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June 06, 2020, 12:39:17 pm

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Jun 01 2020 8:12am
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May 27 2020 8:28pm
Astro: Oldiesman:  Much better.  Thank you!

May 26 2020 1:21am
Oldiesmann: Should be fixed now. Thanks for bringing it to my attention :)

May 26 2020 1:08am
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May 25 2020 6:09pm
Astro:   feel free to start a topic here. Any duplicated topics may be merged together so we don't have two topics of similar nature.  Has that been eliminated?

May 25 2020 6:07pm
Astro: Oldiesmann:  I'm not  trying to beat a dead horse here, but if you scan down this psge, you'll see  the following:   General Discussion Feel free to talk about anything and everything in this board. If you don't think a topic is being talked about elsewher

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May 11 2020 11:54am
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Library Bookshelf

Started by Marilyne, March 29, 2016, 03:20:53 pm

Previous topic - Next topic


I just finished the book about The Packhorse Library project.  I would highly recommend it to you who enjoy books and reading.
Mary C


I've been reading e-books that are selections for my Book Club. 

Next one to be discussed is "The Secrets We Kept".  I'd heard it was about secretaries for the CIA back in the 50's who were privy to lots of information while taking dictation and, of course, couldn't share any of it.
However, the main theme was the attempt to get the Boris Pasternak novel "Dr. Zhivago" published when Russia refused to do so.  The story was based on facts and the main "character" was Pasternak's mistress who did become a CIA secretary - and worked undercover in various ways.
The story was interesting but the way the author jumped back and forth between time frames and "narrators" was confusing.  Every chapter was written in first person and I found it hard to realize who was "talking".

Just finished "The Handmaid's Tale" and all I can say is "SCARY"!!!!!!  Have NO desire to see the movie!! We're also going to discuss "Testament", which is a sequel - but I'm going to wait a while before reading it.

The third one I've read is "Boom Town", which is a history of Oklahoma City.  Not sure just why the author tried to connect our professional basketball team with various historical happenings/figures and hope the discussion leader can clarify.
However, it did clarify for me why/how the downtown I'd grown up with was so completely different when I moved back to Oklahoma after 20 years out-of-state.

I'm done with Book Club selections and am now going to "lighten up" with the 50th book about Stone Barrington by Stuart Woods and "What Happens In Paradise", a new novel by Elin Hillinbrand.


Mary - The Traveling Bookwoman sounds good.  I'll add that one to my ever expanding library list. The Packhorse Library Project, is an interesting title . . . sounds like non-fiction?

Callie - I started reading The Handmaid's Tale, about 20 years ago or so. I didn't like it then, but I know I would like it now.  I haven't seen the movie, but plan to watch it whenever it comes to one of the channels that I subscribe to.  With my huge Comcast bill, I thought I was paying for just about everything, but the only channel where "Handmaid" is available, is Hulu, which is the only one we don't get!  I'm sure it will be shown on other  channels before long?  It has received many Emmy awards in the past couple of years, and I do like the actress who plays the main role.  Can't remember her name at the moment, but she was one of the stars in Mad Men.

MarsGal - I like any movie or book the would be considered Noir, so I'm sure I would enjoy Altered Carbon, by Richard Morgan!  Another one joins the list!  8)


I haven't watched the TV version of The Handmaid's Tale and don't plan to. I first ran across it when George and I went to see the movie. George was surprised that it wasn't Shakespeare, which is what he thought when he saw the title. I quite enjoyed it, never forgot it, and always wondered why it didn't do better, especially with the likes of Robert Duvall, Elizabeth McGovern, Faye Dunaway, and Natasha Richardson playing leading roles. In fact, I don't remember it even being advertised. We saw it at a little independent theater,  in Allentown. Years later, I read the book, which was good, but I didn't care for the written as a diary format so much. I doubt I will read Atwood's recent follow up book.

Altered Carbon
is finished. I had a hard time putting it down. The next in the series of three is now on my hold list along with book four of Martha Wells Murderbot series and Heinlein's Starship Troopers. Altered Carbon is a great detective story with lots of twists and turns, lots of false leads, allegiance changes, and lots of violence, some explicit sex and drugs included. It draws a picture of a society I would never want to live in.

Now I need to dig into my bookstack to see what I want to read next as well as to finish "The Lady of the Fountain" (fromThe Mabinogoin).


Marilyne,  The title of the book is THE BOOK. WOMAN OF TROUBLESOME CREEK.  The packhorse library project was the name of the W.P.A.program.  The story is based on facts about that.  I'm sure you will like this one if in fact you do get to it.
Mary C


That book sounds interesting,  it was through the HISTORICAL RECORDS REVIEW of the WPA that I found genealogy information about my father's family.  The WPA made work for many different people in different categories during the Great Depression.  Someone was paid to interview the farming community in the small district of Poquoson, VA and recorded the farming families--their births and deaths, etc.  it seems as if many of the people in the 30s did not have a lot of state registered information so the project was important for history.  At least that is my opinion from what I've read.

Presently reading some mysteries and also Midnight in Chernobyl.  I believe some have read this and thought it was interesting?  Anyway, with all the talk about Ukraine, I thought I would check it out.


Jean - some of the young men in my family - cousins and uncles - had jobs working for the WPA during the Depression. One of them worked at Mt. Hood, Oregon, building the beautiful lodge, that's still standing today.  Strong and sturdy, as well as well as breathtakingly gorgeous!   I was too young to remember of course, but I do remember when they all went into the military at the beginning of WWII. 

I thought Midnight in Chernobyl, was an excellent book. The Russian names were confusing - I quickly lost track of who was who - but I concentrated on the main characters, which made it easier. I also watched the mini-series, which was shown on HBO.  I think it's been picked up by Netflix, but not sure?

MarsGal - I didn't know, The Handmaid's Tale, was made into a movie!  I was talking about the recent series on TV, that has garnered so much acclaim and so many awards.  Now I'm interested in watching the older movie, and hope I can find it at the library or eBay. Sounds like a perfect cast of great actors, and I'm sure they did a good job with the story. I agree that  it must have slipped through the cracks, so to speak.


Marilyne, I think you will like the movie. I do not intend on watching the TV series because I suspect (and in fact recently read) that it adds in current social events and controversy's not in or barely touched on in the book. I don't like it much when movie/TV show creators convolute original material to add in current social controversy and attitudes thereby changing the author's view. Of course, Margaret Atwood is still around and has written, after all these years, a sequel which may address more current attitudes and social issues. After all, she is something of an activist herself, particularly regarding environmental/animal rights issues.


MarsGal - I'm picking up Seven Years in Tibet, today at the library . . . both the book and the movie, and will be getting  The Handmaids Tale, later in the week.  I read "Handmaid" many years ago, but I plan to read it again before I watch the movie.

I have so many books checked out right now, and I know I won't get to most before they are due.   I just finished Zoo Nebraska, which was highly recommended on all the new book sites and discussions that I subscribe to. It's a fascinating non-fiction story of a Zoo, that was opened in Nebraska, and then suffered a violent and tragic demise, a number of years later.  Very sad story, with an interesting spotlight on small town people . . . local controversies, lack of good leadership and ultimate failure. 

I also read How the States Got Their Shapes, by Mark Stein.  Very interesting information on the fifty states and how the shapes were decided.  Worth taking a look at, if only for checking your own state.  I also have Secrets of a Charmed Life, by Meisner, and The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett, but haven't even opened them.  I've already renewed both, so don't know if I'll ever get to them before they're due.


October 20, 2019, 05:02:45 pm #1989 Last Edit: October 20, 2019, 05:54:52 pm by Vanilla-Jackie
I have been reading from two books by Joni Eareckson Tada, with another three of her books on the way...her books and her shining and uplifting personality to our God, and little will she realise she is giving me spiritual comfort and a much needed positive outlook of what we have to look forwards to....our best is yet to come...

" freedom is the outside of the inside "
              ~ Joyce Carey


MarsGal - In my message to you, above,  I mentioned that I would be  picking up both the books and movies of,  The Handmaid's Tale, and Seven Years in Tibet, this past weekend.  When I went to the library to get them - turns out there is a county strike, so the library was closed, and there were big notices out front to please support the striking workers, etc. (No pickets anywhere?) 

Anyway, that took care of my book/movie order for now, so I came home and started reading, The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett.   Oh my!  The story grabbed me instantly, and find that it's hard to put down.  Just wonderful, so far!  Many of you remember and liked the book, Bel Canto, by Patchett?  I thought it was great, but was disappointed in her follow up books.  So far Dutch House, is just as good, but totally different.

I think that all of you who post here, or who read this folder, will like it!   When I finish it, I'll write more of a review. 


Yeah, Marilyne, I was one of those who loved Bel Canto. In fact, my f2f book group is doing it next month, and guess who volunteered to moderate?  LOL.


I just finished Star Surgeon by Alan Nourse. It is a short novel about an alien going through medical school and doing his pro visionary work under conditions of discrimination, bigotry and hatred. The ending had a surprise element to it. The book was published in 1959. Nourse was a practicing M.D.

Now I am picking around for another read. Haven't settled on one yet.


October 27, 2019, 07:06:55 am #1993 Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 07:08:49 am by MarsGal
The SF book I am reading now is called The Last Dance by Martin L. Shoemaker. It is set aboard the Aldrin, described as a cycler which is a transport ship(?) that orbits between Earth and Mars, but never stops, just picks up and drops off passengers and cargo "on the fly". The story is a preliminary investigation into an event (murder?) for which the captain stands to be charged if found culpable. The story progresses via a series of interviews with the crew by the investigator in charge.

During the interviews we find out that the captain, an American, likes things Brazilian. Even some of the training for the crew was done in Brazil. So naturally, I thought of Valtermar, who we haven't heard from in a while. I've noticed a number of SciFi books I've been reading include Brazil in one way or another in their stories. Denis E. Taylor's We Are Legion: We Are Bob (Bobiverse series), was the first I encountered Brazil as a space faring country. Of course I had to investigate. Brazil does have a space program that began in 1961. The Brazilian Space Agency was formed in 1994. Here is a recent article about the current status of the program. https://www.wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/brazils-space-program-finally-taking I wish their program well.


Reading "Permanent Record" by Edward Snowden.  It is an interesting read about his life up to this point.  I borrowed it thru Overdrive from the local library.  I usually borrow books to read from Kindle App or IBooks so I can adjust the brightness and color to minimize the pressure on my eyes.


Just finished another book by  Kim Michelle Richardson.  This one called Liar's Bench.   It was good but not as good as The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek.  Liar's Bench is still in Kentucky but set in modern times.  I'm going looking for The Dutch House by Ann Patchett  that was mentioned here a bit ago.   I did like Bel Canto but tried some of her other books that I didn't care for.
Mary C


I'm reading a Maisie Dobbs mystery "Journey to Munich" by Jacqueline Winspear and it is very good.  This one was published in 2016 and I wish I had started earlier in the series.  But I notice that the library does have the last several new ones so I think I'll try the next one soon.  I love a well written book that shows the author has done good research on the subject.


I loved Dutch House, and give it the highest of recommendations!  This complicated family saga, by Ann Patchett,  will not disappoint those of you who have read and liked her other novels.  As one reviewer said, "Its like a modern day, dark fairy tale . . . a mother who runs away from home, leaving her young son and daughter with their father, who later remarries.  His new wife becomes the quintessential 'wicked step mother'". 

At the center of the story, is, the Dutch House,itself - a lavish estate, located in a suburb of Philadelphia. With its glass doors, unique rooms and decor, and two very likable housekeepers, it's the perfect setting or backdrop, for much of this unusual family story. 

MarsGal -I looked it up online, and see that there is already an audiobook, narrated by Tom Hanks, that is highly praised by those who have listened to it. I have a feeling Hanks, will buy the rights to the movie, and will play the part of the father?

Tome and maryc - I hope you both like The Dutch House, as much as I did.  Tome, I know you haven't read it yet, but you probably will, when you finish your book club discussion on Bel Canto.
Jean and Callie - I think you will both like it as well.


Marilyne, which book? I only see a few books he narrated, one of which is his book of short stories.

It is the beginning of the month, so I am back to reading the sixth in the Expeditionary Force series, Renegades. I decided to finish that series before going back to the Galaxy's Edge series. Also, the second of the Takeshi Kovacs series, Broken Angels just became available from my holds.

Thursday night I fell asleep listening to How Rome Fell and had to go back two chapters. My latest audio book acquisition is called Midnight Son by James Dommek Jr. An Audible Original, it is true crime mystery set in Alaska. The author is a Native American, musician, and audio producer.


MARSGAL - The Dutch House, is the book narrated by Tom Hanks. Now that I've read it and liked it, I would love to hear Tom Hanks narrate the audio book.  I'm going to order it , as soon as I get my Kindle working again.


Okay, I didn't realize you were still talking about The Dutch House. Brain disconnect.

I finished How Rome Fell last night. The epilogue was especially interesting because he talked about the world today and the US role in it with some comparison to Rome and its influence on the world. I think I remember he briefly mentioned the influence of international corporations too.


I think I saw Tom Hanks on a blurb showing him as Mr. Rogers.  I loved Mr. Rogers and hope the new show will live up to my expectations.



SCFSue - The movie about Mr. Rogers, (Fred Rogers), will be in theaters later this month.  The title of the movie is, It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.  My three children liked his TV show, and I liked him too.  He had a gentle and kind personality.  The movie will be quite interesting, I think.


Debby and I were talking about the coming movie about Mr. Rogers just a few days ago.     We hope to see it.   On Sunday we went to see "Harriet".   That was very well done.   We don't go out to the movies much as there is so much on Netflix and others that we haven't already seen.
   Just a day or so ago I happened across a movie starring Robert Young called Murder or Mercy. It was made in 1987 and I have no idea whether or not he is still living.  He was such a favorite of mine way back when.   :)
Mary C


I don't have much to report today. We are still slogging along with The Mabiginion over on SeniorLearn.net We are going slower than expected, but with only three of us making regular posts, and taking lots of time to research Celtic, Roman and Saxon histories as well as the abundance of Arthurian lore from Wales, Scotland and England. We haven't really gotten into the French connections, but there are some.

My Audible listen is Brigadier General (Ret) Robert Spalding's Stealth War. It is about China's stated as well as devious and often successful attempts to gain high technologies, undermine our financial base and to take trade away from the US. I only listened to the introduction so far. A bit alarming.

I am almost done with the sixth book of the Expeditionary Force SciFi series I am reading. The story has become a bit, not boring, but a little stretched, so I find myself skipping a short passage or two now and again. One more left of the series. The second of the Altered Carbon sequels is in my cue. I almost forgot I downloaded it.


Oh, no! Two more of my holds just dropped. Fortunately they are both audio books. One is the classic SciFi, Starship Troopers and the other is a Philip K. Dick book of short stories including "Minority Report". I think I finally got through the movie, Starship Troopers, but it took three tries to get past the first half hour, and only after I discovered that it was a spoof of the book which is more serious. And no, I haven't seen Minority Report either. So now that makes a total of four borrowed books.


November 07, 2019, 06:05:36 pm #2006 Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 06:08:10 pm by Marilyne
MarsGal - I've enjoyed watching the TV series by Philip K. Dick - The Man in the High Castle.  I really think you would like it a lot.  The theme of the story is fascinating, with great actors and realistic scenery.  The problem with any and all series shows on TV, is that you see 10 or 12 episodes in the first season, and then you're really hyped and want more!  Unfortunately, you have to wait a year, and sometimes even longer, for the next season to appear.  That particular series is streaming on Amazon Prime, and the first three seasons are available to watch.  So if you are interested and have Amazon, you could start watching, and by the time you're finished, it will be about time for Season #4 to appear!


I finished the last two Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear.  They are World War II stories set in the time frame around the blitz and bombing 1940-41.  Really interesting and I have to admit of shedding a few tears along the way.  Winspear can sure tell a story.


I never have read any of her Maisie Dobbs books. Just saw that library have only 2 in LP. So ordered them.
Got down to 16 deg. Here last night. Sun out a little now for awhile
 My eldest daughter down in your area for next 5 weeks. Hope the weather warm. She is expecting 80s.


JeanneP, we have been having warm weather but next week will be colder---some days only going into the high 50s.  I hope she isn't disappointed.  The cold that is hitting the east coast is seeping into our area.