Kidzdoc hits the Reset button in 2021, Part 3

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Kidzdoc hits the Reset button in 2021, Part 3

Bearbeitet: Jul. 14, 2:59pm

I had intended to spend the month of June in and outside of Lisbon, but the COVID-19 pandemic continues to severely restrict travel by tourists from other countries. My primary focus for the next four months will still be on Portugal, and the Lusophone countries, former colonies of the Portuguese, for the upcoming third quarter Reading Globally theme, and hopefully I can return to the Portuguese capital in August or September.

Currently reading:


Fevers, Feuds and Diamonds: Ebola and the Ravages of History by Paul Farmer
The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat

Books read in 2021:

1. A Promised Land by Barack Obama
2. The Perfect Nine: The Epic of Gĩkũyũ and Mũmbi by Ngugi wa Thiong'o
3. Summerwater by Sarah Moss

4. Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own by Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.
5. Anti-vaxxers: How to Challenge a Misinformed Movement by Jonathan M. Berman

6. The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne & Tamara Payne
7. Fever by John Edgar Wideman
8. Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu

9. Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present by Frank M. Snowden
10. Shelter: Notes from a Detained Migrant Children's Facility by Arturo Hernandez-Sametier
11. Some Days by María Wernicke
12. The Pear Field by Nina Ekvtimshvili
13. If You Kept a Record of Sins by Andrea Bajani
14. Wretchedness by Andrzej Tichý
15. At Night All Blood Is Black by David Diop
16. The War of the Poor by Éric Vuillard
17. The Society of Reluctant Dreamers by José Eduardo Agualusa
18. Candy-Coated Unicorns and Converse All Stars by Inua Ellams

19. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
20. Vivian Maier: Street Photographer by Vivian Maier
21. The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enríquez
22. Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

23. Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire by Roger Crowley
24. Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch
25. The Tuner of Silences by Mia Couto
26. Native Dance: An African Story by Gervásio Kaiser
27. The Moor of Sankoré by Gervásio Kaiser

28. The Last Will & Testament of Senhor da Silva Araújo by Germano Almeida
29. The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam
30. Good Morning Comrades by Ondjaki
31. Anos Ku Ta Manda by Yasmina Nuny
32. The Cause of Freedom: A Concise History of African Americans by Jonathan Scott Holloway
33. Cape Verdean Blues by Shauna Barbosa

Bearbeitet: Jun. 5, 6:49pm

21 Classic Works of Fiction by Authors from the African Diaspora from the Shelves to Read in 2021

Abyssinian Chronicles by Moses Isegawa
American Hunger by Richard Wright
Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe
The Famished Road by Ben Okri
The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat
Fever by John Edgar Wideman ✅
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
The Fisher King by Paule Marshall
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The House Behind the Cedars by Charles W. Chestnutt
In the Castle of My Skin by George Lamming
The Interpreters by Wole Soyinka
Maps by Nuruddin Farah
Moses, Man of the Mountain by Zora Neale Hurston
Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed
Native Son by Richard Wright
The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola
Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill
A State of Independence by Caryl Phillips
Texaco by Patrick Chamoiseau
Train Whistle Guitar by Albert Murray

Bearbeitet: Jul. 6, 9:11am

21 Non-Fiction Books from the African Diaspora to Read in 2021

Afropessimism by Frank B. Wilderson III
Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own by Eddie S. Glaude Jr. ✅
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party by Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin, Jr.
Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga
Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch ✅
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson ✅
The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne ✅
Frantz Fanon: A Biography by David Macey
The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness by Kevin Young
Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man's Education by Mychal Denzel Smith
Just Us: An American Conversation by Claudine Rankine
The Lies that Bind: Rethinking Identity by Kwame Anthony Appiah
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Of Africa by Wole Soyinka
Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America by Stacey Abrams
A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music by George E. Lewis
A Promised Land by Barack Obama ✅
Stakes Is High: Life After the American Dream by Mychal Denzel Smith
Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement by John Lewis

Bearbeitet: Jun. 5, 6:58pm

Black Male Writers for Our Time

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah: Friday Black
Jeffery Renard Allen: Song of the Shank
Jamel Brinkley: A Lucky Man
Jericho Brown: The Tradition
Marcus Burke: Team Seven
Samuel R. Delany: Dark Reflections
Cornelius Eady: Hardheaded Weather
Percival Everett: Glyph
Nelson George: City Kid: A Writer's Memoir of Ghetto Life and Post-Soul Success
James Hannaham: Delicious Foods
Terrance Hayes: American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
Brian Keith Jackson: The Queen of Harlem
Major Jackson: Roll Deep
Mitchell S. Jackson: Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family
Yusef Komunyakaa: The Chameleon Couch
Rickey Laurentiis: Boy with Thorn
Victor LaValle: The Ballad of Black Tom
James McBride: Deacon King Kong
Shane McCrae: In the Language of My Captor
Reginald McKnight: He Sleeps
Dinaw Mengestu: All Our Names
Fred Moten: The Service Porch
Gregory Pardlo: Digest
Rowan Ricardo Phillips: Heaven
Darryl Pinckney: Black Deutschland
Brontez Purnell: Since I Laid My Burden Down
Ishmael Reed: Juice!
Roger Reeves: King Me
Maurice Carlos Ruffin: We Cast a Shadow
Danez Smith: Don't Call Us Dead
Colson Whitehead: The Nickel Boys
Phillip B. Williams: Thief in the Interior
De'Shawn Charles Winslow: In West Mills
George C. Wolfe: The Colored Museum
Kevin Young: Book of Hours

Bearbeitet: Jun. 5, 7:04pm

Literature and nonfiction by contemporary Latinx authors, as recommended by Myriam Gurba, author of the memoir Mean:

Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera ✅
Tell Me How it Ends by Valeria Luiselli ✅
Black Dove by Ana Castillo
Bless Me, Última by Rudolfo Anaya
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez
Across a Hundred Mountains by Reyna Grande
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester
Native Country of the Heart by Cherríe Moraga
A Dream Called Home by Reyna Grande
The Affairs of the Falcóns by Melissa Rivero
Dominicana by Angie Cruz
The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli ✅

Also: Mean by Myriam Gurba ✅

Bearbeitet: Jun. 8, 3:39pm

2021 Booker International Prize Shortlist:

At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop, translated from French by Anna Mocschovakis ✅
The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enríquez, translated from Spanish by Megan McDowell ✅
The Employees by Olga Ravn, translated from Danish by Martin Aitken
In Memory of Memory by Maria Stepanova, translated from Russian by Sasha Dugdale
The War of the Poor by Éric Vuillard, translated from French by Mark Polizzotti ✅
When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut, translated from Spanish by Adrian Nathan West

Bearbeitet: Jun. 5, 7:20pm

Reading Globally 2021

Q1 — Notes from a Small Population: 40+ places with under 500,000 inhabitants
Q2 — Childhood
Q3 — The Lusophone World
Q4 — Translation Prize Winners

Bearbeitet: Jun. 5, 7:22pm


Books by Contemporary British Female Novelists to Read in 2021:

The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel
Winter by Ali Smith (I've already read Autumn)
Spring by Ali Smith
Summer by Ali Smith
Signs for Lost Children by Sarah Moss
Summerwater by Sarah Moss ✅
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

Jun. 5, 5:22pm

Oh, you are reading the Couto! I loved it. Seems I read it in 2013. I have his latest short story collection, Sea Loves Me, in the TBR pile (perhaps the previous one collection, also)

Jun. 5, 6:43pm

>11 avaland: I'm pretty sure that I purchased The Tuner of Silences after reading your glowing review of it, Lois! It will be the first book I'll read by Mia Couto, and I'm all but certain that it won't be the last one.

I'll take a look at Sea Loves Me.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 10, 1:38pm

At Night All Blood Is Black by David Diop, translated by Anna Moschovakis

Winner, 2021 International Booker Prize

My rating:

"Temporary madness makes it possible to forget the truth about bullets. Temporary madness, in war, is bravery's sister."

"But when you mean crazy all the time, continuously, without stopping, that's when you make people afraid, even your war brothers. Ant that's when you stop being the brave one, the death-defier, and become instead the true friend of death, its accomplice, its more-than-brother."

Alfa Ndiaye is a young Chocolat from Senegal, one of the approximately 450,000 young men from North and West Africa who were conscripted to fight for the French Army on the front lines against Germany during World War I. At least 30,000 of them died in battle, and very few of the 2.3 million Africans who were mobilized during the war gained anything from their participation, as they remained poorly treated subjects of the European colonial powers and would not gain their independence and freedom for nearly half a century.

As the novel begins, Alfa is traumatized by the protracted death of Mademba Diop, his childhood friend and fellow soldier, who suffered for days next to his brother-in-arms after he was ambushed by a German soldier while trying to prove his bravery to him. Alfa takes it upon himself to avenge Mademba’s death, by ambushing one German soldier after another and bringing grisly “trophies” back with him to the trenches where his infantrymen are stationed. They initially brand him a hero for his single minded bravery and successful missions, but they ultimately began to fear and shun him as he becomes more determined and more mentally unstable. His commanding officer takes Alfa off of the front lines and has him admitted to a military psychiatric hospital. However, instead of finding peace and internal stability Alfa descends slowly into madness, as he slowly unravels and is transformed into an unreliable and very disturbed narrator, up to the book’s unexpected ending.

‘At Night All Blood Is Black’ is a superbly written and translated analysis of the horrors and effects of warfare on one sensitive young man, who is tasked to mercilessly kill enemy soldiers by hand yet maintain his humanity, and a glimpse of a largely unknown piece of history of the essential roles that millions of Africans played in World War I, which is fully deserving of being named the winner of the 2021 International Booker Prize.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 6, 4:09pm

>13 kidzdoc: I'll be getting to this soon Darryl. Glad it hit the spot with you.

Enjoy your month off of work, and hopefully some good reading time.

Jun. 6, 4:18pm

Good to see your posts. I am on my way back to Alabama after spending almost 3 weeks in Kansas taking care of my mother’s in-home healthcare and other things. She is at home now and I think we have a plan in place that might keep her there. I will be traveling back to Kansas again in two weeks to check and see how things are going and to tweak anything that needs it, so the first half of my summer is going to be spent on the road or in traveling some way back and forth to Kansas. I am just glad that I a job that gives me FML and that I have worked long enough to accumulate sick leave to use for this purpose.

I did some reading while in Kansas, but nothing spectacular or outstanding. I also worked about 4 hours a day and was amazed at how well my portable hotspot worked out there. I actually did get some of my summer work done while sitting at my Mom’s dining room table.

I tried to cook some while home and did experiment with a whole wheat prune cake that ended up tasting pretty good! Finding high protein dishes she would eat was a real challenge. Meat is a special problem right now as she says it is like eating rubber. It was hard cooking for my mother because she has Long-Haul taste,smell, and balance issues as a result of the COVID and the Long-Haul ear infection. Her ear infection got better and there is hope that she will get most of her hearing back. I have arranged for her to Physical Therapy twice a week so that she gets her strength back. I like the term Long-Haul because that seems to be just what it is.

Jun. 6, 4:30pm

>13 kidzdoc: Great review, Darryl, thumbed.

Jun. 6, 5:08pm

>14 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. My reading month has started out slowly, but hopefully it will pick up over the next 3-1/2 weeks. I own two of the other three books shortlisted for the International Booker Prize, and I intend to get to all of them by year's end.

>15 benitastrnad: Safe travels back to Alabama, Benita. I'm glad that you have also been able to take advantage of the Family Medical Leave Act to care for your mother, as I did for my parents for six weeks early last year.

Your whole wheat prune cake sounds great. I've also been cooking much more recently, and I've tried two new recipes which I absolutely loved, which I'll post below (for my non-Club Read friends) and in La Cucina.

Jun. 6, 5:26pm

I found out last month that this past Saturday, May 29th, was International Coq au Vin Day. I had heard about it, and that it was one of Julia Child's signature dishes, and after a brief Google search I found a recipe from The Endless Meal that looked tasty and seemed relatively easy to make.


Julia Child's Coq au Vin


4 chicken thighs
4 chicken drumsticks
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 cup chicken stock
Optional: 1/4 cup brandy
3 strips of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, quartered then thinly sliced
4 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
8 ounces mushrooms, thickly sliced
8 ounces pearl onions, peeled
Beurre manié (see notes for the options)


Place the chicken thighs and drumsticks in a medium-sized bowl and pour the wine, chicken stock, and (if using) the brandy over the top. Prep the vegetables.

Add the bacon to a large skillet or braiser over medium-high heat. Cook until the bacon is crispy, about 8 minutes, then remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon.

Remove the chicken from the wine marinade (save the wine) and dry the chicken with paper towels. Working in 2 batches if needed, place the chicken in the pan, skin side down. Sear until it is golden on both sides (about 5 minutes each side) then remove the chicken from the pan. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon/chicken oil into a heatproof dish and set it aside.

Add the sliced onion and carrots to the pan and let them cook until the onion is golden brown, about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and let it cook for 1 minute.

Push the vegetables to the side of the pan and add the tomato paste. Cook the tomato paste until it is fragrant and begins to darken. Pour the reserved wine marinade into the pan, scraping the bottom to remove any stuck on bits.

Nestle the chicken into the pan and sprinkle the thyme over top. Cover the pot, turn the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Pour 1 tablespoon of the reserved oil (or use olive oil) into a large skillet. Add the mushrooms and saute over medium-high heat until brown, about 10 minutes.

Add the pearl onions to the pot with the chicken and cook for 10 minutes more.

In a small bowl mix together your choice of beurre manié. Remove the chicken from the pan then add the beurre manié. Stir it into the sauce and let it thicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken back into the pan and top with the cooked bacon and mushrooms. Sprinkle with a little fresh thyme.



Traditional beurre manié: 2 tablespoons flour + 2 tablespoons softened butter

Paleo and gluten-free beurre manié: 2 tablespoons tapioca starch + 1 tablespoon softened butter

Dairy-free beurre manié: 2 tablespoons flour + 2 tablespoons dairy-free margarine

I made it exactly as the recipe specified, except that my package of chicken drumsticks had five, which fit nicely into my Dutch oven along with the four chicken thighs. This was absolutely fabulous, and although it took me two hours to make it won't take me nearly as long the next time I do. A friend of mine at work told me about Coq au Reisling, and since I bought a bottle of Reisling wine earlier this week I'll plan to give this recipe a try in the next week or two.

Jun. 6, 5:57pm

>2 kidzdoc: have you read much from Ben Okri? I had an inkling that his writing was fantastical, so have not prioritised it.

Jun. 6, 6:26pm

>16 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita!

>19 LovingLit: I still have not read anything by Ben Okri, even though I own four of his books. The Famished Road, which won the Booker Prize, is on my list of books to read this year, so I'll probably get to it this summer.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 6, 6:40pm

Yesterday I tried another new recipe, Spring Pasta Bolognese with Lamb and Peas, which I saw on a post from NYT Cooking on my Facebook timeline last month:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 cup finely chopped carrot
6 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 pound ground lamb (or ground beef, pork or veal)
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream
1 large fresh rosemary sprig
1 pound spaghetti
1 cup thawed frozen peas (about 5 ounces)
5 ounces fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces), plus more for garnish
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium. Add onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add lamb, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in broth, heavy cream and rosemary, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, partly covered and stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened, about 30 minutes. (The sauce may look broken at first, but it will emulsify as it cooks.) Discard the rosemary sprig.

As the sauce cooks, make the pasta: Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water and drain the pasta.

Over medium heat, add the peas and spinach to the sauce and stir until spinach is wilted. Add the cooked pasta, butter and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water to the sauce. Toss vigorously until sauce is thickened and coats the pasta, about 2 minutes, adding more pasta water if a looser sauce is desired. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, cheese and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide pasta among bowls. Garnish with more cheese, parsley and black pepper.

I subscribe to the print and online editions of The New York Times, and since I'm able to use the NYT Cooking app on my mobile devices I usually look at the most helpful comments from other readers, which was especially useful this time. Several people mentioned that the recipe had far too much chicken broth, and I only used one cup of it instead of the three called for in the recipe, and added 1/2 T of red pepper flakes. The version I made had far too few peas, so I added the remaining 8 oz of frozen peas in my bag (which I heated in the microwave before adding them to the pasta, of course). This is a very tasty pasta, but next time I'll leave out the spinach, and use 2 cups of peas and 1-1/2 or 2 cups of carrots instead.

Tomorrow I'll make a strawberry rhubarb custard pie, along with salada de polvo, Portuguese octopus stew.

Jun. 7, 12:17am

Hey Darryl, saw your mention of the upcoming Atlanta Jazz Festival, which you will be attending, so I curious/jealous checked out the festival schedule. Wow! There's a lot to like, there. I'm sure I don't have to tell you this, but do NOT miss Miguel Zenon. Cheers!

Jun. 7, 11:09am

Happy new thread Darryl and Happy Month of Vacation! I hope you can relax and read good books, and make delicious food!

Jun. 7, 11:43am

>22 rocketjk: Hi, Jerry! I'll have a tough time deciding whether to see Ron Carter, one of my favorite bassists, at 7 pm, or Miguel Zenón at 7:30 pm that Sunday. Fortunately I live only 1-1/2 blocks from Piedmont Park, where the festival will be held, so I can come and go as I please, as it's a free event.

I'm off today and won't go out until tonight, to pick up pie crust and milk to make strawberry rhubarb custard pie (I didn't wake up until nearly 11 am, so I won't go to the supermarket this morning), so I'll listen to The Jazz Odyssey this afternoon.

>23 Sakerfalcon: Thanks, Claire! Now that I've had a week to decompress and catch up on sleep I expect that my reading and cooking output will improve, until I leave for Philadelphia on Friday of next week.

Jun. 7, 2:51pm

>24 kidzdoc: For me, it would depend on who Carter has in his band. If you haven't seen Zenon play, you would be in for a treat, to put it mildly. But these things are all a matter of individual preference, of course.

Let me know if you have any requests for today's show. Glad to know you'll be tuning in.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 7, 3:09pm

>25 rocketjk: I completely agree with you. The lineup in Ron Carter's band will decide who I see, and all things being equal I will probably see Miguel Zenón on Sunday, and definitely Archie Shepp on Monday. I missed seeing Zenón perform at the San Francisco Jazz Festival years ago when I was visiting the Bay Area on a regular basis.

Since we're talking about him, how about a cut from Miguel Zenón as my request? TYIA.

Jun. 7, 3:57pm

>26 kidzdoc: I'll be starting the show with a track or two of Zenon. Cheers!

Jun. 7, 6:24pm

Great show, Jerry, and thanks for the Zenón and Dolphy selections and the personal shoutout! I'll be back next Monday.

Jun. 8, 10:29am

Book #22: Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

My rating:

”Grief is a cruel kind of education. You learn how ungentle mourning can be, how full of anger. You learn how glib condolences can feel. You learn how much grief is about language, the failure of language and the grasping for language.”

”I am writing about my father in the past tense, and I cannot believe I am writing about my father in the past tense.”

On June 10, 2020 James Nwoye Adichie, the father of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, died in the family’s ancestral village of Abba in Nigeria at the age of 88 from complications of chronic kidney disease. Chimamanda was living in the United States at the time, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic she and five of her six siblings were only able to see their parents on weekly Zoom calls set up by the one brother who lived nearby and was able to visit them in person. She had seen and spoken to him the day before, and other than seeming to be tired she was not alarmed or concerned by his appearance, and when she received a call from her brother the following day to inform her of her beloved father’s death her world fell apart:

”My four-year-old daughter says I scared her. She gets down on her knees to demonstrate, her small clenched fist rising and falling, and her mimicry makes me see myself as I was: utterly unraveling, screaming and pounding the floor.”

In the wake of her father’s death Chimamanda is irrational and inconsolable, as she is unable to accept this loss and becomes deeply angered by visitors who come to pay their respects, she derives no comfort from friends and well wishers, and she even finds one of her own written statements about grief in one of her books to be a painful remembrance. Her inability to be at her father’s bedside due to travel restrictions caused by the pandemic only add to the surreal nature of her father’s death, as he appeared to be peacefully sleeping when she saw him shortly after he died.

In an effort to grasp this staggering loss Chimamanda writes about her father, who was the second person and the first Nigerian to earn a PhD in statistics from the University of California, Berkeley, a highly respected professor and administrator at the University of Nigeria, but most importantly a humble man who was dedicated to his family and was Chimamanda’s greatest supporter and closest friend.

Notes on Grief is a powerful view into an anguished soul from an immensely talented writer, who unforgettably captures the grief of unexpected death and personal loss, which is amplified by our difficulty or inability to spend the final days of our loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic, making their deaths more difficult to accept and more painful to experience. Tragically, as this book was being published in March her mother, Grace Ifeoma, a beloved administrator at the University of Nigeria who was the school’s first female Registrar, died suddenly in Abba. “How does a heart break twice?” asked Chimamanda after learning this news. Unfortunately that question has been on the lips and in the minds of many thousands of other people across the world who have lost multiple family members and beloved friends during this modern day plague.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 8, 1:36pm

>13 kidzdoc: you might have sold me on At Night All Blood Is Black

>29 kidzdoc: I don’t want to read this book, certainly not in my current mental state, but it’s a terrific review and I’m glad to have read that.

Jun. 8, 2:15pm

>30 dchaikin: Ditto what Dan said.

I think we have seen only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tangential health issues (both physical and mental) of the pandemic. In addition to those lost directly, we as a society are going to be dealing with long covid in all its myriad forms, children with emotional and social issues as well as academic, depression caused by loneliness and grief and fear, the effects of stress, and the list goes on. Even if by some miracle enough people get vaccinated and the vaccine continues to work against various mutations, we will not be able to say, "It's over," as we all want to do.

Jun. 8, 7:54pm

>29 kidzdoc:
I was unaware that Adichie had a new book out. I will have to add it to my TBR list. I loved Adichie's earlier book Americanah and think she is a fantastic author. My book club read Americanah and all of us thought it was great, so this summer we are reading another of her books Purple Hibiscus. Her books always have lots of things to talk about, so I am anticipating a lively discussion.

Jun. 9, 1:19am

>1 kidzdoc:
I've always imagined living in Europe, so I'm always interested in your Portugal retirement plans. I remember when you started talking about retiring in Europe years ago, and now I see how that's increasingly more important for you. I really hope it works out for you. My husband and daughters have Italian citizenship & passports, and I can get them too if I can pass an B1 language exam (not there yet), and I'd like to keep my options open. For now, I still think things are better in Canada, but who knows what the future will bring.

My younger daughter is dating a guy with Portuguese connections (they spent a month at his grandparent's home there in July 2019), and I see that Portugal has really progressed since I was there in 1992. For years after that trip, I though I didn't want to go back, but I've definitely changed my mind. It really is a lovely and unique country.

Jun. 9, 2:03pm

>30 dchaikin: I'm glad that I may have inspired you to read All Blood Is Black, Dan. It's certainly worthy of greater attention, IMO.

I'm also happy that you liked my review of Notes on Grief. Neither book is easy to read, but both were valuable and unforgettable.

>31 labfs39: I think we have seen only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tangential health issues (both physical and mental) of the pandemic.

Absolutely, and what many of us pediatricians were worried about at this time last year has come to pass. Many older children were traumatized by their isolation during the pandemic, having to attend school at home and being separated from classmates and friends. The number of patients requiring inpatient care for eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa skyrocketed over the past 12 months, as we went from having three or four patients on our service to 10-15+ on a daily basis, and we admitted many more patients who required care after attempting to commit suicide. The illnesses of these two groups of patients were far more intractable, especially the ones with eating disorders, and they were much more challenging to manage and required longer stays on our service for medical stabilization before they could be transferred to inpatient eating disorders centers or psychiatric hospitals for continued care. These phenomena were occurring across the country, and not just in Atlanta and Georgia, as you can imagine, and appropriate inpatient mental health facilities for these patients, which are inadequate at baseline, were even more overtaxed than we were. Because the hospital I work in and the hospitalist group I belong to has developed a reputation for treating patients that require medical management of eating disorders — which, BTW, is the group of mental health disorders in children that has the highest mortality rate — and because there are two new comprehensive eating disorders centers that have opened here in the northern suburbs of Atlanta very close to where we are located we have been caring for patients not only from Georgia or adjacent states, but from all over the country. The nearby eating disorders centers have accepted many of these patients, but if they require medical stabilization, are too intractable for them to manage, or develop COVID-19, they have been unceremoniously dropping them off in our Emergency Department, which forces us to take care of them. Unfortunately those same eating disorders centers are either unwilling or unable to take many of them back, especially if they have come from out of state, which means that we have to find appropriate placement for them. I took care of patients from Washington State and Miami last year, and it took us weeks to be able to find places for them closer to their homes.

We've had to institute new Codes for disruptive patients, many of whom have eating disorders or other mental health disorders, and agitated and overly aggressive parents, many of whom are those whose kids are hospitalized for these problems. We have to call Security in these situations, along with the mental health nurse on call and other ancillary personnel, escort parents out of the hospital if they became violent, and physicially or chemically restrain several violent teenagers who threatened or hit nurses or other staff. The weekend before last one of the patients on the unit where most of my patients were had a full on breakdown and was screaming, crying, and cursing her mother, staff members and security officers, although I don't think she assaulted anyone. This poor girl was under the care of a young doctor a year or two out of residency who was working with us that weekend, and as a grizzled old hospitalist she asked for me for advice on how she should manage her care.

We've also had more admissions for moderate or severe child abuse, with broken bones, brain hemorrhages due to skull fractures, bruises, burns, and neglect of infants and younger children, some of whom bear resemblance to concentration camp survivors. This was also predicted by myself and fellow members of the Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect of the American Academy of Pediatrics, who feared that isolation of these children meant that the early signs of abuse wouldn't be picked up by daycare, preschool and elementary school teachers, family members and friends of these poor kids, and that they would require visits to the Emergency Department and admission to the hospital due to the extent of their injuries or malnutrition.

Burnout due to the pandemic has been a major problem, both within my group, which has lost three core members since it began, and in our staff, which has hemorrhaged dozens of highly experienced nurses this year. The pandemic is clearly getting better in the United States, but these mental health problems are not going away, and they will persist for many years to come.

Jun. 9, 3:08pm

>32 benitastrnad: Sounds good, Benita. I own but haven't yet read Purple Hibiscus, but I hope to get to it later this year or in 2022.

>33 Nickelini: Thanks, Joyce. I just heard from our friend, who you almost undoubtedly know, and it's no surprise that their retirement plans have been greatly affected by the pandemic. The interest remains strong on my end as well as hers, though, and time remains in our favor, as I probably won't hang up my stethoscope, as I say, until 2027, when I turn 66 and will be eligible to earn Social Security benefits. I plan to visit Lisbon for two weeks sometime between September and November, and meet with them to explore our plans in more detail.

I can easily see myself living in Europe, both because of the very close friends I've made there who are past or former members of LibraryThing, particularly in Portugal, England and the Netherlands, and because I feel much more comfortable and at ease in Europe than the United States as an African American man, as many other AfrAms of previous generations such as James Baldwin have also felt. Bianca, one of those dear friends, said something along the lines of "You may have been born in America, but you have the soul of a European" to me when I last saw her in London in 2019, and I and other friends think that this is an absolutely spot on assessment. (I would proudly wear a T-shirt that read "American by birth, European by choice"!)

Based on the housing prices for property in Sesimbra, a coastal town 25 miles south of Lisbon, that I've looked at online recently I should have no problem being able to afford to buy and to live there. From everything I've read and seen live in Portugal would be simpler, safer (especially for me as an African American male) and more comfortable there than anywhere in the United States, and it would be considerably easier and cheaper to visit my European friends in London, Paris, the Netherlands and elsewhere. I'm comfortably conversant and nearly fluent in Spanish (based on the opinions of my colleagues, my friends who have heard me speak the language and my old high school teacher I am fluent already, but I know better), and learning Portuguese should be much easier, especially if I work on my Spanish fluency and start to learn Portuguese at the same time.

From the very limited view of this citizen of the United States things seem to be much better in Canada than here, even with the new Biden administration, and if I had friends i knew there as well as the ones I have in Europe I would give strong consideration to moving there. I've met at least three Canadian LTers in person, but the only one I know well is Zoë, and she is living and teaching as a university professor in upstate New York at this time.

Portugal is absolutely lovely, both in terms of its climate, its food, and its people. For several years I thought about retiring to Spain, and although I adore the country and its cuisine its people are nowhere near as friendly or as welcome as the Portguese, Dutch, English and Scottish are. There are plenty of lovely people there, but as a Black person I feel uncomfortable there in a way that I don't feel in those other countries, presumably because of the history of occupation of much of the country by Moors from North Africa for eight centuries. In other Western European countries I feel and am treated as though I'm from the United States, which almost always is a good thing, but in Spain I too often feel as though I'm a Black person, and a strange and unwanted one at that.

Jun. 11, 12:23am

>35 kidzdoc:
I really enjoy hearing your Europe plans, even if I don't have a lot to share. It's great that you have that option, and I'm sure Portugal would love to have you.

I have to admit that Spain is not a favourite of the 12 European countries I've been to, but I haven't been there since the 1990s. I would like to visit again, particularly Barcelona. I was only there for 2 days, and the one evening was spent being swept up in a soccer riot (Barcelona beat Real Madrid for the Spanish Cup that day). I'd like to revisit under calmer circumstances. I know what you mean about the people not being as friendly, but over our week in Spain we figured out that people on the street had a grumpy demeanor, but then if we actually engaged with them, they were nice and friendly. Shrug . . . we've never been back, so there you go.

Jun. 11, 1:16am

>35 kidzdoc: Did you include me among those Canadian LTers, Darryl? The Naomi Wolf presentation was interesting especially in light of what happened with her book afterwards.

Jun. 11, 9:47am

>36 Nickelini: Thanks, Joyce! Portugal is very welcoming to foreigners who wish to live and/or invest in the country, and it offers several paths to citizenship, including its "golden visa" program for those who invest in property or start up companies. People from the US (and presumably Canada and elsewhere) who move there can maintain dual citizenship, which is also very appealing. Living there would also make it much easier for my UK and Dutch friends (past and current LT members, or people I've met through them) to visit me, and vice versa.

I love the Spanish towns and cities I've visited, and the cuisine is divine. Spaniards, though, are often (not always!) formal, stiff and judgmental, at least in my experience, and their tendency to openly stare at others who are different from them is very uncomfortable to me, as I grew up just outside of NYC, where interactions with strangers (i.e., looking at or talking to strangers on a subway or elevator) is highly frowned upon at best and threatening at worst. One of my work partners is from Madrid, and he definitely fits this stereotype, as he is curt and grumpy more often than not, and he prefers to work at his cubicle in our office space and not engage in conversation as the rest of us often will when we're not busy seeing patients.

Having said that I've had numerous very pleasant interactions with Spaniards, especially when I speak to them in my imperfect Spanish. As I've learned from my travels, and especially several African colleagues and friends who live here, Europeans treat African Americans quite differently from Africans, especially those who are refugees or are possibly living there illegally. Although my parents are both African American my medium brown skin marks me as being mixed race, and different in appearance from pure Africans or Caribbeans, although, as I probably said previously, I'm often mistaken for being from Cuba or the Dominican Republic when I'm in Spain, or being of Surinamese descent when I'm in the Netherlands (if you've seen Norah, Yarah and Rosa, the three Dutch sisters from Let It Happen whose dance videos have been popular across the world, you'll know what I mean).

Spain also doesn't have a significant population of people of African descent, although there are certainly more in Madrid and Barcelona than elsewhere, which is definitely not the case of Portugal, especially in and just outside of Lisbon.

I would highly recommend returning to Barcelona! The museums are superb, the architecture is stunning, and the food is amazing. I loved our far too short visit to Sevilla in 2016, and the Pueblos Blancos, the White Villages of Andalucía, are absolutely lovely and charming, especially Ronda.

>37 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg! Yes, you are definitely one of the three Canadian LTers I've met in person, along with Zoë (_Zoe_) and Suzanne (Chatterbox), both of whom I've met numerous times in NYC, Philadelphia and San Francisco, though not recently.

Yes, the controversy over Naomi Wolf's book Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalisation of Love after we attended her talk in London after it was published remains quite interesting to me, although I haven't read the first edition of it that I bought at the London Review Bookshop just before we met. That error filled book is probably worth considerably more than I paid for it!

I see that the current US Kindle edition of Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalisation of Love is currently going for $3.12. Presumably it is the corrected version, which leaves out her false claim that "several dozen men" were executed in prisons in Victorian England for having same sex relationships, and since I wanted to read the original and corrected versions side by side I'll buy this version now.

Despite being off from work for a week and a half I'm still in a deep reading slump. Hopefully I can get jump started today.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 11, 2:07pm

>18 kidzdoc: & >21 kidzdoc: These recipes are tempting! I may offer to cook a few meals next week when I'm spending time at my sisters' house and visiting my dad.

>32 benitastrnad: Purple Hibiscus was the first Adichie book I read. I enjoyed it as an audiobook when I had a longer commute. I'm sure it will give your book club lots to talk about. I also find her an excellent author, but I'm not reading a book about grief right now.

>31 labfs39: & >34 kidzdoc: Your posts about long haul Covid are sobering. I find appropriate mental health care can be difficult to locate (there are lots of therapists, but finding one that is helpful can take time.) Insurance coverage is better under Obama-care, but it can still be a challenge to pay for what you need as well.

Jun. 11, 2:37pm

Hi Darryl. Today was the first day of phase one opening in my province of Ontario. Which means, first day of in-person shopping. So, I went to the bookstore! I went with the express purpose of purchasing Lisa Genova's new book, Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting, her first non-fiction book. I did get that one and also, the one you reviewed up there, Notes On Grief. Both look good (and rather timely for me). I have read a few other titles by Adichie and those I haven't read by her, I own and they are waiting in the TBR pile.

I also had my second shot of Pfizer yesterday. My arm is rather achy today (I had no reaction at all after the first shot) but I am not experiencing any other side effects yet and doubt I will. Just a bit of fatigue (but maybe that's due to the excitement of shopping in a real store! ;-)

Bearbeitet: Jun. 12, 12:18pm

>39 markon: Thanks, Ardene! I'll try at least two more recipes from Jacques Pépin's Facebook page this weekend, Crab Cakes, and Chicken with Spinach. He has posts practically every day of simple but very tasty dishes, such as his Thanksgiving Brussels Sprouts and Bacon. It takes no time at all, 10 minutes at the most, and the bacon is optional.

There was an article in yesterday's issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), titled Emergency Department Visits for Suspected Suicide Attempts Among Persons Aged 12–25 Years Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, January 2019–May 2021. It was previously determined that mental health Emergency Department (ED) visits for children 12-17 yo increased by 31% in 2020, which began in May of that year, after stay at home orders and other restrictive public health measures were put in place. This study looked at 71% of the EDs in 49 states during February 21–March 20, 2021, and it found that, compared to the same time period in 2019, ED visits for suicide attempts were 50.6% higher among girls aged 12–17 years, but only 3.7% among boys in the same age group. This finding came as no surprise to me, and to several local primary care pediatricians who are friends of mine on Facebook, as the patient board in our ED (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite) routinely shows 4-6+ patients who are awaiting transfer to other facilities, presumably inpatient psychiatric hospitals, for mental health crises, the number of girls admitted to our (General Pediatrics) service for acetaminophen and other medication overdoses and psychosomatic disorders has drastically increased, and the primary care providers are seeing many more of these patients in their offices. I'm a member of the Atlanta Pediatricians group on Facebook, and at least once every two weeks there is a post seeking help in getting patients promptly seen by a psychologist or psychiatrist, as these mental health specialists are swamped by the increased number of kids needing help. These pediatricians are having to take on a much greater role in providing mental health care to these patients; as one of my closest friends said yesterday, "I'm pretty sure all of us private pediatricians should get about a year of credit for a psychiatry residency in the past year."

>40 jessibud2: I'm glad to hear that Ontario has opened up and that you went to a bookstore, Shelley! I'll be curious to see what you think about Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting; I'll take a look at it myself. Thanks for the reminder about in person book shopping. My 15th Thingaversary was on Tuesday, and although I certainly won't buy 16 books I would like to get at least one or two, so I'll go to my favorite local indie bookshop (Posman Books in Ponce City Markets for those familiar with Atlanta) sometime next week before I fly to Philadelphia on Friday.

Congratulations for getting your second Pfizer SARS-CoV-2 vaccine! Hopefully you didn't experience any other side effects.

ETA: I just ordered Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting from Amazon, as I may want to read it this month.

Jun. 12, 5:47pm

>41 kidzdoc: I would like to say that it's nice to get empirical data supporting my gut feeling, but reading this MMWR is just too sad.

Jun. 12, 8:42pm

Darryl, if you want to hear an interview/podcast with Lisa Genova about her new book, here is what I just listened to:

Bearbeitet: Jun. 12, 9:12pm

>42 labfs39: Right, Lisa. Unfortunately for us pediatricians, whether in primary or specialty care or hospital based, this is one of the saddest sequela and harshest realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit kids far harder than SARS-CoV-2.

>43 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley! I'll listen to that podcast next week.

Jun. 12, 9:48pm

Hi D--Loving all your recipes (Thanks once again for posting ingredients and how-to's) as well as your thoughts on retirement countries and COVID mental health issues. I am trying to finish up Caste for my RL/Zoom bookclub on Monday. I think I have used up an entire tin of bookmarks on this book. So good!

Jun. 13, 8:43am

>45 Berly: Hi, Kim! I'm glad that you and others are enjoying my recipes. I tried the crab cakes with Bumble Bee canned lump crab, since I couldn't find "fresh" lump crab at Publix, which tasted okay but looked terrible. I just came back from a usual early Sunday morning trip to the supermarket (my preferred Publix Super Market, instead of the smaller one I went to yesterday after my haircut, and Sprouts Farmers Market). Sprouts had some very good looking halibut fillets in its seafood department, so I'll make Brasilian Moqueca, a fish stew that a friend of mine who is from Rio de Janeiro gave me. I'll post a photo and the recipe this afternoon. I'll probably make Jacques Pépin's Chicken with Spinach tomorrow, which is a very easy recipe.

Needless to say the fish in an inland city like Atlanta cannot compare with what you can get on either coast of the US.

I look forward to starting the process of retirement abroad when I return to Lisbon later this year. On one hand 2027 seems like a long time in the future, but I know that it will be here quite soon. If my parents live that long they will be in their early 90s by then, and their future may impact my retirement plans.

I look forward to your thoughts on Caste. I left my copy at my parents' house, as my father wanted to read it, so I'll write my review sometime after I fly to Philadelphia on Friday.

Jun. 19, 2:04pm

Darryl, I read a delightful conversation online yesterday between some pediatricians and parents, and I thought of you. One of the pediatricians said it's important that every pediatrician has:
1. a favourite dinosaur
2. a favourite bug
3. a favourite animal
4. a favourite superhero
5. a favourite princess

Wondering what yours are . . . .

Jun. 20, 8:29am

So much interesting conversation here. I really enjoyed both your book reviews, and both are titles I'm interested in getting to at some point.

Always enjoy hearing about your Portuguese retirement plans, and I hope it all works out. We've gone to Portugal a lot as a family, but always just to the Algarve as the airport there is a doddle to get in and out of quickly (well, pre-COVID it was anyway) and with only half an hour's driving on a road that's not too stressful for Brits driving on the "wrong" side of the road it always feels like you get to start your holiday quickly and unhassled there. There's something very relaxed about Portugal that I just can't put my finger on - it definitely feels very different to Spain. Maybe it's just that it feels less busy and congested. When I worked for Ford I visited further north in Portugal several times for work, and as you've said I've always found the people to be very hospitable.

Jun. 20, 8:59am

>47 Nickelini: Ha! That's great! I don't know that I completely agree with that pediatrician, as I've only rarely been asked any of those questions by any of the thousands of kids I've cared for over the past 21 years. A familiarity with common characters and creatures is a good idea, but I think it's more important to take time with and listen to the kids, who are more than eager to teach others about things that are dear to them.

Having said that...
* Favorite dinosaur: Triceratops. Like most kids of my generation I was a fan of cartoon shows in the mid to late 1960s, and one of my favorite characters was Tundro, the four horned, 10 legged Triceratops who was a member of The Herculoids, fired exploding rocks from one of his horns, and ran like the wind; in other words, a total badass.


* Favorite bug: Hmm...I would probably choose spiders, as they captured and ate far less likable insects, such as flies, mosquitoes and cockroaches. I always protested when anyone killed a spider or disrupted one of its webs. Honorable mention goes to ladybugs, dragonflies and fireflies. Wait...bumblebees. Definitely bumblebees; spiders can't make honey!

* Favorite animal: Rabbits. My parents regularly had wild rabbits in their backyard, until one of their neighbors let their cats run freely outside (most of the backyards in the neighborhood are unfenced, as nearly everyone is friendly and sharing). I was quite traumatized years ago while cutting grass in their backyard when I encountered a half dozen baby rabbits who had been sliced open by one of the effing cats and left to die.

* Favorite superhero: Kato (played by Bruce Lee) from the 1960s television show The Green Hornet; another total badass.

* Favorite princess: Diana, Princess of Wales. (Who else?)

Jun. 20, 6:10pm

>49 kidzdoc: This reminded me of a post I saw on Twitter the other day. A pediatrician said that his five year old patient wanted to extend his televisit to talk about dinosaurs.

Jun. 20, 8:37pm

>49 kidzdoc: I did not expect to see this here today. That said, I loved the Herculoids and Tundro was awesome. I suspect my memories are from the 1981 reboot. This and Starblazers are some of my favorites.

Jun. 20, 8:47pm

>48 AlisonY: Thanks, Alison! I wish I wasn't in such a bad reading slump, and was reading and reviewing more books, though.

I've only been to Portugal once so far, three years ago this month, as the pandemic has scuttled my plans to return there for the past two summers. Fortunately Portugal officially opened its borders to travelers from North America on Tuesday, so I will take my next trip to Lisbon, God willing, in September or October, and start investigating retirement there.

I found people in Lisbon and Porto to be friendly, relaxed and nonjudgmental, in a way that many Spaniards, especially middle aged and older ones, are not. Having said that, I've had dozens of very enjoyable conversations with Spaniards, particularly once they realized that I could speak to them in Spanish. I felt more relaxed in smaller towns, oddly enough, especially Girona, Figueres, Arcos de la Frontera and Ronda, places where it was much less likely that I would encounter English speaking locals and my ability to speak Spanish conversantly was far more essential.

>50 NanaCC: I saw that, too! One of my partners posted the tweet from Dr Daniel Summers, a pediatrician from suburban Boston, on her Facebook thread this morning.

Jun. 20, 9:20pm

Last Sunday I made Moqueca baiana, the Afro-Brasilian seafood stew which Ardene (markon) made in December. Similar to her, I used multiple recipes, one from a friend at work who is from Rio de Janeiro, and the other from the recipe Moqueca (Brazilian Seafood Stew) by Yewande Komolafe from NYT Cooking.

Moqueca baiana (Afro-Brasilian seafood stew)

3 T azeite de dendê (red palm oil) (available in specialty markets or online)
6 cloves diced garlic
1 diced medium sweet or yellow onion (I used half of a Vidalia sweet onion)
2 diced bell peppers, preferably of different colors (I’d suggest one red and one green pepper)
1 finely diced chile pepper (not too hot, as you don’t want the chile to overwhelm the stew)
1 lb tomatoes, diced into 1 inch pieces
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
12-16 oz of a firm whitefish (halibut, cod, bass, etc.), cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces
12-16 oz jumbo shrimp or prawns (preferably unpeeled and deveined by hand, although I used frozen peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp with tails on)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Kosher salt
2 limes (or 4 T of lime juice)
Cornstarch (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

1. Season fish and prawns separately with 1 t of kosher salt and the juice of one lime (2 T of lime juice), along with 2 T of chopped cilantro for the prawns; set aside
2. Heat 2 T of azeite de dendê in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven on medium heat
3. Add diced garlic, cook for 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring constantly
4. Add diced onion, cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently
5. Increase heat to high, add bell and chile peppers and tomatoes, season with kosher salt, cook for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables begin to evaporate, stirring frequently
6. Reduce heat to medium, add coconut milk, cook for 10 minutes until stew has thickened, stirring frequently; add salt and (optional) freshly ground black pepper to taste
7. If you wish to thicken stew further, remove ½ cup of stew, add to a glass or metal bowl, add 1-2 t cornstarch, stir vigorously with a fork, add back to stew (I highly recommend this step!)
8. If using unpeeled prawns, add to stew, cook for 2 minutes on each side before adding fish.
9. If using jumbo shrimp, add to stew simultaneously with the fish, cook for 4-5 minutes
10. Remove from heat, add 1 T azeite de dendê and 2 T cilantro

1. Vegetarians can substitute extra firm tofu or yellow plantains in place of the seafood
2. Serve with rice, yucca or another side of your choice.

I just finished another bowl of moqueca baiana for dinner, which reminded me to post the recipe here. This recipe comes from the Brasilian state of Bahia, where many West Africans were brought as slaves to harvest sugar cane, and, unlike Moqueca capixaba, it includes azeite de dendê and coconut milk. I love seafood, and especially seafood stew, and this is easily the best seafood stew I've ever made, and one of the best I've ever had. Despite its multiple ingredients and numerous steps this is not a hard or overly lengthy recipe to make, as it took me just over an hour from start to finish. I'll make this a lot more often from now on, starting next week when I visit my parents.

Jun. 20, 9:53pm

>53 kidzdoc: Wow! I might have to give that a go!

By the way, Steph and I are heading out tomorrow for a 10-day camping trip, so the next two Jazz Odysseys will be guest hosted. This Monday by Fred Wooley, a very interesting fellow from Lousisiana who does a weekly Americana/folk/blues show on Sundays, and next week by a woman who does a regular World Music show. To be clear, they will both be doing jazz shows. When, Liz, the woman who will be hosting Week 2 offered to help me out, I responded, "That would be great, if you're interested in hosting a jazz program." She responded. "I produced my first jazz show in 1968." So, properly (and deservedly) told off, and very grateful for her offer, I look forward to hearing the Jazz Odyssey she hosts!

Just thought I'd let you know that if you tune in and don't hear me, that's why.


Jun. 20, 11:24pm

>49 kidzdoc:

Favorite princess: Diana, Princess of Wales. (Who else?)

I got the impression they were looking for Mulan, Elsa, etc., but sure, Princess Di could work!

>50 NanaCC: This reminded me of a post I saw on Twitter the other day. A pediatrician said that his five year old patient wanted to extend his televisit to talk about dinosaurs.

Yes, that the same one I mentioned in >47 Nickelini: above. That was the first Tweet, but I followed the thread and got this list. It was such a fun and lovely conversation instead of the usual Twitter snark

Jun. 21, 1:36pm

>55 Nickelini: I didn’t realize it was the same tweet, Joyce. I thought it was so cute. I love that age.

Jun. 21, 3:10pm

What is it about dinosaurs though? Why are they so fascinating to the under 10 set?

Jun. 21, 10:05pm

>54 rocketjk: Do try the moqueca baiana Jerry, either Ardene's version or mine, or another one that you run across. I'll make it for my parents in the next day or two, along with Julia Child's coq au vin. Those are easily the two best dishes I've cooked this year.

Thanks for letting me know about the guest hosts for The Jazz Odyssey. I missed the live broadcast of today's show, as I rode commuter trains from Philadelphia International Airport to my parents' house north of the city, and completely forgot about the show after I arrived. I'll listen to the show one day this week, and hopefully catch next Monday's broadcast live, as I'll be in the Delaware Valley until next Wednesday.

Have a great camping trip! I look forward to reports, and hopefully pictures.

>55 Nickelini: I got the impression they were looking for Mulan, Elsa, etc., but sure, Princess Di could work!

Good point. I've definitely dated myself with that response, as it's been nearly a quarter century since Diana's death, and I doubt that any young kids in the United States knows a thing about her. I don't know Mulan or Elsa well enough to have an opinion about either one, though.

>57 labfs39: Good question! I have no idea why dinosaurs are so fascinating to young children. Maybe it's because they are extinct, or so different from other living creatures, or so large in size? Count me as one of those fascinated adults kids, and I assume that this began after my first trip to the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. Growing up in Jersey City, directly across the Hudson River from Lower and Midtown Manhattan, was a blessing in so many ways, as the wealth of things to do in NYC was a short subway, car or bus ride away.

Jun. 23, 10:11am

Happy newish thread, Darryl. The Adichie book sounds wonderful, if heartbreaking. She is one of my favorites.

Jun. 23, 1:28pm

>59 BLBera: Thanks, Beth! Your assessment of Notes on Grief is spot on.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 3, 6:43pm

After a mainly torpid effort during the first half of 2021 I intend to begin a torrid last six months of the year, starting now. I am leading the third quarter theme in Reading Globally, The Lusophone World: writing from countries where Portuguese is or was an important language, and I have over a half dozen books lined up to read, starting with The Last Will & Testament of Senhor da Silva Araújo by the Cabo Verdean author Germano Almeida. Most of these books are less than 200 pages in length, so I should be able to go through them quickly.

The longlist for this year's Booker Prize will be announced on July 27th, and I'll follow it closely, and post the longlist announcement and the chosen books in the Booker Prize group. Hopefully this year's Booker Dozen won't be another massive disappointment, as so many have been in years past. BTW, if anyone wants to help me with administration of the group, or take my place as administrator, I'm all ears.

Today I'll focus on The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam, which I received from LT's Early Reviewers program last month.

Jul. 3, 11:56am

>61 kidzdoc: thanks for the Booker update. I have read 9 of the 13 on last year’s list. I’m listening to one now (Who They Was) and hope to read This Mournable Body before July 27. A lot of long dull books, but many rewards too.

Who They Was is crazy intense on audio - but not exactly admirable.

Jul. 3, 12:01pm

>61 kidzdoc: I recently bought The Startup Wife and plan to read it this month (can't believe we are in July already). Did you visit your parents Darryl?

Jul. 3, 12:19pm

>62 dchaikin: I eagerly look forward to your thoughts on Who They Was, Dan. I purchased it last year, but I haven't read it yet, although I would like to get to it relatively soon. I also haven't read This Mournable Body, and I'll probably read Nervous Conditions first before I get to it.

>63 Caroline_McElwee: Sounds good, Caroline. I hope to finish The Startup Wife tomorrow.

I did visit my parents for 10 days, and I flew back to Atlanta from Philadelphia on Wednesday evening. I'll see them again for a shorter visit in a little less than three weeks, as they are needing increasingly more help to remain independent, particularly now that my father is unable to drive, is becoming more physically frail, and hasn't returned anywhere close to his previously sharp mental status after his stroke and days long seizure last year.

Jul. 3, 12:31pm

Happy Newish Thread, Darryl.

Up in >10 kidzdoc: the author with the glasses looks a bit like Claire Shapiro, doesn’t she?

Good reviews. I just finished Americanah and loved it, even more than Half of a Yellow Sun. What a brilliant book. As I said to someone, the deaths of my parents still feel too recent for me to take on Notes on Grief, although it sounds awfully good.

I see one of your potential reads is Dominicana. Debbi and I liked that one a lot, and Amber just did, too. Angie Cruz is a friend of Adriana’s; they put out Asterix Journal together.

I hope you get to relax this holiday weekend. We’re pulling fo your surprising Atlanta Hawks.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 5, 10:26am

>65 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe!

With all due respect, and having seen Sarah Moss up close and in person at a reading by authors whose books were shortlisted for the 2017 Wellcome Book Prize in London, I would say that she and Claire do not favor each other. Claire is much prettier!

I'm glad that you also liked Americanah. I can't remember if I've read Half of a Yellow Sun or Purple Hibiscus; I've read one of her two earlier novels, but not both, although my LT library tells me I've read neither one.

Notes on Grief would be a very tough read for anyone who recently lost a loved parent, so I think you're right to wait on getting to it.

I'm glad that you and Debbi both liked Dominicana. I'll probably read it this coming autumn.

I am unexpectedly off this weekend; one of my lovely partners was recently married, and Nisha's friends are planning a post-wedding bachelorette party for her later this month, on the weekend she was scheduled to work. She asked, and I readily agreed to work her weekend in place of mine this weekend.

Jul. 5, 9:53am

>65 jnwelch:, >66 kidzdoc: Thank you both! It's an honour to be compared to Sarah Moss in any way as she is rapidly becoming one of my favourite authors, and Darryl, that is a lovely compliment!

Can't wait until we can all be together again face to face for book banter over lunch in Marylebone!

Jul. 5, 10:26am

>67 Sakerfalcon: You're welcome, Claire! I agree; Sarah Moss is on the shortlist of contemporary novelists whose new books I would purchase without knowing anything about them. This list would also include Aminatta Forna, Javier Cercas, Mario Vargas Llosa, Hilary Mantel, José Eduardo Agualusa, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Kamila Shamsie, Jesmyn Ward, Juan Gabriel Vásquez, and possibly one or more others. I'm currently reading the Advance Reader's Edition of The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam, which I'm loving so far, and if I continue to like it I'll add her to this list, as I greatly enjoyed the two books from her Bangladesh Trilogy that I read, The Good Muslim and A Golden Age. (I need to get to The Bones of Grace, the last novel in the trilogy, which I have on my Kindle.)

Yes! I greatly look forward to meeting up in London again, hopefully in October. With any luck Joe and Debbi can join us.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 5, 7:36pm


Book #28: The Last Will and Testament of Senhor da Silva Araújo by Germano Almeida


My rating:

The recently deceased Napumoceno da Silva Araújo was widely regarded as a pillar of the business community in the port city of Mindelo on the island of São Vicente, as he was perceived to be a self made man who emigrated to the city from the nearby island of São Nicolau as a poor orphaned boy with a few escudos to his name, but died a wealthy man who owned one of the largest and most successful trading companies in Cabo Verde. He was known to be a modest lifelong bachelor with no love interests who generously donated to the poorer residents of São Vicente, was free from corruption or excessive ambition, and kept mainly to himself, with few friends or visitors to his hilltop home.

In keeping with the law his last will and testament, numbering 387 pages, was read in the presence of a notary and witnesses who knew Senhor da Silva Araújo, including two acquaintances and his nephew Carlos, a driven and unscrupulous young man who stood to inherit everything as the only surviving relative, even though he openly mocked and privately despised his aged uncle. To everyone's surprise, Araújo left nearly all of his wealth to a young woman, Maria de Graça, whom he named as his daughter, and Carlos was only given a small piece of property.

As the testament is read the details of Araújo's secret life are slowly revealed, including Maria de Graça's conception, his other trysts, and the true love of his life, Adélia, who is known to no one. Maria de Graça takes it upon herself to find out who Adélia is, and to learn more about her father, who she believed to be only a godfather until his death.

The Last Will and Testament of Senhor da Silva Araújo is set around the time of Cabo Verde's independence from Portugal in 1975, and it provides an interesting view of life in Cabo Verde, on the island of São Vicente, and in the port city of Mindelo, which grew rapidly due to the influx of immigrants from other Cabo Verdean islands due to famine in the 1940s and 1950s, and was unique in terms of its ethnic diversity and lack of established hierarchy and political structure.

Germano Almeida (1945-) is one of Cabo Verde's most celebrated authors, who was awarded the Camões Prize in 2018, the most prestigious literary award in the Lusophone world, which is given annually to an author of an outstanding oeuvre of work written in Portuguese. He received a law degree from the University of Lisbon, and he continues to write prolifically and practice law in Mindelo. The Last Will and Testament of Senhor da Silva Araújo was chosen as one of Africa's best 100 books of the 20th century during the 2002 Zimbabwe Book Fair, the only book by a Cabo Verdean author on that list.

Jul. 5, 8:31pm

>69 kidzdoc: Wonderful review, Darryl, and a good start to your Lusophone theme challenge. I look forward to learning about many new (to me) authors.

Jul. 5, 9:01pm

>70 labfs39: Thanks, Lisa! In addition to the books I have planned for this challenge I have a good number that I've read recently but not yet reviewed. I'm working tonight (5 pm to 1 am) and tomorrow night, but after my last shift early Wednesday morning I'm off for 12 straight days, and I plan to post a bunch of reviews, as most of the books for this challenge are short ones.

Jul. 6, 9:08am

Whoops...almost lost you, just found the new thread.

Just popping in to report that I'm about halfway through Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds which I highly recommend. There are some parallel passages to Epidemics and Society which is only reinforcing.

If I had known about US early involvement in Liberia, I had forgotten.

It's a very interesting account.

Jul. 6, 9:32am

>72 tangledthread: Hi, tangledthread! I'm glad that you are enjoying Fevers, Feuds and Diamonds, as I am planning to start reading it this week. I have one more hospital night call (5 pm to 1 am) today, and then I'm off of clinical service for the rest of this week and all of next week.

Jul. 6, 9:57am

>49 kidzdoc: Enjoyed reading your favorites. Surely you are too young to have watched Green Hornet in the 60s, yes? I watched a bit of it but it was only one season, I think.

And, as always, checking out what you are reading.

Jul. 6, 9:59am

Hi Darryl, I've been quiet lately but have enjoyed following what you're reading and cooking. Hope your time off means a good deal of rest and reading.

Jul. 6, 10:31am

>74 avaland: Wikipedia tells me that The Green Hornet was originally broadcast on ABC during the 1966-67 season. I would have been five years old then, so I probably didn't watch it live, but one of the independent television stations in NYC, WNEW, WOR or WPIX, showed reruns on afternoons and weekends in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I remember how upset my cousins and friends and I were when Bruce Lee died in 1973, as we knew him from watching past episodes of The Green Hornet and from clips of his movies, although we were probably too young to go to any of them then.

I finished my Advance Reader's Copy of The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam earlier this morning, which was quite good. I'll probably review it tomorrow or Thursday, once I return to a normal wake/sleep pattern. Next up will be two books from the Lusophone world for the Reading Globally theme, the novel Good Morning Comrades by Ondjaki (Angola), and the poetry collection Anos Ku Ta Manda by Yasmina Nuny (Guinea-Bissau).

>75 bell7: Hi, Mary! I've been quiet as well on LT, but I will be much more active for at least the next three months, as I'm leading a group read in the Reading Globally group, and will set up threads in the Booker Prize group once this year's longlist is announced later this month.

Jul. 6, 2:34pm

I took a BB from You! Actually 3 of them.

I had read a review of Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam earlier this spring and added it to my wishlist here on LT. Then I read your comments about her previous books. So of course, I had to look them up, and the promptly ended up on my wishlist.

I just started reading Boat People by Sharon Bala and the first ten pages hooked me. I can't wait to get home to it after I get off work today. It is for my Tuscaloosa Book Discussion group and was the 2019 winner of the Harper Lee Legal Fiction Award.

Thanks for the BB's!

Jul. 6, 8:02pm

>77 benitastrnad: You're welcome, Benita. The Startup Wife will be published next Tuesday.

Boat People sounds interesting. Please let me know what you think of it after you're finished.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 6, 8:19pm

>77 benitastrnad: The Boat People was a Canada Reads finalist a few years ago. It’s a wonderful book.

Jul. 7, 2:10am

>69 kidzdoc: Great review, Darryl. I'm hovering over adding that one to my book list, although as you gave it 3.5 stars I'm guessing it didn't entirely blow you away.

Jul. 7, 11:14am

>79 Yells: Thanks, Danielle. I'll be on the lookout for The Boat People.

>80 AlisonY: Thanks, Alison! You're right, The Last Will and Testament of Senhor da Silva Araújo was a pleasant and entertaining read, but not a particularly memorable one, especially compared to a Lusophone novel I liked much better, The Tuner of Silences by Mia Couto. I'll review that book later this week, as I read it late last month.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 9, 11:47am

Book #29: The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam


My rating:

Advance Reader's Copy received from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. Release date: 13 July 2021

"There's an app for that."

Asha Ray is a classic success story, the daughter of Bengali immigrants who own and operate three pharmacies in the New York City Borough of Queens. She herself is in a highly desirable PhD program at MIT, where she is under the tutelage of a brilliant professor while she works on her Empathy Module, in which she proposes to enable Artificial Intelligence with the capability of understanding and caring about humans, in order to make the machines we create better versions of ourselves.

During a funeral she sees Cyrus Jones, her old high school crush, who is leading the memorial service for their beloved English teacher. He was an odd but attractive boy with long blond hair who dropped out of high school, but now he has become an even more attractive man who leads rituals and has gained an immense amount of wisdom and knowledge in the years since 11th grade. They are immediately attracted to each other, and within months they are married and living happily together in Cambridge in the home of Cyrus's best friend Jules.

Asha decides to combine Cyrus's knowledge and experience with her Empathy Module to create a platform that will allow non-religious users to develop a personal faith and belief system based on the things that they value most. As the module is being beta tested they receive an interview request from Utopia, an organization that serves as an incubator for startup tech companies located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, and after Asha, Cyrus and Jules meet the interview committee they are accepted into the Utopia fold. They work tirelessly on the platform, which they name WAI (We Are Infinite, pronounced "why"), and after it is launched it almost immediately attracts hundreds of thousands of users, which quickly multiplies into the millions. The alluring and appealing Cyrus becomes the face of WAI and he quickly adopts a cult-like following of members who view him as a modern day messiah. WAI expands at a dizzying pace, the team grows exponentially and increasingly out of control, and Asha and Cyrus's intertwined marriage and work relationship is battered and threatened by the resultant stress and by Cyrus's vision of what WAI should become, as Asha struggles to support her husband as she sees her role in the module she created become increasingly marginalized in a male dominated industry.

The Startup Wife is a smart, sexy and wickedly humorous look into the startup tech world that has become increasingly influential in the era of social media, from the view of a talented and insightful author whose husband is the CEO of ROLI, a music tech company, where she serves on the Board of Directors. This novel is a departure from Anam's superb Bangladesh Trilogy, but it is no less entertaining or well written, and as a novel for our times, and an indictment of the pervasive sexism that plagues the tech industry, it deserves to be widely read.

Anam recently appeared on a 5x15 talk about The Startup Wife, which I found to be worthwhile and enlightening; you can watch it here:

Jul. 8, 3:49pm

>82 kidzdoc: Fantastic review, Darryl. I have A Golden Age and A Good Muslim on my shelf. You make me think I should get to them sooner rather than later.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 8, 4:03pm

>82 kidzdoc: Agreeing with labfs39: great review. I read A Golden Age back in 2016 and enjoyed it (3 1/2 stars: review here: Maybe I will make a point of finding more of Anam's work.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 8, 9:48pm

>83 labfs39: Thanks, Lisa. Those are the two books I've read in her Bangladesh Trilogy, and I loved both of them, especially The Good Muslim.

>84 rocketjk: Thanks, Jerry. Nice review of A Golden Age. I gave it 4 stars, but to me The Good Muslim was significantly better.

Jul. 8, 10:00pm

>82 kidzdoc: Agreed with everyone else, great review. I had pushed that one off my radar for some reason—maybe it gave me "starter wife" associations with a kind of women's fiction genre I don't tend to read? But now I'll be on the lookout for it.

Jul. 9, 11:38am

>86 lisapeet: Thanks, Lisa. I expect that The Startup Wife will be a popular summer read after it is released on Tuesday, and deservedly so.

Jul. 9, 12:16pm


Book #25: The Tuner of Silences by Mia Couto


My rating:

Family, school, other people, they all elect some spark of promise in us, some area in which we may shine. Some are born to sing, others to dance, others are born merely to be someone else. I was born to keep quiet. My only vocation is silence. It was my father who explained this to me: I have an inclination to remain speechless, a talent for perfecting silences.

I was eleven years old when I saw a woman for the first time, and I was seized by such sudden surprise that I burst into tears.

Mwanito is an 11 year old boy whose father, Silvestre Vitalício, has taken him and his older brother Ntunzi to live in Jezoosalem, the ruins of an abandoned game preserve in the countryside of Moçambique after the mysterious and sudden death of his beloved wife. Silvestre's brother in law and friend make a community of five, and the domineering Silvestre insists that Jezoosalem is the last remaining civilized place on Earth. He loves his sons, especially Mwanito, whose gift as a "tuner of silences" helps mitigate Silvestre's tortured mind and most violent instincts, especially towards his rebellious older son, who rejects his father's incredulous claims and beliefs.

Life in Jezoosalem is suddenly transformed by the appearance of Marta, a Portuguese woman who befriends Mwanito and sets Ntunzi's hormones raging, but she is a dire threat to Silvestre and what he has taught his sons. Tension steadily builds in the altered community, and the increasingly unstable Silvestre boldly vows to remove the stranger by force if she does not leave willingly.

The Tuner of Silences is a lyrical, captivating and unforgettable novel filled with damaged souls who struggle to find meaning and happiness in lives permanently altered by the deaths of those they love the most. Mia Couto is one of Africa's most celebrated contemporary writers, and after reading The Tuner of Silences, one of my favorite novels of 2021 to date, it is easy to see why.

Jul. 9, 1:07pm


Native Dance: An African Story by Gervásio Kaiser
The Moor of Sankoré: A Short Story by Gervásio Kaiser


Native Dance and The Moor of Sankoré are two very brief and even more forgettable short stories by Gervásio Kaiser, one of the few authors from São Tomé and Príncipe whose work has been translated into English. In Native Dance a man is arrested and falsely charged with throwing a knife at a woman after her son beat up a smaller, when in fact he only threw keys to the ground in her direction. After the judge dismisses the case against him he sees the mother of the child he sought to protect, who had rejected his invitations to dance with him in a local club but now welcomes him. The Moor of Sankoré is a recent graduate of the University of Sankoré, an ancient center of learning in Mali, who seeks to take a flight home but encounters multiple obstacles in doing so.

Not recommended.

Jul. 9, 1:49pm

>88 kidzdoc: I love the quote at the beginning of your review of The Tuner of Silences. I think I would like his writing. I'll keep an eye out for this one. Too bad the other two stories were disappointing.

Jul. 9, 2:32pm

>90 labfs39: Same here, Lisa. The Tuner of Silences was the first book I read by Mia Couto, and even though I anticipated enjoying this novel and his writing it exceeded my expectations. I anticipate taking a deep dive into his works, during this quarter's Reading Globally theme and afterward.

Next up will be the latest book by one of my favorite physician authors, Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds: Ebola and the Ravages of History by Dr Paul Farmer, the chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Partners in Health.

Jul. 9, 3:12pm

>82 kidzdoc:>88 I have both of these near the top of the tbr mountain Darryl, saving your reviews until I've read them, probably next month.

Jul. 9, 4:31pm

>91 kidzdoc: I have been thinking of Dr. Farmer since the Haitian President was assassinated. Dr Farmer has been working so hard in Haiti, but things don't seem to be getting better. It must be disheartening. Battling poverty and subsequent health inequities is a Sisyphean job.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 9, 8:26pm

>92 Caroline_McElwee: Sounds good, Caroline. I look forward to your thoughts about both books.

>93 labfs39: Same here, Lisa. I'm curious to see who was behind the assassination of former Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, now that a couple of Haitian American men and over a dozen Colombians have been arrested and charged with his murder, and what this means for the stability of this most unstable and impoverished country.

Fevers, Feuds and Diamonds promises to be a damning indictment of the world's response to the Ebola virus epidemic, which he claims was concerned more with containment of the virus and those it afflicted, rather than treatment of the sick, and with Richard Preston's sensationalistic and misleading characterization of the epidemic in his book The Hot Zone. Even though he wrote the book before the COVID-19 pandemic he promises to draw parallels between these two infectious outbreaks.

Battling poverty and subsequent health inequities is a Sisyphean job.

The same holds true in the United States and other First World countries, albeit to a vastly lesser degree than in sub-Saharan Africa, Haiti and other impoverished and unstable countries.

Jul. 10, 1:50am

Just found you, Darryl! Coming to say hello and make sure this thread shows up in my 'your posts' page - now I'll head back and read all your comments and reviews!

Bearbeitet: Jul. 10, 8:28am

>94 kidzdoc: "Fevers, Feuds and Diamonds promises to be a damning indictment of the world's response to the Ebola virus epidemic, which he claims was concerned more with containment of the virus and those it afflicted, rather than treatment of the sick,"

It's more than that. It's a damning indictment of extractive colonialism that raids a region's resources (human and environmental) without investing in the people or the place. It leaves the region in poverty and exposed to disease and death. This historical fact has created huge inequities in health care will lead to further global medical calamities.

I have struggled to read some of the African authors that have come out in the past few years because I could not understand the social constructs in the different African countries. Paul Farmer's book includes some history that has helped clarify some of that for me.

Jul. 10, 8:55am

>94 kidzdoc: The same holds true in the United States and other First World countries Absolutely. In the US, progress fighting poverty and social inequities ebbs and flows depending on who's president, and the Sisyphean comparison is especially apt.

Jul. 10, 8:57am

Dieser Benutzer wurde wegen Spammens entfernt.

Jul. 10, 9:11am

>94 kidzdoc: Haïti is still paying for being the first undependent, black nation :-(

Bearbeitet: Jul. 10, 9:31am

>95 wandering_star: Hi, Margaret! It's good to "see" you, although it will be much better when we meet in person once again.


Book #30: Good Morning Comrades by Ondjaki, translated from the Portuguese by Stephen Henighan


My rating:

Ndalu, the narrator of this novel, is a schoolboy in Luanda, the capital of Angola, in the spring of 1991, a time in which the country was led by President José Eduardo dos Santos of the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), who rode in public in a bulletproof Mercedes surrounded by heavily armed guards, as the country was in civil war against the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas Savimbi. The MPLA was supported by Cuba and, to a lesser extent, the Soviet Union, and between 1975 and 1991 400,000 Cubans served as teachers, physicians and soldiers there. UNITA was mainly supported by the United States, especially during President Ronald Reagan's two terms in office, along with the apartheid South African government, as both feared the spread of Marxism to other sub-Saharan countries, including South Africa itself. The MPLA held control of Luanda and the urbanized coastal areas of Angola and were supported by the Mbundu people, whereas UNITA's power was in the north and less populated interior of the country and were favored by the Ovimbundu, Angola's largest ethnic group. Due to the strength of MPLA and the large presence of disciplined Cuban soldiers Luanda at that time was relatively safe especially after 1988, when the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale repelled a South African/UNITA armed invasion, cemented Cuban/MPLA control of the country, and led to the downfall of South African President P.W. Botha. Guerrilla attacks on schools and other establishments was a constant fear, although a questionable reality.

The title of this novel refers to the use of the word comrade to formally address nearly everyone in the MPLA controlled territory; Ndalu's favorite visitor at home is Comrade António, and his primary teachers are Comrade Teacher Maria, the wife of Comrade Teacher Ángel, both from Cuba. Ndalu and his schoolmates are in the last few days of their classes, and are good kids although somewhat rebellious and apt to get into mild trouble, even though they love the school and their teachers, although they find them and other Cubans to be somewhat inscrutable and overly idealistic. Through Ndalu's eyes the reader views the everyday life in Angola in the early 1990s, which is marked with frequent mass rallies, socialist holidays, and speeches at school in opposition to imperialism, Ronald Reagan and apartheid, along with the use of ration cards to purchase goods. Most of Ndalu's classmates and their families are relatively well off in comparison to their Cuban teachers, and they sit alongside each other in an ethnic melting pot of Blacks, mixed race mestiços, and white Cubans and Portuguese.

At the end of the school year the children are saddened to learn that their teachers would soon return to Cuba, leaving their future education in charge of native Angolans. Soon they would learn that a peace agreement between MPLA and UNITA had been reached, and Cuba withdrew its presence from the country. What they could not foresee is that the presidential election held the following year kept President dos Santos and MPLA in power, and led to a vicious resurgence of the Angolan Civil War after Jonas Savimbi and UNITA, who were assured that they would win the election, lost instead.

Good Morning Comrades is a valuable insight into Angola during the end of the Cold War, and what appeared to be the end of the Angolan Civil War, which is mainly drawn from the Ondjaki's own childhood in Luanda. The afterword by the book's translator, Stephen Henighan, provides valuable context to the novel, which is essential for those unfamiliar with the country's history, and his comments bumped my rating of the book from 3½ to 4 stars.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 10, 9:55am

>96 tangledthread: It's more than that. It's a damning indictment of extractive colonialism that raids a region's resources (human and environmental) without investing in the people or the place. It leaves the region in poverty and exposed to disease and death. This historical fact has created huge inequities in health care will lead to further global medical calamities.

Absolutely. I finished the excellent preface to Fevers, Feuds and Diamonds earlier this morning, and he did make this point.

>97 labfs39: In the US, progress fighting poverty and social inequities ebbs and flows depending on who's president, and the Sisyphean comparison is especially apt.

Yes, indeed. In Caste, Isabel Wilkerson also makes the point that Republican led state governments, especially in the Deep South, turn down trillions of dollars in federal money for public health programs such as Medicaid, which would be of great benefit to many of its poorest citizens, but they refuse to accept this money, as it would help many people of color.

>99 FAMeulstee: The assassination of the Haitian president is extremely disturbing, and I fear that the country may be headed toward a lawless chaos, if not outright civil war, especially if the current prime minister, who was due to step down at the time of the assassination, is found to be behind it.

Jul. 10, 10:33am

>101 kidzdoc: I fear that the country may be headed toward a lawless chaos, if not outright civil war

My sister and nephew were planning to go to Haiti to help with a water sanitization project (my sister owns a water filtration company). I'm hoping they postpone the trip. Unfortunately the unrest exacerbates an already strained infrastructure, and the cycle begins again.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 10, 12:45pm

>102 labfs39: Yikes. I also hope that your sister and nephew postpone their planned trip to Haiti. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a significant decrease in flights from the United States to Port-au-Prince, due to policy from the airlines and/or the US government.

Jul. 10, 1:49pm

>101 kidzdoc: "Yes, indeed. In Caste, Isabel Wilkerson also makes the point that Republican led state governments, especially in the Deep South, turn down trillions of dollars in federal money for public health programs such as Medicaid, which would be of great benefit to many of its poorest citizens, but they refuse to accept this money, as it would help many people of color."

For an extremely lucid, book-length treatment of this particular issue (turning down programs/funding that would help the many in order to make a point of keeping it from people of color), I will again recommend the excellent The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 10, 2:27pm

>104 rocketjk: Thanks, Jerry. I did buy The Sum of Us for one of my parents' closest neighbors, and she promised to lend it to me after she's finished reading it.

Jul. 11, 5:59am

>100 kidzdoc: Very interesting review. I discover that I have Granma Nineteen and the Soviet's Secret on my wishlist, although I can't remember where from! Have you read any other Ondjaki?

Jul. 11, 10:07am

>106 wandering_star: Thanks, Margaret. This was the first novel by Ondjaki that I've read, but I also have a copy of Transparent City, which I'll read soon.

Jul. 11, 2:04pm

As a daily subscriber to The New York Times I can use the NYT Cooking app, which gives me access to nearly 20,000 recipes and is my favorite "cookbook". This morning I received the weekly 'What to Cook This Week' email from NYT Cooking, and one of the recipes looked particularly easy and appealing, Summer Shrimp Scampi With Tomatoes and Corn. A quick check of my kitchen confirmed that I had all the ingredients needed to make this pasta, and I just had a bowl for lunch:


1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (from 4 ears)
5 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
¼ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), plus wedges for serving (optional)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
3 tablespoons chopped parsley or chives, or torn basil leaves


1. Pat the shrimp very dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add the shrimp and cook until pink and lightly golden in spots, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to a plate.

2. Add the tomatoes to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring just once or twice, until they start to blister in spots, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the corn, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring just once or twice, until the tomatoes burst and the corn is golden in spots, 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Add the garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until you smell garlic, about 1 minute.

4. Reduce heat to medium, and add the wine and lemon juice, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until nearly evaporated, then add the butter and stir until melted. Add the shrimp and its juices and stir until warmed through. (If the sauce breaks and looks greasy, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of water and stir until emulsified.)

5. Remove from heat, add the herbs, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with extra lemon for squeezing over, if you like.

I had this on top of bucatini, my favorite pasta. The recipe indicates that it serves 4 and can be made in 15 minutes; it took me nearly an hour to make, but given that I'll get at least four servings this was both well worth it, and very tasty.

Jul. 11, 8:57pm

>108 kidzdoc: I saw that too, and thought it looked good. I've been on a real shrimp kick during the pandemic—not sure why, but I really crave it. I'd have to sub something for the wine, since we don't keep any around, but I think a little stock plus extra lemon juice would do the trick. What I do have is fresh parsley, chives, and basil—this hot/wet summer has been awesome for my herbs.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 12, 1:09am

>109 lisapeet: The Summer Shrimp Scampi was very good, Lisa. I've also been eating more shrimp lately, along with other seafood, and I usually have plenty of frozen shrimp, fish, crawfish tails and alligator tail fillets in my freezer.

Jul. 12, 9:34am

>110 kidzdoc: I enjoy where I live, Darryl, because the fish and seafood are so fresh—usually right off the boat. Where do you get crawfish and alligator tails? Just curious.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 12, 10:08am

>111 NanaCC: My local Publix, one of the major supermarket chains in the Deep South, always has Riceland crawfish tails and often has Country Boy Gator alligator tail fillets (white meat) in its frozen seafood section, both from companies based in Louisiana Cajun country. There must be more people from New Orleans and Louisiana in Atlanta than I've met, as native North Georgians normally don't cook Creole or Cajun cuisine or know much about it, and most of the cashiers at Publix look at this frozen seafood, especially the frozen alligator, with mild astonishment.

I had planned to make Emeril Lagasse's Alligator Sauce Piquante, a Cajun delicacy, yesterday, until I saw the recipe for Summer Shrimp Scampi; I'll make it this afternoon, though.

Jul. 12, 5:04pm

The Alligator Sauce Piquante is ready!

"Alligator is cooked up in a spicy piquante sauce and served over rice for a hearty meal. If you can find it, alligator tail meat is the preferable cut to use here."


1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
3/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
4 bay leaves
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons bleached all-purpose flour
4 cups seeded and chopped plum tomatoes
3 cups Chicken Stock or
canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Emeril's Red Pepper Sauce or other hot pepper sauce
1 1/2 pounds alligator meat, cut into 2-inch strips
1 1/2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning
1/2 cup chopped green onions (green and white parts)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Perfect Rice, hot


Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in large heavy nonstick pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions, bell peppers, celery, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of the flour and cook, stirring, to cook the flour without browning, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, Worcestershire, and pepper sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low.

Place several pieces of alligator meat at a time on a work surface covered with plastic wrap. Cover the meat with plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 2-inch strips.

Combine the remaining 1/2 cup flour and the Essence in a medium bowl. Dredge the alligator pieces in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the meat and fry until golden brown, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet and repeat with the remaining alligator.

Add the meat to the sauce. Increase the heat under the sauce to medium-high and bring to a gentle rolling boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 2 hours. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

To serve, spoon the rice into soup bowls, top with the meat and sauce, and garnish with the green onions and parsley.

I used two pounds of alligator tail meat, so I increased the proportions of the other ingredients accordingly. I love this fiery recipe, as the alligator meat practically melts in your mouth after it simmers for two hours. I'm sure that Jane (janemarieprice) has cooked this stew, and I'm curious to know if the other ex-New Orleanians in Club Read have had it or also made it.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 13, 5:37am

>82 kidzdoc: I saw this reviewed positively in The Times at the weekend. However, having lived and breathed startups for the past 6 years I don't think I can bring myself to read anything about them, fiction or non-fiction!

>113 kidzdoc: So what would you liken alligator meat to in terms of taste?

Bearbeitet: Jul. 13, 6:58am

>114 AlisonY: That's understandable, Alison! If The Startup Wife had been written by an author I was unfamiliar with or didn't like I wouldn't have requested an Advance Reader's Copy of it. I didn't have high hopes for it, but it greatly exceeded my expectations, and confirmed that Tahmima Anam is one of my favorite contemporary authors.

ETA: My criterion for listing an author as a Favorite on LT is that I've given at least 4 stars to three or more of their books that I've read.

The taste of alligator is very dependent on what part of the reptile it comes from. The white meat of the tail is the best and the healthiest part, as it has barely 3% fat and is full of protein. It can be a bit chewy when deep fried and served as gator nuggets or alligator po' boy, but because it simmers for two hours in alligator sauce piquante it is tender, practically melts in your mouth, and has a mild, delicate and pleasant flavor that is absolutely delightful. Some say that it tastes fishy, but I don't think so.

There are a variety of other meats that Cajuns use in sauce piquante: turtle, tasso (ham shoulder), chicken, Andouille sausage, or a combination of nearly any of the above. I had alligator sauce piquante on a few occasions when I lived in New Orleans, probably in restaurants, as I don't think my aunts who lived there made it. I would definitely like to try turtle sauce piquante!

Bearbeitet: Jul. 13, 10:38am

Book #31: Anos Ku Ta Manda by Yasmina Nuny


My rating:

Yasmina Nuny Silva is a Guinea-Bissauan poet, spoken word artist, research consultant and magazine editor who was born in Portugal, lived in several African countries, received her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Birmingham (UK), and lives, works and performs there. Anos Ku Ta Manda is her first published book, which is a collection of powerful and touching poems about her homeland, her passionate transatlantic love with her partner, life as a Black woman in Britain and a person of color in these difficult and challenging times.

This poem, titled 'Free', is from the page about her book from Verve Poetry Press (


I have loved myself to this
To this state.
Enough to preserve when needed,
cry when needed,
war when needed.
Shave, regrow, rebirth
as needed.
Bloom where it is possible,
learn from all of it.
Unlearn to apologize for it –
We been there already,
done that already.
No longer at peace with disrespecting
like that.

I liked this poem, but many of the others in this book were even more powerful. The following is a link to a YouTube video of Nuny reading one of those poems, 'A Word to the Black Girls':

Anos Ku Ta Manda closes with poems by two rising Black British writers, Darnell Thompson-Gooden, a British man of Jamaican heritage whose 'Poems about her' is a moving tribute to a former girlfriend and how she enriched his life, and Ayò, a Nigerian-born poet and medical student, whose poem 'I've Lost My Tongue Help me!', published in Yoruba and English, describes the loss of her mother tongue and her connection to her homeland.

I look forward to reading more of Yasmina Nuny's work, and seeing more of her spoken word performances online or in person. You can read more about her on her web page,

Bearbeitet: Jul. 15, 9:09am

Book #32: The Cause of Freedom: A Concise History of African Americans by Jonathan Scott Holloway


My rating:

Being American is, in part, an act of declaration, rooted in the principles that guided the establishment of this country and that have been rearticulated at different moments in its history: a faith in the idea of freedom and a pledge to respect liberty and justice for all. Relatedly, being American means, for many, membership in a community of citizens who believe in the rights of assembly, speech, and unfettered access to the ballot box. With an unsettling consistency, however, being American has also been defined in a negative way: not being black.

Dr Jonathan Scott Holloway, the current president of Rutgers University, my undergraduate alma mater, and the first African American to serve in that capacity in the school's 255 year history, is a U.S. historian and university administrator who was educated at Stanford and Yale, and taught and served as dean of Yale College and provost of Northwestern University before being chosen to lead Rutgers last summer.

in The Cause of Freedom, Dr Holloway provides a compelling and very readable account of the story of this country's Black residents, dating from the first known arrival of a Black man to this country in 1528, when Estevanico, a Moroccan member of the Spanish Narváez expedition, was one of four survivors who landed on the west coast of Florida, to the initial importation of slaves to Jamestown in August 1619, through to the Black Lives Matter movement. His primary aim is to determine what it means to be an American, a question that can have different answers depending on the respondent's ethnic and religious background and personal and family history in this country.

The book highlights the historical moments, themes and individuals, White and Black, who played major roles in the history of people of African descent in this country, with a particular focus on the Civil Rights Movement and the post-Civil Rights era, along with the Harlem Renaissance and the two most important public intellectuals in early 20th century America, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois. From my past reading I was familiar with most of the information in this book, but there was also plenty that I didn't know, both about the people within it and information about those who I thought I knew.

The Cause of Freedom is an absolutely superb and essential addition to the written history of African Americans, which has 150 pages of text and can easily be read in one day. It would be an outstanding book for high school and college students to read, along with anyone else within and outside of the United States who desires a primer and a start off point to learn more about this perpetually timely and important topic.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 15, 2:56pm

Book #33: Cape Verdean Blues by Shauna Barbosa

My rating:

Shauna Barbosa was born in Boston to an Cape Verdean father and an African American mother. She received her MFA at Bennington College in Vermont, and currently teaches in the Writers' Workshop at UCLA Extension. Her poems have been published by numerous sources over the past decade, and her first collection of poems, Cape Verdean Blues was released by Pitt Poetry Press in 2018, which was a finalist for the PEN Open Voices Award the following year.

Cape Verdean Blues is named for the 1966 album The Cape Verdean Blues by the famed jazz pianist Horace Silver, which itself was composed in honor of Silver's Cape Verdean father John Tavares Silva. This book similarly honors her father's homeland, along with her personal life and loves, the lives of working class people of Cape Verdean descent whom she encounters, and the beauty of that lush country.

One of my favorite poems in this collection honors the late Cape Verdean morna singer Cesária Évora, which is available on her website,

To the Brothers of Cesária Évora

I’m at the jazz bar
staring at the saxophonist
looking for the entry wound.
My curated movements
are all pretend

darkness don’t equal depth.
He’s looking for mind, too.
Me too is not the same
as hang in there. All rhythm
no blue like swinging

arms are all form of measurement.
The sax to body position, dead skin
cells to household dust

flying across the world
doesn’t compare to noticing
your only bookmark is a pair
of scissors, to cut

means leaving the big tune.
No more pretend this place
smells how it looks outside
at dawn on September’s first

turning from hopeful to who
can I talk to alive or six-feet under.
Curated sendoff,

one last wound tune
for my brothers, all colors ranging
bread, coffee, blood sausage, and
gaslight. No one wants
a black mouth brother

I know, you don’t want to be
cause it’s difficult to be
black, and
brown mouth with a hopeful open
no more pretend not knowing
that speaking Portuguese
at the traffic stop
won’t save you.

The poems, like Cape Verde itself, are quite lyrical in their use of language, but unfortunately I did not fully connect with many of them on a first or second reading. As a result, I've given Cape Verdean Blues a 3½ star rating for now, but I'll return to this collection and possibly increase my rating after I give her work another try.

Jul. 15, 1:58pm

Hi Darryl. Finally found your thread and starred it. So we can keep in touch!

Jul. 15, 2:30pm

Hi, Connie! I'm glad that you found me, and that we'll be able to keep in touch here, as well as on your thread.

I pray that Peet does well with his surgery on Friday, and that Roermond stays free of the horrible flooding in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. I'm quite concerned about my friend Murielle's elderly (and stubborn!) father, who lives in Liège, very close to the River Meuse. Murielle lives in a suburb of Madison, Wisconsin with her husband, my best friend from medical school, so she can't do much from there, although I think one of her brothers also lives in Liège.

Jul. 15, 3:33pm

The only Cape Verdean I know of is Cesária Évora. I have 3 of her CDs and absolutely love her voice and music. I believe she was going to perform here in Toronto several years back, but she became ill and died before that happened, if my memory serves me correctly.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 15, 6:43pm

>121 jessibud2: I've been listening to Cesária Évora's music for the past two weeks, and I've grown in love with her voice. I want to learn more about morna, the music of Cape Verde, and I plan to highlight Cesária Évora and other morna singers in the current Reading Globally theme on The Lusophone World that I'm leading.

Since my first visit to Lisbon in 2018 I've been occasionally listening to Portuguese fado music, especially the work of Amália Rodrigues, the Queen of Fado (Rainha do Fado), Ana Moura and Mariza. I follow Ana Moura on Facebook, and yesterday she announced that she would perform in a new two day festival in Lisbon, the Festival Nossa Lisboa ("Our Lisbon"), a multicultural event which will feature 18 performers from the Lusophone world, who will play "fado, mornas and coledeiras, funaná, kizomba and semba, marrabenta,
samba and Nova Música do Brasil." It seems as though I'll arrive in Lisbon one week after the festival, which will be held in the Altice Arena in the Parque das Nações, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's transformed into an online only event, due to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic there; if it is I'll try to buy tickets for the streaming video of the festival.

I'll also go to the fnac store in the Chiado neighborhood of Lisbon while I'm there, which has a great selection of Lusophone music CDs. I had intended to return there after DB (deebee1) took me to the store during the first day we met, but I never did.

Jul. 15, 7:26pm

I thought Cesaria Evora was the Queen of Fado (a word I only learned after *discovering* Evora). Maybe she was the Mother of Fado. I need to educate myself more on the other singers you named, thanks!

Bearbeitet: Jul. 18, 7:16pm

>123 jessibud2: I'm certainly no expert on Lusophone music, not even close, but based on my reading about Lisbon and Portugal I don't think that Cesária Évora is either the Queen or Mother of Fado. Morna sounds similar to fado to my uneducated and untrained ears, but there seems to be a significant difference between the two forms. One difference seems to be the use of more instruments in morna than fado, such as the violin, trumpet, clarinet and piano, which, as far as I know, are not typically used in fado. I took this photo of a group of adorable schoolgirls performing fado on the Rua Augusta in the Baixa neighborhood of Lisbon in 2018, which shows a typical set of instruments used in fado:

The egg shaped guitar being played by the girls in the middle is the guitarra portuguesa.

I'll definitely visit the Museu do Fado when I return to Lisbon, to learn more about this musical form. I would love to see live performances of fado and morna of it in small clubs as well, preferably in the Mouraria or Alfama neighborhoods of Lisbon.

Jul. 16, 3:55am

>120 kidzdoc: Peets surgery is next Monday, Darryl. We have an appointment with the anesthetist today but due to the floods traffic is hectic and we try to change a physical one to a telephone call.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 16, 6:50am

>125 connie53: That's a good idea, Connie. I'll be thinking of and praying for Peet, you and your family on Monday.

Regarding the flooding you may have seen that Murielle, the wife of my best friend from medical school who is from Liège and also a dear friend, checked in on her father, who still lives there. Apparently he is safe, but the flood waters from the River Meuse are one block from where he lives. Bianca liked one of my Facebook posts, so she must be doing okay. She was in Germany last week, but I don't yet know if she is still there, or is back in London.

My group's preliminary work schedule for September has been posted, and it seems as though I'll be off from the 11th through the 30th. I'll go ahead and make refundable flight and hotel reservations for Lisbon once the schedule is finalized, and hope for the best.

Jul. 16, 8:09am

>126 kidzdoc: Thanks for the update about Bianca, Darryl. This is the only aspect of FB I miss sometimes. Though it is not enough to make me come back there.

I hope your travel plans will work out in September.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 16, 8:23am

>127 FAMeulstee: You're welcome, Anita; I was just about to post a message on your thread!

Most of my closest personal friends are not members of LibraryThing, or are no longer active here, including Bianca, Paul Harris, Rachael Beale, Felicity (Fliss) Payne, and DB from Portugal. Facebook is essential for me to keep in touch with them, and has allowed me to reconnect with old friends whom I haven't seen in decades, and I would sooner renounce my membership here than leave Facebook, despite its numerous problems.

I was watching BBC World News off and on yesterday, along with DW's English channel, and I did see that Peter de Vries had died. I had heard about his shooting last week, and at the time his condition sounded very grim. People in the United States may have heard about him from his interview with the young Dutch man who was thought to have killed Natalee Holloway, a teenager from Alabama who disappeared during a school holiday in Aruba and has never been found. I don't know much more about him, other than what I heard last week and saw yesterday, but his death seems like a tremendous loss to the country, and the cause of honest investigative journalism within and outside of the Netherlands.

I look forward to seeing you, Frank, Ella, Connie, Sanne and other Dutch friends in person in the near future, but I doubt that will happen before next year. I had hoped to make several trips to Europe in the second half of this year, and of course see Bianca, Claire, Paul and other British friends in London, but I'll consider myself fortunate if I can only get to Lisbon by year's end.

Jul. 16, 9:56am

Hi Daryl...I finished Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds yesterday. His writing reminded me a lot of Sebastian Junger and Frank Snowden, maybe that's because I've recently read both of those authors. I've posted a review on the book page, but look forward to your review.

Jul. 16, 10:35am

>129 tangledthread: That's a great review of Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds! I haven't gotten far into it, as I'm still in Part I, but I'll get back to it this weekend, and especially next week when I'm not working.

Jul. 16, 12:06pm

>128 kidzdoc: It is a big loss, Darryl. Peter de Vries was a crime journalist, who helped to solve some cold cases, and was able to turn back some unjust convictions.

I hope we will be able to meet again in 2022 :-)

Jul. 16, 12:24pm

>130 kidzdoc: Thanks! I just started The Tuner of Silences based on your review. So far, it's intriguing.

Jul. 16, 1:47pm

>131 FAMeulstee: That's very discouraging, Anita. Today's print edition of The New York Times includes an article about his death, and it mentions a criminal organization involved in the drug trade, led by Ridouan Taghi, the violence associated with the importation of cocaine into Rotterdam, and the production of crystal meth (methamphetamine) in the Netherlands. It seems as though his shoes will be hard to fill, but hopefully other investigative reporters will follow in his footsteps.

Yes, I also look forward to another meetup in the Netherlands in 2022.

>132 tangledthread: Excellent! I look forward to your thoughts on The Tuner of Silences. I'll pick up a copy of Sleepwalking Land when I go to my local branch of the Atlanta Public Library tomorrow.

Jul. 16, 3:11pm

>133 kidzdoc: It's one of the big topics on tv right now, the flood and the death of Peter R de Vries. He was very popular for his crime savings and was a frequent guest on many talk-shows.

I'm looking forward to see you in 2020!

Jul. 16, 8:16pm

>134 connie53: The flooding in Europe is a major news story here as well. I pray that most if not all of the hundreds of people missing in Germany will be found alive.

I heard from Bianca (drachenbraut23) a few hours ago. She is in Bavaria, which wasn't affected by flooding or torrential rain, and she is safe, as is her family. She'll fly back to London on Tuesday.

Yes, I look forward to seeing you, Anita, Frank, Sanne and my other Dutch friends in the Netherlands again in 2022!

Jul. 18, 5:48pm

They have a museum of Fado? How exciting? I am intrigued by this music and the music of southern Spain. Both have their roots in the Moorish culture and that early medieval period when cultures mixed in the Iberian Peninsula. It is strange music to hear on the western ear, but so very interesting with such a rich history. If I ever get to Lisbon I will most certainly go to the museum of Fado.

Jul. 18, 7:13pm

>136 benitastrnad: Yes! The Museo do Fado is close to the Rio Tejo (River Tagus), and to Estação Santa Apolónia (the Lisbon Metro and Comboios de Portugal (Portuguese Railways) both serve this station). The museum is relatively new, having opened in 1998, but the building that houses it is definitely not.

I've made flight and apartment reservations for Lisbon for the last two weeks in September, so I'll file a report after I visit the Museo do Fado.

Jul. 18, 8:36pm

>137 kidzdoc:
Thanks - I would appreciate hearing about it.

Jul. 22, 9:25pm

>29 kidzdoc: ...but most importantly a humble man who was dedicated to his family and was Chimamanda’s greatest supporter and closest friend.
I feel so sad for her, and love this description of her successful father's best characteristics.

>108 kidzdoc: that dish looks truly delicious. With 5T of butter, I am imagining how rich and delicious it is right now!!

Jul. 23, 6:48am

>139 LovingLit: Right, Megan. I feel the same way about my father, as he is also an educated and accomplished man who is a humble and dedicated father and has always stood behind me, as has my mother. My parents are about the same age as hers, and their failing health and uncertain status is a constant worry. I'm visiting them just outside of Philadelphia now, along with a younger cousin, who has become the sister I never had and also flies in from Michigan on a regular basis to spend time with them, despite also having a very busy career (lawyer and IT specialist).

That shrimp scampi is very tasty, and very buttery! Speaking of butter I'm about to take an early morning trip to a local supermarket to pick up ingredients to make another double batch of crawfish étouffée, which will have 12 T of butter in it, although it will make 10-12 servings.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 27, 6:49pm

This year's Booker Prize longlist was announced just after midnight in London (7 am East Coast Time in the US):

A Passage North, Anuk Arudpragasam (Granta Books, Granta Publications)
Second Place, Rachel Cusk, (Faber)
The Promise, Damon Galgut, (Chatto & Windus, Vintage, PRH)
The Sweetness of Water, Nathan Harris (Tinder Press, Headline, Hachette Book Group)
Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber)
An Island, Karen Jennings (Holland House Books)
A Town Called Solace, Mary Lawson (Chatto & Windus, Vintage, PRH)
No One is Talking About This, Patricia Lockwood (Bloomsbury Circus, Bloomsbury Publishing)
The Fortune Men, Nadifa Mohamed (Viking, Penguin General, PRH)
Bewilderment, Richard Powers (Hutchinson Heinemann, PRH)
China Room, Sunjeev Sahota (Harvill Secker, Vintage, PRH)
Great Circle, Maggie Shipstead (Doubleday, Transworld Publishers, PRH)
Light Perpetual, Francis Spufford (Faber)

The Guardian: Booker prize reveals globe-spanning longlist of ‘engrossing stories’

Jul. 27, 12:33am

Geez, I think I'm pretty up on book titles, and most of those are new to me.

I was super interested in A Passage North but then I saw that it's written in blocks of text with few breaks, which is a pet peeve. It does sound interesting otherwise. But perhaps unreadable. Hmmm. At least I see a couple of Canadians on there, so there's that.

What do YOU think of the list?

Jul. 27, 7:33am

>141 kidzdoc: I love book eye candy. Did you have all of these already?

Jul. 27, 9:04am

>141 kidzdoc: Hmmm, I have a bunch of those. I think the one I'm most eager to read is Great Circle, mostly for the subject matter, but there are a lot of good ones in that pile.

Jul. 27, 5:33pm

Thanks for posting the list. I've read Klara and the Sun and Light Perpetual - they're both good but I would be surprised if either is the best book of the year. Lots of the others look really interesting - particularly The Fortune Men, and I've just bought A Passage North.

Would love to hear what other people think of Mary Lawson. She's a writer who I've only heard about from a couple of people but they both raved about her.

Jul. 27, 7:09pm

>142 Nickelini: The only book that I've heard about on this year's Booker Prize longlist is Klara and the Sun, so I don't have a strong opinion about it. I am glad to see that Ishiguro's latest work made the cut, and since I've enjoyed novels I've read by Damon Galgut, Nadifa Mohamed and Sunjeev Sahota I'm excited to read more books by them. I don't see any reason to not like this longlist, and I'm eager to get started on it next month.

>143 labfs39: Yes, new books are always appealing. Fortunately all of the longlisted titles are available in the US, 11 of them in Kindle format. I purchased all of them yesterday, and ordered the two books that are only available in print edition, The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed and An Island by Karen Jennings.

>144 lisapeet: Sounds good, Lisa. I'm working all seven days this week and the inpatient General Pediatrics census is out of control, especially for the middle of summer, so I probably won't get to any of these books before next week. Second Place by Rachel Cusk is only 137 pages in length, so it's possible that I may get to it before this week ends, although I'm still working on The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat.

>145 wandering_star: I haven't heard of Mary Lawson before or read anything by her, but I now own a copy of A Town Called Solace and I'll try to get to it sometime in September, if not sooner.

Jul. 27, 8:40pm

I read one of Mary Lawson's books a number of years ago- she is a very accomplished writer.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 27, 9:52pm

>145 wandering_star: I’ve read all her books including A Town Called Solace. I love her writing, but this wasn’t my favourite of hers (Crow Lake was better). I was a little surprised to see it on the list.

Edited… hmmm, I thought I read them all but apparently I missed one. I’ll have to track a copy down.

Jul. 27, 10:34pm

Everyone is inspiring me to pull out my copy of Crow Lake. I've wanted to read it for years, but I always shy away because it looks so bleak.

Gestern, 6:37am

>141 kidzdoc: Looks a great long list. I haven’t read any as yet but we do own Klara and the sun and Light Perpetual. I’m also particularly looking forward to Great Circle and The Fortune Men, especially the latter as it is set in Cardiff.

Gestern, 8:44am

>146 kidzdoc: Hmm...It looks to me like Richard Powers book Bewilderment won't be released in the US until Sept.? Yours must be a pre-order? It's one I'm looking forward to reading.

I'll also put my hand up for Mary Lawson. She's an accomplished writer and I look forward to reading A Town Called Solace as well.

Heute, 7:14am

>146 kidzdoc: Oh I missed that Damon Galgut was on there - I really like his writing too. I think I've read 3 titles by him - probably long overdue getting back to him.