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Ordinary Life: Stories (Ballantine Reader''s Circle)
by Elizabeth Berg | Women's Fiction
Registered by hotflash of Tucson, Arizona USA on 3/23/2007
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by catsalive): travelling


This book is in a Controlled Release! This book is in a Controlled Release!

10 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by hotflash from Tucson, Arizona USA on Friday, March 23, 2007

10 out of 10

This is, without doubt, the best collection of short stories I have read to date. These stories speak to my heart. They are slice-of-life stories: the kind you might share with a close friend over coffee or a glass of wine. Real life with a spin.
For anyone who has read Elizabeth Berg's "The Pull of the Moon", a must-read in this book is the story "Martin's Letter to Nan". Martin's perspective on Nan's notes and departure will surprise and give you pause to reflect a bit. How little we understand about the workings of the male mind. Along these lines, another must-read is "Take This Quiz. I'm thinking about reading both of these stories aloud to my own husband who, being very male, often has a hard time translating feelings to words. Can't help but wonder what his reaction will be (dangerous territory here)
I'm starting a book ring with this one. It's just too good not to share with other Berg fans.
 


Journal Entry 2 by hotflash from Tucson, Arizona USA on Wednesday, March 28, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Picture is of Elizabeth Berg. Here is a blurb from a biography:
A former nurse with a caretaker's eye for the details of needing and being needed, Elizabeth Berg doesn't shy from the "women's writer" association. She writes with humor and sympathy about the small earthquakes upending women's lives and their extraordinary, human ways of setting things right again.

This ring will start the first week of April, 2007.
Here is the list of participants so far (as of April 2)


Mailed from Tucson on April 6, 2007:

COMPLETED ITS BOOKRING JOURNEY ONE YEAR LATER, APRIL 2008

Starting in the Netherlands with -
Dutchbooky – Amsterdam, Netherlands (prefers to ship within Europe) COMPLETED
Joanazinha - The Netherlands (prefers to ship within Europe)COMPLETED
Silentmiaouw, Switzerland COMPLETED
Jessibud - Toronto, Canada COMPLETED
Bookgirrl - Toronto, Canada COMPLETED
PaulsBooks changed BC name to Tostle - Utah, USA COMPLETED
SKIPPING purple-lilly who has not responded to PMs
Purple-lilly - Australia (prefers to ship within Australia)
Sujie - Australia COMPLETED

ASKED TO BE SKIPPED KansasKiwi - Kansas, USA
AuburnCaMom - California not available

Pretty typical bookring rules:
If you find yourself overwhelmed and have to keep the book longer than 3 to 4 weeks, just do a quick post to say that it is NOT stalled, it is just staying with you a bit longer. As long as we know where it is, it is NOT a problem.

Please be prepared to journal once you have received the book, so we all know where it is and so that the person who shipped it to you knows it made the trip OK. (I will update my list in my journal entry accordingly - the link will be on my bookshelf.)

A quick journal entry after you have read the book would be appreciated. If you didn't like it, feel free to come right out and say out. All opinions are invited and welcome.

Thanks everyone for participating.
 


Journal Entry 3 by dutchbooky from Amsterdam, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Friday, April 13, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Book arrived this afternoon and I just could NOT resist it. Have read the first story (Ordinary Life) and enjoyed the way Mavis tries to make her husband understand why she needs some time alone. From his reactions, you can see she has never done that before in their life together. Can't wait to read the rest (I do have some other ringbooks here that need finishing first, but I think I'll just slip in a story every now and then!).

Thanks hotflash for sending and sharing! 


Journal Entry 4 by dutchbooky from Amsterdam, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Saturday, May 05, 2007

9 out of 10

I have read all but one of the stories in this book. The more I read Elizabeth Berg, the more I like her style!! I found 'Love Story' one of the best stories in this book. I can relate to Mavis' wish to reflect on life in peace and quiet, although I might not do that in the bathroom. It is a creative way, however, of finding a retreat in your own home! I look forward to reading more of Berg's novels and stories.
I will finish the book tomorrow and PM Joanazinha if she is ready for it! 


Journal Entry 5 by dutchbooky at Controlled release in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, May 06, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Released 10 yrs ago (5/7/2007 UTC) at Controlled release in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

In the mail to Joanazinha! 


Journal Entry 6 by wingJoanazinhawing from Amersfoort, Utrecht Netherlands on Tuesday, May 08, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Received the book today, together with another book by Elizabeth Berg as a RABCK. Thanks again for that, dutchbooky. I love her writing style, so will enjoy both books. 


Journal Entry 7 by wingJoanazinhawing from Amersfoort, Utrecht Netherlands on Wednesday, May 23, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Before this book, I read one other by Elizabeth Berg: The Year of Pleasures. And I loved it. So I was curious about and looking forward to this book. Today I finished reading it. I loved each and every story in it! I started to read and thought: oh, this is a beautiful story, then the next one, and the next one. And they were all so magnificently written. As hotflash wrote: the stories speak to my heart.
Wonderful, beautiful book and I'm going to miss it!

Will PM silentmiaouw to ask for her address. Thanks hotflash for making this a ring (and me part of it). 


Journal Entry 8 by wingJoanazinhawing at on Thursday, May 24, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Released 10 yrs ago (5/24/2007 UTC) at

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

On its way to silentmiaouw.
I was so busy wrapping the book in the enveloppe I totally forgot to enclose a card, as I normally do! Therefore this way: happy reading silentmiaouw. I hope you will enjoy the book as much as I did. 


Journal Entry 9 by over-the-moon from Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on Thursday, May 31, 2007

This book has not been rated.

it arrived! thank you - I'm really looking forward to reading this. 


Journal Entry 10 by over-the-moon from Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on Monday, June 04, 2007

9 out of 10

Finished it (quick read) and ready to send on to Jessibud - will write my review later, I need a bit of time. Watch this space.

Communication, or the lack of it, is the thread running through these short stories –between husband and wife, mother and daughter, daughter and father… It’s so easy to identify with the characters in Elizabeth Berg’s writings, uncanny how she seems to see into our minds and touch a sensitive nerve. I liked all these stories, especially Ordinary Life: A Love Story, Departure from Normal, and Caretaking—and I was very pleased to read Martin’s letter to Nan as I was one of those who wondered if he would still be waiting at home for her when she returned. 


Journal Entry 11 by over-the-moon from Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on Thursday, June 07, 2007

This book has not been rated.

mailed to Jessibud an hour ago.
I hope all the stamps are still on it when it arrives - the two top ones look blurry because they are holograms. 


Journal Entry 12 by jessibud from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, June 12, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Arrived today -- only 5 days to get here!! And Silentmiaouw, thank you so much for the stamps! I have never seen hologram stamps like these before! These are the kind that *move* if you wiggle them from side to side! And, you have to tell me, the Abbey Road one that you included inside, is that a real stamp, used for postage? How cool!

I am finishing up 2 bookring books currently on my bedside table, hopefully this weekend. I have only 2 more weeks left of school and then I will be FREE (for the summer, anyhow). I will try to get this one started before then but if not, then I promise it will be first of my summer reading!

Can't wait! What better way to begin vacation than with Elizabeth Berg! 


Journal Entry 13 by jessibud from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Friday, July 06, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Just a quick note to say that I will probably finish up this book tonight. I will journal again once I'm done, to add some of my favourite passages. Not surprisingly, Berg once again takes my breath away.

I'm getting together with Bookgirrl on Sunday so I will pass the book along to her then. 


Journal Entry 14 by jessibud from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Sunday, July 08, 2007

This book has not been rated.

I don't know how she does it. How can a person say in words, what we feel in our hearts, without words? It's as if Elizabeth Berg knows me intimately sometimes. She has a way of expressing something I've thought, or felt, but with much more clarity and insight than I ever could. Reading these stories is, in a way, like she has looked at the world through my eyes, but has adjusted the focus on the binoculars.

A few of my favourite passages:

- Sometimes it just happens that you meet people in the wrong order.

- I like the monotonous drone of the tires on the pavement, the containment in one small space of everything I need in my life. I will be safe forever -- I can tell by the simple sight of the back of my parents' heads. They are up: alert, careful, and making the right decisions. I can stare into the sky until I sleep for real, worryless.

- I realized that love comes in all forms, and is always about more than we can know. I saw that there are exquisite acts of tenderness lying latent in all of us, waiting only for our permission to come into being.


I could go on but I won't. Thanks, once again, Hotflash, for this. Passing it along to Bookgirrl this afternoon 


Journal Entry 15 by Bookgirrl from Acton, Ontario Canada on Monday, July 16, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Received from Jessibud. Thanks!
I did enjoy Berg's other book - about the Moon, sorry, at work and a bit distracted at the moment......
Seems there is a lot of marriage stuff in here, and having been NOT married for the past 10 years, I wondered if I would connect....however if Jessibud likes this book, I am sure I will too!
Plus I LOVE short stories. Apparently they are very hard to write! 


Journal Entry 16 by Bookgirrl from Acton, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, September 11, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Accckkkkk! Apologies.
Thanks Jessibud for reminding me about this book. Now.....I just have to FIND it among the towers of books on the floor, under my bed, beside it, etc. I actually went to IKEA 2 week-ends ago, to buy a white BILLY bookshelf (Ah, the good old Billy's).....but they were fresh out.
Anyway, my house is 16 feet wide, so there can't be that many hiding places for this book.
Sorry for the delay. 


Journal Entry 17 by Bookgirrl from Acton, Ontario Canada on Monday, November 26, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Hello everyone. I have tried about 3x to get through this book, and feeling guilty about time, I am going to send it off to the next person on the list. I do enjoy Berg's books (thanks Jessibud for first introducing us) It's good to know i can pick up the thread of this one again at some point.
So.....off to PaulsBooks in Utah. Paul, can you PM me and send me your mailing address? Thanks,
PS: Who out there is going to the UK Convention in April? I am going - can't wait! 


Journal Entry 18 by Bookgirrl from Acton, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, November 28, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Mailing to Utah "PaulsBooks" today. Hope you enjoy this book! Bookgirrl 


Journal Entry 19 by tostle from Salt Lake City, Utah USA on Monday, December 31, 2007

8 out of 10

(aka PaulsBooks) I just noticed I didn't journal when I received this book! Sorry! I received this a few weeks ago!

I really enjoy Elizabeth Berg's musings. The stories caused me to examine my relationships and my feelings. I always appreciate books that make me shake things up a bit!
I loved this quote from the story "Sweet Refuge": "...I know his pain, and so I move him very gently toward me. I sing softly to him, stroke his temple, ease it all, ease it, until it is over. I envisioned this, and I realized that love comes in all forms, and is always about more than we can know. I saw that there are exquisite acts of tenderness lying latent in all of us, waiting only for our permission to come into being."
...and this quote from the story "The Matchmaker": "...Living in the water that I had imagined was crystal clear were forms of life that were disgusting to behold. It came to me that there was no place on earth that was pure. No person, either. In all of us was this mix of things, and the trick was to focus on the better parts."
I want to remember the story "White Dwarf" as it reminded me of things we sometimes give up...the things we sometimes overlook as being important. I always want to remember why I keep going in my relationship, why I stay, why I say sorry and give...and ask forgiveness before things get too rough. This quote says it all for me: "She had memorized his knuckles long ago, but the feeling now was quite new--full of hope...and full, too, of the the exquisite relief of forgiveness."
Thanks for sharing this book with me. I will be sending it off to Purple-Lilly.

Edit: I have pm'd purple-Lilly several times! Sorry! I will try the next reader. 


Journal Entry 20 by Sujie from Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, March 26, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Collected today, thanks Tostle. Could have been at post office for a couple of weeks, as I've been away. I can fast track this one (it's a Berg, right?!) and get it off to KansasKiwi soon. For some unknown reason I have no other ring books! 


Journal Entry 21 by Sujie from Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, April 08, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Famous last words - this slim volume got lost in my pile of library books.

I think Berg does best at novels where her intense scrutiny of character can be built up and over-sewn like embroidery. I particluarly enjoyed the second last story "The Thief" because it was so different from the others in tone, driven by plot a little more than character. A little Maupassant, a little "Saturday" by McEwan (until I realised his book was published later!).
I did enjoy these, however nothing yet surpasses "Open House", the first work of Berg's I read. I have a few to go.
As usual thank you, hotflash. PMing KansasKiwi. 


Journal Entry 22 by Sujie from Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Australia on Friday, April 11, 2008

This book has not been rated.

KansasKiwi wants to be skipped so I'm PMing AuburnCaMom. 


Journal Entry 23 by Sujie from Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This book has not been rated.

No answer as yet from AuburnCaMom, and her shelf says she has just moved. I'll wait a few more days for a reply and then post to you, if that's OK with you, Hotflash. 


Journal Entry 24 by hotflash from Tucson, Arizona USA on Friday, April 25, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Looks like this bookring book has completed its circuit. Thanks to all who participated and passed it along on its travels.
Next stop is up to Sujie. A RABCK?? A trade?? A release??
Who knows where it will pop up next. 


Journal Entry 25 by Sujie from Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, April 26, 2008

This book has not been rated.

livrecache in Melbourne has expressed interest, Hotflash, so waiting on her postal address. 


Journal Entry 26 by livrecache from Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Friday, May 02, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Sujie, who shares my taste in many books, has chosen to send this one to me. I look forward to reading this collection of stories, judging by others' comments. (And I so like much-travelled books.) I shall do my best to ensure that the book keeps travelling once I've finished.




 


Journal Entry 27 by livrecache at Caulfield North, Victoria Australia on Sunday, May 10, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (5/10/2009 UTC) at Caulfield North, Victoria Australia

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Part of what's turned out to be a bit of a lucky dip for the Southern X book exchange. (I have absolutely nothing on your wishlist. Sorry.) 


Journal Entry 28 by wingcatsalivewing from Rooty Hill, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, May 13, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Thanks livrecache. 


Journal Entry 29 by wingcatsalivewing from Rooty Hill, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, November 07, 2009

4 out of 10

I'm not a big fan of short stories, especially when they're all so dreary. I haven't been impressed with Berg's novels & all these stories are the same. She seems to have a thing for thumbsucking whilst hanging onto other people's hair, Newfoundlands, astrophysics, choc chip & peanut butter cookies, & husbands that won't take the side roads - all the books I've read seem to have some of these and miserable parents.

The only one I did enjoy was Martin's letter to Nan. The Pull of the Moon was all about Nan's wants & full of navel-gazing so it was good to see Martin's reply. I'd have been tempted to tell her not to come home. 


Journal Entry 30 by wingcatsalivewing at Netherlands, BookMooch -- Controlled Releases on Friday, November 20, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (11/19/2009 UTC) at Netherlands, BookMooch -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Mooched by fleur361. 


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