Nod to November

What happened in November? I finished physical therapy. But really, PT is not finished with me. I signed up for a 5k in order to keep the running alive. As soon as I did that I needed x-rays for the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my hip and groin. Like stabbing, electrocuting pains. Diagnosis? More sclerosis and fusing. Yay, me! In defiance of that diagnosis I then signed up for a 21k. I am officially crazy.
Here are the books finished for the month of November:


  • A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (AB/print)
  • The Edge of the Crazies by Jamie Harrison
  • Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay
  • Beaufort by Ron Leshem


  • Gastronomical Me by M.F.K. Fisher

Series continuations:

  • No Villain Need Be by Vardis Fisher (finally finished!)
  • Mrs. Pollifax on Safari by Dorothy Gilman
  • Henry James: the Master by Leon Edel
  • I Will Bear Witness: the Nazi Years, 1942 – 1945 by Victor Klemperer

Early Review for LibraryThing: nothing. I jinxed myself by mentioning the book I was supposed to receive. Needless to say, it never arrived. So I never finished it. Ugh.


Leshem, Ron. Beaufort. Translated by Evan Fallenberg.  New York: Delacorte Press, 2008.

Reason read: Lebanon gained independence on November 22nd, 1943.

In a word, Beaufort is gritty. The military outpost Beaufort is a living nightmare for Israeli soldier Liraz, (better known as Erez), but yet he must defend it to the death. Twenty-one year old Erez commands the defense with thirteen boy-soldiers with insane courage, sharp wit and fierce loyalty. All around this crumbling and ancient fortress unseen enemies hide just waiting for the right moment to strike. And strike, they do. Erez is witness to death, up close and personal. In order to cope he and his men play a macabre game called “What He Can’t Do Anymore” where, when a soldier loses his life in battle, the survivors list all the things their fallen comrade will never do again. It’s a crude way of acknowledging his death as reality. By the end of Beaufort you will swear Leshem simply interviewed the real Erez and wrote it all down, word for word. Erez, crude and passionate, walks out of the pages in a blaze of glory and his words burn in the brain long after the last page is turned. I can why they made this into a movie.

Confessional: I have never done this before. Somehow I threw away all my notes for Beaufort. Which means I don’t have any favorite quotes to share, which is a shame because I know I had a few.

Author fact: to look at Leshem’s picture, you would never know at the time of Beaufort’s publication he was a deputy director in charge of programming for a television station. He looks like he should be in high school.

Book trivia: Beaufort is Leshem’s first novel.

Nancy said: nothing besides explaining the plot.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the no-brainer chapter called “Leavened in Lebanon” (p 130).

November Pain

The running – oops – I mean the training is officially over. I don’t know where the run will go from here. I am toying with a 5k for Safe Passage next month. To hell with toys. I WILL run for Safe Passage next month! But really, I don’t even want to think about that right now since PT has ended. For now, I still have the books. The list is long because we aren’t going anywhere for Thanksgiving. Here’s to four days off with nothing to do but read, read, read. Here is what’s on tap for November:


  • A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (AB) ~ in honor of November being the best time (supposedly) to visit India (AB / print). Confessional: I think I would like to remove the category of “Best time to visit fill-in-the-blank.” How am I to know when is the best time to visit a country when I have never been there myself? I’m getting a little tired of saying “supposedly” the best time to visit.
  • Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay ~ in honor of Kay’s birth month
  • Beaufort by Ron Leshem ~ in honor of Lebanon gaining independence in November


  • Gastronomical Me by M.F.K.  Fisher ~ to recognize National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness month

Series Continuation:

  • No Villain Need Be by Vardis Fisher ~ to continue (and finally finish) the series started in August in honor of Idaho
  • Mrs. Pollifax on Safari by Dorothy Gilman ~ to continue the series started in September in honor of Grandparents month
  • I Will Bear Witness/To the Bitter End by Victor Klemperer ~ to continue the series started in October in honor of Klemperer’s birth month
  • Henry James: the Master by Leon Edel ~ yes, I am still reading this. Just tying up loose ends.

Early Review for LibraryThing IF it arrives (so far it hasn’t):

  • Jam Today: a Diary of Cooking with What You’ve Got by Tod Davies

If there is time:

  • Foolscap, or, the Stages of Love (fiction) by Michael Malone ~ in honor of Malone’s birth month
  • The Edge of the Crazies (fiction) by Jamie Harrison ~ in honor of Montana becoming a state in November.
  • The Caliph’s House (fiction) by Tahir Shah ~ in honor of November being the month Morocco gained independence.