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Norabelle414's part VII: In Which Nora Has Grand Adventures with Rory Pond

75 Books Challenge for 2013

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Edited: Jul 12, 2013, 4:21pm Top

Some tulips I bought myself last month

Goals for 2013:

  • Read 75 books
  • Catch up on my LTER reading / reviewing
  • Read more books than I acquire (acquire fewer books than I read?)
  • Tag all of my books owned and read by decade in which they take place
  • Plan & attend the National Book Festival LT meet-up in DC

Previous Threads:
2013, part VI
2013, part V
2013, part IV
2013, part III
2013, part II
2013, part I
2012, module eta

Edited: Jul 1, 2013, 2:18pm Top

Books read in 2013:


1) The Country of the Blind and Other Science-Fiction Stories by H. G. Wells
2) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
3) In the Belly of the Bloodhound: Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the Life of Jacky Faber by L. A. Meyer
4) The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin
5) The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge by Jeremy Narby
6) Redshirts by John Scalzi
7) Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
8) Mississippi Jack: Being an Account of the Further Waterborne Adventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman, Fine Lady, and Lily of the West by L. A. Meyer

9) Looking for Alaska by John Green
10) John Dies at the End by David Wong
11) Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
12) The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson
13) Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
14) Paper Towns by John Green
15) My Bonny Light Horseman: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, in Love and War by L. A. Meyer
16) The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

17) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
18) Graceling by Kristin Cashore
19) Rapture of the Deep: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Soldier, Sailor, Mermaid, Spy by L. A. Meyer
20) Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy
21) Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
22) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

23) I am Legend and Other Stories by Richard Matheson
24) The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book I: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood
25) Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury
26) The Wake of the Lorelei Lee: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, On Her Way to Botany Bay by L. A. Meyer
27) The Incorrible Children of Ashton Place, Book II: The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood

28) The Incorrible Children of Ashton Place, Book III: The Unseen Guest by Maryrose Wood
29) The Gunslinger by Stephen King
30) Wool by Hugh Howey
31) Watership Down by Richard Adams
32) Babette's Feast by Isak Dinesen

33) Fables Vol. 5: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham
34) The Grand Tour, or The Purloined Coronation Regalia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
35) Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi
36) Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
37) War for the Oaks by Emma Bull


Edited: Jul 1, 2013, 2:19pm Top

I'm going to try keeping a closer eye on the books I acquire throughout the year. Perhaps that will keep the numbers down.

Books acquired in 2013:


1) Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger (free)


2) Feminism in the Worlds of Neil Gaiman by Tara Prescott (free)

3) Wool by Hugh Howey (new, $12)
4) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (used, $7.99)
5) Zone One by Colson Whitehead (used, $7)
6) The White Queen by Philippa Gregory (used, $7)

7) Matched by Ally Condie (used, $.50)
8) Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce (used, $.50)
9) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling (used, $1)
10) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling (used, $1)
11) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling (used, $1)
12) Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (used, $1)
13) Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare (used, $1)
14) 11/22/63 by Stephen King (used, $3)
15) The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Two-volumes (used, $3)
16) Bullfinch's Mythology - 1947 edition (used, $3)
17) The Tesseract by Alex Garland (used, $3)
18) The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith (used, $3)
19) Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood (used, $3)
20) In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson (used, $3)
21) The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor (used, $.10)
22) Wicked by Gregory Maguire (used, $.10)
23) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling (used, $.10)
24) The Maze Runner by James Dashner (used, $.10)

25) Vogue Knitting Knitopedia edited by Carla Scott (new, $18.98)
26) Bite Me: A Love Story by Christopher Moore (new, $5.98)
27) Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi (new, $13.95)
28) Maus I: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman (new, $15.95)
29) Cursed Pirate Girl by Jeremy A. Bastian (new, $24.95)
30) Changeless (used, $1.50) and
31) Blameless by Gail Carriger (used, $1.50)
32) The Chronicles of Chrestomanci Volume II by Diana Wynne Jones (used, $1.50)
33) Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams (used, $3) - first edition
34) Red Prophet by Orson Scott Card (used, $1.50)
35) Old Man's War by John Scalzi (used, $1.50)
36) The Mislaid Magician; or Ten Years After by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer (used, $4)


Edited: Jun 18, 2013, 10:56am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Jun 18, 2013, 9:58am Top

*Tackle hugs* ... Hi Nora!! :D

Edited: Jun 18, 2013, 10:56am Top

Book #35: Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi - Marjane is now a teenager, has left Iran, and is attending school in Vienna. She feels isolated from her peers because they are rich and do not understand what her life was like in a "third-world country". She falls in with a crowd of anarchists who seem to idolize her for her expiriences, especially with death. They don't provide her with a sense of belonging any more than her rich classmates did. The isolation eventually crushes her, and she moves back to Iran. There, she has something in common with everyone: the fear and oppression of a religious extremist government.

This is really an amazingly accessible book. To a large extent Marjane's troubles are universal: she is a teenager who feels she does not fit in with anyone. She eventually comes around to the idea that the people she shares the most with are those she thought she shared the least with: her parents. At the same time, it's an incredible and emotional picture of Iran from inside, told from the perspective of an ordinary girl, with the assistance of simple drawings. These two graphic novels should be required reading for everyone.

Book #36: Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks, read by Geraldine Brooks - audiobook from the library - In 1666, Anna Frith is the maid to the rector of a small town in England which is hit by an outbreak of the plague. The rector makes the tough decision to quarantine the entire town, knowing that this could increase the deaths within the town, to prevent the plague from spreading to the surrounding villages. Anna and the rector's wife help the people of the village with everything from midwifery to mining, and form a deep friendship and mutual admiration.

As with the other Geraldine Brooks book that I've read, People of the Book, the soap-opera-y drama that Brooks adds cheapens the real historical fiction that is buried here. The pain and fear involved with an outbreak of plague is more than enough drama to make a compelling novel, but Brooks felt the need to add murder, prostitution, torture, alcoholism, infanticide, mine collapse, madness, superstition, and adultery. As you would expect from a book about the plague, most of the characters you meet die. However, very few of them actually die of the plague. Anna comments every week on how many fewer people show up for church, but from the reader's perspective that could be due just as much to murder as to the disease. There is some interesting historical fiction to be found here, but it's buried under gratuitous added drama.

Currently reading:
War for the Oaks by Emma Bull
The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge
The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Currently listening to:

Coming soon:
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik



Jun 18, 2013, 10:56am Top

Hello, Nora!

Jun 18, 2013, 10:57am Top

>5 Ape: Hi Stephen!

>7 RosyLibrarian: Hi Marie!

Jun 18, 2013, 1:13pm Top

Yay! New thread!

Jun 18, 2013, 1:21pm Top

>9 leahbird: Hi Leah!


Rory Pond got a new toy last Friday and he enjoys it greatly:

Jun 18, 2013, 3:05pm Top

Feather teasers are awesome. Lucky Rory.

Also, hi Nora!

Jun 18, 2013, 3:11pm Top

>11 MickyFine: It's got feathers and then something like dried corn husks or reeds on it too. He's ripped all the non-feather bits off already and is working diligently on the feathers. I woke up to find it next to me in bed this morning. Hi Micky!

Jun 18, 2013, 5:25pm Top

Hi Nora! Your tulips are gorgeous! Feather wands = happy kitties at my house too. :)

Jun 18, 2013, 6:04pm Top

>12 norabelle414: The teaser I have Mycroft is basically a feather boa attached to a plastic wand. When we play with it he catches it and tries to lick it to death. He's such a killer. ;)

How goes zoo volunteering? And also War for the Oaks?

Jun 18, 2013, 7:31pm Top

Haha, sounds like Rory Pond was eagerly waiting for you to wake up and play. :)

Jun 18, 2013, 8:54pm Top

Rory is a delight. Thanks for posting the photos!

Jun 18, 2013, 10:00pm Top

>13 TinaV95: Thanks Tina!

>14 MickyFine: The zoo is awesome! I had my first day on Saturday and it was really really fun and way easier than in training. War for the Oaks is really good too. I can see how it's influenced subsequent urban fantasy stories.

>15 Ape: Oh, he doesn't wait. I can't tell you how many times I've woken up at 3:30am to him batting me in the face.

>16 Whisper1: Hi Linda!!

Jun 18, 2013, 10:07pm Top

Is Rory Pond a new addition to your family?

Jun 18, 2013, 10:19pm Top

I can't tell you how many times I've woken up at 3:30am to him batting me in the face.

Well quit wearing feather toys on your face at night.

Hi Nora!

Jun 18, 2013, 10:41pm Top

>18 Whisper1: Yes! I just got him at the end of May. He's about a year old.

>19 UnrulySun: Ha! Hi Kathy!

Jun 19, 2013, 1:21am Top

Hi Nora- Love the new thread, the tulips at the top and learning about the fun Rory Pond has been having with his new toy..... the feather teaser I mean. Obviously if he is waking you up at 3:30 by batting you in the face, you are a better play friend than any toy you purchase for him. ;-)

Jun 19, 2013, 3:06am Top

Nora, I have always thought tulips the most exquisite of flowers and what better way to start your latest exquisite thread than with those.

Jun 19, 2013, 2:28pm Top

>17 norabelle414: Yeah, I would be far crankier about being awoken at 3:30 am. That's why Mycroft goes in his crate overnight.

Jun 19, 2013, 2:50pm Top

>21 lkernagh: Thanks Lori! Rory is definitely a snuggle bug. We have cuddle time every day when I get home from work and he loooooooves it.

>22 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul! Tulips are one of my favorite flowers, as they're usually in bloom on my birthday.

>23 MickyFine: Interesting. I think Rory would go nuts if he was in a crate all night. He went crazy the one time I tried to lock him out of my room.

Jun 19, 2013, 3:39pm Top

>24 norabelle414: Mycroft wasn't a fan of it for probably the first two weeks but he's gotten used to it now. And it's better for both of our sanities. :)

Jun 19, 2013, 11:39pm Top

Just sneaking in here quickly to say that I met up with Katie (katiekrug) today and it was great! She's a lovely person and we had a delightful time. More details tomorrow!

Jun 20, 2013, 8:16am Top

Sneaking in quickly to say hi! And to say that now, of course, you need to get Rory a laser pointer. Clearly.

Jun 20, 2013, 8:38am Top

>27 scaifea: Oh he totally has a laser pointer. He looooooooves it. After post-work-cuddle-time we have post-cuddle-time-laser-pointer-time. He lays in wait for it, and races around the apartment.

Jun 20, 2013, 10:10am Top

>26 norabelle414:: If it were not for the ungodly headache I am now suffering from thanks to too much Uruguayan wine, I would have been by sooner to thank you for a great evening! It was so nice to finally meet you :-)

Here's the photo:

Jun 20, 2013, 3:58pm Top

>29 katiekrug: Thanks for posting the photo, Katie!


Katie and her husband, The Wayne, and I went to the Book Bank and browsed around for awhile. I was NOT going to buy any books because only recently had my books read surpassed my books acquired for the year. BUT there was a distinct possibility that I could finish my current book on the bus ride home that evening, and then I would have nothing to read!! So I told myself that I could buy ONE book, since I would be finishing my current book soon, but then of course it had to be something I was willing to read immediately.
I explored the bookstore in my usual order: bargains, science fiction, general fiction, everything else, then children's/YA. (Don't ask me why I always end with YA. I have no idea.) I found a couple of okay books but nothing that I felt like reading right away. That is, until I got to the very last shelf in the very last section that I looked at. There it was, waiting for me: a good condition paperback copy of The Mislaid Magician; or Ten Years After by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer, which is the sequel to The Grand Tour; or The Purloined Coronation Regalia which I finished this month. It was clearly fate!

And then we had delicious pizza and cocktails/wine/beer, and talked until an hour that the possibly tipsy Katie informed me was past my bedtime. Now I just need to convince her to come to the National Book Festival in September!

Jun 20, 2013, 5:05pm Top

Glad to hear you had a great meet-up. Nice to see faces for both of you! :)

Jun 20, 2013, 6:41pm Top

Yay! ♥ meetups! You girls look fantastic, and so happy.

Jun 20, 2013, 10:52pm Top

"Possibly tipsy"? Me? Who knew Uruguayan sauvignon blanc was so good?

Definitely going to try to make September work...

Jun 20, 2013, 11:03pm Top

Wonderful photo of your meet up! These events are incredible!

Jun 20, 2013, 11:06pm Top

>32 UnrulySun: & 33 Thanks Micky & Kathy!

>33 katiekrug: I *love* South American wines. Argentinian Malbec is my absolute favorite. And of course it doesn't hurt that they're cheaper than European wines ;-)

>34 Whisper1: Thanks Linda! I hope I get to met you in person someday!

Jun 20, 2013, 11:17pm Top

I neglected to mention that I've checked out Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal from the library (somebody mentioned this recently but I can't figure out who! Thanks, whoever you are!) and I'm currently listening to Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.

Jun 20, 2013, 11:23pm Top

I would love to meet you!

Jun 24, 2013, 2:16pm Top

Book #37: War for the Oaks by Emma Bull - Eddi McCandry dumps her self-centered lead-singer boyfriend and quits his band. On her way home from their last gig she is kidnapped by two fey: a phouka and a glaistig. They inform her that the fairy world is in the middle of a civil war (Seelie Court vs. Unseelie Court). Because fey are immortal, the only way they can actually have a war is if a mortal is on the battlefield with them like a mascot. Eddi has been chosen to be this pawn, though she knows not why, and after an attempt is made on her life by the Unseelie Court she agrees to allow the phouka to be her round-the-clock bodyguard. She eventually starts her own band with her best friend Carla, learns why she was chosen for the Seelie war, and becomes more emotionally invested in the war's outcome than she had ever expected.

War for the Oaks is arguably the pioneer of the urban fantasy genre (fantasy that takes place in a real-world setting). The plot might sound a little cliche, but this is the original. Emma Bull wrote the cliches. I can tell that Neil Gaiman's American Gods and Neverwhere, especially, were directly influenced. The story is a little dated (mid-1980s), as any book involving so much music will be, but it is more classic than anachronism, likely due to the excellent writing (and 3rd-person narration!). I loved that the book was set in Minneapolis; it was a nice change from New York or London, where it seems all urban fantasy takes place.

I'm going to go beyond "recommended" and call this a must read for anyone who enjoys urban fantasy.

Currently reading:
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge
The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Currently listening to:
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, read by Frazer Douglas (19.8%)

Coming soon:
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
The Mislaid Magician; or Ten Years After by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

Library requests:
A Natural History of Dragons: a Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan (1 of 1)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (54 of 105)
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes (48 of 63)
666 Park Avenue by Gabriella Pierce (3 of 3)



Jun 24, 2013, 5:28pm Top

>38 norabelle414: I need to get around to that one. I really, really do.

Jun 24, 2013, 7:37pm Top

Yep, me too.

Nora, I'm reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane right now, and so far... AMAZING.

Jun 25, 2013, 9:02am Top

Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed War for the Oaks so much. It really is classic urban fantasy.

Jun 25, 2013, 9:14am Top

>39 MickyFine: Yes you do!

>40 UnrulySun: It looks sooooo good Kathy! It's going to take me forever to get down the waitlist though!

>41 Morphidae: I'm on a Minnesota reading spree right now! I read a Patricia C. Wrede book, and then War for the Oaks, and soon I'm going to read another Patricia C. Wrede book and Throne of Jade, which I bought at Uncle Hugo's :-)


Two things:

1) Note that I have added a new section to my usual currently reading list: library requests.

2) The back cover of my copy of War for the Oaks, and the Amazon description, both say "Eddi McCandry sings rock and roll. But her boyfriend just dumped her, her band just broke up, and life could hardly be worse." However, THAT'S NOT TRUE. She dumps HIM, and the reason that her band breaks up is because her now-ex-boyfriend is the lead singer so she quits, and then her best friend quits too in solidarity. That bothers me TO NO END!!!!

Jun 25, 2013, 12:35pm Top

>42 norabelle414: Ugh, things like that drive me crazy. I was reading a Georgette Heyer last week and the back cover description mentioned a plot point that seemed like it would be a major impetus for the majority of the novel but didn't happen until the last 70 pages.

Jun 25, 2013, 5:44pm Top

Rory Pond got a jungle gym today, which I will post pictures of if I can get him to stop moving for 10 seconds.

Jun 25, 2013, 8:00pm Top

I just want to say that putting "must read" in bold letters is totally unfair, and should be banned from this forum. :P

Jun 26, 2013, 9:36am Top

must read

Jun 26, 2013, 9:39am Top

I'm fussing around in my library today, mostly dealing with books that I checked out from the library, read, and then later bought a copy of. If I bought the exact same edition that I read, I'm transfering reviews & dates to the "owned" copy and deleting the "library" copy. I'm still not sure what to do if my edition is very different from the library edition (or borrowed from elsewhere).

Does anyone else come across this problem? How do you deal with it?

Edited: Jun 26, 2013, 6:54pm Top

If I buy a book that I previously borrowed, I transfer the info and delete the original even if they are different. Now, with audiobooks I've been keeping both records because my rating of the audiobook includes my rating of the reading so it can be different than my rating for the work itself. With books and ebooks, I'd just rather not have the clutter of all those library editions.

Today I'm seriously wishing I was in DC so I could celebrate the SCOTUS ruling ending DOMA in the middle of all the action! Alas, I'm settling for celebrating here in my living room.

Jun 26, 2013, 2:56pm Top

>48 leahbird: My current predicaments are
1) the Harry Potter books that I "had" when I was younger, which were actually my mother's. I have such strong associations with those particular editions that it feels weird to attribute their reviews, reading dates, etc. to a different edition, and to remove them from my catalog all together. Plus some of the ones I now own are British editions which is definitely not the same as the ones I read.
2) books that I buy to fully replace other ones that I own and are lost or destroyed. Sometimes they're the exact same edition, in which case should I just replace the book and not change the LT record or add a new record? And sometimes they're completely different editions but it still feels weird to delete the old book when I did own it at one time.

We're not very overt celebrators here in DC, especially as the striking down of one part of DOMA is but a small step in the right direction, but I am sure there are spectacular displays going on elsewhere this afternoon :-)

Jun 26, 2013, 3:53pm Top

In other news I joined the DC Public Library, just for kicks (I walk past the Cleveland Park branch on my way to the zoo) and they have SO MANY FREAKING AUDIOBOOKS on their OverDrive site. Over 6,000 English mp3 audiobooks, versus 2,000 at the Alexandria library and 4,000 at the Arlington library. And tons of it is YA. They even had the 7th Jacky Faber book in mp3 (which I listened to in WMA and it was a terrible experience.) My normal modus operandi is to go through ALL of the audiobooks they have and add any I'm interested in to my wishlist. Then anytime I want to listen to something I can just dig through the wishlist. But by the time I'd looked through 1,000 titles I already had over 100 books on my wishlist. SO I will have to find some other way of doing it.

Jun 26, 2013, 5:38pm Top

I have duplicate titles in my LT catalogue for precisely the reasons you've mentioned. I make a note in the entry for the edition I have not read, that I have read the book, just not this particular copy. (Not sure I am making sense).

I had the recent realization that I could have The Wayne join the library, use his card number, and thus not be limited to only 4 e-books/audiobooks from Overdrive at a time :) I hope I don't get arrested....

Jun 26, 2013, 5:51pm Top

>51 katiekrug: Normally I just let the duplicates sit, but I got really excited a couple days ago that my LT "library" (all collections) reached 1000. And then I was disappointed when I remembered I have a bunch of duplicates. So I'm trying to make it more accurate.

My library has a caveat on their website that says you can lend/borrow library cards, but whoever owns the card is responsible for the materials checked out. You should see if your library says anything like that!

Jun 26, 2013, 6:09pm Top

Good point!

Jun 26, 2013, 6:15pm Top

>49 norabelle414: I would definitely recognize the British HPs as different enough to deserve their own entry in your library, even if you no longer possess the others.

Edited: Jun 26, 2013, 7:00pm Top

#50 by norabelle414> I need to go see what the DC Library system's non-resident policy is. I was going to join The Free Library of Philadelphia but the last 6 books I searched for on their site they didn't have... which was not promising when I'm trying to give them $30 a year.

ETA: No electronic download cards available for non-residents. I can get a regular library card for $20 a year but apparently I can't access Overdrive with it.

Jun 26, 2013, 8:13pm Top

Hi Nora- I was in DC last weekend and had a chance to meet Jim, who is considered LT Royalty. I see that you had a chance to meet with my pal Katie. I am sure you two had a great time. I plan to return in the next couple of years. I would love to attend the big book expo, one of these Septembers and maybe get a chance to meet up with you.
I see you read Wool last month. What did you think? I gave it a solid 4 stars.

Jun 26, 2013, 8:44pm Top

>56 msf59: Hi Mark! Jim is excellent company, and I saw on his thread that you met up with him at The Beir Baron, which is a great bar! Katie and I did have a really good time; the kind that doesn't translate well to LT posts ;-) I hope you make it to the National Book Festival one of these years!

Wool was a borderline 5-star for me. It wasn't perfect but it was a hell of a lot better than all the YA dystopias that have been popping up lately.

Jun 27, 2013, 9:02am Top

I bring my giant mug of coffee to work religiously every day, but today I forgot it at home. I jokingly texted my supervisor and said if she needed me I would be curled up in a ball under my desk, and she offered to pick up some coffee for me on her way to work. She's even going to Dunkin Donuts to get it (she usually goes to McDonalds for her coffee) because she knows it's my favorite. Did you ever think you'd see the day?? A year and a half ago I had a supervisor who didn't even know my name after 9 months of working in our 10-person office. No matter how bad things get here, having such a great boss makes all the difference in the world.

Jun 27, 2013, 9:22am Top

Good bosses make all the difference. I am currently struggling not to think bad thoughts about mine....

Jun 27, 2013, 12:16pm Top

>59 katiekrug: All the more reason to quit and move back to NoVa....

Jun 27, 2013, 12:41pm Top

You have a cat named Rory Pond? *dies* I've missed so much. He's adorable!

Jun 27, 2013, 1:19pm Top

>61 ErisofDiscord: This is what happens when you leave us! Here's a picture of Rory Pond and his new jungle gym:

He does the cutest (and weirdest) things but he moves so fast that it's impossible to take pictures. Plus the camera on my phone is not very good.

Jun 27, 2013, 1:35pm Top

*sniff* He is so precious. He sounds like Rory! Cute and weird, like a flailing ballerina. :)

Jun 27, 2013, 1:54pm Top

>63 ErisofDiscord: He's also super-duper affectionate and loyal :-)

Jun 27, 2013, 2:10pm Top

>62 norabelle414: Someone is one spoiled kitty. Mycroft just has a multi-level scratching post. :)

Jun 27, 2013, 3:02pm Top

>65 MickyFine: If I don't give him things to do constantly, he is COMPLETELY CRAZY. Plus the jungle gym only cost $20 and it was really fun to put together ^_^

I'm actually having a bit of trouble with him. He refuses to scratch anything but the carpet. I got a scratch post but he doesn't use it. I'm perfectly happy to let him scratch the furniture (all my upholstered furniture is really old and has been scratched up by my mom's dogs anyway) but he doesn't scratch that. I got a flat scratch board with carpet on it, but he won't scratch that either. I've tried rubbing catnip on all of the above things but that just makes him try to chew on them, not scratch them. I make loud noises when I catch him scratching the carpet, and he stops immediately, but I know that he's doing it when I am asleep or at work.

We're still working on the leash training. He LOVES going up and down the hallway on his leash but he won't go anywhere near the elevators. I want to try taking him down the staircase, but I really do not want to take him up seven flights of stairs at the end of our walk.

Jun 27, 2013, 3:15pm Top

>66 norabelle414: There's a pheromone spray you can get that might help him use the scratching post. The shelter mentioned that to me when I adopted Mycroft, although luckily he's been great about using his post. You should be able to get the spray at PetSmart.

Jun 29, 2013, 3:57pm Top

Back up to the duplicate discussion: I opened a separate LT account solely to enter books that I check out of the library. That way, if I buy my own copy, I enter that one in my 'real' LT account and I don't have to worry about keeping track of duplicates.

Jun 30, 2013, 2:01am Top

I could do with a jungle gym for myself Nora - it looks like fun.
Have a lovely weekend.

Jun 30, 2013, 7:00am Top

If you ever come to America, they have human jungle gyms that look just like that in many of the fast food restaurants. Granted there is a size restriction, and you have to eat the awful food to be allowed to play on them, but obviously it's worth it.

Jun 30, 2013, 10:09am Top

Rory doesn't let me play on his jungle gym. If I stick my head in one of the doors he yells at me, "MOOOOM get out of my roooooooom!"

Jun 30, 2013, 3:59pm Top

Obviously you haven't yet gotten the memo that all things in your apartment all belong to Rory now and you only get to use them as a result of his benevolence. ;)

Jun 30, 2013, 4:38pm Top

>72 MickyFine: Untrue! I have managed to successfully booby-trap my dresser so that Rory can't jump on it.

Jun 30, 2013, 7:48pm Top

>70 Ape: LOL
But my question is, are they gated? Can I drop the kids there and run? Or is that frowned upon illegal there too?

Jul 1, 2013, 9:20am Top

Reminds me of the Maia (dog) rules...

If it's on the floor, it's mine.

If I can lick it, it's mine.

If I can reach it, it's mine.

Jul 1, 2013, 10:46am Top

>74 LovingLit: You're not supposed to leave them there, but you don't have to pay any attention to them. If someone comments on the fact that you're eating french fries and reading instead of watching your kids, just yell something about the Constitution. Works every time.

>75 Morphidae: The Rory Pond rules are:

If you want me to have it, I don't want it.
If you don't want me to have it, it's mine.

I tried to get him to eat a tiny potato chip crumb that I dropped on the floor yesterday, and he just looked at me like I was crazy.

Speaking of Rory, I bought him another scratching thing on Friday and he is still uninterested. He also totally doesn't care about catnip. At all. I talked to the guy at the pet store about pheromone spray to encourage scratching on things, but he had never heard of it. They only had spray to make cats NOT scratch on things. I don't know what I'd do with that besides cover the entire apartment floor with it . . . .
I'm trying to be more thorough about clipping his nails. Previously I had only been able to clip about 1 nail per day before he figured out what I was up to and started to maul me. But yesterday I got SIX nails clipped! In related news I have huge gashes across both of my hands.

Jul 1, 2013, 11:04am Top

I have never attempted to clip a cat's nails before so very impressed you managed to clip six nails yesterday. Not surprised your hands were mauled in the process..... that is a highly dangerous job! It always amazes me how limber and fast cats are.... they are like Speedy Gonzales meets Gumby.... bad analogy I know, but its early and I still need my coffee! ;-)

Jul 1, 2013, 12:34pm Top

Try wrapping him in a blanket next time and just exposing one paw at a time. It helps a lot. Hopefully he'll get used to it quickly with frequent repetition and it won't be a problem anymore.

Jul 1, 2013, 1:29pm Top

I can usually catch him while he's sleeping and get one or two, but he must have been REALLY tired yesterday because it took him awhile to wise up. I also try to touch his paws and extend his claws as often as possible when I'm NOT clipping his nails, so he gets used to it. Also, his paws are tiny and soft and adorable.

Jul 1, 2013, 1:58pm Top

I forgot to do a quarterly summary last quarter, but here is my

Half-year Summary:

Books read: 37
Books purchased (paper+audio): 36
Money spent on books (paper+audio): $155.70
Average cost per book: $4.32
Books acquired (purchased+free, not audio): 38
Books borrowed (friends+library): 28
Books read that were on the shelf for a year or more: 2
Books deaccessioned: 0


Books read: 37 (paper+audio)

Paper books: 24
Audiobooks: 13

Pages read: 7,487 (no audio)

Average paper book length: 312 pages
Median paper book length: 308 pages

Average pages read per day: 41
Average pages read per week: 287
Average pages read per month: 1,248

New reads: 37
Rereads: 0

Fiction books read: 33
Nonfiction books read: 4

By female author: 15
By male author: 22

Jul 1, 2013, 2:24pm Top

I'm almost halfway to 75, so technically in the safe zone, but that makes me uncomfortable considering I had such a huge streak in January/February. This spring has not been good for reading. I'll have to pick up the pace if I want to make it through my usual late-fall slump.

This is my first year of MAJORLY using the library, as you can see. I think it boost my reading to have deadlines, but my personal collection is getting neglected.

I'm having fun reading only female authors, so I think I'll keep that up for a little while longer. Obviously all bets are off if I can get my hands on The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Jul 2, 2013, 3:22pm Top

Wishing you well in your quest to do some super reading this summer.

Jul 3, 2013, 12:06pm Top

>82 MickyFine: Thanks Micky! Smooch Mycroft for me.


Book News:

I've put holds on a few more books at the library:
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (40 of 44)
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (8 of 8)
Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich (6 of 6)

The last one is the July read for a virtual bookclub on io9.com (my favorite source of science, science fiction, and other nerdy news). Inevitably all 7 books will come up at the exact same time.

I'm headed to the library today to return a physical copy of The Song of Achilles. I had put a hold on both the paper and eAudio copies, because I didn't know which one would come first, and then I ended up with both at the same time. I'm LOVING IT on audio, and now that I am certain I will finish the audiobook before it expires, I can safely return the paper copy. (There are 8 people on the waitlist for one audio copy behind me, so if it expires before I finish it it could be 5 months before I get another chance.) Cross your fingers that the cute librarian is working today. Last time I was there he knew my name (BEFORE he scanned my card) and remembered that I do not want a receipt.

My current purse-book is Shades of Milk and Honey which is very good but I haven't been reading much on my commute. The rain has really been cutting into my reading as I can't read while walking home or sit on a park bench for 30 minutes or so. (It's been raining every few hours here for over a week.) My current bedside-book is The Iron Thorn which is AWFUL. But that's actually motivating me to read it more because I want it to be over. And like I mentioned above, I'm absolutely loving the audiobook of The Song of Achilles.


Family News:

My mom and my brother came over last night and I cooked dinner. (They're both obsessed with Rory Pond, which is funny because they claim they don't like cats.) They were on their best behavior (well, my brother mostly ignored us for his phone after dinner was done) and it went very well. Hooray for not living at home!


Zoo News:

Those of you who follow the national news probably heard about the zoo's excitement last week. One of our red pandas, Rusty, escaped from his enclosure Sunday night/Monday morning and, after a frantic search, was found around 2pm Monday in a residential neighborhood about a mile south of the zoo. The red pandas are on the Asia Trail, so I've been answering tons of questions about him all week. He'll be back on exhibit on Sunday, and for the next 2 weeks all of us volunteers are taking turns on "Rusty watch" - standing next to the habitat for 2 hours at a time and not taking our eyes off him for one minute!

Jul 3, 2013, 6:54pm Top

I'm totally jealous of the cute guybrarian, and not just because he has my dream job. :P

Jul 3, 2013, 7:16pm Top

HAHAHA guybrarian is my new favorite word.

Jul 3, 2013, 7:17pm Top

Micky should be thanked for that one, I heard it from her first. :)

Jul 3, 2013, 7:21pm Top

Wow, Rusty! What a slippery little dude. How in the world did he get out? I bet he plotted for weeks.

So, did you get to see the cute guybrarian today??

Jul 3, 2013, 8:03pm Top

>87 UnrulySun: We've gotten ridiculous amounts of rain in the DC area in the past month. The excess rain caused the branches on some of the trees both inside and outside the enclosure to get very heavy and bend down. They created a bridge that he was able to climb across. At least that's what we think happened; no one actually saw anything.

And no, the cute guybrarian wasn't there today . . . . good thing I have 2093485 books on hold, so I'll need to go back often in the next couple months.

Jul 3, 2013, 8:17pm Top

I'm sorry, Nora! I feel the same way when the cute ladybrarian isn't working. Of course, I've never spoken a word to her, but it's still nice to gawk at her all creepy-like. :D

Jul 3, 2013, 9:05pm Top

Nora, we had the opposite problem at our local zoo last week. A black bear broke into the zoo. The staff counted noses to make sure it wasn't one of the bears that lives there. It wasn't. It just came in for a visit.

Jul 3, 2013, 9:08pm Top

Well that's not terrifying at all.

Jul 3, 2013, 9:42pm Top

>89 Ape: Oh, I don't say anything to the cute guybrarian either. Just "I'd like to check this out" and "thanks"

>90 cbl_tn: We had a black bear in the neighborhood near the zoo the week before last! It was excellent timing because June 29th was Bear Awareness Day at the zoo, so it was a good teaching opportunity ;-)

Jul 4, 2013, 12:22pm Top

Your kitty is adorable! Such a lucky cat to have a cool jungle gym too!

I love the look of those red pandas! Are they friendly?
If I worked at a zoo I would probably end up mauled by one of the animals as I would want to cuddle them all!

Jul 4, 2013, 1:13pm Top

You can buy a lot of animals in rug form, which are much safer to cuddle with.

Jul 4, 2013, 3:42pm Top

ooooh, I might have to pinch your half year summary. Although I dont count page numbers, the rest I could use- it is quite interesting to see how it all stacks up. Eg, I think of myself as a big NF reader, but I get the feeling that when I do a count up, Ill see that fiction wins out by a large margin!

Jul 4, 2013, 5:38pm Top

>83 norabelle414: I'll throw in an extra smooch just from you. :)

>85 norabelle414:/86 You're welcome. Guybriarian is a term I've been throwing around since library school. But I'm not sure who I picked it up from.

Jul 4, 2013, 5:51pm Top

>93 ChelleBearss: The red pandas are pretty friendly to the keepers. They have sharp teeth and claws and can easily hurt a person, but they almost never do it on purpose. The keepers do go in the exhibit with them, unlike any of the other animals on the Asia Trail, but they wear thick gloves and clothes to protect themselves from the claws. Cuddling the animals is definitely frowned upon :-)

>94 Ape: Don't make me give you a lecture on poaching.

>95 LovingLit: Pinch away, Megan! I originally stole most of it from Stephen, but that was a few years ago and I've modified it since. I never kept track of page numbers until the nifty page number statistics feature came out. Now it's easy!

Jul 5, 2013, 9:36am Top

I just saw this amazing article and thought of everyone's comments about Rory AND all the Asia Trail animals! http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=cuteness-inspires-aggression
It's about how sometimes animals and babies are so cute that you just want to squish them so bad! It's a real thing and it's called "cuteness aggression"

Jul 5, 2013, 12:48pm Top

I must be missing that gene. Or a heart. My initial reaction when seeing most babies is to turn the other way. I kind of like puppies, though, so maybe all is not lost ;-)

Jul 5, 2013, 1:12pm Top

>99 katiekrug: Well, babies are subjective. I don't want to squish most human babies either. But how can you not want to squish THIS??

Jul 5, 2013, 1:38pm Top

It looks like it's doing a fine job of squishing itself!

Jul 5, 2013, 2:51pm Top

Jul 5, 2013, 2:54pm Top


Jul 6, 2013, 7:30am Top


Jul 6, 2013, 12:06pm Top

Book #38: Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal - Set in Regency England, Jane and Melody Ellsworth are sisters that don't get along very well. Melody is young and pretty but untalented, while Jane is an expert glamourist who is moving swiftly toward spinsterhood. However, several eligible men have just come to town, so who knows what might happen.

This book is, essentially, Elinor and Marianne from Sense & Sensibility, with Mr. and Mrs. Bennett as their parents, plus magic. The magic is very subtle (it is considered "a lady's art") and for most of the book it could easily be substituted with music or painting. The ending is a little dramatic for an Austen novel, but who cares? The whole book was just delightful to read. The writing was excellent and the characters were intriguing. Highly recommended.

Currently reading:
The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge
The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Currently listening to:
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, read by Frazer Douglas (90.8%)

Coming soon:
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
The Mislaid Magician; or Ten Years After by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

Library requests:
A Natural History of Dragons: a Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan (1 of 1)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (39 of 127)
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes (43 of 79)
666 Park Avenue by Gabriella Pierce (2 of 2)
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple (37 of 44)
Code name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (6 of 7)
Odds against tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich (5 of 5)



Jul 7, 2013, 8:41am Top

105: WISHLISTED! I have heard nothing but good things about that book. I also love the title.

Excited for you to get to some books on your upcoming lists, specifically the Helprin book and Code Name Verity.

Jul 7, 2013, 2:12pm Top

Give Rory a smooching for me. :)

Jul 7, 2013, 5:54pm Top

Besmooch him for me too!

Jul 7, 2013, 7:44pm Top

Awe.... little baby elephant in post #100 is just too adorable for words! Not exactly sure he is 'squishy', he is still a bit on the big side, for me to be able to go up a 'squish' him. He would probably squish me.....

Shades of Milk and Honey is on my future reading list so happy to see you enjoyed it!

Cuddles for Rory Pond ... or if he doesn't do cuddles, kisses and little under the chin scratches from me.

Edited: Jul 7, 2013, 8:02pm Top

Hi Nora- I hope you had a nice 4th and are enjoying a fine weekend. I also loved the Song of Achilles. I couldn't find it locally on audio but I am sure it would have worked out just fine in that format. I also recently finished the new Gaiman and it was wonderful. I was also a fan of both Code Name Verity and Bernadette. Did, I mention you have great taste in books?
ETA- I have still not read Helprin or Wolf Hall. See, I'm not perfect.

Jul 7, 2013, 9:55pm Top

>106 RosyLibrarian: Yay! You'll love it, Marie.

>107 MickyFine:, 108, 109 I gave Rory lots of smooches and squishes and cuddles for all of you.

>109 lkernagh: Baby pachyderms are just the cutest things. I saw a month-old baby rhino at the Dublin Zoo a few years ago and he was frolicking. So adorable!

>110 msf59: Hi Mark! The narrator for SofA (Frazer Douglas) was excellent! Review coming in a few moments.
Almost all of the books I have holds on at the library are LT-inspired, so I'm sure some of them have trickled down to me from you.
(Don't tell anybody, but it's been almost a year since I read a single page of Wolf Hall. I swear I will finish it eventually, though!)

Jul 7, 2013, 10:05pm Top

In regards, to Wolf Hall- Suddenly, I don't feel to bad! LOL. I have it saved on audio, so maybe I'll try bookhorning it in, maybe next month.

Jul 7, 2013, 10:14pm Top

Book #39: Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, read by Frazer Douglas - Audiobook from the library - An amazingly thorough interpretation of the life of Achilles, told from the perspective of his lifelong friend (and lover, in this version), Patroclus. Young Patroclus is exiled from his home, and ends up in the palace of Achilles' father along with many other exiled boys. He and Achilles seem inexorably drawn to each other, and they quickly become close friends and, later, lovers. Patroclus joins Achilles on his journeys, ending, of course, on the battlefields of Troy.

This book was absolutely delightful. Miller manages to make what could be a dry story into a song the Greeks would be proud of, through her authentic-sounding prose. She has pulled bits and pieces of Achilles' and Patroclus' lives from various sources, but she weaves them together into a heart-felt and unforgettable life story. I've read a decent amount of Greek mythology, but I didn't believe that almost every aspect of the story has a source in mythology until I looked some of it up afterwords. Truly amazing.

I've always loved Greek mythology because of its timelessness and how well it lends itself to interpretation. This book is the epitome of everything I love about it.

Currently reading:
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge
The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Currently listening to:
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin (0%)

Coming soon:
The Mislaid Magician; or Ten Years After by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

Library requests:
A Natural History of Dragons: a Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan (1 of 1)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (39 of 127)
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes (43 of 79)
666 Park Avenue by Gabriella Pierce (2 of 2)
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple (37 of 44)
Code name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (6 of 7)
Odds against tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich (5 of 5)



Jul 7, 2013, 10:19pm Top

>112 msf59: I have no idea why I don't like it, as I've read and enjoyed several other books about Henry VIII. But I've been seeing some other people around who don't like it so maybe I'm not as alone as I thought I was.

Jul 8, 2013, 7:16am Top

113: That has been on my list for quite awhile now...since I read Richard's review, I believe, but I just haven't gotten around to it. Your review is wonderful though, and has definitely gotten me excited about reading it again...eventually.

Jul 8, 2013, 8:33am Top

It's so beautiful, Stephen. I couldn't stop thinking about it all night long. I hope you get to it soon.

Jul 8, 2013, 11:08pm Top

I wasn't fully sold on Achilles until about halfway through. But it ended so wonderfully that I fell in love with it.

Jul 9, 2013, 6:54am Top

I actually liked the beginning best, contrary to what everyone else seems to feel. But it was all lovely :-)

Jul 9, 2013, 8:45am Top

I definitely need to read this book. Eventually.

Jul 10, 2013, 12:40am Top

SoA was a big ol' 5 star read for me!!! I absolutely loved it! I've seen several less enthusiastic reviews of it lately but I stick by my 5 star rating!!

I just can't make myself start Wolf Hall. At least you have started! One day I'll do it. Maybe. Kicking and screaming. Kidding :)

Maybe audio would be easier? I really enjoyed listening to The Other Boleyn Girl so maybe we should try that?

Jul 10, 2013, 10:09am Top

>119 _Zoe_: Yep.

>120 TinaV95: Hmm I don't know about that. I love reading Philippa Gregory books but Wolf Hall is so boring. I have trouble staying focused and/or awake when I read it, so I don't think an audiobook would help. It's just one of those books where I read it for an hour and then realize I've only read 5 pages. Very disheartening.

Jul 10, 2013, 10:06pm Top

If I had a nickel for every library system I was a member of, I would have THREE NICKELS!

Jul 10, 2013, 11:58pm Top


Jul 11, 2013, 6:58am Top

Yay! I love pictures of library cards! :)

Jul 11, 2013, 3:12pm Top

Well, to oblige Stephen, these are the options the library system I work for offers:

I have the Information Ninja one in purple. We also now offer a black one that just says Library Card.

Jul 11, 2013, 4:05pm Top

125: Your library has awesome cards which I've seen making the Pinterest rounds before. Jealous! Ours are super boring. I want the I'm an Information Ninja in pink...can you just send me one? :)

122: One of the perks of moving around so much in the military is that you end up with a lot of library accounts. I have cards from Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Arizona plus the Navy and the Air Force. You can never have too many in my book. :)

Jul 11, 2013, 4:07pm Top

animals and babies are so cute that you just want to squish them so bad! It's a real thing and it's called "cuteness aggression"
haha, that is fantastic! Someone once said to my sister about her 3 month old baby, that she looked so delicious she wanted to eat her! I thought that was taking it a bit far myself.

>100 norabelle414: um. What on earth is that baby elephant doing? (apart from looking cute)

Jul 11, 2013, 5:34pm Top

>125 MickyFine: We also now offer a black one that just says Library Card. Ummm, why???
I was not expecting the DC card (the top one of my three) to be so interesting. All my other library cards have been boring. (including the DC one I had when I was little.) It is Martin Luther King Jr. themed, since the main DC library is the Martin Luther King Jr. Library.

>126 RosyLibrarian: Hmmmm, Navy library, you say?? I wonder if I could join that since I'm a contractor for the Navy. I think I might be addicted to library cards. Is there a support group and/or rehab for that?

>127 LovingLit: I dunno, I tried to think about what he might be doing but every time I look at the picture my brain turns to mush.

Jul 11, 2013, 7:22pm Top


Today is my SIXTH Thingaversary! Six whole years and I still can't believe that I found this wonderful website that has changed my life, and that I get to talk to you lovely, like-minded people almost every day! It is Thingaversary tradition to buy oneself one book per year on LT, plus one to grow on. However, I'm trying to curtail my book buying this year. So instead, I'm going to buy myself one brand-new, sorely needed BOOKSHELF!

Jul 11, 2013, 7:29pm Top

Happy Thingaversary Nora!

Edited: Jul 11, 2013, 7:52pm Top

You can't tell what the baby elephant is doing? Well, obviously the baby elephant is doing the same thing I would be doing if I was on that beach that lines the Whip Cream ocean.

I don't know, Nora, the black one that just says "library card" sounds pretty awesome to me! :P

Library cards are awesome. In fact, I'm tempted to join every library system within driving distance just to get more library cards. I have a picture of both of mine, but the quality is really bad for some reason, I'm not sure what happened to it.

Anyway, happy Thingaversary Nora! I desperately need bookshelves too, so I completely understand. :)

Jul 11, 2013, 8:47pm Top

Happy Thingaversary Nora! Wow, 6 years! You are and old-schooler! What, were you in high school when you joined? LOL.

Jul 11, 2013, 8:54pm Top

>132 msf59: Nooooooo I had just finished my freshman year of college! I think often about how different my life would have been if LT had existed when I was in high school though.

Jul 11, 2013, 9:10pm Top

Whew! That's good. At first, I was going to say grade school!

Jul 11, 2013, 10:11pm Top

Love the pics of the library cards! My library card is super boring and not something I will post a picture of as it displays on the front the bar code library account I have and my signature. No swanky cards, but then the library cards have always been free to residents within the system (no annual fees) and they only charge $2.00 if you need a replacement card, so I am good with that, even if it is boring. ;-)

Happy Thingaversary, Nora!

Jul 11, 2013, 10:23pm Top

Hooray for new bookshelves!

Jul 11, 2013, 10:41pm Top

Happy Thingaversary Nora!! Happy bookshelfing! Make sure we get to see the pics when they go up!

Jul 12, 2013, 10:02am Top

128: Happy Thingaversary!

As long as you have a DoD card, you have library privileges at military installations as far as a I know. Do you have access to NKO? They have their own OverDrive system and it is awesome!

Jul 12, 2013, 10:25am Top

>138 RosyLibrarian: Oh my gosh, Marie! I do have access to NKO and I signed up and they have more than SIXTEEN THOUSAND mp3 audiobooks!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Jul 12, 2013, 10:42am Top

Happy Thingaversary and happy new bookcase! It looks like my Thingaversary is just a couple of weeks away, and I probably shouldn't be buying lots of books either.... I wish I had room for a new bookcase instead!

Jul 12, 2013, 11:43am Top

THE NAVY OVERDRIVE SITE HAS THE NEXT TWO JACKY FABER BOOKS ON AUDIO! They are only in wma format, which I had serious problems with last time. Is it worth it? (yes, yes it is.)

Jul 12, 2013, 12:21pm Top

139: That is my Thingaversary gift to you. Cheers! :)

Jul 12, 2013, 12:26pm Top

Happy Thingaversary Nora.

We made a feature for you :)

Jul 12, 2013, 12:33pm Top

That is awesome!

Edited: Jul 12, 2013, 12:43pm Top

>128 norabelle414: Because some people didn't want to have to pick a colour and a phrase. See sample below with awesome Canadian Rick Mercer.

Happy belated Thingaversary, Nora!

Jul 12, 2013, 1:42pm Top

143: Just one more reason to love LibraryThing!

Jul 12, 2013, 2:56pm Top

Nora, you are an LT superstars now, inspiring awesome modules AND cakes. Way to go girl!

Jul 12, 2013, 3:23pm Top

Somehow I missed your transition to a new thread, but was prompted to look for it today when you became famous.

Jul 12, 2013, 3:57pm Top

HAPPY THINGAVERSARY!! Have you picked out your book shelf?

Jul 12, 2013, 4:00pm Top

>149 ChelleBearss: Definitely a Billy from IKEA, in dark brown to match my other one.

Jul 12, 2013, 4:02pm Top

Dark brown...with a reddish border... :)

Jul 12, 2013, 4:03pm Top

Jul 12, 2013, 4:21pm Top

It appears that the "sexy David Tennant" link from my first post no longer works so I'm going to remove it. R.I.P., sexy David Tennant . . . .

Jul 12, 2013, 4:28pm Top

LOL! You even got a special LT Thingaversary cake. You are sparkly special!

Jul 12, 2013, 7:46pm Top

Holy crap, Nora, you got a whole LT feature! And a cake! From Tim!! So friggin jealous right now. I kinda hate you. Not really, but, you know, yeah. Oh, and Happy Thingaversary!!

Jul 12, 2013, 7:50pm Top

And all I got was a rock...

Jul 12, 2013, 8:00pm Top

Don't foget who your friends were before you became famous. ;)

Jul 12, 2013, 11:22pm Top

I tried so hard to post here earlier today and it wouldn't let me! You must have been overloaded with lookie loos.

Anyway, that's super cool that you got a cake and a new feature, just for you. ;)

Jul 15, 2013, 7:48am Top

I was inspired to catch up on your thread by reading the blog post about you & the new feature. Happy belated thingaversary! :) Mine is in November, but I never really *celebrated* it because I felt like that was just when I first signed up for the site (right after hearing about it in a cataloging class for library school), not when I really starting using it and getting involved.

Jul 15, 2013, 6:02pm Top

Thanks everybody! I promise I haven't forgotten you now that I'm famous. I finally finished The Iron Thorn on Saturday and it was TERRIBLE. I'm going to write a real review soon, promise. I've also abandoned my current audiobook, Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin not because it was bad but just because it made a bad audiobook for my purposes. I'm now listening to Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn (pseudonym of Gillian Rubenstein) narrated by Kevin Gray and Aiko Nakasone. I don't particularly like the narrators but it is fairly short and I actually paid money for it so I'm going to finish it.

I stopped by the library today (but cute guybrarian wasn't there :-( and picked up:
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein which I'm now about 5 pages into
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin which I'm also a little while into due to aforementioned audiobook, and
Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich

Jul 16, 2013, 2:29pm Top

Book #40: The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge - Aoife Grayson is in school in 1950s Lovecraft (a steampunk version of Boston) studying to be an engineer and work on the giant subterranean engine that runs the city. She wants to do well in school because the 1950s is super opressive to women so she will have to be someone's secretary unless she gets the extremely technical, physical, and dangerous job of engineer. The other boys and girls in engineering school are mean to her because she is a ward of the state who is attending school on a scholarship, and also her mother is in a madhouse, and her brother went mad on his sixteenth birthday so obviously that means Aoife will go crazy on her 16th birthday as well. The people who run the school tell Aoife that she is going to be kicked out of school because she's definitely going to go crazy, and then she gets a magical message from her brother saying he needs help and telling her to go to their father's house in the country. So Aoife sneakily runs away from the school that just told her she was kicked out and goes to the bad part of town where she . . . .

.....I'm sorry. I can't do it. I can't even pretend that the plot of this book makes any fucking sense whatsoever. The only thing worse than the plot is the characterization. The main character is idiotic and inconsistant and the secondary characters are one-dimensional at BEST. The initial world-building (scientific/steampunk/overly-rational/anti-religon/anti-magic/oppressive dystopia/sexist 1950s/some kind of zombie-virus outbreak?) is absolutely abysmal. And then, Aoife finds another world of fairies and magic which is equally poorly imagined. And then, she finds ANOTHER world which I don't even know what it was because daghsdgfilh9uweroergna67urtyhndfgh435jnfvegethj. And then also there's another world. That pretty much sums it up. "Clusterfuck" is the nicest way I can think of to describe it.

I wrote a kind of pre-review for myself when I was halfway done with the book in which I said that the plot was just barely compensating for the uncomfortably-bad writing. Shortly after that the mediocre plot took a nose-dive and now I would neither recommend this book nor read further in the series if you paid me.

Currently reading:
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Currently listening to:
Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, book 1) by Lian Hearn (20%)

Coming soon:
Odds against tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich
Code name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Library requests:
A Natural History of Dragons: a Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan (1 of 2)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (21 of 143)
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes (29 of 86)
666 Park Avenue by Gabriella Pierce (1 of 2)
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple (24 of 48)



Jul 16, 2013, 2:45pm Top

LOL. I just love your review. Any review that uses the word "clusterfuck" amuses me.

Jul 16, 2013, 3:25pm Top

I now kinda want to read that book so I can imagine you reading it and loosing your mind. No, not really because it sounds abysmal. But your review made me laugh out loud, so something good came out of it.

Jul 16, 2013, 3:37pm Top

Whenever I'm reading a really awful book I have to take notes while reading it so I can get my frustrations out and continue reading instead of just yelling and throwing the book around. So somewhere in my apartment is a post-it that says things like "clusterfuck!" and "but what does the giant fucking engine DO??" and "if she's not an engineer she has to be a secretary?? REALLY?!?"

Jul 16, 2013, 3:39pm Top

That review is hilarious.

Jul 16, 2013, 7:39pm Top

Well. Saved me from a bullet there and reduced Mt TBR by one!

Jul 16, 2013, 9:14pm Top

> 161 - Thank you so much for providing such a great review for such a frustrating book. Love it! Thumb!

Jul 16, 2013, 9:47pm Top

>161 norabelle414: LOL- great review!
You did very well with how far you got with the plot description ;)

Jul 16, 2013, 9:58pm Top

Nora- I hope you enjoy Code Name Verity. I was a big fan of that one. When I retire I hope to be at least an assistant "guybrarian". I don't know how cute I'll be but I'll try to avoid the high-waisted trousers.

Jul 16, 2013, 10:11pm Top

Wow, that one was on my WL. "Clusterfuck" is not a glowing review! Lol

Edited: Jul 18, 2013, 10:16pm Top

Thanks everybody! I like to write entertaining reviews of bad books; it makes me feel like I'm at least getting SOMETHING out of the experience. You'll know when I really like a book because my review is more like "omgomgomgomgomgomg"

>169 msf59: Hi Mark! I've flipped through that one and it does look excellent! I can't wait to read it.
When you retire and work at the library you can totally wear high-waisted pants, and then you will be an oldmanbrarian, who are equally cute in a different way and have the added benefit of not making me tongue tied!


Murphy's Law of Library Holds has struck again, as I just got a notice that A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan is ready to pick up. Luckily I will have plenty of time to read these four library books as next weekend I'm going on VACATION. WOOHOOOOO! I'll be in Columbia, SC from 27 July through 31 July visiting my best friend Carolyn (Caroblue ) and I'm not taking my computer with me and it's going to be AWESOME!

Jul 18, 2013, 10:54pm Top

Get ready to melt. Columbia is a heat sink. Humid as crap. Pop down to Charleston if you get a free afternoon, it's just 1.5 hrs away.

Jul 18, 2013, 11:01pm Top

>172 leahbird: It's been over 95 degrees (without heat index) here with over 100% humidity since Sunday. Today it rained for two hours but the ground didn't get wet because the water was evaporating by the time it got close to the ground. And the weatherman announced this morning that the heatwave is "half over". It is currently a LOT cooler in Columbia.

Jul 18, 2013, 11:21pm Top

Haha. It has been a weird summer here in the south. It was hot and muggy as hell here today but it was really hot when I was in NY the other day which surprised me.

Jul 19, 2013, 8:02am Top

> 161

I can't believe you read as far into The Iron Thorn as you did. You are a more patient woman than I. Of course, I'm older and would prefer spending my later years reading better books than worse ones. What's surprising is that so many people gave this book a 4-star review. I'd have stopped reading it pretty close to the beginning. I agree with Zoe about your review being hilarious.

Jul 19, 2013, 8:36am Top

>175 SqueakyChu: Well, it was loaned to me by a friend who LOVES it along with another book that she loves, and I'm sending the second book back totally unread so I felt bad. It took me two full months to get through it because I couldn't stand to read more than a few pages at a time. Also I kept expecting the plot to get better (it was kind of okay in the beginning) but it just got worse. I'm not sure how it got so many 4-star ratings either.

Jul 19, 2013, 10:12am Top

I am actually coming up on some of the other books I have on hold (I'm #13 in line for The Ocean at the End of the Lane!!!!) so I've put all of them on freeze until after I get back from vacation. Librarying is so stressful!

Jul 19, 2013, 10:54am Top

HA love your review!
I'm sorry. I can't do it. I can't even pretend that the plot of this book makes any fucking sense whatsoever and the clusterfuck made my morning!

Jul 19, 2013, 10:57am Top

Ha! Glad I could oblige, Chelle.

Jul 19, 2013, 12:28pm Top

Oooh, vacation! Excited for you.

Jul 19, 2013, 1:33pm Top

Enjoy your vacation, Nora. Hope it's relaxing and delightful. :D

Jul 23, 2013, 8:57am Top

Hey, you aren't on vacation yet! Whoo hoo! We miss you! Whatcha doin'? Huh huh?

Jul 23, 2013, 9:35am Top

I'm here! I'm very busy getting things ready for my vacation. It's more difficult now that I have a pet because I have to do things like clean the apartment before I leave so that it's not gross when the cat-sitter comes. Crazy! I relaxed a little more than I should have this weekend, and so I'm scrambling to do laundry, vacuum, etc. Haven't started packing yet. (I did get to see cute guybrarian on Saturday though :-)

I'm about halfway done with Throne of Jade and it is excellent as expected. The only reason I'm reading so slow is that it is my purse-book and my commutes are very very short!

I'm almost done with Odds Against Tomorrow. It is EXCELLENT and I feel like I'm ahead of the curve on this one because none of the other 75ers have mentioned it yet! I will most likely finish it and write a review before I leave.

Here are the books I'm taking with me on my trip:
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik (currently reading)
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin (library)
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (library)
A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan (library)
Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson (mine, inspired by my current read)
The Mislaid Magician; or Ten Years After by Patricia C. Wrede and Carolyn Stevermer

Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn
The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Jul 23, 2013, 9:52am Top

183: clean the apartment before I leave so that it's not gross when the cat-sitter comes.
Yup. It's nice though to return to a clean house.
Odds Against Tomorrow. It is EXCELLENT
Oh? I'm downloading Nook books for my trip... This one looks interesting.

Jul 23, 2013, 10:07am Top

>184 qebo: Odds Against Tomorrow is the next big thing. I swear.

Jul 23, 2013, 2:08pm Top

That's quite the statement, Nora. I'm looking forward to the review.

Jul 23, 2013, 10:02pm Top

I had to LOL at your review too Nora. That one is a definite no-no for me! How far did you read? Surely you didn't finish?

Happy belated Thingaversary!

Jul 23, 2013, 10:17pm Top

>187 TinaV95: Thanks Tina! I did finish! It took me awhile, but I felt too guilty to not finish it because it's one of my friend's favorite books......

Jul 25, 2013, 5:44pm Top

Book #41: Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich - I don't usually post quotes from books, but I was hooked from the very first line so I feel the need to share it:

The way other people fantasize about surprise inheritances, first-glance love, and endless white empyreal pastures, Mitchell dreamed of an erupting supervolcano that would bury North America under a foot of hot ash.

Mitchell Zukor is obsessed with worst-case scenarios. They absolutely terrify him; everything from blizzards, tsunamis, and asteroid strikes to financial collapse, nuclear war, and world-wide pandemic. He copes with his fear by spending hours researching disasters and calculating the odds of their occurrence. His neuroses only intensify when, shortly before he graduates from U. of Chicago, the city of Seattle is demolished by a giant earthquake. A few months after college he is hired by an unusual consulting start-up in New York City devoted entirely to advising large corporations on potential disasters and what can be done to minimize damage. (If corporations can prove they tried to minimize damage then they can't be held liable.) Mitchell gets such a thrill (almost unhealthy) out of his job, and actually starts to feel happy and relaxed and safe. But what will happen to him if disaster actually does strike?

There are a lot of themes going on through this book - obsession, fear, disaster, life in a cubicle vs. living off the land, New York City, Hurricane Katrina, etc. (The author used to live in NYC and now lives in New Orleans.) However, each theme is wrapped snugly around the main plot and there aren't too many tangents. I was engrossed from the beginning and never lost that feeling.

The *only* thing I didn't enjoy about this book is that it was a little too "I heart NY" for me, if you know what I mean. Lots of name-dropping neighborhoods and streets that don't mean anything to me as a non-New Yorker. But this is definitely a book *about* New York and so I accept the "I heart New York"ness. I probably sound equally obnoxious when I talk about my city, the only difference is that no one writes cool books about my city.

The writing in Odds Against Tomorrow is great; intelligent but engrossing. The characters are practically tangible (including the City herself). The blend of literary fiction and speculative fiction is perfect. It's not a harsh mash-up, more like a river flowing smoothly into an ocean.

Highly recommended.

Currently reading:
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Currently listening to:
Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, book 1) by Lian Hearn (95%)

Coming soon:
Code name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
A Natural History of Dragons: a Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan

Library requests (frozen):
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
666 Park Avenue by Gabriella Pierce
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple



Jul 25, 2013, 5:50pm Top

Great review! Onto the WL it goes...

Jul 25, 2013, 8:14pm Top

It is a great review, I agree. I'm intrigued by the book too.

I was just pre-typing up my disappointment about how my library doesn't have it (of course) and darn, it looks like I don't get to read it. However, much to my amazement, it seems they have a copy. :)

Jul 25, 2013, 8:18pm Top

>191 Ape: That is pretty amazing, since it just came out like 2 months ago. You will really like it. I think I connected with it particularly since the main character is about our age.

Jul 25, 2013, 8:20pm Top

I'll look for it the next time I'm in there, along with Among Others. :)

Edited: Jul 25, 2013, 10:08pm Top

Great review Nora! I shall be running off now to see if my library has it!

It does not :(

Jul 25, 2013, 10:13pm Top

>194 ChelleBearss: It is very new. You should request it!

Jul 26, 2013, 11:42am Top

Book #42: Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn (pseudonym of Gillian Rubenstein), read by Kevin Gray and Aiko Nakasone - Audiobook purchased from Audible - 16-year-old Tomasu returns from a walk in the mountains to find that his entire village is being slaughtered by the warlord Iida and his men. Tomasu is rescued by the warrior Shigeru, who takes him home with him. To protect him from Iida (who is pissed that Tomasu escaped the slaughter), Shigeru changes Tomasu's name to Takeo and plans to adopt him in order to avert suspicion (and also because Shigeru's only son is dead and thus he does not have an heir). Shigeru's former teacher/trainer starts to train Takeo to be a warrior, and discovers that Takeo is much more special than anyone thought.

Meh. The plot was decent (and it has lots of series-potential) and I liked the characters a lot but I did not care for this audiobook at all. The chapters alternated perspectives (and narrators) between Tomasu/Takeo and Kaede. Kevin Gray narrated too fast and Aiko Nakasone narrated too slowly. I could not keep the names and places straight and had to look things up online. I will probably continue with this series if I come across the books somewhere, but definitely not in audio.

Currently reading:
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Currently listening to:
Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (6%)

Coming soon:
Code name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
A Natural History of Dragons: a Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan

Library requests (frozen):
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
666 Park Avenue by Gabriella Pierce
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple



Jul 26, 2013, 11:43am Top

Note to self: I need to finish at least two books while on vacation in order to get back on track for the year.

Jul 26, 2013, 4:38pm Top

I'm officially on vacation! First stop: the zoo, of course!

Jul 26, 2013, 4:42pm Top

Have fun on your vacation!

Jul 26, 2013, 4:43pm Top


Jul 26, 2013, 5:26pm Top

Have an ab fab vacation!

Jul 26, 2013, 6:44pm Top

Hurray! :D

*Removes pants when Nora isn't looking*

Jul 26, 2013, 7:36pm Top

Happy Vacation!

Jul 26, 2013, 9:13pm Top

>202 Ape: Wait.... My pants or yours? I'm confused.

Jul 26, 2013, 9:37pm Top

I'm pretty certain you would notice if I removed your pants when you were looking. Errrr, I hope. o.O

Jul 27, 2013, 7:21am Top

I just upgraded my plane ticket to first class! It was only $69 and it comes with a free checked bag which would normally cost $25. So I think it's totally worth it. I've never flown first class before!!

Jul 27, 2013, 8:32am Top

Ok I'm off to the airport. I'll be checking in periodically on my phone, so behave yourselves!

Jul 27, 2013, 8:36am Top

Bon voyage! Enjoy the first class travel!

Jul 27, 2013, 9:07am Top

Oooh, Miss Fancy Pants in First Class. Enjoy!

Jul 27, 2013, 9:08am Top

You're allowed to remove your pants in first class, right?

Have a nice vacation!

Edited: Jul 27, 2013, 9:57am Top

> 189

I probably sound equally obnoxious when I talk about my city, the only difference is that no one writes cool books about my city.

What city is "your" city?

ETA: What city is your vacation city? :)

Jul 27, 2013, 11:24am Top

Thanks everyone! I'm very glad I paid for the first class, as we're stuck on the tarmac for another 45 minutes due to weather in Charlotte.

Stephen: Technically no, but there are free cocktails so anything could happen.

Madeline: DC is my city! But people only ever write political thrillers about DC, which I don't like at all.
I'm going to Columbia, SC for vacation, by way of Charlotte airport because it is way cheaper (even first class!) and has better flight times.

Edited: Jul 27, 2013, 11:58am Top

Hey Nora! I just wanted to let you know that I checked the library and they did, indeed, have Odds Against Tomorrow, but it was in the New Books section, and those can only be checked out a week at a time, and I don't think I can finish it that fast at my current snail's pace I'm setting, so I'll wait until it moves to the regular Science Fiction section. :)

Edit: I did get Among Others though.

Jul 27, 2013, 12:10pm Top

As long as you get it eventually :-)

Jul 27, 2013, 1:42pm Top

Yep, first class is swank! Enjoy your free cocktails and alllllll that leg room.

Jul 27, 2013, 7:43pm Top

Not only were we delayed leaving dc, but once we got near Charlotte we were not allowed to land due to weather. We circled Charlotte for an hour, and then had to divert to MYRTLE BEACH to refuel. I did eventually get to Charlotte though, and subsequently to Columbia. Thank goodness for that first class seat.

Jul 27, 2013, 8:31pm Top

Ok, I have two-fold envy over your upgrade to first class. First, because, you know, first class. Second, $69?! When Air Canada gave me the suggestion of upgrading to first class for my flight to London it was $1100ish dollars. *grumbles about exorbitant Canadian airfares*

Jul 27, 2013, 8:39pm Top

It's only because the flight is (supposed to be) really short. Only an hour and a few minutes. Longer and/or international flights are waaaaaaay more expensive.

Jul 27, 2013, 8:49pm Top

So were you still given free cocktails during all that extra flight time?

Jul 27, 2013, 9:11pm Top

Yep, anytime we were not taking off or landing, I had a gin & tonic in my hand. It could have been much worse, it's true. The crew was very nice about letting everyone get up and stretch their legs and use the bathroom whenever possible.

Jul 27, 2013, 9:34pm Top

>218 norabelle414: I don't know. A national flight from here in Edmonton to Halifax, Nova Scotia costs nearly the same as my flight to London cost...

Jul 28, 2013, 1:43pm Top

Have a wonderful time on your vacation, Nora!

> 221 - I agree with you Micky. There is something wrong when it is cheaper for me to fly from Victoria to Calgary than it is to fly from Victoria to Vancouver......

Jul 28, 2013, 2:01pm Top

I think you're both right. Canadian airports definitely have exorbitant taxes; I often drive (er, have someone drive me) across the border to Buffalo, two hours away, rather than flying from the Toronto airport. I suspect that there's not actually much/any savings once the gas is factored in, but it still feels better.

But first-class upgrades for short flights are definitely way, way cheaper than first-class upgrades for long flights. And first-class on short flights usually isn't as fancy anyway.

Not that I have any personal experience with these upgrades (though I did get upgraded for free on a flight from Italy once, which was amazing). Mark generally at least considers the possibility, though.

Micky, when were you in Halifax? I'm going to be visiting my sister there in September.

Jul 28, 2013, 5:57pm Top

Enjoy your vacation and the guybrarian (Lol), Nora.
The best time to get delayed in mid air is when you are sitting in upgraded seats.

Edited: Jul 28, 2013, 9:23pm Top

> 212

DC is my city!

I love DC, too, although Rockville is my city. I hate political thrillers. I don't care for criminal thrillers either, but I've grown very fond of author George Pelecanos. Give him a try. He knows DC so well and name drops known areas of DC with endearing frequency in his novels. My husband has read his books before and said I'd like them. So far I've read The Turnaround and The Way Home. I enjoyed both - mostly because they were *so* DC. Pelecanos does very good characterizations of black and white characters. If you read any Pelecanos novels, tell me what you think of this author.

Jul 28, 2013, 10:18pm Top

I snagged an ARC of The Turnaround years ago and also enjoyed it. :)

Jul 29, 2013, 2:57pm Top

>223 _Zoe_: I sadly wasn't in Halifax. Both of my officemates went there for Christmas last year and paid about as much as I had when I booked my flight to London. My last in Canada flight was to Saskatoon a couple weeks ago. Round trip on West Jet was about $450. :P

Jul 29, 2013, 4:59pm Top

Hope you are enjoying your vacation! Good job on the upgrade to first class! Are the seats that much bigger or is it a myth?

We used to drive to detroit to get cheap flights for vacations south. It's stupid how much airfare in Canada is! My sister wanted to fly here for easter to visit and her flight from London, Ont to Halifax would have been $700. She decided not to come because of that price

Jul 31, 2013, 10:21pm Top

I'm back! I had a lovely time. I'll respond to everyone and get around to everyone's thread tomorrow, hopefully.

Aug 1, 2013, 6:20am Top

Yay! *Welcome back hugs*

Aug 1, 2013, 12:13pm Top

>217 MickyFine: Micky: Whenever I've flown internationally the first class upgrade has been at least $900, usually more like $1500. But the first class for those flights is actually very different from coach. On my flights (yes, I did shell out the $69 for first class on the way home too. Even though I probably shouldn't have) there wasn't THAT much more legroom (it was like 1990s flying legroom). Here's a list (which applies to very short domestic flights only):

- jump ahead in security line (only really a benefit at National Airport, where the lines are long)
- board airplane first
- free alcohol
- flight attendants call you by your name
- up to 2 free checked bags (saves up to $75!)

- legroom/seat size
- separate bathroom - does not prevent gross dudes from STINKING IT UP
- other people in first class - my first flight had a really really smelly guy and on my second flight everyone was chattering incessantly.
- snack - first class gets peanuts/pretzels, coach gets nothing

I just did a Kayak search for flights between Montreal and Toronto (same distance as DC and Charlotte) and they are only about $20 more than I paid for my (coach) tickets. The key to getting the cheap upgrade to first class is to upgrade as late as humanly possible. Both of my flights were overbooked for coach and I upgraded about 4 hours before my flight, which I'm sure is why the upgrades were so cheap.

Edited: Aug 1, 2013, 12:14pm Top

>228 ChelleBearss: Chelle: This was a small plane and a short flight so the seats were not that much bigger (nor further apart) than coach. If you're flying on a big fancy plane, however, there is a HUGE difference between coach and first class.

Aug 1, 2013, 2:18pm Top

I only finished one book while I was on vacation, so I'm still behind schedule. I'm halfway done with Code Name Verity, but it is not the kind of book I can read quickly. I'm also about 40% done with The Sea of Monsters but I hate it so I'm not particularly motivated.

Aug 1, 2013, 3:03pm Top

Welcome back, Nora! Missed your (virtual) face!

Being on airplanes is one of the few times I'm very grateful for being on the short end of the spectrum as the legroom is totally sufficient for me in coach. Although I'm envious of the lounge-y chairs they have in first class (on international flights anyways).

Here's hoping you find a book that strikes your fancy soon. :)

Aug 1, 2013, 8:23pm Top

Being decently plus size, the first class seats I experienced were spectacular almost solely because of the gap between the adjoining seats (there were other perks, but that was my fav). For me, coach seats are fine if not necessarily the most comfortable place I've ever been, but the proximity off the neighboring seats makes me all stick-up-the-rear uncomfortable and I hate it. I want my own damn armrest!

Aug 2, 2013, 12:08am Top

OMG, SO MANY THINGS have happened in Nora-land since I last checked in in April. Congrats on staying in your place for another year, your awesome volunteer job at the zoo, multiple library cards, your vacation (and first class upgrade), and most of all, on that super duper cutie pie Rory Pond!!!!!!! I could totally spam your thread with about a jillion pics of my two cats, but I'll spare you.

Hope you are doing well, and that Sr. Pond won't wake you up at 3:30 in the morning tomorrow! *smooches* and (hugs) to you both!

Aug 2, 2013, 10:17am Top

Hi Laura!!!! I'm glad you've finally got enough free time to stop by :-) Photos of your kitties are always welcome!

Aug 2, 2013, 2:30pm Top

Happy Friday, Nora! Do you guys have a long weekend down there this weekend?

Aug 2, 2013, 3:08pm Top

Nooooooooo why do you have a long weekend?? August is one of our few months without a holiday.

But I can't really complain since I only worked 2 days this week.

Aug 2, 2013, 4:46pm Top

woo glad you had a first class experience, worth it for the alcohol alone I'd say :)

A 2 day working week sounds juuuuuust fiiiiine to me :)

Aug 2, 2013, 5:00pm Top

>239 norabelle414: Well in Alberta it's Heritage Day but there's a whole Wikipedia article about the various names we give the stat in August in Canada.

Aug 2, 2013, 10:47pm Top

Welcome back from vacation! Did you have a good time? Do we get to see pictures?

Need a vicarious vacation, please. :)

Aug 3, 2013, 7:31pm Top

233 If you hate it put it down and start something else! Life is too short to read sucky books!

Aug 3, 2013, 8:29pm Top

2 day working-week? Where do I sign?

Aug 4, 2013, 10:50pm Top

>242 TinaV95: I had a great time, thanks Tina!! I took a couple random photos of things but nothing really indicative of the trip as a whole. I'll look through them and see what is worth posting. It was mostly a relaxing and spending time with my best friend vacation, and no photo can do that justice :-)

>243 ChelleBearss: I would if it was a paper book, but it's an audiobook and I don't care as much about those. I'm going to see the movie next week, so hopefully that will be better than the book.

>244 PaulCranswick: All you have to do is take vacation days for 3 days. Voila!

Edited: Aug 5, 2013, 10:28am Top

ETA nevermind....

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2013

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