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Fieldnotes: On Staying Clam & Reading in 2019 ☽ Part I ☾

The Green Dragon

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Jan 9, 8:37pm Top

Yay! I finally remembered to start my new thread.

I'm currently reading Lethal White by Robert Galbraith AKA J.K. Rowling and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I bailed out on Warlight, The Three Body Problem and Record of a Spaceborn few, but I plan to go back to the Becky Chambers. Might not go back to the others, though.

Jan 10, 3:02am Top

All the piffle paid off; we have a 2019 Clam thread.

I have not heard a bad word said about the Robert Galbraith books. We have most of them in the house; I must get around to reading them someday.

I read The Three Body Problem. Let’s just say I was glad to get to the end of it and have no great desire to read the sequels. I think I was not able to suspend my disbelief sufficiently to suppress some of the physics knowledge that I have.

I enjoyed the first Becky Chambers novel but I found it difficult to get into the second. I gave it a good chance but I felt it just dragged on. I am told it gets better but I have plenty of other books that I am finding are better from the start.

Good luck with your 2019 reading and every other aspect of 2019. I am enjoying your beach photographs. I love it when I am near the sea. It is so relaxing.

Jan 10, 4:11am Top

Happy new year! I hope 2019 brings you all good things in reading and in life.

I have the Becky Chambers on Mount TBR. I'll get to it some time this year. Three body problem is on my kindle and I've heard such mixed reviews that I don't know what to expect.

Jan 10, 6:48am Top

>1 clamairy: Happy newish year, and I hope you find a lot of great reading for 2019!

Jan 10, 7:50am Top

Yay! Happy new thread and new year.

Jan 10, 8:18am Top

Hippo Gnu Ear! And new thread!

Jan 10, 8:21am Top

>1 clamairy: & >2 pgmcc: That's a shame about The Three Body Problem as I have that and its sequel already sat on the tbr shelves.

Jan 10, 8:42am Top

How come I didn't even know Record was available?! hmm. What didn't you like about it??

I didn't know JK had written so many of the Strike books, they made a decent enough TV series out of them last? year

I did read three body problem to the end, but wasn't convinced enough to read the rest and see how it all resolves.

Edited: Jan 10, 9:01am Top

>8 reading_fox: The thing that worked for me with Angry Planet was that most of the characters were on the same ship, but with Record they're all over the place. I didn't dislike it, it just wasn't getting me hooked like I'd hoped it would. I do plan to go back to it.

Didn't know they made a series! Does it cover the first three books or just the first book?

Jan 10, 9:19am Top

I really enjoyed Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, but wasn't sufficiently motivated to read the next one.

Jan 10, 9:22am Top

>9 clamairy: I think your Touchstone for "Record" may be going to the wrong book.

Jan 10, 9:28am Top

Hurray! The new thread. "She's never late, but always arrives precisely when she means to."

Jan 10, 9:55am Top

>12 MrsLee: I never thought of Clare as Mary Poppins, but now that you mention it.

Jan 10, 10:05am Top

>10 SylviaC: The second was good, but just had too much to live up to in my mind.
>11 pgmcc: Arg. I'll fix it later. On my phone now.
>12 MrsLee: Thank you! ♥️
>13 pgmcc: I was hoping she meant Gandalf!

Jan 10, 10:07am Top

>14 clamairy: Mary Poppins is much more fun than Gandalf. She can take you into chalk drawings on the footpath even before CGI was invented.

Jan 10, 10:08am Top

Very glad to have you back, Clam!

Jan 10, 10:19am Top

>14 clamairy: I did have Gandalf in mind, but I suppose Mary Poppins works too. :)

Jan 10, 2:05pm Top

I have to say I too love your beach photos. Like Peter says, being close to water is calming, and I wouldn't voluntarily live somewhere away from open water. And yours are so beautiful, with the light and everything.

Jan 10, 4:14pm Top

Happy new year and new thread!

Jan 10, 5:06pm Top

Happy New Year, clammy!

Jan 10, 8:07pm Top

Alrighty, then. More pics will be forthcoming.

I took this one during a foggy day earlier this week. This isn't the beach I usually spend my time wandering on. That one is public. This one is private, and part of the small community I moved into. Unfortunately it has been eroded by storms until there isn't much left. But what is left is still quite lovely.

Jan 10, 11:09pm Top

I miss the fog. We don't get it much where I live. And when we do, it's freezing fog and makes things icy and slick. But it leaves a film of frost all over everything, which is very beautiful. But the feel of freezing fog is different than fog in warmer temps.

Jan 10, 11:45pm Top

>21 clamairy: Really cool effect, with the fog and the reflections in the water.

Jan 11, 4:41am Top

Jan 11, 4:50am Top

>21 clamairy: That is a beautifully atmospheric picture.

Jan 11, 6:09am Top

>21 clamairy: This was one of the first things I saw when I checked facebook this morning! The perfect start to the day. Love the reflection and the fog; there's a real sense of mystery that draws me in.

Jan 11, 6:12am Top

>9 clamairy: - according to wiki it was the 1st three books, it was on the BBC called Strike. Doesn't look like it's currently available, but maybe there is/will be a dvd release.

Edited: Jan 11, 6:23am Top

>9 clamairy: The C.B. Strike series was on Cinemax network. Quite good. I think I saw them say they were planning on doing more of them.

Jan 11, 8:59am Top

Well that is lovely! We have fog fairly often here in the river valley. It's always nice to be out in.

Jan 11, 10:11am Top

>21 clamairy: Pretty! Calming, and yet, suspenseful.

Jan 11, 10:22am Top

Although we have fog quite often and I love it (having grown up on the dry Highveld), I'm still trying to work out how to take a picture of the fog that shows something other than greyness and says "I like this".

Jan 11, 8:50pm Top

>21 clamairy: Lovely! But I bet it's cold this time of year.

Jan 11, 9:34pm Top

>21 clamairy: I love this photo :)

Edited: Jan 12, 12:15am Top

Thank you, everyone.

Jill, it was actually in the mid 40s, that's why it was foggy. Today it was cooler and windy. We made it to the beach but we didn't stay long. I have to invest in a jacket for my dog. She's got a sweater, but it doesn't stop the wind.

Jan 12, 12:48am Top

Today’s fun fact is that Qatar where I live is supposed to be the only country of which the whole land surface is desert, but fog is not uncommon at night around this time of year.

Jan 12, 4:24am Top

>35 haydninvienna: It happens every night on the coast of Namibia, due to the icy-cold Benguela Current. Very occasionally it happens further inland, but then not all of Namibia is true desert. (Parts of the Caprivi are swampy.)

Jan 12, 8:13am Top

>35 haydninvienna: >36 hfglen: Fascinating info, gentlemen. Our fog is much more traditional.

Jan 12, 8:21am Top

>37 clamairy: LOL. Our fog comes at this time of year and we had one day last week when it was foggy all day long. We get land fog and sea fog so sometimes it can be sunny and beautiful and you see banks of sea fog rolling down the bayou. Very dramatic.

Jan 12, 12:33pm Top

Gorgeous photo!

Jan 12, 4:50pm Top

Happy New Year - may you have a year of many great reads!

Edited: Jan 13, 9:29am Top

oops wrong thread

Jan 13, 8:48am Top

>41 cindydavid4: Did you mean to post this in your own thread? 😊

Jan 13, 9:28am Top

Oops sorry I thought i was posting in the reading thread!!! I'll remove that one, thanks for the heads up :)

Jan 14, 3:20am Top


Have a great day, Clare!

Jan 14, 4:36am Top

Hippo Birdie two ewe. Many thanks for making this Pub the great place it is!

Edited: Jan 14, 10:00am Top

Happy birthday, clam!
ETA: May I call you Clare?

Jan 14, 1:41pm Top

Happy Birthday, clamairy, and may we both have many more!

Jan 14, 10:24pm Top

Thank you, all!

>46 haydninvienna: Of course!

Jan 15, 12:10am Top

Happy birthday - may the coming year bring you many excellent books.

Jan 15, 8:58pm Top

Sorry I haven't been posting, but my phone, cable and internet have been out for days. I did finish Lethal White and I'll come back to chat a bit about it when I get better internet access again. Using my phone for everything now. Luckily I have a large data plan.

Jan 15, 9:44pm Top

Happy (belated) birthday, clam!

Jan 15, 9:46pm Top

OMG, Happy Birthday, Island Lady!

Jan 16, 9:18am Top

>50 clamairy: If you didn't have such a beautiful beach to explore nearby, I would feel sorry for you. ;) Hope your modern world gets back to normal soon.

Jan 17, 2:30am Top

>48 clamairy: Thanks, I'm still feeling a trifle new round here. And in honour of your recent birthday, here is a picture of a clam:

Jan 21, 2:47pm Top

Many thanks all, and that's one very impressive clam, >54 haydninvienna:!

I've finally gotten my internet, phone & cable back. What should have taken a few days at the most took almost 2 weeks because my company is short on technicians. (Maybe because they aren't paying them enough.)

Jan 21, 3:56pm Top

Yay, internet!

Jan 21, 4:32pm Top

Great to hear you are back on the world wide web, pulling out into the fast lane on the information superhighway.

Jan 21, 4:49pm Top

I did manage to get through a few books so far this month.

I enjoyed Lethal White, the fourth book in the series that JK Rowling writes as Robert Galbraith. I got sucked in quickly enough, but I do wish that Robin wasn't always having to be rescued at some point.

Vladimir Putin: Life Coach is a mostly tongue-in-cheek quick read about how to emulate the master. The serious bits are the footnotes, some of which include details of the ruthless lengths the nefarious Putin has gone to in order to gain and maintain his power. Quite a few of those tales (poisonings & murders) I already knew about, but many I did not. It's really a four star book but I gave it five because I was rather annoyed to see someone gave it only one.

CIRCE was a book bullet that I took right between the eyes on jillmwo's thread. Thank you for that, Jill. I did enjoy it immensely, and now I plan to read The Song of Achilles sooner rather than later.

I am about halfway through Six Wakes. (Which I believe was a Busifer bullet!)

Jan 21, 4:55pm Top

Oooh, ooh, I want to read Circe! I have about a gazillion library books on my hall table so it will be a while.

Jan 21, 8:21pm Top

I am so glad you've got back your Internet! Pull up a chair and enjoy the return to us all.

Jan 22, 8:14am Top

Good thing you had some books to read while your internet and cable were down!

Edited: Jan 22, 7:25pm Top

>61 SylviaC: Ha! Yes... Needless to say I keep both my physical and virtual shelves well stocked.

Six Wakes was a book bullet that nailed me in Busifer's thread. I requested the eBook from my library and it showed up within days. I hopped right into it after finishing CIRCE. It was mostly a fun distracting read, and I think Busifer pointed out there wasn't much of a surprise at the end. I did enjoy the arguments & discussions on the ethics of cloning and gene tweaking, and whether cloned humans have souls. My main quibbles had to do with the science & SciFi bits. I can't understand why the author went to all of the trouble to set the book four centuries in the future, dream up and write about mind mapping technology & organic body printing capabilities, and then have the crew fighting with knives & guns. Also 99% of the technology & equipment the ship's physician used is what we're using in our hospitals now.

Now on to my first Mary Oliver book of poems, Dog Songs.

Jan 22, 5:38pm Top

>62 clamairy: It seems like I keep seeing this book pop up all over lately, with a wide variety of opinions. All those different opinions make me all the more curious to try it eventually. :)

Jan 24, 9:55am Top

I snagged this from OverDrive last week when Mary Oliver passed. I realized, much to my shame, that while I'd loved each poem of hers that my daughter (and several other friends) had ever shared with me, I'd never actually read any of her books. Dog Songs is wonderful, and I was somewhat surprised to find almost as much prose and poetry in the volume. I'll only share one snippet:

"And it is exceedingly short, his galloping life. Dogs die so soon. I have my stories of that grief, no doubt many of you do also. It is almost a failure of will, a failure of love, to let them grow old—or so it feels. We would do anything to keep them with us, and to keep them young. The one gift we cannot give."

Jan 24, 12:16pm Top

>64 clamairy: How true.

Jan 24, 12:34pm Top

>62 clamairy: Agreed. I still enjoyed it for the philosophical bits, and in my opinion it was well written if not very imaginative in the sf parts.
Maybe I'm too easy to please ;-)

Jan 24, 1:25pm Top

>66 Busifer: "Maybe I'm too easy to please ;-)"

Ha! We know that's not the case! :o)

Jan 24, 1:35pm Top

>67 clamairy: Well, maybe not ;-)
The book fitted well with my need not to read too difficult or heavy stuff for a while.

Jan 24, 2:54pm Top

>68 Busifer: Yes, it didn't demand a ton of thinking, and it certainly kept my attention. In some ways it reminded me a bit of A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, but these travelers were at each other's throats. LOL

Jan 28, 11:29am Top

>69 clamairy: Ah. I almost picked A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet as my next read. Maybe I should had...

Jan 29, 9:00am Top

clamairy and busifer -- So am I correct in interpreting your comments about Six Wakes as meaning that it's not superb *speculative fiction* but still worth a read?

Jan 29, 2:54pm Top

>71 jillmwo: It is not great imaginative science fiction when it comes to the "universe" parts of it. As Clare says it's not that far off from what is available today, on a commercial scale, except for the cloning and generation ship tech. But the way it discussed the ethics and effects of cloning was interesting, and it was well written and told. So yes, while not stunning and superb definitely worth reading.
I enjoyed it very much.

Edited: Feb 4, 9:41pm Top

We were pretty chilly here last week, as most of you know. But it's been glorious here the last couple of days. I took this one yesterday evening about 4/5ths of the way down a cliff side. I was on some very sturdy steps. Most of my photos are of Peconic Bay which is a short walk from my home, but this is Long island Sound. It's only a two mile drive miles north of me.

That is not snow on the shore. We haven't had any. That's just regular ice.

Feb 4, 10:59pm Top

Great sky! Don’t you sometimes wonder how so many people go through life without ever really looking at the sky?

Feb 5, 4:58am Top

>73 clamairy: Good Heavens! I thought it was a concrete/cement pathway! (Clearly, we don't get that cold here.) It's a gorgeous picture.

Feb 5, 5:55am Top

>73 clamairy:
Lovely picture. I love the silhouette of the tree.

Feb 5, 9:15am Top

>73 clamairy: Oh how I envy you your shoreline walks, thank you for sharing them with us in photos!

Feb 5, 7:08pm Top

Thanks, peeps.

>76 pgmcc: Most of the trees on that shore are bent a bit southward. LOL

>77 MrsLee: I do feel lucky to be where I am. And I was even more appreciative for these last few days of warmth & sun. Especially after last week's deep freeze. It was 7°F here (-14°C) just a few days ago. Today we hit 61°F (16°C) and it was greatly appreciated. We're headed back to more normal temps tomorrow, but it was a nice break.

Feb 22, 1:30pm Top

Sorry I haven't been posting in my own thread. After reading up a storm in January I have been slowly working my way through Michelle Obama's Becoming, which was pretty awesome. I have several theories as to why it took so long. For one, the weather has been pretty decent and I've been taking the dog to the beach every day and walking about three miles, and then walking another mile to the marina later in the day. For another, it was good and I didn't want to race through it. But the main reason is probably that I knew how it ended, so I didn't feel any rush to keep going to find out what was going to happen. Anyway I highly recommend the book, no matter what your political leanings might be.

I'm probably going to be AFK for about three weeks after today. I'm getting ready for a big trip with my kids. I'll be posting pictures when I return, and on Facebook (and Instagram) while I'm gone.
So ta ta for now. :o)

Feb 22, 3:39pm Top

>79 clamairy: I hope you all have a great trip! I look forward to the pictures.

Feb 22, 3:56pm Top

Bon voyage.

Feb 22, 5:11pm Top

Enjoy the family time, Clam!

Feb 23, 3:56am Top

Bon voyage!

Feb 23, 4:31am Top

Safe travels.

Feb 23, 6:59am Top

Bon voyage! Travel safely, and enjoy every minute.

Feb 23, 9:39am Top

Have fun storming the castle!

Feb 24, 11:42am Top

Enjoy the time with your kids!

Feb 25, 6:05am Top

Safe travels! Looking forward to seeing photos on your return.

Feb 25, 9:39am Top

Safe and happy travels!

Edited: Apr 24, 9:24pm Top

Sorry it's taken me so long to come back. The trip was awesome, but I got out of the habit of dropping in here, except to lurk a bit and stalk the Roombas. Also, I was a bit depressed after returning to the cold weather here. So I hid inside and read a bunch. At least I have some books to blab about.

I grabbed Whisper Me This by Kerry Anne King because I wanted to read something I already owned. I used LT to sort my unread Kindle books by other users' ratings and this was rather high. It was a decent enough read, and there's quite a bit of humor, but there were a few very unrealistic bits that took some of the pleasure out of the experience. So it goes.

I decided to read The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings while I was visiting Hawaii because it takes place there. I'd seen the movie a few years ago and enjoyed it. It was a bit quirky, and I appreciated that very much.

Several people in here recommended In the Woods by Tana French after I finished the The Witch Elm. I enjoyed this one so much more. In fact I had trouble putting it down.

Force of Nature by Jane Harper is the sequel to The Dry that I read last year and enjoyed so much. It was a decent enough read, but didn't satisfy me as much as the first one did.

I thought The Likeness by Tana French was even better than the 1st book in The Dublin Murder Squad series. Loved it! It didn't even matter to me who the culprit was, I just wanted to keep wallowing in the atmosphere. In fact it was so good that I proceeded with great haste right into...

So Faithful Place by Tana French was okay, but I'm fine with stopping here for a bit with this series. This one has a much less pleasant setting, and the cast of characters were a bit tough to handle.

Luckily this plopped onto my Kindle, and it was a perfect palate cleanser.

I am honestly not sure if I read Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose in high school or if I saw the film at some point in my childhood. I think Jill recommended this one a while back, and I'm glad I got reacquainted with it.

This is a good enough spot to stop. I'll be back to discuss one more book, but I plan to go a bit more in depth with that one. And I want to share a few pics from my trip as well.

Forgive me if it takes me a long time to catch up on everyone's threads.

Apr 25, 3:44am Top

>90 clamairy: I have a couple of books by Tana French and your comments are pushing them further up Mt. TBR.

I am looking forward to seeing more pictures from your trip.

Apr 25, 9:17am Top

Glad to see you back clammy. Were you the one stalking the Roomba that scared that poor woman into calling the police, thinking a burglar was in the bathroom? Someone put that notice in the FB pub group.

Apr 25, 9:47am Top

How the heck did I not see your new thread until today?! Hey there Clam! Happy 2019!

Edited: Apr 26, 11:27am Top

>90 clamairy: I saw 12 Angry Men on TV (the 1957 film version starring Henry zFonda) as a teenager, and it made a profound impression on me. I never realised that it was based on a teleplay.

Incidentally, there is also a Russian adaption, 12, with a Chechen as the kid whose background stacks the odds against him. (I've been hunting for some time for a copy with adequate English subtitles.)

Apr 26, 3:38pm Top

I read The Witch Elm a few weeks ago and enjoyed it. Glad to hear her other books are even better! I'll be looking for her in the library this summer.

Apr 26, 5:19pm Top

>90 clamairy: & >94 -pilgrim-:
My first exposure to Twelve Angry Men was the 1957 film. It was an amazing cast when you look at the careers of the cast after that film.

May 12, 7:45pm Top

>91 pgmcc: & >95 catzteach: Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

>94 -pilgrim-: & >96 pgmcc: I need to re-watch it.

>92 MrsLee: Thank you! No, it wasn't me, but that has happened to me more times than I can count. I knew what was blocking the door though, as I was the one who placed the Roomba in the bathroom. I had mine on a scheduled auto-clean only for a brief while. All it took was one viewing of an online photo of dog turds smeared all over carpet by a Roomba to make me delete the schedule. :o)

Edited: May 12, 8:02pm Top

After reading this piece in the NY Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/29/science/dinosaurs-extinction-asteroid.html immediately followed by reading this much more in-depth article in The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/04/08/the-day-the-dinosaurs-died I wanted to wallow in this subject a while longer. By this time just about everyone knows of this event, but I wanted more detail about the initial discovery of the impact and subsequent extinction. Who better to tell the tale than one of the men who made this discovery?

I planned on nattering on and on about it, but this isn't really the group for it.

Right now I'm reading Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, which is thoroughly disheartening, and A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, which is not.

May 12, 9:20pm Top

>97 clamairy: Haha, I read a review on Amazon describing a similar experience before buying my first Roomba and I have never, ever used the scheduling feature because of that! In the case of my cat, I’m less worried about turds than I am vomit. He doesn't really throw up that often, but it does happen and he can't be bothered to do it on a reliable schedule.

I always have to do a quick check through the house before I start it anyway – the lighthouses tend to get knocked out of alignment, the cat toys are no longer neatly in their baskets and are lying in wait to confound the Roomba, and strings from the blinds are dangling on the ground just waiting for a chance to wrap themselves around the wheels.

May 12, 10:57pm Top

>99 YouKneeK: Yes, I do the same. Wires, pet toys, all of that stuff has to dealt with before launching the Roomba. I suspect smeared barf would be almost as bad to clean up as turd smears. 💩

May 13, 3:47am Top

Wow! Automated dog-turd and cat-barf spreaders; extinction causing meteor strikes; world changing events, and Twelve Angry Men; this thread has it all.

May 13, 10:58am Top

>100 clamairy: Hmm. Now I'm *more* interested in the idea of a Roomba. Our bunny is good about using her litter box but the occasional dropped rabbit raisin still occurs, and a Roomba would take care of those no problem (they're dry and don't smear.)

May 13, 11:30am Top

Wouldn't the bunny uh, hoover those up herself?

May 13, 12:06pm Top

>103 Bookmarque: No. Buns produce two types of excreta; one is "recycled" and the other isn't.

May 13, 12:24pm Top

Ah got it.

May 18, 5:28pm Top

Finally getting around to sharing some of my Maui photos. It's been two months, but somehow it feels longer. The place is magnificent, and still relatively unspoiled. I could live there in heartbeat, but it's just too far away from everyone I love on this planet.

May 18, 5:47pm Top

>106 clamairy: Those are beautiful pictures! I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I would really like to visit sometime. Your pictures just reinforced that I really need to get it on the agenda. :)

May 18, 6:13pm Top

Ooh, where on Maui did you stay? We went twice a looooong time ago and stayed in Makena, on the southwest side. But we drove up Haleakala (pausing at Kula, which I think must be heaven on earth) and out to Hana, and up the coast to Kaanapali and Kapalua. I would so love to go back.

May 18, 6:40pm Top

>106 clamairy: Those are super pictures. It looks like a beautiful place.



May 18, 8:39pm Top

Beautiful photos! Thanks so much for sharing. Now I want to go to Maui :)

Yesterday, 4:05am Top

What a stunning place! Many thanks for sharing.

Edited: Yesterday, 4:38pm Top

So pretty! I want to melt into the photos and stay there forever. Or at least until I get lonely.

ETA: Love the new dragon image on the group homepage. :)

Yesterday, 9:34pm Top

Love the pics! I so need to get to Hawaii someday.

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