Mirrordrum's continuing trek to 75 in 2013

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Mirrordrum's continuing trek to 75 in 2013

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Editado: Dic 5, 2013, 1:13am

Unidentified woman on a Western Addition porch, c. 1960s Divisadero and Turk, San Francisco
Photo: Kurt Bank

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Editado: Dic 10, 2013, 2:34am

Link to 2012 thread

Books read in 2013

Finished in January

1. Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier (NLS, Gabriella Cavallero 9 hrs.)
2. Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett (audible.com, Nigel Planer, 10 hrs.)
3. In a Dark House by Deborah Crombie (NLS, Terry Donnelly, 13 hrs.)
4. The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace (NLS, Aasne Vigesaa, 6 hrs.)
5. Grey Mask by Patricia Wentworth (audible.com, Diana Bishop, 7.5 hrs.)
6. Being There by Jerzy Kosinski (audible.com, Dustin Hoffman, 3 hrs.)
7. The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (audible.com, Anna Bentinck, 15 -1/2 hrs)

Finished in February

8. Murder by the book by Rex Stout (audible.com, Michael Prichard, 7 hrs.)
9. Sailor Twain: or: The mermaid in the Hudson by Mark Siegel (GN)
10. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo (NLS, Catherine Byers, 9 hours, 23 minutes)
11. The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (audible.com, Anna Bentinck, 15 -1/2 hrs) (reread)
12. Coraline by Neil Gaiman (NLS, Lisette Lecat, 4 hrs.)
13. Middlemarch by George Eliot (audible.com, Juliet Stevenson, 36 hours)

Finished in March

14. Mountains beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder (audible.com, Paul Michael, 11 hours)
15. Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde (audible.com, Juliet Stevenson, Samuel West--beat that with a stick--and a supporting cast of several, 1.5 hrs)
16. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (audible.com, Noah Galvin, 6.5 hrs)
17. Water Like a Stone by Deborah Crombie (NLS, Terry Donnelly, 16.75 hrs)
18. City of Glass: The Graphic Novel (New York Trilogy) by Paul Auster
19. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (NLS, Martha Harmon Pardee, 10 hrs.)
20. The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy (audible.com, Alan Rickman, 15 hrs.)
21. Death in the Garden by Elizabeth Ironside (NLS, Lisette Lecat, 11 hrs. 20 min.)
22. The Nao of Brown by Glyn Dillon (GN)
23. Tomato Red by Daniel Woodrell (audible.com, Brian Troxell, 4 hrs. 48 min.)

Finished in April

24. Catwings by Ursula LeGuin
25. Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat (audible.com, Robin Miles)
26. Felicia's Journey by William Trevor (NLS, Graeme Malcolm)
27. Double Indemnity by James M. Cain (audible.com, James Naughton)
28. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (audible.com, Juliet Stevenson)
29. One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming (NLS, Martha Harmon Pardee, pearl ruled but i trudged through 12 hrs out of 15 so i'm counting it!)
30. Headlong by Michael Frayn (audible.com, Frederick Davidson, 11 hours)
31. Snow by Orhan Pahmuk (LP loo read. took me 8 months to read in large print but well worth it!)

Finished in May

32. Anteater of Death by Betty Webb
33. Sum It Up: 1,098 Victories, A Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective by Pat Head Summitt
34. Black Orchids by Rex Stout
35. Zen Ghosts by Jon J. Muth
36. The Three Questions (Based on a story by Leo Tolstoy) by Jon J. Muth
37. The Keeper of Lost Causes: The First Department Q Novel by Jussi Adler-Olsen (audible.com, Erik Davies)
38. Promised Land by Robert B. Parker (audible.com, Michael Prichard)
39. Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson (audible.com, Susan Jameson, 12 hrs, 18 mins.)
40. The Tiger in the Grass: Stories and Other Inventions by Harriet Doerr (large print loo read)
41. A thousand mornings by Mary Oliver (poetry)

Finished in June

42. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
43. Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
44. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
45. Squares and Courtyards: Poems by Marilyn Hacker
46. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (NLS)
47. Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener by M. C. Beaton

Finished in July

48. Where Memories Lie by Deborah Crombie (NLS, Patricia Kilgarriff, 10.5 hrs)
49. The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
50. The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor
51. The End of the Affair by Graham Greene (audible.com, Colin Firth)
52. Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver (audible, Jim Dale)
53. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (audible.com, Morven Christie, Lucy Gaskell, 10 hrs.)
54. Call for the Dead by John le Carre (audible.com, Michael Jayston, 4.5 hrs.)
55. Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems 2007-2010 by Adrienne Rich
56. Decider by Dick Francis (audible.com, Simon Prebble, classic Francis--probably one of his best although the heroic stoic trope remains basically unaltered)

Finished in August

57. A superior death by Nevada Barr (NLS, Suzanne Toren, 9.5 hrs.)
58. Restless by William Boyd (audible.com, Rosamund Pike, 10.5 hrs.)
59. Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan (audible.com, Juliet Stevenson)
60. Our man in Havana by Graham Greene (NLS, John Horton, 6.5 hrs.)

Finished in September

61. Without fail by Lee Child (audible.com, Dick Hill, 13.5 hrs.)
62. The Galton Case by Ross Macdonald (NLS, Fred Major, 7 hrs)
63. Snuff: A Novel of Discworld by Terry Pratchett (audible.com, Stephen Briggs, 11.5 hrs.)
64. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (audible.com, Sarita Choudhury, 10 hrs.)
65. The Windup girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (audible.com, Jonathan Davis, 19.5 hrs)
66. Twice Shy by Dick Francis (audible.com, Simon Prebble, 10 hrs.)
67. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Thorndike large print, 757 pp.)

Finished in October

68. The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill (audible.com, Steven Pacey, 14.5 hrs.)
69. Persuader by Lee Child (audible.com, Dick Hill, 14.5 hrs)
70. The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro (audible.com, B. A. Shapiro, 10 hrs.)
71. The Spies of Warsaw by Alan Furst (NLS, Lewis Grenville, 10 hrs.)
-- What was lost by Catherine O'Flynn (NLS, Jill Fox, 7 hrs) this book isn't numbered b/c i posted another book twice early in the year and i do *not* want to go back and re-number everything.
72. The light years by Elizabeth Jane Howard (audible.com, Jill Balcon, 17 hrs.)
73. The Queen of the Tambourine by Jane Gardam
74. The Enemy (Jack Reacher, No. 8) by Lee Child (audible.com, Dick Hill, 14 hrs.)

Finished in November

75. Restless by William Boyd (audible.com, Rosamund Pike, 10.5 hrs.) i also listened to this in August but due to life circumstances, had absolutely no memory of having heard it so read it again.
76. Protocol for a kidnapping by Ross Thomas (audible.com, Malcolm Hillgartner, 6 hrs. 18 mins.)
77. A tale for the time being by Ruth Ozeki (audible.com, Ruth Ozeki, 15 hrs.)
78. Post Captain by Patrick O'Brian (audible.com, Patrick Tull, 19 hrs.)
79. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (audible.com, Joe Barrett, 48 hrs. 15 mins.)

Finished in December

80. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (audible.com, Robert Glenister, 15 hrs.)
81. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (NLS, Rick Rohan, 17.5 hrs.)

Ago 31, 2013, 6:32pm

Hello, there, friend

Second thread for the year! Good for you and for those of us who follow along. Congratulations.

Ago 31, 2013, 7:49pm

Hi Ellie!
Have you been watching much of the U.S. Open?

Ago 31, 2013, 9:30pm

Sweet picture.

Minnesota is kicking butt. Oh, poor Storm. Game is not over but I could not watch any more.

Ago 31, 2013, 9:32pm

I love the picture! & you're right on track for reaching 75 early.

Ago 31, 2013, 9:58pm

>3 maggie1944: hello yourself. can't believe i have a second thread. astonishing. glad to see you as my first visitor.

>4 EBT1002: Ellen, how lovely. nooo, haven't watched any of the US open. none atall atall. it's a choice betw watching some women's hoops and another sport that makes my eyes move laterally and my choice is hoops. my only nod to tennis has been watching the Serena Williams piece on ESPN's 9 for IX series. it was good!

Editado: Sep 3, 2013, 10:00pm

what i was reading and what i am actually reading. i lose track sometimes.


Special topics in calamity physics by Marisha Pessl. Pearl-ruled in favor of Robert Graves (see below)
The great railway bazaar by Paul Theroux. bad recording and not a great narrator but i really want to read this one. nope, couldn't do it. will try audible.com version.
The sister by Poppy Adams. I do not have to dread listening to a book.
Our man in Havana by Graham Greene. Finally finished a book. My word! Ridiculously fun while being serious.
I, Claudius by Robert Graves. thanks to RD for this one. it's a beast in audio. all those hairy men and their sons not sons and their wives not wives. Egad! i know nothing about the history of the Roman Empire. well, except for what i learned from Xena: Warrior Princess whose daughter via Callisto was Claudius' grandmother Livia. yes, that Livia. don't ask me, it was Xena. they had fun with history.
The gift of rain by Tan Twan Eng. not available at audible.com but the NLS narrator is doing a good job. I expect it’s another I’ll have to try to find in LP.
The Dalton case by Ross MacDonald


Without fail by Lee Child. Finished another, by Jove!
The swimming pool library by Alan Hollinghurst. i kept waiting for a social commentary that apparently wasn't going to happen. then i read an interview with Hollinghurst in which he said he wanted to write a book about men having sex with other men. i can only maintain my interest in anybody having sex with anybody for a limited amount of time. that limit was exceeded. rapidly. so rather than stomp on my iPod, traded SWL in for The seamstress. at audible.com, i can do that. cool.
Snuff by Terry Pratchett. wonderful. why do i whine about not having Rowling at audible.com when i have Pratchett who's brilliant, irreverent, laugh-out-loud funny, heartrendingly spot on, adept at social commentary, and just flat out scary good. I love his books
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri entrancing so far.
The windup girl by Paolo Bacigalupi i love the title. we'll see about the book.

Ago 31, 2013, 10:26pm

Congratulations on your latest thread and that amazingly complicated reading list, Ellie. I am now trying to imagine you ensconced at home in that reading cap beavering away at rationalising your TBRS!

Ago 31, 2013, 11:14pm

>9 PaulCranswick: if it weren't for you, Paul, you dear good man, my thread would still be languishing. you put me over 100 last year and i've enjoyed this year a lot. thank you.

Sep 1, 2013, 3:22am

Quaintance here will make you a lavender sachet or three. Happy new thread!

Sep 2, 2013, 5:25pm

The picture at the thread top is just lovely.

I hope you're enjoying the Graves - I've not read it yet, but the '70s BBC production is amazing. Even as a classicist, Brian Blessed will *always* be Augustus in my mind...

Sep 3, 2013, 12:16pm

Ellie - :) xx

Sep 3, 2013, 5:33pm

Congratulations on the new thread, Ellie! Beautiful painting at the top.

Your list with cross-outs is intriguing. I'm looking forward to hearing what happened with Special Topics, as Becca and I talk about that one frequently (she loved it, I thought it was over-written).

Editado: Sep 4, 2013, 3:53pm

>11 richardderus: i love lavender, amigo mio. how did you guess? we have some but it's leggy and irked b/c of all the rain and humidity. it wants the south of France, i expect. well, it can't have it. so thank you, thank for this lushuss bouquet.

>12 scaifea: i am enjoying Graves immensely, Amber, though i wouldn't recommend the audio version b/c of the plethora of names. probably wouldn't bother you but i am lost half the time. oddly enough, i don't mind it. i own the series and i think it will be wonderful to watch it again once i've read the book. or i may interweave the two letting each enrich the other. highly recommended so far.

>13 PaulCranswick: i am coming over to your thread, Paul, to return some XXs and OOs. i'm always daunted by the number of posts. nonsense. i shall just pop in and not even pretend to try to catch up.

>14 jnwelch: glad you liked the painting, Joe. i did remark on your thread, iirc, that i dropped Special topics because i had better things to do with my time (like discovering Jack Reacher) than listen to someone who sounded like a 7 sisters grad who's flaunting it a bit. i enjoyed my first Reacher ever so much more.

Sep 4, 2013, 2:34am

marvelous Lily Tomlin skit. saw her do this in Knoxville in . . . 80s?

Sep 4, 2013, 7:34am

Hi Ellie- Congrats on the new thread! Love the topper! It turned out, my audio version of Year of Wonders was read by Brooks. I didn't find out until the end. She does a decent job, just not consistent in tone. I like to see how another, more professional reader, would do.

Sep 4, 2013, 12:01pm

>15 mirrordrum: Of course! Silly moi. I loved the 7 sisters comment. My feelings exactly. Yay for unpretentious Reacher!

Sep 4, 2013, 2:10pm

I'm pleased that Quaintance's lavenderishness made a positive impression. If I can have the South of France with an oodle of money, I'm there.

Editado: Sep 4, 2013, 9:11pm

Archie Goodwin illustration by Austin Briggs for The Saturday Evening Post (June 21, 1958). thank you, Mamie for the inspiration.

Sep 4, 2013, 8:08pm

This illustration made me wonder just when was it that the female of species became the colorful, attractive one in the courtship dance. Peacocks and other species have the male be the fashion statement. Why is that, I wonder.

Editado: Sep 4, 2013, 8:53pm

>19 richardderus: this Quaintance, i assume, RD??? his men all look exactly the same, except for hair color. how odd. and dull. imo.

in re: oodles, wouldn't it really be much more USean of us to arrange to have oodles of oodles, buy the south of France, put a large fence around it and charge admission? then we would have more oodles and could buy Tuscany and an alp or two and we'd be set.

Sep 4, 2013, 9:01pm

>21 maggie1944: i expect it's because the females decided they would really rather blend in with environment and avoid predators, thank you very much, and if the guys wanted to, you know, dress up and carry on (cf. peacocks and cardinals) and attract every slavering beast within miles, they should just go for it. i mean, really, if you were hanging out there on your own with things wanting to have you for lunch, wouldn't you want to blend in? well, that's what i think anyway.

this just says "come and get me." i realize it's intended to lure the females but as far as i'm concerned, to any hungry mammal in the vicinity it's just "1, 2, 3, here's your breakfast"

Sep 5, 2013, 8:48am

Ellie! That link led to your thread - how lovely!! Now I don't have to go to the threadbook to track you down. Thank you, dear! And I LOVE the Archie Goodwin illustration!

Your current reading is reminding me that I have I, Claudius waiting patiently on the shelves.

Hoping that your day is full of fabulous!

Sep 5, 2013, 4:54pm

>21 maggie1944:, 23: Cracking me up! Unfortunately, also making me wonder about human "wisdom." Oh, except our only predator is, well, our own poor foresight. Huh.

Editado: Sep 9, 2013, 12:02am

worthy of note (just so i don't forget):

Planet Peschel


Writers Gone Wild: The Feuds, Frolics, and Follies of Literature's Great Adventurers, Drunkards, Lovers, Iconoclasts, and Misanthropes by Bill Peschel

Sep 7, 2013, 3:20am

From one of the Peacocks. Have a lovely weekend Ellie.

Sep 7, 2013, 4:21pm

Jeez, just goes to show the value of laying low in nondescript clothing. I'm going to remember this the next time my MBH tries to dress me up.

Sep 7, 2013, 4:31pm

Ellie- I hope you are enjoying a perfect R&R Saturday.

Editado: Sep 8, 2013, 3:45pm

added for no reason except that i want to see it. i love this photo.

Editado: Sep 8, 2013, 11:33am

Yes, that is so beautiful. Pavarotti has a voice to match his wonderful smile.

Editado: Sep 9, 2013, 2:38am

>24 Crazymamie: well, Mamie, so far i can recommend I, Claudius if you like that kind of thing. "that kind of thing" being, in this case, an exceptional historical novel set in the time of the Julio-Claudian emperors with many an unsavory character, most of whom are Livia. she's worth a pack of 'em, let me tell you! you know all that about "behind every great man is a woman?" well, this woman was above, behind and running circles around, a lot of nominally great men, tearing their heels, and possibly other pieces of their anatomy, to bloody shreds! it really is quite a book.

i love this quote from the NYT article on the re-release of the Masterpiece Theatre series: "(The books--I, Claudius and Claudius the God) were grounded in exhaustive scholarship but imbued with a novelist’s imagination. They had plenty of skulduggery, perversion and other delectable malfeasance, set against the marble majesty of Roman antiquity." ayup. malfeasances to burn. wicked good.

Sep 9, 2013, 1:09am

>25 EBT1002: Ellen, the whole thing about color, costuming and gender made me think of Erving Goffman's Gender Advertisements published in 1976. sadly and sadly, the print and even the graphics are too small for me to read without totally nuking my eyes. i did see the relevant words, though, viz. "gender displays." from the few sentences i could read, he placed these displays amongst humans in much broader contexts than just courtship, which is right, of course. in the book, he was particularly interested in the depiction of gender displays in advertisements. i wish i could reread the damn thing. i always learn something from Goffman, however dated the work.

i've actually ended up thinking about this quite a bit and realizing how complicated, and funny, it gets when you look at humans with our use of, and ability to create and manipulate, symbols.

glad it gave you a smile during what i know was a thoroughly tacky week! :)

Editado: Sep 9, 2013, 12:39pm

>27 PaulCranswick: hello, Paul, you handsome peacock, you. with you to brighten things up, how could my weekend have been anything but lovely.

>28 jnwelch: that is what i'm saying, Joe. although admittedly, in our cultchuh, it's the women most often on display. in this case (see below), it's the predatory look. i suppose if Mark drops by, he'll like it. *sigh*

and then she'll get down from her tree and have to wear these ball (of the foot) busters. i mean, really. i know women whose bodies are in constant pain b/c of their fashion wear and they won't give up their damn shoes. i assume your MBH is far, far too intelligent to go that route.

i think it's time to go back to Pratchett's Snuff and give myself a break from this insanity.

Sep 9, 2013, 1:44am

>29 msf59: thanks, Mark. reasonably laid back. spent time with The windup girl--fascinating book--and Clau-clau-claudius and Lew Archer in the Galton case. i like Lew Archer. it's my first Ross MacDonald. he was a great favorite of my mum's.

and The book thief and Pratchett's Snuff and our 2 yellow and black garden spiders and the goldfinches. watched chickadees and titmice bathing in the little birdbath on the back porch and our 3 resident crows stalking majestically about the back yard--stuff like that.

oh, and our neighbors/friends Scott and Michelle walked over with Spoon, their Kune Kune pig. this brought about a driveway meeting with Scott, Michelle, Spoon, James--one of the lads from across the street--and his delightful sister, Renee, while Casey (dog) tore up and down the fence line barking wildly and trying to break through ivy and chain link to make friends with Spoony.

it was quite raucous and the excitement sent Casey into about a 2-hour fit of canine hysterics that lasted long after all the guests had gone. Spoon was unmoved and ate a lot of gravel and dirt and managed to steal a mouthful of clover. Scott and Michelle are convinced if she eats anything green she'll get fat. don't ask me. all in all, an eventful half hour chez nous.

Sep 9, 2013, 1:51am

>31 maggie1944: for some reason, Karen, i'm having some kind of fest with La Stupenda and the Maestro. i am toying with adding their 1971 (?) recording of Lucia di Lamermoor to my very small collection of operas. it was re-released as a boxed set in 1985 at the same time as their 1971 Rigoletto, which i treasure. i suspect it will happen ere long. life is too short . . .

Sep 9, 2013, 9:35am

Yes, do it. Life indeed is too short to deny pleasures which are relatively accessible. Recordings of truly angelic voices are not to be denied.

Editado: Sep 9, 2013, 11:16am

I'm happy to tell you my MBH does not go in for high heels, nor did my mother, Ellie. Like any other stupid guy, I like the look (hard to figure why that would be wired into us), but I don't like the idea at all of my paramour suffering for it. She's got some great-looking flats for when we're puttin' on the ritz.

I loved the Masterpiece Theater "I, ,Claudius", and have thought more than once about reading the books. I was old enough to watch it with my parents, and we were all spellbound. Livia was a force, as you say, played by an actress named Siân Phillips, who won an award for it. Derek Jacobi was mind-bogglingly good, and also got an award for it.

Editado: Sep 10, 2013, 3:10pm

>38 jnwelch: my mum neither with the shoes. at an almost Xenaic 5' 10" (Lucy Lawless is 5' 11"), she was taller than my father who was mortified by his 5' 9" height. so mom, in order not to tower over him, always wore flats. they weren't much for any kind of ritzing except when they had to.

Sep 10, 2013, 1:28am

Ellie - I am not a wearer of heels despite the fact of me being vertically challenged but I do take the advantage of getting one step higher than SWMBO on escalators just so she can appreciate how it might have been if she'd got a western guy of western proportions.

Sep 10, 2013, 1:47am

>40 PaulCranswick: well, and besides, you're a Peacock. you said so. therefore you have all that tail feather panache. makes you taller automatically. see?
or maybe you just think tall. Judi Dench says she can be taller than she is just by acting taller.

i'm gonna zoom over and say hi on your thread.

Editado: Sep 10, 2013, 8:29am

Oh, don't get me started on high heels. Chinese foot binding. Same thing. Nuff said.

Other than that, hi! and hope your Tuesday has enough reading time in it.

Sep 10, 2013, 1:22pm

>39 mirrordrum: Gotta love your pa's attitude, Ellie (toward war, not height). he taught at a military boys' school as he felt that was the best place for a pacifist to be. How difficult that must have been! And no gun while a medic in WWII, so no one can press him to use it. That's one strong-minded guy.

I never would've guessed you grew up partly at a military academy.

My dad served in the Navy on a destroyer, as a code guy - he'd handle the coded communication between ships. He started in gunnery, but his wall-eyedness got him transferred. No pacifist - he served in the Pacific, and he's pretty emotional about the great relief they all felt when Japan surrendered after the bombings.

He was fairly tall when I was a kid, about 6 feet, but now is quite bent with age, and seems half my height.

BTW, I don't know whether others see it, but the 1948 photo of you and your dad doesn't show up for me.

I read WWII books, too, for similar reasons and curiosity's sake, but the scope of it is hard to wrap one's mind around.

Sep 10, 2013, 3:12pm

The shoes we buried my (5'1/2") mother in:

Cost around a grand. She bought 'em because "they're fun" and she loved shoes.

I, OTOH, was allowed one pair of shoes, period. When they wore out, I was grudgingly allowed another.

Sep 10, 2013, 8:23pm

red Chinese foot binding.

Sep 11, 2013, 8:04am

My dad is a former Navy man, too, although it was way before my time. He gave me his pea coat when I went off to college and boy, that thing kept me *warm* on the long walks across campus in cold, wet, snowy weather!

Sep 13, 2013, 2:26am

>44 richardderus: what Karen said. i got a pair of shoes each year as well but in the '50s for our income bracket, that wasn't unreasonable. nope, that's a lie. i also had to have a pair for "occasions." blech!

>46 scaifea: Amber, i deleted the whole thing Joe responded to b/c i decided it was excessive. in short, my Dad was Army, WWII combat medic, 1 Lt., Battle of the Bulge, seriously wounded when a shell hit his aid station in Bastogne. he was a pacifist, hence the medics, and refused to carry a gun so he couldn't be frightened into shooting someone. 2 years after he came home, he took a job at a military boys school in CA b/c he thought that was a good place for a pacifist to work. he stayed there until his death.

i had to laugh at the warmth of your Dad's pea coat. i don't think Dad ever really got warm after the war. in order to fool German spies, his outfit embarked from the US with summer gear. what they had when they left England, i'm not sure, but they were apparently seriously unprepared for the Ardennes. he had a bedroll with a wool blanket and a sleeping bag that i slept in during summer nights in California. i used to play soldier with his back pack and canteen. he didn't like the idea but there wasn't much he could do about it.

hmmmm. so much for eliminating excesses. ;-)

Sep 13, 2013, 2:31am

Arcimboldo's "The Librarian" (circa 1570)

and a version by Georg Philipp Harsdörffer Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Editado: Sep 13, 2013, 2:47am

i'm still reading the same batch of books but there have been distractions so reading time is down. almost finished with The windup girl, a book that won both Hugo and Nebula awards in, er, 2009 or thereabouts. one of the awards was shared with China Mieville's The city & the city. it's been compared to Philip Dick's Do androids dream of electric sheep which, irritatingly, has been recorded under the title Blade runner. fortunately, NLS is recording it under its proper name.

i've been reading that exclusively on the iPod as it's so complex that if i switch to another of my books, i get quite lost. it's not a book i'd recommend in audio if one can read visually but it's fascinating if you like biopunk. it's extremely dystopian and one of the difficult things about it, for me, is that it raises so many issues, ethical, moral, biological, scientific, environmental, each of which could take up a book on its own, that i can't really take them all in. i find my mind drifting off into the ramifications of his ideas and losing the narrative thread.

i'm also quite caught up in I, Claudius and am sorry i didn't tackle it years ago.

and now i'm caught up in the idea of bed!

Editado: Sep 13, 2013, 2:53am

i keep trying to post my own images here from my smugmug page, but all appear briefly and then vanish. this occasionally happens with images from other sources as well. tarsome.

Editado: Sep 13, 2013, 11:50am

>49 mirrordrum: You're talking about three I liked a lot, Ellie - The Windup Girl, The City & the City, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. The last actually significantly differs from the Blade Runner movie and is well worth reading.

I loved the BBC production of I, Claudius, but never read the books.

>50 mirrordrum: I've had that happen, too. Annoying.

Sep 17, 2013, 8:27pm

Ellie - One of my favourites I' Claudius is. I suppose an inadequate gossipy man would be someone.......
Have a lovely week.

Sep 21, 2013, 12:35am

I have The Goodbye Look on my TBR pile. I think I would like Ross MacDonald's works and it seems like it's only fair to give him a try.

Sep 21, 2013, 10:00am

Happy Weekend, Ellie!

Sep 22, 2013, 8:14am

Ditto with Joe, Ellie

Sep 25, 2013, 10:44pm

>53 EBT1002: Ross MacDonald's alright. i'll be interested to see what you think, Ellen.

>54 jnwelch: & 55 thanks for the wishes for the weekend past, Joe and Mr. Peacock. i had 2 very nice evening strolls Saturday and Sunday. :-)

Sep 25, 2013, 10:47pm

Editado: Oct 3, 2013, 2:38am

What I’m reading.


I, Claudius by Robert Graves. It continues fascinating.

The gift of rain by Tan Twan Eng. I’m stalled on this one. Maybe I expected it to be Garden of evening mists?

What was lost by Catherine O'Flynn

Spies of Warsaw by Alan Furst nice to have something sleuthy when I'm having a lie down.


Persuader by Lee Child. I’ve been ruined by the Jack Reacher fans amongst us.

Various haunts of men by Susan Hill I love the title.

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth L. Ozeki stumbled on a description somewhere that, iirc, mentioned a 100-year-old Buddhist grandmother. Well, I read no further. Just bought the book.

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen a Jane Austen I haven’t read, Juliet Stevenson narrating. What’s not to love?

Non-audio books

Field work by Seamus Heaney (poetry, of course) how have I been missing Seamus Heaney all these years? JB just picked it up from the library for me today. I may have to own it.

i ditched School for scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan in favor of

The Queen of the tambourine by Jane Gardam. i found it in large print lurking on a shelf. i'd forgotten i'd bought it. huzzah! it's goooood.

Sep 26, 2013, 3:41am

wish i could read like this.

Editado: Sep 26, 2013, 11:17am

I’ve been ruined by the Jack Reacher fans amongst us. Yay! Gives ruin a good name, doesn't it? I like all the Lee Child love in that >57 mirrordrum: article, too. My last "under the sheets' can't put down read was Louise Penny's How the Light Gets In.

Field Work is the Seamus Heaney collection I remember liking. I ate up Spies of Warsaw, and just watched the first episode of the BBC series - as good as Richard and others have said.

I'm a sucker for anything Austen. So glad you read The Book Thief - what a book! I'll look forward to your reaction to School for Scandal; I've never seen it and hadn't thought of reading it.

Oct 2, 2013, 6:53am

I would humbly recommend Heaney's Beowulf translation if you haven't read it before. It's wonderful, plus you can find it on audio book with himself narrating.

Oct 2, 2013, 3:12pm

Another vote for his Beowulf. Gripping, rather than dusty and moldy.

Oct 3, 2013, 4:34pm

currently in Knoxville it's 81 degrees with a 70% chance of starlings! 10 days ago, Wunderground was forecasting 60s and 40s for this week. now we're looking at mid-80s. fall gets trumped when chaos, fluid systems, butterflies and climate change get all moshed up together.

i finished The various haunts of men last night. it was a 3.5 star read throughout but had a fairly gripping and unexpected denouement. i expect i'll read another to see if she can tie up a loose end or 5 and continue to make the setting and main characters worth a visit.

i also ditched School for scandal in favor of Gardam's Queen of the tambourine. it was lurking dustily in large print on one of my shelves and i'd not realized i had it. it's quite good and typically Gardam-strange.

Editado: Oct 4, 2013, 5:51pm

>61 scaifea:, 62 it's always so nice to have a visit from you, Amber, et tu, Josephus.

ya know i read Beowulf maybe 12 years or so ago when Xena: Warrior Princess was doing a typically Xenaic (i.e. off-the-wall) Beowulf arc. it was an NLS recording, iirc.

i went and listened to options at audible.com and, in fact, preferred Charlton Griffin's narration to Heaney's though i realize it's the translation you're both talking about. the coolest audio is J. B. Bessinger's old English narration from the Caedmon label. at least i guess it's in olde English. gorgeous language, though i have no idea what's being said.

Louise Penny. humph. i feel about her as others of our ken feel about Charlie Dickens though perhaps not so venomous. still, there's a lot of carrying on about the latest. i'll see.

Editado: Oct 5, 2013, 3:27pm

i took this a couple of years ago about 3 blocks from the house. ah, autumn. it's actually rather nice when not compressed to a fare-thee-well. the photo, that is, not autumn.

if the above doesn't show up, here's a link to the original size. i'll show them. ;)

Oct 5, 2013, 9:12am

Ellie, as of right now, I can not see your photograph. Just a little blue box with a question mark in it. Sad.

Oct 5, 2013, 10:09am

Me, too. Can't see the >65 mirrordrum: photo, and would like to.

Oct 5, 2013, 3:43pm

I LOVE that photo, Ellie! Hope you are enjoying a weekend full of fabulous!

Oct 5, 2013, 4:25pm

Ellie, yes I can see the photograph now. Delightful. I hope you have the original blown up and in a frame on yur wall. It is one that should be seen often!

Oct 6, 2013, 12:46am

Hello Dickensite heretic with AntiPennyan traits. In spite of your manifest error and incorrectitude, Perkins will fetch y'all for a lovely, cool vacation in the land of changing sumac leaves.

Oct 6, 2013, 1:18am

The Peacock will spring to your defence against all censorious types trying to legislate against Charlie and in favour of Penny.

Out for a Penny
It's not worth a pound
In with the Chuckles
Which is less safe, more sound

That is for you my dear (and just a little bit for RD)

Have a lovely weekend.

Editado: Oct 8, 2013, 10:27am

The photo shows just fine now, Ellie, and it's a beaut. The crisp detail is really something. How many people walked by that without seeing it, I wonder. I try to pay attention, but I might have missed it, too.

As you know, both Dickens and Penny grab me, so I suggest an approach embracing both.

Hope all is well in your part of the world.

Editado: Oct 7, 2013, 8:54pm

Beautiful photo Ellie.

BTW: Re: The End of the Affair. Did you listen to the recording done by dishy Colin Firth? I heard it's a good one.

Oct 8, 2013, 11:20am

Dickens. Bah. Humbug!

Editado: Oct 10, 2013, 10:19pm

behind, behind, oh so very behind but how lovely to have had visitors.

>68 Crazymamie: Mamie, dahling! how lovely to see your mad, mad, mad self.

>69 maggie1944: thanks, Karen. and no, i don't use resources on making prints and/or framing photos anymore. the occasional card but that's all. i have photos from the last 45 years up on the walls and we're happy with those. i'm pretty much limited to snapshots now anyhoo and to playing around with PS CS on my stockpile of JPEGs from earlier years. that's fun enough.

>70 richardderus: hi, RD, you smoochable bahumbudgerigar. mwah mwah mwah. we have sumac leaves as well, you know. jb has been longing for a sumac of our very own but has never been able to get one to transplant. this year they're not bothering with color. nothing is. too warm. may i assume it's scrub for sumac-viewing? ask Perkin (sic) to let us know.

>71 PaulCranswick: oh, Paul, you are ever my hero charging into the fray against Dickens deniers and other fiendish foes. No wonder SWMBO fell for you. love the verse. couldn't do that myself, not if it was ever so!

>72 jnwelch: hullo, dear Joe. thanks for the kind words about what Miss Mapp, if it it were a painting, might call "my poor little daubs." i like it b/c of the menisci (really. i looked it up) at the leaf edges. and oh, you're such a peace maker. i'll bet your inclusive spirit worked well when you were tending bar.

>73 NarratorLady: thanks, Anne. and yep, Firth's narration is the one i listened to. it's superbly done. oh, we so agree on dishy. how funny.

>74 richardderus: i love you, too, RD dear.

Editado: Oct 17, 2013, 1:44am

Currently reading.


I, Claudius by Robert Graves. It continues fascinating.
Spies of Warsaw by Alan Furst
What was lost by Catherine O'Flynn. This is a strange book but a good one. It has one of the scariest bits I’ve ever read. The setting for this one part is the labyrinth of underground service tunnels of a closed mall. Nothing sinister actually happening but she scared the stuffing out of me, and that's rare.


A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth L. Ozeki. I’m enjoying this tremendously. Ozeki narrates it herself so the Japanese is correct and fluent and she’s also Buddhist, so the chanting is correct and actually quite helpful.
The light years by Elizabeth Jane Howard. Jill Balcon, the narrator, is a treat.
The art forger by B. A. Shapiro FINISHED

Non-audio books

Field work by Seamus Heaney (poetry, of course) how have I been missing Seamus Heaney all these years? JB just picked it up from the library for me today. I may have to own it.
Queen of the tambourine by Jane Gardam—found this lurking on the shelf in LP. Don’t know when I bought it. Gardam. *sigh*

Editado: Oct 11, 2013, 12:58am

Jill Balcon, narrator of The light years.

Editado: Oct 11, 2013, 1:41am


Those long uneven lines
Standing as patiently
As if they were stretched outside
The Oval or Villa Park,
The crowns of hats, the sun
On moustached archaic faces
Grinning as if it were all
An August Bank Holiday lark;

And the shut shops, the bleached
Established names on the sunblinds,
The farthings and sovereigns,
And dark-clothed children at play
Called after kings and queens,
The tin advertisements
For cocoa and twist, and the pubs
Wide open all day--

And the countryside not caring:
The place names all hazed over
With flowering grasses, and fields
Shadowing Domesday lines
Under wheat's restless silence;
The differently-dressed servants
With tiny rooms in huge houses,
The dust behind limousines;

Never such innocence,
Never before or since,
As changed itself to past
Without a word--the men
Leaving the gardens tidy,
The thousands of marriages,
Lasting a little while longer:
Never such innocence again.

Philip Larkin (1922-1985)

*MCMXIV = 1914

Oct 11, 2013, 8:47am

Thanks for sharing that, Ellie. It's lovely.

Oct 11, 2013, 8:51am

Well, Ellie, I'm glad you still are having fun!

Oct 11, 2013, 9:12am

Ellie - How delightful to come over here to see you my dear and bump into the disshevelled but brilliant Philip Larkin.

My weekend is sort of starting, although I have a tough time tomorrow with work issues.

Have a lovely one yourself.

Oct 13, 2013, 9:25pm

Ellie, the photo you took of the autumn leaves is lovely.
I have only read one by Louise Penny but, like you, I was underwhelmed. Everyone says they get better as one goes, and I love your comment that there has been much carrying on about the latest. The only thing is, since I'm compulsive about reading series in order, I would have to read several to get to this latest one!

Editado: Oct 13, 2013, 10:50pm

US colleges with the best libraries Part I

lovely to see Cal's Doe library in the list. many's the hour . . .

the coolest thing about Doe, aside from the stacks, is that the wide marble stairs from ground level to first floor are deeply worn, or at least they were in the 60's, from the passage of many feet. walking up those stairs used to give me a great sense of belonging since both my parents probably walked up them as well.

Oct 13, 2013, 11:01pm

Wow! All of those are beautiful library buildings!
I wonder if UW will make it onto the list in part 2....

Oct 14, 2013, 11:23am

I wonder if the UW's place in the upper left hand corner of the country means it won't make the list because so few people (relatively few) have seen it? I do love the sense of history these grand buildings give us.

Oct 14, 2013, 12:58pm

Liking that Phillip Larkin poem, Ellie.

Menisci, eh? Ah, I see them. I had a painter friend who once explained the importance of negative space - the space around the object you're trying to capture. One of those comments that can flip your perspective in a good way. It did mine.

Oct 14, 2013, 6:51pm

Heh..."bahumbudgerigar" heh

Scroodles of smoochings on you, ma vieille amie.

Oct 15, 2013, 2:50pm

Me, too, what Richard wrote.

Editado: Oct 17, 2013, 4:35pm

response to Richard's blog post linked on his thread that's too long to be posted there:

to a very large degree, short of speech involving defamation and/or inciting to riot or physical or environmental harm, i think people should be provided with pretty much anything and allowed to censor for themselves those things that are distasteful, unpalatable or offensive.* this is why i support the ACLU. i believe, with them, that the KKK and the American Nazi Party have as much right to say what they believe, with the above caveats, as the Black Panthers did and Earth Liberation Front does.

this belief was shaken a bit when a gunman came into our church 5 years ago this past summer and opened up with a shotgun killing two people and wounding a number of others. in his car and home were found books by Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and Michael Savage.

the only thing i've come up with out of all of that is that the shooter may have been pushed by these individuals, but chances are if it hadn't been for these kinds of authors, it would have been, and possibly was, something else that triggered his shooting spree. goodness knows he had enough grievances.

what i have to ask myself is how far i want to take the idea of freedom of speech. i think probably to its limit. as a woman and as a lesbian woman in particular, my life has been directly affected by the freedom of people to speak and write negatively about women and lesbians. it certainly had an impact on my professional life. after i came out at the University of Tennessee, there were direct effects to me within the University and personal attacks from students who didn't like grades they received from me and blamed these on my sexual orientation. one professor invited me in to talk to his class on psychopathology about gay issues in social work treatment and then, after i left, pointed out to the students all the pathological elements in what i had said demonstrating that being lesbian was an illness. the important point, though, is that each of us had the opportunity to speak freely about what we believed and the students then had to make judgments. just like the real world. i would not have changed it.

i tend to prefer civil discourse and i'm quite competent to choose that option, but it's often uncivil discourse that has informed me. i am not always good in my judgments and, like most people, i tend to choose a diet of opinions that agree with mine and so reinforce, rather than challenge, my beliefs. but i don't always do that. i make myself listen to and read materials that make me feel edgy. i want that option and i'm willing to pay the price.

i appreciate your willingness, RD, to tackle this issue on behalf of people who, as i do, need someone who can think and speak more clearly, even if i may disagree with you. after all, isn't that what it's ultimately about: being given the freedom not just to speak freely but to listen and read freely as well without someone else making pre-judgments for me.

sorry for going on, but censorship is a twisty issue for me and i'm always grateful when people address it. helps my brain.

*i run into snags when i consider the emotional damage done to groups about whom negative things are written and who come to believe them. the only way i know to counter that is for members of those groups to be given every opportunity also to speak freely. it is, though, much more complicated than it seems.

Oct 16, 2013, 10:46pm

Ellie, my goodness...such an outpouring of eloquence and common sense! It's amazing to me how few people are willing to do this much thinking, especially when the results are so lovely.

I am so pleased that my screed struck such a lovely bell within you. *smooch*

Editado: Oct 17, 2013, 2:39am

>81 PaulCranswick: hi Paul. i hadn't realized Larkin was disheveled. apparently he was, at least occasionally. mostly he looks very much like a minor civil servant. here, though, his blowing coif makes him look every bit the disheveled devil.

>82 EBT1002: ah, Ellen, another discerning soul. i trudged through the first one and hit "oh good grief" in the 2nd. i have ventured no further. however, readers i respect disagree so there ya go.

>84 EBT1002: aren't libraries gorgeous? i await the 2nd part of the list w/ bated breath.

>85 maggie1944: Karen, libraries are the very breath of life, aren't they?

>86 jnwelch: Joe, i remembered meniscus from chem at Cal and trying to measure whatever it was we were supposed to measure from the bottom of the silly things. i think mercury is the only liquid that makes a concave meniscus but too tired to look. silly stuff, mercury.

>87 richardderus: thanks for the scroodles,RD. and i'm getting vieille-er by the day!

>90 richardderus: thanks, love. and it was more like a resonating gong than a bell. ;)

Editado: Oct 17, 2013, 2:37am

The Art Forger

i found The art forger to be a remarkably unmemorable and disappointing novel. i gave it 2.5 stars b/c there were some sections, both technical and ethical, on painting and forging that were fascinating. i'd hoped there'd be much more, but alas, no.

Shapiro's protagonist, Clare Roth, is a struggling artist who keeps herself going making art reproductions for an online company. she's an expert in the Impressionists. she's also an artist in her own right and an incredible drama queen whom i found tiresome beyond belief.

the tension of the novel revolves around, or at least i thought it revolved around, what is and is not stealing (principally, forgery). Clare makes money copying art works legally but gets into trouble when she agrees to reproduce an impressionist piece in exchange for cash and a one-woman show at an upscale gallery in Boston.

i liked reading the parts about painting itself: the process of authenticating a painting and of actually making an original, reproduction or forgery. there weren't enough of those parts and Clare's infuriating decisions and continual fits of anger, guilt, angst, fear, joy, self-loathing, weeping, self-abasement and the loads of cliches that accompanied these just left me irked. add to that the circle of people who continually either bashed her or propped her up as she dissolved anew and you had a dissatisfied reader.

it's possible that this would be worthwhile if read visually so that one could skim. the version i read was audio and the narrator kept deliquescing into a maudlin, quavering voice every time Clare had one of her meltdowns, which was at least every 2 or 3 minutes and each was apt to extend for quite some time.

on the upside, i enjoyed very much the intense sequences on painting but they were far too few. furthermore, there were many important and potentially interesting moral and ethical issues that were brought up but whose exploration left me unsatisfied and didn't really push me to think. in sum, save your money and your nerves and read something else.

Oct 17, 2013, 8:46am

89> Amen, sister. Amen.

Oct 17, 2013, 1:12pm

>89 mirrordrum: How wonderfully well said, Ellie. Thank you for thinking that through and expressing it so well.

I agree, freedom to speak is the key, and we can't lose track of it. The costs can be heavy. I didn't know the story of the gunman in your church. As you say, he probably would have done the same or similar regardless of the influence of those horribly misguided loudmouths (free speech), but maybe not. And the harm to psyches of hateful and abusive speech is incalculable. We just had another 14 year old kill herself because of cyberbullying by two girls, with the leader of the two cyberbullies saying (posting) that she didn't care.

All I know is diminishing our awfulness to one another lies elsewhere than suppressing speech. I will say, however, that I have trouble with Nazis having a right to march in Skokie, and there are lines that for me shouldn't be crossed, like what the two girls did. So I'm not black and white on it, unfortunately.

I've looked at The Art Forger several times and had misgivings about reading it that you've confirmed. Thanks for your candid review. I'll save money and nerves and avoid it.

Oct 17, 2013, 1:19pm

>92 mirrordrum: ...the narrator kept deliquescing into a maudlin, quavering voice...


Once, once only, would I have endured that. Second time, pop out comes the audio thence to be burned and stomped and flung about. No mere deleting of file could assuage my disdainful enmity.

Oct 17, 2013, 4:56pm

>93 scaifea: thanks, Amber. this is an issue that always makes me wish i'd studied ethics and logic. i have to rely on early teachings from my father and my inclination, probably also learned from him, to try to push things to their extremes and flip them on their heads.

>94 jnwelch: i know, Joe. i don't know what to do about children and vulnerable groups, but who defines "vulnerable?" how do we both protect our children and still give them access to the riches of cyberspace? i'm clueless. i did make the caveat that freedom of speech shouldn't be construed as a license to defame or damage, which is what bullying involves.

one reason i don't watch cable "news" programs of any stripe is that they're so endlessly vituperative and the many either cherry pick their "facts" or lie outright.

oh, this isn't what i want to talk about. well, it is, but not here.

in re: Art Forger, it might be palatable if one didn't have to listen to it. and, too, a lot of people give it 4 stars. *shrug* it's just mho. maybe you'd like it.

>95 richardderus: you got it. endless shudderings and "oh gawdings." i wanted to see how she'd wrap it up and i kept hoping for more details about the painting process.

"assuage my disdainful enmity" -- okay, Mr. i-hate- poetry. either you've been secretly dipping into Blake or you read Her fearful symmetry and somehow absorbed it from that. either way, you're a sly boots.

Oct 17, 2013, 5:10pm

this is one of my favorite autumn photos. when i started having a lot of difficulty holding my camera steady, i started playing about with movement in a very slapdash way. i got some things i really like. this one, i'd actually have on my wall in full size -- it really needs all its pixels. it's hyperlinked to a larger version but not the full-sized version, which is very much better than either.

Oct 17, 2013, 6:17pm

>96 mirrordrum: *bold, brassy stare* I have no idea to what you might refer, madam.

>97 mirrordrum: Lovely!!

Oct 18, 2013, 9:25am

Happy Friday, Ellie.

>97 mirrordrum: is a beaut all right. I bet it looks great full size on the wall. We have big blown-up photos by Debbi of Monet's garden up on the wall in what we call our "Quiet Room."

Oct 18, 2013, 10:18am

My folks used to do that. They had a very large print of sunset over Lake Geneva on the staircase wall - all orange. It was gorgeous. I don't have room for it, but I do have the internegative, if I ever hit the lottery and have more wall space.

Oct 22, 2013, 10:17am

>89 mirrordrum:: Beautiful, Ellie. Really. Thanks for posting that.

I don't think my experiences coming out had as negative impact on my professional life as it sounds like it had on yours, but there were painful experiences along the way, that is for sure. I, too, was asked to speak on behalf of gay people everywhere (and I know this happens to all oppressed groups). In my first job, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, I made a dear friend who was a straight white woman and who used her privilege to speak out loudly, clearly, and thoughtfully on behalf of oppressed and targeted groups. This was in the early 1990s, and she and I did some presentations to classes about diversity (the word "multicultural" had not yet made its way into the lexicon). I so well remember a young man asking me a question (I don't actually remember the question, but it was hostile), and he said "I'm not saying I'm better than you...." My dear friend Pat spoke up when I could not. She simply said "actually, that's exactly what you are saying to her." Thank heavens for brave and calm allies.

Nov 2, 2013, 11:02am

Dear Ellie, I have had a few problems keeping up lately as I have had trouble with my eyes (they were badly strained) but I am recuperating slowly and am happy to get caught up.

Have a lovely weekend.

Nov 2, 2013, 12:38pm

Hope all is well, Ellie, and you're having a good weekend.

Nov 4, 2013, 7:48am

Good Monday morning, Ellie. I hope your coming week is just swell.

Nov 7, 2013, 12:26am

Currently reading.


I, Claudius by Robert Graves. It continues fascinating.
The sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
And Quiet Flows the Don by Mikhail Sholokhov


Post Captain by Patrick O’Brian
Cuckoo’s calling by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J. K. Rowling)
A prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Large print books

Field work by Seamus Heaney (poetry)
Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee (thanks, Joe)

From Cuckoo’s calling

A Dirge

Why were you born when the snow was falling?
You should have come to the cuckoo’s calling,
Or when grapes are green in the cluster,
Or, at least, when lithe swallows muster
For their far off flying
From summer dying.

Why did you die when the lambs were cropping?
You should have died at the apples’ dropping,
When the grasshopper comes to trouble,
And the wheat-fields are sodden stubble,
And all winds go sighing
For sweet things dying.

--Christina Rossetti

works nicely as the lead-in to the book.

Nov 7, 2013, 12:34am

just for fun:

the Cazalets from BBC4

where are the kids?

Nov 7, 2013, 3:31pm

I've become a Cazaleteer. Need to finish the books so I can watch the series.

You're welcome on Cider with Rosie. It's a charmer - I hope you like it.

Nov 10, 2013, 12:52am

Just passing through - wishing you a happy remainder of the weekend, Ellie!

Nov 10, 2013, 1:29pm


Nov 14, 2013, 11:53pm

mes chers amis--how lovely of you to drop by. i have gone flopbott from RA in the hands and Sjogrens in the eyes due to cold and overuse. i ain't about much. not even lurking. miss being here but too taxing to the pieces parts. it happens and it will pass.

anyway, here's something purty. i do love ginkos.

as for reading:

A prayer for Owen Meany is fascinating and well-narrated. I, Claudius has now devolved into a succession of assassinations and beastlinesses with no relief in sight and i haven't even gotten to Caligula's reign. 4 hrs. to go and i'm struggling. And quiet flows the don involves a lot of passion, labor, ferocity and beard-chewing. srsly. beard-chewing. also beard-entanglements during times of passion and face-to-face ferocity. and this is the "Peace" part. war ought to be truly wild. the sparrow is quite good and well done by NLS.

i am periodically regaling and refreshing myself with bouts of Patrick O'Brian's Post Captain, one of my favorites.

wish i could visit everybody. we shall see. will try to do a whip round just to say "hey."

Nov 15, 2013, 12:24am

Oh dear Ellie, so sorry you're under the weather. And it doesn't sound like I, Claudius is helping one little bit. I can't think of Claudius without hearing Derek Jacobi's delightful stutter. Don't think I could bear Caligula no matter how I was feeling.

I adore A Prayer for Owen Meany, the only one of John Irving's books I would read again. Just now I'm reading Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks. Normally I would shy away from anyone trying to emulate Wodehouse (or any other author I admire, for that matter) but it just fascinates me that Faulks, who described the horrors of the WWI battlefields better than any other author of fiction in his book Birdsong IMHO, would take on a comic genius. So far so good and I am a stern critic.

At NLS I'm reading a bio of Anne Frank, beautifully written and despite the difficult subject matter, a real pleasure to read. I used to live in Amsterdam, a canal away from Anne's house. We even lived in an "achterhuis" or rear house, much like the one Anne's family hid in, so with the same name and all I've always felt a certain tenuous identification with her. It seems inevitable to be reading this book, dragging out my rusty old Dutch.

Hope you're up and lurking soon. They're serving up some lovely treats at Joe's.

Nov 15, 2013, 12:39pm

Ellie, the RA is kicking me a bit, too. Don't know if its due to stress, overuse, weather, or failure of the medication to work as well as I want. My left wrist is very swollen, sore, and makes the left hand nearly useless. I am very grateful the eyes are not giving me grief right now, although I'm still "adjusting" to the new vision post cataracts surgery. It can be very wearing, can't it. I'm sorry you are feeling the pains, as I'm sorry I am, too!

So, taking a page from your books, I'll work on doing some reading. But I also need to continue to pack up getting ready for moving.

Hope you find some relief soon. And me, too.

Nov 15, 2013, 1:19pm

Sending smooches, hugs, and scroodles of noogies.

Nov 15, 2013, 2:08pm

I'm so sorry to hear you're having so much trouble with your ra. Nasty stuff, that.

Nov 15, 2013, 3:28pm

My sympathy, too, Ellie. We miss having you around. What a beautiful pic in >110 mirrordrum:. I'd like to walk right into it.

I'm with Anne on A Prayer for Owen Meany, although I did like The World According to Garp way back when. But not as much.

And I'm intrigued by Jeeves and the Wedding Bells for the same reason as Anne, too. Loved Birdsong, know Faulks can write, but never would have connected him with a new Jeeves book. Richard liked it a lot, as have media reviewers, so that's promising. It may be a holiday book for me.

Nov 18, 2013, 1:01am

#110 - I want to run through that tunnel of color!

I hope you're feeling better, Ellie. And I'm glad you've been enjoying A Prayer for Owen Meany. I know not everyone liked it as much as I did, but the character has stayed with me quite effectively over the decade-plus since I read it. I'm still a fan of Garp, but I think some of John Irving's other works deserve attention. I plan to read In One Person in the next few months.

Nov 18, 2013, 3:04pm

Hiya! Thanks for visiting my profile! I took a gander at your thread and books this year- nice list!

Editado: Nov 18, 2013, 4:19pm

will respond later to comments. just had to post this apropos of nothing except it's words, well-written and made me laugh. our annual UU auction is coming up. one of the hottest items are eggs from two of our members. they started w/ 4 hens, iirc. then came a rooster, then Dorcas had chicks. now the auction item for this year:

"Fresh eggs from our hens, Agnes, Annabelle, Dorcas, Stella, Hester, Adeline, Ophelia ,Violet, Victoria, Ester, Shaddie, Matilda, Phoebe, Eliza, Celia, Geneve and Carl (long story) with moral support from roosters Elisha, Jacob and Esau. Colors will vary depending on who laid them. Recently they've formed a worker run and worker governed egg production cooperative. This means that exactly when the eggs are available will depend on when the hens vote to return to work after a seasonal hiatus. It may be that on auction night you'll receive a basket with a dozen actual eggs and two coupons for a dozen more each. Or, if they are too busy with Yule preparations to lay eggs at the moment, your basket may contain three coupons. In any case you’ll get a total of three dozen eggs from hens with names who have never heard of factory farms and, except for the occasional pecking order issue, live quiet, pastoral lives pretty much in line with UU principles."

i'm bidding *high*!

they also have guineas named Gus. Gus are a riot.

bed, nap, now!

Nov 18, 2013, 4:30pm

I want Dorcas's eggs.

Nov 18, 2013, 5:22pm

We'll go for Est(h)er at our house. Great description of the auction item!

Nov 18, 2013, 7:03pm

All of them are named Gus?

Nov 18, 2013, 9:15pm

In honor of our late beloved basset Phoebe, I'll take her namesake's eggs.

Editado: Nov 19, 2013, 3:22pm

praise Hestia! i finished I, Claudius. what an agonizing 18 hours *that* turned out to be. whew!

Editado: Nov 19, 2013, 3:22pm

>11 richardderus: thanks for the kind words, Anne. it's all what i try to think of, following Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, as "the inconveniences of the body." sometimes i do better than others. don't we all?

i'm thoroughly enjoying A Prayer for Owen Meany. i've never read anything quite like it and the narrator does a marvelous job on Owen's voice.

thanks for the nudge on Birdsong. i thought they had it at one point on audible but they now have it only in an abridged version (bah!) though by one of the Wests, on both of whom i dote. the NLS narrator is *not* good. soooo, thanks to the folks across the pond, i sought and found an LP copy and am awaiting it to read after i finish Cider with Rosie of which i grow ever fonder. do you think it (Birdsong) does a better job of describing WWI than All quiet on the Western Front? that would be scary. and Regeneration still ranks up there at the top for me.

love the backstory about your narration of Anne Frank. i gather that means you've moved on from that previous wearisome narration. let me know when it's done and i can start watching for it. what's the title, please?

it's so nice to have a visit from you.

well, that's it for tonight. back tomorrow.

Nov 19, 2013, 5:25am

Sorry to see you're having trouble with your joints and your minces dear lady, do hope you can soldier on as life is a lot nicer here with you ensconced safely in it.

Also nice to note that you are enjoying Cider With Rosie : one of my absolute favourites. Laurie Lee was a lovely chap and a wonderful, wonderful writer of poetic prose.

Nov 19, 2013, 3:28pm

>112 maggie1944: sorry you're being kicked about, Karen. sounds like you're having a really tough time!

>113 richardderus: noogies? OWWWwwww. brat.

>114 ffortsa: RA is a great lot of nonsense, to be sure. i want to know if you've seen or are going to see the "Sirs" (Ian and Patrick) whilst they're on Broadway. now that's worth talking about.

Nov 19, 2013, 3:29pm

will be back when i'm able w/ pics of Dorcas and Gus and more rejoinders.

Nov 19, 2013, 6:02pm

a few of Gus in the snow. marvelous commentary, imo. so yes, Judy, they are all Gus.

Nov 19, 2013, 7:52pm

Dorcas with progeny

Nov 19, 2013, 9:14pm

>129 mirrordrum: Pretty bird!

Nov 20, 2013, 9:48am


Nov 20, 2013, 1:23pm

Dorcas! Come to daddy! I don't like chicken, so you're safe with me. Your miscarriages, however, are not. I do love an egg.

Nov 22, 2013, 7:09am

Love the chickens, and stories about chickens. I am so glad some cities are finding it within their legalisms to "allow" some homeowners to have chickens in their yards. I think they should allow the noisy roosters, too, but that probably will not happen soon.

Hope you are doing well today!

Nov 22, 2013, 12:45pm

Happy Friday, Ellie! Hope your weekend is setting up to be a good one.

Nov 25, 2013, 12:02am

Hi Ellie. I'm glad you're enjoying A Prayer for Owen Meany. I thought Irving did a great job with his voice. I read it years ago and I can still "hear" Owen's odd voice.

We had two hens when we lived in Oregon several years ago. We co-"owned" them with our neighbors. One neighbor built them a sturdy and safe A-frame coop, and the other neighbor and P did their share of hen-caretaking. I couldn't stand the limited little area they had to meander around in, though, so I would frequently don my down jacket, pour a glass of wine, and go let them out of their run. I would stand around supervising them. Iris (she was lavender-y gray) and BC (which stood for Black Chicken because after we named Iris for her color, we just fell into doing the same with her sister). They were a delight and we thoroughly enjoyed their eggs. I don't know that I'd have hens again but only because my life does not have room in it for one more responsibility and I can't stand not giving them attention and making their life as rich as possible.

I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving!

Nov 26, 2013, 12:55am

>132 richardderus: i don't think you can have Dorcas, hon. Dorcas is bespoke. if i knew how to get you a dozen of Dorcas' eggs, though, i'd do it in a heartbeat.

>133 maggie1944: i have a great fondness for chickens, Karen. i grew up with chickens from birth till, um, i guess about 17 when i went to Cal. i used to climb the fig tree that hung over the chicken run, eat figs (great huge purple figs) and listen to the chickens fussing and fossicking and bathing in the dust. i love the smells of chicken coops, freshly laid eggs, and chicken-scratched dust. the sounds of contented chickens are amongst the most soporific and relaxing i know. i miss 'em.

>134 jnwelch: hi Joe. thanks for the weekend wishes. :-)

>135 EBT1002: hullo Ellen. interesting you mention Owen's voice. John Irving chose Joe Barrett, the narrator of the audible.com version, b/c he was the one who could correctly voice Owen as Irving intended. there's a sample clip on audible and Owen appears about 2 minutes in if you're interested in what Irving had in mind. the entire narration is a fine one.

Nov 26, 2013, 1:07pm

Ellie, you are describing my experience, too. I spent summers on a ranch in Idaho and one of my favorite things to do was to crawl up into the willow trees over the creek, and listen to the breezes in the leaves, watch the pigs wallow in the shallows, and enjoy the chickens clucking about, digging up their little treats. A very visceral memory for me and one which I would love to recreate. I need some relatives who still live on the land, and have chickens, pigs, and cattle. Magpie birds also loved to hang out in those trees.

Nov 27, 2013, 4:38pm

Perkins has remonstrated with me, and I've been shamed into bringing you stuffing:

Happy numnum! *smooch*

Nov 28, 2013, 1:44am

Happy Thanksgiving, Ellie!

Nov 28, 2013, 4:17pm

Happy Thanksgiving to you and JB, Ellie!

Nov 28, 2013, 9:48pm

Happy Thanksgiving, Ellie!

Nov 29, 2013, 7:28am

And a happy Day After Thanksgiving, too!

Nov 30, 2013, 2:05am

Ellie - My football (soccer) team Leeds United, are nicknamed The Proud Peacocks on account of the Public Inn across from their stadium which is called The Peacock. You are the only one in the group to call me the Peacock, which given, those associations, I of course cherish.

I am thankful for all my dear friends in this wonderful group and I do hope that arthritis and issues with your eyes don't detract from a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend for one of the 75ers very best ladies. xx

Dic 1, 2013, 9:15pm

>138 richardderus: oh i *do* love Perkins, the great remonstrator. i suppose it would embarrass him greatly if i sent him a *SMOOCH*!!! do you know i had never had cornbread stuffing till i moved to east Tennessee? i thought it was just alright until i tasted JB's. OH MY GAWD!

Dic 3, 2013, 1:35am

thanks Joe, Tam, Paul, Karen and Roni for the seasonal wishes. :-)

Dic 3, 2013, 11:09am

You bet, Ellie. Let us know what you think of Cuckoo's Calling. It sounds good to me, but I'm not sure.

Dic 3, 2013, 5:42pm

I loved Cuckoo's Calling ... hope you do too. I also have Drift in my pile as I am a Maddow fan. I went to her book signing in Cambridge a couple of years ago (a love-in really) and she was just as delightful and smart as you would expect. What a great girl.

I'm also a fan of Savage Beauty which has stayed with me. Milford is a great writer and she doesn't publish often. She's worth the wait.

Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one Ellie. We took to the road this year, visiting family along the east coast which was fun. Glad to be back at home and reading again.

Dic 4, 2013, 9:59pm

hi, Anne. i wouldn't say i love Cuckoo's calling but i like it. i think better read visually than in audio. i lose track of some characters. admittedly, i wasn't fair. i got sucked into Owen Meany and Post Captain and CC got put on hold for about 20 audio hoursenough to confuse a bear of very little brain, ya know?

in large print, Savage Beauty weighs about 50 lbs. or so. i'm reading it in fits and starts. so well done. Vincent is a great favorite and her life, and that of her sisters, is mind-boggling. my interest in her is enhanced a bit b/c 17-year-old Mary Oliver stayed at Steepletop for some time while Norma was there and they became friends.

so glad you had a splendid Thanksgiving w/ family.

Editado: Dic 4, 2013, 11:47pm

heaven save us! i just found Meryl Streep narrating The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín just released this Sept. oh be still my beating heart.

and the other day found an absolute glut of Jane Gardam on audible. for years they've had only Old filth, Man in the wooden hat and flight of the maidens. now suddenly they have almost everything, books i despaired of ever getting to read. oh i am the most spoiled, most fortunate of human beings. i bought them all b/c it is not uncommon for books to appear and then suddenly be w/drawn. copyright thingies or whatnot, i dunno. i threw caution to the winds!

Dic 4, 2013, 10:23pm

It's Jane Gardam, good madam. Like Barbara Pym or Penelope Fitzgerald, even the least of her works is better than most bests.

Dic 4, 2013, 10:41pm

What a find, Ellie! I hope that they have lovely British voices narrating her lovely prose. Congrats!

Editado: Dic 5, 2013, 1:14am

>151 richardderus: 'struth! and do they have Pym on audible? they do not. Pen Fitzgerald? Pen Fitzgerald? i've never even *heard* of her. they have 3 on audible. horrid quality recordings but they're short and sound like my kind of thing. i'll sample one.

>152 NarratorLady: they do have good narrators, Anne, including Gardam herself for The People on Privilege Hill. that should be fun. i like her voice.

Dic 5, 2013, 12:29pm

I'm glad you're getting showered with audio goodies, Ellie. I read about Meryl Streep doing her usual stellar job with The Testament of Mary; I want to read that one, too. Plus more Gardam!

Editado: Dic 5, 2013, 9:57pm

what a wonderful book was A prayer for Owen Meany. the audible.com version has a delightful 30 min or so interview w/ JI. i was intrigued to find that his favorite author is none other than Charlie Dickens, esp. Great Expectations. he was talking about some of the homages in APFOM and a lot of it was an homage to The Tin Drum, including Owen Meany's initials. wonderful interview. must now read, or possibly re-read, the tin drum.

i have taken up knitting as an accompaniment to audiobooks. hah! gonna make blankies for the Snuggles Project.

it'll be long and long before my efforts look anything like the pic since this is only my first week, but warm is warm and the critters aren't gonna care. i shall undoubtedly be a prodigy.

Dic 6, 2013, 11:40am

Ellie, I think your knitting for the snuggles project is excellent indeed. The knitted things go to give shelter dogs some comfort? Cool!

Dic 6, 2013, 2:41pm

I think Lady Catherine De Bourgh undoubtedly would have been a prodigy, too.

Good for you for making snuggle supplies.

Dic 6, 2013, 5:02pm

>148 NarratorLady: Anne, i somehow missed your comment abt Rachel Maddow. i highly recommend the audio as she narrates it wonderfully and comfortably but with the trademark RM wit and disgusting levels of knowledge. yes, if one went to see her at all, it would have to be a love-in.

>156 maggie1944: hi Karen, oh thou traveler and eschewer of large waves. Snuggles distributes blankets PRN to shelter cats and dogs of all sizes and ages. they get to take them home when they get adopted so they'll have the comfort of a transitional object that smells and feels familiar.

>157 jnwelch:

"Madame, show me those wretched creatures. . .Heaven and earth! —of what are you thinking? Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted? Knit them some blankets this instant." apologies to JA

and yeah, it's very good for me. the doobies and kittle-kattle are really the ancillary beneficiaries. er, if i ever get one finished, which sometimes seems doubtful. i keep dropping stitches . . .

Dic 6, 2013, 5:33pm

I think I'd be a prodigy at dropping stitches.

I belatedly realized that Lady C de B said about piano playing, “If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient.” Not prodigy. Doh!

Dic 7, 2013, 3:21pm

>159 jnwelch: anybody would be a stitch-dropping prodigy if they got as much help as i get from Cody. and yes, i shall have to reread P&P. i have no memory of the piano line atall atall.

Dic 8, 2013, 1:44am

I think Meryl would be just right for narrating that novella!

I'm just about to dig into The Man in the Wooden Hat, having read Old Filth while vacationing on Kaua'i last spring. I'm interested to see what I learn about their marriage.

Dic 9, 2013, 11:58pm

>155 mirrordrum:, I volunteer every week at the animal shelter for 2-6 hrs, and what people do for animals in the shelter make a HUGE difference to their well being. I walk the dogs, play with kitties, general cleaning, and help with laundry. Once in a while, I'll be asked to help with easy medical stuff. The first few days are a scary experience for animals, so anything we can do to make them feel better is a huge deal. This shelter volunteer thanks you!

Dic 10, 2013, 10:14am

>161 mirrordrum: For some reason, I always loved that Lady C de B line. The ultimate in self-belief: if I had ever decided to learn it, I would have been terrific at it. Of course, she (Jane A) says it so much more eloquently.

If you want a striking, well done angle on P & P, try Longbourn. It provides the downstairs view of the Bennets, Bingleys, Darcys, etc. Emma Fielding does the audio.

Editado: Dic 12, 2013, 2:43am

Dic 14, 2013, 12:15am

> 165 bwahahah!

Dic 15, 2013, 3:21am

Like the cartoon Ellie - I am not catholic or christian even anymore but the point it makes is valid for all faiths.

Have a lovely weekend.

Tam - Pat on the back for you - volunteering your time for such a good cause is great. If you lived a bit closer you could come around and walk the kids.

Dic 17, 2013, 2:38am

from the NYT review of In the country of men, March 2007 that i plan to read as soon as i finish Killing floor.

Editado: Dic 17, 2013, 3:49am

>163 leperdbunny: how wonderful, Tam. it shouldn't take me more than 4 or 5 years to actually knit something. my HSO is knitting madly away and is going to have a 24 x 24 piece before we know it. i find i'm going to have to use square needles as the interesting geography of my hands makes round needles hard to grip. had to get them from across the pond of all things.

>164 jnwelch: Joe, i'm trying to decide whether to read P&P again before i read Longbourn thank you so very much for adding to my bloated audiobook list. egad! *frown* i've read it twice but it's been about 20 years since the last time and there's been an eraser at work on my mind and also a lot of reading since and, the mind being something like a bucket, i expect it's plumb full and anything added requires something either to spill out the top or drain out the bottom, which is admittedly cracked (stolen and modified from a Lee Child character).

>166 leperdbunny: & 167 Tam and Paul i'm not an anything. my daily meditation is Buddhist-inspired (vipassana or mindfulness), but that's about it. still, as Popes go, Pope Francis is knockin' my socks off.

Editado: Dic 17, 2013, 3:44am

hope to drop in again soon. did finish The sparrow and it quite infuriated me. i'd say why but am too lazy. maybe later.

anon hey non nonny.

Dic 17, 2013, 9:36am

Are you liking Killing Floor, Ellie? I always find the Lee Childs a wonderful diversion. My MBH is reading one out loud to the two of us these days.

To me you can't go wrong with a re-read of P & P. I re-read it every couple of years just because it's so darn witty and good.

Dic 17, 2013, 10:08am

If you can get Juliet Stevenson reading P&P I would highly recommend it since she is such a fave of both of us. Can't think of a more pleasant way to spend a winter's day.

You don't need a re-read in order to enjoy Longbourn (a fabulous read) but, like Joe, I'd take any excuse.

Hey nonny nonny to you too.

Dic 17, 2013, 9:17pm

Uh oh...The Sparrow infuriated La Ellie? *paces nervously awaiting verdict on a favorite book's transgressions*

Editado: Dic 17, 2013, 9:44pm

>163 leperdbunny:/169, Thank you! I'm such a spaz about animals if you asked me to walk your pup(s) I wouldn't say no. :O) I decided a long time ago I'm inept when it comes to knitting.

Dic 18, 2013, 10:50am

i am now inept at knitting. got shin-clipped by Cody yesterday, flewflat on face, heard loud crack in r arm and what lo after a lot of undignified screeching and an army of rescue peeps and 5 hrs in ED, learned i've broken my 'humorous.' culd've been worse.

ironically, was in midst of wrapping yearly packages for local senio citizens home. headline: '70 year old woman felled by rampaging feline while aiding elderly.' *snort*

don' feel at my best and brighyest, r arm and hand useless. see orthopod on morrow. hoping avoidf surgery. typing w/ l hand tiring.

wld love to talk w/ u RD DEAR abt sparrow . . . alas, alack and well-a-day.

must stp now.

bed calls. need hummer cake w/ scroodles of icing STAT.

Dic 18, 2013, 12:48pm

One emergency hummingbird cake! Extra icing!

Editado: Dic 18, 2013, 2:04pm

One may not be enough!

Ouch! I imagine Cody was being friendly, but at the wrong time. A broken humorous - it only hurts when you laugh? That sounds terrible, actually, Ellie. Kudos to you for remaining philosophical about it. Hope you get good news from the orthropod.

Dic 19, 2013, 6:32am

Well, ding dang. I'm hoping for the no-surgery outcome and a speedy recovery!

Dic 19, 2013, 10:33am

oh phooey. A broken humerous. So sorry.

Dic 19, 2013, 10:20pm

Ellie, so sorry to hear about the broken arm, absolutely no fun and especially at this time of year. Sending lots of fast recovery wishes your way.

Dic 20, 2013, 5:03am

thanks so much all. surgery this a.m. multiple breaks in ball of humerus. doc thinks duct tape and some string willincrease likelihood of increased range of motion and hold the little sucker together thus ^ ability to do adl and use walker or other assist device. all good. how lucky am i and thanks fopr catching it, joe. yep, only hurts when i laugh or play jai alai. thanks for superbo cakes dears.

i'm outta here.

ho ho ho

Dic 20, 2013, 10:45am

In softest sympathy for all the nasty poop that life has thrown at you, plus deep amazement and gratitude for your spirit of fun never dimming, Ellie:

Celebrate the return of the light with feasts, merriment, and gratitude for all the wonders of this wide green earth.


Dic 20, 2013, 11:54am


Oh crap. Sorry about the op but very glad you're having it done so soon. Hope you're not in pain m'dear and that you'll soon be on the mend.

And this happened while wrapping gifts for old folks??? Talk about "no good deed goes unpunished".

Back home soon, I hope, drinking eggnog laced with whatever the docs give you.

Much love for a speedy recov.


Dic 20, 2013, 12:24pm

Oh crud, Ellie! I'm sorry to hear about your broken bits. I hope you have a speedy recovery! I bet Casey feels awful too. Any time I get injured or upset the dogs are right there flipping their biscuits. :)

Dic 20, 2013, 3:54pm

Joining in on the oh crap and oh crud comments, Ellie. Was hoping you could avoid the surgery, but if it must happen, sooner does seem better than later. Assuming there's balance in the universe, at some point in 2014 you and JB will be filled to the top with good health and enjoying the life on Easy Street for a while. I echo RD's appreciation of your resolve and good humor in what seems to be an awfully tough year.

I look forward to your being able to resume playing jai alai at the level of proficiency to which you're accustomed.

Dic 21, 2013, 1:18am

Broken arm? Rats. I'm so sorry, Ellie!

Meanwhile, I recommend Falling to Earth by Kate Southwood. I think you would like it.

Take good care, my dear. I'll be interested to hear how that duct tape works out..... :-|

Dic 22, 2013, 2:58pm

My nine year old granddaughter has duct tape listed on her Christmas wishlist, she thinks duct tape fixes everything!

Dic 24, 2013, 8:29am

Ah, Ellie, I join you in the 70 year old "oh, damn it!" club of broken bones. My Rheumatologist's office called and insists I must take my "possibly broken rib(s)" in to the clinic today so some substitute doctor can query me to be sure it is only just that, no air in my chest, no broken bones poking my lungs, etc. etc. I am irritated with their abundance of caution as I have no unusual symptoms and want to just carry on with my preps for Christmas; however, ever the "good girl" I'll go see them. Maybe they'll give me some good drugs?

I hope your surgery is excellently successful and that your healing is rapid and complete. Love anything which will conserve range of motion. Especially, humorous ranges of motions! Please do whatever it takes to be all better most quickly. Happy New Year, dear lady.

Dic 24, 2013, 9:16pm

Ellie, put quite simply. You rock! Have a wonderful festive season, my dear. From your very own Peacock Prince xx

Dic 24, 2013, 9:18pm

Dic 25, 2013, 11:30pm

So sorry to hear about the broken arm, but I'm hopeful the surgery will get you back good as new in a month or two. Merry Christmas, Ellie, in spite of it all!

Dic 26, 2013, 8:30am

My trip to the clinic ended up with my own primary care doc who I like a great deal. We looked at the xrays and indeed I have three ribs with cracks in them, no pointy ends, no risk of damaging the lungs. Take it easy for 4 weeks and exercise in the swimming pool. (oh, boy, that means the hot tub too). Also, back on the osteoporosis meds which I hate but I promised the doctor I would do as she asks; also, officially have hypertension now too. When it rains it pours. Back on the good food diet! Hopefully, I can reduce the blood pressure by diet and exercise. So, back to "old age is a bitch" but it is better than the alternative.

So, here's hoping we both heal quickly and completely and that we find the happy energy to enjoy our lives as fully as possible. I hope the broken arm heals completely so you have full use of it. And then, happy reading, too.

Dic 26, 2013, 5:33pm

It's belated but heartfelt, Ellie: Merry Christmas!!

Dic 29, 2013, 10:27pm

Best wishes Ellie. I hope that 2014 sees you well on your way to getting that humerus working again.

Dic 29, 2013, 10:33pm


*pines for word from Ellie*


Dic 30, 2013, 6:54am

Yes, I agree Richard. It would be very nice to hear from our dear lady. I hope the broken bone is not slowing her down, too much.

Ellie - please do have a wonderful celebration of the new year!

Dic 30, 2013, 11:55pm

Ellie, I hope you are doing okay. *hugs*

Dic 31, 2013, 10:50pm

HNY allyo woderful folks. what delight, really, to find soooo many greetings.

afraid may be away for while miss everybody so much.

plan on a weekend of wild card USean football and a lot of pronality.

ok. that's it. the duct tape chafeth.

mwah mwah mwah

wish cld comment all. soon, soon i'm sure.

Ene 6, 2014, 12:23am

Ellie - I do hope everything is well and that you'll be back to grace us over in 2014 as soon as.

Ene 6, 2014, 12:30am


*pines for Ellie some more*


Ene 8, 2014, 1:55pm

I'm joining Richard in pining, and sighing. Dear Ellie, I hope you're up to posting and feeling better soon.

Ene 8, 2014, 1:57pm

Happy birthday, Ellie!

Ene 8, 2014, 4:18pm

Happy Birthday, Ellie!

Ene 17, 2014, 7:43pm

I seem to have missed your birthday, Ellie.
I hope it was happy and that you are doing well!

Feb 12, 2014, 3:59pm

*waves to Ellie*

Feb 13, 2014, 1:51pm

Missing my Miz Moses exposures.

Feb 16, 2014, 1:09pm

Just checking in...hoping everything is okay...

Mar 2, 2014, 10:36pm

Hmmmm.... just checking to see what's happening here. Ellie, I hope you are well.

Mar 3, 2014, 12:40pm

Me, too, Ellie. Hope all is going well for you.

Mar 6, 2014, 8:05pm

Also here am I checking in to see if our Ellie is back in the fray. I hope so.
Este tema fue continuado por Oops..