November Reading

msmeow

We've been sluggish on starting the November reading thread, too!


I finished The Address by Fiona Davis yesterday, and I enjoyed it very much.


Now I'm almost through a novella by Louise Penny in the Armand Gamache series, The Hangman.


What is everyone else reading this month?


Donna

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vee_new

I've just finished A Change for the Better by Susan Hill, one of her early works. Written in what must be a deliberate formal style it is the story of a group of people living in a cold, windy 'sea-side resort'. The wealthy couple, pleasant wife and bad-tempered ex Army officer, living in an expensive hotel. The fallen on hard times mother, daughter and young son running a haberdashery. The mother mean-spirited, the daughter 'faded' and to soon being like the mother, the boy praying they will send him to boarding school so he can escape . . . Susan Hill is good at building up real characters, people we all feel we already know.

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carolyn_ky

I finished Dead Simple today, the first of the Roy Grace detective series by Peter James published in 2004. Someone recommended him to me some time ago, and I just got around to him. I really liked the book and am looking forward to more of these books. Set in Brighton.

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Rosefolly

I've been reading books by Guy Gavriel Kay. He is a Canadian writer who writes mostly quasi historical fiction set in an imaginary version of our world. A friend suggested him to me years ago. I enjoyed the first one I read Under Heaven loosely based onthe Tang Dynasty of China. Aha, a new writer to follow, I though. But I was bored by my next selection, his early fantasy trilogy The Fionavar Tapestry. Several years went by but in the past few days I picked up his most recent book A Brightness Long Ago. It is based on an analog of Renaissance Italy. I liked it a lot - complex but not crazy plot, and interesting, vivid characters. Right now I am reading an earlier book called Children of Earth and Sky, based on Italy, Istanbul and the Balkans a couple of decades later than A Brightness Long Ago, and featuring a minor character from that novel.

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reader_in_transit

While at the library, I saw The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami (translated from the Japanese). Since I don't recall reading a Japanese novel before, I decided to broaden my horizons and checked it out. It is narrated by Hitomi, a young woman who works at the shop of the title. I've just begun it, but, so far, it is quite good.

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yoyobon_gw

The Devil In White City by Erik Larson....This book came very highly recommended and I am looking forward to reading it next. I watched Expo on Amazon prime video and was amazed at all I never knew about the 1893 World's Fair Expo in Chicago. It was absolutely jaw-dropping amazing.

Erik Larson—author of #1 bestseller In the Garden of Beasts—intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World's Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.

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friedag

In the October reading thread, Sheri triggered my interest in the history of psychology and psychiatry. The book she read sounds positive and optimistic (I haven't read it), but the six books I read are hardly uplifting. In fact, I found the subject to be appalling. It seems that if readers think they are normal that's reason enough to the 'mind studiers' to think those people are actually abnormal. Everyone is crazy in their own way; only some are crazier than others. Good grief! Didn't that used to be called eccentricity?

The last two I read are:

Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker (originally published in 2010 and revised in 2015) - The fundamental question is: Why did the number of disabled mentally ill in the U.S. triple between 1990 and 2010? Whitaker is a tenacious investigator and pretty even-handed in his presentation of clues to be considered. Although he seems to try very hard to be unprejudiced and only mildly biased, he has some good evidence that there's an unholy alliance between the medical science professions of psychiatry and pharmaceutical research and development. I've heard about this for years (decades), but I think I understand it better after reading Whitaker's book. It's about the intertwined history of these two 'endeavors'.

Mind Fixers: Psychiatry's Troubled Search for the Biology of Mental Illness by Anne Harrington. This is a recently published (2019) book. If a lay reader thinks most mental problems can be blamed on chemical imbalances in the brain and elsewhere in the sufferer's body; well, that's a hugely simplified explanation that really doesn't identify what the imbalance is, or even if there actually is one. Remember all the ballyhoo about serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine? Well, it's time to update our thinking. No 'magic bullet' has been found . . . yet.

I did have to take a few days off from reading Harrington's book, because I was getting so annoyed with historical attitudes, especially toward women's mental health problems. Women, in the early days of psychological studies, were by the nature of their anatomy the very definition of mentally ill, at least most of the time. I know that judging past ignorance is futile, but that ignorance is still exasperating!

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vee_new

I have never read a book concerning psychology or psychiatry, probably because I would be too quick to self-diagnose . . . and I know there is an interesting work out there about a Victorian woman accused of so-called hysterical sexual fantasies who was 'locked up' by her husband, but I can't remember the title or author!

Over here we notice the huge rise in 'disorders' among the younger generation. No sooner does Little Johnny (nearly always a boy) start playing-up at school, or cannot be controlled by his parents, than it is off to the doctor, who refers him to the nearest trick-cyclist ( don't be offended it is a very common expression here) who goes through a battery of Tests and worries the parents with a long list of possible disorders.


Attention deficit hyperactivity bipolar sensory processing oppositional defiant reactive attachment intermittent explosive

Far too frequently these kids are put onto medication often for behavioral traits that 30 years ago would have been dealt with the advice that Little Johnny should not be allowed to stay up late at night watching violent TV programmes. That maybe his parents should see he got nourishing well-balanced meals cutting out the junk food etc.

Of course if a child is seriously disturbed there must be a place for these conditions to be explored and maybe controlled or even cured.

This is just my two-penny worth and goes to show what an old cynic I am.


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msmeow

Vee, sadly I think a lot of that goes on in the US, too. Kids are too over-scheduled, over-sanitized and over-controlled, and don't get a chance to just be kids. Parents seem too quick to label their kids with some kind of disorder.

Donna

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friedag

Vee, the 'instant fix' expectation is part of U.S. acculturation in modern thinking toward medicine. We are fed this propaganda daily. After all, there was a magic drug developed to cure and eradicate, or at least successfully control (e.g., insulin for diabetics) such devastating illnesses as syphilis, tuberculosis, polio, smallpox, measles and others, so why can't there also be a magic drug or cocktail of drugs to eliminate mental illness? People don't want to wait out the possibility of mental illness eventually getting better with time or without radical interference. People want relief and a certain prognosis now, not later.

Another thing that bothers me is the statistics that make women look like the preponderance of people suffering from mental illness. More women than men apparently suffer from these disorders (as of 2015): depression, SAD (seasonal affective disorder), anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, hypomania (mild mania), agoraphobia and other phobias, etc. Women attempt suicide as often as men do, and self-mutilate, but males are often more 'successful' at accomplishing suicide or severe mutilation. There's about an even number among genders of schizophrenics and bi-polars, and the number of female ADD and ADHD sufferers is increasing although males are still in the majority, at least in popular perception, as you mentioned. The newer disorders such as autism and Asperger's syndrome seem to be equal-opportunity afflictions. I don't know how these 'hard facts' should be interpreted.

The most surprising treatment to me is the development of anti-shyness and anti-over-cautiousness drugs. Wait! I thought shyness (not the debilitating kind) and cautiousness were personality characteristics, not moral flaws or personality defects. Perhaps an anti-Introvert treatment can be developed. How misguided would that be?

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msmeow

Frieda, I'm not taking any anti-introvert medication! :) And why is it "painfully" shy? Nobody is ever "painfully outgoing". There's nothing wrong with being shy or introverted.

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

Here's something interesting ( imo)......according to the personality tests an introvert is someone who, although they socialize, tends to get their energy recharged by being alone and doing singular things rather than seek out groups of friends to re-energize as an extrovert would do.

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carolyn_ky

Actually, Donna, I've known a few people I thought were "painfully outgoing."

Yoyobon, I would never have called my daughter an introvert--she was born talking and has never met a stranger--but she gave me that definition you wrote about, and it is true that she needs alone time to recharge.


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vee_new

Re the modern tendency to over-protect children. We have a series on TV at the moment about a large family living on a remote sheep farm in N Yorkshire. They have nine children between the ages of seventeen and two and, even allowing for the TV camera being right 'up them' the kids appear not to be acting up and seem very normal and well-balanced. Because there are so many of them they are all expected to muck in and help with feeding the lambs, cleaning out the yards, collecting eggs etc. The best part is seeing the interaction between the older and younger ones. Obviously there are squabbles but the older group help and encourage the little ones who learn by example.

NB this family are not playing at farming, nor could they be described as what I think you in the US call 'red-necks'. They are genuine country people who take their responsibilities seriously and understand that their children should take part in the rural life.


Yorkshire Shepherdess (poor sound quality)

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yoyobon_gw

Carolyn, I am an introvert by that personality test and I can talk a shell off an egg ! Introvert, by that standard, means exactly as you've noted....what we require to regroup or recharge our energies. I believe most highly creative people are introverts in that way. I personally find crowds or cocktail parties to be exhausting , which is a feature of being an introvert .

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woodnymph2_gw


Another introvert, here. I definitely cherish my time alone. And I was happily married for years to another introvert. I hate crowds and large, loud cocktail parties.

Vee that Yorkshire family reminds me of the stories my late mother told me about her girlhood. She was the youngest of 11, raised on a working farm in North Carolina. All the children had chores and the older ones looked after the younger ones. They were hardly "red necks", since my grandfather was a schoolteacher, as well as running a farm. I imagine many American "pioneer" families lived in the manner of the Yorkshire family. It was desireable to have many offspring in order to work the land and pass it on through generations, back in the day.

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vee_new

Woodnymph/Mary It is very unusual for people over here to have such large families. The Mother says she gives birth to them so easily (eg within an hour of so of first going into labour) that they just 'pop out' and she is up and about in no time . . .which might not be so easy for many of us females . . . I think 'back in the day' babies just happened as no planning was involved. I'm sure country children had a better chance of survival than those brought up in industrial cities and towns.

And I can't remember the last time I went to a party . . . with or without cocktails.

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rouan

Another introvert here too!


I have been on a reading slump this year, taking back more unfinished library books than finished ones. I am currently attempting to read The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow. Since I am also listening to the Prancing Pony Podcasts recommended on an earlier thread, I am also re-reading The Hobbit to go along with them.

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lemonhead101

I'm learning more about race/diversity/privilege/bias right now and it's been fascinating to realize how LITTLE I actually truly know about this.

It's serious stuff but important, especially on an academic campus. I'm just starting the old 1960 book, "Black Like Me" by John Howard Griffin, when a white man darkened his skin (through medicine etc.) and set out to live life as a black man in the south. Apart from all the ethical considerations associated with this, I'm curious to see how this works out for all those who are impacted.

On a lighter note, I'm also reading "Milkman" by Anna Burns, the 2018 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. Burns is an Irish writer and it's great so far.

And even lighter than that, we're in the middle of watching "The Durrells in Corfu" about Gerald Durrell's family. After this, I'm going to have to dig out the original volumes to read... (Maybe a good Christmas vacation project?) :-)

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sheri_z6

Add me to the introvert list, too. I just finished a re-read of Robin McKinley's Sunshine and really enjoyed it. I remember having a group discussion about it here long ago, but I can't find the thread (if it even existed). Suffice to say it had been many years between readings and although I remembered the beginning of the story, I had forgotten a great deal of the rest of it. So it's a really good book that I've now enjoyed twice.

I also finished Heartbreak Hotel by Deborah Moggach, probably recommended here at some point. It was cute and was a pleasant and easy read for me during a very crazy week. I followed that up with The Witch's Kind by Louisa Morgan. Set in pre- and post-WWII Washington state, it's the story of a woman whose family has inexplicable magical talents. I liked it and the writing was good, but I felt like an important part of the central mystery of the story was never addressed or resolved, and that was a bit disappointing.

I just received my copy of Erin Morgenstern's The Starless Sea, and I'm both excited and almost afraid to start it, I want it to be as good as The Night Circus, which I loved. We shall see!


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carolyn_ky

I'm an introvert, too, and need (must have) my alone time.

I have read about a fourth of The Strangler Vine and still don't quite know what to make of it. The end paper assures me it is a "rip-roaring detective romp" but not so far. It is set in the early 1800s in India and has great detailed description of the country.

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4kids4us

Another introvert here...

Lemonhead, I read the book Black Like Me way back in my AP English class in high school and wrote a paper on it. It had such an impact on me at that young age that it’s one of the few books I read back then that I can still recall (aside from all the classics).

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kathy_t

I finished reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. He made a lot of interesting points about the fact that it takes more than just genius (as in high IQ) to become a real standout in your field. It also takes the support of others, good timing, and opportunity - often being in the right place at the right time, and generally speaking, 10,000 hours of practice in your chosen field. He illustrates this by comparing the enormous success of Bill Gates to the seemingly lackluster success of Christopher Langan, a contemporary of Bill Gates who has an even higher IQ, but grew up extremely poor with no advantages or assistance. It's a very interesting book, but is rather wordy and repetitive.

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woodnymph2_gw

Liz/lemonhead, I absolutely adored the series "Durrells in Corfu." I watched it twice. Let me know if you find the book it originated from.

Amazing how many of us are introverts! It must be related to our passion for reading.

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kathy_t

I do spend a lot of time alone, and it does refresh me. My solitude is, at times, important to me. That said, I still don't really consider myself an introvert. If a person has outgoing personality, but is also comfortable spending time alone, are they really an introvert? (I have not done any research on this.)

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vee_new

The book on which the series is loosely based is Durrell's My Family and Other Animals

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reader_in_transit

Woodnymph,

I haven't seen the series, but Gerald Durrell wrote 3 books about his family when they lived in Corfu:

  1. My Family and Other Animals, as Vee mentioned above
  2. Birds, Beasts and Relatives
  3. The Garden of the Gods

In the US the third book was later published, by Simon & Schuster, under the title Fauna & Family, An Account of the Durrell Family of Corfu.

More recently, Penguin Books published the 3 books in one volume: The Corfu Trilogy.

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msmeow

I started The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe. It's about a bunch of "horse people" in S. Florida who evacuate to another horsey estate in NC when a hurricane is coming. I've read six chapters and so far it's pretty "meh", so I put it aside and started Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews. It's about a young woman who had a bad kiteboarding accident, then her mother died, and she lost her job. Now she's been forced to go to work for her father who she's been estranged from since she was very young. It's light reading but I'm enjoying it.

Donna

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siobhan_1

I'm enjoying Feeding the Birds at Your Table - A Guide for Australia. I was relieved to find this book as it is hard to find good information here is Oz. I don't want to get into an ethical debate, but I'll just state the facts - feeding backyard birds is strongly discouraged here for reasons that are outdated and disproven by scientific observations. And, as the author states, people will feed birds no matter what. Proper information is necessary. People have been feeding birds since both have existed, and this will continue. Also, as I see massive development happening everywhere and the bush continues to disappear, I despair of the wildlife. Okay, rant over. Just posting to remark on how much I am enjoying this book and learning about the common backyard birds and their behavior. Also I am learning about native shrubs and trees that I can plant in my garden to support the local birds who have had their homes bulldozed for McMansions.

Also I have just started The Harsh Cry of the Heron by Lian Hearn. a novel based in Japanese history - one of those generational epics with several main characters. Enjoying it greatly! It is a sequel to a trilogy that I haven't read (not necessary for enjoyment of this novel) but will go back to if this book is as good as I hope it is.





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carolyn_ky

I have enjoyed the Durrells in Corfu series over the past few years. It ended on my PBS station last Sunday night as they went home to England prior to the outbreak of WWII. I am sorry to see it end. It grew on me a lot over the seasons.

Still reading The Strangler Vine. I'm over halfway through now and still not too enthusiastic about it.


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friedag

Kathy, you sound like you might be an ambivert. I've concluded that's what I am, leaning a bit more to the introverted side since I relish my solitude. However, there are times when I don't mind a bit of chaos with my rowdy family. Some of them don't get my desire to take a break from them, though. They say they "worry" about me when I hole up somewhere to read, read, read -- or write. They shouldn't.:-)

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yoyobon_gw

Donna, I finished Long Way Home......another " slam bam ending by Penny". i suspect she doesn't want to make the reader suffer through the nasty bits too long !

Bon

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vee_new

I found a book given to me many years ago by a rather grand Godmother who worked briefly in an up-market book shop; the sort of place where books were displayed on tables rather than stacked on shelves)

The Fearless Treasure by Noel Streatfeild (she of Ballet Shoes fame) published in 1953. Of course some of the language seems very dated today but back then as an introduction to English (not British!) history for a young person I found it a wonderful read.

It is the story of a group of children from all walks of life who are chosen to go 'on a journey' with an eminent historian. They are taken back in time . . . Roman, Saxon, Norman and so on, to find where each child 'fits' into the pattern of history. They discover first the strong sense of smell (!) then the noise, then they 'see' the clothes the people wore and learn much of the social customs of the time they are visiting.

Apparently NS had little interest in history when asked by the publisher to write this book, but remembered her Father finding a piece of worked flint on the Sussex Downs and telling her about the people who had lived there thousands of years ago thereby bringing history alive to her. She did the same in this book.

Wonderful illustrations too in that modernist Post War style.

nb the following Christmas Godmother gave me a cookery book. As a nine year old I did not appreciate the gift!

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msmeow

Bon, that's the LP book where the ending made me mad at her! LOL I just received my library copy of A Great Reckoning and I will start it as soon as I finish Sunset Beach.

Sunset Beach (Mary Kay Andrews) is turning out to be very good! I thought it would be a light "chick-lit" story, but it has a good plot and more depth than I expected.

Donna

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woodnymph2_gw

Vee, I used to love those Noel Streatfield book series. The style of that period is just inimitable, in my opinion.

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kathy_t

Rosefolly - I finally finished reading Maphead … in a way. Like if selective skimming counts as finishing. After taking a break to read another book, I couldn't quite muster up enough interest to reintegrate myself into the subject matter. I realized I'd already forgotten much of what I'd read in the first half.

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vee_new

mary. I must have read all of NS's books as a child, although I think by the later ones she had become rather vague and the stories 'wandered'.

Do you remember how she always had a nanny/governess character who looked after the children (usually of the round comforting type) She kept all the family, including the parents in order and seemed to work for little or no money. I think Streatfeild having been brought up in a vicarage was used to finances being tight and eventually having to earn her own living. I loved her stories of the stage and dancing and especially 'The Circus is Coming' where she lived with a 'real' circus for several months to make the setting accurate.

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kathy_t

Oops, it was Woodnymph who also read Maphead recently. Sorry Rosefolly!

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woodnymph2_gw

Kathy, I dragged myself through "Maphead" to the finish. I do think it would have been a decent read had the author put all the footnotes at the end of the book.

Vee, I don't remember the one about the circus, but I loved "Theatre Shoes" and "Ballet Shoes." Perhaps it was the latter that led to my life-long fascination with ballet and all forms of dance.

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rouan

I gave up on The Ten Thousand Doors of January, not because it wasn’t interesting, but because I ran out of time and it’s due back to the library. Since it is a new book, there is no renewal time allowed. Maybe I’ll give it another try in a couple of months, once it’s removed from the new book shelf.

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carolyn_ky

I finally finished The Strangler Vine and am now reading The Girl Who Lived Twice, the latest in the Lisbeth Salander series. I'm enjoying it more than TSV which never got to be "rip-roaring"although it did give a good description of life in India under "the Company" that later became the British Raj.

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Rosefolly

I have two books going at once which I never used to do, but over the last decade or so I have slipped into doing this. One is the latest Bill Bryson, The Body. It is informative with Bryson's standard touches of humor. I disliked his book At Home: A Short History of Private Life so much I almost didn't pick this one up, but I am glad I did after all. Credit goes to it being the most interesting looking book in the San Diego Airport bookstore.

Rouan, by interesting coincidence I have also picked up the Ten Thousand Doors of January. I'm near the beginning but so far I like it. I'd be happy to have you finish with my copy next time I see you since I expect to be done by then.

Sheri, glad you enjoyed your re-read of McKinley's Sunshine. I liked it a lot, too; in fact it was the last book she wrote that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Siobhan, there is a naturalist named Doug Tallamy who is getting a lot of attention these days. He has a couple of books out that you probably can't get in Australia, but his premise is simple. If we want birds, we have to plant lots of native plants, something like 60% or more of our garden. It seems that most insects native to any area can only eat a few species of plants, and they are the ones they developed alongside. Birds may be insect eaters or seed eaters, but nearly all require insects to feed their babies or they cannot raise their young. So, native plants + no insecticides = a landscape where birds can succeed. His lists of the best plants would not work for your new location, but the basic idea should translate anywhere.

Introvert/extrovert, I've never been able to make up my mind about this. I am happiest when I get both time alone and time with other people every single day.


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annpanagain

Rosefolly, the Tallamy books are available here in Australia but might not be suitable in the suggested planting.

I have a number of flowering trees and bushes in my Retirement Village gardens which attract birds. Among the various species, we have semi-tame magpies that breed every year and it is a joy to see the babies running around and "peeping" loudly to keep in touch with their insect hunting parents!

There are a number of Bottle brush trees near me which are very attractive but they are not a good choice for allergy sufferers. My poor neighbour gets terrible sneezing fits when the flowers start to die and become powdery!

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woodnymph2_gw

Ann , we have Bottle Brush trees here in Charleston SC also. I had never seen them until I moved here and find them amazing in appearance.

We are having our last mild day here before we will be plunged into the deep freeze that most of the rest of the US is dealing with. More like February than November.

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Rosefolly

Ann, I would agree, the plants Tallamy recommends would not be suitable for the purpose in Australia. He recommends by region even here in the USA. Apparently all the Australian plants we have here in California that thrive in our climate are doing the local birds no good at all.

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annpanagain

I think that plantings should be done by region here too. This is a big country and has a huge variety of plants and what feeds off them.

I am in the South of Western Australia, near Perth, the capital city, which is very far from where Siobhan lives, I believe in Victoria. We have an incredible number of wildflowers that only exist locally in this State and tours are put on in Spring to see them.

At Petteet Farm, a field has been specially sowed with Canola for photo ops and to stop people trampling crops while barging through to get the perfect selfie!

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msmeow

We have trees on the west coast of Florida that are called Australian pines, but I have no idea if they are really from Australia. I only recall seeing them near the Gulf of Mexico. They drop wicked burrs, which is annoying since they are near the beaches where people are going barefoot.


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yoyobon_gw

Has anyone ever read The Mirror by Marlys Milhiser ? I read it years ago and recall really liking it. Here's the Amazon blurb, which gave it almost 5 stars.

In this twisting time-travel thriller, a woman faints on the eve of her wedding—and awakens at the turn of the century in her grandmother’s body . . .

The night before she is supposed to get married, Shay Garrett has no idea that a glimpse into her grandmother’s antique Chinese mirror will completely transform her seemingly ordinary life. But after a bizarre blackout, she wakes up to find herself in the same house—but in the year 1900. Even stranger, she realizes she is now living in the body of her grandmother, Brandy McCabe, as a young woman. Meanwhile, Brandy, having looked into the same mirror, awakens in Shay’s body in the present day—and discovers herself pregnant.

As Rachael—the woman who links these two generations, mother to one and daughter to another—weaves back and forth between two time periods, this imaginative thriller explores questions of family, identity, and love. Courageous, compassionate Shay finds herself fighting against the confines of a society still decades away from women’s liberation, while Brandy struggles to adapt to the modern world she has suddenly been thrust into. The truth behind this inexplicable turn of events is more complex than either woman can imagine—and The Mirror is a tribute to the triumph of the female spirit, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

“What happens will surprise you. In the meantime, settle down for a good read.” —The Denver Post

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msmeow

Bon, I haven't read it, but it sounds like I would like it! I read a book a long time ago where a man in modern times finds a coin stuck in the lining of an old coat. When he rubs on the coin he's transported back to the late 1800s and of course meets a woman and falls in love. I thought it was called Somewhere in Time but I haven't been able to find it again. It was made into a movie with Christopher Reeve; I know the movie had a different title but I can't remember that one, either.

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

Donna, I think you would enjoy The Mirror . It was published in the 70's perhaps. She wrote another book, The Threshold which I also enjoyed :

A doorway to the past reveals a warning for the future in this time-travel adventure by the author of Michael’s Wife

Just released from prison after serving time for a false drug charge, Aletha Kingman decamps to Telluride, Colorado, for a fresh start. One day when she’s sketching an abandoned miner’s shack, she encounters a young girl, Callie, who’s been transported from the turn of the century. Aletha follows Callie back in time to the rough-and-tumble mining town where the impoverished girl faces a future of disrepute and her brother Bram is caught in the bloody conflict between hard-working miners and their bosses. Together with her newfound friend, the enigmatic Cree, Aletha is determined to use her foresight from the future to make a difference in the past.

Suffused with the social and political history of the American West, The Threshold crosscuts between the disparate worlds of glitzy modern-day Telluride and its past incarnation as a gritty, turbulent mining town, brilliantly posing the question of whether we can—or should—alter the course of history.


P.S. That movie was Somewhere In Time and is currently available to watch with Amazon Prime video.

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msmeow

Thanks, Bon! And thanks to Wikipedia I now know the title of the book - Bid Time Return.

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vee_new

yoyo, the book you recommend sounds interesting. The trouble is I'm so English I don't think I could cope with characters called 'Shay' and 'Brandy' . . . (: - (

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yoyobon_gw

Oh but Vee, you could cross out those names and pencil in ' Charlotte' and 'Bradford' or ' Beatrice' !

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

I don't think you have to be English to disagree with those names Vee. This is a particular quirk that I have and I have passed by many books that I probably would have enjoyed if the names had been different.

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rouan

I picked up No Wind of Blame by Georgette Heyer and am having fun re-reading it. I am finding it more humorous than I remembered; especially the scene... Spoiler alert...


where the step daughter of the victim rids the house of theGeorgian (as in not Russian, as he insists) prince who is trying to marry her wealthy mother.

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carolyn_ky

I read The Mirror decades ago, too. Other than the changes of place, the only thing I remember about it is that the "grandmother" made her children chew twigs because toothbrushes hadn't been invented, and she used slang they never heard anyone else use. And maybe she fell in love with the "grandfather" husband?

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vee_new

yoyo, yes, Charlotte and Beatrice (both grandmothers had that name) would do fine. Bradford is a town in Yorkshire so might not be quite 'the thing' but there is no accounting for the taste/fashion in names. My American GGG father was named Leyburn and his brother Corbin (in the 1830's). Why? I ask. Not Biblical, Presidential or (over here) Royal . .. or even Catholics who are big on Saints. We were careful to give our children 'ordinary' names. After all they have to live with them for their entire lives.

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yoyobon_gw

Vee, I think the Italian tradition back in the day was to name your first born son after the paternal grandfather, the first daughter after either grandmother. I appreciate names that have meaning within the family as those do. How I got my own name is a mystery and unfortunately I never thought to ask my parents ( add that to the growing list of things I wish I'd asked about while they were still with me ).

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vee_new

yoyo, the same 'naming' thing used to happen over here. We had way too many Albert's/George's on my Father's side and a surprising number of Amos' . . . that I took to be Biblical but have since found to be from the surname of a GGgrandmother. Going back to the late 1700's girls called Sophia and Lydia . . . and not from 'grand' families but humble country labourers (shown on census as Ag labs)

I would have liked to ask my Grandparents about their early lives and of their relations. And who were the family in Australia that sent tins of lard during WW11?!

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msmeow

Vee, my mom's father was Amos...not a name you hear any more! I was named for my father (he was Donald, I'm Donna) but my younger sister was named for Princess Anne. When I was young I kind of resented that she was named after a princess and I wasn't!

Bon, I also have a growing list of things I wish I'd asked my parents about. Currently I've been wondering a lot about why there is a 17 year gap between my older brother and me. :)

Donna

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annpanagain

Asking about the family history doesn't always mean that you hear the truth!

When I saw her, after a long absence, my GD told me about the peasant style skirt that had been passed from generations in my family, with each one adding a new petticoat. Her mother had told her about it and that it had got lost in a move. She was sad that she would miss out on the tradition.

I gave a shriek of amazed laughter. That multi-layered skirt was something I had bought at a charity shop for a fancy dress party!

My D had obviously woven a lovely fable around it!

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yoyobon_gw

I attended a seminar at our local college titled " Writing Your Family Story" . During the session the presenter emphasized that it is important to write the truth about family stories and not editorialize or launder them.

It reminded me of one of my DH's family stories wherein his mother's uncle , who was a rum runner during Prohibition, returned via train from Florida in a pine coffin accompanied by a "grieving widow" ( nope) who, when greeted by the family at the town railroad station , wanted to know when the will would be read ! My MIL had fond recollections of his car's backseat being removable so he could carry crates of booze across the border. He always had silver dollars he would flip to the children upon his return to town.


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carolyn_ky

The only "shameful" story in my family that I am aware of was told to me by my mother's older cousin who lived with me when my daughter was in high school and whom we called aunt. When she moved to her son's house, she gave me a crazy quilt that was begun by her cousin as a young woman and finished by her aunt after the cousin died. Seems she was unmarried and pregnant, so she attempted a self-induced abortion, punctured something vital, and died. To help assuage her grief, her mother finished the quilt she had started.

I asked my aunt to write the story down as a history of the quilt. She really, really didn't want to, but she did and made a small pocket on the back side to put it into. It's a very pretty quilt and probably my most valuable antique.

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yoyobon_gw

Carolyn, that is very touching.

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vee_new

Too many skeletons in my family's past cupboards! From bribing a magistrate to being thrown into prison for debt. For serving alcohol 'after hours' to fighting with neighbours. The husband of one far-off ancestor shot himself during the night and everyone in the street heard the gun go off and ran to see what was happening. His wife, in the next room, apparently heard nothing! What a heavy sleeper!

Found all this info. at the UK 'on-line' newspaper site.

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reader_in_transit

Finished The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami (translated from the Japanese). Not much happens in this novel, except everyday life at the secondhand shop of the title, in a Tokyo suburb, and Hitomi's (the narrator) interactions with her coworkers and customers. As in some modern TV shows, her coworkers become a sort of family, all of them a little bit eccentric. There is some sexual content, that pops up now and then, but it is done in such a matter-of-fact way, that it does not seem jarring.

I liked the book, and eventually will read another book by this author.

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yoyobon_gw

Vee....those on- line newspaper sites are great for family history . Through on in New York state I discovered that my Sicilian grandfather and two of his cousins got into a fight in a bar with a man who apparently was flirting with their female cousin. They were taken to court ....the headlines were " Three Sicilians Threaten Man " ( how's that for PC !...but it was 1906 ). As the story went they told the man that if he didn't leave the girl alone they were going to through him under a local train as it went by !! ( you can take the man out of the Sicily but you can't take Sicily out of the man ! ).

No one in the family had ever heard that story until I unearthed it in this newspaper archive site. Through the same source I also discovered a distant cousin from Chicago, while visiting here, was a victim of a gang hit and shot dead in his garage. ( 1932 )

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vee_new

yoyo, rather like the stories told by the Grandmother (what was her name?) in The Golden Girls!

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yoyobon_gw

Sophia Petrillo !

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carolyn_ky

I am reading The Overlook in my continued plan to read all of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch books in order. Still have a number to go and am spreading them out, but I am enjoying them.

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reader_in_transit

Reading My Sunshine Away by M. O. Walsh. A fifteen-year-old girl is attacked one evening near her home in a suburban neighborhood, that was safe until then, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The story is told by a teenage boy, who lives across the street and is infatuated with her, to the point of obsession.

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carolyn_ky

I started Deborah Crombie's A Bitter Feast last night and love it. I wish her books weren't spaced so far apart, but they are worth the wait.

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vee_new

Just finished A Dark Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine (aka Ruth Rendell in psychological mode) Not an easy read firstly because the print was SO small but mainly owing to the plethora of characters. Told in the first person by the 'daughter of the house'. She details family members going back generations, most of whom seem to play no part in the 'plot'. As other, mostly nasty, characters were added I got even more confused; wondering if these were relations I had already missed. It was obvious something nasty was going to happen from the first sentence, but by the end I just felt "Get on with it. Let the hangman do the deed."

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