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Streamsong Winter Light and Book Lists Grow Longer (Pt 2)

This is a continuation of the topic Streamsong Reading in Winter's Dark.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

Join LibraryThing to post.

Edited: Feb 10, 10:05am Top

My place in winter:

- - - - - - -

Hi and welcome!

I'm Janet. I've recently retired from my job as a research technician in an NIH lab here in western Montana.

Western Montana is a beautiful part of the country, close to both Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. I plan to do a lot more outside exploring as well as traveling now that I have more time. I have an elderly golden retriever, two cats and more horses than I need :-)

I read about 100 books a year.

You'll find I'm easily suggestible so I sign up for way too many challenges, bring home far too many stray books in need of good homes, and have a wishlist stretching to the stars.

I'm currently in a Real Life Book Club (RLBC - list of books below) and also going to start participating in a literature seminar in January. Besides these two, my main challenges will to be read 50 books that I owned prior to 1/1/2017, fondly known as ROOTS (Read Our Own Tomes challenge). Of course I stacked the deck a bit by buying a few extra in December).

I'm continuing to read my way around the world using the list of 192 permanent members of the UN plus 3 additional. (post at >5 )

I hope to read about 25 books from 1001 Books to Read Before You Die. (Currently 151 read)

I'll take part in some of the challenges, both on the 75 and in the Category Challenge:

American Authors Challenge
British Authors Challenge
Chatterbox's Non-Fiction Challenge
Rachel's Political Challenge
CultureCat Challenge
WomenCat Challenge

And of course, I'll be reading some downright fluff in the way of mysteries and comfort reads!

2016 : https://www.librarything.com/topic/235503

Edited: Today, 1:52am Top


- The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero - Timothy Egan - 2016; ROOT 2016; audiobook, library
- The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit- 2017- Michael Finkel
- A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman - RLBC - ROOT acq'd 2016
- Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich - 1984; WomenCat- Debut Book by Woman author; 1001; ROOT - acq'd 2016 = 1 ROOT point
- Bleak House - Charles Dickens - group read, 1001, library

Next Up:

Fiction: Human Acts (LTER) - ROOT


- Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump - G. B. Trudeau - 2016 - Feb TIOLI #9. Read a book that is a satire; purchased 2017
- Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill - Sonia Purnell - 2015 - RLBC; acq'd 2017
- Thud! - Terry Pratchett - BAC, ROOT (not previously entered in LT), audio from library
- The Poet's Dog - Patricia MacLachlan - children's book, library
- City of Secrets - Stewart O'Nan - Feb AAC - audio in the car - library
- Texaco - Patrick Chamoiseau - 1992 - Global Reading: Martinique; lit seminar; acquired 2017
- The Inconvenient Indian - Thomas King -2012 - CultureCat: Cultural Awareness and Diversity; library
- The Spy Who Came in From the Cold - John Le Carre - 1963 - March BAC; 1001; TIOLI ##12: Read a book with a title word or author name that rhymes with "pi" (shared read); library; audiobook

Edited: Today, 1:41am Top



1. Evicted - Matthew Desmond - 2016 - group read - library
2. The Tiger's Wife - Tea Obrecht - 2011; acquired 2012 = 5 ROOT points
3. Parable of the Sower -Octavia Butler - 1993 - AAC; Library
4. March: Book Two - John Lewis - 2015 - library
5. Guns, Germs and Steel - Jared Diamond- 1997 - NF Award Winner Challenge; ROOT # 2/50; acq'd 2008 = 9 ROOT points - 14/225 (print copy on MT TBR/listened to audio)
6. My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante - 2011 - Real Life Book Club - Global Reading - Italy; ROOT #3/50 - Acq'd 2016 = 1 ROOT point 15/225
7. The House in Paris - Elizabeth Bowen -1935 - BAC, 1001, ROOT # 4/50; acquired 2016 =1 ROOT point = 16/225

8. Transit - Anna Seghers - 1944 - Lit seminar; Feb TIOLI #6. Read a book where the author’s first name begins with an A, B, or C ; acq'd 2017
9. Witch of Lime Street - David Jaher - 2016 - LTER; ROOT #5/50; Acq'd 2016 =17/225; TIOLI #3: Read a book that's relevant to one of your new year's resolutions (Get caught up with my LTER reviews)
10. Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell - 1851 - 1001 group read; WomenCat - Classic by a woman - Feb TIOLI #5: Read a book where both “humor” and “romance” are words listed in the tags for that book; audiobook from library
11. March: Book Three - John Lewis - TIOLI #19: Read a memoir by a living author of a different gender from yours - library
12. The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America - George Packer - 2013; TIOLI # #3: Read a book that's relevant to one of your new year's resolutions (becoming more politically aware); library
13. Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump - G. B. Trudeau - 2016 - Feb TIOLI #9. Read a book that is a satire; purchased 2017

14. Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill - Sonia Purnell - 2015 - RLBC; acq'd 2017
15. Thud! - Terry Pratchett - 205 - Feb BAC; March TIOLI #7 - Read a book where the author's first or last name has exactly five letters; ROOT #6/50 (not previously entered in LT = 1 ROOT point - 18/225), own print version - audio from library
16. The Poet's Dog - Patricia MacLachlan - children's book, library
17. City of Secrets - Stewart O'Nan - 2016 - Feb AAC; Global Reading: Israel; library; audiobook
18. Texaco - Patrick Chamoiseau - 1992 - Global Reading: Martinique; lit seminar; acquired 2017
19. The Inconvenient Indian - Thomas King -2012 - CultureCat: Cultural Awareness and Diversity; library
20.The Spy Who Came in From the Cold - John Le Carre - 1963 - March BAC; 1001; TIOLI #12: Read a book with a title word or author name that rhymes with "pi" (shared read); library; audiobook

Edited: Today, 1:43am Top

STATISTICS FOR BOOKS READ IN 2017 - **********************************

***** 20 - TOTAL BOOKS COMPLETED IN 2017 ****

Of the books I've read this year:

- cataloged into LT 2006 or before
- cataloged into LT 2007
1 - cataloged into LT 2008
- cataloged into LT 2009
- cataloged into LT 2010
1 - cataloged into LT 2011
- cataloged into LT 2012
- cataloged into LT 2013
- cataloged into LT 2014
- cataloged into LT 2015
3 - acquired 2016
1 - acquired previously but not cataloged until 2017 (have lots of these!)
4 - acquired 2017
10 - borrowed from library & elsewhere

4 - Audiobook
14 - Print
- online
2 - Combo audio & print


8 - Fiction (may fit into more than one category)

4 - 1001 Books
1 - general fiction
2 - literary fiction
2 - sff
1 - thriller

8 - Non-Fiction (may fit into more than one category)
- 1 - Anthropology
- 3 - Autobiography/Biography/Memoir
- 2- Politics/Government
- 1 - Sociology
- 1 - Spirituality

1 - children's books
- poetry
- plays
- Other
-1- cartoon satire


13 - Male Authors
7 - Female Authors
- Combination or Mix of male and female

12 - Authors that are new to me
8 - Authors read before
- Rereads

Multiple books read in 2017 by same author:
John Lewis - March: Book Two and March: Book Three

Nationality of Author:

1 - Canadian/ American
1 - France /Caribbean/ Martinique
1 - German
1 - Irish /UK
1 - Italy
1 - Serbian/ American
4 - UK
10 - US

Birthplace or residence of Author if different from nationality:
- 1 - Serbia

Language Book Originally Published in:

- 17 - English
- 1 - French
- 1 - Italian
- 1 - Spanish and English


- 1 - 1851
- 1 - 1935
- 1 - 1944
- 1 - 1962
- 1 - 1992
- 1 - 1993
- 1 - 1997
- 1 - 2005
- 2 - 2011
- 1 - 2012
- 1 - 2013
- 2 - 2015
- 6 - 2016

Edited: Mar 20, 12:37pm Top

Global Reading Challenge Group: 5 books each set in or authored by the 192 member countries of the UN plus 3 additional regions
List and thread here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/188308

79 countries visited/ 14 countries completed

visited 79 states (35.1%)
Create your own visited map of The World

Countries Visited in Bookish Travels in 2017

visited 8 states (3.55%)
Create your own visited map of The World

* = Country Completed With 5 Books in 2017
** = Countries New for Me In 2017
*** = Additional book for country already completed

***Ireland The House In Paris - Elizabeth Bowen - 1935 - (location =France & UK/ Irish /UK author)
Israel: City of Secrets - Stewart O'Nan - 2016 (US author, location)
*Italy: My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante - 2011 - (location, author) F, 2017
***Germany: Transit - Anna Seghers - 1944 - (France, German author) F, 1001 2017
**Martinique (Insular Region of France) Texaco - Patrick Chamoiseau - 1992 - F (author,m location)
**Serbia: The Tiger's Wife - Tea Obrecht - 2010 - F, (unnamed Balkan location, Serbian/American author)
***United Kingdom Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell - 1951 - (author, location)
*** United States: Evicted - Matthew Desmond - 2016, NF (US, US author)

I'll also be reading at least one book for each of the quarterly challenges in the Reading Globally group:
Quarter 1: Works by writers from the Benelux countries
---Omega Minor - Paul Verhaeghen - Belgium

Quarter 2: Travel writing by non-European and non-North American authors
Quarter 3: Works by writers who write in what are considered minority languages within their own country
Quarter 4: Writers from the Scandinavian countries and associated territories

Edited: Yesterday, 12:58pm Top

1001 Books to Read Before You Die - Thread here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/163173
1001 Books read in 2017: 3; Total: 154 Goal: 25 for year

Library Brown Bag Book Club/ RLBC
✔ January: My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante
✔ February: Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill - Sonia Purnell
March: A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman
April: Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi
May: The Sympathizer - Viet Thanh Nguyen
June: Orphan Train - Christina Baker Kline
July: Strangers in Their Own Land - Arlie Russell Hochschild
August: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot
September: The Elephant's Story - Jose Saramago
October: March - Geraldine Brooks
November: Brooklyn: A Novel - Colm Toibin

Literature Seminar
✔ February: Transit - Anna Seghers
✔ March: Texaco - Patrick Chamoiseau
April: Satantango - László Krasznahorkai

Edited: Mar 23, 7:23am Top

I will read one at least one from these three challenges each month:


- ✔ AAC: Octavia Butler - Parable of the Sower
- ✔ BAC: Elizabeth Bowen - The House in Paris
- ✔AAC - Stewart O'Nan: City of Secrets - (library)
- BAC - Mary Stewart: The Last Enchantment - ROOT
- - - - - ✔ Terry Pratchett: - Thud! - ROOT
- BAC:

75er's Nonfiction Challenge:

- January: Prizewinners ✔ - Guns Germs and Steel - Jared Diamond
-----------------------------✔ - Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City - Matthew Desmond
- February: Journeys - Island of the Color Blind - Oliver Sacks - ROOT

Rachel's The New York Times' list of "6 books to help understand Trump's win"

✔ - January - February: THE UNWINDING: An Inner History of the New America, by George Packer
March - April: STRANGERS IN THEIR OWN LAND: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild
May - June: HILLBILLY ELEGY: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
July - August: LISTEN, LIBERAL: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? by Thomas Frank
September - October: THE POPULIST EXPLOSION: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics by John B. Judis
November - December: WHITE TRASH: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

Others Group Reads:
January: ✔ Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City - Matthew Desmond

Edited: Yesterday, 12:59pm Top



January: Ethics in Science & Technology- Playing God in Yellowstone - Alston Chase
February: Medicine & Public Health - The Island of the Color Blind - Oliver Sacks
✔ March: Cultural Awareness and Diversity - The Inconvenient Indian - Thomas King
April: Religious Diversity & Freedom:
May: Gender Equality -
June: Environmentalism/Conservation (including global warming concerns) -
July: Violence, Crime & Justice -
August: Impact of Natural disasters -
September: Journalism & the Arts -
October: Poverty -
November: Conflict & War (including terrorism) -
December: Cultural Flow & Immigration -

✔ January: Classics by women - Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell
February: Debut books - Love Medicine - Louise Ehdrich
March: Genres -
April: Biography/autobiography/memoir -
May: Women in the arts -
June: Professional women -
July: Women of color -
August: Nonfiction or historical fiction -
September: Children's/YA/Graphic novels -
October: Regional reading -
November: LGBT/Feminist writing - The Bell- Iris Murdoch - 1001
December: Modern (post-1960) novels by women

Edited: Feb 10, 10:07am Top

My biggest challenge is that I keep hauling books home faster than I can read them.

I have been a member of the ROOTS challenge (Reading Our Own Tomes) for the past several years. I define a ROOT as anything I owned before January 1st of the current year. I hope to read 50 ROOTS in 2017. I want to read fifty from my shelves and piles again this year.

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

Here's how it works:

1. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2006 -- 11 points
2. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2007-- 10 points
3. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2008-- 9 points
4. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2009-- 8 points
5. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2010-- 7 points
6 .ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2011 -- 6 points
7. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2012 -- 5 points
8. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2013 -- 4 points
9. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2014 -- 3 points
10. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2015 -- 2 point
11. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2016 - 1 point
11. ROOTS not previously entered into LT but which have been around the house pre-2015 (many of these are pre-2006 when I joined LT)--1 point

Goal: Read 225 ROOT points this year.

As of 01/01/2016: 459 books on physical Mt TBR
As of 01/01/2017: 481 books on physical Mt TBR

I'm trying something new. Since I TOTALLY FAILED in reading books off my shelf last year, I've made myself a template. Every other book will be off my shelf. I can these in any order and swap them out at will - get rid of a ROOT and choose another one instead.

I'm hoping it will limit the number of library books and new books and encourage me to read books off my shelf.

Round ()

AC'D 2016 or 2017

Edited: Mar 7, 9:39am Top


✔ 1. Transit - Hella S. Haasse - lit seminar 1/09/2017
2. Dance of the Jakaranda - Peter Kimani - 2016 - Kenya - LTER - 1/14/17
3. Battleborn - Claire Vaye Watkins - gift - 1/26/2017
4. As Good As Gone - Larry Watson - gift - 1/26/2017
✔ 5. Yuge! : 30 years of Doonesbury on Trump - B. B. Trudeau - 2016- 02/01/2017
✔ 6. Clementine: The Life of Mrs Winston Churchill - Sonia Purnell - RLBC
7. Texaco - Patrick Chamoiseau - lit sem 2/10/2017
8. Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild
9. How to Be Human: A Novel by Paula Cocozza LTER 2017

Edited: Feb 10, 10:04am Top

****************************States Visited in Books Started starting 2014*********************************:

visited 31 states (62%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

last post of awesomeness

Feb 10, 9:30am Top

First post of non-awesomeness! Happy new thread, Janet!

Feb 10, 9:37am Top

Wow, now that is fast, Paul! I'll buy you a lovely micro brew if we ever meet up!

Feb 10, 9:39am Top

>13 streamsong: Be careful, Janet. I have been known to cross continents for less!

Feb 10, 9:50am Top

>13 streamsong: Promises, promises.

Feb 10, 10:07am Top

Happy new thread!

Feb 10, 11:16am Top

Wonderful, all the books mentioned above!

Feb 10, 12:20pm Top

Happy new thread, Janet, I like the visuals of countries and states read, true armchairtravels!

Edited: Feb 10, 1:07pm Top

>16 drneutron: Thank you, Jim. I usually only have four threads a year, so I'm ahead of myself in 2017.

>17 mdoris: Hi Mary - thanks for stopping by! I'm addicted to lists and challenges, what can I say. After the first thread, it's pretty much copy and paste, so pretty easy.

>18 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita - I started keeping track of both a few years ago. I'm enjoying doing the visual especially for the the global reading. I'm glad you find the maps interesting, too.

Woot! I finally finished The Witch of Lime Street, an LTER book I received last year. Interesting but too long, so it became a bit of a struggle.

I'll once more pick up The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, which I would like to finish fairly quicly, as it has a waiting list at the library. I also need to work in March: Book Three since it also has a waiting list.

I'm still listening to Cranford and reading a couple chapters a day of Bleak House.

Feb 10, 6:37pm Top

Hi Janet! Happy new thread.

>9 streamsong: I'm intrigued with your idea of awarding ROOT points by year entered into LT catalog. I might have to add that to my ROOT challenge for this year - so far all I'm doing is one point per book, regardless of when acquired. Based on your methodology, my 40 books translates into 200 points.

Feb 10, 6:56pm Top

Happy Friday, Janet! Happy New Thread! Love those toppers! You got A LOT of snow! You all dug out?

Feb 10, 7:19pm Top

Love the pictures of the snow! Happy New Thread, Janet. I may have to start prioritizing my BOMBs as well.

Feb 11, 10:03am Top

>20 karenmarie: Hi Karen! I've been trying various methods to encourage myself to read the older ROOTS for several years. Last year's ROOTS are new and shiny and I could read all of them easily. I use my goal of 50 ROOTS for the counter for the ROOTS challenge - I add the points on to remind me to 'dig deep'. It doesn't work very well. :-)

I picked up three more items from the library yesterday to up my checkouts to 14, which I think is an all time high for me. Granted, they are a combo of video's, audiobooks, and paper books, but I still feel somewhat buried!

Yesterday from the library:
- Gilmore Girls Season 7
- audio of Stewart O'Nan's City of Secrets
- print book of Canoeing With the Cree by Eric Severeid - BB from Oberon and the Journeys thread

Edited: Feb 11, 10:22am Top

>21 msf59: Hi Mark! Book and feathers are on the way. (finally, finally, finally)

Postal note: When I went to the PO yesterday, I picked up 20 prestamped postcards. The woman there said they were almost out of them. Seems the new administration is upping the demand for them. He may be good for the PO!

- The photos are actually from a couple years ago, but I l really love them. We have more snow than that this year, but the last few days the temps have been in the high 40's so it's shrinking fast.

The melting snow has been causing enough flooding in the area that the county has been named a disaster area, but so far my own stream is behaving itself. I need to walk up to the dam and make sure it hasn't been catching any downed trees.

>22 ronincats: Hi Roni! My system doesn't entirely work, since I am easily distracted and don't follow plans very well. :-) Nevertheless, she persists. :-)

Feb 11, 10:33am Top

>23 streamsong: Hi Janet! Well, I've acquired 74 points via your ROOT points method. It's deceptive, though, because I've been reading Agatha Christie and I had all those books before I joined LT. Most of them, though, have not been re-reads, just reads as I've dug out a few Hercule Poirots I hadn't read. But the column has been added to my spreadsheet. *smile*

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Feb 13, 8:17am Top

Happy new thread, Janet!

Feb 13, 9:23am Top

>25 karenmarie: Hi Karen - Wow! You are reading circles around me.

>26 scaifea: Thanks, Amber!

Edited: Feb 20, 3:04pm Top

8. TransitAnna Seghers – 1944
Lit Seminar (but was not able to attend the class)
1001 Books
TIOLI #6: Read a book where the author’s first name begins with an A, B, or C
Acq'd 2017

... 'don't you ever feel like going home again?'
… 'A leaf blowing in the wind would have an easier time finding its old twig again.'”
p 156

The narrator, who has escaped from a Nazi concentration has been captured and interred in a French camp. As the Nazi's approach, he fears for his life, and escapes a second time to flee to Paris. But once again, the Nazis are advancing, and after attempting to deliver a letter to a writer named Weidel whom he discovers has committed suicide, he flees south once more with Weidel's suitcase in hand.

The French, however, are not fond of refugees and so our narrator winds up with a variety of false identities as he enters Marseilles, France's last open port. He'd like to stay there, but is only allowed to be there if he is actively trying to leave, so he begins to half-heartedly play the game of acquiring the proper visas. This is a complicated since visas must be obtained for exiting France, entering the destination country, obtaining transit visas for each port in every country the ship may stop, and booking ship passage. The bureaucracy is almost insurmountable – one can not obtain item 'A' without first having item “D” and each item is only good for thirty days. He is one of a faceless mass, with very few of the overworked officials caring about much but their own safety.

It's also a deadly game as many of the refugees will be imprisoned if they aren't able to leave before the Nazis arrive- Jews, escapees from concentration camps, cripples, gypsies and those who fought against Franco.

The novel's repetitiveness and frustrations leave us feeling those emotions along with the refugees. It's a world where identities are lost and no plans can exist as one can only wait to see what happens next.

Feb 14, 11:48am Top

It seems that I'm reading a huge number of heavy duty books so far this year.

Hooray! Yesterday I finished listening to Cranford and started Terry Pratchett's Thud! on audio.

Nothing like a little Sir Terry to put a good face on things.

Feb 14, 11:58am Top

>27 streamsong: Hi Janet! I think of the circles as radiating out from a dropped pebble - I may be reading more than you but so much less than other of our LT friends. It's all good.

I loved Cranford. I hope you did too.

Edited: Feb 15, 8:25am Top

Happy New Thread, Janet. I hope your having a good week. Love the toppers.

Edited: Feb 15, 10:47am Top

Hi Karen - I did like Cranford - I loved the gentle satire and the humor. I listened to the audio and the reader did a wonderful job. I believe the narrator was Clare Wille, but will have to double check that - the CD's are in my car. I would definitely look for more readings that she has done.

Good morning, Bird! Glad you like the toppers!

The weather has moderated a bit. We're in the teens at night, but in the 40's during the day so the snow is settling. Another storm is supposed to come in tomorrow and last a few days. We have such lovely sunny weather this morning that this video almost doesn't fit, but I love it so much I'll post it anyway!

It's set to 'The Sound of Silence" and called 'Grounds for Violence'

If You're Sick of Winter

Feb 16, 11:49am Top

Janet, I love the "grumpywolf" topper along with images of your place in winter.
Of course, snow is a rarity here in Seattle (although we did get one snow day a couple of weeks ago and it was delightful!) but I may be applying for a job in upstate NY (don't tell anyone) so I would be seeing a lot more snow.... It's way too early to speculate, though.

I also love this as it resonates so well:
"You'll find I'm easily suggestible so I sign up for way too many challenges, bring home far too many stray books in need of good homes, and have a wishlist stretching to the stars."

How far along are you in The Unwinding? I'm planning to start Part III today. It is quite a read.

Feb 16, 11:52am Top

I just LOVE how organized your thread is!

Feb 16, 11:56am Top

>32 streamsong: Familiar! I should post a video I took of the sidewalk-clearing in front of our house the other day...

Feb 16, 1:07pm Top

>33 EBT1002: Hi Ellen! I'm glad you're feeling better. Won't tell a soul! (Does P know?)

I'm on part three of The Unwinding. I need to finish it today, since it's due at the library and has a waiting list so I can't renew it.

I just stopped reading to copy down this quote from Peter Thiel and to check out where he fits into the Trump administration.

"Peter Thiel told an interviewer, 'In the history of the modern world, inequality has only been ended through communist revolution, war or deflationary economic collapse. It's a disturbing question which of these three is going to happen today or if there's a fourth way out.'” p372.

>34 countrylife: Bit overwhelming, huh? By the end of the year, I'm happy to have the lists, though.

>35 ursula: I thought that video would bring a smile, Ursula.

Right now it's raining on top of the snow. The hiking group has a plan for tomorrow - the notice says bring snowshoes, cleats and hiking boots and we'll see what we need.....

Feb 16, 1:57pm Top

>36 streamsong: That is quite a quote.

And yes, P knows. :-)
She is trying not to get too excited (her dream is for me to get whatever my next job might be in such a place and manner that she could retire; as it is, we need both incomes to manage our Seattle mortgage).

Feb 17, 7:21am Top

Morning, Janet. Rain on top of snow? Yuck. Thats how you get slosh.

Feb 17, 9:29am Top

>37 EBT1002: Hi Ellen. It is, isn't it? As I said in your thread, I'm not sure if I'm up to reading all six of the NYT 'How Did Trump Happen" books.

Heehee. I suspected she did. I hope it all works out for your plan. I love visiting the Seattle area, but understand the $$$ thing. I can't tell you how much I do NOT miss my job since retiring in October.

>38 thearlybirdy: Good morning, Birdy! Yup, double yuck out there. It's very very, very slick with water over ice. My elderly golden retriever had trouble walking on my driveway yesterday.

Something happened last night (car accident due to the road conditions? tree down across wires?) although I'm not finding it on the local news. Lots of sirens and my electricity was out for about three hours.

There was a wonderfully chilling coyote serenade very close to the house just before the power came back on at midnight. It broke up quickly. I suspect that was due to the horses who are quite territorial and probably encouraged the coyotes to move on.

Edited: Feb 17, 9:45am Top

Oh, it feels so good to get this LTER review done!

9. Witch of Lime Street - David Jaher - 2016 -
- Feb TIOLI #3: Read a book that's relevant to one of your new year's resolutions (Get caught up with my LTER reviews)
- ROOT #5/50; Acq'd 2016 = 1 ROOT point 17/225

“ 'The idea of the Scientific American, ' one columnist wrote, was 'to prove or disprove all the beliefs of spiritualists with one swishing swipe of its sword' “ p 74

I have an interest in reading about many forms of religion and the afterlife. I knew that the Spiritualism movement had been very popular in the early twentieth century, but not much beyond that.

After the millions of deaths in WWI, the spiritualism movement grew by leaps and bounds as the bereaved sought desperately to once more be in contact with their loved ones. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the Sherlock Holmes series became a vocal proponent of the ability to reach those had passed on.

And so the young journal Scientific American put together a panel of experts – made up of spiritualists, scientists and the magician and escape artist Harry Houdini to award a monetary prize to any medium who could prove the veracity of their encounters. One by one, each medium was discredited as being a trickster. Often this was done by Harry Houdini who was a master of illusion and could reproduce any so called supernatural effect by physical means.

In 1924, enter Mina Stinson Crandon, who produced a variety of phenomena during seances, supposedly produced by her dead brother Walter. She had many devoted followers, including several of the supposed skeptics on the Scientific American panel itself.

Her story epitomizes the spiritualism movement as Harry Houdini worked to show that even her amazing feats could be reproduced.

However, not all her followers were convinced that all her phenomena had been explained, and even on her deathbed, she declined to give further explanations.

This is a very detailed and well-researched look at spiritualism. I found it well written, but the details worked against it for me and I got a bit bogged down in its 400 pages. I suspect it will work best for someone with a deep interest in Harry Houdini, the spiritualism movement and the debunking of so-called psychic phenomena. The detailed bibliography and index will make it a useful reference and easy to refer to specific incidents.

Feb 17, 9:55am Top

I can't tell you how much I do NOT miss my job since retiring in October. Yay! I don't miss my job either.

>40 streamsong: Great review, Janet. I suspect that my level of interest wouldn't reach to 400 pages, but it is an interesting subject for me. There are really things out there that go bump in the night.....

Feb 17, 2:08pm Top

Great to visit to your thread to hear tales of horses, coyotes and dogs, especially when there is ice and the power is out. Some drama is going on in your neck of the woods!

Feb 18, 8:32am Top

Morning, Janet. Nice review. I hope you have a good weekend.

Feb 18, 8:39am Top

>34 countrylife: I agree! Your thread is organized and visually wonderful!

Mostly stopping by to say hello and happy Saturday!

Feb 18, 8:53am Top

>41 karenmarie: It is funny because I have always told myself that I never want to retire. Another week like my last one and I won't need to because I wouldn't survive very long at all!

Have a lovely weekend, Janet.

Feb 18, 9:32am Top

>41 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Thank you. That was exactly how I felt about the book; a subject I was interested in, but 400 pages of very small type was a bit too much.

Personally, I haven't met anything that goes bump in the night except for the four foots that live with me. I have an open mind, though. I believe there is more out there than we understand.

>42 mdoris: Hi Mary - it's good to see you. I'm glad the critter stories are entertaining you. With the roads so nasty, I've been pretty home bound since before Christmas.

>43 thearlybirdy: Thank you, Birdy! You, too!

>44 witchyrichy: Thank you, Karen! happy weekend to you, too!

Edited: Feb 19, 4:03pm Top

I finished The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America. Tough read but fantastic. I learned a lot. I'm going to purchase a copy of the next one in the group read, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right since my RLBC will be tackling that one later in the year.

I started Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine for the WomenCat debut book challenge - and then - whoops - realized that my book club meets this Thursday instead of next, so I've also started Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill.

Story of my life: Finish one book and start two more!

Edited: Feb 19, 10:49am Top

>45 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul - I understand your feeling about retirement.

Some of the people who have been friends here for a long time may remember some of the battles I've fought the last ten years, including being a breast cancer survivor.

When I started having vision problems a year ago, I really had to do some soul-searching. With Mom's passing in October, I decided it was time to focus (pun!) on me.

I have ideas about next stages in my life, but haven't moved on them yet.

Edited: Feb 19, 2:50pm Top

10. CranfordElizabeth Cranford- 1851
- 1001 group read;
- WomenCat; Classic by a woman
- Feb TIOLI #5: Read a book where both “humor” and “romance” are words listed in the tags for that book
- audiobook from library

”In the first place, Cranford is in possession of the Amazons; all the holders of houses above a certain rent are women. If a married couple come to settle in the town, somehow the gentleman disappears; he is either fairly frightened to death by being the only man in the Cranford evening parties, or he is accounted for by being with his regiment, his ship, or closely engaged in business all the week in the great neighbouring commercial town of Drumble, distant only twenty miles on a railroad. In short, whatever does become of the gentlemen, they are not at Cranford.”

Sweet, gentle satire of the ladies in a fictional Victorian village. We see their fight to stay “genteel” in the face of poverty, their alarms over possible theft and crime, regrets over lost loves, and through all, their loyalty and kindness to each other.

I listened to the audiobook read by Clare Wille, who did an excellent job.

4.5 stars

Edited: Feb 20, 3:09pm Top

11. March: Book Three - John Lewis – 2016
- TIOLI #19: Read a memoir by a living author of a different gender from yours
- library -

John Lewis's third graphic memoir is just as powerful, perhaps even more so, than the first two in the series.

This one begins with events unfurling in 1964 as black citizens fought for their right to vote. Lewis relates beatings and murders of activists, as well as the four little girls who died in the bombing of the Baptist Church in Birmingham.

Lewis was in the forefront of the proposed march from Selma to Alabama's capital of Montgomery, to protest the disenfranchisement of black voters. This first attempt at the march became known as Bloody Sunday as state forces attacked kneeling protesters with billy clubs and tear gas. Lewis was beaten over the head and hospitalized in that incident, recovering sufficiently to join the subsequent march that did make it to Montgomery several months later.

Lewis's un-embroidered prose combined with the brutality of the graphics make these graphic memoirs memorable.

This era of citizens being denied their right to vote and their hard won-freedom to exercise that right, need to be taught in history classes in every school in America. May we never forget.

Feb 20, 3:19pm Top

Hi Janet!

>49 streamsong: I loved Cranford. I think Miss Matty Jenkyns is one of the most heroic characters I've ever encountered in a book.

Feb 20, 3:52pm Top

>50 streamsong: I loved the third one most of all.

Also, it made me go find LBJ's speech on youtube and listen to it in its entirety. It was very interesting.

Edited: Feb 21, 1:21am Top

>51 karenmarie: I've borrowed the BBC version of Cranford from Netflix. Judi Dench is Matty. I haven't started it yet, though. (Want to finish out the 5th season of Gilmore Girls before I start anything new.)

>52 ursula: Good idea, Ursula! I will definitely go do that!

Feb 22, 8:42am Top

>53 streamsong: I watched the BBC version of Cranford and loved it. Haven't made it to the book yet, though. Glad you enjoyed it. But Gilmore Girls is a good choice any time!

Edited: Feb 22, 11:31am Top

>54 witchyrichy: I hope you read it, Karen! It's delightful and fairly short, too.

I finished the Gilmore Girls season 5 last night. I can get these through the library ILL system, but I can only keep them for two weeks, which is a challenge to watch a season in that short amount of time. Lots of twist at the end of this season.

I am so disgusted with television now, that I'm glad to have several series on hand that people here on LT have recommended: News Radio, The Librarians (which I haven't started yet) and now Cranford.

I finished West Wing earlier this month, and it became one of my favorite series ever.

Feb 22, 11:31am Top

I'm trying to finish Clementine: The Life of Mrs Winston Churchill for the RL book club tomorrow. It was a bit slow going at first, but I am now in the section during WWII and Clementine seems to be coming into her own. It should make an interesting discussion tomorrow. There are some history lovers in the group, so I'm looking forward to their impressions of the book.

I have come to the conclusion that with my vision problems, I am not only reading less, but more slowly. Boo.

I'm going to Missoula today for my diet appointment, and there are two lectures on SE Asia on campus supported by the institute where my daughter works. I may go to both - one on China, one on Vietnam - or perhaps just the Vietnam one as it may become DD's next country of interest.

And hooray! my night vision binoculars arrived yesterday. These are going to be so much fun to watch the wildlife that I know passes along the creek at night. The owls seem to be past their midnight hooting ... but I'm sure there will be lots more to see.

Feb 22, 11:57am Top

Morning, Janet!

Gilmore Girls!! The West Wing!! News Radio!! All excellent shows.

Feb 22, 9:02pm Top

What fun is that to have night vision binoculars to watch the local nocturnal wildlife. Enjoy and please report!

Feb 23, 10:48am Top

Hi Janet!

>55 streamsong: A friend of mine suggested The Librarians, but husband is adamant about only watching things we can record or watch over Amazon Prime for free, so it's on hold for now. We watched the BBC production of Cranford before I really even knew who Judi Dench was. It's excellent.

Feb 23, 11:33am Top

Sweet Thursday, Janet! I have never read Gaskell. Bad Mark? Cranford might be a good place to start, especially if it is that good on audio.

Hope your week is going well.

I am getting ready to start One Man's Owl. Have you read this author?

Edited: Feb 24, 12:45pm Top

>57 scaifea: Hi Amber! My LT friends have very good taste!

And that is why I honestly don't feel guilty about having so many high stars reads. I get such great rec's here that of course my average star rating is high.

>58 mdoris: I honestly have no experience with night vision - so I took it out for a bit of a spin last night. I learned why they aren't actually binoculars - the eye you are using for the scope is so night blind, that when you look away, it feels like you have gone physically blind. It does have both a video and photo recording on it, so I may have something to share eventually. It was fun, although all I saw last night were dog and horse noses. I heard an owl hooting very far away, and found out that watching snow falling on night vision video is pretty awesome.

It would be fun to figure out where the wild turkeys are roosting.

>59 karenmarie: I started watching Cranford last night, and I totally agree, Karen. Cranford is excellent and Judi Dench amazing.

>60 msf59: I think you'd enjoy the audio of Cranford, Mark. I liked it much better than the only other Gaskell I have read, which was a collection of her spooky (not so much) tales.

I think Paul has Gaskell on the BAC list for later in the year.

ETA - No, I haven't read anything by that author. I'll be interested to see what you think.

ETA: Whoops - had a brackety thing wrong, so a good part of my post had disappeared.

Feb 24, 12:57pm Top

12. The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America - George Packer - 2013
- TIOLI # #3: Read a book that's relevant to one of your new year's resolutions (becoming more politically aware)
- library

"As Van Sickler drove back to the office to write up his story, he thought about the way Bender had looked at him. The contempt. Just like the comments that came in after one of his stories went up on the Web—they had nothing to do with what he'd written, minds were already made up. Every local issue was drowned out by the shouting on national cable news. There were no longer any facts that everyone in America could agree on at the start. For example, his paper had gone to great effort and expense to dig up information about the benefits as well as the costs, of light rail in Tampa, and none of it had sunk in. What had sunk in was “No tax for tracks” … p 314

“Peter Thiel told an interviewer, 'In the history of the modern world, inequality has only been ended through communist revolution, war or deflationary economic collapse. It's a disturbing question which of these three is going to happen today or if there's a fourth way out.'
” p372.

How did we get this way?

George Packer follows both well known and unknown people in this episodic biography of the last few decades. Attitudes change: civility in public office fails, profit rules, there is less and less recognition of the humanity behind the people effected by companies closing, downsizing, pension plans disappearing, real estate bubbles bursting. At last it seems that doing all the right things – working to own a home and educate your kids aren't enough; in fact in many cases it isn't even a possibility.

This book was written in 2013 but, clearly illustrates what is going on in America in 2017. Many of the biographical political snippets are people in power today.

Highly recommended. Deeply saddening.

My only criticism is that I wish it had an index.

Feb 26, 9:37am Top

We had a great book club discussion on Thursday about Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill.

The RLBC is such a joy and so incredibly well read. I am horribly deficient in history, but others in the group are history buffs. Several had read the three volume biography of Churchill as well as Churchill's six volume work on WWII. They gave this book a thumbs up, and loved seeing the humanity, which I guess is often missing in other works by or about him.

I'm learning a lot of WWII history before America joined the war. I'm still not quite done - drat this slow reading, but should finish before the end of the month.

Continuing to read this week:

- Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich - 1984; WomenCat- Debut Book by Woman author; 1001; ROOT - acq'd 2016 = 1 ROOT point
- Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill - Sonia Purnell - 2016 - RLBC -
- Thud! - Terry Pratchett - BAC, ROOT (not previously entered in LT), audio from library
- Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump - G. B. Trudeau - 2016 - Feb TIOLI #9. Read a book that is a satire; purchased 2017
- Bleak House - Charles Dickens - group read, 1001, library

Feb 26, 12:42pm Top

Hi Janet - Happy newish thread. What a lot of great reading you've done so far this year. Transit caught my eye, and I hope to read Cranford this year.

And, of course, Doonsebury. :)

Feb 26, 5:48pm Top

>63 streamsong: Some great reading there, Janet. I am also on with Bleak House and have just finished my first Mr. Pratchett.

Have a great Sunday.

Feb 26, 9:02pm Top

I hope you can make it to the Great Portland LT Meetup in March--it would be great to meet you!

Feb 27, 9:48am Top

>64 BLBera: and >66 arubabookwoman: Hi Beth and Deborah! I hope to meet you both in Portland. I'm still waffling because of my vision problems. My left eye is good; my right eye seems to be clearing up a bit. I can't get new glasses until things stabilize. All of this makes driving in unfamiliar places pretty iffy as my depth perception is off. Cross your fingers and toes for me! I already have my audiobooks lined up - the current plan may be drive to Seattle and then hitch a ride with Karen, so I'm not driving in unknown territory. I'm also contemplating flying (Can anyone say Montana cabin fever?)

>64 BLBera: the Doonesbury is rather almost too true to be funny because it makes it very clear that Trump has not changed a bit in 30 years. It's almost painful.
- I hope you enjoy Cranford and Transit!

>65 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! Thanks for stopping by! I'm having a bit of trouble getting into Bleak House Hopefully it picks up soon. I'm enjoying all the descriptions and the fun characters, but the plot is escaping me so far.
- I love Pratchett, but only take him in small doses. Listening instead of reading is working well.

Feb 27, 7:06pm Top

Fingers crossed, Janet.

Feb 27, 7:34pm Top

Yuge is painful. Garry Trudeau nailed him in the '80s and has consistently nailed through the last cartoon in the book.

>67 streamsong: I just finished Bleak House today and found it very rewarding. I hope you keep on keeping on, Janet.

Feb 27, 8:03pm Top

>55 streamsong: Love West Wing! It actually got quoted on the news today as one of the episodes dealt with

Edited: Mar 1, 10:27am Top

>68 BLBera: Thank. Beth! I had an incident with my right eye during the night. It's gone back to normal, but I'll call the doc this am as soon as they open.

>69 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Yup, I will definitely keep on with Bleak House.

>69 karenmarie: Hi Karen! West Wing is definitely a winner. Part of your post got lost, so I'll be interested to see which episode they were talking about.

Edited: Mar 2, 10:29am Top

February - Only 6 books for me - a record low, considering one was an audio and two were graphic novels/comics.

8. Transit- Anna Seghers - 1944
9. Witch of Lime Street - David Jaher - 2016 - LTER
10. Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell - 1851; audiobook
11. March: Book Three - John Lewis - library 2017
12. The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America - George Packer - 2013;
13. Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump - G. B. Trudeau - 2016 -

Women authors: 2
Men: 4

Library: 3
ROOTS owned pre 01/01/2017: 1
Acquired 2017: 2

Non-fiction: 3
Fiction: 2
Cartoon satire: 1

Graphic novels/cartoons: 2
Audiobooks: 1

Edited: Mar 7, 8:59pm Top

March Possibilities:

Currently Reading:

- Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich
✔ - Thud! - Terry Pratchett - Listening
✔ - Clementine: The Life of Mrs Winston Churchill - Sonia Purnell
- Bleak House - Charles Dickens

And adding to the mix for the lit seminar next week:

Texaco - Patrick Chamoiseau

Next Up:
Audiobook: The City of Secrets: A Novel - Stewart O'Nan
Fiction: Human Acts (LTER)
NonFiction: The Inconvenient Indian - Thomas King

Real Life Book Club:
A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman

Mar 2, 8:09am Top

Just stopping by to check in. Hope you are surviving this crazy winter, and that your creek is not rising.

I empathize with your vision challenges. Although what I'm experiencing seems to be much less than what you are experiencing, nonetheless it is an adjustment for me. I'm just not reading as much as once I did. Multiple reasons, I think, but changes in vision post cataract surgery certainly is part of the game.

I'm definitely anticipating the trip to Portland! And hours spent in Powell's perhaps.

I picked up a graphic novel yesterday after reading about it in Ellen's thread. Local is fascinating but I'm suffering a little bit from generation gap, I think. I can't quite wrap my head around the experiences depicted for a young woman, hitchhiking around the USA.

I am also spending more time reading periodicals - The New York Times, in print, at my door every morning; and The New Yorker in my mail box from time to time. (I've not yet received enough to be able to predict when it arrives). It is "fun" to keep up with the "news" in a more "in depth way". I don't really know if it is fun, or if news is the right word, but I do know there is more to it than what I see on the TV.

Mar 2, 8:50am Top

I hope everything is OK with your eye now.

Mar 2, 10:17am Top

>74 maggie1944: Hi Karen! The newspapers sound wonderful. I've been thinking about getting an online NYT subscription.

-No, no flooding here. It's a bit early, although other areas in the valley did have some flooding earlier due to ice jams. I am sooooooo over this winter. Most of the snow is gone. It's disintegrated into dirty piles from plowing and drifts.

Hmm, I can see where there might be a disconnect for Local for me, too.

>75 lunacat: Thanks, Jenny!

Eyes: I woke up in the middle of the night Monday without any vision in my right eye. Very scary. Over the course of fifteen or twenty minutes it lightened and I am back to my usual blurred out right eye vision. I'll see my opthamologist on Friday. He's out of the office - either sick, family emergency or perhaps he's run away :-). When I called, his receptionist said "Well he won't be in today or tomorrow, but he'll probably be back by Friday." I talked to his technician who said that it sounds like more of the same nerve spasm stuff and I did not need to be seen right away. Thank God it's only in one eye right now.

Portland is definitely still iffy.

Mar 2, 11:31am Top

Oh, dear, I do hope that the eye calms down and that you are able to make Portland, Janet.

Mar 2, 3:51pm Top

Yes, I'm holding hope, too. But I also want you to do whatever is best for getting this eye to behave itself. I have my fingers crossed, and wishing for the very best outcome.

Mar 3, 10:15am Top

Eye problems are so scary and I hope that the opthamologist's visit today confirms the 'same nerve spasm stuff'.

Mar 3, 3:20pm Top

Eye Doc: Yup, more of the same.

Keep doing what I'm doing:
✔Low carb diet (No more cheating - which I do from time to time when a piece of chocolate or a cookie shows up under my nose and insists on being eaten)
✔Lose weight
✔Exercise - OK, I've been remiss with my walking this winter, but I did start a water aerobics class this week. And it's FUN! And my new swimming suit is THREE SIZES smaller than my old one!
✔Meds and ✔eye drops

I was horribly discouraged (to the point of near-tears) by the eye exam. I can see the big E with that eye. I hadn't realized it was that bad. He says there are still no permanent changes, that's it all reversible, although he rec's seeing an endocrinologist. Everything can get back to my normal near-sighted self as blood sugars normalize.

My left eye is holding its own, thank God. But .... the nerve in the left eye could also start to spasm at any time. I asked about driving. He said I am good to drive with one eye, but to realize that if it also develops a nerve spasm, I could be suddenly sightless. Yikes! I was afraid of that!

So, I would say I'll have to skip Portland until the eyes settle down.

Mar 3, 6:42pm Top

Oh my, Janet. Scary. chocolate, cookies, unhealthy carbs

On the up side, I'm impressed with your three sizes smaller swim suit! That's a fantastic accomplishment.

Hang in there, and I hope your blood sugars normalize soon!!

Mar 3, 7:45pm Top

Oh, I'm sorry the Portland trip is a no-go, for now. Maybe getting the blood sugar stable will be a motivator?

I'm going to send you a "proposal" in your private messages.

Mar 3, 8:06pm Top

Hi, Janet. I am so sorry to hear about your eye issues. What a bummer. I hope this problem can be solved and you can get some relief. Does this effect your reading vision?

Mar 3, 9:02pm Top

So sorry about your eye issues! I hope you can get that blood sugar stabilized. Hang in there!

Mar 4, 10:55am Top

>81 karenmarie: >82 maggie1944: >83 msf59: >84 tymfos: Thanks for the support Karen, Karen, Mark & Terri! I'll get through this. I've been working hard on this since November (three sizes!). I will soon be at a weight I haven't seen for twenty years. Yay for hiking longer and riding horses this summer!

It's not just bad carbs that are off the list with my low carb diet - it's almost all carbs. No dairy (no cheese!) No fruits. No grains. No root vegetables including carrots and onions (although rutabagas, turnips and radishes are OK. If anyone is interested, rutabagas make great fries and roasted radishes aren't bad). No winter squash including spaghetti squash. No beans. No nuts.

But writing all this out, I've just had a brainstorm. With this diet, you eat three of their fake food packets each day. I probably should try avoiding their packets with white flour or potato starch in them. This is too bad because their fake potato packet makes an excellent cheeseless fake pizza crust. :-)

>83 msf59: Thanks for the concern, Mark. Yeah, it's definitely affecting my reading.

Mar 4, 2:18pm Top

My P is reading the new Gary Taubes book The Case Against Sugar and quoting out all sorts of figures/facts/statistics. He says it's very good. Good luck and wishing you the best for your eyesight challenges. Fingers greatly crossed!

Mar 5, 12:17am Top

Oh, Janet, so sorry to hear about the continuing eye problems and that you won't be able to make the Portland meetup. I think you should find someone to convert to LT there in Idaho who would want to come to meetups and of course bring you along with them. But the three sizes smaller swimsuit is great. What a restrictive diet, though! {{{{Janet}}}}

Mar 5, 9:30am Top

I hope Sunday treats you kindly Janet. And I can't imagine what you are finding to eat with that diet...lots of meat I assume? I'm so impressed.

Mar 5, 10:02am Top

So sorry to hear about your eyes, Janet. And I'm doubly sorry I won't get to meet you in Portland. Take care of yourself. Fingers crossed that the nerves settle down.

Mar 5, 10:56am Top

>86 mdoris: I have read Gary Taubes' Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It.

It's not just bad carbs that are off the list with my low carb diet - it's almost all carbs. No dairy (no cheese!) No fruits. No grains. No root vegetables including carrots and onions (although rutabagas, turnips and radishes are OK. If anyone is interested, rutabagas make great fries and roasted radishes aren't bad). No winter squash including spaghetti squash. No beans. No nuts.

Wow, I'm surprised at dairy and nuts - I thought they are mostly fat and protein. I can understand the no carrots because of the high glycemic index, but onions.

Your perseverance is admirable. I hope you see improvement in your eyesight sooner than soon!

Edited: Mar 5, 3:23pm Top

>86 mdoris: Thanks for the good wishes, Mary. The Case Against Sugar sounds interesting! As part of the diet program, I have a short video to watch everyday with lots of current studies quoted and referenced.

>87 ronincats: Thanks, Roni! I would love to meet more people in the area who are part of LT. Hopefully, I'll get to Portland or at least Seattle later in the year.

>88 lunacat: Hi Jenny! Menu today:

Breakfast: Ideal Protein drink + two scrambled egg whites.
Lunch: Homemade marinara sauce (mostly tomatoes and spices) with Shirataki noodles, two cups of salad greens, vaguely Italian tasting bread made out of an IP potato packet.
Dinner: New recipe with chicken, mushrooms and asparagus, two cups of salad greens. If my son, who is here on a short break from school shows up for dinner with a friend, I'll make Satay chicken instead since it's yummy enough to be a company recipe.
Snack: IP BBQ soy nuts, sliced cucumber

Not bad once you get used to it.

Interestingly enough DS's friend who was over here yesterday used a very similar (but non-commercial) diet when he joined the National Guard and was told to lose a significant amount of weight really quickly.

And Yay! DS's friend would like a couple hours of chores here a week while he is going to school. He's very reliable, a pretty darn good handyman and very strong - which will help immensely. Hired!

Edited: Mar 5, 3:29pm Top

>89 BLBera: Thank you Beth. I hope to meet you at a later date!

>90 karenmarie: Hi Karen- That sounds like another interesting book.

Dairy contains quite a bit of lactose. I do cheat a bit on cheese since one store has the individual 3/4 ounce cheddar portions. If I buy a package of them, I overeat so I (try to!) only buy one at a time.

Onions have enough sugar that you can caramelize them. The green parts of green onions are allowed, as are chives.

And like, I say, I cheat occasionally with a piece of chocolate. Mostly I'm pretty good. Losing the weight is wonderful. Getting the eyesight back is mandatory.

Edited: Mar 6, 9:38am Top

I am reading the most interesting book right now - Texaco by French/Martinique author Patrick Chamoiseau . The novel, translated from French with lots of Creole thrown in, follows the generations of a family of slaves into freedom and into the slums of the modern period. Quite a different arc than the US slaves-into-freedom that I am more familiar with.

I've just finished the first section which ends with the eruption of MT Pelee in 1902. A pyroclastic cloud incinerated the city of Saint-Pierre and its thirty thousand people.

Here's a photo I stole from Wikipedia showing the remains of the city:

It's for the literature seminar that I attend on Tuesday.

Mar 6, 9:18am Top

Wow. Sobering. Both your latest read and the health concerns you're working on. Kudos for your wonderful progress so far.

Mar 7, 8:24am Top

Janet, I'm also impressed and pleased you are doing well with your eating plan. You know we are all pulling for it to be successful. Eyesight is so precious.

Texaco sounds like a very interesting book. I wish I had time to just drop all I'm reading and run go get it. I am struggling with the often experienced frustration that I've made commitments, to myself and to others, to read this and that, and then along comes something which appeals to my impulsive side. But today, I will stick to making progress in Alexander Hamilton and a couple of other books I'm reading for variety. I'm really enjoying "Alex" as I do love me my history books but it is daunting in size, and my deadline (book group meeting) is looming ever closer!

Mar 7, 8:27am Top

Hello, Janet!

Mar 7, 8:32am Top

Hi Janet. I hope you have a good day!

I just read about Mt. Pelee and the eruption. 30,000 dead. Whew.

Mar 7, 10:39am Top

Janet, I am so impressed with your reading in spite of your eye problems. That sounds so scary. The weight loss must give you lots of energy these days. I wish I had a hiking group! Same old daily walk for me is getting a little boring, although we did see some deer in the wooded area along the path a few days ago.

Edited: Mar 8, 1:40pm Top

>94 countrylife: Hi Cindy - It's always good to see you!

>95 maggie1944: Hi Karen - Texaco is going to be one of my top reads this year. It's looking like a five star read, even though I'm only a bit over half way. The seminar on it was great!

>96 alcottacre: Stacia! Haven't seen you in a coon's age (as Dad used to say - even though I have no idea how long a coon's age might be......)

>97 karenmarie: Hi Karen - It was amazing to me to realize that the worst volcanic disaster of the last century was completely off my radar. It's not even the focus of this novel .. just the end of the first section.

>98 Donna828: Hi Donna. I am so thankful to have one normal eye that allows me to read and drive. The reading is slow. I read 15-30 minutes at a time, and then go do something else.

ETA: I have not been out with my hiking groups since just before Christmas. There is a full moon snowshoe hike planned for Saturday night - perhaps if I can hitch a ride, I might do that. I love the full moon on snow!

I bought some trekking poles at Costco this weekend. I hope they'll help with the ups and downs of trails as well as give my upper body a bit of a workout on walks.

Mar 8, 10:36am Top

I picked up the children's book The Poet's Dog and read it last night. It was a sweet meditation on moving on. I loved that some people (poets! and children) can hear dogs' talk.

But having lived in snow country for so long, part of me was yelling in my head NO NO NO - the kids did everything wrong. I'd hate for kids stuck in a bad situation to make the choices these kids did.

I'll read it again before I return it.

It reminded me of a time when the kids were young and we went sledding. Part way home, the car died and refused to restart. DH started walking out for help along the canyon road. I stayed in the car with the kids for several hours. It was getting dark and cold by the time DH and the tow truck arrived.


Mar 8, 3:08pm Top

>100 streamsong: Janet, I thought that too when I read it!

Mar 8, 5:28pm Top

>100 streamsong: Hi, Janet.

Yeah, I think you have to view The Poet's Dog as a fairy tale to enjoy it fully. What the parents do (or don't do) wouldn't work in RL either. But if you just go with it, it's a beautiful, affectionate story.

Mar 9, 9:08am Top

>100 streamsong: Okay, Janet, I never have been in real snow country, note to self "Stayinthecarstayinthecarstayinthecar!".
But it was a lovely story :-)

Mar 10, 11:35am Top

>101 mdoris: Yuppers, Mary!

>102 jnwelch: Hi Joe! I'm always happy to see you. I suspect this is a geography thing. I have a really good friend who was a technician with the USFS. During winter months, she would dress up in a Woodsy Owl costume and go to primary school classes to teach Survive - Hug a Tree (summer months) and stay-in-the-car survival skills. Staying put is the difference between life and death.

The adults behaved abominably, too. But the kids going off into the woods just makes me feel really hinky.

For me, it turns into a 'Other than that, what did you think of the play, Mrs. Lincoln?" scenario.

It was a sweet story about loss. I wonder how kids would feel about this book, though?

>103 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! Good plan!

Mar 10, 2:18pm Top

>104 streamsong: I've only given The Poet's Dog to adults, Janet, but I'm thinking it would work well with kids. I suspect kids would have an easier time just going with the story than we anxious adults do, who think, but, but, but . . .

Mar 11, 8:36am Top

Hi Janet! I hope you're having a good weekend. Does it include the full moon snowshoe hike?

Edited: Mar 11, 10:27am Top

>105 jnwelch: You could well be right, Joe. I made that comment about what kids would think of it after reading the reviews on Amazon - one teacher said she bought it for her classroom and the kids thought it was 'just OK'.

Yup, I overanalyze. Cynical me says it's nice to know that if I die, my dog will find someone else to love before the food in the refrigerator goes bad. :-) .

Like I said in >100 streamsong: there are parts of the story that I really like, and parts I just can't. I know it's a favorite with several people whose opinions I respect (including you, Joe!).

>106 karenmarie: I'm afraid I may have to pass on the full moon snowshoe tonight. I have a bad cold which has settled into my chest (cough, cough). I almost made it all winter without a single sniffle.

Mar 11, 10:32pm Top

Hope your cold clears up over the weekend, Janet. xx

Edited: Mar 14, 2:50pm Top

>108 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. It turned into a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad cold (Thank you Judith Viorst ). I've been lucky not to have one that bad in several years. Today I am poking my head up and feeling like I'll live. :-)

Heck, I may even read something today.

Mar 14, 3:40pm Top

Hi Janet! I'm sorry you've been so sick. I'm glad that you are doing better today and hope you get well quickly.

It's awful to be so sick that you don't feel like reading, so hurray for feeling like you might want to read something today!

Mar 14, 4:04pm Top

So sorry for the bad cold, Janet, but glad you seem to be coming out the other side.

Mar 14, 7:58pm Top

Mar 14, 8:01pm Top

>109 streamsong: Yay for feeling alive again!

Mar 14, 10:39pm Top

Loved the comparison of cold/Viorst. I can see the pictures of that book in my mind! Hope you're feeling better soon.

Mar 16, 11:32am Top

>110 karenmarie: >111 ronincats: >113 alcottacre: >114 mdoris: >Hi Karen, Roni, Stasia, and Mary! Thanks for the good wishes! I'm at the tail end of the cold - coughing (oh what a good work out for those core muscles!) It also did wonders for my weight loss this week. I was down 3.5 pounds at my appointment yesterday.

I stopped by several second hand clothing stores yesterday and found two gently used pairs of pants, since, once more, I can slide my smallest pants over my hips without unbuttoning. Not at all good when out doing horse chores.

>112 jnwelch: Hi Joe! I'm glad you didn't find the remark too b****y. I know it's a sweet story and a favorite of many of my friends here.

>114 mdoris: Hi Mary I read that one to the kids many a time when they were little. I don't know about them, but it always made me feel better. :-)

Mar 16, 11:32am Top

I finished my audiobook on the way into Missoula yesterday. It was my February AAC pick, Stewart O'Nan's City of Secrets. Interesting, and lots to think about once it was over. It was part of Israel's history that I was unaware of - and yet another look at refugees. I went to Wikipedia and read about the bombing of the King David Hotel this morning.

And now I've started listening to my March BAC challenge: The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, the first I've read by Le Carre and on the 1001 list.

I'm not making much headway on print reads right now. I'm still reading Texaco and The Inconvenient Indian which I can't renew from the library again.

Love Medicine and Bleak House are on the back burner, but not forgotten.

Mar 17, 10:44pm Top

I'm glad you are feeling better. Great idea about "new" pants while on a weight losing slide. My pants also can be brought down without unbuttoned, or even without unbuckling the belt (which has no more holes). Sigh. I went to a less expensive store and bought some workout pants. Very satisfying to have a friend in the retirement home say, "well, only you could pull those off".... they were bright with flowers. Yeah!

I, too, have bailed out for going to Portland this weekend. Poor little Greta Garbo is not feeling well, skinny, and gets really cold out side. So I need to work on hand feeding her some food, and am very patient with her wanting, but not wanting, to go outside. Poor dear! I have no dates or obligations for the weekend so I may get quite a bit of reading finished! Yay!

Take good care of yourself. And spring really is coming.... soon.... soon....

Mar 19, 11:37pm Top

Hi Janet, I'm sorry the eyes kept you from joining us for the Portland meet-up. We had a good time. Books were purchased and a fine dinner was shared. And today I enjoyed the spring-like weather (finally!).

I'm off again tomorrow, heading to NOLA to join P and my sister and SIL for a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi. I'm looking forward to some time on the balcony with a book, watching the world go by.

Take good care. We're tentatively planning a Seattle meet-up for this summer so maybe we can enjoy your company for that one!

Mar 19, 11:47pm Top

It is a shame that both you and Rhonda were unable to join the other six ladies at Powell's as they seemed like they were having a blast. Hope the eyes are now much better. xx

Mar 20, 11:49am Top

>117 maggie1944: Hi Karen! I'm feeling much better, but still coughing away.

Poor Greta Garbo. The older I get, the more empathy I have for the old critters, including my own Ginny the antique Golden Retriever. Ginny seems to have a bit of doggy Alzheimer's going on - she went for a wander the other evening and didn't come back before dark. I finally found her an hour later in an absolute panic, since she can't see well in the dark. It didn't keep her from taking off again the next two days. Sigh.

Sounds like you're losing weight, too. Congrats! It's fun, isn't it!

Yup, happy happy spring! The snow is gone, except for a few piles from plows. The corrals are muddy, muddy, muddy. Skalkaho Creek is roaring, but so far not threatening

>118 EBT1002: Hi Ellen! I'd love to make the Seattle meetup. A Mississippi cruise sounds awesome!

>119 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! No, the eyes are not doing any better. The good eye is very sensitive to eye strain right now, so reading has slowed to a crawl, as has computer time. Drat!

Finished a book, finished a book - finally done with Texaco. It was a great read and I'll get a review done soon-ish.

Working on finishing up The Inconvenient Indian and I've started A Man Called Ove for the RLBC next week.

Mar 20, 1:36pm Top

Congratulations on the weight loss, Janet, even if some of it came by being sick.

I'm sorry that your eyes are not improving more quickly.

I'm sorry about Ginny - it's so sad when our fur kids start failing.

Mar 20, 2:23pm Top

Hi - any chance of confining Ginny in a fenced place so she won't get hit by car or truck?

Edited: Mar 20, 8:20pm Top

>121 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen for the congrats on the weight loss. It's slowed down, but still steady. The eyes are what they are. After I see my GP next week, I may start seeing a specialist or two.

>122 m.belljackson: Hello, I'm not sure if we've met, but your judgment is a bit off. Ginny is a farm dog and as such, has a different life than city or suburban dogs. Like farm dogs everywhere, she goes with me to do chores. Her sneaking off usually takes her to the creek. Unfortunately, the recent snow melt has uncovered a dead deer and she is happily bringing home bits. In a few days, the scavengers will have it cleaned up and hopefully the problem will be solved.

In this area, it's not terribly safe to leave a dog in a fenced area without supervision. There are just too many predators that can easily enter a fenced area and are happy to have the smorgasbord of the day. Ginny is in the house when she's not with me.

Mar 20, 9:21pm Top

Hi, Janet! Just checking in. Hope you are doing well. I have been enjoying an excellent reading year, so far and see no reason, why it shouldn't continue.

I just started Mexico: Stories. I think this is a collection, I am really going to enjoy.

Edited: Mar 23, 7:59am Top

>123 streamsong: A great reminder of what it is like to live out in the country, not a place many of us even visit any more. So sad. I miss the farm where I spent summers as a kid. The owners are now long gone, and I'll bet the house and barn are gone, too. Probably part of a large corporation which grows wheat, barley, and whatever.

I've been reading Maman, What Are We Called Now - a memoir of Paris just at the very end of World War II, by a French woman who's husband was in the Resistance. Her daughter said those words in the title when they were continuing to hide from the Nazi forces. Now, there's a book to make you feel grateful for where you are today.

We had a lovely sunny day today, but tomorrow and on through the week it will be raining, again! We are facing flooding in many parts of western Washington. But even that is so much better than what so many other parts of the country are experiencing.

My puppy is now old enough that if I do let her "off leash" she pretty much just stays a few feet away from me, and when I turn to go somewhere else, she follows. Dogs are so good as companions.

I hope the week goes well for you.

FYI: some late editing to correct my fat finger errors.

Mar 21, 11:31pm Top

>123 streamsong: Streamsong > Confusion here _ I thought you wrote that she had been wandering off, but now you say that she's in the house or with you - not judgement, concern.

Edited: Mar 22, 9:40am Top

>124 msf59: Hi Mark! I thought the first of the Mexco short stories was the best of the lot. Talk about starting with a rush and a shiver. After you're done reading it, I think you'll enjoy reading some of the LTER reviews from people who didn't quite understand the concept of 'noir'.

>125 maggie1944: Hi Karen - Yes, it's sometimes quite hard to contain one's equanimity in the face of unmerited judgement concern.

The RL book club read The Nightingale at the end of last year, which sounds like the same time frame and setting as Maman, What Are We Called Now

>126 m.belljackson: Sigh.

She definitely was lost the other night, which was the very first time ever and which I think may have been a result of decreasing vision. And yes she does sneak off to the creek (on my property, not across a road), which she has more danger from coyotes and mountain lions than cars.

ETA: Both sets of statements are true. She is not outside without me, and yes she can wander off. I sometimes have her clipped on a thirty foot longe line attached to my waste, but not everything I need to do can be accomplished with a dog attached.

Mar 22, 7:53am Top

We have a border collie, who is *very* good about staying within our property boundaries, both now that we live in a town and before, when we lived on 2 acres out in the country. Back when we lived in the country, she ran off only once, and was gone for most of a day. I was in panic mode, but eventually she can trotting back and looked at us like, "What? I'm here now. Chill out, dudes." Still have no idea where she went then. Silly thing.

The golden retriever, though, well, she's another story altogether. We can't take her outside unless she's on a leash: if she seems someone three blocks away, she'll race for them, wanting to make a new friend. Yeesh.

Mar 22, 8:42am Top

I lost track of your thread, and so many others, because I haven't checked my "starred" list in, apparently, over a month. Both commiseration and congratulations are in order. The night vision binoculars are intriguing.

Mar 22, 9:34am Top

>128 scaifea: Hi Amber! Too funny. No such thing as strangers to Ginny, either. If someone pulls into my driveway and opens their car door, Ginny is going to try to climb into the car with them. She used to be especially bad with climbing into visiting pickup trucks, but age has made it impossible for her to clamber up into one without help.

I used to take her to the dog park to have a chance to play with other dogs, but she would spend her time making besties with all the two legs and ignoring the other dogs completely.

>129 qebo: Hi Katherine! I'm not getting around much to other threads, either. The night vision is intriguing, but not easy to use with one eye acting up. I'm thinking of buying a small (probably used!) camper to park by the creek, which I hope will yield some interesting night visitors. Several people have trail cams set up in the area, and it's amazing what's out there that you don't see.

Mar 22, 8:48pm Top

I'm very sorry to hear about your loss of visual acuity, Janet. I pray that improves, or at least doesn't worsen.

I look forward to your comments about Texaco, which I hope to read later this year.

Mar 22, 8:59pm Top

>116 streamsong: I am interested in City of Secrets so I will have to see if I can track that one down.

Mar 23, 5:28pm Top

>131 kidzdoc: Hi Darryl - Thanks for the commiseration on the eyesight. This has already lasted much longer than predicted, but I'm still very hopeful.

I thought about your African Diaspora reading when I read Texaco. I predict you'll like it!

>132 alcottacre: Hi Stacia! I don't know anything about the this time period in Israel's history, so for me it was very intriguing. I believe I have a copy of Leon Uris's Exodus stashed around here - I should probably give it a go.

Yesterday, 10:41am Top

Hi Janet! Just a quick hello. I have to smile about Ginny getting into cars - I took a friend to get his hair cut yesterday (he's temporarily unable to drive) and while waiting outside I heard a cat meow. I opened the door, and up he jumped! Just as friendly as ever could be. He stayed a while on the back seat and left when I opened the back door to show him to a woman who was walking through the parking lot. I asked her if he had a home. She said he did, that he lived behind Country Time Haircuts and was very friendly.

Today, 10:47am Top

Yup, that's Ginny! Another reason she can't be outside on her own.

Ginny was a rescue. The Rain Beau (unique spelling because believe it or not I have heard they monitor the web for negative comments about them) old hippies group camped in a nearby forest several years ago, and as always, dogs were left behind when the encampment was over. The speculation is that they pick up dogs as they travel to the camp and then leave them.

Ginny wasn't microchipped and had been wandering in the woods for several weeks along with half a dozen other dogs when she was turned in to the Humane Society. They advertised her on the internet for several months, but no luck in finding her owner and no way of telling what part of the country she may have originated. She is the sweetest golden retriever ever, with a an old C section scar. I bet she just happily climbed into the car with someone who invited her along.

Today I'm going to volunteer at a local therapeutic riding center. I've long had an interest in this, but now I have time!

And this afternoon, the college guy who has been helping me this week is going to teach me to cut down trees with a chainsaw. :-) I only plan to tackle the very small 1-2 inch diameter cottonwoods that grow like weeds in the wet areas of my place.

Today, 1:14pm Top

>135 streamsong: I've long had an interest in this, but now I have time!
Hooray for retirement!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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