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CBL's Literary Adventures in 2016

This topic was continued by CBL's Literary Adventures in 2016 Part 2.

75 Books Challenge for 2016

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Dec 22, 2015, 11:26am Top

My name is Carrie, and I'm back for my 6th year in this group. I've been reading non-stop since the age of 4. I'm a baby boomer, but just barely since I was born at the tail end of that generation. (I identify more with Gen Xers since I was the oldest child/grandchild in my family.) I'm a librarian who is learning to live with the reality that there will never be enough time to read all the fascinating books that cross my radar. I have one "furbaby", Adrian (named for Adrian Monk), a very sweet 4-year-old Shih Tzu I adopted from the Humane Society in September 2013. You'll see photos here from time to time.

My reading is fairly eclectic, but I have a special love for classic mystery authors like Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, and Josephine Tey. And I have a growing appreciation of Rex Stout, who I recently discovered is my 3rd cousin 3x removed. I also try to fit in books about local, state, regional, or U.S. history and genealogy as part of my family history research, which I've been actively pursuing since middle school.

Edited: Jan 20, 2016, 3:32pm Top

Books read in January:
1. The Hooded Hawke by Karen Harper (3.5) - completed 1/2/16
2. Land of Marvels by Barry Unsworth (3.5) - completed 1/5/16
3. Ru by Kim Thuy (4) - completed 1/9/16
4. The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny (2.5) - completed 1/10/16
5. The Upstairs Wife by Rafia Zakaria (3.5) - completed 1/15/16
6. Willoughbyland: England's Lost Colony by Matthew Parker (4) - completed 1/20/16

Edited: Jan 19, 2016, 8:25am Top

Books added in January:
1. Elizabeth Gaskell Illuminated by The Message, compiled and introduced by Patricia A. Lynch (gift)
2. The Social Life of DNA by Alondra Nelson (December ER win)
3. The Works of Aphra Behn: Volume V by Aphra Behn (free ebook)

Edited: Jan 5, 2016, 9:59pm Top

PaulCranswick's British Authors Challenge

Barry Unsworth - Land of Marvels - COMPLETED 1/5/16
Susan Hill - The Various Haunts of Men

Edited: Jan 9, 2016, 9:50pm Top

Smiler69's Canadian Authors Challenge

Kim Thuy - Ru - COMPLETED 1/9/16

Edited: Dec 22, 2015, 11:52am Top

msf59's American Authors Challenge/weird_O's Pulitzer Prize Challenge

Anne Tyler - Saint Maybe

Edited: Jan 18, 2016, 12:42pm Top

Chatterbox's Nonfiction Reading Challenge

JANUARY - Biography/memoir/autobiography
The Upstairs Wife by Rafia Zakaria - COMPLETED 1/15/16
The Richest Woman in America by Janet Wallach

Edited: Dec 22, 2015, 11:53am Top

My Commonwealth Challenge

Edited: Dec 22, 2015, 11:54am Top

I'm in the middle of a multi-year quest to read Agatha Christie's works in publication order. I'll list them here as I finish them.

Edited: Jan 21, 2016, 8:38am Top

I've been reading books about Jane Austen or books about or inspired by her novels. I'll list them here as I finish them.

Edited: Dec 22, 2015, 11:58am Top

I'll be following the Hogarth Shakespeare project that began with Jeanette Winterson's retelling of The Winter's Tale as The Gap of Time. If I haven't already read the play, I'll read it first. Next up is Howard Jacobson's retelling of The Merchant of Venice, Shylock Is My Name.

Dec 22, 2015, 11:27am Top

Reserved 11

I think that's all I need!

Dec 22, 2015, 11:37am Top

Welcome back!

Dec 22, 2015, 11:46am Top

I love Adrian's outfit. Looking forward to your 2016 reading.

Dec 22, 2015, 11:59am Top

>13 drneutron: Thanks Jim!

>14 Ameise1: Thanks Barbara! You can't see it in the photo, but Rudolph is on the back of the sweater!

Dec 22, 2015, 12:23pm Top

Great to see you again, Carrie!

Dec 22, 2015, 12:44pm Top

>16 DianaNL: Thanks Diana! It's great to see you back, too!

Dec 22, 2015, 1:25pm Top

Looking forward to following along, Carrie!

Dec 22, 2015, 1:31pm Top

>18 countrylife: Thanks Cindy! I'm looking forward to my January reading lists, but I still have lots of good reading left in December.

Dec 22, 2015, 4:53pm Top

Found and starred! Our youngest came from the Humane Society too.

Dec 22, 2015, 5:16pm Top

>20 mstrust: Our local Humane Society is great! I am so lucky to have found Adrian there. I can't imagine a better dog for me.

Dec 23, 2015, 1:12am Top

>8 cbl_tn: Lovely to see you back Carrie. Are you going to broaden out the challenge or keep it for yourself!?

Dec 23, 2015, 7:49am Top

>22 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! There's actually a Commonwealth Challenge group that anyone is welcome to join. Right now it's mostly me, Judy, and Lori (lkernagh) talking to each other. I brought my Dominica selection with me to Texas, but I'm not sure I'll have time to read everything I brought with me.

Dec 23, 2015, 7:51am Top

Great to see you again, Carry!

Dec 23, 2015, 7:57am Top

>24 DianaNL: Thanks Diana!

Dec 23, 2015, 1:07pm Top

Hi Carrie! Just dropping off stars in the new group so I don't lose my peeps in the new year :)

Dec 23, 2015, 2:28pm Top

Welcome back, Carrie, good to see you here again.

I'm hoping to do a better job with the American Authors Challenge in 2016 and of course, will be actively participating in the nonfiction challenge.

Dec 23, 2015, 6:23pm Top

>26 katiekrug: Glad you found me!

>27 lindapanzo: Thanks Linda! I'm not a huge American lit fan so I may miss some months in that challenge. My hope is to substitute a Pulitzer for AAC authors that don't appeal to me.

Dec 26, 2015, 10:26pm Top

Lovely to see your thread up, Carrie!

Dec 26, 2015, 10:33pm Top

>28 cbl_tn: Thanks Lori! I still have a little sprucing up to do but there's time before January to get it done!

Dec 28, 2015, 8:40pm Top

I've found your thread!

Dec 29, 2015, 1:12am Top

Hi Carrie! I'm along for the ride again. Happy new year to you!

Dec 29, 2015, 11:35am Top

Dropping off my star, Carrie, and looking forward to another year of following your reading journey!

Dec 29, 2015, 1:21pm Top

Hi Carrie! Your challenges are so well organised...you'll fill up those posts in no time!

Dec 29, 2015, 1:32pm Top

>31 thornton37814: Glad you found me!

>32 AMQS: Hi Anne! Happy New Year to you, too!

>33 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! It's great to see you!

>34 susanj67: Hi Susan! I hooe I get off to a good start in the new year. There's been so much going on lately that I've had a hard time concentrating on reading.

Dec 31, 2015, 6:01am Top

Dec 31, 2015, 1:19pm Top

>36 DianaNL: Thanks Diana!

Dec 31, 2015, 3:17pm Top

Dec 31, 2015, 5:31pm Top

>38 Ameise1: Thank you Barbara! The same to you!

Dec 31, 2015, 11:36pm Top

Happy New Thread for a Happy New Year!

Jan 1, 2016, 8:13am Top

>40 leahbird: Thanks Leah! I have a suggestion for a New Year's resolution: LT meetup. Let 2016 be the year for it!

Jan 1, 2016, 8:17am Top

Happy New Year everyone! I'm starting off the year with a historical mystery, The Hooded Hawke. My plans for the day include watching the Outback Bowl with Lori (thornton37814) and sampling some of the yummy looking cheesecake she posted on her thread. My contribution will be chicken and rice soup. I figured we needed something light to make sure there's plenty of room for cheesecake!

Jan 1, 2016, 8:20am Top

Happy New Year, Carrie :-) I saw that cheesecake on Lori's thread. I envy both of you, for the meetup and the lunch! Have a great time.

Jan 1, 2016, 8:46am Top

>43 susanj67: Happy New Year, Susan! I know there will be plenty of cheesecake and I wish you could be here to share it with us! You'll have to make sure East Tennessee is included in your Great U.S. Adventure!

Jan 1, 2016, 9:29am Top

I'm excited about my January reading plans, which include:
Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler (AAC author, TBR)
The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel (DeweyCAT, TBR)
The Hooded Hawke by Karen Harper (Reading Through Time, TBR)
Willoughbyland by Matthew Parker (GeoCAT, RandomCAT, TBR)
Land of Marvels by Barry Unsworth (BAC, library wishlist)
The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes (Reading Through Time, TBR)
The Upstairs Wife by Rafia Zakaria (Early Reviewers, NFC)
The Christmas Virtues edited by Jonathan V. Last (Review copy)
Ru by Kim Thuy (CAC)
The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny (library audiobook)
The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill (BAC, library audiobook)

Jan 1, 2016, 9:34am Top

I have not read any of those books in your January plans, Carrie, so I'll be watching to see what you think of them. I do have The Various Haunts of Men on Kindle and on audio, and I'm planning to read that one in January also, so we can compare notes.

Jan 1, 2016, 9:37am Top

Happy New Year, Carrie! got you starred and look forward to watching your progress!

Jan 1, 2016, 10:17am Top

>46 Crazymamie: That will be great! I believe I added this series (Simon Serailler) to my wishlist due to Terri's (tymfos) reviews.

>47 Carmenere: Hi Lynda! I'm glad to see you back!

Jan 1, 2016, 11:17am Top

Happy New Year, Carrie. It looks like you have some great reading planned for January. I look forward to your comments.

Jan 1, 2016, 11:21am Top

Happy new year, Carrie! Adrian looks cozy in his Christmas sweater.

That's an ambitious January reading plan. I've only read the last two on the list; I liked them both.

Jan 1, 2016, 3:10pm Top

>41 cbl_tn: That sounds like a plan!

Jan 1, 2016, 3:46pm Top

>49 BLBera: Hi Beth! I'm excited about this year's challenges and the books I'm likely to read for them.

>50 tymfos: Hi Terri! It was too warm this Christmas for Adrian to wear his sweater any longer than it took to pose for photos! I remember your positive comments about the Simon Serailler series on your thread. I've been meaning to get to it, and Paul's BAC challenge has provided the nudge I needed!

>51 leahbird: It's been a while since I've made a trip to McKays. Just a thought...

Jan 1, 2016, 6:17pm Top

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2016, Carrie!

Jan 1, 2016, 6:28pm Top

>53 lkernagh: Thanks Lori!

Jan 1, 2016, 6:54pm Top

Hi Carrie. I'm a new visitor but I saw that you provided toys for Lori's kittens and that you live in Tennessee (as do my favorite aunt and cousins) and that your thread is very interesting, SO - hi!

Also, you promised that you'd occasionally post photos of Adrian so that seals it. My star has been duly dropped.

Wishing you all the best in 2016!

Jan 1, 2016, 8:46pm Top

>55 EBT1002: Welcome! You have relatives in Tennessee! Do you ever come for a visit? We've got wonderful used bookstores in Knoxville, Nashville, and Chattanooga, any of which would be a great location for an LT meetup!

And for your pleasure, here's a photo that Lori took of me and Adrian this afternoon.

Edited: Jan 1, 2016, 10:41pm Top

Hi Carrie. What a lovely photo of you and Adrian!

Happy New Year! May it be filled with books galore, and space to stash your new acquisitions.

Jan 1, 2016, 10:43pm Top

>56 cbl_tn: I've seen that photo before. I think there's a copy on my phone.

Jan 1, 2016, 10:57pm Top

>57 Whisper1: Thanks Linda! I didn't notice the photographer in my house. I guess I was too busy lookimg at all the books! ;-)

>58 thornton37814: Yep! :-)

Jan 1, 2016, 11:12pm Top

>56 cbl_tn: I do visit occasionally. This is the first Thanksgiving in a few years that we did not make the trip. My aunt lives in Waverly and I have one cousin in Burns (Dickson, essentially) and another in Nashville. We usually make a trip to Ann Patchett's bookstore in Nashville when I'm in town.

Cute photo of you and Adrian! Thanks for posting (you're sure to see more of me if you are so easy to nudge into posting animal pics)!

Jan 2, 2016, 8:56am Top

What a great photo of you and Adrian!

Jan 2, 2016, 9:04am Top

>60 EBT1002: I aim to please! I haven't been to Ann Patchett's bookstore yet. I'll have to see if I can work it into one of my trips. A lot of our statewide library meetings are held in Nashville.

>61 scaifea: Thanks Amber! Lori (thornton37814) gets the credit for taking the picture with her phone.

Jan 2, 2016, 9:21am Top

>45 cbl_tn: and >46 Crazymamie:. HI Carrie! I started Saint Maybe last night, also off the TBR. And I read The Various Haunts of Men last year. I'll stop by again to see what you think of them.

Jan 2, 2016, 9:56am Top

Carrie, that's a lovely picture! (Well done Lori :-) )

Jan 2, 2016, 10:10am Top

I like the photo, too, Carrie!

>63 ffortsa: Did you like it, Judy?

Jan 2, 2016, 10:29am Top

Have a wonderful bookfilled 2016, Carrie. xx

Jan 2, 2016, 10:47am Top

>63 ffortsa: Hi Judy! You'll probably be finished with Saint Maybe before I get it started. My next two books will be Land of Marvels, because it's a library ebook that will disappear if I don't finish it before the expiration date, and The Upstairs Wife for Early Reviewers. I'll probably get to Saint Maybe next weekend. I'll start The Various Haunts of Men as soon as I finish my current audiobook.

>64 susanj67: >65 Crazymamie: Thanks! Lori is a good photographer, and it's easier to get a photo of Adrian if there's someone to hold him still. He has a tendency to move when I try to take photos of him!

>66 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul!

Jan 2, 2016, 11:09am Top

I'm surprised she hasn't posted Adrian's selfie with me! It's an awful picture of me, but it's good of Adrian.

Jan 2, 2016, 11:22am Top

>68 thornton37814: I was going to but when I looked at it on my computer the image looked a little blurry. I can try reducing the image size and see if that helps.

Jan 2, 2016, 11:28am Top

1. The Hooded Hawke by Karen Harper
TIOLI #6 - Book by an American author set anywhere other than America

A skilled archer is making repeated attempts at Elizabeth I's life during her summer progress through Hampshire. Or is Captain Francis Drake the target? The queen's new friend has been at her side at each attempt. Is Elizabeth's Catholic cousin, the Duke of Norfolk, in league with the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots, to seize control of the kingdom? Have Spanish spies invaded the heart of England? Or is Francis Drake's cousin, Captain John Hawkins, seeking revenge against him? Sooner or later, the Queen will discover the person or persons behind the arrow attacks with the help of her Privy Plot Council, comprised of her most trusted guards, advisers, and servants.

The author explains in the afterword that each book in this series focuses on a different aspect of Elizabethan life. This book's focus in on sports and games. I enjoyed learning about this aspect of Elizabethan civilization. One of my favorite books in C.J. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake series, Sovereign, uses a progress as the setting for the action, and I found this setting nearly as enjoyable in this book. Like Stephanie Barron does in her Jane Austen mystery series, Harper has woven a mystery plot around historically accurate locations and dates. There really was a summer progress in 1569. This book could be classified as historical espionage/thriller with its royal setting and focus on plots against the throne and international intrigue.

3.5 stars

Jan 2, 2016, 11:55am Top

Hmm - maybe I sent the wrong one? The one where he was moving.

Jan 2, 2016, 12:03pm Top

Edited: Jan 2, 2016, 12:06pm Top

>72 thornton37814: That looks like the one in my email, but when I open it in the email it Adrian's face looks blurry. It looks fine here, though!

Jan 2, 2016, 12:19pm Top


Jan 2, 2016, 12:27pm Top

>72 thornton37814: Another cute picture! How nice to see you both, as well as Adrian!

Jan 2, 2016, 12:45pm Top

>74 thornton37814: I know!

>75 susanj67: Adrian is incredibly photogenic. I'm so lucky!

Jan 2, 2016, 12:50pm Top

>72 thornton37814: LOVE it!!!

Jan 2, 2016, 6:35pm Top

Hi, Carrie - found you! Star dropped.

What's the Outback Bowl? It sounds like something I should be interested in. :)

Aww, Adrian is adorable! Will you post that new 'sleepy face' photo of him here? I think you should share that with as many people as possible!

Jan 2, 2016, 8:09pm Top

>78 lyzard: Hi Liz! The Outback Bowl is a post-season invitational game in college football (American). It's a reward to the teams that played well during the football season, and it makes money for the regional conferences. The bowl games are usually played somewhere that Americans want to travel at this time of year, like New Orleans, Pasadena, Phoenix, Dallas, and several locations in Florida. The Outback Bowl is sponsored by the Outback Steakhouse restaurant chain, and it's played in Tampa.

And because you requested it, here is the "sleepy Adrian" photo. It was taken a day or two before Christmas by a member of the family Adrian stayed with while I was out of town. I don't usually give titles to photographs, but I think "Dreaming of Sugar Plums" seems to fit this one!

Jan 2, 2016, 8:29pm Top

The Outback Bowl is sponsored by the Outback Steakhouse restaurant chain

Ohhhhhhhh, gotcha! :D

>79 cbl_tn:


Jan 2, 2016, 8:36pm Top

A friend of mine was in the press room at the game. He said that it pays to be at a bowl sponsored by a restaurant because they make sure you are well fed. He really enjoyed the game and even posted his MVP vote online so we could all see for whom he voted. I'm sure Carrie can guess his vote!

Jan 2, 2016, 9:02pm Top

>80 lyzard: Almost as cute as a sloth! It's a toss-up, really. ;-)

>81 thornton37814: Jalen Hurd?

Jan 2, 2016, 9:21pm Top

Happy New Year!

Jan 2, 2016, 9:27pm Top

>83 ronincats: Thanks Roni!

Jan 2, 2016, 9:30pm Top

Hi Carrie! Happy new year! I'm loving the photos of Adrian, and it's great to see you and Lori too. Your January reading sounds amazing - can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings!

Jan 2, 2016, 9:41pm Top

>85 porch_reader: Hi Amy! I am looking forward to my January reading list. I'm just starting on Land of Marvels, which will be my first experience with Barry Unsworth.

Jan 2, 2016, 9:46pm Top

Jan 2, 2016, 9:54pm Top

>87 thornton37814: He seemed like the obvious choice!

Jan 2, 2016, 10:08pm Top

I'm doing my best to get around to all the threads, but they're moving faster than I can catch up. If everyone would just stop posting anywhere for an hour or two I might have a chance...

Jan 2, 2016, 10:09pm Top

>79 cbl_tn:, What a lovely photo!

Jan 2, 2016, 10:12pm Top

>90 Whisper1: Thanks! I'll let my friend know how much everyone's enjoying it! Adrian actually looks a lot like that right now. He's snoozing in the chair next to me while I'm thread hopping.

Jan 2, 2016, 11:41pm Top

>79 cbl_tn: AWWWWW!!!!
That is a wonderful photo!

You're making me think I need a dog....

Jan 3, 2016, 6:05am Top

>79 cbl_tn: Great photo of Adrian, Carrie!

Jan 3, 2016, 7:32am Top

>92 EBT1002: Thanks Ellen! I can highly recommend Shih Tzus. Adrian seems to have all the best characteristics of the breed. He gets along well with people and with other animals, and he's pretty laid-back most of the time. I don't think I could have found a dog that's better suited to me.

>93 kidzdoc: Thanks Darryl!

Jan 3, 2016, 7:33am Top

>89 cbl_tn: Carrie, I know what you mean! My own thread disappeared off my page 1 at some point, so I lost myself!

Jan 3, 2016, 7:36am Top

>95 susanj67: Oh dear! I'm glad you found yourself again! Hmm, that seems like it might have the beginnings of a good book. You're lost in the 75 Group threads and have to find your way out...

Jan 3, 2016, 9:38am Top

Loving all the photos of Adrian, Carrie! He is such a cutie. Happy Sunday to the both of you!

Jan 3, 2016, 12:33pm Top

>97 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie! All good wishes are appreciated today!

Jan 3, 2016, 8:07pm Top

I've started Land of Marvels for the BAC. I didn't make much progress today - too many distractions - but I really like what I've read so far. I'm enjoying the archaeological aspect of the book. I have several colleagues who have been involved in an archaeological project in the Middle East for nearly two decades and I've heard a lot about their fieldwork.

Jan 3, 2016, 9:14pm Top

Happy New Year Carrie!

Jan 3, 2016, 9:20pm Top

>100 The_Hibernator: Thanks Rachel! I promise I'll find your thread soon!

Jan 4, 2016, 12:28pm Top

I had a surprise when I left the office for lunch. It was snowing! Just flurries, and it's a few degrees above freezing so it won't stick. I know it's the kind of weather we should be having here this time of year, but I was really enjoying the 60ish weather we had last week. Surprisingly we don't get it often. We generally skip most of spring and autumn and go straight from winter to summer and v.v.

Jan 4, 2016, 9:19pm Top

We had the snow at our place too. I knew it wouldn't stick, but it was fun to watch it coming down outside the window.

Jan 4, 2016, 10:35pm Top

No snow in the 7 day forecast. I wouldn't mind if we don't get any this winter now that the Christmas season is over.

Jan 4, 2016, 11:03pm Top

Yes, snow can be a nice surprise or not-so-nice:) We're due to get some at the end of the week -- no surprise, though. We did have an unexpected snow day just before Christmas break!

Jan 5, 2016, 5:46am Top

>105 AMQS: It seems like it would be hard for snow to catch you by surprise in Colorado! Last time I was there I asked my cousin in Parker about how you manage in the winter. He says it usually melts off between snows. I had assumed it just kept piling up all winter, but that sounds more like what we experience here.

Jan 5, 2016, 3:50pm Top

Happy new year Carrie! >79 cbl_tn: That is a cute picture of Adrian.

>89 cbl_tn: 'I'm doing my best to get around to all the threads, but they're moving faster than I can catch up. If everyone would just stop posting anywhere for an hour or two I might have a chance...'

An hour or two? I think I might be able to catch up if everyone stopped posting for a day or two....

Jan 5, 2016, 5:06pm Top

>107 souloftherose: I hear you! I'm farther behind now that I'm back at work. I think a day or two would be more realistic for me at this point, too!

Jan 5, 2016, 5:23pm Top

I had some good news this afternoon. Next week I have to go to the main allergy clinic to get new vials of serum. I called this afternoon to make sure they'll be ready for me next week and to find out what the hours are next week. I found out that I'll be at full strength in all 3 shots, which means that I have finally reached maintenance level! It's been a long road to get here. I still have several years of allergy shots ahead of me, but this is a milestone event!

Jan 5, 2016, 9:52pm Top

2. Land of Marvels by Barry Unsworth
TIOLI #1 - ISBN has at least one number in the corresponding position

With the Ottoman Empire in decline and with the threat of war in the spring of 1914, British archaeologist Somerville feels the pressure of time to find something of value at the Mesopotamian site he has chosen for excavation. He is certain that the railway the Germans are building will soon reach and destroy his site. Just when items of significance start to turn up at the dig, Somerville is persuaded to add an undercover American geologist to his crew. The geologist isn't interested in archeology; he's only interested in the abundance of oil that lies not far beneath the surface. Somerville's Arab guide/scout, Jehar, will say or do anything to earn enough money to allow him to marry the beautiful young girl who's been enthralled by his stories. The elevation of ambition and desire over reason will lead to disaster.

Unsworth delves deeply into archeology, the history of the ancient Near East, and geology while avoiding the feel of an “information dump”. The land and its history are at the core of the novel. The characters seem more like types than like real people. None of the characters are sympathetic, except perhaps the teenage girl who is the object of Jehar's devotion. This novel nearly fails the Bechdel test. While there are three female characters, one of them never meets the other two, and the two at the archaeological site dislike each other so much that they hardly speak to each other. Unsworth's descriptive writing held my attention and leaves me interested in trying some of his award winning and nominated works.

3.5 stars

Jan 6, 2016, 1:02am Top

>110 cbl_tn: I hope to start this one today, Carrie. I put it also into TIOLI 1. So we have a shared read. Thanks so much for your great review.

Jan 6, 2016, 9:32am Top

>111 Ameise1: Thanks Barbara! I hope you like the book. The archaeological detail fascinated me.

Jan 7, 2016, 5:35pm Top

I was looking at photos of adoptable Shih Tzus today (not that I'm looking to adopt another dog) and came across an interesting photo. Many of you know that Adrian's best friend is a Cairn terrier named Stella. They came home from the Humane Society together. When I go out of town, Adrian stays with Stella's family. When Stella's family goes out of town, she stays with me. (In fact, I'll be keeping her overnight this weekend.) Here's a photo of Adrian and Stella on adoption day a couple of years ago:

One of the adoptable dogs I came across today looks like what Adrian and Stella's offspring would be if they were able to breed. (Both dogs have been fixed.) Here's what a Cairn terrier/Shih Tzu mix looks like.

Jan 7, 2016, 5:39pm Top

Stopping to drop my *star*. Congrats on the good news from the allergist. I went through years of the shots so I am strongly empathetic.

>113 cbl_tn: Adorable. Loved the 'combined' photo too!

Jan 7, 2016, 5:41pm Top

>113 cbl_tn: That is the sweetest photo, Carrie!

Jan 7, 2016, 5:52pm Top

>114 michigantrumpet: I have lots more fellow allergy sufferers than I ever imagined were out there!

>115 Crazymamie: The credit goes to Stella's "mom", who waited in the car with the dogs while I went inside a couple of stores to buy pet supplies.

Jan 8, 2016, 5:06am Top


Jan 8, 2016, 6:16am Top

>117 DianaNL: Thanks Diana!

Jan 8, 2016, 6:29am Top

>109 cbl_tn: Carrie, that's great news about the allergy shots! And I love the little Stella/Adrian-type cross dog, but I wonder what its breed would be - a Shih Terrier? A Cairn-Tzu? Most of all, though, I love that photo of Adrian and Stella. I know your friend took it, but how nice of her to even think to take it!

Jan 8, 2016, 6:44am Top

Hi Susan! I like Cairn Tzu myself! My friend sent me the photo of Adrian and Stella on the second anniversary of adoption day. I didn't know she had taken a photo of the dogs together. I have several that I took of Adrian after we were home.

Jan 8, 2016, 12:01pm Top

>113 cbl_tn: Ha! So cute!

Jan 8, 2016, 12:35pm Top

Oh that picture of Adrian and Stella is just darling! I just love cairn terriers! Growing up, my younger brother relentlessly put up ads from the newspaper about Cairn Terriers for sale. My brother was about 10 years old and he decided our family needed a dog. My dad was not so much one for a big discussion , so my brother posted ad after ad about Cairn Terriers for 6 months or so. Finally my parents. along with all 5 of we kids headed to a Cairn Terriers breeders home and my dad was so soft hearted we left with two cairn terriers. :) I loved to those two Cairn Terriers with all my heart! The breeder had already named them Rascal and Benji ( so trite , I know ) but my family kept those names. They were invaluable in there love and company to me and my family. Thus we have always had a dog. ( Not when our two kids were really young, but once our two boys were 9 and 4, I felt we could take on a puppy and do it justice with the training and exercise. My husband came from a no pet family, so he was a little uncertain, but he sure is smitten with dogs now! Just a happy thought!

I love dogs!

Anyway, I came to let you know I put some comments on the book Faith on my thread. It was an excellent read and I feel quite confident that you would enjoy it. My comments don't do it justice, but I wish I had not waited so long to get around to reading it.

Jan 8, 2016, 1:05pm Top

>122 vancouverdeb: I have Haigh's Faith on my shelves. I remember picking it up in great anticipation, only to get caught up in something else. Will have to start moving it up to the top of the vertiginous pile. :-)

Jan 8, 2016, 5:21pm Top

>121 scaifea: They're sweet dogs!

>122 vancouverdeb: I enjoy Stella's visits, but I also enjoy the silence after she goes home. She barks a lot more than Adrian does. I don't know if it's a male/female difference or if it's a breed difference. All I know is that Adrian is a much quieter dog. He will, however, happily join Stella in a duet. Stella's "mom" suspects that in her earlier life she was crated most of the time and was probably used for breeding. She doesn't know how to play. She is prone to bite strangers so she probably wasn't socialized as a puppy. I think Adrian had a good owner who probably still misses him. All I know of his past is that he was picked up by Animal Control and ended up at the Humane Society.

>122 vancouverdeb: >123 michigantrumpet: I will be over directly to read the review of Faith.

Jan 8, 2016, 5:34pm Top

Carrie, I love all the pictures of Adrian that decorate your thread. He is a very handsome lad, but you already know that. I didn't realize he is a rescue dog. You both got lucky!

Your Unsworth book sounds like a good solid read. Maybe I'll get to it one of these days as I do enjoy his way of telling a historical story.

Enjoy your week end!

Jan 8, 2016, 5:54pm Top

>125 Donna828: We did both get lucky, and I think I got the better end of the deal!

"Solid" is good way to describe Land of Marvels. I'm sure it's not his best work, but it's good. Particularly if you like archaeology, ancient history, or geology.

Jan 8, 2016, 6:58pm Top

>126 cbl_tn: I agree that Carrie got the better end of the deal. Stella bit me. Adrian never does.

Jan 8, 2016, 7:25pm Top

>127 thornton37814: I hadn't thought of it that way. I was just thinking that Adrian has done more for me than I could ever do for him.

Jan 8, 2016, 7:47pm Top

I've just enjoyed catching up on your thread, Carrie! Looks like Adrian's getting a lot of loving lately and well deserved it is. The Stella/Adrian is so sweet. Looks like they're friends for life.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Jan 8, 2016, 7:53pm Top

>129 Carmenere: Adrian loves being the center of attention! Adrian and Stella are great friends. I need to get a video of what happens when Stella arrives at my house for a visit. They both race through the house, then settle on the back of the sofa and stare out the window, with short breaks for naps, walks, and dinner. Eventually they try to outmaneuver each other for the best position on my lap while I try to read or watch TV.

Stella is arriving bright and early tomorrow morning for her weekend visit with us!

Jan 9, 2016, 7:53am Top

Wishing you a most lovely weekend, Carrie.

Jan 9, 2016, 9:08am Top

Happy Saturday, Carrie!

Jan 9, 2016, 10:25am Top

>131 Ameise1: >132 Crazymamie: Thanks, Barbara & Mamie!

Stella arrived bright and early this morning. After their customary race through the house, the dogs settled on the back of the sofa to gaze out the window. We've been for a walk, and now Stella is on the back of the sofa barking at something that Adrian and I don't see. Adrian is quiet for the moment. Stella feels a need to bark at every car that passes on the road (which fortunately is a dead end). Adrian only barks at cars that enter the driveway.

I received a notice yesterday that Ru is available for me to pick up. I'll head to the library in a little bit to pick up the hold and then pick up some groceries at the Kroger across the highway from the library.

I'm making good progress on the audio of The Nature of the Beast. Maybe I'll be able to finish it this weekend. I'm also enjoying The Upstairs Wife and I'd like to finish it this weekend as well.

Jan 9, 2016, 4:23pm Top

Sirloin tip roast was on sale so I picked up the smallest one (2 lbs.) and it's cooking now with red potatoes, carrots, turnips, and celery. I brought Ru home with me and decided to go ahead and read it. I think I'll easily be able to finish it this evening. I've read the first 100 pages already, with about 150 more to go. (I have a large print copy, which is the only one they had in the library system.)

I have an hour left in the audio of The Nature of the Beast. I love this series, but I'm not loving this one. In fact, it's turning out to be the book I like least in the series.

Jan 9, 2016, 5:20pm Top

Well, don't ya know it, Sirloin Tips were on sale at my grocery store too and we'll have it for dinner tomorrow.
Hope you and Adrian have a great weekend with your house guest!

Jan 9, 2016, 6:33pm Top

>135 Carmenere: My roast turned out great! I hope yours does, too! I'll have leftovers tomorrow. I also bought chicken breasts on sale. I usually poach them and freeze the cooked meat to use in soups and casseroles. I'll do that tomorrow and maybe make some chicken salad for next week's lunches.

Jan 9, 2016, 6:38pm Top

Did you do your shopping at Giant Eagle too? I purchased chicken breast on sale as well! Wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with them but poaching sounds like a good idea as I don't do that often. I also purchased a combo pack of pork for 99 cents a pound! We'll get 6 meals out of that!

Jan 9, 2016, 6:48pm Top

I shopped at Kroger since it's across the highway from the library. We don't have Giant Eagle in East Tennessee. It's interesting that they're having sales on the same meats this week.

Jan 9, 2016, 6:52pm Top

Kroger's left our area about 10 years ago. I always liked that store. Giant Eagle basically rules the roost, so to speak, in the Ohio/Pennsylvania area. I'd rather go to the bit more expensive family owned chain but it's a little further away and did I say more expensive ;o}

Jan 9, 2016, 6:56pm Top

Aww, sleepy Adrian is so cute! I'm glad I finally made it over to your thread to see him and catch up with you. You have an ambitious January reading list.

Jan 9, 2016, 6:56pm Top

I miss Kroger.

Jan 9, 2016, 7:06pm Top

Okay - now I'm going to have to check to see if Ingles or Food City has a sale on sirloin tip roast which is my favorite roast (because it was the one my mom preferred).

By the way, I'm absolutely positive that Sherlock is a Vols fan. He has shown absolutely no interest in the Mississippi State game or the Ky-Ala one since then. He kept looking up at the TV and sitting and watching the Vols.

Jan 9, 2016, 7:11pm Top

>142 thornton37814: Ingles has bottom round on sale. Food City has top round on sale. Too bad I am not going to Sevierville or Knoxville.

Jan 9, 2016, 7:41pm Top

>139 Carmenere: >141 Crazymamie: I would miss Kroger if it left here. I like the natural and organic food section since it carries lots of products that are sweetened with cane sugar/syrup, or at least something other than corn syrup.

>140 rosalita: Hi Julia! I love sleepy Adrian too! He's such a sweet little guy. I think my January list may be too ambitious. January has been pretty stressful so far and I've had several evenings where I was too wound up to focus on reading. Thankfully, there's Netflix. I'm currently working my way through a Danish crime series, Dicte, on Netflix.

>142 thornton37814: >143 thornton37814: Sirloin tip roast is my favorite, too. Sorry it isn't on sale at one of your local stores.

Sherlock is a pretty smart cat! He needs to work on his brothers and turn them into Vols fans, too!

Jan 9, 2016, 7:42pm Top

> we just met and you've already hit me with a BB. I am a sucker for Elizabethan books.

Jan 9, 2016, 7:45pm Top

>145 AuntieClio: Sorry! I thought I was using rubber BBs, but I guess I was wrong! ;-) It's a fun series, and Elizabeth makes a good detective.

Jan 9, 2016, 9:51pm Top

I finished Ru, but I think I need to sleep on it before writing my review.

Edited: Jan 9, 2016, 9:56pm Top

Hi Carrie -- darling dogs! Thanks for sharing the photo and story:)

ETA: looking forward to your thoughts on Ru. Have you read Inside Out and Back Again? I wonder if they're similar.

Jan 9, 2016, 10:09pm Top

>148 AMQS: Thanks Anne! I haven't read Inside Out and Back Again. It looks good, though! I've ended up reading several immigrant stories lately, although the other books have been non-fiction. I read the memoir of an Iraqi Jew, The Strangers We Became, just before Christmas. Ru is non-linear. It feels like it's composed of scraps of memory, with one memory leading to another. I think it's a more effective way of conveying the experience of loss and adjustment.

Jan 10, 2016, 5:55am Top

Carrie, I've just been googling the supermarkets discussed above. I love new supermarkets :-) I still long to go to a Piggly Wiggly, but I also like the sound of the Giant Eagle. Our supermarket names are so dull!

I hope the barking stopped at night-time. From what your friend says, it sounds like Stella had a difficult start, and I suppose some habits just can't be broken after a while. She's lucky to have found such a nice life now.

Jan 10, 2016, 7:14am Top

>150 susanj67: We used to have a Piggly Wiggly, but it left years ago. I always loved the name. There is a book called Waltzing at the Piggly Wiggly that I intend to read someday just because of the name!

I always associated the Lays pigs with the Piggly Wiggly, and it reminded me of the old Lays meat commercial. I found it on YouTube: http://youtu.be/qeq7LxErFIk

Jan 10, 2016, 7:19am Top

I already own Waltzing at the Piggly Wiggly! Now I'm going to have to dig it outand read it. Maybe I should take it to read on the plane when I go to San Diego next week.

Oh, and Stella is doing better than she used to. She used to start whining in her crate at around 4 or 5 a,m, and she would keep it up until it was time to get up. The last few times she's stayed with me she hasn't whined.

Jan 10, 2016, 7:20am Top

>151 cbl_tn: Cute commercial! But black and white...how times have changed! I remember the characters in The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood were always going to the Piggly Wiggly, which I think is where I first read about it.

Jan 10, 2016, 8:12am Top

>150 susanj67: Did you come across Cas Walker's in your research? It was a chain of stores local to Knoxville. Cas Walker was a colorful character. I don't remember ever shopping in one of his stores, but I do remember the commercials. I found a YouTube recording of Dolly Parton singing the Cas Walker theme song: https://youtu.be/8l0uq6UFKAk However, the jingle I remember was about watermelons. The only recording I can find of the watermelon jingle is amateur, and not quite in tune: https://youtu.be/ZHb0DH8tcTM

Jan 10, 2016, 8:31am Top

>154 cbl_tn: Carrie, I hadn't seen that one! As you know from your time here, we mostly have national chains (apart from the "corner shop" type of business) but I think the US grocery market is very different. Tesco tried to launch in California under the "Fresh & Easy" name, but it failed. It was pretty funny to think of Tesco being marketed as trendy, though, when it definitely isn't!

Jan 10, 2016, 9:39am Top

Interesting supermarket discussion here! When I lived in Pittsburgh Giant Eagle was the primary supermarket chain, so nearly everyone shopped there. We have plenty of Krogers in metro Atlanta, but Publix is my preferred supermarket, although the Kroger store just down the street from the Publix I usually go to is quite good. The supermarkets in the Philadelphia area are dismal in comparison, especially PathMark and Shop Rite.

Are there any Publix supermarkets near you, Carrie? There are a couple in the Knoxville area, right?

Have any of you shopped at Aldi? If so, what do you think of it? The closest one to me is five miles away, but I haven't been to it yet.

Your sirloin tip roast sounds great.

Jan 10, 2016, 12:34pm Top

>155 susanj67: I would shop at a US Tesco if it carried UK brands that I can't find other places! One of our regional chains, Food City, carries a few items like PG Tips tea and Aero bars. I shopped at other stores more often than Tesco because they were more convenient. I lived near a Safeway for a while. I also shopped at Sainsbury's a lot.

>156 kidzdoc: Publix only recently entered the Knoxville market. One is way out on the west side of town. The newest one is near the University of Tennessee campus and it's close to the doctor's office where I get my weekly allergy shots. I've thought about stopping there after getting my shots, but I've been put off by the major road construction between the doctor's office and Publix.

I have shopped at Aldi once or twice. The only one I know of in Knoxville is on the other side of town. I stopped with friends once. It's not a regular grocery store. It reminded me a bit of the grocery section of Sam's Club (but without the membership requirement).

My brother has spent a lot of time in northern Germany in the last 4 years because of his work. Somehow we got onto the topic of Aldi's when I was with him at Christmas. I learned that it is a German business. There are actually two Aldi's in Germany. One operates in the U.S. as Aldi's, and the other operates in the U.S. as Trader Joe's.

My favorite gourmet/specialty store is The Fresh Market.

Jan 10, 2016, 12:44pm Top

>134 cbl_tn: I brought Ru home from the library yesterday too! Not sure when I'll get to it, as I have an ebook out that can't be renewed and so must be read first.

Jan 10, 2016, 1:00pm Top

Hi there Carrie, We've gone to Aldi's many times in the Cleveland area. It seems they are in lower income areas and some only accept cash which is a pain.
Great produce and I love their cheese department, inexpensive and nice variety.
Trader Joes on the other hand tends to locate in high brow neighborhoods. They are still reasonably priced with a huge frozen food department with Indian, Greek, Soul, etc etc etc specialties. I wish I had a freezer large enough to hold everything I'd buy.
They're especially known for 2 buck chuck. It's wine called Charles Shaw officially but because it was priced at 1.99 a few years back it got the nickname. Still, it was pretty darn good stuff.

Jan 10, 2016, 1:41pm Top

>156 kidzdoc:, >157 cbl_tn: Aldi has really taken off in the UK in the last few years, along with Lidl, which is also a low-priced chain. The middle classes are reported to be flocking to them and worrying the big supermarkets. There are no Aldi shops near me, but I went to a Lidl about a year ago and I didn't understand why people raved about it so much. It was OK, but there wa a fairly limited product offering and the quality of some things looked questionable. I was looking for rolled oats for granola, and the stuff they had looked like grit in a bag. I was underwhelmed, particularly after all the love for these shops in the media!

Jan 10, 2016, 1:49pm Top

>158 ffortsa: Yes, those ebooks disappear whether or not you're finished with them. Ru is a quick read whenever you get around to it.

>159 Carmenere: I think I was able to use my debit card at Aldi's, but not a credit card. I don't remember looking at the cheeses. It seemed like an odd mix of items to me. I was there in the middle of our 2-week snow and I was running low on some staples. I was able to get eggs, I think, but there were some other basics that I didn't see on the shelves.

>160 susanj67: I know they had at least some bulk items because I'm still using the paper towels I bought there almost a year ago. Maybe the bulk shopping without a membership fee is part of the attraction. I would have to drive so far to get to an Aldi's that the money I would save on groceries would be spent on gas/petrol to get there and back.

Jan 10, 2016, 2:05pm Top

>161 cbl_tn: Honestly, I don't go to Aldi's to do my regular shopping. There are a lot of no name brands and I wouldn't purchase meat from them but dairy, produce, cheese are good when I'm in the neighborhood. And yes, they do accept debit cards, which we don't use.

Jan 10, 2016, 4:13pm Top

>162 Carmenere: That makes sense. I don't use my debit card as a rule, but I was low on cash because the weather had kept me from getting to an ATM for a while. I seem to recall that they didn't provide bags, either. The husband of the couple I was with rounded up a box for me to put my purchases in.


I finished the audio of The Nature of the Beast while I mixed up the cranberry orange muffins. Now I have two completed books to review later this evening.

Jan 10, 2016, 5:12pm Top

LOL We are so old school here, Carrie! What's an ATM? Just kidding ;0}

Edited: Jan 10, 2016, 5:22pm Top

3. Ru by Kim Thuy
TIOLI #1 - ISBN challenge (matched read)

How do you leave a country with only what you can carry on your body and make a new life in a new country using a new language? Through episodic memories that move back and forth through time, the narrator tells of her childhood in South Vietnam, of life in a reeducation camp, of a boat journey to a new land, of living in a refugee camp in Malaysia, of arriving in Canada and adjusting to a new culture and a new language, of returning to work in Vietnam years later, and of motherhood. Anyone old enough to remember images of the Vietnam War or the boat people will have no trouble visualizing what Thuy so movingly describes. It's short enough to read in a single sitting, and I think this factor is a key to its impact. Thuy pulls readers into her world and keeps them there just long enough to feel the weight of Vietnamese history before releasing them back to their own worlds.

We often forget about the existence of all those women who carried Vietnam on their backs while their husbands and sons carried weapons on theirs...They were so weighed down by all their grief that they couldn't pull themselves up, couldn't straighten their hunched backs, bowed under the weight of their sorrow. When the men emerged from the jungle and started to walk again along the earthen dikes around their rice fields, the women continued to bear the weight of Vietnam's inaudible history on their backs. Very often they passed away under that weight, in silence.

4 stars

Jan 10, 2016, 5:45pm Top

4. The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny
TIOLI #1 - ISBN includes at least one number that matches its position

While retired Surete Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his friends are gathered in the Bistro in Three Pines, a little boy with a big imagination comes running in with a tale of a big gun in the forest. They all think it's just another one of his make-believe stories, until he's found dead. Even then it's hard to believe the boy has been murdered until a discovery is made in the forest. It seems that this was the one story that Laurent hadn't made up. While his former Surete colleagues take the lead on the murder investigation, Gamache pursues a troubling connection. The head of a local theater group intends to produce a newly discovered play written by someone Gamache knows all too well – a man who still has the power to haunt Gamache's mind from a secure prison cell. Why here, and why now?

This is the first book in Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series that has disappointed me. Penny usually achieves a balance between reason and emotion. She lets emotion get the upper hand in this one, particularly horror and fear. The plot is based on real events and real people, and perhaps that affects the writing process more than I would have imagined. I will still be eager to read the next book in the series when it's released because I know what Penny is capable of. I just hope it's more like the best books in this series and less like this one.

2.5 stars

Next up in audio: The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill

Jan 10, 2016, 5:54pm Top

>157 cbl_tn: Ooh, I love The Fresh Market! I only go occasionally as a treat--especially the bakery and the meat departments! There are only a couple of stores here (Chicago area) and they are only in very high-end suburbs.

Has anyone been to a Heinen's? Another very high-end store, exceptionally organized and clean (the floors literally shine). I think they're originally from the Cleveland area.

Jan 10, 2016, 6:06pm Top

>164 Carmenere: I like technology, but sometimes I choose to be a Luddite!

>167 kac522: I like the bakery and the produce. I think I've only bought meat there once. I haven't heard of Heinen's. I don't think we have one near here.

Jan 10, 2016, 8:10pm Top

>166 cbl_tn: Oh no! Sorry to hear that the newest Louise Penny novel wasn't up to her usual standards!

Edited: Jan 10, 2016, 8:21pm Top

Hmm...grocery stores! Publix is my go-to store; their produce is good quality and their "Greenwise" brand is good for organics. A very nice bakery and good quality but not outstanding meats. The Fresh Market is wonderful for variety, bakery, deli, and odd things. A bit pricey, but...

I got to go to Berkeley Bowl in California and what an amazing, amazing place. More produce than I've ever seen. Pricey, but California, you know?

Dislike Piggly Wiggly; product choice and brands are very limited. We have an Aldi's here which just opened up but I haven't been there yet.

Dropping my star.

Jan 10, 2016, 8:48pm Top

>167 kac522: I love Heinens!!! I am lucky enough to live between two of them. Yes, they're originally from Cleveland but I've heard that they're expanding, maybe in Chicago area now? Not sure. They're a family owned operation and yes, very clean, very helpful and yes higher end of the spectrum but so worth it.

Jan 10, 2016, 9:17pm Top

>169 Cait86: At least I listened to an Overdrive copy and didn't spend money on this one!

>170 bohemima: I will have to get to Publix sometime. Yes, the Fresh Market is pricey. I usually limit my shopping there to special treats or holidays.

>171 Carmenere: Well, now I'll have to add Heinen's to my list of places to visit if I'm in the Cleveland or Chicago area!

Jan 10, 2016, 9:48pm Top

>152 cbl_tn: I read that one pre-LT days. It was cute, but it was just an okay read.

Jan 10, 2016, 9:53pm Top

>173 thornton37814: Maybe it will be a good plane read.

Jan 10, 2016, 10:00pm Top

Hi Carrie! Hope you had a great weekend! Ru looks so interesting and unique.

Jan 10, 2016, 10:35pm Top

Some great reviews here, Carrie. I'm looking forward to reading Ru this month!

Jan 11, 2016, 2:53am Top

>157 cbl_tn: >160 susanj67: I've shopped at Aldi for the first time recently and was pleasantly surprised. We went in to get a frozen goose - our friends had told us that they had bought one for £14.99 which had been delicious, so we thought we'd get one too. It was actually £18.99, but that was still less than half the cost of any goose I'd ever come across previously. I know several other people who swear by their meat which is apparently pretty good quality. I suppose the difference with Aldi is that you don't get the choice: with all the other supermarkets you get a million and one choices for dishwasher tablets for example, but with Aldi you just get one sort.

Asda here is owned by Walmart I know, but it looks very much like all the other British supermarkets, presumably because it was a brand in its own right before the take-over.

I get the impression that British supermarket market and the market in the USA / Canada is quite different. I believe that internet grocery shopping is a much bigger thing here and all the supermarkets are pouring money into it.

Jan 11, 2016, 5:43am Top

>175 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel! I didn't do as much reading as I woukd have liked, but otherwise I had a nice weekend. I hope yours was good, too.

>176 EBT1002: Thanks Ellen! Ru tackles some difficult topics, but the writing is so beautiful that it makes those passages bearable.

>177 SandDune: I only went to Asda once or twice when I lived in England. There wasn't one convenient to where I lived. I don't like buying groceries at Walmart here. The store is huge, but it seems like they don't carry half of the things on my list.

I think Internet grocery shopping is more difficult here because of the distances involved. I need to give Amazon's pantry a try since I have some credits that will expire soon.

Jan 11, 2016, 10:13am Top

Morning, Carrie! I don't like buying groceries at our Walmart, either, although I do have to shop there for certain items as no one else has them. It's not just that it is so big, although that is a factor. What I don't like is that the way it is organized makes no sense to me. Also the parking lot is a nightmare.

I didn't read your Louise Penny review only because I am WAY behind you in that series, and I worried about unintentional spoilers - I have only read the first three so far.

Jan 11, 2016, 12:59pm Top

>179 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! For me, book 3 is where Louise Penny's series turned into something special. And I really want to go to Three Pines, stay at the B&B, eat at the bistro, and maybe have an LT meetup at the bookstore. I'll risk the town's high murder rate!

Jan 11, 2016, 1:00pm Top

ME, too, Carrie! Me, too!

Jan 11, 2016, 2:32pm Top

My husband is from South Florida and every time we go there, his first stop is Publix because he loves it so (I may be slightly exaggerating but not by much....)

Here we have Albertson's (which I think is going out of business), Kroger, and Tom Thumb (Which is a Safeway brand). I mostly go to Tom Thumb, but the quality of stores varies widely, so if, for instance, I'm at my aunt's house (about 20 miles away), I go to the Kroger near her because the TT near her is terrible). We also have Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Sprouts, Natural Grocer's, and two higher-end groceries - Central Market and Market Street. We also have two Hispanic chains - Fiesta and Supermercado El Rancho - that have probably the best produce and international foods selection of any of them.

It's kind of ridiculous how many places one can get groceries (not even counting Wal-Mart and Super Target)!

Jan 11, 2016, 5:54pm Top

>182 katiekrug: My brother and SIL have a Kroger just 3 or 4 blocks from their house. They also have a Walmart Neighborhood Market nearby and they do a lot of shopping there. My brother and I bought some things for Christmas dinner at an Albertson's while I was there last month and I didn't think the produce looked very fresh. There may be a good reason that the chain is on its way out.

Our Thanksgiving and Christmas desserts usually come from the Central Market. My Mexican SIL's brother has taken me shopping at El Rancho before. I helped him select pan dulce, and I think he bought tortillas. I know I watched them making tortillas there.

I've started buying a few groceries at Dollar General since we just had one open about a half mile from my house. If I just need a couple of items it's a lot quicker to go there than to drive 5 or 6 miles to the closest grocery store.

Jan 11, 2016, 7:26pm Top

The most amazing grocery store I've ever encountered is Jungle Jim's which now has a couple of locations in the Cincinnati area. It has the most amazing selection of fruits and vegetables from around the world, every kind of meat imaginable, every kind of cheese imaginable, a huge selection of wines, and everything else. If I needed something for an ethnic dish, that's where I shopped!

Jan 11, 2016, 8:28pm Top

>184 thornton37814: I think I read a Smithsonian article about Jungle Jim's! I've never been there, though.

Jan 11, 2016, 8:37pm Top

>185 cbl_tn: We need to make a field trip to Cincinnati.

Jan 11, 2016, 8:44pm Top

I'm enjoying the grocery store talk. Jungle Jim's sounds amazing; hope to run across one some day. When we were kids, my great-grandpa would give us sisters a nickle apiece to buy a candy bar at the Piggly-Wiggly down the street. Those were the days. We do shop at Aldi's occasionally; hubs loves their German chocolate and cheeses. My favorite grocery store to experience is Fred Meyer, which I enjoyed in the Pacific Northwest. A breath of fresh air (and super-fresh and abundant produce) compared to my own neck-of-the-woods.

Jan 11, 2016, 9:02pm Top

Stopping by to get caught up and to wish you a lovely week, Carrie!

Lovely review of Ru.

Great grocery store discussion, even if pretty much all of the stores mentioned are unknown to me. ;-)

Jan 11, 2016, 9:22pm Top

>186 thornton37814: That sounds like a good plan!

>187 countrylife: My grandmother lived very near an IGA when I was in elementary school. By the time I was 11 or 12 I was allowed to walk to the IGA by myself. I can't remember what I bought, if anything. I just remember being thrilled by walking there! The only store close to where I lived was a little country store. They sold penny candy, and every so often my father would give my brother and me a dime each to walk to the store and buy candy.

>188 lkernagh: Thanks Lori! I'm sure you would love some of these stores if you could shop there!

Edited: Jan 12, 2016, 11:11am Top

Lovely review of Ru, Carrie. I was sad that I did not much care for Man by Kim Thuy. I did give Ru 4 stars.

All this discussion of grocery stores! Like Lori, the vast majority of stores that you mention do not exist in Canada, or at least not in Vancouver. I've been to Fred Meyer's but it has been so long , I don't know what it is like now - it is in Bellingham Washington. A bit of a hassle to go there for groceries. Walmart is not close to me and not my style.

Poor old Poppy is right, Carrie. I hate having to take her to the vet due to having to knock her out. It is expensive, and time consuming and certainly no fun for her. But without sedation ( and I mean she knocked0 right out she would bite the vet's hand. She has had fear and then fear aggressive problems right from the start, but she is much improved , but the vet is not a place she wants to be. We should maybe consider trying a new vet that she might take to better. He is very quiet and gentle, but somehow, she does not like the whole place. I guess they have long memories when it comes to the vet.

Internet Grocery Shopping in Canada is fairly minimal so far. I think we have such a large sparely populated area that it is not cost effective for amazon or the public. I do purchase my tea from amazon, but that I can purchase in bulk and it does not go bad, and the type that I like is not available in the stores.

Jan 12, 2016, 11:56am Top

>190 vancouverdeb: Thanks Deborah! My library system doesn't have Man so I guess I don't have to worry about being disappointed with it.

I rarely buy grocery items from Amazon. I've bought Horlicks since I can't buy it in stores here, and I think I bought Postum for my mother years ago, but that's about it.

Poppy is so lucky to have found a family with the patience to work with her fear and anxiety issues. Good luck with the vet visit!

Jan 12, 2016, 3:33pm Top

I got my allergy shots today with the new vials of serum and had it confirmed that I have reached maintenance level. I asked about my options and one option is giving the shots to myself. I want to continue getting the shots at the doctor's office for this first round of full strength serum, then transition to giving them to myself at home. I came home with a prescription for needles so I will be all set to go.

Jan 12, 2016, 3:45pm Top

Yay! Maintenance! That's nice milestone to pass. Congratulations. I wish I wasn't such a baby about injections. Self-administered at home sounds so much more convenient.

Jan 12, 2016, 6:12pm Top

Congratulations on the allergy shots, Carrie.

Ru is moving up my list with so many positive comments.

Jan 12, 2016, 8:51pm Top

>193 michigantrumpet: It's going to save me at least 2 hours a week. :-)

>194 BLBera: Thanks Beth! I think you will like Ru.

Jan 13, 2016, 8:04pm Top

I just talked to my brother, who lives in a Fort Worth suburb. He and my SIL went to the premiere of 13 Hours at Texas Stadium last night. My SIL's Mexican niece is living with them this year and studying English at a local university. She went with a friend and arrived pretty early. She was pulled out of line to stand next to the red carpet, and then she was given a pretty good seat for the movie. (I'm not surprised that this happened to her. She is beautiful and very photogenic.) My SIL just sent me a photo of her niece with one of the stars. I think it's Pablo Schreiber.

Jan 13, 2016, 9:16pm Top

>157 cbl_tn: Publix only recently entered the Knoxville market. One is way out on the west side of town.

Ah. I doubt that I would go to Publix if I were in your shoes, Carrie. There are at least four Publix supermarkets in Midtown Atlanta, all within 1½ miles of where I live, and it takes me all of five minutes (and sometimes less) to drive to the Ansley Mall store that I go to regularly. Hopefully a Publix will open closer to where you live in the near future.

Both Aldi and Sam's Club are considerably further away, so I doubt that I'll visit either store unless I happen to be nearby for another reason.

>159 Carmenere: The nearest Aldi to me is on a major road (Buford Highway) just east of Atlanta, in a lower income area that has a large immigrant population. It isn't very far from where I live, a little over five miles away, but with several Publix and Kroger supermarkets, a Trader Joe's and a Whole Foods all less than 1½ miles away I don't see the point of going to that Aldi, unless it has something than the other stores don't.

>160 susanj67: Aldi already has a small but sizable footprint in the US, and I recently read that Lidl is in the process of setting up here as well.

>165 cbl_tn: Nice review of Ru, Carrie. I finished it on Monday, and I'll post a review of it either tomorrow or Friday.

>170 bohemima: I like the meat selection at the Publix that I go to most often. There is a smaller one not far from me which is nowhere near as nice, and I would never buy meats there.

I was surprised to see that there are a couple of Piggly Wigglys in metro Atlanta. They are in lower income areas, though, and are much further away, so the chance of me stopping in to one of them is nearly zero.

>172 cbl_tn: I haven't been to The Fresh Market yet, although the nearest one to me is a little less than two miles away, in Buckhead. Unless they offer something that Publix, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or Kroger doesn't I'm not inclined to go there, as that location on Peachtree Road is quite congested on most days.

>177 SandDune: I believe that internet grocery shopping is a much bigger thing here and all the supermarkets are pouring money into it.

That is still very uncommon in the US, as far as I know. I would want to be able to pick out my own fruits, vegetables and meats, and I would much rather go to the supermarket than have the items I've chosen delivered to me.

>182 katiekrug: My husband is from South Florida and every time we go there, his first stop is Publix because he loves it so (I may be slightly exaggerating but not by much....)

Same here! I love going to my local Publix, too.

Jan 13, 2016, 10:37pm Top

>197 kidzdoc: I love the ambience of the Fresh Market, and shopping there is a pleasure instead of a chore.

I'll watch for your review of Ru!

Jan 14, 2016, 6:39am Top

Morning Carrie,
*running in circles with hands in the air* big BOGO sale at Giant Eagle this week including whole chickens and chuck roasts. I see beef soup in my near future! Yum

I bet I'd spend less if I bought on line. It's those unadvertised items that I toss in the cart that zap me.

I wish I had a Whole Foods near me. :0(

Jan 14, 2016, 10:16am Top

>192 cbl_tn: Great new, Carrie! A lot less work that going back and forth to the doctor's office.

And in other happy news, there was a different , calmer vet yesterday when we took Poppy in for her " wellness check and vaccinations" . She did have to be muzzled, but not sedated and she did growl, but remained much, much calmer. I feel so happy that she did not have to go through the sedation. So much easier on her! I think I'll request that new vet in the future, for Poppy's sake. Very happy!

Jan 14, 2016, 7:19pm Top

>199 Carmenere: I still want to fix beef soup soon. Probably not this weekend, though, since I'll be heading out of town for a few days next week. I don't want to end up with lots of leftovers that I won't be able to use.

>200 vancouverdeb: Thanks Deborah! I am so glad that Poppy's visit to the vet was less traumatic for her this time.

Jan 14, 2016, 8:07pm Top

>196 cbl_tn: wow! I cant imagine that ever happening to me ;) Ah well.

Jan 14, 2016, 8:20pm Top

>202 LovingLit: I'm sure it's an experience she'll remember forever!

Jan 15, 2016, 8:21am Top

>201 cbl_tn: Soup freezes well.

Jan 15, 2016, 8:27am Top

>204 thornton37814: >201 cbl_tn: Tis true.....if there's room in the freezer.......which, more often than not, I do not :0(
Have a great weekend and a nice out of town trip, carrie

Jan 15, 2016, 8:28am Top

>204 thornton37814: Yes, but I don't have much space in my freezer right now.

Jan 15, 2016, 8:28am Top

>205 Carmenere: >206 cbl_tn: Great minds and all...

Jan 15, 2016, 9:03am Top

Just marking my place.

And beef prices have gone through the roof.

Jan 15, 2016, 11:44am Top

Have a lovely weekend!

Jan 15, 2016, 12:59pm Top

>208 bohemima: Hi Gail! I've noticed that about beef prices. I keep an eye out for sales!

>209 DianaNL: When did you sneak the camera into my monitor? That's just how I feel today! Happy Friday to you!

Jan 15, 2016, 1:46pm Top

Hi Carrie - finally, I make it to your thread! and your review of Ru is the second really good one this morning (Charlotte's was the first) so I think I will read it when I get into the library.

The supermarket talk is funny. When we lived in New York I was a huge fan of Whole Foods. Expensive but lovely! And when I was a grad student in New Haven we went to Stop n Shop most of the time, which was vast but not particularly special. I think Stop n Shop might be an East coast chain. Aldi started to compete with the Swiss supermarkets while we were living there (not hard to do with the prices charged by Migros and Coop, the two Swiss chains).

Jan 15, 2016, 5:12pm Top

>211 cushlareads: Hi Cushla! I hope Ru is a worthwhile read for you. My reading is going slowly this year, and reading such a short book made me feel like I'm making a little progress. I will finally finish another book this evening.

I don't think we have Stop n Shop around here. Another one I just thought of is Wild Oats. My aunt in Indiana really likes to shop there when they drive down to the Indianapolis area. It's probably similar to Whole Foods.

Jan 16, 2016, 3:11am Top

So we both managed Ru this month and I enjoyed it too but perhaps a little less than you did.

Trust that you have a wonderful weekend, Carrie.

Jan 16, 2016, 10:05am Top

>213 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul! I hope the remainder of your weekend is wonderful, too!

Jan 16, 2016, 10:07am Top

5. The Upstairs Wife by Rafia Zakaria
TIOLI #13 - Title word starts with "U"

Author Rafia Zakaria was born in Pakistan to a Muslim family that had immigrated from India after the Partition that created Pakistan. She tells the story of Pakistan's history, focusing on the experience of women and Muslim immigrants from India and the former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Zakaria juxtaposes the life of her aunt Amina, an immigrant whose husband took a second wife when she remained childless for several years after their marriage, with the life of Benazir Bhutto, daughter of a prominent political family, who twice served as Pakistan's Prime Minister. Zakaria's Aunt Amina followed all the rules of Islam and social custom and failed to find happiness. Benazir Bhutto pushed the boundaries of the acceptable role of women in an Islamic republic and ended up spending years in exile before returning to Pakistan, only to be assassinated just weeks after her return.

Zakaria's explanation of Pakistan's social structure based on ethnicity makes its history more understandable. The Muslim immigrants from India and Bangladesh were unable to assimilate into a society where one's status is dependent on ethnicity and place of birth. The first-person, insider's perspective makes fascinating reading, but it's also the book's greatest weakness. Zakaria tells her readers what various people in her family thought and felt as well as what they said and did. However, she doesn't explain how she knows what others were thinking and feeling. Did they tell her? If so, when? At the time the events she described happened, or more in more recent interviews as she prepared to write this book? Did some of them keep diaries or journals? Did she overhear conversations she wasn't meant to hear? (She acknowledges this at one or two points in the book.) Or, more likely, did she make inferences and judgments about what she saw and heard over her lifetime with her family?

Recommended for readers with an interest in Pakistan's history (particularly Karachi) and in the experience of Muslim women.

This review is based on a complimentary copy provided by the publisher through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.

3.5 stars

Jan 16, 2016, 2:09pm Top

>215 cbl_tn: great review Carrie. I saw that listed w the ER list and was intrigued. Was hoping to catch a good review!

Jan 16, 2016, 2:31pm Top

>216 michigantrumpet: Thanks! I'm glad I snagged this one from ER. It was a worthwhile read.

Jan 16, 2016, 4:36pm Top

Carrie, I wish you a relaxed weekend.

Jan 16, 2016, 6:27pm Top

Nice review of The Upstairs Wife, Carrie. I'll check that one out.

Jan 16, 2016, 8:23pm Top

>218 Ameise1: Thanks Barbara!

>219 BLBera: Thanks Beth! I think you'll like it.

Jan 17, 2016, 5:04am Top

>215 cbl_tn: Carrie, I love your review of The Upstairs Wife. It seems to have been published here last year, but there's no sign of it in the library catalogue. I'm going to suggest that they buy it!

Jan 17, 2016, 7:46am Top

>221 susanj67: Thanks Susan! I think it would be a good addition to your library. My ER copy is set aside to donate to the library where I work. :-)

Jan 17, 2016, 9:02am Top

Nice review of The Upstairs Wife, Carrie.

Jan 17, 2016, 12:06pm Top

>223 kidzdoc: Thanks Darryl!

Jan 17, 2016, 12:08pm Top

Morning, Carrie! Happy Sunday!

Jan 17, 2016, 12:09pm Top

>225 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! It's snowing! I'm going to eat the last of the leftover soup and then curl up with a book.

Jan 17, 2016, 12:10pm Top

Sounds like a plan!

Jan 17, 2016, 2:55pm Top

Stopping by to get caught up and to wish you a happy Sunday, Carrie!

Jan 17, 2016, 5:03pm Top

>228 lkernagh: Hi Lori! Happy Sunday to you, too!

Jan 17, 2016, 10:25pm Top

>215 cbl_tn: Good review of The Upstairs Wife! :) Hope you had a great weekend.

Jan 18, 2016, 6:23am Top

>230 The_Hibernator: Thanks Rachel! I did have a good weekend!

Jan 18, 2016, 5:40pm Top

I found my December Early Reviewer book in my mailbox today. It probably arrived on Saturday, but I didn't check my mail on Saturday. I received The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome by Alondra Nelson. I skimmed through it a bit during lunch and it looks really interesting.

Jan 18, 2016, 5:52pm Top

I just saw a news alert that Glenn Frey of the Eagles has died. I've been an Eagles fan since my middle school days. He wasn't my favorite vocalist, but he co-wrote most, if not all, of my favorite Eagles songs.

Jan 18, 2016, 6:27pm Top

>233 cbl_tn: Yeah, I just posted this on my thread too, Carrie! I love so many Eagle songs I couldn't even tell you which one is my favorite. Maybe Tequila Sunrise, no, Hotel California, no no Desperado! See, so many.

Very nice review of The Upstairs Wife.

Jan 19, 2016, 8:28am Top

>234 Carmenere: Thanks Lynda! Country rock was very popular in Tennessee when I was in middle school and high school. (It still is!) The Eagles were one of my favorite groups, and Desperado is one of my all-time favorite songs.

Jan 19, 2016, 2:15pm Top

Hi Carrie.

>166 cbl_tn: Sorry to hear The Nature of the Beast was a disappointment. I've been rereading the first 6 books of the Penny series and am now planning to get caught up but I think I need to space them out a bit as I was starting to notice some writing tics that were irritating me.

Jan 20, 2016, 7:36am Top

>236 souloftherose: Hi Heather! I always have issues if I read books by the same author in close succession. I'm caught up with the Louise Penny series, and once a year provides enough time between reads for me.


It is snowing here. We're on a delayed schedule this morning so I've got some extra time before I need to head for work. I have my fingers crossed that we don't get the sleet and freezing rain that the meteorologists keep mentioning as a possibility this afternoon. Adrian won't like it if I get stuck at work.

Jan 20, 2016, 10:48am Top

>237 cbl_tn: I hope that you don't get sleet and freezing rain as well, Carrie. That's supposed to happen just north of Atlanta, and there is a slight chance that the city may get it as well, especially if the temperatures drop another degree or two (it's 34 F now, and there is scattered sleet in the city and immediate suburbs, although it seems to be light and may not even be hitting the ground).

Jan 20, 2016, 10:53am Top

>238 kidzdoc: My neighbor didn't have to go to work today. If I can't get home, she can get into my house and take care of Adrian.

Nashville has ice on the roads this morning. I hope Atlanta avoids it!

Jan 20, 2016, 1:19pm Top

After a delayed start this morning, we're now closing early at 2 p.m. I came home for lunch and I'm not going to try to get back just to turn around and go home again. The roads are bad and getting worse.

Lori and I are supposed to fly to San Diego tomorrow morning for a meeting. Hopefully we'll both make it to the airport without too much trouble.

Jan 20, 2016, 2:14pm Top

Glad that you are home safe and sound, Carrie! Crossing my fingers for your trip tomorrow.

Jan 20, 2016, 2:16pm Top

>241 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie! I hope I can make it out! I will be dogless until I leave. My friends who are keeping Adrian while I'm gone want to pick him up this afternoon in case the road conditions are worse tomorrow. I will miss my little lap warmer!

Jan 20, 2016, 2:17pm Top

Bummer! The house always feels completely different when our dogs are gone. Empty, and not in a good way.

Jan 20, 2016, 2:31pm Top

>243 Crazymamie: I know! At least I know he's happy where he is. My friend's husband just picked him up and Adrian's little tail was wagging as they drove off. He probably would have liked it better if I had gone with them (or so I like to think).

Jan 20, 2016, 2:40pm Top

So sweet. And he definitely would have liked it better if you had gone with him.

Jan 20, 2016, 4:36pm Top

The kittens get to stay here for this trip. My cat sitter assures me she can make it here! I'm going to give myself plenty of time to get to the airport. I am not looking forward to the drive to the airport.

Jan 20, 2016, 8:22pm Top

I got an email from the airline letting me know to expect travel delays over the weekend and informing me that waivers have been issued that might allow me to change my flight without a fee. My return flight is through Washington DC on Sunday and that's one of the cities and dates on the waiver list. Knoxville is on the list as well. When I tried to change my return flight online they were going to charge me $200. I tried calling their reservation number and I've now been on hold for 2 1/2 hours. I'm not sure how much longer I can stick it out.

Jan 20, 2016, 8:25pm Top

>247 cbl_tn: That is getting ridiculous!

Jan 20, 2016, 8:52pm Top

>248 thornton37814: I finally got a person on the phone and she changed my flight without charging the fee. I'm now flying through Houston instead of DC and getting back about 3 hours earlier.

Jan 20, 2016, 8:54pm Top

So was that meant to be proportional to how long you spent on the phone? :D

Jan 20, 2016, 9:12pm Top

>250 lyzard: I guess I should have asked that question! I hadn't noticed that until you mentioned it.

Jan 20, 2016, 9:16pm Top

You have all my sympathies. My worst on-holds are invariably IT. (If they'd just change the hold music occasionally...)

Jan 20, 2016, 9:47pm Top

>252 lyzard: Oh, the hold music! If I never hear the airline jingle again it will be too soon.

Jan 20, 2016, 9:52pm Top

6. Willoughbyland: England's Lost Colony by Matthew Parker
TIOLI #1 - ISBN has at least one number in the corresponding numerical position

Suriname may be the smallest country in South America, but it has a larger-than-life history. While the English were busy colonizing North America and the Caribbean in the 17th century, Sir Francis Willoughby established his own proprietorship on the Suriname River. The history of this short-lived English colony is filled with explorers searching for El Dorado (including Sir Walter Ralegh), Cavaliers and Roundheads, and author Aphra Behn. The maps and illustrations enhance the text. While it's aimed at general readers rather than scholars, the end notes and bibliography reflect the author's use of primary sources in his research. If you're interested in 17th century colonial history, the search for El Dorado, or Aphra Behn, it would be worth the effort to get hold of a copy of this book.

4 stars

This topic was continued by CBL's Literary Adventures in 2016 Part 2.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2016

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