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Copperskye Reads In 2019 - Part 2

This is a continuation of the topic Copperskye Reads In 2019 - Part 1.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Apr 9, 10:37pm Top

It’s time for a springtime thread. Welcome to all!

Time keeps flying by. I can hardly believe that these two will be turning 7 years old - Boomer the cat’s birthday is tomorrow and Skye’s birthday is next month. They’ll both always be my good little girls.



Edited: Jun 9, 4:52pm Top

Some 2018 Favorites in the order I read them:

Fox 8 by George Saunders
American Wolf: A True Story Of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Have Dog, Will Travel by Stephen Kuusisto
Into the Raging Sea by Rachel Slade
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
The Secrets Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
Don’t Look Now by Daphne du Maurier
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Bibliophile by Jane Mount

And now for the birds:

Eurasian Collared Doves. I was worried about these two after our last blizzard because only one showed up in the yard for a couple days. Soon enough, though, they were together again (assuming/fervently believing they are the same two). They visit almost every day and are Boomer’s favorite since they spend a lot of time wandering around our patio. Kitty chatter lets me know they are here.

Mark mentioned adding a list of his backyard birds on his thread and I thought I might do the same on mine. I’ll squish them in on this post and update as any new birds are spotted throughout the winter and into spring and summer. We feed sunflower chips, Nyger seed, and suet, and have two water bowls. We live in the Denver suburbs at about 5,500 ft.

Daily Visitors:
Black-capped Chickadee
House Finch
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Dark-eyed Junco - The juncos have moved on for the summer
Northern Flicker
Downy Woodpecker
Lesser Goldfinch

Occasional Visitors:
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch - these are here every day now that it’s spring
Spotted Towhee
Blue Jay
Eurasian Collared Dove - also here most days
Mourning Dove
Broad-tailed hummingbird 5/3 (FOY)
Chipping sparrow - 2, 5/3 (FOY)
White-Breasted Nuthatch
Hairy Woodpecker
Sharp-shinned or Cooper’s Hawk
Western Tanager 5/8 (FOY), 5 males, 3 females 5/21 (snow), 5/25 many still hanging about
Swainson’s Thrush 5/9 (FOY)
House Wren 5/10
White-crowned sparrow 5/25 (FOY)
Bullock’s Oriole 5/26 (FOY)
Black-headed Grosbeak 5/26 (FOY)

Spotted on Our Neighborhood Walks:
Red-Tail Hawk
Canada Goose
Western Wood-Pewee FOY 5/12
Turkey Vulture FOY 5/13
Western Kingbird 6/9

Edited: Apr 9, 11:06pm Top

2019 Reading List:

January 2019
1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (reread) OTS #1, 4.75 stars
2. An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten 3.75 stars
3. Nerve by Dick Francis 3.5 stars
4. Call Them by Their True Names by Rebecca Solnit OTS #2, 4.5 stars
5. The Power by Naomi Alderman
6. High Rising by Angela Thirkell OTS #3 3 stars
7. Phases by Chris Vanjonack 5 stars
8. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo 4.25 stars
9. The Truro Bear and Other Adventures by Mary Oliver (poetry) OTS #4, 5 stars

February 2019
10. To the Hilt by Dick Francis 4 stars
11. The Reckoning by Rennie Airth OTS #5, 4.25 stars
12. The River by Peter Heller (ARC) OTS#6, 4.25 stars
13. Tenements, Towers & Trash by Julia Wertz 4 stars
14. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney 4.75 stars
15. Quiet Girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung 4 stars
16. The Crossing by Michael Connelly OTS #7 3.5 stars

March 2019
17. Book Love by Debbie Tung 3 stars
18. A Cold Treachery by Charles Todd, 4 stars
19. A Long Shadow by Charles Todd, 3.25 stars, OTS #8
20. My Ranch, Too by Mary Budd Flitner, 4 stars
21. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths, 4.5 stars
22. Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson (poetry) 4 stars
23. The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves, arc, OTS #9, 3.75 stars

Edited: Yesterday, 10:28pm Top

April 2019
24. Forfeit by Dick Francis, OTS #10, 4 stars
25. The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin, OTS #11, 4 stars
26. A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie 3.25 stars
27. A River Of Words: The Story Of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant (reread) 4.5 stars
28. Felicity by Mary Oliver (poetry) OTS #12, 4.25 stars
29. Henry, Himself by Stewart O’Nan OTS #13, 4.75 stars

May 2019
30. Old Baggage by Lissa Evans OTS #14, 3.75 stars
31. The Wrong Side Of Goodbye by Michael Connelly OTS #15, 4.5 stars
32. The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths 3.25 stars
33. Commander in Cheat by Rick Reilly 4 stars

June 2019
34. Reflex by Dick Francis 4 stars
35. Two Kinds Of Truth by Michael Connelly OTS #16, 4 stars
36. Southern Lady Code: Essays by Helen Ellis
37. Recursion by Blake Crouch, OTS #17, 4 stars
38. Gallows View by Peter Robinson, OTS #18, 3.5 stars
39. A Dedicated Man by Peter Robinson, OTS #19

July 2019
40. Big Sky by Kate Atkinson, 5 stars
41. Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong
42. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan OTS #20
43. Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy
44. Darktown by Thomas Mullen, OTS #21
45. The Late Show by Michael Connelly OTS #22

August 2019
46. They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
47. Killing And Dying by Adrian Tomine
48. Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
49. Rat Race by Dick Francis
50. Aloha Rodeo by David Wolman

Edited: Apr 9, 11:26pm Top

Some books I finished last month:

20. My Ranch, Too by Mary Budd Flitner

A memoir of a Wyoming cattle rancher and a look at ranch life from the late 1970s to current from the perspective of a ranch partner who happens to be a wife and mother. I seem to be the only one with this book in their LT library and that’s a shame. Author Sandra Dallas has an occasional Sunday column in the Denver Post where she reviews books of regional interest. I’m glad I noted this one.

21. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

A very good stand-alone mystery told from multiple perspectives. Highly entertaining and highly recommended!

Edited: Apr 9, 11:30pm Top

22. Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson

A moving collection by a spoken-word poet.

23. The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

This is more chick-lit than I usually like but aside from a little occasional eye rolling on my part, I really did like it. Annika and Jonathan meet and fall in love while students at the University of Illinois in the early 90s. After a chance encounter in a Chicago grocery store in 2001, they rekindle their relationship.The story jumps from the early 90s to the early 00s, and the reader becomes aware that Annika is on the autism spectrum and learns why the couple drifted apart. A thought provoking and sweet love story that I don’t hesitate recommending despite my initial bias.

Apr 10, 6:16am Top

Aw, happy birthday to Boomer and Skye! Mario's 4th birthday was Sunday, and Tuppence will be 14 next month.

And happy new thread to you!

Apr 10, 7:02am Top

Happy new thread!

Boomer and Skye are adorable. Nice that they get along :)

Apr 10, 8:13am Top

>5 Copperskye: Both of those sound good.

Apr 10, 2:33pm Top

Happy new thread!

Apr 10, 3:18pm Top

Beautiful pictures!

I'm another one who enjoyed >5 Copperskye: Hope it's a series.

Apr 10, 5:17pm Top

Happy new thread, Joanne!

Lovely toppers, so cute when they were young, Skye and Boomer still make a nice pair:-)

Apr 10, 6:40pm Top

Happy new thread, Joanne.

Those two patiently waiting you up top are proof that cats and dogs do occasionally get along.

Apr 10, 6:49pm Top

Happy New Thread, Joanne. I LOVE that topper. How adorable. I am so glad you got to Lord of the Butterflies. I loved that collection, and I know Joe did, as well.

I am nearly done with Bibliophile and it has been a lot of fun. I decided to go with The River, as my next print book. I have put it off long enough.

Apr 10, 8:34pm Top

Happy birthday ear rubs for Skye and Boomer! What the heck, give yourself one, too, Joanne. :-)

Apr 10, 9:55pm Top

>1 Copperskye: Look at those darlings!! Happy new thread, Joanne.

I just started Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk this morning after reading your recommendation. I like it so far - thank you!

Apr 11, 12:45am Top

>7 scaifea: Thanks Amber! And happy birthday to Tuppance and belated good wishes to Mario. 4 already. Next you’ll be telling me Charlie is starting high school!

>8 figsfromthistle: Thanks Anita! They mostly get along in a jealous sibling kind of way. :)

>9 thornton37814: I recommend them both, Lori!

>10 drneutron: Thanks Jim!

>11 charl08: Thanks Charlotte! I was also thinking it’d make a good series. I loved the detective.

>12 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita! They’re both pretty cute! :)

>13 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul! They both love to hang out in the kitchen and wait to be fed, no matter the time. Together they try to make me think I forgot their dinners.

Apr 11, 1:08am Top

>14 msf59: Thanks Mark! Bibliophile is such a beautiful book and fun to to flip through. I’ll be interested in your thoughts on The River. Enjoy!

>15 rosalita: Hi Julia! And thanks...that felt good! :)

>16 AMQS: Hi Anne! Oh, I loved Lillian Boxfish and I hope you do, too! Our storm was a bit of a bust, down here, at least. But be safe out there in the morning!

Edited: Apr 11, 12:43pm Top

Happy birthday to the pets. Lola, my daughter's younger dog is seven as well. She's sick now, Fingers crossed that she recovers.

I'm waiting for The Stranger Diaries from the library. I think I'm the next one on the list. I've heard good things about it.

And, happy new thread.

Apr 11, 9:05pm Top

>19 BLBera: Oh dear, I hope Lola is doing better!

Apr 12, 3:17pm Top

Happy New Thread, Joanne!

Boomer and Skye look like good pals.

As Mark said, I'm another one who loved Lord of the Butterflies. We got to see Andrea Gibson live (our second time) earlier this week, and she was terrific. She's the best performing poet out there, IMO.

Apr 13, 10:38am Top

>21 jnwelch: Hi Joe, Thanks!

Andrea Gibson really is a talent and I’d love to see them perform their spoken word live. Are you familiar with Megan Falley? She did a guest performance recently at the poetry slam my son and his friends run up in Ft Collins. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to make it that night.

Apr 13, 12:18pm Top

Happy new thread! I love your bird list and am reminded that I want to post mine. I have seen a hummingbird each of the past two days and one of the males took a break at my feeder. We've also been seeing what we call "butter butts," also known as yellow rumped warblers. And our goldfinches stay all year but they are bursting into the beautiful yellow just now.

Aah...love the birds!

Apr 13, 8:59pm Top

Happy Birthday to Boomer and Skye. I still think of Skye as a puppy. She has turned into a lovely lady in the prime of life. We went over to see our grandpuppy Maverick this afternoon. It's like having a baby in the family again. I have to make frequent visits to keep up with the changes…and see the places where he has chewed carpeting and furniture.

Elly Griffiths is on my radar. Our library book sale is coming up in early May so I'll be on the lookout for some of her books.

Apr 13, 9:34pm Top

>18 Copperskye: It was a dicey commute, and as is often the case, much worse "down the hill" than up in the mountains! Marina asked me to drive her to school and I'm glad she did as Union hadn't been plowed and Kipling was a sheet of ice. We saw a car upside down wrapped around a pole. Rough night for that driver :(

Apr 16, 2:42pm Top

>23 witchyrichy: Hi Karen, we had Lesser Goldfinches at our feeders all winter and the American Goldfinches are starting to come back with their drab yellowish grey definitely turning a bright, beautiful yellow. I haven’t heard any hummingbirds here yet. I haven’t decided yet whether or not to put up their feeder. We seem to attract much more wasps than hummers!

>24 Donna828: Puppies (especially goldens) are so much fun and they grow up too fast. I think you’d especially enjoy The Stranger Diaries, Donna. And I love her Ruth Galloway series but haven’t tried her other one.

>25 AMQS: Ugh, I’ll say! The north/south running streets always seem to be the worst and the problem with the traffic lights getting snow covered especially needs to be addressed! Fingers crossed that that’s it for the season!

Apr 16, 5:23pm Top

24. Forfeit by Dick Francis

I’m having fun reading Dick Francis again. This one was less about horse racing and more about betting as a racing reporter gets involved in exposing a scheme to defraud British racing fans. There was an unexpected love story, redemption, and a main character I’m sorry I won’t get to meet again.

Apr 16, 5:28pm Top

>27 Copperskye: So glad you liked this one, Joanne! As we've discussed on the shared read thread, the betting stuff was a hard to follow since the key feature doesn't exist in U.S. race wagering.

Re your comment about being sorry we won't meet up with Ty again, I've felt that way about a lot of Francis' protagonists, Joanne. We will get to a read a little two-book miniseries later in the year which features one of my favorite Francis characters, Kit Fielding, so you have that to look forward to!

Edited: Apr 16, 6:01pm Top

>28 rosalita: I wonder why he didn’t “reuse” his protagonists more. At least with Ty, and Alexander from To the Hilt, as well, there was certainly an interesting backstory that could have been expanded into one or two more storylines. Did he tire of the character or just have too many more waiting to be voiced? I’ve read the Kit Fielding books although I remember nothing about them. (I only know I’ve read them because I own hardbacks of both and bought them back in the time when I read everything I bought.) I’m looking forward to rereading them later in the year!) I’ve also read a couple of books with Sid (I think) as the main character.

Anyway, it’s great fun revisiting this author!

Apr 16, 5:58pm Top

>29 Copperskye: Not only the backstory with Ty, but his career as a racing journalist would seem to set up all sorts of interesting plot possibilities. On the other hand, I do love the glimpses into various professions that we get with all the different protagonists. I just re-read Proof and now want to own a wineshop. And when I read Shattered I had a hankering to learn how to do glassblowing. The descriptions are so vivid and seemingly true-to-life.

We should be having this discussion on the shared-read page! Things are a little slow this time.

Apr 16, 6:04pm Top

>30 rosalita: I totally agree - both about Ty’s journalism background potential for storylines and discussing this on the group thread!

Edited: Apr 18, 11:03pm Top

25. The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin

The story of four siblings who, after their father’s early death and their mother’s subsequent long bout of paralyzing depression, learn to rely upon and support each other. I thought the insights into the sibling relationships was particularly strong and well done (maybe because it was three sister and one brother and I come from a family of three sisters and one brother). It was interesting that Conklin chose to start the story in 2079 and then go back 100 years and move forward. It allowed the life stories to be wrapped up but the dystopian aspect was a little odd. Overall, a good family saga, but especially early on, I didn’t necessarily find it compelling. I’m glad I stuck with it though. 4 stars

I’m currently reading A Share in Death, because I really needed to start a new series (ha!) and Stewart O’Nan’s latest, Henry, Himself (Henry, missing from, but so important to Wish You Were Here and Emily, Alone.

Apr 20, 2:42pm Top

>32 Copperskye: My comments matched yours on this one, Joanne. I loved the family descriptions, but wasn't sure how the dystopian element fit. I don't think she really needed it. Still, all in all, I did like it.

Apr 21, 3:43am Top

Happy Easter weekend, Joanne.

Apr 21, 2:54pm Top

>33 BLBera: It did seem superfluous, Beth. I wonder if the first drafts of the book expanded on it a bit more. I do think the characters will be memorable for me. I picked up a copy of The House Girl at a recent library sale. Have you read it?

>34 Ameise1: Lol! How very true! Happy Easter to you as well, Barb.

Apr 22, 2:11pm Top

I haven't read THe House Girl, Joanne. However after reading this one, I will definitely read it at some point.

Apr 22, 10:55pm Top

>36 BLBera: I think I would’ve passed on buying The House Girl if I hadn’t just finished The Last Romantics. $2 well spent. :)

26. A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie

How odd to begin a detective series with the detective on holiday and only in telephone contact with his partner! But it was pretty good. I’ve been wanting to start this series for a while and I’m looking forward to continuing.

Apr 22, 11:17pm Top

27. A River Of Words: The Story Of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant

My library had this on their display for National Poetry Month and I brought it home again. I first read it in 2011 and since I feel the same about it, I’ve cut and pasted what I said about it 8 years ago. (I was chattier then...) Adding too, an aside - a couple years ago, my husband reconnected with a friend from high school who still lives in NJ. When he heard I was from Rutherford, he mentioned that his cousins lived in town, in the Williams house.

A beautifully done biography of the poet William Carlos Williams written as a picture book for younger readers. Williams followed his dream to be a poet and this is an inspiring little book of his life. The illustrations are unique – done as collages made from discarded books. They fit in perfectly and this is a Caldecott Honor Book.

I grew up in the town where Dr Williams was born and later practiced medicine. I knew just where the Williams house was even though he died when I was very young. Rutherford is justifiable proud of this very good man and so, of course, we all learned about WCW and his poetry beginning in elementary school. In high school, I remember doing a calligraphy project using one of his poems and it’s a favorite of mine:

This is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Apr 23, 9:58am Top

>37 Copperskye: This is one of my favorite series, Joanne. I'm delighted that you liked it enough to continue. And that cover is so much better than the one on my library copy!

Apr 23, 10:45pm Top

>39 rosalita: That’s high praise, Julia, and I’m glad to hear it! I loved the cover, too. I read a large-print edition from the library which works much better for me than the little mass market paperback that was my other option. I can read much longer at night although it does make me feel a little old. Lol :(

Apr 23, 11:12pm Top

>40 Copperskye: I sometimes feel a little self-conscious when I bump up the font size on my ereader, but gosh it does make it so much more comfortable to read! The only "problem" is having to turn the pages more often :-)

Apr 24, 3:22pm Top

>41 rosalita: That’s very true, Julia, and it’s my favorite e-reader feature.

Apr 24, 3:45pm Top

My husband glanced over at my Kindle screen once and said, "Exactly how old are you?"


Apr 24, 7:25pm Top

Happy Wednesday, Joanne. I have had The Last Romantics on my list. Do you think it would be a good fit for me?

BTW- I really enjoyed The River. Heller is back!

Apr 25, 9:44pm Top

>43 katiekrug: Hi Katie! That’s pretty much why I won’t take a large print book out in public. It makes me feel old... Also, I noticed you said “once”...

>44 msf59: Sweet Thursday, Mark! I think you’ll like The Last Romantics. It wasn’t perfect, but there was a lot to like. I’m glad you liked The River. It was definitely better than Celine. (Thank goodness!)

Apr 27, 9:54am Top

>37 Copperskye: You are so lucky to be starting this series. You have a lot of good ones to look forward to.

>38 Copperskye: I love this one.

Apr 28, 1:33am Top

>46 BLBera: So you’re another Crombie fan, Beth! I really need to start reading faster...

I’m absolutely loving Stewart O’Nan’s latest, Henry, Himself, but for some reason, it’s taking me forever to read. I need to find some uninterrupted reading time.

Apr 28, 9:44am Top

Enjoy them, Joanne!

Apr 28, 9:48am Top

>38 Copperskye: I like the anecdotal stuff there, Joanne.

Made me go and pick up William Carlos Williams In the American Grain and I'll read it next month all being well.

Apr 28, 10:22am Top

>38 Copperskye:

What an astonishing 5 STAR book - thank you for the reminder!

Edited: Apr 28, 3:37pm Top

>22 Copperskye: Megan Falley: yes, she (they?) performed with Andrea Gibson that night. (I'm still not very good yet with "they/them", and I'm not sure which Megan prefers?). Megan was terrific, and a wonderful surprise, and Megan and Andrea even did a funny one together at the end, about arguments they've had with each other. I want to read more of Megan's work.

Yay for Dick Francis! I'm really enjoying re-reading him, too. His books have stood up well over time.

Edited: Apr 30, 9:33pm Top

>48 BLBera: I think I will, Beth! :)

>49 PaulCranswick: Good to see you, Paul, and yay! for WCW!

>50 m.belljackson: It’s a lovely book and I’m so glad my library had it on display!

>51 jnwelch: I’d love to see them perform together. They live nearby in Boulder so if I pay attention, I should be able to at some point! I think Megan prefers she/her pronouns. It’s a new world for us “older” folks to get used to. I just picked up Reflex for May. I’m ready!!

Edited: May 2, 10:22pm Top

29. Henry, Himself by Stewart O’Nan

I loved this and am so glad I finally got to meet Henry, himself, in this prequel to both Wish You Were Here and Emily, Alone. A quiet, affectionate, year in the life of 74 year old Henry, his wife, Emily, their children, and Rufus, the dog. Enjoyable, I’m sure, without having to read the other two books about the Maxwell family, but much richer for having done so. I plan on a reread of the first two. Fans of Anne Tyler would appreciate them all. 4.75 stars

May 1, 10:04pm Top

>53 Copperskye: Sounds like it's great! It should arrive this week. Of course, if it comes Friday, we're tied up with graduation (and then I'm out for 3 weeks), but I am preparing the item records so they can just check the books off on the packing slip and mark the date, put on the barcode assigned to the book, and add security. They'll be good to go!

May 2, 7:49am Top

Hooray for Henry, Himself! Glad you enjoyed it so much, Joanne and I am glad to hear it is about Emily's husband. Of course it has been quite a few years since I read that one, but I am sure it will all come rushing back.

May 2, 10:40am Top

So glad the new O'Nan is worthy, Joanne! I am a big fan of his. Strangely, though, I haven't read Wish You Were Here or Emily, Alone yet - both are on my shelf. Guess I better get going!

May 2, 7:23pm Top

Just a few more pages from finishing Henry, Himself, Joanne. Great minds and all of that :-) I have also read Emily, Alone and really loved it.

May 2, 10:27pm Top

>54 thornton37814: Hi Lori, it’ll be worth the wait! Three weeks off...lucky you.

>55 msf59: It will, Mark. It’s very self contained. Have you read Wish You Were Here? I loved that one.

>56 katiekrug: Hi Katie, I highly recommend all three!

>57 vancouverdeb: Oh, I hope you like it as much as I did, Deborah!

May 6, 9:38am Top

Hope you are well! Just stopping by to say hello after being offline for a bit.

May 6, 12:35pm Top

Good morning, Karen! Thanks for dropping by. Hope you’re having as lovely a spring day there as we are having here!

May 8, 9:06pm Top

Hi Joanne, I guess I need to give Stewart O'Nan a whirl since so many people seem to like him including you.

May 9, 9:22pm Top

Hi Bonnie! I honestly don’t think you can go wrong with O’Nan. I’ve read quite a few of his books and loved, or at least liked, them all. I am truly an outlier in my “meh” feelings about Last Night at the Lobster but it’s probably his most popular. I hope you check him out!

Birds have been a good balm for the soul this week. Our cold, wet weather is bringing several different migraters to the feeders. Lots of hummingbirds and a Swainson’s Thrush today. We’ve had Western Tanagers come through right around this time in May for the last 10 years or so and two spent most of the day today eating suet. They don’t seem to stay for long but I think they are the prettiest birds we get.

May 9, 9:58pm Top

>62 Copperskye: Wow! This is a beautiful bird. I WANT to see one. We get Scarlet & Summer Tanagers here. I have not seen the latter. There have been recent sightings of a Western Tanager in the Chicagoland and outlying areas. How it got this far east, nobody knows.

Despite our erratic weather, I have had a good birding week. Migration is in full swing. I have seen Baltimore Orioles and Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks, along with some colorful warblers, which I do not think you get.

May 9, 10:12pm Top

I just wish they’d hang around longer, Mark! Hopefully you’ll get to see one! The two here the last couple days were both males, one a juvenile with a little less red on his head. I was hoping a female would stop by. They probably were, too.

I haven’t seen any warblers yet this year. We do get Bullock’s Orioles but it’s been years since one of those dropped by.

May 10, 7:14pm Top

Multiple book bullets for the O'Nan books. I'm a sucker for a book with a cute dog on the cover. I'm heading out your way a week from today but not sure how much time I will have for a meetup. This is probably not a good time for Anne with end-of-school activities. It's been almost six months since I've seen Hope which is way too long. I'll let you know more when my plans firm up.

May 13, 10:15pm Top

Hi Donna! You can’t go wrong with Rufus, the dog.
Let me know if you have a chance to get together. I know it’s hard when you’re visiting for a short time. I should be around!

May 24, 8:39pm Top

>62 Copperskye: What a beautiful bird! My husband got a picture of a rose-breasted grosbeak when it stopped by the feeder for just one day.

Hope you are well!

May 26, 12:34pm Top

Hi Karen! What a coincidence, we had a Black-headed grosbeak in our yard this morning. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen one before. I took a picture but I don’t think it came out very good. I’ll post it later. He seemed more nervous than the rest of our regulars. We also had a Bullocks Oriole, I think. To me it looked more like a Varied Thrush, but they don’t live around here, as far as I know. Our crazy cold weather has given way to more seasonal temps in the 60-70s, thank goodness, but the birds continue to be interesting, the tanagers are still here - three weeks now- which is pretty unusual.

Hope you have a good long weekend! We have family coming over for a bbq today but tomorrow I’m hitting the books! 😀

Edited: May 27, 9:12pm Top

30. Old Baggage by Lissa Evans

Old Baggage is the story of two suffragettes who had spent their lives working in the movement to give women the right to vote. With that right won, they are still trying to make a difference in the lives of young British women, post WWI. I loved the characters, the light humor, and learning about the woman’s sufferance movement. The historical elements and the location, Hempstead Heath, had me googling historical figures, maps, and photos, which is always fun and enlightening. The book is also a timely reminder that for women, the right to vote was a hard-fought battle. Unfortunately, the plot was a bit weak and the story never really took off for me. It would start to move along and then get bogged down in a lecture. Still, the ending had me wishing for more and then I discovered that this is actually a prequel to the author’s Crooked Heart, which I haven’t read. I’m looking forward to it now. 3.75 stars

Edited: May 27, 11:48pm Top

31. The Wrong Side Of Goodbye by Michael Connelly

My new series favorite. Bosch is retired and volunteering on the police force of a small city near LA where a serial rapist is on the loose. He’s also working as a private investigator, tasked with discovering whether or not a reclusive billionaire has any heirs. The two plot lines were equally interesting and I never minded when the story veered from one to the other. Quite a page-turner! 4.5 stars

Edited: May 27, 9:36pm Top

Lots of birds dropped by over the weekend. The western tanagers are still here - about three weeks now. There seem to be a lot of them around this year, more than usual. Also new at the feeders were Bullock’s orioles and black-headed grosbeaks. No oriole photos because they didn’t hang around very long. :(

Black-headed grosbeak

Western Tanagers (male and female)

Broad-tailed hummingbird

Jun 1, 7:17pm Top

Hi Joanne - what lovely bird photos! I just managed to get my feeders up, and the birds are slowly coming but of course the squirrels are all over them.

You got me with Henry, Himself. I just finished Emily, Alone a couple of weeks ago, and really enjoyed it. I haven't read Wish You Were Here, so I guess I'm going in reverse order. Pretty sure I "discovered" Stewart O'Nan because of you.

Jun 1, 7:55pm Top

>71 Copperskye: Great pictures and I can't wait to get home and put an orange half on the crook I have.

And adding the O'Nan books to my reading list.

Jun 2, 8:27pm Top

>72 AMQS: Hi Anne, Thanks! Our neighborhood squirrels are, so far, being very polite and eating off the ground only. We’ll see how long that lasts. Yay for Stewart O’Nan! Since you liked Emily, Alone, I’m sure you’ll enjoy getting to know Henry and learning his perspective. I plan on rereading both it and Wish You Were Here.

>73 witchyrichy: I hope your tanagers enjoy their oranges! Our Western Tanagers loved the orange halves. Also the berries and watermelon I put out for them. Along with the suet, I hope they were well fed while they bided their time here before heading up to the foothills. Our weather has warmed up and I probably saw the last of them last evening when one lone female was at the suet. They were here most of the month of May which was rare enough that one of our local news programs did a story about them. Happy to hear you’re adding O’Nan to your reading! Have you read anything by him yet?

Jun 3, 1:22am Top

32. The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths

This is the 11th Ruth Galloway mystery. I’ve liked some of the books more than others but this one was kind of meh. The story line seemed to meander and I kept thinking “but why?” because elements of the plot sometimes went nowhere or made no sense to me. Also there didn’t seem to be a lot of character development. Just more of the same. 3 stars

Edited: Jun 3, 1:40am Top

33. Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump by Rick Reilly

I picked this up at the library for my husband and he enjoyed it and thought I would, too. Rick Reilly is a funny and engaging writer and he manages to make reading about Trump’s blatant and serial cheating and lying both on the golf course and in his golf business affairs truly hysterical. And also truly horrifying and absolutely insane considering who he is now beyond the con man he’s always been. This is a quick and eye opening read. 4.25 stars

Jun 3, 6:56am Top

>71 Copperskye: Great photos, Joanne.

>69 Copperskye: I have the Evans on my desk to read this summer. I LOVED Crooked Heart and did not know this was a prequel.

>75 Copperskye: Oh, too bad the new Griffiths is meh. I was looking forward to it. I love Ruth.

Jun 3, 11:39am Top

What Beth said about the new Ruth Galloway, Joanne. I've been looking forward to it, too. Oh well. I'll still read it, but I won't get my hopes up too high.

Edited: Jun 3, 5:24pm Top

>75 Copperskye: Aw, I kind of liked it! I liked the emergence of Erik's son, although the denoument of his storyline was a bit of a letdown. I don't believe I've ever 'shipped (as the kids say) two literary characters as hard as I do Ruth and Harry! I'm worried it's starting to become a romance series for me. :-)

Jun 3, 8:38pm Top

>77 BLBera: Hi Beth, I’m glad I have Crooked Heart here waiting for me. Please continue to look forward to the new Ruth Galloway - I think I’m a bit of an outlier in my feelings for it. I love Ruth and Nelson and am looking forward to the next one!

>78 jnwelch: Same to you, Joe - all the reviews here on LT are certainly favorable!

>79 rosalita: And see, Julia liked it! That’s one of the things that bothered me. The storyline there went nowhere... But like I said, I really like Ruth and Kate and Flint and their home on the salt marsh and look forward to book #12!

Jun 3, 9:14pm Top

>71 Copperskye: I love these photos, Joanne. Are you taking them? If so, impressive job. Love that grosbeak and the tanagers. I have never seen either. Funny, I just checked on my own feeders, it is just after 8pm here and I saw the female hummingbird stop to feed. She gets up, early too.

Commander in Cheat sounds like a hoot. At least the laughing keeps us from crying or hurling.

Jun 4, 11:08am Top

>81 msf59: Good morning, Mark! Thanks, yes, they are my photos. Taken through the window of the back slider. Lol. Sadly, our migraters have moved along. Always looking for something new and interesting but then I’m happy with the regulars! The trump/golf book was surprisingly entertaining even though I have zero interest in golf. I honestly don’t uunderstand why he’s allowed to get away with what he gets away with...

Jun 4, 8:20pm Top

This week’s NYer cover. Yup.

Jun 4, 8:46pm Top

>74 Copperskye: I haven't read O'Nan so am looking forward to adding a new author to my list. Right now, I feel like I am overwhelmed with books, both digital and analog. But that's what a TBR/wishlist is all about, right?

Jun 4, 10:02pm Top

>84 witchyrichy: I’m absolutely overwhelmed as well, Karen. Not a bad thing, necessarily, and not the worst problem, but...

O’Nan is definitely an author to check out!

Jun 4, 10:07pm Top

>83 Copperskye: LIKE!

I am quite impressed with your photos, Joanne. What type of a camera are you using? I need to really start practicing.

Jun 5, 7:47am Top

>83 Copperskye: I love it, Joanne. I will still read the new Ruth book, but my expectations are tempered.

Jun 5, 8:13pm Top

>86 msf59: Thank you, Mark, that’s kind of you to say! I have a Canon EOS Rebel T6. I’ve had it for a couple years but I’d say I’m very new at using it. It can do more than I can. Birds are fun to practice with!

>87 BLBera: I think a lot of us can relate to that, Beth! My book piles aren’t quite as neat, though.

Jun 7, 12:43am Top

Always ready to smile and be kind.

Jun 7, 2:01am Top

34. Reflex by Dick Francis

I’m indebted to Julia for leading a group read of a selection of Dick Francis’ books. Until this year, it’d been decades since I’d read one of his suspenseful stories with the wonderful steeplechase backdrops. This one also had the jockey/sleuth solving a photography puzzle and the whole thing was a lot of fun.

Jun 7, 5:54am Top

Jun 7, 7:00am Top

>88 Copperskye: I have a Canon too. An Sx50 HS. I need a lot more practice and need to experiment with the settings.

I like your photos.

Jun 7, 10:00am Top

>90 Copperskye: I'm delighted that you are enjoying your re-discovery of the Dick Francis mysteries, Joanne! I am having a great time as well. This one has always been one of my favorites, with the photographic puzzles.

Jun 8, 11:08am Top

>91 scaifea: I know, right?! :)

>92 msf59: Mine came with an instructional DVD. I really should watch it sometime... Have a good Saturday!

>93 rosalita: Good morning, Julia. They are so much better than I remembered!

Happy weekend everybody!

Jun 11, 10:01pm Top

>89 Copperskye: I love it!

Jun 19, 2:36pm Top

>89 Copperskye: Wonderful! Dogs are just the best. I have been away a lot in June and they are always there at the door, tails wagging, no reproach.

Jul 4, 10:52pm Top

Hi, Joanne! I love the photos!

Stewart O'Nan is a favorite of mine, but I haven't read Henry, Himself yet.

Jul 8, 2:13pm Top

Hi Joanne! Love all the birds, and can never get enough of Boomer and Skye.

Jul 8, 10:22pm Top

>95 BLBera: It’s so true! :)

>96 witchyrichy: I love being greeted with a wagging tale!

>97 tymfos: Hi Terri! It’s a companion book, if you will, to Wish You Were Here and Emily, Alone, although they don’t need to be read in any particular order. I loved them all.

>98 PaperbackPirate: Hi Pirate! Nice to see you!

I have some books to mention before I lose track.....

Edited: Jul 9, 11:52pm Top

35. Two Kinds Of Truth by Michael Connelly

I love that Harry is volunteering his detective services with a small city’s police department. It certainly has given him a softer edge. I hate that I’m just about caught up with the series.

36. Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis
Southern Lady Code - "A technique by which, if you don't have something nice to say, you say something not-so-nice in a nice way."

“One of Mama's parenting mantras was: "Oh, Helen Michelle, I have yet to begin to embarrass you.”
― Helen Ellis, Southern Lady Code

A very entertaining and light-hearted collection of short essays mostly centered on love and marriage and life in the city. You don’t have to be from the south to appreciate it. I think her short story collection, American Housewife, was a bit more memorable but both were a lot of fun.

Jul 10, 12:33am Top

37. Recursion by Blake Crouch

A phenomenon called False Memory Syndrome creates havoc in this sci-fi thriller. Interesting concept and very entertaining as long as you don’t think about it too hard. A great beach read!

38. Gallows View by Peter Robinson

39. A Dedicated Man by Peter Robinson

These are the first two books in the Inspector Banks series, about a detective in a small Yorkshire city. I’d been meaning to try them for a while and then after watching the BBC series, DCI Banks, which I loved, I knew I had to get to the books. The book character and the tv character were very different, but not in any bad way. The mysteries in the tv series were based on some later books and I plan on continuing.

Jul 10, 5:40am Top

>100 Copperskye: Almost caught up with Harry Bosch? What a chilling prospect, Joanne! Which reminds me it's time for me to read the next one for me in the series. I'm far behind you, thankfully, so I won't have to fret about catching up any time soon.

Jul 10, 6:32am Top

Hi, Joanne. I have not been by in awhile. I hope all is well. I have Recursion on my list. What did you think of the Meloy collection?

Jul 10, 7:51am Top

I was wondering about the Robinson books, Joanne. I watched the first series and thought I might try the books. It was a bit gory for me. So I might do better reading than watching.

Jul 11, 7:00pm Top

>100 Copperskye: I am sorry to say I have only read the first Bosch. I liked it and may just binge read the series at some point.

Jul 11, 11:09pm Top

>102 rosalita: I know, right?! I just looked to see when I read the first one, The Black Echo. It was July 2016, so three years. I’m going to read the first Renée Ballard book, The Late Show, before I continue on with Harry. You have lots of good stories ahead of you!

>103 msf59: Hi Mark, Recursion was fun, I think you’ll enjoy it. I’m enjoying the Meloy. I’ve read the first 5 stories so far. Still liked the first story the best (the cowboy and the teacher). The brothers on the ski trip kind of fell flat for me. Great variety!

>104 BLBera: We loved watching DCI Banks! The first two books were good and I always think series tend to improve. I’ve got the next one ready to go!

>105 witchyrichy: Ah, the first Bosch, where he seemed to spend an awful lot of time looking for a public phone booth! :) they’d be fun to read one after the other!

Jul 11, 11:18pm Top

40. Big Sky by Kate Atkinson

Well worth the long wait for this latest installment of the Jackson Brodie series! But please don’t make us wait another 9 years for the next one. 5 stars

(I loved young Harry and his idea of “Cranford World” and tea with Miss Matty and readings with Captain Brown.)

Jul 12, 7:31am Top

>107 Copperskye: I am creeping up the library holds list for this one, and I am champing at the bit to get my hands on it! Agreed on not making us wait another nine years for another.

Jul 12, 11:24pm Top

>108 rosalita: I hope the other library patrons are fast readers, Julia!

Jul 13, 12:20am Top

Me, too!

Jul 13, 7:27pm Top

>107 Copperskye: Five stars! I must catch up with Jackson Brodie myself very soon.

Have a lovely weekend, Joanne.

Jul 14, 6:12pm Top

>107 Copperskye: I also loved Harry, Joanne. And I loved Jackson's interior dialog with Julia! I laughed several times.

Jul 20, 12:02am Top

Hi Joanne! Ooh wow, it's hot. Hope it cools down like it's supposed to this weekend.

You got me with Recursion - I always like a good beach read!

Jul 21, 4:35pm Top

>110 rosalita: Did you get it yet? Did you? Did you? :)

>111 PaulCranswick: Hiya Paul! Yes, it’s always a treat to spend some time with Jackson. Lovely weekend here, hope you are having/had the same!

>112 BLBera: Yes, there were some very funny asides! Her books are so much fun!

>113 AMQS: Hi Anne! It’s lovely out there today! I think you’ll have fun with Recursion.

Jul 21, 5:19pm Top

Happy Sunday, Joanne. I am starting Big Sky tomorrow, on audio. Looking forward to it. Hey, what are you reading and has John been reading anything exceptional?

Edited: Jul 22, 7:14am Top

>114 Copperskye: I did, Joanne, I did! And I raced through it and now it's done. :( I was #TeamCrystal all the way and liked how everyone's story was wound up.

Jul 22, 9:18pm Top

>115 msf59: Hiya Mark! Lucky you to have Big Sky in front of you! I have about 50 pages to go in Darktown and it’s one of those “why did I wait so long to read this great book” book. John’s between books at the moment. He really liked Commander in Cheat and he’s asked me to pick up All the Way, Joe Namath’s new book, from the library. Our heat wave of the last week finally broke - hope cooler weather is headed your way!

>116 rosalita: Yay!! I’d love to follow some of those other characters in another book (or two). It was such a satisfying read.

Jul 27, 11:10am Top

Happy weekend! Our heat wave also broke and am hoping we can get through the rest of the summer without another stretch. I like being outside and it was too hot to even sit by the pool or on the porch.

Aug 3, 8:55pm Top

I could do with some seasonal weather here too Joanne as the constant heat and humidity here is getting on my nerves more than usual.

Have a lovely weekend.

Aug 8, 8:57pm Top

>118 witchyrichy: Hi Karen! I love sitting outside and reading and I’m already thinking that summer will be over too soon. :( I hope it’s cooled off some for you!

>199 Hi Paul! I’m so lucky to live somewhere where the humidity is usually low (90°F and 5% humidity is not uncommon), but I know how oppressive it can be. I hope you’re feeling better!

Aug 8, 10:56pm Top

Hi, Joanne! I'm glad you're starting Peter Robinson's series. You may find it almost makes up for being just about caught up with Harry Bosch (another series I love, though I have quite a few ahead of me yet). Let me tell you the best of the Inspector Banks series is ahead of you -- Robinson's skills as a writer grew by leaps and bounds after the first couple. There's an occasional one I don't like a lot, but most I've read so far are very good. (I think I'm on #12 or 13 -- darn FictFact for going out of business! So much harder to keep track of series reading!) My favorite so far is In a Dry Season.

Aug 9, 6:58am Top

Happy Friday, Joanne. Glad you are having a good time with Hollow Kingdom. I am doing the same with Recursion and Lanny has also been terrific. Keep this one in mind.

Aug 15, 5:33pm Top

>121 tymfos: Hi Terri, thanks so much for chiming in with your thoughts on the Banks series! I’ve discovered several excellent series/authors from your recommendations. Oddly, I’ve already read In a Dry Season - someone (maybe you?) had recommended it years ago and said that it’d work well as a stand-alone, so I picked it up. I’ll reread it when I get to it in the series as I don’t remember much about it. I’m looking forward to #3!

>122 msf59: Hi Mark! My reading has suffered of late - I’m only on page 96 of Hollow Kingdom! I’m sitting down with it now (we’ll, as soon as I put the iPad down...). We were sort of in your neck of the woods the last few days. We drove out with Chris to Champaign, Il to help him move. He’s starting grad school at University of Illinois (MFA in Creative Writing). I’m excited for him and sad for me. I was used to him being 90 miles away, but now it’s 1000 miles. It’s still tough when they leave, even when they’re older...

Aug 17, 11:39am Top

Wow, that is a long trip to Illinois to see Chris! Good luck to him and his studies.

I just finished my first Stewart O'Nan book and loved it. I know you're a fan. He really gets into the inner feelings of his characters, at least in the one I read. I like quiet detailed books so I will definitely seek out more books by him.

Aug 17, 12:22pm Top

Hi, Joanne! I hope your trip to Illinois went smoothly, and Chris enjoys his time in C-U. My condolences on your former governor bowing out of the presidential race. I think the huge field put at a disadvantage the candidates who did not already have national name recognition. Hopefully he'll find another way to stay involved in Dem politics (maybe the Senate?).

Aug 18, 10:14pm Top

>124 Donna828: Thanks Donna! I see you finished Wish You Were Here which is one of my favorites. Henry, Himself, which I finished recently, is a prequel to it. As the title implies, Henry is the main character. I’m glad you liked it enough to read more by O’Nan! Each of his books, except for the three that follow the Maxwell family, are very different, and I’ve loved just about every one I’ve read.

>125 rosalita: Thanks Julia, I hope so too! Hick is well loved here in Colorado as he was an excellent mayor of Denver and governor, (although a bit too easy on the oil and gas industry, IMO), but to the rest of the country is a nobody. I think he should have went after Gardner’s seat from the get-go. I hope he does get in the race but I feel bad for Andrew Romanoff whom I also like.

41. Goodbye Vitamin by Rachel Khong

This was so good - I didn’t want to put it down and read it in a day and a half! Goodbye, Vitamin is a wryly funny and poignant novel about a young woman who returns home for a year to help with her college professor father who has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Edited: Aug 18, 10:20pm Top

42. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

This has been on my shelf for a while and I’m glad I finally got to it. It’s a well-written adventure story, with lots of fantastic elements, about a young slave who escapes from Barbados and travels to Virginia, the Arctic, London and Morocco. I loved it until about the last 30-40 pages when it seemed that the story just started to fizzle out. For the most part, though, it was a rollicking tale that I never wanted to put down. And I love the cover.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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