This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
  • LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

richardderus sixth thread of 2018

This is a continuation of the topic richardderus fifth thread of 2018.

This topic was continued by richardderus seventh thread of 2018.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

Join LibraryThing to post.

Edited: Feb 23, 2018, 10:24pm Top

Gustave Caillebotte's most famous painting. Also my favorite.

Edited: Mar 17, 2018, 1:42pm Top

Man Reading, Emily Gibson

My 2018 Reviewing Goals

I'll shoot for 180 reviews written again this year. It was a doable target, but the reviews could be more exciting....

BookRiot's 2018 Read Harder "Challenge"

1. A book published posthumously
2. A book of true crime
3. A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance)
4. A comic written and illustrated by the same person—My Brother's Husband reviewed below.
5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia,
India, China, or South Africa)
6. A book about nature Guns, Germs, and Steel
7. A western
8. A comic written or illustrated by a person of color
9. A book of colonial or postcolonial literature
10. A romance novel by or about a person of color
11. A children’s classic published before 1980
12. A celebrity memoir
13. An Oprah Book Club selection
14. A book of social science
15. A one-sitting book
16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series
17. A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author
18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image
19. A book of genre fiction in translation
20. A book with a cover you hate
21. A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author Widdershins
22. An essay anthology
23. A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60
24. An assigned book you hated (or never finished)

My Reviews Are Here:
Reviews 1-25 are linked there.

Reviews 26-31 are linked here.

Reviews 32-39 are linked there.

40 24 Feb 2018 Drawing from Memory transported me to a long-vanished time and a place no longer recognizable in post 25.

41 25 February 2018 Stormhaven whisked the YGC and me to Widdershins, Massachusetts, for another exciting attempt by terrible heterosexuals to End The World in post 47.

42 26 Feb 2018 The Inker's Shadow continues Author Allen Say's lovely artwork in service of telling his life story in post 70.

43 28 Feb 2018 Provoked tells the late-Regency love of David and Murdo in post 92.

44 1 Mar 2018 Beguiled is the beginning of the *real* story of David the dishrag and Murdo the man's man in post 96.

45 2 Mar 2018 Enlightened made tedious twerp David and venal Murdo's love make sense in post 100.

46 4 Mar 2018 Rosemary and Rue was NOT a successful read in post 146.

47 6 March 2018 For We Are Many takes us to the Bobiverse again, and the ride is fine in post 165.

48 7 March 2018 Necropolis beats the odds and doesn't sag dismally in post 172.

49 All These Worlds brings the Bobiverse to a close, darn it, in post 186.

50 13 Mar 2018 Unnatural ends Joanna Chambers' Enlightened series of historical novels just right in post 220.

51 9 Mar 2018 Bloodline the 5th of Whyborne & Griffin's Lovecraft-flavored adventures is an amazing throat-punch of a book in post 224.

52 10 Mar 2018 Hoarfrost is #6 in Whyborne & Griffin's adventures warbled about in post 225.

53 14 Mar 2018 Bird Box was a really creepy atmospheric post-apocalyptic debut novel that I liked in 2014 in post 233.

54 16 Mar 2018 Still Waters is cozy Scandicrime, a new-to-me idea, praised in post 262.

Edited: Feb 23, 2018, 11:16pm Top

I forgot to do my 2017 ANZAC Challenge because I'm just like that when it comes to challenges. So here it is again, since I need to get these books off the TBR!
Oooh, I just found the 2017 ANZAC Reading Challenge! It's October, so I'm going with a 12-entry choice, but I'm starting out with a big advantage: Text sent me a dozen books to blog about that I need to review this year for sure.

ANZAC Bingo 1x12
1) Read a book about love--I'm going with The Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong because the love/hate relationship of these brothers is riveting.
2) Read a coming of age novel--Came Back to Show You I Could Fly by Robin Sloan a Text Classics entry that I've never heard of, which is exciting.
3) Read a historical fiction--Coming Rain by Stephen Daisley from Text, set in 1950s Outback Oz.
4) Read a book set on a Pacific Island--Pitcairn Pending by Kenneth Bain which it seems I'm the first person on LT to own. Hm.
5) Read a children's classic--The Fire-Raiser by Maurice Gee which you gifted me with on my 50th birthday Kerry!
6) Read a refugee story--The Road to Winter by Mark Smith is post-apocalyptic but the female lead is a "Siley" or asylum-seeker, so I think it fits.
7) Read a scifi novel--Dark Space and Darker Space by Lisa Henry, two very good gay-male led novels by Aussie romance powerhouse-cum-legend in that niche Henry. Excellent, if a small bit grim; together about 100,000 words and directly sequential, so I count them as one novel.
8) Read a book with a place name in the title--Potiki by Patricia Grace, another 50th birthday gift from Kerry whose 5-star review is here.
9) Read a bestseller--Reckoning: A Memoir is, I'm assured, an Aussie bestseller by Magda Szubanski about her Polish WWII spy father's life and how it impacts her to this day.
10) Read a black comedy/noir--Our Tiny, Useless Hearts by Toni Jordan combines comedy and suspense in approximately equal measure.
11) Read a debut novel--When the Sky Fell Apart by Caroline Lea is set on Jersey during WWII, written by a Jersey native who has, I gather, expatriated to Oz.
12) Read a book of short stories--Dead Americans by Ben Peek, these are thematically linked short stories and I really like Ben so I've *finally* reviewed this book! 4 stars

I'll edit this post to add links to reviews here on LT as they appear. Thanks to Kerry for making this challenge as I needed a spur to make me write the darned reviews already.

January 2018
God stalk group read with Roni—reviewed here.
The Odyssey translated by Robert Fitzgerald group read on Goodreads...I'll have to write a review of this wonderful poem soon.

February 2018
The Odyssey translated by Stanley Lombardo group read on Goodreads

March 2018
The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson group read on Goodreads

Feb 23, 2018, 10:15pm Top

And now you have permission to speak.

Edited: Feb 23, 2018, 10:18pm Top

Happy New Thread, RD. Nice evening for new beginnings...

Like the Sargent.

Feb 23, 2018, 10:23pm Top

Happy New Thread, Richard!

Feb 23, 2018, 10:53pm Top

>4 richardderus: Mr. Wol-spotter is first!

Feb 23, 2018, 10:55pm Top

>6 ronincats: Hi there, Roni!

Feb 24, 2018, 2:11am Top

Happy new thread, Richard. I love the paintings up top.

Feb 24, 2018, 2:52am Top

>4 richardderus: Gracias.

Happy new thread!

Feb 24, 2018, 3:21am Top

Happy new one, Rdear. Gorgeous opening.

Feb 24, 2018, 3:47am Top

Is that painting your favourite *ever*, or favourite from that artist?
Just wondering. And wandering (by)....

Feb 24, 2018, 7:49am Top

Happy new thread, Richard!

Feb 24, 2018, 8:03am Top

Happy 6th thread, Richard!
>1 richardderus: I like the Caillebotte too as I always enjoy seeing men at work ;0)

Feb 24, 2018, 8:43am Top

Happy New Thread, Richard!

Love the art up top. Hope you have a good weekend.

Feb 24, 2018, 8:47am Top

Happy new one, Richard!

Cinnamon sugar "pull-apart" muffin?

Feb 24, 2018, 9:17am Top

Morning, Richard! Happy new one!

>16 katiekrug: Oh, those look good!

Feb 24, 2018, 10:18am Top

>16 katiekrug: OOoohh...those look SO good. I have a recipe for something similar. I wonder if I'm in a baking mood today??

Feb 24, 2018, 11:00am Top

Happy new thread, Richard!

I like the looks of that first painting, too, although I can't help but think that the guys were grumbling about the lousy dude with his paints and why couldn't he put down the brush and help out, for sobbing out loud?!

Feb 24, 2018, 11:12am Top

Happy new thread, Richard! I've been away for a few days (not, like, anywhere interesting, just not here), so I'll start afresh here and ONCE AGAIN try to keep up this time!

Also, I love the second painting. Dude just needs a mug of something hot and caffeinated and it would be perfect! :)

>16 katiekrug: What is a pull-apart muffin and where can I get one? It looks like a little work of art!

Feb 24, 2018, 1:18pm Top

Happy new thread Rdear! Love the thread openers. Hope your Saturday is coming along swimmingly. :)

Feb 24, 2018, 1:31pm Top

>20 elliepotten: - No clue, Ellie! They just looked yummy :)

Feb 24, 2018, 3:05pm Top

Happy new thread, Richard!
I like the topper, but love the next painting:"Man Reading".

Feb 24, 2018, 5:27pm Top

I read today that grifter Paul Manafort left a paper trail in falsifying his business's p&l sheet when applying for a multi-million dollar mortgage. He lacked the computing know-how to convert a PDF into a Word file, then convert it back. So he e-mailed the PDF to his associate Gates so Gates could convert it and e-mail it back. After altering the doc to show a profit rather than a loss, Manafort e-mailed the doc back to Gates to turn into a PDF. Yeah, you can delete the e-mails from your computers, guys, but they don't vanish from cyberspace.

Gotta love 'em. Or not.

Feb 24, 2018, 5:53pm Top

40 Drawing from Memory by Allen Say

Rating: 4.5* of five

The Publisher Says: Caldecott Medalist Allen Say presents a stunning graphic novel chronicling his journey as an artist during WWII, when he apprenticed under Noro Shinpei, Japan’s premier cartoonist.

DRAWING FROM MEMORY is Allen Say's own story of his path to becoming the renowned artist he is today. Shunned by his father, who didn't understand his son's artistic leanings, Allen was embraced by Noro Shinpei, Japan's leading cartoonist and the man he came to love as his "spiritual father." As WWII raged, Allen was further inspired to consider questions of his own heritage and the motivations of those around him. He worked hard in rigorous drawing classes, studied, trained--and ultimately came to understand who he really is.

Part memoir, part graphic novel, part narrative history, DRAWING FROM MEMORY presents a complex look at the real-life relationship between a mentor and his student. With watercolor paintings, original cartoons, vintage photographs, and maps, Allen Say has created a book that will inspire the artist in all of us.

My Review: Allen Say's world doesn't exist anymore. This is the roughest part of getting truly old. The kind of universe where a twelve-year-old boy could be thought capable of living on his own is long gone. The kind of world where the famous cartoonist could be reached by the simple expedient of showing up at his place of work and saying, "I'd like to work for you," well! Need I belabor the point? Say wrote this book in a world that could be on a different planet than the one he grew up on. But from such foreign stones he built an exciting life, a life of art and creation and replete with stories that need telling.

This book, a graphic memoir I suppose, though it's less thoroughgoing than is Lynda Barry's work (eg Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor), is no whit less sophisticated.

I recently read Artist Say's magisterial Silent Days, Silent Dreams. It was such a gorgeous visual feast and so deeply affecting a tale that I couldn't bear to leave his world for long. Look above...do you blame me?

Look at the great simplicity of the lines you're tricked into believing are real, three-dimensional objects:

Look at the care and attention you're not smacked with, look at the invisible framing of each image that makes it the perfect size and the perfect space for exactly that moment of storytelling to be within.

See the colors? See the volume of each object, each space between objects?

See the texture of matte-coated paper, the way that it creates the same effect as a gallery's neutral wall color does? See the fruit of more than seventy years practicing what a master, a cicerone, a sensei was wise, prescient, generous enough to give the boy artist? We receive the gift's fruit.

There was never a truer aperçu proverbialized than, "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." To your private orchard you bring trees whose shade soothes you, yet almost never will you stop to regard still less thank the long-gone hands and long-past rains that made the tree into what it is now.

Take that moment now, be grateful to Noro Shinpei for himself and for the soothing shadows of Allen Say's talented evocation of a world we can never see any other way but through his eyes and by his hands. Let him plant you a tree.

Feb 24, 2018, 5:58pm Top

Gorgeous, Richard. Thank you. Another BB, but especially appreciated since I was one of those who has recently read Silent Days, Silent Dreams

Feb 24, 2018, 6:03pm Top

>25 richardderus: A direct hit, BigDaddy! I'll add my thumb if you posted that.

Hoping your Saturday has been full of fabulous.

Feb 24, 2018, 6:24pm Top

>9 Familyhistorian: Hi there Meg! The Caillebotte is a long-time favorite, the other a new discovery.

>10 humouress: De nada, Señá Nina.

>11 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara! Happy weekend to you now that you're back home.

>12 LovingLit: Favorite by Caillebotte, Megan. The Floor Strippers just seems such a...provocative...title and then to have it be such a quotidian subject, tickles my fancy.

Feb 24, 2018, 6:26pm Top

>13 ChelleBearss: Thank you, Chelle!

>14 Carmenere: Heh, you sussed my sneaky secret, Lynda.

>15 jnwelch: So far so good, Joe, I'm allergic as all get-out but have no commitments so I can dope my symptoms up and snore through it all.

>16 katiekrug: Oh GAWD YES!!!


Feb 24, 2018, 6:30pm Top

>17 Crazymamie: Hey there, Mamie! *smooch*

>18 laytonwoman3rd: If you're in a baking mood, and inspired by something on my thread, I believe there is a new FCC rule in effect about having to share the results of the inspiration....

>19 scaifea: Working-class men in 1875 Paris grumbling about a toffee-nosed artiste? Hmm. Permaybehaps not, I'm thinkin', as the lower orders were pretty cowed at that moment. Remember the collapse of the Commune and the starvation of the siege were current events.

Feb 24, 2018, 6:32pm Top

>20 elliepotten: Hey Miss Eleanor Potten! *smooch*

+1 on the caffeinated bevvie.

>21 jolerie: Hello Valerie! I refuse to consider swimming until July. The North Atlantic is *C*O*L*D*!

>22 katiekrug: Isn't that a lovely image? So perfectly satisfyingly domestic and universal.

Feb 24, 2018, 6:36pm Top

>24 weird_O: Doncha just love it when the Bad Guys make a silly slip-up like that, Bill? My schadenfreude dial hit the red zone on that one!

>26 jessibud2: Thank you most kindly, Shelley! I love his work.

>27 Crazymamie: I shall slither off and add it to the book page, as it hadn't creased my cranium so to do. *smooch*

I'm a giant slab of fruitcake...sticky, drippy, vaguely unpleasant to look at...this weekend. Nasal allergies. Blech.

Feb 24, 2018, 6:40pm Top

Ugh. Sorry about the attack of the allergies. Most unpleasant. Sending you healing mojo and all of my love. *smooch*

Feb 24, 2018, 6:48pm Top

>31 richardderus: >32 richardderus: And I fell in between? (>23 FAMeulstee:) Love you anyhow :-)

Feb 24, 2018, 6:54pm Top

>33 Crazymamie: I wonder if you could mojo those horrid molds into asexuality instead?

>34 FAMeulstee: ...I'm sorry, and you are...? Have we been introduced, madam?

Feb 24, 2018, 7:04pm Top

>35 richardderus: I will give it my best shot. And I am totally pretending that Benedict is for me.

Feb 24, 2018, 8:24pm Top

>30 richardderus: Of course. But in my head, they're grumbling.

You should give more of Say's picture books a go. They're lovely, and you may imagine. Grandfather's Journey, which won the Caldecott Medal, is my favorite.

Feb 24, 2018, 9:05pm Top

Silent Days, Silent Dreams sounds and looks absolutely wonderful Richard. Your review is also terrific.

Feb 24, 2018, 11:07pm Top

Oooh, the graphic novel looks charming indeed!

Feb 25, 2018, 12:52am Top

>20 elliepotten:, >22 katiekrug: - I've done pull-apart bread, not sure about a muffin - those are usually a liquid batter. Pull-apart bread is made by, after the first rise, rolling small logs and laying them into the loaf pan (in my recipe, you then daub them heavily with melted butter) so they squish up against the next one - so it's essentially pre-sliced. Easy to eat and delicious. It wouldn't be hard to make the same thing in a muffin tin, so I suppose that's what those are - butter and cinnamon both. Yum and hmmm....

Feb 25, 2018, 1:03am Top

>25 richardderus: Fabulous!

>28 richardderus: We have lunch with my MIL and BIL.

Happy Sunday, Rdear.

Feb 25, 2018, 1:38am Top

Feb 25, 2018, 3:23am Top

>35 richardderus: Introduced Mr Derus...? I think that was back in 2009!
Happy Sunday!

Feb 25, 2018, 11:29am Top

>30 richardderus: Well, baking didn't materialize, but I did manage to whip this up yesterday. Feel free to dig in. We call it "meat candy" around here.

Feb 25, 2018, 12:06pm Top

You hit me with a BB with that Allen Say graphic memoir, Richard. It looks great.

Sorry the allergies are acting up. We're entering that time of year, aren't we.

Feb 25, 2018, 3:24pm Top

Happy new thread Richard dear fellow.

Feb 25, 2018, 3:48pm Top

41 Stormhaven by Jordan L. Hawk

Rating: 4* of five

My Young Gentleman Caller buys me these. He does it because 1) it earns him major points against problematic behaviors elsewhere and B) he gets to read them too. All readers of romance do it because it's a way of deriving satisfaction not ordinarily available in the real world.
I’m here because I wish to be. Because I love you as you are, right now, today.

Everyone breathing wants to hear that. How many of you have? Ever? And here it is in black and white, clear and unambiguous. Stated as fact from one lover to another. Fantasy fulfilled.

I brought this up to him as we were discussing this book. It is a simple need, the need to be loved; by simple, I mean instantly recognizable and easily understood by all. Why is it so complicated in real life, so difficult to find another who fulfills it?


Party of the first part: Flawed and unable to change. Deal with it. Party of the second part: Godlike in possessing all the abilities of a mindreader, psychologist, alchemist, trillionaire, world-class athlete, martyr, saint, and sex toy. Must possess exactly the fantasy of perfect looks on the day Party of the first part is looking at them. Must be able to change genders/sex roles/needs as Party of the first part changes whims. Must love/hate the same foods/drinks/social attitudes as Party of the first part.

Book-lovers are better than meat-lovers, who have a regrettable tendency to fart, have morning breath, leave their hair in the shower drain, forget to buy (soy/almond/2%) milk, then get annoyed/upset/offended by being taken to task for these hideous, disfiguring failings. Because they are Party of the first part in their contract with you.

Books are so much easier.

So reading, as always, comes to the rescue! Maybe not so much...who hasn't seen the memes around the text "Boys in books are just better"? Of course they are! They're your fantasy, created for you by someone made of meat and with the same fantasy life you have. It's like porn!

It IS porn. Unrealistic expectations of reality fostered...check. Perverting the consumer into expecting fantasy to come alive in reality...check. Deeply obnoxious and unpleasant stereotyping of the object of the reader's fantasy...check. Disdained by the overculture as a "lesser and unworthy" form of entertainment that remains HUGELY popular and profitable...check.

Speaking of "lesser and unworthy" forms of entertainment, in this Platinum Age of episodic entertainment (I am a resolute cord-cutter who ONLY consumes episodes on ad-free streaming, so can't call it TV anymore, while the YGC is not yet so infuriated by the vileness of advertising) we're experiencing, my Young Gentleman Caller and I indulged our fantasy of being filmmakers unafraid to make gay-male Lifetime movies out of this series of romantic paranormal novels (to call them mysteries is to misrepresent their specific strength as stories). It turns out that Boys in our Books blogger Ami asked Author Hawk about that subject several years ago:
A: If the Whyborne and Griffin series was made into TV series, who do you imagine playing the characters?

JLH: I really don’t know! It’s funny, but my characters are so vivid to me it’s difficult to imagine anyone in their places. That said, I’m sure if it did ever happen, I’d be delighted to see an actor’s interpretation.

Our only choice for Whyborne lacks brown eyes, though contacts are perfectly acceptable:

Tall, beautiful, deeply sexy but seemingly unaware of just how stunningly desirable he is. Yay Armie Hammer for being willing to play gay in Call Me By Your Name, although the role didn't require him to, errrmmm, cavort with the toothsome morsel that is Timothée Chalamet. I mean, wow, doesn't that porno play in your head the instant you see those two together on screen!

No? Straight people. How very odd y'all are.

When it came to Griffin, we had similar unanimity. Our only choice for the role was, in fact, indicative of the reason I enjoy our conversations so much. He proposed:

The choice of James Franco was perfect for me, since I'd been thinking the same thing. I was opening my mouth to mention coloring when out he came with, "I think we should just switch the coloring descriptions and leave the actors as they are." This is exactly what I was thinking. I have known very few people in this life who say what I'm thinking before I can get it out, and it's always so much fun to find another one.

Is that why I enjoy the series so much? Because the lad I'm lovin' up gives them to me, reads them with me, plays mental games with me after reading them? No. Not solely that, anyway. I am a fan of the Lovecraft mythos. Author Hawk uses it as a story enhancement. I could do with it being used more, in fact. Also enjoyable to me is the love affair between broken men fighting fears and flaws in themselves while each is surprised that their lover doesn't think they are unworthy and unlovable because of these gigantic, disfiguring flaws. It mirrors my own life experience, flaws so huge the flawed think they're forever undesirable and the loving partner saying, "what's the fuss? I think you're amazing." I am not quite sure where Author Hawk is taking this series in terms of the supernatural elements. I like the Lovecraft mythos because the Elder Gods aren't personal, humanistic gods, they don't even see humans as we are so small and unimportant. We call them gods because their "powers" or abilities are so vastly superior to our own. We even call Cthulhu, explicitly not one of the Elder Gods, a god because his powers are godlike...though he is simply a superior life form in the mythos itself.

Author Hawk isn't creating a quasi-religious fantasy in the series. Whyborne, the sorcerous intellectual, specifically says he doesn't believe in a god in this entry into the series. He doesn't know why his speaking of spells works but he rejects the idea that it's due to some god giving him a gift. That's exactly what I want to hear. That's exactly what I myownself believe. There are things we don't know, questions we can't answer yet, but there's no reason to believe there is A Divine Plan made by A Divine Planner *for*our*benefit*— in fact there's a metric shit-ton of evidence that's absurdly wrongheaded.

So that is the fundamental reason I am Author Hawk's fan. I feel that the stories are aimed at me, designed to fill my specific needs for story-making. And I receive this gift gratefully from the stranger who created the stories for their own reasons, to fulfill their own needs.

Also from a certain lovely blond lad who both wants and knows how to please his old man.

Edited: Feb 25, 2018, 5:33pm Top

^Hey, RD! I hope you are enjoying the day. We have lots of sunshine here, but a cold, steady wind is interfering. This has kept me indoors with the books. No problems with that.

Feb 25, 2018, 5:36pm Top

>36 Crazymamie: *smooch*

Can you even *fathom* the silliness of the studio for insisting that the Shower Scene of Cumberbatch be deleted from Star Trek Into Darkness?!

>37 scaifea: HA!! And stay tuned for tomorrow's review....

>38 brenzi: It's a glorious book indeed, Bonnie. *smooch* Glad to see you here.

>39 LovingLit: I hope it's available there, Megan. It's one I suspect you'd like a lot.

>40 jjmcgaffey: Yum and hmmm indeed, Jennifer, it's some ultrasupertasty foodstuff there.

Feb 25, 2018, 5:41pm Top

>41 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! I hope lunch was a good time. Sending hugs!

>42 humouress: Hi Nina! I am now so very deeply jonesing for some pull-apart bread/muffins I am hyperventilating.

>43 FAMeulstee: Indeed. Hmm. I seem to...hmm. Perhaps you could refresh me?

>44 laytonwoman3rd: That looks ever so yum! *holds out plate*

Feb 25, 2018, 5:45pm Top

>45 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe, this is usually my off season for them. My worst allergies are to conifer pollens and cats. The animals aren't seasonal and the conifers, blessedly, are. This year's dampness is giving me mold troubles.

I predict the Say books will give your picture-reader's heart a happy. Watch this space tomorrow.

>46 johnsimpson: Thank you, John! I really hope Karen's better by now. And that neither you nor little scrumptious Hannah are down with the lurgy.

>48 msf59: Hi Mark! It's cold-rain day here. I'm wedged into my reading nook, aka bed, devouring stories at a prodigious rate. Sending hugs!

Feb 25, 2018, 6:09pm Top

" devouring stories at a prodigious rate." Sounds perfect...enjoy.

Feb 25, 2018, 6:17pm Top

It is, it is. I'm a happy anti-social camper.

Feb 25, 2018, 11:06pm Top

>25 richardderus: You got me with a BB for Drawing from Memory, Richard. I hadn't heard of Allen Say before. Who'd 'ave thunk a BB for a GN on your thread?

Feb 26, 2018, 9:55am Top

'Morning, RD!

Just a quick hello before I get some breakfast and my second cup of coffee before going off for a deep tissue massage. The perils of being retired!


Feb 26, 2018, 11:26am Top

>54 Familyhistorian: Oh goody, Meg! It's a terrific tale and the artwork is, as I've come to expect from Allen Say, gorgeous.

It does boggle the mind a bit, doesn't it, to have *me* of all people warbling about the GNs.

>55 karenmarie: Oh, the agony. Such a wretched way to live, having a leisurely meal and then wandering off to be pampered. My heart bleeds for you.


Feb 26, 2018, 12:12pm Top

Feb 26, 2018, 1:26pm Top

>57 Deern: Oh, thank you Nathalie! I hope it tempts you into reading the book series.

Feb 26, 2018, 1:31pm Top

>50 richardderus: I love those gif's, Richard, a handkiss a day feels so good!
December 2008, your first thread in the 75 Books Challenge for 2009 ;-)

Feb 26, 2018, 1:34pm Top

>25 richardderus:

Most inspiring review of 2018 - thank you!

Feb 26, 2018, 2:38pm Top

>59 FAMeulstee: Really. Well. That's...very interesting. Yes indeed.

>60 m.belljackson: That's a lovely compliment, thank you Marianne.

Feb 26, 2018, 3:00pm Top

Uh oh, looks like Maid Marion is going to get all slappy because broke ass Princess Leia stole her man.

Feb 26, 2018, 3:44pm Top

>61 richardderus: SHE STOLE MY KISS!!!! *walks away sobbing*

Feb 26, 2018, 3:52pm Top

>62 SomeGuyInVirginia: I'd pay money to see that.

>63 FAMeulstee: Oh dear, well how about TWO beautiful men blowing kisses at you?

Edited: Feb 26, 2018, 3:57pm Top

>64 richardderus: Can't see it, Richard, but I LOVE the thought :-)

ETA: was it this one?

Feb 26, 2018, 4:00pm Top

That's the one! Aren't they beeyooteefull?!

Feb 26, 2018, 4:10pm Top

>6 ronincats: Yes they are, Rdear :-)

Feb 26, 2018, 7:10pm Top

>2 richardderus: My god RD, that really looks like a younger version of mine own self.

Happy new thread dear fellow. It was good to catch up with Caro yesterday and we both mentioned how great it was to see you back in the fold so to speak.

Feb 26, 2018, 7:26pm Top

>64 richardderus: ohhh, purdy!

Feb 26, 2018, 9:15pm Top

42 The Inker's Shadow by Allen Say

I don't think this book's full import will come home to you if you don't read Drawing from Memory first.

But I think I'm safe in saying that, once you've read that, you'll more than likely be ready for this one. Author Say came to the US shortly after WWII ended, and to California no less; the country that suffered a major and terrible defeat wasn't exactly the place most Californians were looking to get fresh immigrants from. The racism Author Say suffered was depicted very realistically.

My origins are in California. My father's a native of Venice, the location of that famous Beach, and I was born in Palo Alto. My mother, a Texan to her bones, paid exactly no attention to California's prejudice against Asians, called in those days "Orientals." Our housekeeper was Nisei Japanese, her husband Issei gardened. They were fixtures. We were, I was told by my mother, sharply criticized for suchlike goins-on by the racist neighbors. All of this meant nothing to me at the time, since Mitzi was a giant bundle of hugging and loving which made me happy so I wasn't interested in anything else.

It stuck in my mind, though, and seemed so weird to me. Seeing the realities of the situation presented from the sufferer's point of view was disturbing to my old-man self. All the casual dismissive racism. All the actively cruel racism. All of that hate stewing in the hearts of people. Why ever use so much strength to wish hurt and harm on those who've done nothing to you?

Author Say doesn't give any answer to this conundrum; instead, he makes it deeper as he shows the lovingkindness of the people who helped him. Not including his father. And somehow, in reading this story of events sixty years gone, I'm left knowing that he made good and also that good people made his path easier than many others' paths, and it makes no difference that I can tell in how outraged I feel. How illogical!

I'm human, I don't have to make sense.

As the story of Author Say's life in California continues to unfold, the many and various loves of his teenaged years come to mean more and more to the course of his life. The girls he adores from afar, the women he is so generously assisted by, the teachers whose unstinting generosity was fueled by the intense young artist's obvious promise. The story covers three years, but how extremely important those years are! At the end of that time, Author Say is all of eighteen. We know, those of us lucky enough to have encountered Author Say's work at least, what astoundingly valuable dividends those people's kindness has paid. Since 1972's Dr. Smith's Safari, there has been a new Allen Say-illustrated book available about every other year.

How lucky for us all that Author Allen Say left home as a teenaged boy. Japan's treasure became ours.

I only hope that the saga will continue before the inevitable loss occurs and Author Say leaves us forever.

Feb 26, 2018, 9:25pm Top

>67 FAMeulstee: *happy sigh*

>68 PaulCranswick: Does it? Somehow I'm not surprised. And your meetup time spent on me?! *baaaawwww* How heartwarming!

>69 ChelleBearss: Yes indeed, Chelle. *happy sigh again*

Feb 26, 2018, 9:40pm Top

>70 richardderus: - Thank you for this lovely review, Richard. Say's story reminds me of another similar one, I wish I could remember the man's name. He was an artist at the Disney studios in the very early days and I remember reading about him after he passed away. I will see if maybe I saved something and if I can find it, I will report back.

Found it! https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/30/movies/tyrus-wong-dies-bambi-disney.html

I just don't get discrimination. It's born of fear and ignorance, for sure. But what the hell is wrong with our species??

Feb 26, 2018, 11:47pm Top

Aaaargh... I need more book money and more shelf space. Those Allen Say books are so tempting, but have to be paper books and want to be owned. WLed for now.

>64 richardderus:, >65 FAMeulstee: That's what you want to see at 5:30am, all my bad stupid-tuesday-don't-wanna-get-up mood is gone, I'm sure this is going to be a lovely day now, thank you both! :D

Feb 27, 2018, 3:57am Top

>73 Deern: Isn't that the LT mantra 'more book money, more shelf space' ? ;)

Morning RD. Clear blue skies and -2 over here. It's beautiful. But where's the snow I was promised!! I am in a full on snow sulk.

Feb 27, 2018, 9:19am Top

That looks like another good Allen Say book, Richard. Thanks for the trailblazing with these. I'm glad there's another good one of his to read after I get to Drawing from Memory.

Feb 27, 2018, 9:24am Top

'Morning, RD!

Not much to say, so *smooch* from your own Madame TVT Horrible

Feb 27, 2018, 12:22pm Top

>72 jessibud2: Oh wow, Shelley, that obituary for Tyrus Wong was so well-done that I ordered two books as a result of it! I hate you.

And how is this for a perfect, beautiful statement of parental encouragement:

"When his daughters were small, Mr. Wong encouraged them to make art, as his father had encouraged him. Yet he would not let them have coloring books.

The reason was simple: He did not want his children constrained, he said, by lines laid down by others."

>73 Deern: Heh. I am satisfied by my day's work here. *smooch*

And yeah ain't nothin' better than waking up to two hotties blowin' kisses at you.

Feb 27, 2018, 12:24pm Top

>74 BekkaJo: Since it's sunny and 10C/50° I am not entirely in sympathy. I'm ready for no-snow-no-mo' season.

As mantras go, that's got legs.

>75 jnwelch: Joe...I can't say it strongly enough...GET THESE BOOKS AND READ THEM. NOW.

>76 karenmarie: Hey Horrible! *smooch*

Feb 27, 2018, 12:43pm Top

>77 richardderus: - :-). You're welcome

Feb 27, 2018, 12:50pm Top

>79 jessibud2: *grumble*

Feb 27, 2018, 5:18pm Top

Do you have one of Fallon topless?

Feb 27, 2018, 6:17pm Top

>1 richardderus: That painting by Gustave Caillebotte is so interesting. I've not seen it before.

Lots of kisses around here!

Feb 27, 2018, 6:46pm Top

>81 SomeGuyInVirginia: Such a possibility had never occurred to me, I must admit, and I find myself curiously reluctant to go looking for one.

>82 EBT1002: Les Raboteurs de Parquet was one of Caillebotte's daily-life compositions. The one above dates to 1875. The one below is an 1876 take on the same subject.

In his time, Caillebotte was weird for his focus on such quotidian scenes. Today he'd be weird for painting them instead of photographing them. I'd post one of his much more famous paintings of Man at His Bath but I was reminded rather recently that people look at LT while at work so nudes are, um, maybe not the best subjects. Google it up, though, it's a beautiful painting.

Feb 27, 2018, 7:06pm Top

Decades ago, I found a 1954 copy of The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet in my school library. I was utterly enthralled. I decided I'd re-read it, and got an ILL copy from the Long Beach Library.

It's the SAME EDITION I read in 1969!!

Feb 27, 2018, 8:35pm Top

>49 richardderus: I hope it's available there, Megan. It's one I suspect you'd like a lot.
Well, they do. So that is marvelous. It's on the library WL!

>64 richardderus: >65 FAMeulstee: oooh, double trouble. Just my kind of trouble too, far more appealing than my current double tummy trouble....

Edited: Feb 27, 2018, 10:19pm Top

>84 richardderus: Heh. It has been reprinted a couple times, but not often. I bet I read the same edition, too (from my school library) - all the others seem to be paperbacks, and mine was a hardback.

I read the whole series, I think - it was a lot of fun. I haven't reread it in decades, of course.

Feb 28, 2018, 3:06am Top

Happy Wednesday, Rdear.

Feb 28, 2018, 10:12am Top


a GIF Gift:

Feb 28, 2018, 12:39pm Top

>85 LovingLit: YAY for Chch's library system! Read soon read soon read soon!!

...aren't they dreeeeamy? *sigh*

>86 jjmcgaffey: The new editions are all paperbacks, Jenn, and I was delighted to get the antique hardcover instead. Real trip down memory lane just holding it inside a palstic jacket-cover!

>87 Ameise1: Happy Hump Day, Barbara! Glad to see you here.

>88 BBGirl55: Hiiiiiiiiiiii Bryony! *smooch*

Oh my yes, Cary's behind deserves a perfectly tied bow. Yes indeed. Mmm hmmm.

Feb 28, 2018, 12:54pm Top

Hi there - finally getting around to your thread. Love the artwork at the top.

I finally read You're All Just Jealous of my Jetpack over the weekend. I do so love intelligent humor. I'm number 4 on the library wait list for Baking with Kafka so soonish.

Just requested Drawing from Memory from the library. And I believe that Silent Days, Silent Dreams and Inker's Shadow will soon have that request button clicked too.
There's a reason The Hubster always says "Of course I vote for every library levy. It saves me money."

Feb 28, 2018, 1:57pm Top

>83 richardderus: Duly googled and I agree, it's lovely. Still, I think the floor scrapers appeal to me more. This is, perhaps, not surprising, but actually I don't think it's for the most apparent reason. I'm struggling to find the right word to describe how the two of the men at work on the wood floors touch me.... I just love both images.

Oh, and I was interested to see that he is the painter of "Rainy Day," which I have spent many a wonderful moment gazing at in the Chicago Art Museum (back when I lived in Illinois).

Mar 1, 2018, 8:32am Top

43 Provoked by Joanna Chambers

Rating: 4* of five

I'd rate this lower if I hadn't been prepared for the modest sexual content. What there was the author did well and it wasn't gratuitous or inorganic. I was sure the story needed to be in that place at that moment; I was sure the characters were true to their established motivations; in the end, it wasn't about dissatisfaction that I've read from a few other reviewers. I suspect the issues arose from what I was inclined to see as "instaluuuv" between men of radically (!) different stations in Regency life.

That mattered a great deal more then than it does now. Not that it doesn't now, it definitely does, but then it was an issue front and center in every act of daily life. How Balfour comes on to David is completely believable. How David responds, and how he feels, is also completely believable.

That Murdo Balfour argues for the pragmatic accommodation of self to society is unremarkably in character; that David starchily stands for conformity to the harshest possible code of actions while suffering for it is also unremarkably in character for his Presbyterian upbringing. A sect that preached predestination...your soul's salvation was not earned or even earnable since God decided the identity of the 144,000 saved at the beginning of time....wasn't likely to produce anything but the most craven sorts of lickspittles.

What made the read pleasurable for me was the sense that the men were genuinely, if ineptly and obtusely, falling for the person wearing the pretty face that neither could quite unsee. David's red hair, Balfour's dark eyes, David's slightness and Balfour's height and heft...timelessly, opposites do indeed attract. But the characters, the bits that have to fit if a passion is to alter its bell curve, do match. The men are motivated by their respective and surprisingly similar sense of honor.

It's just a pity that David's sense of humor is so impaired at the expense of that sense of honor.

Not for the squeamishly heterosexual.

Mar 1, 2018, 8:52am Top

Good morning, RD!

I love those paintings by Caillebotte, and having duly looked up images on duckduckgo (eschewing google), I find that I also really like how he paints streams, the ocean, and lakes.

>92 richardderus: Excellent review. I'm not squeamishly heterosexual but am REALLY trying to not spend a lot of money right now so will curb my impulsive self.

All my father's people were stern, righteous Presbyterians. My grandmother, born in 1882, lived with us the last 7 or so years of her life. She passed away in 1964. My father rejected the church when he was in his late teens and so I escaped the rigors of going to church. I still remember my grandmother sitting in her chair listening to radio sermons on Sundays.

Mar 1, 2018, 9:51am Top

>93 karenmarie: Heh, no, don't sprain your wrists getting the book onto your Kindle. Your Regency standards are well beyond those of the book...you've got opinions about *which* Heyer is best! You'll never need them.


Mar 1, 2018, 10:09am Top

Whew! Relief. And yes, I have strong opinions about which Heyer is best. I even have a spreadsheet of all her romances with my ratings.....


Mar 1, 2018, 7:07pm Top

44 Beguiled by Joanna Chambers

Rating: 4* of five

One quote to rule the book:
A man will fight for hate for a long time, but he will fight for love to the death.

Every single moment of this entry into the series is about Murdo's hate for the way his world wants him to behave and his love for David, which is (he very much fears) unreciprocated.

It is also about how deeply David detests his weakness of character that forbids him to turn his face to his true love and say, simply and directly, "I love you, Murdo."

These men fight like wounded Spartans at Thermopylae for the victory of love...for others...and end up with a situation neither could've planned, predicted, laid a course for, and that perfectly suits their almost desperate hunger for space and time to revel in the love they share.

And can't admit they share because Rules and Reasons.

The historical aspects of the series please me, the characters are limned economically if, at times, a bit repetitively...one more of Murdo's "fractional relaxation"s and Imma cut a bitch....and the timelessness of men's cowardliness in the face of vulnerability makes volume 3 a must-read. Reviewer Heather_k described the series as one long novel. I concur. Start at the beginning, read to the end; unless, of course, like a certain other reviewer who has vanished into the memory of pixels, the story makes you "rageface" by the 20% mark in which case Kindle it not.

Mar 1, 2018, 10:23pm Top

I missed a whole thread of yours and when I did drop in I was treated to the work of Allen Say! What a wonderful author and illustrator he is. When the Caldecott committee awarded him the medal fo Grandfather’s Journey they did good. I just ordered the graphic biography for the library this last week.

Mar 2, 2018, 3:29am Top

Happy Friday, Rdear.

Mar 2, 2018, 11:41am Top

Raspberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Because Friday. Hoping today is full of fabulous for you, BigDaddy!

Edited: Mar 2, 2018, 1:16pm Top

45 Enlightened by Joanna Chambers

Rating: 4.5* of five

Yes indeed, this is the way to end a series/long book. A completely satisfying and inevitable ending that managed to come about in a logical and challenging way.

The lead-up to the ending ain't half bad, either, but it's this ending...won't spoiler it for y'all, the Despoilerization Brigade gets downright violent...that explains why I connected with this series of Regency-set books.

How to explain without giving the show away...geez...this is as rough as explaining what the fuss about non-masturbatory orgasms is to one who has never had one...okay, lemme see here, you know how your intimate loved one has this set of things you know they do and do well? Your Lovely Other, as a Kiwi friend of mine refers to her partner, operates in this expected way and you're happy with that (or you're the Remodeler and should be excoriated and shunned, if you don't like the house don't buy it), even proud of the high end of the range of behaviors.

Then comes the day when there's a lot at stake, the high end of the range that you love in them isn't going to solve all the problems but hey, pobody's nerfect, and...


...they come ripping through good enough and fly up to jaw-dropping otherworldly excellence-cum-terrifying gut-wrenching omigawd-we're-gonna-die recklessness...


...and there you are arms outstretched to catch them when the inevitable fall comes, praying you're strong enough to keep them at least alive...


...and they land light as a feather next to you, take your hand, smile and say, "shall we go home now, dear?"

And that, my friends, is that. You will never, ever look at another human being without thinking, "you poor miserable sod, My Very Own Love doesn't know you're alive but can't wait to get home to *me*," with a smug, superior smirk on your nasty little unfairly-lucky-rotter face.

Fortunately we have fiction to take us there. It's not the most common IRL experience, is it. This series/fairly long novel gave me that experience. Read the three main novels and it's just possible it might give you the same one. I encourage you to try at least volume 1, Provoked.

*cue evil cackle and commence addictive reading in 3...2...1...*

ETA touchy touchstones are touchy and obstreperous!!!

Mar 2, 2018, 1:23pm Top

>95 karenmarie: NO!! *YOU* have a spreadsheet with data-points sortable by weighted importance and a transfer table to allow you to organize data in manipulable ways to present conclusions affected by adjustable criteria?! Unprecedented.


>97 benitastrnad: He is a National Treasure, Benita, and one I am so very glad I found. I hope you'll be pleased by The Inker's Shadow.

>98 Ameise1: Greetings to you, my dear Barbara. Thank you for my Tentacled American fix!

>99 Crazymamie: *gobbleslurpmunch*

can't talk pigging out

Mar 2, 2018, 1:45pm Top

So Wednesday. It was a horrible day. I was supposed to get an infusion of Krystexxa, a brand-new gout drug that fixes a major problem that no other drug has. It's hideously expensive and a doctor at a rheumatology practice nearby said, "we'll work on getting Medicare to pay for it."

I waited a while, called to find out what was going on, and asked if I could come get infused, was my insurance okay?

"Sure," the appointment person said. Appointment made!

Lesson: Ask better questions.

No infusion was scheduled. Of course my insurance was fine for an appointment! And that crucial unasked question led to a nasty, but hardly surprising, surprise. What made the day horrible wasn't the surprise but the physician's attitude.

I was kept waiting for over an hour. Now, had this been for an infusion, I'd've passed it off without comment. But a talky-talk with someone I've never met and who will now be wanting to go into tedious detail about my condition?

I was grumpy enough...and then I ignited when the doctor came in and was, in a word, snotty, about my expectations for the visit. His sarcastic tone as he *smirked* at me and asked, "Do you have twenty-three grand? Cause that's the only way an infusion of Krystexxa is happening," made me so angry that I stalked out while he was in the middle of saying something about "discussing options."

I intended to call the practice manager today, as when I'm required to sit for three or four hours at a stretch I'm down for the entire next day, but decided not to. Why? This is the practice's principal doctor. He's her employer. What good will my getting myself all worked up do? Her job is to deal with patients like me and make us "feel heard" not to make her boss change his ways.

So I spent yesterday being cuddled and pampered by Rob, whose attitude was "I'll go fuck 'im up," which I strongly discouraged of course but was gratifying. Still looking for a rheumatologist. Oh well.

Mar 2, 2018, 3:30pm Top

Sorry to see you had such a poor experience! That's terrible that someone would be so nasty when it's their job to help people. That sucks that the medicine is so expensive too! Hugs

Mar 2, 2018, 3:40pm Top

Aww sorry to hear about the awful experience! *HUGS*
I once had to deal with a receptionists at a doc's office who was snooty at best and that's already a kind judgement on my part. I really wanted to tell her that she ruins my day every single time I talk to her. But I filtered and decided I felt sorry for her because she must be a really hurting person to be so angry all the time...
Hopefully your next experience will be that much better!

Mar 2, 2018, 4:16pm Top

I'm with Rob. Tell him I'll meet him at the medical practice parking lot after dark. I'll bring the nunchuks...


Mar 2, 2018, 4:31pm Top

>103 ChelleBearss: It's astonishing to me that a person would go into medicine as a career for money alone. I think I met one of those people yesterday. It wasn't fun. Thanks for the hugs!

>104 jolerie: I appreciate your empathy, Valerie. I'm appalled at how many people whose lives are dominated by anger...and I am most assuredly one of them...who seem to take real pleasure in making others suffer for their own pain. Yuck. *smooch*

>105 katiekrug: Ha! I can tell I need to keep y'all entirely apart.

I'm more depressed about the vileness of our health care system than I was before, but actually just as relieved as I am pissed that the doc was so openly insensitive. I'd waaay rather know the worst soonest than to discover it later when it could do me actual damage instead of make me have to change course.

Mar 2, 2018, 4:55pm Top

>102 richardderus: - Oh, Richard. I am so sorry to hear of your day. I really hate when people in positions of *authority* or power use that privilege to hurt others. Just because they can. And I hate it almost more, when I have to censor and filter myself in order not to screw up future options that may well be necessary. I suspect that many of us have had such experiences, details different but emotional outcomes pretty much the same.



Mar 2, 2018, 5:21pm Top

Just adding my sympathy, Richard, about the lousy, insensitive doctor. I love that you walked out on him. He's probably used to everyone genuflecting to his wonderfulness (in his mind).

Mar 2, 2018, 5:37pm Top

>107 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley, that's a bitter pill indeed...

>108 jnwelch: Thank you, Joe. It's unpleasant.

BUT...this to both of y'all...one thing the shitty people like that doc fail to consider is, when there's nothing to lose, there's also nothing to prevent those you look down on from telling it like it is. Rob, who read this thread, reminded me that my speaking to the practice manager comes under the heading of "reminding the shithead that he didn't win."

Maybe on Monday.

Mar 2, 2018, 5:38pm Top

(ps to Katie when she gets back from Philly...DO NOT ACCEPT CALLS FROM AREA CODE 516!!)

Mar 2, 2018, 5:54pm Top

Heh. Is that Rob's area code? It's LI, right? Funny you said that - we are having some family drama over my deceased aunt and uncle's "estate" and their shark-y lawyer out in Suffolk Co.

Mar 2, 2018, 6:37pm Top

It's Nassau County's a/c. Suffolk is 631. It's appalling to me how much there is to go wrong after people die!

Mar 2, 2018, 9:08pm Top

Well, I was close!

Mar 2, 2018, 9:35pm Top

You were spot on, since Nassau is the part of Queens that got sloughed off after the City was formed in 1898. I could be wrong about this, but Nassau is the newest county in NY State, formed in 1901. WAAAAY out east, they wanted to form Peconic County in the 1980s/1990s...the two forks around Peconic Bay and a strip connecting them...but it went nowhere.

Mar 2, 2018, 10:32pm Top

Hi, RD. Getting behind on the threads again. It seems to happen during my work week. Just enough time to keep up on my own and of course, I can't neglect the books.

Sorry to hear about the doctor woes but at least you had Rob to add some comfort. Are you getting slammed by the storms? I have heard the east coast was getting hammered a bit.

Mar 2, 2018, 10:33pm Top

Hi! Just going to start here and move forward. Your thread moves so fast....

Okay I peeked a little. Sorry about the infusion fiasco.


Mar 2, 2018, 10:40pm Top

>115 msf59: Hey Mark, yes indeed we've had a *vile* day. It featured 9 (nine) separate power outages, 60mph winds, icy rain, and me lying firmly abed.

What a shitty human being that doc is.

>116 Berly: Hi smoochling! Yeah, the infusion thing sucks wookiee balls. So does that doc.

Mar 3, 2018, 12:24am Top

So did Rob go fuck him up? Cuz sometimes Santa gotta get whacked.

Can you (shudder) work with Medicare to see if you're eligible for the infusion? And did this doc tell you what a wonder drug it is, or did you find out from a source that didn't want 23 grand for it.

I often hope there's a heaven for no other reason than I hope there are special places in hell for people like that doc.

Mar 3, 2018, 12:29am Top

I've been out three with food poisoning. Or some kind of weird exploding vomit burning crampy guts jungle virus. The power went out twice today, and we only ever lose power in this high rise when some drunk hits the transformer on the corner. Which happens more often than you would think. Strange weather.

Mar 3, 2018, 4:04am Top

>102 richardderus: So sorry you saw a doctor who lacks empathy, Richarddear, and that after such a long wait. I can't wait at all at doctors places. Any chance your insurance will pay the treatment and find you an other rheumatologist?

((((big hugs)))

Mar 3, 2018, 8:56am Top

Hallo, RD!

I hope you have power today and are feeling okay and have Rob and/or books to look forward to.

>102 richardderus: I was wondering about the Krystexxa option – you mentioned it last fall/winter some time and then I didn’t hear any more about it. I’m so sorry that doctor was unprofessional and nasty. A**wipe.

I’m glad you were pampered and cuddled after that awful experience. …..Rob, whose attitude was "I'll go fuck 'im up," which I strongly discouraged of course but was gratifying. Daughter Jenna has recently taken to telling me she’ll come to Friends board meetings and smack people around if they get me upset. She’s very protective of me. I like it.

Mar 3, 2018, 10:52am Top

>118 SomeGuyInVirginia: Heh. I'll be looking into other practices that can be more accommodating than this one. I'm angry at his behavior; I'm disturbed that, despite this being a repeat visit and one that ended previously with my being assured the practice would look into insurance coverage for the treatment, there appeared to be no awareness of any such effort anywhere along the line.

>119 SomeGuyInVirginia: Oh gosh that's horrible! The power outage is an indicator of how nasty the storm was, but the symptoms are just horrendous. I'm so sorry.

Mar 3, 2018, 11:00am Top

>120 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! *smooch* I'm still on the hunt for the provider who will work for me instead of doing nothing, as it appears to me this practice did.

>121 karenmarie: Hey Horrible! Nothing bad weather-wise today. Rob's working and calls me every few hours to chat, aka check on my mental state. He's surprised me in a good way about this whole fechacte mess. It's agreeable to be deemed worthy of protection by today's youff.

I am *determined* to figure out why this October Daye series is so wildly popular that it gets a TV deal. I like the idea of it well enough, though you know I'm resistant to majgicqk in my books. So far the author has (mis)used the word "disinterested" to mean "uninterested" FOUR. TIMES. IN. TEN. PAGES. which would, if I were only slightly less motivated, make me toss the book aside.

*sigh* I'm still on the bubble about quitting.

Mar 3, 2018, 12:11pm Top

It's like my sainted Grammy always used to say, 'If you can find a doctor who'll cut your junk off, you can find a doctor who'll do anything.'

Mar 3, 2018, 1:30pm Top

>124 SomeGuyInVirginia: ...sainted Grammy had a horrible idea of medicine, I see...

Mar 3, 2018, 5:06pm Top

What a joy to go through your thread and see all the air-kisses and art. (I like the painting in >1 richardderus: too, especially the bottle of wine in the lower right-hand corner. What? Nekkid men don't do as much for me these days as a "nice glass of chianti." Or merlot. Or pinot grigio.) Anyway, the joy lasted up to your encounter with the arrogant doctor, which made me angry on your behalf and on behalf of all of us who have to or ever had to put up with an a-hole doctor. (I once threatened to kick one of them in the balls if he came near me. I was in labor at the time. You should have seen the look on the nurse's face. Haha.)

Great reviews on Allen Say's books. I'm going to see if my library has copies that I can borrow.

Mar 3, 2018, 5:10pm Top

>126 Storeetllr: Wow! You went through the whole thing?! I'd've just air-kissed me and started afresh, but you've got some serious chops there, lady.

LOL on your wine preferences, and the idea of kicking a doc in the balls while in labor. A two-fold (!) pleasure, I'm sure.

Mar 3, 2018, 5:14pm Top

Disclaimer: I mainly looked at the pics and gifs, skimming the rest, but I did manage to read a few posts and reviews. But, yeah, 125 posts while having my morning coffee. :)

Mar 3, 2018, 5:15pm Top


Mar 3, 2018, 5:16pm Top

Me too.

Edited: Mar 4, 2018, 9:51pm Top

Hey Richard, wishing you a happy weekend and recovery from both crappy doctor and storm. My area of Massachusetts was in that strip that got no snow or coastal flooding. A lot of rain, wind and general unpleasantness but thankfully no worse. Oh also, I finally looked over my budget, caved, and bought a Chromebook on Amazon. Hopefully more thread visiting and fewer typos will commence soon!


Mar 3, 2018, 8:08pm Top

>130 Storeetllr: :)

>131 bell7: Yay for Chromebookage! I hope yours is as reliable as mine have been. *smooch*

Edited: Mar 3, 2018, 9:55pm Top

>102 richardderus:

Any way to file a complaint and/or to leave comments on his online profile?

Could disability activist groups or a disability lawyer help?

Krystexxaconnect (from online Search) states it will help people to get covered.

Mar 4, 2018, 3:18am Top

I hate it when people set you up and then delight in putting you back down, like that medical practice. Hope your Sunday is a brighter day for you, Richard.

Mar 4, 2018, 10:38am Top

>133 m.belljackson: Thanks for the thoughts, Marianne, and I'm contemplating the proper course of action to get what I want instead of what they think I'm worth.

>134 Familyhistorian: The *attitude* is the worst thing about the experience, Meg. Makes me boiling mad!

Edited: Mar 4, 2018, 10:49am Top

>135 richardderus:

When your blood pressure goes back to normal, check out Wiki's version
of how the cost of Krystexxa went from $5,390 for a 3 month vial to $14,000.

There's no price that can be placed on giving relief for pain.
We're long overdue for the Democratic Socialism of Drugs.

Mar 4, 2018, 12:39pm Top

>136 m.belljackson: That's not the worst example of gouging, either. Many years ago my 3-month supply of colchicine cost $35...about $100 now, allowing for inflation...instead of the $370 PER MONTH it costs now.

The kicker? Colchicine has been used *unchanged*in*formulation* for over 3,000 years. Greek tyrants and Roman emperors used the same crocus stamens I've been using.

We're long past due for Democratic Socialism across the board.

Mar 4, 2018, 1:50pm Top

Rx prices...Grrrr.

I proud of myself for staying all caught up here. Air kisses.

Mar 4, 2018, 3:14pm Top

>138 Berly: Grrrr indeed, Berly-boo. Happy Sunday, and brava for staying ahead of the baying packs! *smooch*

Mar 4, 2018, 3:42pm Top

Happy Sunday, Richard! That doctor's visit makes me sad and angry at the same time - I am so sorry that happened to you.

Mar 4, 2018, 4:04pm Top

Mar 4, 2018, 4:05pm Top

>140 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie, it's appalling how many people in this world are that sort of insensitive. There are squads and fleets of other docs in the world.

Mar 4, 2018, 5:36pm Top

>141 richardderus: I recognize the feeling that the pile of unread books is glancing back.

Also adding my voice to the chorus of anger at medical price-gougers. (Google "epipen lawsuit" for the issue that hit too close to home for me, though it's small potatoes compared to some of pharma's stunts.) When socialized medicine arrives (speed the day) these ghouls have only themselves to blame.

Mar 4, 2018, 8:12pm Top

>143 swynn: Amen, Brother Man. A-bleeding-men.

Mar 4, 2018, 8:58pm Top

>102 richardderus: A-holey of the highest order.
Sheesh. Where is the love.
I have had great Drs and terrible ones in my health sagas over the years, the good ones make up for the bad, and I am so grateful for them, but the bad ones always shock me.

Mar 4, 2018, 9:10pm Top

46 Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

Rating: a grudging 2* of five

Pearl Ruled at 33%

Nope. Not one eyeblink more. I cannot do this. Too much is too much and the rose goblin escapade in chapter 8 lasted about a week too long.

This idea is fine, though the choice of San Francisco as the intersection point between humans and Faerie borders on OTT, and I guess this could still make a good TV show if they get the budget for the f/x, but oh HELL no on the bloviations of the book.

Mar 4, 2018, 9:11pm Top

>145 LovingLit: Me too, Megan, though the shock has turned to outrage. *grumble*

Edited: Mar 4, 2018, 9:31pm Top

>146 richardderus: So that would be a ‘no’ then?

Sorry to hear about your medical problems.

Mar 4, 2018, 9:42pm Top

>148 humouress: On the whole, Nina, I might tend towards a verdict not favorable to adding the aforementioned to one's TBR.

Thanks...I'm moving forward and deeply grateful the YGC decided not to do something anti-social.

Mar 4, 2018, 10:30pm Top

Mar 5, 2018, 12:57am Top

>147 richardderus: outrage is more productive! You can make an articulate complaint then. Shock just leaves you dumbfounded, and not in a position to advise them of their wrongdoings.
Also, your customer service was abysmal. I have had two cases of useless customer service lately, and I was left outraged by it- I do tend to get worked up about these things, its one of those "it's just night *right*" things.
This shop assistant at a chemists told me that *these* were the only type of *that* that were made...I said what about *those* on the shelf below. She said, oh yes, there are also those. Then she proceeded to tell me that you take them "once a month....or every three months". I asked which it was, and she went into a lengthy and dubious story. I was skeptical to say the least. And annoyed at her complete lack of ability to hear herself oscillate between so many points of unknown for her. She was fudging the whole thing.

Mar 5, 2018, 3:30am Top

>102 richardderus: *insert angry raging noises* That's just horrible and beyond frustrating and GRRRRR!

Much love and hugs.

Mar 5, 2018, 9:10am Top

>150 drneutron: Heh, I know right?!

>151 LovingLit: That's incompetence that could harm someone! Scary that she's giving advice to actual people.

I'll wait a week before I shout at anyone. It needs to be rational to be effective.

>152 BekkaJo: Thanks, Bekka! It's so stupid to behave like that, for anyone really but for a senior partner...!

Mar 5, 2018, 12:13pm Top

You might enjoy today's LitHubDaily.com =

"How I ended up writing the biography of the legendary Paul Robeson."

Mar 5, 2018, 12:49pm Top

Afternoon, BigDaddy! I actually like the October Daye books, but I always warn people that the first two are not nearly as good as the others.

You know what day it is, so let's console ourselves with bacon, lettuce and fried green tomato sandwiches:

Mar 5, 2018, 2:19pm Top

>154 m.belljackson: Thanks, Marianne, very interesting piece indeed.

>155 Crazymamie: GIMMEGIMME
Oh my heck yes!!!

Mar 5, 2018, 2:42pm Top

Happy Monday Richard, dear friend.

Mar 5, 2018, 3:10pm Top

>157 johnsimpson: Thank you, John!

Mar 6, 2018, 12:55am Top

XOXOX even if you don't care for Toby Daye, Richard. I'll help with stomping that doctor too!

Mar 6, 2018, 1:41am Top

>155 Crazymamie: OK, now I am hungry.
I need to beat a hasty retreat home for crackers and nice cheese and gherkin (that's pickle, I guess, for you). And to do the census....*sigh*. All computerized this year so no rest for my sorry-screen-soaked eyeballs.

Mar 6, 2018, 7:46am Top

>159 ronincats: Hi Roni...I am sorry about the lack of October luuuv around here. I don't fit with Seanan McGuire, I fear, something alchemical just doesn't happen for me. Bring your hobnailed boots, I'm forming a butt-kickin' line to the left.

>160 LovingLit: Gherkins are smallish, sweetish pickles here.

Dill pickles, my dotes, are bigger and tarter.

I'm a fan of pickled or fried most anything. Fried dill pickles? For which it is to die!

The chipotle (dried ripe jalapeño) mayonnaise above is my personal favorite dipping sauce.

Chipotles and fresh ripe jalapeños used to make them.

Mar 6, 2018, 10:04am Top

I'm a huge fan of pickled anything, too. Except maybe eggs. Pickled eggs look kind of gross. I haven't ever had the opportunity to eat one when I hadn't been drinking, so I can't be a good judge. Come to think of it, I don't even remember what I thought of them when I was drinking, so they must have been unspectacular either way.

Mar 6, 2018, 12:05pm Top

>162 The_Hibernator: I'm a pickled-egg fan as well, so I'm not grossed out by the color. Then again I am a big beet eater. Love the earthy sweetness of them. So satisfying.

Happy Tuesday, Rachel, thanks for stopping in.

Mar 6, 2018, 1:47pm Top

>162 The_Hibernator: I don't believe I've ever eaten a pickled egg - mostly I hate pickled things because I don't do bitter/sour well. But I should probably try a pickled egg, since I believe they're pickled in sugar rather than in brine...based on (someone on LT, I think) who was told by her doctor that she must give up her beloved pickled eggs because she needed to lower the salt in her diet. She replied that there's no salt in pickled eggs and (IIRC) was met with disbelief. Phooey on doctors who think they know better than everyone (to link the two threads of conversation...).

Mar 6, 2018, 2:52pm Top

47 For We Are Many by Dennis E. Taylor

Rating: 4* of five

This entry in the three-book series is less of a romp than the first because, of course, because the territory is no longer new or fresh; but it's still a hoot and a holler. I had such a great time going back to the Bobiverse! These books are a pleasure to me because their humor resonates with me:
At times like this, I wondered if I hadn’t gone a little overboard with the level of detail in my virtual-reality environment. There was no reason for me to even have nether regions, let alone for them to pucker.

And that should tell you what you need to know about the suitability of the series to your reading needs. If that neither makes you laugh nor gives you a sense of the subject of the books, best you pass them by.

This installment brings us past the previously known Bobiverse...the bubble of space that Bob's previously created new selves have gone off to explore...and into contact with more new species. There are new threats, new ways of getting the heck rid of old threats, and plenty of the old threats come around again:
I sincerely hoped that in the fullness of time, they’d have the opportunity to get all bent out of shape about environmentalism.

Seems that "intelligence" is a menace...and maybe VEHEMENT had a point. (Bobiversals will get that.) But there's nothing like a replicant on a mission to make the Universe safe for sentient life. The Bobs come through this book without a hint of middle-book-itis. The action doesn't slack. The stakes don't falter. The pace of the book doesn't dilly-dally and the Bobs, bless 'em, don't shilly-shally as they tackle problems on a greater-than-human timescale. I can't spoiler stuff since the Anti-spoiler Activists get so stroppy about it. But I can say that there's no good reason for someone who liked the first book not to get the second ASAP and there's no reason for someone who didn't like the first book to even consider this one.

As for me, I'm on to book three and might even have bumped this one up a rating point had it not been for the clear affection and acceptance herein shamelessly flaunted for a lifeform utterly unworthy of it:
The cat’s A.I. was realistic, right down to the total lack of loyalty.

Mar 6, 2018, 3:12pm Top

Ah, good review of the second Bobiverse book, RD. That's what I needed to hear. I'm on it.

Mar 6, 2018, 5:30pm Top

>141 richardderus: 🤣

And boo.

Mar 6, 2018, 6:19pm Top

Hope you are having a better week, this week, Richard. Funny, I am suddenly craving pickles.

Mar 6, 2018, 6:57pm Top

Yum. Love pickles. I can polish a whole jar off by myself and luckily enough, no one in the family shares my love of it so I don't even have to share. Win! I have yet to try the deep fried version but I salivate at the thought of how divine it would be....

Mar 6, 2018, 10:26pm Top

Hallo RD!

I love pickles and started salivating when I saw the pics of the gherkins and dills. I make my own sweet pickles if I get a good cucumber crop, and since I'm the only one here who eats 'em, more for me.


Mar 7, 2018, 1:00am Top

>161 richardderus: Huh. Interesting. My faves are my dad's recipe: gherkins, pickled with dill. Which I call gherkins, and eat sliced with crackers and cheese :)

Mar 7, 2018, 11:15am Top

48 Necropolis by Jordan L. Hawk

Rating: 4* of five

Book four in a series is a tricky point. There's a reason most of the fantasy/genre publishing world has been dominated by trilogies: We're mostly sick of the joke by the time we get to book three. Even of characters that are delightful and daisy-fresh and involved in unique endeavors, by the time we've read 300,000 words-plus about them, we're in full fatigue mode. It's the same reason there are danger points in marriages, cliffs that TV shows fall over, serial entrepreneurs.

We get bored.

So in a series of books that's about a pair of lovers becoming a couple, learning about themselves, each other, their families, and oh yeah by the way those monsters under your bed? totally real, how do we do the Bore-Me-Not Rhumba? At about the pace the men involved do it, per Author Hawk. Whyborne's antics in the first three books have led his gawky, scholarly self down some most unusual paths, and Griffin is deeply concerned for the safety and sanity of his mate. Their adventure in this book leads them to follow Christine, the token real girl,to the deserts of Egypt in order to thwart Nyarlathotep coming to Earth. (That's one of Lovecraft's Elder Gods, in case you're wondering.)

But the trip to Egypt is Whyborne's worst nightmare! Griffin, well, traveling is nothing to his former-Pinkerton self. He's quite looking forward to it...except he's worried about his beloved Whyborne, whose studies in sorcerous spells make him much more than a little nervous:
If the man couldn’t make an argument one way, he’d find another.

Welcome to marriage, Whyborne. Griffin is completely invested in you, your health, your survival. His happiness depends on your maintenance of all those things. He's going to argue with you about your behaviors when he sees you acting counter to what he knows is your best interest. That it isn't what you think is your best interest is what keeps marriages alive.

As is also bog-standard normal for long-term love, Party of the first part might as well be looking at a fun-house mirror for all the resemblance their self-image bears to Party of the second part's vision of them:
Griffin had once called me brave, but I couldn’t imagine how he would possibly think it. I feared everything: talking to strangers, leaving Widdershins, humiliating myself in public…the list went on and on. There was nothing for a man such as Griffin, who as a Pinkerton foiled bank robberies and chased down hardened criminals, to admire in me. But he thought otherwise, mad as it sounded, and his belief made me want to be that man, the one he could admire.

The bright face of being in love. How common a feeling, to want the beloved to be pleased with us! And how seldom we see that the beloved is looking squarely at us and seeing the strength that it takes to move in the face of fear. Griffin sees Whyborne's best in seeing his behaviors and knowing the fears and failings behind them:
How you burn, bright enough it almost blinds me. But I can’t look away.

And how often the beloved already is, far more than we ever credit or even believe when we're told as Griffin directly says to Whyborne above, possessed of our secrets and infatuated by our strength in the face of them.

It's a pallid but similar investment that the series reader makes in the series. This danger point, book four, sinks many a series under the weight of its tics and crotchets. Whyborne, our PoV character, is monumentally self-absorbed. A lady's woman-ness isn't really an excuse for Whyborne's inability to see her, a new character in this book's, interest in him:
Her smile offered me no clues. “Very good indeed,” she affirmed, before turning back to the wall and leaving me to my confusion. ... I opened my mouth to ask what she meant. At the same moment, she leaned forward and kissed me.

And thus is a silly git shocked, shocked I say, by the mere existence of women aware of his desirability! It's played for comedy, and truthfully I've been Whyborne more than once in my life (it shames me to admit), but it's part and parcel of Whyborne's least appealing trait. It's very much at the fore here. It's a crotchet that could sink the series easily, as I found my eyes rolling without conscious volition...except Author Hawk got there ahead of me.

One of Griffin's refrains has been his concern for the effects of Whyborne's researches on his safety. Whyborne's counter is always, "look at how many times it's saved our bacon!" And this point is inarguable, but to one side, of Griffin's concern. Deflecting attention is a survival thing for Whyborne, growing up in a terribly dysfunctional family. It's been working fine until now, but Griffin and Christine are in much more danger than ever from multiple sources. All the sources are magical. All of them demand that Whyborne override Griffin's loving concern for his safety. All of the threats also demand that he de-absorb himself in his own head and notice, really and truly notice *in*the*moment* that his friends are real even when he's not paying attention to them.

About this time, most authors of series fail. They don't let the character that needs to grow make the leap. Author Hawk does, I'm very happy to say, and does so very explicitly. It is the reason I will read books five and up. I've included the quote as a spoiler, so look no farther down unless you're game for a spoiler.

Whyborne, afraid for his loved ones' continued safety after the supernatural enemies they faced down in this book, makes the following vow:
But I wasn’t helpless. And given the dark turns our lives had taken, the horrors we’d faced, it was my responsibility to arm myself as well as I might against any future threats. If we survived tonight, I’d stop pretending to be a dilettante and throw myself fully into the study of the arcane arts. I’d become a true sorcerer.

And now let the shenanigans commence. *gleeful hand-rubbing*

Mar 7, 2018, 12:11pm Top

Very spotty WiFi just now because the weather causes some problems...rain always does...but hoping everyone is well and happy and reading up a storm (so to speak). I'm involved in book 3 of the Bobiverse, All These Worlds, and beginning to see the flaw in this style of storytelling more clearly: Hard to invest in a full character when it's made up of short hits.

Edited: Mar 7, 2018, 2:42pm Top

>172 richardderus: you're right about fatige mode - I loved to read Harry Turtledove's alt history but each book is a doorstop and then just keep on coming.

Was liking his WorldWar series - World War II is interrupted by alien invasion and Hitler and Churchill have to work together to defeat it - but after four Books i cannot summon up the energy.

I'm told King Solomon had a similar problem . . . :-)

Mar 7, 2018, 3:13pm Top

>174 magicians_nephew: Oh gosh, Worldwar! I lost patience in book two. I got further into the War That Came Early series...WWII in 1938...all the way through book three and stalled about halfway through book four. Yeah, you me an' ol' Sol, we got way too many peeps waitin' on us to decide stuff. :)

Mar 7, 2018, 5:00pm Top

There is permaybehaps an inch of snow out there, a moderate breeze of 15mph, and people are *freaking*out*, our dining room served dinner at 4pm, and support staff is at 11pm levels! You'd think we're on Vancouver Island, not Long Island. ::eyeroll::

Mar 7, 2018, 5:05pm Top

>176 richardderus: LOL!!! Good luck making it through what is obviously snowmageddon. ;)

Mar 7, 2018, 5:13pm Top

We're at 5" and still going strong. Maybe the staff all live in Jersey ;-)

Mar 7, 2018, 9:53pm Top

>161 richardderus: I'll be happy to send you all my pickles. I removed the ones from my Chick-Fil-A sandwich at lunch. I can eat them if I have to do so, but I really don't like them that much. I don't care that much for the taste of dill, and I suspect that's part of the problem. I tolerate sweet pickles in stuff like chicken or tuna salad, but I really prefer those things without the pickles too. I suspect texture is the other problem. Give me the cucumber raw, and I'm more likely to eat it.

Mar 7, 2018, 10:11pm Top

Your doctor story is frighteningly familiar. Once when my dad was recovering from a heart episode that resulted in his having a stent placed in one of his arteries (one of the first of those procedures, I believe--it was many years ago), he had a follow-up appointment with his PA cardiologist (the procedure had been done in Florida), and he asked a question to clarify something the doctor told him about his medication. The doctor threw up his hands and said "I don't have time for this. Take it or don't take it---suit yourself." So my father walked out, asked his pharmacist to explain things, and decided seeing the Florida doc once a year was good enough for him. I hope you can find a new, human, rheumatologist. That guy needs an attitude adjustment.

Mar 8, 2018, 6:32am Top

Morning, RD. Sweet Thursday. Hope you are feeling well and I am glad to hear that you have avoided getting smacked by the latest snowstorm. Whew!

Mar 8, 2018, 9:33am Top

>179 thornton37814: Yup, not a pickle person either. Or really anything particularly vinegar-y. Have at 'em, Richard. 😀

Mar 8, 2018, 9:58am Top

>176 richardderus: Freaking out in snow is one of life's simple pleasures.

Mar 8, 2018, 12:18pm Top

>177 MickyFine: Heh. Yeah, we ended up with scary, scary slushy sidewalks and some horrifying...umm...it was a total non-event here next to the North Atlantic.

>178 katiekrug: For what these folks get paid, they couldn't afford the tolls to get back and forth from Jersey daily. Most likely all from Queens is my guess, and they got bubkes too.

>179 thornton37814: Sweet pickles are okay, and any pickle is better than no pickle, but given the choice I'm a dillaholic and will find a way to sprinkle some around on just about anything. I like cilantro, too, so I'm just weird.

But we all knew that.

Mar 8, 2018, 12:23pm Top

>180 laytonwoman3rd: Oh, the county's *thick* with rheumatologists. Aging, well-to-do populations tend to attract them. A few of those will even accept "low-value" patients like me...on Medicaid, that is. It's awfully nice of the profession to refer to us by the insurance we carry, don't you think?

>181 msf59: No issues, Mark, thank goodness, and hopefully you're not trudging through snowdrifts either.

>182 drneutron: Yum! Thanks, Jim!

>183 SomeGuyInVirginia: Simple pleasures for the simple-minded, I suppose, though how it's a pleasure to wig out over weather that doesn't involve high winds and loss of essential services is beyond my poor brain's ability to grok.

Mar 8, 2018, 9:01pm Top

49 All These Worlds (Bobiverse #3) by Dennis E. Taylor

Rating: 4* of five

When the limitations of a single human lifespan are removed from a sentient being's development, what will happen? Will the being go mad, become frozen emotionally, decide to destroy the Universe and see what happens next?

Bob Johansson finds out.

I am jealous of Bob, I am happy Author Taylor decided to write Bob down, and I am all done with the series of novels explaining the Bobiverse. Kinda sorta wish I wasn't but I am, and I think a lot of y'all should pack a Kindle with these three novels and light out for the Bobiverse right quick. The reason is that, in reading the books in order, you'll come to realize that Author Taylor doesn't have a high opinion of the species and still makes a concerted effort to save us. He doesn't consign us to the scrapheap of history with a shrug and a ~meh~.

In this moment of US national history, it's probably more than I'd be able or even willing to do, so it made my days a bit brighter. I'm happy to be jollied along by the greater generosity of a Man with a Plan. And so, I suspect, might other guys be. And I stress the "guys" part—this is a Guy Book in every particular. There are very few female characters and only one, Bridget, is at all developed. Even she is a guy in a woman suit.

Bridget does provide something unique to the Bobiverse...she has a family, kids who grow into beings both like and unlike her. Her relationship with those kids as all the parties age...Bob, in his own way, ages as well...makes for some excellent drama and some astonishing emotional resonances with readers over 50.

I'm also at the point in life where another factor of the Bobiverse, the meditation on personal immortality and the options it provides, is particularly interesting to me. I don't think I'm quite as eager for it at my age as I would have been at Bob's age (31) when he dies. I'm not saying it doesn't have a huge upside. I'm saying that I now feel as well as see the downside, the inevitable losses and griefs piling up under the carpet until the Karastan is basically a blip on the Everest of stuff not dealt with. Author Taylor goes there, as well, and I suspect it's a subject of newfound interest to the intended audience for the book.

The idea of family comes in for some particularly inventive workouts in the Bobiverse. One of the intriguing things about immortality, particularly in Bob's form of multiple "clones" of his conscious mind branching from the moments of separation, is the expanded family sense it offers. Each new generation of Bob-clones is one more removed from Original Biological Bob, then Replicant Bob, then the cloned Bob-minds that cloned Bob-minds that now clone Bob-minds...yet all have perfect digital recall of the "ancestral" Bobs to the moment of their awareness as individuals begins.

Mind-blowing, isn't it? Think on it: generations of sibling-selves with your character! Every facet would be fully explored, of course, like all siblings each unique individual would seek to become different, to distinguish itself from all the others around it. In effect, though the clones would start with certain memories as a base of contact with all the other sibling consciousnesses, as the generations of cloning take place the point of commonality would be deeper and deeper under the sense of personal uniqueness.

It would be fascinating to see this play out! I wanna be in the Bobiverse, dammit!

Except, of course, for the Bobiversal solution to the Fermi Paradox ("where is everybody?"), the Others. A better monster-movie villain I ain't never read. Scary. Don't deny yourself the simultaneous pleasure and fear of experiencing the Bobiverse! Like, now!

Mar 9, 2018, 5:21am Top

Some great reviews this week.

Happy Friday smoochies :)

Mar 9, 2018, 8:24am Top

Good morning, RD! *smooches* from central NC, where it is a nice, bright 22F.

I love dill pickles, hate dill in or on anything else. ATD, right? I love cilantro on or in anything, however.

Mar 9, 2018, 1:36pm Top

Hi there - It's Friday. Yay!

Catching up from when I was last here far too long ago -

Sorry to read about last week's horrible physician visit. Go Rob!

>141 richardderus: ALL THE TIME!

>165 richardderus: "The cat’s A.I. was realistic, right down to the total lack of loyalty."

That's it - I've decided that the library wait lists are too long and then time constraining when I get the first Bobiverse book so I'm picking it up at Powell's today after work.

Mar 9, 2018, 3:05pm Top

>187 BekkaJo: Hi Bekka! Thanks for the kind words and smoochies.

>188 karenmarie: Horrible! How goes it? We're warmer than you are, though expecting some squalls later in the day that'll make for wind-chillies.

I confess I'm verschmeckeled at the dill-disdain. I have the same response to chocolate...peanut butter and, or no thanks...so I'm familiar with the eyebrow-raisingness of personal taste.

*smooch* for a fabOO Friday.

>189 SuziQoregon: Hey Juli, glad I could smack SOMEone with a BB on the Bobiverse.

I've kept a beady eye on Rob, making sure he's not ticked off enough to do something stupid. All settled down now, thank goodness.

Mar 9, 2018, 3:17pm Top

>185 richardderus:

Regarding doctors and Medicaid/Medicare patients -
after seeing my monthly reports on how little M/M pays them for services,
it's no surprise the doctors don't want flocks of us.

Mar 9, 2018, 3:20pm Top

>191 m.belljackson: Agreed. Still more fuel for my fires: Single Payer Now.

Mar 9, 2018, 3:38pm Top

>186 richardderus: Nice review! I'm with you - I really want to explore the Bobiverse. And I was a bit sad to see the trilogy end.

But yeah, guy book all the way... 😀

Mar 9, 2018, 3:41pm Top

>193 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! I'm still morally certain that you're "Dennis E. Taylor," despite avowals to the contrary. It just *sounds* like you.

Mar 9, 2018, 3:43pm Top

I love dill. That is all.


Mar 9, 2018, 3:43pm Top

Soul sibling! *smooch*

Mar 9, 2018, 4:48pm Top

>186 richardderus: I am jealous of Bob, I am happy Author Taylor decided to write Bob down, and I am all done with the series of novels explaining the Bobiverse
You crack me up :)

Re: medical stuff. As you may know, we have a free public health system which has served me very well in the past (through 2x hip surgeries, 2x foot surgeries and 2x having babies surgeries). However, it is being slowly run into the ground. Funding shortfalls are exacerbated as people drop off waiting lists for them being too long, and pay foe their own medical stuff (like we did when the lovely other needed an MRI and the wait was three years), also, the well-off go for private health insurance, thus removing a proportion of people who have the gumption and connections to complain about long waiting lists.
Anyway, it is a sad state of affairs, but thankfully we are still better off that the UK whose system is further down the track (in the wrong direction) than us, and still better than you in the US who have a terribly stressful time by the sounds.

Mar 9, 2018, 4:52pm Top

Like dill, just can't stand acidity and sourness, so not in pickles. Like sweet gherkins, though. ;)

Mar 9, 2018, 7:24pm Top

>197 LovingLit: Yep. Yep. The world's going back down the shitter for sure. The longer we wait to torture some billionaires to death, the worse it will be.

Single Payer (NO OPT-OUTS) now!!

>198 ronincats: I'll have your pickles, then, shall I? You get my chocolate supply.

Mar 10, 2018, 1:12pm Top

Like Roni, I am no fan of sour, so you can have my pickles too, Richard.
No need for chocolate in return, as I banned most sugar from my diet ;-)
I hope you have a good day today.

Mar 10, 2018, 1:25pm Top

Hi, RD. I liked the second Bobiverse novel, and I’m glad to see your positive reaction to the third. I’ve got it tees up.

Mar 10, 2018, 1:48pm Top

Love all the pickle talk. There were always pickles on the table at supper/dinner when I was a kid. Usually either Grandma Young's bread and butter slices, or Grandma Hoke's
hi-test dill spears, seriously potent with garlic, an acquired taste which sadly I will never experience again because she's gone and so is her magic. Her niece made them for years after my grandmother died, and they were good, but not the same. I think she grew her own garlic, as well as her own cukes and dill. You just can't duplicate that.

Mar 10, 2018, 6:43pm Top

>184 richardderus: I love cilantro.

Mar 10, 2018, 7:59pm Top

Happy Saturday, RD! Just checking in with my pal. I hope you have been hunkered down with the books and hooray for pickles!

Mar 11, 2018, 11:42am Top

>200 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! Happy to see you here. I'm not at all willing to renounce sugar, as you have done, but I've also been fairly moderate in my sugar intake for an American. I eat about half as much as my countrywomen do and have lately been eating less than that because I'm not eager to chow down on pastries lately.


>201 jnwelch: I expect it'll be a good read for you, Joe, and give you that good, satisfied end-of-series experience. Author Kinnison...I mean Taylor, heh...thought through the way a series can end with satisfaction but not finality. Very much approved.

I hope the LA visit goes according to plan.

Mar 11, 2018, 2:05pm Top

>202 laytonwoman3rd: Oh yes indeed, those hi-test dills sound super good! My favorite commercially available pickles have always been Clausen's Koser Dills. Oh my heck. The garlicky tartness and the crisp *snap* of a really good kosher dill can't be overpraised.

>203 thornton37814: My goodness, doesn't everyone? *blinks*

>204 msf59: Hey Mark! Today's a perfect spring day, chilly and sunshiney and refreshing. Tomorrow snow/rain/yeccchhh returns for a day or so, then back to spring. Happy Sunday!

Mar 11, 2018, 5:29pm Top

>205 richardderus: Saw what you did there... :)

Mar 11, 2018, 5:46pm Top

>205 richardderus: Jebus, they put sugar in everything now. Next thing, they'll put it in toothpaste. That and nicotine.

Mar 11, 2018, 9:22pm Top

>208 SomeGuyInVirginia: I had to switch toothpastes (though not brands) when they started putting sugar alcohols into the one I was using. I react badly to those - but apparently people wanted the toothpaste to taste sweeter (why?). They (Tom's of Maine) helped me find a flavor of theirs, in my preferred formulation, that _doesn't_ have excess sugar alcohols (I don't mind xylitol, it's supposed to actually help against cavities, but they added other -tols to the wintermint flavor). So now my toothpaste is cinnamon and clove-flavored - it was quite startling when I first used it, but I've gotten used to it. I like both those flavors, anyway.

But why, why must everything be sweet and/or salty (mostly and)? Give the actual flavors of food a chance!

Mar 11, 2018, 9:48pm Top

Also a cilantro fan. And I'll take all the dark chocolate you can send my way!

I thought the second Bobiverse book over-extended itself, got too spread out, but I'll go ahead with the third based on your strong recommendation.

One of the best things about the October Daye series is that McGuire got the mythology right. This isn't some surface adoption of fae stereotypes.

Mar 12, 2018, 11:08am Top

>209 jjmcgaffey: Holy cow, I can't believe toothpaste actually has sugar (alcohols) in it, I thought I was making it up. Isn't sugar supposed to be the numero uno tooth decay thingie?

I'll probably have to go to Whole Foods to get a catsup that doesn't have sugar in it. Duke's mayonnaise doesn't have sugar and I started using that. I like sugar, adore ice cream, but I totally agree that all food taste sweet now.

RD, Maison Kayser opened up a branch not far from where I work. Authentic French coffee, bread and pastries. It's to die.

Edited: Mar 12, 2018, 12:48pm Top

>186 richardderus: of course Gulliver's Travels has a few things to say about an overly extended lifespan

>191 m.belljackson: Richard its good of you to see it from the medico's point of view. I know my primary care is a wonderful and decent woman who works hard and cares about her patients and is paid, per hourly wage, not that much and spends hours after the last patient has gone home wrestling with insurance forms and such like to earn her bread and cheese

>200 FAMeulstee: love pickles love pickles love pickles running out from work right now to buy a big jar of PICKLES!

Mar 13, 2018, 2:01am Top

Cilantro, no (tastes too much like celery); coriander, better.

As for sugar in foods, bread made locally for the supermarkets has sugar in. Just completely wrong for a ham or salmon sandwich, but when you’re hungry, you force it down.

I take it the snow has melted? I remember when we lived in Manhattan and my husband’s brother & sister-in-law visited us from near Boston; the snow on the avenues had been piled up by the pavements and climbed almost all the way up the traffic light poles. I couldn’t believe that they, who slept with the windows wide open in winter, couldn’t take the cold though we could, even though we’d been living in Singapore for a few years already. Until I realised that they never had to go outdoors even to get into their car.

Edited: Mar 13, 2018, 9:22am Top

Lemon Blueberry Poppyseed Ricotta Waffles

Morning, BigDaddy!

Mar 13, 2018, 9:57am Top

Good morning, RD! I hope you're doing okay - I haven't been on the threads lately and came over to catch up, only to realize that you haven't even been on your own thread for 2 days.

*smooches* from Madame TVT Horrible

(>214 Crazymamie: *whimper*)

Mar 13, 2018, 2:27pm Top

>207 drneutron: Are you *finally* ready to admit that "Dennis E. Taylor" is one Jim Kinnison, Rocket Scientist? Hmm?

>208 SomeGuyInVirginia: Yeah, every-damn-thing is sugared to the eyebrows. When I say I'm lowering sugar in my diet, I mean *voluntary* sugar, the crap that I know is hypersugared to the eyebrows. Ice cream, pastries, etc etc. Can't do much about hidden sugars in sauces etc since I'm unable to cook much beyond frozen/canned/packages stuff without a stove.

>209 jjmcgaffey: Hi Jenn, that's a darn good question and one I feel sure Someone Upstairs doesn't want us groundlings asking.

Mar 13, 2018, 2:38pm Top

>210 ronincats: Dark chocolate is the one I don't hate, so the quantities will be lower than they would be of milk *ugh* chocolate *blech*.

The Bobiverse is too spread out. It's the fly in the series' ointment but it's part and parcel of the "joke" of the series. I'm not all the way happy with the wide-angle viewpoint. I understand that it's inevitable, to a degree, but I wish Author Kinnison, I mean Taylor!, had used the existing framing device to better advantage. Since Bill is the central clearing house why not have the remotest, least often heard from Bobs known only from reports sent back to Bill? We can catch up with them during a moot!

>211 SomeGuyInVirginia: I'm unhappy with the sugariness of every foodstuff. I buy carefully but I can't go without some foodstuffs that're replete with sugar. *sigh*

In Austin I haunted a place called Texas French Bread on 29th Street. Real french rolls with butter and breakfast radishes! Ooo la la.

>212 magicians_nephew: It does indeed...I think Methuselah was the first superannuated old fuffertut to get the literary lionization, but there was a sting in that tale IIRC.

I understand needing to run a business and needing the business to produce a surplus. I also understand that the unvirtuous cycle begins with privileging the surplus over the business....

Pickles! Pickles! Rah rah rah!!

Mar 13, 2018, 2:44pm Top

>213 humouress: Hi Nina! Coriander seed makes me drool. I love everything off the plant!

The celery taste is natural enough, in that cilantro/coriander is related to celery.

People from Car Country are total wusses when it comes to weather, since they don't experience it for any length of time. I hoof to the store and back in freezing gales! And I'm an old feeb! ::eyeroll::

>214 Crazymamie: *slobberdripdrool* Mamie darling, you bring the best prezzies. *smooch*

>215 karenmarie: I'm back now that a minor technology glitch is fixed. My touchpad died somehow or other and I had to go back to an external mouse. Got the mouse and got to work!


Mar 13, 2018, 2:56pm Top

Glad you are back RD - was a little concerned that you were awol :)

Mar 13, 2018, 6:01pm Top

50 Unnatural by Joanna Chambers

Rating: 4.5* of five

A series that ends with a secondary character's starring role in a series novel is a very strong series indeed. This book takes a character from book 2 of the main series, Enlightened, and gives him a star turn. Captain Iain Sinclair is King George IV's aide-de-camp, responsible to the newly enthroned Prinny for managing the flow of people seeking his attention all the while serving his army masters as a spy on His Pathetic Majesty's private life and thoughts.

Characteristically for the charismatic and unprincipled Iain, it's the tedium and not the moral questionability of his job that drives him to resign his commission in His Majesty's Army. Dealing with the Royal Twit's sulks, tantrums, and crotchets makes Iain crazy. He does it for three years because he's ashamed to let go of the army career that has enabled him to feel his father's mildest, most conditional affection every once in a way.

You see, Iain had the bad taste to be gay. He's a younger son, so there aren't dynastic consequences. But his father, already disappointed in his own life, puts extra weight on Iain and feels he was sorely let down by him on a horrible occasion back before discovering the lad's gayness. He speaks awful, hateful words to his son, and essentially does his dead-level best to be hateful and terrible to him as often as possible. This is made easier for "Father" Dear as his personal and familial disappointments are constantly laved in the (un-)balm of alcohol. Iain is only slightly redeemed by his Army commission and his tales of derring-do in battle.

But then the Napoleonic Wars end. Being an aide-de-camp to the King...well...not quite so exciting as battlefield stuff, though goddesses know that most fathers of that era would be kvelling over their son's closeness to the Royal Person. Not Iain's, no indeed. Where does Iain turn for his affections to be returned?

His best friend, the younger but more intelligent James Hart. Jamie has hero-worshipped his dashing, sophisticated older friend most of his life. Their mothers and older sisters are fast friends. Their proximity and their mutual admiration lead the usual places for young gay boys in the country with no other objects of desire. But only after the older Iain has some experience under his belt, having been away in the Army and all. And James gets a first-hand look at what Iain has learned! Mind=blown.

So what if Iain isn't the marrying kind and his country mouse is?

When we meet Iain in the series universe it is as a fellow debauchee of starchy David Lauriston's rakehell true love, Lord Murdo Balfour. The King's Scottish tour was organized to keep the fat old fool busy while the *real* governing class gets on with drawing a plan to keep peace and foster stability in all of Europe. (It was remarkably successful.) The fool's progress through Scotland was Iain's worst nightmare and his resignation came shortly after it was over. Iain is still hurting from James' inability to be just friends with the man he loves and idolizes. After one truly gorgeous lovemaking session, a romantic and loving scene described by Author Chambers in her trademark spare and evocative style, Iain has severe collywobbles and runs away, comme d'habitude. James is...done, through, out of patience with his beloved's assholish behavior, both at that moment and later when James runs Iain to ground to have it out with him in fashionable London's bordello of choice for sodomites. (Doubly funny since the sin of the Sodomites was lack of hospitality to strangers. That's why ol' Yhwh rained fire and brimstone down on 'em. Look it up! It's right there in that Bible the homophobes beat us up with.)

This novel's structure shifts points of view between the men as well as time-shifts between past and present. That can feel a little seasick at times. There is one section of the men at a fight that I skimmed...I don't like boxing...plus it went on a bit long. But in the moments that make the series of novels work, the quiet and private moments of two young men flouting every tradition and every custom they've been raised to uphold and revere, Author Chambers delivers the goods and then some.

There is a love nest scene...the young men coming into a prepared love nest for the first time...that made me smile as wide as anything I've ever read. There was an al fresco scene that caused a mild attack of the vapours. There was a moment between two siblings that made me sadly aware that very few gay people in this country, and in this world, have real families. There were deeply affecting scenes in almost every chapter (every if you're more boxing tolerant than I am). This is an historical novel with gay main characters, though, and make no mistake. Romantic yes, romance no. It's closer to a romance than the main trilogy, which I'd call a long historical novel, is, but still not enough of the beats of a genre romance are there for that subset of readers.

I went into the read expecting that to be the case so I was not jolted by the lacks and absences. If you'll set aside romance novel ideation and think of the books as historical novels, I suspect you'll thoroughly enjoy the reads.

Mar 13, 2018, 6:05pm Top

>219 BekkaJo: Thank you, Bekka dear, it was a good reason to read through some shorter stuff on the Kindle. None of it was terribly memorable.

Mar 13, 2018, 6:34pm Top

>186 richardderus: I've got All These Worlds waiting for me at the library, and I'm really looking forward to it. Really liked the first two books in the Bobiverse; lots of humor and science and other good things. Glad you're a fan too!

Karen O.

Mar 13, 2018, 8:11pm Top

Hi Karen, happy to see you here. It's a fitting end to the series. I like the Bobiverse very much indeed. Although between you and me, I'm pretty much positive that Jim...drneutron...is the *real* author of the books. I can't find a photo of "Dennis E. Taylor" anywhere....

Mar 13, 2018, 8:45pm Top

51 Bloodline by Jordan L. Hawk

Rating: 4.75* of five

Guinevere, Lady Gravenwold, is Whyborne's elder sister. She was never on his side as a child locked in battle with Stanford, his lout of a louse of a lush of an older brother. As such she didn't and doesn't loom large in his life, being a married and titled English matron. She is, nevertheless, the vector for an abrupt and painful change in Whyborne's life and in his loving relationship with Griffin. She brings the Endicott twins, Theo and Fiona, English scions of the matrilineal ancestry shared by Whyborne's siblings. They're everyhting a country bumpkin American cousin expects English aristocrats to be: Sophisticated, glamorous, amorous (at least Theo is, noticing Whyborne "like a dessert he wants to sample" according to Griffin's sour, unimpressed take on things), and very, very eager to make their American relatives among their social conquests.

Social, and other, kinds of conquests. Many other kinds.

This entry in the series is a very different beast from the others. Yes, Whyborne still lies-by-omission to a worried Griffin about his "dabblings" into sorcery. Yes, Griffin still tries his best to stop Whyborne from taking ridiculous risks with life and limb, since he as a former Pinkerton understands how quickly a controlled situation can unravel into monstrous chaos. He's got the mental scars to prove it. But what makes this entry's stakes higher is the extremely close position of each of the story's lines to Whyborne's most beloved and cherished people.

Guinevere's biggest surprise for Whyborne is her knowledge that he's a sorceror. The Endicott twins' biggest surprise for Whyborne is their true identities. Griffin's biggest surprise for Whyborne is that he loves his Ival (awful nickname, I'd prefer "Percy" if I were Whyborne) completely and unswervingly. And it should tell you something major about this book that those aren't spoilers significant enough to rate as problematic within the events of this book.

The true nature of Widdershins is revealed. The true fate of the Whyborne family comes to fruition. The true nature of Whyborne's sorcerous powers blasts through any remaining walls of fear to be brought fully into his intimates' lives.

A new people, the ketoi, play their most significant role to date. The beauty of their existence is heart-hurting by the end of the book.

Author Hawk has made these books cumulative in their emotional effect. Read them in order. And I strongly recommend you read them.

Mar 13, 2018, 9:21pm Top

52 Hoarfrost by Jordan L. Hawk

Rating: 4.5* of five

And here is where everything changes.

The first words of this book, Griffin's words which marks the first big change, are:
Pa was dead.

POW just like that you, the series' reader on through this sixth entry, are busted in the chops. The long history of Griffin and his adoptive father is now over. The possibility of a reconciliation is gone forever. Now Griffin has to find a way to forgive. Forgiveness is vital to an injured, abused child. It doesn't always mean restored relationships. But Griffin is now past the point where that can happen.

First words of the first page. THAT is bravery, Author Hawk.

Will it surprise you to learn that Griffin's revelation is but the first painful wrench in this journey? I thought not. Griffin's father's memorial service, as he was asked by his adoptive mother not to attend the funeral, brings comfort to Griffin from the depths of the sea that Widdershins abuts, and allows him to hope in his desolated heart that the letters his father returned to sender unopened will finally reach the hard, unforgiving heart of the old man via their smoke.

The events of the book begin on a beach in Widdershins and end on a dockside in Alaska, and there is not one moment of downtime anywhere along the way. We're treated to mushing across the frozen tundra, spelunking for relics of an ancient civilization, sibling and familial rivalries that can never fully be resolved, and meetings with old enemies that change the course of countless lives. Whyborne and Griffin are, through it all, steadfastly each others' rock and refuge. Their misunderstandings are all based in the intense desire of the lover to protect the beloved at all costs. Their ultimate challenge is always "how can I be sure my own true love is safe? how can I make him safe first, then whole, then happy?"

The answers are, for the first time, given in chapters told from alternating points of view. It's about time that Author Hawk gave Griffin some real, extended attention. I welcome this new format. Also welcome is Griffin's newfound brother Jack. He's got possibilities, and I hope we'll see him again. The memory he shared of giving his coat to Griffin as he was taken in by a different family, one that wasn't like Griffin's, was deeply moving.

If my previous warblings of pleasure haven't convinced you to give the series a try, this one won't either. But you are missing a treat.

Mar 13, 2018, 9:46pm Top

>211 SomeGuyInVirginia: Sugar is directly related to cavities (I won't quite say the/a cause, but it comes awfully d*mned close). Sugar alcohols, in addition to having many fewer calories than sugar, don't (as far as they know now) have that effect. In fact, xylitol seems to _prevent_ cavities - there are studies where people eating foods with/using toothpaste with xylitol have fewer cavities than they were expected to. And xylitol doesn't seem to bother me. However, they added a different sugar alcohol...the name of which I've forgotten, suc(something)hol? That one tastes a lot sweeter and has no noticeable effect on cavities (neither causes nor prevents). And I react badly to it. Bleah!

>216 richardderus: Yeah...the biggest aspect is that sugar is cheap (which is a whole 'nother problem - it's cheap because of cheap labor). So is salt. And back when humans were hunter/gatherers they never got enough of either - so there was no genetic advantage to having an off switch on craving them. Which means that nowadays, when they're plentiful, we go on wanting them looooooong after we have enough - the craving doesn't turn off. So the saltier/sweeter a food is the more desirable and addictive it is - which food manufacturers figured out long ago. Perfect storm - the cheap additive makes it more desired. These days, American kids are used to eating huge amounts of sugar practically from birth - and like most addictions, you get used to one level and need more to make the effect of having some noticeable. Which means that if, for whatever reason, you (an American) didn't get the heavy exposure as a child, what's considered "normal" these days is excessive and a turn-off - but there aren't enough people like that in America to affect the food manufacturers (much). That's part of what's triggered the "health food" craze (which is increasingly being coopted, and filled with sugar, but the idea was good). Artisan food, too, and homemade stuff - all of it is trying to (at least in part) get around the "processed food" majority of what's available.

I can't say, for sure, if the same perfect storm has affected other places at the same level - I don't see recipes from elsewhere (Britain, for example) with the same sugar-on-sugar-on-sugar overload (caramel-topped fudgy brownie with toffee bits! Each bit sounds good but the whole thing...echh).

On another subject - I like both coriander and cilantro, and dill. It's just pickles that I hate - I don't mind vinegar in some things but most stuff (like most salad dressing) seem to use too much for me, and I detest cucumbers in any form. So yeah...you can have _all_ my pickles.

Mar 14, 2018, 8:48am Top

'Morning, RD! Lots of excellent reviews.

Things I do to avoid hidden sugars: Use peanut butter made of only salt and peanuts, rarely use bottled salad dressings, minimize use of catsup, use no-sugar-added jam (usually sweetened with grape, pear, and/or pineapple juice), diet soda only and one every 3 weeks or so at that, sugar-free bread, and in general don't buy too many processed foods. This is not to say that I don't eat sweets, but at least I know that they have sugar in them and I'm choosing them deliberately.


Mar 14, 2018, 9:28am Top

>227 karenmarie: - This is my current (and most difficult) mission: to cut sugar from my life. Not at all easy for a sweet tooth girl like me. :-(

Mar 14, 2018, 12:13pm Top

Daylight Savings Time must die.

>226 jjmcgaffey: I was one of the outliers in my upbringing. It wasn't sugar-free by any means but it contained a lot of mama-made sweets and my access to them was monitored. I never got the taste for soft drinks, so I never had to struggle to switch to diet ones. They taste so awful to me, and did from my first sip, that avoiding the health-breaking side effects was a no-brainer.

*note to picklemakers across the globe: Increase shipments to Long Island*

>227 karenmarie: Thanks, Horrible! *smooch* It's okay to eat anything in reasonable quantities. The issue is reasonable, and that is where most people break down. They'll let greed make their portion decisions. They'll ignore common-sense advice on how to detect your body's "I'M FULL" signal. It's this sort of issue that creates a huge problem for themselves and the health-care system.

So kudos on being a wise consumer and a sensible eater.

>228 jessibud2: I commiserate with you, Shelley, it's a bear to wrestle sugar addiction to the ground.

Mar 14, 2018, 12:34pm Top

Daylight Savings Time must die.
Agree so so so much. I wish we could just make up our mind and stick to one time. Lets stop the madness of flipping and flopping!!

Mar 14, 2018, 12:42pm Top

>229 richardderus: Yes!! Why is this still a thing?

Mar 14, 2018, 12:44pm Top

Mar 14, 2018, 1:12pm Top

53 Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Rating: 4* of five

So I was packing this up to send to a longtime friend when I ran across a review of another Malerman, Unbury Carol, and got to thinking about whether I'd reviewed this book or not. Checking it out, turns out I never did! Well, I got it from Ecco in 2014, and that was the year I went crazy, so I guess I have an excuse.

Now that we're into 2018, we're in for a film of the book! Eric Heisserer wrote, Sandra Bullock stars, Netflix distributes the five-years-coming feature, which sold to Hollyweird before the book came out. Say what you will about Arrival as an adaptation of Ted Chiang's "Story of Your Life", it was a well-written movie qua movie.

I was amazed at how proficient Malerman's prose was when I read the book. It's the artifact of a lot of rewrites and it's been guided by skilled hands. He did his mom proud. (He dedicated the book to her.) I was so happy with the way Malerman unfolded the story. He was careful to make that the sensation of reading the story...unfolding, like an origami crane being reverse engineered or a time-lapse film of a sunflower blossoming.

Malorie is one hard-luck chickie. She no sooner gets free of her hick-town upbringing than she gets caught. She no sooner tells her mama she's gonna be a grandmother than the whole world goes batshit crazy and starts killing themselves and each other. She no sooner gets to a safe haven than someone sabotages it...but this time she's got some luck! She manages to keep herself and her baby, oh and another woman's baby because why have trouble when you could have double trouble?, alive! Yay?

The way Malorie survives is astoundingly grim. I don't honestly know why she kept going. To do what, accomplish what? Blindfolds are the only protection from seeing whatever it is that makes normal people do violent and abnormal things. She and the two kids are almost always blindfolded it seems. But is this a way to live? Malorie asks herself this all the time, but appears to reach no answer and by default keeps herself and Boy and Girl alive. (That's what she calls them, not me being cute. After all who needs names in a group of three?)

So there it is...post-apocalyptic set-up par excellence. I was drawn in to Malorie's set-up and was rocked along by the pace of the story. I am really impressed by Ecco's production of the actual physical book. The cover is a lovely photo of the titular birds; the jacket has a cut-out to the bird image; the title page has a wonderfully creepy tree motif that the chapter titles echo. It's all of a well-thought-out piece. It gives the novel a very evocative and appropriate book to home itself in.

What a treat it was to read it. I can see that it's got terrific film potential. I'm not at all surprised that it's ended up at Netflix, it's a perfect fit for their catalogue. I hope you'll read the book, and expect that if you do, you'll want to see the film.

Mar 14, 2018, 1:18pm Top

>230 jolerie:, >231 ChelleBearss:, >232 Crazymamie: This almost content-free squib on ABC is proof enough for me to say this is all an evil plot to injure, befuddle, and depress We The People.

Unite against this idiotic BS!!!

*smooches* all around

Mar 14, 2018, 1:29pm Top

Great set of reviews since I was here last.

>229 richardderus: I despise all time changes. Pick one and stick with it. Since I'm not a fan of the sun rising in the 4am hour, my preference is to stick with Daylight Savings Time. I think I'm finally adjusted now. On Monday I was useless. Well, more useless than normal.

>233 richardderus: I read Bird Box last year - fascinating.

Mar 14, 2018, 1:40pm Top

>233 richardderus: Ooh I missed the review there. I listened to the Bird Box a couple of years ago on audio and it was excellent. It was creepy so it was a no no right before bed but was wonderful on the treadmill...haha

Mar 14, 2018, 2:43pm Top

>235 SuziQoregon: I'm not all the way sure that seasonal clock adjustment is unreasonable, Juli, but I *loathe* the effects. Sometimes I sail through the change without issue, others...this one...are nightmarishly jetlaggy and make me feel dragged out and slightly nauseated for days. If I had a fever I'd say I was ill. As it is I'm cranky, nasty, grouchy, and flat-out mean.

Oh wait...that's just me...never mind.

>236 jolerie: That's certainly how I'd see it, Valerie. NOT a bedtime read!

Mar 14, 2018, 4:19pm Top

Hiya, Richard.

Forgive me if this already came up. Cilantro: we couldn't figure out why our daughter disliked it so much. Turns out there's a condition that causes it to taste like soap for many people. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/24/why-does-cilantro-taste-bad-like-soap_... Whuda thunk it?

Mar 14, 2018, 6:45pm Top

>223 richardderus: I’ll never tell... 😂

Mar 14, 2018, 10:50pm Top

I thought the Bobaverse sounded so interesting that I purchased the first two in the series and will purchase the third. However, that doesn’t mean that I have read them. I can’t wait to get started on them as people seem to have strong opinions about them.

Mar 14, 2018, 11:28pm Top

So people in the States hate daylight savings time? Is it the messing with your internal body time clock, or the disparity in summer/winter darkness times? I like it as the first doesn't bother me, and the second is cool (cool=awesome, not cool=cold).

Mar 14, 2018, 11:38pm Top

Happy DST!

With love, from 1 degree north of the equator. *evil grin*

Mar 15, 2018, 2:13am Top

Sweet Thursday, Rdear. Big waves from over the pond.

Mar 15, 2018, 5:25am Top

Not a fan of the 'spring forward' transition to British Summer time - stealing my sleep!!! Plus I leave the house early and it goes back to being dark.

That aside, hope all is well.

Mar 15, 2018, 5:27am Top

>241 LovingLit: Yes, and sort of - I love the long summer evenings, and I hate getting up in the dark. So I'd rather have Summer Time (DST) all year. But I could tolerate Standard time all year, it's the gain/lose an hour that I detest. I've worked several jobs on night shift, working through the clipped or added hour - that's even worse than trying to sleep through it.

Mar 15, 2018, 9:21am Top

Good morning, RD. I hope this finds you in full-out coffee mode with plenty of books lined up for the day.


Mar 15, 2018, 10:13am Top

>238 jnwelch: I am delighted that I'm not a "taster" every time I hear about that affliction. Apparently I *am* a taster of the bitter aftertaste of coffee and brussels sprouts, but I like it. #couldntbenormalifItried

>239 drneutron: No need...I already know.

>240 benitastrnad: If the first book doesn't appeal to you by, say, 20% in, close it and skip the others. It's as good as it'll ever be by that point.

Mar 15, 2018, 10:14am Top

>241 LovingLit: Megan dearest, find me a person who doesn't loathe changing time zones and I'll say "howdy" to Caroline. She's the only person I know who doesn't experience jet lag.

>242 humouress: *glower*

>243 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! *smooch*

Mar 15, 2018, 10:24am Top

>244 BekkaJo: No one likes the forward transition, not even people who don't suffer jet lag! *glowers jealously at Caro from afar*

>245 jjmcgaffey: I've never had an overnight shift as a regular thing, maybe covered for someone overnight once or twice; it was never a habit so it never affected me, but I would be a blithering mess if I had to reverse my clock.

>246 karenmarie: Hi there Horrible! I've had my pot of french press coffee and am all-out bookin' as soon as my social duties are attended to.

Mar 15, 2018, 6:43pm Top

Count me as a fan of extra hours of daylight later in the day. I'd prefer to be on DST year-round.

Mar 15, 2018, 6:55pm Top

Long as there's no changin' round, I care not a fig.

Mar 16, 2018, 12:54am Top

I am back! So glad you loved Bob. He is a favorite of mine. : ) Smooch.

Mar 16, 2018, 8:25am Top

>252 Berly: Ah. There you are. And not a moment too soon.

Mar 16, 2018, 8:32am Top

Happy Friday, RD!

"Social duties". I like that.


Mar 16, 2018, 8:42am Top

>254 karenmarie: Hey Horrible...Friday the 16th. Lacks a certain je ne sais quoi non?

In Italian the social duties are called "dovere" or "to have to". My father called then "ya gotta"s. We all have to do certain things, and I excuse myself from most of them, but paying one's calls isn't one of those "kiss your Great Aunt Griselda" ones. (I had one of those, along with a Great Aunt Ursula.)

Mar 16, 2018, 12:38pm Top

I had a Great Aunt Cordelia

Mar 16, 2018, 1:08pm Top

Cordelia! Goodness. One wonders if she wouldn't have preferred Charisma.

Mar 17, 2018, 8:13am Top

'Morning, RD!

I've been working on catching up on threads for 2 hours so far. Visiting threads is fun but after a week mostly away while Jenna visited catching up is a bitch.

>255 richardderus: It does lack that certain something, for sure.

>257 richardderus: Yay Buffy.

*smooches* from your own Horrible

Mar 17, 2018, 8:25am Top

Morning, RD. Happy Saturday. Thanks again for sharing the snowy owl video yesterday. It did make my day, along with seeing the bluebirds, of course...

Still waiting on spring to arrive. It is taking it's damn time this year.

Mar 17, 2018, 11:29am Top

Happy St. Paddy's day. May the wind be at your back and you always be able to evade the cops.

Mar 17, 2018, 12:01pm Top

*waving from across the pond (and a little south)*

Mar 17, 2018, 1:32pm Top

54 Still Waters by Viveca Sten (tr. Marlaine Delargy)

Rating: 3.5* of five, rounded up

I downloaded this onto my Kindle when it was a Kindle First offering about three years ago. It finally snagged my attention. I think it finally got me because, when I opened it, I read this:
The department’s coffeemaker produced a liquid that was positively toxic. How Margit could knock it back in such quantities was a mystery. Thomas had switched to drinking tea for the first time in his life because of it.

THOMAS!! RUN!! Run fast and run far, no good can ever come from a place where the coffee is so bad that *retch* tea *shudder* is a better beverage option!

*glowers Blightyward* Y'all got nothin' to say here, Brits, you gave the world chattel slavery, John Bull, and cricket, and kept National Health Service, Cornwall, and Prince Harry!

Thomas Andreasson is from the Stockholm archipelago's unfashionable bit, or at least it wasn't fashionable when he was a lad. His world has been upended in so many ways in recent months, his life as a husband and father is over without warning or any desire for it to be so, his best friend Nora is suddenly among murderers on their shared childhood home of Sandhamn, and he's got no clues to solve the suspicious death followed by sure and certain murder, followed by *very* suspicious death and bring the killer to justice.

So he plods along, doing responsible policework, following leads that don't lead, until he is weary of the routine as well as of the whole enterprise of staying alive. We switch PoV characters a good bit in this book, but Thomas is the policeman so he gets most of the tedious legwork in the story. His senior partner, Margit, is dying to spend the short, sweet Swedish summer with her husband and teenaged daughters somewhere south. This case is foiling her desire to get away. Interestingly, Thomas has no issue with Margit being the lead in the case; he's never once shown being resentful of her authority, but once feels a bit downhearted when she corrects an error he's made...because he made the error, not because a woman corrected him. This was refreshing.

One lead, found by Thomas' lovely young colleague (and clearly intended to be love interest) Carina, takes him and Margit to a self-made man's home on Sandhamn. Thomas' past on the island makes the appearance of the house grating to him, and Margit's social conscience shows up for a pleasant interlude:
Apart from the white eaves and steps, every last piece of timber was nauseatingly green. Without the eaves and steps you could easily have imagined you were standing in front of a giant marzipan cake. Only the rose was missing.

"I’ve never seen such a fine example of nouveau riche." (said Margit)

We see that a lot on the South Shore of Long Island. It's the arrivistes buying old cottages and slapping down out-of-proportion McMansions onto their zero-lot-line dreams of seaside living. Drearily familiar to anyone living by a water feature. Thomas doesn't like the house and really doesn't like the man in it...there is something *wrong* with a person who moves to a strong, distinctive community like Sandhamn and flouts every tradition and norm that makes the place itself!

But then there's Nora, whose roots on Sandhamn go way back before even Thomas' do. She doesn't like this new reality at all, and doesn't like the cultural shift it represents. She feels it as an affront to her core principles, as we're told directly:
It gave Nora the unpleasant feeling that everything was for sale. Everything could be bought or sold.

Sandhamn is more than a place to Nora, it's a life and a lifestyle she feels is hers down to her very core. These values agree with mine. I approve of them and wish there were more Noras in the world.

So what the hell drew her to the insensitive clod of a scion of the booboisie that she married?!
Henrik just didn’t get it. He was blind and deaf to any hint that his mother might not be the best mother-in-law in the world. Nora gave in.

Now she had been offered her dream job, and he didn’t even seem to want to discuss it. It wasn’t fair.

Why challenge Henrik, instead of paying attention to the clear signals he had given her?

I found this infuriating. Which is it, Author Sten, Nora's a modern woman or a housewife? She started their marriage with compromises on where they'd live, what he'd be expected to do as a parent, and somehow thought he'd magically divine that she was seriously convinced he'd do the same for her?! Why?! How?! Begin as you mean to go on, Nora. Was it Mary Poppins who said that first, or just most famously? Anyway, there was absolutely no reason to think Henrik would ever be anything but his parents' son, since he never made a single solitary peep of dissatisfaction with them and the way they live(d) their lives. Oh! Oh! And then there's her best friend, Thomas, whose reaction to Henrik should've made Nora run screaming:
There was an underlying distance between the two men that never quite disappeared in spite of the fact that they had known each other for a long time. Henrik’s upper-middle-class background and deeply conservative values didn’t exactly improve matters.

There's no way in hell that didn't show in Thomas' responses to Henrik over the years. So lay off the shockhorror about the way the reactionary poltroon responds to your desire to do something for yourself, lady, he's never been different and expecting him to change will only make both of you and your kids angry and upset and end up in divorce. Skip the middle bit: Get the divorce, start the new life, and make sure the kids know *why* mommy left daddy without rancorous vituperative invective flowing from you. Him, you can't affect. As should be obvious to you by now.

The two sleuths are close friends and each has made a hash of their personal life. This isn't familiar at all, is it. But it's an evergreen for a reason, since it gives the author a great line of attack to keep series readers reading. Nora's marriage is doomed, Thomas' relationship with Carina is doomed, the whole island of Sandhamn...faithless to the crime statistics for Nordic countries...will soon be hip deep in dead bodies, much more will be made of Nora's diabetes (which figures in the action but not the resolution of this book), and if there is a just and merciful gawd Nora's mother-in-law will be savagely torn to bits by ravening wild dogs on live television.

Translator Delargy, based in the UK, uses some tricks to keep the prose feeling uniquely Sten's own. One is the use of a nonstandard form of the verb "to get hold (of)", viz. "ahold." In spoken words I'm not averse to this formulation of the verb, but it abounds in this book and I found it irksome after the sixth or seventh usage. It's purely a personal twitch, no knock on the skills Delargy brought to bear on the Englishing of the book. I am on record many places as despising the unnecessary and ungainly "u"ification of perfectly simple words like "valor" and "honor" so I needn't go into why that made me flinch every time I ran across it. Delargy does a creidtable job making Sten's words readable in English, and that's no mean feat, so kudos to you Madam.

The world has lots and lots of gritty Scandicrime. You can hardly open your Kindle without being offered some more gritty Scandicrime. What the world doesn't have is cozy Scandicrime. Sten's involving debut novel is both pine-scented Scandi and cozy, sense-of-place crime. I like that about it and it's what will cause me to seek out the next book in the series.

So switch your mental gears to Swedish cozy. Step out of the Vauxhall and into the Volvo station wagon.

Mar 17, 2018, 1:38pm Top

>258 karenmarie: Hey there Horrible! *smooch* Threading can easily turn into a full-time job. Two hours on catch-up is the price one pays for having interesting friends.

>259 msf59: Ain't that the damn shame of a truth, taking its time! I am not upset about global warming when it stays unseasonably cold. *grumble*

Mar 17, 2018, 1:40pm Top

>260 SomeGuyInVirginia: Happy christian hegemonism via an English-slave-turned-"savior"-of-the-happily-pagan-Irish day to you, too!

>261 katiekrug: *waves southeastward* Happy day off in a few hours, Katie! Enjoy the tourism you can pack into a day.

Edited: Mar 17, 2018, 1:45pm Top

Mar 17, 2018, 1:45pm Top

I got nothin', RD. But I stopped by to tell you.

Mar 17, 2018, 1:52pm Top

>265 humouress: But I *know* how to spell, Nina! It's the damn colonial "masters" who don't. They re-Frenchified words they grabbed ahold of (see what I did there?) for English purposes. Shocking.

>266 weird_O: Hey Bill, lack of something noted. Glad you moseyed through to mention it.

Mar 17, 2018, 2:20pm Top

>267 richardderus: Er... I’m sure *humouring Richard*

Mar 17, 2018, 3:15pm Top

>268 humouress: That's "humour" of course. But I know you know that.

Don't you.

Mar 17, 2018, 4:34pm Top

>262 richardderus: Nice review, Richard, and the first of a series. I LOVE series, so I am adding it to mount TBR.

Mar 17, 2018, 4:53pm Top

>270 FAMeulstee: Great, Anita, glad I can assist you in keeping the dreaded "I have nothing to REEEEEAAAAAD" grimsbys away. *smooch*

Mar 17, 2018, 5:09pm Top

>272 FAMeulstee: I haven't found myself into that kind of trouble lately, thanks to LT and my big TBR pile of unread childrens and YA books ;-)

Mar 17, 2018, 5:46pm Top

>272 FAMeulstee: Heh, I can well imagine.

Mar 17, 2018, 5:55pm Top

Happy weekend, Rdear.

Mar 17, 2018, 6:04pm Top

>274 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara and I wish you the same only better.

Mar 17, 2018, 6:12pm Top

>275 richardderus: Thanks so much my friend, after a crazy the weekend can only get better.

Mar 17, 2018, 8:54pm Top

>248 richardderus: I have not been on a plane to anywhere far enough away to know if I get jet lag...but I don't mind an iota about daylight savings! I put that down to kids- sometimes I get no sleep (not much) and other times I get enough, and I cope either way (in varying degrees).

Mar 17, 2018, 9:00pm Top

>276 Ameise1: :)

>277 LovingLit: I'm not always as bothered by the time change as I was this year. It's variable, and the variation isn't due to any one thing or set of things I can discern.

I just generally hate making arbitrary changes in my schedule and always have.

Edited: Mar 18, 2018, 1:08am Top

>269 richardderus: No Richard! Don’t say so!!

xx H

Mar 18, 2018, 3:18am Top

Just butting in to say I am in the 'u' camp :)

Mar 18, 2018, 6:18am Top

Good morning, Rdear. Wishing you a wonderful Sunday.

Mar 18, 2018, 7:58am Top

>280 LovingLit: - So am I, of course!
Happy Sunday, Richard :-)

Mar 18, 2018, 10:34am Top

Hallo RichardDear!

>262 richardderus: *glowers Blightyward* Y'all got nothin' to say here, Brits, you gave the world chattel slavery, John Bull, and cricket, and kept National Health Service, Cornwall, and Prince Harry! I just love your way with words.

Mar 18, 2018, 2:27pm Top

>279 humouress:, >280 LovingLit:, >282 jessibud2: Why, I am honored by yor agst presences. (U) Have a beatifl Snday!

>281 Ameise1: Thank you most kindly, Barbara! It's a gorgeous day here. I'm hiding from it because it's also chillers.

>283 karenmarie: Hey Horrible! *smooch*


A Facebook friend turned me on to the Norwegian TV show, Occupied, over on Netflix. A near-future Norwegian government defies international pressure and shuts down the oil and gas fields in the North Sea in favor of thorium-generated power. They promise plans to anyone who will use them. They are, naturally, invaded and occupied by Russia "on behalf of the world."

Hijink ensue. Really good TV.

Mar 18, 2018, 2:32pm Top

>284 richardderus: Occupied. Well that looks really good and really intense. Putting that on the Netflix binge list.

Edited: Mar 21, 2018, 10:33pm Top

When I was in Germany a year ago there was a really good series about Koch and the big University Hospital in which he worked in Berlin. It was in German so I had to really concentrate on it to get the gest of it, but it looked really good. I wonder if it has been done in English?

I think there is really good TV done all over that we should have better access to, but ...

Mar 18, 2018, 4:49pm Top

>284 richardderus: oooh, that Norwegian series sounds cool!

Mar 18, 2018, 5:28pm Top

Mar 19, 2018, 1:48am Top

>284 richardderus: Mch gratitde to yo.

Mar 19, 2018, 12:59pm Top

Back from my non-holidays and adding totally belated outrage about that **** doctor! :(((
And my love for dill, coriander and pickles - in Germany you still have them on most tables for our cold dinners (with rye bread and cheeses and cold cuts).

Sending {{{hugs}}}, wishing you a lovely start into a new week!

>214 Crazymamie: This helped me over my dreaded Monday! I really need more waffles in my RL!

Mar 20, 2018, 1:42am Top

>288 jessibud2: >289 humouress: What is Richard dropping his "u"s again? I can see the humour in that.

Mar 20, 2018, 10:28am Top

Richard dear, where are you, having internet troubles again?

Mar 20, 2018, 3:01pm Top

Don't know about y'all, but the "Keep Calm" meme is Workin' My Last Nerve.

Mar 20, 2018, 3:07pm Top

>285 mahsdad: Good choice, the second season is up now and I can tell you it's as good as season one.

>286 benitastrnad: I don't know, Benita, but the German series Babylon Berlin, with English subtitles, is available on Netflix if you want to hone your German-language comprehension skills.

>287 LovingLit: It really is, Megan, a terrific discovery for me.

Edited: Mar 20, 2018, 3:10pm Top

>288 jessibud2:, >289 humouress: So glad my nsbtle humor pleases y'all, Shelley and Nina.

>290 Deern: I'm just glad you're home again, Nathalie, and in something resembling on piece.


>291 Familyhistorian: *shdder* U if yo please, Meg.

Mar 20, 2018, 3:17pm Top

>292 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! It was a busy day out of pocket, not internet troubles, that kept me away.

YGC had a problematic passage in his life so I offered support and cuddles. I myownself was sleep-deprived because my new, 94-year-old neighbor is (surprise) deaf and wanted to watch TV in the dead of night. My go-to solution, listening to rain sounds videos, stopped working when the volume reached deafening proportions. It's not on, I said to the management in an email at 3am.

So getting out of pocket for a little while seemed like a good idea. The facility now has a camera aimed at my hallway, so I can't plausibly sneak Rob in anymore, therefore out to his I went. This will get annoying fast, I predict, but their safety concern is legit, what with Granny Clampett's big sister being the new neighbor. If she fell and I was all headphoned up, they'd take forever to know about it. *grumble* Messin' with my sex life is likely to make me *really*very*cranky* though.

Mar 20, 2018, 3:24pm Top

>293 richardderus: I found that one amusing. Thanks for sharing Richard.

Mar 28, 2018, 10:27am Top

>296 richardderus: Way behind, and trying to catch up, but have to ask re: "If she fell and I was all headphoned up, they'd take forever to know about it. " D'you mean before the camera came in they would have relied on another guest (what do you call yourself in that context?) to notify the management of trouble?

Mar 28, 2018, 10:36am Top

>299 laytonwoman3rd: Yes. It was pure luck whether another inmate (my term) discovered you or not.

This topic was continued by richardderus seventh thread of 2018.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

405 members

138,981 messages


This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 133,440,096 books! | Top bar: Always visible