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Ellen reads in 2017 - Chapter 14

This is a continuation of the topic Ellen reads in 2017 - Chapter 13.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 9:19pm Top

Beach at Savary Island
E.J. Hughes

Nov 25, 2017, 9:19pm Top

Whistler Question
E.J. Hughes

Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 9:29pm Top

My Rating Scale:

= Breathtaking. This book touched me in a way that only a perfect book can do.
= A wonderful read, among my favorites of the year.
= A great read; truly enjoyable.
= Not quite great but I'm truly glad I read this.
= A solid read, with a few things done particularly well.
= Average, and life is too short to read average works.
= A bit below average. A waste of time.
= Nearly no redeeming qualities. Really rather bad.
= Among the worst books I've ever read.

Honestly, I'm rarely going to complete any book earning fewer than two stars but I reserve the right to rate them based on my experience.

Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 9:38pm Top

Edited: Dec 18, 2017, 10:33pm Top

American Author Challenge IV

January: Octavia Butler -- Lilith's Brood ~~ COMPLETED

February: Stewart O' Nan -- Snow Angels ~~ COMPLETED

March: William Styron -- The Confessions of Nat Turner ~~ COMPLETED

April: Poetry Month - Witch Hunt by Juliet Escoria ~~ COMPLETED
- and I Shall Not Be Moved by Maya Angelou ~~ COMPLETED

May: Zora Neale Hurston -- Dust Tracks on a Road ~~ COMPLETED

June: Sherman Alexie -- Indian Killer ~~ COMPLETED

July: James McBride -- Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul ~~ COMPLETED

August: Patricia Highsmith -- The Talented Mr. Ripley ~~ COMPLETED

September: Short Story Month -- Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?: Stories (Art of the Story) by Kathleen Collins ~~ COMPLETED

October: Ann Patchett -- Bel Canto ~~ COMPLETED

November: Russell Banks -- Lost Memory of Skin ~~ COMPLETED

December: Ernest Hemingway -- The Sun Also Rises ~~ COMPLETED

Nov 25, 2017, 9:21pm Top

Some other reading plans, mostly abandoned

Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 9:26pm Top

Recommendations from an excellent NPR article about fiction works that might help us better understand current events:

Jennifer Haigh's Book Recommendations:

Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock
American Salvage by Bonnie Jo Campbell ~ COMPLETED
Burning Bright: Stories by Ron Rash
Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish
World and Town by Gish Jen

Nickolas Butler's Book Recommendations:

Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser
The Round House by Louise Erdrich ~ COMPLETED
The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton
Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell


Book Riot Around the Globe in 80 Books which I may use to guide some of my reading

Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 2:05pm Top

Louise Erdrich Reading List:

February: The Round House - COMPLETED

March (optional): LaRose - COMPLETED

April: The Master Butchers' Singing Club - COMPLETED

June: The Birchbark House - COMPLETED

August: The Beet Queen - oops

October: The Bingo Palace - COMPLETED

December: The Painted Drum - COMPLETED

I'm so enjoying this dedicated focus on one notable author that I may add a few extras in between.

Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 9:23pm Top

Personal Reading Challenge: Every winner of the Booker Prize since its inception in 1969

1969: P. H. Newby, Something to Answer For
1970: Bernice Rubens, The Elected Member
1970: J. G. Farrell, Troubles (awarded in 2010 as the Lost Man Booker Prize)
1971: V. S. Naipaul, In a Free State
1972: John Berger, G.
1973: J. G. Farrell, The Siege of Krishnapur
1974: Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist and Stanley Middleton, Holiday
1975: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Heat and Dust
1976: David Storey, Saville
1977: Paul Scott, Staying On
1978: Iris Murdoch, The Sea, The Sea
1979: Penelope Fitzgerald, Offshore
1980: William Golding, Rites of Passage
1981: Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children
1982: Thomas Keneally, Schindler's Ark
1983: J. M. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K
1984: Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac
1985: Keri Hulme, The Bone People
1986: Kingsley Amis, The Old Devils
1987: Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger
1988: Peter Carey, Oscar and Lucinda
1989: Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
1990: A. S. Byatt, Possession: A Romance
1991: Ben Okri, The Famished Road
1992: Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient ... and Barry Unsworth, Sacred Hunger
1993: Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
1994: James Kelman, How late it was, how late
1995: Pat Barker, The Ghost Road
1996: Graham Swift, Last Orders
1997: Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
1998: Ian McEwan, Amsterdam
1999: J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace
2000: Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
2001: Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang
2002: Yann Martel, Life of Pi
2003: DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little
2004: Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
2005: John Banville, The Sea
2006: Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss
2007: Anne Enright, The Gathering
2008: Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger
2009: Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
2010: Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question
2011: Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending
2012: Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies
2013: Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
2014: Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
2015: Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings
2016: Paul Beatty, The Sellout
2017: George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo

Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 9:42pm Top

Currently reading:

Currently listening:

Nov 25, 2017, 9:22pm Top

Welcome, friends!

Nov 25, 2017, 11:06pm Top

Happy new thread, dear Ellen.

Love the folded peaks of the ocean waves coming into Savory Island.

Nov 25, 2017, 11:27pm Top

Happy new thread, Ellen. Sounds like you have a great weekend planned. Interesting about the gas cook top. I have lived in a lot of places, mostly rental houses, and what they for cooking equipment is what you got. In Vancouver, most times it was a gas stove, cook top and oven. I much prefer the gas including the oven. I prefer the quality of the baking that comes out of a gas oven. Ever since I have been a home owner all of the cooking equipment has been electric, unfortunately, but at least it is more efficient than the co-op house that we had in Halifax. There was no natural gas and, in that house, no electric heat or stove. The heat and stove were oil. (Hot water came off the kitchen oil stove as well.) It was a challenge to cook but we were poor so had to do the cooking for our own wedding reception which we held in our house. We got married in August so the house was hot all summer cooking roasts and turkeys in the oil stove's oven. At least that meant we had hot water that summer!

Nov 25, 2017, 11:43pm Top

Happy new one!!! Keep 'em coming.

Nov 26, 2017, 2:53am Top

I missed a bit of your last thread, but caught the bit where you said: I'm regularly running 4 days a week and enjoying every one of them. This morning I left the house at 6:45am, it was pitch dark, 43F, and pouring rain. It was delightful.
I was quite surprised to read this, but them remembered back (waaaay back) when I may have said the same thing! I used to run to sport training, do the sport training, and then run home, and I do vaguely remember the feeling of the good when doing so :)

>11 EBT1002: what a great way to immerse yourself in an author's work. It has got me wondering who I would concentrate on if I was going to do that. I *think* I have read all of Chaim Potok's novels, but I couldn't be sure. So he would be one....

How was your Thanksgiving weekend? (I may have to go back to the last thread and check it hasn't already been discussed!)

Nov 26, 2017, 6:24am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen. I love that topper!!

Nov 26, 2017, 8:40am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen!

Nov 26, 2017, 8:40am Top

Happy new thread from me, too!

I noticed The Luminaries on your Booker list. I acquired it a while ago and think I'll try to read it next year since it's quite a chunkster. This year is wrapping up with a mad dash to the 100-books-read finish line. 12 to go plus The Literary Study Bible for the Bible as Literature Group read and The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Bible companion reading, both of which I'll finish by year end - probably on the 31st of December exactly.

Nov 26, 2017, 8:47am Top

>21 karenmarie: I will probably join you when you try to read it, Karen. I had a go at it a few years ago but had too many on the go at the same time to do it justice.

Nov 26, 2017, 10:56am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen. I love the Hughes pictures at the top.

Take care of your cold. Hot tea and books is my prescription.

Congrats on passing 100! And it's only November. Will you set a personal best this year?

I'm with you on the African American autobiography/memoir thing for next year. FYI. Always happy to read with you. :)

Have a great Sunday. My Vikings played on Thanksgiving, so no football today for me.

Nov 26, 2017, 12:43pm Top

Happy new thread!

Nov 26, 2017, 2:30pm Top

Happy new thread!

Nov 26, 2017, 2:33pm Top

Happy new thread and have a great Sunday!

Nov 26, 2017, 2:36pm Top

Happy New thread Ellen. Can't get my head round where the year has gone...

Nov 26, 2017, 5:13pm Top

Congrats on getting past 100! And admiration for your running practice. I don't seem to run much anymore, although I am walking (often up steep inclines).

Edited: Nov 26, 2017, 6:34pm Top

Happy New Thread, Ellen! As you mentioned on my thread, not every book is for everybody. That is so true! Taste does vary from person to person. It brought to mind one of my sister's who loves the TV show " Portlandia" Have you ever seen it? I have tried to watch at my sister's bidding, and did not see the point of it for quite a while. Then I started watching bits here and there on you- tube and wondered why did I not see the humour and the topical reference earlier? Some of the episodes are quite out there, but for the most part is very funny. But it took me a while to catch on to the humour.

Nov 26, 2017, 7:16pm Top

Happy New Thread, Ellen! Lovely E. J. Hughes paintings up top.

Hope you're enjoying the Longmire book. Great series.

Nov 26, 2017, 10:18pm Top

Hi Ellen, I missed the entire last thread and was wondering why I saw so little of you...need to sharpen my eyes again.


Nov 27, 2017, 9:10am Top

Happy new one, Ellen! Loving all the discussion of gas cooktops - I love mine, and it was actually a very big deal when we were looking at houses down here to find one with a gas stove. In Indiana, most houses had gas running directly to the them, but in Georgia, a lot of the homes are all electric. When we told the realtor that we wanted gas in the kitchen, she said, "Well, that narrows things down," and she wasn't kidding. We have a gas tank outside our home, which is how it is done down here, and we were thrilled to find a home where the tank was owned rather than rented. Anyway, my stove has a gas cooktop and two gas ovens, and I adore it.

Nov 27, 2017, 1:24pm Top

I grew up with gas cooking, both oven and stovetop. My mother has never had anything else. When I got married, we lived in two different apartments, both with electric stoves, and the house we bought in 1984 is all electric. I used to swear I was going to have a gas stove again one day, but as it hasn't happened so far, it probably won't, and I've grown accustomed to electric coil burners. (NEVER will I ever get used to flat cooktops, though.)

Nov 28, 2017, 1:46am Top

Happy New Thread, Ellen! Gas stove here.

Nov 28, 2017, 3:17am Top

Well, it is getting challenging to stay away from the challenges, Ellen. Now Paul is doing themes for the BAC instead of just a couple of authors. That might work to get some of my TBRs read. *sigh*

>33 laytonwoman3rd: I love the flat cook top, Linda. It is like having extra counter space (when you aren't using the elements, that is) and nothing falls down under the elements.

Nov 28, 2017, 8:27am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen!

Nov 28, 2017, 9:52am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen! I add my voice to the chorus.

I do wish I were a runner. The feeling of well-being most runners report is enticing, but my feet will not cooperate, especially now. Maybe when I get over this round of tendinitis and plantar woes, I'll be able to go on long walks again. That is a real pleasure, even in the city.

I'm one of those who has bailed on challenges recently, and will also try to dip in when the time is right. I'm now in three book groups, each of which meets mostly monthly, and if I add challenges, it's just too constricting. That said, the lists on the challenges are always beckoning, and if I already own a book (unread), I will try to let the challenge nudge me.

Enjoy the Literary Arts excursion. Wish I could join you.

Nov 28, 2017, 10:42am Top

>35 Familyhistorian: A lot of people must love them, I suppose, or they wouldn't be ubiquitous, as they seem to be. When my daughter and SIL went to replace their stove, it was all they could get to fit in the space available. I do understand the appeal of no drip pans...nothing worse than firing up a burner and getting that awful scorching smell because a grain of rice or a bit of oatmeal fell down in there undetected.

Nov 28, 2017, 11:12am Top

Ellen--Good morning!! It is pouring outside. Hope you stayed dry if you ran this morning.

Nov 28, 2017, 6:56pm Top

>38 laytonwoman3rd: I think that space may be a key to their popularity, Linda. Not only can they fit in smaller spaces but their tops can act as further counter space when they aren't being used as stoves. I have a very small kitchen I tend to use the stove top for other than cooking a lot.

Nov 28, 2017, 7:00pm Top

Happy New Thread, Ellen. Sorry, about the delay expressing those wishes. I love those toppers. I may have to look further into E.J. Hughes.

Is the Banks still working for you? Fingers crossed.

Nov 29, 2017, 6:29am Top

>35 Familyhistorian: >38 laytonwoman3rd: I love my flat top stove, too. SO much easier to clean.

Morning, Ellen!

Edited: Nov 29, 2017, 11:08am Top

My MIL used to have a stove where the burners folded back against the wall (two at a time) when not in use, and underneath was workspace flush with the countertops. She loved that arrangement, but could not find replacements when the elements went bad. Her oven was separate, built into the wall and surrounded by stone; that became an issue too, when it needed to be replaced.

Nov 30, 2017, 8:42am Top

I love the discussion of stoves, and cook tops. My first preference is natural gas stoves but as you know this is not always available in our neighborhood. Second, now I love flat top, ceramic cook tops. I had one when I was in my last house and I did use it as additional prep space when I had no heat turned on. It was lovely.

Now I have the ancient technology of electric elements which is what I had when I learned to cook. Additional problem they all heat too hot too fast. There is no simmering possible on the stove, I think. I have to talk to our maintenance guys to see if I am right, or if there is a way to adjust the heat and the speed.


I am up to my ears in alligators, and do not know if I will ever be able to drain the swamp. Our on-site manager resigned. He worked for one week organizing stuff and meeting with the Partner of the Management Company we hired last year, and then the ex-manager "bailed" out for the second week of his supposed two week notice. No matter how much I liked him, and believed he was doing an adequate job, I am filled with a fair bit of resentment over his just leaving. The partner has stepped in to the extent he is able, and has time; the rest of it I'm substituting for the manager, and getting help from various other residents. It is a patchwork quilt. A beautiful thing to see but don't look too closely at the hand work.

Luckily, I finished reading Daddy-Long-Legs, definitely and oldie but goodie.

I hope you are enjoying our long nights and short days.... and the rain. We have a little flooding on our site, but not so you could not walk through it and splash with your boots on.

Nov 30, 2017, 10:50am Top

>44 maggie1944: I prefer natural gas too. The person who flipped my home put a ceramic cook top electric stove in. I can't wait for it to "bite the dust." I hate not being able to use cast iron on my cooktop. There is a gas line to the house, so I'm most likely to get a gas stove as a replacement.

Edited: Nov 30, 2017, 11:16am Top

>45 thornton37814: Yup...I'd be lost without my cast iron frying pan, dutch oven and griddle.

Nov 30, 2017, 11:35am Top

>46 laytonwoman3rd: I have one of the enameled cast iron stock pots that I love too.

Nov 30, 2017, 5:05pm Top

Delurking to say how much I love the E.J. Hughes paintings....

Dec 3, 2017, 8:40pm Top

Yesterday I tried to post and catch up. LibraryThing seemed to be on the blink. So I'll try again while I half-heartedly watch the Seahawks on Sunday Night Football. I expect that we will lose to the very good Eagles.

Dec 3, 2017, 8:41pm Top

From yesterday:

My thread now has more posts by visitors than it does by me. I think this is the first time I've ever set up a new thread and then gone awol without posting anything. But, as always happens when I go awol, I'm back. :-)

I've finished Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks and Kill Me Twice by Simon Booker while I've been away. More about both of those a bit later.

I'll also respond to individual posts a bit later but I'll update folks on the range/cooktop adventure. P ended up talking with Puget Sound Energy and it turns out that we probably don't have enough capacity to add a natural gas stove without some modifications (our other gas appliances are the furnace, water heater, and fireplace). Those can be done so it's not a wall but a logistical detail. She then has to connect with a plumber to pipe the gas to the kitchen, and then we can have the range delivered and installed. Our agreement is that I'm supportive and I think we should do it but she has to manage the logistics. :-)

Oh, and I started reading Murder on the Orient express. I have a copy of Daddy Longlegs waiting for me at the library but I didn't get there yet; so I'll have to follow up on that for RLBG. I have library copies of Sing, Unburied, Sing and The Ninth Hour sitting on my bedside table, too.

Dec 3, 2017, 8:42pm Top

I'm now about 70% through Murder on the Orient Express. What a great procedural mystery novel!

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 8:46pm Top

If you can get it, this year's Jubelale is really delicious!

Dec 3, 2017, 8:46pm Top

>50 EBT1002: The gas-stove/range adventure is mind-boggling to me. A plumber?! Is that who put the gas pipes in every house I've ever owned? Go know from this.

>51 EBT1002: It is! It really is.

Glad to see you back and hale and hearty.

Dec 3, 2017, 8:48pm Top

>53 richardderus: Indeed, Richard, it is plumbers who pipe houses for natural gas.

I am totally loving Murder on the Orient Express. I haven't read a ton of Dame Christie's novels (maybe half a dozen, if that?) but this one is excellent.

And thank you for the kind words of welcome back, my friend. xo

Dec 3, 2017, 9:00pm Top

>15 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul! I think E.J. Hughes captures this region of the world in a really special and resonant way.

>16 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg. Interesting that you prefer gas not only for the cook top but for the oven, as well. I guess the party line is that electric is more consistent and predictable for baking but, as I said on my last thread, my MIL baked with a wood stove! So, go figure.

>17 Berly: Thanks Kimmers.

>18 LovingLit: You know, Meg, I know a lot of people who run because it is good for them or because it enables them to do something else they love (basketball, softball, jujitsu, etc.). I actually love running. I love the process and I love being out in the world. I don't listen to anything but my breathing, the environment, and my thoughts while I run. So I'm glad you can relate to my odd early-morning joy! :-D

My immersion in the works of Louise Erdrich has been wonderful. I still can't say I've read all her works so maybe I'll try to round out the effort in the coming year, but it's been fun to deeply familiarize myself with her.

My Thanksgiving weekend was excellent. Pretty low-key, which is fine with me.

>19 jessibud2: and >20 scaifea: Thanks Shelley and Amber!

Dec 3, 2017, 9:10pm Top

>21 karenmarie: Hey Karen. I have long wanted to read The Luminaries ~~ ever since our trek across the Highlands of Scotland when a woman we befriended was reading it (on her kindle). If you're going to read it in 2018, perhaps I will join you.

Good luck making it to your century for 2017!!

>22 PaulCranswick: Oh good. It seems that a group read of The Luminaries is developing.

>23 BLBera: Hi Beth. My cold never fully developed (thank goodness). Honestly, I think I am struggling with the winter blues more this year than I have in a very long time. The gray weather, steady rain, and short days are getting to me.

My personal best so far is 108 books a couple of years ago. I haven't kept up with my "reviews," but Kill Me Twice, which I finished on December 1st, was my 105th book for the year so I probably will set a new PR. And I read fewer GNs this year than some years. :-)

Of course I am so happy to have you join me for the African American Autobiography reads in 2018! I'm going to go low-key in terms of threads and such, but I will definitely welcome company and good conversation.

Dec 3, 2017, 9:15pm Top

>24 thornton37814: and >25 drneutron: Thanks Lori and Jim!

>26 banjo123: and >27 charl08: Thanks Rhonda and Charlotte!
Charlotte, I agree.... this year has kind of buzzed past me.

>28 sibyx: Hi Lucy. I think walking is a comparable exercise to running. It depends on so many things. I have a friend who walks every single day and I certainly cannot run every day. I am pleased to be pretty consistently running 4 days a week.

And thanks for noticing that I passed 100 books! :-)

>29 vancouverdeb: Deb, it's so interesting that you bring up the TV series "Portlandia." Folks have recommended it to me, it seems like something I would like, but when I watched a couple of episodes it just left me cold. Maybe I should try it again.

>30 jnwelch: Hi Joe. I'm glad the E.J. Hughes is working for folks. I am enjoying the Longmire. I need to give the tv series a try.

Dec 3, 2017, 9:21pm Top

>31 richardderus: It happens, Richard. I have missed entire threads of yours, as well (although I would point to the evidence that your thread moves forward at the speed of light!). xo

>32 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! The gas/electric distinction is interesting ~~ and it's interesting to me how different it is, region to region. When we bought this house, it still had its oil tank in the front yard for the furnace. It took several years for us to get the gas connection from the street to our house. Now we need to increase the capacity to accommodate the cooking range that we want.

>33 laytonwoman3rd: Linda, we have a flat electric cooktop. I hate the coil electric cooktops even though that is what I grew up with. Ultimately, though, in our household P is the cook and I'm the cleaner-upper. What she wants for her cooking pleasure, we will make happen.

Dec 3, 2017, 9:24pm Top

>34 ronincats: Hi Roni and thank you! Yay for gas stoves!

>35 Familyhistorian: Hmm, themes for the BAC. I will need to go investigate that. I agree ~~ the challenges can be so fun it's hard to stay away from them!

I agree that the flat electric cooktop serves as extra counter space and is easier to clean than the coil ones.

>36 Carmenere: Thanks Lynda!

Dec 3, 2017, 10:27pm Top

Welcome back, Ellen! Glad everything's A-OK. Isn't Murder on the Orient Express a fun one?

Dec 3, 2017, 10:40pm Top

>37 ffortsa: I have had plantar fasciitis a couple of times. The last time I had it, it required 6 months of non-running rest for full recovery to happen. It's a bear to deal with!

Three book groups is a lot. While I love the challenges and the things I learn from them, I want more spontaneity in my reading in 2018.

I'm looking forward to the Literary Arts event!

>38 laytonwoman3rd: Yep, all true, Linda.

>39 Berly: Hi Kim. The rain has been persistent in recent weeks. I like rain. I like this region and the climate we have. I even like running in the rain. But I admit that it's been getting to me a bit this year. P noted that we don't have a sunny vacation planned (we are talking about visiting her brother in Palau in March but we haven't make actual plans) and maybe that is making it harder.

>40 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg. I'm loving the stove/cooktop/range dissuasion hereabouts!

Dec 3, 2017, 10:43pm Top

We take a break from our usual programming to note that the Seahawks are up on Philadelphia, 17-3, with 3:51 to go in the 3rd quarter. We have the ball. Lots of football yet to play but I'd rather be up by 14 than not.

Dec 3, 2017, 10:52pm Top

Go Seahawks!

Dec 3, 2017, 10:54pm Top

>41 msf59: Hi Mark! Thanks for checking in and for the good wishes. I ended up loving the Banks -- Lost Memory of Skin. It was a different and his ability to make a registered sex offender into a sympathetic character is notable.

>42 scaifea: :-)

>43 laytonwoman3rd: I've never heard of an arrangement like that, Linda. It sounds kind of fun.

>44 maggie1944: Hi Karen! Yes, our first choice is the natural gas and I like the ceramic flat cooktop more than does P.

Sorry to hear about the alligators in your territory. I can completely resonate with your resentment for the way -- or the timing of how -- the manager bailed without adequate notice. That is not cool. But I love your metaphor of a patchwork quilt to describe the way you and other community members are stepping in, trying to take care of things. I would not worry too much about the handwork. A beautiful quilt that keeps one warm on a December night is precious.

I have Daddy Longlegs waiting for me at the library. I plan to pick it up on my way home from my massage tomorrow evening. I look forward to discussing it later this month!

>45 thornton37814: Hi Lori. We use cast iron on our ceramic cook top. Is that a no-no?

Dec 3, 2017, 11:00pm Top

>46 laytonwoman3rd: and >47 thornton37814: We have and use cast iron. Might be better with gas but we've been using them with electric.

>48 Chatterbox: Hey Suzanne. Good to see you. I'm glad you like the E.J. Hughes art. They are, of course, even better in person. :-)

>60 jnwelch: Hiya Joe. I am truly loving Murder on the Orient Express. And I can't wait to see the film!

>63 BLBera: Thanks for the cheer, Beth. We are now up by only one touchdown. In that last drive, the Eagles made two remarkable plays when we almost had them ~~ one for 45 yards and one for a TD. Sigh.

P was just saying that we have not seen the Eagles play this season until tonight and they are really good (as their record confirms).

Dec 3, 2017, 11:26pm Top

Well whew. It's the 2-minute warning in the fourth quarter and we are up by 14, and we just intercepted the ball. Barring a disaster, we should win this game against a very good Philadelphia team. I repeat: whew.

Dec 3, 2017, 11:28pm Top

>66 EBT1002: Russell Wilson is having a heck of a game! So is the banged-up Seattle defense. Philadelphia has been a scoring machine, and won 9 straight. Impressive game for the Seahawks!

Dec 3, 2017, 11:35pm Top

I'd be up for a group read of The Luminaries. I stalled the first time.

Dec 3, 2017, 11:36pm Top

Nice win! I scared the dog by clapping my hands and occasionally cheering aloud. She wonders what the heck she did, as she was (emphasis WAS) sleeping.

Dec 3, 2017, 11:45pm Top

>67 jnwelch: That was one of the best games I've watched in a long time, Joe. Russell Wilson is pretty amazing. And yes, our banged up defense showed up, big time.

>68 Chatterbox: Cool beans. I hope we can get a group read organized. I would pull for reading it in September, October, or December because then it would fit in the AlphaKIT category challenge that I'm (not) planning to participate in. Heh.

>69 maggie1944: Yes, our home is similar, Karen. Abby had departed to the depths of the basement as she always does when we watch the Seahawks. I have learned that messing about on LT is the best way to manage my stress while watching the Hawks. It helps me to divide my attention. I can't read while watching football but I can LT. It makes it more tolerable for Abby but I still yell, especially when we sack the other quarterback. I love that.

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 11:47pm Top

Dec 3, 2017, 11:57pm Top

Just started watching the Carol Burnett 50th anniversary show. I wish we had remembered to tune in from the beginning. Her comedy show is still one of the very best. Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner.... what a hilarious group.

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 12:57am Top

And: blows my mind. The show started 50 years ago and ran for about 11 years. I feel really old. :-)

Dec 4, 2017, 12:16am Top

I have just been schooled: They showed Bernadette Peters doing a rendition of "All That Jazz," which I thought was an original song from the musical "Chicago." I had no idea! I guess it's an old number that they built into that musical soundtrack.

Speaking of which, I wish one of the musical theaters here in Seattle would do a production of "Chicago." I love that one.

Dec 4, 2017, 12:24am Top

>72 EBT1002: Carol Burnett - groundbreaking! And yet there is still so much ground to break...50 years on. *sigh*

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 12:41am Top

>75 LovingLit: Megan, I just spent a good ten minutes laughing out loud at some of the great moments they were showing. The skit where Tim Conway was a dentist and he just cracked Harvey up as he kept stabbing himself with the numbing medication.... oh my. Truly hilarious.

I think Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball were both masters of physical comedy.

Dec 4, 2017, 1:51am Top

>76 EBT1002: I have been watching Mr. Bean online lately with the kids, also hilarious. Silly, fun, hilarity. I must search out some Burnett classics!!!

Dec 4, 2017, 1:58am Top

>74 EBT1002: I think I love Bernadette Peters more in TV specials, etc. than I did when I saw her perform for a smaller private group. She was underwhelming -- she vamped the men but didn't make much effort in the vocal department, which disappointed me. Sigh. I had really been looking forward to it, and ended up leaving early to meet up with a friend. She is one of those great Sondheim performers, too. Another performer MUCH better to listen to than see in ANY performance is Diana Krall. She has zero affect; it's almost weird/eerie.

That said -- am surprised that no one in Seattle has staged "Chicago." It would be a perfect fit, and pull in big audiences. But you do need several really strong vocal talents as well as strong dancers and several good actors. It's not like "Anything Goes" or something like that, where Cole Porter's lovely music will carry a decent enough singer along. Some musicals make real demands of their actors.

Oh, if the recent B'way version of Pippin is still touring (it may not be) do try to catch it. It was quite astonishing. This will give you a taste -- it also was distinctive in calmly giving a lead role to a woman of color (originally played, I think, by a white man?) in the "lead player." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fw7SsNNjQGQ This was the performance at the Tony Awards, although Patina Miller (who deservedly won a Tony) left the show in 2014.

Dec 4, 2017, 2:38am Top

I know what you mean about running in the rain getting you down, Ellen. I don't run but I walk every day - well you know that, we are fitbit buddies after all. I walk outside but lately it has been getting harder to talk myself into getting out there but today I saw sun, it was away in the distance but there was evidence of light and I didn't need an umbrella! The weather forecaster said that this weather should last until Friday!

Dec 4, 2017, 5:36am Top

Hi Ellen, lovely to see you padding about again.

I think the last Agatha Christie I read (A reread) was The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. I was a bit disappointed in the Branagh version of The Orient Express, despite a stellar cast. Too much bluescreen use for landscape.

I think I tipped 100 reads once or twice, not sure about this year, mid-90s maybe.

Dec 4, 2017, 6:36am Top

Hi Ellen!

>72 EBT1002: and >73 EBT1002: I got home from book club about 9:15 last night and husband was watching it. I told him that my favorite sketch was the 'elephant' one with Tim Conway and that I periodically watch it on YouTube because it's just so funny. Husband had never seen it or heard of it. Not 5 minutes later they showed it although they bleeped out "asshole"!

I agree about Carol Burnet and Lucille Ball.

Dec 4, 2017, 6:40am Top

Hi, Ellen. Hope you had a good weekend. I am enjoying The Last Ballad. I think you will too.

And I LOVED The Hate U Give!

Dec 4, 2017, 7:59am Top

>72 EBT1002:, >73 EBT1002: - Oh, I wish I had known that was on! I LOVED that show. Interestingly, I watched 60 Minutes last night and it was also a 50 year retrospective and so good. And, in keeping with its format, they closed the show with a priceless Andy Rooney rant. So many of those alumni are gone now and it was a lovely tribute. 50 years!

Dec 4, 2017, 8:17am Top

Ellen, I don't really follow football but there's definitely more enthusiasm for the Eagles in these parts than I've seen in a long time. The hubs says it's unwarranted because they haven't played any difficult teams, that is until yesterday. Reading your thread just now, I realized the Eagles played *your* team! I'm glad you enjoyed the game!

Dec 4, 2017, 11:32am Top

>77 LovingLit: I am not familiar with Mr. Bean, Megan, although I have heard of him. I will have to do a bit of investigation.

If you google Carol Burnett Scarlet O'Hara, you'll get one of the most classic movie spoofs she did on her show. You might also google Tim Conway dentist to see if you get the skit in which he plays a dentist and Harvey Korman just tries to keep from cracking up.

I don't know how available these things are on the internet.

Dec 4, 2017, 11:41am Top

>78 Chatterbox: I agree about Bernadette, Suz. Her rendition of "All That Jazz" did not hold a candle to Catherine Zeta-Jones!!!!

Regarding "Chicago," it has probably been produced in Seattle but just not in the ten years I've lived here. Time for them to do it (again)!! And I'll keep an eye out for Pippin coming to the Paramount here!

>79 Familyhistorian: Oh, Meg, I misrepresented. I LOVE running in the rain! It's sitting inside the house looking out into the persistent gray rain and low sky that gets me down. I'm glad you're getting a break, though. We are not having rain at present but it's foggy and they are predicting an inversion for much of this week. Ugh.

>80 Caroline_McElwee: Hi Caroline. I haven't read a lot of Agatha Christie but I did like The Murder of Roger Ackroyd when I read it a couple of years ago. I can see why she is the grand dame of crime writing.
P and I accidentally saw the first 4 minutes or so of "Orient Express" in the cinema a couple of weeks ago (we were there to see "Victoria and Abdul" and they started the wrong film at first). It wasn't enough to get a good sense of it but we do still want to see it. I'll let you know how it goes.

I've only tipped 100 books once, I think. Maybe twice. So this is my third time reaching that mark, I think.

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 11:48am Top

>81 karenmarie: Oh Karen, that elephant skit was hilarious! I was laughing out loud and had tears streaming down my face. That he did that off-script is remarkable. And I did not recall ever having seen it.

>82 msf59: Hi Mark! My weekend was good. We spent a lot of time at Hec Edmundson Arena here on the UW campus: the Huskies women's volleyball team was hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. Sadly, they lost to Illinois in the second round. Then on Sunday our women's basketball team had a game. They have been picked to come in dead last in the PAC-12 this season but they are off to a 4-3 start. Other than a dismal loss to Idaho State (the first game of the season and a very nervy game for a team that is largely made up of players who had never before set foot on a college basketball floor -- you know, freshmen), their only losses are to top-ten teams (Ohio State and Texas). So they are exceeding expectations so far. That is fun!

I'm glad you're enjoying The Last Ballad. I'll keep it on the wish list.

>83 jessibud2: I would have enjoyed that 50 year tribute on "60 Minutes," too, Shelley. The Carol Burnett special was right after that show.

>84 lauralkeet: Hi Laura. Your husband may be right. Last night's game against the Seahawks was touted as a test for the young Eagles quarterback and team, and it did not go well (for them). Still, it was probably a good experience that might help them through the pressure that comes with being in the playoffs.

Dec 4, 2017, 11:49am Top

Okay, I have a question. A thread or two ago, someone (Laura?) posted about an organization through which you can donate books, not money, but specific books to schools. I could go back through my threads to find it but I thought I would first send out this plea and see if anyone remembers this.....

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 12:00pm Top

Ellen, I don't know if this is what you were thinking of, but Donorschoose.org connects people to classrooms in need of specific things, including books:


ETA: Actually, they may only take financial donations...

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 2:56pm Top

>70 EBT1002: Agreed, Ellen. That was an exciting game to watch!

>89 katiekrug: I think that's the one Ellen was thinking of, Katie. I'm glad to have it re-posted, too.

P.S. I realized I'm already on DonorsChoose! I helped a Chicago classroom through it - not books, but some kind of equipment they needed. Now I get their emails on a regular basis, which is fine by me.

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 1:42pm Top

>64 EBT1002: The stove manufacturers recommend against it. Lodge and other cast-iron manufacturers say it can be used. Some online sources say you can use it as long as you don't slide it across the surface which scratches it.

Dec 4, 2017, 2:05pm Top

I was wondering how your thread grew so much from yesterday! I remember watching "The Carol Burnett Show' on Saturday nights when I was a kid. I loved watching Harvey and Tim together; Conway always cracked him up. It was great. I wish they were on Netflix. I'd watch them again.

Dec 4, 2017, 5:53pm Top

>88 EBT1002: hmm, that's not ringing a bell, unfortunately.

Dec 4, 2017, 8:49pm Top

>88 EBT1002: Ellen, I think that was probably me.

I do use Donors Choose, but then I search for the specific book, to see classrooms with that request.

I have given (money to buy copies of) The Hate You Give, The Diary of a Part Time Indian and the John Lewis's March trilogy to classrooms requesting those specific books.

For instance:


If you want to give physical copies of a book, you could check with local schools, to see if more copies of a specific title would be appreciated. :)

Dec 5, 2017, 12:22am Top

106. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

"The impossible cannot have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances."

A man is stabbed to death on a train; the train runs into a snow drift and Hercule Poirot is on the case. This delightful mystery novel by the grand dame of crime fiction walks the reader through the clues just as the great ~ and humble ~ detective encounters them himself.

I figured out the solution although not all the particulars.

An excellent read!

Dec 5, 2017, 12:30am Top

>89 katiekrug: That must be it, Katie. When it was originally posted, I thought it sounded wonderful and made note to contribute but, well, life did its progressive thing that it does. And I'm okay with financial donations as long as I can direct those finances in the general direction I want.

>90 jnwelch: If you're already on it, that suggests even more strongly that this is the one I was remembering, Joe. When it was originally posted on my thread, I remember you saying you had contributed to it.

>91 thornton37814: Lori, I had no idea. The recommendation not to drag it across so as not to scratch the surface makes complete sense, though. I think we have complied with that advice out of instinct. But we definitely use our cast iron skillet for some things.

P says she thinks Puget Sound Energy was at our house today, which suggests we'll get more information about increasing our system's capacity soon.

>92 BLBera: I was kind of hoping the Carol Burnett shows were on Netflix, too, Beth. I would totally watch them.

>93 lauralkeet: Well, my memory has been known to let me down a time or two, Laura. I think Katie has filled in the gap for us.

>94 streamsong: Janet! Thank you. I think it was John Lewis' March series we were discussing at the time, collectively wanting to make it more available in middle and high schools. I will follow up to provide some schools with books they want and need. In this particular time, providing as much access to books as possible just seems critical.

Dec 5, 2017, 12:40am Top

>94 streamsong: That link was perfect, Janet. I was able to donate to a classroom in Washington that is seeking to develop a library of books that will interest and engage their students. The Hate U Give (among others) was on the list. I see that they only get the donations if their project reaches its total goal so I'll check back in after the new year to see how they're doing. The deadline is sometime in February.

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 1:03am Top

Love Murder on the Orient Express, both book and movie.

Good luck prepping for the gas stove (love how you endorsed it and put P in charge, LOL)

Congrats on passing 100!! Go for a new personal best!

I miss the Carol Burnett show--loved them all.

Go Seahawks!!


Dec 5, 2017, 12:56am Top

>98 Berly: Go Eagles?????

Dec 5, 2017, 1:03am Top

What do you mean? : P

Dec 5, 2017, 1:17am Top

Well, Seahawks won. So whatever. xo

(Are you an Eagles fan? How is it that I missed this?)

Dec 5, 2017, 1:28am Top

>101 EBT1002: No, I am an idiot and clearly need sleep. I put down eagle instead of SeaHawks because they are both birds. LOL . I meant SeaHawks the first time. And then I went back and changed >98 Berly:. Good, so now everyone knows I am an idiot. : )

Dec 5, 2017, 3:35am Top

Like me, I''m guessing that you've read a lot of Agatha Christie in our " young days" . I was so lucky that my grandparents had a basement full of books by Agatha Christie. It's a lot of fun to re- read her books, or read a book by her for the first time. She really is among the Grand Dames of Mystery. So much fun!

Dec 5, 2017, 3:36am Top

>102 Berly: LOL = this sort of thing happens to me all the time, Kim! Eagles, Hawks, what's the difference?

Dec 5, 2017, 3:42am Top

Hi Ellen!

>101 EBT1002: and >102 Berly: I somehow or another acquired a great T-shirt that fits and is great for hanging around the house in, probably from a thrift shop years ago. It had some kind of logo on it but I didn't pay attention until Sunday when some friends came by to pick up the firewood that Cary had cut up from some trees down in Hurricane Matthew last year. The wood was apparently stolen (8 acres, access from across the creek, distressful but no way to know who, how, or even when it was taken). Husband and I trudged down to discuss it with them and the first thing that Vanessa said was "Are you a Penn State fan?" I said "What do you mean? No." She said "You're wearing a Penn State Nittany Lions" T-shirt. I had no idea..... so now I've written "I am not a fan. This is just a comfy T-shirt." on it in permanent marker. As soon as I can find another T-shirt that works as well I'll deep six it.

Dec 5, 2017, 7:30am Top

>102 Berly: that is hilarious, Kim. Teams with bird names can be so confusing. Next you'll be mixing up cardinals and blue jays. And ducks.

Dec 5, 2017, 8:10am Top

>95 EBT1002: You figured it out?! I'm in awe - that's amazing!

Dec 5, 2017, 10:59am Top

>96 EBT1002: I have the memory of a sieve made of finely wrought gold, Ellen. Looks great, but an awful lot falls through. I completely forgot my first mention of having used DonorsChoose. The good part is that remembering it again was as exciting as the first time. :-)

I'm as impressed as Amber that you figured out The Murder on the Orient Express. Madame MBH had my favorite reaction yet, as she got close to the end. She looked over at me in astonishment and said: "Wait - they were all lying!!" Ha! Cracked me up.

Dec 5, 2017, 11:50am Top

>78 Chatterbox: re the original cast of 'Pippin', the Leading Player was played by Ben Vereen, male but not white. And btw, I'm old enough to be able to say it was great.

Dec 5, 2017, 11:59am Top

>61 EBT1002: 6 months! oh my. I must say I feel a bit better after NOT doing my stretches and exercises. Ever since I found out I had a tear instead of just an inflammation, I've been careful. Unfortunately, I also have tendinitis on the outside of my foot and ankle, so I imagine there will be more work to be done. I see the orthopedic specialist on Wednesday, the 13th, and I hope he can reassure me that healing is at hand.

As for the short days, they are getting me down here in New York as well. Our weather hasn't been bad - some beautiful days, in fact, although walking any distance was out, of course - but between the foot, the dark and the political scene, I've had some low times. January might see me in Texas for a short holiday with my sister, and that might be sunny. I'll bring my sunglasses, just in case.

Dec 5, 2017, 10:06pm Top

>104 vancouverdeb: Phew! I am in good company. : )

>105 karenmarie: That is hysterical!! Permanent marker...

>106 lauralkeet: You would think I could keep it straight. Portland has no football team, so everyone here roots for the Seattle SEAHAWKS. At least Ellen lives far enough away she can't smack me. Really, I plead no sleep. Now, if I forget that the University of Oregon is the DUCKS, my oldest daughter will set me straight ASAP. Where is Mark when I need him?

Hi Ellen! : )

Dec 5, 2017, 10:18pm Top

...pssst...Berly-boo...do what I do and shout "GO BIRD-MEN!" and you'll be right at least 1/3 of the time...

Dec 5, 2017, 11:43pm Top

>102 Berly: Well, idiot might be a bit harsh. You just needed sleep!
"...they are both birds." Uh huh. I guess you could have said Go Falcons or Go Cardinals....

>103 vancouverdeb: Actually, Deb, I did not read a lot of Agatha Christie's works in my younger days. I wish I had done!

I think I've talked about this before so forgive me if I repeat myself but there was a window of time (call it ages 11-17) when I frankly didn't have good adult role models readily available, no one who would engage with me and guide me and help me learn about reading options. I also grew up in a small town with no bookstore and the local five-and-dime, the name of which currently escapes me, carried a plethora of Harlequin Romances, so they were what I had at hand; I was certainly an avid reader but just didn't have good material available. My father suggested I should read Lady Chatterly's Lover when I was about 12 years old ("if you're going to read trash, at least read good trash"). That didn't work. My mother was no help and my sister lived a long distance away. Still, when I was 16 years old she (sister) introduced me to John D. MacDonald and changed my life for the better.

Dec 5, 2017, 11:50pm Top

>104 vancouverdeb: Ahem.

>105 karenmarie: Karen, that is a great story! I'm tempted to send you a fistful of my freebie University of Washington t-shirts (you know, from Parent & Family Weekend, Orientation, Dawg Daze, etc.). Ha ha. I have no idea whether any of them would be as comfortable as your Nittany Lions shirt, though.

Oh, and here's a fun tidbit: my UW Huskies are playing the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Fiesta Bowl on December 30! I know you don't care but I'm even more tempted to send you an appropriate replacement for that comfy t-shirt!

Dec 5, 2017, 11:50pm Top

>106 lauralkeet:

This is a Seahawk:

This is an Eagle:

Oh. I see your point.

Never mind.

Dec 6, 2017, 12:00am Top

>107 scaifea: Amber! You noticed that I said I figured it out. I was pretty pleased with myself. Mind you, there were nuances and details that I totally missed but I got the essence of the solution. :-)

>108 jnwelch: Cracked me up, Joe. I'm glad learning about DonorsChoose a second time was as much fun as the first time!

Figuring out the solution in Murder on the Orient Express made me pretty happy. I love MBH's reaction! I want to read more Agatha Christie now.

>109 ffortsa: That would have been a treat to see, Judy!

>110 ffortsa: Yes, and it was a long six months for me, Judy. But I was just about to nudge you to do the alphabet with your toes before you get out of bed in the morning --- really, it is one of the best things you can do for PF! --- but then I see that you have a tear rather than just inflammation. So I don't know if doing the toe alphabet exercise is a good idea. You might check with doc when you see them next week.

Today was a sunny day and it definitely brought relief for the winter blues I've been feeling. It was cold ~~ I ran in the dark again this morning and it was about 34F but the moon was out and I enjoyed every minute. I also had to go for several walks during my work day to get to various meetings so I got to be out in that sunshine (weak winter sun, but still!). Yay!!!!!

Of course, it's to be expected.

Dec 6, 2017, 12:02am Top

Dec 6, 2017, 12:07am Top

Dec 6, 2017, 12:30am Top

>116 EBT1002: Did you figure out the solution before or after seeing the movie(s)? Just kidding. We've seen all three cinematic versions. After viewing Branagh's version, both my wife and I want to read Dame Aggie's original.

Dec 6, 2017, 3:17am Top

Well done with your reading this year Ellen. Your total must be close to a personal best no?

Dec 6, 2017, 7:09am Top

>115 EBT1002: Ha! That's pretty funny when you look at them side-by-side.

Dec 6, 2017, 4:37pm Top

>116 EBT1002: Thanks for the toe alphabet advice. I have some mild stretches I do just before getting out of bed - the heel doesn't hurt quite so much when I hit the floor then. And yes, I've sort of bailed on most of the other exercises for now. I'll do the toe yoga when I think of it, but I don't know what would help or hurt a tear. It does explain, I think, why after some conscientious exercising I would hurt more.

I noticed you asked Kim about 'The Humans'. We saw it here and loved it. It's not an easy show to watch, but it was marvelously acted and very much reflects what is happening in our society today. If the cast is good, I urge you to see it.

Dec 6, 2017, 10:30pm Top

I’m about one third into Sing, Unburied, Sing. This is a brilliant and brutally honest novel. Wow.

Dec 6, 2017, 11:20pm Top

Oh dear. You should have been watching your men's Huskies play. I am in mourning.

Dec 7, 2017, 2:45am Top

>116 EBT1002: Hmm, that graph could work for here but for this year they should have added smoke haze that the sun couldn't get through.

Dec 7, 2017, 7:22am Top

>123 EBT1002: It sure is, isn't it? I've decided I'll pretty much read anything Jesmyn Ward writes from now on.

Dec 7, 2017, 11:38am Top

>123 EBT1002: I KNEW you would love it.

Dec 10, 2017, 5:37am Top

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, Ellen.

Dec 11, 2017, 6:58pm Top

What a lively and fun conversation: rain, sun, birds, teams, books, Agatha Cristie (I think we should read one or two of hers for our little RL book group.)

The difference between the Eagles and the Seahawks? Eagles are actual, real, birds and magnificent at that! Seahawks...no such bird, just a foot ball team!

Dec 11, 2017, 11:36pm Top

Hi Ellen!! I think I am going to bring Sing, Unburied, Sing to my bookclub tomorrow night. We are choosing books for the year. Hmmm....what else to bring?

Dec 12, 2017, 2:30pm Top

Life is too busy!!!!!! Gah!!!!!!!

I finished and loved Sing, Unburied, Sing.

I finished and quite enjoyed Daddy Longlegs for real life book group.

I'm reading the fourth in the Three Pines series now and will start The Sun Also Rises later today or tomorrow.

Dec 13, 2017, 1:11am Top

>131 EBT1002: It's that time of year, Ellen, busy, busy! Think zen thoughts, or better yet get out for a run.

Dec 13, 2017, 9:17am Top

>131 EBT1002: May the busy be productive and the life be smooth.

Dec 13, 2017, 1:17pm Top

>118 richardderus: Adding The Body in the Library to my library hold list. Thanks for the tip, RD!

>119 weird_O: Ha ha, Jim. Amazingly, I don't think I have seen any of the cinematic versions of Murder on the Orient Express. We're planning to see the current version (quick! while it's still in theaters!) and the queue up the other two on Netflix or whatever.

>120 PaulCranswick: I'm definitely closing in on a personal best for books completed in one year, Paul. My record is 108 and I matched that earlier this week. I'm now reading The Sun Also Rises and A Rule Against Murder. Even with work being particularly crazy right now, I expect to exceed 110 books in 2017. :-)

>121 lauralkeet: I thought so, too, Laura.

Dec 13, 2017, 1:23pm Top

>122 ffortsa: The toe alphabet has worked well for me, Judy, but I have had plantar fasciitis and not an actual tear. I do think you want to be careful with torn tissue....

I would love to see "The Humans" but our theater schedule was already overwhelming this month. It will have to wait for another time.

>124 ronincats: Roni, I should indeed have been watching the men Huskies for that game! They promptly turned around and lost badly to Gonzaga. I know you were sad for your Jayhawks. xo

>125 Familyhistorian: Yes, Meg, we had some of that smoke and haze, too. Right now we are in the middle of an inversion. Cold with sunny skies but with no rain and no wind, the air quality is compromised. It's still not as bad as some parts of the world but I have an aggravating cough that I believe (hope?) is due to the "stuff" in the air. It hasn't stopped me from running, though.... :-)

>126 lauralkeet: "I've decided I'll pretty much read anything Jesmyn Ward writes from now on." I wholly agree, Laura. I have Men We Reaped on my TBR shelves and I will definitely read it early in 2018.

Edited: Dec 13, 2017, 1:25pm Top

Hi, Ellen.

I finished and quite enjoyed Daddy Longlegs for real life book group. Oh good. Becca and I really liked that one, too. We both also read the second one - not quite as good, IMO, but still fun - Dear Enemy.

Dec 13, 2017, 1:25pm Top

>127 BLBera: I've come to trust your instincts about my reading, Beth! :-)

>128 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul. That weekend is now a distant image in the rear view mirror but it was a good one nevertheless.

>129 maggie1944: Karen, I would totally go along with reading some Agatha Christie for RLBG.

>130 Berly: Well, Kim, I need to go to your thread to see if Sing, Unburied, Sing made it onto your book group's list for 2018. I ended up giving it 4.5 stars.

Dec 13, 2017, 1:27pm Top

>132 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. Zen thoughts, indeed. The good news is that I am getting my morning runs in, for the most part. I'm just not willing to sacrifice that self-care. I'm also still getting some reading in, and P and I are watching a couple of good series ("Godless" is my new favorite -- on Netflix). Unfortunately, my winter break to-do list at work is quite substantial. Still, I'm holding fast to my two planned vacation days, December 28 and 29.

Dec 13, 2017, 2:03pm Top

Sorry life is so busy, Ellen. We are really enjoying 'Godless,' too.

Edited: Dec 13, 2017, 2:48pm Top

>139 katiekrug: That's great to hear, Katie and Ellen. 'Godless' is on our list of "try it" shows.

P.S. Our son recommends "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend", so we're going to give that one a go, too.

Dec 13, 2017, 3:18pm Top

>135 EBT1002: Oooh, Men We Reaped is really moving, esp. since it's nonfiction.

Dec 14, 2017, 1:57am Top

>131 EBT1002: We chose Sing, Unburied, Sing for my bookgroup next year. Yay! And I am getting sucked into Category Challenges for next year. I want to read some books off my shelves! Thinking Color Cat and Random CAT.

Dec 14, 2017, 7:58am Top

Hi Ellen, I hope you can have some quiet, peaceful, not filled with work stress, days during this holiday season.

I went in to see the optometrist because I feel as if my eyes are still limiting how much reading I can do. Turns out there is a little issue in my right eye, and eventually I'll face a small surgery to repair it. I am reassured it is not a big deal, and can be fixed. But it also is reassuring that I was not imagining I had issues.

So, I'm still doing jig saw puzzles every morning on my Kindle, and working on finishing Sapiens. I plan to take Homo Deus with me when I go to housesit for my niece. I'll have a nice quiet week when all I have to do is play with the two dogs, and one bird. It will be nice to leave my community and let the day to day challenges to others. I also plan to take Born A Crime to review as I'm supposed to lead a discussion on the book in January.

Ah, the life of a reader!

Dec 14, 2017, 4:23pm Top

>135 EBT1002: Regarding that tear, my new orthopedist showed me the MRI (yikes, that's a bad tear) and has ordered me into a walking brace for 4 weeks. No stretches, no exercised, just leave the foot and ankle braced and let it heal. If we don't see it finished up in mid-January, he has other suggestions, but he doesn't want to do them until I give this uninterrupted time.

He said to me 'every time you stretched, it was like pulling off a scab from a sore. So it didn't heal'.

And I think now I know when it tore. One day in my PT session, I tripped over my own foot and came down on the bad foot really, really hard. Lots of pain. The PT iced it, but we should have explored further. My brother stopped seeing his trainer after he (my brother) ruptured a biceps. Sometimes these pros don't know how far to push us, do they?

>143 maggie1944: Karen, so glad there was a diagnosis that made sense. It's disconcerting when a doc says there's nothing in evidence, yet your symptoms persist.

I would have been hit by lots of book bullets on this thread, except the titles have already left their marks. So much to catch up on! Happy reading, everyone!

Dec 18, 2017, 3:34pm Top

109. A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny

My favorite of the series so far.

Dec 18, 2017, 3:40pm Top

Hey everyone. Well, just as the holiday season hit, so did a terrible cough. I've been sick for over a week and have just been pushing through. Today I finally stayed home from work to rest. I don't feel terrible but this cough is persistent and I'm tired of it. I worry that it will develop into Bronchitis (or maybe it's already that ~~ what else would it be?) and I don't want pneumonia.... Anyway, I've just had the energy to keep up with work, do a bit of light reading, and fall into bed at night. As you can see above, I finished the fourth Three Pines novel. I'm also a bit more than halfway through The Sun Also Rises which started a bit slowly for me but for which I am developing an admiration. On the other hand, the racism and anti-semitism are hard to overlook, 1920s authorship notwithstanding.

I hope to feel well enough this evening to go hear a local jazz trio play the Charlie Brown Christmas music, originally recorded for the tv show by Vince Guiraldi. It is my absolute favorite Christmas CD.

Time to read a bit and then see if I can sleep for a while. The good news is that I have sweet Abby the cat curled up next to me in bed. She loves sick days!

Dec 18, 2017, 4:27pm Top

Dash that cough Ellen. I hope you are well enough to go to the gig tonight, I’m downloading the music as I type, so I can hum along.

Cats are great on sick days.

Dec 18, 2017, 4:30pm Top

Feel better soon Ellen. The only thing worse than a summer cold, is a winter (holiday) cold. Bah humbug!

Warm cat, good book, cozy bed, hot tea, sounds like a sensible course of action!

Dec 18, 2017, 4:55pm Top

If you find the fatigue to be more than is reasonable associated with a bad cough, go get checked out for pneumonia. The time I had it, I just felt very, very tired. Nothing else. Could not raise my arm to get a box of tea out of the cupboard. Yup, it was pneumonia. And the meds kicked it in the butt and I was up and at it in no time. Don't delay if you are not shaking the fatigue.

Dec 18, 2017, 4:57pm Top

Hi Ellen, it's been awhile since I checked into your thread. I love your opening pictures and I am sorry to hear that you are under the weather. Christmas is such a busy time that getting a cold or the flu can be an absolute disaster! Take care of yourself and hopefully you can shake it off quickly.

Edited: Dec 18, 2017, 5:57pm Top

>146 EBT1002: There's a lot of that kind of bug going around here. I'm just coming out of a stint myself. But the length of your bout is worrisome. I second >149 maggie1944: advice not to wait too long to get it evaluated.

Would you remind me again of your schedule for the first weekend of March in Philadelphia? Jim and I would love to come down, but we have to leave time to get back for a traditional Oscar party that Sunday night. I want to make sure we can have our cake (you and Laura and assorted others) and the party too!

Dec 18, 2017, 6:40pm Top

Feel better soon, Ellen. Coughs are the worst! Take care of yourself.

Edited: Dec 18, 2017, 10:48pm Top

110. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

I went back and forth on my rating of this novel several times. It's so easy to see how Hemingway was said to alter the novel, to take the form into new territory. At first, I was underwhelmed: short, choppy sentences and unconvincing dialogue. But as Jake Barnes, Lady Brett Ashley and their companions in Paris and Pamplona developed, as the tensions of fear, loathing, and longing entwined them in adolescent but also sympathetic tenor, I fell under their spell and enjoyed the narrative ride. That Jake and Brett are in love, and that fate has contrived to keep them apart (that is all I'm saying about that so as to avoid spoilers), serve as the primary thematic vehicle for exploring a time and place and a generation devastated by WWI.

Racist language and anti-Semitic themes are part of why I struggled with my rating; can I excuse those by pointing to the 1926 publication date? In today's world, I find it harder to make that call. And it hardly feels adequate to "knock off a star" for such. So, I rated the novel for its literary merits as I perceive them without reference to the undertone of bias and discrimination. It's a great novel. And its author and characters are profoundly flawed. That is both the figure and the ground.

Dec 18, 2017, 11:04pm Top

>139 katiekrug: We almost decided to watch an episode of "Godless" tonight, Katie, but with me so sick and needing sleep, I decided to delay it. I love the series but it seems to activate me and make me slow to fall asleep.

>140 jnwelch: Joe, I hope you and Debbi try and like 'Godless.' Lady Mary in a different light. :-)
I haven't heard of 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend'....

>141 lauralkeet: I'm going to try to read Men We Reaped in January, Laura. February at the latest.

>142 Berly: Oh good, I'm glad your book group will be reading Sing, Unburied, Sing in 2018. It's truly wonderful. And I'm getting totally sucked into the Category challenges: MysteryCAT, ColourCAT, AlphaKIT.... RandomCAT requires me to make up my own categories which could be a good thing since I'm truly, honestly, over the moon determined to tackle the stacks of books that have taken over the house!

Dec 18, 2017, 11:10pm Top

>143 maggie1944: Karen, what a relief to know that there is something up with your eye, that it wasn't just your imagination (now that song is happily ensconced in my brain). I hope the surgery IS small, can happen soon, and makes reading easier for you! As we age, I know we have to expect this kind of thing but not being able to read as much as you want when you're retired is, well, it's just not on.

I still have Sapiens on my kindle and I do plan to read it. I think you'll like Born a Crime.

>144 ffortsa: Judy, I'm sorry to hear about the tear but glad you got the information you need so you can do the right thing to help it heal. Hearing that every time you stretched was like ripping the scab off a sore make so much sense. I do hope it heals quickly now that you know to rest it entirely. But I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.

I tell ya, that thing my mom told me about the body as it ages turns out to be true! It injures more readily and heals more slowly. Oh well.

Dec 18, 2017, 11:19pm Top

>147 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Caroline. The cough has just been tenacious. I know I did the right thing by staying home today. I decided to skip the jazz trio this evening, too, which broke my heart but was also the right thing to do.

Abby loves when a mom stays home sick! She spent the whole day here on the bed with me, often under the covers sound asleep up against my hip while I read. Now she is out on the sofa next to P, happy as can be.

>148 jessibud2: Thanks Shelley. I'm a crabby patient. I also know that I kept pushing it when I first developed the cough ~ went for morning runs, went to work, did stuff around the house.... I seem to have finally gotten my body's message that I need to slow down.

>149 maggie1944: I know you're right, Karen. I had walking pneumonia several years ago and it was much as you describe your experience with it. I kept thinking I just had a persistent cold but I was tired, tired, tired. What's been weird is that until the past couple of days, the cough was the only symptom I had. Not even fatigue (see my note to Shelley about morning runs all last week). But I think I finally ran myself down.

>150 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy. I am trying to listen to my body and rest, rest, rest. As you say, that is hard to do this time of year!

>151 ffortsa: Yes, I'm going to listen to you and Karen. If I can squeeze it in, and I don't turn the corner, I'll go to the urgent care clinic tomorrow or Wednesday.

I think that Sunday is the meet-up day in Philly. I have to attend an opening gig at 5pm on that day so I think we'll need to do lunch-and-books so I can get back and get dressed and such. Laura and I will get things sorted out after the first of the year but I think you can count on that rough schedule. I hope you can have your cake and eat it too! I'd love to see you again!

Dec 18, 2017, 11:23pm Top

>152 BLBera: Thanks Beth!

I don't know what to read next. I think it's partly the feeling so lousy. I have The Painted Drum from the library to finish out my Erdrich year, but I also have Smile by Roddy Doyle from the library on my kindle. I think I read a review of it in the Seattle Times. Or someone around here hit me with a blue book bullet.

Or maybe I'll go brush my teeth and turn out the light and go to sleep. I really hope to go back to work tomorrow.

Dec 19, 2017, 1:05am Top

Don't push yourself, Ellen. In my book, if you had to miss an evening event that you wanted to go to, then you are too sick to go to work the next day. Take care and I hope you find something good to read.

Dec 19, 2017, 1:33am Top

Hi Ellen--I am all in on the ColourCAT and RandomCAT. I will have to check out the AlphaCAT because I really want to read BOOKS I HAVE!! LOL. I came down with the crud two days after my TKD test. Still coughing up stuff, but feeling pretty good by now. I hope you feel better ASAP.

Dec 19, 2017, 2:28am Top

Ellen, hope you are able to have time to rest and feel better soon.

Dec 19, 2017, 7:03am Top

Terrible about the commuter train crash! I saw that you marked yourself as 'safe' on FB. Is that a route you often take? Or is that just for acquaintances like me who don't know the topography of the area?

Take care of your cough. Doctors may be hard to come by next week, so perhaps a visit this week would be in order if it doesn't come around quickly.

Dec 19, 2017, 9:25am Top

Hi Ellen - I'm glad you are safe. I always feel especially bad when tragedies happen close to the holidays; it will mar celebrations forever in those families.

Take care of the cough. I hope you're able to get some rest.

I have a huge pile of library books, but I'm thinking of tackling The Luminaries on break. We're taking a short trip and that might be a good one to take. I do have a short Erdrich memoir sitting on my bedside table as well... Decisions.

I'm trying hard not to look at challenges. I think I would like to read African American autobiographies with you, but other than my book club, I do want to make a dent in my unread books.

Dec 19, 2017, 9:26am Top

Oh, and great comments on The Sun Also Rises; it's been years since I read that one, and it was never a favorite.

Dec 19, 2017, 11:28am Top

>153 EBT1002: Your rating surprised (read: shocked, horrified, appalled) me until I read your rationale. Quite fair, most reasonable, very balanced.

I loathe that book with a vibrating Day-Glo orange passion, so that's quite a compliment taken from that perspective.

Dec 19, 2017, 12:55pm Top

I enjoyed your take on The Sun Also Rises, too. Very well-thought out.

I'm not a fan of The Luminaries, but I'm in the minority on that, I'm pretty sure. I never got caught up in it - respect but not love or like.

Dec 19, 2017, 1:40pm Top

>153 EBT1002: I try to rate classics on literary merit rather than on our current standards of race/women's rights. I'm sure people in the future will find something in our current politically correct books to be offended by...it's just how the world works.

Dec 20, 2017, 6:24am Top

Hi Ellen!

I second streamsong's suggestion of visiting a doctor this week, especially if it's something that should be treated with antibiotics.

>153 EBT1002: You actually make me want to read Hemingway with your review! What's the world coming to? *smile*

Edited: Dec 20, 2017, 10:10am Top

Good morning everyone. I am home sick again today so I will try to spend a couple of hours catching up (ha) on LibraryThing. I'm already having fun checking out the challenges for 2018 (remember, I'm not doing challenges in 2018 - another ha).... In any case, I'm really committed to getting to some of the books on my shelves so I'm choosing challenges that lend themselves to that.

I did go to the doc yesterday. It felt like a royal waste of time because I waited for almost two hours to see her. Then she seemed convinced that I wanted her to prescribe something for me when I honestly just wanted to rule out pneumonia!

So -- it's not pneumonia. That is good. She even did a chest x-ray. But I took a serious turn for the worse last night and I'm now in the miserable-with-a-head-and-chest-cold phase. Abby is delighted that I'll be staying home and mostly in bed today.

Dec 20, 2017, 10:13am Top

>158 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg. I did go to work yesterday but left early to go to urgent care. I'm glad I got a few things done and had one meeting that I was really looking forward to, and then spent over 3 hours at the doctor's and then came home. Today I am staying home.

I started reading Smile by Roddy Doyle. It's an odd little book.

Dec 20, 2017, 10:19am Top

>159 Berly: As I say above, Kim, I am choosing challenges in 2018 that lend themselves to reading BOOKS I HAVE! I'm using ColourCAT and AlphaKIT for said purposes. I'll be interested to see what categories you make up for RandomCAT. That's how that works, right? I guess I can go check it out....

This crud is miserable but, as a colleague said, at least campus is quiet. Still, I have this winter "break" planned for getting things done (I have a serious to-do list on the white board in my office) and going for morning runs and enjoying the "down"-time. Oh well. I'm planning to rest today, as well as to read and "catch up" on LT.

>160 charl08: Thanks Charlotte! I'm tucked up in bed this very moment. I don't expect to get out of my pajamas today.

>161 streamsong: Hi Janet. Marking myself "safe" on FB was indeed for friends and family scattered about the country. I first heard about the train crash when my Tennessee cousin texted to be sure I was okay. I drive down that section of I-5 regularly but not daily or weekly. It is the route to FIL's house. He lives very near where the crash occurred.

Dec 20, 2017, 10:22am Top

I hope you feel better soon!

Edited: Dec 20, 2017, 10:24am Top

>162 BLBera: I agree, Beth. It's somehow especially tragic to have such a disaster near the holidays. It was a pretty horrific crash. I was hearing someone talk about not only the train crash but the cars that were zooming along I-5 at 60mph (at least) and suddenly having to slam on brakes.... it was a mess.

Resting today as per doctor's, friends', and P's orders. :-)

Oh, if you tackle The Luminaries, I'll be interested in how you like it. I think I have shared before that one of the people we met and spent time with on the West Highland Way a couple of years ago was reading that on her Kindle. She said it was magnificent.

I'm checking out the Category Challenges rather than investing too heavily in the more specific challenges. I am honestly going to try to make a dent in the books I already own, and the category challenges lend themselves to that more than, say, the American or Irish author challenges do. That said, if I have a book on the shelf that I want to read that fits the AAC or the IAC, I'll participate.

Dec 20, 2017, 10:26am Top

>163 BLBera: Thanks, Beth.

>164 richardderus: Thank you for those kind words, RD. I'm glad my struggle with how to "evaluate" the novel came through. Certainly I'm not joining the ranks of Hemingway fans but I can appreciate his contributions to the canon.

>165 jnwelch: Thanks Joe. I tried to be balanced and fair in my assessment of The Sun Also Rises.

And I do believe you're in the minority on The Luminaries. I haven't tried it yet.

Dec 20, 2017, 10:28am Top

>168 EBT1002: - Did she at least give you something for the cough? If coughing is bad enough to prevent sleeping, or bad enough that it hurts, I think that calls for something!

Dec 20, 2017, 10:31am Top

>166 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel! It's good to see you.

I go back and forth on the rating of books, especially "classics," that have what are to me offensive facets to them. You're right that our sense of justice evolves but I also have a hard time "excusing" authors for not transcending the tone of their time. In the 1920s there were plenty of people who fought against Jim Crow and the anti-Semitism that was skidding toward WWII. Hemingway was not one of them.

>167 karenmarie: Thanks Karen. Doc visit happened yesterday and I am pneumonia-free. But I'm pretty darn sick. Rats.

I am fairly certain that The Sun Also Rises was my first-ever Hemingway. I'm not sure how I managed to go through our education system without reading him, but I seem to have done so. My relatively high rating of TSAR notwithstanding, I believe it will be not only my first but also my last Hemingway. I understand why his work is respected but I don't have to read more of it.

Dec 20, 2017, 10:33am Top

>171 The_Hibernator: Thanks Rachel!

>174 jessibud2: She prescribed an inhaler but I'm unlikely to fill the Rx. The cough has eased as the cold has settled into my head (this is the reverse of every cold I think I've ever had in my life -- they always start in my head and move to my chest, not the other way around!!!). I still have a cough but it's much better. Thank goodness for Ricola Honey-Herb drops! :-)

Dec 20, 2017, 10:44am Top

Oh dear, sorry you’ve not had any relief from the lurg, but glad it’s not pneumonia Ellen, and that you are staying home in bed. Abby must think it’s her birthday.

>169 EBT1002: It’s years since I read any Roddy Doyle.

Dec 20, 2017, 10:46am Top

Ricola is good stuff, isn't it? So sorry to hear you have such a miserable cold. When it's in your chest you get exhausted from the hacking and when it's in your head, you can breath and have miserable sleep. Hope you shake it off quickly. I have to say, when I was in graduate school, I always got sick as soon as finals were over before Christmas, as soon as the pressure let up.

Dec 20, 2017, 10:52am Top

>177 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Caroline. Abby was snuggled up against me but she prefers for me to read rather than be on the laptop so she opted for her little heated bed on the sofa for now. I will try to lure her back when I decide to sleep.

I hadn't realized until just now that Roddy Doyle is the author of Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha which I believe won the first Booker Prize. Smile was published in September and was nominated for the Irish Book Award.

Dec 20, 2017, 10:53am Top

>176 EBT1002: - Yep, Ricola is also my choice of soothing, but let me put in a good word for the puffer. You might be surprised at how effective it is and then, once you no longer need it, just don't use it. I have asthma and it took ages before it was diagnosed and a puffer prescribed. But wow, what a difference. But luckily, I only need it very occasionally now.

Dec 20, 2017, 10:53am Top

>178 ronincats: Yeah, I think that may be what just happened to me, Roni. The crud has of course been going around campus and I'm usually pretty resistant but I think this one snuck in just as I let down my guard.

Dec 20, 2017, 10:55am Top

>180 jessibud2: Hmmm, recommendation duly noted, Shelley. P had a puffer for years to deal with some asthma. She no longer needs it but it was incredibly helpful when she did! I'll see how this goes and if it lingers beyond what I think of as normal for a virus, I'll run down to the Bartell's and pick up the Rx.

Dec 20, 2017, 11:06am Top

Okay, so. I'm thinking about 2018 and I'm mostly focusing on Category challenges: ColourCAT, AlphaKIT, maybe BingoDOG or RandomCAT. I will follow along with the American Author Challenge and Paul's new Irish Author Challenge (I loves me an Irish author), but I'm not wanting to acquire new books in 2018. I want to work through the shelves and stacks I already have. So here is an example of how the Category Challenges might help with that. All of these books are on my shelves:

ColourCAT - January = Black
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Murder in the Marais by Cara Black

AlphaKIT - January = M and V
Magpie Murders (double score)
Murder in the Marais by Cara Black (double score)

The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen


Of course, I also want to participate in the Group Reads of Nicholas Nickleby and Godstalk....

So we'll see how this goes!

Dec 20, 2017, 11:15am Top

Ellen--Sorry you are home with the crud. : (

I have my books all picked out for the 2018 ColourCAT and the RandomCAT's January Challenge is to read a Book Bullet. (A different person is in charge of each month's category.) I might add in the alphabet one, too, because I am in the same boat you are--trying to read the books I already own!! LOL I was already snared by the same two Group reads you mentioned and I am sure I will fall victim to more throughout the year. Oh well. : )

Dec 20, 2017, 11:17am Top

>184 Berly: Well, all that suggests that it will be another year of many shared reads and lots of fun! I always know that the challenges will beat me in the end, but I do enjoy them.

Okay, heading over to RandomCAT now.....

Dec 20, 2017, 11:25am Top

Hi Ellen, I'm sorry you are under the weather. I hope it clears out soon.

I am also planning to do more over in the category challenge, both as a way to participate in more free-form challenges and to "freshen up" my reading and bookish interactions. I'll still be here with the 75ers, of course, but it's fun to meet new people, too, and get different perspectives.

Edited: Dec 20, 2017, 11:31am Top

Still planning January (it's a sickness, I tell you) ~~~

ColourCAT - January = Black
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Murder in the Marais by Cara Black

AlphaKIT - January = M and V
Magpie Murders (double score)
Murder in the Marais by Cara Black (double score)
Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson

The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

RandomCAT - January = Ack! I've been hit!
Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson - book bullet by Darryl

Group Reads:
Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
Godstalk by P.C. Hodgell

I'd better get reading now!!!!

Dec 20, 2017, 11:32am Top

>186 katiekrug: Exactly, Katie! I'm a lifer as far as the 75ers group goes but I'm ready to try some new ways of "organizing" my reading. And I definitely want to work on the books I have already acquired!

Dec 20, 2017, 11:59am Top

>187 EBT1002: Sooooo you are home sick AND you are book-sick! January looks like it is shaping up well. Love the double scores. ; )

Dec 20, 2017, 12:01pm Top

>189 Berly: Yep, home sick and book sick. That is me. :-)

I'm letting myself play on LT until 10am. Then I have to put in one load of laundry, turn out the light, and try to sleep for a bit.

Oh, and I need to check the water in the Christmas tree holder.

Dec 20, 2017, 12:41pm Top

There is an Andrew Wyeth exhibit at Seattle Art Museum. I need to get there before it departs on January 15....

From the website:
"Presenting 110 of Wyeth’s finest paintings and drawings, this first major retrospective since the artist’s death challenges long-held critical notions of Wyeth as a realist and offers unexpected perspectives on his art, legacy, and influences."

Dec 20, 2017, 12:59pm Top

Ellen, I'm so glad to see you don't have pneumonia! I hope rest & TLC are all you need.

>191 EBT1002: The Wyeth exhibit opened first at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, PA (about an hour outside of Philly), which is dedicated to the work of all three generations of Wyeth artists (Nathaniel, Andrew, and Jamie). I confess I never made it to the exhibit but have heard it's very good.

Dec 20, 2017, 1:00pm Top

Oh my Ellen, I envy you that. I did see a wonderful exhibition of his work in the UK a few years ago. I love his work. Hope you can get to the exhibition.

Dec 20, 2017, 1:08pm Top

Wednesday Wellness *whammy*

I'm recovering from a cold, while more than 30 of the people here have been taken to the hospital for dehydration due to flu side-effects. A cold! *muaaahaaahaaaaaa* The flu shot rawks!

Struggling to get a Solstice/Yule blog post written that isn't a bitter, angry, hate-filled tirade. It is much harder than you'd think.

Dec 20, 2017, 1:17pm Top

>192 lauralkeet: A friend of mine went to the Wyeth exhibit last week and encouraged me to go. I'm thinking that I'll target this Friday after work if I'm feeling well enough.

>193 Caroline_McElwee: I'm not sure I've seen more than one or two of Wyeth's works "in person," Caroline, so I'm really anxious to squeeze this one into the busy schedule. Maybe this Friday.....

>194 richardderus: Thanks for the wellness whammy, Richard dear. I need it. I saw on your thread that you had a cold, as well. Since I haven't visited you in too long, I can't blame you for sharing it with me! This is my second year in a row not getting the flu shot (I'm usually very good about doing that) so I don't know how that will affect this virus.

Oh, I think I can actually very well imagine how hard it is to write a Solstice/Yule blog that is not full of bile! This year has basically sucked and the current tax bill is a travesty. The establishment Republicans are screwing over the American people but good. I have been fighting my own feelings of rage and helplessness in the past few weeks, in particular. The only thing I have thought to do is commit to involvement in get-out-the-vote efforts for the 2018 mid-term elections. Washington is a mail-in-only state but I might just use a week of vacation leave and go to a state that needs me for driving, helping register voters, etc.

Dec 20, 2017, 1:26pm Top

I might be forced to shout at people here in the facility about getting absentee ballots sent to them. Really, in today's world there's just no excuse not to vote. None.

Dec 20, 2017, 2:02pm Top

>191 EBT1002:- I love Wyeth. Ellen, have you read A Piece of the World? Just saying....

Dec 20, 2017, 2:17pm Top

Hope you're snoozing by now, Ellen. I fought off a similar cough-thing a couple weeks ago; it sounded bronchial, but never settled further into my chest, and didn't hit me in the head either, thankfully. Of course, I did have the luxury, most days, of doing only what I felt up to, and quitting as soon as I was tired. Another benefit of retirement! (Also, I find Mucinex very helpful for loosening things up and stifling the unproductive coughing.)

Dec 20, 2017, 3:21pm Top

Sorry about the lousy cold, Ellen - but I'm glad it's not pneumonia. You'll just have to be really nice to yourself for a while. (It always seems a bit ironic that we are hard on ourselves when we're well, and good to ourselves when we're sick).

I'm pretty sure Debbi loved A Piece of the World like Shelley did. She and Becca have joined a non-LT challenge for 2018 that, like you, they intend to use to get books off their shelves. Becca has an aggressive goal of getting 150 books off her shelves next year and, knowing her, she'll do it. She's got a small apartment filled with books, and feels clearing some room is a must.

Dec 20, 2017, 4:17pm Top

The lost is found! I lost your thread and finally had time today to sit down and find you.

Alabama is proof that the getting out the vote groups need to work, work hard, and keep working. They also have to build coalitions with the traditional minority establishment. The union of the Pantsuit Nation and the Black churches was a winner. It will take work to sustain those relationships.

And don't forget that even progressive states need constant reminder about our constitutional duties. I think that is why Kasir Khan's speech at the Democrat convention was so effective.

Dec 20, 2017, 4:37pm Top

>196 richardderus: If that shouting will help, Richard, do it!

>197 jessibud2: No, I have not, but I just added my name to the library queue. It looks right up my alley!

Dec 20, 2017, 4:41pm Top

>198 laytonwoman3rd: Hey Linda. I did snooze a bit, after I read some in Smile while munching on some Moose Munch. The novel is turning out to be quite compelling. Oh, and I am also a fan of Musinex!

That benefit of retirement, of slowing down whenever you need or want to, is awfully appealing. Luckily, I have an awesome boss who responded to my "I'm going to be out sick again today but I hope to be there tomorrow" email this morning with "I'm here all week. Take care of yourself and we'll see you after the holiday." I'm not planning to take both tomorrow and Friday as sick days if I don't have to, but it's nice to feel supported like that. I predict I'll be home again tomorrow and go in to the office Friday. I do have some things I had hoped to get done this week!

Dec 20, 2017, 4:45pm Top

>199 jnwelch: Hey Joe. Yes, the irony is pretty remarkable. I really appreciate all my friends and colleagues who encourage me to take the days off that I need to rest and recover. It used to be easier to take sick days but my to-do lists at work are so big at this stage of my career that it's hard to give myself permission to stay home. But I'm doing it. I'm glad I don't have a bunch of meetings I'm having to cancel, just work that I'm not getting ahead on.

I have put A Piece of the World on hold at the library. Of course, reading it will not help with the books-off-my-shelves focus but it will fit with my determination to be more impulsive about what I read "next" in 2018. How the two are going to fit together will be interesting to see. Ha!

Dec 20, 2017, 4:47pm Top

>200 benitastrnad: I'm glad you found me, Benita. And I wholly agree with you about the importance of getting out the vote and of coalitions of like-minded people. That latter can be hard in this day and age as I do believe we white liberals are being validly held to account for some failures of conscience, but in the end I believe we are better off with an imperfect progressive candidate who still has work to do in addressing privilege and income disparities than we are with an outright bigoted plutocrat.

Dec 20, 2017, 5:38pm Top

Hi Ellen!

I'm glad you went to the doctor, glad it's not pneumonia. Sorry that you're really sick, though. Giving yourself permission to stay home is great.

>186 katiekrug: I participate in the ROOT challenge, Katie, and have gotten to know some wonderful folks over there in addition to all the great 75ers.

>187 EBT1002: That message makes me twitch. So many commitments.

Dec 20, 2017, 5:43pm Top

>205 karenmarie: LOL, they're not commitments, Karen! They are ideas. They are possibilities. They are examples of things I might read that would fit the Category challenges. And, if you look closely, there are duplicates.

Dec 20, 2017, 5:50pm Top

Took awhile to catch up! Your review of The Sun Also Rises is superb!

I prefer cooking on gas, and if you make sure you get one that is not utterly dependent on electricity to start (some of the new ones are like this) then you'll have a place to heat water and cook if the power fails. Amazing how many steps it can take to get something like that installed. When we broke down and got on the grid, you would not believe what we went through. It took almost a year to get various approvals and the plan together.

Hope you feel better soon!

Dec 20, 2017, 6:08pm Top

Ellen, I've been lurking here and there on your thread and I'm glad to read that you don't have pneumonia, but that you continue to feel unwell. Take care of yourself and take as much time as you need to feel better.

Dec 20, 2017, 6:28pm Top

I hope you feel better soon, Ellen. It's great that the cough is better. If not, NyQuil, baby! I also want to make an effort to move books off my shelves next year although I didn't do too badly this year. I think I acquired about 40 books more than I gave away, so not too bad. I will try to top that next year.

I'll let you know if I decide to tackle The Luminaries over break. I'm also considering Bone Clocks. We'll see...

Dec 20, 2017, 8:41pm Top

I'm glad to see you've requested A Piece of the World. It would be a great companion to the Wyeth exhibit.

Dec 20, 2017, 11:15pm Top

I like the way your boss thinks. Take the time that you need to get better, Ellen. Besides, its cold out there, not the best weather to be out in if you aren't feeling up to par.

Dec 21, 2017, 4:32am Top

I think your summary of Smile as an odd little book is perfect Ellen - it's not typical of his books I think, more of a commitment to talk about the abuse scandal, and people's reactions to it. I also began to read A History of Loneliness which also reflects on this theme, but must pick it up again I think.

Hope you are feeling better.

Dec 21, 2017, 7:01am Top

>153 EBT1002: Good review of The Sun Also Rises. I am glad it ended up being a satisfying read. I was hoping to revisit it this month, but did not succeed.

Sweet Thursday, Ellen. I hope you are feeling better. It sounds like you are catching up with some reading, so that is a good thing, right?

Hugs to my pal.

Dec 21, 2017, 9:24am Top

Sweet Thursday, Ellen. I join Mark in hoping you're feeling better.

For what it's worth, I liked Bone Clocks. He's such an interesting author.

Dec 21, 2017, 9:27am Top

It is indeed Sweet Thursday and I'm at that stage where, if I had crucial meetings or it was the middle of the quarter, I'd likely be pushing myself to go to work, but miserable to have to do so. Since it is winter break, I'm staying home for one more day.

I finished Smile last night and started Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity and Reservoir 13. More about all three a bit later.

Dec 21, 2017, 10:20am Top

>207 sibyx: Thanks, Lucy. Regarding the steps involved in getting a gas stove installed, you are so right. It's rather complicated! I don't know if the one P chose requires electricity to start; I'll check on that.

>208 vancouverdeb: Thanks Deb. As I mentioned above, I'm staying home one more day. I still feel pretty miserable but at least I know it's basically a virus that just needs to run its course.

>209 BLBera: Thanks Beth. I'm trying to take care of myself. Oh, and, I have Bone Clocks on my TBR shelves, as well. He is an author I really want to read more of; I loved Jacob de Zoet.

Dec 21, 2017, 10:22am Top

>210 lauralkeet: P and I talked about going to see the Wyeth exhibit this Friday. It will depend on how I feel. Right now I can't fathom going out into the cold world and wandering around a crowded art gallery.... But we have until January 15 and I'm determined not to let the exhibit get away, even if I have to go by myself on my days off, December 28 or 29.

>211 Familyhistorian: It is indeed cold out there, Meg! We had a hard frost last night but it's supposed to be sunny today. I like my boss a lot, thank goodness.

Dec 21, 2017, 10:31am Top

>212 charl08: More about this later, but I think Smile ended up being a rather brilliant book, as well as a bit odd. It will be hard to review. I'm interested in how A History of Loneliness goes for you.

>213 msf59: Sorry you didn't manage to shoehorn in The Sun Also Rises this month, Mark. I would be interested in your take on it. Thanks for the well wishes and the hugs -- all are happily accepted.

>214 jnwelch: Your take on The Bone Clocks is inherently worthy, Joe. It's on my TBR shelves so if Beth reads it, I'll be tempted to dig it out and join her. Although I have already created such a list for January that part of me is tempted to start (but not yet finish) some books toward that month's reading "plans." Ha.

Dec 21, 2017, 11:18am Top

I have Bone Clocks on my shelf, waiting. But January is booked (aha!). If you do it later I would join in. Hope you are feeling better. And, no, don't miss the Wyeth!!

Dec 21, 2017, 11:34am Top

>219 Berly: My January is pretty well booked, too. Maybe it will fit one of the RandomCAT categories this year. It would work for May for ColourCAT (the cover is Blue) or August or September for AlphaKIT (it would also work for January but we've already discussed that).

Or we could just read it whenever we darn well please! :-D

Dec 21, 2017, 11:45am Top

>217 EBT1002: Good thinking, Ellen, you should only go if you feel up for it and you have plenty of time at this point. Your health needs to come first!

Dec 21, 2017, 12:13pm Top

>198 laytonwoman3rd: Seconding the rec for mucinex- it helped me feel human this past week. Hope you recover fully soon.

Dec 21, 2017, 12:21pm Top

>221 lauralkeet: Besides, no one wants to stand next to a sneezing, coughing blob of snot while admiring an amazing work of art! :-)

>222 ffortsa: Good reminder. I'm headed to the bathroom to take another one this very moment. That, and to pour myself a mug of apple cider.

Edited: Dec 21, 2017, 5:25pm Top

Okay, despite all my rants about 2018 being the year of no challenges, I'm intrigued by Bookriot's 2018 Read Harder Challenge (thanks Charlotte and Katie).

The link is HERE and the list of 24 "tasks," as they call them, is as follows:

1. A book published posthumously
2. A book of true crime
3. A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance)
4. A comic written and illustrated by the same person
5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa)
6. A book about nature
7. A western
8. A comic written or illustrated by a person of color
9. A book of colonial or postcolonial literature
10. A romance novel by or about a person of color
11. A children’s classic published before 1980
12. A celebrity memoir
13. An Oprah Book Club selection
14. A book of social science
15. A one-sitting book
16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series
17. A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author
18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image
19. A book of genre fiction in translation
20. A book with a cover you hate
21. A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author
22. An essay anthology
23. A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60
24. An assigned book you hated (or never finished)

Like Charlotte, I don't think I'll use this list to direct my reading but I may see how many books I choose to read fit into one of these categories. I also like that Booriot promises to post lists of books that will fulfill each of the tasks (I assume for #24 they'll make educated guesses).

Edited: Dec 21, 2017, 2:33pm Top

>224 EBT1002: - I haven't yet sat down to map out my own plans for 2018 but I like the look of this one (although I think there are some that I will skip over).

I like making reading plans... :-)

Dec 21, 2017, 2:45pm Top

Happy Yule Book Flood!

Edited: Dec 21, 2017, 5:27pm Top

>225 jessibud2: I am assuming that by "comic" they mean "graphic novel"...??

>226 richardderus: Ha. Nice one, RD. (I hope there is a Yule Book Flood!!)

Edited: Dec 21, 2017, 5:30pm Top

Here is one commitment I am making for 2018: to use touchstones less frequently, especially in my list of books read near the top of my threads. So many of them require manual correction that it's a pain in the neck, especially every time I create a new thread and have to correct the same ones over and over again. So I may use them in comments but not in tracking.

There. I made a commitment.

Dec 21, 2017, 5:30pm Top

>227 EBT1002: *stares eloquently at P*

Edited: Dec 21, 2017, 5:31pm Top

>229 richardderus: LOL --- she doesn't even bother buying me books. She knows I'll have already bought them for myself.

Dec 21, 2017, 5:54pm Top

>230 EBT1002: Actual books, good heavens no. A mug's game for the mate of the tsundokuist. Ammy cards, trips to Third Place Books or Elliott Bay Booksellers or...


...wait...I think I'm describing P to a T already...

Edited: Dec 22, 2017, 4:53pm Top

My five-star* reads from 2017:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
March: Book 2 by John Lewis - Graphic Memoir (I still need to read Book 3)
Autumn by Ali Smith
Olio by Tyehimba Jess - poetry
Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
Moonglow by Michael Chabon
One Hundred Nights of Hero: A Graphic Novel by Isabel Greenberg
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
News of the World by Paulette Giles
Nutshell by Ian McEwan

*resisting Monday morning quarterbacking activity ~~ if I gave it 5 stars at the time, 5 stars it is

Dec 21, 2017, 5:59pm Top

>231 richardderus: Indeed you are. :-)
And my sister who lives in NC sent me a gift card for Elliott Bay Books, too. Yay!

Dec 21, 2017, 6:01pm Top

>232 EBT1002: And, really, Nutshell is the only 5-star rating I'm questioning.

Dec 21, 2017, 6:03pm Top

Oh, I want to go back to Elliott Bay Books. Sigh.

>232 EBT1002: What a list! We must be kindred spirits, Ellen. I've read all of those, and loved all of those, except I haven't read Moonglow and Home Fire.

Dec 21, 2017, 6:05pm Top

>233 EBT1002: Yay indeed!

>234 EBT1002: If my 2¢ counts, I agree with all your picks except that one (and the GNs and poetry which, mais naturellement, I have not read).

Edited: Dec 22, 2017, 4:53pm Top

4.5-star books read in 2017*:

The Master Butchers Singing Club - Louise Erdrich
All the Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy
Exit West - Mohsin Hamid
LaRose - Louise Erdrich
Human Acts - Kang Han
Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami
On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century - Timothy Snyder
American Salvage - Bonnie Jo Campbell
Song of Solomon - Toni Morrison
The Blood of Emmett Till - Timothy B. Tyson
Sing, Unburied, Sing - Jesmyn Ward
Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie
Bel Canto - Ann Patchett
Cold Earth - Sarah Moss

*Think of these as Honorable Mentions

Dec 21, 2017, 6:14pm Top

>235 jnwelch: I'll accompany you there any time you want!

I do believe a few of the 5-star reads came to me as blue book bullets from you, Joe, so our kindredness is perhaps to be expected.

>236 richardderus: I think I am still prone to overrating books, Richard, although I do actually look at my rating scale and rate them according to how I feel when I finish reading them. If I want to rate books more harshly, I need to rewrite my rating scale anchors, which I'm disinclined to do.

I think Nutshell slipped by in a pique of early-year enthusiasm (I read it last January). On the other hand, I remember closing it with a smile of satisfaction at the reading experience so perhaps I should just stop second-guessing myself.

Dec 21, 2017, 6:16pm Top

>236 richardderus: Huh. I don't have a symbol for cents on my keyboard.

Dec 21, 2017, 6:22pm Top

>238 EBT1002: No need to go that far! I'm down with the idea of a smile-at-the-end read getting the Full Five.

>239 EBT1002: It's not on the keyboard. "& cent ;" with the spaces taken out and no quotes gives it to you.

Edited: Dec 21, 2017, 6:45pm Top

>227 EBT1002: - I assume that, too. I also think that #7 and #16 on that list might get skipped over, by me....

>232 EBT1002:, >237 EBT1002: - um... you do mean 2017, right? ;-)

Dec 21, 2017, 11:57pm Top

>241 jessibud2: Yup. She means 2017. : )

Ellen--I totally agree about the touchstone thing being a pain to correct on every new thread. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. ; )

>224 EBT1002: Nope. Ain't gonna do it. But I will check out the Bingo later on....

Dec 22, 2017, 7:51am Top

Hi Ellen - I'm returning your visit :-) Sorry to see you're not well. I hope it clears up soon and doesn't ruin the holidays for you. And I see you are already planning January - I should probably get on to that :-)

Dec 22, 2017, 9:32am Top

Hi Ellen, how's my favorite sneezing, coughing blob of snot (your words!) today? Happy Friday to you, my friend.

>224 EBT1002: * shakes fist *
I've avoided most challenges the last few years, but this one is appealing. But only as a source of inspiration, not a "must read all the things" commitment.

Dec 22, 2017, 4:01pm Top

HI Ellen, Thank you so much for posting your fav. reads (5 and 4.5 stars). I have done a cut and paste and will keep the list handy for great ideas! Hope you are feeling better soon and hope you have a wonderful holiday break.

Edited: Dec 22, 2017, 4:54pm Top

>240 richardderus: Thanks Richard! I always appreciate your 2¢

>241 jessibud2: I'll do #7 (I've long been wanting to read The Big Sky by A.B. Guthrie) but I would also probably skip #16.
Lord, yes, I meant 2017. Thanks for catching that. It is now corrected.

>242 Berly: It would be interesting to put the BingoDOG and the Bookriot challenge lists next to one another and compare.

Dec 22, 2017, 5:00pm Top

>243 susanj67: Hi Susan! Thanks for the return visit. :-)
Honestly, my planning for January is turning out to be lots of fun. You know, not only do I love reading but I love thinking about reading!

>244 lauralkeet: Hi Laura. Your favorite sneezing, coughing blob of snot is, well, less sneezy, less coughy, and less snotty than yesterday. I came to work and have gotten caught up on emails and meeting requests, at least. Not really much progress on projects but oh well.
I did get to spend 45 minutes or so with my former staff (I was their director for 8+ years until we got to hire my successor who now reports to me). A long-time colleague is leaving the UW; she started working at the counseling center as a work study student in her undergraduate days. Now, 25+ years later, she is returning to SoCal to be closer to family. It was good to see her before she heads to sunnier climes.

"...only as a source of inspiration, not a 'must read all the things' commitment." Exactly! That is how I'm trying to view all challenges for 2018. It's supposed to be fun and I want to continue to expand my reading horizons. Lists like that in >224 EBT1002: do just that.

>245 mdoris: My 5- and 4.5-star reads list for 2017 was a fun one to review, Mary. It feels like a true list of my favorites from the year. I may even post it on FaceBook! (ha)

Dec 22, 2017, 5:30pm Top

111. Smile by Roddy Doyle

This is a powerful short novel about a middle aged man who returns to his hometown, Dublin, after his wife asks him to leave. Victory Forde is looking for a place to call, or recall, home. As he connects with the guys at the local, he is brushed by a memory of abuse by one of the priests at his middle school. Victor is a compelling if unreliable narrator and the simple story belies a few layers of meaning and wonderment at the power of memory and forgetting.

Dec 22, 2017, 5:31pm Top

Currently reading:

Dec 22, 2017, 5:35pm Top

Hey Ellen - I've been enjoying seeing your "best of" lists for the year. It's amazing what overlap we have. No wonder I rely on your recommendations so much. Happy Friday. Have a great weekend. I think you have some time off next week?

I hope you're feeling better.

Dec 22, 2017, 10:19pm Top

>249 EBT1002: I haven't heard of either one of those. I await your thoughts on them. Glad you are feeling a bit better and now it is the weekend. Yay!

Dec 23, 2017, 1:58am Top

Well, if you had to go into work at least it was a light day, Ellen. I hope you enjoy your winter break.

Dec 23, 2017, 7:09am Top

Happy Saturday, Ellen. I hope you are feeling much better today. Looking forward to your thoughts on Reservoir 13. I liked it. Unusual narrative.

Dec 23, 2017, 10:54am Top

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones.

Dec 23, 2017, 11:58am Top

Hey Ellen, here's a zero-cal Yule log. It's the only one you'll ever see!

Dec 23, 2017, 12:57pm Top

Wishing you and P a very Merry Christmas, Ellen.

Dec 23, 2017, 1:03pm Top

MERRY CHRISTMAS and may 2018 be a good vintage for you and P, Ellen.

Dec 23, 2017, 1:28pm Top

>250 BLBera: Hey Beth. I'm not surprised that our "best of" lists overlap. I do think we have similar tastes with occasional departures. I look at my 5- and 4.5-star rated books and I think each of them was an excellent reading experience for me. And Louise Erdrich is in there three times!

I do have next Thursday and Friday off from work. I'm back in bed today, having taken another turn for the worse. This thing is tenacious and I'm darn well sick of being sick. P and our nephew and his fiancée are headed down to Lacey to visit FIL who is in the hospital with influenza. I figured I'd better not go, for his sake and for mine.

>251 Berly: Reservoir 13 was long-listed for the Booker this year, Kim, so I bought it at that point in time. The narrative voice is quite unusual; so far I like it but I'm reserving judgment. Radical Candor is for my professional development, of course, and I'm hoping to get courage from it more than specific ideas for supervising others.

The weekend is here and I'm yet tucked up in bed with this damn cold. I believe it's has morphed into a sinus infection. Bleh.

>252 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg!

>253 msf59: Hey Mark. Yes, the narrative voice in Reservoir 13 is unusual (I just wrote exactly that above to Kim, and I had not yet read your post! -- great minds....). I'm liking it so far. I'm back in bed with this dang cold but hoping it ends soon.

Dec 23, 2017, 1:30pm Top

>254 Ameise1: and >255 richardderus: and >256 cameling: and >257 Caroline_McElwee:
Thank you for the holiday wishes, Barbara, Richard, Caroline (Caroline!!), and Caroline.

Dec 23, 2017, 1:41pm Top

>258 EBT1002: - Bummer! Perhaps you should get yourself back to the doctor before the holiday closures prevent that from being a viable option. If it's a sinus infection, antibiotics or something shouldn't be too difficult to get quickly and the sooner the better!

Feel better soon!!

Dec 23, 2017, 1:50pm Top

>260 jessibud2: P and I were talking about the doctor thing earlier today. She is off with the car, visiting FIL in the hospital, so I'm housebound. But if this doesn't shake in the next 48 hours, I'm back at the doc's on Tuesday. Part of me wonders if they would prescribe the antibiotics without seeing me in person...

Today I plan to call Wave Broadband to complain about our slow internet/wireless and I have a present to wrap for P. And some reading and catching up on LT and blowing my nose and resting. It's sunny and cold out; I'm rather grumpy that I don't feel good enough to go for a run.

Dec 23, 2017, 1:59pm Top

>261 EBT1002: - They might, if it is the same doctor that just saw you so recently, once you describe how the miserable bug has *progressed*. Can't hurt to call and ask

Dec 23, 2017, 2:13pm Top

>258 EBT1002: sorry you have taken a downturn again Ellen. I hate when illness clings on, because then it drags your whole outlook down too and makes you psychologically low. Good idea to stay abed.

Dec 23, 2017, 2:14pm Top

>261 EBT1002: What >262 jessibud2: said. The call is easy, the wait isn't.

Blow and catch and rest. *smooch* since P isn't around to glower at me.

Dec 23, 2017, 2:27pm Top

Oh no, Ellen! Stay in bed with a book or two. Lots of hot tea? Hot brandy? I hope you manage to kick this soon.

Dec 23, 2017, 4:00pm Top

Thanks for all the love, Shelley and Caroline and Richard and Beth. I've got a call in to the nurse hotline thingy.
I'm becoming rather cranky about being sick.

Dec 23, 2017, 4:01pm Top

Oh, but for some good news: the call to Wave Broadband was relatively easy, our internet seems to be working better, and it didn't require purchasing new equipment (which is what we feared).

Dec 23, 2017, 6:08pm Top

Since I'm still propped up in bed blowing my nose every 2 minutes, feeling downright sorry for myself, thank goodness there is:


Dec 23, 2017, 6:27pm Top

And once the doctor approves the prescript, do your pharmacies have delivery service? Ours do. I hope you get all you need without having to step off your bed!

Moose Munch! :-)

Dec 23, 2017, 6:40pm Top

^This is a large box, so I hope it works. You have to feel better tomorrow, right?

Dec 23, 2017, 8:09pm Top

>269 jessibud2: Moose Munch is the best, Shelley!

>270 msf59: Thanks Mark. That big box of healing vibes ought to do the trick. And yes, I have to feel better tomorrow! For Christmas eve!

Dec 23, 2017, 8:16pm Top

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

Dec 23, 2017, 9:04pm Top

Hi Ellen. I can't add pictures but I wanted to add my best wishes for the holiday season to you and P.

Dec 23, 2017, 10:01pm Top

Ellen, I'm sorry you've been ill. This time of year is so busy, it's a wonder we aren't all sick with something or other. I had my bout with Strep Throat which slowed me down and I am just now feeling better after a nasty cold. My Fit Bit steps have suffered and my actual device is about shot. I have a missing piece on the side which makes charging difficult. My husband and I went to Academy Sports today and bought a new FitBit for me and new running shoes and socks for him. He is as crazy about running as you are!

I hope you and P have a Merry Christmas. Here's to more good reading in 2018. Thank you for sharing your best-of lists. I will do something like that before my holiday travels start a few days after Christmas. I am going to be with grandkids in both Kansas City and Denver before the end of the year. Yay!

Happy Holidays from Missouri!

Dec 23, 2017, 10:49pm Top

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Ellen! Hope you’re feeling better soon!

Dec 23, 2017, 10:56pm Top

I hope you feel better SOONEST, Ellen!

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:

Dec 24, 2017, 8:12am Top

Hi Ellen!

Reservoir 13 is our RL book club's read for this coming October. I always like seeing book club books being read by LT friends.

Stopping by to wish you and P all good things this holiday season - restored health being top of the list!

Dec 24, 2017, 8:13am Top

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

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, 12:05pm Top

Happy Eve of the Day, Ellen, I'm here to check on the efficacy of my Cold-B-Gone® Superdeluxe® *whammy*.

Dec 24, 2017, 1:08pm Top

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

Dec 24, 2017, 1:40pm Top

Ah, the bad buggies seem to have gotten to a lot of people this month. I hope you get rid of yours for good soon.

Dec 24, 2017, 9:57pm Top

Wishing you all good things this holiday season and beyond.

Edited: Dec 24, 2017, 10:14pm Top

This wise creature wishes you would feel better, like NOW, please.

Dec 25, 2017, 4:40am Top

Merry Christmas from Philadelphia, Ellen!

Dec 25, 2017, 1:06pm Top

112. Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

"The police did a presentation on crime prevention at the Gladstone, and while everyone was in there someone took off with a stock trailer the Jacksons had left on Top Road. There were some who thought this story was funny when they told it but they were soon set straight."

"Twenty feet in from the entrance, past dead-ends and leaf-lined sleeping nooks, the first cubs of the year were being born, spilling blind into a dark world of grassy warmth and milk. The days started with a cold mist that didn't lift until lunchtime and then only seemed to get snagged in the tops of the trees."

A thirteen-year-old girl visiting on holiday disappears from a small English village. This singular event serves as the fulcrum around which McGregor's melancholy story of village life rotates. If you're looking for a thriller of a read, this novel is not for you. The story unfolds at the pace of life, not the breakneck pace we currently think of as the pace of life, but the steady progression of seasons, the march toward the inevitable that can seem so slow but, once we get there, turns out to have been lightning quick. The characters develop so subtly that at first the reader wonders if any of them will take form. They do. They become neighbors and friends, distant acquaintances and icons of the village, just as they are. Best of all, even the landscape emerges as it would for anyone living in the village; the packhorse bridge and the crows and the foxes are characters too, members of the community whom we watch move through the seasons as vividly as if we stood in the copse below Reservoir 7 or on the gravel path up to Reservoir 5. Memorable and worthy of its Booker nomination.

Edited: Dec 25, 2017, 1:11pm Top

It started snowing last evening and again this morning - yay!! A white Christmas! We ended up getting about 3" of wet, heavy snow (I think it was barely cold enough for it to be snow). Truly beautiful.

And I started reading The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich on Christmas eve. So far, it's another winner from Ms. Erdrich.

Dec 25, 2017, 1:16pm Top

Ellen, how excellent that you got a white Christmas! (as long as you don't have to go out in it). Reservoir 13 looks good - I've just added it to my library ebook wish list because, um, the holds section is getting a tiny bit full.

Dec 25, 2017, 1:28pm Top

>272 lkernagh: Many thanks for the holiday wishes, Lori.

>273 jessibud2: No pictures needed, Shelley! Your wishes are warmly accepted. xo

>274 Donna828: Greetings, Donna and thank you for the kind wishes. I actually stopped wearing my fitbit for the past week; I figured I'd just start fresh when I'm no longer spending most of the day(s) in bed. I'm glad your husband got new running shoes - for a runner, new shoes is one of the great joys of life. :-)

This cold has been ferocious and I'm still feeling pretty lousy. Thank goodness for a white Christmas here in Seattle ~ and the family is coming here for dinner so I don't have to go out in it (I just have to peel and mash the potatoes).

Dec 25, 2017, 1:33pm Top

>275 Copperskye: and >276 ronincats: and >277 karenmarie:

Thank you, Joanne and Roni and Karen! Karen, see my comments above about Reservoir 13; I'll be interested in how you and your book group like it when you get to it.

>278 nittnut: and >279 The_Hibernator: Thank you, Jenn and Rachel! And I agree, Rachel, this group is supportive and lovely; LT has been a gift in my life since January 2011 and I can no longer imagine life without you all. I'm glad you are part of it.

>280 richardderus: Thank you, Richard. But, to be honest, your Cold-B-Gone® Superdeluxe® *whammy* has perhaps passed its pull date? xo

Dec 25, 2017, 1:36pm Top

>281 SandDune: and >282 ffortsa: and >283 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Rhian, Judy, and Paul!

>284 laytonwoman3rd: Thank you for the wise creature wishes, Linda. I'm hoping they take effect immediately!

>285 kidzdoc: Thank you, Darryl! (You know I'll be in Philly in March, right?) I hope things are going well with your parents.

>288 susanj67: I hope you enjoy Reservoir 13 when you get to it, Susan.

Dec 25, 2017, 3:19pm Top

Merry Christmas Ellen!

Dec 25, 2017, 3:20pm Top

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

Dec 25, 2017, 10:01pm Top

Louise Erdrich describes picking blackberries and I’m there. Beautiful writing (no surprise there).

Dec 26, 2017, 9:01am Top

I'm sorry to hear that you are under the weather. Sending lots of healing vibes.

Dec 26, 2017, 9:02am Top

No snow here, I am happy to report! Other places around Vancouver had a bit of snow, but we were spared. Great review of Reservoir 13. I've had it waiting for me for quite some time . I'll move it up the stack. Merry Christmas , Ellen! Review thumbed.

Dec 26, 2017, 10:03am Top

I am so sorry to hear of your being under the weather! Shoot. The snow was fun only in that it was pretty, and makes one a bit cheery, but did not stick on the roads, and did not inhibit my trip up to Lake Stevens for a great Christmas for the whole family. I obviously have a "small" immediate family as we all fit into one house, and around two tables. (One for adults, and one for the little kids) Eleven of us had a great time.

I'm happy to have Christmas over so I can focus my brain on some other priorities. Reading being one of them. I'm slowly working my way through Bad Land and I do love it. I need to review Born a Crime so I can lead a discussion of it at the Silver Glen Book Group in January. Other than that I'm reading this and that and looking forward to an appointment with an eye surgeon later this week. Seems my not being able to read for long periods of time might be due to a small development in one eye which allegedly can be resolved by a simple surgery, and a 4-6 week recover. Crossing my fingers.

Crossing my fingers for you, too. I hope this stupid respiratory, or sinus, or whatever it is which is making you uncomfortable and low functioning gets kicked in the keister.

Dec 26, 2017, 10:11am Top

Still a bit under construction, but here's the new group: https://www.librarything.com/groups/75booksin2018

Happy Boxing Day!

Edited: Dec 26, 2017, 1:11pm Top

Sending you

and best wishes for a wonderful 2018!!

Hoping to start my new thread today....

Dec 26, 2017, 1:54pm Top

>295 Ameise1: Thanks Barbara!

>296 vancouverdeb: Thanks for the thumb, Deb! I really ended up liking Reservoir 13 a lot.
We had three lovely inches of wet snow which lasted all Christmas day and are almost all gone now. It was perfect: a white Christmas but no real problems with transportation or other things afterwards.

Dec 26, 2017, 1:57pm Top

>297 maggie1944: Thanks Karen. I had a phone consult with a doctor through UW Medicine's Virtual Clinic this morning; still no antibiotics but I will go pick up the inhaler they prescribed and I will be using lovely saline sinus cleaner-outer stuff. P came down with it yesterday, so she is at home in bed today. Sheesh.

I agree that the snow was perfect ~~ just enough to make for a beautiful Christmas but not enough to interfere with travel or other aspects of real life.

I need to find my copy of Bad Land.

>298 drneutron: Yay!! Thanks Jim!!!! A new year with the 75ers. I'm looking forward to it!

>299 Berly: Thanks Kim!!

Edited: Dec 26, 2017, 5:56pm Top

Happy Boxing Day everyone!

I'm sick of being sick. Going for chicken phó with a friend/colleague and then heading home by way of the pharmacy to pick up my Rx inhaler, saline sinus cleaner outer, and more boxes of Puffs Plus.

Edited: Dec 26, 2017, 5:59pm Top

Planning for January, all off my shelves! and the challenges, in which I'm not participating, under which each will fit:

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (ColourCAT-Black, AlphaKIT-M)

Murder in the Marais by Cara Black (ColourCAT-Black, AlphaKIT-M)

Negroland by Margo Jefferson (African American Autobiography, AlphaKIT-M, RandomCAT-Ack! I've been hit! by Darryl)

Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions by Valeria Luiselli (AlphaKIT-V)

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (Karen's Group Read)

Why Buddhism Is True by Robert Wright (RandomCAT-Ack! I've been hit! by Joe)

Godstalk by P.C. Hodgell (Roni's Group Read)

Okay, I confess that I purchased Nicholas Nickleby and Godstalk in the last couple of weeks for the group reads but honestly, you just can't expect me to be perfect about reading only books I already own, can you?

Dec 26, 2017, 5:56pm Top

Nicely done!! See, all the tissues must have helped clear the brain. : ) Hope you are feeling a bit better.

Dec 26, 2017, 6:00pm Top

>304 Berly: Thanks Kim. I am going back and forth on whether to start my first thread for 2018.... I see that you jumped already.

Dec 26, 2017, 6:01pm Top

I had the time today, which is more than I can say for the rest of the week! LOL

Dec 26, 2017, 6:15pm Top

Yeah, and I will have time on Thursday and/or Friday so I might just wait until then.
Right now I think I should try to go to sleep.

Did I mention that I'm sick of being sick?

Dec 26, 2017, 6:18pm Top

What for Thursday.

And sickness be gone!! (Sending healing sparkles and lots of them.)

Dec 26, 2017, 6:34pm Top

Yeah, I think I will do that.
Thanks for the sparkles! I hope they work better than Richard's Cold-B-Gone® Superdeluxe® *whammy*.

Off to sleep now. Really!

Dec 26, 2017, 7:03pm Top

>303 EBT1002: - But you own them now, right? ;-)

Dec 26, 2017, 8:32pm Top

>286 EBT1002: Good review of Reservoir 13, Ellen. Thumb! I may have liked it a bit less than you, but I am glad the Booker list, put it on my radar, otherwise I may never have got to it.

Sorry, the virus is lingering. I sure hope it wraps up soon for you.

Dec 26, 2017, 8:48pm Top

>286 EBT1002: Nice review of Reservoir 13, Ellen. Rachael (FlossieT) recommended it to me in April, long before it was chosen for this year's Booker Prize longlist. She's a nearly impeccable source of book recommendations for me, so I bought it while I was in London.

>291 EBT1002: I did know that you'll visit Philadelphia in March, although I didn't see what dates you'll be there, or if an LT meet up has been planned. I can easily get to Center City Philadelphia by commuter train from my parents' house, so I can probably come if I'm off from work and visiting them.

I'm sorry to hear that you're still under the weather. I hope that you feel better soon.

>303 EBT1002: Nice list of planned January reads. I look forward to your comments about Negroland. I attended Margo Jefferson's talk during the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August, which was as enjoyable as reading her book. Tell Me How It Ends sounds quite interesting.

Dec 27, 2017, 11:36am Top

Still sick? Rats!

Dec 27, 2017, 12:01pm Top

I hope you're feeling better soon, Ellen!

Great books planned for January! I count anything as purchased before January 1st as ROOTS. And yes, I always do a quick buying flurry in December for the January books, so I can count them all. :-)

I'm back and forth on reading Nicholas Nickleby. Pro: I haven't read it; it's on the 1001; the group reads are always fun. Con: Meh.

Dec 27, 2017, 12:03pm Top

>310 jessibud2: Indeed I do, Shelley! So they totally count as off-the-shelves reads. :-)

>311 msf59: Thanks for the thumb, Mark. I had moments of struggle (frankly, almost boredom) in the middle of Reservoir 13, otherwise it would have gotten 4.5 stars. But in the end, I really appreciated his layered writing.

Thanks for the well-wishes, too. I believe I have finally turned a corner toward health, as of today!

Dec 27, 2017, 12:08pm Top

>312 kidzdoc: Hi Darryl. I hope you enjoy Reservoir 13 when you get to it. It is not for everyone but I truly loved it.

I'll be in Philly early March; I think there will be a meet-up planned for Sunday, March 4, but it's not firm yet. If you're in town and able to join us, I would love love love a chance to meet you in person. Laura (lauralkeet) and I will be making plans after the first of the year and I'll be sure you know about them. I am sorry that you're spending more time in Philly because of your parents' health issues, rather than for more cheerful reasons, but I also know that kind of inter-generational care is so important and, in the end, it's a meaningful investment of time.

I'm looking forward to reading Negroland. I bought it shortly after you posted comments and have been wanting to get to it. I'm using the flexible challenges in 2018 to put structure around my "get around to it" reading efforts.

>313 ffortsa: Thanks Judy! Although I do believe I turned a corner as of today.... It appears that I will not only live but that I might not have a cough and sinus congestion for the rest of my life (I was starting to wonder about that).

Dec 27, 2017, 12:11pm Top

>314 streamsong: Thanks Janet. I am feeling almost-human today and that is an improvement!

I may do a similar quick buying flurry in these last days of December; it occurred to me to do that the other day and since it has worked for you, I see no reason not to implement it as a strategy. :-)

Regarding your thoughts about Nicholas Nickleby, I totally concur. I'm less of a fan of Mr. Dickens than some (I don't hate him with the same passion as Richard but nor do I love him as much as Joe), but the group read fun and the 1001 list and the fact that Karen is hosting all won out for me.

Dec 27, 2017, 12:12pm Top

I am going to buy this bumper sticker and put it on my Subaru:

Dec 27, 2017, 12:45pm Top

Ellen--So glad my sparkles worked!! LOL. Seriously, glad you are back on your way to health.

I want to go to Phillie for the meet-up. Very jealous. : /

LOVE the bumper sticker. : )

Dec 27, 2017, 1:46pm Top

>316 EBT1002: Thanks for letting me know the date of the meet up, Ellen. I'll see if I can get off from work that weekend and the following Monday, and if so I'll plan to attend.

I look forward to your thoughts about Negroland. I won't participate in any of the country based challenges next year, which are too limiting for me, but I will follow and contribute to Suzanne's Non-Fiction Challenge in 2018.

Dec 27, 2017, 1:52pm Top

Nice bumper sticker Ellen! I wholeheartedly support a December flurry of purchases and would love to know what you get!

I and am sorely tempted to go and do that myself after some very nice, but non-book, presents for Xmas. Despite the pile of books on the nightstand, of course.

Dec 27, 2017, 3:29pm Top

How's the puffer working out, Ellen? Is that what has made the difference in your feeling better? Whatever did it, yay!

Great bumper sticker!

Dec 27, 2017, 4:04pm Top

>319 Berly: If your sparkles want to take credit for my nascent recovery, so be it! And yes, come to Philly! Haha. Probably we can arrange for a meet-up in Portland more easily....
I ordered a handful of those bumper stickers. I hope P doesn't mind that I'll put one on the car!

>320 kidzdoc: Hey Darryl. I hope it works out for you to join the meet-up in Philly!
I'm laying low on the country-based challenges in 2018, too. I want more flexibility this time around. I should go check out Suz's non-fiction challenge, though.

>321 charl08: I have a gift certificate to spend at Elliott Bay Books, Charlotte, so, illness allowing, I may go there tomorrow or Friday while I'm on vacation (not on sick leave!). I can't imagine that I'll stay within the bounds of the gift certificate; it's just a starting point!

>322 jessibud2: Hi Shelley. I suspect that yesterday's serious rest did the most good. I was home and in bed by 2pm and only got up for dinner. I think the puffer is helping and I think the Neilmed sinus rinse is also helping. It's kind of gross but it feels so good to clear out these massively congested sinuses of mine!

I'm glad you like the bumper sticker. I plan to be sporting it on my car very soon. :-)

Dec 27, 2017, 5:49pm Top

Hi, Ellen. Hope you are feeling better. I have wanted to read Negroland since it came out and it ended up falling by the wayside, like so many books do. Thanks for resurrecting it.

I am really enjoying Fools Crow & I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. They are carrying me through this arctic blast.

Dec 27, 2017, 6:04pm Top

Hi Ellen! I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better.

I love that bumper sticker. It says a lot, doesn't it?

I am glad you liked Reservoir 13, makes me look forward to this coming September when I'll read the book for the October discussion.

Dec 27, 2017, 8:44pm Top

Glad you are starting to feel better, Ellen!

Dec 27, 2017, 10:33pm Top

>320 kidzdoc: Darryl, I'm glad to see you might be able to make the meetup! Ellen, I'll connect with you to get some specifics set and then we'll get the word out.

Dec 28, 2017, 2:30pm Top

>324 msf59: Hi Mark. I'm tucked up in bed again. This is the virus that won't die. Today is a "vacation" day so I can do whatever I want and I think that is going to involve starting my new thread for 2018, reading, and perhaps sleeping. I hope to feel well enough tomorrow to go to Elliott Bay Books!

Two good reads for arctic weather is just the ticket!

>325 karenmarie: Hi Karen. Reservoir 13 is staying with me in interesting and very positive ways. As a bit of time passes, it is maintaining its presence more than many books do. I usually over-rate books but I'm wondering if I underrated this one.

>326 katiekrug: Thanks Katie! I wish I could shake this damn virus for good!

>327 lauralkeet: :-)

Dec 28, 2017, 2:42pm Top

Getting organized for building my new thread.

One thing that happens at this time of year is lists. Best-of lists. Must-read lists. Books-you-shouldn't-have-missed lists. They are wonderful and awful all at the same time. In my enthusiasm and abundant optimism, I tend to post several of them and state my plans to read from them heavily in the coming year. That's okay because lists of great books are always a treat but I mean it when I say I want to be both more discerning and more laissez-faire with my reading in 2018. Nonetheless, here is one list that I want to share and keep at my fingertips. I'm not saying I'll read all 46 of them, but I will refer back to this list as the months march on.

Electric Literature 46 Books by Women of Color to Read in 2018

Dec 28, 2017, 2:48pm Top

I oppose planning reading more than is necessary for group reads. I oppose even those these days! Stick to ReSISTERhood in all things!

Happy you're better enough to see the end of the tunnel without a light.

Dec 28, 2017, 2:58pm Top

>329 EBT1002: I like the look of that list Ellen, I may post it on my new thread when it’s ready, just so I can find it.

Sorry to hear you are still unwell, but I’m glad you are making the most of the rest.

Love the bumper sticker.

Dec 28, 2017, 3:22pm Top

>329 EBT1002: That's an exciting list. I'm going to copy it to my own thread for reference. I recognize a handful of the authors, but not nearly enough of them. Thanks for sharing it Ellen.

Dec 28, 2017, 3:40pm Top

>330 richardderus: cracked me up, Richard. I do enjoy the planning, I have to admit, but I don't enjoy the pressure or obligation. So I'm going to see if I can master the art of planning without commitment. I've always been pretty commitment-phobic in my life, so I should be able to manage this!

>Post away, Caroline. I've incorporated it into my first thread of 2018 so I can easily find it as the months progress and the books get published.

>332 laytonwoman3rd: I love that the list is getting traction, Linda. It may inspire some shared reads in the coming year, too!

Dec 28, 2017, 4:06pm Top

Fear not, Ellen. It is SO typical to have a good day followed by another sickie one--just don't try to do too much too soon or that pattern will persevere and you do not want that! (((Ellen)))

Dec 28, 2017, 4:16pm Top

>333 EBT1002: I caved. I put the 2018 BookRiot read-harder thing on my thread because IT'S ALL KATIE KRUG'S FAULT.

Dec 28, 2017, 4:17pm Top

Dec 28, 2017, 4:37pm Top

Happy Holidays, Ellen!

That's a lovely review of Reservoir 13. Adding it to the tbr. BTW, I really liked Buddhaland Brooklyn. I'll try to do a review soon.

Dec 28, 2017, 5:33pm Top

>329 EBT1002: Pre-ordered one of the January ones because it sounded like my kind of thing. Adding the list to the radar for next year!

Dec 28, 2017, 6:24pm Top

I hope you feel better SOON, Ellen!

Thanks for posting the list in >329 EBT1002:. If anyone is interested, The Parking Lot Attendant is available as an Early Reviewer book. I just read it, and it is making me think.

Dec 28, 2017, 6:25pm Top

Hi Ellen, Glad that you are feeling better. That was quite the bug you have been fighting.

On my thread I have posted a link to an AMAZING master list for "best of" 2017. Have a peek if you are interested!

Wishing you a wonderful 2018 and a year of fantastic reading!

Dec 29, 2017, 2:16am Top

>296 vancouverdeb: What no snow there? There was plenty over here on Christmas and again yesterday!

I hope you are feeling 100 percent in no time, Ellen. I miss you when you drop from my Fitbit friends.

Dec 29, 2017, 8:04am Top

Happy belated Christmas greetings to you and P and all the very best in 2018!

Dec 29, 2017, 2:10pm Top

113. The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich

I loved this novel. I think it's one of my two favorite Erdrich's, right up there with The Round House. It is divided into four parts, each telling a story in which a particular ceremonial drum plays a part. Threads among the characters emerge, creating depth and richness along with deeply moving portraits of flawed, fascinating individuals. And the stories themselves are just so compelling. I rarely reread novels but this is one that I expect to revisit.

Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 2:11pm Top

I have now started reading Magpie Murders and Why Buddhism is True, both of which are on my January reading list. I'll just need to be sure not to finish either of them until Monday. :-)

Dec 29, 2017, 2:13pm Top

>334 ronincats: This virus is a virulent one, Roni. Once again, I am essentially having a sick day. Of course, it's cold and rainy, we loaned our car to BIL so he could drive down to visit FIL, and I have no fixed engagements. So taking the day to once again rest is probably okay. I hope I can go for a run by Monday, since I traditionally start every new year with a good run outside!

>335 richardderus: Yay Richard! You caved in to peer pressure!

>336 katiekrug: :-)

Dec 29, 2017, 2:15pm Top

>344 EBT1002: I am employing the same strategy. I had to put one down and start another so I don't finish too early! And it is a murder/mystery and I wanna know WHO DID IT?!

Dec 29, 2017, 2:16pm Top

>345 EBT1002: *grumble* It's not the first time. After all, I've *even*read*Dickens*

*quite pointed stare*

Dec 29, 2017, 2:18pm Top

>337 jnwelch: Hiya Joe. Now I'm adding Buddhaland Brooklyn to my wish list with your name attached. As I mentioned above, I have now started Why Buddhism is True and I can tell I'm going to like it. I expect the blue book bullets to continue in the new year, my friend!

>338 charl08: Which one did you pre-order, Charlotte?

>339 banjo123: Thanks Rhonda. I'll go request The Parking Lot Attendant. I've been requesting far fewer ER books lately in order to limit my number of obligations, but I would like to read as many of those 46 as I can manage.

Dec 29, 2017, 2:22pm Top

>340 mdoris: Thanks Mary. This bug (which has still not departed from my sinuses or lungs) is one of the most vicious I've ever encountered! Sheesh.
I will go check out that link on your thread. An AMAZING master list of "best of" 2017 sound like fun!

>341 Familyhistorian: We only had snow on Christmas eve and Christmas day here, Meg, but it was glorious! I'm also surprised that Deb didn't have any in her neck of the BC woods.

I am looking forward to re-donning my Fitbit, Meg! It feels weird to not even be wearing one. I also got a new Charge which I haven't yet taken out of the box. My HOPE is to start walking, running, and tracking again on New Year's Day. Believe it or not, I'm still in m pajamas, having essentially another sick day.

I am SICK of being SICK!!!!!

>342 Carmenere: Thank you, Lynda!

Dec 29, 2017, 2:24pm Top

>346 Berly: LOL. Yeah, I have this image of myself reading all of Magpie Murders except the last chapter and reading it first thing Monday morning. I might not be able to stand it!

>347 richardderus: Richard, you're not supposed to make me laugh because it triggers a coughing jag! I think of you every time there is a Dickens group read. I suppose you're shrugging off any and all efforts to have you join us for Nicholas Nickleby in January....? xo

Dec 29, 2017, 2:31pm Top

>350 EBT1002: Perish forbid!

Dec 29, 2017, 2:40pm Top

>349 EBT1002: I think I heard that pained yell all the way up here, Ellen. I hope you get your mojo back tout suite.

Deb didn't get snow because she lives in Richmond, the flat land where the airport is, where they measure our weather from (so they can tell us it isn't that bad.)

Ooh, a new Charge still in the box. That definitely needs to be christened on January 1!

BTW inquiring minds want to know, why don't you want to finish Magpie Murders before January?

Dec 29, 2017, 2:52pm Top

>351 richardderus: That is pretty much what I thought, RD. :-)

>352 Familyhistorian: I'm definitely at frustrated stage of this particular bug, Meg. As I think you know, I'm typically (and gratefully) quite healthy and active. This bout of illness has taken its toll on my overall sense of well-being.

And all my energy is being channeled into healing so I can go for my New Years Day run (with my new Fitbit on my wrist)!

It's rather silly but Magpie Murders is one of the books I've designated for the ColorCAT (black) and AlphaKIT (M) challenges for January. I have also designated others, though, so if I finish it before Monday it won't be the end of the world.

Dec 29, 2017, 3:08pm Top

>348 EBT1002: "The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
The Wedding Date is a first book from Jasmine Guillory, who wrote frequently for the late, much-lamented The Toast. It’s about a woman who goes to a wedding with a man she meets in an elevator, and Roxane Gay says it’s a “charming, warm, sexy gem of a novel.”"

Less than £2!

Hope you feel better. Sounds grim. Thank goodness for lots of books.

Dec 29, 2017, 3:10pm Top

>353 EBT1002: Ah, so those are some of the challenges you didn't commit to. I know that the MysteryCat, that I somehow got hooked into, is doing Nordic mysteries so I didn't think Magpie Murders would qualify. I thought I was a head of the game when I got a book by Jo Nesbo out of the library but I had to start early because it is long and due on January 2nd! (There is someone waiting for me to bring it back too *sigh*) Looks like I will be reading the last chapters of that in January. LOL

Dec 29, 2017, 3:16pm Top

Ellen--I got a new Fitbit for Christmas (my old one died) and I am so excited! I actually went for a walk/run today. It is very hilly near me and I haven't exercised since I passes my TKD test early December, so cut me some slack. ; ) It is a start and I am happy. Hope you feel better soon and you can go for your run!!

Dec 29, 2017, 3:26pm Top

>354 charl08: I've put that one on hold at the library, Charlotte. They say it's on order (but if I could purchase it so cheaply!...)

>355 Familyhistorian: Exactly, Meg. I did a really good job of not-committing to challenges in 2018. I'm so proud of myself! :-D

>356 Berly: My old one had died, too, Kim. Well, my old Charge died, my ONE has been a trooper. But I really like the data the Charge collects for my runs. The Fitbit folks were actually pretty helpful when mine died - they offered to replace it for free or let me upgrade to the Charge 2 for half price. Being the gear-hog that I am, I went for the reduced price upgrade. :-)

Congrats on getting out there and doing your run/walk! You'll never hear me criticize any level of exercise! I believe the motto that our UW Recreation department has adopted: Any movement counts!
I will be out of shape by the time I can run again (which I'm HOPING will be by Monday!!!), but it will come back. It always does.

Dec 29, 2017, 3:52pm Top

The wink was because I know you would never give me grief, but celebrate getting out there and just doing the best you can whatever that is. The in-shape thing will definitely happen, but why does it go away so fast and take so long to come back? Why????? (I hope you hear the whining tone behind this. LOL)

I totally endorse the reduced price upgrade! : )

Dec 29, 2017, 4:02pm Top

I do hear the whining tone and I echo it wholeheartedly!
I once read that for every one week you do not exercise, it takes two weeks to regain that level of cardiovascular fitness. So, if I end up taking two weeks off for this effing virus, it will presumably take me four weeks to recoup the losses. I think the curve can't be perfectly straight, though, because I think there is a point at which the doubling just no longer applies. If I took a year off, it would not take me two years to get back to the level I was before that year.

Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 4:04pm Top

And, in books....

Currently reading:

. . .
Why Buddhism is True, Magpie Murders, Radical Candor, and Nicholas Nickleby

Currently listening:

Any Other Name

Dec 30, 2017, 5:37pm Top

I'm sorry the effing virus still has you down, Ellen. At least you've got some good books to read!

Dec 30, 2017, 8:05pm Top

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


Dec 30, 2017, 8:41pm Top

>359 EBT1002: Really, two weeks to get back after one week off? I hope you are able to get back at it on a consistent basis soon, Ellen. I try not to take time off which is why I am out there all weathers trying to get in my steps but sometimes, like in torrential rain, it is a real chore. At least today there was nothing coming out of the sky.

Dec 30, 2017, 9:37pm Top

Happy New Year, Ellen.

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 one the other side, my friend.

Buh-bye 2017...

Sorry/not sorry Penn State outlasted your Washington Huskies in the Fiesta Bowl.

Dec 31, 2017, 12:28pm Top

Hey! I'm spending a few more minutes from time to time catching up with buddies on LT. Sorry to hear that damn bug has had you down for far too long.

The bright side of course is getting more reading done! Yay! Happy New Year, buddy.

Dec 31, 2017, 3:22pm Top

Hi Ellen!

Peace, Health, and Happiness in 2018

Dec 31, 2017, 8:34pm Top

>361 karenmarie: Thanks Karen. This virus has been my least favorite thing of the past month. And I do mean month!

>362 ronincats: Thanks for posting the link, Roni! I've visited and dropped off a star. I have Godstalk queued up on my Kindle and will likely start reading it the second week of January or so.

>363 Familyhistorian: I'm usually like you, Meg. The weather has to be pretty prohibitive (like, say, ice that makes it treacherous to ambulate) to keep me away from my runs. This past two weeks of illness has been frustrating on so many levels, one of which is definitely my inability to go running. I'm planning to run tomorrow, New Year's Day, but will see how I feel.

Dec 31, 2017, 8:36pm Top

>364 weird_O: Thanks Bill and I do hope you're able to be around more in 2018. But I totally understand how busy life can be. In any case, I love it when you are here and however much you make it is enough.

>365 maggie1944: Hi Karen! Good for you for making the rounds. I've spent less time on LT than I had planned to spend -- mostly I have been reading, resting, and P & I have been binge watching "The Crown" on Netflix. It's excellent!

>366 karenmarie: Many thanks for those wishes, Karen!

Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 8:38pm Top

I think it may be time to put this thread to bed along with the year 2017.
I hope you will visit me at my first thread in the Read 75 Books in 2018 Group!

Jan 1, 12:37am Top

I started watching The Crown also and love it. Then tonight I caught an episode of Victoria on PBS and think I might start trying to catch it too. I may become a Royalist😛😛😛!

Happy new year

Jan 1, 12:46am Top

>318 EBT1002: great bumper sticker! See you in the 2018 group!

Jan 1, 10:21pm Top

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

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

420 members

172,368 messages


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