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03 July 2017


The book on the Donner Party looks good. The piece that you linked to makes it sound like a worhwhile read.

I read Ordeal by Hunger a few years ago and I thought that it was excellent.

Happy 4th of July!

Once again, a great roundup of books. I'm adding "Waiting" to my list. thank you.

I have a love-hate with Goodreads --- it's a good place to keep a tally of the books I want to read but I feel weird about the scoring system. Is there a better site/system?

I actually don't know one single thing about the Donner Party (well, except the one BIG thing), so I thought I might get that book too. If it's not great I might switch and try Ordeal by Hunger instead, though, based on your suggestion. Thanks.
And Happy 4th to you!

Thanks! It was kind of a slow week for book news, but it's amazing how the links still pile up. I'd LOVE to hear what you think about "Waiting"--just comment on any new post if you read it. I guess I can see where it wouldn't be for everyone, but I was a waitress for many years and it certainly rang true to me.

Oh, GoodReads. I'm really not a fan of the social reading stuff and I really dislike most rating systems. (Especially since I read about IMDB.com and how men and women score things differently, and what that means for women-driven films, etc. But I digress.) I do not have any suggestions for you. I've gone back to tracking my own reading using this blog and a notebook and I'm much happier with that system than with anything else. I'm a total Fuddy Duddy!

I recommend LibraryThing for tracking your books. GoodReads is fine if you want that social interaction but LibraryThing is much more useful, in my opinion.

Also, I read Waiting years ago and liked it. I liked Waiter Rant too.

Thanks for the suggestion, Rebecca.

Thank you, Rebecca! I had forgotten all about LibraryThing. Good to know a useful product for tracking reading is out there!

I didn't mind "Waiter Rant" and some of it was quite funny. But I did prefer the slightly gentler nature of "Waiting," I'll admit. I'll have to make a list of service memoirs, once, there's a surprising amount of them around. Any other titles of that type that you've liked or not, Rebecca?

Am I the only person who noticed how much J D Vance skimped in his memoir? He was not totally honest about the trouble his mother caused, being too invested inl protecting her from his or anyone else's judgement, and I think it hollowed out his story. It's only at the end of the book, when his grandmother has died and the reader is left with some startling info about how depleted the estate is because of all the times she'd had to pay for Vance's mother to go into rehab (an d failing) (and Vance ever addressed that part of her life at all in the rest of the book) that made me despise him as a writer who cowers from a full and honest reckoning of his life. I mean, if you are going to write memoir about your raggedy hillbilly legacy , you had better give the reader the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and not just a shiny version that makes your chief tormentor look good just because you're embarrassed that she's your mother. J D Vance has not guts. There. I said it.

Oh! I forgot why I trotted over ere in the first place, before I got sidetracked by your latest deep-state info about the world go books.

Tayto Sandwich. I just read that Pippa Middleton went to a wedding i Ireland and after midnight tucked into a traditional Tayto Sandwich at the reception. Well, I never. But now I think I ave to have one.

File this under: Tid Bits from the British Isles.

Thanks for stopping!
If you can believe it, I don't remember enough about Vance's memoir to remember what he did or did not share about his mother or his family's finance. I DO remember that I did not like something about the memoir and his air of having largely made it because he made the decision to pull himself up. So many things have to go into pulling a person up, holding a person up, really, everything to do with being a person seems to require so much effort and so much luck.


I feel like this is a trend in current memoirs. Telling everything without really telling everything. I think one of the reasons I really liked the memoir "Avalanche" was because that woman REALLY seemed to lay it all on the table. Anyone else noticing this trend of highly selective memoir? Maybe we should call them Facebooked Memoirs--all the shiny bits, none of the dross (and the dross, frankly, is what I look for in memoirs and in personal stories. The honest dross.).


AND: Tayto Sandwich. I have never heard of this! Thank you! I am off to research and see where I can obtain such a thing. We can never get enough Tid Bits from the British Isles here, I think you know.

Oh my god, a potato chip sandwich. I had no idea. I don't have Taytos but I'm going to go make one right now with Ruffles. They have ridges!

Did you see the Ron Charles Totally Hip review of The Essex Serpent?

Can I put in a request? Could you do a post on alternatives to Early Word? I'm looking for an easy way to stay aware of popular fiction and nonfiction. Or I guess you could just answer in the comments, but I'd like your take on resources. Which... maybe you did something like that when RAO closed down? I can't remember.

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