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Ronincats targets Books off my own Shelves for 2017: Sector Eight

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Nov 14, 2017, 9:33pm Top

These are my major crochet projects of 2017; I sold the gray one this weekend at the craft sale, where this young lady was the perfect model for it.

I’m Roni in San Diego and I’ve been a member of the 75 book challenge group since 2008. I have a husband, 4 cats, 1 dog, a garden, many books, and am retired. I spend my time reading, gardening, crocheting, and making pottery and wire jewelry. Last year I did miserably on my reading goals, not meeting a single one. This year I want to focus on reading books already on my shelves. My main focus in reading is in speculative fiction (science fiction and fantasy) but I also try to read at least a dozen nonfiction books per year and am keeping up, more or less, with 4 mystery series. Welcome to my thread. If you are a speculative fiction reader, comment on my thread and I’ll come visit you. I follow those members with similar tastes or that I forged friendships with back in the days when this group was smaller--there is no way I can keep up with everyone, although I would love to be able to.

Nov 14, 2017, 9:33pm Top

Goals for 2017:

I will continue my goals to read 150 books and 50,000 pages, as I have met that goal 6 out of 9 years, but amount is really not a focus.

Previous goals have included limiting the number of books acquired to fewer than the previous year and to de-acquisition as many books as acquired. This year I will set a goal of limiting acquired books to 85 and to send at least 50 books on their way out of my house.

I have done very poorly on my goal of reading unread books already on my shelves, but I really want to highlight that this year, and so I’m setting an all-time high goal of 50 books. I did read 40 such books in 2013, but only 41 in the last three years combined.

Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 4:42pm Top

Books read in 2017:

DNF Daughter of Gods and Shadows by Jayde Brooks (135 pp.) (2015)
1. The Kindred of Darkness by Barbara Hambly (248 pp.)(2016)
2. Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by J. R. Rowling (42 pp.) (pre-2011)
3. The Story of Charlotte's Web by Michael Sims (305 pp.) (2015)
4. Starship's Mage by Glynn Stewart (299 pp.) (2016)
5. The Heart of What was Lost by Tad Williams (222 pp.) (2017)
6. I Shot the Buddha by Colin Cotterill (342 pp.) (library)
7. Linesman by S. K. Dunstall (372 pp.) (2016)
8. The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman (361 pp.) (library)
9. Everything is Miscellaneous by David Weinberger (260 pp.) (pre-2011)
10. Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire (192 pp.)
11. The Iron Tactician by Alastair Reynolds (94 pp.) (2016)
12. Dawn by Octavia Butler (256 pp.) (pre-2011)
13. Spoiled Harvest by Leah Cutter (222 pp.) (2016)
14. Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire (352 pp.) (reread)
15. Where Shadows Dance by C. S. Harris (342 pp.) (library)
16. Where Maidens Mourn by C. S. Harris (341 pp.)
17. Evicted by Matthew Desmond (420 pp.)
18. The Creeping Shadow by Jonathan Stroud (445 pp.)

19. The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch (298 pp.)
20. Deeds of Honor by Elizabeth Moon (152 pp.)
21. Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (265 pp.)
22. Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt (360 pp.)
23. Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina (90 pp.)
24. Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (447 pp.)
25. Why Kings Confess by C. S. Harris (340 pp.)
26. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (388 pp.)
27. What Darkness Brings by C. S. Harris (353 pp.)
28. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (106 pp.)
29. Wanderings: Chaim Potok's History of the Jews (431 pp.)
30. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (243 pp.)
31. Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage (312 pp.)
32. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (467 pp.)
33. Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Knox (436 pp.)

34. The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan (333 pp.)
35. Mira's Last Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold (87 pp.)
36. Magic for Nothing by Seanan McGuire (368 pp.)
37. The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (514 pp.)
38. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman (478 pp.)
39. Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer (249 pp.)
40. Heartstone by Elle Katharine White (337 pp.)
41. The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (479 pp.)
42. Borderline by Mishell Baker (392 pp.)
43. Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton by Edward Rice (619 pp.)
44. Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit (160 pp.)
45. Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire (338 pp.)

46. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (94 pp.)
47. The Book That Changed America by Randall Fuller (294 pp.)
48. Crown of Renewal by Elizabeth Moon (503 pp.)
49. The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell (340 pp.)
50. Congress of Secrets by Stephanie Burgis (347 pp.)
DNF Everfair by Nisi Shawl (168 pp.)
51. Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan (333 pp.)
52. Crochet with Wire by Nancie Wiseman (88 pp.)

53. Beauty by Robin McKinley (264 pp.)
54. Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley (306 pp.)
55. The Gathering Edge by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (352 pp.)
56. All Seated on the Ground by Connie Willis (128 pp.)
57. The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (244 pp.)
58. Frogkisser! by Garth Nix (372 pp.)
59. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu (400 pp.)
60. In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brown (466 pp.)
61. Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner (352 pp.)
62. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (219 pp.)
63. The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (362 pp.)
64. The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (410 pp.)
65. A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner (341 pp.)
66. Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner (352 pp.)
67. Phantom Pains by Mishell Baker (408 pp.)
68. The Burning Page by Genevive Cogman (356 pp.)
69. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (349 pp.)
70. We Are Legion by Dennis Taylor (283 pp.)

71. John Adams by David McCullough (656 pp.)
72. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (271 pp.)
DNF The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman (199 pp.)
73. Who Buries the Dead by C. S. Harris (338 pp.)
74. The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (411 pp.)
75. A Useful Woman by Darcie Wilde (357 pp.)
76. For We are Many by Dennis Taylor (321 pp.)
77. City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett (450 pp.)
78. Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman (416 pp.)
79. Deadweather and Sunrise by Geoff Rodkey (296 pp.)
80. The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch (144 pp.)

81. Merrill's Marauders by Gavin Mortimer (230 pp.)
82. When Falcons Fall by C. S. Harris (355 pp.)
83. New Lands by Geoff Rodkey (325 pp.)
84. Blue Sea Burning by Geoff Rodkey (374 pp.)
85. Leviathan Wakes by James Corey (572 pp.)
86. Arabella of Mars by David Levine (350 pp.)
87. Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon (433 pp.)
88. The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin (410 pp.)
89. Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman (329 pp.)
90. Dancing at the Edge of the World by Ursula Le Guin (302 pp.)
91. The Cold Eye by Laura Anne Gilman (334 pp.)
92. The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen Flynn (373 pp.)

93. Where the Dead Lie by C. S. Harris (338 pp.)
94. The Gates of Tagmeth by P. C. Hodgell (377 pp.)
95. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (342 pp.)
96. Pack of Lies by Laura Anne Gilman (378 pp.)
97. Penric's Fox by Lois McMaster Bujold (113 pp.)
98. Inferior by Angela Saini (200 pp.)
99. The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins (390 pp.)
100. Kingfisher by Patricia McKillip (346 pp.)
101. Winterling by Sarah Prineas (248 pp.)
102. Tricks of the Trade by Laura Anne Gilman (345 pp.)
103. Avians by Timothy Gwyn (426 pp.)
104. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire (189 pp.)
105. The Unquiet Bones by Mel Starr (248 pp.)

106. Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (320 pp.)
107. The Warded Man by Peter Brett (453 pp.)
108. The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire (368 pp.)
109. Thraxas and the Warrior Monks by Martin Scott (256 pp.)
110. Masks and Shadows by Stephanie Burgis (317 pp.)
111. The Jesuit and the Skull by Amir Aczel (289 pp.)
112. A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty (375 pp.)

113. The Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty (468 pp.)
114. The Thread that Binds the Bones by Nina Kiriki Hoffman (311 pp.)
115. Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay (320 pp.)
116. All Systems Red by Martha Wells (152 pp.)
117. A Tangle of Gold by Jaclyn Moriarty (470 pp.)
118. Words are My Matter by Ursula Le Guin (337 pp.)
119. Interim Errantry 2 by Diane Duane (452 pp.)
120. Central Station by Lavie Tidhar (271 pp.)
121. Vallista by Steven Brust (328 pp.)
122. The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle (153 pp.)
123. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand etal. (494 pp.)
124. Maps to Nowhere by Marie Brennan (174 pp.)
125. The Prisoner of Limnos by Lois McMaster Bujold (139 pp.)

126. The Dark Side by Jane Mayer (337 pp.)
127. Greenglass House by Kate Milford (376 pp.)
128. A Royal Experiment by Janice Hadlow (617 pp.)
129. Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett (350 pp.)
130. 1632 by Eric Flint (597 pp.)
131. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson (209 pp.)
132. Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett (377 pp.)
133. Provenance by Ann Leckie (440 pp.)
134. A Matter of Oaths by Helen Wright (328 pp.)

135. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn (353 pp.)
136. Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman (123 pp.)
137. A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne (619 pp.)
138. Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths (483 pp.)
139. Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence (244 pp.)
140. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (462 pp.)

Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 4:58pm Top

Books acquired in 2017:

1. The Heart of What was Lost by Tad Williams (Kindle)
2. Evicted by Matthew Desmond

3. Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger
4. Zeroes by Chuck Wendig
5. Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire (Kindle)
6. Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman (Kindle)

7. The Unwinding by George Packer (Kindle)
8. Rough Crossings by Simon Schwama (Kindle)
9. The Inkblots by Damion Searles
10. The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch (Kindle)
11. Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina (Amazon)
12. Merrill's Marauders by Gavin Mortimer (Amazon)

13. City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett (ER)

14. Mira's Last Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold (Kindle)
15. Magic For Nothing by Seanan McGuire (Amazon)

16. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta (PBS)
17. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt (PBS)
18. In Other Lands by Sarah Brennan (ER)
19. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (MG)

20. Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor (MG)
21. A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab (MG)

22. Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor (PBS)
23. Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan (Amazon)
24. The Gathering Edge by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller (Amazon)
25. Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner (Kindle)
26. Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner (MG)
27. Inferior by Angela Saini (ER)
28. A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner (MG)
29. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (MG)

30. The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George (PBS)
31. All Men of Genius by Lev AC Rosen (PBS)

32. A Weekend with Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly (PBS)
33. The Clean Eating Slow Cooker by Linda Larsen (BargainBooks)

34. The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams (Amazon)
35. The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch (Amazon)
36. Darwin's Ghosts (Amazon)
37. Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury (Amazon)
38. The Essex Serpent by Saran Perry (from Jenn (nittnutt))
39. The Shape of Ancient Thought by Thoma McEvilley (Amazon)
40. An Oath of Dogs by Wendy Wagner (MG)
41. The Star-touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (MG)
42. The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen Flynn (MG)

43. Death's End by Cixin Liu (Amazon)
44. Due Diligence by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (Amazon)
45 Words Are my Matter by Ursula Le Guin (Amazon)

46. The Glasswrights Series by Mindy Klasky (Amazon)
47 The Great Alta Saga by Jane Yolen (Amazon)

48. The Gates of Tagmeth by P. C. Hodgell (377 pp.)
49. Penric's Fox by Lois McMaster Bujold (113 pp.)
50. The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire (368 pp.)

51. The Ruin of Angels by Max Gladstone (576 pp.)
52. An Unkindness of Ghosts by River Solomon (349 pp.)
53. In Calabria by Peter Beagle (176 pp.)
54. Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia McKillip (290 pp.)
55. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (387 pp.)
56. Cinderella Necromancer by Faith Boughan (322 pp.)
57. All Roads Lead to Austen by Amy Smith (367 pp.)
58. Interim Errantry 2 by Diane Duane (546 pp.)
59. The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin (432 pp.)
60. Tropic of Kansas by Chris Brown (469 pp.)
61. The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Barker (563 pp.)
62. Moonburner by Claire Lune (313 pp.)

63. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neal DeGrasse-Tyson (223 pp.)
64. Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (317 pp.)
65. The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle (153 pp.)
66. Vallista by Steven Brust (334 pp.)
67. Maps to Nowhere by Marie Brennan (174 pp.)
68. The Prisoner of Limnos by Lois McMaster Bujold (139 pp.)

69. The Dispatcher by John Scalzi (128 pp.)

70. A Matter of Oaths by Helen Wright (328 pp.)
71. Snow-Spelled by Stephanie Burgis (
72. Henrietta's House by Elizabeth Goudge (191 pp.)

73. The Silent Stars Go By by James Blish (441 pp.)
74. Call of the Cats by Andrew Bloomfield (237 pp.)
75. The Ferryman Institute by Colin Girl (426 pp.)
76. The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway (584 pp.)
77. Plainsong by Kent Haruf (301 pp.)
78. The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee (535 pp.)
79. Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic (405 pp.)
80. Alliance by S. K. Dunstall (389 pp.)
81. The Witches of New York by Ami McKay (535 pp.)
82. A Lot Like Christmas by Connie Willis (519 pp.)

Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 5:00pm Top

British Author Challenge
February - Terry Pratchett: Wyrd Sisters
June - Georgette Heyer:
October - Jo Walton: Necessity
December - Neil Gaiman: Odd and the Frost Giants

SFFCAT Challenge
January: "Read an SFF you meant to read in 2016, but never started/completed" - Starship's Mage by Glynn Stewart

February: "Space Travel!" - The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

March: "Religious Themed SciFi/Fantasy" - Lamentation (Psalms of Isaak) by Ken Scholes, The Gospel of the Knife by Will Shetterly

April: "Dystopian/Apocalyptic theme" - On Such a Full Sea

May: "Alien contact" - The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, All Seated on the Ground by Connie Willis

June: "Series Month" - City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett

July: "Award Winners/Nominees" - Leviathan Wakes by James Corey, The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin

August: "Humorous sci fi/fantasy" -

September: "Steampunk" - The Affinity Bridge by George Mann

October: "Near Future SciFi" -

November: "Historical SFF" - 1632

December: "Magic Systems" -

Nonfiction Challenge

January: Prizewinners - Evicted by Desmond Morris

February: Voyages of Exploration - Wanderings by Chaim Potok

March: Heroes and Villains - Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton by Edward Rice

April: Hobbies, Pastimes and Passions - Crochet with Wire

May: History - John Adams by David McCullough

June: The Natural World

July: Creators and Creativity - Dancing At the Edge of the World by Ursula Le Guin

August: I’ve Always Been Curious About…. - Inferior by Angela Saini

September: Gods, Demons and Spirits -

October: The World We Live In: Current Affairs - The Dark Side by Jane Mayer

November: Science and Technology - Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

December: Out of Your Comfort Zone - Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence

Obama Reading List Challenge http://www.librarything.com/topic/247375

February--Non-Fiction Titles: The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
March--All-time Favorites: The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois
April--Excellent Novels and Poetry Collections: The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
May--Books About Other Presidents: John Adams by David McCullough
June--Summer Reads 2016
July--Summer Reads 2015
August--Independent Bookstore Purchases
September--Childhood Classics
October--Additional Authors and Philosophers
November--Informative Reads
December--Books for Daughters

Nov 14, 2017, 9:36pm Top

I am reposting my list of favorite books from each year of my life (published date).

Okay, several people have been posting lists of favorite book per year of every year of their life. Seemed like an impossible task for me, but then I realized it didn't mean BEST book, and further realized that I could morph the conditions somewhat. So what this list contains is favorite books as defined by books that I keep coming back to and rereading with enjoyment. Except for the last 5 years, this means I have reread the books listed at least three times, and often many times more. Also, I have tried not to use books in a series too many times. I mean, I could list ALL of the Bujold books, the Vlad Taltos Series, the Liaden books, the Attolia books, the Toby Daye series, and so on, as I often reread all the previous books every time a new one comes out. I have tagged books that are part of this type of series with an asterisk. Need I say I spent far too long on this?

1949 Needle by Hal Clement
1950 The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
1951 Between Planets by Robert Heinlein
1952 Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
1953 Cotillion by Georgette Heyer
1954 The Lord of the Rings: Books 1 & 2 by J. R. R. Tolkien
Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman
The Ark by Margot Benary-Isbert
1955 The Lord of the Rings: Book 3 by J. R. R. Tolkien
1956 Sprig Muslin by Georgette Heyer
1957 Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
The Door into Summer by Robert Heinlein
1958 The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope
1959 The Beast Master by Andre Norton
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
The Unknown Ajax by Georgette Heyer
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
1960 The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner
The Dean’s Watch by Elizabeth Goudge
Storm Over Warlock by Andre Norton
1961 Catseye by Andre Norton
Time is the Simplest Thing by Clifford Simak
1962 A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
1963 Way Station by Clifford Simak
1964 Linnets and Valerians by Elizabeth Goudge
1965 Dune by Frank Herbert
1966 The Witches of Karres by James H. Schmitz
1967 Taran Wanderer* by Lloyd Alexander
Dragonflight/Dragonquest* by Anne McCaffrey
1968 A Wizard of Earthsea* by Ursula K. Le Guin
1969 The Warlock in Spite of Himself by Christopher Stasheff
Teaching as a Subversive Activity by Neil Postman
The Face in the Frost by John Bellairs
1970 The Tombs of Atuan* by Ursula K. Le Guin
1971 A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle
1972 The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin
1973 The Dark is Rising* by Susan Cooper
1974 The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip
1975 Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones
1976 Dragonsong* by Anne McCaffrey
1977 Charmed Life* by Diana Wynne Jones
1978 Beauty by Robin McKinley
1979 The Door into Fire* by Diane Duane
1980 Lord Valentine’s Castle* by Robert Silverberg
1981 The Pride of Chanur* by C. J. Cherryh
The Ring of Allaire* by Susan Dexter
The Demon Breed by James H. Schmitz
1982 The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
God Stalk* by P. C. Hodgell
1983 Jhereg* by Steven Brust
Tea with the Black Dragon by R. A. MacAvoy
1984 Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart
1985 Talking to Dragons* by Patricia C. Wrede
The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner
Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly
1986 Shards of Honor* by Lois McMaster Bujold
1987 The Uplift War* by David Brin
1988 The Dragonbone Chair* by Tad Williams
Sheepfarmer’s Daughter* by Elizabeth Moon
Agent of Change* by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
1989 Guards! Guards!* by Terry Pratchett
1990 Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
1991 Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
1992 On Basilisk Station* by David Weber
1993 The Thread that Binds the Bones by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
1994 Mirror Dance* by Lois McMaster Bujold
1995 Sabriel* by Garth Nix
1996 The Thief* by Megan Whalen Turner
1997 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone* by J. K. Rowling
1998 To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
Dark Lord of Derkholm* by Diana Wynne Jones
Changer by Jane Lindskold
1999 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban* by J. K. Rowling
2000 The Curse of Chalion* by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Queen of Attolia* by Megan Whalen Turner
2001 Getting Things Done by David Allen
The Eyre Affair* by Jasper Fforde
2002 Lost in a Good Book* by Jasper Fforde
2003 The Wee Free Men* by Terry Pratchett
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
2004 Going Postal* by Terry Pratchett
2005 Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
Cast in Shadow* by Michelle Sagara
2006 The King of Attolia* by Megan Whalen Turner
2007 Wizards at War* by Diane Duane
2008 Nation by Terry Pratchett
2009 Rosemary and Rue* by Seanan McGuire
2010 I Shall Wear Midnight* by Terry Pratchett
2011 Rivers of London* by Ben Aaronovitch
2012 Three Parts Dead* by Max Gladstone
2013 A Natural History of Dragons* by Marie Brennan
2014 The Martian by Andy Weir
2015 The Astronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
2016 Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer

Nov 14, 2017, 9:37pm Top

And welcome to my new thread!

Nov 14, 2017, 9:48pm Top

Happy new thread, Roni!

Gorgeous crochet work!

Nov 14, 2017, 9:52pm Top

Happy new thread Roni!

Nov 14, 2017, 9:58pm Top

Happy new thread dear Roni.
Love the topper which again demonstrates what a talented lady you are.

Nov 15, 2017, 12:29am Top

Hi Roni and happy new thread. I was happy to read that your last craft show was a success. My elder daughter and I are going to go to a craft show next week but I suspect the items won't be a beautiful as yours are.

Nov 15, 2017, 12:40am Top

Roni--Happy new thread! LOVE your topper. Awesome job. I see the Obama Challenge has petered out a bit for you. I highly recommend The Best of McSweeney's collection of short stories edited by David Eggers. It is fun to slip in and out of and it has such an interesting variety of poetry, stories and comics. The first volume has Zadie Smith, George Saunders, David Foster Wallace and so many more. But whatever is your next read, be it spontaneous or for a challenge, I wish you lots of fun with it!!

Nov 15, 2017, 8:33am Top

Happy new thread!

Nov 15, 2017, 3:14pm Top

Happy New Thread, Roni!

Beautiful work up top.

Nov 15, 2017, 3:31pm Top

Happy new one, Roni! Beautiful work up top - you are so very talented.

Nov 15, 2017, 3:34pm Top

Happy new thread! Hope you find time to get outside some today.

Nov 15, 2017, 7:22pm Top

Welcome, well come to Dejah, Steve, Paul, Kim, Jim, Joe, Mamie and Reba!

Kimmers, if you look, I have fallen behind on ALL of the challenges, but I will certainly take your recommendation into account. Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans is not showing up as a touchstone, but the library has it and I have just requested it.

So warm and slightly humid today, Reba! I spent the morning packing away my show stuff into the 6 square feet in the corner of the dining room where it lives outside of show season. I need to get out and do some watering, but I'm waiting to see if we get any sprinkles tonight. The cats have knocked my weather station offline and I need to take the time to set it back up! I miss having the data at my fingertips, so to speak. At the moment, however, they are sound asleep in the cat bed near me on the window seat.

Here is some eye candy for everyone.

This is a library/bookstore in Yangzhou, China, with a mirrored floor to give the tunnel look.

Nov 15, 2017, 8:04pm Top

Hi Roni, happy new thread! Love your crochet projects, I have been thinking of picking it up again, would love to make a bag like that.

>17 ronincats: That's fascinating! (But how do they keep the books from falling?)

Nov 15, 2017, 8:24pm Top

>18 EllaTim: You can find the pattern at http://www.lillabjorncrochet.com/2016/08/peacock-tail-bag-cal-general-informatio...

The designer is Tatsiana in the Czech Republic and her website is Lilla Bjorn (little bear) as seen above.

I have no idea.

Nov 15, 2017, 9:13pm Top

>17 ronincats: Nice eye candy! Happy new thread, Roni. Good to hear that your efforts paid off big time at the latest craft show.

Nov 15, 2017, 9:17pm Top

Hi, Meg. Thank you. I just finished telling Judy (DeltaQueen) that the magazine Travel & Leisure just selected Canada as its 2017 Destination of the Year. See here:

And in unrelated news, my library just started a new policy of automatically renewing overdue books if they are eligible (i.e., nobody else is requesting them). How neat is that! They just recently went from only one 3-week renewal to 2 renewals to now 5 renewals. Hosannah!

Nov 15, 2017, 11:07pm Top

Wow for your library!
Happy new thread, Roni! I'm always happy to be here.

Nov 16, 2017, 11:26am Top

>18 EllaTim: I had exactly the same question.

Also those books are a bit high to reach. maybe they are just props and glued on!

Nov 16, 2017, 2:35pm Top

>17 ronincats: So is show season over?

Edited: Nov 16, 2017, 7:25pm Top

I finished reading two of Susan Dennard’s Witchlands books. I read Truthwitch for the local Barnes & Noble book discussion group and thought it was good enough to read the second Windwitch. The second book was even better than the first. There is no second book syndrome going on with this YA fantasy series.

Nov 16, 2017, 9:02pm Top

>21 ronincats: I was checking out your thread while watching the news, Roni. The story about Canada being the 2017 Destination of the Year was on the news at the same time that I was checking out the links. LOL.

I like the idea of automatic renewal of overdue library books.

Nov 17, 2017, 6:21am Top

Happy new thread, Roni!

Nov 17, 2017, 11:02pm Top

>22 LizzieD: Yes, I love it when the library is proactive like that. What a customer service!
>23 sirfurboy: I can't explain it!
>24 RebaRelishesReading: I think so. I did well enough that I think I'll work on building inventory for the spring shows, although I might look for an outlet for my crochet during the chilly months.
>25 benitastrnad: My library does have this series, Benita, so I'll mark it.
>26 Familyhistorian: LOL, Meg. And yes, what a customer service bonus!
>27 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen.

Book #128 A Royal Experiment: the private life of King George III by Janice Hadlow (617 pp.)

I think it was Susan in London who made me aware of this book. It caught my attention because I have read so much fiction in the Georgian and Regency periods but had little awareness of the royals of that time other than the Prince Regent. This was a long and thorough but highly interesting history of the family and family relationships thoroughly annotated and researched. Not necessarily for the casual reader.

Nov 18, 2017, 2:22am Top

Nice bit of eye candy up there ....

Nov 18, 2017, 12:43pm Top

HI Roni - Happy New Thread!

I didn't realize you also crocheted! Beautiful work. I'm glad the craft show was successful. I'm guessing that your busy time is about to unfold. Whoops - just read your comment in >128 and that doesn't sound like a bad plan at all. I hate the Christmas crazy that infects some shoppers.

I'd love to visit more of Canada. Lots to explore in that link.

I know shamefully little British history.

I can't remember if you commented on seeing the movie 'Victoria and Abdul', but if you haven't seen it, it's quite good - Judith Dench is always wonderful. The friend whom I saw it with recommended the PBS series 'Victoria' and so I'm watching that through Netflix.

Nov 18, 2017, 1:53pm Top

>30 streamsong: I saw "Victoria and Abdul" this week and really enjoyed it. Now I want to know how much of it is factual.

Roni -- do you have a cup ready that would be good for soup? A friend who loves my new cup is alone and often eats soup for dinner. It would make a nice Christmas gift for her -- especially if it's that beautiful dark red :)

Edited: Nov 21, 2017, 8:44am Top

Happy new thread, Roni!
>17 ronincats: Intrigueing picture! Would be great to create something like that at home.

Nov 19, 2017, 5:02pm Top

Hi Roni, I am now caught up with all that has been happening over the past two months on your threads. Love all the kitty pics! I see that mom cat has mis-matched eyes... looks like one yellow/green and one blue/grey and I love the "supervision" the cats provide when you are trying to display your bead-work. ;-)

I love this time of year for all the craft fairs I can attend, but it just occurred to me that this is probably a very busy time for you!

Happy new thread! Love the crochet top!

Nov 19, 2017, 6:09pm Top

Good heavens, you snuck over to a new thread and I missed it. I'm sorry...but I'll leave my birthday wishes and slink off now.

Many happy returns.

Nov 19, 2017, 7:06pm Top

Happy new thread, and happy birthday!

Nov 19, 2017, 7:55pm Top

Is it your birthday, Roni? I hope it's a happy one.

Nov 19, 2017, 8:29pm Top

Happy birthday, Roni!!!! I almost missed it!

Nov 19, 2017, 9:48pm Top

Happy Birthday to a wonderful person! I've missed so much. I really want to visit the threads more often in 2018. For now, do you still have the kittens? If so, do you have recent photos?

Love to you.

Nov 19, 2017, 10:45pm Top

Oh - happy birthday! I’m glad I came by today.

Amazing work at the top, and I was admiring how organised you are, switching wardrobes etc. Fortunately, I don’t have to do that :0)

Nov 20, 2017, 12:21am Top

Happy New-ish Thread, Roni. And much more important, happy day after your birthday!!!!!!!

Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 12:27am Top

Hello, all you lovely people! Yes, today is my birthday and I have had a lovely, lazy day with my husband cooking both breakfast and dinner, pouring me a glass of wine, and relaxing with a book in front of various football games with kittens sleeping on my lap.

>29 roundballnz: Hi, Alex!
>30 streamsong: I haven't seen that movie yet, Janet. I did see part of the PBS series, though.
>31 RebaRelishesReading: The only one I have would be perfect except that there is the smallest of chips on the foot, Reba.
>32 FAMeulstee: Seems like it would be a bit overwhelming in a home, Anita.
>33 lkernagh: Welcome, Lori!
>34 richardderus: Thank you, Richard!
>35 foggidawn: Thanks, foggi.
>36 Familyhistorian: It is, Meg, and thank you.
>37 Dejah_Thoris: Thank you, Dejah!
>38 Whisper1: Linda, I hope you are recuperating well! Here you go--they are growing SO fast!

>39 humouress: Thank you, Nina. Some people would think that I don't really have to either.
>40 EBT1002: Still my birthday here and where you are, Ellen! Thank you.

Book #129 Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett (350 pp.)

This is the book that definitively hooked me on Pratchett and I wanted to see if it stood up to re-reading. It definitely had some great moments, but now I suspect that the next book in the subthread is the one that started getting deeper, so I will put Men at Arms in the reread pile soon to check that out. But really, books where we get to spend time with Vetinari and the Librarian are worth the time spent in them.

Books bend space and time. One reason the owners of those aforesaid little rambling, poky second-hand bookshops always seem slightly unearthly is that many of them really are, having strayed into this world after taking a wrong turning in their own bookshops in worlds where it is considered commendable business practice to wear carpet slippers all the time and open your shop only when you feel like it. You stray into L-space at your peril.

Book #130 1632 by Eric Flint (597 pp.)

This book has been on my shelf for several years, at least. I raced through it yesterday and today. It's an interesting premise, several square miles of West Virginia small town transported to the middle of 1600's Germany and what might ensue, plus lots of history along with political thinking and beautiful strong women. I enjoyed it, but I think one might be enough. Any of you read the sequels?

Nov 20, 2017, 12:31am Top

Happy Birthday Hope you still having a great day ......

Nov 20, 2017, 8:16am Top

Happy birthday!

Nov 20, 2017, 8:30am Top

Happy birthday Roni! Probably late, but then wishing you a happy continuation of the day;)

Nov 20, 2017, 9:04am Top

I am slightly late to wish you happy on your birthday, Roni. Sounds like it was full of fabulous.

Boy, have those babies grown - such sweet kitties!

Nov 20, 2017, 10:11am Top

Hope you have a simply maavalus day!

Maybe we can get together next week and see about that mug? (I just took a sip of tea from my wonderful mug :))

Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 10:26am Top

Happy Birthday, Roni!

I love RD's birthday quilt up there. Here's another.

Nov 20, 2017, 10:51am Top

Book #130...I read the second, it was more of the same, so I decided two was enough.

Nov 20, 2017, 2:47pm Top

Happy Birthday Ro!

Nov 20, 2017, 6:24pm Top

>41 ronincats: I just read The Wee Free Men, which is my first Discworld since I started with the first one or two and found them too much (The Colour of Magic, I think - Rincewind and the Luggage). It certainly hooked me (read it in less than 24 hours), but I'm slightly reluctant to read the next one in case I burn out. I think I'll read a few other things in between.

And I love the 163x series, have read many, and have fallen way behind. I don't know if I'll ever read all of them. The thing is, Flint noted that the problem with most alternate history books is that a) Our Heroes are mixed up in every single event that happens as a result of their showing up (very unrealistic) and b) no author could possibly write about everything, or even every major thing, that is affected by the change. So he made his a shared universe. He's listed as author on most of the books, but I think he's more of a checker - someone else writes, he approves (which probably takes more time than he wants out of writing other things even so!). The first couple books he really did write - well, he wrote the first one, he co-wrote (with David Weber for the second, and assorted others for the next lot) the next several, and more recently there are books that are pretty much by someone other than Flint.

If you're interested in alternate history (not alternate history stories, but the whole concept) it's a great series - you get to see some of the complications that most books skim over. But...well, no author could write everything that happened...and no reader (not me, anyway) could _read_ and understand all the events. Timelines mix - Thing A happens in Book A, followed by Things B, D, F, R and Y; Book B mentions Thing B and covers Things C, D (from a different perspective), E, G, and H; Book C starts with Thing I, mentions Things G and H which led to it, and goes on to cover Things S through W... Time advances, too, and things that would have happened anyway happen, sometimes altered by the Grantvillers' presence and sometimes not. I keep reading actual biographies and histories that cover that period, and thinking about how the Grantvillers would have changed them, or not.

So - if you are not fascinated by alternate history, skip it. If you don't want to be dragged into a huge series, skip it - they're up to almost 30 books, and 75+ short story collections (or serial novels, some of them). But if neither of those put you off, it might be worth dipping into some of the books by various authors, and seeing if any of them work particularly well for you. Or start with some of the collections (Grantville Gazettes) - most of the later authors started with stories in the Gazettes and were then allowed to create entire novels, since they'd displayed competence with the idea as well as ability to write.

I own a lot more than I've read, though I don't own all of the books (yet). I _intend_ to read them all, eventually. I did greatly enjoy 1632 and 1633, and have reread both of them several times - if you really didn't enjoy them, you may not like the rest. But they're more standard alternate history stories, with one or two people (Mike, mostly) being pivot points for all the changes - the later books get a _lot_ broader.

Nov 20, 2017, 11:01pm Top

>41 ronincats: I'm a 163x / Ring of Fire fan, too. I think I've probably read 9 of them, including several of the books of short stories.

>50 jjmcgaffey: You did such a beautiful job of discussing the series, there's nothing much I need to add!

I do intend to get to them all - but I'll probably go back and reread the lot I've already got.

I wonder if there'd be any interest in a year (multi-year) long series group read, like the Vorkosigan read. Even before your post, Roni, I was thinking of going back to 1632 and reading one or two a month until I was caught up.

Nov 21, 2017, 12:12am Top

Roni, the Assiti Shards series is really, really complicated because of Flint's admirable decentralized leadership style, so if you decide to read on, please avail yourself of his very current reading order guide.

Nov 22, 2017, 2:57am Top

>6 ronincats: What a great idea! I love it and would like to do it, but I'm afraid it would take me soooo long... I'm happy to see that you have some Jasper Fforde books on the list - I didn't realize that you were also a fan. Also, A Canticle for Leibowitz - I read it in college and really enjoyed it, there is just something about it that is kind of haunting, in a way. I was so excited when the sequel came out, but I really did not enjoy it.

Happy belated birthday!

I saw on one of Kriti's threads that you were trying to get together a group read of God Stalk. I would be interested in joining in so please keep me in the loop! Unfortunately, my library does not see fit to own this book (along with many others which I would like to read), so I will have to buy it on Amazon. There appear to be 2 Kindle versions - so I'm not sure which would be the best to buy. One is 271 pages and the other appears to be some sort of compilation as it is 656 pages (but is cheaper, which makes me a little skeptical.) Any recommendations as to which version is best?

Nov 22, 2017, 5:00pm Top

Is the group read of God Stalk on for January? You had mentioned December.....

Happy Thanksgiving, Roni!

Nov 22, 2017, 5:06pm Top

Enjoy the holidays, Roni.

Nov 22, 2017, 5:06pm Top

Happy belated birthday!

And I am so looking forward to reading God Stalk.

Nov 22, 2017, 5:48pm Top

>42 roundballnz: Alex, you are right; you did make my birthday with hours to spare! Thank you.
>43 drneutron:, >44 EllaTim:, >45 Crazymamie: Thank you so much, Jim and Ella and Mamie.
>46 RebaRelishesReading: If not next week, then the week after--soon, for sure, Reba.
>47 jnwelch: Thank you, Joe.
>48 richardderus:, >50 jjmcgaffey:, >51 Dejah_Thoris:, 1632 question. My goodness, I had no idea it was so extensive--that guide is invaluable, Richard. I did enjoy the book, especially the way Flint worked the history of the area and time (about which I've read non-fiction) into the story-line. The characters were okay, if not deep, and the action was fairly predictable from the set-up. I could see this just continuing with new history being woven in each time and getting old. But with enthusiastic reviews from Jenn and Dejah, I will at least try 1633 and perchance Ring of Fire if the library has it, per the author recommendations.
>49 luvamystery65: Thank you, Ro!
>53 rretzler: I'm a huge Jasper Fforde fan, Robin. And I've got you on the list for the God Stalk read. You are right; there are two options. God Stalk is the first book in the series (which can be read on its own) at $6.99, and The Godstalker Chronicles combines the first two books and is cheaper at $5.38. Go figure. Either will do for our purposes.
>54 EBT1002: December was originally one of the choices, Ellen, but more people were copacetic with January, so January it is. And I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving. We will be roasting at around 90 degrees and you look to be cold and stormy.
>55 cameling: Thank you, Caro.
>56 sibyx: Thank you, Lucy. And I am starting to worry--what if all these people HATE it?

Nov 23, 2017, 12:33am Top

So I've been reading about all the Thanksgiving prep going on around the threads for those of us in the US. Mine so far has been trips to the store (Monday and Tuesday) where the materials for dinner were picked up (except for the meats, which my husband got this morning), including a pecan pie at Costco. Costco pies are delicious but way too big for two people, but they were on sale and such a good deal that it didn't make sense to buy one elsewhere, even if we can't eat it all. Pecan is not a favorite of mine--too sweet--but the husband likes it. We will have turkey roasted in a brown paper bag (no basting, good browning all over) with oyster stuffing. I use the Betty Crocker fresh bread recipe, using multigrain bread rather than white, and add lots of oysters. We'll have fresh green beans and giblet gravy and the husband want candied yams so he'll fix that. And he bought a ham as well, but I don't know if he intends to cook that tomorrow. Probably, knowing him.

My oldest cat, Zoe, has been having digestive problems. The lab results came in Tuesday and she has pancreatitis so I have her on three different meds--fortunately all only twice a day. She seems to be responding. I have her isolated in my bathroom, poor dear.

Nov 23, 2017, 8:33am Top

>58 ronincats: Happy Thanksgiving Roni! What a lot of preparations!

Sorry to hear about your cat, and good that she is responding. Cats and meds, it is no fun, usually.

Nov 23, 2017, 8:59am Top

Words not needed!

Nov 23, 2017, 9:45am Top

That’s the face of anticipation right there!

Nov 23, 2017, 11:30am Top

Happy Thanksgiving, Roni!

>58 ronincats: Fabulous sounding meal, Roni!

And poor Zoe. I hope she's good about her meds and feels much better soon.

>57 ronincats: We're not all going to hate Godstalk - I'm looking forward to it!

Nov 23, 2017, 12:29pm Top

Nov 23, 2017, 12:56pm 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, 1:07pm Top

Nov 23, 2017, 1:33pm Top

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

Thank you for being so wonderful! : )

And happy belated birthday, and I am behind on all my challenges, too.

>17 ronincats: So cool!!

Nov 23, 2017, 7:51pm Top

Thank you, Ella.
No words needed indeed, Lucy.
Thanks for stopping by, Jim, Jenn, Paul, Dejah, and Kim.

Nov 23, 2017, 10:16pm Top

Hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving, Roni. Your meal certainly sounds tempting. Also I am here with belated birthday wishes, I seem to be walking around with my head in the clouds these days, I am missing everything!

Nov 24, 2017, 1:44am Top

Happy Thanksgiving, Roni!

Nov 24, 2017, 2:26am Top

>67 ronincats: That's an impressive looking bird, Roni. Hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving.

Nov 24, 2017, 12:43pm Top

That is indeed one beautiful turkey!! Hope you had a wonderful day yesterday.

Nov 26, 2017, 8:44pm Top

Gorgeous turkey. Save some for Posey?!

Nov 26, 2017, 11:53pm Top

>67 ronincats: Did you and husband eat Birdzilla by yourselves?! I am *awestruck* by the mere notion of it!

I had a bird-free dinner and loved it.

Nov 27, 2017, 2:32pm Top

Thank you, Judy, Kriti, Meg, Reba, and Lucy! We did have a very nice Thanksgiving. Unfortunately I have been battling an infection since Friday and feeling Quite Under the weather as a result--finally starting to regain some energy today.

Richard, we ate most of one half of the breast. We had one of the leg quarters the next day. I'll be making turkey soup today. What you don't realize is that the hubby also baked an 8 pound ham on Thanksgiving--ham and beans yesterday. What was he thinking, you ask? He doesn't. I argue against it every year, but he always insists on two meats.

Book #131 Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson (209 pp.)

Some people find Tyson irritating. I don't; I think his enthusiasm for his subject is charming. And this little book was the perfect bathtub book--small and broken into chapters. I only had difficulty wrapping my mind around the concepts in the first chapter with all the particles. The rest of the book was fathomable and entertaining.

Book #132 Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett (377 pp.)

Ah, yes, THIS is where Pratchett comes off the parodies of fantasy memes and moves into meaningful satire in the Watch series. Glad I reread it, may have to continue this series reread.

Book #133 Provenance by Ann Leckie (440 pp.)

Ah yes, THIS is why I fell in love with science fiction! Engaging protagonist, good side characters, wonderful world-building, action-fiLLED plot, not too complex but quite clever--totally entertaining. I read it straight through on Saturday despite not feeling all that well. Recommended!

Nov 27, 2017, 6:57pm Top

Book #133 will be in my Booksgiving reviews because it *rawked*! So happy you liked it.

I reviewed The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion at my blog: https://tinyurl.com/y9pgj84m

It's an anarchist/genderqueer/lesbian urban fantasy. I loved it, and I suspect you just might too. It's about as far from Yet Another LotR Ripoff as a book can get.

I'm drinking bicarb at the mere notion of all that carnage.

Nov 27, 2017, 9:24pm Top

Book #134 A Matter of Oaths by Helen S. Wright (328 pp.)

This Kindle book came to my attention via the article below. Written (and forgotten) in 1988, it is being re-released now.


Like Leckie's book, this is science fiction space opera focused on individuals and yet with the scope of a galaxy. People you care about, adventure and action, space ships--another one that was very enjoyable and highly recommended.

Nov 27, 2017, 9:35pm Top

>74 ronincats: Sounds like we had the same kind of experience with Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Roni. I'm a Neil DeGrasse Tyson fan - he won me over with his superb Cosmos series (Carl Sagan was a mentor of his). But that first chapter was a tester! After that, it was relax and enjoy.

That's very encouraging to hear about Provenance. I loved the Breq series, but I hadn't heard much about this one.

Nov 27, 2017, 9:45pm Top

A Matter of Oaths sounds great! I've added it to my wishlist.

Edited: Nov 27, 2017, 9:46pm Top

>77 jnwelch: I loved the Breq series too, but it was more drama on a large scale, with big ideas and consequences. This one is more fun.

>78 kgodey: I missed it the first time around, Kriti, but glad Tor brought it to my attention now.

Nov 28, 2017, 3:20am Top

Provenance is beaming it's way to me def think its my kind of book ..... what's not to love about Pratchett of course its Hogfather season ....I have the audio book so perfect escapism while at work

Nov 28, 2017, 5:26am Top

>74 ronincats: I want to read at least two of those three books. Thanks for the recommendations.

Nov 28, 2017, 11:22pm Top

>80 roundballnz: Definitely Hogfather season, Alex! I think you'll love Provenance.
>82 ronincats: Don't know which two, Stephen, but I've been on a roll lately so I'm sure you'll enjoy them.

I realized I need to go post these on the What you are Reading thread too.

Here are Motley and Dinah about an hour ago. They are growing SO quickly.

Nov 29, 2017, 2:24am Top

>82 ronincats: Cute!! Glad you enjoy(ed) Neil and Astrophysics. I did, too. Happy Wednesday.

Nov 29, 2017, 4:30am Top

>82 ronincats: The two are Provenance and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. The Terry Pratchett one is just a maybe. I quite like the Terry Pratchett books I have read but often find the covers offputting! Still, "meaningful satire" does sound like something I would enjoy so its a definite maybe too!

Edited: Nov 29, 2017, 6:33am Top

Hi Roni!

Yipes. I somehow lost your thread and just re-found it after 52 new posts. Happy Very Belated Birthday. Glad you had such a wonderful Thanksgiving and the turkey looks scrumptious.

And I'm sorry to hear you're fighting an infection. Not good. I hope that your starting to feel better on the 27th has continued.

Kitty pictures are always appreciated. Your kitties seem to pose for the camera! I hope Zoe is doing better, too.

Edited to add: Now that I think about it, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry was much more understandable after the first chapter.

Nov 29, 2017, 2:44pm Top

>82 ronincats: Kittens do grow up way too fast!

Nov 30, 2017, 6:31pm Top

>83 Berly: Thank you, Kimmers, and Happy Thursday to you!
>84 sirfurboy: Thanks for the clarification, Stephen.
>85 karenmarie: Better late than never, Karen. Much better now, thank you. And Zoe seems to be doing well also--she fights her meds now like she means it.
>86 thornton37814: How true, Lori!

So today was pottery day after a hiatus of 2 weeks thanks to Thanksgiving. I picked up two bowls, glazed 5 shaving soap bowls and a vase and threw 4 bowls, so a productive day. Here's what I brought home--both are 8.5 inches in diameter.

Nov 30, 2017, 6:32pm Top

Both gorgeous, Roni, but the batik-y blue on the left makes me covet and lust after it.

Edited: Nov 30, 2017, 6:36pm Top

>67 ronincats: I am always in awe of your many accomplishments. You knit, you sew, your pottery and jewelry and incredible. And, just look at that turkey.

Yum.How are the kittens?

Nov 30, 2017, 8:59pm Top

November Summary

Books read: 9
Pages read: 3631
Average pages per day: 121
Average pages per book: 403

New reads: 7
Rereads: 2
Library books: 3
Books off the shelf: 2
New acquisitions read: 2 (purchased new)

science fiction 3
fantasy 2
children's 1
nonfiction 3
fiction 0
romance 0
mystery 0

Author gender: 5 female, 4 male

Country of origin: USA 6, England 3

Books acquired: 3
Source: PaperBackSwap-1, Amazon-2 (Kindle)
Read: 1 read this month
Genre: science fiction-1, fantasy-1
Cost: $10.14

Books out the door: 3 via PBS

Nov 30, 2017, 10:47pm Top

Hi, there! I'm baaaack, after a short but intense month of hard writing. I'll miss NaNoWriMo, but now that it is over I can get back to other important stuff, like visiting LT friends' threads.

>17 ronincats: 💖

I also enjoyed Tyson's Astrophysics for People in a Hurry when I listened to it. And I've got Provenance on the Kindle - it's been waiting for me to finish NaNo. Can't wait! Right now I'm listening to Artemis by Andy Weir. Just started it and like it but it is VERY different from The Martian.

>87 ronincats: I also love the batik blue bowl, but the one on the right reminds me of a Monet painting, maybe Starry Night which I love, so I'm torn.

Belated but heartfelt happy birthday wishes!

Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 10:09pm Top

Hugs to Richard, Linda, and Mary! The kittens are just fine--they love to sleep in our laps in the evening and even have refrained from getting involved with the scarf I am crocheting, amazingly enough. Mary, I hope you got lots of writing done during November but I am glad you are back because I missed you.

December plans:

Library books in the house:
Cloudbound By Fran Wilde--second in a fantasy or sf series
Necessity by Jo Walton--third and culminating book of a series and a November challenge book for the BAC
Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans by Dave Eggers--an Obama challenge book recommended by Kimberly
The Duke and I by Julia Quinn--regency recommended by Judy (DeltaQueen)
The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden--recommended by Richard
Shadowcaster by Cinda Williams Chima--second in a sequel series where I loved the first series of five books
Waiting for me at the library to pick up:
Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence--recommended most recently by Mamie, I believe
A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne--most recent in Atticus series

I am #17 on 74 copies of A Gentleman in Moscow and #23 of 1 copy of Artemis.

I am currently reading the following books:
Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths by Karen Armstrong
Cinderella Necromancer by F. M. Bougham, our own Faith
The Ruin of Angels by Max Gladstone, the most recent of the Craft series

and I have down to read Neil Gaiman: Odd and the Frost Giants for the December BAC

Dec 1, 2017, 3:24am Top

>87 ronincats: I love the blue bowl that is a thing of beauty ....

Dec 1, 2017, 4:06am Top

Hi Roni!

Excellent plans for December. I'm shamelessly reading short books to meet my 100-book goal for the year. If I read 10 in December, I'll hit it.

Dec 1, 2017, 11:04am Top

>93 roundballnz: Thank you, Alex.
>94 karenmarie: Oh, you are right, Karen. What am I thinking? I need to read 16 to meet my 150 book goal! I've done that three months of this year, but I need to get on it. I've got at least three of those as possibilities.
The Dispatcher by John Scalzi --128 pp.
In Calabria by Peter Beagle --176 pp.
Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor --164 pp.

Dec 1, 2017, 2:15pm Top

Hi Roni, happy Friday, merry December, thank the goddesses Flynn rolled on 45. Now we need to defeat the Senate tax bill.

Dec 1, 2017, 3:35pm Top

You got it, Richard!

Note the convenient patch of sunlight here.

Dec 1, 2017, 3:37pm Top

Cats, while Evil, ain't stupid.

Dec 1, 2017, 5:48pm Top

>87 ronincats: Both bowls are beautiful, Roni!

And all your kitties are beautiful, too.

I'm forever adding to my books to be read when I visit your thread, Roni. Suggestions from you books mentioned by visitors - I'll just have to read faster!

And I, too, really enjoyed Provenance!

Dec 1, 2017, 9:32pm Top

Oh, those bowls are lovely! As are the kitties in sunlight. Glad your Thanksgiving was a good one and hope you have a wonderful weekend, Roni.

Dec 1, 2017, 11:02pm Top

I wasn't able to get into Fran Wilde's series even though most reviews of it have been great. I read Updraft and about half of Cloudbound before I decided to give up on it.

Necessity on the other hand was great! And I have A Plague of Giants on my queue too, but I didn't realize it was connected to the Iron Druid series (which I haven't read). The blurb I saw said it was the first of the series in an all-new fantasy world.

Dec 1, 2017, 11:30pm Top

>98 richardderus: :^P
>99 Dejah_Thoris: Hi, Dejah, and thank you.
>100 bell7: Thank you, Mary. Sounds like you had some good family time.
>101 kgodey: No, you are right, Kriti. The Hearne is a new series.

Dec 2, 2017, 3:56pm Top

I finished Provenance and really enjoyed it, Roni. Thanks for the nudge. I wonder whether she plans on any more stories with Ingray in them.

Dec 3, 2017, 11:07am Top

>87 ronincats: those bowls are brilliant!

Those kittens are growing too fast, but what a beautiful crew you have, and so happy with one another.

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 3:05pm Top

Hi Roni!

>97 ronincats: They are good at finding warmth, aren't they? You inspired me! Here's a link to a photo I posted on my thread just now of Inara soaking up heat in front of the propane stove. Warm Kitty

Dec 4, 2017, 1:09pm Top

All caught up here, Roni. Those bowls up thread are stunning. And I love the photo of the kitties in sunlight - how very handsome Miles is looking there! I had just been to Heather's thread earlier, and added A Matter of Oaths to The List based on her comments, but with your added comments, I have picked it up on Kindle.

And it was not me who recommended Dear Fahrenheit 451, although, it is on my list - I do remember both Joanne and Katie reading and liking that one.

Dec 4, 2017, 4:53pm Top

Like Mamie, you and Heather have talked me into A Matter of Oaths. I have so many books to read right now, it may have to wait for January with God Stalk!

Dec 5, 2017, 12:11am Top

Hello, all. My internet AND TV AND telephone all went out at 2:30 Saturday afternoon (just as the KU-Syracuse game was to begin) and I've only been checking in by cell phone since then! It suddenly came back on at 6:24 tonight.
I have listened to a LOT of Christmas music in the last few days, but when the mini-system in my office accepted 5 of my favorite christmas CDs and then refused to either play them or return them, I took it apart to get them. That led to an observation of how totally dusty the top of my organizer on top of my rolltop desk and thus to to a major cleaning/organizing/decluttering project in my office. Fortunately, the CD player in the living room, despite some ominous clicking when turned on (only use it at Christmas time), came through in good form. The office is now half-done, but it's the major half--I should be able to clean off the bookshelves on the north wall and give them a good dusting tomorrow. The roll top and the computer desks are cleaned off and the dining room table is still full of knickknacks and I have a box full of paper to be filed...eventually. I also have a box of cat themed stuff I am willing to get rid of started. I could stock a whole store of cat-themed stuff. Just saying.

Only one book finished, a quickie recommended by Judy (DeltaQueen).

Book #135 The Duke and I by Julia Quinn (353 pp.)

This was suggested as a Regency for those suffering from Heyer withdrawal. While not at the level of Heyer (but what is?), this was entertaining enough for a light read. Definitely more sex than a Heyer and the level of repartee not quite there, but I'll continue with the family series.

Dec 5, 2017, 12:40am Top

>103 jnwelch: Joe, it looks to me like Inray's story is pretty well wrapped up, but there certainly is lot of room for more stories in that universe!
>104 sibyx: Thanks, Lucy. They do have a good time with each other; that's for sure!
>105 karenmarie: That's a great photo of Inara, Karen.
>106 Crazymamie: So you are claiming innocence for that book bullet, Mamie? Maybe this time. Hope you enjoy A Matter of Oaths.
>107 Dejah_Thoris: Well, that's okay, Dejah, as long as you make room for it then.

Dec 5, 2017, 5:55am Top

>108 ronincats: Applause to you! So you managed to get the CD's out? That kind of thing happened to me as well, a bit nightmarish. But I guess the mini-system was done for?

And the cleaning, dusting and organising, wonderful. Somehow, to me, the office area is the most daunting. Especially when it comes to decluttering and organising.

Dec 5, 2017, 6:58am Top

>108 ronincats: I took apart a dvd player to get a movie back, once. It was kind of fun.....

It's good to hear your mod cons are back and that you've gotten a major clean up in as well!

Dec 5, 2017, 11:29am Top

>108 ronincats: Funny how one thing leads to another like that, isn't it? I do some of my best cleaning/organizing that way.

Dec 5, 2017, 4:18pm Top

That's a long time to be down, Roni. Did it just come back by itself? I usually have to call Telus and wait on line for hours for help. Sounds like you made good use of your time.

Dec 5, 2017, 5:19pm Top

Hi Roni, I'm happy to hear you liked The Duke and I, sadly no one can replace Georgette Heyer, but these are enjoyable, light and fun to pick up when one is in the mood for romance. Like Richard so eloquently said, I both covet and lust after that blue bowl, it is gorgeous!

Dec 6, 2017, 12:45pm Top

>110 EllaTim: The system was DEFINITELY done for, Ella. I still have the speakers, but I took that main case apart! And the office looks lovely, even though the dining room is still in the process of clearing out all the stuff moved out there for the cleaning. Two shopping bags full of paper have gone out to the recycle bin too, with another box full of stuff to be filed.
>111 Dejah_Thoris: Turns out the kittens knocked the power source for our amplifier loose here in the office (there's a power strip full of cable, tv and computer cords here behind my desk) and that's what caused the outage, and then when I was cleaning and moved the cords to dust underneath, I reconnected it. Oh well, now we know.
>112 foggidawn: Me too, foggi!
>113 Familyhistorian: See above. The cable guy was really nice about checking everything out and narrowing it down and explaining it to us. Cox does usually have good service.
>114 DeltaQueen50: Yes, Judy, you are right. There are times when a light romance just hits the spot, and when it calls, I'll try another in this series. Fortunately, the library has them. And thank you re the bowl--that glaze is one of my most popular.

So yesterday I finished up the office, dusting the bookshelves and the stuff on them and clearing the couch.

Can you play "Where's a kitty?" The bottom row with books on their sides and the two piles of books by the couch are the majority of my TBR pile, btw. My computer corner looks like this and shows the cat bed in the window where the kittens curl up when they are finished rampaging through the house and where I am sitting as I type this.

And here is my cleared-off desk and the organizer upon which the stereo system stood and file cabinet, all with much less stuff on it. And yes, curtains got laundered too.

Dec 6, 2017, 12:47pm Top

Such a cozy space! I particularly like the repurposed plant stand. Made me giggle.

Dec 6, 2017, 1:03pm Top

So today is another home day and a busy one. I listed some books on PaperBackSwap that were taking up space and now have 4 to wrap up for mailing, plus I want to wrap all the gifts I already have for family for Christmas and take everything to the post office on Friday when I go out for my haircut. And tomorrow is full because I have pottery class in the am and we are cleaning out the and organizing the freezers in the afternoon.

In addition to wrapping and mailing, I need to make up Christmas lists congruent with wrapping and mailing and see where the gaps are, call the vet for a check-back visit for Zoe and some operations for Motley and Dinah, install a new furnace thermostat, water my garden beds, bake my holiday date cakes, start Christmas cards, finish clearing out the dining room, bring down some Christmas decorations, and watch KU play Washington at 6. Reading-wise, I've been making progress in Karen Armstrong's Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths, which is fascinating, and dabbling in Cinderella Necromancer, The Ruin of Angels, and Zen in the Art of Writing here and there.

Dec 6, 2017, 1:07pm Top

>116 richardderus: It's a 9x12 room, so none too big, Richard, and I had the closets built in years ago as this house is seriously deficient in closets (people used wardrobes back then), so it is definitely cozy. The couch is a sleeper, too, as this doubles as the guest bedroom. Talk about multi-purpose!

Dec 6, 2017, 1:13pm Top

That's not a huge space but you've used it well.

Dec 7, 2017, 11:16pm Top

So, no one but Richard has been appreciative of my HERCULEAN efforts in my office (see Augian Stables) so we'll see if pottery pictures or kittens bring in the visitors.

Dec 7, 2017, 11:40pm Top

I *really* like the incised work on the large pot! The small spouted bowl intrigues me. Is it a gravy/butter pourer?

Dec 7, 2017, 11:43pm Top

I can't tell you how envious I am of your clearing and cleaning efforts! I am. I'm keeping my ma's house in what I judge to be acceptable order, but no energy to work at the piles over here. Oh well.
I love the growing felines and all the pottery (especially your latest yellowy/greeny), and I'm wishing for Provenance even more after your comments.
Since you've said nothing about them, I'm going to assume that you're not endangered by the wild fires. Keep safe! What a dreadful thing!

Dec 8, 2017, 2:21am Top

Hi Roni. I was also dropping by to see if you were affected by the fires (hopefully not?) Now I'm here I'll say hello to the kitties and agree that the incised work on the larger of your pots is beautiful. I also like the pale green/cream colours.

Dec 8, 2017, 8:41am Top

Congrats on the cleaning efforts! I'm declaring this weekend a cleaning/sewing/cooking weekend at my house, since snow is in the forecast and I have a lot of holiday projects to work on.

>120 ronincats: Ooh, I like all of those, especially the big one.

Dec 8, 2017, 10:34am Top

>120 ronincats: How cute!

Dec 8, 2017, 10:58am Top

Beautiful pottery, beautiful kitties, and yes, I *AM* impressed with Herculean cleaning projects!

Your Christmas to-do list sounds like mine. Hustle and bustle and cleaning and cooking and decorating and a few cards - oh my! Enjoy!

Since you haven't mentioned the fires, I'm assuming you are well away and safe.

Take care, my friend.

Dec 8, 2017, 11:41am Top

Checking up on you Roni -- I am hoping you live somewhere safe although I wouldn't be surprised if your internet fails or comes and goes, and that might be why we haven't heard from you.

I should say that I am very very very impressed by your tidying efforts. I have been on a fairly prolonged bout of "trying" to bring order to places that have been ignored for so long I barely notice them . . . I haven't been by since you posted your photos of the results (which is breaking one of our pacts that I come by a lot!)

Dec 8, 2017, 12:19pm Top

Really impressive cleaning job!! ALMOST makes me motivated to get our den organized. Sadly, it will have to be a next year project.

Love the kitty pics and the pottery pics. I hadn't realized before how much your kitties look like two of my new ones, almost the same coloring. Unfortunately, mine don't seem to hold still long enough for me to take a picture. They tend to sleep in out of the way places and when they hear someone coming, especially with a camera, they are on the move again.

I love the decoration on the big pot in the last set of pictures and the colors of the bowls in >87 ronincats: are stunning.

Glad to hear you like Provenance. I really enjoyed Leckie's Imperial Radch series and had hoped it was not a fluke, so it's nice to know it was not. Buying Provenance today - along with God Stalk - I'm going for the version with Dark of the Moon so I get 2 books for the price of 1 and have the sequel already lined up! Looking forward to the group read. I also just bought Astrophysics for People in a Hurry too.

Happy belated birthday! Hope you had a great day!

Edited: Dec 8, 2017, 12:31pm Top

I am fine, peoples. The fires are in San Diego County now, but in the northern part, 40 to 50 miles north of here. Yesterday was terribly dry and windy all over, and we had several tree branches down, but nothing that caused any damage, and the area is out of purple alert and back into red today as the winds are supposed to die down quite a bit.

>121 richardderus: Thank you, Richard. It is SO nice to have you back on LT!
>122 LizzieD: I cannot imagine trying to keep up with two houses, Peggy. ((((hugs))))
>123 souloftherose: Thank you, Heather. Tried a bit of a different color palette this time.
>124 foggidawn: Thanks, foggi, and good for you--projects indoors while it's snowing sounds perfect.
>125 thornton37814: Aren't they, Lori?
>126 streamsong: Thank you, Janet. Is there snow up there?
>127 sibyx: Well, to be fair, the photos have only been up for two days. And although I visit you daily, I don't always comment.

Off to wrap and package the gifts I want to get into the mail on the way to my haircut today!

And Robin came by while I was writing. Hi, Robin--some great purchases there! Thank you.

Dec 8, 2017, 1:47pm Top

I'm glad to hear the fires are far away. The pictures of the training track fire are heart breaking and when they said 'San Diego county' I thought of you.

Only a skiff of snow here, but it was only 10 degrees this morning, making it the coldest day of the winter, so far.

My used-to-be-feral cat says he has decided to be an indoor cat today, but every ten minutes he wants me to open the door so he can see if it's any warmer. I'm getting my exercise today.

Edited: Dec 8, 2017, 2:11pm Top

I'm glad you are fine -- yes, I see it is somewhat north of the city proper. But it must be very unsettling to have something so terrible going on close by. I'm thousands of miles away, but it has me unsettled. So totally out of control in so many places at once. Fire scares me witless.

Dec 8, 2017, 2:26pm Top

I was wowed by your Herculean cleaning efforts efforts with your office (aka the Augean Stables), Roni, but those kittens and the fine pottery were irresistible. :-)

Dec 8, 2017, 9:01pm Top

>130 streamsong: That is plenty chilly, Janet. I don't blame the cat for wanting to stay in.
>131 sibyx: After our big (and much closer) fires in 2003 and 2007, this has become almost "normal", unfortunately. They say fire season now is all year long here, instead of just July through October.
>132 jnwelch: Such kind words, Joe! Thank you.

So, I got the gifts I had accumulated so far wrapped this morning and boxed up and, after my haircut and the farmers market (lots of produce and flower vendors not there because of the fires in North County), we went to the post office and mailed them off, along with some books for PaperBackSwap. And then stopped to sample a new barbeque spot we passed on the way, before running into the library to drop off two books and pick up 4, including my Neil Gaiman read for the challenge this month, Odd and the Frost Giants, the new Kevin Hearne, and A Gentleman in Moscow finally after a long wait on the Hold list. A productive afternoon in all.

Dec 9, 2017, 10:27am Top

HI Roni!

>120 ronincats: I am appreciative, just not as diligent with keeping up with threads as I should be.

I'm glad the fires are away from you. My sister is 'safe', too, although the air quality must be terrible.

I have seen some pictures of the Bel-Air fire and it takes me back to 1961 when there was another Bel-Air fire. We were coming back from a camping trip and had to drive home via freeway with fire around us. And then it rained ash for days and days (we lived in Hawthorne).

Dec 9, 2017, 10:52am Top

I'm glad to hear that you're clear of the fires, Roni. Take care.

Dec 10, 2017, 12:08am Top

I am having a hard time keeping up or I would have been by earlier to appreciate your efforts, Roni. You have been productive! My reorganizing efforts are taking me much longer - but then things had been accumulating for years while I worked and did other things. Nice kitties and pottery.

Dec 10, 2017, 6:01am Top

Glad to hear you're not affected by the fires Roni.

Dec 11, 2017, 4:16pm Top

A quiet weekend. KU lost miserably for the second time in a row in men's basketball (the first was to Ellen's Huskies). I read Odd and the Frost Giants for the British Author Challenge (I would have anyhow, at some point, because it IS Gaiman.) The local fire is being contained and people allowed back into the evacuated area, although our weather is still warm and dry (currently 79 degrees and 9% humidity here at the house!).

Thank you, Karen, Dejah, Meg and Heather, for checking in!

Book #136 Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman (123 pp.)

This is a delightful little tale grafted onto Norse mythology and with wonderful illustrations.

Edited: Dec 11, 2017, 10:47pm Top

And to add that I was somewhat productive. Finished two flower chain scarves for a customer as well as a wire wrap ring for another customer, which I delivered today.

Dec 11, 2017, 10:52pm Top

Pretty productive items!

GodStalk arrived today.

Dec 11, 2017, 10:57pm Top

I can't even imagine 9% humidity! I'm happy to see that you continue to be fine and productive!!!

Dec 12, 2017, 12:50am Top

9% humidity now that just sounds bliss to me right now ......

Dec 12, 2017, 10:35am Top

>139 ronincats: Hooray for productivity! Your customers should be very happy.

And as for 9% humidity - just no. I was toying with the idea of moving to the Southwest until I visited and felt the reality of how DRY it was. Knowing it was dry wasn't the same thing as feeling it!

Dec 13, 2017, 9:16pm Top

Wow, office clean, pottery, cats, flower chain scarves, wire wrap rings - you have been having a busy December, Roni!

Glad to learn you have been clear of the fires. I have an old childhood friend in Ventura who is okay but said the smoke was pretty bad. This year has been a very bad fire year for a lot of areas.

Dec 14, 2017, 10:13pm Top

Well, it's been a strange 3 days. On Tuesday, we had technicians from DirectTV and AT&T at the house to switch us from Cox to, well, them! The TV was straightforward; the telephone and internet guy was there for 6 hours as he basically rewired the whole system. But finally everything was working and we had service in all three areas. My husband has been bitching for several years now about how much I was paying Cox, and a sales person got to him out front last week for this system--a lot of our neighbors have it. With the deal he was offering for a two year contract, the first year we are paying $160 less a month and the second year $100 a year. Plus all sorts of incentives. But there was a stretch of outside line that the tech was happy with, not on our property but along the alley, so yesterday morning someone came to fix that around 9, as we were heading out the door, and when we came home after taking the babies to have some surgery and Zoe to check back on her pancreatitis (which appears to have responded well to meds), and then up to Ramona to pick up some custom made bags for me and one for my mom for Christmas (and some browsing of shops and lunch), we had no phone or internet. Made calls to the #s the tech had left for me, but no response. Went to pottery this morning, and then down to Chula Vista to deliver the flower scarves. She decided on the blue on the left, as well as a purple for a friend's gift, but her other friend who was there with her bought the one on the right, so I sold 3, not just two. Home to still no internet or phone, made calls to the tech and his supervisor. Finally called the general AT&T support number since no one was responding to the local numbers, and she was able to reboot the modem and YAY, we had phone and internet again! The supervisor finally called an hour later--he was out of town at trainings and had just gotten to his messages. Such a relief to be settled in again. I hope we like this service--it wasn't the most auspicious beginning.

But I did get a lot of reading done yesterday as a result and finished this:

Book #137 A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne (619 pp.)

This was really something. Totally different from the Iron Druid series, this is high epic fantasy with maps and everything, including a super-novel technique for advancing the story and a complex but coherent magic system. Quite good!

>140 richardderus: Looking forward to the group read, Richard. Well, mostly. If you don't like it, I shall fear excoriation.
>141 LizzieD: You'll be glad to know that humidity is up to 21%, Peggy. My skin is still flaking off. Saturday we are actually supposed to have some moisture.
>142 roundballnz: Sorry, Alex!
>143 Dejah_Thoris: Yes, every time I go to the desert I get nosebleeds, Dejah. Not for me. San Diego is usually much better.
>144 lkernagh: Our local bad fire is now under control, Lori, and no new ones have gotten a foothold.

Off to read now. See you tomorrow!

Dec 14, 2017, 11:48pm Top

Book #137 was terrible then, good, good, I needn't add it lest the urge to excoriate grow too powerful to be resisted.

Boo hiss on teething troubles! I hope and expect that you've now had your entire contract's worth of trouble all in the first three days.

Dec 15, 2017, 1:52am Top

>145 ronincats: Whenever they change anything it seems to result in an outage, Roni. My existing service called to let me know that the bundles they were offering had changed and talking me into changing some of my line up giving and taking away some channels on the TV and saving me $4 a month. They said they would make the changes the next day. So, of course, the shows I was watching started to freeze up. After rebooting the system about 7 times I called the provided and waited on hold for 2 hours. They were able to fix it so I got to see the last episode of my favourite show. Now I miss the channels they took away and don't have a clue what they gave me instead. All I know is that half the time there is nothing to watch. I hope your new service works out for you.

Edited: Dec 15, 2017, 10:25am Top

Really, Roni, I think you ought to do more with your day.

Ha! I’m exhausted just reading what you get through. I was admiring the pictures of your rooms and thinking you’re not going to be seeing mine anytime soon :0) I tend to start ambitious tidy-up projects (which in my case involves taking everything off the shelves and cleaning and polishing first), get halfway through and run out of energy, so I leave everything in limbo and move onto another room. It drives my husband batty and I can perfectly see why, but somehow I can never find the drive to finish that last 5%. And if it’s the kids’ room, it’s like a hurricane has hit it and shoved things into random corners (even though I’ve labelled all the shelves) every time I go in there, even when I’ve got it down to that list 5%.

Good to know you’re safe from the fires.

Dec 15, 2017, 10:08am Top

Hi Roni!

>145 ronincats: It's always something, but your savings will be significant, so worth the trouble after the initial hiccups.

Husband and I have Dish Network and on Tuesday they came out to replace our DVR system on the main TV and add a new one upstairs in my Retreat (clever names - Hopper and Joey). The tech was here for 4 hours, crawled everywhere, opened every closet, dormer, attic space, and room, but was thorough and efficient and everything worked by the time he left. Husband is very happy with the improved speed downstairs as our old DVR was ... well... old, and except for having to figure out the new remote he's very happy.

Dec 15, 2017, 10:21am Top

I hope all is working smoothly today, Roni, and that you love the new service!

Dec 15, 2017, 2:00pm Top

Roni--Yay for phone and internet again!! You lost all that and I lost you somehow. You are found again. And, man, have you been BUSY! Mega cleaning of the office, pottery, jewelry, reading...whew! I am hoping to hit Powell's soon to trade in some books and lay my hands on a copy of God Stalk for January. : )

Dec 15, 2017, 4:04pm Top

You have been busy! And I thought I was being virtuously busy this week! Maybe 1/5 of what you cram into a day! Although I did have a hair-raising drive in the snow doing some of my tasks.

Glad you got your 'net working again.

Dec 15, 2017, 6:36pm Top

OK, I'm home and my computer issues are resolved so I can finally check in and add my appreciation to your cleaning efforts. I need to clean out the cupboard next to my desk one of these days but I seem to keep finding reasons to put it off!!

Dec 16, 2017, 12:39am Top

>146 richardderus: LOL, what a misreading of my review for your own purposes, clever Richard! But stick to your guns, because I totally forgot to say that this is the first book of a series, and I am definitely going to be looking for the next book.
>147 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Your experience sounds worse than mine. At least we saw everything, including the channels, in writing before we agreed to anything. Can you request a written record of the changes they made?
>148 humouress: Hi, Nina. Oh, it is so true that that last 5% is the worst. That's the part that gets thrown in a box to deal with later. That box is sitting in the dining room, so that my office stays pristine. ;-) And it's funny, when you don't have work or kids, that business takes not that much time out of the day.
>149 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. I've seen the Dish ads, of course, but don't see them much around here. We got the wireless set-up for Direct TV so I am enjoying fewer wires and a lot more DVR capacity and being able to access the recorded programs from any TV in the house (4).
>150 Dejah_Thoris: Everything seems to be working well, Dejah. We are still getting used to the different channel numbers.
>151 Berly: Glad you found me, Kim. Hope you find a copy of God Stalk.
>152 sibyx: Hi, Lucy. Those were a busy few days indeed. Your weather sounds horrible for getting around in, if very Christmas. We are still warm and dry; the advantage being that we had fresh peas from the garden and fresh fish from the local fish market for dinner tonight.
>153 RebaRelishesReading: Welcome home, Reba. We have to set up lunch now.

Today was a stay at home day, thank goodness! I cleared out the top two drawers of my dresser in the hallway outside the bathroom and bedroom that serves as my linen closet. The Christmas jewelry goes in the left top drawer (these are shallow 3" drawers) and I cleared out the other side so I could put my glasses and cases in there and clear out the junk that had accumulated. Also cleared all the stuff that had accumulated on top and put it where it belonged. Next was folding and putting away my clothes from the piles on my bedroom dresser where they had landed after being washed and dried. Finally, now that the kittens' need to be shut in the bathroom so that they had the prerequisite fasting prior to their surgeries Wednesday is over, I took the litter box out of my bathroom and swept it out and cleared the bathroom counter of all the detritus that had accumulated over the last month. My sister called to say she had received my package with all the Christmas gifts and that she loved, loved, loved the wreath I had sent her. My mom called to tell me she had mailed me a package. Three packages came in the mail: one from my sister-in-law, one from my sister, and one from my LT Secret Santa (for the 75er group). I picked peas from the plants out front for supper. Kittens slept most of the day, except when they weren't. Motley got the handle of a gift bag around his head while investigating where he shouldn't and panicked, racing through the house until it tore off. I read more of Karen Armstrong's Jerusalem-- it's my bathtub book and fascinating. And now I'm watching Rachel on TV before news time.

Dec 16, 2017, 1:17am Top

>145 ronincats: All I have to say is UGH - AT&T. We switched from Time Warner (now Spectrum) about 3 years ago, and I'm sorry to say, it was the worst decision we ever made. I hope that you will have much, much better luck than we did. They came and promised us the world and drastically lowered our price for 2 years, but when the 2 years was up, it went sky-high. Plus our internet service wasn't as good - we forever have to reboot the router, which we almost never had to do with TWC. For the last 3-4 weeks, we are rebooting about 4-5 times a day, and our speed and connectivity are really bad. Ed called, and they send a new router, but the new router kept dropping the signal. We put the old router back up, and our signal is still dropping. Just about every other website I go to, I have to wait to reconnect to the internet. Tomorrow a technician is coming out, but I don't hold out much hope. Last night, Ed had to work, so he had to put a card table in our foyer so he could get his computer closer to the router so his connection wouldn't drop. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and hope that you have a better experience than we do. All I have to say is - learn to unplug and replug the modem/router to reboot, because you may be doing it a lot.

>148 humouress: Nina, your cleaning of the kid's rooms sounds like mine. And it's always much more of a mess during than it finally turns out to be in the end, but it is so hard to get it all done. Plus, if it's not something that can be thrown out, its difficult to find a space for it somewhere else.

So, Roni - I have a question about your wire work. I may have asked you this before, but I don't recall the answer. When you are making your rings and earrings and have the great wraps that you have - what type of wire are you using and what gauge and temper? Other than just the standard bead earrings, I've tried some wire wrap, but the wire doesn't seem to hold its shape well. Tried a bunch of different gauges and I think I may have used medium hard and maybe half hard. Do you do anything to toughen it before wrapping it to get it to keep its shape? I've heard that German wire is supposed to be better than just standard wire, but I haven't tried it yet. Thanks!

All of your cleaning is making me tired just reading about it. I wish I had the energy!

Edited: Dec 16, 2017, 11:25am Top

>155 rretzler: This is a concern, Robin. When my mom heard we were switching, she said "Good luck!" as she had switched away in her small town because of their poor service. I'm hoping in big city with lots of competition that the service will be better here, as well as the wiring (fiber optics! plus the tech completely rewired from the pole through the house), but we'll see. And if they go sky-high in two years, I'll just switch back to Cox.

Robin, I generally use aluminum craft wire rather than precious metals, and occasionally copper. Most of my work is with 20 gauge wire--that works well for most people's ears, since I make the wires as well, and holds its shape unless forced out of it. Then I use 26 and 24 gauge for the wrapping on the heavier frames and the weaving. I have also used 18 gauge but it is more difficult to wrap. So, on my ear climbers, I used 20 gauge for the u-shaped base, where the back goes through the piercing and the base of the "U" is in the earlobe. Then I use 26 gauge to wrap along the front of the U, slipping the beads onto the front of the 20 gauge and wrapping loops on the base between each bead, then wrapping 4 or 5 times at the top before I trim and curl the excess 20 gauge.

For the trees, I use 18 or 20 gauge wire for the circle base and bail, and then use 24 or 26 gauge for the tree itself.

I do hammer lightly with a rubber mallet on the ear wires and other components that are otherwise sticking out on their own without support. But I also warn people not to put anything heavy on top of the pieces and ideally to hang them for storage. The ring I just made was also of 20 gauge--such a useful weight!--but I also have some made of 22 and 24 gauge which have held up very well with the multiple wraps.

ETA I use the craft wire because it is less expensive but also because I am very allergic to any nickel in metal and so even some less pure gold and silvers can inflame my ears. Some of the German wire has nickel in it. The aluminum wire seems to be naturally hypoallergenic.

Dec 16, 2017, 12:15pm Top

Fiber optics? Wow that's cool. I've heard rumors that Cox is going to put fiber into our neighborhood but I don't think it's happened yet. We do have Webpass in our building and it's much faster than Cox, plus a lot cheaper, so we're thinking of switching to them in January and using Hulu and Prime/Acorn for TV on the internet. It would save a lot of $$ and, hopefully, be better than Cox in terms of service. Our computer gets awfully slow sometimes plus we have a hard time streaming a movie.

Dec 16, 2017, 12:39pm Top

Aluminum kills bacteria, I think; look what it does to tomatoes and lemon juice! Am I wrong in thinking it makes acidic things basic as part of its natural qualities? Anyway, I used it to replace the studs in my own earrings because I didn't get infections that way. *smooch*

Dec 16, 2017, 1:36pm Top

Hi Roni! Book bullet with Odd and the Frost Giants. I may not get to it before January, but I really enjoyed his Norse Mythology so I'm all primed for it.

Glad your media woes are fixed.

I'm concerned about the whole 'net neutrality' thing since it is supposed to affect those in rural areas the most - and that's me :( I pay $160 a month for my internet through a Verizon hotspot. Nothing else is available. It's not fast enough to watch movies. If my service becomes slower and more expensive I may be forced to chip messages on stone and fling them through the air.

Dec 17, 2017, 1:19am Top

>156 ronincats: Perhaps with the fiber optics you will have much better luck. The tech today replaced a lot of our wiring outside the house because he said that it was worn. Got a new router/modem (the 3rd in a couple of weeks) and so far/so good! I'm holding out for Verizon Fios, which hasn't hit here yet - but I think has come to the coasts.

Thanks for all of the info on the wires. Very helpful.

Dec 18, 2017, 12:54am Top

>157 RebaRelishesReading: I don't think we would have tried the switch otherwise, Reba, for fear of being in an "AT&T Slow Zone".
>158 richardderus: I dunno, Richard, but it sounds plausible.
>159 streamsong: Hi, Janet. It's a quick read, so don't put it off. I'm also very concerned about net neutrality, even in an urban area.
>160 rretzler: Hopefully, Robin. And I hope your service stays good.

Yesterday was clearing out the dining room and especially clearing off the dining room table. Plus a KU basketball game in the evening. Today was Christmas cards and the kitchen floor. I have all the holiday letters printed out with their personalized messages and just have to insert them into the cards and address them. I did finally find the Christmas stamps I bought a few weeks ago. No reading except for Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths this morning in the tub.

Dec 18, 2017, 12:58am Top

>156 ronincats: Lovely stuff as always, Roni.

Have a great week ahead.

Dec 18, 2017, 5:50pm Top

I am at a Starbucks in K.C. And about to enter Kansas. It is too close to rush hour so I stopped at Starbucks and will use the time to catch up on LT. I decided this was the trip to listen to Hour I First Believed. The recorded version is 25 hours. That is enough to take me all the way home and then some! I have had that recorded version languishing in my TBR pile since 2010 so it is time to get it off those shelves. So far it is an OK novel but I wonder what all the hype was about. However, I am only half done with it.

I did some cleaning in my dining room just before I left so appreciate your efforts.

Dec 18, 2017, 11:48pm Top

Hi Roni, I have been finishing up my Christmas shopping and cleaning my house and the apartment. My brother and nephews are coming over to see a hockey game and since I have already given away my spare room furniture, we are putting them up at the apartment. I have yet to wrap a present, but will get started on that later this week. Christmas seems to be sneaking up on me this year!

Edited: Dec 19, 2017, 12:04am Top

Thank you, Paul.

Benita, the way home is clear once you get through the KC metropolitan area, so hopefully you are safely home and relaxing with family now.

Judy, I finished up Christmas cards tonight between the KU game and The Voice. Had lunch with a friend and first gift exchange of the season. Ordered the last gift cards for my nephew and those of his kids who provided no wish list. My sister loved the wreath I bought her at deep discount at a craft fair earlier this year--I didn't wrap it in the box of gifts i mailed because I wanted her to be able to use it for this season. So much of mine has to be done early because all the family is either half-way or all the way across the country. You'll make it!

The husband is still agitating for a tree. I still think it's a bad idea, but I think he's going to do it. Keep this space open for photos of kittens in tree, and tree on floor.

Dec 19, 2017, 3:16am Top

Dec 19, 2017, 11:48am Top

>166 richardderus: Oh, I LOVE it!! How true.

Dec 19, 2017, 12:07pm Top

Isn't it, though. Have a terrific Tuesday.

Dec 19, 2017, 12:58pm Top

A Plague of Giants looks good. I'm currently in the middle of the first of the Iron Druid books - working on it on a road trip with Aaron. I like the author. :)

Dec 19, 2017, 4:23pm Top

Hi, Roni! I'm not in jail yet! lol Just haven't felt like posting, though I've visited your thread a few times in the past week or two.

All that cleaning you're doing is making me itch. I'm still catching up after not doing much during NaNo November.

I need to send my Christmas cards out today. Late as usual, but not too late, I think. And there aren't that many to send. Just a few old friends and my sisters, a nephew & niece or two.

Dec 20, 2017, 6:48am Top

Hi Roni!

Sorry to hear about your internet woes. We have CenturyLink, which doesn't want to spend a single dime on low-density rural areas when things get old and degraded. We have to reboot the modem at least 2-3 times per week, which isn't as bad as what you have had to do, but still. Why should it have to be done at all?

>165 ronincats: and >166 richardderus: Kittens in tree, tree on floor. We don't do it because of the cats, but since our tree is in a corner, we have anchored it with two thin nylon ropes - one to the closet door and the other to the bannister. There's no way it's going to fall down.

It really sounds like you're coming along with your Christmas prep. Good for you!

Dec 20, 2017, 10:32am Top

I've anchored many a Christmas tree with wire....

I hope you're having a fabulous week, Roni!

Dec 20, 2017, 11:53am Top

Hi Roni,

I haven't done well at posting this year, but wanted to drop by and say hello. I've got my shopping done and shipped, but will get to wrap it the 24th when I arrive at my Dad's. Cards? Well, maybe I'll do some for valentine's day . . .

Happy Holidays!

Dec 20, 2017, 12:31pm Top

>97 ronincats: Kittens in sunlight! The best.

>165 ronincats: Does he not know that when you google "cats and christmas trees" a million video options pop up, most of them including the words "knock over" or "disaster"?

Edited: Dec 20, 2017, 3:17pm Top

I made it home and Kansas is getting ready for a cold cold front to move in tonight. High's tomorrow in the 30's. I brought a garbage bag of pinecones with me for the ladies at the local home decorating store. Pinecones are not something easy to find in the wild in Kansas. I had mailed them a box earlier and will pick some up when I get back and bring them back at spring break.

I got hit by a book bullet for the Kevin Hearne book Plague of Giants. If it has maps in the frontispiece then it is High Fantasy, and like so many others, I am a sucker or maps and high fantasy.

Dec 20, 2017, 6:02pm Top

Love the caged tree!

Oh internet. Argh. We're VERY rural, and our access is from a small local company and through the phone line of a small local company. I wonder if any states can opt out--it is the kind of thing Vermont, being 90% seriously rural might have to do. I don't quite get how it works (I read the articles and glaze over . . . ) so maybe we're all doomed.

Dec 21, 2017, 12:14am Top

Well, the tree has survived one night and one day and now has the lights on it (that was an interesting experience!). Tomorrow I may try a few unbreakable ornaments.

>168 richardderus: Tuesday was out for errands, Richard, like getting the tree, mailing cards, picking up Artemis at the library, and buying some lamps, with the benefit of a stop by Point Loma Seafood for the best squid strips on sourdough sandwich in the world for a late lunch!
>169 The_Hibernator: That's a good series too, Rachel.
>170 Storeetllr: Relieved to hear you are still at large saving the world, Mary. Sounds like you have a really active community there.
>171 karenmarie: Rural areas are a whole 'nother ball of wax, Karen, and woefully underserved.
>172 Dejah_Thoris: Hi, Dejah. I got to stay home today--laundry and clear up all the packing and card writing mess and put lights on the tree. A good day.
>173 markon: Hi, Ardene. Always good to see you here!
>174 EBT1002: I guess he's an optimist, Ellen, and so far he's good.
>175 benitastrnad: Glad to hear you are safely home, Benita. The maps are on the inside covers, both front and back, and it is definitely high fantasy.
>176 sibyx: Ditto what I said to Karen, Lucy. I only have the opportunity and the odds to switch because I'm in a massive urban area with loads of competition.

Today I bought the ebook versions of Diane Duane's trilogy featuring the feline wizards that maintain the World Gates on Earth. These are tangential to the Young Wizards series, in the same reality and occasionally bumping up against a character we know from there but the story lines are completely different. I already had a hardback (BCE) of The Book of Night with Moon and the mmpb of To Visit the Queen and some e-chapters of The Big Meow. Duane was writing the last chapter by subsidized chapter, but then some major life events interfered and there was a big hiatus and I never got the rest of it. My thinking is that I can now get rid of the dead tree versions, to which I have no special attachment.

You might think I could do the same with my copies of the Kencyrath chronicles, but no, I have attachments. I pulled my copies of God Stalk, one being the original paperback published in 1983 and the other being a Dark of the Gods hardback edition published by Meisha Merlin in 2000. That contains both God Stalk and Dark of the Moon, the second in the series which was originally published in 1985 but no one could ever find a copy. Then I've got Seekers Mask and To Ride a Rathorn and also Seeker's Bane with contains both of those. And then the last four in the series so far as well as a book of short stories. No, can't get rid of any of those.

Dec 21, 2017, 12:03pm Top

We always had Christmas trees even when the cats were kittens. We did laugh that the lower two feet of the tree were ornament-free, especially when Edgar (gosh I miss him) was young. On the other hand, he was such a good cat. More than once we came home from work to find an ornament or two -- unbroken -- in other rooms of the house.

Dec 21, 2017, 12:10pm Top

The thought of you having a tree made me smile. Even if the kittens spend the whole season trying to climb it/knock it down the entertainment factor alone should make it worthwhile :)

Dec 21, 2017, 2:49pm Top

Happy Yule Book Flood!

Dec 21, 2017, 6:06pm Top

>178 EBT1002:,>179 RebaRelishesReading: We've decided to do lights only this year, no ornaments!
>180 richardderus: I thought you didn't like Hemingway, Richard!

Here's the last of 2017's output! The green bowl is 11" in diameter.

Dec 21, 2017, 6:09pm Top

BEAUTIFUL bowls, though the sculptured ornament confused me for a minute.

I despise him, of course, but the idea of reducing that trashy tacky tedious tome to a JINGLE bell...well...

Dec 23, 2017, 10:38am Top

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones.

Dec 23, 2017, 1:07pm Top

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

Dec 23, 2017, 4:37pm Top

>182 richardderus: Maybe this view of the bowl will help clear up any confusion, Richard!

Thank you, Barbara and Caro. I love both of your images.

Dec 23, 2017, 4:38pm Top

>181 ronincats: More beautiful bowls by Roni. The book I'm reading right now, Reservoir 13, has a character who is a potter. I love the descriptions of his work with the clay. The narrative voice is a bit elegiacal anyway and bringing that to the throwing of pots is just interesting.


Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas!

Edited: Dec 23, 2017, 5:09pm Top

It is that time of year again, between Solstice and Christmas, just after Hanukkah, when our thoughts turn to wishing each other well in whatever language or image is meaningful to the recipient. So, whether I wish you Happy Solstice or Merry Christmas, know that what I really wish you, and for you, is this:

I am getting around to the threads on an intermittent basis over several days and hope not to miss anyone, but wanted to leave this here for those who visit.

Edited: Dec 23, 2017, 5:07pm Top

Thank you, Ellen!

I finally finished my big nonfiction of the month.

Book #138 Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths by Karen Armstrong (483 pp.)

This is an incredibly detailed history of the physical city under its many, many conquerors. Fascinating, absorbing and ultimately disheartening.

Dec 23, 2017, 5:05pm Top

>185 ronincats: Oh, lovely! Just lovely.

Sending you hugs.

Dec 23, 2017, 5:06pm Top

>187 ronincats: I love that. So perfectly stated. xo

Dec 23, 2017, 5:10pm Top

((((Richard)))) ((((Ellen))))

Dec 23, 2017, 5:30pm Top

>188 ronincats: Oh my, that looks excellent. Adding it to the wish list.

Dec 23, 2017, 5:58pm Top

Hi Roni

Couldn't resist this one for you:

And a very happy christmas to you!

Dec 23, 2017, 6:00pm Top

>193 EllaTim: Love that!!

Dec 23, 2017, 6:04pm Top

>193 EllaTim: Oh, that is perfect! That's rather what I was expecting my kittens to do!

Dec 23, 2017, 7:33pm Top

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

Dec 23, 2017, 11:02pm Top

^Have a wonderful holiday season with the family, Roni! And I hope you like the books!!

Dec 23, 2017, 11:04pm Top

>196 lkernagh: Thank you, Lori!
>197 msf59: Thank you, Mark, and I am sure I will love them when I open them. Hmmm, Christmas Eve or Christmas morning...decisions, decisions!

Dec 24, 2017, 8:16am Top

Hi Roni!

Stopping by to wish you and yours all good things this holiday season.

Dec 24, 2017, 8:24am Top

Knowing you lights my world!
Merry Christmas! Peace and Joy!

Dec 24, 2017, 10:41am Top

Happy holidays, Roni! Hope the kittens are enjoying their tree :) I'm looking forward to lunch in the new year.

Dec 24, 2017, 11:01am Top

Happy holidays! I am thankful this holiday season for all the good friends I have made in this group. You are all so supportive. I don't know what I'd do without you!

Dec 24, 2017, 11:25am Top

Stopping by to wish you a merry Christmas/happy holidays Roni!

>188 ronincats: Ultimately disheartening was also my thoughts on finishing the tome I read about Jerusalem a few years ago (Simon Sebag Montefiore's Jerusalem: The Biography) - for that reason I will not add the Armstrong to the list even though I'm sure it's also fascinating.

Dec 24, 2017, 2:14pm Top

(Or in other words, Happy Christmas, to you and yours!)

Dec 24, 2017, 8:38pm Top

Dec 25, 2017, 1:37am Top

Dear Roni, best wishes to you and yours at Christmas!

Dec 25, 2017, 4:03am Top

Wishing you all good things this holiday season and beyond.

Dec 25, 2017, 5:05am Top

Merry Christmas from Philadelphia, Roni!

Dec 25, 2017, 8:32am Top

Merry Christmas. I hope you have a great 2018

Dec 25, 2017, 11:10am Top

>187 ronincats: Heart warming sentiments. Nice :-)

Wishing you and your family (incl sweet kitties) a happy day!

ps... GREAT job cleaning up. Looks cozy and inviting...

Dec 25, 2017, 12:23pm Top

Happy Holidays to you and yours! Its such a joy to be a part of this group, and I’m glad to call you friend.

Edited: Dec 25, 2017, 2:48pm Top

Merry Christmas Dear Friend!

Dec 25, 2017, 3:31pm Top

Thank you, Karen, Jenn, Reba, Rachel, Heather, Rhian, Robin, Anne, Paul, Darryl, calm, Cee, Jeff and Linda. I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas day.

Our day is always quiet as we have no family in the area. We opened our gifts from family over coffee in the living room this morning, as well as from bookfriends and Mark, my 75er Santa, and here is my book haul!!

Mark sent me The Emperor of All Maladies, which has long been on my wishlist, as has Plainsong, and another from my wishlist, The Gone-Away World, all of which I look forward to enjoying.

We are trying a new technique for the prime rib this year, which involves 5 times the pound weight number of minutes cooked in a 500 degree oven, then turn it off and leave it alone for 2 hours. Has lots of positive reviews online, but my husband is super-sceptical about it. So far it's been in an hour since I turned it off and the meat temp is up to 110 degrees so I think it is working.

Dec 25, 2017, 3:36pm Top

wishing a holiday and new year of peace for you and yours!

Dec 25, 2017, 3:41pm Top

Thank you, Rhonda. I see you figured out the re-sizing thing!!

Edited: Dec 25, 2017, 7:01pm Top

>188 ronincats: I listened to that one as an audiobook when I was in Tel Aviv about 10 years ago. I also read Gatty's Tale and that made the visit to the Holy Sepulchre Church more meaningful, there's a chapter where Gatty visits the same church. The night before we visited Jerusalem the film, Kingdom of Heaven was on tv, which also made the next day rather surreal. I've been in Jerusalem several times over the years, each visit is memorable.

I also read the Jerusalem: the biography that Heather mentions. From that book I found out about and went on to read Storyteller of Jerusalem: The Life and Times of Wasif Jawhariyyeh, 1904-1948 which is available on kindle and well worth reading for descriptions of how intermingled life was in Jerusalem during the British Mandate.

Actually came to say Happy New Year and Seasons Greetings and to tell you that I enjoyed Beauvallet which I just finished. It gets off to a slow start, I couldn't wait for them to get off the ship.

and one of my favourite cat pictures of the year, which also happens to be a book cover. I'm still waiting in the library queue for this one.

Dec 25, 2017, 7:57pm Top

Happy holidays, Roni, and peace and joy to you and yours.

Dec 26, 2017, 12:36am Top

>216 avatiakh: It was amazing to me, the number of times the city has been completely leveled and even abandoned since Herod's time, Kerry. Love that cat picture.
>217 Dejah_Thoris: Thank you, Princess.

Well, the prime rib was not a disaster but only overcooking is a disaster with beef. It did not cook enough and I had to turn the oven back on at a low level and even then we ate it pretty rare and late. Oh well.

I also did not finish (DNF) another library book. I got 66 pages into Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans and had not found anything that really tickled my funny bone, so I've moved on. I did finish my re-read of The Book of Night with Moon by Diane Duane.

Book #139 The Book of Night with Moon by Diane Duane (341 pp.)

This is in the same world as her Young Wizard series but focuses on the feline wizards who maintain the world gates. When the gates start malfunctioning, more is at stake than what is on the surface.

Dec 26, 2017, 1:07am Top

That Prime Rib experiment was "interesting".

Merry Christmas Roni.

Dec 26, 2017, 1:20am Top

Meri Kirihimete with friends & Whanu - Have a great festive season whatever you do

Dec 26, 2017, 1:23pm Top

Belated Holiday Wishes, aka Happy Boxing Day!!

Dec 26, 2017, 9:40pm Top

Every oven is different -- and I think some cool down faster than others --

Love your book pile! Esp seeing some old friends!

Dec 26, 2017, 9:41pm Top

Hi Roni. Thank you for your wishes. As you probably remember, this is my busy time of year when everything happens at once. We went away for a short break and came back on Christmas Eve so it was a mad rush to get the tree up. The kids helped with the first part and I finally finished at about half past midnight; fortunately, Santa still came by!

Wishing you and your family all the best for the season.

Dec 27, 2017, 11:53pm Top

>219 RBeffa: Hope you had a good one, Ron!
>220 roundballnz: Thank you, Alex!
>221 Berly: Hey, Kimmers!
>222 sibyx: Ours must be one of those, Lucy.
?223 Hey, Nina, lovely tree there even if it was last minute.

Book #140 Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks by Annie Spence (244 pp.)

Someone read this recently and posted about it and, because it was a book about books and because it had a Ray Bradbury book in the title and because my library had a copy, I put it on hold and read it. Amusing but on a very surface level. Annie's reaction to a given book is often short and flippant, clever but not deep or even that interesting much of the time. I might not have finished it had I not just had a DNF book right before it., but it was a quick and fairly short read, so I did. Not necessarily recommended, though.

Dec 28, 2017, 5:35pm Top

Happy Holidays, Roni!

Thanks for the helpful review of Dear Fahrenheit 451. I think I'll take a pass. I've got enough books waiting for my attention.

Dec 28, 2017, 5:51pm Top

Hi Roni!

Interesting prime rib method, sorry it didn't work out. I, too, had prime rib for Christmas Day dinner, and used Joy of Cooking's method.

Dec 28, 2017, 5:53pm Top

Hi Roni! One tiny detail about that high-heat method of cooking: Don't open the oven at any time. Wait until the end of the cooking cycle. Then open and test.

Sending huggings Southwestward. Champing at the bit to get started on Godstalk!

Edited: Dec 28, 2017, 7:20pm Top

>225 jnwelch: Glad to be of service, Joe!
>226 karenmarie: And how does that cookbook suggest cooking it, Karen?
>227 richardderus: I did not open it, Richard, I did NOT! I have a double oven in my range, though, and wonder if there is leakage between them? But if there is, wouldn't that affect regular baking too?

A day at home today! Doing some Amazon returns ( a craft book that was blah, a gadget that didn't run on my computer) and putting gifts away, considering paying property tax early, and started A Gentleman in Moscow because it is due tomorrow and I can't renew it. Since I waited a number of months on hold to get it, I picked it up to see if it hooked me, and it has, so I will keep it a couple of days over and pay the fine!

ETA also starting to collect stuff for my 2018 thread and the God Stalk thread preparatory to putting them up this weekend.

Dec 29, 2017, 4:06am Top

I picked the audio of A Gentleman In Moscow yesterday from my library. Currently I'm downloading it and will listen to it much later.

Dec 29, 2017, 11:52am Top

Stopping by to wish you a (slightly belated) Merry Christmas and an early Happy New Year! :-)

Dec 30, 2017, 12:04am Top

>229 Ameise1: Hi, Barbara.
>230 archerygirl: Thank you, Katherine.

Book #141 A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (462 pp.)

I am months behind all the buzz this book occasioned in the 75er group last spring/early summer because the wait list at the library was so long that it took until earlier this month for me to get the book. It came in with a bunch of other reserves, all at once as usual, and I waited until the day before it was due to dip into it. As I had waited so long, I didn't want it to go back unsampled. But that dip turned into a plunge and 26 hours later the story had been consumed, nay, devoured wholesale. What a delightful, charming book! What rich images, delicious words, unforgettable characters! What great footnotes! Actually, I don't think I am waxing overenthusiastic about the story. It was all of that and totally enjoyable. So well constructed without letting the hardware show that you can just lose yourself in the words, and while it is a fable, there is some meat there as well. Did I like it? Oh, yes.

So I finished the book up while waiting at the car dealership for my oil to be changed, and then went to the nearby Mysterious Galaxy bookstore and spent most of the gift certificate my spouse gave me for Christmas. I bought:

Alliance by S. K. Dunstall--the second in a series; I liked the first (science fiction)
The Witches of New York by Ami McKay--Historical fantasy by an author who lives in Canada and has won awards there
A Lot Like Christmas by Connie Willis--I debated getting this because I knew that I already had half of it in Miracle and other Christmas Stories but went ahead.

Dec 30, 2017, 12:18am Top

>231 ronincats: Another positive review for this one, which is good news because my RL bookclub is reading it later this year. : )

Dec 30, 2017, 9:15am Top

Hooray for the Count!! That is my favorite read of 2017.

Nice book haul, Roni, and I love the name of that bookstore.

Dec 30, 2017, 10:47am Top

>231 ronincats: I can't quite tell, Roni; did you like it? ;0)

Dec 30, 2017, 11:48am Top

Hi Roni, wishing you a very good new year, and a happy 2018!

Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 5:15pm Top

Goals for 2017 Progress Report

I will continue my goals to read 150 books and 50,000 pages, as I have met that goal 6 out of 9 years, but amount is really not a focus. 141 books, 47024 pp.

Previous goals have included limiting the number of books acquired to fewer than the previous year and to de-acquisition as many books as acquired. This year I will set a goal of limiting acquired books to 85 and to send at least 50 books on their way out of my house. acquired 82 books (37 read), sent 29 out the door

I have done very poorly on my goal of reading unread books already on my shelves, but I really want to highlight that this year, and so I’m setting an all-time high goal of 50 books. I did read 40 such books in 2013, but only 41 in the last three years combined. 32 BOMBs

So, I met one of five goals for 2017. Hmmm.

Dec 30, 2017, 5:15pm Top

I love the fact Unread books on our shelves turn into BOMBs ..... just saying

Dec 30, 2017, 5:16pm Top

>236 ronincats: Isn't that lovely, Alex?

Dec 30, 2017, 5:51pm Top

Best of 2017


It has been an outstanding year for nonfiction. Out of 23 books read, I easily have a top 5, oops, 6 spanning a wide range of areas.

John Adams by David McCullough
Dancing at the Edge of the World by Ursula Le Guin
The Dark Side by Jane Mayer
Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
Hidden Figures by Margot Shetterly
Evicted by Matthew Desmond

Top Non-speculative Fiction Reads:

Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Most Fun Reads:

All Systems Red by Martha Wells
Frogkisser! by Garth Nix
Arabella of Mars by David Levine
New Books out by my FAVORITE Authors:

Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan—final Lady Trent book
The Gathering Edge by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller—Liaden
Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner—Queen’s Thief
The Gates of Tagmeth by P. C. Hodgell—The Kencyrath Chronicles
The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire—Toby Daye
Vallista by Steven Brust—Dragaera
The Penric novellas by Lois McMaster Bujold—World of Five Gods

Best SF New to Me:

Provenance by Ann Leckie
A Matter of Oaths by Helen Wright
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Best Fantasy New to Me:

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White
Borderline by Mishell Baker
A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
Kingfisher by Patricia McKillip

Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 6:18pm Top

Best of 2017


It has been an outstanding year for nonfiction. Out of 23 books read, I easily have a top 5, oops, 6 spanning a wide range of areas.

John Adams by David McCullough
Dancing at the Edge of the World by Ursula Le Guin
The Dark Side by Jane Mayer
Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
Hidden Figures by Margot Shetterly
Evicted by Matthew Desmond

Top Non-speculative Fiction Reads:

Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Most Fun Reads:

All Systems Red by Martha Wells
Frogkisser! by Garth Nix
Arabella of Mars by David Levine

New Books out by my FAVORITE Authors (all in series):

Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan—final Lady Trent book
The Gathering Edge by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller—Liaden
Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner—Queen’s Thief
The Gates of Tagmeth by P. C. Hodgell—The Kencyrath Chronicles
The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire—Toby Daye
Vallista by Steven Brust—Dragaera
The Penric novellas by Lois McMaster Bujold—World of Five Gods

Best SF New to Me:

Provenance by Ann Leckie
A Matter of Oaths by Helen Wright
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Best Fantasy New to Me:

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White
Borderline by Mishell Baker
A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
Kingfisher by Patricia McKillip

Dec 30, 2017, 7:52pm Top

The group read thread for God Stalk is up in the 2018 group here:


I'm not going to put my personal thread up until tomorrow, and that's when I'll do my end of the year stats as well.

Dec 30, 2017, 11:35pm Top

The year is drawing to a close, and as far as I'm concerned, not a moment too soon. Buh-bye 2017...

Happy New Year, Roni. Haven't been around here nearly as much as I would have liked. But 2018 is a clean slate, isn't it?

I'll be trying this reading business anew in 2018, hoping to do better both in numbers (just...just...well, uh....a half-dozen more would be satisfying) and in being more social (getting around the threads, tipping the hat, sharing a smile). See you on the other side, my friend.

Dec 31, 2017, 8:49am Top

>231 ronincats: I've been having a rotten week so when I saw A Lot Like Christmas in a bookstore, I decided to treat myself. Always buy the Connie Willis!

Dec 31, 2017, 2:43pm Top

Happy New Year fabulous people ....

Dec 31, 2017, 3:05pm Top

>228 ronincats: Hi Roni! Preheat oven to 550F. Place prime rib in roasting pan on rack, fat side up. Do not baste or season. Place in oven and immediately turn down to 350F. Roast 18 minutes per pound for bone-in medium rare, 23 minutes per pound for rolled rib roast for medium rare. Or, use an oven thermometer, placing probe away from bone and fat in center of the cut - ours beeps when temperature reaches the 146F needed for medium rare. This method's never failed yet.

On a more global note,

Peace, Health, and Happiness in 2018

Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 3:17pm Top

>242 weird_O: Love that image, Bill!
>243 archerygirl: I agree, Katherine!
>244 roundballnz: Thank you, Alex.
>245 karenmarie: And thank YOU, Karen! I've two more rib roasts in the freezer and next time I'm using your method.

I'm not going to finish any more books today, despite having 6 in progress, so here are my December stats.

December Summary

Books read: 6
Pages read: 2072
Average pages per day: 67
Average pages per book: 345

New reads: 6
Rereads: 1
Library books: 4
Books off the shelf: 1
New acquisitions read: 0 (purchased new)
Did Not Finish (DNF): 1

science fiction 0
fantasy 1
children's 1
nonfiction 3
fiction 1
romance 1
mystery 0

Author gender: 4 female, 3 male

Country of origin: USA 4, England 2

Books acquired: 10
Source: PaperBackSwap-1, gifts - 6, Mysterious Galaxy - 3
Read: 0 read this month
Genre: science fiction-4, fantasy-3, nonfiction-2, fiction-1
Cost: $40.98

Books out the door: 4 via PBS

Dec 31, 2017, 3:32pm Top

2017 Summary

Books read: 142
Pages read: 47,365
Average pages per day: 333
Average pages per book: 403

New reads: 124
Rereads: 18
Library books: 55
Books off the shelf: 32
New acquisitions read: 2 (purchased new)

science fiction 22
fantasy 71
children's 13
nonfiction 23
fiction 3
romance 2
mystery 11

Author gender: 98 female, 46 male

Country of origin: USA 6, England 3

Books acquired: 82
Source: PaperBackSwap-6, Amazon-40 (31 Kindle), gifts-11, Early Reviewers-5, Mysterious Galaxy-15, Other-5
Read: 37
Genre: science fiction-18, fantasy-43, children's-3, nonfiction-16, fiction-2, romance-1, mystery-0
Cost: $425.53

Books out the door: 28

Dec 31, 2017, 4:02pm Top

Happy New Year and happy reading in 2018, Roni!

Dec 31, 2017, 4:43pm Top

Happy New Year, Roni!

Dec 31, 2017, 6:13pm Top

Stopping by on the last day of 2017 - and thank goddess that's over, right? - to wish you a safe and fun New Year's Eve and a 2018 filled with health, happiness, peace, and prosperity. Oh, yeah, and lots of great books!

Dec 31, 2017, 7:50pm Top

Jan 1, 2018, 4:34pm Top

Happy 2018!!

Jan 1, 2018, 5:44pm Top

Here's to a good 2018 for us all

Jan 1, 2018, 10:14pm Top

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

Jan 1, 2018, 11:13pm Top

Thanks, everyone. My 2018 thread is here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/279632

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

411 members

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