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Member: janiswatson

CollectionsYour library (6,417)

Reviews7 reviews

TagsCozy Mystery (922), Mystery (514), Southern Cozy Mystery (367), British Cozy Mystery (354), Novel (335), Home Decorating (245), Humor (197), Midwestern Cozy Mystery (167), British Police Procedural (128), Cookbook (123) — see all tags

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About meWhen I was in first grade (we didn't have kindergarten back then) I remember going to school every day for what seemed like months, not understanding a word of what Mrs. Stewart (fondly remembered as the one who taught me to read) said. Then, one day, I skipped into the classroom, sat at my desk, opened the Dick and Jane book, and could read every single word. It all just came together: one day I couldn't read; the next day I could. I've been an avid reader ever since. I usually have at least five books going at once: a mystery for the car, a mystery for the kitchen, (we all need coffee breaks now and then) a book of essays by my bed in case the mystery also stashed there is too exciting to allow me to sleep, a nonfiction book for the living room, and a mystery for my purse in case I have to wait somewhere for something. I also subscribe to about 10 magazines and buy that many more at the bookstore each month. Current favorites are 25 Beautiful Homes, a British publication that shows real houses and real residents and real lives, and Mental Floss, to indulge my love for trivia. I also like to cook, (when I'm in the mood, which is less and less often these days) to travel, and to garden. My favorite color is turquoise; my favorite number is 9; my astrological sign is Aquarius; and I do not watch TV. Who has time with all the reading waiting? The End.

About my libraryLife is messy, so I prefer my reading to be neat. I like mysteries because there is always a resolution at the end. Justice prevails. The good guys usually win, and, if they don't, I don't read that author any more. (Hey! It's my dime!) My library is unconventional, to say the least. One 24 foot wall in our living room is lined with bookshelves. I try to leave space on the shelves for decorative objects, but, somehow, they usually have to find space elsewhere because the books need a place to be. In addition, my husband built 12 feet of bookshelves in the laundry (my least favorite chore) room for me. I also have a night table filled with paperbacks waiting for my attention. The office area has another wall of books. Cookbooks take up two shelves in the kitchen. There's even a magazine rack in the bathroom. I prefer hardback books to paperbacks, so it takes a lot of room to house them. I do try to weed out books each year. Last year I donated over 300 books to a small-town library where I knew they would be circulated, not sold. They put up a display unit labeled New To Us. The librarian sent me a nice note saying she'd received many positive comments on those books. Made my day! As you can see from Library Thing's statistics, I like mostly mysteries. I find new ones all the time by being a devoted reader of DorothyL, a listserv for mystery readers and writers. The End.


Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameJanis Watson

LocationCanton, Illinois

Favorite authorsNot set

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs (profile) (library)

Member sinceJul 2, 2007

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Greetings from across the miles.

Two things: 1) I like your reading style (a variety in types of books, kept and read in different compartments of life's regular routines); and 2) Anyone who reads Don Robertson's Praise the Human Season and rates it as highly as you do, has to be as magnificent a person as, say, whichever of the Ambersons you would like to pick. ;- )

I'm flagging your library to come back for a closer look. It's bound to contain other telling signs of things to be taken into account.

Peace to you, and with wishes for a truly invigorating spring.

WOW!! I would give anything to see your library.
I'm writing because I noticed you have a book by Andrew Dornenburg in your library. I wanted to let you know that he'll be on LibraryThing for a few weeks (until December 5th), participating in an Author Chat. So stop on by and ask Andrew a question:

Andrew Dornenburg Author Chat
Your library caught my eye because we have so many books in common, and I figured we must have similar tastes. I haven't taken time yet to peruse your library fully, but I'm hoping to pick up some new authors to try when I do. I agree with your comment about mysteries--I don't want anything gory or gruesome either. I won't read Patricia Cornwell for that reason; I've been in the car when my husband has been listening to her audio books and they just make me nauseous. Dick Francis is about the "hardest" author I enjoy, and that's because I love horses. I look forward to seeing "what's on YOUR bookshelf?"!
Hold On

Hold on to what is good,
Even if it's a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe,
Even if it's a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do,
Even if it's a long way from here.
Hold on to your life,
Even if it's easier to let go.
Hold on to my hand,
Even if someday I'll be gone away from you.

A Pueblo Indian Prayer
I'll have to check out the Grabenstein books. They sound interesting -- I prefer character-driven novels. Thanks for accepting the friends invitation. Have a good week!
Oops -- just realized I never answered your question about what I'm currently reading. Last week I read the four Quinn Parker books by Zimmerman; and took out four of Faye Kellerman's books to see if time had mellowed my opinion of her stuff -- it hadn't!; skimmed through TK Kenyon's latest book, Callous -- and hated it! I also read Amish Roots: A Treasury of History, Wisdom, and Lore by John A. Hostetler -- Sarasota has a large Amish/Mennonite population, and as a US history teacher I'm always trying to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. It was an interesting compendium of little articles and stories by a number of different Amish authors. Here are some gems from it, from a one page article called "Mottoes" by an anonymous author: "I am only me, but I'm still someone." "Just because I cannot do everything does not give me the right to do nothing." "Let us pray not for lighter burdens, but for stronger backs." "Remember when you talk you only repeat what you already learned, but when you listen you may learn something." "A person who lives only for himself never knows the real joys of life." Aren't those great? The article was collected around 1965.

Right now I'm finishing Last Breath by George D. Shuman. I'd read his first novel, 18 Seconds, and loved it -- but I'm not liking this one too much. No real character growth, and the plot is plodding along doggedly, instead of whizzing me through the adventure. Oh, and I just finished Lee Child's latest, Nothing to Lose, which I adored! And yesterday I finished a Lucas Davenport book that I'd missed, Hidden Prey by John Sandford. I enjoyed it more than I did most of his later books.

The next book I'm going to read, aside from some ARC books, is Rupert of Hentzau -- the continuation of the wonderful Prisoner of Zenda. And I read quickly through The Early Stories of Louisa May Alcott 1852 - 1860 collected by Monika Elbert a few weeks ago, but now I want to write an in-depth analysis of them, so I'm going to read the stories through again. And there's another book I am working on: IT by Stephen King. I gave up on King in the nineties -- after Cujo or Pet Cemetery. I just can't stand books where animals are hurt or killed, but my daughter just read It and enjoyed it, so I'm plowing through it. Say what you like, the man can really write!

Boy, now you know far more than you wanted to about my current adventures in reading! Sorry -- I tend to burble on and on. . .the perils of being single, I guess, with no one permanently around to talk to -- except the dogs, and I mostly talk baby talk to them!
There's so much in your profile I identify with. I used to love to cook, well, liked to cook, especially when I had the luxury of being a stay-at-home homemaker and mom. But as money got tighter and my marriage dissolved, and I had to work outside the home full-time, the joy of cooking lessened. Now I only really like to cook for holiday gatherings or when my adult children and their friends come for a visit.

But I do very much enjoy READING cookbooks -- especially the kind where you learn as much about the author or the time period or the country as you do the recipes. That's one reason why I love Jane and Michael Stern's cookbooks -- they're as much a history of American life as they are a collection of recipes. I just discovered a whole series of cookbooks, published by Time-Life Books, from about 1965 through 1971, called FOODS OF THE WORLD. The 27 volume series was put together by a number of food writers and chefs, including James Beard and Michael Field, and though the photography isn't impressive to 21st century eyes, the chapters are so well-written and engaging, and the recipes so intriguing and informative that I'm now on the prowl to own all the books. I've been finding one or two at a time in places like Goodwill and other used bookstores -- so right now I only own three or four -- one on Scandinavian foods, one on African food, one on classic French cuisine, and my personal favorite -- the American Melting Pot. One of my students is going to be an exchange student this year, in Finland, and she was thrilled when I lent her the book on Scandinavian cooking. It gave her a hint about what she'd find over there.

Some of my other favorite food books: Food in History by Reay Tannahill; Great British Cooking by Jane Garmey (nope, it's not an oxymoron!), Lewd Food by Robert Hendrickson; The Delectable Past by Esther Aresty; Hallelujah: The Welcome Table by the incomparable Maya Angelou, who's apparently a chef of no mean stature; Reading Between the Recipes by Leslie Land; Feast Here Awhile by Jo Brans; and The Medieval Cookbook by Maggie Black.

I love your rationale for enjoying mysteries! I too love neat endings, where justice is mostly served. A fairly chaotic life has left me with little interest in twisted or unhappy or dark endings. So when I see a movie or read a book, I'd like to know that in the end most things will turn out to be okay.

But oddly enough, I'm not a big fan of "cozy" mysteries. Don't know why -- they're just not my cup of tea. I love character-driven novels -- but I want the characters to be folks I wish I could meet, or else people I'd like to emulate. And somehow, the cozies I've read just didn't have characters I really took to. Have you read any of Susan Wittig Albert's stuff? In particular, her China Bayles herbal mysteries? They're not my favorites, but they've come as close to cozies as anything I've read recently.

I love Dick Francis' books (the originals, not the continuation of his "name" by his son), some of Dorothy L. Sayers, most of Josephine Tey, much of Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels, Lawrence Block's Scudder series, the Travis McGee books by the late, great John D. MacDonald, all of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series, and the first five Stephanie Plum books. I have been disappointed in her later offerings -- even in comedy I like to see a little growth in my favorite characters, and the last Plum book I read (11 or 12) still had Stephanie poised on the horns of her eternal dilemma -- Joe or Ranger. So now when I read Evanovich, I reread the first five, which still draw belly laughs from me.

When I'm in a certain mood I enjoy Jonathan Kellerman (but can't stand the stuff his wife writes), and Stephen White. A fellow LTer just recommended Bruce Zimmerman's four books about Quinn Parker to me, and I loved them. Parker's a more down-to-earth and slightly more realistic McGee, IMHO.

I gave up watching TV for about a year -- with very few exceptions. One is the local morning news -- I leave for school at the ungodly hour of 6:00 a.m., and I need the sound of artificially cheery voices to drag me from my comfortable bed. My kids got me hooked on Battlestar Galactica, and we used to watch the episodes together -- or at least talked on the phone after every episode. And I loved the series Life that premiered this year -- another show the kids and I connected to. Aside from that, I avoid the boob tube in favor of the written word.

I too read a great deal -- anywhere from three to five books a week -- but some of those are rereads, so I don't know if they really count. I couldn't live without books -- which is what finally drove me to the eye doctor after years of avoidance. I was starting to haunt the large print books stacks, and I'd pretty much cleaned them out -- so heigh ho, heigh ho, it was off to the optometrist's I go! The syntax is wrong, but you get the point.

I've sent you a friends invitation -- I hope you accept it. Happy reading! Rachel
Thanks for the heads up about Dorothy L. I'll check it out. A 24 foot space for books -- I'm envious! Does your husband like to read too? I'm still in the process of cataloging my books -- I've taken a break from it only because I have some ARC books to read, and I've been going to the library once or twice a week to catch up on fun reading time. I loved your comment on books in every room -- I too have 4 or 5 books going at a time. It's like having friends, I've found -- I need a book for every mood that strikes.
I'm from a little whistlestop called Moweaqua, about 20 miles south of Decatur. I love Phoenix...well, really it's the Sonoran Desert I love the most. I never felt at home in Illinois. I do here. Give me lots of sunlight, plenty of heat and very little humidity. I've perfected sitting in the pool in the shade to do a lot of my summer reading.
Jan thanks for writing. Im still trying to figure out LT especially how to network. I see there are many groups, have you participated in any of those? Its always fun to find someone who likes the memoir genre especially the older ones like taber, alice Khoeller ?sp... the unknown woman and fifty days of solitude were wonderful and L'Engles as well.. I'll check out the one you mentioned. I hadnt heard of that one. This is what is great about book networking

It looks as if we have a lot in common, including geographic location!
I found your library very interesting - like you said, it is so cool to see what people that like what I like also like!

I am only about 30% done with cataloging. I have been a "Book Person" since I can remember - sometimes I forgot that Borders isn't a library and I am surprised when I get to the checkout.

I had quite a dilemna deciding if I was going to catalog library books that I had read too. Finally I decided that if they were part of a series (say of mysteries, for example) that I would, so to give the complete picture of my interest in that author or topic. Otherwise, if it was just a random choice, I don't include it.

Thanks. I have a few more to catalogue. Memories?
Hi again! It was great to hear from you. I am beginning to think "I have never read a book I did not like" as I continue to add my books to LT! I have always enjoyed mysteries but I do read nearly everything I get my hands on. It was interesting to hear you enjoy books from around the WW1 and WW11 time period. I have noticed, as I have grown older, that I love movies from this period and I also enjoy the more innocent and simpler times. I have read a few books from this time in our history and enjoyed them . If you have a favorite author or book you enjoy from this time period please share the info. with me. I have always wanted a beautiful bookshelf perfectly balanced with books, family photos, and keepsakes but all my bookshelves are absolutely "loaded" with books(books,books, and more books).As you can see I have alot of cookbooks...although I do more looking(at my cookbooks)than cooking sometimes. You have a great library. Happy Reading!
Oh, duh! "if you like mysteries at all"...please smack me with a large-ish halibut.
Hi, Janis!

Sorry this took so long. If you liked the Mary Lasswell books, you might also like the Larkin family books by H.E. Bates--"Darling Buds of May," "A Breath of French Air" and (I think) "When the Green Woods Laugh." They were written after WWII, but not terribly long after and are a lot of fun. If you've seen any of the attempted movie adaptations of the first book, please give them a try anyway. The movies were absolutely horrible. If you like mysteries at all, the Asey Mayo mysteries by Phoebe Atwood Taylor are set in New England just prior to and during WWII. They've got a fair amount of humor in them as well.

Happy reading!
Thanks for your reply. As far as the tag list issue you mentioned, the first thing I'd do is look on the "Combiners" group for a discussion that might be related to your issue and post your question there. If there isn't a tag related discussion that seems close to your topic, you can start one. Combiners group people are pretty quick at trying to help each other out with book, author, and tag maintenance issues.

I do very little with tags myself, so I'm not well versed in the problems and solutions that others have worked out. Good luck.

Hi Janis....

We now share 418!

The house expansion is about 90% complete; I have moved back into the house (w/out HVAC); I am unpacking books with a vengeance. The library/"wine cellar" is about 90% complete - no sliding ladders, no big center table with current reading, no leather chair . I do have a chaise lounge, a sleeper sofa, a couple of small tables, a huge desk with plenty of lighting and a cherry two-step ladder - I think this will be perfect!!!!! It is, of course, my favorite room in the house.

Keep in touch.... we need to discuss authors we don't share in an effort to expand our reading dimensions (lol).
I had forgotten about the Circle of Ladies books until I logged them into librarything. I did like them and mean to see if she has written anything recently. I'm going backwards in logging books, so the two of hers I have in librarything are the last two I read. She has a couple more before that, and if you like to read in order, especially in a series where characters are introduced and change, you may want to look up her first two.

I also tend to read moderately cozy, and I've never taken to Patterson. But I love the Dexter books; go figure.
I'm a lurker on DL, which is how I learned about librarything. I'm afraid my list won't do you much good in finding new authors, since most of what I read these days is either new books by already-established authors or recommendations from DL. Once I get more books input into librarything, I plan to start doing what you are -- looking for people with similar lists to see if I can find new authors/books.

When asking Vicki Ingham permission to upload her photo she wrote:
"Actually, on Trade Secrets I was the editor but Jean Norman was the author."
My goodness, you and I certainly have good taste! I like mysteries for the same reason, neat and tidy endings! Sorry it has taken me so long to answer your note, but my husband and I are traveling cross-country in an RV and there isn't as much time as I would have at home. Right now we're in Medford, OR, getting ready to go south and then east. Having a marvelous time, but I'm not finding as much time to read as I thought I would. Ah, but I have been to many bookstores and increased my library quite a bit! Happy Reading, Rebecca
Hi Jan, thanks for writing about the "Little Webster." It is about 2" x 1-3/8" x 5/8", with a wraparound leather cover that used to snap, but the snap grommet has worn through. The last page before the back flyleaf is printed with Schmidt & Gunther, Liepzig.

We love our collection of dictionaries, and this one is really precious!
Thanks for writing. My library is my pride and joy. Just added onto the house so I could have an official library.

Can hardly wait to get my books out of storage and onto the shelves - lots of work. The results, I am sure, will be worth it.

Stop by again sometime just to see what I have added......
I hope you like Raven Black! I had to laugh at your comment - think of the crank calls Jim Dale could make with 200 voices. Very good, Jan! (snicker)
Well Hey There! You dropped by and I missed you. darn! I have been busy adding some books. Donald is out of town this week, I finished Harry Potter - and I'm at totally lose ends with myself. Harley has taken to hiding under the bed 'cause I keep talking to him like he's going to engage in conversation with me. Pfft. Don't those tomatoes sounds DELISH!!!!!!! So jealous! I need to stop by the produce market and pick some up, but they're nothing like homegrown right out of your very own yard. yummmmmmm.
I'll bet as we keep adding books, we'll find we have lots more of the same, don't you think?!
take care!
Hi Jan! Just dropping by for a little visit to see what you had in your library that I might want to borrow!
Jan - Did you sign up for Early Reviewers? I don't know how much of a chance there is, but I requested a couple books. I'm an addict, and I admit it.
You know, I only ever had 3 way chili in Cincinnati when Jim & I went to a ballgame. I'd never even heard of it in northern Ohio.

Sounds like you're realistic with most books being average, not super critical!

Mental Floss. I found this magazine when I read some book I don't even remember, and now I faithfully buy it for Jim's back to take to the Coffee Bean. I don't get a chance to read it much, but it's a terrific magazine.
Hey, Jan!

Don't wear yourelf out! This is supposed to be fun. But, I bet your book covers look gorgeous by now.
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