Cindys Cat Came Back Third Quarter 2023

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Cindys Cat Came Back Third Quarter 2023

Editado: Jul 25, 4:53 pm

Welcome to my third quarter thread of the year! Im a relative newcomer here, joining in 2016. Im a teacher (early childhood special ed) for 35 years in Phoenix, retired 4 years ago. In my spare time I read, garden, folk dance, travel with my dh and volunteer at a childrens museum. Oh and I play with my three cats. I read just about anything; lately I have enjoyed reading works in translation which really has opened up my world. Looking forward to another quarter of reading and discussing and reviewing books on CR


Learn enough about African geography and history from the African Novel Challenge that I wont feel like a fool listening to the news or reading a book. So far this year I have read

the first woman Uganda
Hope and other dangerous pursuits from Egypt
The Book of Chameleons from Angola
the first wife a tale of polygamy from Mozambique
The Wedding of Zein and Other Stories from the Sudan
Things fall apartNigeria
The first womanUganda

Id like to continue to expand my reading by choosing more new to me authors than I did last year (36) So far Ive read 32 books by new authors

Editado: Jul 25, 4:56 pm

I structure them using the following prompts, which vary from time to time

Why did I choose this book to read
Summary of plot w/o spoilers
What kept me reading
What did I really not like
Who would like to read this book

sometimes I find a review that matches my thoughts much better than I can put into words myself, so, I may copy and paste it here. but will always credit the reviewer


1* usually DNF
2* I read it but not happy about it
3* a good read with some issues
4* memorable read
5* couldnt ask for more; usually books I will think about long afterwards, and often will reread. They might even have a map or two, an appendix or family tree with characters names, and a bibliography for further reading. Just sayin

Editado: Nov 8, 5:14 pm



January - North Africa: Saharan Sands
hope and other dangerous pursuits4.5

February - Lusophone Africa
the book of chameleons 4.5
the first wife a tale of polygamy4.5

March - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie or Buchi Emecheta

April - The Horn of Africa
the wedding of zein 5*

May - African Nobel Winners

things fall apart 5*

June - East Afric
a girl is a body of water5*

July - Chinua Achebe or Ben Okri

August - Francophone Africa
so long a letter5*
co wives co widows5*
the civilized world 4.5*

September - Southern Africa
the coconut 4

October - Scholastique Mukasonga or Ngugi Wa Thiong'o
our lady of the nile
the upright revolution

November - African Thrillers / Crime Writers

December - West Africa
raising ourselves
ancestor stones

Editado: Nov 17, 12:54 pm


January Feathered Friends
haven 5*

February 'lions and tigers and bears"
The Elephants Journey 3*

March Notorious Women
the jokes on you 4.5*

April April fool
The talented mr ripley 5,0

May Cities
the city we became

June the 50s
Fredrick the great5*

July Revolutions
mixed harvest4*

August immigration
after the romanovs3

Septermber school days
The Lost Education of Horace Tate: Uncovering the Hidden Heroes Who Fought for Justice in Schools 4.5

October traditions bread givers4

November indigineous people
2 old women 5*
raising ourselves
the bird girl and the boy who followed the sun 5

December rereads

Editado: Nov 15, 2:44 pm


1st quarter WWI
Back to the front 4.5*

2nd quarter in between wars April-June
re read broken road 4

3rd quarter WWII June-September
evening chorus 5
good night irene3

4th quarter RTT Quarterly - October-December 2023 - 1946 - Present Kairos5



1st quarter Jan - March 2023: The Baltic Sea region

fair play4.5*

the summer book5*

The wonder adventures of Nils 4,5*

the line in the world4*

2ns quarter Banned books

3rd quarter The Black Sea Region
the border to the edge of Europe4.5*
black sea DNF

4th quarter ww2 - present


January adventure classics

February before 1900
the blazing world and other writings4*

March: classics on screen
the bridge of san luis rey 5*

April: classics mystery

May: childrens lit Little Men 4

June: humor in pursuit of love 4

July: classic you missed reading
droll stories4

August : classic in translation
the man who walked through walls 5

September non fiction classics
a short history of the world 3.5

October women classics
old new york 5

november ancient history classics

december reread classics



the brothers ashkenazi 4.5

the hidden palace4


February Mort 4.5*
April reaper man 3.5
June soul music 4.5
Augusthogfather 4
October theif of time

Editado: Nov 15, 2:39 pm


Sylvia Townsend Warner
kingdom of the elvin DNF

Chaim Potok
gates of november

Elizabeth Von Armin
The Intoduction of Sally 5.0

Edna Farber
show boat4.5
the girls4.5

Honore Balzac 5.0
droll stories

Emily St. John Mandel
last night in montreal 3

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
notes on grief5

coleen white head


Jul 26, 7:37 pm

I am now reading two travel narratives

Reading this for the RTT quarterly theme The Black Sea.the border: a journey to the edge of EuropeThe author is from Bulgaria,her family emigrated to australia and later the US. She has returned to her homeland to look at the borders of Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece and the pain of forced migration (or ethnic cleansing)

an ottoman traveler Mentioned in the book above he was famous for his travel narratives in the 1600s. Like Ibn Battua, he visited many places in the known world and desribes what he has seen, in ten volumes. This book takes some from each volume as a way of introduction. Not sure if the volumes hav been translated into English

Just about finished The Djinn falls in love and other Stories

Jul 27, 7:39 am

I love all your themed reads this year, Cindy.

Jul 28, 7:39 pm

thanks lisa, glad you popped in!

Border: a journey to the edge of Europe review

why did you choose this book
read it for the Reading Globally third quarter theme"the black sea region


During Kapka Kassabova's childhood, Bulgaria's southern border was part of the Iron Curtain, a mysterious and deadly zone, out of bounds to everyone except border guards and a few specially vetted and supervised shepherds and foresters, a place where desperate East Germans would make futile attempts to escape to the West under the pretext of beach holidays by the Black Sea. Now it's the southern frontier of the European Union, the point where desperate people from countries like Syria are trying to get in.

Kassabova returns to the region to explore this border, from both sides, visiting the Strandja mountains on the Black Sea coast, the Rhodope mountains in the west, and the Thracian plain around Edirne (Adrianople) in between the two. This isn't the kind of travel book that has a lot of actual travel in it, though: she is more interested in people and their stories than in scenery or buildings, so she takes the time to stay where she is, sit in cafés, and let the locals come and talk to her. She finds out about local practices and beliefs that seem to go back a long way before Christianity and Islam (firewalking, divination, sacred springs, etc.), about smugglers, treasure-hunters and former border guards, about the region's many minority groups, and about the uncountable individual human tragedies that go with the "bigger historical picture", from the pre-WWI Balkan Wars and the Treaty of Lausanne right through to Bulgaria's forced de-islamisation programme of the late eighties and the Syrian refugee crisis that was at its height while she was researching this book. (Thorolds review)

what kept you reading

"Her reporting on several fronts,She finds out about local practices and beliefs that seem to go back a long way before Christianity and Islam (firewalking, divination, sacred springs, etc.), about smugglers, treasure-hunters and former border guards, about the region's many minority groups, and about the uncountable individual human tragedies that go with the "bigger historical picture", from the pre-WWI Balkan Wars and the Treaty of Lausanne right through to Bulgaria's forced de-islamisation programme of the late eighties and the Syrian refugee crisis that was at its height while she was researching this book". (Thorolds review)

Her writing is very good, I enjoyed her description of the land and the stories of the people she intervews

I knew some of the history of the area and times during the ottoman empire and WWI, and how the lines in the sand created problems that are still with us today. There was a lot I didn't know about that added more context. I enjoy and participate in Bulgarian dancing and music, so was aghast what the govt was doing to its own people. But they werent alone the governments of Greece and Turkey were doing to much tthe same to their own people, and what people will do to return to their former homes.

what stopped you

a couple of things: 1 there is a map but its in very small print and was rather confusing 2 think some of her stories needed to be edited I thought she told the same stories over again, and 3 and this is the big one: midway through she decides to go on a journey with someone she really needed to know better and at one point she realizes no one knows where she is. All was well, but I was surprised when she took the risk she did (Mark if you are reading this, Id appreciate your comments on this section)

who would you give this book to? Anyone interested in the history of the area, or is interested in traveling there (tho this is not a travel guide)

rating 4.5*

Ago 2, 7:38 pm

>11 cindydavid4: Enjoyed your review

Editado: Ago 4, 9:41 pm

thanks to both of you.

also reading broken road for the Black Sea theme. Its a re read and Im having more trouble with it then I did from the first. Its the third of this authors books detailing his travels as a young man in 1936 from Amsterdam to Costantiople. It was published posthumously in 2011, following along with what he already wrote with additions from letters and diaries . I was so excited about the publication of this third book as were the fans of his earlier works, and read through it quickly, not really paying attention to the issues I know have . Wanting to finish it, but while I loved his descrriptions and attention to details Im slowing down alot, thinking he really needed an editor. But when you think of that time period just before WWII, the people and places and cultures he met that are no longer- it is a picture of that world. so I cant complain to much. If you are interested in his travels, his first book a time of gifts is the place to start

Ago 3, 11:41 am

Hi Cindy! Happy New Thread!

I also have Border: a journey to the edge of Europe home to read for the Black Sea challenge. I enjoyed your comments, although it may be next month before I get to it.

I don't always enjoy a couple of the members of that group, so I tend to pop in and out. :) I know, I know, I shouldn't take comments so personally, but a couple of the members can really get under my skin.

Editado: Ago 5, 6:54 am

>14 streamsong: check your messages pls

Ago 5, 6:53 am

finished the civilized world which I rated 4.5so long a letter and co-wives, co-widowsIts fun reading them in tandem; a little confusing but enjoyable

Ago 8, 8:39 pm

reading after the Romanovs for the RTT august theme: immigration

Editado: Ago 13, 9:52 pm

my carpal tunnel is back, haven't been able to do reviews. going to sign off for a bit, but Ill keep reading!

Ago 16, 11:43 am

So sorry to read about your carpal tunnel issues. Ouch! I battled that as a lab technician.

Ago 16, 9:25 pm

thanks for all your best wishes! doing better, wrist brace, meds and excercises seem to be working

Starting good night irene will be travling next week so bringing it with.

Ago 17, 9:32 am

so it looks like Im doing double reading; last night found the hands of my father at the bookstore. Ive read stories like these before (in this sign) when the hearing child must interpet for the deaf parents. (Yes I have seen CODA: Troy Kotsur who won the best acting emmy grew up in my town) This is a beautifully written memoir, and expect to finish it soon.

Ago 23, 9:33 pm

finished Orwells Roses Loved this book esp as she starts with 'bread and roses" my fav protest song. I have lots of good thoughts about this book but have trouble putting them in a review Sassy Lassy has one that says it all and wth her permission I am including it here

"It's somehow comforting to discover that George Orwell loved roses. This man, with one of the bleakest perspectives on his times and the future, found solace in that most elemental of human activities, cultivating a garden, the solution preferred by another philosopher in another turbulent age.

In April, 1936, Orwell moved to a small rented cottage in Wallington, one with a tin roof, lacking gas, electricity, and indoor toilet. While fairly standard rural living for the times, it was not exactly easy living. He immediately planted a garden, one focussed mainly on food, but he also planted roses; not an obvious choice given the circumstances. Later there would be goats.

Gardens are full of life and death, but also of hope. This is the influence on Orwell and his writings Solnit examines in these essays.

At first they seem to meander, but then suddenly they return to the subject, and everything falls into place. How else does Ralph Lauren's 1980s insistence on chintz and roses morph into a discussion of the imperial passion for importing the products of empire, and then connect to Jamaica Kincaid and her visceral reaction to the colonisation of her Antigua home? Solnit suggests The Road to Wigan Pier provides the parallel and the answer, with Orwell saying You have got to choose between liberating India and having extra sugar. Which do you prefer?

Another essay. "In the Rose Factory", quotes Orwell on coal, saying It is only very rarely, when I make a great mental effort, that I connect this coal with the far-off labor in the mines. Solnit visited an actual rose factory in Bogata, describing the process of growing roses for the floral industry, and the condition under which the female workers work, ending with was even more rarely that anyone connected the roses to the invisible toil in these greenhouses. They were the invisible factories of visual pleasure.

Orwell's Roses is not by any means a standard biography. Rather, it is an exploration and a meditation on the writer, his works, and how he is viewed today. Solnit certainly knows her subject and his writing. Her thoughts often provide a different way of viewing them; ideas that definitely inspire another look at Orwell.

As for those roses he planted, they were still there at the cottage when Solnit visited in 2016."

highly recommended 5*(my rating)
Edit | More

Ago 23, 9:35 pm

also finished hogfather it was fun, lots of fun at first then it turns dark quicly. He has a tendency to make a muddle of his middle When i first read his books I didnt mind, now not so much. But the ending is great so I have to forgive him 4*

Ago 23, 9:46 pm

now reading hands of my fathers and travel light which is lots of fun. Stil reading goodnight Irene

Ago 27, 10:32 pm

I finished after the romanovs for the RTT august theme Immigration. At the end of it, I had a fairly good overview of the many groups and individuas over the 50 year period from 1900 onwards. she begins with a 16 page listing of names of royalty, all assuming their exile will be short. when the realize it will be forever, they each find ways to live and many ended up poor and homeless. in fact I did find that so many of them had the same story and it stopped being interesting still Id recommend it, and rate a 4*

Ago 27, 10:54 pm

>20 cindydavid4: what meds do they give for carpal tunnel? I use wrist brace when it flares up. Usually bothers me most in my sleep.

Ago 28, 8:04 am

>20 cindydavid4: and >26 dianeham: And what exercises for carpal tunnel? The doctor I went to said the only thing to do is surgery, which I don't want to do. I am seeking a second opinion.

Editado: Ago 28, 11:08 am

>26 dianeham: Ive been taking tylenol and celebrex for general body pain and swelling. I think they can give shots but Im not sure. . Ive also tried some of these exercises that seem to help.

i dont do them all every day, even just a few a day seems to help..' If you have a dr or PT check to see whick ones will be right for you

>27 arubabookwoman: personally Id avoid surgery. Id second a second opinion My PT gave me instructions on how best to sit at the computer, and to use my other hand to give the affectd hand a break. that seems to help

Editado: Ago 29, 5:59 pm

travel light was a wonderful fantasy that I would have loved back in the day:strong heroine, dragons ,, gods, magical capes....But I tired of it towards the end. Given that this was written in 1926 (published in 1952) her journey and coming of age was prefect for the time period. The book is alsO referenced in this is how you lose the time war which means I need to reread it to see how its referenced. Anyway if you like light fantasy, strong woman characters (but she really is little) and dragons, you'll probably enjoy it. Im rating it 4,0 but others might like it much more than that

Ago 29, 5:30 pm

still reading the man who walked through walls and Napoleon of Notting Hill both of which are so much fun!

Set 1, 5:03 pm

finished the hands of my father , a memoir of a young boy with deaf parents, in the 30s Despite his frustration at having to interpret the world for them at a very young age, there is so much love between them all. His father was a very wise and loving man, but also angry at the hearing world that treated them so badly (this was in the days when signing was frowned upon; neither family learned how to communicate with their children) This memoir is a tribute to both his parents and was indeed a language of love. 5*

Set 3, 8:14 pm

the lost education of horace tate for the RTT september theme school days

Set 6, 12:56 am

HG Wells history of the world for classic challenge-non fiction

Editado: Set 18, 6:08 pm

Just finished Napoleon of Notting Hill satire written in 1904 and takes place in 1984. According to lecture by Dale Ahlquist, President, American Chesterton Society "This was the man who wrote a novel called The Napoleon of Notting Hill, which inspired Michael Collins to lead a movement for Irish Independence." I have no thoughts about this but interested in others reactions

I dont remember which challenge this was for, but Mark recommended it to me This was the authors first book, and I think it shows in repetition and digressions. I did enjoy the humor and satire, but somewhere along the way I got lost, possibly because I didn't pick up on some local references. Glad I read it, id give it a 3.5

Editado: Set 22, 11:25 am

Review of the lost education of Horace Tate non fiction

why did I choose this book for RTTs September theme school days. I was looking for something different and found this on a list.

synopsis without spoilers from publishers weekly
n this narrative history backed up with detailed scholarship, Walker, professor of African-American educational studies at Emory University, sheds light on the mostly unsung heroes—black teachers, principals, and other school personnel—in the battle for equal education in the South leading up to Brown v. Board of Education. Drawing on two years of interviews and the long-hidden archives of lifelong education activist Horace Tate, a former Georgia state senator who was a school teacher and principal in his younger years, the author recounts how Tate and others secretly fought the “separate but equal” ethos to get roomier buildings, school buses, and other educational necessities for African-American pupils. The book covers the years of his life 1922-2002

what kept me reading.

i was hooked in the first paragraph describing a clandestine drive by between an principal and teacher to share information It was important that this not get out because the price to pay if it did was too high. The author starts with Horace Tate as a small boy encountering the rules in south georgia Jim Crow law circa 1920, The author continues through his school years as a student, teacher principal and state senator. I thought I knew about how bad it was for poc back then but I had no idea. When Horace is promised new books for his hard fought school He finds out the these go to the white kids, and when they were done his kids could have them. This trickery was constant, tho Horace saw that he could play that game himself.

what slowed me down The author was able to obtain Tates files after his death and she obviously researched for this book throughly. Unfortunately it shows. There were many pages about meetings between the georgia teacher association and groups like NAACP and others, including actual minutes. This was interestng at first, but as time goes on so do the meeting. i get why she wants to show every detail of this work, but I think these could have been put togethr differently to show how those involved put together strategies for their cause. That being said once the topic of intergating the two organizations came up, I was once again pull in the book So this a minor concern

One meeting that is decribed takes place in May 1968 between the both the white and black teacher associations. The speaker was Martin Luther King jr. King . my heart broke realizing how soon hed be gone

at the end of the book the authoe describes Tates last year, when she had access to his hidden files, and she decribes how she put together this book. That by it self was very interesting

despite any issue I had, this is a very important book in the history of education for poc children over the years. Im going to give it 5*

I recommend this book to anyone interested in Civil Rights and the history of the the movement, It certainly opened my eyes to their 'school days'. I grew very angry at every instance of disrespect, rudeness, threats and violence that i read , because it happened then, and that its still happening now This is a book that needs to be read.

Set 12, 9:12 am

>35 cindydavid4: Fascinating. Thanks for bringing this book to our attention.

Set 12, 10:23 am

Happy to do it, jk

Set 15, 9:19 pm

>34 cindydavid4: Orwell wrote 1984 in 1949.

Set 18, 6:10 pm

>38 dianeham: duh dont know where that came from fixed

I really have been out of the reading mix, while I have plenty to read, the last few weeks. I know Ill get there, with the right book and right mood. Maybe when it starts cooling off?

Set 19, 7:37 am

>39 cindydavid4: Maybe when it starts cooling off?
That's when my reading picked up again. Fortunately Maine cools off early and stays that way longer.

Set 19, 10:01 am

nice and cool this morning, so its coming! Still in the hundreds during the day

Editado: Set 22, 11:10 am

well that didnt take long. elsthread some of us were talking Emma Donogue and while Id read several, I realized I never read astray her collection of short stories that I had on my shelves!. How wonderful these are, each is based on an event in the past, and with her usual undersanding of human nature, she comes up with some real gems. Hope the rest of them are as good

ETA as usual she makes any of these stories interesting, tho I was bored with the Gold Rush ones, but thats just me, no reflection on her writting 4.5*

Out 1, 8:56 pm

finished coconut whichI liked very much. Decided not to read shining girls didn't seem like a book Id want to read.

Out 1, 9:06 pm

>43 cindydavid4: I agree - don’t read Shining Girls.

Out 1, 9:07 pm

yeah I read a few chapters, then went back to check the synopsis, no, just no

Out 2, 10:51 pm

My dr just told me I need cateract surgery. I know many people have had it so Im not concerned about the procedire but Id appreciate knowing about others experiences; how long it takkes to be able to do regualar activities, esp reading, and when can I exercise, how soon do they do the second surgery.anything else you think I might need to know Thanks

Out 2, 11:44 pm

My second surgery was 2 weeks after the first. I was able to read with my reading glasses right after surgery and then the new lens improved and didn’t need the glasses. I got corrective lens implants so I wouldn’t need glasses at all. There are different kinds you can get and health insurance doesn’t usually cover the cost of lens implants. I got tri-focal lenses in both eyes - cost 4500 total. The problem with them is glare from headlights at night. But I don’t drive anymore so not an issue. I think it was a week to 10 days before I could bend over or lift anything. The lens implant in my right eye doesn’t seem to work as well as the one the left. Mt left eye was alreadt 20/30. But despite that I don’t need glasses to read or see distance with both eyes open. But I can’t read thru just my right eye. The surgery itself was a breeze.

Out 3, 10:50 am

Hi Cindy - I've also had cataract surgery, although mine was probably a little different since I had diabetic cataracts. I chose to go longer between surgeries, because I couldn't see well after the first one. Living by myself, I needed to be able to do everyday things like drive and pay bills, so I chose to wait until the first eye had stabilized before having the second one done. For some reason, this infuriated my ophthalmologist, (did he think I was dissing his surgery?) but after I was all done, he said he himself might have chosen to do it the way I did.

Surgery was a breeze as Diane said. I still wear glasses. Driving at night is out of the question for me, too, due to the glare of oncoming traffic and the streetlights.

Out 3, 12:16 pm

>47 dianeham: didnt know about the affect on night driving but I hardly do anyway Looking forward to not needing glassas (tho I have a very strong perscrption so well see how much it helps) Can they fix the one on the right so you can see? Does medicare cover this? I know they dont glasses, but this is surgery. what do you do about not bending down? My husband works so id be home alone. Can you use reaching tool? would i be able to walk? how long till you could move about normally and drive?

>48 streamsong: I remember hearing about yiurs, glad you were able to get it down how y ou needed

thanks guys

Out 3, 3:09 pm

>49 cindydavid4: they said I could bend over quickly but don’t do things like gardening.I’m sure you can walk but wear sunglasses outside.

Editado: Out 10, 7:00 pm

thanks. I dont see him till next month; Ill see what happens

Been behind on my reviews; heres a recent one

Managed to finish bread givers but it was a struggle. I read this for the RTT October tradition theme. Book is important beccause more of a memoir of the author, writing about her life on the lower east side in an ultra orthodox jewish home. The father spent his time studying Torah and did not work, almost causing his daughters to starve. I wanted to read it as a witness to what she suffered and how she succeded. But there were way too many melodramatic moments, and felt that the characters werent fully develped. Excellent look at traditions taken to the nth degree, and at the struggle for young people to hold on to them, while aching for the life of the new world. the descriptions of the that time and place were very visual. The prelude and intro tells the authors story, and how this book when from being out of print to being a best seller, becuase a few people noticed it. A good book for this theme, but really hard to read. Recommended for readers wanting an early immigrant experience in NYC of that time. Rating it a 5 for her description of that traditional life, and for the descritpions of time and place, but a three for writing style,with might be more indicative of the time written. so a 4* I guess but tbh a 3.5*.

Out 9, 12:14 pm

BTW I don't plan to make a fourth quarter thread, just gonna stick around here. Will jot down my fav reads of the quarter

border a journey to the edge of europe

civilized world

hands of my father

Orwells roses

the lost education of Horace tate

mixed harvest

a line in the world

evening chorus

Read 23 books this quarter, most of the non fiction for a total of 71 books well on my way of topping last years total of 85

Out 9, 5:32 pm

>52 cindydavid4: Kudos Cindy. Lots of good reading this year.

Out 10, 7:00 pm

so I picked up my Kindle, wondering what I was going to read next when I realized I had not finished the man who walked through walls for the Classic challenge August classic in translation. I was already liking this when I got distracted by september reads. Just started back with "the problem of summertime" and fell in love with it again. The story involves the government decidjng that time should be sped up by 19 years. Our man realizes this, then appears in a place where its still 19 years ago. Crazy multiple universes and all that. with a sober ending. Will have to complete this before I go on to my Oct reads!

Speaking of which, I forgot to note that I read the October classic "womens classics" already, by reading old ny which is rating abig 5*

You wonder what happened to September? the theme was non ficrtion and I ws going to read HG Wells Outline of Histoy. and some how it flew by without me reading it.

Its making me think Im in a strange parallel universe in my reading......

Out 12, 9:21 pm

I just spent the afternoon with a book that I am sure will be on my top ten list for this year, the book is two old women Read this for next months RTT theme "indiginous people' Its the legend from Athabascan tribe Alaska (where the author is from) about a starving tribe leaving two old women to die because there is not enough food. what happens next is not surprising, but is written so well that the ending is indeed a surprise. 5* highly recommended (she has two more books that I plan to read as well)

Out 13, 7:25 am

>55 cindydavid4: That sounds interesting. Onto the inexhaustible wishlist it goes.

Out 19, 1:05 pm

Hi Cindy! I'm also incredibly behind with both reading for challenges and doing reviewing. :(

Ah well, I'lll get done what I get done.

What is the RTT challenge? I've requested Two Old Women from my library on your recommendation. I love NA literature.

Out 19, 11:45 pm

Reading Through Time group does monthly themes; this time its not just NA, but all indigenous peoples. Hope to see you there!

Out 22, 9:04 am

reading Kairos for both the October-December 2023: New fiction from around the world: books originally published in 2014-2023 and for RTT me books in translation1949- present, and RTT Quarterly - October-December 2023 - 1946 - Present. Loving it!

Nov 8, 4:57 pm

inally finished kairos and I can see how this would be appropriat for both theme, being a new book , and taking place after WWII in East Germany. At the start,I saw these two characters as lovers, Hal a married man of 40, Katherina a young girl of 18. Their courtship goes on for quite a while, exploring music, cafes, themselve Until Katherine goes to take an internship in Frankfut, and ends up having a fan with a colleague. Hans finds out and oh did the mood of this story change Suddelly she is a she devil, she never loved him, there are tapes he sends telling her how she must change and what she must do. I was shocked how he changed her, and how she was too young to see what he was doing. Of course these relationships happen now, but I wasnt expectingit here. the plot continues till we reach the day the wall came down. I remember watching the huge celebrations and festivities (think I still have a peice of it I bought somewhere) remember the files of that Stasis finally opened . It I assumed the two sides would want to be one country but I didnt see at what a cost - i didn't realize they had to abolish their side, and suddenly thre was much excess. thousand of people lost there jobs because they were no longer east, The cash was worthless, As Katherina takes all this in, she realizes how homesick she is. I have notes that I want to include but I cant tell how to pull them up. More later. in the meantime, I am giving this a 5*. Very well written, kept my attention through the read and taught me about East
germany, also enjoyed listening to the music that the couple listens too.
highly recommended

Nov 8, 5:55 pm

Great review! Sounds really interesting - going to check it out.

Nov 13, 8:06 pm

>60 cindydavid4: Thank you for the review. Jenny Erpenbeck is one of my favorite authors, and I remember hanging out for Kairos to come out in audio,

I was mildly disappointed, perhaps because I was expecting something along the lines of her earlier books. Of course this was unrealistic.

Yes the post-Wall description of what was GDR was well-drawn. I’ve been to what was East Germany and have German in-laws who live in what was West Germany. Thirty years after the Wall came down, the difference between east and west was still startling, in landscape and architecture. The East still looked very Soviet.

I gave Kairos 4.5 and also highly recommend it.

Editado: Nov 13, 9:02 pm

thanks for stopping by! I have visitation on its way, looking forward to reading it!

Nov 13, 9:09 pm

Havent been reading much this last month, catching up on magazine subscriptions. I think I need some non fiction and just happened to have manifesto: on never giving up I was so thrilled when the author was awarded the Booker Prize for girl, woman, other and when I saw this in the bookstore knew I had to read it; I also knew I needed a book I could really fall into, escape from the world a bit. Over the years, one book has done that for me. wolf hall Perhaps its the realization that we have always been at the edge so to speak, is comforting. We'll see

Nov 13, 9:40 pm

>63 cindydavid4: Visitation is a really good read. Looking forward to your review.

Nov 15, 10:11 am

now reading mister pip that someone recommended to me a while back, and just starting bird girl and the man who followed the sun. for Novembers Indigenous Peoples theme

Editado: Nov 15, 10:38 am

>66 cindydavid4: Mister Pip is an excellent and interesting book. Hope you enjoy it. Where are the indigenous people theme posts? I didn’t know about that theme.

Nov 15, 2:36 pm

reading through time, monthly themes

Nov 15, 3:46 pm

>68 cindydavid4: Thanks. I didn’t know about that group and have now joined.

Editado: Nov 18, 7:05 pm

review of bird girl and the man who followed the sun

why did I choose this book?

for the RTT November theme, Indigenous people. I read this authors first book , two old women, which I loved and was curious about this one

synopsis w/o spoilers

"Rooted in the ancient legends of Alaska's Athabaskan a's Indians, it tells the stories of two adventurers who decide to leave the safety of their respective tribes. Bird Girl is a headstrong young woman who learned early on the skills of a hunter. When told that she must end her forays and take up the traditional role of wife and mother, she defies her family's expectations and confidently takes off to brave life on her own. Daagoo is a dreamer, curious about the world beyond. Longing to know what happens to the sun in winter, he sets out on a quest to find the legendary "Land of the Sun." Their stories interweave and intersect as they each face the many dangers and challenges of life alone in the wilderness. "

The author based this story on the tales she was told as a child by the members of her tribe, and esp her mother

what kept you reading

The story, the writing, the characters so well drawn. Loved the descriptions of how each tribe uses the resources around them to survive, and to show the traditions around them.

what gave you pause? there is a moment when it turns quite dark, and the punishment for leaving her family was so over the top I had to stop. The 21st century woman in me says its not fair (and by the way, why isn't the title 'Bird girl and the boy who followed the sun" ) I was surprised to see women being treated in this way, but I shouldnt be. this review speaks for me

I found that I could not enjoy Bird Girl quite as much as the author's earlier title, which is more of a reflection of my own opinions and emotional state, I would imagine, than the book's actual merit. Perhaps I was hoping that Bird Girl's narrative would offer more of an affirmation of her individual needs than it did, or perhaps my emotional reaction to her mistreatment at the hands of the Inupiaq colored my judgment, but I could not help being somewhat disappointed that her "punishment" was so severe. The folklorist in me is well aware that I am superimposing my own personal and cultural values onto the story, but there you have it... Despite my personal ambivalence however, this was a fascinating and engaging story, and well worth the reader's attention." abigail adams 26

i am very glad the author tells the truth of the story,as painful as it was, so we learn and experience the lives of in their communities. I was also glad she included intertribal war fare in all its bloodiest : The idea that tribes were peaceful I think is a myth that should be dismisssed. They are human and so share the same traites, unfortunately

who would you recommend this to? anyone interested in the lives of the natives of the yukon as told in this well written book

rating 5*

Nov 19, 3:17 am

>70 cindydavid4: Very interesting review, thanks.
I'm so with you on "why isn't the title 'Bird girl and the boy who followed the sun""!
In French the common usage is to call a pubescent female a "young girl" and a pubescent male a "young man" and I find this outrageous and am constantly fighting against it.

Nov 19, 7:45 am

>71 chlorine: this story is a very old legend, and the author may just have chosen the original title. and as the above said " The folklorist in me is well aware that I am superimposing my own personal and cultural values onto the story" I know this is a debate about many books who have uncomfortable language. also in this instance Bird Girl is her given name. but it still ranckles.

Editado: Nov 21, 2:56 pm

ust finished pip an amazingly well written book thats more than about Great Expectations, but what happens when your rulers cant read....didnt realize this was based on civil war in paupa new guinea, where thousands died. Ill have to read more on that, in the meantime, thought this quote in the book is perfect

"You cannot pretend to read a book. Your eyes will give you away. So will your breathing. A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe. The house can catch alight and a reader deep in a book will not look up until the wallpaper is in flames."

would like to read more by him, any suggestions? I looked and fell in love with this title Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance comments?

btw I am vaugley aware that this author was discussed hereabouts. If you can give me a link Id be much ablidged

Editado: Nov 20, 10:49 pm

>73 cindydavid4: haven’t read Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance but I did read and love Mister Pip. I was drawn to Lloyd Jones because he’s a New Zealander, and Australians always claim New Zealanders if they do something good.
I recently reviewed a book set in Papúa New Guinea. Euphoria. You can read my review on my thread in Sex on the Sepik.

Nov 21, 10:45 am

right, thats how I found Mr Pip I think Ill need to check that out.

Nov 21, 12:55 pm

>75 cindydavid4: I have you read Birnam Wood by New Zealander Eleanor Catton?

Nov 21, 1:10 pm

>73 cindydavid4: i have a copy that’s been sitting around awhile. Had no idea it involved Paupa New Guinea.

Editado: Nov 21, 2:57 pm

double post

Nov 21, 2:55 pm

>76 kjuliff: no but it looks very intriguing

Nov 21, 3:05 pm

>79 cindydavid4: it was very popular last year. I think it was long listed for the Booker. I haven’t read t because I got annoyed with those guys in the UK throwing pretend paint on works of art. I thought it might have been too woke for me. But perhaps not. I am pro the cause but not the actions of a few in the UK.

Editado: Nov 21, 3:42 pm

>77 dchaikin: it doesn’t have anything to do with Papúa. It’s just that I was drawn to Mister Pip because it was written by a NZer and Australians claim Kiwis (that’s what we call them) when they are successful. Then Cindy >75 cindydavid4: said she was too, so I mentioned Birnam Wood as Eleanor Catton is a Kiwi.

Nov 21, 5:17 pm

>80 kjuliff: Um just no, I was horrfied at that in the same way I was at the attack on the Pieta was vandalized. spend working for the cause without destroying something that has nothing to do with is. but I am still curious to read the book

Nov 21, 5:21 pm

>82 cindydavid4: I don’t think any of the characters in the book are extremist vandals; but nevertheless I was put off, though I will read it sometime.

Nov 21, 5:23 pm

>81 kjuliff: mmm , it might not be a book exactly what happend in PNG, but the setting seems to fit. Another reviewer here mentioned

"Reading this book, I learned about a horrible piece of history I'd never heard anything about, the Bougainville conflict in Papua New Guinea in the 90's. In this setting of fear and violence, Mister Pip takes place. Mister Pip is told from the point of view of a teenager, Matilda, who has become enamored of Pip and his world. It's an escape for many of the children who are read to by the only white man left on the island, Mr. Watts. It's a story of resilience but also of misdirected hostility and senseless violence. What happens in Matilda's village is at times a reflection of the larger conflict in her country and at times a reflection of the plot of the novel she has come to love and use as an escape."

questions for you: were you surprised that the author of this is male?His narration of Matilda was spot on perfect. Also wonder if the last part was nec. it was like an epilogue, wrapping things up nicely but I didn't getting anyting else from it. Regardless, I still loved this book to pieces

Nov 21, 5:40 pm

I just realized there was a movie made of this book, with Hugh Laurie. Not sure I want to see it, the images in my head are movie enough I think

Editado: Nov 21, 7:13 pm

>84 cindydavid4: My bad. I was replying to >77 dchaikin: who I thought was referring to the Birnam Wood book. Yes Mister Pip is set in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.

Bougainville, is now an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea, and is due to be independent by 2027. Only about 300,000 people live there. I remember the conflict as I was in Australia at the time of the separatist movement.

There is still conflict in Papúa New Guinea to this day, as West New Guinea is controlled by Indonesia and many believe it should be part of Papúa New Guinea. The island should never been chopped in half.

It’s not surprising that most Americans don’t know about the problems as the island of New Guinea is so far away. But it is Australia’s closest neighbor.

Nov 21, 11:09 pm

>86 kjuliff: no worries here. Thanks for clarifying and the extra info.

Nov 22, 10:19 pm

thanks for clarifying that. And re Euphoria, something sounded familiar when you mentioned margaret mead, and realized I have the book- sure enough its on my shelves, and had read it when it first came out. really liked it at the time tho I think a reread might be in order

Editado: Nov 22, 10:47 pm

>88 cindydavid4: I would be interested in your thoughts if you do reread it. I’ve just finished The House of Doors which is also a fictionalized story based on real-life events of famous people. But I think Tan Twan Eng does better job than Lily King.

I’ll write a review of House of Doors which I enjoyed much more than Euphoria. Euphoria annoyed me as you can tell by my review.

Nov 28, 4:56 pm

Yeah I vaguely remember some of that bothering m e too. I probably wont reread, too much other good stuff out there I have read a few of her other books for book groups and they were ok but remember problems with historical accuracy

House of Doors is already on my list, will be eager to see your review

Editado: Nov 29, 5:31 am

review of scarlet song

why did you choose this
I read her so long a letter for the African author challenge and just loved it. Eager to read more -unfortunatenly there is only one more book as she passed away not long after scarlet song was published

synopsis without spoilersin the late 60s a young Senegalese man and the daughter of a French ambassador fall in love and marry. In the background of the student protests at the time in both countries, its a look at what happens to relationships when cultures clash

what kept you reading?the writing and the plot, tho towards the end it becomes very dark very quickly.

what stopped you I was disappointed at the sudden change in the mans attitude towards his love, as his family does whatever they can to break up this marriage. He really does become a beast. and was hard to read how the woman is diminished

(from a review here) The hero of the novel is challenging to name. One wants to name both Mirielle and Ousmane, the "star-crossed lovers." But as life goes on for them, both of their heroism is called into question. Ultimately, that is what is so powerful about the novel for me. Neither character is perfect, and life is not perfect. the ending was absolutely shocking but not surprising.

i was saddened by knowing this is her last work there will be nothing else from this gifted author. Tho she does leave two excellent books as her legacy

recommend to anyone interested in a short but powerful read about love and identity in Senega post independence

Rating 4.5*

Nov 28, 6:29 pm

Dez 3, 6:10 pm

thanks, that looks really interesting

Im finally reading covenant of water and enjoying it Also reading angry optimista biograhy of Jon Stewart, who won the Mark Twain Comedy award last year, Loved him since it got on to the daily show, A friend of mine happened upon it and sent it my way. One thing thats interesting is that it was published in 2014, long before trump. I could see this being expanded at some point. Enjoying the writers stylel she likes him but shows all sides of him that arebt always good; Ill report back when I finish

Dez 3, 9:01 pm

Looking at my reading this 4th quarter, I did not do as well as I hoped. lots of distractions news, family illness, my own frustration with how my body is functioning (nothing major, its just that the older I get the less Im able to do with scoliosis and stenosis, even with meds and pt)however I did read some powerfully good books that meet my criteria for 5* including

lessons in chemistry

old new york

two women


the bird girl and the man who swallowed the sun

mister pip

I still have a few weeks and think I can finish the two I already mentioned and maybe one more so its not a total loss, plus evern with a weak quarter, I have definitely surpassed last years book total!