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February 24, 2019


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I am so glad Rami won for Bohemian Rhapsody. I've got BlackkKlansman and will make sure to drag it to the top of my to-watch list it after what you've said here. ;)

Ally Bean

I've not seen one of the movies nominated and don't recognize the names of most of the actors. I hope the ones you liked won. I saw a few pics of the women [and one man] wearing gowns and again not interested in any of it. I feel that I may have hit my curmudgeon years early! πŸ€”


I'll be excited to see what your DNA test results show. I've always wanted to do one of those. It's so cool that you stay in touch with former students. Sounds like these are a couple of real winners!


He definitely deserved that win! I would be very interested in your opinion of BlackkKlansman. I found it incredible in many ways: the messages, the acting, the parallels to today, and the humor(which I wasn't expecting).

Marie K

We didn't watch the Oscars but Owen put all the movies we haven't seen on our watchlist. We watched Bohemian Rhapsody over the weekend and it was so good! How cool to see former students being so successful. Hopefully your snow didn't last long. We didn't get any. Woo Hoo!


Interesting that you've taken the 23&Me test! The comparison with Ancestry should be fascinating.

I was very happy that Pete Davidson, I mean Rami Malik, won the best actor Oscar! Snort!

Kristi Jalics

Such a good neighbor, paying it forward...I am just reading Ann Cleeves Cold Earth and noticed the pathologist's name is Grieve. I would not have paid much attention to this before finding your blog.....My Ancestry DNA results were just updated which surprised me somewhat. I am adopted and through Ancestry found a first cousin on my birth father's side who gave me lots of information I had never had before.


I think accepting your neighbour's kindness is your own gift to him.

Our older daughter took a DNA test (and found, surprise surprise, that she's very Scottish). I kind of thought that there was some magic that allowed them to understand your actual ancestry, but then discovered that they just compare your results with other people who've submitted their saliva, look where they live and make assumptions about your likely ancestry. Which I suppose is obvious, but it's much less exciting.

One of our sons-in-law is the result of a sperm donation. It would be interesting to see the results of DNA testing for him (though I imagine that it would just suggest that he's English. Which he is). These things matter (to me) more now that our daughter and he have a baby daughter, and a quarter of her grandparents is a complete unknown.


I support you in you whining as you have always supported me. And Really! Are we all not ready for spring or at least a few days with sunshine? I am tired of cold and gray.I'm just afraid will skip right from gee it's so cold to oh my word it's hot like we have the past couple years. Reversed, of course, for autumn.

Safe travels, have fun down south!

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Book Club Reads

  • Whitehead, Colson: Harlem Shuffle: A Novel

    Whitehead, Colson: Harlem Shuffle: A Novel
    Extremely well-written, atmospheric and full of fascinating characters and history. Being a mystery reader, I would have preferred more plot though. If you haven't read Whitehead before, I recommend "The Nickel Boys" instead. Fortunately, the book seems like it will elicit a decent discussion. (****)

  • Klune, TJ: The House in the Cerulean Sea

    Klune, TJ: The House in the Cerulean Sea
    This book was hard to rate (***1/2): heartwarming, yet cheesy and predictable. Imaginative, but also preachy. It reads like a YA novel. There were some wonderful characters if you enjoy fantasy. I think it will be nearly impossible to discuss as a Book Club read. (***)

  • Towles, Amor: The Lincoln Highway: A Novel

    Towles, Amor: The Lincoln Highway: A Novel
    This is a exquisitely crafted book and extremely well-written. I didn't always like the way it jumped from one person to another, especially when I was very engaged in the last story. It didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, but the ending was also beautiful in its own painful way. 4 1/2 stars. (*****)

  • Wang, Qian Julie: Beautiful Country: A Memoir

    Wang, Qian Julie: Beautiful Country: A Memoir
    Although it had some fascinating and illuminating moments, this memoir of a young Chinese immigrant facing poverty and prejudice was ultimately a let down. Part of it was the writing and lack of proofreading(too many grammar mistakes) while the rest related to my confusion about whether I admired or disliked the author. She was often mean and dishonest. Much of the time I didn't find her sympathetic. (***)

  • Pooley, Clare: The Authenticity Project: A Novel

    Pooley, Clare: The Authenticity Project: A Novel
    A solid 3 1/2 stars--I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. It felt like a beach read with a bit more depth to it. Still it was often predictable and wasn't particularly well written. (***)

  • Whitaker, Chris: We Begin at the End

    Whitaker, Chris: We Begin at the End
    This read picked up 1/2 star because of the ending. I began excited about the mystery aspect, and ended frustrated and disappointed in the writing, the "mystery," the geographical and language inaccuracies, and the constant and unending tragedies. I will miss the BC discussion which could have possibly redeemed it. (***)

  • Lyons, Annie: The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett: A Novel

    Lyons, Annie: The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett: A Novel
    This was a feel good/feel bad book which read like "A Man Called Ove" combined with "The One in a Million Boy." I liked it much better than Ove, but much less than Boy. I felt emotionally manipulated, and knew where the plot was headed, although I did (mostly) enjoy the characters. I look forward to discussing this in Book Club for more insights. 3 1/2 stars. (****)

  • Erdrich, Louise: The Night Watchman

    Erdrich, Louise: The Night Watchman
    I think I'll like this book better once we discuss it at Book Club. It had too many characters and too loose an organization and plot structure for me. If you want to experience Erdrich at the top of her game, read "The Roundhouse." (***)

  • Krueger, William Kent: This Tender Land: A Novel

    Krueger, William Kent: This Tender Land: A Novel
    For the beauty of the writing and the fascinating narrative, this book is 5 star. I love WKK's style. Yet I was vaguely disappointed by the epilogue which dropped it to 4 1/2. This is a very worthy read, but I preferred his "Ordinary Grace" by a whisker. (****)

  • Walter, Jess: The Cold Millions: A Novel

    Walter, Jess: The Cold Millions: A Novel
    4 1/2 stars for this fascinating and historically based tale of Wobblies in Spokane, Washington; many passages were disturbing to read, but the book was also beautifully written which made up for its tragedies. (****)