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What are you reading? > Sweet September

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

Magdelanye | 2428 comments As much as we might love to linger, summer will not be held.
May we enjoy the fruits of the harvest in gratitude
And may we have plenty of time for reading.


message 2: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1278 comments School hasn't even started and I'm so busy with curriculum development my reading time is shortened. Hoping it will be fun and light, I've just started Crazy Rich Asians. And, for my poetry teacher, I'm struggling with Natural Supernaturalism: Tradition and Revolution in Romantic Literature since my teacher thinks my poetry is in this tradition.

I'm getting my hair today which means a longish trip into the city. But the subway trip is good for reading time.

On another note, I'm excited that HBO has done a version of My Brilliant Friend, a book I loved. The trailer looks good; they speak in the Neapolitan dialect and there are subtitles. I would love to reread the book before seeing it. I'm trying to get my daughter to read it: I think she'll love it as well.


message 3: by Megan (new)

Megan | 224 comments September!! I’m sad summer is over but I do love the cooler temperatures at night.
My friend is trying to revive our mom book club, but getting moms together is like herding cats. Sigh.
I’m currently reading broken open by Elizabeth lesser. I’ve ended up reading a lot of non-fiction this year which is a departure from my usual fiction reads.


message 4: by Petra (new)

Petra | 887 comments I am always happy when August is over. I love the summer but August is too mean and hot most of the time. It's a persnickety, unreliable month in my eyes because of the intense heat it may or may not inflict on us. I mistrust it.
September, however, is lovely: sunny, warm, cooler evenings, tolerant and accepting of all. :D

I have officially started the process to retire. I gave my Directors notice of my intention to retire in February 2019. I think that with vacation owing, my last working day should be around mid-January.
It's an exciting time. I'm also a bit sad because I do love my job. However, I am looking forward to so many other activities and opportunities that I can pursue in my own relaxed time.

I finished reading The Road last night. It was very interesting. I'm still mulling it over in my head.

Ellie, I will look for My Brilliant Friend on HBO. I really liked that book and the second one. I want to continue with the series soon.
This series always brings my mom to my side. She would have loved it. I remembered her stories of her childhood when reading My Brilliant Friend. She was perhaps 5-6 years younger than the girls in the book and grew up in Europe. Her stories of the neighbourhood were very similar in structure to this one. She was very nostalgic so I think this series would have been perfect for her.


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

Magdelanye | 2428 comments Yes to my Brilliant Friend, and how the books got better and better for me as i followed along. Its been a few years by now since reading them, so I guess I will not freak out about any mismatch.

LOL Ellie, I'm sure its a simple omission, but I believe you meant to say getting your hair cut (instead of getting your hair)

I can't help but also chuckle at the idea that life is more relaxing after retirement. Well maybe I am a bit of a special case, but I seem to be busier than ever. However, I am excited for Ellie and Petra and hope you both get decent pensions, enough to support your book habits and travel plans.

Reading A Guide for the Perplexed by Dara Horn and never have I experienced such a sharp transition from blithe family drama to tragic. Can say no more but recommend to all flight paths


message 6: by Petra (new)

Petra | 887 comments Magdelanye, I don't equate relaxing with not being busy. I have so many things I'd like to explore, learn and do that I'm sure I'll be busy. I mean that I'll be doing all these things on my time & my schedule; not anyone else's. That's a very relaxing thought.

As for pension, my thought is that many others have lived on their pensions before me, so I should be able to do it. It'll be an adjustment but I think things will balance out. I'll save a lot of money by not going to work.

That's an interesting sounding book. I'll check it out. Thanks! I love a good recommendation.


message 7: by Mary (new)

Mary | 204 comments Sweet September and never been kissed!!


message 8: by Petra (new)

Petra | 887 comments Magdelanye, the library doesn't have A Guide For the Perplexed. Have you read The World to Come? I'm going to try that one of hers.

I like the description of Eternal Life, too.


message 9: by Mary (new)

Mary | 204 comments The air has cleared and I am so glad as the smoke affected me a great deal.
Last night's company (daughter's friends) has gone and now I am preparing for a visit from my oldest daughter and my 7 year old grand daughter, who will stay overnight. They have experienced delays at the border so I have a bit of time to catch up here.
I leave next Sunday for Cuba and will have no internet until my return on sept 20. I have been furiously trying to learn as much Spanish as my brain can take.
I started a Canadian mystery series by Gail Bowen. While I liked the first in the series Deadly Appearances I found the second too contrived, with too many dead people. It will be a while before I try another.
I have been wonderfully surprised by James Baldwin. I read some of him in my teen years but I never appreciated his intelligence and rational manner of speaking. The novels I read are portraits of growing black in Harlem. The Fire Next Time and Go Tell It on the Mountain.
Another author I have rediscovered is Graham Greene. He is great story teller and is able to portray politics well. The Quiet American is amazing as is Our Man in Havana
I look forward to the new book by Timothy Snyder after reading On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century.
The Travels of Sir John Mandeville is a book I found tedious at times but I was happy to have finished it as it presents a very subtle and ironic criticism of the bigotry, racism, and small mindedness of those who claimed they were Christian. It is quite brilliant and has inspired many satirists.
I had seen Merrilee Robson at a VPL event and wanted to read her book Murder Is Uncooperative. It is a very comfortable cozy mystery set in Vancouver.
I am so happy that The Sisters Brothers has been made into a movie. I so loved the humour in the book. I have his newer book French Exit on hold.
I am trying to read Le Morte d'Arthur: King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table but their hewing and hacking at male bodies (women are for bearing children) is very tiresome.
The Triumph of Christianity: How a Small Band of Outcasts Conquered an Empire is a very rational look at how Christianity destroyed any trace of the pagan world and how it grew to its historical dominance. Lest we criticize ISIS for its destruction of historical monuments, Bart D. Ehrman reminds us that Early Christians are responsible for the almost total destruction of many ancient works of art and the death of many pagans.
Warlight is a very subtle book that explores childhood memories. Once again in this novel as in others, Michael Ondaatje shows that war is terrible in its destruction of human lives and families.
Dara Horn looks like an interesting author: I had not heard of her before.


message 10: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2428 comments And just like that, almost 2 weeks have passed. I am back in Powell River after a weekend in Vancouver. MaryAnne in Cuba! It's seems like we will have to wait until Petra s retirement for our tea party at the Sylvia. Perhaps Megan is close enough to come. And one day may it come to pass I get to meet Ellie Ice and Natasha.
This is truly late night rambling, visualizing the distances between us in space and time, holding the connections dear. Prompted by the news I just read of 3 deaths that touch me, VS Naipaul who I just discovered, Patricia Uppal, whose work I have been enjoying over the last few years, and most distressing, Diane, a GR friend who may be known to those of you also members of CC. passed away months ago.
Since my bad experience with CC I rarely go there any more, but I did tonight opening the thread on obituaries.
a sharp reminder of mortality and the necessity of appreciation

I want to get through my tbr before I go.


message 11: by Petra (new)

Petra | 887 comments The tea party hasn't happened yet?! I thought I'd missed it. Yes, after I retire, we really must arrange for this.

I heard of Diane's passing, too, and was saddened. People wander away over the internet so we sometimes miss these passings. I'm glad I know so that I can mourn her.

I've started listening to The World to Come by Dara Horn because of your recommendation of the author, Magdelanye. I'm really enjoying it. I'm listening during my jogs so it will take awhile but it's rich and lush and the characters are interesting.

I'll never get through my TBR list. It's too long and I keep adding to it.


message 12: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2428 comments My TBR is something to live for 🐌 ☺
Petra, Where did you find The World to come so quickly. I have a feeling it might be less obscure than the Guide and I want to read it right away but its not here and im not stable enough for an interlibrary loan.
I'm so happy you're enjoying it.
I'm also eager to read Warlight. The Triumph of Christianity??
I loved Mort D'Artur and dedicated the month of March to reading various versions of the legend. I especially loved Mary Stewart's rendition, and just as much the Lawhead series.


message 13: by Ice, Pilgrim (last edited Sep 16, 2018 11:19PM) (new)

Ice Bear (neilar) | 768 comments The case is packed - that's the one with the books for the local library in Gozo and the long holiday is almost upon me.

As we know I am a Lawhead (new series out- In the Region of the Summer Stars) and Mary Stewart fan.


message 14: by Petra (new)

Petra | 887 comments Magdelanye, the Fraser Valley library system has a pre-loaded audio book of The World To Come, so I was able to get it quickly.
The only other book they have by this author is Eternal Life.

Ice, enjoy your holiday. How long will you be away?


message 15: by Megan (new)

Megan | 224 comments @ Magdelanye I'm always up for a trip to the west coast! I'm going to visit a friend in Nanaimo next weekend. It can't come soon enough, it's been snowing here the last two days. I am not ready for winter.


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

Magdelanye | 2428 comments Lucky Ice, I remember the pictures you posted such a stunning place.
Megan to Nanaimo this weekend torrential rains, hope it didn't spoil your plans.
it's so cold on here I'm staying under the covers until I absolutely have to get up. Reading another random book from the library The God Of Animals to offset the tech talk of Clay Shirky, in Here Comes Everybody, which is good, but most of the time just over my head.


message 17: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2428 comments Petra, the Powell River library system is out of the loop. Also, I will only read a book, so downloading not an option.
What's your opinion, assuming you've finished by now. But I guess if the weather there is half as wet as it is here I guess no more casual running or long walks for a while.


message 18: by Petra (new)

Petra | 887 comments Magdelanye, I don't download books either. This is a cassette that fits nicely into a pocket or my hand when I'm running. The pre-loaded cassettes require a battery & earbuds from the listener.

I'm about 1/3 through now. I only listen to it while jogging. When it rains that means the treadmill (sigh....ugh).
I'm enjoying how the story is unfolding. I like Leon from Chernobyl. Actually, I like all the characters.

With luck, I'll be able to go out running today. I just put 2 plum cakes in the oven and have to wait for them to bake. At the moment, it's not raining. Fingers crossed that this lasts another 2 hours.

So far, I've been lucky and there has been no rain on my running days. It's been close and I've gotten home minutes before the rain but I've remained dry so far. I may be pushing my luck today but I'm hoping not.


message 19: by Ice, Pilgrim (last edited Sep 16, 2018 11:26PM) (new)

Ice Bear (neilar) | 768 comments My next entry will be in the October topic, 4 years away from a planned longer beak (retirement !).

Metaphorically I am travelling with Ann Cleeves in her Shetland series.
P.D. James also to hand.


message 20: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1278 comments Magdelanye: I love the idea of "getting my hair". I think I'd order something a little fuller (like when I was younger)

Petra: I'm so happy for you and your retirement. Hopefully, you'll be too busy to miss work much. I don't think I'll miss it at all, but maybe I'm wrong. At the moment, I'm looking forward to never having to talk to another person I don't want to again. At least, not on a continual basis. My biggest fear is that I'll do something wrong with the paperwork and mess up my pension. But hopefully not. Even a year feels like forever to me right now.

I hope your running goes well, Petra.

I'm reading The Weight of Ink which is a lovely book, I think. Also still struggling with the history of the romantic tradition since my mentor has advised me to read it. Right now, though, all I want to do is sleep.


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

Magdelanye | 2428 comments Never having to talk to anyone without wanting to sounds idyllic. What I've discovered in this summer of rootlessness is that after even only 3 of not speaking, I'll talk to anyone.
Petra how did the Horn book pan out? I was amazed to find another title on the new arrivals shelf and of course I grabbed it.
But after a streak of debut and random choices I wanted to read a few faves and so also brought home a few Murakamis and a new Lionel Shriver which I started immediately.

It turns out that I already read South of the Border
West of the Sun but I did read it again with more appreciation.
The Shriver is delicious


message 22: by Petra (new)

Petra | 887 comments Magdelanye, congratulations on finding a new spot to hang your hat. After a summer of adventures, you've got a place to snuggle down for the winter. I feel better knowing you've found a place of refuge in the cold times that are coming.

I'm really enjoying Dara Horn's book. It's got a lot of layers and the story is really interesting. I think I'm about half done now.

Coincidence: I've just started reading Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I enjoy his weird, wacky stories. I think Wind-Up is the weirdest one yet.

I'll look up the new Lionel Shriver. I quite enjoyed We Need to Talk About Kevin.


message 23: by Petra (new)

Petra | 887 comments Ellie, one more year and you retire. That is awesome. I know it will relieve a lot of stress in your life.

I'm a bit worried about the paperwork of retiring, too, and maybe choosing the wrong option. I'm a bit of a disbeliever and wonder about what is not being said and what I'm unconsciously maybe giving up. Mainly I mean that in terms of medical or dental. We have the option to pay for some extended medical but it's unclear what exactly we get for that money (it's a lot each month). The dental seems high for what we get, I think.
I don't think I'll miss work once I'm gone. I don't miss it now on my vacations or weekends. It's just that nagging and slightly scary thought of my life changing so drastically from one day to the next.
On the other hand, it's a very good feeling, so I'm leaning towards that.


message 24: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1278 comments Petra wrote: "Ellie, one more year and you retire. That is awesome. I know it will relieve a lot of stress in your life.

I'm a bit worried about the paperwork of retiring, too, and maybe choosing the wrong opt..."


I'm also leaning toward that it will be so, so good. But I'm also nervous about such a massive change. And the medical insurance and all that. If my union stays strong, I should have good medical but of course times are uncertain. All I can do is make the best plans I can and try not to mess it up!

I'm really enjoying The Weight of Ink although I don't know that it's a spectacularly good book. I like the fact that there's a character my age and I find the parallel stories (one in 17th century London and one contemporary) engaging if not especially original. Sometimes I just like a book even if I don't think it's amazing. Often I'm dissatisfied and looking for something more "major" so I'm happy just to be relaxing with this book. It's a good break from work.


message 25: by Ellie (last edited Sep 29, 2018 06:19AM) (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1278 comments I hope everyone is well, reading and living! I've missed this group. I haven't had much time to read, what with work's September craziness. But I am reading The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty which I'm loving. Group of artists (call themselves the "creatives") who live in Manhattan and are testing the importance of being beautiful to attract men. Also a murder mystery.

I'm also very excited about the new Tana French, The Witch Elm. I've read all her Dublin Murder Squad books so far, and loved them all, even the less successful ones. And there's a new Haruki Murakami book to look forward to as well. If only I had more time to read! I really shouldn't be reading at all right now but I'm longing to also read The Plague by Albert Camus. What I hate most about work (besides the anxiety) is how it takes up all my time (and I'm still already far behind). But, I keep reminding myself, this is the last year. Then I'll have lots of time to read! And make music. Write poetry. See my friends. Things I'm really looking forward to.

What is everyone else up to? Reading? Doing? Hope your weather is good; lots of rain here but beautiful today.


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

Magdelanye | 2428 comments Hey Ellie lovely to catch up with you. A new HM!!
I just reread South of the border west of the sun and saving this quirky little volume I have never seen listed called the strange library, to read next time I'm on the ferry.
Tomorrow is the big shift to my own room in town. I will miss Henrietta the chicken and the quiet but I will appreciate the shower.
I know you are not on Facebook Ellie but there was a wonderful meme passed around last week re uplifting just one life a semester makes all the scrap worthwhile
That's a very rough paraphrasing!
Wondering how MaryAnne is doing in Cuba and Ice in Gozo??

And Petra! Hope you were able to take advantage of the break in the rain for some good runs in the pleasant heat.

Megan I hope your trip to Nanaimo went well. What do you think of the place? I don't know it at all, but it seems if I want to move to the island it might be a place to start as there are rentals available there.


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

Magdelanye | 2428 comments spellchecker is a prune.
It should read crap not scrap


message 28: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1278 comments Magdelanye: I am on FB. Feel free to friend me. I have to find that meme!

Megan: I look forward to hearing about your trip!

Petra: Is the weather good up there?

Finished The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty and I loved it. Finally a book billed as funny that I actually did find funny. Important things to say about beauty, women, and worth. Now I'm starting Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over, a memoir about a woman who reinvented her self as an artist at the age of 64. Totally appropriate and inspiring to me.


message 29: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2428 comments Ellie forgive me, I forget your last name. Dont take it personally, I don't use mine, never been good with them.

I'm feeling frustrated because my laptop has apparently died and this app won't seem to let me dedicate the new month.
It will have to wait until tomorrow.
Anybody going for the Gillers? I've been too unsettled to really study the list.
I've actually been watching a series of talks put on by Sounds True over the internet. (That's when my laptop died) luckily I was able to listen on the phone. This series adresses most of the very pertinent issues that come for everybody, especially me! ( LOL)


message 30: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1278 comments Magdelanye: My name is Ellen Archer. I've probably not even told you before.

Drowning in work here; even the weekend. No time to read or practice the guitar or write. Hopefully, things will get more quiet soon.


message 31: by Megan (new)

Megan | 224 comments Oh wow, where did September go??
Magdelanye, I hope you're settling in well at your new place.

My Nanaimo trip was good! I went to visit a friend I had not seen for 5 years. She's going through a really tough time so I'm glad I was there to lend some support. To be honest, I was not super impressed with Nanaimo. I feel like they could do so much more, especially with their downtown. My friend said that the city is going through a tough time and their local MLA is actually going to run for mayor because it's such a mess right now.
All in all it was wonderful to see the ocean and the mountains, especially since the day I left it was snowing in Edmonton.

Has anyone watched First Contact on APTN? I just finished the last episode and there's so much to talk about.

I just finished reading Jonny Appleseed and I have a lot to digest. It was a brilliant book.


message 32: by Mary (new)

Mary | 204 comments September has gone so quickly!!
Cuba was a look at a country that has been the brunt of historical brutality and present day embargo by the USA. People we talked with were friendly and helpful, especially when they found out we were Canadian. There is a pervasive poverty, with a vast difference between the areas that have been built and rebuilt for tourism, and the general housing elsewhere. We saw some amazing mansions, once privately owned, and now are museums housing the furniture and art that came with the wealth of the house.


message 33: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2428 comments Sorry dear peeps, I moved today and no time to get to the library. Hopefully tomorrow.
Wish i could have us all over for tea! My room is small but not square and the lake is right there. It will be good for a while.
That Jonny Appleseed does sound like a must read immediately.
Cuba sounds like I should go soon.
Ellie sounds like she should have retired like yesterday!
And here I am, trying to live in the present and be grateful. Well, I sure am!


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