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KatieKrug's 2015: Books, Beverages, and Banter (Part I)

75 Books Challenge for 2015

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Edited: Jan 9, 2015, 10:40am Top

Happy New Book Year, Old Friends! And Welcome, New Ones!

Edited: Jan 9, 2015, 10:41am Top

Current Reads

January Possibilities
AACII - The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
BAC (female) - Cleopatra's Daughter by Penelope Lively
BAC (male) - Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
LT Folly Pick - The Sun and the Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York by Matthew Goodman
Nonfiction Pick - See above
Reading Globally Q1 Theme: Indian Subcontinent - A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam
Orange January - TBD
LT Early Reviewer - The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Edited: Jan 9, 2015, 10:42am Top

Books Read to Date:
1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (3.5 stars)
2. Cleopatra's Sister by Penelope Lively (4 stars)
3. The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers (4 stars)

Top 5 Reads of 2014:
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
TransAtlantic by Colum McCann
Sula by Toni Morrison
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Byrd by Kim Church

Edited: Jan 9, 2015, 10:42am Top

And this explains all you need to know about me:

Edited: Jan 9, 2015, 10:42am Top

Hello All! I’m Katie, a transplanted New Yorker living in Dallas. I’ve been doing the 75 Challenge since 2011. I read many different genres including speculative fiction, mysteries, literary fiction, and social history. I try to comment on everything I read here, but sometimes time gets away from me. This year, I will be participating in both the American and British Authors Challenges, as well as the monthly TIOLI challenges. And I will again this year be letting the LT Folly feature pick a random read for me each month. I did this last year, and it was a lot of fun, as well as helpful in clearing some books off my shelves… I currently have over 3,000 unread books in my home and on my Kindle, so I need all the help I can get :)

Here’s to a great new reading year!

Dec 26, 2014, 10:40pm Top

Welcome back! DOn't know if you saw my post in the 2014 Christmas Swap thread - I am indeed your secret Santa! Glad you liked the books.

Dec 27, 2014, 4:30am Top

Hi Katie! Happy New Book Year to you too!

Dec 27, 2014, 4:55am Top

Aquisitionary inspiration - welcome back Katie.

Dec 27, 2014, 5:32am Top

Starred you Katie!

Dec 27, 2014, 8:25am Top

Welcome back, Katie! What and where is the LT Folly feature?

Dec 27, 2014, 11:23am Top

dropping off a star! Happy New Year of Reading!

Dec 27, 2014, 2:03pm Top

Whoop whoop KAK!

Dec 27, 2014, 2:15pm Top

Congrats on the kick-off thread, KAK. Looking forward to following along with your reading life, in the new year. Hugs!

Dec 27, 2014, 2:40pm Top

>6 drneutron: - Thanks, Jim!

>7 susanj67: - Hello, Susan! Glad you found me :)

>8 PaulCranswick: - Hi Paul. I think you are the true inspirer of acquisitions around here...

>9 SandDune: - Thanks, Rhian!

>10 kidzdoc: - Hiya, Darryl! If you go to the LT Home page, on the left-hand menu there is a link to "Folly" - click that and then near the top, under "LibraryThing Roulette" click on "Book of Yours". It will bring up a random book from your catalogue. The only hang-up for me is that the random books can be from any collection (I can't designate to only pick a random book from my "To Read" collection), but I just keep clicking until I get one I haven't read yet. It's fun to play with :)

>11 maggie1944: - Thanks, Karen!

>12 luvamystery65: - Howdy, Ro :)

>13 msf59: - Good to see you, Mark!

Dec 27, 2014, 4:26pm Top

Okay the first five books I'm going to read are from my bookshelf three from my secret Santa
1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
2. Starry night Debbie macomber
3.Naked in death -j.d. Robb
4.a tale of two cities

Dec 27, 2014, 5:22pm Top

Good luck with your challenge this year!

Dec 27, 2014, 7:09pm Top

Hi Katie! I've starred you, of course!

Thanks for the lesson on Folly. I just goofed around with it and it's a fun tool! Is there no end to the magic that LT offers? I think not.

Dec 27, 2014, 7:38pm Top

Dropping by to say hello to a fellow challenger - just trying to get a handle on all the new threads popping up for my second year in the 75ers. Good luck and hope you have an excellent 2015!

Dec 27, 2014, 10:50pm Top

Thanks, Katie! I found it, and the "book" the roulette found for me was The Complete New Yorker: Eighty Years of the Nation's Greatest Magazine, which consists of a short book and eight DVD-ROMs that include the entire contents of The New Yorker from 1925 to 2005. If I read 80 years' worth of New Yorkers I won't read anything else in 2015!

Dec 28, 2014, 4:46am Top

Hello Katie! As I can see we share quite a few books and we have a similar reading taste. So I hope you don't mind if I follow your thread and drop

Dec 28, 2014, 9:38am Top

Dropping my star, Katie! Books, beverages and banter sounds just perfect to me.

Dec 28, 2014, 1:28pm Top

Hi Katie! Just starting to make my way around the 2015 threads. I did a terrible job keeping up in 2014 and one of my goals for the new year is to get back into being active on LT again. I'm going to try out that LT Folly feature too and hope I don't end up with something similar to Darryl!

Dec 28, 2014, 1:38pm Top

>15 deatalk: - Hello! Have you set up a thread for your 2015 reading yet? Be sure to leave a link so we can follow you :)

>16 The_Hibernator: - Thanks, Rachel.

>17 DorsVenabili: - Hiya, Kerri! Glad you found me. I love that Folly feature. It often reminds me of books I've forgotten I've read or mean to read :)

>18 evilmoose: - Hi and Welcome! It's always nice to see some new faces popping in!

>19 kidzdoc: - Well, Darryl, you could just abandon all your 2015 threads and go with that pick.... ;-) I admit to occasionally manipulating the pick by clicking over and over until I get to something compelling.

>20 Ameise1: - Hello, Barbara! Glad to have your star :)

>21 Crazymamie: - Hello, my friend! I'm glad you'll be sticking with me for another year!

>22 phebj: - Pat! Pat! Pat! Sooooo good to see you. It would be great to see more of you in 2015 :)

Dec 28, 2014, 7:57pm Top

Hi Katie! I lost track of you last year (which technically is still this year), but I will try to do better this year. I'll be doing something similar with the Folly feature this year. I have a "books picked for me" category in my Category Challenge and I'm going to use Folly to pick them. I'm only reading 5 books in each category, though, so that works out to about 1 every other month.

Dec 28, 2014, 8:15pm Top

Leaving my star(s) so I can follow you in 2015!

Dec 28, 2014, 8:50pm Top

Here we go!! Making my rounds, finding my friends. :)

Dec 28, 2014, 10:34pm Top

Glad to have you aboard, Carrie, Ellen, and Valerie!

Dec 28, 2014, 10:46pm Top

Leaving my star, Katie. You're going to need a new thread soon, at this rate...

Dec 28, 2014, 11:00pm Top

Yay, Beth! I'm glad you found me and are willing to put up with me for another year ;-)

Dec 29, 2014, 11:03am Top

Hi Katie! A Constellation of Vital Phenomena was on my best of 2014 list too! It was the first book that I read in 2014, and it really stuck with me. Hope you have a great reading year in 2015!

Dec 29, 2014, 1:57pm Top

You always find the most fabulous images of books, Katie! How wonderful to see A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, TransAtlantic, and The Handmaid's Tale on your Top 5 list.

Dec 29, 2014, 4:28pm Top

>30 porch_reader: - Thanks, Amy! Good to see you :)

>31 lit_chick: - Thank you, Nancy! I'm glad I didn't try to come up with a Top Ten list - those five stood far and above most of the rest of my reading....

Dec 29, 2014, 7:11pm Top

Katie! Found and now starred!

Dec 29, 2014, 8:37pm Top

Welcome, Lori!

Dec 29, 2014, 11:04pm Top

Love your list of 2014 Faves, Katie. I will be trying to keep up with your fast-moving thread once again in the New Year!

Dec 30, 2014, 1:30am Top

Hi Katie! I'll be along with your for 2015:) Happy New Year!

Dec 30, 2014, 8:10am Top

Found you Katie!

>4 katiekrug: So true! :-)

Dec 30, 2014, 8:50am Top

Good to see you, Donna, Anne, and Heather!

Dec 30, 2014, 9:06am Top

Hey Katie, just carving out a little space for myself here ... bring on 2015!

Dec 30, 2014, 11:57am Top

>39 lauralkeet: - Hi Laura!!

Dec 31, 2014, 3:49pm Top

May all your wishes come true.

Dec 31, 2014, 8:50pm Top

Thank you, Barbara!

Dec 31, 2014, 8:56pm Top

I am having a quiet night at home for New Years, which is just how I like it. It's cold (relatively) here, and I am happily snuggled in warm jammies under a blanket in my reading chair. My current read is an ER book I won a month or so ago - The Girl on the Train, a kind of psychological thriller. It's been a bit of a slow start but seems to be picking up now...

The hubs is still in Florida but I expect he'll call when it turns midnight there, and then I can trundle off to bed. Tomorrow is my uncle's birthday, so I'll be spending some time with my family and eating our traditional New Years Day Chinese dinner.

I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday, as well.

Dec 31, 2014, 9:21pm Top

Dear Katie,

Happy New Year from your friend in Kuala Lumpur

Dec 31, 2014, 9:32pm Top

Happy New Year!!

Dec 31, 2014, 9:43pm Top

Sounds like the perfect NYE, Katie. I'm going to do the same : ).

Jan 1, 2015, 9:42am Top

Happy New Year, Katie. I had a short visit from Ms. Scout and her mom and then had a quiet evening of reading. My favorite kind of New Year's Eve.

I look forward to following your reading and reviews for another year.

Jan 1, 2015, 9:48am Top

It was great meeting you this past year, Katie! I think we clicked right away. I hope we get a chance to do that again. Smiles...

Jan 1, 2015, 11:49am Top

Welcome back!

Jan 1, 2015, 11:52am Top

Your New Year's Eve sounds perfect to me, Katie. I love getting the house all to myself, but that very rarely happens. Hope your New Year is off to a fabulous start!

Jan 1, 2015, 12:41pm Top

Thanks for the new years greetings, friends!

>44 PaulCranswick: - Fun image, Paul! Though pictures can't quite capture the immensity of the towers, can they? So impressive.

>45 nittnut: - Happy New Year to you, Jenn! Here's to a good one!

>46 lit_chick: - Nancy, I hope you ended up enjoying yours as much as I did mine :)

>47 BLBera: - Happy new year, Beth. I saw your 2015 thread, so I will be over shortly to drop my star and claim my place :)

>48 msf59: - Hiya Mark! My LT meet-ups were one of the highlights of the year for me. I hope we can meet again soon!

>49 scvlad: - Thanks, Steve!

>50 Crazymamie: - Hi Mamie! While I do miss the hubs, I am relishing the quiet and self-indulgence :) It also helps that the dog is still with him in Florida so I really have zero responsibilities - ha! Do you have a thread up yet for 2015? I read somewhere that you were debating having one, but I think you should, even if you don't think you "keep up" like you should. There are no "shoulds" here!!

Jan 1, 2015, 12:48pm Top

No dog, too?! I am SO jealous!!

I keep going back and forth on the thread thing. No "shoulds" sounds good, and besides where would I post my rants?!

Jan 1, 2015, 12:52pm Top

Well, you are always welcome to rant on my thread :)

But if you don't have a thread, I feel like the next step is abandoning us altogether, and that would make me too sad :(

Jan 1, 2015, 12:57pm Top

I promise not to abandon the group - I am in for the long haul! I don't know what I would do without you guys! And thanks for ranting privileges!! I really have been wavering back and forth. Perhaps I'll just set one up and see how it goes... I was wondering how I was going to keep track of everything without a thread.

Jan 1, 2015, 1:05pm Top

We want Mamie! We want Mamie! I can not imagine this place without you.

Jan 1, 2015, 1:22pm Top

See, Mark and I would be lost without you, Mamie!!

Jan 1, 2015, 1:24pm Top

2014 Wrap-Up

Total Books: 95
Print: 43
Kindle: 28
Audio: 24

Abandoned Books: 17

Total Pages: 21,349 (~58 pages/day)
Total Time Listened: 253 hours 52 minutes

Male Authors: 38
Female Authors: 55
Both: 2

Fiction: 83

Top 5 Books:
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
TransAtlantic by Colum McCann
Sula by Toni Morrison
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Byrd by Kim Church

Honorable Mentions:
Life After Life by Jill McCorkle
Prague Winter by Madeleine Albright
The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
Ruby by Cynthia Bond
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
84, Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

Jan 1, 2015, 1:48pm Top

Hi Katie and happy new year! I am going to try to keep up with your thread more this year.

I loved three of the books on your list up there - Transatlantic, the Man in the Wooden Hat, and Prague Winter, so it's safe to say you'll be adding books to my wish list pretty soon!

Jan 1, 2015, 2:00pm Top

Hi Cushla! It's great to see you here. I am a faithful lurker on your thread :)

Jan 1, 2015, 2:05pm Top

This about sums up my feelings on New Years resolutions:

Jan 1, 2015, 2:15pm Top

Amen, sister!

Jan 1, 2015, 3:09pm Top

Happy New Year, KAK! I am not hosting a thread this year, but I'll swing by your place often to see what's up with you, The Wayne, and Louis.

Jan 1, 2015, 4:02pm Top

Happy New Year, Katie!

Jan 1, 2015, 4:51pm Top

>57 katiekrug: Nice stats! Abandoned books! That's what I forgot to add. I think I only had 3 or 4.

>43 katiekrug: Sounds like a lovely New Year's Eve!

Happy New Year!

Jan 1, 2015, 5:52pm Top

Happy new year and new thread, Katie! Looking forward to following your reading again this year.

Jan 1, 2015, 5:52pm Top

Wishing you all the best in 2015, Katie!!

Jan 1, 2015, 8:32pm Top

>61 Crazymamie: - :)

>62 rosalita: - But, but, no thread?!? This is all wrong! WHY IS EVERYONE MESSING WITH ME?!? Hmph. You had better come visit a lot! No telling what The Wayne and Louis will be getting up to ;-)

>63 scaifea: - Thanks, Amber!

>64 DorsVenabili: - Happy new year, Kerri! I was surprised how many books I abandoned, but there are probably a few more I should have!

>65 MickyFine: - Hi Micky! Glad you found me!

>66 EBT1002: - Happy new year, Ellen!

Jan 1, 2015, 8:35pm Top

I just got home from dinner with my family for my uncle's birthday. Traditionally, we go out for Chinese, but the past couple of years, we've gotten Pei Wei takeaway. Am I the only person who finds Pei Wei icky? I've tried several different things and they are all just not good... Blech.

Anyway, I made a date with my 9-year old niece to go see the new Annie movie on Saturday. That should be fun.

Jan 1, 2015, 9:48pm Top

Found and starred. Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2015 filled with good friends and books. And no Pei Wei. : )

Jan 1, 2015, 10:11pm Top

Happy New Year Katie. I hope to do a better job keeping up with you this year. Love (and agree completely) with >60 katiekrug:. LOL

Jan 1, 2015, 10:56pm Top

Happy New Year Katie

Just dropping off a star. This is my second year in this group and I hope to get to know a few more of the regular folks in 2015.

Jan 1, 2015, 11:05pm Top

>69 Berly: - Amen to that, Kim!

>70 brenzi: - Bonnie, you are welcome here no matter how much or how little you keep up :) Good to see you, my friend!

>71 SuziQoregon: - Welcome, Juli! I hope my thread will become a regular stop for you!

Jan 1, 2015, 11:15pm Top

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Why I read this now: It was a LibraryThing Early Reviewers copy

Oof. I am not sure how I feel about this one. It started off very slowly for me but eventually became quite a page-turner. The problem was that I can't tell if the central premise was clever or kind of a cop-out. Without giving too much away, the book concerns the disappearance of a young woman and how another woman becomes obsessed with it. But she is an alcoholic and has major blackouts so are her impressions and fragmented memories real? Or is she just an "unreliable witness," as the police label her? Some of the plot stretches plausibility, but it was such a compelling read that Hawkins must have done something right.

In my rating system, 3.5 stars is right in the middle of solid and enjoyable and very good. That seems about right.

Jan 1, 2015, 11:17pm Top

I have this one to review, so I skimmed what you said. I loved the cover!

Jan 1, 2015, 11:31pm Top

I also have this one to review. I've heard nothing but glowing praise for it which always makes me suspicious. I'm glad to see a more tempered review.

Jan 2, 2015, 7:56am Top

Happy New Year. I hope to lurk about your threads and see what's good in reading. I also hope you have a fabulous year of excellence in books.

Jan 2, 2015, 9:00am Top

Happy New Year! I requested The Girl n the Train but won a different book. I'd still like to read it, but maybe with slightly lower expectations.

I've heard that Annie is a fun movie. I hope you and your niece enjoy it!

Jan 2, 2015, 9:26am Top

Morning, Katie! Your review intrigues me - putting that one on the list to check the library for. Okay, that was an awkward sentence, but I am a rebel at heart, so I'm not going to fix it. Feels like Monday to me because Craig is off to work as usual after several days of strange schedules. Looks like rain here - a good day to curl up with a good book, I think, even though I should be boxing up all the Christmas stuff. Just thinking about it makes me tired.

Sorry about the yucky take away, but the movie with the niece sounds like fun. Nine year olds tell it like it is, which is what I love about that age.

Jan 2, 2015, 9:40am Top

>74 Berly: - Kim, the cover and the sleeve the book came in were pretty cool.

>75 SuziQoregon: - Juli, I hadn't heard anything about it so I went in with no expectations. I'm just glad it wasn't terrible!

>76 maggie1944: - Hello, Karen! Happy new year to you, too!

>77 cbl_tn: - Carrie, I'm just all impressed with myself for having read and reviewed it so quickly. My ER wins tend to linger and collect dust. I think I'm becoming more discriminating in my requests so that if I win something, it's something I really do want to read.

I will report back on the movie tomorrow!

>78 Crazymamie: - Feels like Monday to me, too, Mamie. I really didn't want to come into work and would have stayed home but my cleaning lady is coming today and I don't like to be there when she's there because I assume she will be all judge-y about the state of my house... I'm hoping she comes on the early side so I can skip out of work this afternoon - sssshh!

Jan 2, 2015, 9:57am Top

Crossing my fingers for you.

Jan 2, 2015, 10:14am Top

Thanks, my friend!

Edited: Jan 2, 2015, 10:18am Top

Last night I started my LT Folly pick for the month (which, happily, also happens to be a non-fiction title - I'm trying to read more non-fiction this year....). It is The Sun and the Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York and looks to be very interesting. It's about a series of articles that appeared in the NY Sun newspaper in 1835 about life on the moon. But it's also about life in NYC at that time and how things were changing. I have high hopes for it!

ETA: I don't know why the touchstone won't show up. In edit mode, the book is listed under Touchstones, but when I save it, the title won't turn into a link. Whatever. The author is Matthew Goodman if anyone is interested in looking it up.

Jan 2, 2015, 10:30am Top

Hi Katie - I love your fav lists for 2014 - a couple also made my list. I must get to Prague Winter; I'm sure I would love it. Maybe this year...

Jan 2, 2015, 11:50am Top

Katie! I LOVED your non-book-bookish Christmas presents. Most excellent, and if I could, I'd snatch every one up! I'm so glad to hear that you got home safely, and had an idyllic NYE with blankets and books. :)

Can't wait to see what crazy stuff pops up for you this year. Oh, and amen to >60 katiekrug:!

Jan 2, 2015, 12:07pm Top

I like the idea of the LT Folly, but that would mean I would have to enter in all my unread books. Sigh. That is daunting....Happy Friday/Monday and I know what you mean about fearing the judge housecleaner. Although with the state of my house after the boys sleepover, I could use all the judge help I can get! LOL

Jan 2, 2015, 1:12pm Top

>60 katiekrug: LOL!

The Sun and the Moon sounds interesting; I look forward to your thoughts about it. (The touchstone worked for me.)

Jan 2, 2015, 1:20pm Top

Okay. Because you said that you and Mark would be lost without me. I can be found here

Jan 2, 2015, 1:50pm Top

I loved The Sun and the Moon. It was a great story, well written, and just goes to show that society hasn't changed much at all since then! :)

Jan 2, 2015, 1:51pm Top

Hi Katie, did you decide to go and see Unbroken? My sister and husband saw it, said it was very good … POW scenes difficult to watch (no surprise there).

Jan 2, 2015, 1:53pm Top

>83 BLBera: - Prague Winter is definitely worth reading, Beth. I found it fascinating.

>84 LauraBrook: - Hi Laura! Good to "see" you. Glad you liked those gifts - I got a kick out of them, too :)

>85 Berly: - Kim, I am rather obsessive about entering all my books into my LT catalogue... I drive my husband crazy with the housecleaner thing - every night before our scheduled day, I make him help me clean up. He doesn't see the point but I tell him that she can't do a good job if there is clutter everywhere!

>86 kidzdoc: - Darryl, I will definitely report back on The Sun and the Moon! Okay, the touchstone works if you omit the entire sub-title. But the sub-title is so great, I hate to leave it out!

>87 Crazymamie: - See, peer pressure can be a beautiful thing, Mamie :)

Jan 2, 2015, 1:55pm Top

I have knocked out my "Must Do" list for the day, and the cleaning lady has come and gone, so I think I might sneak out of here early. Not that much sneaking is necessary - I think there are maybe 15 staff here today (out of a usual 300+)!

Jan 2, 2015, 1:59pm Top

Ha! Okay, I was going to ask if you felt the need to clean up before the housecleaner came. I know that I would even though that sounds crazy. Oh, wait; I AM crazy.

Jan 2, 2015, 2:03pm Top

I'm not scrubbing the toilets beforehand or anything, but I do a general pick-up and make sure there are no dishes in the sink and stuff like that...

Jan 2, 2015, 2:07pm Top

Yep. That's what i would do, too. Then I think that you are supposed to sit out on the back deck with a mint julep Pimm's Cup and look sophisticated and slightly bored.

Jan 2, 2015, 2:23pm Top

Crazy--I like your vision of how cleaning should go. But....I HAVE to clean up first or there is no visible floor to vacuum in my kids rooms! Actually, I make them clean and I glare. ; ) I just try to make sure I purge the paper piles, do some dishes, and catch up on laundry.

Jan 2, 2015, 3:06pm Top

>94 Crazymamie: and >95 Berly: - I like that vision, too, except it is exactly why I *can't* be here when it's cleaning day because I would feel so useless and slightly ridiculous ;-)

Jan 2, 2015, 3:16pm Top

Right. You're supposed to OWN that feeling, Katie. You work hard so that you can feel useless and slightly ridiculous when the housecleaner is there. If you need something to do besides drink the Pimm's cup, then you could paint your toenails while learning Italian.

Jan 2, 2015, 3:22pm Top

I'm thinking I should buy a chaise longue and lounge away in my fur-trimmed bedroom slippers while eating bon-bons...

Jan 2, 2015, 3:24pm Top

Jan 2, 2015, 3:26pm Top

Now you're talking. But don't put the bedroom slippers on if you have just painted your toenails.

Jan 2, 2015, 3:30pm Top

Oh, of course not!

Jan 2, 2015, 6:41pm Top

Hi Katie! i've had housecleaners off and on over the years and I always have to do some pre-cleaning first and leave the house. I'm just not comfortable sitting while someone else is working.

I like the sound of The Sun and the Moon. A couple of years ago I read his Eighty Days and it was among my top reads for the year.

Edited: Jan 2, 2015, 7:19pm Top

>57 katiekrug: Katie, I see several besties on your list of favorite books for the year. I also see at least one I will definitely read (the Wiley Cash) and several to check out.

I'm glad you said what you did about your 3.5 rating. I so agree. When I give a book that rating, though, several people always think I didn't care for the book. My average rating for the 1400+ books in my LT library is 3.65 stars. I'm good with that!

Edited: Jan 2, 2015, 7:25pm Top

What a wonderful opening image! Happy New Year to you! Your library and mine share many books...1,190 to be exact.

Jan 2, 2015, 7:38pm Top

>102 cbl_tn: - Thanks, Carrie. I'm glad I'm not alone! And that other Goodman book looks interesting. Onto the overburdened WL it goes....

>103 Donna828: - Donna, sometimes I feel like I'm not doing any "good" reading because so much is between a 3 and a 4. I have to go and look at my rating scale on my profile to remind myself that that's just fine!

i do hope you like the Cash when you get around to it. I think it's your kind of book.

>104 Whisper1: - Wowza, Linda! That's a lot of shared books! Great minds... :)

Jan 3, 2015, 1:33am Top

Belated Happy New Year, Katie. Just dropped my star and already catching the BBs flying around here. That sun and moon book sounds like something I must watch and probably soon read.

Jan 3, 2015, 2:12am Top

I like the idea of the Folly pick, although I'm not sure I'd have the discipline to stick with it!

The Girl on the Train was one that I was interested in reading, but after seeing your comments and rating, I'm less sure. I've seen a few "unreliable narrator is witness to murder, possibly, and reader and cops and friends don't know what to think about it all" books in the last couple of months, and the echo effect must just be too much. Elizabeth is Missing worked because the author really did get inside the head of a first person narrator with dementia; The Pocket Wife wasn't nearly as compelling, and I figured out whodunnit very early on. I think I may have been very generous with my rating for Amazon. I'll put this one to one side for now...

Jan 3, 2015, 7:53am Top

Katie, I wish you a fabulous weekend full of reading.

Jan 3, 2015, 9:58am Top

>106 Deern: - Welcome, Nathalie! The Sun and the Moon is dense with information, but it's all fascinating. I am enjoying it a lot.

>107 Chatterbox: - I've been going back and forth on whether to read Elizabeth is Missing. I think I will put it back on the list. I'd actually love to hear your take on The Girl on the Train - and I have this lovely ARC just sitting here I could send you..... ?

>108 Ameise1: - Bunnies! Thanks, Barbara :)

Jan 3, 2015, 5:20pm Top

Hi Katie, dropping a star for you. I'm so glad Mamie gave in to your pressure to add a thread. Saved me from joining in on the pleading. ;-)

Jan 3, 2015, 6:27pm Top

>82 katiekrug: That does sound fascinating. I look forward to your thoughts. And again, I love the Folly Pick thingy-bob!

Jan 3, 2015, 6:28pm Top

Hi Katie! Hope you're having a good weekend. I'm just passing through:)

Love your 2014 wrap-up. I know I fell so far behind last year. Many of your top reads are some of my very, very favorites. All the more reason NOT to fall behind this year!

Jan 3, 2015, 6:44pm Top

>109 katiekrug: Well, if you can spare the ARC, I can certainly volunteer to read it... :-) Do you have my snail mail address? I'm not ready to spend money on it, and there's a longish queue to get a library copy of it...

Jan 3, 2015, 8:22pm Top

>110 AuntieClio: - Hi, Stephanie, and welcome.

>111 DorsVenabili: - Hi Kerri. It's turned into my bedside book, so I'm not sure how soon I will finish it, but I promise to report back when I do!

>112 AMQS: - Hello, Anne! I struggle to keep up around here and am trying to tell myself it's okay to fall a little behind, as long as it's because I'm doing other funt hings - like reading!! But it is nice to see you and I hoe you'll stop by again :)

>113 Chatterbox: - Suz, I thought I had your address but now can't find it. PM me and I will send the ARC to you.

Jan 4, 2015, 12:10am Top

I love your Folly Pick idea. Have fun with that!

Jan 4, 2015, 11:12am Top

>115 EBT1002: - Thanks, Ellen. It is fun. FOr some reason, I look forward to it every month - the picking, not always the reading - ha!

Jan 4, 2015, 11:16am Top

Oh, picking books to read is so much more fun than actually reading them sometimes! I always thought that would be one of the most fun aspects of working in a bookstore (not so much the hauling heavy boxes of books around).

Jan 4, 2015, 11:33am Top

Cleopatra's Sister by Penelope Lively

Why I read this now: British Author Challenge

The first part of this novel gives us three histories: that of Howard, Lucy, and the fictitious North African country of Callimbia. The chapters alternate and we learn how each of these entities got to where they find themselves in Part 2. I found it a bit of a slow start at first, until I realized that Lively was really ruminating on the role of events, both major and minor, in the shaping of people, places, and other events. What is fate and destiny and pre-determination, and how much control can we really exercise in our own lives and those around us?

The second part of the novel brings Howard and Lucy and Callimbia together. Howard and Lucy are traveling on the same flight to Nairobi when their plane makes an emergency landing in the conflict-ridden country. They are stuck there, in not very nice conditions and amid some danger, but obviously fate has brought them there for a reason. Cleopatra's Sister is really a romance, and a very well-done one, of two kind of awkward souls finding each other in the most unexpected of places. Lively's sharp writing and observations ground the story and breathe life into these characters, preventing the whole thing from even approaching the bad cliche it so easily could have become. It has been a while since I encountered such two real-seeming characters in a book, and two that I cared so much about. This is a wonderful little novel that I hope more people will read.

Side note: This book had been sitting on my shelf for more than 10 years - yikes!

Jan 4, 2015, 11:34am Top

>117 rosalita: - Julia, that's why I love making my lists for the month and looking over the TIOLI challenges. Inevitably, I throw everything out the window and do whatever, but the exercise is so much fun!

Jan 4, 2015, 11:37am Top

Morning, Katie! A very nice review - did you post it? If so, I will thumb. Putting it on the WL and wondering if the library has it. I have not yet read anything by Lively, but I have Moon Tiger on the agenda for this month. And hooray for getting to a book that has been ruminating on the shelves - I have loads of those, too.

Jan 4, 2015, 11:41am Top

Nice Lively review. I read another of hers this month but I plan to seek out more in the future as I quite liked it. Onto the To Borrow list this one goes. And well done to get a book off the TBR shelf, too!

Jan 4, 2015, 11:41am Top

>120 Crazymamie: - Mamie, I actually did post it on the book page because there were no reviews there. This is my third Lively, I think, and I've liked everything I've read of hers. I have several more of her books waiting patiently..... Hopefully, it won't take me as long to get to those!

Jan 4, 2015, 11:42am Top

>121 rosalita: - Oops, cross-posted, Julia! Thanks, my friend. I hope you can find it. I'd be glad to lend it to anyone interested in reading it, but I'd want it back :)

Jan 4, 2015, 11:43am Top


Jan 4, 2015, 11:44am Top


Jan 4, 2015, 11:46am Top

Da nada. And that's about it for my Spanish, unless you want to know that Thomas is in the office.

Jan 4, 2015, 11:54am Top

Yeah, I took French in school, so my Spanish is pretty useless, too.

Jan 4, 2015, 11:55am Top

I took Latin.

Jan 4, 2015, 12:21pm Top

I took french at school and remain pretty hopeless at it. Never studied Bahasa Melayu (Malay) at all and speak it every single day now - with a Johor accent.

Have a lovely Sunday, Katie.

Jan 4, 2015, 1:00pm Top

*pokes head in the door*

Yay for Latin!!


Jan 4, 2015, 3:12pm Top

>128 Crazymamie: - Amber would be so proud!

>129 PaulCranswick: - Hi Paul. I was never very comfortable speaking French but I could read and write it well. So yeah, useless :)

>130 scaifea: - Ha! See, Mamie?

Jan 4, 2015, 4:00pm Top

Katie - I don't think I've ever read a Lively that I didn't love -- or at least like a lot. You make a case for moving Cleopatra's Sister up on my pile.

Have a great rest of your weekend.

Jan 4, 2015, 7:01pm Top

If any of you want to brush up on those rusty languages, check to see if your public library offers Mango languages. Pretty awesome interactive language learning platform. *takes off librarian hat*

Jan 4, 2015, 7:25pm Top

>133 MickyFine: I second that recommendation. They even have a Pirate course, which would come in handy for Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Jan 4, 2015, 7:31pm Top

>132 BLBera: - Beth, I've only read two others by Lively, but I've liked both of them. I look forward to reading more.

>133 MickyFine: - Thanks, Micky! I wouldn't mind brushing up on my French...

>134 cbl_tn: - LOL, Carrie. Not sure how useful Pirate-ese would be the other 364 days of the year!

Jan 4, 2015, 7:32pm Top

Ugh. I hate the Cowboys. I really hope Detroit defeats them in these last few minutes....

Jan 4, 2015, 7:53pm Top

>118 katiekrug: Thumbs up from me for your excellent review!

Jan 4, 2015, 7:59pm Top

Sorry, Katie.

Jan 4, 2015, 8:19pm Top

Nice review! I really should get going on my Lively. I stand a much better chance of making progress on that than I do brushing up my French!!

Jan 4, 2015, 8:59pm Top

I took two years of Spanish in high school and two years of Italian in college. I'm pretty good at reading either, but forget about being able to speak it. Which is the opposite problem suffered by Anton, one of the characters in the Lively book I just finished, How It All Began. This quote refers to Anton, a Central European immigrant who has picked up spoken English very well but is struggling to learn to read it.
Language blazed at him—all day, every day. It challenge him from the sides of buses, in the Tube, from newspapers. On the radio, the television, in the street. He looked and listened, trying to follow. He snatched what he could—Ah! that I understand, this I can get. Swathes of it escaped him, chattering away into oblivion. And parallel to this perverse, obstructive language ran the words in his own head, the easy, fluent eloquence of his own tongue. When in a foreign country, he thought, you are behind a fence, or in a cell—everything is going on around you but you are not quite part of it. You open your mouth and sound like a child; you know that you are someone else, but you cannot explain it.
Isn't that a lovely description of second-language acquisition?

Jan 4, 2015, 10:38pm Top

>137 Whisper1: - Thanks, Linda.

>138 Crazymamie: - Blerg.

>139 Berly: - Ha ha, Kim! Lively is worth getting to, I promise!

>140 rosalita: - I love that, Julia. Thanks for sharing it.

Jan 4, 2015, 11:03pm Top

The End-of-Year Meme, using titles read in 2014...

Describe yourself: Bad Monkey

Describe how you feel: Unlocked

Describe where you currently live: The Outermost House

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: TransAtlantic

Your favorite form of transportation: War Horse

Your best friend is: The Perfect Match

You and your friends are: World of Trouble

What’s the weather like: Prague Winter

You fear: The Outcast Dead

What is the best advice you have to give: More Baths, Less Talking

Thought for the day: You Shouldn't Have to Say Goodbye

How I would like to die: The Big Sleep

My soul’s present condition: Want Not

Jan 4, 2015, 11:34pm Top

Having so much fun reading this meme on different threads!

Jan 5, 2015, 12:30am Top

Loving your answers. Especially the first and the last.

Jan 5, 2015, 3:21am Top

You got me with Cleopatra's Sister. I don't think I've read any Penelope Lively...

Jan 5, 2015, 7:53am Top

Morning KAK! It looks like I missed you over the weekend. Hope you had a nice one. I wish DA could have been stronger. It sure seems tired. And someone needs to take Thomas far out into the forest and...

Jan 5, 2015, 8:14am Top

>140 rosalita: thumb's up!

Jan 5, 2015, 10:29am Top

>143 lit_chick: - Nancy, I always forget about them from year to year and then have so much fun reading them and composing my own.

>144 Berly: - Thanks, Kim! Unlike some years, I actually had a few possibilities for most of the blanks, so I tried to think what really fit :)

>145 nittnut: - Oh, you should, Jenn! I think you'd like her!

>146 msf59: - Hi Mark! Weekend was okay. The Wayne came home so that was nice, but now I seem to have picked up a stomach bug. Fun! I agree about Thomas. Couldn't he have died a horrible death in that fire?

>147 scvlad: - :)

Jan 5, 2015, 11:07am Top

Love your meme answers - my favorites are you mode of transport and "you and your friends are..."

Did you remind The Wayne that he doesn't have to share everything? Just the things that you actually want.

Jan 5, 2015, 11:52am Top

>149 Crazymamie: - I tell him, and I tell him....

I'm feeling a bit better. Had some peppermint tea which was nice and soothing. I just got notified by my library that my hold on the Kindle version of the new FLavia de Luce short story is available, so I think I'll go download that and read it. I won't count it as a book, since Amazon says it's only 27 pages. But I'm counting those 27 pages!

Jan 5, 2015, 12:14pm Top

Ha! Glad to hear that you are felling a bit better. Don't you just love those digital loans? There's nothing like instant gratification!! I love that you count the pages even when you don't count the book - that would be especially important for those abandoned books where you have invested your time but didn't want to finish the book. Makes it feel like not a complete loss.

Jan 5, 2015, 2:58pm Top

I took French for like 6 years....all I can say now is my name is... and even that I'm pretty sure is mangled. Oh well, we can't have it all right?!? ;)

Jan 5, 2015, 4:55pm Top

>151 Crazymamie: - Yep, I count the pages of my abandoned books, too! You're exactly right about it making it feel like not a complete loss.

>152 jolerie: - Ha, Val, I took French for 8 years, and can barely introduce myself :)

Jan 5, 2015, 6:24pm Top

Feel better soon, Katie.

Jan 5, 2015, 6:55pm Top

>154 BLBera: - Thanks, Beth.

I have resorted to actually taking some medicine. Just over the counter stuff but I usually try to just let things run their course, but this is really annoying...

Jan 5, 2015, 6:57pm Top

"Couldn't he have died a horrible death in that fire?" The wife and I, were wondering or wishing the very same thing. LOL.

Hope you are feeling a bit better today.

Jan 5, 2015, 7:02pm Top

>156 msf59: - I mean, really, what other purpose did the fire serve?

Jan 5, 2015, 7:05pm Top

Has anyone noticed when you go to "Edit" a book that there is now a field next to the Title field? I can't figure out what it's for. I'm ignoring it when I enter new books, but it seems to have auto-populated for existing books in my library. And the values are numbers 2-10.

What the heck is this?

(Sorry, I'm a little anal about entering my books, so I like to know what everything is!)

Jan 5, 2015, 7:33pm Top

>142 katiekrug: Fun answers!

>158 katiekrug: I think it's so that you can set which character in the title should be used for sorting purposes, so if you have a book title that starts with "The" you can set the value to 5 so that you're not sorting on "The". There's a discussion thread here.

>150 katiekrug: There's a new Flavia short story out? How have I missed this?!

Jan 5, 2015, 7:53pm Top

>159 cbl_tn: - Oh, I see. Thanks for that info, Carrie. That's a little more anal than even I am - ha! I haven't noticed many issues when I sort by title (not that I do it that much).

I found out about the Flavia story when I was updating my series on FictFact. It was pretty lame, to be honest with you. Took me maybe 15 minutes to read. Get it from the library, if you can. It is only $0.99 on Kindle and Nook but even that seems like a lot :-/

Jan 5, 2015, 8:29pm Top

" what other purpose did the fire serve?" Well, first of all, he is now back in Cora's good graces, so that means he will be around a few more seasons. Sheeeeesh!!

Jan 5, 2015, 11:31pm Top

>161 msf59: - I may not be around a few more seasons....

Jan 6, 2015, 12:14am Top

Hi Katie, Loved your meme answers.

Thomas with all his scheming and backbiting is getting old. I wish they'd find a new character to create tension downstairs.

Jan 6, 2015, 1:03am Top

Hoping you are feeling better or en francais (no idea how to get the accent!) J'espere que....yeah. That's all I've got! : )

Jan 6, 2015, 7:07am Top

>162 katiekrug: I can't believe you've all made it this far! Bless your hearts! I couldn't take any more after season three. I will say though that Thomas was always a favorite of mine. True story.

Jan 6, 2015, 7:17am Top

" I may not be around a few more seasons." I am ready to jump ship at any time, although I will give it a chance...a little one.

Jan 6, 2015, 9:23am Top

Love your meme answers and very sorry to read that you are sick, Katie. Here is hoping that you are feeling better real soon!

.... Oooooohhhh, a Flavia short story. Off to investigate.....

Jan 6, 2015, 9:26am Top

Morning, Katie! How are feeling today? Better?

Speaking of Flavia, the newest full length one is out today - As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust.

Jan 6, 2015, 9:53am Top

>163 Copperskye: - Totally agree with you about Thomas, Joanne!

>164 Berly: - Ha! Thanks, Kim!

>165 DorsVenabili: - Kerri, I liked Thomas, too, at the start. He was so wonderfully scheming, but it's gotten pretty old, and he hasn't developed as a character at all, really.

>166 msf59: - Yeah, I figure I'll give it a few episodes to see if they develop anything interesting, otherwise I'm out!

>167 lkernagh: - Thank you, Lori!!

>168 Crazymamie: - It is?!?! For some reason, I had it in my head that it was coming out in March or April... I will go check my library, as I like to get them on audio. Thanks for the tip, Mamie!

Jan 6, 2015, 9:54am Top

You're welcome - I love the audios, too. That lady is a hoot!

Jan 6, 2015, 9:55am Top

I am feeling lots better today but am staying home from work to be on the safe side. I will do some work from here.

On the downside, I somehow managed to injure my wrist this morning. I put pressure on it strangely and now it hurts in certain positions. Awesome. Luckily, the hubs had a brace he was able to dig out and give me. But typing is kind of a pain, so please excuse any typos!

Jan 6, 2015, 9:59am Top

Oh, no! You should probably ice it, too. I hate icing, but it does work. Working from home sounds like an excellent plan!

Jan 6, 2015, 10:02am Top

>170 Crazymamie:, >172 Crazymamie: - Well, my library's Overdrive doesn't have the audio or e-book yet, so I will wait... And good point about icing!

Jan 6, 2015, 10:09am Top

Oh, bummer. I have a hold on the second book in that series - for the audio on Overdrive, and it is taking FOREVER. But that narrator is worth the wait. And yes. Ice.

Jan 6, 2015, 10:58am Top

Hi Katie!

>118 katiekrug: Enjoyed your review of Cleopatra's Sister.

Sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well and have now hurt your wrist on top of that :-(

Jan 6, 2015, 11:00am Top

>174 Crazymamie: - I'm excited for this next book because it's taking Flavia in a new direction which I think is needed. It was all getting a bit tired by book 6 or whatever...

>175 souloftherose: - Hi Heather! I'm just a mess, aren't I? Actually, wrist is already feeling better so hopefully it was just a weird jarring thing. And I'm glad you liked my review. It was a great little book - I think you'd like it, too!

Edited: Jan 6, 2015, 12:15pm Top

I saw on Facebook a list of moviews coming out in 2015 based on books. I have five of the books sitting on my shelves/Kindle, so will try to read them before the movie is released...

Serena by Ron Rash (March)
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick (March)
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (April)
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (May)
The Martian by Andy Weir (November)

I have a weird compulsion to see any movie based on a book I've read, even if the movies never do the books justice.

Jan 6, 2015, 12:31pm Top

I have Child 44 on my Ipod and will get it it hopefully before the movie comes out. On second thought I don't think it's a movie I can watch based on the summary....
The Martian though? I HAVE to see that one and bonus it's something my husband would join me on!
My compulsion is that I will rarely, if ever, watch a movie before I read the book if I know beforehand it was adapted from a book.

Jan 6, 2015, 12:40pm Top

Val, I'm trying to convince my husband to read The Martian....

Jan 6, 2015, 12:59pm Top

I got Craig to read it, and he loved it! I have Child 44 in the stacks - didn't know that they were making it into a movie, so I guess I need to bump that up.

Jan 6, 2015, 2:34pm Top

Hi Katie!
Good to hear you're feeling better.

I think my tolerance level with Downton Abbey is that I'll stick around as long as Maggie Smith does, Once she's gone - I'm probably out, She's the only spice in a cast of bland at this point,

Ooh I have three of those books to movies, Always an incentive for me to get them read before the movie cones out,

I've got Serena, Child 44, and The Martian.

Jan 6, 2015, 3:00pm Top

>180 Crazymamie: - I didn't know about the movies of Child 44 or In the Heart of the Sea, Mamie. I will probably make the latter my NF read next month, and try to squeeze in the former sometime between now and early March.

>181 SuziQoregon: - You are so right about Maggie Smith, Juli! She is worth sticking around for. I just wish most of her scenes weren't with Isabelle, as I find her really annoying.

Jan 6, 2015, 4:18pm Top

Hi Katie - I read In the Heart of the Sea last year and liked it more for the general historical context than for the actual story itself (which apparently had been well documented several times before). There is a whole analysis of the Nantucket whaling community and its organization - a fascinating look at the disproportionate power of women on the island due to the long absences of the men. Ron Howard is directing the movie so it has real potential!

I loved loved loved The Martian, and I am usually not a fan of SF. I listened on audio and I highly recommend it - the narrator(R.C. Bray) was perfect.

Jan 6, 2015, 4:40pm Top

Hi Vivian! ItHotS has been sitting on my shelf for ages, so I am glad for the nudge to read it. My husband and I watched a documentary last year about the Essex. I am looking forward to learning more.

My library doesn't have the audio of The Martian, unfortunately, so I think I will have to read my Kindle edition. Given all the positive response to it, I don't think I'll be disappointed!

Jan 6, 2015, 8:56pm Top

Hi Katie! Loved your review of Cleopatra's Sister. It looks like a good one, and I thumbed your review!

Love your meme responses -- Bad Monkey, More Baths, Less Talking -- ha!

Jan 6, 2015, 9:00pm Top

Hi Katie! Hope you are feeling better! Child 44 is excellent! Bonnie is currently reading In the Heart of the Sea and really enjoying it. I also have Serena in the audio stacks.

And yes, READ or listen to The Martian. It is a blast!

Jan 6, 2015, 9:00pm Top

The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers

Why I read this now: American Author Challenge

This was not at all what I expected. I assumed I'd be getting a well-written, straightforward, coming of age story and while those elements are there, this was much sadder and darker than I expected. The loneliness and sense of alienation is palpable among the three main characters, but just as central to the story are issues of identity, especially racial and gender identity. A smarter, closer reader than I could write a dissertation on these themes. All I can say is that their inclusion provided a deeper and more meaningful reading experience. I look forward to re-visiting this powerful novella.

Jan 6, 2015, 9:02pm Top

>185 AMQS: - Hi Anne! Thanks for that thumb. Doing that meme is always so much fun :)

>186 msf59: - Hiya Mark - all your endorsements are duly noted! Glad you survived your rough day!

Jan 6, 2015, 10:29pm Top

Nice comments on The Member of the Wedding, Katie. I think it's my favorite McCullers.

Jan 7, 2015, 9:24am Top

Morning, Katie! Nice review - I am hoping to get to that one but probably not this month.

Jan 7, 2015, 10:05am Top

I've got The Member of the Wedding queued up and ready to go next. Your review makes me impatient to get started with it, Katie.

Jan 7, 2015, 10:05am Top

>189 BLBera: - Beth, I need to re-read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, as I have the impression I liked that one better, but it's been so long.....

>190 Crazymamie: - Well, luckily books are patient, Mamie!

Jan 7, 2015, 10:06am Top

>191 rosalita: - Hi Julia! We cross-posted. Can't wait to hear what you think of The Member of the Wedding.

Jan 7, 2015, 10:07am Top

Well, I am back at work. It actually felt nice to get out of the house :)

The weather is on the chilly side here (for North Texas) which I love. Any day that I can wear a turtleneck is a good day as far as I'm concerned!

Jan 7, 2015, 10:15am Top

I am loving the cooler temps, too!

Jan 7, 2015, 10:25am Top

McCullers is certainly a master of loneliness and sense of alienation.

Jan 7, 2015, 1:34pm Top

Hi Katie, I am in the process of catching up and dropping stars. I like how Julia put it so I am not hosting a thread on the 75 Challenge this year either. I am set up over at the Category Challenge and plan to visit here often. Don't want to miss any high-jinxs!!

Jan 7, 2015, 2:40pm Top

>195 Crazymamie: - High five! (said in my Borat voice)

>196 lit_chick: - Indeed, Nancy.

>197 DeltaQueen50: - Judy, I've got your Category Challenge thread starred and will make a nuisance of myself over there whenever possible. I don't know what you mean about hijinks over here. I've never heard of such a thing happening ;-)

Jan 7, 2015, 2:46pm Top

At lunch today, I dropped a small container of salad dressing in the middle of the store and it went *SPLAT* all over my pants and sassy leopard print shoes :(

On a happier note, I also picked up dinner while I was there (the store is Central Market, a high-end gourmet grocery store with great prepared foods and an awesome salad bar, plus regular grocery stuff) - for $14 you get "Dinner for Two" and they rotate different selections, with usually 2 or 3 different ones each day. I picked up turkey meatloaf with parsnip whipped potatoes and roasted asparagus. I like doing this because (a) I hate to cook; (b) it's built in portion control; and (c) it's less guilt-inducing than going out to eat. And we have a bottle of pinot noir at home to enjoy with it. Needless to say, I am looking forward to leaving work this evening :) And double bonus, when I told the hubs what was on the menu, he didn't turn up his nose (it might have helped that I referred to meatloaf, not turkey meatloaf)...

(Not sure why I felt the need to share all of this. Perhaps I'm procrastinating a tad?)

Jan 7, 2015, 4:34pm Top

Lol about all the Downton griping. I bailed when they killed Matthew. I can't seem to work up the desire to watch any more.

Interesting review of Member of the Wedding. I opted for Ballad of the Sad Cafe, and it also had some deeper, darker themes than expected. Retribution. Betrayal. That sort of thing.

Bummer about the salad dressing on your sassy shoes. Note that I reserve my sympathy mostly for the shoes. ;)
I hope you have a magical remedy for getting those clean. My Dirty Laundry with the Queen of Clean book recommends corn starch or baking powder for absorbing the oil. You sprinkle it on, leave it for about an hour, then use a leather brush to remove the powder. I've never tried it, but I swear by this book. It has saved me more than once. lol

Jan 7, 2015, 4:56pm Top

>200 nittnut: - Ooh, thanks for the cleaning tip, Jenn! I will give it a go when I get home. Luckily, there isn't too much on the shoes (really just one shoe).

Jan 7, 2015, 8:29pm Top

I'm totally OK with Downton Abbey. Not that I don't agree that it's a bit uneven, or that this episode was a little slow. I just don't care, because the eye candy is too good.

If you haven't watched the special "Manners of Downton Abbey" video (I don't know if it was broadcast but it's available for online streaming at the Masterpiece Theatre website), you should. It's utterly fascinating.

Jan 7, 2015, 8:51pm Top

>202 rosalita: - I'd like some new eye candy, I think. That special was on after the broadcast on Sunday but I didn't watch it. I'll have to look for it online.

Jan 7, 2015, 10:01pm Top

>203 katiekrug: It occurs to me reading your response that I was vague about the meaning of eye candy. I was referring to the sets and costumes rather than the dishiness of any of the actors, none of whom (other than Lord G) do anything for me at all.

Jan 7, 2015, 10:12pm Top

>204 rosalita: - I thought you probably meant it in both senses :) But all the clothes are starting to look the same, and the Abbey could use some redecorating ;-)

I'm just sniping, as someone on Mark's thread so politely said.

Jan 7, 2015, 10:14pm Top

>205 katiekrug: Hey, I'm a big fan of sniping, as you well know. :-) And I don't disagree with your points, either. So I guess I'm a big fan of quibbling, as long as we're laying all our cards on the table. :-)

Jan 7, 2015, 11:21pm Top

I understand everyone's opinions on Downton but I still think it's one of the best things on TV right now and will look forward to it every week. I'll roll my eyes when necessary (really Cora, Thomas is ok AGAIN??) but, like Julia, I love the sets and costumes. It always seems like the first few hours of a new season are kind of slow.

Jan 8, 2015, 12:00am Top

Nice reviews of Cleopatra's Sister and The Member of the Wedding, Katie.

I stopped by to tell you that Station Eleven is totally worth $5.99. Just sayin'.

Jan 8, 2015, 7:08am Top

I'm sorry about the salad pants and shoes, but dinner sounds lovely - I love those fancy grocery stores and wish we had one closer to us...

Jan 8, 2015, 8:53am Top

>206 rosalita: - I'm okay with sniping when that's what's going on. But I don't think my comments were sniping. Ah well, I will chalk it up to this person being Debbie Downer anyway...

>207 Copperskye: - Joanne, you may be right about it being the best thing on TV. Which is why I don't watch TV - ha! Other than for football, the TV is rarely on - maybe to watch an occasional movie or show on the Roku. We "cut the cord" with cable so just have broadcast networks now. It's very liberating and gives me lots more time to read :)

>208 EBT1002: - Thanks, Ellen! My library has Station Eleven on audio - I might go that route...

>209 scaifea: - Thanks, Amber. The shoes were not ruined, so that's good. Dinner was okay - the parsnip mashed potatoes were quite yummy, and I liked the turkey loaf but the hubs thought the seasoning was too sweet. I could see his point, but I still liked it :)

Jan 8, 2015, 9:04am Top

I have about 50 pages left in The Sun and the Moon. I was going to try to power through it (it's not bad, just kind of dense) but ended up reading a chapter last night and then looking for something else. I started reading A Prayer for the Dying by Stewart O'Nan who is one of my favorite contemporary authors. So far so good...

Jan 8, 2015, 9:35am Top

A Prayer for the Dying! I am waiting and waiting for that to come in from the library. I saw about the sniping, and you weren't. It's not you, it's...

Jan 8, 2015, 10:04am Top

Just chiming in to say I thought A Prayer for the Dying, though grim and disturbing, was powerful and unforgettable. It is definitely on my re-read list. Looking forward to your comments!

Jan 8, 2015, 10:39am Top

>212 Crazymamie: - *snort* So true!

>213 vivians: - Hi Vivian! I am liking the book a lot, though the second person narration takes some getting used to.

Jan 8, 2015, 12:23pm Top

>210 katiekrug: I don't think I noticed your comments on DA on Mark's thread because I don't get to watch it until the next day so I tend to avoid his thread until I've watched it and then seldom go back to see what people have said. But if you don't think it was sniping then I'm sure it wasn't, especially given the Debbie Downer Factor (which sounds like a disease).

Jan 8, 2015, 1:30pm Top

>215 rosalita: - I had just said I thought it was a weak premier. No biggie!

(I was trying to write out the Debbie Downer noise, but it eludes me. So please use your imagination!)

Jan 8, 2015, 1:37pm Top

>216 katiekrug: Oh, I know that noise, but I can't spell it either. :-)

Jan 8, 2015, 1:41pm Top

>217 rosalita: - It is rather unique...


There is a conversation going on over on Amber's thread about dogs, and it occurred to me that I have not yet showcased Louis this year. We just celebrated Louis' five-year adoption anniversary. He is about 8 or 9 years old now, and the bestest canine companion EVAH. He is a mutt, but mostly black lab (maybe flat coat retriever?). Anyhoo, I adore his smelly self. How could I not, with that face?

Jan 8, 2015, 2:10pm Top

Louis is looking mighty fine, Katie! He's so handsome!

Jan 8, 2015, 2:23pm Top

He's such a cutie pie! I want to snuggle his cute little face.

Jan 8, 2015, 2:38pm Top

>219 Crazymamie: - Isn't he, though?

>220 rosalita: - Julia, he will lick you to death while you snuggle. He likes to give kisses.

Jan 8, 2015, 4:36pm Top

Louis is a sweetheart, Katie : ). So glad you remembered that he had not yet been showcased this year.

Jan 8, 2015, 5:16pm Top

He's a handsome one. He reminds me of our black lab (mostly), Nala. She was my kids' dog; I always think she died of a broken heart when they left for college.

Jan 8, 2015, 5:19pm Top

>221 katiekrug: And I like to receive puppy kisses! It's a match made in heaven.

Jan 8, 2015, 5:35pm Top

I haven't watched the last two seasons of Downton Abbey but I sure do laugh when folks say it is "becoming" a soap opera. It has always been a soap opera.

You sniping? Never! Sniping comments from KAK? Never!

Is that lightning headed my way? *runs*

I love my KAK and her comments.

Jan 8, 2015, 5:47pm Top

>222 lit_chick: - He *is* a sweetheart. LAst night, he tried to sit on my lap while I was reading. He weighs 75 pounds - OOF!

>223 BLBera: - Awww, that makes me sad, Beth. Any time we have to board Louis, I'm afraid he'll either forget about us or be so sad he'll get sick. Poor loyal things...

>224 rosalita: - Perfecto! And who cares if his breath smells and his kisses are slobbery?

>225 luvamystery65: - Ha! I wasn't even being snipe-y! And I totally agree about it having been a soap opera from the beginning. It's basically lipstick on a pig (Which sounds really harsh but you know what I mean!).

Jan 8, 2015, 8:17pm Top

Cute puppy! Oh my. How are the shoes? I had a streak going when I was a 20-something, and of course did not have money to buy shoes that often. Whenever I wore a new pair for the first time someone would throw up on them. Even now I try to wear them to the post office, the library, somewhere that is not either school or Chorale first!

Jan 8, 2015, 8:30pm Top

Hooray, for Louis!! He's a good looking boy. Who named him?

I read A Prayer for the Dying many years ago. My first O'Nan but I do not remember anything about it.

Jan 8, 2015, 8:39pm Top

Man, these first threads of the year should count as a book for each of us! ;) Hi, Katie; I'm Kirsten, newly back on board with the 75ers after a couple of years of tracking slacking. You had me at Sula and Handmaid's Tale - and I love the idea of letting Folly choose for you, so I'm stealing! Happy reading :)

Edited: Jan 8, 2015, 8:59pm Top

>226 katiekrug: And who cares if his breath smells and his kisses are slobbery?

Sounds like some of my more memorable dates!

>225 luvamystery65: & >226 katiekrug: Oh, totally a soap opera from the very start. I do wonder when I see that complain; I wonder what I missed in the first few seasons that would lead someone to believe it was anything but.

Jan 8, 2015, 8:59pm Top

Well, you know I'm all about the furkidz so I'm glad Louis got to make his appearance. I assume he will be cheering for the Seahawks for me this weekend.....

I feel like I've been kind of pushing Station Eleven and then I worry that all the hype will undermine folks' reading pleasure. I mean, it's not a classic or a masterpiece. But it's a good read and surprisingly so, imo.

Happy Friday, Katie!

Jan 8, 2015, 9:23pm Top

Ohmygoodness, Louis is adorable! Please give him a big hug and a good scratch behind the ears from me.

Jan 8, 2015, 9:26pm Top

>227 AMQS: - Oh my goodness, Anne, that is a run of bad luck with your shoes. Ha! Mine are fine - it's good that they are leopard print so you don't really notice any other - um - spots :)

>228 msf59: - I named him, Mark. And in case anyone is wondering, it is pronounced like "Lewis" and not like "Louie". I probably should not have used the spelling I did.... Anyway! I've always named my dogs similarly. I've had Ralph, Boris, Nicholas, and Luther in the past. My next dog will be a female, and I will name her Gert, short for Gertrude.

>229 kgriffith: - Hello and welcome, Kirsten! Steal away :) I have now found and starred your thread.

>230 rosalita: - Sounds like some of my more memorable dates!

Snort! I was going to end my sentence about his slobbery kisses with "kinda like The Wayne" but decided to hold back ;-)

>231 EBT1002: - Ellen, he'll be cheering for Green Bay and Seattle this weekend, along with The Wayne and me. (The Wayne and I? I think it's me, because I would say "along with me", not "along with I" right?)

No worries about the Station Eleven pressure. I will get to it eventually, I'm sure!

Jan 8, 2015, 9:27pm Top

>232 scaifea: - Cross-posted, Amber! I certainly will convey the hug and scratch. Consider yourself licked up one side of the face and down the other ;-)

Jan 8, 2015, 9:28pm Top

My Kindle Paperwhite is named Gertrude! And yes. With me.

Jan 8, 2015, 9:34pm Top

>236 katiekrug: - Uh oh, now I'm confused. With you?

Edited: Jan 8, 2015, 9:36pm Top

With me is correct in your post to Ellen.

Jan 8, 2015, 9:39pm Top

Oh, d'oh! Of course. Thanks for that! I thought I was right but it did sound odd, but I think it sounds odd because it's usually done wrong.

Jan 8, 2015, 9:43pm Top

>236 katiekrug: & >238 katiekrug:Oh, d'oh! Of course. Ha ha! Katie are you doing "housework"? If so, Cin Cin!

Jan 8, 2015, 9:46pm Top

>239 luvamystery65: - Ha! Nope, just drinking a Diet Dr. Pepper. But now that you mention it....

Jan 8, 2015, 9:47pm Top


Jan 8, 2015, 9:58pm Top

>240 katiekrug: Now you've gone and disappointed poor Mamie.

>241 Crazymamie: It's okay Mamie. I'm sure it's just this once.

Jan 8, 2015, 10:01pm Top

But...But...it's KAK! She can't just sit around drinking soda. What about her fans? Her adoring public? Her minions?

Jan 8, 2015, 10:09pm Top

Easy, ladies, easy. I was only having the not-wine in solidarity with The Wayne who is having a sleep test tonight, and they told him no alcohol. He is now gone and my glass is full.

Of the good stuff.

Jan 8, 2015, 10:10pm Top

Oh, thank goodness!

Jan 8, 2015, 10:17pm Top

>244 katiekrug: That is more like it! Very sweet of you with The Wayne.

>245 Crazymamie: The planets have aligned my dear.

Jan 8, 2015, 10:18pm Top

Ha! LOVE that!

Jan 8, 2015, 10:28pm Top

I'm thinking of topping my threads from now on with some of my favorite snarky e-cards. Like this one:

Jan 8, 2015, 10:30pm Top

>248 katiekrug: Yes! There is one about drinking wine with your kids Halloween candy. Ha! We don't have kids but we drink wine with Oreos and M&Ms. We're classy that way.

Jan 8, 2015, 10:32pm Top

>249 luvamystery65: - I participated in a recipe exchange at work today. My contribution was "Katie's No-Fail Feel Good Dinner," and the ingredients consisted of a bottle of red wine and a package of Oreos.

People thought I was kidding...

Jan 8, 2015, 10:33pm Top

>250 katiekrug: You can do my menu planning any day you like. Don't these people know you?

Jan 8, 2015, 10:35pm Top

Sour patch kids and peanut M&Ms for all!

Jan 8, 2015, 10:36pm Top

And a $45 bottle of chardonnay :)

Jan 8, 2015, 11:07pm Top

Your Louis is a handsome fellow!

Jan 8, 2015, 11:49pm Top

LOL! It's a $9.15 bottle of Chardonnay that I paid $45 for. Ay! It was worth it.

Jan 8, 2015, 11:51pm Top

>142 katiekrug: Ha! Bad Monkey....that is so funny.

So I am cheekily sneaking in before the end of the thread so that I can say I was here from the start ;) And because your thread got away on me ;)

>244 katiekrug: well, my glass is now empty. I had to open a bottle, you see, to make the gravy for my roast dinner (had to), and hen - well, you can't have an open bottle within cooee of me. So I decided to partake. It is Christmas the new year, afterall.

Jan 9, 2015, 12:00am Top

>254 cbl_tn: - Thanks, Carrie! I think so :)

>255 luvamystery65: - But hey, you found a good, cheap Chardonnay so hooray for that!

>256 LovingLit: - Hi Megan! You put me to shame - I need to come find your thread and star it. Silly of me to think I could keep on top of things without stars...

It is Christmas the new year, afterall. OR as I like to say, it is a day ending in "y" after all... ;-)

Jan 9, 2015, 12:03am Top

^ ooh, i like that one :)

Jan 9, 2015, 1:07am Top

>248 katiekrug: Perfect! Says it all. : ) Tonight was Pinot Noir at Chez Kim.

Jan 9, 2015, 1:42am Top

I am so far behind. But I have to say >212 Crazymamie: that Thomas is not allowed in my lifeboat.

>218 katiekrug: Awww! Happy Adoptaversary!

Also, >227 AMQS: GAAACK!! That is not the proper fate for new shoes.

Jan 9, 2015, 9:14am Top

>260 nittnut: Ha! I have only seen the first season, but I would agree with that sentiment!

Morning, Katie! I love your dinner recipe. And also the snarky e-cards! It's Friday - we made it to Friday!!

Jan 9, 2015, 10:32am Top

>258 LovingLit: - :-D

>259 Berly: - At chez Katie, too!

>260 nittnut: - Jenn, I think you have perfectly summed up the main points of this thread!

>261 Crazymamie: - And it's my Friday off! And I'm going to work anyway! Yahoo?!?

But first.... I need to start a new thread. Stand by...

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2015

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