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scaifea's 2018 Thread #2

This is a continuation of the topic scaifea's 2018 Thread #1.

This topic was continued by scaifea's 2018 Thread #3.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Jan 16, 5:28pm Top

Hi, everyone! Welcome!

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


The Wind Singer:

The Year of the Quiet Sun:

Witches Abroad:

The Art of Power:

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 10, 6:00pm 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 20, 5:28pm Top

What I'm reading now:
-Andersonville (Banned Books)
-(awaiting library holds) (1001 Children's Books)
-The Year of the Quiet Sun (Campbell Award)
-Witches Abroad (Discworld read)
-The Art of Power (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 20, 5:28pm 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+
7. Brendon Chase (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B
8. A Solitary Blue (Newbery Honor Book) - 9/10 = A
9. Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B
10. Real Friends (BB from foggidawn (I think?)) - 9/10 = A
11. The School for Cats (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B
12. Einstein's Dreams (unread book from my shelves + January colorCAT) - 8/10 = B-
13. The Wind Singer (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B+

Edited: Jan 10, 6:04pm Top

Charlie & Mario, snuggling on Christmas Eve:

Tuppence peeking out from under my desk:

Edited: Jan 10, 6:06pm Top

The Bonus Question:

Have you ever won anything in a random pick contest, i.e. door prize, radio call-in, not a skill-based contest? What was it and what was the contest?

(Thanks to Morphy for this question!)

Jan 10, 6:17pm Top

Wow! I'm here and think I'm the first one! Congrats on the new thread!

>6 scaifea: The most memorable of these for me was when I won tickets to see Hole, Courtney Love's band, back in the 1990's. I had to be the sixth caller and answer the question about what movie Courtney Love was in (Sid & Nancy). When the radio station person asked my age (34 maybe), they were quite surprised that someone so "old" would like Hole!

Jan 10, 6:33pm Top

>1 scaifea: The Key to the Treasure looks so familiar to me - I'm wondering if I read it when I was younger. It would certainly be around the right time frame.

Jan 10, 6:42pm Top

Happy new thread, Amber!

>6 scaifea: I don't think I ever won anything like that.

Jan 10, 6:46pm Top

>7 rretzler: Hi, Robin! Hole! V. cool. Did the radio person actually say "old"?! Yoicks.

>8 rretzler: Robin: You may have read it when you were a kid - I sure did, over and over. It was one of my very favorites!

>9 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita! I've been trying to remember if I've won anything like that and I haven't (remembered, that is) yet. Clearly if I did it wasn't anything too exciting. Ha!

Jan 10, 9:23pm Top

>6 scaifea: Simple answer is no Amber. But to be fair i do know someone who has won £4 million on a scratch card!

Happy new thread my dear.

Jan 10, 9:28pm Top

>11 PaulCranswick: Paul: Whoa, four million?! Whew!

Jan 10, 9:36pm Top

Happy new thread, Amber. Love the Charlie pic, as usual.

Jan 10, 9:43pm Top

BQ: Just before I left home for college, I won a drawing for free merchandise at a nice clothing store. I distinctly remember that I picked out a Pendleton plaid jacket and a pair of corduroy jeans. I think I may still have the jacket, although it would be demoralizing to take it out and remember the teeny little person that it once fit. And just last night, I won the 50/50 drawing at the bowling alley. $31.00!

Jan 10, 11:10pm Top

>10 scaifea: Don't remember if they actually did say "old" but that was the distinct impression I had. The crown was definitely much younger than Ed and I. I think that might have been one of the first concerts I attended with a mosh pit.

>11 PaulCranswick: OK - I got a scratch card for Christmas that I haven't scratched yet...cross your fingers!

Jan 10, 11:50pm Top

>13 BLBera: Hi, Beth! Thanks!

>14 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: Excellent! What a neat thing to happen just before college. And woot to the $31!

>15 rretzler: Robin: I went to more than a few Nine Inch Nails concerts when I was in college and really enjoyed crowd-watching, but was never crazy enough to want to join in on the mosh pits.

And fingers crossed!

Jan 11, 1:12am Top

Happy new one, Amber.

BQ: I recently won a voucher for a meal in a restaurant.

Jan 11, 1:21am Top

Congrats on a second thread!

I have won things when I buy raffle tix, etc. Latest was winning a party for 10 at a restaurant--which I need to schedule before it expires....!

Jan 11, 4:09am Top

Happy new thread!

In 2016 I won a 'like' and 'share' competition on Facebook for family tickets to a Christmas 'The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe' themed thingy - hard to explain, immersive experience thingy basically - you go in and have a story with Lucy and go through the wardrobe and they'd made it all snowy etc etc. Then there is the white witch and Father Christmas and lots of other sections. Much more fantastic and fun than I'm making it sound :)

Jan 11, 6:16am Top

>17 Ameise1: Hi, Barbara! Wow! Is it a restaurant that you particularly like, or a new one?

>18 Berly: Thanks, Kim! For 10?! Holy moly. I wouldn't know whom to invite.

>19 BekkaJo: Thanks, Bekka! That sounds amazing!!

Jan 11, 6:19am Top

On the agenda today:
Treadmilling, menu-planning and putting together a grocery list, sewing, writing, possibly a bit of the grocery shopping, the library volunteering. Some of this may change, as we're scheduled for some rain this morning and then a big temperature drop by 1pm, which may mean that the schools close early to get the kids home before the roads turn icy. We'll see.

On the reading front:
I started listening to The Way West yesterday, and even though I'm generally not a fan of westerns, it's already tons better than Garp. I also read some Witches Abroad and Brendon Chase yesterday.

Jan 11, 6:20am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-Even Superheroes Have Bad Days by Shelly Becker (library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B+
-Extra Yarn

And bits of:
-Upside Down Magic
-Key to the Treasure

Jan 11, 6:37am Top

Morning, Amber! Happy New Thread! The threads have been a-poppin' in the new year, that is for sure.

Jan 11, 7:34am Top

>23 msf59: Morning, Mark! The threads are hopping!

Jan 11, 8:10am Top

Morning, Amber! Happy new thread! I love the Charlie and Mario photo, and the Tuppence one made me laugh - what a photogenic crew you've got there!

Jan 11, 8:35am Top

>25 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! And thanks! They're a fun bunch to photograph, for certain. I wish Handsome Husband would let me take more photos of him, too, but he has a pretty strict policy about keeping a low online profile.

Jan 11, 8:44am Top

>20 scaifea: It's one I like.

Edited: Jan 11, 8:52am Top

Happy new thread! For the Bonus Question, I'm sure I've won little things a time or two, but I can't think what they were right now. Nothing terribly exciting. For instance, I won one of the small poinsettias that were table decorations at the office Christmas party last month.

Jan 11, 10:03am Top

Happy new thread! BQ: Only minor door prize type stuff, though The Son did win an iPod in a give-away back when having an iPod was a big deal.

Jan 11, 10:41am Top

>27 Ameise1: Barbara: Even better!

>28 foggidawn: Still, those little things sure can brighten a day sometimes, no?

>29 drneutron: Hi, Jim! Wow, an iPod! V. cool!

Jan 11, 10:42am Top

Morning, Amber! Happy New Thread!

We won the 50-50 raffle at a Chicago Bulls basketball game to the tune of $3500! Fans buy the raffle tickets at the game, and half of that money goes to charity, half to the winners. The best part was we had pooled our tickets with other season ticket fans across the aisle we'd become friends with, and we split the actual $7000 award with them. Lots of happiness and hugs!

Jan 11, 10:46am Top

>31 jnwelch: Joe: Wow, that's great! And what a neat idea that half goes to charity!

Jan 11, 11:18am Top

Last year I won a blog giveaway of a Lamy Safari fountain pen in the limited edition color of Dark Lilac. This is what it looks like:

It's not a very expensive pen, so nothing to get overly excited about. :-)

Jan 11, 11:28am Top

>33 rosalita: Julia: Oooh, that's really pretty, though!

Jan 11, 11:45am Top

A thousand years ago when I was in grad school and had no money I won dinner for two at a very upscale restaurant on a radio call-in. It was quite a treat!!

Jan 11, 11:45am Top

It is pretty! And it came with a packet of ink cartridges in the matching (also limited edition, so no longer available, darn it) color.

Jan 11, 11:50am Top

>6 scaifea: When I was 8, I won a cake in a cakewalk. The kid who wanted the cake had fixed it with the baker that he'd get the nod when to stop. He wasn't paying attention so I ended up on the spot, won the drawing, and got a bloody nose! Brat got himself in big trouble over that and spent the next 6 years of our lives making me miserable.

Best cake I ever ate. *nyah* to the memory of David O'Mary!

Jan 11, 12:10pm Top

>35 RebaRelishesReading: Reba: Wow, that really would have been a treat! I remember the grad school days of living on rice and ramen.

>36 rosalita: Julia: Oh, cool! That would be a fantastic ink color! Right now I'm using a reddish brown ink in my fountain pen and love the sepia-like quality it has.

>37 richardderus: Richard: Ha! I won a cakewalk at school at about that age, too. Ours was such that you could pick the cake you wanted from the table, so I picked the one my mom had made because I knew it would be good!

Jan 11, 12:17pm Top

Happy new thread! Hope the freezing rain holds off until Charlie is home from school.

I once won a raffle at a stag and doe and took home a Mexican themed basket with a bottle of tequila and margarita glasses.

Jan 11, 12:36pm Top

>39 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle! Nice prize!!

Well, they've called school early today, so I'll leave in a bit to pick Charlie up. Not sure what we'll do this afternoon, but I'm thinking I may try to convince him to have a board game marathon.

Jan 11, 3:26pm Top

>40 scaifea: A board game marathon? I want to come! We're supposed to have nasty weather here, too, and I'm pretty much declaring the weekend my own personal readathon.

Jan 11, 4:10pm Top

>41 foggidawn: Oh, sorry, but we decided against a board game afternoon. Instead, Charlie wanted to do some crafting, so we've been spending time in the sewing room.

Jan 11, 4:15pm Top

Hi Amber, I have been sadly remiss in not visiting threads as often as I usually do but I am now starting to rectify this. Happy new thread my dear and great photos once again.

In answer to your bonus question, in 2005 I was visiting Ottakars bookshop in the Ridings shopping centre in Wakefield during that years Tour De France, they were running a competition to win a top of the range Trek Racing Bike. I can't remember what the question was but filled in the postcard and answered the question and put it in the box. Two months later I got a phone call to say that I had won it and would get a letter confirming this and giving me instructions of where to pick up my prize. It turned out that the nearest stockist of Trek bikes was a cycle shop in Otley, this is a good 35 miles from us. We went and had a day out in Otley and went to the shop to pick the bike up. What I didn't know was that bikes of this type didn't come with pedals, you had to buy them separately to fit with your cycle shoes. We put the bike in the car and came home, eventually a friend of mine put the bike up for sale on ebay, he took the photos and I gave him 10% of what we got for it which amounted to £125 as we got £1250 for it. It retailed at £2,499 at the time but we were both happy and whoever bought it got a bargain and I just hope they made good use of it.

Hope all is well with you all and send love and hugs from both of us.

Jan 11, 4:29pm Top

>42 scaifea: Ah, well . . . have fun crafting! It would have been a bit of a trek for me to join you for the evening, especially through nasty weather!

>43 johnsimpson: Sounds like a good deal all around!

Edited: Jan 11, 5:36pm Top

>6 scaifea: We won a holiday! We went on a camping holiday to France in the summer of 2006 and filled in a questionnaire thing to have a chance of winning a holiday with the same company. Unfortunately, that particular holiday wasn't that successful. We'd decided, as J was 6 that it might be time to go somewhere that provided him with some entertainment, children's clubs and the like, to give him some other children to play with. Unfortunately, Mr SandDune hated it (too busy and too many British people) and while J had a good time, it didn't feature in his list of best ever holidays either. Then a few months later, a large envelope arrived containing a brochure from the same company. I was about to throw it out, when it suddenly struck me as odd that it was hand addressed. So I checked again, and there was a letter in with the brochure telling us that we had won a holiday. There was a fairly free choice, as long as you went outside July and August. We decided to go to the Netherlands at Easter to a campsite that had a good water park and theme park, but didn't hold out too much hope for it being wonderful. So we went, but ended up having a lovely time: it was the hottest Easter for 40 years, and we spent lovely relaxing evenings on the veranda of our caravan drinking wine while J played football with the neighbouring children. A very relaxing time was had by all!

Jan 11, 5:02pm Top

>6 scaifea: I won tickets to see Larry the Cable Guy from a radio station. It happened the first week I had moved to Arizona. Get er' done!

Jan 11, 6:02pm Top

>43 johnsimpson: Hi, John! Whoa, that's a great prize and a cool story!

>44 foggidawn: Yeah, not really a night to be out on the roads here, either. Charlie asked if we could order in, but I told him I didn't want to make anyone drive food to us on all that ice!

>45 SandDune: Rhian: Cool! I'm so glad that the second trip was better!

>46 rosylibrarian: Marie: Wow - did you enjoy it?

Jan 11, 7:03pm Top

>45 SandDune: that's a great story, Rhian.

Jan 11, 7:08pm Top

>43 johnsimpson: Oooo, a Trek bike! I have a lower end Trek hybrid that I love! That was a heckuva prize.

Jan 11, 7:27pm Top

BQ: back in college I won a DVD player from a radio station that was hosting at a local ski shop. That was back when DVDs were fairly new and the player was huge compared to today’s blue ray players.

My husband won a banjo at a bluegrass festival that he had been going to every summer since he was a kid. He convinced me to stay later the last day for the drawing and was pleasantly surprised.

Jan 11, 7:30pm Top

>47 scaifea: Uhhh. It was at the Arizona State Fair, and yeah. It was an experience! :)

Jan 11, 7:34pm Top

Happy new thread, Amber. It's been freezing cold here the last couple days (not sad that I've been sick enough to stay home from work, in some ways) and I definitely ordered in soup last night. Brave delivery guy.

As for your BQ, I won an iPad that was given away as a door prize at the annual staff appreciation event back in 2012. Since I've been back, the prizes have not been that good. ;)

Jan 11, 8:47pm Top

My latest win was a box of Mexican pantry items in a Facebook giveaway. A few years ago I won a framed original illustration in a raffle at a children's literature event. A lovely illustration for a book of nursery poems, the artist only did a couple of books before going into advertising and actually making a living.

Oh, wanted to add that I really disliked The world according to Garp.

Jan 11, 9:21pm Top

>48 lauralkeet: Laura: Agreed!

>49 drneutron: Jim: I don't know much about bikes, but that one sounds pretty fancy to me!

>50 jayde1599: Jess: Ha! I remember those monstrous DVD players! And a banjo - that's amazing!!

>51 rosylibrarian: Marie: Yeah, that's an experience I'm not sure I'd make it through, to be honest...

>52 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky! At first I was thinking that I'd go ahead and order and then way over-tip the delivery guy (I try to do that anyway because they're usually college kids who could use the money), but then I took the dogs out and realized that the roads are really pretty bad here and just couldn't get myself to ask someone else to risk that just to bring us dinner.

An iPad - WOW! That would be a hard one to beat.

>53 avatiakh: Hi, Kerry! I clearly need to start entering facebook giveaways.

And whew, I was beginning to think that I was actually the only person who really disliked Garp!

Jan 11, 9:44pm Top

7. Brendon Chase by B.B. (1001 Children's Books, 236 pages) - 8/10 = B
Three brothers, staying with their aunt over school holidays, get fed up with her strict rules and decide to run away to the eponymous woods. With the help of an old hermit also living in Brendon Chase, they manage spectacularly well and stay on for several months.
Think My Side of the Mountain (the boys' part of the story) meets the country-living characters in Jeeves & Wooster (as an example, there's a particularly funny scene in which the local constable goes for a swim and the boys hide his clothing in the vicar's car while the vicar, all unwitting, chases butterflies with his net).

Jan 12, 6:23am Top

On the agenda for today:
Things are a bit up in the air until we see if Charlie's school gets a delay or canceled altogether (I can't imagine that the road magically became not icy overnight here), but I need to do the grocery shopping (hoping for better roads at some point today), vacuuming, bills, weekly photos, possibly some baking (shortbread cookies). Charlie has ballet class this evening, and we also need to fit a trip to the library in there somewhere.

On the reading front:
I listened to a smidge more of The Way West, started Year of the Quiet Sun and finished Brendon Chase (see above).

Jan 12, 6:45am Top

Morning, Amber! Happy Friday. It looks to be about a 30 degree difference today. Back to winter. Hey, it's January after all, right?

Sorry, the Irving didn't work out for you. He is not for all tastes.

Jan 12, 7:32am Top

>58 msf59: Morning, Mark! The temperature dropped something like 40 degrees here between yesterday morning and last night. Crazy. And this morning it is COLD. And ICY. AWESOME.

Thanks for the Irving sympathy. Despite super not liking that one, I haven't given up on him; I definitely want to give Cider House Rules a go at some point.

Jan 12, 9:01am Top

Happy Friday, Amber!

Jan 12, 9:30am Top

>60 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! Charlie's school has been canceled today, so I get a grocery shopping buddy! WOOT!

Jan 12, 3:28pm Top

Happy newish thread, Amber. Enjoy your day and drive carefully. Sounds cold. For the bonus question, the only win that springs to mind is the gingerbread house and gameboy at my son's concert. I am sure there were other instances where I won something that wasn't really that interesting, so not memorable.

Jan 12, 3:32pm Top

>62 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg! The roads are fine so we made it there and back again safely (not sure why they canceled school, to be honest, although I'm happy to have the day with my favorite 9-year-old).

Back on my last thread you mentioned potato bread and I've since sought out a recipe and will make some this weekend!

Jan 12, 3:45pm Top

>63 scaifea: Mmm, potato bread. I can picture a crusty slab of it with butter. Maybe I should make some sometime soon. This is what mine looks like:

Jan 12, 3:49pm Top

>64 Familyhistorian: Nice! I'm going to try King Arthur Flour's recipe. I'll report back.

Jan 12, 4:42pm Top

>55 scaifea:, Hi Amber, I have Brendon Chase on my shelves but I did manage to get hold of The Little Grey Men by "BB" and have read it as I remembered it being read to us when I was Charlie's age at school with Miss Beaumont who along with my next teacher Mrs Dews gave me my love of books. This would be a good book to get hold of as it tells the tale of the last Gnomes in Warwickshire where three brothers go in search of their lost brother.

Jan 12, 4:44pm Top

>66 johnsimpson: John: I've read The Little Grey Men and it's cute, but for some reason I didn't like it as much as this one. The Vicar and the Policeman are my favorites in Brendon Chase. So funny.

Jan 12, 10:52pm Top

>16 scaifea: I'm not sure I would have guessed you were a Trent Reznor fan! Beckham is just getting into listening to music more, and I dug out a bunch of my old CDs - too many groups to name but NIN was in there. We are discovering that we have similar taste in music, but then we seem to have similar taste in many things!

Hope the weather wasn't too bad for you guys. They let our schools out right after lunch time, but it didn't start to get really snowy until around 3 or 4. We now have about an inch, and it's still snowing. Good weekend for reading and board games and a fire in the fireplace.

Jan 13, 9:26am Top

>68 rretzler: Robin: I haven't listened to him in a long time and I don't really think that's my jam anymore, but I'd probably like it for sentimental reasons. I've mellowed quite a bit over the intervening years, I think.

The weather was fine, honestly; we didn't get any snow here, just freezing rain that hadn't quite cleared up, I guess, but the road were fine when Charlie and I went for groceries in the late morning. But I agree that pretty much any weekend is good for reading and board games!

Jan 13, 9:32am Top

On the agenda for today/this weekend:
We're looking forward to a full weekend at home; Tomm got back last night from another week-long trip, so we're all happy in each other's company. I'll do some baking (Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake, Potato Bread, S'Mores in the Oven, possibly the Shortbread Cookies that didn't get made yesterday), possibly some time in the sewing room, hopefully some board games, and definitely some reading. Charlie got a make-you-own-bath-bomb kit for Christmas (requested present - I love this kid), so we may try that out, too.

On the reading front:
I started and made good progress on A Solitary Blue yesterday, and listened to a bit more of The Way West, too. Hoping to polish off the Voigt at least today.

Jan 13, 9:34am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-What Is Chasing Duck? by Jan Thomas (library book, picture book) - 9/10 = A-

And bits of:
-Upside Down Magic
-Camp Foxtrot
-Key to the Treasure
-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

And we watched another episode of Just Add Magic, and we're really enjoying the series so far. Quite but not too sugary and the kiddo actors are pretty good!

Jan 13, 9:40am Top

>5 scaifea: A boy and his dog. What a lovely image! For the most part, I've always had a dog in my life. Lilly is our second Shetland Sheepdog. I really like the bred, they are intelligent, gentle and affectionate. The same qualities as a golden retriever! I hope your day is a good one. The winter snap of cold has broken. The snow and ice is gone from the yard. Lilly is treating it as a spring day.

Jan 13, 10:05am Top

>72 Whisper1: Linda: I love dogs so much and don't really ever want to be without one in our lives. I've told Tomm before that if we hit the lottery (a long shot, since we don't actually play), I'd want a house in the country with tons of yard do that we could have 10+ dogs! Ha!

Jan 13, 11:04am Top

I purchased my first Audible Daily Deal today! Murakami's What I Talk about When I Talk about Running! $1.95! WOOT!

Jan 13, 12:22pm Top

Oh enjoy the bath bomb kit! I was looking at that for Chloe as she loves bath bombs but I think it is a little mature for her still. I make them with essential oils and a prize inside for her. Working our way through pet shop animals. I need to make some for myself soon ... without the toy :-)

Jan 13, 12:24pm Top

Happy Saturday!

Go Murakami! Congratulations - that's a great deal. I hope to read his music one, with Ozawa, soon.

Jan 13, 1:07pm Top

>75 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle! You make your own? Very cool! I hope this turns out to be fun and not a huge mess... We'll see, I suppose.

>76 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! Tomm gave me a year's subscription to Audible for Christmas, so I've been watching the Daily Deals for a couple of weeks now, and this is the first one I really wanted, and what a deal, eh? I'd love to read the Ozawa one, too, at some point.

Jan 13, 1:08pm Top

Shortbread Cookies are out of the oven, the cake is in the process of being made (waiting for the oats to soak a bit), and the bread is put together and in the fridge (dough needs to chill out for 24 hours).

Jan 13, 1:12pm Top

Loving all the baking going on around here...yum!! And have fun with that audible subscription -- Tomm gets major points.

Jan 13, 2:07pm Top

>79 Berly: Thanks, Kim! The house smells pretty amazing right now. And yeah, Tomm gets some points, but it *was* what I asked for, so... Ha!

Jan 13, 4:13pm Top

Happy Newish thread Amber.

Jan 13, 4:57pm Top

>81 BBGirl55: Thanks, Byrony!

Jan 13, 5:08pm Top

8. A Solitary Blue by Cynthia Voigt (Newbery Honor Book, 189 pages) - 9/10 = A
This entry in the Tillerman Family series tells the story not of one of the Tillermans, but of Jeff, a friend they meet living near their Gran's home. True to Voigt's other books, the story is excellently told and you fall headlong into love and sympathy for Jeff and his father. I heartily recommend the whole series.

Jan 13, 5:23pm Top

>83 scaifea: Completely agree with your review :-)
I re-read the Tillerman series last year and still loved them all.

Jan 13, 5:24pm Top

>84 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita! Aren't they wonderful?

Jan 13, 5:30pm Top

>80 scaifea: Just a mildly contrarian view on Tomm's giving you what you asked for: I myownself would *kill* for a husband who gave me what I asked for, so I'd say that's what should earn him the biggest points of all.

Jan 13, 5:36pm Top

>86 richardderus: Richard: Yeah, that tongue-in-cheek doesn't show up sometimes when one is typing. He is so far above and beyond a keeper that it's not even funny. Between him being an amazing partner and Charlie being a better kiddo than I could have hoped for even if I could have special-ordered him, I am leading one heck of a charmed life.

Jan 13, 5:45pm Top

>87 scaifea: That's wonderful.

No. Really. Not a bit jealous. Who, me. Don't be silly.

*fumes off huffily*

Jan 13, 6:03pm Top

Jan 13, 7:39pm Top

9. Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer (Newbery Honor Book, 90 pages) - 8/10 = B
A fun little book of very short Jewish folktales, all set around Hanukkah. Not much else to say about this one, except that fans of Maurice Sendak will enjoy his illustrations.

Jan 13, 7:45pm Top

>6 scaifea: One of the board game reviewers that I watch frequently has contests and I have won a couple of his giveaways. The last one, I won a copy of the board game Arkham Horror, which I love and already own. I gave the copy to my daughter Catey, who also loves the game, but did not own her own copy.

Jan 13, 7:47pm Top

Catching up here. Love the photo of Charlie up in >5 scaifea:. Looks like you all are reading up a storm.

Jan 13, 7:49pm Top

>91 alcottacre: Hi, Stasia! Oh, how neat to win games, especially for someone who will appreciate them as you do! Very cool.

>92 thornton37814: Hi, Lori! I love that photo, too. And yep, the year is off to a good start!

Jan 13, 8:39pm Top

It is wonderful to visit and note all the Newbery books. Awhile back, I had the goal of reading all Newbery's. While that fell by the wayside, I still pick one up now and again.

Jan 13, 8:49pm Top

>87 scaifea: You are amazingly lucky, Amber, but how did Tomm come from the dreaded in-laws?

Jan 13, 8:50pm Top

>94 Whisper1: Linda: I'm having a blast with the Newbery Honor Books. Have you read Zlateh the Goat? I thought of you with the Sendak illustrations.

>95 Familyhistorian: Meg: I sure am. And I have no idea how he turned out so amazing.

Jan 13, 8:59pm Top

Warning: Proud Momma Talk Ahead - feel free to skip if not in the mood:

So, I dropped Charlie off at the library this evening - we signed him up for an after-hours board game night - and I met the parents of his new friend, Mara, as they were dropping her off, too. We were chatting about how each of the kids has apparently been talking about the other a lot lately and how we need to get them together sometime to play. Mara's parents told me that they're pretty excited about this friendship because Mara doesn't easily make friends. I nearly burst into tears at this, both because I have a soft spot for kiddos who feel lonesome, but also because I honestly have the Best Kid. I have heard this sentiment from several of the parents of Charlie's close friends - he clearly seeks out - whether consciously or not, I don't know - the kids who don't have friends and makes friends with them and genuinely enjoys their company. He even said to me the other day, "You know, Mommy, the cool kids aren't the ones that everyone thinks are the cool kids. The cool kids are the ones who aren't popular; they're way more interesting and fun to be around and I like them a lot." He has a knack for appreciating other kids' unique gifts and interests, and I'm just so proud of him.

Jan 13, 9:04pm Top

Wow, he's a great guy!

Edited: Jan 13, 9:06pm Top

>96 scaifea: Yes, I read it awhile back, then a few weeks ago, picked it up again and started to re-read it. I still do love the illustrations of Maurice Sendak. Outside Over There is my favorite book of his incredible art. And, thanks for remembering that I very much like Sendak's work. You are such a wonderfully kind, sensitive soul.

Jan 13, 9:11pm Top

>98 drneutron: Jim: I know, right!? And he's right, of course; I love all of his friends because they all are fun and interesting in their own, cool ways.

>99 Whisper1: Thanks for the pictures, Linda! Lovely.

Jan 13, 9:13pm Top

10. Real Friends by Shannon Hale (BB from foggidawn (I think?), graphic novel) - 9/10 = A
A graphic novel memoir of Hale’s experiences in grade school with cliques, bullies, sibling issues, and possibly OCD. A great book, and an important one, too. Would be fantastic as a class read, to bring up discussions on bullying and acceptance.

11. The School for Cats by Esther Averill (1001 Children's Books, 32 pages) - 8/10 = B
A weird (but not necessarily in a bad way) little book about a cat who goes to a cat school while her owner is on vacation and gets bullied by another, bigger cat.

Jan 13, 9:46pm Top

>97 scaifea: I wish there were more kids in the world like Charlie. It would be such a better place to replace all the bullies with kids like him. Great job, Mama!

Jan 13, 9:52pm Top

>102 ChelleBearss: Aw, thanks for the kind word, Chelle. He's always been such a sympathetic and kind kiddo. I think he just came out that way from the beginning, so I'm not sure how much I've had to do with it. He sure makes this parenting thing easy.

Jan 13, 9:56pm Top

>103 scaifea: I'm sure you have had more to do with his nature than you give yourself credit for. Kids take a lot from the environment that they live in and it sounds like you and Tomm have given him a wonderful life.

Jan 14, 9:32am Top

>104 ChelleBearss: Thanks so much, Chelle, for the kind words.

Jan 14, 9:34am Top

On the agenda for today:
I still have to potato bread to bake, but otherwise I think we'll have a day of board games and reading and generally relaxing. I'm so looking forward to it! Charlie's making dinner tonight: Meatball Tortellini Soup.

On the reading front:
After polishing off a few short ones yesterday I started reading The Wind Singer, and I think I'll start Einstein's Dreams today.

Jan 14, 10:25am Top

Good morning, Amber!

>97 scaifea: Wow, great to hear. Way to go, Charlie. He's right, too - it turns out the supposedly not-cool kids are way more interesting and fun. Not too many kids figure that out so early on, I don't think. Good job of raising the young fella!

Jan 14, 10:29am Top

>107 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! He's a good kid, that one. You probably will be shocked to read this, because of course I keep it well hidden, but I love him to bits.

Jan 14, 10:35am Top

>108 scaifea: *keels over in shock*

Jan 14, 10:35am Top

>97 scaifea: Made me cry.

How wonderful it's been to get a bird's-eye view of Charlie's growing up years. You have so much to be proud of.

Jan 14, 10:44am Top

>109 jnwelch: *SNORK!* Sorry about that, Joe!

>110 richardderus: Richard: That makes me happy. I assume that folks probably get tired of my constant Charlie chatter, so it's really nice to know that that's not completely true.

Jan 14, 11:34am Top

>111 scaifea: I NEVER get tired of Charlie chatter. I love to see "Warning: Proud Mama Talk" at the head of your posts. I had a kid once who made friends with a scared little girl at day care. One of my proudest Mama moments. (I hope she doesn't see this; her head will swell.)

Jan 14, 12:17pm Top

>112 laytonwoman3rd: Oh, thanks, Linda! I really do worry that I'm obnoxious about it. (But not enough to stop, clearly. It *is* my thread, after all.)

I hope she doesn't see it either. Swollen heads are a real problem.

Jan 14, 3:42pm Top

Hi Amber, Charlie is a really cool kid, his demeanor is fantastic and I must say that I am proud of him and I haven't even met him so what you and Tomm must feel must be fantastic my dear. He has a knack for picking out friends and makes sure that those who don't appear to have friends have a least one, him. I am sat here typing this and feeling inordinately proud of this young man, what a kiddo you have dear friend. Sending love and hugs from both of us.

Jan 14, 3:49pm Top

No where even near obnoxious! We all enjoy living along with such a great kid and his family.

Jan 14, 4:13pm Top

>97 scaifea: I love your proud mamma talks!
And with your awesome son Charlie you have every right to be proud.

Jan 14, 4:34pm Top

>114 johnsimpson: Thanks so much, John, I really appreciate those kind thoughts! Big hugs right back to you and Karen, friend.

>115 RebaRelishesReading: Reba: Oh, good - whew! I'm so glad you enjoy living along with us! I don't know what I'd do without this group!

>116 FAMeulstee: Thanks so much, Anita! Right or not, I certainly am proud.

Jan 14, 4:36pm Top

The weekend baking report:

Shortbread Cookies:

Potato Bread, which turned out SO deliciously! I used the King Arthur Flour recipe, here: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/potato-bread-recipe

Jan 14, 4:37pm Top

And here's what else we've been up to today - making bath bombs:

Jan 14, 5:26pm Top

12. Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman (unread book from my shelves & January colorCAT) - 8/10 = B-
In this short novel, as Einstein works on his theory of time he dreams each night of different worlds in which time works in various ways.
I like the idea of the story, but thought the execution could have been better. For me there were too many different dreams and although each variation of time was interesting and clever in its own right, the string of them quickly became tedious ("and here's another dream, and another one, and another one..." sort of thing).

Jan 14, 6:49pm Top

>83 scaifea: I love all of the Tillerman books, but that one might be my favorite. (It vies for first place with Come A Stranger — though really, between those and Homecoming and Dicey’s Song it’s too close to call.) I feel a reread coming on...

>97 scaifea: Charlie’s such a great kid. I hope he and his new friend have grand adventures together.

>119 scaifea: Looks like highly scientific proceedings!

Jan 14, 6:58pm Top

>112 laytonwoman3rd: foggi: The Tillerman books are fabulous, aren't they? Amazing stuff.

He *is* a great kid! And thanks - I hope they do, too!

And yes, extremely scientific. The kit came with the goggles and gloves and Charlie is ALL about Safety First, bless him.

Jan 14, 8:02pm Top

How did the bath bombs turn out? Did the goggles come with the kit or was that just Charlie being safe?

I, personally, love the Charlie and Proud Mama posts! Keep'em coming!

Jan 14, 9:02pm Top

Hi Amber. Haven't been here in years, it seems. I smelled the shortbreads. Any left?

Jan 14, 9:29pm Top

>123 ChelleBearss: Chelle: They seems to have come out fine - at least they came out of the mold without crumbling. We're supposed to leave them alone overnight, so maybe tomorrow evening he'll try one out. The goggles came with the kit, but Charlie is very huge on safety, so he LOVED that they were provided, even though he has his own pair (of course he does).

And thanks! Please to give your two monkeys a hug for me!

>124 weird_O: Hi, Bill! GOod to see you. Sadly, no; shortbread doesn't last long round these here parts. How about some potato bread toast with strawberry jam?

Jan 15, 6:13am Top

On today's agenda:
Treadmilling, sewing, writing, library volunteering. Unless school is canceled (I'm not sure yet how much snow we have out there), and then it'll be another hanging-out-at-home day.

On the reading front:
After finishing Einstein's Dreams, I made some progress on The Wind Singer, which is pretty good so far.

Jan 15, 7:15am Top

Morning, Amber! Waking up to more snow. Boo!! At least, I am off today and don't have to trudge around in it. Hope you had a good weekend.

Jan 15, 7:49am Top

>128 msf59: Morning, Mark! Whew for being off today!

Jan 15, 7:49am Top

Charlie now has a two-hour delay; I'm waiting for the announcement that they'll change it to a full day off...

Jan 15, 8:52am Top

Man, I wish I'd get a snow day...

Jan 15, 9:18am Top

>131 drneutron: Jim: Ha! Well, they just went past our house with the snow plow, so I suspect he'll go after the delay today.

Jan 15, 9:34am Top

Morning, Amber! I could use a snow day...

Jan 15, 9:35am Top

>133 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! I'd love to have Charlie home with me again today, but I don't think it's going to happen.

Jan 15, 2:48pm Top

(popping in quietly, as admitting that this is my first visit this year is terrible embarrassing)
Hi Amber!
Love the potato bread, it looks very inviting. Good with butter and raspberry jam??? I reckon.
Turns out I am not that thorough in my starring-of-threads this year!!

Jan 15, 4:18pm Top

Hi Amber - I think I checked in early on your first thread and then it all got away from me. I am taking a more relaxed approach to LT this year and not worrying about staying current with the frenzy.

Your baking looks lovely, especially the bread. *drool*

Do schools not get MLK Day off there? I guess I just assumed all public schools observed it, but you know what they say about assuming...

Edited: Jan 15, 5:28pm Top

>135 LovingLit: Hi, Megan! You're welcome no matter when you decide to show up!

The potato bread is amazing and I'll definitely be making it again!

>136 katiekrug: Katie: Our school district doesn't have MLK day off, but they do spend the day in projects and discussions about the man and his work, which is, I think, a better idea than taking the day off, to be honest.

Jan 15, 5:10pm Top

I was just curious because I hadn't run across that in my (super) limited experience.

Jan 15, 5:29pm Top

>138 katiekrug: I think it varies state to state and district to district. I do like how they do it here, though.

Jan 15, 6:19pm Top

>97 scaifea: Awww! It's great that Charlie is such a great kid AND also that you nurture his sweet side.

I have won a number of drawings over the years, though Mrs. Banjo does better than me, and actually got us a trip to Disneyland a couple years ago. It was a blast!

Jan 15, 7:13pm Top

>140 banjo123: Thanks so much, Rhonda. And Disneyland?! Excellent!!

Jan 16, 6:18am Top

On today's agenda:
Treadmilling, sewing, writing, library volunteering. Taco Tuesday for dinner tonight.

On the reading front:
I spent some time with Andersonville and The Wind Singer yesterday.

Jan 16, 6:19am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-Rosie the Raven by Helga Bansch (public 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

Jan 16, 6:39am Top

Morning, Amber!

Jan 16, 7:20am Top

>144 msf59: Morning, Mark!

Jan 16, 8:55am Top

Morning Amber! It is another snow day today?
Hope the bath bombs were a hit! I need to make some mama friendly ones soon. I got one from charmed aroma for Christmas and the stupid thing had sparkles in it! Sparkles!! I was glittery after and not too pleased about it.

Jan 16, 9:55am Top

>146 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle! Nope, even though we got another inch or so overnight, there's school here today. We Wisconsoners are tough, I guess? Ha!

We haven't actually tried out the bath bombs yet (baths are strictly a weekend thing, according to Charlie). They came out of the molds just fine, though, so so far so good! Sparkles?! What the heckin' heck?!

Jan 16, 11:42am Top

An inch! pshaw

No need for a snow day until it gets to sledding depths, 6 inches plus.

Jan 16, 12:38pm Top

>146 ChelleBearss: Mrsdrneutron says glitter is the herpes of the craft world. Once you've got it, you'll never get rid of it... 😁

Jan 16, 12:42pm Top

Hiya, Amber!

>149 drneutron: Ha!

Jan 16, 12:49pm Top

>148 richardderus: Richard: Indeed.

>149 drneutron: Jim: *snork!!*

>150 jnwelch: Hi, Joe!

Jan 16, 1:17pm Top

>149 drneutron: *belly laugh*

Jan 16, 1:35pm Top

>153 scaifea: Mamie: *grins*

Jan 16, 1:41pm Top

Okay, folks, I have a DNF to report:

The Way West by A.B. Guthrie Jr. (Pulitzer, audio)
In general I'm not a big fan of westerns (although there have been a couple that I really enjoyed), so I didn't have great hopes going into this one and I was having trouble staying focused on it to begin with. And then they started shooting dogs and nopenopenope.

I'm hesitant about my next audio, too (The Road, also on the pulitzer list), both because I remember reading some 75er reviews and thinking, "Ooof, that one seems BLEAK," and because I've read one of McCarthy's before (All the Pretty Horses) and didn't really care for it. So, we'll see how it goes...

Jan 16, 1:49pm Top

>154 scaifea: Well that's disappointing about the Guthrie. I'll still probably get to it someday, but that sure doesn't move it up the list.

Jan 16, 1:51pm Top

>155 swynn: Steve: Please don't take my aversion as advice - I suspect that a lot of other people would really like it. I just wasn't at all getting into it and then that little incident pushed it over the edge for me. As far as classic westerns go, though, I did absolutely love The Virginian last year.

Jan 16, 1:52pm Top

Good GAWD Amber, DO NOT INTERACT WITH The Road in any way shape form or fashion! It is a bad, bad version of a post-apocalyptic road trip story that's been done since the 1950s by much, much, much more talented writers. Select from any one of those before giving McCarthy's tedious pretentious unpunctuated-so-it-must-be-sophisticated crap pile.

Jan 16, 1:56pm Top

>156 scaifea: Seconding your love for The Virginian. What a surprise that one was. Thanks again for the nudge.

Jan 16, 2:09pm Top

So my opinion of The Road is higher than Richard's, but I want you to go into it wth eyes open. It's bleak. It's harsh. Bad things happen to children. But I did like his use of language and the portrait of love between a father and son in this literally hellish place. I agree with him that there are better ones done all over the place.

Jan 16, 2:29pm Top

>157 richardderus: >159 drneutron: Richard and Jim: Yoicks. I kinda don't want to, but...it's on a list. IT'S ON A LIST. But then again, if bad things and children go together, then yeah, I probably should skip it. I'll mull this over... And thanks for the heads up on that, Jim.

>158 jnwelch: I'm so, so glad you liked it as much as I did, Jim! Definitely a good surprised, that one.

Jan 16, 2:31pm Top

>160 scaifea: If you're going to get it wrong, I prefer to be called Dr. Jim. :-)

Jan 16, 2:33pm Top

>161 jnwelch: *SNORK!!* Why do I keep doing that to you?! I'm so sorry! (Not that calling you Jim Dr. Jim is in any way an insult!)

Jan 16, 2:34pm Top

Hey, I resemble that remark!

Psst - I liked The Virginian too a few years back when I read it.

Jan 16, 2:35pm Top

>162 scaifea: I also respond to "Bonehead" and "Doofus", so you're actually doing pretty well by me. I agree; "Jim" is a compliment. Just don't ask me to explain the solar probe.

Jan 16, 2:35pm Top

>163 drneutron: Pay no attention to this imposter, Amber.

Jan 16, 2:41pm Top

>97 scaifea: the cool kids aren't the ones that everyone thinks are the cool kids. The cool kids are the ones who aren't popular; they're way more interesting and fun to be around
He has wisdom beyond his years. It took me *years* to figure that out!!!

>161 jnwelch: >164 jnwelch: he he.
And if we're talking about nicknames, my dad used to call me Pea Brain, and Grub. Still does, sometimes :):):)

Edited: Jan 16, 5:08pm Top

>163 drneutron: Jim: Ha!

So, you're saying that you liked The Virginian before it was cool? Yeesh.

>164 jnwelch: Dr. Jim: Right, Dr. Doofus it is, then.

>165 jnwelch: Dr. Doofus: Noted. Said imposter will now and in future be referred to as Bonehead Joe.

>166 LovingLit: Megan: He has always been an incredibly empathetic little soul and I love him for that.

Grub? What's the story behind that one?

Dr. Jim will maybe find it amusing/interesting that my dad used to call me Half Pint.

Edited: Jan 16, 5:23pm Top

I loved The Road in that way you love books that are so emotionally draining you never want to read them again (Of Mice and Men also fits in this category for me). But the kid-jep stuff is real, and real intense, and I don't think you should force yourself to read something you know you'll hate just because it's on a list. So that's my two cents deposited in your account!

Jan 16, 5:21pm Top

>168 rosalita: Thanks, Julia, I really appreciate your thoughts, worth way more than $0.02! After reading others' and your advice, I cheated a bit and looked up a detailed summary and have decided that it's demonstrably not for me.

Jan 16, 5:24pm Top

>169 scaifea: I should have said "something you know will upset you deeply" rather than "something you'll hate" because I don't mind reading non-brutal books I'm pretty sure I'll hate if I can get a funny review out of them. In fact, I did just that earlier this year. :-)

Jan 16, 5:51pm Top

>167 scaifea: I'm not sure you're sorting these names out quite the right way. I know Jim (the real one) likes to be called Supreme Emperor, while a simple Your Highness is fine for me. That might be confusing, though.

Jan 16, 6:10pm Top

>171 jnwelch: Dr. Doofus: You can't renegotiate at this point. Sorry(not sorry).

Jan 16, 6:12pm Top

>172 scaifea: Crap. What have I started this time?

Jan 16, 7:15pm Top

>173 jnwelch: Dr. D.: *stiffles a giggle*

Edited: Jan 16, 10:30pm Top

Hmmm. Supreme Emperor. Nah, sounds like too much work. Your Hotness will do just fine.

Jan 16, 10:17pm Top

>97 scaifea: Very cool! Way to go, Charlie! My two are definitely NOT into the cool kids either, for which I am very grateful.

I think I'm going to tackle The Road this year. I do love dystopian novels, and it is on a list, but yes, I'll probably hate the bad things to kids stuff. I'm thinking if I don't like it, I can always stop reading. Wish me luck!

Jan 17, 6:16am Top

>175 drneutron: Jim: Oh, I'd better not call you that - you know, you're not supposed to go *with* the probe, right?

>176 rretzler: Robin: Yay for our kiddos knowing the difference between 'cool' and actual cool!

And yes, good luck with The Road. I think I could have handled it when I was younger and actually really liked that sort of thing, but post-Charlie, I just can't to bleak and harsh and cruel anymore. I'm pretty okay with that, to be honest.

Jan 17, 6:18am Top

On the agenda for today:
Should be a pretty normal day, hopefully: treadmilling, sewing, writing, library volunteering, and a trip to the public library in there somewhere to pick up some holds. Charlie has ballet class tonight.

On the reading front:
A read small chunks of The Year of the Quiet Sun and The Wind Singer yesterday. I'll likely start listening to The Art of Power today.

Jan 17, 7:29am Top

Morning, Amber! Happy Wednesday, which of course, means I am off today. I have my rescheduled massage to look forward to, in a few hours. I will make sure, I have my keys. Smiles...

Jan 17, 7:34am Top

>180 msf59: Morning, Mark! Are you off every Wednesday? Why haven't I picked up on that pattern?! Yoicks.

Enjoy the massage - sounds wonderful. And yes, don't forget your keys!

Jan 17, 8:40am Top

Morning, Amber! I really loved The Road when I read it a few years ago, but I think Julia states it perfectly in >170 rosalita:.

Guess what? It's snowing!

Jan 17, 8:49am Top

>177 scaifea: Oh, that's the source of Hotness! 😂

Jan 17, 9:39am Top

>147 scaifea: yep, and I realized last night when I went for a bath that I clearly need to clean the tub as there were still sparkles in it!

>149 drneutron: Ha! Jim MrsDrNeuron is totally correct on that one! Nate grumbles everytime someone sends stuff for the girls with glitter on it. He ends up at work with glitter on his face and finds it quite annoying/embarassing!

Sorry to see that you decided against The Road but I can understand that it's not your cuppa. I liked it but I enjoy bleak and miserable books sometimes (as much as one really "enjoys" that kind)

Edited: Jan 17, 10:57am Top

>182 Crazymamie: Mamie: I really did used to love that sort of thing, too, but I just can't handle it anymore.
Yay for snow!!

>183 drneutron: Bonehead Joe: That might be a good thing to know, really. Just sayin'...

>184 ChelleBearss: Chelle: Yeah, I'm not a big fan of glitter. And who decided it was a good idea to put it on cards?! Yoicks.

And yeah, I bet I would have loved The Road 15 years ago, but not now. I'm glad you liked it!

Jan 17, 10:54am Top

Amber--Even if Charlie arrived as a naturally sympathetic and insightful, fun guy, you have done an absolutely wonderful job promoting those tendencies. So, job well done. I rest my case with the new friend, goggles and sparkly bath bombs! The Road less travelled seems a fine idea. : )

And >163 drneutron: >164 jnwelch: Your new names are making me laugh!

Jan 17, 10:57am Top

>186 Berly: Aw, thanks, Kim! And thanks for The Road less traveled support! Ha!

Jan 17, 11:39am Top

>177 scaifea: "post-Charlie, I just can't do bleak and harsh and cruel anymore." I know exactly what you mean. When Laura was little, I had to stop watching SO many movies that I knew were powerfully good, 'cause I just couldn't deal with the powerful parts with a little person sleeping in the next room. You may move past it when he's grown up a bit. I still won't watch Vietnam war movies, but I did manage the Ken Burns documentary.

Jan 17, 11:42am Top

>154 scaifea: I found The Road to be a tough read, but worth it. (incorrect touchstone there)

Jan 17, 11:54am Top

>188 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: BC (Before Charlie), someone told me that after his son was born, he couldn't do movies or books with child abuse and such, and I thought he was a little silly. Of course now, AD (After Delivery), I see what he means.

>189 RebaRelishesReading: Reba: I'm glad you powered through! I just don't think it would be worth it for me, not now at least.

Jan 17, 4:28pm Top

Hiya, Amber.

Post-kids, it's hard for me to read about child abuse. Arggh. Ironically, your BFF can read The Fact of a Body, and I can't. Go figure.

I am following the U.S. Olympic gymnast's stories. Those poor girls, who trusted they'd be treated right.

Jan 17, 4:53pm Top

>191 jnwelch: Hiya, Dr. D.

I haven't heard about the gymnasts, but already I'm not surprised. Dang. It's good that women are feeling more confident about coming out with their stories, though. Men being held accountable for their actions, finally. It seems that we're moving in the right direction, maybe.

Jan 17, 7:53pm Top

Oh heavy heavy sigh. I find myself unable to read about animal abuse or the worst of child abuse. Too infuriating.

Jan 17, 9:49pm Top

>193 richardderus: Richard: I'm right there with you.

Jan 18, 6:15am Top

On the agenda today:
Tuppence has her 6-week laser appointment at the vet's office this morning, and then it's back home for menu-planning and putting together the grocery list, sewing, writing, then to school for my library volunteering.

On the reading front:
I started listening to The Art of Power and read a bit of Witches Abroad and The Wind Singer.

Jan 18, 6:17am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-The Lonely Book by Kate Bernheimer (public library book, picture book) - 10/10 = A+
A gorgeous picture book about the life of a library book. At turns sad and so-happy-you-want-to-cry. Charlie did, in fact, cry a bit. We all three loved it.

And bits of:
-Upside Down Magic
-Camp Foxtrot
-Key to the Treasure
-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Jan 18, 6:49am Top

Morning, Amber. Back to the freezing mark. Yah!

Yesterday was just my regular rotating day off. Next week will be Thursday and then Mexico and then...

Jan 18, 8:01am Top

>197 msf59: Morning, Mark! Bah to the cold.

Thursday...Mexico...ha! I like that kind of rotation!

Jan 18, 9:29am Top

Okay, so I *finally* remembered to get round to doing the meme (it's okay, yeah?, because it's still January):

Describe yourself: The Body in the Library
Describe how you feel: Ready Player One
Describe where you currently live: The Inverted World
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Where the Lilies Bloom
Your favorite form of transportation: Floating Island
Your best friend is: Heart’s Delight
You and your friends are: Thick as Thieves
What’s the weather like: Towards Zero
You fear: The Devil’s Arithmetic
What is the best advice you have to give: Sing Down the Moon
Thought for the day: Fortunately, the Milk
How you would like to die: A Comedy of Errors
Your soul’s present condition: The Full Cupboard of Life

Jan 18, 9:42am Top

Morning, Amber! Love your meme answers!

Jan 18, 9:48am Top

Absolutely not too late to complete the meme — I love your answers, especially your descriptions of yourself and also your friends.

Jan 18, 9:48am Top

>200 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! Thanks! These are always fun.

Jan 18, 9:49am Top

>201 rosalita: Thanks, Julia! I'm particularly fond of how I'm going to die, to be honest. Seems accurate.

Jan 18, 9:53am Top

Oh yes. That seems a likely scenario for me as well. Which I'm okay with, since my primary concern is to leave behind a good story to be retold again and again. It's the closest I'll get to having a legacy. :-)

Jan 18, 10:02am Top

>99 Whisper1: Ooh, excellent answers. I chuckled at the weather one.

Jan 18, 10:03am Top

Morning, Amber!

Jan 18, 11:22am Top

>204 rosalita: Julia: An excellent philosophy!

>205 foggidawn: Ha! Thanks!

>206 jnwelch: Morning, Doc!

Jan 18, 11:38am Top

>97 scaifea: I would never skip over a Proud Mama moment. Charlie is my hero! He is truly wise beyond his years.

Amber, I am not posting much these days but do want you to know I try and keep up with you and your busy life. Your time-management skills are an inspiration to me.

Jan 18, 11:54am Top

>208 Donna828: Hi, Donna! Good to see you! And thanks for the kind words about Charlie. He's my favorite thing. Ever.

Jan 18, 1:21pm Top

>199 scaifea: Glad you finally got around to the meme. Great answers. Your weather answer really fit yesterday.

Jan 18, 1:49pm Top

>210 thornton37814: Lori: I know, right? So cold lately around here, too. We're supposed to be headed for warmer times, I guess, though. We'll see. At least the sun is out today.

Jan 18, 4:24pm Top

Love your meme answers, Amber, I would go with you ;-).
Thanks for the reminder, I did mine in draft last week, but forget to put it on my thread!

Jan 18, 4:34pm Top

>212 FAMeulstee: Anita: Ha! I drafted mine in a Word document and I'm surprised that I remembered to post it!

Edited: Jan 18, 5:13pm Top

>213 scaifea: I always have a Notepad file opened, to write down anything I don't want to forget. Most of the time that works well enough ;-)

Jan 18, 5:37pm Top

>214 FAMeulstee: Anita: That's a good idea!

Jan 19, 7:01am Top

On today's agenda:
Charlie doesn't have school (professional day for the staff), so he's having a buddy over to hang out this morning after we've been there and back again for groceries. I'll be working on the weekly bills and photo organizing, and then I think I'll try to do some of the weekend baking today, since I'll have an extra taste-tester on hand. I may also spend some time in the sewing room, and of course I'm hoping for some reading time. Charlie has ballet class this evening, too.

On the reading front:
I listened to some of The Art of Power yesterday, and read a bit of Andersonville and The Wind Singer.

Jan 19, 7:02am Top

Jan 19, 7:04am Top

Morning, Amber. Happy Friday. 40 today. Yah! I am having a good time with The Bear and the Nightingale. I think you would like this one.

Jan 19, 7:08am Top

>218 msf59: Morning, Mark! Woot for the 40s! And yes, I need to get round to that one soon.

Jan 19, 9:25am Top

Morning, Amber!

How are you liking Wind Singer? Our son liked that one.

Jan 19, 10:13am Top

>220 jnwelch: Morning, Joe!

So far it's pretty okay. The story is neat, but I'm in a bit right now that seems to be dragging. I haven't decided if I'll continue with the series or not. Did your son read the rest?

Jan 19, 10:34am Top

Charlie's friend will be here most of the day, so OF COURSE I had to type up a menu for lunch:

Jan 19, 10:46am Top

>222 scaifea: Wow, can I come hang out with Charlie too? I'd like a turkey sandwich, apple cider, carrots and grapes please. Perhaps some ice cream too!

Jan 19, 10:49am Top

>223 ChelleBearss: Chelle: Ha! You and those lovely little ladies are welcome at Chez Charlie anytime!

My mom tells me I have more time than I have good sense, and this is a prime example of that, I think.

Jan 19, 10:50am Top

>222 scaifea: SO fun! Morning, Amber! Hoping your Friday is full of fabulous - looks like it's off to a great start.

Jan 19, 10:50am Top

Nice! My usual lunch is go-to-the-cafeteria-and complain-about-the-lack-of-choices. It's my favorite meal! 😂

Jan 19, 10:55am Top

>225 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! Yes, it's already totally full of fabulous, as I'm sitting here listening to giggle outbreaks in the next room. So fun.

>226 drneutron: Dr. Bonehead: Ha! If I worked at your cafeteria, I'd be trying to make solar-themed meals all the time. There would definitely be a good supply of Sun Chips available at all times, for example. And Moon Pies for dessert, just for some variety, of course.

Jan 19, 11:28am Top

>222 scaifea: Right, coming to yours for lunch. With the time difference, I reckon I have a good hour and a half to invent a transporter. I'll slip some cookies in my pocket for sharing for the dessert portion.

Edited: Jan 19, 11:37am Top

>228 lycomayflower: Laura: Excellent! We will add those to the Daily Specials.

ETA: You should be warned, though: I've just been informed by those in the know that our living room floor is lava. So you should plan accordingly. Also, apparently Mario is a lava monster.

Jan 19, 1:38pm Top

>222 scaifea: Please be my Mommy for a while...

Jan 19, 1:39pm Top

>221 scaifea: Good question about our son reading the rest. I don't know. I'll try to remember to ask him, and if he has, what he thought of them.

Jan 19, 1:51pm Top

>230 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: Ha! The menu was a hit. Much giggling and such.

>231 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! I'll be interested to hear what he thought of them if he did read them.

Jan 19, 4:48pm Top

I did some baking while the boys were playing today - Gingerbread Bundt Cake:

Jan 19, 5:02pm Top

>233 scaifea:, Save me a bowlful, Pleaaaaaaaaaassssssssssseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Jan 19, 5:04pm Top

>234 johnsimpson: John: Ha! Sure thing! Come on over!

Jan 19, 5:14pm Top

>233 scaifea: that looks divine!

I also love the photos of Charlie, Mario, and Tuppence (of course).

>222 scaifea: That's awesome.

Jan 19, 5:21pm Top

>236 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen! Thanks for all the love!

The cake recipe is a new one for me, and I was a little hesitant, but it turned out pretty amazing. It's a very spicy (there's actual black pepper in there), not-at-all sweet gingerbread, but the glaze has a brown sugar base and give it the perfect amount of sweetness. Charlie LOVES it, too.

Jan 19, 8:27pm Top

>233 scaifea: I love gingerbread - but that wasn't on the menu.

Jan 19, 8:54pm Top

>233 scaifea: That drizzle looks great. Is it caramel?

Jan 19, 9:12pm Top

>238 Familyhistorian: Meg: Ha! No, it wasn't. I didn't bake this until after lunch, I'm afraid.

>239 thornton37814: Lori: It's a brown sugar/butter/powdered sugar glaze, so it tastes more like butterscotch than caramel.

Jan 19, 9:19pm Top

>224 scaifea: I think you use your time very wisely and I have a hunch that Charlie would agree! :)

That cake looks devine!!

Hope Charlie and his buddy survived the lava!

Jan 20, 9:32am Top

That cake looks amazing!

Jan 20, 9:33am Top

>241 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle! The funny thing is that she's making fun of herself when she says that, because she did all this sort of stuff for me, too, and it was wonderful.

Charlie and his friend did survive the lava in the end, but just barely I think, from the screaming and giggling.

And thanks! The cake did turn out pretty well!

Jan 20, 9:33am Top

>242 foggidawn: Thanks, foggi!

Jan 20, 9:35am Top

On the agenda for today:
We're heading down to Dubuque for some shopping and lunch today, and then I'm hoping for some reading-in-the-rocking-chair time this afternoon.

On the reading front:
I managed a little bit in The Wind Singer yesterday, but that's about it.

Jan 20, 1:03pm Top

>233 scaifea: That glaze looks like liquid gold! And I haven't made gingerbread in so long....it's TIME.

Jan 20, 1:30pm Top

>233 scaifea: A tiny sliver for John, a wee smidge for Charlie, and the rest for MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Jan 20, 3:41pm Top

Oh shucks, I missed the cake. Looks wonderful. And I love the lava story: no shortage of imagination and creativity Chez Charlie!

Jan 20, 4:10pm Top

>247 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: Gingerbread is such a comfort thing for me, and this new recipe is a keeper (I'll try to remember to post it soon).

>248 richardderus: Richard: Come on over! A big cuppa coffee to go with it, too, eh?

>249 charl08: Charlotte: There's some cake left!

It was so much fun just listening to Charlie and his friend play yesterday. Both have huge imaginations.

Jan 20, 5:14pm Top

Happy Saturday, Amber!

Both have huge imaginations. How great. Lovely to hear.

Jan 20, 5:16pm Top

OH! I want that gingerbread cake! It looks so glamorous, and I bet it was most YUM.

Jan 20, 5:28pm Top

>251 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! They're so much fun to watch and listen to.

>252 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie! Come on over for a slice! As I mentioned to Richard, I have coffee, too...

Jan 20, 5:29pm Top

13. The Wind Singer by William Nicholson (1001 Children's Books, 486 pages) - 8/10 = B+
A brother and sister team rebel against their city's soulless and color-coded caste system, face dire consequences from the Chief Examiner, and instead escape the city walls and head out in search of the key to the Wind Singer (a strange and ancient device in the middle of the city). There are hints that finding and replacing the key will unlock the Wind Singer's song and along with it, the freedom of the citizens of Aramanth. But to get it they must travel a long way and face the Big Bad, Morah, and his creepy sort-of-undead marching-band army.
A good story with good characters (the twins' parents, who also rebel in their own ways, are excellent too), but the world-building has some bare patches and the ending was a bit pat. I may continue the series at some point, but not just now, I think.

Jan 21, 3:24am Top

Amber--Love the menu and the cake. Can you be my mom? : )

Jan 21, 8:52am Top

Hi Amber, I'm just back from vacation and did not keep up with threads while away. Catching up is downright sisyphean, so I'm just going to start fresh from here. Enjoy your Sunday!

Jan 21, 9:02am Top

Morning, Amber. Happy Sunday. Very gloomy out there but also very mild. Looks like I will have a lazy day with the books.

Jan 21, 9:24am Top

Happy Sunday, Amber. Sorry The Wind Singer wasn't more of a success. I'm reading Laini Taylor's new one Strange the Dreamer, and so far I'm liking it.

Jan 21, 10:33am Top

>255 Berly: Kim: Ha! I'll talk to Charlie and see if he minds sharing...

>256 lauralkeet: Hi, Laura! Welcome back!

>257 msf59: Morning, Mark! I'm hoping for some reading time today, too.

>258 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! The Taylor's getting some buzz round these parts - I'll be interested to see what you think of it.

Jan 21, 10:34am Top

On the agenda today:
A bit of baking (Pan Rolls to go along with the Beef Vegetable Soup I'm making for dinner), some laundry, and hopefully lots of reading.

On the reading front:
After finishing The Wind Singer yesterday, I read a bit more of Witched Abroad. I'm hoping to polish that one off today.

Jan 21, 10:35am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
We had a bit of a late night (according to Charlie) with our Family Game Night, so we just read a bit of you chapter books:
-Key to the Treasure
-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Jan 21, 11:06am Top

What game kept you up late, Amber? :)

Edited: Jan 21, 11:08am Top

>262 MickyFine: We played three different games (for Family Game Night, we each get to pick one): Harry Potter Clue (Tomm's pick), Busytown Eye Found It (my pick) and Twister (Charlie's pick).

Jan 21, 11:15am Top

>263 scaifea: Those sound fun!

Jan 21, 12:46pm Top

>264 MickyFine: They are!

Jan 21, 1:01pm Top

This topic was continued by scaifea's 2018 Thread #3.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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