Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving Week Update: 11/20/17


The first winter storm of the season is upon us - several inches of snow on the ground now, high winds, and a few school delays/cancellations. Just in time to make holiday preparation a bit more challenging. I have a 4WD vehicle and still plan to do major grocery shopping at Wegmans... it has to happen today!

Our Manhattan daughters arrive tomorrow (on separate trains!), my brother and his family are coming in from Philadelphia and Boston Wednesday, and my sister's German exchange student from several years ago currently has an internship in the US and will fly in Thursday morning. Twenty people will gather around our Thanksgiving table... definitely my favorite holiday.


Finished last week//


by Jessica Bruder 

I mistakenly thought this was a book about merry bands of retirees exploring America in big RVs. Wrong! Instead, I found myself engrossed in a tale of the American dream gone awry. There is a sizable (and growing) portion of 21st century retirees who roam the country living in vans, RVs, and even cars as they travel from job to job. They make up Amazon's CamperForce, filling a seasonal demand for warehouse help. They are the "workampers" of the sugar beet harvest in North Dakota or your summer hosts at KOA campgrounds. They flip burgers at concession stands during baseball's spring training or at 'premier tourist traps' like Wall Drug in South Dakota... all to make ends meet. The author took to the road in a van of her own for three years. Along the way, she befriended many in the community while learning of their hopes, struggles, and triumphs. A consuming, albeit slightly scary read.




Current reading//


Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker

Last week I started the audio version. This week I borrowed a print copy from the library, so now it's a read/listen combination. Who knew a book about wine could be this interesting? Very good so far.




How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen

I also brought this little gem home from the library last week. I think I've read it before, but for whatever reason it doesn't appear on any of my lists. Anna Quindlen is the best.



Up next//


Something light and quick would be perfect for the holiday weekend... like Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand. I devoured the first three books of the series between Christmas and New Year last year. The fourth and final book might be perfect for Black Friday. I certainly won't be shopping!!

Or maybe one of the books I recently purchased at Book Culture... we'll see.


On the blog//
Review: Dear Fahrenheit 451  by Annie Spence
Nonfiction November, Week 3: Books About Books
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (including thoughts on Reading People)


The week ahead//
Thanksgiving week means cleaning, then lots of cooking, followed by four days of nonstop family gatherings. Bring it on!



What are you reading this week? Any big plans for Thanksgiving?


This post will link to It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.
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49 comments:

  1. I really liked Cork Dork -- and the audiobook was surprisingly well done for an author-read book. I've been contemplating Nomandland -- I bet it's a bit tough to read.

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    1. Beth F - Cork Dork is so good on audio that I had to look twice to see if it was actually the author narrating! I got the paperback in case the overdrive audio 'disappears' before I get a chance to finish. I think you should try Nomadland... it opened my eyes to an entire segment of the population I didn't even know existed.

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  2. We have always lived away from family so I have never had the responsibility of cooking for that many people! I know you will have help but...

    We were in Weggieman’s on Saturday and it was both a delight as well as a nightmare. It was a zoo!

    You will need a relaxing book...I think you chose a good one! I have that one, too!

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    1. Patty - Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve are the holidays we usually host, but Christmas Eve is smaller. I was at Wegmans today... it was busier than usual, but not as bad as it will be tomorrow or Wednesday. I'm sure I'll be ready for Elin Hilderbrand's book by Saturday evening!

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  3. Nomadland was terribly sad, I thought. Who knew there were so many people just getting by? And I know others who may soon join them....

    Cork Dork look fabulous. I’m off to add it to my wish list, I think.

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    1. Deb - Nomadland was sad, but it was so interesting. I keep wondering about the woman that was building the Earthship... did she finish? How is her life? Hope the author does a follow-up article on these people at some point.

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  4. Sounds like you are having quite the crew for Thanksgiving! Have a happy holiday!

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    1. Angela - It will be wild, but always a lot of fun! On Saturday we have a holiday party with all my cousins to really kick off the holiday season.

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  5. Wow! Twenty for Thanksgiving is huge, but that makes it all the more special. Enjoy!

    Wasn't Nomadland scary and sad even though the retirees tried to be so hopeful? I found it disturbing on many levels.

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    1. Susie - It's actually a smaller crowd than we had last year... that was a record 24 and totally crazy!! I mentioned in a comment above that I keep wondering about the people she befriended - Did Linda build her Earthship? I hope there will be a follow-up article at some point.

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  6. Your Thanksgiving sounds wonderful. It'll be just the 3 of us unless Vance goes out of town and then it will be just the 2 of us. Nomadland sounds good to me.

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    1. Kathy - Thanksgiving can get a little crazy with so many people, but it's always so much fun.

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  7. We still have October's snow on the ground but nothing new lately and not storms in this week's forecast. Your Thanksgiving plans sound wonderful. Ours will be small and on Friday because of my brother's work schedule. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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    1. Kathy - Glad you avoided the storms. A few schools closed this morning, but the roads were clear and dry by midmorning. Hope you enjoy a peaceful celebration Friday.

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  8. Yep, that would be a lot of snow. At least it helps to get you in the holiday spirit, right? We have wind and rain, but none of the white stuff.

    20 people for Thanksgiving?! We'll have 7 which is enough for me!

    Nomadland sounds too distressing to read as a newbie to the retirement front. We're enjoying our RV, but we're not fulltimers, nor is it our only home. I follow a blogger (Interstellar Orchard) is many years younger than me and is living in her Casita fulltime (her choice). She has worked at the beet farms, Amazon, hosting/volunteer work at National Parks, etc. I wouldn't mind living in an RV fulltime, traveling the country (and Canada), but I wouldn't really want to do the jobs she's done.

    Yes, Anna Quindlen is the best. She and Kelly Corrigan are going to be at the Scarsdale, NY Barnes and Noble on Jan. 9th. I so wish I could be there!!

    I'm immersed in A Gentleman in Moscow and am loving it! I'm not finding it at all slow and I'm well over 100 pages in. Thanks so much for the recommendation.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Les - Twenty for dinner is a challenge, especially when the goal is to seat everyone at one table. Our kitchen/family room is one large area, so we open the kitchen table, them bring in the dining room table so it extends into the family room. It's a lot of work, but I don't like it when we're in separate rooms.

      The part about Nomadland that broke my heart was that these people felt they had no choice. Many in their 60s and 70s were working such physically demanding jobs (amazon sounded like a nightmare) and were uncertain what they would do when they could no longer work.

      I just got that email about Anna Quindlen and Kelly Corrigan and was wishing I could be there, too! What a conversation that will be.

      So glad you're enjoying Gentleman in Moscow. I think all the nonfiction I've been reading this month has put enough distance between me and that reading slump. I'll probably reread it at some point, and most likely enjoy it even more.

      I'm making that Mediterranean halibut tonight... with asparagus this time. Thanks for the suggestion. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  9. Sadly, this is the first Quindlen I've ever not enjoyed...and Nomadland is looking more and more interesting!

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    1. Sarah - I finished How Reading Changed My Life last night and agree it was not her best. Think you should give Nomadland a try!

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  10. I think that being around your table would be very lovely! Happy Thanksgiving, my friend. :)

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    1. Audrey - What a treat it would be to have you here! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  11. I love that photo! The one thing I miss more than anything is snow. I'd love go north and see a ton of it fall.

    I thought the same thing about Nomadland. Not necessarily retirees, but just people traveling the U.S. in rv's etc. I have it on hold at the library, I'm #3 on the list.

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    1. Vicki- I agree that the snow is beautiful, but I hate driving in it. Shoveling isn't much fun either, lol. Will be curious to hear what you think of Nomadland.

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  12. Nomadland is on my wishlist. I had a friend who lived the experience described in the book. Come see what I'm reading

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    1. Pussreboots - I'll bet your friend has some interesting stories! Hope you get a chance to read Nomadland.

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  13. You really have a busy week! I have a few guests coming for the holiday but nothing too hectic..

    I saw Jessica Bruder in Book TV. Nomadland looks so interesting. It peaks into a world so few know about.

    Happy winter snow and happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Brian Joseph - It will be fun, but I know I'll be ready to curl up with a book and spend a day or two on the couch when it's all over! I'm going to see if I can find the BookTV piece. It would be interesting to see the author. Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving, too!

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  14. Oh I'm sure you are going to so much fun with such a full house! Snow looks beautiful and will probably just add more to the holiday spirit. Hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving week.

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    1. Iliana - We're off to pick up the first daughter at the train station this morning, so the house is starting to fill up already. We ended up getting around 6" of snow, so it should stick around for a few more days. Hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving, too.

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  15. There was an article in the New Yorker earlier this year, about people living the nomadic lifestyle, and blogging about it to support themselves. It sounded very artificial, like they were curating and styling their lives for their blogs, with product placement and corporate sponsors. So at first I thought that Nomadland might be along those lines. But it sounds much more interesting and much more serious. I will put it on my library list

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    1. Lisa - I think I just discovered one of those people on instagram... sounds like a curious lifestyle to me. The folks in Nomadland certainly have a much more serious situation. I appreciated the way the author presented their lifestyle.

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  16. This week I will be continuing to read historical fiction The Shadow Queen by Anne O'Brien and non-fiction Cleopatra by Ernle Bradford. No Thanks Giving here in the UK, however this weekend I will be celebrating my mum's and stepdad's birthdays.

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    1. Jessica- Hope you continue to enjoy the books and enjoy the birthday celebrations!

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  17. I'm toying with the idea of reading Nomadland--it does sound sobering, but interesting as well and important to realize that this situation exists in our country where older people must live itinerant lives.

    The Anna Quindlen sounds marvelous--I love books like that.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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    1. JaneGS - Once I started reading Nomadland (and realized what it actually was about), I could not put it down. Bruder tells the story in such a compelling way... don't think it could have been done had she not joined the community. How Reading Changed My Life was not one of Quindlen's best efforts, but still worth a read. Hope your family has a very happy Thanksgiving, too!

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  18. Enjoyed the "Winter" series on audio. Enjoy the time with family over the Holiday.

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    1. Nise' - I'm glad Hilderbrand decided to write a fourth book!

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  19. I think I may need to pick up a couple of these.... Nomadland and Cork Dork sounds interesting. I just finished The Bookshop at Water’s End. It is fast read. The writing is good, but I really couldn’t connect until halfway through. I’ll be reading “The book of Speculation” while on Thanksgiving break. I know nothing about it.

    Your Thanksgiving sounds wonderful. We are meeting up with our children and grandchildren tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving.

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    1. Bonnie - I hope you enjoy Nomadland and Cork Dork as much as I did. We had quite a discussion about the former at Thanksgiving dinner!

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  20. I'm embarrassed to admit I've yet to read Anna Quindlen... oh, that must be rectified with a quickness!

    I am so drawn to Nomadland, that sounds fascinating. I will check that out!

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    1. Natalie - Quindlen is wonderful, but this particular title is not her best.

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  21. Intrigued by Nomadland and amazed that I wasn't aware that Anna Quindlen wrote a book about reading. I need to track it down.

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    1. Vintage Reading - The Quindlen book is older and not her best. That's probably why nobody seems to talk about it...

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  22. We got a motorhome earlier this year and I joined several RV groups on Facebook. I was really surprised to find the number of people who live in an RV full time. I suspect I'd find Nomandland fascinating and heartbreaking. I really need that Anna Quindlen book. I need to go check if my library has it. Hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving! Be safe with all that snow!

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    1. Katherine - If you have an RV, you'd probably find Nomadland very interesting, but it is certainly heartbreaking, too. Hope you're enjoying the long Thanksgiving weekend!

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  23. I'm always happy reading your book discussions. I just put the audio of Cork Dork on my Kindle. Can't wait to get my knitting out and begin!

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  24. Oh--sorry! I forgot to mention that my copy of Winter Solstice just arrived. I'm so glad that Hilderbrand decided to add another volume to the series. Volume 3 just begged for more.

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    1. Judith- The audio version of Cork Dork is so well done, that I had to double check to be sure it was the author and not a professional narrator! Such an interesting book... I just finished it yesterday.

      Today is the last big activity of the holiday weekend, our extended family Christmas party. Once it's over, I'll be on the couch with Winter Solstice. Can't wait!!

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  25. Nomadland sounds so very interesting. I recently read about people in RVs on the streets of San Francisco and environs. I went looking for an article and found one from six years ago, so this has been going on for a while now. http://abc7news.com/archive/8292471/

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    1. Nan - Thanks for the link. The author of Nomadland refers to that as 'stealth camping'. After her three years in the van, she was more aware of just how prevalent it is in cities. Even in her Brooklyn neighborhood. This was quite an eye-opening read!

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