Saturday, January 28, 2017

January (fourth week) 2017 Reads

This week I found time for a little net surfing, some Gutenberg browsing, more MOOC, and some real books too starting with...
                                                ...four goodies from my "owned-but-unread" shelf

The Death of Napoleon by Simon Leys, Patricia Clancy (Translation)
A delightful piece of alternative history as Napoleon escapes from exile in a plan carefully constructed by his loyalists. The plan goes awry and he must make his way alone. Once in Paris, he finds that he has changed so much that he is unrecognizable and he must improvise and try to accept that his days of glory are past.
My personal Copy.


The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam
This compelling story of  love and death among Tamil refugees during the Sri Lankan Civil War is told in a time defying style that makes the reader momentarily forget what a short period of time actually passes. Stunning.
Free copy from publisher through Goodreads First Reads program.

An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell by Deborah Levy
A completely different kind of love from the above book. A fun to read she said/he said dramatic poem. Sly, witty, sharp. Something to read and re-read.
My copy from a subscription to & other Stories Publishing.

The Madonna of Notre Dame (Père Kern et Clarie Kauffmann #1) by Alexis Ragougneau, Katherine Gregor (Translation)
There has been a murder in the great cathedral and in its aftermath a great cast of characters is introduced. The suspect, an angelic looking young pervert; Clair, a young deputy magistrate haunted by memory; a bad cop and his good cop colleague; a homeless drunk Pole; and a host more. I'm glad to see this is a series as Père Kern is both engaging and ill so it's good to see that he will have another adventure. The delightful cover is designed by Liana Finck. (See below in Online section for link to interview with her.)
My copy from my subscription to New Vessel Press.

Then a couple of library books...

We Live in Water by

Anything helps -- We live in water -- Thief -- Can a corn -- Virgo -- Helpless little things -- Please -- Don't eat cat -- The new frontier -- The brakes -- The wolf and the wild -- Wheelbarrow kings -- Statistical abstract for my hometown of Spokane, Washington.

Image is table of contents page, not cover
 Grape, Olive, Pig: Deep Travels Through Spain's Food Culture by Matt Goulding
Matt Goulding's Spain barely resembles the Spain I saw in the late 1970's. Yes we saw great sights, ate fine meals, and thoroughly loved the place, but at that time it was not the gourmet paradise described in this book. Then again, only once did we have to have a reservation for a restaurant.

This is a beautiful book filled with pictures and descriptions of foods I will never eat (and a few, very few, that I wouldn't want to eat). What I liked as much as the descriptions of the meals, was the background of the foods, the way they are produced. Goulding is a sort of insider/outsider--a foreign food writer married to a Spaniard--so he has a lot of experiences not available to most tourists. A top notch food appreciation tour. Library book.

A Project Gutenberg discovery

Armenian Legends and Poems
Compiled, illustrated, and translated by Zabelle C. Boyajian.

(Illustration on right: The Wedding)
"It rained showers of gold when Artashes became a bridegroom.
It rained pearls when Satenik became a bride."

This book should keep me busy for a while--Not the sort of thing to read all at once. I confess to be drawn to the illustrated entries, there are about a dozen. Just delightful. Originally published in 1916, the book (with illustrations) is available several places on the Internet--Google the title or author to find.

 “Deal Me In 2017!”  This week's story

Train by Alice Munro (in The Best American Short Stories, 2013; Kindle ed.) First published in Harper's Magazine, April 2012, and included in Dear Life: Stories by Alice Munro. According to my records, I read Dear Life back in December of 2012. However, this story of a Canadian soldier returning from World War 2 jumping off a train before he reached his home stop seemed entirely fresh to me when I read it this week. Maybe I skipped it when I read the collection? Since it was a borrowed book I might not have had time to linger over, or even read, all the stories. Whatever the reason, I'm glad I found it. Now I can linger over it and ponder its meaning since it's in an anthology I own. (I haven't read all the stories in the anthology either since I tend to dip into the Kindle sporadically, mostly when I'm in waiting rooms.)

This week's card for Deal Me In 2017! is the Six of Hearts. This design is from  Jami Goddess Art. I selected it for several reasons:
  1. The elusiveness of Monro's protagonist--his inability to stay settled down--is like the flight of the birds on the card.
  2.  The card appears to be in rough shape like Belle's house was when Jackson first lit there.
  3. I really like Jami's art work. She hasn't posted on her blog recently (the card is from July, 2014) but she also has a Facebook page with more recent posts. Her photo section has a neat chess set among other fun artwork.


Finished auditing two online courses  Visualizing Postwar Tokyo, Part 1, and Visualizing Postwar Tokyo, Part 2. Lecturer: Shunya Yoshimi; Professor, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, The University of Tokyo. A very interesting series. 

Started auditing Modern Japanese Architecture: From Meiji Restoration to Today. This course is from Tokyo Tech.

Interview with Liana Finck  by Rachel Morgenstern-Clarren See The Madonna of Notre Dame, above, for a little sample of Fink's work. See the interview for a discussion and some illustrations from her first book, a graphic novel,  A Bintel BriefI'm happy to see that my library has a copy because the interview makes me want to read it.

Portugal's Unexpectedly Heroic Custard Tarts: The Portuguese have twice turned to the humble pastry to solve economic problems. by Karla Pequenino

Essays from The Destruction of Cultural Heritage project
    Exhibition and Erasure/Art and Politics by Annabel Wharton
    Memento Mauri: The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba by Michele Lamprakos
    DNA Damage: Violence Against Buildingsby Sussan Babaie
    Iconoclasm beyond Negation: Globalization and Image Production in Mosul by Thomas         Stubblefield

and now for something completely different...
                                                                        ....a couple of videos...
Manabu Himeda’s trippy animation takes us on a colourful car ride

Check out the first Eurovision entry to be performed in Belarusian

Saturday, January 21, 2017

January (third week) 2017 Reads

Not as many entries this week as I had for the previous two weeks because I read one very long (880 page) book, did one MOOC course and half of another, and I finished all the Pushkin material I had on hand.

As much as I liked 4 3 2 1, I felt a real need to read something really different when I finished it. So I went for the delights of a foodie in Spain and a book of short stories. That's how Grape, Olive, Pig: Deep Travels Through Spain's Food Culture by Matt Goulding  and We Live in Water by Jess Walter jumped to the top of my reading stack for next week.


4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster
Superb! All 880 pages. Some of it was painful to read as it covers the unrest of the student and civil rights activities of the 1960's and Auster doesn't pull any punches. The structure of the book--taking one character and giving him four alternate lives to lead worked very well.
Advanced Reader Copy 

More Pushkin: (for a full list of the contents of the volumes I've been working with see my post Pushkin - Contents notes)
From: The works of Alexander Pushkin : lyrics, narrative poems, folk tales, plays, prose; selected and edited, with an introduction, by Avrahm Yarmolinsky.  (Random house, 1936)
   Kirejali (p 590-598) translated by T. Keane
  Folk Tales (p 315-329) The Tale of the Pope and of His Workman Balda, translated by Oliver Elton;  The Tale of the Golden Cockerel, translated by Babette Deutsch
  The Captain's Daughter (p 599-741) translated by Natalie Duddington
  Unfinished Stories p 745-891): The Negro of Peter the Great; Dubrovsky; Egyptian Nights, all three translated by T. Keane
  Boris Godunov (p 333-411) translated by Alfred Hayes
  Introduction  As I often do when reading classics, I read the introduction last. 

The Little Tragedies; by Alexander Pushkin; translated and with introduction and critical essays by Nancy K. Anderson.  (Yale University Press, 2008)
I originally pick this up because I wanted to read A Feast During the Plague which is not included in the Random House edition (above). However, after finishing the entire Random House book, I decided to read more in this volume to see how a different translator worked with the material. The opening essay The Little Tragedies in English: an Approach addresses this question and was an informative discussion. As to the plays themselves, at times I preferred this 2008 translation over Keane's 1936 translation, although in a few places I felt hers was a bit too modern. I'm glad I read both.
Her critical essays really added to my appreciation of the plays. I'm glad I went to the trouble of tracking down a copy of her book.

Auditing another online course Visualizing Japan (1850s-1930s): Westernization, Protest, Modernity 
This one is self-paced and I tried to avoid going too fast, but it was so interesting that I finished it in a week. It is part of a series so I moved on to Visualizing Postwar Tokyo, Part 1. I'm not moving as fast on this one, but I'm finding the material fascinating.

 “Deal Me In 2017!”

This week's story: Fish Spine by Santiago Nazarian
(in The Future Is Not Ours: New Latin American Fiction)
In this story  a young man who helps his parents in the market. tries to wash the smell of fish from his hands before spending an evening with his friends.


This week's card for  “Deal Me In 2017!” is the Ace of Spades. I thought in honor of the story's setting I would try to find a Brazilian card. I found a brief illustrated essay on Playing Cards in Brazil one of their examples is this scenic Ace of Spades made by Azevedo, Recife, Brazil, c.1925.

This is part of a large web site, The World of Playing Cards, which has information on all kinds of cards and card collecting. They also sell cards.

13 of the Most Fascinating Public Sculptures This is from Architectural Digest and I'm not posting a picture--but they really are fascinating!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

January (second week) 2017 Reads

Snow, snow, snow
Read, read, read
Eat, eat, eat
Sleep, sleep, sleep
Sun, sun, sun

This week I finished another of my Christmas gift books, almost finished a second one, continued with Pushkin, and did a lot of online reading. (I found some fun things, much of it through blogs I follow.) I also started a real chunkster--4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster, which weighs in at 880 pages (and this is a paperback ARC). Haven't read very far, but am liking it. 

The gift I finished:
Girlfriends, Ghosts, and Other Stories; Robert Walser, Tom Whalen (Translator) (Kindle ed)
Very short stories and sketches (flash fiction?): little nibbles, each a delight to savor and digest.These little morsels are not to be gobbled up, there is a lot of wordplay, gentle satire, sarcasm, and subtlety that requires more than casual reading. To quote Walser himself "To treat food attentively enhances its value"  (in Something About Eating).

The translator's Afterword is more like a full meal. It is an informative essay with biographical material, a discussion of Walser's critics, comments on the challenges of translation, and more. The book concludes with a comprehensive list of Walser's works available in English translation.

The gift I almost finished:
Long Belts and Thin Men: The Postwar Stories of Kojima Nobuo; Nobuo Kojima, Lawrence Rogers (Translation)
American Occupied Japan is one of my favorite areas of reading, so this is a book I'm really enjoying. I've read all but one of the stories. Since I put that story on my Deal Me In 2017 Roster I won't be finishing the book until I pull the six of spades.

More Pushkin: (for a full list of the contents of the volumes I've been working with see my post
Pushkin - Contents notes
From: The works of Alexander Pushkin : lyrics, narrative poems, folk tales, plays, prose; selected and edited, with an introduction, by Avrahm Yarmolinsky.  (Random house, 1936)

  The Covetous Knight (play, p 412-427) translated by A.F.B. Clark
  Lyric Poems and Ballads, (p 50-90) various translators (an oopsie here because I got carried away with reading and ended up reading something from my Deal Me In Roster)
  Eugene Onegin (p 111-311) translated by Babette Deutsch

From: The Little Tragedies; by Alexander Pushkin; translated and with introduction and critical essays by Nancy K. Anderson.  (Yale University Press, 2008)
   A Feast During the Plague (play)

Online (Spent most of Sunday with these gems before getting back to books. 
Some days are like that.)

The Giving Up Game by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
A young woman tutors the teenage son of a famous actress. The story was ok, but I'm not sure what it wanted to say.  This was my second selection from my Deal Me In 2017 Roster Odd two Jacks in a row.

This weeks card:  The Valet de Cour from a pack of French Cards, of the time of Henry IV. Found in Facts and Speculations on the Origin and History of Playing Cards by Chatto (Project Gutenberg)

California by Amanda Fletcher
Asian Pears and Red Azaleas by Gwen Francis-Williams
Two daughters remember their mothers. Fletcher covers a period of years, while Francis-Williams focuses on a single event.Both very good stories.
  From Hippocampus Magazine "an exclusively online publication set out to entertain, educate and engage writers and readers of creative nonfiction. "

A Hard-Boiled Slang Glossary for Something More Than Night  by Ian Tregillis
Tregilles put together a glossary of over 750 terms as preparation for writing one of the characters in a novel. He has published the document on his website. Such fun to browse.

Nameplate Necklaces: This Shit Is For Us by Collier Meyerson
I'll put this one in my "I didn't know that" file. A friend of mine who died in 2001 wore one of these.  She was Latina but I had no idea that nameplate necklaces were an ethnic thing.

Changing of the Tide: The Galician Sisters Chipping Away at the Patriarchy, One Barnacle at a Time.  by Matt Goulding, Slate; adapted from Grape Olive Pig: Deep Travels Through Spain's Food Culture, Harper Wave; 2016 

I enjoyed this essay about barnacle harvesting so much that I have requested the book from library.

Photo by Michael Magers

The Wards of Old London: Fleet Street - Wordsmiths, Pubs, and an Unexpected Ghost by Mark Patton
This is a series I have been following for some time; it's always interesting and I learn a lot from it. One thing I learned from this post is that the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) maintains an English Broadside Ballad Archive "Making broadside ballads of the seventeenth century fully accessible as texts, art, music, and cultural records."

A Bill of Fare: / For, A Saturday nights Supper, A Sunday morning Breakfast, and / A Munday Dinner, Described in a pleasant new merry Ditie.
A delightful meal--this link is to the recording on the  UCSB archive mentioned above. There is also a text transcription of the lyric. What a great resource!

Crawfie and The Little Princesses by Linda Fetterly Root
Linda Root hit the mark with me with this informative essay on one of my childhood favorite books. Like Linda Root, the book made me fascinated with the Royals, but it also made me interested in reading biography.
A helpful librarian aimed me toward another royal biography--one about Queen Liliʻuokalani of Hawaii. I have no idea which bio it was but is was one written for young people.

On the Arab page by Jonathan Guyer
"Much connects art and comics in Egypt and the wider Middle East, even if publishing houses keep fine art and graphic narratives on different shelves." A discussion of the development of Arab comics in Egypt and their connection with fine art. This one had me making a list of things to Google.

Illustration “Self portrait with Spider”, 1945, Adham Wanly
Abushâdy archive

The Long, Unusual History of the Pickled Cucumber by Ernie Smith
The focus here is on the commercial history of the pickle in the USA. There are lots of links to follow if you want to know more about the salty, crunchy snack.

Poor Nancy Young, the Suspected Teen Vampire of Rhode Island A graphic history of an 1827 exhumation by Jamison Odoneby Ernie Smith
Oh my, sometimes the Atlas Obscura email newsletter has nothing of interest to me, then there is a day like Tuesday that brings pickles (above) and gruesome "comics."

The 'Balloon Maps' That Aided Exploration, War, And Tourism by Cara Giaimo
Another from Atlas Obscura. Do they know I love pickles, graphics, & old maps?

The Broomway is known as the most perilous path in Britain – "and is a favourite walk of writer Robert Macfarlane, who describes it in this adaptation from his book The Old Ways." A close up look at one of the features of the Thames Estuary. This one with georgous photographs. (see my post January (first week) 2017 Reads for more on the estuary)

This 3,500-Year-Old Greek Tomb Upended What We Thought We Knew About the Roots of Western Civilization. The recent discovery of the grave of an ancient soldier is challenging accepted wisdom among archaeologists. By Jo Marchant; Photographs by Myrto Papadopoulos.

And now--back to Pushkin and Auster....

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Share Your World (Jan 9, 2017)

I don't know if I can keep this up, but it's worth trying. For the source of this meme/challenge see:
Share Your World – January 9, 2017   

If you lost a bet and had to dye your hair a color of the rainbow for a week, what color would it be?  
  INDIGO because it has depth and mystery. And it would be a startling change form my (natural) pure SILVER

If you could choose one word to focus on for 2017, what would it be?
E X P A N D (and I mean my mind, not my waistline)

What was one thing you learned last year that you added to your life?

                                                                                            physical activity.
                                                                             of my
                                                          the level
That it is still possible to increase

If life was ‘just a bowl of cherries’… which fruit other than a cherry would you be..?

Peach, because every thing about it reminds me of my grandfather's orchards and my mother's kitchen which were both important parts of my formative years.

Bonus Question “What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?”
From last week it's a small thing. I went to a brick and mortar store to get an electronic replacement part. The clerk shared his knowledge with me as to what alternative equipment would work, showed me three different products they had in stock, and told me to buy it online because it would cost me about half of what they charge. What a refreshing change from the hard sell. I sure hope his boss wasn't listening.

Next week???? I should say "putting away the Christmas decor" --but that may not happen.  If the weather's not too bad, taking a short day trip to play "cheese shop"  --this more likely to happen.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

January (first week) 2017 Reads

This month I'm publishing my Reads posts weekly because...
The weather has been cold and snowy so I've been reading a lot this week. I finished one of my Christmas gifts, read some classics, read a YA,  read a bunch of short stories (online and in my Christmas gift books), read some essays online, and watched a lecture.

The gift I finished:
Estuary: Out from London to the Sea by Rachel Lichtenstein
An exploration of the Thames Estuary told in segments covering a period of about five years. Rachel Lichtenstein explores by boat and by land, meeting a lot of interesting people and hearing great stories along the way. She goes to the old defensive towers in the sea, she visits beaches and mudflats, she goes along with cockle gathers, she visits the new London Gateway Port, she explores nature preserves, she spends some terrifying bad weather nights on boats, and she listens and retells tales of the region. There are a lot of photos (black and white) and nice end maps. This is one of those books that causes extensive Googling. An excellent adventure by a hardy soul.

Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
It's about time I read this. I decided to read it now because Conrad is quoted in the above work (he lived in Kent near the Thames) and the narrator in the novel tells his story of the Congo to his friends while on a boat moored in the Thames.
I read this on Project Gutenberg.

I have been reading some Pushkin... (for a full list of the contents of the volumes I've been working with see my post Pushkin - Contents notes )
The works of Alexander Pushkin : lyrics, narrative poems, folk tales, plays, prose / selected and edited, with an introduction, by Avrahm Yarmolinsky.  (Random house, 1936)
This is not the complete short works, but there is plenty to read. This is a library book so I probably won't read the whole thing.
So far I've read:
  The Tales of Belkin  translated by T. Keane, revised by Yarmolinsky (pp 467-555) Five stories of rural life: The Shot, The Snowstorm, The Undertaker, The Postmaster, Mistress into Maid.
  The Queen of Spades (pp556-589). Also translated by Keane.
  Mozart and Salieri (play, pp 428-437) Translated by A.F.B. Clark

The YA novel..
Burned (Burned #1) by Ellen Hopkins
A coming of age story of a seventeen year old Mormon girl who has an unhappy family life. When she rebels against the church and her abusive father she is sent away to a ranch near Ely, Nevada to live with an aunt. Her story is told in verse format, which I found appealing. I may read more by Hopkins.
Read free online at Simon & Schusters' Riveted website

Secret Coders: Lost & Found by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes
A short comic in which a group of kids figure out how to do an aerial grid search for a lost dog. A simple lesson in logic and coding. A very light one for my first read for the Deal Me In Challenge.
10 Outstanding Short Stories To Read in 2017
Mumbai-based writer-filmmaker Pravesh Bhardwaj says "I’ve been doing this for some time now — seeking out short stories from free online resources, and sharing them on Twitter (#fiction #longreads). It’s now a habit: Every night after dinner, before I start writing (screenplays), I look around for a story and read it."  She shares a list of ten of her favorites on Longreads.

Andrew Joyce on Sand Paintings
While hitchhiking when he was a young man, the author had a chance encounter with a sand painter. I loved this memoir/story which he shared as a guest poster on A Bookish Affair blog. It includes a few examples of sand paintings. He is the author of Yellow Hair, a fact-based work of fiction about the Sioux Nation.

The delta on London’s doorstep: a walk around the Thames estuary by Joanne O'Connor
This write-up from The Guardian travel section is nicely illustrated with photographs and has links to some of the sights and establishments along the way. It makes a nice companion piece to Estuary: Out from London to the Sea by Rachel Lichtenstein which I have been reading.

"Hardcore Heritage": RAAAF Reveals Its Latest Experiment in Historical Preservation
One approach to dealing with abandoned architectural sites. "The multidisciplinary Amsterdam-based studio Rietveld-Architecture-Art-Affordances (RAAAF)... proposes to make history tangible by altering...decaying structures in a way that makes their stories plainly visible."

The Destruction of Cultural Heritage: Project Description by Pamela Karimi and Nasser Rabbat
The project is a series of essays (available free online) which "...illuminate the larger contexts—historical, political, and ideological—within which the destruction of Middle Eastern monuments has taken place and acquired meaning over the last two centuries." I will be reading these over the next few weeks.
   The Demise and Afterlife of Artifacts by Pamela Karimi and Nasser Rabbat
This is the introductory essay of the above project. An overview of the problem, previews of the essays, plenty of illustrations, footnotes, & links.

Architecture for the Search for Knowledge
Video of Iñaki Ábalos' Walter Gropius Lecture at Harvard GSD Dives Into the History and Evolution of the Monastery. There is an accompanying text outlining the important point of the lcture. "Throughout the event, Ábalos delved into various mixed-use typologies, each of which is in some way related to the basic typology of the medieval monastery."Quote from beginning of lecture "It's a little bit boring but I like it." I was not boring to me.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Pushkin - Contents notes

The Little Tragedies; by Alexander Pushkin; translated and with introduction and critical essays by Nancy K. Anderson.  (Yale University Press, 2008)
The Little Tragedies in English: an Approach (essay)
The little tragedies: The miserly knight ; Mozart and Salieri ; The stone guest ; A feast during the plague
Critical essays. The seduction of power: The miserly knight ; Betrayal of a calling: Mozart and Salieri; The weight of the past: The stone guest ; Survival and memory: A feast during the plague.

The works of Alexander Pushkin; lyrics, narrative poems, folk tales, plays, prose,
selected and edited, with an introduction, by Avrahm Yarmolinsky.  (Random house, 1936)Contents:

Old man --
To Chaadayev --
To N.N. --
Gay feast --
A nereid --
Grapes --
"I've lived to bury my desires" --
The lay of the wise oleg --
The coach of life --
"With freedom's seed" --
Epigrams --
"Beneath her native skies" --
Winter evening --
The prophet --
Message to Siberia --
Arion --
Three springs --
Remembrance --
"Casual gift" --
"The man I was of old" --
The upas tree --
Portrait --
"Lovely youth" --
"I loved you once" --
"Here's winter" --
Stanzas --
To the poet --
Madonna --
Elegy --
"My critic, rosy-gilled" --
"For one last time" --
Verses written during a sleepless night --
On the translation of the Iliad --
"Abandoning an alien country" --
Work --
"When in my arms" --
"No, never think" --
Autumn --
Funeral song --
" ... I visited again" --
"'Tis time, my friend" --
Secular power --
"Pure men, and women too" --
"In vain I seek to flee" --
"When, lost in thought" --
"Unto myself I reared a monument" --

Poltava --
The bronze horsemen --
Eugene Onegin --

The tale of the pope and of his workman Balda --
The tale of the golden cockerel --

Boris Godunov --
The covetous knight --
Mozart and Salieri --
The stone guest --

The tales of Belkin --
   The shot --
   The snowstorm --
   The undertaker --
   The postmaster --
   Mistress into maid --
The Queen of Spades --
Kirdjali --
The captain's daughter --
Omitted chapter --
Unfinished stories --
The negro of Peter the Great --
Dubrovsky --
Egyptian nights.


Thursday, January 05, 2017


Two kinds of housekeeping today: Laundry & Blogging

Laundry was easy.

As for blogging, I spent some time figuring out how to add labels to my posts. It turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be. Wish I'd known this three years ago when I started. I'll try to add some retrospectively, working backwards from this month's posts.

The difficult part will be deciding how detailed to get. Mostly this is to help me find past posts.

Do I want to do authors? That could be time consuming and the search box seems to be adequate for that.

How about challenges? just a general "challenges" label? or specific challenge label? How effective is the search box for this???

Right now I'll work with some general ones. So far I have:
Note: illustrated works will include picture books, comics, & graphic works. Not using "graphic novels"
I'll probably have a bunch more by the end of the week.

It's a work in progress, will try to do several back posts a week until I catch up.  How's that for a vague goal?

Monday, January 02, 2017

Deal Me In 2017-Roster

Just yesterday I posted that I wouldn't do any additional challenges beyond the Goodreads one. But I just found this one which sounds like fun and it's right up my alley.

Goal: Read 52 short stories in 2017, piece of cake for me--but there is a twist!

"Before you get start reading, come up with a roster of fifty-two stories (you can use any source) and assign each one to a playing card in a standard deck of cards. It can be fun to use different suits for different types of stories, but that is optional. I’ve often included one wild card for each suit too, so I can maybe read a story I’ve heard about during the year, or read another by an author I’ve discovered through this challenge. Each “week,” (if you’re like me, you may occasionally fall a story or two behind – that’s okay) you draw a card at random from your deck and that is the story you will read. "
You can add your own twist (the sponsor is including 13 essays) to make it even more challenging.

My own twist? Each suite will have a theme: Spades--translated into English; Hearts--original language English; Diamonds--found on Project Gutenberg (can be translations or original English); Clubs--different format (narrative poem, short play or skit, graphic, clever title, narrative essay, etc.); Jokers--Pick something from another participants roster.
Update: I will note in red date when I read each story.

SPADES (translations)
A    Fish Spine by Santiago Nazarian (in The Future is Not Ours) (1/21/2017)
K    Razor Blades by Lina Meruane (in The Future is Not Ours(12/2/2017)
Q    It's me! by Ekaterina Togonidze (in Best European fiction 2015) (4/1/2017)
J     Bird man by Kaja Malanowska (in Best European fiction 2015) (2/18/2017)
10  Learn to love the one who eats your porridge by Kristīne Ulberge (in Best European fiction 2015) (10/21/2017)
9    Night drive by Rubem Fonseca (The Taker And Other Stories) (2/4/2017)
8    Gimpel the fool by Isaac Bashevis Singer (in Collected Stories I) (4/22/2017)
7    Joy of Traveling by Jung Young Moon (in A most ambiguous Sunday, and other stories)       (7/29/2017)
6    In Our Forties by Kojima Nobuo (in Long Belts and Thin Men) (9/16/2017)
5    Fog and Fire  (two very short fictions) by Nenad Joldeski (3/4/2017)
4    Cafés Morts by Maïssa Bey (6/17/2017)
3    Cosmo Girl by Nadia Villafuerte (4/8/2017)
2    Egyptian puppet by Vicente Molina Foix (in Lunatics, Lovers and Poets: Twelve Stories after Cervantes and Shakespeare)  (8/12/2017)

HEARTS (Original language English)
A   Hill clan cross by Frank Bill (in Crimes in southern Indiana) (12/9/17)
K   Outside Kandahar by Lucas Flatt
Q   This is paradise by Kristiana Kahakauwila (in This is paradise) (4/29/2017)
J    The Giving Up Game by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan (1/14/2017)
10  Happy This, Congratulations That That by Lauren Fox (8/19/2017)
9    The cat in the attic by Valerie Martin  (Sea Lovers: Selected Stories) (11/18/2017)
8   The Story of Kao Yu  by Peter S. Beagle (9/23/2017)
7   Referential by Lorrie Moore (in The best American short stories, 2013 (12/16/17)
6   Train by Alice Munro (in The best American short stories, 2013 (1/28/2017)
5   Ministry of the Interior by Louise Kennedy (3/25/2017)
4   The relive box by T. Coraghessan Boyle (in Watchlist : 32 stories by persons of interest)(6/3/2017)
3   California by Sean Bernard (in Watchlist : 32 stories by persons of interest)     (8/26/2017)
2   The Pedersen kid by William H. Gass (in In the heart of the heart of the country, and other stories) (6/24/2017)

DIAMONDS (Gems from Project Gutenberg)
Q   The Past by Ellen Glasgow (in The Best Short Stories of 1921 (12/23/2017)
J     The Fair Imperia (in Droll Stories, Complete, by Honore de Balzac) (9/9/2017)
10  The Boar-Pig (in  Beasts and Super-Beasts by Saki) (11/25/2017)
9    The Piazza (in The Piazza Tales   by Herman Melville) (9/30/2017)
8    The Ice Palace (in Flappers and Philosophers, by F. Scott Fitzgerald) (5/13/2017)
7    The Gay Old Dog. By Edna Ferber (in The Best Short Stories of 1917) (7/15/2017)
6    In the Forests of the North (in Children of the Frost by Jack London) (4/15/2017)
5    The Hermit and the Wild Woman (in The Hermit and the Wild Woman and Other Stories, by   Edith Wharton) (10/7/2017)
4    The Vacant Lot (in The Wind in the Rose-bush and Other Stories of the Supernatural, by Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman) (11/11/2017)
3    The Punctiliousness Of Don Sebastian (in Orientations, by W Somerset Maugham) (5/6/2017)
2    The Red-headed Windego (in Old Man Savarin and Other Stories, by Edward William Thomson) (10/14/2017)

CLUBS (something "different")
A   The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut by Mark Twain (on my Kindle) (8/5/2017)
K   No Direction by Miguel Alcantud, Santiago Molero (a micro-play) (2/11/2017)
Q   Life in the Qandil Mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan by Linda Dorigo (photo essay) (7/8/2017)
J    Secret Coders: Lost & Found by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes (comic) (1/7/2017)
10  The Bronze Horseman: A Petersburg Tale by Alexander Pushkin (narrative poem) Oops! I forgot this was on the list and read it when I was on my Pushkin jag, will make it a WILD CARD (6/10/2017)
9    Prah by György Spiró (short play) (9/2/2017)
8    Collection by Camille Meyer (flash fictions) (7/22/2017)
7    The Song the Owl God Himself Sang, “Silver Droplets Fall Fall All Around,” An Ainu Tale (11/4/2017)
6   Identities in Motion My Mythomanias by Julia Schoch (essay) (5/26/2017)
5   ROY-G-BIV B/W by Charlie Clark (poem, in Bat City review #8) (3/18/2017)
4   East of the Web's story of the day on the day I draw this card (10/28/2017)
3   Why I Can No Longer Look At A Picnic Blanket Without Laughing by Yukiko Motoya (postmodern) (5/20/2017)
2   The Wild Pandas of Chincoteague by Gregory J. Wolos (because, I may not chose a book by its cover, but I'll chose a short story for its title.) (7/1/2017)
JOKER  ???? to be decided when I pull the card (9/23/2017)
JOKER  ???? to be decided when I pull the card

What's left is to decide which day to pull the card - Maybe Thursday...

Sunday, January 01, 2017

No Promises To Keep

As usual, I'm not making any New Year Resolutions, nor am I making any Best of 2016 lists.

No challenges yet except for the Goodreads one which I set at 215 - one book more than I read in 2016.

But I do have a short, somewhat goofy, list--a sort of Where Things Stand list. This is just a way to record a few things and to occasionally check my progress on them with no special goals in mind.

  1. Number of books on my GR "owned-but-unread" shelf : 410 as of 01/01/17 Will check (sporadically) to see how much this number changes.
  2. Daily pedometer reading: This has been all over the place, my low is dismal, the high should be higher. Will try to walk more bit, again, no specific goal.
  3. Swim/aquatic exercise: I now do hour long class 4 days a week, with a few laps after for about 10 minutes three days a week. Try adding a stroll on Main Street (weather permitting) once or twice a week after class. Vague goal.
  4. House: What a jumble--especially downstairs! do something about it--yeah, right.
I do love being retired:

"I got no deeds to do
No promises to keep"
Paul Simon