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karenmarie, addictively turning pages, chapter 1

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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1karenmarie
Jan 1, 7:38am Top

Welcome to my first thread of 2018! This will be my 3rd year of retirement from the 8-5, 5 day-a-week world. I don’t miss work at all. I read, am a charter member of the Redbud and Beyond Book Club, now in its 21st year, am Treasurer for our local Friends of the Library (henceforth abbreviated FoL), and manage our home, finances and etc. as my husband heads off to work Monday – Friday. Being an introvert (you’d never guess it from these pages!) I need and cherish the alone time to recharge my batteries.

I have been married to Bill for 26 years and am mother to Jenna, now 24, living about 3 hours away and starting a 2-year business administration program at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington. We have two kitties, 18-year old Kitty William and 10-year old Inara Starbuck. We live in our own little corner of paradise on 8 acres in central North Carolina USA.

I have been posting pictures of family and friends on these threads recently, and want to start off the new year with a friend I miss dearly. I met Marie and her husband Joe at Pepperdine in 1973. She went to CT with her husband when he joined the Navy two years later, and I visited in 1976 while on a business trip to NYC. I then quit my job, broke up with my boyfriend, packed everything I owned into my ratty Toyota Corolla and drove across country. I stayed with Marie and Joe for a bit, then found an apartment, waitressed there for 3+ years, then moved back to CA, always keeping up with Marie. She passed away on May 15, 2015 in Baytown Texas. She was married 4 times and had a colorful life to say the least. Here’s a photo from Groton CT dated July 1980, me on the left, Marie on the right.




My goal is to read 105 books in 2018, 5 more than I read in 2017. I missed my pages read goal of 34,000 pages by 525 pages, so will keep the same pages goal.







And, in honor of Sue Grafton, I am going to re-read all her Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Series books this year. Alas, there will never be a Z.




A few quotes about libraries that mean a lot to me:
Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark. The pleasure they give is steady, unorgastic, reliable, deep and long-lasting. In any library in the world, I am at home, unselfconscious, still and absorbed. Germaine Greer

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book. – When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library. Jane Austen

I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows. Roger Zelazny
And finally, very few books are worth slogging through when the inspiration to read them has gone. I abandon books with glee.

My theme for 2018, addictively turning pages, comes from an image on Mark’s thread first thread of 2018. In this case, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

2karenmarie
Edited: Jan 11, 11:33am Top

Books read

1. Every Dead Thing by John Connolly 12/27/17 1/6/18 *** 467 pages trade paperback
2. Kinsey and Me by Sue Grafton 1/6/18 1/9/18 **** 283 pages hardcover
3. The Country Girls by Edna O'Brien 1/1/18 1/10/18 *** 1/2 175 pages trade paperback

Currently Reading:
Brain Food by Lisa Mosconi 1/9/18 326 pages trade paperback
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff 1/6/18 328 pages hardcover, being read on Kindle
Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens 1/1/17 780 pages plus 9 pages introduction, 1838
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 12/3/17 audiobook, 2005

3karenmarie
Edited: Jan 11, 4:25pm Top

Books Added

1. SomeGuyInVirginia - True Tales from the Annals of Crime and Rascality by St. Clair McKelway
2. Thrift Shop - Secrets in Death by J.D. Robb
3. BookMooch - Guardian Angels & Spirit Guides by Brad Steiger
4. BookMooch - God's Fires by Patricia Anthony
5. Circle City Books - A Man Called ove by Fredrik Backman for Feb Book club
6. Circle City Books - Plainsong by Kent Haruf for March Book club
7. Amazon - Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright

4karenmarie
Edited: Jan 6, 2:53am Top

Culls

1. Every Dead Thing by John Connolly first of a series I will never continue

5karenmarie
Jan 1, 7:50am Top

Stats

6karenmarie
Jan 1, 7:50am Top

Welcome!

7FAMeulstee
Jan 1, 8:03am Top

Happy reading in 2018, Karen!

8karenmarie
Jan 1, 8:04am Top

Thank you, Anita! A few challenges, lots of spur-of-the-moment choices. It should be interesting.

9msf59
Edited: Jan 1, 9:21am Top



^Good morning, Karen and Happy New Thread. Looking forward to following your reading life and the occasional bird sighting.

10Ameise1
Edited: Jan 1, 8:31am Top

Happy reading 2018, Karen. Wishing you a year full of fabulous.

11EllaTim
Jan 1, 8:37am Top

Happy new year Karen, and wishing you happy reading.

12harrygbutler
Jan 1, 8:59am Top

Happy New Year to you and yours, Karen!

13majleavy
Jan 1, 9:12am Top

Happy New Year, Karen. The dawn of something better than ever, one hopes.


(sunrise at Newgrange, Ireland)

14karenmarie
Jan 1, 9:22am Top

>9 msf59: Thank you, Mark! Love the birds!

>10 Ameise1: A year of fabulous is just what the doctor ordered! Thank you, Barbara.

>11 EllaTim: Thank you, Ella! My reading year is, thank goodness, not set in stone. I've only got a couple of commitments (Nicholas Nickleby and the Irish Authors Challenge for January's author Edna O'Brien, 11 books for real life book club, and possibly a re-read of the Alphabet series by Sue Grafton. All good.

>12 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry! My real life birds are in synch with the ones in your post – sitting on branches. There are a lot of them. It’s currently 14F and the natural food is disappearing more and more rapidly.

>13 majleavy: Thank you, Michael. I sure hope so. I’m glad to see the last of 2017. Beautiful picture of Newgrange. I didn’t even know it existed and am impressed with the fact that it’s earlier than Stonehenge and the Egyptian Pyramids. First interesting knowledge acquired in 2018!

15Crazymamie
Jan 1, 9:54am Top

Dropping a star, Karen. Happy New Year to you!

16katiekrug
Jan 1, 10:02am Top

Happy new reading year, Karen!

17karenmarie
Jan 1, 10:15am Top

>15 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie!

>16 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie! I cleared the decks for 2018 by finishing The Literary Bible, The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Bible, and The Righteous Mind. They'd been staring at me reproachfully all year.

Here's my desk right now. This morning all books were neatly between bookends, but this is par for the course most days. Just gotta touch them, play with them, read them. Note that the face down book, Every Dead Thing, by John Connolly, is a rarity - I usually use bookmarks but this one was a BookMooch book that was somewhat ratty when I got it and unfortunately I've gotten lazy with it.

18richardderus
Jan 1, 11:31am Top

Hey Horrible, I found you amid the hurly-burly. I like the Kinsey Milhone re-read tribute! So sad she never wrote Z. While I understand her family's desire to honor her wishes re: completing the alphabet, it still itches a wee tidge that she got *so*damn*close* and there's no Z!!

19thornton37814
Jan 1, 12:15pm Top

Hope your 2018 is filled with lots of good reads!

20karenmarie
Jan 1, 12:48pm Top

Hi RD! I only joined the hurly-burly this morning, so, well done you.

I am seriously upset that there will be no Z. But I'll get my Kinsey fix with 25 books plus a book of short stories I had never read and just found on my shelves, Kinsey and Me. I think I'll read it soon and then when the mood strikes start with A is for Alibi. Here's the Amazon blurb for Kinsey and Me:
“I've come to believe that Grafton is not only the most talented woman writing crime fiction today but also that, regardless of gender, her Millhone books are among the five or six best series any American has ever written.”—Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post

Kinsey and Me has two parts: The nine Kinsey stories (1986-93), each a gem of detection; and the And Me stories, written in the decade after Grafton's mother died. Together, they show just how much of Kinsey is a distillation of her creator’s past even as they reveal a child who, free of parental interventions, read everything and roamed everywhere. But the dark side of such freedom was that very parental distance.

The same unique voice and witty insights readers fell in love with in A Is for Alibi permeate the Kinsey stories. Those in the And Me section trace a remarkable voyage, from anger to understanding, from pain to forgiveness. They take us into a troubled family, dysfunctional as most families are, each in their own way, but Grafton’s telling is sensitive, delicate, and ultimately, loving. Enriching the way we see Kinsey and know Sue, these stories are deeply affecting.


>19 thornton37814: Thanks, Lori!

21ronincats
Jan 1, 1:00pm Top

Dropping off a
And wishing you

22richardderus
Jan 1, 1:29pm Top

Kinsey and Me is the perfect topper to the 25-letter alphabet. I knew you'd find a way, my cicerone.

23karenmarie
Edited: Jan 1, 4:51pm Top

>21 ronincats: Hi Roni! Thank you.

>22 richardderus: Tours available daily.....

24johnsimpson
Jan 1, 4:34pm Top

Happy new 2018 thread Karen my dear, starred and ready to visit regularly and post dear friend.

25karenmarie
Jan 1, 4:52pm Top

>24 johnsimpson: Hi John! Thank you. I look forward to another year with you and Karen. Sending love and hugs to you both.

26Berly
Jan 1, 7:27pm Top



Happy 2018!!

27drneutron
Jan 1, 7:27pm Top

Welcome back! Happy new year!

28karenmarie
Jan 1, 8:58pm Top

>26 Berly: Thanks, Kim! Same to you.

>27 drneutron: So glad to be back to this fantastic group for a new, wonderful year, Jim.

29PaulCranswick
Jan 2, 12:57am 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.

30Ameise1
Jan 2, 5:10am Top

Good morning, Karen. I'm currently eating breakfast and the birds are singing like in spring. There must be something wrong.

31harrygbutler
Jan 2, 6:08am Top

Good morning, Karen! Another cold one here. Enjoy your Tuesday.

32karenmarie
Jan 2, 6:27am Top

>29 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! I love that image! Lovely thoughts, too.

>30 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! I hope not. I actually had the same thought yesterday - I heard some spring-like bird calls. I think they're just being hopeful. It's pretty cold here. 14F now, going to a high of 30F. My uncle lives in Cedar Rapids, where the low tonight will be 23F and the high will be 7F!

>31 harrygbutler: Good morning, Harry! You're about 3 degrees colder than we are. I've got a cup of coffee, the propane heater on, and my wicked good moccasins losing the battle to keep my feet warm. I'll have to warm up a corn bag and rest my tootsies on it in a while, I think.

Today will be reading, taking some Christmas things down, making a Costco run, and then having a late Christmas lunch with friend Warren. I'll get a box of See's dark chocolates, and he'll get a tin of homemade Pecan Puff cookies. And then if I'm in the mood for it, I'm going to hang out for an hour then go to see the new Star Wars movie.

33msf59
Jan 2, 6:32am Top

Morning, Karen. It looks to be another 5 long work days and we are still stuck in this arctic pattern. I hope the books keep me distracted out there.

Enjoy your day.

34karenmarie
Edited: Jan 2, 3:39pm Top

>33 msf59: Hi Mark. It's too bad about the weather. Even us lesser lights here in central NC are feeling it. It's 8F now and only going to a high of 31F.

I am going to ration myself to two or three cartoons a day, but I'm reading Tom Gauld's You're All Jealous of My Jetpack. I think I saw the first one of his cartoons on either your thread or drneutron's and asked my daughter for it for Christmas. And this morning I saw this one, totally apropos of the group read I'm hosting:

35EllaTim
Jan 2, 6:57am Top

>20 karenmarie: Kinsey and Me sounds really interesting. I've read a number of her books as well, and it's nice to get to know an author a bit more personally. It is too bad she didn't get to write the Z, but this book sounds like just the right replacement.

Have a nice day Karen!

36karenmarie
Jan 2, 7:04am Top

Thanks, Ella! I feel good about my planned re-read this year of A-Y, but Kinsey and Me is already sitting out waiting to be opened.

Busy, cold day planned.

37The_Hibernator
Jan 2, 10:12am Top



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

38karenmarie
Jan 2, 10:30am Top

Thanks, Rachel!

39SomeGuyInVirginia
Jan 2, 10:31am Top

Happy New Year, Karen!

I'm back at work after 2 weeks vacation, and I'm so tired my brain is like a cotton ball.

40Crazymamie
Jan 2, 10:34am Top

Morning, Karen! The Tom Gauld cartoon made me laugh!

41karenmarie
Jan 2, 10:46am Top

>39 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! You must be in shock at having to be back at work. You must be freezing, too. 17F now and a high of 25F. I hope your day goes quickly so you can get home to Da Floof (or did you leave him with your dad?) and start getting back into a routine.

>40 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! I busted out laughing when I saw it, for sure. I even posted it on the Nicholas Nickleby group read thread.

42richardderus
Jan 2, 11:33am Top

Tom Gauld can make even Chuckles palatable.

43PawsforThought
Jan 2, 1:00pm Top

Happy new year, and happy reading!

44karenmarie
Jan 2, 3:41pm Top

>42 richardderus: Palatable Chuckles. Now there's a shocker from our own dear Richard. *smooch*

>43 PawsforThought: Thanks, Paws!

So far today has been almost everything BUT reading. I'm gong to make a salad for a late lunch, and read the rest of the afternoon.

45richardderus
Jan 2, 3:44pm Top

No movie? No pal for lunch?

46karenmarie
Jan 2, 4:16pm Top

Warren got called into work because someone called in sick, so we cancelled lunch. The movie theater was across the road from where we would have had lunch, 28 miles south from home, so I just went east into town to drop off a FoL check at the Library and then continued east to Costco. Came back, chatted with daughter who's very excited to be starting school on the 4th, ate my salad, am reading The Country Girls. I will go to see the Star Wars movie, just don't know when now. Time to sit near the propane stove and warm a corn bag for my cold feet. We keep the house pretty cold during the day as I mostly hang out in the Sunroom with the propane stove. Then about half an hour before Bill gets home I put the propane stove on in the living room too. No sense heating the entire downstairs.

47richardderus
Jan 2, 4:18pm Top

>46 karenmarie: I'm all for frugality with the propane. I remember being caught without one COLD day!

*smooch* for my favoritest Horrible Temptress.

48LizzieD
Jan 2, 4:37pm Top

Can this be my first visit to this friendly place?
It's even cold in SE NC, and I have to go out to a church meeting at 5:30. I keep hoping they'll cancel, but it's not that cold here, doggone it.
We also keep our house cold and heat our 2 rooms for living and the bedroom with gas logs most of the time. DH did turn the whole house heat on this morning before I got up, bless his little Scots heart!
I'm off to read another minute too. Happy New Year!

49Familyhistorian
Jan 3, 1:17am Top

It's warmer here than in a lot of places but still on the cold side. I can't wait for warmer weather. Well, at least we have our books to keep us warm. Dropping my star.

50msf59
Jan 3, 7:02am Top

Morning, Karen. Hooray for You're All Jealous of My Jetpack! These are so clever and fun. Enjoy!

51karenmarie
Jan 3, 7:57am Top

>47 richardderus: It’s 12F. The propane heater will be working hard today, RD. *smooch*

>48 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! ‘Friendly place’ – thank you.

We have a slight chance of snow this afternoon and evening, but looks like you’ve got more of a chance of ‘weather’ like Jenna has in Wilmington. She’s pretty oblivious some times, so I called her last night and said “You DO know that you’re supposed to get freezing rain, sleet, and snow tomorrow, right?” She was clueless. I hope it misses completely as she’s supposed to start school on the 4th.

Good for your husband. I just checked and Bill had the downstairs house heat set at 68F, but I dropped it to 64F ‘til 4 p.m. Silly guy. Too warm for rooms I won’t be in during the day.

>49 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! Good to see you here too. I’m persnickety – I want warmer cold weather. Fall and winter are my favorite seasons, with spring next, then hateful humid NC summer last. I do love my forsythia and other signs of spring, admittedly, but spring just leads to summer.

>50 msf59: H Mark. I am amazed at how many of the cartoons are book/author/literature related. I just found another one about Dickens.





I don’t have any commitments, obligations, or errands today that would take me out of the house. This makes me happy.

52Crazymamie
Jan 3, 8:13am Top

Morning, Karen! Hooray for not having to leave to house today. I do have to go out, but it's just quick errands, so...I miss the drive through post office that we had in Indiana. And we are in complete agreement about the seasons. It's just 28F here currently, so I think the rest of Georgia is probably in shock, but I like it.

53karenmarie
Jan 3, 8:15am Top

Hi Mamie!

I had errands yesterday. I was happy to get out of the house since I'd been inside since Saturday's errands, so today is just the ebb and flow of my introverted nature and laziness.

54rosalita
Jan 3, 9:50am Top

>20 karenmarie: Howdy, Karen! I've read all of Grafton's Alphabet series, and I'm sad there will be no Z but also glad that the family isn't planning to have someone else finish it just to finish it. That almost never works out very well for the reader.

I read Kinsey and Me last year and I thought it was really interesting. It's a mix of Kinsey short stories and a set of autobiographical fiction based on Grafton's own life, which really made me appreciate her even more. I hope you enjoy it.

55richardderus
Jan 3, 10:03am Top

The next four days we're not even going to get within spitting distance (how vivid, as Auntie Mame would say) of freezing! It's 18° now and will climb to the precipitous heights of 29° at some point...though I have my doubts about that. Snow tomorrow.

Ha, yeah, like anything short of a fire inside will get me outside. Nope. Nyet. Nix. Nein.

*smooch*

56harrygbutler
Jan 3, 10:23am Top

Good morning, Karen! I've always been more than willing to keep the heat turned up, but extended cold spells like this remind us our house is more than 100 years old. Our rear utility room is an add-on that sits on a foundation but not on the basement, so it is always chilly, and that brings the downstairs temperature down to the high 60s that many people seem to prefer.

57streamsong
Jan 3, 10:44am Top

Happy New Year, Karen! I'm looking forward to another great year of books and online friendship.

Book bullet with You're All Jealous of My Jetpack. Yay! I just requested a copy through ILL.

Very cold here, too. It looks like it's supposed to warm up to near freezing in the next few days. Yay!

58karenmarie
Jan 3, 11:30am Top

>54 rosalita: Hi Julia! I’ve read them all too, sad about Z, but also glad that the family will let the series end following Grafton’s wishes. Good to know about Kinsey and Me. It’s out, just waiting for me to crack it.

>55 richardderus:. We are up to 31F now, the temp having climbed precipitously since the 12F of 7 a.m. *smooch*

>56 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! I’m always fine if my fingers and nose are warm enough. I can put on more clothes and even heat up a corn bag for my feet.

>57 streamsong: Hi Janet! Thank you. Me, too. Ah. I’m a newcomer to Tom Gauld and am loving his stuff. I wouldn’t expect Montana to be any warmer than ‘up to near freezing in the next few days’.

Well I was going to read this morning, having read a chapter of Nicholas Nickleby but wanted to switch to The Country Girls and Every Dead Thing but just spent an hour and a half on the phone between my aunt in California and my daughter. Back here for a minute or two, then off to read again.

The birds are in a frenzy – I’ve finally even seen a male Downy Woodpecker on this side of the house. He’s hanging out in the crepe myrtle right now, and just swooped in on the sunflower seed feeder. Back to the tree to pound it against the branch. Cardinals, finches, chickadees, the downy, jays, two mourning doves, and the juncos.

59alcottacre
Jan 3, 11:43am Top

Happy New Year, Karen! It is cool in my part of the country too, so I can relate to having the propane going! We are supposed to get up into the 30s here today. It has not gotten higher than 26 for the past several days, so that is something.

60karenmarie
Jan 3, 1:14pm Top

Hi Stasia! Thank you. Nice to see you here. Pretty cold for Texas, I think.

61majleavy
Jan 3, 3:18pm Top

>51 karenmarie: The cartoon reminds me of Drood by Dan Simmons, in which Dickens drags Wilkie Collins underground in search of the mysterious Drood (I think).

62drneutron
Jan 3, 3:20pm Top

>61 majleavy: Yup, that's Drood. Simmons' usual weirdness ensues.

63gooddayquote
Jan 3, 3:22pm Top

This user has been removed as spam.

64SomeGuyInVirginia
Jan 3, 4:03pm Top

I don't even want to know.

Are you getting snow tomorrow? Williamsburg is getting 4-7 inches. Wackiness!

65richardderus
Jan 3, 4:21pm Top

Just got Touched by an Angel, the Doctor Who novel, from some anonymous benefactor. You, perchance?

66Donna828
Jan 3, 6:29pm Top

Just stopping in to wish you a Happy New Year, Karen. You are smart to just heat the rooms you use. I hate to see our next utility bill. I liked The Last Jedi. We saw it on Christmas which was the upside to not having family at home. We’ve more than made up for it as we are on our third Christmas now here in Sunny Colorado.

67karenmarie
Jan 3, 6:30pm Top

>61 majleavy: Hi Michael! Sounds wonderfully bizarre.

>62 drneutron: Hi Jim!

>64 SomeGuyInVirginia: We’re getting snow now, although you pretty much have to get the microscope out to see the flakes. Daughter is getting rain and sleet in Wilmington. Her first day of classes tomorrow at Cape Fear Community College have been cancelled. Looks like they might get up to 2-4" of sleet and snow combined. She says there's ice on her car.

This storm will probably pass us by, but I think most of the Atlantic seaboard will get blasted.

>65 richardderus: I wish I could say it was me, RichardDear, but alas, no. But if no one ever claims it, why then Yes, of course it was me!

...
I watched a possum come over to a tray of sunflower seeds I had out for the birds. He ate and ate and ate. I sent a photo to Jenna with the caption "strange looking bird" and she wrote back "Don't you know that is the osprepossicantus or more commonly known as opposi. Their gray, white, and black colors are offset by a nice pink around the nose, feet, and tail. They enjoy a diet that mainly consists of seeds and foliage but they have been known to eat almost anything if the situation calls for it. Like most birds they cannot run well if at all and therefore their main defense is to stay very still and seem threatening. These sweet creatures let out an adorable hiss if you get too close so be warned. This particular specimen has a nice fluffy winter coat on and seems to be thriving in these cold temperatures. A great addition to your life list." I then added it to my bird life list, took a photo of that and sent it back to her.



And now we've got about 1/2" and it's snowing more.

68karenmarie
Jan 3, 6:31pm Top

Happy New Year to you, too, Donna!

I still want to see The Last Jedi, with or without Bill.

69harrygbutler
Jan 3, 7:14pm Top

>67 karenmarie: I like opossums! When we put out cat food for the feral cats that were around at the time, we'd some nights get a possum visitor. There may have been a couple over the years.

70msf59
Jan 3, 7:17pm Top

I just downloaded the audio of Nicholas Nickelby. Now I had it in both formats. I plan on starting it by the end of the week.

Daytime possum, huh? Don't see that very often. Must have been hungry.

71karenmarie
Edited: Jan 3, 9:20pm Top

>69 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! He'd probably prefer the cat food for the protein, but I'm not putting cat food out.

We had one living under our back deck about 15 years ago until Bill boarded it up. We had a baby one time on the drive as we were coming home at night and when I got out to shoo him off the road the little sucker hissed at me. I do like them, at a distance.

>70 msf59: Excellent about N2, Mark!

Come to think of it, I haven't seen one during the daytime very often either. He wasn't acting sick or weird, just hungry. He ambled off into the bushes near the front porch.

We now have 2" of snow. We weren't supposed to get weather here - or actually, the projection was trace-1". But it's a solid 2" now.

Bill won't drive in to work tomorrow - 42 miles in subfreezing temperatures on nasty roads isn't in the picture. He already warned them today and can work from home.

I'm supposed to go to a meeting with 2 people from FoL tomorrow, but that's not going to happen.

72Whisper1
Edited: Jan 4, 11:10am Top

>67 karenmarie: How neat to capture a furry creature at your bird feeder. We haven't seen a possum, but we do feed a lot of deer. A few years ago, Will went to the local farm bureau and obtained large bags of corn. He put the corn in our yard. Alas, it was a free for all with almost 15 deer fighting for the food. Now, we put sunflower seeds in the feeder and take the feeder in at night.

Stay warm and toasty throughout the nasty weather. It is a good time for reading.

73BLBera
Jan 4, 2:03am Top

Happy New Year, Karen. I hope 2018 is a great year for you.

74LovingLit
Edited: Jan 4, 2:16am Top

>67 karenmarie: so that really is a possum? They looks pretty different to the ones we have here! Possums are a pest here too, so are not popular at all. They eat baby native plants and animals, and destroy the nests of birds.

eta: you reminded me to go look at my pages total for last year, with your uppermost posts, and I realise now that I am about 200-300 pages short of my 2017 pages goal (of 10,000). Bummer!

75msf59
Jan 4, 6:33am Top

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday! It sounds like I am not alone, with struggles with the weather. Even Florida has been hit.

76vancouverdeb
Jan 4, 6:55am Top

Cool picture of the possum, Karen! I'm not sure if I've ever seen on in real life. We sure are fortunate in the Vancouver area - we have fog and had maybe one day of snow this year, but not bad at all! A lot of rain and gloom in November, and a lot rain in of December, but we seem to be in a not too bad weather situation now. Crosses fingers!

77harrygbutler
Jan 4, 6:57am Top

Good morning, Karen! We're getting snow here as well, and Erika will be working from home today. (I work from home every day, so no real change in my routine.)

I didn't set out to feed the possum, but I didn't really begrudge it the food, beyond needing to refill the bowl for the cats.

78karenmarie
Jan 4, 7:43am Top

>72 Whisper1: Hi Linda! I must admit it was strange to see Mr. Possum there. I can imagine a deer free-for-all, too!

>73 BLBera: Hi Beth! Thank you and nice to see you here.

>74 LovingLit: Hi Megan. Yes. He is rather young if you go by size. I am not particularly fond of them as they are pests and have fought at least one of my cats before. I was feeling benevolent yesterday. He wasn’t hurting anything. Glad he wasn’t a skunk or a raccoon.

Sorry you missed your goal, too.

>75 msf59: Hi Mark and thank you. It’s powdery snow. I just brushed off the bird feeders – no wind and there was quite a bit of accumulation. We’re at about 22F right now and won’t even get above freezing until Sunday, when it’s supposed to get to 36F.

>76 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deborah. Yes, keep your fingers crossed. At least you’re far away from this nastiness.

>77 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! Yes, you’re going to get more of this storm than we did. Stay safe!

I can’t put out cat food because that will attract neighborhood cats, who then get curious about the cat door. Not recently, but I have woken up to a strange black cat in our bathroom and a big gray one eating the wet food we set out in the kitchen. I really do not want a possum in the house. They are not a rabies risk to the cats (All mammals can carry rabies. However, it's actually very rare for possums to carry the disease. This is partly because opossums have a slightly below average body temperature, and the rabies virus can't thrive at this lower temp.) but that adorable hissing is actually rather scary.

Quiet day at home. Even just going onto the front porch to clear the snow off the feeders made me realize how dangerous it would be to be out on the roads.

79harrygbutler
Jan 4, 8:25am Top

>78 karenmarie: Ah, yes, a cat door would make a difference. Our cats are indoor-only, so though we might consider putting in a door for the dog, we won't do it.

80The_Hibernator
Jan 4, 8:29am Top

I wouldn't want a possum (or ferral cats) in my house! But cat doors are pretty much nonexistent in MN.

81richardderus
Jan 4, 8:51am Top

Possums are cute.

If you like rodenty things, that is.

Having delivered the contrarian viewpoint, I shall now sail away on the placid sea of A Job Done. *smooch*

82SomeGuyInVirginia
Jan 4, 9:10am Top

Ugh, possums are nasty! They're like catfish with fur.

Funny, though, a raccoon got into our Dallas office last week. They circulated this pic of their 'new intern'.



Then they made it bring everybody a half caff skinny latte and set up weekend drops with their dealers.

83karenmarie
Jan 4, 9:18am Top

>79 harrygbutler: A doggie door would let in smallish burglars, too.....

>80 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel! We certainly don't get the weather you do, so the cat door works perfectly for us. Ours is built into the wall of the house itself. It's a good one that allows it to be open all the way, open out only, or completely shut. When Inara brings in a critter and we can see her heading towards the cat door, we rush over and click it shut. Other times, when we're not home, she brings them in of course, and then we get surprises. We've gotten blasé about it, though.

>81 richardderus: I don't mind rodenty things although my preference is for dumbo rats and to a lesser degree hamsters. (we had both when daughter was younger.)

Contrarian viewpoint noted. Job well done. *smooch back*

Depending on which side of the house I look at, we got from 2.5 - 4.5" of snow. Here's the walkway after I used a broom to sweep away the powdery stuff - had to put out a tray of seed for the ground feeders.

84karenmarie
Jan 4, 9:21am Top

>82 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! Catfish with fur. LOL

Excellent photo of the new intern. Might as well make him work, right?

Husband's using our leaf blower to clean a path on the concrete for when we can actually drive. It's working, surprisingly well, as it turns out. The concrete/driveway/garages are on the north side of the house and always the most difficult to deal with after weather.

85Berly
Jan 4, 9:22am Top

K--It's a good thing it doesn't normally get cold out here because my house is awful for heat retention. Too many high ceilings and all the warm air just floats up. But I can't complain--we are one fo the few areas in the US not being hit by this massive cold snap. I have family in MN and MA and it is COLD there!

I really need to read some Nicolas Nickelby today...

86karenmarie
Edited: Jan 4, 9:29am Top

Hi Kim! I have family in Cedar Rapids and Indiana. I think another cousin lives in MN..... Of course it's bitter cold there, beyond reasonable.

Our house is pretty well insulated - we used the highest level of insulation when we built it in 1998 and the it has hardi-plank siding, which also helps with sound reduction and heat/cool retention.

It's cold for us here because we're not used to it and people do stupid things - like drive in it and not have proper cold weather gear.

Our daughter is safe and sound in her apartment in Wilmington. They didn't lose power even though they got freezing rain, sleet, and then some snow on top of it. We're doing well here. Even if we lost power we have a generator and even if that failed we could at least stay warm with the propane heaters and I could cook and bake with of my gas stove/oven. We're very lucky to have what we have.

I need to stop visiting threads for a while and actually read. Okay. Second cup of coffee and NN.

87richardderus
Jan 4, 9:55am Top

>82 SomeGuyInVirginia: Catfish with fur! Ha!

>84 karenmarie: Leafblower...genius! For the lighter dustings it's perfect.

88Whisper1
Jan 4, 11:15am Top

>82 SomeGuyInVirginia: How in the world did a raccoon get in the office? They look much prettier than the opossum.

I haven't seem opossums or racoons on our campus, but there are plenty of squirrels. They love to burrow into the garbage cans and dig up the left over pizza students leave. It is cute, but startling to walk into the building and then, to my left up popped a squirrel with a piece of pizza in his/her mouth.

Chomping away, the little bugger wasn't afraid of me at all. I was startled and dropped my brief case.

I think it is nice to share our world with these critters. Snakes, on the other hand, ugh.....

89majleavy
Jan 4, 2:14pm Top

>67 karenmarie: Bizarre is the word for Drood, Karen. It was a little too bizarre, for me, as I recall, but the many scenes of Dickens stand out strongly in my mind all these years later - a really great portrait of the man in his final years.

90witchyrichy
Jan 4, 2:15pm Top

Well...I know I have browsed your thread several times and yet somehow have not posted? Happy new year to you and your family. Looking forward to reading and sharing along with you this year!

I have frittered much of my snow day away so am finishing up threads and heading to a warm spot with coffee and my next read which I think may be Brava Valentine. Somehow seems a good snowy day book.

91karenmarie
Jan 4, 2:38pm Top

Hi Karen!

I've done the same thing here recently, browsing threads but not posting. I'm looking forward to reading and sharing along this year with you too - a lovely way to put it.

I've frittered away lots of today, although I have read two chapters each of Nicholas Nickleby and The Country Girls. Duty done, I'm on page 325 of 467 of Every Dead Thing by John Connolly.

Sparrows have taken over the feeders.

Bill and I'll watch one episode of Midsomer Murders in a while.

My sister, who has had kidney stones for more than SIX weeks, wanted a healing circle - I frequently send her pictures of stuffed animals to make her smile. So today this is what I sent to her:



92johnsimpson
Jan 4, 4:28pm Top

Hi Karen, so you have a bit of snow my dear and we may have some by the end of the weekend although I am not holding my breath about to so called forecast. We may see snow tomorrow if we get up to the Yorkshire Dales especially as we will be near the three Peaks (Pen y Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough) which will be lovely and I will make sure I have my camera with me.

Hope all is well with you and Bill my dear and we both send love and hugs.

93karenmarie
Jan 4, 5:05pm Top

Hi John!

We do have snow, which probably won't melt here at the house 'til Sunday when we get above freezing. It's pretty, that's for sure. If you want snow I hope you get it, if you don't, then Snow Stay Away!

Have a lovely trip tomorrow.

We're doing fine, just watched S16 E2 of Midsomer Murders. School is cancelled again tomorrow for Jenna, so her first classes will actually be on Monday. I just filled the 3 sunflower seed feeders and 1 mixed seed feeder on the feeding station - had to be very careful to not slip but made it back in safe and sound. The birds will thank me, I'm sure.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

94ChelleBearss
Jan 4, 5:53pm Top

Hope you are having a wonderful start to your new year!!

95rosalita
Jan 4, 5:55pm Top

I do enjoy Midsomer Murders, Karen. Do you like the new Barnaby? I wasn't sure at first but I warmed up to him pretty quickly. Part of that might have been the adorable dog, though. :-)

96Dianekeenoy
Jan 4, 5:55pm Top

Hi Karen, I found you and have you starred! It's still snowing here but so far, only about 6 or so inches. The Jersey shore is getting blasted and last I heard it was 14 inches down there! We've had 16 bean soup simmering all day so the house smells great. We had chili last night, these cold days have us making meals that simmer all day!
I was so sad when I read about Sue Grafton, I just loved her books, especially in audio.

97karenmarie
Jan 4, 6:54pm Top

>94 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle! So far, so good. Even though I haven't finished any, I'm reading some great books.

>95 rosalita: I do like cousin John, especially his facial expressions and the relationship they show him having with his wife. He looks like a big teddy bear with those dimples and smiles, but he's ruthless in his job. I love Sykes, too. We're up to season 16, episode 3. I think I'm going to be very sad when we're all caught up.

>96 Dianekeenoy: Hi Diane. Good to see you here. The soup and chili sound yummy. I made scalloped potatoes and ham, 2 pans worth, using part of an 8 1/2 lb ham husband was given as part of his Christmas gift from work. The first pan is gone, and I'll probably cook the second pan tomorrow. Probably a pot of homemade beef vegetable soup on Sunday since we had chili a week or so ago. I'm glad you aren't in the 14" zone on the shore.

I'm sad about Sue Grafton too. I've never listened to any and have all the books, just waiting to be reread this year.

98richardderus
Jan 4, 7:32pm Top

The wind's the miserable thing up here...wind chills are well below zero! No impact on me, of course, except for the ill-fitting windows, but the DeLonghi's up to the challenge.

99nittnut
Jan 4, 10:25pm Top

Somehow I missed your thread the other day. Ah well.
I drove through Pittsboro this evening on the way to Raleigh. Your roads are just awful. But I am sure you know that. I took 40 on the way home. I was thinking that if I went off the road, at least I knew someone in the area. Lol
We were about 8 miles west of the storm, so we got nothing. But the kids had delayed start/cancelled school anyway.

100harrygbutler
Jan 5, 6:20am Top

Good morning, Karen! The snow and wind here yesterday led to lots of closures and cancellations. The birds quite enjoyed having seed placed out on the back porch for them I suspect I'll need to replenish it today.

101msf59
Jan 5, 7:06am Top

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday. You got a decent amount of snow. This is the one thing, we have mercifully avoided, a large dose of snow, which would have added to the misery.

Only 11 today, but I hope to finally crack NN.

102EllaTim
Edited: Jan 5, 7:44am Top

Hi Karen, enjoying all the critter talk here, no opossums over here, so you've got me spellbound by yours!

Good luck with dealing with the cold, but it really fits with reading more of NN, a good book to snuggle up with:-)

103karenmarie
Jan 5, 8:07am Top

>98 richardderus: The most consistent thing about you, RD, is that I almost always have to look up something from your posts. DeLonghi. Electric space heater, right? There are also Delonghi coffee/espresso machines, apparently, but the heater makes more sense in the context of your sentence. Anyway, good morning! Stay warm! Stay caffeinated. *smooch*

>99 nittnut: I’m still finding threads, too, Jenn. So glad you didn’t go off the road. We’ve heard that the roads are still treacherous, but haven’t been out. I had a haircut appointment today but she cancelled, so don’t know if she’s sick or weather bound. We thought we’d be west of the storm, too, but unfortunately we got lots of fine, powdery snow.

North Carolina delays/closes schools at the blink of a snowflake. There are so many rural roads in most school districts that it’s not worth one accident, one child hurt or killed. It just makes for a stressful year if you have to start taking holiday days away from children/families.

>100 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! Good bird daddy. How much snow did you actually get?

>101 msf59: Good morning, Mark. 11F. It’s 12F here now, going to a high of 32F. Yay NN!

>102 EllaTim: Possums are very unattractive – Richard got it right when he called them rodenty. They have a long hairless tail. They are good to see at a distance. They are better to have around than raccoons since they don’t try to climb feeders or open closed trash cans. Raccoons are a more serious threat of rabies, too.

Just got up a few minutes ago, have taken the first sip of coffee. Off to do a bit of visiting, then some reading.

104harrygbutler
Jan 5, 8:21am Top

>103 karenmarie: Not too much, I think, but I didn't pay too much attention. Maybe 4 to 6 inches? There was a good deal of wind and thus a lot of drifting, so some patches of our yard were practically bare, but the driveway had a moderate amount to shovel.

105karenmarie
Jan 5, 8:28am Top

>104 harrygbutler: Wet snow, eh? My husband cleared a path for both our vehicles yesterday by using the leaf blower on the powdery snow we got.

I stand corrected - it's not 12F here, it's 4F. I didn't check the weather station when I got up, but Bill says that it was 3F about 7:30.

106harrygbutler
Jan 5, 8:32am Top

>105 karenmarie: Probably a little wetter and thus heavier than it looked, as I could feel the weight when I shoveled. Luckily the wind kept the porch and steps pretty clear, and the path to the driveway was but lightly covered, too. Not bad, I'd say.

It is supposed to remain cold for us through the weekend but then warm up a bit next week.

107SomeGuyInVirginia
Jan 5, 9:07am Top

Good grief, you're colder than we are in DC! Unreal. The Potomac has frozen over, kind of cool looking. At least the snow has kept people off the roads; my commute today and yesterday was a snap.

>88 Whisper1: Probably through a loading dock. I've heard that raccoons can make good pets, but it depends on the raccoon. That one looks like a sweety.

108karenmarie
Edited: Jan 5, 9:20am Top

>106 harrygbutler: Shoveling snow is a yucky task. I'm glad husband was able to clear our concrete pad so easily. Just enough to get the vehicles out when we need to. The clearing stops at the top of the concrete - it's crush-and-run for about 300 or so feet to the top of the cul-de-sac.

...

We're supposed to get above freezing on Sunday, by 2 degrees. We'll see if that actually happens.

>107 SomeGuyInVirginia: Yay, we win! Er. Well, lose, if you consider the use of whatever fuel it takes to keep warm, in our case propane. Wow, the Potomac frozen. I'm glad your commute was easy.

Makes sense, through a loading dock.

109Crazymamie
Jan 5, 10:35am Top

Morning, Karen! Love the photos of clearing the concrete with a leaf blower!

110karenmarie
Jan 5, 10:42am Top

They're a hoot, aren't they Mamie?

111richardderus
Jan 5, 10:52am Top

Leaf/snow blower photos are priceless.

Stay warm! The wind here is about 40mph but I haven't seen fresh flakeage yet today. My DeLonghi is a heater, but in the past I've had coffee makers, stand mixers, etc etc from them and have yet to have problems with a-one of 'em. That Vornado heater I had was awful, and I've always loved the Vornado fans and heaters. So I tried the DeLonghi and am sold.

112karenmarie
Jan 5, 12:19pm Top

Thanks, RD!

We're trying. It's up to 28F.

113nittnut
Jan 5, 12:43pm Top

I am sooooo excited for Monday!! It's supposed to be 43F.

114karenmarie
Jan 5, 1:21pm Top

I saw this meme on laytonwoman3rd Linda's thread and decided to see how it worked out for me:

Describe yourself: The Righteous Mind
Describe how you feel: A Cup of Light
Describe where you currently live: An Atlas of Countries That Don't Exist
If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Jefferson's Legacy: A Brief History of the Library of Congress
Your favorite form of transportation: The Pale Horse
Your best friend: The Dutiful Daughter
You and your friends are: The Four Swans
What's the weather like? White Silence
You fear: My Dark Places
What's the best advice you have to give? One Good Turn
Thought for the day: Birds Art Life
How I would like to die: Out of the Blackout
My soul's present condition: Home

115rosalita
Jan 5, 1:29pm Top

Your meme answers are pretty good, Karen! I especially like your description of where you live. :-)

116karenmarie
Jan 5, 1:42pm Top

>115 rosalita: Thanks, Julia! I had fun with this list. Our little corner of paradise, hopefully hidden away from most prying eyes.

I've got a mockingbird sitting on the suet feeder and chowing down and just saw a red-bellied woodpecker on one of the sunflower seed feeders. Hungry birds.

117Ameise1
Jan 5, 2:20pm Top

Happy Friday, Karen.

118karenmarie
Jan 5, 2:40pm Top

Hi Barbara! Thank you. Lazy afternoon - Bill is working from home and I'm reading, bird watching, and hanging out on LT.

119LovingLit
Jan 5, 3:50pm Top

>114 karenmarie: great answers!! I like Describe where you currently live: An Atlas of Countries That Don't Exist. Very cool :)

120rretzler
Jan 5, 4:01pm Top

Hi, Karen. Dropping a star.



We also occasionally get possums and raccoons in our backyard - raccoons more so because of the many bird feeders. One evening years ago, we heard a commotion and looked out near our outdoor games box. There were several skunks, and they appeared to be eating a yellow jacket nest which was apparently in the ground. Thank goodness they took care of it as our boys were quite young at the time and might have stepped in it and gotten badly hurt. I've never minded the skunk incursions into our yard after that.

121richardderus
Jan 5, 4:05pm Top

>114 karenmarie: Heh. Very well played, my dear Horrible.

122thornton37814
Jan 5, 4:08pm Top

>114 karenmarie: Great meme answers.

123Berly
Jan 5, 4:13pm Top

>114 karenmarie: Ha! What's the weather like: White Silence.

You seem well equipped to handle the snow. So, just curl up and read a book in your nice warm house.

124karenmarie
Jan 5, 5:05pm Top

>119 LovingLit: Thanks, Megan. If our property could be ‘unplottable’ like in Harry Potter, I would really like that.

>120 rretzler: Hi Robin. Thank you. Great story. I’d be happy to see skunks if they’d destroyed a yellow jacket nest, too.

>121 richardderus: Why thank’ee kindly, RichardDear! *smooch*

>122 thornton37814: Thanks, Lori. It was a lot of fun – I’ve never done anything like that before.

>123 Berly: It’s perfect for today, that’s for sure. Still haven’t left the house except for bird feeder maintenance and Bill snow blowing the concrete with the leaf blower! Tomorrow we might venture out to run errands.

We could probably last here in the house for 2 weeks or more without outside intervention with our generator, and then only for a propane tank refill outside. The food would get boring, but we’d still have enough to eat. And since I just went to Costco on Wednesday, we have about 6 weeks worth of coffee.

We just finished season 16 of Midsomer Murders . We’ll take a break for a while, then watch one or two more. We like to binge watch.

125thornton37814
Jan 5, 9:45pm Top

>124 karenmarie: Most of us do that one every year. Hopefully you'll join us next year too. I don't remember who started it, but I've done it a long time.

126karenmarie
Jan 6, 3:12am Top

Hi Lori! I've seen some them around over the years, but never wanted to actually do it myself 'til yesterday.

127karenmarie
Jan 6, 3:13am Top

Every Dead Thing by John Connolly
12/27/17 to 1/6/18



for the writing
for the horrific storyline

The description from Amazon:

Hailed internationally as a page-turner in a league with the fiction of Thomas Harris, this lyrical and terrifying bestseller is the stunning achievement of an "extravagantly gifted" (Kirkus Reviews) new novelist. John Connolly superbly taps into the tortured mind and gritty world of former NYPD detective Charlie "Bird" Parker, tormented by the brutal, unsolved murders of his wife and young daughter. Driven by visions of the dead, Parker tracks a serial killer from New York City to the American South, and finds his buried instincts -- for love, survival, and, ultimately, for killing -- awakening as he confronts a monster beyond imagining...

Why I wanted to read it: First in a series that I’ve never read, finally snagged it from Bookmooch.

I give this three stars only because of the evocative writing. Places came alive with sights and scents, usually disgusting. It was ultimately too gruesome for me, which is something I haven’t said since I read The Silence of the Lambs. I should have figured this out from reading the back cover. The first paragraph is “John Connolly’s ‘darkly ingenious debut novel’ (Publishers Weekly, starred review) has been hailed interntionally as a page-turner in a league with the fiction of Thomas Harris.” At about page 400 I realized that I didn’t particularly like it and only finished it because I was so close to the end. Why did it take so long? The body count increased, the violence increased, and in some ways it just became boring. There are so many coincidences and reaches that I can’t give it kudos for a good police procedural. There is so much horrific detail that finally, in the last dozen or so pages I skipped paragraphs.

This is my first cull of the year. I don’t want it on my shelves, I don’t want it in the house. I want to get quite a few of the images out of my mind.

128Ameise1
Jan 6, 3:48am Top

>127 karenmarie: ok, I won't search that one in my library. Happy Saturday, Karen.

129drneutron
Jan 6, 10:40am Top

I’ve got the series on my list, but the few Connolly I’ve read have been pretty brutal. So it’s back-burnered. 😀

130richardderus
Jan 6, 12:15pm Top

>127 karenmarie: *burns page it was listed on*

Not for me, thanks. No indeed. Sorry it was such a ghastly read. *smooch*

131Crazymamie
Jan 6, 12:38pm Top

>127 karenmarie: SO maybe not.

Good day, Karen! I was reading through your survival list up there, and I was very happy to see coffee on the list. Okay then. You are good to go.

132Whisper1
Jan 6, 12:43pm Top

>91 karenmarie: You are very thoughtful. Your gifts are bound to make her smile.

133karenmarie
Jan 6, 1:04pm Top

>128 Ameise1: Hi Barbara. Thank you re Saturday. We just got back from running errands – a bit of ice and frozen sludge but no slipping and once we hit the state road it was okay.

>129 drneutron: Brutal is a good word for it.

>130 richardderus: Good idea, Richard. Yup. Ghastly. *smooch* back

>131 Crazymamie: Well, Mamie, if you like graphic serial killer stuff then go ahead, but if not, then definitely not.

Life without coffee is inconceivable.

>132 Whisper1: Thank you, Linda! I wish there was more I could do for my sister.

Bill’s watching Carolina basketball. Two NFL games on later today but our Panthers play tomorrow at 4:40 p.m.

Since I actively disliked and abandoned A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor and the roads are nasty, especially the secondary ones, and the Panthers play until past the start of book club, I might not go to the meeting tomorrow night. It’s looking it might not even make it above freezing again tomorrow. Two days ago we were seeing that it might be 36F tomorrow, now it's 31F. Slight but significant.

134karenmarie
Jan 6, 1:11pm Top

Here's the first paragraph of the Preface to Kinsey and Me by Sue Grafton.
A mystery short story is a marvel of ingenuity. The writer works on a small canvas, word-painting with the equivalent of a brush with three hairs. In the space of twenty or so manuscript pages, the writer must establish the credentials and personality of the detective (Kinsey Millhone in this case), as well as the time period and the physical setting. Usually there's a murder or a missing person, whose disappearance is a matter of concern. Lesser crimes, such as burglary, theft, embezzlement, or fraud, may provide the spark for the story line, but as a rule, murder is the glue that holds the pieces in place.
It's like she's just chatting with me. So accessible, so concise, so deft.

136karenmarie
Jan 6, 1:30pm Top

Oh, Mr. Olivander! Yay, Mamie! Perfect.

137Crazymamie
Jan 6, 2:27pm Top

*grin*

138SomeGuyInVirginia
Jan 6, 4:04pm Top

>127 karenmarie: I've read a few of his thrillers and they are brutal, but I kind of like them because of the campy horror. He wrote a series of kids' supernatural adventures that start with The Gates that are great fun and not at all gross. The protagonist is a gifted kid named Samuel Johnson, who joins with his dachshund Boswell and the conflicted demon Nurd to try and stop the gates of hell from opening.

139nittnut
Jan 6, 4:31pm Top

>127 karenmarie: Ugh. Thanks for taking one for the team? I don't like the graphic and gory stuff.

>135 Crazymamie: Well said.

I've got a pair of gorgeous eastern bluebirds perched on my feeders outside, all fluffed up against the cold. The birds are really going through the seed this freezing cold week.

140karenmarie
Jan 6, 6:17pm Top

>137 Crazymamie: I'm not sure I could love HP much more than I do now.....

>138 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! Yes. Brutal. Did you know he's Irish? Born in Dublin in 1968. I didn't know that until I was updating my spreadsheet with his birth country. I thought it would be US, but isn't. I've heard of the kids' adventures books. I love the idea of a dachshund named Boswell.

>139 nittnut: You're welcome, Jenn, I think. I should have grokked the reference to Thomas Harris and avoided it. But, it's 467 pages.....

I haven't seen a Bluebird since spring. Very nice. Our birds are in a frenzy, too, with snow covering much of their natural food.

141Crazymamie
Jan 6, 6:18pm Top

>140 karenmarie: Yep. All of us here at the Pecan Paradisio have BIG LOVE for Harry Potter - both the books and the movies.

142karenmarie
Jan 6, 6:26pm Top

Oh yes, us, too, ever since my daughter wanted to see the first movie when she was 8. I insisted we read the book first - I had gotten a trade paperback copy at the thrift store for 25 cents. We were primed for the first movie after loving the book and have never looked back.

I'm quite excited about the Newt Scamander movies, too. I've seen the first one three times and will be excited when the 2nd one is available. I'm currently re-listening to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for the umpteenth time. I love being retired, but it has seriously decreased my audiobook consumption since I only listen to books in Steve (my SUV).

143Crazymamie
Jan 6, 6:34pm Top

>142 karenmarie: The first Harry Potter book is the first book that Abby (my middle daughter) fell in love with reading all by herself. We have never looked back and have read and listened to the books multiple times. Recently Birdy and I watched the first Newt Scamander movie together (she had seen it before, but it was my first time) - loved it.

I listen to audiobooks all the time, but I laughed at your SUV name - mine is Sean, as in Connery. My vehicle is a Highlander. Heh.

144thornton37814
Jan 6, 8:12pm Top

>133 karenmarie: I'm guessing Bill was disappointed in the outcome of that game.

145witchyrichy
Jan 6, 8:19pm Top

>105 karenmarie: Is your weather station on Weather Underground? We're Bottle Tree Farm on Weather Underground.

146Dianekeenoy
Jan 6, 8:47pm Top

>142 karenmarie: I agree that retirement does cause decreased audiobook consumption! I used to go through so many audiobooks when I worked since I was in the car
literally most of the day! Now, although I always keep one in, I just don't drive that far unless I'm going down to see my dad. I got into the Harry Potter books
and movies when my grandson, T.J. asked me to read them so we could have a "book club". He had spent his Christmas money that year to buy himself the
complete set. He was so cute, he would only lend me one book at a time and I had to return it before he would give me the next one! Definitely related!

147rretzler
Jan 7, 1:39am Top

>142 karenmarie: >146 Dianekeenoy: Ditto for working at home. I commuted downtown for 18 years, 30+ minutes each way and got a ton of listening in. Now it's only when I'm going to the grocery store - and now that I can shop online and just pick it up and bring it home, I really don't listen very much anymore. Probably just as well, since I seem to have more trouble keeping my mind on the book these days. I think I have 50+ attention deficit disorder! Although I do have a nifty shower speaker and will sometimes listen while getting ready in the morning, if I can bother to recharge the speaker - Keegan also uses it and keeps forgetting to turn it off.

148Ameise1
Jan 7, 5:29am Top

Happy Sunday, Karen. I've never read Harry Potter books but my daughters did. I went to see the movies with them and that was just fine with me.

149msf59
Edited: Jan 7, 7:18am Top

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. Let the great warm-up begin. 30 today. 37 tomorrow.

Loving Nickelby. I am so glad you set the Group Read of this one up, otherwise it may have been years since I finally got to it.

I may consider doing another Group Read of another of his works, later in the year.

150karenmarie
Jan 7, 8:34am Top

>143 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! I read them all aloud to Jenna, and the last one Bill sat in for the first third or so. Ha. Sean the Highlander. Steve is a black 2012 Escape. (pronounced es-CA-pay ala Dory).

I feel a story coming on….. How Steve Got His Name. When I was little, we lived in a huge subdivision in Hawthorne California. Our next door neighbors were the Johnstons – Johnny, Patty, Rusty, Ricky, Danny, and Julie. For some reason I’ll never know, Mr. Johnston took to calling me Steve. Fast forward from late 1950s to 1995 or so when I started working at Magneti Marelli in Sanford NC. Warren the Cost Accountant and Bob the Production Control Supervisor had nicknames for each other – Warren’s was Howard and Bob’s was Captain (pronounced with the coastal VA accent of Warren’s as CA'mm). I had a serious brain fart one day and told Warren about being called Steve, so evermore it’s been Howard and Steve. We’re having lunch on Wednesday, and our conversation will start “Howard”. “Steve”. Fast forward to mid-December. I was picking up boxed fruit (Jenna’s high school sells it, I still buy some, and Robert, a Magneti Marelli inmate who I’m still in touch with wanted some so I arranged it) from the son of the Treasurer-who-took-over-for-me-when-Jenna-graduated. We chatted a minute, then he opened up Sophie, his white mini-van. He asked me what my SUV’s name was, I said he didn’t have one. (my vehicles are always he, except for this one always unnamed) He said he was good at naming things and said “What about Steve?” I whooped and hollered for a minute or two, gave him a hug, and said “Steve it is!”

>144 thornton37814: Hey Lori! Bill’s been more disappointed this season than some, for sure. He says that Carolina is going to be a middle-of-the-pack team, meaning March Madness, probably an 8th or 9th seed. We’ll see. Their rep frequently bumps them if they’re not 1st seed.

>145 witchyrichy: No. I didn’t even know you could do that, Karen! Way cool. I’ll have to mention it to Bill. And I just looked at your link, added it to my Favorites, and am glad that we’re south of you – you’re MINUS 8.5F and we’re MINUS 2F. The house heat isn’t keeping up – it’s set for 64F overnight and was only 59F when I took a snapshot of the display at 7:43.

>146 Dianekeenoy: Decreased audio consumption, for sure, Diane. It’s taken me since April 2017 to get through Harry Potter 1-5 and half of 6. Car consumption is seriously down, for sure. I wouldn’t trade lack of audiobook consumption for working, though…..

Good for T.J. Buying his own books and controlling his lending library. My daughter has loaned the first 5 books of A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin to me – books I bought for her – and I might tackle them this year. Sigh. There are 7 of them now, and 3 prequels.

>147 rretzler: Yup, Robin. What a terrible problem to have. *smile* But Keegan draining the battery, Tsk, tsk.

>148 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! That’s the way Bill is – saw the movies, sees no need to read the books.

>149 msf59: Good morning, Mark! Amen, brother. Although we’re starting from a negative position; as I mentioned above, it was -2F when I got up. You’re in a positive heat wave up north at 17F. I know, I know. I don’t have to go out in it and you do. Stay warm and safe.

151richardderus
Jan 7, 9:57am Top

-7° right now. Monday they're promising me 35° with snow. Nothing's ever perfect, but that will most certainly do.

Coffee-flavored waffles and maple syrup?

152karenmarie
Jan 7, 10:19am Top

Well, RD, darned. Yum. But Mamie tormented me on her thread with French toast, thick cut bacon, and coffee, so since I had it all in the house, I made brekkie for us. Real maple syrup included.

153streamsong
Jan 7, 10:37am Top

Hi Karen - Hmmm looks like I can skip Every Dead Thing. Thanks for taking one for the team.

Hah! An anti-book bullet. Usually I come away from your thread adding to my wish-list. Today I have one removed from that list forever.

154karenmarie
Jan 7, 10:39am Top

Hi Janet!

You're very welcome. I'm glad that people who don't like violence and flaying are warned off. I wish I had been.

Ha. An anti-book bullet. I like it.

155karenmarie
Jan 7, 11:37am Top

I've just finished the Prologue to Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. I knew it, but didn't really know the full extent to which drumpf and company believed that he'd lose to Clinton. Here's the last paragraph of the prologue:
There was, in the space of little more than an hour, in Steve Bannon's not unamused observation, a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a quite horrified Trump. But still to come was the final transformation: suddenly, Donald Trump became man who believed that he deserved to be and was wholly capable of being the president of the United States.
Oh, my goodness.

156harrygbutler
Jan 7, 11:42am Top

Good morning, Karen! Enjoy your Sunday!

Audiobooks aren't for me, though I listen a good deal to old-time radio shows.

157SirThomas
Jan 7, 12:48pm Top

Happy New Year!
I wish you:
A Happy new Thread
Be Happy with a lot of good books

I am
Clearly Happy to be part of this group

158karenmarie
Jan 7, 1:29pm Top

>156 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! We're trying to stay warm. Brrrr. It's now a nice, bright 24F, up from -2F at 7:45 this morning.

>157 SirThomas: Hi Thomas! Welcome, thank you for the greetings.

159SomeGuyInVirginia
Edited: Jan 7, 10:18pm Top

>150 karenmarie: That's a good one. My car is Genie. I guess a loot of people name their car.

>155 karenmarie: I'm going to have to pony up for Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. The local lie-berry has it on order and there are already 423 holds on it.

>156 harrygbutler: I love old time radio. My parents got me interested in them when I was a kid. For years, I'd wrap up the weekend by tuning into The Big Broadcast on NPR. Now, fortunately, the shows are everywhere.

160richardderus
Jan 7, 4:57pm Top

>155 karenmarie: Oh, I give up. I've ordered the damned Wolff on Kindle, can't wait until Wednesday.

161nittnut
Jan 7, 7:38pm Top

I love the Steve story. I am known as Jeff to my crazy aunt Lori. It's an obvious progression, Jennifer, Jeffiner, Jeff...

162rretzler
Jan 7, 8:00pm Top

>151 richardderus: Yum, Richard, coffee flavored waffles - I didn't know there was such a thing.

>150 karenmarie: Love the car name story!

163Crazymamie
Jan 7, 8:07pm Top

>150 karenmarie: I love the Steve story, Karen - thanks so much for sharing! So great.

164karenmarie
Jan 7, 10:18pm Top

>159 SomeGuyInVirginia: Sorry, Larry, but there it is. You need to read it.

I listen to the radio a lot, starting when I fell in love with the Beatles age 10 and listened to KFWB AM 98. Also, while in college, I listened to Dr. Demento on FM radio – don’t remember which channel. Now I listen to NPR and am a Sustainer to our local channel WUNC. My only complaint with them is that they went to an all-talk format about 10 years ago except for Fiona Ritchie (sp?) and BackPorch Music Sunday evenings. I used to love the classical music portions of their day.

>160 richardderus: Yay Richard! Instant gratification wins. *smooch*

>161 nittnut: Thanks, Jenn. Logical progression by Aunt Lori.

>162 rretzler: I didn’t know about coffee-flavored waffles either, Robin, and think I must get some espresso powder.

Thanks re the Steve story.

>163 Crazymamie: You’re welcome, Mamie. I love reading other peoples’ stories and am flattered that people like mine, too.

So my poor Panthers lost to the Hated Saints. Season over.

Off to read some more of Kinsey and Me. It’s 13F outside right now and with the house heat having difficulties keeping up under this strain, thank goodness for microfleece sheets and corn bags! Corn bags – 12” x 12” cloth bags filled with 10 cups of deer corn that can be microwaved and placed in the bed like a bed warmer or wrapped brick. Bless my sister’s heart – I have several thanks to her.

165LizzieD
Jan 7, 11:36pm Top

Hard to see how I can get so behind as not to be able to catch up.
Sorry about the Panthers though, and I love the Steve story.
I'm currently driving Hazel.
My college dorm had windows from the built-in desks to the ceiling. We positioned the speakers out a window to play the first Beatles album on campus and put a girl in every window dancing herself to exhaustion. For a whole afternoon when somebody got tired, there was another one waiting to take over.

166karenmarie
Jan 8, 6:27am Top

Hi Peggy!

Hazel is a good name for a car.

What a wonderful story about the Beatles album blaring out of your college dorm windows. They were so amazing.

167EllaTim
Jan 8, 8:17am Top

How kind of your sister to make you those bags. They sound very cosy when it is so cold outside.I have a similar bag, but filled with buckwheat. I had to buy that, but I'm going to remember that you can make them using corn, very handy.

168msf59
Jan 8, 8:18am Top

Morning, Karen. I hope you are able to keep down your meals, as you make your way through Fire and Fury. I am torn about reading this or not. Shudders...

169jnwelch
Jan 8, 8:29am Top

Hiya, Karen. You got me thinking about introverts and extroverts. Like you, everyone in my immediate family, including me, needs time alone to recharge their batteries. I have a niece who's an actress, and her batteries seem to get charged by being with people. She's an extrovert, and I suppose that's the big difference maker. Introverts can be situationally extroverted, but extroverts thrive on being with others?

170karenmarie
Edited: Jan 8, 8:32am Top

>167 EllaTim: Hi Ella! They are wonderful. For a seamstress they're easy - alas, I'm not a seamstress. The best I can do is sew the 2" openings shut after I put the deer corn in!

>168 msf59: Hi Mark! I'm on page 31. So far it's pathetic and dangerous and confirmation of some of the things I already knew and explanation of some things I wondered about - like why Chris Christie was really dumped. He prosecuted Jared Kushner's father and got a conviction in 2005. Charlie Kushner served jail time and Ivanka told the drumpf that it would be extremely difficult for her and her family to have Christie in the administration and that he should be removed from the drumpf orbit altogether.

>169 jnwelch: Hi Joe! I have to leave in 15 minutes for a FoL board meeting - I'll be back early this afternoon. Introverts vs extroverts is a great subject.

171katiekrug
Jan 8, 9:09am Top

>169 jnwelch: - That's always been my understanding of the difference, Joe. Contrary to popular opinion/stereotype, introverts don't hate being around people, it is just draining for them, and they need alone/quiet time to re-charge, whereas extroverts get their energy from other people.

At least, that's how I am :)

Happy Monday, Karen!

172harrygbutler
Jan 8, 9:18am Top

Good morning, Karen! I hope you have an enjoyable Monday.

173SomeGuyInVirginia
Jan 8, 10:02am Top

What up, K bird! I hope you're enjoying a Monday in retirement. I'd like to think at least one person I know is having a good time!

>165 LizzieD: I love that story.

174karenmarie
Jan 8, 12:03pm Top

>169 jnwelch: Hey Joe, back from the wars. That's a good way to put it - introverts can be situationally extroverted. Once I'm comfortable with a group of people, I open up a bit and share. Like this morning's FoL Board Meeting. I was totally comfortable. Of course then going to the PO, bank, thrift store, and vet took their toll..... now it's just me and Kitty William (don't know where Inara is hiding). Time for a fresh pot of coffee and some reading. I know that I'll resent any interruptions.

Our cousins have two children - their son is an introvert, their daughter is an extrovert. Once their mother figured it out, parenting became much easier. My sister is more of an extrovert than I am although she's still more introverted than extroverted. I think it's a continuum...

This is how I frequently feel:



>171 katiekrug: Hi Katie! I don't hate being around people, but I want more time alone than with people. And it might seem counterintuitive, but now that I'm retired I seem to need more time alone than ever. Must be making up for decades of being around people all day, every day.

>172 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! Board meetings and errands, now safely at home. I'm going to be reading here shortly.

>173 SomeGuyInVirginia: Home, Larry, with Kitty William being a bit needy right now. Lots of good books to read. Rest assured that I'm doing my best to make my retirement days meaningful for my working friends! I'm drinking coffee for you, reading books for you, relaxing in the Sunroom for you, and skritching Kitty William for my cat-loving friends. Nix the skritching for RD, of course.....

175rretzler
Jan 8, 10:27pm Top

>169 jnwelch: >171 katiekrug: >174 karenmarie: I, too, am an introvert, and Karen, that picture is perfect! I can go out and be perfectly find socializing, but there will come a point when I've just had enough and may have to hibernate for a couple of days to recuperate. Many of my husband's family are extroverts, but they recognize that I'm an introvert, and if they see me in the corner with my book at family get togethers, they know just to leave me alone for awhile.

If you haven't read it, I highly recommend Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. It came out in 2012 and is available on Audible and as an ebook, as well as print.

There is also a blog that I read occassionaly on Psychology Today called The Introvert's Corner. I especially love the Fill-in-the-Blanks Letter to Your Family - if you have time, you should check it out!

176LovingLit
Jan 9, 2:31am Top

>175 rretzler: I still remember how Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain affected me, it was a fantastic read :)

177karenmarie
Edited: Jan 9, 7:30am Top

>175 rretzler: Hi Robin! I have a great picture in my mind of you sitting in a corner hunkered down over a book with loudness and exuberance all around. I bought Quiet a while back on someone here on LT's recommendation. It's sitting between Lost on Planet China and The Complete Idiot's Conversational Sign Language. Thanks for the link, I've bookmarked it.

The personal hamster ball of space shown above is from Dr. Carmella's Guide to Understanding the Introverted by Roman Jones: Dr. Carmella's Guide

>176 LovingLit: Hi Megan! I really should read Quiet since it's been on my shelves for a while.

178msf59
Edited: Jan 9, 7:28am Top

Morning, Karen. I plan on going for another stroll in the woods, later this morning with Bree and Duke.

Saw very little birds yesterday, but it was nice traipsing around.

I treasure my "Me" time but I do like being social, with just the right people.

179karenmarie
Jan 9, 7:30am Top

Hi Mark! We cross-posted. I love it when that happens. I hope you, Bree, and Duke have a wonderful stroll. Perhaps another coyote sighting?

180sibyx
Jan 9, 7:33am Top

Stopping by to say hello -- love the story of your car's name.

181karenmarie
Jan 9, 7:41am Top

Thanks, Lucy! Steve and I are going out today for a brief jaunt to Sherry's for 1 1/2 hours of deep tissue massage. Poor Steve has to hang out in the driveway, but he never complains. *smile*

182msf59
Edited: Jan 9, 8:23am Top

"Perhaps another coyote sighting?" You never know. The one good thing about hiking in the winter is, there is no cover. Easier to see things but they also hide better. I was surprised I didn't see a deer or two, but I have never have there.

183harrygbutler
Jan 9, 8:28am Top

Have a good Tuesday, Karen. Likely a fairly quiet day for me.

184ChelleBearss
Jan 9, 8:52am Top

Hi Karen! Love all the Harry Potter love here! My mom bought me the three book set for Christmas before the fourth book came out and I've been obsessed with loved them ever since!

185witchyrichy
Jan 9, 9:04am Top

The sun is shining and the snow has begun to melt. I hope you are settled in the sunshine with coffee and a book. That's my plan for some of the day.

Loved the tip on the corn bags. We've mostly moved into the den of the house where the wood stove keeps us warm. I sleep on the opened futon and Bob takes the sofa, with some combination of dogs shared between us. We've been trying to keep the rest of the house at least above freezing. Tonight, I may retire to the upstairs bedroom.

Finally, I know I have found "my people" on this thread. I have an extrovert's job as an executive director and I enjoy our conferences and events. But, after a day of being public, I need my quiet time. I am never more happy when a whole weekend stretches ahead with no plans or people.

186karenmarie
Edited: Jan 9, 9:44am Top

>182 msf59: Hi Mark! Yesterday morning I had 2 healthy does about 8 feet from the house feasting on the bird food I'd set out in a try on the snow-covered ground. I told them they needed to leave it alone but they didn't pay attention. They only paid attention when I backed Steve out of the garage in order to go to town for Board meeting and errands. By then I could see 6 does total. And then when I came back yesterday, they were all resting in a little glade between Ronnie and Kim's land and our land. I was cautious coming down the drive, for sure.

>183 harrygbutler: Quiet is good, Harry. You work from home, right? I admire anybody who works from home because I know I don't have the discipline. "Ooh, a closet to clean! Let's bake something! Maybe I can slip in a chapter or two! Let's pet the kitties for a while." The excuses would be endless.

My deep tissue massage appointment has been rescheduled to Friday. Sherry uses a little house in town that she owns for her business only, and they weren't there for several days because of the bad roads and found a burst pipe this morning. But yay for Friday. So. No obligations today at all. *happy dance*

>184 ChelleBearss: I think obsession is a good thing with Harry Potter, Chelle. Each time I re-listen or re-read I hear/see something new, some nuance I missed before, some tidbit to tuck away. Good for you! It's also something to look forward to sharing with Chloe and then Elissa when they're the appropriate ages. I don't know what that age is, Jenna was 8 when we became obsessed. That's 16 years ago, and I'm re-listening to book 6 in Steve.

>185 witchyrichy: Hallo, Karen! Books, coffee, no obligations now that massage has been rescheduled, and books. These are the books I'm reading. The blank cover is the true cover of my copy of Nicholas Nickleby for the group read I'm hosting.



So glad you've found 'your people' here on this thread. I think quite a few of us are introverts, it's just that being online works so well for us and we're becoming aware of who we are and how to fit into a world that praises extroverts more than introverts.

187richardderus
Jan 9, 9:41am Top

Hey there Horrible. Hope it's nice weather there...it's over 30° and I'm a little shell-shocked.

>174 karenmarie: My kitty skritcher:

188karenmarie
Jan 9, 9:47am Top

Good morning, RD!

It's 33F here right now, supposedly going to a high of 56F. Very nice for our propane and electric bills, much less keeping warm and safe.

Ha. Not enough tines, you old reprobate..... *smooch*

189harrygbutler
Jan 9, 9:51am Top

>186 karenmarie: Indeed I do, Karen. It sometimes is difficult to avoid distractions, but I'm a person who works in bursts, so it is actually better for me to be able to get up and move around pretty often without distracting my coworkers. :-)

190karenmarie
Jan 9, 10:27am Top

>189 harrygbutler: I used to try to manipulate my work load to do intense things in the morning, when my programming and analytical skills were better, and busy-but-necessary work later in the day. Didn't always work out that way, but I tried. Now, I try to get more intense reading done in the morning (NN for example) and Kinsey and drumpf later in the day when less brain cells are required.

191Ameise1
Jan 9, 4:13pm Top

Happy Tuesday, Karen.

192karenmarie
Jan 9, 4:27pm Top

Thank you, Barbara! I hope your first day back yesterday went well - off to check your thread!

193karenmarie
Edited: Jan 9, 10:34pm Top

Kinsey and Me by Sue Grafton
1/6/18 to 1/9/18





The description from Amazon:

In 1982, Sue Grafton introduced us to Kinsey Millhone. Thirty years later, Kinsey is an established international icon and Sue, a number-one bestselling author. To mark this anniversary year, Sue has given us stories that reveal Kinsey’s origins and Sue’s past.

“I've come to believe that Grafton is not only the most talented woman writing crime fiction today but also that, regardless of gender, her Millhone books are among the five or six best series any American has ever written.”—Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post

Kinsey and Me has two parts: The nine Kinsey stories (1986-93), each a gem of detection; and the And Me stories, written in the decade after Grafton's mother died. Together, they show just how much of Kinsey is a distillation of her creator’s past even as they reveal a child who, free of parental interventions, read everything and roamed everywhere. But the dark side of such freedom was that very parental distance.

The same unique voice and witty insights readers fell in love with in A Is for Alibi permeate the Kinsey stories. Those in the And Me section trace a remarkable voyage, from anger to understanding, from pain to forgiveness. They take us into a troubled family, dysfunctional as most families are, each in their own way, but Grafton’s telling is sensitive, delicate, and ultimately, loving. Enriching the way we see Kinsey and know Sue, these stories are deeply affecting.


Why I wanted to read it: A preface, as it were, to my reread of the Alphabet Series this year in honor of Sue Grafton after her death on December 28, 2017.

I find myself deeply affected by Sue Grafton’s death. After having read the first 6 or 7 of the Alphabet Series, I didn’t read any of the alphabet series for perhaps 15 years; I then got a little push to think about them again by the kind gift of P-T from a friend when I didn’t even particularly want them. I eventually reacquired and reread all of them through T and read each new one as it came out. I only read Y is for Yesterday in October, thinking then that I hated having to wait for 2 years for Z to come out. Alas, no Z.

The first half of the book is short stories featuring Kinsey Millhone. As a rule I don’t like short stories, but I enjoyed reading them because they’re all I’ll ever get of new Kinsey fiction, even though they are only gathered here having been previously published. As entr’acte, there is a nonfiction piece called An Eye for an I: Justice, Morality, the nature of the Hard-boiled Private Investigator, and All That Existential Stuff, wherein the author explains her love, joy, and pride in the genre she grew up on and has contributed mightily to.

The second half of the book is deeply introspective, sad, and powerfully and emotionally written. The thirteen stories are chronological, starting when Kit was a young girl, ending with a story of Kit’s father’s letter to her and her ruminating on the death of her family.
If Kinsey Millhone is my alter ego, Kit Blue is simply a younger version of me. The following thirteen stories were written in the decade following my mother’s death, my way of coming to terms with my grief for her. I realized early in the process of the writing that I could take any moment I remembered and cut straight to the heart of our relationship. It was if all moments – any moment, every moment – were the same. Every incident I had access to seemed connected at the core; that rage, that pain, all the scalding tears I wept, both during her life and afterward. All of it is part of the riddle I think of now as love.
Nothing else to add except that if you’re a Kinsey Millhone and/or Sue Grafton fan, you should really read this book.

194richardderus
Jan 9, 7:22pm Top

>193 karenmarie: Vale, Sue Grafton. You've been loved and will be missed. What better thing can one hope for from this life?

Nice eulogy to her memory.

195Dianekeenoy
Jan 9, 9:22pm Top

>193 karenmarie: I loved Sue Grafton, I will be getting this book. Great review, have to go order.

196karenmarie
Jan 9, 10:36pm Top

>194 richardderus: Indeed. And thank you.

>195 Dianekeenoy: Thanks, Diane! You won't regret it.

197majleavy
Jan 10, 12:13am Top

>193 karenmarie: Touching review, Karen.

I regret to say that I abandoned the series some time at or before M. I really enjoyed the early ones, but as they got more into Kinsey's life, discovering her family, or whatever, I lost interest. That happens to me with most series, really, but especially mystery series. Agatha Christie and Ellery Queen were my formative models, followed by Ross MacDonald as an adult, and I've remained partial ever since to mysteries that have nothing to do with the life of the detective.

198Familyhistorian
Jan 10, 1:33am Top

Finally caught up with your thread, Karen. Amazing that Bill was able to snowblow your driveway with a leaf blower. I haven't seen light fluffy snow in decades. The stuff we get here is wet and heavy because it is just on the verge of being rain. Makes for slippery driving.

199msf59
Jan 10, 6:41am Top

>193 karenmarie: Good review of Kinsey and Me!

Morning, Karen. Back to work today, but it is going to be close to 50, so that should help my attitude.

200karenmarie
Jan 10, 6:57am Top

>197 majleavy: Hi Michael! I find it interesting that you don't want any personal life info cluttering up the mysteries. Both Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple just have a sentence or two here and there referring to their private lives. Ellery Queen and his dad shared digs and we rarely hear about anything personal with either of them either. Perry Mason mysteries are similar, with brief hints at the romance between Perry and Della Street.

I can see why Kinsey's personal life could be irritating to you, but once all that is explained, the books include Henry and his cat Ed, his brother, and her other acquaintances in Santa Teresa and her on-and-off-again romances but not in any detail.

>198 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! I can't remember getting powder like that in years, either. In this case heavy wet snow would have been a disaster because of the below freezing temps and ice-like conditions. Global warming?

>199 msf59: Good morning, Mark! Basking in the high 40s has to be good, right? Thanks re the review.

Ah, first sip of coffee. I'm so far behind on threads that I'll do a bit of visiting then settle down to read.

201SomeGuyInVirginia
Jan 10, 9:17am Top

>193 karenmarie: A very touching review, Karen. Looks like I just got tagged with a BB.

202Crazymamie
Jan 10, 9:33am Top

Morning, Karen! Lovely review.

203rosalita
Jan 10, 9:34am Top

Lovely review of Kinsey & Me, Karen. If you posted it to the book page I'll be happy to give you a thumb. I look forward to reading about your revisit of the Alphabet Series.

204karenmarie
Jan 10, 9:43am Top

>201 SomeGuyInVirginia: Thanks, Larry! Have you read any of the Alphabet Series?

>202 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie.

>203 rosalita: Hi Julia! Thank you. You know, I haven't posted a review on the book page since my last LT ER book. I guess I should start doing it again. Okay, here goes.... done. Added to the book page.

I'm caught up in 2 challenges right now - the Nicholas Nickleby group read and the Irish Authors January Challenge of Edna O'Brien, for which I'm reading The Country Girls. With 25 books in the Alphabet series and a little more than 50 weeks to go, I should probably be reading one every two weeks starting about now.

205Crazymamie
Jan 10, 9:49am Top

>204 karenmarie: I also added my thumb. I had checked before but you hadn't posted it.

206rosalita
Jan 10, 9:52am Top

>204 karenmarie: Thanks, I've given you the finger thumb!

207harrygbutler
Jan 10, 10:05am Top

Good morning, Karen! I'd say I agree with majleavy that generally I don't want much of the book devoted to the detective's personal life. I don't mind a romance in one book that then becomes a marriage and adds a character to an ongoing series, but I don't really want much time spent on that. That's particularly the case for modern "defective detectives" and a large part of why I don't tend to go for more recent mysteries.

208majleavy
Jan 10, 10:22am Top

>207 harrygbutler: Yeah, what Harry says. I can relate to the "defective detectives" issue, too. Back when I read mysteries on a regular basis, I burned out quickly on Dave Robichaux and the Ken Bruen guy - I'm afraid that exploring that kind of character is more than most mystery writers can handle.

Have a good day, Karen!

209karenmarie
Edited: Jan 10, 10:28am Top

>205 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie! Like I wrote above, I guess I really should start posting my reviews again. I might even go back to some from my threads from last year and post those, too.

>206 rosalita: Thank you, Julia! Thumb, not finger. LOL. My husband's step-grandmother had terrible arthritis in her hands in her final years and it was easier for her to move her pinkie finger than her middle finger, so when Pat was in a mood, she'd hold that little guy up and say "You don't deserve the best, but use your imagination." So now we frequently put up the pinkie to denote derision and not quit deserving of the full middle finger salute.

>207 harrygbutler: Hi Harry and good morning to you, too. I guess as a rule I don't, either. I don't consider that Kinsey has so much going in her personal life that it takes away from the detecting, and the way Grafton wrote about Kinsey's family, as it turns out, leaned heavily on her personal experiences. I don't remember getting impatient with it at all. One of my favorite detectives, though, Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey, had a wonderful personal life intertwined with the books and it culminated in his relationship with Miss Harriet Vane. To me those books wouldn't be right without the WWI issues, his relationship with Bunter, his meeting and relationship with Harriet, and his mother, brother, nephew, and etc.

edited to add:

"Defective detectives" is interesting. You mean the divorced, alcoholic ones? I can think of several of those, for sure.

>208 majleavy: Hi Michael! I stopped reading the Dave Robichaux mysteries for some reason and haven't even heard of Ken Bruen....

Interesting that you think that even if a writer can handle the mystery parts s/he can't handle the character development well.

210Crazymamie
Jan 10, 10:27am Top

>209 karenmarie: LOVE the pinkie finger story!! Made me laugh out loud.

211karenmarie
Jan 10, 10:31am Top

>210 Crazymamie: We loved Pat and miss her. She died in 1996 at the ripe old age of 85. She also used to make a circle with thumb and forefinger and wave her hand through the air, waving those arthritic little fingers. This was when she was calling someone a flying asshole. She was a pip and had a very interesting life.

212ChelleBearss
Jan 10, 10:45am Top

>186 karenmarie: I'm not sure what the appropriate age would be either, but I look forward to it! I imagine grade one or so maybe?

213harrygbutler
Jan 10, 10:54am Top

>209 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! Wimsey and Vane would be an exception for me as well (hence the generally in my comment above. And you're spot on for the type of detective I had in mind; I find that sort of characterization clichéd and lazy, and finally just not very interesting.

214Crazymamie
Jan 10, 11:02am Top

>211 karenmarie: She sounds like a card! My kind of people.

215karenmarie
Jan 10, 11:07am Top

>212 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle! My daughter was 8. I had tried reading it aloud to her earlier and she wasn't interested, but perhaps Chloe will take to it at an early age. I don't know how little'uns would deal with the deaths. Jenna didn't flinch when Cedric Diggory died in HP 4. she had gotten the book for Christmas the same year we saw HP 1.

>213 harrygbutler: Yes, I tend to shy away from D&D (drunk and divorced). I want my heroes to be a bit more than anti-heroes.

>214 Crazymamie: She was. You'd have liked her a lot.

216majleavy
Jan 10, 12:50pm Top

>209 karenmarie: It may be that I'm being unfair to mystery writers, but I think that they mostly are better at externals, at social relations.
I go back to Ross MacDonald again - he was a psychologist, if I'm not mistaken, but focused his mysteries on family relations (as Grafton did, early on), but the victim's family, not the detective's. Or take something like Murder on the Orient Express, all about the detective penetrating the mysteries of the extended family. I feel like that's usually where the mystery writer's strengths (aside from just the plot stuff).

Still, maybe I should check out N or something.

Ken Bruen, btw, writes the Jack Taylor series, set in Ireland. Taylor is a hapless addict/alcoholic whose every action, nearly, results in catastrophe. Books are pretty good, though.

217richardderus
Jan 10, 2:44pm Top

>211 karenmarie: I love Pat. When I am 85, I want to be Pat.

We used to call the pinky-raised f.u. a feather: "Here's a feather, I don't care enough to give you the bird."

218karenmarie
Jan 10, 3:00pm Top

>216 majleavy: Good points, Michael! The interesting thing about Grafton doing Kinsey's family is that it is soooo Kinsey the way the family is described and how she interacts with them that it just felt right following along. Not a lot of emotion, not a lot of angst, just find out who they are and hold them off until they finally back away.

I think I'll pass on Ken Bruen, just on principle.

>217 richardderus: Okay, I'll remind you of that in the decades to come! Let me see if I can find a picture of her on the computer.... Okay, this one is from the late 20s or early 30s. Pat and her alcoholic husband Cecil, parents of my MiL and Aunt Ann. Neither sister had anything good to say about him, but loved their mother to distraction. I need to find a pic of her from when I knew her, from 1991-1996, from when I married until she passed away.

One of the sweetest stories about Pat is that even though our daughter Jenna was a step-great-grandchild, Pat loved her from the minute she saw her and said that she was so happy to have a great-grandbaby with red hair.

219richardderus
Jan 10, 3:05pm Top

What a great Pat story! Neither of them looks too happy, I have to say.

Here's a thought: Everyone should strive to be like Pat at 85!

And lastly, Bruen's Jack Taylor series is a good Irish TV show available on Netflix.

220karenmarie
Jan 10, 3:27pm Top

Pat had a hard life but never let it get her down. She was a strong woman and hard worker. She also had a wicked sense of humor. Let's all be like Pat!

Good to know about the Jack Taylor series. Bill and I are getting to the end of Midsomer Murders and are keeping an eye out for the next thing.

221majleavy
Jan 10, 5:21pm Top

>218 karenmarie: You're probably right to pass on Bruen, Karen - though I'll admit that I'm imagining reading one of his non-Taylor novels in the appropriate month of the Irish Challenge. I don't much like Tana French (or, more accurately, she writes about things that I find emotionally upsetting), and I probably won't want to reread Benjamin Black...

>219 richardderus: Now that you mention it Richard, I recall that I've seen ads. Are the shows like the novels, do you know?

222rosalita
Edited: Jan 10, 5:27pm Top

Your great-grandmother Pat sounds like the kind of woman I'd like to hang out with, Karen!

>220 karenmarie: Lately I've been watching an Australian series, The Doctor Blake Mysteries. The title character is a police surgeon. It's set in Australia in the late 1950s/early '60s, and I'm enjoying it. You might try the first episode to see if it appeals to you.

223jnwelch
Jan 10, 5:59pm Top

We are working our way much more slowly than you through Midsomer Murders. We're either in the 6th or 7th season, so we have a lot to go. Sergeant Troy has just left, and the new guy, who doesn't want to be there, has shown up.

224karenmarie
Jan 10, 6:59pm Top

>221 majleavy: I read the first Dublin Squad book by Tana French, loved it, and bogged down about 100 pages into the second one. I have most of them on my shelves. Perhaps one day. What made me not like the book was that it was not a series as I thought of series at the time, but told about different characters from a different point of view (as far as I can remember). Haven't heard of Benjamin Black.

>222 rosalita: I think she would enjoy my friends here, Julia. Funny - I can't remember if she read or not - I'll have to ask her daughter Aunt Ann. I need to call her anyway to plan lunch, a Barnes & Noble visit and the spending of a gift certificate she gave me for Christmas from a kitchen gadgets store. She's inordinately pleased with this gift and I'm looking forward to the time with her.

Another series to look out for. Bill and I are good at trying one or two episodes of something and if it doesn't work for one of us, then we don't suffer. We did try the series Good Behavior with Michelle Dockery (Mary of Downton Abbey fame), loved the first season, hated the first episode of season two and so have officially abandoned it.

>223 jnwelch: We frequently watch 2 episodes per night, Joe. Sometimes there's a sports thing Bill wants to watch so I read instead, but we really like it a lot. Ah. The new guy. Jones. No spoilers from me. *smile* We're on season 18, episode 6.

I have just finished The Country Girls by Edna O'Brien for Paul's Irish Authors Challenge for January. I'll probably write a review tomorrow morning.

Three books down! One hundred and two to go!

225rretzler
Jan 10, 7:29pm Top

>207 harrygbutler: >208 majleavy: >209 karenmarie: I, too, grew up on Agatha Christie and others who were heavy into plotting and less into characterization, and for the longest time, found that was the type of mystery I most loved. However, I am finding now some authors who include some characterization of their detective with the detection and I'm finding I really enjoy it. Martha Grimes' Richard Jury series is that way for me. Not too heavy on the personal life, but just enough, so that I feel like I'm catching up with an old friend. So now, depending upon the author, I'm perfectly happy with characterization as long as the plotting and the detection is well done.

I have to say, Karen, that when Lord Peter met Harriet, the wheels fell off the bus for me, at first. I know that a lot of people consider Gaudy Night to be their favorite Lord Peter novel - it's my least liked. (Murder Must Advertise being my favorite. It took me several rereads to tolerate Harriet and several more to actually like her!

Love the stories about Pat!

226FAMeulstee
Jan 10, 8:26pm Top

>193 karenmarie: Good review, Karen, thumbed!

I just started reading my first Sue Grafton A Is for Alibi.

227karenmarie
Jan 10, 10:26pm Top

>225 rretzler: Hi Robin! I wish I could remember in what order I originally read the Peter Wimsey mysteries. I'm sure it wasn't in any logical order although Gaudy Night was definitely after the Strong Poison and Have His Carcase. Gaudy Night is my favorite because of the culmination of their love story and because the mystery was so emotional and raw.

Of the non-Harriet books, my absolute favorite is Murder Must Advertise - chiefly because of the Whifflets campaign and the cleverness of the 'scheme', to save it for people who haven't read it yet. My least favorite is The Five Red Herrings and I've only ever read it one time.

I love Peter and Harriet's story and have said that over quite a few threads over the years. The only TV series I like is the three-book BBC series with Edward Petherbridge and Harriet Walter. Ian Carmichael's does nothing for me at all. He doesn't look like Peter Wimsey, whereas Peterbridge does. Blonde, supercilious looking, wearing the monacle, not prepossessing physically. Harriet's features are strong and angular, and Walter is a good choice for Miss Harriet Vane.



>226 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita! I do hope you like A is for Alibi. I'll be checking your thread to see what you think.

228LizzieD
Jan 10, 11:07pm Top

OH YES!!!! Love Petherbridge and Walter as Lord Peter and Harriet! For once the casting was perfect. Ian Carmichael was such a joke as LP, but I watched and loved them anyway.
>209 karenmarie: Not exactly a pinkie story, which I loved..... Some years ago when MacDonalds first brought out a cappuccino, my mother and I were in there enjoying one apiece, and she was telling me about the bad arthritis in one finger - the middle one on her right hand. She raised it and waved it around, "It's this one, and it really hurts!" I enjoyed watching the other customers wondering what the fairly pleasant looking, gray haired woman had done to the very lovely, older gray haired woman.

229Berly
Jan 10, 11:13pm Top

Karen--SO far behind here, but I actually read every post and now I am caught up. Love HP, glad you have a generator and coffee from Costco, also that does were in your yard. Loe the pinkie story. I have vowed to read my first Sue Grafton this year and now I know it is called A is for Alibi! Phew! I feel better now. : )

230rretzler
Jan 10, 11:21pm Top

>227 karenmarie: I enjoy the BBC's three-book series, as well. I'm not sure I've seen the Ian Carmichael, but I can't stand when they don't get an actor who looks the way he should. It was difficult for me to watch Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley series as in the books Thomas Lynley was blond-haired, but they chose an actor with dark brown hair for the part. While Nathaniel Parker is a fine actor, he is NOT Thomas Lynley!

231PawsforThought
Jan 11, 2:27am Top

I haven't seen any dramatization of the Wimsey books and have only read a couple of the books so can't offer any thoughts on that matter, but I do find it frustrating when films and TV series cast an actor who looks absolutely nothing like the way their characters are described in the novels. This is part of why I won't be watching the new Murder on the Orient Express - Kenneth Branagh is amazing but he's not Poirot (and that mustache is horrendous).

I watched all the Lynley episodes before I read any of George's books so Nathanial Parker has always been Lynley to me, but I get that it wouldn't be that way for someone who read the books first.

232msf59
Jan 11, 6:41am Top

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. Making my merry way through Nickelby. About 300 pages. Should cross the halfway point, at the end of the day.

233harrygbutler
Jan 11, 8:44am Top

Good morning, Karen! I think I've only seen some of the Ian Carmichael Wimseys, and none of the Peterbridge-Walter set. A mismatch in appearance between actor and book description doesn't usually matter for me, as I don't do much visualization of characters (or even scenery) as I read; a bigger issue tends to be a mismatch between the actor I identify with a role and subsequent performers in the role. For example, Sydney Carton for me looks like Ronald Colman, and no subsequent film version of The Tale of Two Cities is likely to displace that picture of the character — but I couldn't begin to tell you whether Colman matches Dickens' description of the character.

234Crazymamie
Jan 11, 9:18am Top

Morning, Karen!

235SomeGuyInVirginia
Jan 11, 9:25am Top

Morning! Drinking coffee and catching up!

236SomeGuyInVirginia
Jan 11, 9:32am Top

BTW, Amazon has the Sue Grafton Kinsey Millhone Kindle series on sale today.

237karenmarie
Edited: Jan 11, 9:53am Top

>228 LizzieD: I’m glad you agree, Peggy. I only watched part of one of the Ian Carmichael Wimsey’s.

Such a great visual, Peggy, you and your mom in MacDonald’s and her supposedly giving you the finger.

>229 Berly: Hi Kim! I’m impressed that you read everything and glad that you feel better for it. Sometimes I’m too verbose. Yay for A is for Alibi.

>230 rretzler: Hi Robin! I have 18 of the 19 books, and have read the first four for sure. I haven’t watched any of the series. I think I read Missing Joseph first, not knowing it was part of a series (duh), but am not sure. Another series to bring forward for 2018, perhaps.

Actors looking like characters brings to mind the biggest fail of them all, for me at least: Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. I’ve ranted about this here on LT but will say again that Jack Reacher is 6’5”, 240-250 lbs, craggy face, not 5’6”, 160 lbs, with a baby face and DIMPLES. Lee Child must have been after the money on this one. Liam Neeson would have been the perfect Reacher. Lee Child on the left, Liam Neeson on the right. ABC. Anybody but Cruise.



>231 PawsforThought: ‘Morning, Paws! My thoughts exactly about Kenneth Branagh as Poirot – he’s not Poirot, and that mustache is horrendous AND ridiculous. Hercule Poirot would raise an eyebrow and twirl the end of one of his waxed perfections as if to say “THIS is a mustache. What you have pales by comparison.”

I didn’t particularly like the movie at all. The famous actors overrode the story and the story was perverted in several significant aspects for the movie.

>232 msf59: Hi Mark! You’re farther along than I am, alas. 175 out of 780 for me.

>233 harrygbutler: Good morning, Harry! Interesting way to visualize. I pretty much had Hercule Poirot, Jane Marple, Jack Reacher, Peter Wimsey, Harriet Vane, Nero Wolfe, Archie Goodwin, etc. visualized prior to seeing any movie or TV versions, so I can be a harsh critic of actors chosen for roles. Not their fault, but really.

>234 Crazymamie: Morning Mamie!

>235 SomeGuyInVirginia: Morning, Larry! Coffee and catching up and much fun, aren’t they? I’m starting here on my thread, then heading off to other threads. I didn’t get up ‘til 8:38, without the usual insomnia-induced wakey-wakey period in the middle of the night to explain it.

I'm heading off today for lunch with a book club friend who retired December 31st. She's thrilled, of course. Her husband retired a year or two ago, so now it's her turn. We'll be having Mexican at San Felipe in town. I need to buy 40 lb of bird seed and perhaps even sunflower seed - gotta check the trash can in the garage to see how low it is. (metal trash cans in garage = raccoons outside). And, I might check with the used book store in town, Circle City Books to see if they have A Man Called Ove for February's book club discussion. Several folks here love it. I'm not thrilled with the curmudgeonly old man genre, but will see.

238richardderus
Jan 11, 9:52am Top

Good morning, Horrible dearest. Apple streusel bars?

239karenmarie
Jan 11, 9:54am Top

Good morning, Richard Dearest. Oh, yum. With a fresh cup of strong, black coffee, of course.

240richardderus
Jan 11, 10:00am Top


Dibs on the 12-cupper.

241karenmarie
Jan 11, 11:31am Top

Well, I must admit that I do not own a French Press. I use a Bunn velocity brew drip coffee maker. It makes a pot of coffee in about 3 minutes. Instant gratification.

242richardderus
Jan 11, 11:36am Top

However it's brewed, I want it hot and dark. *insert salacious joke of choice here*

I learned about french press coffee when I first moved out on my own, and started buying my own whole-bean coffee. I had an amazing Braun grinder that I loved to death...not one of the little lid-is-your-measure ones, a full-sized one...and came to prefer the ritual of preparing the coffee that way. Still do it, forty years on, and prefer the results too.

243karenmarie
Edited: Jan 11, 11:54am Top

2. The Country Girls by Edna O’Brien
1/1/18 to 1/10/18





The description and plot synopsis from Wikipedia:

The Country Girls is Edna O'Brien's first novel. Released in 1960, it is often credited with breaking silence on sexual matters and social issues during a repressive period in Ireland following World War II and was later adapted into film. The Irish censor banned the book, shaming her parents; the family's parish priest publicly burned copies of the novel. She won the Kingsley Amis Award in 1962 for The Country Girls.

Caithleen "Kate" Brady and Bridget "Baba" Brennan are two young Irish country girls who have spent their childhood together. As they leave the safety of their convent school in search of life and love in the big city, they struggle to maintain their somewhat tumultuous relationship. Cait, dreamy and romantic, yearns for true love, while Baba just wants to experience the life of a single girl. Although they set out to conquer the world together, as their lives take unexpected turns, Cait and Baba must ultimately learn to find their own way.b>


Why I wanted to read it: I’ve never read any of Edna O’Brien’s novels and got intrigued with PaulCranswick’s Irish Authors Challenge of Edna O’Brien for January.

The edition I have has 3 novels, The Country Girls, The Loney Girl, Girls In Their Married Bliss, and an Epilogue. I’ve only read the first, The Country Girls, and this review is of that book.

The description of a small Irish village and convent school, the religious and social constraints and lack of opportunities for girls is bleak, vivid, and a combination of depressing and full of life. Much of the praise for the book lies in the writing about a hitherto relatively obscure and low social class as told from the point of view of a girl.

Cait is mistreated and controlled by her supposed friend Baba. After a particularly disastrous decision to follow Baba’s lead, Mr. Brennan, Baba’s father, knowledgeably points out “Poor Caithleen, you’ve always been Baba’s tool.”

I was quite irritated with Cait for kowtowing to Baba and letting her verbally abuse and ride roughshod over her. It could be seen as loyalty and love, but I don’t think so and feel that deep down Cait knows all too well what Baba is and could have been. There’s a very brief passage at the beginning of the novel (can’t find it now) that explains part of Cait’s behavior. I kept waiting for her to stop being under Baba’s thumb, but at least in the first book of the trilogy it doesn’t happen.

I will read the other two books in the trilogy, just not now.

244richardderus
Jan 11, 11:55am Top

Bleak and vivid are excellent descriptions of every Edna O'Brien story I've ever read. She is a skilled wordsmith but such a damned downer of a storyteller.

245karenmarie
Edited: Jan 11, 12:02pm Top

>244 richardderus: Not nearly as bad as Flannery O'Connor, though. I was grateful that the thought of suicide is repugnant to me, otherwise it would have been a viable option after reading the first 5 stories of A Good Man is Hard to Find. Happily, I abandoned it and am here to tell the tale.

246richardderus
Jan 11, 12:06pm Top

>245 karenmarie: Heh. I love Flannery O'Conner, but will completely understand if you choose not to pursue the literary acquaintance.

247karenmarie
Jan 11, 12:27pm Top

*smooch*

248karenmarie
Jan 11, 4:34pm Top

Resolved: To try to catch up on all the thread activity tomorrow morning. It's almost overwhelming.

249johnsimpson
Jan 11, 4:42pm Top

Hi Karen my dear, I haven't visited for nearly a week when I told you about our forthcoming trip to the Ribblehead Viaduct. I seem to have been remiss in visiting threads so far this year but I am making up for this now. We had a lovely day out and had a nice short walk to the viaduct and beyond and then went into Hawes and visited the Wensleydale Creamery before moving on to Leyburn.

I hope you are all well my dear and the reading is going well, I finished my first Chunkster last Friday and should finish my second late tonight. I feel that I am back in the posting frame of mind after a busy week or so and have got into a good reading frame and hope it continues. Sending love and hugs from both of us dear friend.

P.S. Have you finished your Christmas cake yet, with being ill and busy I have still about half of the round one to go and a full loaf tin cake to go at but I am going to enjoy it now I feel like eating again.

250LovingLit
Jan 11, 4:43pm Top

>193 karenmarie: I never got on the Sue Grafton train, but I can see that for a completist, the A- (nearly) Z series would be a boon!

>243 karenmarie: I enjoyed this one, and I have Girls In Their Married Bliss as well, but can't read that until I The Loney Girl! Durn it. I know it will turn up eventually, so will let the universe provide in its one time.

251karenmarie
Edited: Jan 11, 5:34pm Top

>249 johnsimpson: Hi John! Good to see you here. I understand about the posting frame of mind! I still have some Christmas cake to eat, have been trying to eat less sweets since the new year. Not as successful at this as I'd wish, especially since my friend Warren gave me a Box of See's dark chocolates yesterday and my resolve weakened today and I had two pieces. So far. *smile*

>250 LovingLit: Hi Megan. It seems that people either really like them or really don't. I think that the missing Z will bother me forever because I'll always wonder how she would have wrapped the series up. Sigh. Oh well.

I have all three in the combined volume, but am going to 'treat' myself by only having one challenge going right now, Nicholas Nickleby. I might read No Middle Name, short stories of another of my favorite characters, Jack Reacher. Or not.

Exciting bird sighting today - my first ever flicker. This is just about what he looked like too, although he was on one of my not-so-close fences. Just enough to identify him, not enough to enjoy the spots or white.

252FAMeulstee
Jan 11, 6:03pm Top

>251 karenmarie: I had not heard of a flicker bird before, Karen.
It looks beautiful with all those colors!

253karenmarie
Jan 11, 6:26pm Top

Hi Anita!

They are beautiful, aren't they? I just checked, and there are no flickers in the Netherlands. Flickers are members of the woodpecker family.

254FAMeulstee
Jan 11, 6:32pm Top

>253 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen, I would not have guessed it was a kind of woodpecker.

255EllaTim
Jan 11, 6:39pm Top

>251 karenmarie: Wow another kind of BB: Beautiful Bird!

256karenmarie
Jan 11, 6:51pm Top

>254 FAMeulstee: Me either. There is another type of woodpecker-family bird here in the US called a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker. Isn't that a hoot?

>255 EllaTim: Ah, BB! I love it Ella.

257ChelleBearss
Jan 11, 7:26pm Top

The only flicker I've heard of has been the website flickr ;-p. Good looking bird though!

258majleavy
Jan 11, 9:29pm Top

>224 karenmarie: Hi Karen. I see what you mean about Tana French.

If I can shift genres, that sort of thing has been beginning to irritate me with the Iron Druid Chronicles. Don't know if you read that, but it is/was a great urban fantasy series about the world's last druid, which he isn't anymore and the novels now feature as many as four narrators/povs and the focus provided by the original premise has gotten all watered down.

Anyway, you might want to check out some Benjamin Black for the Irish challenge - it's the mighty John Banville writing under a pen name, about a Dublin coroner in the 1950s. Terrifically atmospheric, with a great convoluted family plot that would've done Ross MacDonald proud in the first one, Christine Falls. Which is probably the best of the series, though the second, The Silver Swan is absolutely gorgeously written.

Apropos of what Robin was saying (>225 rretzler:), the first one is a lovely mix of the forensic and the personal, though it has wearied me as the family saga continues to unfold over multiple novels.

259karenmarie
Edited: Jan 11, 10:22pm Top

>257 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle! Isn't learning something new fun?

>258 majleavy: Hi Michael. I remember being so shocked that it wasn't the same characters. That was in 2009 and it's now almost 9 years. Maybe time to read it this year.

I've never heard of the Iron Druid Chronicles until now - Hounded actually sounds like something I'd like given my penchant for the supernatural, vampires, werewolves, magic, and etc.

And I just found a copy of The Silver Swan on BookMooch and mooched it. Now I just have to find a copy of Christine Falls to read first.

260PawsforThought
Jan 12, 4:44am Top

>238 richardderus: Yes, please.

>240 richardderus: Coffee should be hot as h*ll and black as sin.

261msf59
Jan 12, 6:54am Top

Hooray for Northern Flickers & the Iron Druid Chronicles! I am a big fan of both. I have not seen a flicker in a couple of months but they are around.

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday! Back to the cold again. Sighs...

262vancouverdeb
Jan 12, 7:33am Top

I enjoyed the Sue Grafton series back when I was in my late 20's/ early 30's, but then it seemed I got older and Kinsey didn't . I am sorry that Sue Grafton did not get book Z written. I'm amazed that she wrote until book Y.

263karenmarie
Jan 12, 8:03am Top

>260 PawsforThought: Hi Paws!

>261 msf59: Hi Mark! We've got one more day of warm - and I mean warm, like 70F with thunderstorms warm - then back to more seasonal temperatures.

>262 vancouverdeb: Hi Deborah. Ironic. One of my favorite things about the series is that they are pretty much continuous. The first takes place in 1982 when Kinsey is 32 and the last takes place in 1989 when Kinsey is 39. No waning powers, no move to another city.

The first restorative sip of coffee out of the way, it's off to visit threads for a bit then read a bit. Today is my deep tissue massage, postponed from Tuesday. I actually saw Sherry at the local feed store yesterday when I was out getting 40 lbs of bird food. I love living in such a small town where I can see people I know just out and about. I also saw the Head Librarian and Childrens' Librarian at the restaurant where I was having lunch with friend Tamsie.

264harrygbutler
Jan 12, 8:12am Top

Good morning, Karen. Congrats on the flicker sighting! They are lovely birds.

265karenmarie
Jan 12, 8:21am Top

Thanks, Harry, and good morning to you, too. S/he was gorgeous.

266majleavy
Jan 12, 8:28am Top

>259 karenmarie: G'mornin', Karen. Glad you found Silver Swan.

267karenmarie
Jan 12, 9:57am Top

Hi Michael! Good morning to you, too. It will motivate me to find Christine Falls, for sure.

268richardderus
Jan 12, 10:04am Top

Good Friday, Horrible dear. Hope the massage works out the kinks. *smooch*

>260 PawsforThought: Help yourself! I'm in complete agreement about coffee, as well.

269karenmarie
Jan 12, 10:25am Top

Hallo RD! It's 90+ minutes of bliss. And pain. Today I'll ask her to work on my lower back and hips and my hands and elbows. Too much typing and leftover tennis elbow pops.

I just filled the bird feeders - all 6 of them. Had to get the 40 lbs of bird seed out of Steve and into the trash can, then fill everything up to the brim.

270SomeGuyInVirginia
Jan 12, 1:26pm Top

40 lbs of feed. That reminds me, I need to buy Parker food.

271karenmarie
Jan 12, 2:21pm Top

Hi Larry!

Don't want to starve Da Floof, do we?

It's amazing how much better I feel after the deep tissue massage. I then went over to the Senior Center (I am a senior, after all...) and found out about their tai chi, total body strength, and strong and fit classes. They also have volunteers trained by the state to help navigate the shoals of Medicare (which I'll have to sign up for before June.) All in all, a good start.

Home, Greek salad, book.

272richardderus
Jan 12, 9:07pm Top



Purty birdos.

273rretzler
Jan 12, 10:24pm Top

>237 karenmarie: Ah, yes. I recall having the discussion with you about Jack Reacher, and I totally agree. You should try to read the Lynley series. You should definitely try to read them in order. I started with them not long after she started writing them and got pretty heavily invested in the characters and the series over time. Then there was one book that I will absolutely never reread and the following book which I just skipped altogether. I almost stopped reading the series, but I'm glad I continued because some of the more recent books have been very intense (in a good way.)

274weird_O
Edited: Jan 12, 10:48pm Top

I was sure I stopped by your thread this year, but it seems I be mistaken. I AM relieved to see you haven't gone through 3 or 5 already. Still workin' on your first. Heh heh. Heh heh heh.

You know * piteous voice * it's pretty slow going when you have a broken ankle.

275LovingLit
Jan 13, 12:44am Top

>251 karenmarie: I think that the missing Z will bother me forever because I'll always wonder how she would have wrapped the series up
Maybe someone, or many someones, will write a Z sorry? Or maybe she had a draft and someone else will write it??
*there is hope*

276souloftherose
Jan 13, 5:41am Top

Hi Karen - I have to confess to feeling a bit overwhelmed by how behind I am on all the threads. Looks like I have just managed to swing by before you start a new one - have a great weekend!

277karenmarie
Jan 13, 8:32am Top

>272 richardderus: Purtiful indeed. *smooch*

>273 rretzler: Hi Robin! I’ve read the first four. Looks like I read them in a binge in July and August of 2011. I don't remember a single thing about them beyond the fact that they take place in England. I think. Looks like For the Sake of Elena is up next.

>274 weird_O: Glad to see you, Bill! Last year I had 13 threads, and this year may be more. (keeps fingers crossed)

Sympathy is yours, friend. I completely understand how fingers start misbehaving when you have a broken ankle. *smile*

>275 LovingLit: Hi Megan! I’d be surprised if Z got written, based on what her daughter Jamie wrote on her website after she died:
Hello Dear Readers. This is Sue's daughter, Jamie. I am sorry to tell you all that Sue passed away last night after a two year battle with cancer. She was surrounded by family, including her devoted and adoring husband Steve. Although we knew this was coming, it was unexpected and fast. She had been fine up until just a few days ago, and then things moved quickly. Sue always said that she would continue writing as long as she had the juice. Many of you also know that she was adamant that her books would never be turned into movies or TV shows, and in that same vein, she would never allow a ghost writer to write in her name. Because of all of those things, and out of the deep abiding love and respect for our dear sweet Sue, as far as we in the family are concerned, the alphabet now ends at Y.
Unless the family wants money, I think Y is it. I have only read one ghosted/family-authorized book that I liked, A Presumption of Death by Jill Paton Walsh, authorized by the family. Even though I only gave it 2.5 stars, she had finally figured out Sayers voice.

>276 souloftherose: Hi Heather. Join the overwhelmed crowd! My intentions are good, and I worked hard yesterday, but didn’t get as far along as I wished on catching up. Nice to see you, and thanks re the weekend.

The only plans we have are to run errands today and for me to go to book club tomorrow night to discuss the cod-liver oil (i.e., you have to read it because it’s good for you) A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor. One member of our book club frequently chooses 'good for you' books. I think I mentioned at the end of last year that I read the first five short stories then balked at even starting one called The Artificial N-word. Just couldn’t bear to, and on general principles didn’t want to go on suicide watch.

278BLBera
Jan 13, 11:10am Top

Hi Karen - I love Flannery O'Connor. I'll be interested to hear what your book club makes of the stories. Different strokes, right?

279karenmarie
Jan 13, 2:08pm Top

I wanted to like Flannery O'Connor, if for nothing else than her name. *smile* And absolutely, Beth! different strokes for sure. My guess is that 5 or 6 will have read all 10 stories. Another guess is that 3 or 4 will actually have liked them.

Next month is the everbody-says-it's good A Man Called Ove. I'm leery because I didn't even finish the other 3 recent books about cranky old men:

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume

280harrygbutler
Jan 13, 3:22pm Top

Hi, Karen! I hope your weekend is going well. I'm sitting here waiting for a few books due to arrive today, though whether I'll actually start any today is uncertain.

281johnsimpson
Jan 13, 3:47pm Top

Hi Karen, hope you are having a good weekend so far my dear and that the weather is not too bad for you. Sending love and hugs from both of us.

282EllaTim
Jan 13, 3:54pm Top

>277 karenmarie: At least when you take cod-liver oil you know what it's supposed to be good for:-;

>279 karenmarie: Never read any of them, they do have good titles, at least the first two, the third one...hm, not so much. I have A man called Ove on my TBR list, so I'll be following your reading.

283karenmarie
Jan 13, 4:23pm Top

>280 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! Nothing better than to be waiting for books. I need to do some serious reading in the next little bit before it's time to cook dinner.

Momentous event - we've finished watching Midsomer Murders through season 19. There is apparently to be a season 20. Now to find something else to watch. Bill is suggesting watching The Office again, but I'm not sure it's time yet. Decisions, decisions.

>281 johnsimpson: Hi John! Good weekend so far, cold (44F, blustery but clear). Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

>282 EllaTim: Hi Ella! Ah. Good point. I don't know what reading Flannery O'Connor is supposed to be good for IF her writing doesn't appeal. I'll keep you posted on A Man Called Ove.

This reminds me a teensy bit of when I had to watch my daughter turn her love of reading into the chore of homework in first grade. She's never completely gotten over that, but does read some now and is proud of her books. She just finished her first week of classes and loves all of them and her professors. I'm happily stunned.

284weird_O
Edited: Jan 13, 5:58pm Top

I know you like Flannery O'Connor, Karen.

One new quarter of college begun. I achieved a nice success in Eng. 360 by making a rather humorous remark and then not laughing at it while the others did. I must try to do it again. That is the sort of me I strive to build up—the cool, sophisticated, clever wit. The inarticulate, confused, blunderer overwhelms most of the time, however.

— Flannery O’Connor’s college journal entry for December 29th, 1943, reprinted in Harper’s Magazine, February 2018

285Crazymamie
Jan 13, 7:05pm Top

All caught up here, Karen. That's so great that your daughter loves all of her classes and profs. Wishing her happy.

286alcottacre
Jan 13, 7:32pm Top

>227 karenmarie: I love the Wimsey series with Edward Petherbridge and Harriet Walter. I agree with you about Ian Carmichael. Nothing against the man - he is just not Wimsey to my mind.

287karenmarie
Jan 13, 10:40pm Top

>284 weird_O: I do like Flannery O'Connor, Bill. I just dislike the 5 short stories by her that I've read. Thanks for sharing the quote. Here's another:
"I am mighty tired of reading reviews that call A Good Man brutal and sarcastic," she wrote. "The stories are hard but they are hard because there is nothing harder or less sentimental than Christian realism. ...When I see these stories described as horror stories I am always amused because the reviewer always has hold of the wrong horror."


>285 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie, and thank you.

>286 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! I watched it again recently, after having seen Harriet Walter on Midsomer Murders. She played a botanist or horticulturist - something to do with plants - and then after I'd re-watched the Wimsey/Vane series I saw Edward Petherbridge on MM and then Harriet Walter again, this time as a famous movie star.

Time for Fire and Fury, irritation and elevated blood pressure, and bed. It's 32F, going to a low of 24F. It was 70F yesterday. Sheesh.

288msf59
Jan 14, 7:43am Top

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. Looking forward to a couple of days off, with the holiday tomorrow. Unfortunately, we are back to frigid temps.

I am meeting Joe in the city today for lunch and brews. We always have a good time and we are overdue.

289karenmarie
Jan 14, 7:50am Top

Hi Mark! Thanks. Today should be mostly lazy with our postponed-from-last-week book club meeting tonight to discuss the ever-bleak A Good Man is Hard to Find.

Your lunch with Joe sounds great. Have fun.

290harrygbutler
Jan 14, 8:07am Top

Good morning, Karen! Glad to hear your daughter is liking her return to school.

Have a great Sunday!

291karenmarie
Jan 14, 8:41am Top

Thanks, Harry!

School's always been a prickly subject with daughter. She never loved it like I did, and it took me way too long to accept that. In hindsight, she should have either taken a year off or gone into the Navy. She hadn't mentioned the Navy except in passing, but it would have been ideal for her. Bill was in the Navy for 6 years as a sonar supervisor on nuclear subs. I'm so glad that she's doing this.

292ChelleBearss
Jan 14, 9:41am Top

Enjoy your lazy Sunday!

293karenmarie
Jan 14, 9:56am Top

Thanks, Chelle. I've made breakfast and cleaned up the dishes except for the frying pan. Nothing official to do until 6:40 when I'll have to leave for book club. It's only about 10 minutes or so away.

294richardderus
Jan 14, 10:11am Top

Oh, I just know you'll have fun discussing Flannery O'Conner tonight. Try to leave some hair on the other ladies' wigs.

*smooch*

295SomeGuyInVirginia
Edited: Jan 14, 11:56am Top

>283 karenmarie: I'm really happy that your daughter loves her classes. I know she's a hard worker, so I'm hoping she's going to get out of college what she didn't before.

I didn't love school until college.

296BLBera
Jan 14, 10:34am Top

I hope you report back on your book club discussion, Karen.

297karenmarie
Jan 14, 10:57am Top

>294 richardderus: Well, RD, I must admit that I do look forward to mentioning cod-liver oil analogy. It's very probable that our fearless leader, whose book this is, won't be there though. She's had terrible health problems since she got bitten by a tick 8 or more years ago - has developed Alpha-gal allergy, also known as meat allergy or Mammalian Meat Allergy (MMA), and chronic cholinergic urticaria (hives). She's missed the last two meetings and I'd actually be surprised to see her tonight because of the hives, although if I did it means that she's feeling well enough to go out.

>295 SomeGuyInVirginia: Thanks, Larry. Interesting. I stopped loving school after I got my B.S.B.A. Every course I tried after that made me crazy and stressed. No master's degree for me.

>296 BLBera: Hi Beth! Yes, I will. Probably tomorrow, as I won't get home 'til about 9:15 or so tonight.

298streamsong
Jan 14, 12:27pm Top

I've never watched the Midsomer Murders but I now have them in my Netflix que (DVD's since I can't stream with my internet). Netflix only has them starting with series 3. I can get series 1 & 2 through ILL. Should I start with season 1? Is there a better place to start?

299karenmarie
Jan 14, 1:09pm Top

Hi Janet!

If you can wait to get season one it's always better to start at the beginning, but in reviewing the first 9 episodes you'll obviously miss some character development but each episode is standalone as far as the mystery goes. IMO only.

300karenmarie
Jan 14, 1:10pm Top

Yikes! Time for a new thread. If y'all will give me a few minutes, thread the second will be up momentarily.

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