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Robin (rretzler) Reads in 2019

75 Books Challenge for 2019

Join LibraryThing to post.

Edited: Jan 16, 3:47pm Top

About Me

Hi, I'm Robin, and this is my 7th or 8th year with the 75'ers Group. I'm 55, and I've been married to Ed (55) for 27 years. We have two sons, Beckham (17) and Keegan (13), and four cats, Picasso (13) and the kittens, Mycroft, Bandit, and J'Zargo (1.) Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus (the capital of Ohio) has been our home for the past 20+ years. Our boys are involved in travel soccer and many school activities, and they keep us very busy driving them around. Beckham now has his driver’s license, so he can help with those duties now!

I just retired from a tax practice which I have run out of my house for the past ten years - prior to that, I was the Tax Director for one of the top 100 accounting firms in the US for five years, a shareholder in a small accounting firm for five years, and worked at Ernst & Young, an international accounting firm for 12 years where I headed the local tax compliance department. I have been slowing down my tax practice for the past few years to spend time with my boys before they go off to college. I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my days and I’m sort of at loose ends until I figure things out. I struggle with both depression and diabetes. Ed is in IT at Huntington Bank, a national bank headquartered in Columbus. Beckham is in 11th grade and is accelerated in math - he finished his high school math credits while he was still in middle school. He is currently taking Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses at one of our local high schools. Keegan is in 8th grade at a local middle school and is accelerated two years in math. He has been struggling with hearing issues since he was about four months old and has been wearing hearing aids in both ears since 2016. He has been diagnosed with dyslexia, but he also does very well in school.

I learned to read at a very young age and have rarely been without a book (or many) since then. My library on LT reflects those books that I have kept track of since I started as a member eight years ago. I am slowly trying to capture books I have read before that time, but I'm guessing that a lot of books that I have read will never be recorded as I have forgotten them. I am totally an addict, and the daily deals on Amazon for $1.99 will probably be my financial ruin. I just cannot help myself when it comes to a bargain of that sort!

I mainly read mysteries, science fiction, fantasy and children's/young adult books (along with my sons.) Specifically, most of the mysteries that I read are British mysteries in the style of the Golden Age of Detection, and I enjoy soft sci-fi, especially dystopian, a bit more than hard sci-fi. Until 2017, Beckham, Keegan and I read together every night, but it has been difficult with Beckham's course load to do this. I hope to start reading together again this year, but realistically it will be weekly, not nightly. In school, I never had to read many of the classics, so I am slowly going back to read some of those. I also try to read several best sellers each year. Additionally, I have been working my way through the Newbery, Hugo, and Nebula awards.

I proudly consider myself to be a geek (okay, maybe a nerd too). My favorite TV shows are Sherlock (BBC version) and Doctor Who (both classic and new series). We enjoy Marvel movies - The Avengers, Captain America, Doctor Strange, etc. - and also the Marvel TV series - Agents of Shield, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, etc. My other hobbies include making beaded jewelry and sometimes knitting. I love to travel, but since we have children who are quickly approaching college age, we don't do as much as we used to.

If we would win the lottery, the first thing I would do (aside from paying off the mortgage and setting aside the funds for college for my sons) is to go back to school myself! I love to learn and would probably take lots of psychology, philosophy and literature courses.

I'm so glad to be back with the 75'ers again this year and am going to attempt to visit more than I have in the past.

(Shhh…this is recycled from last year because I’m too lazy to think up other things to say about myself. Don’t tell.)

Edited: Jan 19, 10:58pm Top

Book Meme

For fun!

Fill in the answers with books you've read in 2018.

Describe yourself:The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Describe how you feel: A Lot Like Christmas

Describe where you currently live: Gorky Park

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Island of the Mad

Your favorite form of transportation: Ship of Magic

Your best friend is: The Windup Girl

You and your friends are: The Children of Men

Your favorite food is:God Stalk

What you would like for your birthday next year:A Dinner to Die For

What’s the weather like: Fair Tomorrow

You fear: Little Fires Everywhere

What is the best advice you have to give: Don’t Eat Me

Thought for the day:"Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman

How you would like to die: Dressed for Death

Your soul's present condition:The Last Puzzle

ETA - I noticed that there were a few more questions on Harry's version than on mine so I have added them.

Edited: Jan 16, 4:04pm Top

Family Pictures

Ed and I on vacation on the beach at Cape Cod, Massachusetts in 2017

Beckham and Keegan in Chicago showing our vacation tradition of trying on gift shop hats - here they try on “gangster” hats on 2018 spring break.

Bandit, J’zargo, Mycroft and Picasso

Family – 2017 vacation - Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Family – 2018 spring break – Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Oak Park, Illinois

Edited: Feb 13, 1:40pm Top


By the numbers

📒 Books read - ( 175 )
📅 Average days to read - ( 2.1 )

🗐 Pages read - ( 45,583 )
📊 Average pages per book - ( 260 )
📊 Average pages per day - ( 125 )

📗 Series read - ( 71 )
📕 Books in series read - ( 125 )

⬆️ Longest book read - 1Q84
🗐 Pages - 1,332

⬇️ Shortest book read - La Belle Dame Sans Merci
🗐 Pages - 2

🎁 ARC - ( 32 )
🏛️ Borrowed - ( 27 )
🛍️ New - ( 79 )
🔁 Reread - ( 3 )
📚 TBR - ( 34 )

🎧 Audio - ( 35 )
🖥️ Ebook - ( 115 )
📖 Print - ( 25 )

👦🏼 Children - ( 0 )
🧝 Fantasy - ( 13 )
📙 Fiction - ( 15 )
🏫 Middle Grade - ( 7 )
🕵️ Mystery - ( 89 )
📰 Nonfiction - ( 4 )
🎴 Picture - ( 12 )
📜 Poetry - ( 3 )
🚀 Science Fiction - ( 31 )
👨🏻‍🎓 YA - ( 1 )


Authors by book
👩🏼 Female - ( 80 )
👨🏼 Male - ( 95 )
❓ Unknown/other - ( 0 )

Unique authors

👩🏻 Female - ( 52 )
👨🏻 Male - ( 54 )
❔ Unknown/other - ( 0 )

✨ Authors read for the first time - ( 46 )

Living or deceased - unique authors

👻 Deceased - ( 34 )
🚶 Living - ( 72 )

Nationality - unique authors

American - ( 48 )
Australian - ( 1 )
Brazilian - ( 1 )
Canadian - ( 3 )
Chinese - ( 1 )
Czech - ( 1 )
English - ( 40 )
German - ( 1 )
Irish - ( 1 )
Japanese - ( 3 )
Polish - ( 1 )
Portuguese - ( 0 )
Scottish - ( 3 )
South African - ( 1 )
Swedish - ( 0 )
Welsh - ( 1 )
Unknown - ( 0 )


Campbell - ( 1 )
Coretta Scott King - ( 1 )
Edgar - ( 1 )
Hugo - ( 4 )
Locus - ( 1 )
Mythopoeic - ( 1 )
Nebula - ( 2 )
Newbery - ( 3 )
Pulitzer - ( 1 )
Scott O’Dell - ( 1 )


5.0 - ( 11 )
4.5 - ( 34 )
4.0 - ( 92 )
3.5 - ( 27 )
3.0 - ( 9 )
2.5 - ( 0 )
2.0 - ( 1 )
1.5 - ( 1 )
1.0 - ( 0 )

📊 Average rating - ( 4.01 )

Average rating of books read per LibraryThing - ( 3.87 )
Average rating of books read per Goodreads - ( 4.02 )
Average rating of books read per Amazon - ( 4.32 )

Decade published

📅2010 - ( 100 )
📅2000 - ( 12 )
📅1990 - ( 15 )
📅1980 - ( 6 )
📅1970 - ( 4 )
📅1960 - ( 4 )
📅1950 - ( 7 )
📅1940 - ( 5 )
📅1930 - ( 11 )
📅1920 - ( 3 )
📅1910 - ( 2 )
📅1890 - ( 1 )
📅1830 - ( 1 )
📅1810 - ( 2 )
📅1790 - ( 1 )

Books added to library

🎁 ARC - ( 32 )
🛍️ Purchase - ( 653 )

📓 Read - (114)

💲 Average cost per book - ( $3.14 )

✨ New releases - ( 50 )

💰 Full price - ( 95 )

Favorite Books by Genre
❤️Fantasy - God Stalk
🧡Fiction - Little Fires Everywhere
💙Middle - Maniac Magee
💚Mystery - The Knowledge
🖤Nonfiction - Notes from a Small Island
💘Poetry - The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
💜SciFi - Head On
💛YA - When

Edited: Feb 13, 8:23am Top

Currently Reading

Reading Now

  1. Early Riser by Jasper Fforde 📖
  2. Melmoth by Sarah Perry 📖
  3. Babel-17 by Samuel R Delany 🎧

Up Next
  1. Fatal Remedies by Donna Leon 🖥️ - waiting for library
  2. Death Spins the Wheel by George Bellairs 🖥️

    📖 - Print (hardcover, trade paper or mass market paper)
    🎧 - Audiobook
    🖥️ - eBook (it's a picture of a desktop computer, but it's so small it looks like an ereader!)

    I saw the headphone emoji's on Chelle's thread and loved it - which gave me the idea...! Thanks, Chelle!

Edited: Yesterday, 2:31pm Top


I plan only to loosely follow the challenges - if I read a book and it fits, I'll count it, but I am not going to plan my reading to complete a challenge. If I need a book to read, I'll consider something that fits the challenge. And YES, there are A LOT of challenges here, but the majority of them fit very nicely with the books I plan to read, and we'll just see where I get on the others. Fun for me, and gives me a little sense of accomplishment for basically doing nothing but what I would normally do. I've offloaded the details to my wiki pages - you can follow the links below or just see the summary here.

12:1 Reading Challenge

2019 12:1 Challenge Detail

Audiobook Challenge

2019 Audiobook Challenge Detail

Backlist Reader

2019 Backlist Reader Challenge Detail

Big Fat Books

2019 Big Fat Books

British Books Challenge

2019 British Book Challenge Detail

Chunkster Challenge

2019 Chunkster Challenge Detail

Classics I Have Not Read

2019 Classics Challenge Detail

Cloak and Dagger Challenge

2019 Cloak and Dagger Challenge Detail

Cult of the New

2019 Cult of the New Challenge Detail

European Reading

2019 European Challenge Detail

Finishing the Series

2019 Finishing the Series Challenge Detail

For the Love of Ebooks

2019 For the Love of Ebooks Challenge Detail

Historical Fiction

2019 Historical Fiction Challenge Detail

I Just HAVE to Read More of that Author

2019 I Just HAVE toChallenge Detail

Just the Facts, Ma’am Vintage Mystery Challenge

2019 Just the Facts Challenge Detail

Library Love

2019 Library Love Challenge Detail


2019 Listomania Challenge Detail

Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge

2019 Mrs Darcy Challenge Details

NetGalley Review Challenge

2019 NetGalley Challenge Detail

New Release Challenge

2019 New Release Challenge Detail

Newbery Challenge

2019 Newbery Challenge Detail

Pick and Mix

2019 Pick and Mix Challenge Detail

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

2019 POPSUGAR Challenge Detail

Print Only

2019 Print Only Challenge Detail

Read the Sequel

2019 Read the Sequel Challenge Detail

Read Harder Challenge

2019 ReadHarder Challenge Detail

Reading Challenge Addict Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge Addict Challenge Detail

The Second Best

2019 Second Best Challenge Detail

Space Opera

2019 Space Opera Challenge Detail

Space Time

2019 Space Time Challenge Detail

Tackle My TBR

2019 Tackle My TBR Challenge Details

The Unloved

2019 Unloved Challenge Detail

Women of Genre Fiction

2019 Women of Genre Fiction Challenge Detail

World at War

2019 World at War Challenge Detail>

WWE Books Read This Year

2019 WWE Books Read Challenge Detail

You Read How Many Books?

2019 You Read How Many Books? Challenge Detail

Edited: Feb 13, 1:16am Top

January to March Books Read

  1. Death of a Millionaire by G D H Cole - 🕵️ 📖 review
  2. Dr Tenth: Christmas Surprise! by Adam Hargreaves - 🎴 📖 review
  3. White Teeth by Zadie Smith - 📙 🎧 review
  4. Dr Thirteenth by Adam Hargreaves - 🎴 📖 review
  5. The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi - 🚀 🎧 review
  6. The Victim by PD James - 📙 📖 review
  7. The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi - 🚀 🎧 review
  8. A Noble Radiance by Donna Leon - 🕵️ 🖥️ review
  9. This Immortal by Roger Zelazny - 🚀 🎧 review
  10. The Blatchington Tangle by GDH Cole - 🕵️ 📖 review
  11. Number Eight: Smelly Man by Colin Cotterill - 🕵️ 🖥️ review
  12. Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom by Sylvia Plath - 📙 📖 review
  13. The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince by Robin Hobb - 🧝 🖥️ review
  14. Fool's Errand by Robin Hobb - 🧝 🖥️ review
  15. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan - 🧝 🖥️ review
  16. Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold - 🧝 🖥️ review
  17. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K Le Guin - 🚀 🖥️ review
  18. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths - 🕵️ 🖥️ review
  19. Hall of Mirrors by Christopher Fowler - 🕵️ 📖 review

    👦🏼 Children
    🧝 Fantasy
    📙 Fiction
    🏫 Middle grade
    🕵️ Mystery
    📰 Nonfiction
    🎴 Picture
    📜 Poetry
    🚀 SciFi
    👨🏻‍🎓 Young Adult

Edited: Jan 16, 4:23pm Top

April to June Books Read


Edited: Jan 16, 4:25pm Top

July to September Books Read


Edited: Jan 16, 4:26pm Top

October to December Books Read


Edited: Feb 6, 10:17pm Top

My Kindle Preorders

This is where I keep up with the books that I have preordered on amazon.com. These are mostly series books for which I am waiting for the next installment
Link to my wiki page: Rretzler Book Preorders

  1. Behold a Fair Woman by Francis Duncan – Mordecai Tremain – January 1, 2019 – received
  2. The Victim by PD James – January 3, 2019 – received, read, reviewed
  3. Dr Thirteenth by Adam Hargreaves – Hargreaves Doctor Who – January 8, 2019 – received, read, reviewed
  4. Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom by Sylvia Plath – January 15, 2019
  5. The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley – Flavia de Luce – January 22, 2019 – received, read
  6. The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen – February 12, 2019
  7. The Vanishing Man by Charles Finch – Charles Lenox – February 19, 2019
  8. Murder in an Irish Pub by Carlene O’Connor – Irish Village – February 26, 2019
  9. The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie – February 26, 2019
  10. Number Nine: Maprao Syndrome by Colin Cotterill - Jimm Juree Case Files - March 1, 2019
  11. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths – March 5, 2019 - received
  12. Mrs Jeffries Delivers the Goods by Emily Brightwell – Mrs Jeffries – March 12, 2019
  13. A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn – Veronica Speedwell – March 12, 2019
  14. The Complete Prince of Wales Mysteries by Peter Lovesey (reprint) – Albert Edward, Prince of Wales – March 12, 2019
  15. A Death in Chelsea by Lynn Brittney – Mayfair 100 – March 14, 2019
  16. The American Agent by Jacqueline Winspear – Maisie Dobbs – March 19, 2019
  17. The Road to Grantchester by James Runcie – Grantchester – March 21, 2019 (UK)
  18. The Lonely Hour by Christopher Fowler – Bryant & May – March 21, 2019 (UK)
  19. Triple Jeopardy by Anne Perry – Daniel Pitt – April 9, 2019
  20. The Department of Sensitive Crimes by Alexander McCall Smith – Detective Varg – April 16, 2019
  21. A Girl Called Justice by Elly Griffiths – May 2, 2019(UK)
  22. The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths – Ruth Galloway – May 7, 2019
  23. The Hive by Orson Scott Card – Second Formic War/Enderverse – June 11, 2019
  24. Aunt Dimity and the Heart of Gold by Nancy Atherton – Aunt Dimity – June 18, 2019
  25. Killing with Confetti by Peter Lovesey – Peter Diamond – July 9, 2019
  26. The Old Success by Martha Grimes – Richard Jury – August 5, 2019
  27. The Autobiography of Mr Spock by David A Goodman – Star Trek Autobiographies – August 6, 2019
  28. Love and Death Among the Cheetahs by Rhys Bowen – Royal Spyness – August 6, 2019
  29. The Second Biggest Nothing by Colin Cotterill – Siri Paiboun – August 20, 2019
  30. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood - Handmaid's Tale - September 10, 2019
  31. Mrs Jeffries and the Alms of the Angel by Emily Brightwell – Mrs Jeffries – September 24, 2019
  32. A Bitter Feast by Deborah Crombie – Kincaid & James – October 8, 2019
  33. Penny for Your Secrets by Anna Lee Huber - Verity Kent - October 29, 2019
  34. Now You See Her by Elly Griffiths - Stephens & Mephisto - November 14, 2019

Edited: Jan 17, 12:40am Top

Planned Reading

Planning my reading worked out pretty well last year, so I’ll give it a try again this year.

I've offloaded the list to my wikipage - so here it is:

Rretzler's Planned Reading

Edited: Jan 17, 1:22pm Top

My Series

Here's a link to my series reading on my wiki page:

Robin's Series

Edited: Jan 18, 5:44pm Top

Prior Year Favorites by Genre

Fantasy - God Stalk by PC Hodgell
Fiction - Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Middle - Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Mystery - The Knowledge by Martha Grimes
Nonfiction - Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
Poetry - The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
SciFi - Head On by John Scalzi
YA - When by Victoria Laurie

Fiction - A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
Middle - From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler by EL Konigsburg
Mystery - The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley
Nonfiction - The Complete Maus by Art Spiegleman
SciFi - Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold

Fantasy - The Woodcutter by Kate Danley
Literary fiction - The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Middle grade - The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Mystery - The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R King
Science Fiction - Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Young Adult - The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Scifi - Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Young Adult - Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Middle - A Night Divided by Jennifer A Nielsen
Nonfiction - Upside-Down Brilliance by Linda Kreger Silverman
Fiction - All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Mystery - Rough Cider by Peter Lovesey
Fantasy - Queen Mab by Kate Danley
Picture - Darth Vader and Friends by Jeffrey Brown

Nonfiction - Coaching Outside the Box by Richard E Shaw
Middle - When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Mystery - As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley
SciFi - Divergent by Veronica Roth
Young Adult - Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Fantasy - The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien - reread

Mystery - The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
Picture - Ruby Sings the Blues by Niki Daly - reread
Middle - Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead
SciFi - I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Fiction - Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Fantasy - The Princess Bride by William Goldman - reread

Mystery - The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R King
SciFi - Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Fantasy - A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
Middle - The Giver by Lois Lowry
Fiction - Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Picture - Pete's a Pizza by William Steig - reread

Fiction - Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Middle - Tall and Proud by Vian Smith - reread
Young Adult - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
Mystery - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
SciFi - A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
SciFi - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Edited: Jan 17, 1:10am Top


I'm reading from several award lists. I've offloaded my progress lists to my wiki pages - you can follow the links for the details or see the summary below.


Hugo Award Reading List


Nebula Award Reading List


Newbery Award Reading List

Great American Read

Great American Read List

Edited: Jan 17, 1:53pm Top

A Book A Year

I loved this idea - so I am copying Paul, Roni, Karen, and possibly others. These books may not necessarily be my favorite book published that year but are books that I have rated highly, enjoyed, and likely reread, and have some meaning to me. I've tried not to add too many books by one author and have attempted to keep it representative of my overall library.

You can find my list at my wiki pages:

Robin's Book a Year

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Jan 16, 4:37pm Top

Jan 16, 5:58pm Top

Happy reading in 2019, Robin!
Love your well organised start of your thread.
>2 rretzler: Recycling is good, why renew if you already have a good one :-)

Edited: Feb 6, 10:25pm Top

  1. Death of a Millionaire by GDH Cole - 📖
  2. Dr Tenth: Christmas Surprise! by Adam Hargreaves - 📖
  3. White Teeth by Zadie Smith - 🎧
  4. Dr Thirteenth by Adam Hargreaves - 📖
  5. The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi - 🎧
  6. The Victim by PD James - 📖
  7. The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi - 🎧
  8. A Noble Radiance by Donna Leon - 🖥️
  9. This Immortal by Roger Zelazny - 🎧
  10. The Blatchington Tangle by GDH Cole - 📖
  11. Number Eight: Smelly Man by colin Cotterill - 🖥️
  12. Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom by Sylvia Plath - 📖
  13. The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince by Robin Hobb - 🖥️
  14. Fool's Errand by Robin Hobb - 🖥️

    📖 - Print (hardcover, trade paper or mass market paper)
    🎧 - Audiobook
    🖥️ - eBook (it's a picture of a desktop computer, but it's so small it looks like an ereader!)

Edited: Feb 6, 11:16pm Top

  1. The Snow Gypsy by Lindsay Jayne Ashford 🖥️
  2. When Irish Eyes Aren’t Smiling by Gerald Hansen 🖥️
  3. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon 🖥️
  4. Blood for Blood by Victoria Selman 🖥️
  5. Crime in Kensington by Christopher St John Sprigg 🖥️
  6. Scared to Death by Rachel Amphlett 🖥️
  7. Will to Live by Rachel Amphlett 🖥️
  8. One to Watch by Rachel Amphlett 🖥️
  9. A Diamond in My Pocket by Lorena Angell 🖥️
  10. Pebble in the Sky by Isaac Asimov 🖥️
  11. The Currents of Space by Isaac Asimov 🖥️
  12. Bird Box by Josh Malerman 🖥️
  13. The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs 🎧
  14. The Spies That Bind by Ally Carter 🎧
  15. Harry Clarke by David Cale 🎧
  16. Dr Tenth: Christmas Surprise! by Adam Hargreaves 📖
  17. A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy by Ann Cleeves 🖥️
  18. Come Death and High Water by Ann Cleeves 🖥️
  19. The Cornish Coast Murder by John Bude 🖥️
  20. The Lake District Murder by John Bude 🖥️
  21. Dr Thirteenth by Adam Hargreaves 📖
  22. Babel-17 by Samuel R Delaney 🖥️
  23. This Immortal by Roger Zelazny 🎧
  24. The Dispossessed by Ursula K Le Guin 🎧
  25. The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi 🖥️
  26. The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi 🎧
  27. The Victim by PD James 📖
  28. Dawn by Octavia Butler 🖥️
  29. Adulthood Rites by Octavia Butler 🖥️
  30. Imago by Octavia Butler 🖥️
  31. The Stars, Like Dust by Isaac Asimov 🖥️
  32. The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander 🖥️
  33. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro - for Beckham 📖
  34. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut - for Beckham 📖
  35. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro - for Beckham 📖
  36. Chaos by James Gleick 🖥️
  37. God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert 🖥️
  38. Crime in Lepers' Hollow by George Bellairs 🖥️
  39. The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley 🖥️
  40. The Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette Kowal 🖥️
  41. Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom by Sylvia Plath 📖
  42. Houston, Houston, Do You Read? by James Tiptree, Jr 🖥️
  43. The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan 🖥️
  44. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens 🖥️
  45. The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan 🖥️
  46. All Systems Red by Martha Wells 🎧
  47. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin 🎧
  48. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens 🎧
  49. Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf 🖥️
  50. Don't Panic by Neil Gaiman 🖥️
  51. We Interrupt This Broadcast by Mary Robinette Kowal 🖥️
  52. Rocket's Red by Mary Robinette Kowal 🖥️
  53. Amara's Giraffe by Mary Robinette Kowal 🖥️
  54. The Chrysalids by John Wyndham 📖
  55. World Without Fish by Mark Kurlansky - for Keegan 📖
  56. The Wheel of Time Companion by Robert Jordan 📖
  57. The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi 🖥️
  58. The Last Colony by John Scalzi 🖥️
  59. Death on the Riviera by John Bude 🖥️
  60. The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore 🖥️
  61. 813 by Maurice Le Blanc 🖥️
  62. Hangman's Holiday by Dorothy L Sayers 🖥️

    📖 - Print (hardcover, trade paper or mass market paper)
    🎧 - Audiobook
    🖥️ - eBook (it's a picture of a desktop computer, but it's so small it looks like an ereader!)

Jan 16, 6:37pm Top

>20 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita! Thanks for visiting and good to see you.

Jan 16, 7:36pm Top

Welcome back!

Jan 16, 9:53pm Top

>24 drneutron: Thanks, Jim.

Jan 16, 10:26pm Top

Hi, Robin! Glad to see you've set up a thread. Wishing you lots of good reading in 2019!

Jan 16, 11:26pm Top

>25 rretzler: Hi, Harry. Glad to be back - thanks for joining me. Hope to be visiting soon.

Edited: Feb 9, 11:58pm Top

1. The Death of a Millionaire by GDH Cole

Original publication date: 1925
Genre: Mystery 🕵️
Format: Print 📖
Type: Borrowed 🏛️
Source: Interlibrary Loan
Series: Superintendent Wilson #2
Page count: 383
Challenge(s): European Reading, You Read How Many Books, World at War, ReadHarder, Print Only, Popsugar, Modern Mrs Darcy, Library Love, Just the Facts Ma’am, Cloak and Dagger, British Book
Finished: 1/5/19

The Death of a Millionaire is the second book in the Superintendent Wilson series by GHD and Margaret Cole, who were members of the Detection Club. It is an excellent example of a piece of the Golden Age of Detection fiction, and I’m a little surprised that the British Library hasn't republished the series. The copy I borrowed from ILL was a copy of the first US edition.

Superintendent Wilson and Inspector Braikie are very stumped with the case of a millionaire whose secretary seems to have murdered him in his hotel room. No body was found -however, the blood found at the scene, a witness locked in the closet and several eyewitnesses reporting that the secretary left the hotel with a large trunk and the missing millionaire seem to be conclusive evidence.

Although I highly enjoyed this book, the plot seemed a little unnecessarily complex. Overall, I thought it worked well, as it was an original idea. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Golden Age detective fiction.

Edited: Feb 9, 11:59pm Top

2. Dr Tenth: Christmas Surprise! by Adam Hargreaves

Original publication date: 2017
Genre: Picture 🎴
Format: Print 📖
Type: New 🛍️
Source: Amazon
Series: Hargreaves Doctor Who
Page count: 32
Finished: 1/5/19

Adam Hargreaves is the author/illustrator of a series of children’s picture books based on Doctor Who and illustrated in the style of his father, Roger Hargreaves’, Mr Men and Little Miss figures.

Dr Tenth: Christmas Surprise! features the 10th Doctor and his companion, Donna in a silly adventure. While I liked the story and the illustrations were cute, I wouldn’t recommend this children’s picture book to just anyone. I think you need to be a Doctor Who fan to appreciate it.

Edited: Feb 10, 12:00am Top

3. White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Original publication date: 1999
Genre: Fiction 📙
Format: Audio 🎧
Type: New 🛍️
Source: Audible
Page count: 464
Audio length: 18 hours, 38 minutes
Challenge(s): You Read How Many Books, Popsugar, Modern Mrs Darcy, European Reading Challenge, British Book, Audiobook
Finished: 1/7/19

Smith’s debut novel tells the story of WWII friends, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal, who live in London with their respective families. Both have much younger wives and children the same age – Irie Jones and the twins Magid and Millat Iqbal. White Teeth takes us into the lives of Archie, Samad, Clara Bowden Jones, Irie, Millat, and members of the Chalfen family whose lives become intertwined with the Jones and Iqbal families. The novel’s timing covers various periods ranging from the last year of WWII, into the 1970s and then the 1990s.

While the book was quite funny at times, at other times, I found it to be a bit tedious. There was quite a bit of background material – “a day in the life” – which I sometimes found to be unnecessary. There were a lot of disparate plotlines introduced, which eventually, in the last chapter tied themselves together somewhat. I was a little disappointed because I thought the whole book ended on more of a whimper than the big bang I anticipated. The characters were compelling and real which did add to my enjoyment. Primarily, I thought it was a good read, but perhaps not deserving of its place on the Great American Read Top 100 list.

Edited: Feb 10, 12:01am Top

4. Dr Thirteenth by Adam Hargreaves

Original publication date: 2018
Genre: Picture 🎴
Format: Print 📖
Type: New 🛍️
Source: Amazon
Series: Hargreaves Doctor Who
Page count: 32
Finished: 1/8/19

Adam Hargreaves is the author/illustrator of a series of children’s picture books based on Doctor Who and illustrated in the style of his father, Roger Hargreaves’, Mr Men and Little Miss figures.

Dr Thirteenth is the story of the new Doctor and her companions, Graham, Ryan and Yaz and they attempt to plan a special birthday surprise for Yaz. Recommended for fans of Doctor Who.

Edited: Feb 10, 12:02am Top

5. The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

Original publication date: 2017
Genre: SciFi 🚀
Format: Audiobook and Ebook 🎧 🖥️
Type: TBR 📚
Series: Interdependency #1
Source: Audible and Amazon
Page count: 336
Audio length: 9 hours, 24 minutes
Challenge(s): Backlist Reader, Tackle My TBR, Space Time, You Read How Many Books, WWE Books Read This Year, Space Opera, Popsugar, Pick and Mix, Modern Mrs Darcy, Cult of the New, Audiobook
Finished: 1/11/19

Faster than light time travel being impossible, humans now travel through the universe using the Flow, a sort-of space current flowing between worlds. Without the Flow, the worlds would be isolated from each other, much like Earth was lost many years ago. The Interdependency was established as the government, and the emperox rules peacefully over all worlds. However, as Cardenia Wu-Patrick takes over as the new emperox from her dying father, she learns what Marce Claremont and his father, the Count of Claremont, have been researching for years at the behest of the old emperox - the Flow is failing. The Nohamapetan clan seems to have learned this as well and are scrambling to take advantage.

I love everything I’ve read by John Scalzi, and this book is no exception. He builds very inventive worlds and creates intriguing characters. His books are eminently readable; I feel as though I am flowing effortlessly along with the story. Scalzi’s writing is better with each book that I read. After finishing The Collapsing Empire, I immediately purchased the second book of the series, The Consuming Fire. The book is packed with strong female characters. My only criticism is that I felt the book ended somewhat abruptly, but I would guess that the sequel will be tied closely to the ending.

The Collapsing Empire was nominated for the 2018 Hugo and won the 2018 Locus SF award. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves SciFi, especially space opera.

Edited: Feb 10, 12:03am Top

6. The Victim by PD James

Original publication date: 1973/2019
Genre: Mystery 🕵️
Format: Print 📖
Type: New 🛍️
Source: Amazon
Page count: 35
Finished: 1/15/19

The Victim is a short story that was originally published in 1973 and then published by Faber in 2019. It is an inverted mystery about the first husband of a famous celebrity.

I am a fan of PD James and have read every one of her mystery novels. I have to wonder why this short story was published separately as I don’t think it rises to the level of her other work.

Edited: Feb 10, 12:04am Top

7. The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi

Original publication date: 2018
Genre: SciFi 🚀
Format: Audiobook and Ebook 🎧 🖥️
Type: New 🛍️
Source: Audible and Amazon
Series: Interdependency #2
Page count: 320
Audiobook length: 8 hours, 19 minutes
Challenge(s): You Read How Many Books?, WWE Books Read This Year, Space Time, Popsugar, Finishing the Series, Audiobook
Finished: January 15, 2019

The Consuming Fire is the second book in John Scalzi’s Interdependency series. I listened to the audiobook read by Wil Wheaton. Following closely on the heels of The Collapsing Empire, Emperox Grayland II (Cardenia Wu Patrick) and Lord Marce Claremont are still dealing with the impending collapse of the Flow, the only means of transportation between the worlds of the Interdependency. Marce learns more about the mechanics of the Flow, while Cardenia, with the help of Lady Kiva Lagos, unmasks traitors to the Interdependency.

I enjoyed the sequel almost as much as the first in the series - perhaps its my great appreciation of Scalzi as an author and of Wheaton as a narrator. The two, IMO, are a perfect pairing for audiobooks. Aside from Scalzi’s intriguing world-building and absorbing characters (mainly strong female types in this series), he has a sense of humor that I really appreciate. And Wil Wheaton completely understands and communicates Scalzi’s humor perfectly.

I highly recommend this series for lovers of space opera.

Edited: Feb 10, 12:05am Top

8. A Noble Radiance by Donna Leon

Original publication date: 1997
Genre: Mystery 🕵️
Format: Ebook 🖥️
Type: Borrowed 🏛️
Source: Overdrive
Series: Guido Brunetti #7
Page count: 292
Challenge(s): You Read How Many Books, Modern Mrs Darcy, Library Love, Group Read, For the Love of Ebooks, European Reading, Cloak and Dagger
Finished: 1/16/19

The seventh entry in Donna Leon’s Guido Brunetti series, A Noble Radiance, is standard fare, but still good reading. The body of a young man with a crest ring that possibly identifies him as a kidnapping victim from a wealthy Venetian family is found in a field in the foothills of the Dolomites. Brunetti is called in to assist with the identification and becomes intrigued with the kidnapping case.

I have been enjoying the 75’s Group Read of the Guido Brunetti series. Interestingly, most of the books in the series so far don’t seem to have the typical police procedural ending that one finds in other series. This slightly bothered me at first, but I now appreciate how this gives us a chance to reflect on Brunetti’s (and possibly Leon’s) philosophy of life and Italian, or more specifically Venetian, culture.

Jan 17, 9:35am Top

Happy New Year, Robin!

Edited: Jan 17, 1:24pm Top

>36 norabelle414: Happy New Year to you, Nora. Glad you could join me.

Edited: Feb 10, 12:06am Top

9. This Immortal by Roger Zelazny

Original publication date: 1966
Genre: SciFi 🚀
Format: Audiobook, Print 🎧 📖
Type: TBR 📚
Source: Audible, Amazon
Page count: 215
Audio length:: 6 hours, 26 minutes
Challenge(s): Audiobook, Backlist Reader, European, Pick and Mix, Popsugar, Space Time, Tackle My TBR, WWE Books Read This Year, You Read How Many Books
Finished: January 16, 2019

Conrad Nimikos, Earth’s Minister of Culture, Arts and Monuments, has been assigned to play tour guide to blue-skinned Vegan, Cort Myshtigo. The Three-Day War, a nuclear event, has left most of the Earth destroyed by radiation, and the Vegan occupation hasn’t helped much either. Myshtigo seems intrigued by Conrad’s identity and apparent immortality – is he the god Pan, some other superhuman, or just a human affected by nuclear radiation? And why is Myshtigo actually touring Earth – to write a tour book or is there another nefarious reason?

Let me state right away that I enjoy Zelazny’s work – The Chronicles of Amber series was imaginative and engaging, and the Millenial series co-written with Robert Sheckley was hilarious. I wanted to like This Immortal, and I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t enjoy it the way I thought I might. Perhaps it was because I listened to the audiobook version, as I found my thoughts drifting away from the book. It seemed like there were loads of characters introduced quickly, and that certainly would have been better in print where I could leaf back through the book to recall who was whom.

This Immortal shared the 1966 Hugo with Frank Herbert’s Dune, which seems to have weathered the years much better than Zelazny’s work. Zelazny was considered a modern sci-fi writer in his time, but from a 50-year distance, the book now seems very dated.

Edited: Jan 18, 7:42pm Top

There you are. Happy New Year, Robin and happy new thread!

Wishing you and your family the best for 2019.

>1 rretzler: Reading through your intro makes me realise how Brit-centric you are.

Goodness, you’re organised for the whole year. And I see you haven’t been slacking on the reading front either.

Jan 18, 8:58pm Top

Happy 2019
A year full of books
A year full of friends
A year full of all your wishes realised

I look forward to keeping up with you, Robin, this year.

Jan 18, 11:14pm Top

>39 humouress: Hi, Nina. Glad you found me. Yes, I guess I am something of an Anglophile! I find that left to my own devices, I would rather watch Brit TV and read Brit books (mainly mysteries) than stuff from the US - although I do find when going for SFF, I tend to prefer American shows/authors!

>40 PaulCranswick: Hi, Paul. Good to see you. I'll have to venture out to other's threads this coming weekend since the weather may be keeping us at home with 5-8 inches of snow predicted tomorrow.

Jan 19, 11:41pm Top

Hi Robin! If you're agreeable, I'll set up a group read for the Wheel of Time series.

Jan 20, 12:20pm Top

My goodness! I admire your organizational skills (and beautiful graphics), Robin!

I see you have lots of concrete plans for this year. And when I checked the planned-but-not-scheduled books, I smiled over many, thinking, “ Boy, she’ll enjoy *this* one!” over and over. I hope to read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall this year, too, but I’m not sure when.

Sounds as though retirement hasn’t slowed you down in the least! I’m looking forward to following your reading this year.

Jan 20, 12:47pm Top

>42 humouress: Nina, that would be great! Thanks!

Jan 20, 12:53pm Top

>43 bohemima: Thanks, Gail. I started planning my reading last year and I noticed that the average rating for my 2018 reading had gone up over prior years. I guess that makes sense, given that I'm planning to read things I'm almost certain to enjoy whereas before I would sometimes just pick up a book "because". I think I'm a little more discriminating when I actually plan (which takes up a huge amount of time to plan and track - so that's what I've been doing in retirement. 😜)

I think there are several of us who have been meaning to read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - so maybe we could all try to read it around the same time.

Edited: Jan 20, 6:20pm Top

Hey there, Robin, thanks for stopping by my thread. Wow! You are super organized for the New Year. I'm more of a fly by the seat of my pants reader, though I do follow the prizes a fair bit. I think it's a bit of a first for me to read books like The Broken Girls - books with a supernatural element, but they were both great escapes and I plan to read more. I loved all of the P.D. James books to , back when I read them in my teens/ twenties. My grandparents were big fans of the author, so I guess that is how I originally got my mitts on them.

I'd not heard of The Victim by P.D. James, but I'll bet now that she has passed away, publishers are grabbing anything unpublished that she had written for fans like us.

I see you are currently reading Melmoth and I looked at it, but thought it might be to dark/ scary for me. I do have The Essex Serpent waiting in my TBR pile, though. Let me know what you think of Melmoth.

Jan 20, 6:44pm Top

>28 rretzler: That's a helpful review of The Death of a Millionaire, Robin! I'm inspired to go ahead and try to get the first in the series via ILL. (I do own one of the Superintendent Wilson series already, Off with Her Head, which is #17.)

Jan 20, 9:03pm Top

>46 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. I believe The Victim may also be in the short story series Sleep No More that came out at the end of 2017. I purchased it because it had one last Adam Dalgleish story, but I have yet to read the stories. I'm not sure why it was also published separately, but since I own the majority of her other books, I thought I'd better get The Victim as well. I think I'm planning to read Sleep No More later this year.

>47 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry. I was thinking that you and Liz might appreciate the series, although I noticed on the 2nd book that there was an ILL back in 2012 and I thought to myself that it was probably Liz! I'm currently reading the 3rd in the series - I read the 1st last year. I've been surprised that so far they've all been available and they've all been the 1st US Editions in fabulous condition! I really hope that I continue to get lucky with the series and ILL but I have a feeling that they may not all be available.

Jan 20, 9:15pm Top

Glad to find and mark your challenge!

Jan 20, 9:16pm Top

>48 rretzler: I've had mixed success with old fiction via ILL. I've gotten some I wanted but have had to do without others, as there usually aren't too many holdings, and often those libraries that do have the books are unwilling to risk letting them circulate.

Jan 20, 11:59pm Top

>49 thornton37814: Lori, I was just on my way to you when I stopped back at my thread to see that you had posted! I'll be by in a few to catch up.

>50 harrygbutler: Harry, personally, I was amazed when I got my hands on one of the 1925 first editions! I almost felt as though I shouldn't be reading it, it was so precious and rare. I wondered why the library would be willing to let it be borrowed, and then I figured that the only people who would actually want a book from 1925 would be the exact people who would be sure to take very good care of it.

Jan 21, 9:04am Top

Happy New Year, Robin. Martha Grimes has a new one coming out this year! I also enjoyed The Knowledge. Enjoy your reading this year!

I loved White Teeth, but it would be boring around here if we all liked the same thing.

Have a great week.

Jan 21, 9:25am Top

Found you, Robin! Welcome to 2019! Looks like you have a busy reading year ahead of you! Exciting stuff!

Jan 21, 3:25pm Top

Hi, Robin! You know, I can think of something you could do in your retirement...meetup! With me! Since we live in the Columbus area again!!

What do you think? After the frigid temps go away again?

Jan 21, 5:05pm Top

Found and starred, Robin!

Jan 21, 7:23pm Top

>52 BLBera: Thanks, Beth! I already have The Old Success preordered and am eagerly awaiting its August (ugh, too far away!) release. I'm glad that she picked up the Jury series after a hiatus; there cannot be many more books in the series.

>53 Carmenere: Hi, Lynda. Thanks for visiting.

>54 scaifea: Hi, Amber. Wow - that's exciting news! I would love to meetup! I'm game anytime, frigid temps or not.

>55 lkernagh: Hi, Lori. Thanks for visiting! Glad to see you back with the 75ers this year.

Jan 22, 10:49am Top

Based on the evidence of your first visitor on the 16th, looks like I'm only 6 days late. *smile*

Happy new thread AND happy new year, Robin!

Looks like you've made a great start to the year with 9 books read already, congrats.

Jan 22, 3:17pm Top

>57 karenmarie: Hi, Karen, and thanks. No, you're not late, I am terribly late this year but then I'm always feeling behind on LT...sigh!

Jan 23, 2:13am Top

Well, it look me a while. I'm glad to see your new thread!

Jan 23, 3:34am Top

Ha! I am not the only one still looking for people's threads. (Thank you >59 quondame:, >57 karenmarie:)

Happy new thread, Robin. Have at those books!

Edited: Jan 23, 11:35am Top

>59 quondame: >60 Berly: Susan and Kim, it's all on me! Somehow I meant to start my thread in December over Christmas break, but when I finally got around to it, it was already mid-January! I blame the fact that the boys didn't go back to school until January 7 this year, another week to get things set up, and then another week to go visiting... Yikes!

Welcome to both of you!

Edited: Jan 24, 7:11am Top

So - what's been going on with my family:

Me - I've always disliked just sitting around watching TV, preferring to do something else, but after not watching much TV when they were younger, my family now likes to watch 1 hour of TV every evening together. We've been watching some good shows (more to come on those later), but I needed to do something else besides just the mindless staring at a screen. So in November, I started a bunch of knitting projects. Ed, Beckham, Keegan, my mom, my aunt and my BIL (his turn in the family gift exchange) all received knitted hats and scarves - well, I'm still knitting for my mom and Ed. I also decided to make blankets for the boys - Beckham's is done, and Keegan's is probably about 15% done. I'd still like to knit myself a hat and scarf to match the rest of the family. My cleaners (and friends) liked Beckham's blanket so much that they asked me to knit blankets for them, so while there was a yarn sale at Joann, I went a little overboard! At least it keeps me busy while watching TV, and I've gotten some good audiobook listening in while cranking out the gifts.

Ed - Over Thanksgiving, he decided that he would try to grow a beard and mustache for the first time since he was in college. So, I patiently indulged him but was thankful when he went to the barber the first week of January to get it shaved off. He had never had a straight-razor shave from a barber and was greatly looking forward to the experience. Unfortunately, it did not turn out to be the experience that he anticipated. Doesn't that happen with so many things as we get older? He purchased a recumbent trike last summer and has been taking it on rails to trails paths when he can find an unscheduled weekend day (few and far between.)

Beckham - In December he took the SAT and ACT for the first time. We scheduled them with less than a month before the test, so he and I talked and decided that he should not worry about studying, but just take them and see, and then he would know what he was up against. That's always been my method of significant test taking - ACT, SAT, CPA, etc. He had taken the PSAT twice, with a perfect score on the Math portion, and a good score on the Reading, so I knew he would do well. He was not happy with his SAT score - he did receive a perfect 800 in Math, but ONLY (his words, not mine) a 710 in reading, so he insists on retaking the SAT. However, the proud mama in me wants to boast to the world that he got a perfect 36 on his ACT first time out! WOO-HOO! I predict that we will soon be deluged with mail from colleges soon if his experience is anything like mine was. He quit soccer (was it just last year) so his activity time is now spent with Math Club, Math Team, First Robotics Competition and he just made the school's Science Olympiad team. He will spend his senior year of HS at The Ohio State University, so we're working on getting the paperwork for that completed.

Keegan - He seems to be finally finding his way academically, but is still struggling with writing. His IEP certainly helps, although, for the first quarter of the year, the teachers all thought he was doing so well (he does get A's) that no one assisted him with his writing, which once again increased his frustration level. And, after many discussions with the school, they are finally helping with his dyslexia. It doesn't manifest itself in him in the usual way, with backward letters, etc., and if he slows down, he has little issue with sounding out unfamiliar (and sometimes familiar words), but he likes to hurry, which messes up his fluency and comprehension. He is working on the Lexia program now at school, and the counselor for gifted students that he sees weekly is helping him more with his writing. Although he's in 8th grade, he is currently taking 3 HS classes - Algebra I, German and Physical Science. He seems to be doing a little better in science than Beckham did based on how much he doesn't study, but still gets A's (Beckham actually studied a little for physical science.) I was amazed at how well he picked up German, I thought dyslexia might slow him down there, but it's immersion and not textbook, so its more visual and I think that helps. On the soccer front, he was finally placed on a team that he should have been on all along, but the coach put him at defensive mid and not an attacking position. Ed tried to talk to the coach, who said that Keegan was the only one on the team he trusted to play that position. We both sighed, knowing that Keegan is wired to be an attacking player, and hoping he would get a chance. Fortunately, it happened sooner than we expected - the director of boy's soccer just happened to coach at a tournament game that we were in, and since we had talked to him last year about where we thought Keegan should play, he put him in at forward during the game. I had no sooner turned to Ed to say that I hoped that Keegan would take advantage of being able to play forward, when he scored a goal (less than 30 seconds after going in as forward.) He told me later that he made up his mind when he went in that he would score! He scored once more that game, and then once in the next game - scoring 3 of the 5 goals in the entire tournament for our team. WOO-HOO!! His coach is still playing him at defensive mid most games but lets him play forward now during the game, and Keegan usually takes advantage. I think we'll see him up front a lot more in the spring. He is currently playing futsal, which is 5v5 soccer on a basketball court - a swift-moving game in which it is necessary to have excellent ball control skills. His coach is a Brazilian soccer player, who plays professionally for our Columbus Futsal team. Keegan seems to be a natural and even though this is the first year playing futsal for most of the boys on his team, they are doing very well - they won the Winter I session of the league and just this past weekend won a small futsal tournament in Cincinnati. His coach has recommended he attend the Ohio ID trials, which is how they pick players for the National ID trials, and then the National futsal teams. I think he has a decent chance to at least be asked to attend National ID trials, but I don't know if he's good enough at this point for the National team (who knows though - there could be a lot of outstanding futsal players in Ohio of whom I am not aware.)

So...that's the update from one very proud mom, tooting her little horn!

ETA: To give some perspective on Beckham's achievement, out of the 2,030,038 students who took the ACT in 2017, only 2,760, or 0.1359% of those students scored a 36.

Jan 23, 3:31pm Top

Hi Robin congratulations to Keegan! How very exciting that he scored so suddenly in the soccer game!

Thank you for visiting my thread. I apologize that I haven't ever visited yours ...till now. You and I have a lot of books in common, and a lot of reading tastes that are the same. Previously I read a lot of Young Adult books. Your lists lead me to get back to reading the few hundred or so that I've accumulated over the years!

Also, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is a book that I read a while back and it has stayed with me. It is so very well written!

I note that you have a lot of accounting/tax background. While I took the perfunctury tax courses when I obtained an accounting degree awhile back, I very much liked the financial accounting aspect, and loved auditing, and balancing statements. I worked as a Publication Adviser at a local university (Lehigh) in Bethlehem, PA, before retiring from there three months ago. I taught writing and editing and supervised the business aspect of the student newspaper and advised the yearbook.

I was responsible for making sure there was enough money in the publication accounts to pay all expenses. Teaching students to sell advertising for the newspaper, and all aspects of yearbook, including editing, writing and design, I loved it!!!!

I'm not sure how I missed your thread, but I've starred you and will be back frequently!

Jan 23, 4:22pm Top

>63 Whisper1: Ah, the yearbook... When I was in college I was on the staff of the Greek (as in fraternity/sorority) yearbook for 3 years. Even though we had specific roles, the entire staff, which was only ever about 5-6 of us at most, did everything - editing, writing, design, advertising, photography... My senior year as editor, I even deisgned and drew the cover. So, I have some idea of what you mean!

Congrats on your recent retirement! Glad to have you here.

Jan 24, 2:11am Top

Turn about it fair play, thanks for visiting me, now I'm visiting you! Hope all is well!

Jan 24, 2:16am Top


The group read for The Wheel of Time is set up and ready to go: https://www.librarything.com/topic/302886

>62 rretzler: Wow, you've all been busy! Good for you, knitting. It's something I've tried a few times but I'm so worried about dropping stitches that I pick them up instead and I usually have it too tight. I say usually, but I haven't attempted it again since my schooldays. Recumbent trike? I've seen those in traffic; not something I'd try.

Good for your boys. All the levels are Greek to me and I'm not jealous while I struggle with trying to help my eldest with GCSEs but it does sound like they're doing well. Toot away! And regarding defensive mid, at least Keegan's coach put him there because he trusts him rather than because he didn't recognise his talents.

Jan 24, 7:19am Top

Wow! Great family updates! And I think you need a bigger horn to toot such amazing news!! No wonder you're proud of those boys.

And yay for knitting! I have a difficult time just sitting still to watch TV, too, so I knit pretty much every night, too. Right now I'm finish up a sweater (in the sewing-up stage; the knitting's all done) and I've got a baby blanket going, too.

Jan 24, 8:47am Top

Wow, a 36 first time out. That's great!

Jan 24, 9:03am Top

>64 rretzler: Hi, Jeff. Thanks for visiting.

>65 mahsdad: Nina, I'm not talented at knitting by any stretch of the imagination. I find that it takes too much of my attention to knit a complex pattern, especially when I am watching TV because I have to count the stitches and I always get lost. However, something simple where I knit a row and purl another, or switch between K and P every other stitch, is mindless enough for me - so I guess 2 mindless activities at the same time makes me feel as though I'm accomplishing more than just one mindless activity at a time! 😜

We don't really have O-levels, or A-levels, or GCSEs over here - I believe that they are similar here to receiving a HS diploma. Although there is no national test to get a diploma, in Ohio, we have an Ohio Graduation Test that must be passed in order to graduate - I'm sure other states have similar tests. The Ohio test is not very difficult, as it is based on 9th grade standards and the vast majority of students pass it easily. (Don't get me started on education in the US - we have no standards, and it's all very hit or miss depending on where one lives. The state standards that we have are well below those of other countries.) The ACT and the SAT are college admissions tests that are required in order to be accepted into a college or university. The more exclusive the college, the higher the ACT or SAT score required to be admitted. So that means, at least theoretically, that Beckham would have a chance of getting into any college he wanted (provided we could find a way to pay for it.)

Jan 24, 9:13am Top

>67 scaifea: Thanks, Amber. You are more ambitious in your knitting than I am. I may try to tackle a sweater later - as long as it's one that has a simple pattern. It's difficult for me to count stitches when the action gets going!

>68 drneutron: Thanks, Jim. He still has no idea what he wants to do - I've tried to convince him that rocket science might be fun! Sometimes he says engineering, and just yesterday I heard him say something with math or science. That's ok for now I guess since he still has time, but I've no idea how we're going to educate him about his options so that he can make an informed decision. I think biomechanical engineering might be a great career for the future, and it does combine math and science. He's toyed with the idea of chemical engineering (my dad, who died when I was 10, was a chemical engineer.) He's taking AP Physics C right now and I think it likes it, and it's finally a class that he has to think a little, which is a VERY good thing.

Jan 24, 10:09am Top

>70 rretzler: Well, I have a fondness for physics. 😀 There's some really neat stuff happening these days in control systems and autonomous vehicles, computer vision, etc, that involve math and engineering in combination that may interest him. My son is getting a PhD in computer vision and the stuff he's working on is really interesting - and potentially very lucrative. 😀

Jan 24, 2:12pm Top

Lol! Look at all those book challenges! Good luck! And lovely pictures of the family. Thanks for sharing.

Jan 24, 2:46pm Top

>71 drneutron: Jim, I'll have to have him look at computer vision. When he was really little, he and his younger brother used to say that they would like to build a computer that could do my job for me so I didn't have to work! LOL! Computer vision might be his start!

>72 The_Hibernator: Hi, Rachel. It is a "little" overboard! I know I won't complete the Popsugar, ReadHarder and Modern Mrs Darcy and I'm not really even trying too. The others don't really have hard goals, so that's good too! I may get tired of trying to update everything and pack it all in too! Who knows?

Jan 25, 7:31am Top

Hi Robin!

Nice update on the family, congrats on Beckam's perfect ACT score. That's truly amazing.

I still have the knitted scarf and hat my mother made for me in 1970, and still wear the scarf all winter long.

Jan 25, 8:21am Top

>8 rretzler: Wow, so many tickers! I'm having trouble remembering to update my one!!

Jan 25, 11:03am Top

>62 rretzler: A good update -- well done to both boys!

Too bad about Ed's barber shave experience. Not everyone can do them well. I wonder, too, whether starting from a beard made a difference. I think they are delightfully soothing; I try to get at least one a year on or around my birthday and would get them more often if they were more easily fit into my schedule.

Jan 25, 11:34am Top

>74 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. Thanks, especially for Beckham. He had his annual physical this week and when the Dr congratulated him, the smile on Beckham's face was one of the biggest I've ever seen! That made my heart melt. I love that you still have your mother's knitting!

>75 ChelleBearss: Chelle, that is a problem and may cause me to abandon the whole challenge thing - or at least keeping track of them here! LOL! If it takes me longer to update the tickers than it does to read the book, I'm done!

>76 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry. I'll let Ed know about the shave. He was so looking forward to it, and I think he will be willing to try it again if he thought it would be a more soothing experience.

Edited: Feb 10, 12:07am Top

10. The Blatchington Tangle by GDH Cole

Original publication date: 1926
Genre: Mystery 🕵️
Format: Print 📖
Type: Borrowed 🏛️
Source: Interlibrary Loan
Series: Superintendent Wilson # 3
Page count: 279
Challenge(s): British Book, Cloak and Dagger, Just the Facts Ma’am, Library Love, Popsugar, Print Only, World at War, You Read How Many Books
Finished: 1/23/19

Dick Preston, at his aunt’s invitation, is staying at the country home of Lord and Lady Blatchington. After an early swim on his first morning there, Dick visits the library only to stumble across the dead body of a man, who is not a member of the house party. Of course, the many guests and the members of the household all seem to have something they want to hide from the police. When an arrest is imminent, Superintendent Wilson, no longer of Scotland Yard, is asked to prove the innocence of the suspect.

I’m enjoying this series by GDH and Margaret Cole, which are good examples of Golden Age detective fiction. Not as good as a Christie, Sayers, Marsh, or Allingham, they are nonetheless enjoyable works. I’m surprised that the books were never republished, although the attitude toward African natives in this book may be very jarring unless one keeps in mind that the book was written in the 1920s and was unfortunately reflective of that time. I plan to read as many in this series as I can get from interlibrary loans.

Jan 26, 10:13am Top

For the past couple of years, I have asked questions in my threads - that is at least until I forget to do so. I thought I'd start it up again. This time with something interesting that I read on curiosity.com: Can You Answer the 10 Questions on the US Governments Science Knowledge Survey
Every two years, the National Science Foundation compiles a report about the state of science and engineering in the U.S. A lot of it is pretty technical — there's detailed analysis of the labor force, higher education, and research trends, among other things — but deep in the report is a section devoted specifically to the everyday person. It's entitled "Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Understanding," and in it, the NSF grades the American public on their ability to answer a handful of basic science questions. Even people outside of science careers should have some understanding of how science works, the Foundation figured, so they designed the questions to see if people had enough knowledge "to understand a quality newspaper's science section." Seems reasonable enough.

I'll put the answers and some statistics by country in a later post.

You don't have to answer the questions in a post - I thought I would do this for fun, and to provoke some discussion after the statistics by country are posted. The statistics are astonishing.

The Questions
Answer "true" or "false" for each question.
  1. The center of the Earth is very hot.

  2. The continents have been moving their location for millions of years and will continue to move.

  3. The Earth goes around the sun.

  4. All radioactivity is manmade.

  5. Electrons are smaller than atoms.

  6. Lasers work by focusing sound waves.

  7. The universe began with a huge explosion.

  8. It is the father's gene that decides whether the baby is a boy or a girl.

  9. Antibiotics kill viruses as well as bacteria.

  10. Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.

Jan 26, 10:21am Top

Having been fascinated by science all my life, until my 3rd year in college, I was a Biology major. I intended to go to med school to become a neurosurgeon. It's a long story how I ended up as an accounting major and CPA, and if I have any regrets in my life, that is definitely the one big one.

Anyway...no surprises, since I have a background in science - I did get the answers (which will be coming soon) to all 10 questions correct, which puts me above the average American (or at least the Americans who answered these questions!)

Below are the answers, each in a separate post. No peeking before you answer the questions! Remember, I'm more interested in the discussion than I am your answers, so please don't feel compelled to share your answers, unless you particularly want to.

Jan 26, 10:25am Top

From curiosity.com Can You Answer the 10 Questions on the US Governments Science Knowledge Survey
1. The Center of the Earth Is Very Hot: TRUE

The Earth's core is more than 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit (6,000 degrees Celsius), roughly as hot as the surface of the sun. But although the outer core is liquid, the very center of our planet is solid iron. Weird, right?

Here's how the world did on this question:

Jan 26, 10:26am Top

From curiosity.com Can You Answer the 10 Questions on the US Governments Science Knowledge Survey
2. The Continents Have Been Moving for Millions of Years: TRUE

That's thanks to plate tectonics, the phenomenon where sections of the Earth's crust known as tectonic plates move around, causing earthquakes, volcanoes, valleys, mountain ranges, and other geologic features. As we speak, plate tectonics is causing Africa to slowly split in two.

Here's how the world did on this question:

Jan 26, 10:28am Top

From curiosity.com Can You Answer the 10 Questions on the US Governments Science Knowledge Survey
3. The Earth Goes Around the Sun: TRUE

Specifically, the question people were asked was "Which is correct? A: The Earth goes around the sun B: The sun goes around the Earth." The correct answer is A: the Earth goes around the sun. We know that for many reasons, not least of which is that the position of the stars in the sky changes seasonally, which proves that the Earth isn't stationary.

Here's how the world did on this question:

Jan 26, 10:29am Top

From curiosity.com Can You Answer the 10 Questions on the US Governments Science Knowledge Survey
4. All Radioactivity is Manmade: FALSE

There was radioactivity before humans existed, and there will be radioactivity long after we're gone. The sun and stars produce cosmic radiation — which poses a problem to astronauts — and here on Earth, soil, rock, and even water contain radioactive elements like uranium, thorium, and radium. You even have radioactive potassium-50 and carbon-14 in your body.

Here's how the world did on this question:

Jan 26, 10:30am Top

From curiosity.com Can You Answer the 10 Questions on the US Governments Science Knowledge Survey
5. Electrons Are Smaller Than Atoms: TRUE

Electrons are a part of atoms. Think of that old trusty atom diagram (which isn't really accurate, by the way): you've got your protons and neutrons in the center and your electrons orbiting around them like planets.

Here's how the world did on this question:

Jan 26, 10:32am Top

From curiosity.com Can You Answer the 10 Questions on the US Governments Science Knowledge Survey
6. Lasers Work by Focusing Sound Waves: FALSE

Lasers work by focusing light waves — sort of. LASER is an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation," since it technically works by producing light particles from the radiation of excited electrons. That makes it so all of the light particles are the same wavelength, which helps them stay focused.

Here's how the world did on this question:

Jan 26, 10:33am Top

From curiosity.com Can You Answer the 10 Questions on the US Governments Science Knowledge Survey
7. The Universe Began With a Huge Explosion: TRUE

If you want to be pedantic, the universe actually began with a huge expansion — the fabric of spacetime itself expanded from a single point. But at the level of everyday science knowledge, you might as well say that the Big Bang was an explosion.

Here's how the world did on this question:

Jan 26, 10:35am Top

From curiosity.com Can You Answer the 10 Questions on the US Governments Science Knowledge Survey
8. The Father's Gene Decides Whether the Baby Is a Boy or a Girl: TRUE

Again, to get technical about it, you'd say that it was the father's chromosome that determines the baby's sex. Chromosomes contain DNA, segments of which form genes. Still, it's the father's sperm that determines whether the baby will be a boy or a girl. When sperm carrying a Y chromosome reaches the mother's X-chromosome-carrying egg, it creates a boy. When sperm carrying an X chromosome does the same, it creates a girl.

Here's how the world did on this question:

Jan 26, 10:37am Top

From curiosity.com Can You Answer the 10 Questions on the US Governments Science Knowledge Survey
9. Antibiotics Kill Viruses as Well as Bacteria: FALSE

Antibiotics kill bacteria; antivirals kill viruses. That's why you should never take antibiotics for viral infections, like cold or flu.

Here's how the world did on this question:

Jan 26, 10:43am Top

From curiosity.com Can You Answer the 10 Questions on the US Governments Science Knowledge Survey
10. Human Beings Developed from Earlier Species of Animals: TRUE

As a tongue-in-cheek project from the National Center for Science Education puts it, more than 1,000 scientists named Steve agree that the evidence is in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Go back far enough in our own evolutionary history, and you'll find a human ancestor that doesn't look much like us — in some cases, alarmingly so.

Here's how the world did on this question:

Edited: Feb 10, 12:08am Top

11. Number Eight: Smelly Man by Colin Cotterill

Original publication date: 2018
Genre: Mystery 🕵️
Format: Ebook 🖥️
Type: New 🛍️
Source: Amazon
Series: Jimm Juree Case Files #8
Page count: 34
Finished: 1/25/19

As Jimm’s family rebuilds their weather-devastated ocean resort in out-of-the-way Maprao, Thailand, a homeless man is making a name for himself by sleeping on the nearby railroad tracks each evening. After someone attempts to shoot him, “Smelly Man” seeks out Jimm’s help to find the potential assassin. As usual, Jimm with the help of her ex-policeman grandfather, her transvestite brother, and the gay, but closeted police Captain, she solves “Smelly Man’s” mystery.

The Jimm Juree Case Files are a series of short stories that supplement the Jimm Juree series. Colin Cotterill has a humorous and unique take on life in Thailand, and his writing can be deliciously sarcastic and funny. I found this entry in the series to be a little short on what I would consider to be the essential details – it felt as though the central part of the detection was missing from the story. However, it, like the other stories in the series, is very original.

I would recommend this series and this particular story only if you have read and enjoyed other Colin Cotterill works.

Jan 26, 3:13pm Top

Trying not to be depressed by the stats on the “Does the Earth Go Around the Sun” question... 🙄

Jan 26, 7:31pm Top

>78 rretzler: That golden age mystery sounds interesting.

Jan 26, 11:25pm Top

Stunned by the lack of knowledge that so many people do not know that it's the father's chromosome that determines baby's sex. Seriously ?

Edited: Jan 29, 3:27pm Top

>92 drneutron: >94 vancouverdeb: Yes, these are very depressing statistics, if you ask me. I'm amazed (and then again, not surprised) that the US fares so poorly against other nations - Canada beats the US on every category but one - which is the sex-related question. Should I read anything into that? I was always given to understand (by Japanese friends AND the media) that the education system in Japan is much better than that of the US, but from these statistics, it seems fairly comparable! Of course, it all depends upon the sample, doesn't it?

The earth orbiting the sun does seem to be a pretty basic one, doesn't it, Jim? I could almost forgive the electron question, because if one didn't take chemistry, I'm not sure there would be much exposure, and (sorry, Deb), I could almost forgive the XY/XX chromosome issue because I don't know if that's part of a basic science education (don't know when I learned that, but I have always been interested in genetics and chromosomes, so I'm almost certain I learned it on my own.) The last question about humans evolving from other species seems as though it was asked mainly in the Bible Belt.

And...I almost thought that question 7 was a trick question - I guess I did want to get a little pedantic about it!

Sigh...I wonder if it is that these things are not taught, are not taught properly, or are forgotten?

>93 thornton37814: Lori, I've been enjoying the Superintendent Wilson series, on the whole. The first three books at least are available through Interlibrary Loan, and I do plan to try for more, although I imagine that I won't get so lucky with all of them.

Jan 28, 9:04pm Top

I think I got the answers right, skimming through, except that the phrasing for number 7 stumped me, too. I’m surprised that China and India didn’t score higher given the impression I have of their economies being driven by knowledge/ education. But, as you say, it depends on the sample; maybe the education there is elitist.

I’d be interested in where Singapore fell in that survey. I hear that Singaporeans (and Malaysians) applying to overseas universities are asked for a grade higher than everyone else (but I also hear criticism that they don’t learn to think for themselves).

Israelis seem to know a lot about lasers. Hmm...

Edited: Jan 28, 10:23pm Top

I almost missed the lasers question because my eyes scanned so quickly over "sound" that my brain supplied "light," and only caught it on a second reading. I wonder how many others made that mistake, and whether something about the Hebrew version of the question might make it less susceptible to misreading. Speaking of which, I wonder how directly comparable are the various international questions, since they come from a variety of studies. Still: very interesting, and thanks for sharing, Robin!

There's an interesting bit in the report, where the authors talk about experiments conducted on the questions related to religious belief:

An additional question-wording experiment was included in the 2016 GSS to expand on similar experiments conducted in 2004 (NSB 2006) and 2012 (NSB 2014, 2016). These experiments involve randomly giving each survey respondent one of two or three different survey questions and then comparing the results. The earlier experiments showed that changing the wording to the evolution and origin of the universe questions substantially increased the percentage of respondents getting them correct. For example, in 2012, 48% of those asked whether it was true or false that “human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals” gave the correct answer of true, but 72% answered the question correctly when presented with the same statement with the addition of the preface “According to the theory of evolution.” Similarly, 39% of respondents correctly stated it was true that “the universe began with a big explosion,” but 60% gave the correct answer when presented with the same statement prefaced by “According to astronomers” (Appendix Table 7-9)

Jan 29, 9:54am Top

Hmmm, so people get it right when the correct answer is embedded in the question or there's an appeal to authority. That tells me that people remember a set of facts told to them in school, but when it comes to understanding these facts and internalizing them, there's not so much going on. Not too surprising, really, based on my attempts to help various people with math. 😀

Edited: Jan 30, 12:03pm Top

Hi, Robin! I have a snow day and am trying to catch up with threads.

>97 swynn:, >98 drneutron: I think this speaks to the fact that, for a number of people, their religious beliefs conflict with what scientists say. They are willing to acknowledge that the scientific theory is out there, but aren't going to subscribe to something that conflicts with their beliefs. Usually, it's folks who have a very literal view of the Bible. So they will say it's true that "according to the theory" or "according to scientists," but won't say that the actual idea is true.

Jan 30, 12:26pm Top

>96 humouress: Ah, Nina - "learn to think for themselves"...now that is a whole other topic. I don't know how it is in Singapore, but I think that is something that is severely lacking in the US.

I don't think that schools in the US do enough to get the kids to think for themselves. I don't know how it is in other countries, but this is a HUGE complaint of mine about the American school system. There are few teachers in our school district (which is one of the best in the state and our high schools are always ranked very highly in the country) who, IMO, actually teach the kids to think - to reason things out. It still seems to be mostly just memorization of facts. And I hate the way that the kids are tested - just upon how well they can memorize the facts and spit them back. There may be a little bit of problem-solving in the math and sciences but nothing like what they will face when they get into the real world. I wish the tests could be structured more along the lines of giving the students a case-study, and then having them use resources to reason and figure out a solution (like real life.) Oh, well, I could go on with that topic for days and days. And lest anyone think I am against teachers, my mother, aunt, grandmother, and grandfather were teachers, my uncle had a teaching degree but didn't teach, my mother-in-law was a teacher, my sister-in-law is a teacher, and another sister-in-law works in a school system.

>97 swynn: Thanks for looking at the report, Steve. I've had the link open on my browser for days, but have not yet taken the time to go there and explore the actual report. You bring up a couple of other points about these surveys are good to note - language/culture bias and the actual wording of the question. Plus, I guess there is always the bias of those reporting, which may or may not be a factor, depending upon whether they are trying to convey facts or to influence.

>98 drneutron: Unfortunately, I think you're right about that, Jim. I have to wonder whether that's a fault of our education systems or a fault with the students themselves. I suspect that its a little of both. Still, I find it difficult to comprehend that things that I think are so basic difficult for others to remember.

Jan 30, 12:28pm Top

>99 tymfos: Hi, Terri. I think you make a good point there, and again I wonder about the geographical range of the survey.

Feb 1, 10:09am Top

'Morning, Robin!

I've created the thread for Last Friends:

Group Read: Last Friends by Jane Gardam.

Feb 2, 10:45am Top

Robin! I've been looking for you and finally had to go to the Threadbook because (gasp!) I didn't have your thread starred and so you weren't where I've been looking! Lovely not-so-new thread here, with lots of tickers and organization.

And just so you know, I aced the science test at 100%. They all seem really basic questions to me.

Feb 6, 1:59pm Top

>102 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. I'm not sure I'll participate because I haven't read the others in the series, but I may follow along.

>103 ronincats: Hi, Roni. Glad you found me. LOL - I thought they all seemed pretty basic to me too, but they certainly don't to someone!

Edited: Feb 10, 12:08am Top

12. Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom by Sylvia Plath

Original publication date: 2019
Genre: Fiction 📙
Format: Print 📖
Type: New 🛍️
Source: Amazon
Page count: 40
Finished: 1/25/29

Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom was written by Sylvia Plath while she was a student at Smith College in 1952. She submitted the story to Mademoiselle magazine, but it was rejected and is now being published for the first time.

Mary Ventura’s parents have purchased a train ticket and are putting her on a train to the Ninth Kingdom. She doesn’t want to go but is coerced by her parents. On the train, she is watched over by a kind woman who helps her in her discovery of independence.

It is not difficult to see why this piece was rejected for publication. It does not come close to Plath’s later writing. It is very simplistically written, almost juvenile. While the story was interesting, its length does not do justice to what I think it could have become if she had expanded upon her ideas. Symbolism and allegory abound.

Edited: Feb 10, 12:09am Top

13. The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince by Robin Hobb

Original publication date: 2012
Genre: Fantasy 🧝
Format: Ebook 🖥️
Type: New 🛍️
Source: Amazon
Series: Realm of the Elderlings 0.5
Page count: 85
Finished: 1/27/19

The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince is a legend mentioned in the Realm of the Elderlings series which Robin Hobb refers to several times in Fool’s Errand and other books. Felicity, a servant of Princess Caution and the daughter of the Princess’ wet-nurse, recounts the story of Princess Caution and her son, who becomes known as the Piebald Prince. Princess Caution’s name belies her willful personality. She takes an interest in the stableboy, Lostler, a former Chalcedean slave, who share a wit-bond with a piebald stallion. When her son, Prince Charger, is born, he has piebald markings. Few are willing to accept Charger as King due to his unknown parentage and suspected wittedness, and once he becomes King disaster befalls the Kingdom.

This was an interesting and well-written backstory in the series. However, it left me with more questions than I think it answered.

Edited: Feb 10, 12:10am Top

14. Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb

Original publication date: 2001
Genre: Fantasy 🧝
Format: Ebook 🖥️
Type: New 🛍️
Source: Amazon
Series: Tawny Man #1; Realm of the Elderlings #7
Page count: 688
Challenge(s): 12:1 Reading Challenge, Chunkster, For the Love of Ebooks, Group Read, I Just Have to Read More of that Author, Modern Mrs Darcy, Pick and Mix, Popsugar, ReadHarder, Read the Sequel, The Unloved, WWE Books Read This Year, You Read How Many Books
Finished: 1/31/19

Fitzchivalry Farseer has successfully hidden away from all who know him with his wit-bonded wolf, Nighteyes and his adopted son, Hap, recuperating from his previous experiences in service to the kingdom and his family. However, one day a visitor arrives – Chade Fallstar, now advisor to Queen Kettricken and Prince Dutiful, wants Fitz to return to Buckkeep to tutor Dutiful in the Skill. Fitz refuses Chade and is next visited by The Fool. Near the end of The Fool’s visit, both learn that Prince Dutiful has been missing for days and they quickly return to Buckkeep to help find him.

In this second trilogy to feature Fitz and The Fool, Fitz has undoubtedly matured and seems to make better decisions than he did in the first trilogy. Because of this, I liked the book a little more than the previous ones, as Fitz is much less frustrating to me. However, he is still not without his flaws, but the wisdom of both Nighteyes and The Fool mitigate the frustration for me. Hobb’s books are easy to read, and even though they are long, the narrative flows very well, and I am caught up in each terrible thing that seems to befall Fitz.

Edited: Feb 13, 1:41pm Top


By the numbers
📒Books read - 14 ( 14 ) { 14 }
📅Average days to read - 2.2 ( 2.2 ) { 2.2 }

🗐Pages read - 3,235 ( 3,235 ) { 3,913 }
📊Average pages per book - 231 ( 231 ) { 280 }
📊Average pages per day - 104 ( 104 ) { 126 }

📗Series read - 7 ( 7 ) { 9 }
📕Books in series read - 10 ( 10 ) { 11 }

⬆️Longest book read - Fool’s Errand
🗐Pages - 688

⬇️Shortest book read - Dr Thirteenth
🗐Pages - 32

🎁ARC - 0 ( 0 ) { 3 }
🏛️Borrowed - 3 ( 3 ) { 1 }
🛍️New - 9 ( 9 ) { 8 }
🔁Reread - 0 ( 0 ) { 0 }
📚TBR - 2 ( 2 ) { 2 }

🎧Audio - 4 ( 4 ) { 3 }
🖥️ Ebook - 4 ( 4 ) { 11 }
📖Print - 6 ( 6 ) { 0 }

🧝Fantasy - 2 ( 2 ) { 2 }
📙Fiction - 2 ( 2 ) { 2 }
🏫 Middle Grade - 0 ( 0 ) { 1 }
🕵️Mystery - 5 ( 5 ) { 9 }
🎴Picture - 2 ( 2 ) { 0 }
🚀Science Fiction - 3 ( 3 ) { 0 }


Authors by book
👩🏼Female - 6 ( 6 ) { 8 }
👨🏼Male - 8 ( 8 ) { 6 }

Unique authors

👩🏻Female - 5 ( 5 ) { 7 }
👨🏻Male - 5 ( 5 ) { 5 }

✨Authors read for the first time - 1 ( 1 ) { 5 }

Living or deceased - unique authors

👻Deceased - 4 ( 4 ) { 4 }
🚶Living - 6 ( 6 ) { 8 }

Nationality - unique authors

American - 5 ( 5 ) { 5 }
Canadian - 0 ( 0 ) { 1 }
English - 5 ( 5 ) { 6 }


Hugo - 1 ( 1 ) { }


5.0 - 0 ( 0 ) { 2 }
4.5 - 3 ( 3 ) { 0 }
4.0 - 5 ( 5 ) { 7 }
3.5 - 5 ( 5 ) { 2 }
3.0 - 1 ( 1 ) { 3 }
2.5 - 0 ( 0 ) { 0 }
2.0 - 0 ( 0 ) { 0 }
1.5 - 0 ( 0 ) { 0 }
1.0 - 0 ( 0 ) { 0 }

📊 Average rating - 3.86 ( 3.86 ) { 3.86 }

Average rating of books read per LibraryThing - 3.82 ( 3.82 ) { 3.65 }
Average rating of books read per Goodreads - 3.93 ( 3.93 ) { 3.83 }
Average rating of books read per Amazon - 4.40 ( 4.40 ) { 4.19 }

Decade published

📅2010 - 8 ( 8 ) { 6 }
📅2000 - 1 ( 1 ) { 1 }
📅1990 - 2 ( 2 ) { 1 }
📅1980 - 0 ( 0 ) { 1 }
📅1960 - 1 ( 1 ) { 0 }
📅1940 - 0 ( 0 ) { 3 }
📅1920 - 2 ( 2 ) { 1 }
📅1830 - 0 ( 0 ) { 1 }

Books added to library

🎁ARC - 1 ( 1 ) { 11 }
🛍️Purchase - 62 ( 62 ) { 26 }

📓Read - 7 ( 7 ) { 12 }

💲 Average cost per book - $4.48 ( $4.48 ) { $3.47 }

✨ New releases - 6 ( 6 ) { 3 }

💰 Full price - 15 ( 15 ) { 5 }

Favorite books of the month

The Collapsing Empire
The Consuming Fire
Fool's Errand

Edited: Feb 13, 1:00am Top

  1. (15) The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan - 🖥️ review
  2. (16) Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold - 🖥️ review
  3. (17) The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K Le Guin - 🖥️ review
  4. (18) The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths - 🖥️ review
  5. (19) Hall of Mirrors by Christopher Fowler - 📖 review

    📖 - Print (hardcover, trade paper or mass market paper)
    🎧 - Audiobook
    🖥️ - eBook (it's a picture of a desktop computer, but it's so small it looks like an ereader!)

Edited: Feb 13, 10:57pm Top

  1. (64) What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon 🖥️
  2. (65) Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon 🖥️
  3. (66) Dodge & Twist by Tony Lee 🎧
  4. (67) Sovereign by Jeff Hirsch 🎧
  5. (68) Feed by MT Anderson 🎧
  6. (69) Among Others by Jo Walton 🎧
  7. (70) Death in Dark Glasses by George Bellairs 🖥️
  8. (71) The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold 🖥️
  9. (72) Penric's Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold 🖥️
  10. (73) Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold 🖥️
  11. (74) Penric's Fox by Lois McMaster Bujold 🖥️
  12. (75) Penric's Mission by Lois McMaster Bujold 🖥️
  13. (76) Mira's Last Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold 🖥️
  14. (77) The Prisoner of Limnos by Lois McMaster Bujold 🖥️
  15. (78) The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K Le Guin 🖥️
  16. (79) The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen 🖥️
  17. (80) The Selection by Kiera Cass 🖥️
  18. (81) Witchmark by C L Polk 🖥️

    📖 - Print (hardcover, trade paper or mass market paper)
    🎧 - Audiobook
    🖥️ - eBook (it's a picture of a desktop computer, but it's so small it looks like an ereader!)

Feb 6, 10:46pm Top

Way to go, Robin; you are on a reading roll!

Edited: Feb 6, 11:17pm Top

>111 ronincats: Thanks, Roni! Lots and lots of good fantasy happening here!

Edited: Feb 7, 2:52am Top

>110 rretzler: Does anyone actually read Gravity's Rainbow?

Feb 6, 11:34pm Top

>62 rretzler: I think you need a bigger horn--you're kids are doing great!!!

>79 rretzler: I did get 10/10 right, phew.

>110 rretzler: Are you really hoping to purchase 365 books this year? : )

Feb 7, 2:25am Top

>113 quondame: Well, Susan, it remains to be seen whether I actually will or not. It was on sale, and I love WWII - but given my antipathy towards books of that sort, I'm sure that I will likely avoid actually doing so. Another thing it has going for it is that it inspired the Devo song "Whip It", so even if I get my 50 or so pages in, at least I could say I tried??

>114 Berly: Thanks, Kim. I rather think they're doing pretty well! Actually, the 365 is what I'm hoping I can keep myself to. Last year, I went crazy and purchased almost twice that many - and since I doubled January's 31 days, I'm off to a similar start. More of an aspiration than an actual goal, I think. 😜

Feb 7, 2:26pm Top

Robin: you are very organized. It must take you a while to organize your thread.

When I get students in freshman comp in college, I also see that critical thinking is not one of their strengths. We definitely need an overhaul of our educational system.

Feb 7, 3:17pm Top

>115 rretzler: I think Gravity's Rainbow is my "white whale". I've tried to read it at least 3 times. 50 pages is about as far as I think I've ever gotten. :)

Edited: Feb 7, 3:32pm Top

Hey, I finally found your thread! Also, I got 100% on your science pop quiz -- many of them seemed so basic that I was wondering of there was a trick to them somehow.

Edited to add: When you and Amber have your meetup, let me know, and I'll join if possible!

Feb 8, 8:37am Top

>116 BLBera: Beth, fortunately, it doesn't take too long to organize any more - it did once, but now it's pretty much just copy and paste. Yes, I wish the schools would somehow teach critical thinking, and I have no idea how our education system would get overhauled, but I so wish it could happen.

>117 mahsdad: Jeff, I think we all have books like that. For some reason, mine was The Once and Future King. Not that it wasn't good, but I would get into it pretty far and then somewhere into The Ill-Made Knight (the Lancelot part), I would lose interest. I probably started it 3-4 times and finally finished it last year. Great book and I loved The Sword in the Stone, which I will likely read again (I've read it more than 3-4 times)

>118 foggidawn: Hi, foggi and welcome. We'd love to have you join the meetup! I'm looking forward to it.

Edited: Feb 10, 12:10am Top

15. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Original publication date: 1990
Genre: Fantasy 🧝
Format: Ebook 🖥️
Type: New 🛍️
Source: Amazon
Series: Wheel of Time #1
Page count: 753
Challenge(s): Chunkster, For the Love of Ebooks, Group Read, Listomania, Pick and Mix, Popsugar, WWE Books Read This Year, You Read How Many Books
Finished: 2/5/19

When Emond’s Field, a small farming village in the Two Rivers region, is invaded by Trollocs and Myrddraal, agents of the Dark One, it is fortunate that an Aes Sedai and a Warder are staying in the village. Moiraine, the Aes Sedai, a woman who can channel the One Power, and Lan, her Warder, help save Emond’s Field and encourage friends Rand, Mat, and Perrin to accompany them to Tar Valon for their protection as Moiraine suspects that the friends are hunted by the Dark One. Egwene, who is training to be the town’s Wisdom, yearns for adventure and refuses to be left behind, and Thom, a gleeman, also join the group as they leave Two Rivers. Nynaeve, the town’s Wisdom, finds them at an inn in the first town they stop in, completing the group. As they travel, it becomes clear to Moiraine that one of the boys is the Dragon Reborn, and that they must save the Eye of the World from the Dark One.

The Eye of the World contains many references to The Lord of the Rings and Arthurian legend. Jordan had stated that he started in a style reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings to make the books familiar to readers before putting his own spin on the story. I didn’t find the book as readable as The Lord of the Rings, and I felt that Jordan didn’t do enough to invest me in the characters, whether by design or not. Although the characters were threatened many times, the threats didn’t seem serious enough to give me concern that the characters were in any significant danger. I also felt that there were a few minor plot holes, and the ending was very abrupt and unanticipated. I found it odd that although questions remained at the end of the book, it didn’t end on the cliffhanger I had expected for a 14 book series. However, the story interested me enough that I will keep reading the series, which is loved by so many.

Feb 8, 3:03pm Top

>120 rretzler: I don't think WoT started out to be 14 books long. More like 4 or 5 I'd say, and there is about 6 books of real content, maybe, depending on your standards, but it's an interesting world enough to hang around in, and something lively is usually going on.

Edited: Feb 9, 12:43pm Top

>121 quondame: Good point, Susan. I guess my point was that it didn't even end on the cliffhanger that I would have expected for a planned trilogy or even a sequel, for that matter. Logic tells me that it really didn't end the way it seemed to have ended - which could have almost been a complete book in itself, which I found strange for what I know to have been a planned series. I would have expected something more to pull me into the next book, and it just wasn't there.

Feb 9, 3:55pm Top

>122 rretzler: My guess is that if it hadn't been somewhat popular it would have been the last book as well as the first. The Best Fantasy stories of 1990 published the next year didn't even mention it in appendix on 1990 novels, though I attribute that to the taste of the editors as much as to it's less than stellar showing.

Feb 9, 4:03pm Top

>107 rretzler: I am not sure that I have ever read any of Hobb's books. Are there any that you particularly recommend, Robin?

>120 rretzler: I have never read any of the Wheel of Time books either.

Feb 9, 6:10pm Top

>123 quondame: It seems to have so much love though - I think that curiosity may be what is keeping me reading as much as a desire to learn what happens next.

>124 alcottacre: Hi, Stasia. As far as Hobb's books, I just started reading them last year as part of the Realm of the Elderlings Group Read. Her series, the Realm of the Elderlings, is a 16 book series divided into 5 subseries. I'm on currently on the 3rd subseries. The 1st, 3rd and 5th subseries are about one group of characters and the 2nd and 4th are about another group, but there is some overlap, so I think the best way to read Hobb is to start at the beginning with Assassin's Apprentice. I must admit to liking the 2nd subseries, Liveship Traders Trilogy, a little better than the 1st, Farseer Trilogy, but both were very good.

IMO, Hobb's Realm of the Elderlings series is a better pick than Jordan's Wheel of Time series from what I've seen at this point. Hobb tends to put her characters through a lot which compels me to keep reading, and I didn't feel the same love for Jordan's characters. I'm sure that there are others who may disagree with me though, since Jordan's series is on the Great American Read list and Hobb's is not. While there are some similarities between the two series, the scope is perhaps different - Jordan's series seems to be more about saving the world/humanity, while Hobb's series seems to be more about saving localized pieces of the world (although it is hinted that this may save the whole world.)

Edited: Feb 10, 12:11am Top

16. Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold

Original publication date: 2003
Genre: Fantasy 🧝
Format: Ebook 🖥️
Type: TBR 📚
Source: Amazon
Series: World of the Five Gods
Page count: 496
Challenge(s): 12:1 Reading Challenge, Backlist Reader, Chunkster, For the Love of Ebooks, I Just Have to Read More of That Author, Pick and Mix, Popsugar, Read the Sequel, Tackle My TBR, WWE Books Read This Year, You Read How Many Books
Finished: 2/9/19

Dowager Royina Ista dy Chalion is at loose ends now that her “madness” is over and the curse of Chalion broken. After her mother’s death, there is nothing to tie her to her girlhood home, and desiring an excuse to get away from her family, she decides that a pilgrimage may be a good idea. With a divine of the Bastard temple, Learned Chivar dy Cabon, Liss, courier cum lady-in-waiting, and a Chancellory guard commanded by brothers Ferda and Foix dy Gura, Ista begins her journey. However, after only a few days, the small group is overtaken and scattered by Jokonan troops, and Ista is kidnapped for ransom. Arhys dy Lutez, son of the man for whose death Ista was previously responsible, single-handedly rescues her and takes her back to his home, Castle Porifors. Ista soon realizes that Porifors is the location of the injured man, Illvin, of whom she has dreamt. While at Porifors, she is once again called upon by the gods, and her “madness” returns. As a saint, will Ista be able to interpret the gods’ message in time to save Porifors and possibly Chalion from the Jokonons?

Paladin of Souls won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, and it is no surprise to me why. It is a fantastic story. Almost from page one, Bujold made me interested in the characters, even the minor ones. She puts them through the wringer, but somehow everything manages to turn out in the end – not without quite a bit of breath-holding on my part, though. Although the world is somewhat unfamiliar, Bujold’s seamless writing draws one into the story and doesn’t let go, even after the book is over. Ista is a very captivating character, and I wish there were more of her story to read.

Feb 9, 6:18pm Top

>125 rretzler: Psst, Crown of Stars! series is more interesting and more quirky, than Hobb, or Jordan, and I a fan of all three.

Feb 9, 7:13pm Top

>127 quondame: Thanks, Susan. I'll have to put it on the list. I love quirky, too.

Feb 9, 9:37pm Top

>126 rretzler: Ah, I love that book, Robin! So glad you did as well. *fighting the urge for an immediate reread*

Edited: Feb 9, 10:54pm Top

>129 ronincats: I could also read it again soon, Roni. It was a wonderful book. I'm sad that she has not written any more about Caz or Ista. They are both such great characters.

Feb 9, 11:23pm Top

>124 alcottacre: *gasp of disbelief* ;0)

>126 rretzler: I think I got to Vorkosigan via The Curse of Chalion. Love Bujold’s fantasy.

>127 quondame: *sigh* Another doorstopper series I have to get back to.

Feb 11, 1:43am Top

>131 humouress: Stasia's not really alone - after all I didn't start reading them until LAST year! LOL!

Feb 11, 10:48pm Top

17. The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula K Le Guin

Original publication date: 1973
Genre: SciFi 🚀
Format: Ebook 🖥️
Type: New 🛍️
Source: Amazon
Page count: 29
Finished: 2/9/19

Ursula K Le Guin based this short thought experiment on the ideas of Fyodor Dostoyevsky and William James. In Omelas, everyone is happy…except for one child, who is locked away and lives in abject misery. All in Omelas accept that for the rest of the society to remain happy, the child must remain in misery. All, that is, except for those who walk away from Omelas.

Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few? …Or the one? What if the sacrifice were made by an adult instead of a child? What if instead of happiness, the choice were health instead? Would you walk away from Omelas? It’s an interesting thought and not so farfetched as one might think. I believe this is something that happens in our society daily, except, of course, it is not one child or one person, but instead, many who are less fortunate in some way so that others can be more fortunate. I believe there are degrees here - the situation can be a deliberately horrific one like the story, or perhaps in some cases, not a choice, but a natural situation that can be improved. On the horrible side, all of the attempted genocides in the last century spring to mind, for example. However, there are those who suffer from disease or illness, and because of that suffering, cures are developed so that others can be healthy. If, however, the pain or illness is inflicted upon one purposefully, instead of happening naturally – like Mengele’s experiments on the prisoners in Auschwitz – then the result is indeed atrocious regardless of the outcome. Of course, my words and thoughts don’t do this story justice – you must read it for yourself.

Feb 12, 12:31am Top

18. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

Original publication date: 2018
Genre: Mystery 🕵️
Format: Ebook 🖥️
Type: ARC 🎁
Source: NetGalley
Page count: 352
Challenge(s): British Book, Cloak and Dagger, For the Love of Ebooks, NetGalley, New Release, Popsugar, ReadHarder, You Read How Many Books
Finished: 2/10/19

After her divorce, Clare Cassidy, along with her daughter, Georgie, moves to West Sussex to take a teaching position at Talgarth High. One of Talgarth High’s buildings was formerly Holland House, the residence of RM Holland, author of The Stranger, a short story in the horror genre. Holland House is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of Holland’s wife, who threw herself from the balcony. Clare has become somewhat obsessed with RM Holland, teaching his story in her adult creative writing class and researching for a potential book about the author. Shortly before Halloween, Clare’s best friend, Ella is murdered. DS Harbinder Kaur, a former student at Talgarth, charged with the investigation, notices that Ella’s wounds are strangely like those of one of the victims in The Stranger. As Clare tries to come to terms with her grief, she pours her feelings into her diary but soon notices that another hand is writing messages to her in it. Could it be the killer reading her diary?

I’ve been a big fan of Elly Griffiths for several years, reading all of her Ruth Galloway series and her Stephens and Mephisto Magic Men series. The Stranger Diaries is her first stand-alone novel, and it is in a different style from both of her series works. The book is written from the multiple perspectives of Clare, her daughter, Georgie, and DS Kaur, including diary entries from both Clare and Georgie. It leans more toward the thriller side of the mystery genre although DS Kaur does an excellent job of detection. Griffiths’ writing flows smoothly and draws one into the story. I felt compelled to keep reading and finished the book in a day. The diary entries are a little distracting since both Clare and Georgie’s perspectives are written in the first person, interspersed with their diary entries. Obviously, the diary entries are an integral part of the story, but I didn’t feel that the entries integrated well with the first person narrative. However, the story worked as a whole, and I must admit to being surprised at the outcome.

I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Feb 12, 7:56am Top

>106 rretzler: I still haven't got to Ship of Destiny yet but perhaps I will pick up The Piebald Prince after that before starting The Tawny Man series.

>107 rretzler: Glad to hear you found Fitz less frustrating in Fool's Errand - that encourages me :-)

>126 rretzler: Oh I loved Paladin of Souls too - along with The Curse of Chalion that's one of my favourite fantasy novels.

Edited: Feb 12, 9:08am Top

>134 rretzler: The Griffiths sounds interesting. I've been bothered by the author's open derision and intoleration of Christianity in her Ruth Galloway series although otherwise I liked the setting/plot. I tried one of the Max & Mephisto mysteries but didn't care that much for it. I simply don't know if I want to read it or not.

Feb 12, 11:44pm Top

>135 souloftherose: Hi, Heather. After Ship of Destiny is a great time to read The Piebald Prince - its a quick read, too. Ship of Destiny was fantastic! I think I enjoyed the Liveship Traders series a little more than I did the Farseer Trilogy. The Tawny Man is looking like its going to be really good too!

>136 thornton37814: Hi, Lori. I actually think I like the Ruth Galloway series a little more than the new standalone, but I've enjoyed everything I've read by Elly Griffiths, though.

Feb 13, 4:15pm Top

>133 rretzler: looks fascinating

Feb 13, 10:34pm Top

Thanks for the great review of The Stranger Diaries . I've enjoyed several of her Ruth Galloway series, so this new standalone has caught my attention. I'll keep an eye out for it.

Feb 14, 8:41am Top

>138 The_Hibernator: Hi, Rachel. It was an interesting and thought-provoking read. My family gave me a subscription to The Great Courses Plus for Christmas, and I learned about the story in the Great Utopian and Dystopian Works of Literature course, which was itself fascinating.

>139 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. Thanks! I hope you enjoy it if you pick it up. I didn't like it as much as the Ruth Galloway series, but I did enjoy it. I appreciated the fact that while this one was more of a thriller, it wasn't as gratuitously "thrilling" as, for example, Gone Girl or similar books.

Feb 14, 1:35pm Top

Happy Valentine's Day!! ❤️💚💗💙

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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