Arrr! (Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day) Thar be a hunt for treasure, Mateys!
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scaifea's 2018 Thread #1

This topic was continued by scaifea's 2018 Thread #2.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Jan 10, 5:33pm Top

Hi, everyone! Welcome!

Art inspired in one way or another by some of my current reads:


Brendon Chase:

The Year of the Quiet Sun:

Witches Abroad:

The Way West:

War and Peace:

key to the Treasure:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:

From the Introductions Thread:
I'm Amber, a one-time Classics professor turned stay-at-home parent/lady of leisure. I spend my time sewing, knitting, baking, volunteering at my son's school library and with the PTO, and, of course, reading.

My reading life is happily governed by lists, which means that I read a healthy variety of things across various genres.

I'm 42 going on 12 and live in Wisconsin with my husband, Tomm; our 9-year-old son, Charlie; and our two dogs, Tuppence the Border Collie and Mario the Golden Retriever.

Edited: Jan 1, 4:09pm Top

The five-ish or so books I have going and the On Deck books nearly all come from the following categories and lists:

1. A book from the 100 Banned Books book (at least currently. As soon as I finish this list, I'll replace it with another, and oh, I've got tons of lists).

2. A children's book, for Charlie's library. I'm trying to collect books from various award lists, and I like reading them before reading them to Charlie or deciding to add them to Charlie's shelves. For this category, I’m currently working through three lists:
a. 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Die
b. The Newbery Honor books
c. Cooperative Children's Book Center list

3. A book from the Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy List, in chronological order.

4. A book for the Presidential Challenge. Books for this category are read in chronological (presidentially) order.

5. A list I'm working through together with my best friend, Rob: The Hugo/Nebula/WFA/Bram Stoker (and other) lists (combined, in chronological order)

6. For this category, I cycle through 7 different stacks:
a. Agatha Christie's bibliography (in chronological order)
b. Stephen Fry's bibliography (in chronological order)
c. John Boyne bibliography (in chronological order, sort of)
d. Neil Gaiman's bibliography (in some order other than chronological (don't
e. Christopher Moore's bibliography (in chronological order)
f. The NEH Timeless Classics list
g. The National Book Award list (in alpha order by title)
h. The Pulitzer list (in alpha order by author)

7. An unread book from my shelves.

8. A book from my Read Soon! shelves.

9. A book on Buddhism or from the Dalai Lama's bibliography.

10. Book-a-year challenge: Three years ago, along with a few others in this group (*cough* Paul *cough*), I made a year-by-year list to see how far I could go back with consecutive reads. I've since been trying to fill in the gap years.

11. A book from the couple of series that I'm reading together with my mom.

12. A full-on re-read through Shakespeare's stuff.

13. A read-aloud-to-Charlie-at-bedtime book (or two).

14. An audio book, which I listen to as I knit/sew/otherwise craft/drive.

15. A Discworld book (so many of these are coming up soon on various lists, so I'm just diving into it)

16. This slot is reserved for books that just grab me and shout that they need to be read Right Now.

And on top of these, there will be a multitude of picture books and easy readers, which Charlie and I read together. I've decided again this year also to list our re-reads, but I'll just list them each day and not number them.

Edited: Jan 10, 5:27pm Top

What I'm reading now:
-Andersonville (Banned Books)
-Brendon Chase (Newbery Honor Book)
-The Year of the Quiet Sun (Campbell Award)
-Witches Abroad (Discworld read)
-The Way West (audiobook, Pulitzer)
-War and Peace (because Charlie wants me to)
-Key to the Treasure (Charlie's bedtime book)
-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (and another Charlie bed-time read)

Books On Deck:

-The Gods of Pegana (The Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy)
-The Worst President: The Story of James Buchanan (Presidential Challenge)
-Revenge (Fry bibliography)
-House of Leaves (unread book from my shelves)
-The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (from my Read Soon shelves)
-Essential Teachings (Buddhist readings)
-Crime and Punishment (Books by Year, 1866)
-Unraveled (series that my mom wants me to read so we can chat about it)
-The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Shakespeare re-read)

In addition to these, I have some classics-related texts that I'm working through (VERY slowly (read: I haven't touched them in months)):
-Asinaria by Plautus (reading in Latin)
-Iliad by Homer (reading in Greek)
-Latin Literature by Gian Biagio Conte
-The Cambridge History of Classical Literature Volume 1 Part 1

Edited: Jan 10, 5:27pm Top

Books Read

1. Enormously Foxtrot (Tomm's nightly read-aloud) - 9/10 = A-
2. Greenglass House (holiday read) - 9/10 = A
3. Ribsy (Charlie's bedtime read) - 8/10 = B+
4. Lincoln in the Bardo (audiobook) - 8/10 = B-
5. Postcards from No Man's Land (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B-
6. The World According to Garp (audiobook, NBA) - 6/10 = D+

Edited: Jan 1, 4:12pm Top

The Charlie, Mario & Tuppence Toppers:

Edited: Jan 1, 4:13pm Top

The Bonus Question:

What famous building would you most like to explore?

Jan 1, 4:14pm Top

>6 scaifea: Hey Amber! I want to explore the Library at Alexandria. Like, a real lot.

Jan 1, 4:16pm Top

Happy reading in 2018, Amber!
Give the gals a hug, I miss my little furry friend...

>6 scaifea: That is a tough one... I think the Akropolis in Athens.

Edited: Jan 1, 4:19pm Top

Happy New Year, Amber! May you have some great reads in 2018.

I agree with Richard that the Library at Alexandria would be a great place to explore.

Edited: Jan 1, 5:02pm Top

Happy New Year and happy new thread!

For the bonus question, I’m rather intrigued by the Taj Mahal, but on the other hand, there are lots of famous libraries I’d like to explore. The Bodleian is high on that list.

Jan 1, 4:27pm Top

Happy new 2018 1st thread my dear and I have starred you dear friend and will try and not be remiss in visiting you, sending love and hugs from both of us.

Edited: Jan 1, 4:49pm Top

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

*back to add that if the building can be fictional, I would like to explore Hogwarts.

Jan 1, 4:59pm Top

Hwy Amber, looking forward to another year of wondering how you fit it all in!

I'd love to wander the Bodleian library in Oxford when all the librarians have gone home...

Jan 1, 5:22pm Top

>7 richardderus: Hi, Richard! Oh, Alexandria - excellent choice!

>8 FAMeulstee: Anita: Definitely will pass on those hugs - they've been getting tons of hugs and scritches since we got home last night from our week away. We missed them lots! And I like your vote for the acropolis - nice choice!

>9 kgodey: Hi, Kriti! Richard has a good idea there, no?

>10 foggidawn: Hi, foggi! I've always wanted to see the Taj Mahal, too, but yeah, the Bodleian is awfully tempting, too.

>11 johnsimpson: Hi, John! Happy new year to you and Karen, too!

>12 Crazymamie: Mamie! Happy New Year! Hogwarts totally counts, of course.

>13 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte! Ha! I wonder sometimes myself. Somethings probably getting lost in the cracks along the way, but I haven't figured out what it is yet...
And just what do you plan to do in that library that the librarians wouldn't approve of, missy? Eh?

Jan 1, 5:25pm Top

Happy New Year, Amber!

Jan 1, 5:28pm Top

>6 scaifea: Easy one for me to answer - the Great Pyramid in Egypt.

Happy New Year, Amber! I hope you have a terrific 2018!

Jan 1, 5:34pm Top

Happy New Year, Amber! Great pics of Charlie, Tuppence and Mario! Charlie is so debonair!

As for buildings I'd like to explore, I love the suggestions of the Library of Alexandria and the Bodleian, but really any of the big museums after hours when all the guards and curators have gone home would be wonderful. The British Museum, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the Met or the Natural History Museum in NYC, the Field Museum in Chicago - what wonders might there be to discover!

Jan 1, 5:37pm Top

>15 jayde1599: Hi, Jess! Thanks!

>16 alcottacre: Stasia: Ha! As I sit here typing this, Tomm is sitting next to me exploring the great pyramid in his Assassin's Creed game! Also, I was thinking of you this week: we went shopping in a game shop in Columbus and they had so many board games that I'd never heard of. Such a neat place, although I bet you would have known all of the games!

>17 Storeetllr: Mary: Oh! Like The Mixed-Up Files! YES! Or how about an all-access pass to the Vatican? Talk about hidden treasures...

Jan 1, 5:39pm Top

Oh, yes! The Vatican would be right there on my list of places to explore!

Jan 1, 5:43pm Top

Happy New Year, Amber and happy reading 2018.

BQ: I would like to join a concert at the Elbphilharmonie (https://www.elbphilharmonie.de/en/)

Jan 1, 5:51pm Top

Happy 2018, Amber. There are so many historic buildings I would like to explore but the one that first springs to mind is Skye Museum of Island Life in Kilmuir because I couldn't get to see it when I was there. I could either get to one end of the island or the other and I chose to go to Clan Donald Centre instead because that is where the records were.

Jan 1, 5:53pm Top

Happy New Thread, Amber! And Happy Reading in 2018!

Jan 1, 5:59pm Top

>19 Storeetllr: Mary: I know, right?!

>20 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara! The Elbphilharmonie looks amazing!

>21 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg! I've never even heard of the Skye Museum - yoicks. Clearly I need to do some research!

>22 msf59: Hi, Mark! Thanks!

Jan 1, 7:41pm Top

Jan 1, 7:43pm Top

Happy 2018, Amber! Ready for another fun year on LT?

Jan 1, 7:46pm Top

Happy new reading year, Amber!

Jan 1, 8:34pm Top

Welcome back! Library in Alexandria. Before the fire. 😀

Jan 1, 9:32pm Top

>24 rosylibrarian: Thanks, Marie!

>25 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! So. Ready. I love this place!

>26 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie!

>27 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! And thanks for specifying - ha!

Jan 1, 11:53pm Top

Here you are! Now the year can officially start! You picked the best pics for your Charlie/Mario/Tuppence toppers. Such a trio of awesome!

Edited: Jan 2, 12:09am Top

Happy New Year, Amber! And wow Charlie is really growing up. Seems like just a few threads back that he was born!

I think I’d pick the Vatican or the British Houses of Parliament. Cool question. I’ve been to the Vatican and loved exploring there.

Jan 2, 12:29am Top

Hope you and Charlie have a great year of reading!

Jan 2, 12:48am Top

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

Jan 2, 1:09am Top

Happy 2018!!

Jan 2, 6:25am Top

>29 rosalita: Hi, Julia! Here I am! I feel like I'm so behind things, since everyone had nearly a week's head start (Jim opened the group the day we left for Indiana and Parts East)! I seriously felt like I was the one missing out on all the fun.
And thanks for the photo love - that one of Charlie is one of my favorites right now. The Mario and Tuppence pictures I usually, as I did this time, just walk round the house until I find them (and they're usually pretty close to me because they both like to follow me around and I love that) and then just take a quick photo, so those are fresh ones, so to speak.

>30 cushlareads: Hi, Cushla! Ha!, yep, just a few threads ago. Sigh. House of Parliament is a good one, too! And I'm jealous that you've been to the Vatican, although I'm convinced that I would feel compelled to misbehave in some way were I ever there...

>31 thornton37814: Thanks, Lori!

>32 PaulCranswick: Hi, Paul!

>33 Berly: Hi, Kim!

Jan 2, 6:29am Top

On today's agenda:
Charlie has a 2-hour delay on his first day back to school this morning, so we'll lounge for a bit (he's already up, of course - he sets his own alarm for 5:30 every day, but always beats it up by at least 20 minutes), and then I'll run a few errands after dropping him off (library, bank, and our vet's office to pick up our key and write a check for our lovely house-/dog-sitter, who is a vet tech there), and then I plan on spending one last day relaxing before trying to get back into any routine: I want to try to get caught up here on LT and then I'll just sit in my rocking chair and read until time to go in for my afternoon library volunteering.

On the reading front:
I spent some time with Lincoln in the Bardo while folding mountains of laundry yesterday (it's weird but I haven't decided that that's a bad thing yet), and I read a bit of Greenglass House, which I'm absolutely loving, before falling asleep last night.

Jan 2, 6:31am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-I Want to Be in a Scary Story by Sean Taylor (public library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B
-Sam, the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World by Mo Willems (public library book, picture book) - 9/10 = A
And bits of:
-Upside Down Magic
-Enormously Foxtrot
-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Jan 2, 6:39am Top

Happy New Year to you and yours, Amber!

Jan 2, 6:42am Top

Morning, Amber! It looks to be another long 5 work days. Sighs...Mexico will be on my mind.

I hope you enjoy Lincoln in the Bardo as much as I did.

Jan 2, 7:00am Top

Hi Amber - happy new reading year. As always I love your pictures - and your photo of your book stack. Always fun to see them lined up - and one who's devoted to the physical book!

Jan 2, 7:06am Top

>34 scaifea: I stayed away from the new group until New Year's Eve, and then just picked up people's threads at that point instead of trying to catch up with hundreds of posts. But I missed your early-morning agenda posts while you were gone, both in the old group and the new one!

Jan 2, 8:12am Top

>37 Carmenere: Hi, Lynda! Good to see you!

>38 msf59: Morning, Mark! Dang, it's gonna be a cold 5 days, too. I'll be thinking warm thoughts for you, friend. I'll have to check in on my BF this morning, too - he's started his route now (he drives a mail truck like yours on his route, too) and I bet he's cold in Indianapolis today, too.

>39 ctpress: Hi, Carsten! Thanks for the photo love and the book love! I do enjoy audiobooks, but the real deal is still the best for me.

>40 rosalita: Julia: I admit that I've been skimming the threads so far, too, since mostly they're HNY greetings. Otherwise, I'd never catch up already!
And I'm happy to hear that someone enjoys the agenda thing! I wish I had the discipline to do it while we're on vacation, since those would be much more interesting than my everyday ones!

Jan 2, 8:36am Top

Here my Christmas book haul (some my mom gave to me and some I bought for myself while we were in Columbus):

Every year my mom asks me to give her a list of 10+ books from my wishlist, then she takes the list to the bookstore, hands it to one of the employees and says, "Could you track down a few of these for me?" and she buys the ones they have. So funny. And this year it turned out even cooler: the copy of All the Crooked Saints is signed!! And she didn't even realize it! And I love Maggie Stiefvater!! So cool.

Jan 2, 10:11am Top

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

Jan 2, 10:18am Top

Nice book haul, Amber, and it's very cool about the signed book. I love when things like that happen.

Jan 2, 10:32am Top

Happy New Year Amber ! Charlie looks so grown up.

Jan 2, 10:58am Top

Morning, Amber!

I like starting the week on a Tuesday. Can we do that every week? I still have that dread of the unnamed day before.

BTW, the Emily Wilson translation of The Odyssey is aces so far. What a bold approach to it!

Jan 2, 11:11am Top

>43 The_Hibernator: Thanks, Rachel! I think...the fact that the dog has a gloved human hand kind of creeps me out, to be honest...

>44 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie! I was so surprised by the signed book - and so was my mom! Ha!

>45 cindysprocket: Thanks, Cindy! I think the longer hair makes him look older, but yeah, he's growing up.

>46 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! Happy Tuesday! I'm taking another holiday today and plan on sitting in my rocking chair with a book for most of the day. Glad to hear that you're enjoying the new translation.

Jan 2, 11:43am Top

>5 scaifea: Holy. Moly. Charlie is just so big! For some reason I never realized he was the same age as my own big guys (8 and nearly-ten). Love the photo.

>35 scaifea: That sounds like a great way to spend the day, and get back into things. Happy new year!

Jan 2, 12:02pm Top

>42 scaifea: Great haul and great luck re Stiefvater's book.

2018 at last but there's no warmth in the air! Thanks 45.

Jan 2, 12:37pm Top

Hi Amber! Happy new year and new thread. For once I actually have more posts than you, which will probably last until about, oh, midnight, and then I will never catch up again :-)

>42 scaifea: That stack of books looks lovely! I wouldn't have known who Bill Nye was except he has a new series on Netflix, and I got the impression from all the woo-hooing in the audience that he must be famous, so I googled him.

Jan 2, 1:00pm Top

>48 Luxx: Hi, Luxx! I MADE that entire outfit (excluding the white shirt and the shoes - he's even wearing socks that I knitted) for Charlie! Fairly chuffed about that, even though it's likely small potatoes compared to your own creations.

>49 richardderus: Richard: I know, right?! And so funny that Mom didn't even notice.
Definitely no warmth here, either. Yoicks. Predictable that T is using it as proof that global warming is fake news. What a dunce.

>50 susanj67: Hi, Susan! I grew up watching Bill Nye the Science Guy and absolutely adore him.

Jan 2, 4:55pm Top

>51 scaifea: "Dunce" LOL "dunce" ROFL

"Irredeemable Pond Scum A-Hole Stupid Goon" might begin to touch the fringes of 45's horribleness.

Jan 2, 5:02pm Top

>52 richardderus: Richard: I was trying to rise above. *ahem*

Jan 2, 5:03pm Top

Happy new year, Amber. I love the photos of Charlie, Mario and Tuppence.

Nice book haul too, especially the Wallace and Green books, which are both on my teetering wish list.

Jan 2, 5:06pm Top

So, I asked Charlie to tell me something awesome about school today. His response? "I pooped at school today!" Ha! This is momentous indeed, for a kiddo who is notorious for holding it all day only to run to the bathroom as soon as we get home.

Jan 2, 5:07pm Top

>53 scaifea: Lo siento, Señora, pero no entiendo eses palabras "rise above." Que quiere decirlos?

Jan 2, 5:07pm Top

>54 cameling: Hi, Caro! Thanks! I eventually want to read all of Wallace's stuff. I love him. Green, too, to be honest.

Jan 2, 5:08pm Top

>56 richardderus: ay dios mios.

Edited: Jan 2, 5:16pm Top

I read Consider the Lobster last year and This is Water the year before. I might see if I can pick up another one of his this year ... might as make it an annual tradition for as many books as he published.

Jan 2, 5:12pm Top

>59 cameling: I know I've said this before in this group at least a dozen times, so tune me out if you've heard it before, but I was there when he delivered the This Is Water speech. I was sitting just behind him on stage. Amazing experience. And he was so brilliant and so kind (I got to hang out with him for a bit that day). Such a stupid loss.

Jan 2, 5:21pm Top

Wow. What a treasured memory that must be. I'm so glad you had the opportunity to be there for the speech. It's awful that even neither medication nor therapy could help him fight and beat the demon of depression which ended his short life.

Jan 2, 5:25pm Top

Happy New Year, Amber. I hope you and yours have a wonderful 2018.

Jan 2, 5:40pm Top

>61 cameling: Caro: Okay, two things: 1) Yes, it's so incredibly awful that he didn't get the help he needed, like so many others in this country. So frustrating and sad. 2) At first I thought you were responding to my story about Charlie telling me that he pooped at school and I was very confused. *SNORK!*

>62 BLBera: Thanks, Beth!

Jan 2, 8:50pm Top

Happy new year! I am looking forward to following your reading (and life) adventures in 2018.

Jan 2, 9:32pm Top

>64 banjo123: Hi, Rhonda! Good to see you!

Jan 3, 6:19am Top

On the agenda for today:
I have an appointment with dentistry this morning (one filling and one tooth to be prepped for a crown), so, yeah, fun. I may or may not do my library volunteering this afternoon, depending on how I'm feeling after that. Charlie has ballet class this evening, too. And for dinner we're trying out one of the recipes from his new cookbook, Sesame Street's Let's Cook!: Elmo's Waffle Sandwich Melt (essentially, it's grilled cheese sandwiches made with waffles instead of bread).

On the reading front:
I made some progress with Lincoln in the Bardo, which isn't going to be my favorite read of the year I think I can safely say although it isn't exactly horrible either, and I'm nearing the end of Greenglass House, which is pretty fabulous so far.

Jan 3, 6:22am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-If You Give a Moose a Muffin
And bits of:
-Upside Down Magic
-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

And we finished:
1. Enormously Foxtrot by Bill Amend (Tomm's nightly family re-aloud, 256 pages) - 9/10 = A-
Tomm is a huge fan of Foxtrot and he's made another fan out of Charlie by reading these comic strips with us. And anything that can induce a Charlie giggle (my favorite sound in the world) is good in my book.

Jan 3, 6:33am Top

>42 scaifea: Nice, Christmas book haul! I loved When Breath Becomes Air & Turtles All the Way Down. Enjoy!

Morning, Amber! I hope your friend is keeping warm in Indianapolis. Sorry, to hear the Saunders isn't tootin' your horn. It happens.

Jan 3, 7:52am Top

>68 msf59: Morning, Mark! It's a pretty good haul, isn't it? I'm excited!
I talked to my friend yesterday and he said that he was going to invest in some long underwear. Ha!
And yeah, it's okay about the Saunders; I don't hate it, certainly, but I don't think I'm loving it like you and so many others have. That's cool and I'm still glad that I'm reading it because it's definitely interesting, and the audio narrators are pretty great.

Jan 3, 8:27am Top

There you are Amber! Suddenly realised that you were missing off my starred feed and had to come looking :)

A belated Happy New Year to all at Scaife manor!

Jan 3, 8:32am Top

Morning, Amber! Total bummer about the dentist - hope it goes quickly and smoothly for you.

Jan 3, 8:47am Top

>70 BekkaJo: Hi, Bekka! I'm glad you found me!

>71 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! Thanks - me, too. Ugh.

Jan 3, 8:58am Top

Morning, Amber!

Read any good Greek oldies in the original Greek lately? Because I know you can, because of, you know, being a classicist and such. I know that.

Jan 3, 9:08am Top

>73 jnwelch: *SNORK!* No, not recently, in fact. Although I did just read through a friend's Latin translation of Hesiod's Theogony...

Jan 3, 9:15am Top

>74 scaifea: Oh, me, too! (Yeah, right).

Jan 3, 9:16am Top

Jan 3, 11:01am Top

HESIOD!! *collapses into a dental-work-compliant heap*

Take heart, Amber, at least in the dentist's chair you won't be subjected to Hesiod. Or Lucretius, Satanic Forebear of Poetical Obscurantism.

Wait...you *like* that stuff...

Edited: Jan 3, 11:08am Top

>5 scaifea: I think he looks like either a) a professor or b) a UK antique book store owner/clerk (something like from 84, Charing Cross.)

>55 scaifea: Yay for poop! (Hey, that's important shi... stuff!)

Jan 3, 1:10pm Top

>77 richardderus: Richard: Your disdain for Hesiod is not surprising; he's certainly not for everyone. But not loving Lucretius? GET. OUT.

>78 Morphidae: Morphy: It's the bowtie, right? Oh, man, wouldn't that just be amazing if he ends up opening a book shop?! Heaven.
And yes - Yay for pooping! It's definitely important, um, business.

Jan 3, 1:15pm Top

Two hours (?!) in the dentist's chair, I can't feel half of my tongue and one entire ear, and my tooth is both still numb and also already starting to feel sore. I've just downed some ibuprofen to try to head off the later soreness and will now try to warm myself up with a cup of tea, although trying to drink a hot beverage right now may be comedy gold.

Jan 3, 1:18pm Top

>79 scaifea: Lucretius!! De rerum...oh the AGONY...so extremely incomprehensible, like a game of Telephone played in Swahili when you only speak Cantonese.

>80 scaifea: Darling...hot beverage permaybehaps not good for recently insulted tooth...just sayin'

Jan 3, 1:37pm Top

>81 richardderus: Richard: Aha! Lucretius is so misunderstood. Some of his language, though, is gorgeous (in the Latin; he's a poster child for his work losing all the sparkles in translation).

I decided on coffee instead of tea (Tomm gave me a selection of Godiva coffees for Christmas), and surprisingly I'm doing just fine with it. The numb is slowly ebbing and I can manage to keep the hot coffee on the un-assaulted side of my mouth.

Jan 3, 1:46pm Top

Here you are! Dropping off a
And wishing you

Hope your mouth feels better quickly!

Jan 3, 1:47pm Top

Hi, Roni! Thanks!

Jan 3, 2:22pm Top

>80 scaifea: Two hours??? that is way to long to be at the dentist...
I hope the tea (and ibruprofen) does give some comfort

Jan 3, 2:36pm Top

>85 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. Yeah, I'm not sure why it took so long, to be honest, but dang. I have to go back in 2 weeks to get the crown fitted, but that isn't supposed to be as big a thing. I hope.

Jan 3, 2:37pm Top

>80 scaifea: Yikes, sorry to hear about the dentist. I had some work done last year and it was miserable to say the least.

Jan 3, 3:02pm Top

Wow, you should rest after that trip to the dentist trip, Amber. I wouldn't pick up anything heavy either, like wet noodles. Just thinking of you.

Jan 3, 4:02pm Top

Ouch! Hope you feel less sore soon.

Jan 3, 4:03pm Top

>88 jnwelch: Well played. Well played indeed.

Jan 3, 4:50pm Top

>87 rosylibrarian: Thanks, Marie. Honestly, though, the worst part was that they have TVs in every cubicle, and mine was on HGTV the entire time. UGH.

>88 jnwelch: Very thoughtful of you, Joe, but I'm feeling just fine now. *ahem*

>89 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte! The ibuprofen worked a charm and I'm fine!

>90 richardderus: Richard: Sneaky, isn't he?

Jan 3, 5:53pm Top

Thank goodness for drugs, huh? Glad the ibuprofen worked. And that reminds me that I need to make an appointment with the dentist. Yuck.

>42 scaifea: Great book haul, though the only book I'm familiar with (and love) is the Johannes Cabal novel, which is the first of a great series. Might be time for a reread of the series.

Jan 3, 6:28pm Top

>92 Storeetllr: Hi, Mary! Yes, thank goodness for drugs!

That's good to know about the Cabal - I picked it up on a lark because I love the cover and didn't even know it's part of a series!

Jan 3, 9:50pm Top

2. Greenglass House by Kate Milford (holiday read, 376 pages) - 9/10 = A
Milo Pine lives with his adoptive parents in their rambling old mansion-like house halfway up a mountain (or maybe just a really tall hill - I don't remember this being made clear), which they've turned into an inn that caters mostly to smugglers. And if that isn't enough to hook you, a bunch of guests turn up completely unexpectedly on the first day of Milo's school holiday, which he usually enjoys with his parents and no guests at all. Before he knows it, he's snowed in with a suspicious group of folks, who all seem to have suspicious reasons for being there. And this stuff starts going missing. Milo and his friend, Meddy, combine the fun of a role-playing game with the challenge of finding the stolen items to try to solve the mysteries of each of the guests and themselves as well.
Such a good middle-grade mystery. I love it and will definitely be tracking down the next one in the series.

Jan 3, 10:59pm Top

Oh dear, so sad about the 0.9/10 read, pity


Jan 4, 6:18am Top

>95 richardderus: THanks for your condolences, Richard. Much appreciated.

Jan 4, 6:21am Top

Well hello! Have a *.

Jan 4, 6:21am Top

On the agenda for today:
Menu planning and putting together a grocery list, a bit of cleaning, and then I want to try to get my sewing room and sewing project ideas more organized. Charlie has an appointment with his orthodontist this afternoon to get his retainer adjusted, so I'll pick him up a bit early for that.

On the reading front:
Still listening to Lincoln in the Bardo (in that keep-checking-to-see-how-much-more-there-is-to-go way). And after finishing Greenglass House I read a few pages in Postcards from No Man's Land.

Jan 4, 6:21am Top

>97 BBGirl55: Hi, Byrony!

Jan 4, 6:23am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-The Bravest Bear by Allan Ahlberg (Charlie's school library book, picture book) - 9/10 = A
-If You Take a Mouse to School
And bits of:
-Upside Down Magic
(Harry Potter is on hold until Tomm returns from his business trip.)

Jan 4, 6:31am Top

Morning, Amber! Back to high single digits again. Are we stuck in a Twilight Zone episode? A particularly unpleasant and frigid one? Sighs...

Jan 4, 7:36am Top

>100 scaifea: Ah, good old Ribsy. Do they ever explain how he got his name? I don't remember ever questioning it when I was a kid, but as an adult it seems like kind of a weird name for a dog!

Jan 4, 8:03am Top

>101 msf59: Morning, Mark! I just took the dogs out and yikes, it feels pretty frigid out there, for sure. Try to stay toasty today, friend.

>102 rosalita: Julia: When Henry first meets Ribsy on the street, he's clearly a stray because he's all skin and bones. Henry names him Ribsy because you can see his ribs. Good old Ribsy, indeed. Love that dog, but I do get frustrated with these types of narratives (pet gets lost then spends entire storyline trying to find his way home). Charlie's getting frustrated, too, and just wants to see Ribsy back with Henry - I think we may go for a marathon reading tonight just to get the thing done and get him home.

Jan 4, 8:47am Top

Hi Amber,

Do you have any early chapter book read alouds for a 6-year old? We have been reading the Magic Tree House series, which my son loves, but I don't know how much more I can handle. :)
We have also read the My Father's Dragon series.
I can't wait to start Harry Potter, but I think we still need to wait a year or two until he can fully grasp the greatness. My husband read the graphic novel version of The Hobbit to him, which they enjoyed together.
Other favorites include books about dinosaurs and Pokemon - both of which become dry read alouds to the reader, but not the readee...

Jan 4, 9:01am Top

>104 jayde1599: Hm, let's see... How about The Mouse and the Motorcycle (or pretty much anything by Beverly Cleary), Ollie's Odyssey, Mary Poppins, Mr. Popper's Penguins, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Little House in the Big Woods,... These are a few of the books we read when Charlie was around 6 and he loved them all.

Edited: Jan 4, 9:39am Top

>103 scaifea: Ah, that's right. I didn't remember how Ribsy came along. I totally get the frustration about lost-pet narratives. They just seem a bit emotionally manipulative, don't they?

Jan 4, 9:17am Top

>106 rosalita: Julia: I agree - very emotionally manipulative. And all of them have *way* too many 'adventures.' Just get the dang dog back home! It's funny, though, that Mario, who snuggles up with us every night on the bed during story time (Tuppence doesn't - it's way too lovey-dovey for her tastes to do so and she thinks she's above such displays of affection), has been getting extra hugs and scritches while we read this one.

Jan 4, 9:37am Top

Morning, Amber! You got me with Greenglass House - sounds fun, so I am adding it to The List.

Jan 4, 9:41am Top

>108 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! Woot! I hope you like it as much as I did - I've already ordered the other two books in the series this morning.

Jan 4, 9:41am Top

Sweet Thursday, Amber! How's my favorite classicist?

Jan 4, 9:43am Top

>110 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! Ha! Freezing, that's how she is (assuming you mean ME); I currently have a long-sleeved shirt, a sweater, and a hooded jacket on, and I'm contemplating a second sweater on top of that. And a second cuppa.

Jan 4, 10:05am Top

Hail, Queen of the Sky.

Jan 4, 10:30am Top

>112 richardderus: Richard: First my dentist tells me I need a crown and now this. I'm so glad that people are starting to recognize my true royalty.

Jan 4, 10:31am Top

Edited: Jan 4, 10:46am Top

>114 richardderus:

Actual footage of me at in the dentist's chair yesterday.

Jan 4, 10:48am Top

Oh dear...one doesn't like to seem harshly critical, dearest, but one can only hope that the, um, attention to pogonotomy will improve prior to Tomm's homecoming....

Jan 4, 10:52am Top

Yikes, sorry you started a new year by going to the dentist. Loved Charlie’s awesome thing at school. Way to go, Charlie! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Looking forward to following your reading and daily life for another year, Amber.

Jan 4, 11:29am Top

>116 richardderus: Richard: Oh, it's much too late for that now. He's already put a ring on it and is beyond such demands.

>117 Donna828: Hi, Donna! "Way to go, Charlie!" *SNORK!* Nice one!

Jan 4, 11:32am Top

>82 scaifea: Seems a bit late, but I'll also put in a thumbs up for Lucretius, Forebearer of the American Declaration of Independence.

Jan 4, 11:53am Top

>119 majleavy: Ha! I need to get round to that Greenblatt at some point...

Jan 4, 11:55am Top

So glad you enjoyed Greenglass House -- it's a favorite of mine, to be sure!

Jan 4, 12:12pm Top

>121 foggidawn: foggi: It's so great - I would have LOVED it as a kid, too!

Jan 4, 12:36pm Top

I found your new thread! Star duly dropped off.

Happy new year, Amber!!

Jan 4, 1:03pm Top

>123 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen! Happy new year!

Jan 4, 1:25pm Top

I'm late but I'm here! I had a dentist's appointment yesterday too although mine was much lower key than yours - just a cleaning and check up (thank heaven for good enamel). Hope your mouth is feeling more recovered today.

Jan 4, 1:42pm Top

>125 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky - I'm feeling just fine today, other than a tiny bit of soreness in my jaw. I envy your good enamel, since mine is pretty rotten and the reason why I've needed so much work done on my teeth over the years.

Jan 4, 1:44pm Top

Happy New Year, Amber!

Jan 4, 4:43pm Top

Happiest new year to you and yours!
Sorry for the dental issues. I am beyond behind on my last cleaning and they keep texting me to make an appointment and I keep ignoring them. I wonder how long I can get away with that until they rat on me to Nathen and he makes me go ;-p

Edited: Jan 4, 5:02pm Top

Loving the royalty humor, starting with the dentist giving you a crown!

The Greenblatt Lucretius book, The Swerve, is really good, and I knew nada about Lucretius before reading it.

Jan 4, 5:59pm Top

>128 ChelleBearss: Chelle: Ha! That violates some sort of patient confidentiality something, doesn't it?

>129 jnwelch: Joe: I've had Swerve on my Read Soon shelf for a long time now already. I NEED to get to it, um, soon.

Jan 5, 6:26am Top

On the agenda for today:
Grocery shopping, vacuuming, weekly bills and photo organizing, possibly some cooking backing (peanut butter chocolate chip bars), then in to school this afternoon for my library volunteering. Charlie has ballet class after school. Short order eggs for dinner tonight, I think.

On the reading front:
I think I should finish up Lincoln in the Bardo today while vacuuming. I also started read a bit of Postcards from No Man's Land yesterday, which is interesting so far.

Jan 5, 6:27am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-The Jolly Postman
-Bear Wants More

A bit of:
-Upside Down Magic

And we finished:

3. Ribsy by Beverly Cleary (Charlie's bedtime read, 220 pages) - 8/10 = B+
Henry Huggins' dog, Ribsy, accidentally gets into the wrong station wagon at the mall and finds himself going home with a family of girls, who then proceed to give him - horrors - a bubble bath. He manages to run away and then spends the rest of the book trying to find his way back home to his boy, Henry.
As I mentioned earlier, I find this type of narrative (family pet gets lost and has various adventures while trying to get back home) frustrating - I just want pet and family reunited, already! Charlie felt the frustration, too, but we were still rooting for Ribsy.

Edited: Jan 5, 6:44am Top

Morning, Amber. Happy Friday. 2 more work days and I can put this frigid week behind me. I think I deserve to take an extra day off, very soon. Monday, perhaps? Tuesday is my regular day off, after all. Grins...

Hope your day goes well.

Jan 5, 8:03am Top

>133 msf59: Morning, Mark! I vote for you taking Monday off - you've earned it!

Jan 5, 9:30am Top

Morning, Amber! Glad that you recovered from the dentist visit yesterday. I have to go next Tuesday for a cleaning - please cross your fingers that they don't find anything. Like you, I have rotten enamel.

Jan 5, 9:55am Top

>135 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! Fingers crossed!

Jan 5, 9:57am Top

Oh, I forgot to report on Charlie's orthodontist visit: he's only had the retainer for a month, but the tooth is already in front of its corresponding bottom tooth and now he only needs to wear the retainer at night! He's such a trooper that the dentist was genuinely impressed that Charlie had done exactly as he asked him to do and wore it all the time except at meals (apparently most kids are rotten at wear their retainers). We go back in a month and he may be complete done with it by then!

Jan 5, 10:02am Top

>137 scaifea: Woohoo for reduction in retainer wearing! Double plus whohoo for compliant Charlie!

Jan 5, 10:05am Top

Hooray for Charlie!! Very exciting. And thank you for the crossed fingers.

Jan 5, 10:12am Top

>138 lycomayflower: Laura: I'm not surprised, to be honest, because he was so good with the eye patch when he was only 5. Such a good kiddo.

>139 Crazymamie: Definitely very exciting! And you're welcome; we enamel-challenged need to stick together.

Jan 5, 10:58am Top

Hi Amber! *smooch*

Jan 5, 11:13am Top

Aw, Charlie...my brother had an issue early in his school years with the school bathrooms, because he didn't realize there were stalls where you could sit down. He didn't poop at school for so long he had a bit of a constipation problem until someone figured out why.

Jan 5, 11:40am Top

>141 richardderus: Hi, Richard!

>142 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: Charlie has had, um, retention issues from potty training on. I took a *full year* to poop-train him, and even then he tried his best to hold it in, and so, yes, he's had constipation issues, too. He now takes a multivitamin with extra fiber and eats yogurt every day, which seems to help. But yeah, we're still working on relaxing enough to feel comfortable pooping at school.

Jan 5, 11:42am Top

4. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (audiobook) - 8/10 = B-
Well, I didn't loathe it, but neither did I love it. The plot idea is a good one, and I thought the portrayal of Abe Lincoln as a grieving father was very well done and so touching, but some of the residents of the graveyard were too odd in a not-good way and the volume of different stories from them was distracting more than an enhancement of the overall story. The rapid-fire direct quotes from Lincoln scholarship was so irritating that I nearly quit several times, and David Sedaris' voice makes me grind my teeth (although Nick Offerman is excellent as usual).

Jan 5, 11:54am Top

>144 scaifea: You're more generous than I am. I didn't review it at all because 2.5/5 tends to make people who 5/5'd it mad. And I myownself felt that last half-star was generous of me. Did you know that Megan Mullaly (Karen of Will & Grace infamy) is Mrs Nick Offerman and the couple is close to Saunders? So much so that they're adapting this thing into a film.


Jan 5, 11:57am Top

>145 richardderus: I knew that Mullaly and Offerman are married (I've read the first two of his books) and I like them (although I really didn't like the character she narrated in this one), and it doesn't really surprise me that they're buddies with Saunders. I would have rated it lower, but I did like the idea behind the story. It would have been so much better had someone like, say, Gaiman, written it (but then again I feel that way about so many books and also he sort of already has (The Graveyard Book)).

Jan 5, 2:14pm Top

I loved The Graveyard Book! Poor Bod.

Jan 5, 2:20pm Top

>147 rosalita: Julia: Of COURSE you did - it's Gaiman, for sobbing out loud. And yes, poor Bod.

Jan 5, 4:12pm Top

Well done Charlie with the orthodontist, if only more kids were like him.

Jan 5, 5:16pm Top

>149 johnsimpson: Aw, thanks, John! I agree!

Jan 5, 5:47pm Top

>146 scaifea: It's an ambitious novel, but it felt to me like interconnected short stories and so failed at the first hurdle.

Jan 5, 7:02pm Top

>151 richardderus: I think I felt the disconnect between the scholarship chapters and the story ones more, but I can see where you'd associate the book with short stories. I mean why list quote after quote after quote in that way? To try to mirror the various accounts of the dead people? I don't think it worked; I'd much rather he have incorporated that scholarship into a narrative of Lincoln's parallel story to the boy's.
I'm wondering if I would have liked it a bit better if I had read it myself, because so many of the narrators bothered me. Many of the ones reading the quotes were awful.

Jan 5, 7:46pm Top

>152 scaifea: Hm. In that case permaybehaps checking the tree book out of the library and giving it the Pearl Rule would tell the story.

Jan 5, 8:20pm Top

>153 richardderus: Richard: You're likely right, but I'm not invested enough in it to try - too many other potentially really good books out there.

Jan 5, 9:10pm Top

Hi, Amber. Dropping a star.

Love that Charlie is wearing a bow tie - my two really love bow ties as well. Very handsome! Don't tell, but my older son looks better in a regular tie for some reason, however, my younger son pulls the bow tie off.

Looking at my copy of Greenglass House from across the room - which I purchased at the school book fair when it first came out - and wondering when I am going to fit it into the reading schedule. I honestly thought one or both of the boys would read it first, but Beckham is reading adult stuff now, and Keegan prefers GNs.

Jan 6, 7:01am Top

>155 rretzler: Hi, Robin! Oh, go get that book off the shelf and bookhorn it in, lady!
And thanks - Charlie does look dashing, no? I bet your boys do, too, in bowties.

Jan 6, 7:06am Top

On the agenda today:

Well, Charlie woke up at 4:30 with vomiting and diarrhea, so our day has pretty much been decided for us, I think. He's now set up on the couch watching cartoons and dozing, and I'm trying not to admit that my stomach is starting to feel a little iffy. Yoicks. I had plans to bake and do some cleaning/tidying, but I think it'll be a day in the rocking chair with a book for me when not taking care of Charlie. Fingers crossed, please, that I don't join him on the sick couch... Tomm's coming home from his trip to a quarantined house today, it seems.

On the reading front:
I started listening to The World According to Garp yesterday, which is interesting so far although I haven't decided if that's in a good way or not. I also made some progress on Postcards from No Man's Land.

Jan 6, 7:08am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
A short bedtime reading session yesterday, since Tomm is out of town and Charlie was already saying that he didn't feel amazing:

-Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev (public library book, picture book) - 9/10 = A-
And a bit of:
-The Key to the Treasure

Jan 6, 7:10am Top

Morning, Amber. Happy Saturday. Last bone-chilling day...at least for awhile. Looking forward to a few days off.

I revisited The World According to Garp on audio, for the AAC. I liked it, in this format. I love these offbeat characters. Have you ever seen the film?

Jan 6, 7:15am Top

>159 msf59: Morning, Mark! I took the dogs out already this morning and even they hurried more than usual - bone-chilling it is out there.
I've not seen the film or honestly know anything about the book. And yes, I'd agree so far that the characters are offbeat... Ha!

Jan 6, 10:57am Top

>157 scaifea: Oh, poor Charlie! Poor you! Crossing my fingers that feeling slightly iffy is the worse it gets for you.

Jan 6, 11:04am Top

Sorry Charlie’s under the weather! I hope it doesn’t signal a plague in the Scaife household.

Garp’s one of those books that worked better for me as a movie. Robin Williams was pretty amazing in that one.

Jan 6, 11:07am Top

Good morning, esteemed classicist. I hope your weekend is off to a good start.

The World According to Garp knocked me sideways when I read it lo those many years ago. Hotel New Hampshire was pretty good, and then I lost steam with him until A Prayer for Owen Meaney, which I thought measured up to the early ones. I haven't read Cider House Rules, which got a lot of acclaim, and our daughter loved.

I liked Lincoln in the Bardo better than you, in part because I gave bonus points for the creatively different presentation, and in part because I hadn't thought much about Lincoln and their son, and that relationship in the book really got to me.

I do like that comparison to The Graveyard Book, which I enjoyed much more.

Jan 6, 11:11am Top

>161 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie. I do feel better now (I think I may pull through without any vomiting) and Charlie seems a little better already, too.

>162 drneutron: Thanks, Jim - I hope it's not a plague, either! Fingers crossed.
I may have to track down the movie once I'm finished with the book.

>163 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Well, Charlie vomiting at 4am isn't exactly what I'd call off to a good start, but yeah.
This is my first Irving (I think), but Cider House Rules has been on my list for a long time. Someday, maybe.
And I think the Saunders would have gone better for me had I read it myself. I do agree that the father/son relationship is the best part of it.

Edited: Jan 6, 11:12am Top

Hope Charlie feels better soon, and that you escape the worst. I liked Lincoln in the Bardo, but I think it was helped by being a beautiful new from the library hardback copy.

Edited: Jan 6, 11:17am Top

>165 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte. I'm definitely hoping for escape, too, since Tomm gets back this evening from a week-long business trip only to leave again tomorrow morning for another week-long one, so no parental backup available if I do succumb.

Aha! See? Further proof that I should have read it myownself.

Jan 6, 12:21pm Top

Blergh! I send my best, most forceful Plague-B-Gone® whammys your way.

Jan 6, 12:25pm Top

Oh dear -- not a good day. Hope you both feel better really soon.

Jan 6, 12:25pm Top

>164 scaifea: Oh, sorry, Amber. I missed the Charlie vomiting part. Poor guy. I hope he feels better and you don't catch it.

Jan 6, 12:58pm Top

>167 richardderus: Thanks, Richard!

>168 RebaRelishesReading: Reba: Oh, dear, indeed. And thanks. I seem to have side-stepped it (at least I'm feeling okay at the moment) and Charlie seems to be on the mend.

>169 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. Charlie's managed to eat and keep down a modest breakfast and lunch, so I think he's improving. Either a very short-lived virus or a slight touch of food poisoning?

Jan 6, 1:11pm Top

Sending some healing vibes northward to Scaife Manor!

Jan 6, 1:57pm Top

>171 rosalita: Thanks, Julia!

Jan 6, 3:18pm Top

>86 scaifea: I had a lot of dental work done before I lost my coverage so remember the crown appointment. I was about an hour and 3/4 for the prep work. Way shorter for the actual crown being installed.

I hope you and Charlie are both doing better.

Jan 6, 4:00pm Top

>173 Familyhistorian: Meg: I already have one crown, but it's been too long ago for me to remember how long that first appointment is, I guess. I go back in another 1.5 weeks for the actual coronation.

And thanks - Charlie seems quite a bit better this afternoon, thank goodness.

Jan 6, 5:05pm Top

5. Postcards from No Man's Land by Aidan Chambers (1001 Children's Books, 312 pages) - 8/10 = B-
Details the parallel stories of a Dutch woman falling in love with an English soldier whom she nurses and hides during WWII and of a young man visiting Amsterdam for the first time while dealing with his occasional bouts of depression, his social anxiety and his sexuality. The two plots are joined by the relationship of the young man (grandson) and the soldier (grandfather).
There are good things about this one (the stories are good and I enjoyed the way in which they are entwined), but Chambers tries to do too much here, taking on not only the telling of two separate tales and the fleshing out of two main characters, but also trying to add a history of a specific instance during the war via direct quotes from first-hand accounts, along with philosophical dialogue on the nature of love, the pointlessness of war and even a slightly hackneyed pro-and-con on euthanasia. The result feels disjointed and cluttered.

Jan 6, 5:23pm Top

>175 scaifea: Despite a multiplicity of entry points through my armor, that B- is a powerful repellent. Missed with that half-hearted book bullet.

Jan 6, 5:34pm Top

>176 richardderus: Richard: I try not to tell people not to read books, because tastes vary so much and of course the faults here could just be chalked up to my own preferences - you may like this one much more than I did. I may just be a bit overloaded on holocaust tales, too. The story of the lad exploring Amsterdam is quite good, really.

Jan 6, 6:19pm Top

Sorry to see Charlie isn't well. Hope a day on the couch helped him feel better. Crossing my fingers that you don't succumb to the germs!

Jan 6, 6:25pm Top

>178 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle! Thanks - Charlie is definitely on the mend, so here's hoping tonight goes well for him, and I'm still feeling okay and hope I stay that way!

Jan 7, 1:53am Top

>157 scaifea: Poor Charlie! That's no fun! Sounds like you were able to hold it off, which is a great thing. Nothing worse than being sick when you're trying to take care of someone else - and moms rarely ever have someone to take care of them!

Jan 7, 5:46am Top

Happy Sunday, Amber.

Jan 7, 9:36am Top

>180 rretzler: Thanks, Robin. And, whew, it does seem that I've managed to skip getting sick, plus Charlie seems completely better today.

>181 Ameise1: Hi, Barbara!

Jan 7, 9:38am Top

On the agenda for today:
Tomm came home last night but leaves again for another week-long trip in about an hour, so it'll just be Charlie and I again for a few days. Laundry, baking (Milk Bread, Wacky Cake, and possibly a coffee cake for this week's breakfasts) and reading today.

On the reading front:
I didn't get any listening in yesterday, but I did spend some time with Andersonville and started Brendon Chase after finishing up Postcards from No Man's Land.

Jan 7, 9:39am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-This House, Once by Deborah Freedman (library book, picture book) - 9/10 = A-
And bits of:
-Upside Down Magic
-Key to the Treasure
-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Jan 7, 10:14am Top

Morning, Amber!

Jan 7, 10:23am Top

Morning, Mamie!

Jan 7, 10:57am Top

Morning, Amber! Happy Sunday! Let the Great Warm-Up begin!!

Jan 7, 11:19am Top

>187 msf59: Morning, Mark!!

Jan 7, 11:26am Top

Amborella dear. How are you, you survivor you.

Jan 7, 11:37am Top

I had a crown about a month ago which turned out to be rather interesting. It took almost three hours but I went home with the permanent crown in my mouth. The dentist made it herself with a 3D printer (and it didn't involve that gaggy pink goop either). She took a bunch of "photos" once the space was prepared and then went off and left me for a nice long rest. At one point her assistant came back to tell me it wouldn't be long, that my crown was "in the oven now". Shortly thereafter dentist appear with it and installed it and I was all done

Jan 7, 12:51pm Top

Happy Sunday, Amber.

Yay for a completely healthy Charlie, and the bug giving you a miss!

Jan 7, 1:12pm Top

>189 richardderus: Richard: Huh. Interesting. I think, though, that I prefer my Greek name, Elektra.

>190 RebaRelishesReading: Reba: Very cool! Charlie's orthodontist has the imaging software/hardware/whathaveyou, and so Charlie didn't need the pink goop, either, for his retainer thank goodness (I didn't foresee that going well AT ALL), but they still had to send it away to be made.

>192 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! Thanks for the cheers!

Jan 7, 2:54pm Top

The weekend baking:

Friday's Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars:

"Wacky" Cake (a new recipe, and not one, I think, that I'll repeat (okay but not super-tasty):

Sour Cream Coffee Cake:

Milk Bread:

Jan 7, 5:56pm Top

And now Charlie's cooking dinner for us tonight, from his new Sesame Street's Let's Cook! cookbook (he's making Elmo's Chili Inside):

Jan 7, 7:05pm Top

Sounds good!

Jan 7, 7:19pm Top

>195 scaifea: Is that potatoes I spy for Elmo's Chili?

>194 scaifea: Yum! I never seem to have much success with bread that isn't made in a bread machine. I just can't get mine to rise properly no matter what I do.

>190 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, how high tech! I'm actually kind of jealous!

Jan 7, 7:38pm Top

>195 scaifea: I love that he's cooking! Those age-appropriate cookbooks are the best. Also, I really like Charlie's hair. You mentioned a while back he wanted to grow it out, and that pic shows off its full glory. Has his hair gotten darker too, or is that just lighting?

Jan 7, 7:56pm Top

>196 drneutron: Jim: The chili was really delicious! It calls for smoked paprika, which worked really well, and you also roast the potatoes and red peppers in the oven first, which also added to the tastiness.

>197 rretzler: Robin: It *is* potatoes! They were really good!

My mom taught me how to make bread when I was younger than Charlie and I love doing it; it makes the house smell *so* good. And Charlie loves helping me bake, too (he loves punching down the dough!).

>198 lauralkeet: Laura: He absolutely adores cooking and has been doing it now for a couple of years already. And yeah, it's just the lighting - his hair is a bit lighter than that. I'm glad you like it! I do, too. Tomm puts up a bit of a fuss about it, but I've been pretty firm about it being Charlie's hair and as long as he keeps it clean and combed, he should be able to do what he wants with it.

Jan 7, 8:32pm Top

I'm starving and you're showing me pictures of scrumptious looking food -- not fair!!

Jan 7, 8:35pm Top

>200 RebaRelishesReading: Sorry, Reba! Come on over and we'll fix that empty stomach!

Jan 8, 12:03am Top

>194 scaifea: Great baking, Amber - but who eats all of that? Even with two hungry boys in the house, I bet it would be my waistline expanding.

>195 scaifea: It’s nice to see a picture of Charlie cooking. My boys make noises about it from time to time, but actual dishes cooked are few and far between. Is that a plastic knife? I’m not so keen on letting my younger son handle sharp blades.

Jan 8, 3:56am Top

Love the baking and cooking pics :)

Fingers crossed all the bugs stay gone.

Jan 8, 6:18am Top

>202 humouress: We tend to share our baked goods with neighbors and friends.
The knives are these:


>203 BekkaJo: Thanks, Bekka! And yes, here's hoping that the virus/whatever-it-was is gone for good!

Jan 8, 6:22am Top

On today's agenda:
Treadmilling (finally time to get back on the wagon - it's been so long (yoicks)), laundry, house tidying, sewing, writing, library volunteering. Charlie and I will go to the vision clinic after school so that he can pick out new frames (his prescription has changed enough again that he need new lenses (in a good way!)). Delicious leftover Charlie cooking for dinner tonight.

On the reading front:
I started reading Witches Abroad yesterday and managed a bit of Brendon Chase as well.

Jan 8, 6:23am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-Margo Thinks Twice by Monica Arnaldo (library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B-
And bits of:
-Upside Down Magic
-Camp Foxtrot
-Key to the Treasure
-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

And we started watching the Netflix series, Just Add Magic, and it's really pretty good!

Jan 8, 7:49am Top

Morning, Amber! Happy Monday!

Jan 8, 7:56am Top

>207 msf59: Morning, Mark!

Edited: Jan 8, 8:46am Top

Morning, Amber!

I've been pretty firm about it being Charlie's hair and as long as he keeps it clean and combed, he should be able to do what he wants with it.

That's the way we were - our guy dyed his green and purple and blue at various times. We have an ex-pro football player on the block who wasn't happy about it. Like you, we said it's his hair, not ours - and that he was a good kid, with no drug or academic problems. We'll take different-looking hair every time. (He also added various earrings and tattoos when he got older - fine by us. His body, not ours).

Jan 8, 8:52am Top

>208 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Agree with you and Joe about the hair.

Jan 8, 9:50am Top

>209 jnwelch: >210 Crazymamie: Joe & Mamie: YES. His hair, his body, his call. Such an important lesson, I think. I secretly hope he'll dye it at some point, because I love that, but I don't think his spirit is quite that adventurous, at least not yet.

Jan 8, 9:53am Top

>195 scaifea: Love it! So happy to see kids seeming to enjoy cooking.

Jan 8, 10:04am Top

>212 thornton37814: Lori: Yep, he's a big fan and even makes up his own cooking and baking recipes.

Jan 8, 10:43am Top

>204 scaifea: Ah! Thanks. They have quite a few things, don't they?

Jan 8, 11:02am Top

>214 humouress: Yeah, I think they have a complete set of kids' kitchen stuff. The knives are the only thing we have from that line, but Charlie does have his own pretty-much complete set of backing gear.

Jan 8, 1:12pm Top

Wow, your weekend of baking looks rather amazing. And yummy!

Jan 8, 1:23pm Top

>216 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen! Christmas always gets so crazy-busy, and then we were out of town for a week, then we went through the necessary adjustment period after traveling, and so I've not been baking much lately and I've really missed it.

Jan 8, 9:06pm Top

I like Charlie's hair, creativaty starts with yourself.

Just to let you know there is a vote going on over on my thread.

Jan 8, 10:27pm Top

>218 BBGirl55: Thanks! He's definitely creative and I love that.

Jan 9, 12:11am Top

>199 scaifea: I'd love to have the Elmo's Chili recipe. I can't resist anything with potatoes. When I was growing up, I was a somewhat picky eater, and I wouldn't eat typical breakfast food - at least none that my mom wanted to fix. I LOVE pancakes, but they were too much for a working weekday morning. So in elementary school, my mom let me pick my breakfast, and every day I would have a baked potato. She would put it in the oven each night and set the delayed cook timer so that it would be ready when I woke up in the morning! Yum. My after-school snack would either be a salad with oil and vinegar, or steamed broccoli with butter, which I would make myself.

My family was never into baking, although I took a 4-H Breads project for several years. I learned to cook and started cooking for the family when I was 9 or so, but I could just never get the bread to rise right. I'm sure that it was probably just too cold in our house, and the methods we tried to make the bread rise, like putting it in the bathroom near a sink full of hot water, just didn't help. Oh, well, I have the bread machine now!

Jan 9, 6:18am Top

>220 rretzler: Robin: I'll try to remember to type up the recipe later today (although if I forget, feel free to give me a nudge!). We shamelessly changed it up because it calls for sweet potatoes and neither of us like those.

I LOVE that you had baked potatoes for breakfast! I would totally do that, too! I've said to my family before that I could eat potatoes every day and never get tired of them.

I make bread pretty much year round in all kinds of weather and it usually seems to work out okay for me. I go ahead and preheat my oven and then set the bread to rise on top of it (and I also tend to punch it down and let it rise more than the recipes call for, too).

Jan 9, 6:21am Top

On today's agenda:
Treadmilling, sewing, writing, a bit of cleaning and laundry, and a quick trip to the post office before my afternoon library volunteering. I think Charlie and I will put up the Valentine's Day decorations after school.

On the reading front:
I listened to more The World According to Garp yesterday, and made progress on both Brendon Chase and War & Peace.

Jan 9, 6:22am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-Fishing with Grandma by Susan Avingaq and Maren Vsetula (library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B+
And bits of:
-Upside Down Magic
-Key to the Treasure

Jan 9, 7:24am Top

Morning, Amber! Going on another hike with Bree and a friend, later this morning. Nice to be outdoors, strolling around without a mailbag slung on my shoulder.

I am really enjoying Nickelby on audio, so I recommend this format if you ever desire to read it.

Jan 9, 7:36am Top

>224 msf59: Morning, Mark! Enjoy your walk with Bree today. And thanks for the Nickelby tip - I'll definitely keep that in mind, since I'd love to get round to all of Dickens eventually.

Jan 9, 8:03am Top

Morning, Amber!

Jan 9, 8:10am Top

>226 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda!

Jan 9, 5:25pm Top

So have you ever made potato bread, Amber?

Jan 9, 5:35pm Top

>228 Familyhistorian: Meg: You know, I haven't. Have you? Do you recommend it? Have a good recipe?

Jan 9, 5:36pm Top

>195 scaifea: *baaawww*

Robin, I too am a bread-machiner. So much easier and still has delicious bread at the end of the cooking cycle.

Jan 9, 5:43pm Top

>230 richardderus: Hi, Richard!

I'm all for shortcuts in the kitchen, but a bread machine is one thing I don't have any interest in because I love the whole process of actually making the bread. I totally get that other folks love the machines, though, especially folks who aren't in the "have more time than sense" category (my mom tells me that I firmly belong in said category, but she says it with love, so it's okay).

Jan 9, 6:03pm Top

>231 scaifea: And then there are those of us without kitchens, and the arthritic, and....

But I love fresh bread and can't pay for gluten-free options without my eyes watering and no one local makes einkorn bread...so there you are. I fear my second-hand bread machine will be dead soon, though, so I'm assessing replacements in preparation for the farewell.

Jan 9, 6:22pm Top

>232 richardderus: Sure, that makes sense. Tomm has a gluten allergy, so I hear you talking about how expensive gluten-free stuff can be. Ridiculous.
Speaking of gluten-free baking, King Arthur Flour (not cheap, but very good stuff) has a Measure for Measure gf flour that is fantastic. Does what it says on the tin - you can replace regular flour with it and bake pretty much anything.

Jan 9, 6:27pm Top

I use Jovial Foods' einkorn because I get it locally, but the milling industry is sensing the market for lower-gluten stuff at last...now those *prices*...!!

Jan 9, 6:41pm Top

>234 richardderus: Richard: I wonder if the prices will eventually lower, especially if the non-allergy trendy-diet people lose interest?

Jan 9, 7:31pm Top

>235 scaifea: History suggests no. Visiting the health-food store and visiting Whole Paycheck are separated by 40 years' inflation but no appreciable difference in prices as a function of purchasing power parity.

Jan 9, 8:20pm Top

>236 richardderus: Richard: Yeah, I figured it was wishful thinkin'. Ugh - Whole Foods. Not a fan.

Jan 10, 6:18am Top

On the agenda for today:
Treadmilling, sewing, writing, library volunteering. Charlie has ballet class this evening.

On the reading front:
I listened to some of The World According to Garp yesterday, and read bits of Andersonville and Brendon Chase.

Jan 10, 6:19am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-Places to Be by Mac Barnett (library book, picture book) - 9/10 = A
-Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima (library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B
And bits of:
-Upside Down Magic
-Key to the Treasure

Jan 10, 6:39am Top

Morning, Amber. Back to work after a few days off. It was nice and it will be close to 50 today. Even nicer.

Is the Irving improving for you?

Jan 10, 7:53am Top

>240 msf59: Morning, Mark! I'm glad it won't be so cold for you today!

The Irving is good, but probably won't make any Favorites lists for me. The story is fine, but I'm not loving any of the characters, which may be part of the point, but I really need likable people for me to love a book, I think.

Jan 10, 8:28am Top

Morning, Amber!

Good point about the lack of likable people in The World According to Garp. The one I felt that most strongly with was Bonfire of the Vanities, where I disliked all the characters.

Jan 10, 8:53am Top

Morning, Amber!

Jan 10, 9:48am Top

>242 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! I'd be more okay with not liking the characters much if the writing were stellar. It's good, but not fabulous, though. I haven't read Bonfire, but I know it's on some of my lists.

>243 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie!

Edited: Jan 10, 11:20am Top

Love the bread conversation! I have never had much luck baking bread without a bread machine. I don't think I have the patience for it. Our bread machine is currently collecting dust in the basement though, no time for that either sadly.

Jan 10, 10:52am Top

>245 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle! Yes, I don't think bread baking would be high on my priority list, either, if I were you. So much on your plate already!

Jan 10, 12:44pm Top

First finished sewing project of the year - it's not a huge deal, for certain, but I have some Christmas fabric that I've been trying to figure out what to with and decided to try whipping up some cloth gift bags. Here's my first try:

The real challenge will be if I'll remember that I have them - and then where I put them - once Christmas comes back round.

Jan 10, 12:54pm Top

The real challenge will be if I'll remember that I have them - and then where I put them - once Christmas comes back round.

Sounds like my household... 😁

Jan 10, 12:59pm Top

>248 drneutron: Jim: Ha! Well, at least I'll have the fabric out of the "what the heckin' heck did I buy this for?!" tub!

Jan 10, 2:40pm Top

I'm loving the Charlie cooking' photo...it's so wonderful to get kids engaged in preparing their own food. Also, the bread conversation. I make a lot of bread, and I get the appeal of a bread machine if you go through a lot of it, big family, etc. I've never had one. For me, getting my hands into the dough is part of why I do it. And it keeps my dear grandmother, who taught me how, right there in my mind every time I give it that last push and shove, and hold my hand on to make sure it doesn't stick...

Jan 10, 2:49pm Top

>247 scaifea: If you're anything like me, you'll run across them in August and think, "oh gosh I need these in three months so I'll put them *here* out of the way but totally obvious that they'd be *here*" and *here* proves to be the Black Hole of Calcutta from which the Universe will belch them forth on the 4th of July 2025.

Jan 10, 4:41pm Top

>250 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: Agreed! Getting your hands in the dough is one of the best parts of making your own bread, and Charlie loves that part, too (and I love that he loves it - 4th generation of bakers in the making right there).

>251 richardderus: Richard: Yup, that's likely an accurate scenario.

Jan 10, 5:28pm Top

6. The World According to Garp by John Irving (National Book Award, audio) - 6/10 = D+
Yoicks. Unlikable characters, disagreeable plot happenings, and writing that didn't stand out as spectacular in any way for me. So this one just isn't up my street, I think.

Jan 10, 5:56pm Top

>253 scaifea: Fair enough. Did you ever read his A Prayer for Owen Meany? You might like that one better - he was much further along in his writing career, for one thing. And your BFF loved The Cider House Rules, which I haven't read yet.

Did I already mention these? If so, just ignore this post.

Jan 10, 6:00pm Top

>254 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! I think both of those are on lists somewhere in my Big Binder of Book Lists, so I'll get round to them eventually. Good to know that you think they're a bit better maybe.

Jan 10, 6:07pm Top

I've finally turtled my way into a second thread:


Jan 10, 9:46pm Top

>254 jnwelch: As a fan of some of Irving's work, I heartily agree with Joe. A Prayer for Owen Meany and The Cider House Rules are definitely some of his best work. I didn't care much for The World According to Garp either.

Jan 10, 11:47pm Top

>257 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: That's reassuring, then. I hold both Joe's and your opinions pretty high, you know.

This topic was continued by scaifea's 2018 Thread #2.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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