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The Art of Reading - Nittnut's First

This topic was continued by The Art of Reading - Nittnut's Second.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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1nittnut
Dec 29, 2017, 9:45pm Top



Many of you know that my father-in-law passed away in October 2017. What you may not know about him is that he was an accomplished artist. He taught art in public high schools for over 30 years. He has been honored as a notable artist of Ventura County, California. Instead of selling his artwork, he gave it away. We have always had his paintings in our home, and whenever we move, we don't feel settled until we've hung them. This year I will be using his artwork as my thread toppers. Enjoy.

I'm Jennifer. I read in bed. Also at the pool, in restaurants, at the beach, but not in the car. I have been married 24 years to my best friend. He puts up with my reading addictions, mostly, although I am not allowed to read while watching sport. We have three children ages 19, 13 and 11 and I often find them reading in bed after lights out. Success! We have lived in California, Oregon, Colorado, New Zealand, and now we live in North Carolina and we like it.

2nittnut
Edited: Jan 2, 12:31pm Top



I don't know that he really said this, but I like it.

Challenges:

American Author Challenge

January- Joan Didion
February- Colson Whitehead
March- Tobias Wolff
April- Alice Walker
May- Peter Hamill
June- Walter Mosley
July- Amy Tan
August- Louis L'Amour
September- Pat Conroy
October- Stephen King
November- Narrative Nonfiction
December- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Non-Fiction Challenge

January -- Prize Winners
February -- Biographies
March – Far, Far Away: Traveling
April – History
May – Boundaries: Geography, Geopolitics and Maps
June – The Great Outdoors
July – The Arts
August – Short and Sweet: Essays and Other Longform Narratives
September – Gods, Demons, Spirits, and Supernatural Beliefs
October – First Person Singular
November – Politics, Economics & Business
December – 2018 In Review

ANZAC BINGO!



Additional reading goals include:
Wheel of Time series - continued - This will be a long term effort. I have the next 2 on the floor in my room...
Books off the shelf

3nittnut
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 9:55pm Top

Top reads of 2017


5nittnut
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 9:47pm Top

6drneutron
Dec 29, 2017, 10:01pm Top

Welcome back!

7nittnut
Dec 29, 2017, 10:25pm Top

>5 nittnut: Thanks Jim!

8thornton37814
Dec 29, 2017, 11:00pm Top

Hope your 2018 is filled with lots of good reading, Jenn! Maybe we can meet up on one of my trips to North Carolina this year.

9katiekrug
Dec 30, 2017, 12:45am Top

Dropping a star, Jenn!

10LovingLit
Dec 30, 2017, 4:09am Top

Lovely topper! It caught my lovely other's eye just now too.

11Crazymamie
Dec 30, 2017, 9:24am Top

Dropping a star, Jenn. Love that you are using your FILs art for your toppers this year - what a lovely tribute.

12mstrust
Dec 30, 2017, 11:18am Top

Happy new year, Jennifer, from another Jennifer! Good luck with your 2018 reads-your American Authors challenge looks great.

13nittnut
Dec 30, 2017, 11:36pm Top

>8 thornton37814: Hi Lori! I would love a meet up. Let me know when you're headed this way.

>9 katiekrug: Hi Katie!

>10 LovingLit: Hi Megan. Thanks! :) It might motivate me to have more threads this year. I can post more art that way...

>11 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! Such a lovely man. He is missed. I'm so glad to have a house full of his art.

>12 mstrust: Hi Jennifer. Have you been by the AAC thread? If not, You should check it out. It's good fun. http://www.librarything.com/topic/279501#

We saw The Last Jedi tonight. I wasn't really looking forward to it much, but I liked it better than I expected. Oof. It's late and I'm off to bed. Tomorrow, a photo of my Christmas book haul - SantaThing and what I've bought myself or sweetly asked my husband to buy for me.

14cushlareads
Dec 31, 2017, 4:42am Top

Hi Jenn - happy new year! It’s 20 to 11 here and I don’t think I’ll make it to midnight...

Looking forward to keeping up a bit better with your thread in 2018. And when we get home I’ll post a photo of the lovely painting from your father-in-law.

15charl08
Dec 31, 2017, 5:50am Top

Lovely idea for the toppers Jenn. Wishing you a great year of reading in 2018.

16FAMeulstee
Dec 31, 2017, 12:21pm Top

Happy reading in 2018, Jenn!

>1 nittnut: Lovely topper, great way to remember your FiL.

17The_Hibernator
Dec 31, 2017, 12:52pm Top



Happy New Year! I wish you to read many good books in 2018.

18cameling
Dec 31, 2017, 3:58pm Top

Happy new year, Jenn. Starred you before I love you in the madness of the group.

19mstrust
Dec 31, 2017, 5:22pm Top

>13 nittnut: Thanks for the link, I didn't know about the thread!

20PaulCranswick
Jan 1, 4:11am Top



Happy New Year
Happy New Group here
This place is full of friends
I hope it never ends
It brew of erudition and good cheer.

21karenmarie
Jan 1, 9:10am Top

Hi Jenn!

I love the idea for the toppers, too, and think the first one is gorgeous.

Maybe as things settle down this year we can actually meet each other since we only live about an hour apart. *smile*

22nittnut
Jan 1, 9:25am Top

>14 cushlareads: Hi Cushla! *wave*

>15 charl08: Thanks! The Same to you Charlotte!

>16 FAMeulstee: Hello Anita :)

>17 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel! Nice to see you.

>18 cameling: Hi Caro :) It's always mad in January, but we settle in, or some of us do...

>19 mstrust: You're welcome!

>20 PaulCranswick: Thank you Paul! Happy New Year to you as well

>21 karenmarie: I don't think things will really ever settle down. Let's make a plan!

23nittnut
Jan 1, 12:53pm Top



Of course, reasonable is so subjective...

24ronincats
Jan 1, 12:58pm Top

Dropping off a
And wishing you

25nittnut
Jan 1, 2:28pm Top

Hi Roni! Love your sparkly star.

Here's a photo of my book haul. The top four are a particularly excellent haul from SantaThing. The bottom of the stack are ones I've bought or asked my husband to buy for Christmas.

26Crazymamie
Jan 1, 4:58pm Top

Nice haul, Jenn!

27charl08
Jan 1, 5:01pm Top

I've got book stack envy. (So pretty much par for the course there!)

28RebaRelishesReading
Jan 1, 5:50pm Top

I love the painting. Are there family connections to the house in it? How fortunate you are to have your father-in-law's paintings to keep him near you.

29Berly
Jan 1, 9:39pm Top

>1 nittnut: The topper is lovely and what a wonderful way to remember your FIL. Starred again!



Happy 2018!!

30LovingLit
Jan 2, 4:38am Top

...dont you miss they days when you had to find everyone and star them each time? Just reminiscing....

>25 nittnut: lovely haul! A historical one by the looks.

31LauraBrook
Jan 2, 12:06pm Top

Happy New Year, and here's to reading all of the books!

32nittnut
Jan 2, 12:18pm Top

<26 Hi Mamie! I thought so - even if half of it was my own choosing. But, I maintain that it's the best way to make sure you get what you want. Take away the uncertainty, and just tell people. It hasn't worked on my MIL yet, but she's very resistant...

>27 charl08: Fair enough. I have South Africa envy. Lol

>28 RebaRelishesReading: Hi Reba. I don't believe this one is any connection to family. He often took photos of places he liked the look of and painted them later. Many of them come from near their home in Southern California, or from Southern Utah where they have a second home.

>29 Berly: Thank you Kimberly. All very good things to have any time. :)

>30 LovingLit: No. I do not miss those days - LOL
It's a very historical book haul. I am so happy with it. *grin*

>31 LauraBrook: Thanks Laura, same to you. I've read one of them!

33nittnut
Edited: Jan 3, 10:29pm Top

#1 The Library at the Edge of the World - impulse buy at Costco because "library" was in the title

Hanna has returned to her small town home in Ireland. Her marriage failed, she lives with her widowed mother, and she has a job she considers second-rate. She does, however, have a piece of land with a small house on it, left to her by an aunt. As she begins to turn it into a home for herself, she becomes more connected to her community and things begin to change for the better. It's not stunning and erudite literature, but it's well written and perfectly enjoyable.

I am now reading Stand Firm: Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze and still listening to Hero of the Empire.

34Crazymamie
Jan 2, 12:48pm Top

>33 nittnut: I love books set in Ireland, so I'm thinking maybe with that one.

35RebaRelishesReading
Jan 2, 1:12pm Top

>32 nittnut: I didn't know you had a southern Cal connection.

36thornton37814
Jan 2, 4:18pm Top

>33 nittnut: A library in Ireland sounds fun.

37nittnut
Jan 2, 4:31pm Top

>34 Crazymamie: It's not a bad read Mamie. If it were warm out, I'd call it a great beach book.

>35 RebaRelishesReading: I grew up in Ventura County. :)

>36 thornton37814: Anything in Ireland appeals to me, actually. I've always wanted to visit Ireland.

38RebaRelishesReading
Jan 2, 4:37pm Top

>37 nittnut: I'll be darned. I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, so not so far away although many years earlier :)

39cameling
Jan 2, 4:55pm Top

I love the title of the book. I am so tempted to add this to my teetering wish list.

Do you remember that brain hat you cleverly knitted and sent me some years back? It's still one of my go tos whenever the weather dips below 0F .... which has been everyday for the last week. So I wanted to thank you again for the cute hat and for keeping my head warm.

40nittnut
Jan 2, 9:51pm Top

>38 RebaRelishesReading: So, you're like totally a Valley Girl? LOL

>39 cameling: Do it! Do it!
I love that you wear that hat. *grin* It's ridiculous cold. Even here in the south, where I purposefully moved instead of Philadelphia, so I'd be warmer. I mean, I guess I am still warmer than I'd be in Philadelphia, but whatever. It's too cold for me.

41karenmarie
Jan 3, 8:37am Top

Hi Jenn!

Excellent haul. I almost bought the Grant book by Chernow, but heroically resisted yesterday at Costco.

Stay warm in this crazy cold.

42EllaTim
Jan 3, 8:46am Top

Happy New Reading year, Jenn!

I love the topper, it looks like a lovely place with it's warm colours.

43figsfromthistle
Jan 3, 10:54am Top

Happy New Year. I absolutely love your topper. Your father- in law certainly had great talent. What a nice treasure to have around.

44RebaRelishesReading
Jan 3, 12:01pm Top

>40 nittnut: That concept came after me I'm afraid :)

45BLBera
Jan 3, 2:20pm Top

Happy New Year, Jenn. I LOVE the painting at the top. What a great way to remember your FIL. I hope things are calming down and everyone is doing well at your household.

46nittnut
Jan 3, 10:21pm Top

>41 karenmarie: Hi Karen. I am trying to stay warm. Are you having snow or ice tonight? My kids are on a 2 hour delay in the morning, but we have no moisture at all.

>42 EllaTim: Hello! It is one of my favorite paintings of his. It's a more recent one. His earlier ones were more brown/gold/green, which you will see in later threads. The last 10 years or so there were more reds and greens and blues showing up.

>43 figsfromthistle: Thank you! We have many of his treasures. We are so glad. Happy New Year to you as well.

>44 RebaRelishesReading: Haha Reba! It was pretty much my time, and it was quite something.

>45 BLBera: Thank you Beth! It's one of my favorites. We are doing well. The kids are thrilled - one day back to school and boom! A Two hour weather delay the next day. Sigh.

47LovingLit
Jan 4, 2:19am Top

You know, I was *this* close to buying The Underground Railroad today, and put it down in favour of The Standing Chandelier, Lionel Shriver's newest little book. It is (apparently) about a man/woman friendship and how that occurs within their mutual heterosexual relationships. I hope it is as good as it sounds, as Underground Railroad, as that one is by all accounts an excellent read!

48Donna828
Jan 4, 7:22pm Top

Your topper is a lovely tribute to your FIL, Jenn. Beautiful art and happy memories make an excellent combination. Happy New Year!

49AMQS
Edited: Jan 5, 12:32am Top

Happy New Year to you, Jenn - you're starred!

impulse buy at Costco because "library" was in the title . THAT'S why I love LT so much - we "get" each other!

50karenmarie
Jan 5, 8:36am Top

Hi Jenn!

The older I get, the more I appreciate missing a snow event! Depending on which side of the house I look out of, we got 2.5-4.5" of powdery snow.

We'll be ready to go run errands tomorrow, regardless of how cold it is! Right now at our house it's 4F.

51nittnut
Jan 5, 12:52pm Top

>47 LovingLit: Close call, Lol. But your purchase sounds very intriguing. I will let you know what I think of Underground Railroad. I expect to like it.

>48 Donna828: Thanks Donna! Nice to see you :)

>49 AMQS: Hi Anne! You're so right. It's nice to hang around people who understand. *grin*

>50 karenmarie: I really, really don't appreciate snow at all. I would prefer it stay up in the mountains, provide water in the spring and look pretty from afar. I don't want to shovel it, drive in it, feel it, etc. It was so cold this morning. Brrrrr. I am very much looking forward to next week and warmer weather.

I am nearly finished with Stand Firm: Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze. I quite like it. I am also very much enjoying Hero of the Empire. That WC is something else.

52nittnut
Jan 5, 6:33pm Top

Okay - the meme:

Describe yourself: I Am Legend
Describe how you feel: Son of War, Daughter of Chaos
Describe where you currently live: Atlantic: the Biography of An Ocean
If you could go anywhere, where would you go? The House At Seas End
Your favorite form of transportation: Roller Skates
Your best friend: The Girl in the Tower
You and your friends are: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
What's the weather like? Winter
You fear: This Thing of Darkness
What's the best advice you have to give? The Mutual Admiration Society
Thought for the day: As You Wish
How I would like to die: Running for My Life - not really though
My soul's present condition: Pax

53nittnut
Jan 5, 6:38pm Top

#2 Stand Firm: Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze

Svend Brinkman writes the anti-self-help book, and then philosophizes about whether he has actually written a self-help book after all. *Allow me a gentle eyeroll in the general direction of all philosophers* With chapter titles like "Cut out the navel-gazing," "Put on your No hat," "Sack your coach," and "Read a novel, not a self-help book" the book is entertaining as well as having some interesting tidbits of information. Worth a read, his point of view is refreshing.

-------------------------------------------

I'm nearly done with Hero of the Empire and I've started Iran Awakening. I just picked up my Joan Didion books at the library, so I'm all set for the AAC.

54Berly
Jan 5, 8:46pm Top

Like how humble you are and your form of transportation!! LOL. I just did my meme today.

55thornton37814
Jan 5, 9:51pm Top

>52 nittnut: Great meme answers, especially the transportation method.

56LovingLit
Jan 6, 1:54am Top

>51 nittnut: I read The Standing Chandelier in one evening/the following morning! It is only 122 pages, and short ones at that.
I really liked it, have deposited it at mum's house, and promised it to my sister too :)

57LovingLit
Jan 6, 1:56am Top

Also, >53 nittnut: that one sounds classic. And it seems to fit with the wellbeing/excessive happiness (mild) backlash that I have seen some of lately!

58nittnut
Jan 6, 7:14am Top

>56 LovingLit: That's a good recommendation - short and possibly hard to put down. :)

59karenmarie
Jan 6, 10:33am Top

I love your meme, Jenn!

Happy Saturday to you and your clan.

60charl08
Jan 6, 2:17pm Top

How could anyone argue with the self-description? Hope you're having a good weekend.

61nittnut
Jan 6, 4:13pm Top

>54 Berly: I Am Legend just fit so perfectly there. LOL

>55 thornton37814: It's been years, but I think I can still skate.

>56 LovingLit: I already talked to you. Then I got distracted and forgot to reply to anyone else...

>59 karenmarie: Thanks Karen! Happy Saturday to you as well. May all your snow melt and your roads be dry.

>60 charl08: Ha! That's right. No arguments. My weekend has been fraught. The second funeral in as many weeks was today, and a very good friend's son passed away this morning, so there will be a third sometime next week. Not a great start to the year. I hope your weekend has been WAY better.

62nittnut
Edited: Jan 7, 3:55pm Top

#3 Hero of the Empire

This reads like an adventure novel - a really good one. Young Winston Churchill is ambitious, brash and unapologetically aristocratic. He is out to make a name for himself as quickly as he can, and hopes that a war will be the place to do it. The Boer War turns out to be his key to future success. Taken prisoner by the Boers, his escape is unbelievable. Well researched and well written, I highly recommend it.

Reading Iran Awakening and Slouching Toward Bethlehem

63cameling
Jan 6, 4:30pm Top

I love your meme, Jenn!

I'm rubbish at remembering good book titles for memes, so I appreciate the talent if those who can do it so well.

64nittnut
Jan 6, 5:29pm Top

>63 cameling: No such thing as remembering! I had to look through all my reads of last year on Goodreads. My memory doesn't hold stuff like that. It's too full of other stuff, some useful, some not so much. Lol

65drneutron
Jan 6, 6:35pm Top

>62 nittnut: Yup, Hero of the Empire is a good one! Millard's probably my favorite nonfiction author right now.

66thornton37814
Jan 6, 8:13pm Top

>61 nittnut: I was better at ice skating than roller skating back in the day. I doubt I have the ankles for ice skating now.

67ChelleBearss
Jan 6, 8:45pm Top

Hope you are having a good new year!

68AMQS
Jan 7, 8:58pm Top

>61 nittnut: I'm sorry for your friend's loss - how awful.

69karenmarie
Jan 8, 5:04pm Top

Too many funerals, Jenn, and I'm sorry for your friend's loss.

70LovingLit
Jan 9, 2:29am Top

>61 nittnut: Funerals are just the tip of the iceberg for some poor family's grief. Just the thought makes me sad.

71nittnut
Jan 9, 7:00pm Top

>65 drneutron: I will definitely be reading more of her work.

>66 thornton37814: Hi Lori. I doubt I do either. I did go ice skating with my daughter about 5 years ago, and I managed to get around the rink, but I wasn't all that comfortable. Lol

>67 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle!

>68 AMQS: Thank you Anne. It is awful. It's her second child to pass away. It's the worst.

>69 karenmarie: Way too many Karen. I think this is my 4th since November. 5, of course, if you count my FIL in October. I am hoping we get a reprieve soon.

>70 LovingLit: So right Megan.

I'm just passing through. No new books to report. Just helping with another funeral on Thursday, so I will be scarce around here for a few more days.

Public Service Announcement - If you are into ER books, The Stars At Oktober Bend is listed again this month and it's a great read. Particularly if you're doing the ANZAC bingo challenge.

72SandDune
Jan 11, 5:25pm Top

>71 nittnut: That sounds terrible Jenn, to lose one child must be awful but to lose two ....

73ffortsa
Jan 13, 2:15pm Top

>61 nittnut: Jenn, this doesn't sound like a good start to the year. So sorry for such sadness. I hope the rest of the year is bright and happy.

74RebaRelishesReading
Jan 14, 4:06pm Top

>62 nittnut: I agree. We listened to it on audio in the car and both hubby and I really liked it.

75LovingLit
Jan 14, 6:08pm Top

Hi from me...may your days go as well as can be expected, given the circumstances...

76nittnut
Jan 15, 4:12pm Top

>72 SandDune: It is pretty terrible. She is a strong lady, but it's been a very hard week.

>73 ffortsa: Thanks Judy! I hope so too.

>74 RebaRelishesReading: Hi Reba!

>75 LovingLit: Hi Megan. No new funerals (knock on wood) this week, so things seem to be improving.

77nittnut
Edited: Jan 15, 4:37pm Top

Today is a US holiday, so kids are home. My neighbor has kids the same age, so the girls are at hers and the boys are at mine. There is both Spotify and Minecraft going on, but they are happy. Also, I made a gingerbread loaf and the house smells very nice.

#4 Iran Awakening

Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian civil rights activist, best known for her work for women's and children's rights. She was the 2003 Nobel Peace prize winner. This was an interesting read. She covers the time before the revolution, how the revolution of 1977 affected her life and career, and the more recent struggles between the Iranian people and their government. Her perspective is interesting. I am inspired by her courage and persistence, risking her life to promote the rights of women and children in a country where the government is not at all interested in protecting women and children. The risks people take every day to protect the helpless reminds me again how much I have to be grateful for, and how much more I could help.


I am setting aside Slouching Toward Bethlehem. I don't hate it, but I got completely mired in the title essay (insert whirly eyed emoji) and I am going to try The Year of Magical Thinking and see if I get further. I will say that she is very interesting, and her ability to write an essay without her opinion being the main idea is a skill that current journalism lacks in spades.

Edited for clarity.

78karenmarie
Jan 15, 5:24pm Top

Hi Jenn!

I read The Year of Magical Thinking and was touched and impressed by it. I hope you like it.

79Donna828
Jan 17, 5:29pm Top

I love the smell of gingerbread. Lucky boys!

80nittnut
Jan 20, 12:44pm Top

My neighbor loaned me a couple of books for snow day reading.

#5 Slayers

What if dragons were real? What if there were humans genetically predisposed to have the skills needed to fight dragons? A clever idea. Unfortunately for me, there was way more teen love triangle drama than anything else, so this book was just OK. It's a fairly benign YA romance/adventure thing though. Daughter may enjoy it.

#6 Slayers: Friends and Traitors

Second in the series about dragons and the humans who fight them. Naturally, the introduction of a friend, turned traitor adds to the drama.

81nittnut
Jan 20, 12:49pm Top

Currently listening to Artemis and Dead Wake, and reading Guns, Germs, and Steel, and The Year of Magical Thinking.

82Berly
Jan 21, 2:52am Top

Jenn--I hope the year is on an upswing for you. Rough start indeed. And I am glad you have a neighbor you can trade books with, if you like dragons. ; )

83lkernagh
Jan 22, 6:04pm Top

Hello Jenn! I am very slowly making the visit of some threads over here in the 75er group. I love the ANZAC Bingo card and the progress you have made! I always get excited every time I encounter the yearly book meme.... the answers are always so fascinating. I am so very sorry to learn that your January has been one shadowed by funerals. I hope that the rest of your year is filled with more sparkling, uplifting events.

84nittnut
Jan 22, 8:41pm Top

>82 Berly: Hi Kimberly! I do like dragons, although I prefer Anne McCaffrey dragons. Maybe because they were my first dragons? I don't know, but they are my favorite.

>83 lkernagh: It's exhausting trying to keep up with threads around here in January. I'm happy for visits whenever you get around to it. :) The ANZAC bingo has been so much fun. It's definitely harder to get Australia and NZ books here in the US, but I brought a good number back with me, so I am not running out yet. I am hoping very much that we will have a rest from funerals for a bit. Here's to sparkling and uplifting events for everyone!

I am really dragging with Artemis. I love the idea, but I can't stand the protagonist. I want to wash her mouth out with soap and give her character building work to do....
I am loving Dead Wake.
I have read the intro to Guns, Germs and Steel, I will pick it up again soon.
The Year of Magical Thinking is going to be excellent. A rough beginning, as my father-in-law passed away in a very similar fashion, and it's still quite tender, but I think having a similar experience will make the reading of this book more meaningful. At least I hope so.

My husband has some kind of lurgy involving dramatic coughing. I am contemplating sleeping in the guest room.

Night all. :0

85thornton37814
Jan 23, 7:42am Top

>84 nittnut: I've enjoyed the Larsen books I've read. Hopefully I'll get to some others on my TBR list.

86The_Hibernator
Jan 23, 9:58am Top

Too bad you're not enjoying Artemis. I was going to read it this year (I bought it for Aaron for Christmas), but I think I'll skip it. Too many better books to read.

87jolerie
Jan 25, 11:47pm Top

Hi Jenn! I finally found your thread. So happy to see you still posting here. Just trying to find my groove again after life busyness. :)
I really liked The Martian and was hoping Artemis wouldn't disappoint but I figured it would be a tall task to better his debut novel.

88nittnut
Jan 26, 4:25pm Top

>85 thornton37814: Hi Lori. I think he does a great job with research, and even better, writing a story that is engaging. Which ones have you read? I've only read The Devil in the White City, but I have others in the TBR pile.

>86 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel! I am sad it's not more enjoyable too. I am plowing through because my son sent it to me and wanted to discuss. Should be interesting. I am nearly done.

>87 jolerie: Valerie!!!! So exciting to see you around! I will head over to find your thread ASAP! How is everyone? Your kids must be getting really big. At least they will seem like they have since we haven't seen them for a while. *grin*

89nittnut
Jan 26, 4:32pm Top

#7 The Year of Magical Thinking - AAC and Non-fiction challenge

I struggled with Slouching Toward Bethlehem, so I went in to this with some reservations. This was a highly personal account of grief; living with grief, coping with grief, seeking an understanding of grief. Because my father-in-law passed away under somewhat similar circumstances last October, it really struck a chord with me. While each person has a unique journey through the grieving process, it gave me some things to think about in regards to how my mother-in-law might be feeling. I loved the writing. Highly recommended.

90nittnut
Edited: Jan 26, 4:37pm Top

I am still listening to Artemis. My son wants to talk about it, and he's getting a little impatient. However, there is so much swearing that I can only listen when I'm alone in the car, and it grates on me anyway. I'll get it done eventually. I will say that Svoboda is growing on me.
I am really enjoying Dead Wake.
I am reading Blizzard of Glass next.

We are going to have a very low-key weekend. Miss M got the fever and cough that her dad was having. She's been in bed for 3 days. She is perking up a little. I am lining up pizza and movies and cozy chairs with blankets. Also, washing my hands a lot and hoping I can avoid this one.

91rosalita
Jan 26, 4:37pm Top

Hi, Jenn. I'm so sorry to hear about your spate of funerals this month, Jenn. The universe really owes you and your friends and family a break. On the book front, I'm glad you love Dead Wake — I've read all of Larsen's books. The first one I read was Isaac's Storm and I thought it was fabulous. I hope that one is in your TBR pile.

92thornton37814
Jan 26, 6:27pm Top

>88 nittnut: The Devil in the White City was a before LT read. I believe I also read Thunderstruck before LT.

93karenmarie
Jan 27, 6:46am Top

Hi Jenn!

Sorry your daughter's been sick for 3 days. Pizza, movies, and cozy chairs with blankets sounds wonderful. My husband's aunt told me that she recently read that flu germs can live up to 26 hours on things like table tops and door handles and etc. I sent wet wipes to work with Bill on Monday and told him to use them everywhere.

I'm glad you found some things to help you understand your MiL better in The Year of Magical Thinking.

94ChelleBearss
Jan 27, 7:49am Top

Sorry to see that your family has had some sickness! Hope your daughter starts to feel better this weekend and hope you don't catch it!
Enjoy your movies and pizza!

95nittnut
Jan 27, 10:34am Top

>91 rosalita: Hi Julia! We are certainly ready for a break! I have Isaac's Storm in the pile. I love a good disaster story. Also, Thunderstruck and The Naked Consumer.

>92 thornton37814: If I remember correctly, I read The Devil in the White City either prior to or just at the beginning of my LT life. It was a RL book club read, and the group had very mixed reactions. Non-fiction was a big risk to take in that group, LOL.

>93 karenmarie: Thanks Karen! She is perking up. Her fever was almost normal yesterday. Lysol wipes have been in heavy use around here. Sink knobs, door handles, table tops, etc. I don't believe she has come downstairs at all in three days, which is good, but I am going to try and get her down to the sofa today. Good to send wipes to work with Bill. Drat those people who come to work sick! Although, I guess the ones who don't know they are sick yet are the real culprits.

>94 ChelleBearss: Thanks Chelle! I am hoping to have a nice quiet day today, catching up on LT and scrubbing down the house, of course. Lol
Pizza was good. My son and I watched Treasures from the Unbelievable on Netflix. My sister recommended it, my son was very skeptical, but then he LOVED it. It's all about finding treasures from an ancient Roman wreck off the coast of East Africa. Very cool. After he went to bed, I binge watched Victoria for a while. :) I haven't watched that much TV in ages.

97jolerie
Jan 28, 8:38pm Top

Sorry to hear about the sickness Jenn! I can definitely relate. There was a period of 2 months in the fall where I don't think there wasn't someone in our family who wasn't sick. Thankfully no flu, but it was getting frustrating that the germs just kept spreading from one person to another. Sending you healthy, healing vibes!

98Berly
Jan 28, 9:28pm Top

Jenn--Hoping you are still avoiding catching the lurgy and that everyone is starting to recover. Good job on the scrubbing doorhandles. Movies on the couch sounds lovely--hang in there!

99AMQS
Jan 28, 10:27pm Top

I'm sorry M is sick. Marina just came down with a cold yesterday, so we're all about rest and homemade chicken soup around here. When people in my world have been getting sick it's been really bad, so I'm hoping that Marina AND Margot feel better soon!

100The_Hibernator
Jan 29, 8:17am Top

I hope M is getting better!

101ffortsa
Jan 29, 10:46am Top

>96 nittnut: thanks for that link. I find I want to follow all the links IN that link, to see what Bertrand Russell and Seneca et al said about 'spare time'. I've bookmarked the page for later, to be enjoyed in my 'spare time'.

Sorry Miss. M. is sick. I've been tracking my sister's flu aftermath from too far away, and I hope your situation is lighter.

102nittnut
Jan 29, 1:09pm Top

>97 jolerie: Thanks Valerie! We will take all the healthy vibes we can get.

>98 Berly: So far, so good Kimberly. :) I fell asleep during The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which is not a bad problem.

>99 AMQS: Hi Anne! Sorry Marina has the crud. Margo is much better, but coughing up a lung still. Technically she could have gone to school today, but she's still pretty tired.

>100 The_Hibernator: She is Rachel, thanks! How did the salmon turn out?

>101 ffortsa: So true Judy. It's a link full of links. Miss M is much better, coughing, but I don't think we had the full blown flu. Thank goodness.

It's rained the last two days, I love it. For one thing, it's warmer. :)
I am cooking up a pot of lentils, which I plan to have with roasted veggies for dinner. I fell off the healthy eating wagon over the weekend in a big way. It involved pizza and girl scout cookies. Time to get back on track.
I'm on the last chapter of Artemis and forget what I said about too much swearing. It's way beyond that. There have been so many swears in the last couple of chapters that I've nearly lost the thread of the story. Ugh. I don't know if I deserve a medal for persevering or not? I've also started Blizzard of Glass and a novel called Heartless which is a sort of riff on Alice in Wonderland. Not sure I like it. It's plenty whimsical, but very, very scattered.

103nittnut
Feb 1, 9:05am Top

#8 Artemis

I persevered.
I love the idea of this book. Life on a moon colony with all it's challenges and possibilities. I didn't end up liking the actual book very much at all. I really disliked the protagonist. She was just way over the top. Abrasive, impulsive, selfish, crude, a lot of negatives and no redeeming qualities. It's sort of an anti-hero story, but without the depth of character or inner conflict that could make the anti-hero interesting. The swearing also got to be way too much. It was a distraction and an annoyance. There were some supporting characters who were interesting, but overall it just didn't work for me.

104ChelleBearss
Feb 1, 9:12am Top

Sorry to see Artemis didn’t work for you. I have that one in the stacks but it will probably be a long time before I get to it.

105jolerie
Feb 1, 2:27pm Top

Aww boo...I can see how the language can get in the way of the enjoyment. A well placed and well used expletive can sometimes be purposeful and entertaining, but if the F bombs are just flying every which way then I wonder if they are just filling in words to meet a word count quota..haha.

106nittnut
Feb 1, 10:02pm Top

>104 ChelleBearss: I will always have The Martian though.

>105 jolerie: The modern Dickens? Just insert a string of swears? LOL

I had a most fabulous meet-up with Karen (karenmarie) today. We talked a LOT and bought some books and had a delicious lunch. At the 2-hour mark, an employee said, "you're still here!" Then we stayed another hour. Selfie in front of Scuppernong Books. Thanks for making the drive Karen! Such a pleasure to spend time with you.

107ChelleBearss
Feb 2, 7:56am Top

>106 nittnut: Awesome meet-up photo! Glad you both had a great time!

108Crazymamie
Feb 2, 11:38am Top

>106 nittnut: Aw! Thanks for sharing, Jenn! Your meet-up sounds full of fabulous!

109katiekrug
Feb 2, 11:44am Top

I'm glad you and Karen had a good meet-up! And thanks for the photo!

110FAMeulstee
Feb 2, 1:24pm Top

>106 nittnut: Great you had a meet-up with Karen, Jenn, thanks for sharing the picture!

111mstrust
Feb 2, 3:47pm Top

>106 nittnut: Fun! And of course you spent three hours in the book store. Respect.

112karenmarie
Feb 2, 9:12pm Top

Hi Jenn!

We did have a fabulous time, didn't we? Except for the risk of getting a parking ticket and you having to revert to mom mode, we could have spent the entire day.

113ronincats
Feb 2, 9:53pm Top

Meet-ups (and photos) are the best!!

114jolerie
Feb 3, 2:04am Top

Yay for meet-ups! So much fun to meet bookish people in real life! :)

115nittnut
Feb 3, 8:57am Top

>107 ChelleBearss: We did! Of course, I've never met anyone from this group who I didn't enjoy. It's a great bunch of people.

>108 Crazymamie: and >109 katiekrug: Hi Mamie and Katie!

>110 FAMeulstee: You're welcome Anita, for the photo. One of my best selfies ever. I'm not making an odd face and we both are in the photo...

>111 mstrust: LOL Jennifer. Of course we spent 3 hours, and would have stayed longer if I didn't have to pick up a kid from school. We try to be thorough, but really we probably spent 2 hours in the used book section.

>112 karenmarie: We did, and no tickets! Hooray for (sort of) free parking. Free if you move your car now and then, Lol.

>113 ronincats: The best.

>114 jolerie: Bookish people are the best people, if we do say so ourselves.

116nittnut
Feb 3, 9:04am Top

It's Saturday! Hooray! Working up the motivation to get my people (including the husband) out of bed to do stuff. It's supposed to rain/snow later, so I want to pick up all the sticks in the yard. There are so many, I keep looking up at our trees to check they are still there. I also want the headboard for my bed worked on. We are painting an old door. The project became rather involved because we had to re-evaluate how tall our bed is for some reason. Hoping we can paint today. And the house is kind of a wreck because I've been doing other stuff this week. So, at some point I will gather the energy for an All Hands on Deck hour.

Has anyone seen The Greatest Showman? It might just be as good as everyone is saying. We went last night, and I thought it was delightful.

I am listening to Dead Wake still, and nearly finished reading Blizzard of Glass. Next in the queue is Samuel Adams, A Life - OTS! And Queens of the Conquest is on my Kindle, and sort of calling to me.

117nittnut
Feb 3, 9:08am Top

#9 Heartless

I read this because I kind of enjoyed The Lunar Chronicles, and thought I'd check this one out. It has all the quirkiness of Alice and Wonderland, but not so much of the charm. The author has imagined the backstory of the Queen of Hearts, and it is pretty much as depressing as you might think. Not so recommended.

118karenmarie
Feb 3, 9:42am Top

Sounds like a busy and productive day planned, Jenn. We might get a bit of freezing rain tomorrow morning, but it's supposed to turn to rain quickly.

119charl08
Feb 3, 11:08am Top

Your meetup sounds great. I am trying to avoid bookshops after a couple of splurges!

I missed The Greatest Showman but am a Jackman fan (despite Australia, althugh it was a close thing) so will try and catch it on the small screen. Did catch The Post, really great.

120AMQS
Feb 3, 9:00pm Top

Great meet up photo, Jenn! We went and saw The Greatest Showman as a family after the girls requested it right before Callia went back to school. We loved it. It was visually stunning, and very touching. Great family outing!

121jolerie
Edited: Feb 6, 2:47pm Top

I've heard great things about The Greatest Showman. Funny thing is when I saw the trailer for it, I wasn't particular interested, but I keep hearing about how good it is...so I guess I better find out for myself. :)
It still tickles me whenever I see Wolverine dancing and singing. So talented!

122rosalita
Feb 6, 1:52pm Top

You had a meet-up! So much fun, and more faces to link to names. :-)

123LovingLit
Feb 6, 6:03pm Top

>106 nittnut: yay! There is evidence :)
I love that you were called out by the employee at the book shop for *still* being there :) :) :) I bet you gave them a quizzled look- like, why *wouldn't* we still be here??!?!

124nittnut
Feb 6, 6:09pm Top

>118 karenmarie: We had freezing rain, but it started later than expected here, so we were all at church trying to decide if it would make any difference to leave early. I'm happy for spring to come now, pollen notwithstanding.

>119 charl08: I don't know anything about The Post. I will have to look it up. Haha! "despite Australia" so funny.

>120 AMQS: Hi Anne! Such a great family outing. I thought that first scene with the stomping and everything dark but the silhouette of Barnum was pretty cool.

>121 jolerie: I am always a little skeptical when people are raving about a film, but I'd say it's worth checking out. :)

>122 rosalita: Hi Julia! I know - meetups are so cool.

>123 LovingLit: You know we were totally confused by his comment LOL. Who can't spend hours in a book shop?

125nittnut
Feb 6, 6:47pm Top

#10 The Order of the Phoenix

I just finished reading this with Mr. E. Then we watched the film. He's been really excited to get to read the rest of the series. I made him wait until 5th grade because, like his older brother, he has a very vivid imagination and he dreams. I don't like interrupted sleep, so therefore, we wait. If you haven't read it, the following contains spoilers.

Harry returns to Hogwarts after a rough summer. He has been plagued by dreams of the horrific events at the end of the Tri-Wizard Tournament, and to top it all off, he had to fight off dementors in Little Whinging. He is feeling rather alone and forlorn and Dumbledore seems to be distancing himself from Harry. Nobody believes that Voldemort is back. There are teacher troubles and a scary connection between Harry's mind and Voldemort's.

This is not my favorite of the series. It's still important, but it's not my favorite. It's uniformly dark, even Fred and George's escapades don't shine a light for very long. Umbridge is a very disturbing character. She has no known connection with Voldemort, yet she causes division and unhappiness that only help him spread fear and unrest. The film leaves out too much, which makes it feel a little scattered.

126ChelleBearss
Feb 7, 8:59am Top

I can understand waiting to read this one until an age appropriate time. As much as I love all of the books they do get darker in the middle and stay that way for a bit. They start as children's books but around the middle they really stop being children's books and become more young adult. Which I guess makes sense as Harry is growing up too.

127jolerie
Edited: Feb 7, 5:41pm Top

A little bird on Megan's thread told me it's someones special day.

128FAMeulstee
Feb 7, 5:39pm Top

Happy Birthday, Jenn!

I heard it from the same little bird ;-)

129msf59
Edited: Feb 7, 6:19pm Top



^I hope you are having a great day, Jenn. And thanks for the help on my New Zealand adventure.

130ChelleBearss
Feb 7, 7:23pm Top

Happy birthday!!!

131nittnut
Feb 7, 7:52pm Top

>127 jolerie: Haha! Thanks Valerie. I owe Megan a book, Lol

>128 FAMeulstee: Thank you Anita!

>129 msf59: I have had a great day, thanks Mark! I had Korean food for lunch and my favorite BBQ for dinner. I will have to go to the gym in the morning. Love the book stack :)
I am always happy to prod people in the direction of a NZ holiday. I'd move back in a heartbeat if the opportunity arose. It's a lovely country full of lovely people. We only met the nice ones, naturally. *grin* January and February are my favorite months, but the airlines know it...

>130 ChelleBearss: Thanks Chelle!

132avatiakh
Feb 7, 11:05pm Top

Oh Happy Birthday. I visited your thread on the right day! Just back from a week in Wanaka.

133avatiakh
Feb 7, 11:06pm Top

Oh Hppy Birthday. I visited your thread on the right day! Just back from a week in Wanaka.

134ronincats
Feb 8, 12:12am Top

OOH, happy birthday, Jenn. It is still your birthday here!

135rosalita
Feb 8, 7:22am Top

Happy belated birthday, Jenn! I guess you'll just have to have another birthday cupcake for me. :-)

136drneutron
Feb 8, 10:06am Top

Happy birthday!

137Crazymamie
Feb 8, 10:39am Top

A belated Happy Birthday from me, too, Jenn! Hoping it was full of fabulous!

138RebaRelishesReading
Feb 8, 12:14pm Top

Oh dear!! I missed your birthday. I hope it was a very happy day and that the coming year is warm and loving to you!

139SandDune
Feb 8, 4:29pm Top

A belated Happy Birthday!

140charl08
Feb 8, 4:32pm Top

And just adding my birthday greetings!

141LovingLit
Feb 8, 5:38pm Top

>131 nittnut: Haha! Thanks Valerie. I owe Megan a book, Lol
I am still getting mileage of the one you gave me that I gave to my mum, dedicated personally to "Jennifer", which of course works for both you and her!

Happy Birthday :)

142karenmarie
Feb 9, 9:42am Top

Sorry, Jenn, I blew it, but happy belated Birthday to you! Sounds like you had a wonderful day.

143BLBera
Feb 9, 10:41am Top

Belated happy birthday, Jenn. How I missed almost your whole thread, I don't know.

I hope all are well in your household and the weather is mild.

Great meet-up photo.

144Familyhistorian
Feb 9, 3:16pm Top

Hi Jenn, just checking out your thread for the first time. Happy belated birthday. The best people are born in early February! That's a great meet-up selfie in #106. Good idea to use your FIL's art for toppers. I might just steal that idea from you. I inherited art from both my mother and father so there are a few paintings around here. Maybe taking photos of the artwork for toppers will actually motivate me to hang them on the wall.

145nittnut
Feb 9, 6:59pm Top

Thank you Kerry, Roni, Julia, Jim, Mamie, Reba, Rhian, Charlotte, Megan, Karen, Beth and Meg! I had a great birthday. :)

>141 LovingLit: That is a lot of mileage off one book, LOL

>142 karenmarie: No worries!

>143 BLBera: The first few months are tough - keeping up around here - finding everyone - it's a busy place.

>144 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! Nice to have you. :) Does your tagline indicate an addition to Family History research?

146nittnut
Feb 9, 7:26pm Top

#11 Dead Wake - audio

Fantastic audio, narrated by Scott Brick.

Dead Wake is the story of the sinking of the Lusitania. Just as one would expect, Erik Larson has done his research and created a compelling narrative. He doesn't confine himself to just the Lusitania or the UBoat that sank her. He also covers the political situation in Britain, the way intelligence was handled and the possibility of a conspiracy to bring the US into the war. On the US side, Larson gives some insight into Woodrow Wilson's life, including some details of his courtship of his second wife, and the reluctance of the US to enter into a European war. Highly recommended.

Currently reading Samuel Adams: A Life and A Country Between, and the current Newbery that I'm reading with Mr. E is The Dark Frigate.

147Familyhistorian
Feb 9, 7:36pm Top

>145 nittnut: Addiction, you might say that. I do research most days for my family history and for the history/genealogy blog that I write. Even most of the trips I take are related to my research.

148nittnut
Feb 9, 7:57pm Top

>147 Familyhistorian: Well, that's what I call it. For as long as I can remember, my mother and her mother and her mother's mother have been obsessed with family history. I love hearing the stories, and I expect I will succumb to the genetic compulsion at some point. We had a really neat experience while living in NZ. My mother told me the sister of one of our direct line ancestors was buried in an old cemetery up near Auckland. We went and looked, and with the help of the caretaker, we were able to find her grave. We took photos and added them to her page.

149nittnut
Feb 9, 7:59pm Top

Huge exciting announcement!! I am a grandma! Don't panic, it's not Jonah. One of the lovely girls I fostered in NZ had a baby, and since I adopted her mama, I consider baby mine too. I finally uploaded a photo to share!


Esther Rose, born February 4th. 9 lbs!! Mama and baby are doing well.

150karenmarie
Edited: Feb 10, 7:44am Top

Hi Jenn and congrats on being a grandma! Sweet.

>146 nittnut: I have Dead Wake on my shelves. You make me want to pull it down and read it NOW.

151BLBera
Feb 10, 9:29am Top

>149 nittnut: Congrats! What a beautiful baby. Being a grandma rocks!

152ChelleBearss
Feb 10, 9:37am Top

>149 nittnut: Aww, so sweet! Congrats!

>146 nittnut: Glad to see you enjoyed this one! I have his The Devil in the White City on tap for sometime this year (hopefully!)

153LovingLit
Feb 10, 7:56pm Top

>145 nittnut: I think we both appreciate the niftiness of the whole thing :)

>149 nittnut: I did have a wee freak out when I saw that on FB, and I thought Jonah may have had a kiwi girlfriend for a second there!!! Esther is gorgeous, (*cluck cluck*). Wow, babies are amazing :)

154charl08
Feb 11, 4:57pm Top

She's so cute! Congrats.

155AMQS
Feb 11, 9:11pm Top

Aw, congratulations! What a beautiful baby. And happy late birthday!

156LizzieD
Feb 11, 11:17pm Top

Dropping out of lurk to speak and admire Esther Rose. What a BIG BABY!!!!
Hope you're enjoying this weird, warm weather.

157Berly
Feb 12, 10:18am Top

Jenn--So far behind...jealous of your meetup with Karen...Happy (belated) Birthday! (February birthdays are the best -- mine is coming up!)...Congrats Grandma!! There. That should do it. : )

158RebaRelishesReading
Feb 12, 11:46am Top

>149 nittnut: What a beautiful little girl!! Grandkids are great, no matter how you get them :)

159rosalita
Feb 12, 1:13pm Top

Wonderful review of Dead Wake, Jenn, and congratulations on your foster grandbaby! I bet you wish you were there to give her a cuddle right now.

160jolerie
Feb 12, 2:56pm Top

Awww..congrats Jenn!! Being a grandma is the best...or so I'm told. ;)

161nittnut
Feb 12, 6:08pm Top

>150 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Thanks :) So, you're totally reading Dead Wake now, right? Right?

>151 BLBera: Hi Beth! I believe it does, only it would rock more if baby was closer, wouldn't it?

>152 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle. I read Devil in the White City a long time ago, but it was memorable. I am sure you will like it, when you get to it.

>153 LovingLit: Ha! Thank goodness he's not a daddy yet. He's feeding himself quite well, so we are pleased. But we don't want babies yet!

>154 charl08: Thanks Charlotte!

>155 AMQS: Thank you Anne :)

>156 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! I'm reeling from the January gas bill, so I'm completely OK with this warm weather.

>157 Berly: No need to be jealous Kimberly. You of the many Powells Books meetups. *grin* Since you're here, I'm hoping that means you're feeling better.

>158 RebaRelishesReading: I totally agree Reba! I love this baby, and hate that she's so far away!

>159 rosalita: Thanks Julia. I do want to give her a cuddle.

>160 jolerie: I'm thinking it's pretty great. I think it would be better to have baby nearby. I keep saying that, but it's true.

162nittnut
Edited: Feb 13, 7:29pm Top

I had a 4- Kleenex Box cold over the weekend. Bright side? It was really only a 2-day thing. No fever, no sore throat. Weird.

I got to Skype with Tamyka at the weekend and see baby Esther and hear her little squeaks. She is so pink and darling. Her mum is doing well and so good with her.

Very worried about friends in Samoa and Tonga at the moment. There is a Bad Cyclone and we are waiting to hear that our Tonga people are OK.

I just finished Underground Railroad, and serendipitously received The Hounds of Spring in the mail from karenmarie. I believe it was written by our very own sybix. I am looking forward to reading it. After which, I will, of course, encourage people to go buy their own copy. *grin*

Is anyone else obsessing over the Olympics? Mr. E has become obsessed with curling. Who knew? I love the speed skating (legs, oh my) and the luge/bobsled/skeleton the most. Although, I have serious questions about luge doubles. Yeah. Let's stack two guys on a sled and send them down a steep curvy hill. Whose idea was that anyway?

ETA: fixed touchstone for The Hounds of Spring.

163jolerie
Feb 12, 6:52pm Top

My boys are in love with curling as well! I wouldn't have pegged them for the types that would enjoy it but they surprise me every once in a while. The other one that gets them going is snowboarding. The mom in me is nudging them towards the curling instead..haha

164nittnut
Edited: Feb 14, 1:02pm Top

#12 Underground Railroad - AAC

This will be one of those Good, Bad and Ugly reviews.
The good: the novel is creative and unique, I read it pretty much straight through, and it will definitely be memorable. I liked the idea of making the underground railroad a literal rail underground. It's quirky, and the many abandoned stations and tunnels that go nowhere are pretty good metaphors. I also deeply appreciate the talent of this author. This book seemed deliberately crafted and structured for a specific response, and in that, I believe he was totally successful.
The bad: the story line is disjointed, jumping between place and time so abruptly that I often had to turn pages back and try to figure out where I had been and how I got to where I was. Even worse, the characters are woefully underdeveloped. Cora is the main character, but who is she? At first we are given an impression that she's a little crazy, but then we find out that Caesar is attracted to her strength and wants her to run away with him. Huh. Who is Caesar, you ask? It doesn't matter. He disappears without a trace 1/3 of the way through the book. As do most other secondary characters. Don't even try to get attached to anyone. You won't get a chance.
The ugly: As a device to compress decades of events and increase the horror of the institution, I can see why the author would choose to create a fictional SC with a "Tuskegee Experiment" kind of situation and a fictional NC where all the black people were being hunted down and murdered, but here's where things got ugly. The allusion to the "Freedom Trail" and the turning of it into something abominable is perhaps overselling the point. All the white people in the book were either evil (slave holders, slave catchers, social experimenters) or bumbling fools who meant well but were too dumb to do a good job.
There were portions of the story where the author's voice asserted itself and lectured the reader on the evil done by white America. I don't like being lectured. I can get there without the lecture, I think most readers can. Slavery was evil. There is not enough sorry in the world to make up for it. We should talk about it and acknowledge the legacy of it and the institutional racism that resulted. We should identify what needs to change and we should also recognize what has changed. We should also remember that there is great danger in institutionalizing blame and demanding that the other side pay. That never ends well.
This book will definitely generate discussion, and that's usually a good thing.

165nittnut
Feb 12, 7:03pm Top

>163 jolerie: Agreed. Every time a snowboarder goes down, I have heart palpitations...

166thornton37814
Feb 12, 7:08pm Top

>164 nittnut: Good review. I read it more closely than I should have since it's still waiting to be read this month by me. However, your unique approach to the review swept me away.

167nittnut
Feb 12, 7:15pm Top

>166 thornton37814: EEEK! I should probably put in a spoiler alert. *trudges off to >164 nittnut:*

168ChelleBearss
Feb 13, 8:21am Top

>162 nittnut: We are also Olympic obsessed here. Chloe and I watched the women's luge and she thinks it an ice toboggan :)
I love watching the curling. It looks so easy but after trying it many years back I realize how difficult it is! I watched Canada get gold in the mixed curling this morning and it was awesome.
Snowboarding makes me nervous as well. Especially the women's slopestyle! The winds there are sending those women flying and not in a helpful way!

169mstrust
Feb 13, 11:47am Top

Happy belated birthday, and congratulations on the new baby! February has been exciting for you already!

170The_Hibernator
Feb 13, 3:38pm Top

>164 nittnut: I didn't read the spoiler, so I don't get to know the bad and the ugly parts of the review. I hope to read this book sometime this year, and then maybe I can find out what you hated about it. :)

171karenmarie
Feb 13, 5:02pm Top

Hi Jenn!

>161 nittnut: Hi Karen! Thanks :) So, you're totally reading Dead Wake now, right? Right? It's third from the left in the bookends on my desk, so at least it's a visible reminder that I want to read it sooner than later.



>162 nittnut: I've got Lucy's book on order already, so felt very good about giving someone else a chance to read it early.

We're enjoying the Olympics, too. What has surprised us is that we're enjoying snowboarding - halfpipe and slope. We love curling, too, and have for about 3 Winter Olympics now. We've also watched US/Finland and Japan/Switzerland women's ice hockey, but absolutely Do Not Care what icing or blue line are. Ignorance is bliss.

172LovingLit
Feb 13, 6:39pm Top

>162 nittnut: Is that The Hounds of Spring the correct link? I wanna see it, drool over it etc....

173nittnut
Feb 13, 7:33pm Top

>168 ChelleBearss: Canada played so well! It was really cool to watch the match for gold (or whatever they call it). They totally dominated.

>169 mstrust: Thank you Jennifer!

>170 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel. Hate would be a very strong word. Colson Whitehead is a very talented writer, even if I didn't love some things about the book.

>171 karenmarie: Ignorance is definitely bliss. :)

>172 LovingLit: It wasn't the correct link - thanks for catching that Megan! I fixed it. :)

174nittnut
Edited: Feb 14, 11:01pm Top

#13 The Hounds of Spring - Thank you Karen!

The Hounds of Spring is a rather short book about a day in the life of Poppy, who has run into a snag in her education/career plans, and is walking dogs while she tries to work out what she wants to do. The story begins at the beginning of the day. Poppy has a schedule to meet, work and then appointments. She goes about her day, and her day is so relate-able in its course, as a well organized schedule slowly goes off the rails. There is a lot more to the day than one would expect by the size of it. One thing I really appreciated was the character development. Poppy, her dog, her boyfriend, her brother, her mother, her clients, were all so well known to the author that she was able to make them known to the reader within the constraints of the single day. Throughout the day, Poppy spends a lot of time in introspection, trying to figure out her life, in a very natural way. It never feels like navel gazing.
As she drove toward the expressway entrance, Poppy admitted that having given in to this unwise impulse to take care of everyone, it was more than likely she would fail to take care of any of them as they deserved. She had a feeling that her mind did not hold things in separate compartments the way, by the time you were grown up, you were supposed to be able to do. The day had become entangled with the opposing needs of three people to whom she was committed as either a lover, sibling, or friend, each a relationship that was ordinarily kept separate. Was it enough of a reason that she loved all of them?
This is the story of adult life; how to balance the competing needs of those we love, with the responsibilities and requirements of life. What I found so charming about Poppy was this sense that she was willing to take a deep breath and make the best of a situation that was going to be awkward, at best.
This is a delightful book. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I am sure that it will hold up well over multiple reads. It is one that I will happily give to family and friends. Highly recommended.

175Crazymamie
Feb 15, 8:31am Top

>174 nittnut: That is a lovely review of Lucy's book, Jenn. I'm off to add my thumb to it.

Wishing you a Sweet Thursday!

176ChelleBearss
Feb 15, 9:03am Top

Great review of Lucy's book! Thumb added :)

177karenmarie
Feb 15, 9:21am Top

Good morning, Jenn!

>174 nittnut: Thumbed!

I'm 17 pages into Dead Wake. It's very good so far. 17 pages is not a lot, but I love his writing style.

178RebaRelishesReading
Feb 15, 11:06am Top

>174 nittnut: Likewise thumbed!

179nittnut
Edited: Feb 16, 10:30pm Top

>175 Crazymamie: - >178 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks everyone for the thumbs! If you haven't had a chance to read Lucy's book, it releases April 1. It's worth it. *warble-warble*

Now for something not worth your time:

The Cove - DNF

Not. A. Fan. Nope.

I hate it when an acquaintance recommends a series that is a "favorite" of theirs, and it's purely awful. Talk about awkward. Sigh.

#14 A Country Between Non-fiction challenge - memoir

A memoir of the beginning of a family. It's interesting, this idea of living in a war zone and starting a family, and hoping maybe it won't touch you. I mostly really liked it, occasionally there was a little too much navel gazing.

#15 Cotillion

The yearly re-read.

Currently reading: Samuel Adams: A Life and thinking of starting The Secret Life of Trees. Or maybe Lily and the Octopus.

180karenmarie
Feb 17, 9:52am Top

Hi Jenn! Happy Saturday. Don't you just love the 30-degree difference between yesterday and today?

Yay for Heyer! My absolute favorite is Devil's Cub. I don't think we discussed Heyer at Scuppernong. One of my favorite authors of all time, I have read all her romances, many of them with multiple re-reads. Her mysteries leave me cold though. Do you like her mysteries?

181nittnut
Feb 17, 2:32pm Top

>180 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Weird weather, but as long as it stays above freezing, I can cope. I adore Georgette Heyer. I think we did mention her briefly before we got distracted by something else, because I think I remember you asking if I remembered my first one. Her mysteries leave me cold.

Today started out busy - subbed a water fitness class at the Y, then came out and found that someone had dinged my bumper. They were kind enough to leave a note, so we are working through that. Boo. I feel like I just got that fixed!
Then I went to help someone move. When I got there, they were pretty much done, which was awesome. We picked up a piece of trim from the architectural salvage place to finish our headboard, which we will do after hockey is done. While the boys are at hockey, I believe I will start working on the pillows for the bed. I have no idea what's for dinner. Maybe someone else will figure that out. If they don't, I vote for pancakes.

182karenmarie
Feb 20, 9:01am Top

Hi Jenn and happy (foggy?) Tuesday to you. Very foggy here and I'm loving it. Of course, I don't have to be out in it - Bill said that it was the lightest here at home and was foggy the entire 42 mile commute to work.

3 hours wasn't enough, was it? Yay Georgette Heyer romances, boo flunk to her mysteries. I think I'll just get them all off my shelves. I have eleven of them.

I hope you all had a good weekend.

183nittnut
Feb 20, 9:57pm Top

>182 karenmarie: Hi Karen! It was foggy here in the morning, but it burned off. Boo Flunk to the mysteries indeed. However, there is one mystery-ish one I did like, Pistols for Two, which is a collection of short stories. Have you read that one? We still have a lot of books to talk about for sure.

We had a busy weekend. My headboard is painted a very bright greenish blue. We put it in the room just for fun, because we did not intend for it to stay bright like that, and sent a photo to my MIL. She tried really hard to be nice, and said "it definitely makes a statement."
LOL. We are going to do a crackle treatment sort of thing on it and paint white over the top, so just bits of the greeny blue will show. I also managed to make one pillow.

Funny story - My daughter made pancakes for dinner Sunday night. She got out the freezer jam she made last summer at youth group. We were all happily enjoying our pancakes and she said, "How do you like my jam?" There was a brief pause as we all chewed and swallowed, and then she said, "We smashed the berries with our feet."

I am still reading Samuel Adams: A Life and I am undecided about my next audio book. I have My Cousin Rachel or Eleanor Oliphant to choose from.

184karenmarie
Feb 21, 2:54pm Top

Hi Jenn!

I haven't read Pistols for Two but don't consider it a mystery, just haven't read it yet. The Amazon blurb said the stories take place during the Regency.

Your headboard will be wonderful, and I admire anybody who can do anything more than repair a hem or put a button on. Your poor MiL trying to find something good to say about your headboard.

Your daughter sounds like she has the makings of a comedienne. Timing is critical and hers sounds good.

I haven't read either - My Cousin Rachel or Eleanor Oliphant but have them both on my shelves. I'm reading Obsession in Death, the 40th Eve Dallas, as a counterweight to the nonfiction Dead Wake and to reward myself for reading 52 pages of Plainsong before abandoning it.

185jolerie
Feb 21, 3:28pm Top

Your idea for the headboard sounds beautiful. I had a friend who when he got married, built a headboard from scratch for his wife. I always look at crafty people in amazement and awe. :)

186nittnut
Feb 21, 11:14pm Top

>184 karenmarie: I think it's got a mystery or two in it, maybe. For some reason I've conflated it with the mysteries, sort of. But it's definitely Regency and she does that so much better.

I started Eleanor Oliphant. So far, it's interesting. Odd, but interesting.

>185 jolerie: I hope it works out, Lol. We will see.

187Donna828
Feb 25, 2:40pm Top

So far behind. Belated congratulations on your meetup with Karen, your birthday, and the birth of the lovely Esther Rose. I also enjoyed your review of The Hounds of Spring. I don't buy many new books but have this one on order from Amazon to support our very own LT author Lucy!

Your thoughts on Artemis mirror my own reaction. The premise wasn't awful but the main character garnered no respect and little sympathy from me. I don't always have to like the characters to enjoy a book, but it does help!

*chuckling about the smashed strawberries*

188SandDune
Feb 25, 3:18pm Top

189nittnut
Feb 26, 9:44pm Top

>187 Donna828: Hi Donna! Thank you - of the list - I have to say Esther Rose is my favorite event, but meeting Karen was pretty good too. :) I hope you enjoy The Hounds of Spring!

>188 SandDune: Hi Rhian! I am getting into it a little more. She is so odd, but as I learn more, I am more sympathetic. I am very interested to see where this all goes.

I have greatly neglected both thread and books lately. I have been so so so busy! Church work keeps me running, but it's all good stuff. NO funerals! Work sent me to a 2 day training last week, 8 hours of classroom instruction and 8 hours in the pool instruction. I still have to study and take a written and practical exam, then I will be a certified water fitness instructor. I am marinated in chlorine though. Today I worked in my yard because Spring is busting out all over around here. I have more to do in the yard tomorrow, but it will have to wait until I clean my very neglected house as well. That's just how busy life has been.

I am nearly done with Samuel Adams: A Life, and I am reading Lily and the Octopus and listening to Eleanor Oliphant.

I hope everyone is great. I will try and visit threads soon!

190karenmarie
Mar 1, 2:28pm Top

Quick hello, Jenn! Spring is teasing us - my forsythia is in bloom but today it's 54F and rainy.

191Berly
Mar 2, 1:16am Top

>164 nittnut: Great review!! Okay, now I'll move on to you new thread. : )

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