Katie K's 2017 Book of Books (and Shenanigans and Beverages and Friends) - Chapter 17
This is a continuation of the topic Katie K's 2017 Book of Books (and Shenanigans and Beverages and Friends) - Chapter 16.
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Hello, Old Friends, and Welcome, New Ones!
About me: I'm in my late 30s and besides reading, I love to travel, try new wines, indulge in shenanigans, and spend time with friends and family. Other things I love: Pimm's, snark, the New York Giants, the New York Yankees, sports in general, Cards Against Humanity, and "ethnic" (i.e. non-American) cuisine. But I like American food, too. I just like food. :) My husband and I recently moved from Dallas, Texas to the New York City-area.
My reading is primarily fiction, though I love nonfiction, too. I'll read almost anything if it has a compelling narrative - from great literature to tawdry romances. This is a judgment-free zone. Usually.
BOOKS READ TO DATE
-- The Road Home by Rose Tremain (DNF)
78. A Christmas Bride by Susan Mallery (3 stars)
77. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (audio) (4 stars)
76. The Radium Girls by Kate Moore (4 stars)
75. Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb (audio) (4 stars)
74. Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan (5 stars)
73. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (3.5 stars)
72. How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley (audio) (4 stars)
71. With This Kiss by Victoria Lynne (3 stars)
70. Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks (3.5 stars)
-- Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa De La Cruz (DNF)
69. Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge (4 stars)
68. The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel (3 stars)
67. Monster by Walter Dean Myers (audio) (3.5 stars)
66. It Had To Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (audio) (3.5 stars)
65. The Lost Book of the Grail by Charlie Lovett (4 stars)
64. Christmas in Good Hope by Cindy Kirk (3 stars)
-- Raise the Red Lantern by Su Tong (DNF)
63. Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence (4 stars)
62. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (4 stars)
61. Putin Country: A Journey Into the Real Russia by Anne Garrels (audio) (4 stars)
BOOKS READ TO DATE
60. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay (3.5 stars)
59. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles (4.5 stars)
58. Taft by Ann Patchett (4.5 stars)
57. The Family Man by Elinor Lipman (4 stars)
56. D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar D'Aulaire (audio) (3.5 stars)
55. The Governess Club: Sara by Ellie Macdonald (2.5 stars)
54. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (4 stars)
53. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark (audio) (3.5 stars)
52. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson (4 stars)
51. Ruby by Juliet James (2 stars)
50. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (4 stars)
49. The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan (3 stars)
48. Song Yet Sung by James McBride (4 stars)
47. The Geography of Genius by Eric Weiner (3 stars)
46. Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote (audio) (2.5 stars)
BOOKS READ TO DATE
45. Strangers on a Train by PAtricia Highsmith (audio) (4 stars)
44. The Devil and Webster by Jean Hanff Korelitz (4 stars)
43. Now May You Weep by Deborah Crombie (3.5 stars)
42. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (4.5 stars)
41. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery (3.5 stars)
40. Love Life by Rob Lower (audio) (3 stars)
39. The Whole Way Home by Sarah Creech (2 stars)
38. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (4 stars)
37. How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse by Cressida Cowell (audio) (3.5 stars)
36. Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben (3 stars)
35. The Assistants by Camille Perri (3.5 stars)
34. Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea by Sophia Nash (3.5 stars)
33. Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes (3.5 stars)
32. Lust and Other Stories by Susan Minot (3 stars)
-- Cold by Bill Streever (DNF)
31. Long Lost by Harlan Coben (3.5 stars)
30. As Good As Gone by Larry Watson (4 stars)
29. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (audio) (5 stars)
28. The Lauras by Sara Taylor (3.5 stars)
27. Flight by Sherman Alexie (audio) (3 stars)
26. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (4 stars)
25. The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam (4.5 stars)
-- Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger by Beth Harbison (audio) (DNF)
24. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (4.5 stars)
23. Holy Cow by David Duchovny (audio) (3.5 stars)
22. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (audio) (4.5 stars)
21. When She Said I Do by Celeste Bradley (3 stars)
20. Sugar on Top by Marina Adair (2.5 stars)
-- Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (DNF)
-- Dancing at the Rascal Fair by Ivan Doig (DNF)
19. Purity in Death by J.D. Robb (3.5 stars)
18. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley (audio) (3.5 stars)
-- Sophie's Choice by William Styron (DNF)
17. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (audio) (4 stars)
16. Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan (3.5 stars)
BOOKS READ TO DATE
1. And Justice There is None by Deborah Crombie (3.5 stars)
2. Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas (3 stars)
3. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (3 stars)
-- In Twenty Years by Alison Scotch Win (DNF)
4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (audio) (4 stars)
5. The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer (audio) (4.5 stars)
6. The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang (4 stars)
7. Kindred by Octavia Butler (3.5 stars)
8. News of the World by Paulette Jiles (4.5 stars)
9. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (audio) (3.5 stars)
10. Everyday People by Stewart O'Nan (4.5 stars)
11. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (4.5 stars)
12. The River of Doubt by Candice Millard (audio) (4 stars)
-- Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You in Your Life by Yiyun Li
13. The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths (4 stars)
14. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (4.5 stars)
15. You Can't Make This Up by Al Michaels (audio) (3 stars)
Ratings: I've stolen my star scale from Ellen and slightly modified it.
5 stars = I connected with this book in a special way. It may not be perfect, but it was perfect for me.
4.5 = A great read, among my favorites of the year.
4 = A good read and one that I recommend; truly enjoyable and/or worthy.
3.5 = Pretty good, with a few things done very well.
3 = Good for what it is.
2.5 = Average, and life is too short to read average works.
2 = A bit below average. A waste of time.
Anything worse I probably didn't finish and so wouldn't give a rating.
Some of the challenges I am following/wanting to participate in:
American Author Challenge (75ers)
Nonfiction Challenge (75ers)
Monthly Themes (Reading Through Time)
CultureCAT (2017 Category Challenge)
Why the Hell Did Donald Trump Win? (not sure of actual group read name :) ) (75ers)
I also want to save room for random/serendipitous choices, so I need to give myself permission to dip in and out of the challenges. I may bring back my LT Folly book selection or some other random means of selecting at least one book a month.
I'm first! Happy new one, Katie. I love the Camus quote - it starts Isabel Allende's new book In the Midst of Winter. Have a great week.
Happy New Thread, Katie!
I like that Camus quote up top.
Have you noticed that both you and Mamie enjoy snark? Yeah, I bet you have. :-)
Happy New Thread, Katie. I hope you had a nice weekend. How is The Radium Girls coming along? I loved that one.
Hi Katie and happy new thread!
Congrats on getting the Texas package ready. Sorry the Giants lost, for you, glad that the Cowboys won, for husband. I don't think I'll print schedules anymore - both the Panthers and Cowboys had schedules on their website that I printed out in pre-season and both have changed times on me. It said 4:25 for the Cowboys game, so I was hopeful of watching it when I got home from luncheon/play with friend Louise. But we did watch the Eagles/Rams game, which was a good'un.
I hope your 'hellish' week isn't as hellish as you anticipate.
Looks like you're going to get your 75 books in this year, eh?
>8 katiekrug: I'm choosing to interpret that first quote as "cake about things" which I think is going to be my new Philosophy for Life (or at least until Xmas, when I may be caked out).
Congrats on the gift wrapping - that's very organised. I have new wrapping paper but need some whizzy tape / ribbon / cards to go with... And fingers crossed that delivery dates don't get all &%$* up by the "snow" we've had lately.
>16 drneutron: - Thank you, Jim!
>17 scaifea: - Thanks, Amber!
>18 karenmarie: - Morning, Karen! Yeah, it's annoying when they play around with the schedule - it's all about TV ratings... Hell week is not off to an auspicious start as The Wayne is sick and I am feeling a bit woo-woo myself. Sigh.
Looks like I'll just slide in with 75 books this year - maybe a couple extra :)
>19 charl08: - Nothing wrong with a life philosophy centered on cake, Charlotte!
It's hauling the packages to the post office and getting them mailed that I hate. But I am determined to get that all done by Wednesday. We'll see...
The Wayne woke up with chills and a headache and upset stomach, so ugh. My stomach is a bit unsettled, but it may be stress about the week ahead, plus I always get paranoid when he's sick that it's something terrible and he's going to die (this is due to how my mother passed away, I think...) so that puts my stomach in knots. Fingers crossed he just needs some rest, and I just need to chill out :)
>22 katiekrug: Oh dear, poor Wayne and poor you for the knock-on effect. Anxiety is not a trifling matter. I hope he feels better soon, and that your hellish week goes as well as can be expected.
Katie, I'm sorry to hear that The Wayne is sick and that you're feeling a bit woo-woo too; sorry that additional anxiety buttons get pressed thinking about your mother's death and worry about The Wayne having something terrible.
Sending get-well thoughts.
Katie, sorry to hear the lurgy has hit your house. I hope The Wayne is soon onto the coughing/sneezing part so you know it's just a cold, or a virus-y thing. Wait, a cold is a virus. Well, you know what I mean.
Happy new thread for when you're feeling happier, and I hope your hell week isn't too bad.
>23 lauralkeet: - Thanks, Laura. I checked on him a few minutes ago and was greeted by the lovely scent of barf. Luckily, it made it into the receptacle I had left for him :) TMI, I'm sure..... Sorry!
>24 karenmarie: - Thank you, Karen. I am feeling less anxious now, as I've checked on him again and he said his stomach feels a bit better since he upchucked. He still feels a little warm to me, but not too bad and the Mayo Clinic website says not to treat a fever under 103. He runs warm anyway (I call him the human furnace) so it's hard to tell. I should probably dig out the digital thermometer...
>25 susanj67: - Susan, I wouldn't be surprised if he's got the flu since the dummy never got his flu shot... Oh, well, at least he missed all the chaos in the city with the explosion near the bus terminal he goes to.
Oh, dang. I'm sorry that The Wayne is not feeling well, and I'm sorry that you're feeling anxious! I hope you're both much better very soon. Gentle hugs for both of you.
Thanks, Amber. Any illness makes me anxious - mine or someone I care about. I would be a mess if I had a child!
Thank goodness for the epizoodiks, since the explosion is far more likely to cause harm than a bug is.
I'm sorry about the anxiety, though, what a horrible feeling to have for such a painful reason.
Thanks, Richard. I never put it together before, but my illness anxiety does, I think, date to my mom's passing. I can usually talk myself out of it because it's essentially irrational and I am *very* rational, but it's no fun at all.
Even among the rational traits there are emotions not susceptible to dismissal.
Aw, Katie, so sorry about the woo-wooness and The Wayne being sick and the anxiety. Makes total sense to me. Hoping you are both feeling much better very soon.
Hi Katie. Illness is an unsuitable way to avoid the latest NYC terrorist-awanabe turmoil. I got two emails this morning to assure me my son, who buses into NYC three days a week, wasn't caught up in it.
Stay cool. Good luck with your shipping endeavors.
Hey! Read a book, why don't you.
Hugs for you, Katie, and well wishes for a quick recovery for The Wayne.
>34 weird_O: - I'm glad your son wasn't caught up in that mess, Bill! The Wayne has been taking the bus lately, but even if he weren't sick, he doesn't go that early :) I expect he would have been stuck in or near the Lincoln Tunnel... And my friend, Kate, had taken the train this morning so she was fine, too.
I'd read a book if I didn't have this stupid job!
>35 MickyFine: - Thank you, Micky.
anti-flu whammies for the Wayne, and soothing somethings for you. Glad he wasn't at the Port Authority.
>37 ffortsa: - Thanks, Judy.
He slept most of the day but came downstairs for a couple of hours this evening. He's now back in bed. I think it is the flu because he said he is achy. And he didn't put up a fight when I said he better not be thinking about going in to work tomorrow... Other than being achy and super tired, he doesn't seem too bad, so I am less worried and anxious :)
My hell week started off with a shite day thanks to my boss who was being an ass. Gah!
Katie--Sorry the Wayne is feeling poorly. I hope you can relax and that you don't catch it. I enjoyed The Radium Girls, even though it is a dark matter. Have fun with the wrapping--I needed new paper and got some cool name tags, too. It just makes the cutting and taping so much more fun. : )
>38 katiekrug: Hope the week looks up for you Katie. Glad to hear TW is less of a cause for concern / worry.
Shite days and sick husbands are Not Fair. I hope today is better on both fronts.
Yes, sickness is dreadful. Here is to healthier days. 'tis the season for cold bugs, alas.
Thankfully, 'tis also the season to curl up with cats and books... Plop the wonder-cat down with The Wayne and feed him some chicken soup to help him expedite his recovery... :-) Just in case the books aren't quite the ticket.
Oh, got Faith Fox from the Athenaeum here, so I'll let you know how it is! just to whet your appetite further...
>39 Berly: - Hi Kim! Thanks for those good wishes. So far I have escaped getting sick. But I also got a flu shot unlike my silly husband :) The Radium Girls is fascinating and so sad - I read more last night, including the first bits about the women who got sick and lost their teeth and jaws, etc. Horrifying. And I totally agree about the wrapping accoutrements making the whole process more enjoyable!
>40 charl08: - Thanks, Charlotte. I am trying to have a positive mental attitude about work. So far, it's not working :)
>41 karenmarie: - Thank you, Karen. I appreciate the good wishes!
>42 Chatterbox: - Suzanne, Leonard was a very good nurse yesterday. He stayed curled up at The Wayne's feet almost the entire day. It was very sweet. I am looking forward to some time off at Christmas to wallow in books...
Look forward to hearing what you think of Faith Fox!
>43 katiekrug: Well, if you have any tips for success on that front, I'll take them!
Woo, this may convince the Wayne to get a flu shot next year? Ever since Madame MBH got the worst flu ever (9 days of hell), we've been religious about getting them.
Hope it continues to give you a miss, and that the Wayne gets back to normalcy soon.
>44 charl08: - I'm the worst person to offer any tips on that at the moment!
>45 karenmarie: - Leonard is our cat :)
>46 richardderus: - Thank you, dear. Hope you have an industrial size tub of the stuff!
>47 jnwelch: - Joe, he got one last year, just never got around to it this year. He is doing much better so if it is the flu, it's at least a mild case...
I had an appointment this morning and am home now, exhausted and with a splitting headache, so I emailed my boss that I was taking the rest of the day off. I feel better already :-P
Good for you, Katie! And I am happy to hear that the Wayne is feeling a bit better. Hooray for Leonard the therapy cat. In breaking news (literally!) Daniel broke his collarbone while playing Ultimate Frisbee last night.
I note, with complete irrelevance, that of all the Potterverse powers one could have, I'd pick Floo Powder in a heartbeat...to be able to apparate into places with no annoying Muggles around! Lovely.
Well, a 3+ hour nap seems to have helped my head and my outlook. I am resolutely NOT looking at my phone to check work email...
>54 katiekrug: I'm pretty sure there's some sort of widespread email outage on the East Coast. At least, I *think* that's what I saw on Twitter ... ;-)
Hi, Katie! Boo to Hell Week! I hope that is turning around. Glad to hear The Wayne is on the mend. I have been faithful on getting a flu shot, for at least a decade.
>58 msf59: - Morning, Mark! I am also a faithful flu shot getter. The Wayne never got them in Dallas, but last year I convinced him it would be a goo idea, considering all the public transportation he uses. He just ran out of time this year... Anyway, he's okay and headed off to work today :)
We'll see about "fully," Laura. I wanted him to work from home today to be on the safe side, but I think he was itching to get out of the house... Of course, it's the coldest day of the season, and he trundled off to the bus stop in 20F this morning. I won't be surprised if he relapses :-P
>61 katiekrug: He picked the wrong day to go all stoical-he-man. It's bloody freezing and the wind is *brutal*!
Still enjoying NY weather???? ;)
Let's PM about Monday - I'll ask my foodie boys for some ideas unless you have some thoughts.
Katie, it's good news that The Wayne is getting better. And also that your headache didn't turn out to be the start of whatever he had. I have been out to lunch with an infant and a toddler, so heaven help me on the germ front. I did manage to keep one tomato sauce over my side of the table so there was no double-dipping from the sneezy three-year-old :-)
>62 scaifea: - Yay, indeed, Amber!
>63 richardderus: - Yeah, for a truly smart guy, he's incredibly dumb sometimes... But cute, so.... :)
>64 vivians: - I'm snug as a bug in a rug, Vivian, since I don't have to leave the house, LOL! I sent you a PM...
>65 susanj67: - I feel MUCH better today, Susan. And I will send good vibes eastward for no germ transference!
Afternoon, Katie. The week is almost half over, thank goodness. Crossing my fingers that The Wayne does not relapse.
Thank you, Mamie! So far, so good. He didn't turn into a popsicle on the way to work.
>68 katiekrug: I wonder how that can be, since it's positively HOWLING outside. Or maybe that's because I'm next to the ocean, come to think on it.
>69 richardderus: - Yep, I'm sure your wind is worse. Though we've had some good gusts here... And I'm sure the streets in the city are just wind tunnels. I expect he took the Shuttle from Times Square to Grand Central rather than walked, which is what he usually does...
I hope that your week is improving, Katie. Happy newish thread. I hope the lurgy has done with your house.
Hi Meg! Week is a bit better, thank you. Amazing how things are improved when one is well-rested :)
And the lurgy seems to have taken its leave, for which I am grateful!
Woke up to more snow this morning, falling gently and so prettily... I felt bad that The Wayne had to go trudge through it to his bus stop and half-heartedly offered to drive him, but he turned me down :)
I haven't finished a book in forever, but I am enjoying my reads:
The Road Home by Rose Tremain
The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb (audio)
It just seems like I haven't had a lot of time to read lately, but maybe I"m just not making time. Must. Buckle. Down.
Morning, Katie! I am also jealous of your snow. I just started Wishin' and Hopin' on audio yesterday.
Teensy weentsy dusting here. More like powdered sugar on a bundt cake. Since I have to go to Hewlett to see a new doc, I'm happy about that.
>74 norabelle414: - Bummer! Not fair...
>75 Crazymamie: - It's a cute audio, Mamie, though in some parts, I feel like he is trying hard for 'A Christmas Story' vibe...
>76 richardderus: - Mmmm, cake..... Good luck at the doc! The Wayne is going to an ENT guy for the first time today. Hoping to get some sinus relief, as he is increasingly bothered by it.
I'll be curious to hear how you like The Road Home. It's been on my shelf a while now and I always pick it up and then put it down in favor of something else.
I'm really liking it so far, Jennifer. The writing is very vivid. It's the kind of book I'd like to sink into and read in big chunks, but alas, 'tis not to be... Unless I put it aside to read over Christmas when I have time off... Hmmm. I might just do that.
Glad the Wayne is back to work and hooray for Wishin' and Hopin'. This is such a light departure from his very dark, earlier books.
Turns out the doc is just an anti-caffeine crusader. Has nothing to do with bloodwork. I do not sense a kindred soul.
My sentiments exactly. I'll exhale coffee breath all over him tomorrow. Bless his nurse for cluing me in.
>81 richardderus: Your doc told you to stop drinking coffee??? He knoweth not of what he speaketh. Glad the nurse came to your rescue.
I got my packages mailed to Texas this morning. In honor of Mark, I used the Postal Service instead of UPS or FedEx. And I know it's not Mark's fault, but why in the name of gawd, would you only have ONE window open to serve customers a week before Christmas!!?! I've been in there when no one else has been and there were four windows manned. Grrrr.... ANYWAY, it's done and I am glad to cross something off the To Do list.
Tomorrow we'll finish up Christmas shopping, which at this point mostly means picking up some gift cards. And I'll start wrapping all the stuff to bring down to my SIL's in Virginia. We will also do our annual stocking stuffer trip to Target, where we go our separate ways and move ninja-like through the store, trying to avoid each other, as we buy too much crap for the other's stocking. It's good times :)
But first, I still have half a work day to get through!
Oh, I started The Old Man and the Sea last night, because I wanted to be sure to get to it to maintain my Purist status with the AAC. It's fine. Nice and short :) Still not making me a Hemingway fan.
This weekend, I'll be re-reading Last Night at the Lobster for my book group on Tuesday. I mentioned it on Facebook a few weeks ago, and my aunt decided to read it. She called me last night to tell me how much she loved it, so yay for another fan of Manny and his crew! Such a great little story...
Good to hear that you are still enjoying the snow, Katie, though, as you appreciated as the Wayne trudged off to the bus stop, it is much easier to enjoy when you work from home. I can remember days of struggling to get into work when it snowed here - wet sloppy stuff, much more difficult to drive in. The corporation I worked for sent out public service messages for people to stay home but they expected us to come in to work. I will be glad not to go out in it if it does a mega snow this year!
>88 MickyFine: - It's not working! Waaaaaaah!
>89 Familyhistorian: - Yes, it's definitely better if one doesn't have to go out in it, but a regular winter snowfall doesn't bother me, even if do have to be out. I'm not talking about a blizzard or major storm. But the snow we've had (and are supposed to get more of tonight) is just a few inches at most... Enough to be pretty and winter-like :)
Use this one...
I am down to just stocking stuffers shopping at this point. Hurray!!
I'm one of those who liked The Old Man and the Sea. Most of the dislikers I've seen found it, in my words, too hokey.
I hope all are now well at the KAK manse. Good luck with the rest of your Christmas shopping. I have to go to a friend's book signing at B&N tomorrow and am trying to calm myself down in advance. Normally I wouldn't dream of driving within five miles of the mall during this season. Oh well.
Happy Friday. I hope your week is ending better than it began.
>91 Berly: - Stockings are my favorite part of Christmas, Kim. Buying for them and receiving one!
>92 jnwelch: - I finished it last night, Joe, and my first reaction was "well, that's done" but there really was something compelling about the narrative. I think I liked it more than I thought I would.
>93 BLBera: - The mall? *shudder* One of the things I actually miss about Dallas was that there was so much more space, so it wasn't a nightmare to go shopping, say, the weekend before Christmas. Here, everything is a freaking zoo! On the other hand, it somehow makes it more festive.
Good luck with the adventure, Beth!
Happy weekend, all!
My hell week ended much better than it began, no doubt thanks to all your good wishes :)
I had a lovely solo evening last night, as The Wayne was spreading his wings and socializing with work people. I drank wine, and ate cookies, and watched a terrible Netflix movie (A Christmas Prince), and then got hooked on The Crown and watched 3 episodes right in a row. I may save some to watch while at my in-laws over Christmas - we never do much of anything so there is a lot of sitting around and doing nothing time. :-P
Slept in a bit this morning, as The Wayne didn't get home until almost 1:00 last night and then had to tell me, in all his adorably tipsy fashion, about his night out on the town. A bit of shopping to do today, and maybe a late lunch or early dinner out, and then I am having a wrapping party, which consists of me, my audiobook, a glass of wine, and a pile of gifts...
Oh, I finished The Old Man and the Sea last night in between episodes of The Crown, and will start my re-read of Last Night at the Lobster today. My book group will be discussing it on Tuesday.
The Crown is excellent, no? I binged right through it. Matt Smith is great as Prince Philip.
Glad for you that you got through The Old Fart in High C without projectile puking. I myownself was unable to match that feat.
Happy Saturday, Katie! A dispatch from Nerdy Trivialand:
>95 katiekrug: Sounds like a great night in.
Wrapping... I knew there was something I meant to do whilst I had the house to myself..
>95 katiekrug: The Wayne didn't get home until almost 1:00 last night and then had to tell me, in all his adorably tipsy fashion, about his night out on the town
Always a gas, when the lovely other has 'fun stories' to tell in the small hours :) Although....Im pretty sire that when *I* do it, it actually is hilarious and important!!
>96 richardderus: - I'm halfway through the first season. Matt Smith is indeed excellent. I also like Lithgow as Churchill, and I'm glad it's not a hagiographic portrait of old Winston...
I love your name for TOMatS!
>97 rosalita: -
>98 charl08: - Ah, yes, the eternal struggle to wrap when and where no one can see/barge in.
>99 LovingLit: - Well, I know for sure that when *I* do it, it is hilarious and important. Of course!
We got the rest of the gift and stocking shopping done. I just need to get everything sorted and wrapped this week, which shouldn't be a problem. We'll be driving down to my SIL's on Saturday and I think we are well prepared. It's my nephew's first Christmas - we may have gone a bit overboard on gifts for him :)
>102 rosalita: Speaking of portraits of Winston, have you gotten to that storyline yet? I'm four episodes into the second season.
>102 rosalita: - Nope, haven't gotten there yet. I think it's the next one in line...
>101 katiekrug: Katie, it is perfectly appropriate to go overboard on gifts for a first Christmas :-) You will, of course, be doing it for his second, and third...and then you just have to admit you have fun shopping for picture books and Duplo.
>104 susanj67: - I do love shopping for the kiddos... I always give books, of course, but Charlies is also getting a ball popping bulldozer and some clothes... :)
>105 charl08: - Yep, I picked up several books for him. His birthday is in January, so we will also bring that gift down with us. It includes a set of BabyLit board books :)
Your nephew is a lucky duck to have an Auntie Katie to steer him right with books! I don't have much call to give gifts to children these days but I always tried to give books, especially when I thought they were unlikely to get them from anyone else.
>22 katiekrug: Thinking of you. I certainly understand how the illness of someone you love can cause concern based on a previous loss. Hugs!
What a great set of Babylit board books. I've never heard of them, and now, I'm going to check into where I can find them.
>106 katiekrug: That does look like a great set of books, Katie! I miss having that age to buy for.
>106 katiekrug: Scout had some of those. She also has some of Les Petits Fairytales:
and LOVES this board book
For your future book buying information. :)
I'm glad you all approve of the BabyLit books, Julia, Linda, Roni, and Amber! I got him a few others, including Vegetables in Underwear which appeals to my immature sense of humor :)
I was up kind of late last night cleaning the kitchen, after The Wayne's marathon day of cooking. He was putting the finishing touches on the traditional Christmas pastrami (long story) and made and jarred a bunch of vodka sauce and "Sunday gravy" (traditional red sauce). We are going to schlepp it all down to Virginia, as they always expect him to cook while he's down there so he thought he'd get a head start. Smart man, my husband :)
I finished my re-read of Last Night at the Lobster yesterday morning. Still awesome. Five stars.
I'm now focusing on making some headway in Radium Girls. I'm about a quarter of the way in.
Today is just a half day of work, as I took the afternoon off because The Wayne had a half day of personal time he had to use by the end of the year, so he took the afternoon off, too. We are going to go play Christmas tourist. Tonight we are going to see Masha Gessen speak at the NYPL; Suzanne and Vivian are also going, so we'll meet for dinner beforehand. Should be a good day!
>111 BLBera: - Cross=posted, Beth! Thanks for those recs. I'm putting them on my Amazon list "Books for the Kids" where I note ideas for my nieces and nephews birthdays/Christmas :)
I love Shh we have a plan. And just buying books for kids generally, really.
Your holiday prep sounds like a lot of fun Katie! Enjoy your half day off, too.
Hi Katie, I can sense that we are going to be very busy over the next few days so I thought I would make some holiday rounds. I hope you and The Wayne have a magical Christmas and that Santa is very good to you.
Vodka sauce? *hopeful puppy eyes* Did someone say there was already bottled, homemade vodka sauce? *pathetic puppy eyes* And you know that by following the logical curvature of the earth Virginia is closer to Long Island than is New Jersey so you *could* shave, oh, hours! off your trip by coming through Long Beach and then taking the water route! *hopeful puppy eyes*
Katie--Your wrapping party sounds a lot like mine!! LOL. The Wayne is indeed a smart man (would you marry anyone else?) to get a head start on the cooking. Wishing you fun with all the holiday festivities. And good job on being the aunt with the books!
>114 charl08: - Buying for kids is fun, Charlotte. At least until they get to that age where nothing you give them is right :-P
>115 karenmarie: - Thanks, Karen!
>116 MickyFine: - Thank you, Micky! It was good times.
>117 DeltaQueen50: - Thanks for those wishes, Judy! I hope you have a lovely Christmas, too!
>118 richardderus: - I will see what I can do the next time he makes it :) I may be biased, but for only just having tried to make it for the first time a few months ago, he does an excellent job!
>119 Berly: - Hi Kim! The wrapping is almost done - just need to tag everything (right now there are sticky notes with the name of the recipient on each one) and then pick out ribbons and bows. I'll actually put those on when we get to my SIL's so they don't get crushed in transit. I'm a bit obsessive about it....
When my first niece was born, I was told I was in charge of turning her into a reader, and I'm pleased to say I succeeded! I now take on the challenge for the other 3 as well.
Wonderful time yesterday on my half day off. We did a little shopping at the Christmas Village at Bryant Park - I bought a gift for myself:
I believe Bill saw these online and shared them on one of my threads. I was thrilled to see them in person and had to have them :)
We met Vivian and Suzanne for dinner and then the four of us went to hear Masha Gessen speak. Her lecture was wonderful and had me in tears at one point. She spoke about identity, immigration and migration, totalitarian societies, choices and personal freedom - all within the context of today's political situation and her experience, as she put it, of being a Russian in America and an American in Russia. Her talk was organized around the 7 words that the CDC was advised to avoid using in its budget request and really demonstrated her graceful thinking and excellent writing. The lecture was very personal, and I found it both moving and inspirational. Here's a link to the video of it - it's long and I don't expect anyone to watch the whole thing, but I felt compelled to at least put it out there.
What an excellent recap! Great to see you all, and a really worthwhile lecture as well. Hope you have an easy drive and a well-cooked Christmas!
Morning, KAK. Is this a short work week for you? I hope The Radium Girls is clicking for you. I loved it but it was a heart-breaker.
>122 vivians: - Thanks, Vivian! It was great to see you. Safe travels to PR!
>123 richardderus: - Thank you, sir. Hope you enjoy the lecture.
>124 msf59: - Hiya, Mark! I am taking Friday off, so yes, a short-ish week :) Radium Girls is really interesting, but the writing is driving me bonkers. I shall persevere, though, since the story is fascinating and not one I was familiar with at all.
I can see why your bosses will do most anything to keep you, Katie. I watched some of Gessen's talk with your executive summary in mind. I was able to appreciate her skill in building the talk as well as enjoying it in a fairly brief span, which otherwise would've been interesting but not as involving.
It's a gift, to be able to distill as opposed to summarize, and it's not given to many. You possess it in abundance.
>126 richardderus: - Thank you for that, Richard. I've been having a bit of a tough go with work lately, so your words gave me a bit of a boost!
>128 richardderus: - :)
>129 nittnut: - Yes, the costumes! I said to The Wayne the other night that I wished I lived inthe 1950s so I could wear those cute dresses and cardigans, and he said, why can't you now? Good point. I still have 4 or 5 episodes in the first season to watch.
>130 karenmarie: - I hope you find some time to watch it, Karen!
My book group discussed Last Night at the Lobster last night. While no one loved it as much as I do, most liked it and we had a good talk about it. One person just kept saying Manny was a loser, which made me mad because it's such a simplistic reading of his character, and if that's all you see, then you aren't really reading the book. But that person was new, so I decided not to berate him for being wrong ;-)
>131 katiekrug: I wear cute retro dresses and cardigans all day every day and I can attest that it is the bee's knees.
Nora, I'd be all over it if I could find dresses that worked for me. Honestly, though, now that I work at home, it's hard to justify buying much beyond jeans!
>134 katiekrug: I get all my dresses custom-sized from eShakti.com and they are way more comfortable than jeans! Especially the stretchy ones.
Funny you mention eShakti! My org's President had a dress made from there for our Annual Banquet last fall in San Antonio and people were so complimentary of it. It was lovely. And none of us had heard of the company, but now I see ads for it all over social media.
>136 katiekrug: I have bought more than a dozen dresses from them and they're practically all I wear! They have great special-occasion dresses but I like their everyday dresses even better. They're very reasonably priced. If you use my first+last name (all caps, no spaces) as a referral code you can get $35 off. (And also I get a coupon and then I would have to buy another dress)
Sounds like you had a great day yesterday. Enjoy the season!
Your Albert Camus quote made me think of a Solstice party to which my sister has been invited (would that I were in Asheville, I'd crash this party): each guest is asked to bring a poem, quote, or something that celebrates the darkness, and to share one gift that the darkness provides us.
>121 katiekrug: I love those socks! I love the idea of wearing them to work, knowing I have them on and assuming/hoping/sort-of-not-hoping no one can read them. Heh.
I also love buying books for the nieces and nephews. Our niece who loves to read has finally reached the age where I figure we'd best give her money or a gift card instead of books, though.... sad.
Hmm, retro dresses from the '50s would be much better to wear now than then - think of all the underpinnings. Sounds like your Christmas prep is going well and is fun, just the way it should be.
>130 karenmarie: - Thanks, Reba! Merry Christmas!
>140 Oberon: - LOL, Erik! Most of them liked the book, so I was pleased.
>141 EBT1002: - Hi Ellen! A solstice party sounds fun. And I am very pleased with my socks. I got a pair for a friend that say "Carpe the fuck out of this diem." She's a cancer survivor, so I felt they were appropriate :)
>142 Familyhistorian: - Yeah, Meg, I'm definitely not interested in retro underthings! *shudder* And the holiday prep has been good so far. Very ow pressure, which is good.
>143 jnwelch: - I know, right?!?! It's hard, but I can sometimes manage not to indicate how idiotic I think a person is...
>131 katiekrug: Ooh, yes. You can wear those styles very easily now, and much, much more comfortably I think. No pointy bras and requirements for slips and hose, etc. Of course, right after I say I'm loving it, I get to the episode with the porn. Blech. I'm way to straight laced for that kind of nonsense.
>145 nittnut: - Spoiler alert! I haven't gotten there yet, but I presume it's him not her ;-)
I find Book Depository very disappointing. Their order tracking is poor at best - completely inaccurate and their customer service is either intentionally obtuse or failed basic reading comprehension at school.
>147 katiekrug: I haven't ordered from them in a while, but I understand your point. I ordered a gift for someone who lives in London. In the shipping address I provided the city and postal code but failed to specify the country, so it defaulted to the United States. Their system wasn't smart enough to detect the mismatch and I didn't realize it until I went back later to check order status. By that time the book had been shipped to parts unknown, and The Book Depository was like "too bad for you." So yeah, they're basically dead to me now.
I tried ordering a book from them once -- never got it --- no idea where it went.
>121 katiekrug: I'm listening to the Masha Gessen talk right now. Amazing.
I love this: "In any case, there are many stories to be told about a single life."
Woo hoo! Congrats on hitting the 75 book mark, Katie! I love, love, love the socks and have also bookmarked the lecture video--sounds fascinating.
One sentence wrap-ups:
How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley
Amusing, frequently well-observed, and occasionally smug, musings of a 20-something privileged white girl, who at least displays some self-awareness.
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Not as boring as I expected.
Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb
A charming and funny nostalgic holiday story wonderfully read on audio by the author.
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore
An important and fascinating story that suffered from flawed writing.
(A generous) 4 stars
>159 ronincats: - Hi Roni! Thanks for the congrats, and I'm glad you liked the socks. I plan to debut them at my in-laws in a few days ;-)
I think you'll like the lecture - it was very thought-provoking.
I do like the sox and hope your in-laws have a good sense of humor.
Morning, Katie. Happy Friday. What bothered you about the writing in The Radium Girls? I listened to the audio. I don't recall it being badly written, but it has been several months.
Thanks, to you, I just started Fool's Crow. You put James Welch on my radar, right? I can't believe I had not heard of him, since I love reading about the Old West and the Native American experience. It is off to a strong start.
>163 karenmarie: - Morning, Karen! Not sure I'll actually show the socks to the in-laws. I'll just enjoy knowing I'm wearing them ;-)
>164 msf59: - Hiya, Mark! Re: The Radium Girls - the author frequently used the wrong word (she wrote of someone's bank account being "desecrated"), and the writing was so choppy that I occasionally felt like she must have just deleted random sentences. And the girls' story stands on its own, I don't need the author telling me - explicitly - how brave and important they were. It was just over the top in parts. So yeah :-/
Re: Welch. I haven't read him, just want to, even though you REJECTED him for the AAC (was he not American enough?) ;-)
I am off today (and off work until the 28th - hooray!) and have lots of little errands and chores to get done. But I think first, I'll treat myself to breakfast at my favorite diner, and I'll probably end the busy-ness with a pedicure this afternoon. Happy Katie.
"even though you REJECTED him." Guilty as charge, along with many other authors. Grins...Hey, at least I am discovering him now. That still counts for something, right?
>166 katiekrug: Enjoy your day off! I'm only taking stats for the holiday (which in Canada still means a 4-day weekend as we get Boxing Day) and I'm envious of your vacation time. :)
Thanks, Micky! It's going fine so far - I picked up the wrapping stuff I needed, the wine to take to my SIL's, and had a nice breakfast (multigrain pancakes, if anyone is wondering...). I've now finished ALL the wrapping, and am taking a little break to read for a bit. Then I need to do a load of laundry, vacuum, and make candy cane brownies. That last may wait until I get home from my pedicure, though. And then I have to pack for the trip!
I love the one-sentence wrap ups, Katie. It's an idea to be borrowed at certain times of the year!
They say "wintry mix" for Christmas on top of today's cold, pellet-y rain...which sounds like Old Stepmother Nature is crankin' up the icemaker to me. Enjoy your travels, you'll be well out of it.
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:
Hi Katie, stopping by to wish you and your loved ones peace, joy and happiness this holiday season and for 2018!
Stopping by to wish you and yours all good things this holiday season.
^Have a great holiday with the family, Katie. I am loving Fools Crow. Just sayin'...
Merry Christmas to you and The Wayne, Katie. I hope you have a lovely holiday season and a great 2018.
Thank you for the holiday messages, everyone! We are in Virginia at my sister- and brother-in-law's home, with almost 1-year old Charlie, both his Grandmas, and his aunt Brittney - the house is full but everyone is behaving themselves :)
I wish all my friends
Happy Christmas, Katie! Don't forget the socks - you will only be able to wear them while Charlie can't read :-) How is Louis?
Hi Susan! I am wearing these socks today:
Louis is most excellent, but getting old and slow. Kind of like me :)
Happy Holidays to you and the Wayne and anyone else you thinks deserves it down in Virginia!
Merry Christmas from Philadelphia, Katie! May there be a bottle of Pimms and a cheesesteak under your Christmas tree today. I hope that 2018 is the year that we finally get to meet, in NYC or London.
Still a bit under construction, but here's the new group: https://www.librarything.com/groups/75booksin2018
Happy Boxing Day!
We are back home now after having a really lovely time at my SIL and BIL's (other than my BIL's mother being a total pain in the ass...) I got lots of wonderful gifts, including an electronic "F*ck Button," a beautiful pair of earrings from the store with the pretty blue boxes, some delicious chocolates, a few books, and some other useful and/or funny odds and ends. The Wayne cooked up a storm, so we ate well, and my nephew, Charlie, totally cleaned up in the toy and book department. All in all, a great time!
I will be trying to catch up here tonight and tomorrow, and I am eager to start exploring next year's group, as well :)
>192 katiekrug: Welcome home, Katie. Glad you had a good holiday!
electronic "F*ck Button"
Is that anything like my proposed STFU button? Mine would be designed for use in conversations in which a parent or grandparent drones on and on about irrelevant details when I or one of my colleagues is admitting a patient to hospital or making rounds on a busy shift. (Irrelevant details would include a grandparent's old age arthritis, the rash that a third cousin had in the 1970s, or, worst of all, questions about my single or married status for a mother who wants to hook me up with her sister—or herself if she is single. Seriously.) The button would sport the Children's logo, and have a remote switch that woulld activate a flashing light, and perhaps a buzzing sound for the especially clueless.
I've proposed several ideas to Administration, including the STFU button, aerosolized Ativan that would be pumped into the air vents in patients' rooms, the conversion of Comfort Carts (used by volunteers to deliver sweets and toiletries to parents) into far more useful Southern Comfort Carts, and the ability for staff, families, and older patients to celebrate Happy Hour in the Starbucks Café from 5-7 pm (or, better yet, 7 am to 5 am). Amazingly all of my ideas were quickly rejected.
Oh well, there's always next year...
>193 RebaRelishesReading: - Thanks, Reba!
>194 kidzdoc: - Those bureaucratic types can be *so* straight-laced, Darryl...
This is my F*ck Button:
The Wayne found it at a shop in Grand Central. He got his sister a "No! Button" for use with her soon-to-be-a-toddler son...
Mine has several variations of my favorite expletive - I want to bring it to my Board meetings and stick it under the table and tap it with my foot when someone is especially annoying or stupid. A winning employment strategy? Perhaps not. Endlessly satisfying? Definitely.
Happy Holidays, Katie!
I got our daughter some "F*ck Off - I'm Reading" socks for Christmas, and she loved them.
What would life be without "I'm a Delicate Fucking Flower" sox and a F**k Button?
Glad you had such a good time!
Heh. Our integration and test lead has a No! button. It rotates around about a dozen versions of No! - my favorite is the Oh, Hellll No! 😁
OMG I want one of those F*** Buttons! Although the STFU button would actually come more in handy, methinks.
What store has pretty blue boxes?
>204 EBT1002: - I think one of the "F*cks" is a STFU one, Ellen, so it could still work for you :)
Pretty blue box:
>206 Familyhistorian: - I sat and admired the box and bow for a couple of minutes before opening it, Meg :) And I saved it!
Because I'm such a nice wife and/or a glutton for punishment, I got The Wayne tickets to a concert tonight. A concert of video game music. Lord help me. I'm wondering if anyone will notice if I read on my Kindle the whole time?
Also, it's freezing here and I am not looking forward to going outside. But we are going out for a late dinner afterwards, so that should be nice.
>208 katiekrug: lol Maybe earbuds and an audio book would be more discrete and have the advantage of blocking some of the music :)
>204 EBT1002: "What store has pretty blue boxes?" Even Holly Golightly's sleep mask was Tiffany blue.
>208 katiekrug: Oooh. Taking one for the team. That's what I do when we have to listen to the Minecraft album in the car...
>194 kidzdoc: Darryl, LOL. Teachers get a lot of irrelevant drivel also - always at the wrong time. I have a spray bottle at school for my plants. One at home too, for ironing, and occasionally for correcting the cat when extra naughty. I've thought about spraying students and parents lots of times...
>209 RebaRelishesReading:, >211 richardderus:, and >212 nittnut: - Well, it wasn't as bad as I feared, and since I drag him to a lot of stuff he has only the slimmest of interests in, it only seemed fair to go and slap a smile on my face :D
>210 laytonwoman3rd: - I didn't even realize that, Linda!
>213 AMQS: - Hi Anne!
I didn't even know there were concerts of video game music. Live and learn.
You're a good wife.
I went to see 'Hundred Days' at New York Theater Workshop this afternoon. I was supposed to meet my best friend there, but she was sick, so it was a solo outing.
'Hundred Days' is a sort of "musical memoir" or autobiographical concert telling the story of how the two leads - a married couple - met and fell in love and overcame angst and baggage and uncertainty to commit to one another. The music is folk-punk-rock played on guitars, an accordion, a cello, a keyboard, and a drum set. There's a lot of stomping and clapping and wailing, and the energy in the theater was amazing. The last song, "Bells," had me in tears and smiling at the same time. Here's a rendition of it - it's not exactly how it was performed, as they have been working on this production for some time, but it gives you an idea: https://vimeo.com/61506248.
And this little clip showcases some bits of the different songs: https://youtu.be/a21cY4XqphY.
I really enjoyed the show and hope it gets more exposure.
Ah, Katie, the year is drawing to a close. Buh-bye 2017...
Happy New Year!
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.
PS: My daughter LOVED the fuck-off socks; wore them several days in a row. My wife was somewhat less enthusiastic.
Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
The Wayne and I listened to this on the drive to and from Virginia over Christmas, and we both enjoyed it. It's a mix of creative and biographical pieces; the latter were probably my favorites overall, including the now-classic "Santaland Diaries" about Sedaris' stint as an elf at Macy's in Herald Square. Also very good were "Jesus Shaves" (about a group of students in a French class trying to explain Easter to a Moroccan student), "Let It Snow" (about his mother and a rare snow event in North Carolina), and "Six to Eight Black Men" (about the holiday traditions in The Netherlands). This was a fun audio, read by the author, and has made me think about reading some other Sedaris works.
A Christmas Bride by Susan Mallery
A throw-away holiday read consisting of a short story and a full-length Harlequin-esque novel. Neither was very memorable but were easy to put down when family and Christmas diminished my attention span.
That's it for my 2017 reading! I won't finish my current read or audio before tomorrow, so my total for the year is 78 books. I started, but did not finish, 10 books (and probably read enough in each to add up to another book!).
My favorite reads of 2017 in no particular order:
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Everyday People by Stewart O’Nan
News of the World by Paulette Jiles
The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (re-read)
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (re-read)
Song Yet Sung by James McBride
Taft by Ann Patchett
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan (re-read)
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge
Because I'm a curmudgeon, I don't "do" individual holiday posts on a bunch of threads any more.
So I will just wish my friends here a happy, hopeful, and healthy new year.
See you in the 2018 group!
Looks like your year's reading was a victory of quality over quantity, Katie. And because I'm also a curmudgeon, I will thank you for not dropping holiday posts on every thread!
The happiest of New Years to you and The Wayne.
Thanks, Judy and Julia!
Julia - I know we are in the minority, but why don't people just post on their own thread for the people who visit there. Wouldn't it be (mostly) the same people they individually visit with greetings?
I don't get it, either. I get excited thinking people have new posts, but they are all the same pics on every thread. :-(
I'm with all you curmudgeons, I don't go door-to-door either. I'm glad to find myself in such good company!
duplicate post. sort of. I edited it, and it showed up in both versions. *spooooooky*
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