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Jolerie Leaves No Books Behind 2018 (2) :)

This is a continuation of the topic Jolerie Tries again in 2018 :).

This topic was continued by Jolerie Leaves No Books Behind 2018 (3) .

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Feb 21, 2:28pm Top

Hi Everyone! My name is Valerie and I am trying once again to see if I can keep LT in my life despite the craziness of chasing after 3 young boys and 1 not so young while reading at the same time. I tend to mix up my reading, dipping my toes in different genres. One day I may be travelling through space, the next time you may find me travelling through time, the worlds at my fingertips, all from the comforts of home.
I made some wonderful friends in previous years with this group so I'm definitely looking forward to catching up with old ones and meeting new ones.
My goals this year is to simply READ and try to not get overwhelmed with staying caught up with the threads so that by the end the year, I'm still around..hah!

4 Stars: So, so, very hard to put down...
3 Stars: Purr...I'm content...almost...
2 Stars: Anxiously eyeing the next book in my pile...
1 Star: Fire fodder...BURN BABY BURN!!

Previous Threads:
Thread 1 Books #1-10

Edited: Mar 22, 2:51pm Top

Currently Reading:

Eventide by Kent Haruf TIOLI #6 - Read a book where the author's first name is also the name of a city or village in your state, province or the like

Currently Listening ♫:

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

March Line-up

Plainsong by Kent Haruf Book #1 TIOLI #4
Eventide by Kent Haruf Book #2 TIOLI #6
In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje TIOLI #12
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman TIOLI #3
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett TIOLI #2
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline TIOLI #2
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith TIOLI #11
The Seventeen Second Miracle by Jason F. Wright TIOLI #5

Tool of War by Paolo Bacigalupi Book #3 TIOLI #1
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George Book #1 TIOLI #2
Priestess of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley Book #4 TILOI #7
Armada by Ernest Cline TIOLI #4
The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron
Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback TIOLI #5
The Living Reed by Pearl S. Buck TIOLI #11
The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth
Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

Edited: Feb 21, 2:18pm Top

Favourite Reads of 2017:

1. A Memory of Light by Brandon SandersonRobert Jordan (Fantasy)
2. Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl (Children)
3. Written in the Blood by Stephen Lloyd Jones (Suspense, Thriller, Historical)
4. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley (Suspense, Thriller, Mystery)
5. Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips(Suspense, Thriller, Crime, Mystery)

Edited: Apr 5, 4:58pm Top

Books Read:

1. (L) The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer 3.5*
2. (L) The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman 4*
3. (L) The Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich 3*
4. (L) The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck 4*
5. The History of Bees by Maja Lunde 4*
Favourite Read(s):

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
The History of Bees by Maja Lunde

6. (L) The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty 4.5*
7. (L) Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan 3.75*
8. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon 3.75*
9. The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin 3.5*
10. (L) Amulet Book 5 - The Prince of the Elves by Kazu Kibuishi 4*
11. (L) The Lying Game by Ruth Ware 3.5*
12. Left Neglected by Lisa Genova 4.25*
13. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein 4*
Favourite Read:

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

14. (L) Tool of War by Paolo Bacigalupi 4*
15. Plainsong by Kent Haruf 4.25*
16. (L) Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George 3.5*
17. (L) Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback 4.25*
18. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett 4.5*
19. (L) Armada by Ernest Cline 4*
20. Eventide by Kent Haruf 4.25*
Favourite Read:

21. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman 2.5*

Edited: Mar 25, 7:01pm Top

Ongoing Series List:

Alan Bradley – (YA) Flavia de Luce Mysteries (1/6) Next: The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag
Alastair Reynolds - (SF) Revelation Space (3/7) Next: Diamond Dog/Turquoise Days
Anne Bishop – (F) The Black Jewels Series (3/9) Next: The Invisible Ring
Anne Rice – (F) Vampire Chronicles (3/10) Next: The Tale of the Body Thief
David Whitley – (YA) Agora Trilogy (2/3) Next: The Canticle of Whispers
Diana Gabaldon – (FN) Outlander (6/9) Next: An Echo in the Bone
Jacqueline Carey – Kushiel’s Legacy (6/9) Next: Naamah’s Kiss
Jenna Black – (YA) Faeriewalker (2/3) Next: Sirensong
Jessica Day George – (YA) Twelve Dancing Princesses (2/3) Next: Princess of the Silver Woods
Kate Mosse – (H) Languedoc Trilogy (2/3) Next: Citadel
Kazu Kibuishi – (GN) Amulet (4/?) Next: Prince of the Elves
Kiera Cass – (YA) Selection Trilogy (3/4) Next: The Heir
Marie Lu – (YA) The Young Elites (2/?): The Midnight Star
Marion Zimmer Bradley – (F) Avalon Published Order (3/7) Next: Priestess of Avalon
Peadar O Guilin - (YA) The Bone World Trilogy (2/3) Next: The Volunteer
Pearl S. Buck – (H) The House of Earth Trilogy (2/3) Next: A House Divided
Pittacus Lore – (YA) The Lorien Legacies (3/4) Next: The Fall of Five
Ransom Riggs – (F) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (1/3) Next: Hollow City
Stephen Hunt – (F) Jackelian (1/6) Next: The Kingdom Beyond the Waves
Ted Dekker – (YA) The Lost Books (4/6) Next: Lunatic
Terry Brooks – (F) Shannara Heritage Tetralogy (1/4) Next: The Druid of Shannara
Terry Brooks – (F) The Magic Kingdom of Landover (3/6) Next: The Tangle Box
Tom Rob Smith – (C/M/T) Leo Demidov (2/3) Next: Agent 6

Series Started in 2018:
Kent Haruf - (FN) Plainsong (2/3) Next: Benediction
S. A. Chakraborty - (F) The Daevabad Trilogy (1/3) Next: ?

Feb 21, 2:26pm Top

Happy new one, Valerie!

Feb 21, 2:27pm Top

Happy new thread!

Feb 21, 2:29pm Top

Happy new one, Val. Gorgeous topper.

Feb 21, 2:49pm Top

Thanks Katie, Foggi, and Barbara! Here's to another thread of good readings and even better company. :D

Feb 21, 3:06pm Top

Happy new thread!

Feb 21, 3:42pm Top

Happy new thread, Valerie! Hope you've started to recover from the long weekend. ;)

Feb 21, 3:46pm Top

Happy new thread!

Feb 21, 4:35pm Top

Happy new thread!

Feb 21, 6:30pm Top

Thanks for visiting Nina, Micky, Jim and Lori!

Feb 21, 7:49pm Top

>1 jolerie: Cool image.

Back to your prior thread: I didn't love The Dispossessed when I read it a couple years ago. I remember loving The Left Hand of Darkness but I read it decades ago! I haven't read any LeGuin this month but do think I'll reread TLHoD sometime this year.

Happy New Thread!

Feb 21, 8:08pm Top

Happy new one, Valerie! I love the topper!

Feb 21, 8:27pm Top

Happy New Thread, Valerie. I also like the topper. I hope your week is going smoothly.

Feb 21, 9:07pm Top

Happy New Thread, Valerie! I love the anatomy of a book worm. Mourning a fictional character - so true!

Feb 21, 11:04pm Top

Happy New Thread, Valerie!!

Feb 22, 6:21am Top

Happy new thread, Valerie!

Feb 22, 7:55am Top

Checking in on the new thread!

Feb 22, 8:58am Top

Love the topper, Valerie. Happy new thread.

Edited: Feb 22, 6:39pm Top

>15 EBT1002: Ellen, I also preferred The Left Hand of Darkness over The Dispossessed (more story than science...at least from what I can remember) as well. My suspicion is that The Earthsea books will be more my cup of tea but we will have to wait and see...

>16 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie! I probably should tidy up a bit. What a mess. :)

>17 msf59: Hi Mark. I hope the weather and route are treating you well. Hopefully your man cave will back to normal sooner than later.

>18 vancouverdeb: Haha, we all can probably relate to it Deb. I love the feeling where you know the story is ending and you just don't want to let go...

>19 ronincats: >20 scaifea: >22 BLBera: Thanks Roni, Amber and Beth!

>21 alcottacre: Lovely to have you visiting Stasia!

Feb 22, 1:44pm Top

Happy new thread, Valerie, lovely topper :-)

Feb 22, 5:58pm Top

Lovely topper, Valerie.

Happy new thread. It is great to see you back amongst the group in 2018. xx

Feb 22, 6:37pm Top

>24 FAMeulstee: Thanks so much Anita!

>25 PaulCranswick: It's been wonderful to be back Paul. Of course the TBR mountain has taken a serious beating as I visit all the threads. :)

Edited: Feb 22, 7:17pm Top

#11 The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
Challenge: TIOLI #16 - Read a book with title word or author name starting with GOLDSILVERBRONZE in rolling order
Source: Public Library
Genre: Suspense, Mystery, Thriller
Format: TPB
Published: 2017
Setting: London
Pages: 368
Series: n/a
Rating: ★★★½
Other Works: n/a
Tags: friendships, cliques, secrets

The rules are simple:
1. Tell a lie
2. Stick to your story
3. And never, ever get caught...

Mean girls meets I know what you did last summer, The Lying Game is basically a cautionary tale about how the friends you have can define the person you are. Lies have a way of snowballing, building into a monster beyond your control. Now throw your three best friends as accomplices into the mix and you can imagine no good can come from that combination. The story itself was interesting enough with Ware doling out the revelations little by little to keep you turning the pages until the very end where she basically dumps them on you by the bucketloads. There are definitely stronger books within the genre that are superior in characterization, and in plot suspense, but I didn't feel like throwing the book when I was finished so that's a plus. I'll want to read other books in the future as point of comparison but there is no burning need to get my hands on them right now.

Feb 22, 7:09pm Top

Up Next ☝︎:

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

Feb 22, 8:16pm Top

Happy new thread!

>2 jolerie: HA! I'm still waiting for my Hogwarts letter too! I'm beginning to suspect it isn't coming.

Feb 23, 10:58am Top

Happy Friday and happy new thread, Valerie!!
>5 jolerie: Guilty as charged................but I love it and can't control myself!

Feb 23, 11:26am Top

>29 ChelleBearss: Aren't we all, Chelle. :)

>30 Carmenere: Hi Lynda! I think you are in good company with that!

Feb 23, 11:32am Top

Valerie--Happy new one!!! I am waiting for my letter, too. Do they have rolling admission, or do they let everyone know in April?

Edited: Feb 23, 11:34am Top

I need a mulligan morning. It's 9 in the morning and I've already dealt with my day's quota of tears (them) and yelling (mine). One of those days where your children need you to raise the bar on patience and you have nothing to give. Parenting fails have a way of making you feel like you are the worst person in the world. Short day for the eldest and I imagine there will be some heart to hearts after school with a large measure of apologies and forgiveness passed around. Sigh. #FridaysthatfeellikeMondays.... :/

Feb 23, 11:34am Top

But it is not Monday! It is Friday. Thank goodness. And I am sure later today, it will feel like it. Hang in there. : )

Feb 23, 11:36am Top

>32 Berly: >33 jolerie: Watch for your owl Kim. I'm sure any day now. ;)

Thanks, I am hoping the rest of the day picks up too otherwise it's going to be a long one....

Feb 23, 12:55pm Top

Ouch, sorry your morning started like that! Perhaps you can have a restart after a round of naps!

Feb 23, 1:31pm Top

>36 ChelleBearss: Ha! You mean me or the kids?? I could use one...haha.
Good thing it's Friday. :D

Feb 23, 8:37pm Top

>33 jolerie: It may by trying, Val, but never a fail. We’ve all been there. I’m sure there’ll be hugs later to make up for the morning.

Feb 23, 9:44pm Top

Hi, Valerie! Sorry, to hear you need a Friday mulligan. I hope things have improved around the household.

I have been meaning to read more Lisa Genova. I really enjoyed Still Alice.

Feb 24, 10:58am Top

Oh, yoicks. I've been there with the tears and yelling. Hang in there, Momma.

Feb 24, 1:17pm Top

>38 humouress: Thanks Nina! The days are long but the years are short. :)

>39 msf59: Hey Mark. It's Saturday so B.A.G. I'm really enjoying Left Neglected. You can tell that Lisa Genova is brainy woman and I like it.

>40 scaifea: Thanks Momma. It's always nice to know we aren't alone in the struggle!

Feb 24, 1:43pm Top

Feb 24, 3:52pm Top

>37 jolerie: I managed to snag one this morning! YES! :)

Feb 25, 9:55am Top

Valerie - I hope your Friday improved. We all have days like that. I'll watch for your comments on the Genova. I'll skip the Ware. I've read books like that and, from your comments, it looks like I don't need to read this one.

Feb 25, 11:44pm Top

Hi Valerie -- I hope your weekend improved!

And I'm so glad you enjoyed City of Brass as much as I did - it's killing me that there doesn't even seem to be a publication date for the next one.....

Feb 26, 4:17am Top

Hi Valerie-
Just stopping by. Glad you got some reading time on Saturday, I was able to pack it in early and read in the bath last night, which was lovely :)

Feb 26, 12:55pm Top

>42 humouress: There are some things I don't mind speeding up, like figuring out schedules and weaning..and other things I wish would just slow down like all the cuddles and hugs...

>43 ChelleBearss: I think I managed a quick on on the couch in the afternoon as well but you can only pass out for so long with 2 boys going nuts around me. Weekends are just too short for me.

>44 BLBera: Beth I managed to wrap up Left Neglected this weekend and really liked it! If you liked Still Alice, I don't think this one would disappoint either. :)

>45 Dejah_Thoris: I am the same! My mind keeps going back to the story. This the part I hate about series that are not finished...the waiting. By the time the next book comes out I don't know if I'm going to remember all that happened in the first because because so much happened in it! Just keeping all the characters straight took effort, but in a good way. ;)

>46 LovingLit: Reading in the bath sounds so wonderful Megan. Do it more often in my honour..haha. :D

Feb 26, 3:10pm Top

#12 Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
Challenge: TIOLI #11 - Read a book with one or more words in the title suggesting a type of loss
Source: OTS
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Format: TPB
Published: 2011
Setting: Boston, Vermont, Massachusetts, United States
Pages: 322
Series: n/a
Rating: ★★★★¼
Other Works: Still Alice
Tags: accident, réhabilitation, neuroscience, families, forgiveness

"Sarah Nickerson, like any other working mom, is busy trying to have it all. One morning while racing to work and distracted by her cell phone, she looks away from the road for one second too long. In the blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her over-scheduled life comes to a screeching halt. After a brain injury steals her awareness of everything on the left side, Sarah must retrain her mind to perceive the world as whole. In doing so, she also learns how to pay attention to the people and parts of her life that matter most."

Left Neglect is a neurological disorder that affects the brains ability to process information which I found horrifying but fascinating at the same time. Throughout the entire book, I kept trying to close my left eye and tried to see how that would affect how I saw things and even that doesn't come close to what the reality of how such a condition would affect a person's daily living. Genova once again writes about a subject that can probably resonate with a lot of people, men or women. It's about juggling too many balls, running too fast, blind to the world we are zipping through until something happens that forces us to pause. Underneath her stories is a tangible thread of hope and resilience that is both inspiring and thought provoking. Fans of Still Alice will enjoy another story about smart and witty women who are strong, not because of their brains but because of their courage to live in spite of life's curveballs.

Feb 26, 3:12pm Top

Up Next ☝︎:

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Feb 26, 3:12pm Top

Nice review, Valerie. I saw Genova speak at an event with multiple authors - she was very smart and obviously knew her stuff. I believe her academic background is in neuroscience.

Edited: Feb 26, 3:19pm Top

>50 katiekrug: Thanks Katie! In some ways I wonder if she is like her own characters, just really smart and brilliant. What I appreciate is that for someone who is so educated and qualified, her books don't across cold, clinical and unrelatable. In fact, it is the complete opposite. I have another one of her books on my TBR mountain and look forward to it.

Edited: Feb 26, 4:53pm Top

Belated Valentine books arrived today. I haven't been buying a lot of books recently since there are so many sitting in the TBR mountain, but since these were GCs, I won't feel so guilty.

The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin Book #3
Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay
The books will not be read anytime soon, but they sure will sure look pretty alongside my other neglected books. :D

And because I have a thing for warm feet when reading, these were added for free shipping. They feel like the softest blankets wrapped around my toes.

Feb 26, 5:31pm Top

Ohhh, new books! Enjoy! I loved Justin Cronin's series!

Edited: Feb 26, 6:12pm Top

>53 ChelleBearss: I can finally start the series since I have such issues starting them when the author isn't done writing them. At least that's the excuse I'm going with, with so many books in my tbr mountain. ;)

Feb 26, 5:49pm Top

I can under stand that! I often read a series when it starts and then forget what I read before the next one comes out. Some series that doesn't matter (Lee Child, Louise Penny) but some series I really need a reminder!

Feb 26, 6:55pm Top

Good review of Left Neglected. If you post it I will Thumb it!

I loved The Passage but did not like book 2, so I am not sure I will get to The City of Mirrors, unless of course you change my mind, with a certain pitch of warbling.

Feb 26, 11:05pm Top

Hi Valerie, I also thought the first book in the Justin Cronin series was far better than the second one. I will read the third at some point as I hate to leave a series or a trilogy dangling. I see you are reading The Art of Racing in the Rain, I remember loving that one when I read it, so I hope you enjoy it as well.

Feb 27, 11:48am Top

>55 ChelleBearss: Yup and I hate the feeling of being in the middle of the series and trying to remember what happened before and figuring out who is who. It's too distracting!

>56 msf59: Thanks Mark! I wonder if the series is like a lot of ones where the middle book is just filler to ramp up to the ending. The premise of the books sounds right up my alley so I will have to just find time for it soonish then later.

>57 DeltaQueen50: Judy, I will admit my eyes have teared up a few times now and I still have 1/3 of the book left. Yikes!

Feb 27, 2:45pm Top

>52 jolerie: "They feel like the softest blankets wrapped around my toes. "

How I love that image! Want, want, want.

It sounds like Alberta and northern Montana (not me, luckily!) are going to be pummeled with snow and wind again. Are you in the path?

Edited: Feb 27, 5:58pm Top

>49 jolerie: When he mentions "Blue Dog Park," you can know that it's less than a mile from my house.

I really enjoyed The Art of Racing in the Rain but I think a lot of it was due to my familiarity with so much of the city terrain.

Feb 27, 8:37pm Top

>47 jolerie: Reading in the bath sounds so wonderful Megan. Do it more often in my honour..haha. :D
Well, OK then! If it's a direct order, I can hardly refuse, can I!

Later that evening...
Me: "Sorry dear, I will leave the evening jobs to you, as Valerie said I have to go read in the bath".
Lovely other: "well, if *Valerie* said...."
*fist pump*

>60 EBT1002: that is cool! I didn't love the book all that much, unfortunately.

Edited: Feb 28, 10:40am Top

>59 streamsong: With the cold temps we often get here Janet, warm toes are a must!
The weather report says we are expecting snow at the end of this week but keeping fingers crossed it is not as big as the last one we had.

>60 EBT1002: That's pretty cool that while he describes all these places in Seattle, you can actually see them with your own eyes. Seattle reminds me a lot of Vancouver, rain, rain and more rain. :)

>61 LovingLit: YES! Goal accomplished - to always trump another person's significant other's opinion. ;)
Was the book too sentimental and sappy for you Meg?

Feb 28, 3:23pm Top

We are expecting 20cm tomorrow. It's 10c and sunny here today. Spring is weird.

Feb 28, 4:04pm Top

>63 ChelleBearss: We are expecting some snow at the end of the week but I wasn't paying attention to how much. I think I'm just in denial...haha
Hopefully you won't have to head out of the house with 20cm of snow on the ground....

Edited: Feb 28, 4:34pm Top

#13 The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Challenge: TIOLI #15 - Read a book with a title containing the word Harry, Max, Rainy, black, red or some variation thereof
Source: OTS
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Format: HB
Published: 2008
Setting: Seattle, United States
Pages: 321
Series: n/a
Rating: ★★★★
Other Works: A Sudden Light
Tags: auto-racing, families, death, life, animals, love

Enzo isn't your average dog. He is a dog with the soul of a human. He is an expert in all things human and his musings range from what makes us the masters of the food chain to our idiocy which will eventually lead to evolution replacing us with a far superior species. On the eve of his passing, he shares with us his reflections, the lamentable fact that life is filled with heartache and loss, but also the joys of redemption, justice, and the hope for so much more.

The Art of Racing in the Rain was sentimental and heartwarming. There was drama and the messiness of human relationships. There was love, and grief, and as much as there were highs and lows, everything seemed to wrap up neatly and tidily, unlike real life most of the time. Although if you are looking for a realistic portrayal of life in a book about a talking dog who thinks he could do a better job at being human than you, then you are probably barking up the wrong tree. At the end of it all maybe it takes the perspective of a dog to truly see what being human really means. Who else would be more qualified than man's best friend?

Feb 28, 4:26pm Top

Up Next ☝︎:

Tool of War by Paolo Bacigalupi Book #3 (last in series)

Feb 28, 7:29pm Top

>64 jolerie: No leaving the house for us! I've cancelled our Thursday play date due to my cold so I think it's going to be a jammies and baking day. Perhaps some muffins if I feel better.

Hope you don't get much snow!

Mar 1, 1:32pm Top

Care to join in at the Alberta Meet Up Thread:)

Edited: Mar 1, 10:48pm Top

>65 jolerie: ...barking up the wrong tree... :0D

Mar 2, 10:40am Top

>67 ChelleBearss: >68 ChelleBearss: Snow started falling last night and will continue through the weekend. I guess Spring is still a ways away. :/
Ooh! I'll be over to check it out later today!

>69 humouress: Haha. :D

Mar 2, 10:47am Top

All caught up with you, Valerie! Love the socks - comfy socks are one of my very favorite things. Here's hoping that your weekend is full of fabulous!

Mar 2, 11:59am Top

>71 Crazymamie: They are wonderful Mamie. In fact I'm wearing them right now because it's cold and freezing and spring is taking its sweet time making an appearance, as usual. :D

Edited: Mar 2, 12:17pm Top

February Roundup:

☛ Total Pages Read: 2,777 (8)

Non-fiction: 0
Fiction: 3
YA: 0
Children: 0
Classics: 0
Fantasy: 1
Science Fiction: 1
Historical: 1
Crime/Thriller/Mystery/Horror/Other: 1
GN: 1

Series: 2
Stand-alone: 6
Series started: 1
Series completed: 0

New to Me Authors: 4
Male Authors: 3
Female Authors: 5

OTS: 4
Library: 4

Favourite Read:

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

Mar 2, 1:06pm Top

>70 jolerie: Haven't seen any snow yet up here. If we get no snow at all I'm going to be very grumpy.

Nice February summary, Valerie!

Mar 2, 2:03pm Top

>74 MickyFine: Micky, you want it to snow?! The last dump we had still hasn't melted and then we are getting dumped on again. Next week's commute is going to be interesting. :/
I pretty sure you guys are going to get something...

I'm pretty pleased with myself all things considered with a shorter month and the Olympics on, I still managed to read more than I did in January. :D

Mar 2, 2:13pm Top

>75 jolerie: It's more that I cancelled a trip to Canmore/Lake Louise this weekend because we were supposed to get all this snow and so I'll be resentful if it was cancelled for no reason.

Mar 2, 2:53pm Top

>76 MickyFine: Awww booo to canceled plans. Of course the weekend you are planning something it snow storms. ANY other weekend it doesn't...grrr. Hopefully you'll get another chance to go to the mountains soon. :)

Edited: Mar 2, 3:10pm Top

Sometimes I dream about what life with girls would have been like...
Mine usually goes something like this...

C and J sitting on the couch together, watching TV where when all of a sudden..
C: "Ewwwwww J, your farts really stink"
J: "So sorry C. I tried to hold it in" (although judging by the smirk on his face, I doubt he's really all that sorry. Gloating was more like it..)
Me interjecting..."You know C, your farts aren't a bucket of roses either..."
C: "Your right Mom. Sorry J. I'll try to hold mine in too..."

Happy Friday folks! :D

Mar 2, 3:15pm Top

Mar 2, 3:24pm Top

>78 jolerie: Ha! If it makes you feel any better little girls fart too and smell pretty bad sometimes.

Mar 2, 5:02pm Top

Hi, Valerie! Thanks so much for stopping by my somewhat neglected thread. I've been in a bit of a slump this year (it's the season - I do suffer a bit from SAD), but I live in hope. Even my reading suffers. You, on the other hand, have been reading some good stuff!

>48 jolerie: I enjoyed Genova's Still Alice, and your review has put Left Neglected right at the top of my TBR list.

>65 jolerie: Good review of Art of Racing. I enjoyed it too, and also his other book A Sudden Light, which I think I won as an LT Early Review.

I enjoyed The Curious Incident (your review in your prior thread) a bit more than you did, enough to read his Spot of Bother, which I did not enjoy as much.

>78 jolerie: LOL Having had a daughter, a drama queen from birth, I always wondered what it would be like to have a son instead. You know that ledge? There was a time during her teenage years when I am sure my daughter would have shoved me right off it. lol (We have a very good relationship now, and it only took 20 or so years.)

Edited: Mar 2, 6:21pm Top

Happy Friday, Valerie! I just wishlisted Left Neglected . It sounds so interesting and since Still Alice had me questioning my own memory I'll have to prepare myself for this book.

Your kids crack me up! Have an outstanding weekend :0)

Mar 2, 6:56pm Top

Hi Valerie! I've been neglecting my own thread, but I have to tell you that I loved Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova. I have not read the others she has written, but Left Neglected sounds fascinating. Great review!

Mar 2, 9:48pm Top

Oh dear Valerie. A direct hit with Left Neglected. I loved Still Alice.

Mar 3, 12:49am Top

Hi, Val. Love that fart boy perspective. I am still trying to teach my son to say Excuse Me after he burps. And he is LOUD! LOL Happy weekend. Great February reads. Might have to look for that City of Brass one...

Edited: Mar 3, 1:57am Top

>78 jolerie: But remember, Mammas never poot (that's what we call it in my household). Sometimes little boys hear things that aren't there.

>85 Berly: My boys were so wonderfully polite - until they were about 3 years old. I suspect my oldest was good until about 6, which was when his brother started chiming in on discussions. Kim, you have my sympathy. My oldest is in awe of the fact that his brother can burp on command. Usually my command is 'Stop that!', but whatever...
*despairing sigh*

Mar 3, 6:31am Top

Happy Saturday, Valerie! I got behind a bit over here. Hooray for The Art of Racing in the Rain. I also had a good time with that one. How is Tool of War coming? I really liked the first 2 books and I have this one saved on audio.

Hope you enjoy the weekend and get some reading in.

>78 jolerie: LIKE!

Edited: Mar 3, 6:44pm Top

>79 MickyFine: :D Did you guys get the snow??

>80 ChelleBearss: Chelle, you shatter my delusions..haha You mean girls are just pretty things and wonderful smells??

>81 Storeetllr: Sorry to hear about the SAD, Mary! Is there anything you can do in the winter months to help with the symptoms?
I read A Sudden Light years ago and LOVED it. I enjoyed it more than The Art of Racing in the Rain but both were good.
Ahh...teenage years. I have a couple of years left to prepare my heart for it. I hope that is enough time. :/

>82 Carmenere: I did the same thing after I finished Still Alice, Lynda. I kept worrying after forgetting things but after while the paranoia went alway and I just accepted that the mind losing was nothing out of the ordinary for me. ;)

>83 vancouverdeb: Deb, I have that one on my TBR mountain and now I'm feeling like I should bump it up sooner than later.

>84 brenzi: Bonnie, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when you get the chance to read it!

>85 Berly: Haha, we try to tell the boys that the LEAST they can do is say excuse me. Or better yet, do their business in the washroom instead of on the couch, or at the kitchen table or any other public place they care to share their bodily functions.

>86 humouress: Mamas never poot is equivalent to me telling my husband that women don't SWEAT, we GLISTEN.

>87 msf59: I liked Tool of War Mark. Just wrapped it up this morning. He is not your lighthearted YA fare and that is just fine with me. :)
Going to start Plainsong next and if I remember correctly, you warbled about that one didn't you?

Edited: Mar 3, 7:17pm Top

March Line-up

Plainsong by Kent Haruf TIOLI #4
Eventide by Kent Haruf TIOLI #6
In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje TIOLI #12
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman TIOLI #3
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett TIOLI #2
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith TIOLI #11
The Seventeen Second Miracle by Jason F. Wright TIOLI #5

Tool of War by Paolo Bacigalupi Book #3 TIOLI #1
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George Book #1 TIOLI #2
Priestess of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley Book #4 TILOI #7

Library holds ready to pick up:
Armada by Ernest ClineTIOLI #4
The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron
Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback TIOLI #5
The Living Reed by Pearl S. Buck TIOLI #11
The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth
Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

Mar 3, 9:19pm Top

>89 jolerie: oooh! Is that a grab-bag of options, or your "I'm gonna read that" list??!!

Edited: Mar 4, 4:39am Top

Valerie, I read that you had quite the storm in Calgary today! Yikes!Many years ago Dave and I thought we might have to move to Calgary for his work. Our eldest was just 7 months old or so , and oh the thought scared me to death. I remember looking around at the subdivisions . I have to tell you that as busy as Vancouver is, the driving in Calgary struck me as so scary . It seemed to me that you had your neighbourhood, but if you wanted to leave your neighbourhood, you ended up on a scary freeway ( Trail ) with no proper merge lane.

Do consider reading The O'Briens. It's quick but fascinating read about a family with Huntington's Disease. I really enjoyed it.

Nice line up for March. I love Kent Haruf and I've read all of his books.

Whoa, you have a lot of holds at the library.

Edited: Mar 4, 4:36am Top

Happy Sunday, Val. I'm glad you're able to read such a lot with three little kids. I restarted my reading when my daughters were in zheir teens.

Edited: Mar 4, 3:18pm Top

>78 jolerie: Hah, you reminded me of this conversation between me and my offspring a few weeks ago:

Me (walking up to sit next to him on the sofa): Do you want to watch a movie?
7yo boy: Uh huh, I'm just trying to fart. (I look horrified and back away from sofa).... Just a small one, I'm just trying to get it out. Don't worry... It's a small one. You can smell it!

Mar 4, 7:52pm Top

>90 LovingLit: 100% grab bag, Megan. Even on my best of days WITHOUT kids, I doubt I could polish a list like that off in 1 month. Maybe one day when I'm retired..haha

>91 vancouverdeb: Yup, it definitely snowed here in Calgary, Deb but we didn't have any urgent place we had to be so it was just spend a quality quiet time with the family indoors.
When I first moved to Calgary, I really missed Vancouver and couldn't see myself calling this city home but now after a decade of living here, I don't think I could live in Vancouver again. Everything just seems so busy over there..haha. But you are right in that you really can't get anywhere without a car here since public transportation leaves a lot to be desired. There are roads that are more busy during peak hours and such but I would say Greater Vancity's traffic is a lot more congested. I would be so nervous driving there....
I'm savouring Haruf as we speak. :D I remember how much you loved his books too.

>92 Ameise1: I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday too Barbara. I'm thankful that I didn't have to wait till the teen years to get my reading mojo back!! Although I would love to do more reading than I'm getting to do right now but that will come with time.

>93 evilmoose: I have no idea what it is with boys and the hilarity they find with bodily functions and sounds. Suffice to say there is a lot of laughing and one upping each other in my house... :/

Mar 4, 8:08pm Top

#14 Tool of War by Paolo Bacigalupi
Challenge: TIOLI #1 - Read a book in which the last letter of the author's first name plus the last letter of the author's last name spells a word
Source: Public Library
Genre: YA
Format: HB
Published: 2017
Setting: post-apocalyptic earth
Pages: 373
Series: Book #3, last in series
Rating: ★★★★
Other Works: Ship Breaker, The Drowned Cities
Tags: science fiction, climate change, society, pack, genetics, government

"In a dark future swamped by rising seas, depleted resources, and endless civil war, the price for survival is brutally high. The wealthiest powers buy and breed self-protection by creating bioengineered "augments": half-men, half-beasts designed solely for combat and blind obedience. But then an anomaly breaks free: the legendary half-man known as Tool."

The final instalment of the Ship Breaker Trilogy delivers and does not disappoint. Continuing the story of a world where half population that has managed to rise above a world ravaged and destroyed by mother nature does so at the expense of the other half that is forced to fight the endless battle of surviving to meet another day. Tool of War sits on the dark, violent, and gritty spectrum of the YA fare, holding nothing back in its resolution and answering the question of whether genetics defines who we are destined to become, or do we have the freedom to chose to rise above the shackles of science. A satisfying conclusion and worthwhile read to those already invested in the series.

Mar 4, 8:09pm Top

Up Next ☝︎:

Plainsong by Kent Haruf Book #1

Mar 4, 9:10pm Top

Omg you’re going to read The Secret Garden my very favorite childhood book. Have you read it before Valerie?

Mar 4, 9:18pm Top

>97 brenzi: What brenzi said!! I think I have read that one 4 times. Even as an adult. : )

Val--Your library list is long and full of options. And there is no way I could make it through all that in a month, but have fun trying!!

Mar 4, 9:36pm Top

>93 evilmoose: How .... generous.

>98 Berly: Hmm; maybe I should get that one to read to my kids.

Mar 5, 7:20am Top

Hope you are having a good Monday! I guess with the time change you and the kiddos are probably still sleeping.
Hope you didn't get too much snow!

Mar 5, 10:53am Top

>97 brenzi: I haven't read the book before but I remember watching the movie as a kid and loved it. I have a strong feeling it's going to be a winner!

>98 Berly: Well that pretty much seals the deal. Gotta get to it this month for sure!
Kim, there isn't even an attempt to read everything on the list. I just like the idea of being able to narrow down hundreds and hundreds of choices into a manageable list to choose from. ;)

>99 humouress: Nina have you not read The Secret Garden as well?

>100 ChelleBearss: Chelle, does Ontario not follow the time change? It's not till next week tho. So no adjustments needed yet. We got lots of snow but the city was on top of it and everything was plowed and cleared up before the morning rush hour. ;)

Edited: Mar 5, 10:57am Top

Well technically the germs are still contained to one child but I foresee it spreading like wildfire at some point. Day 3 of high fever and sore throat for the eldest. Alternating Tylenol and Advil is barely keeping the temps down. :( Hope everyone else is having a healthier Monday!

Mar 5, 11:05am Top

>101 jolerie: Whoops, I mean that it was 730am here but 530am in Alberta. We do follow the daylight savings plan and I had no clue was it coming up next week already. That's never a fun week with kids! At least it's Spring Forward so the kids should start sleeping 7-7 instead of 6-6! yay!

Sorry to see that C is sick! Hope the rest of the house stays germ free!

Mar 5, 11:27am Top

>103 ChelleBearss: Oh yes, that kind of time change! Yes we would be all fast asleep in bed, otherwise that would have been a bad start to an already not so great day..haha.
I totally panicked and thought I missed Daylight when I saw your message, but now I have a week to dread losing that one hour. Pain in every parent's behind I tell ya!
One year I think we totally forgot about the time change and C was still a baby. We put him for bedtime sleep at 430pm with the change because he didn't nap well that day. Parent fail. :D

Mar 5, 12:43pm Top

Hi, Valerie. I don't know why I've not found your thread before this. I saw on someone else's thread that you liked dystopias, which intrigued me - I cannot resist a good dystopia. Plus, you also have sons - I have two, not so little anymore, but still at home for a couple of years anyway.

>102 jolerie: Ugh. Both boys have had a cold/flu in the past 6 weeks - fortunately not at the same time, which made it slightly easier on me. We also had a difficult time keeping the temp down with the alternating medicine, it would seem to go down during the day a little, but spike right up during the night. I contemplated waking them during the night but figured that it would be a shame to do so since they were sleeping so well. Hope your eldest starts to feel better soon.

Mar 5, 1:51pm Top

>101 jolerie: I’ve read The Secret Garden several times, but I was thinking about getting it to read to my boys. I’m not sure if they’ll like it as much as I did, though.

>104 jolerie: Val, Val,Val *shaking head*; never accuse yourself of parent fail. There’s no such thing, even though your kids will probably start accusing you of it in about ten years time.

>105 rretzler: >102 jolerie: Oh yeah; got one down with tonsillitis at the moment.

Mar 5, 2:45pm Top

>105 rretzler: Hi Robin! Yes, I am such a sucker for dystopia novels. Maybe it's the curiosity inside me always wondering..well..what if??
Sorry to hear about your boys colds. I feel like since my eldest started school, he has just been bringing home a parade of germs. Good thing is his younger brothers will now be tanks by the time they enter the school system. ;)

>106 humouress: Haha, maybe I should change it to parenting WINS. :D
Sorry to hear about yours not feeling well. I had laryngitis once in my life and it hurt and I cried like a baby.... Feeling his pain. Lots of ice cream and cold treats is the only good side to having throat issues.

Mar 5, 5:02pm Top

Sorry to hear about the bug making the rounds at your house. Hopefully it passes soon.

We did get snow on Saturday. I spent the whole day inside. :D

Looks like some excellent reading plans for this month.

Mar 5, 6:48pm Top

Valerie, yes I'm aware of the complex naming system around the Cantonese / Mandarin languages. Serenade's parent's will go by what sounds to me like " Por Por" and "Gong Gong" . I had mixed up the Gong Gong with Yee - Yee, which is Serenade's older sister aunt name for " Little Wren". Apparently William pretty much understands Cantonese after hanging around Serenade and her family for 10 years, and I know he can speak at least a little Cantonese. They challenged him to do that for the " door games" on their wedding day .

Mar 5, 6:56pm Top

>108 MickyFine: Sounds like an excellent day to me Micky! Hopefully that is the last big snowfall for the both of us, but I'm not holding my breath. :)

>109 vancouverdeb: Deb, your son sounds like a natural and completely comfortable navigating the Asian world. ;)
I find it amazing that there is literally a title for each person depending on your order in the family and which side. Then you throw in different generations and even I get so confused.....
It's funny because my kids were taught from a young age that everyone older than them is auntie this and uncle that so to my non Asian friends they get a little confused when my kids first started calling them auntie and uncle until I explained it's just our culture's way of showing respect and deference for the older generation. :D

Edited: Mar 5, 8:05pm Top

>95 jolerie: Good review of Tool of War. I have it saved on audio, so maybe I can bookhorn it in soon.

>96 jolerie: Hooray for Plainsong! One of my all time favorites. I hope you feel the same.

Mar 6, 6:28am Top

Morning, Valerie! I hope C is feeling better today and that the cold doesn't spread!

Mar 6, 10:32am Top

>111 msf59: I am not surprised you would love Plainsong Mark. The only thing missing from the book was an owl..haha!
I think you will like Tool of War. It was fun.

>112 scaifea: Thanks Amber. Still at home today but he didn't wake up with a raging fever which is a good sign we are on the up and up. :)

Mar 6, 10:44am Top

Yesterday’s strip

Mar 6, 1:58pm Top

>114 humouress: Hahaha! That is how I felt when I first started C preschool. He missed so much school from being sick that I said to my husband we are literally paying them to build his immune system because he wasn't in class enough time to learn anything.

Mar 6, 2:00pm Top

>114 humouress: Ha! Sooo not looking forward to September!

>115 jolerie: Hope C is getting better! Glad the fever is down. Crossing all crossables that no one else catches it!

Edited: Mar 6, 4:46pm Top

#15 Plainsong by Kent Haruf
Challenge: TIOLI #4 - Pangram rolling challenge: "How vexingly quick daft zebras jump!
Source: OTS
Genre: Fiction
Format: TPB
Published: 1999
Setting: Holt, Colorado, United States
Pages: 301
Series: Book #1, first in series
Rating: ★★★★¼
Other Works: n/a
Tags: community, small town, relationships

Two boys abandoned by their mothers, an unwed pregnant teen taken in by two old farm bachelors, all connected to one another by a small town where their lives form the backdrop of a story of life lived on the American plains.

In musical terms, A cappella is where you strip the song of any musical accompaniment, relying solely on sounds created by your voice. Likewise, Haruf uses the life of his characters to form the foundation of his stories. No more and no less. There is no frills, no distracting extras, just the pure essence of a people and stories their lives tell simply by existing. Deceptive in its simplicity but never lacking in its depth, Plainsong is a tribute to life lived in community and the tension of relationships between family, friends, and strangers. Recommended.

Edited: Mar 6, 2:19pm Top

Edited: Mar 6, 2:17pm Top

>116 ChelleBearss: I know when they are starting to feel better because they start to get on each other's nerves. That means he should be well enough to head back to school tm! So far it hasn't seem to spread to anyone else but I'm holding my breath at least till the end of this week. :)

Mar 6, 4:25pm Top

>48 jolerie: Left Neglected isadded to the TBR pile. Great review!

Boo to sick kids. I've got one home early because she sounds like a bullfrog. She's slightly offended because her science teacher said he preferred her croaky voice (bahahaha! Surely that falls in the category of "how middle school teachers get through the day").

Mar 6, 4:35pm Top

>94 jolerie: Even on my best of days WITHOUT kids, I doubt I could polish a list like that off in 1 month. Maybe one day when I'm retired..haha
Too true!

>117 jolerie: That is one I want to re-read. I first read it before LT, and before I was a really serious reader like now ;) Does Eventide come before, or after this one? It is worth a read too, if you can find it.

Mar 6, 6:52pm Top

>120 nittnut: I hope you like it Jenn!
We have yet to have C come home in the middle of the day. For the longest time I didn't even tell him that was an option because I was afraid he would do it constantly. He now knows that if he feels unwell he has the option of going to office and getting them to call home. So far he hasn't done it once yet!

>121 LovingLit: LT is like an catalyst for our evolution as readers. Sometimes I admit I think I'm more swayed in terms of likes and dislikes based on the group consensus but I'm trying to be more independent in my thinking and not cave into popular opinion. ;)
Eventide comes after and it's on tap for this month as well so I'm looking to get that one off the shelf at some point.

Mar 6, 6:58pm Top

Not looking, not looking, not looking.......ok.....I cheated! I saw 4 1/4 stars for Plainsong. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I should be finished by the end of the week, then, we can compare notes! Hope C has gotten over the bug that bit him and his brothers well!

Edited: Mar 6, 9:26pm Top

>117 jolerie: "There is no frills, no distracting extras, just the pure essence of a people and stories their lives tell..." Beautifully put. Good review, Valerie. I am so glad you liked it. The other "Holt" books are also very well done. He is an author I am still missing. Sad face.

>123 Carmenere: I am hoping to see you beat 4 1/4 stars! Fingers crossed.

Mar 6, 11:53pm Top

I recall when our neighbours would refer to their " aunties" and I thought, oh boy, the new people that moved into our townhouse complex always have an " auntie" and not a sister, or a brother etc etc. After meeting our now DIL , who wanted to call us " auntie and uncle " as a term of respect, I realized that our many Chinese neighbour's " aunties" were just people that they were acquainted with that were older than them. Glad you enjoyed Plainsong. I really loved it too.

Edited: Mar 7, 11:17am Top

>123 Carmenere: Looking forward to your thoughts Lynda!

>124 msf59: I have the remaining books in the series in my TBR mountain and will try to get to Eventide this month as well. Looking forward to it. :)

>125 vancouverdeb: Haha, if you didn't know better you would think we were related to everyone we talked to. Even now I find it really weird to call people older than me by their names alone. I am always tempted to slip in the Auntie and Uncle part... ;D

Mar 8, 12:47pm Top

>107 jolerie: > 115 I've noticed that the kids who attend preschool and seem to be sick quite a bit are usually the healthy ones when it comes time for entering primary school, which is good news as they don't seem to miss as much school. Mine hardly missed any days until they got to middle school - I guess new school, new germs! Mine don't seem to want to come home during the day either - which is good because if I think that they might be faking it, I usually send them with the caveat that they can go to the nurse and I'll be glad to pick them up at any time. This makes me wonder what will happen if my older son gets sick next year when he will be driving himself to school - I wonder if they can just check themselves out of school if they don't feel well.

>125 vancouverdeb: >126 jolerie: How great to be called auntie and uncle as a term of respect. When growing up, I used to call some friends of our family Aunt Mae and Uncle Dave, although they were no relation. It seems unfortunate to me that (at least where I live) people don't seem as close to each other anymore. Growing up my family and neighboring families all used to look out for each other and knew what was going on in everyone's else's lives, and we kids were in and out of everyone's houses all the time. Some of my neighbors were actually like aunts/uncles or second parents to me. Today, we're lucky if we even see our neighbors for weeks or months!

Edited: Mar 8, 11:52pm Top

Are you sure you don't really live in Richmond, Valerie! :-) And ironically for me, my family background is 1/2 Icelandic. With that background, I was taught not to use " honorifics" as Icelander's do not use them except for mom, dad and grandparents. So, I never called anyone "aunt or uncle " etc unless I was specially asked to do so. I called my family friends and my aunts and uncles by their first names, unless it is was clear to me that they preferred Mr or Mrs/ aunt/ uncle. I would never call a non- relative aunt or uncle. It's funny , the family customs we grow up with.

Mar 9, 11:30am Top

>127 rretzler: Hi Robin! I think my son might be the exception to the rule. He's in grade 2 and still getting sick more often then the average kid it seems. The only silver linings is that the severity of the colds are not as bad as when he was younger. It seemed like every time he was sick when he was younger, he would be out for the week. Now maybe every third 3rd cold knocks him out.
I totally miss the feeling like everyone in the neighbourhood knows one another or at least where all the kids just play together. I remember doing that while I was growing up but now most people seem very content to just stay within their house and not really socializing. We are closer with one of our neighbours but on the other side is a rental property and the people have changed numerous times since we've moved in.

>128 vancouverdeb: Haha, I've never lived in Richmond Deb, but it was a frequent hanging out spot for me when I was in high school. I remember we used to be there every Friday night for late night eats and karaoke. Those were the days where you could stay out till 2 in the morning and still have energy to function the next day.
I find different traditions in different cultures fascinating as well!

Edited: Mar 9, 11:41am Top

Brothers being brothers. These two miss their brother when he's gone but when all three are home, they drive me batty. :D

Happy Friday Folks! This week has felt super longer and I'm so glad it's finally Friday. Every time the eldest is home for any extended amount of time due to sickness or school break, when it's time for him to head back to school, we usually have to spend some time with J comforting him as in his words, "I miss my best friend." They really are each other's best mates, but we gently remind J that he is the only one in the family who enjoys the status of being BOTH a younger and older brother at the same time. As much as he loves to be around his older brother, now he also has a younger brother to care and love when his older brother isn't around. Hoping to foster that same bond between the youngest two, but it's hard to play catch up. :D

Mar 9, 11:44am Top

>130 jolerie: Oh, so adorable!! Gotta love such sweetness and love between siblings! I'm sure S will feel sad when the older two are both in school but the one on one time will be lovely, I'm sure. I'm looking forward to September when Chloe starts school and I have a month alone with E before I go back to work.

Mar 9, 12:25pm Top

>130 jolerie: They are absolutely adorable! Gotta love those faces that J is making. I'm sure based on the way he's looking at his little brother that they are going to be good friends as well. My older son is three years, four months older than my younger son and he loved to make his baby brother laugh - we saw a lot of similar faces. Now that they are 16 and almost 13, they are still very good friends, and my older son still loves to make his brother laugh.

Mar 9, 7:21pm Top

>131 ChelleBearss: It has actually worked out with the spacing with each of the kids that they end up with a solid half year or a bit more where they get one on one time with me and I'm really thankful for that. Gives me the opportunity to invest in them without their brothers clamouring for attention as well. :)
I hope you get to really enjoy that special time with E before you head back to work!

>132 rretzler: Robin, J is definitely the funny guy in our family. That was me telling him to give me a nice smile. Imagine if I told him to make a funny face..haha
I really am hoping that the bond they have as brothers right now will carry them through to adulthood. They get into their usual fights over toys and such but underlying it all is a fierce love for each other and their family. I'm soooo thankful for that!

Mar 9, 8:22pm Top

Such darlings you have, Valerie! Really cute boys. So, you do know Richmond! Is it spring break there yet? I think our Spring break is closer to Easter, but I'm not sure. My SIL is in town from Barrie ON with their two kids, aged 16 and 13 . They are on spring break and so are visiting. They have a dog, and my brother was left behind in Barrie to look after the dog ;-) He is a good natured fellow , my brother.

Mar 9, 9:31pm Top

>134 vancouverdeb:. I definitely know Richmond. ;) I lived in Greater Vancouver for a good 18 years before moving to Cowtown.
Spring break for us is in about 2 weeks so I'm counting down the days since the hubby will be taking some time off so we get to spend it as a family.
Your brother sounds like a wonderfully accommodating husband and father...haha. :D

Edited: Mar 9, 9:49pm Top

#16 Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
Challenge: TIOLI #2 - Read a book where the author's middle or maiden name is included on the cover
Source: Public Library
Genre: YA
Format: TPB
Published: 2009
Setting: Westfalin, Bruch
Pages: 272
Series: Book #1, first in series
Rating: ★★★½
Other Works: Princess of Glass
Tags: fantasy, fairytale, retelling, sisters, love, romance, magic, curse

"As the crown princess, Rose is never without a dance partner. She and her eleven sisters are treated to beautiful gowns, slippers, and dances at party after party in their father's palace. But their evenings do not end when the guests return home. Instead, Rose and her sisters must travel deep into the earth to the wicked King Under Stone's palace. There, the girls are cursed to dance each night, even when they grow exhausted or ill."

A fairytale retelling with lots of girlish charm, heroic courage, diabolical villains, damsels in distress (actually twelve of them), and whole lot of silliness that you will either enjoy or find annoying. A quick read and entertaining enough for me to read the last book in the series. For some reason I went out of order and read the second book in the series first, which I try really hard not to do. Maybe I was feeling rebellious that day.

Mar 9, 9:45pm Top

Up Next ☝︎:

Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback

Mar 9, 10:35pm Top

You are getting in some great reading, Valerie. I was glad to see you liked Tool of War as I will be getting to that one of these days. I will be joining you and Lynda in reading Eventide this month, I loved Plainsong so I have been looking forward to this second one of his. Love the picture of your boys, what's a few farts when they are such cutie-pies!

Mar 10, 11:27am Top

>136 jolerie: Glad you liked that one. I quite enjoyed it when I read that series several years ago.

Mar 10, 2:59pm Top

>117 jolerie: Plainsong has been on the list for ages. I really need to get to it but I am determined to finish some current series before starting another one. Glad you enjoyed it!

>130 jolerie: Aw, so cute!

Mar 11, 8:26am Top

Happy Sunday, Valerie!
Wolf Winter looks intriguing. I'll be anticipating your review.
I finished Plainsong. Loved it! I'll begin Eventide today.
Also! I found a TIOLI slot for Benediction in Challenge 14. My cover is of a town with snowy street. The host of that challenge will accept snow as water and viola! I'm in Holt, Colorado all month. Hope you can join me if you're able to bookhorn it in. :0)

Mar 11, 8:48am Top

Hope you are having a good weekend with the munchkins!
Do you guys have plans for March break or just spending it all together? Our March break starts tomorrow. C isn't in school yet so it doesn't mean much to us yet but there are some free activities for kids in town that we may partake in. Free ice skating at the arena every day is the big one we want to do. I may get Gramma to babysit E so Nate and I can both skate this time.

Mar 11, 8:51am Top

>130 jolerie: Love the "brothers being brothers".

Happy Sunday, Valerie. I remember loving Wolf Winter. I hope you feel the same. And hooray for the Holt books!

Mar 11, 1:54pm Top

>130 jolerie: >133 jolerie: Made me laugh :0 D

Mar 11, 2:05pm Top

Happy Sunday! I hope you're getting a nap (dratted Daylight Savings).

Edited: Mar 12, 1:07pm Top

>138 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy! I just finished Plainsong and am looking forward to getting back to Holt later this month in Eventide. Yay for shared reads!

>139 MickyFine: It was cute and entertaining Micky. I will have to see when I can fit in the last book in the series and that will be one more series completed. Wahoo!

>140 souloftherose: I'm like you Heather and am hesitant to start new series when I realized that I have so many on the go and I'm having a hard time keeping track of all the storylines. Hopefully I can finish a couple of them this year so that I can start new ones guilt free! ;)

>141 Carmenere: Lynda, Wolf Winter is shaping up to be an excellent read so far. It kind of reminds me of Burial Rites in some ways and I loved that one. I may have to leave Benediction till April as my March is booked solid..haha

>142 ChelleBearss: Hey Chelle! Our spring break doesn't start till the week after next and I can't wait! The hubby will take some time off so we will try to see what activities we can squeeze in with the boys.
How was DST for you??

>143 msf59: Mark, I can see why you enjoyed Wolf Winter. With the DST I'm having hard time finding a solid time to really get through the book. It is one of those I imagine I could sit down and finish in a few sittings if life and time permitted. :)

>144 humouress: Glad to make you laugh, Nina!

>145 nittnut: I dislike DST, Jenn. I cannot stress that enough. :/

Mar 12, 2:28pm Top

Joining you in your dislike of DST, Valerie. SO annoying. And unnecessary. We are not an agrarian society anymore.

Love the pics of your boys! Adorable. And J's quite the character, isn't he!

Mar 12, 4:44pm Top

>147 Storeetllr: Mary, I enjoy the summers when the sun doesn't set till past 10 here but oh boy is it tough for the kiddos for that first week or so. I just wish they would pick one time and stick with it instead of switching it twice a year. It breeds chaos when you have three boys... :/
Haha, yes, J is totally the clown in our family. I wonder where he gets that from.... *looks innocently around*...

Mar 12, 6:54pm Top

>146 jolerie: I'm not sure if it's DST or our change in routine that happened today but the girls are exhausted! My MIL came to babysit while we took C ice skating and E is not used to having other people watch her. She napped poorly for the morning and then I had to take C to an appointment and Nate put E down for her afternoon nap and that didn't go so well. It's only 650 and she is already fast asleep! So much for trying to get a later bedtime started!

Hope your DST experience is going better!

Mar 13, 3:20pm Top

>149 ChelleBearss: Ahh the adventures our babies go on. The only consistent thing is change and for someone who likes predictable routine that has been such a huge learning curve for me. You would think by the third baby, I would be better and going with the flow...
Hopefully E napped better for you today!

Mar 13, 3:29pm Top

So this one officially turned 10 months yesterday and we celebrated the fact that he has been out of the womb for longer than he was in it. He finally took to the bottle which means a little freedom for this mom (party time!!). He is able to pull himself up and stand around. He will start squawking when he is done because he hasn't figured out how to get back down.... No one can make him laugh quite like his brothers who still think he's a plaything and need to be reminded that he is still human and can get hurt... He reminds me each and everyday why I love being a mom.

Mar 13, 3:38pm Top

Happy 10 months birthday to Silas!! Wow he's making great progress. No doubt he wants to keep up with his brothers.
"He reminds me each and everyday why I love being a mom." Beautiful!

Mar 13, 3:50pm Top

>151 jolerie: Such a cutie!

Mar 13, 4:02pm Top

Aww, what a sweet face! Happy 10 months!
Is he crawling already? C is trying to but keeps face planting. It's cute but I feel bad for her when she whacks her little face on the floor. Mostly it doesn't faze her though!

>150 jolerie: Doesn't it seem like every time you get a routine down that it changes quickly? And if it isn't their growth making the changes it's silly things like DST. I think I'm getting used to going with the flow but each day is it's own unique challenges.

Mar 13, 5:10pm Top

>151 jolerie: Delightful! I could get jealous.

>154 ChelleBearss: My youngest used to ‘swim’ across our wooden floors and straight under the beds instead of having to go around. It wasn’t until a holiday at my parents’ place, where they have carpets, that he crawled.

Mar 13, 5:16pm Top

>154 ChelleBearss: We have hard wood and tile floors so she is kind of sliding and rolling, but upstairs we have carpet still so I'm trying to give her some carpet time every day to work on it.
The swimming under the beds would be so cute!

Edited: Mar 13, 5:47pm Top

>156 ChelleBearss: ... until the day (after we came back from the holiday) when he swam under the bed, sat up halfway through and got stuck. Because then he couldn’t work out how to get out again and I had to slide a rug under the bed and convince him to get on that so I could slide him back out :0 D

I’m not sure he realised the beds existed before that.

Mar 13, 6:22pm Top

>152 Carmenere: He sure does Lynda! If only he knew his little short legs will have to wait just a tad bit longer before he barrel around the house with this brothers. ;)

>153 MickyFine: Thanks Micky!

>154 ChelleBearss: He does the army crawl but it looks funny because he keeps one arm close to his side and the other one does all the work. For someone who isn't doing the full crawl, the kid sure can motor his way around the house!
Oh man, the times that S has fallen over while sitting and knocked his head on the floor. The kid is going to be tough as nails when he's older..haha

>155 humouress: Those memories are so cute, Nina! We often look back at pictures and videos and are amazed at how much we've forgotten....

>156 ChelleBearss: We have carpet in the whole house except for the kitchen and bathrooms of course. Of all the places he tends to hang around the areas without carpets and will bonk and face plant accordingly. I'm constantly putting him back on the carpet, but he will inevitably crawl his way back to where all the action is.....

>157 humouress: It was funny but sad now when S manages to pull himself up to stand against a bench or the couch and the quickly realize he can't get back down.....I'm picturing you with a magic carpet. That is ingenious!

Mar 13, 6:30pm Top

>151 jolerie: Happy Birthday to Silas! You produce nothing but good-looking boys! These first few years go so fast. It is almost a blur.

Happy Tuesday, Valerie. I hope you have been able to find some reading time, here and there.

Edited: Mar 13, 7:20pm Top

>155 humouress: my lot did that too! Sliding on the wooden floors :) They do create a hard surface for falls though, and I reckon the kids get used to it. SO, not much harm done!

Its lovely your middle boy gets to be older and younger bro! I hadn't thought of it like that. Lenny wants me to "get a baby" so he can be an older brother. HE tells me he would love that, and be so nice to her (yes, he has requested a sister). I told him, I don't think so ;) Eta- I mean about "getting one", not that he couldn't be nice "to one"!!

Mar 13, 8:11pm Top

Happy 10 months! My mom tells me that having two kids was one thing, but when she had the third, that was the " tipping point" where it did not matter whether 3 or 5 kids , and she had 5 kids. So perhaps that third child is that much more than two? I only have the two, so I don't know.

Mar 13, 10:01pm Top

You have adorable boys, Valerie.

I LOVED Wolf Winter.

Mar 14, 6:25am Top

>151 jolerie: Aw, what a cutie patootie!!

Mar 14, 12:04pm Top

>159 msf59: It's a good thing they are decent looking since they all look alike! I told my labour nurses that I keep getting ripped off. 3 pregnancies and 3 labours and I get the exact same child...haha

>160 LovingLit: My middle one got into this habit of not taking off socks in the house and I figured out afterwards that he liked running around the kitchen and sliding around. I clued in after I heard crashes several times but the kid is a glutton for punishment so that is his idea of fun!

>161 vancouverdeb: I've been told the same thing Deb. Once you are outnumbered, really it's just all chaos so whose counting whether it's made by 3 or 6. I'm still not convinced that is the reason to keep reproducing. Having odd numbers does bother me a tad bit tho..hmmm... ;)

>162 BLBera: Thanks Beth! I stayed up way too late to finish the last little bit but that was where all the revelations were being revealed...sigh...

>163 scaifea: Thanks Amber! Sending you grubby, slobbery hugs. :D

Mar 14, 12:45pm Top

>157 humouress: Oh, that's hilarious! Hope you snapped a picture before the extraction!

>158 jolerie: E won't ever stay on the area rugs or blanket that I put down. Nate was watching her this morning on the blanket and looked down and she was gone. She had wiggled all the way under the kitchen table and was happily examining the chair legs.

>164 jolerie: C is the opposite, I can't keep socks on her and find them disposed of throughout the house!

Mar 14, 12:58pm Top

>165 ChelleBearss: No, I didn’t. I already felt a bit mean because the first I knew about it was the wailing coming from under the bed and I found it all a bit amusing (since it wasn’t a genuine crisis).

Mar 14, 3:06pm Top

>165 ChelleBearss: Must be a universal baby thing because S loves hanging out under the kitchen table while we are all having supper. He will move from feet to feet and pull himself up. I swear my kids think he's a pet and sometimes will want to drop scraps of food off the table so their brother and taste what we eat. :/

>166 humouress: Nina, J is 4 years old and he still falls into this tiny space in-between the bunkbed and the wall. Depending if he falls feet first or head first, he will get stuck and cry until someone (dad) goes in and rescues him. I feel bad because I imagine how scared and jarred he must feel but also find it mildly amusing...haha

Edited: Mar 14, 3:27pm Top

#17 Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback
Challenge: TIOLI #5 - Read a book where the title includes at least two different words beginning with the same letter
Source: Public Library
Genre: Crime/Mystery/Thriller
Format: HB
Published: 2015
Setting: Swedish Lapland/Finland, 18th century, 1717
Pages: 363
Series: n/a
Rating: ★★★★¼
Other Works: n/a
Tags: historical, community, village, religion, isolation, supernatural

"Wolf winter," she said, her voice small.
I wanted to ask about it. You know, what it is. He was silent for a long time.
"It's the kind of winter that will remind us we are mortal," He said. "Mortal and alone."

A man's body is found mutilated on the mountains and the people of the area dismiss it as just another wolf attack. Maija and her family have recently moved to the area, but even she knows this is not just an animal attack. The more she digs, the more is revealed. Each person living on the Blackasen Mountains has their own past they are running from, secrets they are hiding from the rest and slowly during the course of one brutal winter, everything unravels and the community is left shaken not from a cold that could burn you to the core, but from a truth that leaves you sick with horror and revulsion.

Wolf Winter is one of those books that takes a setting and makes it another star of the story, where the environment becomes a character in itself. You are transported and caught up in the mystery of what has happened to this isolated community and although I could foresee the shattering revelation at the end, it didn't make it less nauseating and heartbreaking. An atmospheric thriller in a slow burning kind of way, Wolf Winter is recommended for those who aren't afraid of a little darkness in their storytelling.

Mar 14, 3:24pm Top

Up Next ☝︎:

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

I saw the 90s movie version and was enchanted by the story when I was young girl and plus I really need a palate cleanser after my last read.

Mar 14, 4:07pm Top

I haven't read that one since I was a kid. I'll be interested to see your adult take on it. :)

Mar 14, 6:46pm Top

>170 MickyFine: I'm loving it so far, Micky. There's something magical about finding a secret places.

Mar 14, 7:24pm Top

>155 humouress: >158 jolerie: My oldest did the army crawl also with one arm at his side - we could never figure out why he would crawl on his hands and knees. Then when he was around 10 months, we happened to talk to my husband's BiL's SiL, who lives in France and was visiting for several weeks. She said that her youngest did the same thing, and they took him to an osteopath who performed some adjustments and he crawled normally after that. So we found a children's osteopath (who just happened to be next door to the building where I worked), and he performed some adjustments to Beckham's spine - Beckham started to crawl normally after his second visit and then about two weeks later he started walking. I don't think the osteopathic adjustment had any bearing on his walking, but I do think that it did affect his crawling. The adjustments were similar to chiropractic adjustments and were very gentle. We hadn't been worried about him, we were just curious and we thought that there wasn't any harm in giving it a try. I've always been amazed at that, but have never had another opportunity to try an osteopath for anything.

>169 jolerie: I want to read it again too. I tried a few years ago to read it to my boys, but I think they were too old and a little bored by it.

Mar 14, 8:30pm Top

Baby Melissa has arrived! See my thread!

Mar 14, 11:24pm Top

>172 rretzler: I wonder what the adjustments did, particularly? Mine is 9 years old now, but ... hmm; I suppose he doesn’t need to have whatever it was done? Mind you, when he’d just started walking, my husband said “Do you notice he never walks?” “What?” I asked, immediately in full mummy-panic mode. But it was true - he was always running after his 5 years-older brother. And he has always strutted - you know, the big man walk. Looked hilarious on a toddler :0)

>173 vancouverdeb: Congratulations!

Mar 15, 9:16am Top

>167 jolerie: Awww, a baby pet! That's cute!

We are getting to the stage of putting EVERYTHING into her mouth. I spent part of yesterday making sure all C's craft crap supplies were off the floor (found some beads, grrr). I remember this being a short stage for C so I am hoping for that it's short for E as well. Grosses me out to see her putting everything in her mouth. (She tried to chew on my toe under the table yesterday, gross!)

Edited: Mar 15, 1:28pm Top

>172 rretzler: That is fascinating Robin! I have a couple of friends who swear that baby chiropractic treatments did wonders for their newborns. Apparently as the baby is going through the canal, so many of their stuff gets out of alignment and I think over time it will adjust on their own but for those with colic and such, the quick adjustments were able to bring relief to their babes? We've never done it so I don't have any personal experience.
Just the last couple of days, our little guy has been doing the hands and knees crawling for short distances but he can get around so much faster squirming so that is still his preference. Apparently crawling isn't considered a developmental marker as some do it early, some do it later and some not at all... I can't even recall at what age my older two did it....

>173 vancouverdeb: So excited for your Deb. Thanks for letting us share in your excitement! I can practically feel it through the screen. :D

>174 humouress: Aww Nina, I hope you had a chance to capture that strut on video or something. Weddings are excellent times to whip those back out to share with the world. ;)

>175 ChelleBearss: Chelle, I see your beads and will raise you some lego pieces. THEY are everywhere in my house. We have now enforced a no lego rule in the main living space. All of it as to be contained in their rooms because I have found S sucking on them and they are the perfect size to put into his mouth.....

Mar 15, 1:24pm Top

Hope the snow deluge for you isn't too bad, Valerie. Southern Alberta has had it bad this year.

Mar 15, 2:13pm Top

>177 MickyFine: It's coming down hard as we speak which is crazy because some people still have piles that are taller than me...... At least maybe we won't have to worry about a water ban this summer. :/

Mar 15, 8:52pm Top

Sweet Thursday, Valerie! Good review of Wolf Winter. Do you post your reviews? If you did I would Thumb them. Just sayin'...

I hope the latest snow storm is not as bad as expected. Fingers crossed.

Mar 16, 9:56am Top

>176 jolerie: Oh, legos are bad! I've stepped on those before, oh man! We have a no beads/pompoms/gems/pipe cleaner etc rule now for the main living room. She has a new play room in our fourth bedroom that she now has to do her crafts in as E isn't allowed in there yet (too many small things). The main living room can have paper, scissors, paints and markers only as well as her doll house and dolls. We made the play room so I could get my living room back and then it started to look like a craft room exploded again.
How do people with kids keep a house tidy? I have not figured this out yet!

Hope you didn't get too much snow!

Mar 16, 6:29pm Top

>180 ChelleBearss: Oh, my kids have their bedroom and a playroom in the attic and their school bags go in the spare room downstairs. That way, the guest room, sitting room/ dining room and garden, not to mention my bedroom, stay tidy (or as tidy as I can keep it).

But someone should tell them that, because apparently they haven’t heard the thousands of times I’ve yelled it at them. Every single room and landing has something of theirs strewn about.

Edited: Mar 19, 10:47am Top

>179 msf59: Thanks for the thumb, Mark! I always forget to post my reviews or else I deem them more just my thoughts rambling and figure it wouldn't be much of a review.
The snow was not the worst we've seen but I guess everything is relative since this winter has been particularly bad!

>180 ChelleBearss: Oh we have the exact same problem. We have a bonus room upstairs that has been completely taken over by their toys and books. I told them to keep their stuff up there but we spend most of our time the in main living space downstairs so inevitably all their gear ends up migrating downstairs. At least once a week we have to do a big migration to get all their stuff tidied up and organized. Not my favourite part of being a mom, but it comes with the territory. Now when my husband pulls the same thing, putting his stuff here and there, then I go ape crazy....haha

>181 humouress: I think the concept of a clean and tidy house is just something we need to let go and and just enjoy this stage..or at least that's what I keep telling myself so I don't go crazy. :D

Mar 18, 8:14pm Top

#18 The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Challenge: TIOLI #2 - Read a book where the author's middle or maiden name is included on the cover
Source: OTS
Genre: Classics
Format: TPB
Published: 1993
Setting: India, Yorkshire, England
Pages: 221
Series: n/a
Rating: ★★★★½
Other Works: n/a
Tags: children, nature, friendships, magic, secrets

Mary Lennox was horrid. Selfish and spoilt, she was sent to stay with her hunchback uncle in Yorkshire. She hated it. But when she finds the way into a secret garden and begins to tend it, a change comes over her and her life. She meets and befriends a local boy, the talented Dickon, and comes across her sickly cousin Colin who has been kept hidden from her. Between them, the three children work astonishing magic in themselves and those around them.

Simple. Sweet. Beautiful. There is a reason why this book is a classic and has captured the imagination of so many people. I loved watching the change in the children as they explored nature, both outside in the world, but most importantly the one inside themselves. I was surprised at the blatant and blunt racism in the book, but it is a product of the time and place and must be read within that context. Recommended for anyone who appreciates a book filled with the innocence of youth and hope for magic in the world around us.

Mar 18, 8:15pm Top

Up Next ☝︎:

Armada by Ernest Cline

Mar 18, 8:19pm Top

>184 jolerie: looks like a retro futuristic one!?

Mar 19, 10:05am Top

Oh, I loved The Secret Garden and A Little Princess. Burnett was such a sweet author.

Mar 19, 11:56am Top

>185 LovingLit: Megan, it is both retro and futuristic and calls to the inner gamer geek in all of us....haha. ;)

>186 The_Hibernator: Oh, I haven't even heard of A Little Princess! Will have to look for that one. Thanks Rachel!

Mar 19, 12:01pm Top

>184 jolerie: Oh, hope that's great! I loved Ready Player One!

Mar 19, 12:14pm Top

>188 ChelleBearss: It's really good so far Chelle. Depending on how the ending pans out I'm tempted to say that I'm liking it better than RPO, but mainly because it's about gaming and we are a gaming kind of family..haha. ;)

Mar 19, 1:24pm Top

Happy new week, Val. I'm so far behind the threads. Big waves from over the pond.

Mar 19, 8:22pm Top

You’re hard to keep up with Valerie but I’ve caught up now. Your boys are adorable, to say the least. I’m so glad you loved The Secret Garden, my favorite childhood book. I should read it now. Hmmmm. I’ll have to think about that. Wolf Winter sounds good too.

Mar 19, 8:32pm Top

Hi, Valerie! I hope the week is off to a smooth start for you. I hope you enjoy Armada. It is a bit slight and pales next to RPO but it is a fun, diverting read.

Mar 20, 5:27am Top

Belated happy 10 month birthday to your little one Valerie! He's such a cutie!

Mar 20, 11:28am Top

>189 jolerie: Better than RPO! Crap, that means I will have to add it to my WL! :)

Mar 20, 11:33am Top

>190 Ameise1: Big wave to you too Barbara! Thanks for stopping by. :D

>191 brenzi: Thank you Bonnie! I feel the same way about the really fast moving threads after a weekend. It's like a marathon to keep up. :)

>192 msf59: Mark, it has it's weakness but I'm definitely enjoying it!

>193 souloftherose: Thanks so much Heather. :)

>194 ChelleBearss: Haha, take my opinion with a grain of salt because I think most people would still prefer RPO, but because I'm into gaming, this particular storyline resonates with me more. Either way, it is a fun book!

Mar 20, 4:21pm Top

Looks like you've had a string of good reads, Valerie.

Mar 21, 5:14am Top

I too loved The Secret Garden and less so the The Little Princess. I read them way back in elementary school. So magical! I can't raise you any lego or beads right now, but we have a dog and she had two small boxes of toys. And they are always scattered about the living room. Add in my husband, who tosses dog treats around the living room and kitchen for " nose work" for the dog, and you have the picture. It never ends.

Mar 21, 2:42pm Top

>196 MickyFine: They have definitely been treating me well recently, Micky. :D

>197 vancouverdeb: Haha, your husband would drive me batty, Deb as mine seems to be the same way. I told him that I can usually track him down by the piles of stuff he leaves around the house, to which he says he can easily find me by all the packages I manage to destroy..haha. So true. I cannot open a package the way it should be for the life of me. Cereal boxes....they are my achilles heel. :/

Edited: Mar 21, 3:06pm Top

>168 jolerie: I have that one waiting for me in the shelves and after your review, I just moved it up a bunch! Love the photos of your cute kids. : )

My oldest was not walking and way behind the milestone charts, so I took her into the office. Just as the Dr walked in, she stood up and walked across the room. Figures. She just kept on walking and never fell once! Kinda how she approached life--doesn't do anything until she has it all figured out and then she does great.

Mar 21, 3:42pm Top

Just passing through and waving hello. Happy 10 months to Silas! I will be interested in how you like Armada. I have to say, the RPO film trailers don't really look all that much like the book. Sigh.

Mar 22, 11:31am Top

>199 Berly: Kim, my eldest is the same way. He doesn't like to try anything until he is sure he can do it well. Once he started walking, he never fell or stumbled. My middle one on the other hand started walking the day he turned 1 but then fell all over the place. Putting a helmet on that kid was mighty tempting. ;)

>200 nittnut: Hey Jenn! Thoughts on Armada will come once I can get some caffeine into my system and my thoughts are coherent..haha
I'm still looking forward to watching RPO but will wait till it comes out on demand. Theatre watching is a luxury I will get back at some point. :)

Mar 22, 2:05pm Top

Looks like you finally get to miss out on an Alberta snowstorm this year, Valerie. Lucky you! I'm just crossing my fingers that the deluge we're forecasted to get holds off until after I run a wedding errand out to the west side of town (during rush hour, of course).

Mar 22, 2:19pm Top

>202 MickyFine: I'm ready for spring even if mother nature isn't...haha
Hopefully it won't be too bad for you and if it turns out to be a bad one, hopefully it will be the last one. Enough snow for this year! Come on out to play spring. :D

Edited: Mar 22, 3:16pm Top

#19 Armada by Ernest Cline
Challenge: TIOLI #4 - Pangram rolling challenge: "How vexingly quick daft zebras jump!
Source: Public Library
Genre: Fiction
Format: HB
Published: 2015
Setting: Beaverton, Ohio, United States, Moon,
Pages: 349
Series: n/a
Rating: ★★★★
Other Works: Ready Player One
Tags: video games, aliens, government, secrets, pop culture, science fiction

Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science fiction books, movies, and video games he's spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

Another fun and pop culture dominated fare by Cline, but this time with a heavy emphasis and focus on the world of video gaming and all it's glorious trappings. Full disclaimer that I write this with a bias towards the storyline because I do play video games and I find the characters obsession with it if not relatable, then at least understandable. If you are looking for good literature, this is not the book for it. It reads like a glorified fanfic that has been polished, but a Toyota ain't no Lexus so be prepared for mediocre YA writing at best and ridiculous plot lines. That being said, I enjoyed myself but I can see where this would not be a hit with everyone.

Mar 22, 2:49pm Top

Up Next ☝︎:

Eventide by Kent Haruf Book #2

Mar 23, 7:46am Top

Morning, Valerie!

I need to get round to Armada at some point, because I LOVED Ready Player One so much.

Mar 23, 8:08am Top

Happy Friday, Valerie!! I've never read Secret Garden but your review is enticing! On to the wishlist!!

Mar 23, 10:23am Top

>204 jolerie: Sounds great! On to the ever growing wish list it goes!

Edited: Mar 23, 3:46pm Top

Spring Break may very well end up becoming SICK Break as the middle one has been battling a high fever for a couple of days now. Brought him into the docs this morning to get checked as he also vomitted last night before bed. (He waited till we got home after our parent teacher conference...what a considerate boy!!) Getting tested for strep, but we have to wait to get the results back. Good thing that hubby is off for the week right? :/

>206 scaifea: I hope you like Amber when you get a chance to read it especially since you loved RPO so much. Any plans to watch the movie?

>207 Carmenere: Lynda, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when you get a chance to read it. I'm about half way through Eventide and the death of one of the brothers is gutting me.....and what is happening to the kids!!! All that aside, I guess I can say I'm all invested in the characters and it's probably because I'm reading the books closer together instead of months or years apart that I don't even remember what happens in each of them. Thanks for the nudge to get these off my shelf!

>208 ChelleBearss: Yay, so glad to see you posting Chelle, even though your wrist must still be bothering you.

Mar 23, 3:59pm Top

Sorry to hear illness has struck right before spring break, Valerie. Hopefully you can get the kiddo onto some medication that will help and give everyone a break. :)

Mar 23, 4:17pm Top

Oh no! Sorry to hear that illness has invaded! Hope you still manage to have some March break fun!

Mar 23, 6:41pm Top

Hi Valerie, I am happy to see you are getting to Eventide as I loved it. Haruf is an author who really speaks to me. I last read The Secret Garden a few years ago when my granddaughter and I read it together. I was a little nervous that she would find this a little too dated for her tastes but she loved it as well. She went on to read A Little Princess and loved that one as well.

Mar 23, 6:51pm Top

>204 jolerie: a Toyota ain't no Lexus so be prepared for mediocre YA writing at best
Lol!! Fantastic.

Mar 23, 7:20pm Top

>210 MickyFine: Thanks Micky! We will find out tm once the lab has the results if we are in the clear or not. :)

>211 ChelleBearss: Fingers crossed Chelle! I know the boys will be heartbroken if we have to cancel all our plans since they were looking forward to spending time with their cousins....swimming, sleepovers and all. :(

>212 DeltaQueen50: Judy, I'm really enjoying the world he has built and the characters as well. There is something endearing about the small town story he weaves. Do you or anyone else knows why he doesn't use quotation marks?

>213 LovingLit: We drive a Toyota so I'm not shaming it at all. ;)

Mar 24, 10:56am Top

Have a great weekend, Valerie. I must reread The Secret Garden. I still have my, slightly tattered, childhood copy.

Mar 24, 11:02am Top

Oh no! Fingers crossed that the sickness leaves soon!

>209 jolerie: Right now I don't think I'm very interested in the movie (although I reserve the right to change my mind, of course). It doesn't look *amazing* from the trailers, I'm afraid.

Mar 24, 6:59pm Top

>215 BLBera: Thanks Beth! We are all taking it easy as the hubby is also feeling under the weather.

>216 scaifea: Thanks Amber! We won't find out if it is strep or not until Monday when the doctor is back in the office.
I'm looking forward to watching the movie at some point because I frankly don't remember what happened in the book. :)

Mar 25, 1:01am Top

Oh, so sorry to read that the middle one is running a fever and may have strep. I hope not. I've had strep throat once or twice as an adult, and boy it is painful and you really don't feel good at all. I hope your hubby is soon feeling better too. Take care.

Mar 25, 2:51am Top

Sending healing mojo to everyone in your family! Stay well yourself and I hope there is some joy over Spring Break. : )

Mar 25, 7:58am Top

Oh no, is hubby down and out too?
Hope you all start to feel better quickly so you can enjoy your time off together!

Mar 25, 6:04pm Top

>218 vancouverdeb: Deb, I remember having it as a child and felt miserable!!
I asked J if he felt like there was rocks in his throat when he swallows. He said to me, "Your so silly mom, I've never swallowed rocks before..." Hahaha, the kid cracks me up.

>219 Berly: Thanks so much Kim. Looks like it will be quiet couple of days with nothing much happen. Hopefully the second half the break will pick up some.

>220 ChelleBearss: Yup, he is officially down and out for the count. Curled up on the couch as we speak and that is after taking a 2 hour nap this morning already. The poor guy....I hope he keeps his germs to himself...haha.

Mar 25, 6:08pm Top

Happy Sunday, Valerie. I am glad you had a good time with Armada. I am so tickled that a few of my pals are reading and enjoying the Holt books. i hope you are having a good time with Eventide.

Sorry, to hear one of the monkeys is down. I hope you get him back in order soon.

Mar 26, 3:19pm Top

Hi Valerie- Great review of Wolf Winter. I've added it to my wishlist of books that I'll get to when I get a few more read from my shelves. (Ha!)

I enjoyed all the talk about crawling. My son went through the crawling stage so quickly, that if my parents had not taken a blurry photo of him crawling, I would not have one.

I'm sorry your guy is sick. Quiet and sleeping on the couch is never good. :( Sending vibes that it stays away from everyone else.

Mar 26, 4:32pm Top

>212 DeltaQueen50: Valerie, I had to go back and check the book cause I didn't really notice this when I was reading it. It obviously doesn't bother me. I did check around and found this from an interview he did:

He doesn't use quotation marks because (1) he likes the way the page looks without them (less cluttered) and (2) he thinks not using them causes the reader to slow down because he/she has to think about whether it's exposition or dialogue that they're reading...and slowing down is a good thing. However, when he teaches writing or English, he requires students to use proper conventions until he is sure they have mastered those conventions; then he allows them to experiment.

Edited: Mar 27, 9:11am Top

Oh no, sorry to hear your family is laid low with a bug. I'm counting down the days at work until the long Easter weekend (just two to go) and hoping my extreme tiredness is the after-effects of feeling so anxious last week and not a virus brewing (I had a 3hr nap on Sunday and feel like I could do with another one today...)

Mar 27, 9:39am Top

>221 jolerie: Hope your spring break has improved!

Edited: Mar 27, 2:47pm Top

>222 msf59: Thanks Mark! Your warbling definitely was not for naught. Eventide was an excellent read, just as Plainsong was and I'm thinking Benediction will not disappoint either.

>223 streamsong: Thanks Janet. With a house full or boys, sometimes no noise isn't a good thing...haha
I hope you enjoy Wolf Winter when you get a chance to read it. Neglected books seems to be a common bond we all share in this group. ;)

>224 DeltaQueen50: Thanks so much for the explanation Judy! I figured he had a reason for doing and I didn't mind it much but was just curious as to his purpose behind it. It definitely did make me read a bit slower to make sure I was not mistaken in who was saying what. :)

>225 souloftherose: Oh, I hope you aren't coming down with anything Heather. Sometimes our bodies just need some down time that have nothing to do with bugs or viruses. I hope that holds true for you in this case!

>226 ChelleBearss: Thanks Chelle! We are heading off to an indoor play place with the boys and their cousins and then off to sushi dinner tonight. The hubby is about 50% but he is toughing it out and the J seems back to his destructive self. Hopefully we won't have to mss out on too many activities for the rest of Spring break.

The lab results came back yesterday and confirmed that both the hubby and J have strep so they are both on their respective courses of antibiotics. Hopefully that will be the end of germs for our family so we can enjoy some sick free time together.
Sorry I won't get a chance to visit everyone's thread till later in the break! I hope everyone is doing well and the books are treating you all well!

Mar 27, 4:12pm Top

>212 DeltaQueen50: >224 DeltaQueen50: my current read is speed-mark free. It started out nicely, I though, with a good flow to it. But now it feels like it is all running into each other (it is Seeing, by Jose Saramago)

Mar 27, 4:14pm Top

Sorry to hear about the sickness in the house, that is rough! Lenny had Strep throat a few years ago and felt miserable, that was when he said his cutest thing ever. I asked him, what hurts? Where does it hurt? And he replied "the roundabouts of my eyeballs and in-between my skeletons". It was heartbreakingly sweet :) I hope your lot are feeling better soon!

Mar 28, 8:21am Top

Glad to see you guys got out to play and have some sushi! Fun! Enjoy the rest of the week

Mar 29, 2:05am Top

>228 LovingLit: There seems to be a few authors who leave the quotation marks out. It can be very annoying but I guess in the Kent Haruf case, the story so totally pulled me in that I really didn't notice the lack of quotation marks. Saramago's writing would be a different story for me as his books can be difficult enough as they are translated into English and usually full of symbolism and abstract theories.

Mar 29, 2:09am Top

Hi Valerie, I hope you and the rest of the family are getting over the strep germs. I think we all need spring sunshine to come and bring some warmth to us!

Apr 1, 7:34am Top

>227 jolerie: Sorry to hear it's strep - hope the antibiotics help them both feel better soon.

I don't seem to have come down with anything specific so think it is just feeling run down. I have a long weekend off work so hoping to recharge my batteries.

Apr 1, 7:40am Top

Happy Sunday, Valerie. I hope the family is recovering. Keep us updated.

Apr 1, 11:52am Top

Hi Valerie! Stopping by to get caught up with all that is happening in your world. Great batch of reviews since I last stopped by (which was, like, two months ago - yikes!) Your boys are so darn cute!

I jumped on The City of Brass, which is currently a ebook deal on the Kobo site.

Sorry to read that the family has come down with strep. I hope everyone is on the mend and able to enjoy in some Easter fun.

Apr 1, 2:27pm Top

Hi Valerie! Things are a bit quiet here. I hope everything is okay.

(I learned when my eldest was small to get suspicious when things were quiet.)

Apr 3, 4:33pm Top

Sorry I've been totally MIA! Between illnesses and Spring Break, I mean Sick Break, I've haven't had much time to do anything besides play nurse to my boys. :/ Hopefully I get a chance to catch up on everyone's thread and recap my reading sometime this week!

>228 LovingLit: >229 LovingLit: I don't know how I feel about one run on long sentence..haha I guess it would depend on my mood.
The middle one is such a trooper. I feel like the strep hit my husband worse than it did him. Now he is complaining of leg pains.......I'm hoping it's just growing pains and nothing else serious. The doctor is probably sick of seeing us...

>230 ChelleBearss: Thanks Chelle! We did manage to have a sleepover with the cousins as well but we definitely paid for it the next day.. :/

>231 DeltaQueen50: >232 DeltaQueen50: Judy, it didn't bother me either and it didn't take anything away from the story for me which was a good thing. We are finally starting to get some warmer weather which I hope melts away all those piles of white stuff still accumulated at the end of my driveway.

>233 souloftherose: Thanks Heather! I don't know why they can't make the antibiotics taste better. We are running out of bribes to get the little one to take it after every meal. Poor dude.

>234 msf59: Thanks Mark! We are well on our way to recovery. Fingers crossed!

>235 lkernagh: Lori, I'm only a couple of weeks behind the monstrous threads. Wish me luck in catching up..haha!! I hope you like The City of Brass.

>236 humouress: You are right Nina. Boys+Quiet=TROUBLE!! :D

Apr 3, 4:40pm Top

I'm glad you are back, Valerie , and sorry that your family was feeling unwell. Glad everyone is on the way to recovery.

Apr 5, 2:03pm Top

>238 vancouverdeb: Thanks Deb! Turns out J had another ear infection so we are on round 2 of antibiotics. Hopefully that kills everything off and we can move on!

Edited: Apr 5, 6:54pm Top

#20 Eventide by Kent Haruf
Challenge: TIOLI #6 - Read a book where the author's first name is also the name of a city or village in your state, province or the like
Source: OTS
Genre: Fiction
Format: TPB
Published: 2004
Setting: Holt, Colorado, United States
Pages: 300
Series: Plainsong, Book #2, second in series
Rating: ★★★★¼
Other Works: Plainsong
Tags: relationships, community, small town,

The aging McPheron brothers are learning to live without Victoria Roubideaux, the single mother they took in and who has now left their ranch to start college. A lonely young boy stoically cares for his grandfather while a disable couple tries to protect their children from a violent relative. As these lives unfold and intersect, Eventide unveils the immemorial truths about human beings: their fragility and resilience, their selfishness and goodness, and their ability to find family in one another.

We return once again to Holt, a small American town where Haruf draws into this community and the stories it has to share. Deeply intimate, relatable in the simple fact that by living, we connect and affect one another in immeasurable ways. The characters in the stories have an uncanny way of feeling like your very own neighbours that you've had countless coffees with in your kitchen. I'm looking forward to seeing how the stories continue in the final book in the trilogy. Recommended.

Apr 5, 4:46pm Top

#21 Good Omens by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Challenge: n/a
Source: OTS
Genre: Fantasy
Format: MMP
Published: 2006
Setting: London, England
Pages: 402
Series: n/a
Rating: ★★½
Other Works: n/a
Tags: apocalypse, humour, religion, satire, supernatural

According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter - the world's only totally reliable guide to the future - the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just after tea...

This may be a case of wrong timing, wrong place, but I totally did not understand or appreciate this book. The average rating for Good Omens is above 4.0 which means that I am completely in the minority in my dislike of the book. The entire story was just random and weird. The humour was lost on me and the storyline was nonsensical. I know this is a cult favourite for many so it's too bad I can't count myself among that group.

Apr 5, 4:59pm Top

March Roundup:

☛ Total Pages Read: 3,020 (7)

Non-fiction: 0
Fiction: 3
YA: 2
Children: 1
Classics: 0
Fantasy: 0
Science Fiction: 0
Historical: 0
Crime/Thriller/Mystery/Horror/Other: 1
GN: 0

Series: 4
Stand-alone: 3
Series started: 0
Series completed: 1

New to Me Authors: 2
Male Authors: 4
Female Authors: 3

OTS: 3
Library: 4

Favourite Read:

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Apr 5, 6:52pm Top

Happy Thursday, Valerie. Good to see you posting and good to see you reading. Glad to hear the family is feeling better.

>240 jolerie: You might want to fix the title. You have Plainsong listed. I am so happy you liked Eventide this much and you are now a full-fledged member of the Holt Fan Club.

Apr 5, 6:58pm Top

>244 msf59: Thanks for the correction Mark! Glad to know someone is paying attention as obviously I wasn't..haha :P

Apr 6, 1:40am Top

Great March round up, Valerie! I'm glad you are enjoying Kent Haruf.

Apr 6, 8:10am Top

Glad to see you back online. Hope everyone is healthy now!
Sorry to see that Good Omens didn't work for you. It was pretty weird and silly but I did enjoy it when I read it.

Apr 6, 1:18pm Top

Nice reviews, Valerie. I might tackle Good Omens at some point as David Tennant is in the forthcoming adaptation and I do love me some David Tennant.

Apr 6, 3:26pm Top

Valerie, you have been through the wringer! I hope the family has shaken off the plague by now and that spring is overtaking winter in your neck of the woods. After all that nursing I think you could use a day at the spa to rejuvenate!

Edited: Apr 9, 2:28pm Top

>248 MickyFine: Thanks Micky! I will be curious to see what you think of Good Omens. It seems like it is generally well liked by most people. :)

>249 DeltaQueen50: I'm hanging in there Judy and definitely hoping for some warmer weather. Winter just seems to be endless this year!

Apr 9, 2:52pm Top

Time to join me HERE. :D

Apr 11, 2:04pm Top

We always had trouble getting my older boy to take the granular liquid antibiotic; it became so much easier when he was judged old enough to take capsules.

>241 jolerie: I just read a similar-sounding review of Good Omens. Maybe it’s too UK-centric; it’s a take on The Omen where the babies didn’t get swapped. It also has some in jokes, like the dread sigil Odega / M25 motorway which I particularly appreciated because we lived 10 minutes drive away from it when I read the book.

Maybe this will help: http://goodomenslexicon.org

Apr 13, 7:25pm Top

>252 humouress: Thanks so much Nina! You totally nailed it for me. I think maybe it felt like there were too many inside jokes that I didn't get. Maybe my horizons aren't broad enough to truly appreciate it's genius. Maybe a reread in the future or maybe not. I'll check out the link while the story is still fresh in my mind. :)
Oh I imagine the capsules would be easier taste wise but learning how to swallow those..I don't even know when or where to start..haha!

Edited: Apr 13, 11:04pm Top

>253 jolerie: You’re welcome. I absolutely don’t watch horror, but there was a film of The Omen with Gregory Peck as the American ambassador (to either Rome or London, I forget). There was a recent remake on TV, I think, but I avoided that too.

Regarding the capsules, he actually finds them easier to swallow than the liquid. I dreaded giving him capsules for years because I though it would be so much harder. (I know I had issues with capsules when I was small.)

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