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Bookflurries: Bookchat:  Ports in a Storm and Books that Begin with P and Q

Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape.  You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.

fall 2009 shop, grandbabies 048

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

Dorothy Parker

http://womenshistory.about.com/...

When I think of books, I think of their life-giving properties.  I like all kinds of books.  I like the ones that make me question and go looking for answers.  I like the ones that lift my spirits and help me to know I am not alone.  I like the ones that make me laugh and ones that make me cry because I learn more about what it means to be human.

But sometimes, when life throws storms at me, I like to have a safe harbor for a bit and rather than have my mind stretched, I want some comfort.  Then I turn to the kind of books sometimes called fluff.  Often the books have a character or set of characters that I have been reading about for years in one book of the series after another.  I feel that I know them.  There will not be big surprises where a main character is killed off.  I will be concerned about the characters, but I will not have to mourn.

I know, for example, that Alexander McCall Smith’s Precious Ramotswe of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency will solve a problem that is part of the detective agency’s job and also a problem that is plaguing a family member or friend.  It may take a while and there may be side trips while she tries to save her old white van, but I can enjoy the story as if I am in a sanctuary.  I do learn about new things, but there is still a sense of peace as I learn.  People have sometimes called the stories slow, but I call them vivid.  Precious will pick up things and look at them so carefully and show us what she sees.  What she sees and shares is Botswana.    

In the world of Michelle Sagara’s series The Chronicles of Elantra, I can watch people who respect each other solve problems that are truly earthshaking in their world, but it is such strange fantasy that it doesn’t impinge on my own world.  Kaylin is a refreshing character who doesn’t do well with authority figures.  She is bold and vulnerable and has a secret she doesn’t want revealed.  In fact, she is not entirely human.  She is a threat and could have been killed for it.  The ones who saved her and nurtured her are interesting characters in their own right.  

I used to re-read Ellis Peter’s Cadfael books when I was not feeling well.  Cadfael, often found in his garden, was a monk who had lived in the world for many years before choosing the Benedictines.   His friendship with the sheriff is important to me in a world where Stephen and Maud are fighting and England is at war.  There is a sense of love and closure in the stories.  Cadfael often learns something about himself in the story, too.  Because Shrewsbury is close to Wales, his homeland, he often travels there.  He is tough, but he is kind and wise.  I seek his warmth.  I wrap it around me like a shawl.

When I was a child, it was the Oz stories that were a comfort.  Dorothy went up against the Gnome King  and won.  The trees had lunch pails growing from them.   With a little of the right powder, a sofa could fly.  They were the Harry Potter stories of my day, but no one but the bad witch died.  

Perhaps what I am seeking in such stories is the sense of teamwork where people who are friends act to solve a problem.  The settings are interesting and add to the pleasure of the read.  They are my port in a storm.

What books do you like to curl up on the couch with or slump down in the big chair and enjoy when there is a storm?  

The Letter P

Pagan Holiday by Tony Perrottet

Pain and Possibility by Gabrielle Lusser Rico

Passages by Gail Sheehy

Passenger to Teheran by Vita Sackville-West

"But, for my part, I would not forgo the memory of an Egyptian dawn, and the flight of herons across the morning moon."

Paula by Isabel Allende

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

Peony in Love by Lisa See  

Perfect Prince by Ann Wroe  

Personal History by Katherine Graham

Persuasion by Jane Austen

The Phantom of the Opera  musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the novel The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux.

Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason

Pickpocket’s Tale by Karen Schwabach (Our DKos author, Sensible Shoes)

What I have said before:

It is a children’s book and I enjoyed it.  I could see the very careful research and learning about New York City in the 1730’s.  

It is a very poignant story and on page 165, considering what Molly had been through at the age of 8, this was extra sad, but rang true:

Molly chanced a look.  She felt her stomach churn, and she had to run out of the kitchen again.  That was a sure sign that she wasn’t meant to grow up decent, Molly thought.  Everyone else was trying to help Christy which was a mitzvah, and Molly couldn’t even stand to look at her.

 

Funny:

Making the family learn to eat potatoes.

Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Pieces from Berlin by Michael Pye

Pied Piper by Neville Shute

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve

Pirate of Exquisite Mind bio of William Dampier by Diana and Michael Preston

Plain Song by Kent Haruf

Playing Botticelli by Liza Nelson

Plum Island by Nelson DeMille

Poet and the Murderer by Simon Warrall

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Pride of Chanur and sequels by C. J. Cherryh

Chanur’s Venture
Kif Strike Back
Homecoming
Chanur’s Legacy

 
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride, Prejudice and Jasmin Field by Melissa Nathan

Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

Prince Borghese’s Trail or Peking to Paris: 10,000 Miles over Two Continents, Four Deserts and the Roof of the World in the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge by Genevieve Obert
 
Prince of Marshes by Rory Stewart

Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Princess Bride by William Goldman

Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

Prince Valiant Vol. I (1937, 1938) by Hal Foster

Private Patient by P. D. James

Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

Promises to Keep by Joe Biden

Prophecy of the Stones by Flavia Bujor

Protest Singer: An Intimate Portrait of Pete Seeger by Alec Wilkinson

Psychohistorical Crisis by Donald Kingsbury

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria)

The Letter Q

Quantum World by Kenneth Ford

Quattocento by James McKean

Queen of the Mist by Joan Murray

Queen of the South by Perez-Reverte

Queen of the Underworld by Gail Godwin

Quiet as a Nun by Antonia Fraser

Quite a Year for Plums by Bailey White
   
Diaries of the week

Write On! Revise this.
by SensibleShoes
http://www.dailykos.com/...

Thursday Classical Music Blogging OPUS 21: Post your favorite MARCH music day!
by Dumbo
http://www.dailykos.com/...

Nurse Kelley Sez: Shop the Updated Kos Katalogue!
by KelleyRN2
http://www.dailykos.com/...

This is traditional!
lololol

Arlo Guthrie/Alice's Restaurant

regular part one

http://www.youtube.com/...

part two

http://www.youtube.com/...

NOTE: plf515 has book talk on Wednesday mornings early.  Watch for extra editions on Sundays!

sarahnity’s list of DKos authors

http://www.dailykos.com/...

Originally posted to cfk on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 05:11 PM PST.

Also republished by Readers and Book Lovers.

Poll

What do you like best about Thanksgiving weekend?

28%11 votes
13%5 votes
2%1 votes
5%2 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes
10%4 votes
10%4 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
21%8 votes

| 38 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  welcome (36+ / 0-)

    Happy Thanksgiving and if it can't be, then BIG {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}

    I finished:

    Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene which was challenge book #19.

    Cast in Silence #5 in the fantasy series Chronicles of Elantra by Michelle Sagara

    Cast in Chaos #6 in the fantasy series Chronicles of Elantra by Michelle Sagara

    I am reading and making progress on:

    Devil’s Brood by Sharon Kay Penman (pg. 229 of  728)  Challenge Book #20

    What are you reading or hoping to read?

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 05:11:50 PM PST

    •  LOL. Fabric of the Cosmos (8+ / 0-)

      I like to think I am pretty smart. I couldn't remotely get through that book. It physically hurt my head :).

      "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

      by webranding on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 05:25:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just Finished Re-reading CONSCILIENCE (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, Black Knight, blueoregon, bookgirl

      and bought a ton of books at the book fair last weekend.  Surprised there were any left for others to buy!

      Among my treasures:
      The Coffee Trader David Liss
      Among the Believers V. S. Naipaul (his indictment of Islam for his personl experience)
      Paris to the Moon Adam Gopnik
      The God of Small Things Arundhati Roy
      Claudius the God Robert Graves (the sequel)
      Snow Orhan Pamuk
      The 1931 illustrated (by Nino Carbe) edition of "Cyrano de Bergerac" by Rostand, with all the internal poems recited by Cyrano in French
      Family Matters Rohinton Mistry
      Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation Joseph J. Ellis
      Pierrot Mon Ami Raymond Queneau
      Selected Letters of Bertrand Russell: The Private Years ed. by Nicholas Griffin
      Gates of Fire Steven Pressfield (the Battle of Thermopylae)

      2011 is going to be a very interesting year.

      "ingratiation and access . . . are not corruption." -- Justice Kennedy (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2010)

      by Limelite on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 06:41:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A good P book... (7+ / 0-)

    Petropolis by Anya Ulinich.

    I'm reading  The Baptism of Billy Bean : a novel by Roger Alan Skipper. I seem to be in a never-ending Country Noir sort of mood.

  •  A majority for 'Not My Favorite Holiday' (7+ / 0-)

    with 5 votes cast. Personally, I hate them all, so I'm glad to see that.

    I'm reading middle-grade novels, while Hopscotch is eying me balefully.

    "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

    by GussieFN on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 05:25:27 PM PST

    •  Holiday (5+ / 0-)

      My favorite holiday is Labor Day.

    •  I like middle grade novels (11+ / 0-)

      or I used to.  Someone said they have changed.

      My children were on battle of the books teams in the middle grades so in helping them I read 175 middle grade books.

      But there were things like Owls in the Family in the set.  

      Best wishes!!

      I am at 38,029 words, but not enough days left.

      I will slop over into December most likely because after writing exhausting things as fast as I can, I discover there are only about 2000 words for the night.

      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 05:32:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I was one of those votes (6+ / 0-)

      I do like Halloween a lot.

      But Thanksgiving, eh.  It's so dependent on the company, but for me, the company is a gathering that could happen any time of year.  It's not specific to Thanksgiving, so I don't really associate nice times on Thanksgiving Day with the day itself.

      I just read a review for a YA novel today, Matched.  Sounds interesting, I'll probably check it out.

    •  please tell (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, carolanne

      I do a book group for middle school readers and would love some new ideas!

      So far, they've read:

      under the blood red sun
      Hatchet
      Gregor the Overlander
      and they've picked the Hunger Games for Dec.

      these are 9-11 year old homeschoolers reading at middle school or above, so they are somewhat precocious and I am trying to pay attention to maturity of theme...

      Thanks!

      Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by k8dd8d on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 06:48:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk

        if this is middle-school material, although if they're somewhat precocious (with a sense of humor), I'd recommend it:  "Red Sky at Morning" by Richard Bradford.  I read it in h.s. and re-read it every few years.  I'd recommend it to adults, too :)

        One review called it a Catcher in the Rye out West--it's something of a coming-of-age story, set in New Mexico during WW II.  If it's not right for your book group, you might enjoy it yourself.  

    •  Bah humbug,Gussie (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GussieFN, cfk, Black Knight

      Thanksgiving is absolutely the best of all holidays.  Here's why:

      1.  All you have to do is have dinner.  No gifts,no religious carrying on (except there's no stopping my sister in law from giving a "blessing."  This year I may assert the right to equal time (we're hosting after all).
      1.  All the work happens on the FIRST day and then you have three days to kick back.
      1.  When you do drag yourself back to work, you're right at the beginning of the holiday season (good because it features lots more days off, though admittedly larded with a bunch of sentiment and ceremony).
      •  "All you have to do is have dinner"... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk, blueoregon

        hahahahaha...so, I'm guessing you've never had to do the cooking for it.

        (Despite being a female, I manage to get away with just providing the wine.)

        •  Dudette! (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GussieFN, cfk, Black Knight, blueoregon

          You're talking to a woman who's been cooking all day.  We have 22 to dinner tomorrow and I actively discourage people from bringing food, because I'm convinced (rightly or wrongly) I can make it better (with Mr. Emmet, of course).  The menu includes turkey, poached pear salad, cornbread/pecan/bacon stuffing, sweet potato/pumpkin puree that's pretty darn good, mashed potatoes, smoked salmon crepes, spiced carrots which I've made every year for 20 years, cranberry/ginger relish, and mascarpone cheesecake per rei's recipe last year.

          I was hoping for a cooking open thread on kos today, but I didn't see one.

          •  Oops, sorry (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cfk, blueoregon

            Since you wrote "All you have to do is have dinner..."

            So you must be one of that species wholly alien to me who enjoys cooking and sees it as no trial whatsoever.  :)

            Maybe the cooking thread will come tomorrow...or you could start one!

          •  whew! Sounds delicious! (0+ / 0-)

            Very, very delicious!!!

            Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

            by cfk on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 07:49:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Mmmmmmm. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cfk

              I've tasted most of it.  Apart from one failed appetizer which I threw away, it's all good.  How about you?

              •  I get off easy (0+ / 0-)

                We have always gone to hubby's mom's house and his brother brings the turkey and mashed potatoes.  Hubby makes rolls and pies and my sister-in-law makes pies, too.

                The kids used to bring things, but one set has been doing there own thing so the mom and brother can have a dinner and the other set has three kids and drives a long way.

                There will be a salad and maybe some pasta and spaghetti sauce because mom-in-law is Italian. :)

                My son-in-law is always surprised by this.

                Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

                by cfk on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 08:28:44 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Pasta on Thanzgiving! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cfk

                  Sounds wonderful.  We had Mexican takeout tonight -- really hit the spot.

                  •  It's my dream (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    cfk

                    To have just rigatoni with homemade sauce for the holidays. When the family was bigger we'd do the traditional turkey thing for one meal on T-day, and the second would be italian because my mom's family is italian.

                    My childhood memories of T-day were to be so full that my stomach hurt. I can't eat like that anymore.

                    But anyway -- the whole turkey/stuffing/gravy/blahblahblah doesn't excite me. I like turkey but really loathe dressing, gravy and mashed potatoes. (Seriously. I can't stand mashed potatoes. Never have liked them. People tell me that's not normal. Meh.)

                    Plus now there is only me and my parents. My dad has to have the whole turkey meal thing, which means mom and I have to fix it all. And neither of us care for the meal.  

                    I'm ready for the feeding to be over and done with already. Really, I just want a plate of spaghetti.

                    (For Christmas it has to be ham, and I'm the same way then. MEH. Just give me a nice lasagna. I never make lasagna, a once a year lasagna would really hit the spot. But no, Christmas has to be ham and mashed sweet potatoes (almost as nasty as regular mashed potatoes).

                    At least I get a present for Christmas.

                    End of holiday rant. :)  Peace out and enjoy your victuals.

                    •  Thank you! (0+ / 0-)

                      I make spaghetti when the kids come home to visit and my grandbabies love it.  I use hubby's grandma's recipe.

                      I hope you had a good day!!

                      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

                      by cfk on Thu Nov 25, 2010 at 03:21:16 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Respect. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cfk

            "Looks like we got ourselves a reader" - Bill Hicks

            by blueoregon on Thu Nov 25, 2010 at 12:10:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  1. You need to have dinner (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk

        with other people.

        1. I'm not allowed to work. (I finally escaped to my computer; I'm checking blogs, and will sneak in some work for the next few hours after a completely wasted day.)
        1. The holiday season is even worse.

        "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

        by GussieFN on Thu Nov 25, 2010 at 02:27:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Philip K. Dick's muse? (11+ / 0-)

    NYT: Philip K. Dick’s Masterpiece Years

    Half a century later, Anne R. Dick still remembers the sunny October day she met a clean-shaven 29-year-old Berkeley exile who had just moved to this rural enclave in west Marin County, thick with eucalyptus trees and brooding owls.

    The science-fiction novelist Philip K. Dick was standing with his hands in the back pockets of his jeans, rocking on his heels, and gazing at the floor of his house. In his flannel shirt and heavy army boots, he looked, she writes in a new book about him, "graceful and attractive — like someone wearing a disguise."

    ...

    Ms. Dick recalls wide-ranging, universe-spanning conversations, and lending books to her autodidact husband. In 1961, in the heyday of Freudian and Jungian theory, she gave him several books with introductions by Carl Jung. One, the I Ching, the ancient Chinese Book of Changes, would show up as a plot point in "High Castle" and guide its composition.

    Ms. Dick says that while Dick was both agoraphobic and shy, he was a man of enormous personal magnetism. "He knew how to talk to people, to move their emotions and thoughts," she said. "But he was too shy to go out into public. He could have been a great F.B.I. agent and a great actor."

    After the breakup of their marriage, Ms. Dick said she endured seeing herself reflected in several evil-wife characters in his later novels. Yet when he died in 1982, after a series of strokes, "everything changed," she said.

  •  Happy Thanksgiving! (9+ / 0-)

    I've been slammed at work (my job is the sort where in a short holiday week, a full week's work still has to be done, so I've worked late every night until today), so I haven't had much time to read.  I finished The Scorch Trials by James Dashner that I was working on last week, and have started the anthology San Francisco Noir.

    Some of my favorite Ps and Qs from my collection:

    Passion Play & Perfect Circle by Sean Stewart

    Perdido Street Station by China Mieville (this is what got me into Mieville.  It sat in my to-read bookcase for way too long, and when I finally read it, I was sorry I hadn't read it months, years sooner.  Now I'm working my way through everything he's ever written.  My next read will be Iron Council.)

    Personal History by Katharine Graham (excellent autobiography, with much detail of the glory days of the Washington Post)

    Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

    The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh (this is a play, which I read when I was going to see it performed.  It is seriously nasty, and seriously heartbreaking, and seriously brilliant.)

    Planetary series by Warren Ellis (any one who's ever read superhero comics can appreciate the spin here)

    Political Fictions by Joan Didion (Didion's nonfiction political writings is one of the main reasons I do not get caught up in political theater.  She has exposed how much all of it is bullshit, whether it's politicians I support or not.)

    The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

    Potential by Ariel Schrag (she's a lesbian cartoonist, who did a series of books on her high school years, quite witty)

    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Sparks

    Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

    Queen of Camelot by Nancy McKenzie (formerly split up into two books, The Child Queen and The High Queen.  She isn't the best of writers, but I don't care, because I really love her take on the eternal Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot triangle.  Specifically, this is a take for people who prefer Arthur to Lancelot, and prefer an angle where Guinevere truly loved Arthur as much, if not more, than Lancelot.)

  •  Couple of frustrating reads (11+ / 0-)

    Lisa See's Peony in Love has an innovative plot:  it's about a young woman in 17th-century China who dies of "lovesickness," then returns as a ghost.  It's interesting to read about China at a time of great change, when the role of women went from purduh-like seclusion to being able to mingle with men and live as a professional writer. Peony's mother is an especially well-drawn character, capturing all the contradictions.  

    But so much of the story depends on either cluelessness or too-convenient bad timing.  For instance (spoiler!) the still-living Peony misses at least 2 good opportunities to learn that the man she's fallen in love with is the same one her family has betrothed her to marry.  (Three, considering they could have just exchanged names!)  And I lost count of the number of times a character failed to notice that Peony's Ancestor Tablet lacked the final mark that would lay her soul to rest.

    Keith Olbermann's Pitchforks and Torches is frustrating for a different reason.  It's a well-chosen collection of Special Comments and "Worst Person" bits from the last 2 years - which seems a very long time now.  Reading his urgent words about health care and the need to prosecute torturers, I'm driven absolutely nuts by how little we settled for.

    Just started F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night, but haven't gotten far enough to be frustrated or otherwise form an opinion.

    Next up:  Kit Marlowe's Edward II.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 05:37:35 PM PST

  •  I Hate To Admit That For The Last Two (10+ / 0-)

    weeks I've not read a single page of a book for pleasure (very rare). Had a huge project, out of the blue, land on my desk and I am buried under literally thousands of pages of market research.

    But I can't wait to get to a book my dad just gave me. Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed.

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

    by webranding on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 05:37:45 PM PST

  •  What I'm reading (11+ / 0-)

    Just finished
    A re-read of Going postal by Terry Pratchett.  Wonderful stuff, one of the best of the Discworld novels (although one that depends less than most on it being Discworld).  Full Review

    Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices by Noah Feldman.  The story of Hugo Black, William O. Douglas, Felix Frankfurter and Robert Jackson, and how they worked with (and against) each other on the Supreme Court, which was once described as "Nine scorpions in a bottle".  An absolutely wonderful book. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the Supreme Court, the constitution, or this period of US history.   Full review to come. I read this on my Kindle

    Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.  Historical fiction about Henry VIII and that period, told from the point of view of Thomas Cromwell, with the villain being Thomas More.  Wonderfully written, and, from what I read in other reviews, historically defensible.  But it was kind of hard to follow; the author uses a lot of personal pronouns, and often refers to characters by first name, which is tricky because half the men are named Thomas and half the women are named Mary.

    Now reading
    The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the dark ages by Chris Wickham.  A really good history of Europe and western Asia, from 400 to 1000 AD.

     
    The Great SF stories volume 1: 1939 ed. by Isaac Asimov and Martin Greenberg.  I have this whole series on my shelf and I think I will re-read them

    The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton. Far future science fiction of the space opera variety.  Just started.

    Just started
    A reread of Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett.  Lights!  Camera!  Action!  Holy wood is coming to Discworld!

    The autobiography of Mark Twain.  Twain's autobiography is unusually structured, and I am still in the introduction that explains the book.  

  •  A book to cuddle up with and (12+ / 0-)

    wrap around me like a warm blanket?  There are a few...but my favorite is To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.

    Ptoomey: the greatest cause of hairballs in humans. gag, hack, spit. repeat.

    by Youffraita on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 05:40:17 PM PST

  •  Player Piano (10+ / 0-)

    by Kurt Vonnegut, in which he envisions a world with permanently high unemployment due to automation.  

    dang.

  •  Q for Quanah Parker, the story of... (8+ / 0-)
    "Empire of the Summer Moon" by S.G Gwynne

      I'm about through it, but could read it again..a ripping biography of the last of the Comanches and their last chief, Quanah Parker, the son of the White Squaw, Cynthia Ann Parker.
      She was the woman who was one of the more famous captives, whose story is said to be the kernel of the story for "The Searchers", the famous western with John Wayne. The story of her is told in this book, and is , well, more sad and gritty than the movie, gripping as that was/is.

      I never heard of any of the people in this book, or knew the story of the Comanches, or knew of the role they played in the stalling of the drive west.

    An amazing history, highly recommended reading, and nothing I was ever, ever exposed to in school.

    Does this rec make my head look fat?

    by KenBee on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 05:43:05 PM PST

  •  Thursday[Wednesday]Classical Music now up! (9+ / 0-)

    Yes, I'm starting my post by spamming.  I can't post it tomorrow, cuz I'm a gonna be stuffed like the turkey i'm a gonna eat.

    Tonight, we're doing Beethoven's Hymn of Thanksgiving (see, I couldn't exactly wait until NEXT week to do that, could I?), the "Heiliger Dankgesang" movement from his String Quartet #15 in A minor.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    As for reading... I'm about two thirds of the way through The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton.  It's very good, although his books take a while to get started going, like the ol' popcorn machine.  I'll have to order the other two in the series now.

  •  Price of Power (8+ / 0-)

    Kissinger in the Nixon White House

    by Seymour Hersh

  •  My 8 year old is trying to teach me to draw (6+ / 0-)

    but I am hopeless

    He, OTOH, is quite talented

  •  So, I Went to the Book Fair (5+ / 0-)

    Special treat: Edward O. Wilson, the "only living heir to Charles Darwin," who signed my copy of Conscilience and copies of his first, just written novel, Anthill that SigOther bought.  Anthill to be made into two movies, a people acted one based on the main character and an animated one based on the "Anthill Chronicles" section.

    He spoke about his boyhood in Mobile and days spent in the coastal plains of AL and Panhandle FL.  Learned he'd been bitten on the hand by a pygmy rattler when a kid.  That resonated with me 'cause I'd had my own similar youthful adventure with same.

    He says, "The ideal scientist thinks like a poet and writes like a bookkeeper."  About his novel, "I am particularly proud of my ability to do Redneck."

    He's now writing a biology book about what really happened with evolution, social and human, defending the position that human evolution is driven by group selection which drives social behavior.  His -- and a growing number of evolutionary biologists' -- opinion is that the human being has evolved to genetically engage in chronic aggression and perpetual conflict and needs to identify as a member of a group.  Not encouraging.  The species must rise above its DNA.

    His opinion of American education is that "We can't afford to have a population as scientifically ignorant as this generation is, considering the problems that it has to solve."

    He is developing an online interactive biology text that will be available to anyone and, with other scientists, has plans to developing a platform designing a similar concept across all the sciences.

    Will write more about other authors and panels I heard last weekend.

    "ingratiation and access . . . are not corruption." -- Justice Kennedy (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2010)

    by Limelite on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 06:01:57 PM PST

    •  That reminds me a bit of the now-deceased (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Limelite, MT Spaces, cfk, Youffraita

      Octavia E. Butler.

      Her novels took the position that an insistence on an heirarchical structure was encoded into human DNA, and that it was that that would ruin the species.

      I really haven't seen anything in my years so far on the planet to disagree with that.

    •  Thank you! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Limelite, MT Spaces, Black Knight

      I so enjoy hearing about it.

      His -- and a growing number of evolutionary biologists' -- opinion is that the human being has evolved to genetically engage in chronic aggression and perpetual conflict and needs to identify as a member of a group.  Not encouraging.  The species must rise above its DNA.

      This is very discouraging...what happened to the stories about women in the past?  Are women writing at all about these kinds of things?

      An interactive book sounds interesting.

      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 06:12:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now that there are Kindles and iPads (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Limelite, MT Spaces, cfk

        interactive books are clearly the future, at least to some degree.

        If you read books like Jasper Fforde's and Lee Siegel's...in a way they tried to do interactive before interactive became a possibility.  And now it is.  It's going to be an interesting time.

  •  Totally, Totally Off Topic (7+ / 0-)

    but MSNBC has Rachel's show on Dr. Tiller rerunning. I know the first political protest I went to. 1992. Baton Rouge, LA. Grad student at LSU. Protests at the abortion clinic. I went there not so much to protest, but cause I was curious. I was soon protesting against those wackos. This is not a topic, maybe as a dude, I follow day-to-day. But Rachel highlights what I have to admit I didn't know that well. Being an abortion doctor in this country can be a very dangerous thing.

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

    by webranding on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 06:05:52 PM PST

  •  Anne Beattie at the MBFI (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfk, Black Knight, blueoregon, Youffraita

    "The Queen of Ellipsis" (as Jay McInerny calls her) read from her short story, "Home to Marie," prefacing her reading with, "This is something I actually did to my ex-husband."  Without spoiling the story. . .it wasn't nice.

    Then I heard Sue Miller read from The Lakeshore Limited, a novel inspired by her firend who delayed a break-up with her boyfriend when she learned that his sister had been killed on 9/11.

    And Scott Spence, who read from Man in the Woods.  "Now, 30 years later, I still feel I'm trying to learn how to write a novel."  The central action involves one man who beats another to death when he witnesses him abuse a dog.

    And Aimee Bender, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake a book that didn't work for me after she read the second chapter because the voice of the heroine, who is 8, is far to precocious and wise.  She says, "When I'm writing a book, I'm not thinking of meaning.  That emerges through the reader's mind."

    During Bender's reading, I remembered a criticism E. O. Wilson had made the night before, "Today's bad writers' characters' voices sound like the author's own voice but are not distinctly that of the character."

    "ingratiation and access . . . are not corruption." -- Justice Kennedy (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2010)

    by Limelite on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 06:13:56 PM PST

    •  hmmmmm (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Limelite

      During Bender's reading, I remembered a criticism E. O. Wilson had made the night before, "Today's bad writers' characters' voices sound like the author's own voice but are not distinctly that of the character."

      That is interesting.  It is also hard to do. :)

      But too precocious would wear me down, too.

      I love Scout and the little boy in Shane...

      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 06:39:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I know what that's like. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Limelite, cfk

      a book that didn't work for me after she read the second chapter because the voice of the heroine, who is 8, is far to precocious and wise.

      Some people can't think like eight-year olds.  (And I suppose some other people can't NOT think like eight-year olds.)

  •  The Pirates Of Penzance..... (7+ / 0-)

    Technically I'm cheating since, unlike Phantom of the Opera, Penzance isn't based on a book. However, Gilbert & Sullivan's opera does give me the chance to repeat one of their most famous works; a certain catchy patter song.

         I am the very model of a modern Major-General,
         I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral,
         I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical
         From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical;
         I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical,
         I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical,
         About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news,
         With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.

         I'm very good at integral and differential calculus;
         I know the scientific names of beings animalculous:
         In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
         I am the very model of a modern Major-General.


    And it's been parodied mercilessly since 1879.

    Gilbert & Sullivan's overall relationship is interesting. It's probably one of the best examples of people who could barely stand each other, somehow pulling together to produce something truly great (the lyrics come from Gilbert & the music from Sullivan).

  •  Just starting a "Q" book... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dumbo, Limelite, cfk, Black Knight, blueoregon

    ... "Quicksilver" by Neal Stephenson -- it's the first novel in his Baroque Cycle. (I'm planning on this trilogy carrying me through the holidays.)

    Also reading "The Tourist" by Olen Steinhauer (not related to the upcoming movie with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie). It's a very LeCarre-esque modern spy thriller I picked up on a whim... and it's amazing.

    "We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it." -- Willy Wonka

    by Huginn and Muninn on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 06:27:19 PM PST

  •  Salman Rushdie Was Terrific (5+ / 0-)

    Out from under the fatwah and living again, he's written another children's book, Luka and the Fire of Life for his younger son because he can't deprive him after having written Haroun and the Sea of Stories for his eldest.  Yes, the same storyteller, Rashid, is in this one.  There's also a pair of talking animals who accompany Luka into the World of Magic, a bear named "Dog" and a dog named "Bear."

    Yes, Rushdie takes a poke at religion and man's gods in it.  Yet, he acknowledges, "One of the serious things behind discarded gods is that all story originated with god tales.  Religions told themselves stories to answer the great questions."

    When asked how he feels now that the kill on sight order against him has been rescinded, he said, "I don't like the activities of popes, ayatollahs, and priests."

    He says his children's books derive their inspiration from The Wizard of Oz because she discovers that all adults are pathetic.  She has to do what grown-ups can't do.  All quest stories are more than the adventure; they are stories of personal growth through adversity."

    Like our lives, his stories.  And so we find our connection with literature.

    "ingratiation and access . . . are not corruption." -- Justice Kennedy (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2010)

    by Limelite on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 06:27:25 PM PST

    •  ooh, very interesting! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Limelite, MT Spaces, bookgirl

      thank you!

      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 06:31:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rushdie's appearance at the Miami Book Fair (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, Limelite, MT Spaces, cfk

      was on BookTV last weekend. His appreciation and knowledge of The Wizard of Oz has always been an endearing quality to me.

      I also liked the way he turned aside a tacky question about his friend Christopher Hitchens.

      •  Me Too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk, bookgirl

        You may not have heard it on the TV, but that guy was hissed.

        My favorite moment was when he made an aside about the difference between video games and life.  "In the real world there are no levels, only difficulties."

        He was a lot more lively, interesting, and engaged than his last appearance at the Book Fair when he was still going about under the death threat.

        "ingratiation and access . . . are not corruption." -- Justice Kennedy (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2010)

        by Limelite on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 07:19:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  still readng (7+ / 0-)

    dreams of my russian summers, andrei makine
    not far into it, i can't seem to get into it, the writing is deep, i need to put it down every few paragraphs and really think and then i forget go back to the book

    new:
    remains of the day, kazuo ishiguro

    enjoying
    the sweet life in paris, david lebovitz, really a food/recipe book, loooove the desserts

    hope you are doing better this week! it was a week full of colds in our household but we are all better, just in time for thanksgiving

    may you have a lovely thanksgiving!

    •  Thank you, and you, too!! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shari, Dumbo, MT Spaces, bookgirl

      I am glad you are all doing better.  I am, too, and hubby has escaped so far.

      Much excitement coming to my house late Friday, but they will be tired cookies, too, after many activities on Thursday and Friday.

      Three of the little ones are celebrating the seven year old's cast coming off with a motel and a pool.  He is walking just fine, though he still has a walker for school.

      The brace will only be for high activity days and not needed at home.

      I will get to rest up on Monday. :)

      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 06:35:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Minding my "P's" and "Q's" ??? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dumbo, Limelite, cfk, Black Knight, blueoregon

    Not a chance!

    For comfort books, though -- as an impressionable youth I read Peter S. Beagle's essay about Lord of the Rings (Be warned, useth initials at thy peril, in the company of THIS reader!)

    Oh yeah -- besides making his points about Gollum and other things, he mentioned that he'd read it many times (how many, I can't recall)

     title=

    That did it -- already piqued by Tolkien's assertion that he saw many mistakes, both major and minor, I decided to re-read it, and since I'd first bought it at the beginning of winter in a memorable snowstorm, it turned into a yearly ritual around the Holidays uh -- Yuletide. (Yeah -- Yuletide, gotta get that 'Northern' vibe in there.)

    Whenever I do, I experience the world of Middle Earth all over again -- the darn book casts an undeniable SPELL!
    I have pretty clear ideas about what the major and minor errors might be, and understand criticisms by authors I admire, but I can always point to the resonant power of the sub-world the old professor created.

    Big Money doesn't put horses in Congress. Just the hind - quarters of horses -- Alan Grayson

    by MT Spaces on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 06:49:45 PM PST

    •  So what did he say about Gollum? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces, cfk

      I made some intemperate statements about Gollum in another diary that I have since come to think might have been hasty on my part, so I'm curious what Tolkien had to say about him.

      •  This was Peter S. Beagle's essay ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dumbo, cfk

        ... and for Beagle, Gollum ended up dominating the book.

        That was HIS opinion, although a reasonable, and deeply-felt one.

        Big Money doesn't put horses in Congress. Just the hind - quarters of horses -- Alan Grayson

        by MT Spaces on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 06:58:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hubby loves the books (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces, Black Knight

      and I have read them several times.

      I could have used a few more good women. :)

      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 07:16:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, it's basically just Eowyn for us women (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MT Spaces, cfk

        Although, weirdly, I like The Hobbit best of all and there's not a woman to speak of in that one.

        Eowyn is really awesome, though.  Maybe one day I'll get over the stupidity of Aragorn picking Arwen over her...and I could appreciate the filmmakers' dilemma, because that's a choice that really only works for the audiences of Tolkien's time.  Modern audiences are all for Eowyn.

        •  I think "The Hobbit" is a better book ... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cfk, Black Knight, blueoregon

          ... overall -- for a lot of reasons, mostly its unpretentious storytelling.

          The Oxford pub "Eagle and Child," where Lord of the Rings was read out loud and discussed during its writing for almost a decade, functioned as a "men's club," and that kind of thing was the rule rather than the exception in Tolkien's social circle.

          Although he was devoted to his wife and children, his career was spent among men.

          Glimpses of his personal relationship show up in Beren and Lúthien, and are echoed in the fragmentary tale of Arwen and Aragorn, buried in the appendix. The bond between them was fundamentally MUCH more than romantic, with a sharp edge of an eventually everlasting separation, despite their victory in the War of the Ring.

           title=
          Ride of the Valkyries by Rackham circa 1909

          Eowyn's pretty fun, though -- those near-berserk Northerners are wild cards in Tolkien's somewhat-orderly deck.
          She actually has CHARACTER too, in a book full of types -- so what if she ends up with a noble nerd? Faramir's a good guy, without that streak of dominate-or-die insanity that ran in his family.

          Big Money doesn't put horses in Congress. Just the hind - quarters of horses -- Alan Grayson

          by MT Spaces on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 08:07:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I like to tell people (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MT Spaces, cfk

            how Arwen eventually regretted giving up her immortality for Aragorn.  It's right there in the supplementary material - while he lived, she was happy to be with him, but then he died and she didn't actually want to die after him.

            And I like Faramir quite a bit, thankfully.  While I think (with my modern view) that Aragorn's choice is dumb, at least I don't have to be bitter that Eowyn ended up alone or with some horror of a guy.

            •  I'd say that Aragorn chose Arwen ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cfk

              ... probably a hundred years or more before Eowyen was even born, and that she probably died of old age nearly a century before Aragorn broke Arwen's heart with his willful passage into death.

              The reunification of the Half-elven line was the passion of their existence.

              Tolkien didn't have the skill or inclination to take it to more than a fairy-tale level, but he implied that Arwen may have found mercy in Uttermost West after all, but bereft of the love of her still-immortal life.

              (Jackson's interpretations count no more than any teenager playing Rise of the Witch King.)

              Big Money doesn't put horses in Congress. Just the hind - quarters of horses -- Alan Grayson

              by MT Spaces on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 08:30:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't remember Jackson's interpretations... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MT Spaces, cfk

                beyond what was in the movies themselves, where he was stuck with a story where Aragorn was, as you say, in love with Arwen long before LOTR even started and in which he would have to stay true to a woman the audience barely knew, who did nothing at all, in lieu of a kickass woman the audience met and got to know throughout the trilogy.  That's just a no-win.  Jackson did the best he could in casting the more conventionally attractive model Liv Tyler as Arwen and the somewhat quirky Miranda Otto as Eowyn, but it is what is is...the LOTR trilogy just doesn't work for modern audiences in that respect.  People tend to invest in the couples they actually see meet and get to know each other, and Arwen doing less than nothing while Eowyn kills the Witch-king doesn't help matters.

                I do remember reading in Tolkien's other writings that Arwen specifically regretted her choice once Aragorn died and she was stuck in Middle Earth.  I haven't read all of the Silmarillion, so maybe he implied a kinder ending for Arwen elsewhere...but in the snippet I read he was quite blunt.  Aragorn was dead, she couldn't get to the west, and she regretted giving up everything for him.  I liked that for the fact that it didn't follow the cliched "once he was dead, she wanted to die with him" line.  He died, and instead of wanting to follow him to the grave, she wanted a life in the west and was sorry she'd ever married him.  The few decades they were married didn't compare to what she could have had.  It's refreshingly unsentimental, and a bit surprising from an author who'd otherwise constructed the Worst Love Triangle Ever.

                •  Arwen's very late appearence ... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cfk

                  ... counts as one of Tolkien's major faults in the book. Without the appendix, there's almost nothing that expresses how important she's supposed to be.

                  Jackson's attempt to give her some substance was one of his less bad re-doings of the plot, at least the idea made sense.

                  You're correct that a reader invests in a relationship they "see" developing -- like CFK pointed out, the dearth of "flesh & blood" women populating the book is a problem.

                  At least there IS Eowyn to counterbalance the unattainable Elbereth, or late-to-the-party Arwen.

                  Nobody talks about Goldberry the River-Daughter, and very few about Tom Bombadil -- the quest would have been pretty short without 'em!

                  Big Money doesn't put horses in Congress. Just the hind - quarters of horses -- Alan Grayson

                  by MT Spaces on Thu Nov 25, 2010 at 01:10:49 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MT Spaces

                    I wish that there could have been some screen time spent:

                    Nobody talks about Goldberry the River-Daughter, and very few about Tom Bombadil -- the quest would have been pretty short without 'em!

                    and less screen time for orcs. :)

                    But from what I hear, Jackson fought hard  to have three movies and to do them all at once with the same actors.  The spectacular scenery...wow!!

                    Of course, it helps to have the extended versions.

                    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

                    by cfk on Thu Nov 25, 2010 at 03:17:22 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  What is "Pagan Holiday" about? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dumbo, Limelite, cfk, Black Knight, blueoregon

    Sounds intriguing, as I'm a Pagan and would love to go on holiday.

    Adored Pride and Prejudice and The Pied Piper, read Passages a long, long time ago.

    Re The Pilot's Wife--I avoid most books that have the word "Wife" or "Daughter" in them.  Aren't women interesting beings in themselves?  Do they have to be defined in terms of their relationships?  I broke this rule to read The Zookeeper's Wife.  It could equally have been called The Zookeeper's Husband.  They were both zookeepers, for God's sake!

    I'm sorry, but that just gets to me.  It's as if someone were to introduce me as "Eric's mother."  I have a personality and some modest accomplishments of my OWN.  I'd have them even if I weren't someone's mother.

    OK (climbing down off soapbox), that's enough from me.  Hi, cfk!  Happy holiday reading to you--I just finished Thom Hartmann's Screwed and am about to start Ariana Huffington's new book.

    Yes, I'm het, but I'm NOT a Mad Hetter!

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 06:52:10 PM PST

    •  Don't Avoid "A Reliable WIfe" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, blueoregon

      by Robert Goolrick.  He was at the Miami Book Fair last week.  Here's an interview article given prior to his appearance.

      A more extensive article related to his appearance is here.

      The bestselling A Reliable Wife (Algonquin, $14.95 in paperback) is a dark, atmospheric novel set in the early 1900s about Ralph Truitt, a wealthy but deeply lonely man in a remote Wisconsin town every bit as frozen as his soul. ("Nothing says hell has to be fire . ... Hell could be like this. It could be darker every minute. It could be cold enough to sear the skin from your bones.")

      Truitt advertises in a Chicago paper for "a reliable wife," but his agenda is more complicated than mere companionship. Equally complex are the aspirations of Catherine Land, the mysterious woman who responds to his ad. She writes that she’s simple and honest – the first in the book’s labyrinth of lies – and her arrival sets up a dangerous conflict that includes Ralph’s estranged son.

      "ingratiation and access . . . are not corruption." -- Justice Kennedy (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2010)

      by Limelite on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 07:02:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes! Thank you! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, Diana in NoVa, cfk

      Talk about a pet peeve.  WHAT is with the innumerable books that are The X's Daughter or The Y's Wife?!?

      I've greatly enjoyed some of these, but for heaven's sake find a new naming convention!

    •  lolololol (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, Black Knight

      While I do agree about not being somebody's wife or mother alone, I gave up and started answering the phone as (my kids' name) mother.  It was pure survival at the time. :)

      I used to laugh about it which was better than really thinking about it.  I could write a book about how that feels, though.

      In Pagan Holiday, Tony and his pregnant wife follow the trail of Romans who traveled around their world extensively.  He starts on the Appian Way.  There are some budget considerations which lands them in Greece with a terrible rental car.

      He is irreverent and funny and it reminded my of Lindsey Davis's Falco books.

      I enjoyed it, but I wondered why his wife did not break a jug or two over his head...

      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 07:08:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You know, since I'm not somebody's wife or mom (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk

        the titles never really bothered me on an emotional level.  (Intellectually, sure, I can work up outrage.)

        But I have a poor memory, for starters, and second, it's just lazy.  That's why every time I see yet another title with Wife or Daughter I roll my eyes...

  •  books I'm on or just finished (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dumbo, Limelite, cfk, Black Knight, blueoregon

    A Summer without Dawn by A.J. Hacikyan.  Starting slow, but it's set in Anatolia in 1915 and is about the deportation of Armenians.  I love historical fiction!

    Just finished:  Little Brother by Cory Doctorow.  Fabulous Young Adult book that is about teenage hackers in San Francisco who fight back against a Dept of Homeland Security gone awry after a terrorist attack.  Can't wait to discuss this with my teen group in January.  Lots of good stuff about privacy vs. security and it's a good adult read too, even though it is written for teens.

    Just finished:  Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.  Great book set in 1942 and 1986 in Seattle dealing with the International District, father son stuff, Japanese internment.

    Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by k8dd8d on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 07:00:55 PM PST

  •  Hi cfk (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dumbo, cfk, Black Knight

    I'm thankful for finding your diary series and for all the great books you or your readers have put me on to!

    Have a great holiday.  We are postponing until Friday as our friends are iced into their neighborhood...freak storm in Seattle and 2" of snow has paralyzed the region!

    Anyway, enjoy with you and yours,

    k8dd8d

    Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by k8dd8d on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 07:04:29 PM PST

    •  oh, my...that is too bad (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, k8dd8d

      I hope things get cleared away so you can go.  In Michigan it would take a while.  We are hoping the temps stay above freezing with the rain here, tomorrow.

      I have a net friend who left for Seattle to visit her mom.  I hope she made it OK.  It is hard to go from South Carolina to two feet of snow!

      Happy T-Day to you and yours and I am glad you found us.

      My own wish list is HUGE...green and glowing. :)

      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 07:13:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sure she's fine (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk, Black Knight

        it's not 2 feet, it's 2 inches that stops all things here, crazy!

        We moved here from Michigan, so it's pretty comical, but no one knows how to drive in it and the cities aren't prepared to salt/sand, etc.  so everything just stops for a few days.  Then it starts raining and it all goes away.  Funny to anyone who has lived in REAL weather.

        Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by k8dd8d on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 07:22:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  ooops...I see (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k8dd8d

          when you said paralyzed, I imagined two feet...sigh.

          Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

          by cfk on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 07:27:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  that's the difference from Washington & Michigan (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cfk

            ;-)

            Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government. ~Thomas Jefferson

            by k8dd8d on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 07:29:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  well, that and the progressive-conservative (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cfk, Black Knight

              and religious thing.

              I forget, what part of Michigan are you in?

              We spent 7 loooonnngg years in Grand Rapids.  Through both Bush elections, it was not a friendly place to be!

              Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government. ~Thomas Jefferson

              by k8dd8d on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 07:30:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ha, you ain't kidding... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cfk, k8dd8d

                I've got lots of family in Michigan, all conservative.  Sigh.  They are mostly out in Escanaba and Sault Ste. Marie.

                We in the California branch may not know how to drive in inclement weather (I try, thanks to my Michigan-born mother's endless lamenting), but we are more progressive!

                •  I moved from the Bay Area to Grand Rapids (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cfk, Black Knight

                  and without changing a thing, I went from a middle of the road progressive to a bleeding heart liberal.  It was quite an experience.

                  We like to tell people we moved from Michigan because we didn't like the climate...and we don't mean the weather!

                  Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government. ~Thomas Jefferson

                  by k8dd8d on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 07:33:31 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  LOL, you know exactly what it's like! (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    cfk, k8dd8d

                    Here in SF, Nancy Pelosi and Gavin Newsom are moderates...and of course, nearly everywhere else, they are bleeding heart liberals.

                    I lived in Houston for a few years in between Bay Area stints.  Houston has a blue mayor, but it still wasn't anywhere what I was used to politics-wise.

              •  We are in the Thumb half way (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                k8dd8d

                between Flint and Saginaw.

                Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

                by cfk on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 07:39:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  I was born/raised/live in California... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cfk, k8dd8d

          and my Michigan-born mother used to say all the time, "People here do not know how to drive in the rain!"

          •  yup, I was born and raised in SoCal too, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cfk, Black Knight

            then went to Bay area for a few years, then Michigan and now suburban Seattle.

            People here can drive in the rain, but if that rain turns white...forgetaboutit!

            Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government. ~Thomas Jefferson

            by k8dd8d on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 07:32:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I can see that... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cfk, k8dd8d

              I've never lived in Seattle, but have vacationed there a few times, and can see that anyone who lives there has adapted to the rain.

              The Bay Area doesn't get near as much rain as Seattle (neither does California in general) so people drive like idiots.  I can't imagine if San Franciscans or Los Angelenos or San Diegans had to drive through snow...

              •  The first winter we moved to Michigan (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cfk, Black Knight

                I had a toddler and a newborn...if a flake fell, I stayed home.

                By the time we left, I was driving in blizzards and not thinking twice about it.

                But coming here has been almost funny to see how everyone freaks out.

                Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government. ~Thomas Jefferson

                by k8dd8d on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 07:35:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  When I was in Houston, I saw how people freaked (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cfk, k8dd8d

                  over simple "cold snaps."  The first time it would hit the high 60s, it would be the lead story on all the TV newscasts, featuring quotes from locals about how they didn't like it.

                  I once mentioned to a Houstonian about places where temps fell below zero.  She flat out didn't believe me!

  •  Happy Thanksgiving all! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfk, Black Knight, blueoregon

    I was late; our bird thawed early so it was roasted today and I've been dealing with the followup -- carving, refrigerating, dishes.

    The holiday weekend goal is to try to finish as many books currently reading as possible. These include:

    The Dissemblers by Liza Campbell, a debut novel about a George O'Keefe painting copier which reads like one of those Eat, Pray, Love knockoffs

    Nashville Chrome by Rick Bass, the story of a real-life sibling trio that pioneered American music. I love his way with words and the feelings it engenders, but wish this chronicler of members of his own very Southern family had written about fictional characters instead of the real Browns, Elvis, Jim Reeves, Chet Atkins and all the rest.

    My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, the original fairy tale anthology edited by Kate Bernheimer. Fabulous, but the stories don't work piled up one against the other. There is an unintentionally very funny review up at Amazon about how the book glamorizes cannibalism.

    Best American Short Stories 2010: Again, I can't devour short stories as if they were bon bons. They are really each an amuse bouche that are as complex as novels.

    Skippy Dies by Paul Murray: Only a couple chapters in and I love the way he nails teenage and grownup ineptitude. An Irish Franzen with lots of heart.

    The Distant Hours by Kate Morton: The fairy tale-like prologue dragged but now the grown daughter of a WWII evacuee has found the ruins of the manse where her mother was sent.

    Also started, but left at work, The Hate List by Jennifer Brown. Very good voice of the protagonist, a girl who survives a Columbine massacre conducted by the boy she loved.

  •  Hey cfk, we're up to 178... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfk, k8dd8d

    and you thought it'd be low-volume tonight because of the holiday.  :)  It's just a testament to the fantastic job you do with your diaries!

  •  A friend loaned me Cadfael (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfk, Black Knight, blueoregon

    stories awhile back, and I just loved them.  I didn't look to see if there were more, so thank for reminding me.  :-)

    Charlotte Lucas has got me reading Sinclair Lewis.  I am gobsmacked by the similarities between the world of "Babbitt" and today's attitudes.  A few slight adjustments in the prose would make this book feel contemporary.  I've been thinking that, when I've finished, some kind of discussion might be interesting.  Any ideas out there?

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 08:52:11 PM PST

    •  mention it here and there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luckylizard

      when you choose a date and then write a diary and we will come visit. :)

      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 09:36:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  should say that there are 20 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoregon, luckylizard

      Cadfael stories

      1. A Morbid Taste for Bones (written in 1977, set in 1137)
      1. One Corpse Too Many (1979, set in August 1138)
      1. Monk's Hood (1980, set in December 1138)
      1. Saint Peter's Fair (1981, set in July 1139)
      1. The Leper of Saint Giles (1981, set in October 1139)
      1. The Virgin in the Ice (1982, set in November 1139)
      1. The Sanctuary Sparrow (1983, set in the Spring of 1140)
      1. The Devil's Novice (1983, set in September 1140)
      1. Dead Man's Ransom (1984, set in February 1141)
      1. The Pilgrim of Hate (1984, set in May 1141)
      1. An Excellent Mystery (1985, set in August 1141)
      1. The Raven in the Foregate (1986, set in December 1141)
      1. The Rose Rent (1986, set in June 1142)
      1. The Hermit of Eyton Forest (1988, set in October 1142)
      1. The Confession of Brother Haluin (1988, set in December 1142)
      1. The Heretic's Apprentice (1990, set in June 1143)
      1. The Potter's Field (1990, set in August 1143)
      1. The Summer of the Danes (1991, set in April 1144)
      1. The Holy Thief (1992, set in August 1144)
      1. Brother Cadfael's Penance (1994, set in November 1145)

      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 09:45:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the list! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk

        Now I know what I'm looking for.  The book he loaned me had 3 stories.  I recognize titles 5 and 7.  It's been awhile and I am old, so I could probably reread them and still not know.  That is one good thing about aging: everything old is new again.  :-)

        -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

        by luckylizard on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 11:35:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  well, not much new for reading here.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfk, blueoregon

    ....except continuing, sporadically, on Balzac's History of the Thirteen.  This one may take a while, with other stuff in the pipeline.  I actually went more on a CD listening binge, again with the express purpose of hopefully unloading those and various books at different venues on Black Friday.

    "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

    by chingchongchinaman on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 09:39:41 PM PST

    •  my audio is working again (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chingchongchinaman

      I unplugged for Thunderstorms and came back and voila...

      I do not understand computers...at all!

      Best wishes with the trades and I hope you find some things you like.

      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 09:47:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  so unplugging spared the audio.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk

        .....from surging, or something like that?  Reminds me that I have something from BBC Radio 3 that I want to listen to tomorrow as my Thanksgiving treat to myself.

        "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

        by chingchongchinaman on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 10:19:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  late again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfk

    You might find this link useful for next week:

    http://givemesomethingtoread.com/...

    Happy Gratitude Day, bookworms!

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