RebaRelishesReading in 2021 - #3 nearly summer

Dette er en fortsættelse af tråden RebaRelishesReading in 2021 - #2 moving toward spring.

Snak75 Books Challenge for 2021

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RebaRelishesReading in 2021 - #3 nearly summer

Redigeret: maj 12, 10:00am

I I joined LT in 2007 because I wanted to catalog my library but didn't truly appreciate the full wonder of the place until I found the 75'ers in 2012 (I think that's the year). It's a favorite part of my morning now. I also love meeting other members in person when possible.

For those of you I don't know, I'll introduce my self a bit. I'm a Californian by birth and have lived there much of my life but Hubby and I decided last October that it was time to leave our condo in the Uptown district of San Diego and move to some place quieter and, most importantly, nearer our youngest grandchild. We have two older grandchildren who we adore but Ally will be going to college in the fall and Kyle will be sixteen next month so they probably won't be living near us anymore even if we had stayed in San Diego. Quinn turned three in January so we will have many years enjoying him growing up as we did the other two. So I'm adding Washington State to the list of places I've lived at various times in my life: California, Arizona, Connecticut, the Netherlands, England, the Netherlands, California, Ireland, California and now Washington.

I'm a retired city planner who travels a lot (or did pre-Covid). For the past 11 summers we were at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York but among our recent changes we have sold our place there and will probably not attend the season any more. I will miss it but it's time to move on.

I read mostly fiction with a helping of biography or history thrown in. A couple of years ago I finished a personal challenge to read all of the Pulitzer Prize winning fiction. I've also challenged myself to read the Pulitzer wining biographies but I don't seem to be making much progress on that score.

Redigeret: maj 12, 10:24am

Our little Pirate Bee :)

Redigeret: maj 12, 10:28am

“A Room Without Books Is Like A Body Without A Soul.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

Redigeret: jun 7, 11:46pm




Redigeret: maj 12, 10:10am

My Rating System:

Superb *****
Excellent ****1/2
Very good ****
Good ***1/2
Average ***
Don't bother **
Terrible *

Redigeret: jun 7, 11:34pm

READ IN 2021

1. What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon**** (audio)
2. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman****(audio)
3. Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner***2/3 (audio)

4. This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens***(audio)
5. Death Comes to the Village by Catherine Lloyd***(audio)
6. Winter in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand*** (audio)
7. What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand*** (audio)
8. Troubles in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand**(audio)
9. West With Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge ****1/2

10. The Late Bloomers' Club by Louise Miller****
11. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths *** (audio)
12. Sunrise on Half Moon Bay by Robyn Carr *** (audio)
13. Where the Light Enters by Jill Biden **** (audio)
14. Davita's Harp by Chaim Potok ****
15. Death Comes to London by Catherine Lloyd ***1/2(audio)
16. Death Comes to Kurland Hall by Catherine Lloyd ***1/2 (audio)
17. Death Comes to the Fair by Catherine Lloyd ***1/2 (audio)
18. Death Comes to the School by Catherine Lloyd***(audio)

19. Death Comes to Bath by Catherine Lloyd****(audio)
20. Death Comes to the Rectory by Catherine Lloyd****(audio)
21. The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams ****(audio)
22. The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar *****
23. How to Raise an Elephant by Alexander McCall Smith ***1/2 (audio)
24. The Secrets Between Us by Thrity Umrigar*****
25. The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith ***

26. The Shooting at Chateau Rock by Martin Walker ***1/2 (audio)
27. Finding Barbara: A DNA Story ***1/2
28. LaRose by Louise Erdrich **** (audio)
29. The Big Rock Candy Mountain ****1/2

30. Snap by Belinda Bauer ****1/2
31. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje **1/2

Redigeret: maj 12, 10:35am

maj 12, 10:12am

Happy new thread, Reba!

Redigeret: maj 12, 10:36am

Thanks Katie!! Nice to have a visitor so quickly.

maj 12, 11:00am

We unloaded the car and opened all of the boxes yesterday. I got all of the clothes put away. Art is unpacked and laid out for deciding where it will go (some needs to be framed too). But there are still 7 boxes of books...and the bookshelves are nearly full. So we've decided to get two new bookshelves for the hallway. We'll order them from the office supply place we've used for most of the others. It's in San Diego but we're going down to house/pet sit for son & d-i-l in a couple of weeks and can bring them home with us (heck, the poor Subaru already thinks it's a truck so why not?).

maj 12, 11:03am

Happy new one, Reba! I'm snagging a seat here even though I am still catching up on your previous thread.

maj 12, 11:05am

Happy new thread, Reba!

Always nice to need new bookcases and have room for them.

maj 12, 11:06am

Hi Mamie & Karen -- Thanks for stopping by. It's so nice to have company :)

maj 12, 11:30am

Happy new thread, Reba!

>10 RebaRelishesReading: Extra bookcases are always good :-)

maj 12, 12:01pm

And home just in time for a new thread! Perfect timing. New bookcases are always good. And put me on the schedule for lunch while you are here.

maj 12, 12:22pm

Happy new thread!

maj 12, 12:32pm

Happy new thread!

maj 12, 12:34pm

>17 SandDune: Thank you, Rhian! Lovely to see you here.

maj 12, 1:06pm

Happy new thread, Reba. Ooh, new bookcases! You will have to buy more books -- or are they already full?

maj 12, 4:14pm

Happy new thread!

Yay for new bookcases!

Redigeret: maj 12, 4:49pm

Hi Reba, I just rolled through a big back log of story and driving on the previous thread. I was surprised how little I posted, so simply want to say you've introduced a great new-to-me author (Thrity Umrigar).

I haven't put the two titles you reviewed on any request lists yet but I did wish list both The Space Between Us and The Secrets Between Us. Only 'Secrets' was available from Overdrive. I have a library cascade happening at the moment.

You sure have done a huge trek south and then north again. And ~ woah ~ adding in a trip to San Diego. That's ambitious. I hope your travels add up to great memories.

maj 12, 6:32pm

I hope you can catch your breath before you have to head off to SanDiego Reba. Always good to need and get new bookcases.

maj 13, 10:54am

>19 BLBera: Hi Beth. I'm hoping this means a little additional space for new books but it won't be much because we have seven boxes of books (some fairly small but still) that we brought back from Chautauqua and need to be shelved.

>20 quondame: Hi Susan! Thank you.

>21 SandyAMcPherson: I'm happy to have introduced you to Thrity Umrigar, Sandy. I hope you love her as much as I do. Be sure to read The Space Between Us first as there is a definite sequence to the books.

>22 brenzi: Hi Bonnie. We have 2 1/2 weeks between the trips but they're going to be pretty full. Even so, I want to be there for my wonderful, delightful granddaughter's graduation (plus now I get to pick up the bookcases lol).

maj 13, 10:59am

So I had a new, unpleasant experience yesterday. I've been having some "issues" with my throat for many months and finally decided to share my concern with my doctor a couple of months ago. I'm now experiencing some avenues of modern medicine that I'm not exactly enjoying (but hope lead to some answers). Before we left on our recent odyssey I had a procedure that involved putting a tiny camera up my nose to view my throat. That showed that my right vocal fold is "frozen" which led to an ultrasound study which showed nodules on my thyroid so yesterday I "got" to have a needle-biopsy of my thyroid. TMI? probably

maj 13, 11:08am

>24 RebaRelishesReading: - Oh, yuck to the medical stuff, Reba. I hope it turns out to be something minor and easily treatable!

maj 13, 11:11am

>24 RebaRelishesReading: So sorry, Reba, I hope it is something that is easy to treat.

maj 13, 11:19am

>24 RebaRelishesReading: Not TMI. It is good to mention this worry. Helps put it in perspective. The procedures sound intimidating but good to have a diagnosis, no?
Wishing you all the very best of outcomes.

And yes, I will definitely read The Space Between Us first. I have it WL-ed but not requested, so far.

maj 13, 11:21am

Hi Reba, came to wish the traditional thread wishes, but so sorry to read about the medical concerns. Hope for some reassuring news from the biopsy.

maj 13, 11:43am

>25 katiekrug:, >26 FAMeulstee:, >27 SandyAMcPherson:, >28 charl08: Thank you Katie, Anita, Sandy and Char for enduring the post and providing sympathy. I'll keep you posted.

maj 13, 11:59am

Good luck with your biopsy, Reba. I hope it all turns out to be nothing serious.

maj 13, 12:17pm

>24 RebaRelishesReading: well that sounds unpleasant, Reba, but good for you for staying on top of it and following through on each step to get to a diagnosis. Good luck with the next steps.

maj 13, 12:53pm

>24 RebaRelishesReading: Ooh that doesn’t sound nice! Hope everything goes well.

maj 13, 3:38pm

Ahem! I think you completely overlooked >14 FAMeulstee:, >15 ronincats: and >16 drneutron: above.

Here's hoping that your nodules and my polyp are both minor extrusions and easily removed with no aftereffects.

maj 13, 6:26pm

>14 FAMeulstee:, >15 ronincats:, >16 drneutron: Yikes you're right Roni!! I did read them but either forgot to respond or responded and forgot to post (actually I remember writing a response so must not have hit "post message"). I'm so sorry, Anita, Roni and Jim!!

maj 13, 6:30pm

>30 BLBera:, >31 lauralkeet:, >32 SandDune:, >33 ronincats: Thank you Beth, Laura, Rhian and Roni. I just got the results and both nodules they biopsied were benign :) Still don't know what's wrong with my throat but there are more (less worrisome and unpleasant) tests to be done.

So, Roni, here's to a similar result for you!!

maj 13, 7:21pm

Whew crisis averted Reba. Very happy for you

maj 13, 9:38pm

Glad to hear the good news, Reba. I bet you are, too :)

maj 13, 9:58pm

Very glad about your results. I wish I would get mine.

maj 13, 11:24pm

How great to drop by to wish you a happy new thread and be greeted by good news, Reba!

Happy new thread and I am sure that your throat issues will be resolved soon too.

maj 13, 11:36pm

>35 RebaRelishesReading: Great news on the test results! You have my best wishes that the throat issue will clear up soonest!

maj 14, 8:19am

Hi Reba.

>24 RebaRelishesReading: I’m sorry to hear about this medical stuff. I think I had that same camera-up-the-nose joy when I had a paralyzed vocal cord in the fall of 2014. I do hope that whatever is going on is minor and easily treatable.

>35 RebaRelishesReading: I’m glad to hear about the benign biopsy results.

maj 14, 11:01am

>36 brenzi:, >37 katiekrug:, >38 ronincats:, >39 PaulCranswick:, >40 quondame:, >41 karenmarie: Thank you Bonnie, Katie, Roni, Paul, Susan and Karen. I'm relieved by the results, of course. It's not really a big problem, just a nagging little thing that doctor feared might be caused by something serious. It's looking more like it's just a nagging little thing period.

Indeed, Roni, I hope you get your results soon and that they end up being "just polyps".

Interesting you had a paralyzed vocal cord too, Karen. I'd never heard of that before. I would love to hear more about your experience if you're comfortable with sharing.

Redigeret: maj 14, 11:12am

Finding Barbara: A DNA Story by Susan Townsend***1/2

This book was written by a friend and is a fictionalized account of his background as it unfolded after he had a DNA test. He had been told that his mother had died when he was an infant but it turned out that wasn't true and he had much more family than he knew about. Susan was a social worker, not an author, but she did a fine job of retelling the facts and filling in from her imagination. A good read even for those who don't know the people involved.

maj 16, 4:40am

Happy New Thread, Reba!

maj 16, 11:09am

>44 connie53: Thank you Connie :)

maj 16, 11:20am

Yesterday was a beautiful day here -- blue skies, 70's, -- spring blooming all around. We took a little walk on the path along our local "creek" (more a small river but called a creek) and then in the afternoon I sat on our deck in my favorite outdoor chair (a rocker that is sooooo comfortable) and read. Really, how much nicer can a day get?

maj 16, 6:16pm

Happy new thread! I am glad your biopsies were benign, but that sounds scary and uncomfortable.

maj 16, 7:32pm

>47 banjo123: Yes, it was both scary and uncomfortable -- but it's over :)

maj 16, 7:40pm

LaRose by Louise Erdrich**** (audio)

Description from Amazon: "Inspiring and affecting, LaRose is a powerful exploration of loss, justice, and the reparation of the human heart, and an unforgettable, dazzling tour de force from one of America's most distinguished literary masters. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction. Finalist for the PEN Faulkner Award."

This epic saga is set on a reservation in North Dakota and follows some dramatic events in the lives of two families and more every-day problems of these families and the local priest. The characters are very real and easy to like (with one exception). The book is engaging and beautifully written (also beautifully read in the audio version) but so long that is sometimes dragged for me. Nevertheless, I certainly recommend it.

maj 17, 3:43am

Scrolling up your thread I noticed I missed the news about your medical stuff. You lost me on TMI though. I'm not sure what that means. Good to read about the results.

>46 RebaRelishesReading: Here it's really terrible. Rain, rain, rain. Cold, cold, cold.

maj 17, 7:37am

>49 RebaRelishesReading: Louise Erdrich is a gem, and a relatively recent discovery for me. I just started The Beet Queen yesterday. It looks like I should add LaRose to my reading list.

maj 17, 11:12am

I liked LaRose well enough, Reba, but I love her early work so much that some of her later stuff disappoints me, even though they are still very good.

maj 17, 11:38am

>50 connie53:, Hi Connie "TMI" means "too much information" -- it's moved into general usage in recent years from being a common abbreviation in texting.

Sorry about your weather. The northwest of the U.S. is known for its rainy weather but it's be beautiful here since we got back from our road trip.

>51 lauralkeet: Hi Laura. This is my first Erdrich and I don't think I'll be ready for another for a while. I'm looking forward to what you think of The Beet Queen though.

>52 BLBera: Hi Beth. Quite honestly I thought this was an excellent book but the scope was so big that it was almost too much for me. Maybe it was partly because I was listening which is always slower but towards the end I was sometimes thinking "oh, please, not another rabbit trail"

maj 17, 8:22pm

Hi Reba, Definitely agree with Beth on Louise Erdrich. Absolutely loved Love Medicine and Tracks and most of her early writing but not so much her later stuff.

maj 18, 7:55am

>52 BLBera:, >54 brenzi: yep, me too. I cared less for a recent book, The Night Watchman, than earlier ones. Besides the ones mentioned above, I also really liked The Round House.

maj 18, 9:33am

Happy newish thread, Reba.

Glad to hear that whatever it is, is benign, it's no fun having to wait for that kind of outcome!

Ah, and spring blooming all around, sounds great!

We went to the beach yesterday, sunny but a cold wind from the north. But we got to sit outside on a nice comfortable beach terrace with a glass of wine for the first time in a year.

maj 18, 11:13am

>54 brenzi: >55 lauralkeet: Hi Bonnie and Laura . OK, I'll keep Erdrich on my radar for future reads and be sure to pick one of her earlier works. :)

Hi Ella. We're still enjoying spring (although yesterday was on the cool side) and the neighborhood has moved on to rhododendrons and azaleas now. We even have some beauties in our own front yard.

maj 18, 11:49am

Here in Kansas it has been rainy and cloud covered. More like what I expect from the Pacific Northwest. The forecast is for this weather to continue for the next week. Right now I am working remotely for 2-3 hours per day and dealing with Mom's medical and housing issues. I hope to bring her home at the end of this week. Had a good short meeting yesterday with the Social Worker assigned to Mom and we agreed that she could come home as soon as the proper medical paperwork is completed.

That said I have the kitchen table covered with my papers and documents for working and I know that Mom isn't going to like that at all. She is fastidious about the table. When I am home she always complains about the books and papers I have stacked on the table. Now I have added laptop and electronic accoutrements because I have to have an electric outlet close enough.

I do have to say that the view from this spot on the table is outstanding. I can see a half-a-mile to the next hedgerow and lots of grass and trees that we have planted in the yard. The carpenter did a great job on the new deck and later this week I am going to buy some pots and get some plantings done for the deck.

maj 19, 12:07pm

Hi Benita -- hope all goes well with your Mom and that you don't get into too much trouble about the table :)

Redigeret: maj 19, 9:38pm

Hi, Reba. That trek home sounds exhausting, but then I'm not so frequent a driver anymore and don't relish driving long distances. Glad you're home.

And glad the biopsies showed nothing to worry about. Thyroid stuff is pretty routine to handle these days, but you didn't need that worry, so it's very good news.

I'm dealing with my own medical investigations, so far no adverse discoveries, which is good. My doctor wants me to swallow a camera! I know about this via my brother, who is the same sort of doc, and I'm glad mine wants to be thorough. It's just funny to think of.

Benita, good to hear that your mother can come home. Is she able to live on her own? Or are you planning home services for her?

maj 19, 9:40pm

Hi Reba, Just stopping by to say hello and catch up on your activities. Unpacking boxes of books when you have empty shelves waiting is fun. I have been trying to shelve my books by category and alphabetical within the category. It is sloooow going. Not sure if I'll ever finish.

maj 19, 10:39pm

>60 ffortsa:
The people at the rehab tell me that she can live on her own. They think that the after effects of COVID and the lingering ear infection caused her to stop eating. That started a downward cycle of just getting weaker and weaker. They thought I was just here on a visit. When I told them I was going to be here for two weeks that changed the picture. We are now planning on her coming home as soon as the paperwork is done.

We have had home services for her for some time. The Country Health Nurse comes every week. A housekeeper comes every two weeks. We are going to see if we can change that to weekly because she needs somebody to do a bit of cooking for her. We will be getting the local version of meals on wheels for her as well. That will start when I leave on June 1.

I will go back to work for two weeks, and then return here for one week later in June. My sister will be coming to spend two weeks with her in July and then I will return for a week in August. Once school starts it will be more difficult as both my sister (middle school teacher) and I are tied to the semester schedule. We hope that by that time she is feeling better and back to a more normal way of life.

maj 21, 12:56am

>60 ffortsa: Thanks, Judy. It was a tiring trip but now we'll be home 2 weeks and 2 days and then leave for San Diego. We're going to do three days over the drive (we usually do it in 2) and we'll have fun while there. My beautiful, sweet, smart granddaughter is graduating from high school!

I had to smile about your camera swallowing because recently I had a camera put up my nose -- to look at my throat. Not exactly unpleasant but certainly weird. Hope your own camera experience has good outcome.

>61 Oregonreader: Hi Jan. Unpacking books is fun indeed as long as you have a place for them. Hope we can get together some time this summer.

maj 21, 1:04am

>63 RebaRelishesReading: Congratulations to your granddaughter! May you have perfect weather for your trip south. I expect you'll pass miles to the east of me, but wave as you cross the 10!

maj 21, 12:26pm

>64 quondame: Thanks you Susan. "miles to the east of you" ... probably. We usually use the 405 but given that we'll be coming through noonish on a weekday we're going to try the 210 to 15 option this time. I'll try to remember the wave :)

maj 21, 12:30pm

Handy man (well, actually men) here this morning to (1)finish putting our new grill together, (2) assemble the new table and chairs for the deck, (3) rehang the horizontal blind on the patio slider that is falling apart and (4) tighten a loose toilet seat. HOORAY!! Also expecting a man to measure for a screen for that sliding glass door. Wednesday two dying birch trees were removed and yesterday the stumps were ground.

We really are nearing the end of this moving/settling-in business. Hallelujah!

maj 22, 8:18am

>66 RebaRelishesReading: That's exciting, and I bet it's really satisfying to almost be completely finished with that settling in!

Redigeret: maj 22, 10:10am

Hi Reba!

>42 RebaRelishesReading: Ah, the sad parable of the paralyzed vocal cord in 2014. Here are my notes, but I was so sick and stressed after I got the referral that I see I didn’t write down the visit to the ENT, the diagnosis, or the follow up visit to him. I’ve written the rest from memory. I’ll spare those not interested.

Oct 29 Stayed home with sore throat, sinus pressure, earaches
Oct 30 GP visit. Augmentin, 875 MG 14 days 2 times per day, Prednisone MG, 5 days to be started if not more than 50% better by Monday the 3rd
Nov 2 Started Prednisone
Nov 4 GP visit. Nasal swab for whooping cough, chest xray, both negative. Cannot swallow liquids without choking up to 75% of the time
Nov 6 (hysterically) requested referral to ENT, finished Prednisone.
Nov 7 GP phone consultation. Agreed to referral, Fluconazole 200 MG 3 days 1 time per day. Started Fluconazole, an antifungal. I felt he was grasping at straws. Appt with ENT set up by GP’s office.
Nov 9 Finished Fluconazole.

The rest is from memory:
Nov 10 ENT. Diagnosed paralyzed left-vocal cord. Was the most gentle and kindly doctor I’ve ever, EVER had. Prescription for some kind of antibiotic and something else, not a steroid, but I can’t remember what they were. Told me to stay home for a week, don’t talk, and DO NOTHING. I actually followed his advice because I felt so terrible.

Nov 17 ENT follow up. He said that I’d fully recover from the paralysis, although he apparently wasn’t sure of that on the first visit. I’m glad he didn’t tell me it might be permanent.

The rest of November – December: People didn’t recognize my voice on the phone, and my car/cellphone Bluetooth couldn’t understand me. I was angry with my GP because I had to request a referral for the ENT, which he should have done immediately because of the difficulty in swallowing. Had a Dec 1 follow up and cataract-surgery clearance visit with the GP and cataract surgeries on Dec 8 and 15.

I’m generally happy with my GP, although it’s always wise to go to him if I’m having a problem with having done some kind of research. Like the thing with my right knee recently – he did order an x-ray but both he and the technician diagnosed a ‘floating body’, which I researched and expected to have to get surgery for. The specialist said it was really a fabella and in conjunction with the arthritis was causing the pain. I'm now on miloxicam, which works about 95% of the time. Someone here on LT told me that there is a surgery to remove the fabella, which is always an option if things get terribly worse.

>63 RebaRelishesReading: Yay for the ‘beautiful, sweet, smart ganddaughter’ graduating form high school.

maj 22, 11:14am

>67 scaifea: Hi Amber -- indeed it does feel great to be nearly settled

>68 karenmarie: Thanks for sharing that Karen. Sounds like you've recovered which is encouraging.

Redigeret: maj 22, 11:20am

So here's our back yard with deck now "furnished" with grill, table & chairs and two rockers. I read in a rocker (these are the most comfortable chairs I've ever owned) for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon -- bliss :)

Screen is ordered. Horizontal blind is still falling off the track, however. Handy men said they were afraid they'd break something if they kept going and suggested calling "blind people" which is were I started. "Blind people" said the blind was so old the parts would cost too much and it wouldn't be worth it. I called Hunter Douglas then and they sent me the parts for free along with instructions/owners manual. I don't want to fiddle with it and apparently neither does anyone else. I may have to though because the fabric, etc. is all in perfect condition -- it's just the little hanger clips that are the problem -- and seems a waste to just toss it out and buy a new one. Sigh.

maj 22, 12:02pm

Lovely deck, Reba. It's hard to find good help...

Redigeret: maj 22, 5:20pm

>70 RebaRelishesReading: ooh, that's a beautiful spot, Reba. I hope you get the blinds sorted out.

maj 22, 6:00pm

>70 RebaRelishesReading: Oh just lovely Reba. And those chairs look really comfortable.

maj 23, 1:18am

>71 BLBera:, >72 lauralkeet:, >73 brenzi: Thank you Beth, Laura and Bonnie. I'm really looking forward to that deck this summer and also hope I can get the bloody blind sorted!!

Redigeret: maj 24, 12:56am

Have I ever mentioned how proud I am of my kind, sweet, smart, beautiful granddaughter? Tonight is Senior Prom night for her, to be held on the football field, everyone masked. Her dress had to be altered and the seamstress used some fabric left over from shortening the dress to make her a matching one.

maj 23, 8:40am

>70 RebaRelishesReading: Your deck looks wonderful! I love the rocking chairs and the roofed area!

maj 23, 11:11am

>76 scaifea: Thanks Amber -- you'd be amazed how comfy those rockers are. I've owned one of them since 1987 but hadn't been able to find another until this year. I doubt you could tell which one was the older one.

maj 23, 8:29pm

>70 RebaRelishesReading: That looks nice and peaceful!

maj 23, 11:41pm

Love the deck and rockers but can't see the photo of your granddaughter!

maj 24, 12:57am

>78 thornton37814: Hi Lori -- it is indeed!

>79 ronincats: Hi Roni -- is the picture better now?

Redigeret: maj 24, 12:59am

Does anyone have a good poem about travel with friends? I'm planning to make a photo book for a dear friend with whom we've travelled many times over the years and thought a nice poem would go well on the first page. I am illiterate when it comes to poetry so need help please :)

maj 24, 1:02am

>75 RebaRelishesReading: She's stunning! And has good taste as well.

maj 24, 12:52pm

>82 quondame: Thank you Susan. She's a delightful young woman!

maj 24, 6:32pm

maj 24, 7:35pm

>80 RebaRelishesReading: Yes, now I can see it!

maj 25, 11:43am

>84 brenzi: Thanks Bonnie :)

>85 ronincats: I always have trouble when it's not a photo I've posted on FaceBook so glad it worked.

maj 25, 1:05pm

The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner****1/2

Written in 1943, this semi-autobiographical novel is set at the beginning of the 20th century in the western U. S. and Canada. Reportedly the connection with Stegner's own family is the frequent moving from place to place always pursuing a new idea for making a fortune. The book is named after a folk song "Big Rock Candy Mountain", which is about a mythical paradise.

Elsa leaves her Minnesota home to go and live with an uncle in a small town in North Dakota after her widowed father marries her best friend. She meets Bo and falls in love with him in spite of his temper and "career" selling liquor illegally. Bo, the product of an abusive childhood, has a talent for working with his hands and is a fine carpenter and skilled mechanic but is always searching to "make it big". Elsa wants a stable home and sense of community around her but the chemistry with Bo is strong and she gives in to his charm. The book follows their life.

In spite of this being a rather sad story, I was so drawn in by the characters and their story that I was constantly drawn back to it. A very worthwhile, if not cheery, book.

Here are the lyrics to the song, many phrases of which appear in the book:

One evening as the sun went down
And the jungle fire was burning
Down the track came a hobo hiking
And he said, "Boys, I'm not turning"
"I'm headed for a land that's far away
Besides the crystal fountains
So come with me, we'll go and see
The Big Rock Candy Mountains"
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
There's a land that's fair and bright
Where the handouts grow on bushes
And you sleep out every night
Where the boxcars all are empty
And the sun shines every day
And the birds and the bees
And the cigarette trees
The lemonade springs
Where the bluebird sings
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
All the cops have wooden legs
And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth
And the hens lay soft-boiled eggs
The farmers' trees are full of fruit
And the barns are full of hay
Oh, I'm bound to go
Where there ain't no snow
Where the rain don't fall
The winds don't blow
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
You never change your socks
And the little streams of alcohol
Come trickling down the rocks
The brakemen have to tip their hats
And the railway bulls are blind
There's a lake of stew
And of whiskey too
You can paddle all around it
In a big canoe
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
The jails are made of tin
And you can walk right out again
As soon as you are in
There ain't no short-handled shovels
No axes, saws nor picks
I'm goin' to stay
Where you sleep all day
Where they hung the jerk
That invented work
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
I'll see you all this coming fall
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

maj 25, 1:24pm

>87 RebaRelishesReading:
Mark and I read this book way-back-when and I liked it. I wanted to dislike the father but in the end I just couldn't. Stegner made even the unsympathetic characters sympathetic. Like you I kept putting this book aside and then I would pick it up again and in the end I kept thinking about it. I still think about it from time-to-time. This is indeed a worthy read.

maj 25, 10:00pm

>35 RebaRelishesReading: Phew! Glad the nodules were benign. Hope the rests of the tests are not too bad and that you find out what's going on.

>49 RebaRelishesReading: Love La Rose and Erdrich!!

>70 RebaRelishesReading: The deck is looking awesome!! Hurray for all the home fixes. Maybe I'll get to visit you someday. : )

>75 RebaRelishesReading: Beautiful photo! No wonder you are so proud, and I love how you mention her other good qualities first.

Happy Tuesday.

maj 26, 7:53am

>87 RebaRelishesReading: ooh, I loved The Big Rock Candy Mountain too, Reba. Only after reading it did I learn it was semi-autobiographical, which made it even more interesting to me. Have you read Stegner's Angle of Repose? That was my introduction to him and it was a 5-star read.

maj 26, 4:54pm

Thanks for posting your granddaughter picture, she's lovely, and looks like a sweet person.

maj 26, 8:26pm

>88 benitastrnad: Hi Benita. I've been thinking about it off and on today. It had a very engaging plot but also gave one lots to think about re upbringing, love, priorities, compromise...

>89 Berly: Hi Kim! Thank you re medical wishes and kind words about deck. I hope we can sit there and talk books some day too. (it's not a complete list of her qualities but I tried to list these by order of importance ... to me anyway.) She's a total treasure as is her brother but he will be highlighted in two years when he graduates from high school.

>90 lauralkeet: Hi Laura. Yes, I've read Angle of Repose which is the only other Stegner I've read. I think I probably rated it 5 stars because I really liked it. I certainly plan to read more of his.

>91 banjo123: Thank you Rhonda. As I said above, she's a complete treasure.

maj 26, 8:29pm

So...we're on the road again. We drove from Vancouver (WA of course) to Redding, California today. On to Bakersfield tomorrow and then to San Diego Friday morning. We're dog-sitting for son and d-i-l while they make a short trip, visiting friends, going to our dentist (haven't found a new one in WA yet), and finally going to kind, sweet, smart, beautiful granddaughter's high school graduation. We plan to be gone about 2 weeks.

A nice 60-something day was forecast for home today but when we got out of the car here in Redding it was 88 -- man do I hate heat!!

maj 27, 8:46am

Hi Reba!

>75 RebaRelishesReading: She’s lovely, absolutely lovely. The dress is perfect.

>93 RebaRelishesReading: Safe travels, enjoy the time with your family.

maj 27, 8:34pm

>94 karenmarie: Thank you, Karen. Her awards ceremony is tonight and is "virtual" only so we will be watching from our hotel room. I know she's getting a reward but don't know what it's for.

maj 29, 12:11pm

So granddaughter got an aware called the "Alpha award" for being a leader. There were six of them I think. She's such a doll.

Meanwhile we've arrived in San Diego and are sitting our fur grandchildren while son and d-i-l are out of town at a Padres game. I'm totally convinced that these are the two best dogs on earth. I'm sitting at a bar-stool height table on the computer with Mia (little white poodle something or other mix) next to my left foot and Mollie (big black lab something or other mix) next to my right. I've got a week and a half to satisfy my "I want a dog" urges before I go home.

jun 1, 6:47pm

All the talk of medical appointments elsewhere nudges me to report that we're taking advantage of being in San Diego to get our teeth cleaned. We've got new doctors and a hair dresser in Washington but knew we'd be back here about time for our next cleaning so having moved toward a new dentist. I'm proud to report that the hygienist started my appointment with "you take really good care of your teeth so this will be easy for me". She also had a new tool which involved first painting my teeth purple, followed by a rinse after which all of "stuff' that needed to be removed was bright pink. The removal happened by way of a water jet with only very limited use of the hand tools at the end. It was like having my mouth power washed :)

I brought three books on this trip (2 weeks) thinking I would get at least that much reading done. So far I've read about 30 pages :( Right now, though everyone else seems to be busy doing their own thing so I'm going to sneak out of this room, grab my book and find a quiet corner.

jun 2, 9:16pm

>97 RebaRelishesReading: When I think I'll have time to read, I often find myself with less time than anticipated.

jun 3, 7:54pm

>98 thornton37814: Funny how that goes, isn't it Lori?

Redigeret: jun 4, 10:29am

Snap by Belinda Bauer****1/2

Thank you SusanJ for recommending this book (a year ago). Somehow the title never really called to me so it sat in Mt. TBR with little attention until I was looking for books to bring with me on our San Diego trip and decided it was "time". What a great book!!

From the cover: "Jack's in charge, said Eileen Bright as she left their broken-down car on the side of the road to find help. But she never came back and, three years later, fourteen-year-old Jack's still in charge: of his two younger sisters, of making sure nobody knows they're all alone in the house, and -- quite suddenly -- of finding out who murdered his mother. Meanwhile, a young woman named Catherine While wakes to find a knife beside her bed, and a note reading 'I could have killed you.' With a husband on the road and a baby on the way, Catherine makes one bad choice that leads her into a tangled web of deception and danger. A gripping, masterfully written novel."

This book won the UK National Book Award for "crime and thriller", which it surely is, but it's much more than that. It's also about family and responsibility and deception. A really good read.

jun 3, 8:11pm

Ok that sounds like one that I'd like Reba so onto the list it goes.

Redigeret: jun 4, 10:30am

We spent much of the day in Coronado today while Hubby got a hair cut and had his teeth cleaned. I visited a favorite indy bookstore and came home with these two books. In addition we had a wonderful lunch and I had a couple of hours to read which allowed me to finish a great novel, Snap. Very good day :)

So for I-don't-know-what-reason I can only get one book to show up even though I've entered two. Probably some error on my part but I can't see what it is. Anyway, my two new books are:

Miss Austen by Gill Hornby and
In Praise of Walking by Shane O'Mara

jun 3, 8:30pm

>101 brenzi: It's a good one Bonnie :)

jun 4, 7:50am

>100 RebaRelishesReading: Oooh, that one sounds really good! Adding it to the list.

jun 4, 9:54am

I've loved all the Belinda Bauer books I've read, including Snap. She's very good.

jun 4, 10:32am

>104 scaifea: Hi Amber! I think you'll enjoy it.

>105 katiekrug: Hi Katie. I'd never heard of her until this one. I'll have to check out her other books. Any particular recommendation or just "all of them"?

jun 4, 11:13am

>106 RebaRelishesReading: - The first of hers I read was Blacklands, which is probably still my favorite.

jun 5, 12:32pm

>107 katiekrug: Thanks Katie. I'll put that one on the wish list.

jun 7, 11:53pm

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje***1/2

From the book cover:
"It is 1945, and London is still reeling from years of war. Fourteen-year-old Nathaniel and his older sister, Rachel, seemingly abandoned by their parents, have been left in the care of an enigmatic figure they call The Moth. They suspect he may be a criminal and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women with a shared history, all of whom seem determined now to protect and educate (in rather unusual ways) the siblings. But are they really what and who they claim to be? And how should Nathaniel and Rachel feel when their mother returns without their father after months of silence--explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn't know or understand during that time, and it is this journey--through reality, recollection and imagination--that is told in this magnificent novel."

As with The English Patient I found this book a bit of a slog but liked the ending, which explains a lot and wraps the story up nicely, enough to make me glad I had read the book.

I går, 1:16pm

Made it home last night -- another 10 hour driving day :( However, we have no more road trips planned -- next trip of any kind is next February and is non-stop flight to Hawaii :)

I'm tired but still very happy to have been there for my granddaughter's graduation. We got to spend time with the entire San Diego family on three separate days and I got to go to the grad. ceremony in person (there were only 4 tickets per student so it was Dad, Mom and the two grandma's who got to be there in person -- others watched on FaceTime). We all went out for a fun teppan dinner to celebrate after the ceremony.

While there we picked up two very-heavy bookcases and brought them back in our truck Subaru. They've been unloaded and are in their place (although no shelves or books in them yet) . Suitcases are unpacked and stowed and the laundry is going. it's time to go to post office/grocery/etc.

Did I mention I'm really tired of road trips?

I går, 4:44pm

>110 RebaRelishesReading: Glad you are safely back home, Reba, and that you could be at the graduation.
Okay, understood, you won't plan any road trips in the near future ;-)