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tymfos sails through more books in 2012 -- Voyage 4 -- Sailing toward summer!

75 Books Challenge for 2012

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Edited: Jun 8, 2012, 10:01pm Top

Since we're starting May, I decided to start a new thread.

Turner's Covered Bridge, Bedford County, PA

Welcome to my space! This is my 75 Challenge thread. All books I read in their entirety in 2012 will be listed on this challenge! I count all forms of books here -- paper and ink, e-books, and audio books. I've expanded my number of books read dramatically since I've started listening to audios while doing housework, walking, exercising, or driving. (And my house is cleaner, and I get more exercise!)

Edited: Jun 2, 2012, 2:06am Top

Books finished in January

1 Think of a Number by John Verdon (AUDIO)
2 Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter
3 Dixie City Jam by James Lee Burke
4 Iron House by John Hart (AUDIO)
5 Graveyard Dust: a Benjamin January mystery, by Barbara Hambly
6 Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace by Cathleen Falsani
7. Winter Blues by Norman E. Rosenthal
8. The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney
9. Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon
10 The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie (AUDIO)
11 The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill


Books finished in February
12 He Who Fears the Wolf by Karin Fossum (E-BOOK)
13 The Fitzgerald Ruse by Mark de Castrique (AUDIO)
14 Drowning in Oil by Loren C. Steffy (non-fiction / current events)
15 Birds of a Feather By Jacquiline Winspear (fiction)
16 The Cypress House by Michael Koryta
17 Dead to You by Lisa McMann
18 Between Heaven and Mirth Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life, by James Martin (E-BOOK)
19 The Great American Gamble: How the 1979 Daytona 500 Gave Birth to a NASCAR Nation, by Joe Menzer ("Speed Weeks" read!)
20 At the Altar of Speed: the Fast Life and Tragic Death of Dale Earnhardt, by Leigh Montville
21 The Civil War: A Narrative, Vol. 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian by Shelby Foote

Edited: Jun 2, 2012, 2:06am Top

Books finished in March
22 Appalachia: a Self-Portrait ed. by Wendy Ewald
23 Boundary Waters by William Kent Krueger (fiction -- 2nd in Cork O'Connor series)
24 Red Bones by Ann Cleves (3rd in Shetland Quartet)
25 Butchers Hill by Laura Lippman
26 He Chose the Nails by Max Lucado (devotional)
27 When the Devil Holds the Candle by Karin Fossum
28 Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin (non-fiction -- Spring Training read)
29 The Dirty Secrets Club by Meg Gardiner (AUDIO)
30 The Gods of Gotham by Lindsay Faye
31 And the Angels Were Silent by Max Lucado (devotional, E-BOOK)
32 The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths (AUDIO)
33 Purgatory Ridge by William Kent Krueger

Books finished in April
34. Sherman's March by Burke Davis
35. Miracles & Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Doctors by Nancy Kennedy
36. The Likeness by Tana French
37. Bag of Bones by Stephen King (AUDIO, mostly with hard-copy backup!)
38. Blood Hollow by William Kent Krueger (AUDIO mostly, with hard- copy backup to finish in time)
39. Voyagers of the Titanic by Richard Davenport-Hines

Edited: Jun 7, 2012, 8:22pm Top

Books finished in May

40. Gone, Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane
41. Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet
42. Burning Angel by James Lee Burke (AUDIO and paper)
43. Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger (AUDIO)
44. State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy
45. The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin (YA)
46. We'll Always Have Parrots by Donna Andrews
47. Under a Flaming Sky by Daniel James Brown
48. Waterproof: a novel of the Johnstown Flood by Judith Redline Coopey

Books finished in June

49. Cadillac Jukebox by James Lee Burke (AUDIO and paper)
50. The Ridge by Michael Koryta (fiction)

currently reading:
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (historical fiction)
The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough (AUDIO)
A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller (devotional)
Three Months in the Southern States by Arthur J. L. Frematle (e-book)

Edited: May 1, 2012, 11:30pm Top

I'm also doing the 12 in 12 category Challenge. running from 12/12/2011 through the end of 2012.


Here are my 12 in 12 Challenge Golden Oldies Hit Parade Categories and some ideas as to kinds of books that might fit each category.

1. American Pie - Don McLean (for all things USA)
2. Color My World - Chicago (world literature, world history, and books with colors in titles)
3. Jambalaya (On the Bayou) - Jo Stafford (James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux books will fit here, along with other books set around New Orleans or other bayou areas)
4. What's Goin' On? - Marvin Gaye (Current events and mysteries)
5. Help! -- The Beatles (disaster-related, and maybe some crime-related, books)
6. King of the Road - Roger Miller (Stephen King books would fit here; travel books might work, too; anything about royalty)
7. Spooky - Classics IV (self-explanatory)
8. On and On - Stephen Bishop (for series)
9. Doctor, Doctor - Thompson Twins (for books with a doctor in the house!)
10. Magical Mystery Tour - The Beatles (for more assorted mysteries)
11. The Winner Takes it All - Abba (sports & award-winning books)
12. Spirit in the Sky - Norman Greenbaum (religion/spirituality)
and also a catchall for things that don't fit:
Anything at All - The Beatles (miscellaneous)

I've decided to do the "side challenge" on the 12 in 12 category challenge: one book for each month that includes the name (or maybe number) of the month in the title or author (and, in at least one case, I'm probably using a series name).

Edited: May 1, 2012, 11:31pm Top

I'll probably also continue to have monthly themes, or at least give special emphasis to certain topics in certain months. However, I'm incorporating the above-mentioned side challenge into these for variety:

I'm almost certain of these ones:

January -- First things First!
February -- Terrible Two's -- and special February occasions!
Marvelous Mystery March (Three M's) Mysteries, March-related books, and 3rd in series. Also Blackdogbooks Spring Training read!
Amazing Autism Awareness April (Four A's) Autism-related reads, April-themed books, and 4th in series
Mark's May Murder and Mayhem -- Marvelous! (5 M's) Mysteries, May-theme books, and 5th in series

September Series & Sequels
Halloween Read for October

Edited: May 1, 2012, 11:31pm Top

I plan to include most of this info on my book posts:


Copyright/Year of original publication:
Dates Read:
Number of pages:
Off the Shelf? (pre-2012 or ER?) Source?:
Category for 12 in 12 challenge:
How does it fit the category?
Alternate category
Why did I read this book now?
My Rating:

Edited: May 1, 2012, 11:31pm Top


I'm also doing the BOMBS (Books Off My Book Shelves) challenge for 2012, with a goal of reading AT LEAST 53 books from my shelves this year.

Books acquired this year, with an attempted limit of 53, and an even more sincere attempt to not get more than I actually read off the shelf this year:

(note the snake and apple, symbolizing temptation, as in the 3rd chapter of the book of Genesis),

Edited: Jun 7, 2012, 8:23pm Top


Books Off My (TBR) Book Shelf (BOMBS): 26

regular? 26

pre-2012? 20
ER? 3
others? 3

Books Acquired 2012:

Purchases: 25
New: 19
Used: 6
ER: 4
Gifts: 7
Freebies: 1

Total: 37

regular: 37
e books?

Ratio BOMBS read/total books acquired: 26/37


more stats

Borrowed Books Read: 24

Library 23
Friends 1

e-books: 4
audios: 11


Total books read: 50


Fiction: 34
Non-Fiction: 16

US authors: 38
non-US authors: 12

male authors: 27
female authors: 23

Edited: May 1, 2012, 11:33pm Top

May 2, 2012, 12:29am Top

Wow, Terri, you've been busy over here!! Congrats on your new thread.

May 2, 2012, 12:58am Top

Hi Terri!! Nice new cheerful digs you have here.

Where is that beautiful bridge located?

Edited: May 2, 2012, 7:23am Top

11 Good morning, Mamie, and thanks!

12 Good morning, Joanne! Thanks, glad you like the thread -- and the bridge. That photo always makes me think of a song on an old John Denver album about being somplace Cool and Green and Shady.

The bridge is in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, which has 14 covered bridges preserved. Here's a driving tour of 8 of them; I believe my photo is of Turner's Bridge, which is near the end of the tour:


The picture on the web page linked above is taken from the opposite (and less shady) end of the bridge from where I took mine.

May 2, 2012, 8:11pm Top

Such a colorful thread...I can always count on you to offer a pick-me-up. The bridge is gorgeous. Someday I really want to do that driving loop. Are you doing May Murder and Mayhem?

May 2, 2012, 8:18pm Top

*waving* at Terri

May 2, 2012, 8:34pm Top

Hi Terri congrats on the latest thread and just to say I love the stats.

May 2, 2012, 8:38pm Top


Good luck with your goal of reading at least 53 books off your shelves. I may have mentioned that the recent installation of hardwood floors throughout the house made me take stock of all the books that I had to move from room to room when the installers were working. I think it was a wake up call to read as many as possible this year.

My problem is that I visit threads and find so many gems that I add to the TBR pile and then go to the library and check them out....thus failing to read those I own.

May 2, 2012, 8:41pm Top

14 Hi, Tina! Thanks for the kind words. Yes, I'm doing May Murder & Mayhem. (Wouldn't miss it for the world!) Two books that I've got going fit right in: my audio of Burning Angel by James Lee Burke, and Gone, Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane. I'm sure I'll come up with others as the month rolls along. I hope I get more reading done this month than I did in April!

15 Waving right back at you, Stasia! :)

16 Hi, Paul! Coming from you, the stat compliment is quite flattering, as you are probably the 75 Challenge's KING of stats!

May 2, 2012, 8:43pm Top

17 Linda, we cross-posted! I understand about the wake-up call. I also understand about reading from the library instead of the TBR shelf! I just mentioned two books I've got going for May Murder & Mayhem, and they are both library loans.

May 2, 2012, 8:43pm Top

Terri - if I am the Prince there are plenty of Princesses!

Edited: May 2, 2012, 9:01pm Top

20 :-)

As I've mentioned, my son has autism; difficulty with social interaction is a basic part of what defines the autism spectrum. His Home Economics teacher is marking him way low on cooking projects because, ahem, he "doesn't want" to assist, "needs to work with group," etc. Kid almost cried when I showed him what she wrote in the "comments" on his online grade sheet -- he didn't seem to have a clue what she meant. Apparently, she hasn't said a word to his Autistic Support teacher, who is supposed to help in situations like this. We had this problem with lab work for Science class last year, but the teacher made the problem known to the IEP team, and they came up with strategies that really helped. The really bizarre thing is that, in the real world, home cooking usually isn't a group project.

(Now if the comments had simply been about his cooking ability, I wouldn't have been the least surprised or upset.)

Beyond that, he seems to suddenly be struggling in several other classes. Could it be a reaction to the turmoil of remodeling? I thought he was handling it so well. . .

May 3, 2012, 12:22am Top

Oh, Terri, that makes me sad. Group projects can be a pain for kids that don't have social issues, but for kids that fall into the autism spectrum, they are a nightmare. My daughter used to completely stress out when she was forced to work in a group. She would say, "I want to be segregated. I will be my own group." She just didn't understand why she had to work with others in a group, especially when they didn't want to work with her. The teacher can make or break the experience. And you're right - home cooking isn't a group project.

You are probably also right about the remodeling taking its toll because change of any kind is stressful. Perhaps the remodeling coupled with the group project thing because that is stress both at home and at school?! I know that would be enough to throw Rae off. That's why we took her out of the public school system at the middle school level - because the stress level elevated (middle school girls can be mean spirited) and the teachers seemed less willing to work with us.

I am sending warm wishes your way and will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.

May 3, 2012, 7:41am Top

Thanks, Mamie! This is unusual for our school -- as I said, similar issues were dealt with creatively and constructively for his science labs last year. I think he finished the year with something like a B average in that class. I'm partly blaming myself, because I haven't been on top of monitoring his grades this past month. And these half-semester courses are problematic because the teacher barely gets to know the kid, and it's over. But this teacher is his homeroom teacher, so she should have some familiarity with his issues.

Most of my son's peers -- particularly in his own grade level -- like him and treat him OK. There have been a few problems, mostly with older kids, and as far as I can tell, the school has been proactive in dealing with teasing/bullying. Some of the other kids watch out for him and report things they see that concern them. He actually likes his school -- the routine, being with his friends -- and wouldn't want to leave.

I did just learn that my son has been working on a report about baseball -- his current obsession -- for his history class. Bless the history teacher for allowing him to research on his favorite subject, but he was up to 40 pages (way, way over the minimum) when his Learning Support teacher intervened and got him started on the edit process. (Typically, he hadn't said a word to me about it.) His Autistic Support teacher suggests that the baseball paper has gotten too much of his attention, to the detriment of other work. I would tend to believe she might be right. I'm sure the remodeling isn't helping. And -- with the pollen levels and the remodeling dust and fumes -- his asthma has flared up this past week.

All warm wishes, thoughts, and prayers for my family are gratefully appreciated!

May 3, 2012, 7:47am Top

Speaking of the remodeling . . .

Remodeling Update:

We're almost done! We now have a fully working bathroom on the second floor again. Most of what's left are finishing touches -- moldings, towel holders, touch-up paint, some electrical work, putting the radiator (which we sure didn't need yesterday!) back into place.

Maybe time for a photo?

May 3, 2012, 9:28am Top

Terri, I know you are enjoying your new bathroom. No more showering away from home! I do hope that the remodeling explains your son's "backsliding" although I can commiserate with him on group projects. Cooking in a group sounds ridiculous to one who has always been the Lone Ranger in her kitchen. Not by choice necessarily but by family members who apparently were spoiled in their upbringings!

Yes, we need pictures!

May 3, 2012, 3:16pm Top

Donna, I'll do a photo when they're done work today.

I've had e-mails from my son's autistic support teacher. She's talked with him, and the home ec teacher, and together they have come up with some practical ideas to help him in home ec and elsewhere. They're even going to bring the OT (occupational therapist) into the mix because his motor skills are a factor in how he's working with some kitchen items -- something I've noticed at home, too.

Edited: May 3, 2012, 5:44pm Top

For some reason, LT isn't letting me edit my last post. So I'll add here: we've encountered a couple little remodeling glitches. There's a bit of a clash with the light fixture over the sink and one of the cabinet doors when it's open -- we're going to have to be a bit careful when we open that door. We thought we had allowed sufficient clearance, but . . .

Also, my new toilet is leaking (on my new tile that the tile guy said to try not to get wet until the grout fully sets after a week). The plumber is upstairs now fixing the issue.

Wonder of wonders, my Home Depot order of towel holders & such arrived in a timely manner today!

Edited: May 3, 2012, 5:44pm Top

OK, I promised a photo of the renovation progress:

There's still a little work to do, but it's just about done!

May 3, 2012, 6:58pm Top

Bathroom is cozy looking and gorgeous! Ouch to the leak!!!
Terrible ....hope the plumber gets it sorted.

I think the support teacher might be onto something... if he is absorbed in what he loves.. it makes sense
that some other things will suffer.. I Hope it is that easy..

Good luck with cooking though... too bad she is not more flexible...
good energy to all of you...

I am not completely caught up, but I know that you will forgive me.

May 3, 2012, 8:17pm Top

It's beautiful!!! I love the tile.

May 3, 2012, 8:22pm Top

Hi Terri- Love the new thread. Love the bridge. The bathroom looks great too! Everything is wonderful. Hope the current book is matching things.

Edited: May 3, 2012, 8:43pm Top

29 Hi, Kath! Thanks! Leak is fixed. On the school front, it sounds like the teacher is willing to try some new strategies with him, now that the Autistic Support teacher has talked with her. And this may be good, that they're getting OT involved. I've felt for some time that there were kitchen issues that needed that kind of help.

30 Thanks! I'm so glad you stopped by, Tina.

31 Thanks, Mark! Current books are good. Current attention span for reading . . . well . . .

May 3, 2012, 8:56pm Top

LOVE it! It's beautiful, Terri.
You did a fantasic job with your choices. It all looks wonderfully coordinated :)
Do you do what I do?
i.e., everytime you walk in you say "I love you, bathroom!"


May 3, 2012, 9:02pm Top

Thanks, Claudia! Your remodel turned out so nicely, I can see why you say "I love you" to your bathroom! I'm not as expressive toward my room, but I do spend a lot of time just walking in there for no reason, looking around, and smiling a lot.

May 3, 2012, 9:13pm Top

Your bathroom turned out great! You must be so excited that it's almost finished. Construction is such a nuisance, but the end results are always so stunning.

May 3, 2012, 11:35pm Top

Thanks, Mamie! I'm excited and relieved.

My in-laws will be visiting at the end of the month. I've e-mailed them photos, but I can't wait for them to see it in person!

Right now, I'm feeling a little sticker shock. The project went way over budget. I sure hope we don't have any major unexpected expenses for at least the next year or so. Thank heavens my first choice of tiles wasn't available, or the financial damage would have been even worse!

May 4, 2012, 12:03am Top

Lovely new bathroom, Terri! I like your tiles - good choice.

May 4, 2012, 12:17am Top

Add me to those expressing Wow! At your choice of tile Terri. The bathroom looks so warm and inviting. I,love it!

I'm glad the school is getting the problems sorted out. It sounds like he has just the right services to make him succeed in school. Good for your public school and you, of course, for being such a good advocate for your son. As they say, it takes two.

May 4, 2012, 1:25am Top

Hi, Terri, your bathroom looks great, so fresh and new. I don't think we've ever rennovated and not gone over budget!

Glad to hear that the Home Ec problems are being worked on, kudos to you for getting on top of this right away.

Have a great weekend.

May 4, 2012, 8:01am Top

37 Thanks, Joanne!

38 Thanks, Bonnie. Our district really has worked well with us, despite the occasional bump in the road.

39 Judy, thanks. Thee sticker shock is really sinking in.

Last night, after I spent some time moving stuff around making use of the new storage space we built into the bathroom, I decided a foot soak and a good book would be just the thing to unwind. I sat down in my easy chair with a book and my feet in the little foot bath I bought from Avon . . . and fell asleep. I woke up at 3 in the morning with two prunes at the end of my legs. Talk about wrinkled feet!

May 4, 2012, 1:58pm Top

I guess you can check off:
1) Bath renovation in time for company, and
2) 2012 - footsoaking

May 4, 2012, 5:02pm Top

Yeah! for the finished bathroom :)
Yeah! for the school issue being worked out :)
happy for you!

May 4, 2012, 5:03pm Top

LOL, Cee!

May 4, 2012, 5:04pm Top

Thanks, Kara!

Edited: May 5, 2012, 10:54am Top

75 Challenge Book #40
Title: Gone, Baby Gone
Dennis Lehane
Copyright/Year of original publication: 1998
Subject: missing children
Setting: Boston area
Series: Kenzie & Gennaro #4
Dates Read: finished 5/4/12
Number of pages: 374
Off the Shelf? (pre-2012 or ER?) Source?: No, library book
Category for 12 in 12 challenge: On and On
How does it fit the category? series that I'm following
Alternate category any mystery or series category
Why did I read this book now? 4th in series -- started in April for the April/4th monthly challenge. Finished late
My Rating: 4.75 stars

I just added Dennis Lehane to my favorite author list. His books have everything -- stunningly real, complex characters, terrific sense of place, edge-of-your-seat plot development, great touches of light humor in the midst of darkness, and gritty confrontations with the complexities of life. In this series, there are no "good guys." Everyone is somehow compromised, and even the protagonists stumble along, often trying to follow a path that involves the lesser of a variety of evils; occasionally lose their way altogether. Even most of the bad guys aren't all bad -- but there are a few that are horrific, and in this book we encounter one small group of inhumanly evil monsters.

This is not an easy read. It is dark and gritty and populated with some very unsavory characters. It involves children at risk, children gone missing, children abused in both subtle and horrific ways. It's hard to explore the depth of the issues with which it deals without spoilers, and I don't want to include any. But I will be thinking about this book for a while.

My one quibble is that a portion of the plot got just a little too convoluted for me to follow all the nuances. It wasn't a major issue for me, but it seemed unnecessary to make that particular issue that complicated, so I'm giving it a 4.75 instead of a 5.0.

May 5, 2012, 1:35pm Top

Great review of Gone Baby Gone. It's going on my wishlist! But should I read the series in the order?

May 5, 2012, 2:05pm Top

Great review, Terri. I can't wait to get to this one. Just have to read Sacred first and I'm there!

Edited: May 5, 2012, 3:21pm Top

46 I would definitely suggest you read the series in order. This book contains some major spoilers for earlier books in the series. I've found this whole series to be very high quality.

47 If you've enjoyed the rest of the series, I think you'll like Sacred, Mamie!

May 5, 2012, 3:36pm Top

I'm glad I got the lawn mowed earlier, as we've just had a real gully-washer of a thunderstorm! The rain was so heavy it interrupted our satellite TV reception for a while.

Now I hear sirens. I wonder whether or not they are related to the storm in some way (lightning strike, tree limb down on power line, etc.)

May 5, 2012, 5:05pm Top

Terri, congratulations on the new bathroom! To have a result that good would be worth all the trouble and time if it were mine! I also love the tile and what I can see of the flooring. Great job!
Adding my good wishes for your son's working out a way to satisfy the home ec. teacher and manage his academic work. I'm very pleased that he is working on a paper that fascinates him, and I know what a hard lesson it is for every kid to allot time to the stuff he doesn't like.
And, let me add my support to your enjoyment of Kenzie and Gennaro. I've read all but the last one, I think. Good series!

May 5, 2012, 8:33pm Top

48 > Okay, thanks! I've added A Drink Before the War to my wish list.

May 5, 2012, 8:45pm Top

Terri- Great review of Gone, Baby Gone. I loved it too. See the film. They did a good job.

May 5, 2012, 8:54pm Top

hehe at foot soaking debacle ...
Don't like Lehane ... but whatever works for us eh??

Edited: May 5, 2012, 9:51pm Top

50 Thanks, Peggy! The floor tile is actually the same tile as on the wall, only set on the diagonal. It doesn't show, but all that tile has a thread of bluish color running through it that matches the wall paint color.

I know what a hard lesson it is for every kid to allot time to the stuff he doesn't like.
Heck, sometimes (lots of times!) it's even hard for us adults! I'm sitting here now LT-ing when I should be doing other things . . .

I have Prayers for Rain sitting on the TBR shelf, waiting -- I think that's the next one up in Lehane's series. I may get to it later this month.

51 Good move!

52 Thanks, Mark.
See the film. They did a good job.
Really and truly, Mark? Must see it, then.

53 Funny how we love some of the same stuff, and some not, eh Kath?

May 5, 2012, 9:53pm Top

I LOVED the Kenzie and Gennaro series. Even though I read Moonlight Mile first (I had an ARC), I went back to A Drink Before the War and devoured them right after another. I wish there were more!

Edited: May 6, 2012, 9:34pm Top

Hi, Joanne! I had a similar experience with the Louise Penny series -- I got The Brutal Telling as an ARC, and went back to Still Life and read them all straight through. I kind of wish I hadn't read Brutal telling first as it colored my reading of the earlier ones, but I still enjoyed them.

I am simply not keeping up with LT very well. Too much going on in RL.

May 7, 2012, 11:47am Top

75 Challenge Book #41
Title: Born on a Blue Day
Daniel Tammet
Copyright/Year of original publication: 2006
Subject: memoir of a man who is an autistic savant
Setting: England and other places around the world
Dates Read: started April 2012; finished 5/7/12
Number of pages: 237 (including reading group guide & conversation with author)
Off the Shelf? (pre-2012 or ER?) Source?: Yes, purchased from library sale pre-2012
Category for 12 in 12 challenge: Color My World
How does it fit the category? See title
Alternate category
Monthly theme/emphasis? / how does it fit? Started last month for April Autism Awareness
My Rating: 4.75 stars

This fascinating memoir by Daniel Tammet explores the world of a man who has Asperger's Syndrome, Savant Syndrome, and synesthesia. He is amazing! In 2003 he set a European record by reciting over 25,000 digits of pi, that infinite decimal number so useful in geometric and other applications. When asked why he did it, he responded:pi is for me an extremely beautiful and utterly unique thing. But the record attempt was done to benefit charity, used as a fundraiser by the National Society for Epilepsy in the UK.

Tammet openly discusses the difficulties he's had with social interaction, with tolerating change, with different sounds and textures and in dealing with non-literal language. He also shares the joy he experiences in the unusual way he experiences the world, especially numbers. He attempts to describe the colorful landscapes he sees as he deals with numbers. His is a unique mind, not simply in how he experiences the world, but int hat he is able to describe it so clearly to those around him. He willingly subjects himself to scientific scrutiny.

Sometimes people ask me if I mind being a guinea pig for the scientists. I have no problem with it because I know that I am helping them to understand the human brain better, which is something that will benefit everyone. It is also gratifying for me to learn more about myself, and the way in which my mind works.

He comments how his difference from others, which separated him from others and caused him such distress when he was younger, has become something which has now allowed him to reach out to and interact with so many different people. It's very inspiring to see how he has learned to live a full, independent life despite the difficulties which his Asperger's syndrome presents.

May 7, 2012, 12:21pm Top

I have got to get my hands on a copy of that book. A very nice review - thumb worthy! I am very excited that it looks as if your April Autism Awareness thread will just keep going - how great is that?!

May 7, 2012, 12:23pm Top

Um.. you didn't post your review to the book's main page. Could you post it so I can thumb it?

May 7, 2012, 1:13pm Top

Duly posted, Mamie. All thumbs appreciated!

Edited: May 7, 2012, 5:54pm Top

Follow up on him, Terri.. last I heard he was in a happy relationship and doing well in his chosen field.
I liked that one a lot when I read it..

May 7, 2012, 6:58pm Top

Kath, I see he wrote a second book, Embracing the Wide Sky, published in 2009. I'll have to find that.

May 8, 2012, 7:45am Top



New personal website, I see.. thought these would interest you..

May 8, 2012, 4:39pm Top

Cool! Thanks, Kath!

I completed another online training session today at the library. This one was kind of fun!

Edited: May 8, 2012, 6:00pm Top

Hubby is still sick. I keep nagging at him to go to the doctor . . .

ER book arrived today, The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins. I didn't realize it was second in a series. There are quite a few in the May batch that look interesting to me. I requested a bunch, but now that I've been through the whole list, I may narrow it down and un-request some of them in hopes of getting a really good one.

Now that we've spent too much money on the bath remodel, everything is breaking. After our toaster-oven meltdown, the air purifier for my son's room died -- in the middle of a bad spell with his asthma. I had to buy a new one today. Yikes!

May 8, 2012, 6:05pm Top

I've read a few Ace Atkins's and liked them. His were set in the South. I think he's taken over another series. Robert Parker's perhaps?

May 8, 2012, 6:19pm Top

Oh, hi Terri!
You thought there were a lot of good choices in the May ER selection? I was looking at them and fell asleep right in the middle of them... sitting up in my chair. Hmmm. Maybe I should look again? I think I might have been tired.

"Now that we've spent too much money on the bath remodel, everything is breaking"
I know how you feel. Suddenly we have a lot of unusual expenses too... incl getting Mom installed in her new digs. Phooey!

Hope hubby gets better soon - if not, keep nagging!

May 8, 2012, 6:27pm Top

Terri- I also received The Lost Ones as an ER and also didn't realize it was the 2nd in a series. Boo. I've heard about Atkins for a long time but have not read him.

May 8, 2012, 6:34pm Top

Hi Terri, thumb for your review of Born on a Blue Day. It sounds fascinating. I thought there were a bunch of good titles in the ER batch too. Finally settled on the Demick book since I liked Nothing to Envy so much. I see you choose to select more than one and see what you get. Do you ever end up getting more than one book? I've wondered if that's possible. I always select only one when I do select any.

Edited: May 8, 2012, 7:03pm Top

66 Linda, I think this one is part of his own series, not one of the Parker ones -- and it looks like it's set in the south, too.

67 Cee, there's one about Henry the VIII's divorce, from the Vatican POV; and a musical bio of Vince Guaraldi. Those are the ones that immediately come to mind, but there were a few others that caught my eye. One police procedural set as the world is about to end from a meteor strike or something (Pre apocalyptic?) What would you do if you really knew everyone was going to die in 6 months? Do you keep doing your job? Good question for thought.

68 Well, I guess we're going to try him now, Mark!

69 Bonnie, you can ask for as many as you want, but they normally only award one per reader at most; however, as I recall there's a thing you can check if you're willing to receive two, just in case they have trouble matching the books to readers via the mysterious LT ER algorithm. I don't think I've ever known anyone who actually got two in a month. Sometimes -- often -- I have trouble deciding on one, and decide to let LT decide for me. (Sometimes I regret that.)

I've got to pay more attention to dinner prep. My sausages just almost boiled over.

May 8, 2012, 7:01pm Top

Oh, the book about Sarajevo sounded good, too . . .

And there was a theological book that caught my eye . . .

Yes, I thought this was a good batch.

May 9, 2012, 10:14pm Top

Buzzing thru

Edited: May 10, 2012, 11:21pm Top

Is that what that buzzing was? Glad I didn't grab the flyswatter! :-}

Busy day. Chose hymns for Sunday and e-mailed them to appropriate folks before work. Busy day at library. Came home and cleaned the fridge. Ordered flowers for MIL (Mothers' Day). Then grocery shopping. Came home, put supper in oven. (Pork loin -- reduced price for quick sale.) Being as I was up really late last night mopping floors after the guys went to bed (easiest time to not have them trudging through the wet floor) and listening to my audio book, I'm a bit tired.

Current books:

1. Almost done with Burning Angel. I started out listening to the audio download, but when the short loan expired & I couldn't renew, I switched to our library's paper copy.
2. About a quarter of the way through State of the Onion -- 1st in White House Chef series -- as a cozy "fluff" read and carry-in-my-purse paperback.
3. Started audio download of Mercy Falls last night -- 5th in Cork O'Connor series
4. Started A Praying Life by Paul A. Miller as devotional/spiritual read
5. Still working on e-book of Three Months in the Southern States which is the Civil War journal of Arthur Fremantle

May 11, 2012, 12:18am Top

Just dropping by to say Hi. Hope you get an early night tonight Terri and rest up. That's quite a list you have going, you're so far ahead of me in the Cork Co'Connor series. I don't know when I am going to get to book #3.

May 11, 2012, 7:13am Top

Hi, Judy! Actually, I was up a bit late finishing Burning Angel. I've been trying to do one of the Cork books each month for a while. I suppose I'll give it a rest sooner or later. I think there's one more after this one in our library's audio download program, and then I need to buy or ILL the next few, so I may slow down with the series after that.

Edited: May 11, 2012, 7:44am Top

75 Challenge Book #42
Title: Burning Angel
James Lee Burke
Copyright/Year of original publication: 1995
Setting: New Orleans area
Series: Dave Robicheaux #8
Dates Read: finished 5-10-12
Number of pages: 340
Off the Shelf? (pre-2012 or ER?) Source?: Library audio download/library copy
Category for 12 in 12 challenge: Jambalaya (on the bayou)
How does it fit the category? setting
Alternate category any mystery or series category
Why did I read this book now? May Murder & Mayhem
My Rating: 3.4 stars

It all starts with a mysterious journal that Sonny Boy Marsallus gives to Dave in a bar. There is all manner of murder and mayhem, and in the end? It still wasn't clear to me why the journal unleashed all this violence, or if it really mattered after all. Oh, there were issues about an old plantation being dug up, too. Seems Dave should have been able to get on top of what was behind that a lot quicker than he did.

Burke spins a good yarn -- great, colorful, complex characters, terrific atmosphere, great sense of place, lots of action. His use of language is marvelous. I love the deft touches of the supernatural he includes, which were particularly significant in this outing. And, for the thinking reader, there are some great insights about how people do vs. how people should treat one another. But this one wound up not making a lot of sense to me as to why anyone was doing what they did, other than the fact that senseless violence led to violent retaliation and how ugliness in our pasts can distort our future actions. Perhaps that was the point -- the senselessness of it all -- or maybe I missed something. But it left me a bit baffled as to what exactly was behind all that happened. Not the most satisfying of the books in this series.

May 11, 2012, 9:13am Top

Bummer - but a nice review! I have not read any Burke, is the entire series set in New Orleans, or just this one? I love stories set in the South, especially New Orleans.

May 11, 2012, 9:48am Top

Hi Terri,
Sorry your book left you wanting more... good review!

I went back to look at the ER selections for this month and found 3 that I thought looked interesting. So... we'll see.

Mopping floors at night? Sounds like you are a hard working woman -
hand the mop over! If they mop the floors (just once), I guarantee they will stay off of them while wet.
Don't forget to take a break now and then ;-)

May 11, 2012, 1:19pm Top

77 Mamie, yes the entire series is set in the New Orleans area. I generally enjoy these books, and the setting is one of the reasons why. His descriptions of the area, from the city streets to the rural bayous, take you right there. Even this book was a good read, but in the end certain things didn't quite make sense. (Then there were those things that simply couldn't be explained -- cue the Twilight Zone music -- but that part's fine with me.)

78 Cee, I may mop at night, but I also frequently nap in my chair after work. So it all works out OK in the end.

May 11, 2012, 3:13pm Top

Mopping floors is not a night time activity here.. I think my mop would explode.. or else head would !

Hope the weekend is a good one for you :)

Edited: May 11, 2012, 10:08pm Top

Thanks, Kath! Hope your weekend is good too!

Gorgeous day today, thought it started out a bit cold. I spent a little time on yard work this afternoon after work. I had a dinner to go to this evening (sort of church related) about 40 minutes away; nice drive, listened to audio book. Nice turkey dinner, too.

I am toying with going to a huge book sale a couple of hours away tomorrow. My son is willing to make the trip. I've been having some leg cramps the past day or so (what's with that, anyway?), and I'm a little concerned about the drive -- though I did fine driving this evening.

Do I really need more books? (No, don't answer that . . .)

May 11, 2012, 11:08pm Top

I'm headed to New Orleans for a publication conference. This is the fourth time I've taken students there. I confess I need to learn more of the city. Taking students there post Katrina was a scary experience...lots of crime...a culture that took advantage of tourists/visitors and an element/feeling of unsafe.

Visits since then have been more positive. This year we are taking a tour of the Garden District.

Terri, I'm so sorry that your son is experiencing some difficulties. I've told you before, but it bears repeating, you are a wonderful, sensitive and patient soul. The world needs more of you.

Your new bathroom looks wonderful!

Edited: May 12, 2012, 10:18am Top

82 Thanks, Linda! I hope you and your students have a safe and happy time in New Orleans!

Today is another gorgeous day. I'm so tempted to drive off to that book sale . . . but I really shouldn't. I know I'll overspend and buy way too many books. Also, I have so many things to do before tomorrow morning. We've had some discussion of possibly doing it as a Mothers' Day Outing tomorrow, if we're not too tired after church. And I may not spend quite as much tomorrow, as some of the plum books will be gone already.

May 12, 2012, 12:35pm Top

Whatever you do today.. hope you enjoy it ! :)

Edited: May 13, 2012, 12:20am Top

Thanks, Kath! Hope you had a good day, too.

I read a little, unloaded the dishwasher, cooked brunch with my son, practiced the piano, did some filing, read some more, had a talk with my son, napped a bit, spent some time cleaning out the attic, broke down some cardboard boxes to take to recycling, did yard work, made a roasted chicken dinner, re-loaded the dishwasher, watched TV with my family, and got the church bulletin ready. Sounds utterly mundane, eh??

Oh, and I listened to my audio book during some of the above chores. It's a pretty good one.

All in all, a relatively relaxing and productive day.

One other thing: my son enthusiastically notified me that two days ago was the anniversary of "the golden spike" -- completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, May 10, 1869. (I checked online -- he was right, of course. He always is with dates.) Apparently they had discussed that in history class sometime this year. He thought that was cool, and I guess it is. It certainly changed our country. But how does one celebrate that? Belated happy Spikaversary? Happy Birthday, dear Railroad?

Hubby seems to feel better the past couple days, but the cough lingers.

May 13, 2012, 11:15am Top

Spike shaped cake?

I bet your son comes up with plenty of interesting topics :)

May 13, 2012, 5:17pm Top

So you passed on the book sale? That's pretty surprising Terri. Oh I'm sure you didn't need more books. Who does? But it's hard to pass up a book sale. Good for you resisting like that.

Edited: May 14, 2012, 7:18am Top

86 Yes, Kath, lots of interesting topics. :)

87 Hi, Bonnie! Yes, I passed. I guess the price of gas was a factor, to drive that far for a book sale, as well as time and general money issues. And there is a real determination to rein in my book purchases! We went out for Chinese food for Mothers' Day dinner.

There's another used book sale coming up next month, a bit closer to home. And it's the week after my Thingaversary. I'll probably go to that one and get the traditional celebratory books.

May 14, 2012, 7:31am Top

Terri... Chinese out with the family sounds like a nice way to spend the day
anyway... and I do know what you mean abut reigning in the book buys.. :P

May 14, 2012, 7:39am Top

I got behind on your thread! Good job on your bathroom!

May 14, 2012, 3:29pm Top

89 Kath, I just wish we'd gone to the restaurant we went to last year. The restaurant we went to yesterday raised the price of the buffet to take advantage of the holiday, and added a bunch of non-Chinese foods we weren't interested in. A lot of my Asian favorites they had last time we were there were missing. And hubby wound up with a tummy ache.

90 Thanks, Rachel! And I understand about getting behind on threads. . . I am way behind on a lot of threads.

May 14, 2012, 9:08pm Top

Oh no.. so sorry that you were disappointed..
no fun!

I did no reading today...
maybe tomorrow.. ?

May 15, 2012, 3:41pm Top

Well, Kath, it was still fun to get out with the family. The food was OK, just sorry it didn't agree with DH.

No reading . . . antsy . . . I know that feeling. I've done some reading the past few days . . . got a bunch of books going, can't seem to get settled on one. My audio book seems to be going most quickly, and the cozy I'm reading.

Well, I gave myself a late Mothers' Day present, having resisted the Book Sale. I needed a haircut and had a 20% off coupon for the new hair salon near where I work.

She talked me into getting rid of the gray. I figured if I was ever going to try hair color, I might as well do it when it was 20% off. Plus there is a discount on the haircut when you do hair color. She did a good job of matching my natural shade sans the gray ones . . . only a bit prettier, I think. Dynamite haircut, too.

And there's this punch card where for every third time at the salon, you get another 10% discount on the service. I'm calling it my "frequent dyer plan."

May 16, 2012, 1:06pm Top

Every time I go for a haircut, they ask me if I'd like to do a color, and I just can't make myself do it. I just tell 'em that I earned every one of these gray hairs, and I'm not giving anyone permission to take them away from me.

May 16, 2012, 5:08pm Top

Hmm nothing to match on my head but more grey!
Glad to hear that you were brave enough to take the plunge :)
Have fun with it!

May 16, 2012, 9:35pm Top

I have to go quite regularly to take care of those roots now. I really do think that I started turning grey earlier than my mom did.

Edited: May 16, 2012, 10:54pm Top

94 That's a great way of looking at it!

95 Thanks! I'm enjoying it.

96 I know I started going grey much earlier than my Mom. She was still a natural redhead well into her fifties, and the majority of her hair was still red when she died at age 75.

I just finished my audio book, Mercy Falls, 5th in the Cork O'Connor series. I did NOT like the fact that it ended with a major "cliff-hanger." I don't mind a continuing secondary story line or two from book to book, but this was too major to leave hanging.

May 16, 2012, 11:28pm Top

Hi Terri, You've reminded me that I have Iron Lake hiding on my nook. Are you finding that the series holds up?

May 16, 2012, 11:53pm Top

Joanne, I've really enjoyed this series up until now. Even this one was a good story. I just didn't expect it to be so open-ended. If he keeps leaving cliff-hangers and not wrapping up the main story line, I may re-evaluate whether I want to continue the series.

May 17, 2012, 7:40am Top

94> I started going grey in my thirties.. I colored my hair for a while.. but stopped years ago. They talked me into some new fangled thing where they add just some color each time you go so it is a gradual thing.. and it is never all over color, but it brightens or some darn thing. I almost did it...

Joanne, seriously, isn't that the perfect way to describe it? I had Bitterblue hiding there and had forgotten all about it. There has got to be a better way!

So Terri is your hair red? Have I ever seen a picture of you? I don't remember..
:( terrible.

hey, it is cold there this morning? it was like 37 or something .. at least that is what I think I heard.
It is 41 now.. brrr! That will wake you up!

May 17, 2012, 8:21am Top

Good morning, Kath. I started going grey in my thirties too, about the time I became a mother, and the grey threads have slowly multiplied with time. I always wanted to be a red-head like my Mom, but no luck. (She spent her younger years wishing she wasn't a redhead. Go figure.) I suppose as long as I'm coloring my hair, I could go for it and get red hair, but . . . nah.

You probably haven't seen a pic of me, I keep my face off the internet. (Don't want any cracked computer monitors out there! ;-)

May 17, 2012, 3:24pm Top


Our computer circulation system changeover is not going well. Needed data did not transfer into the new system.

May 17, 2012, 3:25pm Top

Of course it didn't ...

It never does first thing.... sorry :P

Good luck next try :)

May 17, 2012, 3:35pm Top

Thing is, we're told by IT powers-that-be from the library consortium that some of it never will transfer. Something about the proprietary nature of the previous software . . . we're left to muddle along as best we can. I mean, the library isn't going to sink into ruin over this, but it's a MAJOR hassle for those of us who work there.

OTOH, it's such a beautiful, gorgeous, pleasant, comfortable, sunny day today that I have to just shrug if off and go work in the yard, or maybe porch a while with a good book.

May 17, 2012, 4:50pm Top

Just dropping in and catching up with your thread. Sorry about your computer woes at work.

May 17, 2012, 7:45pm Top

Terri- Like Kath, I started going gray in my early 30s and never had a problem with it and now I'm way to far along to change anything now.
I'm starting Iron Lake tomorrow.

May 17, 2012, 7:55pm Top

Ah yes! that's right! I was trying to remember whose thread I saw the William Kent Krueger book on originally. It was you! I loved Iron Lake!

May 17, 2012, 8:21pm Top

We'll be running some huge usage reports either this summer or in the coming year. While I may not keep print copies of them, I'm hoping we can at least keep some Excel spreadsheets with the data in a format that will make it easy to access in the event we need it at some point in the future. Our primary purpose is to determine what we will be putting in storage and what we will keep out on the shelves for ready use. Books have to be of a certain age before we'd consider putting them in storage as well, but at least it will give us a starting place. I, of course, may do some weeding in the process. There are some academic titles, however, that you just don't want to part with because you never know when someone will chooses to research that topic.

Edited: May 17, 2012, 9:17pm Top

Good evening! So nice to have visitors!

105 Hi, Mamie! We'll be OK. I just hope our patrons will be patient during this transition. Most that I dealt with today were nice.

106 Mark, I swore I'd never resort to hair coloring. Not sure why I changed my mind, but the result is motivating me to make some other changes that will be healthy for me. Now that I look more like my former self hair-wise, I'm aiming to get my weight (and my blood pressure) back to where it was in years past.

Enjoy Iron Lake!

107 I'm really glad you loved it, Rachel.

108 Lori, I'm in charge of overdues, and it looks like my compulsive paper-record-keeping may pay off big-time in that area. As for weeding, that's always tricky -- we weeded one book that hadn't been used in over a decade; a week later, we had a request for it from a home schooling family. Go figure. I rather envy your library having storage space. We have almost none. For the most part, it's either on the shelf or it's gone.

Such a lovely day! After work, I cleaned and vacuumed the front porch (listening to my audio book), then sat and read on the porch swing for a while.

Edited: May 17, 2012, 9:32pm Top

75 Challenge Book #43
Title: Mercy Falls (AUDIO)
William Kent Krueger
Copyright/Year of original publication:
Subject: ambush shooting of officer; death of a shady businessman. Are they related?
Setting: Aurora, Minnesota & suburban Chicago
Series: Cork O'Connor, #5
Dates Read: finished 5/16/12
Number of pages: n/a (audio)
Off the Shelf? (pre-2012 or ER?) Source?: No, download from library
Category for 12 in 12 challenge: still deciding
How does it fit the category?
Alternate category any series or mystery category
Why did I read this book now? May Murder & Mayhem; 5th in series for 12 in 12 sub-challenge (May, month 5)
My Rating: still deciding

One of Cork's deputies is shot in an ambush that appears intended for Cork; a businessman is violently killed at a local necking spot. Are the two incidents connected, and how? Cork must deal with the wealthy, high-powered family of the dead businessman while protecting himself and his family from a possible assassin.

I really enjoyed this suspenseful mystery, right up to the end. Then it didn't end. He left the main story line hanging -- a virtual cliff-hanger. I did NOT like that at all.

May 17, 2012, 10:00pm Top

Hi Terri!
What? No ending??? That's worse than a sad ending! :P

I wanted to be a redhead too! No matter how much I pushed and pleaded my hairdresser would never do it. She got so far as putting a few red highlights in it - but I wanted a real Irish red. I probably would have considered freckles, too! Maybe my next life...

Sorry to hear about the computer problems. So frustrating!

May 17, 2012, 10:56pm Top

I have red low lights in my hair, and I love them - I am a member of the "frequent dyer plan" Terri!!

May 18, 2012, 8:18am Top

ARGH! I hate it when authors do that.. and generally refuse to read others by that author..

I'm happy to hear that you are happy with your hair :) nice start to the summer :)

Edited: May 18, 2012, 9:24am Top

Woke up this morning, and thought I'd caught the terrible gastro-intestinal bug that's been going around -- but I guess it was just something I ate. After one very unpleasant round early this morning, I seem to have gotten whatever it was out of my system. I ate a bowl of Cream of Wheat, rehydrated myself, and I feel fine.

At least, with the bath renovations, I had pleasant surroundings while I was being sick. ; - }

111 Cee, the one thing my Mom hated more than her red hair were her freckles. :)

112 Nice to have company in the club, Mamie!

113 Good morning, Kath!

Well, I feel fine now, so I'm headed off to work.

May 18, 2012, 4:39pm Top

Terri, I do believe you must be an incurably happy person. I'm glad that the new br is a nice place to be sick in. I'm sorry for the upset and glad for the new surroundings.
Gray hair, eh? I'm fortunate in that I'm going gray only around my face and that not rapidly. My ma also grayed very slowly. It did cause a cousin whom I haven't seen in awhile to ask me yesterday whether I was dying the rest. That gives you some idea of the respect that the family has for my intellect - that I'd dye the back and let the front go. What I don't want is to look as though I'm wearing a white headband. Oh well.

May 18, 2012, 6:01pm Top

LOL Lizzie... your post about your cousin made me laugh.

Hope you are right Terri and it was just a quick ick.

May 18, 2012, 6:15pm Top

I'm afraid my hair has been gray too long for me to change now and there's really no reason to. My hubby has always liked it and I just never cared I guess. I started going gray in college, just like my Dad. I'm glad you were able to do something for yourself that makes you feel good Terri

May 18, 2012, 8:53pm Top

Hi Terri! trying to catch up with everyone :)
color? about every month or so I color my hair. do it my self :) I have grey sprouting up along my temples so I like to experiment with different shades of red. thank goodness I have never had an eeekk! moment ;)
But I do miss the pampering they give you at a salon.
Did you go shorter? what type of cut did you get?
I'm chicken to change my style :P

congrats on the new bathroom! looks great :)

boo hiss on the computer trouble at work

May 19, 2012, 12:22am Top

HI, Everyone! So nice to have so many visitors!

115 Incurably happy, Peggy? LOL, my husband would surely disagree. But I actually did think to myself how much pleasanter my surroundings were than the last time I had a stomach bug, when I was crouched next to a peeling, rusting hulk of a cast-iron bathtub. As for the hair, according to the lady at the salon, about 33% of my hair has gone grey; about the limit for it not to be blatantly obvious that I've dyed it, though some folks have commented on the color job (mostly folks who color their own hair), and I suppose some who haven't commented have noticed. Lots of compliments on the cut. Your cousin . . . well, that was a pretty strange comment from her.

116 Definitely a "quick ick," Kath. I feel great, despite a very busy day. Amazing to go from feeling sooooo sick to feeling fine so quickly.

117 Bonnie, I do feel good about it. And hubby really likes it. He was OK with the grey, too. I think he's just happy to see me happy.

118 Kara, my hair is short now, cut out around ears, wispy hair clippers at the back, fluffy in front. Short bangs. I love it!

Well, I had a pretty good day at work. Checkouts, check-ins, renewals, and even new patron cards went well. Withdrew a few things we weeded. None of our patrons got impatient with us. Problem came when we needed to interact with the county library to hold one of their books for a patron ILL. All in all, not bad for so early into the computer transition.

Had a long but relatively pleasant meeting to attend this evening. Came home and ended the day quite nicely -- listening to oldies on Pandora, reading the opening chapters of We'll Always Have Parrots (LOL funny) and drinking a nice glass of wine.

Tomorrow is my sleep in late morning, so I can stay up late and read late tonight.

Edited: May 19, 2012, 10:51am Top

75 challenge book #44
Title: State of the Onion
Julie Hyzy
Copyright/Year of original publication: 2008
Subject: White house kitchen and a wily assassin
Setting: The White House, Washington, DC
Series: White House Chef #1
Dates Read: started 5/4/12; finished 5/18/12
Number of pages:300 plus recipes
Off the Shelf? (pre-2012 or ER?) Source?: Yes, purchased when Borders went out of business
Category for 12 in 12 challenge: American Pie
How does it fit the category? White House is American, and pies come from kitchens!
Alternate category any mystery or series category
Why did I read this book now? May Murder & Mayhem; I wanted a cozy
My Rating: 3.7 stars

Assistant chef Olivia (Ollie) Paras comes face to face with an intruder on the White House grounds; mayhem ensues, and eventually murder. This all happens as she's vying to replace the retiring Executive Chef, squaring off with a really nasty chef who has her own cooking show.

This was a pretty decent cozy. Cozies always drive me crazy because the main character always does things that you know she shouldn't and that will get her into trouble. But this book kept the aggravation to a minimum, and the character was aware when she did something foolish.

I enjoyed all the details about how the White House kitchen staff does their work, all the protocol details that I'd never think of. The mystery wasn't bad, either. I liked the characters (though Ollie's competitor for the chef job is a bit of a stereotype).

May 19, 2012, 9:02am Top

Nice review, Terri. I haven't read any of those. I hope you have a fun and relaxing weekend - is school out yet for your son?

May 19, 2012, 10:50am Top

Thanks, Mamie. I hope you have a great weekend, too.

My son's last day of school is the day after Memorial Day -- a half day. I think he is sooooo ready for a break. Today is a gorgeous day and I offered to take him anywhere he'd like (within reason) for an outing, but he says he's too tired to go anywhere.

We have some fun stuff planned for his summer. He's doing a couple sessions at our denomination's local church camp, which he loves. And plans are in the works for a possible car trip vacation westward that may include a tour of Wrigley Field -- which will be a joy for all of us baseball fans!

Not that we live in a bad neighborhood, but we feel a lot more comfortable leaving the house and going away on vacation since a state trooper with a dog bought the house next door. ;-)

Edited: May 19, 2012, 3:14pm Top

I've been trying out our library's new Internet patron interface from home. It's still a bit hard to find and get into, as our web designer is in the process of redesigning the library's home page to accommodate ease of access into the new system. Once there, it takes some getting used to at first, but it has some very nice features, including the opportunity to leave comments about books, and to mark items as "favorites" when you're logged in. There are some nice options to narrow searches, too. You can even view the full MARC record of an item, using the "library view" tab.

ETA to add You can make other lists -- public or private -- besides a favorites list. Nice feature.

May 20, 2012, 8:11am Top

I am frustrated with the local library's online page. Again.
It isn't recognizing my card number. I basically ignore it ( again) and go to the Carnegie system
for ebooks books.

May 20, 2012, 12:39pm Top

Kath....did you let the library know about the problem with their webpage? They can't fix sumthin' if they don't know it's broke....It's actually probably not a webpage problem, but a registery problem of the card number (we seem to have that problem a lot at our local library!) and there are different people who have to fix whichever end of the process is not working.....Ain't technology grand?

Edited: May 20, 2012, 2:20pm Top

124 Tina's right, Kath. Those kinds of things are surely frustrating for everyone involved, but communication is vital.

125 Thanks for your input, Tina! :)

Ain't technology grand?
Oh, it's the bees knees ;)
(where did that saying come from, anyway? "bees knees," I mean.)

The reality is, many (most?) libraries don't have enough money to efficiently and consistently provide all the computerized services people expect nowadays. We're trying to add all this new 21st-century technology on a budget that has shrunk back to 20th-century funding levels. It doesn't compute. :(

It's as frustrating for the staff as it is for the patrons, especially at a library like ours where none of the regular staff is very tech savvy. What we can pay a tech or web consultant is so low, it's hard to find anyone who will work on our stuff, and we are probably the last clients they get around to servicing. Sometimes I wish we were back in the days of paper card catalogs. They sure had their limits, but they were a lot more dependable.

Edited: May 20, 2012, 2:29pm Top

I just read the last sentence of my last post, and suddenly had a vision of a card catalog drawer with a "system error" notice posted on it. What was that blue screen error that I always got on my old Dell when it froze? A fatal . . . . something . . . error . . . I think it was a "Fatal Exception Error." Whatever. Imagine trying to get into the card catalog -- and the door is frozen shut. . . I'm in a weird mood today.

Edited: May 20, 2012, 2:11pm Top

Anyway, I finished another book after church.

75 Challenge Book #45
Title: The Killer's Cousin
Nancy Werlin
Copyright/Year of original publication: 1998
Subject: accused-but-acquitted young man goes off to redo Senior Year of HS living with Aunt, Uncle, and weird cousin; believes he experiences a dead cousin's ghost.
Setting: Cambridge, MA
Series: No
Dates Read: finished 5/20/12
Number of pages: 229
Off the Shelf? (pre-2012 or ER?) Source?: Yes; found at Ollie's
Category for 12 in 12 challenge: Spooky
How does it fit the category? There seems to be a ghost
Alternate category
Why did I read this book now? Looking for a book that would fit May Murder & Mayhem and my "Spooky" 12 in 12 category (this barely fit either, as it turned out.)
My Rating:3.2 stars
Notes: Edgar award Best YA novel; ALA Best Book for Young Adults; ALA Quick Pick

David goes to live with his Uncle Vic and Aunt Julia and their daughter Lilly to escape the notoriety generated by his controversial murder trial, at which he was finally acquitted; he's going to try to re-do his interrupted Senior year of high school at a prep school in Cambridge. He moves into the attic apartment where his deceased cousin Kathy used to live, and immediately experiences what he comes to believe is Kathy's ghost. Meanwhile, Cousin Lilly seems determined to make him uncomfortable.

This book won all sorts of accolades when it was published, including an Edgar award as best YA novel, and inclusion on ALA book lists. But I really didn't enjoy this book while I was reading it. Told from David's unhappy POV, it was dreary and filled with characters who didn't seem quite real to me. Julia and Vic came across as artificial and prone to emotional/relational shifts that seemed to turn on a dime. Lilly was thoroughly disagreeable through most of the book.

The book was easier to appreciate after finishing it and seeing how it all turned out. But I still had trouble accepting the volatility of the characters and their relationships, how attitudes seemed to change too quickly rather than evolve naturally. Scary to think, the ghostly part may have been the easiest part to believe. Go figure.

Edited: May 20, 2012, 2:22pm Top

I loved church today. It was a community-wide ecumenical service with the Blessing of the Animals. So we had a full house of people plus an assortment of dogs and cats, plus a parakeet and a guinea pig worshiping together. Appropriately, we sang St. Francis' All Creatures of Our God and King and Let All Things Now Living. Given the mixture of animals who weren't familiar with one another, they were all amazingly well-behaved.

I'm told that they used to do this service outdoors, and people would bring horses and cows and pigs and such. I think that would be really cool!

May 20, 2012, 2:36pm Top

That's a rather interesting church service, Terri. It was graduation Sunday at our church. The high schoolers had just graduated so they were able to wear caps and gowns -- and most of them were actually present. We had a lot of college grads, but quite a few were not present because many of them were already working in their new careers. I was also surprised by the number of grads. In a surprise to many of us, an 86-year-old man had completed a doctorate from a seminary. The president of the seminary actually came and conferred it to him in our church this morning. We had one person who had just earned a second doctorate, but he was out on a mission trip. (The first was in Theology; the second is in leadership.)

May 20, 2012, 3:05pm Top

Of course I didn't let the Library know.
I doubt they would care.. sigh. They are not a friendly bunch.
I might, one day soon. Currently I am feeling sulky as
nook turned itself off as I was reading madly, trying to finish Fire.
It is part of the Graceling series and everyone in the world should read it.
Ask Kara.. She figured that out last year. ten pages left. I want to finish it ..
I don't want it to end. I think I have to start it all at the beginning again very soon.
Anyway, I have to wait until nook feels up to turning back on. Although one would
think that merely plugging it into a wall would do the trick. But no. Nook is a taunter.

As for church... both of those services sound positively lovely!
Animals and Surprise degrees? What fun! :)

Edited: May 20, 2012, 3:10pm Top

Lori, that is so great, having the president of the seminary come and confer the doctorate at the church service!
I was invited back to my home church for Graduation Sunday when I graduated from college. I went out of my way and made a point to be there, but none of the graduates were acknowledged in the service except for the High School grads. I was a little miffed. I guess it was a good lesson in humility.

Another unusual church service: a church in our county seat (I think it's the Christian Missionary Alliance church) holds a Blessing of the Bikers especially for motorcycle riders with their bikes, for safe travel.

May 20, 2012, 5:25pm Top

Poor Kath....you can finish the book on your PC, just use the NOOK for PC app.... I just found out I can even read them on my phone and it's not as awful as I thought it would be..

May 20, 2012, 8:55pm Top

You are quite funny, Terri! I can well imagine the upgraded feeling for your "quick-ick"! LOL

Looking forward to a fun summer too - just hope it is not a hot one. (yeah, I'm a dreamer)

Edited: May 20, 2012, 11:18pm Top

131 Oh, Kath, we cross-posted over here on my thread, too, and I missed it! :)
I hope your Nook wakes up soon.

133 Tina, sometimes I read books on my PC. For illustrated or heavily formatted/footnoted stuff, it's actually much better than my reader.

134 Well, Cee, it really was a bit comforting to be sick in pretty surroundings. . .
Yes, I hope this summer isn't too hot . . .but it probably will be.

My non-fiction reading has been a bit sparse this year. I usually try to read half fiction, half non-fiction, and fall a bit short on the non-fiction; but this year, I am way behind in the non-fiction numbers. But I'm reading a really good one now.

Under a Flaming Sky by Daniel James Brown, is about the Great Hinckley (Minnesota) Firestorm of 1894. Brown, whose great-grandfather perished in the massive fire, said he wanted to emulate the type of work done by Sebastian Junger in The Perfect Storm, as well as Erik Larson's Isaac's Storm, among others. He chose good role models, and learned his lessons well. His book is a gripping piece of narrative non-fiction. It's so compelling, it's hard to put down; at times, it is a bit hard to keep going because what's being described is so horrific. But the courage and heroism of people in the midst of crisis draws me along. So far, a really "wow" read. And the chapter notes at the end are great. I'm reading them after each chapter.

May 21, 2012, 7:07am Top

No worries.. I think we are all caught up now :)

Tina.. I know.. I just don't have the app. The only app that I ave in duplicate is the
Apple store ebook app. And the only books I have from there? Well, the freebies that
came with for one, and maybe two or three others. That is too pricy a place for me to
shop for books. I practiced my patience :)

Graceling series....Such great books! I am so glad I read them.. owe it to kara :)

Under a Flaming Sky sounds interesting.. I loved the other two books you mention..

May 21, 2012, 1:41pm Top

We have those blessings of pets/animals. Wonder if it as at a certain time of year because I saw something on our local news that they were doing it here. It has to do with St Francis of Assisi I think.

Biker Blessings we do prior to any bike run. And the bikers have a small gold bell that they put on the bike (usually on the bottom, hidden) for good luck and safety.

May 21, 2012, 4:07pm Top

Hi, Kath!

Hi, Kara!

I'm having a BAD DAY. Lab work (blood draw) to start the day; catalog/circulation system was completely down all morning at work. Worst, I have lost something important, and have been tearing up the house looking for it, both before and after work.

When I was looking in the sofa cushions, I did find an old pair of spare glasses (old prescription) that I lost a couple years ago.

May 21, 2012, 7:41pm Top

I hope your evening is better...

May 21, 2012, 7:57pm Top

yay!!!! You found your glasses!

I hate to lose things ... It makes me crazy.
Sometimes my pendulum helps..
Did you get another pair of eyes to look, too?
When my kids were home, Adam was the finder..
Craig was the untangler..

Hope you find what you misplaced .. and that everything else sorts out okay....

May 21, 2012, 9:18pm Top

Thanks, Rachel & Kath.

Hubby has looked too. I've looked everywhere that seems logical, and lots of places that aren't. I've moved furniture, rooted through drawers, peered underneath and behind the things I can't move.

I know my brain isn't as sharp as it used to be, but this is ridiculous.

May 21, 2012, 9:35pm Top


Look again tomorrow. It will be somewhere that you have already looked, I bet.
Happens to me regularly!

frustrating, though :(

May 21, 2012, 10:34pm Top

138: Terri, I'm sorry about your BAD day. Go up to your new bathroom and take a long look at the newness, then look in the mirror at your grayless hair...and smile. At least you found your glasses.

I lost an expensive pair of glasses about the same time you did a couple of years ago. After an exhaustive several day house search, I figured they must have gone out with the trash. I found them last December inside the gas fireplace! I moved the fireplace screen to vacuum -- and there they were. The frames were a little melted but the lenses were in perfect shape.

I'm excited to get a copy of your Daniel James Brown book. I read his book about The Donner Party, The Indifferent Stars Above, several years ago. It was excellent. Despite my familiarity with the topic, I inhaled that book.

I hope you have a better day tomorrow!

Edited: May 21, 2012, 10:54pm Top

142 Kath, I may as well stop. All this searching and all I've gotten is a pair of glasses that aren't strong enough anymore, three broken fingernails, and a paper cut.

For a minute, I thought I had it figured out. I regularly toss things to go upstairs in with a clothes basket or box, etc. that needs to go up. I'd already searched the clothes baskets, but I remembered that I took two boxes upstairs -- for the new toaster oven, and the new air purifier -- and they eventually wound up in the attic for storage in case the items broke under warranty. Alas, when I checked, the boxes were empty except for packing material.

143 Thanks, Donna, right now, I'm beginning to wonder if it went out with the trash. No fireplace to search, but maybe I'll find it in an equally weird place.

Tomorrow, I hope I can calm down and get back to reading that book!

May 22, 2012, 7:54am Top

Has the trash been collected? I have gone through trash more than once to search for
and once or twice, find.. and item.

I have stopped saving boxes Just in case. The absolutely makes it certain that a new item
will break and need the box.

Edited: May 22, 2012, 1:29pm Top

Kath, the trash was just collected Friday, but I checked what is left -- all the cans all over the house. My mom once lost a hundred dollar bill, and found it going through the trash! And, believe me, hundred dollar bills have always been scarce in any household of which I've been a part!

There is a waste can very near a location where I think the item may have been. I've pulled things that fell into it back out of it more than once, so I usually give the contents some scrutiny before I throw them in the big bag. But hubby was gathering trash to put out Friday a.m. while I was admiring the bathroom decor and throwing up. I question whether he would have noticed if it was there.

Edited: May 22, 2012, 1:32pm Top

Anyway, I've got to just accept that this may not be found, and calm down. I had my annual physical today, and my blood pressure was 156 over 98. NOT where I need to be. I've been reassured that the world will not end because of this one lost item, and I have to just chill about it.

My new mantra: diet . . . exercise . . . calm . . .

May 22, 2012, 1:35pm Top

Good mantra.. I keep trying to make it mine, too.

I am sorry about the lost item. I think you should move the waste basket for one thing..
and I also hope that it still turns up soon.

Edited: May 22, 2012, 1:43pm Top

I've tried moving it, but it keeps moving back, like it has little garbage feet . . . problem is, no other good place for it in that room.

I think I'll get one with a lid, so stuff bounces off it. :)

May 22, 2012, 1:44pm Top

They have them at Ikea!

May 22, 2012, 1:45pm Top

Oh, I miss living close to Ikea!

Edited: May 22, 2012, 1:47pm Top

Ikea is scary. I get lost.....
I usually stick to the marketplace....I never go alone.
I had a panic attack of epic proportions there once. I also
had one at the Macaroni Factory in PGH.

* reasons I shop online....

May 22, 2012, 1:52pm Top

Maybe the Ikea near Philly was less intimidating than the one you were at. I kind of liked that one. That was a loooong time ago, too.

Edited: May 22, 2012, 1:53pm Top

Does Ikea sell online? Why do I ask -- I'm sure a big company like that does.

*off to google ikea*

May 22, 2012, 1:56pm Top

They did a sort of remodel 2 or so years ago. I seriously believe that it was meant to
keep you lost within.

Edited: May 25, 2012, 6:00am Top

I didn't like the Ikea ones.

I found one on WalMart.com for $756.00. Polished gold, made in spain.

Can you believe $756 for a trash can!!!! Oh, my!

ETA to add (by the way, in case you can't tell, I'm not buyin' that one!)

May 22, 2012, 4:10pm Top

Well, they say that we are just all Wal-Mart shoppers, but most Wal-Mart shoppers I know would never pay $756 for a trash receptacle.

May 22, 2012, 4:12pm Top

Lori, I can't imagine paying that much for a place to throw my trash. Good grief!

May 22, 2012, 6:36pm Top

Terri, I'm sorry about the lost item. The worst thing I have ever lost was a little diamond charm on a chain that I didn't fasten properly. I found the chain in the grass, but never the diamond although I hope even yet that someday it will wash up. Anyway, was said object small enough to be sucked up by the vacuum cleaner? I went through the bags for a couple of weeks. *sigh*
(This, by the way, is the diamond that my high school girls - and you'll know that we are a very poor place - looked at and finally a spokesperson said, "Mrs. Mac is that a real diamond?" I said that it was. They nodded wisely, "We thought so because it's so small.")

May 22, 2012, 7:11pm Top

By far my worst lost item was the diamond out of the setting in my engagement ring. We'd been married about 12 years and I'd been working in a greenhouse we had. One minute it was there and the next time I looked.........gone. I hope you have better luck finding your lost item Terri. It's good to not that although the diamond is gone (and I didn't think it could be replaced because I was just so sentimental) the marriage is still going strong strong after 41 years.

May 23, 2012, 10:20pm Top

159 Hi, Peggy and Bonnie! Fortunately, no lost diamonds here.

I've decided on an "explanation" for my loss which makes me happy, even if I don't really believe it. Paranormal researchers say that renovations often stir up paranormal activity. A common form of that activity is objects moving with no explanation . . . so . . . maybe a ghost got it.

May 23, 2012, 10:36pm Top

Terri...I'm sorry about your lost item. After multiple experiences at a home I previously owned, I do believe in paranormal activity.

I hope your lost becomes found.


Edited: May 23, 2012, 10:48pm Top

Linda, I am fascinated by the paranormal, believe it is possible, and have always wanted to have a (relatively benign) paranormal experience.

I was kinda kidding about it being to blame for my lost item -- we've never had any odd events here in the 14 years we've lived here, but . . . I just found an earring that's been lost for ages . . . just found it in a bedroom slipper I wear almost every day. I'm having a hard time explaining that.

Edited: May 25, 2012, 6:02am Top

It's been a good day. I had a helpful talk with one of my son's teachers, the final work is being done on the bathroom, got a nice compliment from a library patron about going "above and beyond" to help her find something she was looking for. After the workers left, the young'un didn't even argue when I asked him if he'd mind coming along on a trip to Aldi ($1.69 Wednesday boneless/skinless chicken breast special) and Goodwill (I had some stuff to drop off that I wanted to get out of the house before the in-laws arrive.)

My evening walk ended in a downpour, but I didn't even mind that much. Funny, I heard the rain start hitting the pavement on the other side of the street and started moving quickly in the other direction, toward home. I stayed ahead of the storm for two blocks, but then I was in it.

And I found a lost earring! (Or it found me. )

May 23, 2012, 11:54pm Top

Dropping in and catching up. Sorry to hear that you lost something important - hope it turns up. Glad that today was a good day. That's amazing that you stayed ahead of the storm for two blocks - I love to walk in the rain and also enjoy a good thunderstorm.

May 24, 2012, 7:10am Top

That's amazing that you stayed ahead of the storm for two blocks

Mamie, it was just a quirk of the shape and direction of the rain clouds, not a measure of my walking speed!! It was just one of those spotty summer showers, not a full-fledged storm.

May 24, 2012, 8:16am Top

Paranormal? Yep. I have experienced that particular issue. Most of it
was when I was a child. Archie was an angry woman! The coffee pot flying across the
kitchen, clothing, going missing or turning up somewhere different. My mom's mass book
would travel all over. I would watch the doorknob turn and rattle. And more.. You have heard the stores before I think. The one when it was my own house, and the lghts and vacuum and.. the list goes on..

My sister brought a rock home from a wall in Gettysburg. All sorts of things went on for 2
years until she took it back. Just something to ponder..

I once watched a storm approach from across they bay in MA. I never outran one, though.

May 24, 2012, 8:47am Top

Terri - I think my vision was better.

May 24, 2012, 9:02am Top

Now here's a quirky thread! I wonder whether you'd trade the lost object for the found earring and how you might effect such a swap..............
I adore to be in the mountains and hear a rainshower come up and over and down my mountain. And I love to be at the beach and watch a storm over the ocean. And home on my sofa, safe and dry, with a book. Yay, Rain!
(And, Kath, I had never heard the stories, but I think that would be hard to live with, so if you're out of it, I'm glad.)
Gettysburg - I've never been and probably never will get there, but I'm sure that the paranormal hangs out there.

May 24, 2012, 10:17am Top

Hi Terri,
So frustrating looking for lost objects and coming up short. As worn as my mind is lately, I think I find more things by thinking about it - like where did I last see it and tryong to re-trace my actions. I'm sure you already tried that - but it always amazes me that sometimes my brain still provides a useful service.

When the kids were little, our family went on a summer vaca at the beach on Cape Cod. We were walking along the beach on a cloudy day looking down at the sand for shells. At one point I looked up and saw a curtain of rain approaching.
Now, I am NOT a runner. But, I yelled to everyone "run!"
It was more for the challenge of outrunning it, I think.
We ran back to the cottage with the rain on our heels and made it mostly dry.
Kinda crazy as it was only rain and we were at the beach where you expect to get wet. After all, it wasn't fire! But we had fun and now a silly shared memory :)

May 24, 2012, 5:32pm Top

Oh Lizzie, no! I actually miss the company.. I am not pleased that most of the
time this house is spirit free. Less interesting.

Cee, I know.. I have done the same, backtracking. Sometimes it works.. other times..
not so much. There is always the possibility that "it" fell into another dimension. I thought that happened
with Dan once, when we first married. He said no, but I have never been completely convinced.

I like a good storm, too! I love being out in them :)
especially if I am home...



Edited: May 25, 2012, 6:04am Top

167 Fascinating stuff, Kath!

168 LOL, Mamie!

169 Now here's a quirky thread! I wonder whether you'd trade the lost object for the found earring and how you might effect such a swap..............
interesting thought . . . don't think it would work, though.

170 Yeah, Cee, tried that. Neat story about the Cape Cod beach!

171 I thought that happened with Dan once, when we first married. He said no, but I have never been completely convinced.


May 24, 2012, 10:38pm Top

We now have a bathroom door! :) This is a very helpful step in our remodeling progress, especially since my in-laws arrived this afternoon for a visit. Still some trim work to be done before the remodel is officially "finished." But we are close.

I think my LT time will be limited over the next few days.

May 24, 2012, 11:41pm Top

Bathroom doors are good! I insist on having one for every bathroom in the house even when we don't have company! :)

Sorry about the missing item.. I'm a fairly laid back person but I can get pretty obsessive about finding things so I understand your frustration completely.

Edited: May 25, 2012, 6:06am Top

Hi, Joanne! Yes, bathroom doors are indeed good. After three or four weeks with only a curtain tacked up in the doorway, I am immensely appreciative to once again have this very basic commodity -- and stained nicely to fit my cabinets on the inside, and the other doors/trim in the hallway on the outside!

I've decided I just have to chill about the lost item. It may be tucked somewhere I haven't thought to look; it may have fallen into the trash; it may have been sucked into a black hole or warped into another dimension . . . whatever. No point in driving myself crazy over it.

Off to start the day now . . .

May 25, 2012, 7:59am Top

Hope it's a good one, Terri! I, too, am a big fan of bathroom doors!

May 25, 2012, 4:34pm Top

Well.. just wanted to mention that my lost item is still lost, too.
A few weeks ago, I was doing laundry, swapping out winter and summer
clothing and moving bedroom furniture. I had my ankle brace in my hand. I can remember that.
I can also remember thinking "do not lose this"

well.. I haven't seen it since. And when I work outside or do a lot of on my
feet stuff, like this morning, I really need it. Weep. So if you find it in your searching?

I have looked everywhere in my room at least 4 times.


May 25, 2012, 6:29pm Top

176 Hope you have a great weekend, Mamie!

176 Good grief! What's with all the lost stuff with us folks, Kath? Sorry your loss is so (really!) painful. :(

May 25, 2012, 6:50pm Top

I just found a lost item that I've been searching for! It was in a shoe in my closet. I'm going to guess that it fell out of a jacket pocket into a shoe. It's either that, or gremlins. I had just ordered a replacement from Amazon this morning. That's probably why it turned up today.

May 27, 2012, 8:07am Top

That gives us all hope!

I am still looking for the brace. Where else can it be?
sigh. My sister lost her inhaler. She always kept it in the same place, and
she looked there 3 times. When she was not looking, she went into the
drawer for something else, and and there it was!

I hope that happens for us all, too :)

May 28, 2012, 10:43pm Top

179 I had just ordered a replacement from Amazon this morning. That's probably why it turned up today.
Isn't that the way it always works?

180 I hope you find your brace, Kath!

I managed to get in some quality reading time today, and finished two books I had started.

May 28, 2012, 11:04pm Top

75 Challenge Book #46
Title: We'll Always Have Parrots
Donna Andrews
Copyright/Year of original publication: 2004
Subject: murder
Setting: a fan convention
Series: Meg Langslow #5
Dates Read: finished 5/28/12
Number of pages: 293
Off the Shelf? (pre-2012 or ER?) Source?: Yes, pre 2012 purchase
Category for 12 in 12 challenge: Magical Mystery Tour
How does it fit the category? Mystery
Alternate category any mystery/series category
Why did I read this now? May Murder & Mayhem group read; May 12 in 12 monthly challenge
My Rating: 3.4 stars

Another madcap adventure with Meg & Co. This time, they are at a fan convention of the TV show in which Michael has a role. Someone had the bright idea of bringing parrots and monkeys to the convention, and they have gotten loose. The convention-goers are pretty wild, too.

It's pretty obvious early on who will get killed. There are no shortage of suspects when the deed is done, because everyone hates the woman.

This book was clever and witty and even had a decent mystery. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for a cozy, because I didn't enjoy it as much as most other readers seemed to. But it was well done.

May 28, 2012, 11:25pm Top

75 Challenge Book #47
Title: Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894
Daniel James Brown
Copyright/Year of original publication: 2006
Subject: Horrific wildfire that wiped out entire towns and killed hundreds (non-fiction)
Setting: Northeastern Minnesota
Dates Read: finished 5/28/12
Number of pages: 214 plus notes, sources, index, and reader's guide
Off the Shelf? (pre-2012 or ER?) Source?: Yes, purchased pre-2012
Category for 12 in 12 challenge: Help!
How does it fit the category? disaster
Why did I read this now? Needed a book for the "Help!" category
My Rating: 4.1 stars

This is a gripping account of a terrible disaster about which I previously knew nothing. Daniel James Brown tells the story of the massive firestorm that killed his great-grandfather and hundreds of other residents of Northeastern Minnesota. He says that he emulated Sebastian Junger's Perfect Storm and Erik Larson's Isaac's Storm, and I'd say he studied his role models and learned his lessons well. This was gripping narrtive fiction. Along the way, he teaches the reader a little about the history of wildfires, forestry management, PTSD research, and burn treatment. But the real story is the wildfire, and the people confronted by it.

This book is not for the faint-hearted, as Brown describes the damage wrought upon people, animals, and land in some detail.

Oddly, this disaster appears to take place not too far from the setting of the Cork O'Connor series that I've been reading lately.

May 29, 2012, 7:23am Top

Wow... Flaming Sky looks Very good!Perfect Storm and Isaac's Storm are two favorites.
I might have to put it on the WL :)

Edited: May 29, 2012, 7:30am Top

Sure you won't get too upset about the animals, Kath?

eta to add I originally used the the word "critters" in this post, but replaced it with "animals" when the old term "crispy critters" suddenly came to mind. Ick! Yech!

May 29, 2012, 7:33am Top

LOL.. that is a though, Terri.. thanks for that :)
It would be bad, I guess.. I didn't read carefully enough :P

May 29, 2012, 10:31am Top

No problem, Kath.

Had to go to docs today for blood pressure check. 122 over 78. Much better than last week's 156 over 98!

I guess I'll stick with the program. Diet . . . exercise . . . calm . . .
(and my bp medicine, of course)

May 29, 2012, 2:11pm Top

I solved the mystery of my missing item.

It was never here. To make a long story short, it's still at the store. Where my brain must be, too.

May 29, 2012, 2:20pm Top

LOL! Oh, Terri!

May 29, 2012, 2:36pm Top

That is TOO funny!

Edited: May 29, 2012, 5:33pm Top

189, 190 Yeah, I know. Really dumb.


The remodeling is DONE! FINISHED! COMPLETE!

May 29, 2012, 5:40pm Top


May 29, 2012, 6:13pm Top

Yay for the finished remodeling! But giggling about the "lost" item. :-)

May 29, 2012, 7:05pm Top

Yay for the completion of the remodeling. Boo to fretting so long over an item that was never purchased. And onto the WL with Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894 which sounds very very good Terri.

May 29, 2012, 7:33pm Top

Thank goodness I can sleep peacefully tonight (lost item not really lost) with a big grin on my face (your bathroom completed!). Maybe I should have a piece of cake tonight to help you celebrate ;-)

I still love my new upstairs bathroom, but now that we will soon be moving back down to our own bedroom I need to tackle that bath. I want to paint it a slightly different color. Always best to do this kind of thing when not using the room. Getting kinda tired of the upheaval :(
So looking forward to relaxing a bit.

Good reviews, Terri. But - not really for me. Whew!

May 29, 2012, 9:18pm Top

So happy that you located your item!

May 30, 2012, 4:06pm Top

192 You said it, Mamie!

193 Giggle away!

194 Thanks for stopping by, Bonnie!

195 Cake, Cee? Is there cake?
Always best to do this kind of thing when not using the room. Getting kinda tired of the upheaval :(

196 Thanks, Kath!

My son's new doctor has had to cancel again due to an emergency. At least they got him scheduled in with a partner doctor fairly quickly this time.

May 31, 2012, 12:29am Top

Hi Teri, glad that your bathroom renovation is completed. I sympathize with you over your lost item - that sort of thing happens to me all the time - life just gets too busy to keep track of everything.

Edited: May 31, 2012, 12:03pm Top

Judy, I'm getting so bad at keeping track of things, one day I started to leave work and forgot my son, who was with me. Of course, being 15, he's quite capable of finding his way home all 5 blocks or so from the library. But he didn't appreciate my mental lapse!

Stayed up late reading this:

75 Challenge Book #48
Title: Waterproof: a novel of the Johnstown flood
Judith Redline Coopey
Copyright/Year of original publication: 2012
Subject: how people respond to and remember difficult times
Setting: Johnstown, Pennsylvania in the aftermath of the great 1889 flood, and fifty years later
Dates Read: 5/28/12 - 5/31/12 (early a.m.)
Number of pages: 262
Off the Shelf? (pre-2012 or ER?) Source?: Yes, but not pre-2012; purchased at library book-signing
Category for 12 in 12 challenge: Help!
How does it fit the category? flood
Alternate category American Pie
Why did I read this book now? attended book signing / discussion by author last week
My Rating: 3.7 stars

From the book jacket: Fifty years after an earthen dam broke and sent a thirty foot wall of raging destruction down on the city of Johnstown, PA, Pamela McRae looks back on the tragedy with new perspective.

I may be a bit biased on this one because 1) it's relatively local 2) I met the author 3) she's a Central PA native (born in Altoona; raised near Williamsburg; Penn State grad). Add in the fact that there's a major disaster involved, and I have to love it.

This book is the story of Pamela: Pamela as an older woman, living a modest but comfortable existence in 1939 and looking back at her life; and young Pamela at and shortly after the time of the great Johnstown Flood of 1889, as she is remembered by her older self. The segments which are Pamela in 1939 are written in first person present tense; the portions which are her memories are written in first person past tense. The writing is conversational in tone. The narrative pulled me in -- the author was very good at working in teasers which made me want to read on. On one level, it's a simple story about common people who have been through a terrible ordeal. On another level, it's a study in how different people respond to tragedy and disaster, and how difficult circumstances can kill the spirit of some, while nurturing growth in others. While some gave in to despair and/or rage following the flood, Pam didn't want to go there; she was determined to make herself waterproof.

The author said she did a lot of historical research, as she does NOT like historical fiction that plays fast and loose with the facts; I could see evidence of that research in details about Johnstown of the times described in the book.

The ending is tied up a little too neatly for my cynical nature, but that was OK, too.

The book is self-published, but the quality is as good as many books I've seen from major publishers lately. The author said she availed herself of professional help in proofreading and design, and it shows. A library patron complained of some typos in our library copy, but I noticed only a couple of very minor errors in my own copy -- and I'm generally pretty fussy about those things.

May 31, 2012, 6:44am Top

Hi Terri- You sure like your disaster books! LOL. At least it can make your life seem peaceful. Good review of Under a Flaming Sky. Sounds like a winner.

May 31, 2012, 7:22am Top

That one looks good, too !

My Great Grandmother lived on a hill in the Sewickley area.. overlooking the Ohio River.
I loved her house! Still do. Anyway, I heard stories of the flood ( 1937?) and how they watched
things ( a chicken coop stand out in my mind ) floating down the river..

I like disaster books, too. I don't like disasters, but ?

May 31, 2012, 8:16am Top

I think my favorite novel with the Johnstown flood that I've ever read was Julie by Catherine Marshall. I read this one probably back when I was in middle school. It was either my grandmother's book or her friend's book. I stayed with my grandmother during summers at that time. I'd ride my bicycle to her house each morning and back each afternoon.

May 31, 2012, 8:46am Top

200 You sure like your disaster books! LOL. At least it can make your life seem peaceful.
Yeah, Mark. They have a way of putting life into perspective when I start feeling hassled.

201 I like disaster books, too. I don't like disasters, but ?
Agreed, Kath!

202 Lori, thanks for the mention of Julie. I just looked that one up, and just may read it. Looks like that's about one of the later, lesser Johnstown floods, as it says it's set in the mid-1930's. Johnstown has sure had it's share of floods -- the location is so vulnerable. The 1889 one was by far the worst of them all.

May 31, 2012, 8:56am Top

I read a few Catherine Marshall books, back in the day..
Julie looks good, too... !

Edited: May 31, 2012, 12:06pm Top

Hi, Kath! We're having a nice day here, at least weather-wise. Hope you are, too.

Took a long walk on a nearby trail this morning before coming back to do battle with bureaucracy. I needed to see if this other doctor they rescheduled us with would be in-network for our insurance (maybe, depending on how they bill) and now want to get a back-up plan with our primary physician just in case the specialists cancel AGAIN.

While I was out walking, I realized that I really finished Waterproof on the actual anniversary of the May 31, 1889 flood, albeit much earlier in the morning than the flood happened.

May 31, 2012, 12:28pm Top

Hi Terri: I reserved the Hinckley firestorm book at the library and just picked it up.

After 97 degree highs the other day, it's pouring here and may not get out of the 40s. It would've been a nice day to stay home and read.

I'm reading an interesting Kindle single about the 1948 NFL championship game, between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Chicago Cardinals, which was played in a blizzard in Philly. Fascinating...one that could've easily been made into an entire book if side issues had been thrown in. For instance, in 2010, in a similar situation, where there was a heavy snow forecast, the league postponed a key game in Philly.

May 31, 2012, 2:18pm Top

I just remember the book from way back when, and I remember the flood in the book. I guess I always assumed it was the big one as I remembered it in later years, but it obviously wasn't. It's still a good book.

May 31, 2012, 3:12pm Top

I completely understand about forgetting your son - I forgot my daughter once in a store. She was just a newborn and I wasn't used to having a child, she was in a baby carrier and I put her down on the top of the jewellery counter than I sort of browsed my way around for a bit and then walked away. I don't think I forgot her for long, but I do remember slinking back and hoping no one noticed what a terrible mother I was! I am glad that she wasn't fifteen and old enough to tell people what I did!

May 31, 2012, 7:27pm Top

206 Linda, that sounds like a good one! Yes, I remember that postponement in 2010 -- a bit controversial. I also remember the big game (Playoff? Championship?) where it was so foggy no one could see what was going on.

207 Lori, it sounds like a good one, and I'm really glad you mentioned it. I think I'm going to add it to my list. I checked and our library has it available!

208 LOL, Judy! On the other hand, after being a Mom for a while, the very first time hubby & I had a 2-day "getaway" without our son when he was little (grandparents watched him), I kept looking back at the backseat as we traveled expecting him to be there . . . really took some getting used to!

Jun 1, 2012, 9:32am Top

Ooh, I like the sound of Waterproof! Being new and somewhat unknown, that book's page really needs your review added to it. ;)

I don't remember if I've ever forgotten any of my kids. But I DO remember having some vivid dreams about doing so; scared me so bad every time, I'd wake up crying. Now my husband DID forget me one time. He's an antsy guy and was already waiting in the car with the older two, while I finished getting the current baby ready to go. I carried her out, strapped her carseat in, went around to the back door of the van, stowed the stroller, shut the back door, started toward my door, and watched as the car drove away. He got several blocks away before he realized I wasn't answering while he talked to me.

Jun 1, 2012, 4:19pm Top

LOL! Too funny!

I added my review to the book's page, and filled in a little on the "common knowledge" page about the book and its author.

Jun 1, 2012, 7:16pm Top

Terri... did you have wicked weather?

Jun 1, 2012, 9:29pm Top

We had rain off and on all day, and one storm that really poured down big time with bad wind, but no lightning at all that I noticed. I think we got off easy here.

How about you?

Kath, I'll be heading over to your thread . . .

Jun 1, 2012, 9:55pm Top

I heard great cheering, yelling, etc. from upstairs -- the hubster. My son just came downstairs and announced that Johan Santana just pitched the first no-hitter in Mets history.

Edited: Jun 2, 2012, 1:38pm Top

75 Challenge Book #49
Title: Cadillac Jukebox
James Lee Burke
Copyright/Year of original publication: 1996
Subject: murder, politics, corruption, hit men, vice
Setting: New Orleans and New Iberia, Louisiana
Series: Dave Robicheaux #9
Dates Read: finished 6/1/12
Number of pages:297
Off the Shelf? (pre-2012 or ER?) Source?: No, public library book
Category for 12 in 12 challenge: Jambalaya (On the Bayou)
How does it fit the category? set in New Orleans area
Alternate category any mystery or series category
Why did I read this book now? Needed book set near bayou country
My Rating: 3.9 stars

Another good outing with a favorite series. Burke's writing is as good as ever, with the usual mix of complex characters, and Burke's amazing mix of action and introspection.

Edited: Jun 2, 2012, 5:51pm Top

Nice morning. Went to the farmers market in a nearby village and found some nice veggies; then followed some signs and found a nice little discount grocery store; then followed some other signs to a farm stand and got some nice, sweet, fresh, home-grown strawberries.

Had to go to Ollie's the other day to pick up a book for a graduation present. Came home with two for me. Then, today, bought a 50 cent paperback at the farmer's market. That's three more added to the pile.

I did not count one book I bought from Amazon as a reference for an upcoming vacation. That's for all of us in the family, not just my TBR pile. (But it still takes up space.)

I'm debating whether the books I just bought are what I should count for my Thingaversary tomorrow. I'd really rather not . . . there's a big used book sale coming up in less than two weeks. On the other hand, I'm not halfway through the year, and I'm fast coming up against my book-buying limit for the year.

Maybe Thingaversary books shouldn't count against the book-buying limit?

Jun 2, 2012, 6:53pm Top

Only books purchased ON or After Thingaversary count.

Jun 2, 2012, 7:02pm Top

hey everyone my name is natasha and im new to this site... and dont really know how this whole thread thing works :s this is the first group i joined into.

Jun 2, 2012, 7:11pm Top

Natasha, you might try posting something about yourself on the intro thread here and starting your own personal thread to keep track of the books you've been reading. :)

Edited: Jun 2, 2012, 7:54pm Top

Natasha, you can start a thread of your own by going to this group's main page, and click on "post a new topic" just above where all the threads are listed. A box will come up. In the subject line, give your thread a name -- best if you use your name/screen name somewhere in the title so people can find you -- and post a first message, perhaps with a little about yourself and your reading likes, plans, etc. You can look at other people's threads for ideas how to set yours up. Some are elaborate, some quite simple, doesn't matter -- whatever works for you! Welcome, and happy reading!

Edited: Jun 3, 2012, 1:11am Top

217 Thanks, Kath!

219 Hi, Rachel!

Jun 3, 2012, 7:09am Top

Terri, I thought you might be interested in this

Maybe a fundraising thing at your library ? or? I dunno..
but you are the only librarian I know. I suspect that if I email it
to our librarian, she will ignore the email ....again.

Jun 3, 2012, 8:31pm Top

Kath, all our library's e-book functionality is controlled at the district level. I and the staff here (even the director)have nothing to do with it (except for trying to explain it and fielding complaints when it doesn't work*), no say in it, etc. I suspect it's the same for your library.

(*BTW, since the latest "upgrade," I can't get one of our district's library download programs to work at all on my computer. I'm wondering if I should yell at myself. :-P )

Thanks for thinking of me on it, anyway! :)

Edited: Jun 3, 2012, 9:42pm Top

I am staring at a 75 Challenge group page with a virtual ocean of unread posts. Even limiting it to my starred threads, I am way behind on posts. And I don't have time to get to hardly any of them -- at least not if I want any times to read books!

I'm reading some good books, including:

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
The Ridge by Michael Koryta
The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough (AUDIO) I rarely do non-fiction on audio, but this one is working nicely for me so far. McCullough is not only a great historian, he's a great storyteller, too.

Earlier yesterday, I tried to download, from our library system's One Click Audio, Murder at Ebbets Field by Troy Soos, but something went wrong in the download/transfer process. Then, when I went to see if it had at least downloaded into the computer properly, the program wouldn't let me in; there was a new version of the One Click program that refused to install properly. Grrrrrrrr.......

Jun 3, 2012, 9:49pm Top

Terri -I'm reading Wolf Hall, too, and really enjoying it so far.

Sorry about the computer woes - I really hate when there are technology glitches; I have no patience for them. Although normally I like to think of myself as a reasonable person, it all goes out the window if something doesn't work with my technology. I want it to work right, and I want it to work right, RIGHT NOW.

Jun 3, 2012, 11:04pm Top

Terri, I feel the same way
I am staring at a 75 Challenge group page with a virtual ocean of unread posts. Even limiting it to my starred threads, I am way behind on posts. And I don't have time to get to hardly any of them -- at least not if I want any times to read books!
I get to them when I can and if I don't I try not to stress about it :) I have found that lately I look at the amount of unread posts and then just decide to pick up a book :)

Congrats on the completion of your bathroom and in "finding" the missing object!

Happy Thingaversary!
and those books IMO do not count against the book-buying limit ;)

Jun 3, 2012, 11:38pm Top

Oh, Happy Thingaversary, Terri! I agree that books bought for the occasion do not count against the limit.

Jun 4, 2012, 12:15am Top

Hi Terri, I'm reading Wolf Hall as well and taking advantage of Ilana's tudored read by Suzanne. It's really helping me sift through all the Tudor history.

And I know what you mean about either catching up here on LT or getting in some reading time. There's only so many hours in the day and I'm finding myself having to chose between the two.

Jun 4, 2012, 7:53am Top

I hope you are able to download the Troy Soos book. I read the one set in Cincinnati and really enjoyed it. With the baseball setting, it's perfect for the summer! I think I have another book by Soos here now which I hope to read sometime during baseball season!

Jun 4, 2012, 9:26am Top

I am staring at a 75 Challenge group page with a virtual ocean of unread posts. Even limiting it to my starred threads, I am way behind on posts. And I don't have time to get to hardly any of them -- at least not if I want any times to read books!

I go through them when I'm watching movies. (I have a very short attention span.) If I find a conversation that's interesting enough to grab my full attention, I pause the movie. :)

Edited: Jun 4, 2012, 4:43pm Top

Hello to all you nice people who visited recently. I appreciate you all, but my brain is too . . . whatever . . . to attempt individual responses right now. Later . . .

Right now, I just need to vent. Our library's circulation system was down almost all day -- had been since Friday night. Nightmare of books piled up waiting to be checked in. And every patron that we've told to bring their ID in to get a new card must have come in today . . . and we could do nothing . . .

Now (at home) my e-mail is stuck in some kind of feedback loop. It just sits there saying it's downloading messages . . . they never appear. The last message to appear in the inbox was a forward from my boss about the &%&(* circulation system. Now the library computer curse must have hit my computer, too.

Grrrr. . . .

Jun 4, 2012, 4:49pm Top

Sorry, Terri.. that just plains stinks. ( Do you have Comcast?) ( Sorry had to ask)

Jun 4, 2012, 9:07pm Top

Oh, Terri. SO sorry. GRRRR

Edited: Jun 4, 2012, 11:04pm Top

Ok, I'm done whining for a while. E-mail is back to normal. (no, Kath, not Comcast.)

225 Mamie, I'm with you. No patience with technology that doesn't work. Also, no patience with tech support websites that look like they were written to help only computer experts, nor for tech support phone menus where none of the options fit. . .

226, 227 Thanks for the Thingaversary wishes, Kara and Mamie!

228 I've peeked at the tutored read, Judy. Lots of information to process.

229 Lori, still not much luck with the Soos download (even after re-installing the OneClickAudio program) -- Now I can get it on my computer to listen to, but still not onto my mp3 player in usable form. I thought it would be a nice one for my baseball fanatic son and I to listen to together in the car. But we'll live without the audio. I still can read the book -- I have a paper copy. I'm just disappointed that it looks like OneClick isn't going to be a viable source for me to get audios from the library any more. Fortunately, I also have access to some OverDrive library resources, which seem to be working OK. (knock on wood . . .)

230 Sounds like a fine strategy, Rachel. Makes me wish my computer was in the same room as my TV!

So now I've been a part of this wonderful Library Thing for three years! It's been fun and informative, and I've met some of the nicest people . . . so glad I found LT!

Jun 5, 2012, 8:15am Top

Let your library (or the district office) know of your difficulty with OneClick. Other people could be having similar problems. You could even contact OneClick, I suppose. There's an 800 number at the bottom of their page - http://www.recordedbooks.com/. Let's hope they can troubleshoot why it isn't working for you!

Jun 5, 2012, 12:37pm Top

Oh, I already e-mailed the OneClick tech support, Lori -- there's a contact link provided. Their reply helped me fix my access to the program on my computer, but didn't fix the issue with transfer, so I e-mailed them again and am awaiting their reply. Always best to report any problem!

Today is my day off. I took my car for oil change and state inspection. The tires barely passed, and I'm going to be doing a lot of driving this summer, so I bit the bullet and replaced them. We've had too many extra expenses lately, but tires are a safety issue and I try to make sure I have good tread.

Edited: Jun 5, 2012, 6:14pm Top

I just had a call from a co-worker, the Cataloging Library Assistant at our library. It appears that the wonderful new circulation system has lost a whole bunch of information entered since last Thursday -- cataloged books and patron transactions.

I think I'm going to be sick.

On the home front, we just about obliterated our savings account to make the final payment on our bathroom remodel.

I think I'm going to be really sick.

On the plus side . . . surely there's a plus side somewhere? The bathroom looks lovely; I really, really love it and . . . well, can't find a plus side for the library situation. Work should be really . . . interesting tomorrow.

Jun 5, 2012, 6:17pm Top

That is a plus side! concentrate on that!

Jun 5, 2012, 6:23pm Top

I'm also sure that the bath remodel improved the value of our house. Surely the old bathroom would have been a big negative if we ever tried to sell. Now it's about as much of a positive as the space (small) would allow it to be. Not that we're planning to go anywhere, but it pays to think long-term on investments like that.

Jun 5, 2012, 6:30pm Top

I agree.

Edited: Jun 5, 2012, 6:32pm Top

State annual inspection of a car? What do they do/test for?

Here in Illinois, if your car is more than a certain number of years old, 5 maybe, you have to take it in every year. They used to make you rev your engine and they'd test the emissions. Now they somehow do it via checking the car's computer.

They tell you not to come in unless you've driven it for at least 20 minutes and, especially, if you've just had work done on it. Apparently, the computer needs time to adjust itself.

If your car is less than whatever number of years, no annual test at all.

ETA: Needless to say, I loved the Mickey Rawlings series by Troy Soos. Too bad that there aren't anymore.

Edited: Jun 5, 2012, 6:55pm Top

Anyway, it's a dreary day, and we're in the mood for comfort food. I've got a tuna casserole in the oven. I bought a nice piece of smoky cheddar cheese Saturday at the market; I grated some of that into the mix, as it adds a nice flavor.

I'm halfway through Michael Koryta's The Ridge, thanks to the wait for my car at the garage. I'm also well into my audio of McCullough's The Johnstown Flood. The Koryta book isn't his best, but is OK so far. The McCullough is fantastic. I keep listening to details of the flood and saying, "Oh, my!" "Oh, dear!" "Oh, heavens!" The amazing thing about the 1889 flood is that Johnstown was already having the worst flood it had ever had -- at least up to that time -- before the dam broke. When the reservoir came roaring down the narrow and already-flooded valley, what happened went way beyond flood. People thought it was the end of the world.

Ran into a friend -- and fellow reader, book in hand -- also waiting for her car to be fixed this morning. By the time we'd exchanged notes, the book she was reading was added to my Ever-Expanding List. At least I know it's available at our library, as that's where she found it.

Jun 5, 2012, 7:12pm Top

Sorry about the library woes Terri. I hope that gets straightened out soon. Here in lovely NY state you have to get your car inspected every year, regardless of its age. It's a cash cow for the state coffers. A car that's a year old? Come on.

I'm sure you did increase the value of your house with the bathroom remodel.

Edited: Jun 5, 2012, 11:31pm Top

The inspections are annual here in PA too, Bonnie -- and pretty stringent. When my hubby first moved here from NY state and had his car inspected (which had recently passed inspection in NY state) he had to have a couple hundred dollars worth of work done to pass the inspection here.

However, I don't think the state has a cash cow, as the inspections are done by private garages who are licensed by the state. A plan, back in the 90's, to require everyone to take their cars annually to a state-operated center in each county was abandoned -- after they'd built many of the facilities, even to the point where signs had been posted to direct the flow of traffic at the one near where we lived. There was simply too much backlash from furious citizens envisioning long drives to the centers and longer lines when there, and the politicians backed down (after spending our tax dollars to build the things in the first place). Garage owners probably weren't happy about the plan, either.

Back when I lived in NJ, the inspections (also annual) were initially done by the state -- and were free, I believe -- but then they started issuing permits for private garages to do them. For a while, you had the choice between waiting in line for the free state inspection, or paying to have a garage do it. I think the state centers eventually were shut down, and the whole thing was privatized, but I'm not sure about that.

BTW, my mom's car failed inspection once when it was pretty new, Bonnie. There was a malfunction, and the brake lights didn't work. It freaked Mom out to think that she'd been driving around without brake lights! We started checking them ourselves, regularly, after that.

Jun 6, 2012, 12:09am Top

Terri - I have never heard of state inspections for cars. You have to do it every year? Indiana does not have this - I have never had to have a vehicle inspected. Now I am wondering if Georgia has this because I had no idea that some states did this. Wow, I am learning something everyday here!!

Edited: Jun 6, 2012, 9:12am Top

Mamie, so far, I know that NJ, NY, and PA all have annual inspections. I've heard that Maryland only has a one-time inspection when you buy, but it's really strict. (Stupid timing, especially for a new car.) I have no idea about Georgia. They are mainly safety inspections for things like brakes, lights, tires -- things that might cause an accident if not properly maintained -- though my husband's car (the one that came down from NY) once failed because of rust. My car once failed because the high beam switch wasn't working. Depending on where you live (urban or rural) there are emissions tests for pollution, too. (We don't have those in our part of the state.)

I had no idea that some states didn't have some kind of safety inspection program for cars. Isn't it interesting what we learn here on LT?

BTW, one of my fellow employees has re-named our library's new circulation system. She's calling it "The Borg." (As a Trekker, I rather like this.) It's forcing us to assimilate into a collective catalog and way of doing things so we lose our individuality. . . and . . . Resistance is futile . . .

Jun 6, 2012, 9:17am Top

That is so interesting - and makes perfect sense. So what does this say about Indiana?!

I am loving the new library circulation system nickname!! I am also a Trekker - oh the things we are learning!

Jun 6, 2012, 11:41am Top

Yep, Maryland is one time only...Pa inspections.. read my mind....^*&(*(*&*&&*

Jun 6, 2012, 11:09pm Top

Mississippi has one. Tennessee doesn't. When I lived in Nashville, you used to have to have emissions tested, but I'm not sure that you still have to do that. I've been away from Ohio for 13 years, but back then we didn't have inspections either.

Jun 6, 2012, 11:50pm Top

247 Live long and prosper, Mamie!

248 Kath, I think I'm picking up a psychic impression . . .

249 Hi, Lori!

Today was a little better at the library. But we still have some glitches. We had a weird one that I discovered quite by chance when the same item appeared twice on a patron's overdue notice, but with different barcodes. After some checking, I found that one of the "identical" videos was really a different video altogether that the new system had "renamed." A check of the barcodes in the old system (which is still functional for a while during the transition) finally sorted it out. But what were the odds of both those videos being checked out to the same person? OK, they were both Veggie Tales, but still . . .

Jun 7, 2012, 7:19am Top

ahhhh the joys of unfriendly computer programs ....

Edited: Jun 7, 2012, 3:13pm Top

Ah, yes. OneClick just sent me 9 pages of detailed instructions on how I can now do audio book downloads and transfers to my mp3 player with their new-and-improved software -- via an alternate, manual transfer method. Oh, and using this method, I can no longer transfer items marked "protected"-- which is more than three quarters of their audio catalog.

I'm sure this is something that's been pushed on them by the publishers trying to better protect their material from pilferage, but . . . not worth the hassle to me.

Edited: Jun 7, 2012, 9:25pm Top

After a long day which included almost 2 hours in a waiting room before I even got into the examining room for my medical appointment (fortunately, I had Wolf Hall with me), I took some "time out" late this afternoon for a pot of peach tea, and the finishing of my latest scary read:

75 Challenge Book #50
Title: The Ridge
Michael Koryta
Copyright/Year of original publication: 2011
Subject: a lighthouse on a mountain ridge; an evil, unearthly bargain, and some odd deaths
Setting: Eastern Kentucky
Dates Read: finished 6/7/12
Off the Shelf? (pre-2012 or ER?) Source?: nearby library (not ours)
Category for 12 in 12 challenge: Spooky
How does it fit the category? Spooky!
Why did I read this book now? Needed a book for Spooky category, with a little murder & mayhem thrown in (but got it too late for May M&M)
My Rating: 3.9 stars

I love Michael Koryta's writing. The copy of The Ridge I got my hands on is an ER copy of bound uncorrected proofs, so I won't do any quotations here. I assume the final version is pretty much the same story, and the story is a pretty nice horror yarn.

It involves some unlikely neighbors on a mountain ridge in Eastern Kentucky: a lighthouse and a preserve for rescued cats. BIG cats, not your average kitty. Lions, tigers, cougars; those kinds of cats, rescued from situations where they were being mistreated. Central is one rare (believed to be mythical) black mountain lion. There is a death, a suicide, to the aftermath of which two people are sort of invited: a newsman whose newspaper has just folded; and a deputy sheriff who never quite fully recovered from being shot, though he is back on the job. There is more death, and there is great evil. There's a mysterious blue flame in the woods and near an abandoned railroad trestle with a grisly history.

I don't think this one is quite as good as Koryta's So Cold the River. But is a good, scary tale with enough twists and turns near the end to keep one guessing how it will ultimately turn out.

Jun 7, 2012, 8:24pm Top

I have to read that...

Jun 7, 2012, 8:28pm Top

Kath, a word of warning: one of the big cats is harmed. But I think you could deal with this because of the relation between these cats and their caregivers. The woman in charge of the preserve, Audrey, is a character I think you would really love. And it is a good spooky tale!

Jun 7, 2012, 8:40pm Top

Whew! I'm pretty much caught up. Yay!
I am so, so glad that somebody else lives in her imagination enough to look for an unpurchased item. I won't tell you about some of my mistakes. I will tell you the mother of all leaving-behind stories............. Well, first a small one. After Kent and Louise graduated from my college, they were both in Atlanta and came up together for a weekend. Kent went back to Atlanta - all the way - without Louise. That same year an acquaintance whose name I don't remember got an unexpected ride home to Ohio (a long way from N.C.) for a long weekend. She thought she'd surprise her parents, so she didn't let them know that she was coming. When she got home, her key didn't work and a stranger answered the door. Her family had moved to another town and were waiting until the next big holiday to tell her because they knew she'd be upset. I think the father was still working in the old town, so he was able to mail letters in that ancient time before instant communication.
I love David McCullough! Lucky you!

Jun 8, 2012, 9:33am Top

What's lost is found...and the bathroom has a door! I love your Good News Thread, Terri.

I have fond memories of Julie. I read it many years ago. It was a "keeper" for me, though I wonder if it will stand the test of time.

I have a love/hate relationship with computers. It seems like our library system is down too frequently. It must be a real headache. I hope your glitches can be fixed without too much pain.

Congrats on your 3-year Thingaversary. We're glad you're here!

Edited: Jun 8, 2012, 3:17pm Top

Now I really have to read that... sigh

Thank you for the warning, I will be prepared to skip a page or two...

Jun 8, 2012, 5:31pm Top

256 Peggy, that's quite a story. Both of them, but especially the second one.

257 Thanks for the congrats. Donna. I've really enjoyed the past 3 years here.

258 Kath, there were also a few paragraphs about the situations they rescued the cats from which you might want to skip, and easily could. Not sure you could make sense of the story if you skip the one incident. The courage of the one keeper in trying to tend to the injured animal is absolutely awesome and touching, though.

Today went smoother at work . . . as far as I can tell, if what got done doesn't get mysteriously undone over the weekend.

I've got three novels going at once now. I was reading Wolf Hall; then started Thirty-Three Teeth for a bit lighter fare; then, with learning of Ray Bradbury's death, I pulled Dandelion Wine off the shelf. Fortunately, my current audio is non-fiction, The Johnstown Flood.

Jun 8, 2012, 9:26pm Top

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day here weather-wise. Mostly sunny, seventies. It's supposed to be hot and humid over the weekend.

I'm thinking about starting a new thread. I'm at about that number, message-wise, and I'm just 2/3 through my 75-book goal. I'm just not sure I have the ambition to do it, or the brain capacity tonight to do it right. A lot of it is just cutting and pasting -- I click on edit, copy what's in the edit box (so I keep all my format stuff, touchstones, & graphics) and then cancel the edit and go paste it on the new thread. That way I can set it up fairly quickly, then make whatever changes I want (different photos and such).

Edited: Jun 8, 2012, 9:57pm Top

OK, the new thread is open and ready for business. It only took me half an hour to get organized -- not too bad!'

Friends, please move on over to the new thread -- this thread is CLOSED.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2012

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229,572 messages


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