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Richard's Thread for 2017 #3

This is a continuation of the topic Richard's Thread for 2017.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: Nov 26, 2017, 9:50pm Top

Of all the books I've lost over the years, I miss Nicholas Roerich the most often.

Edited: Dec 13, 2017, 7:13pm Top

I've reviewed 181 books this year, of 180 planned!

***See post 196 for my 2017 ANZAC Reading Challenge choices!***

Despite appearances, I am still alive. I am now reading:

137 13 Oct 2017 Lamb in His Bosom by Caroline Miller--4 stars, a good read. I need to review this for the On The Southern Literary Trail group post 120.

138 14 Oct 2017 The Very First Damned Thing 5 stars, always fun, down in post 124.

139 15 Oct 2017 A Perfect Storm was my second delightful visit this week with the Disaster Magnets of St Mary's! W00t! in post 125.

140 23 Oct 2017 The Autobiography of James T. Kirk dull writing, familiar stories, fans only! in post 182.

141 23 October 2017 Gyrfalcon delicious 4-star space opera with gay male leads, truly my jam, in post 176.

142 24 Oct 2017 Free and Other Stories is a re-read of stodgy old Theodore Dreiser's short-fiction collection in post 188.

143 30 Oct 2017 The Tradescants' Orchard is a gift book of surpassing beauty teased in post 250.

144 1 Nov 2017 The Forever War is a reread of the terrifically unsuccessful variety maligned in post 278.

145 1 Nov 2017 Bandersnatch is a terrific study of the Inkings, illustrated delightfully and told absorbingly, teased in post 21.

146 3 Nov 2017 Cravings is a memoir of celebrity addiction teased in post 21.

147 5 Nov 2017 Cloudsplitter is just a stunner, a beautiful telling of a foundational American myth in post 61.

148 6 Nov 2017 The Enchanted Hill is a serendipitous reminder of a 1970 read about race in a tense, desegregating world in post 81.

149 6 Nov 2017 Peppers of the Americas is a gorgeous illustrated book that belongs in the kitchen not on the coffee table in post 89.

150 11 Nov 2017 Option B is a useful self-help guide to grieving reviewed in post 133.

151 12 Nov 2017 Heart Scarab is the second book in a space-opera series featuring my new book-boyfriend Bennet in post 145.

152 13 Nov 2017 You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack needs no introduction to the initiate but here's a review in post 154.

153 16 Nov 2017 Makepeace is the third entry in the Taking Shield series in post 199.

154 18 Nov 2017 Mooncop delights the senses in post 224

155 19 Nov 2017 The Chains of Their Sins is the fourth Taking Shield book, one to go, in post 243.

156 20 Nov 2017 The Prey of Gods is so good you need to go buy it now, no need to read reviews, there's one in post 244 if you're feeling stubborn.

157 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is ALL PAUL CRANSWICK'S FAULT dammit anyway, review in post 3.

158 The Stone (Lockstone #1 brings gayness and Irish mythology together in post 35.

159 Dead Americans and Other Stories is Aussie SF at its most SFnal in post 47.

160 1 Dec 2017 Botanica Veneris a steapunky novelette about Venus in post 83.

161 3 Dec 2017 Moon of the Wolf was a dull read in post 84.

162 5 Dec 2017 Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate creeped me right out with stalkery rapey creepiness in post 96.

163 5 Dec 2017 Sangaree was just awful in post 99.

164 5 Dec 2017 The Body in the Library introduces Miss Marple, delights the sophisticated reader in post 100.

165 5 Dec 2017 Why Didn't They Ask Evans? just annoyed the snot outta me in post 101.

166 5 Dec 2017 The Strange Woman couldn't have been a bigger surprise to me in post 102.

167 5 Dec 2017 Piss on It: New and Selected Poems is just weird in post 103.

168 6 Dec 2017 Globes: 400 Years of Exploration, Navigation and Power is gorgeous in post 120.

169 7 Dec 2017 Atlas of Cursed Places lives up to its title in post 128.

170 7 Dec 2017 X's for Eyes is a Laird Barron pulp weirdness in post 139.

171 8 Dec 2017 The Bookshop delighted me immensely in post 144.

172 9 Dec 2017 Gummy Bears & Grenades couldn't be sillier in post 154.

173 9 Dec 2017 The Lost Sketchbook of Edgar Degas was lush and rich and just like New Orleans in post 167.

174 11 Dec 2017 How to Find Love in a Bookshop passed a dreary Sunday afternoon pleasantly in post 172.

175 12 Dec 2017 The Midnight Meat Train gives horror some style in post 186.

176 13 Dec 2017 Sea of Rust blew me away in post 197.

I found the 2017 ANZAC Reading Challenge! I'm going with a 12-entry choice, but I'm starting out with a big advantage: Text Publishing, out of Australia, sent me a dozen books to blog about that I'm going to be reviewing for November as well as one or two in my planned book-gifting guide from 24 November to 24 December.

ANZAC Bingo 1x12
1) Read a book about love--I'm going with The Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong because the love/hate relationship of these brothers is riveting.
2) Read a coming of age novel--Came Back to Show You I Could Fly by Robin Sloan a Text Classics entry that I've never heard of, which is exciting.
3) Read a historical fiction--Coming Rain by Stephen Daisley from Text, set in 1950s Outback Oz.
4) Read a book set on a Pacific Island--Pitcairn Pending by Kenneth Bain which it seems I'm the first person on LT to own. Hm.
5) Read a children's classic--The Fire-Raiser by Maurice Gee which you gifted me with on my 50th birthday Kerry!
6) Read a refugee story--The Road to Winter by Mark Smith is post-apocalyptic but the female lead is a "Siley" or asylum-seeker, so I think it fits.
7) Read a scifi novel--Dark Space and Darker Space by Lisa Henry, two very good gay-male led novels by Aussie romance powerhouse-cum-legend in that niche Henry. Excellent, if a small bit grim; together about 100,000 words and directly sequential, so I count them as one novel.
8) Read a book with a place name in the title--Potiki by Patricia Grace, another 50th birthday gift from Kerry.
9) Read a bestseller--Reckoning: A Memoir is, I'm assured, an Aussie bestseller by Magda Szubanski about her Polish WWII spy father's life and how it impacts her to this day.
10) Read a black comedy/noir--Our Tiny, Useless Hearts by Toni Jordan combines comedy and suspense in approximately equal measure.
11) Read a debut novel--When the Sky Fell Apart by Caroline Lea is set on Jersey during WWII, written by a Jersey native who has, I gather, expatriated to Oz.
12) Read a book of short stories--Dead Americans by Ben Peek, these are thematically linked short stories and I really like Ben so I'm *finally* reviewing this book!

I'll edit this post to add links to reviews here on LT as they appear. Thanks to Kerry for making this challenge as I needed a spur to make me write the darned reviews already.

Nov 26, 2017, 9:35pm Top

157 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight translated by Simon Armitage

Rating: 5* of five

This is the book to get your poetry-resistant friend this #Booksgiving 2017. I read it on a dare. I don't like poetry very much, it's so snooty and at the same time so pit-sniffingly self-absorbed that I'd far rather stab my hands with a fork repeatedly than be condescended to in rhyming couplets.

This tale is fabulous in every sense of the word, which is no surprise since it's survived for so many centuries. But poet and translator Simon Armitage has made the old world new again. He sucked me right in and never let me come up for air with his gorgeous words and his carefully chosen words and his alliterative rhythmical phrases.

If the idea of a Norton Critical Edition is keeping you far away from this delightful read, rest assured it's not stodgy or dry or just plain boring. It's vibrant, alive, shimmering with an inner power, waiting for you to open its covers and fall utterly under its spell. Become happily ensorcelled, gentle reader, relax into the sure and strong embrace of a centuries-old knight and his spectacular tale.

Nov 26, 2017, 10:16pm Top

>3 richardderus: I will not count you as a convert just yet dear fellow but at least you picked out a good 'un.

Wonderful review RD.

Nov 26, 2017, 10:17pm Top

Happy new thread and all that too!

Nov 26, 2017, 10:18pm Top

>4 PaulCranswick: *sulphrous mutters*

>5 PaulCranswick: Thanks!

Nov 26, 2017, 10:38pm Top

Happy New thread!

Nov 26, 2017, 11:37pm Top

>3 richardderus: so it's prose rather than poetry, it's a tale rather than a tangle of unrelated words, so it's digestible rather than impenetrable?
And I sometimes like poetry!!!

Nov 26, 2017, 11:38pm Top

PS I *dare* you to read a sports book next ;)

Nov 26, 2017, 11:46pm Top

>7 mahsdad: Thanks, Jeff!

>8 LovingLit: No. It's poetry. I was gobsmacked by that fact as I read it, though the facing-pages Old English/translation stumbled me once in a way.

>9 LovingLit: No. No. And may I add, No.

Nov 27, 2017, 1:45am Top

Look at you! Reading

Happy new thread. ;)

Nov 27, 2017, 3:03am Top

#3 Since I like this sort of malarkey anyway I suspect I'd love this. Will look out for it.

Nov 27, 2017, 6:45am Top

Good morning, RD, and happy new thread.

I don't like poetry very much, it's so snooty and at the same time so pit-sniffingly self-absorbed that I'd far rather stab my hands with a fork repeatedly than be condescended to in rhyming couplets. Do you like what passes for poetry that doesn't rhyme? Inquiring minds and all that.

Edited: Nov 27, 2017, 12:55pm Top

Happy New Thread Richard! Booksgiving is a lovely idea, though in my RL there's basically just one person happy to receive books and that's me. I might give myself Sir Gawain, going to place a real books amazon order this week.

I started giving my parents audio books by reading a book or several stories to them every Christmas, and they totally love it and have already asked which book we'll read this year. Unfortunately this still hasn't turned them into readers or regular audio listeners, and I found most of the books I gave to them lately (nice and easy ones) still in the clingfilm on their give-away pile when they moved out. I put them into the "new house" pile and keep hoping for the best. None of my friends are avid readers either except for the odd mystery novel, but my parents can hardly claim to be "too busy", they are glued to the TV.

Nov 27, 2017, 8:25am Top

Happy new one, BigDaddy! Nice review of the Sir Gawain and the Green Knight translation - the girls and I love that one.

Nov 27, 2017, 8:57am Top

Happy New Thread, Richard!

*picks jaw up off the floor*

Poetry? Really?

Nice review of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. If you post it on the book page, I will thumb. I remember reading a different translation and liking it way back when, but this one by Simon Armitage sounds irresistible. Adding it to the WL.

Nov 27, 2017, 3:20pm Top

Happy new thread dear Richard.

Nov 27, 2017, 3:39pm Top

>11 Berly: Thanks, Berly-boo! I can't take credit for reading poetry, that was all Cranswick's doing. I did enjoy the read, though, to my amazement.

>12 BekkaJo: It would be meat and drink to a bona fide poetry person. It's just lovely.

>13 karenmarie: I'm not much for any poetry, with some exceptions, and absolutely none of them are rhyming or trochaic. I like Auden, Wallace Stevens, and a few others; I'll read Shakespeare's sonnets but I flinch at the corking little couplets at the end. On the whole, I just avoid the stuff and everyone's happier.

Nov 27, 2017, 3:42pm Top

>14 Deern: That's a clever dodge, Nathalie! Read to 'em, they'll revel in the attention. Most people are glued to the damn TV any time of the day or night. I am just not a staring kind of a person.

>15 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie dearest, and I am completely unsurprised that y'all love this wonderful wonderful tale.

>16 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! I added my review to the book page, something I've just forgotten to do most every time. Oh well.

>17 johnsimpson: Thank you, John! I'm glad to see you here.

Nov 27, 2017, 5:53pm Top

Happy new thread, Richard dear!
Not even two months back and already your third thread, oh boy, you were missed!

Nov 27, 2017, 6:28pm Top

>20 FAMeulstee: Is that what it is, Anita? I wondered if it was merely a case of curiosity as to what the old bastard's gonna say next. Oh wait, no, that's Facebook. Or maybe Twitter. :)

Nov 27, 2017, 7:59pm Top

Happy new thread!

Nov 27, 2017, 8:14pm Top

>22 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

*happy, happy sigh*

Nov 27, 2017, 8:29pm Top

Happy New Thread, RD. I appreciate the info on the Net Neutrality legislation. I made the calls.

Our weather remains mild here. Hope it is the same in NY.

Nov 27, 2017, 9:01pm Top

Happy new thread, Richard! I'm heading over to my thread in a moment to warble about a book written in 1988, the only book the author has written (or at least published), and it's being re-released. Here's the article that brought it to my attention:

I think you would like it.

Nov 27, 2017, 9:11pm Top

>3 richardderus: Thank you for the post - I thumbed, but I realized the touchstone in the review of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight goes to the wrong one. And now I can't find it in the touchstones. Here it is, though: http://www.librarything.com/work/18391362

Edited: Nov 27, 2017, 9:24pm Top

>24 msf59: It was a perfect day, thanks, and one I got out in and enjoyed to the fullest. I love that Batmeme. It's endlessly applicable, like Grumpy Cat was, and always funny.

>25 ronincats: Hooked. I hadn't heard of it before and I was WAY more than two in 1988! You are going to become Horrible the Second if you keep spraying me with book bullets, Roni.

>26 jnwelch: Ah. I wondered about that, I used "Add books" and had "Armitage" with the title so all went well for me.

Nov 28, 2017, 9:14am Top

A bit late to wish you a happy new thread, Richard, but here I am!

Nov 28, 2017, 9:21am Top

>28 katiekrug: And Katie's Corner is established. Howdy do!

It needs a drinks table.

Nov 28, 2017, 9:21am Top

Good morning, Richard Dear!

Thanks for the link you posted on Mark's thread on Net Neutrality legislation. I made the calls too. Never done it before, and it felt GOOD.

>23 richardderus: Book Porn. Excellent.

Nov 28, 2017, 9:23am Top

>29 richardderus: - Ok if I put my preferred champers on the Veuve Clicquot table?

Edited: Nov 28, 2017, 9:25am Top

>30 karenmarie: Horrible! How nice to see you here. Isn't participating in the most important challenges facing us as a country satisfying? One voice, one little tiny monad of consciousness, isn't going to change anything; put enough of them together and mountains move.

>31 katiekrug: Of course, sweetness, never fear. We aim to include.

Edited: Nov 28, 2017, 9:29am Top

^Not sure, if you are still making your way through your morning coffee or not, RD. I finished my last cup of the day, about 45 minutes ago.

Are you able to get out for a stroll at all? Or does your knees bother you?

Nov 28, 2017, 9:42am Top

>33 msf59: One cup! *bwaaahaaahaaa* I finished my first POT not long ago.

I'll be going out later today, knees complaining or no, because I'm out of butter and milk. A quick pass by the library to pay a fine, then it's heigh-ho the dairy case.

Can't waste perfection. It's disrespectful to Old Stepmother Nature.

Nov 28, 2017, 9:43am Top

158 The Stone (Lockstone Book 1) by Seb L. Carter

4 stars for the intense story, the great characters, and the intriguing almost-familiar fantastical setting.

I like Irish mythology. I am always down for a new and different reading experience. I'm more willing to read stories that feature My People aka LGBT folk. I am thrilled when all these facets combine into a pretty crystalline structure worthy of a place on my show-off shelf.

Nov 28, 2017, 9:55am Top

>31 katiekrug: Your favorite champagne made me laugh! Naturally it's Krug!

Morning, BigDaddy! I brought you some biscotti - the girls and I are baking several different batches today.

Nov 28, 2017, 9:58am Top

>36 Crazymamie: Heh...I didn't notice that! Mais naturellement, Madame Krug would prefer her own chateau's champers.

I adore coconut, so I'll have a few dozen more if you please.

Nov 28, 2017, 10:06am Top

I'm convinced there is a long-lost family fortune just waiting to be claimed....

My mother was a Carr, so I am also convinced I am owed some of that table water cracker money ;-)

Nov 28, 2017, 10:16am Top

Lemon coconut biscotti

Nov 28, 2017, 10:42am Top

>38 katiekrug: Heh, share if you get the goodies?

One of my great-grandmothers was a Chubb. Got disinherited for making the Wrong (un)Marriage, THEN compounded the error by marrying a Jewish circus owner. The Horror, The Horror.

>39 Crazymamie: Ohhh yeeessssssss

You bring the best threadwarming goodies!

Edited: Nov 28, 2017, 4:58pm Top

>36 Crazymamie: Oh...I nearly broke a nail trying to grab one of those through the monitor screen! Did you do an amaretto batch? (I ask only to torment myself.)

>3 richardderus: I have that translation...so why haven't I read it?

Nov 28, 2017, 5:09pm Top

>21 richardderus: LOL, that is why I spend more time here as on Facebook... and I never got to Twitter.

>23 richardderus: Beautiful!!!

Nov 28, 2017, 5:46pm Top

>40 richardderus: Thank you, kind sir!

>41 laytonwoman3rd: Ha! Trust me - they are as delicious as they look. And no to the amaretto, but now I think I have to - excellent idea!

Nov 28, 2017, 7:45pm Top

>41 laytonwoman3rd: It wouldn't've surprised me a week ago, except permaybehaps that someone not in college had it, but now I prithee please read!

>42 FAMeulstee: Heh, it is wise to stay here and gawk at the pretties.

>43 Crazymamie: OOO amaretto and lemon zest in the icing OOO

Nov 29, 2017, 4:00am Top

All is well in the world, I see. Wine, food, and book nooks (and no more poetry).

And speaking of lemon zesty things, this morning I purchased and ate a lemon coconut muffin that was so velvety and soft that I almost went back for the last one on the shelf! In the end though, it was the second coffee that was needed more...

Nov 29, 2017, 5:50am Top

>43 Crazymamie: & >44 richardderus: Oh Oh Oh Amaretto! When I worked at Aldermaston in the late 1980s I stayed in the Queen's Hotel in Newbury. Behind the bar they had had the same bottle of Amaretto for a year and a half. In the year and a half I was there I sometimes got through four bottles a week and got myself the sobriquet of The Amaretto Kid. Make some for me too, Mamie, PLEASE!

Nov 29, 2017, 11:05am Top

159 Dead Americans and Other Stories by Ben Peek

4 stars

What Ben Peek offers to discerning SFnal readers is the same thing that the camera obscura offers artists. He flips the image, sharpens the edges, and shines brighter for the darkness around him. He writes about the world through the fish-eye lens of an observer of the human comedy, often without revealing his own stake in it. These stories offer the reader the unmissable opportunity to take a bite-sized portion of the well-stocked buffet of Ben's imagination. He's written a fantasy trilogy that I think you should read as well, but for now get your mental palate used to the creator's caviar with these ten tales.

Nov 29, 2017, 11:07am Top

>45 LovingLit: That muffin sounds positively lucullan! I understand re coffee, though. Delicious means less when brain function is idling along.

>46 PaulCranswick: Say no, Mamie, let's see how fancy PC gets at begging....

Nov 29, 2017, 11:13am Top

Good morning, RD! Happy happy Wednesday to you, my dear.

>39 Crazymamie: Yum.

Nov 29, 2017, 11:23am Top

R--Good morning! May I offer you one of these?

Nov 29, 2017, 12:26pm Top

>49 karenmarie: It's after noon and I still haven't had coffee AT ALL today. Crisis call with a friend, meeting with facility management re changes to finances. This adulting thing is a crock, I wanna be a kid again.

No, actually what I want is staff to do the boring stuff.

I'll settle for coffee.

>50 Berly: and one of those muffins.

Nov 29, 2017, 1:24pm Top

Adulting isn't much fun, agreed. Daughter will tell me that she's been 'adulting' when she's done something that she's proud of. Having to deal with financial changes is crappy for you. Friend crisis call crappy, too, and NO COFFEE AT ALL today is a crime against nature.

My Bunn 10-Cup Velocity Coffeemaker has developed a leak so I ordered a new one. It's been well worth the money we spent on it 8 or so years ago. The new one's supposed to get here today. If it comes before 4 p.m. I'll brew another cup of coffee. C'mon Ammy, make it happen!

I call dibs on the chocolate one.

Nov 29, 2017, 1:31pm Top

>52 karenmarie: After 8 years, the coffeemaker owes you nothing, and has proven the model's superior handling characteristics. I hope it gets there for you.

I had a cup of the facility's "coffee" to stave off the caffeine withdrawal headache. That stuff is swill.

You may have both chocolate ones, no problem. I myownself want the booberry one. And some butter. Oh yum!

Nov 29, 2017, 2:28pm Top

You can't see it, but off to the side was a cranberry one and I am noshing on it along with some tea. Wishing you both tasty coffee later today!

Nov 29, 2017, 3:36pm Top

Crap, you people are making me hungry. And caffeine starved. 😁

Nov 29, 2017, 4:44pm Top

I'm in! Cookies! Booze! Coffee! No particular order.

Nov 29, 2017, 4:56pm Top

>54 Berly: I'm giving up on coffee today. The headache never materialized so I'm waiting for tomorrow rather than ramp myself up tonight.

I hate this! *sniff* no yummers coffee at all! Torture.

>55 drneutron: ...I have that effect on people...hungry and twitchy from coffee deprivation...

>56 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! Have a seat and a snort.

Nov 29, 2017, 5:40pm Top

There is a thing called an Instant Pot, that might help you with cooking for yourself...I would never buy this for you myself...i would hate the following post against The Evil Jude.....doesn't matter...i've talked to your minions about this


Edited: Nov 29, 2017, 9:15pm Top

^You cracked me up about the Orange Shitgibbon, so I thought I would share this with you.

Nov 30, 2017, 5:23am Top

Just saying Hi and Good Morning before returning to my *** excel tables. Have a lovely day!

>39 Crazymamie: These biscotti look incredibly yummy!

Nov 30, 2017, 5:32am Top

Happy Thursday RD!

My coffeemaker didn't arrive - some kind of 'carrier delay', but will be here today for sure. Today's the last day of the old coffeemaker and I'm halfway through my first cup.

I didn't see the Other chocolate muffin, only the top one. Yay. Two for me.

Nov 30, 2017, 9:53am Top

Man, now I really feel bad about being late with your pot of coffee over on my thread, Richard. There's a big pot for you there now.

Nov 30, 2017, 12:51pm Top

>59 msf59: HA!! I love that, thanks!

>60 Deern: Excel tables, blech. I am so sorry.

>61 karenmarie: At least you're getting it today. It's my joy to announce that I got caffeinated! I love it.

>62 jnwelch: See above, Joe, I was fully caffeinated this morning and am so so so glad for it. Oh what a pleasure to have the glorious flavors dance merrily on my tongue, the caffeine molecules penetrating the blood/brain barrier, jolting the protoplasmic blob of my brain into electrical activity...*rhapsodic rapture*

Nov 30, 2017, 2:39pm Top

#60+63 I like excel. Though my husband who basically 'does' excel for a living laughs at my efforts. I also made the slightly embarrassing mistake today at my, still relatively new, work of updating a spreadsheet for the new year. Very simple took all of five minutes. They were surprised and when I said it was because it was easy I got a lot of odd looks. Turns out last year they had to send it off to another department to sort out.... ooops...

I may have had too much coffee.

Nov 30, 2017, 2:52pm Top

>64 BekkaJo: Sounds like the right level of caffeination to me, he vibrated.

Excel isn't my favorite program to use but then again I tend to quiver with misery at the mere idea of spreadsheets.

Dec 1, 2017, 2:01pm Top

Funny how there's always a hill to climb. The GOP tax bill is threatening to pass. If you care about your future at all, call Congress to oppose its passage.

https://5calls.org even gives you handy-dandy scripts to follow if you're one of the many who freezes up when telephoning strangers.

Dec 1, 2017, 3:46pm Top

George Takei's tweeted pome:

"Some fortunes have started to tip
Now that Flynn's decided to flip
Impeachment? Indictment?
That's too much excitement
They'll scurry like rats off this ship"


Dec 1, 2017, 4:52pm Top

I'm a little gassy. I just thought you should know.

Flynn's got dick, nothing will come of his cooperation. Everyone knew Flynn was lying about speaking with the Russians because he was on tape doing it. Pursuing the Russia angle is absolutely the wrong way to go after Trump.

Pelosi's belated condemnation of Conyers, and Franken's evasion, will pretty much guarantee that Judge Moore is elected in Alabama. People on the fence will think his being a perv is not vile enough to not vote for him. Conyers and Franken should resign, sending a message to fringe voters in Alabama and forcing the Republicans to kick Moore out of elected. Both C and F are in strong Democrat areas and another Dem will take their place. Reps will hold Alabama if Moore is kicked out. No seat # change, même chose.

Richard, run for office.

Dec 1, 2017, 5:48pm Top

Au contraire, mon ami, Flynn's got ONE ace: Jared Kushner, to whom he reported. Family Circle, anyone, tickets are going fast!

I would **SUCK** as a candidate and be worse as a legislator as I am uninterested in compromise, desiring only complete and abject capitulation from The Wrong, coupled with the humiliation and disenfranchisement of The Wrong's supporters now and into infinity PLUS the utter and eternal annihilation of all their social normative ability, eg religion.

Dec 1, 2017, 9:19pm Top

Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give banned by the Katy (Texas, of course) Superintendent of Schools without School Board review or public hearing. Angie Thomas comments:
I'm saddened to hear that a school district in Texas banned #TheHateUGive, but I'm also empowered - you're basically telling the kids of the Garden Heights of the world that their stories shouldn't be told. Well, I'm going to tell them even louder. Thanks for igniting the fire.

Edited: Dec 1, 2017, 9:31pm Top

Scott Esposito, cool smoothie, offers gifting ideas drawn from the best small and indie presses around.

Dec 1, 2017, 9:21pm Top

And just for fun, The Bad Sex in Fiction Award given.

Dec 1, 2017, 9:22pm Top

I am not much of a poetry reader either, as you know, but you have almost persuaded me to try Armitage's translation of Sir Gawain.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Richard! *smooches*

Dec 1, 2017, 9:32pm Top

>73 bell7: Sounds like a job for the library ILL system to me. *smooch*

Dec 1, 2017, 10:44pm Top

>69 richardderus: I'm a cynic. I think Flynn made this deal because he royally screwed up by lying about not having a meeting that the FBI had taped. Mueller told him to confess or be damned and he did to avoid or reduce jail time. There's something there, but it's not going to take Trump down.

If Moore, Conyers and Franken get away with what they've done, it's going to be all but impossible to get any scumbag out of office short of dynamite.


>72 richardderus: It was a dark and stormy night for a three way.

Dec 1, 2017, 10:56pm Top

>72 richardderus: Hahaha - enough to put me off sex for a while? Nah.

By the way, Mamie never did turn up with my share.

Have a great weekend dear fellow.

Dec 2, 2017, 2:03am Top

>72 richardderus: OMG those are really bad! The winner (loser?) is so bad it's not even funny!

re. politics in the US and also UK: I still read the news in disbelief. It is like a giant international brainwash happening and spreading. Despite all the obvious lies they all stay in office and I fear support grows. Why?!?

Have a good weekend! {{{hugs}}}

Dec 2, 2017, 6:31am Top

Good morning, RD!

>72 richardderus: Yeesh. And pathetic.

Have a lovely weekend.

Dec 2, 2017, 6:37am Top

Morning, RD! Happy Saturday. I hope you are kicking back with a cup of coffee as you reading this.

I will wrap up The Hate U Give today. This will be on my end of the year list. Did you see that they are banning this book, in a district in Texas? Not surprising, but still...

Dec 2, 2017, 7:17am Top

Dunno RD, don't think I can do this . . .

Dec 2, 2017, 10:52am Top

>75 SomeGuyInVirginia: I don't think it's as minor as all that, what Flynn had on Kushner. Kushner will take Trump down one way or another in order to save his scummy hide and Ivanka's.

>76 PaulCranswick: That Mamie! Shameful behavior.

The only thing that's ever put me off sex is bad hygiene.

>77 Deern: Aren't they?! Horrible writing, but *worse* editing.

Politics is the art of the possible at its best, and its worst is what we're seeing now: Open and brazen buying of governments by plutocratic elites.

Dec 2, 2017, 10:57am Top

>78 karenmarie: Hey Horrible! Aren't those ghastly, but fun? Kind of perfect schadenfreude.


>79 msf59: I did see that, Mark, and am suitably appalled. It's beyond high-handed of the Superintendent of Schools to make this decision unilaterally.

My coffee intake for the day is complete. I had my pot of morning blend: Espresso roast mixed with cheapo robusta. Jolts my awareness into high gear, though I'm not always sure that's a good thing these days.

>80 mckait: Then don't! It's not required, it's optional. It needs to suit *you* not the other way around. *smooch*

Dec 2, 2017, 10:12pm Top

160 Botanica Veneris by Ian McDonald

4.5 stars

Please hie thee hence to Clarkesworld, thereat to peruse and absorb the novelette "Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan" by Ian McDonald (one of my SFnal dotes). It is a steampunk-flavored adventure story a la Rider Haggard set on an inhabitable Venus, starring a Freya Stark-ly adventuring heroine in search of a ne'er-do-well brother. The said Countess also creates cut-paper art in the form of local florauna. (What else can I call a plant that walks? A triffid?)

A sample therefrom:
"Plate 5: V trifex aculeatum: Stannage’s Bird-Eating Trifid. Native of the Great Littoral Forest of Ishtaria. Carnivorous in its habits; it lures smaller, nectar-feeding avios with its sweet exudate, then stings them to death with its whiplike style and sticky, poisoned stigma."

Go now. Return and warble your thoughts.

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 12:19am Top

161 Moon of the Wolf by Leslie H. Whitten

Rating: 2.5* of five

Okay. Well, a few things to discuss: 1) The 1967 novel's perfectly adequate and not one whit better than it needs to be. 2) The made-for-ABC movie from 1972 is one of those really crummy movies of the week that ABC was (in)famous for in the 1970s, the Friday night teens-and-tweens monster flicks. 3) Author Whitten died at 89 on 1 December 2017.

The novel, an ancient paperback copy of which I've had for a zillion years, is an artifact of a bygone age. It was a mediocre un-horrifying horror novel or a middling police procedural, raised above the run of the mill insofar as it ever was, by the Mississippi setting and the daring for the times interracial sex and romance. It passed an afternoon, and it was less than memorable until I saw that the author died.

The TV movie is only tangentially related to the book. All the "miscegenation" and therefore titillation was removed, the setting changed to Bayou Louisiana, and the acting exactly what you'd expect from a 1970s TV film. The script? Ugh. All the stilted dialogue survived, none of the mildly exciting naughtiness did, the unLouisiana accents the actors attempted weren't good...no one down south says "pee-can" when speaking of the tree nut ever...and the whitewashing of the victim took away any smallest interest the murder has.

Author Whitten, gawd bless 'im, wasn't a dab hand at the novels. His bio of F. Lee Bailey isn't terribly deft either, but had the disadvantage of being written while the subject was alive. I had another of his novels around, Conflict of Interest, and it was pretty dadgummed dreary. It's been sitting in a box for years and I forgot I hadn't finished it. Bookmark evidence suggests I stalled on pp110-111. In casting my eyes over the prose, it brought back exactly nothing.

So no, don't go looking for the book. It's not unusual or intriguing. But I'm still a little sad when someone who dedicated his life to wordsmithing passes unnoticed from the world.

ETA I found this excerpt on Goodreads. It survived almost verbatim in the TV film:
“There are a few other things. Weesee, when she used that word, Loup-garou, was right, at least in a sense. The word means werewolf."

Whitaker protested with a gasp of astonishment.

"They don't exist," he said sharply, jolted by a memory of old movies.

The doctor replied quickly:

"No, of course not. Not that way, not like some monster, a vampire or some such."

"What's the matter with him?"

The doctor spoke softly, unwilling to stop until he had talked out the whole scope of the problem.

"It is a type of encephalitis. Uncommon, but there, as solidly classified in medical literature as measles. Late effects of acute infectious encephalitis, lycanthropy, to be exact. Once it was called a form of monomania. Morbus lupinus is another name."

"You will have to hunt him down. Then he will have to be kept in a cell, for a long time, under strong drugs, probably until he dies." De Glew touched his throat, cleared it slightly. "The alternative is that you hunt him down and kill him. He will kill, Aaron."

"Won't it pass?" asked Whitaker incredulously.

"I don't think so, not permanently. And pass for how long? Suppose he is only mad one day out of four." The doctor paused. "Or when the moon is full. Or when he sees it full in his mind's eye."

Dec 3, 2017, 1:12am Top

>84 richardderus: A rating of 2.5 huh? Pass. But it was nice of you to remember a wordsmith.

Dec 3, 2017, 2:36am Top

>83 richardderus: Having just read The Day of the Triffids I can't seem to get away from. As per the movie, let's get a salt-water spray gun out and kill 'em all.

>84 richardderus: 2.5. I'll pass. Your example of the writing gave me the shivers. Shivers of dislike.

*smooches* from TVT Horrible

Dec 3, 2017, 11:04am Top

>85 Berly: His death was a chance discovery via Wikipedia, and I recalled that I had the books; I thought it was a bit sad that someone who'd written so many books (maybe a dozen) AND translated Baudelaire (the French poet not the American unfortunates) was so thoroughly unsung. Vale Les.

>86 karenmarie: ...they're stalking you...



Dec 3, 2017, 3:35pm Top

Nearly 60? And sunny? A real beaut here today. We got our outside chores done and now I hope to huddle down with the books.

I hope your Sunday is going well, RD and I hope you find that "magical" book.

Dec 3, 2017, 4:44pm Top

>88 msf59: Wow! Perfect December day. I'm under clouds and happy about it...Italian wedding soup (rice instead of pasta) and a book for my companions, not too shabby. It's not the *perfct* book but it's just fine: How to Travel Without Seeing, very good memoir.

Dec 3, 2017, 11:12pm Top

>1 richardderus: What a lovely image!

>70 richardderus: I'm tempted to buy a bunch of copies of The Hate U Give and donating to as many youth reading programs as I can find.

Dec 4, 2017, 6:53am Top

Good morning and happy Monday to you, RD!

What'cha reading?

Dec 5, 2017, 5:38pm Top

>90 EBT1002: Oh yes, Roerich is a favorite artist of mine Ellen. Such lovely Orientalist views.

The ban was such a great thing for Angie Thomas that I can't help but think she should send the Superintendent a thank-you note. She also won the Goodreads Choice Award for debut author.

>91 karenmarie: *smooch*

I've read a few old paperbacks that were disintegrating in bins. I chose several that had movie adaptations and gave them the once-over. Most of them were not very good, pace Dame Agatha. Frank Slaughter was a really, really crappy writer! Sangaree was just *awful*, and the movie made from it was execrable.


Doris Miles Disney wrote a rapey little jeu d'esprit called Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate that had a moderately better-than-the-book version made starring Helen Hayes, Myrna Loy, Sylvia Sidney, and Mildred Natwick. But gadzooks it was creepzilla to watch 50 years later.

etc etc etc

Dec 5, 2017, 5:56pm Top

>84 richardderus: Never heard of him to be honest and I don't quite see me picking up any of his books based on your reportage, RD.

Dec 5, 2017, 7:42pm Top

>93 PaulCranswick: You're missing exactly nothing, Paul. Not a bit of a thing.

Now to find your new thread. *sigh* I spend a few days clearing out a bin of old, tanned, brittle paperbacks whose movies I could watch and you'll have had 300+ messages. When do you sleep?

Dec 5, 2017, 7:47pm Top

Hi, RD! Hope your week is off to a good start. Our weather took a very sharp turn today. Winter is here.

Have you read Roxane Gay? I just finished Hunger: A Memoir. Brutal listen but very enlightening.

Dec 5, 2017, 7:49pm Top

162 Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate by Doris Miles Disney

Rating: 3* of five

My gawd, the world was a rapey place. Was?! Listen at me, was. This silliness was amusing until I got to the murder. I'm seriously skeeved out by stalker stuff and rape. It horrifies and disgusts me and I can't see why it's amusing.

Why three stars? Well now. Because of its television movie starring Myrna Loy, Sylvia Sidney, Helen Hayes, and Mildred Natwick. It's not very faithful to the book. It's pretty much a still-skeevy weird hybrid of rape culture and old-lady chic. But that cast...!

There is a scene early in the film that made me turn it off, then a month later zip past it, so trigger warning for other rape survivors. Skip from 12:50 to 14:20 if you want to look at it at all. The cast snagged me, old Hollywood royalty fan that I am, and in the end Justice is Done.

The title is a reference to the antique computer punch card technology that was supercool around that time. I was also shocked and awed that the idea of computer dating existed in 1970!! What!! NO WAY! Holy cats.

Dec 5, 2017, 7:49pm Top

>94 richardderus: Had a lovely beer infused slumber last night, RD. All of 5 hours. That is good going for me.

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 8:00pm Top

>95 msf59: Oh my heck, the very book I got today! A friend sent me a Yule gift despite being firmly instructed not to, and that's what she chose. I'll put it on the priority pile for 2018.

Which makes me think I should say this here: I'm living in a tiny space. I don't need stuff, don't have room for stuff, and while I adore getting books as gifts, I'm *submerged* under the TBR and would be ever so grateful to my friends for NOT gifting me with anything else! I've already colonized my roommate's chest of drawers with three piles of books that are stacked so high the TV has vanished behind them. So bless anyone who thinks of me with generosity in their heart, it means the world to me to be loved that way...but donate the books to the library book sale while thinking of me, k? Please?

>97 PaulCranswick: Well, five hours is better than no hours as our insomniac sisters will attest. And permaybehaps that beer would help them!

Dec 5, 2017, 7:58pm Top

163 Sangaree by Frank G. Slaughter

Rating: 2.5* of five

Ye gawds. The writing is...it's...to call it wooden is to make a calumny against trees. Clunk clank bang thud boom.

The story! The story, my friends, is LU. RID. Nancy Darby is a Minx with a capital Slut. Martha Darby is a severely bored wife of a husband who, today, would be called gay as a May morning. They pursue our hero into next week, desiring the plank, I mean man, in ways I simply don't see justified in the text. It's just, well, it's a bit on the countercultural side for 1948 when it was published but today is uncomfortably sexist. How things change in 70 years. What also changed, and *not* for the better, is the climate of Utopian socialism that Slaughter imbues the proceedings with. Sangaree, the plantation, is run a lot like a worker's co-operative under Dr. Tobias Kent. That bit I don't relish leaving behind.

The book is so very, very dated that I'd say don't read it unless you're wondering what set your grandma's heart aflutter.

BUT. Well now, but! There is a 1953 Technicolor 3-D film that is waaaaaaaay trippy. I do not imagine anyone will believe me when I say that this film is brown-washed. Fernando Lamas was cast in the Dr. Kent role. A Spanish-accented hunkalicious Argentinian married to the red-headed all-Murrikin film star Arlene Dahl stars in this "epic," and somehow we're expected to believe that Revolutionary era Georgia would've accepted Dr. Carlos Morales as a plantation owner despite the hated and feared Spanish being 100 miles away in Spanish Florida; theater-goers of 1953 were uninterested despite the unusual reversal of white-washing, though. The audiences went to see Lamas half-naked and in seriously tight pants. Diverting, I admit, but not anything like enough to make watching the film more than moderately amusing. So on the whole the entire enterprise gets that two-and-a-half stars on chutzpah alone. Talent and quality? M.I.A."

Dec 5, 2017, 8:05pm Top

164 The Body in the Library by Dame Agatha Christie

Rating: 4 solid stars of five

The novel, surprisingly, holds up well to a 21st century re-read. I was so pleased not to find anything shouting at me, "oh dear gawd please don't say that!" Slut-shaming, a huge component of the novel, isn't something unique to the times it is set in. It was a pleasure not having anything other than that and class snobbery to overlook!

But goodness me, what a lot of it there was. The "film people" were ever so louche, my dear, just Not Our Sort, so...American, you know. The dead girl? A Platinum Blonde, one of...Those Girls *chicken's-ass face* and doubtless not one smidgen better than she should be. (Later it is revealed she was a virgin, you old cow.)

But what divine fun! An actual (fictional) Body In The Library! Cliche central, send up a cheap one. Then Dame Agatha does her magic, the sort that turns things inside out, and it's the library that's the red herring, the body that's the clue, and the mystery itself isn't about ANY of those things.

Divine fun.

In 1983, ITV's Miss Marple turned the book into a good, faithful adaptation starring Joan Hickson *headache face*. It was a bit grave-dusty for me, as were the other Hickson Marple outings. I simply don't get the lady's appeal in the role. In 2004, Agatha Christie's Marple did it over and made significant character changes to the evergreen plot. I won't spoiler them for you because I think you should watch it. The changes are fun, I'll say that. What a lark, and pace you Hicksonians, I think Geraldine McEwan makes a damned good Marple. But the biggest and best casting delight is the ever joyous to watch Joanna Lumley as Dolly Bantry. Delicious.

Dec 5, 2017, 8:08pm Top

165 Why Didn't They Ask Evans? by Dame Agatha Christie

Rating: 3.5* of five

Annoying. Just plain annoying. Frankie and Bobby are bumbling amateurs! Lady Frances Derwent, daughter of the Earl of Marchington, knows Bobby, the son of the Vicar of Marchbolt, from little on up. They meet again when Bobby's found a dying man under the cliffs near his home. He and Frankie decide that they'll look into the matter because there are some loose and flapping ends that Bobby knows but had no chance to say at the inquest.

Hijinks quite predictably ensue.

It was 80 years ago that the book was conceived and written, but the kinds of dumbass errors the amateurs make just got up my nose. So much so that I was really hard pressed to keep reading. I did, oh my, didn't I just, but I kept shouting at the book (thank goodness my roommate is in rehab!) when they pulled *yet*another*bonehead*maneuver* with their ridiculously overcomplicated plans that shouldn't have worked while overlooking commonsensical things like doors being locked or unlocked from the outside....

Well anyway, there it is, I can't change Dame Agatha's writing and I can't unread it.

There have been two TV adaptations. The first, in 1980, starred Francesca Annis and James Warwick (later stars of the very good Partners in Crime series featuring Dame Agatha's amateur sleuths Tommy and Tuppence) and was supremely faithful to the book. It was three hours of pleasure. The baddie was bad, the bumbling was still annoying, the goodies wore two shoes. But it was beautiful and it was well done.

But. Then. Came. Marple.

Horrifying. They totally screwed the pooch. Miss Marple, played at that point by Julia MacKenzie, was grafted onto the story, much surgery was done to the plot, and the characters of Frankie and Bobby were prettified (Sean Biggerstaff, who played Bobby, was Oliver Wood in the Potter franchise) into blandness. I'd deduct at least two stars for the awfulness of this "adaptation" but it's just not fair to blame the Dame for what happened thirty years after she popped her clogs.

In general, I'd give the whole fechacte thing a miss unless you are a Francesca Annis fan (me!) in which case hunt up the 1980 telefilm.

Dec 5, 2017, 8:13pm Top

166 The Strange Woman by Ben Ames Williams

Rating: 4* of five

This is one hella long book. Over 600 pages of densely packed story about Bangor, Maine, and its two different lives as a seaport and a lumber boomtown. It's a great story, and it's told through the lens of the fearsome and awful life of Jenny Hager Poster Evered. What a horrible life she led. What a horrifying person it turned her into. What a terrifying tale of an evil soul's manipulative rule over the innocents who had every right to expect she would be their loving helpmeet.

This story resonated with me as the son of just such a woman. It was of greater historical interest than I expected, as I didn't have any idea about the course of the economic development of Maine. It was very detailed and very multi-layered, which I confess surprised me from a book published in 1941. I wasn't prepared for the psychological astuteness of Williams's tale. It was a shock to me that the cruelties I saw my father suffer weren't unique, and the experience of the same levels of psychological torture myself was clearly shown in Jenny's relationships with her own brood. There's a weird sort of comfort in that, seeing the worst of one's own life brought to light in fiction where it's possible to cope with it by closing the covers of the book.

I'm not sure I'd recommend it as a pleasure read, but it's a darn good tale told well and written by a writer who has vanished from the literary scene without a trace. That makes me sad. Ben Ames Williams doesn't deserve the final death of anonymity.

For film noir fans, there is a public-domain film of the same title but different basic intent...redeeming Jenny, as played by the luminously lovely Hedy Lamarr, was a total violation of Williams's story...that's a decent way to spend a couple hours here.

Dec 5, 2017, 8:15pm Top

167 Piss On It: New and Selected Poems by Arthur Graham

Rating: 3* of five

I hate poetry. For someone to write poetry that I give three stars to (who hasn't bribed me with sex) is amazing. I know Arthur as well as one can know someone via the internet over the span of five years, so none of what he wrote about in this small, tight collection came as a surprise to me. I'm pretty much beyond being offended by anything except greed, conservative/libertarian/fascist politics, and religion, so despite my utter shuddering yuck-ick-ptui reaction to hetero sex, I was down with Arthur's observations about hooking up at forty-ish.

My favorite poem:

T(h)e Internet

...is really only
good for like
two or maybe
three things:
Meeting women,
meeting women,
and publishing
really bad

Dec 5, 2017, 9:28pm Top

>103 richardderus: Enjoyed your review and the sample poem. He missed out meeting women from his list.

Dec 5, 2017, 10:07pm Top

>104 PaulCranswick: ...oh...is that what it was he missed! I was sure there was something.

Dec 6, 2017, 1:53am Top

Dame Agatha and poetry which earned 3 stars from you!! Excellent reads, dear sir. : )

Dec 6, 2017, 2:53am Top

>67 richardderus: that Takei, he is a good egg (as they say).

>103 richardderus: will the poetry reviews *never* end? RD, you've changed. ;) (subtext- aren't you doing well with your branching out and trying new things??!! See?? *pats head condescendingly*- it wasn't that hard, was it?)

Dec 6, 2017, 8:40am Top

Oh my, Joan Hickson as Miss Marple - it gives me a *headache face* just thinking about it. She was my least favorite, and I actually wonder how many people she turned off of reading/viewing Miss Marple stories.

My favorite was Geraldine McEwan. Just the right amount of wit and humor.

>100 richardderus: I tried to make a *chicken's-ass face* - you'd think I'd be a natural at it, but that's a tough one. Fun review!

Dec 6, 2017, 9:06am Top

Good morning, RD!

>96 richardderus: I worked for a small software company in 1975-1977 and we rented mainframe time to a woman who had a 'computer' dating service. She'd bring in information about her clients to update the database then presumably run through some kind of algorithm to spew out recommendations on who to meet. I can still see her sitting in front of one of the GA computers on a Sunday morning, working away diligently.

I've never watched any tee-bee adaptations of Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot. I personally prefer to keep them as they developed in my imagination for the last 40 or so years. I recently broke down and went to see Kenneth Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express and came away disappointed. It was okay, but the moustaches were wrong, among other things. Where's his little egg-shaped head? I think I need to re-read The Mysterious Affair at Styles or another early Poirot to rid me of the image.

Dec 6, 2017, 10:28am Top

..."but the moustaches were wrong" YES! Exactly. What ever were they thinking? I have only seen the trailers, and I started ranting about that right away.

Morning, BigDaddy! I loved reading through you book/movie reviews - they are perfect for reading aloud, by the way. I read them out to Birdy and Daniel, and we were all immensely entertained. Thank you for that. Happy Wednesdaying to you!

Dec 6, 2017, 11:20am Top

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

This is the origin of the tradition of giving small gifts to children that's grown into the multi-billion-dollar industry of Christmas. In my youth, this day marked the start of the armed truce for the holidays when no fighting or nastiness was allowed, which lasted until Epiphany on 6 January.

Far more appropriately, from my point of view, today is the centenary of the Halifax Explosion, the largest anthropogenic explosion on Earth until the Little Boy atomic bomb destroyed Hiroshima.

Dec 6, 2017, 11:39am Top

>106 Berly: They were some excellent reads indeed, darling Berly-boo. The hits keep on a-comin'.

>107 LovingLit: As good as eggs come, indeed. I'm hopeful that his legacy project about the national disgrace of the Japanese internment will enter the American canon.

It *was* that hard! It *was*! I hated every second of it and deserve dozens and dozens of donuts and gallons of Haagen Dazs rum raisin ice cream as my concolation prize! (Hey, if I'm in for condescension, I'm milkin' it for all the adolescent rewards I can get.)

Dec 6, 2017, 11:49am Top

>108 jnwelch: We're in a tiny minority on McEwan, Joe, as most Marpleites loathe her interpretation of Jane. I think she nailed it.

Obama did it best.

>109 karenmarie: I can't believe it was actually a thing, Horrible, but the evidence is there. What kind of algorithm could they have designed? It couldn't have been terribly complex. Still, it was the Space Age and computers sent Man to the Moon, so finding a spouse that way would've made some sort of sense.

Read Curtain! That'll blow the cobwebs out.

>110 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! I'm glad your performance of the reviews was a success. I usually do read my reviews aloud before posting them. It helps me find the awkward turns of phrase and repetitive use of words. Most people read by subverbal vocalization, so it also helps get a fluent style established. I've always told writers to read their stuff aloud so they can find the clumsy spots.

Smoochings to all!

Dec 6, 2017, 1:33pm Top

And up-to-date here, Richard, entertained as always by your snarkiness and opinions! *smooches*

Dec 6, 2017, 1:54pm Top

>114 ronincats: Madam! Do you mean to say that *I*, paragon of calm and reasoned discourse, am "snarky" and opinionated?! The very idea! Why, I am...


Well, ya know, if the shoe fits....

Edited: Dec 6, 2017, 2:07pm Top

You're welcome.

Dec 6, 2017, 2:27pm Top


Dec 6, 2017, 3:06pm Top

Perfect for these increasingly cold days!

Dec 6, 2017, 3:28pm Top

And especially perfect for a tubby old man, that chair-and-a-half.

Dec 6, 2017, 4:05pm Top

168 Globes: 400 Years of Exploration, Navigation and Power by Sylvia Sumira

Rating: 5* of five

The Publisher Says: The concept of the earth as a sphere has been around for centuries, emerging around the time of Pythagoras in the sixth century BC, and eventually becoming dominant as other thinkers of the ancient world, including Plato and Aristotle, accepted the idea. The first record of an actual globe being made is found in verse, written by the poet Aratus of Soli, who describes a celestial sphere of the stars by Greek astronomer Eudoxus of Cnidus (ca. 408–355 BC). The oldest surviving globe—a celestial globe held up by Atlas’s shoulders—dates back to 150 AD, but in the West, globes were not made again for about a thousand years. It was not until the fifteenth century that terrestrial globes gained importance, culminating when German geographer Martin Behaim created what is thought to be the oldest surviving terrestrial globe. In Globes: 400 Years of Exploration, Navigation, and Power, Sylvia Sumira, beginning with Behaim’s globe, offers a authoritative and striking illustrated history of the subsequent four hundred years of globe making.

Showcasing the impressive collection of globes held by the British Library, Sumira traces the inception and progression of globes during the period in which they were most widely used—from the late fifteenth century to the late nineteenth century—shedding light on their purpose, function, influence, and manufacture, as well as the cartographers, printers, and instrument makers who created them. She takes readers on a chronological journey around the world to examine a wide variety of globes, from those of the Renaissance that demonstrated a renewed interest in classical thinkers; to those of James Wilson, the first successful commercial globe maker in America; to those mass-produced in Boston and New York beginning in the 1800s. Along the way, Sumira not only details the historical significance of each globe, but also pays special attention to their materials and methods of manufacture and how these evolved over the centuries.

A stunning and accessible guide to one of the great tools of human exploration, Globes will appeal to historians, collectors, and anyone who has ever examined this classroom accessory and wondered when, why, and how they came to be made.

My Review: Author Sumira is a conservator of printed paper. Her expertise within that niche is the preservation and restoration of antique globes, whose survival into the present is nigh on miraculous given their inherent fragility. In her introductory chapters, Author Sumira presents us with a distilled historical timeline of the development of globes as a means of conveying information and illuminating concepts that would otherwise be nebulous at best, then gives an even more fascinating (to me at least) précis of how globes have been made through time.

None of this even scratches the surface of Author Sumira's expertise on the matter. It feels to me as though she was tasked with creating a "for Dummies" version of her life's work by her publisher. This is someone whose depth of knowledge is matched by her breadth of viewpoint. In the essays concerning the sixty globes pictured in this gorgeous, oversized coffee-table book, hints of Author Sumira's wide-ranging appreciation for the role, history, and place of each globe illuminate the sheer physical beauty of the artifacts in ways that are meat and drink to geography nerds, photography buffs, history mavens, and whatever one would call globe people.

Let me get out of the way and let you revel in the joys of the globes:

Dec 6, 2017, 4:47pm Top

>120 richardderus: - Very cool. I love globes, especially the cheap plastic light up one I had as a kid. Between that and the maps from National Geographic that I taped to my bedroom walls, I got quite a geography lesson almost by osmosis :) I still love maps.

Edited: Dec 6, 2017, 4:52pm Top

>121 katiekrug: Aren't they glorious? I too love the maps.

Dec 6, 2017, 5:07pm Top

I never got to think it odd that I liked to look at maps for hours on end, everyone in my family is the same way.

A really powerful review, my friend.

Dec 6, 2017, 5:19pm Top

>123 SomeGuyInVirginia: Thank'ee most kindly, Lunatic Larry.

Edited: Dec 6, 2017, 8:09pm Top

>120 richardderus: Good review of Globes: 400 Years of Exploration, RD. If you post it, I will Thumb it!

>122 richardderus: LIKE!! I am totally with you, on this. What a repellent party.

Dec 7, 2017, 8:08am Top

Good morning, RD!

>113 richardderus: The only unread Poirot I have on my shelves is Poirot’s Early Cases, so I might pull that one out even though it’s short stories (boo, hiss). Christie and Salinger are the only two authors of short stories I can stomach on a regular basis.

>120 richardderus: I love maps and globes – excellent review.

>122 richardderus: Ooh, yes. Anything but a member of the GOPP – Grab Our Pussies Party.

*smooches* from TVT Horrible

Dec 7, 2017, 10:17am Top

>125 msf59: I always forget about posting reviews. I'll go do that. Glad you liked it.

I'm repulsed by the Repulsivecans.

>126 karenmarie: Short stories "boo hiss"? Madam! I beseech you, utter not such blasphemies lest Tophet yawn for your mortal flesh!


Dec 7, 2017, 12:15pm Top

169 Atlas of Cursed Places by Olivier Le Carrer

Rating: 5* of five

The Publisher Says: Olivier Le Carrer brings us a fascinating history and armchair journey to the world's most dangerous and frightful places, complete with vintage maps and period illustrations in a handsome volume.

This alluring read includes 40 locations that are rife with disaster, chaos, paranormal activity, and death. The locations gathered here include the dangerous Strait of Messina, home of the mythical sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis; the coal town of Jharia, where the ground burns constantly with fire; Kasanka National Park in Zambia, where 8 million migrating bats darken the skies; the Nevada Triangle in the Sierra Nevada mountains, where hundreds of aircraft have disappeared; and Aokigahara Forest near Mount Fuji in Japan, the world's second most popular suicide location following the Golden Gate Bridge.


My Review: History, a ruling passion of my reading life, contains so many byways, culs de sac, and dead ends that are fascinating that it's a wonder the "real" history ever gets told. I love the odd and unsettling details that get lost when one reads only The Big Picture. There are very few byways left unexplored by now, wouldn't you think?

You haven't read this book yet.

Start here, in India. Most US citizens have probably heard of Centralia, Pennsylvania, at some point or another...a town that sits atop a coal mine burning out of control since 1962. Now multiply that by about fifty and set it in a country where there isn't any kind or sort of centralized authority charged with keeping people safe from the consequences of profit-driven environmental rape. Oh wait...that'd be 45's Murrikuh, so sorry. Anyway, the image of Hell that is Jharia makes Centralia look like a minor dump fire.

Then let's go back in time to Timur's reign of terror. In the uniformly awful 14th century, Timur (or Tamerlane as the West knows him) was memorably more heinous than his contemporary rulers and more feared than the only slightly more virulent Black Death that killed almost 50% of the world's population. He managed directly to slay over 15 million people of the 300 million alive on Earth at the time he was busily slaughtering entire cities. This ghastly spot is the site of his mausoleum. It bore the inscription, "When I rise from the dead, the world shall tremble." On 22 June 1941, a silly Soviet scientist raided his tomb; mere hours later, the Nazis began the unbelievably costly Operation Barbarossa, which cost over 5 million more lives, and led to the deaths of millions more in its wake.

The moral of this story, kiddies, is DO NOT TAKE CURSES LIGHTLY.

Unlike the unbearably silly Lutz family that bought 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York, after ghastly Ronnie DeFeo slaughtered his family there the year before. They found out the hard way that there is no such thing as a deal too good to be true, lasting a whopping 28 days before bailing on this buy-of-a-lifetime Dutch Colonial in a desirable neighborhood.

Lots of publicity still attends the case, and the Lutzes have been called liars and profiteers. Amityville's just down the road from here. It's a nice village and nice people live there. I myownself get no evil vibe from it. But I wouldn't spend a night at 112 Ocean Avenue for any damn reason.

For the ghoulish giftee, this book's the best!

Dec 7, 2017, 1:03pm Top

Sounds fun!

Dec 7, 2017, 1:41pm Top

Oooo, that's a good one!

Dec 7, 2017, 2:04pm Top

>129 katiekrug:, >130 drneutron: 'Tis! Make your purchases, drop your hints!

Edited: Dec 7, 2017, 2:40pm Top

That does sound like a fun book, Richard, as does the Globes one (thumbed). Good reviews!

Dec 7, 2017, 2:42pm Top

>128 richardderus: I love maps, Richard, but I don't do frightning.
It is available in German, Spanish and French, and luckely NOT in Dutch translation :-)

Dec 7, 2017, 2:53pm Top

>132 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! The books are so cool.

>133 FAMeulstee: Oh, so I *shouldn't* send Atlas of Cursed Places to you, Anita? It was coming with a bunch of spiderlings and some scorpions. *muaaahaaahaaa* No, not really. It's got lots of scary stuff so I wouldn't wish it on you.

Dec 7, 2017, 3:50pm Top

R--Look at all these 5-star reads in a row!! And I like the reviews just as much. Cool globes. The only one I have ever had was the electric one for kids where you touch it and it gives you the name of countries and capitals, etc. It was my attempt at interactive learning for my kids. Mildly successful.

Dec 7, 2017, 3:57pm Top

>135 Berly: It's Booksgiving over at the blog, Berly-boo, and no review is less than delighted since I'm recommending gifties. These two were books I was particularly excited about. I love art books, looking at them over and over, because the 15 paintings and prints plus the 12 art-photo prints on my walls aren't enough for me.

Dec 7, 2017, 4:08pm Top

>134 richardderus: No problems with spiders, Richard, not sure about scorpions ;-)

Dec 7, 2017, 5:18pm Top

>137 FAMeulstee: Okay...lemme see here...snakelets! Howza bout snakelets?

Dec 7, 2017, 5:19pm Top

170 X's for Eyes by Laird Barron

Rating: 4* of five

There's really no point in writing a formal review of this book. Either you already know who Laird Barron is, in which case you're counting your pennies and cadging a buck from your moneybags pal to get the book, or you don't, in which case buy this book for $2.99 and read it and you'll be in Category A.

There are other options, of course, but they don't bear thinking too closely about.


Dec 7, 2017, 5:58pm Top

>138 richardderus: Only if they are poisonous, Richard. Over here lives only one kind of poisonous snake, I have never seen one and incidents are rare.

Dec 7, 2017, 7:28pm Top

>140 FAMeulstee: Drat! *schemes for more frightful things*

Dec 7, 2017, 7:37pm Top

Sweet Thursday, RD. I Thumbed your Globes review. It deserved it.

I am saddened to see Al Franken step down. He is a very important liberal politician, (more and more rare these days) but stepping down is the right thing to do. Let's see if it sets any kind of precedent.

Dec 7, 2017, 9:05pm Top

>142 msf59: ...a precedent...?

Mark, you sweet naive boy, the Gross Old Pedophile party will not do anything except cluck and crow like they just won a huge victory with Conyers and Franken retiring under fire. THEY, you see, are Right as well as right-wing, and all that they do is sanctified by gawd as she is wholly and entirely on Their Side.

Loathsome and disgusting people that they are we are stuck with them at the whim of their supporters, likewise loathsome and disgusting people.

Dec 8, 2017, 12:22am Top

171 The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

Rating: 5* of five

The Publisher Says: In 1959 Florence Green, a kindhearted widow with a small inheritance, risks everything to open a bookshop - the only bookshop - in the seaside town of Hardborough. By making a success of a business so impractical, she invites the hostility of the town's less prosperous shopkeepers. By daring to enlarge her neighbors' lives, she crosses Mrs. Gamart, the local arts doyenne. Florence's warehouse leaks, her cellar seeps, and the shop is apparently haunted. Only too late does she begin to suspect the truth: a town that lacks a bookshop isn't always a town that wants one.

My Review: Florence Green is my current idol of Resistance. She has lived quietly and unassumingly in Hardborough, a small East Anglian seaside town, and realized that her life was simply passing and not being lived. So she took her small inheritance and opened a bookshop.

A good book is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life, and as such it must surely be a necessary commodity.

Of course, she takes out a loan against the freehold of her premises to start the business. The sums are risible by today's standards, since this is 1959, but they seem enormous to Mrs Green. She sets out to stock her business with the remainder stock of her former employers in London, then contacts publishers' sales agents to visit and display their wares:

Those who made it {to her shop} were somewhat unwilling to part with...what Florence really wanted, unless she would also take a pile of novels which had the air, in their slightly worn jackets, of women on whom no one had ever made any demand.

This being 1959, a certain degree of wincing at this self-deprecating, or merely invisibly sexist, humor is to be granted; but Fitzgerald wrote the novel in 1977 or thereabouts, as it was first published in 1978. Was this mildly misogynistic sally meant to be read with a raised eyebrow, or was she simply oblivious to its sexism? I don't know, but I'm guessing it wasn't ironic based on the tone of the tale. It's very funny either way.

Life as a business proprietor is not stress-free. Mrs Green is a busy, busy woman. Many are the factors she is required to balance in her running of the business. Yet summer comes but once a year, and after all what good is living in a seaside village if the sea is invisible?

She ought to go down to the beach. It was Thursday, early closing, and it seemed ungrateful to live so close to the sea and never look at it for weeks on end.

It's always seemed odd to me how many people I know here in my own seaside city who simply don't pay the slightest attention to the ocean that surrounds us!

Mrs Green has failed to do one crucial thing in opening her shop: Get the town's Great and Good on side. In fact, when she is invited to the local county set's meeting place, she receives a very simple and direct order to cease and desist her plans to open her shop in the Old House, which it transpires the local grande dame wishes to put to another use. To everyone's blank surprise, she does not back down. The invisible battle lines are drawn:

She had once seen a heron flying across the estuary and trying, while it was on the wing, to swallow an eel which it had caught. The eel, in turn, was struggling to escape from the gullet of the heron and appeared a quarter, a half, or occasionally three-quarters of the way out. The indecision expressed by both creatures was pitiable. They had taken on too much.

The battles go in Mrs Green's favor...until they quite memorably do not. The quality do not like being told no.

But the battles are waged fully! Mrs Green is not one to lie down and say die!

Courage and endurance are useless if they are never tested.

The tests are, in the end, simply more than Mrs Green has the resources to withstand. The state gets involved. The lawyers and the banks are not on her side. The town isn't willing to pull themselves out of the primordial muck of How Things Are Done to rally to her aid.

It was defeat, but defeat is less unwelcome when you are tired.

And yet Florence Green stood tall until the last moment, only leaving Hardborough when her very last farthing is needed to buy her way out of the morass that her impertinent refusal to bow before the quality has landed her in.

For that reason, I recommend this book for your 45-hating, Resistance fighting, Yule giftee. It will give them a rock to stand on.

Dec 8, 2017, 1:16am Top

Thanks to yet another Catholic holiday (just deleted a little rant about its meaning) I am free of my excels for 3 full days and can finally catch up.

>128 richardderus: I must check if I can include this in my next list of TA books end of January. Looks and sounds fantastic!

All the Christies... I think I read all translated Poirots over the years and watched all the DS episodes. But I'm still short of some Miss Marples, planning them for the BAC Queens of Crime month. I love the first of the ITV Miss Marples, but not so much all the plot changes. Will try that BBC series soon, even if it's dull.

>144 richardderus: I loved this one. But so sad....

Re. St Nicks: where I grew up (middle of Germany with about half/half Protestants and Catholics) we had that mix of St Nicks either visiting us "in person" on the 6th in the evening, demanding the reciting of poems and reports of good behavior before giving us a little bag with chocolates and nuts ( we were scared as hell as you can imagine) , or he filled our shoes overnight as in your pic. On the 24th however we had the (Bavarian/Alpine/pseudo Catholic) Christkind, for whatever reason a blond girl. She came with little angels to decorate the tree and put the presents under it and rang a bell when leaving which was the sign to start Christmas.
Now that the US traditions have taken over, we have a mix of the more Nordic Father Christmas and Santa Claus in most families, so basically St Nicks visits twice, once in his grim form with chocolates and once leaving the big presents.

Dec 8, 2017, 3:35am Top

#128 I may have drooled a little.

Dec 8, 2017, 9:06am Top

>145 Deern: What Catholic holiday is this? John Banville's birthday? My Catholicism wasn't all that successfully grafted on.

I'm so sad about the American holiday taking over, instead of syncretizing the other traditions into its gaudy excess.

*smooch* Thanks for visiting!

>146 BekkaJo: I know, right?! Those are such gorgeous objects, aren't they?


Dec 8, 2017, 9:18am Top

I adore books about maps - they make the ridiculously happy!

Dec 8, 2017, 9:25am Top

>148 BekkaJo: Me too, Bekka, there's something so artistic and practical and creative about maps, all at the same time...and globes are even moreso.

I get the A Word A Day email from Anu Garg, and have for 15 years or so. Today his thought for the day hit me:
"All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why. -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (8 Dec 1894-1961)"

Much to ponder.

(Also, the word was "robustious")

Dec 8, 2017, 9:47am Top

Good morning, RD!

I get the same email from Anu Garg and always try to see if I know the meaning of the word before opening the e-mail. *smile*

Dec 8, 2017, 10:46am Top

>150 karenmarie: That's half the fun for me, too...and I knew this word from its variant spelling "rumbustious" and have used it to good effect.

Apparently there's a record label called Rumbustious, and this is their logo:

Dec 8, 2017, 1:02pm Top

>147 richardderus: it's the immaculate conception of Mary, so she'd be pure enough to carry Christ. I'd never heard of that before moving to Italy, and even many of my friends here don't know what it means and just use the day for extra Christmas shopping. Merano always bursts with tourists that weekend.

Dec 8, 2017, 1:23pm Top

>152 Deern: Good heavens, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception! It's a Holy Day of Obligation. I had no idea it was a national holiday in Italy.

Funny what people celebrate. There's a Feast of the Circumcision, too.

Dec 9, 2017, 12:11pm Top

172 Gummy Bears & Grenades by Charlie Cochet

Rating: 4* of five

This THIRDS novella is not for the heterosexual male. In fact, you are strongly cautioned not to pick up any of these books for fear that the gay will prove infectious because Brother Man these books are So. Mother. Fuckin. QUEER!

Yep. Your DNA will be reprogrammed and you'll be staring at guys' packages with more than mild curiosity and I shudder to think of the scenes at the gym and the SHOWER! Oh dear.

For the rest of us, this here's the story of Dex's bachelor party and, since you're reading this, you already know who that is and therefore what is likely to happen only trust me you don't and you very much want to.

Dec 9, 2017, 12:18pm Top

This being a somewhat dismal day weather-wise, I'm thinking we could all use a little spirit-lifting feed:

Brunch is served! And some "champagne" margaritas:

Dec 9, 2017, 1:27pm Top

>155 richardderus: Most impressive. You pulled out all the stops.

Dec 9, 2017, 1:29pm Top

Today me is a little disappointed in the heathy grocery shopping yesterday me did. This is a chips and pizza kind of day here in the Nation's Blah.

Dec 9, 2017, 1:33pm Top

>156 Crazymamie: One does one's poor best. Dessert?

Cheesecake buffet. Impossible to go wrong with all these choices.

>157 SomeGuyInVirginia: Good heavens, Your Lunaticicity, of course today you is disappointed. "Healthy eating" is code for "joyless drab body fuel". Allons-y to the corner grocery and the Haagen Dazs.

Dec 9, 2017, 2:12pm Top

>155 richardderus: Yum, RD!

>157 SomeGuyInVirginia: Yum, Larry!

>158 richardderus: Yum, RD!

I haven't had anything sweet to eat all day. I had a grilled chicken salad for lunch. "Joyless drab body fuel" is a perfect way to describe it.

There are divinity, speculaasbrokken, skittles, chocolate chip cookies, and Pecan Christmas Crack in the house, but so far I have resisted. (I'm still full from lunch).

It's lightly snowing here in central NC.

Dec 9, 2017, 2:56pm Top

>159 karenmarie: No sweets?! Horrible! This is unconscionable. Go immediately to the nearest tin and eat something decadent that YOU made!

The snow continues here, but not heavily, and I haven't heard the tell-tale pinging of freezing rain. Ice is the worst and I'm hoping to see it not until, oh, 2020.

Dec 9, 2017, 3:04pm Top

Okay. Just went to the freezer and got out the Pecan Christmas Crack. Yummy. Next time I think I'll make it with 1/2 chocolate chips and 1/2 peanut butter chips.

Dec 9, 2017, 3:08pm Top

>161 karenmarie: Umm...what exactly is Pecan Christmas Crack? I must know.

Dec 9, 2017, 3:21pm Top

>162 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! Rather than cluttering up RD's thread too much, here's the link to where I just posted it and Cracker Fudge on my thread: Pecan Christmas Crack

Dec 9, 2017, 3:29pm Top

>163 karenmarie: Oh, thank you!

Dec 9, 2017, 6:39pm Top

>161 karenmarie: to >164 Crazymamie: inclusive: YUMMMMMMM

And now, via my friend Jackiesue (whose blog you should be following):

Dec 9, 2017, 7:00pm Top

>165 richardderus: LOL! Poor Chulthu.

Dec 9, 2017, 8:11pm Top

173 The Lost Sketchbook of Edgar Degas by Harriet Chessman

I know y'all...TL;DR City...so go to the blog if you actually want to read my 5* appreciation of my friend Harriet's novel.

It's a really good book. Harriet wrote the libretto for a chamber opera called My Lai that premiered at BAM's 2017 music festival. She has that kind of sensibility, that make it perfect or else aesthetic. Worth your eyeblinks.

Dec 9, 2017, 8:12pm Top

>166 ronincats: I know, right?! When the competition for superbaddie is this stiff, what chance does a pandimensional entity have?

Dec 10, 2017, 10:55am Top

>165 richardderus: LOL!

There's horror, and then there's horror. His supporters really screwed over the rest of us.

Paralyzing horror aside, I hope you're having a good weekend, buddy.

Dec 10, 2017, 12:29pm Top

>143 richardderus: "Mark, you sweet naive boy," LOL. Thanks, for setting me straight, RD. As usual, you are spot on. I try to keep a modicum of optimism but it is getting tougher and tougher to do so,

Sunny and 35 today. Not bad, but why is it like this when I am not working?

Happy Sunday, my friend.

Dec 10, 2017, 1:59pm Top

>169 jnwelch: The horror, the horror...I am resolutely opposed to Giving Up, but jeepers creepers it's hard not to make a face and just lie down and let it happen.


>170 msf59: What a gorgeous day! It's similar here, the snows of yesterday are a-melt.

That optimism could be more infectious, I wouldn't mind a whit.

Dec 11, 2017, 12:57am Top

174 How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry

Rating: 3 contented stars of five

Very good chick lit. The bookstore setting is delightful. The characters are all Central Casting stereotypes and that's just fine because not having to work out what each one of the six PoV characters was which was part of what made this a Sunday read.

It's possible to score the movie that this book will engender just from the mentions of music in the text. Joni Mitchell all the way to dreary, stolid Elgar by way of the inimitable, ineffable Saint-Saëns "The Swan" on cello.

A happy means to wile the hours away when that's all that one wants to do.

Dec 11, 2017, 8:06am Top

Good morning, RD! Happy Monday to you. Thanks for >165 richardderus:.

It's a shivery 28F here right now. Thank goodness for houses and propane heaters! Time for my second cup of coffee.

Dec 11, 2017, 9:08am Top

>173 karenmarie: Hey Horrible, it's colder there than it is here. A pleasant slightly cloudy 35° today. I'm always thrilled to be indoors when it's chilly enough to require a scarf to be comfy outside. I need to make groceries today before it rains tomorrow and then gets colder at the end of the week.

Happy Monday to you!

Dec 11, 2017, 9:34am Top

For those who use the Threadbook:

Now that the wiki has been re-established, I've updated the Threadbook to include all the new threads made in November/December. If you find any errors, let me know and I'll get 'em fixed!

Dec 11, 2017, 9:35am Top

Thanks for the alert, Jim! I've missed the Threadbook.

Dec 11, 2017, 9:42am Top

Do you check books out of the library? I'd love to be able to read so fast. Totally jealous.

Dec 11, 2017, 10:00am Top

>177 SomeGuyInVirginia: I do check books out from time to time, but I also have a network of enabler/benefactors. You know them as "publishers." A blog like mine that averages 300 views a day, all of them for book reviews because that's all I do, is gold for them.

Dec 12, 2017, 9:36am Top

I imagine it is. Do you review on Amazon, as well?

Dec 12, 2017, 9:44am Top

>179 SomeGuyInVirginia: No. They wrote language giving themselves ownership of your opinions as expressed in words into their terms. If I am specifically requested to post a review on Ammy by an author or a publisher, I will eviscerate a review down to "I liked it" with a supporting clause.

Dec 12, 2017, 10:55am Top

I stopped posting reviews on Amazon long, long ago. I also have decided not to rate their services or products any more. I figure it's enough that I buy things from them but don't give them free marketing info on top of what I buy and what I watch on Prime.

Dec 12, 2017, 12:11pm Top

>181 karenmarie: Sad to say, they brought us to this point. The naked greed was so unappealing. Yuck!

Dec 12, 2017, 12:47pm Top

>182 richardderus: And you don't say that about many naked things. Odd.

Dec 12, 2017, 1:08pm Top

>183 SomeGuyInVirginia: Heh, this is true.

Edited: Dec 13, 2017, 9:36am Top

174 The Midnight Meat Train by Clive Barker

Rating: 3.5* of five

It's a very average sort of horror story, creeps galore that all lead to the place you'd like to have them go. Gore, blood, chills...and a twist at the end adding supernatural overtones.

Nothing unusual.

The 2008 film, which starred Bradley Cooper as the hero and Vinnie Jones as the demon, was better than the story in that it had style and panache in its visual storytelling. Jones is perfect as the baddie. Cooper plays obsession very well. The setting and scenery was perfect. It's on Netflix.

There's a scene of the Butcher pulling the teeth of a dead guy that will live in my nightmares. That'll appeal or appall.

Dec 12, 2017, 9:33pm Top

Glad to see How to Find Love in a Bookshop was a decent afternoon's read for you. And putting the Globe book on my ever-growing TBR list. Do we get to call a Christmas truce of no more book bullets for the next two weeks? :)

Dec 12, 2017, 10:25pm Top

>187 bell7: *snort* Yeah, like that'll ever happen. Globes is a gorgeous book.

Dec 13, 2017, 9:40am Top

Not counting as read, but this is worth passing on. My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business by Dick Van Dyke

I haven't read this book. I won't, in all likelihood, ever read it. But I grew up loving The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Mary Poppins, and and and...

But my coming here, finding this book, and rating it was in service of bringing the following quote to Van Dyke's legions of mildly interested fans:
In July 2016, Van Dyke said of Donald Trump, "He has been a magnet to all the racists and xenophobes in the country, I haven't been this scared since the Cuban Missile Crisis. I think the human race is hanging in a delicate balance right now, and I'm just so afraid he will put us in a war. He scares me."

Mr. Van Dyke/Dr. Sloan/Mr. Petrie, I salute you.

Dec 13, 2017, 10:50am Top

Dec 13, 2017, 11:09am Top

>190 karenmarie: Heh. Perfect.

Dec 13, 2017, 11:54am Top

Dec 13, 2017, 1:02pm Top

Dec 13, 2017, 1:05pm Top

Dec 13, 2017, 2:55pm Top

Edited: Dec 13, 2017, 7:13pm Top

176 Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill

Rating: 5* of five

If you're a fan of cynical, witty anti-heroes who do what they have to do to survive in a world that doesn't much like them, read this book.
The one truth you need to know about the end of a machine is that the closer they are to death, the more they act like people.

If you're a fan of noir stories of monolithic world-dominating systems that give dissenters only a tiny sliver of room to exist, read this book.
Magic was just something people liked to believe in, something they thought they could feel or sense, something that made everything more than just mechanical certainty. Something that made them more than flesh and bone.

If you want to read a fast-paced tale about survival against the odds, read this book.
These are the things that life is all about. These moments. It’s not about the rituals. It’s not about getting by. It’s about the stack of tiny little moments of joy and love that add up to a lifetime that’s been worthwhile. You can’t measure them; you can only capture them, like snapshots in your mind.

If you like the idea that nothing anywhere ever lasts, for good or for ill, this book should head your list of reads to come.
"You're not wrong, Jimmy. That's why we're all out here. To get through one more day."
He nodded, looking wistfully out into the street. "I miss it, you know. Being a bartender. But the people. I mostly miss all the people."
Most dying robots do. People gave us a purpose. Something to do all day, every day. At the end, I suppose, you spend a lot of time thinking about that. It's harder to get by when getting by is all there is.

Five stars is easy to give in this case, and if I hadn't read Missionary by Lehi Renner this year (my six-stars-of-five read), Sea of Rust would've been my six-star read.

Dec 13, 2017, 3:03pm Top

>196 SomeGuyInVirginia: Oh, like you don't totally relate.

Dec 13, 2017, 5:08pm Top

How kind of you to say.

Dec 13, 2017, 5:13pm Top

Dec 13, 2017, 6:50pm Top

>197 richardderus: I added Sea of Rust to the WL when you and someone else were discussing it, RD, I think on another thread. Sounds great. I'll look for Missonary, too (can't find the touchstone).

Dec 13, 2017, 6:56pm Top

>201 jnwelch: Missionary is only in my library so no touchstone exists for it...yet.

Of course, a visit to Ammy and $6.99 later, you could add it to your Kindle library.

Just sayin'

Dec 13, 2017, 9:47pm Top

So far behind...Love ya!!

Dec 13, 2017, 9:54pm Top

>203 Berly: *smooch*

Dec 14, 2017, 8:07am Top

Edited: Dec 14, 2017, 8:08am Top

^Morning, RD. Sweet Thursday. I am enjoying the day off. It is nice to not go outdoors, if I don't feel like it. Hope your day goes well.

Dec 14, 2017, 8:13am Top

Good morning, RD! I hope you have a bee-yoo-tiful day. I simply must wrap Christmas presents today and go get stocking stuffers.

Dec 14, 2017, 9:38am Top

Morning, BigDaddy! I just made Daniel breakfast, so I thought I'd whip some up for you, too:

Dec 14, 2017, 9:54am Top

>205 msf59: I know, right?

>206 msf59: Yes please. I can't coffee today or tomorrow before a doc visit, so I am SUFFERING.

Dec 14, 2017, 9:56am Top

>207 karenmarie: Have fun shopping! It's as warm today as it will be for a while. Or not. The weather's unsettled which makes me uncomfortable. *sigh*

>208 Crazymamie: Ooohhh yes please, Mamie, that looks scrummy!

Dec 14, 2017, 10:02am Top

NO COFFEE! For two days?! *faints*

Dec 14, 2017, 10:03am Top

>211 Crazymamie: Cruel and unusual. The rheumatologist said I hadda. He's new so I'm going along but this is the ONE AND ONLY time I'll do this.

Dec 14, 2017, 10:06am Top

>212 richardderus: Why no coffee before the visit? Is that legal?

Dec 14, 2017, 10:08am Top

>213 Berly: Bloodwork. If this yahoo thinks I'll do this every time I'm supposed to get blood drawn, he's dreaming.

Dec 14, 2017, 10:56am Top

Richard 5 seconds after appointment is over...

Dec 14, 2017, 11:57am Top

>215 drneutron: LOL!

I'll contribute to the "give Richard caffeine, he's suffered enough" fund.

Dec 14, 2017, 12:44pm Top

>215 drneutron: HA!! Actually...I caved. I drank my usual, be damned the medical silliness. According to the nurse in his office, he wants his patients to give up coffee.


>216 jnwelch: Thankfully there is no further need, Joe.

Dec 14, 2017, 1:54pm Top

"Actually...I caved. I drank my usual, be damned the medical silliness." Now, that is the RD, we know and love. LOL.

Dec 14, 2017, 2:12pm Top

>218 msf59: I know, right? What was I thinking that I didn't immediately ask, "and why would I want to do that?" exactly as I would have done had someone suggested I start poking my eyes with knitting needles.

Lesson learned.

Dec 14, 2017, 2:42pm Top

*sigh* glad you caved, it wouldn't be the same without coffee ;-)

Dec 14, 2017, 3:06pm Top

Life without coffee! *shudder* I hope against hope that, as climate change ruins the world, I doe before coffee becomes unavailable. It is a sure bet that others, many many others, will die if I don't.

Dec 14, 2017, 3:51pm Top

Suddenly I want coffee. I mean it's 8.51 and it would be insanity because I seriously need to sleep............. but I wants it!

Dec 14, 2017, 4:34pm Top

>222 BekkaJo: Go on, be a devil!

Dec 14, 2017, 5:26pm Top

Hi RD! Glad you had your coffee. Life without coffee, for those of us who love and need it, would be unbearable.

Dec 14, 2017, 8:17pm Top

God save us from the damn crusaders.

Dec 14, 2017, 8:47pm Top

>224 karenmarie: Unbearable both for me and the silly asses who have the stupidity, ignorance, or bad luck to come within slaughtering range.

>225 SomeGuyInVirginia: She isn't noted for her efficacy in saving us, Larry, but I'll pass the suggestion along.

Dec 14, 2017, 8:49pm Top

177 The Doomed City by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

Rating: 5* of five

I'll say this about the Strugatsky Brothers: They had *fearless* imaginations, tempered by fearful souls that quailed before publishing this nihilistic, absurdist, deeply subversive book in Soviet Russia. Completed in 1972, shelved until 1989, and published in a professional English translation only in 2016, this stateless satirical look at the amoral roots of True Belief in a System reads as well in 45's Amurruhkuh as it did in Brezhnev's USSR.

Voronin, our astronomer-turned-state-official, is an ideal. He is every system's beloved child, the True Believer who makes excuses and finds reasons instead of asking, "...the fuck...? Are they kidding with this?" As experience teaches him to question, he sidesteps. He changes his beliefs without batting an eyelash, a clue to his essential hollowness. For all that he is an eager participant in all the City's shifts of philosophical direction, the reason he can do so remains unexamined: He's complicit in the acts of the State, not driven by a desire to enact a Vision. His lack of an inner compass is rather amusing given that almost the entire novel is an internal monologue. I myownself found this a delightful twist, enjoying the musings of a centerless man as irony. Others might find that conceit wearing.

The things I found wearing were the astoundingly sexist and anti-Semitic attitudes of the characters (and, I suspect, the authors as well). There are horrible words used in connection with the two women I can recall at all...they might indeed have been the only two women mentioned, for I can summon no other woman to mind...and Katzman's presence in stereotypical fashion was not obviously played for ironic effect.

Given my track record for objecting to these facets of other older books, why am I giving this one the Full Five? Because, my friends, the story of a city between an unscalable wall and an endless abyss recommends itself to me as a parable for all of human life, and the awful attitudes of the PoV character are part and parcel of the falling, failing world that the Strugatskys were lampooning, dissecting, parodying, itemizing. These facets seem to me, even though I suspect and believe they were presented unironically, to be so much of a piece with the Experiment being ridiculed that I could easily make them objects of fun. Nonetheless they are there and merit mention lest an unsuspecting reader trip over them and feel blindsided.

Boris Strugatsky, in his Afterword, says it all and best:

How to live in conditions of ideological vacuum? How and what for? In my opinion this question remains highly relevant even today—which is why City, despite being so vehemently politicized and so categorically of its own time, potentially remains of interest to the present-day reader—provided that this reader has any interest at all in problems of this kind.

Dec 16, 2017, 1:21am Top

Yay for daily coffee! Can't imagine an Italian doctor telling his patients to give up on it. :)

Though remembering my first office years in Frankfurt with that bitter overdosed stuff that had been on the warming plate for hours and there were colleagues who drank nothing else all day, I guess that was the "bad for you" coffee.

Have a lovely weekend!

Dec 16, 2017, 1:55am Top

Hmmmm... A doctor that tells YOU to stop drinking coffee. Perhaps you need a new one? LOL

Dec 16, 2017, 11:48am Top

>228 Deern: Stewed coffee can't be good for anyone, Nathalie. It's sure not good tasting. *shudder*

>229 Berly: He *IS* a new one! Scary...

So, the doc. Good gracious, he's a nice young man, crusading against caffeine aside. He's got a great and most hopeful treatment plan for my kind of gout. Now to get the -aid plans to pay for it.

A trip to the ER with instructions to debride my right knee, which looked awful and felt worse, resulted in a trip home and a prescription for a topical steroid.


Dec 16, 2017, 12:58pm Top

Richard--Okay, so we are going to give the anti-caffeine, enthusiastic young doc a chance. Hope his plan for you works. Best of luck with the knee. Smooches.

Dec 16, 2017, 1:17pm Top

>231 Berly: Thanks Kimmers! I'm hopeful that Cristexa will be approved by the -aid people, since as Junior put it, "If YOU aren't the person this drug was made for, no one is."

His staff is among the very few practices that have the training and access to the means of administering the drug, as it's infused not ingested or injected. Talk about blind blundering luck! I got referred to his practice purely by chance when Vidya, the lady who does outpatient referrals and transportation, said my case was really really severe.


Dec 16, 2017, 1:30pm Top

Great news re no surgery and a hopeful gout treatment, Richard! We broke out the Veuve Cliquot at the cafe. :-)

Dec 16, 2017, 1:34pm Top

>233 jnwelch: *smothered belch*

I noticed that! *another one* I'm most cheered by these developments. Now to keep the streak rolling with insurance approvals.

Dec 16, 2017, 2:18pm Top

Edited: Dec 16, 2017, 2:59pm Top

>227 richardderus: Raving review, Richard, I am not sure if I could handle reading it. But I am lucky, no Dutch translation available (yet).

>230 richardderus: So besides his bad coffee manners, your new doctor sounds very good.
I hope you can get this treatment!

>235 richardderus: LOL!

Dec 16, 2017, 3:06pm Top

>236 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! That Dutch translation of The Doomed City might be a long time coming. Are there committed readers of Soviet sci-fi in Holland?

I'll endure his anti-coffee tirades if he can get the insurance approvals I need. Worth it at twice the price.

Dec 16, 2017, 4:02pm Top

>197 richardderus: If you're a fan of cynical, witty anti-heroes who do what they have to do to survive in a world that doesn't much like them, read this book.
Well, when you put it like *that*!!

>215 drneutron: :)

^no coffee for a reason is fine for me too, but for its own sake, impossible!

Dec 16, 2017, 4:08pm Top

Also, my library has Sea of Rust: A Novel and I have WLd it on my library page - Yay!

Dec 16, 2017, 4:33pm Top

I hope and expect you'll enjoy Sea of Rust as much as I did...Robert liked my review, I'm pleased to say.

Dec 16, 2017, 5:17pm Top

Most exciting news about the gout treatment, Richard! Crossing my fingers that everything works out perfectly.

>235 richardderus: LIKE!

Dec 16, 2017, 5:30pm Top

178 Pax Americana by Kurt Baumeister

Rating: 5* of five

My full review is to come in 2018. Suffice it to say that if Stalking Horse Press hadn't sent me a review copy, I'd be entering the Goodreads giveaway right now praying for the all-knowing algorithm to pick me, pick me!!

You should be, too. Or hellfire, kids, the Kindle edition is a lousy $6.29!

Dec 16, 2017, 5:32pm Top

>241 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie, your endorsement will go a long way with the all-seeing all-knowing goddesses. They've clearly made you a vice-goddess already. *smooch*

Yeah, that's a great one innit?

Dec 16, 2017, 8:00pm Top

>235 richardderus: With you on the coffee RD. Erni is just making me up a fresh brew and I thought I'd share it with a good buddy.

Have a great weekend.

Dec 16, 2017, 8:47pm Top

>244 PaulCranswick: *guzzleguzzleguzzle*


Dec 16, 2017, 8:58pm Top

Good news on the potential treatment front! All things crossed that it gets approved.

Hope you have a lovely evening.

Dec 16, 2017, 8:59pm Top

>246 katiekrug: Thanks, O Damn Rotten-Souled. It's been good so far.

Dec 16, 2017, 9:20pm Top

Sometimes, my whole action plan is to drink coffee until my head explodes.

Do you have a French press? I think that's kind of yummy.

Dec 16, 2017, 9:24pm Top

>245 richardderus: I often get to the place where there really is no spaceforthespcaes.

Dec 16, 2017, 9:25pm Top

Hi, RD. Happy Weekend. We had a really nice day here in Chicagoland. Sunny and mid-40s. I hope this weather is moving your way. Very refreshing.

Edited: Dec 16, 2017, 10:01pm Top

>248 SomeGuyInVirginia: My pot as of 2 years and 700 uses ago:

I've loved it longer than almost every one of my boyfriends.

>249 PaulCranswick: MetooPaul.

>250 msf59: It's coming...it's almost here...I can feel the bliss!

Dec 17, 2017, 6:47am Top

>237 richardderus: Are there committed readers of Soviet sci-fi in Holland?
Not that I am aware of, so the odds for a translation are not good ;-)

Dec 17, 2017, 7:25am Top

Yay for the new rheumatologist and new drug. I hope you get -aid approvals ASAP.

*smooches* from TVT Horrible

Dec 17, 2017, 8:22am Top

179 Potiki by Patricia Grace

Rating: 5* of five

Simply stunning. Almost perfect. A pearl in the oyster (I love me some oysters!) of reading life.

It will not appeal to everyone, as it has many words and concepts untranslated (or untranslatable, I can't be sure which) from Maori. It unfolds, as I feel the best stories do, at its own pace. It's 30 years old and that means the events of the past referred to by Roimata and Hemi are in the 1940s and 1950s. 21st-century readers are cautioned not to think that New Zealand is the same; also that it's changed utterly. Like the US with its fraught "racial" divide in politics and culture, New Zealand has its own fault lines and seismic cultural rifts.

The dreamlike poetry of the first half of the short novel makes one think that the story will fit comfortably into a magical realist groove. The second half takes up the story's 1980s crisis in a less otherworldly tone, but with the same sense of rootedness and cultural sanctity as the first part.

Dec 17, 2017, 8:48am Top

Happy Sunday, RD. You got me intrigued by Potiki. Added to the WL.

Dec 17, 2017, 8:49am Top

>252 FAMeulstee: Oh well. Permaybehaps one day you'll find a weird unique volume. It won't ruin your chances of living a happy life to miss it.

>253 karenmarie: *smooch* Thanks for the kind wishes!

Dec 17, 2017, 8:50am Top

>254 richardderus: You will, I feel confident, appreciate its beauty. Such a perfect evocation of an entire way of consciousness.

Dec 17, 2017, 10:38am Top

A vice-goddess!! *preens* I'll try not to let it go to my head.

Happy Sunday, BigDaddy! Here's hoping it is full of fabulous!

Dec 17, 2017, 1:47pm Top

>258 Crazymamie: I'm not worried about your ego, your vice-goddesshood. Too level-headed to be foolish, you.

So far it's full of sleep. Can't seem to get enough for some reason.

Dec 17, 2017, 10:33pm Top

Hope you were able to wake up at some point and get some reading done, Richard dear!

Dec 18, 2017, 2:42am Top

>245 richardderus: snerk, as they say :)

>254 richardderus: I really, clearly, need to read this. Yikes, what a criminal embarrassment that I haven't already!

Edited: Dec 18, 2017, 3:36am Top

*Ducks behind a wall and hides from the book bullets and is unfortunately tempted out by the coffee and hit several times*

Dec 18, 2017, 9:01am Top

Damn the allure of your descriptive prowess! It would never have occurred to me to read that book and now it's on the list.

Dec 18, 2017, 10:12am Top


Dec 18, 2017, 1:13pm Top

>261 LovingLit: They do, indeed, say snerk. :)

I am surprised that you haven't read Potiki yet! Quick sticks, Possum, get thee to a bookery.

>262 BekkaJo: Ah, the price of addiction. So sorry.

Who am I trying to kid? No I'm not! *muuuaaahaaahaaaaaaaa*

Dec 18, 2017, 1:17pm Top

>263 SomeGuyInVirginia: Potiki will repay you.

>264 katiekrug: It was. It was indeed morning.

I've had a rotten cold. It's inevitable. Multiple folks here were very ill yesterday, the ambulance visited five times to take them to hospital for dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea. Since I had a flu shot, the plague passed my door but my immune system's working overtime and I got a dose of snot-nosed, throat-clogged, hackhack.

Revolting. I'm going back to sleep now.

Dec 18, 2017, 1:39pm Top

180 Tried & True by Charlie Cochet

Twenty-one uses of the "W" verb. Maybe more, I skimmed one chapter because it was too much for me.


Don't ever overuse a word to the point it calls attention to itself. It's lazy writing. All series have a shorthand just like long-term relationships have a shorthand. But to beat the concept of intimate playfulness to death with the cudgel of a crappy ill-conceived cheesy overused trope is shameful.

The story of Dex and Sloane's wedding is much as you'd expect: A high-octane dash from fire to holocaust through the gently lit uplands of the men's strong emotional and physical bond. If you haven't read the series, none of this book will make more than marginal sense; if you're behind a few books, this is your reward. Characters you'd never expect show sentimental side and characters you'd never expect display deeply tough and resilient depths.

Endings are sad. Beginnings are exciting. It's funny how often they come together. Onward! Bring the next installment, which is the first installment of the future.

Dec 18, 2017, 3:26pm Top

>266 richardderus: Sorry you have a cold, Richard, hope you get some decent, healing sleep.

Dec 18, 2017, 4:14pm Top

>268 FAMeulstee: *snorp*smacksmack*hmmm whassat who

Oh. Hi Anita. *smooch*

*back to sleep*

Dec 18, 2017, 6:01pm Top

It is amazing what one will do for coffee. Kansas doesn’t have pine trees so no pine cones for Christmas decorations. The ladies at the local home decorating shop back out on the plains had been getting pine cones from me. I would pick them up in Alabama and take sackfulls of them home. Then along cake the tornado in 2011 and my source grove was decimated. The ladies e-mailed me back in October with a plea for more pine cones. It was a little early and so I had time to look for a new source. Before Thanksgiving I mailed a box of pine cones for $18.00. I also loaded a garbage bag full into my car and am taking them back for the ladies. My reward: a gift card for their coffee shop to the tune of $35.00. Sounds good to me. Coffee. Yes.

Dec 19, 2017, 12:30am Top

Sorry to hear the dread lurgy is taking you down, Richard. Sending healing vibes!

Dec 19, 2017, 2:06am Top

Get better soon, Richard, and fingers crossed that you won't catch that nasty flu. Sleep well!

Dec 19, 2017, 2:35am Top

181 White Silence by Jodi Taylor

Rating: 5* of five

I cannot believe I did it voluntarily. I mean, I'm completely current in Author Taylor's The Chronicles of St Mary's series...eight novels, eleven novellas and stories released...so I can't plead ignorance of her vicious, violent, eviscerating cruelty. I have been reduced to a quivering heap of snot and tears by Author Taylor on more than one occasion. It's not like I didn't buy the book aware of what would happen to me.

In fact I was unable to read a part of the book around 16-17% because it triggered my personal issues around claustrophobia. I solved this by skipping ahead to the next chapter and inferring what happened from what was then going on. It was too much for my frail little fleur of a heart to live through Mrs Cage's horrid experience, and then in the chapter I skipped to there was an equally awful moment of encavmaphobia (google it) when I thought "oh right then, I'm going to close this file and quietly remove the book from my Kindle" but, at the end of the day, left it on there and just didn't read anymore.

Two months passed. I finished a romantic novel, last in a series I've been following despite the absurd and disgusting and overused winking trope that author insists on fouling her books with, when I thought, "Self," I thought, "never in all the history of personkind would Author Taylor have a character *shudder* wink at another character. You are safe, Self, so finish up White Silence at last."

I did. I am so glad. (There was no winking.)

While Elizabeth Cage doesn't have a smooth ride in this book, she does have a fascinating psionic power and the range to use it. She is clearly unmoored by her beloved husband's death. She forms an attachment to a damaged spy that came rather out of nowhere. Her life is turned upside down by several of Author Taylor's trademark dreadful, sadistic maulings of her readers' emotions. I mean characters' arcs, silly me.

There is so much that happens in this book that giving a book report is almost desirable, but I shall refrain because spoilers make people very angry. Suffice to say that each event in the book will have repercussions within seismic shifts atop temporal tsunamis. Absolutely nothing is as it seems, which we know from about the 90% mark on, though the full and devious range of Author Taylor's sadism hasn't come anywhere near to being tested or revealed.

*happy sigh*

So I tell you true, reader, the Disaster Magnet (aka Jodi Taylor follower via the Chronicles of St Mary's) that you love will adore this book. It is risibly cheap at $3.99. You will get so many bonus points with your Disaster Magnet that you could come out as a 45 supporter or Brexiteer and earn no more than a hurt look and some tutting. And it will guarantee several hours of dead silence as your beloved slurps it down in which you can watch sports or planetary explosion movies or even go out with your buds and get no more than a vague wave and distracted "take your mother with you."

Dec 19, 2017, 2:39am Top

>270 benitastrnad: I can't say I'd encourage you to do that as a value proposition, Benita, but your kindness is amply rewarded by that gift card. Some heady recently roasted beans coming your way?

>271 ronincats: Thanks, Roni, I've slept so much I can hardly stand to lie in bed. And it's not quite 3am. Loooonnnng day ahead.

>272 Deern: No flu worries for me, Nathalie, I got the flu shot months ago. I'm not planning to test the thing by smooching up a flu victim but it should keep working long enough for this round of yuck to pass me by.

Dec 19, 2017, 2:45am Top

#273 Damn. To AMMMMAAZoooooooon!

Dec 19, 2017, 2:48am Top

Dec 19, 2017, 2:48am Top

R--I was escaping your thread foot loose and fancy free and...then...Jody Taylor!! Dang you. I'd be mad at you, but you have the lurgy, so I can only send you well wishes.

Dec 19, 2017, 2:52am Top

>277 Berly: Heh. Being ill has its perks, don't it. You're going to *loathe* me once you've gotten stuck in to this. It'll make as much of an impact as Max and the Disaster Magnets have.

Dec 19, 2017, 2:53am Top

I loathe/love you already!! Smooch.

Dec 19, 2017, 3:06am Top

>279 Berly: *smoochiesmoochsmooch*

Dec 19, 2017, 9:58am Top

Feel better.

Dec 19, 2017, 10:05am Top

>280 richardderus: Thanks, KAK. I already do! I'm hoping these are lasting gains.

Dec 19, 2017, 10:27am Top

Good morning, RD! Feeling better yet, dear one?

>273 richardderus: Drat you. I just zoomed over to Amazon and have downloaded it.

Edited: Dec 19, 2017, 10:35am Top

>283 karenmarie: Much better! Less clogged, much less scratchy throat, generally better than Sunday or yesterday.

ETA Oh, you can thank me later when you've gulped it down and there isn't a sequel due in 2018.

Dec 19, 2017, 10:56am Top

Morning, RD. Glad you are feeling better. We have another mild one here today. I hope you are enjoying some of this too.

Dec 19, 2017, 11:04am Top

>285 msf59: Hey Mark! Mild here as well, but I ain't a-budgin' out of this room until the flu runs its course. The cold was no fun, but is so very mild compared to vomiting etc...the flu shot protects me from flu but not from demands on my immune system as it does so.

Dec 19, 2017, 12:51pm Top

Man, sorry to hear you're seguing into a bout of flu, buddy.

I was going to say that I see the 250 Post police circling on their motorcycles, but I'll keep my yap shut.

I'm enjoying the heck out of One on the House, BTW. These ladies are such a hoot!

Dec 19, 2017, 12:59pm Top

No no, Joe, no flu for me! The shot did its work and I'm recovering from a mild cold. No aches, no nausea, none of the fluish kerfuffle for Daddy.

My commission in the Thread Police was revoked when I vanished for a year. In fact I plan for this to be my last thread of 2017.

One on the House is a hoot and a holler. Skip the next few and go directly to Let's Go for Broke after this. It's the last one, but it's easily the best of the lot. Wait for the Wagon and Tooner Schooner weren't any fun at all, sad to say, and I'm pretty sure that was the McCarthy era at work. You'd know more about that than I would....

Dec 19, 2017, 2:01pm Top

Dec 19, 2017, 2:45pm Top

You know what's really, really good? Ham salad with beets. Cold sliced beets. Num.

Dec 19, 2017, 4:00pm Top

182 Pineapple by Joe Taylor

Rating: 4.5* of five


My Review
: But anyone who's ever had a chance to hear my mouth on the subject of poetry knows that the best a friend who commits versification can hope for is silence from my general direction. It's better than what I'm likely to say, I assure you.

The sharp-eyed among y'all will note that this is a review, and carries a star rating, and isn't a bad rating at all. What gives? Well gather round, kiddies, and let Uncle Daddy tell you a little tale.

Waaaaaay back in the Mists of Time, I was a literary agent. A manuscript sailed over the transom one day, a humorous and bitter comedic romp about the North American Executive council of witches and their attempts to come to grips with a very, very bad madre of a witch in Florida (where else?) who was upsetting the cosmic balance in a big, nasty way. I was hooked. This was a decade before the paranormal book boom and I was sure the sheer verve and delight of the novel could ignite a movement.

Publishers disagreed.

It was Joe Taylor's manuscript that I couldn't, to my eternal chagrin, sell. But never mind, Joe was publishing good books via Livingston Press! Maybe I could, you know, movies or...but no. Sad to say, nothing ever eventuated except my snarky correspondence with Joe and a number of laugh-out-loud funny phone calls over the years.

So one fine day not so long ago, I got a missive from Joe telling me about this wizard idea he had for a comic novel about quantum mechanics (he's prone to saying things like that, I wasn't especially worried) where the End of the World was going to be brought about. Uh-huh, sounds cool, I said. Then Joe said IT: "I'm going to write it in rhyming quatrains."

"Are you out of your MIND? Joe, do you not WANT people to read your stuff?!" I shouted at my computer screen as I typed those very words.

Having heard the identical sentiments from me before about his dialect novel Oldcat and Ms. Puss, Joe tinkled a merry laugh and went about committing versification concerning quantum physics and the End of the World.

It's a darn good thing he doesn't listen to me. This is a comic novel of sharp, biting wit. This is poetry *about* something, not just it's own pit-sniffin' self. This is what Daniel Defoe would be doing were his rotting zombie corpse to get access to a PC and a blogging platform.

It's impossible to quote poetry in a review. Well, damn near. And narrative poetry? Fuggeddaboudit.
It was a dark and bleary night. Which means,
I s'pose, Ol' Sol done gave it a rest.
Dave's dad, bandanna in teeth, was last Sol'd seen.
Now Ms. Moon watches two Hansons, a harsher test.

Do you think, by the way, sun and moon
communicate? Morse code? Telepathy?
Ah, but I promised no spiritual loony tune.
Still, it'd be nice to think they share empathy.

Nice layers of humor in there, doncha think? Suns and sons and moons and loonys...Joe knows how to make a word nerd grin, always has, and bless his cotton socks for it.

Will this book light everyone's fire? Nope. Will it light yours? If you're reading my blog, chances are it will. *I* liked a book of poetry! Even Joe was gobsmacked about that. Go on, be a devil, try out a small indie press's big indie author's seriously weird novel-in-verse. Hey, even if you hate it, you're gonna score big on the cooler-than-thou meter (see what I did there? haw) just having it on the coffee table.

Dec 19, 2017, 5:06pm Top

>291 richardderus: Are you sure you're not feeling feverish? I will add this book to the WL. but you've got me a bit worried about you.

Glad to hear "no flu", and thanks for the tip on Let's Go for Broke. You've given me a most excellent road map so far, and I'm going to keep following it.

Dec 19, 2017, 6:37pm Top

>292 jnwelch: *hackhackhack*schnerkle*wheeze*

dnope dno feber so fur

but the dnite's still yungg

Dec 19, 2017, 8:46pm Top

>293 richardderus: LOL! Soup, my friend. More soup, and some good reading.

Dec 20, 2017, 2:42am Top

>265 richardderus: get thee to a cookery
I love it!!!
Very Shakespeare!

>291 richardderus: Yeee ha. Poetry and RD are a *thing*

Dec 20, 2017, 8:35am Top

>293 richardderus: Ramen made with chicken broth and lots of hot sauce. I feel a lot better now.

>294 jnwelch: *glower*

Be careful or I'll whammy every bookery in Christchurch to have only books you *loathe* and don't think I won't.


Dec 20, 2017, 9:04am Top

I got the idea from Megan for a list of my five-star reads of 2017.

Then I realized I've reviewed over 180 books this year. I don't waste much time on reviewing or even rating books I don't like so this project would take all day!

But it's an interesting idea.

Dec 20, 2017, 9:26am Top

Dec 20, 2017, 1:01pm Top

>298 richardderus: Cracked me up. I wonder if this is a law we could revisit along with undoing the disaster that is the electoral college. You know, just while we're at it.

>291 richardderus: Hands down one of the best reviews I've ever read. Of anything. I'm promptly adding Pineapple to my wish list.

I'm home today with the crud. No flu but a cold that has me in bed in my pajamas catching up on LT.

Dec 20, 2017, 1:10pm Top

>299 EBT1002: Ha! And heh, glad you liked it. I just posted this in your thread:

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, 4:24pm Top

>300 richardderus: A tirade is sooo much easier to write ;-)

Dec 20, 2017, 4:32pm Top

>301 FAMeulstee: But of course it is. It's always easier to be angry than hopeful or even just rational.

I'm still struggling with the post.

Dec 20, 2017, 4:58pm Top

When you finally finish the post, I will be interested in the tone you strike. There is much about which to be angry.

Dec 20, 2017, 5:00pm Top

Oh, and adding this: I seem to have been graced with a persistent optimism and upbeat approach to the world. My optimism is bruised and I don't feel terribly upbeat these days. I honestly believe we are cementing our own ruin and taking out the rest of Earth's creatures with us.

Edited: Dec 21, 2017, 6:02pm Top

Yes The Bookshop is a marvel. And going back I enjoyed reading about the globe lady -- I have of my Veryown inherited one of those big globes that was made in 1904 and it is a wonder. The cursed places sounds perfect for my nephew, who isn't easy to shop for. Still time as they come up for New Year's not xmas!

Dec 20, 2017, 6:41pm Top

Dec 20, 2017, 6:46pm Top

>303 EBT1002:, >304 EBT1002: I haven't managed to do anything except shout and carp. I'm taking an hour off.

Maybe more. I'm outraged afresh by 45 commuting the sentence of a white-collar criminal.

I'm a cynical, negative being by nature. The worst is merely Satan's first draft, sent to god for her editorial suggestions. Then the committee of asslicking religiosifiers get to work on it, then it's sent to the politicians, and when the worst comes back to Satan he submits it to the Fortune 500 for implementation.

>305 sibyx: That's what I was hoping someone would feel, Lucy, so that's great! *smooch*

Dec 20, 2017, 7:08pm Top

>289 richardderus: Your lips to the Odd's ear.

Dec 20, 2017, 7:25pm Top

>309 richardderus: Hi Larry! Yep, the Odd should see that'un.

Dec 20, 2017, 7:32pm Top

>306 richardderus: Just the 9% is not part of my DNA.

>304 EBT1002: No Ellen, 2018 is a year of positivity. RD is back. trump the chump will slump. Books aplenty.

Dec 21, 2017, 2:36am Top

>310 PaulCranswick: Here Here! Huzza!

Dec 21, 2017, 10:45am Top

>310 PaulCranswick:, >311 mahsdad: Awww, y'all're real nice to me!

My year-end rant.

Dec 21, 2017, 12:15pm Top

>306 richardderus: and >310 PaulCranswick: That 9% isn't in my DNA either but the rest is spot on.


>310 PaulCranswick: I appreciate that reframe, Paul!

Hi Richard. Going off to read your year-end rant now.

Dec 21, 2017, 12:19pm Top

>312 richardderus: I love your rant. I admit I had to go in search of the definition of kakistocracy. Spot on. And the blog post is much less vitriolic than it might have been!! You showed remarkable restraint, imo.

#ReadingIsResistance Yes.

Dec 21, 2017, 1:33pm Top

>313 EBT1002:, >314 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen! I tried my best not to type in all caps...

Dec 21, 2017, 3:16pm Top

I made a serious effort to find the threads of all my friends and visitors to leave this heartfelt and sincere holiday message:

Happy Yule Book Flood!

If I missed your thread, I apologize and will hope to see everyone in 2018's group.

Dec 21, 2017, 3:48pm Top

All the Yule blessings rain on you, Richard dear!

Dec 21, 2017, 4:38pm Top

Dec 21, 2017, 6:05pm Top

My daughter actually GOT a Hogwart's letter written up so well that it was breathtaking by her very jolly great aunt -- still going in her 90's now. Anyway it was a little hard when we had to explain it wasn't real. She knew and didn't know, I think she was somewhere between 8 and 10!

Dec 21, 2017, 6:06pm Top

>319 sibyx: How excellent!! Someone missed a trick there...an entire kids' birthday party entertainment franchise would've made a *killing* 15 years ago!

Dec 21, 2017, 6:13pm Top

>314 EBT1002: RD and restraint. 2018 will be one heck of a year!

Dec 21, 2017, 6:15pm Top

Dec 21, 2017, 8:20pm Top


Hope all is well with you. Glad to hear there's a possibility of some good meds for the gout and crossing all crossables that it gets okayed by the insurance and such.

Also, wow, what a run of great books did you have?!

Dec 22, 2017, 2:38am Top

Loved the year end rant :) 2018 is going to be better, right? Please tell me it is :/

Dec 22, 2017, 3:27am Top

Good morning, RD!

I, too, loved your year-end rant. It's terribly depressing and feeds my insecurities about our country and where it's going, but it all has to be said. And said again, and said again.

So I'm on page 136, 43% through White Silence. It's quite good and I understand your reluctance at the 16-17% point and the encavmaphobia later on. I have issues, but not those issues, so blithely read through them.

*smooches* from TVT Horrible

Dec 22, 2017, 4:20am Top

Thank you for the rant!


I was considering sending a Santa or Christkindl pic, but maybe a snow-covered family dog - Anton, my aunt Karin's Eurasian - serves better
as a neutral messenger for the joys of the year-end. :)

A Very Merry Christmas or Very Happy Holidays to all my dear LT friends and their loved ones.
May there be lots of great books under the tree or in the stockings, may there be your favorite foods on the table,
May there be joy and laughter and above all lots and lots of love around you and everywhere in the world.


Dec 22, 2017, 1:02pm Top

>323 bell7: Hi Mary! Yeah, that year-end-recommendations thing is a great way to end my year for that reason. Yes, I read the books spread out over the year but this year, for reasons I trust I don't need to rehearse, I needed the reminder of good stuff now more than ever.

>324 BekkaJo: Thanks, Bekka...I can't assure you of anything, but it looks hopeful on a very, very few fronts and that's better than this time last year.

>325 karenmarie: Thanks, Horrible. I seem to be unable to resist being the one who says it again and again and again. For my own sanity I wish I could resist. As one who will be dramatically affected by 45 and the Gross Old Pedophile Party's evisceration of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, I feel it's a personal duty to afflict the comfortably able and insured with my mosquitoey whinings.

I hope White Silence ends up giving you the same pleasure it did me.

Edited: Dec 22, 2017, 6:32pm Top

>326 Deern: Thanks, Nathalie! I love my Yule pooch. *smooch*
I'm officially done blogging for 2017. My rant was the last of it, and while it ended up a lot shorter than it began, I think it expresses my overarching feeling about 2017: It is your fault, GOP, and it will come back to bite you.


I wish you all the least ghastly time of enforced togetherness that is possible. Allons-y, as the Tenth Doctor said so dashingly, let the escapes into reading begin!

ETA Some of the world's ugliest Xmas sweaters are:

Dec 22, 2017, 6:30pm Top

Dec 22, 2017, 6:30pm Top

Dec 22, 2017, 6:31pm Top

Dec 22, 2017, 6:33pm Top

Dec 22, 2017, 6:33pm Top

Edited: Dec 22, 2017, 7:29pm Top

^Sorry, to make you sick again, but this is the official Trump coin. Ugh!

Dec 22, 2017, 7:31pm Top

I recently heard some warbling on a book podcast about What it Means when A Man Falls From the Sky, so I requested it from the library and then I saw a terrific review of it, by you and thought, I am in for a damn treat. I hope to start it in the next 2 weeks.

Dec 22, 2017, 8:01pm Top

>334 msf59:

>335 msf59: It is an EXCELLENT story and a great collection overall.

Dec 22, 2017, 8:14pm Top

ROTFL!! I remember that episode!

Dec 23, 2017, 12:16am Top

Okay, those sweaters are worse than my Hubby's!!! : P

It is so wonderful to have your wonderful, snarky, intelligent presence back here on LT. Looking forward to more in 2018!!

Dec 23, 2017, 9:19am Top

>337 msf59: I still get the chuckles when I think about it.

>338 Berly: *blush* You're too kind, Kimmers. I'm happy to be among my old and rare. And yeah, those're sweaters not to be trifled with on the uuuuugly frint, aren't they?

Dec 23, 2017, 9:48am Top

Morning, BigDaddy! I brought you a little snack:

Cinnamon roll waffles

Dec 23, 2017, 10:31am Top

Good morning, Richard Dear!

I neglected to comment on >306 richardderus: above - you nailed it! And especially the Harry Potter part. I'm re-listening to the entire series in the car and am on book 6. Not working any more makes this take much longer, of course, so it will end up being nearly a year before I'm through all 7.

*smooches* from TVT Horrible

PS - love the sweaters, too.

PPS - in the age of word processing, aren't PS's ridiculous? Cut and paste.....

Dec 23, 2017, 10:57am Top

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones.

Dec 23, 2017, 11:48am Top

>340 Crazymamie: Ooohhh, yeah! Thank you, dear Mamie. I needed some munchables.

>341 karenmarie: Hey there, Horrible, happy to see you. *smooch*

Ain't they all grand?

>342 Ameise1: Happy holidays, Barbara, and I'm so happy you're going around the threads!

Dec 23, 2017, 12:59pm Top

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Richard.

Dec 23, 2017, 1:10pm Top

>344 cameling: Thanks, Caro! *smooch*

Dec 23, 2017, 4:25pm Top

I do recall the rule about no kittens but this is the image I've chosen for this year's holiday greetings. I hope you'll forgive me just this once.

Happiest of holiday seasons to you, my dear friend Richard!

Dec 23, 2017, 4:26pm Top

Oh, and my new favorite bumper sticker (I NEED to find one for my car!!):


Dec 23, 2017, 4:58pm Top

>346 EBT1002: mmmf

>347 EBT1002: HA!! How excellent! I need several to plaster around this sad world.

Dec 23, 2017, 5:29pm Top

>300 richardderus: So why didn't the rest of the residents of your little piece of paradise get flu shots??

>189 richardderus: Also, I did read (or listen to, actually) Dick Van Dyke's memoir, and it was about what you'd expect from delightful delovely Dick. A good listen for the commute, for those of you who still do that kind of thing.

Dec 23, 2017, 5:29pm Top

Dec 23, 2017, 5:44pm Top

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

So glad to have you back with us, Richard!

Dec 23, 2017, 8:25pm Top

>349 laytonwoman3rd: If I knew, Linda3rd, I'd tell you. IMO it should not be optional in a congregate living situation!

I can imagine that Van Dyke rendered his book very well. He's a better actor than he ever got credit for.

>350 EBT1002: mmmf

>351 ronincats: Thank you, Roni! *smooch*

Dec 24, 2017, 7:58am Top

Hallo, Richard Dear!

Stopping by to wish you all good things this holiday season. *smooches* from TVT Horrible

Dec 24, 2017, 8:26am Top

Merry Christmas, Richard, and may the Odds smile on you in the New Year.

Dec 24, 2017, 9:20am Top

Hi Richard, wishing you a very Merry Christmas and sending love and hugs dear friend from both of us along with a hug from darling Hannah.

Dec 24, 2017, 10:41am Top

>353 karenmarie: Thanks, Horrible! *smoochiesmoochsmooch*

>355 johnsimpson: Thank you, Larry, the Odds tend more towards frowns where I'm concerned so hints thrown in their direction are most appreciated.

>356 richardderus: Thank you, John! Hugs back to Karen and of course that adorable little bit of sweetness Hannah.

Dec 24, 2017, 12:08pm Top

^Have a great holiday, my friend. I just started Baking With Kafka. Man, I LOVE this guy. He never fails to put a smile on my face.

Dec 24, 2017, 12:13pm Top

>357 msf59: Thank you, Mark! It's a perfect day to read...cloudy, chilly, windy...so that's where I'll be: Bari, Italy, with Gianrico Carofiglio and A Fine Line.

Dec 24, 2017, 2:46pm Top

Happy holidays, Richard!

Dec 24, 2017, 8:29pm Top

183 A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

I am second to none in my admiration for Truman Capote's major work, In Cold Blood, but it isn't a feel-good read or an uplifting one. This story is both.

It is perfectly constructed. It leads the reader from room to room, place to place, experience to memory, without ever breaking the literary fourth wall. Yes, it's a memory, in French this form would be called a récit; but it's never Narrated By A Future Self. Seldom does a wide-ranging reader come across so perfect an example of a memory told as a story as ordinarily authors use this technique in order to comment on either the nature of or the facts within a memory.

Capote tells his adult readers what happened on one happy day and leaves them to it.

There is always an element of summary in any memory, in any récit (brief, streamlined novelish things that they are); here it is the outgrowth of listening to the man Capote's story instead of Capote Making A Point.

This is a favorite reading experience for me and has stood well the cruel test of time when periodically re-read. If this is your first reading of it, I am glad for you that you have found your way here. I hope to see you in our company again soon.

Dec 24, 2017, 9:10pm Top

>359 harrygbutler: Yee haw, Harry, that's one tree delivery I'll open the door for in a blizzard. Thanks!

Dec 24, 2017, 9:55pm Top

>360 richardderus: One of my favorites to re-read, too. "It's fruitcake weather!"

Dec 24, 2017, 10:21pm Top

I think you need to check this out, Richard!


Dec 24, 2017, 10:42pm Top

>362 laytonwoman3rd: What a perfect illustration! Thanks for sharing it. Happy jingle bells.

>363 ronincats: Oh how perfect. Funny funny stuff from Herr Gaiman! *smooch*

Dec 25, 2017, 1:33am Top

>254 richardderus: So happy that you loved this little gem. Patricia Grace is a national treasure down here.

Dec 25, 2017, 1:44am Top

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

Dec 25, 2017, 2:56am Top

184 Christmas Past by Jodi Taylor

This short story, a slight fortysomething pages, will reaffirm your faith that shitty small-souled ill-smelling people will gracelessly meet their fate as soon as Author Taylor has their number.

Happy Christmas, Disaster Magnets.

Dec 25, 2017, 2:58am Top

>365 avatiakh: It is a beautiful, beautiful book in so many ways, Kerry. I'm so grateful to you for gifting it to me all those years ago.

>366 AMQS: Anne! I'm delighted to see you here. Thank you for the warm holiday wishes.

Dec 25, 2017, 4:03am Top

Wishing you all good things this holiday season and beyond.

Dec 25, 2017, 4:22am Top

Merry Christmas Richard. Hugsssess!

Dec 25, 2017, 9:27am Top

>358 richardderus: Beautiful. I like Gianrico Carofiglio's books. Happy sunday, Rdear.

Dec 25, 2017, 10:03am Top

Merry Christmas Richard. May you have a wonderful book filled 2018

Dec 25, 2017, 12:22pm Top

Merry Christmas, RD. Its such a joy to be a part of this group, and I’m glad to call you friend.

(If you still want one, a calendar will be shortly will be winging its way to you)

Dec 26, 2017, 7:17am Top

Christmas gift gloat - thanks to your review I put the Atlas of Cursed places on my wish list. And got it for Christmas courtesy of my lovely S-I-L. Wooop!

Dec 26, 2017, 7:37am Top

Good morning, Rdear. I thought a good breakfast would be best for you.

Dec 26, 2017, 1:19pm Top


Hoping to start my new thread today....

Dec 26, 2017, 1:58pm Top

>369 PaulCranswick: Hey there Paul! Thanks for the holiday wishes.

>370 BekkaJo: Hello Bekka! Happy to see you here.

>371 Ameise1: Barbara! Lovely to see you!

Dec 26, 2017, 2:00pm Top

>372 calm: Hello calm, I am delighted you visited me! Will you make a thread for 2018 in the new group?

>373 mahsdad: Hey there Jeff! Beautiful star.

>374 BekkaJo: Hey there Bekka! *smooch* Happy new reading year.

Dec 26, 2017, 2:01pm Top

>375 Ameise1: Hi Barbara, that breakfast looks great.

>376 Berly: Hey there Berly-boo!

My 2018 group thread is here.

Dec 26, 2017, 2:23pm Top

>378 richardderus: New thread will appear when it is 2018. I'm still in 2017 :)

Dec 27, 2017, 9:01am Top

Good morning, Richard Dear!

Brrrr. Indoors-with-coffee-and-book day, I think.

>379 richardderus: Happy new 2018 thread, Richard. I've starred your new thread but won't check it out 'til January 1. I'm just persnickety and OCD enough to want to enjoy the rest of 2017 and get my final reading in. I realize I'm in a minority, but >380 calm:'s note makes me brave enough to mention it too.

*smooches* from TVT Horrible

Dec 27, 2017, 9:10am Top

>380 calm: Just as you say, of course.

>381 karenmarie: However you'd like to run it, Horrible dear.

Dec 27, 2017, 4:27pm Top

Hey Richard dear. I am slowly returning to the land of the living and thought I'd stop by to see what you're up to. I see that you have already started your 2018 thread so I will mosey over there and drop off my star. I plan to build my first thread tomorrow when I hope hope hope to be home home home but not sick not sick not sick.

I think the inhaler is making me loopy.


Dec 27, 2017, 9:48pm Top

>380 calm:, >381 karenmarie: We can start a little sub-group, or exclusive club, or what-have-you. I'm not starting a 2018 thread in 2017 either. And I hope to finish one or two more books before the ball drops.

Dec 28, 2017, 5:19am Top

Good morning, Rdear. Wishing you a wonderful start into a new day.

Dec 28, 2017, 6:36am Top

Morning, RD. I hope your week has been going well and you are recovered from your cold. We are stuck in arctic pattern here, so it has been a tough couple of days and it does not look like it will get any better for awhile. Sighs...

Dec 28, 2017, 11:05am Top

>384 laytonwoman3rd: Y'all Luddites have fun over here. Us Futurians are all over in the new place havin' ourselves a time. Nyah!

Dec 28, 2017, 11:07am Top

>385 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! Happy to have such a cup o' delicious delivered on this FREEZING COLD day. 16° Fahreheit, -9deg;C!

>387 richardderus: My poor Mark, having to trudge around in this miserable weather. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

Dec 28, 2017, 11:13am Top

>388 richardderus: You're welcome. It's cold and wet here too.

Dec 28, 2017, 12:01pm Top

My roommate is back from rehab, oh joy, carrying his anxiety with him. Makes me crazy by talkingtalkingtalking to fill up my beautiful silence. Such are the trials of living in close quarters.

Dec 28, 2017, 1:38pm Top

Happy Holidays, Richard!

Good to have you back with us, my friend. Looking forward to your hijinks in 2018.

Dec 28, 2017, 2:42pm Top

>390 richardderus: Some people need to fill the silence, Richard, I am sorry your roommate is one of them...

Dec 28, 2017, 2:48pm Top

Horrors. talkingtalkingtalking. Silence is golden.

*smooches* from TVT Horrible

Dec 28, 2017, 2:58pm Top

>391 jnwelch: I love that chapeau, Joe! May 2018 be a quiet one, in every sense of the word.

>392 FAMeulstee: Yes, that silence-is-golden gene gets left out of some people, poor things. I have it and wish I could pass it around.

>393 karenmarie: Horrible! *smooch* Glad to see you. Why couldn't you be the one talking to me instead of yahoo over here? Then it'd be interesting.

Dec 28, 2017, 6:04pm Top

>394 richardderus: I'm flattered, RD! Yes, indeedy, I think we could have a good conversation for oh, a day or two or three..... what'cha think?

*smoochity-smooch* from a Luddite

Dec 28, 2017, 6:16pm Top

Would help one of them

Edited: Dec 28, 2017, 6:18pm Top

>395 karenmarie: I suspect silence would be at a premium for a while, but it wouldn't be chattering to fill it up!

>396 Ameise1: I'll take 'em! I even like the color.

Ye gawds, the 2018 75er group vaulted over every other group in posts by a factor of 10...and it's not even 2018!

Dec 29, 2017, 5:10am Top

Happy Friday dear Richard, I'm hoping your roommate will have caught up on all the talking by now and give you some peace and quiet.

Dec 29, 2017, 12:47pm Top

>398 Deern: Thank you for those wishes, Nathalie, he's been gone since breakfast time and it's now past lunch. It's been lovely!

Dec 30, 2017, 8:12pm Top

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


Dec 30, 2017, 11:29pm Top

Ok, ok. So I haven't visited here once. Not once. But couldn't let the year pass on without at least skimming over your bon mots. Done, but wishing I coulda/shoulda invested more time. Well, a new year's coming on.

The year is drawing to a close, and not a moment too soon. Buh-bye 2017...

Happy New Year, RD.

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

Dec 31, 2017, 5:50am Top

Hallo, RD!

Brrrr. I see that it's currently 1 degree Fahrenheit warmer now than it will be the entire rest of the day for you (18F now, 17F high). Inside, coffee, books, Happy New Year's Eve to you. *smooches*

Dec 31, 2017, 6:23am Top

Good morning, Rdear. I hope this helps to get started. :-)

Dec 31, 2017, 11:16am Top

hope you are keeping warm, Richard! I was oot and aboot in the city yesterday and had the stupid idea to walk a fair bit instead of using the subway. It was nice for about 10 minutes...

Dec 31, 2017, 3:27pm Top

One last time here in 2017, will see you tomorrow in 2018!

Peace, Health, and Happiness and *smooches* from TVT Horrible in 2018

Dec 31, 2017, 5:57pm Top

Last day of 2017. Thank goddess that's over! Have a safe and fun New Year's Eve, Richard. See you on the flip side!

Smooches from Nickel, Rosie and me.

Jan 1, 10:23pm Top

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

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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172,368 messages


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