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What are you reading? > gems of July

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message 1: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 1452 comments Summer at last here on the wet coast. Outdoor reading is the order of the day. Do you have a favorite spot?
Anything special you've been saving for the beach?


message 2: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 1452 comments A lot of my restlessness lately is not just spring. After all, its summer now but i havent yet found a spot to replace my old spot.
But its so beautiful and there is the beach nearby.
Im taking a breather after after 3 heavy books of historical fiction with a Y/A novel Mexican Whiteboy. also just began a Murakami book of short stories.
May everyone have a safe and marvelous weekend


message 3: by Petra (new)

Petra | 222 comments Happy Canada Day!
Magdelanye, is that short story book After the Quake? I read that years ago and remember enjoying it but not much more than that. My review is rather skimpy, too, so it jogs no memories. I enjoy Murakami's writing.
I haven't got a favorite outdoor spot to read. We haven't got comfortable outdoor furniture yet. When we do, I'm sure that a shady spot in the yard will become a favorite summer spot.
No specific reads saved for the beach/summer.

I have put in a request for Touchy Subjects, Magdelanye. I'm looking forward to reading the stories.
About Frog Music: I disliked Blanche so very much. There wasn't a single thing in that book that Blanche didn't think was all about her, that included the murder. Here's my review, if you'd like to have a look: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I will be transplanting some of the plants in the front yard today. Work on the new lay-out will start on Monday and there's a few plants I'd like to save for the backyard.

Nothing much planned for this weekend.


message 4: by Mary Anne (new)

Mary Anne | 121 comments Happy Canada Day! I have been busy boxing my things (after having only unboxed them in January) because the sprinkler system in my condo will be replaced this fall. It means I will have to move just about everything to storage for a few months. I will visit friends in Ottawa during this time.
I have been trying to read my way across Canada with The Curse of the Shaman for Nunavut, Gold Digger for a historical Yukon and others for the rest of Canada. The Curse of the Shaman was a surprise delight. It has a fable-like simplicity yet also fable-like complexity.
I read on the deck of my condo unit that looks out over the mountain and where I have some plants growing.
I am reading The World Without Us that is in keeping with my general view that we humans have harmed the earth so much that it might be better for the rest of nature if we were to leave earth to try and heal itself without us. This healing will take eons, according to Alan Weisman.
I am also reading White Heat a mystery that takes place in The North West Territories complete with cold and ice. The main character is flawed yet she is competent in the harsh and beautiful nature that surrounds her.


message 5: by Petra (new)

Petra | 222 comments Mary Anne, sorry to hear that you've got to pack up everything for condo repairs. Ugh! Glad to hear that you've got a place to stay while the work is being done. Hope it all goes well.

I read The World Without Us as well and quite enjoyed it. It gives hope that we humans won't mess things up beyond the point of repair. Once we're gone, the world will bounce back (albeit slowly). Sadly, we seem to have to disappear for that to happen. With luck, maybe a few of us will survive and carry on.


message 6: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 1452 comments @Petra; The Murakami Ive just started is The Elephant Vanishes. But i spent a few hours at the beach reading a rather creepy book that many CCers have recommended Im thinking of Ending Things. This will be for the bingo square Outside My Comfort Zone.
@ MaryAnne...it seems you just got settled! I really feel for you: what a lot of extra work. At least you are planning a vacation around it.
The Curse of the Shaman sounds like a good choice for the Cross Country Challenge.

This morning attended the Art Gallery in Gibson for their annual book sale. Dropped the books off at home and went straight to the beach so now i have the delicious treat of discovering what i got. It was $10 for a big cloth bag that you fill as you browse. Big fun and a great deal


message 7: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (Susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 55 comments I am looking forward to some outdoor reading but we have had a lot of intermittent rain lately so the patio furniture keeps getting wet!

@Petra - seems like there are many mixed reviews for Frog Music, I have a copy but have yet to read it.

@MaryAnne - that is unfortunate but will be good to have a safe sprinkler system when all said and done and visiting Ottawa is always a fun thing!

I am starting Keeper'n Me by the late Richard Wagamese but didn't get much reading done today... hopefully tomorrow will be quiet as it is for my in person book club on Tuesday night.


message 8: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (EllieArcher) | 821 comments Just caught on that we had a July thread!

Sounds like people are enjoying their summer. I haven't got an outdoor spot to read but have been taking long walks through the park so I may find a place there.

Mostly I've been working for my poetry class. I'm glad I took it in the summer-it's a lot more hours of work than I expected.

Good to see so many people here.

@Magdelanye: The Elephant Vanishes is one of my (and my son's) favorite Murakami novels. I'm starting his Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa. So far, it's very interesting.

@Susan: I just started One Native Life by Richard Wagamese. It's my first book of his-do you think it's a good place to begin? The opening is promising.

I'm slowly working my way through Moonglow by Michael Chabon. I'm finding it more difficult than I expected to, with long passages about rocketry that I find rather dull. I do like the parts between the grandfather and the tragic grandmother. But it's gotten such a great response I feel like I'm missing something.


message 9: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (Susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 55 comments @Ellie -I LOVED that collection of his life and it will give more perspective when you read his other books as his life experiences are really woven into his storytelling. I might suggest that you read Medicine Walk... which would be a perfect book to read after going for a walk and finding an outdoor spot.


message 10: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (EllieArcher) | 821 comments ❀ Susan wrote: "@Ellie -I LOVED that collection of his life and it will give more perspective when you read his other books as his life experiences are really woven into his storytelling. I might suggest that you ..."

Thanks for the feedback Susan-and the recommendation! There's so much to choose from, I wanted to pick the "best" (or the most representative of his work). I'm really excited about reading this. Hope you were able to finish Keeper'n Me in time for your IRL book club.


message 11: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (EllieArcher) | 821 comments Sounds like The World Without Us is a book I'd like to read. At least it sounds like there may be hope for the planet, if not for us. And my country is leading the way for its destruction.


message 12: by Petra (new)

Petra | 222 comments Ellie, I agree with Susan that Medicine Walk is a book to be read. I still have One Native Life to look forward to.


message 13: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (Susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 55 comments @Ellie - I did not quite get it finished but we had a great conversation as this time, we all chose different books to discuss by Wagamese. I had read all the other ones that were chosen.


message 14: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (EllieArcher) | 821 comments I definitely have to read him! I'm loving the opening sections.


message 15: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 1452 comments On July 6 I tried 3 times to post from my phone, and yesterday just once. I thought it worked. Obviously not. Now I am giving it another go on a desktop at the college. I won't be able to recreate the whole thing, but I did start with the observation @Ellie that June is certainly a difficult month to let go of, despite its capricious nature.
Walking in the park is certainly an excellent pastime, and I'm sure you will find some lovely spots for reading, writing, and contemplation. Are you ready to share a poem or two here?
I am wondering if this is your first free summer in a while. Hopefully it will alleviate the changes in the fall.

I have read pretty much all of Richard Wagamese except ][[book:A Quality Of Light|13534206] which I have been saving. Maybe Medicine Walk is my favorite. maybe Embers or Ragged Company.
Really cant go wrong with this man.
@Petra, wondering how your garden is going. And Proust. With this gorgeous weather that has finally arrived you must be in heaven out there with walks on the river and outdoor reading.
@Susan...sorry about the crummy weather there. Hopefully thats passed and you too are enjoying.

Reading Pastel Orphans by Gemma Liviero It's another killer that starts out soft enough but almost finished I am having a really hard time. Why do I think I have to read these books. WWII from a childs eyes.
Poetry to the rescue... but in fact this book of Lorna Crozier What the Living Won't Let Go is much darker than others I've read by her. @Ellie, check her out! and @Susan, she needs to be on your list, especially forThe Wild in You: Voices from the Forest and the Sea

@MaryAnne, hope your enforced holiday is a wonderful break
@Ice hope new job is less stressful, more fun!
Cheers all


message 16: by Petra (new)

Petra | 222 comments Magdelanye, I've been having a marvelous time. I had 2 weeks off of work. I was on Vancouver Island visiting family for almost a week, then at home the rest of the time. I caught up on chores, went for runs, went geocaching and our sprinkler system was installed today. Hopefully, that means that the rest of the garden and lawn will be replaced soon.
Many of my runs have been along the river. It's a lovely stretch of a circular trail that encompasses the city. I plan on walking the entire circle soon (25K). Not sure if I'll be successful but hubby will pick me up if I want to stop. If I can keep up my regular walking pace, it'll take between 5-6 hours.

Proust is coming along, albeit slowly, but I think that's how he's meant to be read. He's quite hilarious......and sometimes tedious. Sigh! It's truly a balance. At the moment, I'm in an interesting, humorous part. I'm in the fourth book, Sodom and Gomorrah.

I go back to work on Monday. I truly am ready for retirement, I think. I like my job a lot but I like my free time even more.


message 17: by Petra (last edited Jul 08, 2017 09:42AM) (new)

Petra | 222 comments ANTS!!!!! Woke up this morning and found ants in the house. Lots of them!!!
The sprinkler people must have disturbed an ant colony close to the front door and the ants found their way in under it.
We spent the first hour awake killing them and finding their entry point. We've now got them, sprayed the path they were using (and the front door bottom area) with vinegar/water solution to stop them coming back for awhile.
Guess today will be used to find the colony and stop it from there, as well as destroying their pathway scent completely so they don't come back in.
Ants and I have been at war for years. We have quite a problem outside (but never inside). They've crossed a line. The war has just escalated. They don't know what they are up against. LOL!


message 18: by Mary Anne (new)

Mary Anne | 121 comments @ Petra In my travels infestations to my houses were alternately ants and mice. Ants can be kept at bay by cleaning their hormone track through the house, and by in the spring fortifying the outside of the house with cinnamon or a commercial product.
Mice were more difficult to deter. Every fall they would find or make a new opening for their families - mice are never alone. I learned to keep all food in glass jars to keep them from seeing my kitchen and pantry as their food bank. I bought a series of live catch mouse traps and learned to carry them across 2 blocks to make sure they would not make their way back. I brought all the mice caught to the same place -- a part of a park by the local river - hoping each succeeding mouse would be welcomed by the previous mouse. Over the years I found that mice have different personalities and abilities. One year I had a series of mouse that had a different face structure and I found out that these were called Viking mice because they came with the sailors/invaders from Scandinavia. Most of the ice I caught were common field mice that left in the summer and returned in late fall.


message 19: by Petra (new)

Petra | 222 comments Mary Anne, I hope it doesn't come to mice. I applaud you for taking a humane course with your mice and releasing them into the wild.

We have/had a few ant colonies on our front lawn that I've been watching and trying to contain the size of for some years. I didn't realize that we had a colony so close to the front door. I will have to find the remnants today and take care of it.

The vinegar solution is working. There are ants coming in under the door but they are stopped there, too. Some are dying, some just seem stunned and not moving.
We've now sprayed around the outside of the door and across the door jamb. Seems to be working and keeping the ants out.

That's good news (for now).


message 20: by Petra (last edited Jul 08, 2017 02:32PM) (new)

Petra | 222 comments Ant update.. (I'm sure you all want to know. LOL!).....
The vinegar/water solution worked like a charm. We sprayed the solution along their entire path. Afterwards, hubby went for ant killer and I washed the entire floor area down with a vinegar/water solution, washed the door, screen door, door jamb with the solution.
Have only seen a rare stray ant since then and have now sprayed ant killer along the entry point (under the front door).
I haven't found any ants outside or in the crawlspace under the front door area (or anywhere down there). Not sure where they started from and that's making me a bit worried.
Keeping an eye on the situation but it's better now.
That was not a nice way to start the day. Ugh!!!!!


message 21: by Mary Anne (new)

Mary Anne | 121 comments @ Petra Was it raining hard in the few days before the ants came in? In one of my places the ants were living by the foundation and heavy rain would force them into the house so they wouldn't drown.


message 22: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (Susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 55 comments @Petra - glad to hear that you have the ants under control!! We struggle with ants sometimes too... sandy ground and they seem to like one of our window wells


message 23: by Petra (new)

Petra | 222 comments Mary Anne, no, it's been hot and dry. We had a sprinkler system installed yesterday and there was a lot of digging, some of it close to the front door. I thought that perhaps a colony had been disturbed but can't find evidence of any ants in the vicinity this morning.


message 24: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 1452 comments Actually; i prefer ants to spiders and mosquitoes!
But I empathize with your ant situation and kudos to you and your husband for so promptly dealing with the situation yourself with mostly vinegar; rather than calling in the big guns with their major poisons🙄


message 25: by Petra (new)

Petra | 222 comments Give me spiders in the house any day. LOL! They only show up one at a time; not by the hundreds.
If possible, I'll avoid the major poisons in all situations. I was skeptical of the vinegar solution but it works like a charm. I highly recommend it. Half vinegar/half water; spray it on the ants and on their pathway. Some sites say the solution kills ants; some say that it doesn't. It appeared to kill many of the ants.
What it is supposed to do is to overpower the scent left to indicate the pathway, so the ants don't know that the pathway exists, so they don't come in. Seems to work. Only the occasional ant came in after we washed the floors and a few more sprays over the evening got rid of all.
No ants this morning. Yeah!


message 26: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 1452 comments I love MaryAnnes mouse story. It takes a certain kind of integrity and commitment to use the live traps.
When major construction was going on across the street from my Vancouver apartment; the mice fled and sought refuge in our building. They seemed to thrive inside the walls. They only ventured out during the night and it was important to never leave any food out to tempt them. Sometimes we could hear them chirping over a blessed event, and eventually i was persuaded to get a live trap.
A few times the cheese was taken and once or twice it worked as advertised. Then one morning i awoke to pitiful squeaks. A baby or probably teenage mouse had almost managed to escape but was caught and nearly severed in half. It was still alive and in pain.
it was extremely traumatic for me too and i disposed of the whole mess outside in the big bin.
Which is why i admire MaryAnne's story so much


message 27: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 1452 comments @Petra...not many species of ants bite! Im suffering from mosquito bites and one bite that seems like a spiders near my elbow.
Say Petra, are you listening to CBC right now. In Concert, simply stunning


message 28: by Petra (last edited Jul 09, 2017 03:39PM) (new)

Petra | 222 comments Hubby suffers with mosquito bites as well. A bite swells up into a golf ball sized welt. Poor guy!
Careful of that spider bite. You saw the news last week of the girl who lost her leg from an infected bite?

I was out grocery shopping. My vacation is over. Tomorrow, it's back to work for me. We needed lunch supplies. Sigh.......when does retirement start?! :D

I'm sorry to hear your mouse story, Magdelanye. That would be an awful site. I don't blame you for throwing the whole contraption out. A humane trap should be just that. Poor little mouse.
I liked Mary Anne's story as well.


message 29: by Mary Anne (new)

Mary Anne | 121 comments To add to my mice stories:
One Christmas I bought whole nuts for cracking and had some left over after the dinner was done and left them in a plastic pot under a shelving unit. The top must have not been on tightly for in a few days when I wanted more nuts, I found that there were only a few nuts left. There had been almond, brazil, walnuts and filberts. I supposed the mice had rolled them to a hole for their families, but in a week, when I had to look for some files in a box in my computer room, some 6- 7 feet away from the kitchen where the nuts had been, and in a box, about 18 inches high, I found an assorted mix of the nuts that had been in the kitchen. How did they carry them across the kitchen and up into an 18 inch high box? I saw no ladders, no catapults, no baskets for hauling. The nuts were whole and un-chewed, in between files in the box. There were also some nuts on a book case, behind some books, that was several feet off the ground. And I never heard a thing.


message 30: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (EllieArcher) | 821 comments @Mary Anne: I hate mice. But I love your story. Well, both of them. Your mice sound very resourceful.

We had a problem with them a few months ago but the cats helped. Although it was extremely gross when one of the cats caught a mouse and we had to rescue the mouse and set it free outside.

@Magdelanye, sounds like an awful experience. If there's one thing I hate more than having mice, it's figuring out a humane way to get rid of them.

@Petra, I'm so sympathetic about the end of your vacation. I still have a lot of time left but it's horrifying how quickly the time flies. Between reading, writing, going for long walks/the gym (I finally joined one!), and being with my "kids", the days slip away so fast. I can't imagine getting bored: retirement must be wonderful, so long as you're in good health. This is my first summer off without recovering from surgery and I'm loving it. Even without going anywhere, I'm busy and happy.


message 31: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (Susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 55 comments Cross posting this one as I think that this group will be interested in this link also.

@Petra - according to twitter, it is Proust's birthday today! Born in 1871, he died of pneumonia in 1922. Here is a bit more interesting hx about him: https://www.britannica.com/biography/...


message 32: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 1452 comments Thanks so much for posting this Susan . Petra, did you realize? We should have a party! Light a candle together at a coordinated time. I think we could pull it off🎹I dont suppose any of us have access to madeleines but a toast should do


message 33: by Petra (new)

Petra | 222 comments Proust's birthday!!! I did not know that. I will contemplate my navel in honour of his special day.
Madelines!!! Yes....let's find some.
Reading is in order, too.
A candle lighting is a nice way to honor his day. Let's do it. I won't be home until about 6pm (PDT), if we want to group light. :D


message 34: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 1452 comments hopefully others will see this in time.....it could be swell...Wheres our east coasters?


message 35: by Mary Anne (new)

Mary Anne | 121 comments what time do you want to light the candles? I am mountain time.


message 36: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (EllieArcher) | 821 comments I'm an east coaster.


message 37: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 1452 comments yay...Ellie and Mary-Anne.
well, Petra and I are Pacific, mountain is one hour later i believe and is eastern time another 3 hours?
its 4:15 here.
this is exciting!
Do we still have Susan as well?
Ice is on the other side of the world....


message 38: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (Susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 55 comments I am est and is 739pm here in Ontario.


message 39: by Mary Anne (new)

Mary Anne | 121 comments I am making some pistachio shortbread ( with almond flour) in honour of the madeleines.


message 40: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (Susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 55 comments Good for you! That sounds ambitious and delicious!


message 41: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 1452 comments @MaryAnne I'd like some of that. When will it be ready? That could be our moment.


message 42: by Mary Anne (new)

Mary Anne | 121 comments the shortbread is ready!!! is every one else ready???


message 43: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 1452 comments im standing by!
Ellie, whats the time there?
its almost 6 here.
maybe in 1/2 an hour?


message 44: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (Susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 55 comments 9 EST


message 45: by Mary Anne (new)

Mary Anne | 121 comments getting the matches and candle ready


message 46: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 1452 comments Ellie? you with us?


message 47: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 1452 comments silly me...what shall we sing? i was thinking Auld Lang sein?


message 48: by Petra (new)

Petra | 222 comments Mary Anne wrote: "I am making some pistachio shortbread ( with almond flour) in honour of the madeleines."

This is so awesome!!! Thank you, Mary Anne.
It's a party now!


message 49: by Petra (new)

Petra | 222 comments Magdelanye wrote: "silly me...what shall we sing? i was thinking Auld Lang sein?"

Will do. This sounds lovely!


message 50: by Mary Anne (new)

Mary Anne | 121 comments i was thinking of playing some Debussy


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