Friday, May 10, 2019

Weekly Wrap-Up: Alienated America, a New Classics Club List, Avengers, and Happy Mother's Day!





Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse by Timothy P. Carney
Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt by Arthur C. Brooks
Our Towns: A 100,000 Journey Into the Heart of America by James M. and Deborah Fallows


I brought these three books home from the Texas Library Association Conference in Austin last month, and I was immediately captivated, reading them, bookmarking passages that intrigued me, thinking about them, talking about them with others. I felt moved to write a whole blog post on these three books. I'll be posting it next Thursday at What Happened to My America? And How Can We Fix Things? Thoughts about Our Towns, Alienated America, and Love Your Enemies. I'd love to have a conversation with you about these books.









After all that nonfiction last week, I decided to switch genres completely and focus on some fiction. I'm currently reading Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan (for my bookclub which meets this week); Exposed by Jean-Philippe Blonde (a thriller translated from French), and Friday's Tunnel by John Verney (one of my 1001 Children's Books that was recently reissued---to my utter delight). 










I spent a day last week browsing through and organizing lists of books I am interested in reading. (I have these listed under Perpetual Challenges, if you are interested in making your own copy of any of these.) 

The day culminated in the formation of my second Classics Club list. I am quite proud of it. There are fifty books I plan to try to read in the next five years. I have five long books, including The Decameron (554 pages), The Old Curiosity Shop (545 pages), Tom Jones (690 pages), Wives and Daughters (583 pages), and Dickens' Bleak House (800 pages). But most books on my list fall within the very-doable range of 200-400 pages. My list is heavy with adult fiction (20 titles) and children's fiction (11 titles). But I also included science fiction (2), short story collections (4), poetry (2), biographies (1), philosophy (2), folk tales (2), plays (3), mysteries (1), travel (1), and nature (1). My list is posted hereWhat do you think? Do you see anything on my list that looks good to you? Anything you have read and recommend? Anything you have read and didn't like? I'd love to hear your thoughts here or there.










I was given free tickets (!) so we went to see Avengers this week. My husband and I have never seen any of the popular comic book hero movies that have come out in the past few years, and Bryan at Still an Unfinished Person very helpfully advised us to watch at least the Avengers that came out just before this one. Thank you, Bryan. I wouldn't have had a clue what was going on if I hadn't pulled the earlier Avengers up on Netflix and then had a long conversation with my friend, Lisa, about the characters in the movie during our morning walks this week. 

Now we plan to go back and watch all the earlier movies (Iron Man, Spiderman, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc.) Lisa loves them and has DVDs of all of them she is sharing with me.







Happy Mother's Day, everyone! My mom passed away nine years ago, and I still miss her every day. Thank you, moms, for all you do for our world.








How did your week go?

Did you finish any good books?

Have you run across anything book-ish that you would like to share with us?

Link up here and/or at the Sunday Salon page on Facebook each weekend (Saturday-Sunday-Monday) and let us know what you have been up to. Visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there.

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34 comments:

  1. Got all the Marvel films on DVD I love watching them, can't say the same about the DC films th elast one I saw the Justice League was Rubbish

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    1. Now that I've watched the last two Avengers movies, I'm eager to try some of the others. My friend Lisa is going to share a couple a month with us until we see them all.

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  2. I'm really into nonfiction these days so those nonfiction books you listed pique my interest.

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    1. I spent lots of time last week (1) reading the three nonfiction books, (2) thinking about the three nonfiction books, and (3) writing the post on the three nonfiction books. I can't wait to post what I wrote. I hope other people will share their thoughts. These three books helped me understand what is going on in the world so much.

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  3. My husband has collected comicbooks since he was a kid (needed some way to escape his mother) and my son is now a huge fan so the Marvel movies have been quite the experience in our house. My son and husband always go together and I stay home with the little one, except for the movie before this one. My son and I went to that one because he asked to go to one premiere with me. This time my husband and I actually got to go alone, the week after. I had already predicted part of what happened and one of the things that happened was in one of the comic book lines (same characters, but different stories by different authors are common in comics). I'm afraid DC just can't keep up with Marvel. The only good movie they made was Wonder Woman. Aquaman wasn't too bad. As for the first books you mentioned - they sound very compelling and very timely. I'll be interested to hear what you think. As for the list of the books you plan to read, I've heard of some of them and have read none of them. Sadly. It looks like a good list to me!

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    1. I hope you will stop by later in the week and share your thoughts with me.

      And anything you can share with me about the comic books to help me better understand the comic book world will help me.

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  4. I'm glad you were able to see the first part of the last Avengers too and for your friend Lisa helping you to understand (some of) the workings of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To be honest - the theme of my Sunday Salon post this week, that I just finished - I don't always understand it either, but I am glad to have watched (for the most part) the ones I have. My week? Didn't go as planned...again, but that's okay. Didn't read anything, but hoping this weekend as I have for the last weekends to finish a book I'm nearing the end of: All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot.

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  5. With all the people in the world today who love animals so much, it's time for the James Herriot books to be rereleased, I think. Those stories are mesmerizing.

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  6. I hope you are enjoying Beneath a Scarlet Sky and the discussion with your book club goes well. I'll drop in on your discussion of your recent nonfiction reads. I haven't read any of those books, but I am curious what you thought. I am glad you watched Infinity Wars. Endgame wouldn't make any sense without it. I have enjoyed the Marvel movies to varying degrees. My husband knows more about the characters' comic history than I do. I only know what he's told me. I hope you have a great week, Deb!

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    1. I was completely against reading yet another WWII book in our book club, but it turns out Scarlet Sky was fabulous.

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  7. I haven't seen any of the Avengers films and don't plan to. They just aren't my thing. My son ended up watching Infinity War in school last week in a class that wasn't doing a final during finals week. He discovered it wasn't this thing either.

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    1. I'm completely out of my comfort zone with Avengers, but I found (oddly) that I did enjoy the movies.

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  8. A good reading week for me and I've loved watching the duckling family from our riverbank. The ducklings are getting really big really quickly!

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    1. I need more duckling photos. I hope you will post more.

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  9. I love organizing book lists. Well, I like organizing lists. Lists make me happy. =P It seems you had a good reading week. I'll have to take a look at your thoughts on those three books on America - as part of my course, I took American Culture classes and they were always interesting.

    Happy readings! ;)
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret

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  10. I read Beneath a Scarlet Sky - that guy went through a lot! Free tickets to Endgame!! That's awesome!

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    1. I wish I could contact Pino and thank him for his work in the war.

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  11. Beneath a Scarlet Sky looks really good. I hope you enjoy it. I haven't seen the Avenger movies. I have seen Iron Man and the older Spiderman movies, but it's usually not my type of movie. I hope you have a great week!

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    1. I'm looking forward to seeing Iron Man and the older Spiderman movies now.

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  12. My family is trying to find a date when they can all see the new Avengers movie. My son that died in 2015 was a huge fan of the Marvel movies and since his death it has become a family tradition to all see these movies together.

    Have a great week.

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  13. So many interesting books here... I'd like to hear more about all three of the nonfiction titles. My mother just asked me to add her name to the library hold list for Beneath a Scarlet Sky. I'm so out of the loop when it comes to Avengers...
    Happy Mother's Day!

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  14. I’ll be interested to read your thoughts in What happened to America? It’s lovely to see a few Australian classic titles on your list, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie adventures were childhood favourites. I hope you enjoy them.

    Have a great reading week

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  15. Mother's Day without a mom is kind of weird, isn't it? And we downplay it for my own kids, because I'm not their first mom, and it just gets all fraught and weird if we make it a big deal.

    I've seen four or five of the Avengers movies, but not the ones with The Avengers per se.

    Looking forward to your post on your reading about our country and culture.

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  16. Talked to my mom today. She went with my sister to see Endgame and had only seen the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Still had fun, but she mostly confused. I think my favorite three of the series have been Iron Man, Avengers, and Thor: Ragnarok.

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  17. My two eldest sons had a huge Spider Man collection when they were young. I love that it gave them good things to focus on.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  18. Glad you enjoyed Avengers Endgame! I really loved that movie!!

    Here’s my Sunday Post!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog and join in this week’s Book Photo Sundays

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  19. I loved Beneath a Scarlet Sky. I hope you enjoy it. Have a great Mother's Day! My mom passed away 14 years ago and a day doesn't go by that I don't miss her either.

    Mary

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  20. My daughter loves the Marvel movies, so I know a lot about them even if I've only watched a few - and not the two most recent Avengers. How fun that you got free tickets.

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  21. I've been on a nonfiction kick lately -- always good to get suggestions.

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  22. Nice looking list of Classics. I have read only a couple of them and mostly because they were assigned reading in various English classes. I have only seen a couple of the Marvel movies and am sort of wondering what the fuss is all about with the publicity for the latest movie. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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  23. Those nonfiction books sound really interesting. I love nonfiction when I read it, but for some reason, I don’t read it often. Have a great week!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  24. Somehow we missed a marvel film or two. i need to sit down and figure it out. Hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day! Now i need to check out all the books you mentioned. A few have caught my eye!

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  25. My oldest and I have been meaning to start the Marvel marathon. We've watched a few of the movies but we'd love to watch them all in order. We plan on marathoning them sometime in the summer. I hope you have had a wonderful week.

    Tina @ As Told By Tina

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Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!