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Roni Reads in 2019: Part 4

This is a continuation of the topic Roni Reads in 2019: Part 3.

This topic was continued by Roni Reads in 2019: Part 5.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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May 13, 10:10pm Top

San Diego's annual Gator By the Bay festival was this weekend, and that dance floor (one of five stages) was full for all 5 bands!

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

May 13, 10:11pm Top

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: Jul 6, 11:36pm 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
64. By Demons Possessed by P. C. Hodgell
65. Three Mages and a Margarita by Annette Marie
66. Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear
67. The Origins of Constantine by D. C. Gomez
68. The Hub: Dangerous Territory by James H. Schmitz
69. Gods, MOnsters and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson
70. The Witches of Karres by James H. Schmitz
71. The Wizard of Karres by Lackey, Flint and Freer
72. The Sorceress of Karres by Flint and Freer
73. Biss Blaine's Prefect and the Golden Samovar by Olga Wojtas
74. Telzey Amberdon by James H. Schmitz
75. TNT by James H. Schmitz
76. Trigger and Friends by James H. Schmitz

77. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien
78. St. Paul: The Apostle We Love to Hate by Karen Armstrong
79. The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay
80. The Rose Legacy by Jessica Day George
DNF The Governess Game by Tessa Dare
81. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien
82. A Memory Called Empire by Arcady Martine
83. A Liaden Universe Constellation 4 by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
84. Thornbound by Stephanie Burgis
85. The Hidden City by Michelle West
86. Fractured Symmetry by Fernando Salazar
87. Pawsitively Poisonous by Melissa Jackson
88. The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
89. March: Book One by John Lewis
90. The Women's War by Jenna Glass

Edited: Jul 29, 7:06pm 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

May 13, 10:19pm Top

So, we were supposed to spend both days this weekend at Gator By the Bay, but because of rain downpours all Saturday morning, we only went on Sunday, when we were forced, FORCED I say, to spend the day at this festival right next to one of the 5 stages featuring gospel and zydeco music right on the bay on this mostly sunny day. I sold the turquoise and blue cat plate, as well as the earlier landscape cat plate, and another two cat mugs. Also two of my bigger bowls, a very small bowl wending its way to Switzerland, and lots of ear climbers, 3 tree of life pendants, a pair of cork earrings, and a necklace set that has been in inventory for way too long. Another successful day--my 4 events this spring have paid for 8 months of pottery time!

May 13, 10:21pm Top

I'm first!! I'm first!!


Happy new thread. I'm so pleased you're selling the stuff with...them...on. No. Really I am.


Edited: May 13, 10:29pm Top

Welcome, friends. So today has been very quiet. Last night was lots of tossing and turning on sore muscles and the headache that seems to follow a day outdoors any more. Recuperation has been the order of the day.

Hi, Richard, and welcome. I really appreciate your selflessness!

May 13, 10:46pm Top

Happy new thread!

Hopefully, that headache of yours goes away soon.

May 13, 10:54pm Top

Thanks, figs--I got up in the middle of the night for meds and it disappeared mid-morning, fortunately!

May 13, 11:07pm Top

Congratulations on the sales and the new thread too. I'm glad the headache disappeared.
I guess I've never said that I know the festival/fair business from several years of selling my DH's wood carving and honey. It was mostly fun although I don't think I could have managed a booth next to the gospel, zydeco venue. More power to you!

May 13, 11:13pm Top

It was fun, Peggy. The sound wasn't too over-powering, and people were loving to dance to it, both on the large dance floor, which was always full, and on the lawn as well. And the food section--Lord, you wouldn't believe how much gator, oysters, catfish and various types of etouffee were available!!

May 13, 11:57pm Top

Happy new thread, Roni.

>5 ronincats: Well done to my favourite pottery merchant!

May 13, 11:59pm Top

Happy new thread!

May 14, 12:29am Top

Happy new thread! Glad Gator by the Bay went well and also that your headache didn't make it through the night. Sunday was beautiful, wasn't it?

May 14, 12:34am Top

>11 ronincats: Etouffee sounds absolutely scrumptious.

May 14, 12:51am Top

Congratulations on your new thread Roni!

>5 ronincats: Oh you poor thing ;0)

>7 ronincats: Was it the dancing that gave you sore muscles? Glad you're feeling better now.

Well done with all the sales!

May 14, 8:19am Top

Happy new thread, Roni! Glad you had such a successful day, boo on headaches following.

May 14, 8:41am Top

Happy new thread!

May 14, 8:59am Top

Happy new thread! Glad you are having success with your pottery and jewelry sales.

May 14, 9:05am Top

Happy New Thread, Roni!

Congrats on the successful and fun day at the Gator by the Bay festival. I hope you've recuperated and feel good.

How did it get the "Gator" name, do you know?

May 14, 9:41am Top

Happy new thread!

May 15, 8:26am Top

Happy new thread, Roni.

May 15, 9:42am Top

Happy new thread! The cats say "hi"!

May 15, 10:18am Top

Impressive book lists and keeping track of everything. I'm a total sloth when it comes to noting which books (and how many) went to the donation box. Sometimes to my chagrin. I think I have a title and then say, 'Whoops!' I like all your ticker counters.

Which book would you pick out as the stellar read in each month?

I'm making a recommended list for a friend who is going to need lots of recovery time and asked for ideas to take her mind off her health challenges. But she doesn't care for fantasy or YA novels, which are my great escapes.

May 15, 1:24pm Top

>24 SandyAMcPherson: I’m not roni but I can highly recommend Moloka’i by Alan Brennert (historical fiction), The Rosie Project by Graeme Simision (untypical romance as hero is on autism spectrum, very funny), Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (historical mystery, 1920s London, MC female), and Thale’s Folly by Dorothy Gilman (gentle fiction with romance and mystery.

Though if she wouldn’t mind magical realism, my absolute favorite book to recommend is Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (family, sisters, romance.)

May 15, 3:00pm Top

Happy new thread, Roni!

>5 ronincats: I liked the turquoise and blue cat plate you showed on your previous thread, so I wasnt surprised you could sell it so soon. Glad to read you had a good day selling at Gator By the Bay, two more days like this and you can pay for 2 years of pottery time ;-)

May 15, 4:15pm Top

>24 SandyAMcPherson: Also not Roni but I'll second >25 Morphidae:'s recs of Moloka'i and Garden Spells.

Hi Roni! I don't want to alarm you...I posted two 5-star reviews of poetry collections today...now, sit down slowly! Head between your knees...breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth!

May 15, 5:03pm Top

>25 Morphidae: and >27 richardderus: ~ Thanks for those ideas. Not authors I have ever read so I'll have to investigate for myself as well.

May 15, 7:17pm Top

Oops, been a couple of days and I've had visitors!!

>12 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul.
>13 quondame: Thanks, Susan.
>14 RebaRelishesReading: It was indeed a beautiful day, Reba!
>15 Morphidae: It all sounded delicious, Morphy, but expensive!!
>16 humouress: Not much dancing here, Nina. Mostly the carting around of the booth stuff and goods, setting up, taking down, and trekking back out to the truck, plus getting up and down to greet customers.
>17 bell7:, >18 fuzzi:, >19 foggidawn: Thanks, Mary, fuzzi and foggi!
>20 jnwelch: Joe, there is a local group that promotes it: Gator By The Bay is presented each year by the San Diego nonprofit, Bon Temps Social Club. The festival aims to highlight the eclectic melting pot of history, food and music of Louisiana. The annual event draws people from all over the U.S. and the world.
And it's true what the article says about people from all over the world. One of my little bowls went home with a potter to Switzerland and a lady from Holland bought a pair of my earrings.
>21 drneutron:, >22 BLBera:, >23 thornton37814: Thank you, Jim, Beth and Lori.
>24 SandyAMcPherson: Sandy, that wipes out almost all of my books read this year as well. Has she read Georgette Heyer's regency romances? As for my reading, I discovered T. Kingfisher's books, especially her fairy tale retellings, reread some favorite series (the first 5 Liaden books, The Goblin Emperor, The Thread that Binds the Bones), and read some new books by favorite authors (C. J. Cherryh, Lois McMaster Bujold, Jasper Fforde and P. C. Hodgell). I'm currently reading Ancestral Nights by Elizabeth Bear.
>25 Morphidae: Thanks for coming up with some ideas, Morphy.
>26 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita.
>27 richardderus: Well, of course I immediately went over to Richard's thread to inform him that he had been hacked, but the hacker had beat me to it!! Richard!!!
>28 SandyAMcPherson: I'll also suggest Rhys Bowen, specifically her Royal Spyness series, for a fun mystery series.

May 15, 7:23pm Top

>29 ronincats:, Thanks! I just added Her Royal Spyness to my WTR list.

May 15, 7:44pm Top

>29 ronincats: I'll tell you how I know this vaunted "oh sure people read poetry!" craze is a house of cards: I sent links to my blogged version of that review and BOTH publicists, in different countries as well as time zones, responded to my emails with thanks and catalogs. Within eight minutes of the emails being sent.

Rupi Kaur might sell copies. (I cannot imagine why. I've read her...stuff...and it's heinous.) But good poetry? Nuh uh.

Edited: May 15, 8:22pm Top

Book #66 Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear (502 pp.)

A space salvager and her partner make the discovery of a lifetime that just might change the universe in this wild, big-ideas space opera from multi award-winning author Elizabeth Bear.

Halmey Dz and her partner Connla Kurucz are salvage operators, living just on the inside of the law...usually. Theirs is the perilous and marginal existence—with barely enough chance of striking it fantastically big—just once—to keep them coming back for more. They pilot their tiny ship into the scars left by unsuccessful White Transitions, searching for the relics of lost human and alien vessels. But when they make a shocking discovery about an alien species that has been long thought dead, it may be the thing that could tip the perilous peace mankind has found into full-out war.

Elizabeth Bear is pretty amazing. She has written a ton of stuff, all of it very different from her other work. Hard SF, fantasy Asian epic, urban fantasy with a time trip back to Elizabethan times, 18th century vampires, wild west fantasy, and that's just the stuff I've read! There are at least three series and three stand-alones that I haven't. And it is consistently GOOD.

And this book is excellent! Not everyone likes it (see the Amazon reviews) but the two LT reviews are positive and I agree with them. Big idea space opera with interesting characters and a fair amount of introspection/philosophizing. Sucked me in all the way!

And her Author's Notes thanks "Andre Norton, Iain Banks, C. J. Cherryh, and James White, whose works grew me into the person who would want to write this book."

Book #67 The Origins of Constantine by D. C. Gomez (88 pp.)

This novella narrates the origins of Constantine, a talking cat who is Death's companion in the Intern Diaries series. I haven't read any of them but couldn't resist a free Kindle book about a talking cat. Based on this book, I probably won't read the series--it wasn't bad, but nothing inspired either.

May 15, 8:44pm Top

>32 ronincats: I've read at least 26 of Elizabeth Bear's novels and I like some of her work in various genres, and some I find uneven or uncompelling. And every time her name come up I have to separate, in my own mind, her works from Carol Berg's. I haven't a clue why I keep storing them in the same bin.

Edited: May 15, 9:15pm Top

>30 SandyAMcPherson: Sure thing, Sandy.
>31 richardderus: Well, at least you made their day, Richard.

So, I haven't hosted a series or an author for a while. I'd like to do so this summer, during a month when the most interested folk have the time to do at least the targeted book, which is only 200 pp. long. I'd like to expose as many people as possible to the works of James H. Schmitz, a science fiction author who wrote from the late '40s through the 1970s. He is best known for The Witches of Karres, but imho has written much better works. Here is my bookshelf.

Many of his works, especially his shorter ones, were very hard to find for quite a while, but in 2000 and 2001, Baen published almost all of his oeuvre in a collection of 6 books, seen to the right of the shelf above. The book I would like to feature is Demon Breed, also found in the Baen collection The Hub: Dangerous Territory. Schmitz is known for his kick-ass female protagonists long before they became the current ubiquitous status quo in his stories about Telzey Amberdon, Trigger Argee, and the hero of Demon Breed, Nile Etland.

Gardner Dozois has said, in prefacing the Schmitz tale "The Second Night of Summer",10 in which humans on the planet Noorhut face an attack from aliens and are, unbeknownst to themselves, saved by the actions of a single woman with psi powers, Granny Wannattel, with the sole help of a friendly alien she calls her pony:

Schmitz was decades ahead of the curve in his portrayal of female characters—years before the Women's Movement of the '70s would come along to raise the consciousness of SF writers (or attempt to), Schmitz was not only frequently using women as the heroines in swashbuckling tales of interplanetary adventure—itself almost unheard of at the time—but he was also treating them as the total equal of the male characters, every bit as competent and brave and smart (and ruthless, when needs be), without saddling them with any of the "female weaknesses"—like an inclination to faint or cower under extreme duress, and/or seek protection behind the muscular frame of the Tough Male Hero) that would mar the characterization of women by some writers for years to come. (The Schmitz Woman, for instance, is every bit as tough and competent as the Heinlein Woman—who, to be fair, isn't prone to fainting in a crisis either—but without her annoying tendency to think that nothing in the universe is as important as marrying Her Man and settling down to have as many babies as possible.)


Demon Breed is unfortunately not available for Kindle but seems to be readily available cheaply as a mass market paperback
"James H. Schmitz was one of the most popular writers in the John W. Campbell Jr. stable, and The Demon Breed (published as The Tuvela in Campbell's magazine, Analog) offers the Campbell formula in its most exciting and attractive form, with some variations that were Schmitz's trademark. That formula, simply put, was an ethnocentric view of humanity's expansion throughout the galaxy, during which we would encounter aliens that might at first prove nastier or more powerful, but which would eventually succumb to mankind's resourcefulness and combative intelligence. Schmitz's penchant for tough yet vulnerable heroines elevated his work to the top of the Campbell pack, and it is on full display here with Nile Etland, a scientist fighting a one-woman guerrilla campaign against an advance guard of Parahuans, an amphibious race that has clashed with humanity before and may be using an oceanic world as the staging area for a fresh attack. Along with Nile and her assistants -- a pair of highly intelligent mutant otters ready to wreak havoc at a moment's notice -- the novel's greatest draw is the setting: a pelagic world dotted with floating islands of vegetation, an environment as lovingly detailed as any in the genre, where the heroine's scientific knowledge provides the crucial edge against the technically superior invaders." by Steve on Amazon

Participants would be encouraged to read more widely of Schmitz' work, a highly enjoyable activity, but the main focus would be on this short book.

Any Takers????

May 15, 9:42pm Top

I re-read Demon Breed in 2016 and I remember you were thinking of getting a Schmitz group read going. I think it is a good idea. He's a favorite author of my wife and I. After all these years I discovered the secret to a happy marriage - a week ago I found a beautiful copy of Eternal Frontier and when I got home I said "Do I have a surprise for you" and handed her the book. You would not believe the huge smile that lit up her face. She's been reading it ever since.

May 15, 9:48pm Top

>35 RBeffa: Oh, good work, Ron!!

May 15, 10:15pm Top

>34 ronincats: I'm in. You got me to grudgingly see there were un-hateful things to say about an adolescent female-led phauntaisee nawvelle, so apparently I live in Hamelin and you got a magic flute.

May 15, 10:17pm Top

>24 SandyAMcPherson: >29 ronincats: Oooh, The Goblin Emperor! I know your friend said no fantasy, but honestly, this book is 80% political intrigue. You could stick any Earth cultures into it and make it work. The only thing that couldn't be squeezed into a regular fiction novel is some of the steampunk machinery.

May 15, 10:22pm Top

Roni--Happy new thread!! And congrats on the pottery sales. Eight months return is a good thing on only four shows!

May 15, 10:25pm Top

>37 richardderus: You make me so ve-e-r-r-r-y happy, Richard. It wouldn't be the same without you.
>38 Morphidae: Agree, Morphy. This could be the book that changes her mind about fantasy.
>39 Berly: Hi, Kim. Yes, definitely. I won't do any more shows until fall now, when I hope to finance the rest of my pottery studio time with some to spare.

Once I get an idea of who is interested, we'll choose a month and I'll set up a thread for all things Schmitz.

May 15, 11:15pm Top

>38 Morphidae:, Thanks for this attention to my asking for suggestions. >40 ronincats:, I liked your support.
I've sent off my list of recommended books and I wonder what she'll make of it!

It is hard to approach reading a sample of a disliked genre that others love to promote. And naturally, there's fantasy authors that didn't attract me greatly ~ such as most of Terry Pratchett's novels. Some TP did become favourites, as an example of how one can have contrarian tastes! But I do embrace the genre pretty conclusively.

I also know folks that dislike Georgette Heyer, mainly because they picked up one of the stories that were her weak attempts or were so Georgian era/military engagements and then never tried any others.

I never read any Lucy Maud Montgomery until I was in my early 30's. Turned up my nose. Then someone gave me The Blue Castle and that started me off reading the entire Anne of Green Gables series.

Confession: I've never finished a star trek novel and didn't care for the movie (can't remember which one now)! I chalk it up to having an idiosyncratic brain.

May 15, 11:43pm Top

>41 SandyAMcPherson: Most of the fantasy I read wouldn't be something I'd recommend to those who don't like the genre as I read a lot of urban fantasy with vampires, shapechangers, demons, and whatnot. But there are some, like the two mentioned, that are great "entry" books for those unfamiliar with or who don't normally like the genre.

May 16, 1:04am Top

>34 ronincats: I'm in , Roni! I've read The Lion Game and The Telzey Toy as part of the DAW project, and am up for more.

May 16, 7:59am Top

Morning, Roni! Thanks so much for stopping by my thread and telling me about the read you're wanting to host - I'm in. I picked up The Hub: Dangerous Territory on Kindle, which has Demon Breed in it - thanks for the tip. I have not read this author before, so I'm looking forward to it. Any month is fine with me - just let me know.

And Hooray for your success at the festival - most exciting!!

May 16, 8:36am Top

I'm in -- just let me know when it starts! I'll find a copy of DB and be ready to begin. I love these reads, you find wonderful stuff for us!

Edited: May 16, 12:28pm Top

>34 ronincats: Hi Roni!

Jumping in to say "How-de-do" and that I would be interested in your James Schmidz read along.

He's a name I know from spending time on the sci-fi section of the bookstore but I don't recall ever reading him.

May 16, 10:58am Top

>41 SandyAMcPherson: I also don't read Star Trek novels, Sandy, so I understand.
>42 Morphidae: Good point, Morphy.
>43 swynn: Yay!!
>44 Crazymamie: Thanks for pointing out the Kindle availability through the collection in The Hub: Dangerous Territory, Mamie! That will make it easier for some to join in.
>45 sibyx: Great, Lucy!
>46 magicians_nephew: Welcome, Jim. Glad to hear you will be joining us. I knew I couldn't get around to everyone's thread who might be interested--glad you found the info.

Off to pottery in a few. Have a plate and a cup coming home and I hope they have turned out well.

May 16, 11:05am Top

>34 ronincats: As I said in my thread, I'll join this (now Mamie pointed out that there is a kindle version).

May 16, 3:26pm Top

I'm in for Demon Breed, Roni. Maybe I missed it - is the Group Read set for June?

Good recommendation of Ancestral Night, too. I've been wanting to read Elizabeth Bear. and this looks like a good one to try.

May 16, 4:41pm Top

>48 sirfurboy: Great!
>49 jnwelch: Hadn't set it as yet, Joe, but nobody has ruled out any month of the summer and we might as well do it early rather than late. June works for me.

May 16, 6:12pm Top

I've ordered a copy of Demon Breed. Whenever works is fine for me, too. :)

May 16, 6:27pm Top

>34 ronincats: I'm intrigued. I'll have to see if I can find a copy of Demon Breed.

May 16, 6:31pm Top

>34 ronincats: I'm in!! Let me know when you get the thread up.

May 16, 7:23pm Top

Hi Roni!

Interestingly, I just posted a message to Kim on her thread, came over to yours to see that the post before mine was from Kim. Harmonic convergence....

Thinking of you and sending a wave. I love the open image of so many have fun!

All good wishes.

May 17, 10:58am Top

Happy new thread!

May 17, 11:07am Top

>34 ronincats: So, I'm venturing away from my own thread for the first time in months to let you know that I am interested in joining you for Demon Breed. I purchased my copy last night from Abe Books, so it should be here in a week or so. I did find that I had another book by Schmitz on my wishlist, as well. I believe it was the one that you mentioned was the most popular, but not necessarily the best.

Glad to hear that Gator By the Bay went so well for you (except, of course, for the after-effects.)

Edited: May 18, 6:19am Top

Thanks for dropping over at my thread to invite me to join in reading Demon Breed. I'm in, if I can find a copy. I'll try and get my book club to read it, too!

ETA: found the 4 book Hub series on Amazon UK (Kindle) for GBP13.74 so (as soon as I can get into my UK account) I'm set.

May 18, 6:17am Top

Hi Roni, delurking to wave to you. Lots of interesting stuff going on here as usual:-)

May 18, 10:36pm Top

Janet, Kim, and Robin, so glad to hear that you will be joining me next month! Nina and Gale, I hope you can find a copy and join us. Remember that the Kindle book The Hub: Dangerous Territory contains the book.

>54 Whisper1: Hugs to you, my dear Linda. My love is with you always.
>55 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle.
>56 rretzler: Well, I've been lurking on your thread too, Ella. Thanks for breaking cover!

Well, I've been sucked in. I got The Hub: Dangerous Territory down off the shelf to be sure it is the one that Demon Breed is in (it is, rather obviously, as Nile and the otters are pictured on the cover. Much of Schmitz' shorter work I had not read previous to the Baen collections as it was very hard to find, and I started to read the story right in front of the target story as it also features Nile and the planet of Nandy-Kline. So then I moved right on into Demon Breedlast night and then today I've been reading the other 8 short works, none of which I recall from when I read them (for the only time) back in 2001. I have a feeling I will end up rereading all 6 volumes of the Baen collection before I finish...fortunately that is not a consummation devoutly NOT to be wished for.

May 19, 9:32am Top

Hi Roni! Belated happy new thread. Congrats on your 4 events paying for 8 month of pottery time.

May 19, 3:14pm Top

Hi Roni - belated happy new thread!

>32 ronincats: Ancestral Night's on my list as I've heard good things about it and it's a rare Elizabeth Bear book that seems to have a UK publisher (I don't know why but her others don't seem to be available here).

>34 ronincats: Thanks for letting me know about this and I'm definitely interested. The omnibus The Hub: Dangerous Territory is available as an ebook here so I can get hold of a copy.

May 19, 4:44pm Top

>60 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen.
>61 souloftherose: Woo hoo, glad to hear it, Heather! That makes 14 of us so far, a good size group.

Speaking of which, I finished this last night.

Book #68 The Hub: Dangerous Territory by James H. Schmitz (473 pp.)

Call it preparation for the group read next month! And that cover is an illustration from our target book...although I think I'll see how many I can convince to move on to The Witches of Karres or Legacy if they like Demon Breed.

And I never posted a photo of my newest plate. I had a mug too, but bringing it in with all my pottery gear and rain gear I dropped it and it broke.

What I don't like about this as that all the black stain has leached out of my wax resist so I'm not getting the dark lines. I'll mix up new for the next one.

May 19, 11:12pm Top

>62 ronincats: Despite your dissatisfaction, I still like the new line of work you are creating. I look forward to seeing what comes of mixing up new wax resist so the lines are darker.

I have a story I came by to share with you. On one of our excursions here in Taipei, we visited the Longshan Temple, very old and very holy. As we wandered around appreciating the architecture and its decorative elements, I noticed a cat sleeping so peacefully by one of the alters. Just sleeping there. People were walking by, milling around and praying, not even noticing her. I watched her for a while to be sure she was actually breathing (she was) and then another woman noticed her and bent down to stroke her head. The cat moved just a bit but stayed so settled down. This is one of my favorite memories of this country and I think that if there is anyplace on Earth where a cat can sleep unmolested by humans, it is in a Buddhist temple. *smile*

May 19, 11:35pm Top

>62 ronincats: Oh no! I'm sorry the mug broke. I like the colours on the plate.

May 20, 1:04pm Top

>62 ronincats: That's the Kindleable edition! Only $5.38 and worth twice the price since it has all three novels in it.

I don't quite understand the black-leaching issue you're describing. Were there supposed to be huge black Xs over...them? Elucidation appreciated.

May 20, 2:14pm Top

>63 EBT1002: Ellen, I've been following your adventures in Taipei on your thread, even though I've not been commenting and, yes, I loved the anecdote about the cat! Thanks for sharing it here.
>64 humouress: Yeah, bummer. At least I'd used it for a cup of tea at the studio so I got a bit of use out of it.
>65 richardderus: Actually, Richard, it doesn't have all three novels in it. Only Demon Breed plus 8 shorter works. To get Legacy you have to buy Trigger & Friends and The Witches of Karres is another separate volume. Baen collected Schmitz' work in 6 volumes in all in 2001, a labor of love and much appreciated by all of his fans.

No, the lines separating the colors, the outlines, on this plate are just clay color, whereas in earlier plates/cups they were darker as here:

and I like the contrast of the darker lines better.

May 20, 2:18pm Top

>66 ronincats: OOOOOOOOoooooooohhhhhhhhhhh I get it now. Yes, I agree, the darker-colored lines are more effective at demarcating the color regions.

But I still like my big-black-X idea. Think about it.

May 20, 2:20pm Top

I have thought about it. No, we are not nulling my kitties!!

May 20, 2:27pm Top


May 20, 3:59pm Top

>34 ronincats: Alas, I can find no James R. Schmitz in our paperback shelves. It could be that the copies I purchased were presents for my father and were among those his caretaker culled (broken spine'd and black with pipe dottle.) Or they could be high up and out of my reach. So I've gone to Amazon for a couple of the collections.

May 20, 5:50pm Top

I'm loving your cat plates -- especially the one in >66 ronincats:

Edited: May 20, 6:20pm Top

>69 richardderus: *smooch*
>70 quondame: I wasn't sure you were going to join us, Susan, and I'm glad to hear you are planning to.
>71 RebaRelishesReading: That was the first one I did, Reba.

Although the read is for June, I'm setting up the thread and it also has some sources for free copies of many of his works, although not Demon Breed. Here is the link:

May 20, 6:28pm Top

Book #69 Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson (232 pp.)

I read this because it was nominated for best novella of 2018 for both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards. In the dystopia of 2267, a team travels back in time to look at the ecological structure of the Euphrates valley in 2024 BCE, with unintended consequences. This pulled me right in, but the ending seemed abrupt. Still well worth reading.

If 232 pages is considered a novella these days, then Demon Breed is a novella.

And the Nebula Award winners were announced Saturday and can be found here:

Kowal won in the Novel category with The Calculating Stars, definitely a worthy winner, and Aliette de Bodard's The Tea Master and the Detective won for best novella.

May 20, 11:42pm Top

>34 ronincats: I'll try to participate too. But my summer is looking super busy and complicated. In July, I'll be packing most of my worldly possessions. In August, I'll be putting most of it into storage and moving into short-term housing with the bare minimum to survive until my October move-in date. I'll set aside The Demon Breed to take with me to the temporary digs. I always mean to be a part of group reads but have mostly failed. With the exception of Don Quijote in Spanish, and in that case, everyone but me dropped out, and it took me many months to get to the end of it.

I may have to find a copy of The Hub just for all the additional short content that I haven't gotten to read. Another Nile Etland story! Great!

>73 ronincats: Thanks for sharing the Nebula winners.

May 21, 3:44am Top

I can see the darker lines in >66 ronincats: and yes, I agree that the impact is more striking.

Edited: May 21, 12:42pm Top

>24 SandyAMcPherson: I'm not Roni either, but I love Laurie R. King's Russell and Holmes series, starting with The Beekeeper's Apprentice.

Even if you aren't a Sherlock Holmes fan (I wasn't) you and your friend might enjoy this pastiche to the Holmes' universe.

There's humor and lots of dialogue, some action but not too much. The author fleshes out Holmes as Doyle never did, imo.

>34 ronincats: I'm interested, if I can find one of his books without spending $$.

May 24, 3:50pm Top

I am rather late with happy new thread wishes, Roni, so instead how about Happy Friday and Memorial Day long weekend wishes instead?

>32 ronincats: - Oooohhh.... an Elizabeth Bear book! I admit to having only read New Amsterdam, ad eternum and Carnival so far, but enjoyed a three and did make a note to look into more of Bear's stories.

Edited: May 27, 3:38am Top

Just getting caught up here, Roni. Happy new thread and congrats on your sales equaling 8 months of pottery time.

May 27, 2:00pm Top

Just stopping by to check you're ok (no posts for a week?)

May 27, 2:17pm Top

Good Grief, how can it have been a week since I have posted here?!?

>74 justchris: Chris, I hope you can find time to join us, and it helps that the book is quite short and moves quickly. Sounds like you will be busy indeed!
>75 EBT1002: Welcome home, Ellen.
>76 fuzzi: On the thread itself, I have links to free online stories, and one novel.
>77 lkernagh: Thanks, Lori. You've been on the move, so you are granted leeway.
>78 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg.

Book #70 The Witches of Karres by James H. Schmitz (344 pp.)
Book #71 The Wizard of Karres by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint, Dave Freer (447 pp.)
Book #72 The Sorceress of Karres by Eric Flint and David Freer (416 pp.)

The Witches of Karres (1966) is widely considered Schmitz' masterwork. I differ, but it is still a fun romp and well worth reading. Definitely in the space opera genre, our bumbling hero gets in well over his head before developing the abilities to work with the eponymous witches to deal with space pirates, giant vatches, and aliens seeking to conquer the universe.

The next two books are sequels written in 2004 and 2010 by the guy who put together those collections for Baen of Schmitz' work and collaborators. They actually aren't bad. They do a pretty good job of being true to the spirit of the original. You'll find plenty of disagreement about that on the reviews pages on various sites, but if you don't try to take them seriously, the shenanigans are entertaining.

May 27, 2:27pm Top

Book #73 Miss Blaine's Prefect and the Golden Samovar by Olga Wojtas (247 pp.)

This was a book bullet from Suzanne (Chatterbox) a year ago February, and she was hit by a BB from Kerry in New Zealand. It's a time travel novel and the jacket says for those who like Jasper Fforde and librarians so it seemed like a natural for me, and the library had a copy.

This is a tongue-in-cheek farce, and must be read that way to be enjoyed, because otherwise the heroine is too stupid to endure. Definitely clever, but in the way that lets you know it's being clever rather than inherent in the story.

Book #74 Telzey Amberdon by James H. Schmitz (436 pp.)

This is the first book of the re-issued Baen editions, featuring Telzey in six of her adventures as her psi abilities are awakened and then develop. Very enjoyable!

May 27, 2:37pm Top

>81 ronincats: #73 Oh heavy, heavy sigh. Will the book-bulleting never cease. I suppose I should take it up with Kerry, as she seems to be the one who fired that one first.

Where do the weeks go...?

May 27, 7:09pm Top

>62 ronincats: >66 ronincats: LOVE the cat plates. It is really making me want to try pottery, but with all the yarn I bought for projects recently, I think I had better stick with knitting until I use most of it, or my husband may not be happy! The boxes of yarn are currently taking over our unused living room until I use them or shift them to the basement!

>24 SandyAMcPherson: >76 fuzzi: I'll put in a plug for Laurie R Kings Russell and Holmes series as well.

>34 ronincats: My book came over the weekend. It is a fairly old and used copy, the 1979 Ace books version, and looks well-loved. It may only be good for one more read, but I find it interesting that the former owner(s) did not take out the annoying cardboard advertisement and business reply card in the middle of the book. I'm going to attempt to remove it - wish me luck that the surrounding pages don't come out as well.

May 27, 11:12pm Top

>83 rretzler:, I'm slain by book bullets!

May 28, 9:59am Top

>81 ronincats: Ouch! You got me with Miss Blaine's Prefect.

May 28, 3:31pm Top

Hi Roni, I am back home and have added The Witches of Karres to my Kindle, all ready for July. This should work out well with the SFFFKit as the theme is Space Opera which you mentioned above about this book. You've also given me a BB for Telzey Amberdon and since my Thingaversary is coming up in June, I will probably add that to my Kindle as well.

Edited: May 29, 7:59pm Top

>82 richardderus: Not as long as you hang around LT, my dear!
>83 rretzler: (hangs head) I seem to have a lot of yarn around too. Hope your book survived the surgery, Robin.
>84 SandyAMcPherson: Occupational hazard on LT, Sandy.
>85 foggidawn: Hope you enjoy it, foggi.
>86 DeltaQueen50: Glad to hear you have it, although remember my first choice is Demon Breed, found in the Kindle (or mmpb) version of The Hub: Dangerous Territory. Still, Witches is a fun place to start.

BOOK #75 TnT; Telzey & Trigger by James H. Schmitz (403 pp.)
Book #76 Trigger & Friends by James H. Schmitz (474 pp.)

Continuing through reread of the Baen compilations, TnT is book 2 containing 7 more shorter works about Telzey, with several also featuring Trigger Argee. These take place chronologically AFTER the Trigger stories in book 3, Trigger & Friends. This latter book contains only 5 works, but one is the full-length novel Legacy, which is a 1979 re-title of the original work A Tale of Two Clocks first published in 1962. And this is also the one available on Gutenberg.

These first four books of the five-book compilation put out by Baen in 2000 and 2001, along with the novel The Witches of Karres, are considered the best of Schmitz' work. The fifth book, Eternal Frontier, is a collection of Schmitz' earlier short works and generally considered to be his journeyman works.

May 29, 8:01pm Top

I have finally, officially, permanently Pearl Ruled The Dark Design and Philip Jose Farmer in general. I just can't even with this yahoo.

May 30, 2:22am Top

Congrats on 75 (plus one)!

May 30, 9:47pm Top

Wow 76 already!! You're really setting quite a pace this year!

May 30, 11:22pm Top

>88 richardderus: Responded on your thread, Richard!
>89 curioussquared: and >90 RebaRelishesReading:, thank you!

Oh, my. On the NPR News Hour tonight, they interviewed Daniel Mendelsohn re An Odyssey, which has been getting some buzz here on LT.

And then they announced the next book for the NPR monthly book club, and it's THE FIFTH SEASON by N. K. Jemisin!!!

Edited: May 31, 4:45pm Top

I'm posting extensively but not exhaustively around on the threads that Jenn (jjmcgaffey) has posted a link for free online copies of all of Schmitz' work in those Baen compilations on the group read thread!

Edited: May 31, 9:45pm Top

Oh my, oh my, oh my!!! Good Omens is available NOW for Amazon Prime members here!


And the first 15 minutes are AMAZING!

ETA the whole first episode is amazing! Not a false note anywhere! Struggling to pace myself.

May 31, 10:46pm Top


May 31, 10:53pm Top

May 31, 11:19pm Top

May Summary

Books read: 16
Pages read: 5387
Average pages per day: 174
Average pages per book: 337

New reads: 8
Rereads: 8
Library books: 3
Books off the shelf (ROOTS): 1
New acquisitions read: 6/6
Did Not Finish (DNF): 0

science fiction 9
fantasy 7
children's 0
nonfiction 0
fiction 0
romance 0
mystery 0

Author gender: 10 female, 7 male

Country of origin: 14-USA, 0-England, 0-Wales, 1-Scotland, Australia, 2-Canada, France, Germany, South Africa, 0-Malaysia, 1-Dominican Republic

Medium: 8-Kindle, 1-Hardback, 3-trade paper, 4-mass market paper

Books acquired:
Source: 6-Amazon (5 Kindle, 1 hb); 0-Goodwill; 0-Mysterious Galaxy; 0-PBS; 0-Early Reviewers
Read: 6
Genre: 3-science fiction, 3-fantasy, 0-nonfiction, 0-fiction, 0-romance
Cost: $32.12

Books out the door: one (PBS)

Jun 1, 1:40am Top

Good Omens is dropping a LOT of w-bombs at 23:00+. *gaaak*

Jun 1, 4:43am Top

>87 ronincats: Congratulations on reaching and passing the magic 75!
>93 ronincats: One of my favorite books was made into a movie.
And it turned out good too.
I have to wait until it is available for me - I don't have Prime and would like to have the series in German - or at least subtitles.
But it's always good when you can look forward to something good.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Jun 1, 8:34am Top

Congrats on 75, Roni!

Glad Good Omens lived up to your expectations :)

Jun 1, 9:46am Top

I wasn't much around, so belated congratulations on reaching 75, Roni!

And thank you for your very much appriciated comments on my thread. It will take a while to come to terms...

Edited: Jun 1, 12:51pm Top

Hi Roni! Congrats on the 75!

>91 ronincats: I've been reading along with the PBS/NYT Now Read This bookclub and really enjoyed An Odyssey: A Father, A Son and an Epic. I'm currently listening to Circe which is the perfect go-along to An Odyssey. Amazing story and the narrator is wonderful.

I've requested The Fifth Season from the library. We'll see how long it takes. There is always a huge request line as soon as the book is announced, but, just because it is SF, the line may be shorter this month.

I've really enjoyed the variety of books from Now Read This. They also read The Power earlier this year for speculative fiction at its finest. (Although I know you've read so much more than me, so YMMV. )

Jun 2, 1:43am Top

Congratulations on reaching 75, Roni!

Jun 2, 1:03pm Top

Congrats on 75, Roni!

Jun 2, 10:38pm Top

>97 richardderus: Definitely worth it, though.
>98 SirThomas: Thank you, Thomas.
>99 bell7: Thanks, Mary.
>100 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita, and HUGS!
>101 streamsong: I haven't been reading along, but I do want to read An Odyssey. Loved The Fifth Season but it isn't an easy book.
>102 lkernagh: Thanks, Lori.
>103 katiekrug: Thank you, Katie. Are you loving your new house?

Jun 3, 1:42am Top

Congratulations on 75 Roni!

Jun 3, 5:17pm Top

Congrats on 75! My library doesn't have Demon Breed. I'll try ILL and a couple other places.

Jun 4, 3:58am Top

>106 Morphidae: - if you can manage the ebooks, Demon Breed is in The Hub: Dangerous Territory which can be downloaded for free at http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/ . It's not simple, exactly - you have to download the Honor Harrington CD (the first one), then either burn or mount it so you can actually get at the files, then it's under Friends of Honor (along with several other Schmitz books). But it might be worth the trouble, especially if your library can't provide it.

Or...y'know... now that I have an e-copy of The Demon Breed, I plan to discard my paperback. Want it? PM me, please, if you do.

Jun 4, 11:58am Top

>104 ronincats: Ha! Yes indeed, nor a squillion ads.

Edited: Jun 4, 2:09pm Top

Hi Roni! So, Trigger and Friends is the one to get to get Legacy? Sounds like that one, along with Demon Breed are the must reads. The Witches book sounds good too - I didn't realise they were SF space witches! Yay!
I'm glad Good Omens is good. I'm a Netflix rather than Amazon Prime kind of lady so not sure when I'll get the chance to see it.

Jun 4, 2:55pm Top

Hi Roni!

Congrats on 75 books.

>93 ronincats: We noticed Good Omens but needed a nudge - looks like you've provided it. We're in the middle of In Plain Sight, but will try to check it out after.

Jun 5, 10:06am Top

>81 ronincats:
Regarding Miss Blaine's Prefect - I found it too clever for its own good and therefore it got boring. I do agree with you about reading it with the tongue-in-cheek attitude. I think the author could have made the heroine a little less stupid and it would have helped, but ...

Jun 5, 1:36pm Top

I'll add my congrats--and that comic sums up one of the many reasons I still prefer print.

Jun 5, 10:49pm Top

Hi, all; sorry to have been gone the last few days. Our June gloom weather triggered one of my worst migraines in years Monday, and I did recover enough yesterday to run all the errands that got cancelled Monday, and with the migraine hangover, that did me in. Finally starting to feel like myself!

>105 humouress: Thanks, Nina.
>106 Morphidae: Thanks, Morphy. You might have more luck finding The Hub than Demon Breed on its own, although used bookstores might have either. Or take Jenn up on her offer?
>107 jjmcgaffey: Very generous of you, Jenn.
>108 richardderus: B-)
>109 HanGerg: Yes, Trigger & Friends has Legacy in it. And yes, it's all psi, nothing occult, with these witches!
>110 karenmarie: And you remind me, Karen, that Good Omens is one of the things that got put on hold due to the migraine.
>111 benitastrnad: I know what you mean, Benita.
>112 CassieBash: Thank you, Cassie!

So one of the errands yesterday was to stop by the library to pick up books that had arrived at my branch for me. And they were all three the type of relatively mindless entertainment that is perfect for post-migraine lethargy (I've finished two already).

Book #77 The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien (327 pp.)

I finished this on Saturday, pre-headache. This is a reread as part of the group read over in the Category Challenge of Lord of the Rings. https://www.librarything.com/topic/304831

I read through Book 3, the first half, very quickly--always love the Ents! But Book 4 is always a slow read for me as a reread, at least up until the cliffhanger end! Moving on to The Return of the King for June.

Book #78 St. Paul: The Saint We Love To Hate by Karen Armstrong (143 pp.)

This short nonfiction book was a non-demanding and quick read.

Book #79 The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay (290 pp.)

Joe read this and gave it a positive review last year, and so when it came up at the library, I ordered it. It was fun "chicklit" full of love for Austen and just the thing for an entertaining read with no demands that my migraine hangover required yesterday!

Book #80 The Rose Legacy by Jessica Day George (263 pp.)

George is a very successful writer of fantasy for the intermediate grades (roughly ages 9 to 13), many of them fairy tale retellings. This tale, not a retelling, will especially appeal to horse-mad girls of that age. George always brings a freshness and cleverness to her tales and this one does not disappoint. Foggi (foggidawn) read it recently and again, my library had it!

Jun 7, 1:32am Top

Belated congrats on reading 75 and way beyond, Roni!

Jun 7, 11:36am Top

Very sorry to hear about your nasty migraine. I'm glad that you're on the upswing and feeling better.

>104 ronincats: Should I ask? What do you mean when you say The Fifth Season isn't an easy book?

Jun 7, 12:44pm Top

Hi Roni.

That is all.

Jun 7, 2:36pm Top

>113 ronincats: Hmm. I tried and wandered away from George's Tuesdays at the Castle recently. At the time I wondered if I shouldn't give it another go sometime as I was surprised it wasn't working for me. This makes me even more inclined to keep it around for a second shot.

Jun 7, 2:45pm Top

I'm glad you enjoyed The Austen Escape, Roni. Sometimes an entertaining story full of love for our Jane is just the thing. Sorry you had the migraine hangover, though!

Edited: Jun 7, 6:59pm Top

>114 Familyhistorian: Thank you, Meg.
>115 streamsong: I mean that it's not a light read. It's somewhat dense, painful in parts, fascinating and pulls together to a marvelously constructed conclusion.
>116 richardderus: Hola, Ricardo. Como esta?
>117 lycomayflower: I have read this series, Laura, and I thought it was fun although juvenile--which means it's perfect for the age level she is aiming it at.
>118 jnwelch: Thanks for the initial referral, Joe. I did indeed enjoy it and the migraine is now behind me.

Well, my third mindless entertainment book from the library is my first DNF of the year. I read 125 pages of the 247 total for The Governess Game by Tessa Dare before finally giving up. I just don't want to read pages and pages about the Duke-to-be and the inadvertent governess panting over each other (among other things) in between the actual story. Too much. I'm done.

Jun 7, 7:15pm Top

>119 ronincats: I'm about to get into The Hub on my Kindle. Can't wait!

Jun 7, 8:09pm Top

Just catching up here. Congrats on surpassing 75 books :)

Jun 8, 12:34am Top

>113 ronincats:, >117 lycomayflower: I enjoy George - it is light and juvenile fare, but there are some ideas behind the fluff (it's not _pure_ fluff). I liked the Castle series, but I preferred the Princesses one - and Rose Legacy was good, too. I liked the Dragon Slippers series best, though. That was my introduction to George, and I read them in quick sequence - got the first one from the library, finished, went back and got the other two!

Jun 8, 8:09pm Top

>120 richardderus: Go, Richard!!
>121 figsfromthistle: Thank you very much.
>122 jjmcgaffey: I liked the Dragon Slippers books best too, Jenn.

I finished my reread of LOTR for the group read.

Book #81 The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien (302 pp.)

Just as satisfying as the first time I read it 53 years ago, and all the multitudinous times since!

Jun 9, 10:40am Top

Last week's bring-home from the pottery wasn't too exciting. I'm low on cereal bowl size pieces so I made several of them. My plate was in a kiln that was still too hot to unload, so I'll see that next week.

Jun 9, 10:48am Top

>124 ronincats: Oh those blues are magical colors and the shapes are so pleasing.

Jun 9, 5:22pm Top

So sorry you had a mega migraine :( I always appreciate May grey and June gloom because they keep it from being so hot but it's not nice if they cause a migraine. Hope you're doing better this week.

Jun 9, 5:59pm Top

>123 ronincats: The same here, Roni, still in love with LotR, each time I read it. My first time was 43 years ago.

>124 ronincats: Maybe not exiting, but lovely as always!

Jun 9, 6:30pm Top

I'm still waiting for my first Schmitz!


Jun 9, 7:52pm Top

The cobalts are always so satisfying.

Yay for Monday!

Jun 9, 10:30pm Top

>124 ronincats: beautiful...

Jun 9, 10:39pm Top

Hi Roni, those blue dishes really catch the eye. Sorry to read about the migraine but happy to hear that it has passed off. I've enjoyed a few of Jessica Day George's fantasies, yes, they are light, but sometimes that is exactly what one is looking for.

Jun 11, 4:24pm Top

>124 ronincats: Love those blues! Hope your head is feeling better, Roni.

Jun 12, 10:43pm Top

Thanks for visiting, Susan, Reba, Anita, Lucy, Richard, Fuzzi, Judy and Meg. Thank you for all the kind words. Yes, that blue glaze combo is a perennial favorite and I was running low. I should have a jar and lid in that color to bring home tomorrow, along with a cat plate. And no more migraines. We had a Santa Ana on Monday, with temps in the 90s and winds and all kinds of heat records in the county broken for that date. I had a haircut so was more inland than the house for that--93 degrees! So we thought Tuesday would be the same and went down to the beach, where it was overcast but 71 degrees so pleasant for a walk. Afterwards, we went over to Point Loma Seafood for squid sandwiches for lunch, and saw that a new brewery/biergarten had been built behind it. So...

After that, the husband wanted to go up to Kearny Mesa for an errand so we stopped by Mysterious Galaxy and I bought Liaden Universe Constellation 4 there, which has just come out in trade paperback. I have the first three collections on my Kindle. Today has been warmish but not at all uncomfortable here--rather a nice change from all our cool, rainy weather this spring. I've trimmed and watered tomato plants--they all are setting on tomatoes, fixed a chef salad for dinner, and read a fair amount on A Memory Called Empire which is due at the library tomorrow but which will be turned in a few days late.

Jun 12, 11:35pm Top

Sounds like a lovely day to me, (((((Roni)))))!
We rejoiced in 70s today too; there was a bit of rain, but we need it.

Jun 13, 6:54am Top

Delightful change of weather there! It's been very rainy here the last couple of weeks, and the grass is making up for lost time: May was hot and dry, June has been more temperate and WET. The mosquitoes are happy...

Jun 13, 10:38pm Top

>133 ronincats: Sounds like a lovely day, and certainly a lovely place to sit and sip.

Jun 14, 4:33pm Top

Thanks for coming by, Peggy, fuzzi and Chris! Yes, it's a very pleasant 73F out right now, quite warm out in the sun, and we've been dry for over a week. Here's what I brought home from the pottery yesterday. The little piece on its side is a succulent planter, but I tipped it so you could see the colors.

Jun 14, 5:48pm Top

>137 ronincats: Lovely pottery as always, Roni. I especially like the shape/glaze color you have on the small bowl (or is it too a planter) in green.

Jun 14, 6:29pm Top

>137 ronincats: THE. JAR.


Lovely little planter and the rose bowl-ish piece is a very nice green; the bowl-bowl gets my vote for color-hunger.

I Loftily Ignore anything with...them...on it.

Jun 14, 10:48pm Top

>137 ronincats: I like all of those, but the little green dish at the center rear, I love.

Jun 15, 2:33am Top

I like the two dark ones - the blue jar and the green bowl. The others are nice, but those are gorgeous. I still haven't figured out how to achieve your star-shaped glazes - my glazes refuse to blend, or to stand out. I drool every time you show us some...

Jun 15, 10:14pm Top

>138 bell7: Thank you, Mary. The small piece with the fluted rim is indeed a bowl.
>139 richardderus: I know you do the best you can, dear!
>140 foggidawn: That's the one Mary likes too, foggi.
>141 jjmcgaffey: Thanks, Jenn. I don't know what to tell you. I do the base coat of glaze, let it dry, then paint in 5 triangles with points meeting in the middle (on bowls) and put another color dripping down the middle of those and in between the triangles. On the jar, paint broad stripes on the outside about a third of the way down and then a narrow strip of the third color on that. Glazes are just thick enuf to coat a finger lightly.

Book #82 A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine (462 pp.)

I thought this was very good! It's space opera with a political twist with a murder mystery thrown in. Majit is the new ambassador from her polity of space stations to a powerful empire with a history of accessioning weaker surrounding territories. No one at home knows what happened to the previous ambassador and Majit is thrown into a complex bureaucratic culture with Aztec overtones with everything at stake. Nonstop action but with plenty of thoughtful meat to balance it. Strongly recommended.

Jun 16, 1:55am Top

>142 ronincats: No, I suspect the glazes we have combine differently, or we don't have the color range you do (wider, or narrower, but not the same), or something. I've gotten some nice results from doing it your way, but it doesn't have the blend yours does. I'll keep trying - some combo of our glazes may do it. Or maybe I'll find some result I like even better. I have to say, I have never yet gotten exactly the result I was expecting from my glaze - colors change, things run, things I expected to run don't...That, I suspect, is pretty much a matter of practice. My total output (over the last nearly 2 years) probably equals at most a couple months of yours - certainly less than you take to any fair for selling. So I keep trying.

Jun 16, 9:58pm Top

Jun 17, 2:36am Top

>144 ronincats: A big thumbs up for the above, Roni!

Jun 17, 9:26am Top

Hi Roni!

I remember the Santa Anas from living in CA - they get people restless and cause lots of headaches and migraines.

I especially like the little succulent dish and the little mint green bowl to the right of it.

>133 ronincats: Sounds like a lovely time out. I love squid, but have never had a squid sandwich. Intriguing thought.

Jun 17, 2:44pm Top

Edited: Jun 18, 9:12am Top

Came here to report that I finally have Demon Breed and plan to start it today!! But I have a feeling there is a thread I didn't star . . .

Got totally distracted by trying to figure out which Liadens I do and don't have. It's frustratingly complex. I do wait now for the constellation books of short stories, that helps.

Jun 18, 2:25pm Top

Jun 18, 4:07pm Top

>144 ronincats: That sums it up nicely!

Jun 20, 6:46pm Top

Glad for the validation, Judy, Cassie, Reba, Karen, Richard, Beth, and Meg!

Glad to hear you are getting started, Lucy; it should go quickly. And thanks for helping out with the link, fuzzi.

So, today was pottery day. I spent the whole time doing two cat mugs and a carved vase, but this is what I brought home from glazing last week.

Jun 20, 9:03pm Top

>154 ronincats: Ooo, nice!

Jun 21, 8:43am Top

>154 ronincats: Oh, I like those, two! Love the flower-bloom shape in the bottom of the one on the left.

Jun 21, 10:38am Top

Both are very nice bowls but I especially like the shape of the one on the right and also the green rim on it. Just lovely.

Jun 21, 2:30pm Top

>154 ronincats: The perfect periwinkle on the left made me smile, but the batter bowl with omnidirectional exits is the one I'd buy.

Happy weekend!

Jun 23, 3:27pm Top

Thank you, Susan, Cassie, Reba and Richard. I am happy with how they came out.

I am a week behind on reviews. It's been a busy week. For the last 4 months we've been engaged in legal proceedings with our tenant and finally, on Monday, we got possession of our rental back (we have a granny flat on the alley behind our house), and it was in bad condition. This week has been contacting locksmiths, electricians, contractors, plumbers and getting quotes on the work. We're pretty well set up now for work to start this coming week, and hopefully all will go smoothly. Keep your fingers crossed.

Book #83 Thornbound by Stephanie Burgis (186 pp.)

Foggi called my attention to this sequel to Snowspelled earlier this month and I immediately picked it up on my Kindle. Liked it just as much if not better than the first!

Cassandra Harwood scandalized her nation when she became the first woman magician in Angland. Now, she's ready to teach a whole new generation of bright young women at her radical new school, the Thornfell College of Magic...

Until a sinister fey altar is discovered in the school library, the ruling Boudiccate sends a delegation to shut down Thornfell, and Cassandra's own husband is torn away from her.

Book #84 A Liaden Universe Constellation: Volume 4 by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (324 pp.)

This is another collection of shorter works set in Lee and Miller's Liaden Universe. I probably would have liked it better if the best of these, the novella Due Diligence, had not been one that I had picked up very recently in Kindle format and just read. I forgot to count it here when I did so, however, which works out nicely now. Most of the others were okay but not absorbing. Only for fans.

Book #85 The Hidden City by Michelle West (755 pp.)

This was well-developed fantasy and the writing was good, but the pace was excruciatingly slow. I realize this 754 page book was essentially a set-up for the rest of the series, getting all the set pieces in place, but for me it dragged out in interminable detail.

I wrote the above before looking at other reviews on Goodreads and here and discovered two things. One--that I was not alone in characterizing the pace as glacial. Two--although I had known that West had a trilogy and a duology set in this world prior to writing this House Wars series, I did not realize that this was a prequel to those books involving characters that showed up later in them. I always have a problem with prequels even when I love the series, because the plots have to follow certain developments to end up where the previously written books are and so they often feel curiously flat. After reading this one, I rather think it's spoiled the entire story arc for me and I probably won't continue even though I love the author's Elantra series.

Jun 23, 3:53pm Top

Hi Roni. I am going to check out Jessica Day George. I need to read a fairy tale (or retold fairy tale) for one of my BingoDOG squares and July is Fantasy month in the SeriesCAT. SO, if I can find one of hers that is both a fairy tale and part of a series, I'm golden.

>154 ronincats: Those two bowls are beautiful! I can see you experimenting with variations in your style. It's fun to be able to witness some of that. I also really like the cereal-sized bowls in >124 ronincats:.

Jun 24, 6:16am Top

Jun 24, 5:08pm Top

>159 ronincats: Glad you finally got that resolved. Hope the repairs go smoothly.

Edited: Jun 25, 10:06am Top

Hope the migraines have gone.

>113 ronincats: Must check out The Austen Escape and The Rose Legacy; that last one keeps popping up on my Amazon e-mails. Dragon Slippers was my introduction to her. Or possibly Princess of the Midnight Ball.

>124 ronincats: I see a cat in that bowl on the right (and a bird on the left).

>133 ronincats: Poor you.

>137 ronincats: Nice!

I'm just thinking about planting a 'landscape' of succulents.

>144 ronincats: Thumb.

>154 ronincats: Ooh, pretty!

>159 ronincats: Will you be letting it out again or reclaiming it for yourselves?

Jun 25, 10:41am Top

#82 sounds really good, also the undiscovered-altar-in-the-library of #83. Sounds like a good place for one.

I've just started Demon Breed last night, so hope to finish by month's end.

Edited: Jun 25, 9:25pm Top

>160 EBT1002: Thank you for the kind words, Ellen.
>161 foggidawn: The perfect book for Ellen, foggi!
>162 RebaRelishesReading: If only, Reba. I feel like my head is spinning wildly. I still have the city inspector on my tail and documenting the use of the security deposit is a veritable dissertation. Plus we've been to Home Depot every day this week.
>163 humouress: I going to make it a she-shack, Nina. Tired, tired, tired of renting it out and then having to completely remodel it after the tenants leave, and just all the hassle in general. Will be a combo craft studio and workshop for the hubby's tools. (Separate rooms!)
>164 swynn: I think you will be done well before month's end, Steve!

"More than 20,000 Christians have signed a petition calling for the cancellation of Good Omens, the television series adapted from Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s 1990 fantasy novel – unfortunately addressing their petition to Netflix when the series is made by Amazon Prime."

Jun 25, 11:09pm Top

Congratulations on being on the way to claim your she-shack! I hope that all the nastiness is soon done. I'm thinking ROOM FOR BOOKS!!!!!

Jun 26, 2:50am Top

>165 ronincats: Yay for separate rooms!

That's hilarious. Maybe Crowley had a hand in that.

Jun 26, 8:39am Top

>165 ronincats:, >167 humouress: Oh, that _is_ too funny!

Jun 26, 10:10pm Top

>161 foggidawn: That is the one I'm going with! Thanks foggi!

Hi Roni. :-)

>165 ronincats: Cracked me up!

Jun 27, 6:31pm Top

>166 LizzieD: Well, I'd been thinking more about craft materials--clay, hand-building tools, glazes, brushes and the like, as well as my sewing machine and all the fabric stored up in the attic.
But at least my pottery and sewing books can go back there.

>167 humouress:, >168 CassieBash: They really objected to a woman voicing God and to Crowley being portrayed in a sympathetic manner. Huh?

>169 EBT1002: Good choice!

Pottery this morning!

And here's my tomatoes. Yes, there are some set on. They are all still small and green.

Jun 28, 9:20am Top

>170 ronincats: Dogma portrayed God as a woman long before this, and you would think a demon with a touch of goodness in him was a bad thing, lol. Somehow, these people always seem to forget those things that happen in the Bible (especially the Old Testament) that wouldn't hold up to their rigid standards, and yet we don't hear them calling to sensor or stop publishing that, do we? My philosophy is that I have no right to tell others what to read/watch/listen to, etc., but they have to do me the same courtesy.

I love those mugs--and is that a plant pot in the middle? I don't see a handle. And what cute cats sitting behind your pottery! It's like they're peeking out from behind. :)

Jun 28, 10:32pm Top

>159 ronincats: Good luck with getting your flat back in shape, Roni. Sounds like a smart plan to expand your working space rather than going through the problems with tenants all over again.

Edited: Jun 29, 5:28pm Top

>171 CassieBash: Just a generic pot, Cassie, not a plant pot. And those cats behind are a tape dispenser and pencil cup. And I completely agree with you!
>172 Familyhistorian: We have rented the place for 33 years, Meg, and I can think of only one tenant who didn't require some major work after leaving in that time. This is the third major overhaul in this century. So we will be glad to have ourselves as tenants, and only ourselves to blame.

The plumber came by yesterday and cleaned out the vents of the wall heater and hooked up a new thermostat to replace the one they destroyed, so that is one of the things off the list for the city inspector that they reported us to for not having a functional heater. Nothing wrong with the heater itself, fortunately. The day before, they poured new concrete all around the front and side of the house to replace the old, cracked concrete, and today the exterior is being painted. Next week they work on the interior of the house, and a new security fence goes in the following week.

I didn't talk about this much while we were undergoing litigation, but one of the things the city cited us for was not having a permit for the garage conversion. When we went down to the city offices to have the permits pulled up, we found that the building had an interesting history. Now this little house is 30 feet by 20 feet. At the north end is the entrance into the living room and the kitchen is parallel to it on the east. The alley is to the west, the side the living room is on. To the south of it is a 8 by 13 room running west to east, with a bathroom on the east end of it. Then, what used to be a garage on the south side of these rooms, with a garage door on the west side, was converted into a large bedroom in the southeast corner of the house with a storage space behind the garage door opening only to the outside. I thought it had been built as a granny flat, something very common in this area, but the records show that the building was originally a carriage house, with a buggy area where the garage later was, a stable for the horse in that middle area, and a tack room in the north area! Amazing! In the mid-40s the then owner converted it into a 1 bedroom apartment for his mother, and a garage. Then in the mid-70s, the garage was converted into the bedroom with storage space. And it WAS all permitted!!! (Which was the biggest relief!)

Now we just have to have the electrician fix an outlet box and a pest control company look at the mouse problem. I will not deny that they had mice back there--it's an old house and porous and I'm sure the tenants had food sources all over. But I've been setting traps and we haven't seen hide nor hair of a mouse since they left. (And it's not like we don't have a yard full of feral cats patrolling the outside of the house, especially along the east side in our back yard!)

I will be SO glad when this is all done...

Finished a book a couple of days ago.

Book #86 Fractured Symmetry: Blair MacAlister & Terendurr the Black Stone by Fernando Salazar (337 pp.)

Blair MacAlister is an expert at Judo, a credible AI hacker, and a certified pilot of craft atmospheric and interstellar. Her favorite weapon is sarcasm, or failing that, her ever-present blaster. Her boss is Terendurr the Black Stone: technical wizard, expert in the ethnography of myriad races, fancier of rare foods and wines, and even rarer fractalites. An Entharion Quadromorph, exiled from his homeworld and under constant threat of assassination, he is also somewhat irritable.

Together they investigate mysteries based on science, in a setting that brings them into contact with all the main races of Civspace: The mysterious Junn, the affable but biologically intense Raylics, the chaotic and powerful Oro-Ka, the commercial minded Keret, and the cynical Phair. At the center of their cases are transformative genetic therapies, unlikely fossils, the linked neurology of symbiotes, and more. Terendurr is over 300 years old and has seen and endured the worst and strangest the galaxy has to offer. Will Blair prove as durable as her boss?

I can't get the touchstones to come up for this--I appear to have the only copy on LT. It is a Kindle book I picked up. This was published in 2017 but mimics the style of classic science fiction where a novel is a series of adventures featuring the same cast (very similar to the Telzey books by Schmitz, for example). This is pure entertainment, but it IS entertaining, which is what I have needed with everything else in my life. If you are a fan of classic SF you might want to give it a try. It was a freebie when I picked it up; it's now $4.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited.

Jun 29, 11:30pm Top

Congratulations on getting your house just about settled! I'm happy for you that everything was permitted. That must be a relief. Happy Weekend!

Edited: Jun 30, 11:30pm Top

Thanks, Peggy. Hope you had a nice one too.

Last book for June--

Book #87 Pawsitively Poisonous by Melissa Erin Jackson (201 pp.)

Amber Blackwood, lifelong resident of Edgehill, Oregon, has earned a reputation for being a semi-reclusive odd duck. Her store, The Quirky Whisker, is full of curiosities, from extremely potent sleepy teas and ever-burning candles to kids’ toys that seem to run endlessly without the aid of batteries. The people of Edgehill think of the Quirky Whisker as an integral part of their feline-obsessed town, but most give Amber herself a wide berth. Amber prefers it that way; it keeps her secret safe. But that secret is thrown into jeopardy when Amber’s friend Melanie is found dead, a vial of headache tonic from Amber’s store clutched in her hand.

Edgehill’s newest police chief has had it out for Amber since he arrived three years before. He can’t possibly know she’s a witch, but his suspicions about her odd store and even odder behavior have shot her to the top of his suspect list. When the Edgehill rumor mill finds out Melanie was poisoned, it’s not only the police chief who looks at Amber differently. Determined to both find justice for her friend and to clear her own name, Amber must use her unique gifts to help track down Melanie’s real killer. A quest that threatens much more than her secret …

This is pretty much a cozy mystery with a touch of paranormal thrown in. Despite the additions of fantasy and cats, this is pretty much run-of-the-mill for the genre. At least the police chief isn't a romantic interest, as in so many cozies. I'll not be continuing, but I've been reading a lot of mindless fiction to deal with anxiety over the rental situation when I've not been playing online puzzle games and this did fit that bill!!

June Summary

Books read: 12
Pages read: 3715
Average pages per day: 124
Average pages per book: 310

New reads: 10
Rereads: 2
Library books: 5
Books off the shelf (ROOTS): 0
New acquisitions read: 4/4
Did Not Finish (DNF): 1

science fiction 3
fantasy 5
children's 1
nonfiction 1
fiction 1
romance 0
mystery 1

Author gender: 8 female, 4 male

Country of origin: 8-USA, 3-England, 1-Wales, -Scotland, Australia, -Canada, France, Germany, South Africa, 0-Malaysia, -Dominican Republic

Medium: 3-Kindle, 6-Hardback, 2-trade paper, 1-mass market paper

Books acquired: 3
Source: 2-Amazon (2 Kindle, 0 hb); 0-Goodwill; 1-Mysterious Galaxy; 0-PBS; 0-Early Reviewers
Read: 3
Genre: 1-science fiction, 1-fantasy, 0-nonfiction, 0-fiction, 0-romance, 1-mystery
Cost: $23.98

Books out the door: 7 (Middle school library)

Jun 30, 11:44pm Top

Mid-Year Summary

Books read: 87
Pages read: 29550
Average pages per day: 163
Average pages per book: 337

New reads: 65
Rereads: 22
Library books: 32
Books off the shelf (ROOTS): 12
New acquisitions read: 6/6
Did Not Finish (DNF): 1

science fiction 27
fantasy 46
children's 5
nonfiction 4
fiction 2
romance 5
mystery 1

Author gender: 63 female, 25 male

Books acquired: 39
Read: 21
Genre: 7-science fiction, 17-fantasy, 5-nonfiction, 7-fiction, 1-romance, 1-mystery
Cost: $159.07

Books out the door: 114

Jun 30, 11:49pm Top

>173 ronincats: Thank whatever Elder God took her eyes off you for the rental resolution. That book sounds interesting!

I've read what I'm almost positive will be my 2019 6-stars-of-five read: Heart Berries. Shattering.

Jun 30, 11:54pm Top

A great BB. Thanks >175 ronincats:. I guess Pawsitively Poisonous is too recent for me to have a hope of finding a copy via the library. It sounds like a fun escapist story and many's the time that's exactly what I need.

Jul 1, 4:28am Top

Well >142 ronincats: is definitely a book bullet. >173 ronincats: sounds like great fun too! But let's not overlook the real issue here. What exactly, is a squid sandwich? Can you talk me through it? I've had squid many ways, and liked them all, but slap it between two bits of bread? Can't say it ever occurred to me.
Also, glad you are finally getting this rental situation sorted. My parents had a similar issue several years ago that got very nasty and caused untold stress, not to mention legal fees. You must be so relieved it's all been resolved|!

Jul 1, 8:16am Top

>173 ronincats: Glad to hear the permits aren't a worry anymore. Red tape is always a hassle.

Jul 1, 10:50am Top

>177 richardderus: Definitely thank the Elder Goddess! Yes, I read your review--powerful!
>178 SandyAMcPherson: It is a fun escapist story, and yes, really recent.
>179 HanGerg: Well, there are these 1 inch by 3 inch strips of squid steak, the thick stuff, that have been breaded and fried and layered between two huge slices of sourdough bread with some tartar sauce, Hannah, and they are to die for! Ah yes, very nasty and definitely caused untold stress, and in about 3 weeks when all the redo and the city inspection are done, hopefully all resolved.
>180 CassieBash: Yes, that was the big worry of the four items on the city's checklist.

Jul 1, 2:51pm Top

>173 ronincats: So glad you're making good progress on your she-shed :) What an interesting history the little building has and WHEW! to the permits being in place. I also had to smile at the idea of mice silly enough to get any place near your property...or do you keep the cats so well-fed they wouldn't stoop to bothering a mouse?

Jul 1, 10:33pm Top

THANK YOU, Reba. I really thought more people would find that interesting and am glad you commented on it. The cats couldn't get inside the unit, but they certainly patrolled the exterior!

So, The Curse of Chalion is on sale as an ebook for 99¢ today, so I had to pick it up for my Kindle to supplement my hardcover. And could I resist starting to read it? Of course not.

Jul 2, 4:24pm Top

>183 ronincats: No resisting that price. Of course I didn't resist the HB when it first came out and I have no regrets.

Jul 2, 6:09pm Top

Me either, Susan!

Book #88 The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold (512 pp.)

Every time I read this, I note more of the tight plotting and foreshadowing in the story and am amazed all over again. One of the great fantasy reads, imho.

Edited: Jul 2, 6:38pm Top

BB! I've never heard of The Curse of Chalion although the author seems familiar. Nice review that accounts for the bb.


Jul 3, 4:07am Top

>186 SandyAMcPherson: She mostly writes/wrote (complexly-plotted, rich, excellent) science fiction; I think Curse of Chalion was her first or second fantasy, she's written several others since then - two more in this world and a good many others. I think she's about even in SF and fantasy books coming out these days. And she's an _excellent_ writer in both genres.

Jul 3, 2:11pm Top

>187 jjmcgaffey: Thanks for your views. I have added this title to my WL on our library website. That's where I place titles that I will request as a hold in the future.

I'm being careful not to have a repeat of the library-book cascade, like I did back in May. I had trouble finishing non-renewable novels!

Jul 3, 2:57pm Top

>187 jjmcgaffey: The Spirit Ring is LMB's only stand alone novel, and was her only fantasy novel for many years. Understandably, her publisher wanted her to keep feeding them SF. She went to another publisher for The Curse of Chalion.

Jul 3, 11:03pm Top

(((((Roni))))) I absolutely cannot reread The Curse of Chalion right now, but I WANT to!

Jul 4, 2:35am Top

>189 quondame: That's what I was thinking, that Spirit Ring was her actual first but Curse was the one that got her going on fantasy. I didn't remember, though now you remind me I did know, that she went to another publisher for fantasy. I tend to only notice publishers when I'm looking at new-to-me authors - and even then there's no publisher that does only stuff I find good/great, though there's several that frequently have good stuff. I see a Bujold, I get it, the publisher is irrelevant.

>190 LizzieD: Oh yes! We need a term like book bullet for "I've read that before but now you've mentioned it and I really want to read it again!" - book boomerang?

Jul 4, 8:08am Top

Hi Roni!

Congrats on deciding not to rent any more and converting the granny flat into a she-cave, work shop, etc. Very interesting to hear the history of it, especially that it was originally a carriage house.

Jul 4, 7:39pm Top

>191 jjmcgaffey: and >190 LizzieD:, yes, I like that idea, we do need a term and book boomerang appeals greatly.

I just read April Lady again and it was most definitely due to book boomerang.

Jul 4, 10:28pm Top

Another vote for book boomerang! I like it. (I don't suppose we want to shorten that to BooBoo?) (Sorry)

Jul 5, 10:00am Top

Hi Roni; Hooray for a she and he shed! And boo to all the problems the renters caused over the years.

The story of your former carriage shed is fascinating.

Last week I had to go to Missoula to the regional water rights bureau and file for water rights on my well which apparently had never been done. I was so impressed as they were able to pull up documents on the computer from 1955 when water use permits were filed on the two wells on the property - apparently this is different than water rights - but it was a great relief to have the earlier documentation and fun to see the original documents online. Hopefully the bureaucracy is satisfied, but I have no idea when I'll hear.

Edited: Jul 5, 11:09am Top

I am glad to hear of the progress on your shed. I know that renting is a hassle and at times, I wonder at the audacity of renters. However, I have to say that as a life long renter I also cringe when I hear these stories of renting gone wrong. I don't treat my rented house like that. In fact, I may be somewhat of a worry wart about things. For instance, I noticed that my flower bed was always damp. Then it was wet. Then it had water standing in it. From time-to-time I told the owner about it. Finally when the hot water heater gave out, and it was replaced, I asked the gas company about the water. Turned out that it was a leak under the cement slab that the house is built on, and it was in the hot water pipes. It was a very expensive fix, and I know that that the owner dished out about $4,000.00 to fix it. It left me with a $300.00 water bill, and an unusable kitchen for about a month. It also turns out that Alabama is one of only 2 states (Arkansas is the other) that doesn't have any laws protecting renters from owners who refuse to make repairs. Mine didn't refuse, they just were slow to fix the problem. I don't blame them, but I also realize that they weren't paying the water or gas bill so it was easy to ignore. Since the repairs my water bill, which had been about $100.00 per month for two years, and then spiked to the $300.00 as the leak got worse, dropped to $50.00 a month.

I also have a mouse problem. The house was repaired after the Tuscaloosa tornado in 2011 and I moved in September 2012. I didn't purchase a washer or dryer until I had been in the house for two months. It turns out that somebody forgot to put the cover on the dryer vent so all kinds of varmints had a free entrance and exit to the house. I could have used a couple of your feral cats and still could. The mouse problem has never gone away completely. I don't see them blatantly out in the open anymore, but I see plenty of signs they are still in the house, so I set traps and sometimes I catch one.

I like renting and don't want the hassles of owning a house. I lived in apartments most of my life and was in the same apartment for 19 years. This the first house I have lived in, and I love it. I just hate the lawn. I like my pot garden, and I have two tomato bushes that rival yours in green growth. (I ate my first tomatoes off of them when I got back from ALA.) That is good enough for me. I just wish I could find a way to not have to mow the lawn. I call it the big green monster - I hate it that badly.

Jul 6, 7:57am Top

>196 benitastrnad: The home inspector caught the dryer vent problem at my house before I moved in. I hire someone to mow my lawn. Honestly though I do it to save my life. I live on a "mountainside." I can't stay seated on my mower as I mow the front lawn. The back yard is not problem. The guys with those zero turn mowers or the stand-up mowers have no problem on my yard at all.

Jul 6, 11:16pm Top

>186 SandyAMcPherson:, >187 jjmcgaffey:, >188 SandyAMcPherson:, >189 quondame:, >190 LizzieD:, >191 jjmcgaffey: Sandy, Jenn has responded to your comment as I would have. As Susan said, The Spirit Ring was her first fantasy, a stand-alone historical YA fantasy, and it was decent but not outstanding, an early book. When she came back to the genre with The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls, it was with the writing chops she had developed writing the Vorkosigan space opera books and won her numerous award nominations and awards. Still my two favorites of hers in fantasy. ((((Peggy)))) I spent an afternoon and evening with it and was able to finish it up the same day, so it didn't encroach TOO much on my other reading. So far I've been able to resist following it up with the sequel. Likewise, Jenn--I see a Bujold and I buy it. Book Boomerang is great but has the same initials as Book Bullet, a potential source of confusion.

>192 karenmarie: I plan to enjoy it, Karen, once I get over the financial shock of restoring it! And yes, it amazed us to learn its true origin.

>193 SandyAMcPherson: Most Heyers are book boomerangs for me, Sandy, but I've had to take April Lady out of the rotation in recent years. I just get too frustrated at Nell for NOT COMMUNICATING!!!!

>194 LizzieD: Well, at least it wouldn't be another BB, Peggy.

>195 streamsong: Isn't bureaucracy amazing, Janet? I hope your water rights are in order now--that's such an important thing to have control over on your own land.

>196 benitastrnad: Benita, I know that not all renters are as destructive as the ones we have had. My grandparents rented in Kansas City their entire lives, 50 years in one apartment, and I loved that place. This building is very old and therefore easy to damage through carelessness and neglect. We live in a very high-rent market and I've always rented at under market-rate as it hasn't the advantages of a new unit and I've wanted to give lower income renters a chance; we've even done Section 8 a couple of times. But we have a consistent problem with renters breaking provisions of the lease by moving other people in and with them not reporting problems (in writing as the lease requires OR verbally) and then we have to fix big problems. And as I said, the law really allows unscrupulous renters to take advantage of owners. In our case, the renters removed the dryer vent cover...although that only opened into the storage space with no access to the living portion of the house. But typical.

I'm glad you love your pot garden, but I didn't think that was legal in Alabama yet...

>197 thornton37814: Hi, Lori. Glad you aren't trying to mow the mountain side yourself!

Jul 6, 11:29pm Top

Book #89 March: Book One by John Lewis (128 pp.)

Finally got around to this nonfiction graphic novel, and while GNs still aren't my favorite, this is definitely an important story in an approachable format.

Book #90 The Women's War by Jenna Glass (546 pp.)

In a feminist fantasy epic, a revolutionary spell gives women the ability to control their own fertility-with consequences that rock their patriarchal society to its core. When a nobleman's first duty is to produce a male heir, women are treated like possessions and bargaining chips. But as the aftereffects of a world-altering spell ripple out physically and culturally, women at last have a bargaining chip of their own. And two women in particular find themselves at the liberating crossroads of change. Alys is the widowed mother of two adolescent children, and the disinherited daughter of a king. Her existence has been carefully regulated, but now she discovers a fierce talent not only for politics but also for magic-once deemed solely the domain of men. Meanwhile, in a neighboring kingdom, young Ellin finds herself unexpectedly on the throne after the sudden death of her grandfather the king and everyone else who stood ahead of her in the line of succession. Conventional wisdom holds that she will marry quickly, then quietly surrender the throne to her new husband. Only, Ellin has other ideas. The tensions building in the two kingdoms grow abruptly worse when a caravan of exiled women and their escort of disgraced soldiers stumble upon a new source of magic in what was once uninhabitable desert. This new and revolutionary magic-which only women can wield-might well tear down what is left of the patriarchy. The men who currently hold power will do anything to retain it. But what force in the world can stand against the courage and resolution of generations of women who have tasted freedom for the very first time?

I put off picking up this library book for several weeks because I feared it would be too didactic, but was pleasantly surprised at how approachable the characters were. Despite its length, I read it in just a couple of days. I thought it a very interesting thought experiment, one that hasn't been addressed often enough in fantasy, and I liked the characters and the world-building. While I liked almost everything about it individually, however, for whatever reason it never gelled into a riveting and cohesive story for me--perhaps due to the three different viewpoint characters, and perhaps because, as the first of a series, the ending of the book, while shocking, is unfinished. Definitely worth reading, however.

Jul 6, 11:38pm Top

>198 ronincats: We could call it a Book Petard - 😉

Jul 6, 11:40pm Top

>200 quondame: As in "hoist by one's own petard"? Sounds somewhat appropriate.

Jul 6, 11:42pm Top

Jul 6, 11:43pm Top

Hmmmm. The Women's War makes me want to reread Gate to Women's Country. I loved everything S.S. Tepper wrote once upon a time, and I'm sort of scared to try her again.

Jul 6, 11:47pm Top

>203 LizzieD: Tepper's stuff hasn't aged quite as badly as a lot of other authors. Some of that is unfortunately due to the current political climate which keeps the misogyny and rage against it in her books from seeming old hat.

Jul 7, 1:48pm Top

>198 ronincats: (Re #193), Full agreement ~ I was frustrated with Nell as well for NOT COMMUNICATING!

In post #20 on my thread, I wrote, "I have re-read this novel from time to time over the years and this time around, I feel a bit differently compared to my original impressions.

I think Heyer needed to tone down the frequency of Letty's juvenile behaviour and perhaps bring the antics more in line with the standards expected of such young women back in the Regency period."
Then I went on to flesh out my thoughts more fully.

Jul 7, 1:52pm Top

>200 quondame: In the case of my reading April Lady recently, a Book Petard is exactly what that was!
Although I do think "Book Boomerang" is a splendid description of re-reading something despite their both being BBs.

Jul 7, 4:23pm Top

I like Book Boomerang, and am not at all bothered by the shared initials.

Jul 7, 4:25pm Top

Dipping my toes in the threads, I am stopping by to say hello and to see some of your lovely works!

Jul 9, 11:54am Top

Thanks for stopping by, Susan, Peggy, Sandy, foggi and Linda! I was in absentia yesterday because I had my first attack of severe vertigo and was up at Urgent Care getting checked out. The good news is that my heart is superbly healthy (EKG), my blood sugar is normal, no stroke symptoms, and the prescription patch seems to be controlling the dizziness completely. A little unsettling, though.

Peggy, I'd like to reread some Tepper as well. Lucy recently read Gibbon's Decline and Fall and was unimpressed. I loved that book when I read it in the 90s--was totally caught up in it and while I remember few details, do recall snapping at men for a few days after I read it. So I also am afraid of the Suck Fairy from the perspective of 23 more years.

Jul 9, 12:52pm Top

Vertigo! I am so sorry, I hope it never, ever happens again.

Patch on, Sister Lady.

Jul 10, 10:35am Top

>209 ronincats: A little unsettling, though. Yes, I would think so! I hope the patch continues to do its thing.

Jul 10, 10:42am Top

Since we have BB for Book Bullet, I vote for BooBoo!

>All the more surprising to me as well as I am generally a strong Tepper fan.

Jul 10, 4:41pm Top

Dear me! "a little vertigo" would indeed be unsettling. A friend had that a few years ago and it was something with his ears that was cured by doing some odd exercises daily for a few weeks. Any chance that could be what you have?

Jul 10, 8:54pm Top

Your comments and the availability of an audio version when I needed something to listen to have prompted me to finally take The Curse of Chalion from my "to read" pile.

Sorry to hear about the vertigo, and hope it does not come back!

Edited: Jul 10, 10:29pm Top

Roni, I was diagnosed with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) as a second year medical student, after I suddenly developed extreme dizziness with head movements and associated vomiting and was seen by an internist and an otorhinolaryngologist at Pitt. I was given a prescription for a medication called Antevert, IIRC, but was told by the ENT that I would be better off performing exercises (the Epley maneuver) that would reset the crystals in my cochlea (inner ear). I didn't take the medication, but I did do those exercises at home, which did nothing for the first two weeks or so, but one day after doing them I was immediately back to normal.

There was a recent story about positional vertigo in The New York Times:

How Do You Treat Positional Vertigo?

Jul 10, 10:52pm Top

Uh oh. I'm sorry about the vertigo, Roni, but happy that the patch is taking care of it. I remember a few hours one day of the room spinning. It passed without my having to do anything but wait. May yours be a one-time deal!
I wasn't wild about *Gibbon*. My favorite Teppers are After Long Silence, Grass, and The Fresco. I continue to recommend the last one even if it does sprawl and was written when she was in her silly-names-for-characters mode. I'm about to give myself a BooBoo. (Oh dear.)

Jul 11, 1:40am Top

>210 richardderus: Thank you muchly, Richard dear.
>211 CassieBash: So far so good, Cassie.
>212 sibyx: Boo boo noted, Lucy.
>213 RebaRelishesReading: Vertigo isn't that uncommon, Reba--I've had friends with it and, yes, the dr. mentioned some exercises the pt could work with me on.
>214 bell7: Oh, you won't be sorry, Mary! And thank you.
>215 kidzdoc: Thank you, Darryl, for that information. Those sound like the exercises the urgent care doctor mentioned and I will look into that.
>216 LizzieD: So far all I get is momentary dizziness when I change position, Peggy. The patch comes off tomorrow so we will see what happens then. I have another to put on if I need it.

Behind on the books!

Book #91 Sunshine by Robin McKinley (482 pp.)

Comfort reads being the order of the day, I reread another favorite McKinley. A very interesting take on a dystopian world and the nature of vampires, what I enjoy most is being inside Sunshine's baker head!

Book #92 Bibliophile by Tom Bruno (39 pp.)

Foxen mentioned this science fiction series of short works featuring librarians and I picked this one up for my Kindle. Short but well-done!

Book #93 The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer (338 pp.)

With the exception of Faro's Daughter (which I think too farcicial), I love Heyer's Georgians and this is not an exception! I love Prudence and her mountain, and the old gentleman has all my admiration! Another comfort read.

Book #94 Chalice by Robin McKinley (263 pp.)

And yet another comfort reread, this of one of McKinley's later works that is a little unusual for her and that I think I had previously read only when it came out. A medieval type set-up with an unusual magic-system, again, it's living in the head of her characters that really showcases McKinley's writing.

Jul 11, 4:25am Top

So sorry to hear about your vertigo, Roni. Here's hoping that you don't need to replace the patch.

I see you've joined me in reading McKinley :0)

Jul 11, 9:03am Top

>215 kidzdoc: Darryl gave you the medical for what I was trying to describe. Anyway, hope it gets better!

Jul 11, 9:11am Top

>217 ronincats: Perhaps doing the exercises will mean that you don't need the other patch. I'm not against using medicine when needed--but if you can avoid it naturally, all the better!

Jul 11, 9:26am Top

I hope the vertigo improves soon, Roni!

Jul 11, 11:42am Top

Oh my goodness, Roni, I am glad that you've been checked out and that your vertigo seems to be under control. I recently had a spell when my A-Fib acted up and it was truly horrible. Ah, Georgette Heyer - the perfect comfort read!

Jul 11, 7:48pm Top

Hi Roni

I read Chalice last month and was a little confused by it. I love McKinley and while the language was her, the story was not what I was used to. I think I had a more difficult time wrapping my head around the universe and magic in this book.

I hope the vertigo gets better!

Jul 12, 10:42am Top

Hi Roni!

I'm sorry to hear about the vertigo, too, and hope that the patch has helped.

>217 ronincats: I loved Sunshine. Glad you did, too.

Jul 12, 3:44pm Top

>217 ronincats: #93 I guess Faro's Daughter was less annoyingly farcical for me...I did enjoy it, but I'm less thrilled when Heyer uses younger heroines than when they're older and more likely to know their own minds.

Jul 12, 5:44pm Top

>218 humouress: Yes, it was ALL YOUR FAULT, Nina.
>219 RebaRelishesReading: I appreciate the info from both of you. I found the exercises online and did them and am not wearing a patch today and doing okay!
>220 CassieBash: See above, Cassie.
>221 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. It is improving.
>222 DeltaQueen50: Heyer does make a great comfort read, Judy.
>223 jayde1599: As I said, it is unusual in that the setting is so different from what we would expect, and we have to figure out what is going on and why to a much greater degree than in most of her books.
>224 karenmarie: Sunshine is one of my favorites by McKinley, right after the Damar duo, Karen.
>225 richardderus: I know when I first read it, I was appalled by how the heroine was getting away with behavior that would have put her beyond the pale in the Regency period--which is when I realized that this was a Georgian book. Doh! I like the older heroines too, but I also love the young ones with spunk in Cotillion and The Convenient Marriage and Sylvester and I love watching Sherry and Kitten grow up in Friday's Child.

Currently reading The Nonesuch due to evil influence.

Edited: Jul 12, 7:09pm Top

>226 ronincats: Yay!

ETA: because you don’t need the patch any more. And also what >227 richardderus: he said.

Jul 13, 1:05am Top

>217 ronincats: Ah, thanks for the reminder about The Masqueraders, Roni. I really enjoy that one. Think it is time for a reread.

I hope the vertigo was a one time thing.

Jul 15, 8:11am Top

Glad to hear that you're not needing the patch! :)

Edited: Jul 17, 11:12pm Top

Jul 17, 11:17pm Top

Ah, that tee!
I'm happy that you're patchless and stable.

Jul 18, 12:03am Top

>231 ronincats: Haw!! Do they make it in purple?

Jul 18, 12:16am Top

Jul 18, 12:46am Top

Jul 18, 8:47am Top

>231 ronincats: That's great! I love it! XD

Jul 18, 10:20am Top

>231 ronincats: What a fabby logo on the T-shirt!

Jul 18, 11:15am Top

So...did you buy it? (black is a good color on you...just sayin')

Jul 18, 1:56pm Top

>231 ronincats:
I love it!

Jul 18, 2:23pm Top

>231 ronincats: Thumbs up!

Jul 18, 9:11pm Top


Jul 18, 9:52pm Top

>231 ronincats: I like that Roni! Must try and get myself one as I have lived most of my adult life to that end. xx

Edited: Jul 18, 10:53pm Top

I am close to the end of a brand new YA fantasy We Hunt the Flame. (Just out in late June.) I wanted to read it so that I could participate in the local Barnes & Noble YA Book Club. I thought it met tonight. When I got there I found out it met last Thursday.

Oh well! It is a good novel, but so far not as good as I had hoped. I am also listening to Bloodwitch the latest in Susan Dennards Truthwitch series. I like the second one better than the first, but I think that is because I am more invested in this series. Bloodwitch is book 4 in the series and We Hunt the Flame is the first in a proposed trilogy.

I have had Chalice on my TBR list for years. I should try to get to it this year. I like Robin McKinley’s work.

Jul 19, 2:39am Top

>231 ronincats: I cannot imagine that I am described with it ;-).
It is a must have - I love it.
I wish you a wonderful weekend and hope your vertigo is gone, Roni.

Jul 19, 12:47pm Top

Great T-shirt, Roni. I suspect we all could wear that one proudly. ;)

I am just starting to read Komarr and have been reminded how much I love this series.

Jul 19, 1:39pm Top

Oh dear, it's been a week since I've posted here other than the t-shirt, which was a quickie and I couldn't resist. Yes, Richard, it does come in purple. I knew you would love it, Peggy, Richard, Nina, Susan, Cassie, Sandy, Reba, Beth, Joe, Jim, Paul, Thomas and Judy. You can find it here under librarian shirt: https://www.tee96.com/
No, I haven't bought one for myself and black is NOT a good color on me, Reba, but it does come in many other colors.

Meg, The Masqueraders is indeed a good one! Judy, Komarr is SO much fun--enjoy!!

I put another patch on last Saturday, after a day and a half without one. I was having some of the dizziness again and we needed to get out and do a bunch of stuff. It's been off since Tuesday and I haven't had any major bouts since, so hopefully my inner ear has adjusted to the new me. Thank you all for the good wishes.

I did not go to the pottery last Thursday--somehow the hubby didn't think that working on a spinning wheel would be conducive to my balance--but I did go yesterday. This is my latest, along with our first crop of tomatoes from the garden.

Edited: Jul 19, 2:08pm Top

Book #95 The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer (351 pp.)

Heyer is always a good choice when under stress, and I definitely enjoy Sir Waldo and Anthea dealing with the horrible Tiffany.

Book #96 The Oathbound by Mercedes Lackey (302 pp.)
Book #97 Oathbreakers by Mercedes Lackey (318 pp.)
Book #98 Oathblood by Mercedes Lackey (394 pp.)
Book #99 By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey (492 pp.)

Although I have some good books home from the library, and many more in my tbr collection, I simply haven't been able to read any new books lately. So I've turned to rereads where I know what to expect, and I've been meaning to reread these. Back when they came out, they were among my favorites from Lackey, once I'd gotten Valdemarized out. So, has the Suck Fairy visited? A little. The first two books, 31 years old now, have very prosaic prose and are very much Sword and Sorcery traditional format, as the female duo go around having a series of adventures. Kudos to Lackey for having an asexual heroine, though. I'd forgotten the third was a series of short works about the two, rather than a novel. The best of the lot is the last, which is a coherent novel featuring Kethry's granddaughter, but which still suffers from all the weaknesses of the Valdemar books--lots of suffering and wish-fulfillment.

ETA: And the newest of the four, the third one published in 1998, is the one that cracked off both the front and back covers during this read of my original DAW mass market paperbacks.

Jul 19, 2:09pm Top

>246 ronincats: What a great plate!

>247 ronincats: All on my favorites/re-re-read shelf.

Jul 19, 2:27pm Top

>247 ronincats: Re: has the Suck Fairy visited?

I sympathize with youand mentioned recently that maybe I've evolved as a reader? I was re-reading some Heyer that I'd originally enjoyed but decided that I would never choose to re-read Bath Tangle and My Lord John again. They've gone to the used book shop. Suck fairy indeed.

I also surprisingly didn't enjoy The Riddlemaster of Hed, when tried to re-read again this trilogy in the spring. Maybe I wasn't in the mood for McKillip's style or something. I kept it, because it was originally a trilogy I adored 'back in the day'.

Jul 19, 2:51pm Top

>246 ronincats: I like the mug a lot! I've commented before on how important the broad handles with wide finger-holes are to people with my disability. I love that you continue to use those proportions.

The tomates look delish! If you haven't encountered them, these Zapotec tomatoes are uberglorious as sandwich and salad fodder:

Seedsavers.org sells 'em, as do so many other places it's hard to recall.

Jul 19, 3:00pm Top

Edited: Jul 20, 12:46pm Top

>231 ronincats: bwahahaha!!!!!

>246 ronincats: I LOVE THAT PLATE!!!!!!

>247 ronincats: I loved the Valdemar books, devoured them some 25 years ago. Upon revisiting I discovered that I couldn't get into most of them, with the exceptions of the Arrows trilogy, the Honor duo, AND By the Sword. The Winds, Storms, Gryphon, and Hawk brothers all were rehomed.

Yet McCaffrey still holds up for the most part.

Jul 20, 1:02pm Top

>246 ronincats: Great toms and cute plate. I decided against planting tomatoes this year and regret it. Sorry to hear about the vertigo.

Jul 20, 2:22pm Top

>246 ronincats: Oh, I can just about smell the distinctive odor of homegrown tomatoes. You just can't buy a tomato that tastes that good. Lucky you!

Jul 20, 10:22pm Top

>253 RBeffa: I rather like the Owl trilogy. Not that any of the other will get re-homed before I do...and I really love the idea of the cascade of soaking pools in the vales.

Jul 20, 11:07pm Top

>246 ronincats: That looks like just the cup for great coffee!
I hope you're never troubled with vertigo again. Glad you're better and out and about!
Sadly for me, I could never invest in McCaffrey. I tried.
>250 richardderus: Those tomatoes are quite interesting. They remind me to ask whether I'm the last person in the country to find and enjoy sapphire grapes??? They taste more like grapes than any other seedless variety I've tried.

Jul 21, 7:20am Top

Happy Sunday, Roni. I love your cat plates.

Jul 21, 3:05pm Top

>256 LizzieD: Moondrop grapes! Oh my heck they are scrumdiddlyumptious!

...and now I want some but it's WAAAYYY too hot to go outside..."thanks"

Jul 21, 10:43pm Top

>248 quondame: Thanks, Susan. And on mine as well.
>249 SandyAMcPherson: I did still like The Riddlemaster of Hed, but I have such sentimental roots in it that I could never look at it objectively, I fear, Sandy, although I think I appreciate the second and third books more now. Yes, Bath Tangle is one of Heyer's weaker regencies.
>250 richardderus: Thank you, Richard. I find a lot of people appreciate my larger handles. Umm, those Zapotecs look good--I don't think I've seen that variety here. My producers are Beefmaster and Hillbilly varieties (the latter is the orange).
>251 jnwelch: Ekaterin is certainly a favorite, Joe!
>252 fuzzi: Yes, I haven't rehomed those yet, but those are the ones I probably will never go back to, fuzzi.
>253 RBeffa: Vertigo appears to be gone, Ron, and thanks for coming by. I've been over to your thread lots but haven't had anything to comment on for yonkers.
>254 DeltaQueen50: I agree, Judy. I don't even want to eat tomatoes the rest of the year. These are so good!
>255 quondame: I think I never made it to the third Owl book, Susan. That's about where I stopped tapering off the Valdemar extension books.
>256 LizzieD: I loved Valdemar in my twenties and thirties, Peggy. I don't think I've ever seen sapphire grapes--they look delish!
>257 Ameise1: Barbara! Thank you.
>258 richardderus: Sounds like you are familiar with them. Maybe they are an east coast variety?

So, Bujold has a new Penric and Desdemona novella out.

Book #100 The Orphans of Raspay by Lois McMaster Bujold (128 pp.)

This occurs some years beyond the last book and away from any familiar settings. Penric's ship is captured by pirates as he returns from a mission for his prelate, and he strives to rescue two orphan girls who are fellow captives. Overall entertaining but perhaps a lesser effort, imho.

I've moved my craft inventory into my she-shack, having assembled two large plastic shelves to hold them all. Still some things to wrap up in back, but the security fence is up, and all the infrastructure is in. Still need to do counter and sink in the kitchen and drywall and cabinets in the storage space. But the end is in sight!

Jul 22, 1:02am Top

Gorgeous looking tomatoes, Roni. I gave up on them last year after two years on the run without enough sunshine to ripen them. Yours make me want to try again, though!

Jul 22, 11:41am Top

I have similar Valdemar feelings as others in this thread. I'll still reread the Arrows, Vows and Honor, and Last Herald Mage trilogies every once in a while, and some of the standalones (I especially have a soft spot for Take a Thief as that was my first Lackey), but I don't see myself going back to the others anytime soon. I think I barely made it through the Storm and Owl trilogies the first time, and that was in high school. But at the same time, the whole collection all together looks so nice on my shelves! :) Maybe someday when I have time I'll do a full series reread and donate the ones that don't make the cut after that.

Jul 22, 12:57pm Top

I finished the brand new (just released in July) We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal and found I had lots to say about this book.

I read this book because it was the July selection for the Barnes & Noble YA Book Club and I intended to go to the discussion and see what others thought. However, I thought the discussion was on one day, when it was actually the week before. So much for good intentions.

While I applaud the attempt to diversity YA fantasy to include mythologies and folklore that is not Western in origin, I was a disappointed in this novel. This is a debut novel and it shows. The bones of a great story are there, however, it gets lost in maudlin and overwrought Harlequin romance type writing that detracts from the story. The other problem is the lack of knowledge and background information that a YA reader needs to bring with them to the reading of this novel. Middle Eastern mythology and folklore is not taught in the schools, so much of what is going on in the mythologies of the story is not going to be clear to the reader. This is not unusual in YA novels, but it is one of the problems that publishers and authors need to deal with when writing novels and expanding the title list in a publisher's catalog. Clear, concise plots and more background information about the underlying mythologies and folklore would do much to clear up potential misunderstandings. (Perhaps a glossary type end notes would be helpful here.) This is one of those novels that could have used a good editor. A good editor would have cut down on the florid (almost purple) prose and kept the story on track. In the end this is a 400 page novel that should have come in around 300 pages. It is clear that this is going to be the first in a series - the ending is a cliff hanger - so I hope that the publisher and author will correct the next installment.

In short - this is a good first effort that doesn't quite live up to the hype about it. This novel displayed much potential from the author, and as a reader I hope for better things with this authors next entry in this series.

Jul 22, 2:39pm Top

>259 ronincats: The grapes are grown in Peru and sold in the US under the Melissa's organic produce brand. They show up in Costco fairly frequently.

Jul 22, 10:44pm Top

>263 richardderus: ---- interesting! I'll have to look at my latest bag for country of origin. In my little town I've found them both at Aldi and Food Lion, and labeled as "sapphires."

Jul 26, 7:02am Top

Hi Roni!

>246 ronincats: I'm envious of your home-grown tomatoes. I haven't had a vegetable garden in 4 years for a variety of reasons, but am determined to have one next year. I grow German Johnsons, Better Boys, and whatever cherry or grape tomato plant looks healthy.

>247 ronincats: The Nonesuch is one of my favorites and a perfect stress read.

>256 LizzieD: I can attest to the flavor of sapphire grapes - Peggy shared some with me when I visited her two weeks ago and they are delicious.

I'm glad the vertigo is gone.

Jul 26, 9:45am Top

Hey Roni, So sorry about the vertigo and I hope it resolves and goes away for good.

Also want to say that I've finally collected the Phyllis Gotlieb's -- A Judgement of Dragons etc. and plan to get to them sometimes soon.

And that I never see your book images anymore -- for some reason LT only allows "their own" images anymore -- all you have to do is exchange whatever cover comes in when you add the book for a "member uploaded" cover. If there isn't one then you just "grab" a cover. I don't care about not seeing a cover here and there, but I am feeling frustrated here as the question marks seem to make it harder for me to pay attention.

Jul 26, 2:48pm Top

How is your vertigo doing?

I got a good chuckle at your Brexit stamps over at Susan's. I have appreciated the nice drop in the value of the Pound as I'm paying up for my trip in September though.

I get news alerts from Channel 7 on my phone -- looks like you've been having some wild weather lately!!

"Your" vase has sunflowers in it this week -- a nod to Kansas :) They look just as nice as the glads imo.

Jul 27, 10:52am Top

Stopping by to say hello and wish you a good weekend. I had a bad reaction to medicine yesterday and spent the day in the one position that did not cause dizziness and nausea. Can't imagine vertigo as ongoing so hope the exercises are helping and you can live without the patch.

Jul 27, 11:54am Top

You've gone very quiet, Roni. Hope all is well.

Jul 27, 4:50pm Top

Those were great stamps that you posted on Susan's thread, Roni, and the photo of your tomatoes up thread gave me an instant memory of the taste of tomatoes fresh from the garden. There is nothing like!

Jul 29, 4:29pm Top

Hi Roni! I'm glad you dropped by my thread or I'd've started worrying about your continued corporeal integrity. Might be melted...sweet treats tend to do that....

Jul 29, 7:03pm Top

Aaargh, so far behind. I'll update everyone on the new thread.

This topic was continued by Roni Reads in 2019: Part 5.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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