kidzdoc Cooks, Reads and Resists in 2018, Part 2

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kidzdoc Cooks, Reads and Resists in 2018, Part 2

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Bearbeitet: Sept. 5, 2018, 6:18am

Currently reading:


In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne
Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala
Picasso: An Intimate Portrait by Olivier Widmaier Picasso\
The Years, Months, Days by Yan Lianke

Completed Books:


1. Red Star Over Russia: Revolution in Visual Culture 1905-55 by Sidlina Natalia
2. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
3. Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck
4. I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong

5. Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr.
6. Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance by Mark Whitaker
7. In Pursuit of Memory: The Fight Against Alzheimer's by Joseph Jebelli
8. Mayhem: A Memoir by Sigrid Rausing
9. I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O'Farrell
10. The Devil Finds Work by James Baldwin
11. Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis

12. Coltrane: The Story of a Sound by Ben Ratliff
13. Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty
14. Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
15. Winter by Karl Ove Knausgaard
16. Die, My Love by Ariana Harwicz
17. The Vaccine Race: How Scientists Used Human Cells to Combat Killer Viruses by Meredith Wadman

18. On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder
19. The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine by Lindsey Fitzharris
20. With the End in Mind: Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial by Kathryn Mannix
21. Miró: The Life of a Passion by Lluís Permanyer
22. Stay with Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
23. To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death by Mark O’Connell

24. Lisbon: A Cultural and Literary Companion by Paul Buck
25. A Man: Klaus Klump by Gonçalo M. Tavares
26. Sozaboy by Ken Saro-Wiwa
27. The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla
28. The Impostor by Javier Cercas

29. Everybody Loves Kamau! by W. Kamau Bell
30. Rick Steves Snapshot Lisbon by Rick Steves
31. The Poor by Raul Brandão
32. City of Ulysses by Teolinda Gersão
33. The Portuguese: A Modern History by Barry Hatton

34. Act of the Damned by António Lobo Antunes
35. The Struggle for Catalonia: Rebel Politics in Spain by Raphael Minder
36. Kader Attia: Architecure of Memory by Beate Reifenscheid
37. Guernica: The Biography of a Twentieth-Century Icon by Gijs van Hensbergen

38. Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland
39. Where Pain Fears to Pass by L. Burton
40. From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan
41. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
42. The Prisoner by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne

43. Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss

Bearbeitet: Jun. 6, 2018, 7:06am

The Man Booker International Prize 2018 Longlist:

Laurent Binet (France), Sam Taylor, The 7th Function of Language
Javier Cercas (Spain), Frank Wynne, The Impostor
*Virginie Despentes (France), Frank Wynne, Vernon Subutex 1
Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany), Susan Bernofsky, Go, Went, Gone
*Han Kang (South Korea), Deborah Smith, The White Book
Ariana Harwicz (Argentina), Sarah Moses & Carolina Orloff, Die, My Love
*László Krasznahorkai (Hungary), John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet & George Szirtes, The World Goes On
*Antonio Muñoz Molina (Spain), Camilo A. Ramirez, Like a Fading Shadow
Christoph Ransmayr (Austria), Simon Pare, The Flying Mountain
*Ahmed Saadawi (Iraq), Jonathan Wright, Frankenstein in Baghdad
+*Olga Tokarczuk (Poland), Jennifer Croft, Flights
Wu Ming-Yi (Taiwan), Darryl Sterk, The Stolen Bicycle
Gabriela Ybarra (Spain), Natasha Wimmer, The Dinner Guest

*shortlisted title
+prize winner

The Man Booker Prize 2018 Longlist: TBA on 18 July

Bearbeitet: Jun. 6, 2018, 7:14am

Iberian Literature and Nonfiction

Act of the Damned by António Lobo Antunes
The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical Perspective by Simon Harris
The Crime of Father Amaro by José Maria Eça de Queirós
City of Ulysses by Teolinda Gersão
The Dolls' Room by Llorenç Villalonga
Fado Alexandrino by António Lobo Antunes
The Gray Notebook by Josep Pla
The History of the Siege of Lisbon by José Saramago
The Inquisitors' Manual by António Lobo Antunes
Like a Fading Shadow by Antonio Muñoz Molina
The Moor's Last Stand: How Seven Centuries of Muslim Rule in Spain Came to an End by Elizabeth Drayson
The New Spaniards by John Hooper
Obabakoak by Bernardo Atxaga
The Poor by Raul Brandão
The Portuguese: A Modern History by Barry Hatton
Private Life by Josep Maria de Sagarra
The Struggle for Catalonia: Rebel Politics in Spain by Raphael Minder
Things Look Different in the Light by Medardo Fraile
What's Up with Catalonia? by Liz Castro
The Yellow Rain by Julio Llamazares

Bearbeitet: Jun. 6, 2018, 7:16am

Many of us who are long time members of Club Read and 75 Books were friends of rebeccanyc, who died last summer. I had the pleasure of meeting my "book sister" once, and she was both one of my first friends on LibraryThing, and a huge influence on my reading. We were both huge fans of Mario Vargas Llosa and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, and we share just over 400 books in our LT libraries.

I intend to honor her in 2018 by reading at least six books that we share in common.

In Memory of RebeccaNYC

1984 by George Orwell
The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa
Haiti After the Earthquake by Paul Farmer
The Green House by Mario Vargas Llosa
The History of the Siege of Lisbon by José Saramago
The Lights of Pointe-Noire by Alain Mabanckou
The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Metro Stop Paris: An Underground History of the CIty of Light by Gregor Dallas
Of Africa by Wole Soyinka
Petals of Blood by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Something Torn and New: An African Renaissance by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

Bearbeitet: Jun. 6, 2018, 7:20am

2018 Wellcome Book Prize longlist:

*Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
*The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine by Lindsey Fitzharris
In Pursuit of Memory: The Fight Against Alzheimer’s by Joseph Jebelli
Plot 29: A Memoir by Allan Jenkins
The White Book by Han Kang translated by Deborah Smith
*With the End in Mind: Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial by Kathryn Mannix
Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty
+*To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death by Mark O’Connell
I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell
*Mayhem: A Memoir by Sigrid Rausing
Behave: The Biology of humans at our Best and Worst by Robert Sapolsky
*The Vaccine Race: How Scientists Used Human Cells to Combat Killer Viruses by Meredith Wadman

2017 Wellcome Book Prize longlist:

*How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS by David France
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
*When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
+*Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal (alternate title: The Heart: A Novel)
The Golden Age by Joan London
Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body by Jo Marchant
*The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss
*The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes by Adam Rutherford
Miss Jane by Brad Watson
*I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong

*shortlisted title
+prize winner

Bearbeitet: Jun. 6, 2018, 7:56am

Planned reads for June:

The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
City of Ulysses by Teolinda Gersão
The Crime of Father Amaro by José Maria Eça de Queirós
Fado Alexandrino by António Lobo Antunes
The Gray Notebook by Josep Pla
The History of the Siege of Lisbon by José Saramago
Like a Fading Shadow by Antonio Muñoz Molina
The Poor by Raul Brandão
The Portuguese: A Modern History by Barry Hatton
Rick Steves' Snapshot Lisbon by Rick Steves
The Struggle for Catalonia: Rebel Politics in Spain by Raphael Minder

Bearbeitet: Jun. 6, 2018, 7:23am

Lisbon's Livraria Bertrand do Chiado, the world's oldest bookstore still in operation, opened on the Rua Direita do Loreto in the city's Chiado neighborhood in 1732. After the devastating 1755 earthquake it was forced to relocate and share a space with the Capela de Nossa Senhora das Necessidades, the Chapel of Our Lady of Needs, until it reopened in its current location on the Rua Garrett in Chiado in 1773, a short distance from the Baixa Chiado metro station. I'll meet deebee1 there on Friday, the day after I arrive in Lisbon.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 6, 2018, 9:09am

Happy new thread, Darryl, and safe travels. I know you usually post on your facebook, but could you try to post once or twice here, if possible, for those of us not on FB. You always have such terrific photos!

Jun. 6, 2018, 9:18am

>8 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley! I won't post as many photos here as I do on Facebook, but I'll do my best.

Jun. 6, 2018, 9:35am

>9 kidzdoc: - Thanks, Darryl. Whatever works. Main thing is, have a great time!

Jun. 6, 2018, 11:59am

Have a wonderful time in Lisbon! I look forward to finding out what you think about it.

Jun. 7, 2018, 4:00am

>10 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley!

>11 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, Kay! I'll do my best to post photos and descriptions of Lisbon and the other Portuguese cities I visit on this trip.

Jun. 7, 2018, 6:47pm

Have a wonderful trip!

Jun. 8, 2018, 8:59pm

>4 kidzdoc: Just reading the list of books you plan to read in memory of rebeccanyc brings back such fond memories. We both loved The Long Ships and our discussions of The Master and Margarita were memorable. She was a great influence on my reading too, and we shared 337 works.

Jun. 15, 2018, 4:55am

I spent four hours in the company of deebee1 yesterday, most of it in Vestigius, an excellent bar and restaurant along the Rio Tejo in Lisboa, close to the Cais do Sodré metro, ferry and railway station:

I loved Vestigius's funky interior:

DB had already had lunch, but I had a late lunch/early dinner of arroz de pato (roast duck with rice and chouriço, seasoned with olives, garlic and orange), which was divine:

I normally don't eat dessert, but our waiter highly recommended the cheesecake, which was unlike any I've ever had:

We had a great view of the river, the towns on its south bank with mountains in the distance, and the frequent ferries that brought rush hour commuters home and younger people into Lisboa for a night out:

We saw a typical Portuguese fishing vessel as we walked along the Rio Tejo from Cais do Sodré to the Plaça do Comércio:

DB was a great dinner companion and an excellent tour guide to Lisboa, and ambassador for the city and country. She has left me with much to think about, specifically the consideration of retiring to Portugal rather than Spain. I'll definitely spend more time in Portugal over the next few years, and I may return to Lisboa for a week in November instead of traveling to London for the EFG London Jazz Festival as I had originally planned.

I'm just finishing breakfast in my hotel room, and I'll leave shortly to go to the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, to visit its modern and ancient art museums. I'll plan to go to Belém early on Sunday, and visit two other museums on Saturday. I'll post more photos from previous days here this weekend, hopefully starting this afternoon. Até mais tarde! (See you later!)

Jun. 15, 2018, 9:58am

That cheesecake looks amazing.

I'm glad you are enjoying Portugal so much. It must be nice to be considering such exotic locales for retirement. With a teenager, I'm afraid such considerations are further in the future than I would like!

Jun. 15, 2018, 11:01am

Thank you for sharing your adventures....

Jun. 15, 2018, 5:36pm

Scenery, food, and company sound lovely! Thank you for the updates - it's fun to travel vicariously.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 16, 2018, 8:41am

>16 labfs39: Thanks, Lisa. I'm seriously considering retiring abroad, for multiple reasons, and Spain and Portugal are highest on my list of places to move to. I probably won't retire before I turn 65, but that's less than eight years away, so I need to start looking into this more seriously, and working on becoming fluent in Spanish and/or Portuguese. I'm comfortably conversant in Spanish, so achieving fluency shouldn't take long, but I'll have to learn Portuguese from scratch, although I've already started to learn a very basic vocabulary over the past week. It's a tremendous help that I'm a SINK (single income, no kids), and that my parents are financially independent and relatively well off, thanks to my father's good job and excellent government pension. I'll remain in the US as long as they are alive, and I would love nothing more than for them to live another 10-20 years in relatively good health and sound mind, but they are in their early 80s and although they are doing much better than they were six months ago, I don't know how much longer they will be able to function independently, which they recognize as well.

>17 NanaCC: You're welcome, Colleen. I'll start posting photos and travelogues now, especially since I suspect that far fewer Americans have traveled to Portugal than to Spain.

>18 janemarieprice: You're welcome, Jane! Thanks to LT I've now met four people who live in or just outside of Lisbon, who I plan to visit on future trips here. I may return as early as November, as I've already requested a week of vacation that month to attend the EFG London Jazz Festival, but I'll be there in September and possibly for a few days in August, before or after my trip to Edinburgh, so a second visit to Portugal in the off season may be more rewarding, especially since the city is filled with tourists in June, the month of festivals throughout Portugal.

As my friends in Atlanta have requested I'll be sure to rent or buy a place with a guest room once I retire!

Jun. 16, 2018, 8:43am

Last Friday deebee1 (DB) and I met at Livraria Bertrand, the bookshop shown in message >7 kidzdoc:. It's a beautiful store, but its collection of English language books is very small, so I didn't buy anything, although I'm tempted to get a lovely but hefty Portuguese cookbook that she pointed out to me if I can't find it on Amazon. The bookshop is very easy to get to, as it's only a block away from the Baixa-Chiado metro station that connects the Blue and Green Lines.

We stopped briefly in front of Café a Brasileira, which opened in 1905 to sell Brasilian coffee to Lisboetas, and soon became a hangout for local intellectuals and artists in the early 20th century, most notably Fernando Pessoa. There is a statue of him seated at a table on the plaza outside of the café, with an empty chair next to him, and untold numbers of tourists have photos of themselves seated next to the great writer:

The café is just to the right. In this photo, there is a waiter standing on the far right edge. The blue tiled building behind him is Livraria Bertrand.

From there we walked through the Chiado, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Lisbon. Our next stop was the Igreja de São Roque, the Church of St. Roch, which dates back to the early 16th century and is one of the few buildings which was not destroyed or heavily damaged by the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. It is named after the patron saint of plague victims, and construction of the church began in 1506, the year after a plague devastated the city, and it was built on the grounds of a plague cemetery.

It was the first Jesuit church built in Portugal, and one of the first ones built in the world. After the expulsion of the Jesuits from Portugal in 1759 the church was given to the Lisbon Holy House of Mercy, whose church was destroyed in the 1755 earthquake, where it has remained since then.

The church is notable for its richly gilded chapels, such as the Chapel of Our Lady of Piety:

The Chapel of Our Lady of the Doctrine:

The Chapel of the Holy Family:

Jun. 16, 2018, 8:44am

The 14th century Igreja do Carmo (the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel) is probably the best preserved monument to the Great Lisbon Earthquake. It serves as an archeological museum, and in summers its interior hosts light shows and concerts; the Kronos Quartet will perform there next month.

Lisbon is a very hilly city, and it has several miradouros, or lookout points, which provide spectacular views of the city, the Rio Tejo, and the towns and mountains across the river. This photo shows the Castelo de São Jorge and the buildings that surround it in the Alfama:

The entrance to Rossio, the most central of Lisbon major railway stations:

Jun. 16, 2018, 8:45am

The 13th century Igreja de São Domingos was heavily damaged during the earthquakes of 1531 and 1755, and gutted by a fire in 1959. It reopened in 1994, although the interior damage from the fire is plainly evident:

This plaque, the Memorial às Vítimas do Massacre Judaico, commemorates one of the darkest days in Lisbon's history, the massacre of 2000-4000 conversos, Jewish converts to Christianity, by mobs in Rossio Square on April 19, 1506. After the Reconquista, the centuries long campaign for Christians to reclaim Spain and Portugal, ended in 1491 with the conquest of Granada, Moors and Jews were forced to either flee the Iberian peninsula, leaving their homes and other worldly belongings behind, or convert to Christianity. The conversos were targeted by Christians during times of social strife, one of which occurred in the first few months of 1506. On April 17 of that year several conversos were discovered to be secretly practicing Jewish customs by local officials, who soon released them. The general public became enraged, and Dominicans and other Old Christians hunted down and slaughtered the "New Christians", along with "Old Christians" who befriended them.

Jun. 16, 2018, 8:48am

These are pieces of bacalhau (bacalao), dried salted cod that have been brought to Portugal, Spain and other countries from the North Sea since medieval times. Bacalhau cannot be consumed as is, it must be soaked in water for roughly 24 hours to remove the salt beforehand.

One of my favorite memories from that special day was seeing these schoolgirls sing fado with great joy and energy before an appreciative audience on the Rua Augusta in the Baixa, as we walked toward the Praça do Comércio. I should have taken a brief video of them singing. I had a huge smile on my face when I first saw and heard them, and I think the two girls on the right noticed as I took this photo of them.

The Rua Augusta Arch, which separates the Baixa from the Praça do Comércio and was begun just after the 1755 earthquake to commemorate Lisbon's rebirth:

A 1920s era Lisbon tram, which is part of the city's public transit system but is most often ridden by tourists. This one is a bit unusual, in that the #15 runs along the Rio Tejo from the Praça do Comércio westward to Belém and is usually stocked with modern trams, as it's a straight and flat journey along a wide avenue, whereas these old trams are used on the narrow, winding and hilly medieval streets in the Alfama, Baixa and Chiado neighborhoods:

Jun. 16, 2018, 8:48am

DB took this photo of me on the Praça do Comércio, on the other side of the Rua Augusta Arch:

Hmm. I don't have any good photos of the Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square), so this one will have to do. Until the Great Lisbon Earthquake this was the site of the main palace of the Royal Family, the Paços da Ribeira, but the tsunami that followed the earthquake destroyed the palace. King José I, whose statue can be seen in the center of this photo and the following one, fled with his family to Belém, and the empty space was rebuilt shortly after the earthquake:

The Praça do Comércio begins at the Rio Tejo, and we walked westward along the river to Cais do Sodré, which serves as a metro, railway and ferry station. There we met Vivian and Connie, her friend who vacationed with her. We took a short ferry ride across the river to the town of Cacilhas, where we met DB's husband for dinner at a marisqueira (seafood restaurant) there. We arrived early, so the three visitors took photos of Lisbon from the dock:

Our ferry, heading back to Lisbon:

Here's a better photo from the Praça do Comércio:

Bearbeitet: Jun. 16, 2018, 8:51am

Restaurante Cabrinha, the marisqueira where we met for dinner:

Our meal was fantastic, especially the shellfish!

Here again is the photo of the dinner party. From left to right, Nuno, DB's husband, Vivian (vivians), Connie, DB (deebee1) and me:

As always, LT meetups are filled with great conversation that could have lasted for many more hours. Vivian, Connie and I said goodbye to DB and Nuno, who live in a city close to Cacilhas, and the three of us rode a ferry back to Cais do Sodré in Lisbon, where we said goodbye. That was a wonderful and unforgettable day, and I look forward to seeing DB and Nuno again in Lisbon within the next year, and Vivian a bit closer to home.

Jun. 16, 2018, 11:47am

>19 kidzdoc: I am so glad that your parents are doing better. I haven't been on your thread for a while, and the last I had heard, they were not doing well. How often do you get to see them? When they do need assisted living, so you think they will move closer to Atlanta?

I think it's wonderful how many LTers you have met in person over the years. It's interesting the similarities and differences between LT friendships and real life ones. What have you noticed?

Jun. 16, 2018, 4:11pm

>26 labfs39: Thanks, Lisa. They are both doing better, especially now that my father received his driver's license back; he had to surrender it in December, after he was suspected of having a grand mal seizure when he collapsed in November. With that he is now independent, and no longer has to rely on neighbors, friends and family to take him and my mother everywhere.

I usually see them every two or three months. I saw them for a week around Memorial Day, and I'll visit them again in late July, and probably again in October and November or December. I was able to see them in May, when my mother had her left adrenal gland removed, which contained a tumor that was producing large amounts of aldosterone, a hormone that can cause hypertensive crises if produced in excess. As a result her blood pressures are under much better control, and her dementia, which appears to be at least partially vascular in origin, is improving.

It's far more likely that my parents would move to the Houston area, specifically Pearland, as my mother's two sisters are now living together in an assisted living facility there, in the same city as the oldest sister's youngest son.

Over the Christmas holidays I decided to count how many LTers I had met in person, after I mentioned to one of my British LT friends that I thought I had met at least 50 LTers in person...present company included! It seemed as if it was a possible exaggeration, but I tallied 56 people, not counting DB and Vivian, who I met last week here in Lisbon, in eight countries: US, England, Scotland, Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal. Thirteen of them are current or former Club Read members, which includes one person who I just realized I had not added to the list.

Great question about LT vs non-LT friendships. I would have to separate LTers into people I've only interacted with online, those who I've met once in person (like yourself), others who I've met multiple times, and those who I see on a routine basis and have become close friends. I'm friendly with several of my physician colleagues in and outside of my group, but we rarely get together outside of work, due to our busy work schedules, travel distances (as you know, Atlanta traffic is a nightmare, even on weekends) and, in many cases, to their family commitments. If I think of the people I spend the most time with socially outside of family and friends from childhood who live close to my parents, they would be a small number of British LTers, one of whom is active on LT, namely Claire (Sakerfalcon), while others are no longer active or have had minimal activity recently, such as Bianca (drachenbraut23), Fliss (flissp) and Rachael (FlossieT). I've even taken vacations with Claire and Bianca; Claire, her sister (not on LT) and I spent a week together in Amsterdam two years ago, and immediately afterward Bianca and I spent two weeks traveling in Spain. I see Fliss and Rachael at least twice a year, and Fliss, Margaret and I met up (though we weren't together) in Edinburgh last August for the Festivals, and we're planning to do so again this year.

In terms of meeting LTers in person, the common theme that I and others have noticed is that we almost always get along very well and have stimulating conversations, often times not about books or reading at all! I don't remember discussing books once over dinner last Friday, even though we were together for about three hours. Even though we come from different backgrounds and sometimes from different countries we get on remarkably well, especially compared to meeting other people in person for the first time.

Jun. 16, 2018, 5:25pm

I always love your travelogue, Darryl. I know that I will never get there, so it is wonderful to see the pictures.

Jun. 16, 2018, 9:30pm

Ditto what Nana said! My dessert-loving baker's brain has many questions about that cheesecake! Love the pictures and the little history lessons. :)

Jun. 17, 2018, 9:42am

Thank you for being such a dedicated LT poster! I love visiting your thread. It's possible that most of what I know of Portugal has been learned from you.

Jun. 18, 2018, 4:48pm

The meal looks wonderful - both the food and friends.

Jun. 19, 2018, 1:59am

Love all your travel pictures, Darryl. I was amazed by the dried fish piles--whoa!! How cool that you have met 56 LTers and have such a wonderful friendship with so many here. : )

Jun. 26, 2018, 9:45am

Belated hello, everyone! I'm in Barcelona, on my second to last full day before I return to Atlanta on Thursday. I'll catch up here later this week and next week, but I wanted to mention, for anyone that may be going, that tickets for this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival, which runs from August 11-27, went on sale at 08:30 BST today. I joined the queue early this morning, and booked tickets to see Javier Cercas, Aminatta Forna, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Kamila Shamsie, Ben Okri, Yan Lianke, Dr Kathryn Mannix, the British palliative care physician whose book With the End in Mind: Dying, Death, and Wisdom in an Age of Denial was my favorite from this year's Wellcome Book Prize longlist, and a dozen or so other authors, along with a performance by The Last Poets, who I saw at the book festival last year. Tickets were still available for all but one of the events that I booked, but appearances by the most popular authors tend to sell out quickly.

I extended my stay in Edinburgh this weekend, so I'll arrive on the 16th but I'll now leave on the 28th. Similar to last year flissp and wandering_star will also be in Edinburgh while I'm there, and we're in the process of making plans to meet for Book Festival and Fringe events. If anyone else will be in Edinburgh for the festivals in August please let us know!

Jun. 26, 2018, 12:13pm

>27 kidzdoc: I'm glad to hear your father was able to get his license back. Being housebound and dependent on others can be debilitating. I asked about how frequently you are able to visit them, because I was wondering how much that would change, even if you did move abroad. The world is so small these days, you would be able to visit, but probably not as frequently. At least Houston is another large air hub.

It's encouraging that your mother's dementia is improving. I recently started suffering some memory impairment, and it is frightening to know your brain is not working as it once was. Fortunately my problem is medication-related, and I should be able to slowly transition to something else, and improve my semantic and short-term memory. In the meantime, thank goodness for sticky notes.

I have not met as many LTers in RL as you, but I do think that even the online-only LT relationships enhance my intellectual life. It's often hard to meet like-minded people unless my work, such as that at the Seattle Athenaeum, facilitates it. I've tried book clubs, author readings, etc., but rarely connect in a meaningful way. I was reminded of the importance of my virtual friendships recently when my daughter and I were talking about her social media usage. I realized that the friends she has made online around her love for K-Pop are as enriching to her as mine in the LT world. Limiting social media became a lot harder to justify. She is meeting her first K-Pop virtual friend in New York this summer.

Enjoy your last few days of vacation, and have a safe trip back to Atlanta!

Jun. 28, 2018, 9:46pm

Enjoy the Edinburgh festival! I'm going to the Decatur Book Festival that happens that last day of August and the first few days of September. Are you considering going to any of that?

Jun. 29, 2018, 9:25am

I'm now back in Atlanta, after a splendid three week holiday in Portugal (Lisboa and Porto) and Barcelona. I read few books (four), and purchased even fewer (one, not counting a copy of Hunger by Roxane Gay that I bought in ATL airport yesterday, and a book that a BookCrosser and new friend in Lisbon gave to me to pass on to another LTer), but all of the books I read were very good. I'll write reviews of them this weekend.

I thoroughly enjoyed my 1-1/2 week stay in Lisboa, and felt far more comfortable and relaxed in Portugal than I have during my yearly visits to Spain over the past five years. Meeting deebee1 twice and Joaquim, the aforementioned BookCrosser, who is a retired pediatrician who lives there, was eye opening and very insightful. DB knew of my thoughts about retiring to Spain in the next 7-8 years, and encouraged me to consider Portugal as well. I certainly will, and I'll now plan to visit Lisboa on a regular basis; I will likely spend my last week of vacation in November there, instead of returning to London for the city's jazz festival, as I had originally planned to do.

Catching up...

>28 NanaCC: Thanks, Colleen. Your comment about never getting to Lisboa makes me sad, though.

>29 avidmom: Hi, avidmom! That cheesecake was unlike any I've ever had, and I'm also curious about it. I'll ask DB, who suggested meeting at that restaurant, if that cheesecake is typical for Portugal. Assuming that I go back to Lisboa in November I'll return to Vestigius, see if it's available, and ask them how it's made.

>30 VivienneR: You're welcome, Vivienne! I have more photos from Lisboa and Porto to post here, which I'll do over the next few days, as I don't have to return to work until Monday.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 29, 2018, 10:01am

>31 janemarieprice: Thanks, Jane. Yes, dinner at Cabrinha was superb, the group meet up was great, and seeing the Baixa, Bairro Alto and Chiado neighborhoods with DB was fabulous. I later realized that she had a carefully crafted plan, and that she showed me many of the most important places in a short period of time. It helps that Lisboa is much more compact than Barcelona, although it has plenty of things to offer and places to visit. I barely scratched the surface of all there is to do there, and I look forward to seeing more of the city, nearby towns, and other parts of Portugal.

>32 Berly: Thanks, Kim! The book I finished on yesterday's flight, The Portuguese: A Modern History by Barry Hatton, described bacalhau as having the appearance of cardboard, which is spot on. I tried bacalao when I was in San Sebastián, Spain last year, from a restaurant that supposedly specialized in it, but I didn't like it at all, whereas the bacalhau I had in Lisboa was far tastier. Overall the food in Lisboa was superb. I ended up going to a market, the Mercado Temporário do Bilhão, in Porto the day after I arrived, as I was staying in a serviced apartment with a stove and refrigerator, and bought so much food (for so little money) that I never did eat out there. Interestingly, the well known American travel writer Rick Steves was in Porto at the same time that I was, and he made a short video of the same market the day after I went there:

The fishmonger who said hello to Rick at the end of the video is the same woman who sold me two salmon fillets, cut off of the fish in front of my eyes, for 5,00€ ($5.79 US). That was the price for both fillets, not just one, and once she told me how much they cost my eyes popped out of their sockets, my jaw dropped, and I said "¿Es todo?" ("That's all?") in Spanish as the fishmonger and her friend laughed at my surprise.

I've now met at least 59 LTers in person, in eight countries, and I'll make it 60 next month, as Katie (katiekrug) and I will see a play at the Public Theater in NYC together on the last Sunday in July.

Jun. 29, 2018, 10:28am

>38 kidzdoc: Thanks, Lisa. My father is incredibly relieved and grateful that he now has his driver's license back. I was very insistent, albeit in a nice way, that we do whatever we could to facilitate this during my visit late last month. He had been neglecting his own health to look after my mother, and after I gently mentioned this to them they both readily agreed. Fortunately he was able to get an appointment with the physician assistant in the neurology group that had been following him, and I drove him to and, per his request, accompanied him to the exam room and talked with the PA (when it was appropriate). She agreed that he was doing well, submitted the form to have his license reinstated, and within two weeks he received it in the mail. If he could have done a backflip safely he would have when he had it in his hands!

I doubt that I will retire abroad before my parents pass away. I would have a very hard time leaving them, and I certainly wouldn't do so if they needed me or if I can be of help to them, as is the case now. I would love nothing more than for them to be in reasonably good health and mentally sound for another quarter century, but realistically I expect them to have another 5-10 good years, which would be about the time I would retire. I would certainly return at least once a year to visit my brother, my mother's sisters, and my close cousins, but I would think that my brother and cousins would want to visit me nearly as often if I retired abroad (which is still quite speculative at this point).

I'm sorry to hear about your memory impairment, Lisa, and I hope that it returns to normal, or nearly so, with changes in your medications.

I completely agree with your comment about the important of online LT friends on one's intellectual life. I highly value the LTers I've met in person, especially those that I see on a regular basis, but I also gain much benefit from others who I haven't met and am not likely to meet. To me this is one of the best things about the Internet, a forum for exchange of ideas in an open minded format, along with keeping in touch with old friends and family members that one doesn't often see in person.

>35 RidgewayGirl: Hi, Kay! I will be off from work on August 31st, so I will go to the Decatur Book Festival on that day, at least. I won't know my September work schedule until sometime next month, but I'll let you know once it comes out. We'll have to meet up!

Decatur, as you may know, is the city just to the east of Atlanta, which is roughly five miles from where I live in Midtown. The festival takes place in and around the Square, home to many good restaurants including The Iberian Pig, my favorite place to eat in metro Atlanta, and there is a metro stop right on the square, making it easy to get there from Midtown or Downtown Atlanta via public transportation (parking in downtown Decatur can be challenging). I usually take the metro to the festival, rather than trying to drive there, although I'm willing to go by car.

I'll be in closer touch once the date of the festival approaches.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 1, 2018, 2:29am

>37 kidzdoc: I have never counted how many LTers I have met in RL. 60 is certainly impressive. I'll have to ponder...

Love your fish monger story and that it was the same lady on the video. ; )

Special thanks for sending Zoë and her hubby Mark our way for tonight's meetup in Portland. We had such a great time with them!! Now we just have to get YOU out here for a Powell's visit. : )

Jul. 1, 2018, 9:12am

>38 kidzdoc: Nice job helping your dad with his license renewal. Back flip indeed!

Jul. 1, 2018, 11:55am

>39 Berly: I'm glad that Zoë and Mark were able to join you and the others at Powell's yesterday, Kim! I had invited her to a planned meet up in NYC later this month, and when she mentioned that she and Mark were in Portland this weekend I played matchmaker and did what I could to connect her to the rest of you.

I'll probably visit Seattle for the first time next year, as the American Academy of Pediatrics' national conference will be held there. It's possible that I could visit Portland while I'm there; I'll keep you posted.

>40 Berly: Thanks! I talked to my parents yesterday, and my father expressed his gratitude once again for helping him get his driver's license back, after he had to surrender it due to a concern that a seizure led to his collapse at home last November. They are both very happy to be independent again, and were in very good spirits throughout our conversation.

Jul. 1, 2018, 1:46pm

>41 kidzdoc: Please do let me know when you attend the conference. There are a bunch of people out this way who would love to meet you in person!

And I am so happy for your father and mother. Independence is a very good thing and you are a wonderful son.

To add a little humor, let me share that I am on the other end of this independence cycle with newly licensed drivers and not enough cars--it is a constant chess game of who gets which car at what time and for how long!! LOL

Jul. 1, 2018, 7:19pm

>41 kidzdoc: Sure! Go to Seattle now that I've moved to the Southeast! I would have loved to take you to all my favorite literary spots. :-( Now I'll have to wait until you come to Panama City Beach... oh, that's right, there isn't a bookstore here. I recently read The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald. It's hard to believe there are towns that don't want to have a bookstore, but I think I manged to find one.

>42 Berly: My daughter acquired a driver's manual, but I'm hoping to put off driving school as long as possible!

>38 kidzdoc: It is wonderful that your father is able to drive again, Darryl. Often the loss of a license can begin a decline. True story (at least according to my family): I had two great-aunts, one who was nearly blind and one who was nearly deaf. The one with failing eyesight still had her license; so she drove while her sister shouted instructions at the top of her voice. They were an absolute menace, but fortunately lived in small town Maine, where everyone knew to look out for them. The extended family convened and took away the driver's license, and they both suffered immediate declines. Sad...

Jul. 2, 2018, 12:09pm

>42 Berly: I misspoke slightly, Kim. It's the Pediatric Hospital Medicine Conference that will be held in Seattle next year, from July 25-28. The AAP national conference will be held in New Orleans in late October. Hmm...I'd like to attend both conferences, if possible, but since I'll be going to this year's Pediatric Hospital Medicine conference here in Atlanta later this month I may not be able to make it to PHM next year.

Thanks for your kind compliment!

Ha! I can see where musical cars could be a problem, especially if young drivers are involved.

>43 labfs39: Sorry about that, Lisa! I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for me to visit Panama City, considering that I haven't ever visited Florida, despite living in Atlanta for 21 years. NOLA would be a much more likely place to meet, other than Atlanta of course.

It was sad to see how the loss of my father's driver's license affected him, and to a lesser degree my mother. Losing his independence was quite emasculating, and even though they are blessed with amazing neighbors who would do anything for them he was obviously belittled by having to ask others, including me, my brother, and my mother's youngest sister to drive them everywhere, and to not be able to spontaneously go to stores or doctors' appointments. My mother stopped driving last summer by choice, so being dependent on others wasn't as big of a problem for her.

Jul. 2, 2018, 1:46pm

>43 labfs39: Good luck with the new driver!

>44 kidzdoc: Clearly I think you should attend both conferences. I mean think of all the medical advances that might happen. Just saying!

Bearbeitet: Jul. 2, 2018, 11:31pm

>44 kidzdoc: Ha! Hopefully I can attend both conferences in the same year, as I have done in the past. I only get five days of CME, continuing medical education days off from work, so I would have to use precious vacation days to attend both conferences.

Jul. 3, 2018, 12:00am

>46 kidzdoc: Okay. Fair enough. But I am crossing my fingers and toes and I'll just keep whispering: Powell's, Powell's, Powell's....

: )

Jul. 3, 2018, 11:13am

>47 Berly: Ha! Powell's can't compete with my favorite restaurants in New Orleans and seeing old friends from medical school and residency who will attend the AAP national conference there. I'd like to attend both conferences, but if I can only attend one NOLA will likely win.

Jul. 4, 2018, 9:50am

Sounds like a wonderful holiday!

Jul. 4, 2018, 10:32am

What are your favorite NOLA restaurants? I was just there for a conference a couple of weeks ago and didn’t have nearly enough time to explore or eat out—too many awards events etc. that went until 10 p.m.—but had one very tasty, if culinarily unadventurous, meal of crawfish étouffée and Brussels sprouts at Bon Ton.

Jul. 5, 2018, 9:42am

kidzdoc- I have been reading the messages because of the travel and pictures. I want to comment on the driver's license. I have said a male usually gets his driver's license and first job around the age of 16 and then he has to retire and sometimes cannot drive. I personally ( I am not PC) think it is harder on a man than a woman. I am glad he has it back. I also think he has raised a great family who cares.
Take care,

Jul. 5, 2018, 6:35pm

>49 wandering_star: It was! I look forward to returning to Lisboa in November, and I'll probably spend all of June there next year. One of the universities in the city offers an intensive course in Portuguese, with four lessons a day, five days a week for four weeks, at just under 220€ per week, which seems quite reasonable. I read yesterday that a nice apartment in the center of Coimbra, described as Portugal's equivalent of Oxford, can be had for $70,000 US, which is also reasonable, very doable, and, depending on the size, less than 1/4 of the price I would pay for a condo in Midtown Atlanta. Barring any other places that are more appealing I plan to make Portugal my retirement home.

>50 lisapeet: Hopefully I have the list of NOLA restaurants that I typed up and passed on to jnwelch a year or two ago. Off to check...

Bearbeitet: Jul. 5, 2018, 6:42pm

>50 lisapeet: Yes! Here it is:

Starting in the French Quarter, my favorite NOLA restaurant, which is also arguably my favorite restaurant in the United States, is Restaurant R'evolution on Bienville near Bourbon in the French Quarter, which is located on the ground level of the Royal Sonesta Hotel. It's a relatively new restaurant compared with the classic Vieux Carré restaurants like Antoine's, Brennan's and Galatoire's, but I think it blows those establishments out of the (Mississippi River) water. It's definitely upscale and costly (roughly $100-110 for a full meal), and I would recommend dressing in a sportcoat and nice slacks to go there, although I don't think it's absolutely necessary. My favorite entrée there is Death by Gumbo, which is a visually appealing dish that features quail, Andouille sausage and oysters. The meat and filé rice are stuffed tightly into the quail, and when the dish is initially placed in front of you it doesn't look like much. However, as you release the contents it expands to fill the contents of the bowl, and the act of doing so is highly enticing and pleasurable. The roux of the gumbo is smoky, rich and complex, and the name of the dish is appropriate: I exclaimed "OMG!" at least twice the first time I had it, and I could have happily died after I finished it, as it was that good. This was the only gumbo I've ever had which clearly beat out the mind blowing seafood gumbo that my late great aunt Ella, who lived in Uptown New Orleans, made for special occasions. The Gulf Fish and Grits are also to die for, along with the Creole Louisiana Snapping Turtle Soup. I remember having some amazing Gulf scallops there, although I don't see it on the current menu, and the desserts are just as fabulous. The service is impeccable, and the waiters and waitresses are friendly, highly knowledgable, and passionate about the food. I had heard that the owners were going to open a restaurant in Chicago, but I forgot to look into it when I was there last summer.

Staying in the French Quarter, even though it's very touristy, you have to go to Café du Monde at least once, for beignets and café au lait made with their famous chicory coffee. It's open 24/7, and we students often ended late nights with a plate of beignets there before we caught the St Charles streetcar back to campus. A ride on the streetcar is an absolute requirement, and I would recommend taking it the entire length of St Charles. If you exit on the stop just after it makes a right hand turn onto Carrollton you'll be within sight of The Camellia Grill, a classic NOLA restaurant that began operations just after World War II ended. It's my favorite place to get breakfast in the city; unfortunately many New Orleanians who live Uptown would say the same thing, and there is always a sizable line to get in from midmorning until early afternoon. Their omelets and grits are superb, and the pecan pie is heavenly.

There are two classic New Orleans sandwiches, the muffaletta and the po' boy. The muffaletta was created roughly a century ago at Central Grocery in the French Quarter, not far from Jackson Square and Café du Monde, and IMO that is still the gold standard. You can get po' boys almost anywhere, including Mother's on Poydras at the edge of the CBD, which has been in existence for nearly 80 years and is where the débris (roast beef) po' boy was invented. It's good, but it's become very touristy. Traditionally New Orleanians consider Domilise's on Annunciation near Tchoupitoulas (chop-ih-TOO-las) Uptown or Parkway Tavern in Mid-City to be the best places in the city to get those sandwiches. I don't think I've ever been to Parkway Tavern, but I can vouch for Domilise's, from my Tulane days and from my recent visits to the Crescent City, particularly their oyster po' boys. Domilise's is a classic hole-in-the-wall NOLA restaurant; the windowless building is lined with yellow aluminum siding, and the sign over the entrance looks as though it was painted by a six year old:

Domilise's is far off the beaten path from the CBD or French Quarter, unfortunately. You could get there by the St Charles streetcar, and when I was a student at Tulane you could take the Tchoupitoulas city bus, which was a short walk from there. The last two times I've been to New Orleans I rented a car, and I drove there. Fortunately it's located in a safe neighborhood.

Two of my recent favorite NOLA restaurants are both located on Tchoupitoulas in the Industrial District, close to the Ernest Morial New Orleans Convention Center, but within walking distance of the French Quarter and the CBD. Cochon Restaurant, similar to Restaurant R'evolution, opened relatively recently, but has quickly gained rave reviews and a loyal following for their upscale Cajun fare. Their alligator tail with aioli sauce is another dish to die for, as are the rabbit with dumplings and the "fisherman's special". Around the corner from Cochon is Cochon Butcher, which makes outstanding sandwiches and salads to take away. Both places are a short walk away from the convention center, and when I've attended pediatric conferences there Cochon and Cochon Butcher were our preferred lunch options. The other restaurant on Tchoupitoulas I'm very fond of is Tommy's Cuisine, which serves Italian and Creole fare and also serves as a jazz club. My favorite foods from there are the mouth watering Duck Tchoupitoulas and the sweetbreads (calf thymus and pancreas).

I would also suggest asking janemarieprice for her recommendations.

Jul. 5, 2018, 6:52pm

>51 mnleona: Thanks for visiting, Leona! My father probably did get his license at the age of 16, and certainly when he was in high school, as he had to pay his way through college and did so by driving a taxi at night while he attended classes during the day. He also drove a cab in NYC after he graduated, until he could find a company (in his case the US Navy) that would hire a black man to work as a chemical engineer. My mother learned to drive when we were living in the NYC area, IIRC, but she didn't get her own car and start to drive regularly until we moved to the Philadelphia suburbs in the mid 1970s, when it became essential for her to do so. She was always been a strong and independent woman until last summer when her dementia acutely worsened, probably due in large part to the adrenal tumor that caused her recurrent hypertensive crises over the past year. Now that the tumor is out her blood pressure is under good control and her vascular dementia is slowly improving, so she plans to start driving again, with my father's help at first.

Jul. 5, 2018, 9:19pm

New Orleans, late October? I've never been there, it might be a nice birthday vacation. Let me know if you decide to do a meetup

Jul. 5, 2018, 10:12pm

>53 kidzdoc: Awesome, thank you! I was just thinking that it was a shame that you were posting all that good info when I had just been to NOLA when my son called tonight to say that he and his girlfriend had changed their plans to go to France this summer—I'm guessing fares were steep—and instead are heading out to NOLA this Saturday. And I said, Boy do I have a lot of good food recs for you. I'll send all that intel his way, and I know they'll appreciate it very much. So thanks from me, whom you don't really know, and my son, whom you know even less!

Jul. 6, 2018, 12:47pm

>55 labfs39: Will do, Lisa!

>56 lisapeet: You're welcome, Lisa!

Jul. 6, 2018, 6:10pm

>56 lisapeet: Lisa, I've got a sizable list of recommendations I've been sending around to people as well. If you want to PM me your email I can send it over.

Jul. 6, 2018, 9:12pm

>58 janemarieprice: Far out, will do. Thanks!

Jul. 7, 2018, 11:20am

>58 janemarieprice:, >59 lisapeet: Ooh, I'd like that list, too!

Jul. 7, 2018, 11:20am

Book #34: Act of the Damned by António Lobo Antunes


My rating:

This irreverent and almost indescribably wacky novel is initially set in September 1975 in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, less than 18 months after the Carnation Revolution spelled the end of the fascist Estado Novo, the beginning of a democratic government, and the end of colonial rule and civil wars in Angola, Mozambique and elsewhere, as wealthy conservative families saw their worth plummet. The motley cast of characters consist of the younger relatives and in laws of a dying wealthy patriarch who lives in the Alentejo, as they seek to claim his substantial inheritance before they flee to Spain, which was still under the dictatorial rule of Francisco Franco. The novel consists of narratives from different family members, and from them the decadence and depravity of each of them is revealed, with frequent references to infidelity, incest and other immoral behaviors. The characters are absurdly funny but neither believable nor worthy of sympathy, and because I could not relate to any of them I struggled my way through this novel, even though I'm a fan of Antunes's work.

Jul. 7, 2018, 2:50pm

>60 kidzdoc: Sure thing just shoot me over your email.

Jul. 15, 2018, 10:00am

This year's Booker Prize longlist will be revealed on Wednesday. I just created a speculation thread in the Booker Prize group (, and I'll post the longlisted books there and here after the announcement, depending on the time of day. Hopefully the revelation will take place midday in London, so that I can do so before I have to round on patients on Wednesday.

Jul. 15, 2018, 10:34am

I look forward to seeing the list. It's been such a tumultuous few years, I'm afraid I haven't been following it as closely as I once did. Do you have any favorites you hope to see on the list?

Jul. 15, 2018, 4:30pm

I've not be very present here lately, so I just skimmed through your thread to catch up. It seems like you had a wonderful trip!
I hope your parents' health keeps improving.

I'm also making a note of staying clear of Act of the Damned!

Bearbeitet: Jul. 19, 2018, 8:25pm

Oops. The Booker Prize longlist will be announced on July 24th, not July 18th. Sorry about that.

>62 janemarieprice: Thanks, Jane!

>64 labfs39: I don't have any favorites for the longlist, Lisa, as I haven't read any eligible books yet.

>65 chlorine: Thanks! It was a great trip, and I'll probably return to Lisbon in November, instead of going to London for the EFG London Jazz Festival as I did last year.

I'll spend a week with my parents starting on Monday. They both continue to do well.

Jul. 19, 2018, 10:21pm

>66 kidzdoc: Of course, I was thinking of the shortlist. I'll ask again in a few months! Glad to hear your parents are doing well. Enjoy your visit

Bearbeitet: Jul. 20, 2018, 10:42am

>67 labfs39: Ah. I thought that you were asking if I would like to see any eligible books I had read so far this year and last make the longlist, which in past years would be a valid question, as I often had read one or more books that ended up amongst the Booker Dozen. That isn't the case this year, though.

ETA: Actually, I believe that Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward is eligible for this year's Booker Prize, as it was published in the UK this past November. If that's the case then I would like to see it make the longlist.

Jul. 24, 2018, 12:33am

This year's Booker Prize longlist was announced at roughly midnight British Summer Time, or 7 pm on the East Coast in the US:

Snap by Belinda Bauer (UK)
Milkman by Anna Burns (UK)
Sabrina by Nick Drnaso (USA)
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (Canada)
In Our Mad And Furious City by Guy Gunaratne (UK)
Everything Under by Daisy Johnson (UK)
The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner (USA)
The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh (UK)
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (Canada)
The Overstory by Richard Powers (USA)
The Long Take by Robin Robertson (UK)
Normal People by Sally Rooney (Ireland)
From A Low And Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan (Ireland)

The shortlist will be revealed on September 20, and the winner will be announced on October 16. I haven't read any of these books, so I'll get started next month; I'll probably read Warlight first.

Jul. 24, 2018, 2:37am

I have only heard of The Overstory. Where have I been?! ; )

Jul. 24, 2018, 11:44am

>70 Berly: The same place nearly everyone else has, Kim! I suspect that this longlist was surprising to most if not all of us.

I purchased the Kindle editions of five books earlier this morning: Snap, Milkman, The Overstory, Warlight, and From a Low and Quiet Sea. I'll attempt to read all of them next month.

Jul. 24, 2018, 12:59pm

I really liked The Mars Room. I'm glad it's on the list. I'm also pleased to see Belinda Bauer there. I haven't read Snap, but I'll do so as soon as I can. Looking forward to the shortlist.

Jul. 24, 2018, 1:40pm

>72 RidgewayGirl: Sounds good, Kay. I'll have a lot of days off during the next two months, so I hope to read nine or ten longlisted books during that time.

Jul. 29, 2018, 9:54am

Yesterday's LT meet up in NYC was very enjoyable and a rousing success, save for one mistake. Katie (katiekrug), her friend Eileen, Liz (Eliz_M), Vivian (vivians) and I met at The Smile, a cozy restaurant on Bond Street near its intersection with Lafayette Street in Manhattan's NoHo (North of Houston) neighborhood, close to Greenwich Village. We had a very enjoyable and tasty brunch there; we didn't take photos of the food, but Eileen took this photo of the four of us just after we left the restaurant (from left to right, Vivian, Liz, Katie and me):

After brunch, Katie, Liz and I walked a few blocks north on Lafayette St to Astor Place in the East Village, whee we chatted while sitting at a café table until it was time for Katie and I to see the play Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland at , which was very good (review coming soon).

After the play Katie and I went to Strand Book Store, where I bought five books:

Lonely Planet Portuguese Phrasebook & Dictionary
When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele
The Golden House by Salman Rushdie
The Hospital by Ahmed Bouanani
Spring by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Katie also gifted me a copy of Everyday People by Stewart O'Nan after we discussed the book earlier in the afternoon.

We then headed back south on Lafayette Street, as we had tickets to see The House That Will Not Stand by Marcus Gardley at the New York Theatre Workshop in the East Village. We had drinks at Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery, as it looked appealing. After we looked at the menu we decided to have a pre-theatre dinner there as well, which was very good.

Roasted beets, goat cheese, watermelon, marcona almond and basil:

Black macaroni, lobster, cuttlefish, spicy tomato, roasted garlic

Dry Aged Duck, fennel panisse, sour cherry, foie gras sauce:

Katie and I were having a wonderful conversation over dinner and wine, so much so that we completely lost track of time. When our waiter brought out the duck I checked my mobile phone, and noticed that it was 7:55 pm; the play that we were going to see started at 8 pm! Since it was too late to make the play, even if we left that minute, we finished our meal, continued our conversation, and left shortly after 10 pm. We took a 6th Avenue subway back to Penn Station, arriving in just enough time for us to catch NJ Transit trains back to New Jersey.

As always, LT meet ups are highly enjoyable, and this was definitely one of the best ones. We'll do this again in the near future, probably when I see my parents in October.

Jul. 31, 2018, 10:55am

Book #37: Guernica: The Biography of a Twentieth-Century Icon by Gijs van Hensbergen

My rating:

This superb book about Pablo Picasso's most famous painting begins with his annual summer visit to Spain with his family in 1934, the year that would be the last he would spend in his homeland. That fall an uprising by left wing miners in Asturias was brutally repressed by General Francisco Franco, with the resultant death of approximately 4,000 miners and their supporters. Continued clashes between the Nationalists and the Republicans led to civil war in Spain beginning in July 1936, and early the following year the Nationalists led by Franco was making inroads into Northern Spain, although his troops met with strong resistance in the País Vasco (Basque Country). Franco enlisted the support of Hitler's Luftwaffe, which conducted a terror bombing raid on the city of Guernica (or Gernika in Euskera, the Basque language), the spiritual center of the Basque Country, on Monday April 26, 1937, the traditional market day when roughly 10,000 residents and visitors would shop in open markets throughout the city. The bombing campaign, which was designed to break the spirit of the Euskadi resistance, left over 1,600 people dead, and after news and photos of the tragedy reached Paris Picasso quickly drew sketches and completed his masterpiece painting, in a period of only five weeks, doing so in time to have it displayed in the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris Exposition that summer.

This book next describes the painting's impact during World War II, within Europe and in the United States after it was transported there for safe keeping shortly before German troops invaded France. At the same time, the author describes Picasso's political activities and artistic work in France during the war years, and his decision to become a member of the French Communist Party after the war ended, which caused the US government to bar him from entry during the Red Scare and anti-communist hysteria during the 1950s, when his great work continued to be displayed there.

Guernica's impact on major postwar artists is also discussed at length in this book, along with the political situation in Spain and the US, followed by its return to Spain in 1981 once the country had instituted a stable democracy, and its installation into its permanent home in 1992 at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, where I saw it for the first time last summer.

Guernica is a superb and comprehensive exploration of Picasso's greatest and most influential painting, which I would recommend to anyone interested in Picasso and his work, especially those of us who are fortunate to have seen it. I'll attend a talk at the Edinburgh International Book Festival next month which will feature two authors that have written new books about Guernica and Picasso's political activism, and I'll undoubtedly pick up and read those books as well.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 31, 2018, 10:58am

Planned reads for August (which will undoubtedly change after I arrive in Edinburgh on the 16th):

The Blind Spot: An Essay on the Novel by Javier Cercas
Deepstep Come Shining by C.D. Wright
From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan
Known and Strange Things: Essays by Teju Cole
Milkman by Anna Burns
The Overstory by Richard Powers
Snap by Belinda Bauer
Taller When Prone: Poems by Les Murray
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

Bearbeitet: Aug. 8, 2018, 8:53pm

"DB" (deebee1), who I met twice in Lisbon in June as you may remember, asked me to spread the word about a fundraiser she has started for her brother, who is seriously ill with lymphoma in the Phillipines, where she is originally from, and needs to raise money for chemotherapy in order to save his life. I just submitted a donation, and, per her request, I'll post the link to her GoFundMe page, for anyone who is interested in supporting him.

Aug. 11, 2018, 10:39pm

>74 kidzdoc: I love that you had such a great time with Katie (The food looked AMAZING!) that you missed the play. LOL

>76 kidzdoc: Have fun with your August reads, whatever they may finally wind up being.

Aug. 12, 2018, 10:52am

>78 Berly: Thanks, Kim! We decided to have drinks at the Lafayette Grand Café on a whim, as we passed by it walking south on Lafayette Street on our way from Greenwich Village to Alphabet City and it looked appealing. We checked the time when we arrived, realized that we had plenty of time before the play, and started chatting merrily away. After we had drinks we asked the bartender for the dinner menu, and since it looked appealing we decided to dine there. We probably should have checked the time at that point, as we would have realized that we didn't have time to eat, and by the time our food arrived it was too late to make the play.

I leave for Edinburgh on Wednesday, and I'll be there for nearly two weeks, until August 28th. I have tickets to see 17 author events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and I'll undoubtedly buy a ton of books while I'm there. Fliss (flissp) has offered to lend me her copy of Sabrina by Nick Drnaso when I see her, so I'll try to read it and give it back to her before we both leave town, or bring it to her when I see her in Cambridge next month, during my two week stay in London and Amsterdam.

Aug. 12, 2018, 1:44pm

Following your travels with interest, and very glad to hear that your Dad is doing better. Also that there is some improvement in your mom's vascular dementia. My own mom suffered with that as well, and it's interesting to hear there might be some help for it, depending on contributing factors. Her mother also had dementia and it scares the bejeezus out of me. Although - both of them were the petite, bird-boned type and I take after my Dad - the big-boned, gains weight easily sort.

Portugal sounds like the decision, then. I was enjoying your ongoing comments about possible retirement locations.

Aug. 15, 2018, 4:07am

>79 kidzdoc: Well, you've left!! Hope traveling went well. We expect updates. : )