Katie K's 2017 Book of Books (and Shenanigans and Beverages and Friends) - Chapter 7
This is a continuation of the topic Katie K's 2017 Book of Books (and Shenanigans and Beverages and Friends) - Chapter 6.
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I don't think I had this many friends in school who liked to read like I did ;-)
Hello, Old Friends, and Welcome, New Ones!
My husband and I just re-located from Dallas, Texas to the metro New York area, so I am all about new adventures and fresh perspectives!
About me: I'm in my late 30s and besides reading, I love to travel, try new wines, indulge in shenanigans, and spend time with friends and family. Other things I love: Pimm's, snark, the New York Giants, the New York Yankees, sports in general, Cards Against Humanity, and "ethnic" (i.e. non-American) cuisine. But I like American food, too. I just like food. :)
My reading is primarily fiction, though I love nonfiction, too. I'll read almost anything if it has a compelling narrative - from great literature to tawdry romances. This is a judgment-free zone. Unless you use bad grammar, and then I judge you. A lot. (Ooh, look, lots of sentence fragments; I'm judging myself now...)
Other characters who occasionally make an appearance on my thread:
The Wayne - husband
Louis - The World's Best Dog (who is currently being taken care of by my sister-in-law because my mean landlord won't let us have a dog in this beautiful house...)
Leonard - a cat that thinks he's a dog, which is why I find him acceptable
Olivia, Peter, and Abby - my cousins (11, 7, and 3) on whom I dote
Charlie - my baby nephew born January 24!
Benjamin - my baby cousin born March 15!
BOOKS READ TO DATE
1. And Justice There is None by Deborah Crombie (3.5 stars)
2. Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas (3 stars)
3. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (3 stars)
-- In Twenty Years by Alison Scotch Win (DNF)
4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (audio) (4 stars)
5. The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (4.5 stars)
6. The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang (4 stars)
7. Kindred by Octavia Butler (3.5 stars)
8. News of the World by Paulette Jiles (4.5 stars)
9. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (3.5 stars)
10. Everyday People by Stewart O'Nan (4.5 stars)
11. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (4.5 stars)
12. The River of Doubt by Candice Millard (4 stars)
-- Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You in Your Life by Yiyun Li
13. The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths (4 stars)
14. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (4.5 stars)
Ratings: I've stolen my star scale from Ellen and slightly modified it.
5 stars = I connected with this book in a special way. It may not be perfect, but it was perfect for me.
4.5 = A great read, among my favorites of the year.
4 = A good read and one that I recommend; truly enjoyable and/or worthy.
3.5 = Pretty good, with a few things done very well.
3 = Good for what it is.
2.5 = Average, and life is too short to read average works.
2 = A bit below average. A waste of time.
Anything worse I probably didn't finish and so wouldn't give a rating.
Some of the challenges I am following/wanting to participate in:
American Author Challenge (75ers)
Nonfiction Challenge (75ers)
Monthly Themes (Reading Through Time)
CultureCAT (2017 Category Challenge)
Why the Hell Did Donald Trump Win? (not sure of actual group read name :) ) (75ers)
I also want to save room for random/serendipitous choices, so I need to give myself permission to dip in and out of the challenges. I may bring back my LT Folly book selection or some other random means of selecting at least one book a month.
Reviews from the end of the last thread....
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
Why now: The author was speaking locally and I’ve wanted to read this for a long time.
This should be required reading in high school so that the generation coming up will have a real sense of the problems in our justice system and inspiration to address them head on. I could quote so many passages of this book and relate each time I was brought to tears, but you should just read it for yourself. It is a really tough read, but an important and worthwhile one.
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard
Why now: Nonfiction Challenge Theme – Voyages of Discovery
Candice Millard is an excellent narrative nonfiction writer. I loved her Destiny of the Republic, and I liked this one a lot. And may have been less of a revelation than Destiny just because I am more familiar with T.R. and knew about this expedition he undertook down an unchartered river in Brazil. But Millard’s research and ability to synthesize so much information into a readable and entertaining narrative is really impressive.
The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths
Why now: Suzanne gave me the ARC and it’s a favorite series
I really like this series, especially the first couple of books and now the last couple. I always find the background and context of the mysteries interesting (this one is about underground societies) and the character development and relationships are intriguing. The resolutions to the mysteries are usually kind of ridiculous, but that’s almost secondary. Developments in the Nelson and Ruth relationship alone make this one worth reading. Hoo boy!
This one will be published in the US at the end of May.
Mine!!! Happy St. Paddy's Day!! A favorite series, you say? Dang it. Maybe I can find one or two at Powell's tomorrow. So maybe I should go finish what I am reading. Ha!!
Happy New Thread, Katie! Some day I'm going to get to that Ruth Galloway series. I've got the first one on my WL.
Thank you, Micky! My only plans are laundry and packing. I fly Sunday night to Bangkok :)
Happy new one, Katie! I am very jealous that you have gotten to read the latest Ruth Galloway.
Well, Mamie, I am sending it up to Beth, so maybe if you ask her *very nicely* she will pass it along to you next!
>18 ronincats: - Thanks, Roni!
>19 drneutron: - Honored to share twin threads with you, Jim :)
>20 charl08: - Thanks, Charlotte! I hope so, too.... It's a loooong trip! My layover in Abu Dhabi is about 3 hours, so that should be fine (knock on wood!).
>21 msf59: - Exit West is very good so far, Mark. I'm only about 50 pages in but reads really smoothly, and I love the writing.
>5 katiekrug: Into the BlackHole it goes! Thanks for the recommendation, Katie.
Happy weekend :)
Happy new thread Katie, and here's to having a great weekend. I struggle with the 'reading time/social time on LT' thing constantly. This year reading time has been doing well, but the price is that I am usually behind on all the threads.
>23 alcottacre: - Thanks, Stasia! Happy weekend to you!
>24 DeltaQueen50: - Judy, so far I am getting over my compulsion to get and stay caught up. Once I leave for this trip, there will be no hope so it's good practice ;-)
>25 BLBera: - I think you're going to like it, Beth! I probably won't get it in the mail before I leave but The Wayne may remember to take care of it for me. Otherwise, I'll send it as soon as I get back the week after next.
>26 RebaRelishesReading: - Thanks, Reba!
Happy new thread, Katie. It seems to be an especially challenging year to keep up with the threads! Safe travels!
I wish I were flying to Bangkok tomorrow! Have a good flight and I hope you enjoy the time there, in spite of the work involved. :)
I have mixed feelings, Ursula. It's a long flight, but I'll be in business class so that helps. I am missing The Wayne's birthday, which is a bummer. But I am really looking forward to seeing my colleagues whom I miss since I left Dallas. And I am happy to get some Katie time, which I plan to spend just relaxing at the hotel. This is my 3rd trip to Bangkok, so I've seen what I'm interested in seeing of the city and plan to chill at the hotel during my downtime, so that will be nice. But I will be glad to have the trip behind me, too!
Happy travels, Katie. I hope the business class makes it all go smooth sailing for you (as it were). That will be nice I bet!
>34 katiekrug: Ah yeah, a mixed bag definitely. Enjoying the parts you can will definitely help you get on the other side of it faster!
Happy Sunday, Katie! And have a very safe trip, my friend. Do you travel today?
No worries. I still need to pack but that's about it. I'm trying to finish Exit West right now (it's excellent!).
Hours and hours in business class sounds like just the thing if you have to fly anywhere :-) I hope the trip goes well and you enjoy all the hotel amenities.
Katie--Safe trip to tonight and I hope you have some wonderful me-time in Bangkok. I swear I added Ruth Galloway to my WL before Powell's, but it wasn't on it and I only just remembered now that I am on your thread. I am so bummed. : ( But it is now really, truly on the list.
Hope the room service is good in your hotel. I rather like the idea of being holed up with my books. Good luck with packing your books. Choices choices!
Hi, Katie! Just stopping by (and delurking) to say Happy New Thread. Bangkok! Sounds so exotic to one who has never been. Safe flight and enjoy a relaxing time between work stuff!
A rather delayed Happy New Thread. I hope your travels go smoothly and you have a fabulous time in Bangkok, even if it is for work and not play!
Here's wishing you a safe, smooth trip and a great time in Bangkok
Happy New Thread, Katie, and safe travels! I can relate to the opportunity to build in some down time in the room when on a work-related trip. Enjoy your room service (do you do room service? I have a hard time letting myself indulge in it but when I do, it's so decadently wonderful!).
I'm looking forward to reading Just Mercy one of these days. I have taken the important step of purchasing it.
Hi all! Just checking in from Abu Dhabi, where I am laying over. Uneventful 12 hour flight from JFK. I slept a majority of it. And got started on Sophie's Choice which, weirdly, is a good airplane book. *shrug*
A little over 3 hours. I'm holed up in the Etihad lounge where the wine is free :-)
>34 katiekrug: Meeting with colleagues is one the best things about working. I hope you enjoy the time in Bangkok, Katie.
Yeah, not what I would have expected to keep me going on a 14 hr flight...
I'm safely ensconced in the lap of luxury at the hotel :-) Breakfasting on the terrace before getting to work.
Individual responses later! Thanks for keeping my thread warm!
I hope you're not also coming back via Abu Dhabi (or Dubai, for that matter) ... this new ban on all devices is kind of a pain if you're a Kindle reader. Good thing you can sleep through flights too! :)
>61 katiekrug: Good to see you arrived safely in South East Asia, Katie. It is a shame that my schedule is so hectic right now and I am trying to get done to relocate, otherwise I would have downed tools and paid you a visit up there. Enjoy yourself some R&R.
Happy new thread, Katie! I hope that you have some enjoyable down time in Bangkok.
Hi, Katie. Just me, catching up yet again after my trip to Portland, Or. I hope the return flight isn't too boring, and you have few good physical books to get you through.
Howdy, Katie. I was stationed in Bangkok for nearly a year during the war. Yeah, that war. Vietnam. Fifty years ago. I was so lucky in how that worked out.
Hope your work trip is treating you well, Katie.
I ran across a sports romance today while browsing through a publisher catalogue and the title made me giggle: Third Base. It might be funnier when combined with the cover image of a shirtless man holding a baseball bat. Anyway, sports romances always make me think of you. :)
Hi Katie, stopping by to get caught up. Wishing you a wonderful week and that your work trip is going well.
Hi Katie, hope all is going well and you are having a great week. Stay safe and healthy.
I, too, hope your trip is going well and that you're also enjoying yourself!
Home again, home again, jiggity-jig!
After a hellish ride home from the airport, I am now safely ensconced at home, which may not be the lap of luxury, but which is most welcome after a seemingly endless trip :)
>48 charl08: - As it turned out, Charlotte, I never got room service! But the food was excellent everywhere I went :)
>49 Storeetllr: - Good to "see" you, Mary! And thanks for the good wishes.
>50 lunacat: - Thanks, Jenny! I did manage to survive everything thrown at me, so thanks for that :)
>51 RebaRelishesReading: - Thank you, Reba!
>52 EBT1002: - Ellen, I have zero problem ordering room service, but I never did on this trip... I think the opportunity to hang out with my colleagues whom I see so infrequently now was too good to resist.
>53 scaifea: - Thanks, Amber!
>57 susanj67: - Susan, this trip would have been a nightmare without the lounges... and not just because of the free wine!
>58 Familyhistorian: - Meg, it's been an adjustment working from home, and I am grateful to have some opportunities to connect with my colleague-friends...
>59 lit_chick: and >60 drneutron: - I know, totally weird. But there was something about the rhythm of it... And then, after a while, it would make me sleepy, so win-win :)
>62 ursula: - I did come back through Abu Dhabi, Ursula. The new restrictions are ridiculous. Luckily, I have the Kindle app on my phone, so I just made sure I had books downloaded onto it, plus I had 3 back issues of Vanity Fair to read, a book of crossword puzzles, and my audio book to keep me company. I was really worried about having to put my laptop in my checked bag, but it made it back with me. I was secretly hoping my Kindle wouldn't, so I could get a new one ;-)
This was my first trip overseas since the election, and I've never had so many people comment on US politics to me (and no, they weren't complimentary); the Bush-Iraq war era didn't even come close in levels of negativity. It's also the first time I have ever made a point of making sure to hold my passport with the back facing out so as not to advertise my nationality. As our not-so-esteemed leader would tweet: SAD!
Edited for clarity.
>63 avatiakh: - Thanks, Kerry! It was lovely.
>64 PaulCranswick: - Hi Paul. A special trip to Bangkok would have been above and beyond the call of duty!
>65 RebaRelishesReading: - Indeed!
>66 charl08: and >67 kidzdoc: - Thanks, Charlotte and Darryl! I did enjoy the bit of downtime I had, though I was chomping at the bit to start home by the end of it :)
>68 ffortsa: - Thanks, Judy. I survived the flight home, mostly thanks to sleep :)
>69 Crazymamie: - *Smile* It's nice to be missed.
>70 weird_O: - Lucky, indeed, Bill. It's a great city - at least now. Not sure what it would have been like then... But I can't imagine the essential nature of the people has changed much, and I find them very warm and friendly.
>71 MickyFine: - Love it! And of course, baseball is always played shirtless :-P
>72 EBT1002: - Great now that I'm home, Ellen!
>73 lkernagh: - Thanks, Lori! Good to "see" you :)
>74 DeltaQueen50: - Home now, Judy, thanks for the good wishes. I hope I stay healthy - the dude across the aisle from me on the return flight sounded like he was about to die from a head and chest cold. Yay.
>75 karenmarie: - Thanks, Karen! Glad to be home, but some fun was had while away...
When one arrives at the Mandarin Oriental, one receives the most amazing-smelling nosegay (?) of fresh flowers.
Speaking of fresh flowers, they were everywhere...
Even on my pillow when I came back to my room...
The view from my room up the Chao Phraya River:
Where we had our opening reception:
The gorgeous meeting rooms (this one is set for the last meeting of the trip):
Love that view.
Glad you made it back despite being without all the entertainment on such a long flight. Kindles are so great in that sort of situation.
Glad you're safely back, Katie.
Sounds like a great trip. I'm not surprised you got the negativity re U.S. politics. We got some of that while traveling during the Bush the Younger years, but I'm sure it's much more pronounced for the Orange Voldemort.
Glad to see you've arrived home safe, and I'm not surprised about the negative comments either. When we go to Europe these days, I've made it quite clear which way I voted re Brexit, whenever the topic turns to politics. I do NOT want to be associated with any of it.
Glad you're home safe and sound. Sounds like the trip went well until the ride home -- right?
>89 BLBera: - Thank you, Beth.
>90 lunacat: - I usually try to just smile vaguely and move on when politics comes up overseas but I feel so strongly about The Apricot Menace, I can't do that anymore.
>91 RebaRelishesReading: - That's right, Reba. The ride home from the airport wasn't so great - traffic was bad and the driver kept making odd choices. But I made it, so that's the important thing :)
I took a five (!) hour nap yesterday and was afraid I wouldn't be able to sleep last night, but I managed a solid 5.5 hours. Now I've been up since about 4:30am. We'll see how the day goes. The Wayne has a late work thing tonight and doesn't want to get a late train and then turn around the next morning and go back, so he surprised me by booking a room at the Library Hotel. I'll head into the city late this afternoon and check-in and meet up with him for dinner before he goes back into work. I wouldn't mind just being at home, but he isn't super spontaneous, so I need to be supportive when he is ;-)
It looks to be pretty neat:
"The Library Hotel’s collection of over 6,000 books is organized by the Dewey Decimal System. Each of the 10 guestroom floors honor one of the 10 categories of the DDC and each of our 60 rooms are uniquely adorned with books and art exploring a distinctive topic within the category it belongs to."
There's even a reading room with refreshments! I wonder if I could just move in....
Wow, that sounds very very cool. I hope you have a lovely evening. And encouragement of spontaneity seems an excellent reason for going along!
I was just perusing the website's photos (http://www.libraryhotel.com/en/gallery.html) - there is a giant (faux) card catalogue behind the front desk. I was obviously meant to stay there!
>99 katiekrug: Ooh, I want to go! This sounds fun.
(Although I think they should use LCC classification... ;-)
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