Friday, March 27, 2020

Book Beginning: Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS
THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

Well, I forgot to post early yesterday because I forgot what day it was! That's the problem with working from home -- I lost track of the days. Is that happening to you?

MY BOOK BEGINNING


In 1945 our parents went away and left us in the care of two men who may have been criminals.

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje. That is a terrific opening sentence! I didn't read The English Patient because I feared it would be boring. My book club picked Warlight this month and I am glad they did because this is a great story -- lots of plot, characters, and mood. It has everything going for it.

Our book club is going to meet virtually next week, by Zoom. Oregon is on a Stay Home order, so we cannot gather. We will have our own snacks and beverages of our choice, and meet on the screen instead. It will be different.



Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

SOCIAL MEDIA: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up. Please find me on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING





TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.


MY FRIDAY 56
We were more concerned that The Moth had invited someone we did not know into our parents' home. We’ve never considered such a possibility. We were also nervous about our escape from the school and how it would be taken by our untested guardian.


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Teaser Tuesday: Orphan Train and the New Normal



The night of the fire, the night they took me in, I could hear Mrs. Schatzman in her bedroom, fretting with her husband about what to do with me. "I didn't ask for this," she hissed, the words as distinct to my ears as if she'd been in the same room.

-- Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. This popular book of historical fiction goes back and forth between Depression-era Minnesota and contemporary Maine. The protagonist is an Irish immigrant who was sent as an orphan to Minnesota. Back in Maine as an elderly widow, she sorts through her attic and her past with the help of a 17-year old girl with her only family history.

I saw this book a lot when it first came out, but I didn't read it. The highlight of my first day of Oregon's Stay Home Order yesterday was finding a copy in my nearby Little Free Library when I ventured out to deposit a stack of books.

Now that the governor issued a Stay Home Order for all of Oregon, this is my new normal:

  • Working from home, trying to practice law from my dining room table.
  • Meeting with clients by Zoom.
  • Dinosaur hands from washing them 85 times.
  • Venturing out for neighborhood walks as long as we all stay six feet from each other.
  • Small acts of kindness, like sharing our books through Little Free Libraries. Although I did wipe down the cover with Lysol when I got home. And washed my hands. Again.

How about you? How has COVID 19 changed your daily life?





Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from the book they are reading or featuring. Please remember to include the name of the book and the author. You can share your teaser in a comment below, or with a comment or link at the Teaser Tuesday site, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Blogiversary! Rose City Reader is 12 today!


It's my 12th blogiversary! I started Rose City Reader on March 20, 2008, and have been blogging along here for 12 years as of today. A dozen years of book blogging feels like a long time. I'd like to celebrate with a library cake like the one in the picture.

I started this blog to keep track of the book lists I love: Prize Winners, Must Reads, and a few of my own creation. The Modern Library's list of Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century got me hooked on book lists in 1999. By 2008, I had finished the 121 books on the Modern Library list (there are more than 100 because trilogies, quartets, and even a 12-volume series are counted as one book). I was inspired to tackle other lists, starting with knockoffs like Radcliffe's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century and Erica Jong's list of Top 100 20th Century Novels by Women.

Soon I had too many lists going and needed an organized way to keep track of them. Google kept telling me to "click here" to start a blog so I tried it and 15 minutes later I had Rose City Reader. It was easier to start this blog than to set up an Excel spreadsheet.

Twelve years later, I'm working on 29 books lists and 43 bibliographies of favorite authors. I don't know if I will finish them all. In fact, I know there are books on some of the lists that I won't read. But I still have fun playing with my lists.

More than the lists, I use Rose City Reader to post about the books I'm reading, books that catch my eye, and author interviews. I used to post more reviews and hope to get back to reviewing more when I retire from my Dumas & Vaughn law practice. The author interview posts are my favorite because I love learning more about what goes into creating a book and how authors work and think.

Enormous thanks to everyone who reads Rose City Reader! Thank you for 12 years of blogging fun and please stick around!




Thursday, March 19, 2020

Book Beginning: The Joy of Cooking from Cloud & Leaf Bookstore

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS
THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING


This edition – our family’s ninth since Irma first published Joy of Cooking in 1931 – is the result of more than nine years of recipe testing in nearly five years of outlining, researching, and writing by my wife, Megan, and me.
-- Joy of Cooking by John Becker, Megan Scott, Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, Ethan Becker.

I’m set for the corona quarantine, thanks to the Cloud & Leaf Bookstore!

So many small businesses, including independent bookstores, are taking a bad hit right now. Cloud & Leaf Bookstore is one of my favorites so I ordered a book to do my part. I figure if everyone who can gets one book from an independent book seller during coronavirus time, it will help.

The new Joy of Cooking was my choice because I love the old edition I’ve had since law school, but I wanted this 2019 updated edition. John Becker is the great-grandson of the original author, Irma S. Rombauer. Becker and his wife, co-author Megan Scott, live here in Portland, which is another reason I wanted a copy.

Do you have a favorite Joy of Cooking recipe? I’m all about comfort food right now. My husband made the traditional meatball recipe from our old book last weekend and they were delicious!



Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

SOCIAL MEDIA: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up. Please find me on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING



TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.


MY FRIDAY 56

Process briefly to blend. If desired, stir in:
(1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, finally chopped)
That snippet captures the "voice" of Joy of Cooking. The recipes are short, to the point, and usually tell you quick and easy variations. When I think of JOC, I always think of the typical instruction, "heat over, not in, hot, not boiling, water."

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Favorite Author: Iris Murdoch




Iris Murdoch (1919 - 1999) was an Irish-born author best known for her complex but entertaining philosophical novels.  Dame Iris, as she was known since she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1987, won the Booker, Black, and Whitbread (now Costa) prizes; had one book on the Modern Library's list of Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century; and also wrote poetry, plays, and books of philosophy.

I am working my way through her novels, which are listed below in publication order.  Those I have read are in red; those on my TBR shelf are in blue.

Under the Net (1954) (Modern Library's Top 100 list)

The Flight from the Enchanter (1956)

Sandcastle (1957)

The Bell (1958)

A Severed Head (1961)

An Unofficial Rose (1962)

The Unicorn (1963)

The Italian Girl (1964)

The Red and the Green (1965)

The Time of the Angels (1966)

The Nice and the Good (1968)

Bruno's Dream (1969)

A Fairly Honourable Defeat (1970)

An Accidental Man (1971)

The Black Prince (1973) (James Tait Black winner)

The Sacred and Profane Love Machine (1974) (Whitbread, now Costa, winner)

A Word Child (1975)

Henry and Cato (1976)

The Sea, the Sea (1978) (Booker winner; reviewed here)

Nuns and Soldiers (1980)

The Philosopher's Pupil (1983)

The Good Apprentice (1985)

The Book and the Brotherhood (1987) (reviewed here)

The Message to the Planet (1989)

The Green Knight (1993)

Jackson's Dilemma (1995)


OTHER MURDOCH FANS

Check out the Iris Murdoch Research Centre website, the hub of information about Iris Murdoch.

Please feel free to leave comments with links to your Murdoch-related posts and I will list them here. 

NOTES

The Sea, the Sea is my favorite so far.  It is a remarkable novel and really, really wonderful. I also loved The Bell.

A Fairly Honourable Defeat was also very good, and sticks in my head all the more now that I read Claire Massoud's The Emperor's Children, which I think was a rip-off of Murdoch's earlier book.

Updated March 17, 2020.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...