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Streamsong Bookin in 2014

This topic was continued by Streamsong Bookin in 2014.

75 Books Challenge for 2014

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Edited: Feb 21, 2014, 1:24pm Top

I read a wide variety of books, split about evenly between fiction and non-fiction and spanning an eclectic mix of about any topic imaginable. I love science, mysteries, and memoirs by women. I'm trying to work in a few classics, but get hit by far too many Book Bullets as I read others' thread.

I am a fiftyplus microbiologist in a research lab; I live in a beautiful creek bottom in Western Montana where I am surrounded by beautiful mountains and lots of wildlife. My middle aged golden retriever is my companion on adventures. My cat stays home and contemplates how lucky she is to be the only sane one in the family. I have half a dozen horses and two adult children who live about an hour away.

I'll start with a photo of my place that DD took after a storm last January:

My overall goal is to read 100 books again this year.

I am becoming buried in what I call Planet TBR--so I will be trying to read at least 50 books acquired before January 1, 2014. I have a thread going in the 2014 ROOT challenge.

To keep myself in the geologically oldest part of the Planet, I'm giving myself points for each book I read, with older books getting more points.

Here's how it works:

1. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2006 --8 points
2. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2007--7 points
3. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2008--6 points
4. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2009--5 points
5. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2010--4 points
6 .ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2011 --3 point
7. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2012-- 2 point
8. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2013 -- 1 point
9. ROOTS not previously entered into LT but which have been around the house pre-2014 (many of these are pre-2006)--1 point

The goal this year is 185 points (My goal in 2013 was 160 points and I achieved about 120 points)

Here's my thread on the ROOTS (Reading our Own Tomes) group:


Edited: May 9, 2014, 11:26am Top


I usually have multiple books going at the same time.

- The Optimist's Daughter - Eudora Welty American Authors Challenge; 1001 Books; TIOLI #3; library
- The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion - audiobook in the car; April Autism Awareness; library
- A Religion of One's Own - Thomas Moore - LTER- 2013 ROOT
- A Study in Scarlet - Arthur Conan Doyle - ROOT 2012
- Yoga XXL - Ingrid Kollak - (working through the exercises before I review) - LTER 2013; ROOT; = 1 ROOT point;

and a year-long group read of N. T. Wright's Christian Origins and the Question of God - now onto volume 2: Jesus and the Victory of God

Up next/soonish

Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood - Atwood April, 1001 Books to read Before you Die; April TIOLI # 10 (rolling tags); library

And here's my list of
Recently Finished but not Reviewed:

- The New Testament and the People of God - N. T. Wright
- Exit Wounds - Rutu Modan

Edited: May 5, 2014, 9:15am Top



1. Yellowstone Has Teeth - Marjane Ambler - - ROOT 2013; (1point)
2. The Great Courses: Great World Religions: Christianity (The Teaching Company) - Luke Timothy Johnson - - ROOT 2012; (2 points)
3. The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis - - ROOT acquired 2008 = 6 ROOT points
4. On Sal Mal Lane - Ru Freeman - - purchased 2013; 9. Read a book by the author of one of your favourite books of 2013; ROOT; = 1 ROOT point;
5. We Like It Wild - Bradford Angier - Canada geocat challenge; ROOT 2008 = 6 ROOT points
6. Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf - Real life book club; purchased 2013 ROOT; = 1 ROOT point;
7. My Antonia - Willa Cather - - audiobook in the car; January American author challenge (library -1st non-Root of the year!); January TIOLI #3. Read a book that has a connection with the number "14" (ISBN with 14)

8. 1066: The Great Courses - Jennifer Paxton - (audiobook in the car) - ROOT 2012 = 2 ROOT points
9. Sherlock Holmes: The Montana Chronicles - John S Kirkpatrick - Catagories: mystery, US & arches-cat trick; acquired 2013 - ROOT; = 1 ROOT point;
10. I and II Timothy/Titus (People's Bible Commentary) - Armin W. Schuetze (2/13); ROOT acquired pre 2006 = 8 ROOT points
11. The Hamlet - William Faulkner - American author challenge; TIOLI #13. Read a book you share with a LT Legacy Library; 1001 Books to Read Before You Die; from library
12. Curse of the Pogo Stick - Colin Cotterrill - - MysteryCat Feb series book; - Feb TIOLI #4. Read a book that has an older person as a main character ; - ROOT 2013 = 1 ROOT point
13. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek - Annie Dillard - - group read; Feb TIOLI #15-personal story; ROOT - acquired 2008 = 6 ROOT points
14. Hosea/Joel/Amos (People's Bible Commentary Series) - Paul E. Eickmann-Feb TIOLI #1- library of the LT member with the greatest weighted number of books which match your own; (due to my having this series, most of my heaviest weighted similar libraries belong to Lutheran Churches; ROOT pre 2006 = 8 Root points
15. Five Days at Memorial - Sheri Fink - ; February TIOLI #7 - remove a book from your physical presence when you are done reading;audiobook in the car; library
16. The Lives of Girls and Women - Alice Munro - RL Book Club - purchased 2014 -
17. The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon - Alexander Mccall Smith- audiobook in the car; LTER 2013; ROOT; = 1 ROOT point;
18. Stop Being Mean to Yourself - Melodie Beattie - Feb TIOLI #15-personal story; (ROOT 2009)
19. - Om-Kas-Toe: Blackfeet Twin Captures an Elkdog - Kenneth Thomasma - RandomCat -Children's Book; TIOLI #10; A Book with a pet you have owned (ROOT 2007) =

20. Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith - Jon Krakauer - audiobook in the car - March TIOLI ##8: Read a book about an injustice - ROOT 2013 = 1 ROOT point
21. The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester - - GD Group Read; March TIOLI #2 -word suggesting an end in the title - purchased 2014
22. John (People's Bible Commentary) - Gary P Baumler ROOT # 17; Acquired pre-2006 = 8 ROOT points. Possible reread(?)
23. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie - - audiobook in the car; March TIOLI #8 Read a book about an injustice; library
24. Dakota by Gwen Florio - LTER 2014; TIOLI #9 - Read a book whose title's initial letter spells out DAYLIGHT, on a rolling basis
25. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain March RL book club
26. All The Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy - March American Author read; Geocat challenge - Mexico and the Caribbean ;March TIOLI #3 - Read a book with a word in the title that starts with a vowel; 1001 Books; library
27. Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson; RL Bookclub (Nov 2013); ROOT #18; purchased 2013 = 1 ROOT point (66/185) -

28. The Property - Rutu Modan - GeoCat Eastern Europe; April TIOLI #12 - Read a book that takes place in an Eastern European country; graphic novel; library -
29. - Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief - Lawrence Wright - Science Religion and History group read; April TIOLI # 10 - rolling tags; audiobook from library -
30. - Morality for Beautiful Girls - Alexander McCall Smith - March RandomCat: Book With a Bird on the Cover; April TIOLI #3. Read a book by an author or in a series or about a topic of which you have multiples on your TBR/wish list; Root #18 2011 = 3 ROOT points; - reread? (would have previously listened to the audiobook)
** (Not counted in yearly numbers)** - Mr Wuffles by David Wiesner -
31. - Jazz - Toni Morrison - American Author Challenge, April TIOLI #2 Read a book whose title and author have two Qs, two Zs, or one of each; library -
32. - The Door - Margaret Atwood - Atwood April, April TIOLI # 13. Read a book in a genre you haven't yet read from in 2014 (poetry); RandomCat poetry, (library) =
33. - The Orchardist - Amanda Coplin - April TIOLI # 10 - rolling tags; Library Brown Bag Book Club; - purchased 2014 -
34. - Flu by Gina Kolata - Science Religion and History Group Read; April TIOLI #10 - rolling tags; ROOT #19/50- 2013; 1 ROOT point
35. - Dugouts and Dreams - Frank C Tillson - April TIOLI # 9. Read a collection of World War I poetry or a book about World War I poets or poetry; (My parents' collection - Great Uncle Frank); 2014
36. - The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Stieg Larsson - April MysteryCat Scandicrime; April TIOLI # 10 (rolling tags); audiobook in the car

37. Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan - May TIOLI #12- challenge from May in a previous year - graphic novel - library
38. The New Testament and the People of God - N. T. Wright Group Read of the Series in the Category Challenge group

Edited: May 3, 2014, 10:56am Top


- Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
- The Lives of Girls and Women - Alice Munro -
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian - Sherman Alexie
- The Property - Rutu Modan

- Jazz - Toni Morrison
- My Antonia - Willa Cather


- Five Days at Memorial - Sheri Fink

-Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright


***** 38 -TOTAL BOOKS COMPLETED IN 2014 ****

20 - Books Read from the towering MT TBR (owned prior to Jan 1, 2014); ROOTS challenge
- Rereads from my shelves
12 - Books from library or borrowed
6 - Books acquired 2014

28 - Dead Tree Books
9 - Audiobooks
1 - combination of dead tree and audio
- other

18 - Fiction
1 - Christian fiction
1 - classics (not on the 1001 list)
5 - 1001 Books to Read Before You Die
2 - general fiction
1 - fantasy/sf/sff
- horror, suspense
6 - mystery/thriller
2 - Young Adult
1- children's fiction

16 ---Non-Fiction
5 -Christianity
2 - Memoir
1 - History
2 - Religion (not Christian, or not exclusively Christian)
5 - Science/Medical/Natural Science
1 - Travel
1 - Psychology/ self help

- Books of Short Stories or essays
2 - graphic novel
- graphic non-fiction
2 - poetry
- plays
- Other


21 - Male Authors
17 - Female Authors

17 - Authors that are new to me
19 - Authors I have previously enjoyed
2 - Rereads

Multiple books read in 2014 by same author:
2 - Rutu Modan
2 - Alexander McCall Smith

Nationality of Author:
2 - Canada
4 - England
2 - Israel
2 - Scotland (UK)
1 - Sri Lanka
1 - Sweden
26 - USA

Birthplace or residence of Author if different from nationality:
- 2- Botswana
- 1 - Thailand

Language Book Originally Published in:
2 - Hebrew
34 - English
1 - Swedish

Of the books I've read this year:
3 - cataloged into LT 2006 or before
1 - cataloged into LT 2007
3 - cataloged into LT 2008
1- cataloged into LT 2009
- cataloged into LT 2010
1 - cataloged into LT 2011
2 -cataloged into LT 2012
10 - cataloged into LT 2013
- acquired previously but uncataloged until 2014 (have lots of these!)
6 - acquired 2014
11 - borrowed from library 2014

Edited: Apr 19, 2014, 11:18am Top


Mark's American Author Challenge 2014 (downside--I haveonly a few of these on Planet TBR)

✔ January: Willa Cather - My Antonia -
✔ February - William Faulkner - The Hamlet
✔ March - Cormac McCarthy - All the Pretty Horses
✔ April - Toni Morrison- Jazz - library
May - Eudora Welty - The Optimist's Daughter
June - Kurt Vonnegut-
July - Mark Twain- Pudd'nhead Wilson - on planet TBR
August- Philip Roth-
September - James Baldwin-
October - Edith Wharton-
November - John Updike-
December - Larry Watson-



-I've read 88 books from the combined list prior to January 1, 2014. And according to statistician extraordinaire JonnySaunders, at the beginning of this year's challenge my average 1001 book previously read is a 359 page tome written in 1950.

Goal: 12

89. ✔ Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf - 1927
90. ✔ The Hamlet by William Faulkner - 1940
91. ✔ The Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro - 1971
92. ✔ All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy - 1992
93. ✔ Jazz by Toni Morrison - library - 1992

Here's my thread on the 1001 group: http://www.librarything.com/topic/163173

Edited: May 15, 2014, 10:14am Top

-from the 2014 category challenge group-

I can fill almost all of these from the Planet TBR which should reduce the planet a bit!

January: - Professional Detective (not policeman):
Sherlock Holmes: The Montana Chronicles - John S Fitzpatrick - (cat trick) - (2013) - finished in February
February: - Mystery Series -
Curse of the Pogo Stick - Colin Cotterill (2013)
The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon - Alexander McCall Smith - LTER - (2013)
March: - YA and Children's Mysteries - Skipped
April: - Nordic Mysteries -
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Stieg Larsson - audiobook - library
May: - Classic and Golden Age Mysteries
- A Study in Scarlet (ROOT 2012)
June: - Police Procedurals
- The Lighthouse - PD James (ROOT 2008)
- The Long Farewell (Inspector Appleby) - Michael Innes (ROOT 2013)
July: - Noir and Hard-Boiled Mysteries
August: - British Mysteries
September: - Book-Themed Mysteries
- The Black Book - Ohran Pamuk
- One of Our Thursdays is Missing - Jasper Fforde - borrow
October: - Global Mysteries
November: - Historical Mysteries
December: - Cozy Mysteries


January: Beginnings, doorways

On Sal Mal Lane - Ru Freeman (beginning of Sri Lankan Civil War) ROOT from 2013
Sherlock Holmes: The Montana Chronicles - John S Fitzpatrick - (archways on cover - cat trick) - finished Feb - ROOT 2013
February : Children's or YA book
Om-Kas-Toe: Blackfeet Twin Captures an Elkdog - Kenneth Thomasma (ROOT 2007)
March: Book With A Bird on the Cover
✔ - John (People's Bible Commentary) - Gary P Baumler (ROOT pre-2006)
✔ - Morality for Beautiful Girls - Alexander McCall Smith - (Root 2011) (finished in April)
April: Poetry
✔ - The Door - Margaret Atwood - library
✔ - Dugouts and Dreams - Frank C Tillson
May: Mothers
- The Life of an Ordinary Woman - Anne Ellis ROOT 2008

Edited: Apr 25, 2014, 3:05pm Top

From the 2014 Category Challenge

- Hopefully I can fill almost all of these with ROOTS - listing below ones that fit

January - Canada and the US:
- We Like It Wild by Bradford Angier - (Canada)
- Sherlock Holmes: The Montana Chronicles (USA) - John S Fitzpatrick - (cat trick) finished in Feb
- My Antonia - Willa Cather (subspeciality: Immigration)
February - Middle East and North Africa
- Stop Being Mean to Yourself - Melodie Beattie - Algeria, Egypt - (acq'd 2009)
March - Central America, Mexico and Caribbean
- All the Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy - Mexico - (library)
April - Eastern Europe
- The Property - (Poland) Rutu Modan - library
May - South Asia (India etc)
- Buddha - Karen Armstrong - (ROOT 2007)
- Don't Let the Goats Eat the Loquat Trees - Thomas Hale - (ROOT 2008) - Nepal
- Guru of Love - Samrat Upadhyay - ROOT 2008 - Nepal
- The Wedding Wallah - Farahad Zama - (ROOT 2012)
- The Namesake - Jhumpa Lahiri - (ROOT 2012)
- Gandhi: An Autobiography - Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi (2013)
- The Penguin Book of Modern Indian Short Stories - Stephen Alter (ROOT added 2014)
June - Islands and Bodies of Water
- The Beak of the Finch - Jonathan Weiner - (2007)
- The Lighthouse - P. D. James - 2008
- To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf - 2013
July - Polar Regions
- Teaching at the Top of the World - 2013
- An African in Greenland ? (purchase)
August - Western Europe
- Sarah's Key - 2011
- Les Miserables - 2013
- Kristin Lavransdatter I: The Wreath - 2008
September - East Asia (China, Japan, etc.)
- I have about 30 to choose from
October - South America
- One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - (Columbia) - 1001 - started 2013
- The Beak of the Finch - Jonathan Weiner (Galapagos Islands/Ecuador)
November - Australia and Oceania
- Island of the Color Blind - Oliver Sacks
December - Sub-Saharan Africa
- Of Water and the Spirit - Patrice Malidoma Some
- Woman in the Mists - Farley Mowatt
- various #1 Ladies' Detective Agency
-The Mottled Lizard - Elspeth Huxley
- The Constant Gardener - John Le Carre

Edited: May 2, 2014, 1:06pm Top


I would like to keep this number at half or less of the number of ROOTS read.
Current number of ROOTS completed: 19
Current Number of Books Acquired in 2014: 17
Current Number of books added from Mom & Dad's library: 12
Current Number of Books Acquired in 2014 that I've Read ( ) : 6 (total of 29)

1. Lives of Girls and Women - Alice Munro - February RL Book Club
2. The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester - Feb Green Dragon group read
3. Dakota - Gwen Florio LTER 2/5
4. ***Reading*** - 2 Chronicles (People's Bible Commentary) by Paul O. Wendland (2/17 ordered 12/2013)
5. General Epistles (People's Bible Commentary) by Mark A. Jeske (2/17 ordered 12/2013)
6. Nahum/Habakkuk/Zephaniah (People's Bible Commentary) by James J. Westendorf (2/17 ordered 12/2013)
7. The Lochsa Story - Bud Moore 2/24 FOL shelf
8. The Thirtymile Fire: A Chronicle of Bravery and Betrayal by John N. Maclean 2/24 FOL shelf
9. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain 3/5 RL bookclub
10. Not for Everyday Use - Elizabeth Nunez - LTER - rec'd 3/6/2014
11. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand - Helen Simonson - AAUW sale 4/11/2014
12. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - Karen Joy Fowler - ARC- AAUW sale 4/11/2014
13. Alas, Babylon - Pat Frank - AAUW sale 4/11/2014
14. The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling - AAUW sale 4/11/2014
15. The 19th Wife - David Ebershoff - AAUW sale 4/11/2014
16. The Orchardist - Amanda Coplin - 4/17 April RL book club
17. The Hare With the Amber Eyes - Edmund de Waal 4/29 May RL Book Club

These are books from my parents' collection as Mom is downsizing and getting ready to move from her house into senior living. Even though they are more books coming into the house, I'm putting them in a separate 'acquired' collection than the ones above.

1. The Expeditions of Willis Partridge - Abelard Schuman - childhood favorite
2. Curious George - H. A. Rey - childhood copy
3. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen - Paul Torday - Dad's
4. Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo - Hayden Herrera - Dad's
5. A Century of Home Cooking from Heritage Crossroads Country - Mom's
6. The Last Valley - A. B. Guthrie, Jr inscribed by author to Dad
7. Life on the Mississippi - Mark Twain - more of Aunt Clara's set
8. Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain - more of Aunt Clara's set
9. Tough Trip Through Paradise - Andrew Garcia - Dad's
10. Dugouts and Dreams - Frank Tillson - Dad's Uncle Frank
11. Dreams for Sale - Frank Tillson - Dad's Uncle Frank
12. The Cock-Eyed Muse - Frank Tillson - Dad's Uncle Frank

Dec 30, 2013, 4:30pm Top

Welcome! I love the wintery pic.

Dec 31, 2013, 12:27pm Top

Starred for reading in 2014!

Dec 31, 2013, 1:47pm Top

Thanks for stopping by, Jim and Morphy!

I need to get two more books finished today so I hit my 100 for the year. I actually have 4 within striking distance.

And then, tomorrow! My fresh new thread!

Dec 31, 2013, 6:44pm Top

Looking forward to following your reading again this year (even if I rarely comment). Perhaps this will be the year we can meet at an LT meetup in Seattle or Portland (or maybe even Montana).

My younger daughter is working on her PhD. in genetics, and her research is in a yeast lab. Must be something like microbiology, no?

Dec 31, 2013, 7:50pm Top

Happy New Year, Janet!

Edited: Jan 1, 2014, 12:05am Top

I found you! And I'm very impressed with your goals, and organization. You gave me an idea for another ticker for my thread, so off I go!

Jan 1, 2014, 1:54am Top

Wishing you a wonderful 2014, Janet.

Jan 1, 2014, 6:35am Top

Hi Janet!

Jan 1, 2014, 9:36am Top

Hi arubabookwoman--I'd like to meet you, too! I'd love to go to the Portland meetup.It's about the same distance for me to Seattle or Portland according to mapquest. But, but, but those darn passes in the winter can be really hairy so a pleasant but longish drive can turn into a super long white knuckle job.

Thanks for stopping by, Pat, Stephanie, Paul and wilkiec!

The organization--well we shall see. I do want to shrink Planet TBR this year, but whenever I say that, the planet grows more. So I'm hoping that planning in the books on my shelves will help me out.

My friend's MS is worse, so we probably won't be going to Belize this spring.... which opens the door for Boulder Booktopia for me. I'm only on the waiting list, but should be pretty near to the top since I tried to sign up about a half hour after they went live. (Darn work got in the way-- I should have asked someone else to sign up for me!) Send good vibes that direction, everybody, so I get in.

Jan 1, 2014, 9:52am Top

Found and starred you, Janet! And what a beautiful picture. I could almost wish for snow! Almost ;-))

Jan 1, 2014, 10:02am Top

Adding this thread to my starred collection!

Jan 1, 2014, 10:14am Top

Oh, Janet, Happy happy new year. I am looking forward to some excellent reading this year, and I see you are, too! Whoo hooo! Boulder. I'm putting my whammie machine to work and doing what I can to see you get off the Wait List and on to the Attendees list. Please, please!

I have my spot but need to make some reservations for place to stay. I'm a bit put off by the cost of their suggested place. I think it is $200/night. Dear Goodness, that is a lot.

OK, I'm trying to catch up with lots of threads and some work too so I've got to run......

Jan 1, 2014, 10:57am Top

That’s an awesome set of lists. Happy New Year! Oh, and my first BB of the year; I was unaware of that book by Mary Doria Russell. The Beak of the Finch is on my TBR list also; I loved Time, Love, Memory.

Jan 1, 2014, 11:10am Top

Hi Janet. Dropping a star.

Jan 2, 2014, 7:07am Top

Happy New Year, Janet! I like your reading plans for 2014, and I look forward to your review of Einstein: His Life and Universe.

Jan 5, 2014, 1:25am Top

Hi Janet, I am also dropping a star as we have many threads, challenges and books in common! Looking forward to a great 2014!

Jan 8, 2014, 8:39am Top

Have you gotten any books read for 2014?

Edited: Jan 8, 2014, 9:15am Top

I've just barely finished my first book, a memoir about living in Yellowstone Park called Yellowstone Has Teeth by Marjane Ambler. It had a wonderful wintry cover on it, so I skipped to that and set aside the books I was working on. I purchased this book last fall at the Montana Festival of the Book after hearing the author speak as part of a panel about women and the backcountry. (The panel was named Babes in the Woods much to the disgust of all the ladies on it).

Yay! I finally got my tickers off the nasty goose egg and onto a number. Since I count all books on my shelf prior to 1/1/2014 as being part of my ROOTS challenge, this one counts for that.

I've had a nasty cold and sinus infection since New Year's Eve - even my eyes hurt too much too read. I've been back at work for two days now and things are slowly getting back to normal.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Morphy, Delta Queen, Darryl, Connie, Lor, Karen, and Mamie.

ETA: My computer had to go to the computer hospital as Windows kept crashing. My LT time has become almost nothing for right now. :-(

Jan 8, 2014, 10:06am Top

27: The panel was named Babes in the Woods
27: all books on my shelf prior to 1/1/2014
Yup, I do too, though this does allow a Christmas splurge in anticipation.

Sorry about the sinus infection and the computer. Not the way you want to start a new year.

Jan 8, 2014, 10:38am Top

I hope your computer will be home soon! And get well soon.

Jan 8, 2014, 10:38am Top

Sorry to hear about your sinus infection - hoping that you're feeling better soon!

Jan 9, 2014, 12:55pm Top

Stopping by to send "Get Well Soon" messages to your computer and you! p.s. I have made my airplane ticket reservation, and my hotel reservation, and now I'm ready to hear what books we'll be reading for Booktopia!

Jan 9, 2014, 7:38pm Top

Janet, sorry to hear about your computer, and your sinus infection. I get the latter, a lot, so you have my upmost sympathy. Sinusitis just plain SUCKS...

Jan 9, 2014, 7:50pm Top

Sorry to hear about the sinus infection. Yellowstone is one of my special places that I love to visit and explore.

Jan 9, 2014, 10:19pm Top

Janet, I love how your beautiful horses stand out against that backdrop of silver trees. No wonder you are going to read All the Pretty Horses for the AAC!

Sending good vibes for your Booktopia reservation and your sinus and computer woes. Sheesh. Your year is off to a rocky start. Hope all is well soon.

Jan 10, 2014, 9:14am Top

Have a wonderful weekend, Janet!

Jan 10, 2014, 3:44pm Top

Yes, lovely pictures of the horses. Can we get something closer?

Jan 11, 2014, 11:48am Top

Hope you're having a great weekend Janet!

Jan 12, 2014, 10:00am Top

Wow, thank you so much to the visitors who stopped by and all the good wishes!

Morphy--I'm on DD's old computer and don't have much access to my photos. I'll work on getting some up.

Jan 12, 2014, 10:31am Top

1. Yellowstone Has Teeth - Marjane Ambler

-How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

- January TIOLI #11. Read a book that has two of something in the title
- ROOT #1/50; acquired 2013 = 1 ROOT point for 1/180

In the mid 1980's, the author's partner moved to the interior of Yellowstone Park to take a job as a winter snowmobile trail groomer. Soon after, he was joined by his new wife, author Marjane Ambler. They became part of the handful of employees to live in Yellowstone Park year around.

Thousands of Yellowstone visitors know the beauty of the park. Few know the flip side: the isolation of being a several hour snowmobile ride away from medical help; winter temperatures that often dipped to -50 and below and a dozen feet of snow; bison blocked roads with drifts preventing them from leaving the road itself. She also recounts the forest fires of 1988.

In her eight years of living there, the author got to know the park in an intimate and satisfying way that visitors will never know.

Recommended for those interested in Yellowstone Park or outdoor adventure/wilderness living stories.


Jan 12, 2014, 10:36am Top

(39) Another going on my TBR list, thank you!

Edited: Jan 12, 2014, 10:49am Top

2. - The Great Courses: Great World Religions: Christianity (The Teaching Company) - Luke Timothy Johnson
-How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

-In December I read a handful of books regarding religion in general and Christianity in particular. This is one I didn't get completed until January. It's also the last (yay!) of a set of topics of the five Great World religions
- audiobook in the car-
ROOT! # 2/50; cataloged 2012 = 2 ROOT points (3/180)

I enjoy the Teaching Company Courses and had enjoyed the other four segments (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism) of their Great Religions series. I had put this one off until last as, somehow, it seemed less interesting to me. I was wrong.

Author Luke Timothy Johnson gives a concise overview of Christianity - doctrines, history, differences in branches, political position in previous centuries and in the world today. Each section is a fairly short overview and yet he managed to bring new-to-me information about subjects that I had little knowledge such as Greek Orthodox history and belief.

Jan 12, 2014, 11:03am Top

3. - The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
-How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

- This is the last of the Christianity/Religion books that I had started in December but did not complete
- ROOT #3/50; acquired 2008 = 6 ROOT points for 9/180

C.S. Lewis is a classic writer of Christian apologetics. His books are ones that I feel that I should have read - but mostly haven't.

In this book a senior demon named Screwtape councils his young nephew on how to handle his assigned patient who is showing alarming Christian (enemy!) tendencies. The format leads to lots of irony and humor as Screwtape councils on how modern day (written in the early 1940's) challenges such as love and pride and the ongoing war can best be used for the cause.


Jan 12, 2014, 11:49am Top

*waving* hi! hoping you are enjoying a good weekend with less trouble and turmoils.

That Yellowstone book looks very interesting.....

Jan 12, 2014, 4:50pm Top

The Yellowstone book does look interesting. How would you compare it to Indian Creek Chronicles?

Jan 12, 2014, 7:39pm Top

I may have to try the Yellowstone book. It's caught my attention.

Jan 13, 2014, 9:47am Top

Thanks for stopping by, Karen, Pat and Lori.

Yellowstone Has Teeth was fun but lacked a bit in intensity. Pete Fromm's book was more exciting as he was far more isolated - but he also made a few stupid mistakes and I hate reading about life-threatening stupidity. It seems to get glorified in some books.

The Yellowstone book makes me anxious to read another book that I bought at the same time: Women in Wonderland: Lives, Legends, and Legacies of Yellowstone National Park.

Jan 13, 2014, 10:44am Top

*waves* Hi Janet! I think I'll join the hoards in commenting on the fact the Yellowstone book looks quite interesting. It's always enjoyable getting a personal view of such spectacular landscape.

Jan 19, 2014, 5:31pm Top

Hi Janet. Can't believe I'm just now visiting your thread.
I don't know if you've gotten to your planned reading of My Antonia yet; I'm about 3/4 through it and very much enjoying it.

Jan 20, 2014, 11:10am Top

Hi Megan--It's been several years since I've been to Yellowstone. I've always wanted to go in the winter--I need to move that higher on my wish list and actually do it!

And hi Ellen -- I ordered My Antonia on audio since I thought it would work well as an audiobook. It's up next, as soon as I finish listening to The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon, an LTER audio.

But arrrgh! The final disc of TMABS won't play - my computer says it is blank. I tried to call the audio publisher but had to email instead since they are closed for the holiday today. How frustrating! The good thing of course, is that these are not edge-of-your-seat-can't-go-to-sleep-until-I've-finished thrillers, but aaaarrrgghh all the same.

So I guess I'll be starting My Antonia in the car today.

Once again, I have tooooo many books going and feel like I'm not making good progress in any of them. And I need to start Mrs Dalloway for the RL book club next week.

I'm chauferring my Mom to a small bit of foot surgery today, so I'll get a bit of reading done then.

Edited: Jan 24, 2014, 9:02am Top

I've finished On Sal Mal Lane and will review it this weekend. It started slowly, but the last section was very intense. Overall I think I'll rate it 4 stars.

Now I'm on to Mrs. Dalloway for the book club next week. I started it last night and so far,I am quite enjoying the writing. It's my first venture into Virginia Woolf. Her reputation as an author has intimidated me a bit.

I'm also enjoying the audiobook of My Antonia. I admit my mind has wandered a few times during the descriptions (always a hazard for me during audios) but other sections are quite riveting.

I'm awaiting the replacement for the defective last disc for my LTER copy of The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon. I emailed the publisher, Recorded Books, explaining the problem and included the numbers etc on my packing slip. Unfortunately, the customer service person that replied to me had apparently never heard of LibraryThing; I think she perhaps believed it was some sort of lending site and curtly told me that I needed to talk to them about getting a replacement disc. Emails ensued. I hope it is sorted out and that the disc will be here soon.

And finally -- I've popped the cherry for books purchased in 2014. The used copy of Lives of Girls and Women arrived yesterday. It's the February choice for the RL book club.

I'm still waiting for three books I ordered in December. The publisher says they were sent by media mail so, although it's been a month, I'll wait for two more weeks before asking the publisher to reship or refund. Drat--the book gods are not happy with me acquiring books or maybe they are just trying to help me along with my 'acquire less books' resolution.

Jan 24, 2014, 9:06am Top

Oh, dang! We must talk with the Book Gods. Do you suppose they need some sacrificial offerings: We could give them old newspapers?

Good luck in getting all that you want!

Jan 24, 2014, 11:40pm Top

Hi Janet! I'm always glad to see when other people enjoy The Great Courses too. I love them! I'm just starting one on the New Testament right now.

Jan 25, 2014, 3:22pm Top

Thanks for stopping by, Karen! Good luck with the move!

That sounds interesting, Rachel. Who is the instructor? I've listened to the one on Paul and also the one on establishing the New Testament cannon.

I'm hauling my computer to Missoula today. The fix-by-computer friend didn't work and I am down altogether. This is just a quick post on my work computer since I had to stop by and do a bit of work......

I'm loving Mrs. Dalloway!

Jan 26, 2014, 7:22am Top

I hope your computer gets well soon!!

Jan 27, 2014, 2:37pm Top

Thanks for stopping by, Connie.

Best Buy said it will be 7-10 days before they can look at my computer. :-((

So, I'm restricted to lurking from work with the occassional post.

I'll keep my lists up so I remember what I'm doing.

Jan 27, 2014, 3:14pm Top

Well, that's horrid. Why will it take that long? It's ridiculous! Poor streamsong. :(

Jan 27, 2014, 8:01pm Top

Best Buy is a racket...imho.

Jan 27, 2014, 8:33pm Top

Bart Ehrman is the name of the prof for the New Testament course. I haven't gotten very far into it yet, but I bought the two major textbooks...one by Ehrman himself.

Jan 28, 2014, 8:33pm Top

55: Maybe they're hoping you'll buy a new one.

Jan 29, 2014, 11:34am Top

Hi Janet,
I started On Sal Mal Lane a while back, shortly after seeing Ru Freeman at Booktopia! in Bellingham and I didn't get into it. I need to give it another try.

Edited: Feb 2, 2014, 3:32pm Top

I'm back!

Defective RAM stick-- which explains why uninstalling and reinstalling Windows was no help.

I'm afraid it will take me a bit to get caught up here on LT, though. :-)

Hey Lor, Morphy and Katherine. Thanks for the sympathy.

I think BB did OK by me-- although they did 'upsell' me with their year long protection plan before they looked at my computer by convincing me it would probably be cheaper. They told me their guess would be that I needed a new operating system. That made my daughter see red when I told her about it, as she said 'No Way! I partioned it when I set it up for you.' (All of this is Greek to me, I'm afraid). So, it cost me more money to do it this way, but I did learn a thing or two. And I now have access to having questions answered/resolved for a year. I intend to make the most of it.

And my puter is back.

Ellen, I agree Sal Mal Lane is not the easiest book to get into.

Rachel, Ehrman did the New Testament canon course I listened to through the Great Courses. Are you working on the NT Wright, or have you set that one aside?

Feb 2, 2014, 3:29pm Top

Glad you are online again, Janet!

Feb 2, 2014, 4:38pm Top

Yay! You're back! :-)

Bart Ehrman is one of my favorite religion authors, as is Karen Armstrong.

Edited: Feb 5, 2014, 10:04am Top

4. On Sal Mal Lane - Ru Freeman
How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

- purchased 2013 at the Bellingham Washington Booktopia where Ru Freeman was one of the speakers;
- January TIOLI #9. Read a book by the author of one of your favourite books of 2013;
- ROOT # 4/50; acquired 2013= 1 ROOT point (=10/180)

Set in the late 1970’s in the Sri Lankan capitol city of Colombo, the story centers around the families on Sal Mal Lane, a dead end lane, bound by a busy street on one end and marked by a grove of sacred Sal Mal trees on the other. It’s a mixed neighborhood consisting of middle class : Buddhists, Hindus and Christians, Singhalese, mixed race burghers, and Tamils.

We meet the families, and over seven years watch the c hildren and relationships develop. One teenager finds acceptance in a nearby gang; two fall into puppy love and dream of emigration to Australia. Another pair of sons plan to enlist in the national army; one of the main characters longs to be a composer and musician although his family tries to dissuade him from his choice.

This started slowly with several dozen hard-to-keep-track-of characters. It comes to an emotional and riveting ending in the final section of the book when riots break out in Colombo. The Civil War between Buddhist Singhalese and Hindu Tamils, having simmered under the surface throughout the entire storyline, erupts and changes the quiet neighborhood forever. Suspicions and partisanships divide neighbors that have coexisted as valued friends for many years. In other cases friendship and honor cross all religions and ethnic barriers.

This is an interesting look at the changes brought on by Civil War. Ms Freeman brings Sri Lanka’s history into sharp focus. Her characters are well developed – this neighborhood feels like a real place and I am sad to see the end of them.

I purchased this book in May last year in preparation for the2013 Bellingham, Washington Booktopia. I read Ms Freeman's first book, A Disobedient Girl which I absolutely loved, but somehow this one sank into the depths of Planet TBR.

As an aside, Ms. Freeman was very personable and a delight to meet.

I'll look forward to reading her next novel

Feb 5, 2014, 10:08am Top

Thanks for stopping by Connie and Stephanie!

I am soooooo far behind on reviews and threads. I'll keep working away at it!

But now I need to bundle up (-10 F here this morning - Yuck!), feed horses and get to work.

Edited: Feb 5, 2014, 1:06pm Top

5. - We Like It Wild - Bradford Angier
How It Fits Into My Reading Now:
- Challenges:
- Canada geocat challenge; (oldest book on Planet TBR set in Canada)
- January TIOLI : 11. Read a book that has two of something in the title (two words starting with w)
- ROOT # 5/50; acquired 2008 = 6 ROOT points (16/180)

In the mid-1950's, Bradford Angier and his wife left their established careers in New York City (he a writer, she a ballet dancer) in order to spend one year living off the land in a remote part of Canada - the Peace River Valley near Hudson's Hope, British Columbia. This year changed their life trajectories forever as Angier found that he could make a living writing articles and books about how to live off the land in the wilderness, and they both discovered their love for wilderness living. Angier became one of the premier authors of this genre.

This book is vividly written and an interesting story, but it is also a bit dated as it has a distinct air of the 1950’s about it. He uses his wife as the foil for his explanations (‘But how can I tell edible plants, dear?’) and also makes 1950’s housewife-in-the-wilderness looking all cute in her flannel shirt with flour on her nose remarks.

It’s still an interesting outdoor adventure story and his techniques for living off the land are still useful for those interested in the topic.

Feb 5, 2014, 10:24am Top

66: That actually looks interesting. Never heard of him, but seems he was quite the thing at one time. 1950s, well, it can be eye-rollingly amusing from a distance.

Edited: Feb 5, 2014, 10:34am Top

Hi Katherine! - The xDH wilderness ranger was a big fan of Angier's writing when I met xDH in the 70's. I reread the sequel Wilderness Wife, in which they moved into an even more remote wilderness, several times during the period. XDH would have loved to have followed Angier's footsteps.

Feb 5, 2014, 12:44pm Top

Another book bullet...thanks...


Edited: Feb 5, 2014, 5:28pm Top

wait .... there are horses in your life? Was I supposed to know this already?

ETA: oh I see, it's in your intro paragraph

Still, horses!

Feb 5, 2014, 5:34pm Top

Hi! I am back on line, too. And I have a $99 agreement with Apple that I can come talk to them any time to get all the help I need, and I need plenty, so I think it is a pretty good deal!

I liked your review of On Sal Mal Lane and agree that the book is hard to get into but in the end is a worthwhile read.

Go Seahawks. (blush.... they had the victory parade in Seattle today and the enthusiasm is so contagious)

Feb 6, 2014, 9:21am Top

Gotcha, Lor. ;-)

Hi Stephanie. Yup, horses. Mostly ornamental at this point, I'm afraid. But they do get me outside twice a day to feed and care and enjoy the woods.

Hi Karen! I thought about you on Sunday while watching the game. I think a good part of the PNW was cheering them on!

We're having our first spell of really bad weather. It only warmed up to -2 yesterday and is -19 this morning. It's supposed to be a bit warmer today as we'll have clouds and snow moving in. Send good thoughts my way for my country plumbing and also my mom who is housebound in this weather, partly due to the ice and partly due to her RA flaring in response to the storms. My Friday noon meeting is canceled, so I'll try to take her for errands and lunch on Friday. I need to go in Saturday to work for a couple hours, so I can stretch Friday's noon errand time a bit.

Feb 6, 2014, 9:36am Top

Still working on January book reviews! See that pile on the bottom of post 3? That's what I've read and need to do!

This one I count as a ROOT off my shelf (purchased before January 1st of this year), but it's one of my 'cheater ROOTS' since I bought it at the end of December in anticipation of my book club read.

6. Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf

How It Fits Into My Current Reading

-January RL book club choice

--1001 Books to Read Before You Die
--ROOT # 6/50; Purchased 2013 = 1 Root point = 17/180

There are so many reviews of this that I’ll be very brief and only give my quick impression of it.

This is the first work I’ve read by Virginia Woolf and I loved it.

Mrs. Dalloway is a middle aged, upper-class London resident soon after World War I, preparing for her party that evening. This is stream of consciousness, but not just of Mrs. Dalloway but also of the people surrounding her, even some that are only tangentially in contact with her. The switch from one character to the next is seamlessly and beautifully done.

We see the foibles of London society. We see characters who have buried their personalities and dreams of their youth to become that which is acceptable. Several of the most memorable characters to me included a woman who had been quite daring as a girl, a minor colonial administrator in India who never quite lived up to his promise, and a shell shocked WWI veteran and the doctors who treated him.

This is my favorite read of the year so far, and I definitely want to read more by Woolf. I've heard for years how I should read A Room of One's Own; I picked up To the Lighthouse at a library sale last year.

Feb 6, 2014, 6:01pm Top

I am thinking of you and your weather, and the RA flare that your Mom is suffering. I hope all these turn to something more positive now! I had an attack of big tiredness today. After I got back from helping the kids get to school, and giving them their coaching on doing well, I pretty much wanted to just sit. Read a little, watched a few minutes of TV, and then fell into a nap. Been napping pretty much all day. Not good. I am wondering what's wrong. I did have a stressful meeting with the HOA last night but usually that would not be enough to kick the stuffings out of me.

I'm going to go try to finish my book. Holding you in my thoughts and hoping for better.

Feb 6, 2014, 8:35pm Top

Karen, you probably needed the nap. When I feel like resting all weekend, and I don't, I get sick...it's as if my body is tired because it's fighting an illness.

Feb 6, 2014, 8:36pm Top

yup. I just need DO NOTHING AT ALL days every so often.

Feb 7, 2014, 8:58am Top

Wow, Karen! In the past few months, you've gotten your house ready for sale, sold it, moved twice (3 times? counting your time with your niece) , settled into your new house and taken a trip to Hawaii.

Just reading all that makes me think about a nap. You deserve a bit of down time.

Very true, Lor!

Feb 7, 2014, 9:21am Top

Last January book:

7. My Antonia - Willa Cather

How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

- audiobook in the car;
- library -1st non-ROOT of the year!

- January American author challenge – Willa Cather
- January TIOLI #3. Read a book that has a connection with the number "14" (ISBN with 14)

Wonderful story of pioneer life in Nebraska, when the unplowed red grass rolled to the horizons.

The center of the piece, of course, is Antonia as seen through the eyes of the narrator, a boy from the next farm over, Jim.

Antonia's family, newly immigrated from Bohemia were the poorest of the poor. They lived in a dugout cave, lacked even the basic essentials such as a good cooking pot, and had only one coat which the entire family took turns wearing. Such grinding poverty drove the musical and educated father to depression and despair, and the grandmother to warped bitterness.

Antonia, though, turned out differently.

Beautiful descriptions of both the countryside and the people. Many of the incidents, such as girls going into town to work, I recognize from the stories my mother told about her homesteading family in North Dakota. I loved the way that several of the farm kids became exactly who they wanted to be: a surprising woman who made a fortune in the gold fields, a dressmaker with local fame, an international lawyer.

And some returned to the farm.

This was quite enjoyable as an audiobook, but I neglected to take note of the reader's name before returning it to the library.

This is only the second Cather I've read. I'll be interested in seeing more.

Feb 7, 2014, 9:48am Top

The poor dog keeps barking to go out, takes stock of the weather and then barks to come back in.

Five minutes later, she remembers why she needed to go out and is at the door again.

Repeat at least three times before the doggy mission is accomplished.

I have a cottonwood thicket that is pretty impenetrable. I'm pretty sure there's a fox den in there since I've seen moma fox, dad and three half grown kits emerge from there several times last summer.

It's near my back haystack and the dog can't resist exploring while I'm out there feeding. Ginnie is an older rescue golden retriever who has only been here since last fall. In other words she wasn't around when the foxes were denning the last few years.

So last week I was feeding horses, and Ginnie went to explore the thicket.

As usual, there was a lot of rustling in the bushes as animals moved away. But this time, the big red dog fox and a whitetail doe jumped out a few yards in front of me. Instead of stopping after only a few jumps and trotting calmly away, they flew across the pasture, maintaining their relative positions of being about shoulder to shoulder but four or five yards apart. They were in full alarm flight--bellies lowered to the ground and making tracks.

Just as I was wondering what else was going to come out of the thicket and chase them (a wolf? a mountain lion? was Ginnie, who hadn't come out of the thicket, in danger?), it dawned on me that nothing was chasing them; the deer and the fox were terrified of each other! Or, if not scared of each other, at least they sensed each other's fear as they ran almost side by side.

At the creek, one went east and one went west. End of show.

Feb 8, 2014, 8:39am Top

And just right there you have captured what is so attractive about country living. I do miss it so.

Yes, lots going on the last months and I'm glad to be in my last spot now and all I look forward to is Booktopia in May.


Edited: Feb 8, 2014, 1:29pm Top

Hi Karen--

I think reading Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is making me feel a bit lyrical and wanting to write about what I see. And yet I can only read a few pages at a time of PATC, before I put it down to think a bit. Is life, is nature really like that? Right now I've mulling on heat reflected by the moon ...

Annie Dillard says she wrote PATC by compiling bits of thoughts and descriptions she had written on file cards over the course of several years. Although that it a very 70's way to go about it, the book is definitely making me want to write.

I have a three way stern warning to myself: start reading nothing new until Einstein, PATC, and Faulkner's The Hamlet are finished. But I am absolutely **CRAVING** something lighter to pick up and whip through. Dr Siri is calling me.

Edited: Feb 8, 2014, 1:30pm Top

February Reads:

8. 1066 (The Great Courses) - Jennifer Paxton
How It Fit Into My Reading Now:

- audiobook in the car;
#7/50; acquired 2012 = 2 ROOT points (19/185)

I'll admit it.

I haven't studied much history and almost nothing at all of British history. So when I found a used copy of this at the FOL sale, I snatched up this short (3 hour) lecture series, as I am a fond of the Teaching Company classes.

I think this is a good, working introduction to the subject, probably perfectly geared to the neophyte like me. Although I would need to listen to this several more times to have a firm grasp of the complicated relationships and alliances during this period, at least I now know just how they complicated they really were.

I also have a bit of understanding about how English became the complicated and beautiful language it is due to the Normandy invasion as both language and customs were integrated by the British.

I enjoyed the lecturer, Jennifer Paxton, who has a great deal of enthusiasm and a bit of humor about her subject.

Recommended for those who'd like a basic working knowledge of the subject - probably not in depth enough for someone with previous study.

Feb 8, 2014, 4:06pm Top

1066 is one of those dates I can not forget. Like 1492 I guess.

Feb 8, 2014, 4:23pm Top

Hi Janet!

I hope you continue to write about your surroundings. I really enjoyed reading your description of the deer and fox chasing each other.

I think I'm going to try one of The Great Courses. I have a sale catalog that's good until February 13th and they have a short course on the history of the Louvre that looks good.

Hope you're warming up. We have about 6 inches of snow on the ground and it's raining but not heavily enough to wash very much of it away.

Edited: Feb 12, 2014, 11:30am Top

9. Sherlock Holmes: The Montana Chronicles by John S Fitzpatrick
How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

- TIOLI February #20. Read a book with an object on the cover that starts with a letter in rolling alphabetical order (arches)
- mystery cat, US & Canada cat & random cat beginnings (arches) = cat trick (Unfortunately finished in February, not January!)
- ROOT #8/50; -purchased 2013 - 1 ROOT point for a total of 20/185

It's fun to think of Sherlock and John tooling around your own home territory and interacting with your state's historical figures. To enhance this effect, there are historical photographs of locations the two supposedly visited, reproduced within the text-- play houses, race courses and mines.

It's written well enough, although the historical aspects are the star of the book and not the famous pair of detectives or the mysteries (which were pretty straightforward and didn't really need a super sleuth to solve them).

Since I live in the area and am interested in the history, I would have given the book a solid 3.5 stars.

However, one of the mysteries revolves around copper baron Marcus Daly's famous racing stallion, Tammany. I'm a horse lover and so especially looked forward to this one. The solution to the mystery as why no mares were gotten in foal one year, is unfortunately, absolutely ludicrous and leaves both writer and editor with egg on their faces. If a mystery is going to hinge on a certain event such as the breeding of horses, then it needs to fall within the realm of possibility.

Here's the spoiler: Mares were put in with the stallions for breeding. But then, in the middle of the night, they were switched with mares owned by a rival breeder - only the second mares were bred. In reality, the first mare would have been bred within ten minutes after being put in with the stallion. I think the author envisaged a romantic evening by the happy couple followed by topping the night with a romantic encounter after they got to know each other well enough --heehee.

For this it lost a star, and so ended up with

Feb 12, 2014, 9:42am Top

Hi Karen and Pat--thanks for stopping by.

We had about sixteen inches of snow over the weekend. Now it is melting and raining so its turning into an icy mess out there. But at the current temperature of 40 degrees, it's 65 degrees above what it was last week, so I'm not complaining!

Pat, thanks for the encouragement for writing. I wish I'd kept one when the kids were growing up!

I've enjoyed all the Great Courses I've watched or listened to. The Louvre sounds very interesting--reading about locations while planning for a trip is wonderful, isn't it! One thing I've found, is that I can often find the courses through ILL. I think people often donate them to their library after listening.

Feb 12, 2014, 11:09am Top

Streamsong, I read your spoiler, above, fully sure I'll never read the book, and I agree with you. What a silly mistake to make. I hate it when authors and editors are either so ignorant, or think their readers are so ignorant, as to come up with a scene such as that.

I'm glad your temps are little more comfortable. We are having several rain storms in a row planned by our weather gods, and the temps are temperate. I think I can almost smell spring. The yard crew did a fantastic job of pruning about 2/3 of my yard, and will be back next week to finish the job. I am looking forward to watching the spring budding to begin!

Feb 13, 2014, 1:59am Top

#85 Janet,
I started giggling as I read your spoiler. Pictures of horses staring dreamily into each others' eyes as they snuggle in what can only be assumed as post-coital bliss.


Feb 13, 2014, 2:01am Top

#87 Karen
Back in the day when I read Anne Rice I caught her mixing up a revolver and a semi-auto hand gun. I don't remember, but I think it had to do with how many bullets each would hold and she had the revolver holding as many as a semi-auto.

Feb 13, 2014, 8:52am Top

Hi Stephanie and Karen--nice to see you both.

I can definitely get irritated when details are wrong, but this is the first time I have seen an entire mystery based on a wrong assumption.

I know--most people wouldn't even notice it, but I get bothered.

Feb 13, 2014, 9:08am Top

85, 90: Yeah (I peeked), that should be basic homework for an author.

Feb 13, 2014, 10:02am Top

The funny part is that even a non-author should know that much. Any adult person, familiar with hormones, and who could give it a moment's thought should have known better.

Feb 14, 2014, 9:20am Top

I think it might have worked if the copper baron was raising cats instead of race horses. :-)

As Sherlock says, "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."

Just not sure how much eliminating the author did ......

Feb 14, 2014, 9:26am Top

10. I and II Timothy/Titus (People's Bible Commentary) - Armin W. Schuetze
How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

cataloged into LT in 2006 - purchased 1990's? = ROOT #9/50 = 8 ROOT points for 28/185

At least twenty years ago, I determined to get to know the Bible better, and signed up to receive one of these commentaries published by the Lutheran Concordia House Publishers, each month.

Well, you can guess how long it took to fall hopelessly behind, although over the years I had read several. This huge set doesn't look bad on the book shelf, though. ;-)

Two years ago, as part of my 2012 New Year's Resolutions, I started reading the entire set, 15 minutes a day. I knew as always, that I would get bogged down half a dozen books into the Old Testament, so I decided to follow this rotating scheme of Bible reading here: http://www.bible-reading.com/bible-plan.html.

In 2012, I did pretty well and completed about half of the books. In 2013. I slowed waaaaayyyy down.

Now in my third year of doing this, I'm currently on week 38 according to the website one year plan.

I'd really like to get this done this year. There are 44 books total (some, like this one, combine several Bible books). I just ordered the last few books I need to complete this set. (Yes, I'm ordering new books so I can read old books. Sigh.)

Coincidentally, I will be finishing a couple more of these very soon, hopefully before the month is out.

Edited: Feb 14, 2014, 10:35am Top

Hmmm, one of my posts got eaten.

I reposted it and now it's back (#93 above). So I've deleted the duplicate on here.

Instead, I'll confess that I did start my Dr Siri book, Curse of the Pogo Stick last night.

The Hamlet is great, but not always an easy read and not exactly cheerful.
I'm reading about a chapter a day of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek since that's all I seem to be able to absorb at one time.
The New Testament and the People of God is one of the most fascinating books I've read recently, but again hard work since I know nothing about second temple Judaism.
Einstein has once more been put on hold until I get one of the other heavies done.
Even my audiobook in the car, Five Days at Memorial is an emotional heavy hitter.

So although I am pushing a record for me for number of books started, I **needed** a bit of light and cheerful last night and Dr Siri it is, even though that also seems to be full of corpses. Good thing they have Siri's humor to go with them.

Feb 14, 2014, 7:50pm Top

I will often pick up a "comfort read" when I've been plowing through some heavy reading.

Feb 15, 2014, 12:28am Top

Me, too. And I'm in the same boat of trying to read too much at the same time. Nonetheless, it is a joy just to have the time to read.

Feb 16, 2014, 9:07am Top

A few years back I read the bible straight through. I'd read bits and pieces before, but never the entire thing before. Whew, a bit of a slog in places! Ha! Glad I did it, though.

Feb 16, 2014, 4:32pm Top

(98) I get bogged down in Numbers, and in Chronicles.

I'm glad you did read it through, that's some accomplishment!

Edited: Feb 20, 2014, 4:23pm Top

Hi Karen--Yes, the time to read is wonderful, isn't it! And I keep telling myself that I'll soon have a whole pile of them completed as I long as I don't give up!

Good for you, scaifea! It's something I've not yet accomplished.

Yeah, there are certainly some very boggy parts, Lor! I'm currently reading Numbers and will be also reading II Chronicles when the commentary gets here. (I ordered it in December, but apparently the package was lost in the Christmas rush. The publisher re-sent the my order last week.) I do like reading seven different Biblical books/commentaries at a time, though. It keeps me from getting so bogged that I give up.

Feb 22, 2014, 12:04pm Top

11. The Hamlet - William Faulkner
How It Fits Into My Reading:

- American author challenge;
- Feb TIOLI #13. Read a book you share with a LT Legacy Library;
- from library

Fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi at the turn of the twentieth century is a place where people are poor and isolated from the outside world. Men sit on the porch of the store, endlessly whittling and talking, watching the world go by. Women gather bits of string from neighbors in order to sit up nights weaving to earn money for shoes for their kids, only to have their menfolk take it from them for their own use. It's a place of tall tales, and sometimes these tall tales work themselves into the storytelling of the novel itself.

Flem Snopes's father talks his way into renting a poor farm from the county's wealthiest citizen, Will Varmer. But the Snopes' reputation of being bad tenants soon makes its way to Varmer's ears. He'd love to ask them to move on, but there are rumors of them burning barns after disagreements with previous landlords. As fire insurance, he lets them stay. As fire insurance he lets son Flem become a clerk in his store.

Flem is a man with a small soul, who worms his way into more and more of Varmer's businesses, eventually displacing Varner's son, becoming a member of Varner's family and even taking Varner's white horse and favorite porch chair. More and more Snopes family cousins and kissin' cousins arrive and become part of the county adding to Flem's spider web of control.

Still Flem continues to finagle and scheme. In the middle of this crushing poverty, if someone else has a dollar or a dream, Flem takes it.

V. K. Ratliff is an itinerant sewing machine salesman, traveling through the county, seeing more of the entire picture than anyone else and noting it all. He knew Flem's father Ab, before Ab was soured on life. One of my favorite passages is from Ratliff:

“I wasn't protecting Snopes from Snopeses. I wasn't even protecting a people from a Snopes. I was protecting something that wasn't even a people, that wasn't nothing but something that don't want nothing but to walk and feel the sun and wouldn't know how to hurt no man even if it would and wouldn't want to even if it could, just like I wouldn't stand by and see you steal a meat-bone from a dog".

The language is rich and lush. Sentences weave and hang like curtains of moss on backwoods swamp trees. The language flows over and covers you and makes you a part of its world. The backwoods humor definitely helps relieve the bleakness of the story itself.

Overall, a positive experience for my first taste of Faulkner.

Feb 22, 2014, 12:09pm Top

101: An excellent review of a book I don't quite dare try; it should wait until I'm in a frame of mind to appreciate it.

Feb 22, 2014, 12:29pm Top

12. - Curse of the Pogo Stick - Colin Cotterrill
How It Fits Into My Reading:

- MysteryCat Feb series book;
- Feb TIOLI #4. Read a book that has an older person as a main character ;
- ROOT 2013 = 1 ROOT point

This is the 5th book in Cotterill's Dr. Siri Paiboun mysteries. For those unfamiliar, Dr Siri is the elderly and free thinking national (and only) coroner in Laos, set in the mid 70's, soon after the Americans departure. As usual, I enjoyed it thoroughly, laughing out loud within the first few pages at the good doctor's brand of humor.

In this episode, Dr. Siri and his insufferable boss, Judge Haeng, are kidnapped by a village of Hmong freedom fighters as they are returning from a conference. The Hmong hope that the thousand year old shaman Yeh Ming, who resides inside of Siri's body will battle a demon living in one of their pregnant women. A bit of the supernatural and a lot of common sense ensue.

Back at the coroner's office, Siri's fellow workers and fiancé come into their own, solving a conspiracy plot that began with a booby trapped corpse.

Light, great fun brain candy and a welcome relief after reading several other heavy and thought provoking books. There was a great twist at the end that left me smiling.

Edited: Feb 22, 2014, 12:32pm Top

Thanks, Katherine.

I'm glad I read it, and wouldn't have done so without Mark's American Author challenge. But I'm not in any rush to read the rest of Faulkner's canon, although I won't rule it out, either.

Feb 22, 2014, 5:28pm Top

Hi Janet :-)

Edited: Feb 23, 2014, 9:53am Top

13. A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
How It Fits Into My Reading:

Inspired to read because of the group read here in the 75'ers.
Feb TIOLI #15 - personal story or memoir
Acquired 2008 = ROOT # 11 and 6 ROOT points.

I had attempted this book previously, but had given up on it. If not for the group read on the 75'ers, I don't know if I would have made it through this time, either.

Someone pointed out that they felt it was very helpful to read the Afterword prior to the book. This was key for me too, and, as my book didn't have the afterword, I was greatful it was mentioned.

In the afterward, Dillard asserts that this book was never intended as a series of essays about nature but as a spiritual theodicy: a spiritual journey showing both the good and the bad; a building up followed by an emptying out.

Dillard's prose is highly descriptive and I like the unexpected left turns mid paragraph.

But sometimes it seemed like eating an entire death-by-chocolate cake at one sitting. It took me reading this in small bites to enjoy its beauty and complexity without getting overwhelmed. In the end, I enjoyed this journey that is both a description of God and nature and would like to read more of Dillard's work. (Good thing, because I know I have another one on the Planet).

Feb 23, 2014, 9:53am Top

Hi Stephanie! Thanks for stopping by.

We're supposed to have a really, truly blizzard here today. 12-18 inches of snow and then high winds causing white-out conditions. It snowed a couple inches overnight and is snowing now. I need to get horses fed, and then check in with Mom. I think even she is beginning to see the wisdom of the retirement/assisted living.

It looks like a lovely day to finish the book for my book club Alice Munro's Lives of Girls and Women which is absolutely wonderful. It's one of my favorites for the year so far.

Feb 23, 2014, 10:02am Top

106: reading this in small bites to enjoy its beauty and complexity
Yeah, I agree, the entire thing all at once was kinda much. There's lots packed into single paragraphs.

Feb 23, 2014, 3:51pm Top

Glad you enjoyed The Hamlet. I tried, really hard, to read it after seeing Don Johnson, Jason Robards, Judith Ivey and Cybill Shepherd in a 1985 TV production based on that book.

I loved the TV movie, but I could not get into the source at all. :(

Mar 1, 2014, 12:57pm Top

Wow, an interesting week.

I finished quite a few books including two that were amazing: Five Days at Memorial and Alice Munro's Lives of Girls and Women. I'll get my thoughts together and work on reviews as the day goes on.

I'm currently snowbound. We have about two feet of snow and temperatures are supposed to stay near 0 all day. The lab closed early yesterday due to blizzard conditions which extended over most of Western Montana.

In Missoula, an avalanche hit a neighborhood near the University of Montana. Three people were rescued. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/01/us-usa-avalanche-montana-idUSBREA20013... Local news footage showed hundreds of volunteer rescuers helping to find the buried. It was pretty amazing.

Mar 1, 2014, 7:18pm Top

Wow, your weather sounds horrible, Janet. And an avalanche in a residential neighborhood is pretty scary. For the moment we seem to be having some nice weather. I will do my best to direct it your way!

I'm looking forward to your comments on Five Days at Memorial since so many LTers have loved that book.

I hope you get some good reading in this weekend since it sounds like your housebound.

Mar 2, 2014, 1:13am Top

Hi Janet. Yikes, scary weather 'round your parts.

Mar 2, 2014, 8:15am Top

Stay warm, Janet.

Edited: Mar 2, 2014, 9:52am Top

Thanks Pat, Stephanie & Lor.

Pat, I'm hoping the fact that you are having good weather is a good omen for my
weather, too.

I think Five Days at Memorial was absolutely great. It's tipped into my 'everybody should read this book' category.

We had snow 26 out of 28 days in February. The snow and temperatures are really unusual- we're breaking all sorts of records.

87 year old Mom is feeling very house bound although she has wonderful neighbors who help her with errands and snow shovelling. I'll need to get groceries for the two of us later today. I was hoping she'd be able to come with me, but we're still in the teens today, so she probably won't venture out.

And now I'm worrying what it will be like as it melts. The only way to have flood insurance is through the federal government. There is only one flood insurance agent in all of Montana according to the government site which also says my area is being adjusted and flood insurance rates are currently not available. The insurance takes 30 days to go into effect.

All of which makes my stomach hurt. But I did send an email to the agent.

Mar 2, 2014, 10:03am Top

>110 streamsong: avalanche
Well that's something that doesn't happen around here. What a frightening experience.

>114 streamsong: 87 year old Mom is feeling very house bound
I can imagine. Things here are unpleasant but comparatively tame, and just a walk through the neighborhood is fraught with peril, stretches of lumpy ice and mounds with narrow passages. I don't think my mother could manage.

Mar 2, 2014, 11:22am Top

Janet, I hope the floods stay away from you forever! But I also hope the flood insurance guy gets it together, and that the rates are affordable. I also hope that this winter has one good side to it, perhaps your mother will decide to move to where she can get more help and support.

I am spending today trying to catch up with myself: laundry, cooking, reading, and trying to get a grip on how the storage shed can be full and yet accessible. Lucky me there is a young man who will help me (for a small price). One side effect of my having moved back into my old neighborhood is that I can get help more easily. I found a guy who will give me an estimate on rebuilding my deck without spending all the gold in the US. Mint. And a friend gave me a referral to an excellent landscaping company who will help me keep up with a landscaping plan which results in lots of leaves, bushes needing trimming, and weeds popping up along paths. Yay for finding people who are willing to help me, who are competenet, and who do not charge too much.

I hope your Sunday is excellent, too! Academy Awards?

Mar 2, 2014, 1:46pm Top

>110 streamsong: That avalange thing sounds really horrible. I hope the rescued people will get better soon.

The maybe-flood thing is horrible too, of course. I hope it won't be that bad.

Mar 2, 2014, 4:03pm Top

Hello Karen, Lor and Connie Thanks for stopping by!

The flood insurance is a worst-case scenario what-if type thing. It's hard to say what will happen - it will all depend on whether the snow melts off quickly or slowly. It's definitely time to start thinking about it. I don't purchase it every year. The last time I did, it was about $1000, I think.

Mom is now saying she is anxious to move into senior living. I hope that is true once the snow melts!

The avalanche was apparently caused by a snowboarder. The area is closed during the winter as it is crucial winter elk habitat; however, there were snowboarders and sledders on the lower slopes during the day since schools and the U were closed for the blizzard. It's hard to blame the snowboarder. An avalanche has **never** happened before in Missoula's history. It could just as easily been triggered by elk or a gust of wind.

DD's apartment is at the bottom of another mountain that has also been closed now due to avalanche danger. Her building is not the closest to the mountain, but still a worry.

Mar 2, 2014, 4:08pm Top

And a few reviews:

14. Hosea/Joel/Amos (People's Bible Commentary Series) - Paul E. Eickmann

How It fits Into My Current Reading:

--Personal Reading through the Bible with commentaries challenge - see post 94.
--Feb TIOLI #1- library of the LT member with the greatest weighted number of books which match your own; (due to my having this series, most of my heaviest weighted similar libraries belong to Lutheran Churches :-) )
-- ROOT pre 2006 = 8 Root points

Since I'm not a Biblical scholar, I make no attempt to rate these, or even comment on them.

Mar 2, 2014, 4:19pm Top

16. - Five Days at Memorial - Sheri Fink -
How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

-- Read primarily due to the buzz about this book here on LT
--February TIOLI #7 - remove a book from your physical presence when you are done reading;
--audiobook in the car; library

There were no mandatory evacuation orders for hospitals when Hurricane Katrina headed for New Orleans. Staff and patients as well as family members and pets hunkered down for the storm at Memorial Hospital and breathed a sigh of relief when the hurricane passed over.

But then the levees guarding the city were breeched and massive flooding ensued. Memorial Hospital's back up generators located in the basement were soon underwater leaving critical life support machines unusable.

Doctors, nurses and staff performed heroically. But the rescue efforts were in chaos and time and time again outside help failed to materialize. Chaos reigned within the hospital, too, partly due to a lack of communication between Memorial and LifeCare, a hospital-within-a-hospital intensive care unit that was separately owned and operated by another corporation. In addition, one building continued to have power and air conditioning—that used by the administrative staff who, during the crises, occasionally made coffee for the medical staff.

On the morning of the fifth day, however, as rescue was being provided in earnest, medical staff decided that some patients were too sick to move and gave them doses of medicine designed to ease them into death. All of the patients had Do Not Resusitate orders. Some of them were clearly dying. Others, however, were still alert and oriented. One woman was forced at gunpoint to leave her ill but alert mother to find that her mother had been euthanized later that same day. One man was paralyzed, but due to his extreme weight was thought to be too hard to evacuate. Another patient complained “it burns' when given the lethal dose.

One doctor and two nurses were charged with murder. I won't say how the trial turned out, but the author shows that some similar mistakes were made in Hurricane Sandy and the Haitian earthquake.

This book needs to be read by everyone. I do believe that the doctors thought they were doing the right thing. However, I also agree strongly with the author's viewpoint that medical ethics and the decisions made in times of disaster need to be policies previously made by the public and medical personnel and not by tired, stressed out, sleep-deprived doctors playing god in the midst of a crises.

Mar 2, 2014, 5:01pm Top

What an eye-opening book and how hard on the medical personnel to be placed in the position that they felt they had to make such life and death decisions.

Mar 2, 2014, 5:02pm Top

Great review of Five Days at Memorial, Janet! I'm off to give it a thumb.

Edited: Mar 3, 2014, 5:01pm Top

16. The Lives of Girls and Women - Alice Munro
How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

- February selection for my RL Book Club;
- 1001 Books to Read Before You Die
- purchased 2014

Del Jordan is growing up in small town Ontario in the late 1940's/ early 50's. She has an eclectic mother, a fox-farming taciturn father, a keen intelligence and curiosity and last but not least a bookish streak that many of the other citizens fail to appreciate.

World War II is over, but little has changed in Del's world. Girls are still expected to get married although a few each year go on to 'normal' school for teachers. Del develops bigger dreams as she gets through adolescent scrapes, puppy love, a bit of abuse by a family friend, finds and loses religion and awakens to her sexuality. Her journey isn't a straight line; at the end you know that even though she isn't quite where she planned to be, this is one young lady who is going to be all right.

This book absolutely spoke to me as she described a girl's coming of age experiences with wit, humor and wonderful turns in the story.

Munro won the Nobel prize for literature this year. Her acceptance speech is here:

Although this is described as Munro's only novel, it is also described as a short story cycle with each chapter being able to stand on its own.

Highly recommended. I'll be looking for more by Munro.

Edited: Mar 3, 2014, 5:04pm Top

>121 Familyhistorian: Thanks for stopping by. Memorial is one of those books that really challenged and even ultimately changed some of my life views.

>122 phebj: Thanks, Pat. I don't know if I'll actually post that one, since Memorial seems to be so well-reviewed already. But I appreciate your complement very much.

I'm home for the afternoon, I guess. In a bizarre twist, we now have 50 degree weather and rain resulting in a sea of slush. My car is thoroughly stuck at the end of my driveway. I have my battery charger plugged into my four wheel drive truck, which un-helpfully lost battery power during the storms.

Mar 4, 2014, 8:33am Top

I hope the slush will disappear soon and the battery gets charged alright.

I love the sound of the Munro book.

Mar 4, 2014, 8:58am Top

Janet, stopping by to see how you are managing with all this stupid weather challenge. We are experiencing days in a row of rain, sometime a lot of rain. Maybe the clouds will drop most of it here, and you will not get all that much, but on the other hand.... maybe it is time for warmer temps and some liquid precipitation, rather than snow and ice.

Hope you are doing OK.

Mar 4, 2014, 8:59am Top

Thanks for the good wishes, Connie! I got the truck charged and dug out as the plow guy had left some snow piled behind it. It's not quite light outside yet, but it stayed above freezing all night. Hopefully enough snow has melted that I can get the car unstuck from blocking my driveway. The snow plows went by on the road just before dark last evening so that should be good, too.

I saw a flock of twenty snow-shocked robins in Mom's yard over the weekend. Every time the sun comes out, the birds start madly singing even with the drifts below them.

Lives of Girls and Women was amazing. It was surprising but delightful to have two such wonderful reads in a row.

Mar 4, 2014, 9:01am Top

Hi Karen--thanks for stopping by. Rain is forecast here for the rest of the week, too. Flood insurance contact has not gotten back to me. I'll try to pursue that more today. The snow pack in the mountains is 147% of normal right now.

Mar 4, 2014, 12:55pm Top

>127 streamsong: Keep us posted on the car things.

Mar 5, 2014, 9:00pm Top

Checking in, sorry to hear of your Weather Woes.

Any answer about the flood insurance?

Mar 8, 2014, 9:30am Top

>129 connie53: >130 fuzzi: Connie and Lor--Thanks for stopping in.

Most of the snow has melted and we've had a few spring-like days. In fact, I saw a crocus blooming in town at the house where crocus always seem to bloom the first week of March. Wow- last week almost two feet of snow and 0 temperatures; this week is spring!

There has been local flooding, but I'm pretty safe from all that. Although the forecast is for an inch of rain Sunday night so we'll see what that does.

My flooding concern is with the spring run-off which usually peaks in May and early June. The Skalkaho Creek Drainage where I live now has 152% of average snowpack. I worked on getting flood insurance in place this week; hopefully I will get it accomplished this next week. I'm still easily within the time frame if it needs to be in place thirty days before the event.

Here's a pic showing how close the creek is to the house - but you'll also see a large built up berm between creek and house - and the angle of this pic is a little off, making the creek appear closer than it actually is:

An apartment has come up for Mom in the retirement center. It's very small, but very very clean. It has a small kitchen but they get two meals a day with a nice selection and a salad and soup bar. They have activiites every day and Mom has a nodding acquaintance with a few people that live there. I so hope she takes this!

Edited: Mar 9, 2014, 11:58am Top

I haven't finished up reviewing my February books yet, so I'll get started:

17. The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon - Alexander Mccall Smith
How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

- audiobook in the car; -
- Rec'd 2013 = ROOT challenge; = 1 ROOT point;

This is the 14th installment of the No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.

I enjoy this series. The characters are quirky and fun, and the Botswana society interesting.

In this installment Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi tackle change. Their personal and professional lives are changing as is Botswana itself. What is traditional that should be kept? When is modern better?

All this and two fun mysteries, too: one involving a smear campaign against the Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon and one involving a mysterious heir. The mysteries are light comfort-food cozies served with lots of Botswana savor. As usual, they have enough of a twist that the solution is never obvious.

As I received a copy of the audiobook to review, I’d like to say that I love the reader, Lisette Lecat, who brings a perfect voice to complement the story.

If you need a bit of pleasant escapism, I recommend this series.

Mar 8, 2014, 10:03am Top

18. - Stop Being Mean to Yourself - Melodie Beattie
How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

GeoCat - North Africa - Algeria, Egypt;
TIOLI # 15 personal story/memoir;
ROOT acquired 2009

Several years ago I read a couple of Melodie Beattie's books on co-dependency. I thought them thought provoking, so I picked this up at a library sale - where it has languished for several years on Planet TBR. For the northern Africa GeoCat challenge, I chose the oldest book I had with the proper setting.

This is a personal memoir of Beattie's. It journals a physical as well as a psychological and spiritual journey.

In 1996, Beattie was moved by the site of a crescent moon and star in the sky to travel to northern Africa. She landed in Casablanca which she found impenetrable. She then moved on, against much advice, to worn-torn and hostile Algeria. Miraculously, she found a guide who was willing to share with her some of the history and culture of this war ravaged country.

Finally, she went to Egypt. Again, she found a guide who showed her the beauty of his culture, brought her into his home, and arranged for her to meditate in a pyramid so she could feel its power.

I enjoyed the descriptions of northern Africa, especially those of Algeria, which due to sanctions, is mysterious to many westerners. It was interesting to see Beattie's moments of spiritual clarity and growth of independence. The book was a fairly interesting, quick read, but definitely didn't offer any life changing bits to me. This is one I'll set free.

Edited: Mar 9, 2014, 12:12pm Top

19.- Om-Kas-Toe: Blackfeet Twin Captures an Elkdog - Kenneth Thomasma
How It Fits Into My Current Reading

- February RandomCat -Children's Book
- 10. Read a book with a species of animal that you have owned as a pet in the title
- ROOT #15. Acquired 2007 = 7 ROOT points

When my kids were in grade school, author Kenneth Thomasma would make appearances at the school, talk about his series of books about Indian children and have copies of his books available as a fundraiser. My daughter, especially, enjoyed his books and I read the ones that the kids purchased. I picked this one up at a library sale as I had not read it.

But when I heard Sherman Alexie speak last year and then checked out Alexie's blog, I was led to a blogger that listed Thomasma as a white author not respected by Native Americans as he portrayed how 'whites think Indians should act' instead of how they really act.

So when the challenge came up to read a children's book, I pulled this one off the shelf.

It's historical fiction, set in the 1700's in Montana at a time when the Blackfeet Indians first saw and obtained horses or 'elkdogs' which is a translation of the Blackfeet word.

I found a lively adventure that I enjoyed. At birth, the girl twin is supposed to be put to death, but the mother convinces the elders to let her keep both babies. The boy twin especially becomes an asset to the tribe, with a pet raven who helps the tribe out on several occasions with finding game and a lost baby. Eventually, the girl twin finds and captures a stray horse with the help of her brother. All of this is mixed with the day to day activities of the tribe and some skirmishes with enemy tribes.

Improbable? Probably, but then many kids' adventures books are. I felt the Blackfeet tribe was in no way disrespected, but I'll definitely keep the comments of the blogger in mind.

I plan on listening to Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian as a counterpoint to this one.

Mar 8, 2014, 11:16am Top

I am crossing my fingers for your Mom, that she finds this apartment sufficiently to her liking, and that she will move in to it. I know it will be a relief to you both. Also, crossing my fingers that any flooding will stay away from your door.

Mar 8, 2014, 1:25pm Top

I hope your mom will take the apartment! It sounds great with the food provided and the activities!

>131 streamsong: That creek is very near your house, Janet. Is the flood coming from water from mountains upstream? Because I know what you mean with that. Although Holland is fairly flat some of the European rivers end here in the Northsea (Rhine, Maas). When the snow in the mountains of Switerland and France is melting in the spring, we have floods too!

Edited: Mar 9, 2014, 11:46am Top

>135 maggie1944: - Thanks for the good wishes, Karen! It's a real balancing act. She takes any encouragement as being pushed; and then she'll do exactly the opposite. My kids came down from Missoula yesterday to a nearby small town and we had a belated birthday lunch (due to the weather) at an Italian restaurant. She talks as though she's made the decision to move, but had no desire to show them the apartment. The kids drove Grandma home and I drove on in to Missoula for a hair appointment. Drama free afternoon!

>136 connie53: -Connie, yes exactly. There is half again as much snow as usual in the mountains where this creek begins. Snowpack is 152% of normal.

And now I finally finished my first book for March - an audiobook of Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith in the car in my drive to Missoula and back yesterday.

I started the audiobook of Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian as a counterpoint to the children's book, Om-Kas-Toe which I reviewed above. Wow--very grim beginning.

Mar 9, 2014, 11:30am Top

What did you think of "Under the Banner...."? I thought it was quite interesting and thought of Krakauer's efforts?

Mar 9, 2014, 11:48am Top

>131 streamsong: An apartment has come up for Mom in the retirement center.
>137 streamsong: It's a real balancing act.
Hope you can get that balancing act right...

>134 streamsong: how 'whites think Indians should act' instead of how they really act
Romanticized? Coopted to tell a colorful or exotic story?

Mar 9, 2014, 12:11pm Top

>138 maggie1944: I think that's absolutely it, Katherine. I've listened to just the opening part of The True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and his story of growing up Indian in the modern age is pretty brutal next to the romanticized Om-Kas-Toe. Although I have no doubt that the lives of the native kids growing up in the 1700's pre-white man was much different than growing up on the res.

Many of the copies of Om-Kas-Toe seem to have the tag 'Sonshine' which is a reading list for a nationwide Christian homeschool.

Mar 9, 2014, 12:36pm Top

Hope your mother decides soon...it can't be easy for her, either.

And I pray that you won't need the flood insurance...perhaps if the melt is more gradual?

I picked up My Life as an Indian; it's on my TBR list. It looks to be more authentic as it was written by someone who lived the life. How do the Conrad Richter books do on the authentic scale, do you know?

Edited: Mar 9, 2014, 12:59pm Top

>141 fuzzi: Lor, I don't know about My Life as an Indian, although I also have that book on Planet TBR.

I did find the blog with a native view of Thomasma if anyone is interested: http://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/2007/05/kenneth-thomasm...

Mar 9, 2014, 1:23pm Top

>140 streamsong: When I lived in Bellingham WA, I had an acquaintance who was Lummi and in college for elementary education certification. When she did her student teaching stint, she was all excited because the class would be focusing on Native American Awareness Month. She offered to teach the kids a game. The teacher vetoed her idea because it was “gambling”. She offered to read the kids a story about an Indian (note to PCers: her preferred word) boy who was teased for his hair and had to decide whether to leave it long or get it cut. The teacher vetoed her idea because it was too controversial. The Awareness was entirely historical. Here was a real live Indian, enthusiastic to share her life, and she wasn’t allowed to contribute. The attitude, she said, was that she should have ceased to exist 100 years before.

Edited: Mar 9, 2014, 1:55pm Top

>143 qebo: That's a horrible story, Katherine! It sounds strange to say it, but thank you for sharing it.

I think the Native American/Indian terminology PC is more complicated than that and varies between areas, tribes and individuals. Some prefer one, some the other. I tend to use neither in person, but when you're writing, well it can be a coin toss.

Mar 9, 2014, 2:11pm Top

>144 streamsong: An ideal is the specific tribe or nation, but this may be unknown or genealogically complicated. Anything else comes along with baggage: an error, a generalization lumping together many different cultures, a political stance...

Mar 9, 2014, 7:05pm Top

>137 streamsong: & >138 maggie1944:
Janet & Karen,
I enjoy Krakauer's work. Under the Banner startled me to say the least. Even more startling was that it happened so close to where family was living at the time.

Mar 9, 2014, 9:41pm Top

I enjoy Krakauer's work also but I think Under the Banner of Heaven was not a favorite. I have lost my tolerance for reading about violence as I've aged. I have had enough for one life time I think.

Mar 10, 2014, 8:32am Top

Stupid clock did not reset to daylight saving time yesterday so I set it forward one hour. And then .... during the night it decided to move itself forward again so I am now up two hours early. Think of everything I'll get done before work! But I'll be tired this evening.

Whoops, Karen, I missed your earlier message. I enjoyed the book if enjoyed is the right word. I'm working on a review in m head. But, psychopath meets splinter religion (I had no idea there were over 230 different splinter Mormon groups) meets direct revelation from God is a bad combination.

Later today, I'm going to pick up the audiobook of Going Clear about Scientology for the Science Religion and History group read. I think it covers some of the same issues with cults that UtBoH brought up, so it should be interesting.

Mar 10, 2014, 9:12am Top

>148 streamsong: Going Clear
I picked this up at the train station on my way home Saturday. Not sure when I'll get to it, but I have aspirations for March. I can imagine connections to Under the Banner of Heaven, but I read that too many years ago to remember.

Mar 10, 2014, 4:14pm Top

>148 streamsong:
Janet .... stupid clock

I may add Going Clear to the infernal wish list. I have a friend who is a Scientologiist. He's pretty circumspect about it so I haven't asked WTH he is thinking.

As you can tell from my readings, religions fascinate me.

Mar 12, 2014, 9:13am Top

>149 qebo: Katherine I picked it up today from the library. Eeek - 17.5 hours on CD. My commuting time is about an hour a day. Guess that takes care of the rest of the month, although being a new purchase I can only keep it for 14 days, unless no one else has it requested. Or I cheat a bit.

I'll start it today after I finish my audio of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian which, btw, Alexie reads.

>150 AuntieClio: Stephanie Have you looked into the Science Religion and History thread here on the 75'ers? Here's the main thread:

And here's the thread for the group read, Going Clear http://www.librarything.com/topic/169093

Mar 16, 2014, 7:26pm Top

Starting the March reviews:

20. Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith - Jon Krakauer
How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

- audiobook in the car -
- March TIOLI #8: Read a book about an injustice (misogyny, violence against women) -
- ROOT acquired 2013 = 1 ROOT point

In 1984, brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty murdered their younger brother's wife, Belinda Lafferty as well as her 18 month old daughter. Two additional men waited in the car. Many other people, including Belinda's husband Allen Laffterty, had heard that there was a plot afoot.

The brothers believed that they had direct orders from God to execute Belinda since she had encouraged her sister-in-law to take her children and leave an abusive marriage. The baby daughter was executed so 'she wouldn't grow up to be a bitch like her mother.'

Author Jon Krakauer shows how the brothers' belief in their cult-like splinter of mainline Mormonism seemed to give them the authority to commit the act. Krakauer relates quite a bit of history of the Mormon religion; from its charismatic and rather strange and bloody beginnings, to the present when more than 230 Mormon splinter groups exist.

I enjoyed the look at Mormonism in general and the splinter groups in particular as well as some of the background on belief systems within cults. The crime itself was bloody. The interview with Dan Lafferty where he maintains this murder as justifiable execution is chilling.

Mar 16, 2014, 7:44pm Top

21. The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
How It Fits Into My Current Reading

- February Green Dragon Group Read;
- March TIOLI #2 -word suggesting an end in the title (destination)
- purchased 2014

Gulliver (Gully) Foyle finds himself as the sole survivor adrift on a ruined spaceship. After weeks by himself, he miraculously sees another ship approaching. Although he signals it and is sure he has been seen, the ship does not pick him up and leaves him to his fate.

After Gully manages to survive against all odds, he is obsessed with revenge against the person who gave the order to pass him by.

This is a world where humanity has unlocked the secrets of teleportation. Pursued by several different factions that are desparate to retrieve an item locked in the ship's safe, Gully uses prison time to become educated, retrieves a treasure and sets out for revenge.

This is one of the masterworks of science fiction first published in the 1950's. The story, in many ways a retelling of the Count of Monte Cristo, was decent enough and the world-building thorough.

Masterwork or not, however, this just did not quite for me, partly due to a scene of casual rape.

I'm glad to have read it due to it's position in the cannon of Science Fiction history. I'll give it

Mar 16, 2014, 7:53pm Top

22. - John (People's Bible Commentary) - Gary P Baumler
How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

- Personal challenge to read through the Bible with commentaries (see post >94 streamsong:)
- ROOT # 17; Acquired pre-2006 = 8 ROOT points.
- Possible reread(?)
- RandomCat: Read a book with a bird on the cover

Lent is a great time of the year to reread the gospels. My (very slow) reading of The New Testament and the People of God by N.T. Wright is giving me a lot of insight into the timeperiod and the commentaries.

Mar 17, 2014, 9:26am Top

23. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie
How It Fits Into My Current Readiing

- audiobook in the car;
- Feb RandomCat (award winning YA book) that I didn't get to in time;
- March TIOLI #8 Read a book about an injustice (poverty, racism);
- library

Arnold Spirit. Jr. was born on the Spokane Reservation. He wasn't expected to survive the hydrocephaly he was born with. But survive he did through the operations and then the subsequent seizures and stuttering which he eventually outgrew. Although picked on by the other kids, he grew strong and observant. When his teacher handed out battered copies of a geometry book, Arnold opened it to find his mother had used it thirty used before. It was a turning point in Arnold's life.

Determined to get a good education, he enrolled in the Reardan High School, which although just outside the boundaries of the Rez, was twenty two miles from his home. His Dad didn't always have money for gas to take him so he hitchhiked, caught rides and occasionally walked. There wasn't always food in the house for breakfast and there sure wasn't spare money for dates and proms.

But what there was in the house was a lot of support from his parents and his beloved grandmother.
Arnold negotiates the pitfalls of adolescence along with the jibes and racism of the all white student body; the alcoholism and poverty of the Rez, and the urgings of almost all of his fellow Spokanes to quit turning his back on his tribe and to return to his roots. He finds his way, not merely surviving but thriving. He comes to see that no matter where he is, he can be a member of many tribes - his home Spokane tribe as well as the tribes of basketball playing, joke loving teenagers and those who love books and studying. Being a member of one tribes doesn't mean you've left others behind.

Alexie does all this with a great deal of insight and humor as he shows his readers the absurdities and hearbreak of life both on and off the Rez.

This book was read by Alexie. At first I didn't care for the style - Alexie reads it with the reservation accent and the deadpan delivery of jokes characteristic of Native American Indians. But as my ear attuned, I grew to love it and can't imagine it being read any other way.

On a personal note, I can't believe the number of places that he spoke about where I've lived and how Alexie's characterizations nailed them all. XDH was the newspaper editor at Reardan's rival, Davenport (Go Lady Gorillas!) as well as on the Flathead Rez where Arnold's sister moved. I worked at the hospital in Polson, the town that tried to secede from the Rez; there I saw way too many victims of horrific car crashes involving alcohol. It was an amazing look at the world I thought I was familiar with from a totally different view.

This YA book moved into my list of

Mar 17, 2014, 3:02pm Top

Janet, how fun to have the chance to see that world from an entirely different point of view. I think Alexie is brilliant, and fun, too.

Edited: Mar 17, 2014, 4:36pm Top

>156 maggie1944: Thanks for stopping, by Karen. I've been enjoying Alexie's books, too. At the reading I attended last fall, he read some of his poetry. I haven't tried any of that, but I do try to read a poetry book or two each year and the April 'RandomCat' category is poetry .... so Mr Alexie's poetry may turn up sooner than later.

On the other hand, it's also 'Atwood April' here on the 75 and I really enjoyed her book of poetry Morning in the Burned House that I read last year. So I'm also leaning toward more of her poetry, too.

And on the third hand I've also brought home three books of poetry that my father's uncle had published after serving in WWI. Guess I'm the new guardian of Great Uncle Frank's books.

One way or the other, I see poetry in April.

Mar 21, 2014, 9:38pm Top

Catching up on threads here, and am intrigued by #23...

...thanks, I think? ;)

Edited: Mar 22, 2014, 2:32pm Top

>158 fuzzi: Hi Lor, thanks for stopping by. Yes, I enjoyed it. There's a short bit in the front about masturbation (hey it's a 14 year old boy) that makes some teachers wary of using it in their classrooms, according to the comments on the Amazon reviews. Skip over if you like and definitely read the rest of it.

Are you guys familiar with donorschoose.org ? It's a place where teachers can request donations for specific needs for their classrooms. I first heard about it when one of the teachers here on LT had a project there for her special needs class. Since then, several of the local schools have used it to raise money for musical instruments, trips and smartboards.

Anyway I searched on 'reservation' to see what the needs were. There were requests for a lot of basic needs like books, including The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian. There was also one reservation school requesting pencils.


And a pencil sharpener.

Actually when I went back to look again, I searched on pencils and found there are a dozen or so of poor non-reservation schools also needing pencils.

The way schools are funded in the US is totally unfair.

Mar 22, 2014, 2:44pm Top

I agree. In Washington State the state constitution makes education the paramount duty of the state, and even so the school districts rely on local property taxes, with some state added funds, to pay for the public schools. So municipalities with large industrial base in their taxing jurisdiction can raise more money easily, and those with lower and moderate income people living on land have great difficulty.


Mar 22, 2014, 3:36pm Top

When the NC lottery was pushed through the legislature and signed by the governor a few years ago, they claimed it would be for "education".

So when there were talks of teacher layoffs and budget cuts, it was asked "where's the lottery money?" Oh, no one seems to be able to answer the question.

Thieves, robbers, reprobates...aka "politicians"...

Mar 22, 2014, 6:47pm Top

>159 streamsong: The way schools are funded in the US sucks with a long straw.
It sure does. During my brief stint of teaching in a public high school, each teacher was issued a few dozen pencils for the first standardized test of the year. By the time the next standardized test rolled around several months later, my pencils were gone (given to students who arrived without them) and I requested another set. Nope. They were supposed to last for the entire year. Sheesh. Early in the year each teacher was given 2 reams of paper. Figure 5 classes of 25-30 students each, and imagine how long this would last. Teachers would buy their own and keep secret stashes.

Mar 22, 2014, 8:09pm Top

I taught in many a school where foolish Principals open the stock room at the beginning of the year and the experienced teachers would raid the room, and the newbies were left without. Also, I once was hired to teach self contained 6th grade and walked into a room without anything. No books, no nothing, no curriculum even! That was not a fun year!

Mar 22, 2014, 8:31pm Top

>163 maggie1944: Oh, the stock room. I spent more time on breaks running around trying to find someone who had a key and was willing to let me in. Ridiculous. Easier to stop by the office supply store on my way home.

Mar 22, 2014, 8:35pm Top

Yup. I ended up with the "its easy to buy it myself" attitude. And now in retirement, I'm still wondering who could use the two or three staplers I have, and how about all the empty three ring binders....

Life is funny.

Mar 24, 2014, 8:53am Top

My mother was both a librarian and previously, a teacher. She loved going to rummage sales to pick up used kids' books for the library and teacher classrooms and would also pick up other school supplies to share. It just sees to be part of the teacher's lot in life, unfair as it is to the teachers.

Recently, when I cleaned out a cupboard, I had quite a pile of construction paper from when my daughter was little. I dropped it off at the k/1st grade building and they acted happy to see it.

But I think, in the severely underfunded schools, the lack of supplies is probably even greater as parents aren't able to provide school supplies for their kids.

Edited: Mar 24, 2014, 8:59am Top

24. Dakota by Gwen Florio
How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

-LTER 2014;
TIOLI #9 - Read a book whose title's initial letter spells out DAYLIGHT, on a rolling basis

n the first book of this series, journalist Lola Wicks has became a reporter on a small town Montana newspaper after being downsized from her job on a large paper as a war correspondent in Afghanistan. The story line of this sequel is much darker than the first as the subject it deals with is prostitution and sex slavery.

Continuing in Montana as a reporter, Lola is on the scene when a Blackfeet girl is found dead in a snowbank. When roughnecks traveling through town from the oil patch fracking boom in North Dakota identify the girl as having been a prostitute in the oil patch, Lola's instincts are aroused. She believes the girl's death is related to the disappearances of several other Blackfeet girls.

Forbidden to investigate by her boss, Lola is able instead to convince him that she should do a story on the good paying jobs in North Dakota's oil patch boom and the affect it has on their own Montana small town and the Blackfeet reservation.

Using this as a cover story, Lola is investigates the girls' disappearances as she visits one of the wild-west-like man-camps of the boom, where thousands of men work in very tight quarters, even sleeping in shifts in available beds. Lola, of course, finds more than she bargained for.

Once again, I felt the climax of the novel tipped into the unbelievable and I was irritated that clever Lola Wicks had blindly gotten herself into a situation requiring rescue in the damsel-in-distress-saved-by=hero motif. Although explanations after the climax made the event a bit less unlikely, I still much prefer heroines that save themselves. I hope Lola Wicks lives long enough to shed a bit of her investigative naivete; those in real life that blunder into bad situations don't often get the coincidental save.

Although the second in a series, this one works as a stand alone book. Like the first in the series, this one has wonderful detail about an interesting setting. It's the author's descriptive voice about the setting and the people who live there that will keep me continuing with this series.

Edited: Mar 24, 2014, 4:24pm Top

Interestingly enough, my daughter is helping to put together a conference for the UM's Mansfield Center on sex slavery and trafficking. I asked her if it was a problem in this area of Montana. Her reply was that it is, especially with Native American girls and the fracking boom in North Dakota. So the above book was relevant from a current event's standpoint, even if a bit unbelievable in the climax.

Mar 26, 2014, 7:25pm Top

>168 streamsong: Wow, I never would have guess that this was a problem in Montana, of all places!

Mar 28, 2014, 2:11pm Top

How are things, Janet?

Edited: Mar 30, 2014, 11:20am Top

>169 scaifea: Thanks for stopping by! DD's workplace is a liaison for conferences and education in Southeast Asia, which is definitely the area I think about when I hear the phrase sex trafficking. I was also interested to learn it's a Montana problem.

>170 connie53: Hi Connie thanks for stopping by.

Things are going well-ish.

Mom will be moving into the retirement village on the 15th. It's a really big step and she is alternately stressed, depressed and looking forward to it. I'm worried that she maybe should be going into assisted living instead since her RA is getting very bad. She is walking less and less all the time. She is continuing the house cleanout.

I'm being less help than I should since work is insanely busy. I get home exhausted and go in most weekends. I'm taking a week off starting April 11th; the post-doc I'm working for will have to deal. (Post docs have their PHD's and then come to our lab for an additional 3-5 years training in research. Most go on to have their own labs or University positions). Unfortunately, they are very impatient to get work done and published and don't see why technicians can't put in insane hours.

DD showed up unexpectedly last evening and spent the night. One of her very best high school buddies lost her brother yesterday. He's been having minor seizures since being in a car wreck a while back. He was at an out of town job site, apparently had a seizure in the shower and died. He was only 27 and leaves a three year old son.

I finished Quiet for my RL book club and also All the Pretty Horses. I thought I'd get caught up on reviews this weekend, do taxes and finish another book or two I have in progress. Ain't gonna happen.

Mar 30, 2014, 12:31pm Top

Wow, girl, you've got a lot going on. Please, remember to take care of yourself. You know: put the oxygen mask over your face first, and then help your children, parents, and post-doc colleagues.

Mar 30, 2014, 4:03pm Top

>171 streamsong: Mom will be moving into the retirement village on the 15th.
Well that sounds like progress, even if the transition is difficult. Does the retirement village have an assisted living component?

Mar 31, 2014, 9:15am Top

Hi Karen -- Thanks for stopping by and your concern. I am getting a bit close to burnout.

I ended up having a nice day yesterday with DD popping in and out while spending time with her friend and friend's family. DD diagnosed my computer's sound problem and bought new cables and speakers for it. She helped me trim a lot of low hanging tree branches (weather-wise we're far enough behind you that our trees don't have leaves yet) and helped replace those pesky outdoor light bulbs that require climbing up on ladders. We took Mom out for a quick lunch. While DD was gone, I sorted through tax stuff a bit - starting is always the hardest for me.

I use my pump house as cold storage during the winter - the heater keeps it just above freezing. That ends when the warmer weather comes. There are old apple orchards throughout the valley and I had bought a 40 pound box of apples last fall when the weather got cold enough to put them in the pump house. So I also made a crock pot full of apple sauce yesterday and may do another today to take to a pot luck tonight.

>173 qebo: Katherine, it's nice to see you as always. The retirement village has some assisted living units, but they have more people that need them than they have units available. Once she's a resident at the village, she can get on the list for assisted living.

My 'vacation' will start on the 11th with taking her to Missoula to her rheumatologist. She wants to go to her favorite furniture store there and look for a new chair which I take as a good sign. The large AAUW book sale is also there that weekend, so I'll at least pop in and check it out.

Edited: Mar 31, 2014, 10:33am Top

I hope her rheumatologist has some good ideas. Mine started me on some new drugs last week and so far, so good. I have a little residual tenderness in my left wrist but for the most part I'm feeling better, and do not feel any pain in any of the other suspect joints. I'm most interested in less fatigue, and less low level depression. I can definitely do without those two culprits.

I hope this transition for your Mother goes well for her and that she is able to find some good time of relaxed living, with people to take care of what needs to be taken care of. And not more than that.

Mar 31, 2014, 11:59am Top

Janet, I am sorry life is stressful for you these days. Maybe things will settle down when your mother gets settled in. Enjoy your respite from work, although it doesn't sound like you will get much rest. I hope you snag some good books about the book sale! That was very sad about your daughter's friend. At least it gave her an occasion to visit you and give you some needed help. It's always a good thing when We get to see our kids!

Apr 2, 2014, 12:20am Top

Janet, I wanted to say thank you for your suggestion to get My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk for my Thingadingy next month. It looks really interesting.

Edited: Apr 2, 2014, 12:55pm Top

>175 maggie1944: Thanks, Karen. One of the biggest challenges is all those books from their library (which still includes some of my childhood favorites) that want to come live at my house!

>176 Donna828: Hi Donna! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, it was wonderful to have DD show up. I wish she could do it more often.

>177 AuntieClio: I hope you enjoy it, Stephanie! I have been very remiss about reading translated works this year - mostly because I'm working on the older books from MT TBR, I guess. I do have another Pamuk residing there, The Black Book, which I plan on reading later this year.

For this month I've got a translated book called The Property by Rutu Modan requested from the library. That one's actually a graphic novel (I've been reading a couple of them a year). I've read some great reviews and I'm looking forward to it.

Edited: Apr 5, 2014, 9:54am Top

25. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

-March RL book club
-purchased 2014

One third to one half of people are introverts. In the American culture, this trait is not always valued as Cain demonstrates in her opening chapter using the highly charged environment of the Harvard Business School to make her point.

According to Cain, one of the defining characteristic of being an introvert is whether whether you recharge your energy by having some alone time or by being with other people. Cain explores various aspects of being an introvert, including leadership, coping, wearing a mask in public, being an effective leader and even the scientific studies, (more reactive to external stimuli, different protein produced in response to stimuli).

As an introvert who had done some previous reading in this area (Elaine Aron's The Highly Sensitive Person), none of this was especially new to me. However, the book drew twice as many people to the library book club as had ever been there before; many of them brand new members. There were lots of comments, - mostly by extroverts. Some of them were offended by the book's characterization of negative traits of extroverts; others thought the book was a revelation and bought copies to share with their introverted friends and offspring and their children's teachers.

Somehow I missed the epiphany here.

Edited: Apr 5, 2014, 11:19am Top

26. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

- March American Author's Challenge
- March TIOLI #3 - Read a Book that has a word in the title that starts with a vowel'
- Geo Cat Challenge: Mexico and the Caribbean
- 1001 Books
- library

This was a very enjoyable read, the first novel I've read by McCarthy.

It's the story of two boys, who in 1949 ride their horses into Mexico, looking for a bit of adventure and the old time romantic cowboy life. They found more than they bargained for.

I found the writing beautiful and the story un-put-down-able.

Truthfully, I did put it down at one point when it got a bit intense, even though this one has the reputation of being much less violent and bloody than McCarthy's other books, including the others in this trilogy. But I soon picked it back up and soldiered on, too enthralled by book to let it go into the 'finish it later' pile. And yeah, I shed actual, real tears for the protagonist in the final chapter as he rode on past the oil wells and into his quest for the old ways.

I'm pretty jaded with authors getting details about horses so wrong. I liked McCarthy's writing about horses - neither over romanticized nor over brutalized but with a solid understanding of cowboying. Most surprising detail? A minor point where John Grady Cole is talking bloodlines and the ones he mentions are actually the bloodlines of the founders of the western short running horses such as quarter horses and appaloosas.

Will I go on with the trilogy? Probably, at some point. This is the year for me getting the TBR planet under control. And yet, library and other books keep following me home. Next year perhaps. Too many books! Too little ......

Apr 5, 2014, 10:56am Top

What a treat to know enough about bloodlines to know that McCarthy gets them right!

Edited: Apr 5, 2014, 11:23am Top

>153 streamsong: I read most of The Stars My Destination last year but couldn't finish it. It was so unrelentingly bleak and Gully was so unpleasant. I think I was also disappointed because The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favourite books but although parts of the plot of Stars are similar to Count, they're very different in theme. I haven't ruled out trying to finish Stars one day, but I'm not in a rush.

>171 streamsong: Oh my. You do have a lot on your plate at the moment. I hope your time off work will be restful and your Mum's move goes smoothly and she settles into her new home.

Edited: Apr 5, 2014, 12:08pm Top

>181 maggie1944: Karen Heehee. I should have written a beautiful review about change and endings and dreams versus reality. But so many people have done that way better than I could. Me, however, I used to have a website of out-of-print books of horse bloodlines. It was only a sentence or two in the novel - most people would have never noticed.

>182 souloftherose: Thanks for stopping by! I don't read much Sci fi, but I've actually disliked only a few of the novels I've read. This one I appreciated for the world building, but the story was definitely meh. It's in the sack to trade in at the store.

Yes, lots on my plate. Today I need to continue to work on taxes, spend an hour or so at work, do a few house chores (spring may not quite be here yet, but I have enough cat and dog hair in the house to create a totally new cat and dog!), get groceries with Mom and help with any other odds and ends she has lined up for me today.

Since my DD doesn't have a car, tomorrow I'll make at least one trip to pick up/return DD to her home in Missoula so she is able to go to her friend's brother's funeral here in town. I met the brother only a few time, but DD's friend, sister and mother absolutely stepped in and helped out when I was undergoing cancer treatment. Potlucks are an institution in this area and, while I've never been to a potluck after a funeral, they are having a potluck meal instead of a more formal reception afterwards.

Apr 5, 2014, 5:51pm Top

>179 streamsong: Janet, you probably missed the epiphany because you have read other books on introversion. Quiet was a revelation to me because I hadn't and had always thought there was something "wrong" with me that I didn't like big groups. A friend kept trying to "fix me." Then I read Laurie Helgoe and Cain and felt much better about myself. It really was a revelation to me.

Apr 6, 2014, 9:02am Top


Apr 6, 2014, 10:02am Top

>179 streamsong: Quiet
I might read this at some point, but I'd expect to be in the not-an-epiphany camp. 20-30 years ago it might've been, but I've gradually found my comfort zone in career and social life, and among my colleagues and friends and family, I'm not so unusual. I've also learned to cope better with uncomfortable situations so I don't seem so odd to the casual observer.

Edited: Apr 6, 2014, 10:25am Top

>184 AuntieClio: Hi Stephanie. I actually learned more about extroverts than introverts from the book. I think if I had read it while my son was growing up, some of his antics wouldn't have embarrassed me quite as much. For instance, when he was about four and a shepherd in a church nativity play, he hopped up on the altar rail, swinging his arms and feet madly. He later explained that the sheep were getting away and what they needed was a COWBOY so he hopped on his horse and was chasing them down.

>waves at Karen!

>186 qebo: Thanks for stopping by Katherine. Yeah, I've been pretty comfortable in my skin, too. I was a pretty driven grade school student and worked hard for perfect report cards. One teacher insisted on giving me 'minuses' all year in 'deportment' or 'works well with others' or something like that because I wasn't outgoing enough. I remember how sick they made me feel, but even then, I had the feeling that I was OK, and the teacher was wrong. ETA - I must have had great support at home from my parents who were both introverts, too.

Apr 6, 2014, 10:44am Top

>187 streamsong: I got "K would be an excellent student if she would participate more in class discussions." from an elementary school teacher and similar commentary from others over the years.

Apr 8, 2014, 2:39pm Top

>171 streamsong: I hope things will be better once your mother has moved to her new place, Janet.

I was off to London for a few days, so I did not read your post until just now!

I hope you can keep the burn out at bay! don't let it sneak up on you.!!

Edited: Apr 10, 2014, 9:37am Top

>188 qebo: A friend's daughter was so quiet in class that she had to undergo all sorts of special testing (hearing, speech, cognitive skills) to make sure she belonged in a regular classroom, even though her Mom told the teacher she read at an advanced level and interacted fine with others at home (my daughter enjoyed playing with her and I hadn't seen any red flags, either).

>189 connie53: Thanks for stopping by, Connie.

New developments in the Mom move. The retirement apartment complex is having an outbreak of Norovirus. Nasty, nasty, stuff. The nursing home Dad was in was closed to outside company due to an outbreak that lasted a month while he was there last year ; he caught it and had to be hospitalized. We've been in and out of the retirement complex 3 or 4 times (unknowingly) since the outbreak started. Mom is going to try to get the moving van put off a week, so we won't be moving her on Tuesday, but will aim for the next week if the outbreak is slowing down. Since we've been in and out, keep your fingers crossed that we don't catch it!

Mom is getting very resistant about the move. It was hard work to get her to identify two small boxes of out of season clothes to pack and take over last night. She feels that I am pushing too hard and got short of breath with an anxiety attack. At 87, she is exhausted after 30-60 minutes, so I think we really need to get at least some stuff moved and unpacked before the official Moving Day. I think she was terribly relieved when we were met at the door and told about the Norovirus outbreak as it puts things off a bit more.

Good thing my boss is very flexible about my time off!

Bookish: Currently reading Jazz by Toni Morrison and Flu by Gina Kolata. I'm listening to The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson as my audiobook in the car. Oh, and also reading a book of Margaret Atwood's poems call The Door. Eventually I'll post my favorite here; right now I read a poem and say 'Oh! That's the one I'll post' and then I read another....

Apr 10, 2014, 3:28pm Top

I was just thinking about the frustration I have with my getting rid of more stuff. The Fly Lady says if you have two of anything, get rid of the less good one (or in my case less good one or two or maybe even three, Ha ha ha). I immediately pictured the three brooms which are sitting outside on the porch and the one that is in the house. Maybe I could throw 2 away?

Any way, thinking about that reminded me that I could just pick up what I really need, and move to a new place, leaving all the rest behind. Then professional estate sale people could come in and price everything and hold a couple of days worth of sales. Sounds good, eh?

Maybe a slightly different approach could work with your Mom.... ask her to begin to identify the things she knows she needs at the new apartment, and put yellow stickers, or yellow ribbons, on each of the must have things. It might be fun; and, perhaps it will identify somethings you could later "get rid of"... after she's been in the apt. and learned she has everything she really needs.

Such a hard step. I know. I have avoided thinking about the very real possibility that if I do move into the retirement home, it maybe the last time I move into a place which excites me. Sigh.

You know I hold you and your Mom in my heart, and I very much hope you have not caught the stupid virus.

Apr 11, 2014, 7:00am Top

Oh my goodness - Norovirus! Fingers crossed that the two of you stay healthy. Also, thinking of you both during the moving process - I can see how is must be difficult for both of you, for different reasons.

Edited: Apr 12, 2014, 11:11am Top

>192 scaifea: I think Norovirus strikes quickly. Since it's been three days since Mom & I were at her apartment, I think we've dodged the bullet. We'll give it a week or so, and, if there are no new cases, start the moving process again. In the meantime it gives both Mom & I a much needed psychological breather. I have heard that the local nursing homes are also once again affected by the virus.

So I will work on taxes this weekend. Of the two options, last minute taxes sound much less stressful than helping Mom move. :-)

ETA: >191 maggie1944: Thanks, Karen, for thinking about us. Mom is planning to have a sale done by a sale company once she is moved. I've got first dibs on several of the bookcases! I'll certainly keep your other ideas in mind, too.

Unfortunately, the rheumatologist has no new ideas for Mom's RA. Custom orthotics (which he actually suggested several years ago), might give her feet some relief. She didn't find a chair she liked at the furniture stores we visited, but she was impressed by the new styles of lift chair recliners. One would never know they were a lift chair, unlike the clunky thing at Dad's nursing home. So that's good, and I'll be pleased if she goes that way.

I did stop by the AAUW booksale. Tables! Full of books! Aaaaaah! I managed to stay (mostly) on my book diet and purchased only 5. :

11. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand - Helen Simonson -
12. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - Karen Joy Fowler - ARC-
13. Alas, Babylon - Pat Frank - I think this was the first dystopian novel I ever read - back in the 70's. It was probably newly out.
14. The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling
15. The 19th Wife - David Ebershoff

Apr 12, 2014, 5:09pm Top

>193 streamsong:
Of the books you bought, I have Casual Vacancy on my stack. Good for you for staying on your "diet."

Apr 13, 2014, 12:20pm Top

>194 AuntieClio: Stephanie: Ain't easy, ain't easy. :-) Now if I could stay on my physical diet as well.

I am completely unmotivated to write reviews right right now, but here is the last of the March Books:

27. Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson
How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

- RL Bookclub (Nov 2013)
- purchased 2013 ROOT; = 1 ROOT point;

I have no idea why it took me so long to finish this book. Einstein was a fascinating person and I enjoy Walter Isaacson's biographies. My only excuse is there was a group read here on LT of Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality by Manjit Kumar just a few months before my book club read this title.

The Kumar book deals with the physics: dueling science, dueling equations and thought experiments. You can't talk about Einstein without talking about his theories, but as one person in the book club noted, for the non-science oriented you could skim those chapters quickly. That would not have been possible with the Kumar book.

This book has a lot more focus on Einstein the man and the historical events and thoughts that shaped his life. Anti -Semitism was rife in Europe even before WWI and Jewish scientists had an increasingly hard time securing posts in many European countries.

It was a time when world leaders where beginning to understand the power of harnessing science to war for more efficient killing. Einstein chose not to become part of the WWl German war machine, although other of his colleagues did so. This marked the beginnings of his pacifism which played an increasing large role in his life. Having become a United States citizen, he understood the implications of a new type of bomb when several immigrant scientists who had been unsuccesful in warning the US president of the potential theat of successful fission experiments and warned that Hitler would not hesitate to develop such a bomb. Einstein added his name and warnings to the presidential letters and the Manhattan Project was born. Although Einstein was quite interested in the physics of the project, due to his work in Pacifist organizations and German ties he was never give the necessary security clearance to work on the project.

And then after the war, there was McCarthyism.

I also enjoyed the glimpses into Einstein's spirituality. His writings are claimed on both sides of the debate (Einstein was an atheist/ Einstein believed God exists). Both of these are oversimplifications of a complicated mind.

Apr 13, 2014, 12:41pm Top

28. The Property - Rutu Modan
How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

- GeoCat Eastern Europe;
- April TIOLI #12 - Read a book that takes place in an Eastern European country;
- graphic novel;
- library

I don't read many graphic novels so this is my first for the year. I highly recommend this one by Israeli author, Rutu Modan. I definitely want to read more of her work.

Young adult Mica insists on accompanying her grandmother when she travels from Israel to Poland, wanting to reclaim a property owned by the grandmother's family before World War II. Both family and property vanished in the Holocaust.

But even elderly grandmothers have backstories. There is much more to this feisty lady than meets her granddaughter's eye.

This clever book pokes holes in many stereotypes - Jews, Poles, aged grandmothers and even Germans also returning to claim lost property. I love the way the relationship between the girl and her grandmother grows as the grandmother's back story is revealed.

History and families are complicated things.

I've only read a very few graphic novels but this one ranks up there with the top. I brought it home from the library, started to skim a few pages and devoured it within a couple hours. I'll read it again before it goes back.

Apr 13, 2014, 12:44pm Top

>195 streamsong: I am completely unmotivated to write reviews right right now
You're further along than I am.

Apr 13, 2014, 2:31pm Top

>171 streamsong: thanks for sharing, hope things work out for your Mom.

I also work at a State university. Their idea of budget-cutting is encouraging the staff (sans raises in 6 years!) to go to part-time...with no provisions for how the work will get done.

Sorry to hear about your DD's friend's loss. :(

>175 maggie1944: sorry to hear of your issues, Karen.

>193 streamsong: I also read Alas Babylon in the early 70's, but I think it was written in the 1950's. It was a good reread just a couple years ago.

If you want to unload some of your Mom's extra books, let me know. I love the TBSL types, and could reimburse you for postage. :)

Apr 13, 2014, 9:58pm Top

>I don't think of it as "issues"; I think of it all as living life as it comes, and goes. Yin and Yang, as it were. I like to say I spent the first 50 years of my life acquiring stuff and the second disposing of it.

Apr 14, 2014, 8:46am Top

>197 qebo: Katherine. Heehee! It's very hard this time of the year.

>198 fuzzi: Lor It can be a pain, but I am very thankful to have a job. You're absolutely right about Alas Babylon being published in the 50's --LT Common Knowledge says 1959. I'll keep an eye out in Mom's books for things you might like.

>199 maggie1944: Karen Ain't that the truth! Once we get Mom done, I am inspired to start going through my own stuff. Flylady, here I come!

Off to do the final touches on the taxes. My brain gave out yesterday!

Apr 14, 2014, 1:37pm Top

Congrats on getting taxes done amongst all this other stuff!

Apr 16, 2014, 3:33pm Top

Is there anything new about your moms moving? How is the virus doing? I hope you get things sorted out.

All this talk about disposing of stuff gets me in the mood to have a look at my closets! There is some weird stuff in there!

Apr 18, 2014, 8:31am Top

Happy Easter!

Apr 18, 2014, 9:06am Top

Hi Karen & Connie -Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks, wilkiec! That's wonderful. I love it!

Rough week. Glad it's Friday.

Nasty week at work. I had to go back in two evenings at nine o'clock for a couple hours, meaning I've been a bit sleep deprived and tired (and grouchy?) this week. It will be the new normal for a while, unfortunately, until this series of experiments is done.

But mainly, for the second time in ten days, I've been to an unexpected funeral of a young father who left young kids behind. This time it was a coworker, one of the few people outside of our immediate department that I interacted with. He was an absolutely nice guy. He rolled his truck. Speed and alcohol appear to be involved and he had a thing about not wearing his seat belt (apparently his 8yo daughter had been working on him about that one). As his boss and friend said at the funeral, it's absolutely incomprehensible that he died this way.

A sad, sad reminder that once can be too much.

The Health Department has cleared Mom's retirement complex as being back to normal. So we'll start moving a few things (I hope) this weekend. The moving truck comes Wednesday.

Edited: Apr 18, 2014, 6:51pm Top

So I've read a picture book for the first time in many years. Thanks to Linda and Amber's threads, I was captured by Mr Wuffles, a wordless picture book by David Wiesner.

If you were a teeny tiny alien, what would happen if you landed your space craft next to a cat?

Luckily, help comes from unexpected places.

A youtube video with David Wiesner and the real Mr Wuffles


Apr 18, 2014, 4:21pm Top

Oh, that book looks like fun!

Apr 19, 2014, 2:27pm Top

Such a sad news about the young dad that died.

And I hope work will be better coming week and moving mom will be easy!

Apr 19, 2014, 4:17pm Top

I'm so sorry about the loss of your friend; so, so sad.
I'm glad that you enjoyed Mr. Wuffles - I don't think I've read a Wiesner that I haven't loved.

Apr 19, 2014, 9:46pm Top

>205 streamsong: our library has a copy...guess where I am going this week... ;)

Apr 21, 2014, 9:52am Top

Amber and Connie, thanks for stopping by and the good wishes. Two unexpected funerals (sudden deaths of people a good deal younger than me) in ten days definitely took a toll. Joe, my work colleague will be greatly missed by a good many people. I imagine the holiday yesterday was very hard for the kids and moms involved.

Lor, I hope you enjoy Mr Wuffles. I really liked it - I think I may order myself a copy. But in a way, it's a bit disturbing, too, because the cat is a cat and anything that moves is fair game. The cat never gets anthropomorphized into being kind to intelligent beings even if they are small -- although the bugs certainly are anthropomorphized into buggy heroes outwitting the cat.

I go into work today, but am off for the rest of the week to help Mom move. We moved and put away a few things yesterday. Saturday we shopped for a shower curtain and other stuff. She's ordered a small table and a lift chair so I think she's onboard although I know it will still be a huge wrench to leave the old house. But, it's time.

For the combinatinon of Atwood April and National poetry month, I've been reading The Door, a book of poetry by Margaret Atwood.

So, speaking of cats, there are a couple poems written about a cat of hers that died. Here's the last stanza of 'Mourning for Cats":

"(Why almost always cats? Why do dead cats
call up such ludicrous tears?
Why such deep mourning?
Because we can no longer
see in the dark without them?
Because we're cold
without their fur? Because we've lost
our hidden second skin,
the one we'd change into
when we wanted to have fun,
when we wanted to kill things
without a second thought,
when we wanted to shed the dull thick weight
of being human?)"

Apr 21, 2014, 10:05am Top

What a great verse! I identify. I have not had a cat for several years now and will not have any while I have dogs of the terrier persuasion but I did have cat companions for many years while I taught school and did not have the time dogs demand. But I love both types of pets.

I think of you often and hope my support gives you strength!

Apr 25, 2014, 2:07pm Top

And there we are ... Mom moved into her new digs. All the moving was done by about noon on Wednesday. Wednesda ynight she called both me and my brother in Phoenix to say how much she hated it and she 'Just wanted to go home' - an echo of Dad's words when he was in the nursing home. I pointed out she could go home whenever she wanted. Or get in her car and go anywhere.

A saying I learned long ago: The world gets a bit worse every evening and a bit better in the morning.

Yesterday was better. Her new small kitchen table was delivered. We jerry-rigged her TV so that she has some channels (TV and phone hook up will happen on Saturday). We went back to her old house for this and that & fixed a misunderstanding with housekeeping. Everyone is very friendly, but the welcoming committee promised by the administrator that would make sure she had people to eat with and show her the ropes is but a future dream. But, she's run into a few people she knows, and she was going to a group thing last night.

Today her new lift chair comes. I haven't talked to her yet today, which is most probably a good sign. I've goofed off happily this morning and will be off to work this afternoon to set things up there for next week.

Apr 25, 2014, 2:20pm Top

Whoo hooo! Goofing off is such a good thing. I did some of that yesterday myself. Keep it up!

Edited: Apr 25, 2014, 2:23pm Top

>212 streamsong: I've goofed off happily this morning
A well deserved break.

Apr 25, 2014, 7:41pm Top

>212 streamsong: Congratulations on completing the move. I hope as time moves on, your mom will become comfortable with her new surroundings.

Apr 25, 2014, 9:04pm Top

Thanks for the good wishes Karen, Katherine and Stephanie!

Onward to the next challenge, which unfortunately is the 200% snow pack still lurking in the mountains that feed my creek. Yikes, yikes! It's been a cold wet spring so far, so it will be coming off fast in the next month. Stay tuned for lots of angst!

Apr 25, 2014, 9:22pm Top

29. Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief - Lawrence Wright
How It Fits Into My Current Reading

- Science Religion and History 1st quarter group read;
- April TIOLI # 10 - rolling tags
- audiobook from library

I had thought of scientology as of sort of a goofy made-up cult epitomized by the goofiness of Tom Cruise on the Oprah show. I had no idea of its true power and the depth of its world wide political power and its almost unlimited deep pockets to engage the legal system to its favor.

Those who publish unfavorable material have the system unleashed against them. Publication of this book has been pulled in the UK and Canada due to threatened lawsuits.

This was an eye-opening book.

Apr 25, 2014, 9:29pm Top

30. - Morality for Beautiful Girls - Alexander McCall Smith
How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

- March RandomCat: Book With a Bird on the Cover
- ROOT acquired 2011 = 3 ROOT points; total =69/185)
- reread; had previously listened to audiobook

After winning and reading a LTER audio of the most recent Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, I decided to go back and read some of the ones on Planet TBR. I believe I may have listened to this one as an audiobook quite a few years back, but I enjoyed reading it in paper form. Either I had forgotten many of the subtleties, or perhaps I missed them listening to the audio.

One thing I like about this series are the mysteries without bodies. It's so nice not to have a murder around every corner!

Apr 25, 2014, 9:46pm Top

31. Jazz by Toni Morrison
How It Fits Into My Current Reading

- April American Author Challenge
- April TIOLI #2 Read a book whose title and author have two Qs, two Zs, or one of each
- library

In Harlem, in the 1920's, Joe shoots his mistress after she breaks up with him. His wife, Violet, attacks the corpse at the funeral.

In the best tradition of jazz, each character then takes his lick at contributing to the story complete with improvisations and taking the melody into completely new arrangements. Throughout the book, Harlem itself one of the main characters-- calling the characters from the poverty-stricken country lives where both whites and blacks are still locked in the shadow of slavery.

And in the background, between chapters, between thoughts, the jazz music plays in the speak easies - those places where whites aren't allowed.

I read the last few chapters listening to Billie Holliday:The Ultimate Collection. It was a wonderful way to finish the book.

Edited: Apr 26, 2014, 12:10pm Top

Whipping through with very brief reviews so I can be caught up by the end of April:

32. - The Door - Margaret Atwood
How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

- Atwood April,
- April TIOLI # 13. Read a book in a genre you haven't yet read from in 2014 (poetry)
- RandomCat poetry in honor of National Poetry Month
- library

Last year, during 'Atwood April' here on the 75'ers group I was blown away by Margaret Atwood's book of poetry entitled Morning at the Burned House and I also previously enjoyed reading her book The Journals of Susanna Moodie: Poems in conjunction with the Canadian classic, Roughing It in the Bush.

And so, another April, another Atwood poetry selection; this time The Door which also came with a CD of Ms Atwood reading some of the poems. I enjoy her evocative poetry. Many of the poems in this volume address aging and death and so were of a darker quality. I read one or two a day and was not overwhelmed by the tone.

However, after completing the book, I listened to the CD, and found that Margaret Atwood reading poem after poem read in a very serious - even ponderous - tone was too much for me. I enjoyed reading these much more than listening to the author read them.

Apr 26, 2014, 1:41pm Top

Good to hear your mother has moved and met some people she knows in the home. She will be fine, it just takes some time.

I hope the snow pack will melt slowly!

Apr 27, 2014, 10:25am Top

Thanks, Connie. I appreciate the good wishes! If worst comes to worst, the flood insurance I took out 30 days ago is now in effect. I was perturbed that my flood insurance had more than doubled to $1600; there was a guy on the news last night whose flood insurance had increased to over $8000 - but he's on the river and flooded three years ago. I'll only get flooded if trees brought down the creek by the high water block culverts or dams.

But I still obsessively watch this site: http://www.wrds.uwyo.edu/wrds/nrcs/updatesur/update-mt.html
As of today's date, snowpack on Skalkaho Summit at 138% of normal; Snowpack at the head of Daly Creek which flows into Skalkaho 258%.

Apr 27, 2014, 10:57am Top

33. The Orchardist - Amanda Coplin
- How It Fits Into My Current Reading:

- April RL Book Club
- April TIOLI #10 (rolling tags)
- purchased 2014

The Talmadge family - mother, daughter, and son William - arrived on foot in the turn of the twentieth century Wenatchee valley after a mining accident left them without their father and husband. There they take up a homestead, planning to grow fruit. It's a solitary life, made more so after the death of the mother and the sudden disappearance without a trace of the daughter, Elspeth.

The son, known as Talmadge, remains on the homestead, solitary and single minded. He creates, tree, by tree, an apple and apricot orchard and builds a cabin. He rarely has contact with others except for the wandering Nez Perce horsemen and when he heads to the nearby town to take his fruit to market.

And then in his 40th year, two very young teenaged pregnant girls arrive at the edge of his property- as skittish as wild animals. He slowly gains their trust, leaving food on the edge of his porch and letting them live their lives freely on his property.

In the first 87 pages of the novel, tragedy after tragedy occurs, leading to the horrendous incident which ends the first cycle of the book. After that, we are left with the psychological wounds and struggles down through the decades in the next three quarters of the book. No storybook happy endings here; in an author interview, Coplin states that her intention was to write a book about grief.

This is a first novel by a Washington born author. The sense of place - the Washington fruit country- is superb and often over-looked as a setting. I truly cared about the characters.

Read for my Real Life book club.

This topic was continued by Streamsong Bookin in 2014.

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