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Cameling's Reading Beanbag #1

This topic was continued by Cameling's Reading Beanbag #2.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Jan 29, 12:47pm Top

Hello again everyone, from my comfy beanbag in Massachusetts. My thread is often a hodgepodge of books, food and travel .. in that order of importance, although books and food are close to being tied for first. This year, I'm planning to cook from The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery by Chris-Rachael Oseland through the year, so I'll add pics from the results in addition to pics of food from my travels.

Through some of my travels, I hope to be able to meet up with some of you in person, so don't be too surprised if I reach out with a PM or two if I'm going to be in your neck of the woods.

I have successfully culled my bookshelves in the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, and look forward to overfilling them once again in 2018, a weakness I am not interested in overcoming. I can't wait to see what you are all reading this year.

Happy reading, one and all !

Fiction 12
Non-Fiction :2

Female Authors :8
Male Authors:6

Edited: Jan 29, 12:48pm Top

January Reads
The Waking Land - Callie Bates
The Sun and Her Flowers - Rupi Kaur
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant - Anne Tyler
Age of Assassins - RJ Barker
Three Floors Up - Eshkol Nevo
2 Serious Ladies - Jane Bowles
Death At La Fenice - Donna Leon
King of Spies - Blaine Harden
White Fire - Preston & Child
Operation Monsoon - Shona Ramaya
The Pyramid of Mud - Andrea Camilleri
Lily and the Octopus - Steven Rowley
Banana Cream Pie Murder - Joanne Fluke
A Homemade Life - Molly Wizenberg

Dec 31, 2017, 3:18pm Top

Dropping a star, Caro! Love the hedgehog.

Dec 31, 2017, 3:19pm Top

Happy reading in 2018, Caro!

Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 3:38pm Top

>3 Crazymamie:

I saw this teeshirt and was so tempted to get it but for the fact that it's only available in green and I look positively sickly in green.

>4 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita. I actually didn't read many duds in 2017, so I remain optimistic for another good reading year ahead. Hope you enjoy many good reads in 2018 too.

Dec 31, 2017, 3:39pm Top

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

Dec 31, 2017, 3:41pm Top

Usually we head into Boston for First Night on New Year's Eve, to walk around the city and look at the ice sculptures, take in a little music, the early fireworks and have a lovely dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, but it's so bitingly cold today (it's 7F now and dropping) that we have decided to give it a miss and stay home, snuggle on the couch in our onesies, watch movies on TV and drink tea instead. I do have a bottle of champagne in the fridge .. just in case, my inner wild child kicks up a fuss.

Dec 31, 2017, 3:53pm Top

>5 cameling: - I love, love, love this.

Happy new reading year, Caro!

Dec 31, 2017, 5:18pm Top

view from Zürich's landmark mountain Üetliberg

Dec 31, 2017, 6:37pm Top

Welcome back! We're snuggled in too - way too cold for getting out and about.

Dec 31, 2017, 6:55pm Top

Happy New Year, Caro! Sounds like a good way to spend the evening when it’s that cold.

Dec 31, 2017, 9:04pm Top

Welcome back, Caroline!
Dropping off my star and sending you wonderful wishes for the new year!

Jan 1, 12:21am Top

Dropping off a
And wishing you

Jan 1, 3:51am 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.

Jan 1, 7:19am Top

Jan 1, 8:34am Top

^We hope to see you around a bit more often, Caro. I know it isn't easy with a busy workload, but darn it, we miss you!

Hugs to my pal.

Jan 1, 8:43am Top


>5 cameling: I love Snorg Tees. Sometimes I just go on the website to read the tshirt offerings. We have the Mordor Fun Run one and Distance Raptor/Time Raptor = Velociraptor. I too wish the Hedgehog one was available in any other color.

Jan 1, 11:02am Top

>6 The_Hibernator: What a cute dog. A friend bought a snowman outfit for her dog. Because he's white, you have to really look and you'll see that there's a hood and his ears are tucked into it .. otherwise he looks like he has no ears. :-)

Jan 1, 11:07am Top

>8 katiekrug: Thanks Katie.... and back at you. May we all enjoy a great reading year. So far the year appears to be starting off on the right reading foot with 2 good ones that I'll review later.

>9 Ameise1: What a beautiful picture, Barbara. Thank you and a happy new year to you too.

>10 drneutron: It's ridiculous. It was -2F this morning when I woke up at 7am. I slept in because I stayed up till 3am to finish a book I had started yesterday. Now Edd is making going out noises because he's suffering from cabin fever after staying in for 2 days. And here's me thinking it would be a good day for a James Bond marathon on TV. Then again, he did mention dropping in at Barnes & Noble since we both received B&N gift cards for Christmas. ;-)

Jan 1, 11:14am Top

>11 cushlareads: I've been looking at your sunny photos wistfully, Cushla. I like the cold, but this is ridiculous. I'd like more snow though so I can get some crosscountry skiing in, but preferable without the temp dipping below -10C.

>12 EBT1002: Thanks for the wishes, Ellen. I may be swinging over to your neck of the woods for a conference in May. Not confirmed yet, but if I do have to attend it, I'll drop you a PM. Would be lovely to see you and P again if you're in town. (notice how I blithely assume you'll want another meetup with me. Haha)

>13 ronincats: Pretty star. Thanks, Roni. I can't wait to see what you'll be reading and making this year. You're such an inspiration. I know that I want to take up pottery when I retire ... if I'm able to retire before I'm 102.

>14 PaulCranswick: Aww. that's sweet, Paul. Thanks. You know that wouldn't be me leaping in the picture because I'd fall in the gap, or just about reach the other side but slam my chin against the edge and topple backwards into the abyss below.

Jan 1, 11:20am Top

>15 Carmenere: Thanks Lynda. Many good wishes for a wonderful 2018 to you too.

>16 msf59: Hugs, Mark. I would love to be around this year too. I did better last year than I did in 2015, so I think the work thing seems to be settling down a little ... or maybe I'm just gallivanting less. I'm stateside for the whole month of January .. whooohoooo! And then traveling on the last day and spending a month in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

>17 nittnut: Jenn, I love going to the Snorgtee site just to read their tees too. I have a No Drama Llama one from them.

Another tee site I like is teeturtle : https://www.teeturtle.com/

Jan 1, 11:21am Top

13° outside, so not one millimeter out my door do I go. Having a great time finding everyone in the exploding-like-the-TARDIS group!

Jan 1, 11:36am Top

1. by Callie Bates
The Waking Land

This made for a wonderful start to the year. Elanna Valtai, taken from her family's home when she was 5 because her father had been accused of conspiracy to put the Old Pretender on the throne. 14 years later, she's accused of murdering the king and is now on the run. She has powers that she doesn't quite know how to control but knows she has to keep hidden or be branded a witch and hunted.

She's accompanied by her old clansmen who believe she needs to go back to Caer-Ys, even as she denies her heritage. It is only when she learns the truth of the lies she's been fed all the years she's been away that her allegiance starts to waver. But what is it she's fighting for? Can she be the Steward of the Land and be the instrument that wakes it? Can she break the curse of the stones, bring unity to the world and to help the right person gain the throne, to rule with justice?

It didn't take me long to really get into this novel and once I did, I couldn't put it down, not even while I was cooking dinner. :-)

4 stars

2. Rupi Kaur
The Sun and Her Flowers

A book of poems around solace, grief and the anger that one feels when one is no longer in a relationship. The book is divided into 5 chapters : wilting, falling, rooting, rising and blooming.

One of the poems I like is:

you cannot
walk in and out of me
like a revolving door
i have too many miracles
happening inside me
to be your convenient option

- not your hobby

3 stars

Jan 1, 11:39am Top

>22 richardderus: Whoohoo.. it's 6F now. Heatwave!

I recorded the Christmas special and am looking forward to watching it later this afternoon. House chores call ..which I'm desperately trying to put off. I watched the Sneak Peek and can't wait to see what happens when the current Dr meets his previous self. It promises to be a good episode, I hear.

Jan 1, 11:41am Top

Hello Dear Caroline!

Happy New Year to you!

Jan 1, 11:45am Top

Happy New Year!

Hobbit cookery? Sounds like an excellent thing to dive into.

Jan 1, 12:19pm Top

Wishing you many happy 2018 reads!

Jan 1, 1:32pm Top

>23 cameling: I am reminded of my review of HelloSunshine when I read Rupi Kaur's "poetry."

>24 cameling: Kath tells me the Xmas special was excellent, though we both agree that the end of Capaldi as 12 is as much a relief as the end of 45 as prez will be.

Jan 1, 1:53pm Top

>25 Whisper1: Dear Linda, thank you for visiting. I wish you good health and a painfree 2018. oh.. and lots of good reads... and another spontaneous airport meet up with yours truly. :-)

>26 PawsforThought: Right? I'm that pleased with this particular Christmas gift. I've been reading it yesterday woven into the recipes are little nuggets about hobbit life. It's such a fun book.

>27 thornton37814: Hello there, Lori. Thank you and I wish you a wonderful 2018.

>28 richardderus: I liked The Sun and Her Flowers but I had started it about a month and a half ago, realizing after the first chapter, that it would be really depressing if I read the whole thing in 1 sitting. So I broke the book up and read a few pages here and there over 45 days or so.

I too am relieved Capaldi's moving on and we're getting a new Dr. Oh but I wish David Tennant could have stayed on longer. He's my favorite Dr, with Matt Smith rolling up as a close 2nd. What were they thinking with Capaldi, I wonder?

I was missing Clara, and am so pleased that she's back on TV.. as Victoria. :-)

Jan 1, 1:57pm Top

I cannot even begin to imagine what was going through Steven Moffat's mind making the 12th Doctor anyone OLDER than the 11th. The US election teaches us that retrograde generational movement is ALWAYS BAD. Reagan was older than Carter; 45 is Obama's senior by more than a decade. Will we never learn?!

Jan 1, 2:06pm Top

I watched Dr.Who for the first time ever on the Christmas special because I love Jodi Whittaker and look forward to her in the role of Dr. So I don’t have anyone to compare Capaldi to except the first doctor.

Hi Caro. Starred

Jan 1, 2:19pm Top

>30 richardderus: Maybe he knew Capaldi's role was going to be a relatively short one?

It's too bad River Song died in the Library because otherwise, it would have made for an interesting episode if they had her come back when Jodi Whittaker's the Dr.

>31 brenzi: Oh Bonnie, there's no comparison at all. Capaldi was awful as the Dr. If you have time, Netflix the previous seasons, and you'll see Tennant and Smith were both really right for the part, and Capaldi was a floundering monkfish.

I did watch a teaser of Jodi as the new Dr and can't wait to see how she makes the role hers. It will be interesting, to say the least.

Jan 1, 2:19pm Top

Wishing you a Happy New Year, Caro! *And looking forward to the amazing food photos I know will come.*

Jan 1, 2:22pm Top

I'm eager to see what Jodie Whittaker does as 13...and as for River, well, remember that she's a time traveler too....

Jan 1, 8:18pm Top

Happy 2018, Caro!

That's a beautiful photo up top.

Jan 1, 9:49pm Top

Two down already!! See? Staying inside wan't all bad. : ) Hope it warms up soon.

Happy 2018!!

Jan 2, 11:39am Top

Happy New Year, Caro. I look forward to following your travels and reading through the year. I hope it's a good one.

Jan 2, 12:43pm Top

Happy New Year to you, and happy reading too! You're already off to a great start! And the Hobbit cookbook has me intrigued! :)

Jan 2, 2:19pm Top

>33 mstrust: Since you mentioned food.... here's one from yesterday. It was cold and I was in need of curry. So I whipped up some chicken curry for dinner.

Jan 2, 2:23pm Top

I love chicken curry. Just sayin' *hopeful puppy eyes*

Jan 2, 2:24pm Top

Oh, it looks delicious.

Jan 2, 2:27pm Top

>34 richardderus: I just watched the Christmas special... loved it! If there's one thing they always get right, these writers for the series, they always get the Christmas episodes just right.

I live in hope River does come back and meets with the 13th Dr. I'd love to see how they write that episode.

>35 jnwelch: Joe, all camels are pretty, aren't they? Even the snaggly toothed one I met in a petting zoo .. .although he did not want to be petted and spat at everyone who came close.

>36 Berly: Kim, alas, the holidays are over and I'm back at the grindstone .. albeit wrapped warming in a blanket on the couch. Yes, I'm working from home today and tomorrow . Not looking forward to Thursday when I do have to be in the office since I hear a potential blizzard might be on its way and if not, there will still be snow anyway. Drats.

>37 BLBera: Hi Beth. No travels this month, thankfully. That starts in February. I hope we all have a great reading year. I'm off to the library in a few minutes to return some books and a DVD. I finally got to watch the movie "Hidden Figures" and loved it. That these amazing women weren't given much credit and recognition at all until fairly recently is just shocking.

>38 LauraBrook: Stayed tuned, Laura. I'm planning on trying out one of the hobbit recipes this week. :-)

Jan 2, 3:29pm Top

>39 cameling: Thank you. Now I know I'm at Caro's.

Jan 2, 6:22pm Top

Ooooh, chicken curry... One of my favorites!

Jan 3, 4:05pm Top

>43 mstrust: LOL ... good job I don't post pics of my dinners everyday.

>44 scaifea: Curries are even better the day after. Usually I'll make them in the evening and then let them sit overnight before serving it for our meal, but I couldn't wait the other day. I made it in the morning and we had it for dinner.

Jan 3, 4:09pm Top

So I tried my first recipe from The Unofficial Hobbit Cookbook .. sausage patties. I like that they are patties instead of sausage links because I don't have the fiddle with the casing. I don't like stuffing sausages by hand and as I don't have a sausage machine, the only time I made links I had to stuff them by hand, and it was a really messy affair.

The one thing I noticed missing from the recipe was salt, and given that I'm not a fan of totally sweet sausages, that was one ingredient I added on my own just before I cooked the sausages. They turned out really tasty and the hubster, who is not a sausage person ordinarily, asked not only for an extra, but ate the rest at lunchtime and asked if I could make more. So .. I think that counts this as a success.

Here's a pic of the sausage patties with the rest of my breakfast.

Jan 3, 4:15pm Top

>46 cameling: Totally with the hubster. Snausages are The Bomb.

Jan 3, 4:35pm Top

3. by Anne Tyler
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant

When wanderlust led her husband to leave her and their three children, Pearl can't bring herself to tell the children that their father was not coming back, allowing them to believe that he was just on yet another prolonged business trip. As the years rolled along, Pearl ruled her household with an iron fist. Slaps, scoldings and criticisms were frequently and at times unexpectedly dispensed among all 3 kids.

Upon her death, the 3 siblings rejoin, and we learn their stories. Their disappointments, challenges and small joys growing up and also what they each yearned for, which seemed to be beyond their reach, a perfect family.

Touching, humorous, sad and thought provoking. It's a story of hope ... and of love.

3 stars

Jan 3, 4:38pm Top

>47 richardderus: Would that you lived a little closer, I would run some over to you, Rdear. Are you getting ready for the storm forecasted for tomorrow?

Jan 3, 4:41pm Top

>48 cameling: Oh my. That's a blast from my past. I remember hating the awful sadistic Pearl more than you seem to have done.

>49 cameling: Yum! Yep, all supplied up for 2-3 days. I ain't treadin' a toe outside my door no way no how. Nuh uh.

Jan 3, 5:00pm Top

>50 richardderus: I did not like Pearl, but I felt sorry for her. And I know someone who's not exactly like her thankfully, but shares her negativity and penchant for criticism. She was just a really unhappy woman who had no friends for support, with an unhealthy view on child rearing.

Jan 3, 5:08pm Top

A Hobbit Cookbook?! Need.

And yes, I agree that curries are better the next day!

Jan 3, 5:47pm Top

>29 cameling: I think I know what I'm getting a friend of mine for his birthday. He's a major Tolkien fan and also an amateur chef.

Jan 3, 8:17pm Top

Your sausage patties look most YUM, Caro.

Pearl reminded me of my mother when I read that book, but I did like the book.

Jan 3, 10:45pm Top

I might have to look out a copy of the Hobbit cookbook. For my daughter, of course... The sausages look delicious.

Jan 3, 10:49pm Top

>55 nittnut: Riiiiight, Jenn, your *daughter* needs it. Mmm hmm.

pssst Caro Denial ain't just a river in Egypt eh what

Jan 4, 1:19am Top

Looks like you started the reading year off well. I hope you have a great 2018! Dropping a star.

Jan 4, 1:29am Top

You are off to a great start this year -- books and food. ; )

Jan 4, 2:21pm Top

>52 scaifea: The Unofficial Hobbit Cookbook is a fun read. I didn't think I needed it until I received it at Christmas.

>53 PawsforThought: If your friend is a Tolkien fan, I think he'll enjoy it because of the little hobbit snippets woven through the book....although because he's a chef, he may find some of the recipes a little simple. Still fun though.

Jan 4, 2:26pm Top

>54 Crazymamie: My mom's a little like Pearl too, Mamie .. especially on the critical front. But now when I visit her, it doesn't bother me as much as it used to when I was growing up. She is, however, more appreciative of things I do for her in her elderly years, so maybe that balances out her still frequent criticisms of almost everyone around her.

I ended up having to make another batch of sausage patties today because the hubster looked mournful this morning when all I had to offer for breakfast were these bananas foster crepes. So he'll have the sausage patties for breakfast tomorrow.

Jan 4, 2:36pm Top

>55 nittnut: Jenn, my friend couldn't bring himself to get the book for himself and decided to get it for me instead. What he discovered was that in buying the book, he now has access to it online too at no additional cost. :-)

I'm looking to see what my next Hobbit dish will be.

>56 richardderus: I was thinking it sounded a little fishy, Rdear .. but I was going to be polite and not mention my suspicions. *snickers*

>57 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg. I'm enjoying the slower start (not on the threads in this group though) at work this week to get some nice reading time. The blizzard today will give me some additional downtime when I'm taking breaks from the shoveling too .. unless my arms are too sore to hold up a book. ;-)

Edited: Jan 4, 5:36pm Top

>58 Berly: Well the way I look at it, Kim ... without food, I'd starve and then I wouldn't be able to read. So food and books .. an inter-dependency I'm happy to accept. *grins*

ETA to correct some missing words.

Jan 4, 2:42pm Top

>60 cameling: Edd had the *audacity* to look forlorn when THOSE were his breakfast?!? The noive!

Jan 4, 5:40pm Top

>63 richardderus: What can I say.. the man has been spoiled of late. *grin*

The husbster has been out there shoveling (can't say it seems to make a difference given whatever he's cleared is covered again in the next minute, but I'm trying to be supportive so I heap praises when he comes in for thawing breaks). I did offer to help ... our snowblower has thrown a tantrum and is refusing to work. So it's we're back to clearing snow the old fashion and back-breaking way. I did offer to help, but he told me to stay indoors... ok. I'll just read, do a bit of work and cook then, shall I?

Jan 4, 6:28pm Top

>60 cameling: Oh yum, bananas foster crepes! If he didn't want them, I would have taken them. Dang it.

Edited: Jan 4, 6:57pm Top

^Do you need any assistance, Caro? How bad was the storm? Fingers crossed.

I should wrap up The Fact of a Body tomorrow. What an outstanding book. Memoir/True Crime do not get much better.

Jan 4, 7:28pm Top

>64 cameling: Most likely he's hoping for more yummy results from you staying indoors, and it won't make a big difference to the snow clearance. No one's fool is that hubster of yours.

Jan 4, 7:35pm Top

>48 cameling: That one disappointed me a bit when I read it years ago.

Jan 4, 8:44pm Top

Hope you are having a great start to 2018!
I’ll be watching for your hobbit recipes! That sound like an interesting challenge!

Jan 5, 6:41am Top

Sneaking in on a cold morning to say "How de do" and Happy New Year to you and the hubster

Jan 5, 9:45am Top

OH! Those crepes look fabulous! And hooray for Edd telling you to stay in. Good man.

Jan 6, 9:24am Top

>65 mstrust: Jennifer, he did want the crepes.. but he also wanted sausages. :-) I'm making sausages again today for breakfast so if you hurry over, he might allow you to have a couple.

>66 msf59: We ended up with 16" of snow, Mark. And our snowblower decided to stop working ... so the hubster is going one last ditch at fixing it today. If not, we're going to need to spend a few hours clearing off the snow from the driveway, back deck and path to our garbage and recycling cans because more snow is forecasted for Monday. How's it over in your neck of the woods?

I think The Fact of a Body is probably the best true crime/memoir I've read since The Monster of Florence.

Jan 6, 9:36am Top

>67 richardderus: You're so prescient, Rdear ... you were absolutely right ... my staying indoors didn't have all that much impact on his snowclearing activities .. which had been pretty minimal because he had to spend hours trying to fix the dang snowblower. Why is it things break when you need them the most. I wonder if it was a full moon thing because 4 other friends had their snowblowers give up their ghosts as well that day.

>68 thornton37814: Lori, sorry you didn't like it. I didn't love it, but I hadn't heard anything about it and picked it up because I liked the title. I had read and liked The Accidental Tourist and Saint Maybe. This wasn't up to the same standard, I didn't think, but it didn't suck for me.

>69 ChelleBearss: I do like food challenges, Chelle, and since I'm reading the little snippets about Hobbit life along with the recipe before I attempt to make the dish, I figure I'm getting my read in and then being rewarded with the results after. Not a bad combination, eh?

The blast is very apt ... 2018 has decided to start us off with a super cold blast for the first 2 weeks of the year. However, if the meteorologists are correct, we can look forward to a bit of a thaw and warm up at the end of next week. Fingers and toes are crossed. I'd cross my eyes as well, but then I'd walk into even more objects than I do now without uncrossed eyes.

Jan 6, 9:38am Top

Sorry to hear about your awful weather and lots of shoveling. I hope your weekend will be more relaxed.

Jan 6, 9:39am Top

>72 cameling: - 16 inches - that's terrible, Caro. We only got half that down here, but unfortunately it was prefaced with lots and lots of rain, so that snow that fell afterwards weighs a ton. (I've not shoveled yet. Did not want to get crushed by any falling tree limbs during the storm and now it is frozen solid. Going to work on it tomorrow though - when it is 'warmer'. Hah!)

Your sausages look great. I, also, prefer patties and have been making my own for years. I've got a bunch in the freezer right now and I think that I will cook some up along with some blueberry pancakes for dinner on Sunday. Or Monday.

Jan 6, 9:40am Top

>70 magicians_nephew: And a fine how de do to you too, Jim. No need to sneak in .. just stomp in any ol' time you want. Looking forward to seeing you and Judy in 2018!

>71 Crazymamie: I have to admit he's been really wonderfully kind about turning down my offers of snow clearing assistance. I would have gone out to help, really I would, no really... I really would if I thought I saw a crack in his insistence, but since he was adamant ... it would be churlish of me if I didn't let him put in the work and then come in shivering but with a sense of achievement and allow him to proudly display the results, right? ;-)

Jan 6, 9:57am Top

4. by RJ Barker
Age of Assassins

How do you catch an assassin? Why with the age old tactic of hiring another assassin, of course. But what if you need to find who hired the assassin in the first place? Well that is a little more tricky because it's not as if employers of assassins announce their intentions from the top of a building.

Girton, a club-footed apprentice to Merela, the best assassin in the Tired Lands, finds himself and his Master caught in a trap and challenged by Queen Adran with finding out who is hiring an assassin to kill her son, the heir to the throne.

For someone who has been trained since he was a child with skills to take lives. He finds himself now having to pretend to be a clumsy country squire's son with a disability, and learning what it means to have friends and to save lives.

But life undercover is not without peril. The heir to the throne is a cruel bully who would like nothing better than to see Girton killed, even though Girton's task is to not only help Merela uncover the assassin hired to kill him and person who hired the assassin.

Throw in a great deal of palace intrigue and conspiracies, a rather crazy queen, a dying king and secrets everybody cannot risk being uncovered and you have an epic on your hands.

The first in a trilogy, I can't wait to read the second in the series.

4 stars

Jan 6, 10:03am Top

>74 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara. The sun is out today, and while there is a great deal of snow clearing that is our priority task for the day, recovering with a good book at the end of the day is the reward I'm looking forward to. ... if I don't freeze to death before that. ;-)

>75 Fourpawz2: My office is down in Bourne and I went into the office yesterday. I was really surprised at how little snow there was down at the Cape. Lots of ice though and I was half skating half mincing my way across the parking lot (thank goodness I went in early so there was still plenty of space near the building) to our building. Be careful out there today if you're trying to chip away at the frozen snow.

Mmm.. sausages and blueberry pancakes .. what a fabulous combination.

Jan 6, 12:32pm Top

It is so bitter out there that I'm even chilly indoors! The weather folks reminded me that the wind chill is the main culprit: -18° today!

Jan 6, 12:52pm Top

>48 cameling: Wgat a wonderful review of Dinner at the Homesick Resturant. This was the first of her books that I read, and it led me on a journey to read all. As I progressed, the older ones were wonderful, but herr later works somehow became staid and boring.

I hope you are warm, and that the snow hasn't inconvenience you.

Jan 8, 12:17pm Top

>79 richardderus: It was really crazy out yesterday and of course I would have to spend the entire day out. Came home with a half frozen face, but happy because I finally got in a couple of hours of crosscountry skiing in .. and then went out and stuffed myself at lunch with some friends.

Things are looking temperature-wise this week though .. I think we're in for a thaw. Whoohoooo!

>80 Whisper1: Thank you, Linda. I haven't read all of Anne Tyler's works yet. Are there any you would warn me as being less than wonderful?

Jan 8, 12:46pm Top

5. by Jane Bowles
2 Serious Ladies

Friends, Christina Goering and Frieda Copperfield have been living rather uneventful lives. Christina had been a rather odd and lonely child, unable to make friends. As an adult, she's remained an eccentric innocent and finds herself welcoming new acquaintances into her home who remain and become part of her household. However, while she enjoys their company, she wants to explore beyond her safe environment. Her decision leads her to meet men of questionable characters.

In the meantime, Frieda travels to Latin America with her husband, but decides to let him go on jungle treks on his own while she remains in city on her own. She meets and befriends a teenage prostitute among others.

When the ladies meet up again, they find each other to be changed.

3 stars

Jan 8, 1:38pm Top

>82 cameling: Jane Bowles? Hm, never read this one. Come to think on it, I've only ever read Plain Pleasures, which was a 3-star read because none of the stories lasted long enough to bore me more than mildly.

I suspect we share a distance from Jane as readers, neither of us being a middle-aged lady. You'll get there one day and I regard middle age with mildly confused half recognition in my rear-view mirror.

Jan 8, 1:57pm Top

6. by Eshkol Nevo
Three Floors Up

Translated from Hebrew, this set of short stories set in an apartment building covers the residents in 3 apartments.

On the first floor, a couple with 2 young children have formed a habit of leaving the older child for a few hours with an elderly couple living across from them whenever they need some babysitting assistance at lower than the going rate. When an accident happens one day with their daughter and the old gentleman, things spiral into unexpected situations.

On the second floor, a woman with 2 children is writing a letter to an old friend when she allows her estranged brother-in-law refuge in their apartment while her husband is away for a few days. Her letter bares her marriage, her family, the rift between her husband and his brother, events leading up to her helping her brother-in-law hide from the police and others.

On the third floor, a retired district judge leaves messages on her phone's answering machine to her late husband. One day, she decides to take a closer look at some demonstrations in the city, finds herself meeting the young activists and helps them with some of their petitions. As she reconsiders her life, she decides to put her apartment up for sale and in doing so, meets someone she was introduced to during her time in the city, and he opens the door to a painful part of her past.

There are some small intersections between all the neighbors in these 3 apartments woven into each story which tie the individuals and their personal events together.

4 stars

Jan 8, 1:58pm Top

My take on a healthy lunch today: cold soba with a miso ginger glazed grilled salmon

Jan 8, 2:03pm Top

>83 richardderus: Um.. I'm already a middle aged lady, Rdear. This is the first Jane Bowles I've read and I picked it up because I liked the title. It turned into an interesting and at times, funny read.

Jan 8, 4:39pm Top

>86 cameling: Nonsense! You're what, 30? Not middle aged until 35. (Half the Biblical liffespan of 70.) Ages to go yet! It's a great title.

Jan 8, 8:03pm Top

Well, you got me with Age of Assassins...

Jan 9, 3:14pm Top

Hi Caro: My stomach is growling. Great looking food. It's nice that you have some time off from traveling.

I hope the snow has stopped and it is warming up a bit.

Great comments on Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Two Serious Ladies and the Nevo collection. I've added the latter two to my list; the Tyler was already there.

Jan 10, 2:03pm Top

>77 cameling: Ouch! That book bullet hurt! ;-p Added to the ever growing wishlist :)

>87 richardderus: Ugh, I guess with that logic I'm middle aged now too. Boo! I much prefer to think of myself living to 100 so middle age is many years from now! (one can hope, anyway :)

Jan 10, 2:13pm Top

>85 cameling: Looks tasty and healthy. On our recent trip to NYC we had cold udon noodles in a peanut sauce with slivered cucumbers and sesame seeds. Really good.

Jan 10, 2:14pm Top

>90 ChelleBearss: Ugh! I'm expecting to live to 120, so I'm still middle aged for a (very) few more years.

Jan 12, 12:36pm Top

>87 richardderus: Um.... I'm 52 this year, my dear Richard. And so, definitely middle aged. Does it help that I don't feel middle-aged? Come to think of it, what is middle-aged supposed to feel like?

>88 drneutron: Whohooo... it's not often I get to hit you with a book bullet, Jim. I've just added the 2nd in the trilogy, Blood of Assassins on hold at the library. Can't wait to for it to be available for me to pick up.

>89 BLBera: Beth, the weather is just crazy. It stopped snowing on Monday, and it started warming up this week. It's actually in the 50s today! Rain is expected so that will nicely melt most if not all the snow and then.... we're set to plummet back to the 20s on Sunday. And scoffers say there is no climate change?!

Need more food pics? I made a salt-baked chicken yesterday. A chicken is marinated overnight and then wrapped in parchment paper, totally buried in a hot salt in a large dutch oven and baked.

I'm glad to have enticed you to adding Three Floors Up and Two Serious Ladies to your wish list.

Jan 12, 12:46pm Top

>90 ChelleBearss: Bandaids are on offer to staunch the wound caused by the book bullet. :-) I might wait a little while before I read the 2nd in the trilogy though.

You're most certainly not middle aged, so feel free to frolick barefooted through the tulips with a carefree spirit.

>91 mstrust: Jennifer, I have never yet met a Japanese noodle dish I didn't like. On cold days, I like making udon soup. i make my own kombu dashi broth and keep a few tubs of them in the freezer just for days when I am in the mood for a bowl of warming udon soup with egg, sliced meat and scallions.

>92 richardderus: Ugh! I certainly don't want to live to 120. I'd like to quietly go before I'm 100. Or at least before I'm incapacitated would be great.

Jan 12, 12:48pm Top

It's been a crazy work week this week, made more crazy because I've had to spend everyday on spreadsheets ... and I hate spreadsheets! I'm so glad the weekend is just around the corner, the weather is more sensible, and I received a text message that there are some books ready for me to pick up at the library. My mood has lifted already.

Jan 12, 12:49pm Top

Jan 12, 12:51pm Top

>81 cameling: I didn't care for The Ladder of Years, and I started, but didn't finish The Amateur Marriage. But, I do recommend her earlier works.

Jan 12, 2:28pm Top

>94 cameling: NOW you did it! The goddesses are always listening, you know. You'll end up dying in 2088 just for that. I'll chuckle down at you from the Empyrean as I loll about the Divine Bookstore.

Jan 13, 9:47am Top

>93 cameling: Oh. Holy. Moly. That looks so good!

Jan 13, 10:23am Top

>96 Whisper1: >97 Whisper1: Thank you for the heads up, Linda. I appreciate the warning. Given the number of books out there just waiting to be read and the finite time I have to read them, I certainly don't want to waste my time starting and then having to discard ones that are just meh or worse. So being warned off certain books is much appreciated.

>98 richardderus: Noooooooo... take that back, Richard! I demand a seat in the Divine Bookstore before many more moons have passed. I frankly fail to understand the lure of an extended life on this planet that some seek. How tiresome it must be. Then again, perhaps if I didn't have to work, had money up the wazoo to never have to worry about bills, am in the best of health, have full mental faculties and physical mobility .... only then might I reconsider the lure of a longer life. ... MIGHT ....

>99 scaifea: Thanks, Amber. I'm always in awe of your beautiful baked goods. I flub when it comes to presentation and cake decorating.

Jan 13, 10:29am Top

I'm gritting my teeth through an audiobook of White Fire by Preston & Child. I enjoyed The Relic and Reliquary and when I saw this audiobook at the library, I thought it might help me pass the long drive home from work on the 2 days each week I have to go into the office. It started out fine but before the 1st (and there's 11 of them) CD was over, the narrator's voice was starting to grate on me. And then he when he tries to do different voices ... arrgghhhhh!

The only audiobook I've enjoyed has been Cat Stories by James Herriott.

Maybe I'm not one for audiobooks?

Jan 13, 12:38pm Top

>101 cameling: Congenial voices are essential to happy audio book listening. Don't give up yet - I'm sure there are readers out there you would like.

Jan 13, 12:47pm Top

>101 cameling: I also have a hard time finding audiobooks I like, Caro. And it's terrible when one has a long drive and has been looking forward to listening to a book, and it turns out to be terrible. One I enjoyed listening to was Keith Richards' Life. He narrated part of it. I've heard that Neil Gaiman reading his own work is quite good as well. I have one of his on reserve.

Jan 13, 2:56pm Top

>100 cameling: *mwaaahaaahaaa*

>101 cameling: An unpleasant voice in one's ear telling a story. Oh no no no. Ear reading nightmare! Bail!!

Jan 13, 3:41pm Top

>82 cameling: I have Three Floors Up home from the library at present. Must get it read.

Jan 13, 3:51pm Top

Caro, I would have pegged you for much younger! Like 40 max. Congrats on already logging 6 books. Has anyone noticed the spellchecker is not working? I always listen to a sample of the audio books before I will commit to buying. There are lots of narrators I can't stand. Good luck!

Jan 13, 5:37pm Top

Yup, bad narrators are the worst.

Jan 13, 5:42pm Top

>106 Berly: pssst Berly-boo I've met Caro in the flesh and yep she's really just slipping into her 40s but humor her she thinks she's old like us

well me anyway

Jan 13, 7:57pm Top

I love the Montalbano books in audio format. The narrator is wonderful. I'm currently enjoying a Donna Leon in audio book format. I'm trying to alternate between series books at the moment. I've found a few narrators I'm not as crazy about, but a lot of the ones I've tried are pretty good.

Jan 13, 8:16pm Top

Meeting you was such a joy. We both were at the Newark airport. A long December day, headed to Ohio for the holiday to spend time with family, I was stuck there for almost 12 hours.

After three flights were cancelled, and I was slated to get the last seat on a plane headed out late at night , when I posted via face book that I hoped to catch a flight, you immediately responded.

As I remember, we were a mere two gates away from each other. You were so charmingly bubbly that I just knew you brought luck and I would indeed catch that flight out. I will never forget the spontaneity and the fact that we seemed to know each other immediately! I was tired, circles under my eyes, weary, and yet when I met you, I became invigorated.

Jan 13, 9:53pm Top

Sorry to hear that your latest audiobook is annoying. For some reason I have trouble with some female narrators. I think if the voice is too high pitched it grates on me. As well as radio hosts when they are too exuberant. (I might be easily annoyed ;)

Jan 14, 10:37am Top

>102 ffortsa: I liked the voice that did Cat Stories .. or maybe it was because they were short stories so I had a break between the stories? I'm considering ditching this audiobook because the narrator is just so annoying. I'll have to be sure I don't pick any other audiobooks up with him as the narrator.

>103 BLBera: Exactly, Beth...stuck in a car on a long drive home made longer with horrible traffic, I was hoping for a nice relaxing 'read'. I didn't know Gaiman narrated his own books. I might see if I can et one of his. Just in case I do not like his voice though, I will not pick Good Omens because I love that book and re-read it often. If I end up not liking his voice, I don't want it to spoil the book for me.

I'm actually curious how some people get to be narrators for audiobooks. Do the authors pick the person from audition tapes where they've read snippets from their books?

>104 richardderus: I have been considering bailing on the audiobook and just getting the print version to finish the story, but I've stuck it out for this long, maybe I should stay with it till the end .... isn't it often said that seeing unpleasant things through builds character?

Jan 14, 10:49am Top

>105 avatiakh: Kerry, I hope you enjoy Three Floors Up when you get to it. I'll be looking out for your review.

>106 Berly: Aw, thanks, Kim. I think the photos were all taken at night or with soft lighting. :-)

I'm off to a good start with my reads this year .. but it's only January and once things start picking up again, my reading pace is more likely to drop off. But I hope to read more this year than I did last year. I did notice that spellcheck wasn't working, but I think it's since been fixed ... either that or I'm paying more attention to what I'm typing and not making as many mistakes. LOL

You're all making me feel a bit better though, about not enjoying the narrator for the book. I keep reading posts from LTers who loved their audiobook reads and I was wondering if maybe I'm just not part of the target audience for audiobooks. I like this .. it's not me, it's the narrator! Whoohooo... this is so liberating.

>107 drneutron: I think finding good narrators for non-fiction would be even more of a challenge since they can't even rely on funny or different voices to inject different moods in the book. Imagine narrating charts? How do you make charts interesting?

Jan 14, 11:01am Top

>108 richardderus: Pssst, Rdear... I've developed a great many more wrinkles from the last time we met

Someone sent me a couple of photos from when I was in college and yup.... if ever I needed a reality check on how much I've aged .. those photos did the trick.

>109 thornton37814: Ooh that's good to know, Lori. I love the Montalbano series and so far, have only read them in print form. I've also watched the TV series on DVDs. I have his latest print to pick up from the library, but maybe I'll try the next one he releases in audiobook form. I'd love to hear it narrated with a Sicilian accent.

>110 Whisper1: Linda, never underestimate the power of a spontaneous meet up. I looked like death warmed over too, I know, since I'd just come off a long flight from somewhere in Asia and had also been waiting for my twice delayed connection back to Boston. I felt like I'd won the lottery when I realized you were just mere gates away. Hanging out while waiting for a connection with another LT is definitely at the top of my list of best things to do at an airport.

>111 ChelleBearss: As I don't typically 'read' audiobooks, I haven't as yet picked one with a female narrator. Not that I've only looked for audiobooks with male narrators, it's just as yet not occurred to me to look to see who the narrator is when I've selected the audiobooks I've so far listened to. But you make a good point, I can't stand high pitched voices in general, so I think if a narrator had a high pitched voice, that would drive me batty in a matter of minutes. I think Kim has it right .. I should listen to a sample of the audiobook first to see if I like the narrator's voice before taking it out of the library.

Jan 14, 11:08am Top

7. by Donna Leon
Death At La Fenice

I thought this would be a re-read, but as I got past the first chapter, I realized I must have mistakenly put it on my re-read bookcase some months ago, because the story was unfamiliar to me. What a nice surprise.

Commissario Brunetti has another murder investigation on hand, and this time, it's the death of a world reknown music conductor who was poisoned at a break during the performance of La Traviata. Anyone of the singers, the director, and even musicians in the orchestra had the opportunity to kill him, but finding the motive why anyone would want to do so is the real challenge for Brunetti.

I love the relationship Brunetti has with his children and the partnership with his wife. The family scenes are such a cosy juxtaposition from the world he deals with beyond the walls of his apartment.

3.5 stars

Jan 14, 11:26am Top

8. by Blaine Harden
King of Spies : The Dark Reign of America's Spymaster in Korea

I had never heard of Donald Nichols and this book covering a bit about his childhood but primarily over how a boy from a dysfunctional home and with only middle school education could become America's greatest spy in South Korea, instrumental in helping South Korea and the US thwart the efforts of the Soviet Union, China and North Korean Kim Sung Il in their attempt to take over South Korea and unify the land under a Communist flag , and be the South Korean president, Syngman Rhee's closest advisor, was such an eye opener for me.

The author doesn't gloss over Nichols' faults and points out the exaggerations in Nichols' autobiography, but the author also gives credit where it's due, and brings to light the extraordinary amount of inside information Nichols was able to extract from his spying activities during the Korean War. That he was pretty much unsupervised during the 17 years he spent in Korea, while being promoted to the rank of Major, is incredulous and I'm not surprised much had not been made public seeing that it does not paint the US military and the CIA in good light at all.

His life after his discharge from the military was a sad downward spiral, partially due, I think, to misdiagnosis from doctors and also as a result of the military wanting to sweep things under the carpet.

There was certainly much about the Korean War I did not know about so I'm grateful I picked this up on a whim.

4 stars

Jan 14, 12:14pm Top

>112 cameling: Nope nope nope. If it ain't workin' bail on it. Print edition FTW.

>114 cameling: Ha! Aged. It is to laugh, Eternally Youthful One.

>116 cameling: Fascinating. I never even knew this man existed. *zamia* Book bulleted.

Jan 15, 11:32am Top

>115 cameling: how nice to get a surprise new-read! :)

Jan 15, 11:55am Top

>117 richardderus: I've asked a few people, including the hubster about Donald Nichols and the Korean War, and nobody's heard of this man. I wonder if it's because the military and CIA were so embarrassed to have been bested by this singular man, and took pains to destroy or hide communication from him that it's only fairly recently that information has been released about it. That and possibly because he was a homosexual which, back then, was not tolerated in the military. Do give it a shot and let me know what you think of the book.

>118 The_Hibernator: I agree, surprise new-reads are a rarity for me. More often then not, I think I'm getting a new read, and then a chapter or so in, realize that I've already read the book, and it's a re-read.

Jan 15, 12:05pm Top

9. by Preston & Child
White Fire

I did it! I listened to the entire audiobook ... and heaved a huge sigh of relief when it was over. I think I would have liked it more, if not for the narrator chosen.

Part of the Agent Pendergast series, this one involves or rather includes an unpublished Sherlock Holmes manuscript, and a rather fun prologue involving a dinner party in which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is introduced to Oscar Wilde and the latter gives Doyle advice on how to improve his Sherlock Holmes character.

Pendergast's protege, Corrie Swanson is up in the Rocky Mountains to write a thesis on the trauma on the bones of 11 miners who had been killed and eaten by a bear in the late 1800s. However, what she discovers when she examines the bones, is that the men were not eaten by a carnivore, but that the marks on the bones show they were most likely victims of cannibals. When she decides to try and solve the mystery of these 11 miners, she uncovers secrets about the town that puts her in danger. Will Pendergast be able to assist her, not only in pointing her in the right direction for her thesis, but also keep her safe from those desperate to keep their secrets safe?

3 stars

Jan 15, 12:14pm Top

>119 cameling: I'm pretty certain that the gayness is the reason for the silence. How humiliating for the US to need the skills of a(n) {insert slur here}! This attitude still prevails in almost all areas of American life.

>120 cameling: Slogging through that unpleasantness and still it gets 3 stars! You're a much more generous soul than I am.

Jan 15, 12:24pm Top

>119 cameling: His gayness wasn't an open secret during the years when he did the most important spy work for the US though. There weren't many reports of his activities with young Korean soldiers, and the few that had been submitted seemed to have been casually tossed aside both by the Koreans because of his close relationship with the Korean President, and by the US military. His homosexuality became a problem only after he was discharged from the military .. and I'm not sure the psychiatric 'treatment' he received didn't do him more damage .. especially since I suspect they concocted a diagnosis of schizophrenia to suit themselves rather than it being something Nichols actually suffered from.

I think if not for the narrator, I would have given the book a slightly higher rating. I did try to disassociate the narrator from the content. But still... the narrator gets a giant thumbs down from me. Ugh!

Jan 15, 12:29pm Top

>122 cameling: Oh, I'm quite sure they knew. The military isn't, despite popular myth, run by idiots. Just while on active duty, one can ensure that the secret stays secret.

Why it should be necessary for it to be secret is what's never made any sense to me. It's the insistence on making it A Secret that opens the gay person up to unpleasant side-effects like blackmail and homophobic attack. Solution: Quit caring. All major problems solved, and the remaining interpersonal crap should get dealt with interpersonally.

Ta da.

Srsly though, never do that to yourself again...it's very bad for one to suffer nobly in silence while being irritated by the existence of a bad narrator!

Jan 16, 1:37pm Top

>115 cameling: Glad you enjoyed it. I decided to skip the re-read and read a different Brunetti this month to make progress in the series.

Jan 17, 11:59am Top

>123 richardderus: Personally I don't see what the big deal is either, what a person's gender identity or sexual preference is when they want to throw themselves in front of enemies to serve and protect the country. But then there are a lot of rules in the military I find ridiculous ... a clear sign that I would probably not be acceptable material to them if I had tried to enlist.

I'm going to try an audio e-book on my tablet, instead of CDs next time I think. Then I can just have it play in the car on my drive and not have to fiddle with changing CDs.

Jan 17, 12:08pm Top

>124 thornton37814: I haven't read anything by Guerreri before, so I'm looking forward to my first one. I wonder if I should try and read this in order though. Probably makes sense to get at least the first one in the series first.

Edited: Jan 17, 12:09pm Top

I made some savory pastries with a chicken and potato curry filling last night.

Jan 17, 12:15pm Top

Jan 17, 12:15pm Top

>125 cameling: Which sounds safer anyway!

>127 cameling: Yes please. *pulls up chair* Two please.

Jan 17, 12:45pm Top

>127 cameling: You made those? They look great!

Edited: Jan 17, 2:36pm Top

>127 cameling: I am curious what form you used to contain the goodies inside the pot pies. I have a lot of Williams and Sonoma items, but do not have anything that would make such great shapes.

Jan 17, 3:24pm Top

>127 cameling: Mmmmm, looks good!

Jan 17, 3:42pm Top

>127 cameling: SO gorgeous! YUM! *sits down next to Richard*

Jan 17, 5:23pm Top

>126 cameling: I haven't read anything by him either--and only a couple are available through one of my libraries. I'll try one, but I probably won't go out of my way to purchase them. I can ILL others if I find one enjoyable.

Jan 18, 7:47am Top

>127 cameling: I'll be right over...

Jan 18, 9:37am Top

>135 scaifea: what she said

Jan 19, 3:29pm Top

>128 kidzdoc: Thanks Darryl .. they did taste good, even if I do say so myself. :-)

>129 richardderus: I think I'm making another batch but with a beef & peas filling instead on Monday. I'll keep a seat warm for you.

>130 mstrust: Thanks Jennifer. Yes, I did make them. I usually make half moon shaped chicken curry pastries, but I got tired of rolling the edges to seal the pastry. So I decided to try a round shape instead.

>131 Whisper1: Linda, I used this silicon pie mould:

I've had it for some time and unfortunately, I can't remember where I bought it from.

Jan 19, 3:37pm Top

>132 drneutron: >133 Crazymamie: : Thank you . *arranges more chairs for next week when I make more handheld pies*

>134 thornton37814: I have Involuntary Witness on hold at the library. Hopefully a copy will be available for me before the month's read is over.

>135 scaifea: >136 magicians_nephew: oops ... can you hold off until Monday? The pastries are unfortunately, all gone.

Jan 19, 3:40pm Top

>137 cameling: Clever device! Better make some more in a hurry.

Jan 19, 3:41pm Top

I had the day from hell yesterday and today I receive the memo that I have 27 performance reviews to do before March 2. Which doesn't sound so bad until I remembered I'm traveling for the entire month of February and won't be back until March 3. Arrghh... I'm going to need to write them all over the weekend and schedule all the review meetings for next week if possible.

Jan 19, 3:41pm Top

>139 ffortsa: I'll make some for your April visit. :-)

Jan 19, 3:51pm Top

10. by Shona Ramaya
Operation Monsoon

Short stories set in India. They're all stories of ordinary people with dreams, secrets and a common yearning to understand the world they live in. My favorite is the first story the book, about a college student who returns home to find her favorite foods cooked exactly the same way their family's beloved late cook used to make them, and that the current cook was the recipient of their former cook's kidney.

My second favorite story is of a crippled matchmaker who finds herself unwittingly embroiled in a scam when her computer is hacked.

There's also a story set in a series of emails from an IT consultant working in America who shares his disenchantment with life there to his brother in India.

All the stories are told with such intimate tone the characters feel so real.

3.5 stars

Jan 19, 3:55pm Top

>142 cameling: *ow*ow*dammit*OW

I can only dodge book-bullets when they don't turn into book-shrapnel, Caro! Stop aiming the frag weapons!! owow

Edited: Jan 19, 5:12pm Top

Hi Caro!

>127 cameling: YUM.

>140 cameling: Oh lord, that sounds terrible. I used to have to do about that many performance reviews and it about killed me every summer. I now have only five I have to do each year, a much more manageable number.

>142 cameling: What Richard said. Adding it to the wish list. (sigh)

Don't tell anyone but I sometimes fantasize about becoming a reader for audiobooks. I have a deep voice that folks sometimes say "belongs on radio" but reading books out loud would be so much more fun. I also have no idea how to audition. Or even if that is something one does.

Jan 19, 8:54pm Top

I’ve thought about doing some reading myself - maybe a retirement career!

Jan 20, 8:50am Top

>143 richardderus: Alas, Rdear ... my aim is pretty poor, so what you should do is duck and weave when you visit threads in LT ... or wear double kevlar vests? mwahahahaaaaaa...

>144 EBT1002: I'm so jealous, Megan. I'd love to only have 5 performance reviews to do .. heck, I'd be happy not having to do any at all, if truth be told. I woke up early this morning to start on some of them and with only 4 down, I'm ready for a break and really bad junk food, like a family sized bag of Cheetos and Ramen Noodles with Spam.

I think your fantasy is a fairly common one among readers? I know of 4 other people who have told me they'd like to be book narrators, but one of them has a really raspy voice and I'm not sure he could narrate anything other than the surgeon's warning on packets of cigarettes.
I have a friend who used to narrate books for the blind in Massachusetts. It was a different kind of narration because he used to narrate non-fiction books sometimes, such as geography books, and then he'd have to describe maps that he was looking at.

Having suffered through what to me was a bad narrator, I have quashed my fledgling plan to be a book narrator myself ... Unlike you, I don't have a radio voice, if anything I think I have a pretty boring voice, so I shouldn't inflict myself on unsuspecting victims and ruin the book for them.

>145 drneutron: You have a nice voice, Jim. I would listen to your narration of books :-)

Jan 20, 10:15am Top

Hi Caro - Good luck with the reviews.

>112 cameling: I've never thought about how one becomes an audiobook narrator. I don't have a good voice for it either. I did read to a blind student in college. It was an interesting and humbling experience.

>115 cameling: You have hit on one reason I love the Leon books: the Brunetti family. I also like his relationship with his in-laws.

>120 cameling: Congrats on finishing the annoying audiobook. You are off to a great start this year.

>127 cameling: Yum. My mom has those silicon molds for cupcakes, which I think would be a great investment, instead of always using the paper ones.

>142 cameling: This sounds wonderful. Onto the list it goes.

Have a great weekend.

Jan 20, 12:18pm Top

>144 EBT1002: Ellen, check out Vox, a volunteer reader site. You can get your initial experience there for sure. And there are volunteer reading setups run by organizations for the blind and handicapped. I was volunteering as a 'director' - working with a reader - at JBI, which used to be the Jewish Braille Institute. They record here in NYC books of interest to the Jewish community that are not yet recorded by the Library of Congress, and they are an official affiliate. You might looke at the LofC to see if they list affiliates.

I found the work of director and also quality assurance person (aka prooflistener) wonderful, quiet, satisfying work. See if you can find someplace to do it.

Jan 21, 1:57am Top

It would be so hard to narrate a book! I have great respect for those who can do it well. They make or break a book.

Jan 22, 10:13am Top

Those pies look yummy! Good job!
And that pie mold looks perfect for sweet mini pies too!

Sorry to see you have to cram in all those performance reviews! I always feel bad for my supervisors at review time. I find it hard enough to find good things to tell them about myself let alone having to do it for twenty other people!

Jan 24, 11:40am Top

>147 BLBera: Hi Beth - why was your reading to a blind student a humbling experience? Do we read out loud differently to the sighted than we do to those without sight? I'm curious if that is something we do subconsciously and what the difference is.

I actually find Brunetti's relationship with his in-laws a little odd. He's been married now for what... at least 17 years and in that time, he limits his visits to his in-laws' home for dinners to mostly just Christmas and Easter or something like that? Or the odd party if he must. I wonder why Donna Leon hasn't allowed him to feel more at ease with his in-laws, especially his FIL.

I have silicon cupcake moulds too and love them. They're so easy to clean and now I don't have to get those fiddly paper ones. I make muffins in my cupcake moulds .... they make me feel less guilty about eating a couple at a sitting. :-)

Jan 24, 11:48am Top

>148 ffortsa: Prooflistener sounds more my speed. I learn so much more than just what books people are reading here on LT. Thank you for the reference to Vox, Judy. I've pinned that in my folder for things to consider doing when I have more time on my hands or am retired.

>149 Berly: I took your suggestion about listening to a sample today before checking out an audiobook from the library, Kim. And boy am I glad I did ... I didn't even last 10 mins with the narrator. So back it went and I'll look for the e-book to borrow instead next week. I'm flying off to Singapore next week, so I can't borrow print books until I come back. I'm always deathly afraid of losing library books if I take them on trips with me.

>150 ChelleBearss: I haven't even done my own self-assessment which is due next Friday. But I'm happy to say I did manage to get all 27 performance reviews written up by yesterday and I'll spend the rest of today reading them over, and fine tuning them before my scheduled the review meetings with the individuals tomorrow and Friday. I can't wait for Saturday! haha

Jan 24, 12:00pm Top

11. by Andrea Camilleri
The Pyramid of Mud

The latest in the Inspector Montalbano series is yet another fun Sicilian crimescapade. Montalbano, Fazio and Augello are such a great team. When a body is found in a tunnel of a construction site in the midst of a violent thunderstorm, Montalbano and his team are left with very few clues as to the motive or even potential suspects for the crime. Montalbano is also distracted by Livia, who is having a really hard time coping after the death of someone she had once thought to adopt.

Their investigation uncovers corruption and mafia in-fighting and Montalbano realizes soon enough that he and his team are being played by an unseen puppetmaster .. or rather, would-be puppetmaster, because Montalbano of course uses the puppetmaster's strings as a noose and rewrites the script for an appropriate end to the investigation.

Always an entertaining read.

3.5 stars

Jan 24, 12:10pm Top

12. by Joanne Fluke
Banana Cream Pie Murder

I hadn't read a Hannah Swensen story in a long time and when this caught my eye at the library i had to pick it up.

I haven't read this series in order and I must have missed some recent ones, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that Hannah has just gotten married and is returning from her honeymoon with her new husband, Ross. I guess if there wasn't a murder investigation waiting for her upon her return, then this would just be a cookbook and not a murder mystery recipe book. :-)

Hannah is snagged by her mother to investigate the murder of her friend, who had been living in the apartment below her. She does so with the help of her sister and dental friend, Norm, while avoiding incurring the wrath of sheriff Mike, who always likes doing things by the book.

Woven throughout are cookies she and her team bake for the Cookie Jar, and she generously shares the recipes with the readers. Recipes for some meals are also shared, but I wasn't too keen on those because I don't like using processed foods much. Some of the cookies sound interesting and I jotted them down to try .. although I am likely to cut back on the sugar since they all seem quite appallingly sweet.

There is a cliffhanger at the end of this book, which is interesting because I'd not read any of her earlier books where she ended with one.

3 stars

Jan 24, 12:23pm Top

12. by Steven Rowley
Lily and the Octopus

OMG, I loved, loved, loved, this book. Ted is a quirky introverted single who has difficulty opening himself up to people except very close friends. He's in therapy and doesn't really like his therapist. He does, however, love Lily with all his heart. His relationship with Lily goes beyond man and dog. He plays Monopoly with Lily, they have conversations about movie stars and movies. Yes, the conversation is mostly in Ted's mind, but you get the picture. Lily is everything to him. And then he sees the octopus. When the octopus is introduced at the end of the first chapter, the reader is left in no doubt as to what the octopus is.

This story of fighting against reality and a cold enemy, of denial, of resignation, of acceptance and most of all, of love is one of the best I've read in a while. You can't but be with Ted on each step of his journey, from the early days when he is first introduced to Lily the puppy, to present day when he's finally ready to talk about the octopus with his therapist and the shocking realization that the octopus had been present in their lives for longer than he'd noticed.

It's a beautiful and at times magical book. And it does have a happy ending. :-)

5 stars

Jan 24, 12:23pm Top

Oh, I didn't realize that The Pyramid of Mud is out, Caro. Thank you! *races off to get his hands on it*

Jan 24, 1:56pm Top

Hi Caro!! Looks like you've been reading up a storm. Always a dangerous place for bbs here!
I'm trying to see if I can balance life and LT again..haha! Wish me luck. :)

Jan 24, 2:10pm Top

>153 cameling: I found another audio book I hadn't listened to in the collection at Knox County which wasn't in our Hamblen County collection. I'm currently listening to it. I'll probably end up needing to read whatever I can't find in audio. I'm hoping they'll purchase the new one in audio.

Jan 24, 2:59pm Top

Montalbano, Hannah Swenson, a dachsund. Check.


Jan 24, 7:01pm Top

>155 cameling: I have had Lily and the Octopus on my To Read List forever, but never pulled the trigger. It looks like it might be about time.

Hi, Caro. I have not stopped by in awhile. Bad Mark. It looks like you are knocking out the books, so this is something I am pleased about. I hope things in RL, are going just as well. Hugs, to my pal.

Jan 25, 10:38am Top

>155 cameling: oh, I think I have to admit I've been hit by about bullet!

Jan 25, 1:00pm Top

“Doctor I've wrestled with reality for 40 years and I'm happy to say that I've finally won out over it.”
― Mary Chase, Harvey

Jan 25, 5:29pm Top

>156 jnwelch: Montalba is such a fun character, isn't he, Joe? I would so love to be his neighbor .... as long as I have a similar house on the beach like he does. :-) I just wish they had kept up with the TV series .. I miss them. I'm glad I bought the DVDs though because I have, occasionally re-watched a few of them. I'm just glad Phyrne Fisher is on Netflix.

Edited: Jan 25, 5:37pm Top

>157 jolerie: Hey Valerie, how wonderful to see you again! Thanks for visiting. We're sharing the same boat .. I'm trying to balance RL and LT too... so I'll wish us both luck. So far I seem to be doing ok with the balance thing... except I haven't quite worked out how to include a regular workout regimen in as well.

>158 thornton37814: In your opinion, Lori, do you think female voices or male voices make for better narrators for audio books? Are you listening to the Montalbano series in audio books? Does the narrator do a Sicilian accent? That might be a fun one to try as an audio book .. maybe I should see if I can find one of the ones I've already read.

>159 richardderus: Don't say I've hit you with 3 book bullets, Rdear? Say it isn't so .. my heart could take the gleeful guilty leap

Jan 25, 5:44pm Top

>160 msf59: I've been quite pleased with the amount of reading I've managed to get in this month as well, shocked is more accurate, if truth be told, but I put it down to this being the first month of the year and work is taking a while to get cranking again after the holidays. I don't imagine I'll be able to continue reading at this pace for the rest of the year, or indeed for much longer ... although I'd be really thrilled if it does.

I don't know if I was just really tired last night or if I may have hit a bit of a book funk because I pulled out 2 books to read last night and couldn't get into either one of them. I'll give another book a shot tonight after dinner and see if that fares any better.

No need to feel guilty for not stopping by, Mark. I don't know how you manage to do more than keep up with just your own hopping thread. I figure you must just read and type really fast ... and not eat. It's always nice to see you pop in once in a while.

Jan 25, 5:48pm Top

>161 ffortsa: It's a bullet you won't regret, Judy.

>162 magicians_nephew: I need a pooka of my own, I think, Jim. Except mine will be a camel of course.

Jan 25, 5:54pm Top

>164 cameling: *ahem* No no no, never that, no indeed! Never.


Hello, BiblioKevlar? Yes, I hand around one siren of the bookstacks called Caroline LT and...yes, I'll hold for the marketing director...

Edited: Jan 26, 8:35am Top

Hope your review meetings went well. Happy almost weekend to you!

I also just finished Pyramid of Mud. Love that Montalbano hasn't changed much over the course of the series!
Glad to see you enjoy the Joanne Fluke series. I just picked up the first book yesterday!

Edited: Jan 26, 5:08pm Top

>167 richardderus: You ordered this, sir?

>168 ChelleBearss: Yes, Chelle .. the dreaded performance reviews are all over. No unhappy complaints to HR, which is good. So they must have felt the reviews were at least fair. I do try to end on a positive note. But I am so glad they are all done for this year.

I haven't read a Hannah Swensen in at least 2 years, so this was a nice trip down a familiar path for a cosy read. I hope you'll enjoy the series.

Jan 26, 5:19pm Top

On the cusp of the weekend and I land 3 emails that will require at least a solid 2 hours of work. Hmm..... nope, nope and nope .... I think I'm going to put it aside and not think about it until Monday. I've had a long and hard week. I believe I deserve a restful evening without work because I have a more important task ahead ..... to get over this book funk I've landed myself in.

I also need to start planning what books I'm going to bring with me on my flight next Tuesday and what e-books I need to download into my Kindle for my month-long trip.

I think I'll bring one of my unread Ursula La Guin books with me, in memory of this wonderful and great writer of our times. I'm trying to decide between The Unreal and the Real or No Time to Spare which I was gifted last year. Does anyone have an opinion if they've read both of them?

Edited: Jan 26, 9:46pm Top

>169 cameling: Yes! Oh good, it arrived. Now to bookhorn my adiposity into it...good thing the Young Gentleman Caller is coming over tomorrow.

No Time to Spare being the more current of the two, I'd bring that one in your position.

Total support from here re: work emails. Faugh!

Edited: Jan 26, 6:25pm Top

You are a better woman than I by far. Workout? What's that? Sounds fun.

Haha..I've had a stationary bike posted in front of one of the TVs in the house while I was pregnant in the hopes that it would see some action. I'm no longer pregnant and I'm sad to say that bike still hasn't seen any action....

Jan 26, 8:52pm Top

>164 cameling: I am listening to the Montalbano books in audio. They are read by Grover Gardner. He's an excellent narrator. I think it depends on the book/protagonist as to whether a male or female is the best narrator.

Jan 27, 8:07am Top

>170 cameling: Good for you for ignoring the rude end of workday emails! How dare they! ;-p Enjoy your weekend!

>172 jolerie: I borrowed a treadmill from my sister in hopes that I would use it to lose weight after Ellie was born ... it's a clothes hanger right now and Ellie turns 7 months in two days!

Jan 27, 1:37pm Top

>155 cameling: Definite Book bullet with Lily and the Octopus!

>153 cameling: I’m gradually worming my way into crime novels. I think this series might be a good one to try next. I’d certainly enjoy the Sicilian setting anyway.

Jan 27, 4:05pm Top

>155 cameling: You got me too. Lily and the Octopus is going on the pile.

Jan 27, 5:46pm Top

>175 SandDune: Rhian, the first Montalbano is The Shape of Water and fair warning: The series will make you hungry an average of seven times a book.

Jan 28, 12:26pm Top

>177 richardderus: Truth!

Hello, Caro! I have caught up with you. Lily and the Octopus got me, too - excellent review. Thumb is you posted that.

Hoping you manage to escape your book funk.

Jan 28, 12:49pm Top

>137 cameling: Thanks Caro, I will look for this pie mold.

>155 cameling: Lilly and the Octopus was one of my best reads of 2017. Your review nailed it! Thumbs up!

Edited: Jan 29, 12:08pm Top

>171 richardderus: And how was the visit from the Young Gentleman Caller? I trust he's now made you BB proof for all your LT strolls.

No Time to Spare it shall be then. Thanks for the recommendation, Rdear.

Of course I'm paying the price for not working on those work emails on Friday evening ... I had to deal with them this morning on top of the rest of the work I have to do today. But hey .. at least I had a lovely relaxing weekend..... nursing a sick hubster.

>172 jolerie: I've been thinking of getting a stationary bike actually and putting it in the TV room. It would mean moving a few things around, but I'm hesitating because I've seen friends who've purchased expensive home exercise equipment only to have them just gather dust because they don't end up using them. It's just that when I see the commercials on TV, I always think to myself .. yes, I should get that, and then I'll be lean and fit again..... I suspect the reality will be far from the fantasy, in my case.

>173 thornton37814: Lori, does the narrator read the Montalbano books in a Sicilian accent?

Jan 29, 12:21pm Top

>174 ChelleBearss: Chelle, my thoughts exactly... that it's rude to send someone emails at the end of a Friday.

LOL.. sorry, I shouldn't laugh but the image of your treadmill being used as a clothes hanger just struck me as funny. Do you have stacks of books on the belt too? Luckily we don't have room for a treadmill, otherwise I probably would have considered getting one as well, and then it would have been just something else for me to stack my books on.

>175 SandDune: Rhian, the Montalbano series is a good crime fiction series to ease your way into this genre because they're all fun reads, no gore and there's a lot of humor in there as well. And food! :-) I'll watch out for your review on your thread to see how you like your first toe into the Montalbano waters. If you end up liking the books, you might want to see if your library has the DVDs of the TV series too. Those were really fun too.

>176 nittnut: Oh yay, Jenn... I think you'll like Lily and the Octopus.

Jan 29, 12:37pm Top

>177 richardderus: You've got that right, Rdear. I never pick up a Montalbano book or watch one of the DVDs without first preparing a tray of snacks and drinks for myself. To do otherwise is pure folly ... as I have discovered first hand.

>178 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie. Fortunately, the book funk has been well and truly squashed and I am happily back to reading again. The 2 books I had cast aside, are back on my reading list but as I'm leaving for Zurich tomorrow, I'll have to return them to the library and then take them out again when I return because they're both rather hefty tomes, and there's no way I'll get through them both by tomorrow morning. Still .. something to look forward to when I come back in March.

>179 Whisper1: Linda, I'm still trying to remember where I bought that mold from. I did have it for quite a while. If I see one like it, I'll get it for you.

Jan 29, 12:46pm Top

14. by Molly Wizenberg
A Homemade Life : Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table

A big thanks to nittnut for this book. I really brought me out of my book funk. Fortunately, because of the title, I suspected food would feature and so I had enough snacks and fruit to tide me through the read.

It's a lovely memoir of the author and her family centered around not only the food they ate, travels she's made with her mother or on her own and her life in France, but she shares delicious recipes at the end of each chapter.

It felt like a wonderful conversation in a cozy kitchen on a cool summer's day with a good pal ... and made me very very hungry!

4 stars

Jan 29, 12:47pm Top

>180 cameling: It was a very odd visit indeed. I think, but am not sure, that I've been red-carded in favor of a mutual friend who is 16 years younger than me and 16 years older than Rob...stay tuned....

>182 cameling: I was surprised that they've made 30 episodes of Il commissario Montalbano! The latest aired this time last year. I suppose that, as long as Luca Zangaretti is willing to make them, they'll keep pace with Camilleri's astonishing output.

Jan 29, 12:55pm Top

>181 cameling: Ha, no stacks of books but Chloe does like to sit on it and pretend it's a boat while she "works out" with Nathen. (Don't worry, it's unplugged! :)

I should get around to using it ... sometime. Elissa is 7 months old now so my "she's a newborn so I don't have time" excuse is kind of out the window!

Jan 29, 1:06pm Top

>185 ChelleBearss: A friend of mine starts her treadmill and puts it on a low speed and has her dog walk on it instead .... she doesn't want her dog to get fat and doesn't think the twice daily short walks she goes with it is enough exercise for her dog. LOL

At least you have Elissa as an excuse for not working out ... I have no valid excuse at all. Booooo

Jan 29, 1:08pm Top

I have found my favorite cafe in the next town to relax in while the hubster is in the Apple store (he's always got some problem or other with one of his Apple devices)

Jan 29, 3:00pm Top

>187 cameling: Ah, that looks amazing.

Jan 29, 11:04pm Top

>163 cameling: Yes, Caro - I want a house on the beach like Salvo's, and I want to eat seafood made by Adelina and at his favorite restaurant - is it Enrico's?

Like you, we loved the Phryne Fisher stories on Netflix, and the books are good, too - I read about a dozen of them.

We finished that series, and now satisfy that mystery hunger with Midsomer Murders, which I think got started by Anthony Horowitz, the Magpie Murders author. Addictive!

Jan 30, 2:57am Top

>187 cameling: Looks wonderful. Hope the coffee is as good as the setting.

Jan 30, 4:00am Top

Caro--Wow. I haven't made it over here in a while. Oops! Glad you listened to the sample of the library audio before getting stuck with it. The narrator sometimes just kills it for me.

And first it was Linda, and now you. Okay, okay. Onto the WL goes Lily and the Octopus!

You really should buy less expensive clothes hangars (LOL) and I love your new cafe. Wishing you safe travels!!

Jan 30, 7:12am Top

>188 PawsforThought: It was one of the coziest places I've whiled away an hour or so waiting for my husband who was in the Apple store getting his Macbook fixed before our trip. I enjoyed a lovely double espresso con panna and a crisp fresh baked palmiere. Since I had a book to read at the same time ..... that was total bliss.......

>189 jnwelch: Montalba's favorite restaurant is Enzo's. ... so you're close. LOL... I'm actually thinking of planning a trip to Sicily for just 2 things .. to go to Vigata for a close up look at Montalba's TV house on the beach, and to eat specific Sicilian cheeses that don't make it over to this side of the pond, such as Piacentinu ennese which is a saffron pepper cheese and ficu, soft cheese wrapped in fig leaves.

I loved the Midsomer Murder series. I watched all the seasons on Netflix last year, going through the different changes in characters in the series and grew to like them all. Then I moved on to Father Brown when I ran out of Midsomer Murders and now that's done, I'm all at sea now trying to find another good series to watch. I did the Shetland series which was based on the Ann Cleeves books and those were good too ... just too short.

Jan 30, 7:26am Top

>190 charl08: The coffee was really good, thankfully. I don't usually drink coffee in most places in the US because I find they tend to be too thin unless you go to specialty places. I prefer much thicker and robust tasting coffee and this place really hit the mark for me. I had a very aromatic double espresso con panna that if I had been there longer, I would have definitely ordered another cup.

>191 Berly: mwahahaaa.... Lily and the Octopus makes its way over to another home.... yesssss!

I wonder if I can turn exercise equipment into a new form of art... LOL ... we have a pull up and triceps bar stand out in the backyard that the birds and squirrels perch and run on more often than we've ever had our hands on. And then there are the various weights and push up training bars that have found a seemingly permanent home in a basket I had originally purchased for my collection of plush animals.

Jan 30, 8:16am Top

>192 cameling: Sounds amazing.

Have you watched Inspector Lynley and Inspector Lewis? Lynley was the first British crime drama I ever watched and what made me fall in love with the genre. Lewis is one of my great loves (Lewis is the former assistant to Inspector Morse, but you don't need to have seen that to enjoy Lewis).

Jan 30, 8:29am Top

>193 cameling: I bet you could get that idea into a gallery! I know that unused gym equipment is part of many people's home decorating style!

Jan 30, 11:45am Top

>187 cameling: What a great discovery, and the seating looks like it was made for comfortable long periods of whiling away the hours. Your husband will have to hang out at Apple more. ;- )

I've never piled clothes on my treadmill, which I know is unusual. It's old now, probably about twelve years old, but I use if several times a week and as long as I have my music, I'm happy with it. You'd never know from looking at me though, ha!

Jan 30, 11:47am Top

I have jackets hanging on my exercise bike right now. Looks like I'm in good company..haha

Jan 30, 12:12pm Top

>187 cameling: Perfetto!

I'll wager Edd's an Appleholic. Try to point out the number of ways his equipment fails him and his stubborn clinging to the stupid half-bit fruit increases.

Jan 30, 12:40pm Top

>198 richardderus: There might be a few of us around... 😂

Jan 30, 3:19pm Top

>194 PawsforThought: I've watched all the Inspector Lewis episodes. I like him so much more than I liked the older Morse. I especially like his relationship with Hathaway. The series wasn't quite as gripping when he retired and Hathaway became DI. I think it was better when Lewis was in charge of the investigations.

I've also watched and enjoyed 'Endeavour' which is of young Morse. Thanks for the nudge on Inspector Lynley. I looked him up, and I do remember watching 1 or 2 episodes of that series some time ago. I'll have to bookmark it and watch the series from the beginning when I return from my trip. yaay. Something to look forward to. Thank you.

>195 ChelleBearss: Now that's a thought, Chelle. Hmm... I'll let you know if I end up with an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Boston any time in the future. :-)

>196 mstrust: You go, girl! Several times a week is really impressive. I wish I knew I'd be just as diligent because then I would have no qualms about ordering a stationery bike. I'm kind of in love with the Pelaton one that I've seen in commercials. It's expensive though, so I don't want to get it if I think I'm unlikely to use it past the novelty period.

Jan 30, 3:24pm Top

>197 jolerie: LOL .. see? There's more of us around than you think. In fact, I'd hazard a guess that we are probably in the majority over those who actively use their exercise equipment for the very purpose they were designed.

>198 richardderus: Edd is an Appleholic as I am a Baconholic. I am totally anti-Apple, and so we have a healthy game where we pass scathing remarks on each other's electronic equipment. I've mostly come out ahead because my Android phone takes much better photos, my laptop doesn't require special treatment just to get a new battery, and I can fit in mini SD cards into my phone whenever I want. So there!

>199 drneutron: Come back from the dark side, Jim ..... you know you want to...

Jan 30, 3:26pm Top

Well, my work is done for the day and I have plenty of time to pack before the cab arrives to take us to the airport. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that the hubster gets off the phone within the next hour if he's going to finish packing before the driver pulls up outside our front door.

Jan 30, 4:13pm Top

>192 cameling: Enzo's! Thank you!

Have you watched Broadchurch with David Tennant and Olivia Colman? We thought it was terrific.

Jan 30, 4:20pm Top

>201 cameling: Those are all the points I make to the Ap-holes I know, and no matter how sweetly I phrase them or how loudly my silence conveys lack of sympathy for their Ap-woes, they remain cultists. *shrug* Android forever.

Jan 30, 4:30pm Top

>200 cameling: I completely agree on Lewis - it was better before the retirement (though I still like it now). And his relationship with Hathaway is superb; if it hadn't been for that it wouldn't have been nearly as good. They have great chemistry.
I've only seen a few series/seasons of Morse but am planning on watching them all, even if it's not quite as good.
Endeavour is amazing - can't believe I forgot that one.

Also, agree with >203 jnwelch: that Broadchurch is fantastic, but it's decidedly less "cozy murders" than Midsomer et al.

Jan 30, 8:49pm Top

>203 jnwelch: I haven't yet watched Broadchurch. It's one of the programs recommended to me on Netflix because of my viewing history. I did stop and wonder if it would be a series I might enjoy. So thanks for nudging me in the direction. I'll check it out when I come back from my trip.

You should give Shetland a shot too. I think you'll enjoy it... short though the series is ... I don't know if they're going to make more episodes since Ann Cleeves does have more in her Shetland series. I certainly hope so.

Edited: Jan 30, 8:57pm Top

>204 richardderus: That does seem to be the case with Apple users... they're awfully fervent in their support. Cult-like indeed. It is quite amazing though, and Apple has done a great job in cultivating an extremely brand loyal following. Not so with Android users since there are so many brands, phone features and price points to choose from.

>205 PawsforThought: The hubster hadn't watched Morse before he started watching Endeavour with me, so he didn't know that Morse remained single his whole life. He kept rooting for young Morse to date Thursday's daughter. He was quite upset when we watched one of the regular Morse episodes and he realized that that relationship was not ever going to happen.

Well ok then... another nudge towards Broadchurch. It must really be a good series. I'm definitely going to watch it when I get back.... unless I log into my company's VPN while I'm away and log into my Netflix account to watch it on my laptop. :-)

Jan 31, 12:11am Top

All the talk about clothes hanger treadmills has inspired me to take all the binders full of genealogy off my weight bench so that I can actually put it to the use for which it was intended. Have a pleasant trip, Caro.

Jan 31, 2:31am Top

>207 cameling: I keep rooting for Morse and his neighbour even though I know he's going to be a bachelor forever. They're great together!

And yeah, do watch Broadchurch. It has David Tennant and Olivia Colman in the main roles (and Jodie Whittaker, the new Doctor, as one of the main side characters).

Jan 31, 9:26am Top

I missed where you are jetting off to, but have a great trip!

Jan 31, 1:26pm Top

>208 Familyhistorian: Way to go, Meg! It's wonderful that LT peeps inspire more than reading amongst the threads. You could tie up your binders into 2 separate bundles and use those as weights for your workout. :-)

Given that I walked about 8 miles and climbed to the top of an old church this afternoon, the trip is starting off well, thanks. I hope this is the start of more regular workouts for me.

>209 PawsforThought: Morse had great chemistry with his neighbor ... I wonder why the Colin Dexter chose to leave him single. Grr...

I would watch anything with David Tennant in it. He's my favorite among the Doctors in the Dr Who series.

>210 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle. I'm in Zurich for the day and will head out to Singapore tonight.

Edited: Jan 31, 1:30pm Top

Started off the late morning in Zurich with a good cuppuccino and a slice of lemon cheesecake.

Jan 31, 1:32pm Top

Continuing on with the cheese theme, we decided to have fondue for lunch. This was made with 4 types of aged cheeses, a little garlic, Kirsch and white wine. Served with a side of cured meats and bread cubes .... it was absolutely delicious ... especially the crust at the bottom of the pot at the end of the meal.

Jan 31, 1:34pm Top

>207 cameling: A great job of fleecing their sheeple, too.

>212 cameling: ooooooooooo aaaaaaaaaahhh Looks scrummy!

Jan 31, 1:37pm Top

A view of the Limmat from a bridge (I think it's Műnster Brűcke) just before it started to rain ...

Jan 31, 1:39pm Top

Any job that allows for cheesecake in the morning can't be half bad..haha. Maybe it makes up a teeny tiny bit for those late day emails. Or not. ;)

Jan 31, 3:43pm Top

Jan 31, 4:16pm Top

Welcome to my hometown, Caro. Do you have some time for a meet-up?

Jan 31, 4:43pm Top

Nice pic! I love the cloud textures.

Jan 31, 4:54pm Top

The cheesecake and fondue look scrumptious! I started off my day by using my weight bench so that inspiration worked very well. From the pauses that I had to take between some of the exercise sets it seems that it has been longer than I thought since I used the weights. Your form of exercise looks a lot more fun!

Jan 31, 5:08pm Top

>213 cameling: Oooo Yum!

Feb 1, 6:28am Top

Gosh, I've never had fondue, but I'm positive that I would LOVE it. It looks so good!

Feb 1, 8:38am Top

Looks like you are enjoying your travels! As always I love seeing the food you experience while traveling!

Edited: Feb 2, 5:39am Top

>214 richardderus: And it was, Richard... very scrummy indeed.

>216 jolerie: I could almost forget about work while I was sipping on that delicious coffee and the very light and delicious cheesecake. It was probably the lightest cheesecake I've had. Anyway, I think I deserved it after the week I had. At least that's what I kept telling myself. :-)

>217 richardderus: It was a lovely day .. too bad I didn't take photos while it was sunny out. Oh wait .. here are a few:

Feb 2, 5:45am Top

>218 Ameise1: I'm so sorry I missed you Anita. I was planning on staying longer in the city, but unfortunately, the hubster developed a bad case of the blisters and was very unhappy hobbling along, so we decided to head to the airport early so he could shower and put his feet up a little in a quiet corner of the lounge before our flight to Singapore. I'll give you more warning the next time I head to your beautiful city.

>219 drneutron: Right? I was waiting for a finger to poke through and a deep voice to thunder down at me or something. Fortunately though, all was calm. :-)

>220 Familyhistorian: We walked a fair distance not only in the city but then I jogged at least 5km in the airport because I had forgotten where I had left the hubster when I went looking for some bandaids. So all the cheesecake and fondue was definitely worked off.

And a big applause to you for putting that weight bench to it's proper use. Well done, Meg!

Edited: Feb 2, 5:49am Top

>221 The_Hibernator: It was totally yum!

>222 scaifea: It was absolutely delicious. Anyone who loves cheese must surely love fondue. i can't see how anyone could not like it at all. here's another shot with my piece of skewered bread all smothered with the cheese. I caught a pic of it before the cheese dripped..
It's really easy to make actually .. maybe you can consider it a joint project with Charlie. :-)

>223 ChelleBearss: More food, you say, Chelle? No problem.. coming right up.

Feb 2, 5:59am Top

I arrived in Singapore yesterday evening and was at my first meeting this morning. Fortunately, our meeting ended with a very nice izakaya lunch. I didn't get to take photos of every dish that arrived, but I think I managed to capture most of our meal. :-)

chawan mushi - steamed egg with a slice of shitake mushroom and half a quail's egg on top .. and right at the bottom, was a surprise... a quarter of a century egg, which is a sort of fermented egg which tastes better than it sounds.

spicy octopus over a bed of a little salad

tamago wrapped otah - a pressed omelette wrapped around a spicy fish paste that had been grilled

Feb 2, 6:03am Top

battered and flash fried eggplants and sweet potatoes

grilled shishamo (a particular fish that filled with roe) and bacon wrapped quails eggs with a dollop of mustard

grilled avocado topped with a soft egg and bacon bits

Feb 2, 6:14am Top

Oooh, spicy octopus? That sounds very nice. It's been an absolute age since I last ate octopus.

Feb 2, 7:20am Top

You had me with fondue but then you lost me again ;-p
Lots of unique dishes there!

Feb 2, 7:26am Top

I set up the Earthsea group read here.

Feb 2, 12:32pm Top

I want to eat every single one of those absolutely amazing-looking dishes! I love fermented/pickled eggs. I just love eggs in general.

Lovely photos! I'm glad this trip got started with a good sort of bang.

Feb 2, 3:39pm Top

Oooh, yea! Food pics! And there's a bathtub of cheese!

Edited: Feb 2, 4:29pm Top

>225 cameling: you forgot where you put Edd?

Shaking head.

Feb 4, 1:44am Top

>225 cameling: Jogging in the airport, I can relate but usually I am running as I am late for a connecting flight.

Mmm, that's a lot of food!

Feb 4, 10:42pm Top

>180 cameling: I don't really know what a Sicilian accent would sound like. I'd say some are, and some aren't. Some of the characters are pretty distinct.

Edited: Feb 10, 3:06am Top

>229 PawsforThought: Time to reacquaint yourself with an octopus salad or something, Paws. :-)

>230 ChelleBearss: Oops, sorry Chelle. But hey, at least I gave you fondue. I shall strive to entice you with my next batch of food pics.

>231 PawsforThought: The link to the Earthsea group read takes me back to the top of my thread? No worries, I'll wander around this group and find it.

>232 richardderus: The trip started out well ... and it spiraled out of control with never-ending meetings and business meals. So, not such a fun week, but it was a very productive work week. So the weekend will be spent catching up on emails, submitting a couple of reports and finding some time to relax for a spell, before another week of meetings begin on Monday. At least I'm eating well... haha.

Feb 10, 3:10am Top

>233 mstrust: Haha.. a bathtub of cheese ... now why does that sound so appealing?

>234 magicians_nephew: It's not common to lose someone?! Maybe I should have put an electronic ankle bracelet on Edd ... hmm.... *note to self*

>235 Familyhistorian: I have had to run in terminals for connecting flights too many times for me to enjoy the experience. And why is it, I'm always in extremely large and sprawling airports whenever I need to sprint around to make a flight? It never happens when I am in small single terminal airports.

236 I will definitely give a Montalbano audiobook a shot when I get home next month.

This topic was continued by Cameling's Reading Beanbag #2.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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