Berly's 100 for 2009

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Berly's 100 for 2009

Dieses Thema ruht momentan. Die letzte Nachricht liegt mehr als 90 Tage zurück. Du kannst es wieder aufgreifen, indem du eine neue Antwort schreibst.

1Berly
Bearbeitet: Aug. 19, 2009, 11:53pm

I joined LT in December 2008, and I clearly stated that I wasn't going to set a goal because I didn't want reading to become another "have-to" in life. However, at my current rate, I am comfortable that I will reach the goal of 100 this year. :) So, now that I feel safe about my reading numbers and because I would like the interaction with other readers (your personal invitation to leave a message), here goes my first thread!




My Rating System:
***** excellent, go get it!
**** very good
*** still enjoyable
** disappointing
* not worth finishing

2009 Books
August
65. Into the Beautiful North, Luis Alberto Urea reading
64. The Almost Moon, Alice Sebold ***
63. The Twin, Gerbrand Bakker *****
62. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Austen and Smith *
61. A Will and A Way, Nora Roberts ***
60. Opposites Attract, Nora Roberts ***
July
59. Same Kind of Different as Me, Ron Hall & Denver Moore ****
58. The 39 Clues, One False Note, Gordon Kormon ROL
57. The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett ****
56. The Lost City of Z, David Grann ****
55. Guarding the Rock, Ernest Larson **
54. Inkspell, Cornelia Funke *****
June
53. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Sherman Alexie *****
52. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz *
51. Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors, Jenny Nimmo ***1/2
50. Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson ****
49. Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy ****
48. Always Looking Up, Michael J. Fox ****
47. Inkheart, Cornelia Funke *****
46. Lucky Girl, Mei-Ling Hopgood ***
May
45. A Reliable Wife, Robert Goolrick ****
44. Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 5, Diterlizzi ****
43. Second Glance, Jodi Picoult ***1/2
42. The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri **
41. Treasures, Nora Roberts **1/2
40. The Girls From Ames, Jeffrey Zaslow *
39. Blue Shoes and Happiness, Alexander McCall Smith **
38. Truth and Beauty, Ann Patchett ***1/2
Jan-April
37. Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 4 ****
(I do read out loud to my kids at night)
36. Last Night in Montreal, Emily St John Mandel ****1/2
35. The Last Bridge, Teri Coyne ****1/2
34. The Secret Scripture, Sebastian Barry ****
33. Handle with Care, Jodi Picoult ****
32. A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Diana Gabaldon *** 1/2
31. Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 3 *** 1/2
30. Sunnyside reading
29. Wall of White, Jennifer Woodlief ****
28. Yoga Anatomy, Leslie Kaminoff ****
23-27. House of Night Series, Books 1-5 *** to ****
22. Passing Strange, Martha Sandweiss **
21. Nineteen Minutes, Jodi Picoult **** 1/2
20. The McKade Brothers, Nora Roberts *** 1/2
19. Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy, Nimmo ****
18. The River of Doubt, Candice Millard ****
17. The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 2, Diterlizzi ****
16. A Thousand Splendid Suns, Hosseini ****1/2
15. The Omnivore's Dilemma ***1/2
14. Lamb, Christopher Moore *****
13. The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 1, Diterlizzi ***1/2
12. Tinkers, Paul Harding *****
11. Outliers, The Story of Success, M. Gladwell ****1/2
10. Dewey,The Smalltown Library Cat, Vicki Myron ***
9. The Book Thief, Marcus Zusak *****
8. Alcatraz, The True End of the Line, Darwin Coon **1/2
7. Dreams from My Father, Barack Obama ****
6. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, Julia Alvarez ***
5. Fugitive Pieces, Anne Michaels **
4. In Defense of Food, Pollan ****
3. The Shack by William P. Young *****
2. Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling **1/2
1. Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell ***

2rainpebble
Bearbeitet: Mai 1, 2009, 7:46pm

Berly, I am glad you finally bit the bullet and joined us. You are off to a fantastic start and I think you will find that you'll really enjoy yourself and get a lot of encouragement from the other LTers. I know I have.
Welcome and enjoy.
N/B

3Berly
Mai 2, 2009, 12:15am

Thanks for the warm welcome! I am really enjoying the whole LibraryThing thing. And one of my proudest accomplishments is figuring out how to post the little ticker counter up top. Now I feel like I'm the real deal!

4rainpebble
Mai 2, 2009, 1:17am

YOU GO GIRL!~!

5Berly
Mai 3, 2009, 12:04pm

I am trying to write reviews for books as I read them (mostly so I can remember them myself later on!). Here's my latest:
Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
This memoir shares the friendship between Ann Patchett and Lucy Grealy, both writers. Lucy had cancer as a child and as a result lost most of her jaw and teeth. She is a pixie, both slight of weight and full of energy. Her ongoing struggles with medical issues are second to her emotional instability: there is never enough love to make Lucy feel treasured and beautiful. She is most comfortable in the hospital and around doctors because she understands the rules there: be stoic, follow the rules, don't question the doctors, be a good patient. She feels special and unique in the medical setting. In life, she strives to always surround herself with people and forget her ever-changing face and her loneliness.

The book lives in the space where these two lives intersected, and portrays their friendship as very tight, even possessively so at times. " 'Do you love me? She threw one leg over mine and in doing so managed to swallow up all the air in the restaurant.' " This obsessive need for Ann's undying affection is also reflected in Lucy's letters (which I loved), interspersed throughout the book. I have heard that Ann is not mentioned very much in Lucy Grealy's Autobiography of a Face and I am interested to read that soon and see how the two stories diverge. A good read.

6Berly
Mai 3, 2009, 8:30pm

In Blue Shoes and Happiness (Alexander McCall Smith) The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency with Mma Ramotswe returns again! I have enjoyed this series so much, but this one was a let-down. It has all the same characters, all the same places, so it should have been charming. Unfortunately, I found the "mysteries" weak and I think I was just not in the right place to read it. Rats.

7Berly
Mai 16, 2009, 6:44pm

So, I have hit a reading bog. Two no-so-great books in a row. First was The Girls From Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow. I had high hopes for this book. Jeffrey Zaslow co-authored The Last Lecture, which I loved! Alas. This book is the story of an amazing life-long friendships between a group of 11 women. I would love to meet these women, or perhaps see their relationships explored in a movie; but as a book, it just didn't cut it. I wasn't drawn into their lives and I didn't even finish the book. So sad.

Then I read Treasures, by Nora Roberts. Okay, it's totally romantic drivel: every now and then I enjoy some. But this one was a dud. Sigh.

The third is a charm, so they say, so I am off to my next book with unbounded optimism!

8richardderus
Mai 19, 2009, 3:53pm

Oh drat. Aren't book bogs awful? The trouble with Alexander McCall Smith lately, it seems to me, is that he's too busy being famous to be the writer he once was. Read my review of The Right Attitude to Rain for my first inkling of this.

I, on the other hand, have been on a roll!! I loved Slow Reading, adored Mistress of the Art of Death, and am enchanted (so far) with With Music and Justice for All.

Nyah nyah nyah.

9Berly
Mai 20, 2009, 1:16pm

http://www.clipartof.com/details/emoticon/1130.html

This is me being jealous of you...or at least it will be if the artwork shows up!

10Berly
Mai 20, 2009, 1:20pm

That was a less than satisfactory computer experience and did not have the desired effect. I feel so deflated. : ( My books suck, my artwork didn't show up...Woe is me.

11richardderus
Mai 20, 2009, 3:35pm

Aha! I can educate! If you will PM me your email addy, I will share the code that posts graphics! Also the one for hyperlinks, but that's only because I have them stored on the same document for convenience's sake.

I can't post them even on the PMs because the site thinks I am trying to post a picture or make a hyperlink and it gets too confusing to write instructions on what to take out if I make sneaky changes.

12Berly
Mai 28, 2009, 1:58pm

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lariri. She won the Pulitzer for her short story collection, but I have to say this was disappointing. The story follows Gogol, whose parents are immigrants from India, through childhood into his thirties. Gogol is not happy with his name; does not understand his parents; doesn't feel like he fits in America; fails in his love life. Unhappiness and dissatisfaction abound. There wasn't much dialogue and everything else is written from a third person point of view, which did not help me feel emotionally attached to the main character. A disappointing book.

13Berly
Mai 28, 2009, 2:05pm

Second Glance, by Jodi Picoult, was a satisfying, light summer read. This book explores the disturbing history of eugenics in a small town in Vermont; it is also a ghost story and a love story, not that the latter two are mutually exclusive as you will see if you dare (goosebumps and shivers here) to read this book! Fun.

14Berly
Mai 28, 2009, 2:05pm

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

15richardderus
Mai 28, 2009, 2:20pm

Wow, Berly, I had such a different response to The Namesake that I can't begin to imagine how to share it...at its base, I felt Gogol's dissatisfaction and disenchantment and disenfranchisement from his world, including his parents and especially his neither-fish-nor-fowl-ness in his homelands was such an integral part of his identity as "Gogol"...well, it was such an aptly titled book, I was enjoying its seamlessness.

How different a book looks to different people! What a delight it is to know that others, reading the same words that you are, come up with such divergent takes on them. Keeps me interested in reading, writing, and people.

16Berly
Mai 28, 2009, 2:38pm

Yes, but he was unhappy as Gogol, not much better as Nikhil, and then almost yearns for his childhood name again when he finally delves into the Overcoat in the book left to him by his father many years ago. Do you feel a sense of hope at the end when Gogol reads Gogol? Has he finally found himself? I think not. He's still alone, disconnected from those around him. I just found the whole thing so depressing. But I am glad you liked it and I ask you to explain your enthusiasm further...

17richardderus
Mai 28, 2009, 2:46pm

I was depressed by his attitude, too! He creates his own fog of gloom, this man, and he revels in it in his own low-energy way.

I don't ask stories to be hopeful or positive or redemptive, if that's not consistent with the author's created world. I want to get into the head of a character, to experience the world as the character does, to make this kind of inward-spiral novel satisfying to me. I think Lahiri does this with Gogol (I don't buy any other name for him, sorry, don't care what he calls himself, nope he's Gogol) in a very intense and moving way.

That said, there are books that I tire of which do this sort of despair-and-depression thing (eg, Death on the Installment Plan) and simply stop caring about their protagonists. That wasn't the case here, though I can see the story isn't for everyone.

18nancyewhite
Mai 29, 2009, 3:51pm

Hi Beryl - I'm eager to hear your opinion of A Reliable Wife. I'm one of the ones who really enjoyed it, but it is a controversial book for sure.

19Berly
Mai 30, 2009, 7:27pm

Richard--

I don't ask for happiness from my books -- I am enthralled by my depressing Russian authors! However, I never felt a closeness to Gogol (and, yes, I agree with you: he was not Nikhil) and was never swept into his world. Of course, I did approach this book with a chip on my shoulder. It was never a book that beckoned to me, rather it badgered me into reading it. It looked at me sullenly from my TBR pile for months before I caved in to guilt and read it.

In contrast, I am thoroughly enjoying A Reliable Wife (thanks for the comment Nancy!). These people wade through lives drowning in regret. They long to touch, to love, and yet they each have their unique prisons of loneliness. The plot never seems to quite go where I expect it to, which is a real feat. Although the continuous sexuality hangs a little heavy, I am turning the pages as fast as I can steal away to read it!

And I have to thank my very cool husband for this book. It is part of a program through Powell's Book Store called Indiespensible Books and I receive one about every month or two. They have been some of my best reads this year. Thanks!

20Donna828
Mai 30, 2009, 8:26pm

Wow! A husband who encourages reading. Lucky you. I've never heard of the Indiespensible Book Program, but it sounds like something I need in my life. Is it like a Book-of-the Month Club? I respect the Indie Next recommendations. I just wish my city still had an independent bookstore.

21Berly
Mai 30, 2009, 11:46pm

This is from their website: "Powell's Indiespensable Book Club delivers the best new books, with special attention to independent publishers. Signed first editions. Inventive, original sets. Exclusive printings.... Every six weeks, another installment to read and admire. Plus, every package is stocked with exciting surprises: bonus DVDs or CDs, prepublication copies of books we're looking forward to, mugs, posters, chocolate..." Some of my favorites have included Water for Elephants, Tinkers, Clown Girl, Crow Road. Go check it out!

22Berly
Mai 30, 2009, 11:50pm

Hey Richard! Look! I have touchstones in my comment above. Ha, Ha!

23richardderus
Jun. 1, 2009, 11:47am

>22 Berly: Coolio! And the Indiespensable program is a huge plus...would that more indies could afford to do such a thing. I would, if I had the spondulix, support a kind of BOMC-through-the-bookstore idea, aimed at indies...members of this Indiespensable club would get their pilf directly from the local indie, with the revenue being shared.

>20 Donna828: Donna, ain't that the sad-but-common truth. Chains dominate, as inevitably they must, because they have a commanding advantage in funding. Where is there a recovery plan for towns and cities that offers grants, not loans, to businesses like bookstores?! Why is this not a public priority?!

>19 Berly: Berly my dove, if a book glowers sullenly at you, pass it on to a deserving stranger, put it in the bin, or simply chuck it in the fireplace...but don't read it! Too many books, too little time. I have a finite number of eyeblinks to spend, and off-peak experiences (unless Early Reviewer or Member Giveaway titles) ain't worth it. Cultivate this attitude sooner rather than later, and you won't be dandling a grandchild on one knee and grumpily reading a crappy book propped on the other (this actually happened to me, it was a wake-up call!).

24Berly
Jun. 7, 2009, 4:28pm

Book #46 Lucky Girl is the enjoyable story of a normal, well-loved girl who discovers her birth family in her twenties. Two of my three children are adopted and I like to read other stories of adoption. I appreciated Mei-Ling Hopgood's experiences growing up racially different in Detriot, MI in the 70's and 80's. I also loved how she vividly conveyed the culture of China and Taiwan when she went back to visit her new-found family. I only hope I can encourage my kids to seek answers to their questions as openly and with as much love as Mei-Ling's mom, Chris! Worth reading.

Book #47 "Every book should begin with attractive endpapers," he had once told Meggie. "Preferably in a dark color: dark red or dark blue, depending on the binding. When you open the book it's like going to the theater. First you see the curtain. Then it's pulled aside and the show begins." Silvertongue/Mo from Inkheart

An unforgettable cast of characters, great adventure, and lots of imagination make this one of my new favorite books. Meggie's Dad, Mo, has the gift of reading characters to life, from their world into ours. Some want nothing more than to go back home, others enjoy their new world, and still others will stop at nothing to control Silvertongue's power. First rate! I didn't want the show to end. ( )

25richardderus
Jun. 8, 2009, 3:57pm

I now must read Inkheart. You, Madam Berly, have a lot to answer for! (Bless your li'l ole heart anyway!)

26rainpebble
Jun. 8, 2009, 5:13pm

I don't know St. Richard---it sounds like it might just be a really "good" book! Then where would you be? Hmmmmmmm???
No curmudgeonliness!~!
belva :-(

27richardderus
Jun. 8, 2009, 8:52pm

No curmudgeonliness!~!

And start an entirely new way of life at this age?! Heeelll no!

28wookiebender
Jun. 8, 2009, 10:18pm

Oh, I thought Inkheart was marvellous too. I've got the sequel teetering on a pile of TBR books somewhere...

And can I just say I love that "Indispensible" program! My local bookshop just suckers me in with tempting displays and green "staff recommendation" stickers (and they're yet to steer me wrong, it's a rare day I get out of there with my budget unscathed), but I love the idea of a surprise package in the mail! I signed up to a similar thing many years ago with a jazz music shop in the city and once a month got a great CD from them. Alas, that was pre-children, when my disposable income was disposable, instead of being spent on childcare and all the other costs of small children!

29Berly
Bearbeitet: Jun. 9, 2009, 11:11pm

R-- Why do you have trouble finding "good" books? I am truly sorry to hear that. And what do you mean at THIS age (implying that you are oh so old...which I cannot accept since according to your thread your birth year is only 4 years before mine!)?

Belva -- Don't encourage him to give up being curmudgeonly, even if he finds a good book. I don't want him to change his witty, scathing, insightful reviews -- they are so wonderful!

Wookie-- I think moms need to stay sane and put a little something aside for themselves (like surprise book packages!): it makes them much nicer to their children. LOL. And thanks for dropping in!

I am currently reading Always Looking Up. Not a stellar read, but enjoyable thus far. More later...

30richardderus
Jun. 10, 2009, 12:14am

Oh my. You have reached the stage of life where the uplifting tale of a celebrity's incurably optimistic approach to a fatal disease fails to bring forth your inner Dorothy Parker (her review of Winnie-the-Pooh, in its entirety: "Tonstant Weader fwowed up.")...and you wonder why I, a scant four years your senior, start sentences with, "At my age..." or "at this point in life"? Think on it....

As to being scathingly curmudgeonly, anyone who's known me for long can tell you there is not the slightest risk I will change that ingrained characteristic. I am the one who, when his then-son-in-law made a ruckus, said to the man's mother, "Why must the lower classes shout? We certainly don't need to hear their every so-called thought."

Actually, I prettied that up some...I said, "soi-disant thought" to a woman whose cultural furniture comes from Wal-Mart. I think my curmudgeonhood is running as deep as my elitism.

31wookiebender
Jun. 10, 2009, 12:52am

Berly, my occasional visits to the bookshop do help me keep sane. Especially if I go there without the kids, otherwise the whole trip is spent with "this is not a library... yes, you can have that book... no only one book... no you can't have a DVD... hang on, *I* haven't looked at any books yet!!" (and when they were younger: "don't chew the books!!!").

32Berly
Jun. 10, 2009, 1:44am

Belva-- I take it back. Have at it. Chastise, tease, and flummox as much as you want. Richard is a self-declared intractable curmudgeon.

Richard-- and I am happy he is so.

Wookie-- LOL. Yes, visiting the bookstore without kids is especially nice. It's like the difference between a) giving the kids a bath after they have played a muddy soccer game and b) taking a bubble bath, alone, by candlelight, with a nice glass of wine. The latter is FAR more rejuvenating.

Don't get me wrong...I love to explore the kid's section and I read aloud to my youngest two, but I am also thrilled that my oldest and I are now swapping books.

Back to Richard-- Always Looking Up reveals an intelligent man dealing with a horrific disease in a truly optimistic way, but so far it's just kinda dry...dry, self-depracating sense of humor (on Michael's part), dry eyes (on my part). Of course I am just starting the section on politics and our last President's administration, which might just get me all worked up...

33richardderus
Jun. 10, 2009, 10:07am

>32 Berly: if Shrub's kleptocracy and reverse meritocracy doesn't get you worked up, nothing short of nuclear war will. The long national nightmare is still in progress...see the newspaper, the 10 biggest banks are officially cut loose from strict supervision again, oh boy oh boy!

I despair some days.

34Berly
Jun. 10, 2009, 3:04pm

33- There was heavy sarcasm on my "might" get me all worked up. I am upset over his heavy hand blending of church and state, his squashing of stem cell research (as is MJF), his anti-gay stance, the reversal of environmental protections, heck , let's throw Wall Street and the economy in there! I am now hyperventilating! And let's not bring up nuclear war...have you been listening to the North Korea kidnapping?

Breath in ...breath out...

Have a nice day!

35richardderus
Jun. 10, 2009, 3:07pm

Have a nice day!

Where's my smiley emoticon?

;-)

36Berly
Bearbeitet: Jun. 10, 2009, 4:37pm



This is before cleansing breath...

37Berly
Bearbeitet: Jun. 10, 2009, 4:41pm

38richardderus
Jun. 10, 2009, 5:53pm

That last one is a little teensy oochkin scary, dear...looks like the serial killer smiley....

39Berly
Jun. 10, 2009, 6:58pm

Never mind that...you are supposed to be proud of me for figuring out how to get the little guy there in the first place! I am not really hip to all this computer stuff. (Thanks for your cheat sheet!)

40richardderus
Jun. 10, 2009, 11:35pm

Velcome, uffcawss. (think in bad German accent)

That cheat sheet is a life saver, ain't she?

41rainpebble
Jun. 11, 2009, 12:55pm

Hey, what about this girl??
I wanna cheat sheet too!~!
Does it show you how to put those cool stuffs on the threads? And how to use italics? (kind of feeling left out here you guys)
belva

42richardderus
Jun. 11, 2009, 3:33pm

Belva, post to me your email address in a private message and I'll send you the cheat sheet too. There...all better now?

43Berly
Jun. 12, 2009, 1:20am

It's too late at night for my next book review, but I have just enough energy for this...

For you Belva! (Isn't Richard a reeeaaally nice curmudgeon? He might just lose his rep soon....)--

44rainpebble
Jun. 12, 2009, 12:40pm

Berly;
He is an amazingly nice curmudgeon. **shhh**
(we cannot allow the loss of his rep to occur)
He enjoys being "evil".
later babe,
belva

45Berly
Jun. 12, 2009, 12:48pm

I remember as my grandfather got older, that he walked stooped over, with slow shuffling steps. But what I remember most was the twinkle in his eye. He had Parkinson’s and that twinkle told me “Heh! I am still in here, let’s play.” I loved my grandpa and I loved Michael J Fox’s new book, Always Looking Up, The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist. MJF’s dry humor and warm intelligence lead us through his life over the past eight years through four lenses: Work, Politics, Faith and Family. His journey reminds me slightly of the path of a medicated Parkinson’s patient “these steps are rapid, wide, and looping, with a dramatic lurching from side to side corrected by the occasional backward step….the trip may take the dyskinetic patient to each corner of the room and into contact with every wall and windowsill before he or she reaches the door, takes several stabs at the doorknob, finally finds purchase, and flings it open.” (p. 123) MJF touches on so many aspects of his life, and when the door is “opened” at the end of the book? MJF is a happy soul and I am glad to have traversed the room with him. There is no embarrassment in his journey and much joy. I even liked the section on politics (a topic sure to depress me most days). I am left with two uplifting memories: MJF headed off to the polls during the recent election with a t-shirt emblazoned with “Barrack to the Future” and his adoring kids calling him with great affection “Shaky Dad.” We simply have to find a way to fund and increase stem cell research. So many people’s lives will be positively impacted. Worth reading!

46richardderus
Jun. 12, 2009, 1:51pm

Ahhh jeez. I might have to read this stupid thing now. Thanks heaps, Berly. No, really. Thanks. From the bottom of my coueur mechant.

*grumble*

47rainpebble
Jun. 12, 2009, 8:09pm

Really good review Berly. As I read it, I could envision the trek across the room and the exulting at having succeeded on his own.
You go girl!~!

48Berly
Jun. 19, 2009, 12:17pm

I am having trouble writing my review for Autobiography of a Face, by Lucy Grealy, because I am so afraid I will not do it justice. This is a beautiful, brave and candid memoir of Lucy’s battle with cancer and subsequent multiple surgeries. It is not maudlin, but witty and insightful. I was afraid to read it, because I, too, grew up with lots of medical issues and I didn’t want to plumb those angry, fearful memories again. Did it touch upon those raw nerves? Yes, but just a touch. I found myself focused more intently on the beauty of her writing, and that would have made Grealy so happy. In the afterward, Lucy’s friend Ann Patchett explains that during her book readings, Lucy “was not there as a role model for overcoming obstacles. She was a serious writer, and she wanted her book to be judged for its literary merit and not its heartbreaking content.” Done! I loved it. Her voice is honest and lyric and her book is so much more than a medical diary. She delves inside the pain of being different, the secret desire to be perfect, and the ways in which our parents and circumstances shape (sometimes unwittingly) who we become.

One more point before I go. Patchett also wrote a book, entitled Truth and Beauty in which she shares Lucy’s life from her point of view as a friend in college and graduate school. Several people have said that they found it strange that Patchett is not mentioned in Grealy’s book. Not so much. Autobiography of a Face is centered far more on Lucy’s childhood and her family and Patchett entered the picture much later. I will say that I far prefer the character of Grealy in her own book, rather than the needy, sex-driven girl portrayed in Patchett’s book. An interesting contrast none-the-less.

49Berly
Jun. 19, 2009, 12:24pm

Whoo-hoo!! Half way there.

50richardderus
Jun. 19, 2009, 12:48pm

Berly-boo, what a lovely way to describe a book: "Her voice is honest and lyric...She delves inside the pain of being different, the secret desire to be perfect, and the ways in which our parents and circumstances shape (sometimes unwittingly) who we become."

I now know that I must read this book. I would ordinarily give it a wide berth because it sounds like one of those "oh-poor-me" tales, but your review puts a precise, pin-point accurate picture of the beauty your found here into my head.

Well done, and thanks.

51Berly
Jun. 19, 2009, 9:08pm

Sir Richard-- Thanks for your kind words: praise from you is truly treasured. *beaming smile*

52Berly
Jun. 19, 2009, 9:19pm


I just read Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson and it was really, really good! Rather than voice the truth, Melinda chokes back her words until they don’t come anymore. An amazing look at how trauma can isolate the victim from friends and family as well as a fiendishly realistic immersion in high school drama, lingo and insecurities. The book has a certain lightness to it that makes the tragedy bearable: I mean, how can you NOT laugh at such characters as Hairwoman (her English teacher) and Mr. Neck (Social Studies)? I definitely want my sixteen-year-old to read it. An absolute 5 Star!


53richardderus
Jun. 20, 2009, 1:24pm

Speak, on the other hand, I shall avoid like it has syphilis lesions. High school *shudder* is thirty-two years behind me and still has the power to make me cringe.

54Berly
Jun. 20, 2009, 5:17pm

Dear Boy, Did you have a traumatizing time of it?! (Don't we all?) How can it have been so long ago? We are still so young!

55richardderus
Jun. 20, 2009, 6:11pm

I hated school, and I loathed my peers. I wanted to be with my boyfriend, a 27yr old who liked to smack me around when he got drunk; I thought that was how it was supposed to work, what did I know I was 16. Going home to mama was an adventure in emotional and sexual abuse; my sisters were grown and gone and not all that available; my father was so scared of my mother that, in spite of my stepmother's clear and unambiguous denunciation of my mother's sexual antics with me (takes one to know one, her ex-husband did it to her oldest daughter), said {this is a quote} "She'll make my life a living hell if I keep him."

That's what high school meant to me.

A long, long, long time later, I can forgive everyone except my father. So to me, it feels like forever ago. And good riddance to auld lang syne!

Not, of course, that you asked.

56Berly
Jun. 20, 2009, 6:44pm

Wow. You DID have a traumatizing time of it. SOOOOOOO sorry. All condescension removed. My high school traumas were all nerd-based (highest SAT Score out of class of 726) and medically related. Not that big a deal.

I give you kudos for figuring out your orientation at a young age...my brother didn't until grad school at which point he fearfully came out to me and I was like, "Took you long enough!"

I must say, the end result -- the man your are today -- is simply stellar! Your wit and unrivaled honesty have completely won me over. I so enjoy your company. In fact, I must officially ask you to be my LT Friend (not to compete with the Divine Miss!). You'll have to check your profile page...

xoxo

57richardderus
Jun. 20, 2009, 8:28pm

The Divine Miss has no competition, dear Berly.

I typed a long response to your post, and LT in its infinite unstable wisdom, ate it.

I can summarize as follows: 1) You are quite extraordinary among people; 2) you have my full and engaged attention; 3) you make me think that, in the Cosmic Scheme, there is such a thing as beauty; and 4) if life had justice in it, you and I would live close enough to share real, fresh coffee followed by real, fresh shortbread (I refer you to cameling for references as to my shortbread) on a daily basis.

When and if your own reasons for difference want to be known, you can count on me to be there to listen with love.

xoxo

58Berly
Jun. 20, 2009, 8:57pm

R-
"The Divine Miss has no competition, dear Berly." Exactly what I meant by my unclear parenthetical!

As for the rest, I am really touched. No, seriously Richard, I got teary. Thank you.

Here's to someday sharing fresh coffee and shortbread.

59richardderus
Jun. 20, 2009, 9:35pm

Ooo, cool! So when I come to Portland to visit my friend Cris, I should look you up?

60Berly
Jun. 20, 2009, 10:18pm

Absolutely, Positively!!!

61Whisper1
Jun. 21, 2009, 12:20am

Hi Berly
I found you and you are now starred. I will visit here often.


62Berly
Jun. 21, 2009, 11:54am

W1 -- How nice to see you! Your stars are lovely and I look forward to your visits. Thanks.

So I am a third of the way through The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. The Prologue was off-putting. All that tiny print about people I have never heard of (which should be educational, but didn't really sink in...) and Spanish phrases thrown in (huh?). The story, is weird so far, and told in three voices, no four -- I forgot the Prologue. I have to finish the darn thing for my book group next week. Maybe it gets better?

Also wrapping up a ROL book with my daughter, Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors. More on that one later...

63bonniebooks
Jun. 21, 2009, 7:07pm

Berly, how did this happen? I just discovered that you have been posting away since May on this 100-book thread totally unbeknownst to me! I'm gonna have to get out more often! :-) Re: The Brief Wondrous... I always prefer one voice as well and was initially jarred and disappointed by the first change. Ended up glad I read it, but I know my son is going to like it even more.

Loved the YA book, Speak, both for how the author portrayed high school, but also for how "the event" (don't want to be a spoiler), and why people are treating her the way they are, and why she is behaving the way she is, is slowly revealed. It just put me, the reader, right into the middle of her shock, confusion, discomfort, shame, etc., and was so effective for getting across that this is how people behave when these kinds of things happen to them. I know a lot of girls who have read it--I wish it was required reading for freshman boys!

I'm not going to comment on every book you've read here, but can say that I totally agree with your comments about Ann Patchett's description of her friend. I remember questioning why Patchett wrote her book. Do you think there was a bit of passive agressiveness/jealousy/martyrdom going on there? And some "What you see is who you are" kind of thinking and talking? I didn't really like the book or I'd go back and read a bit to try to remember what I thought. I remember I eventually got bored with the book and don't understand at all its favorable reviews.

Well, on that positive note... :-) will end by saying, you won't get away from me again!

64Berly
Jun. 22, 2009, 1:10am

65Berly
Jun. 22, 2009, 1:15am

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

66bonniebooks
Jun. 22, 2009, 1:19am

OK, Berly! Just spit it out! ;-) Third time's the charm!

67Berly
Jun. 22, 2009, 1:55am

Ha!! Those were technical difficulties. And for the sake of keeping my thread from looking ridiculous, I switched to working out the bugs on my profile page. If you check out my profile page now, you will see that I have successfully managed to post a bookcover!!! So, prepare to be impressed when my next review here has a bookcover....The amazing, magical Berly!! Coming soon to a thread near you! LOL

68mckait
Jun. 22, 2009, 6:39am

*waves* after catching up :)

69Whisper1
Jun. 22, 2009, 9:01am

Hi Berly
You can also import book covers on your 100 challenge group, using the same instructions given yesterday.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

70Berly
Bearbeitet: Jun. 22, 2009, 11:16am

#63 Bonnie. Sorry girl, when I was trying to post my bookcover and it didn't work, it kinda also ate my warm welcome to you. OOPS!

It is so nice to see you on my thread. :) I look forward to our conversations here, but that doesn't mean we get to skip on our profile meetings. Deal?

#68 McKait, is that like a stadium wave or a princess in a motorcade wave? Nice to see you here, too!

#69 Thanks W1. I know that...I just need a review to go with it! LOL

71Berly
Jun. 22, 2009, 11:27am



Ta-Da!!

Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors, book four in the series, continues the story of the children of the Red King, who are all endowed with magical powers of one kind or another. Charlie, the main character, can look at pictures and hear the subject’s thoughts therin. The children all attend Bloor’s Academy and the good children battle the evil ones, solving mysteries and saving other people. The series is entertaining and bears a lot of resemblance to Harry Potter, but it is written on a much more simplistic level, both in terms of plot and vocabulary. I have been reading it out loud (ROL) to my daughter and it has been a very enjoyable bedtime ritual. She wants the next one for her upcoming birthday, so I’d say that’s a strong endorsement!

72Berly
Jun. 22, 2009, 11:30am

You may think the image is a little large, but I was going for visual impact on my new magician's trick. Tee-hee!

73Berly
Bearbeitet: Jun. 22, 2009, 11:34am

Here is my next trick...The disappearing book. It's getting smaller and smaller....

74Berly
Bearbeitet: Jun. 22, 2009, 11:43am

And now it's gone!

Takes a bow.

75bonniebooks
Bearbeitet: Jun. 22, 2009, 11:40am

WOW! **head snaps back in amazement, goes away to get ice for potential whiplash, comes back to read review** Looks good, Berly! I'll have to check out the series for my students who aren't quite ready for Harry Potter but want to get into the fray.

LOL! Edited to register witnessing second amazing trick! Does that work with people? I'm ready to be your guinea pig!

76Berly
Jun. 22, 2009, 11:42am

Sorry about the whiplash...

77richardderus
Jun. 22, 2009, 11:44am

Hey! Can you make my baldness disappear? How 'bout the 320 extra pounds I carry around? Oh wait...that's The Divine Miss and my sainted aunt....

78Berly
Jun. 22, 2009, 11:50am

The Divine Miss is bald and your Sainted Aunt weighs 320 pounds? Be nice, young man! And perhaps you should see a psychiatrist if you are having transference issues. ;)

79bonniebooks
Jun. 22, 2009, 11:50am

No, No! Looked great in all sizes. That's my mediocre attempt at trying to be funny. I'm inspired actually and am going to start adding book images to thread #2 on my 50-Book Challenge--if/when I finally get around to it; I've been avoiding my own thread quite successfully! :-)

80richardderus
Jun. 22, 2009, 11:54am

LOL

No, my sainted Aunt only weighs 200lb. And she's 4ft11in. Poor lamb. It's hard for her to move that much avoirdupois around.

The Divine Miss, far from being bald, is in medias res of changing hair colors. From dark, to less dark with pretty blondish highlights. Ultimately, back to blondish brownish...a kind of pongee shade, I think is the best description, but whenever I use it, she smacks me.

81Berly
Jun. 22, 2009, 12:00pm

Wimp! The pressure is on because now that I know you have a thread I am going to be keeping an eye on you...dunt dunt dahn (or however you spell that).

82richardderus
Jun. 22, 2009, 10:43pm

Never seen it written out before so I can't say...but I knew immediately what you meant, so that works!

*mutters into beard*

wimp indeed, I'll fix her little red wagon, I'l hit the ignore button on her profile, yeah that's it

83rainpebble
Jun. 22, 2009, 11:07pm

you guys are making me change my sox again@!@ Knock off all the fun and laughter. I haven't that many pair left!~!

84Berly
Jun. 23, 2009, 12:48am

#83 Okay..unsolicited graphic violence. Where is this thread going to I ask you?

#82 It's the left wheel on the back. Needs a little oiling I think.

85mckait
Jun. 24, 2009, 6:45am

LOL @ entire thread~

86Whisper1
Jun. 24, 2009, 11:56am

Hi Berly

I'm enjoying your thread and the laughter. I see that members of our 75 challenge group have found you and delight in your warm, wonderful personality.

87Berly
Jun. 24, 2009, 11:38pm

McKait and W1-- Thanks so much for your kind words and for hanging out with me here. :)

Reading has been a little slow for me lately. I am plodding through the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar and I have to finish by tomorrow for book group. It has picked up a little (p 170 or thereabouts) when some of the narrative voices started to repeat, but truly this book is a challenge for me. I'll be interested to see how it ends and if my group enlightens me...Will review forthwith.

I am leaving on a family vacation to San Fran early next week, so I will be MIA for a while. Not sure how much reading I will get done on Alcatraz Island (since I will be a tourist and not incarcerated, thank you very much!), but I will, of course, bring some books with me just in case! We are also seeing Wicked -- so excited!!

88mckait
Jun. 25, 2009, 6:55am

oh! Have fun Berly :)

San Fran was my dads favorite city. I have never been.. but it does sound wonderful!

safe journey, ya hear?

89rainpebble
Bearbeitet: Jun. 25, 2009, 8:36am

Ohhhhhhhhh, San Francisco, fisherman's wharf, cable cars, where my dad, in his younger years sang in a speak easy.
You will have so much fun. I hope you really enjoy it. You will have to come back and tell us all about it.
We will be here waiting and wishing we were there.
belva

http://www.snapvine.com/bp/XUmL-jUEEd6PTAAwSFxx0g

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1XfVQDwuxw

90richardderus
Jun. 26, 2009, 3:07pm

Berly, while there, go up Green Street on Russian Hill, look on the left at about Jones Street anyway in the 900 block before the dead end...a three-story Victorian...my parents' first home in SFO bought in about 1953. Dunno what's happened since we were there last in 1992, when I took Bland to see the City before he died.

Have a wonderful time!

91Berly
Jun. 26, 2009, 8:21pm

#88 Thanks McKait. I finally figured out why I couldn't find your thread without a little help...it's under your first name! How was I supposed to know? LOL. Hope you are finding a little light in your day.

#89 Great songs, Belva!! I forwarded them on to the family we are meeting there. My youngest (8-yr-old boy) loved the first one. I loved the second. :)

#90 R, so nice to see you! I missed you. Hope you are back to normal, YOUR normal! I will take the directions with me and see if I can find time to take a peek. ;)

But I haven't left yet...working on a review

92mckait
Jun. 26, 2009, 8:59pm

oops! sorry berly-belle~

93Berly
Jun. 26, 2009, 9:02pm

It's all good--I found you!

94Berly
Jun. 26, 2009, 9:03pm



The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz.

So, I finally finished The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. The Prologue was off-putting. All that tiny print about people I have never heard of (which should have been educational, but didn't really sink in...) and Spanish phrases thrown in (huh?) everywhere. This chica doesn’t ablo and I felt a lot of key points were made in Spanish and I missed them all! The story is weird and depressing, and told in three voices, no four -- I forgot the unidentified Prologue voice. Okay, well it is identified, but only much later. Did I learn anything about the Dominican Republic during this time period? Yes, but I would have rather read a textbook. The only reason I finished the darn thing was so I wouldn’t be a slacker in my book group. STOP. Skip the next paragraph if you don’t want the ending spoiled.

The characters all have tragic lives. There’s no real redemption at the end. Oscar finally finds “true love” and then dies for it. On second thought, it’s not really a spoiler: Oscar has a “Brief Wondrous Life,” remember? It says so in the title.

Spoiler over…There’s lots of crude language. The prominent family in the story is haunted by a fukú, which I guess means they are cursed, or fu**ed as the case may be. That’s how I felt having to read this book. Put me in a right bad mood. Normally I only give a one-star for books I don’t finish, and I did actually finish this, but it still gets only one star because I was so irritated by it.

95richardderus
Jun. 27, 2009, 4:57am

>94 Berly: Berliner, (as in "ich bin ein") or if we're English-only in this thread, "My itty frosted jelly donut":

Este chico habla espanol, pero no me gusto este libro. I don't find it incomprehensible to be confronted with Spanish words and phrases; I find it annoying to be confronted with pretentious, self-important maunderings bleated by silly little boys which are then presented as Quality Literature, which Gawd knows they are NOT.

"Drown" was published like 10-15 years ago, and it took him this arduously long to labor mightily and bring forth this mouse?! Mercy. One shudders to think what Tom-Wolfe-ian prodigies of word-vomit his hard drive contains.

96Berly
Jun. 27, 2009, 6:32am

Where were you when we were making book club selections? You could have saved me the agony! I think I will skip "Drown." I don't want to wallow (drown) in any more of his shi*.

I really like your German translation. ;)

97mckait
Jun. 27, 2009, 6:53am

I like straightforwardness B..

keep up the good work

98Berly
Jun. 27, 2009, 6:58am

Thanks McKait. I am really feeling that woman-to-woman empowerment thing!

99mckait
Jun. 27, 2009, 6:59am

hang onto it , it is what keeps us afloat in the universe you know~~

100richardderus
Jun. 27, 2009, 10:28am

***AVOID WHITE TIGER BY THAT INDIAN CHAPPIE!!***

And wait just a consarned minnit here, you double-X-chromosome-bearing meanies! What about faggot-to-hag empowerment, huh?!? HUH?!

*grumbles*

get no respect around here, see if i ever post in EITHER of their threads again, rotten mean thing to say

101mckait
Jun. 27, 2009, 11:48am

hmmmmm looks like rd has got his back up a bit.

102Berly
Jun. 27, 2009, 8:40pm

Richard dear, if you send me a smiley (like #97) I am sure I'll feel something for you, too, depending on what you send... LOL.

McKait -- Not one I'd say "Here Kitty" to!

Lucky Message #100 Bonus Challenge in Honor of Richard (competition open to one and all): Say "You double-X-chromosome-bearing meanies" 7 times fast. Report back on times here.

My personal best is 10 seconds

103rainpebble
Jun. 27, 2009, 10:46pm

Ya-all are cracking me up!~!
Will there be prizes?
just askin'
belva

Let the fight commence!~!

104mckait
Jun. 28, 2009, 3:16pm

that looks like me at the end of a day at work...totally frazzled

105Berly
Jun. 28, 2009, 9:25pm

101, 104 No...that looks like me today! LMAO We are just about packed. Heading off tomorrow. Both hubbie and oldest are bringing computers, so I will see if I can steal some time on-line.

I finished Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and I loved it! I think the review will have to wait. I am bringing Inkspell (loved the first one, Inkheart) and The Angels' Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon who wrote The Shadow of the Wind, which I also adored! Doubt I will get through both, but I'd hate to be caught without! This is definitely not a relaxing reading trip...more like hike, explore, and be a picture-snapping tourist. Happy reading!

106rainpebble
Jul. 1, 2009, 3:57pm

Berly, I need to apologize. I still haven't got that book off. Taking care of 3 boys for 2 weeks plus my mother has set me back a bit. I have one I need to get off to thekoolaidmom also. I will try extremely hard to get them off tomorrow or Friday.
Sorry it is taking so long. They are packed up and ready. It is just getting there with all the kids, etc.
You take care.
belva

107rainpebble
Jul. 1, 2009, 3:58pm

Berly, I really need to apologize to you. I still haven't got that book posted. Taking care of 3 boys for 2 weeks plus my mother has set me back a bit. I have one I need to get off to thekoolaidmom also. I will try extremely hard to get them off tomorrow or Friday.
Sorry it is taking so long. They are packed up and ready. It is just getting there with all the kids, etc.
You take care.
belva

108richardderus
Jul. 1, 2009, 10:45pm

Hello the Berly/Mr. Berly house! Are you returned from your San Franciscan adventures all safe and sound?

Pettishly awaiting your next broadside,
RMD

109Berly
Jul. 3, 2009, 10:05pm

Hello from San Fran!! (I am stealing computer time from my husband...) I have decided that Hwy 101, although beautiful, is way too twisty windy to allow reading without developing a queasy stomach. :( But, the Redwood Forest was AMAZING! Today we say Alcatraz (and I picked up two more book in the gift shop) and rode the cable cars. It is totally packed for the fourth of July weekend here. Happy Fourth to you all!

B-- No worries on sending the book.

110richardderus
Jul. 3, 2009, 10:10pm

Ooo! Y'all drove 101! Brave, brave...my god, it is beautiful, isn't it?

The redwoods, my dear, the redwoods...what incredible *living things* they are! And it's not the right season, but someday you must see the monarch butterfly grove. WOW.

Glad you are the fun having!

111rainpebble
Jul. 3, 2009, 11:16pm

St. Richard is right. Hwy 101 is beautiful. I am glad you are having a lovely time.
I got the book off to you today. It may take a while to get there as I sent it (cheap me) media mail.
Wanted to let you know.
Travel safely and have a good 4th.
blub,
belva

112mckait
Jul. 4, 2009, 7:00am

113richardderus
Jul. 8, 2009, 11:34pm

Berly! You're worrying me. Are you home and safe? Speak to us, do!

114Berly
Jul. 9, 2009, 1:28am

I'm back! I'm exhausted. Drove straight thru from San Fran to Portland in one day. Looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight. :) Kids were great. Between loads of laundry, will try to post some more tomorrow. The trip was utterly fantastic. Missed you all!

115rainpebble
Jul. 10, 2009, 12:23am

Welcome home Berly. We missed you and hope you had a great trip!~!
belva


glitter-graphics.com

116richardderus
Jul. 10, 2009, 11:42am

Belva, is that bird Jewish? It looks like it's davening...what the devout do while praying.

117rainpebble
Jul. 10, 2009, 1:30pm

But of course, mine sveete.

118Berly
Jul. 12, 2009, 2:09am



The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.

Okay, can I just say that I loved this book! Junior, the hero of our story, lives on a reservation in Spokane, Washington. Although many of his peers also suffer from poverty, having alcoholic relatives and being American Indian, Junior also has medical issues and he is smart. He is the outcast among outcasts, picked on by everyone, except his family and his one best friend. Junior tries to change his life for the better and attend the neighboring all-white school to get a better education, which quickly changes his label from “loser” to “traitor.” He perseveres and rises above his personal tragedies and the trials and tribulations of adolescence with wit, humor and strength, rejecting the life laid out for him. The cartoon illustrations throughout the book are priceless. A must read.

119Berly
Jul. 12, 2009, 2:27am

Hey you two lovebirds...I'll have none of that on my thread!

120richardderus
Jul. 12, 2009, 9:40am

>119 Berly: Berly, that is so prudish! LOL

121rainpebble
Jul. 12, 2009, 12:23pm

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

122bonniebooks
Jul. 12, 2009, 2:29pm

I'm reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian too. My son bought it for me because he knows I like coming-of-age books, but it's really written more for teens isn't it? I just heard him on a local talk show and he was so funny, especially regarding why he's writing YA novels.

123Berly
Jul. 12, 2009, 9:10pm


#122 Yes, I think it is aimed at the YA adult market, but I still absolutely loved it. It made me laugh and cry. I am putting it on my pushy list for my oldest daughter (she is not big on reading, so I have to push it!). Are you enjoying it? What is your favorite part? I have several, but one that sticks with me particularly was when Junior took Penelope to the dance and he only had $5 and his Dad's ancient suit to wear.

#121 LOL I couldn't think what else to say after the "davening" comment and it just looks like a little love bird and besides I had to give the engaged couple a little grief! Nice fly-by, by the by. Thanks!

124Berly
Jul. 12, 2009, 10:12pm

Belva--

Thanks for the book Shanghai Girls! (I probably got it sooner, but I only retrieved my mail yesterday after our San Fran foray.) I will read it with lowered expectations as I, too, love Gail Tsukiyama's writing. If I try not to make the comparison, perhaps I will enjoy it more. :)

125mckait
Jul. 13, 2009, 6:41am

ahhh Berly, thats the ticket!!!

reading a book for its own merit instead of some other expectations. I rather preach that now and then. I just almost ranted in another thread about doing the opposite. It is a pet peeve of mine when books are not read for themselves.
Do you know what I mean?

I have no idea about the books or authors you are discussing here with Belva, but you saved my morning.. lol

126Berly
Jul. 13, 2009, 4:06pm

Happy to brighten your day McKait!

So, after much urging by Richard, I am off to find a copy of the Lost City of Z. Expectations are high now, dear sir!

I also have to dig up my copy of Wicked. We saw the musical in San Fran at the Orpheum and it was Amazing! I have already read it (and the sequel, which was not quite as good as the original) and want to revisit it. My daughter has the soundtrack and we have been listening to it over and over again. Also, for any of you that have seen it, my son has been walking around the house doing the very stuck-up "Toss, toss, giggle, giggle" that Glinda perfected. (It is even funnier, because he has no long hair to toss!)

127rainpebble
Jul. 14, 2009, 12:12am

You are most welcome Berly. I hope you enjoy the book.
hugs,
belva

Kath;
hugs n snugs to you too.

128Berly
Bearbeitet: Jul. 19, 2009, 2:08pm



Just finished The Lost City of Z, by David Grann. (Suggested to me by Richard dear.) I also read about Roosevelt's adventure in the Amazon, River of Doubt earlier in the year. Z is written more colorfully and I love how the point of view kept switching from the past to the present. However, I enjoyed following Roosevelt more (than Fawcett) simply because I could actually picture him swatting mosquitoes in the jungle better. I am astonished at the fortitude of these explorers and their ability to map the wilderness given their lack of equipment. Both Fawcett and Roosevelt shared a lot of traits: they appear larger than life, they live for the challenge, they both bring a son on their adventure, and, of course, they have those huge moustaches! Disparities? The most obvious being the lack of funding Fawcett encountered on his final trek. Both books are excellent reads for anyone who wants to be a swash-buckling explorer from the safety of their recliner. I wish Z, in particular, had continued on, because I would love to hear more about the ancient civilizations that have been found in the Amazon. Anyone know of such a book?

129msf59
Jul. 19, 2009, 5:37pm

Berly- Nice job on "Lost City.."! And River of doubt also looks very good. I've added it to my wish list. I don't know if you are into presidential bios but one of my absolute favorites is The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. It deals with the first part of his life up until the presidency. Incredible stuff! I finished Olive Kitteridge and it's one of the best reads of the year. Visit my 50 book challenge, for my short review!

130bonniebooks
Jul. 19, 2009, 5:44pm

Hi, Berly! How ya doing? You must be going out of town soon since I'm heading back down there at the end of next week. I've got The Lost City of Z on my wish list too, as I have the same itch to explore via my comfortable chair!

131mckait
Jul. 19, 2009, 8:28pm

Half.com

got one cheap!

yay me I'm getting Z!

132Whisper1
Jul. 19, 2009, 10:28pm

Berly
I'm so glad you liked the Absolute Diary of a Part-Time Indian. It is one of my favorite reads thus far in 2009. Like you, I want to tell everyone to read it!

133Berly
Bearbeitet: Jul. 19, 2009, 11:40pm

#129 -- Mark, thanks. The Roosevelt book sounds great. And, yes, Olive is somewhere near the top of my teetering pile already. LOL

#130 -- Bonnie! Hi, yes, heading out soon, but I will have computer access so, hopefully, I will be more in touch than on my San Fran trip. (Fingers crossed.) Have a great visit and sorry I won't be here. :(

#131 -- Kath. I shall check out half.com and have fun w/ Z!

#132 -- Hi Linda. Yup. Great book.

Thanks everyone for stopping by!! I feel loved.

134mckait
Jul. 20, 2009, 7:26am

pretty pretty hearts!

135richardderus
Jul. 20, 2009, 11:59am

The heart mosaic is lovely, Berly-boo, and I am so pleased that you enjoyed Z. And I predict that mckait will hate it, and use her cool radioactive symbol GIFs to mark it, because I liked it so much and she can't stand liking things I like.

But from half.com, what'd ya lose, right dearie?

I have to schedule a trip to Texas, ickptui, soon. Gotta see my old rheumatologist, since the ones here are less up on my disease than he is and I need some serious help. I'm thinking birthday time, mid-September-ish, when it will only be stinking hot and not open-flames-of-hell hot.

136mckait
Jul. 20, 2009, 1:05pm

looks like a texas tourist .....

137Berly
Jul. 20, 2009, 1:59pm

R-- Hopefully your scenario of Texas wins out over McKait's...

If not, follow the dogs and look for one of these...

138mckait
Jul. 20, 2009, 2:22pm

139Berly
Bearbeitet: Jul. 21, 2009, 10:01pm

Okay, McKait, your GIF is better than mine! LOL



I forgot to mention that I read Inkspell while in San Fran. Loved it just as much as the first one. The characters continue to amuse me and I fell in love with a couple, enough that I cried when one of them met with tragedy. The story is inventive (as only a book with magic in it can be) and has several plot twists. It is a great young adult book and can even be enjoyed by the childish adult (case in point here). The book cries out "To Be Continued" at the end so I am sure the next in the series will appear here soon.

140Whisper1
Jul. 21, 2009, 10:20pm

Hi Berly

I'm laughing right out loud at the interchange between you, Richard and Kath....

Thanks for the humor at the end of a long day.

141wookiebender
Jul. 21, 2009, 11:38pm

Berly, I loved Inkheart as well. Good to hear the sequel's excellent as well! Must bump that one up Mt TBR...

142mckait
Jul. 22, 2009, 6:06pm

I too liked the INK books :)

143rainpebble
Jul. 27, 2009, 1:01am

So do you think it will be hot when I get to Dallas on August 15th for 2 weeks?

144mckait
Jul. 27, 2009, 7:28am

Hot in Dallas in August? Your timing is as bad as mine :)
Take one of these:

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/206372916/neck_cooler_cool_cravat_cool_tie/sho...

145rainpebble
Jul. 28, 2009, 1:37am

Thanx for caring!~! :-)
But I have to go when we have alternate child care for our grandchildren that I watch while mommy works. And papa has the whole month of August off and he's volunteered to do daycare while I go and visit our eldest daughter. That is the only reason I am going at that time. I know the weather will suck, big time!~! But wasn't that wonderful of my husband? What a man!~!
And she knows that if we plan any outdoor activities they must be early in the day or later in the evening because nanny ain't steppin' out that door midday. I told her not to take many days off, that she might as well work because we won't be doing much during the heat of the day. I can stay home and read and she can save her vacation time. We can have fun in the evenings and I will be there 2 weekends, so we will get plenty of time together.
We just do what we can, ya know?
So we just have sucky timing Kath!~!
That must make us special or something like that, huh?

146mckait
Jul. 28, 2009, 7:46am

We are very special...

we are so many things.. all of us..ain't it grand!!

147Berly
Jul. 28, 2009, 7:41pm

Hello all! I have been camping out at my parent's lake house in WI. With sundry cousins and uncles, etc., we are at 14! We have had s'mores, fireworks (the fun ones are illegal in OR, so my kids were thrilled!), Jack caught a fish for the first time, tubing behind the boat, the sculpture garden, my new favorite game of dice, "Farkle," Mah Jong, and I had the best water ski ever!! The lake has been like glass several times and I was sending up huge sprays on my cuts. Not to mention I was very pleased to still get up on one ski the first try! Whoohoo! I just gave away my ski last year (since we have no boat or lake in OR) and I missed it sorely. I am finally all caught up on Pillars of the Earth group read. And now I have to wait a week to read the next section...waaah! Will have to dig around my parents recent reads for something else. I found my childhood favorites, Nancy Drew and My Friend Flicka. Just might have to send them home. Along with my wedding gown, which my parents no longer want to store for me (Gee, shy not it's only been 18 years! LOL) Well, dinner is ready. GTG. Lots of Love and Laughter, Berly

148wookiebender
Jul. 28, 2009, 8:11pm

While it doesn't get too cold in Sydney in winter, it's still winter in Sydney right now, and that camping sounds wonderful. Especially the Nancy Drew bit! I remember loving her books as a kid.

149mckait
Jul. 29, 2009, 8:09am

Glad you are having so much fun! 14 eh? lol
Be safe!

150Berly
Jul. 29, 2009, 12:12pm

So, while I wait for next week to read the next installment of Pillars of the Earth, I grabbed Same Kind of Different as Me from a grocery store turnstyle. Haven't heard of it, but it had the most potential....We'll see!

Yes, 14 people. Actually today we are down to 11 and then for 24 hours we will be down to 7, then we all change locations and move into MN for phase two of the trip. We are hitting the Mall of America (great indoor amusement park) and lunch at the Rainforest Cafe (kids love it). We are also going to lounge poolside and see who can make the biggest wave off thier cannonball. Also going to check out my brother's new backyard patio and christien it with a BBQ. Should all be fun!

Much love to all.

151Donna828
Bearbeitet: Jul. 29, 2009, 12:30pm

Hey Berly...camping with relatives, Nancy Drew and Flicka, and Farkle. I don't know how to play that game, but love the name! I have a hint for the Minneapolis part of your trip.

Louise Erdrich (author of Love Medicine, etc.) has a very cool, though small, bookstore there in the Lake of the Isles (or is it Isle of the Lakes?) part of the city. Send the kids on a hike around the lake and enjoy the Native American theme of a quaint independent bookstore. I was so enthralled with it that I put a picture on my Profile Page.

Edited to "tweak" touchstone and to add name of bookstore: Birchbark Books.

152Berly
Jul. 29, 2009, 10:36pm

Hi Donna! Great idea. Not sure I can talk my caravan into going there, but I love Lake of the Isles and have walked around it many times. Great canoeing, too. Not sure exactly where her bookstore is, but will look it up! I love Erdrich's books. :) Thanks.

153rainpebble
Jul. 30, 2009, 2:55am

Berly;
It sounds like you are having a wonderful time on your trip and catching up with a lot of family.
That is so lovely. So many don't or can't take the time any more or can't match up with their time away. So great that it all came together for you all.
I must admit I have never heard of "Farkle" but it sounds most interesting. Will have to google it.
Stay safe and enjoy the remainder of your trip.
hugs,
belva

Donna;
That is a lovely little bookshop. I had to go and peek. Wouldn't we all love to go? Sadly we are losing most of our smaller independent bookshops. I try to shop my favorite but must admit the convenience of purchasing online sucks me in a lot of the time. So I guess I am part of the cause there as well.
Thanx for sharing the pic.
belva

154mckait
Jul. 30, 2009, 7:02am

I peeked online a while back when it was mentioned. I love Erdrich writing, too.

155richardderus
Jul. 30, 2009, 12:18pm

Have a marvelous midwestern time! Don't forget to eat Jell-O molds and Spam bake!

156Berly
Bearbeitet: Jul. 30, 2009, 7:39pm

R dear, it's all about the tater tot hot dish and lutefisk.
(Bleh!)

157richardderus
Jul. 30, 2009, 9:05pm

LUTEFISK!!

Nixneinnyetnonono!

Federal law prohibits those exposed to toxic waste from crossing state lines, and as I understand it, the Lutefisk Detachment of the International Atomic Energy Association has special counters to identify potential sources of conntamination in Minnesota and Wisconsin airports. BE CAREFUL.

159richardderus
Aug. 3, 2009, 5:08pm

Belva...that's just how I feel today...got so drunk at last night's party that I, for the first time in more than 15 years, passed out! Awful, awful feeling. And the hangover today...! Oy, as the saying goes, vay.

160rainpebble
Aug. 4, 2009, 3:01am

I am so sorry Richard. Don't you know better? Wow. Last time I did that I ended up with my head in someone's hedge and my ass in the air ralphing. Yeah, awful feeling. You can't even read when you are hungover. I hope it wasn't on Tequila. My last hangover on Tequila lasted three days, missed my class reunion, my husband got so tired of holding me over the can that he threw me across the bed face down and put a pan under my head and left me for dead. Arggggggggggggggggg; I feel for you.
You will be all better tomorrow (I hope).
hugs (gentle ones)
belva

161Whisper1
Aug. 4, 2009, 6:22am

Richard
I hope you are feeling much better. Hangovers can be debilitating. As I get older my body does not tolerate alcohol. Two glasses of Chardonny seems to be my limit. Plus, I suffer from migranes and alcohol can bring on a nasty headache.

Berly
It sounds like you are having such a wonderful family time! What a great way to spend lazy summer days.

162mckait
Aug. 4, 2009, 8:12am

rd.. I am ashamed of you.
seriously.

hope you feel better today...

belva .. great , nasty graphic.

I think a bottle of Bailey's should be aed to my shopping list.

I need a nap

Did I mention hello to all? missed ya

163mckait
Aug. 4, 2009, 8:15am

ok

I posted here and it vanished.

woe is me

Love the graphic, hi to the daughter! big hug to you!

rd... I am ashamed of you. srsly.

I don't think I have had a hang over since my 25th birthday.
It cured me, that one. Never again.

164richardderus
Aug. 4, 2009, 3:15pm

It's been so long, I'd forgotten what a hangover was like. Yesterday was a blur. Most unpleasant!

I'm back to "normal" thanks be, and I can't see myself drinking that much again. So much that I can't see, anyway! *chuckle*

165Berly
Aug. 5, 2009, 12:12pm

Okay...I never ate any Lutefisk :P (nice graphic Belva!) and I did a much better job of rationing my liquor. Goodness, Richard, who were you with having that much fun?! I haven't passed out since Junior year in college. I did however overdo it once with tequila. That's the one with the worm in the bottom right? I ate it.

And not to make anyone any more green around the gills, but I ran out of reading material and all my sister had was Nora Roberts, so I read two of her books on the plane ride home. No further review necessary.

Also played Crazy 8 for hours, because we got stuck in the Salt Lake City airport. What fun! Made it home 6 hours later than planned and now knee deep in laundry.

Back at the airport today to pick up a friend of my oldest daughters. She is here for a week. Whew!

Hope in the next week or two to find a car for her so I don't have to drive her to school and soccer practices this fall. Yeah!!

Missed you all. So glad to be back. :)

166richardderus
Aug. 5, 2009, 12:36pm

Berly-boo, glad you're home and safe. Apparently mckait had a horrible flight too...don't know what to say except, "DON'T FLY!"

The Divine Miss invited the whole kit and caboodle from her hair salon to spend Sunday with us. Picnic lunch, drinking, much hilarity. The boyfriend of The Divine Miss's hairdresser made my gin and tonics without any perceptible tonic, and when I would go to add some, I'd suddenly have a fresh drink...with no tonic. It was Not A Good Thing.

Nora Roberts! Oh dear.

Independent teenaged driver. *WHEEE*

167mckait
Aug. 5, 2009, 4:42pm

glad to have you back!

Airlines are a nightmare~

168Berly
Aug. 5, 2009, 5:10pm

So, in keeping with the subject of airlines being a nightmare and feeling like *@*!, my daughter's friend had the pleasure of sitting next to a girl who puked the whole flight here. I just hope it was her nerves and not some germ that will now infest my house! Kenzie got an even bigger kick out of the sick girl's boyfriend, who just wanted to know if she remembered her toothbrush! (Not, gee can I get you another airline whoops bag or a glass of water...). Guess that means he wanted to kiss her later and she isn't sick, right? LOL.

169bonniebooks
Aug. 5, 2009, 5:16pm

Oh, yuck! Guess your flight doesn't sound too bad anymore, does it? Now that you're back with access to better books, what do you think you'll read next? I just heard from the library that they have The Boy in the Striped Pajamas waiting for me, but I just want to have fun!

170wookiebender
Aug. 5, 2009, 6:48pm

Ah, I too have discovered the "joys" of someone else making the gin'n'tonics without any noticeable quantity of tonic. That was a hangover I never wish to repeat.

171richardderus
Aug. 5, 2009, 8:51pm

wookiebender, ewww. My heartfelt sympathy, for once used correctly.

Berly...now that is just about the lowest thing I can think of. Boo hiss on his teenaged hide.

172rainpebble
Aug. 6, 2009, 9:28pm

that girl prolly just had a little too much tequila before the flight. Whew!~!
Missed ya Berly Boo!~!
big hug,
belva

P.S. never trust someone else to make your drink unless you know them really, really well.
Do you hear me Richard?

173Berly
Aug. 13, 2009, 12:14am

Okay. I am alive, just a teech bit overwhelmed with life. Jessica's girlfriend left for home, so it is finally back to just immediate family in our own little home. *Sigh of relief!*

Not much reading going on here. Just about done with Pillars. And after that I am on to Almost Moon by Sebold for my book club next week. I have heard great things about the trailers for her other book, The Lovely Bones, but it was a disturbing book and I am not sure I am up to seeing it in the theater. Waiting for viewer feedback. Want to go see Julia, Julia.

Hugs to one and all! I will try and do a better job of staying in touch. :)

174richardderus
Aug. 13, 2009, 1:21am

Berlyner, my little jelly donut, it's not incumbent on you to do better at anything! You do what you do, and we'll be around to enjoy your company when you can give it.

Among the many wonderful things about getting older is the diminishing need to feel one *must* do things. I speak as your elder, whippersnapperess, so heed me! Please, as a favor to a crotchety, grumpy old man, start your de-*must*-ing here, and play in the sandbox with the rest of us when you can!

175Berly
Aug. 13, 2009, 2:33am

De-*must*-ing as you sleep!! Thanks for understanding and sharing your pearls of wisdom You are truly my favorite crotchety, old man.

176richardderus
Aug. 13, 2009, 12:58pm

mmmrrrmmmph (sound of ill-fitting fales teeth being chewed)

Good. Good. Now did I tell you about the time back in the winter of '94 that I had to stay inside for three days cause the damned Fed'ral Gummint snowplowed six-foot drifts against my front door so they could keep the road in front of the gol-darned Federal Reserve Bank open in a blizzard?

No? Well, it goes like this....

177Berly
Aug. 13, 2009, 9:55pm

#174 I can almost envision you with your dentures in the glass by the bathroom sink and your chin almost touching your nose...

Okay, no I can't.

And I kinda like Berlyner and being a jelly donut! LOL!

I finished Pillars of the Earth today. In general, I really like it. More elaborate comments to follow.

Teaching my daughter and her boyfriend how to make chicken kiev...gotta keep an eye on them!

178richardderus
Aug. 13, 2009, 10:06pm

Kiev is rife with possibilities for disaster...you a brave lady. My daughter never cared about cooking much...she liked baking Christmas cookies better.

Come to think of it, I haven't made pecan lace in a million years. Gotta dredge a copy of that one up soon.

The Turkish Delight made chicken scarpariello for dinner tonight. Lemon-wine sauce, sauteed garlic cloves, onions, green peppers, and snausages with chunks of chicken breast. It was nummers.

179Berly
Aug. 13, 2009, 11:27pm

The chicken was divine! Accompanied by a delicious fruit medley and sauteed carrots. I think she impressed the boyfriend. ;) This one is NOT my cooking child, so this was quite the feat. So proud.

So you are enjoying the Turkish candy?

180wookiebender
Aug. 13, 2009, 11:40pm

So, the non-cooking child made chicken kiev? I am impressed! What does the cooking child whip up in his/her spare time? Bombe Alaska?

And, I have no idea what pecan lace is, but I think I might need some.

I miss pecan pie. It's all just somewhat wrong in Australia. I might dig up Mum's old recipe from one of those classic American cookbooks (I think it's The Joy of Cooking) and treat myself.

181Berly
Aug. 13, 2009, 11:59pm

I did mention that the Kiev was supervised, right?! She was so grossed out touching the raw chicken. LOL.

So what is the big dessert in Australia? And what is pecan lace? Sounds so pretty!

182wookiebender
Aug. 14, 2009, 12:26am

Berly, pavlova (aka "pav") is the Australian dessert. (Ignore all Kiwis who try to claim it as their own. ;)

It's a big soft meringue, topped with whipped cream and a decadent array of fruit (passionfruit is a must). Fabulous stuff. Lazy people can just buy the base ready-made from the supermarket, so all you really need supply is whipped cream and fruit. (But homemade is best.)

And there's also the humble lamington. A small square of sponge cake, dipped in chocolate sauce, and then rolled in dessicated coconut. Delightful.

I have heard that different flavoured lamingtons are big in Japan - green tea lamingtons, caramel lamingtons, etc. But it'll always be chocolate for me.

183Berly
Aug. 14, 2009, 12:34am

Wookie,

I'd love to stay and chat, but I have to go rummage in the kitchen now...yummy!

184wookiebender
Bearbeitet: Aug. 14, 2009, 2:55am

I'm torturing myself here, but here's a picture of a slice of pavlova:



and a stack of delicious lamingtons, because one can never have just one:

185Berly
Aug. 14, 2009, 11:33am

Wookie!! Those look so good. I think my hips just got wider looking at them. LOL. I will have to see if I can find a recipe. Thanks.

186bonniebooks
Aug. 14, 2009, 1:47pm

I've made baked meringue "nests" with fresh fruit--I didn't know I was making Pavlova! So good! And a healthy, but gorgeous dessert, in my opinion. But maybe my dessert doesn't qualify as "Pav" without the whipped cream and passion fruit?

187richardderus
Aug. 14, 2009, 1:55pm

For the record, pecan lace is a kind of crispy, baked version of a praline, much thinner and less revoltingly sweet.

I lost all my mother's cookbooks in the Great Moving Debacle, but fortunately a few copies of the cookie book she wrote back in the 70s survive with my family. I'll have my daughter email me a copy of that recipe and post it in my "75-Books Challenge" thread soon.

188bonniebooks
Aug. 14, 2009, 1:59pm

Ooh! Yummy! I've had those and they are good--just the sophisticated kind of cookie I would have hated as a child, but love now! Given my size, I don't know whether that is good or bad news.

Berly, in between whipping up Chicken Kiev dinners and fabulous desserts, what are you reading?

189Berly
Bearbeitet: Aug. 14, 2009, 9:46pm

Oh yeah..reading!! Well, I was going to read Almost Moon, until I realized on the first sentence of the book, that I had already read it. So, I will skim it again so I can be conversant at book club next week. As I remember, it was a good read, but dark. She kills her mom in the first 6 pages. All the action takes place in 24 hours and it is interesting to see the main character plumb the depths of her love/hate relationship with her mom.

After that, I think I will read The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker, my next Indiespensible book from Powell's. (I get a book about every 6-8 weeks in the mail.) I just flipped open the book to read the inside flap, having no idea what the book is about, and I think I have to leave now to go start it!

Later!

190richardderus
Aug. 14, 2009, 9:54pm

Berlyner, I have a suggestion for you: Raven Black by Ann Cleeves, a Shetland Islands-set atmospheric claustrophobic agoraphobic acrophobic scary cool book that FicusFan suggested to me and that I am having trouble reading and also trouble putting down.

191Berly
Aug. 15, 2009, 12:22am

Oh good, Richard. Now I don't even have to leave my own thread to add books to my TBR Toppling Tower!! Thanks ever so much! (Said sarcastically but ever-so-lovingly, sigh.)

192richardderus
Aug. 15, 2009, 8:23am

*does the Muttley laugh*

193mckait
Bearbeitet: Aug. 15, 2009, 9:11am

places bag over head....tiptoes out of thread

194msf59
Aug. 15, 2009, 12:27pm

Hey, Berly- Glad you enjoyed "Pillars". It's been a lot of fun! I still have 70 pages left. It's been hard dragging it out so long but the book is always easy to get back into . I'll be starting City of Thieves next, along with a host of others, I've been neglecting .Too bad the threads have been plagued by such a vile character. Have a great weekend!

195Berly
Aug. 15, 2009, 12:31pm

Do you mean Alfred, William or St. Richard? Tee hee.

196richardderus
Aug. 15, 2009, 12:59pm

Oh Berlyner, my petite donut au gelee, haven't you seen the troll calling itself "richardderrus" roaming around and making an idiot of itself?! Do go and look...the ninth "Gathering Place" thread has "me" talking about The Big Penis Book and what a fruit I am...it's really funny!

Sad, isn't it, that someone is so angry, isolated, and stupid.

197Berly
Aug. 15, 2009, 3:48pm

I had no idea what you were talking about so I tracked down the Gathering Place threads and I am so sorry...seems to have been a few sick people chiming in. Can LT track the source and block these people even if they change their LT name? UGH!! So sorry you were "impersonated." And I just though Mark was referring to the Pillars characters!

198msf59
Aug. 15, 2009, 3:54pm

I thought you would know what I was talking about but I did laugh when you mentioned William. BTW, this was all one scummy person on the threads, using different usernames. Let's hope he's gone for good!

199Berly
Aug. 15, 2009, 5:23pm

Hear, hear!!

200richardderus
Aug. 15, 2009, 6:38pm

The problem seems to be solved for now, thank goodness. Only one person said something mildly disapproving to the *real* me, having scanned the troll's comment and not noting the misspelling in the handle. I'd say that was pretty good...no one really believed the troll.

201mckait
Aug. 16, 2009, 8:53am

just stopping in to say hello...

now I have to go and make french toast and sausage and bacon and.. well,you know..

202richardderus
Aug. 16, 2009, 4:59pm

*drool*

I'll be there for breakfast on Monday, mckait...bacon well-done, oh and I just looove an over-easy egg or two...or three....

203wookiebender
Aug. 16, 2009, 8:55pm

Mmm, we had friends over for brunch yesterday and made pancakes and crispy bacon and scrambled eggs... oinkarama.

204mckait
Bearbeitet: Aug. 16, 2009, 9:01pm

sorry to disappoint.. but it is back to work for me on monday..
Can't you hear me whining?

Breakfast was indeed yummy though. For tomorrow I have wheat mini bagels and peanut butter ... and .. ? lunch will take some thought. I am not well prepared. :(

denial, you see. I would like to be as stay at home kath.....

205Berly
Aug. 16, 2009, 9:43pm

Monday, as in tomorrow?! So sorry. And making lunch is one of the worst parts. My daughter goes to a school with no cafeteria...I am so out of new ideas for her lunch box! Best wishes.

Leaving to play Mah Jong.

Book reviews tomorrow...

206wookiebender
Bearbeitet: Aug. 16, 2009, 10:26pm

Mr Bear only ever wants the same thing in his lunchbox: a Vegemite sandwich, an apple, and a treat (usually a fruit bar; this week banana bread after I discovered some blackening bananas in the fruit bowl). And some pear for morning tea. It's not much, but he's a slow eater and he hates missing out on play time because he's still eating!

But it does make for a nice easy lunch to pack, no thinking required. :)

And when we pick him up from school/aftercare, we come prepared with lots of crackers for that short ride home.

207Berly
Bearbeitet: Aug. 19, 2009, 10:47pm

Way behind posting, so here goes...

Pillars of the Earth. My first group read with LT (thanks Mark for organizing us all!). I enjoyed the process of reading it en masse, and although I didn't comment all that much, I loved reading everyone's comments. Thought the pacing was perfect (roughly 150pp a week). Thoroughly enjoyed the book. Great dastardly characters, strong women (perhaps a little too strong for the times, but it didn't detract for me), handsome intelligent protagonist guys and then the cathedral, which became a leading character by the end of the book. I look forward to the sequel in January. Four stars.

208Berly
Aug. 19, 2009, 10:31pm

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I heard all sorts of rave reviews of this one, but I must say, I thought it was a dud. I read the first 75 pages and then skipped around a little in the middle and read the end. I have nothing against a good ol' fashion creeper/thriller book (I love Stephen King), but the zombies didn't play a big enough role for it to be that genre and it ruined the simple elegance of Austen's original book. Yes, I have a good sense of humor and no I wasn't laughing. One star.

209wookiebender
Aug. 19, 2009, 10:37pm

#208> I believe I had a lot of caveats on any recommendation I ever made for that particular book. I enjoyed it on a superficial level, but realise that many, many people wouldn't.

210Berly
Aug. 19, 2009, 10:49pm

Damn-it! You mean being superficial would have paid off this time? LOL. Glad you enjoyed it.

211Berly
Aug. 19, 2009, 10:59pm

The Twin. Ignore the touchstone, this one is by Gerbrand Bakker translated from the Dutch. I LOVED this one! I am hesitant to tell you why, because I might not do it justice. This is a subtle book. The relationship between father and son is disturbing and poignant. The loss of one's twin is profound, the feeling of incompleteness and regret. But it is balanced with the hope and joy of following dreams long forgotten. Silent anger, dry humor, unexpected relationships, small signs of a soul escaping its prison -- all are found here.

Argh! That SOOO does not cover it. Brilliant. Five stars.

212Berly
Aug. 19, 2009, 11:06pm

The Almost Moon. Alice Sebold. Yup, I have read this one before. I reread this one so I could be current for Book Group Thursday night, otherwise I would not have bothered. Didn't like it any better the second time around. I don't like the main character, the situations she puts herself in or the real ending. (I remembered the ending very differently.) A very disturbing book, as was The Lovely Bones. (I see a trend here....) More on this one after bookclub.

213bonniebooks
Aug. 19, 2009, 11:54pm

I'm looking forward to having my very own copy of The Twin. I actually started reading it in B&N (and it was really good) but started feeling guilty about it, so stopped.

214Berly
Aug. 20, 2009, 12:07am

Hi Bonnie!! I've missed talking with you. Have to fix that. :)

215bonniebooks
Aug. 20, 2009, 2:35am

Berly, Are You Talking To Me?! I'm always here; my Bob D. persona isn't much of a talker, but I'm always lurking. In fact, I was going to call and tell you that I was going to come down to Portland this weekend, but have gotten sick, so will probably stay home as my mom can't afford to catch what I have. Someday...

I told you arubabookwoman and I met, right? We talked nonstop for three hours and are going to get together again in early September. And, get this, she's going to join my book group--my real-life one! Are you jealous? ;-)

I've been reading the 1010's the last couple of days. Can you believe those early birds? So creative, I wasn't going to do it, but am feeling drawn in.

216msf59
Aug. 20, 2009, 6:36am

Berly- I liked your reviews, 2 to avoid and 1 to wishlist. Although I was a fan of The Lonely Bones and am looking forward to the film version.

217Berly
Aug. 20, 2009, 11:24am

Bonnie-So sad I didn't get a chance to meet in person and incredibly jealous that arubabookwoman is joining your bookclub in real life! Lucky woman. Hope you are feeling better. What are the 1010's?

Mark--Have to say I like The Lovely Bones better than The Almost Moon and the previews looked pretty good in the movie theater (I saw Julie and Julia which I loved!) so I might (might!) go see it. Which one did you add to your list?

218bonniebooks
Aug. 20, 2009, 12:03pm

You know, the 2010 challenge--you won't believe how much discussion is going on for something that doesn't start for more than three months! Lol! Go look, and have a laugh--people are so creative with their categories. Do you think you'll participate?

219Berly
Aug. 20, 2009, 2:36pm

Oh! Duh. I'll have to go take a look first...Thanks!

220arubabookwoman
Aug. 20, 2009, 5:27pm

Hi Berly--Bonnie told me when we met that you and I probably had similar reading tastes, so I thought I'd pop in to check your thread out, and what do I find--you're talking about me!

Bonnie and I did have a great time talking--3 hours!--and I think it's nice when LT'ers having common interests can meet in real life.

Bonnie--I hope you were not feeling too bad and are fully recovered now.

I'll be lurking even if I end up not commenting much.

221msf59
Aug. 20, 2009, 7:59pm

Berly- I added The Twin to the wishlist. It sounds very good. I have to rave about City of Thieves,another excellent read!

222Berly
Aug. 21, 2009, 2:10am

Welcome Arubabookwoman!! So nice to meet you, and please lurk, browse or comment as you see fit. Isn't it nice when someone talks about you behind your back and it's GOOD?! LOL :) You and Bonnie will have to let me know what your "real" bookclub is reading so I can take part in abstentia!

Mark--awaiting your review...

223Berly
Aug. 21, 2009, 8:20pm

So, stressing out a little here. Took a family member shopping for wigs yesterday (chemo coming up) and she had surgery today...breast cancer. She came through the surgery just fine, but I feel all wrung out. It's going to be a tough couple of months.

Enjoying Into the Beautiful North.

224msf59
Aug. 21, 2009, 9:29pm

Berly- Sorry to hear about your family member. Hope all is well there! I'll be looking for your comments on Into the Beautiful North. I plan on finally getting to The Hummingbird's Daughter sometime next month.

225richardderus
Aug. 21, 2009, 10:00pm

>223 Berly: Berly-boo, it's always stressful. I don't know particulars here, but I wager that surgery + chemo = good outcome. Fortunately, that is more common than not these days!

**oodles of healing energy beaming westward**

226bonniebooks
Aug. 21, 2009, 10:05pm

I'm sorry, Berly! It is stressful! I know, I've been on both sides of that experience. I left you a longer message on your profile. We LT-ers know you're a kind, funny, thoughtful person to be around. Help when you can, but be sure and take good care of you too.

227FicusFan
Aug. 22, 2009, 5:35am

Hi Berly,

Thought I would return the favor and stop by. Sorry to hear about your relative's illness. Hope all will be well.

I looked through your books and I agree about The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I read it last year. One of my book groups read In the Time of the Butterflies about the dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, and I found 2 companion books about the subject, Oscar was one. Another one was The Feast of the Goat. Both other books were referenced and slagged in the small print of the Oscar book. I didn't have a thread last year but wrote reviews on the book pages.

I also agree with Richard on White Tiger .

I have the Part-Time Indian book to read, and I wish I could have done the Pillars of Earth read, but I didn't have the time, and I couldn't find the book in my apartment.

Will be reading City of Thieves in January for a RL book group.



228Berly
Aug. 22, 2009, 3:08pm

#227 I'd like to read City of Thieves; where is RL? Is that another book-lovers website? And thanks for returning the favor!

Thanks for the well-wishes. Family-member is doing well (she is very private and wouldn't want to be identified at all). I slept well last night and life seems a little more normal today. The out-of-town family members left post-surgery and chemo won't start for a couple of weeks. So, a little down time to enjoy the end of summer. Yeah!!

Off to youngest child's soccer tournament.

229richardderus
Aug. 22, 2009, 3:11pm

>228 Berly: Berly! Dearest! "RL" = "R"eal "L"ife. Do keep up, my dear jelly donut.

230Berly
Aug. 22, 2009, 3:12pm

Oh for pete's sake and I'm like racking my brain on websites! LOL!

231FicusFan
Aug. 22, 2009, 3:22pm

Sorry Berly. I meant they were real life books groups, not ones on the computer (not that there is anything wrong with them).

232Berly
Aug. 22, 2009, 4:20pm

Okay, I stole this idea from Ficus' Home Page. The test was a hoot and I am proud to say that I am a Cool Nerd Queen! (Now you know why I didn't know what RL meant!) LOL.



233FicusFan
Aug. 23, 2009, 12:53am

I can't take sole credit - I stole if from someone else's profile. Don't remember who it was now. Enjoy.

234mckait
Aug. 23, 2009, 3:21pm

How did I get so behind here... sheesh!

Who was reading the Urrea's? wonderful, both..

235Berly
Aug. 23, 2009, 7:24pm

Hi Kath! Always glad to see you. I am just about finished with Urreas's Into the Beautiful North; enjoying it immensely. More when I finish. :)

236Berly
Aug. 26, 2009, 1:03pm



Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea

Nineteen-year-old Nayeli lives in a Mexican village bereft of men. They have all gone north into America to find jobs, even her father. After watching The Magnificent Seven at her local decrepit theater, she vows to cross the border and bring back seven men to help repopulate her village and ward off the invading nasty drug dealers. On her quest for warriors and her father, Nayeli enlists the aid of her girl posse and the local gay restaurant owner. This colorful rag-tag group travels north, encountering other truly memorable characters along the way. Filled with humor and beauty, this book explores the difficult life of some Mexicans and immigrants in the US. This book is funny, joyful and powerful, with some of my favorite characters ever. Not all the threads are neatly/happily tied up in the end, which is perhaps why I found it so satisfying. Four 1/2 stars.

237richardderus
Bearbeitet: Aug. 26, 2009, 1:12pm

>236 Berly: *sigh* Oh, Kimmers...dear Berlyner...et tu, Brute?

There are now 198 items on my LT wishlist...it is, by itself, becoming close to a free member's entire allotment of catalogued items...and it is YOUR personal fault that it's increased by one, unnecessarily appealing sounding, item. Couldn't simply point out that the book is flawed, imperfect, bound by blind monkeys working in horrible conditions and rewarded with all the cigarettes they can smoke?

No. Have to make it sound good, don't you, Siren of the Bookstacks?

*sigh*

238Berly
Aug. 26, 2009, 1:18pm

Ooh! I like that. Siren of the Bookstacks! Just remember: I am not as bad as Stasia!

No monkeys were harmed in the making of this thread.

239richardderus
Aug. 26, 2009, 1:24pm

Just remember: I am not as bad as Stasia!

But for how much longer remains to be seen....

240Berly
Aug. 26, 2009, 1:33pm

I'll take that as a compliment!

241rainpebble
Aug. 26, 2009, 1:41pm

Hey Berly boo boo boo;
How goes it?
I am sorry to hear about what your relative is going through as well as the entire family. When the big C strikes, it doesn't just hit the patient, but it happens to the whole family. Am praying for the best to come from this situation. Make sure that you take time to care for yourself as well. Caregiving takes a heavy toll on one.
You have been reading some good books and I got a few good recx from catching up on your thread plus my grandsons have been shushing me the whole time as I have been busting a gut laughing at you and the whole tribe up above!~! It sounds as if I have missed a lot of fun activity.
Richard is talking about food a lot these days. Is he not getting enuff to eat?????????/ Just askin'.
I noted you have been playing Mah Jong. Robbi (daughter in Tx) loves to play and sent me home with a disc of over 100 Mah Jong games as I have only played the free ones on the computer and they are the same over and over pretty much.
Well, I had better move on. Am trying to play catch up here and then get back to work on my 999 challenge as I have 6 more books to read by 9/9/9!~! Yikes!~!~!
luvs, hugs, n snugs,
belva

P.S. I got to hook up with allcotacre while in Tx. and we had a great visit. She brought her Caty along with her and what a lovely young lady with a great personality. But we had some good chuckles and a really nice visit. She lives 2 hours N. of Robbi so we sort of met in the middle. I hope to see her again when I go back.
No reason for you and I not to hook up some time as we are only 2 hours from each other and the same with bonniebooks. I am not sure where arubabookwoman lives, but if it is close enough for her to join bonnie's book club she must be within a couple of hours from me as well. Perhaps we could all four get together one day, have lunch and hit a book shop. Twould be fun.
later my dear.

242arubabookwoman
Aug. 26, 2009, 1:47pm

Hi Belva and Berly--

I live in the Seattle suburbs, so we are all close enough to make a day of it some time. I agree it would be fun.

243msf59
Aug. 26, 2009, 2:36pm

Berly or should I address you "Siren of the Bookstacks"? Whichever you prefer! Nice review on Into the Beautiful North. It sounds very good. I now need to get to The Hummingbird's Daughter, which I plan to soon and then find a copy of this gem.

244Berly
Aug. 27, 2009, 1:59pm

So, sounds like we (Bonnie, Belva, Aruba and I, oh, and Teelgee) should all meet up somewhere! That would be fun. Weekday or weekend? And what is a good middle ground meeting place? I am in Portland proper, so about 3 1/2 hours from Seattle.

Mark, glad you liked the review. Happy reading!

245bonniebooks
Aug. 27, 2009, 2:12pm

Well, I'm going to be going back and forth through Portland--I'll just have to drag Deborah down with me on one of those trips. Maybe she can take the train back... Deborah?

246arubabookwoman
Aug. 28, 2009, 12:33am

Sounds good to me. The only problem is I'll be doing a little traveling this fall and won't be able to go between about September 15-28, or October 13-25. Otherwise I'm ready to go.

247Whisper1
Aug. 28, 2009, 1:03am

OH, I am so green with envy...but, mainly very happy that you Bonnie, Belva, Deborah and Teelgee might get together....

Belva, Stasia told me about your luncheon and how much she enjoyed it.

248Berly
Bearbeitet: Aug. 30, 2009, 11:22pm



My Life In France, by Julia Child

After all the talk about food on various threads that I follow, this book seemed particularly appropriate. For those of you who are worried that you must be a graduate of the Cordon Bleu school of cooking or at least a gourmand, I am neither and I greatly enjoyed this book! Julia is a delightful person, who chats enthusiastically about people and places as well as food. I loved her descriptions of French food markets and all the personalities she encountered in her life as the wife of a US diplomat. Although I only remember watching her cook once or twice when I was very little (WAY before I could cook!), I appreciated hearing just how her famous book(s) came to be and how she transitioned to TV. Some of the material is similar to the current movie Julie and Julia (which I loved!), but differed enough to keep my interest. I am not sure how Julia remembered what she ate, when, where and with whom. She either took copious notes in a journal or she is a gastronomic genius!! I vote for the latter. An intelligent, witty and kind person. A most enjoyable read. Bon appétit!

249bonniebooks
Aug. 31, 2009, 12:53pm

Well, she did do some spying, so maybe she wrote down daily who said/did what.

250mckait
Aug. 31, 2009, 8:49pm

I am stunned that anyone in this group has not yet read Hummingbird's Daughter ..lol

I liked North as well, berly

251wookiebender
Aug. 31, 2009, 9:15pm

#250> How about those of us who've never even heard of Hummingbird's Daughter? :)

252msf59
Aug. 31, 2009, 10:08pm

Kath- Guilty as charged! I plan on changing that fact real soon!

253Berly
Sept. 1, 2009, 1:54am

You guys simply must read Hummingbirds's Daughter!!

So, I am on to a somewhat nerdy book How We Decide, which traces the human brain's decision making process (dopamine, neocortex, hyppocampus, etc). Lest you be scared away, it is very funny and told in simple layman's terms. Lehrer explores many everyday life situations, from a quarterback's, airline pilot's and fireman's split-second decisions, to the stock market and TV's Let's Make a Deal. He refers to the psychology of Freud and the philosophy of Aristotle and Plato. Quite a well-rounded read!

Halfway through the book, so more when I finish.

254bonniebooks
Sept. 2, 2009, 12:10pm

I love brain books! I just added Hummingbird's Daughter--tagged you on it too, mckait--and now I'll add How We Decide. I'm down at my sister's and way behind on everyone's threads, but I always look for yours, berly, when I have a sec. Going to give myself some time off today to go buy myself a book.

255Berly
Sept. 2, 2009, 5:25pm

Hi Bonnie!! It's always a pleasure to hear from you and I am honored to be on your frequently checked list. So.......what book did you buy?!

256rainpebble
Bearbeitet: Sept. 3, 2009, 1:32am

Bonnie, Berly, Arubabookwoman,and Teelgee:
I no longer work. I do watch my grandsons but if you make the plans I can arrange for my daughter to make other plans for the boys after school that day if it is on a weekday. If on a week end, we rarely have plans that take us off our place. So I am yours whenever, pretty much. I could hook up with you at the junction of I-5 and Hwy 12 that cuts East to Yakima and just ride on down with you if that would be your pleasure. So those of you with commitments, let's work around your plans.
It would be so awesome to hook up with y'all.
Let's do it!~!
hugs,
belva

257Berly
Sept. 9, 2009, 8:10pm

Haven't been here in ages. Back to school stuff wearing me out! All the kids FINALLY back in school today. *sigh of relief* Don't get me wrong, love my kids to pieces, but I haven't had any alone time, no reading time!! AAARRRGHHH! I am seriously asking myself why I didn't sign up for the 75 challenge instead of the 100..what was I thinking!? Breathe, breathe. It will all be okay. :)

258msf59
Sept. 9, 2009, 10:02pm

Berly! Welcome back, friend! Thanks for stopping by the challenge and putting in your vote. BTW, I'm a 150 pages into Hummingbird and really enjoying it

259bonniebooks
Sept. 9, 2009, 11:13pm

Hi, Berly! That first day back in school always had me just as anxious/excited as my kids were, probably more anxious. And I felt that way through their senior year in high school! :-) I knew mothers who loved summers for that extra time with their children, but I always loved it when they were back in school. What are you going to read next?

260Berly
Sept. 10, 2009, 1:55am

Hi Mark! Hi Bonnie! Mark, really glad you are enjoying Hummingbird. I expect another stellar review when you finish it!

Bonnie--I am almost finished with How We Decide; 200 pages into the last book in the Funke trilogy, Inkdeath; halfway through a Read-Out-Loud (ROL) with my daughter, Charlie Bone and the Hidden King; and halfway through ROL the second book in the 39 Clues Series with my son. Waiting in the wings: The Angel's Game by Zafon author of Shadow of the Wind (which I LOVED!) and ADHD, Living Without Brakes (have a child with this and other learning differences.) But first I have to fill out all the parental forms in triplicated for three different schools... :)

xoxo

261bonniebooks
Sept. 10, 2009, 11:31am

I've already got How We Decide on my wish list. I'll have to check out ADHD, Living Without Brakes as well. Forms, forms, forms--I hate 'em! I'm an avoider, forgetful (lose things), plus a messy perfectionist (characteristics which all add up to the ADD side of ADHD), so eventually learned to get more than one copy of any form I needed.

262richardderus
Sept. 10, 2009, 12:04pm

Forms, blech. Have you ever refinanced a mortgage? Yeeesh...want my firstborn, can't have him he's dead! I hate loathe despise detest abominate revile and don't care at all for bureaucracy and bureaucrats.

263Berly
Sept. 10, 2009, 12:16pm

R-- Thank you for the new moniker, St Berly of the Bookstacks, on your thread. I like it!

The kids are all in school, I've finished the blechy forms in triplicate, whacked a bush back into a semblance of a ball shape, and done the dishes. Off to yoga to get my zen back. :)

Then the dentist.

I hate the dentist.

264wookiebender
Bearbeitet: Sept. 10, 2009, 10:07pm

Oh, good luck with the dentist. I hate having to go, and then I always feel so guilty because I always end up with such nice dentists! Why can't they be horrible so I can hate them in peace?

I've got How We Decide on my wishlist too. Sounds brilliant! (Ahah, and it's called The Decisive Moment : How The Brain Makes Up Its Mind here in Australia...)

265Whisper1
Sept. 10, 2009, 10:09pm

Hi Berly
I'm simply stopping by to wave hello.

266Berly
Sept. 11, 2009, 1:22am

Hi Wookie! Hi W1! I wonder why they changed the name of the book in Australia. Very interesting...

And my dentist is nice, too. And so is the hygienist, and so is the receptionist. So I can't get mad at them, which leaves my teeth. They are VERY high maintenance. So I dread going because I frequently get bad news. But this time I got off scott free!! Yeah. Good for another six months. Phew!

267bonniebooks
Sept. 11, 2009, 1:30am

Yeah, what does it say about us Americans? We're always getting the more simplistic titles.

268wookiebender
Sept. 11, 2009, 2:53am

I think the simpler title (in this case at any least) is the better one! It's got more of a punch. (I'll still be looking for it, regardless! I dabbled in neuroscience as an undergrad and still like looking like I know what I'm on about in that field, even if the basics did fall out of my memory a long time back now. :)

Berly, congrats on the pain-free dentist visit!

269richardderus
Sept. 11, 2009, 11:40am

Ah, my little jelly donut...I see my plot has worked...I conversed with the Goddess of Dental Agony and got Her Holeyness to give you six months to worry about the upcoming root canals...all nine of them....

*heeheehee*

270Berly
Sept. 11, 2009, 7:46pm

Wookie-- I was an undergrad neuroscience major!! I knew I liked you. :) I even worked on nerve regeneration for a year after graduating college and before I opted out of med school. The concept was cool, but the day-to-day research was mundane. Tracing fluorescent blue dendrites on a machine and comparing the growth variables of different substrates...*snores just thinking about it*

Richard--You are evil.

271bonniebooks
Sept. 11, 2009, 11:06pm

Well, I was a Psych. major and love the lay version of neuroscience, so that must be why I like both of you! :-)

272richardderus
Sept. 11, 2009, 11:53pm

Berly-boo, it's time for a new thread...270+ posts.

273mckait
Sept. 12, 2009, 6:36am

It pleases me to see so many coming into the Hummingbird fold :)
The sequel will be out next year.. the movie too..but first savor HD.

274wookiebender
Sept. 13, 2009, 5:46am

Berly & Bonniebooks: I majored in Psych (minor in Philosophy), and was mostly interested in language, specifically how children learn and the neurology of language. Somehow I ended up in the very dry learning theory area (no kids, no language), and while I enjoyed it, it wasn't what I wanted to spend my life doing, so eventually fell into web development which I enjoy (I see it as one huge problem solving area), and it pays well enough to keep me in books. :)

275Berly
Sept. 13, 2009, 12:16pm

#272 Well, I thought you'd never ask! My next thread is here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/73075#1495784