Ice. It was very good. I have What An Owl Knows in my stacks. Alfie and Me sounds like a fun one.

>150 benitastrnad: Thanks for chiming in on Kwok, Benita. I think the mixed response to Girl in Translation has kept me from reading it. Her latest is keeping my far.

>151 labfs39: Congrats on the birdbath sightings, Lisa. You should start seeing more activity there. I am jealous of your sister's trip to Tanzania. Sounds absolutely wonderful. I am sure there was a kaleidoscope of birds to watch and photograph.

Editado: Fev 11, 7:48 am

Editado: Fev 11, 8:33 am

The Bee Sting by Paul Murray 4 stars

The Bee Sting, aka- The Anatomy of a Family Breakdown. This hefty, sometimes exhausting novel takes a deep look at the Barnes clan, an affluent Irish family, where each of the four family members are heading toward a crisis. Each of the family has a turn telling their story, fleshing out their particular histories. It is difficult to sympathize with the parents, especially the father but I had a soft spot for both of the teenage children, hoping for a safe landing.
The larger sections of the book dragged in spots but the last 50-70 pages narrowed down considerably, hurtling toward an incredibly tense conclusion. Murray is a talented writer but he could use a bit of editing. Of course, this novel is not for everyone but I came down on the positive side and would cautiously recommend it.

*I really enjoyed doing a shared read of this one with Kim, Judy, Ellen and Ella.

**Thoughts on that ending? I am still puzzling it out. Please no spoilers.

***Anyone interested in a well-preserved copy of this one, PM me.

Fev 11, 8:44 am

'Morning, Mark! Happy Sunday to you.

That's a sweet pic of the boy and Juno.

Finches and sparrows are fighting for the food.

Fev 11, 8:55 am

Morning, Karen. We love that shot of Jack and Juno. He was petting her just a couple of minutes before I took the photo. Juno is actually jealous of the attention we rain on our little boy.

Fev 11, 3:33 pm

>153 msf59: This looks like a good time, at least for the two in the frame!

What is that wood thing off to the right of the console?

Fev 11, 4:03 pm

>157 quondame: Yep, they both were having a fine time. That is a wooden tray table rack on the side of the TV.

Fev 11, 4:08 pm

"The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house sees thirteen children get grown and gone—and some return; it sees the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit's East Side, and the loss of a father. Despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs, the house still stands. But now, as their powerful mother falls ill and loses her independence, the Turners might lose their family home..."

The Turner House made the rounds back in 2015 and I picked up a copy sometime after that. For some reason I never got to it. Well, thanks to this month's AlphaKit: F & E I decided to finally pluck it off shelf. I am 50 pages in and it is keeping me engaged. Anyone a fan of this novel?

It also fits in with Black History Month.

Fev 11, 4:52 pm

>158 msf59: I have a tendency to see everything from a fiber craft vp, but couldn't make that quite fit. Thanks!

Fev 11, 11:28 pm

>153 msf59: Great picture of Jack and Juno!

I finally got a good look at the redwing blackbird. I've seen it in our tray feeder which has the unshelled seed in it several times over the last two days. So we're definitely being visited by at least one of these birds.

Have a great week, Mark!

Fev 12, 7:22 am

>160 quondame: You have an interesting mind, Susan. We like that about you. 😁

>161 atozgrl: Hi, Irene. Glad you like the pic of my kids. Nice to hear about the red-wing sighting. They are definitely on an early migration here. I have seen and heard them, the last 3 times I have been out. I have also seen and heard sandhill cranes. Unusual for February.

Fev 12, 7:24 am

The Dead

The dead are always looking down on us, they say,
while we are putting on our shoes or making a sandwich,
they are looking down through the glass-bottom boats of heaven
as they row themselves slowly through eternity.

They watch the tops of our heads moving below on earth,
and when we lie down in a field or on a couch,
drugged perhaps by the hum of a warm afternoon,
they think we are looking back at them,

which makes them lift their oars and fall silent
and wait, like parents, for us to close our eyes.

-Billy Collins

From my current collection The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing

Fev 12, 7:40 am

‘Morning, Mark!

Just light, and the birds are here but it’s hard to distinguish species. I think there’s a Carolina Chickadee on the suet feeder.

Fev 12, 7:48 am

Morning, Karen. I just peeked out back too. No birdies, just a light frost. Hooray for the Carolina Chickadee!

Editado: Fev 12, 1:40 pm

>163 msf59: I went immediately to request The Art of Losing. Sounds like a perfect fit for me! I never go wrong with one of your picks. Thanks!

Karen O

Fev 12, 6:36 pm

This is a post from my thread. Mark requested that I post it here, too. :)

This is from Mary Doria Russell's FB page. This offer includes two of Ms Russell's original watercolor paintings at no extra charge if you order a copy of Epitaph from the link below.

"Personal favor to ask. If you liked Doc (or any of my novels), please give Epitaph a try. I'm afraid it's going to go out of print if the sales don't pick up. I got seriously ill during the book tour and had to cancel about half the events. I recovered, but the book never really got going. I'll ask Suzanne to put TWO paintings in each book. Link in comments."

“This continuation of the story begun in Doc is equally engaging. From a shroud of American West mythic bombast and misrepresentation, Russell creates compelling, realistic characters with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday shown to be both heroic and heatbreakingly human. Epitaph focuses on Josie Marcus, the love of Wyatt's life. Theirs is a grand romantic tale told in hardscrabble detail, and Russell even makes what could have been cardboard villains into fully realized characters, both flawed and sympathetic. A rip-roaring good yarn!”

Since she has changed her occupation from author to artist, she has been offering these water color paintings for a while now when you order any book. But here is a chance to get TWO of them - so I've ordered. I may order more for gifts once my copy of Epitaph arrives.

Editado: Fev 12, 6:42 pm

>166 klobrien2: Glad I got your attention with The Art of Losing, Karen. Like most collections, not everything worked for me but plenty of gems throughout.

>167 streamsong: Thanks, Janet. I am a big fan of MDR and we should support her any way we can.

Editado: Fev 12, 6:50 pm

"The Zone of Interest is a 2023 historical drama film written and directed by Jonathan Glazer, loosely based on the 2014 novel by Martin Amis. It stars Christian Friedel as the German Nazi commandant Rudolf Höss, who strives to build a dream life with his wife, Hedwig (Sandra Hüller), in a new home right next to the German Auschwitz concentration camp."

I went to see this film on Saturday. It is a remarkable achievement and one I highly recommend. It will be that one stick with me for a long time. I have not read the novel.

Editado: Fev 12, 7:02 pm

>167 streamsong: Thanks for posting. I ordered a copy. Love her!

P.S. Could you post this on my thread too? I'm at Or do I have your permission to cut and paste it? I'll attribute to you :-)

Fev 12, 7:10 pm

>127 msf59: Adding that one to the BlackHole. Thanks for the recommendation, Mark!

>131 msf59: Yay for Jackson Day!

>154 msf59: "Sometimes exhausting" Yeah, it was that at times, lol. I am still puzzling out the ending too. . .

Fev 12, 7:20 pm

>154 msf59: The Bee Sting The book was dark, so my imagination took the ending to a dark place. I think he winds up shooting one or both of his kids. I didn't much care for him as a character, but I wouldn't wish that on him. I just didn't see any redemption in this book, so I found the characters unlikeable and the book depressing. Sorry. But I look forward to another group read again, Mark. : )

Fev 12, 10:00 pm

I really loved The Bee Sting. I gave it 5 stars. The ending is ambiguous. Don't watch this short video on two theories about the ending it you don't want to see spoilers, but I found it really helped me understand the ending better.

That's going to be great getaway for all of you to New Orleans, but I bet you will all miss Jack too.

I stopped by to see my grands today, but they have fevers and coughs, so I just dropped off some Valentine Day loot for them. Sad face .

Fev 13, 1:05 am

>170 labfs39: Feel free to copy and paste since I did the same from her FB post.

Fev 13, 7:19 am

>171 alcottacre: Hi, Stasia. You might like Trail of the Lost. Glad you like the Jack & Juno pic. It looks like the ending of The Bee Sting is open for interpretation, although I can't see it ending well.

>172 Berly: I knew The Bee Sting would be divisive as I was reading along and I agree with you on your observations but in the end I still found it a worthy read. I am sure we will be doing more shared reads.

>173 vancouverdeb: I know you loved The Bee Sting, Deb and I align more with you than Kim. It is a tough book to grapple with. I will check out the video link. Thanks for sharing. Yep, looking forward to our New Orleans getaway. Sorry to hear the grands are sick. Tis the season, I guess.

Editado: Fev 13, 7:48 am

>173 vancouverdeb: That is an excellent video, Deb. I hope everyone gets a chance to check it out, once they are through with the novel. I will share it here again. The Bee Sting Ending:

Fev 13, 7:59 am

Morning, Mark! It blew up a helluva blizzard last night! A real snowstorm for the first time in ages.

I will stay indoors so it matters little to me. Sure looks pretty from the warm room out of the wind. Very happy that The Bee Sting worked for I can put it on my wishlist at the library. No sense taking risks when there is a canary down the coalmine ahead, right?

Fev 13, 9:28 am

Morning Mark! Hope your day is going great and you get lots read. Is your weather as balmy as ours? I actually want to go out for a long walk in this weather...without snowshoes. Though I actually do like snow in reasonable amounts.

Fev 13, 9:32 am

'Morning, Mark, and happy Tuesday to you! Enjoy your solo birding today.

I'm still quarantined but have continued to test negative for Covid. Jenna's still sick with it, but it's mostly like a severe cold right now.

No birds...

Fev 13, 12:45 pm

After I dropped off the MDR post, I had to go back and see everything I was missing. :)

I was disappointed when MDR announced that she had written her last book a few years ago and would be focusing on her painting. What a talented lady!

Wonderful Jackson photos as always!

Two BB's for me - although I missed the group read of The Bee Sting, I've added it to my hold list at the library.

The second one is >127 msf59: Trail of the Lost. Nope, she is not a STUD - she is a boss. Boss mares are respected (especially red mares). She sounds like a fascinating person and a fascinating subject just up my alley.

One of my current books is one of your recs: Funny Things: A Comic Strip Biography of Charles M. Schultz. This is so wonderful. I almost returned it to the library unread since it is officially overdue. I'm glad I didn't. It would have been a shame to miss out. Some things are worth a little library censure. :)

Fev 13, 2:15 pm

Ooh, New Orleans. Have a good time there, Mark. A tour I was on last year stopped there and we spent a few days but it wasn't nearly long enough.

I know you're not into mysteries much but I recently picked up an Ann Cleeves book, the first in a series that made me think of you. It's called A Bird in the Hand and the main characters (including the murderee) are birdwatchers. The book was first published in 1986 but the series is being rereleased.

>180 streamsong: Funny Things: A Comic Strip Biography of Charles M. Schulz looks like a good one, Janet.

Fev 13, 2:53 pm

>167 streamsong:
I can't help her out with this one. I purchased Epitaph by MDR back when it was published. I just finished reading the first book Doc in December and I didn't bring Epitaph to Kansas with me. However, I will be reading it as soon as I get back to Alabama. Doc was a winner and I expect Epitaph to be as well.

Editado: Fev 13, 3:06 pm

>173 vancouverdeb: Thanks for the video Deb. Still sticking with my guess at the ending. ; )

Fev 13, 3:05 pm

>177 richardderus: Hey, RD. I heard that a snowstorm was hitting the east coast. Well, it is still February, right? Yep, lots to chew on with The Bee Sting but as you can tell it is not for everybody.

>178 The_Hibernator: Hi, Rachel. All is good here. Jamming some reading in, before I pick up my "kids" from school. It is feeling a bit more like winter today but we have sure enjoyed a mild stretch, so no complaints here.

>179 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. I did have a decent solo bird outing but saw very few birds. For some reason, they were hunkered down today.

Fev 13, 3:10 pm

>180 streamsong: Hi, Janet. Thanks so much for sharing your MDR post. Like you, I was also heartbroken to learn that MDR retired from writing. She was so consistent and you never knew what to expect from her. I have read most of her books including Epitaph and I was fortunate enough to have met her an author event.

Hooray for Jackson and the BBs. I think you would really like Trail of the Lost and I will switch the term stud for BOSS. I appreciate you correcting me on it.

I am so glad you are enjoying Funny Things: A Comic Strip Biography. It was such a nice surprise.

Fev 13, 3:17 pm

>181 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. We went to New Orleans last March and we are going again. This time with some of our camping group and as a bonus, Bree and Sean, minus Jackson, are joining us too. I felt once was enough but it was hard to pass it up, with all these folks going.

I have still not read Ann Cleeves and this sounds like a fun series. I will watch for your thoughts. I still would like to get to Raven Black too.

>182 benitastrnad: Epitaph isn't nearly as good as Doc but I still think it is a good, solid read. Glad you are getting to it.

>183 Berly: I didn't think the video would change any minds but I sure enjoyed his deep comments on the book.

Fev 13, 3:19 pm

>186 msf59: Absolutely!

Fev 13, 6:32 pm

>187 Berly: We agree!! 😁❤️

Editado: Fev 13, 6:34 pm

^My other "kids". Two more in the backseat. 😁❤️

Fev 13, 6:35 pm

>189 msf59: Cuties!

Fev 13, 7:35 pm

>176 msf59: I'm so glad you appreciated the video for The Bee Sting. It really helped me settle my brain after I read the ending, and I decided I would chose the optimistic ending.

>189 msf59: What cuties, Mark! They are lucky to have you in their lives. You are such a nice guy! Just the best!

Fev 14, 7:26 am

>190 foggidawn: They certainly are, Foggi!

>191 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb. Even with that excellent video, I am still not sure how that ending landed. Lots to chew on there. I had forgot about that ominous opening sentence too.

Yep, I lucked out with these Kids Kab ninos.

Editado: Fev 14, 7:54 am

-Joe Heller

-Bill Bramhall

Fev 14, 9:18 am

‘Morning, Mark! Happy Wednesday to you.

>189 msf59: I love the pic of your other kids. Thanks for sharing.

>193 msf59: Sad, but true. I’m despondent over politics and am avoiding the news.

Fev 14, 9:53 am

Morning, Karen. Glad you like the kids pic. "I’m despondent over politics". I am with you on that one. It is going to be a depressing year in politics.

Fev 14, 4:21 pm

>173 vancouverdeb: >176 msf59: Thank you for posting the video about The Bee Sting. I appreciated his intelligent comments on the book--it would be interesting to be in a book group with him. I read the book last year, so not in the group read, and I loved it. As to the "ambiguous" ending I noted that while I hoped there was a "good" outcome, and I could believe that was how the the characters fared, I felt that in reality there was probably a bad outcome. Despite that, I still thought this was a great book.

Enjoy your NO trip. We lived there for 18 years, and I think fondly of it often--certainly a unique experience. Too Bad you just missed Marci Gras. We are hoping to go back in May for my 50th reunion Law School graduation, and my husband's 50th reunion Architecture School graduation.

Fev 14, 5:45 pm

>189 msf59: Looks like a great group of kids! I hope you have fun on your trip to New Orleans.

Fev 14, 5:46 pm

Hey uh Mark- do you have any ways to stop a panic attack?

Fev 14, 6:40 pm

>196 arubabookwoman: Hi, Deborah. Thanks for your comments on The Bee Sting and the accompanying video. I share your feelings about the hope of a positive outcome in the novel but also thinking the likelihood of a more downbeat one. This will be our second visit to NO in the last 12 years. You must have enjoyed it, if you stayed there for 18 years. I hope you make the reunions. That is awesome.

>197 atozgrl: Hi, Irene. Yep, I enjoy my other kids. They are all latin/Hispanic kids, so I practice my Espanol on them.

>198 Owltherian: Hi, Lily. I have never suffered a panic attack. Sorry, to hear you are experiencing them.

Fev 14, 6:44 pm

Woo hoo! Enjoy the Big Easy, Mark! Have some shrimp and grits for me :0)

Fev 14, 6:53 pm

>200 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. There will lots and lots of eating and of course plenty of libations. 😁

Fev 14, 7:23 pm

>199 msf59: I'm being harassed and about to have another one so that's just greattttt- and its by someone who has been banned 3 times too...

Fev 14, 7:46 pm

>202 Owltherian: Are you talking about at school or here on LT?

Fev 14, 7:46 pm

Fev 14, 7:54 pm

>204 Owltherian: Wow! That is pretty sad and a bit surprising. We have had very few issues on LT the past few years. Have you reached out to the higher ups? You could start with Jim, (drneutron). I am sure he could give you some guidance.

Fev 14, 7:55 pm

>205 msf59: Yeah..Its not in this group its in a group called Any RP and their username is wolfiewolfiewolfie and i have been able to get them banned 3 times but they keep coming back

Editado: Fev 14, 8:02 pm

"A successful film professor and podcaster, Bodie Kane is content to forget her past—the family tragedy that marred her adolescence, her four largely miserable years at a New Hampshire boarding school, and the murder of her former roommate, Thalia Keith, in the spring of their senior year. Though the circumstances surrounding Thalia's death and the conviction of the school's athletic trainer, Omar Evans, are hotly debated online, Bodie prefers—needs—to let sleeping dogs lie..."

Like many of us here, I was floored by The Great Believers, which was a top read for me in 2019. I Have Some Questions for You has been out for nearly a year and I still haven't gotten to it. Well, that is about to change, as I will start it tomorrow on the plane to NO. Joe is also currently reading it and giving it high marks.

Thoughts on Makkai?

Fev 14, 8:03 pm

>206 Owltherian: I think it might be a good idea to flee that group. It sounds toxic. Who needs that?

Fev 14, 8:05 pm

>208 msf59: Yeah, im telling the admins about them making more accounts and the harassment now

Fev 15, 1:54 am

Mark--Have fun on your trip!!

Fev 15, 5:03 am

Happy Thursday, Mark!
Still no sign of a possible Dutch translation of The Bee Sting, I keep hoping!
>207 msf59: I also loved The great Believers and hope to get to I Have Some Questions for You when my reading is back in shape.

BTW Did we ever set a date to Ali Smith's Spring?

Fev 15, 6:32 am

>209 Owltherian: Good luck with all that, Lily. What a hassle.

>210 Berly: Thanks, Kimmers. It should be a good time.

>211 FAMeulstee: Sweet Thursday, Anita. Looking forward to starting I Have Some Questions for You. How about June for Spring?

Fev 15, 6:38 am

We are off to New Orleans for a long weekend. There are 6 couples going, including Bree & Sean. Their first big getaway without dear Jackson. We will all miss him. I know we just went to NOLA last year and I wasn't itchin' to return but that was what the group voted on. Our group likes doing non-camping events too. I see lots and lots eating and drinking in our near future.

We will back on Monday! Au Revoir!!

Fev 15, 6:38 am

>212 msf59: Sent the email stating all their old accs and their new now so hopefully they see it soon.

Editado: Fev 15, 7:02 am

>212 msf59: Reading Spring in June sounds good to me, Mark.
Enjoy New Orleans!

Fev 15, 8:38 am

Finished Prophet Song last night - what a powerful book! Especially given what's happening all over the world these days. Thanks for sending it to me.

Fev 15, 10:32 am

>213 msf59: Have a great trip!

Fev 15, 11:05 am

Hi Mark. I really liked I Have Some Questions for You. And I’m adding Trail of the Lost to my list. It sounds terrific.

I’m scanning through for the link to the piece about the ending of The Bee Sting. Once I’ve read that I’ll come back with comments. I ended up liking The Bee Sting although I still think he overdid it with Imelda. Despite his (unnecessary and pretentious, imo) use of the no-punctuation device for her voice, she was the least cohesive character for me. She never “came to life.” But it’s a notable achievement of a novel. He certainly took dysfunctional family drama to a whole new level. Haha!

Fev 15, 11:55 am

Have a great trip, Mark. I've been to NOLA three times and that was enough for me :) The Wayne really wants to go back (he's only been once) but so far I have successfully resisted.

I hope you enjoy I Have Some Questions For You. I thought it was a terrific read, with lots to chew on. It was my first novel by Makkai, despite having others in the stacks. I went on to read The Borrower last year and loved that one, too. I'm hoping to get to The Great Believers this year.

Fev 15, 3:20 pm

>172 Berly: What you said in your spoiler about the father and the kids is how I took it too, Kim.

>193 msf59: Yeah, not much of a choice, is it?

>207 msf59: I read that book late last year and ended up giving it 4 stars. I hope you enjoy it, Mark - and have a wonderful trip to NO!

Fev 15, 8:08 pm

>213 msf59: Have fun!

Editado: Fev 17, 9:06 am

Greetings from NOLA. Having a grand time with the group. Bree and Sean seem to be really enjoying themselves. The weather could be better. Temps aren't bad- low 60s but there was a light rain falling off and on all day yesterday. Despite that we took a nice walk to City Park and strolled a portion of the massive grounds there. I was able to get some birding in too. Later on, we took a ghost tour through the French Quarter, which was meh. Of course, food and drink are being continuously consumed.
Today, some of us, mostly the guys, are touring the World War II museum, which I did not get to do last year. That will take up a big chunk of the day. We will meet up with the ladies in the French Quarter later on.

Now, I will try to sneak in some reading before the rest of the gang comes down.

Fev 17, 5:27 pm

Love NOLA! Have a fabulous time. (Sounds like you are!)

Fev 18, 7:46 am

>131 msf59: Glad he had a great day. >153 msf59: Awww.

>194 karenmarie: Ha. Love it.

>213 msf59: I hope you have a great time Mark.

Fev 18, 12:37 pm

>222 msf59: My son who visited last year said the WW II Museum was fantastic. Off course it was opened well after our time there so I've never been. Hope you enjoyed it!
Our last 3 years in NO we lived basically across the street from the top of City Park. It was a part of the park that really wasn't accessible, and was kind of wild. We lived between City Park and the Lake. I love the ancient oaks in City Park.

Fev 18, 7:21 pm

>222 msf59: Hi Mark. Sorry about the rain in New Orleans. I hope the birds weren't hiding from you! My son and family were there last fall and really enjoyed the WWII Museum--even 10-year-old Hope. The only time I was there was when we took our kiddos to The World's Fair...sometime in the last century. ;-)

Fev 18, 10:21 pm

>222 msf59: NOLA is on my bucket list! The WWII Museum is top priority while there. Anxious to read your review.

Fev 18, 10:31 pm

The Wayne loved the WWII museum when we were in NOLA together. I didn't get to go, as I was working :-/

Fev 18, 10:38 pm

I love the photos of your little guy! Regarding New Orleans, I took three various groups of students for yearbooks conferences. I admit feeling nervous every time. It is a tourist town with thinly valed danger. Two years after Hurrican Katrina our hotel carpet still was damp. I came home with an sore throat that wouldn't go away.

College kids and New Orleans made me feel like it was time to get them on a plane and get the heck out of there. The alcohol flowed freely. There was a drink called the Hurricane! The students loved it.

Having said that, there was/is a lot of charm.

Al good wishes.

Fev 18, 10:43 pm

Hi Mark, I see that you are in New Orleans right now and I sure hope you are having a wonderful time. You will have to fill us in on all your activities when you get back!

Fev 19, 1:09 am

Just checking and keeping your thread warm while you are away.

Fev 19, 8:36 am

‘Morning, Mark!

>222 msf59: I hope the WWII Museum is as awe-inspiring and impressive as the WWI Museum. If so, you could probably stay there days instead of hours.

>224 Caroline_McElwee: Hi Caroline. I’m still despondent, still avoiding the news. Heck. I play the NYT Mini Crossword (because I absolutely cannot manage the REAL one), and to get to it I scroll without looking past ALL the headlines. I occasionally read one, but haven’t opened any articles recently.

I was in NOLA in 1987 on a business trip with my boss. We flew in the day of Black Monday. Ate a lot of great food and kept being amused by my boss settling for chicken because he was an Orthodox Jew and then grumbling about his meal. My guardian angel was watching over me because I walked around the French Quarter a bit by myself one of the afternoons we were there, got lost pretty far out somehow, and had to call for a cab. I still have my Hurricane glass from Pat O’Brien’s, where I got happily slammed.

Safe travels home.

All the usual suspects on my feeders, and I need to fill ‘em all today.

Fev 19, 8:51 am

Monday orisons, Birddude. I feel sure the zoo there has a few of these, but they do not look like this in the flesh very long....

Fev 19, 9:01 am

Thanks for all of the nice posts, everyone. It looks like we will be returning to Chicago to warm up. It has been a chilly couple of days in NOLA. Of course it will be 70F here later in the week. We will be home later this afternoon.

Fev 19, 10:57 am

>234 msf59: My parents visited us when we lived in a NOLA suburb as newlyweds. It was Thanksgiving, and my father (who grew up and lived all of his life in NE Pennsylvania) swore he'd never been so cold in his life! The damp penetrates when it's chilly down there, no?

Fev 19, 5:15 pm

If you were at the City Park (not Audubon Park) you were right across the street from some of the best food in NOLA. That would be Ralph's On the Park. Terrific food and a great view out the front windows to the old Live Oaks in that park. Ralph's also has great cocktails. It is one of the Brennon family restaurants and is owned by Ralph Brennon. Every time I go to NOLA I eat there and just love the old New Orleans vibe and of course - the food.

Fev 19, 5:45 pm

Welcome home once you get there!

Fev 19, 6:35 pm

^Bourbon Street, baby!!

We are home. Had a fine time and Bree and Sean had a blast with the gang. A perfect getaway for them. I visited NOLA twice in 2 years. I see no need to go back.

Fev 19, 6:36 pm

That seems really fun Mark!

Editado: Fev 19, 6:58 pm

>216 drneutron: I am so glad Prophet Song was a hit for you, Jim. Not an easy read but he sure sent a powerful message.

>217 richardderus: >233 richardderus: We had a good time, RD. Thanks for sharing the roseate spoonbill. They are awesome birds.

>218 EBT1002: >237 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen. I am about 1/3 of the way through I Have Some Questions for You. Not much reading got done over the weekend. I am enjoying it. Thanks for your comments on The Bee sting. Looking forward to your final thoughts.

>219 katiekrug: >228 katiekrug: Hi, Katie. Twice is enough for me for NOLA. Plenty of other places I still NEED to visit. Yep, having a good time with I Have Some Questions for You. Maybe I can get to The Borrower later this year. I have it on shelf. The World War II Museum was awesome but not sure it would be worth going back again just for that.

>220 alcottacre: Hi, Stasia. Having a good time with I Have Some Questions for You.

>221 figsfromthistle: We certainly did, Anita. Thanks.

Editado: Fev 19, 7:02 pm

>223 Storeetllr: >224 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Mary & Caroline.

>225 arubabookwoman: Visiting the World War II Museum was a definite highlight, Deborah. I also got to visit City Park on this trip, but we only had time to walk around the first section, around the Museum of Art and the Statue Garden. Absolutely lovely. I am sure it was awesome to live near there. I wish I could have done more birding there.

>226 Donna828: Hi, Donna. It not only rained but it was downright chilly too. I didn't have warm enough clothes. Lots and lots of crows hanging around but did not see many other birds until we visited City Park and that was a bird haven.

>227 Tess_W: I hope you can make it to NOLA, Tess. It is well worth visiting, at least once.

>229 Whisper1: Thanks for sharing your thoughts on NOLA, Linda. I did not have a Hurricane on this trip but several of my friends sure enjoyed them. Strong drink.

>230 DeltaQueen50: >231 vancouverdeb: Hello to my Canadian friends! Thanks for visiting. I hope to get back on track tomorrow.

Editado: Fev 19, 7:06 pm

^We sure missed this little guy. Sean's Mom took this photo over the weekend. He was a good boy. He is in the loving arms of his parents right now. ❤️

Fev 19, 7:31 pm

Glad to hear it was a good trip, Mark!

Fev 19, 9:47 pm

>242 msf59: What a child oriented place for Jackson to spend time. It looks like he was kept well amused!

Fev 20, 7:18 am

>232 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. The WWII Museum was very impressive. Thanks for sharing your NOLA experience. We did stop at Pat O' Briens. Great bar. Others had Hurricanes but I had a couple Mint Juleps that were mighty tasty too. I will have to tend to my feeders today too.

>235 laytonwoman3rd: Hi, Linda. Thanks for sharing your NOLA story. Yes, we found it downright chilly or at least 2 days of the visit. It didn't help I was under-dressed.

>236 benitastrnad: A group of us walked to City Park from our lodging but we only explored the lower section, near the Big Lake, the Art Museum and the Statue Garden. Beautiful park. Sorry we missed Ralphs.

>239 Owltherian: It certainly was, Lily.

>244 quondame: I believe the Jackson photo was taken at Sean's brother's house. He has 2 young boys, so they have all the cool kid's stuff.

Editado: Fev 20, 7:22 am

^Twinsies. Sean bought us matching parrot shirts for the trip.

Fev 20, 7:28 am

'Morning, Mark, and happy Tuesday to you!

Glad the trip was fun, glad you're back.

>246 msf59: I love the shirts and you guys look happy.

I had a White-Breasted Nuthatch on the suet feeder the other day and a Downy on it just now. One finch only, otherwise.

Fev 20, 7:38 am

Morning, Karen. Nice to be back in my usual routine. We liked showing off our shirts but they were mostly covered up with outer-layers while we were walking around outdoors. Good times.

My feeders are empty so nothing happening here.

Fev 20, 7:55 am

I remember taking a big trip like that, going to Gatlinburg and Washington D.C. Both trips were super fun.

Fev 20, 8:41 am

Welcome home! You will get your Jackson time this week, right?

Fev 20, 6:04 pm

>249 Owltherian: I have been to both places. I also enjoyed them both, Lily.

>250 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. Sue spent today with Jackson. I get my turn on Friday but I may slip over there to see him beforehand.

Fev 20, 6:08 pm

>251 msf59: I got poked in the torso during my trip to Washington D.C. which made it a bit less fun but at least i spent a week out of school.

Editado: Fev 20, 6:11 pm

"A stunning account of a colossal wildfire that collided with a city and a panoramic exploration of the rapidly changing relationship between fire and humankind...With masterly prose and a cinematic eye, Vaillant takes us on a riveting journey through the intertwined histories of North America’s oil industry and the birth of climate science..."

I am glad I am getting to the award-winning Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World. Vaillant got my attention in 2011, with The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival which was excellent. I still want to read The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed. I started the audio of Fire Weather today and he hooked me immediately.

Editado: Fev 20, 6:12 pm

>252 Owltherian: Torso pokes are no fun at all. Glad you bounced back.

Fev 20, 6:13 pm

>254 msf59: Yeah, it made me very uncomfortable because it was someone who bullied me and they did it randomly when i kept asking them what they wanted because they kept poking my shoulder.

Editado: Fev 20, 6:20 pm

^Tough news: Last Tuesday, Sue was laid-off her job. It was sudden but Sue had a feeling it might happen. She will get paid for 2 weeks and can file for unemployment. We can manage okay for now but she is starting to look for another part-time job. The upside- she got to spend a full day with Jack today and will do the same tomorrow. Making the best of it...

Fev 20, 6:25 pm

>256 msf59: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Looking for work is such a drain and financial worries are not helpful.

Fev 20, 7:06 pm

>256 msf59: So sorry to hear it! Hope she can find something else soon.

Fev 20, 8:31 pm

Ouch! Did she know this news before your trip? I do hope something comes up quickly for her, and that it works out ok.

Fev 21, 12:17 am

Welcome home, Mark, what a shame about Sue's job. Fingers crossed that something even better comes along!

Fev 21, 6:20 am

Hi Mark, just catching up on your NOLA trip (fun, but twice is enough -- I get that) and Sue's job (what a bummer). I hope she finds another position soon. Hope the birds and books are treating you well.

Fev 21, 7:23 am

>257 quondame: >258 foggidawn: Thanks, Susan & Foggi. We will work it out.

>259 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. Sue found out on Tuesday, so before the trip. Fortunately, it didn't bother her much and the friends and distractions were a big help. Jack is comforting her this week.

>260 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy. Knowing Sue, she will find something soon.

>261 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. Sue is resourceful, so no worries there. I got out birding yesterday, so all good on that front.

Editado: Fev 21, 7:48 am

I finally located, (with help of course) a Mama GHO sitting on a nest. She was very well-camoflauged, as you can see. Funny, while I was studying my photo I noticed that there is a chick on Mama's right, just peeking out. There were reports that there are 2 chicks in the nest but it is a tight spot. Fortunately, I was the only one there at that time and I was gone in less than 10 minutes. I could not locate Papa, who is usually standing watch somewhere close.

^From another angle.

Fev 21, 7:49 am

Ahhhhh- those owl pics are sooooo cute!

Editado: Fev 21, 8:26 am

>253 msf59: That is one that I would really like to read. Unfortunately my local library does not have any of his books. I will keep looking though. . .

>256 msf59: Sorry to hear about Sue's job. I hope she can find another PT position soon. Glad to hear she is not suffering with Jackson around :)

>263 msf59: You know me - I love the owls!

Glad to have you back, Mark!!

Editado: Fev 21, 8:57 am

'Morning, Mark! Happy Wednesday to you.

>253 msf59: I read Janet’s review of this book. It sounds fascinating.

>256 msf59: Oh my, I’m so sorry Sue got laid off. Unemployment for sure, and I hope she finds something soon. Upside Jack days are a silver lining.

>263 msf59: Ah, your own personal I Spy. Excellent photos!!

Fev 21, 9:12 am

>263 msf59: How cool! They are really, really hard to spot in person if the photos are any guide...I can barely tell they are there in the still images they are so well camouflaged.

Stinks about Sue getting laid off, but...managing will happen. Resilience я your family for sure.

Fev 21, 9:16 am

So sorry to hear about Sue's job, and I hope she's able to find a new one soon.

>263 msf59: Great pics! The only owl I've seen remains a barred owl, which I heard last night while dog walking.

Fev 21, 9:53 am

>264 Owltherian: Glad you like the owl pics. I hope I get more opportunities.

>265 alcottacre: Morning, Stasia and thanks. At least Sue is enjoying her extra time with Jack. Fire Weather has been very good and I think you would also like The Tiger. I hope you can track them down.

>266 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Sue wasn't completely happy with that job anyway, despite the decent pay so maybe she will find something better. Hooray for the owls!

>267 richardderus: Owls have nested in this spot for a number of years so the location is known, otherwise you could easily walk right by. Thanks, in regard to Sue. She will bounce back.

>268 bell7: Thanks, Mary. We do too. This is my first GHO sighting in many months, despite roaming the woods regularly.

Fev 21, 10:08 am

It's good to see you are back where you belong and that Jack survived your absence. Sorry to hear that Sue's employment abandoned her. Not nice. Enjoy your reading time.

Fev 21, 10:50 am

>269 msf59: I love any pics of animals, especially owls

Fev 21, 11:48 am

Aw, nuts...sorry to hear about Sue's job. Been there, had that done to me. It CAN be a blessing in disguise. Hope a great new opportunity is right around the corner.

Fev 21, 12:59 pm

>256 msf59: Awww, Mark, sorry to hear about Sue's job. Keeping my fingers crossed that she can find something even better.

Can't remember but are you a fan of Erik Larson's nonfiction books? He's got a new one coming out in late April, about the days between Lincoln's election and the start of the Civil War. Title is The Demon of Unrest. Naturally, I'll snap that one up. Sounds interesting.

Fev 21, 1:00 pm

>246 msf59: I'm watching the current season of "Life and Beth" and one of the filming sites was New Orleans. There was a cameo of a busker, and it turns out it was Jimmy Buffet! His last film appearance before his death. That's what I call an Easter Egg of the highest order.

Welcome back!

Karen O

Fev 21, 1:23 pm

Mark - Thank you for all the photos!

Good luck on Job Search - maybe consulting online?

A few Cranes have flown past to the Northeast
and the usual sweet little singing birds
were joined this morning by our rather large and fat female Groundhog VERY
rapidly gathering long brown grasses and taking them to her nest under the downed silo.

Lots of fun to watch.

Editado: Fev 21, 2:46 pm

>270 weird_O: Howdy, Bill. Good to see you. I should see Jack very soon. Bree is dropping him off here. That will keep Sue's mind off of things.

>271 Owltherian: I plan on sharing more animal pics, Lily.

>272 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks for your kind comments, Linda. We will figure it out.

>273 lindapanzo: Thanks, Linda. I am hoping Sue finds something better too. I am a big fan of Mr. Larson and also looking forward to his latest. He has been on such a nice roll. Speaking of Lincoln & the Civil War- have you read Team of Rivals? It is a terrific read.

>274 klobrien2: Thanks, Karen. I have never watched "Life and Beth". Any good?

>275 m.belljackson: You are welcome, Marianne. I love sharing the pics. Sue will jump on all the job sites. Hooray for cranes and groundhogs!

Fev 21, 2:43 pm

>276 msf59: Yay, i cant wait to see them!

Editado: Fev 21, 2:52 pm

^Another place I can recommend on a visit to NOLA, is the Sazerac House. A gorgeous building and distillery, on Canal St. It offers a very nice complimentary tour, with drink samples. FYI for bourbon lovers- Sazerac owns Buffalo Trace Distillery, one of our favorites.

Fev 21, 3:08 pm

>276 msf59: Yes, I've read Team of Rivals. Probably 10+ years ago? I feel like I've missed a few of his books and will have to go back and fill in the gaps.

Between the new Amour Towles on April 2 and the new Erik Larson on April 30, April will be a red-letter book month.

Fev 21, 3:35 pm

Emphatically Deborah has come to visit your thread, Mark! :-) Great pictures of you all, Mark! Very sorry to hear about Sue needing to look for another job. That is so hard. We will see Melissa and Miles for the afternoon on Saturday. Fingers crossed because they are so often sick with a cough and cold or something or other. And I was sick on my birthday , and missed seeing them then , as well as they had a cough and fever on Valentines , so we could not see them that day. I think it should be fine, but either they( mostly they ) are sick or I had a bad cold for my birthday. I hope the books are treating you well, Mark.

Fev 21, 4:24 pm

Hi Mark, fingers greatly crossed for Sue to find a job she loves pronto! But meanwhile so great that she get to hang out with Jack.

Hope sometime soon you will get to read John Vaillant book The Golden Spruce. I thought it was wonderful. Also his one fiction book Jaguar's Children I thought was fantastic (like The Devil's Highway). i must get to Tiger one of these days.

Fev 21, 6:35 pm

>279 lindapanzo: I thought you might have read Team of Rivals. That was written by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I hope you get to all of Larson's books. Not a bum steer in the bunch.

>280 vancouverdeb: Hey, Deborah (We're friends, right? 😁). Glad you like the pics. I hope you get to see Melissa & Miles on Saturday. I plan on seeing Jack tomorrow and Friday. And those books are treating me just fine.

>281 mdoris: Hi, Mary and thanks. I am sure Sue will find something soon. I have had The Golden Spruce on my audio list for years. I NEED to get to it. I still have not read his novel. Bad Mark!

Fev 21, 7:24 pm

>276 msf59: 274 klobrien2: Thanks, Karen. I have never watched "Life and Beth". Any good?

It’s from Amy Schumer, and I generally like anything she’s involved with. This one is roughly autobiographical, although her character works for a winery and is not a comedian. The show deals with things like childhood trauma, relationships, and this season, her husband’s Autism Spectrum Disorder (very kindly and gently done).

Karen O

Fev 21, 8:40 pm

>256 msf59: Sorry to hear about this news. I am sure something will pop up.

Fev 21, 10:53 pm

>282 msf59:
I read Golden Spruce some years ago and enjoyed it. I would recommend that you read it. I find that I still wonder what that guy was thinking when he did his deed. It is the kind of book that you would enjoy - environmentalism and a mystery. Just up your alley.

Fev 22, 1:35 am

I think we can still be good friends, Mark, despite the many years of you calling me Deb! :-) I picked up a couple of " magic painting " easter books for the grandkids today and we are looking forward to having Miles and Melissa for the afternoon.

Editado: Fev 22, 7:22 am

>283 klobrien2: Thanks, Karen. I might just check out "Life and Beth". I like some of her work. Have you watched Somebody Somewhere? It sounds similar and I really like that show.

>284 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita.

>285 benitastrnad: Now, I remember you enjoying The Golden Spruce and it has probably been on my TBR since then. Hopefully, I will get to it later this year. I am sure you will like Fire Weather.

>286 vancouverdeb: Deepest apology for calling you Deb all these years. You know me, I just go with the flow. LOL.

I hope you get to enjoy those grandkids this afternoon...Deborah!

Fev 22, 10:06 am

‘Morning, Mark, and sweet Thursday to you.

>269 msf59: Sue wasn't completely happy with that job anyway, despite the decent pay so maybe she will find something better. Ah, an opportunity. Good luck to her.

>278 msf59: Love that quote from W.C. Fields.

>279 lindapanzo: In looking at Table for Two, Amor Towles’ new book, I see that it contains a novella about the character in Rules of Civility. I acquired Eve in Hollywood as an e-book in 2017, read it, and loved it. It’s no longer available by itself as an e-book. I’m not sure I moved it to my new laptop, but will look for it on my old laptop. Moot point, though, because I’ve pre-ordered the new book for my Kindle.

Fev 22, 11:13 am

>279 lindapanzo: I knew about the new Towles book, but was unaware about the new Larson. Thanks for the mention, Linda!

Fev 22, 6:40 pm

>288 karenmarie: Sweet Thursday, Karen. In regard to Sue- thank you. She is figuring it out. I appreciate your comments on the new Towles. I am looking forward to it.

Fev 22, 6:41 pm

>289 alcottacre: I was not aware either, Stasia. Go Linda!

Fev 24, 2:41 pm

>238 msf59: Looks like a great gang.

>246 msf59: Snazzy.

>256 msf59: That's tough. Hopefully sue will enjoy a bit more time off until a part-time job presents. Extra Jackson time will be good.

>263 msf59: Talk about camouflage Mark!

Fev 24, 5:18 pm

>292 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. Sue is definitely enjoying her extra Jackson time. Those owls are amazing, aren't they?
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