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lindapanzo's first period reading

This topic was continued by lindapanzo's second period reading.

2018 Category Challenge

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Edited: Apr 28, 9:37pm Top

I'm back for my 10th year in the category challenge. I've absolutely loved doing this and hope you'll follow along as I reach for my goals.

I've enjoyed a more simplified approach in recent years. For me, 18 categories for 2018 is too much but I will go with 8 and these are noted below, always subject to change, as usual. I'll have 4 categories with 20 books each and 4 with 10 books each, for a total of 120, which is about my usual for the year.

The bulk of my reading will likely be in the mysteries, sports, and nonfiction areas. I like to read an occasional nonmystery book of fiction. Beyond that, I like to have a category or two devoted to an area I don't often read, but would like to. Initially, unless I change my mind, for 2018, one such category will be food and drink and the other, in honor of the 100 year centennial of the end of the war, World War I.

Since I finished my 2017 category challenge on 12/16/17, I am starting the 2018 category challenge on 12/18/17


Edited: Jan 20, 4:49pm Top

CATEGORY 1: Food and Drink--Read 3 out of 10 books


1. A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression by Jane Ziegelman--finished on 1/8/18
2. Hamburgers & Fries by John T. Edge--finished on 1/12/18
3. Breakfast: A History by Heather Arndt Anderson--finished on 1/20/18

In 2017, I noticed I was accumulating quite a few TBRs in the area of food history or food politics. Time to read a bunch of these in 2018.

--The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table by Tracie McMillan
--Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal by Abigail Carroll
--Something from the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America by Laura Shapiro--have
--The Food of a Younger Land by Mark Kurlansky--have
--books from the Global History series from Reaktion Books, like chocolate, eggs, brandy etc
--Pizza: A Slice of American History by Liz Barrett
--Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog by Bob Schwartz
--Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture in America by Bruce Kraig
--White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf by Aaron Bobrow-Strain
--Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America by Michael Ruhlman

Edited: Mar 17, 10:51am Top

CATEGORY 2: Humor--Read 3 out of 10 books


1. Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan--finished on 2/4/18
2. Bossypants by Tina Fey--finished on 2/12/18
3. My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse--finished on 3/17/17

--I Don't Brake for Nuns: A kid-turned-adult perspective of Catholic School by Rick Phillips
--The Inimitable Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

Edited: Mar 25, 3:11pm Top

CATEGORY 3: Mysteries--10 books--Read 9 out of 10 books

I figure this'll focus on fiction other than mysteries but, at the end of 2018, if my mystery categories are filled, you never know.


1. Murder in an English Village by Jessica Ellicott--finished on 12/30/17
2. Deader Homes and Gardens by Joan Hess--finished on 1/14/18
3. Unnatural Habits by Kerry Greenwood--finished on 1/24/18
4. The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams--finished on 2/3/18
5. The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover--finished on 2/8/18
6. Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake by Sarah Graves--finished on 2/25/18
7. The Woman in the Water by Charles Finch--finished on 3/11/18
8. Plum Tea Crazy by Laura Childs--finished on 3/22/18
9. Murder and Mendelssohn by Kerry Greenwood--finished on 3/24/18

Edited: Mar 18, 7:34pm Top

CATEGORY 4: Sports--Read 3 out of 10 books


1. Baseball on the Brink: The Crisis of 1968 by William J. Ryczek--finished on 2/17/18
2. The Big Chair by Ned Colletti--finished on 3/2/18
3. Alou: My Baseball Journey by Felipe Alou--finished on 3/18/18

Edited: Mar 14, 12:54pm Top

CATEGORY 5: Fiction--Read 4 out of 20 books


1. Twelve Days of Christmas: A Christmas Novel by Debbie Macomber--finished on 12/18/17
2. Autumn by Ali Smith--finished on 1/1/18
3. Private: The Royals by James Patterson--finished on 3/6/18
4. Swim Season by Marianne Sciucco--finished on 3/13/18

Edited: Jan 20, 4:50pm Top

CATEGORY 6: More Mysteries--Read 0 out of 20 books

Edited: Jan 20, 4:50pm Top

CATEGORY 7: Even More Mysteries--Read 0 out of 20 books

Edited: Apr 28, 9:38pm Top

CATEGORY 8: Nonfiction--Read 5 out of 20 books


1. Terror in the City of Champions by Tom Stanton--finished on 1/30/18
2. The Colossus of New York by Colson Whitehead--finished on 2/19/18
3. Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly--finished on 2/22/18
4. Mussolini's Arctic Airship by Eva Holland--finished on 3/5/18
5. The 1967 Belvidere Tornado by Mike Doyle--finished on 3/28/18

Edited: Jan 27, 8:00pm Top

In case I switch back to World War 1.

--The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War by Richard Rubin
--Back to the Front: An Accidental Historian Walks the Trenches of World War I by Stephen O'Shea
--First Over There: The Attack on Cantigny, America's First Battle of World War I by Matthew J. Davenport--HAVE
--Five Lieutenants by James Carl Nelson--HAVE
--Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour by Joseph E. Persico--HAVE
--Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce by Stanley Weintraub--HAVE
--No Graves as Yet by Anne Perry--HAVE
--The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman
--The First World War by John Keegan--HAVE
--Eye-Deep in Hell: Trench Warfare in World War I by John Ellis
--Over Here: The First World War and American Society by David Kennedy
--Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of the Modern American Citizen by Christopher Capozzola--HAVE
--The Second Line of Defense: American Women and World War I by Lynn Dumenil
--Burning Beethoven: The Eradication of German Culture in the United States during World War I by Erik Kirschbaum--HAVE
--Regeneration by Pat Barker
--1913: The Eve of War by Paul Ham

Edited: Sep 24, 2017, 1:22pm Top

Open for business. I'd appreciate suggestions, especially for the first two categories. I'm especially interested in finding some World War I fiction ideas. I've read All Quiet on the Western Front but not too much else. I think there's that Anne Perry series of WWI mysteries. First one is No Graves As Yet, I think.

Sep 24, 2017, 1:28pm Top

Ben Elton wrote a detective novel based in WW1, The First Casualty. It's not at all Blackadder Goes Forth, far more straight and unexpected than that.

Sep 24, 2017, 1:54pm Top

Hi Linda, great to see you back for another year. I have a few suggestions about World War I fiction reading:

An Ice Cream War by William Boyd - set in British East Africa
The African Queen by C.S. Forester - also set in Africa

I loved both of the above books.

The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally - about 2 Australian sisters who become front line nurses

A trilogy about the Royal Flying Corps. by Derek Robinson:

1. War Story
2. Hornet's Sting
3. Goshawk Squadron

And, an interesting mystery series with Dr. Watson (of Sherlock Holmes fame) as the main character:

Dead Man's Land by Robert Ryan

Sep 24, 2017, 1:56pm Top

>12 Helenliz: I second the recommendation for The First Casualty! I was going to mention it but thought my list was getting a long.

Sep 24, 2017, 2:04pm Top

Thanks for the WWI fiction ideas. The book I was thinking of was the first in a trilogy, I think. I'll know it when I hear it.

No doubt I could look back at early comments to prior category challenge threads. I've considered a WWI category before.

As you can see, I think I've already got more books in mind for both WWI and food/drink than I have spaces. The shiny new categories always appeal to me at the start!!

Sep 24, 2017, 3:50pm Top

Hi Linda. For WWI ideas, have you read Charles Todd? His Ian Rutledge series takes place right after WWI but there is a lot of remembrance and horror he recalls as he goes about his business as an inspector with the Yard.

Ah, I see you have his first book of the series. I really enjoy that series very much. The author is a man and his mom, so there is a lot of character development and complexity with the two of them (I think his mom was a psychologist or something, I think I read).

Edited: Sep 24, 2017, 4:18pm Top

Aha. I knew that, if I thought about it long enough, I'd figure out which WW1 trilogy I was thinking of.

Regeneration by Pat Barker.

Edited: Sep 25, 2017, 12:41pm Top

I really like the look of your food/drink category. Thinking about it, I probably have quite a few that could fit too. One which comes to mind is Food Confidential by Nicole Faires, which I think was a BB from this group in 2016.

Sep 25, 2017, 2:10pm Top

>18 Jackie_K: Thanks for the suggestion!! I notice that my possibilities, so far, are heavily focused on food history and I'll certainly want a wider focus than that.

Sep 25, 2017, 4:18pm Top

I'm loving your three mystery categories! :) Also, the WWI category is a good idea. I'm trying to think of some good recs. So far, all I can think of is Phillip Rock's The Passing Bells, which is somewhat reminiscent of "Downton Abbey" but definitely focuses a lot on the war.

Sep 25, 2017, 4:56pm Top

>20 christina_reads: Thanks for the suggestion.

It seems like I've read some WW1 fiction lately. The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson springs to mind. Probably more WW2 fiction though. Mom has been reading a lot in that area and keeps foisting books on me.

What I haven't read a lot about is military battles and the like but 10 books on that topic would be overwhelming.

I definitely want to read the Matthew Davenport book about the Big Red One. Dad was in that Army unit in the 1950s (after Korea and before Vietnam) and we occasionally go to Cantigny, the Robert McCormick estate, which has a museum devoted to the Big Red One. We heard a PBS lecture by Davenport on his book and it sounded quite interesting. Maybe that and either a Gilbert or a Keegan on the war's battles would suffice.

I'd also like to read the one, for sure, about life in the trenches.

Sep 25, 2017, 8:16pm Top

Mysteries, More Mysteries, and Even More Mysteries! I should have stolen those for my challenge.

Sep 25, 2017, 8:57pm Top

>22 casvelyn: Plus extra room under Fiction, if need be. Half mysteries and half everything else is just about right for me.

Sep 26, 2017, 1:08am Top

>22 casvelyn: They are the categories I like best too!

Sep 26, 2017, 1:35am Top

I've just remembered another work that might fit your WW1 quest for fiction. A Month in the Country is post WW1, when a returning veteran is trying to deal with the aftermath and retreats to a rural church to uncover a medieval wall painting. It's all about finding purpose and recovering perspective afterwards.

I think that with the anniversary coming up there is a lot of focus on those that dies. However those that came home probably continued to suffer for the rest of their lives. I have on my wall pictures of 2 of my Great Grandparents. One was in the Marines and served as part of the BEF at the very start of WW1, and was held POW after the battle of Mons. The other volunteered at the start of the war and served 4 years in the trenches. Neither of them ever spoke about it. Mum remembers her granddad and he had nightmares all his life, but would never ever talk about it. How much did they suffer, coming home and picking up after they'd seen what they had seen. Who suffers more, the living or the dead? While the names of the dead live on as part of the war memorials, I think the living get forgotten as they're no longer with us.

Sep 26, 2017, 6:01pm Top

Love the idea of a food and drink category! :)

Sep 26, 2017, 6:06pm Top

>26 rabbitprincess: I need to work more drink into that category and less food.

It's funny but the new categories are always the ones I'm most enthusiastic about.

Sep 26, 2017, 10:35pm Top

I see that you have Guns of August on your list. It’s not one that I have read yet but it always comes up as one of the best WWI books.

Sep 29, 2017, 12:40pm Top

>11 lindapanzo: I'm planning to read The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson next month, which (obviously) is set right before the start of WWI.

I second Helen's recommendation (at >25 Helenliz:) of A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr.

Oct 21, 2017, 8:09pm Top

Eye-Deep in Hell: Trench Warfare in World War I by John Ellis is on my list too, but I don't know if it is at my library. Guns of August is though. I'm planning to read that one.

Oct 21, 2017, 8:14pm Top

>30 cmbohn: Mine will do World Cat, I think it's called, so, if anyone in the U.S. has it, they'll order it for me. As time passes, I'll decide which ones of these I want to read, or even others not on the list.

Nov 7, 2017, 2:57pm Top

Six weeks after I set up my categories and I'm still pleased with them.

One thing I may do is move either Fiction or Nonfiction, both broad categories, over to the 20 book side and move either Sports or one of the mystery categories over to the 10 book side. Probably move Nonfiction and Sports.

Nov 7, 2017, 7:51pm Top

I found you! And I have a suggestion for your Food and Drink category: The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South. I heard the author speak on a Georgia Public Broadcasting radio show and made a point to find the book. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I'll be doing some WWI reading through 2018, too, so perhaps we can manage some shared reads.

Very cool about Amor Towles. I'm glad I finally read Rules of Civility last month.

Nov 12, 2017, 1:13pm Top

Lovely to see you back for another year of category reading!

Nov 12, 2017, 7:58pm Top

>33 Dejah_Thoris: Thanks for the suggestion. I'm always up for a shared read.

>34 lkernagh: Nice to see you back, too. As I close in on finishing my 2017 challenge, I think I'm down to 12 books to go, I'll start to focus more on the 2018 challenge.

Nov 14, 2017, 12:26pm Top

I went ahead and flipped the narrower categories, sports and one of the mysteries, into a 10 book category and pushed the broader fiction and nonfiction into the 20 book category. This'll give me more flexibility.

Nov 15, 2017, 3:23pm Top

Seems like you're all ready for 2018. I like your food & drinks category, interesting choices in there. :)

Nov 15, 2017, 3:50pm Top

>37 Chrischi_HH: I'm not a fancy eater or fancy cook but I've enjoyed the food history books I've read.

Nov 17, 2017, 12:54pm Top

I always enjoy following your threads. I'm sure 2018 will be another fun year. For your food category I would recommend Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss. I read it when I had to make major changes in my diet and it really helped to justify and fortify my new choices.

Nov 17, 2017, 7:22pm Top

I'm finally getting around to checking out the 2018 threads and setting my stars for next year. I'm looking forward to following your for another year and hoping I won't take too many BBs.

Nov 18, 2017, 10:36am Top

Hi, Linda! I've decided to jump into this group this year - it's good to see you here, too!

Nov 24, 2017, 7:27pm Top

Checking in here. I will try to post my challenge later this evening or tomorrow. It's going to be a little different than usual.

Dec 12, 2017, 7:34pm Top

I expect to finish my 2017 challenge in the next week or so. My hospitalization and illness put me back awhile, with basically no reading for two weeks.

I would typically start the following year's category challenge on Dec xx, with the xx being the last two digits of the next year. If I don't start on Dec 18, I'll start on 12/19 or 12/20 or whenever.

For the foreseeable future, I'm thinking my reading will focus on light, fluffy books. For now, I can't deal with fiction or nonfiction that upsets me or riles me up. Cozies and maybe some light fiction or a not-too-serious nonfiction would fit the bill for awhile.

Dec 12, 2017, 7:50pm Top

There is always a place for light fiction - sometimes it's all I can do to reread light fiction, much less pick up something new!

I hope your partial work day went well, and that you're not too exhausted to read tonight.

Dec 12, 2017, 7:52pm Top

>44 Dejah_Thoris: Not too exhausted to watch the Blackhawks hockey game tonight and maybe read during the intermissions.

Dec 13, 2017, 9:23am Top

>43 lindapanzo: A lot of "Christmas stories" tend to be light, fun reads so December is a good time to find things like that!

Dec 15, 2017, 10:19am Top

Hi, Linda! Just checking up on the patient. Thank goodness it is Friday, right? I hope you are finding plenty of light fiction and how about those Blackhawks? Nice! : )

Dec 15, 2017, 10:23am Top

I hope you're getting through the work week alright, and that working from home has been possible.

Take care!

Dec 15, 2017, 10:58am Top

Hi everyone, I went into the office three times this week, for half days. Today, I'm working from home all day.

Reading isn't quite back up to normal but I'm reading for an hour at a time and finished two books this week. One book to go til I finish my 2017 category challenge and then, on Monday, 12/18, I'll start my 2018 challenge.

Lunch with friends on Sat and lunch with family on Sun.

Kim, how 'bout those Blackhawks? They beat three weaker teams in a row but had to play Winnipeg last night, one of the best teams in the league, and trounced them. The Hawks are so unpredictable.

Dec 15, 2017, 10:08pm Top

>49 lindapanzo: I'm glad you are feeling up to working full days, even if you are working from home most of it. I'm happily off until January 8.

Edited: Dec 19, 2017, 11:22am Top

I finished my 2017 category challenge tonight and so will be starting on my 2018 challenge, as expected/hoped for, on 12/18.

My first book for the 2018 category challenge is Debbie Macomber's Twelve Days of Christmas: A Christmas Novel.

Dec 23, 2017, 8:10pm Top

Once again, this year, I participated in both the LT Santa Thing and also the 75ers' Christmas Swap.

I love the fact that I'm getting Christmas Swap books sent to my Kindle at varying times thanks to my Christmas Swap Santa. So far, I've gotten Kate Atkinson's Behind the Scenes at the Museum and also Bruce Springsteen's autobiography Born to Run. Great choices!!

Also just got my Santa Thing Kindle books. The new The Great Halifax Explosion, A Square Meal which is a culinary history of the Great Depression, What Angels Fear which is a C.S. Harris mystery, Nothing to Envy which is about ordinary life in North Korea, and No Graves as Yet which is the first WW1 mystery from Anne Perry.

Great choices all.

Dec 23, 2017, 8:11pm Top

I've been going to sleep so early in recent days that I haven't read much. However, I am enjoying Murder in English Village which is the first in a series set in an English village (obviously) right after World War 1.

Dec 24, 2017, 10:59am Top

>52 lindapanzo: I really enjoyed Behind the Scenes at the Museum when I read it, many years ago. And I've got Nothing to Envy lined up as one of my January reads, I'm not sure 'looking forward to it' is quite the right expression, given the realities of everyday life in NK, but I guess you know what I mean! Looks like you got a really good haul there!

Dec 24, 2017, 12:18pm Top

Came by to star your thread and wish you a great holiday and hopefully a wonderful new year.

Dec 24, 2017, 12:51pm Top

Dec 26, 2017, 3:12pm Top

Happy Boxing Day!!

Dec 27, 2017, 8:17pm Top

Thanks for the good wishes for the holidays. Christmas Day wasn't a good health day but I still enjoyed my visit at my sister's house.

Usually, by now, I've organized my first few reads of the upcoming year but no planning ahead for me these days. I try to focus on the current day only.

Dec 27, 2017, 11:21pm Top

Linda--One day at a time is the way to go right now. LT will be here whenever you get your mojo back, which I hope is soon! Big hugs.

Dec 27, 2017, 11:24pm Top

I’m sorry to hear that your recovery isn’t as fast as you want it to be, but it’s great you were able to be with family, anyway. And I’m sure you’ll get plenty of reading done, planned or not!

Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 1:47pm Top

Thanks Kim and Dejah.

I just finished what is probably my final book of 2017, a first-in-the-series cozy called Murder in an English Village by Jessica Ellicott. Set in a small English village (naturally) shortly after World War 1, it was slow going in spots but, in the end, I really enjoyed it and hope there are more books in the series to come.

In 2017, I read 118 books. Interestingly, the year before, 2016, I read 117 books, and, the year before that, in 2015, I read 116 books. Does this mean I'll read 119 books in 2018?

Happy New Year to all.

Dec 30, 2017, 1:47pm Top

I noticed that, once again, LT has a place to list my top 5 books for the year. Below, I've listed my top 10.

1. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
2. Glass Houses by Louise Penny
3. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
4. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney
5. The Death of Expertise by Thomas M. Nichols

6. The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan
7. The Devil and Webster by Jean Hanff Korelitz
8. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
9. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
10. Sum It Up by Pat Summitt

Dec 31, 2017, 2:13pm Top

January Reading Plans:

I'm hoping to read a chapter or two of Nicholas Nickleby every day. Maybe finish it in February.

Otherwise, I've marked down the following TIOLI books for January. It doesn't mean I'll get to all of them, just that I hope to.

1. The Case of the Caretakers Cat by Erle Stanley Gardner
2. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
3. Autumn by Ali Smith--Reading
4. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
5. The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page
6. The White Album by Joan Didion
7. The Paris Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal
8. Unnatural Habits by Kerry Greenwood
9. A Square Meal by Jane Ziegelman--Reading
10. D Is for Deadbeat by Sue Grafton
11. Hamburgers and Fries by John T. Edge
12. Terror in the City of Champions by Tom Stanton

As I work on my category challenge, this is a nice mix of 5 mysteries, 3 novels, one baseball book, and two food/drink books,and one nonfiction (essays).

Dec 31, 2017, 11:16pm Top

Looks like some good plans. I have a rather ambitious list. I know I won't get to everything unless I read like I did in December, and there's no way that will happen in January.

Jan 1, 9:36am Top

>63 lindapanzo: I'm sure you heard we just lost Sue Grafton. I wonder if her Z book will be published.

Jan 1, 10:40am Top

I might join you in TIOLI for some of those books. I've been thinking about rereading Northanger Abbey and Manhattan Beach is one I've been keeping an eye out for. I also somehow got one behind on Maggie Hope but maybe I could do them both.

Happy New Year!

Jan 1, 6:14pm Top

>65 mamzel: - The local paper here said that she was still looking for an idea for Z and that her children had decided they won't get a ghost-writer and that the series will end with Y.

Jan 1, 7:38pm Top

Happy 2018!!

Jan 2, 1:03pm Top

Surely it's too early in the year to be taking book bullets, but Murder in an English Village sounds like fun!

Jan 2, 7:43pm Top

>64 thornton37814: I'm much more ambitious this month, I think.

>65 mamzel: I heard about Sue Grafton. Joan Hess died in late November, too.

>66 jennyifer24: I've been meaning to read Manhattan Beach for several months now and want to finally pick it up.

>67 dudes22: For some reason, I thought she'd written Z. Maybe she'd picked out the name or something.

>68 Berly: You, too, Kim. I think I mentioned that my niece, the swimmer, just turned 17. I can't believe it.

Yet another frigid day/night in Chicagoland. These sub-zero temps are getting old fast.

Jan 2, 9:39pm Top

>70 lindapanzo: I think there is something about a fresh start to a new year that makes us all more ambitious. Of course, it could just be the cold weather too.

Jan 2, 9:45pm Top

>71 thornton37814: During 3 of the 4 seasons, I have plans. I go to ballgames, hockey games, operas, symphonies. I plan lots of meals out.

In the winter, my schedule is wide open. I don't make many plans from Christmas until about President's Day, for the most part. Lots and lots of time to read. Once the Winter Olympics start on Feb 8, probably not so much for awhile.

Jan 2, 9:51pm Top

>72 lindapanzo: I didn't know much about curling until the one team had the fiasco with their "pants" and made curling a hit sport! I really wasn't into the winter sports that much. I watched ice skating or skiing from time to time. I paid a little more attention to "bobsledding" after we all watched the "Jamaican bobsled team" in Cool Runnings, but that was about the extent of winter. I didn't really care much about hockey. I watch it some now.

Jan 2, 10:01pm Top

>73 thornton37814: During the summer Olympics, I follow swimming diligently, but not much else. I watch just about everything Winter Olympics-related. Luge. Bobsled, Even curling. An old school friend has a daughter who is a competitive curler so I've paid a bit more attention. My favorite though is figure skating.

Jan 2, 10:04pm Top

>74 lindapanzo: I guess I never watched either one very much. I think as a kid I viewed them as an interruption to the regularly broadcast game shows.

Edited: Jan 4, 7:24pm Top

Had my pneumonia follow up with my pulmonary dr today. The news was mixed. My breathing was clear but, when I do the exertion test (and basically walk faster than I ever do, except to race to the train after the opera), my oxygen level drops far too much.

She also ordered a battery of tests, some related to the pneumonia and others not. I expected them all; none were a surprise. All over the next two weeks.

Jan 4, 7:20pm Top

>76 lindapanzo: Yikes! I hope those tests go well. In the meantime, hope you get in lots of restful reading.

Jan 4, 11:09pm Top

take care and keep warm!

Jan 5, 1:30am Top

Hi Linda, I've come to drop my star but I am sorry that you are still having some health difficulties, hopefully these tests will determine the best way to get you back to full health!

Jan 5, 12:12pm Top

Thanks. After sleeping on it, I've tried to put it into perspective. Mom came along to the appointment for moral support. The woman sitting next to her has lung cancer. Whatever I have isn't nearly as bad as that.

Do I wish I had perfect health? Sure. But I am almost into my upper 50s and I suspect that what's troubling me, medically, isn't new. I suspect that my lung ailments are pretty common and are also very treatable. In the end, feeling better is what's important.

Jan 5, 12:20pm Top

Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Jan 5, 4:10pm Top

>80 lindapanzo: - I think that's a very positive attitude to take. And I do believe that how you face things does make a difference. I'm even older than you and sometimes feel like I'm in a different body than I remember. Still - I hope whatever it is, it's fixable.

Jan 6, 3:11am Top

Hoping all goes well and you are back to full health very soon.

Jan 6, 4:31pm Top

Pneumonia is a beast. My daughter had it when she was 12 or so and missed all kinds of fun activities that summer. Good luck with the recovery.

Jan 9, 8:03pm Top

Thanks for all the good health wishes. I'm breathing better but just don't feel right yet. I'm hoping that, someday, at some point, I'll realize that I am 100 percent. In the meantime, I'm getting by ok.

Finished my second book of the new year last night.

A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression by Jane Ziegelman--finished on 1/18/18

Really enjoyed this interesting book about how the American diet changed in the early 20th century, but with a focus as to how federal, state, and local governments, as well as private groups coped with feeding all of the unemployed, starving people during the Great Depression.

A great first book for my new food and drink category.

Jan 12, 7:01pm Top

I'm reading another food history book, this one about hamburgers and fries. Not too much history and much more than I want to know about regional variations. Interesting but not what I expected.

Had my lung function tests today. A bit grueling. Five different tests each repeated three times. Then I got some medicine through a nebulizer and most of the test were redone, twice each. Felt a bit tired but it wasn't as bad as I feared. The tech couldn't tell me results but did say I was consistent within each test.

Edited: Jan 15, 9:38pm Top

Tomorrow, January 13th, is my 9th Thingaversary. Time to get cracking on buying my 9 books plus one to grow on.

I will share them here...

1. The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce
2. Something from the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America by Laura Shapiro
3. Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of the Modern American Citizen by Christopher Capozzola
4. Baseball on the Brink: The Crisis of 1968 by William J. Ryczek
5. Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy
6. Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullett
7. The Never Open Desert Cafe by James Anderson
8. The Streak by John Eisenberg
9. Murder as a Second Language by Joan Hess
10. The English Wife by Lauren Willig

Jan 12, 7:35pm Top

>87 lindapanzo: Happy early Thingaversary!

>86 lindapanzo: Hope you get good results from the tests! Also, now I want a burger and fries just from reading that you're reading a book about them ;)

Edited: Jan 12, 7:53pm Top

>88 rabbitprincess: I've also got a book checked out from the library about breakfast. Another one about 6 famous women and the foods that tell their stories. Laura Shapiro is the author. I think it's called What She Ate.

Jan 13, 4:09am Top

Happy thingaversary!
Hopefully the lung function tests will provide an avenue to get you back in tip top condition.

Jan 13, 9:58am Top

Happy Thingaversary!

Enjoy your new books when they come.

Edited: Jan 13, 11:05am Top

I enjoy food history books. I think I've got Edge's book (which is the one to which I assume you refer on Burgers and Fries) on my TBR list.

Happy Thingaversary! Looks like your haul is going well so far.

ETA: I want to read the Rachel Joyce book. I just ordered it for the library.

Jan 13, 11:16am Top

After finishing off Hamburgers and Fries: An American Story by John T. Edge, which was ok, but not great, last night, I'm moving on to Breakfast: A History.

Thanks for the Thingaversary wishes. Can't believe it's 9 years already.

Also can't believe how much the price of Kindle nonfiction books has gone up. I refuse to pay $15 for a Kindle nonfiction book, even if I did get my wellness credit/Amazon gift card at work this week.

Jan 13, 3:53pm Top

Happy 9th Thingaversary, Linda.

Jan 14, 10:12am Top

Happy 9th!

Jan 14, 12:24pm Top

Happy thingaversary and happy book choosing!

Jan 15, 9:20pm Top

Happy Thingaversary!

Jan 15, 9:40pm Top

Thanks for the Thingaversary wishes.

Cheli, as I recall, I think you were the first LTer I ever met.

I've made my book choices.

1. The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce
2. Something from the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America by Laura Shapiro
3. Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of the Modern American Citizen by Christopher Capozzola
4. Baseball on the Brink: The Crisis of 1968 by William J. Ryczek
5. Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy
6. Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullett
7. The Never Open Desert Cafe by James Anderson
8. The Streak by John Eisenberg
9. Murder as a Second Language by Joan Hess
10. The English Wife by Lauren Willig

Jan 15, 9:44pm Top

>98 lindapanzo: read Single Malt Murder this month, I enjoyed it.

Jan 15, 9:53pm Top

>99 cyderry: I picked it up after I read your review.

Jan 15, 10:22pm Top

>98 lindapanzo: Looks like a good haul!

Jan 16, 11:36am Top

>100 lindapanzo: Death Distilled next in the series, was good too.

Jan 16, 6:32pm Top

Happy Thingaversary! You've chosen some excellent books!

Jan 17, 10:53am Top

Happy Thingaversary! Nice book selection; I have The Music Shop and The English Wife to read too. Code Girls sounds fascinating too.

Jan 18, 11:01am Top

Thanks. I am very pleased with my selections.

I have my sleep study tonight. Since I rarely watch TV, except for sports, I'm bringing a book. I don't want something that'll rile me up or be too engrossing. I want something somewhat interesting that won't keep me awake so I'm bringing a baseball book called The Arm by Jeff Passan.

Jan 20, 11:16pm Top

How did the sleep study go? Did you find out anything yet? I hope you start to edge your way back up to feeling 100% soon. And congrats on your Thingaversary!

Jan 27, 7:50pm Top

>106 Berly: I thought I slept all night but the dr said I didn't get much deep sleep. It seems I don't have it. Lung function was also ok. I read the report and didn't think so but not so bad, I guess. However, they found a "shadow" or soft tissue mass on my chest CT scan. My lungs are clear, this is a bit higher up close to my thyroid. A surgical procedure to biopsy it will be scheduled soon.

Here we are less than a month into the year and I'm already thinking about changing one of my categories. Not feeling much interest in reading about war. Maybe humor might be a better choice. Something to think about, anyway.

Jan 27, 9:17pm Top

Good luck with the biopsy!

Jan 27, 11:57pm Top

I hope everything goes well with the biopsy and everything gets figured out quickly without too much stress, trouble, or anxiety. And I'm sure we could crowdsource many good humor or light books here if that'd be any help at all!

Jan 28, 12:05pm Top

>107 lindapanzo: I pray things go well with the biopsy. Feel free to change your category; however, there are some books which occur during the wars which don't focus as much on the military action as on other things, so perhaps if you choose to keep the category, you could use some of these to help fill it until you get to a point later in the year where this is the type book you want to read.

Jan 28, 2:46pm Top


For now, I've kept the WW 1 books but moved them to a vacant message for safekeeping in case I change my mind.

Also for now, I've made my category a travel books category. If I can think of ten books.

I have a friend who's a certified laughter therapist or some such. No doubt she can recommend a lot of humor books for me.

Jan 28, 3:59pm Top

>107 lindapanzo: Dang. Not quite to wellness yet. I hope they schedule the biopsy soon and it goes well. I can see not quite wanting to do the war category right now. Good plan to keep the list for later. Travel or humor could be a fun switch. Maybe humorous travel? JK. How about Travels with Charley by Steinbeck?

Jan 28, 4:08pm Top

Also hoping that the road to wellness is just around the corner, Linda. I love the idea of a travel category, both for fiction and non-fiction.

Jan 28, 9:55pm Top

I hope things go well for you, Linda. For your travel category, you could also use books set in places you’d like to visit.

Jan 29, 3:20pm Top

Good luck with the biopsy. If I think of some good travel related books I'll be sure to let you know. Though I really like the idea of books set in places you'd like to visit.

Jan 29, 3:30pm Top

Thanks for your kind thoughts. Grumble, grumble, I'm not a patient patient. After two days of not hearing from the surgeon's office, I finally called them. They assured me that they got the info from the other doctor's office and they will be in touch with me.

In the meantime, I am reading three excellent books right now, my first such stretch since before Thanksgiving.

Terror in the City of Champions which is a story of both the Detroit Tigers and the rise of a nationalist organization in that area, which opposed blacks, Jews, and Catholics, among others.

The Big Chair by Ned Colletti, who is a local guy (from a working class Chicago suburb) to rose to the Cubs front office and later became the L.A. Dodgers general manager.

The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams. The first in a new mystery series. The sleuth owns a bookstore in North Carolina and is a bibliotherapist who can come up with just the right books to help heal people. The author usually writes cozies but this one doesn't feel exactly like a cozy.

Jan 29, 8:21pm Top

OK, I've changed my WW1 category to humor.

I rarely ever read humor and would appreciate any suggestions.

In recent years, I've enjoyed some of the David Sedaris books, as well as the Amy Poehler book, and the Professor Von Igelfeld series from Alexander McCall Smith. The first one of those was Portuguese Irregular Verbs.

Edited: Jan 29, 8:31pm Top

I have just discovered Bill Bryson and I really enjoy his books. The first one I read was A Walk in the Woods about the Appalachian trail.

Jan 29, 8:34pm Top

>118 cmbohn: I've read a couple of those. I ought to look for some of the others.

Thanks for the suggestion!!

Jan 30, 10:12am Top

I would suggest PG Wodehouse - Jeeves & Wooster books especially. Has a lovely innocent quality about them, with Bertie getting into scrapes he doesn't mean to.

Jan 30, 10:12am Top

>117 lindapanzo:, I don't read much humor (either), but years ago, I read the couple of books that Paul Reiser put out--Couplehood being the one I remember best, and I think that was the first. I remember thinking they were wonderful, as did my mom and grandmother both; all of us were big fans of his because of the show Mad About You, and we really enjoyed those books. I've meant to re-read since I've gotten married, but just haven't ever gotten around to it. Still, that's the one nonfiction comedy book that I'd wholeheartedly think to recommend--especially to another reader (like those in my family) who don't do much comedy! On the fiction front, when it comes to comedy, my first and only recommendation will probably always be Christopher Moore. His Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal is my absolute favorite, though obviously not something I'd recommend who can't stand any humor associated with their religion.

Jan 30, 10:59am Top

I'll add my vote for Christopher Moore's Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann was fun and of course, when I need to laugh till I cry, I read Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books. I can't wait to find out what insane thing has caused the loss of Stephanie's - or Ranger's - vehicle. It's all anticipated, but that's part of the fun for me.

Jan 30, 11:18am Top

Oh, and if you do want to try Moore, but want to avoid religion, his Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove is kind of marvelous.

Jan 30, 11:49am Top

try Lumby Lines by Gail Fraser. I literally laughed out loud.

Fanny Flagg also has some very humorous books as well Erma Bombeck

Jan 30, 11:50am Top

I'll second the PG Wodehouse and Christopher Moore suggestions, in particular the Wodehouse books. His Jeeves books are my go to books when I need to laugh. Besides the ones mentioned for Moore, I'd recommend his The Fool which is a take on King Lear.

If you like graphic novels then Roz Chast's The Party After You Left is really enjoyable.

Edited: Jan 30, 12:04pm Top

I think the Stephanie Plum (Janet Evanovich) books are humorous. Probably the few books that can cause me to laught out loud. One time I was reading in bed and was trying not to wake up my husband. So I was holding the laughter in but the bed was shaking and he woke up anyway. That’s when he started reading them too.

Jan 30, 12:30pm Top

Wow, thanks for all the great suggestions.

>120 Helenliz: Wodehouse is at the top of the list for books to track down. Do I need to read these in order?

>121 whitewavedarling: I'll have to look for Paul Reiser's and those others. I like books by comedy performers.

>122 mysterymax: I've read all but the last two Stephanie Plum books and I do find those funny, especially Grandma Mazur and yes, what happens to the vehicles. I got tired of them but it's been a couple of years since I last read one so maybe it's time.

>123 whitewavedarling: Some religious humor books can be good. I especially like nun-related ones. Reminds me of my own school days.

>124 cyderry: I've read the first three Lumby books but it's been awhile for me. I'd forgotten about those.

>125 LittleTaiko: Good to see more than one person recommend these. I'd never heard of Moore before.

>126 dudes22: Definitely need to get back to the Stephanie Plum books.

Edited: Jan 30, 3:20pm Top

>127 lindapanzo: I wouldn't worry too much about reading order for the Wodehouse books. I would start with book 2 Carry on Jeeves as the first story is where Jeeves comes to work for Bertie, so does sort of set up the rest to some extent. There are some recurring characters, and you meet multiple ladies that Bertie has been engaged to, but there's usually a line or two along the lines of "you remember when I was engaged to Honoria Glossop and she broke it off after I threw her brother off a bridge into the lake". They rarely make material difference to the current story line, if that makes sense. I've certainly not read them in any kind of order, but I wouldn't say that in certain company >;-)

Jan 30, 5:06pm Top

I'm enjoying all these humor suggestions! I also love P.G. Wodehouse. Haven Kimmel's A Girl Named Zippy is a memoir that made me laugh till I cried, and I also highly recommend Tina Fey's Bossypants if you like her brand of comedy. If you want some humorous sci-fi/fantasy, you can't go wrong with Terry Pratchett's Discworld -- and of course there's Good Omens, which Pratchett cowrote with Neil Gaiman.

Edited: Jan 30, 5:23pm Top

>128 Helenliz: Thanks for the tip. I'll see what my library has.

>129 christina_reads: Good suggestions. Thanks.

Note that one TIOLI challenge this month is to read something by Shakespeare that you didn't read in school. Sad to say, I've read only four Shakespearean plays in my lifetime (though I've seen operas, stage plays, and movies).

Anyway, I splurged (for $1.99) on a complete works of Shakespeare on Kindle. Such a deal for 6,000+ pages.

My work neighbor, the English major, reminds me that there are comedies (which could boost my spirits). She suggested A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Happily, I'm finally back into my usual "what should I read next?" mode and not the "eh, reading, I guess I should do it again" feeling.

I think I'll focus on the bibliotherapy mystery, The Secret, Book & Scone Society next.

Jan 31, 7:47am Top

>130 lindapanzo: I second that recommendation for A Midsummer Night's Dream. It's fabulous!

Feb 1, 8:16pm Top

Best wishes for the biopsy.

I agree, humour is a better choice if you need your spirits lifted.

Feb 1, 8:29pm Top

Still waiting to hear from the surgeon...

Reading more than I have in awhile though.

Feb 3, 7:24pm Top

The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams--finished on 2/3/18

Just finished this first book in a promising new cozy series. Bookstore owner and bibliotherapist, Nora Pennington, has a secret, as do several of her 3 friends. They share their secrets and pool their knowledge to solve some murders in their small western North Carolina town.

I like this author and am very eager to read more in this wonderful new series.

Feb 3, 7:44pm Top

>134 lindapanzo: I saw an ad for that one and wondered how it might be. I'll have to try it.

Feb 3, 11:34pm Top

>134 lindapanzo: I liked it too!

Feb 4, 10:21am Top

>134 lindapanzo: Oh! My mom loves cozy mysteries and I'm always on the lookout for a new series that we can read together - this one looks promising!

Feb 4, 10:42am Top

>134 lindapanzo: I'm glad to hear good things about it. I've liked all of her books that I've read. That one is on my wishlist.

Feb 5, 12:24pm Top

I hope you like the Ellery Adams book. I've enjoyed all of her series.

I finished my first "humor book" and really enjoyed it. Laughed quite a bit. Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan pokes fun at various food favorites around the country, as well as various food holidays and other related things. I also liked how he laughed at himself, too. I'll have to track down his first book, Dad Is Fat.

Feb 7, 6:45pm Top

I haven't had much news however, now a development. I'm meeting the cardio-thoracic surgeon on Feb 15.

Thankfully, it's not during the upcoming Thurs/Fri blizzard.

Feb 8, 2:10pm Top

Will keep my fingers crossed that all goes well for your meeting on the 15th.

Feb 8, 3:02pm Top

>141 mysterymax: Thanks. Of course, I'm worried about how the surgery will go and especially concerned about what it might find but, after 2 weeks of worrying, I just want to have a date in mind and get it over with.

Edited: Feb 8, 9:26pm Top

>142 lindapanzo: Usually the reality is never as scary as what we conjure up worrying about it. Stay positive, we're all keeping good thoughts for you. Everything good is possible. Remember - the Cubs won a World Series in our lifetime!

Feb 8, 11:06pm Top

Think positive and it will be well.

Feb 8, 11:17pm Top

>143 mysterymax: Thanks.

>144 cyderry: I sure hope so, Cheli.

Feb 8, 11:18pm Top

The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover--finished on 2/8/18

This charming little cozy is the 7th in the Darling Dahlias series. It's my first one in the series but certainly won't be my last as I intend to track down, and read, the earlier books.

Set in Depression-era, small town Alabama and featuring a number of members of the town's gardening club, the Darling Dahlias, this book reads at a slow pace. I don't mean this as a criticism but it was a quieter, slower time and the book mirrors that. Beyond the interesting mystery involving the death of a member of the town's barbershop quartet, the Lucky Four Clovers, the book offered great insights into the times.

I absolutely loved it and would encourage fellow cozy fans to take a look at this series, if they haven't already done so.

Thanks to Net Galley for giving me a sneak peak on this one.

Feb 8, 11:19pm Top

Besides finishing one of my Net Galley mysteries, I also decided to put aside my current baseball book. Too bad. Just not getting very wrapped up into The Great Red Sox Spring Training Tour of 1911.

Feb 9, 4:21pm Top

>146 lindapanzo: - I've read the first 3 in the series and enjoyed them even though, as you said, they move a little slowly.

Feb 9, 4:28pm Top

>148 dudes22: I thought of it as kind of old fashioned but, nonetheless, I enjoyed it.

Feb 15, 1:48pm Top

I met my cardio-thoracic surgeon today. He got called to the hospital unexpectedly and was running late and so I chatted for quite some time with his PA who answered many of my questions. I liked the surgeon, an Asian American man probably in his 40's. Pleasant but knowledgeable, though no nonsense. He looked me in the eye and said that, most likely, it is a tumor but whether it's benign or cancerous won't be known until the biopsy. There's no way to tell before then.

I'm his first surgical patient on Tues March 6th. Most patients go home after they're done in the recovery room.

Feb 15, 5:32pm Top

Personally I like the fact that most surgeons don't beat around the bush - they talk to you directly and without embellishments so you have a clear idea of what to expect. I am rooting for you Linda.

Feb 15, 5:43pm Top

>151 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy. Between in-person visits at work, texts, emails, FB messenger messages, and calls, I've been really gratified by all the people who've been in touch today.

The pulmonologist said "it could be something, it could be nothing. It could be a tumor or just a shadow." Hearing the surgeon say it's most likely a tumor is actually just about the same thing, but yes, it is a little more blunt. But a tumor could be that parathyroid tumor thing that strikes post monopausal women especially.

In the meantime, I'll just focus on real life stuff. Watch the Olympics, read, eat as well as I can, sleep well etc.

Feb 15, 9:39pm Top

Wishing you all the best, Linda. The Olympics should keep your mind occupied for a week or so. I'm hooked on them.

Feb 15, 10:00pm Top

Good luck to you. Here's hoping the time passes quickly until you find out what's wrong.

Feb 15, 10:42pm Top


Feb 16, 11:29am Top

Good luck with everything. Your plan on focusing on things to enjoy sounds solid. The Olympics definitely a great distraction - so much to see.

Feb 16, 12:04pm Top

Thank you all. At least I got a good night's sleep last night. On Wed night, before I met the surgeon, I barely slept. In fact, I got up and read my current baseball book, Baseball on the Brink, for awhile.

Feb 16, 9:23pm Top

I agree with Judy. I like it better to know rather than guess what they are trying to tell me. Hoping and praying you make out ok.

Feb 18, 5:00pm Top

I hope it's something non-serious. It must be torture having to wait until March!

Mar 4, 1:39pm Top

Linda--Hope you've gotten in some good reading and sending best wishes for your Dr. appt on the sixth. Hugs!

Mar 4, 1:45pm Top

>160 Berly: Thanks. My surgery this Tuesday got moved to 1 pm (from 8 am). So far, I'm pretty calm about it. If all goes well and it starts on time, I could be home by evening.

Oh, and to my surprise, my niece did compete at the senior state championships on Friday in 100 breast. Got her second best time ever in that event. One of her teammates has 3 IL state championships under his belt on the first 3 days of state and qualified, in preliminaries this morning, for two more super finals as a #1 seed and a #2 seed. The usual top swimmer on their team has "only" one state championship so far in this meet (though I think he might focus more on Junior Nationals or whatever is coming up).

Mar 4, 1:47pm Top

1pm is a much more relaxing time for an appt. My duaghter had an 8:30 last week and it was all the way across town. Traffic sucked.

Congratulations to your niece!! Her teammate sounds like a beast. : )

Mar 4, 1:50pm Top

>162 Berly: I am not a morning person and getting up at 4:30 to drive 15 miles to get to the hospital for surgery is not my idea of fun. otoh, I hate the idea of waiting around for the surgeon to finish a heart surgery before he gets to me.

To make matters worse, snow is in the forecast for Tuesday. Ugh.

Mar 4, 1:52pm Top

Sigh. Well, nothing you can do. Crossing fingers for good weather and no delays!

Mar 4, 4:46pm Top

Hope all goes well on Tuesday!

Mar 4, 9:48pm Top

>161 lindapanzo: Hope it goes well. It's a shame they moved it though.

Mar 5, 8:56am Top

We'll be waiting to hear that you're back home and feeling okay.

Mar 5, 3:08pm Top

>168 DeltaQueen50: I'll be thinking about you, Linda, and hope all goes well.

Mar 5, 4:02pm Top

Thanks for all the good wishes. I got my presurgical testing done today and spoke to the surgical nurse at the hospital. Besides getting instructions, she also indicated that I'd be likely held for observation on Tuesday night.

Mar 5, 6:28pm Top

Thinking good thoughts for you.

Mar 6, 12:14am Top

I hope all goes well. And hoping against snow!

Mar 6, 1:15am Top

Sending best wishes for today.

Mar 6, 1:17am Top

Good luck!

Mar 6, 2:05am Top

Holding thumbs for luck tomorrow!

Mar 6, 10:23am Top

Good luck today!

Mar 6, 5:45pm Top

I hope things work out ok.

Mar 6, 6:49pm Top

What a day, what a range of emotions!! I never would have envisioned things working out as they did. After I had pneumonia in December, they ran tests. My lungs were/are fine now but they discovered a mass (tumor?) elsewhere, near my thyroid. Today was supposed to be a surgical biopsy under general anesthesia, with another surgery later to remove the tumor.

Well, I was prepped for surgery and just waiting. Met my surgical nurse. Met the anesthesiologist. The surgeon came in to remind me of what he would be doing and what the dangers are. Then, along about the time it was supposed to start, the surgeon and the pulmonologist (who actually ordered this procedure) came in with a change in plans and wanted my approval to do only one surgery today, to remove the mass. I loved the idea about only needing one surgery but wasn't thrilled that they'd need to break my collarbone to get into the area and remove the tumor or that I'd need to be off of work for 4 to 6 weeks.

Laid around for another hour and the surgeon came back with his PA who was going to assist. This time, he said that they'd conferred with an ear nose and throat surgeon who said it'd be much easier on me to remove this through my neck instead of through my chest. They're scheduling another test and then I'll confer with this other doctor.

No surgery today after 4 hours in the holding room!! I don't want this tumor pressing on my throat or affecting my breathing, yet I don't really want to have a broken collarbone either. Yet I also value my voice (but if I have to live the rest of my life with a hoarse voice, I'd learn to deal with it). I do like the idea of a less intrusive surgery and also like the idea of having only one surgery, not two.

Mar 6, 8:26pm Top

Oh, wow! My first visit to your thread this year and I have to leave a hope all goes well message. Keeping all fingers and toes Xed that it does indeed go well! Surgery is always scary, but it sounds like they're actually thinking hard about how to go about it, so it sounds like you're in capable hands. *lots of hugs and well-wishes!*

Mar 7, 1:15am Top

Oh my goodness, what a day. Hope they come up with a plan for you soon.

Mar 7, 3:49am Top

Wow! So more waiting? That's for to be frustrating, but if it's the safer option, it's better to wait. Hang in there!

Mar 7, 4:03am Top

>177 lindapanzo:
Easier surgery recovery isn't to be sneezed at -- I'll echo Eva saying that it's good they're thinking about these options and willing to make the right decision for you, even if it's inconvenient for them or you. That speaks really highly of your surgical team. I hope they schedule you again soon and it goes well when it happens!

Did they give any more information about why they decided you should jump straight to the full removal and skip a biopsy?

Mar 7, 10:11am Top

>177 lindapanzo: - I'm glad they are looking at better options for you, but man what an emotional ringer you went through. So frustrating to be geared up for one event and dealing with that stress and then to have them change the game plan on you even if it's better in the long run.

Mar 7, 1:38pm Top

Getting old is the pits!
Still praying. Keep us posted.

Edited: Mar 7, 2:16pm Top

Thanks for all the comments. I know what they told me in the prep/waiting area and also before. Some of the things they talked about were issues I'd raised but I think they put them all together.

The plan was to biopsy first and then next steps based on the findings. I think there was a realization that, even if benign, it needs to come out. There's an artery, my windpipe, and a vocal cord right there. Taking it out and then biopsying (is that even a word) would allow for a better biopsy, too. Then, for the third alternative, perhaps having an ENT surgeon do it (with the cardio-thoracic surgeon on call if necessary) would be easier on me.

I feel like the very pleasant, yet almost revered, female pulmonologist is with me for the long haul and most concerned with the impact on me (she also held my hand for a time while discussing the options and exchanged pleasantries with my mother, who she met when delivering the "bad news" to me a few weeks ago) and the surgeon is more like a hired gun to do this procedure and make sure I recover but isn't there for the long haul. He looked me in the eye as he explained things though, which I do like.

One hopeful thing is that they also provided a number of fairly satisfactory outcomes that are possible, or even most likely though not certain. Things like a parathyroid adenoma. Certainly not great but noncancerous and taking a calcium supplement for the rest of my life is certainly not horrible.

Mar 7, 2:25pm Top

Last night, I finished one of those quickie James Patterson Private series books. Private: The Royals A slow and quiet day at work once I explained all the news (I'd texted a friend and co-worker with the gist of what happened) but there's been a lot of exclaiming over all that happened. (I did get a laugh bc I'd mistyped it as an EMT to do the procedure and we all chuckled at the thought of being in a bouncy ambulance with a paramedic trying to operate on me)

Anyway, a Bookshot like this was perfect for my attention span but also took my mind off of things for awhile. I think I've read the first Private book but may look around for the second one.

Mar 7, 2:25pm Top

I have to say - I'm very impressed by the sound of the individuals that are taking care of you. Lots of explanations are always good in my mind. (repeated a number of times)

Mar 7, 2:27pm Top

>186 dudes22: Explanations are good. Repeating the spelling of my unusual Polish last name and my date of birth, even to the same person who'd asked earlier, was getting old for me. otoh, since my birthday was last week, that garnered belated birthday wishes and the like.

Mar 7, 5:39pm Top

I'm glad you're getting lots of info and explanations! Hoping all goes well. And happy belated birthday!

Mar 7, 9:41pm Top

I'll echo what everyone else is saying, Linda. It sounds like your medical team really have your interests at heart and are doing their best to get the best results. Inconvenient, yes, but better a thorough job than a quick one.

Mar 8, 12:00am Top

Thanks for the additional info -- good thoughts winging toward you! (And happy birthday. :))

Mar 8, 6:42am Top

Happy belated birthday and my best wishes that all will end well!

Mar 8, 7:36am Top

I'm hoping whatever surgery they (and you) decide on is uneventful and the outcomes are good. :)

Mar 8, 12:15pm Top

Wishing you all the best Linda! A bit frustrating with the waiting once you get yourself ready for the procedure. I'm glad everyone is putting their heads together for your best outcome though.

Surgeons bless their hearts sometimes don't always consider the long haul and recovery process until it's brought up :)

Mar 8, 3:41pm Top

This impatient patient finally got tired of waiting for the scheduling of the next step and called the surgeon's office manager (who is handling the pre-authorization and scheduling). Aha, now we know. She was off unexpectedly yesterday and today and no one there knows what she had done yet.

Mar 8, 4:24pm Top

>194 lindapanzo: - That sounds so typical!

Mar 8, 4:29pm Top

>195 dudes22: I was griping to my co-workers and we got to thinking how, with our smaller workforce, everyone has a back up. However, I might be out awhile after surgery, a co-worker is having knee surgery probably around the same time, and another woman has an ailment that could require surgery. And my back-up is going away for a week on vacation next month. We probably ought to have more than one back-up each.

Mar 8, 5:42pm Top

>196 lindapanzo: Have all the people who were laid off gotten jobs? Would any of them be available for temporary fill-in?

Mar 8, 5:54pm Top

>197 cyderry: They give generous severance but we do have quite a few contractors available to do some things.

Mar 9, 12:40pm Top

>196 lindapanzo: I warned the Head of Library Services and the Office Manager that I might suddenly be out for up to three months at least last year so they had plenty of time to line up a substitute for me, and give her time to come in and find out my systems. Did they? No! There are three (maybe four) different people covering my position now. I can't wait (sarcasm dripping) to get back and see what has and hasn't been done in my absence. To top things off, they are doing ceiling work and I'll have to vacate the library as soon as school lets out so I won't be able to work there. I'll have to hide out in the dark, claustrophobic textbook room to do my end-of-the-year work.

Mar 14, 1:43pm Top

>199 mamzel: It's been over a week since my surgery was cancelled at the last minute. I cope by trying not to think about it but one thing I do think about is how people can cover my work. I suspect that several people will each do something extra to help cover.

My next test, my neck CT scan, is set for Thursday morning.

Mar 14, 1:44pm Top

Swim Season by Marianne Sciucco--finished on 3/13/18

I rarely read YA novels but this one, about a top high school/club swimmer who moves to a different school district due to family issues and then pretends to be an ordinary swimmer is absolutely terrific. As a swim aunt, I've got a good sense of what high school swimmers go through in season and this seems very realistic, though I hope that my niece's team doesn't have this much drama. Highly recommended!!

Mar 15, 2:10am Top

Good wishes for the scan today!

Mar 16, 4:51pm Top

Watching the Cubs/White Sox exhibition game. Ahhhhh.

I asked my primary care doc today why they're going so slow with this mediastinal mass and he said they're probably as puzzled as he is. My mass, which is about the size of an orange, wasn't there one day and then , literally, a week later, when he had a chest x-ray done in his office, it was suddenly there and these things "just don't happen overnight." He's wondering if it's a collection of fluids or fats. Anyway, as I know, the next step is to meet the ENT surgeon on Monday. My guy said that the ENT will likely propose a laryngoscopy I think it's called, to get a closer look at it.

>202 pammab: I haven't seen the results but it went ok. Woke up with a stuffy nose yesterday and felt miserable. The neck scan was a nice relaxing test and I could just close my eyes and rest.

Mar 16, 4:54pm Top

>203 lindapanzo:
I've had a laryngoscopy done. It's not pleasant, but they numb you so it's not painful in any way, just uncomfortable. Hope they figure it out!

Mar 16, 5:01pm Top

>204 -Eva-: Looks like there are three different kinds. Two under local "numbing" and one kind is done under general and I suspect I'd have that one but am not sure. While not pleasant, still sounds better than having my collarbone cracked open and then re-sewn afterwards.

Mar 17, 7:30am Top

>205 lindapanzo: - oh yeah - much better. Hope they figure it out soon. The not knowing can be stressful all by itself.

Mar 18, 7:46pm Top

Alou: My Baseball Journey by Felipe Alou--finished on 3/18/18

This is a powerful memoir of Alou's life as a Dominican, as well as his trailblazing MLB baseball career as a player and manager. Alou provides many fascinating insights into his life in baseball and outside of baseball.

At times controversial, Alou doesn't hestitate to back off on addressing the many issues facing Latin, and black, ballplayers in the 1950s and 1960's.

Absolutely top notch!! Highly recommended.

I received a free copy of the book via Net Galley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Mar 19, 5:34pm Top

>205 lindapanzo:
At least there's no cutting involved (other than snipping a sample - that's a very "interesting" feeling, I can tell you!). Still keeping my fingers tightly Xed for you!

Mar 19, 6:10pm Top

>208 -Eva-: I actually had the laryngoscopy in office today. He put numbing juice up my nose and it dripped into my throat. Waited for 20 mins to take effect.
Basically put what felt like an angel hair pasta noodle up my nose (didn't feel it down my throat til he removed it). Anyway, Mom came in for another set of ears again and was fascinated watching it. He didn't do it to see the mass but the mass is right on top of the vocal chord nerve and he wanted to make sure it was working properly. It is.

The procedure didn't hurt but "felt funny." No snipping involved.

Things suddenly progressing nicely. He explained how the fact that I'm not having serious symptoms is giving them the luxury to more information going in. Next up will be a thyroid ultrasound and some thyroid-related blood work. Meet with the ENT surgeon again next week and then we'll probably schedule the surgery.

This transcervical approach is a lot less invasive and easier on me than the break the sternum approach. It'll be tougher surgery for the surgeon and will likely take longer but with a much quicker recovery. If he can't remove the mass or if I bleed, the cardiothoracic surgeon (who'll be on call) will step in and do it the originally planned/more painful way.

I note that the ENT surgeon thinks it's thyroid-related.

Mar 19, 6:19pm Top

>209 lindapanzo:
That's great news! Glad to hear it wasn't awful - it is a very odd feeling, isn't it! :) Sounds like they have a good plan in the works and am very happy to hear that they're willing to do more work so that you have to suffer less!

Mar 19, 6:23pm Top

>210 -Eva-: He did say, though, that once they're in there, it's advisable to remove part of my thyroid "just in case it turns out to be cancerous." It's difficult to go back in a second time. If they do the sternum approach, it's 5+days recovery in the hospital and, with the transcervical approach, often times people go home the next day. I need to find out about the at-home recovery time.

I was hoping it'd be a parathyroid adenoma but now two doctors have said that with my calcium levels, that likely isn't it.

Mar 19, 6:39pm Top

>211 lindapanzo:
Well, if they're going in, it's better they remove what needs to come out. You won't want to have it done twice! 5+ days in the hospital sounds like not fun, so hope you don't have to do that - I'd much rather be at home, even if I feel like cr*p. My mother had surgery for hyperparathyroidism last year and the tip-off for her diagnosis was her calcium levels.

PS! I had to Google "transcervical" because that word made me think of a part of the body which is nowhere near the throat... :)

Mar 20, 1:51am Top

Thanks for sharing the update, Linda. Sounds like even though it is moving slowly, they are being deliberate and keeping you in the loop. Still have you on my mind -- all the good wishes to you.

Mar 20, 3:11pm Top

Good to hear that things are steadily moving forward, Linda. I'm sure it's not pleasant but it's good to get this over with. And I am fully in favor of less hospital time.

Mar 20, 5:04pm Top

Since it's not an emergency kind of thing, I like how deliberate they're being. I know it's stressful, but seems like they are making sure they take the right approach the first time.

Mar 20, 6:36pm Top

Hang in there, Linda! It's frustrating waiting around, but it sounds like things are moving in the right direction. Good luck!

Mar 20, 6:49pm Top

>212 -Eva-: I thought I was done with all that cervical surgery. Not the same thing, of course.

>213 pammab:, >214 DeltaQueen50:, >215 dudes22:, >216 cmbohn: Once it was explained, how getting as much info up front is important, I feel better about it. They're not dragging their feet but doing it to get better info beforehand. I have minimal symptoms, but, as the ENT showed me yesterday, I do have some symptoms.

I'm scheduled for a thyroid ultrasound on Thurs as well as thyroid blood work.

Mar 23, 5:42pm Top

Plum Tea Crazy by Laura Childs--finished on 3/22/18

It’s always exciting for me when a new book in my favorite cozy mystery series, the Laura Childs tea shop series, is released and this newest installment, the 19th in the series, did not disappoint.

All of the usual Indigo Tea Shop characters I’ve come to love are present in this one, as usual but, once again, Childs brings something unique to each new book. In this case, a unique murder weapon, for instance.

When I read a Laura Childs mystery, I always feel like I’m catching up with old friends, along with the plot twists and turns, and, once again, that was true in this book. I can hardly wait til the next installment.

Very highly recommended!!

Mar 23, 7:11pm Top

>218 lindapanzo: I loved it too!

Mar 24, 12:19pm Top

>218 lindapanzo: >219 cyderry: Looking forward to reading it!

Mar 26, 8:17pm Top

It's a relief to have a date for surgery. Scheduled for April 18th.

Mar 27, 3:24am Top

Best wishes that all will go well!

Mar 27, 3:46pm Top

Wishing you all the best for the next stage in the process.

Mar 27, 6:16pm Top

>221 lindapanzo: Hope all goes well! Glad to hear you finally have a date set.

Mar 27, 10:47pm Top

Still praying!

Mar 28, 7:55am Top

I'll add my best wishes here as well.

Mar 28, 3:41pm Top

Good luck for the op. The waiting's sometimes the worst bit.

Mar 30, 5:01pm Top

Good news that you have a date, I always feel better in my mind when I have some advance notice on things.

This topic was continued by lindapanzo's second period reading.

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