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Nittnut - Replanted and Blooming 2017 Part 3

This is a continuation of the topic Nittnut - Replanted and Blooming 2017 Part 2.

This topic was continued by Nittnut - Replanted and Blooming 2017 Part 4.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: Mar 18, 11:02am Top

Fanleaf Hawthorne

Edited: Mar 18, 11:00am Top

I'm Jennifer. I read in bed. Also at the pool, in restaurants, at the beach, but not in the car. I have been married 23 years to my best friend. He puts up with my reading addictions, mostly, although I am not allowed to read while watching sport. We have three children ages 18, 12 and 10 and I often find them reading in bed after lights out. Success!

We have lived in California, Oregon, Colorado, New Zealand, and now we live in North Carolina. If you've been around my thread the last few months, you will know we have just moved. We are still getting settled, but we can tell we are going to like it here.

My thread toppers will be photos of native North Carolina plants - going along with the theme of Blooming where I'm planted...

Reading goals (flexible, of course):

Wheel of Time series - continued - This will be a long term effort. :)
American Author Challenge - LOVE this
ANZAC Challenge
Nonfiction Challenge

Edited: Jun 1, 10:02pm Top


American Author Challenge

Jan - Octavia Butler - Unexpected Stories
Feb - Stewart O' - Emily, Alone
Mar - William Styron - The Long March
Apr - Poetry - Tracy K. Smith - Life on Mars: Poems
May - Zora Neale Hurston - Dust Tracks on a Road
Jun - Sherman Alexie - pass
Jul - James McBride - The Color of Water
Aug - Patricia Highsmith
Sep - Short Stories
Oct - Ann Patchett - This is the Story of a Happy Marriage
Nov - Russell Banks -
Dec - Ernest Hemingway - The Old Man and the Sea

Non-fiction Challenge

Jan - Prizewinners - Founding Brothers
Feb - Voyages of Exploration - The Warmth of Other Suns
Mar - Heroes and Villains - Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln
Apr - Hobbies, Pastimes and Passions - Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies and Jays
May - History - Hidden Figures, Dr. Mutter's Marvels
Jun - The Natural World -
Jul - Creators and Creativity
Aug - I've Always Been Curious About ...
Sep - Gods, Demons and Spirits
Oct - The World We Live In: Current Affairs
Nov - Science and Technology
Dec - Out of Your Comfort Zone

ReRead Challenge


Edited: Mar 18, 11:31am Top

A peek at the Organized Chaos - or just Chaos - that is my life right now. Life is very good. Note the books on the shelves, even if the bedding isn't on the beds...

Edited: Jun 1, 10:07pm Top

Currently Reading

Pages: 19630

Currently Reading: The Quake Year, The Persian Pickle Club

Newbery Award: Roller Skates

Currently Listening:


Octavia Butler - Unexpected Stories - completed
Stewart O'Nan - Emily Alone - completed
William Styron - The Long March - completed
Tracy K. Smith - Life on Mars: Poems - completed
Zora Neale Hurston - Dust Tracks On A Road - completed
Sherman Alexie - PASS


Founding Brothers - Joseph J. Ellis - completed
The Warmth of Other Suns - Isabel Wilkerson - completed
Giants: Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln - completed
Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies and Jays - completed
The Wright Brothers - completed
Dust Tracks on a Road - completed
Dr. Mutter's Marvels - completed
Hidden Figures - completed


Cotillion - completed
The Bear and the Nightingale - completed
Black Sheep - completed
Powder and Patch - completed
A Wind in the Door - completed
Dragon Flight - completed
Dragsondawn - completed

The Wild Girl - Set Outside Australasia - C
The Slow Natives - Award Winner (Miles Franklin) - abandoned
The Chimes - Dystopian
The Quake Year - Number or quantity in the title
The Fire-Raiser - WWI - C
The Severed Land - under 200 pages

March Reading

34. The Chimes
35. The Mutual Admiration Society
36. Talking To the Dead
37. Love Story, With Murders
38. The Fire Raiser
39. The Long March
40. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
41. A Man Called Ove
42. Giants: the Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln

April Reading

43. The Girl With Seven Names
44. Wish Upon A Star
45. The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths
46. When the Sea Turned to Silver
47. Paper Boats
48. The Silent Songbird
49. Life on Mars: Poems
50. This Thing of Darkness
51. Powder and Patch
52. Raymie Nightingale
53. The Light of Paris
54. Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies and Jays
55. A Wind in the Door
56. To Green Angel Tower Part 1
57. To Green Angel Tower Part 2
58. Dust Tracks on a Road
59. The Wright Brothers

May Reading

60. The Persian Pickle Club
61. Dr. Mutter's Marvels
62. The Quake Year
63. Dragonflight
64. News of the World
65. Dragonsdawn
66. Hidden Figures
67. The Dead House
68. The Severed Land

Edited: Mar 18, 11:33am Top


Edited: Mar 18, 1:01pm Top

Hey, I think I'm first :) Happy new thread. I love your built-in shelf/desk unit!!

Mar 18, 1:03pm Top

Happy new thread! I hope the whiplash isn't too bad today!

Mar 18, 1:59pm Top

Happy New Thread, Jenn! Hope the soreness is improving and the whiplash doesn't materialize. Yes, a very nice built-in desk/book wall!

Mar 18, 3:01pm Top

Happy new thread, Jenn! Of course books get taken care of before bedding!

Mar 18, 4:23pm Top

>7 nittnut: I had to check to see where that was. I guess I won't be making a stop anytime soon.

Mar 18, 5:47pm Top

Happy new thread. Hope you're not feeling too bruised and battered.

Mar 18, 6:08pm Top

Happy new thread, Jenn! Those built-ins are lovely! I want some.

Mar 18, 10:37pm Top

>8 RebaRelishesReading: You were first Reba! That means you get the choice of seats - what seats there are. *grin*

>9 drneutron: Hi Jim. I'm doing OK, thank you. Better than the doctor expected, anyway. I told him yesterday I was stiff and sore, but not having pain, and he said, "that's nice, but I'd give it a day or two." So far, so good.

>10 ronincats: Hi Roni, thanks, me too. :)

>11 karenmarie: Of course they do.

>12 thornton37814: I guess not, but if you ever decide to travel, the little town where that bookshop lives is well worth a visit.

>13 charl08: I am doing pretty well, thanks Charlotte!

>14 Crazymamie: I LOVE them. I have always wanted some. We will call that room The Library, in proper, reverential tones. :) It will also have a piano when the rest of our furniture comes.

Off to bed for me. My bracket is OK, but seriously, Villanova! Seriously?

Mar 18, 10:42pm Top

Villanova broke The Wayne's bracket, but I don't think it was in great shape anyway :-P He gets really into the tournament despite knowing absolutely nothing about college basketball. Cracks me up.

I'm sorry about the car accident. I hope you continue not to have any pain!

Mar 19, 1:17am Top

Hi Jenn - at last. I need to go back to your last thread...one minute I'm reading basketball talk (I knew what Villanova was!) and the next I see car crash. Hope you are all ok.

Mar 19, 4:39am Top

>3 nittnut: I love how you have the page printed off. Do you have it stuck somewhere so you are constantly reminded to read to order!? I had my last BINGO challenge up in the wall. I loved seeing it :)

>17 cushlareads: It's Cushla!!! *faints*


Mar 19, 8:13am Top

Hi Jenn!

Villanova indeed. But I have Duke beating them to get to the Final Four, so I'm not totally dead yet. I can get back into it in then.

Husband and I are exactly tied in ESPN's bracket challenge point wise. I usually beat him, knowing hardly anything about men's college basketball. Sometimes I pick by uniform colors..... drives him nuts.

The Library sounds and looks lovely. I am sure you're happy to have all your things around you finally.

Mar 19, 8:55am Top

Happy new thread Jennifer!
Yes, the same here. Since we are together (1983) we moved 6 times, and after moving the books were always the first to be in place :-)
Sorry about the accident, I hope the sores are gone soon.

Mar 19, 6:32pm Top

>15 nittnut: I'd like to sit by the bookshelf please :)

Mar 19, 8:16pm Top

Hi Jenn. I am sorry to hear about your accident. I hope you are feeling better. I love your library.

Mar 19, 8:38pm Top

Grest new thread, Jenn! Love the theme of blooming where you are planted.

Mar 19, 10:30pm Top

>16 katiekrug: I have been more informed in the past, I can't say I've watched much college BB this year, but I'm all in, of course.

>17 cushlareads: Hi Cushla! Awesome to see you!! I got rear-ended Thursday night. It wasn't terrible. Fortunately, nobody was in the car with me. I was on my way to my RL book group. Didn't make it. Lol. I've been to the Osteo, and I go back in the morning to see what X-ray results are. Insurance is involved, so all will be fixed with a minimum of fuss. It's my first ever accident though, and I'm kind of sad about it. I had a good record. At least it wasn't my fault and nobody was hurt.

>18 Ireadthereforeiam: It's on my fridge. I've marked some boxes too, so I need a new photo. :)

>19 karenmarie: I've lost Villanova and Florida State. Thank goodness Oregon pulled off the win over Rhode Island. Who knew Rhode Island would be so good? I sure didn't. My daughter did her bracket all on colors. She had two purple teams playing each other for the final and they are both out now, so that didn't go too well. Lol
We are getting unpacked slowly. I tend to overthink the unpacking a bit, having a highly optimistic idea that it will stay where I put it...

>20 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! There is something so settling about unpacking the books, isn't there?

>21 RebaRelishesReading: Absolutely, Reba! I will move a big cozy chair in there for you directly. *grin*

>22 BLBera: Thanks Beth. It's fortunate that the accident turns out to be more of an inconvenience than anything. I feel very blessed. The two things that sold me the house - the library and the screened porch.

>23 lit_chick: Hi Nancy! It's the only way to go, IMO. I learned an interesting lesson in the 5th grade when we moved and I determined that if I didn't make any friends, my parents would move back to the old place. So wrong, Lol. It's funny now, but at the time, I made things pretty hard for myself. The next time we moved, I determined to make the best of it, and it worked out much better. There you go. *grin*

Mar 19, 10:36pm Top

#38 The Fire Raiser - ANZAC challenge - WWI

Someone in town is starting fires. Nobody knows who it is, but some of the local children have their suspicions. They decide to investigate. On one level, this is a children's mystery story. On another level, The Fire Raiser is about things that hide inside us. There are all sorts of prejudices in town. Prejudice against those who don't look and sound English, prejudice against Germans, and class prejudice. Gee does a lovely job portraying a town with both good and bad people, and people who get caught up in something. A great read to prompt discussion of how we see others and why.

Mar 19, 11:07pm Top

Just popping by to see what you have been reading, Jennifer. I really loved Emily, Alone, and a Man Called Ove. Code Verity is one I have been meaning to read.

Mar 19, 11:39pm Top

>24 nittnut: Hey Jenn! Well, with Duke losing I'm totally out of the East. Boo hoo. If the 'Heels meet Gonzaga, I'll be in clover. Husband got so stressed with the Carolina game that he turned the volume off and kept switching games. Thank goodness they finally won! Oregon had me going too, because I've got them going a bit further.

That's a hoot about your daughter picking by uniform colors, too. Husband and I are still exactly equal in ESPN's bracket challenge.....

Slow unpacking isn't a bad thing IMO. It beats shoving things every which way then not remembering where you put them!

Mar 19, 11:51pm Top

Some dangerous pairings today and a lot of close games! Fortunately my alma mater pulled away at the end...
AND there are still 3 Big 12 teams in the top 16. Unlike the ACC.

Mar 20, 12:22am Top

>25 nittnut: Ooh The Fire Raiser! I remember reading that when I stayed a night or so in Wellington years ago. The book was first a tv series written by Gee if I remember correctly.

Hope you had good news from the osteo.

Mar 20, 12:37am Top

Hi Jenn, Just catching up, finally. Looks like the whole moving house thing is going well! Sorry to hear about the car accident- hope you're feeling ok.

Mar 20, 6:40am Top

Oh no, I'm sorry about the rear-ending! Yeesh. I hope it gets resolved quickly and smoothly.

Mar 20, 6:46am Top

>28 ronincats: Oooh, ACC snark! I love it - I married into a Tarheels basketball-loving family and had to be told who Dean Smith was when I first moved here. I love the 'Heels 'cuz husband does. Personally, I was always a USC or UCLA fan, being from CA.

Good morning, Jenn! I hope the settling in is coming along. Are your kids still in the same schools?

Mar 20, 12:34pm Top

>32 karenmarie: "a USC or UCLA fan" -- don't think that's possible since those two are huge rivals. I used to have a button that read "my two favorite teams are UCLA and whoever is playing USC"...still feel that way :)

Mar 20, 8:46pm Top

>26 vancouverdeb: Hi Deb! I have yet to start listening to A Man Called Ove. It's loaded and ready, I just fall asleep every time I sit down. Other than driving, of course. *grin*

>27 karenmarie: DUKE! Gosh Dangit. I definitely need Gonzaga and NC to stay in business.

>28 ronincats: Hi Roni. Starting something on my thread, are you? Don't forget, I grew up in So. CA, so I'm slightly biased that way too. Shhhhh.

>29 avatiakh: Hi Kerry. I have whiplash, but no tendon damage, so good news IMO. Thanks for the link. It's pretty well done - sounds just like the book. My kids were riveted. Lol

>30 coppers: Hi Joanne :)
>31 scaifea: Hi Amber :)
The other insurance company has been proactive and set up a claim and so on, so I think things will get taken care of. I'm sore, but OK. Very glad it wasn't worse and very glad my kids were not in the car.

>32 karenmarie: Hi Karen. We are progressing slowly, but getting there. Kids are in the same schools, which was our goal. Hooray! How did you manage to root for USC or UCLA? That's a no-no! We always called USC The University of Spoiled Children...

>33 RebaRelishesReading: I know, right? But maybe it's possible. I don't think one can be a Tar Heels and a Duke fan either.

Mar 21, 9:25pm Top

#39 The Long March - AAC

Six years after the end of WWII, the Marine Reserves are called up and sent with a bunch of regulars to South Carolina to train for the Korean conflict. Many of the reserves are ambivalent at best. This novella centers around a 36 mile forced march, for which none of them are prepared.
I was impressed with Styron's ability to evoke the tension, fear, anxiety, and other emotions experienced by men who knew what war was, and how the forced march affected each man differently.

Mar 21, 9:25pm Top

I am going to give Giants: The Parallel Lives of a few more chapters, but I am not hopeful.

Mar 21, 10:15pm Top

Jenn, a new thread and a new house. You are energetic despite your aches and pains from your accident. It is never a good time to be rearended, but when you have a house to put together, it must be the pits. I love the pictures. Keep 'em coming!

Edited: Mar 21, 10:46pm Top

Oh dear! I'm happy about the house, but sorry about the accident. Take it easy. Everything will be there when you're feeling 100% yourself, and I can teach you how to ignore that level of chaos if you need help!
ACC snark - well, yes. Both DH and I spent some time at Chapel Hill, so we are diehards. >33 RebaRelishesReading: Reba sounds like she would understand an ABC fan in the ACC (Anybody But Carolina). We pity them.
Today was lovely here - somewhere around 80°. Tomorrow will be cooler again. Enjoy that screened-in porch!

Edited: Mar 21, 10:47pm Top

A fairly belated Happy New Thread from me, Jenn.

>35 nittnut: I am not familiar with that one by Styron but judging by your review, I should go and seek it out.

Sorry to read about the accident and the whiplash. Time and several good books will hopefully be a companionable healer.

Mar 22, 3:15pm Top

>24 nittnut: >20 FAMeulstee: Yes, when the books are placed it starts to feel like HOME :-)

Edited: Mar 22, 3:44pm Top

>33 RebaRelishesReading: and >34 nittnut: Okay, Reba and Jenn. USC and UCLA. During my college years in the early 1970s: If USC was playing UCLA, USC had to win because a couple of my high school friends went to USC. If UCLA was playing anybody else they had to win because it's LA county, right? It's true that USC is private and UCLA is public/state, but c'mon. The uniforms are so much nicer - gold and scarlet. *smile*

And for the 'Heels: Husband's rule is 'Heels always. Anybody except Duke or State within the ACC. Any ACC team outside the conference, even Duke and State..

For March Madness the rule is 'Heels always. Any ACC team except when they are playing the 'Heels. The rule can be modified if there is a wager going on with husband and husband didn't pick the 'Heels to win the whole enchilada like loyal wife did.....

I'm glad you're settling in, Jenn, concerned about the whiplash. Do take good care of yourself. (I don't want to be an alarmist, but my whiplash/back symptoms didn't start until about 6 months after the accident.)

Edited: Mar 22, 3:59pm Top

>37 Donna828: Hi Donna! I believe I ran out of energy yesterday. I am resting up though and will be back in the thick of things tomorrow. The car accident was certainly an inconvenience, but it could have been much worse, and for that I am grateful.

>38 LizzieD: We (meaning the husband) have a list of AB's at our house. Anybody but The Yankees, Anybody but Utah, Anybody but Stanford...
We (meaning me) think it will be wise to remain unaffiliated around here. If possible. I appreciate the reminder that it will all still be here if I take a rest. Lol. I do tend to forget that. Living with chaos is not a forte of mine, but an ability I should cultivate to a certain extent. I had a wee nap on the screened porch yesterday, but was awoken by birds and spring-time shenanigans, which were being carried on to a shocking extent in my backyard. LOL

>39 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. Books are certainly helpful. I do think you would like the Styron. It's short, but powerful.

>40 FAMeulstee: Anita - so true. The kids have already visited the shelves looking for old friends. Makes my heart happy.

Edited: Mar 22, 3:58pm Top

>41 karenmarie: I guess I can live with that explanation Karen. I can't speak for Roni though. LOL

Here's a funny story related to Basketball fever. My daughter came home last week complaining about a sort of heated political discussion that happened at school among a group of (her words) totally biased and uninformed dingdongs. She's in middle school, so you can imagine. She was asking her father what to do in that situation. His advice? "Ask them how they feel (insert team) is doing in the tournament." She came home yesterday and reported that it worked a charm. I wish I had a video of that moment.

ETA: I am seeing a chiropractor a couple times a week for whiplash, and I sure hope that will keep it from becoming a long term problem. He does adjustments, but is giving me rehab type exercises as well, which I very much appreciate. Also, no carrying heavy boxes around, which is a pain, but kind of nice too. Lol

For anyone who has Shakespeare Saved My Life on their TBR pile, it's on sale today on various e-readers. Here's the link to the Kindle one.


Mar 22, 5:39pm Top

And I can add my enthusiastic recommendation of Shakespeare Saved My Life — it was delightful.

Mar 22, 5:41pm Top

If your daughter hasn't read it, I suggest The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, a basketball themed verse novel. Just check the age level for the book.

Mar 23, 10:13pm Top

>44 rosalita: I think that's where I got the BB Julia. From your thread.

>45 avatiakh: I will try and see if she will read it Kerry. She's usually reluctant to read sport books, but we try and branch out now and then.

Thank you Gonzaga and Oregon. My bracket popped back up to 62%. Phew!

Mar 24, 4:15am Top

I totally missed the fact that you has been involved in a rear-ender fender bender!! Sorry to have commented on other matters and then high-tailed it outa here.
Any lasting ill effects? It must have been scary, and I totally get that you are irked with your clean record being broken. I have only had one 'accident' in a car, I slowed down not slowly enough at an intersection and tapped a guys tow bar...denting my number plate slightly. I was 19 and we were on our way to a funeral. I cried. My friend talked to the guy in the other car, and someone else in my car drove the rest of the way to the funeral.

Mar 24, 6:39am Top

>46 nittnut: I don't like sports in the slightest, but I really enjoyed The Crossover - I hope you can get her to agree to it!

Mar 24, 6:54am Top

>46 nittnut: I think that's where I got the BB Julia. From your thread.

Oh, that makes me happy, Jenn!

I hope you're feeling better today. I've never had whiplash but I can't imagine it's very comfortable. I was a passenger in a car driven by a friend that rear-ended someone, and my head made contact with the windshield* and broke the windshield, but I was fine. My mom, who had been calling me hard-headed my whole life in other contexts, was unsurprised.

* Yes, no seatbelts. This was before wearing seatbelts were required by law.

Mar 24, 9:30pm Top

Hi Jenn! Happy new thread. Sounds like BBall is cause for lots of excitement at your house. ; ) Sorry about the car accident, but glad your bumper held up well and that you are seeing someone for the whiplash. I am not surprised that books came before bedding in the put-away contest--you are an LTer after all! Wishing you a great weekend.

Mar 24, 11:00pm Top

How 'bout Them Heels!!!!!

Mar 25, 12:08am Top

I am way behind on threads and just catching up. I love the look of your new place, Jenn. The tan in the ceiling part of the dining room really sets it off IMO. Sorry to hear about the car accident but nothing you could have done to avoid that. Time and treatment should put you on the path to recovery. At least you had the books put away before that happened!

Mar 27, 12:56pm Top

Happy new thread, Jenn and congratulations on moving into your new home! sorry to learn about the accident and your whiplash. I hope the stiff and soreness disappears and that you are feeling better soon. As for March Madness, I only joined the fun this year by choosing to cheer for NorthWestern (because of their purple uniforms, and as newbies to the tourney) - I am not much of a sports fan - but my sister and her family are devout followers of March Madness.

Mar 27, 1:24pm Top

Happy new week everyone! I am sitting a moment and trying to catch up on LT while I get a few odds and ends fixed on my roof, do some laundry and pay the bills. I need to clean the bathroom, vaccuum and do some sewing too, and that might happen. The husband is out of town for today and part of tomorrow, so I also have baseball practice duties tonight. 6-8 pm. Sigh.

I finished The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and I will review it soon. I started reading Giants: the Parallel Lives again, but I am really struggling with taking Mr. Stauffer's scholarship seriously. I am used to the likes of Hilary Mantel and David McCullough. Serious scholarship. This guy just gets a kick out of digging up all the salacious gossip and muckraking stuff and speculating in the most horrid way about things. So annoying. So, so annoying.

It's the most gorgeous day. It rained last night, so all is shiny, the sun is out, birds are singing, and a light breeze is blowing through the kitchen. Lovely.

>47 Ireadthereforeiam: Ha! I didn't notice. I am sure the other matters were much more interesting than the car accident. How stinky to get in an accident on the way to a funeral. Blech.

>48 scaifea: Lol Amber. I will tell her you said so. Maybe it will carry some weight. How are you liking Wildwood Dancing?

>49 rosalita: Hi Julia! The Whiplash isn't too bad for me, but I get sort of sore in the middle of my back if I sit on the sofa too long or stand and do stuff for too long. I'm going to start my weight lifting exercises again this week, modified, so we will see if that makes it worse or not. I well remember the days before seatbelt laws. My brothers and I were very active in the back seat of my mother's car, and we drove her nuts.

>50 Berly: We do love BB here. Everyone does a bracket, and my husband does 3 or 4, and we follow all the action. It's more fun if everyone is in. My daughter is the least enthusiastic, but she's cooperative. Lol

>51 LizzieD: I know, right!! The Tarheels, Oregon and Gonzaga are all I have left. I am SO disappointed in Kansas. Until they lost, I had like 85%. I was killing it. Sob!

>52 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! I am always behind on threads. I can barely manage my own some weeks. Thanks for the vote on the dining room ceiling. :) I am liking it more every day.

>53 lkernagh: Hi Nancy. You and my daughter, Lol. She chose NWestern because purple uniforms. It was pretty exciting for them to make the tournament too, we've got to give a cheer for the underdog. Did you see the adorable boy at the game who cried when they lost. Awwww.

Mar 27, 4:02pm Top

Hi Jenn!

I hope you're settling in nicely. It's just about perfect timing for porch sitting.

I married into a BB family and it took quite a few years before I really got interested, but now I'm hooked. Next Saturday should be fun.

Mar 28, 10:36pm Top

Just leaving this photo here.....


Mar 29, 10:40am Top

How's the new house, Jenn? Everything unpacked and in its place?

Mar 29, 11:51am Top

Hi Jenn! Just getting caught up....

Mar 29, 12:05pm Top

Love Hell's Bottom Colorado. Great pic, Megan!

Mar 29, 8:37pm Top

>55 karenmarie: I've just been sitting out on the porch watching the birds - they have really made a dent in the bird seed this week.

>56 Ireadthereforeiam: Hooray! It arrived! I hope you have time to read it soon. :)

>57 BLBera: Hahahahahahahahaha! I die laughing Beth. The house is great. Check back in about 6 months on the everything in it's place question.

>58 katiekrug: Hi Katie!

>59 lit_chick: Hi Nancy. Her eyes look rather excited there behind the book, don't they?

Mar 29, 9:22pm Top

>56 Ireadthereforeiam: Megan--so cute!! Somebody is excited. : )

>57 BLBera: Beth--A place for everything and everything in it's place...already?! I think not!! LOL

>60 nittnut: Jenn--six months sounds more like it. Enjoy!!

Edited: Mar 29, 10:01pm Top

Sigh. Is The Long March really the last book I posted? I feel like I've missed something. Must check. Be right back.... Yup. It really is the last one.

#40 Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass - non-fiction

Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery when he was a young man. He became a well-known orator in the abolitionist movement, eventually becoming an advisor to Abraham Lincoln. This is the story of his life as a slave and his escape. It's a quick read, and valuable for his personal experience and articulation of the demeaning, cruel and violent life of slaves. Should be required reading in any study of US History.

#41 A Man Called Ove

This was an absolutely delightful story. I didn't think so at first. In the beginning I was mostly frustrated by Ove's repeated attempts to kill himself and his chronic rudeness. Just as in real life relationships, we learn that there is much more to Ove than meets the eye. It takes the combined efforts of his neighbors to draw him out, but eventually he emerges as a truly lovely person. The pivotal character in the story is a "pregnant foreign woman" who seems to see through his gruff and rude exterior and decides to push her way in to his life. I will definitely read more by Fredrik Backman.

#42 Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln - non-fiction

I have very mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I think the author does a decent job showing the very contradictory attitudes of the politicians of the day, including, occasionally, Abraham Lincoln. Even among abolitionists, there was a definite attitude of superiority and patronage toward black people. What was really interesting was seeing the evolution of Lincoln from someone who did not see blacks as equal to someone who would treat Frederick Douglass as an equal and a valued advisor. The author also does well with his depiction of the life Douglass led as a slave. Even when he had what would have been considered a Kind master, he was not free to worship, to learn, to choose how to use his time, or to keep the money he earned.
On the other hand, Mr. Stauffer is definitely writing with modern day lenses, which color his conclusions. This is not to say that his conclusions are incorrect, but he sometimes sounds a little smug about it, and most annoyingly, he also enters into some rampant speculation about the personal relationships of both Mr. Douglass and Mr. Lincoln. While it may be a fascinating academic exercise to speculate about the meaning of words used, relationships between, and letters written, I felt that this part of the book was self-indulgent and it nearly put me off finishing at all. Overall, it was an OK read, but I think there are better books about Douglass and Lincoln.

Mar 29, 9:52pm Top

>61 Berly: Hi Kimberly! Phew! I hope that in 6 months we are pretty close on the unpacking.

Mar 31, 9:32am Top

Hey, Jean, no worries. After ten years in my house, I finally took some unopened boxes to Goodwill.

Mar 31, 9:55am Top

Hi Jenn!

>60 nittnut: We buy birdseed and black oiled sunflower seed in 50 pound bags from the local Southern States and keep it in smallish metal trash cans in the garage. We used to leave them on the back porch but the crafty raccoons kept getting into them. We even tried weights and bungee cords, but only keeping them under lock and key, as it were, saved the seed.

I think we've got boxes unopened from two moves ago, in the attic. Sigh.

How's your bracket?

Apr 3, 10:52pm Top

>64 BLBera: Hi Beth. :) We did a really big clear out when we moved over to NZ, so we are not in terrible shape. We just have the odd piece of furniture or knick-knacky thing that my MIL gifted us and we don't really want, but can't get rid of. I packed them in a box labelled "for the kids" which is code for get rid of it when we can...

>65 karenmarie: Hi Karen. I need to go get bulk birdseed. I will check out Southern States. There's one not too far from us.
My bracket is pretty well done. I had Oregon playing Kansas for the final game, which definitely didn't turn out. I did have Oregon and Gonzaga in the final four, so that was good. I am cheering for Gonzaga. I've always liked them. Also, my alma mater would be the only team to beat them this year, if they win, so there's that. :)

I've been to Utah, seen my stuff loaded on a truck, visited with my sister, and flown back on the 12am flight. I went to the chiropractor and had a nap, but I'm still sooooo tired. I really want to listen to the rest of the game though. Only about 20 minutes left.

Apr 3, 11:01pm Top

#43 The Girl With Seven Names RL book club

The way Hyeonseo Lee left North Korea was impulsive, and she hadn't intended to stay away. In the end, she didn't have the option to go back. Her way of finally ending up in the United States was fairly unique, by all accounts. The story is well told and compelling. It's a quick read, and worth the time.

#44 Wish Upon A Star

This is a pretty good beach read. I read it on the plane, and while it has some silly bits and improbable scenarios, it was not terrible.

I am currently reading The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths, and enjoying it very much. Next up will be When the Sea Turned to Silver, because it's due at the library in a few days.

Apr 4, 12:21am Top

>64 BLBera: lol :)

Thanks for the book Jenn!! It is imminent on my reading list. Ravelstein is currently not floating my boat so I may book horn in Hell's Bottom, Colorado sooner than I thought possible. One plus of reading a naff book is that others get their turn sooner.

Apr 4, 7:03pm Top

Hi Megan! Sorry Ravelstein is not living up to expectation or hope. But if you get to Hell's Bottom sooner, that's excellent.

I've been sneezy and tired today - hoping it's just allergies and not the plague. On my flight home there were several people hacking up a lung, so I'm a little paranoid.

Apr 4, 7:04pm Top

*waving back*


Apr 4, 7:05pm Top

#45 The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths

Fiona goes undercover in this installment. As always, she pulls through. This is a fun series.

Next up are Life On Mars: Poems and When the Sea Turned to Silver. Which reminds me, we have books on hold at the library. Must go.

Apr 4, 7:06pm Top

>70 katiekrug: Hallo Katie!

Apr 5, 4:07am Top

Ugh for the hacking passengers - Craig has that same hack. Hoping you don't have the plague, Jenn. You are reminding me that I need to get back to Fiona.

Edited: Apr 5, 11:00pm Top


I can't quite figure out how to get the exact video, but it's the first one on my page - Lucille Clifton reading her poem Homage to my hips. It's delightful.

ETA: It automatically comes up, so I guess I figured it out well enough.

Edited: Apr 5, 11:12pm Top

>73 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! Sorry Craig has that hack. I suppose I'm glad he wasn't on the plane as well. I hope he gets well soon. I think it's just allergies. I took an allergy pill and most of my symptoms went away. Staying up late helping my daughter with her homework is not likely to help though. Sigh.

It's poetry month, and I'm reading Life On Mars: Poems. Coincidentally, my daughter is also working on a poetry project in her English class. She has to choose a poet from the years 1945-2015 and learn about them and their poetry. We've had a fun time tonight looking at different poets. She is very drawn to Maya Angelou, Lucille Clifton and Langston Hughes. Which I find very interesting. I read her some Julia Alvarez, and she said it was OK. I think she's probably not old enough yet. She was amused at my favorite poem - Ode to My Socks by Pablo Neruda. Or amused at me? Not sure which.

Edited: Apr 5, 11:10pm Top

#46 When the Sea Turned to Silver

I am so happy to have finally got round to this story. I love it. I love Grace Lin.

In this adventurous tale, a young girl named Pinmei has to seek out the Luminous Stone that Lights the Night and bring it to the Emperor. She travels with a boy named Yishan, who is more than he appears, and finds help all along the way. The quest is interspersed with tales of courage, adventure, hope and magic.
This story is beautiful. It's full of magic. I highly recommend the hard cover for its gorgeous illustrations.

"Almost all men respect the Storyteller," the stonecutter said. "You can make time disappear. You can bring us to places we have never dreamed of. You can make us feel sorrow and joy and peace. You have great magic."

Apr 5, 11:15pm Top

Hi Jenn! I hope it was only allergies and not a cold.

My daughter did a project on Langston Hughes when she was in the 4th grade, I think. I still have some of the stamps that we bought that year honoring him, 34 cent ones if memory serves. I bought a lovely book of his poetry, too, which is happily sitting on my shelves.

Fiona Griffiths is great. I've got the 5th book on my Kindle, just waiting for me to want a change from reading Poldark. I'm on book 7 of 12.

I aced my bracket with Carolina winning it all. I've got bragging rights with my husband for a year. It's a good feeling. *smile*

Tonight and early tomorrow should be some interesting nasty weather. Batten down the hatches!

Apr 6, 12:42am Top

I have When the Sea Turned to Silver home from the library so will have to pick it up next.

I've had a few books by Michael Cart out from the library, he sometimes just does the intro, but there are several themed booklists for YA that he's had a hand in and worth seeing if any are at your library. I've currently got Booklist's 1000 best young adult books since 2000 out from the library.

Apr 6, 6:30am Top

>76 nittnut: Oh, I love that one! I agree that Grace Lin is amazing.

Apr 6, 5:25pm Top

Jenn, I was struck by your daughter's enthusiasm for Langston Hughes. I read Wendy Cope when I was in school, just about the only stuff that really spoke to me - plenty of humour about poetry. I really like the Poem for the day collections - huge range but it all reads aloud well.

This is one from the poems on the underground collection which is also really diverse.
Nightsong: City
Dennis Brutus

Sleep well, my love, sleep well:
the harbour lights glaze over restless docks,
police cars cockroach through the tunnel streets;

from the shanties creaking iron-sheets
violence like a bug-infested rag is tossed
and fear is imminent as sound in the wind-swung bell;

the long day’s anger pants from sand and rocks;
but for this breathing night at last;
my land, my love, sleep well.

Apr 6, 5:52pm Top

> 65 karenmarie

Raccoons also got into our galvanized tightly lidded garbage cans.

For awhile, I set heavy things on top so I could hear them fall and would switch the porch lights on and off and go hollering from the doorway.

Looking around the yard, I finally found a large old metal circular sled and rested it on top.

It tipped them gently off and has worked for years.

Apr 7, 11:51am Top

>77 karenmarie: Hi Karen. Just allergies! Woot! I have got to get back to Poldark soon. I've only read three of them.
Enjoy your bragging rights! That's an awesome bracket. My daughter has decided to do her report on Maya Angelou. Langston Hughes wasn't recent enough for the requirements of the project. So far this week I've seen lots of finches and sparrows at the bird feeder, a bluebird, a bunch of the tufted titmouse (I think) and 2 red bellied woodpeckers. The woodpeckers are really funny to watch.

>78 avatiakh: Hi Kerry. I had the Grace Lin book out from the library as well, which helped push me to get to it sooner. I have had a look at several of the YA book lists. There are quite a few good suggestions. My daughter decided to read the Redwall series, which should keep her busy for a good while. I've only read a few of those, they didn't really grab me, but she's enjoying them.

>79 scaifea: Hi Amber!

>80 charl08: oooh that's a neat one Charlotte. I will share it with my daughter after school. I wish I had been exposed to a greater variety of poetry when I was her age. I mostly did the English lit stuff. Shakespeare's sonnets and The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd sort of stuff, which didn't really appeal. My exposure has become much wider since joining LT.

>81 m.belljackson: I love the sled story. A useful solution, and entertaining too! We used to have raccoons come into the garage and get into the dog food. It was a problem because my brothers always forgot to shut the garage door. We would go out and turn the light on and surprise a raccoon family washing dog kibble in the water dish.

Apr 7, 11:19pm Top

I'm just going to put this out there. We will call it research, and I can't think of a more useful group of people to begin this research with. Therefore:

I have been offered the opportunity to consider purchasing the remains of a used book shop, roughly 45,000 used books, with the offer of a year of mentoring. The asking price is low enough to be worth considering, and well, who doesn't sort of dream of having a book shop? The downside is that the location of the shop is terrible (big reason why it's shut) and I would need to be opening in a new location under a new name, etc. Name recognition, established business and all that would Not be one of the benefits. Additionally, there is already an established independent book store and cafe in the hip downtown area near UNCG called Scuppernong books. This is a long shot, but like I said, worth at least considering. If you want to play along, please answer some or all of the following, and feel free to offer any other thoughts you have on the subject.


1. What do you look for in an independent book shop?

2. What are some characteristics of your favorite book shops?

3. Do you consider a rare/collectibles books section to be absolutely needed?

4. What is something that is missing in book shops, and shouldn't be?

5. If you opened a book shop, you would... (fill in the blank)

6. Could a small shop model itself after Powells (buy and sell used books) successfully?

Apr 7, 11:39pm Top

I'd love to give some feedback and have been to many used bookshops around the world so hope I can add something useful. I'll report back later.

I posted on my own thread a couple of days ago about new owners of a used bookshop in Auckland, you might like to investigate the link as they have a very honest blog about all the logistics and as one of them is an economist it might make useful reading for you. The other owner lives in New York most of the time!

Apr 8, 12:01am Top

I love Grace Lin's books--I've read her first two and I really need to catch up.

I'll think about your bookstore questions and report back.

Apr 8, 11:22am Top

Jenn - How exciting. I think a combination of used and new books would be a must. I am terrible at business-type stuff, so really have no useful comments except, owning a bookstore would be so cool. You should have a coffee/tea shop in it, too. Places to sit as one browses would also be nice.

Apr 8, 12:18pm Top

What an exciting, but probably also scary, prospect! I have no business experience at all but, that said, would offer the following thoughts:
- what I value most in a used book store is a friendly, well-informed staff
- well-organized stock is also important because I don't want to have to plow through a lot of books of a genre I'm not looking for in order to find those that might interest me
- my gut tells me that any bookstore today has to have a good on-line trade in order to make it

All the best with your deliberations and with whatever you decide to do.

Apr 8, 1:54pm Top

>84 avatiakh: Wow Kerry. That blog is super informative. I've spent an hour reading it already today. Thanks!

>85 ronincats: I love her way of intermingling fables with her story.

>86 BLBera: Wouldn't it be so cool? I agree that new books are definitely required along with the used. At least, that's what I'd want Lol.

>87 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks for your thoughts Reba! They are very helpful. A well-informed staff is a must. I always think of Meg Ryan's book store in You've Got Mail Lol. This is exciting to think about, and Definitely scary, especially if you don't have a huge amount of cash available to pour into it. I also need to be able to staff it, and not be working there all day and into the evening every day. With my kids still in school and busy with sports and other activities, it really doesn't fit my lifestyle to be in my book store all day.

Edited: Apr 9, 3:19pm Top

> 83 nittnut

What a fun question for a slow & easy Saturday!

1. Store has a short, solid, easy to remember (and pronounce) name

2. Free Parking Lot

3. Outside patio (only for books purchased so people
don't toss them over a wall)

4. Plants (could be for sale for small extra profit)

5. Prices comparable or slightly lower (with frequent buyer or ? card) to Barnes, etc.

6. A happy cat or two

7. Many comfortable chairs and sofas in quiet places

8. An updated technology (liquid swipe?) to prevent stealing so cashiers
don't always have to be staring and on alert

9. Friendly welcoming and nonjudgmental staff - the kind whose lives you
don't feel you have disturbed - a smile would be perfect

10. Range of prices and both hard cover and paperbacks

11. Fair used book buying prices & an area to take them that's not the cashier

12. CLEAN Used Books

13. Rare books in a glass & locked case

14. Cafe in one front window that is an equal draw to the books for food and beverage quality
and preferably owned by a rich (so not dependent on income), kind, and trusted person >

features Vegetarian Soup and hot fresh breads every day, Organic coffees and teas,
REAL half and half & butter, specialties on different days (fresh doughnuts, filled croissants, danishes, Pie and more Pie...), fresh made Limeade in the Summer...

15. Gallery of local artists' work on walls for exhibits and sale

16. Local handmade bookmarks and other book, tote, and holiday things

17. For good information, check the interview with Michael Powell in Articles Thread -
he started out with a tiny corner bookstore on The University of Chicago campus.

If you write to him, he or an associate (Adam is knowledgeable) would likely give you great advice.

Also, fun to re-read A.J.Fikry and there is a great book of Independent Bookstores whose
title I am trying to remember

18. Store painted a bright color outside

19. Kid's corner with easily washed crate of toys (with duplicates for sale)

20. A Little Library in front of store that's only for magazines

If I opened a bookstore, it would be close to home and in a BIG old country house whose rooms would be shared with a cafe, bakery, and artists - for love, beauty, and so we could all afford
the rent -

- we would share a website, but NOT for listing & ordering of books...for some owners, that might be a fun and an obvious profit - for me, it would take away all the JOY.

Apr 9, 4:51pm Top

I love the ideas here for great bookshops. I do like the ones with cafes, that have events and bookclubs. It's that kind of thing that has me going back rather than ordering online.

And knowledgeable staff, that genuinely like books, sounds like a good call to me.

Apr 9, 4:54pm Top

And I wondered if this would be interesting- I love the point about raising readers!

Apr 10, 5:19pm Top

>89 m.belljackson: I like your list! I do wonder, though, whether any new bookstore could survive these days without having an online ordering portal. I suspect not.

Apr 10, 6:04pm Top

> 92 rosalita - The more I read about Independents, the more right you are!

Guess I'd have to partner with someone who loved Clicking and Tracking down books more than unpacking old dusty ones...

Apr 12, 8:10pm Top

>89 m.belljackson: That's a very good list. :) I do like all the suggestions. Sadly, I am allergic to cats, but maybe I can have a shop dog...

>90 charl08:/>91 charl08: Charlotte, that's something I love in a book store, events and knowledgeable staff.

>92 rosalita: I agree Julia, I think the online option is a must.

>93 m.belljackson: Haha! Want to go into business?

Apr 12, 8:29pm Top

I've been busy the last few days - my brother and his family were visiting. It was kind of a weird visit. The first night their little guy was up with an earache. They took him to the doctor on day 2 and got meds, then took him to the Children's museum, where he threw up. Then they came back to our house and let him run around, play and eat chocolate cake. I really do try not to judge other people's parenting, but seriously? The next day my sister in law threw up, and then my brother the next day. Only they never said they were sick, blamed it on food or something. Which could be true, only we all ate out at the same place. They left today to go visit some of my SIL's family and have dinner with them. Then they booked a hotel 30 minutes away and are planning to stay the last 2 nights there. Is it just me, or is that kind of weird? We can't work out what happened. I guess they could feel bad that they aren't well, only they don't really act like that's what's going on. Sigh. Family is interesting.

#47 Paper Boats

I picked this up on the Kindle deals because the author is supposed to be highly regarded in Indonesia. I am trying to expand my reading of Asian authors. I didn't love the story. Perhaps the translation wasn't quite as good as it needed to be. The gist of the story is: two people meet in their first year at university. They have an immediate attraction, but one of them is already in a relationship. The years go by with them just missing each other, having misunderstandings, etc. over and over again. Sigh. It was just OK.

#48 The Silent Songbird

Checking out this author for YA romance potential. It was formulaic, sappy, silly and rather badly written, IMO. A Ward of King Richard runs away to avoid marrying someone she doesn't love. She immediately meets someone and falls in love. She lives in the protection of his family, but the man she ran away from is looking for her. A series of improbable events occur, and predictably, everyone gets what they deserve.

#49 This Thing of Darkness

Fiona is up to her usual shenanigans, but this time, on a boat. Great read.

#50 Life On Mars: Poems AAC

Tracy K. Smith is imaginative and eloquent. Her poetry is striking, but not a favorite for me, I think. Of this collection, The Good Life was my favorite.

The Good Life

When some people talk about money
They speak as if it were a mysterious lover
Who went out to buy milk and never
Came back, and it makes me nostalgic
For the years I lived on coffee and bread,
Hungry all the time, walking to work on payday
Like a woman journeying for water
From a village without a well, then living
One or two nights like everyone else
On roast chicken and red wine.

#51 Powder and Patch

A re-listen, and very enjoyable. My daughter listened along part of the time, and she thought it was funny.

I am currently reading Raymie Nightingale and The Quake Year.

Apr 13, 4:32am Top

Maybe just chalk it down to 'family is strange' and leave it at that. I've given up trying to understand mine ;)

Looks like you've been getting some good reading done.

Apr 13, 6:26am Top

>83 nittnut: OOOOH!! EXCITING!!!
(not yelling, just excited)


1. What do you look for in an independent book shop?
Not necessarily in a good/convenient neighbourhood, but an oasis from the streets and the act of getting there. Warm, welcoming, not dusty....

2. What are some characteristics of your favorite book shops?
Books in relatively good condition, tatty books discounted to compensate. Not just the best sellers, but old ones, and classics etc. too. Not too many big, hard cover non-fiction books. they clog up the place ;)

3. Do you consider a rare/collectibles books section to be absolutely needed?
No, but something with a local flavour or feel to it is pretty cool.

4. What is something that is missing in book shops, and shouldn't be?
Rugs, a couch to sit on while browsing.

5. If you opened a book shop, you would... (fill in the blank)
Sit behind the counter all day waiting for book-lovers to come in and talk to me about books. I would also buy lots and sell lots- to keep the stock turning over.

6. Could a small shop model itself after Powells (buy and sell used books) successfully?
I don't know Powells, but it sounds like I should acquaint myself with it!

Apr 13, 10:23am Top

Hi Jenn! I've been dithering around with my answers to your book shop questions, and here they are!
1. What do you look for in an independent book shop? A variety of genres, old and new books, reading chairs, a ‘local’ section (NC authors, for example), owner knowledge of what is on her/his shelves and where it is on her/his shelves. Good lighting. Spaciousness without seeming like a cavern.

2. What are some characteristics of your favorite book shops? A large mysteries section, no music or low volume baroque or classical without vocals, a local authors section, separate rooms for separate genres or logically grouped genres. Knowledgeable people who know where things are. Comfy chairs. Good lighting. Shelves for Mama Bears – not too low and not too high. *smile*

3. Do you consider a rare/collectibles books section to be absolutely needed? No, but it's always fun to look at one if it's there.

4. What is something that is missing in book shops, and shouldn't be? I only go into book shops to buy books, not other stuff and very rarely succumb once in there. As long as they have books where I can browse specific authors (meaning a logically arranged floor plan) yet go on a wild goose chase for the heck of it, I’m happy.

5. If you opened a book shop, you would not have any books on shelves lower than 2 feet off the ground or higher than 6 feet off the ground. Impossible, I know, but still. *smile* Oh – and have excellent lighting without its being dazzling.

6. Could a small shop model itself after Powells (buy and sell used books) successfully? I think it could. You’d have to grow a base of frequent buyers. Balanced pricing would be critical – low enough to draw people to use the service yet with enough profit built in to cover costs and provide some profit.

There are two used book stores that I go to sometimes – one in Siler City and one in Pittsboro. Perhaps they’d be willing to speak with you about running a used book store in central NC?
Paperbacks Plus in Siler City: www.paperbacksplus.com. Pat is the owner – don’t know her last name.

Circle City Books in Pittsboro: https://www.facebook.com/Circle-City-Books-Music-212946965498739/ I don’t know the owner’s name.

I saw them both at the recent Friends of the Library Sale, scooping up books for their shops. Pat was also buying books for herself personally.

>95 nittnut: Totally weird visit is right. It's hard to not parent other peoples' children. and I hope they didn't share their germs with y'all.

We had some friends from England who lived near Chapel Hill. They allowed their 2-year-old to run anywhere on their property he wanted without them being particularly concerned about where he was or what he was doing. My daughter was about the same age, and although I realize that in some cases I was hovering too much, I didn't want her to go on walkabout to the ends of their property line near the road without supervision! It was always a white-knuckle ride visiting them.

Apr 13, 3:23pm Top

Well, update on the family. They are at their hotel and they've got the double dragon. I think we can all agree that they were sick when they got here, and were not able to put it off any longer. I can only hope we are not going to get it. Yuck. I've washed everything and pottered around with Lysol wipes, but I imagine the damage is done. If only they would have quarantined themselves at the first sign of vomit...

>96 lunacat: Family is truly strange Jenny, and I am sure there are some in my family who think I'm strange as well. Lol

>97 Ireadthereforeiam: Thanks for the thoughts Megan. You should acquaint yourself with Powells, particularly if you ever visit the Pacific NW. It's an enormous bookshop that takes up an entire city block in Portland. They also have another location, but the original is the one to visit. It's a warren of lovely books. They have online offerings as well. If I do this thing, I imagine my shop will be about 1% the size. Maybe.

>98 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Thanks for the input. I will very likely plan a visit to one of the shops. I am going to pop in to the local one here as well and see if they will talk to me. I love the fantasy of a shelf no lower than 2 feet and no higher than 6 feet. So nice for the shelvers as well, lol. Interesting thought about music playing.


#52 Raymie Nightingale

This is a cute middle grade story that deals with some tough topics. Topics include: Loss of a parent through death/divorce, loss of a pet, poverty, abuse (one character has a black eye because her mother hit her), aging, loneliness, and death, and depression. Despite the list, the book is never dragged down or too dark for the target audience. I thought it was really well done, and I would expect no less from Kate DiCamillo.

Currently reading: The Quake Year, Bird Brains: the Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies and Jays, and I just started listening to The Wright Brothers.

Apr 14, 10:55am Top

Hope you have a great Easter weekend!

Apr 15, 5:05am Top

Apr 15, 10:23pm Top

>100 ChelleBearss: and >101 DianaNL: Thanks Chelle and Diana!

Happy Easter everyone.

This is probably going to be a memorable Easter, but not for joy and light, Lol. My husband just started with the tummy bug so kindly brought by my brother. We will see how things go, but I am less optimistic than I was yesterday. Sigh. We may celebrate by sipping chicken soup with rice and Gatorade.

Wishing all of you a much better Easter. :)

I am still reading all the things I said I was, but I've taken a detour to The Light of Paris. I saw it at Costco, and grabbed it right away. I really liked The Weird Sisters when I read it years ago for RL book club back in Colorado. One of our club members is friends with Eleanor Brown and invited her to our book club. She was lovely. She fit right in, and led a lively discussion by asking questions and barely talking at all.

Apr 15, 10:47pm Top

I'm so sorry that your brother shared the bug, Jenn! I hope things don't get a dire as you seem to think they might.

I hope it's not a chicken soup with rice, and Gatorade Easter!

Apr 15, 11:11pm Top

Uh oh. I'm awfully sorry about the bug amongst you and hope against hope that your husband is the only one affected. Family!
What excitement about the bookstore! I'd think that it would be an all-encompassing project. My only experiences have been in indie stores that were good for the 70s-90s and are now defunct, so I'll just say that everything ought to have its location firmly on computer, and that your staff should not need to check the computer too often. I was always looking for old stuff, so I'm going to recuse myself from answering your other questions.
Wishing you clear discernment as you look at this opportunity!
And Happy Easter!

Apr 16, 2:51pm Top

I am sorry your family was so generous about sharing their germs with you! I think the prospect of owning your own bookstore is so tantalizing, but you should definitely do some financial and logistical investigating.

We have a local independent bookstore near me and they are (I think) very successful as they have been around for years. It is called Annie Bloom's. (We also have Powell's.)
The smaller store is in a little village.
Free parking.
New Books only.
One cat , although I am allergic, so I am not a big fan of pets in public places.
They have one shelf near the front with just a few copies of the latest popular hardbacks and then another one on the side wall with staff picks and other topics.
They have a bookclub or two who meet in the store upstairs.
They have young reader selections in the back of the store with a few small tables and chairs.
Up front is a couch or two for adult perusers.
They also have a rack of cards, bookmarks, etc.
They have a frequent buyer plan and they can always get a book not in stock for me within two-four days.
Their fiction is organized by author. And they also have books by category, although I am hardly ever on that side of the store can can't tell you what they might be. Biography...
They usually have about 5-7 author readings a month.
I am sure they have an online presence for buying and I kinda think you might have to in this day and age.

Here's a ling to them:

Good luck with your decision!!


Or just Happy Sunday!!

Apr 16, 8:09pm Top

Hope the Lysol worked its charm.

Apr 17, 7:29am Top

Hi Jenn!

I hope you had a good Easter Sunday, without the chicken soup/Gatorade.

Apr 17, 9:31pm Top

>103 karenmarie: Well, it wasn't as bad as it could have been, but it's not better either. Everyone stayed home from school/work today. The husband is down with the plague, but at least it's not the double dragon. Yet. 101 fever, chills, nasty cough, helpless baby type stuff. And he's supposed to fly to Nashville in the am. I am recommending putting off the trip for a day, he's thinking he'll just fly out and go to bed in the hotel and be well enough for his presentation on Thursday. Huh. Maybe. My youngest has a nasty cough, but no fever or chills. His issues are mostly pollen related. I probably need to fit that boy with a mask until June. My daughter has a froggy throat, but she's really not all that sick. I am FINE. And planning to stay that way.

>104 LizzieD: The all-encompassing part is what worries me. I am not convinced I am at that point in life yet. I need to be all-encompassed by my kiddos for a few more years. While I think they would thrive spending their afternoons helping out in a book shop, we don't really live in a village situation where that would work. If I could finance the staffing of the place from 2 pm to closing most days. If, if, if. *grin*

>105 Berly: Annie Blooms looks great! Thanks for sharing. I'd heard of it, but I don't think I've ever been.

>106 thornton37814: Well, I'm not sick... knock on all the wood. Lol

>107 karenmarie: Hi again Karen. :) We had a relaxed Easter Sunday, with Chicken Soup.

Apr 17, 9:40pm Top

#53 The Light of Paris

From the outside, Madeleine has the perfect life. A handsome husband, plenty of money, volunteer work she loves. On the inside, she isn't happy. It will take a journey back through time, reading her grandmother's journals, to help her figure out who she is and what she wants out of life. It's an enjoyable read, maybe not quite as layered as The Weird Sisters, but good.

#54 Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Ravens, Crows, Magpies and Jays

Beautifully illustrated and annotated, this book is made for the coffee table. The material is interesting and well researched, but from a biologist point of view, could probably do with an update. It's a fun addition to our bookshelf on animals and their behavior.

Still reading The Quake Year and listening to The Wright Brothers and A Wind in the Door. Also, because I'm crazy like that, I started Dust Tracks on A Road. So far, Dust Tracks is highly reminiscent of Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Apr 17, 9:47pm Top

I hope the Easter Crud didn't spread amongst the rest of the family. We had a very memorable Christmas 4 or 5 years ago. We were just reminiscing about it over the weekend as we all gathered together. My daughter and I were the only ones who didn't get it. We had a great visit. I didn't have to worry about cooking because no one else wanted to eat. We can laugh about it now but it sure wasn't fun at the time!

How exciting that you are thinking about buying the bookstore stock. If it didn't work out, you would have a huge personal library.

Edited: Apr 18, 6:49pm Top

RE: Haha - If I lived closer, I'd volunteer to be the dusty books box opener.

Old connection with Arlington Heights > my Uncle Paul Bell and his family used to run
the Newspaper agency in town many years ago.

For now, I'm gathering a small collection of newer & thrift books filling up my guest room, still hoping for local interest in a Little Library.

An on-going mystery is how Independents can afford to MAIL books for $3-4 total cost.

Hope Easter brought more healing to your Family.

Apr 18, 6:54pm Top

You survived the Easter tummy bug? Go you!! I came down with the cold that was creeping about the fringes of our household, and as sad as it sounds, I was so pleased to be able to get most of a day in bed while I had it. I think it knocked it on the head. Of course I was straight back into it the next day so whatever gains I made are slowing now (coffee is what is seeing me through the tail end of it).

Apr 20, 10:23pm Top

>110 Donna828: How lucky you didn't get it and you and your daughter could hang out. :)

>111 m.belljackson: I am now thinking about a mobile bookshop. What do you think of that?

>112 Ireadthereforeiam: Well. The head cold caught me. I am a single parent this week, but hoping for a Saturday in bed. Fingers crossed. I'm almost there.

I read two more books:

#55 A Wind in the Door

I enjoyed listening to the audio of a childhood favorite. I got sucked in when E started listening. It struck me even more this time around how very metaphysical this book is. It's a good story, and the science is great. You almost believe in Farandolae. I felt it occasionally bogged itself down in metaphysics though. It didn't bother E at all, and I don't remember it bothering me as a child either. Fun series.

#56 To Green Angel Tower part 1

This is such a great story. I am impressed with the author's ability to involve so many people. I certainly struggle to keep track of them all. I think I am going to go ahead and finish this series before I forget all the characters and places, etc.

Apr 20, 10:35pm Top

Such a frustrating evening. My son had a baseball game. They were behind 5-1, but tied it up in the 5th inning. The other team scored in the 6th and then our guys tied it up again. The game is supposed to be either 2 hours or 6 innings, whichever comes first. We were at 2 hours and 6 innings, and we should have been done. Not to mention it was 8 pm on a school night.
Instead of leaving it at a tie, the coach of the other team really pushed to go another inning. We shouldn't have. The boys were so pumped to have tied it up and they would have gone home on such a positive note. Instead, the top of the 7th, the other team scored 5 points. We struck out without scoring and went home sad. I'm not opposed to the team losing or having to deal with disappointment, but they aren't supposed to play more than 6 innings. So annoying. Sometimes it's ok to end on an up note, even if it's just a tie.

Apr 21, 12:02am Top

>113 nittnut: I'm in the last 100 pgs of To Green Angel Tower and hoping to finish tonight. A really good read right to this point.

Apr 21, 6:42am Top

>113 nittnut: I loved A Wind in the Door, too, and I didn't come to it until just a few years ago.

>114 nittnut: Oh, dang, that *is* frustrating. Yeesh.

Apr 21, 6:52am Top

Somehow I missed out on the new thread. Oh well.

Happy Friday, Jenn!

Edited: Apr 21, 7:35pm Top

>114 nittnut: It's sad that the rules weren't followed and the other coach got his way. My brother was in Little League in the 1960s and there were some pushy coaches and parents that I still remember with dislike.

I hope you get through today without travail and get your Saturday in bed! On the up side, it is a beautiful Carolina day.

Apr 21, 1:40pm Top

>114 nittnut: That doesn't sound like much fun. Hope your son wasn't too upset about it.

Sending healthy vibes too re the lurgy.

Apr 21, 5:49pm Top

A Mobile Bookshop - WOW! - I've never seen anything that cool since the much lamented days when the Madison Library BOOKMOBILE would come around.

What great fun that was - always a range of intriguing books and Free Bookmarks in a stand outside the door. You could partner with a Roaming Cafe/Patissiere (?sp) and attract droves of
people hungry for homemade desserts and coffee and THE BEST BOOKS IN TOWN!

Will you start with a Tricycle Cart, then move to Food cart size van, then up to a BUS...?

Last week, there was a long article in Wisconsin's STATE JOURNAL about a guy whose entire Northern Wisconsin business is designing and building Food carts. Sounded pricey, but maybe
worth consulting with folks like this with experience on pitfalls, etc.,
then DIY, with a lotta help from your friends.

Once you get rich, you could host LT meet-ups with requests and surprises.

Buena Suerte!

Apr 22, 10:12am Top

Hi Jenn - I hope all are now recovered.

Lots of good reading here. I'll have to check out To Green Angel Tower.

Thumbs down to pushy coaches.

Apr 22, 12:04pm Top

>113 nittnut: You need to read The Bookshop on the Corner. It's a great read and might give you some ideas.

Edited: Apr 22, 10:31pm Top

Okay, I'm way behind but that fan leaf Hawthorne is lovely.

>114 nittnut: Yuck. All that is wrong with coaching in the modern era.

1. What do you look for in an independent book shop? -- A welcoming physical environment, not too crowded, not feeling like I'm digging through the dust bin. A variety of titles, not just the Ann Patchett bestsellers but some that are a bit esoteric and intellectual.

2. What are some characteristics of your favorite book shops?
I love the wood trim in Powell's (Portland) and Elliott Bay Books (Seattle) and Women & Children First (Chicago). I love that there are a couple of stuffed chairs in which I can sit to peruse a book or two before I buy. I love that there are staff recommendations that take me beyond the local bestsellers list (and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers publish a list of local bestsellers, always more cerebral than the NYTimes bestseller list, so along those lines).

3. Do you consider a rare/collectibles books section to be absolutely needed?

4. What is something that is missing in book shops, and shouldn't be?
I hate it when an indie bookshop carries the latest in a popular series but doesn't have the earlier installments available.

5. If you opened a book shop, you would... (fill in the blank) Oh lord, this is a hard one. Have a bookshop cat?

6. Could a small shop model itself after Powells (buy and sell used books) successfully? I have no idea but I think it's worth looking into. Elliott Bay Books also has a few used books on the shelves but they have a pretty tight policy, I think, about purchasing them. Actually, the same is true of Third Place Books in Seattle (Lake Forest Park, Ravenna, and Seward Park neighborhoods). This one might be worth looking into because it's way smaller than Powell's or Elliott Bay but it works and it does mix new and used books. Each of the bookshops is connected in some way with a cafe/pub.

I hope this is helpful and I wish you luck on the possible adventure!

Apr 23, 2:17am Top

>114 nittnut: yea, that does sound like a waste of time. I read about native americans playing some sort of game that kept going until both teams were even!

Apr 23, 12:40pm Top

>115 avatiakh: Hi Kerry! I finished it this morning - couldn't stay awake any longer last night. It was a big finish! I really enjoyed the series a lot.

>116 scaifea: Hi Amber!

>117 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! Drop in any time. :)

>118 karenmarie: Hi Karen. I love our coaches, they are very positive and all about developing the players. If a kid strikes out, they always say something positive about their swing or whatever. No pressure. They are on the kids about doing their best and hustling, but always positive. The other team is one of the better ones in the league and they wanted their win. Oh well. I did not get my Saturday in bed. More about that later...

>119 charl08: Hi Charlotte. He's over it now, but tends to take on all the blame for the loss, as if he was the only one on the team. The lurgy has us in a tight grip.

>120 m.belljackson: Will you start with a Tricycle Cart, then move to Food cart size van, then up to a BUS...? I love it. I would hope, if I start, to start a bit higher than a tricycle cart - something covered, perhaps? Excellent to align myself with a local shop in whatever area I park in. I picture it being something like a food truck, FB page to announce the location, noting any deals with participating shops in the area. It could be lots of fun.

>121 BLBera: Things are the worst health wise. Lol
If you do check out Green Angel Tower, note that it is the last in the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series that a few people around here have been reading. It's a bit of a commitment, but if you like fantasy, you'll likely enjoy this.

>122 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks Reba!

>123 EBT1002: Hi Ellen! Thanks for the input. It's fun to think about, anyway. I am now toying with the idea of a mobile book shop...

>124 Ireadthereforeiam: That would drive me nuts. That could take longer than a cricket match!

Edited: Apr 24, 10:35pm Top

Happy weekend everyone. I hope you are all having a much nicer weekend than we are. The husband has either bronchitis or walking pneumonia, won't know until official x-ray reading is done on Monday. Doesn't really matter that much, he's got antibiotics and stuff now. Bless him, he's more work than the kids when he's sick. I had a busy day yesterday running the mister to the doctor, running E to baseball practice, getting the mister from the doctor, getting prescriptions filled, doing laundry, etc. I crashed and woke up with a nasty cough this morning. GRRRR. I'm on strike today and staying in bed. I HATE being sick. Particularly when I can't just be the only one who is sick. Here's hoping tomorrow is better.

#57 To Green Angel Tower Part 2

A grand finale to a big series. This final book was non-stop on all fronts. The ending wasn't particularly surprising, but it was definitely suspenseful.

Currently reading The Quake Year, and Dust Tracks on a Road, and listening to The Wright Brothers.

Apr 23, 5:26pm Top

So sorry that you have succumbed to the lurgy. Sending rapid recovery vibes pronto!

Now that you have finished the Osten Ard trilogy, The Heart of What Was Lost is a novella that came out in January that follows immediately on the events of the last book. It's a little pricey, so might try the library. But it sets up situations for the new book coming out in June, The Witchwood Crown, which starts up 30 years later and is the first of a new trilogy.

Apr 24, 1:14pm Top

I hope you feel better soon, Jenn!

Apr 24, 10:34pm Top

>127 ronincats: Thanks Roni. I am feeling more human today. Thanks for the info on the new book. I will see if my library has The Heart of What Was Lost.

>128 katiekrug: Thanks Katie. :)

I have been reading more of Dust Tracks on a Road. I really, really like it. Zora Neale Hurston had an amazing and adventurous life, her way of telling is so unique and picturesque, and some of her stories are totally outrageous. Well worth a read, IMO.

Apr 24, 10:41pm Top

Big accomplishments today. I found rugs for the kitchen and laundry room, oiled a couple pieces of oak furniture (they've been stored in a dry place for several years) and got the china put away in the china cabinet. I was out and about for quite a long time today, so I'm tired. Tomorrow is hopefully a stay at home day. I have fantasies about organizing my sewing room and making myself a summer skirt. I've also got to try and find my piece of the Berlin Wall for my daughter to take to her social studies class. They are doing the cold war. Finding that will be a bit like the proverbial needle in a haystack.

It's my daughter's 13th birthday on the 13th, so I want to do things in 13's. Any ideas? I've got 13 helium balloons, 13 pairs of socks (she said she needed socks, lol) and that's about it.

Apr 24, 10:47pm Top

13 books??!!

Apr 24, 10:49pm Top

>131 avatiakh: Oh yes, dreamy, but so Expensive!!!

Apr 24, 11:04pm Top

Happy to hear that you've pretty much dodged the crud, Jenn. Take things as easy as you can.
I don't have any ideas for 13 on the 13th, but being a 13th child myself (born on Friday to boot), I really like the idea.
I'm glad that you're spreading more love for Osten Ard. I haven't read the novella yet, but I'll be a prime candidate for the new trilogy. I mostly love T. Williams. His virtual reality trilogy - *Otherland* (I had to look it up) - blew me away when they came out, but I fear that they won't have aged well. I read one *Shadowland* and was not blown away, but I truly loved *Swords* on my reread last year.

Apr 25, 10:25am Top

Hi Jenn, busy time for you! Glad you're feeling a bit better.

Apr 25, 10:38am Top

>130 nittnut: and 131 Books with 13 in the title? I searched "thirteen in ya books" on Amazon and there were a few intriguing titles.

Apr 26, 1:32pm Top

>133 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! I will be very interested in the new Osten Ard books as well. I did not take things easy this morning, and I probably need an inhaler. I scrubbed the screened porch and then swept the front porch and walkway. We have two big River birch trees by the house and they are sooooo messy. I was absolutely coated in pollen. I'm putting my feet up now.

>134 lit_chick: Hi Nancy! It is busy. It's always busy, but the urge to unpack and get settled makes things interesting. I was planning to work on the sewing room today, but worked in the yard instead. It was good to be outside after three days of rain.

>135 karenmarie: Hi Karen. There are some intriguing titles with 13 in them. I am a big fan of getting the books from the library first though. Just in case they are awful and I would regret owning them. I have two Indigo Buntings visiting my feeder this week!! They are so cute and so blue! I keep trying to get a photo but they are very shy.

I fell off the wagon hard and ordered my daughter 13 books for her birthday. (>131 avatiakh:)Sigh. Seven were e-books, so not terribly expensive. I thought about it and decided it was time to give my girl To Kill A Mockingbird so she could read it over the summer and not have it ruined by being a class assignment. I also got her Of Mice and Men, which is as good a start as any for Steinbeck. I anticipate her hating Steinbeck. I could be surprised. Then I ordered her the first 4 in The Queen's Thief series, which is almost like getting myself the series, right?

I finished Dust Tracks on A Road last night. I will be thinking about it a little more before I review it. It was fabulous though.

I have about 3 hours left on The Wright Brothers. It's excellent. I am really looking forward to visiting Kitty Hawk.

Coming up, I have Dr. Mutter's Marvels and Hidden Figures.

Apr 26, 1:49pm Top

Also born on a 13th (February) - here are a few more ideas >

13 Guests at Party

Pizza with 13 Toppings

Make it yourself Sundae Bar with 13 topping choices

(if she's not to old for this kind of fun) 13 cut out & taped down steps from her BR Door to
her Birthday Breakfast, with 13 choices of Omelet ingredients

Downloaded photos/tales of people born on May 13th

13 bags of food, clothes, toys, etc. to donate
(if there's a party, guests asked to bring a food donation
and all to donate 13 hours at a local animal shelter or ??? ??? ??? ??? ?)

Apr 27, 6:50am Top

13 guests at the party?! Whoosh, that would take a braver parent than I'll ever be...

And woot for the 13 books!!

Apr 27, 7:15am Top

>137 m.belljackson: Those are some fun ideas Marianne. I love the 13 steps to breakfast (my kids faint if I make breakfast) and the idea of volunteering at the shelter would suit her perfectly. :)

>138 scaifea: 13 guests would be a lot, but 13 12-13 year old girls would probably be just fine. That's the perfect age for a big party - old enough to be manageable, too young for too many shenanigans. Boys, it would depend. Maybe outside, with lots of activities. Purely theoretical though, as DD has decided on 3 friends, dinner and maybe a pedicure. I'm still iffy on this, depending on where she wants to eat dinner. Such girlishness though. :)

Apr 27, 7:52am Top

Good morning, Jenn, and happy Thursday!

>136 nittnut: I scrubbed the screened porch and then swept the front porch and walkway. I guess it's my turn now to clean the front and back porches..... Congrats on the 2 Indigo Buntings.

Apr 27, 10:01am Top

Thinking about poems and songs for # 13 -

Family could write a poem with a line for each of her 13 years
each write 13 line poems about the things they like and love about her

The only song I can remember is the wildly inappropriate
"13 Women and Only One Man in Town" - maybe you could
adapt words and use tune

We're still waiting for our first Indigo Buntings -
they really raise a quick happiness factor!

So far, the most excitement has been the wild turkey nesting in the front yard,
the mornings awaking to bird calls - and snow predicted again in southern Wisconsin!
and the groundhog making its annual treks between burrows.

Apr 27, 5:43pm Top

>130 nittnut: a baker's dozen!

I love all the ideas here for cool 13 things, my only addition is a 13-tier cake :-0

Apr 27, 5:54pm Top

>136 nittnut: I would have loved to receive 13 books on any birthday. My other suggestion would be 13 x stationery/art supplies or to spare the expense 13 x homemade vouchers for various perks such as going to bed late, choosing where to buy take out, homework free evening etc.

Apr 27, 6:10pm Top

>130 nittnut:
Scavenger hunt for 13 different items?

I love all these ideas for a happy 13 party!
Think I'll throw my own '13 party' and have it on a Friday the 13th.

Apr 27, 9:42pm Top

>140 karenmarie: Hi Karen!

>141 m.belljackson: A nesting wild turkey is plenty exciting! I'd want to watch it all day. Love the ideas for 13 things we love about her. :) I am going to designate you the party planner...

>142 Ireadthereforeiam: Oh yeah. A 13 tier cake. *falls down laughing* Not making one Lol. But, a bakers dozen donuts, maybe.

>143 avatiakh: I would still love to receive 13 books on any birthday too! Love the voucher idea. She would totally love that.

>144 nrmay: A scavenger hunt is a great idea! Do have your own party. Why not?

Apr 27, 9:46pm Top

>144 nrmay: >145 nittnut: my brother set up an awesome scavenger hunt for his son's 4th birthday, and I did a pretty cool one for my boy's 4th too, as it happens. But, we both thought the kids could be a lot oder, and that they would appreciate it a lot more if they were.

You could have 13 clues, book related maybe? And have a BOOK at each spot for her to find!!! And the clue in that spot would lead to the next spot. That would be so cool. Maybe have the first 10 prizes joke ones, and then a book for the 11th, 2 for the 12th and the rest for the final whammy of a prize. Stops them getting immune to the excitement, you see :)

I can't wait to hear how this goes! And the 13-tier cake which I think you'' end up agreeing is mandatory ;)

Apr 27, 10:08pm Top

I remember reading a Canadian YA where each year the parents had planned a citywide scavenger hunt for their daughter.

Edited: Apr 27, 10:24pm Top

#58 Dust Tracks on A Road - AAC and non-fiction challenge

Reading her autobiography made me wish I could have been friends with Zora Neale Hurston. She knows how to tell a story, her sense of humor is wicked, and she seems absolutely fearless. Her story begins with the town where she was born, and progresses, mostly chronologically, until about chapter 16. From chapter 16 on, the autobiography reads like a series of essays on her life, the times, things she has observed. Her story is fascinating, and well worth the read. I am going to include a bunch of quotes, as that tells more than my review possibly can.


There is something about poverty that smells like death. Dead dreams dropping off the heart like leaves in a dry season and rotting around the feet; impulses smothered too long in the fetid air of underground caves. The soul lives in a sickly air. People can be slave-ships in shoes.
It was only that night in bed that I analyzed the whole thing and realized that I was giving sanction to Jim Crow, which theoretically, I was supposed to resist. But here were ten Negro barbers, three porters and two manicurists all stirred up at the threat of our living through loss of patronage. Nobody thought it out at the moment. It was an instinctive thing. That was the first time it was called to my attention that self-interest rides over all sorts of lives.
...It impressed upon me the universal nature of greed and glory. Lack of power and opportunity passes off too often for virtue. If I were King, let us say, over the Western Hemisphere tomorrow, instead of who I am, what would I consider right and just? Would I put the cloak of Justice on my ambition and send her out a-whoring after conquests?
Once when they used to set their mouths in what they thought was the Boston Crimp, and ask me about the great differences between the ordinary Negro and the "better-thinking Negro," I used to show my irritation by saying I did not know who the better-thinking Negro was. I knew who the think-they-are-better Negroes were, but who were the better-thinkers was another matter... So I sensed early, that the Negro race was not one band of heavenly love. There was stress and strain inside as well as out. Being black was not enough. It took more than a community of skin color to make your love come down on you. That was the beginning of my peace.
Who can know the outer ranges of friendship? I am tempted to say that no one can live without it. It seems to me that trying to live without friends, is like milking a bear to get cream for your morning coffee. It is a whole lot of trouble, and then not worth much after you get it.
I have been in Sorrow's kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrappen in rainbows, with a harp and a sword in my hands.


Apr 27, 10:26pm Top

>146 Ireadthereforeiam: What if we compromise, and I stack the thirteen donuts up with toothpicks and call it a 13-tier cake?

>147 avatiakh: Wouldn't a city-wide scavenger hunt be cool? I'd need to know this city much better though. Maybe next year...

Apr 27, 10:35pm Top

#59 The Wright Brothers - Non-fiction (May)

Excellent. So very excellent. As always, David McCullough does meticulous research and transforms the details into a compelling narrative. I learned so much, and my admiration for Wilbur and Orville Wright is much greater than it was before. One minor note - I listened to the audio, narrated by David McCullough. It was good, but not amazing.

Apr 28, 12:33am Top

>149 nittnut: I knew the book had a weird title and had to track it down with some sleuthing - The Mitochondrial Curiosities of Marcels 1 to 19.

Apr 28, 10:14am Top

> 149 nittnut

A Doughnut Cake sounds REALLY inviting!

And, I remember seeing a Doughnut Wedding Cake somewhere online.

Sure hope nrmay hosts that Friday, the 13th Party,
with a bunch of these ideas
to inspire LT celebrating around the world.

Apr 28, 11:03am Top

>151 avatiakh: That is one of those odd titles that makes me want to read a book. *grin*

>152 m.belljackson: Pinterest is a big help for that sort of thing, isn't it? I am also hoping to hear about nrmay's Fabulous Friday the 13th Party...

Apr 28, 11:30am Top

Your party planning is amazing. I can't wait to hear what you finally decide to do and how it all went.

McCullough is one of my favorite writers. He can take a subject I really don't feel all that interested in and write a book about it that totally grabs me.

Apr 29, 2:12pm Top

My kids have done treasure hunts in nearby shopping malls, if the city is too unknown. You have some great ideas for the big 13!!

Apr 30, 7:58am Top

Hi Jenn! Happy Sunday to you.

Apr 30, 10:10am Top

Hi Jenn - I hope all are recovered. It sounds like you're really making your home now. What fun.

The Hurston sounds good. I've only read excerpts of her autobiography, but it sounds like I should read it through this summer. I loved THeir Eyes Were Watching God.

Edited: May 1, 1:24pm Top

>154 RebaRelishesReading: Hi Reba. I hope it ends up amazing. We will see. As long as she has a good time.

>155 Berly: Hi Kimberly! It should be fun to have a teenager in the house again. Lol

157 Hi Beth. We are working on it. It takes time to really get moved in. We got through a few more boxes yesterday, went to hang some paintings and realized we don't have a level (necessary for HUGE paintings) and we really aren't sure why we don't have a level. We used to have one. Sigh. If you've read Their Eyes Were Watching God, you may find pieces of Dust Tracks familiar. I think that TEWWG must have been semi-autobiographical. I wouldn't say it's repetitive, just familiar.

Today is a sort of on and off rainy day with the chance of thunder storms. I am sort of banking on there not being baseball this afternoon. I took my car in for repairs today - finally. I am driving a very big truck because the options at the rental place were either tiny or Huge. I opted for Huge. I will be doing my best not to flatten my mail box. That is all. Broccoli cheese soup for dinner, and maybe cheddar crackers if I feel very ambitious later. I'm off to move stuff around in my sewing room for an hour or so. It may improve things, or it may not. Lol

May 4, 12:36pm Top

Well, there was baseball until they got to the field and it started pouring so hard that we couldn't see the other side of the field. Waited around for awhile and then left when the coaches ran over to the dugout to get their gear. I would have preferred them to acknowledge the truly inclement weather before we left the house, but oh well. Baseball games tonight, tomorrow, and practice Saturday. It's a baseball life.

Bacon and Egg pie tonight for dinner, which I am making now so that baseball boy can eat earlier. A little more organizing in the sewing room and reading more of The Quake Year will hopefully happen this afternoon. I have been on a book ordering binge this last week or two and I Must. Stop. Now. Want to know what I got though? Not counting the 13 books I got my daughter for her birthday, because I already told you about those.

Maniac Magee - hardcover
Moon Over Manifest - hardcover
The Stars at Oktober Bend
The Harp in the South - hardcover
Missus - 1st US edition
Poor Man's Orange - 1st US edition
The Trouble With Poetry
Heart's Blood - 1st edition
Persuasion - Penguin cloth bound (this might or might not be my fourth copy of Persuasion. Maybe. But cloth bound. Penguin!)
The Severed Land - Kindle
Dragonflight - kindle

The 1st editions are clearly not valued as highly by the sellers as they will be by me - ANZAC authors in the unappreciative hands of Americans, lol. They were a good deal less expensive than you'd think. I really, really like Ruth Park's work.

If I try and buy any more books before June, somebody slap my hand. Ok?

May 4, 12:38pm Top

Currently reading: The Quake Year, The Persian Pickle Club for RL book club. Sandra Dallas is a bit hit or miss for me, and I don't know if this one is a hit or a miss yet. Next in line are Hidden Figures and Dr. Mutter's Marvels.

May 4, 1:56pm Top

You have been busy on the book-buying front, Jenn! You'll have to look elsewhere for someone to help you control that impulse. I lost my own struggle with it last weekend. :-)

May 5, 11:57am Top

Good job on the book ordering front!!

May 5, 4:51pm Top

You people are no help at all. LOL

Positive reinforcement all around.

May 6, 10:22am Top

Nice book haul, Jenn. You are on a roll! Keep it up!

May 6, 11:41am Top

>159 nittnut: Some good stuff there, Jenn. I might read The Harp in the South soon and will watch out for you picking it up.

Have a great weekend.

May 6, 2:10pm Top

>164 BLBera: Thanks Beth Lol

>165 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. I am really looking forward to it. I have to wait until it arrives though... sigh.

Baseball is done, now we are off to a swim meet. Mr. E got his first official hit - a single, line drive past third base. He also got another hit, out at first, but advanced a runner to allow the team to score their first point of the game. He earned the game ball today. Very happy boy.

Edited: May 6, 4:53pm Top

Home again. It's been a sporting day. Miss M took 6 seconds off her 100 breast stroke time. Kids have had a very successful day. Also, The Harp in the South arrived! Extra good news is it appears to be the same first US edition as the others in the trilogy, which I didn't know because there was no photo with it on the website. Hooray!!

May 7, 1:15am Top

The kids are developing and improving in their respective athletic endeavors. Nice to see that.

I hope you enjoy The Trouble with Poetry. And is that Dragonflight one of the early Anne McCaffreys? I am NOT a fantasy reader but I did read the first trilogy back in college, under the influence of my then-boyfriend, and I remember truly enjoying them. I still have clear mental images of some of the characters (most especially a dragon or two).

May 7, 9:29am Top

>168 EBT1002: Hi Ellen! I love seeing the kids grow. E especially has been working so hard to get a hit in baseball, and finally he did!
I have read The Trouble With Poetry before and loved it. I just decided I needed a copy in the house. :)
I was a little obsessed with Anne McCaffrey as a teen. I had the Dragonsong books and really enjoyed them. They would lead one to believe that McCaffrey is a fantasy writer, but she's more sci-fi than that, I think. And I'm not really a sci-fi reader, generally Lol. Dragonflight is the back story, about how Pern came to be and how the dragons came to be, and it's a fun sci-fi read. There are quite a few Pern books and I've enjoyed escaping into that world now and then.

May 7, 9:49am Top

Happy Sunday, Jenn, and best wishes for the coming week.

I'm glad to hear that your kids are doing so well in sports. It requires such a concentrated effort from them, plus the support of their families. Congrats to you all.

Serendipity to get the same first US edition. When things like that happen, it's just a bonus on top of a good book acquired.

May 7, 10:25am Top

Hooray for a good day in sports. It's nice to see the kids making progress.

May 8, 1:39pm Top

>170 karenmarie: Hi Karen!

>171 BLBera: Hi Beth! :)

#60 The Persian Pickle Club - RL book club

Sandra Dallas is a little bit hit and miss for me. Either I love it, or I don't. This particular book had all the good elements. Women, a small community, a mystery and some conflict. But it was boring. I never really bought in to the mystery or the drama. For some reason, it just fell flat for me. Too bad. On the bright side, I have a friend visiting next week and won't be attending book club, so I won't be a party pooper either. lol

Edited: May 9, 11:13pm Top

I put this on FB, so some of you will have seen it, but I have to share it here.

My youngest is reading the Spirit Animals series. It's making an impression. We were talking about what was his spirit animal and then he said, "Mom, I think your spirit animal is a lioness. You get things done if you need to, but you take naps during the day."

So true about the naps, Lol. I love that he sees my work as "getting things done if I need to."

edited for puctuation

May 9, 11:48pm Top

>173 nittnut: Love it, Jenn. How precious!

May 10, 1:25am Top

Hi Jenn! Congrats to you daughter for taking off 6 seconds on her swim. Whoohoo!! And I am psyched you have Dr Mutter's Marvels on your to-read-soon list. Loved that one. A lioness, eh? You go woman!!

May 10, 2:57am Top

The lion comment is great. (So are naps: I wish it would be possible to get siestas into office life here...)

Hope your next book club book is better. Do you know what you'll be reading?

May 10, 6:46am Top

>173 nittnut: I love your son's assessment of your spirit animal, Jenn! A lioness is a pretty great thing to be — especially with the naps!

May 12, 5:59am Top

>159 nittnut: a few first editions there!!!

>169 nittnut: it is so hard to see them (your kids that is) struggling with something, but all a part of learning I guess. And it all comes right if then end up figuring out how do do- whatever it is they struggled with- or find another thing they can do.

>173 nittnut: awesome rationalisation!!! I was just saying on Berly's thread kids just nail it sometimes, don't they!?

May 12, 3:37pm Top

>174 ronincats: Hi Roni!

>175 Berly: Hi Kimberly :) Did I get that BB from you? I am nearly done, and it is such a fascinating story.

>176 charl08: Naps are so great. I think everyone should have one every day. :)

>177 rosalita: Hi Julia. I think I only aspire to the naps, maybe the scary too, but not the hunting?

>178 Ireadthereforeiam: Hi Megan-the-scholar! I was pretty excited to get all first US editions - even if one is a retired library copy. Struggle is what it's all about, IMO. If we think we are just going to figure this one thing out and then it's smooth sailing, we are in for a long life of disappointment Lol. Sport is a great way to work through some of that, I think.

I am nearly finished with Dr. Mutter's Marvels. It's completely fascinating. I may finish it tonight, along with The Quake Year, which is lovely, but also very sad. I am making chocolate cupcakes for Miss M's 13th birthday - 13 of them. We are having waffles for birthday brunch - 13 toppings. 13 balloons will grace our mailbox so her (3) friends can find the party. Also, she has 13 presents, but she has been warned not to think that means 14 next year and so on. Ha!
I am so excited for next week though! I have a good friend coming to stay for the week, and we are off to the beach on Wednesday. Just us girls. Can't wait. She's a reader, so I am sure there will be beachy reading of some kind.
I unpacked the last box and 2 bins in my bedroom. I have sorted through almost everything in the sewing room and sort of piled like things together. It's going to need more attention, but at least I can get to everything. Unpacking is for the birds. Speaking of birds, today at the feeder we have had goldfinches, Carolina Wrens, cowbirds, doves, a red bellied woodpecker, the usual finch crowd and something that looks like a bushtit, maybe? A little greenish brown ball of fluff that won't hold still for identification. None of the flash birds today, other than goldfinches.

May 12, 3:48pm Top

Hurrah for having unpacked the last box in your room! Whoop and hooray.

May 12, 5:16pm Top

Hi Jenn, just popping in to say that I started The Bear and the Nightingale last night an am really enjoying it.

Happy that you got all the Ruth Park books in a set.

May 12, 8:21pm Top

>179 nittnut: Well naturally, I assumed the hunting would be for books!

May 13, 11:55am Top

Hooray for making major unpacking steps!!

May 13, 8:56pm Top

>180 lunacat: I know right?!

>181 avatiakh: I really liked it - I read it twice in a row. I was so excited that all the Ruth Park books matched!

>182 rosalita: Well, if you put it that way, definitely. :)

>183 RebaRelishesReading: Hooray!! Now to hang paintings...

May 14, 6:30pm Top

>179 nittnut: I might have been the cause of the BB for Dr. Mütter's Marvels--I read it recently and gave it a big thumbs up--and since you like it I;ll take full credit, LOL. Miss M sounds like she is having a wonderful 13th birthday, thanks to you. So glad your unpacking is done in your room. Phew! And just in time to celebrate at the beach with your friend. Perfect.

May 15, 4:20am Top

Happy Birthday to miss -13! I hope she likes the cupcakes!! (and the pressies, of course!!)

May 15, 7:14pm Top

>185 Berly: Full credit is all yours. :)

>186 Ireadthereforeiam: I passed on the wishes. She says thanks very much. :) She liked the cupcakes and the pressies very much. Also, her brother insisted on making her the Princess torte from the Great British Baking show. First and last time. That is all.

Weekend happenings were mostly birthday fun.

This is the cake - not the one we made, but it looks quite a lot like it only purple marzipan. Royal pain in the everything to make IMO. Custard, whipped cream, jam, three layers of sponge, marzipan. Oof.

waffles brunch with 13 toppings to choose from

The quilt my mom made for her

Birthday pedicures

Movies with the family (Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in 3D)

It was a fun day. I was a little sick after the 3D movie. I don't do so well with rapid camera motion. Also, the movie had some super weird stuff in it. I liked the first one WAY better.

Mother's day was nice. I didn't have to cook, I got to read a book, and I ended up doing ALL the dishes at 11:30 at night because I couldn't leave them any longer. We definitely need spoons for breakfast on Monday mornings.

May 15, 7:34pm Top


#61 Dr. Mutter's Marvels

If you are at all squeamish about surgery or deformity or body fluids, this may not be the book for you. I loved it. It was a completely fascinating look at the state of surgery and medicine from about 1830 to the start of the Civil War. On the one hand, looking at it from the perspective of what we know today, it is absolutely mind boggling. The filthiness of the average surgeon, the ignorance regarding how disease spreads, the unsanitary conditions for water and sewage that caused outbreaks of disease on a regular basis, these are all horrifying. On the other hand, reflecting on what we don't know currently, imagining someone looking back at us from nearly 200 years in the future, is humbling. Dr. Mutter had an amazing understanding of the workings of the human body for his time. He was inventive, smart, clean and courageous. He changed the lives of so many people. An excellent book.

#62 The Quake Year - ANZAC

Fiona Farrell interviewed people living in and around Christchurch in the year or so after the earthquakes. She shares their stories along with photos of them, their gardens, the broken world around them. I took my time with this, partly because it felt right to take time with each person's story, but also because it ended up being a much more emotional read than I expected. I didn't experience the earthquakes, although I've been in many small ones, so I didn't expect to be so affected. I think perhaps knowing people who did experience them, and having been to Christchurch and seen some of the empty neighborhoods and ruined old buildings, the memorials to those who lost their lives, helped make it much more real for me. It's a lovely book, very thoughtfully done, and a really good way to understand a little better what it's like for people who've survived something like that.

#63 Dragonflight

I haven't read Pern stories in a long time. This stood up well to a re-read, and I remember why I enjoyed them so much as a teen. If you like a good science-fiction adventure story with a little romance tossed in, you might like these.

Pern is a beautiful, Earth-like planet with a dangerous quirk. Every 200 years or so, a red star passes closely on it's orbit and causes something terrible to fall from the sky. It burns and destroys, unless it can be destroyed first. Men ride fire breathing dragons to destroy this threat before it reaches land. Only this time, it's been 400 years since the last pass and people have forgotten the danger. The dragons are few, those who believe and know what to do are few. How will they survive?

Currently reading Hidden Figures and Bronze and Sunflower, with News of the World lurking in the queue. Two sleeps until the beach!

May 16, 1:08am Top

#63 Dragonflight! I remember that one very fondly. Hmmmm... re-read might be very fun. Especially since you said it stood up well.

Love the birthday photos. : )

May 16, 2:01am Top

Looks like a lovely birthday - your mother is very talented, what a beautiful quilt.

Any chance of garden pictures? Sounds like you've got quite a bit to work with, I'm a bit green. Although if I had more space I'd have to find the time to work on it more, so maybe not such a bad thing!

May 16, 7:30am Top

So glad your daughter enjoyed her triskaidekabirthday! It looks like it was loads of fun.

I adored the Pern books from the time I discovered them in my freshman year of college. Your review is tempting me to think about re-reading them!

May 16, 10:49am Top

Your daughter certainly entered teenager-hood with style. I think you're very brave to have taken that cake on. Quilt from your mother is beautiful and I'm sure will be treasured for life by your daughter.

May 23, 6:34pm Top

Hi Kimberly, Charlotte, Julia and Reba! Thanks for stopping by!

>190 charl08: I will take photos as soon as it stops raining...

I had a friend visiting all last week and I enjoyed it so much! We haven't spent any appreciable amount of time together in over 10 years, and it was fabulous. We went out to Wrightsville Beach, which is near Wilmington, NC. We stopped in Durham on the way and had a look around Duke University. So cool. It was gorgeous at the beach, and very, very hot. 90 F and about 90% humidity, which caused us to mostly sit around. We ate good food and talked and talked and talked. Her last day here, we went to Old Salem (Moravian settlement) and I can't wait to go back. It was really neat.

The chapel at Duke University

The view from our hotel room

Fish and Chips (lol)

Covered bridge into Old Salem

I fell in love with this bench and I am ordering one for my front porch (rather, nicely asking my husband to copy it)

So that's what I was up to last week.

May 23, 6:40pm Top

#64 News of the World

This came in at the library and it's a 14 day loan, so it jumped the queue.

This is a great little story - beautifully written - depicting life during Reconstruction. Captain Kidd is old and has seen his share of war. He travels around the southwest reading the news of the world to people in little towns throughout the frontier. He is asked to deliver a 10 year old white girl back to her family. She was captured by the Kiowa and had been living with them for about 4 years. Travel was dangerous, and in the course of their journey, the old man and the young girl become quite attached to each other.

Now, back to Hidden Figures and Dragonsdawn.

May 23, 6:41pm Top

Oh, and if anyone is ever in Durham, be very, very sure to eat at Guglhupf. I promise, you won't regret it. Bretzels. That is all.

May 23, 10:50pm Top

Happy to read about the fabulous 13th birthday and your time with your friend. I love that you're discovering NC!

May 24, 11:52am Top

>194 nittnut: News of the World is my audio book at the moment. I take heart in the fact that you liked it. I didn't think much of it at first but it's growing on me and now I have hope it may be OK after all.

May 25, 5:34pm Top

>196 LizzieD: NC is wonderful. I loved Wrightsville. I can't wait to see more of the coast. It was a very different experience going to a hot beach with warm sea water. This week was kind of lousy though. Rain, rain, rain and all baseball cancelled. Sigh.

>197 RebaRelishesReading: Take heart Reba. It had to grow on me too. It took me about 1/3 of the book to really engage, even though I liked the writing. So many people here on LT loved it, so I persevered, and it was worth it. It's not really an "amazing!!" book, but it's a good one.

#65 Dragonsdawn

Another re-read of an old favorite. I was a little bored by the space travel aspects this time, but otherwise it holds up well. After this one, there is a big jump forward in time to a place where most of the tech has been lost.

Now I really must get back to Hidden Figures.

May 26, 8:34pm Top

Garden pictures for Charlotte - and anyone else who is interested.

We have three gorgeous River Birch. Gorgeous but maddening. They have a googleplex of seeds of various sizes plus they drop twigs, large and small, constantly.

Today I tidied up the front walkway and planting beds, weeded half of it, cleared dirt and rubbish away from our a/c unit and in the end I had two full rubbish sacks of dead leaves, etc. That took three hours. It's a lot more yard than I am used to. There won't be any trimming until fall, but we definitely will need to cull some of the old shrubs that are woody and overgrown.

May 26, 11:25pm Top


I'm not much into gardening and yard work, but I love porches :-)

May 27, 12:47am Top

I hope you are loving your new house and grounds, Jenn--they look so lovely, messy or not!

May 27, 2:42am Top

>199 nittnut: 3 hours! I'm now glad I have a small garden to work with!
The porch looks so lovely -just the idea of sitting and admiring the garden from there in years to come.

Fingers crossed for the bench - looks like there will be plenty of room for reading.

Edited: May 28, 5:06pm Top

>199 nittnut: Yes, Jenn, I love garden pictures too, thanks for sharing!
All trees requiere some extra work, but I love their shade. We have a Atlas Cedar in the front garden, the needles are all over the place and Ari is a big help in dragging them into the house ;-)

May 27, 10:13pm Top

Jenn, you did a grand job with M's 13th birthday party! I'm glad you had such a good time with your friend and could do some relaxing at the beach. You certainly were deserving of a break. Glad to hear the boxes are behind you and your are settling in enough to be concerned about the yard. I'd rather work outside than inside the house…when the weather is good. Once the humidity kicks in I'm done! Thanks for posting the pictures.

I was a fan of News of the World and Hidden Figures.

May 28, 11:36am Top

>198 nittnut: I finished News of the World yesterday. It not only grew on me, I ended up just loving it. It reminded me why I basically never give up on a book even if I don't much like the beginning.

Your garden looks beautiful but it also reminded me of something: why I live in a condo. Neither my husband nor I like to garden and I would be totally overwhelmed by a place the size of yours. But I do like to look at, sit in, walk through, walk past, etc. beautiful gardens and am very glad for you that you have one :)

May 28, 7:05pm Top

Your garden is looking great, Jenn.

May 28, 11:01pm Top

>199 nittnut: - Love the garden pictures!

May 28, 11:07pm Top

Oh, lovely!
I hope you get to sit on the porch a bit before the mosquitoes arrive.

May 30, 10:24pm Top

>200 katiekrug: Hi Katie! Porch! I love it. I love the screened one on the back of the house more. :)

>201 ronincats: Hi Roni! I am enjoying the house and grounds (sounds so estate-ish that way) very much. I love gardening, but I am very much out of practice. By the end of summer, I should be in better shape.

>202 charl08: Thanks for crossing your fingers for the bench Charlotte. I showed my dear husband the photo, and he sort of sighed and said, "do you want that before or after the bedside tables?" Haha. Poor guy. ;)

>203 FAMeulstee: Hello Anita! I love these birches, but they are just too close to the house. Some branches hang over the roof, and we will have to cut them back for insurance. Whoever planted them 20 years ago should have planted them about 3 meters further out into the yard.

>204 Donna828: Thanks Donna! I think M had a good day. I love being outside, but you're right, when the humidity goes up, it's very hard to work for very long. We are settling in really well, but the yard is going to require constant attention for a little while. :)

>205 RebaRelishesReading: LOL Reba. I keep telling the kids that our next house is a condo, because that's where I'm going when they move out. Of course, they are still young enough to be horrified at the thought of moving out, but it will happen sooner than they realize. And they will be ready. :)
I'm glad you ended up liking News of the World. Wasn't that last bit great, when he just went and got her and drove away? :)

>206 BLBera: Thanks Beth! Nice to see you around here. :)

>207 lkernagh: Thanks Lori! One of these days I'll do some of the back yard as well.

>208 LizzieD: Hi Peggy. Don't you have mosquitoes yet? We do. The screened back porch does pretty well at keeping the mozzies away, but we do have some squirrel inflicted gaps, very small but occasionally breached.

Edited: Jun 1, 7:49pm Top

#66 Hidden Figures - non-fiction challenge

This is a great book. It is very information dense, and I felt like I took more time than I usually do to read it, but I didn't want to miss a thing. Ms. Shetterly clearly invested a lot of time in her research and it shows. Highly recommended.

Currently reading The Severed Land and up next is A Spool of Blue Thread for RL book group. Sigh. Anne Tyler drives me nuts. Oh well.

House update: We have now hung three more paintings, found an old door to turn into a headboard for our room, hung the TV on the wall and put all the electronics away in a cupboard and hidden the cords (this is HUGE progress). We are on the hunt for a couple of accent chairs for the family room, where there is currently only a 3-butt sofa for seating. My new 9th circle of hell is furniture shopping. Who chooses the fabric? Does anyone sit on the chairs in the design process, because most of them are exquisitely uncomfortable. Also, why in the world does a chair that is for 1 butt cost 3/4 of what a 3-butt sofa costs? So many questions.

Baseball season is coming to a slow end. We had our first single elimination playoff game tonight. We won 1-0 in extra innings. So, we play again tomorrow night, and so on and on like that until we lose. I'm happy for the kids that they won...

I couldn't find my copy of North and South a couple weeks ago, so I ordered a new one. It came, and I promptly put it in the book case right next to my copy of North and South. LOL

May 31, 2:13am Top

>199 nittnut: I spent the entire weekend reclaiming my yard from the weeds and power washing away the mold on our deck and driveway. I am a tired puppy! But the place looks much better. Your place looks gorgeous. : )

May 31, 10:56am Top

>209 nittnut: absolutely!!

May 31, 11:22am Top

For furniture shopping, the only place I have ever kind of half-liked was Bassett, where you could "design" your piece to some extent and had more flexibility in fabric, color, pattern, etc. But even that place was on the annoying side. I find salespeople in furniture and mattress stores almost as bad as used car salespeople ;-)

You made me laugh about North and South...

Jun 1, 7:44pm Top

>211 Berly: Oooh. I bet you're tired. I am sure it looks amazing though. Our place is really nice and was very well cared for. It's just all 20 years old and needs some heavy pruning and thinning out. We will probably have to take down those gorgeous birches at some point as well. We are just hoping to plant some trees in the yard that will be ready (almost) to replace the shade we get from the birches.

>212 RebaRelishesReading: :)

>213 katiekrug: We did go in to Bassett, and it was OK, I think we will end up getting our leather sofa there as soon as we agree on style and color. I finally identified the problem with the chairs. When we say "accent chair" we each see something completely different.

Me (cozy, for reading):

Husband (all about the visual):

So you see our problem.

Edited: Jun 1, 8:24pm Top

Tidying up a little in preparation for a new thread. Just adding this here -

#67 The Dead House

I read this earlier in May, I think. Or maybe the end of April. But I don't want to have to re-number everything. So. I liked it. I like quirky Fiona and all the oddball things she does.

Oops. Another one I missed:

#68 The Severed Land ANZAC

Imagine if it were possible to build an invisible, impenetrable wall that would protect your land and people from slavery. Mr. Gee has produced a beautiful, exciting adventure story that will lead to all sorts of discussion on topics ranging from racism to violence and when fighting for freedom and justice is not only allowed, but necessary.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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