Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Twenty-One

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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Twenty-One

Editat: des. 21, 2020, 8:59 am

-Lawren Harris (1885-1970) -Group of Seven

-Vermillion Flycatcher, Mexico 12/20

Editat: des. 31, 2020, 8:26 am




101) The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin 4.6 stars (audio)
102) Vesper Flights by Helen MacDonald 4.2 stars E
103) Burning Bright: Stories by Ron Rash 4.4 stars E
104) Migrations: A Novel by Charlotte McConaghy 4.3 stars
105) Postcolonial Love Poem: Poems by Natalie Diaz 4.7 stars P
106) Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life by Ulli Lust 4 stars GN
107) How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi 4 stars (audio)
108) Tiny Love: The Complete Stories by Larry Brown 5 stars


109) The New Wilderness by Diane Cook 3.6 stars
110) The Home Place: Memoir by J. Drew Lanham 3.7 stars
111) The Pale-Faced Lie: A True Story by David Crow 4 stars (audio)
112) Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell 4.2 stars ER
113) Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story by Frederik Peeters 4 stars GN
114) Lost in the City: Stories by Edward P Jones 3.6 stars
115) Righteous (An IQ Novel 2) by Joe Ide 4 stars E
116) Erosion: Essays of Undoing by Terry Tempest Williams 4 stars (audio)
117) The Lives of Edie Pritchard by Larry Watson 3.7 stars ER
118) New Poets of Native Nations by Heid E. Erdrich 3.3 stars P


119) Lupus by Frederik Peeters 4.4 stars GN
120) Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir by Natasha Trethewey 4.5 stars (audio)
121) The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu 4.2 stars
122) The Sea by John Banville 4.3 stars
123) The Low, Low Woods by Carmen Maria Machado GN
124) Or What You Will by Jo Walton 4 stars
125) How to Fly: Poetry by Barbara Kingsolver 3.7 stars P
126) Dinosaurs on Other Planets: Stories by Danielle McLaughlin 4.3 stars
127) Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer 4.3 stars (audio)
128) Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart 5 stars
129) Welcome to the New World by Jake Halpern 4.2 stars GN


130) F*ckface: And Other Stories by Leah Hampton 4.4 stars
131) Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks 4.3 stars
132) A Life in Parts by Bryan Cranston 4.2 stars (audio)
133) Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore 4.5 stars E
134) Winter Count by Barry Lopez 4 stars E
135) Jack by Marilynne Robinson 3.7 stars
136) A Most Beautiful Thing by Arshay Cooper 4 stars (audio)
137) Woman Hollering Creek: And Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros 4 stars
138) Whale Day: And Other Poems by Billy Collins 4.5 stars P
139) The Cold Millions by Jess Walter 5 stars E
140) A Feast of Snakes by Harry Crews 4 stars

Editat: des. 21, 2020, 8:57 am

^Snagged from Karen.

Editat: des. 21, 2020, 8:58 am

-Kim Warp

des. 21, 2020, 9:07 am

Morning, Mark! Happy new one. I love your topper images.

des. 21, 2020, 9:22 am

Happy new one, Mark.

des. 21, 2020, 10:08 am

Happy new one, Mark. I love the topper. It's a Harris I hadn't seen before, I don't think.

And >3 msf59: and >4 msf59: are pretty good, too! ;-)

des. 21, 2020, 11:05 am

Happy new thread, Mark!

>1 msf59: Lovely painting and a striking bird!

des. 21, 2020, 11:33 am

Happy new thread, Mark!
The birdies have been abundant!

Editat: des. 21, 2020, 11:52 am

>5 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie! Glad you like the toppers.

>6 BLBera: Thanks, Beth!

>7 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. As you can tell I have become a Harris fan.

>8 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! Glad you like the toppers.

>9 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. Does this mean your feeders have been hopping? Mine sure have.

des. 21, 2020, 12:20 pm

Happy new thread!

des. 21, 2020, 12:39 pm

Happy new thread, Mark. That's a very seasonal Harris for your topper.

des. 21, 2020, 1:10 pm

Happy new thread!

>1 msf59: Lovely bright spots of color!

des. 21, 2020, 1:36 pm

Happy new thread, Mark!

>1 msf59: Well, you got me there. At first I was looking for seven of something, anything, in the painting, didn't see any groups of seven so had to duckduckgo it; I now know that the Group of Seven pioneered a distinctly Canadian painting style in the early twentieth century.

>3 msf59: Glad to see it making its way about!

des. 21, 2020, 1:43 pm

>11 drneutron: Thanks, Jim.

>12 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. As soon as I saw the Harris painting, I knew I had the one.

>13 quondame: Thanks, Susan.

>14 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. Glad you figured out the Group of Seven. We have been sharing these artists around here for awhile, especially with my Canadian pals.

des. 21, 2020, 2:01 pm

>1 msf59: The light n that painting is wonderful mark, but light is definitely a signature of this group.

des. 21, 2020, 2:18 pm

Happy new thread, Mark!

des. 21, 2020, 2:39 pm

Tachyon Publications, an SFF house, posted this on Twitter. Says it all, no?

des. 21, 2020, 3:05 pm

Huzzah! One last new thread for the Markster in 2020. RD's got the year summed up: Good riddance.

You asked, and now I can answer. I've completed All the King's Men. My AAC read for August, and a Pulitzer winner to boot. For decades, I've maintained the falsehood that I read this in high school. Nix on that. I must tell the truth: It was all new to me. What I read was a "restored edition" published in 2001. Noel Polk, an English professor at University of Southern Mississippi, studied Robert Penn Warren's original typescript at the Beinecke Library of Yale University to establish a manuscript that's as close to what he wrote as possible, eliminating all the editing and copyediting imposed by the publisher. An afterword by Polk briefly explains the key restorations, such as the return to Willie Talos as the central character's name (from Willie Stark).

des. 21, 2020, 5:57 pm

Happy new one!

des. 21, 2020, 6:03 pm

Happy new thread, Mark. Thanks for the information about the sequel to Only Killers and Thieves - I will be on the look-out for it!

des. 21, 2020, 6:40 pm

Happy new one, Mark.

des. 21, 2020, 7:08 pm

>16 Caroline_McElwee: I think the lighting is what caught my eye, Caroline. It is lovely.

>17 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie.

>18 richardderus: Love it, RD. And I know how much you HATE cats.

>19 weird_O: Hey, Bill. Yep, last thread for 2020. It was another good year on LT, despite less traffic on the threads. Thanks for the publishing info on AtKM but I will have to stop over and see if you ended up giving it a Thumbs Up.

des. 21, 2020, 7:10 pm

>20 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Figs!

>21 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy. I am so glad you are enjoying Only Killers and Thieves. A terrific debut.

>22 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul.

Editat: des. 21, 2020, 7:14 pm

-Michael Ramirez

des. 21, 2020, 8:36 pm

>23 msf59: Well, of course I do all right-thinking persons. But that animal is a wombat. It's plain as the nose on your face...not a thing like a c-a-t. Wombat. Clearly.

des. 21, 2020, 8:51 pm

Happy new thread, Mark! I hope you are well.

I am hopelessly behind on threads -- more than behind, totally lost, really. But I see you've read an impressive set of 101 books.

Happy reading!

des. 21, 2020, 8:54 pm

Hi Mark, just being sure to star the new thread... have a happy Christmastime. Enjoy all the lovely birding opportunities! And good reading.

des. 22, 2020, 7:27 am

>26 richardderus: Wombat? Got ya, plus it adds a little flair to the "Good Riddance".

>27 tymfos: Thank you, Terri. Great to see you. I know it has been a long time. I haven't been by your digs in ages either.

>28 SandyAMcPherson: Thanks, Sandy. Happy Holidays. Birding is slow here this time of year, but it is still nice to get out for fresh air and exercise.

Editat: des. 22, 2020, 8:36 am

'Morning, Mark! Happy Tuesday to you.

I need to fill the sunflower seed feeder, and the feeders are totally lacking in birds right now, but I did see a Red-Bellied Woodpecker at the wild bird seed feeder earlier. I also need to put the bird bath heater out today or tomorrow.

... and here's to a better 2021!

des. 22, 2020, 8:41 am

>30 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Get out and fill those feeders. I know I have to freshen up my birdbath. I am sure it needs it. Love the Christmas tree greetings.

Editat: des. 22, 2020, 8:44 am

-Sunset. Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. This is where we were yesterday. Perfect habitat for Short-Eared Owls. Unfortunately, I got just a very brief look.

des. 22, 2020, 12:59 pm

>32 msf59: Beautiful.

An owl to make up for the ones you missed yesterday. Dressed for Yule, even!

Editat: des. 22, 2020, 1:10 pm

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas, Mark. And a big thank you for helping to fill my TBR shelves over the years with all your great recommendations!

des. 22, 2020, 2:51 pm

>33 richardderus: That owl is definitely decked out for the holidays, RD but he doesn't look very happy about it. Looking a bit blue, if you ask me.

>34 DeltaQueen50: Thank you, Judy. Love the image. Merry Christmas, my friend.

des. 22, 2020, 4:40 pm

Happy everything, Mark. Here's to good health, above all, and of course, good books.

des. 22, 2020, 6:47 pm

>36 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. Much appreciated, my friend. I love the image.

Editat: des. 22, 2020, 6:51 pm

-Belted Kingfisher. From a recent local bird ramble. One of my favorites.

des. 22, 2020, 7:34 pm

Merry Christmas Mark. Christmas baubles are supposed to stand for our wishes for next year, so I am wishing you a year filled with beautiful birds;-)

des. 22, 2020, 9:17 pm

Just stopping by to say hello.

des. 23, 2020, 7:20 am

>39 EllaTim: I love the Christmas bird bauble, Ella. Thanks and Merry Christmas!

>40 alphaorder: Happy Wednesday, Nancy. Happy Christmas Eve Eve!

des. 23, 2020, 7:23 am

>41 msf59: Last day of work (for the most part) until January 4. After this year, I am ready for the break. Hoping to get in some great reads.

des. 23, 2020, 7:36 am

>42 alphaorder: Oh nice, Nancy. Enjoy the time off. Let me know what you will be reading. Hugs to my pal.

Editat: des. 23, 2020, 8:25 am

" For readers gripped by IN COLD BLOOD and I'LL BE GONE IN THE DARK, WE KEEP THE DEAD CLOSE is both a haunting true-crime narrative of an unsolved 1969 murder at a prestigious institution and a lyrical memoir of obsession and love for a girl who dreamed of rising among men."

I received an ARC of We Keep the Dead Close a couple of months ago. I decided this might make a good audio, so that is what I will do. I love a true crime book now and then and this looks to fit the bill. I will start it today.

des. 23, 2020, 9:17 am

Good morning, Mark! Happy Wednesday to you. Any birding plans for today?

>38 msf59: Wonderful photo of a fantastic bird. I haven’t seen one in quite a while, but we named the pond on the way into town The Kingfisher Pond.

>44 msf59: I loved In Cold Blood. I forget - have you read Furious Hours by Casey Cep? If you haven't, I recommend it highly. Another true-crime narrative that I loved was My Dark Places by James Ellroy. Both of the other two you mention sound fascinating.

Editat: des. 23, 2020, 9:40 am

>44 msf59: That one's on my Overdrive list - gonna bump it up!

des. 23, 2020, 9:59 am

>45 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. It is mild but very windy out there. I will probably hang at home and read. Hooray for Kingfisher Pond. Sounds lovely. I LOVED Furious Hours and I should get to My Dark Places since I am a fan of Ellroy.

>46 drneutron: Hey, Jim. We Keep the Dead Close definitely sounds like your cuppa. If there are any issues with your Overdive copy, I can send you my ARC.

des. 23, 2020, 12:40 pm

Harvard, Harvard, institution of higher killing, that one. In 1921, they had a pogrom against their gay students and several ended up outed and committed suicide as a result.

Cheery Humpday!

des. 23, 2020, 12:49 pm

>48 richardderus: I had not heard of that Harvard story, RD. WTF? Is there a book on that one?

Editat: des. 23, 2020, 3:31 pm

137) Woman Hollering Creek: And Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros 4 stars

I enjoyed her novel The House on Mango Street and really liked one of her poetry collections, so I was not surprised to see that she can write some fine short fiction, as well. Most of these stories are about the Mexican or Mexican American experience, told mostly from a female perspective. Most are pretty short but there are also a couple of longer ones. This is from 1991. I want to find out if she wrote a later collection.

Editat: des. 23, 2020, 2:26 pm

>50 msf59: I loved House on Mango Street and also Caramelo even more Mark.

des. 23, 2020, 3:34 pm

>51 richardderus: Wow! Harvard's Secret Court sounds really good and tragic. Have you read it?

>52 brenzi: You might like Woman Hollering Creek then, Bonnie. I had not even heard of Caramelo. Thanks.

des. 23, 2020, 3:39 pm

"A propulsive, richly entertaining novel about two adventure-seeking brothers, the enemies who threaten them, and the women who reveal to them an unjust world on the brink of upheaval."

I read and loved Beautiful Ruins, his last novel, in early 2013 and along with many of us his other adoring fans, we have been waiting patiently for his follow-up. It has arrived. I started The Cold Millions today. Less than 40 pages in, but it grabbed my attention immediately. This is going to a GOOD ONE!

des. 23, 2020, 4:04 pm

>50 msf59: I love it when people read books from the recent past....I feel like so much bookishness is dominated by the latest big thing. Maybe next year I will prioritise books from the 1980 and 1990s!

Happy Christmas Mark! It's been quite a year, and I have high hopes for next year :)

des. 23, 2020, 4:12 pm

>53 msf59: I made me very very angry...I can't even see straight (!) when I think about it. A lot like Mill Town, actually.

des. 23, 2020, 7:44 pm

>54 msf59: Ooo jealous. :)

des. 23, 2020, 8:57 pm

>23 msf59: I haven't posted anything about AtKM on my thread. I'll give it a pair of thumbs. I want to add that I read the original opening of chapter one that Warren wrote. It was cut from the published book. What a editorial crime that was! It is a visceral introduction to Willie Talos, to Jack Burden, and to several of the corrupt characters that Willie has to deal with during his rise.

My holiday read is David Sedaris' Holidays on Ice. It's short and easy reading. I plan to read a GN called Constitution Illustrated by R. Sikoryak. It made the NYTimes' list of the bestest GNs of 2020. Every page, it appears, draws inspiration from a different cartoonist. A list in the back is exciting...assuming you like comic strips. From George Herriman to Rube Goldberg to Milton Caniff and Al Capp, and on to Roz Chast and Alison Bechdel.

Are you pumped? I baked some cookies last evening. More tomorrow. Happy holidays, my friend.

des. 23, 2020, 9:10 pm

>58 weird_O: - Thanks for the BB, Bill. I just paced a hold on Constitution Illustrated from my library. Sounds like a fun romp.

des. 24, 2020, 3:15 am

Or in other words, Happy Christmas! And have a great New Year as well. Here’s hoping 2021 is an improvement on 2020.

des. 24, 2020, 7:52 am

>55 LovingLit: Happy Holidays, Meg. I try to read older titles off the shelf, whenever I can. God knows, I have plenty of them. I have done pretty good this year and hope to continue that trend.

>56 richardderus: Wow! Mill Town sounds really good too, RD. You certainly can find interesting titles.

>57 mahsdad: The Cold Millions is off to an excellent start, Jeff. Yep, I am rubbing it in.

des. 24, 2020, 7:58 am

>58 weird_O: Howdy, Bill. Glad to hear the Thumbs Up for All the Kings Men. It was worth the effort then. I should track down Holidays on Ice. I like Sedaris. Sue is doing all the Christmas Eve cooking. I am helping when I can. It should be a nice time with the immediate family.

>60 SandDune: Thanks, Rhian. Fingers crossed for a better 2021.

des. 24, 2020, 8:22 am

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Mark!

des. 24, 2020, 8:59 am

>63 Carmenere: I LOVE IT! Thanks. Happy Holidays, Lynda!

Editat: des. 24, 2020, 9:04 am

135) Jack by Marilynne Robinson 3.6 stars

Ms. Robinson returns to Gilead, and this time her sights are on Jack Ames Boughton. He is the black-sheep, prodigal son of John Ames, Gilead's Presbyterian minister. Centered mostly around St. Louis, post WWII, it involves Jack's forbidden, relationship with a black school-teacher. I loved Robinson's previous Gilead books but I had a hard time really connecting with this ne'er-do-well character and his misadventures. As expected, the prose is terrific, so I would still recommend giving it a shot.

136) A Most Beautiful Thing: The True Story of America's First All-Black High School Rowing Team by Arshay Cooper 4 stars

In the '90s, a group of teenagers, from the Chicago West side became the first all-black high school rowing team. Arshay Cooper was one of these boys and this is his story. It is uplifting and inspirational. Being from the Chicago area, I am surprised that I had never heard about this event but I am well-informed now. There is also a documentary about this story, currently running on Prime. Thanks to Nancy for putting this on my radar.

des. 24, 2020, 9:07 am

Good morning, Mark! Happy Thurdsay/Christmas Eve.

Editat: des. 24, 2020, 11:32 am

Happy Christmas Eve, Mark.

I didn't realize that there's also a documentary about the Chicago HS rowers. I've have to look for that one on Prime, too.

I received a great haul of books today from my Santa Thing Santa (from Betty (dudes22)) and also opened my Christmas Swap books which Carrie chose for me. One book I know you read was the Elton John autobiography. One especially intriguing title for me is Death in the Air, which Carrie chose for me for Christmas Swap. Subtitled The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City. I've long wanted to read that one.

des. 24, 2020, 12:41 pm

>65 msf59: Sorry Jack didn't work so well for you, Mark. I agree Jack is a ne'er-do-well, but I somehow found him sympathetic anyway. Or at least I understood more about what was going on off-page in some of the other novels.

des. 24, 2020, 12:56 pm

>66 karenmarie: Sweet Thursday, Karen. Have a nice Christmas Eve!

>67 lindapanzo: Happy Christmas Eve, Linda. I have not seen the Most Beautiful Thing doc yet but I hope to soon. Congrats on the Swap books. I really enjoyed Death in the Air and I am sure you will.

>68 lauralkeet: I wasn't exactly disappointed in Jack but it never really grabbed me, the way her other books have. I would have liked to have seen more Della in the novel.

des. 24, 2020, 3:22 pm

Merry Christmas, Mark! And Happy New Thread!

Looks like you had a great trip, and I love the bird photos on your last thread. The Vermillion Flycatcher was probably my favorite.

Lots of good reading, too. Have a great holiday, buddy.

des. 24, 2020, 4:52 pm

>70 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe and Merry Christmas, sir! Glad you like the Vermillion Flycatcher and yes, it has been a great reading year.

Editat: des. 24, 2020, 4:54 pm

des. 24, 2020, 5:02 pm

I hope there are some treats, some relaxation, and some reading over the festive season, and that 2021 is a kinder year to everyone.

Hoping there will be some fine reads among your parcels Mark. And lots more lifers added to your list.

des. 24, 2020, 5:07 pm

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
May 2021 bring you less need for masks, loads of peace and joy, good health and, of course, books!

des. 24, 2020, 5:11 pm

>72 msf59: A great idea for ALL visitors!

des. 24, 2020, 5:18 pm

>72 msf59: - It's 2020... 'nuff said

des. 24, 2020, 5:36 pm

des. 24, 2020, 10:43 pm

>29 msf59: Thanks, Mark. We've had an unusual number of Northern Flickers this past week, which were trying to land on our smallish suet feeder. I enjoyed their antics.

I haven't been out for the Christmas count for several years now. Our group has not stayed together as too many have aged to infirmity or passed away. I'm not expert enough to qualify without the seasoned birders to sign off. Doesn't stop me from some outings though (weather permitting).

Lots of images going the rounds, so I'll just say Happy Christmas to all, and to all a Goodnight. (quoting Clement Clarke Moore, 1949 edition).

des. 24, 2020, 11:08 pm

Hope you have a Merry Christmas!

des. 24, 2020, 11:51 pm

des. 25, 2020, 12:54 am

Happy Holidays Mark!

des. 25, 2020, 7:33 am

>73 Caroline_McElwee: Merry Christmas, Caroline and thanks. Hooray for good books and more lifers!

>74 Berly: Merry Christmas, Kim. Love the sentiment.

>75 richardderus: >76 jessibud2: Amen, RD & Shelley!

>77 AMQS: Merry Christmas, Anne. Love the personalized card.

des. 25, 2020, 7:36 am

>78 SandyAMcPherson: Merry Christmas, Sandy. My wife saw the Northern flicker just yesterday. Glad to hear that you have at least attended a CBC in the past. I hope to attend many more.

>79 ChelleBearss: Merry Christmas, Chelle!

>80 Copperskye: Merry Christmas, Joanne. Hooray for Peanuts!

>81 quondame: Merry Christmas, Susan.

des. 25, 2020, 8:09 am

Sleeping on My Side

Every night, no matter where I am
when I lie down, I turn
my back on half the world.

At home, it’s the east I ignore,
with its theaters and silverware,
as I face the adventurous west.

But when I’m on the road
in some hotel’s room 213 or 402
I could be pointed anywhere,

yet I hardly care as long as you
are there facing the other way
so we are defended in all degrees

and my left ear is pressing down
as if listening for hoofbeats in the ground.

-Billy Collins from his latest Whale Day: Poems

^I am a longtime "side sleeper" so I especially liked this one.

des. 25, 2020, 11:33 am

I hope you get some of those at least, Mark, as we all look forward to a better 2021.

des. 25, 2020, 12:23 pm

Hi Mark, and Merry Christmas to you! Enjoy your quiet day with Sue.

>72 msf59: Definitely a sign of the times. *smile*

Editat: des. 25, 2020, 2:47 pm

>85 PaulCranswick: Great sentiment, Paul. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

>86 karenmarie: Merry Christmas, Karen. It has been a great, lazy day so far. Thanks.

Editat: des. 25, 2020, 2:59 pm


In the marbled silence of the desert
it's easy to pick out the songs of the birds,
which puts me in a better state of mind
than the one I wake up to some mornings
as I lie in bed worrying about the same five things
I will still be worried about on my deathbed
if I am lucky enough to have a deathbed
and not a tall death-wave or a deep death-lake
or a dizzying death-cliff, a death-gun or a death-knife,
and death is only one of the five nightly hounds
that prowl in circles around my bed.

And so, you birds of Arizona,
I am lucky to spend this time with you
amid the amber rocks and sudden wildflowers
to listen to your sweet mix of songs,
sorry I am not as knowledgeable as the woman
who just hurried past me up the switchback trail
with her binoculars and her bird book,
but grateful for the perfect acoustics
of your company in the lowering heat,
knowing that in mornings to come
I might recall that you and I were truly here.

-Billy Collins

138) Whale Day: And Other Poems by Billy Collins 4.5 stars

Another gem by an American master!

Editat: des. 26, 2020, 8:17 am

Red-Bellied Woodpecker. My backyard. Christmas Day!

des. 26, 2020, 9:07 am

'Morning, Mark, and happy Saturday to you. I hope you can get some birding in if you want to brave the cold.

>89 msf59: Excellent photo - I especially like his reflection in the feeder. I love their striped backs.

Editat: des. 26, 2020, 9:19 am

>89 msf59: love your Christmas visitor Mark, did he bring his own beer?

des. 26, 2020, 9:54 am

>90 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Only 21F out there right now but I may venture out later. I like the looks of the Red-Bellied too. They don't usually stop at the mixed feeder, so this was a treat.

>91 Caroline_McElwee: Happy Saturday, Caroline. The woodpecker did not bring beer but I had no problem with that. I have my own stash. Grins...

des. 26, 2020, 10:17 am

Wanna help me kick 202 to the curb? 2021 group is here

des. 26, 2020, 12:09 pm

I'm shocked to read you loafed most of Christmas Day. What is the world coming to? Ok, ok, don't try to answer that. It's all too obvious.

Did you, perchance, see this birder on Facebook? He's got that huge lens decked out in camo and that worked out so well that he provided an imagine for his fellow birders to capture. One he couldn't.

des. 26, 2020, 1:46 pm

>93 drneutron: You know I am in, Jim. Thanks again for setting things up.

>94 weird_O: Hey, Bill. Yep, it was a lazy Christmas Day, especially for the Bird Dude, who did nothing but read and watch TV.

Yes, I have seen this photo. It is pretty awesome. This is a Great Grey Owl. I hope to see one of these beauties, again, when I go back up to MN, in Feb.

des. 26, 2020, 1:54 pm

>93 drneutron: I was happy to see the 2021 group started. Anything that makes me feel like 2020 is ending more quickly is welcome.

Glad to hear you had a nice lazy Christmas day. Since we stayed home, I mostly just listened to Christmas music and read. Really enjoyed the annual Call the Midwife Christmas special last night, too. Sorry to see that that one character isn't back. Hoping it's just a temporary thing.

des. 26, 2020, 1:55 pm

Love the Collins' poems, Mark.

Merry Christmas and happy 2021 -- it has to be better than 2020, right?

des. 26, 2020, 3:42 pm

Hi Mark, hope you've managed to enjoy your holidays in this abnormal year. We're presently getting buried with snow. Lordy!

des. 26, 2020, 5:42 pm

>96 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. It was a lazy Christmas Day and today has been pretty lazy, as well. Lots of reading getting done, so all good here, my friend. I stopped watching CTM but I enjoyed the many seasons I did watch.

>97 BLBera: Thank you, Beth. Happy Holidays!

>98 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie! It has been a quiet couple of days, which has been perfect. Boo to the snow. I hope it doesn't hit you to hard. Just cold here.

des. 26, 2020, 6:11 pm

>88 msf59: If it must be poetry, let it be Billy Collins.

Hoping the Weird Week is good to y'all.

des. 26, 2020, 6:49 pm

Belated Christmas greetings, Mark. Ours was pretty lively for the few hours we had part of our immediate together on Christmas Eve. Yesterday was recuperation day. I enjoyed all your bird pictures from your trip to Mexico on the last thread. I think you have the perfect hobby for these Covid times.

Marilynne Robinson’s Jack is a difficult character to engage with. I felt a bit more understanding of him after I followed up with a reread of Home. Enjoy the rest of this year. Wishing you Happy Reading and many more birding expeditions in 2021.

des. 26, 2020, 6:50 pm

>94 weird_O: Priceless!

des. 27, 2020, 7:29 am

>100 richardderus: Hey, your a Collins fan, RD. Yah!! He does have a knack for capturing every day life in a lovely but simple way. Yep, Weird Week has been progressing fine.

>101 Donna828: Thanks, Donna. Good to see you. Glad you had a nice holiday with the family. Yes, I have been enjoying my birding and photography. Getting an itch to get out there. It has been a few days. There was plenty to appreciate in Jack, to make it worthwhile, so I am glad I read it.

des. 27, 2020, 8:52 am

>94 weird_O: That is one cool looking bird!

Hope you are enjoying some Christmas downtime

des. 27, 2020, 8:58 am

'Morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you!

It's a nice bright 24F here. I've already seen a bird on the bird bath, but it was so fluffed up and I saw it head on, so couldn't identify it! I'm glad I put the heater out the other day.

des. 27, 2020, 10:32 am

>104 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle. Lots of quiet downtime, which translates into some quality reading opportunities. Yah!

That is a Great Gray Owl. They spend most of the year in the northwoods of Canada.

>105 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Glad you got that bird bath heater, which reminds me, I need to get out there and clean up my bath and add fresh water.

des. 27, 2020, 5:50 pm

Hiya Mark. I love your Christmas Day visitor in >89 msf59:.

I didn't get around to drop off holiday wishes so now I'm doing some quick Happy New Year visits. I know we are all hoping that 2021 is better. I'm personally hoping for more reading time and for enough of a break from 9- or 10-hour days on zoom to feel more like logging on to my laptop for some LT time. Oh, and maybe retirement. :-)

des. 28, 2020, 12:01 am

Hi Mark, hooray for a lazy Christmas day! Hope you are still enjoying The Cold Millions

des. 28, 2020, 7:39 am

>107 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. Glad you like the woodpecker. Praying for a better 2021 and I hope these next few months blaze by for you. Fingers crossed.

>108 banjo123: Hi, Rhonda. My second PNW visitor in a row. Yah! I finished The Cold Millions and it was a 5 star read. 'Nuf said?

des. 28, 2020, 9:29 am

'Morning, Mark! I hope you enjoy your bird outing with your buddies today. My sunflower feeder is already empty and the wild bird seed feeder is more than half empty. there's a Tufted Titmouse on the suet feeder and a few LGBs on the wild bird seed feeder.

des. 28, 2020, 3:53 pm

>84 msf59: I am an 'all-sides sleeper'. Start on my left side (to read), then go to the other side when ready to actually sleep, then back, front, and all over again :)

des. 28, 2020, 4:09 pm

>110 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. I had a good time with my bird buddies, despite the cold and I ended up picking up another 2 LIFERS. Yah! I always enjoy your feeder reports.

>111 LovingLit: Hooray for an 'all-sides sleeper'! I wish I was, Megan, especially not being able to sleep on my back. Just 'left and right' for me.

des. 28, 2020, 5:05 pm

I have to remind myself to sleep on my right, which lasts until REM sleep when I do not know what the hell happens as I wake up in the damnedest positions. Rob, with the best will in the world, can't deal and slips away to sleep on the couch. (At least he did, the last time we slept in the same's been a while *sob*)

des. 29, 2020, 7:44 am

>113 richardderus: Hey, RD. It sounds like you are also a 'all-sides sleeper'. Poor Rob. I hope he can slip back in with you soon.

Editat: des. 29, 2020, 9:23 am

"The European goldfinch or simply the goldfinch, is a small passerine bird in the finch family that is native to Europe, North Africa and western and central Asia. It has been introduced to other areas, including Australia, New Zealand and Uruguay."

^These are not my photos but they do belong to my birding pal, Mike, (a terrific photographer). We were together. I spotted the European Finch first, hanging with a few goldfinches, but could not get a photo myself. There were reports of this bird, hanging in this general area for a few days. Like the Monk Parakeets, some of these must have been introduced to this part of the Midwest years ago and have adapted. A LIFER for all of us. Gorgeous bird.

des. 29, 2020, 8:15 am

Great shot of the red-bellied!
I'm a side sleeper too. Facing South I guess I'm unconsciously dreaming of warmer climates.
I'm not one for poetry but I'm going to check my library for Whale Day.
Aren't you happy you're not dealing with the Post Office mess of delayed packages?

des. 29, 2020, 8:17 am

Snow Goose (NMP). These geese are seen in huge numbers in many places across the U.S. but for some reason are rare to our area, in northeast IL. If you go downstate, you may see large flocks during migration. There were two here hanging in a public park, with a large flock of Canadian geese. Due to distance, (I didn't want to spook them) I couldn't get a solid photo. It was a 2 LIFER day! Yah!

des. 29, 2020, 8:21 am

>116 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda. Hooray for the red-bellied and another side-sleeper. I am East and West. I am glad I sparked some interest in Whale Day. Collins in very accessible. I do not miss the holiday crush at the P.O. but I do miss those tips. Grins...

des. 29, 2020, 8:34 am

>115 msf59: isn't showing any pics but for some reason, >117 msf59: shows just fine. You are on a roll, Mark!

des. 29, 2020, 9:23 am

‘Morning, Mark, and happy Tuesday to you. I hope you can get out before the snow hits.

>115 msf59: Congrats on the Lifer. I can’t see the photos – I get big, blank boxes and even when I copy the image location to a new tab I get an error message. I can see the bird by duckduckgo-ing it, gorgeous indeed!

>117 msf59: Congrats on the second Lifer. I love seeing the one standout in the flock.

Editat: des. 29, 2020, 9:26 am

>119 jessibud2: >120 karenmarie: Did it work this time, Shelley & Karen? I tried copying these from my email and it doesn't always work. I then added them to my Member's Gallery and hopefully that does the trick.

>120 karenmarie: Morning Karen and thanks. Another special birding day. Love those unusual visitors.

des. 29, 2020, 9:28 am

Yes!!! I can see the photos now. Thank you.

des. 29, 2020, 9:30 am

>122 karenmarie: Yah! He is a beauty, right? He was being elusive, in the undergrowth but my jaw dropped every time I got him in my sights.

des. 29, 2020, 9:32 am

139) The Cold Millions by Jess Walter 5 stars

“...I slipped the porter a buck for a whiskey, then another when the train slowed the last five miles, forest, foothills, farms, and finally, Spokane.
I couldn't believe how the syphilitic town had metastasized. Smoke seeped from twenty thousand chimneys, pillars to an endless gray ceiling. The city was twice the size of the last time I'd hated being there. A box of misery spilled over the whole river valley.”

“Books that hadn’t been cracked since they were shelved. Give money to a monkey and he’ll fill his cage with bananas. Give the same money to a dim American and he’ll build a show library every time.”

It begins in 1909, in the rough and tumble town of Spokane, WA. The Dolan brothers, Rye and Gig have been jumping freight trains, finding day work and any trouble they can stir up. Things begin to shift, when Rye, the youngest is drawn to a young, pregnant union organizer named Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. The brothers then find themselves in a tumultuous and ugly, union battle, with Gig landing in jail and Rye mixing it up with some very dangerous characters.
I have been a fan of Jess Walter for many years. His last book, Beautiful Ruins was an absolute joy to read and he returns here, after a long absence and delivers his best book. Something Steinbeck would have admired. The writing and story-telling is stellar, throughout, populated with indelible characters, that stick with you long after you finish the last perfect sentence. Walter has also done an immense amount of research, sprinkling in a few real life characters, including Flynn. This his love letter to his hometown. Bruises and all.

**I highly recommend this to all my LT Peeps!!

des. 29, 2020, 9:59 am

>121 msf59: - Yes, and wow! Gorgeous. I have the regular goldfinches at my feeder, in their winter drab, at the moment. Still, happy to see them

des. 29, 2020, 10:15 am

>125 jessibud2: Glad the images came up, Shelley. I really wanted to share those. We get American Goldfinch at our feeders, all year.

des. 29, 2020, 10:24 am

Nice sightings Marc! Congratulations. Another two ligers!
We see 'our' goldfinches on a regular basis. Though it's always nice to see them. They roam around in winter looking for thistle seeds, so we also call them distelvink=thistle finch.
Snowgeese are a rarity here. Amsterdam does have lots of white geese, but they are escaped domesticated geese, to be seen where there is grass next to a canal.

des. 29, 2020, 10:25 am

Mark, those lifers are BEAUTIFUL!

And another 5-star read. These are good days.

des. 29, 2020, 12:38 pm

Hiya, Mark! Just checking in - I got a bit behind.

I am looking forward to reading The Cold Millions soon.

des. 29, 2020, 1:35 pm

>124 msf59: Oh hell.

*trudges off to Overdrive*

The LIFERS are both so pretty, though that finch is the king of the color derby. What a gorgeous creature he is!

des. 29, 2020, 1:59 pm

>115 msf59: Congratulations, Mark!
The goldfinch is one of the most colorful birds we regular see. I am glad you saw it too :-)

>117 msf59: And congratulations on a lifer again!

des. 29, 2020, 4:44 pm

>127 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella! You know I love seeing my LIFERS! so, you get to see European Goldfinches, regularly? I am jealous. Our regulars are American Goldfinch and House Finch.

>128 alphaorder: Hooray for LIFERS and great reads, Nancy. These things keep me happy.

>129 katiekrug: Hi, Katie. Good to see you. I hope you have a copy of The Cold Millions at hand. It is an end of the year gem.

des. 29, 2020, 4:49 pm

>130 richardderus: Hey, RD. I would to hear your thoughts on The Cold Millions. Actually, I got my copy from Overdrive, although it took awhile. Yep, hooray for the LIFERS. As soon as I got my bins on that finch, I knew it was something special. I saw reports that it was still being seen there today.

>131 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. I am glad to hear that you get to enjoy the European Goldfinches on a regular basis. I am jealous of that one. American Goldfinch & House Finch are our regular visitors. I am happy with both.

des. 29, 2020, 9:07 pm

Hi Mark, Hmmm I start out sleeping on my left side after reading (which I sit-up for with pillows behind me) then when I get up to go to the bathroom, which I always do I switch to my right. Tats it. Same every night. Never on my back.

I'm hoping to get to The Millions next month but I thought you were the one who recommended it a month or more ago. Now it will drive me crazy to think about who I was. Lol

des. 29, 2020, 10:41 pm

>134 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie! A fellow side-sleeper! Yah! I think Vivian had read and loved The Cold Millions first. I am sure you will love it, once you get to it.

Editat: des. 30, 2020, 12:03 am

>124 msf59: I have The Cold Millions and now have to move it up the list!

And another side sleeper here. : )

des. 30, 2020, 12:41 am

>135 msf59: >136 Berly: When the pain from right shoulder wakes me I switch to the left, continue til done. Of course this is all in a deep casing of comfys in winter so the weight is noticeable.

des. 30, 2020, 5:40 am

Good morning, Mark, and happy Wednesday to you.

I think I can read one more book by the end of the year - Elevation by Stephen King.

Too early for a feeder report since it's still dark out, but Inara was sleeping on the bed with me and the gingers greeted me when I came downstairs. Fed them first of course, made coffee, have fed Freddie Mercury the Betta Fish, and have taken my first sip of coffee.

des. 30, 2020, 7:27 am

>136 Berly: Hi, Kimmers! Hooray for having The Cold Millions queued up and being another side-sleeper.

>137 quondame: Sorry to hear about the shoulder pain, Susan. Is this something you have been dealing with for awhile?

>138 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. My, you are up early. Just a few sips into my first cup of coffee, meself. How is that King? I have not read that one. Hooray for Freddy Mercury. I did not realize you had a betta.

Editat: des. 30, 2020, 8:37 am

140) A Feast of Snakes by Harry Crews 4 stars

“White people were dangerous and snakes were dangerous and now the two were working together, each doing what the other told it to. “

“I don’t like snakes,” she said.
“You’re in a hell of a place if you don’t like snakes.”

“He did not know what love was. And he did not know what good it was. But he knew he carried with him, a scabrous spot of rot, of contagion, for which there was no cure. Rage would not cure it. Indulgence made it worse, flamed it, made it grow like cancer. “

Welcome to Mystic Georgia, circa 1970. Now, turn back and run like hell. This is a mean, gritty tale, bordering on the grotesque and certainly not for the faint of heart. It takes place around an annual Rattlesnake Round up, populated with mostly unlikable characters. It ain't pretty. It also includes a horrific dog-fight, so be forewarned. This was my introduction to Crews. I like dark, literary explorations and this delivered it, in spades. I found much of it fascinating. I am not sure, I will run out right away and find more of his work but I am glad I finally read it. McCullers may have set the "hillbilly noir" table but Crews has sure found a comfortable spot, at the head of it.

**My last read of 2020. I hope to kick off 2021 with a more uplifting title.

Editat: des. 30, 2020, 8:59 am

Bree and her two dogs joined me on a hike yesterday. Bree also got to try out my spotting scope. She was rewarded with 8 Trumpeter Swans, sitting on the ice. There were other waterfowl there, but these beauties were the highlight. This was the best I could do, with my camera, since they were a bit out of my range:

des. 30, 2020, 11:01 am

>136 Berly: I'm a side sleeper also, but Barney has been trying to turn me into a back sleeper so he can sleep on my upper legs. I usually end up having to disturb him because I can't fall asleep.

des. 30, 2020, 11:22 am

>140 msf59: I'd say that's the perfect heavy cover to put on top of the hellmouth that's been 2020. So long, bad year.

Good hike!

des. 30, 2020, 12:22 pm

>143 richardderus: You summed up that well, RD. An ideal lid for 2020!

des. 30, 2020, 12:25 pm

"Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief--a novel about faith, science, religion, love."

Homegoing was one of my top reads of 2016, so like many here, I have been looking forward to her sophomore effort,
Transcendent Kingdom. This one is set in the states. I am 50 pages in and liking it. It should be my first read of 2021.

des. 30, 2020, 12:53 pm

>145 msf59: This had been slated for publication here this year, then it got postponed to January, and now I see it has been nudged to March :-(

des. 30, 2020, 2:56 pm

>145 msf59: Just finished it. One of my favorites this year!

des. 30, 2020, 4:50 pm

>146 Caroline_McElwee: Oh, bummer, Caroline but I am sure you will find plenty to read until March.

>147 drneutron: Great to know, Jim. I quickly knocked out more than a third today. I am enjoying it very much.

Editat: des. 31, 2020, 8:30 am

Yes, it has been one strange, unsettling year. Lots of darkness, anger and frustration, along with some real bright moments, like my daughter's wedding, my retirement and the Biden/Harris win. Of course, I am also fortunate that my family and friends have remained safe and healthy.
I also managed to have an excellent reading year. I fell far short of my stellar numbers from last year but this will be the new norm and I have no problem with it. Nonfiction has usually dominated the past few years, but fiction really came out strong. As usual, narrowing down the best reads of the year, is no easy task but these are the titles I came up with...

des. 30, 2020, 5:27 pm

Happy New Year my friend. Oh wow, Cold Millions, I can't wait to get a copy.

Nice "Top Read" lists. The only one I've read is A Field Guide to Getting Lost, read it last year. Very different for my usual fare, but really enjoyed it. Now to go add some more BBs and contemplate setting up my 2021 thread. See you over there. :)

des. 30, 2020, 6:24 pm

What a great list! So much good reading in 2020.

And I will have great reading ahead in 2021. As you know, I am starting with Cold Millions, but have Shuggie Bain and The New Jim Crow waiting in the wings, thanks to you. I feel like I read A Field Guide to Getting Lost already, but my library shows it unread - I will have to check. In any case, big Solnit fan here, so if not, that will be another 2021 read. And Girl, Woman, Other also rests on my shelf, waiting to be read. So thank you, my friend, for all of the nudges! As you know, I too loved Late Migrations and Hament.

Can't wait to see what you read in 2021! Happy New Year! 🎉

des. 30, 2020, 6:42 pm

>151 mahsdad: Happy New Year, Jeff! You will LOVE The Cold Millions. It may be Walter's masterpiece. I am looking forward to seeing more Best of Lists...

>152 alphaorder: Thanks, Nancy and Happy New Year! It was a great year of reading. I am so glad you have all these terrific titles waiting in the wings. You will be kicking off 2021 in style.

des. 30, 2020, 6:47 pm

Great list, Mark. Thanks for all the warbling this year; you were definitely a positive influence on my reading.

des. 30, 2020, 7:35 pm

A Thread of Grace is my favorite Mary Doria Russell and that's saying something Mark. We're so lucky to get such enjoyment out of our books.

des. 30, 2020, 7:49 pm

>139 msf59: It's been a sleep issue for a bit, and for the last month or so it persists so I've started up my shoulder stretches again.

des. 30, 2020, 9:42 pm

>154 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. Expect more warbling and bird pics in 2021.

>155 brenzi: A Thread of Grace may not be favorite MDR, Bonnie but it sure was one heck of a read. I am not sure what we would have done without our books this year.

>156 quondame: Fingers crossed that the shoulder pain subsides, Susan.

des. 30, 2020, 9:46 pm

Mark - Will likely finish with 82 books. Here is where I landed with my top 10 for 2020. Circumstances and timing certainly played a part. 20 years ago, a lot more fiction would have appeared here. I find this fascinating.

So You Want to Talk about Race
Bodega: poems
Memorial Drive
Homeland Elegies
What Unites Us
Braiding Sweetgrass
Vesper Flights
World of Wonders
A Promised Land

des. 30, 2020, 10:54 pm

Hi Mark.
Just doing a quick whip around before the flip to 2021.
I wanted to sneak in to collect more ideas about what folks read this year and loved.

I'm an outlier on some pretty popular titles. I ended up abandoning Hamnet (Hamnet & Judith in Canada).

des. 31, 2020, 1:28 am

Time to take out the trash!

des. 31, 2020, 7:58 am

>158 alphaorder: Happy New Year, Nancy. Yah for 82 books! I love the list. I have Homeland Elegies in the queue and should get to it soon. Glad to see Hamnet made the cut. I had forgot about Bodega: Poems so I requested it. As you know, I also really enjoyed Sweetgrass. Looking forward to sharing another book year with you, my friend.

>159 SandyAMcPherson: Happy New Year, Sandy. Sorry, to hear that Hamnet didn't work for you. Did I land any other BBs with the rest of the titles?

>160 weird_O: Love it, Bill. Well, said. Happy New Year, my friend.

des. 31, 2020, 8:20 am

>141 msf59: Nice picture anyway, Mark! But poor swans having to sit on the ice like that.

>150 msf59: I loved The Splendid and the Vile as well. Must have picked that BB from your thread! So many good books to read, my TBR list is becoming unmanageable.

Wishing you a happy new year, Mark.

des. 31, 2020, 8:39 am

>162 EllaTim: Happy New Year, Ella. Birds are tough and they are built for the weather. The swans will hang around, as long as they can find a food source. Yes, The Splendid and the Vile was an excellent read. I am looking forward to seeing what books 2021 brings.

des. 31, 2020, 10:08 am

Hi Mark and happy last day of 2020 to you.

>141 msf59: Nice pics.

>149 msf59: I like your summing up of the old year.

>150 msf59: Yay for best of lists! I’m looking forward to starting Hamnet tomorrow, a Christmas present.

des. 31, 2020, 10:17 am

Sweet Thursday, and Happy New Year, Mark!

Loved seeing that Billy Collins poem up there. Isn't Whale Day another great collection? I saw Bodega: Poems on Nancy's list, so I'll have to look for that one. I'll have Postcolonial Love Poem on mine. A Field Guide to Getting Lost was great, wasn't it. I must've read Girl, Woman, Other last year? Otherwise it would be on my list, too.

A spotting scope? How great. Holiday gift? I'm sure it was a treat to have Bree with you, too.

Enjoy the day, brother, and if I don't see you again today, I'll see you in 2021.

des. 31, 2020, 10:21 am

Glad to see Hamnet on your list as it's in my sights for a challenge this year

Hope 2021 is kind to you!

Editat: des. 31, 2020, 10:24 am

>164 karenmarie: Morning, Karen and Happy New Year. I am so glad you got Hamnet in hand. Looking forward to your thoughts on it.

>165 jnwelch: Sweet Thursday, Joe and Happy New Year to you too. Whale Day was wonderful. I did not give my best poetry picks for the year, but Postcolonial Love Poem would have been right at the top.

You must have missed the memo, but I treated myself to the spotting scope, as an early retirement gift. I have been enjoying for over 3 months now.

Have a great day too, my friend and see you on the other side.

des. 31, 2020, 10:25 am

>166 ChelleBearss: Happy New Year, Chelle. I hope all my LT pals will give a Hamnet a go.

des. 31, 2020, 1:32 pm

Happy new year, Mark! Off to find your 2021 thread to drop my star....

des. 31, 2020, 1:59 pm

Happy New Year, Katie! I should be easy to find over there.

des. 31, 2020, 2:01 pm

See you on the other side tomorrow, Mark!

des. 31, 2020, 9:33 pm

Happy New Year, Mark!

des. 31, 2020, 9:43 pm


As the year turns, friendship continues

des. 31, 2020, 10:23 pm

gen. 1, 2021, 12:40 pm

I had a great reading year. My total was 135. That is the most I have read in one year since I started keeping track of my reading. I suspect that it is my most ever - including during college. It was a exciting reading year.

My top 5 Nonfiction were:
1. Black in Selma: The Uncommon Life of J. L. Chestnut, Jr. by J. L. Chestnut, Jr.
2. Monuments Men by Robert Edsel
3. Book Collectors: A Band of Syrian Rebels and the Stories That Carried Them Through A War by Delphine Minoui
4. Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City by Russell Shorto
5. Glass House: The Shattering of the All-American Town by Brian Alexander

gen. 1, 2021, 2:44 pm

>175 benitastrnad: Happy New Year, Benita. Thanks for sharing your NF Best of List. I also really enjoyed Monuments Men.