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Farewell, My Lovely BBC mstrust's #8

This is a continuation of the topic It's Alive! Autumn and Halloween at mstrust's #7.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: Nov 2, 2017, 2:38pm Top

The BBC is back! Bring your wallet.

. .

We've found yet another perfect place to spend late Autumn and early Winter. We just looooove to move. We have a loyal and friendly staff that enjoys packing up thousands of books, dismantling a tiki bar and patisserie, and putting it all back together again.

Edited: Dec 13, 2017, 10:12am Top

2017 Reads

1. Light Boxes- 4 stars
2. The Indian Lawyer- 4.2 stars
3. Dear Beatles- 3.2 stars
4. Down From The Attic- 4 stars
5. The Pursuit of Love- 4.5 stars
6. Googie: Fifties Coffee Shop Architecture- 4.5 stars
7. The Magician's Wife- 3 stars
8. The Know-It-All- 4.2 stars
9. The Victoria Vanishes- 4 stars
10. Pissing in the Gene Pool- 2.5 stars
11. The Brutal Telling- 4 stars
12. How To Be A Woman- 4.5 stars
13. The Third Man- 4 stars
14. My Crowd- 4.5 stars
15. The James River Plantation Cookbook- 4 stars
16. Spooksville: Aliens In The Sky- 3.5 stars
17. My Name Escapes Me- 4.5 stars
18. In A Glass Grimmly- 4.2 stars
19. Interpreter of Maladies- 4 stars
20. The Spy Who Came In From The Cold- 3.5 stars
21. A Taste of Honey- 4 stars
22. The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories- 3.5 stars
23. Whatever Happened To Pudding Pops?- 5 stars
24. Nightmare Abbey- 3.5 stars
25. Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History- 4.5 stars
26. Covered Bridges of Vermont- 4 stars
27. Neon Angel- 3.5 stars
28. Champagne For One - 4 stars
29. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes -5 stars
30. The Murder of the Century- 4 stars
31. Vinyl Cafe Diaries- 4.5 stars
32. A Fatal Grace- 3 stars
33. Psycho- 5 stars
34. Fodor's Travel New York City- 4.5 stars
35. The Tastemakers- 3.5 stars
36. Fodor's Brooklyn- 4 stars
37. Norse Mythology- 4 stars
38. From Hardtack to Home Fries- 4 stars
39. Tender Wings of Desire- 1.5 stars
40. Maigret in Court- 3 stars
41. South of Heaven- 3.2 stars
42. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks- 4.2 stars
43. The Lady Who Liked Clean Restrooms- 3 stars
44. Could It Be Forever- 4.5 stars
45. Heads in Beds- 4.5 stars
46. The Iowa Review- 3.5 stars
47. The Poseidon Adventure- 2.5 stars
48. Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned- 4 stars
49. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian- 4 stars
50. Spooksville: The Dark Corner- 4 stars
51. Punk: The Culture in Pictures- 4.2 stars
52. The View From The Cheap Seats- 4.2 stars
53. O Glorious City- 3 stars
54. Kiss Your Elbow- 4 stars
55. Spooksville: The Cold People- 4 stars
56. Stephen Fry in America- 4.2 stars
57. 12 Stories They Wouldn't Let Me Do On TV- 4 stars
58. Bleed- 3.5 stars
59. Fodor's New York City- 5 stars
60. The New York Grimpendium- 5 stars
61. Animals of the Ocean, In Particular the Giant Squid- 4 stars
62. Long Ago in France- 3.5 stars
63. City of Glass- 3.5 stars
64. Bubba Ho-tep- 4 stars
65. We The Children
66. Pecked To Death By Ducks- 3 stars
67. Ghost Towns and Historical Haunts in Arizona- 4 stars
68. Closed For The Season- 4 stars
69. Burton: The Man Behind The Myth- 4 stars
70. The Potty Mouth At The Table- 4 stars
71. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir- 4.2 stars
72. Monster Museum- 4 stars
73. Hocus Pocus in Focus- 4 stars
74. Breathers- 4.2 stars
75. Horrorstor- 4.2 stars
76. The Witches of Pendle- 3 stars
77. Twelve Stories For Late At Night- 3 stars
78. The Bell, the book, and the Spellbinder- 3 stars
79. The Walking Dead: The Road To Woodbury- 3.5 stars
80. Mapping the Interior- 3.5 stars
81. Rosemary's Baby- 4.5 stars
82. Scary Stories for Campfires- 3.5 stars
83. The Grip Of It- 4 stars
84. The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion- 4.2 stars
85. The Walking Dead: The Fall of The Governor: Part One- 4 stars
86. The Revenge of the Wizard's Ghost- 3 stars
87. Fat Vampire- 4.2 stars
88. The Walking Dead: Call To Arms- 4 stars
89. The Walking Dead: The Whisperers War-4 stars
90. Shock Value- 4 stars
91. Gwendy's Button Box- 4 stars
92. Dear Fahrenheit 451- 3.5 stars
93. Greener Pastures- 3 stars
94. Alfred Hitchcock's Let It All Bleed Out- 3.5 stars
95. The Colorado Kid- 2 stars
96. Upstairs at The Strand- 3 stars
97. Swindled- 3 stars
98. iZombie: Dead To The World- 3.5 stars
99. iZombie: uVampire- 4 stars
100. Paperbacks from Hell- 4.5 stars
101. The Borden Tragedy- 4 stars
102. Eloise: The Absolutely Essential 60th Anniversary Edition- 5 stars
103. The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository- 5 stars
104. The American Museum of Natural History: The Ultimate Guide- 4 stars
105. The Travelling Companion- 4 stars
106. The Moviegoer- 3 stars

Nov 2, 2017, 2:41pm Top

Nov 2, 2017, 3:09pm Top

I'm in!

Nov 2, 2017, 3:24pm Top

Me two!
Happy new thread, Jennifer, I am glad the Haloween theme is gone ;-)

Nov 2, 2017, 3:35pm Top

Happy new thread!

Edited: Nov 2, 2017, 5:49pm Top

>4 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! Your bar stool has missed you. And you get a cocktail for being my first visitor at the new shop.

You can do it.

>5 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! My Halloween thread is the most fun, but I'm glad you've come back. :-)
>6 drneutron: Thanks, Doc! Help yourself to a pastry- I understand you like doughnuts.

Nov 2, 2017, 6:00pm Top

94. Let It All Bleed Out by Alfred Hitchcock. A collection of short stories introduced by Hitchcock. From the cheesy, humorous cover of Hitchcock on a gurney giving blood while a vampire on the next gurney is receiving it and drinking from a coffee cup, you would expect this to be a collection of monster or horror stories. Instead, most are well-written murder mysteries, many with a detective trying to solve them. For me, the best were "The Attitude of Murder" by Nedra Tyre, about an elderly deaf man who is convinced that, while out for a walk on the edge of town, he saw a man murdering a woman. Another good one was "Hand" by William Brittain, about a driver who spots a dead body in a station wagon while stuck in a traffic jam. 3.5 stars

Nov 2, 2017, 8:16pm Top

Happy new thread to all at the BBC. XX

Edited: Nov 2, 2017, 8:48pm Top

The BBC is OPEN! : )

I googled "scary" and "rings" and this is what came up. Happy Anniversary! ; )

Nov 3, 2017, 10:17am Top

Thanks for the drink!

Have you seen IT yet? I haven't, and I'm kind of surprised by that.

Nov 3, 2017, 12:06pm Top

Morning! I've brought out the chocolate croissants and coffee.

>9 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul! I'm glad you found us. Grab a croissant.

>10 Berly: Thanks, Kim! That ring looks like something you'd receive from Marilyn Manson.

>11 SomeGuyInVirginia: You're welcome. I didn't think I'd ever see someone down that bowl in under 10 minutes, but it's great that you reach your goals.
I haven't seen IT, and I don't think I've been to a movie theater in five or six years, since we have Amazon Prime streaming and Netflix streaming. I just can't bring myself to say that I need to go see something that badly. Also, I hated being in the movies for the past one or two or ten years. People talk and play on their phones. I've told a grown woman behind me to stop kicking my seat.
But last night I found that Prime has added the eighth and final season of "George Gently", so that's on my agenda.

Also, I just wanted to mention my plans of spending however much of the rest of the year needed finishing off the books I've had on my "Currently Reading" list forever. These are the books that I got into and then put aside for whatever reason and they've been gathering dust ever since. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Swindled, A String of Pearls, and I'm sure there are one or two others.

Nov 3, 2017, 12:26pm Top

Hello. Just pokin' around. Nice.

Nov 3, 2017, 12:33pm Top

Hello, ya weirdo!

Nov 3, 2017, 1:56pm Top

Oh, I confused A String of Pearls with The String of Pearls. I loved The String, the origin of the Sweeney Todd gaff.

>12 mstrust: I've never looked at a punch bowl full of liquor and thought 'I just can't do it.'

Edited: Nov 3, 2017, 8:21pm Top

You're right, it is the Sweeney Todd The String of Pearls that I'm reading. Why would someone give their book a name so similar to one that's already so famous?
See, I knew you wouldn't even bother with those little cut glass cups. Ladles are there for a reason.

Getting down to the last few days before leaving for NYC! It's very exciting, but at the same time, I'm also preparing the house for both my mom and my MIL, who will take turns staying here and caring for Coral. I'm so grateful that they're willing to come and feed her, and walk her, and tell her she's beautiful every day. On the other hand, they're both major snoops.

O.k., stress gone.

Nov 4, 2017, 8:55pm Top

Happy new thread!

>8 mstrust: I had several of those Alfred Hitchcock collections years ago. Fun stuff!

Nov 5, 2017, 6:51am Top

Happy new thread, Jennifer! Nice digs! It is so so so good to be back at the BBC where things are (usually) not so frightening as was the last thread.
Enjoy NYC!!

Nov 5, 2017, 10:41am Top

>17 tymfos: Thank, Terri! The Hitchcock books have been great. There are so many excellent writers featured from the 50-70's that I've never heard of and it makes me go looking for more from them.
>18 Carmenere: Hi Lynda! I like to think that my Halloween thread delivered on my promise to give some chills. :- D Although I was a little disappointed that I didn't come across a 5 on my scare scale.
We got out the suitcases last night, so time to start packing. Argh, Sunday and Monday are just standing in my way.

Nov 6, 2017, 9:32am Top

It was a great Halloween thread!

You might like a book I just started, Final Girls. I'm only about 100 pages in, and it's nothing but slasher tropes strung together, but its agreeable writing style makes it entertaining as well.

Edited: Nov 6, 2017, 2:59pm Top

Thanks, Larry! I had fun with it too. And thanks for the rec. Over the last few days I've only had time to read a few pages before falling asleep. My nighttime read has been Swindled, a big non-fiction about the history of adulterated food.
I know that the reason I've got these huge, half read chunksters left at the end of the year is because they are so difficult for me to hold up. I don't think I've mentioned before, but I have freakishly tiny hands that make holding up a big hardcover a real pain. I know, I should put them on my Kindle.

Nov 7, 2017, 10:24am Top

Naw, I get it. My favorite format is trade paperbacks with matte finish covers. I just like the way they feel. Although, as somebody who moves frequently I really do like having so many books on something I can carry in my suit pocket.

Nov 7, 2017, 2:29pm Top

I like the trade paperbacks too. They have sort of a silky feel to the covers.

Leaving for NYC tonight on the red eye. We'll land around 6 am and we're hoping to sleep on the plane so we can drop our bags at the hotel and head right over to Zabar's. I don't know how much time I'll have to connect on LT, but I'll have pictures for sure when I return.

Nov 8, 2017, 10:44am Top

Have a blast in the city!

Nov 11, 2017, 9:07am Top

Thank you, Larry! We're having a wonderful and exhausting time.

Nov 12, 2017, 6:00am Top

Enjoy NYC, Jennifer. Happy Sunday.

Nov 12, 2017, 10:56am Top

Jennifer and the BBC
Are off to visit NYC.
Travelling by Red-Eye
But this eye can fly
And lands right in the City.

Nov 13, 2017, 6:04am Top

We can compare blisters. I'm ready to be around my own stuff.

Nov 14, 2017, 2:40pm Top

Pics or it didn't happen.

Nov 15, 2017, 9:29pm Top

Jennifer! I have finally made it over to catch up with your threads. Lovely to see the BBC continuing.

Going back to your previous thread, Looks like I missed cranberry season (or have I?). Love cranberries, although my favorite dried fruit of choice at the moment for nibbling on is dried cherries, preferably the tart Montmorency ones. So good! Almost better than candy. ;-)

As much as I love Agatha Christie movie adaptations and love Kenneth Branagh, I am not too sure about this latest "Murder on the Orient Express". Branagh as Poirot... I think David Suchet has spoiled me and I am not keen to accept others to play Poirot. On the plus side, I think Michelle Pfieffer is in that one.

So happy to see you enjoyed Horrorstör! Hard to walk through an IKEA store without thinking about that one. ;-) One of my nieces has recently "discovered" IKEA - now that she has moved out on her own - and she gave me a strange look when I explained the book premise to her. Some 20's somethings have no sense of humour.

No to pumpkin spice Sinex.

I skimmed rather quickly through October, although I have to say that cotton candy burrito left me speechless.

Happy new thread and have a wonderful trip to NYC!

Nov 17, 2017, 5:38am Top

Hey Jennifer! Stopping by for NYC details, I'll be baaack.

Nov 17, 2017, 12:17pm Top

>26 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara. We did have an exciting time. Mike created a hashtag of #eatingmywaythroughNewYork, which gives you an idea of how things went.

>27 PaulCranswick: Ha, thanks, Paul!

Paul wrote a poem about me
traveling to NYC
where I gorged each day
like the city was my buffet
I'm glad that Paul couldn't see!

>28 SomeGuyInVirginia: You had a big night on the town yourself, didn't you?
As a matter of fact, by the end of the first day I limped into a shoe store and bought a pair of sneakers with memory foam. My wedge heeled ankle boots are very cute, but my feet felt like I was walking on raw meat. Mike developed a big blister in the ball of his foot that had to be doctored each night. We only walked 13 hours a day, the big baby.

>29 SomeGuyInVirginia: I know, I have so many pictures to choose from and it will take a lot of time to post some. We were taking pictures with both our phones and a digital camera. I haven't even looked at what's on there yet.

>30 lkernagh: Hi Lori!
My current fruit addiction are the dried mango sliced covered in chili powder, salt, sugar and lemon juice. I buy a bag and have to force myself to stop.
I agree that it may be too soon to see another Poirot. Though the role is probably one that many British actors would covet.
I really enjoyed Horrorstor a lot. Even after I'd finished it, I admired how he had taken such a mundane setting and made it a scary place. Your niece is no fun! But people of her age do seem very serious these days. Maybe you should hide behind her "Oolavka", whatever, wardrobe and give a good scare. Just so she understands the book.

>31 Carmenere: Hi Lynda! I do have a lot of things to say about the trip:
1. We ate. I can't stress this enough.
2. I bought books. Which I will list.
3. We went to Croton-on-Hudson ( I'd never heard of it either) for the Jack O'Lantern Blaze. It was beautiful, spooky and stunning.
4. On our last morning, we had two celebrity sightings. We stayed at The Hotel Beacon on Broadway. Wednesday morning around 9am, we're headed to a cafe down the street and here comes actress Diane Weiss (Life in Pieces) strolling past us with her arm in a sling. Then a few hours later, we walk out of the hotel to stand on the curb and see if the car service has arrived, and there's the "Cash Cab" parked right in front of our hotel. As soon as we walked out, someone from the show came over and started talking to us, seeing if we had time to do it. And of course, our car arrived. We rode to Newark seething over that, ha.
5. United Airlines has to be the most uncomfortable, chintziest airline ever.

Edited: Nov 17, 2017, 12:41pm Top

I found time to read just one little paperback this whole time.

95. The Colorado Kid by Stephen King. Two elderly men who put out a weekly Maine paper unfold a local mystery for their young temp. It's the story of a dead man found on their beach twenty years before, and how the two men, far from investigative journalists, did every thing they could to solve the question of the dead man's identity.
The only thing I've ever read from King that disappointed, both in style and the ending. 2 stars

Nov 17, 2017, 1:47pm Top

Oh my god I absolutely adore Diane Weiss. She's one of those actors I pay to see if she just stood there and read from the phone book.

Good lord, you really did pack in a lot! PICS!

Nov 17, 2017, 5:49pm Top

Nice book haul! Good to know that the stores will ship the books home for you!

Nov 17, 2017, 6:45pm Top

I don't know how I did it, but somehow I lost track of your thread! But I am all caught up now and see that you had a blast in NYC and that you brought home some great books. I love Cornel Woolrich and I see that you snagged a few by him. I just finished a huge book of Noir called Best American Noir of the Century edited by James Ellroy and it was fantastic!

Still enjoying this years Walking Dead. :) I really liked last week cause there was lots of Carol action!

And thank you to SomeGuyInVirginia for letting me know about "Dead Set", I will be checking that one out soon!

Nov 17, 2017, 8:05pm Top

>32 mstrust: & >33 mstrust: Great synopsis of your trip, Jennifer! I've only gone to a small J-O-Lantern blaze and that was very nice, I can only imagine what it would be like in NYC.
Nice book haul and how smart of you to ship them home!
We feel the same about United/Continental.
Did you visit any famous New York eateries?

Nov 17, 2017, 9:17pm Top

>37 DeltaQueen50: Tell me what you think of it, I thought it was really well done. There were some really funny throw-away lines, but it was also scary as hell.

Edited: Nov 18, 2017, 1:33pm Top

>35 SomeGuyInVirginia: I was happy to see her, as we like "Life in Pieces", and of course, she was the mom in "The Lost Boys". She didn't look particularly happy though. She was walking alone, wearing dark sunglasses and clearly gave off a vibe that she didn't want to be approached even though she was walking very slowly. Course, her arm was in a sling so it's likely she was hurting.

>36 rabbitprincess: Yes, the book stores all ship, and it's a good thing. Our bags were right at the edge of overweight as it was.

>37 DeltaQueen50: Well now you've found me! I'm a Woolrich fan, and when I inquired about first editions at The Mysterious Book Shop, the employee took me down to the basement where they kept the first editions and signed and rare books. I took a much lesser known title that was very, very reasonably priced.

I finally got to watch last Sunday's episode of TWD yesterday. The deaths! So many! Including a tiger! When I saw Carol targeting, what, maybe a dozen Saviors all by herself, I thought "That's a fair fight." And the car/motorcycle fight with Daryl, Rick and the Saviors was so great. I was starting to think we wouldn't see them at all in that episode. And the director wanted viewers to think that this would be the end of Ezekiel. I'm glad he's survived, even though he kept giving up on himself.

>38 Carmenere: I'm eagerly awaiting the second and third boxes of books to arrive. And my November Nocturnal Book Box was waiting for me when we got home.
Ugh, United. "Passengers are united in hating us," more like.
Did you visit any famous New York eateries?
Yes! We went to Lombardi's, which is the oldest pizzeria in America. We absolutely loved it last time we were there, but it's become very touristy now, and I think the crust has gotten much thinner, because it didn't crack like a saltine when you folded it back then. And expensive. A small three topping pizza and two sodas cost $50.
We went to the original location of Ben & Jack's steak house, which was fantastic steak, so tender. We had a cheeseburger at The Shake Shack in Bryant Park, and noodle and dumpling lunch at a very well-known restaurant in Chinatown called 456 Shanghai. We got a Black Forest cupcake and mini cheesecake from Magnolia Bakery, and went to Serendipity for frozen hot chocolate, something I'd been pining for over the past years. But we also found some really great newer places, and I have some pics.

I have so many pictures to put up that I'll be breaking them up into small chunks.

Edited: Nov 18, 2017, 1:27pm Top

Central Park with the leaves turning. We were there at a perfect time for Fall foliage.

The Warner Library in Tarrytown aka Sleepy Hollow. It's a beautiful building, inside and out. I had the chance to really explore it this time.

At the jack o'lantern blaze. This is a pumpkin replica of the Zee Bridge, and it was big enough to walk across. I have several more blaze pics to post later.

Nov 19, 2017, 6:30am Top

>40 mstrust: Yum, yum, yum! It looks like you did the town right!

>41 mstrust: Your pics make me want to jump right into them and feel the energy of New York. What an awesome place!

Nov 19, 2017, 1:38pm Top

Gad those are pretty. Dad fell while I had him in NY, but luckily he wasn't hurt other than some bad scrapes. Friday at midnight I was walking up Time Square to hit the 24-hour Walgreens for bandages and antibiotic ointment. Thanking the gods the whole way.

Nov 19, 2017, 3:37pm Top

>42 Carmenere: It is the most energetic, alive city I've ever been to. Probably the fastest paced city in the world. People run into the street to dodge between cars, they run to squeeze into subways and elevators. The idea of just waiting for the next one is completely foreign to New Yorkers. But, with all the fast walking and subways stairs, I lost about five pounds despite eating like there was no tomorrow.

>43 SomeGuyInVirginia: Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear that. That must have been the most fretful trip to Walgreen's.

Edited: Nov 19, 2017, 4:04pm Top

Another chunk of NY pics:

The trail at the beginning of the jack o'lantern blaze in Croton-on-Hudson. That town needs to change its name. But the blaze took place on the grounds of the Van Cortland Manor and had several brick buildings that were probably 150 years old or so. The jack o' lanterns on the posts on the left were carved into old-fashioned gas lamp toppers, and the pumpkins along the ground numbered in the hundreds, each with a unique carving. The glass lanterns also numbered in the hundreds and had real candles inside, so it was wonderfully atmospheric once it was dark. I don't know how large the grounds are, but the blaze was enormous and featured thousands of pumpkins.

This was a life-sized carousel that turned and played happy calliope music, but about every 20 seconds the music would slow and become discordant and creepy. The carousel was made by the great great grandson of a famous carousel maker.

This pumpkin spider web was so huge that it could have had ten adults stuck to it. The pumpkin tarantulas were about five feet tall. We were in the first showing of the evening, 5:00 pm, and this event is highly organized and they are strict. You show up exactly for your time, no earlier. A Sleepy Hollow shop owner that we chatted with in the afternoon told us to be on time, because if you're ten minutes late for your time slot, they won't let you in. You're suppose to follow the trail through the grounds and it leads you right to the exit, but we doubled back before the final turn and went through three times so we could take pictures, but also just to look. It was very beautiful, cold and just a few drops of rain. They had a few food tents at the entrance, and going in, I had a pumpkin pie coffee that was so delicious. When we were done, we had apple cider doughnuts and cold fresh apple cider.


This was our dinner on our first night in NYC. We went to S'MAC, which used to be called Sarita's. It's a mac 'n' cheese restaurant and we got the sampler. It's about a 16 inch round cast iron skillet that is divided into eight equal parts, and each part has a different flavor mac 'n' cheese, like a French style, Italian, Spanish, traditional... it was all good and we cleaned up every piece of macaroni.

Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 11:30am Top

96. Upstairs at The Strand by Jessica Strand and Andrea Aguilar. Subtitled "Writers in Conversation at the Legendary Bookstore". I admit that I didn't look long enough at this one before throwing it in my basket, as I thought it was a series of readings by famous writers appearing at The Strand, but the title is right there, it's a book of discussions. There are a few famous writers included, but it's mostly other writers. sometimes with a moderator, interviewing each other before the floor is opened to questions from the audience. George Saunders is here, and Alison Bechdel, but the majority of the writers turn out to be people I've never heard of, usually with a long list of prestigious awards. By far the most interesting chapter was cranky Edward Albee and Paul Auster being questioned by a moderator and then the audience. Auster and the moderator seem to be going beyond professionalism or pleasantry during the discussion in an attempt not to anger the bad-tempered cat that is Albee. But I wasn't interested in many of the discussions. 3 stars

Nov 20, 2017, 11:36am Top

November Nocturnal box:
We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone
The Wilderness Within by John Claude Smith
a Shirley Jackson quote throw pillow cover
a packet of apple strudel flavored Hell House coffee
a Nocturnal pennant
a Game of Thrones Night Watch beanie
a Carrie-and-the-bucket-of-blood enamel pin
artwork inspired by Hellraiser

Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 6:12pm Top


The Empire State Building

We were glad to see that Rice to Riches was still there. On the right, traditional rice pudding covered in graham cracker crumbs and whipped cream. On the left, rocky road and maple French toast rice puddings.

Nov 21, 2017, 11:51am Top

Ermagerd! Rice pudding is one of my all-time favorite foods.

Edited: Nov 21, 2017, 1:10pm Top

Then you would love Rice to Riches. They have about twenty flavors, and they change them up. I think there is always a flavor of the month too, and there are all kinds of toppings. Plus, the bowls are like space age pods and the spoons are curved sticks with no bowl, because the pudding is so thick.

The front window of Otto's Shrunken Head Tiki Bar in LES.

I loooove black and whites. For me, it's a tie between Zabar's small ones in a pack and Zaro's huge ones that cover my whole hand. I ate several of these during the week. Sorry this pic is so big and blurry.

Nov 22, 2017, 9:19am Top

Ha! I Ubered into Manhattan and as soon as we crossed the East River I asked the driver "Where's Zabars?!"

Happy Turkle Dee!

Edited: Nov 22, 2017, 10:58am Top

One of The Partridge Family's best: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRlUcMrtiT0

Edited: Nov 22, 2017, 11:14am Top

>51 SomeGuyInVirginia: It was so very handy to be staying at a hotel just a three minute walk from Zabar's, because it meant we ducked in four or five times over the week for necessities like chocolate rugelach, black and whites, apple strudel, and gifts of tea tins. But doesn't the entrance way with all the cheeses stink, ha?!
Happy Thanksgiving to you! I've boiled the eggs and I'll be making the cranberry sauce and a pumpkin pie with a pumpkin snap cookie crust later.

97. iZombie: Dead To The World by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred. The first in the series. We meet gravedigger Gwen, a young blonde who works in the graveyard so she can eat the brains of the recently deceased. Her friends are Ellie, the ghost of a teenager from the 60's, and Spot, who is a were-terrier. Gwen isn't very happy with her afterlife, but things get interesting when she eats the brains of a man who turns out to have been murdered by a guy wrapped up in bandages.
Being a big fan of the show, I was interested to read the graphic. Pretty much the only thing the two share is a blonde zombie as the main character who has visions from the brains she eats. It's a different story all together, and I'm glad I have the second in the series. 3.5 stars

Nov 22, 2017, 1:12pm Top

Wow, you have an uncanny ability to find tiki bars everywhere!

Sad about David Cassidy. Today 67 is still rather young.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Pumpkin Snap Cookie crust sounds awesome. How's it made?

Edited: Nov 22, 2017, 4:49pm Top

Otto's was quite a walk, as we went to the Beetle House near The Bowery first, after walking from Chinatown. That's a walk. The Beetle House is the Tim Burton themed bar, but we got there about thirty minutes before it opened. That didn't stop me from opening the door and walking in right behind an employee, so I got a quick look before being told they weren't open. It was teeny, like a long, narrow hallway. The bright purple lights were on, giving it a Burton-ish look, but while we stood outside about eight more people showed up, and that would have packed the place. So we went to Otto's.
Otto's was very cool and the bartender was friendly and chatted. She was familiar with our Vegas regular, Frankie's. But we only had time for one round of drinks before a big group of drunk students burst in, screaming and climbing all over. But I did pick up a mug! Here a pic of it from the internet:

It's very sad about David Cassidy. I discovered The Partridge Family albums as a teenager and I've loved them ever since. They hired the best studio musicians and songwriters, and Cassidy had a distinctive voice.

I consulted both The Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and my mom, so here's how I made the crust. It's so easy. I took a bag of Sprout's pumpkin snaps and crushed them fine to make 1 1/2 cup of crumbs. I added 4-5 tbs. softened butter and mixed well with the crumbs. I could have added a tablespoon or so of sugar, but I didn't want a really sweet crust. I formed this into a sprayed glass pie plate and chilled for about an hour. Then I used the Better Homes pumpkin pie recipe, but I used two generous teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice instead of all the individual spices. I'm hoping that between the crust spice and the filling that I end up with a highly spiced pumpkin pie.

Nov 23, 2017, 10:35am Top

Nov 23, 2017, 12:46pm Top

This is a time of year when I as a non-American ponder over what I am thankful for.

I am thankful for this group and its ability to keep me sane during topsy-turvy times.

I am thankful that you are part of this group.

I am thankful for this opportunity to say thank you.

Nov 23, 2017, 1:48pm Top

On this day of Thanksgiving, I am grateful for many things, one of them being my

Thank you for being so wonderful! : )

Love all your NY pictures and how cool was the jack o'lantern blaze?! Hoe you have a great day.

Nov 23, 2017, 10:52pm Top

Happy Thanksgiving, Jennifer. Your pictures of NYC are great and it sure looks like the food was good! Even though we had our Thanksgiving a month ago, we Canadians have adopted the whole Black Friday shopping craze so I am making a point to stay at home on and avoid the crush tomorrow.

** Special note to SomeGuy: I watched the first "Dead Set" and what a blast. It is both scary and funny, and boy can these zombies move! I always like to think that even I could outrun a zombie, but I sure couldn't outrun those ones! Must make a note to stay away from England during a zombie apocalypse. I fully intend to watch the rest of the series.

Edited: Nov 24, 2017, 5:28pm Top

98. Swindled: The Dark History of Food Fraud, From Poisoned Candy to Counterfeit Coffee by Bee Wilson. A study of the ways unethical sellers or manufacturers have stretched their supply with additives, often dangerous ones, or labeled a valuable edible for a cheaper one. The majority of the book covers mostly English instances, then switches to primarily American examples. Chapters include a look at cheating in bread, wine, milk, spices, mustard, vanilla and the modern gourmet market for caviar.
This is one of those heavy books that took me at least six months to finish. I was drawn to the subject and the author has interesting information. It should have been one I couldn't put down, but there's something about the author's style that didn't engage me. I found it a bit strange when there would be chapters of third-person writing, and then suddenly a sentence or two in first-person, giving her opinion. About three quarters of the way in, she suddenly gives half a page over to her personal opinion, then switches back to the previous style. Anyway, the info about "swill milk" will stick with me.3 stars

Nov 24, 2017, 12:03pm Top

>57 PaulCranswick: What a lovely sentiment, Paul. I'm thankful that you're here too!

>58 Berly: Thank you, Kim! You're always very welcome here.
That jack o'lantern blaze was very cool. Definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

>59 DeltaQueen50: Thank you, Judy! There's so much to do in NYC, but I could easily change that to "there's so much to eat." We both feel that we ate non-stop.
I'm with you, I do not go out on Black Friday. We don't even try going out to breakfast. I hunker down and watch the horrifying videos of the sale fights though. ; ) It's like Ultimate Fighter.
I keep meaning to get back to "Desk Set" as what I saw was good. I've been binging on "Mindhunter" for the past two days though. My sister told me about it and I was hooked quickly.

Edited: Nov 24, 2017, 12:13pm Top

More pics-

At The New York Museum of Historical Society. On this day, they had a group of young volunteers in WWI uniforms manning a couple of tables covered in authentic uniforms, weapons and equipment. They spoke with visitors and knew everything about their displays. The museum has what I believe is the largest collection of Tiffany lamps (I have a few pics, let me know if you're interested). They also have an extensive collection of American silver and WWI metal toys.

Westsider Books was on the block down from our hotel. It's a very narrow two story shop.

Luke's Lobster was a real find. They had the most delicious lobster rolls. Here is the clam chowder, a lobster Gruyere grilled cheese, poppyseed slaw and at top, the lobster mac and cheese.

Nov 24, 2017, 5:33pm Top

99. iZombie Vol. 2: uVampire by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred. Here we have the origin stories of Ellie the ghost, Scott the were-terrier and the group of vampires plaguing Eugene, Oregon. Gwen's romance with monster hunter Horatio progresses, and she realizes that major chunks of her own memory are missing while she does what she can to tie-up unfinished business for her latest unhappy meal. 4 stars

Nov 24, 2017, 9:05pm Top

Fabulous pics of your trip to NYC!

Nov 25, 2017, 8:27am Top

Hope everyone at the BBC had a delightful Thanksgiving!

Nov 25, 2017, 12:13pm Top

>64 lkernagh: Thanks, Lori! I have more to post and I'm hoping my visitors aren't sick of NYC by now. : D

>65 Carmenere: Let's see, I did all the shopping and cooking, MIL showed up with dishes of gluten-free stuff that no one touched, we had wine and watched the dog show while two dogs chased each other around the house, and Assistant Manager Dwight showed up wearing something other than a poly-rayon suit. So it was interesting.

Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 12:24pm Top

The Museum of Natural History. I pared these pics way down, as I could have filled multiple posts with the amazing things found there.

This is some kind of dinosaur.

The Hall of Diversity, which features a huge wall that begins at tiny bugs and sea creatures and ends with mammals.

The Ocean Floor. It's beautiful, like walking underwater. The temperature is cooler in rooms like this, and warmer in rooms that feature South American and Mexican artifacts. The diving Blue Whale is so huge, you have to look at the people to get an idea of the scale.

Everybody knows him. This was probably the most popular item in the museum. It's at the very back of the Pacific Peoples room and there was a line of people waiting to stand next to him for a picture. I had to snap this really fast in between people.

Nov 25, 2017, 4:30pm Top

>67 mstrust: Nice pictures of the Museum of Natural History, Jennifer!
Although I guess the first one isn't a dinosaur but a mammoth ;-)
It would be great to wander around in the Hall of Diversity, or the Ocean floor.

Nov 25, 2017, 5:02pm Top

>45 mstrust: HI Jennifer. A few years ago my partner, his cousin and her partner saw the blaze pumpkin set up. It is incredible!!!!! We went on a cold October night. It was worth it.

Nov 25, 2017, 6:30pm Top

>67 mstrust: How funny would it be if the Easter island statues are hollow and the word's largest Tiki mugs?

Nov 25, 2017, 6:50pm Top

>68 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! The Natural History Museum is four floors, so eventually I found myself drooping from exhaustion, which wasn't helped by it being a rainy day. I went through that museum with thick, heavy rain boots on and it felt like each ankle had a weight belt on it.
Yes, you're right, it's a type of mammoth, so an ancient mammal. Mike took several pictures of ancient fish in the same room. They must have been eight feet long.

>69 Whisper1: It is incredible, and so beautiful too. Also, perfect for that time of year in that area surrounded by woods. Because we hurried over from Tarrytown, we got there too early, the cab left us, and they don't even open the gates until maybe ten minutes before the official start time. We sat right outside the gates on a picnic bench under apple trees that were going dormant.

>70 SomeGuyInVirginia: I was just over at your place while you were here at mine. Oh my, that would be a tiki drink big enough to lower yourself into and splash around.

So I've put away the Autumn decorations and I'm bringing the Christmas decorations out. And I think the cookie baking will begin next week.

Edited: Nov 26, 2017, 8:13pm Top

Entering the Reading Room at the main branch (5th Ave.) of the NYC Public Library

The beautiful Map Division Room, which is small and displays a variety of globes and folded commercial maps and trail guides through the decades.

Edited: Nov 27, 2017, 12:34pm Top

100. Paperbacks from Hell by Grady Hendrix. The subtitle of "The Twisted History of 70s and 80s Horror Fiction" sums it up. This book features the most lurid yet accomplished horror covers and descriptions of plots that seem absolutely cuckoo. And Hendrix has clearly read them. I expected more snark, like a version of The Gallery of Regrettable Food about trashy books, and the snark it sometimes present, but Hendrix also praises the unsung heroes of the genre, both authors, artists and publishers, while occasionally laying into those who didn't deserve success. George Lutz of Amityville Horror fame gets it the worst.
I didn't expect to end up wanting to read any of these, but Hendrix writes about authors like Joan Samson and Michael McDowell with such admiration that I'll look for their books. And a big surprise was finding out that so many female artists were responsible for all these wonderfully horrific book covers. 4.5 stars

So that's 100. I told Bernard and he's beside himself with excitement.


Nov 27, 2017, 2:41pm Top

Don't buy The Auctioneer by Joan Sampson, I have a spare copy and will send it to you.

Nov 27, 2017, 3:06pm Top

Ha! That's the one Hendrix banged on about. What did you think of it?

Nov 27, 2017, 3:40pm Top

Michael McDowell is a name that rings a bell with me. When I checked his titles, I am pretty sure that I have read Cold Moon Over Babylon and it was a read that really gave me the chills.

Nov 27, 2017, 4:14pm Top

Congrats on 100... and love Bernard's reaction!

Nov 27, 2017, 5:41pm Top

>76 DeltaQueen50: Hendrix really likes McDowell's "Blackwater" series, but I'll try whatever of his that I come across.

I was hoping you'd stop by, Judy. I have so many opinions about TWD. *Spoilers*

1. Daryl isn't waiting to discuss who needs to die, he's just cappin' 'em. Probably because he needs to get even with Saviors.
2. Naked trash lady. Ick!
3. Ezekial- on one hand, I'm a little happy to see his scenery chewing taken down several pegs. It was annoying, and being American, I cringe every time someone calls him "King" or "Your Highness". On the other hand, didn't you think that he and Carol were about to have a moment when she went to talk to him in the theater? I did. I was ready for a declaration even though I still hold out some hope that Carol and Tobin will reunite. He was so nice to her.
4. Why would Rick do someone as dumb as going into the trash heap to try and work a deal. Last season it was Daryl naked in a cell, now Rick's naked in a container.
5. At least Gregory is in a pen, so that's something.

>77 lkernagh: Why thank you, Lori. I do prefer Bernard's blackouts to his screaming, so it was nice all 'round.

Nov 27, 2017, 7:55pm Top

Congrats on 100!

Nov 27, 2017, 8:19pm Top

Beautiful pictures of the New York Public Library! No ghosts?

Nov 28, 2017, 12:11pm Top

>79 drneutron: Thanks, Doc! I'm feeling smug.

>80 rabbitprincess: Thanks, princess! That library has so many gorgeous rooms, including the ones I wasn't important enough to get into. Didn't stop me from standing outside and taking pics through the metal screens though.
Sorry, no library ghosts for me, and no Bill Murray either. Though it would be fun to have that first library ghost constantly shushing people around me.

Nov 28, 2017, 12:25pm Top

>78 mstrust: I enjoyed the last episode of TWD because we finally got some time with all the main characters. Here's my take:


1. Daryl doesn't strike me as the kind of fella that mulls things over, he acts and reacts, and he's out for revenge.

2. Naked trash lady was revolting - all I could think of was that I wouldn't want to sit anywhere she sat!

3. Yeah, I find Ezekial more than a little over the top. I was expecting him and Carol to get together and perhaps it will still happen, I will be happy if he continues to keep it dialed down. Him being called "King" doesn't really bother me but, I think it is strange that his "subjects", all Americans would have gone along with it. I think Tobin being so nice is exactly the problem Carol has with him.

4. I am hoping that Rick being held prisoner is part of his "plan" and that there is something in the works to get the trash people on their side. Either that or since Daryl was naked last year, Rick wanted equal nudity time!

5. I think Maggie made a mistake putting Gregory in the pen with the Saviors. This will give him time to plot with them and I personally think Gregory is very dangerous!

I wonder how much time has gone by since Negan killed Glen - it seems like a lot yet Maggie still isn't showing yet!

Edited: Nov 28, 2017, 12:56pm Top


1. Yes, it does seem like Glenn and Abraham died a year ago, but I think it was on Talking Dead that they said it was suppose to be hardly any time since that event, like a matter of weeks. One of the guests pleaded for Maggie to be allowed to have that baby already.
2. And where do those trash people live? It's somewhere cold enough that Trash Lady wears a heavy neck-to-thigh coat and everyone is bundled up in rags. Same with Negan and his leather jacket, scarf and gloves. Meanwhile, Rick and his people are in t-shirts and tank tops and always dripping sweat. It's like they're fighting across the equator.
3. When Carol walked out on Tobin, I thought, "You fool!" It's weird that she's ended up spending more time with the guy who body slammed her on concrete, Morgan, than with the nice guy. Maybe Carol can't be tamed. She's like the wind. ; )
4. That's a great theory and I would love to find out that Andrew Lincoln demanded equality.
5. I think you're right. He's as self-centered as a sociopath, desperate, and he must possess the ability to persuade since he became the head of The Hilltop. Even though we've seen none of that talent, he'll try it out in the pen for sure.

Nov 28, 2017, 2:39pm Top

Hurray for

Nov 28, 2017, 3:57pm Top

Happy 100! That's freakin' awesome!

Edited: Nov 28, 2017, 4:53pm Top

>84 Berly: >85 SomeGuyInVirginia: Thank you, Kim and Larry!
And I keep trudging along:

101. The Borden Tragedy by Rick Geary. Geary was an illustrator for The New York Times and National Lampoon before turning to graphic novels. This book of illustrations, first published in 1997, is all black and white and drawn for realism. If you've ever seen a photo of Lizzie or her father Andrew, you would recognize them in these drawings. Geary approaches the book as if writing an article about the events. It's highly researched and takes the reader step by step through the events that occurred on the morning of the murders, and that's really where the focus is, as the subsequent trial and after are rather complex for the medium.
I used to read books on the Borden murders, but hadn't gone back to it in many years. Geary had a few points that I hadn't heard before, such as the Borden house being odd in that it had no hallways, just one room leading directly into another, or that while Lizzie's trial was happening, a young Fall River woman was murdered in her home with an axe.
Geary has a few more true crime graphics. 4 stars

Edited: Nov 29, 2017, 1:40am Top

Congrats on reading 100! Well, 101 now. Great NYC photos. >86 mstrust: I love Geary's GNs about history. They are always about interesting murders. I hadn't heard that he made a book about The Borden Tragedy. Is it a new one? Oops, 1997, guess it isn't new.

Nov 29, 2017, 8:49am Top

Congrats, Jennifer

Either Bernard can not contain his excitement or he's a tad bit jealous he's not the one to reach your milestone.

Edited: Nov 29, 2017, 11:16am Top

>87 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg! This was the first time I've come across Geary, and I too was surprised that this book is 20 years old.
I have just a few more NYC pics to crop and post. All my book boxes have arrived, so as Mike says, it's all over except for paying the bills for it.

>88 Carmenere: Thank you, Lynda! I like to think that Bernard reached his own 100, but in bottles of wine.

It's time to start planning my Christmas cookie baking. This year I'll be filling 14 cookie tins, which is the most ever. I have a list of flavor ideas, and I believe I'll get started this weekend.

Nov 29, 2017, 12:07pm Top

>89 mstrust: >88 Carmenere: LOL!
Enjoy baking!

Edited: Nov 30, 2017, 12:51pm Top

Thanks, Lynda. I'm starting with peanut butter bars. They're easy and freeze well. I've spent last night flipping through my collection of cookie books and recipes.

Nov 30, 2017, 5:16pm Top

Cookies! If it's got milk and egg in it, you can call it breakfast.

Edited: Nov 30, 2017, 6:28pm Top

They do indeed, and butter too, so let's re-name them Calcium Bars. Isn't that what the big brands do with cereal bars?
I replaced the chocolate chips in the original recipe with Kraft's Caramel Bits, little chewy caramel balls for baking, and reduced the amount of brown sugar by 1/4 cup. I think they're very nice.

Here's another one I picked up at The Strand:

102. Eloise: The Absolutely Essential 60th Anniversary Edition by Kay Thompson, drawings by Hilary Knight. In this, the introduction of Eloise, we meet the six year old who lives at The Plaza and treats the famous hotel as if she owns it. She rides the elevators up and down, orders raisins, spoons and beer from room service, bothers the Front Desk and pretty much every other employee, and crashes weddings. Her companions are Nanny, her pug and a turtle, and it's clear that Eloise has too much energy for one person to deal with. She's wild, imaginative, and full of confidence, to the point of making her tutor crazy by mimicking him to his face.
Eloise is one of those classics that I never heard of until I was an adult, but now I'm a fan. Even though she's a child I could only like on paper. 5 stars

Nov 30, 2017, 9:59pm Top

>91 mstrust: - Oh dear.... I can see your thread will be an even more dangerous one to visit, now that holiday baking has commenced! I will try to visit after eating, so I don't drool all over the place. ;-)

Dec 1, 2017, 12:39pm Top

Hope you're full, Lori. : D

I made a batch of lemon ginger cookies last night. There was a little lemon zest and juice, and a little shaved ginger and 1/4 cup of diced crystallized ginger. I thought the finished cookie was light and crisp and very buttery, but I was surprised that it didn't have a stronger ginger flavor. I had Mike eat one and asked if he could tell what was in it, and he guessed it immediately, saying the ginger was very strong.
Maybe it's 'cause I was nibbling crystallized ginger as I baked.

(internet pic. I think we've established that I'm an awful photographer.)

Dec 1, 2017, 1:52pm Top

Ermagerd, I have got to eat lunch.

Dec 1, 2017, 9:54pm Top

>95 mstrust: - As luck would have it... I am. ;-) Those look yummy!

Dec 1, 2017, 10:59pm Top

Ha! Hahahaha! I just bought a box of Walker's shortbread at Costco. I LOVE that stuff, and the metal tin they come in is handy, too. Pull up a Japanese garden stool and we'll have a nosh.

>93 mstrust: I didn't investigate, but a few days ago at the grocery store I think I saw a breakfast cereal call 'Doughnuts'. God, no wonder I bounced off the walls when I was a kid.

Edited: Dec 2, 2017, 1:44pm Top

>96 SomeGuyInVirginia: I'm afraid there are a lot more cookies to come. Maybe you'd like to already have one in your hand when you visit me.

>97 lkernagh: And they turned out yummy. But I tried one again yesterday and still, it's a crispy, very butter cookie, but I don't taste any ginger at all. I think I'll re-do them and bump that 1/4 cup of crystallized ginger up to 1/2 cup. I want them to bite back.

>98 SomeGuyInVirginia: Walker's! My mom used to love those and we'd get her a tin at Christmas, til she decided she shouldn't eat so many cookies. Those tins are attractive and handy though. How about I bring over some chocolate crinkles, as that's what I'm making today?

Cereal companies hide so much sugar in their products, which is why they taste deee-licious! When I was a kid my mom bought us Cherrios, Rice Chex and Raisin Bran. We had whole wheat bread and our peanut butter was Laura Scutter's, that stuff that has to be refrigerated and stirred up before each use. I've mentioned that we got a dose of cod liver oil every morning.

Last night we found a great ramen place five minutes from our house. It's just opened and they do authentic Japanese ramen bowls, huge bowls of noodles, pork broth, slabs of pork belly and soft boiled eggs with slivered ginger. Plus, blocks of silk tofu coated in a very thin panko batter and lightly fried, served with a sesame dipping sauce. It was amazing. Paired with Lucky Buddha beer and a whole wall of projected anime tv shows. I love noodles.

Dec 2, 2017, 1:45pm Top

>99 mstrust: Mmmmm ramen! Also yum to Walker's shortbread! I have two of their tins that, after being emptied of their original contents, are used for bringing my own baked goods to the office or to parties. One is in the shape of a little suitcase and is too adorable for words.

Dec 2, 2017, 1:47pm Top

They do make a lot of irresistible tins, and I've always been a sucker for plaid. Their little black Scottie dog tins are so cute too.

Dec 2, 2017, 2:28pm Top

>99 mstrust: Sounds like a great ramen place! We have one of those close by - it’s a great Sunday afternoon meal for us.

Dec 2, 2017, 3:00pm Top

Christmas cookies are one of the best parts of Christmas and yours are looking delicious! I don't do the Xmas baking that I did but somehow my 2 daughters manage to fill my hubby's cookie tin. I am sipping on a cup of coffee right now and would love to be able to reach out and grab a couple of those ginger lemon cookies!

Re TWD: Negan hangs onto his leather jacket but I have noticed a drop or two of sweat trickling down his brow. The one thing that comes up over and over when the cast and crew discuss the show is how hot it is in Georgia when they are filming. As for the Trash lady, she does usually over-dress which makes it even weirder that she likes to do her crafts while naked except for an apron!

Edited: Dec 2, 2017, 6:51pm Top

>102 drneutron: Where's that ramen place, doc?

>101 mstrust: >103 DeltaQueen50: Have you guys seen Z Nation on Netflix? I've seen a couple episodes and it's not bad. One scene had the Liberty Bell fall off the back of a truck and take out a bunch of zombies. Pretty cool.

I'm also really enjoying Raising Hope. Love Martha Plimpton.

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 3:40pm Top

103. The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository by John Connolly.
Though alone, Mr. Berger isn't lonely as he's always had books. When forced to retire at just thirty-six years old, he moves to his mother's cottage in the countryside, and there witnesses a woman's suicide, or believes that he has. By tracing the woman's movements, Mr. Berger discovers something that no one in town knows, that there is a library holding all the first editions of the greatest books ever written, a place where the characters actually live.

This is a novella, or long short story, and it's wonderful. Just right for a bibliophile. My edition was published by The Mysterious Bookshop in NYC, which is where I bought it, along with several others of their own collection. I recommend their editions as not only do they consist of lesser known works by famous mystery writers, but the books themselves are of thick paper, but still light and small enough to carry in your pocket. 5 stars

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 4:12pm Top

>102 drneutron: I like ramen a lot, so it's nice to see so many ramen shops opening up. Must be the trend, but it's a good one for me as I usually have to make my own ramen dinners at home with supplies from the Asian market.
I also enjoyed the cupcake trend very much too. ; )

>103 DeltaQueen50: Oooh, I like a big mug of coffee and a couple of cookies. Or a doughnut. Today has been doughnuts in the morning, shopping for presents and baking supplies, then to Mike's work to decorate the waiting room. I need to get some cookies baked today.
TWD- I know, every time I see someone bundled up, I feel so sorry for them because they always talk about the heat. Maybe the episodes involving the Oceanside group were to give our sweaty heroes a break.
When Trash Lady appeared in just the apron, I was literally wailing, "No! No!" I'm hoping we never have to see her come on to Rick again.

>104 SomeGuyInVirginia: I tried watching "Z Nation" when it first started and the writing was so bad. Now I see that Henry Rollins is on it, or has been, I don't know. So I watched for a little bit, hoping to see him because, he's Henry Rollins. Do you know if he's a regular or did he get killed in one episode?
I love the comedy horror show "Stan Against Evil" on IFC. It's hardly advertised, but it's funny and creepy and they're doing a lot with a tiny budget. Also, the guy who created it is a comedian named Dana Gould whose always been funny. So there's my plug for the little show that could.
My favorite on "Raising Hope" is Bert. So muscular, so stupid.

We went to Glendale Glitters last night, the Christmas festival in the Glendale town square that's happened every year for I don't know how long. Saturday night, and they had less than half the stalls as usual. Seriously, we walked around and ten minutes later we're standing there wondering what was going on. We usually spend a few hours there, but we left maybe half an hour after getting there. I asked a resident what was going on and she said that no one knew, but told me that she'd heard the city was charging $1000 for a stall, plus taking half the sales. So this looks like a boycott.

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

104. The American Museum of Natural History: The Ultimate Guide by Ashton Applewhite. Picked this hardcover up in the museum gift shop. It contains a lot more information than normally expected from this type of overview of an enormous place, with information about many of the people responsible for collecting the displays. Nice photos throughout. 4 stars

Dec 3, 2017, 10:56pm Top

>104 SomeGuyInVirginia: Ellicott City, MD. It’s called Uma Uma, a little place in a local strip mall.

Dec 4, 2017, 9:32am Top

>108 drneutron: Thanks doc.

>106 mstrust: I hear you. I made it through most of The Mist while I was in New York. I'd turn it on to help me sleep in a strange bed, and while I was shaving. I figured if I could watch that, I could watch anything. Z Nation isn't terrible, and there are some good effects. It doesn't have that grim hopelessness that TWD has.

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 5:38pm Top

I'll pop into "Z Nation" again. I don't mind giving it another shot.
I saw a movie on Netflix a few weeks ago called "Middle Men" that you might like. It starred Jim O'Heir, Jerry from "Parks & Recreation". It was a very, very dark comedy about a guy driving to Las Vegas for the first time to audition for a stand-up comedy show. One of his many problems is that everything he knows about comedy was learned from Abbot & Costello, Burns & Allen and other very old routines.

105. The Travelling Companion by Ian Rankin. Another little find from The Mysterious Bookshop. This is the story of a young Scot who travels to Paris in order to follow the footsteps of his thesis subject, fellow Scot Robert Louis Stevenson. The young man finds employment and a bed at the famous bookstore Shakespeare & Co., and one day is sent on an errand to inventory books at a local eccentric's flat. Meeting this older collector proves to be a turning point for the young man, who finds himself changing with each meeting. 4 stars

Dec 4, 2017, 7:14pm Top

>103 DeltaQueen50: - I loved Connolly's The Book of Lost Things so I feel pretty safe taking a BB for this one. ;-)

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 1:31pm Top

Hi Lori! I think you were referring to my review in >105 mstrust:. I have The Book of Lost Things on my shelf, but so far have only read The Gates from Connolly, which was so much fun.

So we had a good day yesterday. We were invited to a dim sum lunch by friends, and the five of us filled a big table with dumplings- shrimp and chive, pork and green onion, bbq pork, yellow bean. Also oxtail, and I see I took this picture before the big plate of ramen noodles with shrimp, fish, chicken and Chinese broccoli arrived. Dessert was lightly sugared yeast buns and little egg custards still warm from the oven.
Then, since we were so close by, we went to visit the import/export shop of another of Mike's friends. One of the things he imports are Buddhist temple statues, and he took us to his back room which was filled with temple statues, many of them weighing several hundred pounds. This one was about five feet tall. The room had so many huge gold statues that it glowed.

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 1:44pm Top

Last night I made berry chocolate chip bars, using the Hershey's recipe for raspberry chocolate chip bars. I mixed together strawberry and boysenberry jams for mine.

internet pic. This has a nut crumble, while mine is patches of baked dough, like a cobbler.

So that got me thinking. And this morning I used that same recipe but added a little pumpkin pie spice to the dough. Then I mixed half a can of pumpkin puree with 2 tablespoons brown sugar and a tsp. of pumpkin pie spice, and used that as the jam layer. When the tray came out of the oven, I topped it with a mixture of more pumpkin pie spice and gold sanding sugar, then put it back in the oven just long enough to make the sugar stick. It turned out great, like pumpkin pie cobbler.

Dec 5, 2017, 1:54pm Top

You're sending my drooling glands into overdrive!

So, TWD - I guess Rick really was so stupid that he walked into the Trash People's camp with no backup. Why he wants those weirdos to join in with his people is beyond me, they would backstap him in a minute if someone offered a better deal.

>104 SomeGuyInVirginia: Like Jennifer I have watched one show of Z Nation and I wasn't very impressed. But I do love my zombies so I, too, will give it another try. :)

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 2:35pm Top

>112 mstrust: Ho-lee cow! That looks incredibly delicious!

I've decided to get rid of 17% of my books, or about 700. I'm going to have to just bite the bullet and jet whole shelves with no look back. I've got too many books, and have hoarder's remorse.

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 5:36pm Top

>114 DeltaQueen50: I know, there's so much food in December. Meals out, cookies, candy, family dinners.

Ok, TWD- Yes, why was Rick so stupid! Trash Lady shot him, pushed him off the gate, her Trash People ( like the Village People but without the dance moves) nearly killed Michonne... so why on earth would he go back to them. And the Trash Lady isn't even any good at negotiations! Everybody is able to talk her down from her demands, so why is she leading?
So, do you think Eugene is truly going to help Negan fight Rick? Seems that way, but I think Eugene will ultimately side with Rick. He's stepped up twice to protect Rosita, and once to protect the whole group, so maybe he's just messing with Negan.

>115 SomeGuyInVirginia: It was so good. And not only would I never have thought to go inside this very frumpy looking restaurant, I probably wouldn't have noticed it all. It's just an end of a very plain brown strip mall, but inside it's huge.
Wow! 700 books! Dude, sit down and take a breather before you do anything crazy. :- D.
I know, sometimes I look around and force myself to pull a few out. I did that just before my trip because I knew I was bringing back more.

Edited: Dec 6, 2017, 1:56pm Top

The cookie for today is dark chocolate with spiced walnuts, and both cinnamon and white chocolate chips. I made them this morning and man, are they good.

Another NYC pic, this of the skating rink in Bryant Park. Look around the rink and those little glass huts are a collection of Christmas boutiques. There were a hundred or more, little glass shops that could hold all of five people inside, but some were so small they were crowded with two people. Most were small businesses like ornaments, knitted hats, crepes, jewelry, body products. The Strand had a double wide version of the hut, where I bought a tote. I bought a bottle of small batch, family-owned maple syrup from Vermont ( and tried the spicy syrup), and Mike returned to me holding a warm butter and brown sugar crepe, which was awesome.

Dec 6, 2017, 2:00pm Top

I need a pastry and a drink! Where's Bernard when you need him?!

I just saw that my favorite Las Vegas restaurant has shut down- the Lotus of Siam. That was also in a grotty little strip mall and very hard to find. Super good food, though. Way hot.

Re: books. It has to be done. I live in an apartment and will for the next few years. I have around 4,000 books in my place. I'd be thrilled if, like, 3,900 of them were magically transformed into Kindle books. I have this dream of my books being shelved on their ends like in a regular library. I did the math and, for what I've got on hand, I'd need about 217' of shelf space, or 14 Ikea Billy book cases. Plus, I have about twice as many books in storage. That's .12 of a mile all told. And that, my friend, is simply nuts.

I would need 36' of wall space to have the kind of library library I dream of having.

Edited: Dec 6, 2017, 2:56pm Top

The Lotus of Siam closed?! How does that happen when it was consistently named the best Thai food in the country? I never got to go but Mike had been there a few times, as the guy who owns the import company mentioned in >112 mstrust: would have a dinner party there every January.
Should I mention that I like this man very much because he gave me a basket and let me take whatever I wanted from the front room of his store? Stockings have been filled. No, I didn't take a Buddha.

Re: your predicament- the numbers make sense. You'll have to suck it up and do it. With that many books to get rid of, throw up some tables on a street in Manhattan! However you do it, I see an aching back in your future.

Bernard is mixing your drink as we speak:

Dec 6, 2017, 8:09pm Top

I like Bernard because he tries everything first.

Dec 7, 2017, 2:57pm Top

We're all about quality control. Bernard is willing to taste all the drinks before they're delivered to the customer. He goes above and beyond.

Today's cookies are walnut sandies, which I've just finished making. I used a recipe from The Gourmet Cookie Book that was originally for acorn cookies. I don't like acorns, so I used walnuts, and instead of dipping an end in chocolate as they call for, I'm going to sandwich these with apricot jam. They are so light and crispy and have finely chopped walnuts throughout. They're delicious, and pairing them with apricot jam should ensure that Mom loves them.

Dec 7, 2017, 4:03pm Top

Oooh, I've just discovered this line of teaware-

I'd like a whole set of the ones that say "I Could Poison You" on the inside. Just as a reminder.

Dec 7, 2017, 6:55pm Top

>122 mstrust: Haha that is awesome!

Dec 8, 2017, 9:31am Top

Good lord, those are expensive cups! For that kind of money, you could pay someone to stand at your elbow and whisper the same things in your ear.

Dec 8, 2017, 11:24am Top

>123 rabbitprincess: And the message is reiterated on the pretty little saucer. Very handy.

>124 SomeGuyInVirginia: They are expensive, surprisingly so. I guess they are being made just as fine bone china or porcelain, but too expensive to give as a gag gift. But they are very beautiful.

Finally, we're getting our tree tonight.

Dec 8, 2017, 12:20pm Top

Pics or it didn't happen!

Dec 8, 2017, 12:31pm Top

I expect our tree will be decorated only halfway up, again, as Coral very much slipped back to her thieving ways while we were in New York. It seems like the five finger discount is deeply ingrained in her.

Dec 8, 2017, 2:02pm Top

I hear you. I'm not getting a tree because a) Parker would eat it, and 2) I'll be out of town for two weeks and Da Floof! is going with me.

Dec 8, 2017, 4:53pm Top

Have you ever seen Calamityware? I've been tempted to buy some, but I never seem to have $300 bucks doing nothing. They use the old fashioned blue and white Chinese village motif, but add different elements wrecking havoc.

Here's a pic of of the village being attacked by UFOs. They also have mad poodles, frogs, a yuge robot, etc. Pretty cool.

Edited: Dec 8, 2017, 5:40pm Top

>128 SomeGuyInVirginia: Every year Mike tries to talk me out of getting a tree because we go over to Mom's for the actual day. Seriously, we have the same conversation every year about it.

>129 SomeGuyInVirginia: I hadn't seen that- cool! And expensive too. I like the soup bowls with one little fly painted on the bottom, seems more devious. But I know me. If I served them to guests I would be squirming around waiting for the reaction.

More freebies for me! I went to lunch today with Mike and met with a guy who has a space in the industrial complex, who let me pick out free leashes for every dog I know. He makes them from the same material used in rock climbing, so super strong and lots of funky patterns that will show up even at night.

I'm waiting for the butter to soften for the dough I'll make today and bake tomorrow. Crispy cranberry orange rounds. Mmm-mmm.

Dec 8, 2017, 5:46pm Top

Has anyone heard about when we can expect the 2018 75 group to go up? The category challenge group has been up a few months now.

Dec 9, 2017, 12:00pm Top

Newp, those things just sort of magically appear.

Edited: Dec 10, 2017, 4:50pm Top

I'll keep checking. Seems like it should be up by now.

We went to the Christmas market in Carefree this morning, and the wind was whipping. Lots of small business jewelry stands, bakeries, soaps, sauces, wrought iron and clothing. And a singer/guitarist on the pavilion stage. We found a food truck that advertised as the best grilled cheese sandwiches ever, which is a challenge I can't walk past. I think they were probably right because that was a fantastic sandwich. We also bought lots of doggie gifts for stockings, cow ears, chews and dog ice cream that you mix with hot water and it somehow turns into peanut butter ice cream.
Then to Costco to pick up more butter for baking, champagne to take to Vegas, and the yakisoba that I've only found there.
Right now I'm making classic snickerdoodles. Though I added a little pumpkin pie spice to the regular sugar & cinnamon that they get rolled in. And tonight I'm making mushroom stew.

Dec 11, 2017, 2:43pm Top

The Walking Dead mid-season finale freakout:
Aaaahhhhh! Carl?! Carl?! What the hell did they do that for?
Oh Carl, you should have stayed in the house.

Dec 11, 2017, 3:01pm Top


Edited: Dec 11, 2017, 3:07pm Top

Real dead or hid under the dumpster until the zombies shambled off and he'll eventually turn up dead?

If the walker came from his right...he wouldn't see it coming!

And another thing, I know it's the zombie apocalypse and standards of personal hygiene have slipped, but that filthy hair look is SO 2003! Rick, get in the river and wash your haid!

Dec 11, 2017, 3:53pm Top


Carl hasn't been killed off yet- but in the last 15 seconds of this episode, he's leaning against a wall looking very ill when Rick and Michonne find him. He lifts his shirt to reveal that he has been bitten on the torso by a walker, so it can't be cut out. He's dying, and the show runner Scott Gimple confirmed on "The Talking Dead" that Carl's injury would play out as the other characters who have been bitten did, in other words, no dumpster around to save him. Gimple is the guy who made the decision to kill off Carl, according to Chandler Riggs, so let's tp his house. Comic book Carl is still alive.
I know, Rick and Daryl produce enough hair grease to oil the engines of every car they have in town. When a door hinge squeaks they just rub their heads against it. I don't think Daryl has showered in the whole eight years we've known him. Oh, wait- he fell in a creek back in season two.

Dec 11, 2017, 4:57pm Top


Dec 11, 2017, 5:00pm Top

Here's Johnny, Gimple!

Dec 11, 2017, 7:07pm Top

RE: The Walking Dead - "Spoilers"

OMG! I certainly didn't see that coming. I didn't see the after show so I was hoping maybe that was a human bite not a zombie one! I admit Carl isn't my favorite character, and I guess we should have seen this coming, as he suddenly got all nice and noble - and that is usually the kiss of death for this show. Why oh why, when Rick had Negan down on the kitchen floor didn't he bash his brains in instead of putting the baseball bat to his mouth! Also, where's Judith? Michonne was with her in Alexandria but when they escaped the town and were in the sewers, I didn't see Judith anywhere. Losing Carl will send Rick off the deep end!

Edited: Dec 12, 2017, 1:02pm Top

>139 SomeGuyInVirginia: I think Gimple would hire Jack as the next villain. ;- )

>140 DeltaQueen50:

The kid has been growing up in a zombie apocalypse, had to shoot his mother, got shot in the stomach, then in the eye, and now this. I think the only bit of happiness he ever had were those few moments with Enid. And that tub of pudding. I admit that sometimes he wasn't selling the scene, but still...
Yes, suddenly Carl was trying to teach his father about being kind, which came out of nowhere considering The Saviors are currently decimating all the groups. So apparently Carl was bitten while doing his good deed of delivering food to the gas station guy. That fight with the walkers is where he was bitten, and apparently if you go back to that scene and then look at Carl's scenes since then, you'll see little hints. Like his speech to Negan at the fence.
I know, the fight with Rick and Negan was barely satisfactory. How could Rick possibly get the bat, then lose it as quickly? And I'm still wondering why no one was looking for Rick when he was kept by the Garbage People last week. Was there even any mention of him being gone for days?
I thought that maybe Judith had been inside Rick's house when it exploded, like that was the reason Carl went to the door, but Daryl was holding Judith in the tunnel at the end. She would be easy to miss as they just showed her for a second.
If (when) Carl dies, all hell is gonna break loose. Negan will be sorry for sure. I'm really hoping Rick knocked some of Negan's teeth out and he looks like a jack o'lantern next season!

I made sugar cookies yesterday, with just a tsp. of robust maple syrup in the dough. I used a cocktail glass to cut out simple rounds, and I'll frost them with white royal icing and dust with gold pixie dust and maybe some sprinkles.

Dec 12, 2017, 1:31pm Top

It's Frank Sinatra's birthday! Frank teamed with Bing Crosby for a musical Christmas special in 1957. Now how could something this great exist yet not be played every year? Enjoy.

Dec 12, 2017, 5:46pm Top

>137 mstrust: My other half has given up on TWD, but I made him play 20 questions to guess what happened in the mid-season finale after reading your comments :D He's still reading the comics, albeit very, very slowly because he reads the compendiums.

Dec 12, 2017, 7:22pm Top

My sister stopped watching a few seasons ago because it was too intense for her, which was weird because she had been a major fan. So are you trying to lure your BF back to the show with the shock of the latest news? I never, never thought they would kill Carl, and apparently the other actors didn't think that would ever be the plan. Andrew Lincoln has commented that he was shocked when he read the script because he's always believed that Carl would take over as the lead when they kill Rick off.
My reading of the comics has been spotty because I pick them up from the library when an issue I haven't read is there, and that doesn't happen often.

I've just finished baking today's cookie. Soft molasses drops.

Dec 12, 2017, 8:24pm Top

>41 mstrust: I also visited Tarrytown in the fall, and attended the blaze pumpkin extravaganza. I hope to go back.

I love the writings of Washington Irving. When you were there, did you visit his house, located by the rail road?

Dec 12, 2017, 9:08pm Top

>144 mstrust: Not really...as you know my interest in the show was limited to a couple of seasons in particular ;) I just like keeping him informed about it (and for once, knowing something before he does :P). BF thinks that Chandler was getting too old for the character he played, and it was getting harder for the show to hand-wave his ageing. He also thinks that Daryl will never die, because the fans will riot.

Dec 13, 2017, 10:34am Top

106. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy. Narrated by young New Orleans stockbroker Binx, who explains his life pretty thoroughly. In a confidential tone, Binx talks of his quiet life, his stint in the army, his extended family, his habit of seducing his secretary of the moment, and his very tight relationship with his cousin Kate, who keeps everyone around her walking on eggshells due to her erratic behavior. For a book of this title, Binx doesn't discuss movies that much, but does discuss in detail how he figures out how to pursue each of his secretaries and his mother's aloofness towards him.
I've forgotten how I heard about this largely forgotten book, which won the National Book Award in 1960. This one left me on the fence. There are some really interesting asides, but ultimately I kept waiting for Binx to do something rather than tell about what was done. He's a non-stop explainer, which can be tiresome. 3 stars

I'm calling it for 2017. I'm busy with Christmas preparations and baking, and spending so little time reading that it took me over a week to get through this short book. So 106. I'm fine with that.

Dec 13, 2017, 10:48am Top

>145 Whisper1: I've been to Tarrytown twice now and still haven't gotten to his house, Sunnyside. Dang it! It just hasn't worked out for me, though I was eager to go back to the Warner Library and this time I got to wander around and take pictures. When we went to Tarrytown the first time it was for the Headless Horseman event at Philipsburg Manor and we went to the cemetery, so I've seen his grave.

>146 rabbitprincess: I have a totally unsupported idea that maybe they are killing off Carl in order to get a better actor to be Rick's successor. Riggs was an excellent child actor but he's become worse as he's gotten older, which is something that happens sometimes to child actors when they become teenagers and become self-conscious. I'd noticed that Riggs is very good at things like crying, but not so great at the regular scenes. It may be that he's told to act that way as comic book Carl shows signs of being a sociopath, but it comes off as him not being a very good actor. So we may see a young actor appear who has more range. But I'm just one too involved viewer and this is my own over-thinking. : D

Edited: Dec 13, 2017, 11:25am Top

A few more NYC pics:

This amazing mural covered a whole side of a building in the Bowery.

Dessert at Serendipity. Their "Frrrrozen hot chocolate" is one of my favorite desserts ever. It's the one on the right, and one the left is Mike's "coward's portion" banana split.
I'll just mention that it's the ice cream that has made this place an institution, specifically the frozen hot chocolate. The service tends to be cold, and the front area were you stand in line waiting for a table is claustrophobic because of all the cheap junk they've crammed in. But if you get a chance, go. The ice cream is that amazing.

Dec 13, 2017, 12:18pm Top

Gawdalmighty! Those look great! And yuuge!

Edited: Dec 13, 2017, 5:48pm Top

Ha! They are huge. Everything is brought out on a dish because they fill it to overflowing. And the banana split is topped with hot fudge, strawberry and caramel.

I'll be taking today's cookies out of the oven in just a few minutes. Chocolate cherry almond bars.
Hmmm, apparently this flavor combination is a popular trail mix bar, but my recipe is somewhat similar to a magic cookie bar, minus the coconut. It has a shortbread crust that's baked, then coated in chocolate chips, then a sweet condensed milk mixture that includes two cups of almonds, half a cup of cherries and a beaten egg. Then baked again.

The closest pic I could find.

Dec 14, 2017, 8:14pm Top

Are they candied cherries? I love cherries, but not candied and nothing cherry flavor.

I have no idea why, but all of a sudden I'm starving.

Edited: Dec 15, 2017, 12:50pm Top

Yes, I used candied cherries, though the recipe called for dried cherries. I also switched out the vanilla extract it called for in favor of almond extract because cherries and almonds go so well together. I'm a big tinkerer. Mike, who has never been much of a cherry fan, said they were awesome.
And I've scrolled back through this thread and was surprised by how much food is here! I'd post a pic of a salad just to prove that I know what one is, but who wants to look at that.

I made a second batch of sugar cookies last night because I needed them. I'm taking today off from baking and this weekend I'll make one or two more cookies, then be done. They start going out on Thursday and I have three varieties that need to be frosted/filled last minute.

Dec 15, 2017, 10:33pm Top

>112 mstrust: - Oh good grief.... yes, that is the one I was referring to. ;-)

love the continuing NYC pics and don't mind me. I will just sit here and continue to drool over the baking.

Dec 16, 2017, 7:51am Top

New York had always stuck me as the epicenter of talent. Must be something in the water.

I'm at Dad's for two weeks, and nobody here bakes. I'll be buying my cookies from Ukrops, a pretty good commercial bakery.

We have to have cookies because Mom was a great baket and made Christmas cookies every year. Dad had the tiny tree up. But no presents! Looks weird. Thank God for Amazon.

Dec 16, 2017, 8:13am Top

Hey Jennifer, just got around to catch up on your delicious thread. Thanks for reminding I haven't made cranberry orange cookies in some time and I must add ingredients to my list.
>153 mstrust: I'd love to find Christmas Cards that look like this! hahahaha, wouldn't even have to sign them, friends and family would automatically know who sent them.
Have an outstanding weekend.

Dec 16, 2017, 10:51am Top

>154 lkernagh: When you think about it, the drooler is usually the most interesting person in the room.

>155 SomeGuyInVirginia: Or *gasp* you could bake some cookies. Why not? There are some super simple recipes, it's entertaining, or the frustration would make an hour or two fly by! Whatever happens, there will be a result you can take a pic of before eating or tossing.
But I hope you and your dad are having a good time. Hot toddies? Mulled cider?

>156 Carmenere: No problem, Lynda. It is an accurate sentiment for our Christmases, as both my sister and I show up with bottles of champagne, and Mom already has one chilled in the fridge for us. Oh, we have a good time over breakfast and opening presents!

Today's cookie will be oatmeal raisin bars. I use a recipe from a brownie cookbook that calls them Scotch brownies, but I tinkered a few times and now add in the key ingredients of cinnamon, oatmeal, and the raisins. It's one of Mike's favorites, he loves them.

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

Last night I made what may be my final batch. Cafe au lait meringue bars, which I've found also go by the name of Mud Hens, which is very weird. The bottom part is cakey yet gooey, and the top part is light and crispy like a meringue cookie. My recipe calls for 1/3 cup of coffee, so instead of using melted chocolate chips, I used Guittard's choc-au-lait chips.

We had a little rain yesterday! It's been months. I got to wear my rain boots that I'd bought specially for the trip, then threw in the closet when we got home thinking they'd never see the light of day again for the next five years.

Dec 18, 2017, 5:13pm Top

Whew! That was a lot to catch up on. And you've made my few batches of holiday cookies look pitiful. I did find a scone recipe that not only makes a larger-than-usual batch, but is a bit better than the recipe I'd been using, so we've been eating a lot of scones.

I read The Moviegoer a long, long time ago, long enough to have forgotten everything about it. It's the January book for my book club, though, so I should have an opinion on it soon.

Dec 18, 2017, 5:22pm Top

Hi Jennifer, are you going through TWD withdrawal as I am? Do you happen to know when the show is coming back? I think I will have to pull a zombie book down from the shelves to tide me over. We are busy these days and starting to panic with everything that we have to do with the move. To top it off the people have asked, and we said yes, to moving the possession day up a week!

Dec 18, 2017, 7:06pm Top

>159 RidgewayGirl: Well, I suspect that Mike treats it like a competition with some of his friends and business connections for best tin of cookies, like the wives are in a horse race. We receive a few in return. Perhaps there's betting involved. But we counted up all the tins I need to fill, 15 at the moment, and I'm hoping I have enough with the 14 different varieties I made.
I'm so surprised that a book club picked The Moviegoer, as it seems so long-forgotten. I'd had it on my WL for a long time and just happened to spot a single copy in The Strand's basement.

>160 DeltaQueen50: Yes! Last night felt like there was something missing and I knew what it was- no TWD! It will start back in February but I don't have the date. I have a couple of zombie books on the shelf too, and I might have to see if my library has added more volumes of the graphics. Oh, it's a sad time. Yet I'm dreading seeing Carl die, so while they're on break he's still alive.
This would be an especially difficult time of year to move. I have an idea for you to consider, as I finished the second season of "Haters Back Off!" on Netflix. When the family, a bunch of cretins and one normal daughter, got kicked out of their house, they all moved into the attic and the bank was none the wiser. They just kept the tv volume down. Problem solved.

I've just discovered the Irish sitcom "Father Ted" and I'm binging on that hard as I've discontinued Acorn TV and it ends on the 26th.

Dec 18, 2017, 11:34pm Top

>161 mstrust: Well, it's an idea, but I think our attic is none too tall so we would have to crawl around and I don't think my knees would be able to stand that and imagine the surprise of the new owners when I crashed through their ceiling! When I get home from my Mom's in early January, the mad rush will be on!

Edited: Dec 19, 2017, 11:10am Top

But imagine the story of how you met some new friends.
I hope your move goes smoothly. One of the worst things about moving is knowing you're about to move. Thinking about all the work involved is terrible.

Oooh, pretty...

Dec 19, 2017, 6:13pm Top

>161 mstrust: Father Ted! Yay! My favourite episode is "The Plague", although the episodes with Graham Norton are hilarious too.

Dec 19, 2017, 6:57pm Top

That's the one with the rabbits and the Bishop, right? My favorites are "Hell", where we meet Norton's character, and the Eurovision episode. But they were all so funny and I watched the three seasons in four days. Oh, and the reaction of old actor who got so angry when Ted shouted the catch phrase! Nearly pulled his head off.

Dec 20, 2017, 4:08pm Top

I've had a good reading year, with lots of 4 stars and above: >2 mstrust:
Some highlights for me were:
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes- Barnes & Noble edition
New York Grimpendium
The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository
Eloise: The Absolutely Essential 60th Anniversary Edition
The Pursuit of Love
The Indian Lawyer
My Name Escapes Me
Rosemary's Baby
I also discovered authors that stuck with me and I'll read more from, like Stuart McLean, John le Carre, Grady Hendrix and Jac Jemc.

Dec 20, 2017, 7:15pm Top

My boss is Irish and everyone and then she'll lapse into that lovely brogue.

I'm plowing through Z Nation. It's a little jokey, but the acting is coming together and the writing is getting more interesting. I think I've fallen in love with Lt. Roberta Warren but I need to ask my shrink if that's even a thing.

Dec 21, 2017, 11:55am Top

I'm at the third season of iZombie, and near the end of the second season of Lady Dynamite. And they've played a trailer for the next season of "Those Who Can't"! You might want to check out "F is for Family" on Netflix. It's a cartoon set in the 70's about a guy whose family drives him crazy. I still haven't gotten to the new season of "Stranger Things".

Dec 22, 2017, 11:57am Top

We're leaving for Mom's tonight so I'll wish my visitors and BBC customers a Merry Christmas. Here's hoping you get what you want.

Dec 22, 2017, 12:54pm Top

Happy holidays! Have a great time in Vegas.

Dec 22, 2017, 10:55pm Top

Merry Christmas!!

Dec 23, 2017, 10:53am Top

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones.

Dec 23, 2017, 12:30pm Top

Merry Christmas my friend, and all the best in the New Year!

Dec 23, 2017, 1:44pm Top

Have a wonderful holiday!

Dec 23, 2017, 7:45pm Top

Hi Jennifer, stopping by to wish you and your loved ones peace, joy and happiness this holiday season and for 2018!

Dec 25, 2017, 3:52am Top

Wishing you all good things this holiday season and beyond.

Dec 26, 2017, 3:15pm Top

Happy Boxing Day!!

Edited: Dec 27, 2017, 2:19pm Top

Thanks to everyone who came by during the holiday!

>170 RidgewayGirl: Oh no, Krampus carried us away to Sin City! We had an excellent Christmas, and I hope you did too!

>171 rabbitprincess: Thank you, princess, and I hope you had a Merry Christmas too! Made even better by the Dr. Who Christmas special, no doubt.

>172 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara, and to you too! Reindeer and gnomes make everything even better.

>173 SomeGuyInVirginia: I hope you had a super Christmas, Larry! Did you get what you wanted?

>174 DeltaQueen50: Ha! I guess it would be wrong to add, "Warmest Wishes"? I hope you had a very Merry Christmas. Btw, the Official Walking Dead Magazine that's on stands now is the final issue. Belly up.

>175 lkernagh: Thank you, Lori, and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

>176 PaulCranswick: What a pretty book. Thank you, Paul, and I hope your Christmas was merry!

>177 Berly: A second day to receive presents?! Hooray! I hope your Christmas and Boxing Day were wonderful.

We got back last night. A drive that normally takes nearly five hours took nearly six and a half. Accidents, construction on the Vegas freeway, and most of all, drivers who go under the speed limit but refuse to pull over into turn-offs so the line of twenty cars behind them can get past.

We had a really fun Christmas. My sister Julie and nephew Wade were at Mom's for several days before us and had to get back to work Christmas Eve, so we had our Christmas on the 23rd. We opened presents, made fun of Wade's stomach issues mercilessly, Mom made a big meal of ham, mac and cheese, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs...at one point Julie noted that we didn't have anything green or healthy on the table. We all looked around, agreed, and kept eating.
Julie and Wade left soon after and the next two days were casinos, restaurants and tiki bars. I was the big winner of $105!
As one of my presents, Mike pulled some strings with a bartender at Frankie's, and managed to get me the sold out ninth anniversary mug. It's awesome!

On the back it says "Frankie's Tiki Room, Ninth Anniversary". Mine is numbered 201 out of just 300.

I've also come home with Amazon cards, lots of champagne and vodka, even more chocolate and body products, and my sister gave me a stack of books:
Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails
The White Garden
The Girl Who Chased the Moon
The Night Sister
These are all books she enjoyed, and though we don't have a lot in common when it comes to books, I've never heard of any of them so I'll give 'em a shot.

Now I'll ignore all the laundry and putting away that I need to do, and set up my 2018 thread.
To everyone who visited The BBC in 2017, I hope you had fun and will visit us in 2018.


Dec 27, 2017, 7:11pm Top

Well, The Girl Who Chased the Moon is very different from your usual reading, but I really liked it.

Dec 27, 2017, 7:21pm Top

Thanks for the recommendation, I'll try it out though I see that "romance" comes up in big letters in its tag. But so does "magical realism" so maybe I'll like it.

Dec 27, 2017, 10:34pm Top

That tiki is so cool! How did Mike swing it?

I got cash for Christmas, the peace of which surpassed all understanding.

It sounds looks you had a blast, I'm really happy for you. Where did you win the $105?

Dec 29, 2017, 8:25am Top

Happy belated Christmas greetings, Jennifer! Christmas at your mom's sounds awesome! and your new tiki mug is the bomb!

Dec 29, 2017, 11:30am Top

>181 SomeGuyInVirginia: Well, the story is that Mike went to their site and saw that the anniversary mug had been released in November and sold out in five days. We're friendly with one of the bartenders who has been there for years and Mike has gotten him tickets for an industry show that he couldn't get, so... yeah, Mike called him and said, "I need this mug, what can you do?" And so he was able to buy one that the guy had bought for himself as a duplicate. Still in the box.
Cash is a great present! It proves that your family doesn't believe you'll go out and buy heroin.
I won at The Gold Coast, off The Strip. It's a plain place, no theme, mostly locals, but we've played there a lot over the years. Oh, The Lotus of Siam is back in business, though in a different location. They had to shut down the original place when the roof fell in.

>182 Carmenere: And to you, Lynda! I had a very enjoyable time. Presents, cookies, cocktails and lots of good meals. And three boxers in the house.

Dec 31, 2017, 11:47am Top

Have a Happy New Year's Eve!

Dec 31, 2017, 3:09pm Top

Happy New Year! And thank God about Lotus!

Dec 31, 2017, 4:52pm Top

Happy New Year! I'm just waiting to open the champagne...

Jan 2, 9:49am Top

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year!

Jan 2, 12:06pm Top

I did, both Christmas and New Year's were good. And I hope yours have been just as happy!

Edited: Jan 20, 2:30pm Top

>74 SomeGuyInVirginia:

I had to reply - I just noticed two posts about The Auctioneer in the past few months after not seeing any when I read the book in 2012. It was an interesting coincidence that the only two mentions on LT of a book published in 1975 were in the past year!

Jan 20, 4:18pm Top

Ooh, someone's pokin' around in 2017.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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