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2019 - Majkia's Reading - Part 1

The Green Dragon

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1majkia
Edited: Feb 15, 8:24am Top

This year I'm planning to do less planning. Reading mostly TBR books, but hoping to finish off more than a few series I've started.

Three things I strongly believe in: The Pearl rule, the Bechdel test, and the Oxford comma.

Happy New Year everyone!











2majkia
Edited: Feb 15, 8:21am Top

Winter



January

1. Brilliance - Marcus Sakey - 3.5* 🎵
2. The Wrong Stars - Tim Pratt - 3.5* - ebook
3. Deadhouse Landing - Ian C. Esslemont - 🎵
4. Hunting Party - Elizabeth Moon - 3.5* - ebook
5. The Girl Who Played With Fire - Stieg Larrson - 4.0 - 🎵 (Simon Vance)
6. Artificial Condition - Martha Wells - 🎵 (John Banks)
7. Amberlough - Lara Elena Donnelly - DNF
8. Quantum Lens - Douglas E. Richards - 3* - 🎵 (Marc Vietor)
9. The Mongoliad - Neal Stephenson - 3.5* - 🎵 (reader: Luke Daniels)
10. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Stieg Larsson - 4.0* - 🎵 (Simon Vance)
11. A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe - Alex White - ebook
12. The Andromeda Strain - Michael Crichton - 3.5 - 🎵 (David Morse)

February
13. Karen Memory - Elizabeth Bear - 3.5 - 🎵 (Jennifer Grice)
14. The Poppy War - R.F. Kuang - 2.0* - 🎵 (Emily Woo Zeller)
15. Night Train to Rigel - Timothy Zahn

March

3majkia
Edited: Jan 1, 10:14am Top

Spring


April

May

June

4majkia
Edited: Jan 1, 10:14am Top

Summer


July

August

September

5majkia
Edited: Jan 1, 10:14am Top

Autumn



October

November

December

6Bookmarque
Jan 1, 8:41am Top

OK. I have to ask. Where did you get those wonderful icons?

7YouKneeK
Jan 1, 8:54am Top

Happy new year! :) I look forward to following your 2019 reads.

8majkia
Jan 1, 10:16am Top

>6 Bookmarque: Feel free to snag them! I have no idea where I got them originally.

9Narilka
Jan 1, 1:48pm Top

Happy New Year! Following along again :)

10majkia
Jan 1, 3:35pm Top

1 Brilliance - Marcus Sakey

An Alt History which deals with children being born with advanced mental traits, and the societal consequences as those children grow, and more and more of the population becomes so gifted.

A thriller, nicely written, with a plot that moves the story right along. Characters you can care about and cheer for, with a few twists I did not see coming.

11majkia
Jan 1, 3:36pm Top

>7 YouKneeK: >9 Narilka:

Thanks for stopping by! Hope we all have a terrific reading year.

12quondame
Jan 1, 3:47pm Top

13Marissa_Doyle
Jan 1, 5:58pm Top

Following...and have a splendid reading year. Looking forward to multiple bullets...

14Sakerfalcon
Jan 2, 5:45am Top

Happy new year! I hope it is a good one for you in books and in real life.

15majkia
Jan 2, 7:35am Top

Added my three beliefs for reading to the first post:

Three things I strongly believe in: The Pearl rule, the Bechdel test, and the Oxford comma.

16Peace2
Jan 2, 8:41am Top

Happy New Year! May you enjoy your reading in 2019!

17majkia
Jan 2, 2:40pm Top

2. The Wrong Stars - Tim Pratt Series: Axion #1

Interesting sci fi with a strange alien race the humans call Liars. When the survivor of a goldilocks ship turns up unexpectedly with a piece of alien tech that could change life forever, things start to go badly wrong.

Quite well written, a plot that moves things along nicely, likeable characters, and distinctly inscrutable tech and aliens.

18SylviaC
Jan 3, 8:55am Top

>15 majkia: Yes, yes, and yes!

19suitable1
Jan 3, 1:46pm Top

>1 majkia:

I really enjoyed the series that begins with Hunting Party, especially the first three.

20majkia
Jan 3, 2:04pm Top

>19 suitable1: I've got the Heris Serrano combo 1-3 so hoping to read all of them. Good to hear that!

21majkia
Jan 3, 2:05pm Top

>18 SylviaC:. LOL Thumbs up!

22quondame
Edited: Jan 3, 3:46pm Top

>1 majkia: >19 suitable1: >20 majkia: I agree that the first three in that universe are particularly good, though I've enjoyed all of them and the Vatta's War series, though the repetition does wear a bit. They still read better than the woman-military-leader books written by men.

23Busifer
Jan 4, 6:13am Top

>1 majkia: >19 suitable1: >20 majkia: >22 quondame: (whew, what a row of referrers!) I'm in two minds - I enjoyed Hunting Party well enough to continue to read all the Serrano stories, and then to go on to read Vatta's War.
I did like Vatta's War better, but both was enjoyable reads. Felt a bit light-weight, though, and thinking about it I think maybe that was because they were a bit formulaic.
I have Vatta's War lined up for rereading, though, so it can't be that bad :)

24majkia
Jan 4, 7:03am Top

I really enjoyed Vatta's War series. So far Hunting Party - I'm not very far in - reminds me of that, the characters are similar with a similar set up - no longer in the military.

My thoughts on Vatta's War series was that it was the most realistic depiction of women in the military I've yet read. Having been there myself for 20 years, I have a bit of experience with it. ;)

25Busifer
Jan 4, 7:19am Top

That part I enjoyed, and I have no issues with the authenticity, at all. It's more how similar the stories and characters are, and the predictability of the relationships - things like that.
All in all I liked both series, Vatta's War enough to reread but not enough to pick up the newly published sequels - mainly for fear of getting the original story spoiled - and would recommend at least Vatta's War to anyone who's into space opera or military sf.

26majkia
Jan 4, 7:47am Top

>25 Busifer: Yes. I knew you weren't critiquing that. Most older sci fi seems to me, to follow a lot more conventions of the genre than the newer stuff. I blame the publishers.

27Busifer
Jan 4, 8:05am Top

>26 majkia: I didn't think so, I just wanted to clarify myself :-) And I very much agree with you on publishers and convention. It is like they thought that no one would buy a book if it wasn't very much like all other books that previously been successfully published.

I for one very much enjoy the present-day variety of sf, at least as long as I feel that the author has been subject to some editing. But I feel that has gotten better as well. There was a time in the 00's when every book seemed to be at least 500 pages, many of which held a lot of superfluous stuff.
The mark of a real good author of olden times was, to me, that they could tell a compelling story in under 200 pages. There was a time recently when 200 pages hadn't even got the story started...

28NorthernStar
Jan 4, 3:07pm Top

I'm enjoying the comments on Hunting Party, the Serrano series, and Vatta's War in this thread. I've enjoyed all those books, and I was planning a reread of Vatta's War once I finish some library books. I was surprised to see that Busifer was doing the same. I may go on to reread the Serrano series once I'm done with Vatta's War.

29suitable1
Jan 4, 6:44pm Top

I preferred the Serrano series over Vatta's War. I cared for the Serrano characters much more.

30Sakerfalcon
Edited: Jan 5, 5:37am Top

I too own the Serrano omnibus of the first 3 books. I read Hunting party some years ago and really enjoyed it but never carried on. If majkia is reading them this year then perhaps it will inspire me to do the same.

31Busifer
Jan 5, 7:56am Top

On the reread of Vatta's War I might chose to do a listen this time around. A long time ago I got Trading in Danger from Audible, and I have some credits to spare, too.

If I instead chose to read my paper editions it will be later on in the year, as I've some other books lined up first: I have accumulated quite the TBR pile while awaiting for my reading spirit to rise it's head and want to prioritise getting through some of them before I start to reread golden oldies :)

32majkia
Edited: Jan 8, 1:50pm Top

3. Deadhouse Landing - Ian C. Esslemont Series: Path to Ascendancy #2

Throughout the Malazan series, I moaned about how little of Dancer and even Kellanved we saw. So when Esslemont came out with this prequel series I was ready to grab it up. And I'm delighted I did. The two of them together are hilarious, and seeing them grow up together and Dancer's constant frustration with his little mage friend makes me grin.

I listened to the audiobook read by John Banks who did a terrific job.

Eager for the next book.

33majkia
Jan 8, 4:38pm Top

We've been having the kitchen redone and it is nearly finished. Folks have asked for pictures so here it is, at least as it is today. Just a few more things to do and then I can actually use it! New sink, new cooktop and vent, new countertops and backsplash. Cabinets were re-pickled.




34pgmcc
Jan 8, 4:41pm Top

Very nice.

35YouKneeK
Jan 8, 5:24pm Top

>33 majkia: That looks great!

36SylviaC
Jan 8, 10:06pm Top

That's very nice, and I like the bird collection!

37Sakerfalcon
Jan 9, 4:17am Top

That's great, and I love the birds too!

38MrsLee
Jan 9, 8:44am Top

Lovely! I love that the bird collection is on glass shelves for better viewing. What a great idea! Very pretty color combination, it rather puts me in mind of marsh grass or beach at sunrise, probably because of the birdies. :) Seems relaxing.

39majkia
Jan 9, 8:57am Top

There are a lot more shorebirds up there. Once the rest of the counter gets cleaned off I'll take a photo of the rest of it. Thanks for the comments. I'm really pleased with how it came out.

40majkia
Jan 9, 4:05pm Top



Here's the rest of the counter showing all the shorebirds

41Sakerfalcon
Jan 10, 4:01am Top

Oh, that is lovely!

42clamairy
Jan 10, 8:25am Top

Happy New Year, majkia! Your new kitchen looks amazing. May 2019 bring you many wonderful books and meals!

43MrsLee
Jan 11, 9:54am Top

>40 majkia: Love it! An inspiring place to cook.

44majkia
Jan 11, 5:37pm Top

4. Hunting Party -Elizabeth Moon Series: Heris Serrano #1

I really enjoyed her series Vatta's War, so was looking forward to reading this. She's really good at depicting women in the military, and does a great job of getting the types of thinking that is required of anyone in charge of other people and their health and well being.

Hunting Party didn't disappoint in this regard. This is an older woman in this series, where the heroine in Vatta's War was young and new to the experiences. This time, this woman is seasoned and unhappy about having resigned her commission and missing all that went with it.

I enjoyed the characters and the different settings, although I confess I learned more about fox hunting that I really ever expected to, but as there was quite a bit of character development going on with it, I didn't mind all that much.

The younger characters were annoying at first but definitely grew through the adventures they endured.

If you like military sci fi, give this a try. It's quite different from most of the genre but all the better for that.

45majkia
Jan 14, 7:19am Top

5. The Girl Who Played With Fire - Stieg Larrson - Series: Millennium Trilogy #2

I listened to the audiobook read by Simon Vance.

Tricksy, with lots of diversionary tactics, these books keep you reading and wondering just how things can possibly turn out well. The main character, Lisbeth, is a troubled young woman who has no idea how to back down. You come at her and she comes right back at you with all her strength, intelligence and ability.

Characters are interesting, flawed and complex. They interact in surprising ways and the plot is hard to predict.

Really enjoyed it and hope to read the last of the trilogy soon.

46pgmcc
Jan 14, 7:35am Top

>45 majkia: I enjoyed the trilogy very much. The Swedish film of the first book is very good. I found the film sequels lacked something. I have only seen the trailer for the American film and I cannot see it adding anything to the experience other than some loud music with heavy beats to tell the viewers they are supposed to feel tense and scared.

47majkia
Jan 15, 5:05pm Top

6. Artificial Condition - Martha Wells Series: Murderbot Diaries #2

Sooo much fun. Love the murderbot and her obsession with 'Sanctuary Moon'. Like her new friend too. :)

I listened to the audiobook read by Kevin R. Free, who does a great job, and gets the humor just right.

48majkia
Jan 17, 4:05pm Top

7. Amberlough - Lara Elena Donnelly Series: Amberlough #1

Did Not Finish

This book was just not doing it for me. Too much sex and nothing else really going on for 62 pages.

Nicely written and maybe I'll pick it up sometime in the future, but probably not.

49majkia
Jan 19, 9:52am Top

8. Quantum Lens - Douglas E. Richards

I had issues. Mostly about the one female character who gets used, although she's supposed to be as bright as the boys. And who is then expected to just forgive her treatment because, of course, it was for the 'greater good'.

Otherwise, lots of good sciency stuff which I always enjoy. Too bad about the above. Oh, also in several parts too much lecturing about politics.

I listened to the audio version, read by Marc Vietor who did an okay job.

50-pilgrim-
Jan 19, 10:42am Top

Just popped by to meet my new neighbours. Thank you for introducing me to "The Pearl Rule ". I had mot encountered it before - and I certainly recognise the upbringing it rebels against!

51majkia
Jan 19, 10:48am Top

>50 -pilgrim-: Always glad to intro folks to Nancy Pearl. :)

Welcome to the pub. I look forward to following your reading.

52clamairy
Edited: Jan 22, 4:57pm Top

>45 majkia: OOOH! Simon Vance. I think he narrated Bring Up the Bodies. Is there as much blathering about the publishing world in that second Larrson book as there was in the first?

>47 majkia: Murderbot! :o)

53majkia
Jan 22, 6:03pm Top

>52 clamairy: Not sure about the pub world carrying on but I thought the second book was even better than the first. Hope the last one holds up to the other two!

Murderbot! My hero.

54majkia
Jan 22, 6:06pm Top

9. The Mongoliad - Neal Stephenson - Series: The Mongoliad #1

I listened to the audio version read by one of my faves, Luke Daniels.

This wasn't at all what I expected. Pretty much straight historical, although granted I have no idea about the Mongols and he could be spinning lots of alt history and I'd have no idea. Not real magic or tech though, so... Still, an interesting story with his signature interweaving of multiple storylines.

I love his writing so I'll put up with straight historical if he writes it!

55quondame
Jan 22, 7:48pm Top

>54 majkia: Starting with The Mongoliad and it's sequels I seemed to be spending a lot of time on the steps as I picked up Jack Weatherford's books and The Tiger Queens and there is even a bit in The Sky-Blue Wolves. Not to mention Elizabeth Bear's books.

56Busifer
Jan 24, 1:04pm Top

>47 majkia: I have mentioned it before, but I love Murderbot!

>54 majkia: Neal Stephenson used to be an auto-buy, but at some point I just gave up on his editorial skills. But, you say The Mongoliad is readable?

57ScoLgo
Jan 24, 1:21pm Top

>56 Busifer: I bought the Mongoliad series (for kindle) at a discount last year. I think they were on sale for $1.99 each or something like that. I have not yet gotten around to reading them but my understanding is that the series is a collaboration by many authors with Neal Stephenson and Greg Bear being primaries. The Wikipedia Page explains it pretty well.

I usually enjoy historical fiction, (especially secret histories), and am a fan of Stephenson's other work, so I'm looking forward to digging into these soon.

58Busifer
Jan 24, 1:31pm Top

>57 ScoLgo: Yeah, I know, but while a fan of his since back when Snowcrash was first published everything has a limit... I'd never get an audio version of anything of his that I haven't read first, as the format makes it hard to find at which point he's going to leave off his pointless expositions and pick up with the story again. I think fx Cryptonomicon has a 10-12 page section were a protagonist analyses his masturbatory patterns.
It doesn't add anything to either story or character... well, a bit might do for the character, but 10 pages, with diagrams? Just no.
So I kept away from The Mongoliad for a reason - so many other good books out there, waiting for attention!
But if people I trust says it's worth reading, then I'll probably get it.

59quondame
Edited: Jan 24, 2:11pm Top

>58 Busifer: The embedded short story - I think it is in Cryptonomicon - which involves black stockings and heirloom furniture - is actually the best, most coherent, piece of writing Stephenson has ever done. I love reading his novels, but at the core of each of them is a hole so huge that it seems like a feature. I enjoyed the Mongoliad series too, but I don't think it's very good.

60ScoLgo
Edited: Jan 24, 2:44pm Top

>58 Busifer: I fully agree about his proclivity for pointless exposition. I personally don't recall the masturbation section in Cryptonomicon but I do recall becoming irritated with the minute analysis of Alan Turing's faulty bicycle sprocket. Pages of detail about the algorithm Turing worked out to avoid the chain coming off the sprocket struck me as nothing more than an author wanting to show how clever they are. Which in itself is rather masturbatory, I suppose... ;)

But. I still enjoyed that book quite a lot.

61majkia
Jan 24, 5:05pm Top

well, The Mongoliad is no where near as long as much of his work. So there's less time for long periods of navel-gazing. I thought he stuck with the story pretty well.

62majkia
Jan 26, 8:15pm Top

We're on our first camping trip of the year, not very far from home, but at the beach. Topsail Hill State Park.

63clamairy
Jan 26, 8:27pm Top

>62 majkia: Looks delightful. I do hope you're staying warm enough.

64SylviaC
Jan 27, 10:45am Top

Beautiful picture. I love the reflections.

65hfglen
Jan 27, 11:41am Top

What a beautiful place!

66majkia
Jan 27, 11:41am Top

We are staying warm and quite comfy. Mr Majkia went fishing yesterday but alas didn't catch anything, not even the pelican who tried to steal his bait.

67majkia
Jan 27, 11:41am Top

10. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Stieg Larsson Series: Millennium Trilogy #3

I listened to the audio version read by Simon Vance.

Boy, is the title ever appropriate. All the threads come together and we see more clearly just how everything fits together. Elisabeth grows and evolves, the plot threads come together well, and the book was a satisfactory finish to a very complex and involved story.

I thoroughly enjoyed the trilogy. Every book was well done.

68pgmcc
Jan 27, 11:53am Top

>67 majkia: I found the trilogy very enthralling.

69catzteach
Jan 27, 10:17pm Top

>67 majkia: I've only read the first one. I liked it, but it was rather disturbing. I started the second but couldn't get into it at the time. I wonder if I could now. Hmmm, I'll think about it.

70majkia
Jan 28, 7:45am Top

>69 catzteach: The first one is very disturbing, agreed. The second and third deal more with understanding what happened to Elisbeth so they didn't feel so raw to me as the first one did.

I have triggers, so I understand how disturbing books can be.

71Busifer
Jan 28, 11:42am Top

>60 ScoLgo: I had forgotten about that one. Or repressed it. And despite several such stories the book as a whole is still a great piece of storytelling: I have both read and reread it several times, even if it has been a long time now.

>59 quondame: I can't seem to remember that one, but then it has been a long time since I last reread or read any of his books. There's an episode involving heirlooms in Cryptonomicon, but I can't seem to remember any stockings. Oh well.

One thing I liked with Cryptonomicon was how The Baroque Cycle tied into it. Or maybe it's the reverse - I enjoyed the Baroque Cycle for how it connected to Cryptonomicon ;-)

72Busifer
Jan 28, 11:42am Top

>62 majkia: Beautiful, looks very serene.

73majkia
Jan 28, 7:13pm Top

The view of the beach from the restaurant this afternoon.

74catzteach
Jan 28, 10:33pm Top

>70 majkia: good to know. Maybe I will give them a try again.

Beautiful pic! So peaceful!

75Busifer
Jan 29, 2:57pm Top

>73 majkia: Beautiful, but looks very cold?

76majkia
Jan 29, 3:17pm Top

>75 Busifer: No, it was quite nice, 65F or so, but a storm was coming ashore.

77Busifer
Jan 29, 3:20pm Top

>76 majkia: It looked a bit dark, maybe that's why I guessed cold. I love the sea, though, so think it beautiful in any weather :-)

78Narilka
Jan 29, 8:07pm Top

Such a calming photo :)

79majkia
Jan 30, 12:14pm Top

11. A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe - Alex White Series: The Salvagers #1

What a fun read. It hit all my buttons: smart-mouthed women, lost artifacts, bad guys on their tails. Fun world building, impressive character growth, complex plotting .

Will definitely read the next one.

80quondame
Edited: Jan 30, 3:13pm Top

>79 majkia: Sounds fun!

81majkia
Jan 31, 8:58am Top

12. The Andromeda Strain - Michael Crichton

I listened to the audiobook, read by David Morse.

Written in 1969, the main thing that blares out at you (given it's age) is the lack of any important female characters. The only ones in the book are 'nurses' and 'assistants.' All the scientists are male.

Other than that, I enjoy this sort of thriller with lots of science stuff and details about the investigation into a mysterious illness that kills a small town.

82-pilgrim-
Jan 31, 9:11am Top

>81 majkia: Is it set in "the future"? That gender mix seems all too plausible for a sixties laboratory environment.

83majkia
Edited: Jan 31, 9:13am Top

>82 -pilgrim-: No it is set in current time, which was 1969. Agreed. 1969 was definitely like that.

84pgmcc
Jan 31, 9:20am Top

>81 majkia: My first exposure to The Andromeda Strain was when I saw the film on TV some time in the 70s. It was only a few years ago that I got around to reading the book. I liked the premise and enjoyed the story, but more as a documentary warning us what could happen rather than as an exciting adventure story. Neither the film nor the book stood out as things to recommend other than as a thought expeiment on what would happen if... It was very topical at the time as the space race was in full flight (if you would excuse the pun). 1969 was the year of the first manned lunar landing.

85majkia
Jan 31, 9:44am Top

>84 pgmcc: I was working at a Research Lab in 1969, right after I graduated from university. We got involved in Apollo 13 when they were trying madly to get it down safely. I was an 'assistant' at the research center, and they wouldn't send me too school to learn to program because 'that was for men'. I quit in late 1970 and joined the US Air Force where my job was programming and computer analysis.

Probably more than you want to know, but memories crop up like that some times.

86pgmcc
Edited: Jan 31, 10:19am Top

>85 majkia: I find your memories fascinating. Having bitten my nails the whole way through the Apollo 13 mission I think it is amazing to meet, albeit virtually, someone who had any involvement with the effort to get the crew back safely.

1979 was the year I started full-time employment. I joined a software company as a trainee computer programmer. Eighteen of us started on the same day and there were I think four females in the group. My first manager was a woman from whom I learned a lot about focus, planning and the technical elements of programming. I am sorry your experience was so negative. While the company I was in was predominantly male the skill of the employees was recognised with no reference to gender, at least at middle management level. They did not have any women at ranks above project manager at the time.

By contrast, a consultancy company I worked for in 1999 - 2001 had a female Joint Managing Director. She soon took over as sole Managing Director. While in that company I built a consultancy team from six to twenty-six. When I joined, the team consisted of six men. When I left there were eight men and eighteen women. I recruited solely on merit.

87majkia
Edited: Feb 7, 9:39am Top

Plans for February:

Cast, In Order of Disappearance - Simon Brett
Salvation - Peter Hamilton 🎵
Karen Memory- Elizabeth Bear 🎵 (Jennifer Grice)
Obelisk Gate - N.K.Jemisin 🎵
One Way - SJ Morden
There before the Chaos - KB Wagers
Night Train to Rigel - Timothy Zahn 🎵
The Poppy War - RL Kuang 🎵
Zoe's Tale - John Scalzi 🎵
Semiosis - Sue Burke
Three Parts Dead - Max Gladstone
The Far Pavilions - MM Kaye 🎵

Probably won't get to them all but hoping I can make a dent.

88majkia
Feb 7, 9:37am Top

13. Karen Memory - Elizabeth Bear Series : Karen Memory #1

What a fun read. Just goes to show that even 'fallen doves' aren't what they seem, as a young woman steps up to the bad guys in old timey western cowboy style.

I listened to the audio read by Jennifer Grice.

89Sakerfalcon
Feb 7, 10:01am Top

>88 majkia: This is on my TBR pile. Glad you enjoyed it.

90majkia
Feb 7, 2:02pm Top

>89 Sakerfalcon: It is a lot of fun. Steampunky, spunky and written with a lot of humor.

91ScoLgo
Feb 7, 4:35pm Top

>88 majkia: Ok, I think I will have to read Karen Memory next. It's been on my list for a while now...

92majkia
Feb 11, 9:13am Top

>91 ScoLgo: Hope you enjoy it. I certainly did.

93majkia
Feb 11, 9:13am Top

We're heading out this morning for our second camping trip of the year. We're headed to a Federal Park, Eastbank, which is, ahem, on the east bank of Lake Seminole, above the dam there on the Chattahoochee River. We might have to come home early if the Federal Government shuts down again on the 15th. Hopefully not, but who knows.

The area was flattened during Hurricane Michael, which was still a CAT 4 when it rolled across this area. The park has just reopened a couple of weeks ago. We expect to see massive changes, mainly pretty much all the trees gone. I'll probably be posting lots of pictures on Facebook, and possibly a few here on LT.

Happy reading, everyone. I'll still be checking in here regularly.

94majkia
Feb 11, 7:25pm Top

We were really concerned about the state of the campground here, after Hurricane Michael. I'm delighted that the camping area is nearly as nice as it was before, with only a few trees gone. THe road down the hill to the campground, however, shows the violence of the storm, with tens and tens of trees blown over and still not cleared up because they are well off the road and caught up in forested areas.

The las to half of our drive showed us how the trees had been stripped and toppled. It looked as if someone had come in and clear cut along the expressway for miles and miles.

This used to be heavily wooded along the sides of the roads and in the median:


And sunset from our site:

95Jim53
Feb 11, 8:28pm Top

>94 majkia: lovely!

96pgmcc
Feb 11, 9:39pm Top

>94 majkia: Great pictures. Thank you for the descrption and pictures of the storm damage.

97MrsLee
Feb 12, 9:03am Top

Nice to find such loveliness after the devastation.

98majkia
Feb 12, 12:10pm Top

14. The Poppy War - R.F. Kuang Series: The Poppy War #1

I listened to the audio version read by Emily Woo Zeller

I got very frustrated with how very YA this was, especially the first third or so of the book. I read on hoping the brain fairy might appear, but alas... I suppose those who really like YA might really enjoy this, but it was pretty frustrating for me.

99YouKneeK
Feb 12, 1:28pm Top

>98 majkia: LOL about “brain fairy”. :)

>94 majkia: That’s a beautiful sunset picture! I’m glad the campground is still in good shape.

100Busifer
Feb 12, 3:49pm Top

It's always sad when woods gets destroyed, whether by humans or weather. I hope there's some re-forestation scheme, to stop erosion turning the area into a desert.

101majkia
Feb 15, 8:19am Top

15. Night Train to Rigel - Timothy Zahn Series- Quadrail #1

Frank Compton, human, is hired (by a guy dying) to discover who is attacking the mysterious Quadrail system, that connects multiple alien worlds throughout the galaxy. He's no Poirot, instead managing to get attacked by multiple races. The mystery is pretty complex and kept my interest throughout. I enjoyed it.

102majkia
Feb 17, 3:54pm Top

We moved to a different campsite, but still at the same campground.



103pgmcc
Feb 17, 5:19pm Top

>102 majkia: I love your camper. It is of a scale that can only be imagined here.

104YouKneeK
Feb 17, 6:14pm Top

>103 pgmcc: I can’t imagine driving it! I’ve always owned smaller cars and have only driven larger vehicles when given one by a rental company during a trip.

I haven’t had much trouble up to the minivan size, but the largest vehicle I ever drove was a Chevrolet Tahoe, a full-sized SUV that can seat 8 people. It was nowhere near the scale of Majkia’s camper of course, but I was pretty uncomfortable driving it. My colleagues and I had rented it for a business trip, and I was the most practical person to pick it up based on our schedule and the location of the rental company. I picked it up and drove it to the first colleague’s house and I was very happy to give him the keys and not drive it again until we got back. While driving it, I had trouble telling where I was in proximity to the lines on the road, especially on the far right side. I pretty much just focused on keeping the driver’s side inside the lane and trusted to logic that the car was not wider than the road despite what my eyes were telling me. I’m sure I would have gotten used to it with practice, but it was a bit nerve-wracking the two times I drove it.

105quondame
Feb 17, 9:41pm Top

>104 YouKneeK: For one of my weekend camping trips I was upgraded to a Tahoe and loved it - but it goes for more than the Dodge Caravan that actually has more hauling space when set up for 2, so that's what we rent these days. I loved our Smart Car for getting around town & parking in the compact spot between SUVs, but it suicided and our smaller car is now a Prius C.

106hfglen
Feb 18, 4:39am Top

>104 YouKneeK: I can sympathise. Our "main" vehicle is a 1.5-ton truck, and turning it in the cramped driveway of the old dear we take to church every Wednesday is an epic procedure. But it's a joy for the weekly shop, or carting books between Inchanga and home!

107majkia
Yesterday, 7:25am Top

>103 pgmcc: >104 YouKneeK: >105 quondame: >106 hfglen: LOL. Our motor home is 35ft, which for the US, is small for a motor home. They go up to 45ft long. I don't drive it, but Mr Majkia has no problems driving it. We also tow our Honda CR-V behind it. That too is fairly typical for even the bigger motor homes, to tow a car to use when camping.

I confess to trying to look away from the road ahead since I have a depth perception problem which makes everything seem much much closer than it is. (So bad I nearly didn't get a driver's license when I was young). Better than seeing things further on, I guess, which could end up with me crashing into things.

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