Mahsdad's (Jeff) 2021 Thread - Q1

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Mahsdad's (Jeff) 2021 Thread - Q1

Editado: Dic 31, 2020, 5:30pm

Welcome to my little neck of 2021

So glad to be back in my 9th year in the group. Reading-wise 2020 was a pretty good year, but we all know what a dumpster fire 2020 was, so there's only one way to look and its up. So UP we go....

If you're new, my name is Jeff. I live in Southern California. I'm an avid reader. My wife might say I'm bordering on the obsessive. But then, I think that could apply to a lot of us in this group. I also enjoy photography, movies, hiking and playing games and hanging out with my family. Book-wise, I have a pretty eclectic taste in what I read and I hope to give you not so much reviews but my impressions about what I read.

What you will find here is mostly my rambling, way too many (according to some :) ) Wishlist and TBR pile temptations and a smattering of my photography. I don't really make a plan for what I'm going to read thru out the year. Its mostly what strikes my fancy from the TBR piles.

2013 Reading Thread
2014 Reading Thread
2015 Reading Thread
2016 Reading Thread
2017 Reading Thread
2018 Reading Thread
2019 Reading Thread
2020 Reading Thread

Come on in and sit a spell...

Editado: Feb 28, 8:24pm

2021 Statistics - Q1

A - Audio
ER - Early Review
GN - Graphic Novel
K - Kindle
LL - Life's Library

14. The Porpoise - Mark Haddon (A)
13. Scott Pilgrim Vol 1 - Bryan Lee O'Malley (GN)
12. Forever Free - Joe Haldeman (A)
11. Forever Peace - Joe Haldeman (A)
Favorite : The Porpoise

10. The Accidental Time Machine - Joe Haldeman (A)
9. Forever War - Joe Haldeman (K)
8. House of M - Brian Michael Bendis (GN)
7. There, There - Tommy Orange (A)
6. Ready Player Two - Ernest Cline
5. Rant - Chuck Palahniuk (A)
4. Pirate Hunters - Robert Kurson
3. If It Bleeds - Stephen King (A)
2. Themes and Variations - David Sedaris (K)
1. The Day I Died - Lori Rader-Day (ER)
Favorite : Ready Player Two

Editado: Feb 28, 5:09pm

Audiobook Narrators

Will Patton,
Stephen Weber,
Danny Burstein - If It Bleeds

Too Many to List - Rant

Darrell Dennis,
Shaun Tylor-Corbett,
Kyla Garcia - There, There

Kevin Free - The Accidental Time Machine

George Wilson - Forever Peace

Peter Berkrot - Forever Free

Tim McInnerny - The Porpoise

Editado: Mar 4, 1:53pm

Life's Library Book Club

Life’s Library was created by John Green and Rosianna Halse Rojas to celebrate two of their favourite things: good books and good communities. Every 6 weeks or so, they send out a new book. Hopefully, from authors that I've never heard of.

Season 1
1. If You Come Softly- Jacqueline Woodson -
2. A Field Guide to Getting Lost - Rebecca Solnit -
3. We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled - Wendy Pearlman -
4. The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende -
5. The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Michael Chabon -
6. Stories of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang -
7. Mountains Beyond Mountains (The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World) - Tracy Kidder -
8. The Summer Book - Tove Jannson -
9. Howl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne Jones -

Season 2
1. The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler :
2. All Systems Red by Martha Wells :
2a. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne :
3. Blonde Roots by Bernardine Evaristo :
4. Space Struck by Paige Lewis :
5. Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli :
6. On Immunity by Eula Biss :
7. Teaching a Stone to Talk by Annie Dillard :
8. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston - Read several years ago. Skipping it this time.
9. How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee

Season 3
1. How to get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid

Editado: Ene 1, 8:59pm

Early Review Books

- 4
- 18
- 1
- 4
- 1
- 2 (DNF)

Total Won - 38
TBR - 2
Total Read - 29
Didn't Receive - 3
DNF - 3
Not received yet - 0

Top Down - Jim Lehrer -

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere - Julie T. Lamana -
Acts of God- Ellen Gilchrist -
Invisible Beasts - Sharona Muir -
Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie (DNF) -
Dr. Mutter's Marvels - Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz -
The Future for Curious People - Gregory Sherl -
Furious Cool - David Henry -

Get in Trouble - Kelly Link -
He Wanted the Moon - Mimi Baird -
All The Days and Nights - Niven Govinden (Never Received)
Among the Ten Thousand Things - Julia Pierpont -
Tenacity - J.S. Law -
Slade House - David Mitchell -

God of Beer - Garret Keizer -
Dodgers - Bill Beverly -
The Invoice - Jonas Karlsson -
I Am No One - Patrick Flanery -
Souvenirs and Other Stories - Matt Tompkins -
The Sunlight Pilgrims - Jenni Fagan -
The Vegetarian - Han Kang -
Hag-Seed - Margaret Atwood -
Human Acts - Han Kang -
Things We Lost in the Fire - Mariana Enriquez -

New Boy - Tracy Chevalier -
Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker - Gregory Maguire (Never Received)
Strange Weather - Joe Hill -
The Feed - Nick Clark Windo (DNF) -
The Parking Lot Attendant - Nafkote Tamirat -

The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (And Their Muses) - Terri-Lynne DeFino -
Apollo 8: The Mission That Changed Everything - Martin W. Sandler -
Agent of Utopia - Andy Duncan -
Amsterdam Noir - Rene Appel - TBR

Berlin Noir - Thomas Wortche - TBR
Country - Michael Hughes - (Never Received)
Tiny Love - Larry Brown -
Sudden Traveler - Sarah Hall (DNF) -
The Day I Died - Lori Rader-Day - (Didn't actually win this, it was a freebie)

Editado: Dic 31, 2020, 5:40pm

Pulitzer's Read

Ongoing bucket list to read all the Pulitzer winning novels. Santa was very good to me this year on this front, so I got plenty to work with

Bold : On the Shelf
Strikeout : Completed

Total Read - 32
2020 - The Nickel Boys
2019 - The Overstory
2018 - Less
2017 - Underground Railroad
2016 - The Sympathizer
2015 - All the Light We Cannot See
2014 - The Goldfinch
2013 - The Orphan Master's Son
2012 - NO AWARD
- Swamplandia - Nominee
2011 - A Visit from the Goon Squad
2010 - Tinkers
2009 - Olive Kitterridge
2008 - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
2007 - The Road
2006 - March
2005 - Gilead
2004 - The Known World
2003 - Middlesex
2002 - Empire Falls
2001 - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
2000 - The Interpreter of Maladies
1999 - The Hours
1998 - American Pastoral
1997 - Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer
1996 - Independence Day
1995 - The Stone Diaries
1994 - The Shipping News
1993 - A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
1992 - A Thousand Acres
- My Father Bleeds History (Maus) (Special Awards & Citations - Letters)
1991 - Rabbit at Rest
1990 - The Mambo Kings
1989 - Breathing Lessons
1988 - Beloved DNF
1987 - A Summons to Memphis
1986 - Lonesome Dove
1985 - Foreign Affairs
1984 - Ironweed
1983 - The Color Purple
1982 - Rabbit is Rich
1981 - A Confederacy of Dunces
1980 - The Executioner's Song
1979 - The Stories of John Cheever
1978 - Elbow Room
1977 - NO AWARD
1976 - Humboldt's Gift
1975 - The Killer Angels
1974 - NO AWARD
1973 - The Optimist's Daughter
1972 - Angle of Repose
1971 - NO AWARD
1970 - The collected Stories of Jean Stafford
1969 - House Made of Dawn : DNF
1968 - The Confessions of Nat Turner
1967 - The Fixer
1966 - The Collected Stories of katherine Anne Porter
1965 - The Keepers of the House
1964 - NO AWARD
1963 - The Reivers
1962 - The Edge of Sadness
1961 - To Kill a Mockingbird
1960 - Advise and Consent
1959 - The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters
1958 - A Death in the Family
1957 - NO AWARD
1956 - Andersonville
1955 - A Fable
1954 - NO AWARD
1953 - The Old Man and the Sea
1952 - The Caine Mutiny
1951 - The Town
1950 - The Way West
1949 - Guard of Honor
1948 - Tales of the South Pacific
1947 - All the King's Men
1946 - NO AWARD
1945 - A Bell
1944 - Journey in the Dark
1943 - Dragon's Teeth
1942 - In This Our Life
1941 - NO AWARD
1940 - The Grapes of Wrath
1928 - The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Editado: Dic 31, 2020, 5:47pm

Hugos Read

Ongoing bucket list to read all the Hugo winning novels.

Bold : On the Shelf
Strikeout : Completed

Total Read - 36

2019 - The Calculating Stars
2018 - The Stone Sky
2018 - All Systems Red - Novella
2017 - The Obelisk Gate
2016 - The Fifth Season
2015 - The Three-Body Problem
2014 - Ancillary Justice (DNF)
2013 - Redshirts
2012 - Among Others
2011 - Blackout/All Clear
2010 - The Windup Girl
The City & the City
2009 - The Graveyard Book
2008 - The Yiddish Policemen's Union
2007 - Rainbows End
2006 - Spin
2005 - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
2004 - Paladin of Souls
2003 - Hominids
2003 - Coraline (novella)
2002 - American Gods
2001 - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
2000 - A Deepness in the Sky
1999 - To Say Nothing of the Dog
1998 - Forever Peace
1997 - Blue Mars
1996 - The Diamond Age
1995 - Mirror Dance
1994 - Green Mars
1993 - A Fire Upon the Deep
Doomsday Book
1992 - Barrayar
1991 - The Vor Game
1990 - Hyperion
1989 - Cyteen
1988 - The Uplift War
1988 - Watchmen - category : Other forms
1987 - Speaker for the Dead
1986 - Ender's Game
1985 - Neuromancer
1985 - The Crystal Spheres - David Brin - Short Story
1984 - Startide Rising
1983 - Foundation's Edge
1982 - Downbelow Station
1981 - The Snow Queen
1980 - The Fountains of Paradise
1979 - Dreamsnake
1978 - Gateway
1977 - Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang
1976 - The Forever War
1975 - The Dispossessed
1974 - Rendezvous with Rama
1973 - The Gods Themselves
1972 - To Your Scattered Bodies Go
1971 - Ringworld
1970 - Left Hand of Darkness
1969 - Stand on Zanzibar
1968 - Lord of Light
1967 - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
1966 - Dune
This Immortal
1965 - The Wanderer
1964 - Way Station
1963 - The Man in the High Castle
1962 - Stranger in a Strange Land
1961 - A Canticle for Leibowitz
1960 - Starship Troopers
1959 - A Case of Conscience
1958 - The Big Time
1956 - Double Star
1955 - The Forever Machine
1953 - The Demolished Man

Retro Hugos - this are given for years when no award was given (more than 50 years ago). Of those...

1939 - The Sword in the Stone
1951 - Farmer in the Sky
1954 - Fahrenheit 451

Editado: Dic 31, 2020, 5:50pm

National Book Award Winners

2015 - Fortune Smiles
2014 - Redeployment
2001 - The Corrections
1988 - Paris Trout
1985 - White Noise - Don Delillo
1983 - The Color Purple - hardback award
1981 - The Stories of John Cheever - paperback award
1980 - The World According to Garp - paperback award
1953 - Invisible Man

Man Booker Books
2002 - Life of Pi
2009 - Wolf Hall - sadly I never finished this, never hooked me.
2015 - A Brief History of Seven Killings
2016 - The Sellout
2017 - Lincoln in the Bardo

Editado: Dic 31, 2020, 5:52pm

The 75'r Chunkster List

1. The Overstory by Richard Powers
2. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
3. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco READ
4. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
5. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell READ
6. The Witch Elm by Tana French
7. The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
8. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr READ
9. Little, Big by John Crowley
10. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides READ
11. The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt
12. Possession by A.S. Byatt
13. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel DNF
14. The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
15. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
16. The Parisian : A Novel
17. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
18. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
19. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami READ
20. Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson
21. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie OWNED
22. American Gods by Neil Gaiman READ
23. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay by Michael Chabon READ
24. The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
25. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen READ
26. Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
27. A Naked Singularity by Sergio de la Pava
28. An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears
29. A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James READ
30. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson READ
31. The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
32. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
33. Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin READ
34. JR by William Gaddis
35. Almanac of the Dead by Leslie Marmon Silko
36. Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon
37. Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany
38. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett READ
39. The Stand by Stephen King READ
40. Underworld by Don DeLillo
41. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
42. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
43. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry READ
44. 2666 by Roberto Bolano
45. Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra
46. Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann
47. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
48. Parallel Stories by Peter Nadas
49. Women and Men by Joseph McElroy
50. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

Paul's Alternative 20

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
The Far Pavilions by MM Kaye
Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman
Saville by David Storey
To Serve Them All My Days by RF Delderfield
Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
Sophie's Choice by William Styron
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving READ
The Singapore Grip by JG Farrell
Magician by Raymond E Feist
The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
A Chain of Voices by Andre Brink

Bill's Alternative Weird Dozen

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis READ
Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
Rabbit at Rest by John Updike
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger READ
Cider House Rules by John Irving
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo
The Book and the Brotherhood by Iris Murdoch
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak READ
August 1914 by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey
Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams READ
11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King READ
His Dark Materials Omnibus (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass) by Philip Pullman
The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer
Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling READ

Editado: Dic 31, 2020, 6:22pm

2020 Recap

Final count = 87

Always nice when you hit that arbitrary goal. Despite looking at my looming TBR and WL piles, I truly don't care how many books I read in a year, just as long as I'm enjoying myself. Here's my Top 12 reads for last year. (I pick a favorite each month and I think that's as filtered as I'm going to get :) )

Lincoln in the Bardo
Parable of the Sower
All Systems Red
Full Throttle
Oryx and Crake
Being Mortal
Tiny Love
A Prayer for the Dying
Utopia Avenue
Motherless Brooklyn
Sleep Donation

Editado: Dic 31, 2020, 6:34pm

2020 Stats

Here's some statistical stuff from my 2020 reading journey.

Male Authors - 64
Female Authors - 23 (got to do better next year)
Authors of Color - 9 (definitely got to better next year)

Dic 31, 2020, 6:02pm

Welcome back, Jeff

Dic 31, 2020, 6:11pm

Hey there Jeff, that's a *beautiful* panoramic shot in >1 mahsdad:.

Dic 31, 2020, 6:35pm

Happy New Year Jeff!

Dic 31, 2020, 6:54pm

Welcome back!

Dic 31, 2020, 7:11pm

Happy reading in 2021, Jeff!

Ene 1, 1:41am

And keep up with my friends here, Jeff. Have a great 2021.

Ene 1, 10:59am

Best wishes for a better 2021!

Ene 1, 5:27pm

Howdy new year, Jeff.

Ene 1, 5:27pm

Happy New Year!

Ene 1, 7:17pm

Enjoy your 2021 reading!

Ene 1, 7:19pm

Back for more!! Here's to a brighter, better, bookier 2021!

Ene 1, 7:30pm

Happy new year!

Ene 1, 8:50pm

Hey Everybody! Thanks so much for visiting me today. I'm so glad to have this place and you all as friends I've never (but would love to one day) met.

Here's to a great year!

Editado: Ene 1, 9:05pm

Happy new year and new thread, Jeff.

Editado: Ene 14, 2:23pm

And I got my first book done on the first day of the year. I doubt tho, that trend will continue. :)

1. The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day - This was a freebie from the Early Review program. I didn't actually win it, it came along with another book I one. The actual ER book, I didn't really like, but this one I did. It was a police procedural/mystery story with an interesting twist. In a small down, Anna, the main character, is a handwriting analyst working with a local Sheriff on a murder/missing child case. We find early on that her life is a bit of a mystery as well. I'm not a big mystery reader, but I can say it was an engaging read and I would recommend it. 8/10

(And don't look for this, "reviewing" the book the same day I finish it thing to continue. That just wouldn't be on-brand for me. :) )


Ene 2, 8:28am

Happy New Year, Jeff! Happy New Thread. Looking forward to a better and healthier 2021. I also hope you have a great reading year.

Ene 2, 12:46pm

Dropping off my and wishing you the best of new years in 2021!

Ene 2, 1:09pm

>26 mahsdad: On-brand or not, I appreciate the notice of a book it sounds like I might really enjoy.

Ene 2, 1:19pm

>27 msf59: >28 ronincats: Thanks to you both. Happy New Year to you too.

>29 richardderus: Do you want my copy? I know physical books can be a challenge for you hand-wise, but I'll send it to you if you want. Its a pretty floppy paperback.

Ene 2, 1:57pm

Is anyone trying The Story Graph? Its a new cataloging service that is rising up. It's being advertised as an independent alternative to GR. It doesn't seem to have the social aspects of GR and us, but it does have a recommendation engine and a TBR, and Didn't Finish tracking functionality. It also does challenge tracking.

I might play around with it a bit.

Ene 2, 2:40pm

>31 mahsdad: Hm, interesting. I may play around with it, too...

Ene 2, 2:41pm

>30 mahsdad: Oh, yes please! The bookpillow is proving its worth. I've actually read two (skinny) tree-books so I know it's effective.

Such a good pal!

Ene 2, 3:38pm

>33 richardderus: Very cool. I'll get it out in the mail to you sometime this week.

Editado: Ene 2, 8:59pm

I've seen a couple people recapping their time on LT by sharing the number of books you've read each year. So I thought I would share too...

2005 - 1
2006 - 9
2007 - 31 (The year I joined LT)
2008 - 34
2009 - 44
2010 - 47
2011 - 51
2012 - 61
2013 - 66
2014 - 81
2015 - 67
2016 - 102
2017 - 78
2018 - 65
2019 - 85
2020 - 87

Ene 2, 3:59pm

>35 mahsdad: Averaging 69 books a year since you've been on LT makes the ten you read in the two years before fall into stark contrast.

>34 mahsdad: No rush, and thanks!

Ene 2, 4:13pm

>36 richardderus: I think those first 2 years were when I was just starting to track my reads, I was a little lax. 2007 was when I started in earnest. Anything over 50 is good for me

Ene 2, 4:32pm

Dropping a star, Jeff, and wishing you a New Year full of happy. I fell off the threads last year, but I am hoping to do better this year. Heh.

Ene 2, 5:45pm

>26 mahsdad: I am just gonna give you props for a book-a-day and the review, too! Stop with the disclaimers and just bask in the glory. : )

Ene 2, 6:06pm

>31 mahsdad: That sounds interesting. Can it import from LT, I wonder.

Ene 2, 6:17pm

>37 mahsdad: Mamie! Hey Thanks for stopping by. I'll swing by your abode and leave my star.

>38 Crazymamie: Yeah, I know Kim. Its going to be a pretty short streak, cause I'm not near finished with book #2. :)

>39 Berly: Hi Susan, No LT import that I've seen, just the GR. Since they're so new and they seem to be David up against Goliath, they must have focused their efforts on GR. Its a click-it and we'll let you know when its done kind of import. I think they're going thru all of your GR books, including any reviews you've recorded.

Ene 2, 6:18pm

>35 mahsdad: Great improvements after joining LibraryThing!

Ene 2, 8:39pm

Happy New Year and Happy New Thread!

Ene 2, 8:41pm

>41 mahsdad: Since it seems to eat csv files which are really plain text then I suspect the LT files could be considered fodder, if perhaps with munging. Before setting the table I'll poke about a bit.

Ene 2, 8:55pm

You're right Susan. I hadn't gone so far as to click on the GR import. With a bit of Excel-Fu, one might be able to (in your words :) ) munge about with the GR and LT exports and get the LT export to go in. Might have to try it a bit as well. Maybe create an account with another email address that wouldn't be a pain to delete.

Ene 3, 9:03pm

The Story Graph Import. It worked, mostly. I realized that I have been keeping track of the my books read on GR with a unique tag. So I did the export and filtered it down just just last year's books. It seemed to work. As long as I had a Date read, it pulled it in, plus it did pull in the review (if I had one). However, their review screen has a lot of extra stuff that neither LT or GR has. Interesting.

I definitely won't use it for my primary, secondary, or even tertiary tracking means, but its fun to play with and I like that there's independent people out there trying to expand the area.

If anybody's joining, follow me, my user is (like everywhere) mahsdad.

Ene 4, 12:59pm

Look at the big stats on Jeff! Impressive number of graphs. And lists. I always admire the LTers who track all the things. The one year I tried to track books acquired in addition to books read, it turned out to be too much of a chore.

Parable of the Sower is the book club selection we'll be discussing this coming Saturday. I enjoyed it when I read it, but vastly preferred Parable of the Talents. Which got me all upset and bouncing off the walls for a few days.

I read the latter as part of my personal Hugo challenge before I discovered LT. It took me 3 years to get through all the novels that won a Hugo up to that point--2009. I haven't kept up with it since then. I was so excited about the accomplishment that I immediately compiled lists of other award winners to chase down, including Nebula, National, Booker. But that was it. Didn't have the gumption to go any further.

Huh. I hadn't thought of it before, but I wonder if Forrest Gump's name was derived from gumption. It would explain a lot. But I digress.

Looking through your lists, I thought Their Eyes Were Watching God was amazing. Loved it. And I think Beloved was the very first book by an African American author that I read, or maybe second. Through public school and college, I don't think any works by African Americans were on any class reading lists until a spur-of-the-moment elective I took my senior year of college. Sad, that. And I clearly remember thinking it wasn't really a literature for me. I finally had the epiphany that it's American literature so of course it is for me (too). That took way too long. Anyway, why DNF for Beloved, if you don't mind discussing it?

And good luck with your various reading goals this year!

Ene 4, 2:03pm

Hey Chris, thanks for stopping by.

All those stats and graphs came prebuilt (mostly) in a spreadsheet that someone at Bookriot put together several years ago. I've added a few things (specifically tracking what day of the week I finish my books on, I thought that was an interesting benchmark), but mostly its just filling in a line in a spreadsheet and it handles the rest.

I am kinda obsessive about where I track, tho. I have a little moleskin journal that I write in, then I update my spreadsheet, LT and my LT thread. Then periodically, whenever I get around to "reviewing" a book, I'll update GR. And now I started playing with The Story Graph. I think I got to find a BA (bookaholics anonymous) meeting. :)

DNF - Beloved, I think at the time, I just couldn't connect with the tone of the writing. If I recall, I found myself falling off the narrative and losing track of where I was. In the cliched paraphrased voice of a book breakup, it wasn't the book, it was me. :) I might get back to it, eventually. Its still on the shelf.

Editado: Ene 14, 2:23pm

2. Themes and Variations by David Sedaris : 9/10

Okay, its not really a book, its only 17 pages long, but I'm counting it. Amazon Prime Original essay by Sedaris, where he talks about his experiences at book reading events, and how a theme to the conversations at the signing tables always come out for each tour. It was laugh out funny. I was reading it while brushing my teeth and almost choked on the toothpaste at one point. If you have Prime, go look for it.


Ene 5, 2:26am

>49 mahsdad: That sounds just the thing to lighten up my reading - now I wonder if I'm Sedaris'd out after reading his Christmas book.....

Editado: Ene 5, 7:33am

>35 mahsdad: I love this stat. You can clearly see that LT altered your reading life. BLT, I was probably reading around 40 print books a year, give or take and into the low 70s, a year or 2 after joining. Of course, I started audiobooks somewhere in that time frame too, which really boosted my numbers, probably doubling it.

It looks like 2016 was a banner year for you. Mine will be 2019- I think I had 160-plus. I will never get that again.

Ene 5, 12:19pm

>50 quondame: I can never have too much Sedaris. LOL.

>51 msf59: LT definitely affected my reading life, to the better. As I go back and look at it, 2016 was my year of the Graphic Novel. I read Saga, Sandman, Y: The Last Man, Criminal and Preacher. That definitely padded my numbers. :) I too, doubt I'll ever hit triple digits again. And I'm okay with that.

Ene 5, 4:49pm

Whats the over/under on who's going to go to a 2nd thread first? RD, Paul, or Amber? LOL

Ene 5, 5:12pm

>49 mahsdad: Sounds fantastic. He really is hilarious. I keep referring people to "6 to 8 black men" because whenever that ballpark number of people for some group project comes up, I inevitably think of that monologue and reference it, and somehow I am the only person in the group who's listened to it.

>48 mahsdad: Hmmm. I'm not sure I recall the prose. I just remember the general plot outline and denouement (let me pause and quote The Tick here) and the feelings it all evoked. It would be interesting to reread it now, having more experience with Toni Morrison's writing and more familiarity with her based on her interviews and essays. I was thinking of trying to read all of her books this year in honor of her passing last year and because my book club read A Mercy a couple months ago, thus giving me a bit of a start. But then I've already earmarked a bunch of other reading challenges for myself, so maybe not.

Ene 5, 8:37pm

>54 justchris: I hadn't actually heard "6 to 8 Black Men", so YT was able (as it usually is) to provide. Here's the link...

Ene 5, 9:04pm

>55 mahsdad: So what did you think of it?

Ene 5, 9:09pm

Oh its wonderful, I enjoyed it a lot. I love that he's not pretentious about his work. In this clip, he messes up a couple times which shows that he's just reading, like any of us, he's not performing. I love it.

Ene 5, 10:14pm

>53 mahsdad: Looks like Paul did it and I am not surprised at all.

Ene 6, 2:38am

>53 mahsdad: I hadn't seen this at the time or I might have teased it out a bit! I always start off fast and oftentimes my momentum will slow. Third thread at current pace could be any one of :
Myself, Mark, Amber, Mamie, Katie, Richard.

Ene 6, 2:43am

>49 mahsdad: Just keeping up here. I love Sedaris, so I am gonna find this one. Thanks!

Ene 6, 9:07am

*snork!* I'll probably start my second thread at some point today, but I have no illusions about keeping up with Paul.

Ene 8, 2:50am

>60 Berly: Glad to provide some BBs. :)

>61 scaifea: I'll never be able to keep up with likesof you and Paul. I'm just glad you all swing by occasionally.

Ene 8, 2:56am

Sometime last year, when the election cycle truly got hot and heavy I signed up from tRump's mailing list with a junk email address of mine (for comparison I signed up for Biden as well).

Since then, I've received between 7 - 10 emails a day "from" him and his cronies, trying to stroke my ego, trying to solicit money and sell me cheap crap from China. All the time with the tone of a side show barker. To be fair, Biden and company ask for money too, but they do it in a much more pleasant manner.

At any rate, I just noticed that the emails from tRump have gone silent. The last one coming yesterday at around 10am. It was a "classified" email stating...

Trump Pence Make America Great Again



TODAY will be a historic day in our Nation’s history. Congress will either certify, or object to, the Election results.

Every single Patriot from across the Country must step up RIGHT NOW if we’re going to successfully DEFEND the integrity of this Election. President Trump is calling on YOU to bolster our Official Defend America Fund.

For the NEXT HOUR: you can INCREASE your impact by 1000%.

He wanted more money. Since then, nothing. Hmmmm, I wonder why? Yesterday was a sad day, but at least his marketers realize that its time to close up shop (speaking of which, did you see that Shopify delisted his merchandise store?)

If it wasn't so tragic, it'd be funny.

Ene 8, 9:25am

I'm not surprised at the begging given what I read in Mary Trump's book. Money has always been that family's measure of success. I'm happy to see that many have finally given up on him and turned their backs. It's tragic it took an insurrection to get some to face up to just how immoral he is.

Ene 8, 10:12am

I just received notice from my library that my turn for Mary Trump's book has arrived, after first requesting it ages ago. I will pick it up in the next week or so but am curious to read it now, given the newest events. I haven't read any of the bazillions of books that have been written in the last 4 years about trumpty dumpty but this is the one that intrigued me. Still, I approach it with some trepidation and a sense of *ick*...

Ene 8, 11:28am

>64 drneutron: >65 jessibud2: More power to you folks that are (or are going to) read her book. I like horror, but that is just too much. ;)

Ene 8, 1:13pm

Fantastiese Foto Vrydag

2020 was a messed up year. 2021 - "Hold my beer!" I guess not much else needs to be said.

Well I've completed 3 books so far (1 ahead of last year), that will be 4 by the end of the weekend. So I got that going for me, which is nice. :)

Today's image is just an interesting fence I took on a walk around the neighborhood the other day. Enjoy...

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q1 Books

Reading - Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson. Author is telling the story of 2 treasure hunters on the search for a 17th Century Pirate ship. Good mix of history, backstory and intrigue.
Listening - Rant by Chuck Palahniuk. Subtitled, the Oral Biography of Buster Casey. In typical Palahniuk fashion, its a really weird read that I'm not too sure of though. Its not really a story, but a collections of diaries and reminiscences about the life of this guy, Buster Casey, who is already dead when the story begins.
Kindle - The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. Classic scifi that I've read multiple times. Amazon is running a Kindle challenge in January to promoted their stuff. Just have to read on your kindle and do some other Kindlely things. An easy $5 credit for me.

Ene 8, 1:28pm

Happy New Year, Happy New Thread, and Happy Friday, Jeff.

I'm glad Utopia Avenue made your Favorites list. That's one that deserves a more widespread readership, seems to me. And my wife and I were just talking to someone about what a great book Being Mortal is. It made a big difference in my family as my father neared the end.

I applaud you for taking in drumpf emails; I don't think I could stomach it. Interesting to read about the soliciting and what you got at the end.

Ene 8, 2:46pm

>68 jnwelch: Hey Joe, thanks for stopping by. I wholeheartedly agree with your comments about both UA and BM.

As far as drumpf is concerned (I like your name for him :) ). It started out by getting an ad on Facebook or Youtube to complete a survey about his job performance. I knew it was going to be just a silo of sycophants, so I thought I would try to be the voice of dissent and "reason". They forced you to put in an email address AND a phone #.

The email was easy, I have 2 "junk mail" gmail accounts, as well as an old account that I'll never get rid of. The phone #, I wasn't about to give him a real number, so I just gave them 310-555-1212. For those of us of a certain vintage, you'll know what this is. It still works, sort of. :)

Ene 8, 8:19pm

A couple interesting article/videos for your enjoyment this afternoon.

First, from John Scalzi's blog, his take on the larger strategy of the GOP (remember the Southern Strategy) that started way back when, with Newt, that got us where we are today. Excellent read...

Then an excellent description of what the 25th Amendment is, and how its used.

Ene 9, 5:47pm

From the other night, the wifey and I were in bed doing a last bit of "doomscrolling" before we shut off the devices to get down to reading, when she started to read a tweet at the exact same time I was reading the very same sentence on Facebook. On the left, her screen, on the right, mine. Too funny.

Editado: Ene 14, 2:22pm

3. If It Bleeds by Stephen King : 8/10

Reminiscent of Different Seasons, this is a collection of 4 novellas from the master. And like Different Seasons, I really enjoyed 3 of them, and 1 was okay. The title story was from the Mr. Mercedes universe and it puts Holly Gibney front and center. Mr. Harrigan's Phone is an exploration into the power of our modern devices, with the usual King twist. Rat, is another story where the main character is a struggling writer (hmmm, I wonder where he got that idea), and where he finds his inspiration. I listened on audio, by King veteran Will Patton, plus Danny Burstein and Steven Weber.

4. Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson : 8/10

Non-fiction book that tells the swashbuckling story of John Chatterton and John Mattera (former hosts of Deep Sea Detectives TV Show), treasure hunters and ocean adventurers, as they attempt to find the 17th Century pirate ship called the Golden Fleece. Very interesting read, with both the recounting of their exploits, as well as the history of the pirate Joseph Bannister and pirates in general.


Ene 9, 6:36pm

>71 mahsdad: Here's to hoping it takes.

Ene 9, 6:39pm

>71 mahsdad: - Ha! Well said. Don't know who Jonathan Goldman is, but I like his perspective.

Ene 14, 7:15am

>71 mahsdad: Totally in synch!

>72 mahsdad: I do love me some Stephen King. Haven't read that collection yet...

Ene 14, 2:10pm

>73 richardderus: >74 jessibud2:>75 Berly: Thanks for visiting.

Regarding >71 mahsdad: It does seem to be a common sentiment. :)

>75 Berly: Its definitely worth your time. Especially if you've read the Bill Hodges trilogy, as the title story is in that universe.

Ene 14, 2:21pm

5. Rant by Chuck Palahniuk (audio) : 8/10

Boy is this a weird book. Read by a whole cast of people, its a story told in memoir. It is basically the story of Buster "Rant" Casey, who he was (he's dead at the start of the book), the memories of the people around him, and the world they live in. It involves an obsession with poisons, a rabies outbreak, a secret group involved in car crashes (think Fight Club and Death Race 2000), a dystopian-like world where half the population live in the day time and the other have live at night. And very strangely, a touch of time travel. Very suited to audiobook and many different narrators, as it is an oral history, and not a traditional narrative thread. It took a little bit of time to get used to but it ultimately worked.


Ene 14, 5:57pm

>77 mahsdad: Oh nay nay nay

I shall use your very efficient review as adequate warning that this is not the book for moi's Miss Piggy self.

Ene 14, 7:05pm

Yeah, I liked it, but if odd isn't your cuppa, then pass it on down... BTW, I sent you a book yesterday.

Ene 15, 12:30pm

Isithombe esimnandi ngoLwesihlanu

Hey. How yinz doing. Anyone have any great plans for the weekend? If you are near me, then the answer is no, we continue to be locked down. So I'll probably sit on my butt and do some reading, maybe try to motivate myself to get out and go for a run. At least by next weekend we'll have a new President, so we got that going for us, which is nice. :) Be well all!

Haven't taken many interesting pictures lately so I'm going back a couple months to share some flowers from a trip to Home Depot. I might have shared this already, but hey, new year, last year doesn't count. Heh. Enjoy...

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q1 Books

Reading : Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline. Christmas present, couldn't wait to start reading it.
Listening : There There by Tommy Orange. Finished Rant, just went scrolling thru available books on Libby, like I usually do.
Kindle : The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. Read this at least 2 or 3 times. Needed a Kindle book to read for Amazon's Kindle challenge, so a no-brainer. Excellent read.

As an aside - the Touchstones for There There don't work, but the regular LT search does. Weird

Ene 16, 9:02am

Hi, Jeff!
I got Ready Player Two for Christmas, too, and I'm excited to get started on it.

Ene 16, 9:14am

I also loved Pirate Hunters and There, There. I hope you feel the same about the latter. I hope the audio does it justice.

Ene 16, 5:05pm

>81 mahsdad: What great colors! Both lovely by themselves, even prettier together.

Enjoy the rest of the long weekend.

Ene 16, 5:45pm

>82 scaifea: Its pretty good so far, very intriguing.

>83 msf59: There, There is working pretty well on audio. They're using a couple different narrators, depending on the section. Did you read Shadow Divers? Its by Kurson as well and tells the the story of the same guys when they went they discovered an unknown U-boat. Recommend that as well.

BTW, you solved my Touchstone issue with There, There. For the want of a comma, the link wouldn't be found. I was putting in There There. :)

>84 richardderus: Thanks RD. Hope you are too.

Editado: Ene 23, 3:14pm

6. Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline : 8/10

Loved it. Powered thru it over the weekend, averaged 40 pages a day, and that's huge for me. Wade and his friends are running GSS and the Oasis, and it starts a little bit of fish out of water with a bunch of kids running a corporation, but a new quest is uncovered. One that has dire consequences and one that only Wade can complete. A little slow to start, but as all great pulp fiction, it put its foot on the accelerator and demanded that I keep reading without stop. Sure it was trite, and predictable, but it was an excellent read that even though I saw it coming, still made me cry in the end. I'm an old softy.


Ene 19, 2:28am

From the ridiculous to the sublime. Love in the Time of Cholera has been on my nightstand pile for at least a year, so I finally picked it up.

Boy what an opening paragraph...

It was inevitable; the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love. Dr. Juvenal Urbino noticed it as soon as he entered the still darkened house where he had hurried on an urgent call to attend a case that for him had lost all urgency many years before. The Antillean refugee Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, disabled war veteran, photographer of children, and his most sympathetic opponent in chess, had escaped the torments of memory with the aromatic fumes of gold cyanide.

Ene 19, 5:54pm

Hello, Jeff!

I have been wondering about Ready Player Two. I know that Chelle also liked it. I just loved Ready Player One so much that I hesitate to interfere with it, if that makes any sense. I am encouraged that you loved it, so thanks for sharing.

Love in the Time of Cholera is one that has stayed with me - it is so beautifully written, and yet it felt too long in places to me. I didn't love any of the characters and yet there was something that I liked about each of them. And this quote resonated with me: "...but he allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day that their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.""

Ene 19, 7:27pm

Hi Jeff. The Nuclear Football with codes was handed off to me today.

Ene 19, 9:01pm

>88 Crazymamie: Hey Mamie,

I totally understand about not wanting to interfere with your memory of the first book. I think the movie did that for me, especially with my mental pictures of the characters. I think in this case, its a world that I want to visit again, and I'm glad I did.

I'm only 10 pages or so into Cholera, we'll see how it goes. Thanks for your insight.

>89 richardderus: Glad it arrived safely, goodness knows the previous owner shouldn't have it (assuming we're stretching the nuclear football to the extreme and talking about the actual football that gets reassigned tomorrow. Yipee!

Ene 19, 9:21pm

>86 mahsdad: I have a friend who loves Loves LOVES Ready Player One and was thrilled about the movie. I should ask what she thinks of {Ready Player Two.

>88 Crazymamie: Sounds like my experience of Cien años de soledad. I hope you enjoy Love in the Time of Cholera. I need to read that one too.

Ene 22, 12:47pm

>91 justchris: Hey Chris, thanks for swinging by. I think if you loved RP1 you'll like RP2. Its a fun read.

Cholera is my first of his that I've read. It is a harder read that my most recent books so it demands a little more attention, but I'm enjoying it so far.

Ene 22, 1:08pm

Fantastisk foto fredag

Ah we still may be stuck inside, on the verge of a medical armageddon, but boy do I feel a lot more optimistic today. The adults are back holding the reins. And all the Bernie Sanders memes are keeping me laughing. As usual, nothing planned for the weekend. Hope you and your families are well.

Didn't have anything new in the photo hopper other to share a picture of my office mate and foot warmer at 4am in the morning. I know there are some (or one) out there who will not like this, but :p She's the first pet I've had that I would consider mine, or more to the point, she considers me, hers.

Happy Weekend!

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q1 Books

Reading - Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Listening - There, There by Tommy Orange
Kindle - The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

Ene 22, 4:02pm

>93 mahsdad: - She's adorable! What's her name? How old? She looks a bit like my late great Lexi, who died last September at nearly 21 years old!

Ene 22, 4:18pm

Happy Friday, Jeff. Yes, I have read The Shadow Divers, as well. Great read. Good news about Ready Player Two. Honestly, I was on the fence about that one, although I did love the first one.

Thanks for the heads-up on the "Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA". It does sound good.

Ene 22, 5:11pm

>94 jessibud2: Hey Shelley. Her name is Luna. She's around 10 or so we think. We got her from the pound when she was probably around 2. She's full of tortitude, but is a sweetheart. Not sure she'll make it to 21, tho.

>95 msf59: Always happy to share some recommendations, beer, books or otherwise. Swinging the otherway, if you see Stone's F+B beer, I personally didn't like it. One of the very few times I didn't love their stuff.

Editado: Ene 22, 5:28pm

I also got Lexi from the Humane Society in 2003. She was 3 years old at the time. I miss her a lot. Just adopted 2 new ones from a rescue shelter in October. We are, um, still getting used to each other. A one year old and a 2 and a half year old. Let's just say, I'm exhausted....

Ene 22, 5:53pm

>93 mahsdad: Hi Jeff. What a pretty cat!

Ene 22, 7:04pm

>98 Whisper1: Thanks Linda!

>97 jessibud2: Laura (my wife) keeps talking about getting a new one. Right now we have Luna, and Penny (another rescue). Unfortunately, they barely tolerate each other. Actually, its Luna that barely tolerates Penny, and Penny who knows it and likes to get on her nerves. :)

Here's Penny

and a better one of Luna

Ene 22, 7:08pm

Penny and Luna are both full of gorgeous! Lovely photos, thank you for sharing them, Jeff.

Ene 22, 7:29pm

>99 mahsdad: - LOL! Jeff, one of my new cats, Theo, looks like your Penny. I won't fill up your thread with his antics but if you are so inclined, you can read all about it (and see pics) on my thread. He is the kitten and he bullies Owen, the other new cat. I am hoping they outgrow this. If you tell me he won't, I will stick my fingers in my ears and not listen.

And yes, your Luna DOES look like my sweet Lexi!

Ene 22, 7:35pm

>100 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie,

>101 jessibud2: I will definitely come over to see your cat antics. I think the not getting along is due to the fact that Luna's a torte. She definitely has a short fuse, she's likely to hiss and nip on a whim. Plus, I think the boys calm down a bit and relax. Our previous 3 were all boys and they would all spoon together and play nice. Not these two. :)

Ene 23, 12:43am

>99 mahsdad: Such handsome kittehs!
>96 mahsdad: I have friends with a tortie named Luna too! They could be twins!
>93 mahsdad: What do you think of Forever War so far?

Ene 23, 1:44am

>103 justchris: Hey Chris. I forget why we named her Luna, but it seems to fit. Did you know that torties are almost always girls? The genes for black and orange coloring are on the X chromosome, so there's a higher probability when its the XX of a girl.

Forever War? Oh I love it. Its at least my 3rd time reading it. I've read Forever Peace once, but have never read Forever Free, I think I'll have to complete the series this time.

Ene 24, 9:29pm

>104 mahsdad: Yup. Cat coats were my favorite part of genetics class as an undergrad. Calicos too are female for the same reason. In fact, one of my favorite short stories is in Catfantastic IV features a tortoiseshell tom--an inherently magical creature so rare he is ("It Must Be Someplace" by Donna Farley).

I read Forever War as part of my personal Hugo challenge and then read Forever Peace, but never Forever Free. Let me know what you think after reading the third bok.

Ene 24, 9:59pm

>105 justchris: I think it would be cool, genetically, if we had different color coats and such. I've always wanted a cat tail. They're so expressive.

Have you ever read John Varley? He's a hard sci-fi author who in some of his short stories deal with being able to change genders at will (as does Heinlein), and adding "augmentation", like changing your legs to have horse-like fetlocks instead of feet. My favorite series of his is the Gaea trilogy (starting with Titan where an alien craft is found out by Saturn that is populated with, amongst others, a race of centaurs, whose genetic mix (and means of breeding) is quite racy and (if you read it you'll understand), very musical.

Its one of my favorite works. Since I've been tracking I've read it at 3 times, but probably a couple more besides. I highly recommend Varley.

Ene 24, 10:10pm

Oh and speaking of Haldeman. I'm listening to The Accidental Time Machine right now, its a pretty good story about what the title describes.

Ene 24, 11:44pm

>106 mahsdad: Have you read Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy? Your wishing reminds me of the fad for purring in some of the second gen Martian colonists as a passing genmod fad.

I may have read something by John Varley, but nothing that sticks in mind, probably a short story or two.

Ene 25, 1:52am

Many, many years ago, when I was a wee teenager, or slightly older, I think I read Red Mars, but I don't think I finished the trilogy. I should go back and pick that up again. Thanks for the reminder.

Ene 25, 2:26am

>109 mahsdad: My daughter was born in 1992. It started a 13 year near halt to reading new SF. I have been considering that series.

Ene 25, 11:59am

>109 mahsdad: and >110 quondame: The Mars trilogy really blew me away. The amount of research he did into so many fields of knowledge to carry it off just really was amazing. And I thought the story was well done too. He carries off an ensemble cast really well, to me at least.

Ene 25, 8:11pm

Thanks Chris. Just checked, all 3 are available in audio at my library (Libby), that just may be my next set of audiobooks after I finish the Haldeman I'm listening to.

Ene 26, 4:21pm

I bought his book The Years of Rice and Salt recently and will give him a go soon.

Ene 26, 8:32pm

Hey Paul, thanks for visiting.

Its amazing despite how diverse all of our reading selections are, there's still times where we all converge on an author or book. In this case KSR. I'm definitely going to add him to the upcoming TBR

Be well...

Ene 26, 8:34pm

>113 PaulCranswick: I bought that book a year or two ago and haven't gotten to it yet. Maybe this year for both of us.

Ene 28, 7:27pm

>104 mahsdad: You might be amused to find that I just bought a copy of Forever Free at the thrift store yesterday. I just passed quickly through the books section, and there it was, and we had just been discussing these books, so of course, I bought it. Are you already reading your copy? I might need to refresh my memory with the 2 preceding books.

Ene 29, 12:14pm

Hey Chris, that's too coincidental. :) I'm actually still reading Forever War, I'm switching back and forth between it and Love in the Time of Cholera. When I finish, I haven't decided if I'll read Peace and Free in ebook or audio form.

Ene 29, 12:33pm

פאַנטאַסטיש פאָטאָ פרייטאג

Hey there everyone. We made it to the end of another week. The news out here is cautiously optimistic, or completely scary. California is official out of the emergency Stay At Home order. We still have to stay at home, but it means that restaurants can start having outside dining again, and I might actually be able to get a haircut (I'm getting pretty shaggy). The scary part is that we are a fickle bunch and I just hope things don't start to surge because everyone wants to go to a bar. And I know I don't have to tell this group, but ... Wear your damn mask!

I thought for today's image I thought I would share an old panorama from our Utah vacation back in 2014, enjoy...

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q1 Books

Reading - Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Maraquez
eBook - Forever War by Joe Haldeman
Listening - The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman : Pretty much exactly what it says. An interesting "real" take on time travel. The machine can only take you forward (so far), and by ever increasing exponential time jumps. Interesting listen.

Ene 29, 4:16pm

>118 mahsdad: Oh, that is so beautiful. Utah is a gorgeous place, isn't it.

Happy weekends' reads. And stay home anyway.

Ene 29, 6:42pm

Happy Friday, Jeff. What do you think of the Marquez? I remember really enjoying it.

Ene 29, 9:01pm

>119 richardderus: Thanks RD. It was surprisingly so. We did a driving trip across the bottom from Bryce to Moab. A gorgeous drive. Highly recommend for anybody looking to see the US in all its grandeur. Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Arches. Must see.

>120 msf59: Hey Mark, thanks for stopping by. I am liking it, its a book that requires a little more of my attention and I'm going at a slower pace, so it will probably take me a bit of time to complete. At my current pace I won't be done until March. That's okay, sometimes its good to stretch out the brain.

Ene 29, 9:38pm

>99 mahsdad: Penny is adorable. Have a great weekend!

Ene 30, 7:35pm

>122 figsfromthistle: Thanks Anita, since its mid-afternoon for me in LA, I'll wish you a great Sunday.

Editado: Feb 22, 6:40pm

8. House of M by Brian Michael Bendis : 8/10

I'm not much of a comic book reader, plenty of good graphic novels that I've read, thanks to the suggestions from the fine folks around here, but not the superhero variety. I read them occassionally, but don't do so obsessively. I picked up this one, I've been watching WandaVision on Disney and its been suggested that this was the source or inspiration for the show. It was pretty good, based on a larger tale where Wanda is going a bit crazy and alters the fabric of the whole world. Interesting, if you're into the Marvel TV shows, for background.

9. Forever War by Joe Haldeman : 10/10

One of my favorite scifi tales. Have read this many times. He takes us to war and extreme long distances, gives relatively realistic ideas about how space travel could work and how the effects of the time dilation affects people and the world. Going to immediately go on to read/listen to Forever Peace and the Forever Free to finish the series.

10. The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman : 8/10

Picked this up on audio after I finished There, There. The main character is a Post-doc at MIT and he discovers that he's made a time machine (a small device that travels forward in time, bringing along anything that is touching it. The interesting idea is that it keeps jumping forward in increasing larger exponential time gaps. He keeps jumping forward hoping to find a society that has discovered the means to travel back in time to get home. Listened to this on audio. A very fun read, I recommend it.


Feb 3, 8:27pm

January Recap

I'm going to start a new thing for month-end. Quick recap of how the month went. I'll still post my progress charts quarterly.

>2 mahsdad: Q1 Books

10 books read - I always start strong, but we'll see how February goes.

DTE - 3
Kindle - 3 (or Hoopla for graphic novels)
Audio - 4

Best of the Month - Ready Player Two A very close second is Forever War, but I've read it 5 times so I'm going to give the win to someone else.

(DTE - Dead Tree Edition ;) )

Editado: Feb 4, 4:10pm

That's encouraging to hear about Ready Player Two. I was hoping it wasn't just a so-so sequel.

You probably know this, but "Drumpf" was the Trump family's original name. I got the story from John Oliver. "While there was agreement among commentators that Drumpf was the Trumps' ancestral name, and that neither Donald Trump nor his father were named Drumpf, they disagreed on whether the family name was changed in the 17th century or well into the 19th century, when Trump's grandfather Frederick Trump immigrated to the United States". Oliver's point was it would've been a lot harder for Drumpf to run for election under that somewhat -sounding name. He urged us all to call DT by that name, and I took it to heart. They're originally from some small village in Germany.

Feb 5, 1:20pm

>126 jnwelch: Hey Joe, different opinions may very, but I enjoyed it quite a bit (RP2).

I knew that about Drumpf (probably heard it from Oliver as well). I didn't post too much about him, but when I did, I think I either stuck with 45, or just tRump. Its so delightfully quiet without him tweeting about. No daily, or usually hourly tweet-catastrophes. :)

Feb 5, 1:35pm

Foto fantastike e premte

Hey, we made it to February, amazing. My big news for the weekend is I'm going to go get my hair cut. Boy do I need it. I usually avoid selfies like the plague, but maybe I'll post some before and after tomorrow. We'll see.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Today's image comes to you from the "best" of 2020. I might have shared it before, but its a new year. :)

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q1 Books

Reading : Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Reading : Dark Matter (A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora) edited by Sheree R. Thomas. A very interesting collection of stories I got from the LA Time's Book Club.
Listening : Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman (book 2). Very interesting extrapolation on the technology from the first book. However, since the interstellar war was eventually resolved peacefully, we're now waging war on ourselves, typical.

Feb 5, 2:11pm

Oh, lovely perspective play in that photo!

Happy weekend's reads, Jeff.

Feb 5, 8:39pm

Thank you sir.

The building is the side of the Broad Contemporary Art museum. Never been inside, before our new normal, there was an extensive waiting list, and now museums aren't open at all.

Feb 7, 10:30am

>128 mahsdad: COVID has helped me towards keeping the haircut in the family. Belle did my last one and it turned out......interesting!

Feb 8, 1:43am

>131 PaulCranswick:. Thanks for stopping by. I've seen the pictures, Belle did a fine job. I recently saw an old video of me when I was just out of college, back for an alumni Jazz concert in 1991, I unfortunately availed myself of the mullet trend. It was not a good look for me, looking back. :)

If anyone's interested, you can see the video proof here...

Feb 12, 3:07pm

Ifoto entle ngoLwesihlanu

Happy Valentine's Day weekend. I've known my Valentine for almost 30 years (married 26) and neither of us care about the contrived buying frenzy of the holiday. We'll probably get a nice bottle of wine, get some good take out and watch a romantic movie. Its not like we're going to go out to dinner. :) Hope all have a great weekend.

Today's image is another of my "best of 2020" that would have gone into my calendar if I made one. Not sure if I've shared this before, but I think its a nice shot. Enjoy.

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q1 Books

Reading - Love in the Time of Cholera - this one is going really slowly. I'm just not connecting like I was at first. I might put it back on the shelf for a bit
Reading - Dark Matter (A Centry of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora) - edited by Sheree Thomas. Pretty good collection of stories so far. Interesting, there there are a lot of stories from 2000. I thought wow, how recent, but then I realized, that's 20 years ago and not so recent. My only complaint is that there isn't any author bios or even a small intro to why each story was selected. Good otherwise.
Kindle - Network Effect by Martha Wells : I recently got an ebook credit from Amazon and used it to pull the trigger on this. I've read and loved all the novellas, needed to read the full novel
Listening - Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman. Almost done with this

Feb 12, 3:33pm

>133 mahsdad: Pretty gerberas! And the angle makes for an interesting composition.

Feb 12, 3:35pm

Thank you sir!.

Feb 12, 3:47pm

>133 mahsdad: - Wonderful! Really cool shot.

Feb 13, 10:33am

Hi, Jeff! *Love* the daisy photo - one of my favorite flowers!

Love in the Time of Cholera: Hm, this is what I'm afraid will happen to me when I get round to this one... I hope it picks up speed for you.

And I need to get round to Wells soon, I think.

Feb 14, 8:36pm

>136 jessibud2: Thanks Shelley!

>137 scaifea: Thanks Amber. Yeah, I'm finding as I gain vintage that its okay to not like or not get books that I should. There's plenty of other things to read. I'm going to politely put it back on the shelf for now.

Feb 19, 1:00pm

ድንቅ ፎቶ አርብ

Yeah, its Friday! Just counting the hours til 5. Did everyone "watch" the Perseverance landing yesterday? These things always bring a tear to my eye. So cool. I'm a scifi geek so I totally understand it but it always boggles my mind about the time delay. Just about the time when they were announcing that the craft had entered the atmosphere, it had actually already landed but we just didn't now about it. Just like if the Sun were ever to go out, we wouldn't know about it for 8 minutes. Space is vast! ;) Hope you all have a great bookish weekend.

Today I'll give you a couple images to ponder. We went on a walk last weekend around the local marina. The first is just a neat reflection that caught my eye, and the second is our state marine fish in the wild. Enjoy...

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q1 Books

February has been a light month, compared to January, but here's what I'm reading now.

Reading - Dark Matter edited by Sheree Thomas. An interesting collection. A lot of stories from 2000 (when the book came out), a mixed bag, but worth it for stories by Octavia Butler and WEB DuBois so far.
eBook - Network Effect by Martha Wells. Say no more... :)
Listening - Forever Free by Joe Haldeman. While Forever Peace was not an actual sequel to Forever War, this third book in the series actual is. I'm enjoying this much more than book 2. War is still my favorite, tho.
GN - Scott Pilgrim Vol. 1 by Bryan Lee O'Malley. Touchstone isn't right, but this is a collection, volume 1 of the Scott Pilgrim books. I liked the movie and found this on Hoopla (my preferred app for reading GNs from the library)

Editado: Feb 19, 6:08pm

Happy Friday, Jeff. I think I will make the Network Effect as one of my upcoming audio selections. I truly miss having unlimited audiobook time.

Feb 19, 7:17pm

Hey Mark, I understand that your audio time's gone down. But you know I almost listen to more audiobooks now than when I was commuting 80 miles a day.

I just generally listen to books whenever I'm working around the house, running errands, going on a run. Much to my wife's chagrin, I usually always have at least 1 earphone in. It works for me. :)

Feb 19, 8:54pm

Didn’t get a chance to watch the live Perseverance feed, but we’re definitely keeping up with their progress. If for no other reason than they’re hogging the Deep Space Network and my spacecraft needs some love too. 😀

Feb 20, 1:48pm

>140 msf59: The other thing I forgot about audiobooks, is that I use Libby and crank the speed up to 1.4x (sometimes I have to go slower, depending on the narrator). Took some getting used to, but now it seems strange to listen to a book at normal speed. The tone is the same either way (no chipmunk speak, but at 1x it just sounds soooo sssslllloooowww. :) )

>142 drneutron: That's something I never considered, tracking all the data coming back. Is it a packet-switching kind of technology (akin to tcp/ip), or do each spacecraft have its own set of frequencies that the DSN is listening for?

Feb 20, 7:39pm

>143 mahsdad: Each spacecraft is assigned a frequency. Most of us are using X-band, though some (including Parker) use Ka-band for downlink, though Ka has issues with weather and wind at the ground stations. The DSN has three complexes - Madrid, Goldstone and Canberra - and multiple 34 and 70 m dishes in each complex. Projects schedule tracks when complexes are in line of sight, but because NASA's got quite a few missions going, there's some negotiation that goes on. Since Perseverance was landing on Mars, they've been getting priority.

Feb 20, 8:06pm

Fascinating. Thanks for the lesson.

Feb 20, 8:12pm

Go check my thread for a cool pic... 😀

Feb 21, 12:05pm

>139 mahsdad: I love the boats!

Happy new week's reads.

>146 drneutron: *cue Lone Ranger music*

Feb 21, 8:43pm

>147 richardderus: Thanks buddy!

Feb 22, 7:06pm

11. Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman : 7/10
12. Forever Free by Joe Haldeman : 8/10

Listened to these both on audio. Forever Peace is not strictly a sequel to Forever War. This one is set on Earth and I think Joe was just stretching the idea of the fighting suits to the next logical level, take the man out of the suit and have them be controlled by virtually via implants. He also was playing with the idea of how to control the innate impulse of our crazy species to fight each other. It was pretty good, but not my favorite.

Forever Free is a direct sequel to Forever War. The main character of War (William Mandella) is living on a far flung planet with his wife Margay. The humans are living with a post-human hivemind called "the Man" and the Taurans. They decide to move on by travelling as far away as possible and coming back many many years later to see how mankind has changed. Things happen and they come back only 24 years later to find that all the people have vanished. They find that there might be a "higher" power behind it all. This time he's playing with the origin of things.

13. Scott Pilgrim Vol 1 by Bryan Lee O'Malley : 8/10

Volume 1 of a series of graphic novels that was the basis for the movie Scott Pilgrim vs the World. Was looking for something light and fun and this fits the bill.


Feb 26, 12:15pm

Llun Ffantastig Dydd Gwener

Hey folks, here we are again. Not much on tap for the weekend. Hopefully going to clean out the garage and donate a bunch of books that we got from my SIL's estate to one of the local libraries. They aren't doing book sales due to covid, but they are still accepting donations, so that's nice. February has been really slow reading-wise, so hopefully I'll finish the month strong with some good progress on what I'm currently reading. Not sure if I'll finishing anything new, but we'll try. :)

Today's image is from a recent walk. It was dark and the streetlight was casting a neat shadow of a tree across the road. Happy Reading!

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q1 Books

Reading - Dark Matter edited by Sheree Thomas
Kindle - Network Effect by Martha Wells
Listening - The Porpoise by Mark Haddon

Feb 26, 1:04pm

>150 mahsdad: ooooo

Feb 26, 1:24pm

>151 richardderus: I know, right? It stopped me in my tracks as I was walking by.

From our comments on your thread....At least you'll never have to deal with the stress of double-digit unreads on my thread. (at least not as a general rule). :)

Feb 26, 5:41pm

>150 mahsdad: Love that image!

Happy Friday, Jeff. I am not familiar with that Haddon novel. Good?

Feb 26, 6:20pm

>153 msf59: Thanks Buddy!

The Porpoise - I've had it on my WL since last summer. Can't for the life of me remember where I heard about it. I used to tag entries with the source (suggested by ...), but I got lazy and stopped doing it. I was searching thru available books on Libby and it popped up.

It is good, but weird and hard to describe. Its the modern day retelling of the Apollinus myth about a father who is obsessed with his daughter after his wife dies while pregnant in a plane crash, but then it jumps back in time to ancient Greece, where Pericles is has similar issues with his wife and child, but then it jumps forward a bit to Shakespeare and George Wilkins who collaborated together to right a play called Pericles, Prince of Tyre.

I like Haddon. I liked the Curious Incident, and really enjoyed some of the stories in The Pier Falls

Feb 28, 8:21pm

February Recap

This was a slow month, compared to January. I got stuck on Love in the Time of Cholera and put it back on the shelf for a time, and started reading a couple 350+ page books and didn't quite finish them.

>2 mahsdad: Q1 Books

4 books read

Audio - 3
Graphic Novel -1

Favorite of the Month - The Porpoise

Editado: Mar 3, 4:00pm

14. The Porpoise by Mark Haddon : 8/10

Listened on audio. In this book he tells two parallel stories that are retelling of the Apollonius of Tyre myth. In modern day, a rich man is obsessed with his daughter. In ancient times its the story of Pericles, Prince of Tyre and his wife and daughter. There is also a brief interlude with William Shakespeare and George Wilkins who supposedly cowrote the play Pericles, Prince of Tyre. For me, the modern section was a bit creepy and I did not like the main character there. The bulk of the book is devoted to the Pericles story and I'm not quite sure I got the connection, maybe I missed something on audio. Sometimes audiobooks can be a meditative drone that I don't register what I'm hearing :). Despite that, it was an enjoyable read/listen that I would recommend.


Mar 3, 8:18pm

>156 mahsdad: Mark Haddon is such an interesting writer. I keep feeling like he'll settle into a writerly groove and pick a genre, but nooooooo

Anyway, happy March the 404th, 2020.

Mar 4, 1:58pm

>157 richardderus: Sometimes that's a good thing, not getting yourself stuck in the same lane all the time. But then there is something to be said for finding your lane. Take James Patterson (he was the first prolific one that came to mind), I don't read him much, but he found his niche and master it. His wikipedia page says that his novels account for 6% of all hardcover sales. Geesh.

Mar 4, 2:08pm

Book Rant.

Previously, I've made it known that I hold the unpopular opinion that deckled edges are (to put it nicely) NOT to my liking. I'd daresay I hate them. But there's a new thing that I think I dislike even more.

Trade paperbacks that try to mimic the dustcover overlap of a hardcover book by just extended the front and back cover by half and folding it over. Its thicker than a dustjacket and this gets in the way when you're flipping thru a book, as it tends to open up and get stuck. Couple that with deckled edges and it can be a less that pleasant tactile reading experience.

Here's an example from one of my current books : How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee (a very good book so far, despite its manufacturing)



Rant over

Mar 4, 2:26pm

>159 mahsdad: French flaps (they're quite prevalent on French trade paper editions and always have been) and deckled edges as *bad* are a contrarian, aren't you! Most folks find them irresistible.

>158 mahsdad: Six percent! Of hardcover sales!! Wow.

Mar 4, 3:30pm

Learn something new everyday. Didn't know they had a name...French Flaps. And yes I am a contrarian on this point. :)

Patterson - the man's a machine. And for all that business, I think I've read 2 or 3. I think I read Along Came a Spider many years ago and perhaps a couple of the sequels. But that's it.

Mar 4, 4:53pm

Considering how Old Stuff, my dearly beloathèd roommate, burns through the library's hardcovers of Patterson's stuff, I'm sure a big chunk of the sales is what you might call copy exhaustion.

Ayer, 8:27am

Oh, I am with you on the extra dust jacket flap, Jeff. I hate how it makes paperback covers too stiff to flip through the pages. Ugh.

Ayer, 11:37am

>162 richardderus: Ha!

>163 scaifea: Glad I'm not alone on the flaps. :)

Ayer, 12:28pm

صور رائعة يوم الجمعة

Hey Friendly Friends! Its March, and that brings us to the anniversary of our Covid pause. Anxiously (well not anxiously, but patiently) waiting my turn at the vaccine needle. I'm 54 and not an essential worker so we'll see when summer comes. Even though they're saying everyone by May, I'm thinking summer. Oh well. There's always books. We got rain the other day, so that was nice. It actually thundered. That's a rare occurrence for So-Cal. Its going to be really pleasant for the next couple days, upper 50's. Perfect reading weather. :)

Today's image is just some color for you folks who actually experience a proper winter. Enjoy...

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q1 Books

Reading - Dark Matter edited by Sheree Thomas. Almost done with this. Finished with all the fiction, the last section are a couple literary essays. TBH, I skipped the last couple stories, just couldn't connect with them. Oh well, the good definitely outweighed the bad in this collection
Reading - How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee. A collection of essays for the Life's Library book club. Last selection for season 2 (2020)
Kindle - Network Effect by Martha Wells
Listening - Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. Biography, read by Alfred Molina. This is one time I'd almost rather read the paper version. I guess when you actually purchased the audio, there was a PDF on the CDs that showed you all the images and figures you'd see in the book. I, obviously don't have that and I kinda wish I did. Hard to do a google image search when you're out for a run and he says, go look at figure 12 to see da Vinci's drawing of a tank. :)
GN - Scott Pilgrim Vol 2

Ayer, 1:47pm

>165 mahsdad: - Love the pic, and the bumble bee!

Ayer, 2:08pm

Pretty pretty poppies!

Happy weekend's reads.

Ayer, 7:03pm

Ayer, 11:48pm

>165 mahsdad: Thanks for the pick-me-up colours, Jeff.