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Jenny Erpenbeck Man Booker 2018 finalist (international)




  1. Reading does not stop when you lay down the book.
  2. It leaves a weight upon our waking thoughts.
  3. I read this book in one day….
  4. …it felt like breathing pure oxygen.
  5. I don’t care for fiction unless the
  6. emotional payoff is worth the time it takes
  7. to draw out some sort of meaning.
  8. This was a perfect example of fiction with a
  9. …social conscience.
  10. The book drained me….in a good way.
  11. I haven’t read a fiction book that swept me into the story as this one did.
  12. Erpenbeck touches on a ‘heikel punt’ (dutch) sensitive issue
  13. …migrants…in Germany.
  14. You can’t turn on the news without being confronted with it.
  15. This is exactly what happens to the main character Richard.
  16. Skillful writing….is a gift.


Last thoughts:

  1. I do not have the mental energy to write a review.
  2. I am empty.
  3. Please have a look at an excellent
  4. review by  Reese @Typings
  5. She summed it up perfectly.
  6. Jenny Erpenbeck is truly a very gifted writer.
  7. This book was runner-up for
  8. …Man Booker 2018 (international)
  9. ...but is worthy of winning the prize!
  10. The best book I’ve read this year
  11. …a stunning achievement.
  12. Absolutely #MustRead



#Classic: Eusebius


Who was Eusebius (260-340), Bishop of Caesarea?

  1. Eusebius lived and wrote in one of Rome’s provincial capitals,
  2. Caesarea (aka Sharon on the coastal plain of Israel.)
  3. He lived under direct Roman imperial power.
  4. He witnessed the persecution of Christians in Caesarea
  5. …under the governors Flavianus, Urbanus, and Firmilianus.
  6. Eusebius figures prominently in all
  7. …histories of late-ancient theology and philosophy


Why is Eusebius important?

  1. Eusebius worked at the library in Caesarea Palestina
  2. founded by the scholar Origen (ca. 185–ca. 254)
  3. He had access to numerous works of antiquity which have not survived.



  1. Books 1-7  – the reign of Herod and birth of Jesus (book 1)
  2. then we read the events before Diocletian’s persecutions (14-311 AD)
  3. Books 8-9  – narration of recent persecutions (253-305 AD)
  4. Book 10 – reign of Emperor Constantine (306 – 312)


Genre: Greek-Roman history writing…with a whiff of an apology
Edition: Eusebius Penguin Classic ISBN 9780140445350
Theme: was celebration of the success of Christianity in the Roman world.
Significance of Eusebius: important source for historians, classicists and theologians
POV: Eusebius, a orthodox Christian
Intended audience: with a knowledge of Christian texts and accepts their sacred status


Title: History of the Church: Eusebius describes a group of bishops, martyrs,
and scholars. Eusebius excludes heretics as outsiders to the church.
Setting: Eusebius uses the Roman Empire as the borders of the Christian Church
Narrative: gives the readers a past about the church. It profiles of key individuals
that carry across several chapters Apostle John, Irenaeus, Origen, and Dionysius of Alexandria
Style: Eusebius has a roller-coaster reputation for both veracity and style.


What does Eusebius NOT do?

  1. He does not discuss of doctrine because he assumes reader knows it
  2. …and has a positive opinion of Christianity.


Strong point:

  1. After reading this book I feel I’m better prepared to
  2. participate in Jeopardy or University Challenge shows!
  3. I learned more about some heresies of the times.
  4. After reading this book it will be easier to read another classic (TBR)
  5. The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius!


Weak point:

  1. There are small items that consume reading time
  2. skimming may be necessary!
  3. How Appolonius suffered Martyrdom at Rome
  4. …Roman senator who stuck to his beliefs.
  5. Blastus On Schism   Who?
  6. Many lists of bishops of Jerusalem and Rome (skim)
  7. Date of Easter…lots of commotion!
  8. The Elegant Works of Irenæus
  9. …this is a whole other study…skim Wikipedia page Irenaeus!
  10. Heresy of Artemon
  11. …it seems Eusebius is the only historian who mentions this!.



  1. There are just too many heretics,
  2. ..martyrs, saints, theologians to mention.
  3. This book is readable but I needed to extend my reading to
  4. Wikipedia and follow the footnotes closely
  5. …if I wanted to make heads or tails of Eusebius.
  6. This is a classic…I can say I read it.
  7. But…I’m not sure if it will be on many reading lists!
  8. This is definitely a book
  9. …for a dedicated reader of the classics!


Last thoughts: 

  1. Glossary….This is very handy!
  2. Excellent “Who’s Who in Eusebius” + Latin terms  (pg 339-427)
  3. Quick scan of emperors of Rome and
  4. bishops in Antioch – Jerusalem – Alexandria  (pg 428-434)
  5. Tip: I did some extra ‘skimming’ of the Wikepedia page
  6. …of the emperor mentioned
  7. This gave me a bit more historical background.
  8. It made the reading of Eusebius much easier knowing more
  9. about the politics/rulers.
  10. #Classic or the die hards!



Shane McCrae Finalist 2017 National Book Award poetry



  1. McCrae speaks through the voices of
  2. black man in a hman zoo (inspiration: Ota Benga)
  3. black American actor (inspiration: Stepin Fetchit)
  4. black ward of Jefferson Davis Jim Limber
  5. ….and some  autobiographical prose poems
  6.   giving a fleeting glance into the poet’s childhood.
  7. I found the poems of Jim Limber were so touching
  8. giving me a look at the other side of Jefferson Davis
  9. President of the Confederacy
  10. …as Daddy Jeff.



  1. I listened to a podcast
  2. ….an interview with Shane McCrae.
  3. Suddenly a light went on in my head.
  4. The poems in the voice of Jim Limber should be
  5. held against the backdrop of the poet’s own life!
  6. Jim Limber  was the black ward of Jefferson Davis,
  7. President of the Confederate States of America.
  8. Shane McCrae was raised by his white grandparents.
  9. Both Jim and Shane were living with a white supremacist.
  10. Just keep that thought in mind as you read the Jim Limber poems.



  1. When is a sonnet a sonnet?
  2. If you look at the Jim Limber poems…
  3. you would not recognize them as sonnets
  4. …but they are.
  5. They are not in the standard form
  6. ..but there are
  7. Spencerian, Italian and Shakespearean sonnets.
  8. I’m still trying to figure out the meter and rhyme!
  9. The poem in which Jefferson Davis speaks is a dream.
  10. McCrae did not want Davis in the present
  11. …only in emotions passing through his mind.



  1. The deepest feelings are the hardest to define.
  2. McCrea uses the voices of others:
  3. Jim Limber (black boy ward of Jefferson Davis)
  4. Ota Benga (Congo pygmy)  featured in an anthropology exhibit
  5. Stepin Fetchit (America’s first black movie star)
  6. to expose racism.
  7. In several poems there is an
  8. …exactness that is palpable.
  9. Here are a few lines about:


White folks:

  1. …’cause how they own you is they own your options
  2. …I waste my mind trying to read white folks’ minds
  3. they name you for a thing your hunger made you do (Hambone Jones)
  4. …I (Jim) look at Joe (step brother)
  5. he got daddy Jeff’s face, My daddy’s white
  6.    so I don’t get his face.


Last thoughts:

  1. Here is a podcast so you can
  2. meet this young American poet
  3. …and listen to a very good discussion
  4. …about McCrae’s life and his work.
  5. McCrae is bi-racial (white mother and black father)
  6. He was raised by his white supremacist grandparents.
  7. He dropped out of high school but earned a GED certificate.
  8. (General Educational Development)
  9. He attended Linfield College in Oregon and went on to
  10. earn a law degree at Harvard.
  11. This poet has a lot to tells us….have a listen.



#Non-fiction: Moby Dick as Philosophy



  1. The author’s goal:
  2. link Herman Melville’s Moby Dick
  3. with the philosophical insights of
  4. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Nietzsche.
  5. I was searching for enlightenment about
  6. philosophy vs Melville’s Mody Dick but
  7. felt more confused at the end of the book
  8. …than at the beginning.
  9. Writing style helps to establish an author’s unique perspective.
  10. It helps our understanding of how they tell their stories.
  11. I got no help from Mark Anderson.
  12. While dealing with the grandeur of philosophy 
  13. insignificant wording just isn’t going to cut it.
  14. Anderson’s elaborate word choice
  15. …combined with  complicated sentence structure
  16. made this complex book….even more of a challenge.
  17. It is no wonder after 50% I started to skim
  18. …for only information about Melville and left
  19. the author to go down other rabbit holes.
  20. I did not follow him!


Last thoughts:

  1. Mark Anderson’s flame that drives his passion for
  2. metaphysical speculation
  3. …felt like the fires of purgatory for me….a punishment.



#Classic Satires Horace

Horace, Virgil en Varius   by Charles François Jalabert




  1. Hoace’s satires
  2. These are very short poems….easy on the eye
  3. …and they enrich the mind!



  1. Horace was a Roman poet of the 1st C B.C.
  2. Caesar Augustus knew with only a powerful army he
  3. …could not hold power.
  4. He needed  poets to
  5. ….win the ‘hearts and minds’ of the people.
  6. Like Virgil, Horace proclaims the glory of Caesar Augustus.



  1. Horace was also a straight talking man
  2. …trying to teach some life lessons:


  • keep your head down
  • don’t think the grass is greener on the other side
  • avoid stress
  • the advantages of a frugal life and plain living (Satire 2.2)
  • don’t dabble in politics…and become a prisoner of  ambition
  • nothing compares with the pleasure of friendship
  • it makes no difference what kind of parent you had
  • ….if only you are a gentleman (Horace was a freedman’s (slave) son)
  • … when an annoying person won’t leave despite hints! (Satire 1.9…funny!)
  • Horace writes many…stories about eating an drinking!
  • Moral? only way to a man’s heart is thru his stomach!


  1. Horace  was articulate and discrete.
  2. His strong point was knowing when ‘to shut up’!
  3. Satires I (pg 3-32)  Satires II (pg 33-63)
  4. are filled with fables, anecdotes and some dicey moments.


What is Horatian satire?

  1. Satire uses humor, exaggeration,
  2. ridicule and criticism to create change in others.
  3. Horatian satire is less harsh and takes a
  4. comical view at human injustices.
  5. Horatian satire is not negative.
  6. Pride and Prejudice is an example
  7. …of a novel showing Horatian satire.
  8. Jane Austen makes fun of
  9. various characters in the story.
  10. Some characters are simply
  11. …interested in the marriage
  12. …but not the relationship.
  13. Here are a few notes….


Satire 1.1 –  Lesson learned: No man lives satisfied with his own

  1. What is the point piling ($$)  up more than you need?
  2. If you get sick…is there someone who will care for you?
  3. No one wishes for your recovery
  4. …they’re waiting for your fortune!
  5. So let’s put an end to the race of money.
  6. Greed makes no one satisfied.
  7. Lead a happy live and…when his time is up
  8. quit life like …..a guest who has dined well.


Satire 1.2  – Horace wagging finger:  avoid vices…especially women!

  1. Keep your hands off married women
  2. they are  more misery than any real satisfaction
  3. Don’t damage you reputation.


Satire 1.3 – A wise man…. does not criticize faults of others…no one is free from faults!

  1. Description of Sardinian Tigellius singer and friend of Julius Caesar  faults.
  2. Description of a lover blind to his girlfriend’s unattractive defects.
  3. Moral: beam in one’s eye – ne should not criticize the faults of someone else before correcting the faults within oneself.
  4. “…examine your own faults with eyes covered in ointment
  5. …in the case of friends’ faults your eyesight (is) sharper than an eagle’s…”
  6. Moral: when dealing with a friend do not show disgust of his defects …this is tactless.
  7. Turn defects upside down: penny-pinching?…no just careful with money!
  8. This attitude binds friends together and keeps their friendship.


Favorite quote:

  1. “If I am telling lies may my head
  2. …be spattered with white crow’s droppings…” (Satire 1.8)
  3. #Jick



  1. This was a quick read …3 hrs.
  2. Horace gives us many wise lessons
  3. …be it at times very wordy and misogynistic!
  4. Core message:
  5. live life with integrity
  6. live life free from guilt
  7. have the love of friends.
  8. #MustRead Classic



#Classic Death of a Salesman



  1. Before we begin the book….we know how it will end!
  2. The story revolves around
  3. …Willy Loman, (…notice name “low man”).
  4. He is a 63 yr salesman, who cannot understand
  5. …how he failed and cannot live the American Dream.
  6. Central: the hardships that come with trying
  7. …to meet social expectations in America.
  8. Irony: We never learn in the play what Willy sells!


Characters:  major

  1. Willy Loman – insecure, self-deluded traveling salesman.
  2. He mirrors an everyday “character” of Post WWII American society
  3. inflexible to advice he just shuts people out and refuses to listen
  4. Tragic flaw: ridiculous idea of being “well-liked” as a way to succeed.


  1. Linda Loman – quintessential 50s housewife, devoted doormat
  2. blinded by loyality.
  3. Biff is telling her the truth but she is not listening.


  1. Hap Loman: son who represents Willy’s sense of importance,
  2. ambition, servitude to expectations.
  3. He lived in Biff’s shadow all of his life, ignored.


  1. Biff Loman: son who represents Willy’s vulnerable, poetic, tragic side.
  2. He has had twenty to thirty jobs,
  3. all of them fail to improve his station in life.
  4. But Biff is the only character in the play
  5. who changes from ignorance to knowledge.


Theme:   betrayal

  1. Generations of Loman men betray their family.
  2. They place their desires above their families well-being.
  3. Grandfather: suddenly leaves  when Willy was 4  yr.
  4. Father:  suddenly leaves to find success in Alaska.
  5. Willy: betrays family (wife) with s sordid affair.
  6. Sons: Biff and Hap,  abandon father
  7. in restaurant to trail after 2 women.


Theme: suicide as a means

  1. Willy is determined to eliminate himself in
  2. what has turned out to be an unfulfilling life.
  3. The payment of his insurance policy will help family survive.
  4. Suicide is a method for something else.
  5. Irony: Willy Loman is worth more dead
  6. ….than alive.



  1. Structure: 2 acts + Requiem  (118 pg)
  2. Reading time:  2,5 hours 
  3. The acts are divided into conversations
  4. about the past and present.
  5. Timeline: an evening and the following day.
  6. The he action is interrupted by
  7. flashbacks or memories of a
  8. period approximately 17 years earlier.
  9. late 1920s – early 1930s (The Depression)


Staging the past and present:

  1. Shakespeare never tried to show the past as the present.
  2. His characters describe a past event in dialogue.
  3. Miller uses the forestage to illustrate
  4. Willy’s imaginings the of past.
  5. Flashbacks track Willy’s mental decline.


  1. Miller was modern because of his staging (forestage)
  2. and he believed a tragic downfall can  happen
  3. to a common man, as Willy Loman.
  4. Aristotle stated a tragic hero is always
  5. a very important person.



  1. This is one performance I wish I had seen March 2012
  2. Death of a Salesman (link play review NYT, 2012)
  3. with Philip Seymour Hoffman.
  4. It is a novel in a nutshell…so powerful!
  5. I’ve watched the movie (1985) starring Dustin Hoffman.
  6. To my delight I found the complete audio recording
  7. of the Broadway play (2012)  click here
  8. and listen to Hoffman’s  stunning performance!
  9. The voices mesmerized me.
  10. You could hear Willy hallucinatory….delusional.
  11. Death of a Salesman  is considered the best play
  12. …written by an American playwright.


Feedback:  comment Cleo @ClassicalCarousel (new blog!)

This play was just a complex as a novel…and only 2,5 hrs reading time!
I did not even go into the symbols in the play (rubber hose, silk stockings and a flute)…but you can discover them your self. I did notice after reading the play that Arthur Miller used music as a symbol. If I had not listened to the 2012 version on You Tube…I’d never known! You miss this symbol if you are not aware that the play begins and ends with flute music…and at other times in the play. It is a reminder to Willy that he could have chosen a free and wild life in the country like his father did. Lost opportunity…poor Willy


Last thought:  my favorite quote:

  • “Willy was a salesman.
  • He’s a man way out there in the blue
  • …riding on a smile and a shoeshine,”




#NonFicNov wk 5 Thanks for sharing your books!


Week 5: (Nov. 26 to 30) – New to My TBR (Katie @ Doing Dewey): It’s been a month full of amazing nonfiction books! Which ones have made it onto your TBR? Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book


  1. Here is my list of YOUR books….that I want to read (TBR).
  2. It’s important to read outside of your experience,
  3. outside of your time,
  4. outside of your comfort zones.
  5. That is the most important take-away  #NonFicNov!


  1. I’ve sifted through 73 posts and
  2. always found 2 books I’d like...
  3. …be it about:
  4. theatre, mental health, race, parenting and play, politics
  5. …memoir, foodie, travel, basic income, health issues, women’s rights
  6. …US First ladies, true crime (…not my comfort zone!)
  7. …essayism, perfect storms, tsunami’s, or inspirational books
  8. …like Educated, Tools of the Titans, In praise of Slow,
  9. …Daring Greatly
  10. …Living alone and Liking it and
  11. …C. Strayed’s Wild.


  • Thanks  to the readers for sharing your best non-fiction!
  • Thanks to hosts…
  1. Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves, 
  2. Katie at Doing Dewey
  3. Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness,
  4. Julz at Julz Reads,
  5. Rennie at What’s Nonfiction
  6. #NonFicNov



  1. Silence: In the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge
  2. One Woman Walks Wales by Ursula Martin

Kazan @AlwaysDoing

  1. Command and Contorl – E. Schlosser
  2. The Clothing of Books – J. Lahiri

Angela @LiteraryWanderer

  1. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry – N. deGrasse Tyson
  2. In Harms Way – D. Stanton

Kate @BooksAreMyFavoriteAndBest

  1. Eggshell Skull – Bri Lee
  2. My Salinger Year – J. Rakhoff

Julie @JulzReads

  1. Hell is S Green – Lt. W. Diebold
  2. The Unexpected Truth About Animals – L. Cooke

Allison @MindJoggle

  1. Prairie Fires – C. Fraser
  2. Unbroken – L. Hillenbrand

Rachel @Hibernator’sLibrary

  1. Killers of the Moon Flower – D. Grann
  2. Them – B. Sasse

Sue @WhisperingGums

  1. House of Grief – H. Garner
  2. Isaac’s Storm – E. Larson

Cathy @746Books

  1. The Empty Space – P.  Brook
  2. What is Theatre? – E. Bentley

Helen @SheReadsNovels

  1. A Tudor Christmas – A. Weir
  2. The Plantagenets – D. Jones

Debbie Rogers@ExUrbanis

  1. In Pursuit of  Memory – J. Jebelli
  2. The Paper Garden – M. Peacock

Emma @WordsAndPeace

  1. Democracy in Chains – N. MacLean
  2. Fear – B. Woodward

Tina @ TbrEtc

  1. Between the World and MeTa-Nehisi Coates
  2. I‘d Rather Be Reading – A. Bogel

Katherine @TheWriterlyReader

  1. NeuroTribes – S. Silberman
  2. Thunderstruck – E. Larson

Deb Nance @Readerbuzz

  1. Leonardo da Vinci – W. Isaacson
  2. The Nine: Inside the Secret World of The Supreme Court – J. Toobin

Ellie @CuriosityKilledTheBookworm

  1. The Idiot Brain – D. Burnett
  2. Born a Crime – T. Noah

Raidergirl3 @AnAdventureInReading

  1. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – M. McNamara
  2. The Ghost Map – S. Johnson

Reese @Typings

  1. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass – F. Douglass
  2. Essayism – B. Dillon

Rory @LiteraryMixtape

  1. Fire Season – P. Connors
  2. John Muir and the Ice That Started a fire

Margaret @BooksPlease

  1. Painting as a Pastime – W. Churchill
  2. Why We Sleep – M. Walker

Tara @Running ‘n’ Reading

  1. The Line Becomes a River – F. Cantú
  2. Educated – T. Westover

Brona @Brona’sBooks

  1. Ghosts of the Tsunami – R. Parry
  2. The Arsonist: A Mind on Fire – C. Hooper

Iliana @Bookgirl’s Nightstand

  1. How to Travel Without Seeing:  Dispatches New Latin America – A. Neuman/J.Lawrence
  2. Code Girls – L. Mundy

Sarah @Sarah’s Bookshelves

  1. I Am. I Am, I Am – M. O’Farrell
  2. Red Notice – B. Browder

Tina says @BooksAreMyThing

  1. The Newcomers – H. Thorpe
  2. Shoe Dog – P. Knight

Louise @AStrongBeliefInWicker

  1. The Art of Frugal Hedonism – A. Raser-Rowland
  2. The Art of Living Alone and Loving It – J. Mathews

Susie @NovelVisits

  1. From the Corner of the Oval – B. Dorey-Stein
  2. Forty Autumns – N. Willner

Rennie @What’sNonfiction?

  1. The Library Book – S. Orlean
  2. Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen – L. Colwin

Andi @Estellasrevenge

  1. We Were Eight Years in Power – Ta-Nehisi Coates
  2. Eloquent Rage – B. Cooper

Paula @BookJotter

  1. Why Do  Birds Suddenly Disappear – L. Parikian
  2. Suffragette: The Battle for Equality – D. Roberts

Michael @InexhaustibleInvitations

  1. Hunger – R. Gay
  2. Hope in the Dark – R. Solnit

Nikimags @SecretLibraryBlog

  1. The Light in the Dark – H. Clare
  2. If They Only Didn’t Speak English – J. Sopel

Valorie Grace Hailinan @BooksCanSaveALife

  1. Great Tide Rising – K. Moore
  2. The Wilderness Warrior – D. Brinkley

Stacey @UnrulyReader

  1. Heating Cooling: 52 Micro Memoirs – B. Fennelly
  2. We’re Going to Need More Wine – G. Union

Maphead @Maphead’sBookblog

  1. Playing With Fire – L. O’ Donnell
  2. When They Come for Us We’ll be Gone – G. Beckerman

Melissa @I’dRatherBeAtPemberley

  1. War on Peace – Ronan Farrow
  2. So You Want to Talk About Race – I. Olou

B.I.P @BuriedInPrint

  1. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus – C. Mann
  2. Bitter Chocolate: Investigating the Dark Side of the World’s Most Seductive Sweet – C Off

Dana @LittleLovelyBooks

  1. Sons and Soldiers – B. Henderson
  2. Never Caught – E. Dunbar

Lou @LouLouReads

  1. The Vaccine Race – M. Wadman
  2. The Radium Girls – K. Moore

JoAnn @LakesideMusing

  1. Waking Up White – D. Irving
  2. White Fragility – R. DiAngelo

Kelly @StackedBooks

  1. All You Can Ever Know – N. Chung
  2. A Dream Called Home – R. Grande

Eva @ThePaperbackPrincess

  1. The Blood of Emmett Till – T. Tyson
  2. Shrewed – E. Renzetti

Kay @WhatMeRead

  1. The Last White Rose – D. Seward
  2. (posted only 1 book)

Karen @BookerTalk

  1. Do No Harm – H. Marsh
  2. The Wicked Boy – K. Summerscale

Carrie @Other WomensStories

  1. Betty Ford – L. McCubbin
  2. Upstairs at the White House – J.B. West

Jean @HowlingFrog

  1. Danubia – S. Winder
  2. Meeting the Remarkable Manuscripts – C. de Hamel

Brandy @ReadingBeyond

  1. Factfulness – Hans Rosling
  2. Destiny of the Republic – C. Millard

Melissa @MelissaFirman

  1. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing – D. Pink
  2. On Writing: A. Memoir of the Craft – S. King

Heather @BasedOnATrueStory

  1. Have Dog Will Travel – S. Kuusisto
  2. The New Farm – B. Preston

Amanda @GunInActOne

  1. A Higher Loyalty – James Comey
  2. Killing Pablo – M. Bowden

O @QuaintAndCuriousVolumes

  1. Virginia Woolf – M. Whitworth
  2. The Letters of Vriginia Woolf vol 1

Rita @BookishRita

  1. Eating Animals – J. Foer
  2. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – Y. Harari

Katie @DoingDewey

  1. Black Ink – S. Stokes
  2. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicone Valley Startup – J. Carreyrou

Sue @BookByBook

  1. H is for Hawk – H. MacDonald
  2. Happiness is a Choice You Make – J. LeLand

Dee @Dee’sBookblog

  1. The Sun Does Shine – A. Hinton
  2. Bloodsworth – T. Junkin

Lisa @ANZLitLovers

  1. Letting Go – C. Corke
  2. 1947: When Now Begins – E. Åsbrink

Lance @SportsBookGuy

  1. I could not find a #NonFicNov post
  2. ….just a few of his sportbook reviews (..ho…hum)

Jaymi @OrangeCountyReaders

  1. Behind Enemy Lines – M. Cohn
  2. Ghost in the Wires – K. Mitnick

Sharlene @RealLifeReading

  1. The Diary of a Bookseller – S. Bythell
  2. (I read her other books!)

Beth @Bibliobeth

  1. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers – M. Roach
  2. Mapping the Mind – R. Carter

MaryR @BibliographicManifestations

  1. Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell – D. Yaffe
  2. Soul Food: The Suprising Story of Ameican Cuisine – A. Miller

Cathy @WhatCathyReadNext

  1. Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back from the Brink – A. McCarten
  2. Memory-Hold-The-Door – J. Buchan

Heather @Gofita’sPages

  1. These Truths: A History of the US (chunkster!) – Jill Lepore
  2. The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote – E. Weiss

Juliana @The[Blank]Garden

  1. A Secret Sisterhood – E. Midorikawa
  2. These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath – G. Crowther

Molly @SilverButtonBooks

  1. Grit – A. Duckworth
  2. 1000 Books to read Before You Die (2018) – J. Mustich

Lynn @Smoke&Mirrors

  1. The New Jim Crow – M. Alexander
  2. The Boys in the Boat – D.J. Brown

Hannah @TheCozyReadingNook

  1. Bringing Up Bébé – P. Druckerman
  2. Play: how it shapes the Brain – S. Brown jr.

Rebecca @BookishBeck

  1. The Book of Separation – T. Mirvis
  2. Memories of a Catholic Childhood – M. McCarthy

Katheleen @SMS NonfictionBookReviews

  1. There’s a Boy in Here – J. Barron
  2. Making Peace with Autism – S. Senator

Lory @TheEmeraldCity

  1. I Don’t Want to Talk About It – T. Real
  2. Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales – M. von Franz

Joli @LiteraryQuicksand

  1. Educated – T. Westover
  2. (posted only 1 book)

Kim @SophisticatedDorkiness

  1. Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama – D. Pfeiffer
  2. West Wingers – G. Raghavan

Vera @UnfilteredTales

  1. Tools of Titans – T. Ferris
  2. Daring Greatly – B. Brown


Reserve list:

  1. Just Mercy
  2. The Shallows: What the Internet is doing to our Brain
  3. American Radical

Best Australian Science Writing 2018


  1. Robyn Arianrhod –  Quantum Entanglement  “spooky action at a distance”
  2. Does quantum physics melt your brain?
  3. Don’t panic. You’re not alone.
  4. I’m still confused.


  1. Alicia SometimesKilonova   (review)
  2. stunning poem and I added a video to the review!


  1. Nick O’MalleyBureaucratic Bungle
  2. This reads like “fiction”….a who dunnit and why?
  3. Who destroys the memory of the plant?
  4. Would you burn the Mona Lisa?


  1. Michael LucyThe Entangled Web  – Micius Satellite
  2. Quantum entanglement —physics at its strangest—
  3. it seems this is a trendy subject!
  4. has moved out of this world and into space.
  5. Micius sends quantum particles to ground
  6. …stations separated by 1200 kilometers
  7. smashing the previous world record.
  8. The result is a stepping stone to a
  9. space-based ‘unhackable’ quantum internet!
  10. Michael Lucy uses simple example to explain complex quantum theory.
  11. Now I’m starting to understand the basics of entanglement…
  12. …there’s still hope for this less confused reader.
  13. Now: bits out of a computer
  14. Future: qubits  (..good word for scrabble)…out of a quantum computer!


Richard Guilliaat The Quantum Queen

  1. Quantum physicist Michelle Simmons (51 yr)  was
  2. …declared Australian of the Year 2018.
  3. If building a quantum computer is not enough…
  4. …she is also the mother of three children!
  5. This interview with Ms Simmons just made me so proud
  6. of women choosing science and
  7. ….family  and becoming the best!

Other favorites:

  1. Jo Chandler – Journalist of the year 2017 Walkley Awards
  2. Ms Chandler tells us about the last battle against polio
  3. Michael Slezak – Is Ian Cured?
  4. Andrew Leigh – Placebo effects and sham surgeries
  5. Peter Dockrill – seafaring trapdoor spiders
  6. Fiona McMillan – reveals secrets about Paris gutters (jick)!
  7. Ashley Hay – Leonie, zebra shark is world news!
  8. Liam Mannix – edible drugs from lettuce….that’s amazing!
  9. Elizabeth Finkel – Editor-in-chief Cosmos magazine
  10. In this book she reveals some bad science involving
  11. cannabis treatments!
  12. Ms. Finkel won QLD Premier’s Literary Award 2004  for her
  13. article about Stem cells.
  14. Rick Shine – Toad invasion…man the battle stations…
  15. science written with a flair for humor. #MustRead



  1. This is a  treasure trove of topics!
  2. The essays and poems show us that
  3. …art and science feed off each other.
  4. I have given you a taste for what lies ahead
  5. in the rest of the book.
  6. Best Australian Science Writing 2018
  7. would be a great Christmas present
  8. …for that amateur scientist on your list!
  9. #EyeOpener


Last thoughts:

  1. I read the introduction to this anthology on the train.
  2. While walking home…
  3. I took Stephen Hawking’s advice:
  4. “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet!

#AWW2018 Alicia Sometimes (poet)



  1. This artist’s impression video shows how two tiny but very dense
  2. neutron stars merge via gravitational wave
  3. radiation and then explode as a kilonova.
  4. At its most basic, the gravitational wave discovery
  5. confirmed the existence of black holes, which is no mean feat.
  6. Thankfully, we have art – and poetry – to help us visualize
  7. ….what the discovery of gravitational waves will mean.
  8. Click HERE to watch the video ……and read the poem.
  9. You will be amazed how beautifully Alicia Sometimes
  10. …has explored the  connection between
  11. …science & poetry & visual art.



We are detectives
We eavesdrop

Billions of years ago
two neutron stars

circle each other
desperate and breathless

finishing their last
pressing conversation

Remnants of once intense lives
cascade into a final spiral
until they embrace

smashing platinum
and gold into existence

a violent coalescence
outshining at least 100 billion suns

their collided mass
propagating gravitational waves
across the fabric of space
at light speed

gamma rays detected
only a moment after

We were watching
We were listening

We saw them encompass
each other completely

with their final words
rippling right through us


Last thoughts:

You can enjoy this poem on many levels:

Video:  click HERE


  1. POV: first person plural, personal experiences
  2. We = scientists
  3. They = two neutron stars
  4. Personification:  two star-crossed lovers
  5. breathless
  6. having conversation
  7. they embrace
  8. with their final words…
  9. Form: Line length, stanza breaks, white space
  10. mirror the emotion annd rhythm of its content.
  11. Title: Kilonova – a star that suddenly becomes thousands of times brighter
  12. Vocabulary: the poet uses words found in scientific articles


Scientific back round:

What is the science used in this poem? –  gravitational waves

  1.  Astronomers detected particles being accelerated by a
  2. rapidly rotating neutron star as it passed by the massive star it orbits.


  1. Source of a gravitational wave, created by
  2. merger of two neutron stars observed for the first time.
  3. This merger created a kilonova that ejects
  4. heavy elements such as gold and platinum into space.



  1. First detection of a collision of two neutron stars
  2. This produced a gravitational wave and a a short gamma-ray burst.
  3. The ripples in spacetime are known as gravitational waves.
  4. Several teams of scientists have  managed to get
  5. the first observational proof for a kilonova.
  6. Of the 100 billion stars in our galaxy,
  7. less than 10 are known to be  this type of
  8. …massive star with a neutron star orbiting around it.


Alicia Sometimes


Classic Club Spin # 19

Did you say the C-word? 

  1. Chunkster:
  2. A chunkster is 450 pages or more of
  3. ADULT literature (fiction or nonfiction)
  4. … A chunkster should be a challenge.


The list:  CC Spin #19  @The Classics Club

  1. Moby Dick – H. Melville  (720  pg)      MY CHUNKSTER READ!!
  2. War and Peace – L. Tolstoy ( 1392 pg)
  3. The Old Curiosity Shop – C. Dickens (576 pg)
  4. Collected Short Stories of Katherine Mansfield (673 pg)
  5. The Gulag Archipelago –  A. Solzhenitsyn (496 pg)
  6. The Mill on the Floss – G. Eliot  (579 pg)
  7. East of Eden – J. Steinbeck (691 pg)
  8. Collected Stories of Elizabeth Bowen – (784 pg)
  9. Martin Chuzzlewit – C. Dickens (864 pg)
  10. Count of Monte Cristo – A. Dumas (640 pg)
  11. Oliver Twist – C. Dickens (512 pg)
  12. Humboldt’s Gift – S. Bellow (512 pg)
  13. Vanity Fair – W. Thackeray (912 pg)
  14. Wuthering Heights – E. Brontë  (450 pg)
  15. Sybil – B. Disraeli – (450 pg)
  16. Grand Days – F. Moorhouse (678 pg)
  17. Master and Commander – P. O’ Brian (457 pg)
  18. Swords and Crowns and Rings – R. Park (450 pg)
  19. The Man Who Loved Children –  C. Stead (528 pg)
  20. Clayhanger – A. Bennett  (528 pg)