RebaRelishesReading again in 2015 - 2nd half

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RebaRelishesReading again in 2015 - 2nd half

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Editat: oct. 24, 2015, 11:54am

Photo from the NY Times. I don't know where this is...but I want it!

juny 23, 2015, 9:16am

For those new to my thread, I'm a retired city planner living in San Diego. I spend summers at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York state. When in San Diego I spend my time: volunteering with Knitting4Peace, the Assistance League, at church and Feeding America; going to the symphony; enjoying the many wonderful restaurants in our neighborhood; doing needlework; and, of course, reading. My favorite genre's are fiction, biography and history. I'm working on reading all of the winners of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and at least one work by each of the Nobel winners for literature. I've been on Library Thing for eight years and active with 75er's for four. I enjoy meeting my LT friends, have had six meet-up's so far and am looking for more.

Editat: des. 31, 2015, 3:58pm

Books read in 2015:

1. The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs*
2. Thirteen Days in September by Lawrence Wright (audio)****1/2
3. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (audio)**
4. A Person of Interest by Susan Choi****
5. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson***** (audio) reread
6. The Warden by Anthony Trollope****1/2 (audio)
7. Dr. Thorne by Anthony Trollope*****(audio)
8. Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope*****(audio)
9. Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Stroud ***** (audio)
10. Oil by Upton Sinclair****1/2 (audio)
11. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell**** (audio)
12. The Mating Season by P. G. Wodehouse**** (audio)
13. A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren****
14. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline****1/2
15. Grain Brain by David Perlmutter***
16. The Old Maid by Edith Wharton****(audio)
17. Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo****1/2 (audio)
18. Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott**** (audio)
19. Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer**** (audio)
20. The Diggers Rest Hotel by Geoffrey McGeachin ***1/2 (audio)
21. The Glassblower by Petra Durst-Benning*** 1/2 (audio)
22. The American Lady by Petra Durst-Benning ***1/2 (audio)
23. Between Two Worlds by Malcolm Gaskill **** (audio)
24. Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King ***** (audio)
25. The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham***** (audio)
26. Brooklyn by Colm Toibin*****(audio)
27. The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout****1/2(audio)
28. Nora Webster by Colm Toibin****(audio)
29. The War That Ended Peace by Margaret MacMillan*****(audio)
30. My Antonia by Willa Cather**** (audio)
31. The Signature of all Things by Elizabeth Gilbert***(audio)
32. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee***(audio)
33. Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City by Russell Shorto****(audio)
34. One Summer by Bill Bryson****(audio)
35. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough*****(audio)
36. Middlemarch by George Eliot (audio)****
37. The Pearl by John Steinbeck*****(audio)
40. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer ***** (audio)
41. The Paradise of Glass by Petra Dorse-Benning***1/2(audio)
42. What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Mullen****
43. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen***** (audio) (reread)
44. Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery***(audio)
45. To The Letter by Simon Garfield****

juny 23, 2015, 9:17am

PULITZER PRIZE WINNERS (for fiction) read in 2015:

65. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (2014)
66. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (2015)

Pulitzer Prize Winners read before 2015
1. The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1928) by Thornton Wilder
2. The Magnificent Ambersons (1919) by Booth Tarkington
3. The Stories of John Cheever (1979)
4. The Optimist’s Daughter (1973) by Eudora Welty
5. The Able McLaughlins (1924) by Margaret Wilson
6. His Family (1918 – first award) by Ernest Poole
7. Early Autumn (1927) by Louis Bromfield
8. The Reivers (1963) by William Faulkner
9. A Death in the Family (1958) by James Agee
10.The Good Earth (1932) by Pearl Buck
11.Angle of Repose (1972) by Wallace Stegner
12. A Visit from the Goon Squad (2011) by Jennifer Egan
13. Tinkers (2010) by Paul Harding
14. Olive Kitteridge (2009) by Elizabeth Strout
15. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2008) by Junot Diaz
16. The Road (2007) by Cormac McCarthy
17. March (2006) by Geraldine Brooks
18. Gilead (2005) by Marilynne Robinson
19. The Known World (2004) by Edward P. Jones
20. Middlesex (2003) by Jeffrey Eugenides
21. Empire Falls (2002) by Richard Russo
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2001) by Michael Chabon
23. Interpreter of Maladies (2000) by Jhumpa Lagiri
24. The Hours (1999) by Michael Cunningham
25. American Pastoral (1998) by Philip Roth
26. Independence Day (1996) by Richard Ford
27. The Stone Diaries (1995) by Carol Shields
28. The Shipping News (1994) by E. Annie Proulx
29. A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain (1993) by Robert Olen Butler
30. A Thousand Acres (1992) by Jane Smiley
31. Rabbit at Rest (1991) by John Updike
32. The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love (1990) by Oscar Hijuelos
33. Breathing Lessons (1989) by Anne Tyler
34. Beloved (1988) by Toni Morrison
35. A Summons to Memphis (1987) by Peter Taylor
36. Lonesome Dove (1986) by Larry Mcmurtry
37. Foreign Affairs (1985) by Alison Lurie
38. Ironweed (1984) by William Kennedy
39. The Color Purple (1983) by Alice Walker
40. Rabbit is Rich (1982) by John Updike
41. A Confederacy of Dunces (1961) by John Kennedy Toole
42.Humboldt’s Gift (1976) by Saul Bellow
43. House Made of Dawn (1969) by N. Scott Momaday
44. To Kill a Mockingbird (1961) by Harper Lee
45. The Old Man and the Sea (1953) by Ernest Hemingway
46. The Grapes of Wrath (1940) by John Steinbeck
47. The Yearling (1939) by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
48. Gone With the Wind (1937) by Margaret Mitchell
49. Arrowsmith (1926) by Sinclair Lewis
50. So Big (1925) by Edna Ferber
51. One of Ours (1923) by Willa Silbert Cather
52. Alice Adams (1922) by Booth Tarkington
53. The Age of Innocence (1921) by Edith Wharton
54. The Orphan Master's Son (2013)
55. All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren (1947)
56. The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter (1966)
57. The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau (1965)
58. Martin Dressler: A Tale of an American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser (1997)
59. The Fixer by Bernard Malamud(1967)
60. Elbow Room by James Alan McPherson (1978)
61. A Bell for Adano by John Hersey (1945)
62. The Late George Apley by John P. Marquand
63. The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara (1975)
64. The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk (1952)

juny 23, 2015, 9:17am

Books by Nobel Prize Winners read in 2015

Book by Nobel Prize Winners read before 2015

1. Ernest Hemingway (1954): A Moveable Feast, The Sun Also Rises, Old Man and the Sea
2. Pearl Buck (1938): The Good Earth
3. W. B. Yeats (1923): A Poet to His Beloved: The Early Love Poems of W. B. Yeats
4. William Faulkner (1949): The Reivers
5. Doris Lessing (2007): The Sweetest Dream
6. Gunter Grass (1999): The Box: Tales from the Dark Room
7. Rudyard Kipling (1907): Captains Courageous
8. Yasunari Kawabata (1968): Snow Country
9. Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1982): Love in the Time of Cholera
10. Mario Vargas Llosa (2010): The Storyteller
11. Sinclair Lewis (1930): Main Street, Babbitt, Arrowsmith
12. John Steinbeck (1962): The Grapes of Wrath
13. Saul Bellow (1976): Humboldt’s Gift, Herzog
14. Toni Morrison (1993): Beloved, The Bluest Eye
15. John M. Coetzee (2003); Disgrace
16. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse (1946)
17. Fatelessness by Imre Kertesz (2002)
18. Vipers' Tangle by Francois Mauriac (1952)
19. Red Sorghum by Mo Yan (2012)
20. Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot(1948)
21. The First Man by Albert Camus (1957)
22. Cain by Jose Saramago (1998)
23. The Appointment by Herta Muller (2009)
24. Midaq Alley by Naguib Mahrouz (1988)
25. Dear Life by Alice Munro (2013)
26. One Day in the Life of Ivan denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1970)
27. Silent House by Orhan Pamuk (2006)
28. Old Love by Isaac Bashevis Singer (1978)

note: the year in parenthesis is the year the author was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature

juny 23, 2015, 9:18am

My goals for 2014 were:
- read 100 books, including
- 10 Pulitzer winners
- 10 books written by Nobel winners, and
- more from TBR pile than ones purchased in 2014.

I didn't even get close! I read 60 books, the fewest I've read in at least two years, with only one each for the Pulitzers and Nobels. To add to my list of "didn'ts", Mount TBR grew considerably. Looking forward to the coming 12 months I think I had better be much more circumspect with my goals.

My reading goals for 2015:
- read more than I buy
- read at least 75 books
- enjoy what I read and don't stress over the numbers

juny 23, 2015, 9:27am

Hi Lucy, Roni and Rhonda -- so nice to have visitors. The condo is mostly finished for now. A handyman is coming some time this week to install a shelf/towelbar and two grab bars in the bathroom but that's it. There are a few more areas that need paint which I plan to do when we come back in the fall but otherwise we're done. I've been keeping busy walking, working on my tablecloth and visiting with Chautauqua friends as they arrive. Season starts on Saturday and then I'll be really busy (until we leave on the cruise on July 25).

Our weather has been typical (from my experience) for western New York in early summer. It rains every couple of days and in-between in sometimes it's humid and very warm while other times it's cool and dry. Soon I imagine the rain will lessen and it will start to dry out a bit. Basically I've found the summer weather here to be pleasant -- nothing like the heat and humidity of a mid-western summer (or, heaven forbid, a southern summer).

Hope you're all enjoying your summers.

juny 23, 2015, 9:41am

The American Lady by Petra Durst-Benning***1/2

This is the second book of a planned trilogy set in late 19th/early 20th century Germany. We are now in 1912 and the family is prospering but a twist of trouble comes to the family and must be dealt with by Wanda, the young adult daughter of Ruth. Another entertaining book to accompany my walks. The third book is due out in the fall and I'm looking forward to listening to it too.

juny 23, 2015, 9:54am

Happy new thread, Reba! It sounds like Chatauqua is going well for you.

juny 23, 2015, 10:13am

Happy new thread, Reba! You have been busy!!

juny 23, 2015, 10:23am

Thanks Susan. I just needed a new audio book and remembered you had prompted me to put Between Two Worlds on my wish list. It's available in audio and I will soon be walking and listening to it :)

Thanks Mamie. So nice to see you here. I have been busy and keep being motivated by you and Susan to up the number of steps per day...although lately I've been concentrating more on flights of stairs (at least 10 per day).

juny 23, 2015, 10:47am

Happy new thread, Reba!

juny 23, 2015, 7:05pm

Hi Reba! I love the picture at the top of your thread! What a charming bookstore entrance!

juny 23, 2015, 9:57pm

Glad you made it to New York without problems, Reba. Too bad your condo wasn't the way you had hoped. That must have been a shock to walk in and find the toilet just sitting there with no connection! That is a lovely entrance to the local bookstore!

juny 23, 2015, 10:24pm

Just checking out the new thread, Reba!

juny 23, 2015, 11:15pm

Thanks, Katie

Hi Amy, it is a nice entrance and one of my favorite places at Chautauqua (who woudda thought lol)

Indeed, Donna, It wasn't great but we did get a tip-off in advance. At least it's installed and working fine now

Hi Roni, thanks for stopping by

juny 24, 2015, 5:06am

Happy new thread - love the library picture, looks so welcoming...

juny 24, 2015, 7:17am

Happy new thread, Reba!

juny 24, 2015, 8:32pm

Hi Charlotte and Amber -- thank you for stopping by!

juny 26, 2015, 10:16pm

Happy New Thread! I hope it is cooler in New York than it has been here in East Tennessee. Otherwise, you may be wishing you were back in San Diego where the temperatures always seem to be moderate.

juny 27, 2015, 9:21am

That topper bookstore entrance looks entirely seriously dangerous!!

juny 27, 2015, 1:20pm

Hi Lori -- It's been nice in New York...rather rainy but that's normal for this time of year. Highs haven't gone beyond 80. Today it's in the 60's and raining heavily all day -- nice, cozy day to spend inside :)

You're right, Lucy, it's a very dangerous place. I stop by almost every day (it's just across the square from us)

juny 30, 2015, 5:55pm

Reba, there is a thunderstorm passing over San Diego right now. I have my windows wide open listening to the thunder and falling rain. It won't last long, but it's lovely while it lasts. Except for the people at the beach--the lifeguards made them all get out of the water.

jul. 1, 2015, 12:22pm

>23 ronincats: We heard about that storm. "Weirding of the weather" for sure. We've had cold, rainy weather for several days now. We're having people over for dinner tonight and I had hoped to sit outside where we have more room but doesn't look like it. Stuffed pork chops and green beans eaten from your lap anyone?

jul. 1, 2015, 12:53pm

>24 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, if someone else is cooking it, I'd eat standing up! I'm going to a client dinner tonight, on the hottest day we've had for ten years (36.7C, which is 98F). There was a suggestion that we go by tube. Then a suggestion that perhaps a cab might be the thing...

jul. 1, 2015, 5:10pm

>24 RebaRelishesReading: Yes, thank you, I'd love to come for dinner. Plate on lap works for me just fine! Sounds like you've been having a wonderful time, notwithstanding the weather. I guess the season started this past weekend, so you are probably pretty busy now. Enjoy!

Editat: jul. 3, 2015, 3:01pm

>25 susanj67: 98 degrees F -- really!!!! Can you please arrange for that to be over before we get there?

>26 Storeetllr: As I was starting to get the table set up I remembered we have two leaves to the table (furniture came with the place when we bought it) so we got those out and all 8 of us were able to fit around the table. We are having a great time and, yes, we're busy. I've learned over the years not to try to go to everything that sounds interesting, however, and try to pace myself so it isn't bad. For example, last night there was a classical guitarist but I was tired so just stayed home instead. Saving myself for the opening concert by the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra tonight though. Can't miss that!

jul. 3, 2015, 3:00pm

Between Two Worlds by Malcolm Gaskill **** (audio)

Thank you Susan for pointing me towards this most interesting history of early America. I learned a great deal about 17th century America, which I suppose wasn't hard since that century was covered in about two paragraphs in the history texts of my school days. Very interesting, very well written. Makes me curious to know more.

jul. 8, 2015, 10:23am

Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King *****

Along with many (most?) Americans I have always tended to think of Florida as being "south of the South" and assumed that the horrible Jim Crow practices were largely confined to the "real" South. This amazing book put all such ideas to rest. It focuses on an alleged rape of a 17-year-old white married woman in Lake County, Florida by four black men in 1949 and follows the sickening mistreatment of the men and miscarriage of justice in the case through the 1950's. The Lake County Sheriff, who beats prisoners, personally shot and killed one of the "Groveland Boys" and seriously wounded another, manufactures evidence, is involved in an explosion which killed a civil rights leader and his wife...just to name some of his practices...continues to be reelected every three years until 1972 when he is under indictment for some of his illegal activities and, thus, unable to campaign as usual. It's a stomach-turning, heart-wrenching, riveting story which is very worth reading.

jul. 10, 2015, 10:07am

The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham (audio) *****

Kitty is a beautiful child who grows into a beautiful woman. Her social-ambitious mother is sure she will make a "brilliant match" and tells her so often. Mother is equally sure that her 7-year-younger, plain sister will not and makes that equally clear. The years pass after Kitty comes out and she refuses many suiters until finally, when she is 25, her younger sister comes out and within the first "season" is engaged to a successful young man with a title. The prospect that her younger sister will marry first (and well) drives Kitty to agree to marry a bacteriologist who works for the Foreign Service in Hong Kong. He is a doctor but has no title and no fortune. He is smitten with Kitty; she finds him boring. The story that follows is engaging and the writing beautiful.

jul. 10, 2015, 10:29pm

Hi Reba, what a beautiful bookstore entrance. It is way too welcoming!

Have a wonderful time!

jul. 11, 2015, 12:42pm

Nice reviews of Devil in the Grove and The Painted Veil, Reba.

jul. 11, 2015, 8:42pm

You're right, Joanne, it's VERY welcoming and I'm a frequent visitor.
Thank you, Darryl

After a very wet week, we've now had two beautiful days in a row. Our dear friends who were in the condo next door left this morning which will mean a much quieter next two weeks for us. I spent the day painting the bathroom and running errands and then we went to see The Water Diviner this evening. Good movie but also quite a tear jerker!!

jul. 11, 2015, 8:50pm

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin***** (audio)

A young Irish woman, Eilis Lacey, is encouraged to move to America by her sister because her future at home doesn't seem bright. She is helped by a priest who has emigrated to New York. He finds her a job as a shop-girl and a room in a boarding house run by an Irish woman. In order to help her deal with home-sickness he helps her to enroll in program leading to a certificate in bookkeeping. Over time she deals with a shifting sense of "home" and where she fits in this lovely book.

jul. 14, 2015, 8:32pm

>34 RebaRelishesReading: I'm glad to see you enjoyed Brooklyn

jul. 15, 2015, 10:20am

Thanks, Lori. I've got Nora Webster cued up for next. Hope I like it as well.

jul. 15, 2015, 12:39pm

I want to change my "favorite authors" in my profile and can't remember or find where to do that. Help please :)

jul. 16, 2015, 10:15am

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout****1/2

We meet the Burgess family, Jack who is 4 years older than the twins, Bob and Sue, when they are adults. Sue, an optometrist, has been the single-mother of Zack since her husband left her to move to Sweden seven years before. Bob, an Legal Aid lawyer, is divorced from Pam, but is still in love with her and still sees her (she thinks of him as a brother). Jack is a highly successful lawyer married to the wealthy and "perfect" Helen. They have three grown children. Sue still lives in their home town of Shirley Falls, Maine while the brothers have moved to New York City. The siblings' relationship is difficult, stemming from a difficult childhood, which provides one major theme of the book. A parallel theme is a look at the difficulties encountered by locals and new comers when a group of Samalis moves to Shirley Falls. By the end of the book I felt a lot of sympathy for all of the (very human) characters. A lovely book that I would highly recommend.

jul. 16, 2015, 10:20am

Reba, to change your favorite authors, I think you have to go to each author's individual page, and there you can favorite or un-favorite them.

jul. 16, 2015, 2:04pm

Ah! Thank you Mamie

jul. 16, 2015, 2:40pm

You are welcome, Reba!

jul. 16, 2015, 7:53pm

So glad to see you liked Brooklyn! I've had Nora Webster on my shelf for a while now - I really should get to it. I don't know why I put off reading some books and not others.

I just noticed yesterday that they made a movie of Brooklyn and it was apparently very well received at Sundance. It will be released sometime this fall. We'll have to see if it's as good!

jul. 16, 2015, 9:41pm

Nice reviews! I have been meaning to read The Burgess Boys.

jul. 16, 2015, 10:00pm

>39 Crazymamie: Yes, thank you, Mamie! I tried to figure it out after Reba asked, but I was at a loss too. I'm going to copy your post to my Evernote note on how to do cool things in LT.

jul. 17, 2015, 10:03am

Hi Joanne, I'm really enjoying Nora Webster, not just for the story but I'm listening to it and it's being read by an Irish woman which makes it extra fun. Also, we'll be in Ireland in early September and I lived there for a couple of years in the early '80's so I'm getting myself back into Irish mode :)

Thank you Rhonda. I've liked everything I've read by Strout but especially The Burgess Boys in part because she takes on two issues here, one of which is complicated and important (immigration from very different cultures), and does it very well.

Hi Mary. I haven't tried it yet. Maybe when I get through here.

jul. 18, 2015, 3:39pm

Reba, I must get to The Painted Veil sometime soon. I really liked The Razor's Edge when I read it this April. It was my first Maugham book ever! I'm glad Joanne told you that Brooklyn was a Sundance success. I loved the book and will plan to see the movie when it's released to the general public. I envy you the New York summer weather. We are in our sticky summer heat. I just go out to water and walk the dog. Thank goodness for air conditioning!

jul. 18, 2015, 4:54pm

Hi Donna! I too loved Brooklyn and will definitely try to see it when it comes out. I also really enjoyed The Painted Veil which was my first Maugham. I must get some more by him soon. As to the weather...we've pretty much had it all so far. There were some really cold days in June and it has rained just about half the days we've been here (and it does know how to rain in western New York!). Today is in the high 80's and very humid. I did my walking in the morning, came back took a shower and haven't left the A/C since. I think it's supposed to stay this way until we leave on Friday.

jul. 18, 2015, 5:05pm

Nora Webster by Colm Toibin**** (audio)

Nora is the recently widowed mother of four in a rural Irish town. Her husband was a well-respected teacher and she an intelligent and traditional Irish wife and mother. Her children include a daughter in college, a daughter at boarding school, a son in his early teens and a son in elementary school. The book is a gentle description of her life in the first three years of widowhood. It's a bit slow, but that adds to the melancholy of the story. I enjoyed the book especially because, as with Brooklyn (which I preferred), listening to a story about Ireland read by a woman with a soft Irish accent is really putting me in the mood for our up-coming visit to Ireland. I lived there from 1981 to 1983 and haven't been back since, now I can hardly wait.

jul. 19, 2015, 8:39am

Nice review of Nora Webster, Reba. I hope to get to it sometime in the fall.

Editat: ag. 6, 2015, 9:41am

So much fine reading! I've WL'ed far too much of it. I like Maugham but I haven't read The Painted Veil. The plot sounds like a 'what if' Lily Briscoe (CORRECTION: Lily Bart from The House of Mirth!!!!!) had married somewhat hastily rather than remaining on the shelf until too late!

jul. 19, 2015, 1:35pm

Thanks, Darryl. I would recommend Brooklyn over Nora Webster but both are good. Like I said, Nora is a bit of a nostalgia trip for me but it's also an interesting look at recovery from bereavement.

Hi Lucy. I've never read Woolf so can't really compare but I did really enjoy The Painted Veil. (Sorry about damage to your WL...I certainly know how that goes).

jul. 25, 2015, 11:37am

The War That Ended Peace by Margaret MacMillan*****

This very thorough book about the causes of World War I is as beautifully written as MacMillans other books. She introduces the main players on the world scene, discussing their personalities and experience, and gives a thorough review of the European political scene in the first decade and a half of the 20th century. She also takes the reader through the various crises that took place in that time. It's a thorough and very readable history which also has relevance to other eras, including the present, as she reviews the missed opportunities to resolve issues peacefully.

jul. 25, 2015, 11:38am

I 'm writing this from the cruise terminal in Boston as we wait to board the ms Veendam for a lovely cruise to Newfoundland, Lavradoe, agree land, Iceland, Norway and ending in Amsterdam. I'll be pretty much out of contact for the next 18 days.

Editat: jul. 25, 2015, 11:51am

Bon voyage!!

ETA Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy is a Kindle special today for $1.99. I put it on my wishlist when you gave it a favorable review!

jul. 25, 2015, 2:46pm

Have a great trip, Reba! I will try to contain my envy :)

jul. 25, 2015, 3:48pm

Safe travels, and have a wonderful time! Can't wait to see the pics.

jul. 25, 2015, 4:43pm

Have a lovely trip!

Editat: jul. 26, 2015, 5:56am

Ooh, that sounds like an amazing trip! I'm also very eager to see photos of your sea journey.

Can I assume that "agree land" is supposed to be Greenland? Or is there a place where people get along with each other very well?

jul. 28, 2015, 10:15am

I think you'll like it Roni...hope so.

Hi Katie. Thanks. Having reread my post I realize you probably have no idea where we're going lol

Thanks Rhonda?

Lol Daryll .. I just saw that when I logged on. We were I the same little town in Greenland in 2002 and the people were really nice so perhaps "Agree Land" is appropriate too. I won't be posting any photos until we're on land. Using the wifi at Tim Horton's now and it reminds me of old .Commodore 64 days!

jul. 28, 2015, 10:17am

My Antonia by Willa Cather

Listened to My Antonia while working on my embroidery on the ship. A classic I'd somehow missed. Enjoyed it more than I expected to.

Editat: jul. 28, 2015, 9:02pm

>38 RebaRelishesReading: You liked The Burgess Boys better than I did. I enjoyed it, but I only gave it 3.5 stars.

>48 RebaRelishesReading: I loved Nora Webster too.

ag. 6, 2015, 9:41am

It's been wayyyyy too long since I've been here and I have to make a correction here and at my last comment - >50 sibylline: I did not mean Lily Briscoe, but Lily Bart, from Edith Wharton's House of Mirth!!!! Oi!

ag. 7, 2015, 6:19am

hi Lori...thanks for comments. I probably grade easier sometimes than others.
Lucy, I read House of Mirth years ago. Don't remember character names now.

ag. 7, 2015, 6:45am

We've been at sea for a few days so I've been able to do quite a bit of reading. I'm working on my iPad so won't try to post covers, but here's what I've read.

The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond. The story of TV chef Dee Drummon's meeting her husband through the first year of their marriage. She was a city girl who had been living in L.A. For 7 years when she went back to stay with family in Oklahoma as a break on the way to a new life in Chicago. She meets a hunk of a rancher and the rest is history.

Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott. A sequel to Little Women.

Senses and your Abilities by Edgar Hardy. A description of how our senses work and how we can sharpen them through exercises.

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. Ethan is a 58 year-old disabled man with a reclusive life when the narrator comes to town and gets to know him and his sad story.

The Quartet by Joseph J. Ellis. Ellis contends that the adoption of the U. S. constitution in the 1780's actually was a second revolution. The first was about freedom and the second about becoming a nation. He credits Hamilton, Jay, Madison and Washington with winning this second revolution and describes how it all came to pass. Fascinating, very well-written book.

The Handsome Man's Deluxe Cafe by Alexander McCall Smith. The most recent in the Number 1 Women's Detective Agency series. Charming and took me back to Botswana.

Objects of My Affection by Jill Smolinski. An organization expert is hired to help a one-famous, now border, clean out her house. At the same time she is dealing with her own drug addicted son. I found the approach to some difficult topics in this book to be original and interesting.

ag. 8, 2015, 4:33am

Sitting in a beautiful public library in Alesund, Norway using their very fast, secure WiFi. I love visiting out-of-the-way places but there's a lot to be said for first world cities.

ag. 8, 2015, 5:59am

Nice! I look forward to hearing more about your trip, Reba.

ag. 8, 2015, 6:08am

Hi Reba! I'm in a McD's - also great wi-fi :-). It sounds like the trip is going well, and what a great amount of reading!

ag. 12, 2015, 4:18am

Hi Daryll, thanks for stopping by. I'm feeling guilty for not being good about sharing this trip. You're such a great roll model and I'm failing!

Hi Susan. Yes, we're frequent ears of McD's for wifi when we travel. It's been hard to stay connected in the small, remote places we've been but should be better now. See you soon!

ag. 27, 2015, 12:44pm

We had a wonderful visit in London thanks in no small measure to a wonderful tour by Susan.

I have finally managed to finish another audio book, The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. This saga traces the lives of main character, Alma Whittacre, and her father beginning with him being sent to sea as a boy as a punishment for theft, through their lives a successful botanists and pharmaceutical manufacturers to her adventures in Polynesia and Europe late in life. The story takes place from the late 18th to late 19th century. It 's quite an undertaking and its focus on a strong woman main character appeals to me but I only gave it *** because I found it to be a bit too much and because I didn't like the unnecessarily graphic sexual descriptions. If you want a really big story and aren't put off by some limited graphic sex you may well enjoy this one.

ag. 31, 2015, 6:22am

Go Set a Watchman
By Harper Lee ***

Although it hasn't received good reviews I wanted to read this prequel/sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird anyway out of dogged curiosity. I liked the first half (or so) of the book quite a bit because I thought the flash backs provided a good coming-of-age story and an interesting picture of Southern U.S. Life in the mid-twentieth century. For me, however, it fell apart in the second half. Lee was trying to show different perspectives on the civil rights issue of the 1960's but I felt it was done rather ham-handedly. It was interesting to see the seeds of Mockingbird in this earlier book but the world should be grateful for the editor who made her redo this earlier effort.

ag. 31, 2015, 2:21pm

Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City by Russell Shorto**** (audio)

A friend recommended this very thorough history of Amsterdam and its liberalism so my husband and I decided to put it onto our summer listening list. Turns out that's a bit of an undertaking and we just finished the last hour of it this evening. Russell Sorto is an American who has made his home in Amsterdam for many years so is personally quite familiar with the city. In addition he seems to have thoroughly researched his subject. The book is interesting and taught me things about Dutch history that I didn't know even though I lived there for 7 years and earned a graduate degree at a major Dutch university.

There are a couple of issues with the book however. At one point Shorto says that it has been pointed out that he writes as though Amsterdam is representative of the entire country while it is not and I found that to be true on both counts. In addition, in his discussion of the Second World War he suggests that Amsterdam suffered much more under the occupation than did the rest of the country, which I believe to be completely inaccurate. These criticisms aside, it's a very interesting book not only from a historical perspective but also for the issues it raises about the experience of Dutch liberalism in recent years.

set. 1, 2015, 12:53am

Where are you???

set. 1, 2015, 3:32am

Hi Roni, nice to hear from you. We're in an adorable little cottage in Upton-upon-Severn, England. We'll be here until Friday when we fly back to Boston and then head for San Diego. We had planned to go on to Ireland and then go back to Chautauqua for a couple of weeks but have shortened our trip because our rental in Florida is causing problems and because a dear friend in San Diego is in hospital and not doing well. We should be home the middle of next week...hope it's not too hot!

Editat: set. 1, 2015, 5:28am

Nice review of Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City, Reba. I nearly bought that book when I was there in June, but I held off, as I was already reading several other books about the city. I'll add it to my wish list.

set. 1, 2015, 2:10pm

Sounds lovely. Hope your friend isn't named Diedra. We've cooled off after being in the 90s through the weekend--in the 70s this week although it's supposed to heat up at the weekend.

set. 1, 2015, 2:24pm

Hi Darryl! I think you'll enjoy Amsterdam. It's pretty thorough and he makes some interesting points. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Hi, friend is "John" and he seems to be rallying. Do you know a Diedra who is ill? We'll be glad to be home even if it's hot. If worse comes to worse we do have a/c even though we rarely use it.

Editat: set. 1, 2015, 2:27pm

Yes, a friend from the pottery studio who lives in Hillcrest. Fighting cancer, had surgery, sepsis set in, she's in hospice now. Glad your friend is rallying.

set. 2, 2015, 2:19am

I'll turn some of the good energy I'm trying to send her way. John has had multiple myeloma for ten years and was recently diagnosed with leukemia as well. Went into hospital for chemo, most leukemia gone with one round but a odd extra chromosome remained plus he suddenly didn't recognize wife and sister, was generally unresponsive, etc. As of yesterday, however, he recognized family and was able to sit up. His wife is my dearest friend so it's really her I want to be there for.

Editat: set. 6, 2015, 9:45am

We're back in the U.S. We originally planned to go to Ireland after our stay in England but several things are happening that needed our attention here so we scrapped the last week of the trip and flew back to Boston on Friday. We're at our place in Chautauqua now for a few days in order to get it ready for the winter and then will head down to Florida to take care of several issues with a rental we have there...including listing it for sale.

Since I have decent WiFi here and am reunited with my computer, I'm going to try to post some photos you all may find interesting from our trip.

First, here we are in the main square of Qaqortoq, Greenland. This was our second visit to this little town of about 2000 which is located just north-west on the southern tip of Greenland.

set. 6, 2015, 9:49am

After leaving Qaqortoq we sailed through Prince Christian Sound and then out into the biggest ice field I have ever seen. It was amazing to watch the captain nose his was slowly through the ice bergs, sometimes literally pushing them gently out of the way. I said to a man standing next to me that I thought we would need a paint job afterwards and he responded "as long as we don't need a patch!!" I couldn't have agreed with him more!!

set. 6, 2015, 10:32am

Love these photos!!!!! Amazing travels you two have cooked up. Very very admiring of it.

set. 6, 2015, 10:35am

Thanks, Lucy. I'm trying to round up some from each place to share but they're going to be in random order I fear because they're coming from a couple of different devices.

set. 6, 2015, 10:39am

I see from Roni's thread you are back at Chautauqua - one of these days I'll be able to plan a trip to Geneseo when you are there so I can come and see what it's like.

set. 6, 2015, 10:39am

Our first port on the cruise was Corner Brook, Newfoundland. It's a pleasant town on the west coast of the main island but not very photogenic I'm afraid

set. 6, 2015, 10:52am

Next we visited Red Bay, Labrador where we joined a ship's "excursion" for a coastal drive south to the Quebec border on a very foggy day.

Editat: set. 6, 2015, 1:12pm

<83 We would LOVE that Lucy!

Editat: set. 6, 2015, 1:26pm

I'm not going to be able to post some of the photos I would like to post because they're on my phone which has decided to not allow me to post to Facebook for some reason.

Our stop after Qaqortoq was Reykjavik, Iceland. We went on another ship's excursion here in order to see a bit of the country side. We were able to visit with some Icelandic horses and had a marvelous crayfish lunch at a fishing village before returning to Reykjavik where we walked around the old center of the city for a while. We were supposed to visit Djupivogur on the east coast of Iceland next but the North Atlantic was too stormy to allow it (it stayed stormy all the way to Norway, in fact).

First stop in Norway was at Geiranger which is at the head of a breathtaking fjord. The town itself is small and almost completely devoted to tourism. Not only do many cruise ships call here there is also a large campground and several hotels of various sizes. We were greeted by this charming fellow as we stepped out of the ship's tender.

set. 6, 2015, 1:23pm

Then on to Alesund, Norway which we had never visited before and which we really liked.

A wedding had just finished up at an Alesund church

set. 6, 2015, 1:24pm

On to Bergen next for a very rainy visit

set. 6, 2015, 1:30pm

The cruise ended in Amsterdam. We checked into a hotel and spend another four days there.

The Dutch are a VERY bicycle loving nation. This is bicycle parking at Amsterdam Central Station - including the bike parking garage at the back

set. 6, 2015, 1:35pm

After Amsterdam we took the train to St. Malo in Brittany, France where we had a hotel inside the old city walls We were only there a day before taking the ferry to the Channel Islands but we were still able to see a lot.

I had a wonderful meal of mussels (which I adore)

set. 6, 2015, 1:35pm

Wow! Charming photos, Reba! Thanks so much for including us in your travels!!

set. 6, 2015, 1:38pm

Counting according to the rules of the "Century Club", I have now visited 101 countries. My 100th was Jersey. We had long wanted to visit the Channel we want to go back.

While on Jersey we rented a Smart car and drove around the island. The roads are VERY small and they have an extensive bus service which led to some nervous moments for me as driver but I managed not to even put a scratch on the car.

We saw lots of lovely Jersey cows and had cream tea at a vineyard.

set. 6, 2015, 1:42pm

Love the pictures! Too bad you had to cut the trip short, but I am sure you will be back traveling soon.

Editat: set. 6, 2015, 1:45pm

Next stop Guernsey. A highlight for us was taking a bus to the other side of the island where we visited an agricultural fair (like a county fair in the U. S.)

The center of the capital is a busy pedestrian area where we had fun checking out the shops...and eating, of course.

Editat: set. 6, 2015, 2:00pm

While on Guernsey we took a day-trip to Sark which doesn't allow cars so we took a horse-drawn tour.

There's a cute little "downtown"

And this is the parliament building

set. 6, 2015, 1:58pm

From the Channel Islands we moved on to spend a wonderful four days in London. Our stay started with a meet-up with Susan who had meticulously planned a wonderful walking tour of the docklands and south bank areas. It was wonderful to meet Susan who is the source of much reading pleasure for me AND a delightful person.

I love some of the modern architecture

Our hotel was only a block or so from the Tower. Our first evening there the light was really wonderful just before sunset.

The Monday of our stay was very wet and that was the day we had a reservation to ride the London Eye. Turned out we could still see quite far and the rain ensured a much emptier carriage than usual so we could easily move around inside. We also saw two great shows. First was Warhorse which was a nice story but was memorable for the mechanical horses which were wonderful. Our last night we saw The Importance of Being Earnest with David Suchet in the role of Lady Bracknell. The entire production was wonderful with subtle comedy nuances that left the audience roaring with laughter.

set. 6, 2015, 2:03pm

From London we moved down to Cornwall where we stayed near the village of Port Isaac which fellow lovers of Doc Martin will recognize as "Port Wenn" of that series. I wish I had known that the school is a hotel and has a parking lot...we would have stayed there instead of a couple of miles away.

set. 6, 2015, 2:07pm

For our last stop we moved up to the Severn River valley where we stayed for a restful week in a cottage near Upton-upon-Severn. We rode steam trains on two of the days and took a river cruise on one for the rest we stayed at the cottage or enjoyed the charming Upton.

Downtown Upton

set. 6, 2015, 2:08pm

We flew back to Boston on Friday and now we're at Chautauqua to finish up a few things here before heading down to Florida and then on back to San Diego.

set. 6, 2015, 2:09pm

Wonderful photos and trip highlights, Reba! Thank you for sharing them. And I'm so glad you and Susan were able to meet. Such fun!

set. 6, 2015, 3:45pm

Yes, it was fun. I love meet-ups :)

set. 7, 2015, 12:15am

Wow! Excellent photos, Reba! I loved seeing all of your adventures!

set. 7, 2015, 4:57am

Reba, I love your photos! Such a variety of places, and they all look like they'd be great to visit :-)

set. 7, 2015, 6:19am

Good morning Lucy, Katie, Mamie, Rhonda, Amy and Susan...I found all of your nice comments hidden among my photos. It was like a treasure hunt :). Thanks for stopping by.

set. 7, 2015, 8:23am

Oh my gosh, those photos! Thanks so much for sharing them! It seems as though you had an amazing trip.

set. 9, 2015, 7:08pm

Hi Amber. Nice to see you. Yes, it was a great trip. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

set. 9, 2015, 11:21pm

Wonderful pictures, Reba! Thanks for sharing them, and the short, charming stories of your travels. So happy you had such a great time!

set. 10, 2015, 6:24pm

Your trip sounds wonderful, and I love the pictures. We visited a couple of the places you went on our cruise of the British Isles in May. We crossed the Channel from Portsmouth to our first stop at St. Malo (did you go to Mont St. Michel?). Next stop Guernsey. We also visited the Scilly Islands, Penzance, Pembroke, Isle of Man, Iona, St. Kildas, a couple of other Scottish islands, and Northern Ireland. I would love to spend a lot of time in Cornwall--visiting all the gardens and artist's studios/museums for example the sculpture of Barbara Hepworth.
Would love to visit Chataqua some day too.

set. 10, 2015, 8:51pm

I'm really gobsmacked, in total awe of your travels, from Newfoundland to Cornwall. My workaround with the photos from phone to FB is to send them to myself as email attachments . . . they then go directly into my photographs and from there I can put them on FB without any trouble. I have to do something like that with photos I want to post here as well, since I don't use photobucket or any of those places.

set. 11, 2015, 11:54am

>108 Storeetllr:. Thanks Mary

>109 arubabookwoman:. No, we didn't get to Mont St. Michelle. We were only in St Malo for an afternoon and evening. We spent a week in Penzance a few years ago and have been to Man and the Shetlands and Orkneys. Love them all. A highlight of Man was the home for retired trolley horses. Did you go there? Would love to have you visit Chautauqua sometime!

>110 sibylline:. Thanks Lucy. I'll see if I can work that out when I get. Home. Apple changed iPhoto a lot just before we left. I had a brief "lesson" then but have now forgotten it all. We have an Apple Store a mile from our place in San Diego so I'm planning on paying them a visit when we get back. Meanwhile we're making pretty good progress organon get thing here in Sarasota. :)

set. 15, 2015, 2:15pm

Just read your post on Susan's thread about the heat and humidity there in Florida. It's pouring rain here! Ex-hurricane Linda has been bringing us excessive humidity for days now--hopefully this will clear us out.

set. 16, 2015, 9:09pm

Sounds like San Diego is trying to turn into Florida. Rain in the summer?!? It's welcome water but wish it would come in the winter instead of summer. We finally got to leave this afternoon and are in Tallahassee tonight. It will be good to be home.

set. 16, 2015, 9:18pm

One Summer by Bill Bryson

In this book Bryson takes us through the major events in the United States during summer of 1927, which is the summer Lindberg made his famous flight. He reviews crimes, politics, sports, etc. to provide an interesting look at what the U. S. was like that year. Coupled with Bryson's amusing writing, it's a great read.

set. 18, 2015, 4:54pm

Long days in the car but we're making progress, both in miles and on the audio version McCullough's biography of the Wright Brothers. Drove from Baton Rouge to San Antonio today. We're looking forward to some good Mexican on the River Walk this evening then on westward tomorrow.

set. 18, 2015, 5:03pm

Happy trails, Reba!

set. 22, 2015, 11:22am

We got home Sunday night and now have bags unpacked, laundry done and mail sorted. Making progress :)

Editat: set. 22, 2015, 11:35am

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough*****

I bought the physical book even though we listened to a library audio copy on the way home. I love McCullough and have every other book he has written so wanted to complete the "set".

Since family lore has it that they are distant relations (I have never been able to find the link though) and since they're interesting people, I have read other biographies about the Wright Brothers. Nevertheless, I learned a number of new things in this wonderfully written book by David McCullough. The author read the audio version himself and, although it's more like listening to your grandpa read to you than listening to a voice actor, it added a great deal to the experience. In addition to carefully tracking the development of manned flight in Europe and the U. S., the book shows the personalities and family life of the brothers. The paper version has a lot of interesting photos as well.

It did occur to me that we should have listened to The Wright Brothers before we listened to One Summer.

set. 22, 2015, 11:36am

Been thinking about you and figured you should be here. Looks like the rain has been cancelled but you'll still be able to experience the heat and humidity later this week. Welcome home!

set. 22, 2015, 4:36pm

>119 ronincats: thank you lol Fortunately, we have A/C. We rarely turn it on but this week will be one of those rare times.

set. 23, 2015, 1:14pm

Welcome Home, Reba! And big congratulations on visiting your 101st country. I loved all the pictures but the Norway scenes were special to me as my grandfather was born in Bergen. I'd love to visit someday..the closest I've come is Denmark. Thank you for sharing your marvelous travels with us.

set. 23, 2015, 7:22pm

Glad to hear you are home safely, Reba! What a trip! I've had my eye on The Wright Brothers book. Sounds like one I'd enjoy. No one writes biographies like McCullough!

set. 24, 2015, 1:10pm

>121 Donna828: Thanks, Donna. Glad you enjoyed the photos. Bergen is a lovely city -- actually all of Norway is great, but quite expensive. We've been several times and always glad we're on the ship and don't have to pay local prices for accommodations. Hope you get to go someday.

>122 porch_reader: Thanks, Amy. It was a good trip but it's also good to be home. I agree, no one writes biography (or history) like McCullough. I'm pretty sure you'd really enjoy The Wright Brothers

set. 24, 2015, 2:55pm

Sounds like an epic trip. The Wright Brothers from your description would be something my dad would love, I see an early Christmas present solution: thanks!

set. 24, 2015, 4:24pm

That sounds like a great listen. McCullough makes everything he writes about interesting! Even the Panama Canal becomes a cliffhanger!

set. 24, 2015, 5:59pm

>124 charl08: Happy to be of service :)

>125 sibylline: Exactly my feelings -- I got A Path Between the Seas because we were going on a cruise through the Canal and I thought I should know more about it. Ended up having trouble putting it down.

set. 25, 2015, 1:19am

*waves cast*

set. 25, 2015, 3:28am

Hi Roni -- I'm waving back but it's midnight so you probably can't see me

set. 25, 2015, 4:20am

Hi Reba! I'm just popping in to remind you about The Dubliners :-)

I must investigate David McCullough. I'm glad you enjoyed the Bill Bryson - I did too.

set. 25, 2015, 5:02pm

Thank you Susan :) It has joined Mt. TBR. Do try McCullough, I'm guessing you'll like him.

set. 25, 2015, 5:23pm

Hi, Reba! Happy Friday!

set. 25, 2015, 10:41pm

Reba, thank you for sharing those wonderful photos -- it looks like a wonderful -if wet- trip! And how wonderful that you met Susan -- I'm jealous!

Great reading, too. I enjoyed Brooklyn on audio a few years ago, and I agree with you about audiobooks and those lovely Irish accents. I enjoyed your comments on The Painted Veil -- it's been on my list for awhile.

set. 26, 2015, 10:11am

Hi Mary - happy Saturday to you! I'm up early today because the grandkids and their parents are coming over for breakfast. I'm making Poffertjes (little Dutch pancakes) and it takes a while so need to get an early start.

Good morning Anne. Thank you. Meeting Susan was a highlight of the trip. In fact, having meet-ups as we travel has added a lovely dimension to many of our trips in recent years -- including the evening spent with you, Joann and Mary in Denver a couple of years ago.

set. 28, 2015, 8:33pm

Middlemarch by George Eliot (audio) ****

Hooray, I managed to listen to this 880 page tome on audio before the end of the borrowing period when it would have disappeared from by phone!! I did enjoy this classic, set in the English countryside in the early 1800's but it was very long. It's a complicated story with many characters providing a view of country life. Young women marry, young men struggle to find their feet, older men have economic crises, etc. There is good reason for this to be a classic. It's beautifully written and a darned good read.

set. 29, 2015, 6:43am

>134 RebaRelishesReading: Oooh, who's reading that one on audio?

set. 29, 2015, 9:09am

Someone recently was saying how they hated Middlemarch - I found it shocking, really. There are so many different layers in it! In some ways the richest part of it is Eliot's portrayal of the area -- and you can feel how the transition is coming -- the train line being put in and what that will do to change the pace of things. Ah well.

set. 29, 2015, 12:30pm

Hi Mary -- don't know who's "reading" it now but that's how I did it

I agree completely Lucy. I liked it a lot on several layers -- interesting characters, good description of the area and the era, beautiful period language, little tastes of the future. I really enjoyed it but it IS really long and at the end I was afraid I wouldn't finish before it automatically went back to the library. Just made it :)

set. 29, 2015, 12:32pm

*waves cast--6 more days*

set. 29, 2015, 3:27pm

Hi Roni -- looks like you'll be out of your cast just in time for cooler weather. Has the cast added to your discomfort with the heat?

set. 29, 2015, 10:00pm

Hi Reba, Thank you for sharing your travels with us! I loved all your photos and am very envious of your adventures. My sister and her husband went to Port Isaac several years ago and and kept sending me photos of familiar settings. We're all Doc Martin fans.

I had the audio of The Wright Brothers checked out of the library a few weeks ago but didn't get to it. I'll have to get it again and give it a try.

set. 30, 2015, 1:15am

Yay! glad you liked Middlemarch--it's a favorite of mine.

set. 30, 2015, 4:23am

Middlemarch is one of those classics I've never quite got to. I even bought a book about rereading it, but that didn't make me get to it either! I enjoyed your comments and the discussion here, so Must try harder...

set. 30, 2015, 1:22pm

>140 Copperskye: Thanks Joanne! Yes. it's wonderful to be retired, healthy and able to travel. you'll get there someday. The new series of Doc Martin started airing in the U.K. the Tuesday after we left. Can't wait for it to start here.

Meanwhile do give The Wright Brothers a try. It's shorter than most of McCullough's books so is "do-able" within the loan period for an audio book.

>141 banjo123: Hi Rhonda. It's right up my alley too.

>142 charl08: It's huge but a really good read. Here's my encouragement to get started on it :)

oct. 1, 2015, 10:35am

Hmm, I started Middlemarch a couple of years ago but just could not get into it, after about 50 pages or so, I think it was. I was still working then, and having a lot of stress-related issues around my job, so maybe it just wasn't the right time. All I remember is that one character ~ a teenaged girl, I think ~ annoyed me so much I just couldn't bring my self to go on with the book. Maybe I'll try again, now that I'm retired and have calmed down a bit.

oct. 1, 2015, 2:39pm

>144 Storeetllr: That would be Rosamond Vincy I imagine. Yep, she's a spoiled, selfish, shallow young twit ... but there are other characters who deserve your attention :) It's not for everyone, I'm sure, but I like period, social commentary, human story type books so it was a hit with me.

oct. 1, 2015, 2:42pm

*waves cast --4 more days!*

oct. 3, 2015, 5:36pm

The Pearl by John Steinbeck (audio) *****

Before this the only book by Steinbeck I had read was The Grapes of Wrath which is a tale of grim reality. This little book, The Pearl, on the other hand, seems more like a folk tale...a beautifully written, poignant, folk tale. I loved it.

oct. 3, 2015, 7:01pm

*waves cast--2 more days!*

oct. 3, 2015, 7:22pm

Thanks for sharing those great holiday photos with us, Reba!

oct. 5, 2015, 5:57pm

It's raining today and the weather has cooled down to the low-70's -- HEAVEN!! Unfortunately, it's supposed to be getting warmer again starting tomorrow. I really would prefer to be having fall.

oct. 5, 2015, 5:58pm

You're welcome Darryl. I always enjoy yours too.

oct. 5, 2015, 10:08pm

>150 RebaRelishesReading: Hasn't it been absolutely lovely? I even brewed hot tea to drink this evening.

I loved all your photos and am sorry you had to cut your trip short. Did you get everything worked out well in Florida?

oct. 6, 2015, 4:49pm

>152 ronincats: Today is especially wonderful. I hope to get out for a bit of a walk later. Had hot chocolate at bedtime last night.

We (and the realtors we selected while there who managed the project after we left -- bless them) got everything repaired and fixed up in time to meet our target date of Oct. 1 for listing. It's been shown 1 or 2 times each day since but no offers yet. So, to answer your question, we got our part done now we just need a buyer.

oct. 7, 2015, 6:34am

>153 RebaRelishesReading: Ha! I had a HoCho before bed last night, too! And it was wonderful.

oct. 7, 2015, 11:49am

Our temps are heading back up again so it may be a while before HoCho sounds good again. Too bad because the grandkids were here last weekend and I over estimated how much milk they would drink so extra and hot chocolate is my favorite way to use it up.

oct. 8, 2015, 6:37pm

So, poltergeists have invaded our house -- the washer won't spin a full load, the ice maker won't dispense ice, the microwave is dropping large pieces of itself onto the floor, my printer died! First world problems for sure, but why does it all have to happen at once!?! Just installed my new printer which is probably why I'm feeling a bit grumpy right now.

oct. 13, 2015, 6:20pm

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer ***** (audio)

This delightful memoir is inspirational and provides a wonderfully hopeful look at the future of Africa. The experience was enhanced by the delightful accent of Chike Johnson who narrated A thoroughly enjoyable "read".

oct. 13, 2015, 9:12pm

Have the poltergeists moved on?

oct. 14, 2015, 3:25pm

>158 ronincats: lol Nothing has broken in a few days, so perhaps. New printers are working fine and a new microwave/convection is being installed tomorrow. I think the washer and fridge just need a repairman...will wait a bit to call one since both are working, just not optimally. I'm secretly pleased by the microwave because I've long wanted to have two ovens in the kitchen and now I'll have them :)

How are you holding out in the heat?

oct. 15, 2015, 7:43pm

I have The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind on my Kindle. I'll have to get to it soon - sounds like a good one.

I hope that your streak of things breaking is over! A microwave/convection does sound handy!

oct. 16, 2015, 7:34pm

>160 porch_reader: Thanks Amy. Yes, it seems things have settled down for now AND the weather has cooled down. Slept with the window open last night and it was heavenly. Out and about today in comfort too. Hooray.

oct. 19, 2015, 8:37pm

Hope you are enjoying the perfect weather today!

oct. 20, 2015, 12:53pm

>162 ronincats: I've been really enjoying the past several days. Not too happy about another warm-up coming though!! Hope you're doing well and enjoying the weather too.

oct. 23, 2015, 9:10pm

Paradise of Glass by Petra Durst-Benning ***1/2

This is the third, and final, episode in a series about a small village in the Thuringian mountains in German. Set in the last decade of the 19th century and first decade of the 20th, the story revolves around the three daughters of a glass blower and their descendants. The principal character in this book is Wanda, the daughter of the middle sister who emigrated to America. Wanda has come back to Germany to get to know her family better and tries to help the villagers buy the foundry when it's owner decides to sell and retire. When the purchase runs into trouble things look bleak for the village and Wanda feels guilty. I listened to the book while doing embroidery and enjoyed it a lot. A perfect, light read.

oct. 27, 2015, 6:50pm

>164 RebaRelishesReading: That reminds me that I have The Glassblower of Murano in a TBR pile somewhere. I know if is a different country and all, but the topic reminded me of it.

oct. 28, 2015, 10:31am

Hi Lori -- thanks for stopping by. It's always nice to see visitors. This trilogy isn't great lit by any means but I enjoyed them.

oct. 29, 2015, 10:04am

So glad you loved The Boy who Harnessed the Wind too.

oct. 30, 2015, 2:41am

Hi Lucy! Yes, it was a delightful story.

oct. 31, 2015, 1:19pm

It's been such beautiful weather the past week and we had some errands to run that took us in the general direction of Coronado yesterday so we crossed the bridge, had a lovely walk along the Bay and then ate lunch at our favorite BBQ restaurant. A thoroughly lovely outing :)

oct. 31, 2015, 2:08pm

oct. 31, 2015, 2:25pm

Nice pic, Reba! I'd love to visit San Diego - I drove through a bit of it on my way to La Jolla for a meeting once....

oct. 31, 2015, 3:04pm

>169 RebaRelishesReading: Great picture, Reba! San Diego is so beautiful! I'm sad not to be able to visit this coming month, but I hope to make the trip next spring, maybe March or April. February if the weather here is bad. :)

oct. 31, 2015, 11:30pm

Thank you Rhonda, Katie and Mary -- Love to have you all visit some time :)

nov. 1, 2015, 3:36am

Reba, what a lovely picture! It's so foggy here this morning that I can't see past the end of the balcony. You have won the weather :-)

And is it too early for my monthly reminder about The Dubliners?

nov. 1, 2015, 10:52am

>174 susanj67: lol I was thinking about The Dubliners last night and it occurred to me you hadn't mentioned it for a while :) On the rare occasion I put down my embroidery and read with my eyes lately I've been enjoying To The Letter. Also, I've been lax about logging/mentioning new purchases but have two other new ones that I'm anxious to get to, The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny and Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow, so poor Mr. Joyce doesn't stand a chance until sometime next year I'm afraid.

nov. 1, 2015, 10:55am

All caught up with you, Reba! Love the photo - sounds like a wonderful day. And your October is sounding a bit like mine with everything acting up at once - must have been something in the air!! I thank you so much for your kind words and sound advice over on my thread - greatly appreciated.

nov. 1, 2015, 11:32am

What a beautiful lovely day and photo of you!

Editat: nov. 2, 2015, 12:54am

Hi Mamie and Lucy -- so nice to have you stop by :)

Truly, Mamie, I think the stars must be criss-crossed or something! We also friends with serious health issues going on, issues with a house we own in Florida, weird weather in California and a bunch of appliances on strike. None of it as serious as what you're facing but...gosh I wish things would straighten out.

nov. 2, 2015, 9:35am

I hear you, Reba! Reminds us to be thankful for smooth sailing, doesn't it? Crossing my fingers that everything straightens up and behaves for you.

nov. 2, 2015, 1:38pm

Thanks, Mamie. I'm sure it will and hope the same for you.

nov. 2, 2015, 9:51pm

At least the weather was normal for a change today!

nov. 3, 2015, 12:33am

And about to get better I hear :) Had lunch at Eclipse today and walked home. Thought of you as I passed the ceramics studio/store :)

nov. 3, 2015, 10:35am

It rained last night and the world is clean and sparkling. We're going to walk to meet friends for a late breakfast this morning. Lovely start to a lovely day.

nov. 3, 2015, 2:19pm

Oh, that's lovely, Reba! I know SoCal needs the rain, but the day after is always the best. Enjoy!

nov. 4, 2015, 1:58pm

Better yet -- yesterday was clear and lovely, then last night we had a for-sure rain storm and got nearly an inch where we live then it cleared over-night and now it's beautiful again. Don't you just love well-behaved rain?

nov. 4, 2015, 3:43pm

Ha! I do in fact very much prefer well-behaved rain. And I love the day after a long-overdue rainfall. The air is so fresh and everything seems so clean and beautiful!

nov. 4, 2015, 5:15pm

Reba, we had a full 2 inches in the rain gauge this morning! And yes, Mary, the air is so very fresh and clean!

nov. 5, 2015, 2:14pm

Hi Mary and Roni -- I just LOVE The weather lately. My idea of perfect. I think today's high is supposed to be 71 and it's sunny and the mountains are very clear...and last night was crisp, ideal sleeping weather, so I'm well-rested to boot :)

nov. 6, 2015, 6:34pm

What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Mullen ****

A fun book for Austen lovers, this book analyses her books based on twenty questions such as "how much does age matter?", "why is the weather important?", 'what do characters say when the heroine is not there?", etc. It's a fun look at the novels themselves and at the time frame in which they are set.

nov. 6, 2015, 6:37pm

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen***** (audio) (reread)

Reading What Matters in Jane Austen? made me want to revisit at least one of her novels so I downloaded Northanger Abbey from Audible and spent several lovely hours listening to this most gothic of Austen's novels. Pure delight :)

Editat: nov. 11, 2015, 12:09pm

Just saw this on a friend's Facebook page. Could make a person wish it was their birthday.

nov. 12, 2015, 12:06pm

Last night the neighbors below us came to tell us a large wet spot is appearing on their ceiling under our kitchen. Guess our poltergeist is back. Plumber coming this afternoon. :(

nov. 12, 2015, 1:11pm

Reba, sorry to hear that. I hope it's something easily fixed.

nov. 12, 2015, 6:30pm

Sorry about the plumber. Downloading the cake jpg for future reference...

nov. 12, 2015, 10:20pm

Here are some silver trees!

nov. 13, 2015, 3:20am

>193 susanj67: Hi Susan -- it was easily fixed, so easily that he didn't even charge us!! Definitely a plumber I will call again.

>194 charl08: -- isn't it just too cute. Too much work to actually do imho put really cute.

>195 ronincats: -- are you going to do different combinations of bead colors?

nov. 13, 2015, 3:40am

>196 RebaRelishesReading: That's great news! And what a nice guy not to charge.

nov. 15, 2015, 7:29pm

Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery (audio) ***

I'm not sure why I bought this book but it probably had something to do with the fact that the main character is a city planner and I've never encountered a book before where that was the case. Charity Jones is the new city planner in a small town (although it can't be that small since it has a university campus, a hospital and is trying to attract a second one) and is trying hard to prove herself. She learns right away that one of her main assignments is to attract businesses that employ a lot of men in an attempt to correct the fact that there are many more women in the town than men. There are romances, family history, and a couple of surprises along the way which keep the story lightly entertaining. It was more of a romance than I usually read but it was fun and perfect to listen to while I haunt the sidewalks in search of my 10,000 steps.

nov. 15, 2015, 8:58pm

nov. 16, 2015, 8:04am

The earrings look marvelous!

Not a cinch at all getting to 10,000, is it? I was doing fine, but hunting season really cramps my style. I can get to 8 or so no problem. More than once I've gone tramping around the driveway for ten minutes just to finish up! The spousal unit thinks I'm daft. But he knew that already.

nov. 16, 2015, 5:49pm

>199 banjo123: Hi Rhonda -- thanks for stopping in

>200 sibylline: Don't have the earrings yet but hope/plan to by the middle of December at the latest.

My biggest problem with getting the 10,000 is the time commitment but I did just short of 12,000 yesterday -- hooray!! Don't think I'll get anywhere close today though. Hubby has a Fitbit too and we can both be found walking circles in the living room or walking the long hall in our condo project from time to time. It's 130 steps from here to the far elevator, so 260 for a roundtrip or 1000 for 4 round trips. Whatever works, right?

nov. 16, 2015, 6:12pm

Yep! I've got a few of the around the house (I mean literally, outside) worked out so I know how many times I have to circle around. Posey ends up sitting down to keep an eye on me, convinced I've gone daft.

nov. 16, 2015, 10:47pm

Here's the latest--the middle ones are silver with green beads.

nov. 21, 2015, 6:45am

>198 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, you bought the book because I reviewed one of the later ones in the series and you thought it sounded good :-) I'm glad it worked out well for the stepping! I'm up to book 12 now, although sitting in the living room.

nov. 28, 2015, 3:40pm

A week ago today I went for a 1-on-1 at the Apple store to better understand the new iPhoto app and, while there, found that some problems I've been having probably were related to an over-full memory on my computer and that I could buy a big chunk of cloud for only 99 cents per month so I did it. Came home and started uploading my 11,000+ photos to the Cloud (which the geek said could take "several days") . I've had the computer uploading 24-hours per day since I got home except for a few minutes each day to quickly check my email and I still have just over 4000 to go!! I didn't know it was possible for anything on a modern computer to take so long. Meanwhile, I haven't been here much because I'm trying to minimize the amount of time I turn the uploading off. I'm beginning to doubt this was a good idea. I could also have made back-up copies on an external hard-drive and cut down on the number I keep on the computer which could not possibly have taken this long.

des. 3, 2015, 5:06pm

Finally got my photos all uploaded and have access to my computer again. Now I'm getting all of the appliances that the poltergeist messed with last month fixed -- repairmen all over my kitchen floor at the moment. We lost telephone and WiFi yesterday afternoon but that was the neighborhood not just us and it's back now. Nevertheless...gotta wonder what's going on. lol

des. 5, 2015, 4:02pm

>206 RebaRelishesReading: Hope things smooth out a bit!

des. 6, 2015, 10:23am

Thanks, Lori. I am aware that these are all minor things and certainly first-world problems but it can still get to be something between annoying and amusing.

des. 6, 2015, 10:29am

We went to a wonderful performance of Handel's Messiah by the Bach Collegium San Diego last night. It was held in a Greek Orthodox church in Encinitas is not only beautiful but has amazing acoustics. We went with good friends and had a lovely dinner on the way. GREAT evening.

des. 6, 2015, 7:37pm

Wow, I thought I had a lot of pictures on my devices, but you have many more, you world traveler, you! The pic of you on Coronado is a good one. You live in such a beautiful place, Reba. I'm surprised you ever want to leave home.

des. 7, 2015, 11:45am

You're right, Donna, I do live in a beautiful place plus I have wonderful friends and my grandkids here. I'm always happy to come home but I'm also already ready to go see someplace new and/or visit an old favorite. I'm one VERY lucky lady.

des. 7, 2015, 12:02pm

BTW, I saw Brooklyn on Saturday. I really liked the book and thought they did a great job with the movie.

des. 7, 2015, 9:33pm

I've heard very good things about that movie. Might see it this week at Burns Court as I am here in Sarasota visiting my aunt, I hear it also has some fine Irish music!

des. 8, 2015, 4:12am

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des. 8, 2015, 2:56pm

Hi Lucy! Hope you're enjoying Sarasota. Brooklyn is a sweet movie imho and there is some nice Irish music (although I'm not a good judge of that, but I enjoyed it). Have you read the book?

des. 11, 2015, 11:02am

It's my birthday so hubby and I are going out to breakfast. Getting a (badly needed) haircut this afternoon and then we're going to dinner and symphony with friend this evening. All by all, a really nice day ahead :)

des. 11, 2015, 11:14am

Happy birthday, Reba! Your days sounds like it's going to be lovely :-)

des. 11, 2015, 3:48pm

Happy, happy birthday! Hope the weather doesn't affect your plans.

des. 11, 2015, 5:07pm

Thank you. The weather shouldn't be a problem. We really won't be outside much and this is my idea of perfect weather anyway.

des. 11, 2015, 5:15pm

Breakfast this morning was wonderful and so was the rest of it that I had for lunch. We started with an order of the world's best beignets, then I had a plate with amazing roasted tiny potatoes, sautéed spinach, mushrooms, poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce on them and a popover. Really, really delicious.

des. 11, 2015, 5:52pm

Happy Birthday, Reba!

des. 12, 2015, 11:35am

Thank you! It was a very nice day in spite of the fact that my husband is coming down with a cold/flu thing so we decided to skip dinner and the symphony. Going to see the grandkids today to celebrate my birthday, my granddaughter's birthday (the 21st) and Christmas since we'll be in San Francisco for those other big days. Hubby isn't up yet so not sure whether he'll be joining me or not.

des. 12, 2015, 6:14pm

Happy Birthday, Reba. I seem to be a day late, though it looks as though the celebration is continuing. That birthday breakfast looks amazing!

des. 14, 2015, 9:50pm

Hi Donna - thank you! It was a very nice birthday...I think I'll do it again next year :)

des. 23, 2015, 3:25pm

For my Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice/Holiday image this year (we are so diverse!), I've chosen this photograph by local photographer Mark Lenoce of the pier at Pacific Beach to express my holiday wishes to you: Peace on Earth and Good Will toward All!

Editat: des. 24, 2015, 2:01pm

Warm wishes for a magical holiday season, Reba!

Editat: des. 24, 2015, 2:42pm

Thank you so much Roni and Katie! I hope your holidays are wonderful too.

We're in San Francisco in a condo we rented celebrating Christmas and, on the 26th, my hubby's birthday. His daughters and their partners are here with us (well, one fella arrives on the 26th...). Here's our little tree which I decorated with real cookies, candy canes and chocolate angels. I'm really pleased with how it turned out :)

des. 24, 2015, 2:47pm

Reba, the tree looks great! I love the edible decorations :-) Happy Christmas to you all, and happy birthday to your husband for the 26th. That's also my birthday, as it happens. I'll raise a cookie to him :-)

des. 24, 2015, 3:27pm

Have a lovely holiday, Reba

des. 25, 2015, 12:28am

Thank you Paul. Hope yours are lovely too.

Susan -- Thank you. How nice you have the same birthday as Imre. We'll be thinking about you and sending birthday wishes your way. Hope you have fun things planned for the day.

des. 25, 2015, 7:08am

Merry Christmas, Reba! Hoping that it is filled with fabulous!

des. 25, 2015, 8:50pm

Sending you warm Christmas and New Year greetings, Reba. I hope today was filled with hope and joy for you and your family.

des. 27, 2015, 10:30am

Thank you Mamie and Donna. We had a wonderful Christmas.

des. 27, 2015, 3:04pm

So glad you had a wonderful Christmas! Beautiful tree, and edible decorations! Very clever. You won't have to take down the decorations when you take down the tree as they will all be eaten already! Enjoy the rest of the holidays, and have a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

des. 27, 2015, 3:32pm

Your Christmas tree idea is a delicious one, Reba. I don't think it would work out too well with our Lab in the house, though! Belated birthday greetings to your husband. I think San Francisco would be a marvelous place to celebrate the holidays…as would San Diego.

des. 27, 2015, 5:24pm

Hi Mary and Donna -- so nice to hear from you both. We've had amazingly good weather for a December week in San Francisco -- cold but sunny. It's coming to an end though. The daughters and their beaus both leave tomorrow and we head south on Tuesday morning. It's been a great celebration for a milestone birthday.

des. 29, 2015, 12:29am

How fun to have a Christmas in San Francisco! Glad you've had good weather, too. Happy New Year to you!

des. 31, 2015, 4:16pm

To The Letter by Simon Garfield ****

This lovely book was given to me by Susan when we met in London. I have been enjoying it in small doses since then and finally managed to finish it just in time to count it for 2015. The book is a wide ranging discussion of many things to do with letter writing from excerpts of guides to proper letter writing in the Victorian age, to letters written by famous people (especially those known for their letter writing) and right up to a discussion of what email is going to letter writing. In addition, copies of a letters between an English soldier in WWII and a girl back home are included every few chapters providing a bit of drama. It's a fun read for those of us who love the written word. Thanks Susan!!

des. 31, 2015, 4:22pm

>237 AMQS: Hi Anne. Yes, it was fun although driving home through L.A. yesterday wasn't lol. I hope you had a great Christmas too and that your 2016 is wonderful.

des. 31, 2015, 6:22pm