The White Nile, by Alan Moorehead

 Great book! What is it about these adventure books, about those Brits and Germans and Americans in the 1800's who struck out with not much on their bodies and tons of sherpas. This book is about the discovery of the source of the Nile. So many men went looking for it, and when they went, they would walk hundreds of miles in search. Through other people's kingdoms, and if they were diplomatically lucky, they'd make it. But none of this was quick.  Some of them took years to move from Zanzibar to Lake Victoria. Many (Emin anyone?) spent years and years in Africa. Truly understood Africans. Still, in a minute they could be felled, laid out in front of what passes for a city hall, missing their heads. Communications took weeks, if they got through at all.  Since I had read The Journals of Major-Gen C.G. Gordon , I knew "the ending" of this book. Still hurt in the heart. This is what this book covers. And it was a great ride.  I borrowed this book from my boss, then o

My CC Spin number is...

 ...TWELVE! That's means I'll be reading The Penguin Book of Modern Short Stories for the Classic Club's CC Spin #28. I have till 12 Dec to finish, which shouldn't be a problem. Will probably read it after I finish Maynard's House , by Herman Raucher, which was my choice for our family book club.  #ccspin #ccwhatimreading

CC Spin #28

 Now that I've joined the Classics Club, I can take part in the CC Spin #28 ! What's that, you ask? A CC Spin consists of 20 books chosen from your 50 classics list. On a particular day, the CC blog will pick a number, and whatever number they pick, you have about eight weeks to read that book. Therefore, here are 20 books from my list of 50: 1. Dark Star Safari 2. For Whom the Bell Tolls 3. Solaris 4. Hadji Murad 5. Endurance 6. Empire of the Sun 7. The Death of the Heart 8. King Lear 9. The Guide 10. Wuthering Heights 11. In Patagonia 12. The Penguin Book of Modern Short Stories  <--- CC Spin #28 selection 13. A Grain of Wheat 14. Wuthering Heights 15. Kidnapped 16. Dead Souls 17. Cakes and Ale 18. King Soloman's Mine 19. The Talented Mr. Ripley 20. The Professor Tomorrow I'll see what book I'm reading. So exciting! #ccspin

The Classics Club

 I've decided to join The Classics Club . I like classics, and have plenty I should read. Part of the requirements for joining include listing 50 classics you'd like to read (or reread, as that's allowed). Fifty is a bunch, but you have up to five years to read them all. Ten a year isn't much, especially since I'm reading 70-ish books every year anyway.  So here goes, 50 classics I'd like to read over the next five years. (No links this time as that'll take me forever. And they're in no particular order. If in a foreign language, English follows in parens, and yes, it means I want to read it in the original.) Let's just round up: I'd like this list to be read by 31 Dec 2026: 1. Out of Africa 2. Of Human Bondage 3. The Turn of the Screw 4. Pride and Prejudice 5. The Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories 6. Wuthering Heights 7. Orlando 8. The Monk 9. Семнадцать Мгновений Весны (Seventeen Moments of Spring, in Russian) 10. Dark Star Safari 11

I really suck at this

 I know I promised this already, but this time I mean it! OK, maybe not, but who knows. Without further ado, here's what I've been doing since my last post way back in August:  For one, we moved. Back in northern Virginia. w00t! I also observed the first annual DC Marathon Swim for a friend of mine, Elaine. She did great, through what was a brutal swim. She was right when she said (at the end) that the race only began at the Woodrow Wilson bridge (after she already swam 11.3 miles and had another 9.2 to go). She's a beast. Did a bunch of reading, to. Life After Life , by Kate Atkinson. Outstanding. Part of the Todd Family of (currently two) books. This woman can write. I am almost scared to try any of her other books. Could the Todd stories be one-offs? There's also a war theme to them, which is a favorite of mine. Whenever someone in my many booky FB groups asks for a novel recommendation, I suggest this one or her A God in Ruins . Midnight in the Garden of Good and Ev


 Haven't read much since the last update. Check that: haven't finished much. We're in moving mode as we're transferring to DC soon. Days filled with organizing and getting rid of crap. DD and I did a garage sale to get rid of clothing, books and junk (~1000 pounds? Let's hope). Made almost $500, so that's nice, too.  I got to pick the latest book in the family book club and I chose 3zekiel (yes, that's a 3). I've been looking around for new (to me) sci-fi authors and found this guy, whose schtick is first contact. This was his first first contact novel so thought I'd give it a try. Very interesting take on first contact. I'd give it 4 1/2 stars. Some issues with it, like his insistence on the main character calling and thinking of the Seal as a soldier. Also, AFRICOM covers the Congo, not CENTCOM. But otherwise a nice read.  After that, I wandered a bit trying to find a book to read. Started Dark Star Safari , and while it is very well written,


   Holy crap, I keep doing this. Sorry. I'm at 46 books for the year so far.  The Caves of Steel by Asimov. This was chosen in our family book club. I'd read it back in 1989 or so. Aged. A bit simple. Not as bad as Ringworld (oy) or Stranger in a Strange Land (oh God). But good parts to it, especially setting the stage for rules of robotics. And the wonderful pair of a robot and human. Oh where did you go Almost Human , how I miss you.  The Stone Face by William Gardner Smith. Interesting. This was the NYRB Book Club pick for July I believe, maybe June. Experience of an African-American in Paris in the 1950's. Interesting. 3 stars. A bit preachy. Not sure how much of this is autobiographical. I've read less obvious books about the black American experience.  An Ice-Cream War by William Boyd. I read Boyd's A Good Man in Africa last year and loved it, and same here. Still don't know why the title. Where's the ice cream?  King Leopold's Ghost by Adam