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The_Penniless_Author

The_Penniless_Author

Joined October 2020

Author of four books, including TRUE NORTH and MEMOIR OF A DOOMSDAY PROPHET. https://www.facebook.com/randall.devallance.author
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The_Penniless_Author
The Halt During the Chase | Rosemary Tonks
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#wondrouswednesday @Eggs

1. Mattie Ross (True Grit)

2. Arthur Dent (HGTTG)

3. The Halt During the Chase, by Rosemary Tonks

@RaeLovesToRead @Yuki_Onna @IuliaC

Yuki_Onna Thanks for the tag, Randall! I'll have to have a think first... 🤔 1w
Yuki_Onna Know what I'm doing, btw.? Looking up your books 📚 I was just sent a coupon-code by my fave bookstore-chain for English books. Now I'll have a look whether I can get my hands on one of your short story books... 1w
RaeLovesToRead I'd totally just go Marple & Poirot 😅 Although if I'm allowed animal characters.... Spot the Dog / Nighteyes are 2 faves 😁 1w
See All 11 Comments
Eggs Loved True North 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 @Yuki_Onna @The_Penniless_Author (edited) 1w
The_Penniless_Author @Eggs Thanks so much! 😊 1w
The_Penniless_Author @Yuki_Onna Wow, I'm coupon-worthy? ☺️ Thanks so much! The Cosmic Embrace you can probably find, but my first book is out of print (the publisher closed up shop a few years ago) so only used copies. 1w
The_Penniless_Author @RaeLovesToRead I'm surprised the brainwyrms didn't make your list! 🪱 1w
Yuki_Onna I'm afraid you aren't 🤣 But that's a German bookstore we're talking about, mind you. ... I'll play next week, ok? 6d
The_Penniless_Author @Yuki_Onna All that matters is that you WOULD have used your coupon to buy my book had it been available. 😀 Maybe you should badger the acquisitions department to start stocking me. You can be my exclusive German distributor/publicist! 6d
Yuki_Onna The book industry doesn't work like that in Germany, sadly. And I'm a lousy distributor😅 But I've got another idea, given my mental health improves anytime soon and I have a bit of free time (which might be never)😅... 3d
The_Penniless_Author @Yuki_Onna Ooh, don't leave me in suspense. 😬 What is it? 3d
26 likes11 comments
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The_Penniless_Author
Moving | Fred Rogers
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##Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView

1. I used to move constantly, but we've now lived in the same house in Vermont since November 2012.

2. Stoner - the title character moves from the tiny farm where he grew up to the University of Missouri, first as a student and later as a professor.

Tag @RaeLovesToRead @Ruthiella @MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm @CBee @BarbaraBB @dabbe

TheSpineView Staying in one place is wonderful. Thanks for playing! 1w
dabbe Will do; thanks for the tag! 💙🩶💙 1w
Ruthiella Thanks for the tag. 1w
33 likes3 comments
review
The_Penniless_Author
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Pickpick

I have always hated the way modern political commentators and academics have coopted the term "populism" and made it into a euphemism for bigotry and authoritarianism. This book provides a historical corrective, tracing the term's roots from the People's Party of the 1890s through Roosevelt and the New Deal and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, highlighting its importance in securing most of the basic rights we take for granted.

swynn "I have always hated the way modern political commentators and academics have coopted the term 'populism' and made it into a euphemism for bigotry and authoritarianism" -- goodness yes, and thank you for saying this. 1w
39 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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The_Penniless_Author
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#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

Just a few short years ago we Americans knew what we were doing in the world.

Suet624 Ain‘t it the truth. 3w
34 likes1 comment
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The_Penniless_Author
The Detection Collection | The Detection Club
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#TLT @dabbe

1. Philip Marlowe
2. John Rebus
3. Sherlock Holmes

dabbe How, how, how could I forget Philip Marlowe! Or Sam Spade? I need more choices! #2 is now on my TBR, too! Thanks for playing! ❤️💜🩷 3w
The_Penniless_Author @dabbe Yeah, I should have added Sam Spade. And Poirot. Really, my list should be Philip Marlowe number one, and then 10 or so others tied for a distant second. 3w
33 likes3 comments
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The_Penniless_Author
Fat City | Leonard Gardner
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Pickpick

A fantastic boxing novel that's not really about boxing at all. A funny and often sad portrait of poverty, dashed hopes, self-sabotage, and ennui born of the feeling that your best years have passed you by before they ever even really began. This is one of those tiny, near-perfect books, and if not for the abrupt, seemingly arbitrary ending this would be a five-star pick for me.

42 likes1 stack add
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The_Penniless_Author
The Road | Cormac McCarthy
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#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView

1. I don't care one bit about Valentine's Day, so if I have to receive anything let's keep it simple and say chocolate hearts filled with peanut butter. 😋

2. The Road - it's a brutal book, but a great illustration of parental love.

Tag @RaeLovesToRead @CBee @dabbe @Ruthiella @IndoorDame @Jari-chan

CBee I think we should bombard your mailbox with chocolate PB hearts, Randy 😂😂 3w
The_Penniless_Author @CBee I mean...ok! 😅 3w
TheSpineView Chocolate and peanut butter do go together! Thanks for playing! 3w
RaeLovesToRead The Road would be literally the WORST Valentine's day present ever 🤣 3w
dabbe Will do; thanks for the tag! 🤩 3w
35 likes5 comments
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The_Penniless_Author
Fat City | Leonard Gardner
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#MotivationalMonday @Cupcake12

1. The usual balance of work, cleaning, school events, and trying to carve out some time to write.

2. That's a good question. I used to do it seemingly naturally, and now I can barely do it at all.

3. Stockton, CA in the late 1950s.

Cupcake12 Thanks for joining in. Have a great week x 3w
33 likes1 comment
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The_Penniless_Author
Quirks in Circus Quirkus | Erin Soderberg
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#TLT @dabbe

Thanks for the tag @TheSpineView

1. Even though I'm right-handed, I can only hold a phone in my left hand when speaking to someone.

2. I have an ornate hierarchy of coffee mugs that govern which I'll choose in any given situation.

3. I refuse to watch movies based on books unless I've read the book first.

TheSpineView You're welcome! Agree with you on #3. The book MUST be read first. 4w
dabbe #1: #ditto! I find that I do pretty much everything with my left hand except write. 🤩
#2: I'm a mood reader; you're a mood coffee drinker! 😂
#3: YES! 🤩
4w
The_Penniless_Author @dabbe I'm pretty sure it developed from me holding the phone with my left hand so I could scribble down notes with my right hand when I was a kid. Am I right in guessing that yours is because you were forced to write right-handed in school? 4w
See All 9 Comments
Deblovestoread Yes to the mug to fit the mood. I will rearrange or reach to the back for the mug that is right for the day 🤷🏻‍♀️ 4w
dabbe @The_Penniless_Author I first started writing with both hands; then, I was “encouraged“ to choose the right one. I never even asked why as a kid, nor do I remember the teacher giving me a reason. I was a follower as a kid and just did what I was told. Not so much anymore. 😃 4w
The_Penniless_Author @dabbe It's weird that not that long ago it was a commonly held belief that writing left-handed was "defective" somehow. It still is in a lot of places. My wife was forced to write right-handed growing up in Bulgaria, and she was born in 1984! 4w
The_Penniless_Author @Deblovestoread I own way too many mugs. 😂 It was my go-to souvenir for years. 4w
dabbe @The_Penniless_Author Wow! I think in some places it was even seen as evil. The right hand being the “right“ way to write. #funwithhomophonestoo 4w
Vansa Same for me with the coffee mugs and the books to movies adaptations! I relaxed that for The Expanse tv show though, and don't regret it! 4w
27 likes9 comments
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The_Penniless_Author
Fat City | Leonard Gardner
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#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

He lived in the Hotel Coma - named perhaps for some founder of the town, some California explorer or pioneer, or for some long-deceased Italian immigrant who founded only the hotel itself.

ShyBookOwl Hotel Coma... sounds menacing 😅 4w
27 likes1 comment
review
The_Penniless_Author
It Had to Be You | David Nobbs
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Pickpick

Soft pick. A middle manager at a packaging firm deals with the death of his wife and the (mildly) dysfunctional family that reunites for her funeral. Nobbs is known as a comedy writer, and there were some genuinely funny set pieces and observations scattered throughout the story, but in the end it felt like he was pulling too many punches, aiming for pathos where black humor would have been better. Well written, but ultimately forgettable.

The_Penniless_Author @Yuki_Onna Technically, this counts as a #TPRC entry (23 Crossing the Border), although in the lamest way possible. 😂 US UK 1mo
Yuki_Onna You've got the spirit, Randall! (Though #TPRC hasn't even begun yet, technically 😅😇)
That's how I'll play, most likely. The lamest connections need to work... 😁)
1mo
34 likes2 comments
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The_Penniless_Author
Fat City | Leonard Gardner
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BarbaraBB Favorite book 1mo
BarbaraBB I am not sure about February yet! 1mo
dabbe Will do; thanks for the tag! 🖤🩶🖤 1mo
RaeLovesToRead Thanks for the tag! 💕 1mo
30 likes4 comments
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The_Penniless_Author
It Had to Be You | David Nobbs
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#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

A husband and wife were driving, in separate cars, towards two very different luncheon appointments.

35 likes1 stack add
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The_Penniless_Author
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Even more surreal than coming across one of your own books in a used bookstore is coming across it in Barnes & Noble. 😳 Not even the Local Authors section, just general Fiction. What a nice surprise. (And no @RaeLovesToRead I did not put it there myself. 🤨)

RaeLovesToRead I love the way you assume I would accuse you of such a thing 😅 *shifty look* Well done, DeVallance. That must feel good. 1mo
IuliaC Congratulations!! 1mo
Ruthiella Nice! 👍 1mo
See All 7 Comments
Yuki_Onna Wow - That must be the best and most surreal feeling!👏🎉 Congratulations! 1mo
dabbe 🤩🤩🤩 1mo
TheBookgeekFrau Yayyyy!!!!🤩🤩 1mo
Suet624 Wonderful! 1mo
40 likes7 comments
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The_Penniless_Author
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#wondrouswednesday @Eggs

Thanks for the tag @Yuki_Onna 😀

1. Not sure I have a favorite, but I seem to like a lot of novels set in post-WWII 20th Century.

2. Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

3. I remember one of the Wheel of Time books was more than 1,000 pages (just can't remember which one it was 😁).

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The_Penniless_Author
Bluebeard | Kurt Vonnegut
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Pickpick

All of Vonnegut's trademarks are here in this fictional autobiography of the equally fictional abstract expressionist painter Rabo Karabekian - the narrative shifts back and forth through time; he reveals exactly what's going to happen early in the story; and the trademark mix of cynicism and aching sincerity. Full of profound insights on war, art, feminism, and death/resurrection, and also laugh out loud funny, as usual.

Leftcoastzen What a beautiful review! 1mo
Ruthiella This was the first Vonnegut I ever read. 1mo
Suet624 I‘ll try to find this one. Thanks for the review. 1mo
44 likes1 stack add3 comments
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The_Penniless_Author
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#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView

1. No, a thing I used to sort of regret but do so less and less every year that goes by. (Can't even remember the last time I saw a stick shift.)

2. Dog of the South (Charles Portis). Few authors put such a premium on cars and automotive knowledge as Portis.

Tag @RaeLovesToRead @CBee @dabbe @ImperfectCJ @Leftcoastzen @Kimberlone

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! 1mo
RaeLovesToRead Thanks for the tag... I can drive a manual 😋 [insert inappropriate stick shifting comment] 1mo
The_Penniless_Author @RaeLovesToRead Now I can't tell if you can actually drive a manual or are just making an inappropriate stick-shifting comment. 🤣 1mo
See All 13 Comments
RaeLovesToRead I'm English. Everyone in the UK drives a manual. Well... 99.5% of people. 1mo
RaeLovesToRead According to Google it's 70% of cars in the UK, but I don't know anyone who can only drive an automatic off the top of my head. 1mo
The_Penniless_Author @RaeLovesToRead I was curious why Europe is still so big on manual transmissions, and apparently (according to multiple Google results) it's because manuals used to be much more fuel efficient than automatics (not so much anymore) and the roads are generally hillier and twistier over there (kind of funny to me, given the areas I've lived in, but I get that generally speaking American roads are way flatter/straighter/longer). 1mo
RaeLovesToRead I've never driven an automatic, but we do have a lot of hilly and twisty roads. I don't know how good an automatic would be at tackling these! Automatic cars cost a lot more over here because there are fewer of them. By the way, loving the new Linus picture!!! 1mo
The_Penniless_Author @RaeLovesToRead I've only ever lived in places with very hilly, twisty roads, including mountain roads, and I've never found a problem using an automatic. You have to be careful with braking, and your brakes can wear out pretty quickly, but it's simple enough. (Also, most automatics allow you to shift into first or second gear and keep it there if you're descending a steep road.) Linus says "meeeehh!! ? 1mo
RaeLovesToRead Please translate "meeeehh" into peoplehooman for me 1mo
The_Penniless_Author @RaeLovesToRead If we knew what it meant, we could probably get him to quit screaming it every two minutes! 🤣 1mo
The_Penniless_Author @RaeLovesToRead I do know that he would never say "peoplehooman". Line's a sophisticated guy. King's English only. 1mo
dabbe Will do; thanks for the tag! 💜🩶💜 1mo
Suet624 Last year was the first year I had to purchase an automatic. I could not find one and I needed a car in a hurry. I‘m still annoyed about. 1mo
36 likes13 comments
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The_Penniless_Author
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#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView

Thanks for the tag @RaeLovesToRead ?

1. Not a must. In fact it's barely even a "might".

2. I'm pretty sure I was drinking coffee Sunday morning when I read a chapter of Skeletons in the Closet, but I'm not sure. Let's just say that any drinking I do while reading tends to be purely incidental.

Tag @MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm @IuliaC @eeclayton

TheSpineView Thanks for playing ❤️☕️📚 2mo
RaeLovesToRead 🤣🤣 2mo
IuliaC Thanks for the tag! I'd answer exactly the same 😁 2mo
31 likes3 comments
review
The_Penniless_Author
Skeletons in the Closet | Jean-Patrick Manchette
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Mehso-so

Like a mix between a classic hard-boiled detective novel and a 90s action movie, the story moved a mile a minute, one violent set piece after another. It should have been thrilling, but I found it difficult to care, at least through the first half of the book. The characters were one-dimensional, the writing was unbearably clunky at times, and I felt mostly numb every time someone was dispatched in some brutal fashion. It was almost a "pan" but ?

The_Penniless_Author I rounded up for a few reasons: 1) the writing does tighten up and becomes a lot wittier as the story progresses, 2) the main characters appeared in previous novels, and Manchette dispenses with backstory, which may account for why they didn't feel fleshed-out at first, and 3) it's possible some of the clunky writing was down to the translation (I'd guess Raymond Chandler's slang wouldn't always translate nicely into French, either). I know 👇 2mo
The_Penniless_Author a lot of people swear by Manchette, and those same people think that his Eugene Tarpon novels are probably his weakest (and this one the weakest of those, to boot), so I'll certainly give his other books a shot. 2mo
Suet624 That‘s disappointing… 1mo
40 likes3 comments
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The_Penniless_Author
Skeletons in the Closet | Jean-Patrick Manchette
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#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

The phone rang.

(Finally, an opening line even I could have come up with. 😆)

AnnR 😂😂😂 2mo
Liz_M OOoooh, Manchette -- that might be a wild ride (Loved the tagged) 2mo
dabbe 😂🤩😃 2mo
The_Penniless_Author @Liz_M I'm only a short way into it, but some of the writing is really clunky so far. Like, multiple sentences in the same with paragraph with 3+ adverbs each. I can't tell if it's intentional or an issue with translation or what, but I'm just rolling with it for now and waiting to see if there's a rhythm there that I'm just not in sync with yet. 2mo
RaeLovesToRead 🤣🤣🤣 this is the best first line Friday yet 2mo
34 likes5 comments
review
The_Penniless_Author
The Physics of Sorrow | Georgi Gospodinov
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Pickpick

Tough book to summarize in so few characters. It's formally daunting, a literal labyrinth of stories exploring themes of abandonment and melancholy using the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur as a central metaphor tying them together. There are numerous digressions - "side paths" as they're called - yet they're never tedious and the central narrative holds throughout. Better than Time Shelter IMO, and should have been what won Gospodinov an award.

47 likes1 stack add
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The_Penniless_Author
Big Plans | Bob Shea
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#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView

1. No goals. I suppose the closest thing to a plan that I have is just making sure I read a little every day. Usually I end up reading 40-50 books in a year.

2. None. I'm challenged enough as it is. 😆

Tag @RaeLovesToRead @CBee @dabbe @IndoorDame @Ruthiella @Jari-chan

TheSpineView I get #2! Thanks for playing and happy Tuesday 2mo
dabbe Will do; thanks for the tag! 🖤💙🖤 2mo
28 likes2 comments
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The_Penniless_Author
The Physics of Sorrow | Georgi Gospodinov
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#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

I was born at the end of August 1913 as a human being of the male sex.

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The_Penniless_Author
Roadside Picnic | Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky
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#wondrouswednesday @Eggs

1. None, aside from making sure I carve out some time to read every day.

2. Roadside Picnic (tagged)

3. Fat City (Leonard Gardner)

Tag @RaeLovesToRead @IuliaC @eeclayton @Ruthiella @Yuki_Onna

Eggs Thanks for playing and sharing ❤️📚🧡 2mo
eeclayton Thanks for the tag ☺️ 2mo
RaeLovesToRead Sorry.. I keep forgetting to do these... I will try harder! Hope you're having a fab Xmas 2mo
26 likes3 comments
review
The_Penniless_Author
Roadside Picnic | Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky
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Pickpick

If this book wasn't Jeff VanderMeer's chief inspiration for writing Annihilation, I would be amazed. Aliens pay Earth a brief visit, then bugger off, leaving behind six "Zones" full of strange artifacts and some terrifying phenomena that flout our scientific laws. Were these artifacts a gift to humanity? A warning? A threat? Or just some junk they discarded by the side of the interstellar highway before continuing on to their actual destination?

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The_Penniless_Author
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Christmas book haul. This is in addition to having my NYRB book club membership renewed. I think everyone has finally given up on trying to find creative gifts to give me and just defaults to books or coffee (which is fine by me 😁).

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The_Penniless_Author
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#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView

1. Both! 📚🎄🤓

2. Just books themselves, I never really give bookmarks or bags or anything else book-adjacent as gifts.

Tag @RaeLovesToRead @CBee @dabbe @MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! Happy Tuesday! 2mo
RaeLovesToRead Show us your new books!!!! 2mo
RaeLovesToRead Oh! You already did! 😁 2mo
The_Penniless_Author @RaeLovesToRead As always, I'm several steps ahead of the crowd. 😉 2mo
dabbe Will do; thanks for the tag! 💙❄️💙 2mo
35 likes5 comments
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The_Penniless_Author
Roadside Picnic | Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky
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INTERVIEWER: ...I suppose that your first important discovery, Dr. Pillman, was the celebrated Pillman radiant?

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

review
The_Penniless_Author
Galapagos: A Novel | Kurt Vonnegut
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Pickpick

It's incredible that this book was published in 1985. There's a proto-tech bro turned vulture capitalist buying up the assets of distressed countries out of sheer boredom; a handheld device that's part Google Translate, part WebMD, part Goodreads quotations; a financial crisis precipitated by the collective lack of belief in our monetary system; the devolution of humanity due to environmental factors; etc. This could have been written last week!

Dilara I‘ve got to get my hands on this book 🤯 2mo
Ruthiella One of my favorite Vonnegut novels so far! 2mo
50 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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The_Penniless_Author
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#wondrouswednesday @Eggs

1. As I mentioned somewhere before, if you count Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special as a movie, then that's my favorite hands down. Otherwise, it's a tie between A Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life, and Bad Santa.
2. All I want for Christmas is to get some cake. 🎂😄
3. A Prayer for Owen Meany

Tag @RaeLovesToRead @CBee

RaeLovesToRead Bad Santa!!! 2mo
RaeLovesToRead All I want for Christmas is a bit off the top 🤨 2mo
The_Penniless_Author @RaeLovesToRead Christmas mullet for Rae! 😂 2mo
See All 7 Comments
Eggs Thanks for playing 🥳 2mo
Eggs @RaeLovesToRead 😆❤️ 2mo
CBee Omg I LOVED Pee Wee. The movies were so cheesy good 😂😂 2mo
The_Penniless_Author @CBee Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is still the best movie Tim Burton ever did. Everyone from my (dearly departed) grandparents all the way down to my daughter and cousins' kids love it. It transcends generations! 🤩 2mo
32 likes7 comments
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The_Penniless_Author
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#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView

1. Yes, which I've accomplished by gradually cutting down the number of people I buy presents for by about 90%. 😁

2. White Noise (the grocery store scene)

Tag @dabbe @Ruthiella @ImperfectCJ @IndoorDame

TheSpineView Happy Holidays! 🎄🎁🎅 2mo
dabbe Will do; thanks for the tag! 💙❄️💙 2mo
35 likes2 comments
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The_Penniless_Author
Galapagos: A Novel | Kurt Vonnegut
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#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

One million years ago, back in 1986 A.D., Guayaquil was the chief seaport of the little South American democracy of Ecuador, whose capital was Quito, high in the Andes Mountains.

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The_Penniless_Author
Christmas in Tuscany | Angela Ford
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#TLT Thanks for the tag(s) @dabbe and @TheSpineView

If we're talking Christmas, then my top three would all be in the same area:

1. Switzerland
2. Austria
3. Germany

I really do plan on spending a Christmas in one of those places before my life is over.

Tag @RaeLovesToRead @CBee @Ruthiella @IuliaC @BarbaraTheBibliophage

RaeLovesToRead Nooooooo come spend Xmas with me!!!! 3mo
RaeLovesToRead UK ftw! 💃💃 3mo
The_Penniless_Author @RaeLovesToRead So I can party like it's 1973? 🤨 3mo
See All 6 Comments
dabbe More lovely places! I need a longer list! 🤩🤣😃 3mo
RaeLovesToRead @The_Penniless_Author See! You'll fit right in! You've clearly got the vibe 3mo
TheSpineView You're welcome! 3mo
29 likes6 comments
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The_Penniless_Author
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#wondrouswednesday @Eggs

1. Baileys and coffee ☕️ 😋

2. It changes by the minute. Right now it's Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree for some reason 🤔

3. Flannel PJ pants, an oversized Kirkland sweater, and my Graced Soft Luxury blanket.

Tag @Yuki_Onna @MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm

Eggs It‘s a banner year for Brenda Lee!!🎄 3mo
32 likes1 comment
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The_Penniless_Author
Lucky Jim | Kingsley Amis
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#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView

1. Either to play the piano or to ski 🎿

2. Lucky Jim (Kingsley Amis) if you want to poke fun at academia. Sideways Stories from Wayside School (Louis Sachar) if you want goofy, surreal fun set in an elementary/middle school.

Tag: @RaeLovesToRead @IndoorDame @StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego @Ruthiella @CBee @BarbaraBB

RaeLovesToRead Why not both at the same time? 🎿🎹 3mo
The_Penniless_Author @RaeLovesToRead I guess I could slide down a hill while sitting on top of a piano. That would be a lot easier than either of the things I mentioned. 😂 3mo
TheSpineView Used to Ski when young. Now I am thinking about how hard it would be to get up if I fell. 3mo
The_Penniless_Author @TheSpineView That's why I never bothered to learn, even though we've been in Vermont for so long. I can't take a fall like I used to. 🤕 3mo
TheSpineView @The_Penniless_Author Getting old is not for the faint of heart!! 3mo
24 likes5 comments
review
The_Penniless_Author
Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany | Charles Portis, Jay Jennings
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Pickpick

A compendium of Portis's non-novel writings, including several articles from his time with the Arkansas Gazette and New York Herald Tribune; a few short stories; interviews both with and about Portis; and even a three-act play. Being a Portis super-fan I of course loved it, but this would probably be of minimal interest to the uninitiated. Better to start with the novels and finish up here.

Billypar Do you have a favorite Portis novel? I only ever read Gringos but I really liked it and am thinking I should try a second in the not too distant future. 3mo
The_Penniless_Author @Billypar That's a tough one. It seems like all of his novels have their partisans. True Grit might be his best, and is certainly his best known, but is also the least like his others. Masters of Atlantis was the first that I read, after learning that stand-comics have been passing it around amongst themselves for decades and calling it the funniest book they've ever read. It may be my favorite. Norwood was his first and shortest novel, and 👇 3mo
The_Penniless_Author @Billypar ...distills everything good about his writing into a quick read that won't require a lot of commitment. Dog of the South might be the quintessential Portis novel in terms of themes and characters, particularly Dr. Reo Symes. I guess this isn't helping much. 🤣 Let's just say that while MoA and True Grit are probably my favorites, I consider all them 5⭐️ reads. You really can't go wrong. 3mo
Billypar Thanks for that info! I didn't know anything about Masters of Atlantis - I might check that out next. As far as True Grit, I'm always less inclined to read a book after I've seen the movie, but now that it's been years since seeing the remake, I've forgotten enough that it's probably on the table again, lol. 3mo
The_Penniless_Author @Billypar It's worth it. I loved the Coens' version (much more than the John Wayne version), but even it can't hold a candle to the novel. It's a top-five book for me, and could make a strong case for being my all-time favorite. But MoA is great too (I know I said before that it might be my favorite Portis novel, so as you can tell I'm conflicted 😄). 3mo
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#tlt @dabbe

(This is off the top of my head, there are too many to sort through.)

1. Philip Marlowe from...well...nearly every Raymond Chandler novel.

2. Stevens from Remains of the Day

3. Arthur Dent from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Tag @RaeLovesToRead @cbee @ImperfectCJ @BarbaraBB @IndoorDame

dabbe I almost chose Marlowe or Spade! I can't believe I have still never read HITCHHIKER'S. On the list! Thanks for sharing! 💙❄️💙 3mo
RaeLovesToRead Poirot. The Fool. Garfield. 3mo
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Chess Story | Stefan Zweig
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#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView

1. Chess is my overall favorite, Scrabble is my favorite to play with my wife, and Ticket to Ride is my favorite family game.

2. Tagged

Your turn! @RaeLovesToRead @dabbe @CBee @IuliaC @MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm

dabbe Will do; thanks for the tag! And you're a chess player. Consider myself deeply impressed! 🤩🤩🤩 3mo
The_Penniless_Author @dabbe I mean, I play often enough that I'm a good casual player and could probably impress the pants off of someone who plays very little or not at all, but would get crushed by anyone who studies the game even halfway seriously. 3mo
dabbe @The_Penniless_Author That's still 100% better than me! I have tried to learn, but my brain just can't do it, especially when moving the knight. I am totally hopeless at chess! 🤣 3mo
TheSpineView Thanks for playing! Happy Tuesday 3mo
IuliaC Thanks for the tag! Chess is the king of the games 😁 I really enjoy playing rummy and scrabble 3mo
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Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany | Charles Portis, Jay Jennings
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The Rockport, Ind., Jaycee flatboat entered Memphis waters yesterday morning, and was duly captured by Memphis Jaycees after a few cap gun volleys and a lot of rebel-yelling.

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

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#TLT @dabbe

Movies: 1. Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special, 2. A Christmas Story, 3. White Christmas

Songs: 1. Christmas Wrapping (The Waitresses), 2. Fairytale of New York (The Pogues...RIP Shane MacGowan 😞), 3. Holly Jolly Christmas (a bunch of people)

Books: A Christmas Carol, and... 🤷‍♂️

dabbe See, there's a method to my madness; now you've given me other fun stuff to look into! 🤩 I've never seen Pee-Wee or heard your 1st 2 songs. Thanks for adding to my holiday fun list! 🩵❄️🩵 3mo
The_Penniless_Author @dabbe The Pee-wee one was just a special Christmas episode of Pee-Wee's Playhouse. It was a spoof of those old Bing Crosby-style Christmas specials where random famous people would stop by the house and sing a song or do a skit. It has to be the greatest "camp" lineup of all time - Cher, Grace Jones, Oprah, Charro, Frankie and Annette, Little Richard, Magic Johnson, Dinah Shore...it's incredible! ? 3mo
The_Penniless_Author @dabbe Oh, and Joan Rivers. And KD Lang. And the Del Rubio triplets! 😂😂😂 3mo
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dabbe @The_Penniless_Author Oh my goodness! Charro? Dinah? All of those names = #nostalgialane! I'll definitely have to watch this! 🤩 3mo
peaKnit Oh I need to watch Pee Wee, we just watched his Big Adventure, my teenager did NOT get it lol. It was so dang funny in 9th grade 🤷🏼‍♀️ (edited) 3mo
The_Penniless_Author @peaknit My daughter is in 7th grade and LOVES Big Adventure. I remember it being one of the few movies that I, my parents, and my grandparents all liked when I was a kid. 😀 3mo
RaeLovesToRead Muppet Christmas Carol and THE UK OFFICE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL!!!!! 3mo
Suet624 Awww, Pee Wee. 3mo
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#wondrouswednesday @Eggs

1. You know it! 🎄
2. My favorite tree ornaments are a wooden cuckoo clock that's been around since before my dad was born and that my grandma used to hang up and a little felted fox in an orange sweater who's smoking a pipe and looks like a doll from Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mister Fox adaptation. 🦊
3. We like to keep it old school here, so any of the 40s/50s crooners. Let's say Nat King Cole.

Eggs How lovely! Love the classic 40-50s 🎶 🩵 3mo
RaeLovesToRead I want to see these decorations! 🥰 3mo
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The Sisters Brothers | Patrick DeWitt
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#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView

1. Easy one this month. The Sisters Brothers is my favorite Patrick DeWitt novel and maybe the best book I've read all year.

2. Escape Velocity. I've already read all 5 of Charles Portis's novels, so this collection of articles, short stories, scripts, and other miscellany is the last new-to-me writing of his I'll ever get to read.

Tag @RaeLovesToRead @CBee @Yuki_Onna @dabbe @IuliaC @ImperfectCJ @Ruthiella

TheSpineView I need to read that book. Thanks for playing!❤️📖 3mo
ImperfectCJ Thanks for the tag! 3mo
Ruthiella Thanks for the tag! I also really loved 3mo
dabbe Will do; thanks for the tag! 🤩 And book is #stacked! 3mo
IuliaC Thanks for the tag! I'm also interested in the tagged book 👍🤩 3mo
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The Lady Killer | Masako Togawa
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#ihavequestions

Ok @RaeLovesToRead , now that Thanksgiving is out of my system, let me deal with your questions.

1. I think the tagged book might be the only mystery I've read this year. ?
2. Found The Long Goodbye in a local used book store and am going to re-read (not sure if Chandler counts as "mystery", exactly).
3. I like locked-room mysteries, especially if they include a relatively plausible solution.

RaeLovesToRead Woo! 🥳🥳 3mo
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#sundayfunday @BookmarkTavern

I'm not too picky, so long as there are lots of them. Multiple shelves' worth. John Waters said it best: "If you go home with somebody and they don't have books, don't f*** them...Nothing is more important than an unread library. Life is nothing if you're not obsessed." ??

BookmarkTavern I love that quote! Thanks for sharing! 3mo
Suet624 Same. 3mo
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#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView

1. Driving back to PA to have dinner with my parents and see some of my extended family.

2. Maybe it's recency bias, but French Exit in a way - the odd, cobbled-together group of friends and family gathering for one final party, reveling in each other's company even as they've descended into material ruin. There's a strain of gratitude beneath all the barbs.

Tag @RaeLovesToRead @CBee @Ruthiella @Leftcoastzen

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! Happy Thanksgiving! ❤️🦃 3mo
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The_Penniless_Author
French Exit: A Novel | Patrick DeWitt
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Pickpick

Lighter and airier than some other DeWitt novels, this is a comedy of manners centered around an Upper East Side widow and her emotionally stunted son. Think Wodehouse, if Aunt Agatha were a bit younger, meaner, and a lot more sexually active, and if Bertie had lost his joie de vivre. The plot is mostly an excuse to bring together a cast of oddball characters and let them interact, which is fine by me, since DeWitt writes some of the funniest 👇

The_Penniless_Author ...set pieces and dialogue of any writer in recent memory. 3mo
Suet624 Great review. 3mo
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#tlt @dabbe

1. Running/hiking
2. NYT games (Wordle, Connections, Flashback)
3. Chess

When I want to INCREASE stress, I start writing again. 😁

dabbe Another NYT game lover! And chess! Wow. I've tried playing but totally suck at it. Thanks for sharing! 🧡🖤💜 3mo
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French Exit: A Novel | Patrick DeWitt
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#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

"All good things must end," said Frances Price.

ShyBookOwl Sad but true! 3mo
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Norwood | Charles Portis
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#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView

1. My tolerance (ok, enjoyment) of having wildlife on my property, which is why our tiny parcel (less than a quarter-acre) has a groundhog, two rabbits, a skunk, a racoon, a possum, and a few dozen types of birds that regularly visit the backyard. 😁 (Not to mention the neighborhood cats.)

2. Tagged

Care to play? @RaeLovesToRead @IuliaC @BarbaraBB @CBee @dabbe @Yuki_Onna @MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm @julesG

RaeLovesToRead That is too cool! You should share that insanely fluffy pic of Linus with the good people of Litsy... it will bring joy to the world! 🥰 4mo
RaeLovesToRead I'll have to have a think about my own quirks 🤔 What would you say my quirks were? I have book-related quirks, but I think most people on Litsy have similar haha 4mo
The_Penniless_Author @RaeLovesToRead Every non-book-related "quirk" I come up with turns out, upon closer examination, to just be the fact that you're English. ? 4mo
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TheSpineView So cool that your yard is a wildlife sanctuary! Thanks for playing! 4mo
dabbe Will do; thanks for the tag! Glad so many “pets“ live on your property! 🧡🖤💜 4mo
The_Penniless_Author @dabbe More like "frequently visit" than live. If they all tried to set up house in my yard they'd be shoulder to shoulder! ? 4mo
CBee @The_Penniless_Author jealous! We feed the birds (and inadvertently, squirrels 🐿️ 😂), but I‘d love to live somewhere that wildlife could visit my backyard more! I‘d probably just adopt them all though, which could be a problem 😅🤔 4mo
RaeLovesToRead So I don't have any quirks?!!! 😨🥺 4mo
The_Penniless_Author @RaeLovesToRead None I'd care to discuss in a public forum, no. 😂 4mo
The_Penniless_Author @cbee You wouldn't think we'd get so many animals if you saw where we live (in the middle of a typical small-town street, surrounded by neighbors with similarly small properties), but I think the fact that we don't spray our lawn and let a bunch of different grasses/weeds grow there makes it like a buffet for them. Plus we have a wooded area nearby, so they can slink in and out unnoticed. 4mo
CBee @The_Penniless_Author I love that you‘re just letting it be wild! That‘s awesome 😊 3mo
Yuki_Onna Thank you for the tag, Randall! I'll do it next week, because I need to think about my quirks first... 😅 3mo
Suet624 That‘s wonderful! Yesterday I was an unfamiliar cat to the hood proudly trot down the middle of the street with a mouse in its mouth. 3mo
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My birthday book haul. It's a good thing I love reading, otherwise I'd have no idea what to tell people to get me as a gift! 🤓📖

TheSpineView Great haul! 💙📖📚 4mo
IuliaC Great haul! And happy birthday, best wishes! 🎁🎂 4mo
Ruthiella Happy birthday! 🥳🥳🥳 4mo
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TheBookgeekFrau Happy Birthday!! 🥳🎂 4mo
Jari-chan Happy birthday! 🎉 4mo
AnnR 🎉👍🎂 4mo
dabbe HB! 🤩🤩🤩 4mo
The_Penniless_Author @dabbe Thanks! 🙂 4mo
eeclayton Happy birthday! 🥳 3mo
Kenyazero Happy birthday! 3mo
wanderinglynn Happy, happy birthday! 🎉🎂🥳 3mo
Suet624 Happy birthday!! 3mo
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