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scaifea's 2018 Thread #7

This is a continuation of the topic scaifea's 2018 Thread #6.

This topic was continued by scaifea's 2018 Thread #8.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Mar 19, 12:58pm Top

Hi, everyone! Welcome!

Art inspired in one way or another by some of my current reads (or sometimes just the covers, to be honest):


Hobberdy Dick:


Men at Arms:

Stephen Fry's Incomplete & Utter History of Classical Music:

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue:

Just Add Magic:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:

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

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

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

Mar 3, 1:24pm Top

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. For this category, I cycle through 9 different stacks:
a. Agatha Christie's bibliography (in chronological order)
b. Stephen Fry's bibliography (in chronological order)
c. John Boyne bibliography (in chronological order, sort of)
d. Neil Gaiman's bibliography (in some order other than chronological (don't
e. Christopher Moore's bibliography (in chronological order)
f. Maggie Stiefvater's bibliography (in chronological order)
g. The NEH Timeless Classics list
h. The National Book Award list (in alpha order by title)
i. The Pulitzer list (in alpha order by author)

7. An unread book from my shelves.

8. A book from my Read Soon! shelves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited: Mar 19, 12:59pm Top

What I'm reading now:
-Revenge (Fry bibliography)
-Hobberdy Dick (1001 Children's Books)
-Gateway (Hugo, Nebula, Campbell & Locus Science Fiction Awards)
-Men at Arms (Discworld read)
-Stephen Fry's Incomplete & Utter History of Classical Music (Fry bibliography)
-The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (audiobook)
-Just Add Magic (Charlie's bedtime book)
-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (and another Charlie bed-time read)

Books On Deck:
-House of Leaves (unread book from my shelves)
-The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (from my Read Soon shelves)
-Siddhartha (Buddhist readings)
-Crime and Punishment (Books by Year, 1866)
-Unraveled (series that my mom wants me to read so we can chat about it)
-The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Shakespeare re-read)
-Lolita (Banned Books)
-The Man Who Was Thursday (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books)
-Lincoln (U.S. Presidential Challenge)

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

Edited: Mar 19, 12:59pm Top

Books Read

1. Enormously Foxtrot (Tomm's nightly read-aloud) - 9/10 = A-
2. Greenglass House (holiday read) - 9/10 = A
3. Ribsy (Charlie's bedtime read) - 8/10 = B+
4. Lincoln in the Bardo (audiobook) - 8/10 = B-
5. Postcards from No Man's Land (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B-
6. The World According to Garp (audiobook, NBA) - 6/10 = D+
7. Brendon Chase (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B
8. A Solitary Blue (Newbery Honor Book) - 9/10 = A
9. Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B
10. Real Friends (BB from foggidawn (I think?)) - 9/10 = A
11. The School for Cats (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B
12. Einstein's Dreams (unread book from my shelves + January colorCAT) - 8/10 = B-
13. The Wind Singer (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B+
14. Witches Abroad (Discworld) - 8/10 = B+
15. Key to the Treasure (Charlie's bedtime read) - 10/10 = A+
16. The Year of the Quiet Sun (Campbell Award) - 9/10 = A
17. War and Peace (because Charlie suggested that I should probably read it) - 8/10 = B+
18. The Art of Power (audiobook, Buddhism reading list) - 8/10 = B+
19. Upside Down Magic (Charlie's read-aloud) - 8/10 = B
20. Troy (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B+
21. Like Jake and Me (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B
22. Finn Family Moomintroll (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B

23. Kneeknock Rise (Newbery Honor Book) - 9/10 = A-
24. The Smartest Kids in the World (Read Soon shelves) - 8/10 = B+
25. The Planet of Junior Brown (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B
26. Wishtree (Charlie book) - 9/10 = A-
27. Andersonville (Banned Books) - 8/10 = B+
28. Dog Man and Cat Kid (Charlie's bedtime read aloud) - 9/10 = A
29. Light Boxes (Read Soon Shelves) - 8/10 = B+
30. The Gods of Pegana (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 7/10 = C
31. Our Lady of Darkness (World Fantasy Award) - 9/10 = A
32. Somewhere in Time (World Fantasy Award) - 6/10 = D-
33. Beezus and Ramona (Charlie's bedtime read) - 8/10 = B+
34. Small Gods (Discworld) - 8/10 = B+
35. Across the Nightingale Floor (1001 Children's Books) - 9/10 = A
36. The Hate U Give (Printz Honor Book) - 10/10 = A+
37. Hello, Universe (Newbery Medal winner) - 8/10 = B+
38. Ivanhoe (1001 Books/audiobook) - 8/10 = B+
39. The Fall of the House of Usher (1001 Books/audiobook) - 8/10 = B-
40. The Headless Cupid (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+
41. Long Way Down (Newbery Honor Book) - 9/10 = A-
42. We Are Okay (Printz Award) - 10/10 = A+
43. Ben and Me (Charlie's bedtime read) - 8/10 = B-
44. Piecing Me Together (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+

45. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (audiobook, 1001 Books) - 8/10 = B-
46. Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang (Hugo & Locus Science Fiction Awards) - 8/10 = B+
47. Mister Monday (1001 Children's Books) - 9/10 = A-
48. A Kid for Two Farthings (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B-
49. The City of Ember (audiobook) - 9/10 = A-
50. Essential Teachings (Dalai Lama bibliography) - 8/10 = B+
51. A Boy Called Christmas (audiobook) - 9/10 = A-
52. The Apprentice of Florence (Newbery Honor Book) - 7/10 = C+
53. The Starry River of the Sky (audiobook) - 9/10 = A
54. Philip Hall Likes Me. I Reckon Maybe. (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B
55. Lords and Ladies (Discworld) - 8/10 = B+
56. The Worst President (U.S. Presidential Challenge) - 8/10 = B
57. Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess (Schneider Award) - 8/10 = B-
58. On Tyranny (Read Soon shelves) - 9/10 = A
59. Almost Interesting (audiobook) - 9/10 = A
60. Private Peaceful (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B

Edited: Mar 3, 1:27pm Top

The Charlie, Mario and Tuppence Toppers:

Edited: Mar 3, 1:28pm Top

The Bonus Question:

If you could peruse the bookshelves of any author, whose would it be and why?

Mar 3, 1:29pm Top

Weekend Baking - Buttermilk Vanilla Cake with Buttercream Frosting:

Mar 3, 1:32pm Top


Mar 3, 1:34pm Top

>8 richardderus: Come on over! Coffee readily available, too, of course.

Mar 3, 1:49pm Top

Yes please I'll have just a big piece please and maybe just a great huge wodge of that icing, too, please

Oh, the BQ: I want a squint at Virginia Woolf's library because I loved Mrs Dalloway and Orlando so much and disliked The Waves and To the Lighthouse pretty much equally as powerfully...I want to see how these monadnocks of modernism came to be.

Then I want a proper natter with the lady herself, preferably with Leonard there as well.

Mar 3, 1:53pm Top

>10 richardderus: Richard: That's the thing, right, that we get to talk with the library owners themselves, of course!

Mar 3, 2:20pm Top

Happy new thread! As always I love the toppers!

Mar 3, 2:32pm Top

>12 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle!

Mar 3, 3:17pm Top

>6 scaifea:

Slight variation of BC:

I wonder what might be Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky's reactions to A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW?

Mar 3, 3:30pm Top

>14 m.belljackson: I haven't read AGiM, so I couldn't even speculate.

Mar 3, 3:56pm Top

Happy new thread, Amber.
Lovely Charly, Tuppence and Mario (so sweet she looks like she is bringing you a precious gift) toppers.

BQ Two famous Dutch libraries, that both got lost (auctioned) after the owner died.
First Boudewijn Buch writer, tv-presentator, he loved books and had a very large library, Goethe was one of his favourite writers.
Second Johan Polak's library. He was a publisher, when his library was auctioned the catologue said "The most extensive, comprehensive, and exquisite Dutch private library in splendid condition".

Mar 3, 4:14pm Top

>16 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! Mario is holding her favorite toy - some old socks of Charlie's, tied together. She likes to bring toys up to you to show you, but doesn't want you to touch them. So funny.

Very interesting about the Dutch libraries, and sad that they've been lost.

Edited: Mar 3, 4:35pm Top

>17 scaifea: Those two times (Buch died in 2002, Polak in 1992) were the only times in my life I ever wished I was a multimilionaire, to be able to buy the complete libraries and keep them together somewhere.

Edited: Mar 3, 4:38pm Top

46. Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm (Hugo & Locus Science Fiction Awards, 251 pages) - 8/10 = B+
An epidemic all but wipes out the world's population, but one large (and very wealthy) family pool their extensive expertise to survive it and rebuild on their Shenandoah Valley land. This rebuilding involves cloning of both animals and humans, and the saga, detailed over several generations, follows from there.
An interesting and well-written story, with characters that I found myself rooting for, nearly every one. Definitely deserving of its Hugo and Locus awards, and definitely recommended.

Edited: Mar 3, 4:38pm Top

>18 FAMeulstee: Anita: I totally get that!

Mar 3, 4:45pm Top

Happy new thread, Amber. We read The City of Ember several years ago and I really enjoyed it - hope you are enjoying it too. I've often thought I should continue with the series, but have never gotten around to it.

Mar 3, 4:52pm Top

>19 scaifea: Saw this on GR and coddiwompled back to upgethumb it...yet on the bookpage it was not. Is to remedying, please and thank you?

Mar 3, 5:00pm Top

>21 rretzler: Thanks, Robin! I'm only maybe 45 minutes into listening to it, but I'm enjoying it so far.

>22 richardderus: Richard: The review is over on my other account, where I keep all the books I've read but don't own: electrascaife. And thanks for the thumb!

Mar 3, 5:02pm Top

Happy new thread Amber my dear and great photos once again. I hope you are having a good Saturday and send love and hugs to you all from both of us.

Mar 3, 5:03pm Top

>24 johnsimpson: Thanks, John!

Mar 3, 5:12pm Top

>23 scaifea: Oh, electrascaife is you! Ah ha! Glad I know that now.

Mar 3, 5:23pm Top

>26 richardderus: Richard: A-yup. Electra is all sorts of things in Greek, one of which is their name for the resin, amber.

Mar 3, 7:01pm Top

Happy new thread! I’d bet Neil Gaiman has an interesting personal library. There are a lot of other authors whose bookshelves I’d like to peruse, but he sprang to mind first.

Mar 3, 7:06pm Top

Wow! 7 threads already!

Mar 3, 8:15pm Top

>28 foggidawn: Gaiman is top of my list, too.

>29 thornton37814: Hi, Lori.

Mar 4, 8:23am Top

On the agenda for today:
Tomm gets back this evening, so Charlie and I will meet him in Dubuque for dinner; the rest of the day is just a lazy Sunday, hanging out with my favorite 9-year-old and reading.

On the reading front:
After finishing Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang I spent some time with The City of Ember and Mister Monday. I'm hoping to finish the latter today.

Mar 4, 8:24am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-The Happiest Book Ever! by Bob Shea (public library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B+
And bits of:
-The Terrible Two
-Just Add Magic
-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Mar 4, 8:42am Top

Happy new thread, Amber! Happy Sunday! Charlie's as stylish and timely as ever!
I can not even begin to answere the Bonus question. So many, too many possibilities.
Have a wonderful Sunday!!

Mar 4, 8:58am Top

>33 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda!

Mar 4, 9:01am Top

Happy Sunday, Amber! And Happy New Thread! It looks like a nice day. I think I will go birding. Hi-ho, Hi-ho...

Enjoy your day, my friend.

Mar 4, 9:06am Top

>35 msf59: Morning, Mark! Happy Sunday - and happy birding!

Mar 4, 11:30am Top

>19 scaifea: Felt the same way - and incidentally also borrowed. It was definitely one that I enjoyed, am so glad I read, and would highly recommend, but I'm not interested in owning it and will likely not reread it. Odd...

Mar 4, 12:01pm Top

>37 rretzler: Robin: At the best of times, I'm not a big re-reader, to be honest. There are only a few books that I'd be willing to re-read, ever. Nevertheless, I love looking at books I've read and probably won't re-read on my shelves... Ha!

Mar 4, 12:03pm Top

>38 scaifea: Yes!! Totally!! I agree. I may never reread them but I'm reminded of them when I see them and having them near me makes me very, very happy.

Mar 4, 12:13pm Top

Mar 4, 12:15pm Top

>38 scaifea: Exactly!! Happy Sunday!!

Mar 4, 12:23pm Top

Happy Sunday, Amber.

I love the sci-fi reading you're doing. I'll add Where The Sweet Birds Sang (can't get touchstones to work today) to the WL, and I'll look forward to hearing what you think of Frederick Pohl's Gateway.

Mar 4, 12:25pm Top

>41 Berly: Kim: YES!!

>42 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! I'm working through a bunch of different scifi and fantasy award lists with my friend, Rob. There have been a few stinkers in the mix, but generally they're pretty fun. I wasn't really a scifi reader before this list project, but I'm glad I'm getting a good background in them now.

Mar 4, 1:15pm Top

Happy Sunday, Amber!

Mar 4, 1:23pm Top

>44 richardderus: Hi, Richard! Happy Sunday!

Edited: Mar 4, 3:19pm Top

47. Mister Monday by Garth Nix (1001 Children's Books, 361 pages) - 9/10 = A-
Arthur is a boy in a new town facing his first day in a new school, but his what-to-worry-about priorities sort themselves quickly after Mister Monday pops in out of thin air and hands Arthur a minute hand-shaped key. Adventure and danger follow, and Arthur finds himself in The House, an unthinkably huge and rambling place that stands outside of time and place and where all things are recorded and filed away.
Think Harry Potter as an asthmatic muggle, plopped down into Spirited Away. So, yeah, pretty good.

Mar 4, 3:38pm Top

Happy new one, Amber! I really love the Tuppence photo this time around - the lady in red!

>46 scaifea: The kids and I loved that one - I remember reading those about a decade ago, and they were fun.

Mar 4, 3:54pm Top

>46 scaifea: Glad it was such a success!

Mar 4, 4:50pm Top

>47 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie! Tuppence is gorgeous, isn't she? And that's her favorite weekday napping place.

Mister Monday was good enough that I may even try to remember to track down the sequels at some point.

>48 richardderus: Richard: (See my comment to Mamie above.)

Mar 4, 10:12pm Top

Happy new thread! Great lookin’ cake.

Mar 5, 1:15am Top

>7 scaifea: that cake looks delish! And like it would go SOOOO well with the coffee you promised RD, which I assume extends to me, should I pop by ;)

Mar 5, 3:34am Top

Happy new thread! Count me in for cake - and coffee :)

Mar 5, 6:15am Top

>50 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

>51 Ireadthereforeiam: Megan: Of COURSE it extends to you - come on over!

>52 BekkaJo: You, too, Bekka!

Mar 5, 6:18am Top

On today's agenda:
Ah, Monday. Same old. Treadmilling, sewing, writing, library volunteering. Tomm's home, though - woot! We haven't seen him for more than half a day in a little over two weeks! February is always his worst month for traveling, and we're all happy to see the back end of it again.

On the reading front:
I listened to more of The City of Ember yesterday, and I managed to read through another book last night (A Kid for Two Farthings, more on that later).

Mar 5, 6:48am Top

Happy Monday! Glad that Tomm is home now, yay! Do you have him home for a nice stretch?

Mar 5, 6:56am Top

Morning, Amber. Hooray for Tomm being home. Hope your week is off to a good start.

Mar 5, 7:41am Top

>56 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle! Tomm will be home for a little over a week before he's off again.

>57 msf59: Morning, Mark! Thanks!

Edited: Mar 5, 8:35am Top

48. A Kid for Two Farthings by Wolf Mankowitz (1001 Children's Books, 120 pages) - 8/10 = B-
A young boy living with his mother, and looked after by their kind tailor/landlord, in the East End, wants a unicorn for a pet. And one day he finds one in the market for 5 shillings.
A cute-enough story, but it hasn't aged well.

Mar 5, 9:07am Top

Morning, Amber!

Hope the week starts off well for you.

Mar 5, 9:12am Top

>59 scaifea: - I have that on the list to read for the PopSugar challenge this year. At least it's short :-P

Mar 5, 9:53am Top

Morning, Amber!

Mar 5, 11:01am Top

>60 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! Thanks!

>61 katiekrug: Katie: Meh. It's not horrible, but it's not great, either. You're right, though - it's at least short.

>62 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie!

Mar 5, 2:28pm Top

Happy Monday Amber my dear, hope you are having a good day with Tomm at home. Love the pictures of Charlie, Mario and Tuppence and the cake looked gorgeous, licking of lips was done. We are trying to be good during Lent although it is not much of a trial for me as I have given up chocolate more than once for Lent.

Sending love and hugs to you all from both of us dear friend.

Mar 5, 3:37pm Top

>64 johnsimpson: Thanks, John!

Mar 5, 3:46pm Top

Happy new thread Amber!
I think someone took my answer already. First person that came to mind was Gaiman as well. Just want to see what his inspirations are...
You got me with Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang.
And yay for Tomm being home. Enjoy your sweet family time together. :)

Mar 5, 4:47pm Top

>66 jolerie: Thanks, Valerie! Yes, Gaiman would be amazing!

And yay for Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang! I think you'll like it.

Tomm came home from the office early today because we're getting a wintry mix right now, so I'm in sweet family time heaven right now, with all three of us cozy in side while it blusters and snows outside. Perfect.

Mar 5, 4:50pm Top

That does sound perfect, Amber. I love "cozy weather" (but we hardly ever get anything even remotely like that in San Diego).

Mar 5, 5:34pm Top

>68 RebaRelishesReading: Reba: I admit, though, that the only time I was in San Diego it was in January, and that warm, breezy, sunny weather felt pretty terrific.

Mar 5, 6:12pm Top

>6 scaifea: That is a toughie, Amber. Probably Cormac McCarthy as I think it may help me understand his own motivation to write as he does.

Happy newish thread. xx

Mar 5, 6:23pm Top

>7 scaifea: Yum

Happy newish thread, Amber.

I hope to see you next week.

Mar 5, 6:38pm Top

>70 PaulCranswick: Paul: Oh, yoicks. Ask him why he needs to be so stinkin' dark all the time, please.

>71 BLBera: Thanks, Beth! YES! I'll see you in Iowa City (unless the weather doesn't cooperate)!!

Mar 5, 6:46pm Top

Happy new thread, Amber. That looks like scrumptious cake and the frosting looks perfect.

Mar 5, 8:46pm Top

>73 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg! The frosting was delicious, too. Buttercream is one of my favorites.

Mar 6, 6:18am Top

On the agenda today:
Treadmilling, sewing, writing, library volunteering if they don't cancel school (we have several inches of snow on the ground).

On the reading front:
I listened to more of The City of Ember and started Essential Teachings and The Apprentice of Florence.

Mar 6, 6:19am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-Anywhere Farm by Phyllis Root (public library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B
And bits of:
-The Terrible Two
-Camp Foxtrot
-Just Add Magic
-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Mar 6, 6:34am Top

Morning, Amber! Waking up to a dusting of snow and it was downright chilly yesterday. Are we going in the right direction?

Mar 6, 7:07am Top

Morning, Amber! Was Charlie hoping for a snow day today?

Mar 6, 7:48am Top

>77 msf59: Morning, Mark! Just a dusting there, eh? We've got a few inches here. Yoicks.

>78 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle! No, he wasn't; in general he loves school enough that he doesn't like snow days too much. Weird, eh? Ha! I'm more annoyed that they didn't announce the 2-hour delay sooner so that I could sleep in!

Mar 6, 7:59am Top

From a quick out-the-window glance, I see we got a few inches here. Not as bad as they were forcasting. That was a wimpy blizzard.

Mar 6, 8:09am Top

>80 The_Hibernator: I think you were supposed to get more than we were - they weren't pretending it was a blizzard here at all.

Mar 6, 1:17pm Top

I'm late but I'll still take a stab at the BQ. I think I'll go with Rainbow Rowell's bookshelves. She's write so many different but wonderful books that I want to see what she reads for fun.

Mar 6, 1:27pm Top

>82 MickyFine: Micky: Oh, good one! I really need to get round to her books soon.

Mar 6, 2:04pm Top

I posted the link below in my thread, but wanted to make sure that Charlie got the word. Here's how to send your name to the Sun on Parker Solar Probe.


Mar 6, 2:32pm Top

>84 drneutron: Thanks so much, Jim! I just saw this on the FB page and thought, "OH! I HAVE to show this to Charlie!!"

Mar 6, 3:09pm Top

Happy Tuesday, Amber.

How did I miss that bonus question. I'd like to peruse Neil Gaiman's shelves. Besides thinking they'd be filled with books I'd be interested in, I'd be curious to see the mythology resources he draws on in so many of his books.

A few years ago io9 posted online photos of his shelves, but for me that's not the same. https://io9.gizmodo.com/5352953/take-a-peek-inside-neil-gaimans-library/

Mar 6, 5:29pm Top

>86 jnwelch: Hi, Joe!

Oh, I'd forgotten about that io9 bit! I think he's moved several times since then, but yeah, those quietly chaotic shelves are just the sort of thing I'd have expected for him. I agree, though, that it's not the same, especially if he could be there with you to chat about the books (=heaven).

Mar 6, 6:23pm Top

>15 scaifea:

Okay - I thought I was the last LT person to enjoy A Gentleman in Moscow.

Thanks for the Vanilla Cake Photo! Will recipes follow or up on another site?

Mar 6, 7:28pm Top

>88 m.belljackson: I'm generally fairly far behind on best sellers and such, to be honest, unless it's YA, Middle Grade or picture books.

As for the recipe, I can't remember exactly where I got it now, but I think it was one of those best recipe posts somewhere or other. I bet you could find it if you googled the name, though.

Mar 7, 6:18am Top

On today's agenda:
Treadmilling, sewing, writing, library volunteering. Charlie has a friend coming home from school with us to hang out until they have ballet class tonight; I love it when his friends join us for dinner. So fun!

On the reading front:
I listened to more of The City of Ember and made progress with The Apprentice of Florence and The Worst President yesterday.

Edited: Mar 7, 7:01am Top

Morning, Amber. Sorry, to hear you had to get that snow. Hope it doesn't stick around long. I switched days off, so I can get to Rockford for the funeral. Leaving in an hour. Glad, Sue and Bree are joining me.

Mar 7, 7:56am Top

>91 msf59: Morning, Mark. I'll be thinking of you and yours today, friend.

Mar 7, 8:56am Top

Morning, Amber!

I wish someone would make progress with the other Worst President.

Edited: Mar 7, 11:17am Top

Mar 7, 1:15pm Top

>94 scaifea: LOL! To the moon!

Mar 7, 1:31pm Top

>95 jnwelch: That's right, mister.

Mar 7, 1:48pm Top

If we're lucky Melania will permanently take care of her husband before Congress does.

Mar 7, 2:16pm Top

>97 kidzdoc: Hi, Darryl! Um, right on!...?

Edited: Mar 7, 2:29pm Top

>98 scaifea: Did you see the recent video of him climbing the stairs in the rain and wind to board Air Force One? He hogged a huge umbrella and went ahead of his youngest son and Melania, neither of whom had any protection from the elements, then stood at the top of the stairs and waved to the crowd below, protected by his brolly, while the two of them were getting soaked below him. Between that and the upcoming probable decision of porn star Stormy Daniels to make her allegations against trump public he may be in more trouble at home than he is on Capitol Hill.

I mentioned to my cousin earlier this week that if Barack had the audacity to pull the Air Force One stunt on Michelle there wouldn't have been enough left of him to fit on a postage stamp.

Mar 7, 2:35pm Top

>99 kidzdoc: I did see that, Darryl and it strikes me as most of his existence does - EW. Trump is like the cilantro of the presidency.

My confusion is that your comment seemed a bit out of the blue - we weren't talking about Melania or Trump before. Not that I mind a good rant against the guy. Because, again, EW.

Mar 7, 2:42pm Top

>100 scaifea: No!!! Obama is the cilantro of the presidency. trump is the durian of all US presidents.

I thought that Joe's comment in >93 jnwelch: was about trump, America's Worst President Ever, as were the subsequent three posts.

Mar 7, 2:59pm Top

I was referring to Trump as the Other Worst President (actually, the Worst of the Worst). I'd take Obama as President for Life.

Mar 7, 4:36pm Top

>101 kidzdoc: Darryl: Ah! Aha!! I was the one who misread Joe's post! Thanks for straightening me out.

And I half agree with you: Trump is the cilantro-infused durian of presidents.

>102 jnwelch: Joe: President Obama (either one of them, to be honest) for life - I agree!

Mar 7, 5:12pm Top

49. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (audiobook) - 9/10 = A-
Lina lives in the city of Ember, which is surrounded by absolute darkness and itself experiences the difference between day and night only because of the lightbulbs lighting the entire town. The people of Ember believe that they live in a city of endless bounty, but the supplies are running out, the mayor is corrupt, and the lights flicker more and more frequently. Lina, along with her friend Doon, believe that there is something more beyond the city and together - along with a mysterious set of instructions that have been long lost - set out to discover what they can discover.
I liked this one tons. I particularly loved the world (or rather, city)-building, and how DuPrau slowly and cleverly unfolds the mystery of what the city is and how it came to be.

Mar 7, 5:29pm Top

I watched The City of Ember movie without realizing it was based on a book. I immediately went out and bought the entire series. I really should read them at some point. Love the premise!

Mar 7, 5:38pm Top

>105 jolerie: Valerie: Funny! I just found out that there's a movie, after reading the book! I may eventually read the rest of the series, because this first one was good!

Mar 8, 7:55am Top

On today's agenda:
Treadmilling, sewing, writing, menu-planning and organizing the grocery list, a bit of grocery shopping, then library volunteering. This evening we have Charlie's Parent/Teacher conference, which is always a hoot. I love teachers telling me what a great kiddo we have. Ha! (But seriously.)

On the reading front:
I started listening to A Boy Called Christmas, which one an Odyssey Award this year, which, in turn, isn't at all surprising since it's read by Stephen Fry. So far it's wonderful. And then I read some of Lords and Ladies and The Apprentice of Florence.

Mar 8, 8:13am Top

Sweet Thursday, Amber.

We're heading west to the warmer weather of LA. Debbi cannot wait, and I'm looking forward to it, too.

Mar 8, 9:33am Top

>109 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! Happy and safe travels!

Mar 8, 2:00pm Top

>103 scaifea: Absolutely!! (either one) -- oh my how I miss those two. I have both of the photo books out on the coffee table and look at them and dream from time to time.

Mar 8, 3:25pm Top

Been a bit Lurky McLurkerson lately, so popping in to say:

BQ: Stephen Fry

You book bulleted me in >19 scaifea:.

How's Charlie liking HP6?

Mar 8, 4:03pm Top

Drive-by *smooch*

Mar 8, 4:29pm Top

>104 scaifea: Glad you liked Ember, Amber (ha, that sounds funny!) Are you going to read any more in the series?

>38 scaifea: I agree - its the thrill of collecting, too, which sadly isn't as much fun with an ebook.

Mar 8, 4:53pm Top

>111 RebaRelishesReading: Reba: Oh, I miss 'em too. I love the amazing things they're up to these days, too, though.

>112 lycomayflower: Laura: Oh, Fry - good one! And I hope you like the Wilhelm. I think you will.

Charlie's enjoying 6, but it's been slow going because we don't read it on nights that Tomm isn't with us, either actually or via Facetime, and Jan-Mar is his heaviest travel time. So, yeah.

>114 rretzler: Robin: I may eventually get round to the rest of the series. We'll see.

Yes, and that's one of the reasons why I'm not a huge ebook fan. I need to *see* my books as actual existing *things.*

Mar 8, 5:21pm Top

50. Essential Teachings by His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Dalai Lama bibliography, 129 pages) - 8/10 = B+
A translation of the Dalai Lama's talk series given in 1974 in Bodh Gaya, India, this is a helpful guide to the 37 Practices, told in his simple and loving style.
Recommended as an accessible and enjoyable explanation of the Path of the Bodhisattva.

Mar 9, 6:14am Top

On the agenda for today:
Grocery shopping, bills, weekly photo organizing, vacuuming, baking (Speculaas), library volunteering. After school Charlie and I will head to the public library for a bit and then to his ballet class.

On the reading front:
I spent time with A Boy Called Christmas and The Apprentice of Florence, both very nice young men, then started reading On Tyranny after finishing up Essential Teachings.

Mar 9, 6:15am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-Away by Emil Sher (public library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B
And bits of:
-The Terrible Two
-Just Add Magic
-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Mar 9, 6:21am Top

Warning: Mommy Bragging Ahead - feel free to skip right over this post if you're not interested in me, once again, telling you how amazing my kiddo is. I get it. It probably gets annoying.

So, I went to the parent/teacher conference last night, and during the meeting I asked the question I always ask his teachers, "How is he doing as a person? Is he kind? Compassionate? Empathetic?" His teacher actually started crying during her answer, at one point saying that he's confident in himself and uses it in the best way: he encourages others to be confident in themselves, too. He genuinely wants others to succeed and be happy and tries in his gentle way to help them get there.

I'm so proud of that boy.

Okay, Mommy Brag over. Proceed.

Mar 9, 6:25am Top

>119 scaifea: Lovely thing for her to say - well done Charlie (and Mum and Dad).

Mar 9, 6:30am Top

>120 BekkaJo: Bekka: I know, right? I feel so lucky to be able always to look forward to those conferences and never having to dread them.

Mar 9, 6:38am Top

Hooray for Mommy Brags! I nearly teared up, hearing about you tearing up. You did good, Mom.

Morning, Amber! Happy Friday.

Mar 9, 6:51am Top

>119 scaifea: Awww! What a great kiddo!

Mar 9, 7:02am Top

>119 scaifea: Those are some very well-deserved mommy brags, Amber. What a great kiddo!

Mar 9, 7:54am Top

>122 msf59: >123 ChelleBearss: >124 lauralkeet: Thanks, folks! I can't believe the teacher actually cried. My kid, eh? Such a good one.

Mar 9, 8:53am Top

I made a teacher cry a time or two in my day... Heh.

Mar 9, 9:54am Top

>126 katiekrug: Katie: *snork!* Well done.

Mar 9, 10:07am Top

>104 scaifea: Book bullet!

>119 scaifea: I've said it before and I'll say it again, you are an awesomesauce mom. And I'll add that Charlie is fantastitoast.

Mar 9, 11:28am Top

>128 Morphidae: Morphy: Oh, I think you'll like The City of Ember!

And thanks, friend. I agree at least with that second statement: Charlie *is* fantastitoast!

Mar 9, 12:13pm Top

What a great human being Charlie is. We need more Charlies in this world. Good job Mom and Dad! :D

Mar 9, 1:09pm Top

Well deserved Mom brag, Amber. Happy Friday!

Mar 9, 2:05pm Top

>119 scaifea: OK, that brought tears to my eyes too. You should absolutely be proud of that boy and of the parenting you and Tomm are giving him.

Mar 9, 2:36pm Top

>130 jolerie: >131 MickyFine: >123 ChelleBearss: Thanks, folks. To quote one of his favorite movies, he *is* a wonder.

Mar 9, 5:03pm Top

>119 scaifea: I love the brags about Charlie, you and Tomm are wonderful parents and you have a son to be proud of :-)

Mar 9, 5:12pm Top

>134 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! Charlie makes it pretty easy on us, to be honest.

Edited: Mar 9, 5:30pm Top

51. A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig (audiobook) - 9/10 = A-
The story of the boy who became Father Christmas, this book is sweet and clever and lovely and funny and very well-written. Think Terry Pratchett does Harry Potter. Also, I highly recommend the audio version, read by Stephen Fry (so OF COURSE it's amazing), which won a well-deserved Odyssey award this year.

Mar 9, 5:53pm Top

Two more sleeps until we meet again!

Mar 9, 7:10pm Top

>137 rosalita: Julia: WOOT!! I'm so excited!!

Mar 10, 12:03am Top

Great Mom brag, Amber. Have a great weekend.

Mar 10, 9:22am Top

Mar 10, 9:23am Top

On today's agenda:

A bit of baking, maybe, this morning, then Charlie is going over to a friend's house this afternoon, so Tomm and I may go see Black Panther.

On the reading front:
I started listening to River of the Starry Sky yesterday and also read some of The Worst President and The Apprentice of Florence.

Mar 10, 10:26am Top

The Wayne and I are going to see Black Panther this afternoon!

Enjoy your day.

Mar 10, 10:28am Top

Hey, Amber. Greetings from LA.

What a great teacher's conference. Congrats on raising a fine young man.

You got me with Essential Teachings. Adding it to the WL.

Mar 10, 11:39am Top

Have a great day with your boys! I'll be seeing Black Panther tomorrow with The Fiancé and his daughter.

Mar 10, 12:07pm Top

>126 katiekrug: Pretty much what I was thinking when I read >119 scaifea:---usually when a little boy makes his teacher cry, it isn't a good thing! But Charlie isn't going to do the USUAL THING very often, is he? And ain't that wonderful.

Oh, the BQ (I've been skimming SO much lately, I overlooked it at first.) Let's see, I think Annie Proulx. 'Cause it would mean I was in her house, and maybe she'd offer me tea and conversation, as well as a look at her shelves. And how cool would that be?

Mar 10, 12:48pm Top

>143 katiekrug: Katie: Cool! Enjoy!

>144 jnwelch:: Thanks, Joe. I think you'll enjoy the DL book.

>145 MickyFine: Have fun, Micky!

>146 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: It is pretty wonderful. He's such a cool kid.

And I think that's the big appeal for any pick, to be able to chat with them, too.

Mar 11, 8:20am Top

On today's agenda:

I'm leaving in a few minutes for the Iowa City Meetup! Woot!

On the reading front:
I didn't get much reading in yesterday, besides a bit of listening to Starry River of the Sky and a few pages of The Apprentice of Florence.

Mar 11, 8:53am Top

Hope you and Tomm enjoyed your movie yesterday

Have a great time at the meetup!

Mar 11, 8:57am Top

Morning, Amber. Happy Sunday. Hooray for the Iowa City Meetup! Have a great time and a safe trip there, my friend.

Mar 11, 3:11pm Top

Enjoy the Iowa meet-up, Amber! Safe travels.

Nice report from teacher conferences. The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. Just say'n :0)

Mar 11, 8:19pm Top

Hi Amber! Love your story about your parent teacher conference. You should be very proud. Students like that are special.

You got me with A Boy Called Christmas. Looks terrific!

Mar 12, 2:24am Top

Have a great meet-up, Amber. Remember to take photos!

Mar 12, 6:09am Top

>149 ChelleBearss: Chelle: We decided against the theater and just stayed home to watch Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

>150 msf59: Morning, Mark! It was a great meet-up, as always!

>151 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda!

>152 AMQS: Thanks, Anne. And yay for A Boy Called Christmas! I think you'll love it.

>153 Familyhistorian: Sorry, Meg; none of us thought to take pictures, I'm afraid.

Mar 12, 6:13am Top

The meet-up was wonderful yesterday, as it always is. Julia, Steve and I met in the cafe at Prairie Lights Books, chatted, browsed for books, then had lunch next door at an Irish Pub-like place (the fish and chips were great). The Iowa City Meet-Up is one of my favorite days of the year and for good reason!

On the agenda for today:
Treadmilling, sewing, writing, and trying to figure out what I'm going to say to Charlie's class on Friday - I've been invited to come in and talk about writing...

On the reading front:
I listened to Starry River of the Sky on the way to the meet-up and back, then once home I finished up The Apprentice of Florence and started Philip Hall Likes Me, I Reckon Maybe.

Mar 12, 6:36am Top

Morning, Amber! Hooray for another successful Meet Up! Hoping to plan a Chicago one sometime this year. Just have to get my ducks in a row. Smiles...

Mar 12, 7:31am Top

It was wonderful to have You and Steve come to Iowa City yesterday — the only thing that could have made it better would have been if Beth had also been able to join us. Next time, for sure!

Mar 12, 7:35am Top

>156 msf59: Morning, Mark! Yes to a Chicago meet-up!!

>157 rosalita: Julia: I agree! Beth was definitely missed. Fingers crossed for next time...

Mar 12, 7:59am Top

Yay for a great meet-up!
Did you love Guardians of the Galaxy 2? Groot is my favourite!

Mar 12, 8:17am Top

>159 ChelleBearss: Chelle: I did like it! So funny. I love Groot, too. "Is that why you don't like hats?!" Ha!

Mar 12, 2:15pm Top

Yay for another successful meet up. :D

Mar 12, 2:55pm Top

52. The Apprentice of Florence (Newbery Honor Book) - 7/10 = C+
A young boy leaves home to seeks news of his father in Florence, but ends up as an apprentice to a silk merchant instead, and travels with him to Constantinople.
Hm. This one seems a bit all over the place, and I'm not certain at all what it was really meant to be about, I'm afraid. Not one of my favorite Newbery Honor Books; it really hasn't aged well, I think.

Mar 12, 2:55pm Top

>161 jolerie: Hi, Valerie! Meet-ups are the best!

Mar 12, 3:15pm Top

53. The Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin (audiobook) - 9/10 = A
A boy runs away from home and finds ends up as a helper boy at the town of Clear Sky's inn. But something's not right here - the moon is gone from the sky, Rendi can hear someone moaning every night, and everyone seems to be hiding something about their true identity.
Lin's storytelling abilities are spectacular, and her way of spinning stories within stories and connecting them all together is wonderful. Definitely recommended, as the writing is as magical as the stories themselves.

Mar 12, 3:52pm Top

I'm glad you had a wonderful Iowa City meet-up. I love that it has become an annual event. :-)

And I'm super interested in what you end up saying to Charlie's class about writing.... cool!

Mar 12, 4:30pm Top

Hi Amber, glad you had a great Iowa City meet-up my dear, would love to be over there to do one of these. Sending love and hugs to you all from both of us.

Mar 12, 4:41pm Top

>165 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen! I worked some today on what I want to say - I'm going to lead them through writing a short book review, to work on the skill of detail within brevity. I want to main thing, though, to be about making sure your personality makes its way into your writing. We'll see how it goes.

>166 johnsimpson: Hi, John! Thanks! Gosh, I'd love to have a meet-up with you and Karen and Karen's baked goods!

Mar 12, 11:00pm Top

Pictures of the meet up?

Mar 13, 6:08am Top

>168 BLBera: Sorry, Beth, but we didn't take any. I only thought about it as I was walking back to my car.

Mar 13, 6:11am Top

On the agenda for today:
Treadmilling, sewing, writing, a bit of cleaning maybe. Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner, I think.

On the reading front:
I started listening to Almost Interesting, started reading Gateway, and finished Philip Hall Likes Me. I reckon maybe. (more on that one later).

Mar 13, 6:39am Top

Morning, Amber! Only mid-30s today? When are we going to turn that magical corner for good? I want to start shedding some of this winter wear.

You might like my current audio- My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. Have you read Backman yet?

Mar 13, 7:39am Top

>172 msf59: Morning, Mark! 50's this weekend, at least...

I haven't read any Backman yet, but it's firmly on my list!

Mar 13, 9:26am Top

Morning, Amber!

Mar 13, 10:29am Top

>174 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie!

Edited: Mar 13, 10:58am Top

54. Philip Hall Likes Me. I Reckon Maybe. (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B
Beth has a crush on Philip Hall, a boy in her 6th grade class. She fluctuates between being confident that he likes her, too (he does let her come over and do his chores for him (ugh)), and being not so certain, especially when he gets annoyed when she proves more successful at certain things. She works her way toward a realization that her self-worth means more than what a boy thinks of her.
I suspect that this one can be inspiring for young girls, but I was irritated with Philip from the beginning and exasperated with Beth for not realizing how amazing she is much earlier.

Mar 13, 12:34pm Top

>167 scaifea:

My 4th graders did something similar, then, as they read each review to the class,
classmates were asked for suggestions for a title.
This kept them paying more attention to the details.

Mar 13, 9:57pm Top

Mar 14, 6:15am Top

>177 m.belljackson: Interesting idea.

Mar 14, 6:17am Top

On today's agenda:
I'm on Day Two of trying to manage a nasty headache, so no treadmilling and possibly not much of anything else, either. We'll see how it goes.

On the reading front:
Still listening to Almost Interesting, and I finished Lords and Ladies and started Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess.

Mar 14, 6:18am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-Noodleheads See the Future by Tedd Arnold (public library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B-
-Leonardo the Terrible Monster
And bits of:
-The Terrible Two
-Just Add Magic
-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Mar 14, 6:41am Top

Morning, Amber! Happy Wednesday. I have the weekend off, so only 2 more work days for me. It doesn't look like it is going to be as warm as they predicted. Bummer, but what are you going to do?

Mar 14, 7:01am Top

Sorry to hear about your headache, Amber. On the plus side, you now have a great excuse for lying on the sofa with a cup of tea and a book. I hope you feel better soon.

Mar 14, 7:18am Top

Boo to the headache, Amber! I hope it hits the road soon.

Mar 14, 7:43am Top

>182 msf59: Morning, Mark! I'm still hoping for at least warmish weather this weekend, since Charlie has a couple of friends coming over on Saturday and I know they want to play outside. Fingers crossed...

>183 lauralkeet: >184 rosalita: Thanks, ladies. I suspect the headache is here because I decided to go caffeine-free for a couple of days. I've been having issues with my heart pounding at night, and Tomm suggested that maybe I was taking in too much of the stuff. Well, two days and my heart was still pounding last night, so I had a cuppa tea this morning and the headache is ebbing away, it seems. *sigh* I'll try to think of something else to cut out, I guess. Doctors have just shrugged, so they're no help to me. Gah.

Edited: Mar 14, 8:24am Top

Sorry to see you aren't feeling well. Nate is prone to caffeine headaches if he skips his morning Joe. Nasty habit that we all love!
Hope your head keeps improving through the day!

(eta fixed my missing word)

Mar 14, 8:10am Top

>186 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle. I think I could cut out coffee without too much trouble, but I'd sure miss my tea (and I'm not a big fan of the herbal stuff). Yeesh.

Mar 14, 10:54am Top

Wait, thread 7 already? I seem to have lost touch with your threads, sorry. Now fixed.

>46 scaifea: I love Garth Nix and that series is great.

Mar 14, 11:05am Top

>188 sirfurboy: Good to see you!

I've read Sabriel before and didn't love it, but this one was much better. I do want to get round to the rest of the series at some point.

Edited: Mar 14, 11:38am Top

55. Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett (Discworld, 314 pages) - 8/10 = B+
Pratchett's version of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Granny and Nanny are beginning to grow on me.

Mar 14, 11:59am Top

Aww sorry to hear about the headache Amber. Bring on the tea if that helps you feel better!
I usually limit myself to one cup of coffee a day if I have time. Or some steeped tea with cream and sugar. I know a friend who drinks 10 cups a day!! I can't even imagine the buzz with that.....although he does have 5 kids so maybe it's a coping mechanism. :D

Mar 14, 12:02pm Top

Sorry you're suffering. I hope it gets better soon and that you're able to take quiet care of yourself until it does.

Mar 14, 12:53pm Top

>191 jolerie: Thanks, Valerie! I am starting to feel better - the headache is still there, but not nearly as bad as it was yesterday. I can't imagine 10 cups in a day! Yoicks!

>192 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks, Reba. I was all ready to take another nap today if I needed it, for certain.

Mar 14, 2:48pm Top

Gracious, a lot went on here...seventy-plus posts worth...while I was coping with a dead touchpad and the procuration of a wireless mouse.

Headache-B-Gon *whammy*

Mar 14, 3:00pm Top

>185 scaifea:

Sometimes a switch to Acid Free coffee like Tylers makes a difference with headaches.

Mar 14, 4:16pm Top

Hey, Amber. As you predicted, I really liked We Are Okay. My favorite YA so far this year. Poor Marin! What a tough hand she was dealt. Thank goodness for Mabel and her parents - Ana (Mabel's mom) was wonderful at the end, wasn't she.

Mar 14, 5:03pm Top

>194 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. The headache seems to be on its way out...

>195 m.belljackson: Thanks for the tip.

>196 jnwelch: Joe: Oh, yay! I was pretty confident that you'd love it. I know, right? And I loved her character, too. As for the mom, I honestly pictured her as our own Mamie - that level of gracious comfort is how I picture our Georgia friend.

Mar 14, 5:19pm Top

>197 scaifea: Oh, I love that mom comparison, Amber. You should let our friend know - and we both should encourage her to read it!

Mar 14, 5:26pm Top

>198 jnwelch: Joe: You think so? Well okay then.

Edited: Mar 14, 5:40pm Top

Aw, shucks! I thought I was gonna be in trouble and here it is a lovely compliment. Thank you, Amber.

Mar 14, 5:50pm Top

Just dropping by to catch up. Glad you had a great meetup.

Mar 14, 5:58pm Top

>200 Crazymamie: Mamie: Ha! Why would you immediately assume you were in trouble?!

>201 rretzler: Hi, Robin!

Mar 14, 6:17pm Top

>202 scaifea: *cough* I'm sure I don't know. It's not as if I have gotten into trouble over here before....oh, wait...

Mar 14, 7:30pm Top

>203 Crazymamie: Mamie: Oh. Oh, right. *ahem*

Mar 14, 7:37pm Top

56. The Worst President: The Story of James Buchanan by Garry Boulard (U.S. Presidential Challenge, 183 pages)
For the most part I thought this was a good biography of Buchanan; I have two major quibbles, however: 1) It only really deals with the presidential years, and I'd like a full-life view, and 2) the title is clearly now completely inaccurate.

Mar 15, 5:23am Top

Just dropping by a wave. It's nearly the weekend, right? Please?

Edited: Mar 15, 7:33am Top

>205 scaifea: Somewhere Buchanan's ghost is wiping its brow and saying, "Whew! We're finally off the hook."

Mar 15, 6:14am Top

>206 BekkaJo: Bekka: Ha! We're getting there...

>207 rosalita: Julia: *snork!* That's probably fairly accurate.

Mar 15, 6:16am Top

>205 scaifea: "2) the title is clearly now completely inaccurate."

I was going to say :)

Mar 15, 6:17am Top

On the agenda today:
This morning I'll take Tuppence to the vet's office for her monthly laser treatment, then come back home to bake a half-birthday cake - Charlie is 9 1/2 today (how cool is it to have a half birthday on the Ides of March, folks?!) and has requested a Boston Cream Pie to celebrate. Then I'll try to squeeze some sewing and writing in before my library volunteering. We're going out for Chinese for dinner, Charlie's choice.

On the reading front:
Still listening to Almost Interesting and really enjoying it, and I also finished up Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess last night.

Mar 15, 6:18am Top

>209 sirfurboy: I know, right? There were points in the book at which I just shook my head and thought, "Oh, they think that was bad? That's adorable."

Mar 15, 6:37am Top

Morning, Amber! Sweet Thursday. Good luck to Tuppence. Be a brave girl.

Mar 15, 7:50am Top

>213 msf59: Morning, Mark! Oh, she LOVES going to the vet. The laser treatment is sort of like a trip to the spa, and it helps her arthritis. She gets to lay on a warm blanket and get massaged and petted by one technician while another one moves a laser wand around on her joints for 30 minutes. And the folks in the vet's office love her so much that the technicians all jokingly fight over who gets to get her the treatment each month. Yeesh.

Mar 15, 8:44am Top

2) the title is clearly now completely inaccurate. Ha! I guess that is probably true now!

Happy half birthday to Charlie! Enjoy your cake and Chinese! Yum!

Mar 15, 8:54am Top

>215 ChelleBearss: Chelle: Sadly, yes.

And yes! I'm looking forward to Chinese for dinner as much as Charlie is!

Mar 15, 9:03am Top

Yeah! Happy day! New topper. Not quite sure how I feel about it, but, hey it's new!
We watched Guardians of the Galaxy two nights ago and Will has GogG 2 lined up for us tonight. Love Chris Pratt!I'm hoping he's in the sequel.

Mar 15, 9:13am Top

>217 Carmenere: Lynda: *snork!* I'm happy that you're happy about the new topper.

And yay for Guardians of the Galaxy! And OF COURSE Pratt is in the sequel - it's pretty much all about him. Groot and the raccoon are my favorites. And the soundtracks are always amazing.

Mar 15, 9:17am Top

57. Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess by Shari Green (Schneider Award, 239 pages) - 8/10 = B-
Macy is unhappy that her mother is getting married. She doesn't want to move out of their house, losing her wildflower garden and the closeness of feeling that it's just her and her mother against the world. To make things worse, she gets in a fight with her best friend and so has no one to sympathize with her, until she finds a new friend in her elderly next-door neighbor, who teaches Macy the value of sending messages of love through the art of cookie baking.
The good things: I very much like that Macy's deafness feels like a side note more than the focus of the story - she's a normal character who just happens to be deaf, and although the issues she faces every day because of that deafness aren't ignored, the story is clearly much more than that. Also, the neighbor is a fantastic character and I love her to bits.
The not-so-great things: It's written in free verse, but I really think it would have been better in prose. It seems to me that the free verse doesn't flow well at all, and instead mostly feels as if it's trying too hard to be poetic. Also, Green has an 'every life is a story being told' theme going on, and I know this because she makes sure to point it out every few pages. It's too much. If she had just let the story itself explain this, it would have worked much better; as it is, her efforts to explain it for us was a big distraction for me.

Mar 15, 9:33am Top

>210 scaifea: Boston Cream Pie? Charlie has excellent taste -- which doesn't surprise me at all.

Mar 15, 9:47am Top

>204 scaifea: Right. And also for reckless driving.

Morning, Amber! A very Happy Half-Birthday to Charlie! I love that it falls on the Ides of March!

Mar 15, 11:54am Top

James Buchanan the worst president! Haw. Warren G. Harding had him beat in 1921...then, of course, the epic horrors of 45 occurred. I never, ever thought that the Shrub era would look *good*.

Mar 15, 12:30pm Top

>220 foggidawn: I know, right?!

>221 Crazymamie: Mamie: It's just perfect for this classicist mom that we get to celebrate on the Ides!

>222 richardderus: Richard: It's also ridiculous to me that people talk about how politics have deteriorated so much recently. Haaaave you read any political history for this country? Congress has always been filled with a-holes, it seems.

Mar 15, 12:57pm Top

>223 scaifea: C'mon how else could it play out? The only branch of government with the power to tax and spend will *always* be full of stooges and shills. There is no other way for it to be. The issue is making sure the a-holes give some of the pilf to We the People.

Mar 15, 1:00pm Top

"title is clearly now completely inaccurate" -- absolutely!! But even before I would have argued there were other contenders.

Mar 15, 1:08pm Top

>224 richardderus: Richard: Best of luck with that, then. *sigh*

>225 RebaRelishesReading: Reba: Arguably, his wiffle-waffling about slavery didn't help the situation from deteriorating in to succession, but still, yeah, we've had some real stinkers.

Mar 15, 6:03pm Top

Charlie's half-birthday Boston Cream Pie:

I'd never made one before (that I remember), and I have to say that Charlie has excellent taste - it's delicious!

Mar 15, 6:14pm Top

Happy half birthday to Charlie!

All gone. That was delicious. Sorry was I supposed to share?? Whoops. :D

Mar 15, 6:16pm Top

>228 jolerie: Ha! Thanks, Valerie!

Mar 15, 8:02pm Top

58. On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder (Read Soon shelves, 126 pages) - 9/10 = A
A plain-spoken treatise on where we are, politically, how we could possibly have gotten here, and what to do about it now that we are.
Everyone needs to read this, and soonish would be good.

Mar 15, 10:24pm Top

>230 scaifea: Amid distractions, I'm halfway through On Tyranny, and liking it. And already agreeing with your comments.

Mar 16, 2:13am Top

Charlie knows how to celebrate a half birthday right! I'm curious, do the adults in the house get half birthday celebrations too?

Mar 16, 5:51am Top

>230 scaifea: Duly added that to my TBR... annoyingly as I had been resisting all additions lately in an attempt to bring that list down in size. ;)

Mar 16, 6:19am Top

>231 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! It's a small but powerful book, isn't it? I like the simple, no-nonsense tone of it, too.

>232 Familyhistorian: Meg: He's never had Boston Cream Pie before, so I'm not sure where the request came from. Such a funny kiddo. And no, Tomm and I don't celebrate our half-birthdays. I decided to do it for Charlie mostly because his falls on the Ides and I think that's so cool, but also to give him a pick-me-up in the middle of the dreary tail end of winter.

>233 sirfurboy: Well, it *is* small, so it won't add too much to the size of your stack...

Mar 16, 7:39am Top

Morning, Amber! Happy Friday! Thanks to you and a few of my other LT pals, I now have the audio of On Tyranny and I just requested the book. I also have We Are Okay waiting for me at the library. I am such a pushover! Grins...

Mar 16, 7:57am Top

>235 msf59: Morning, Mark! Woot! I'm so glad about both of those, because I'm sure you'll love them both. I can't wait to see what you have to say about We Are Okay.

Mar 16, 9:10am Top

Happy half birthday to Charlie!! We celebrate half birthdays, too, because my oldest was born right between Christmas and New Year's and felt gypped as a kid. : )

Happy Friday!

Mar 16, 9:25am Top

>230 scaifea: It's only 128pp so I've waitlisted myself for it at the library. Looks to be right up my street.

Mar 16, 9:49am Top

Morning, Amber! Hope the Chinese food was awesome!
That Boston Cream cake looks delicious! Nate loves Boston Creme donuts so I bet he would love that cake! I saved the recipe for it and maybe later this year I'll give it a try! (after I lose enough weight to fit into a dress for the wedding we have to go to in July!)

Mar 16, 10:01am Top

>237 Berly: Kim: That's a great reason for celebrating half-birthdays!

>238 richardderus: Richard: It'll be a bit like preaching to the choir, but it's very well articulated.

>239 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle! The Chinese food was excellent! And yes, do try the cake, because it turned out really well.

Mar 17, 9:39am Top

On today's agenda:
Easter egg decorating and decorating the house for Easter, prepping a pot roast dinner in the Instant Pot, laundry, and hopefully a fair chunk of reading.

On the reading front:
I made good progress yesterday on Almost Interesting, Gateway, and Private Peaceful.

Mar 17, 9:44am Top

>241 scaifea: You are again reading a book I loved, Amber. Last year I read Private Peaceful from the library, I loved it so much that I am looking for my own copy now.

Mar 17, 10:11am Top

>243 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita! It's very good so far!

Mar 17, 11:23am Top

Happy Saturday, Amber.

Oh, I can't wait to hear what you think of Pohl's Gateway. That's a classic sci-fi I've never read.

On Tyranny was excellent, and I finished Laura Kasischke's big poetry collection. I'm reading the third Nowhere Man thriller now - the best so far - and I'm going to start what I belatedly realized was an ER book (more of a Late Reviewer book now) about Laura Ingalls Wilder, called Prairie Fires.

Mar 17, 12:11pm Top

Have a great Saturday, Amber! Enjoy your Easter fun!
I think C and I might decorate some eggs next week. This will be the first year we have tried doing eggs

Mar 17, 6:48pm Top

>245 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! So far I'm liking Gateway quite a bit - back in the day it won all kinds of awards.

Wasn't the Snyder book fantastic? I'll be interested to see what you think of the Wilder book, too.

>246 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle! We always have a blast decorating eggs!

Mar 17, 7:05pm Top

59. Almost Interesting by David Spade (audiobook) - 9/10 = A
Spade talks about his life from childhood through the Tommy Boy/Black Sheep days.
This one was a hoot. Spade is one of my favorite stand-up comedians, and of course he brings his excellent timing and sense of humor to his memoir, which is filled with fascinating tidbits from his early career and SNL days. I highly recommend the audio version, because he reads it so well, and that goofy laugh cracked me up every time.

Mar 18, 1:05am Top

Ha, I had to go and look at the calendar to see when Easter is after reading about your Easter decorating. Not that long from now is it? Hope you enjoyed the Easter egg decorating. Any pictures?

Mar 18, 3:57am Top

>230 scaifea: The library has a copy of this, so have added it to reservation list.
If only the same service was available for the cake - looks wonderful.
Egg decorating sounds great - do you ever do pace egg rolling, or is that just an English thing?

Mar 18, 8:40am Top

Morning, Amber. Happy Sunday. I hope you are enjoying the weekend.

Mar 18, 9:38am Top

Morning, Amber! I might have to hunt down that David Spade memoir - I love him.

Mar 18, 2:09pm Top

>249 Familyhistorian: Sorry, Meg, no pictures this time. The funny thing is that Easter falls on April Fools this year. Weird.

>250 charl08: Charlotte: Ha! Cake requesting service - now that's a library service I could get behind!

>251 msf59: Hi, Mark!

>252 Crazymamie: Mamie: I love him, too! Definitely go with the audio if you can, because of course he does an excellent job with it.

Mar 18, 2:09pm Top

Sorry that I've flaked out today, but Tomm's been on my laptop nearly all day working on our taxes. And the headache is back, so I'm laying low for now.

Mar 18, 3:38pm Top

>254 scaifea: No need to apologise, Amber, taxes done is important too!
I am glad I did our taxes last week, always happy when that task is done.
Hoping your headache is leaving you soon.

Mar 18, 4:26pm Top

>230 scaifea: oooh!
I am seeing a lot of similarities in the political situation in pre-WWII Europe and the USA....I am reading more from Primo Levi at present, and some of his astute observations about there, are sounding very familiar.

Mar 18, 6:51pm Top

>255 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. I'm already feeling head-better, thank goodness.

>256 Ireadthereforeiam: Megan: Yes! The resemblance is in some ways terrifying, to be honest. I need to read more Primo Levi, too.

Mar 19, 6:16am Top

On today's agenda:
Treadmilling, sewing, writing, an appointment with the chiropractor (I haven't been in years and it's really very overdue), a trip to the car wash, and then my library volunteering. Tonight's the knitting club meeting at the public library, and I may go if Tomm gets home from work early enough (it's been yonks since I've been because Tomm's been traveling).

On the reading front:
I spent some time with Stephen Fry's Incomplete and Utter History of Classical Music, which is great so far, started listening to The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (also pretty good so far), and finished Private Peaceful (more on that on later).

Mar 19, 6:17am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-Tikki Tikki Tembo
And bits of:
-The Terrible Two
-Camp Foxtrot
-Just Add Magic
-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

And we started watching a new (to us) show on Netflix - Nailed It. So funny that I was crying! I love it!

Mar 19, 6:45am Top

Morning, Amber. Back to the grind, after a nice weekend off. I hope there is a warm-up in our very near future.

Not familiar with "Nailed It". I'll have to check it out.

Mar 19, 7:39am Top

>260 msf59: Morning, Mark! Nailed It is a baking show where folks with essentially no kitchen skills have to try to replicate fancily decorated pastries. The results are hilarious.

Mar 19, 7:54am Top

Morning, Amber! Hope you get to your knitting club tonight. That reminds me that I still have an unfinished blanket in the closet. Whoops

Enjoy your new show. Sounds hilarious! Nate just started watching Galavant on Netflix. I was surprised he likes it as it’s a musical comedy. It was actually pretty funny and I had trouble ignoring while I was reading!

Mar 19, 8:46am Top

Morning, Amber!

I was not a fan of Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, but you may have a different reaction.

Mar 19, 11:24am Top

>262 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle! I'm hoping I can get to the knitting group, too.

I've heard good things about Galavant, but we just don't get round to watching too many show, to be honest. We're *still* trying to make our way through Sherlock (which I LOVE), and it's been ages!

>263 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! So far I'm liking it, but I'm not too far in just yet, so we'll see. The narrator for the audio is excellent, though.

Mar 19, 1:00pm Top

60. Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo (1001 Children's Books, 202 pages) - 8/10 = B
Tommo Peaceful, a British soldier in WWI, thinks back through his life so far (he's now seventeen) as he serves his sentry duty one night in the trenches: the death of his father when he was very young, life with his mother and two brothers, Big Joe and Charlie, and the girl next door (Molly), with whom both he and Charlie are in love. Through it all, Charlie has been his best friend and closest ally in all things. Tommo even followed him off to war so that they'd remain together. But Charlie's not with him on this long night's vigil, and dawn will bring an unbearable event that will change all their lives.

Morpurgo is an excellent storyteller, which is evident in how he balances Tommo's remembrances with his awful night of dreading what's coming at dawn, and also in how well he paces the revelation of exactly what Private Peaceful is dreading so much. So I do recognize that this is a masterfully told story, but in the end, it's just too sad for me. War stories are difficult for me, and this one is so personal and deeply touching. I'm glad I've read it, but I'm not sure how glad I am with how long it will likely stay with me.

Mar 19, 1:30pm Top

Mar 19, 3:00pm Top

>265 scaifea: Good review, Amber, thumbed. It is a well told and very sad story that stays with you. And an important one.
I can handle the sad a bit better, although I did shed a few tears.

Mar 19, 4:49pm Top

>267 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! Morpurgo is such a great writer, isn't he?

This topic was continued by scaifea's 2018 Thread #8.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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