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Fieldnotes: On Staying Clam & Reading in 2017 ☽ Part II ☾

The Green Dragon

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Edited: Apr 3, 2017, 11:16am Top

Time for a Spring rebirth of my thread. I was getting old watching the other one load.

I got so sucked into the second half of Fire and Hemlock that I finished it yesterday evening instead of falling asleep at a normal human time. I'm planning to come back after dinner to try to put into words my feeling on this one. I will say briefly that it was not even vaguely what I was expecting. It was pointed out to me when I first said I was starting the book that it is not a traditional telling of the Tam Lin tale, so that makes me feel a bit better. I did enjoy it once I figured out what was going on. Well, even before I figured it out, actually. It's quite good.

I’m not going to natter on and on about this one. I did enjoy it, and I found myself sucked into this world without much of a protest from the usual quibbling parts of my brain. I am glad that I read this ‘untraditional’ Tam Lin story first because I’m pretty sure that having now read a traditional one I would have been put off a bit by this one, at least to start. I did feel for Polly and her disintegrating nuclear family. I adored her granny, but felt both of her parents were caricatures of selfish 1980s era parents. Tom was not too well fleshed out, intentionally no doubt. I did find there to be many implausibilities, but this is a fantasy so I was willing to let most of them slide. My biggest beef is with the age difference between Polly and Tom, and somewhat skeevy attraction he appears to develop for her while she’s in her early teens. Bleah... If I had read this as teen it might not have bothered me, but as a mom I was really uncomfortable with this aspect of the tale. Also, what parents would let a 9 year old girl stay with a man they haven’t even met and know nothing about for an entire day? One of my favorite aspects of the story was my not being sure if Polly was being gaslighted by her family and friends, or if her memories or theirs (or both) had been manipulated, or if she was coming a bit unhinged.

Apr 2, 2017, 12:27pm Top

Glad to hear it! (That you'll return.)

Apr 3, 2017, 11:17am Top

I edited in my review in the first post before I finish my current read Winter Rose which is also a Tam Lin retelling. (And a much more traditional one, or so I gather.) Did NOT want my current read to taint my memory of the previous one.

Edited: Apr 3, 2017, 4:11pm Top

McKillip weaves a seductive tapestry with her unique wordsmithery. Perhaps some find her a wee bit over-the-top, but for me it's like a luxuriously scented hot bath in some luscious language. I've only read one other book of hers but it shared with this one such an alluring sensual and somewhat stylized description of 'The Woods' that they both made me want to disappear into them, despite the dangers that lurk in hers.

I did subtract a half a star for what seemed like a slight drag in the story I experienced about 5/6ths of the way through. Maybe drag isn't the right word. To be more accurate I'd have to say I felt it became a bit repetitive. Interestingly enough I found Winter Rose reminded me a bit of Uprooted. More of a similar feel to them than similar a storyline, I'd say.

Apr 4, 2017, 3:05am Top

Hi, Clam! Taking my seat quietly at the back.

Apr 4, 2017, 7:20am Top

I love both Fire and hemlock and Winter rose. You're right that the relationship between Polly and Tom seems preferable to a teenage reader, as I was when I first read the book!

Edited: Apr 5, 2017, 9:55am Top

>2 jillmwo: & >5 pgmcc: *waves*

>6 Sakerfalcon: These seemed like a decent pair to read to begin my journey into the world of Tam Lin. Probably shouldn't be calling it a world. And it's not a genre. Would would it be?

I started The Haunted Bookshop which was a book bullet (a direct hit, no less) from MrsLee. I'm loving it so much that I keep wanting to share every other passage on Facebook & Twitter. The only problem is that the book itself is chock full of book bullets. :o( The plus is that many of the books that I've seen mentioned so far are Amazon or Gutenberg freebies.

Apr 5, 2017, 9:33am Top

>7 clamairy: A theme, maybe?

Oh dear. I'll put my armor on before I start reading The Haunted Bookshop. In a thread, people were discussing whether or not they did or didn't feel guilt about all the books they own which they haven't read. I don't feel guilt, I feel longing. I want so much to read all the books I've picked out for my shelves and my Kindle, but time is slipping away. Still, I'm starting this one as soon as I've finished my current read.

Apr 5, 2017, 10:20am Top

>8 MrsLee: Yes, that was in the Apocalyptic thread. I'm sure I'm going to leave a pile of unread books behind me. :o/ It's better than a pile of bodies or broken promises, am I right? :o)

Apr 5, 2017, 11:02am Top

Uh oh. I love books about books. Life is interfering with my reading!

Edited: Apr 5, 2017, 11:26am Top

>10 stellarexplorer: Be wary! I've already added these to my Kindle:

The Wrong Box
The Man Who Was Thursday
The Note-Books of Samuel Butler
The Story of My Heart
The Demi-Gods

No whether I actually read any of them remains to be seen. I do feel strongly drawn to The Wrong Box.

Edited: Apr 6, 2017, 6:03am Top

I've always wanted to read more McKillip but she's very difficult to find over here, and usually very expensive too. (although since I've last checked it appears Ebooks.com has got lots. Hurray!) Not sure why. I'm loving uprooted at the moment, so another with a similar feel is also very promising.

Apr 6, 2017, 8:00am Top

Well, clamairy here is just throwing around all kinds of book bullets. I am tempted by The Wrong Box for sure. And I haven't read that particular McKillip. But as stellarexplorer notes, real life is interfering with my opportunities to read. My line to friends has always been that I want to be loved (and employed) just on the basis of being well-read.

Edited: Apr 9, 2017, 8:32am Top

The Haunted Bookshop was fun, and has mostly aged well. I'm saying mostly because there were a few comments that threw me. Specifically a couple of instances when a male character was thinking about beating or grabbing and shaking a woman he was attracted to. It found that a bit jarring. There's a lot of humor and much literary chitchat. There's a mystery at the heart of the tale.

On to The Heart of the Sea, if I can handle it. I plan to bail (no pun intended) if the going gets too tough.

Apr 8, 2017, 11:00pm Top

>14 clamairy: I have a gorgeous 98-year-old copy of The Haunted Bookshop, in excellent condition, that I got for a dollar at a used book a few couple of years ago. I haven't gotten around to reading it yet, even though I really enjoyed Parnassus on Wheels. One of these days.

Edited: Apr 9, 2017, 9:27am Top

>15 SylviaC: I hope you manage to get to it soonish. :o) I've not read Parnassus yet, but I do plan to eventually.

I've already moved onto the glory days of whaling. And now I'm thinking a road trip is in order this Summer.

Apr 9, 2017, 10:05am Top

>4 clamairy: Winter Rose was probably my least favorite McKillip. Not that that means I didn't enjoy it, but it didn't grab me the same way. I'll be getting around to re-reading this year or next and I'm looking forward to what I think of it this time around.

If you like it, you'll probably love the rest of her books. I tend to fanboy pretty hard when talking about her works.

Apr 9, 2017, 10:34am Top

>14 clamairy: I am looking forward to The Haunted Bookshop. It is a BB from LT. I am not sure who fired the shot. I think it may have been another one of those ambushes with snipers firing from multiple locations.

In the meantime I am reading an ER copy of By Jove by Marissa Doyle. I am enjoying it.

Edited: Apr 9, 2017, 11:36am Top

>17 BookstoogeLT: I have heard wonderful things about her Riddlemaster series. They are in my near-ish future.

>18 pgmcc: I'm blaming MrsLee. I keep meaning to read one of Marissa's books. How did you decide where to start? Or did you get the ER book through LT?

Apr 9, 2017, 11:39am Top

>19 clamairy: The ER book was through LT. Like yourself I have been meaning to read one of Marissa's books and when it appeared on the ER list I saw my opportunity.

Edited: Apr 10, 2017, 8:44am Top

>19 clamairy: I think we did a group read of the Riddle-master trilogy a couple of years ago. I'll try to find the link.

ETA Found it: It's here It's a spoiler thread so be warned!

Apr 10, 2017, 9:41am Top

>19 clamairy: I was framed!

Edited: Apr 10, 2017, 10:26am Top

>21 Sakerfalcon: Thank you! I have no memory of that even happening in here.

>22 MrsLee: Likely story. ;o) I shouldn't have used the word 'blame.' I should be thanking you because that was a fun read.

Edited: Apr 14, 2017, 3:29pm Top

Paid another visit to my favorite old tree...

Larger photo here: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C9ZMLa5XYAAd3MW.jpg

Apr 14, 2017, 3:34pm Top


Apr 14, 2017, 8:10pm Top

Very cool.

Apr 15, 2017, 12:06am Top


Apr 16, 2017, 11:32am Top

Are you quite sure it's not an Ent?

Apr 16, 2017, 12:07pm Top

Was it there last year this time? If not, then we must congratulate Clam on a very rare sighting of an Ent! Any way up, a spectacular tree and a great photo.

Apr 16, 2017, 12:47pm Top

Ooooo, looks so much better on my computer screen than my phone, and I thought it was pretty spectacular on my phone.

Apr 16, 2017, 1:58pm Top

Perhaps it is Treebeard.

Edited: Apr 17, 2017, 1:29pm Top

Thank you, all. Nah, it's not even remotely old enough to be turning entish. It's not even the oldest tree in town, it's just the one with easiest public access. Also there are no buildings or pavement around it. I'll try to nab a few shots of some of the others at some point. They are all much scarier looking, IMHO.

Edited: Apr 17, 2017, 5:22pm Top

I finished In the Heart of the Sea and it made me realize that I need more non-fiction in my diet. A lot more, I believe. It’s heartbreaking but still ultimately encouraging to me that these men went on to lead normal lives after their harrowing experiences. After reading it I did decide to give Ron Howard’s film version another chance and I did enjoy it. It was nowhere’s near as gruesome as reading the book, maybe because the less than savory bits (no pun intended) were off camera, for the most part.

The book brought to mind reading Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan and Untamed Seas: One Woman's True Story of Shipwreck and Survival by Deborah Scaling Kiley. I read these two books back in 2003 for a discussion group at the local library. The discussion was moderated by a professor from Yale and I recall that the voyage of the Essex was brought up at some point.

One thing I didn’t realize, and I am glad Philbrick made a point to mention it, was that cannibalism was somewhat considered an necessary evil among sailors of this era. No one wanted to be forced to make such a horrendous choice, but at least those who survived that way did not become the social pariah that they most likely would today.

I think I need to rewatch Moby Dick now. Just not sure if I want to go with the Gregory Peck version or the Patrick Stewart version.

Apr 17, 2017, 6:32pm Top

Yay! I'm glad you liked it and I've arrived at the same conclusion; more non-fiction. If you haven't read Philbrick's other books I can recommmend them, especially Bunker Hill.

Apr 17, 2017, 7:52pm Top

>33 clamairy: I consider myself a complete stellar success if I read 3 or 4 non-fiction books a year. So hopefully you'll be as bright as the sun this year...

Apr 17, 2017, 11:28pm Top

>35 BookstoogeLT: That is my favorite kind of success! ;)

Apr 18, 2017, 3:15am Top

>33 clamairy: I have a lovely Everyman's Library edition of Moby Dick which received as a birthday present. Moby Dick is a story I have been planning to read since the 1980s.

My new, pristine copy is encouraging me to read it sooner than later.

Apr 18, 2017, 6:14am Top

>36 stellarexplorer: Exactly! Why settle for ho-hum, boring, "I win" kind of success when you can "Succeed with Gusto"!?

Apr 21, 2017, 5:53pm Top

>34 Bookmarque: I'm pretty sure I have another one of his here somewhere.

>35 BookstoogeLT: My ratio of NF to F used to be much higher, but the last few years I've been all about escaping reality.

>36 stellarexplorer: :o)

>37 pgmcc: I read an abridged illustrated version as a kid, and the 'real' version in college. (Including Chapter 32, which I found painful but some scholars seem to claim is humorous.)

I'm well into The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements* and I'm listening to Wintersmith.

*I'm reading it on my kindle and I've actually printed out a copy of the periodic table so I'm not constantly trying to read one on my phone.

Apr 21, 2017, 8:43pm Top

I'm waiting to see what you have to say about The Disappearing Spoon. It looks like something I would enjoy.

Apr 21, 2017, 10:39pm Top

>40 SylviaC: I'd hoped I would when I picked it up a few years ago, but it was--off, somehow. Drier than expected, IIRC, and I put it down after a few chapters. Looking forward to Clam's report.

Apr 22, 2017, 10:01am Top

>40 SylviaC: >41 Marissa_Doyle: It's not as humorous as a Bryson or Mary Roach book, but I'm still enjoying it. :o)

Apr 22, 2017, 3:17pm Top

Forgot to mention that a few weeks ago I discovered that I can see a pair of nesting Great Blue Herons from my kitchen window. Well, I can see them for now. Once the leaves are on the trees all I'll see is a wall of green. I walked down to the pond a few times and the view down there is only slightly better. I can see pretty well with my binoculars, but my phone doesn't take the clearest photos at that distance. Google spruced one up for me, though. This is the male working on the nest while the female is snuggled up inside it. I usually can't see her at all except for the occasional protruding beak.

Just for size reference these birds are quite large. They are usually 3.2 to 4.5 feet (1 to 1.4 meters) tall and have wingspans of 5.5 to 6.6 feet (1.7 to 2 meters.)

Apr 22, 2017, 4:30pm Top

I saw one fly by last week carrying what looked like a three-foot long piece of grapevine, for nest-building I assume. It was rather startling, though.

Apr 22, 2017, 5:12pm Top

That's very cool! They kind of remind me of pterodactyls when I see them in flight. Or maybe it's pteranodons. I can't remember the difference... :o/

Apr 22, 2017, 9:27pm Top

Oh that's so great. I used to visit a rookery in NH that had about 40 nests all together. I hope you see some babies in a few weeks!

Apr 23, 2017, 10:17am Top

It never ever occurred to me that those huge birds would nest in a tree! Not sure why.

Apr 25, 2017, 3:59am Top

I work in Regent's Park in central London, which is home to one of the largest heronries in Britain. It is quite something to see (and hear) all of them up in the trees on their nests at this time of year. I think our Grey Herons are a bit smaller than your Great Blues, but not by much. And i agree, they do look very prehistoric in flight.

Edited: Apr 30, 2017, 2:32pm Top

Wintersmith was good fun, just as all the rest of Pratchett's Tiffany Aching books have been so far. Sad to say the next in the series in not available on OverDrive as either an audio or an ebook, so I might have to resort to paper from the library. We shall see. I'll probably take a break from Sir pTerry and go back to listening to Bleak House for a while anyway.

>40 SylviaC: & >41 Marissa_Doyle: I am still slogging through that chemistry tome and it has indeed gotten dryer. :o( I will finish it, but I do wish Marissa hadn't been right about this one. LOL

Apr 30, 2017, 3:18pm Top

>49 clamairy: How does an audio edition of Dickens work? Can you stay zoned in with some of his more descriptive paragraphs? I like his stuff, I just don't know how an audio would work for me.

Apr 30, 2017, 3:24pm Top

>50 BookstoogeLT: I hit that 15 sec rewind an awful lot. :o/ (Sometimes have to go back 2 or 3 minutes if I zone out for too long.)

Apr 30, 2017, 3:43pm Top

>49 clamairy: And there I just bought the chemistry book today! Fortunately, it was a Daily Deal, so didn't cost much.

Apr 30, 2017, 4:16pm Top

>52 SylviaC: It's not bad, it just drags a bit. He seems to have packed all of his humor up front, so to speak. Not that would normally expect chemistry to be a hoot, but it does have a fun quirky title.

Apr 30, 2017, 6:05pm Top

>49 clamairy: I'm sorry. :( But yes, he did front-load the more engaging writing, and it kind of went downhill shortly thereafter.

Edited: May 1, 2017, 12:36pm Top

I feel like I just crawled out of the Mohave or Gobi or maybe even Death Valley. :oP Okay, in general The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements wasn't that bad. It's just that there was moments of brilliance interspersed with many more desiccated bits. So it made for some rough going... at least for me. I did stick with it, but not much of it stuck with me. So it goes.

Now I'm moving on to something much more palatable. It's Bewitching Season by you-know-who*.

*Not Voldemort.

May 1, 2017, 1:44pm Top

>55 clamairy: I'm on the fence about that one. I love the history of science in general, but i read some reviews questioning some of his anecdotes and explanations. Not to fully believe in the reliability of the author, who is not a scientist, would bother me a lot. But the topic is appealing. Hmm

May 1, 2017, 2:56pm Top

>56 stellarexplorer: I'm sure Amazon will let you see a chapter, but it's most likely the first chapter which was pretty awesome. It's not a terrible book. I was just expecting something more along the lines of A Short History of Nearly Everything and this was not it. It's really not for folks without some background in chemistry. (I had no trouble with what biology & physics there were in it, though I have no background in those either. For those anecdotes he explained things on a much more basic level than he seemed to with the chemistry bits.)

May 1, 2017, 9:52pm Top

Too bad he couldn't keep up the tone of the first chapter. If you're going to go with a quirky title, the rest of the book should live up to it. Oh well, it's loaded on my Kindle along with 400 other books, so I might get to it someday.

Edited: May 2, 2017, 11:18am Top

>58 SylviaC: Wow, your Kindle is loaded! Do you tend to keep things on there even after you're finished with them? I have been removing most things just to make what I have yet to read easier to navigate.

Here's a photo of my loving Sammie (Samsara) who will be turning 7 years old tomorrow. She does not looked amused, I know.

May 2, 2017, 12:28pm Top

She looks alert and attentive

May 2, 2017, 5:24pm Top

I think she's wondering why the pack leader (you) is playing with a box (the camera) without any obvious pay-off (treats) being in evidence....

May 2, 2017, 5:55pm Top

>59 clamairy: LOL, I love the picture of Sammie.

I tend to do the same in terms of removing e-books after I read them, except that I don’t remove books in a series until I’ve finished the entire series. If I see a character name that seems familiar, but I can't remember if I should know who they are, I like being able to touch their name and see when/if they appeared in the entire series in case they were introduced in a previous book.

I actually don't even keep many unread books on mine. I only have a few books on mine that I plan to read in the near future, and books I've recently purchased.

May 3, 2017, 4:30am Top

>59 clamairy: Awwww, she looks lovely! Happy birthday, Sammie!

May 3, 2017, 5:19am Top

>59 clamairy: I've got everything I've ever owned as ebook on my ereader. I made sure I bought one that could take large SD cards. I've mostly stopped re-reading things these days, so it's not that often I want to go back and browse older books. It helpfully displays things by date added, so finding the recent unread things is easy.

May 3, 2017, 8:49am Top

>59 clamairy: Sammie is gorgeous! Boxers are awesome dogs. Actually my friend, whose family have always had them, says "There are dogs and there are Boxers!"

May 3, 2017, 9:21am Top

>59 clamairy: Love that one! It is a perfect photo for going viral with memes. :)

May 3, 2017, 9:49am Top

>59 clamairy: That face says "Really? Another photo??" lol Happy Birthday Sammie :)

May 3, 2017, 4:52pm Top

Clam - I think I remember you recommending a book about earthworms, and I wrote the title down someplace but can't find it. It's probably someplace in a morass of sticky notes on one of my desks. Can you please remind me, if it was even you who mentioned it? I haven't yet figured out how to look for something in someone else's book list.

May 3, 2017, 7:00pm Top

It's probably this one - The Earth Moved by Amy Stewart. I read it last year and it's pretty good.

Edited: May 3, 2017, 8:28pm Top

>68 Darth-Heather: >69 Bookmarque: That's the one!

And thank you all for the kind words about my pup. :o)

May 3, 2017, 8:45pm Top

>59 clamairy: I love that picture of Sammie!

I understated the number of books on my Kindle. There are 581. Of those, 264 are unread. The majority of the ones that I have read, I actually read in print, and just bought the kindle version because either a) I liked it so much that I want it in every available format, or b) I liked it enough that I might reread it, but I don't have the shelf space for a print copy. I keep all of my purchases on my Kindle, just because it's easier for me to survey my choices, and whatever I want to read is right there. I've only deleted the books I didn't like. I expect I'll run out of space soon, and will have to decide what to remove.

I checked, and I have 2,427 MB free. How big is the average ebook?

May 3, 2017, 8:53pm Top

>71 SylviaC: most kindle books, in azw3 format, run from 750kb to 3mb. With the newer format becoming more prevalent (kfx), which has "enhanced" stuff, they'll be slightly bigger. Once you reach a certain point it becomes laggy though.
Do you use Calibre?

Edited: May 3, 2017, 8:58pm Top

>71 SylviaC: They aren't that big, really. Usually 1 - 3 MB, unless illustrated. LOL You have a lot of room, still!

May 3, 2017, 9:11pm Top

>71 SylviaC: Which Kindle are you using? My first gen Paperwhite is 1.32 GBs and I have 949 MB space left. So I'm using less than a third for 212 books, plus whatever stuff is on there, like the dictionary. Books you download and add yourself leave files behind even if you remove the book. I haven't bothered going in to clean up that stuff because I am not even close to running out of space.

May 4, 2017, 12:06am Top

>72 BookstoogeLT: I should be fine for a while, then!
I used to use Caliber back when I had a Sony Reader Touch. (Well, I still have the Sony, but now it's mainly just a storage device. Horrible machine. Put me off ebooks for years.) I've only used Caliber a couple of times since then.

>74 clamairy: I have a Paperwhite, 2 or 3 years old. It tells me how much space I have left, but I can't find the total space anywhere. I only have a couple of non-Kindle books on it, and anything illustrated goes to the app on my iPad. At some point I'll probably get a Kobo as well, because it would work for library ebooks. But that is far from being a priority just now.

May 4, 2017, 5:34am Top

>75 SylviaC: Thankfully, my insertion into the ebook world was with the sony505, which was awesome, if a bit heavy. Then I skipped all the 6,7,9 hundred series and went to the T1, which I really liked. But it had horrible problems with the physical buttons skipping 3-4 pages at a time, so I gave up. Went to a nook simple touch and then to a kindle4, which was the last kindle with real buttons, aside from the new premium oasis.
If you can't tell, I like ereaders :-D

May 4, 2017, 7:58am Top

>75 SylviaC: You can't read library ebooks on your Kindle? OverDrive offers both Amazon format and epub formats here. I connected my Kindle to my desktop to see what its overall capacity is because I couldn't remember.

>75 SylviaC: & >76 BookstoogeLT: I've had my Paperwhite for 4 1/2 years and it's working so well that I have no excuse for a replacement. That doesn't stop me from eyeballing the Nooks at B&N for epub files. I don't really like reading books on my Samsung tablet. It's a 10 incher and grows heavy quickly. The only things I read on that are graphic novels and (rarely) magazines. My daughter uses a Kindle touch and an 8 inch Nook tablet. She's happy with that combo.

May 4, 2017, 8:29am Top

>69 Bookmarque: thanks guys. My brother is coming for a week-long visit at the end of the month, and I like to leave guest gifts in their room. I want to give Peter the earthworm one and his wife the Soul of The Octopus one.

The nice thing is that we send books to each other so when they are done with these I will get to read them too.

May 4, 2017, 8:31am Top

Ooh, Soul of the Octopus is fab.

May 4, 2017, 5:16pm Top

>76 BookstoogeLT: The biggest problem with the Touch is that the screen is too dark. Even in well lit conditions, it's a strain to read. Reading on the Paperwhite is a completely different experience. Using the on/off switch requires both force and coordination. The touchscreen works adequately, but is not very sensitive. It was a good idea at the time, but was quickly surpassed by better technology. I do love touchscreens, though!

>77 clamairy: The documents file on my Kindle is 642 MB. So with 2,427 it should be a few years before I have to do much removal. I have 151 epub books on my Sony (mostly unread, all free), which I would transfer to a Kobo if I get one. Waterproof would be nice for the bath. As for Overdrive books, a very few of them say in the catalogue that they are available for Kindle, but when I actually get to the download page, it isn't an option. Most don't even mention any sort of Kindle format. So I read them on the iPad, but my eyes get tired faster. I just started using Hoopla through my library, but as far as I can tell, you can only read through the app, which means iPad again. It's easy to use, though. I can only borrow 5 items per month, but there's no waiting list, and I can keep them for 3 weeks (Overdrive only allows two weeks).

>78 Darth-Heather: I'm another fan of The Earth Moved.

May 4, 2017, 6:13pm Top

I've been casually eyeing a new ebook reader - eink so I can read outside. My nook is perfectly fine, but B&N are idiots and pissed me off so the Kobo is a temptation. I have 600+ epub files thanks to the Airplane Lady and so a Kindle just won't do. Plus the Kobo is waterproof and has Overdrive built in. All I'd have to do is transfer my files and go.

May 10, 2017, 5:15pm Top

Many thanks to Marissa for the lighter fare, which I sorely needed. Her Bewitching Season was good fun, and I plan to read the second in the series at some point this Summer.

May 10, 2017, 5:24pm Top

>81 Bookmarque: Not to rain on your parade, but did you buy those epub books from B&N? Because if you did, you will NOT be able to transfer them over the Kobo. DRM and all that. Feel free to ask more questions if you need to, I should be able to answer.

May 10, 2017, 5:32pm Top

No I didn't. They are just files...I loaded them up to Google drive, but I also have them on some other memory cards. There's one in my nook now, but I think a thumb drive somewhere, too.

May 10, 2017, 5:38pm Top

>84 Bookmarque: Ahh, then you're all good to go :-)

May 10, 2017, 5:40pm Top

Also, my son graduated from UCONN on Sunday. My kids instinctively know when a momentous occasion requires somber demeanor.

May 10, 2017, 6:25pm Top

Sammie is adorable! Congrats to your son! It's a great pic!

May 10, 2017, 6:29pm Top

Congratulations! Who's the other person in the pic?

Edited: May 10, 2017, 7:28pm Top

>87 catzteach: Thank you!
>88 stellarexplorer: Thank you! That's my daughter, my son and... um, that would be me.

May 10, 2017, 9:21pm Top

Excellent family portrait. I hope you're going to have it framed! Congratulations to your son.

May 11, 2017, 4:26am Top

Loads of happiness to all of you, and congratulations to your son!

May 11, 2017, 9:43am Top

>86 clamairy: You three don't look anything alike. ;) Beautiful photo, and congratulations!

May 11, 2017, 12:18pm Top

>86 clamairy: Great picture. Congratulations to the graduate.

May 12, 2017, 9:00am Top

I love the family photo! Congratulations to your son. Hope you celebrated in style!

May 12, 2017, 10:41am Top

>90 SylviaC:, >91 hfglen:, >92 MrsLee:, >93 pgmcc: & >94 Sakerfalcon: Many thanks. I am very proud of him. :o) His degree is in Actuarial Sciences.

May 13, 2017, 6:49pm Top

I bought 10% Human: How Your Body's Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness today, as a $1.99 Amazon deal and I've already been sucked right in. I wonder if I have more of an affinity for biology than I do chemistry...

May 13, 2017, 7:35pm Top

>96 clamairy: There seem to be a lot of books lately on that subject, and I'm trying not to buy too many of them. But it's only $1.99 here, too, and I have over 2400 MB of free space on my Kindle, so what do I have to lose?

May 13, 2017, 8:00pm Top

>97 SylviaC: Um... how many other books on gut bacteria do you already own?

May 13, 2017, 8:49pm Top

>96 clamairy: I looked long and hard at that one, but decided I would want to see it and thumb through it, or at least hear someone else's opinion before I bought one. I want a well done book on the subject, so let me know what you think! :)

May 13, 2017, 9:13pm Top

>98 clamairy: Well...they're not all about gut bacteria...there are parasites, mites, viruses, and all the other creepy crawlies that live in or on us. I don't actually own a lot of books on the subject, but only because I keep talking myself out of buying them.

May 13, 2017, 9:28pm Top

>99 MrsLee: It has an almost ridiculously high rating here on LT, which I checked before I bought it. (I almost always do that if it's a book I've heard little or nothing about before.)

>100 SylviaC: Yes, it's about other things that live in/on us. It was a feeble attempt at humor.

Edited: May 14, 2017, 3:06am Top

>98 clamairy: If plagues and viruses count, I have 14:


I'm anxious to hear whether this one ought to be added to its siblings

May 14, 2017, 12:22pm Top

>102 stellarexplorer: If we get into plagues, my total shoots right up.

Edited: May 14, 2017, 12:54pm Top

Slowly slipping on my face mask as I read about all these microbes and diseases.

Edited: May 14, 2017, 3:38pm Top

>102 stellarexplorer: I've read three of those, and I own two more I haven't read. What about Guns, Germs and Steel? Or is that more anthropology and less epidemiology?

>103 SylviaC: I have a bunch of my fiction showing up when I search 'plague.'

>104 pgmcc: :o)

May 14, 2017, 4:20pm Top

>105 clamairy: I see Gun, Germs and Steel as one of the prominent texts of the emerging field of Big History (along with David Christian's Maps of Time) ,and a pretty influential book. Its primary motivation is to explain the success of Eurasian peoples in comparison to that of Subsaharan Africans, Pacific Islanders, etc, and to show that this is not due to any underlying superiority or genetic difference but rather to advantages that are primarily accidents of location. The germs part refers largely to the exposure to and thus greater resistance to many endemic diseases that proved deadly to populations newly in contact with Eurasians.

I would expect the book is well within your wheelhouse!

May 14, 2017, 5:37pm Top

>106 stellarexplorer: Oh, I have already read it! (Devoured it, even) I just wondered why you didn't have it tagged 'disease.'

May 14, 2017, 6:02pm Top

>107 clamairy: Of course you have! Sorry!

The linked books were all tagged "infectious disease". I guess when I tagged Guns, Germs, it didn't seem a prominent enough component of the book to so tag it.

My tags for GGaS, fwiw:

prehistory, anthropology, archeology, civilization, evolution, history, geography, sociology, technology, world civilization, historiography, Big History

May 14, 2017, 6:32pm Top

I do have GG&S tagged "diseases" and "epidemics", but I agree with stellarexplorer that the Germs part wasn't that prominent. I liked the book a lot, too, with my only complaints being Diamond's tendency to use circular arguments, and his way of telling you everything that he is going to say, saying it, and then telling you what he said. It was fascinating, though.

May 14, 2017, 6:55pm Top

>86 clamairy: belated congrats to you and the new Husky alum!

May 14, 2017, 8:51pm Top

>110 Jim53: Thank you! I was counting the NCAA banners hanging very prominently from he ceiling in Gampel Pavilion and couldn't help but notice just how many more there were for the women's hoops team than there were for the men's. ;o)

>109 SylviaC: I only tagged it as 'disease' today, so I could find it more readily. It was fascinating, but I still preferred Diamond's The Third Chimpanzee.

May 17, 2017, 10:59am Top

>96 clamairy: Oh, you got me with 10% Human: How Your Body's Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness...I've just started reading, and it does suck you in.

Edited: May 23, 2017, 10:20pm Top

I enjoyed I Shall Wear Midnight a bit more than I had Wintersmith, and I'm having some trouble putting my finger on why. Perhaps it was because Tiffany Aching seemed a bit more self-assured in this one. Once again I'm sure my neighbors believe I am deranged, as I was listening while weeding my herb garden and cackling gleefully much of the time.

Edited: May 25, 2017, 9:10am Top

>113 clamairy: At least you have the excuse of a book. I go out in my garden on the weekends and cackle, cajole, castigate and cheer to my plants and the various fauna I happen upon.

Edited: May 24, 2017, 9:44pm Top

>114 MrsLee: True, though I can't always be sure anyone but me knows about the audiobook. I make a point of wearing ear buds that are clearly visible hoping that might dispel some of the miasma of lunacy that envelops me.

Edited: May 24, 2017, 10:21pm Top

I finished off 10% Human last night, and I do recommend it for anyone who is on the fence about it. I think it's still only $1.99 for Kindle. It was when I bought it for my brother yesterday.

There's quite a bit to digest here. No pun intended. Okay... maybe just a whiff of punning was intentional. The author did get a bit repetitive at times, and I felt like I was being beaten over the head with certain things, but it general it was well written and even somewhat shocking to me. I had been hearing for several years now just how crucial maintaining a healthy microbial balance is for overall health, but I didn't realize how critical it is.

There were some parts that were painful for me to read. I suspect anyone who knows, loves, lives with, or has lost someone to one of the diseases/conditions discussed will feel similarly. I couldn't help thinking that if I'd had some of this information 10 years ago I might have at least been able to mitigate some of what my husband went through before he passed. It's not too late to improve my own microbes, at least.

Just for clarification, this book is much heavier on the science than it is on the recommendation side of things.

May 24, 2017, 11:56pm Top

>116 clamairy: I did pick it up for Kindle. Too bad it doesn't seem to be available in audio (not here, anyway), because it's just the sort of thing I like to listen to.

May 25, 2017, 9:19am Top

>116 clamairy: Well, that pushed me over the edge. That recommendation along with the price.

I can't remember where I read/heard it, but someone said that back when Pasteur and those other dudes were discovering microbes and germs, the scales tipped towards every microbe being suspect, whereas it could have gone the other way because there were scientists who tried to tout the benefits, but soap companies and pharmaceuticals, etc. got on the bandwagon of germs=bad and advertised such, so here we are.

May 25, 2017, 11:14am Top

>118 MrsLee: Leading, for one thing, to exploiting public fear by marketing ill-advised and unnecessary antibacterial soaps...

May 25, 2017, 11:38am Top

>119 stellarexplorer: It really annoys me how hard I have to search for dish and hand soap that is not antibacterial.

The Dirt on Clean: An unsanitized history has a good section on how the soap and pharmaceutical industry has influenced our views on hygiene.

May 25, 2017, 11:58am Top

Sylvia, me too! I end up waiting for sales at Crabtree & Evelyn to stock up on soap, because their soaps don't have a lot of the additives supermarket soap does.

May 25, 2017, 1:22pm Top

yeah, the dirt / germs thing has gotten really out of hand. These days when I get veggies from my organic farmers I don't even clean them all that well. The best way to boost you immune system is to eat nice, clean dirt, if that make sense. And it's also a way to preserve veggies for winter storage - leave the dirt on!

May 25, 2017, 5:00pm Top

The FDA banned those anti-bacterial additives from soap last fall because they weren't really protecting the public in the way we'd been told. Manufacturers have until September of this year to eliminate them from their product (which is one reason you see the stuff on sale so much these days).

May 25, 2017, 5:02pm Top

>123 jillmwo: I am slightly less irate now! :)

May 25, 2017, 5:34pm Top

>119 stellarexplorer: By a curious coincidence, the local rag today reported a Kenyan study reported a Kenyan (!) study indicating that antibacterial soaps and handwashes that advertise that they "kill 99.9% of known germs" are rarely more than 50% effective on the commonest kinds. I find that interesting, if only because it indicates limited effectiveness in breeding resistant superbugs.

Edited: May 25, 2017, 5:37pm Top

Glad you all got that out of your systems. ;o)

I've been using a combination of Meyer's Clean Day products and Melaleuca products in my home for quite a while now. (I'm phasing out the Melaleuca stuff and phasing in the Meyer's because they are so much more accessible. Well, and because they smell so freaking awesome.)

>125 hfglen: Sorry, you posted while I was typing. That does not surprise me one bit.

May 25, 2017, 9:12pm Top

>125 hfglen: >126 clamairy: It's of some consolation, but it doesn't erase the willingness to market a product that was believed to promote the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

May 28, 2017, 12:12pm Top

Oogh, the puns. Well, I took a book bullet on 10% Human and once it came in from the library, I read it in one day. Thanks!

May 28, 2017, 12:22pm Top

>128 reconditereader: I bought that as well, and it is a book my husband is actually reading! He's so hard to buy books for.

May 28, 2017, 2:40pm Top

>128 reconditereader: You're most welcome. Hope it has a positive impact. :o)

>129 MrsLee: That's wonderful news. It does start to drag just a smidge past the halfway point.

So I bailed on A Little Life. I was enjoy the writing style, but not the story so much. I decided to check out the reviews here on LT and I read enough spoilers to realize I didn't want to read something traumatic right now. I may go back to it at some point, but probably not. I might have stuck with it if it had been shorter, but at over 800 pages I was too intimidated to spend so much time on a depressing subject. Not sure what to try next.

Edited: May 31, 2017, 4:19pm Top

I finished off Vera which was book bullet fired by sakerfalcon. Holy shnikies, Batman! This is the book that inspired Daphne du Maurier to write Rebecca. In many ways it is far darker, as it is a much less fanciful tale. The book will be turning 100 in a few years, and it's aged rather well.

I would be careful who I recommended this one to. It is not for the fainthearted. It's the engrossing tale of an naïve young woman sucked into a relationship with a self-absorbed domineering older man who excels at good appearances. von Arnim claims to have based the character on her second husband. *shudder*

(It is free on Amazon, BTW.)

May 31, 2017, 8:21pm Top

>131 clamairy: I love Rebecca so I'm quite intrigued. And it's free on Amazon?? Hmm!

Jun 1, 2017, 10:10am Top

>131 clamairy: :o That is all kinds of horrible shrapnel going on there. Loved Rebecca, don't like to read about that stuff, but free on Amazon...

Jun 1, 2017, 10:17am Top

>132 Narilka: & >133 MrsLee: I'm in a bit of a quandary because I enjoyed the read but I was uncomfortable with some of it and wanted desperately to reach into the book and prevent some things from happening. That's the sign of a well written engaging story, I know. I'd have to say that I prefer Rebecca only because that felt so far removed from real life that I could enjoy the drama. While this one, well... I'm sure we all know people like Wemyss. In fact he reminds me of many of our current crop of politicians. :o(

Jun 1, 2017, 5:33pm Top

>131 clamairy: Added it to my "Pending" list over on Amazon.

Jun 2, 2017, 6:50am Top

>131 clamairy:, >134 clamairy: I'm glad Vera was a good read for you. It's not a book one can say one "enjoyed" but it is powerful, gripping and moving. I too wanted to reach into the book to influence the characters. Sadly, it is still all too relevant to too many relationships in our own time.

Jun 2, 2017, 5:55pm Top

>132 Narilka:, >133 MrsLee: & >135 jillmwo: I hope you are all as enthralled as I was.

>136 Sakerfalcon: No, I guess human nature doesn't change much. I suspect this kind of relationship is actually standard in many parts of the world, and I am mortified by the thought. :o(

Edited: Jun 18, 2017, 2:33pm Top

I finally finished listening to Bleak House and I did enjoy it very much indeed. However, I think my next foray into his works will be to listen to something I've already read and save subsequent first exposures for print. His writing is a bit chewy and I find myself constantly hitting the 30 second replay icon, which is tough when one is wearing gardening gloves.

Jun 18, 2017, 4:21pm Top

>138 clamairy: Hmmm! Dickens in gardening gloves. Sounds pornographic.

Jun 18, 2017, 6:32pm Top

>139 pgmcc: What kind of medication are you taking, my friend? I want some...

Jun 18, 2017, 6:49pm Top

What kind of gloves do you use when you read a paper book? Does it make a difference if it a paperback or a hardback? And how about an e-book? Inquiring minds!

Jun 18, 2017, 9:38pm Top

>141 suitable1: I actually was wearing thin cotton gloves at night while using my Kindle for a couple of Winters in a row. It wasn't to keep my hands warm but because I was trying to use an intensive moisturizer. Sometimes I'd have to swipe a few times to get the next page.

Jun 19, 2017, 6:57am Top

I rest my case.

Edited: Jun 27, 2017, 5:47pm Top

I finished off Bill Bryson's The Road to Little Dribbling a couple of days ago. He's definitely gotten a bit crankier with age, but at least he's still incredibly funny. One of the best parts of the book IMHO was that I got to witness him bashing the denizens of a country other than my own for a change.

I'd just like to share a couple of the tastier tidbits. This comment while riding a train with avid cell phone users:
"... people in Britain still whisper when sharing a confidence face to face, but give them a cell phone, a seat in a railway car, and a sexually transmitted disease and they’ll share the news with everyone."

And this comment about errors pretty much everywhere he looked.
"Many people—people who make posters for leading publishers, write captions for the BBC, compose letters and advertisements for important institutions—seem to think that capitalization and marks of punctuation are condiments that you sprinkle through any collection of words as if from a salt shaker."

I've moved on to The Circle and haven't decided if I'm staying with it. I'm enjoying it, but I'm not terribly far into it yet.

Jun 27, 2017, 3:28pm Top

>144 clamairy: He sure can turn a phrase :) I'm curious about The Circle. I hope it's good enough to finish.

Jun 27, 2017, 5:03pm Top

>144 clamairy: the question is really whether you find The Circle to be somewhere in between slightly unsettling and utterly terrifying. I'll be watching to see which it is.

Jun 28, 2017, 12:04pm Top

>145 Narilka: & >146 jillmwo: I'll be sure to keep you filled in as I go. So far it's very interesting but I'm 10% of the way into it.

Jun 28, 2017, 1:15pm Top

I bought The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language from Audible during one of those daily deals, and it was well worth it. I'll probably listen to it again in a few years.

Jun 28, 2017, 1:21pm Top

>148 clamairy: I enjoyed that one, too! I loved his humour as he connected one word to another.

Jun 28, 2017, 1:54pm Top

I have that as an audio, too, probably from the same sale. It's a hoot and well worth listening to again since it's so jammed with interesting bits.

Jun 28, 2017, 4:45pm Top

I broke down and joined Audible for a year for $99. It came with 12 credits. (I think that deal ends tonight.) I figured that between the 12 credits and the access to all of the sales (which I didn't have before) I should be all set. I'll also still use OverDrive to borrow audiobooks. Now that I'm using my phone (Samsung Galaxy) instead of my iPod to listen to everything it is definitely much more convenient to use Audible.

Jul 2, 2017, 9:45am Top

>145 Narilka: & >146 jillmwo: ACK! I'm only about one third of the way through this, but holy shit. o.0

Jul 2, 2017, 10:02pm Top

>152 clamairy: Holy shit good or holy shit bad? Or possibly both? :)

Jul 2, 2017, 10:24pm Top

>153 Narilka: Well, I've certainly gotten sucked in. So yes, both!

On a side note, I did almost bail out when it was revealed Mae's father is suffering from MS. :o/ I wasn't sure I wanted to face any of that in a novel. My husband struggled with that disease for more than two decades before he passed away. But I put on my big girl britches and just got on with it.

Jul 7, 2017, 3:21pm Top

Oy. Can that just be my review? "Oy."

I didn't hate this, but I think Eggars really dropped the ball when he was roughly 3/4th of the way across the court. After that it was a painful slog punctuated with brief moments of intensity. This could have been a compelling story populated with characters a reader might embrace, but it is not. On the other hand, I do care about the issue of privacy and the all too willing relinquishment of same in exchange for... well, I'm not sure what we're getting out of this bargain. Attention?

I hear the movie has gotten rough reviews as well, so I'll be skipping that.

On to World of Trouble which is the third book in The Last Policeman series.

Jul 7, 2017, 3:35pm Top

>155 clamairy: Tim Spaulding did a one-word review, so I imagine you are entitled as well. Although, he has taken a lot of heat for it, so be ready. ;)

Jul 7, 2017, 8:55pm Top

>155 clamairy: Now I'm conflicted. Do you think it's worth reading even with the painful ending?

Jul 8, 2017, 2:52pm Top

>156 MrsLee: I do recall timspalding's one word review "No" but I cannot seem to recall which book he was reviewing. I'm going to go scope it out.

Haa! I found a more recent one: https://www.librarything.com/review/142453816

And another: https://www.librarything.com/review/3589641

Here is the review that caused all of the hoopla! It is not a book I am familiar with:

>157 Narilka: I wouldn't buy it, but if you can read it for free then I would say yes.

Jul 8, 2017, 5:30pm Top

>158 clamairy: I looked too and found those one word reviews, but didn't see an review for this particular book

Jul 8, 2017, 9:02pm Top

>159 stellarexplorer: There is a one word review for this book now. :o)

Jul 9, 2017, 12:17am Top

Oy works. ;)

Jul 9, 2017, 9:10am Top

Didn't take long for someone to flag it. 😊

Jul 9, 2017, 11:32am Top

That's outrageous. What?! I liked it. Maybe that will compensate.

Jul 9, 2017, 12:20pm Top

>162 clamairy: Someone flagged your review of Circle? When someone flags something, do they have to state why they are flagging it and do you as the reviewer see those statements? Or does it all go through LT people?

Edited: Jul 9, 2017, 1:06pm Top

It's a blue flag*, which means someone decided that it's not a review. Based on the fact, I presume, that it is one word. LOL

Here's a link: https://www.librarything.com/work/14149720/reviews/142332846

*When you hover over the flag with your cursor it will say "Flagged as not a review." Often people accidentally use the review field for comments they meant to show up only in their own library. Such as "borrowed from Dad" or "half read."

A red flag means "Flagged as abuse of the terms of service." Which almost always refers to spam, but can also be given for a review that was swiped from elsewhere, or several other reasons that I can't think of at the moment.

And no, I cannot see who flagged it.

Jul 9, 2017, 1:19pm Top

Well, I counter-flagged the flag. I think it takes more than one counter-flag to remove the flag. :)

Jul 9, 2017, 1:31pm Top

>165 clamairy: Thanks for explaining.

>166 MrsLee: How do you counterflag? I was afraid of pressing the "flag this" to find out if it was under there, as I didn't want to accidentally flag C's review :-)

Jul 9, 2017, 2:36pm Top

>167 BookstoogeLT: It is scary, but if you click the "flag this" you will see an option at the bottom of the choices which is something like, "this is too a review!" Click on that.

Edited: Jul 9, 2017, 2:39pm Top

Many thanks, but I plan to wear that flag as a badge of honor.
(When and if it returns...)

Jul 9, 2017, 2:53pm Top

>168 MrsLee: Thanks MrsLee.

Jul 9, 2017, 4:21pm Top

>169 clamairy: I can always go flag it again...

I have to admit that the whole kerfluffle people get into rather amuses me. I am evil.

Edited: Jul 9, 2017, 7:44pm Top

>171 MrsLee: You're not evil. Well, if you are then I am doubly so. During the first brouhaha over Tim's "No" review I ran right off to give it a thumb up.

Jul 9, 2017, 7:31pm Top

I think we have the numbers among the readership of this thread alone to unflag pretty much anything that gets flagged. Which leaves clamairy free to say anything she wishes. ;-/
Not that she wouldn't otherwise.

Jul 9, 2017, 7:46pm Top

>173 stellarexplorer: Thanks, stellar. I'm chuckling to myself because someone just flagged it again.

Jul 9, 2017, 9:02pm Top

I can see the recent posts in this thread being presented as evidence of a conspiracy.

Jul 9, 2017, 10:58pm Top


Jul 9, 2017, 11:01pm Top

What happens if you counterflag (as I just did) but there was no flag present at the time? Does it count against a future flag?

Edited: Jul 10, 2017, 11:45am Top

It's a lost cause, peeps. There are more of 'them' than there are of you.

Jul 10, 2017, 12:19pm Top

>178 clamairy: The only thing to say in that case is, "Oy!"

Jul 10, 2017, 12:40pm Top

>179 pgmcc: With an optional "vey" tagged on.

Jul 10, 2017, 8:38pm Top

Jul 10, 2017, 9:49pm Top

>178 clamairy: I gave it a thumbs up and counter flagged it the other day because I thought it was funny. :) Then I just now went back to it and tried to counter flag it again out of curiosity to see if I could counter the new flags. Alas, there's apparently only one counter flag per person. :) Since it did nothing apparent when I clicked the flag, I'm not sure if this time it recorded me as actually flagging it or not.

Jul 10, 2017, 10:40pm Top

Not to worry. Each time it is successfully counter-flagged someone is bound to come along and flag it again. Oddly enough I realized that I posted another one word review a few years ago and no one ever bothered flagging that one.

Jul 10, 2017, 11:01pm Top

I think it takes two counterflags to counter one flag. So there may be more of us than them, but we have less power.

The whole "We don't like the way you write your reviews" drives me crazy, and whenever I see the subject of a thread turn to reviews, I get right out of there, because it will probably turn nasty. Except, of course, for here in the Green Dragon, because we can all be relied on for delightful, civilized discourse!

Jul 11, 2017, 9:52am Top

>183 clamairy: Possibly some diehard fans of the author makes a difference? I will stand directly behind you in this battle, clam, I want you to know that. ;)

Jul 11, 2017, 10:51am Top

We stand together!

Jul 11, 2017, 12:39pm Top

>185 MrsLee:

How far behind?

Jul 11, 2017, 2:40pm Top

This was the first thread I looked at after my surgery anesthesia. I think I was not ready.

Jul 11, 2017, 5:09pm Top

>188 Jim53: Hee hee.... But would you ever truly be ready for this thread?

>185 MrsLee: & >186 stellarexplorer: I do appreciate it. But it's small potatoes after all, isn't it?

>187 suitable1: Several thousand miles, it would seem.

Jul 11, 2017, 8:55pm Top

>189 clamairy: Very, but it's fun

Jul 11, 2017, 9:33pm Top

Jul 12, 2017, 10:16am Top

>189 clamairy: Well, yes, but only if we are facing east. If we both turn to the west, then I'm out in front! Really, I was thinking about a body shield. That's what that phrase always reminds me of. :D I suppose it was meant to be back to back so no one could sneak up on you in battle? That sounds more supportive.

Jul 13, 2017, 10:42am Top

This was part of the Librarything bookgroup read. I wasn't impressed, it could have done a lot more than it did. Oy probably isn't that far off the mark although I think I was more wordy.

Edited: Jul 13, 2017, 12:56pm Top

>193 reading_fox: Yes, I could have been much more accurate with my one word review."Disappointed" would be much more apropriate.

Edited: Jul 13, 2017, 6:10pm Top

I stayed up late to finish World of Trouble last night. I needed to know how it wrapped up. The series as a whole is decent, but I'm not sure how likely I will be to recommend it. I certainly commiserated with Henry, but for some reason that I am unable to articulate the second two books in this series left me much less satisfied than the first book did.

I've moved on to The Nightingale which has been languishing on my Kindle since December of 2015.

Jul 13, 2017, 8:53pm Top

I liked the first and third books, and didn't care as much about the second. I didn't think any of them was particularly stellar as a mystery, but they were interesting as speculation about human responses. I found the final chapter of the last book quite satisfying.

Jul 13, 2017, 10:00pm Top

>196 SylviaC: Yes, and heartbreaking.

Jul 13, 2017, 10:31pm Top

>196 SylviaC: That too.

Edited: Jul 15, 2017, 11:44pm Top

Today I finished off The Blue Sword while playing in the dirt. (i.e. weeding, cursing & sweating.) I have to thank SylviaC for recommending it in her thread. This one was pure pleasure. This was my first exposure to Robin McKinley, despite owning a couple of her ebooks. I'm definitely going to read/listen to more of her.

Jul 16, 2017, 9:27am Top

>199 clamairy: I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Jul 16, 2017, 3:32pm Top

>199 clamairy: I enjoyed that one a lot when I finally got to it last year.

Jul 16, 2017, 11:35pm Top

>201 Jim53: It's a lot older than I realized. (It was published in the early 80s, I believe. With a kick-ass woman warrior who seems most timely!)

Jul 17, 2017, 12:02am Top

I think I first read it when it was pretty new, so it is ingrained as part of my fantasy worldview

Jul 17, 2017, 8:29am Top

>203 SylviaC: Me too!

>199 clamairy: The hero and the crown is also set in Damar and tells Aerin's story (she is mentioned in The blue sword). So you might like to read that one next if you can get your hands on it.

Jul 17, 2017, 1:29pm Top

>202 clamairy: seems to me that a kick-ass woman warrior is always timely.

Jul 17, 2017, 5:26pm Top

>205 Jim53: Oh yes, but it seems as if they have been few and far between (virtually non-existent) in fantasy & scifi until the last few decades.

Jul 17, 2017, 8:15pm Top

So, for those who see Wonder Woman as a model, have we all been waiting for Gadot?

Jul 17, 2017, 11:17pm Top


Edited: Jul 26, 2017, 12:57pm Top

Just finished The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah*. And... wow. I didn't think the first half of this book was particularly well written but it improved as it progressed. The second half packs some serious emotional wallops. There is also much violence and some **Attention SylviaC** graphic scenes of torture. It was well worth the angst, and I had a lot of trouble putting it down as I neared the end.

I'm moving on to Salvage the Bones.

*It's the first book of hers I've ever read, though I think I own a few more trade paperbacks I snagged for $1 at my library's used book sale.

Jul 26, 2017, 11:19pm Top

Thanks for the warning!

Edited: Jul 27, 2017, 9:09pm Top

>210 SylviaC: You're welcome!

I already gave up on Salvage the Bones. I decided to check out the reviews in here and saw there was both sexual abuse of a minor and animal abuse and decided I didn't want to deal with either one of those things. So I returned the ebook loan and I have moved on to The Orphan Master's Son.

Aug 13, 2017, 5:04pm Top

Sorry I haven't been around much. I try to drop by once a day to make sure things are going smoothly, but I don't have much time to post.

I did finish The Orphan Master's Son on the ferry ride home from Long Island today. This one took me much longer to get through than it should have, and only partly because I've been so busy. It was also due to the fact that although it's beautifully written and I cared about the characters it is also dark and deals with some very distressing situations. So, yeah... another one I that I'll have trouble recommending to anyone.

Onto something much lighter in tone, Fool Moon.

Aug 13, 2017, 5:25pm Top

>212 clamairy: Promise me you won't quit reading Butcher after you read Fool Moon! It almost made me quit, but I'm glad I didn't.

Aug 13, 2017, 7:12pm Top

>213 MrsLee: Uh oh. Do you think I'd be better off listening to this one?

Also, NO PROMISES. ;o)

Aug 13, 2017, 7:44pm Top

>214 clamairy: OR you could read his excellent Codex Alera series...

Aug 13, 2017, 10:13pm Top

>215 BookstoogeLT: Hopefully I'll make it to those eventually. :o)

Aug 14, 2017, 6:24am Top

>215 BookstoogeLT: - YMMV of course, but I thought Alera was very much poorer than Dresden - it is perhaps a better concept but he never really did anything interesting with the magic, and the characters just get more ever more powerful without balance. There were opportunities to have a great struggles and ambiguity around what was 'best/right' and he took the easy black and white path. Dresden at least acknowledges the grey. Plus it's really obvious from book 1 what the eventual outcome will be.

Edited: Aug 14, 2017, 4:54pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Aug 15, 2017, 9:20am Top

>214 clamairy: Well, the first time I read it, was on my Kindle, that's when I was pretty disgusted. To me, it seemed as though he was dumping every type of werewolf he could imagine into the story, just because. The second time I read it, was in paperback form, I read it to get to the next book in the series, which is one of my favorites. The third time I read it was in audio, and I actually didn't hate it. I mean, who could hate anything that James Marsters reads? So I don't know whether I didn't hate it because of the way he read it, or whether I am simply immune now.

Edited: Aug 15, 2017, 9:49pm Top

>219 MrsLee: Audio it is, then. :o)

I've already moved on to something else. I needed a serious change of scenery after the last two books I read, anyway. The first was set in Nazi Occupied France and the second in North Korea under Kim Jong-il. I'm aching for some fluff.

Aug 17, 2017, 7:14pm Top

May I recommend Howl's Moving Castle? Actually light-hearted and rather soothing. Anything by D.E. Stevenson. What else? The Phryne Fisher mysteries by Kerry Greenwood are a form of living vicariously (both money and men in abundance...)

Aug 17, 2017, 9:56pm Top

>221 jillmwo: there is a pretty nice set of videos of the Phryne Fisher stories. I watched a bunch of them while convalescing.

Edited: Aug 18, 2017, 12:07pm Top

>221 jillmwo: Yes, you may! I'm reading some Irish fluff right now, but I'll see if I can find my daughter's copy of Howl's Moving Castle in her room. She's left almost all of her books here. I'll do some searching on OverDrive for the others.

Aug 18, 2017, 6:30pm Top

I will second, or rather third the suggestion for Phryne Fisher. The books are great fun, but so is the TV series, and lush with costumes and sets. Real eye candy.

Aug 18, 2017, 8:39pm Top

>224 MrsLee: I bought Howl's Moving Castle for my Kindle and I requested the only Phryne Fisher book available through OverDrive. :o)

Aug 20, 2017, 10:20am Top

Pleasant enough fluff, but possibly too fluffy for my needs...

Aug 20, 2017, 10:23am Top

> 226

How is fluff measured?

Aug 20, 2017, 10:26am Top

>226 clamairy: People in Ireland would be of that opinion when her first book was published.

Aug 20, 2017, 10:33am Top

>227 suitable1: In millimeters, I'd guess. ;o)

>228 pgmcc: I enjoyed the one other thing of hers I'd read, but this was fantasy and I'm thinking it didn't suit her style as well. Plus at one point she wrote someone was arranging objects in a "quadrilateral triangle" and my head almost exploded.

Aug 20, 2017, 10:48am Top

>229 clamairy: a "quadrilateral triangle"

Well I suppose that could give you a distorted pyramid ;-)

Aug 20, 2017, 10:50am Top

>229 clamairy: She is obviously working in n-dimensional space.

I remember reading Robert Shaw's Ragged Astronauts trilogy. It was great fun. In the first book there is discussion about barrel making and the coopers' representative body was discussing the difficulty of calculating Pi. Towards the end of the third trilogy, after all the excitement and turmoil of the adventures, the coopers came to the ruler to inform him that they had carried out many experiments and had discovered that Pi was now exactly three. This was Shaw's way of indicating that the adventures had resulted in transportation to another dimension.

The trilogy is good fun and involves two planets that orbit one another and share an hour-glass shaped atmosphere. This leads to attempts to travel from one planet to another. Hot air balloons and wooden spaceships are involved. Great entertainment.

Aug 20, 2017, 10:50am Top

>230 hfglen: It was only three objects. :o( I'm assuming she meant "equilateral" and either she and/or her editors didn't bother looking it up.

Aug 20, 2017, 10:51am Top

>231 pgmcc: Ooooh, that does sound good!

Sep 4, 2017, 12:48pm Top

Howl's Moving Castle was quite enjoyable, and pretty much just what I needed. Thanks, jillmwo!

I apologize for not being around much the last few weeks. I doubt I will have much time to spend in here until the beginning of October.

In the mean time, happy reading, all of you! :o)

Sep 4, 2017, 1:16pm Top

>234 clamairy: It's always nice to know that a recommendation has turned out to be satisfactory! I'm glad. Stay well, my dear!

Sep 4, 2017, 1:16pm Top

>234 clamairy: Glad you liked it. I loved it when I read it. Of course, I'd seen the Miyazaki film first, so wasn't really prepared for the differences :-)

Sep 4, 2017, 1:18pm Top

>234 clamairy: Take care, live well, and don't forget to come back in October!

Sep 5, 2017, 3:54am Top

Howl's moving castle is one of my all-time favourite books. Glad you enjoyed it too. I hope you have a good September and look forward to seeing you back here soon.

Oct 5, 2017, 7:55pm Top

Ola, peeps. I'm sort of back, but I will be delving into everyone's threads sloooowly. Have patience with me, I beg you. Could be months before I catch up.

The only other book (besides Howl's) that I finished in September was Big Little Lies. It was a prefect beach read. I probably never would have picked it up if I hadn't gotten inadvertently sucked into the miniseries on HBO a few months ago. While buzzing channels I happened upon a scene (superbly acted by Nicole Kidman & Robin Weigert) of a woman discussing her marriage with her therapist. I was intrigued. The previews for the show looked sort of fluffy. But the show (and book) had a bit more depth. The book was also much funnier.

I did start a few other books, even got halfway through one, but had to let them go due real-life activities. (All of which were good!)

Here are a handful of cheese & beach pics.

The dedicated cheese drawer of the beach house fridge:

The view from my window:

And sunset over the bay. Which was the view from the other side of the house:

And I believe I'll save my post about Lincoln in the Bardo for another time.

Oct 5, 2017, 8:06pm Top

I am in awe of your cheese hoard.

Oct 5, 2017, 8:35pm Top

>239 clamairy: That smoked mozzarella was very good--I bought it a few times this summer.

Oct 5, 2017, 9:04pm Top

Between the cheese and the scenery (and presumably, the company) I can understand that you might have been distracted from reading. Glad you had a good time!

Oct 5, 2017, 9:28pm Top

Lovely views and cheeses!

Oct 5, 2017, 9:38pm Top

>239 clamairy: Welcome back! What I want to know is whether there was any cheese left by the end. :)

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 10:23pm Top

>240 Narilka: >241 Marissa_Doyle: >242 SylviaC: >243 stellarexplorer: Thank you all! The location and the company were wonderful. Hurricane Jose was lingering offshore and causing the surf to roil a bit* the first few days. Luckily there was a heated pool to swim in since we didn't want to die horribly. I did spend plenty of time on the beach, just not in the ocean.

>244 YouKneeK: Yes, in fact there was a decent amount left, and I am still working on some. And that Irish one hasn't even been opened yet. :o)

*Not sure if this will be visible to all (any?) of you: https://www.instagram.com/p/BZPVPdwljMF/

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 11:47pm Top

>245 clamairy: Clearly you needed some of your pub friends there if you had cheese left over.

So glad you had a beautiful time. And glad to have you back, too.

Oct 5, 2017, 11:57pm Top

Yeah, great audio effects on that video!

Oct 6, 2017, 12:36am Top

>245 clamairy: that looks like how the Oregon Coast looks most of the time.

Oct 6, 2017, 2:27am Top

Such beautiful pictures! I can see that you would rather have been looking at the view while eating cheese than staring at a screen :-)

Dec 11, 2017, 2:20pm Top

Clammy - haven't seen you about lately. Hope all is well in your world.

Dec 11, 2017, 4:34pm Top

What Darth said in #250.

Dec 11, 2017, 6:27pm Top

What pgmcc said Darth said

Dec 11, 2017, 9:38pm Top

What stellarexplorer said pgmcc said Darth said.

Dec 12, 2017, 8:40am Top

She has been present on FB, so I'm thinking just a busy time of year? We do miss you here though!

Dec 13, 2017, 7:26pm Top

Sorry folks. Yes, there is a lot going on. (More than usual for the time of year, even.) I'm hoping to move next Summer, and I'm stressing over it... but it needs to be done. I'm planning to buy out my siblings' shares of my mom's house on the Eastern end of Long Island. The house is a short walk from the bay, and an even shorter walk from a lovely vineyard. It's much smaller than the home I have now, but by that time I will be living alone. I certainly don't need a house and yard this size, and all of the effort they require to maintain.

I haven't been reading much, because my mind has been racing. I will try to drop in again and list the few books I have managed to get through.

Many thanks for thinking of me.

Dec 13, 2017, 9:25pm Top

Exciting to hear that - hoping it will be a great change for you!

Dec 14, 2017, 5:53am Top

That sounds like a good plan, and a lovely location. I hope all goes well for you.

Dec 14, 2017, 9:05am Top

but by that time I will be living alone.

I hope you are ok. {{hugs}}
If you ever need to get away, it's a short drive up here to southern NH. I hope you like cats :)

Dec 14, 2017, 9:16am Top

>255 clamairy: How are you going to transport the bears that visit your garden?

Dec 14, 2017, 9:31am Top

>255 clamairy: As hard as change is, it can be very exciting, too! May you have joy amongst the stress as you prepare for this change. A short walk to the bay sounds like my version of heaven. :) Also, the smaller house and yard.

Dec 15, 2017, 7:45pm Top

Thinking of you as you go through all this. We're in the midst of big changes too, and I know how easy it is to get overwhelmed.

Dec 16, 2017, 9:21am Top

Good luck to you in preparing for this big change! It sounds like a lovely location.

Edited: Jan 19, 5:49pm Top

To the best of mt very leaky recollection these are the books I finished before the end of 2017.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Stiletto by Daniel O'Malley

Jan 19, 5:55pm Top

My deepest apologies to those of you who's threads & journals I never finished reading towards the end of last year. I'll do my best to keep up with all of your new ones, at least until the maelstrom descends upon me come late Spring.

Group: The Green Dragon

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