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We just got the results of the book group vote on the next year's worth of books and I WON MY BET WITH MYSELF, dammit: The Fault in Our Stars got voted in. AND of the ONLY two books that I had already read, guess what? One of them got voted in. And it's the stupid Satanic Verses, which WHY would anyone want to read now?? Why? GAH.

Sadly, only one of my recommendations made the list, though 3 others were one vote short. I don't care, I'll read them anyway. Here's what got voted in, in no particular order:

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Circle by Dave Eggars
The Mockingbird Next Door by Marja Mills
Magical Thinking by Augusten Burrows
Not that Kind of a Girl by Lena Dunham
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
The Fault in our Stars by John Green


One of the families that we invited to Thanksgiving next Saturday has sent me a message today to let me know that they probably won't make it because their kids have swim competitions that day. I can't believe they didn't know about this earlier and really think they could have let us know much much sooner so we could have invited someone else. Now I feel like if I invite someone less than a week from the dinner that it's pretty obvious they weren't on the "first" guest list and it feels rather bogus. Sigh. Oh well, more stuffing for me!


That lovely book I was reading yesterday? How the Heather Looks? It's been on my to-read list for years, so I was thrilled to finally get it. It was a little dated (started in 1958 about experiences that happened just before that and published in 1965) but really fun to read. The family included a charming 2-year-old girl named Lucy and a bright, inquisitive intelligent 9-year-old boy named Ian and her historian husband, John. In the afterword, written much much later, the author mentioned something about her husband's illness, their subsequent divorce and her daughter's diagnosis. What? I I went and looked her up. Only to discover that Lucy died of a brain tumor at age 7, the husband was diagnosed with schizophrenia and the marriage collapsed in 1966, and Ian was also diagnosed with schizophrenia later and took to leaving with no notice for long stretches of time as a teenager, eventually disappearing for years. Her second husband died of cancer in 1985 and Joan herself died of colon cancer in 2001 (though at least after a long, busy storytelling life). What a tragic end to the tale! :(


Bad News that's Bumming Me Out
There are only 6 white rhinos left and elephants could be next
The world is running short on chocolate and bananas

mood: cranky
music: Timotej—Stormande Hav

From Megsie

I really liked Fault in our Stars, and it is a quick read that is kinda funny but breaks your heart anyway. So, more time to read what you REALLY want to read! Ha! You have a great list though, many that I have heard about that people liked.

I am sad about the white rhinos...AND ELEPHANTS? It is awful.

I apologize about the chocolate problem. I will try to cut back. I had no idea I was causing a world wide scare. The bananas are not at all my fault though...YUCK.


Re: From Megsie

haha! I have lots of friends contributing to the chocolate problem. I don't eat bananas either, but it still bums me out.

Gah, indeed. I'm interested in what you think of the Donna Tratt book and am somewhat surprised by the Satanic Verses inclusion. Aren't you all about 25 years too late? I have to say that I've often found Rushdie to be an incredibly hard slog to read. There is no doubt that he is very clever with words and images, but sometimes it's like wading through treacle and I want to scream out "Get to the bloody point!" He's one of those writers I felt that I "ought" to appreciate as I'm an avid reader and he is highly lauded, but somehow I never really got involved in his meandering tales (the only one that was sort of okay was "The Ground Beneath Her Feet"). And I generally like Indian novels.

I'm bummed on your behalf about the Thanksgiving guests who aren't coming. As you say, it's not because of something unforseen and I think it's rude to have left it so late. And yes, I can see yopur dilemma about getting last minute replacements - they'd see themselves as just that, maybe. I wish I lived closer, as I'd so gatecrash :-)

Wow, what a sad story about Joan Bodger. You wonder how people can go on when things like that happen. She must have been an extraordinary woman and I'm inspired to find out more and read other things she wrote.

Those poor animals - all down to man's rapacious greed. Same with chocolate and bananas. I don't eat chocolate though, so don't look at me!

I read Satanic Verses soon after it came out to find out what all the fuss was about, and it was a TOTAL SLOG. and then I tried to read one other of his books, I forget which one, and gave up. Slog city.

The Thanksgiving guests might come after all... she is supposed to let me know by tomorrow, but I suspect I will hear on Thursday.

Joan Bodger apparently wrote a really great autobiography and she does sound like a pretty amazing woman.

Not that you asked, but here is my take on your book list:

Stiff: Excellent. I love her writing.
The Glass Castle: Didn't like because I doubted the truthfulness of her horrible life.
The Circle: Just bought this in London and I really like it so far. I love Dave Eggers' writing. Last year he published a short novel entitled A Hologram for a King which was also very good.
The Fault In Our Stars: Good YA fiction. I admire the writer for his social outreach.

Have fun!

I love Mary Roach and I would have read it anyway. I had The Glass Castle on my wish list for a long time, as it sounded really interesting. Hope it lives up to my expectations.


Am still in horror over the thought of the chocolate shortage. I will go into withdrawal!

Sometimes finding out the rest of the story is dang depressing...but still, Joan wrote some wonderful things during her life.

I agree, with everything you said!

Well, like Megsie, I liked The Fault in our Stars. I listened to it while puttering in the kitchen. I know this kicks me out of the club Liz, but I'm taking my credit from your dislike of borscht to get back in, ok?

I think you will be surprised and like some of the writing still, as you shclog through the bits you dislike.

Don't swim competition schedules come out in advance? Or maybe these folks rely on the kids to tell them. And the kids, well, we all know kids can be tardy about that if they expect their parents are eternally available.

Wow, you got me interested in your book, but our library doesn't own it.
That poor family. Yikes.

Very bad news indeed, Liz. We humans and our lifestyles are so hard on other species.
Sad about the rhinos and elephants. WHat can we do to help?
And the chocolate and bananas just makes me angry!

I'm sure The Fault in Our Stars will be decent, actually, but why a book group book? It's just so ubiquitous.

And yes, swim competition schedules come out way in advance, I've been told by another mother of a swimmer.

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