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Ronincats Reads On in the Company of Friends: Take 5

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Jun 22, 7:18pm Top

The weather has been crazy all over this year. Because we had a warm March and April, we are having this bountiful tomato harvest in June instead of August, and this is after giving away two bags of tomatoes to friends this week!

I’m Roni in San Diego and I’ve been a member of the 75 book challenge group since 2008. I have a husband, 6 cats, 1 dog, a garden, many books, and am retired. I spend my time reading, gardening, crocheting, and making pottery and wire jewelry.

My main focus in reading is in speculative fiction (science fiction and fantasy) but I also try to read at least a dozen nonfiction books per year and am keeping up, more or less, with 4 mystery series. Welcome to my thread. If you are a speculative fiction reader, comment on my thread and I’ll come visit you.

I follow those members with similar tastes or that I forged friendships with back in the days when this group was smaller--there is no way I can keep up with everyone, although I would love to be able to. But I definitely return visits!

Edited: Jun 22, 7:20pm Top

Motley has roused enough to bid you all welcome. Just keep the noise down.

Jun 22, 6:57pm Top

Goals for 2018:

1. Read 150 books and 50,000 pages. So 2017 was the second year in a row that I didn’t meet this goal, reaching 141 books and 47,024 pages, but it is still quite doable.
2. Read at least 40 books off my own bookshelves (BOMBs). I have 295 books tagged “tbr” and that does not count my new acquisitions this month. Books acquired last year that I did not get read number 45. I only read 32 BOMBs this year, not meeting my high goal of 50. In two days, all of my books will be BOMBs.
3. It looks like I have been averaging about 85 books acquired for the last 6 years, so I will keep the goal of acquiring no more than 85 books. I need to do better at de-accessioning books from my stash, however, than I did this year (29). I will set the goal of 50 books out the door once more.

Jun 22, 6:58pm Top

Books Read in 2018

1. Neogenesis by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
2. Behind the Throne by K. B. Wagers
3. God Stalk by P. C. Hodgell
4. Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis
5. Cloudbound by Fran Wilde
6. Dark of the Moon by P. C. Hodgell
7. Seeker's Mask by P. C. Hodgell
8. To Ride a Rathorn by P. C. Hodgell
9. Bound in Blood by P. C. Hodgell
10. Honor's Paradox by P. C. Hodgell
11. The Sea of Time by P. C. Hodgell
12. The Gates of Tagmeth by P. C. Hodgell
13. The Birds' Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggins
14. To Visit the Queen by Diane Duane
15. Blood & Ivory: A Tapestry by P. C. Hodgell
16. The Las Meow by Diane Duane
17. Legacy by James H. Schmitz
18. The Hounds of Spring by Lucy Cummin
19. Cast in Deception by Michelle Sagara
20. Strange Tomorrow by Jean Karl
21. The Earl's Return by Emma Lange
22. A Weekend with Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly
23. Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
24. Court Duel by Sherwood Smith
25. The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett

26. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin
27. The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula Le Guin
28. The Farthest Shore by Ursula Le Guin
29. Tehanu by Ursula Le Guin
30. Tales from Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin
31. The Other Wind by Ursula Le Guin
32. Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones
33. The Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones
34. The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden
35. Drowned Ammet by Diana Wynne Jones
36. The Crown of Dalemark by Diana Wynne Jones
37. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
38. In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce
39. The Woman who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce
40. Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce
41. Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
42. Wolf Speaker by Tamora Pierce
43. Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce
44. The Realm of the Gods by Tamora Pierce
45. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt
46. Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor
47. Omens by Kelley Armstrong

48. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
49. The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson
50. The Dispatcher by John Scalzi
51. Visions by Kelley Armstrong
52. Into the Fire by Elizabeth Moon
53. The Queen's House by Edna Healey
54. A Moment of Silence by Anna Dean
55. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
56. Call of Fire by Beth Cato
57. Black Panther #1 by Ta-hesi Coates
58. Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic
59. Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor

Edited: Jul 31, 10:54pm Top

60. Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend
61. Besieged by Kevin Hearne
62. After the Crown by K. B. Wagers
63. Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
64. The Tale of Angelino Brown by David Almond
65. The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White
66. Altered Traits by Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson
67. Honor's Knight by Rachel Bach
68. Tempest's Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
69. A Lot Like Christmas by Connie Willis

70. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
71. First Test by Tamora Pierce
72. Page by Tamora Pierce
73. Squire by Tamora Pierce
74. Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce
75. Tricksters by Tamora Pierce
76. The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
77. Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire
78. Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor
79. Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor
80. Heaven's Queen by Rachel Bach
81. The Flowers of Vashnoi by Lois McMaster Bujold
82. Scourged by Kevin Hearne
83. Longitude by Dava Sobel
84. How Much For Just the Planet? by John M. Ford
85. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
86. What Makes this Book So Great by Jo Walton
87. I Met a Traveller in an Antique Land by Connie Willis
88. The Scent of Magic by Andre Norton

89. The Iron Khan by Liz Williams
90. Foiled by Jane Yolen
91. A Gentleman of Fortune by Anna Dean
92. No Time to Spare by Ursula Le Guin
93. Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciara Doidge
94. Terrier by Tamora Pierce
95. Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
96. Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
97. The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker
98. The Hidden Queen by Alma Alexander
99. Promised Land by Connie Willis and Cynthia Felice
100. The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margaret Magnusson
101. The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman
102. The Pride of Chanur by C. J. Cherryh
103. Changer of Days by Alma Alexander
104. The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

105. And the Earth Did Not Devour Him by Tomas Rivera
106. Silence by Michelle Sagara
107. Midshipwizard Halcyon Blythe by James M. Ward
108. The House of Broken Angels by Luis Urrea
109. American Jesus by Stephen Prothero
110. Why Kill the Innocent by C. S. Harris
111. The Turnaway Girls by Hayley Chewins
112. Latchkey by Nicole Kornher-Stace
113. One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
114. So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Olua
115. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown by Seanan McGuire
116. Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger
117. A Corpse at St. Andrew’s Chapel by Mel Starr

Edited: Jul 31, 10:57pm Top

Books Acquired in 2018

✔1. Neogenesis by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
2. Darwin's Armada by Iain McCalman
3. The Gene: an intimate history by Siddhartha Mukherjee
4. The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone
✔5. Cast in Deception by Michelle Sagara

6. The Ghost Sister by Liz Williams
7. After the Crown by K. B. Wagers

8. Silence by Michelle Sagara
9. The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst
10. The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson
11. The Skill of our Hands by Steven Brust and Skyler White
12. Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
13. The Tale of Angelino Brown by David Almond
14. A Moment of Silence by Anna Dean
15. Out of the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
16. Black Panther #1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates
17. Foiled by Jane Yolen

18. A Corpse in St. Andrew's Chapel by Mel Starr
19. Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire
20. How Much for Just the Planet by John Ford
21. What a Wonderful Word by Nicola Edwards

22. What Makes This Book So Great by Jo Walton
23. A Short History of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn

24. Latchkey by Nicole Kornher-Stace
25. Melmoth by Sarah Perry
26. Changer of Days by Alma Alexander
27. American Jesus by Stephen Prothero

28. The Turnaway Girls by Hayley Chewins
29. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown by Seanan McGuire
30. One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Edited: Jun 22, 7:16pm Top

Currently Reading and reading plans:

American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon
The Lost Plot
An Unkindness of Ghosts
The Great Hunt
...y no se lo tragó la tierra

Edited: Jun 22, 7:13pm Top

AND welcome to the new thread, one and all! It's a beautiful summer day, about 80 and sunny. I've done some gardening--finally pulled up my sweet peas as the vines were all yucky and the flowers small, to make room for the green beans to thrive. And a good watering, as that side bed was dry as a bone. I hope you saw my tomatoes at the top--we've eaten a bunch and given away two small sacks of them and still have these to consume!

Jun 22, 7:13pm Top

Happy new thread!

Jun 22, 7:31pm Top

Book #100 The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson (117 pp.)

This slender book just has one idea, explicated in different areas. Clean out your stuff before you die so no one else will have to be stuck with it. The author is "between 80 and 100" but she suggests starting in your 60s so you can do it gradually. If you read an article summarizing it, you will not need to read the book.

Jun 22, 7:31pm Top

>2 ronincats: Ahh - Kitty sighting! Those tomatoes in the topper are also calling my name. I love fresh from the garden tomatoes in the summer time.

Edited: Jun 22, 7:31pm Top

Hi, Susan and Lori. Welcome!

Jun 22, 7:33pm Top

Happy new thread!

Jun 22, 7:39pm Top

Happy new thread, Roni. Yum tomatoes, my favorite summer fruit.

Jun 22, 9:22pm Top

Happy new thread Roni! Nice tomatoes; they look nice and healthy (no black spots or chew marks etc). I have a passion fruit plant which had 4 fruits on it when I bought it but the snails seem to be enjoying a good chow down on it :0/

Jun 22, 10:04pm Top

>10 ronincats: How very considerate. But why should I waste my time cleaning and deciding when my survivors will just chuck it all with hardly a bother.

Jun 22, 10:17pm Top

happy new thread!

Jun 22, 11:29pm Top

Happy New Thread, Roni! I love those tomatoes! We went from misty and coolish to hot, so I hope that some friends will be sending tomatoes our way. (For some reason ours always have beautiful plants and little fruit.)
I'm glad to know that *9-Fox* is worth the reading and the sequels. I hope to get to it one day.
I've also been researching the Willis/Felice books. Amazon says that they're YA, and I tend to steer clear of those. On the other hand, this completist needs everything that Willis has written.
Ah. We live with three generations of stuff. I think I'll just tell the nieces and nephew where the good stuff is ahead of time and suggest that they torch the rest.

Jun 23, 12:14pm Top

Happy new thread, Roni!
I just had a few tomatoes when I came to your thread. Mine were not self grown, yours look more tasty.
>2 ronincats: And Motley looks quite comfortable in the bowl :-)

Jun 23, 2:22pm Top

>19 FAMeulstee: Actually, Motley looks like he's part of the bowl. Sorry, Roni; I don't think you're getting it back!

Edited: Jun 23, 3:33pm Top

Lovely tomatoes. I've got quite a few tomatoes - but mine are small and green still. I think it will be a good year for them, but mine will be much later than yours.

>18 LizzieD: Sounds like your fertilizer is too much nitrogen and not enough...I forget, P or K is for blossoms (and thereby fruit). N is for foliage. You might want to get some fertilizers specific for tomatoes and try that.

>2 ronincats: And did you know you were making a kitty bowl?

Jun 23, 3:45pm Top

>2 ronincats: - He looks like that yin/yang figure


Jun 23, 7:51pm Top

Happy new thread, Roni. Looks like there will be tomatoes on your menu for the foreseeable future!

Jun 23, 11:13pm Top

Happy new thread and happy tomatoes!!

Jun 24, 12:34pm Top

Hi Roni- Happy New Thread!

Tomato porn! We won't see fresh tomatoes here until August. :( The farmers' market has cold weather greens like lettuce, spinach and herbs and a few strawberries.

>22 jessibud2: Perfect! But I didn't see Motley as yin and yang until you pointed it out.

I had the best time reading your last thread and getting caught up. Wow on the kittens! Did the other mama cat ever return?

Your husband's blood clot was scary. I'm glad it behaved itself and resolved. Does he have to do anything extra from now on?

All the gorgeous pottery - oh my!

And of course, a book bullet or two. Binti is on the wishlist.

Edited: Jun 24, 1:38pm Top

Gorgeous tomatoes. Yummmmm... I wish we lived in the same area. I would help you out with your bumper crop. I loved the succinct review on your latest book. We are trying to clean some things out so the kids aren’t too burdened when we die. I have a hunch that my library will end up in a Goodwill store. Haha.

Congratulations on reading 100 books!

Jun 24, 2:16pm Top

Happy new thread! Those tomatoes look yummy. My plants have little green ones, so I’m looking forward to enjoying home grown tomatoes next month.

Jun 24, 11:30pm Top

Welcome, Beth, Jim and Nina.

Susan, well, she says if we do it now maybe we can find people who could use our stuff and get it out of our way.

Thanks, figs.

Peggy, I was smugly thinking that all of my clutter is MINE, not previous generations, although heavens knows I've accumulated enough for several generations, but then I realized it's not true. I have my great-aunt's oak secretary and her platform rocker and my grandmother's walnut dresser and the Lane cedar chest my dad gave my mom as an engagement gift...

Anita, Nina and Jenn, Motley is quite happy with the bowl. Our cats do graduate toward the large bowls I have on the dining table, but this one is not mine but my teacher's. I can't throw them that large yet.

Shelley, you are right, there is definitely a resemblance.

Hi, Meg. Are you home yet? My husband loves tomatoes, so there are never too many.

Thanks, Reba.

Glad you came by, Janet, and absolutely thrilled that your wound has finally healed!

Books are hard, Donna, as a lot of thrift stores don't want to be bothered with them, especially the paperbacks, and the used book stores are really picky anymore. Thank you.

Hi, foggi. Yours will be producing when mine have petered out, I imagine.

Book #101 The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman (367 pp.)

This is the fourth book in the Invisible Library series and I think it may be the best one yet. We have most of the world-building behind us, as well as the inevitable heroine angst, and that makes space for a headlong rush at a tightly-plotted romp of an adventure.

Jun 24, 11:32pm Top

Today's Wonderful Word is from Buli, and Ghanaian language.

PELINTI (Peh-lin-tee): To move food that is too hot around your mouth as you wait for it to cool down.

Definitely a concept we need in any language, as that is something I often resort to.

Jun 25, 12:59am Top

wow on the tomatoes. This is a very strange year. I didn't plant any toms in my garden this year. I have one in a pot, still small. I do have the largest crop of plums I have ever seen on my tree. I've been eating them for a week. My apricot tree was a bust - it is a dwarf but usually gives me a nice showing. It was a small crop and the birds left me exactly one!

Jun 25, 8:29am Top

Happy New Thread, Roni.

I'm another one loving that Invisible Library series. I'm looking forward to the next one.

Edited: Jun 25, 3:52pm Top

>30 RBeffa: We had a marvelous Apricot harvest last year, and the tree didn't even bloom this year, so you beat us there.
>31 jnwelch: I was liking them but not loving them at first, Joe, but they keep getting better.

So today's find is this--perfect for the occasion:

ETA Wow, it comes in different colors and also in long sleeve and a hoodie and a mug!!

Edited: Jun 26, 9:24am Top

>31 jnwelch: I was liking them but not loving them at first, Joe, but they keep getting better. That was my experience, too.

>32 ronincats: Ha! Nice t-shirt.

Jun 25, 10:19pm Top

And I won another ER book, a children's book that looks interesting.

The Turnaway Girls by Hayley Chewins (Candlewick Press)
Description: On the strange, stormy island of Blightsend, twelve-year-old Delphernia Undersea has spent her whole life in the cloister of turnaway girls, hidden from sea and sky by a dome of stone and the laws of the island. Outside, the Masters play their music. Inside, the turnaway girls silently make that music into gold. Making shimmer, Mother Nine calls it. But Delphernia can’t make shimmer. She would rather sing than stay silent. When a Master who doesn’t act like a Master comes to the skydoor, it’s a chance for Delphernia to leave the cloister. Outside the stone dome, the sea breathes like a wild beast, the sky watches with stars like eyes, and even the gardens have claws. Outside, secrets fall silent in halls without sound. And outside, Delphernia is caught — between the island’s sinister Custodian and its mysterious Childer-Queen. Between a poem-speaking prince and a girl who feels like freedom. And in a debut that glimmers with hope and beauty, freedom — to sing, to change, to live — is precisely what’s at stake.

Delphernia Undersea wants to sing. But everyone on Blightsend knows music belongs to the Masters — and girls with singing throats are swallowed by the sea.

That's three months in a row. I just got the last two last week so haven't read either of them yet.

Edited: Jun 26, 3:37am Top

>34 ronincats: It sounds quite thought-provoking, with something of a Patricia McKillip flavour to it.

Jun 26, 10:14am Top

>32 ronincats: That's so this weekend for me! They're predicting heat indices to be in the triple digits. Generally, if the temps reach the mid-high 80s (and they're talking the 90s this weekend), the heat/humidity combo is far too much for me to do anything outside for long. No gardening this weekend....

Jun 26, 10:24am Top

>32 ronincats: - Ha! I won't be ordering this t-shirt, Roni, as I am still waiting for the last one you posted, to arrive. But this one is also very *me*. And we are expecting an extremely hot and humid weekend here too, so this is exactly my plan!

Jun 26, 1:32pm Top

>28 ronincats: Happy new thread! I think you finally got me to put the Invisible Library series on the list, though I will resist putting it on hold immediately and instead just add it to the "read soon" list.

Jun 26, 4:51pm Top

Belated happy new thread Roni!

From your last thread, good point about A Short History of Fantasy not covering American fantasy as much and agree completely about being left wanting more depth. And I love the large blue, green and purple glazed bowl in msg #223.

>2 ronincats: Gorgeous kitty!

>28 ronincats: Yay for Invisble Library love! I'm a late-comer to the series (just finished the first book this month - no review yet because I am behind) and really looking forward to working my way through the other books. I saw on twitter that Cogman is now committed to 8 books in the series (at least)

Jun 26, 5:24pm Top

>28 ronincats: >39 souloftherose: Coincidently, I’ve just finished the first Invisible Library too. There were a few details I had to get my head around first, it being set in an alternate universe, but I enjoyed it and plan to read more in the series.

Jun 26, 9:21pm Top

Book #102 The Pride of Chanur by C. J. Cherryh (224 pp.)

Ahhhh, science fiction doesn't get any better than this! Meetpoint, the space station where 7 different alien species come together for trade in a fragile equilibrium known as the Compact. An Outsider, an entity of a previously unknown species, escapes from the kif onstation and takes refuge in a hani ship, and all hell breaks loose. I have reread this numerous times since its publication in 1982 (my DAW edition costing $2.95) and it is just as good every time. I've strongly recommended it on this list before but not for a few years now. This one is a stand-alone, a complete story in itself, but there are 4 more books, with Chanur's Venture, The Kif Strike Back (think George Lucas knows this series, huh?), and Chanur's Homecoming being three parts to a single story following directly on from this one. Chanur's Legacy takes place some 15 years later. Beware of the omnibus editions. They bundle the first three and the last two, splitting the middle story (covering the middle 3 books, remember) in two and if you read the first two of the three, you will want the third IMMEDIATELY!

Why I'm rereading it now--LolaWalser has an excellent thread called Reading the oldies (pre-1994): would you give this book to a child? v. 5 at
and this book is coming up next.

>33 jnwelch: It is getting better, isn't it?
>35 humouress: It has a chance at being good, Nina, and that's what I look for.
>36 CassieBash: The Midwest has been broiling. In the upper 70s here--perfect!
>37 jessibud2: I thought of you when I saw the shirt, Shelley, but knew you already had dibs on the first one.
>38 curioussquared: I think you'd enjoy it, Natalie.
>39 souloftherose: Hi, Heather! (((Heather)))
>40 humouress: Yeah, there's some settling in in the first few books, Nina, but I think Cogman has hit her stride now.

Jun 26, 9:43pm Top

>41 ronincats: The Chanur books were my dad's favorite C.J. Cherryh books, and indeed they hold up wonderfully.

Jun 26, 10:33pm Top

>42 quondame: Yes, indeedy. And do check out the thread, Susan. She is reviewing science fiction books specifically.

Jun 27, 1:38am Top

>41 ronincats: >43 ronincats: While I find the idea of 70s,80s& early 90's fiction being called oldies a bit strange, I can understand that there have been sunstantial shifts in what get published and how since the mid-90s. I remember taking scheduling a stop to pick up Dragonquest into a day trip to the city (Los Angeles) and I was 22 when it came out, so nothing since really seems much like an oldie to me.

Jun 27, 8:36am Top

Adding The Pride of Chanur to the WL. I've often wondered about that one, and appreciate your ringing endorsement.

I've been enjoying LolaWalser's sci-fi oldies thread, too.

Jun 27, 8:38am Top

Hello, Roni. Just making my way through the threads to play catch up and wanted to say hello! That is quite the haul of tomatoes you have as your topper. Impressive!

Jun 27, 6:36pm Top

I got to attend a panel discussion put on by Tor at the recent ALA conference in New Orleans. It was on gender and sexuality in science fiction. The panel members were Seanan McGuire, Jacqueline Carey, Daniel H. Wilson, and Sherilyn Kenyon. It was a very interesting discussion and full of humor. There was lots of talk about the freedom to try out gender bending and sexual expression in the science fiction universe because it is science fiction. Carey said that when her Kushiel's Dart series came out she was all prepared for a backlash from both sides of the sexual expression fronts, and was surprised when the S&M people were solidly behind her and liked the book. I enjoyed the talk very much and I got a free copy of Kenyon's new book Death Doesn't Bargain. Book 2 in the Deadman's Cross series.

Jun 27, 8:35pm Top

>41 ronincats: Yay of course for Chanur; thanks again for prompting me to pick up books 2-4 several years ago, and+1 for the admonition not to pick up book 2 without having 3 and 4 ready for immediate continuation.

Thanks also for the link to LolaWasser's thread, which looks very rich with things to read and points to ponder.

Jun 27, 11:17pm Top

MUST get back to Chanur!
You do know that baby girl kitten #1 is Hilfy, right? Her big brother is Tully, but that's mostly because of Marcus Tully Cicero rather than the human in Chanur.
(Must also get back to Foreigner!!)

Jun 28, 12:52am Top

>28 ronincats: Hi Roni, I got home on the 19th, last Tuesday. It was good to get home but I feel like I have been busy ever since I landed. >32 ronincats: That is a colourful t-shirt!

Jun 28, 8:17am Top

Hi Roni, what a wonderful picture of Motley, now it's clear what he was looking for in your earlier pictures of him: the right bowl to curl up in!

>41 ronincats: I just read this one a couple of weeks ago, and really enjoyed it.

I've got tomatoe envy, but we are heading into a warm period as well, so maybe my one plant will bear some as well.

Jun 28, 1:26pm Top

I just read a review of Jacqueline Carey's new novel Starless and it sounds like a good one. I think I am going to move this big novel up in my queue. It has a very complicated plot, and obviously there will be sequels, so I might as well get started on the series now.

Jun 28, 2:12pm Top

>52 benitastrnad: I've got it checked out, so it will be read in the next couple of weeks.

Jun 30, 10:40am Top

>44 quondame: That's pretty much about how I feel hearing that vintage music on "oldie" radio stations, Susan, so I know how you feel. Lola is more specifically concerned with looking at representations of gender, race and sexual orientation in these books, which is interesting if often not surprising.
>45 jnwelch: Cherryh is great in general, Joe, but this is really my favorite series of hers. With the caveat that I have not even started her current series about the atevi yet.
>46 rosylibrarian: Marie! Glad you are settled in enough to start making the rounds of the threads and good to see you here. Have you made any connections with our British members yet?
>47 benitastrnad: That does sound like an interesting panel, Benita, and congrats on the free book.
>48 swynn: You're welcome, Steve--anytime! And yes, it's a thread I've been following for several years and always glad to read her reviews.
>49 LizzieD: What have you read of Chanur so far, Peggy? And I didn't remember that about Hilfy--neat!
>50 Familyhistorian: Travelling is fun but home is always great to get back to, Meg.
>51 EllaTim: The next three books are even better, Ella, so don't put them off too long.
>53 quondame:, >54 ronincats: I'll look forward to your reviews.

Book #103 The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare (273 pp.)

This is a romantic fantasy, fantasy in that while it is set in the Regency period, the characters and subplots are totally modern in character and unrealistic in that setting. The main plot involving the Duke and the seamstress vicar's daughter he marries is a sexual romp, while of the two subplots, the one involving the servants is totally off for the time period and the other only there to provide insight for the female lead character, neither fully realized. That said, it is definitely sassy, entertaining and titillating for all that it is pure cotton candy wrapped around a vibrator. Not an author I'm going to follow up on, however, as it's not really my style.

Jun 30, 7:57pm Top

Howdy Ro! (((RO)))

It is so hot here in Houston and we are treated to the haze from the Sahara dust this weekend. I'm staying indoors for sure.

Edited: Jul 3, 12:06pm Top

Today's Wonderful Word is Welsh:

HIRAETH (Hee-RAITH): Nostalgic longing for a homeland or past.

And quite apropos, as I had my DNA done with some surprising results (with 8 great-grandparents born in Germany, I have only 7% Western European), so I've been researching the family tree on Ancestry and have a Welsh forbear, Sarah Bowen of Blamorgan, Wales (1618-1676) who is my Great-grandmother to the 6th generation. She died in Bristol, Mass.

Jun 30, 8:05pm Top

>55 luvamystery65: Hey, Ro. I live in paradise, it's 76 degrees and beautiful. But you have air-conditioning!

Jun 30, 10:09pm Top

June Summary

Books read: 16
Pages read: 5705
Average pages per day: 190
Average pages per book: 357

New reads: 12
Rereads: 4
Library books: 4
Books off the shelf (ROOTS): 3
New acquisitions read: 5
Did Not Finish (DNF): 0

science fiction 2
fantasy 10
children's 0
nonfiction 2
fiction 0
romance 1
mystery 1

Author gender: 16 female, 0 male

Country of origin: USA 13, England 1, Canada 1, Sweden 1

Medium: Kindle 3, Hardback 5, trade paper 4, mass market paper 4

Books acquired: 4
Source: Early Reviewers-2, PBS-1, Amazon Marketplace-1
Read: 1 read this month
Genre: fantasy-3, nonfiction-1
Cost: $18.85

Books out the door: 22
This includes the 15 Tamora Pierce YA books donated to Monroe Clark Middle School, 5 books via PaperBackSwap.com and one sent to Joe.

Jun 30, 10:32pm Top

Hard to believe that 2018 is half over already, but the figures below show that I haven't wasted the time. The last two years I've fallen slightly below my goal of 150 books for the year, but you can see that I should have no difficulty surpassing it this year!

Half-year Summary

Books read: 104
Pages read: 34293
Average pages per day: 189
Average pages per book: 330

New reads: 61
Rereads: 43
Library books: 23
Books off the shelf (ROOTS): 23
New acquisitions read: 5
Did Not Finish (DNF): 2

science fiction 17
fantasy 65
children's 9
nonfiction 6
fiction 2
romance 3
mystery 2

Author gender: 92 female, 14 male

Books acquired: 27

Read: 14 read
science fiction 4
fantasy 13
children's 1
nonfiction 5
fiction 0
romance 2
mystery 0
Cost: $160.75

Books out the door: 33

Jun 30, 11:20pm Top

*sigh* Roni, you are most productive in every way. I would have to say, "2018 is half over, and man! I have wasted the time!" 189 pp a day is amazing! I'm lucky to get in 50. Oh well.
Keep it up!

Jul 1, 7:14am Top

Hi Roni! Congratulations on reaching 100 books!

>10 ronincats: That one's been getting a bit of press over here too. It's a depressing subject, but I agree that it's a good idea. I have the added issue of family not only having to sort stuff out but doing it on the other side of the world from them. I doubt they'll send much back, so I'm trying not to accumulate too much more as a first step, with occasional forays into throwing things out.

Jul 1, 9:07am Top

Hi Roni, Happy new thread!
Love your June stats. I need to do that today, too

Jul 1, 11:55am Top

I love your summaries, Roni!

Congratulations on 100 books! That is soooo impressive!

I still have the intention of decluttering. Not getting very far. :( Although DS and The Girl and another friend will be coming for a visit very soon, so I am stress decluttering upstairs bedrooms right now.

Jul 1, 1:21pm Top

Kitty in a bowl! That is what these bowls are REALLY for!

Love also the T-shirt. We are kind of doing that today with a rare forecast of 97 and the heat index around 107. No one here can handle this kind of thing well at all. We have a river and also a brook (closer by) and I expect I will spend most of the afternoon in one or the other).

>55 luvamystery65: Dust from the Sahara. Kind of amazing to think about.

>56 ronincats: Somehow or other I know the word Haraeth (feel like I've seen it spelled Hiraeth as well).

V. interesting about your DNA! I have the kit but haven't done anything yet.

Jul 1, 2:46pm Top

Roni--You are well on your way to meeting your reading goals this year!! Congrats on passing 100 already. And you are purging while you are at it. Nicely done. : )

Jul 1, 8:46pm Top

Hi Roni! Just popping in and out. It's just how this year is going. Your tomatoes are gorgeous!

Jul 2, 6:02am Top

Congrats on surpassing 100!

Jul 2, 10:24am Top

I started reading Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee. This is book three in the Machineries of Empire series. I wonder if this book will have the great action packed battle scenes that made the other two books so exciting to read? It is a bigger book than the previous ones in the series, but it should provide me with some great poolside reading in the next two weeks.

Jul 2, 12:26pm Top

>68 benitastrnad: Unless I buy my own copy of Revenant Gun it looks unlikely I'll be able to get my hands on a copy for 6-8 weeks.

Jul 2, 12:32pm Top

Happy new one, Roni! I had fun catching up with you - that photo of Motley in the pottery is so sweet! And your tomatoes look gorgeous - Craig tomato crop is also looking wonderful, so he is very pleased.

I am most impressed by your 104 books read already.

Jul 2, 6:06pm Top

>56 ronincats:, >64 sibyx: Yes, that's how Kipling spelled it, I couldn't quite remember. One of his poems references "Oh the hiraeth, endless (ceaseless?) aching..." I can't remember what poem, though, nor find it in Google, so I've got the words slightly wrong.

>55 luvamystery65: Oh, that's cool! I visited my parents in Cabo Verde a few times while the Harmattan was on - I didn't know the Saharan dust made it all the way to Houston!

Jul 3, 3:24am Top

>71 jjmcgaffey: Hah! Word association: 'hiraeth' and 'Saharan dust' also triggered 'harmattan' for me. We used to live in sub-Saharan Africa and suffered through the dusty seasons, especially my poor mum.

Jul 3, 12:20pm Top

>64 sibyx:, >71 jjmcgaffey: So I checked and of course I had misspelled it above! Corrected now.

>60 LizzieD: It's a good thing I'm a fast reader, Peggy, because I've definitely wasted a lot more time than I've spent productively! But then, that's what a good retirement's all about, right?

>61 susanj67: Thank you, Susan. And yes, I have all sorts of things that aren't worth that much individually but in the aggregate are worth more than one would think and which none of my relatives are likely to want.

>62 ChelleBearss: Happy July, Chelle! Hope you had a good Canada Day.

>63 streamsong: I ALWAYS have intentions of decluttering, Janet. I'm just so much better at accumulating. I did get rid of a dozen lipsticks this week.

>64 sibyx: I sat on my kit for a good month before doing anything with it, Lucy. Of course, that's when I was sick and getting a saliva sample didn't sound at all appealing.

>65 Berly: My goal is always to purge as many as I accumulate, Kim, and while usually I do better here than with other detritus in my life, last year was a loser, so I'm trying to be better this year. I have an easier time with the new books, passing them on, than my classic sf&f.

>66 nittnut: Hi, Jenn. They are almost through the first burst of fruit. I've pulled up a couple plants that were done producing and am putting in some fresh new plants today.

>67 The_Hibernator: Thank you, Rachel.

>68 benitastrnad: I still have to get to the first book, Benita, but I'm glad you are enjoying them.

>69 quondame: Good luck, Susan.

>70 Crazymamie: Hello, Mamie. Lovely to see you here!

>71 jjmcgaffey: I've corrected the spelling--see above.

>72 humouress: HI, Nina. No more dust for you, huh?

Off to plant those tomatoes now. We had a plumbing emergency in the rental in the back yesterday and our usual plumber, who has a big commercial job to finish this week before leaving for Hawaii with his family on Friday, wasn't able to do a quick fix, so now we have to find someone to jackhammer the slab the toilet is on before putting in all new plumbing to the sewer line. The porta-potty just arrived...

Jul 3, 3:41pm Top

This series isn't easy to get started in, as the big concepts are way out there, but the author can write a terrific battle scene. Add to that the idea that Mathematics, and the use of Mathematical equations as a language and philosophy, are the key to everything and it is a really odd series. But fun, with a hero that you love to hate, or can't quite figure out why you hate him.

Jul 3, 6:32pm Top

Naturally the plumbing crisis comes just before a holiday. Glad you got a porta-potty in time.

Edited: Jul 3, 6:39pm Top

Hi Roni! I'm just popping in to say hello. I love the words you're sharing - and I guess I'll have to give The Invisible Library a try.....

ETA: Oh, the misery of a plumbing crisis.....

Jul 3, 8:36pm Top

>73 ronincats: You grow mostly determinate tomatoes, then? I grow mostly indeterminates, so they don't stop setting fruit until I pull them out (being in a place with no frost, there's nothing to stop them...). Fewer fruit at any one time, but a few just about every day from first harvest until...usually October, when it gets cold enough that the tomatoes start tasting like the supermarket ones, no flavor at all. And first harvest is determined mostly by when I get around to starting them and planting them out - later than it should be, every year (bah).

Edited: Jul 4, 12:15pm Top

I feel for the plumbing problems. I am still dealing with my plumbing problem that started on April 29. I had to have them come in and hammer out part of the slab and put in new piping as well. I can’t move my refrigerator by myself so am still squeezing around it in the kitchen since it is setting out in the middle of the floor. THe worst thing is that I am without an ice maker and it is HOT!

Fortunately, we have a refrigerator at work that has an ice maker so I have been getting ice there and surviving at home with that.

Jul 5, 3:32pm Top

>56 ronincats: Interesting DNA results, Roni. Somehow they don't quite come out like we think they will. Sounds like you are having fun finding links on Ancestry. Its amazing what you can find out. I usually go looking for the wider historical picture in history books once I find a link to a particular group or event.

Jul 5, 7:30pm Top

>32 ronincats: love the shirt :) Also, congrats on bypassing 100 books already! It is hard to realize the year is halfway over already.

Jul 5, 8:36pm Top

>74 benitastrnad: As I have said, I have the first book here in the tbr pile and fully intend to get to it...eventually.
>75 sibyx:, >76 Dejah_Thoris: And all the plumbers are already totally busy! I have one here today, hopefully it will be all fixed.
>77 jjmcgaffey: No, I try to grow indeterminates, but even though the vines keep growing, the lower branches get wilt and production slows way down, so I find it easier to just replace with a new plant.
>79 Familyhistorian: A lot of the family branches have already done the research, Meg, so I have hints to send me on to parents and parents of parents there.
>80 Kassilem: Thanks, Melissa. You know it.

So, back to the pottery today after the break last week. These are two 9" bowls. I'm trying some new things with glazes--not sure I'm that fond of the matte glazes on the bowl to the right.

Edited: Jul 7, 12:24am Top

And my first two books of July:

Book #104 ...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him by Tomás Rivera (120 pp.)

This slender volume was started months ago as part of a guided group read. But between the book being slender and constantly misplaced under other detritus and my attempts to read the original Spanish parts of the book in addition to the English translation, I have only now decided to go ahead and finish the English section, since I am running out of renewals at the library. I did enjoy reading the Spanish, but it took all my concentration and so at bedtime didn't work and I just didn't get to it. The page count reflects the pages I actually read, but I am counting it as a complete book.

Book #105 Silence by Michelle Sagara (330 pp.)

I picked this up at Mysterious Galaxy earlier this year since (as you all know) I love her Cast in... series. I thought it was something new but it is the first of a YA trilogy published from 2013 to 2017. The characters are very well drawn and are what pulled me in so that I read the whole thing this afternoon. It's our world, and our days, but there are elements we don't really understand involved when Emma accepts a lantern from a ghost in a graveyard. Some things are resolved by the end of the first book, but we still do not (nor does Emma) understand about necromancers and the City of the Dead.

Jul 5, 9:16pm Top

>82 ronincats: Glad it's not just me with the touchstones.

Jul 5, 9:19pm Top

AND the rental toilet is fixed!! And done well. July is turning out to be an expensive month so far, though.

And today's Wonderful Word is from the English:

WHIMSY (WIM-zee): Playfully quaint or fanciful behaviour or humour.

Jul 5, 9:52pm Top

>84 ronincats: Whimsy, Lord Peter, is an old favorite! >81 ronincats: I love the cream and blue dish!

Jul 5, 11:16pm Top

>85 quondame: Agreeing on both counts!
Hope the rest of July is smooth sailing for you, Roni!

Edited: Jul 6, 4:00am Top

>81 ronincats: I like the white glaze and the colour (but not texture) of the blue glaze on it. But I do prefer the (ha ha) whimsy of the design in the other dish.

ETA re the tomatoes, I was starting to think I should grow some with the kids. But as my gardening tends to be of the ‘put it in the ground and hope it grows’ variety, now I’m thinking maybe not. :0)

And as for ancestors, my parents had their DNA tested and it did come up with some very unexpected results. My grandad did to a fairly comprehensive family tree and published it for the (extended) family, but that was in the days before Ancestree. I think my mum is having a go at putting it online now.

Jul 7, 12:20am Top

>85 quondame: A touch of whimsy is always appreciated, Susan. And thank you.
>86 LizzieD: Thank you too, Peggy.
>87 humouress: Yes, I like the other dish better too, Nina. I was experimenting. Don't let me put you off tomatoes. It depends on the climate. In Kansas, I stuck the plant in the ground and it grew and produced on its own, no problems. In San Diego, they always seem to get the wilt after the first flush of production. But they aren't a difficult plant to grow and your climate is definitely hot enough.

Speaking of heat, it was 98 degrees (37 celsius) here on my shaded porch today, and has just now dropped below the 80 degree mark. We turned the room air conditioner on early and will keep it on into the night. The heat was much worse inland--up to 113 degrees (45 celsius) and more in the inland valleys and four fires in the county as a result, with some homes lost in Alpine and Dulzura. Today was supposed to be the hottest day.

Too hot to do anything but stay inside and read.

Book #106 Midshipwizard Halcyon Blithe by James M. Ward (288 pp.)

So here's another off of my shelves book, acquired several years ago. The Publishers Weekly blurb says "Hogwarts goes to sea." NOT. Now, I realize that this book is to some extent a take-off on the Aubrey/Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brian, which I have not read but many have loved. I don't know if the stilted language and situations are a result of imitation of these books or the author's own short-comings. It's okay but really not that interesting a book for adults.

Jul 7, 12:39am Top

Hi Roni. Just got back into the fray and sending you a drive-by hello before heading to bed. But I'll be back! Hope all is well. Hugs!

Jul 7, 1:11am Top

Hi Roni! LOVE your tomatoes up top! And jealous, too. It's hard for us to grow them here - they wouldn't be ready until August at the earliest, and usually our squirrels get them long before. Sigh.

>56 ronincats: Love your word in Welsh - it's probably why Marina and I went!

Jul 7, 6:32pm Top

>89 beserene: Sarah! Long time no see. Have you got a thread? (runs off to look) Yes you do! Welcome back!

>90 AMQS: Sounds like your Wales trip was WONDERFUL, Anne!!

Another hot one, although only 85 instead of 98. I've been watching Wimbledon in the mornings, and today I was frivoling around on Ancestry afterwards...

Edited: Jul 7, 6:59pm Top

And my count was off, so I discovered I forgot to report book #103 so now it's...

Book #107 Changer of Days by Alma Alexander (339 pp.)

This is the sequel and finale to The Hidden Queen, which I read in mid-June, reviewed here:

This concludes the story as the hidden queen seeks to retake her throne, meets with difficulties, and works through them. Epic fantasy, medieval-type setting, decent characters.

Jul 7, 8:29pm Top

I am a tad behind watching Wimbledon, but I watched several hours this morning. : ) Congrats on passing 100!

Jul 7, 9:08pm Top

Wow! 107 is a lot of books! Congratulations!

Jul 7, 9:23pm Top

>41 ronincats: I read the Chanur books years and years ago (prob when they were just out) and I held on to the paperbacks until 6 or 7 years ago when I decided I would not re-read them and they were purged. I was in one of my moods where I looked at all the unread books and decided re-reads were no longer an option. Sometimes one is over zealous. I got rid of more than a few books I wish i hadn't. but I know why I did it. I still have too many unread books! I wish I hadn't now but will look for them at library sales.

I always love your pottery Roni.

Jul 7, 11:18pm Top

>95 RBeffa: That's exactly my reason for not purging, Ron! I'll never read everything that I own, but I never know when something I disdained last year will appeal to me now. Better safe than sorry!
Hi, Roni!

Jul 8, 1:52am Top

While I'm not a die-hard football fan, my husband and now my sons are, so we've been up at 10pm and 2am (finishing after 4am) to watch the football, so I've barely been aware of Wimbledon - which used to be the major event when I lived in the UK.

>96 LizzieD: Yes, that's my thinking, too!

Jul 8, 6:01am Top

>88 ronincats: That was a hot day, I hope it gets cooler out there. But always nice to do some extra reading of course. Congratulations on 107 books read.

>97 humouress: I'm not a die-hard football fan either, but now that Belgium has beat Brazil, and Kroatia Rusland, and England is in, it is getting really interesting! Might even watch the next games.

Jul 8, 9:43am Top

>98 EllaTim: The Russia game was a good one, with both teams battling for every inch of ground. Thankfully, the quarter final matches were fairly clean and even Neymar didn’t throw his usual antics.

Jul 9, 5:47pm Top

>56 ronincats: So is the rest of your DNA British Isles?

And 107 books already! Wow!

Jul 10, 3:41pm Top

>93 Berly: I was so good at watching Wimbledon last week, and yesterday and today I've completely forgotten about it until it was over (about 1 local time)--reading your message right now reminded me and so at least I can watch Serena's final set!! Thanks, Kim!
>94 beserene: Thanks, Sarah.
>95 RBeffa: The Chanur series is the one I am always most likely to reread of her books, Ron. Something about them...
>96 LizzieD: Hi, Peggy! That's why I am more likely to purge more modern books, especially the popular ones, because I can always get hold of them at the library or online, while a lot of my 60s through 80s stuff is hard to find now.
>97 humouress: That's quite a schedule shift, Nina!
>98 EllaTim: It's cooler today--but quite humid. Unusual for here.
>99 humouress: I did see the end of the Russia game!
>100 RebaRelishesReading: Mostly, Reba. I'd always considered myself half-German, half-Irish because the bloodlines were pretty clear. Especially the German half, because it was the great-grandparents who came over from the old country. But the paternal grandmother's Irish family has been in the US longer than I realized, coming over as early as the mid-1700s in one branch and around 1800 in another. Coal-miners in Ohio when they got here. And my maternal Irish grandfather's grandfather and wife came over from Tyrone in the early 1800s, but his mother--on my! That's the one whose great uncle was John Brown of infamy, and my grandfather always said she said she had ancestors on the Mayflower. I haven't found that yet, but I have loads of ancestors in that branch who were here in Connecticut and Massachusetts as early as 1637 and with names like Hepzibah and Experience. So it's 29% Ireland, Scotland, Wales; 29% Great Britain--no idea it would be this high; 7% western Europe, which includes Germany, 17% Scandinavian--well, they certainly invaded German territories many times so would have influenced the Hamburg branch especially; 7% Iberian peninsula--haven't a clue!

Jul 10, 11:27pm Top

My parents had their DNA analysed too and it came back with unexpected results. Makes you really wonder about migration routes. I suppose we’d have to get their more distant cousins to do their DNA too, to really work it out.

Jul 10, 11:30pm Top

Lovely toppers -- both Motley and the tomatoes.
We saw a truck at a road construction site yesterday, the name of the company was Motley & Motley. Comments about work crews were inevitable.

Jul 11, 11:08am Top

>32 ronincats: LOVE the T-shirt.

Edited: Jul 11, 3:36pm Top

>102 humouress: Yeah, the middle of Germany was definitely a crossroads. But when everyone (the forebears) has been there since the 1600s...well, it must have been a transient Dark Ages.

>103 EBT1002: Motley would be glad to serve as a supervisor. He's real good at that, Ellen.

>104 BLBera: Fun, right, Beth?

It's been a traumatic 20 hours or so. We had 5 traps from the Feral Cat Society that I set up on the porch last evening, and both the cats and we are traumatized. Mitzi, the mother, and Papa, the yellow tom, ended up together in the large cage first thing, and two kittens in two of the smaller cages shortly thereafter. Even with the cages covered, there was some wailing in the night and in the morning, the other two cages had a kitten each in them. We could only take 5 in today to be neutered, so I released one of the kittens in favor of getting the adults fixed first. We go back to pick them up in an hour and then have to wait to release them until tomorrow. Poor, poor babies. But they will be neutered and flea-free and vaccinated, so in the long run it will be worth it.

ETA I have been managing anxiety by watching Wimbledon--the Potrero-Rafa match is fantastic!

Jul 11, 3:51pm Top

Good for you to take care of the ferals. How many more are there?

Jul 11, 4:17pm Top

Go Rafa! What a match, Roni.

So nice of you to take care of the feral cats.

Jul 11, 4:28pm Top

So many interesting things!
I haven't done my DNA, but my mother and her sisters had theirs done. It was fascinating how much variation there was between the three of them. My mother had a good percentage of Iberian show up, but neither of her sisters did. We have maybe 15 ancestors connected with the Mayflower, so when you find yours, we will have to compare. We are probably related at some point, which is not really surprising when you trace back to a boat and a colony.

Hooray for spaying and neutering!

Jul 11, 9:31pm Top

>105 ronincats: How wonderful that you are taking the responsibility for the feral cats in your area. I'm sure the cat wailing (is that where caterwauling comes from? Answer: Yes…I looked it up) made for a long night but a healthier (and smaller) cat population will be best for all. Way to go, Roni!

Jul 11, 11:25pm Top

Good for you, Roni! And good for all the cats too!!!
I am presently remembering the long, long night after our Willow, the younger mother cat, was spayed. They sent her home (same day - our choice) with the E-collar, and she was insane. We took it off and then spent the night keeping her from scratching out her sutures. Retirement is a good thing!
I'd love to look at my DNA --- it should read ¾ Scottish, but I'll bet some Irish and Africa have crept in, and goodness knows what else.

Jul 11, 11:42pm Top

Echoing everyone else to say good for you, Roni, looking after feral cats.

Jul 12, 4:08pm Top

Hi, Calm, Beth, Jenn, Donna, Peggy and Nina! It's actually not that I am so nice (although I may be) but more a matter of self-preservation!

Mama showed up in the yard next door two summers ago, had four kittens, two of which were female and stayed in the area. Those were Mitzi and Sissy. Mitzi had 1 kitten last spring (Miles) and 3 kittens in the late summer (Motley and Dinah). Mama had 4 kittens. One of those got left behind when she moved them and we tamed him and adopted him out. Mitzi's third kitten was wilder than the other two and joined Mama's litter when we started handling them. Sissy had four kittens, two of which survived but both of which died over the winter. Mama moved hers across the street and we never saw them again.

This year. Mitzi had 3 kittens. Sissy had five kittens. Sissy disappeared when the kittens were 4 to 5 weeks old and they came over into our yard to eat with Mitzi and her kittens. After a couple of days of hissing, Mitzi adopted them (8 kittens now). Mama has a litter in the neighbor's back yard, number unknown, probably about 3 weeks old at this point. We had Mitzi and Papa, the yellow tom who hangs out here and has for two years, and three of the kittens neutered yesterday. That leaves five of "her" kittens, except the black one has disappeared for the last four days, so maybe only four. When we get back from Kansas in mid-August, we'll try to do another batch. The kittens, at least, don't seem to be too traumatized by the experience. There are three of them sleeping in one of the open cages on the porch!

Jul 12, 4:34pm Top

Home from the pottery studio today. Also featuring a beautiful iris bloom, the first from the roots we bought from the Iris society at their show last winter.

And last night I finished

Book #108 The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea (326 pp.)

Ro (luvamystery) put this on my wishlist in April and I finally made it to the top of the Hold list at the library. I had previously read his Into the Beautiful North, also because it was set in San Diego. This portrait of a Mexican-American family living in the vicinity of Paradise Hills (between National City where I worked for 31 years and Chula Vista) is complex, multi-layered, emotional, and rings very true. The last days of the family's patriarch bring up all matter of past history and relationships and deals with some current relationships as well, while the setting of San Diego is very true (except for their little fictional neighborhood) and fun to recognize. Not my usual bill of fare, but well worth reading.

Jul 12, 6:16pm Top

>2 ronincats: Adorbs.

>88 ronincats: Hmm, despite your pan, I am intrigued. But then, I'm of the opinion that even boring seafaring stories are better than most kinds of other stories.

Jul 12, 8:27pm Top

Lovely pottery! And good on you for taking care of those cats -- self-preservation or not, it's important work to get such a population under control!

Jul 12, 8:33pm Top

>114 ronincats: Thumbs up on the pottery, as usual. : ) And I love when I read a book and can actually recognize the landscape!! Very fun.

Jul 12, 10:47pm Top

Hi Roni, I've had fun catching up here. Unfortunately I brought a UTI home with me so I am a little under the weather. Not sure I will be able to get in to see the doctor tomorrow but hopefully, I won't have to suffer the whole weekend with this!

Jul 13, 8:54am Top

Hi Roni - The Urrea sounds really good; I too enjoyed Into the Beautiful North -- too many books on my WL!

Edited: Jul 13, 9:40pm Top

The pottery and Iris look lovely! My grandparents signed me up for our local Iris society and brought me along to meetings and taught me to hybridize and everything. Tall bearded irises remain the only kind of plant I don't kill 😂

Edited: Jul 13, 9:13pm Top

>115 libraryperilous: If you read it, be sure to come let me know what you think.
>116 beserene: Hi, Sarah!
>117 Berly: Yes, if the author does it right. If they make errors in the landscape, though, it can be totally irritating!
>118 DeltaQueen50: Oh, Judy, so sorry about the infection. I've had so many of those and they are miserable.
>119 BLBera: Hi, Beth. Time to slow down and do some reading before you have to go back to teach.
>120 bell7: I love irises, Mary, but many varieties won't bloom here along the coast, so it was nice to have some varieties the locals are having luck with.

So, I've had an ER book come in this week (The Turnaway Girls, sent a book out via PaperBackSwap.com, and finished my nonfiction book.

Book #109 American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon by Stephen Prothero (364 pp.)

A fascinating history on how the figure of Jesus moved from relative obscurity in the 1700s (the focus was on the Father, for those who were religious in the New World, and the majority were not) to become a celebrity and the singular focus of many Protestant denominations, as well as a look at how Mormons, Jews, Blacks, and Asians have remade Jesus in their own images as well.

Jul 14, 12:23am Top

And time for another Wonderful Word! (Only three more to go after this one.)

POCHEMUCHKA (Potch-MOOCH-ka): A child who asks "why?" all the time; a person who asks too many questions.

Jul 14, 11:35am Top

>122 ronincats: We have one of those. Lol. He asked me the other day: Why did mom and dad divorce? lol. Am I really the appropriate person to ask that of?

Jul 14, 4:41pm Top

>101 ronincats: Your Scandinavian could also be related to the Scottish and Irish bits of your DNA, Roni. I have a high proportion of Scandinavian in my DNA but I put that down to the Vikings in the Western Isles of Scotland as I can trace those lines back to Skye and Islay.

Jul 14, 5:48pm Top

>122 ronincats: We have one, too. Not so much ‘why’s as questions everything. Especially if I ask him to do a chore, or his big brother gets to do something that he doesn’t.

>123 The_Hibernator: Well, it’s good that he trusts you? Maybe not the right person from your point of view, but maybe from his POV, since you’re neither of them, but still his parent?

Jul 14, 9:58pm Top

>91 ronincats: Roni, it was - we had a wonderful time, and I hope to go back soon.

Wow - how wonderful that you are looking after the feral cats!

Jul 15, 12:10am Top

>123 The_Hibernator:, >125 humouress: Exactly my reaction, Nina! Rachel, it means he's learning to trust you. Just tell him the truth--you don't know, you weren't around then.
>124 Familyhistorian: Good point, Meg. Although it's almost all Irish (one Wales woman), some of them were from Northern Ireland (Tyrone). But then, what happened to all the 8 great grandparents who were born in Germany in the DNA analysis?
>126 AMQS: I'd love to make that trip some day, Anne.

Book #110 Why Kill the Innocent by C. S. Harris (335 pp.)

I'm not sure why I like this historical mystery series so much, but I think it's the characters. This is the 13th in the series, and St. Cyr still has a passion for justice in a Regency England that has way too little of it to hand out. Outstanding!

Book #111 The Turnaway Girls by Hayley Chewins (258 pp.)

I received an advance reading copy of this book through the Early Reviewers program in return for an unbiased review.

This is a first-person fantasy novel set on the strange island of Blightsend, where Masters make music and turnaway girls are imprisoned in a cloister to draw gold from music for the kingdom. When Delphernia escapes the cloister thanks to the intervention of a twelve-year-old named Bly, she learns that the kingdom is based on lies and that she has a role to play. Poetic, lyrical, dreaming, moving, this was a quick but intense read. Strongly recommended!

Jul 15, 4:00am Top

Happy Sunday, Roni. I love your gardening and pottery. We didn't plant any vegetables this year but planted a new olive tree. Luckily we have a gorgeous farmer's market where I get all the vegetables I need.

Jul 15, 5:44pm Top

Hi, Roni! What a lot of interesting books you've been reading! Love your tomato crop. My tomato plants are monsters this year, as are the peppers and the parsley, and I have a volunteer yellow squash that's bursting forth madly, though the cukes, broccoli and flowers aren't doing quite as well. I think it's the hot, dry, windy weather we've been having since, well, May. Hope you have had a great weekend!

Edited: Jul 15, 10:14pm Top

>128 Ameise1: And since you have that great trip planned, Barbara, you don't have to worry about a garden in your absence!

>129 Storeetllr: Your towers are amazing, Mary.

Jul 15, 11:22pm Top

Today's Wonderful Word is serendipitously apropos in view of this last week's miraculous rescue of the young Thai soccer team and their coach from a flooded cave.

NAM JAI (Nam-JYE): A spirit of selfless generosity and kindness; a willingness to make sacrifices for friends and extend hospitality to strangers.

Jul 15, 11:23pm Top

>105 ronincats: Great work with the kitties, Roni! Self preservation or not, it’s a wonderful thing to get done.

>114 ronincats: I really admired Urrea’s nonfiction book The Devil’s Highway - maybe it’s time I tried his fiction.

>121 ronincats: I’ll have to look for American Jesus - I’m trying to read more nonfiction on a wider range of topics, and this one sounds interesting.

>130 ronincats: LOL!

Jul 16, 8:16am Top

I love yesterday's word! Just delurking to let you know I am here, Roni. I have been good about following along but not about posting. I really love the colors in that last pottery photo - so pretty.

Jul 16, 9:23am Top

Hi Roni! Trying to catch up after not having computer for several days. I'm glad you're getting the kitties neutered and spayed. Best all the way around I think. Still loving the wonderful words. The Thai rescue warmed the hearts (although I keep wondering what in the world possessed that coach to take those boys 2 1/2 miles into that cave!). We'll have to talk ancestry next time we have lunch. How cool to have a connection to John Brown!

Jul 16, 10:21am Top

Hi, Roni! I just got the first tomato off my plants -- it's not particularly big, but I'm looking forward to a tomato sandwich or two with pleasant expectation!

Edited: Jul 17, 8:43am Top

>130 ronincats: Ha! Mayor of failure. Love it!

Jul 17, 8:57am Top

>130 ronincats:, >136 ChelleBearss: OK, everyone who's been a Mayor of Failure with book buying, raise your hand! *sheepishly raises hand herself....* :)

Jul 17, 9:49am Top

>134 RebaRelishesReading: Hi Reba, my husband has been following the rescue closely. He has done speleology as a hobby for quite some time. He said they were surprised by the water coming in from the direction of the entrance, and had to keep going in the wrong direction in order to escape from the water. What a nightmare, and I'm glad they made it.

Jul 17, 2:17pm Top

Big AWARD to you for doing such a hard thing, getting your neighborhood cats neutered.

Love the cartoon about book buying!

Jul 17, 4:19pm Top

>137 CassieBash: No idea what you’re talking about...

Jul 17, 8:23pm Top

>132 Dejah_Thoris: Hey, Princess!
>133 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie. Congrats on all the self-care moves, and glad to hear from you here.
>134 RebaRelishesReading: Well, the connection with John Brown my grandfather had told me about long ago, but there's a lot new now to find out.
>135 foggidawn: Hope it was delicious, foggi.
>136 ChelleBearss: Glad you enjoyed the cartoon too, Chelle.
>137 CassieBash: My hand is up!
>138 EllaTim: That's some good info, Ella, and I also had that question, so thanks for speaking up.
>139 sibyx: So good to have you back here, Lucy. Although I know you loved your harp playing.
>140 humouress: Is that because you didn't read the cartoon in >130 ronincats: or because you are in denial, Nina? Like, total denial?

So The Girl in the Green Silk Gown showed up on my doorstep today! I loved Sparrow Hill Road and have really been looking forward to this sequel. But I have to finish the sequel to Archivist Wasp, Latchkey, first, both because I am three-fourths of the way through and really caught up in it and because it's an ER book. I also started my next non-fiction bathtub book this morning, So You Want to Talk about Race, and so far it is really good.

Jul 17, 10:32pm Top

>141 ronincats: Denial? What is that? Is that when you don’t buy books when you really want to?

Which reminds me; Kinokuniya sent me an e-mail that members get 20% off for the next two weekends. Hmm...

Jul 18, 8:39pm Top

>142 humouress: Hey, Nina, you don't have a good public library system--you get a pass!

And this t-shirt appears to have my name on it!

Book #112 Latchkey by Nicole Kornher-Stace (326 pp.)

In Archivist Wasp, Isobel overturned a deeply flawed system for protecting the remnants of humanity from dangerous ghosts. In Latchkey, she has spent three years establishing a new egalitarian system for protecting her community but a pending invasion from another community puts all at risk. In seeking to defend her community, Isobel delves into the complex of tunnels under her town and once again encounters the two ghosts who were so pivotal in the first book. Trapped underneath, Isobel seeks both to find her way back to the surface and to solve the mysteries of the complex's ghosts.

Edited: Jul 21, 6:21am Top

>143 ronincats: - Haha! That was my job even before I retired!
I did buy and receive the other shirt you posted way up there somewhere, the *introvert* one. I love it.

Jul 18, 11:31pm Top

>143 ronincats: Oh YEAH!!!!

Jul 19, 11:33am Top

>127 ronincats: Really need to try Harris' series, and The Turnaway Girls sounds v. lush.

Jul 19, 5:24pm Top

Hi, Roni - Just picked up Red Waters Rising, the third in The Devil's West trilogy. Have you read it yet?

>141 ronincats: Oh! I think you're going to love The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, Roni! Also, I read So You Want to Talk About Race earlier this year and think it should be require reading for every American. Really opened my eyes, when I thought they had already been opened.

Jul 20, 10:35pm Top

For some reason, my responses yesterday to Shelley, Peggy and Diana did not show up. Not that they were extensive.

Shelley, I said I was glad you liked the shirt and that was my job pre-retirement as well.
Peggy, I just gave an affirmative response.
Diana, I said you really should give those books a try.

Mary, I thought maybe I had read the third book, Red Waters Rising, but when I check, I think I postponed ordering the library book because I already had a bunch of books out. I definitely want to read it.

Today's Wonderful Word is from Japan:

KAWAAKARI (Ka-wah-ka-ree): The gleam of last light on a river's surface at dusk.

And there's only one more to go...

Jul 21, 8:07am Top

Hi Roni!

I'm slowly getting back in the LT saddle, and thanks for visiting my thread yesterday. I love Motley in the bowl and your tomatoes. I haven't planted a vegetable garden two years in a row and so don't have good tomatoes available. Heavy sigh.

I sent my Ancestry DNA sample off 4 weeks ago, and they say it takes 6-8 weeks to get the results, so I'm trying to be patient.

I like your wonderful words.

Have a lovely Saturday.

Edited: Jul 21, 9:20pm Top

You got me with a book bullet for Girl in the Green Silk Gown by Seanan McGuire. I got to hear her talk at ALA so now I am interested in what she has written.

I just finished Impostor Syndrome by Mishell Baker||. This is the third book in her Arcadia Project series and it is fun urban fantasy set in Hollywood. Great summertime reading.

I went to the public library today and picked up some more Sci/Fi titles. Somehow, this is suiting my mood.

Edited: Jul 21, 9:31pm Top

During my public library visit today I found a notice posted in the science fiction section about a Science Fiction book club. They are reading a book titled Year Zero by Rob Reid. This group was designed for Young Adults but the librarian told me that anybody could attend. The library is providing the book so I signed up. Got my book, and started reading this afternoon. The group meets on this coming Thursday night and I plan on being there. Unfortunately, the librarian told me that this wil be the second title and that nobody showed up for the discussion about the first book Ready Player One. I told her that it might be that it is just summer and many people are out of town. However, the people who go out of town are not the demographic they are targeting. They want to provide activities for young adults In the minority communities in our town. If nobody shows up this will be the last meeting of this targeted genre book club.

Jul 21, 11:59pm Top

>149 karenmarie: HI, Karen. I'm glad you are settling in and readjusting to the humidity.
>150 benitastrnad: I need to read Imposter Syndrome, Benita, so thanks for reminding me. I really liked the first book, thought the second was okay. And be sure to read Sparrow Hill Road BEFORE Girl in the Green Silk Gown.
>151 benitastrnad: If they didn't show up for Ready Player One, I have no idea what would draw them.

Jul 22, 6:20am Top

Oh, I'm so far behind! Apologies.

>54 ronincats: Your description of The Duchess Deal made me laugh. Beautifully put.

>114 ronincats: Love these mugs, and sounds like this author will be the first on my 'read fiction about San Diego' list - thank you! If you have any other recommendations I'd love to have them.

>130 ronincats: Is all too familiar.

>148 ronincats: This word is so evocative: just wonderful.

Jul 22, 2:48pm Top

>153 charl08: I'm so glad somebody finally responded to that description, Charlotte. Thank you! And such a lovely visit makes up for being behind in my book.

Book #113 One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews (340 pp.)

Ilona Andrews is a husband and wife team that writes urban fantasy. I read their very first and thought it pretty typical but not a standout. When they started a new series, I thought I'd give it another try since I figured their writing chops might have improved and I got Clean Sweep for 99¢ in November of 2016. Again, it was okay, some nice variations on the usual vampires and werewolves (they are actually aliens and this is really science fiction--well, except for the magic), but I didn't see any reason to pay $5 for the sequels. But this third book in the series popped up the other day for $1.99 and I was in the mood. The basic hook is that there are these places on Earth that are set up to house aliens who are passing through and also to protect the populace from the knowledge that there are aliens around. There are Conventions and Rules. But these places are Inns and the humans who bond with an Inn, Innkeepers, have access to considerable powers to make their guests comfortable and keep them safe. I figured, given the nature of these types of stories, that I wouldn't actually miss much by skipping the second book and, indeed, just knowing that there had been a major peace conference settling relations between two hostile races of aliens in that book wasn't sufficient. In this book Dina grants entrance to an alien of a race being hunted to extinction by another race and has to respond to a call for help from her sister on a distant planet at the same time. When the other aliens turn up trying to break into the inn to kill the alien Hiru, and Dina has to acquire and safely install a number of arbitrators in the inn through their blockade, the action ramps up. The werewolf/vampire triangle of the first book is happily resolved in this book. If you like urban fantasy tropes--romantic tension, constant conflict with the supernatural (or alien in this case), magical powers--this is definitely a series to consider. Unfortunately, for me it's like sugar or fried food--I can only take so much at a time and then I'm sated.

My favorite exchange of the book:

"They won't release the Archivarian but it doesn't mean what you think it means."
"Inconceivable," Sean said. "What do you think it means?"

Jul 22, 4:45pm Top

>127 ronincats: The Western Isles of Scotland and Northern Ireland are basically interchangeable when it comes to DNA, Roni.

You have reminded me that I should get back to the St. Cyr series.

Jul 22, 9:19pm Top

>147 Storeetllr: I wholly agree about So You Want to Talk About Race.

Hi Roni!

I love the word Kawaakari. It sounds lovely on the tongue, too.

>143 ronincats: I do love that shirt but I don't think I had caught that you have retired. Yes?
I know I'm just starting a new job but I admit that I'm looking forward to retirement. Maybe 5 years or so....

I have a copy of Into the Beautiful North, a gift from Beth a few months ago, that I need to read. You liked it?

Jul 23, 11:27pm Top

>155 Familyhistorian: I kind of thought that, Meg, but good to have confirmed. My grandfather always said his father's family was "Black Irish". And yes, the St. Cyr series is definitely worth getting back into.

>156 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. Good to hear you are getting settled and have your office painted if not furnished and are getting to know the wildlife and wonderful scenic vistas your new home has to offer. Yes, I retired in 2010, and loving it. Though I do miss getting to play games with the kids...(great for developing cognitive functions and social skills! Try mediating a child with anger issues through a game of Sorry.) I liked Into the Beautiful North but thought the ending was weak.

Book #114 So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (256 pp.)

The author has a gift for communicating hard truths. I have lived with a black man for 42 years and I still learned a great deal. Highly recommended for EVERYONE!!!

Jul 23, 11:29pm Top

SQUEE! There is an interview with Megan Whalen Turner on Goodreads about her next and final book in her wonderful The Thief series. Actually, it's mostly about the cover, but still. And we have to wait until next March...but STILL!


Jul 23, 11:34pm Top

And now, the final Wonderful Word come from Sanskrit:

KALPA (KAL-pah): An unimaginably long period of time.

And the cats have all recovered well from their surgery. They all converge at feeding time, lurking outside the screen door on the deck as the time approaches and pouncing on the dry food once we've poured it into the dishes thereon. They don't all get together at any other time so I haven't taken many pictures of them lately.

Jul 24, 12:58am Top

>159 ronincats: It' good to hear that the cats are doing well post surgery - how did you keep them from overexerting themselves? I find it hard enough to keep fully domesticated indoor felines from jumping, etc. post op - how did you manage it?

And your Wonderful Words have been, well, wonderful!

Jul 24, 9:12am Top

>158 ronincats: !!!!!!!!!!

Jul 24, 9:56am Top

>158 ronincats: YESSSSSSS!!!! But also kinda sad that it's coming to a close. I see a reread of the whole series in my future.

Jul 25, 9:36pm Top

Glad the cats are doing so well.

As ever, interested in your reading and comments.

And the Wonderful Words. Some of them are truly priceless.

Jul 25, 10:32pm Top


Edited: Jul 26, 11:28am Top

HelloOOOO, dear people! Dejah, the females stayed in their cages for another 24 hours--the males were let out the next morning. No one seems the worse for the wear.

Foggi and Mary, YES!! Sad, but I'd rather it end on a high note than wind down in a straggly way. I've done a complete reread with every new book, and a couple in between, so I'll probably do what I did the last time--read the new book immediately, then reread all the previous ones in order, and then re-read the new book in more leisurely fashion. I do tend to gobble them down in great chunks the first time through.

Lucy and Peggy! Giant bear hugs to you both!

It's been a quiet couple of days, in some respects. Home, with temps in the 90s out there so the ac on in the bedroom. I have started packing, though, for our trip back to Kansas (leaving next midweek) and today I did the sales tax calculations and filed an e-tax return and payment for my sales tax for the last year for my crafts. I also sped through this book:

Book #115 The Hills Have Spies by Mercedes Lackey (360 pp.)

I brought this book home from the library when I returned So You Want to Talk About Race on Monday when I went out for my haircut--it had come in over the weekend in response to my hold request. I love Valdemar, especially the first dozen books or so, but never finished the second group of Mags books. But this starts a new story arc featuring Mags' children, so I gave it a try and it was good, entertaining Valdemar. And a quick read. The enemy is pretty straightforward, once identified, and all the politicking at the King's Court was absent as most of the action took place up near the Pelagirs and there were lots of intelligent animals. So maybe not Misty at her best, but certainly better than many. Funny thing--the synopsis on the dust jacket has NOTHING in common with the actual story. Misty has replied: "Because they wrote the cover blurb referencing my pitch synopsis without checking with the actual book prose.

They’re stripping all the ones in the warehouse to put on corrective jackets, which means the uncorrected ones are now Collectors’ Items."

So the library has a collector's item!

Jul 26, 1:30am Top

>165 ronincats: Glad you enjoyed this one! I have it on hold and should be getting my hands on it soon. The second group of Mags books was pretty lackluster, so you didn't miss much -- they all just started feeling like the same book over and over again. This one sounds like something different, finally! And, that's pretty funny about the dust jacket synopsis!

Jul 26, 7:46am Top

>154 ronincats: Hi Roni! This sounds like an enjoyable book. I think I have read something by Ilona Andrews before. I agree with you, it's a bit like eating sugar, but sometimes that's nice and just what you want.

Jul 26, 11:25am Top

>165 ronincats: Someone’s in a good mood :0)

I wonder if your library appreciates its collectors’ item.

Jul 26, 6:50pm Top

>166 curioussquared: Hope you enjoy it when you get it, Natalie. And yeah, that was kind of my impression of the second Mags group--I only read the first one, I think.
>167 EllaTim: Exactly, Ella!
>168 humouress: Oh? What makes you think that, Nina? ;-) And I don't know, but I'm going to tell them about it.

Pottery day!

Jul 26, 7:01pm Top

Hi Roni, we too, seem to be having a heatwave which is really dragging me down. I have my cleaning lady coming tomorrow and this will be the first time I'm not doing any advance cleaning before she comes! We have decided to close my kitchen for the next few days and go out for dinner, enjoying the air conditioned comfort of a restaurant and I am loving the fact that I am not heating up my kitchen. Good news is that I am getting lots of reading time in!

Jul 27, 1:42am Top

>169 ronincats: Nice lot of mugs!

>154 ronincats: I've read the first two books of the series, and have just gotten One Fell Sweep to finish it off. Yes, it's fluffy (especially said vampire-werewolf-witch(ish) triangle), but I enjoy it - lots of lovely concepts in that universe. I've also tried to read her Magic Bites etc series...I find each book interesting but when I'm done I have no urge to go on to the next. Not sure why, it just doesn't click with me. I read Clean Sweep as they wrote it, on their website - it was fun that way.

>165 ronincats: I actually read all of Mags' first and second series...and recommend against others doing so, unless they're mad Valdemar fans. The first book in the first series is by far the best, the other four are mostly marking time - at the end of each they're pretty close to where they were at the end of the last. It might have been a pretty good trilogy, five was way too many - there's a solid arc there, but it's too drawn-out. The second was slightly better, but not much. I'm glad to hear the next series is better, I'll go for that. I would have anyway - mad Valdemar fan here.

Jul 27, 4:55pm Top

>169 ronincats: You made some lovely pottery again, Roni!
I love the colors of the mug in front. What is the one in the back with the hole in it, a vase?

Jul 28, 12:19am Top

>169 ronincats: That red one looks good to put hot chocolate or soup in and nestle it in your palm to keep warm. And the one with the hole reminds me of chocolates - you know, the seashell shaped ones.

Jul 28, 2:30pm Top

Lovely pottery! I like your color choices very much.

Jul 28, 6:10pm Top

>169 ronincats: Love your pottery, as always!
What's the purpose of the one with the hole? Is it a gravy boat?

Jul 28, 6:39pm Top

The pottery with the hole is intriguing, Roni, and I can picture using the red cup on a cold winter day for something to warm me up. Have a great trip to Kansas. I am staying put for now because the warm weather has come here. >170 DeltaQueen50: Sorry, Judy!

Jul 29, 1:40pm Top

Yes I like the red cup too. Is the one with the hole for flowers, maybe???

Safe travels.

Jul 29, 3:46pm Top

>170 DeltaQueen50: That is the best part of a heat wave for those of us without whole-house air conditioners, Judy. It's too uncomfortable to do anything but sit under a fan and read! Glad it's getting a bit cooler there now.

>171 jjmcgaffey: Thank you. When are you going to post a photo of your latest work? I read the first Magic Bites book back when it was the only book and didn't bother with going on. As I said, I wanted to see if her (their) writing had improved and it has. You will LOVE what she does with the triangle in this book!

>172 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita. I think it is some sort of vase, basically. There's a facebook group called The Hobby Potter Life! where the owner finds a You Tube video of some new technique each month and everyone gives it a try. Some people managed pitchers and other more gracefully shaped manipulating of the shape, but hey, this is what I got.

>173 humouress: I like the way you react to colors, Nina. That red is Reba's favorite color--she has one of those for exactly that purpose.

>174 beserene: Thank you, Sarah.

>175 ChelleBearss:, >176 Familyhistorian:, >177 sibyx: Perhaps it could be used as a gravy boat, Chelle? Thank you, Chelle, Meg and Lucy. Yes, my best intent was for it to be a vase for flowers.

It always amazes me how much has to be done to get ready to be gone from one's home for several weeks. There's arranging for the animals: Molly is coming with us (collar, harness, leash, food, bowls, give her Trifexis before we leave, final bath) and the cats are staying (petsitter is contracted with, coming by tomorrow for nailing down dates and last minute details, flea treatments for all indoor pets today, trim Zoe's claws, clean outdoor automatic feeders, set up second litter box inside). There's using up all the food in and then cleaning out the refrigerator, not to mention remembering to turn off the ice maker and unplug all the appliances. Packing: outfits and accessories (shoes, purses, jewelry, sunhats), toiletries, medications, and ELECTRONICS (phone, tablet, Surface, Kindle, iPod, camera, corkscrew? AND all the related chargers and connectors) and make list of all passwords likely to need. Return library books, stop mail, put PaperBackSwap account on vacation hold. Get car ready. Get books that are going to my sister (already read) and ones to read on the trip as well as cross sums, sudoku and word search books and pencils. Pack yarn and crochet patterns, big project for doing in the car during the 6 total days of traveling and small ones for sitting around visiting with people. Make sure bills are paid up that will be coming due. What have I forgotten?

Jul 29, 4:02pm Top

Book #116 The Girl in the Green Silk Gown by Seanan McGuire (336 pp.)

Seanan McGuire is a very busy lady with a very twisted mind. While I can't read some of her stuff (Mira Grant vampire books) and am on the edge/uncomfortable with others (the Wayward Children books), I love and adore her Toby Daye series and her Ghost Road books, of which this is the second. I've been taking it slow to make it last, and it is just as good as the first, Sparrow Hill Road.

McGuire's mind is amazing. Listen to this:

If Laura's car is neat and new and practical, her apartment is what happens when a used bookstore and a grandmother's bedroom love each other very, very much.

And the places in the twilight called Bradbury's, that lure you in and you never want to leave.

Jul 29, 5:02pm Top

>178 ronincats: *blush*

Sounds like you’ve covered everything in your to-do list. At least you don’t have to worry about (plug) adapters. Will the cat sitter look after the feral cats too?

Jul 29, 5:20pm Top

>180 humouress: That's what the automatic bin feeders are for--she'll put dry food in them when she visits.

Jul 29, 6:57pm Top

>179 ronincats: I was just eyeing that at the bookstore! But I have to get the first one first, obviously. I love McGuire's stuff, especially the Wayward Children books, which are so unsettling but SO good!

Edited: Jul 29, 7:49pm Top

I finished listening to the third book in the Illumanae Files trilogy. Obsidio was a very satisfactory ending to this trilogy and Listening Library did a great job with the recorded version. Even those these science fiction novels are YA I found them to be very good books and would recommend them to anybody who likes Sci/Fi.

I went to the public library and picked up Sparrow Hill Road and for my new book to listen to on my commute I picked up Warcross the first book in the new Marie Lu series.

Edited: Jul 29, 7:52pm Top

I thought I would be heading back to Kansas this weekend, but since my mother was in the hospital gettting a hip replacement I decided to wait until she is out of Rehab. She should be out sometime around the end of August and I will probably leave Alabama on Labor Day weekend to head back to spend about two weeks with her.

I am the only one of my siblings who has Family Medical Leave so I guess I will make use of it.

Jul 29, 11:28pm Top

>179 ronincats: I loved The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, it was amazing on so many levels (and I loved the line you quoted, too!). So much information about the Twilight, too, just incidentally. Unfortunately, the climactic betrayal...doesn't make sense to me. She's that good an actress? To fool Apple on her own ground - and Persephone and Hades on theirs? And how did he know where they'd come out (after all the talk about how he was limited in his speed, so couldn't get to Maine in time to interfere)?
So rats. I still love it and will reread it, but...
I tried to be vague in what I said, but it might be a spoiler for some, so tagged.

Jul 30, 3:31am Top

Just thought I'd drop off some chocolates, in case we have to thread-sit for you.

Jul 30, 10:19am Top

>186 humouress: Ooh, those look yummy!

Jul 30, 4:21pm Top

>182 beserene: You will love them, Sarah, so don't delay!
>183 benitastrnad: Glad you are reading SHR, Benita.
>184 benitastrnad: Sounds wise. We are on our way to Kansas on Thursday.
>185 jjmcgaffey: You know, your caveat didn't even register with me at the time. But now you've got me wondering too.
>187 foggidawn: Yum!
>188 ronincats: Yes, don't they?

So, I haven't posted any cat pictures in a while, and I just caught them all almost in the same place out on the deck, so here you go.

Jul 30, 11:55pm Top

Amazing kitty picture! I was going to make some comment about pottery staying still, but I see that it's uncalled for. (Love that red mug though and also the greeny one with the brown - or at least that's how it looks to me.)

Jul 31, 2:27am Top

>188 ronincats: Oh, the table full of cats is cute!

Jul 31, 10:21am Top

Yes, the lower level of that table is obviously designed for cats!

Jul 31, 10:59am Top

>188 ronincats: Purrfect :)

Jul 31, 11:56am Top

>178 ronincats: Yikes!! That's quite a list!! I'm sure your trip will be worth it though.

Jul 31, 12:10pm Top

When the Cat Mouse is away, the cats will play?

Jul 31, 2:25pm Top

>143 ronincats: I got Latchkey from ER too and enjoyed it (although haven't written my review yet). Such an unusual world and setting.

>179 ronincats: I love the Wayward Children series, enjoyed the Mira Grant zombie novels and since then have been dithering about which of the many, many other series to start. I got ebooks of most of the Incryptid series as part of this year's Hugo Voter's Packet so I think that will be the next one to try. But The Girl in the Green Silk Gown sounds good so maybe the Ghost Roads series should be on the list too?

I also liked Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day which was a short standalone ghost story she published last year.

>188 ronincats: Cats! :-)

Safe travels on your trip away!

Edited: Jul 31, 2:58pm Top

Aha, kittens bring the lurkers out of hiding! Thank you for visiting, Peggy, Jenn, foggi, calm, Reba, Nina and Heather. I've accomplished much on the list. We're getting ready to go out on errands--returning library books, stopping the mail at the post office, etc. Then on today's list is accumulating toiletries and electronics and passwords. I did jewelry, cat sitter, flea treatments yesterday. And I got some reading done.

Book #117 Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger (287 pp.)

This book was a gift from luvamystery (Hi, Ro!) and a Book off My Bookshelves (BOMB). It's another light (very light) urban fantasy with the conceit that mixing up different cocktails can give bartenders different special powers which they use to protect the public from demons called tremens that feast on the life force of drunk humans. It takes place in Chicago and the Sears Tower plays a major role. The main character is a Chinese-American girl looking for a job after college (where she was an over-achiever) while living with her parents. So target audience would be teens and twenties, for best identifying with her. The plot is basic, character development minimal, lots of action, and then there are the cocktail recipes with history of the elements infused between chapters. A good beach read.

Book #118 A Corpse at St. Andrew's Chapel by Mel Starr (300 pp.)

This is a medieval mystery set near Oxford, the second in a series first brought to my attention by FicusFan, who used to be active in this group 6 or 7 years ago. I liked the first one, The Unquiet Bones, a good deal but must confess to getting either bored or irritated by Hugh's voice in this one, although the mystery was still interesting as was the historical detail. YMMV. I received this book from my wishlist at PaperBackSwap.com earlier this year and it brings me to having read 21 of 30 books acquired this year.

Jul 31, 4:19pm Top

>179 ronincats: It was good, wasn't it! Loved that bit you quoted. So many other bits that were also fun and clever.

Edited: Sep 1, 7:40pm Top

>197 Storeetllr: Indeed it was, Mary!

So we went out on the errands and between the heat, humidity, and a developing UTI, I came home with a migraine that wiped me out for most of the day. I now have meds for the last and have spent the rest of the day in the bedroom with the window AC and am doing better, but nothing got done about going on the road. Tomorrow will be a busy day, therefore.

July Summary

Books read: 14
Pages read: 4231
Average pages per day: 136
Average pages per book: 302

New reads: 14
Rereads: 0
Library books: 5
Books off the shelf (ROOTS): 2
New acquisitions read: 7
Did Not Finish (DNF): 0

science fiction 0
fantasy 8
children's 0
nonfiction 2
fiction 2
romance 1
mystery 2

Author gender: 8 female, 6 male

Country of origin: USA 13

Medium: Kindle 1, Hardback 4, trade paper 7, mass market paper 2

Books acquired: 3
Source: Early Reviewers-1, Amazon-2
Read: 3 read this month
Genre: fantasy-3
Cost: $17.99

Books out the door: 5

Aug 1, 1:47am Top

>195 souloftherose: If you like the Mira Grant stories, you'll probably enjoy Ghost Roads - also, it's a two-book series, quick to read. Incryptid is funnier (though not less...deep? something) than most of hers. My favorite is the October Daye series, which is also her longest series - more action than Incryptid, still a lot of clever lines but less amusing overall (less aiming for amusing). It's partly a favorite because I live where Toby does - her adventures are set in the SF Bay Area, so have more resonance for me. It doesn't really matter - all of her books are lovely, grab one and start reading!

Aug 1, 9:24am Top

I haven't been able to get into McGuire. Maybe it is a matter of the right series.

No good setting out on a trip feeling punky. Hope today's final preps go ok.

Aug 1, 6:15pm Top

Adorable kitty photo! So cute with them all together just chilling

Edited: Aug 1, 7:35pm Top

>199 jjmcgaffey: That’s a fairly succinct summary. October Daye wasn’t a big hit for me, though i wanted to like it because I have a thing for the month of October :0) I’ll give the second one a go, anyway; but maybe I’ll give Incryptid a go, based on what you’ve said.

Aug 1, 8:31pm Top

>188 ronincats: Love the kitty porn!

>196 ronincats: I think I have a book by Starr on my wish list. It may be that one.

Aug 1, 8:58pm Top

So, the antibiotics for the UTI are working very slowly, but we did get everything else done (hopefully) and the car is loaded and we are off in the morning. Hello to Jenn, Lucy, Chelle, Nina and Lori! I am so sorry that I haven't been around to your threads--I've been doing some reading of them but mostly on the tablet and so haven't been writing.

Edited: Aug 1, 10:57pm Top

((((((Roni)))))), be safe on the road and feel a LOT better!!! Oh - and ENJOY your vacation!!!!!

Aug 2, 3:20am Top

Safe travels ! Feel better soon. Yay for more reading.

Aug 2, 3:47am Top

Enjoy your vacation.

Aug 3, 8:27am Top

Have a good trip!

Aug 3, 9:27am Top

Travel safe, Roni!

Aug 3, 4:32pm Top

Enjoy your trip. Roni. So sorry to read about the UTI, hope the meds. do their job quickly!

Aug 3, 6:59pm Top

Hi Roni! Happy travels and I hope you feel better soon. You got me with The Turnaway Girls!

Aug 4, 5:54pm Top

Have a great vacation, Roni.

Aug 4, 9:23pm Top

My mother is out of the hospital and in Rehad, so I will most likely head back to Kansas on September 1. By that time the nights should be cooler so it will be a good time to go home.

Aug 11, 10:17pm Top

Happy vacation, Roni!! Hope you are feeling 100% by now.

Edited: Aug 19, 3:38pm Top

Hi, all! Still in Kansas, the meds did do their work, and I miss you all, but there's been lots of family time. I did finally finish a book!

Book #119 Touch by Michelle Sahara (330 pp.)

This is very much a second book in a trilogy and ends on a cliffhanger--fortunately I have the third book right at hand and ready to go. This is a YA story about teenagers and Necromancers and ghosts and it is much more realistic and gritty than that description sounds, but what lifts Sagara's books for me are the quality of her characters. These won't be for everyone, but they deal with some major issues and I want to see where the author goes with them.

Aug 13, 12:00am Top

Take care and enjoy, Roni.

Aug 13, 1:04pm Top

I hope you continue to have fun family time!

Edited: Aug 19, 3:39pm Top

Book #120 Grave by Michelle Sagara (423 pp.)

The culminating book of the trilogy. For a YA book, this is a heavy consideration of death, grief, families, friendships, responsibility, and choices in an imaginative fantasy setting. I found it worthwhile to read but if you are not into YA, I'm not sure what your reaction will be. I would definitely recommend it to teens.

Edited: Aug 15, 12:18pm Top

Glad you got better for your trip. I'll have to think about the Sahara, perhaps take a look at it at a bookstore first, if I can find it!

Hooray for finishing some books! Hard to do while on the road.

Aug 15, 2:19pm Top

Oops, Sagara, not Sahara. Corrected touchstone as well.

Hi, )
Lucy, Nina, and Ellen!

Aug 16, 9:39am Top

Hi Roni!

My my, lots going on here since I visited. Just looking at your trip-prep list made me tired! I hope you are fully recovered from the UTI and enjoying your family time to the max.

Aug 17, 10:42pm Top

Hi, Karen!

We are on our way home, did 535 miles today and are in New Mexico.

Aug 18, 11:06pm Top

>222 ronincats: HOLY MOLY!!!! Safe travels (and good rest) for the remaining miles!

Aug 19, 2:37am Top

Have a safe trip back, Roni.

Aug 20, 10:45am Top

I assume you're home by now. Hope the trip went well.

Aug 20, 1:14pm Top

I AM home. We arrived about 11 in the morning yesterday, after traveling from Santa Rosa NM to Gila Bend AZ the day before, leaving slightly under 300 miles to go. Did some unpacking yesterday, lay down and finished a book and then we went out to eat Vietnamese. Today i was up early vacuuming and dusting and messing with cats. Now it is warming up and getting muggy, so I am taking a short rest. Don't know when I'll get caught up with everyone--will probably take me the best part of the week!

Book #121 The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi (336 pp.)

This is the first book of a new science fiction series by John Scalzi and it was entertaining space opera. There are several story threads being juggled and they are still all up in the air at the end of this book. It is interesting that most of the viewpoint characters are women, and that the women are the more aggressive and active characters.

Aug 20, 2:38pm Top

welcome back Roni. >226 ronincats: that one has caught my eye. My wife and I generally like Scalzi's stuff a lot. She just finished his Head On and gave me a thumbs up on it. I think I would be more interested in this one.

Aug 21, 9:20am Top

Welcome home!

Might have to check out Scalzi!

Aug 21, 11:03am Top

Hi Roni! Welcome back. : ) And look at you all caught up on the dusting already. Impressive! I haven't read a Scalzi in a while. Keeping him in mind...

Aug 21, 11:12am Top

Hiya, Roni! I know the kitties are all excited to see you.

I've already requested The Collapsing Empire and am looking forward to it.

Aug 21, 1:51pm Top

I have a John Scalzi story.

Years ago, I was visiting a friend in Troy, Ohio. On the way out of town I stopped at a coffee shop that was located close to the main square of the town. When I walked in I noticed a table set in the middle of the room with stacks of new books on it. There were several different titles on the table by an author I had never heard of and all of them were Sci/Fi. When I ordered my coffee I asked about them. The barista told me that they were by a local guy who came into the shop to do much of his writing. They in turn offered his books for sale. The author was John Scalzi. Four years ago, I was in Chicago for the American Library Association conference and TOR books did a panel discussion late on a Saturday afternoon. One of the panelists was John Scalzi. The line to get books signed was short because people wanted to head out of dinner and when it was my turn I told him about my visit to that coffee shop in Troy, Ohio. He chuckled and told me it was true that he did much of his writing there, but it he was sad to tell me that the coffee shop has since closed. He now does most of his writing at his home in Troy, Ohio.

Do all authors write in coffee shops?

Aug 22, 7:40am Top

Welcome home Roni!

>231 benitastrnad: Unfortunately I have no (other) excuse to visit Troy, Ohio.

Aug 22, 10:29am Top

Welcome home. Sorry to hear about the hot and humid weather but then it is late August in San Diego so will probably continue for a while. I hope the humidity settles down though.

Aug 23, 12:04am Top

Hi Roni. Glad you are back home safe and sound, Roni. Hope your trip was excellent. I think I have added every John Scalzi book he's written both to my wishlist and to my shelves, but I just haven't gotten around to actually reading a book by him - must correct that.

Aug 23, 2:50am Top

Welcome back home, Roni.

Edited: Aug 23, 10:22pm Top

I am guilty of the same thing. I have only read (listened to) Human Division but I have 4 other titles by him on my shelves. I just haven’t had them call to me yet.

Edited: Aug 23, 11:16pm Top

Thank you so much, Ron, Lucy, Kim, Dejah, Benita, Nina, Reba, Judy and Barbara, for the welcome back home. Warmed my cockles, that did! Had to sweep through the house first thing after nearly three weeks of six cats being shut up in it. But then I didn't do much after that--no thorough house cleaning or anything. Been recuperating at a slow rate. Went to the library on Monday and picked up two books that had come in while I was gone. Went to see Mamma Mia--Here We Go Again on Tuesday with the girlfriend I saw the first movie with. She was a big Abba fan--I wasn't particularly but really enjoyed the original movie. This one was fun but the story was even slighter and I would only recommend it for fans of the first movie. Things it does well: great casting of actors to represent the younger versions of the characters we met in the first movie, Cher is great fun as is Andy Garcia (he's popular this year--won Diane Keaton in "Bookclub" earlier this summer), and the scenery continues to be wonderful. Also, any time I can watch Colin Firth...

Yesterday I stayed at home and finished one of my library books and cuddled indoor cats and fed outdoor cats. Today I had pottery this morning and a mammogram this afternoon. Our fore-planning for the pots I threw four weeks ago paid off and all my pots were still moist and ready to be trimmed, which I what I did for most of the time, then glazed the one pot I had ready for that. Don't know how it will turn out.

We lost one more outdoor kitten while we were gone, but everyone else is still here and healthy. So we've seen both the toms, both the kitty mamas, and six of the kittens who are now more catlings. I will have to get a picture of them. Today when we came home before lunch, we got our first glimpse of Grandma's kittens. We thought they might be in the back yard when we came home, but she kept them in the neighbor's side yard and we saw them at the side of our drive, where there is a crack in the fence. She has three. Trapping session is next Tuesday night and we hope to get the three still un-neutered catlings as well as grandma, maybe the white tom. I think her kittens might still be too small for surgery.

Book #122 Competence by Gail Carriger (309 pp.)

I think Gail Carriger may have run her course with me. I did very much enjoy her 5 book Parasol Protectorate series and the Finishing School quartet was interesting in seeing how the world in her first series developed. This is the third book of the Custard Protocol series, following the adventures of the daughter of the first series' heroine and her friends. So far there's not been an overarching purpose in this series; it's been more of a picaresque adventure and most of this one has to do with Primrose coming to terms with her sexuality--well, there is finding and rescuing a nest of fat-sucking vampires from Cuzco, Peru. Sent them to LA, where they will do just fine. It's cute but not as clever or original as the first series, and it's getting a bit repetitious to me. She's no longer on my must read list and I was happy to get this one from the library.

Regarding Scalzi: First of all, his blog is a lot of fun and quite interesting. I first read his Old Man's War and The Ghost Brigades and found them acceptable space opera/mil-sf. I have but still haven't read the next two books in the series. Then I read The Android's Dream which is my favorite of his books, but you have to get past the first chapter and the fart joke. Agent to the Stars was his first book, also a comic book and you can see him developing that style. I was underwhelmed by Redshirts but the codas saved it for me. The Dispatcher was interesting but I really didn't like Judge Sn Goes Golfing. Fortunately it is only a short story. Haven't read Fuzzy Nation or Lock In or Head On yet; have a copy of The God Engines on my Kindle. So his books have been rather a mixed bag for me.

Aug 23, 11:48pm Top

I was happy to welcome you home on my thread, (((((Roni))))), but that's not quite the same as coming here! GLAD you're back!
I was a big John Scalzi fan and then not. I'm not sure what happened, but now The Collapsing Empire is on my radar. Thanks!

Aug 24, 3:08am Top

Welcome back! >237 ronincats: I agree about Mama Mia II, I think my favourite bit was when the three older guys were dressed up for the dance routine at the end.
Hope the neutering catching session goes well.

Aug 24, 9:44am Top

We're planning to see Mamma Mia II next Monday while it's here at Chautauqua Cinema. I lived in Europe in the 70's and Abba was a very big deal there then. Every party I went to had a lot of dancing to Abba records. We had an Abba tribute group here last week and I couldn't help but tap and clap along the entire night.

What a lot of kitty love you've been getting and giving!! Glad everyone is doing well.

Aug 25, 8:13am Top

>237 ronincats: Yeah, Competence is just underwhelming. I'll check out the next one, whatever and whenever that is, but if it's as underwhelming as this one, I'll probably to be done too.

I am a Scalzi fan myself, but I admit The God Engines and Fuzzy Nation are not my favorites. (I prefer Piper's original Fuzzy books!) I love the Old Man's War series, though, and Lock In, and I'm enjoying the Collapsing Empire.

Aug 25, 2:18pm Top

>237 ronincats: Glad you are home, safe and sound, Roni! I'm intrigued by the new Scalzi. I haven't actually read his space operas, but I loved Lock In and The Android's Dream, so I keep buying his books every time one comes out. He sometimes hangs out at my home sci-fi convention and is always an interesting guy to listen to, though sometimes he gets carried away with his Big Important Author persona. I agree with you about his blog -- that might be his best stuff, right there. :)

>231 benitastrnad: Yep, I'm pretty sure all authors write in coffee shops.

Anecdotal evidence: my writing group (which includes 1 published mystery author, 2 aspiring fantasy writers, a poet, and a journalist) writes every week at one of our local coffee shops. The coffee shop that was attached to our old bookstore used to be filled with writers and aspiring authors almost every morning, until it closed (to our everlasting consternation and grief). And the students in my writing classes can often be found typing in the coffee shops across from campus when not in class. This is, I would have to say, A Thing. ;)

PS: I'm not sure how much writing my students actually get done in those coffee shops; apparently sitting there typing with a stylish coffee beverage next to you is also a solid way of meeting prospective partners... for intellectual intercourse, naturally. Or so my students assure me.

Aug 26, 1:56pm Top

Hi Roni - and welcome back!

I hope the kitty trapping is successful! I admire you for doing this. Sometimes it's so easy to get focused on the huge problems facing us today and miss out on the immediate problems that we can help fix. (Oh, groaner of a unintentional pun!)

I need to check out Scalzi, too. So many books! and all that ....

Aug 26, 9:02pm Top

I just listened to an interesting TED talk about spreading things around and one of the speakers used the example of Starbucks creating the “Third Space” idea. Starbucks - it isn’t home, it’s not the office, It’s a third space. The speaker said that Starbucks pretty much recreated the idea of the coffee shop as an intellectual space.

Aug 27, 1:38pm Top

Belated welcome home Roni! Glad to hear plants, pots and kitties are doing well.

I think Scalzi's been a mixed bag for me in the past too but I enjoyed The Collapsing Empire.

Aug 30, 5:41pm Top

You've been home for a few days now, Roni. I'm glad you are doing well. I hope the kitty trapping went well. Spaying and neutering them all?

Aug 31, 1:20am Top

Gracious, it's been a week since I posted here! I've been reading a few threads every day but not posting much. Yesterday we got four more feral cats neutered: Grandma, who started it all; two more of the kittens you all saw earlier this year, and the white bobtail tomcat who's been camping out in the back yard. We are only missing the female black and white kitten and grandma's 3 kittens who are only 8 weeks old. Today was pottery and I brought home an experiment:

I've also gotten some reading done.

Book #123 Alliance by S. K. Dunstall (389 pp.)

Book 2 of the Linesman series, this is an entertaining space opera. I like the main character and the conceit of the "lines" that underlie space travel.

Book #124 To Kill a Warlock by H. P. Mallory (430 pp.)

This is a forgettable urban fantasy involving a fairy Regulator involved in investigating crime.

Book #125 The Android's Dream by John Scalzi (396 pp.)

This reread occurred because we've been discussing Scalzi and I really liked this book when I first read it, but I'd only read it once and I wanted to see if it held up to a reread. Yes, it did. Funny, fast-paced, positive--what's not to like?

Book #126 Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff (331 pp.)

Another reread, this is the first of what turned out to be a trilogy about a Keeper and her sidekick cat traveling around trouble-shooting gates to Hell that pop up (or are created). This is some of Huff's early work, but still pretty fun urban fantasy.

Book #127 The Levin-Gad by Diane Duane (80 pp.)

Diane Duane started her Tale of the Five series in 1979 with The Door Into Fire. The second book, The Door Into Shadow, came out in 1985, followed by The Door Into Sunset in 1992. The series has its devoted adherents, including me. It is epic fantasy with one of the earliest m/m protagonist duos of which I am aware. Ever since, we've been clamoring for more. Finally, Duane is coming out with a series of novellas based around each of the main characters, preceding a final book The Door into Starlight. This is the first novella, available from Ebooks Direct, Duane's direct marketing site.

Aug 31, 1:48am Top

Oh, cool! I hadn't heard about Duane's novellas. Checking them out now.

I like the pottery, too - interesting glaze, as well as the shaping. I'm restarting ceramics on October 4th - took this semester off because there were too many other things going on.

Aug 31, 8:26am Top

>247 ronincats: One of my coworkers really likes John Scalzi. I like the cat on the cover of that fantasy book, but I don't think I'd like the book.

Aug 31, 8:50am Top

>247 ronincats: Ooh, I really like that pottery!

Aug 31, 8:55am Top

>237 ronincats: That's the one I need to read next. I couldn't get into the Finishing School books at all :(

>247 ronincats: Love the bowl!

Aug 31, 8:58am Top

>247 ronincats: Wow! I love that bowl too!! We need to talk clay when I get home.

Sep 1, 2:24am Top

>247 ronincats: I like your experiment, Roni. That looks like it has presence!

Sep 1, 7:39pm Top

I need to acknowledge my visitors!

>238 LizzieD: Peggy, I think The Collapsing Empire will be right down your alley. Just remember, a lot is set-up for the series to come.
>239 charl08: Well, that was one of the best parts of the first movie, Charlotte, the guys in spandex during the credits. Did you notice this time how much Pierce didn't quite fit into his around the middle?
>240 RebaRelishesReading: I was in graduate school in the 70s, Reba, and most of the music of the period didn't filter through. Although you couldn't avoid disco. But I was mostly into R&B, Folk and Jazz then. I did see Elton John in concert at the university, though. It was the end of the decade before I discovered who this Fleetwood Mac was that people talked about, and the Eagles, so it's no wonder I didn't run into Abba. I like their music--just didn't know it at that time.
>241 bluesalamanders: Yeah, I'll read the next one too, but I'm done purchasing the books. The library is my friend.
>242 beserene: As you see, I just reread The Android's Dream and still loved it, so I'll have to try Lock In next.
>243 streamsong: Hi, Janet. As you can see, the kitty trapping went pretty well--80% success rate!
>244 benitastrnad: I don't know, Benita. The independent coffee shops have always pretty well filled that function, but Starbucks definitely took it to the next level.
>245 souloftherose: Hi, Heather. Good to see you here.
>246 EBT1002: Fixing as many of them as we can manage, Ellen. Now my husband wants them out of the yard...
>248 jjmcgaffey: Check out The Hobby Potter Life! Facebook group, Jenn. They propose a different technique/project every month and this was July's. And glad to let you know about Duane's novella.
>249 thornton37814: Hi, Lori. Such an adventure taking all your kitties with you on your vacation, but then they are used to traveling with you. Mine would have a total panic attack.
>250 foggidawn: Thank you, foggi.
>251 ChelleBearss: Prudence and Imprudence come before Competence, Chelle. And thank you.
>252 RebaRelishesReading: When are you off to Europe, Reba, now that the season is over?
>253 Familyhistorian: Thank you, Meg. I finally made it over to your latest thread.

Whew, there I am, all caught up! And I finished...

Book #128 The Second Summoning by Tanya Huff (416 pp.)

I wasn't going to go on to the second book in the series but when I went to record the first book in the Reading Challenge on Goodreads, Lois McMaster Bujold had reviewed the book and said the second was even more clever and funny, so I did. And I agree. There are some Good Omens vibes as both an angel and a demon have to deal with some human issues, as well as some clever topical sniping for the era (18 years ago).

Edited: Sep 1, 8:17pm Top

August Summary

Books read: 10
Pages read: 3186
Average pages per day: 103
Average pages per book: 319

New reads: 8
Rereads: 2
Library books: 2
Books off the shelf (ROOTS): 1
New acquisitions read: 5
Did Not Finish (DNF): 0

science fiction 3
fantasy 6
children's 0
nonfiction 1
fiction 0
romance 0
mystery 0

Author gender: 7 female, 3 male

Country of origin: USA 7, Canada 2, Australia 1

Medium: Kindle 3, Hardback 2, trade paper 0, mass market paper 5

Books acquired: 6
Source: E-Books Direct - 1, Goodwill - 3, gift - 1, SD Festival of Books - 1
Read: 1 read this month
Genre: fantasy-1, nonfiction-5
Cost: $21.57

Books out the door: 0

So this month was a little off-kilter, what with being gone for 18 days and only completing two books during that time. The other 8 were all after I got back, and I realized as I was doing this that I have not yet recorded one of them, the nonfiction. And I acquired one book back in Kansas, as one of my mom's friends who is also a big Kansas Jayhawk basketball fan gifted me a copy of Beyond the Streak, written after KU matched UCLA's record of 13 straight conference championships (this last spring, they broke that record with their 14th straight championship). This looks like a really interesting book (to a KU fan) and I am looking forward to reading it. Then, last weekend we went to the San Diego Festival of Books and going down Author Alley I picked up a book by a local author, Unexpected America: A Memoir by Wanjiru Warama, which looks interesting. And we stopped by the Goodwill Bookstore in Del Cerro this week and I picked up Book Lust by Nancy Pearl, which has been oft mentioned here on LT but I've never read, and Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt. I also purchased a hardback cookbook--something I don't do anymore!--but this copy of Real Stew: 300 Recipes for Authentic Home-Cooked Cassoulet, Gumbo, Chili, Curry, Minestrone, Bouillabaise, Stroganoff, Goulash, Chowder, and Much More by Clifford Wright just reached out and grabbed me! And finally I picked up the ebook of the Duane novella mentioned in >247 ronincats:.

So the library book I forgot to record is

Book #129 The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs (162 pp.)

This was recommended by Diana (libraryperilous) last month and the library had it--it came in while I was gone. At first I thought it a pleasurable distraction but the further I got, the more I liked it and by the end I wanted a copy myself for all the references! And he does the notes as an essay at the end, a very nice novelty. I want to do a summary with lots of quotes and plan to, but not right now.

Sep 5, 8:13am Top

>247 ronincats: I personally like the experiment. Do you consider it a success?

Edited: Sep 17, 1:18am Top

>237 ronincats: >240 RebaRelishesReading: I haven't seen Mamma Mia II but last night I accompanied my son and his friends to the Singapore F1 race and Björn Again were playing (an ABBA tribute group whom I also saw at my university college ball).

Not know ABBA. Tcha!

>247 ronincats: Hmm; different from your usual style but I like it, it's intriguing. It looks sort of rustic, but I think that's the spotty effect you've got going.

>254 ronincats: Now you're just name dropping (LMMB) ;0)

ETA: yay for the successful kitty trapping!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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