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dbsalk

@dbsalk@mastodon.social

Recovering #hospitality professional now working in the tech industry. Husband, boy dad, #Mizzou 🐯 alum, 🥨 lover, MoT ✡️. Left the bird site early Nov 2022 after 13 yrs.

Based in NW suburbs of #Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Talk to me about #books #movies #sports #food #running #Jeopardy #Disney °o° (among other things). My header image is an avatar for my to-read list. I drink (occasionally) and I know things.

I brake for #DadJokes.

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dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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I really need to start keeping notes on how/why I put a book to my TBR pile. The East Indian by Brinda Charry was added about a year ago, and I don't remember how I found out about it. A truly unique tale about an Indian boy winding up first in England and then Virginia during the 17th century efforts at colonization, for me this book is historical fiction at its absolute best. It might be one of the best books I pick up in 2024. @bookstodon

Likewise , to Random
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Coffee rings
&
faerie wings.

What are you reading this week?

dbsalk ,
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@Likewise Slowly but surely closing out my re-read of The Dark Tower series, a journey I started back in January 2022.

I feel like the last book starts of at a lumbering pace before picking up speed around the midway point. @bookstodon

dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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Neil Gaiman is good at writing.

@bookstodon

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  • dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    The Coincidence Makers by Yoan Blum started slow and I was seriously thinking about putting in the DNF pile, but about a quarter of the way in it picked up with some beautiful beats. I think at some point I had an "aha" moment. Oh, I see what you're trying to do here! I'm glad I stuck with it, because this is a book that tugs on the heartstrings.

    The premise reminded me at first of The Incrementalists, a book I didn't love. This is much better.

    @bookstodon

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  • dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    Just finished Mr. g: A Novel about the Creation by Alan Lightman. It was... fine. Not bad, but not great. Ok for a quick diversion. I'm glad it wasn't longer than it was.

    I thought it would be funnier, but it turned out to be more philosophical than humorous. There were funny moments, but if I needed to categorize this book, I think I would file it under "metaphysics" and not humor or fiction.

    The audio narration by Ray Porter was great.

    @bookstodon

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    "Will they play the anthem?” I asked.
    “The which?”
    ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’”
    “Oh, the national ballad. What for? This is a ball match, not the Senate.”

    At least one bit of jingoistic idiocy hadn’t yet lodged in the national psyche, I thought.

    -- from If I Never Get Back by Darryl Brock, published in 1989 and set during baseball's infancy in the late 1860s. Just like his character Sam Fowler, Brock was ahead of his time.

    @bookstodon

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    Neil Gaiman ( @neilhimself when he's posting here - which isn't often) is one of my favorite authors, and I'm usually in awe of just about everything he does. It was a cinch, then, that I picked up Unnatural Creatures, an arrangement of short stories that he picked out. So far, all of the stories are good. Surprisingly, I would say that Gaiman's own contribution is the weakest of the bunch, but still entertaining. @bookstodon

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    Oh, look... another book with "girl" in the title. 🙄

    This was added to my TBR in May of 2015, probably on the strength of Entertainment Weekly's recommendation (I used to subscribe to that magazine. We'll see if it's actually "unputodownable" as stated on the cover. I hope so, because the last book I finished was definitely not.

    @bookstodon

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  • dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    Four years ago , I asked Emily St. John Mandel about her fellow author Stephen King's commentary regarding those who compare coronavirus to events in The Stand. Her reply:

    "Sure. Covid-19 isn't like Station Eleven either. We must take the current
    pandemic seriously, but you're unlikely to live out your final days in the
    company of your fellow actors in a post-apocalyptic theatre troupe."
    @bookstodon

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  • dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    Working my way through The Bank by Bentley Little. I remember adding it to my TBR in 2020 because I read somewhere that Stephen King recommended it. I'm not sure if I find that surprising or fitting: The Bank is basically Needful Things, 30 years later. If I were King, I might frown at the obvious overlap, but it didn't seem to bother him. He even added a blurb.

    Needful Things is MUCH better and it's not even close.

    @bookstodon

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  • dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    Back in the day my love for movies and my trivia knowledge combined to make me a walking IMDb. My movie watching has declined drastically since March 2013 (when Kid 1 entered the world) and it's hard for me to stay current. That won't stop me from enjoying Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears by Michael Schulman. I'm only on Chapter 2, but already loving the old-school Tinseltown intrigue. @bookstodon

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  • dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    The blurb on the Barnes & Noble website states "Taut, propulsive, and impossible to look away from, Emma Cline’s The Guest is a spellbinding literary achievement." I'm not sure I'd go that far. It's good, but I'm almost 2/3 of the way through and still waiting to see how the protagonist got in the situation she's in. I'm sure (I hope) there's a big reveal coming, but I don't get why Cline felt the need to be coy. Seems unnecessary. @bookstodon

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    At the end of Song of Susannah (Dark Tower VI), Stephen King includes a series of diary entries, purportedly his own but there's discussion among fans if they're real or fictionalized. In one, he writes "Meanwhile, I have an idea for a novel about a lady who buys a picture in a pawnshop and then kind of falls into it."

    Help me, fellow Constant Readers: was that story ever written? The plot is not familiar, but sounds like one I'd enjoy. @bookstodon

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    Pitchers and catchers report next week, and it's around this time of year that, if I can, I try to read something baseball-related. Yesterday I picked up a book that I read when I was a teen and remember enjoying it very much: If I Never Get Back by Darryl Brock. It's sort of like if Field of Dreams and Back To The Future had a baby, and it's great. @bookstodon

    Likewise , to bookstodon group
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    I have been sometimes way too attracted by my own villains because in a way they seem to hold the secret to the heart of the narrative.

    dbsalk ,
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    @Likewise @bookstodon Great picture! (as usual)

    I hope you like the book better than I liked Shadowland.

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    If you're a fan of Stephen King's work and familiar with his universe, then this line in Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower 6) will make so much sense:

    "You'll go on with your life. You'll write many stories, but everyone will be to some greater or lesser degree about this story. Do you understand?"
    -- Roland Deschain to a young Stephen King, saying the quiet part out loud

    @bookstodon

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    Hello friends: Bird Box by Josh Malerman is only $1.99 from your preferred ebook vendor (Google Play Books, B&N, the A to Z place that makes Jeff Bezos richer but no judgment).

    That book totally freaked me out in all the ways a good story should. One of these days I'm going to work up the nerve to read it again. @bookstodon

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    From the introduction to The Slave Ship: A Human History by Marcus Rediker: "The slaver is a ghost ship sailing on the edges of modern consciousness. To conclude on a personal note: this has been a painful book to write, and if I have done any justice to the subject, it will be a painful book to read. There is no way around this, nor should there be."

    @bookstodon

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  • dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    "Empires preserve their power with the stories that they tell, but just as critical are the stories they don’t—the dark silences they impose, the pages they tear out."

    • The Wager, Chapter 26, by David Grann

    @bookstodon

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    Interestingly, 2024 is seeing a very British trend for me. It's not a bad thing or a good thing. It just sort of happened that way. "Huh! How about that?" Of the 6 books I've touched in 2024, 4 of them have ties to the UK.

    RN I'm almost done with The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan (I'm picturing it as a Richard Curtis movie; Four Weddings and a Funeral even gets a reference) and just started Pulse by Julian Barnes. @bookstodon

    Book cover of Pulse (Stories) by Julian Barnes (Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending) "Vibrant... Full of life and voice... As Barnes fans know, love itself is a lifetime for this playful, erudite writer." -- San Francisco Chronicle Cover art shows an abstract painting of a tray with purple grapes, a sliced open cantaloupe, a lime, and a bottle of wine.

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  • rootcompute , to Random
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    Mastodon.social is perfect for me because I eat plain potato chips, drink black coffee and drive a Honda Accord

    dbsalk ,
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    @rootcompute The first Mastodon server I joined stopped working a month after I signed up.

    I thought the best way to make sure that didn't happen to me again was to sign up on the biggest and most reliable server out there.

    Reliability can be boring and that's ok.

    dbsalk ,
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    @rootcompute I sometimes wish we had more characters too, esp since I just did two extended threads in the past two weeks. I'm not usually that wordy! I think, though, that not having to worry about my feed not updating is a reasonable tradeoff. 😎

    dbsalk ,
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    @rootcompute @exclava With regards hosting your own server, I've had this toot bookmarked for over a year:

    https://mas.to/@libreleah/109574709864633620

    Maybe one of these days I'll actually do something with it. 😉

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    I have the Kingsbridge series on my TBR. I remember very well that when the second book of the series (World WIthout End) was released in 2007, people raved about it. "A MUST-READ!" A friend picked it up recently and found it boring.

    Looking for input from the tusk site's book community: should I keep the series on my TBR, or should I lighten the load by almost 5000 pages? @bookstodon

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    In Sea of Tranquility , describes a character as being "prone to inertia," which is such an eloquent way of calling them lazy. @bookstodon

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    The Wager by David Grann landed on my TBR as soon as I heard about it (long before it was released) and is on Barnes & Noble's "Best Books of 2023" list. Therefore, I can't explain how excited and surprised I was to see the ebook just sitting there available at my library, ready to download. I thought I'd be in line for weeks. Nope... just, "Here you go, enjoy!" I started it in the wee hours on January 1. What a way to kick of 2024! @bookstodon

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    First time I've been inspired to do a "Best Books I Read This Year" list. Here are my favorites from 2023, in no particular order:

    Missoula by Jon Krakauer
    Sea of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandel
    This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub
    Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    Best. Movie. Year. Ever. by Brian Raftery
    Devil In The Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson

    Be safe tonight, my friends. Make good choices. 😉 Happy New Year.

    @bookstodon

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    I tend to gravitate to set in bookstores or libraries. Once Upon A Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller by Oliver Darkshire is a bit off that mark, but still very good. The author has a dry and self-deprecating sense of humor, and I find myself chuckling at his deadpan delivery. Reminds me a bit of Hugh Grant, if Grant was forced to work with the public. It comes off as "very British" to this American (not a bad thing). @bookstodon

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    For the third time this year, I had to mark a book DNF. I hate doing that, but I had completely lost interest in the characters and the pace was so. damn. slow.

    For me, the balm after a book like that is . Almost always reliable. In this case, I'm continuing my re-read of The Dark Tower series, so I know what I'm getting. Glad to be back with Roland's ka-tet in Song of Susannah. @bookstodon

    dbsalk , to 3goodthings group
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    @3goodthings

    Took a short road trip to to watch my niece graduate. Super proud of her. She worked hard and absolutely earned her moment!

    Decided to take the 10yo with me for the event and he had a blast.

    The 10yo and I "discovered" a new taqueria in Iowa City, The Taco Depot. Open 5 months, but nobody has bothered to review them on Yelp. Is Yelp not a thing with college kids? My review is up. 😉 I hope they stick around because our were DELICIOUS. 🌮

    Slide showing a graduate in cap and gown doing a backflip outdoors under a blue sky. Caption is "IOWA: Once a Hawkeye. Always a Hawkeye."
    ![Top portion of the program from Nursing School Commencement at the University of Iowa. Text:

    "IOWA

    COLLEGE OF NURSING COMMENCEMENT

    Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023

    9 a.m., Hancher Auditorium

    Processional

    Platform Officials Faculty Representatives

    Candidates

    Sign language interpretation provided by Hands Up Communications Student Marshal: Kate Randle

    Welcome

    Julie Zerwic, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN

    Kalting Dean and Professor College of Nursing"](https://files.mastodon.social/media_attachments/files/111/599/691/865/710/534/original/ea76dddb388e9c64.jpg)
    Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, USA.

    dbsalk OP ,
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    @bitterseeds @sickmatter @3goodthings I've been wondering about going back to MapQuest for basic directions.

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    Missoula: Rape and The Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer had been on my TBR since 2015, a couple years before the Me Too movement kicked off. I'm so glad this book surfaced in my reading rotation. I'm only about a fifth of the way through and am transfixed by so much: the horror and trauma these young women experienced, juxtaposed with such stoic narration and brilliant writing. I hate it and I can't stop listening. @bookstodon

    dsalo , to Random
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    Pointing out that @everylibrary has joined the fedi.

    If you care about US public and school libraries -- if you want to see library censorship stop -- give 'em a follow, and some spare bucks if you have 'em.

    They do good work.

    dbsalk ,
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    @dsalo @everylibrary Replying here with hashtags for the sake of better reach and visibility: @bookstodon

    yo_bj , to Random
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    "Big Publishing is clearly seeing nothing but dollar signs as apps like Hoopla gobble up identity-linked data on readers—and so it would be natural to put our hope in public libraries, which view patron privacy as a fundamental right essential to a functioning democracy." - https://www.fastcompany.com/90996547/e-books-are-fast-becoming-tools-of-corporate-surveillance

    Bonus fun fact - OverDrive's reading history setting only hides the history. The data is still being collected - https://ldhconsultingservices.com/deception-by-design/

    dbsalk ,
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    @yo_bj I'm assuming this applies to digital audiobooks as well?

    Too bad. I guess it's time to go back to paperbacks and hardcovers until this gets resolved.

    dbsalk ,
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    @demerara @yo_bj @scissortail I keep coming back to this quote from the "100 Things We've Lost to the Internet" by Pamela Paul: "The United States remains the sole developed country without some kind of federal consumer protection law or agency."

    @bookstodon

    jillrhudy , to bookstodon group
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    Dion Graham’s narration of The Wager is awesome. Just riveting.
    @bookstodon

    dbsalk ,
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    @jillrhudy @bookstodon Eagerly anticipating getting to this one in early 2024.

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    I need some from my bookish friends here, particularly those in the area. I'm trying to identify an independent that, instead of providing gift receipts, uses a gold sticker over the price of the book. The issue is that the gold sticker doesn't tell the recipient of the book where it's from, and I'd rather not ask if I can avoid it.

    The store in in a north suburb, and knowing the person who shops there, probably an affluent one.

    @bookstodon

    Close-up of the back cover of a paperback book, with two gold stickers covering the price beneath the barcode.

    dbsalk OP ,
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    @failedLyndonLaRouchite @bookstodon I agree that the highest form of charity is giving anonymously with no hope of repayment. That's not relevant to my request, though.

    The books were given to me as gifts from someone who thinks they know my reading taste, but obviously does not. I'm not interested in the books and would like to exchange them for something that I would enjoy. My request has nothing to do with Judaism or charity.

    Respectfully, I think you shot from the hip on this one.

    dbsalk OP ,
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    @Burn_this_ @bookstodon I didn't say I was embarrassed. I just prefer to keep contact to an absolute minimum if possible. It's better that way.

    sunflower , to bookstodon group
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    recommend me a book! i like fantasy, paranormal romance, sci-fi, queer fiction. i need 12 recommendations from other people for a 2024 reading challenge :blobcatblep:

    @bookstodon

    dbsalk ,
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    @gravious @sunflower @bookstodon I was just talking with a friend about this book last week and "lesbian necromancers in space" was EXACTLY how he described it. I admit I tried to read it once before, but I don't think I was in the right frame of mind. My friend convinced me I should make another attempt.

    dbsalk ,
    @dbsalk@mastodon.social avatar

    @sunflower @bookstodon The Golem and The Jinni by Helene Wecker
    The Hell's Library series by A.J. Hackwith
    We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

    poloniousmonk , to bookstodon group
    @poloniousmonk@mastodon.social avatar

    @bookstodon

    I'm asking non-Americans: Are your libraries full of armed thugs in bulletproof vests? A pair of thugs just strolled behind me, keeping the pressure on.

    dbsalk ,
    @dbsalk@mastodon.social avatar

    @poloniousmonk @bookstodon I hope you taunted the thugs accordingly. I would ask them if they're worried that someone might attack them in the library? Do they feel the need need for self-defense in the children's section? Are they going to be the "good guy with a gun" that stops an armed robbery of the circulation desk? Look out for the skirmishers entrenched in the non-fiction stacks!

    I'm afraid that gun culture is a uniquely American problem. 😡

    kimlockhartga , to bookstodon group
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    @bookstodon Just out of curiosity, how close are you to your reading goal for the year? I need to read 12 more books to meet the goal I set for myself. 📚📚📚📚

    Not everyone works the same way, of course. We've discussed before that reading goals are counterproductive for many. Having a goal really helps me, but it doesn't work for everyone. Just like reading for pleasure and reading to write a review are very different processes.

    dbsalk ,
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    @Arlenecw @kimlockhartga @bookstodon @Likewise 7 day loan period?!? That should be outlawed. 🤔

    dbsalk , to 3goodthings group
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    All credit to Cortland's Garage in Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA for going all in with their Pop Up Bar. Food was just ok, but everyone had a good time. Our server, Emilia, was wonderful.🎄

    New phone! Activated my Pro that I got free through a work connection. Bonus was that I was expecting the non-Pro version. It pays to know people. 📱

    The Bears managed to not lose today. They didn't win, either, because they didn't play. 🏈

    @3goodthings

    Door with an image of actor Daniel Stern's head stuck in a dog door.
    Bar menu for Cortland's Garage Home Alone Pop Up Bar (Keep The Change, You Filthy Animal)
    Wanted posters for the Wet Bandits

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    "In those streets everyone moved faster than me, but what they didn’t know was that I had already moved too fast, too far, and wished to travel no further."

    • Gaspery Roberts, Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

    @bookstodon

    dbsalk , to 3goodthings group
    @dbsalk@mastodon.social avatar

    @3goodthings

    Day was relatively drama free.

    Managed to avoid anything resembling retail activity on . One of the shopping malls near me had to close its doors because there were too many people inside. NO THANKS.

    Highlight of the long weekend was revisiting The Walnut Room in the former Marshall Field & Co (now Macy's) on State Street in downtown , Illinois, USA. Such a treat to have a meal under the big tree in a historic building.

    Historic Tiffany glass dome inside the Macy's department store in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
    The Picasso sculpture (untitled) in Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA. There is an office building in the background and snow is falling.
    The Christmas tree at The Walnut Room in Macy's in downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA.

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    I'm a sucker for time travel books, but not convinced they work well as audiobooks. It's not as easy for me to follow the time jumps - or in the case of Man in the Empty Suit by Sean Ferrell - the various temporal versions of the main character without the pages in front of me.

    I do like the concept of this book, which is a murder mystery where all the suspects are the same person.

    @bookstodon

    dbsalk , to bookstodon group
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    I admit when it comes to knowledge of Peter Straub's work, I am lacking. I know of him thanks to his collaborations with Stephen King (The Talisman, Black House). When Straub passed away last Sept, I felt I had missed something by not enjoying his writing while he was still on this earth.

    Many said at the time that Shadowland is his best work. I'm reading it now. Slow going, but good so far.

    @bookstodon

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  • dbsalk OP ,
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    @Spiggitzfan @craig_patrick @bookstodon If you'd be interested in doing a "buddy read" (I've never done one before) let me know when you start Under The Dome. I've been holding off on that one because the sheer size is intimidating. Thank goodness for ebooks; someone could get hurt hauling the hardcover around.

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