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What are you reading? > Return of the joy of January

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

Magdelanye | 2268 comments Happy New Year to All!
This year we've been pleased to double our active membership and welcome three new members from the Canadian Content Group. I love it that this group is so relaxed and that we can all speak our minds without worrying that we will be misunderstood, disagree and still love each other.

What are peoples reading plans for this crisp new month?
Are you carrying anything over?


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

Magdelanye | 2268 comments I am, and its not entirely wonderful.
While I was focusing on finishing up the writing of my 2017 reviews I did not get much reading done. I an carrying over A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. It's a series, set in London, quite predictable fun and a bit of excessive gore. I'm captivated by the notion of parallel worlds.

The other book In am carting into the new year is the ineptly named Long, Last, Happy: New and Collected Stories byBarry Hannah
I really disliked the early stories but finally found a couple that I like and even there find some of the language really offensive.

On the bright side I do have some super reads lined up and hope that I can stay on top of my reviews this year.

I'm curious as to what everyone has been reading over the holidays. I hope to be able to be more attentive this year, now that I finally have an internet connection.


message 3: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 55 comments Happy New Year!!!

Yes, I am carrying over What Happened which I was powering through until I heard her speak and then got distracted by other things, Bel Canto which I was enjoying and simply ran out of time and Meditation for Your Life: Creating a Plan That Suits Your Style which I have been reading along with my meditation classes.

The holidays have been busy so I have read little but yesterday started Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life which a friend brought me for inspiration as she knows that I want to write about my recently departed grandma and also Unlearn: 101 Simple Truths for a Better Life by Humble the Poet, who had been part of Canada Reads 2017. This week is vacation so I am hoping to start the year of right with reading since I am still non-weightbearing so not doing too much activity.

@Magdelanye - must be great for you to have internet... funny how we all grew up without it but are now so dependent on it!


message 4: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1226 comments Happy New Year!

@Susan, I'm sorry about your grandmother. Losing someone is always so very hard. As to your reading, I loved Bird by Bird and hope you do to. Along with Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, it's one of my favorite books about writing.

@Magdelanye, I'm so spoiled, I can't imagine life without internet (even though I lived without it for so long--Susan is right, how quickly we've come to rely on it).

I have some books left over from last year, mostly A Little Book on Form: An Exploration Into the Formal Imagination of Poetry by Robert Hass that I was really liking but became totally overwhelmed by.

I've started Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running which I didn't expect to like that much but which I'm loving. Also, I'm about to finally start (and this time finish) DICTEE by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. It's a book I've owned for years but never got past the first few pages (who knows why? I found it difficult but fascinating.

I was excited by the books I got for Christmas: Olio, an amazing work of poetry/lyrical prose by Tyehimba Jess that I just read from the library but really wanted to own since it absolutely requires rereading; Great Expectations by an author I'm also obsessed with: Kathy Acker (her book My Mother: Demonology is on my challenge list this year). Also, Tomato Girl (Jayne Pupek), another book on my challenge list.

So I'm looking forward to a great reading year and wish you all the same as well!


message 5: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2268 comments Some great looking books there Susan and Ellie. I love Natalie Goldberg and encourage you both to read her fiction as well!
Trying to exercise restraint on my tbr!

Writing about your grandmother will be a great tribute Susan.

Its a gorgeous day here with enough snow to appear picturesque but not falling now and not enough to be a hazard.

My son arrived safely in London yesterday with his girlfriend and guitar. It's such an exciting opportunity for them.
And I got my notice! My landlord has been diagnosed with galloping ALS and his son and daughter in law are pregnant. The kids will take the big house and the landlords want my garden suite for themselves. Big changes ahead, just when I figured I was finally set up, my library unpacked and getting internet.

Its quite amazing to consider all thats occurred. since this group began!


message 6: by Petra (new)

Petra | 789 comments Happy New Year!! Wishing everyone a year of good times & good friends.

Susan, my condolences about your grandmother. It's nice that you knew her and have wonderful memories. It's lovely that you are going to write her story. That's beautiful.

Magdelanye, what a start for your New Year! Were you expecting the notice? Will you be able to find a place in the area? Housing is so tight here. I hope you find the perfect new home.

It's really foggy here at the moment. I hope it burns off quickly but it looks as if at least the first part of my run will be through thick fog.
We got a dusting of snow overnight but its already gone.

I have a book carry-over from 2017: The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer. I'm enjoying it. It's been awhile since I've read a true crime story.

My running audio book is Portrait of an Unknown Woman, which has started out strongly. Today will be my second run listening to this book.


message 7: by Mary (new)

Mary | 203 comments Happy New Year to everyone!!!

@ Susan - To add to the writing books - I enjoy Annie Dillard for inspiring writing.

@Magdelanye - Hope you find a place to live - if i have understood correctly that you have to move? I can attest to the fact that moving is disrupting to say the least.

@ Susan - How did you injure your foot? If I may ask? Nice that you were able to get to know your grandmother. Both my grandmothers (and grandfathers, aunts and uncles etc) died during WWII.

I agree with @Susan and @ Ellie that internet is a part of life now.


message 8: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1226 comments Magdelanye wrote: "Some great looking books there Susan and Ellie. I love Natalie Goldberg and encourage you both to read her fiction as well!
Trying to exercise restraint on my tbr!

Writing about your grandmother ..."


I'm sorry about your house. I hope all will go as smoothly as possible.


message 9: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (last edited Jan 02, 2018 08:23AM) (new)

Magdelanye | 2268 comments Thanks everyone for your empathy: we all know these things never really do go smoothly :.) and housing is tight everywhere.
I had just gotten a rent increase and this was a bit of a shock. It's not really about me though....the landlord has some severe health challenges just diagnosed, and they want my garden suite, and the house will go to the son and his pregnant wife and daughter. A solution for them, and my destiny I see to have to move just as I got settled ( finally got all i could on my shelves and internet)
The sun shone here yesterday as I hope it did for everyone on the first day of the year!
I read a precious book,The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism which Ellie first interested me in reading. A friend had lent me a copy, it was just waiting for the rigght time.

I am wondering how I can like a book so much when the violence sickens me? This is a rather general question but I am particularly referring to the book I've been reading in rather small doses which is really very good...but bloody A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Susan, dont forget Arnica!


message 10: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 55 comments Thanks everyone! It had been a challenging end to 2017 but I am looking forward to 2018.

I appreciate the writing book suggestions and am adding them to the list. I have the Annie Dilliard one but have not quite gotten to it.

@MaryAnne - i was clumsy and slipped on a spiral stair case while touring a relative's new home. In relation to my grandmother, i have been reading through her letters from the war when her husband (he died before i met him) taught fighter pilots. i want to do something to honour them both! i have been lucky to have her so long!

@Magdelanye - so sorry to hear about your landlord and pending move. ALS is such a dreadful disease. My son read the reason I Jump for a school project and raved about it. Yes to arnica - my foot is feeling better every day!!


message 11: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2268 comments @Susan, hope the foot is better by now
keep pampering yourself (lying about reading) for at a week after you are raring to get up.

I am starting to focus on the Canada reads longlist. I/m not sure when the short list will be announced but my holds are starting to come in.

Tenacity paid off with two of my recent reads. The Chimes by Anna Smaill took much patience but an intuition kept me going and I'm still musing on its implications. And actually have about 4 stories left in the massive Long, Last, Happy: New and Collected Stories by Barry Hannah Funny, most of the readers who rave about this book prefer his earlier stories but I almost bailed on those. Some wonderful stuff among his later work.


message 12: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 55 comments @Magdelanye - thanks, still hobbling with my crutches but able to work at home which is good (although it would be appealing to just read all day... lol).

I am so excited for Canada Reads. Just finished Forgiveness which I really enjoyed and have 7-8 books from the long list which unfortunately came from my library holds all at the same time... i better get reading!

Those are both new books/authors to me so am glad that you enjoyed them. it is great to ponder books afterwards.

I met Claire Cameron last night and her books, The Last Neanderthal, The Line Painter and The Bear have all made me think about them afterwards.


message 13: by Ice, Pilgrim (new)

Ice Bear (neilar) | 749 comments I have returned to the Pillars of Earth series: A Column of Fire. One book at a time at present as January is keeping me busy. And a belated Happier New Year !


message 14: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2268 comments Thanks Ice!
Need to get to that series,haven't even read the first one.
Finishing up 4 books for return tomorrow


message 15: by Petra (new)

Petra | 789 comments Hi all, hope January is treating you all well and keeping everyone healthy and happy.

Magdelanye, how is the house hunting coming along? I hope you find a dream apartment.

I'm sorry to hear of your landlord's health issues.

I feel as if my reading is almost at a stop. It's been awhile since I've finished a book, but I'm enjoying what I'm reading so there's that.

Today I came home to find a digger in the property behind us scraping the top soil off the land. The building of the new houses has begun. I hope that means that the destructive Laurel tree will be removed soon and our fence fixed. It's been over a year since the tree trunk split and took a portion of our fence down. Fingers crossed that the tree is down soon.

Other than that, everything is going along as normal.


message 16: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2268 comments just a quick note before totting off to bed. I have broken my rule of no computer 2hours before sleep. I have been watching my first on line meditation summit. There are 3 longish sessions a day and they are available for 24 hours for free. I loved seeing Maya Angelou and wish I could watch again.

Cuts into my reading time though. I'm just about finished Maps For Lost Lovers by Nadeem Aslam. It's been a slow and somewhat claustrophobic read. Luckily, its balanced by the rollicking sci-fi short story collection Invaders: 22 Tales from the Outer Limits of LiteratureI've also started a retrospective of the oxford book of 20th century English verse
Big surprise, liking some of Thomas Hardys poems
Also reading the scary Memory's Last Breath: Field Notes on My Dementia by Gerda Saunders It is actually very interesting and oddly hopeful

Thanks Petra for your kind note. Househunting is like searching for an extinct bird, a dodo quite possibly. I am facing a 30% increase in rent which is not feasible really. I am planning to make as best use I can of my time remaining.
I hope that your poor pesky tree is dealt with soon.

How is Susans foot I am wondering.
And Ellies mentorship
and Ices newish job
MaryAnne, I have read some lovely reviews you wrote on books I was checking out. Its always a good sign when I'm checking out the reviews of a certain book and I see that any of you really have already been there.

Its a dark night of steady rain. Sounds lovely actually.
Bed and book now
Cheers to all


message 17: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 55 comments @Magdelanye - rules are made to be broken! I am sorry to hear that your are having challenges with house hunting. I hope that something comes up soon.

Foot is better, partial weight bearing but 4 more weeks in this air boot which is unfortunate... ugh!

I am in the midst of The Book of Eve and enjoying it!


message 18: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 55 comments @Magdelanye - rules are made to be broken! I am sorry to hear that your are having challenges with house hunting. I hope that something comes up soon.

Foot is better, partial weight bearing but 4 more weeks in this air boot which is unfortunate... ugh!

I am in the midst of The Book of Eve and enjoying it!


message 19: by Mary (new)

Mary | 203 comments Oh my, January is almost over. I have been reading some Proust, and a few other books: Saturn's Return to New York The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives; Eye of the Beholder by Laura Snyder; The Inner Life of Animals: Surprising Observations of a Hidden World; Neverwhere; The Book of Eve; The Queen of the Tearling; Beowulf; The Lake; Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. All good books some more diverting than others.
Just as I was getting to the end of opening my boxes that had been in storage, my daughter realizes that even if Obamacare survives, I would not qualify with earning enough income, now that I have not an income but a Canadian pension, because pension income does not qualify as income in the USA, so is not taxed, but also not considered as an income qualification. So. What to do. Right now, Obamacare covers almost 1500$ of health insurance per month for me as an low income person. My daughter, for whose daughter I left Canada, asked if I had other options than staying in the US. Thankfully, my daughter in Vancouver is in the process of finding a place to live, and she has lovingly agreed that we can share space. So once more I am packing for a move.


message 20: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1226 comments @Mary Anne: I wish you luck with the health insurance. I'm so sorry you have to deal with that. Sounds like you're getting some great reading in! I think it's wonderful about your daughter. And I wish I could live in Vancouver!
@Magdelanye: so sorry about the house hunting struggles. And I love Hardy's poetry.
@Susan, I hope your foot heals well. Those boots are very annoying.

I'm struggling to find time for my writing what with work which is super demanding right now (although I'm home sick today--stress, i think). My target date for retirement is a year from June. I can't wait, even though I'm nervous about finances. Hopefully my pension fund won't be destroyed by the powers that be.

I just read Manhattan Beach which I enjoyed very much. Also the poet Danez Smith's Don't Call Us Dead which made me cry. I'm finally reading Medicine Walk which is wonderful. I have other books, but I'm distracted and having trouble concentrating. It's mostly poetry these days. Mostly I'm reading about colonial New York since that's what I'm teaching these days.

Mostly I'm excited that we leave for Santa Fe in 15 days! Something I'm really looking forward to. I have to decide what books to take with me (my brother-in-law gave me a digital copy of Leonardo da Vinci. It's excellent but feels endless. So maybe that and some poetry. Any suggestions?


message 21: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2268 comments Gosh MaryAnne thats excellent news! Petra is not so far away...o the possibilities

And Ellie, root de dah! It seemed so far away when you announced it.I will contemplate your request for suggestions on reading material.
Of course, it may be that you will discover a few bookshops in your travels :-0

Oh das boot! The only thing I could do when I had one was apply the mindfullness technique of extending it lovingkindness. Susan, it actually helped.

Havent even mentioned my reading but that can wait until tommorrow, Ive just got home from a presentation on forgiveness village in vietnam, plus today I got a chance to see Thich Nat Hanh and Jon Kabat-Zinn both giving hour long talks. Plus I watched Pema again. I am stuffed.

cheers folks
read on!


message 22: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1226 comments Magdelanye wrote: "Gosh MaryAnne thats excellent news! Petra is not so far away...o the possibilities

And Ellie, root de dah! It seemed so far away when you announced it.I will contemplate your request for suggestio..."


Wow Magdelanye: you saw two of my most favorite teachers! Plus, of course, hearing Pema who is also wonderful!

I'm planning, naturally, to look for bookshops in Santa Fe. The last time David and I were there we found a terrific one. Unfortunately, my memory is such that I no longer remember the name.


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