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Roni Reads in 2019: Part 3

This is a continuation of the topic Roni Reads in 2019: Part 2.

This topic was continued by Roni Reads in 2019: Part 4.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Mar 17, 11:15pm Top

It's spring in San Diego and that means the ranunculi are blooming in the Flower Fields of Carlsbad!

Hi, I'm Roni. I live in San Diego with one husband, one small dog and way too many cats in a small bungalow with a garden and lots of books. I'm retired these days, after a long career as a school psychologist.

I've been a member of LT since 2008 and an active member of the 75 Book Challenge groups for that long as well. I read mostly in genre, science fiction and fantasy, but also try to read some nonfiction and mystery.

Welcome to my thread. I love visitors and promise to visit you back.

My final thread of 2018 is here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/298278

Edited: Apr 24, 8:59pm Top

Goals for 2018:

1. Read 150 books and 50,000 pages. I ended up reading 175 books and 58359 pages. 11/2 MET!!!
2. Read at least 40 books off my own bookshelves (BOMBs). I have 295 books tagged “tbr” and that does not count my new acquisitions this month. I only read 33 BOMBs this year, not meeting my goal of 40.
3. It looks like I have been averaging about 85 books acquired for the last 6 years, so I will keep the goal of acquiring no more than 85 books. currently at 62 books, so goal MET
I need to do better at de-accessioning books from my stash. I will set the goal of 50 books out the door once more. I only got rid of 49 books. So CLOSE! I feel like tossing one in the recycle bin just to make the numbers.

New Goals for 2019:

My goals generally stay pretty stable, and this year will be no exception.

1. Read 150 books and 50,000 pages.
2. Read at least 40 books off my own bookshelves (BOMBs).
3. Acquire no more than 80 books.
4. 50 books out the door once more. GOAL MET1


Nonfiction Challenge

January: Prizewinners (and Nominees!): These Truths by Jill Lapore (already reading for a group read)
February: Science and Technology: Innovations and Innovators
March: True Crime, Misdemeanors and Justice, Past and Present Day
April: Comfort Reads: Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper
May: History
June: The Pictures Have It!
July: Biography & First Person Yarns: Becoming by Michelle Obama
August: Raw Materials: Animal, Vegetable, Mineral
September: Books by Journalists
October: Other Worlds: From Spiritual to Fantastical
November: Creators and Creativity
December: I've Always Been Curious About...

SFFKit: https://www.librarything.com/topic/299184

January: Read an SFF you meant to read in 2018, but never started/completed: The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin
February: Colonization
March: Mystery/police procedural/detective Science Fiction or Fantasy
April: Sword & Sorcery: Swords Against Sorcery by Fritz Leiber
May: International Sci-Fi/Fantasy by Non-US/UK authors
June: Road-trip
July: Space Opera
August: Alternate History
September: Series
October: Comedy
November: Award Winners
December: End-of-the-Year Wrap Up

SeriesCAT: https://www.librarything.com/topic/298613#

January: Series in translation: The Griffin's Feather by Cornelia Funke https://www.librarything.com/topic/299976
February: YA/Children's: Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend
March: Series by a favorite author
April: Series You've Been Meaning to Get Back To
May: Newest book in a favorite series
June: Series that are definitely complete
July: Genre: fantasy
August: Series set in a country/region where you do not live
September: Genre: Mystery
October: Historical Series
November: Series with a female protagonist
December: Series that's new to you

TBR CAT: https://www.librarything.com/topic/298605

January: First in, last out - read one of the oldest members of your tbr: Robots and Empire by Isaac Asimov Done
February: A book you borrowed to read and still haven't got to
March: Book acquired on/for trips or for a special occasion
April: Book originally acquired for an LT group read or challenge: These Truths by Jill Lapore
May: Book that I keep looking at, but never manage to open
June: Book bullet (i.e. book suggested by someone else, not necessarily on LT)
July: Book by an author with more than one book on your TBR shelf
August: Book purchased with great excitement and with plans to read right away that is somehow still on my tbr a year later
September: Classics I feel I should read
October: Book purchased because of its visual appeal (striking cover or colors, beautiful edition, etc.)
November: Book given to me as a gift
December: A book I bought because it was so cheap (library sale, remainder table, etc)

Edited: May 7, 12:56am Top

Books Read in 2019

1. Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep
2. The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman
3. Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher
4. The Wonder Engine by T. Kingfisher
5. Swordheart by T. Kingfisher
6. Doorways in the Sand by Roger Zelazny
7. Robots and Empire by Isaac Asimov
8. The Griffin's Feather by Cornelia Funke
9. Knife Children by Lois McMaster Bujold

10. Cast in Oblivion by Michelle Sagara
11. Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch
12. The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
13. Darkness on his Bones by Barbara Hambly
14. Stars Uncharted by S. K. Dunstall
15. Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend
16. Beyond the Empire by K. B. Wagers
17. Last Friends by Jane Gardam
18. Witches Incorporated
19. In the Vanishers’ Palace

20. The Goblin Emperor
21. The Reluctant Widow
22. Bryony and Roses
23. These Old Shades
24. That Ain’t Witchcraft
25. The Dubious Hills
26. Pride, Prejudice and Jasmin Field
27. Devil’s Cub
28. Roar of Sky
29. Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows
30. The Secret Witch
31. The Exile and the Sorcerer
32. The Traitor and the Chalice
33. The Empress and the Acolyte
34. Quatrain
35. Year of the Griffin
36. A Bachelor Establishment
37. Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana White
38. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
39. Heartland by Sarah Smarsh
40. Snake Agent by Liz Williams
41. Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik
42. Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones
43. A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White

44. The Queen's Gambit by Jessie Mihalik
45. Alliance Rising by C. J. Cherryh
46. Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace
47. The Collected Kagan by Janet Kagan
48. The True Queen by Zen Cho
49. The Book of Boy by Catherine Murdock
50. Mirabile by Janet Kagan
51. The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
53. Swords Against Wizardry by Fritz Leiber
54. The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey
55. Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper
56. Agent of Change by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
57. Conflict of Honors by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
58. Plan B by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
59. I Dare! by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
60. Early Riser by Jasper Fforde

61. Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia McKillip
62. The Landlady by Diane Duane
63. The Thread That Binds the Bones by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Edited: Mar 17, 11:27pm Top

Books acquired in 2019

1. These Truths by Jill Lepore
2. Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher
3. The Wonder Engine by T. Kingfisher
4. Swordheart by T. Kingfisher
5. New Spring by Robert Jordan
6. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
7. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
8. Time's Shadow by Arnold Bauer
9. Consequences by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
10. The Queen of All Crows by Rod Duncan
11. Knife Children by Lois McMaster Bujold
12. Cast in Oblivion by Michelle Sagara
13. The Witches of London Trilogy by Alyxandra Harvey
14. Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J. M. Bergen
15. The Queen's Gambit by Jessie Mihalik
16. In the Vanisher's Palace by Aliette de Bodard
17. A Shift in Time by Lena Einhorn

At Home in Mitford
A Light in the Window
The High, Green Hills
Out to Canaan
The Great Hunt
That Ain’t Witchcraft
A Bachelor Establishment
Duplicate Effort

Edited: Mar 17, 11:22pm Top

And this year, with all the rain, our Anza Borrego desert is having a super bloom!

Edited: Mar 17, 11:27pm Top

Welcome to all my fellow readers. It's active for this time of day!

Mar 17, 11:21pm Top

Happy new thread!

Mar 17, 11:23pm Top

What a GORGEOUS new thread, Roni!
I look forward to your reading and reporting - and the crafts and the cats and anything else you choose to tell us about.

Mar 17, 11:25pm Top

Happy New Thread and what a gorgeous topper! Beautiful! Spring has sprung here, but not to that extent!

Mar 17, 11:33pm Top

Hi, foggi, Peggy and Deb, and welcome again.

Book #36 A Bachelor Establishment by Isabella Barclay (207 pp.)

Lucy just listened to this book and enjoyed it, so I downloaded the sample and at the end of it, purchased the entire book for my Kindle. It is a Regency romance, with all that entails, but imho come the closest I have seen to a Heyer in the repartee, ridiculous situations, side characters, and overall fun that it generates. Barclay is the alter ego of Jodi Taylor of time traveling book fame and she really does an excellent job here.

Mar 18, 1:52am Top

Happy new thread, Roni!

(>1 ronincats: Wait - aren't ranunculi buttercups? It's been a while since I did biology.)

>5 ronincats: Luscious!

Mar 18, 2:26am Top

>1 ronincats: Delightful topper! Happy new thread!

Mar 18, 7:35am Top

Happy new and cheerful thread!

Mar 18, 7:44am Top

Happy new thread, and such lovely flowers! We're still waiting for them here; we had 50 and 60 degree temps mid-week, then we had snow fall again yesterday. Those of us who aren't sick are desperately trying to avoid those who are. But at least the warmup melted the ice on the pond and we can now see our goldfish and koi.

Mar 18, 7:57am Top

Happy new thread, Roni, and gorgeous pics of the flowers and desert!

Mar 18, 8:36am Top

Happy new thread! All those flowers are gorgeous!

Mar 18, 8:54am Top

Happy New Thread, Roni! What Dr. Jim said - those photos of spring flowers in your area are beautiful.

Mar 18, 9:35am Top

>10 ronincats: Hmm, I may have to try to get my hands on that one.

Mar 18, 9:48am Top

Lovely colours of spring in Southern California, Roni.

Happy new thread, my dear lady.

Mar 18, 11:27am Top

Amazing flowers, Roni. I have never heard of ranunculi before. Happy new thread!

Mar 18, 11:27am Top

Happy new thread, Roni. Are those current photos of the flower fields and desert? If so I need to go and get in the car!!

Mar 18, 11:48am Top

Happy New Thread, Roni!

I can't tell you how much I love the photos of the flowers. The snow is just beginning to melt here, which means the season of mud can't be far.

Edited: Mar 18, 1:03pm Top

Welcome, Nina, Susan, figs, Cassie, Katie, Jim, Joe, foggi, Paul, Meg, Reba and Janet!

Nina, yes, ranunculi are in the buttercup family.

Reba, the desert picture is from 5 days ago, according to the source. The flower field picture is from last year; the site says they have blooms but full bloom won't be until April.

Had a deliciously decadent rest day yesterday, so today need to get chores done around the house.

I've been reading from the ebook The collected Kagan and greatly enjoying it. Just finished the novella "Fighting Words" and loved it!

Mar 18, 4:08pm Top

>1 ronincats: Lovely topper picture Roni!

Mar 18, 6:11pm Top

>5 ronincats: I thought your OP was gorgeous, but WOW.

Mar 18, 7:02pm Top

Happy new thread! I like the sound of the Heyer-esque book, but my TBR pile is already tottering and one more book might send it spilling all over the floor! Another time perhaps.

Mar 18, 9:47pm Top

Thank you and welcome, Rhian, fuzzi and Hannah.

Book #37 Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana White (240 pp.)

I really enjoyed White's book How to Manage your Home Without Losing your Mind last year, and when this popped up on Amazon Prime as a book free to borrow, I downloaded it on my Kindle. I started the first chapter to see if it was that much different from the other, and ended up reading the book straight through. Yes, this book focuses solely on decluttering, a narrower topic, but it is just as practical and powerful as the other book. I've done a lot of decluttering this year, but this inspires me to continue and even (gasp!) tackle the attic.

Mar 18, 11:10pm Top

Happy new thread, Roni. I LOVE the topper and the desert photos. I am ready for spring.

Mar 19, 12:17am Top

>27 ronincats: I really should read that book. I've spent 3 days searching for something I'm pretty sure I saw mid-January.....

Edited: Mar 19, 12:11pm Top

>27 ronincats: I glance up and my eyes meet .... well, I’m pretty sure I need that book too. (But do I have the will power to go through with all that?)

Mar 19, 2:00am Top

RONI-- (See? I got it right this time!) Happy new thread. I absolutely love your topper and the beautiful blooms in >5 ronincats:. Breathtaking. And I am on a decluttering tear myself, so I appreciate Book #37 (37 already!!).

Mar 19, 10:44am Top

Good morning, Roni. Beautiful flowers! I read this morning that some of those areas had to be closed because of a selfie invasion. *sigh*

Mar 19, 11:59am Top

>23 ronincats: Good, because I don't really have time for a road trip right now. BFF and I are going to walk in Mission Trails next week. I'm hoping there will be lots of flowers there. Maybe we can get up to the flower fields next month. I've been in S.D. for 33 years and never been :(

Edited: Mar 19, 2:58pm Top

>28 BLBera: Oh Beth, I am so sure you are!!
>29 quondame: Less stuff = more efficiency. She is good.
>30 humouress: That's the joy here. At the speed of life means in 5 minute segments, if that's what you have, without leaving the situation worse than when you started.
>31 Berly: Hi, Kim. You've been SO busy--good to see you here.
>32 AMQS: Hi, Anne. Yes, up around Lake Elsinore, the california poppies are in full bloom on the hillsides and it is gorgeous (news teams covering it with video). But that's about 100 miles north of here.
>33 RebaRelishesReading: They were showing video of Mission Trails on the news last night and yes, there are flowers, Reba!

So, my sister returned a box of books I had sent her when I finished them, and I am getting ready to take 8 of them to the PO for PaperBackSwap in a few. There are 2 more requested, but they haven't verified yet, drat it.

And a favorite series has the first three books in an ebook package for $4.99 on all the ebook platforms. Here's the Ammy link.

This is a fantasy series set in a futuristic Singapore where a detective has to mediate between Hell and Heaven in the process of solving crimes. There are 5 in all.

ETA an Asiatic Hell and Heaven, to clarify.

Edited: Mar 19, 5:01pm Top

I'm a fan of those spring pictures too: reminded me of going to see the flowers in Namaqualand which I guess in a similar way just come out very briefly, but are just a carpet of lovely colours.

Mar 19, 6:30pm Top

Happy new hread, Roni!

>1 ronincats: Lovely picture with ranunculi in so many colors.

>5 ronincats: That is a desert? You could have fooled me ;-)

Mar 19, 10:22pm Top

>35 charl08: Very similar in their transience, Charlotte, especially for the desert photo.
>36 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita. That is a desert after a winter with an unusual amount of rain, what they call a super-bloom.

Home again after visits to the Post Office (yes, to mail off 8 books to PBS recipients), Costco, and a stop by the library to pick up 6 holds. I returned 3 books, Roar of Sky, Pride, Prejudice and Jasmin Field and the unread The Poppy War following two unfavorable reviews here on LT. So Heartland is the only book I still had out and I am nearly done with it.

So what came home with me? I am rereading Sorcerer to the Crown first, because The True Queen is on its way from another branch. Waiting to be read are the new Ann Leckie, The Raven Tower; the new Cherryh Alliance Rising; two Hugo nominees A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe and Polaris Rising, and The Book of Boy.

Mar 19, 10:25pm Top

Looking forward to your thoughts on Heartland, Roni.

Edited: Mar 19, 11:57pm Top

>34 ronincats: Hmm; tempted because of Singapore. Not sure because it’s futuristic. Doesn’t ring a bell...

>37 ronincats: Whereas in Singapore, where it’s alway raining we usually have a few flowers all the time; but the year that it didn’t rain for a month, when it finally did, we had an absolute riot of blooms. My tricolour frangipani finally it put out more than just a handful of inflorescences and showed it’s full glory - and, fortunately, has done ever since.

Edited: Mar 20, 10:22am Top

Wow, what a beautiful photograph.

And I am so glad you loved A Bachelor Establishment too -- she should forget the other series and write more of these!

How does Cherryh write so much??!! And so much of it, so good!

Mar 20, 11:14am Top

Hi Roni. Your flower pictures are so beautiful. We are still waiting for our daffodils to bloom here. Spring is officially here as of later today, but the spring flowers are late.

I loved your colorful last thread. I don’t think I commented but I love your hair and pictures of your roses. Also the cat pictures and pottery. So sad about the loss of your Zoe. I have to stop lurking and make a few comments from time to time.

Mar 20, 11:30am Top

Happy new thread, Roni.
I love the pictures, when I see the colours I will never complain about rain.
Spring is coming, yay!

Mar 20, 11:47am Top

>38 katiekrug: I definitely have some, Katie, so you will hear them when I finish.
>39 humouress: You've got an e-book reader, right, Nina? Download the free sample and see what you think. I think you'd like it.
>40 sibyx: She really did a good job with it, Lucy. And Cherryh has a co-writer on this one, and I hear it hasn't affected the quality.
>41 Donna828: Hi, Donna. Always good to see you when you speak up.

Book #38 Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho (373 pp.)

As I mentioned above, this is a reread to prepare for Cho's second book, which is on order at the library and I am first in line. On the second reading, I was more comfortable with the book realizing that, despite the title, Prunella gets equal attention as a protagonist and anticipating the pacing issues. I'm looking forward to seeing if Cho has improved her writing in the second book.

Mar 20, 6:53pm Top

>40 sibyx: >43 ronincats: I read Alliance Rising, and don't see where CJ Cherryh ended and Jane Fancher began. Definitely recommended, especially if you like CJ!

More, more, write more!

Mar 21, 12:48am Top

Hi Roni, what a beautiful opening picture. We are finally seeing the flowers pop out everywhere since we have had a couple of really warm, sunny days. It's so nice to see some color.

Mar 21, 1:36am Top

happy new thread!

Mar 21, 6:20pm Top

Happy new thread, Roni! I love the flower pics.

Mar 21, 7:19pm Top

>44 fuzzi: Yes, yours was one of the reviews I paid attention to, fuzzi.
>45 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Glad you are finally getting some nice weather.
>46 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle.
>47 karenmarie: Thank you, Karen.

So, today was pottery day and the first day I was at the studio to work in 3 weeks. But since I did make a quick trip to pick up my finished pieces last week, I didn't have anything to bring home today. But I do have pictures of what i was working on today!

I spent most of today glazing the two plates. I had drawn the designs in stain/wax yesterday at home and painted on the glaze today. I also glazed the three small bowls and one of the cats (the one on the left) today, and drew a design on the smaller mug. I brought the larger cup and the other cat, along with two other pieces, home to draw designs on before next week. That step takes so much time that it really cuts into my studio time if I wait and do it there, and it can as easily (if not more so) be done at home. Then I went to work on a commissioned piece:

It will take a couple of weeks to dry, and I forgot to drape it in plastic when I left today and hopefully it will not be a fatal error since the air is so moist, but if it's not what you like, Reba, let me know because I can certainly make another. The body of the rolling pin is 10 inches, for scale.

Mar 22, 6:02am Top

>5 ronincats: That picture of the desert looks beautiful. I would love to see it looking like that.

Mar 22, 12:08pm Top

>48 ronincats: I LOVE IT!!!! It's perfect!

Mar 22, 2:01pm Top

I finished reading Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire and found that this book started strong but just ran out of gas. I think it should have been about 75 pages shorter than it was. It would have made a fine novella, but it just got boring towards the end.

I am switching to catching up on some other books in the next two weeks so won't be reading much fiction or fantasy.

I want to read A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe soon. I think the second in that series is already out and I want to read that as well. Just checked and A Bad Deal for the Whole Galaxy was out on December 18. I need to get to these soon.

Mar 23, 1:20am Top

>48 ronincats: Did you cast/ throw those? They look so different when they're 'naked'.

I like what you're making for Reba. It's so pretty - but what is it? It looks like a sconce or a vase, but (at the moment) it won't be able to stand by itself.

Mar 23, 1:26am Top

>48 ronincats: Can't wait to see how this one turns out. What's it for?

Mar 23, 12:16pm Top

>52 humouress:, >53 Berly: It is a vase to hang on the wall on the porch of our Chautauqua house. I always usually keep gladiolas (sorry, Roni, I had a senior moment when I told you what flowers were to go in there) on the porch and I think a wall vase would look really cool...so I asked Roni to see what she could do. Isn't it just perfect?

Mar 23, 1:30pm Top

Score for Reba and Kudos to Roni!

Mar 23, 1:42pm Top

Happy new thread! and your pottery is lovely.

Mar 23, 9:06pm Top

Wall pockets for flowers were quite popular back in the day. There are lots of Czech pottery ones in the collections of friends and neighbors back home. It is fun to see a new rendition of one. And that it is destined for Chautauqua is so cool!

Mar 24, 5:02am Top

Mar 24, 3:02pm Top

>1 ronincats: Oh my goodness, is that real????

>48 ronincats: I love this new path your pottery is taking, Roni. Such lovely work.
I know I've been talking about my urge toward something creative lately, have been acquiring journals and pens, sketch pads and pencils, and a couple of books on drawing for beginners. I still know I'd like to get my hands into some pottery work but that may have to wait until I retire. 41 months to go (but who's counting?). Ha.

Mar 24, 3:49pm Top

>49 sirfurboy: It is not your typical desert photo, Stephen! And while there is always some bloom in the spring after the winter rains, this is definitely a SUPERbloom this year.
>50 RebaRelishesReading: Yippee!
>51 benitastrnad: I loved Sparrow Hill Road and its sequel--just love the world-building there.
>52 humouress: Yes, I threw everything but the cats and the wall vase, Nina. Those are obviously hand-built. And Reba answered your question and Kim's (>53 Berly:) in >54 RebaRelishesReading:.
>55 LizzieD: Thanks, Peggy.
>56 banjo123: Thank you, Rhonda.
>57 benitastrnad:, >58 humouress: Let's all hope that it survives the whole process!!
>59 EBT1002: Quite real, Ellen. This photo is from last year, but we will go up to Carlsbad in April and I'll take pictures then. And thank you. I still use the jewelry pliers you sent me and still have some of the beads. I hope you can find a creative outlet that satisfies you--but you may have to wait until work slows down a bit!

Mar 24, 4:02pm Top

Book #39 Heartland: A memoir of working hard and being broke in the richest country on earth by Sarah Smarsh (290 pp.)

I had a very personal reaction to this memoir, one that perhaps only Benita of all of you can relate to. I felt in many ways that the author’s journey was similar to mine a generation earlier. Kansas—yes, just a hundred miles from where I came up. German Catholic farming family—check. First to go to college—check. Work hard at school to make sure I could pay for college because my family couldn’t—check. But there were also major differences. My family history was much more stable than hers, with her history of young single mothers over several generations. There was much less violence, which in her case mostly accrued to those young mothers. I had much more stability, growing up in the same home and schools in my childhood, and my family valued education much more than hers, both my parents being intelligent but frustrated in their desire for higher education and imbuing me from toddlerhood with the goal of Kansas University (and the need for scholarships)—oldest child, can you tell? And her base families actually had quite a bit more money and possessions than mine. Grandpa Arnie still had the 160 acres of homesteaded property and loads of machinery—my grandpa had disposed of his and Dad only had 5 acres around the house and sharecropped farms until all the old people died off and their children didn’t want him any more. In her family, the women all worked; my mom didn’t work until I went off to college and both my younger siblings were old enough to be fairly independent. Still, I have to agree with her basic premise that there is classism in the US and that it can be pervasive and pernicious and largely unrecognized. Definitely an interesting book.

Book #40 Snake Agent by Liz Williams (412 pp.)

This reread was to celebrate picking up the first three books of the series as a Kindle bundle. I very much enjoy this fantasy set in Singapore 3 with its diplomatic relations with a Chinese Heaven and Hell as Inspector Chen seeks to solve a murder mystery where the murdered girl's shade ends up in Hell instead of Heaven where it was supposed to go.

Book #41 Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik (431 pp.)

This is science fiction of an increasingly common type; female kickass protagonist on the run meets up with sexy bad boy and they team up to outwit their enemies as they careen around the universe. That is not to say that this is not entertaining or interesting world-building, but come on now, THREE explicit sex scenes? One is more than enough. More action than character development, in all senses of the word. I got this from the library on the basis of Tor's summary of books coming out in February. I'm not sure that I'll continue with the series.

Mar 24, 4:22pm Top

>61 ronincats: - Thanks for sharing those comments on Heartland, Roni. I thought her take on classism and geographic-ism (not a word, but you know...) was interesting, especially the focus on a female perspective.

Edited: Mar 24, 4:32pm Top

Re: Alliance Rising. I must admit, I've been neglecting the Alliance/Union series in favour of the Foreigner series for the past few years, but I love A/U too! I read Cyteen last, what a book that was! I have Forty Thousand in Gehenna knocking around, but I'm not sure where I go after that. I think in that series reading in a particular order isn't that crucial though.
I'm intrigued by the co-author aspect. Why did she decide to do that, I wonder? Just because of age and finding it a tougher job than before, or was there a creative reason? I adore Cherryh and don't like the idea of her slowing down, but it's inevitable I suppose...

Mar 24, 4:50pm Top

>63 HanGerg: I think co-authoring with Jane S. Fancher is an almost inevitable result of their partnership. I enjoyed Cyteen and Regenesis but my favorites are mostly those that take place on the Alliance family ships plus Rimrunner which is sort of a dark mirror of those.

Edited: Mar 24, 7:00pm Top

I bought Heartland when it first came out, but I have not read it yet. Other books keep calling to me in much more insistent voices.

However, the Brownback years in Kansas have so damaged the higher education system in the state I am beginning to wonder how anybody from Kansas will go to college in the future.

Edited: Mar 25, 6:03pm Top

>60 ronincats: 'Yes, I threw everything but the cats and the wall vase ...'

I had to think about that for a second. In fact, my first impression was cats flying at the wall.

Mar 25, 10:46am Top

Adding to the chorus about the spectacular superbloom photos at the top. And I always enjoy your pottery pictures. Very interesting to see the works in progress.

Mar 25, 5:10pm Top

Heartland goes on the list, Roni. It sounds thought provoking.

Mar 26, 10:23am Top

>63 HanGerg: >64 quondame: I've neglected the Foreigner series, only reading the first three...lots of catching up to do.

I love finding other people who appreciate CJ Cherryh, and Rimrunners is one of her books that I have read several times. Finity's End and Merchanter's Luck are in the same universe and get reread by me every couple of years....oh, along with the Chanur and Morgaine series!

I read Forty Thousand in Gehenna a while back, and though I enjoyed it I've never felt a desire to reread. It's on my shelves in case I change my mind, though...

Mar 26, 12:15pm Top

>69 fuzzi: Forty Thousand in Gehenna is really the only book in which Cherryh gets to play with the idea of the programed mind set and the effect it has over generations on the society that develops. Most of her other books in the latter - though written earlier - 'Alliance/Union' universe, like Serpents Reach or Brothers of Earth are pretty much more generic sf with an alternate species angle.

Mar 26, 1:11pm Top

I have pre-ordered as you so kindly tempted me into doing. A dear and sweet gesture to a poor (in all senses of the word) old (and feeling it!) pal (?).

I can breathe out of both nostrils, haven't hacked a lung up yet, and almost hear without greatly increased volume. Oh yay, I'm well.

Still not going outside. The temptation is great...50° and sunshiney...but the word "relapse" cycles through my brain as I put on socks, and everything stops for tea as the old song has it. Very old song, I looked it up and it's from 1935! You were in college about then, IIRC....

Mar 26, 3:48pm Top

Belated happy new thread Roni!

>43 ronincats: I enjoyed Sorcerer to the Crown more on a second read too. I just finished (this morning) The True Queen and really enjoyed it.

>48 ronincats: The cat plates look cute :-)

Mar 27, 9:35am Top

>71 richardderus: YOU GET BETTER...Y'HEAR????

I had another old one going through my head this morning, "Thanks for the Memories" aka "Thanks for the Memory" from 1938...whew.

Mar 27, 8:49pm Top

>62 katiekrug: But she completely ignored another issue, Katie. I grant you she was smart and worked hard, but she is also very physically attractive. I wonder what someone in her place who was not so attractive would have accomplished. Note: I am not suggesting she deliberatively made use of her looks to get places, only that there is an undeniable documented bias toward physically attractive people.

>63 HanGerg: I refer you to Susan's response (>64 quondame:) because I have no idea, Hannah.

>64 quondame: Thanks for chiming in, Susan.

>65 benitastrnad: Good point, Benita.

>66 humouress: Ha-ha, Nina! I love having a hobby where I get to throw pots.

>67 justchris: Hi, Chris, and thanks for stopping by.

>68 BLBera: It is, Beth.

>69 fuzzi: I read Forty Thousand in Gehenna long before I read any of her Cyteen books, fuzzi, and I don't remember any of it except that I remember being blown away by it back in the mid-80s. Now that I have finally read Cyteen, I want to reread it.

>70 quondame: See above, Susan.

>71 richardderus: *choke* Good thing I wasn't drinking anything when I read your message, Richard. Yes, I am old enough to be your grandmother, evidently.

>72 souloftherose: I'm waiting for the library to finish processing The True Queen, and I think I'm first in line.

>73 fuzzi: Yep, my vintage for sure.

Mar 27, 9:09pm Top

Book #42 Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones (295 pp.)

Mary (bell7) put this on my wishlist, but Cassie (cassiebash) motivated me to check it out of the library after she read it earlier this year.

The year is 1818, the city is London, and 16-year-old Annis Whitworth has just learned that her father is dead and all his money is missing. And so, of course, she decides to become a spy. ?? Annis always suspected that her father was himself a spy, and following in his footsteps to unmask his killer makes perfect sense. Alas, it does not make sense to England's current spymasters-not even when Annis reveals that she has the rare magical ability to sew glamours: garments that can disguise the wearer completely. ?? Well, if the spies are too pigheaded to take on a young woman of quality, then Annis will take them on. And so she crafts a new double life for herself. Miss Annis Whitworth will appear to live a quiet life in a country cottage with her aunt, and Annis-in-disguise as Madame Martine, glamour artist, will open a magical dressmaking shop. That way she can earn a living, maintain her social standing, and, in her spare time, follow the coded clues her father left behind and unmask his killer. ?? It can't be any harder than navigating the London social season, can it?.

This was slightly improbable but so much fun that I was glad to ignore that and concentrate on the shenanigans. Would be a delightful beach read.

Mar 28, 12:08am Top

Hi, Roni!
I can't keep up, but at least I can sign in so you'll know you're loved!
I love Alliance/Union, but since I've read them once, I've been concentrating on *Foreigners*. Long may Ms. Cherryh flourish!

Mar 28, 8:24am Top

>75 ronincats: so glad you enjoyed that one! I'd kind of been hoping for a sequel, but apparently not (yet, anyway).

Mar 28, 8:53am Top

>75 ronincats: Glad you enjoyed it, too. "Improbable" but "delightful" certainly does sum it up nicely!

Mar 28, 4:43pm Top

>76 LizzieD: ((((Peggy))))
>77 bell7:, >78 CassieBash: And thanks again to both of you for finding it for me!

Well, if you remember the unglazed pieces in >48 ronincats:, here is what 6 of them look like now!

Mar 28, 5:34pm Top

>79 ronincats: love those colors.

Mar 28, 7:15pm Top

>79 ronincats: More cats!

Mar 28, 9:31pm Top

Hi Roni, just a quick visit to catch up. Those cat plates are cute and did you do the little cat statue as well? I like him. April is going to be a big fantasy month for me as I am taking part in the three month group read of "Lord of the Rings", I also am planning on reading Legend by David Gemmell.

Mar 28, 10:03pm Top

>75 ronincats: Thanks, this is a BB for sure!
Sounds idiotically overdoing it, but I placed my ninth library hold by requesting this novel. It's perfect for me while I get over a head cold.

Mar 29, 8:38am Top

Mar 29, 1:13pm Top

The photo in >79 ronincats: didn't do justice to the blue plate, so here's another shot.

Mar 29, 2:01pm Top

Mar 29, 2:47pm Top

>85 ronincats: It's beautiful. The close-up is much nicer!

Mar 29, 9:09pm Top

>79 ronincats: Love the cat plates! They came out great.

Edited: Mar 29, 10:20pm Top

I started reading the newest Rachel Hartman book - Tess of the Road. It has started out well and as soon as I get done listening to my current book I am going to check out the sound recording and listen to this one. I listened to the first two and they were great recorded books. I am sure this one will be of the same quality.

Mar 29, 10:54pm Top

>80 fuzzi: Thank you, fuzzi. The hardest part is figuring out how given glazes are going to come out on this clay and design.
>81 thornton37814: Well, that IS my specialty, Lori. ;-)
>82 DeltaQueen50: Where's the link to the group read, Judy? Not that I need to add that many pages given my holds at the library, but it has been several years since I did a reread...
>83 SandyAMcPherson: It will indeed be perfect, Sandy, but I hope you are feeling better soon.
>84 CassieBash: Thanks, Cassie.
>86 fuzzi: ::B>D::
>87 thornton37814: Yes, I thought the lighting was poor on the other shot for this plate.
>88 bell7: Thanks, Mary.
>89 benitastrnad: I read Seraphina, Benita, but haven't gotten to the other two yet.

Watching basketball yesterday and today, even though my team is out of the running. Not much reading happening.

Mar 29, 11:16pm Top

Doggone it Auburn is still in it. Can say bug out SEC? Go play football.

Mar 29, 11:38pm Top

>91 benitastrnad: I could weep. I really could.
>85 ronincats: I loved that cat plate anyway, and the better lighting makes it even more desirable!
Hi, (((((Roni)))))!

Mar 30, 3:00pm Top

I see you found the Lord of the Rings thread, Roni, glad to have you aboard. I have read The Hobbit a couple of times but this will be my first time reading the three volumes that make up TLOTR.

Mar 31, 11:03am Top

Love the cat plate and the cat statue, Roni. Have a wonderful Sunday!

Mar 31, 1:09pm Top

Just dropping by to say "hey." Love your kitty pottery! Do you take requests? :)

Edited: Mar 31, 2:56pm Top

>91 benitastrnad: Actually, since it was Auburn who beat my KU, I don't mind that they are still going. It's less embarrassing. And I'd just as soon they take out fellow SEC team Kentucky.
>92 LizzieD: ((((Peggy))))
>93 DeltaQueen50: Yup, it's been way too long, Judy. I like the LOTR a lot more than The Hobbit, which I did reread before the first movie came out about 5 years ago.
>94 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. Hope you have a good one too.
>95 hairballsrus: I have been known to, Paula, but be aware that shipping and insurance usually run as much as the piece itself!

The Japanese Friendship Garden at Balboa Park yesterday. The cherry trees are not quite in full bloom yet.

Book #43 A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White (447 pp.)

This is the second book now where I thought I had gotten the book from the library because it was on the Nebula nominee list, and wondered why it was there, then realized I'd gotten the title from another source. This is science fiction with magic, space opera adventure other than the magic. It was okay, adequately done, but never really pulled me in.

Edited: Mar 31, 2:25pm Top

March Summary

Books read: 24
Pages read: 8320
Average pages per day: 268
Average pages per book: 347

New reads: 18
Rereads: 6
Library books: 8
Books off the shelf (ROOTS): 4
New acquisitions read: 2/5
Did Not Finish (DNF): 0

science fiction 2
fantasy 15
nonfiction 2
fiction 0
romance 5
mystery 0

Author gender: 22 female, 2 male

Country of origin: 11-USA, 8-England, Wales, Australia, 1-Canada, 1-France, Germany, South Africa, 1-Malaysia

Medium: 8-Kindle, 4-Hardback, 8-trade paper, 4-mass market paper

Books acquired: 5
Source: 3-Amazon; 0-Goodwill; 0-Mysterious Galaxy; 1-PBS; 1-Early Reviewers
Read: 2
Genre: 1-science fiction, 1-fantasy, 1-nonfiction, 1-fiction, 1-romance
Cost: $12.45

Books out the door: none

It's amazing what having a cold and staying home and in bed can do for one's numbers; these are double my February numbers!

Mar 31, 2:34pm Top

First Quarter of 2019 Summary

Books read: 43
Pages read: 15116
Average pages per day: 168
Average pages per book: 352

New reads: 37
Rereads: 6
Library books: 18
Books off the shelf (ROOTS): 8
New acquisitions read: 2/5
Did Not Finish (DNF): 0

science fiction 7
fantasy 28
children's 2
nonfiction 2
fiction 1
romance 5
mystery 0

Author gender: 38 female, 5 male

Books acquired: 27
Source: 3-Amazon; 0-Goodwill; 0-Mysterious Galaxy; 1-PBS; 1-Early Reviewers
Read: 10
Genre: 2-science fiction, 12-fantasy, 1-childrens, 4-nonfiction, 7-fiction, 1-romance
Cost: $94.17

Books out the door: 104

Mar 31, 4:45pm Top

>96 ronincats: Oh how lovely! I was really taken with the garden when I visited. Nice place to read.

Apr 1, 7:04am Top

>97 ronincats: March was well spend reading, Roni!
I always love to see the monthly statistics.

Apr 1, 12:13pm Top

>96 ronincats: nice photo of the Japanese Garden. I'll be the cherry trees will be spectacular when they get into full bloom. I hiked at Mission Trails last Tuesday and the poppies on the hillside were amazing -- far away, but amazing!!

Apr 1, 5:31pm Top

I have had Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe on my reading list for awhile. Sorry to find that it wasn't a big hit with you. Now I have to read it - to see if I like it or not.

Apr 2, 9:27am Top

Hi Roni and happy new thread (well, at least for me since I've been pretty much out of message-commission for two weeks!)

Your YTD statistics are impressive, even if being sick contributed so mightily.

Your pottery is gorgeous and I'm intrigued to see how the wall vase/wall pocket will turn out.

Apr 2, 2:37pm Top

>99 charl08: Glad you got to see it when you were here, Charlotte.
>100 FAMeulstee: They are fun, Anita. I love to see them on other's threads.
>101 RebaRelishesReading: Any photos, Reba?
>102 benitastrnad: It wasn't bad, just not that good.
>103 karenmarie: Hi, Karen, and thanks.

So the Hugo Award nominations are out. There are too many to copy, so here is a link:


I am amazed that I have read all but one of the novellas nominated, thanks to ebooks. Only 2 of the novels, though.

Apr 2, 2:42pm Top

Book #44 The Queen's Gambit by Jessie Mihalik (159 pp.)

After I finished Polaris Rising from the library, I realized I had downloaded this onto my Kindle earlier this year. It's a novella, a quick read. Like the other book, the action is non-stop, the character development minimal, and the heroine's survival improbable, but what the hey, this is space opera and her intentions are pure--mostly.

Apr 2, 3:43pm Top

>104 ronincats: Somehow I thought I had replied to the photo question...guess I forgot to post it lol. I did take photos but they don't show much. Thee were a lot of poppies but they were on hillsides and far enough away that they just didn't photograph well, just made big swathes of orange on the side of the hill.

Apr 2, 4:46pm Top

Vonda McIntyre died yesterday of pancreatic cancer. Here's an article about her: https://www.tor.com/2019/04/02/vonda-n-mcintyre-1948-2019/#more-446441

I never read her Star Trek novels but Dreamsnake was a classic and I enjoyed her Starfarers quartet.

Apr 2, 11:30pm Top

Oh no. I'm sorry to lose Vonda McIntyre. I loved her when I first began to read scifi/fantasy. I could reread Dreamsnake happily at any time, I think.
Thanks for your link to the Hugo nominees. I'm interested only in the novels, so I'll post those on my thread and do some exploring. I did love *Spaceborn Few*.....Becky Chambers is here to stay!

Apr 4, 8:05pm Top

>106 RebaRelishesReading: You responded over on your own thread, Reba, where I asked the same question!
>107 ronincats: While I have 7 of McIntyre's books in my library, I don't have Dreamsnake, even though it was the first I read. Maybe the copy fell apart.

Here's what was blooming in my yard today.

Apr 4, 8:19pm Top

Beautiful! We have azaleas in full splendor here, and the trees are leafing out. Roses will wait for warmer weather!

Apr 5, 10:54am Top

>109 ronincats: LOL -- nice to know where that response went :)

Apr 5, 1:46pm Top

>110 fuzzi: Roses have been out for a while, but the neighborhood bushes are in full bloom now.
>111 RebaRelishesReading: Indeed! Your plant pocket is still drying at the studio--it needs to be full dried out before going in the kiln for the bisque firing. So still at least 4 weeks out. When do you leave?

Ann Leckie's new book, The Raven Tower, is on sale for Kindle for $2.99, which seems very reasonable to me. I actually have it home from the library, but may not have time to finish before it is due in 4 days and 7 people are waiting for it. Having on my Kindle takes the pressure off. The reason I won't finish is that I'm currently working on Alliance Rising, the new Cherryh. It's classic Cherryh, good as ever, but as twisty and involved as ever too, and so not a quick read. It's also due in 4 days.

Apr 5, 1:54pm Top

>109 ronincats: Beautiful, Roni!
We will have to wait for the roses, first the tulips, next month the roses.

Apr 5, 2:02pm Top

>112 ronincats: I bought The Raven Tower today too :) I had it on hold, but as you say, this takes the pressure off! I'm a sucker for those Kindle deals...

Apr 5, 3:57pm Top

>105 ronincats:, years and years ago, I read The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis. I remember it as a psychologically emotional journey of one of the few female chess grandmasters in the world (such misogynistic nomenclature says it all, about chess).

I observed on the TIOLI thread (Take It or Leave It Challenge) that novels seem to recycle titles rather too frequently, which perhaps explains why I often see the wrong touchstone. Took me awhile to figure out that unless I type the author first and then put square brackets around the title, I'm likely to snag the wrong book. The Thief was like that when I wanted Megan Whalen Turner's book.

Apr 5, 6:13pm Top

>107 ronincats: Sorry to hear about Vonda McIntyre. I too am an aficioado of Dreamsnake and was quite chuffed to discover the semirelated The Exile Waiting many years later at Powell's on one of my rare visits to Portland. Not as good as Dreamsnake, but nice to revisit that world. I also really love Superluminal. Never read the Trek or Starfarer books.

>104 ronincats: Thanks for sharing the Hugo finalists, Roni.

Apr 5, 9:06pm Top

>109 ronincats: What a gorgeous rose, Roni. I also enjoyed seeing the before and after pictures of the cat plates upthread. Very cool that you are doing a special order vase for Reba. I look forward to seeing the finished product.

We don't share many of the same books, but I do love the visuals on your thread…and I will be eternally grateful for your recommendation years ago of The Vorkosigan Saga. I am just sad that I've read all of them.

Apr 5, 10:08pm Top

Gorgeous rose, Roni. We are still at the flowering trees and bulbs stage of spring but it's nice to see some color when I go for my walks.

Apr 5, 11:12pm Top

Oh, lovely rose! (I was thinking of, "Go, lovely rose. Tell her who wastes her time and me...." I can't remember who wrote it. Oh well.)
I'm another who snagged the Leckie fantasy. I don't know when I'll get to it, but I feel good with it safely on my Kindle.
I envy your reading the Cherryh already. I'll get to it for sure. I have the next *Foreigner* pulled but haven't started it.
Happy Weekend!!!

Apr 5, 11:24pm Top

>109 ronincats: Lovely!

Regarding my creative outlet, thank you for your kind words. I'm doing some research about art classes in the area, finding some promising leads for the summer. I'm also planning to buy some appropriately-sized card stock when I'm in Seattle the week after next: I'm going to make some bookmarks. I mean, it makes sense, right> *grin*

Apr 6, 2:04pm Top

>112 ronincats: How exciting! We leave May 24 so we have the four weeks. Want to set lunch for sometime between May 6 and 21?

Edited: Apr 7, 10:11am Top

I love love love your cat plates and themed items. You are on to something big!

And the Big Ship went on my WL -- sounds like a perfect audio listen and I'm always hunting for good 'uns.

>107 ronincats: Sad. I also loved Dreamsnake. Could happily reread.

Nothing is blooming in my yard. It's more about watching the huge snowpiles get smaller.

Apr 7, 12:42pm Top

>113 FAMeulstee: At least you know the blooms are coming, Anita!
>114 curioussquared: I only try to buy ones I'm pretty sure I will want to reread some day, Natalie, and so far Leckie has been in that category.
>115 SandyAMcPherson: That WAS the first choice to come up when I clicked on (other) in the touchstone column, Sandy, but luckily the right choice was number 2 so it wasn't too hard to find it and click it. Sometimes there are dozens of choices and you have to scroll way down...
>116 justchris: You are welcome, Chris. Even though you are trying to cull books, not acquire them. I am so thankful for my library system.
>117 Donna828: You could always move on to The Curse of Chalion, Donna, for the same quality of writing, and maybe discover you like some fantasy too. ;-) (No, really!!)
>118 DeltaQueen50: Look at the photo below, Judy, of the same rose now in a vase on my desk 3 days later. Amazing!
>119 LizzieD: Ditto re: the rose, Peggy. I may have finished this Cherryh book but remember, I haven't girded my loins to even start the Foreigner series yet. Edmund Waller, not a familiar name, here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/50341/go-lovely-rose-56d22d5b33186
>120 EBT1002: I'm sure you can find something that fits you, being in a college town, Ellen. Keep me updated!
>121 RebaRelishesReading: Sure! I'm thinking meet me at the studio and we walk to Eclipse. Let's wait until next week so I have a closer idea of when it will be finished--could be as early as May 2, but a Thursday lunch for sure.
>122 sibyx: Thank you, Lucy. They garnered a lot of attention yesterday, and a few sales.

Here's the same rose today. I love it!

Apr 7, 12:45pm Top

Malaysia is a country of lush vegetation, Roni.

Have a lovely Sunday.

Apr 7, 1:24pm Top

Book #45 Alliance Rising by C. J. Cherryh and Jane Fancher (346 pp.)

This book is set in the early days, before Finity's End and before Sol has reestablished FTL contact with the rest of the human universe settlement. Situated entirely on the Alpha space station, this is a tense story of political realignments. A very good review on Amazon claims that the personal character development is much poorer than in early Alliance books by Cherryh. It's been long enough since I reread those that I really can't tell, but this person sounds like they know what they are talking about. Others have complained that there is too much telling and not enough showing, and the relatively slow pace of the book would tend to substantiate that. Still, it is classic Cherryh shenanigans and I enjoyed it.

I was not on LT yesterday because I had a craft show at a local high school. It was a new venue for me and I did very well, much better than the husband expected. I sold several larger pieces of pottery that had been in my inventory for a long time, a blue plate and a blue casserole, as well as a double opening vase, my last pumpkin, and a irregular candy dish that I love. So happy to see my pottery going out to people who love it as much as I do! And of course, the ear climbers as well as one tree of life pendant and some wire hearts. Then I came home and watched NCAA Final Four games. Exciting stuff! And we have a Big 12 team in the championship, to boot. Today, I'm exhausted...

Apr 7, 1:24pm Top

>124 PaulCranswick: Yeah, but it looks like the only color is green, Paul! (I'm sure that's not true.)

Apr 7, 1:29pm Top

>123 ronincats: Roni, that rose is so beautiful. Is it by any chance a Double Delight Rose? If so, then you are probably also enjoying the wonderful fragrance as well. At least I have a pot of Primulas blooming outside my window so I can glance outside and see a spot of color.

Apr 7, 1:30pm Top

You are right of course. These are the botanical gardens

Apr 7, 6:34pm Top

>126 ronincats:, >128 PaulCranswick: And Orchids! Masses of them.
Hedges of Poinsettia shrubs as tall as huge Rhododendrons.

Yeah, lots of jungle and greenery but omg, the orchids growing wild just blew me away (I hadn't been to Hawaii, so Malaysia was my first experience). Don't have any photos of my own to post, though...

Apr 7, 6:41pm Top

>127 DeltaQueen50: No, not a double delight, Judy. I do love those and have a bush in the back yard but it is just now developing buds. I will have to look for my list of my front yard roses as I'm not sure what this one is besides gorgeous. It does have a lovely scent but more delicate than the Double Delight rose.
>128 PaulCranswick: Hugs, Paul!

Book #46 Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace (229 pp.)

I ran across this series when the 6th book was featured somewhere and the description sounded interesting, as in "Gluttony Bay is the penultimate Sin du Jour affair, Matt Wallace's funny foodie series about the New York firm that caters to the paranormal, which began with Envy of Angels." I ordered this first book from the library, and downloaded samples of both the sixth novella and this one onto my Kindle.

Okay, this will appeal to Christopher Moore fans and Stross' Laundry Archives fans for sure. Weird, non-stop action, but no real nuance or character development. While that may happen, (I accidentally read the sample for the sixth book and not this one and it sounded like one of the lead characters was trying to detach herself from the firm, so maybe some angst), I don't think I will continue with the series.

Edited: Apr 7, 7:04pm Top

>129 SandyAMcPherson: Hi, Sandy. You posted while I was composing my message. I'll bet they were gorgeous too.

So this means I have read 4 of my 6 library books, and I bought The Raven Tower for my Kindle so I will send it back as well this week, leaving only The Book of Boy to read at the moment. However (there is always a however), I have holds waiting for me and in transit, so this is only a temporary situation.
Waiting: The Women's War and The True Queen
In transit: Early Riser, A Stranger in Olondria, The Winged Histories, and The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse

I am still working on These Truths, and I am falling dreadfully behind on my challenges. For the SFF challenge Sword & Sorcery, I am hoping to get Swords' Masters off my shelf--it contains the first three Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser novels. The Series challenge is a series I've been meaning to get back to and I have a whole bunch of possibilities there: Flavia, Dr. Siri, Sebastian St. Cyr, Georgie (all mystery series and would be library books) or Robert Jordan's The Great Hunt. Nonfiction is supposed to be a comfort read, and I never think of nonfiction books AS comfort reads. Maybe Homer's Odyssey. And the TBR challenge is Book originally acquired for an LT group read or challenge. Heck, with my memory, how would I know?

Apr 8, 1:24am Top

Book #47 The Collected Kagan by Janet Kagan (347 pp.)

This book of collected short stories by Janet Kagan, who died at age 62 a decade ago, is delightful. Since I don't read the genre magazines, I had only read one of them before, The Nutcracker Coup, but very much enjoyed almost all of them. They resonated with me, and were generally positive in mood, not always a given in science fiction.

Apr 8, 3:08pm Top

>125 ronincats: glad you enjoyed it as well.

I saw Alliance Rising as the foundation for a new trilogy, and enjoyed how the author(s) were setting the stage for subsequent books.

For those unfamiliar with this author, CJ Cherryh isn't a "blow-em-up" action type of writer though there is action in her books: she does a superb job creating politics, personalities, and philosophies so that you find yourself knowing the alien cultures you are reading about, some quite complex societies. And she's a master of the "slow-build" of suspense. In this one she also did some sneaky twisting of events, surprising even me. I really liked it.

Apr 9, 10:48am Top

>132 ronincats: Kagan was not a prolific author. The story of hers that I remember (from nearly 30 years ago!) was in Asimov's - 'The Return of the Kangaroo Rex". I know she showed up once in a while over the years I read that magazine, but not very often. She may be best known for her Star Trek novel "Uhura's Song". It is highly regarded and i have been intending to read it. Glad the collection worked for you

Apr 9, 2:59pm Top

>79 ronincats:, >85 ronincats: Love the cat plates, especially the blue one.

>107 ronincats:, >108 LizzieD: I was sad to see the news although I still haven't read any of Vonda McIntyre's books. Dreamsnake is definitely on the list though.

>125 ronincats: Hooray for a good day at the craft show!

Apr 9, 8:00pm Top

I started the These Truths thread and I am behind! LOL. I did manage to start Part 4 today, so there is hope. Glad you are enjoying it. That's what matters. Love your rose bloom. Mine are no where near flowering, but there is greenery.

Apr 11, 8:20am Top

>134 RBeffa: I LOVE Uhura's Song. It is by far my favorite Trek novel and what sold me on reading the franchise novels when I so did not like the original TV show.

Apr 11, 9:25am Top


Edited: Apr 12, 1:36pm Top

I Pearl Ruled a book last night. I had been listening to Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman and I just got tired and quit. That is a shame because I thought the first two books in the Seraphina series were really good. I simply found this novel boring. It never got going for me. Then there were the recording problems. The narrator wasn't good. I could never figure out if the twin's name was John, Jean, Jeanne, Shaun, or Shin. When CD #6 wouldn't read in my car's CD player, that was the last straw. This was really odd as this recorded version was done by Listening Library and they usually do high quality recordings. I have now moved on to a Paolo Bacigalupi dystopian novel Doubt Factory. This one is going good so far.

Apr 11, 10:24am Top

Has anybody heard from jjmcgaffey? I haven't seen her around these parts and can't find a thread for her.

Apr 11, 11:18am Top

>133 fuzzi: It was interesting to see more of the foundational history as well.
>134 RBeffa: I have Mirabile on my Kindle too, Ron, and plan to read it soon.
>135 souloftherose: Thanks, Heather.
>136 Berly: I'm still in Part 3, Benita.
>137 justchris: I've never read the franchise novels, with the exception of How Much for Just the Planet.
>138 richardderus: (((Richard!)))
>140 benitastrnad: Jenn has a thread over in Club Read, Benita.

Off to pottery.

Apr 11, 4:42pm Top

Book #48 The True Queen by Zen Cho (371 pp.)

This is the second book in the "A Sorcerer to the Crown" series. It takes place in Malaysia, England, and the Unseen Realm. We follow one of two sisters through their adventures after surviving a storm but with no memories, as they seek the source of their curse and the means to destroy it. Once again we meet Prunella and Zacharias Wythe as they seek to protect England from the fury of the Fairy Queen over the theft of her Virtu talisman. But all is not as it seems.

I thought there was a slow spot in the middle of the book, when it all seemed a bit too farcical, but the story picked up again and gave good entertainment through the end. Don't read it expecting high fantasy, though, as the story does not take itself seriously.

Book #49 The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (278 pp.)

I enjoyed this quite a bit. It is written as a children's book, with short chapters and descriptive chapter headings, but I think adults will get even more out of it. Boy wants to be normal, not a monster with a hunchback, and so when the pilgrim Secundus drafts him as an assistant, he is eager to reach Rome in this year of our Lord 1350 in order to have the miracle performed and his desire granted. But does he really know what he wants? A quick read and an intriguing story.

Apr 12, 1:30am Top

>140 benitastrnad: I saw posts by her recently - in a club read or Green Dragon

Apr 12, 1:35pm Top

>141 ronincats: and >143 quondame:
I found her and got her starred.

Apr 13, 12:12am Top

Book #50 Mirabile by Janet Kagan (288 pp.)

Since I enjoyed The Collected Kagan so much, I wanted to also read the ebook Mirabile which collects short but connected short stories about an ecologist's adventures on the colonized planet Mirabile. Kagan has created a fascinating ecosystem partnered with great characters, making for a very enjoyable read.

Book #51 The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (319 pp.)

This has been a favorite of mine since childhood, despite its sentimentality. I had the chance to pick it up for free the other day for my Kindle, and took the chance for a reread. The ebook copy is not particularly well done--the text seems to break into all caps at random throughout the book and I am sure there are some editing errors. But it was fun to revisit.

Apr 13, 10:25pm Top

>145 ronincats: Mirabile sounds lovely! I'm a biology geek and my favorite SF indulges that. It's why I enjoy the Sector General books despite the really horrendous sexism. James Schmitz did great stuff with SF ecology too.

Apr 14, 3:11pm Top

>145 ronincats: I love Baen Books...Mirabile is well-priced at $3.82 on Kindle! *smooch*

Apr 14, 4:04pm Top

A Little Princess was one of my favorites when I was young as well, Roni. I have done a couple of rereads of it - once reading to my daughter and then reading it to my granddaughter.

Apr 14, 7:31pm Top

>146 justchris: To be fair, that was largely the status quo at the time of his first stories, and by the time his writings hit the 70s and 80s he had rectified that in large part, with Murchison moving from decorative but capable nurse to equally capable doctor and pathologist. And I love his ecology too.
>147 richardderus: Delighted to see you finally feeling better!
>148 DeltaQueen50: One of my favorite quotes fro The Little Princess, Judy.

Never did she find anything so difficult as to keep herself from losing her temper when she was suddenly disturbed while absorbed in a book. People who are fond of books know the feeling of irritation which sweeps over them at such a moment. The temptation to be unreasonable and snappish is one not easy to manage. "It makes me feel as if some one had hit me," Sara had told Ermengarde once in confidence. "And as if I want to hit back. I have to remember things quickly to keep from saying something ill-tempered."

Book #52 The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien (398 pp.)

This reread is for the group read that Judy is also participating in. It's been over 12 years since I've done a reread, because I haven't done one since joining LT, and I enjoyed it as much as ever!

Apr 14, 10:21pm Top

>149 ronincats: that's the edition I first read, a copy snitched from my older sister's bookshelves in 1971.

Apr 15, 12:54am Top

>149 ronincats: >150 fuzzi: I too have that copy - falling to bits with my hand drawn illustrations from the 70s when my friend and I would do a day by day reading starting in September, which went on for a few years.

Apr 16, 10:56pm Top

I had that copy--it fell apart some years ago. But it was my first reading, in the fall of 1967. For this reread I am using a one-volume edition published in 1991 that supposedly corrected a lot of the type-setting errors and other miscellaneous errors in earlier editions, this one:

I have had a copy of Swords' Masters, a book club edition, on my tbr shelves for a number of years. This month's SFF challenge is Swords and Sorcery and Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series is considered THE set of books that set off a craze for this type of story in the late 60s. Yes, there were earlier examples, but Leiber invented the term. This book is an omnibus of books 4-6 of the series. I know I read the first and maybe another one or two in the 70s.

Book #53 Swords Against Wizardry by Fritz Leiber (188 pp.)

I'm only going to read this one book in the volume. These books were never meant to be read for more than swash-buckling entertainment, and they haven't, imho, aged that well. There are others of Leiber's books (e.g., Gather, Darkness) that are complex and layered and that pull you in, but this one isn't meant to be those things and isn't. So I'm not going to use my time reading the other two. That's one more for the Books off my Shelves category and one more physical book off of my shelves!

Apr 17, 10:11am Top

I never *got* the Fafhrd series...but I wouldn't, being anti-fantasy for most of my long stay on this wide green Earth. Gather, Darkness! was a terrific read, as was Our Lady of Darkness.

Happy Humpday!

Edited: Apr 17, 10:04pm Top

I finished the steampunk novella Black God’s Drums. This one was on the 2019 Alex Award list. I enjoyed it and since it was the first novel by this author I expect that he will be writing for some time. This one was all about African and African American mythology with a good dose of New Orleans fun all inside of an alternate history. It was not that brilliant in terms of craft but it showed promise.

Edited: Apr 17, 10:25pm Top

>153 richardderus: I agree with you about those two Leiber books wholeheartedly, Richard. And I've been pro-fantasy since reading fairy tales as a child, I fear, but still find the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser books rather one-dimensional.
>154 benitastrnad: I did enjoy that story, Benita, and look forward to his future works.

Book #54 The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey (245 pp.)

Anne recommended this children's fantasy book and my library had it, so I ordered it. Anne rarely leads me astray and this was a good fantasy for children ages 8 through 12. As I worked my way through it, I thought strongly of The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, and so I was delighted to see a homage to Le Guin in the acknowledgements at the end of the book.

Apr 17, 10:44pm Top

After being a complete no-show for my winter garden (which meant only a few volunteer peas and NO sweet peas or carrots or beets or kale or lettuce), we finally raked out the south raised bed today, dug in fertilizer and gypsum and compost, and covered the whole bed with chicken wire in a probably futile effort to keep the feral cats from using it for a litter box. Tomorrow we will plant that bed with tomato plants. We picked up Hillbilly, Mortgage Lifter, Mr. Stripey, Brandywine, Beefmaster and one yellow pear tomato. The north bed has some existing herbs (basil, parsley, sage, oregano, thyme) and snapdragons, so I will need to amend the soil between the two ends and decide what I want to plant there. Rosemary is over in my perennial bed of mostly California natives. Then we will plant a 4x4 post and create a tall bird feeder hanger for the large bird feeder I picked up at Costco a few weeks ago. Probably on Friday, since tomorrow morning will be pottery.

Apr 18, 10:35am Top

>154 benitastrnad: I'm going to have to look for that title; sounds right up my dark and twisted alley.

Apr 18, 10:58am Top

>149 ronincats: I haven'r read those since I was a teen. Glad you're getting a fun reread

Apr 18, 12:47pm Top

I find the Fafhrd/Gray Mouser stories entertaining, and a couple of days after reading them can't remember what happened. Bright side is that they're new to me each time.

Apr 18, 2:38pm Top

>159 swynn: ...or there's a leetle teentsy issue with the grey matter showing up...

Apr 18, 11:02pm Top

>152 ronincats: >153 richardderus: I read most of the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories when I was a teenager. They were fun romps. Definitely lightweight and forgettable and barely one-dimensional. I was totally into the sword and sorcery back then.

Apr 19, 10:03am Top

A peaceful and restful Easter to you and yours, Roni.
Today we took our sensitive plants out of the cellar and put them on the balcony.
It's sunny and warm and everything's green and blooming.
>149 ronincats: The Lord of the Rings - Soon it's time will come back for me too.

Apr 19, 11:30am Top

>156 ronincats: impressive!

Edited: Apr 19, 7:37pm Top

I wrote a lovely long post yesterday responding to everyone and telling all about the day at the pottery and my latest book, complete with pictures, and previewed it to make sure all the pictures were showing, and then got distracted and wandered away from the page without posting it. Bah!

Cassie, Rachel, Steve and Richard, just assume I said everything lovely about your posts.

I brought these home from the pottery studio.

I planted tomatoes.

This is the main bed, with 8 plants (and cucumbers down by the lattice). Note the chicken wire, an attempt to keep the feral cats from digging in it. In addition we have 5 LARGE pots with one plant each in them. And since I had my garden diary out to record what was where, I can tell you that the rose shown in >109 ronincats: and >123 ronincats: is from my Perfect Moment bush.

This morning's project was to plant a pole to hang the large bird feeder I bought at Costco a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday the hubby dug the hole and constructed the hanging part. Today, I helped it balance it and pour in the cement.

I give up--just turn your head. I tried cropping it, rotating it in my editing software, and nothing is making it go upright.

>161 justchris: Yes, that was their time, Chris.
>162 SirThomas: Thank you so much, Thomas. I hope you have a blessed and relaxing weekend.
>163 fuzzi: Thank you, fuzzi.

Apr 19, 7:35pm Top

Book #55 Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper (301 pp.)

This was a Santa Thing gift from 2016. I read it for the nonfiction challenge for April, a comfort read, and positive books about cats fit right into that. This memoir covers Gwen's adoption of a 4 week old kitten whose eyes had had to be removed due to a severe infection, up until 12 years of age. Not fascinating, but interesting.

Apr 19, 8:21pm Top

>165 ronincats: I liked that book, but loved her novel Love Saves the Day.

Apr 19, 9:09pm Top

>166 fuzzi: Hadn't heard of that one, fuzzi.

Also forgot to mention (as I had in the lost message) that I glazed Reba's plant pocket yesterday as well. Lunch next week, Reba?

Apr 19, 10:49pm Top

Hi, (((((Roni)))))! As usual, I'm exhausted by your gardening and reading a potting and all. You are the woman, and I love that brown cat!

Apr 19, 11:08pm Top

>164 ronincats: What a gorgeous bowl! Shape and color both delight me.

I've never seen tomato cages used that way up...won't the crop cause balance issues as the vines get heavier?

Apr 19, 11:47pm Top

>168 LizzieD: (((Peggy)))

>169 richardderus: ??? That's the regular way, afaik. The wire extensions go down in the ground and the cone expands to make room for the bulk of the plant. You do it differently? *smooch*

Apr 20, 2:13am Top

>164 ronincats: Gorgeous bowl, and love the tomato set up.

I've put some seeds in for mixed kinds of lettuces, but not sign of movement yet: I think I might need to get some new seed.

Apr 20, 4:59pm Top

>170 ronincats: Fat end down, skinny end up, vines trained up the inside with ties so the fruits stick outside. The pyramid is stable that way. It's always possible I did it wrong and just got lucky.

Apr 20, 11:02pm Top

>172 richardderus: I'm a fan of the 'upside down' tomato cage for growing cucumber vines.

The vines' tendrils grasp the cage and climb up to the top of our fence where we can train them along the lattice. Keeps the fruit from rotting on wet soil and so easy to find the cukes before they're massive!

I've never grown the tomato plants in an upside down cage, though. We often have to stake the cages to stabilize them when the plants are bushy, so the reversed cone idea is a potential fix! Thanks.

Apr 20, 11:49pm Top

I hope you have a stellar tomato season, Roni, despite the feral cats' determination to undermine your efforts. :-)

>164 ronincats: I love that blue bowl, but the cat..... I LOVE the cat!!!!!

Apr 21, 12:44am Top

>173 SandyAMcPherson: I always grew cukes on half-hoops 6ft tall, with orange plastic netting like the utility company uses *ahem* twist-tied onto it. Gravity makes the fruits hang through the spaces; picking becomes a doddle. Plus ground-based thieves are thwarted.

Apr 21, 3:15am Top

Happy Easter weekend, Roni.

Apr 21, 9:16am Top

The tomato cages go stakes down into the soil, to stabilize the whole thing. At least that's what I have been told by The Wayne :)

Edited: Apr 21, 2:02pm Top

>171 charl08: Good luck on your lettuce seed, Charlotte!
>172 richardderus: I do, for the winter garden, turn the cages upside down and grow the peas over them, Richard.
>173 SandyAMcPherson: Hi, Sandy.
>174 EBT1002: Thank you, Ellen.
>175 richardderus: Trying to picture this...
>176 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara, and the same to you.
>177 katiekrug: Will you have garden space at the new house, Katie?

So, here's someone enjoying the new feeder this morning.

And here are my first two Double Delight roses of the season, on the right. Note that the Perfect Moment rose on the left is pinkish in the middle instead of the yellow of the Double Delights.

Edited: Apr 22, 6:09am Top

Wonderful picture of the feeder visitor - and your Roses are stunning. I think I'd opt for the double delight. Beautiful centres. (Still no sign of the lettuce. Sad face)

Apr 21, 3:19pm Top

>155 ronincats: Roni, I'm glad you enjoyed it! OMG I need to correct my Le Guin deficit!

Love the photos from your garden - we're experiencing a typical Rocky Mountain spring with wild up and down weather.

Apr 21, 3:32pm Top

>178 ronincats: - Yes, there is a big back yard that The Wayne already has plans for :)

Apr 21, 3:42pm Top

>181 katiekrug: If it results in home-grown tomatoes, I'mma be y'all's new boarder. Or maybe the new neighborhood homeless guy who steals your produce. Your call.

Apr 21, 3:54pm Top

>182 richardderus: - Before committing, we should wait to see if the new garden brings more success than last year's... #tomatofail

Apr 21, 8:40pm Top

>178 ronincats: Beautiful! I have a mallard pair hanging out around my feeder again this year. Pretty impressive considering that I live on a street with lots of pedestrians and car traffic. But the terraces are extraordinarily wide. Otherwise, it's the usual sparrows and chickadees for the most part.

>182 richardderus: A fine sentiment. I always feel that tomatoes are the essence of summer.

Apr 22, 7:44am Top

>176 Ameise1: Ha! I love it!

>178 ronincats: Lovely pictures; our roses aren't nearly to the stage where they're budded, let alone blooming, except for the mini one in my office window. It was a gift from my student worker; she hadn't noticed that it had mites and by the time I got spray for it, I had to cut it back. It was leafing out again within days, and a bit over a month later, it has a tiny bud. They're resilient little things.

Apr 22, 4:20pm Top

>183 katiekrug: An excellent point...although if y'all plant those super-corking Zapotec variety, I don't care. I'm staking my claim to one now!

>184 justchris: Heh. I agree. The tomato lady at my local farmer's market usually has Green Zebras at least one or two visits and I save my pennies to get two or three for 'mater sammys. Mayo, 'maters, salt, pepper, fresh-baked bread, butter lettuce.

From. Which. To. EXPIRE.

Apr 22, 6:31pm Top

I love roses but if I had to pick a favorite it could very well be Double Delight - just so gorgeous. I am looking forward to listening to The Two Towers next month. Although I am planning on a trip to visit my Mom which could interfere with my reading schedule.

Edited: Apr 23, 1:53am Top

>112 ronincats: PHOOEY!!! I missed the Kindle deal and I need to read The Raven Tower for my book club.

Gorgeous roses; love the ombre effect.

>125 ronincats: Congratulations on a good show!

(>138 richardderus: *hands out disinfectant wipes*)

>164 ronincats: Love the bowl and the cat.

I got a tomato cage for my jasmine; I just assumed it went into the ground that way (inverted cone).

>173 SandyAMcPherson: >175 richardderus: et al : loving the gardening tips. However, I'm just getting to grips with ornamental plants; after 10 years experience, most of them seem to be surviving (touch wood). I'm also attempting herbs, but since I'm going with ones that are familiar to me, they're not doing so well in this tropical climate.

Apr 24, 3:03pm Top

Catching up! Thank you, Charlotte and Anne.

Katie and Richard, in Kansas you just put the tomatoes in the ground and then pick them all summer. Out here, you have to baby them and even then the harvests are uneven, which is why I plant so many plants. Hope your garden does well, Katie, and yes, Green Zebras are good ones, Richard.

Chris, mine are all different varieties of sparrows and house finches for the most part, unless I hang up the thistles seed sock and then goldfinches mob it.

Glad your mini-rose recovered, Cassie. I've been washing the aphids off the buds on my outdoor roses like crazy.

For a first time reader, Judy, I'm not sure how you can bear to wait until next month to find out what happens. I'm getting antsy and I KNOW what is going to happen.

Hi, Nina. Good to see you around again.

Developed a headache yesterday midday, after a productive morning switching winter and summer clothes closets, cleaning the kitchen, and laundry, so I needed comfort reads.

Book #56 Agent of Change by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (324 pp.)
Book #57 Conflict of Honors by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (327 pp.)

Umpteenth reread, always a great escape from reality!

Apr 24, 3:59pm Top

>189 ronincats: The Liaden Universe never caught hold with me. I decided I'd follow the internal chronology and try once more, so Crystal Soldier awaits me on my Kindle.

*smooch* for comfort reads

Apr 25, 9:11am Top

>178 ronincats: Beautiful roses! I miss having roses in our yard

Apr 25, 8:42pm Top

I didn't go to the pottery studio to work today because Miles has been feeling poorly and that time was the first appointment with the vet I could get. He has perked up some on his own since Monday, when he spent the whole day curled up in a corner, but he was still running a fever and so got a shot.

After we brought him back home, we headed out again and did swing by the pottery to see how Reba's wall vase had turned out.

Then we went down to the beach, Mission Beach, which was VERY busy for 1:30 in the afternoon in April after most spring breaks are over. Some were tourists for sure because they were out in the water, which is still only 63 degrees!

Apr 25, 8:55pm Top

What a cool wall pocket!

Apr 25, 10:52pm Top

>186 richardderus: Well obviously you immediately eat a counteragent to resurrect yourself after death by green zebras. I'm a fan of freshly made BLTs myself with much the same sort of ingredients, plus freshly cooked locally smoked bacon.

>189 ronincats: I attended a storytelling about climate change workshop on Monday at our local Earth Day conference. The person leading the workshop shared a personal example of finding a Carolina wren at her feeder much farther north than the historical limit of its range. Wish I were better at identifying them and with better vision to actually see them clearly. Sometimes I see a woodpecker or nuthatch too.

>189 ronincats: I don't think I've ever read a Liaden story. Or Honor Harrington either. It's always interesting to realize the lacunae in my reading history. Glad you have comfort reads to see you through the pain.

Apr 26, 5:13am Top

>192 ronincats: Like!
It already looked good half-finished (>48 ronincats:), but now it's just fantastic.

Apr 26, 8:17am Top

>192 ronincats: I really like that!

Apr 26, 2:09pm Top

>192 ronincats: I already saw it via text. Isn't it just beautiful?! I get to actually hold it next week and I can't wait to have three gladiola stalks in there with it hanging on my porch. Thank you so much Roni for doing such a great job of translating my dream to reality :)

Edited: Apr 29, 1:32am Top

>193 richardderus: Very nice.

Wishing Miles a swift recovery.

ETA: oops, wrong number

>192 ronincats: Very nice!

Apr 27, 10:50pm Top

>193 richardderus: Thank you, Richard. Thought it came out pretty well for a first effort.
>194 justchris: I recommend the Liaden books over Honor Harrington, although the first few of those are not bad.
>195 SirThomas: Thanks, Tom!
>196 CassieBash: And Cassie too.
>196 CassieBash: See you next week, Reba.
>198 humouress: Miles says thank you. He was keeping an eye on me

but when I started editing his photo he moved up in front of the computer monitor (so I am typing with the keyboard on my lap).

Book #58 Plan B by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (334 pp.)
book #59 I Dare by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (471 pp.)

I skimmed Carpe Diem (reading all the stuff that didn't happen to Val Con and Miri) and then plunged into the last two books of the sequence. Continuing with the comfort reads but I need to get back into some of my library books, like Early Riser

Apr 27, 11:37pm Top

Coming out of lurk to say that Miles looks a lot like my Tully, King of the Cats in this house.
You'd make me want to read more Liaden except that I've started Peacemaker. Love that *Foreigner* series!
Enjoy your Sunday!

Apr 28, 11:57am Top

Hi Roni, stopping by to get caught up. I continue to enjoy your gardening and pottery posts.

>79 ronincats: Those painted/glazed plates look amazing!

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

Apr 29, 6:01pm Top

Hi Roni, I have started listening to The Two Towers so I am back in Middle Earth again and lost among the hobbits, orks, dwarves etc. I'll come up for air in a few days. :)

Apr 29, 7:23pm Top

>200 LizzieD: I still haven't started that series, Peggy, and I keep getting further and further behind.
>201 lkernagh: Hi, Lori, glad you like them.
>202 DeltaQueen50: I am heading back that way as well, Judy. Good times!

So we went to the zoo today on this cool and drizzly morning. We decided not to stand in line to tell Bai Yun goodbye (it's her last day on exhibit, and her son's, before they return to China) as the line was long and we'd seen her many times. So we checked out the Africa Rocks exhibit, which was unfinished the last time we were there, and then caught this young gentleman who was just born yesterday!

Apr 29, 7:26pm Top

>203 ronincats: A baby giraffe! How adorable is he? Great way to spend a gloomy day, thanks for sharing the photo.

Apr 29, 8:28pm Top

>203 ronincats: Giraffes are among my very favorite animals. LOVE, love, love the photo of Mom and baby boy!

Apr 30, 9:34am Top

>203 ronincats: Thanks for sharing!

Apr 30, 10:02am Top

>203 ronincats: Ooh, he's lovely.

Apr 30, 5:02pm Top

>203 ronincats: Adorable!

Edited: Apr 30, 10:35pm Top

Glad to share the baby giraffe love, Richard, Reba, Cassie, Charlotte and Beth!

I've been working on jewelry for a craft show Saturday--a couple of Tree of Life pendants and some ear climbers including a new style. It takes a fair amount more time, though, so we shall see.

I won't finish anything else today. I have finally completed Part 3 of These Truths, only a month behind, and I am working on Early Riser, which is due at the library today and I am hoping to complete it in the next few days.

April Summary* Revised

Books read: 17
Pages read: 5332
Average pages per day: 174
Average pages per book: 314

New reads: 11
Rereads: 6
Library books: 6
Books off the shelf (ROOTS): 3
New acquisitions read: 0/0
Did Not Finish (DNF): 0

science fiction 9
fantasy 6
children's 1
nonfiction 1
fiction 0
romance 0
mystery 0

Author gender: 12 female, 9 male

Country of origin: 14-USA, 1-England, 1-Wales, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, South Africa, 1-Malaysia

Medium: 5-Kindle, 6-Hardback, 5-trade paper, 1-mass market paper

Books acquired:
Source: 3-Amazon (all Kindle); 0-Goodwill; 0-Mysterious Galaxy; 0-PBS; 0-Early Reviewers
Read: 1
Genre: 1-science fiction, 1-fantasy, 1-nonfiction, 0-fiction, 0-romance
Cost: $8.80

Books out the door: one

And looking forward to one week from today when the newest Kencyrath book will load itself onto my Kindle, By Demons Possessed!

Edited: Apr 30, 7:01pm Top

Oh, I love those Val and Miri Liaden books, Roni. I’ve done a re-read, too.

Apr 30, 10:31pm Top

Well, I was wrong. Just finished

Book #60 Early Riser by Jasper Fforde (407 pp.)

Started slowly, but the pace improved and it was fun in a Fforde sort of way, although if I were Welsh or even British I'm sure I would have picked up on even more of the humor.

NOw I have to go amend my stats in >209 ronincats:

>210 jnwelch: I done them many a time, Joe--they are good comfort reads.

Apr 30, 10:45pm Top

Gorgeous photos @178 and I love your jewellery! I have a tree of life necklace myself and I gave one to my mom. They are really lovely.

May 1, 9:12pm Top

>212 vancouverdeb: Thank you, Deb!

One of my favorite comfort reads is on sale today! Find it here:

May 2, 11:04pm Top

And I got an email today that the second of 5 new novellas connected to Diane Duane's beloved and unfinished Door Into Fire series is now available on her website, here:

Book #61 The Landlady by Diane Duane (167 pp.)

This was another short tale of the events after the culmination of The Door Into Sunset and before the long-promised final book of the series, focused on Segnbora, and having a bit more meat to it than The Levin-gad--I enjoyed it immensely. I can't find an ISBN yet, but have sent an email requesting one so I can add it to my library.

May 2, 11:25pm Top

>213 ronincats: I followed your link, Roni, and found an e-novelette that is a minisequel to The Silent Strength of Stones. That was my first Nina Kiriki Hoffman book, and it blew me away. I am excited to discover The Spirit in the Clay. I might have to actually break into e-books in order to read it. Exciting!

May 2, 11:43pm Top

>215 justchris: The blurb said there were two bonus stories included in the purchase--is that one of them or another goodie? I'm just getting ready to dive into a reread now, having finished the Duane above.

And today was pottery day. I painted two plates and brought these berry colanders and cats home.

Edited: May 3, 8:25pm Top

>216 ronincats: I'm liking those colanders - the cats are cute too!

May 3, 10:25am Top

>216 ronincats: The tall one third from the left has a lovely shape and I really like that color. The yellow is a surprise! I've never seen you use a yellow glaze before. A bit...pale...for me, but I enjoy seeing new things from you.

Except those...things...at the front.

May 3, 12:25pm Top

I saw the kitties in "real life" yesterday (when I picked up my beautiful new wall vase :) ) and I can tell you they are just adorable!!

May 3, 12:36pm Top

>217 quondame: Thanks, Susan.
>218 richardderus: Bit of an experiment for me, Richard. Thought it might go well on a colander, but I'm not that happy with the glaze itself.

So, I forgot to note two important things above. First is that I had a lovely lunch with Reba and delivered her wall vase so she can take it to Chataqua with her! And second is that you get 20% off The Landlady if you put LANDLADYLAUNCH in the coupon space on the payment page, so it is $6..40 instead of $7.99.

And I read my new Kindle version of an old favorite last night.

Book #62 The Thread That Binds the Bones by Nina Kiriki Hoffman (320 pp.)

I fell in love with this first book of Hoffman's back in the mid-90s and have read all the adult books she's produced since. (Not her R. L. Stine or Sweet Valley Jr. High series works) She writes some seriously weird fantasy and even when it doesn't make sense, I love it. The only book I've not loved was a seriously weird science fiction book titled Catalyst: a novel of alien contact, but her weird fantasy I love.

May 3, 1:03pm Top

>220 ronincats: That book was a treasure to me when I read it yonks ago.

When I think of yaller dishes, I think of Mama's Easter set:

So I'm more contented on the daffodil end of yellow, less on the primrose end.

May 3, 2:16pm Top

>220 ronincats: The Thread that Binds the Bones sounds nice. The only Hoffman that I've read is A Fistful of Sky, but I really liked it.

Edited: May 3, 2:58pm Top

>218 richardderus: Hey! I LIKE those “things” at the front. Especially the black (?) one to the left.

Hey, Roni! Love the roses and the blue pot in >164 ronincats: and your garden and, and, and... the baby giraffe! Hope Miles is doing better.

And I come bearing great news! A new Vorkosigan novella is coming out in July! Well, it’s coming out in paper. It came out in Kindle last year - The Flowers of Vashnoi. Ekaterin is the MC.

ETA: Book bulleted The Thread That Binds the Bones and Dreamsnake.

Edited: May 4, 12:49am Top

I am about half way through Miss Blaine's Prefect and the Golden Samovar by Olga Wojtas and am enjoying it. It is of those time travel spoofs that is fun to read. It is set in Russia in the 1850's and full of jabs at tropes of all kinds. I read a review of it in Publisher's Weekly before it came out and then met the publisher at the ALA conference in Seattle in January. I decided to read it as it seemed a light lazy days kind of read. It is now Interim here and that means the library closes at 5, so I have long evenings for supper in which to read while I am eating.

May 5, 2:51pm Top

>221 richardderus: I like your yellow better too, Richard!
>222 foggidawn: If you liked AFoS, foggi, you'll like the rest of Hoffman's oeuvre. Go for it!
>223 Morphidae: Hi, Morphy! I did buy the Kindle version of The Flowers of Vashnoi last year. Definitely enjoyed it, but it was too short!
>224 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita.

So, I wasn't around at all yesterday. It was the spring craft festival at our local nursery, City Farmers, and it was a gorgeous day weather-wise and a good day sales-wise. I sold 14 pieces of pottery, including the blue cat plate and 3 cat mugs and some of my medium large bowls, and then had a late spurt on the ear climbers. Today I am stiff and tired and plan to relax, maybe with margaritas later on the deck to enjoy Cinco de Mayo.

May 5, 2:53pm Top

May 6, 11:18am Top

>226 ronincats: Isn't it the truth :)

May 6, 1:32pm Top

Finally back on line after being off for a few weeks.

I'm so enjoying all the rose photos. My early spring flowers are just starting to bloom - daffies, grape hyacinths and one pink hyacinth is ahead of the others.

>131 ronincats: Ha! on the challenges! Me too! I'm still working on These Truths.

>194 justchris: justchris "realize the lacunae in my reading history" what a great phrase!

>213 ronincats: My highly suggestible (ADD?) brain decided I could not pass up a book you said was your favorite comfort read. I don't have a Kindle, but I do read them on my PC Kindle app. I see a Kindle in my future. Any thoughts on the one you use? Is the bigger screen better, or is it just harder to pack around?

Congrats on the wonderful sales! I am in love with your cat plates. Do you think they may be possible to ship?

May 6, 1:35pm Top

>226 ronincats: Amen. I think I'll post that on my office door.

May 6, 7:06pm Top


That is all.

May 6, 11:40pm Top

>220 ronincats: *Thread/Bones* is a Kindle deal for $1.99 and one of Roni's favorite books? I didn't think twice. It's now mine.
>226 ronincats: How simple! How profound!
Hi, (((((Roni))))! I'm happy to see that all is good with you.

Edited: May 7, 9:31am Top

>211 ronincats: Ah, a book bullet with that one. Now on my TBR. It looks like it should be fun. Thanks.

May 7, 6:02pm Top

>227 RebaRelishesReading:, >228 CassieBash: Great minds and all that, I knew you'd feel the same as I!
>228 CassieBash: Hi, Janet! Hope you enjoy >213 ronincats:. My Paperwhite screen is 3.5" by 5", a touch smaller than my original Kindle, but I really don't notice it when I'm reading. Definitely easier than on my phone screen, though. And yes, it is possible to ship the cat plates but between the packing materials and the shipping costs, it can cost nearly as much as the plate itself ($40).
>230 BLBera: Hi, Beth. Is your semester wrapping up?
>231 richardderus: Hi. That is all.
>323 Hope you enjoy the book as well, Peggy!
>233 sirfurboy: Now, Steven, you HAVE to come back after you read it and tell me all the funny things that went over my head as you are definitely the one to have the background to appreciate them.

So, Locus has announced their award nominees.


Record of a Spaceborn Few, Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager US; Hodder & Stoughton)
The Calculating Stars, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
If Tomorrow Comes, Nancy Kress (Tor)
Revenant Gun, Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
Blackfish City, Sam J. Miller (Ecco; Orbit UK)
Embers of War, Gareth L. Powell (Titan US; Titan UK)
Elysium Fire, Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz; Orbit US)
Red Moon, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Unholy Land, Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon)
Space Opera, Catherynne M. Valente (Saga)


Lies Sleeping, Ben Aaronovitch (DAW; Gollancz)
Foundryside, Robert Jackson Bennett (Crown; Jo Fletcher)
The Monster Baru Cormorant, Seth Dickinson (Tor)
Deep Roots, Ruthanna Emrys (Tor.com Publishing)
Ahab’s Return, Jeffrey Ford (Morrow)
European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, Theodora Goss (Saga)
The Mere Wife, Maria Dahvana Headley (MCD)
The Wonder Engine, T. Kingfisher (Argyll Productions)
Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik (Del Rey; Macmillan)
Creatures of Want and Ruin, Molly Tanzer (John Joseph Adams)


The Gone Away Place, Christopher Barzak (Knopf)
The Cruel Prince, Holly Black (Little, Brown; Hot Key)
The Belles, Dhonielle Clayton (Freeform; Gollancz)
Tess of the Road, Rachel Hartman (Random House)
Dread Nation, Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)
Cross Fire, Fonda Lee (Scholastic)
The Agony House, Cherie Priest & Tara O’Connor (Levine)
Half-Witch, John Schoffstall (Big Mouth House)
Impostors, Scott Westerfeld (Scholastic US; Scholastic UK)
Mapping the Bones, Jane Yolen (Philomel)


Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt; Macmillan)
Semiosis, Sue Burke (Tor)
Armed in Her Fashion, Kate Heartfield (ChiZine)
The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager US; Harper Voyager UK)
The Quantum Magician, Derek Künsken (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
Annex, Rich Larson (Orbit US)
Severance, Ling Ma (Farrar, Straus, Giroux)
Witchmark, C.L. Polk (Tor.com Publishing)
Trail of Lightning, Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)
Empire of Sand, Tasha Suri (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

There are Horror Novel and shorter length categories as well. You can see them here.

I have a lot of reading to do. I've only read the Kowal in the SF, but the Aaronovitch, Bennett, Goss, Kingfisher and Novik for the fantasy.

May 7, 11:11pm Top

Book #63 Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia McKillip (290 pp.)

This is an ebook of McKillip's shorter works that I picked up in 2017 and finally got around too. McKillip's writing is beautiful and atmospheric as always, and I enjoyed following her imagination through various stories.

Book #64 By Demons Possessed by P. C. Hodgell (283 pp.)

This book came out today, and is the 9th in the Chronicles of the Kencyrath. In it, Jame returns to Tai-tastigon to lay some ghosts (and gods and demons). I love the city and the people there, but I have to say that the city is in such a mess and the action moves so rapidly that I don't get that much of the sense of place that I loved in God Stalk. But as always, it is the people who are important and we get to at least touch base with everyone there important to Jame. And there are developments that move the story along.

May 8, 3:52am Top

Huh; thought I posted, but apparently not (I was wondering why you hadn't replied to me.).

>216 ronincats: I like those cats.

>231 richardderus: Changing your name/ sign off?

>235 ronincats: Want.

May 8, 7:19am Top

>216 ronincats: Love the kitties Roni!

May 8, 10:46am Top

>235 ronincats: #64 Heh, took you two hours to read didn't it? The curse of your speed at reading! Hodgell will publish another in 2021...maybe...

>236 humouress: Heh. Maybe I should.

May 8, 11:24am Top

>234 ronincats: Well, darn. I can see that the shipping would be prohibitive. Perhaps one day a friend will be travelling your direction and can pick one up for me!

Thanks also for the info on the Kindles. I'm teetering on the edge of acquiring one …. just need to make the jump, because I think I'll enjoy it.

May 8, 2:42pm Top

>234 ronincats: Thanks Roni. It will be a few weeks before I read it. The library has it but it is currently on loan. I joined the reserve list.

May 8, 10:26pm Top

>236 humouress: Hi, Nina! You know I would never ignore you!
>237 souloftherose: Thanks, Heather.
>238 richardderus: No, it took me 3 hours. I've slowed down with age as per discussion on another thread. Exactly!
>239 streamsong: Yeah, sorry.
>240 sirfurboy: I can wait, Stephen. I am looking forward to your thoughts.

I am working on Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear. Science fiction, it is good so far, but hefty at 512 pages. I'm about a third of the way through it.

May 8, 11:09pm Top

>241 ronincats: A new Elizabeth Bear! Cool! Got it reserved!

May 9, 6:47pm Top

>242 quondame: Glad to be of service, Susan!

So, today's results were disappointing.

The light purple glaze that was the primary color of the cat on the right didn't show color on most of it, and the lovely color when dipped on the background of the plate on the right turned out rather muddy when painted on. Sad.

May 9, 7:06pm Top

The shape of the plates is appealing, and the background glazes don't look wheel-y if you know what I mean.

May 9, 8:08pm Top

The one on the right looks nice in the photo but you're right, the one on the left didn't quite work. This is the first thing you've done that I could say that about though so that's, what, one in a thousand? Not bad really.

May 10, 8:13am Top

I must be perverse because I like the indistinctnesses of the one on the left -- and I like the one on the right too, mind you -- in fact you really have found your theme with the cats! I like the little figures very much too! And the wall vase for Reba.

I pre-ordered the Hodgell so I hope hope hope it will be in my mailbox today or tomorrow!

Thanks for posting the prize lists -- it is a good place to look for ideas.

I'm looking forward to the new Alliance book -- so much to read, so little time!

Pouring rain here today, but we have lots of flowers happening outside, daffs and forsythia and even some tulips. It all goes so fast. The rhubarb is ready too -- it will go on for ages -- we love making a rhubarb-strawberry soup. First thing from the garden! Asparagus coming up too.

May 10, 8:33am Top

>243 ronincats: I agree with >245 RebaRelishesReading: that the right one turned out nice, even if it didn't come out as expected. And >246 sibyx: shows that there might be a market even for the one on the left.

May 11, 4:09pm Top

>244 richardderus: "Wheel-y"??
>245 RebaRelishesReading:, >246 sibyx: Yeah, I know.
>246 sibyx: You are not alone--one of the potters at the studio also raved over that one.

Book #65 Three Mages and a Margarita by Annette Marie (265 pp.)

Gale (Narilka) mentioned this on her thread recently and it sounded like light fun, so I picked it up for my Kindle.And that's exactly what it is, light undemanding entertainment in an urban fantasy setting.

Edited: May 11, 8:45pm Top

I had also been in the mood for some light fun reading so I picked up Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samovar by Olga Wojtas. This one had very good reviews in Publisher’s Weekly so I preordered it from Amazon.

This is a first novel and it is a mashup of time travel/romance/and Russian literature written by a first time Scottish author. It shows promise, but I didn’t find it nearly as good as the review made it sound. It was too long for one thing. It just went on and on and by the end I didn’t care much for Shona McGonigle. I think this would have made a good novella or a book along the lines of the Binti novellas, but it just didn’t work to the level I expected. Still it had its moments, so if you are looking for something light - give it a try and see what you think.

May 11, 11:22pm Top

>249 benitastrnad: Hmmm and UhOh..... I have a copy of *Miss Blaine* on my Kindle and was sort of looking forward to it. I'm sorry it didn't quite deliver, Benita.
Hi, (((((Roni)))))!

May 11, 11:30pm Top

>243 ronincats: Purple cats! I like the lilac and the aqua colours and I love the bright green eyes (on the left). I really like the green and purple and the inverted colour scheme (on the right). As for muddy, on my computer the background looks olive/ sage green.

May 12, 12:30pm Top

>248 ronincats: "Wheel-y" to me means the glaze applied makes the potter's wheel channels, the concentric circles inherent in the form, stand out and not to a pleasing artistic effect.

I read a paranormal mystery! I reviewed The Hanged Man's Ghost with only three stars, but I'll go back for more.

May 12, 5:29pm Top

>248 ronincats: I really want to read it but my library doesn't have it. I'm making a request for them to buy it but it's from a small press so the chances are iffy. I might have to buy it on Kindle even though I try not to do that.

May 13, 10:07pm Top

>249 benitastrnad: The library has it, so I've ordered it and will give it a try, Benita.
>250 LizzieD: She did say it had its moments, Peggy--hope so.
>251 humouress: It is a sage green, Nina, but not as smooth as wehn dipped.
>252 richardderus: Got ya, Richard. I read your review--I'll probably pass unless you find the series gets better going forward.
>253 Morphidae: I did get it on my Kindle, Morphy. Hope you can find it elsewhere.

Follow me to my new thread and I'll tell you how I spent the weekend and what I sold!

This topic was continued by Roni Reads in 2019: Part 4.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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