Inventory: of possessions and through the possessions of our memories, our life. Inventories are lists of “what matters.”
Judith Kratt’s life is defined by the fact she is “Daddy Kratt’s” daughter. The eldest of the Kratt children, she has a love-hate relationship with her siblings, brother Quincy, a snoop who makes it his business to know everyone’s dirty secrets; and sister Rosemarie, her “wayward younger sister” who fled their town of Bound “that fateful evening in 1929.” Olva, companion to Judith rounds out the cast of this character-driven story.
As with many Southern stories, Last List deals with family secrets, race issues, and interpersonal relationships. The plot unravels bit by bit through flashbacks until the reader has the whole truth. Filled with subplots and the metaphor of an inventory list of the family’s possessions, the novel is a darned good read.
TO READ CYBILS NOMINEES AS A FIRST ROUND PANELIST I read the following:
Hello Earth! Poems to Our Planet by Joyce Sidman
Ninos by Maria Jose Ferrada
Reckless, Glorious Girl by Ellen Hagen
TO READ BOOKS CHECKED OUT FROM THE LIBRARY Since all those books listed above were from the library, I did ok in this category too.
TO MAKE A DENT IN MY TBR SHELF Here I did quite well, I read:
Anne Lamott’s Some Assembly Required This is a book I ordered online because one day I hope to have read all of Lamott’s books.
I finished Molly’s Song This is a historical novel from my Kindle.
I finished Doctorow’s Doctorow: Collected Stories Here I discovered the master of short stories and an author I had heard of but had never read. It did not disappoint.
I began an Oprah’s Book Club selection, Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie Mac Donald which was donated to my LFL.
I read three chapters in the book I was most looking forward to reading, Jamisin’s The City We Became. It is wonderful!
So long, 2021 Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon until April when another for 2022 will occur.
I leave you with a photo of my mottled pumpkin. When I planted some of my succulents in the top of this grey-green pumpkin, copying something I’d seen in a magazine, how was I to know if you watered it, it would cause whitish water blisters on the pumpkin? What a mess! I need to take care of this today.
I have been reading up a storm (pun intended) after a 5:30 break to sit outside and watch the weather forming, listening to the rubble of thunder and drink fruit smoothies made in the blender as a light supper treat, followed by a sample of the Halloween candy as dessert.
I have finished another novel in verse for Cybills consideration
This one was a good story as well as a coming of age story. I will discuss it later.
I lack only two short stories in
I am reading an e-book as well, historical fiction, written by a friend of my grandson, who recommended it to me. I am about three-fourths of the way through. I read three chapters on it this evening. (title and other information later)
I’m starting to feel sleepy, and will try to get a few hours sleep before continuing or waking early to achieve an hour or so before the ending deadline.
In the meantime, I have just begun an Oprah’s Book Club selection, Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald.
Today’s recommendation for kids is a special anthology of poems, all addressed to Planet Earth. This fine book is a Cybils nominee.
Interesting facts about the formation and qualities of our planet are included as answers to the queries of children who live there. Questions about gravity, orbit, natural resources all come together in an organized, fluid collection of poems. One simply leads into another, ending with a message encouraging good stewardship of our natural resources.
Here is an example of the last half of one of the poems:
HERE WE ARE AT THE 3:30 PORTION OF THE READATHON.
I have very little to report except that I have finished the newspapers, read two Cybils poetry nominees, made a trip to Houston to Half Price Books and purchased a journal for a Christmas present, a tote stating that “Teachers Rule!,” and a first-reader book featuring the superhero, Thor, boldly on the cover. My young neighbor who stopped on his way to school to see if my LFL had such a book will be pleased. His primary school will have a dress up day next week where each student will dress in their Halloween costume and bring a book, reflecting that character. I hope he gets it in time!
We also had a “warmed over” lunch of barbecued pork ribs, pasta and peas casserole as a side, corn seasoned with turmeric and paprika, and wheat rolls. I enjoyed putting these together as a “clean out the refrigerator”lunch.
Yes, I got up early, and I started reading without checking in or posting first. Within the first hour, I had finished Anne Lamott’s Some Assembly Required. (Heads up, Deb Nance of Readerbuzz–I put a sticky note with your name on this one; you will love it. Maybe I can trade it for a Canva lesson. LOL)
After two cups of coffee to keep things going, I ate a pastry, warmed in the microwave, washed down by the second cup for breakfast and made my plans for the day. I will have to take time off from the readathon to go to Half Price Books to get a request made by a second-grade Little Free Library “patron,” but since that’s kind of a “bookish” activity, I’m counting it as readathon time. I will read in the truck as My Better Half drives me there, so technically it’s reading time.
I have spent a little over an hour on…
I had started this book, donated to my LFL ,at my own readathon earlier this month, but had put it aside to read Cybils entries and books due at the library. Perhaps I’ll finish it this readathon.
So far, things are shaping up nicely.
Easy answer here: yesterday’s Houston Chronicle and Alvin Advertiser. Then, I’ll tackle today’s Chronicle. p.s. I heard on the news this morning the Astros won! World Series here we come!
Although I have a few plans for tomorrow, I plan to participate in my third Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. I am going to plan the books to read and make some snacks tonight. I’ll have two specific goals:
Read as many Cybils contenders in the poetry category as possible. I picked up several at the Freeman Branch Library, Clear Lake in Houston today to get going. These were all nominees I could not find at my library in Alvin, TX, my home town.
2. Finish all of the library books I currently have checked out from the Alvin Branch of the Brazoria County Library where I live.
If time is left, I will tackle my huge piles of books on my TBR shelves and read (hopefully finish some) the books I own that I have begun. Some are calling my name. LOL
Usually blogging friends do WWW Wednesdays, answering What have you finished? What are you currently reading? and What will you read next? Instead, I’m only going to answer one “W,” What have you finished?
Zadie Smith is an established writer whom I’ve read in The New Yorker and in more than one novel. These essays showcase her literary journalism skills. It is the author “thinking aloud.” (from the Foreward). Smith includes thoughts on recent events, politics, and current culture.
“Why Do We Love Libraries?” is an essay that appeals to bibliophiles everywhere. “Elegy for a Country’s Seasons” deals with climate change in a timely manner, as the author discusses the “new normal.” She points out our responsibility as we will be held accountable by our grandchildren either for our part in it or for doing nothing. Many of the essays “spoke” directly to me, and all were very readable.
This novel employs alternating chapters that come together with a twist at the end, one of my favorite techniques to follow. I was literally unable to put it down. Joyce, as usual, has “bewitching characters” the reader comes to care about. Anyone who does not have empathy for Byron and Jim has a heart of stone. Love, forgiveness and redemption are all themes dealt with by Joyce as she spins two tales that seem totally unrelated to each other–until the very end.
The opening would make a good Tuesday Teaser:
“In 1972, two seconds were added to time. Britain agreed to join the Common Market, and ‘Beg, Steal, or Borrow’ by the New Seekers was the entry for Eurovision. Two seconds were added because it was leap year and time was out of joint with the measurement of the Earth.”
Writing like the above makes this novel a page-turner and a “darned good read.”
I also love debut novels. My theory goes along with the old adage that, Everyone has a novel in them. In other words, that novel fighting to get out at the very beginning is often the best novel an author ever writes. Themes of love, grief, and the connectedness of community are present from the very beginning. In the story, the small-town library is the heart of the community, and when it is threatened with closure, the eccentric library patrons vow not to take it lightly.
June Jones, the assistant librarian and the protagonist, is as plain and shy as her name connotes. Alex, an old school friend, plays the love interest. June overhears what she believes is a plot by self-interested businessmen, one of whom is on the city council, to sell the library to a coffee franchise, netting themselves a tidy profit if the council closes the library. June, always too shy to speak up, and threatened with losing her job, must gather the courage to take a stand on something for the first time in her twenty-eight years.
The book has been described by critics as “delightful, uplifting, and sublime”. It is totally irresistible to readers who love books, librarians and libraries. Last Chance Library is “an inspiring call to muster our courage and fight for the things that matter.”
Readers, what can we say? We love our books. And that love can sometimes be borderline obsessive. See how many of these signs of bookaholism apply to you. It might not be too late to get help.
One: You find yourself referring to fictional characters as if they were real. This isn’t too bad. But if you complain that you weren’t invited to Cole McKenna’s wedding or ask around for Katie Lapp on your next vacation to Lancaster County, I suggest an intervention.
Two: If you stacked up all the books on your To-Be-Read pile, someone would have to send in a search-and-rescue crew to dig you out of your house. (And you’d probably tell them, “Go away! Can’t you see I’m reading?”)
Everyone has someone they look up to: heroes. I have several heroes I have accumulated over the course of a lifetime. Here are a few:
I have given a shout-out to Virginia before, most recently on my blog https://powerfulwomenreaders.wordpress.com on Friday, October 15th. She made a big difference in my professional life and taught me many life lessons. She was a powerful personal mentor.
Just as reading and writing were of upmost importance to Barbara Bush, so they are to me. When I die, I would like to leave behind a miniature legacy in my home town like hers, being remembered as “The Book Lady.” Nothing would please…