• LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

cameling in the oasis of books - bubbling hot springs 10

This is a continuation of the topic cameling in the oasis of books - bubbling brook 9.

This topic was continued by cameling in the oasis of books - babbling brook 11.

75 Books Challenge for 2012

Join LibraryThing to post.

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

Edited: Sep 11, 2012, 11:44pm Top

January Reads
The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
The Wanderer : The Last American Slave Ship and the Conspiracy that Set Its Sails - Eric Calonius
Lady Susan - Jane Austen
The Glass Devil - Helene Tursten
The Hare with Amber Eyes - Edmund de Waal
Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise- Joyce Magnin
Pistols for Two Breakfast For One - Matthew J. Dick
Man in the Empty Boat - Mark Salzman
Blackberries, Blackberries - Crystal Wilkinson

February Reads
A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories - Will Eisner
Emperor of All Maladies : A Biography of Cancer - Siddhartha Mukherjee
Forgotten Country - Catherine Chung
Zenzele - J. Nozipo Maraire
Nelson - Rob Davis
Unseen - Mari Jungstedt
The Waitress Was New - Dominique Fabre
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk - David Sedaris
The Potter's Field - Andrea Camilleri
Audition Ryu Murakami
Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey - The Countess of Carnarvon
Devil's Food Cake Murder - Joanne Fluke
Operation Mincemeat : How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured and Allied Victory - Ben Macintyre
The Whipping Club - Deborah Henry
I am the Messenger - Markus Zusak

March Reads
Gifts and Consequences - Daniel Coleman
Shadows of the Soul - Angelique Armae
Broken - Karin Fossum
1222 - Anne Holt
The Buddha in the Attic - Julie Otsuka
A Small Hotel - Robert Olen Butler
New York to Dallas - J.D. Robb
Stradivari's Genius - Toby Faber
Man Walks into a Room - Nicole Krauss
The Coroner's Lunch - Colin Cotterill
Man in Beijing - Henning Mankell
Absolution - Patrick Flanery
The Finkler Question - Howard Jacobson

April Reads
An Uncertain Place - Fred Vargas
Hark! A Vagrant - Kate Beaton
Seven Moments in Time - Todd Tystad
Mumbai Noir -Altaf Tyrewala
Sleeping with Paris - Juliette Sobanet
Kissing Adrien - Siri. L. Mitchell
Wild Mustang Man - Carol Grace
The Guinea Pigs - Ludvik Vaculik
The Flower Mat - Shugoro Yamamoto
The Rabbi's Cat - Joann Sfar
Below Stairs - Margaret Powell
A Bitter Veil - Libby Fischer Hellmann
An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris - Georges Perec
Foul Matter - Martha Grimes

May Reads
Thirty Three Teeth - Colin Cotterill
Pomfret Towers - Angela Thirkell
The Redeemer - Jo Nesbo
Part of the Furniture - Mary Wesley
A Lonely Death - Charles Todd
A Trick of the Light - Louise Penny
Husband Hunting 101 - Rita Herron
The Hangman (Good Reads) - Louise Penny
Spying in High Heels - Gemma Halliday
The Last Good Man - Kathleen Eagle
The Cat Manual - Michael Ray Taylor
Divine Intervention - Cheryl Kaye Tardif
I Have a Secret - Cheryl Bradshaw
When Pigs Fly - Bob Sanchez
Sleeping Love - Sara Curran-Ross
Match Day - Brian Eule

June Reads
Long Island Noir - Kaylie Jones
Picket Line - Breena Wiederhoeft
Arthur & George - Julian Barnes
Dandelion Wine - Ray Bradbury
Our Man in Havana - Graham Greene
Age of Doubt - Andrea Camilleri
The Halo Effect - M.J. Rose
Hypothermia - Arnaldur Indridason
Disgrace - J.M Coetzee
Treasure Island!!! - Sara Levine
The Man in the Wooden Hat - Jane Gardam
The Child Thief - Brom

July Reads
The China Governess - Margery Allingham
Yes Chef - Marcus Samuelsson
Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter - Mario Vargas Llosa
Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury
Opal Fire - Barbra Annino
An Artist of the Floating World - Kazuo Ishiguro
Drawing Conclusions - Donna Leon
The Fall - Albert Camus
Sleeping Roses - RaShell Workman
Deadly Affair - Lucinda Brant
Forged in Fire - Trish McCallan
A Handbook of American Prayer - Lucius Shepard
Land of Green Plums - Herta Muller
Don't Let Me Go - Catherine Ryan Hyde
Anarchy and Old Dogs - Colin Cotterrill

August Reads
Bad Intentions - Karin Fossum
The Delilah Complex - MJ Rose
The Island at the Center of the World - Russell Shorto
Willow Pond - Carol Tibaldi
The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul - Deborah Rodriguez
Persuader - Lee Child
The Venus Fix - M.J. Rose
For Fukui's Sake - Sam Baldwin
Pretty Witches All in a Row - Lisa Olsen
Forgotten Soldiers : What Happened to Jacob Walden - Warren Martin
Curse of the Pogo Stick - Colin Cotterill
Death and Judgement - Donna Leon
The Imperfectionists - Tom Rachman

September Reads
Remarkable Creatures - Tracy Chevalier
Popular Hits of the Showa Era - Ryu Murakami
Kushiel's Chosen - Jacqueline Carey
Vulture Peak - John Burdett
Before I Go to Sleep - S.J. Watson
Death of a Cozy Writer - GM Malliet

Aug 21, 2012, 9:11pm Top

Hot and steamy in Tokyo. Arrived yesterday afternoon, took a quick shower, headed out for a meeting and 'enjoyed' a trip back to the hotel on the Tokyo subway's Keio line with hundreds of thousands other commuters, all squashed together, cheek to jowl, butt to butt, and in some cases, armpit to desperately raised nose.

Edited: Aug 21, 2012, 9:57pm Top

For Fukui's Sake : Two Years in Rural Japan by Sam Baldwin

A delightful memoir of Sam's 2 year contract teaching English at a Japanese school in rural Fukui. Having learned only basic Japanese, he shares his initial cultural shock being in a village where no English is spoken, and his subsequent adventures with his students and the people he meets during his stay. He experiences the friendliness of the Japanese and observes the sense of responsibility that is taught and demanded of children, and the stoicism and determination that we have come to expect of the Japanese. He climbs Mt Fuji, attends the Fuji Rock Festival, goes farm fishing and learns what that means, and indulges in snow escapades that made me jealous. He throws himself into the village community and leaves Japan all the richer for the experiences and friends he made during his time there.

I loved this book!
4 stars

Pretty Witches All in a Row - Lisa Olsen

Someone's murdering witchy members of a coven and Annaliese dreams of their deaths before or while it happens, but without seeing who the murderer or the victim is. Sargeant Nick Gibson is our charismatic and sympathetic hero smitten by beautiful Annaliese, but wonders if she knows more than she's telling him. This paranormal crime procedural is a fun light that you can knock out in a couple of hours. And even if you think you know who the murderer is, I bet you'll still be surprised when the murderer is exposed.

3 stars

Aug 21, 2012, 10:01pm Top

......armpit to desperately raised nose

Seriously too funny! But only because it's not my nose being assaulted. I can so picture it though, as much as I don't want to..haha!

Aug 21, 2012, 10:09pm Top

Joining in the fun! Two good books right off the bat. : )

Aug 21, 2012, 10:19pm Top

For Fukui's Sake sounds interesting; I'll add it to my wish list.

Aug 21, 2012, 10:20pm Top

#4 : Valerie - thankfully, I appear to be taller than the average Japanese commuter so it's not my nose being jammed up a sweaty smelly armpit. Maybe the tall Japanese don't take the Keio line to Shinjuku at peak hour. :-) Thankfully no subway rides for me today, all my meetings take place across the street from my hotel, so I can walk over.

35 : Kim - yup, both were really enjoyable. For Fukui's Sake was more so because I'm familiar with Japan and liked that the author littered little Japanese words and phrases throughout the book, with English translations.

Edited: Aug 21, 2012, 10:25pm Top

#6 : Darryl, what I found interesting was that the author was originally a lab assistant, dissatisfied with his job, seeing no upwardly moving career prospects as long as he stayed where he was. So he decided to cast his net further afield and despite not having any experience or language proficiency, he applied for and was offered a job in a rural village he had never heard of and almost couldn't find on the map. He's the kind of traveler I admire, one who immerses himself in the culture instead of trying to stand above it. I think you'll enjoy this one. it's a book I borrowed from the Kindle library.

Aug 21, 2012, 11:37pm Top

Waving hello...

Aug 21, 2012, 11:56pm Top

Hey, Caro, even though that's not one of MY camels at the top, I was still thinking of you tonight as we dined at Khan's Cave!

Aug 22, 2012, 1:55am Top

#9 : Konichiwa Jenn. *fans self vigorously* It's hot here in Tokyo. What I wouldn't give to sit in a tub of ice cubes right about now. Alas, I've another meeting to head into shortly and the government has urged the Japanese to conserve energy by not turning on the AC too high and for everyone to wear short sleeves to work instead, so the meeting rooms are warm and stuffy. ugh!

#10 : Hey there, Roni ... I didn't have one of your camels with me here in Japan, so I had to make do with just a regular camel pic. :-) Ooh.. Khan's Cave... I remember the yummy food there, especially those spicy dumplings.

Aug 22, 2012, 7:10am Top

I love reading the stories of your international travels! :D

Aug 22, 2012, 7:12am Top

Stopping by to say hi! I think you would enjoye The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I'm chuckling at your description of your travails - or should I say travels on the Japanese subway system! My sister and her husband went to Italy about a year ago and described the exact same situation of stink and armpit to armpit! :) She swore they would never go again - but they are already planning another trip to Italy next year. Perhaps this time they will steer clear of mass travel - but really, now else do you get around! :)

Aug 22, 2012, 7:33am Top

Ohayou, Caro-san! I'll plan to read For Fukui's Sake in the next month or two, once I decide if I want to become an Amazon Prime member.

Edited: Aug 22, 2012, 9:41am Top

Hi Caro- For Fukui's Sake sounds good. It reminds me of Iron and Silk. Did it feel similar? Hope the trip is going well.

Aug 22, 2012, 9:58am Top

Did I tell you we rode camels in the desert in Australia, Caro? First time for me. It was surprisingly comfortable, although getting on and off (they kneel on the ground) was like riding a jerky dumb waiter. It actually was more comfortable than riding a horse, which is not what I expected.

Aug 22, 2012, 11:33am Top

Better luck with the translator today! And I had had the same Italan experience, but public transport was the only option. J--how cool about riding a camel! Not to mention the Australia part.

Edited: Aug 22, 2012, 12:07pm Top

I didn't find out till afterwards that was the reason why the Japan airport seemed so much hotter than it should be. After the tsunami, they were not turning the AC on in order to conserve energy so speed walking from one terminal to the next to catch out flight to Taiwan was a workout!

ETA: In regards to question you asked on Ellen's page. If you liked the first book I would at least try the second book in the series. I would only continue on if you really liked the first book since each of the book is such an investment. For myself, I plan on continuing with the series just because you do become invested with the characters and I actually really enjoy the world that Carey has written. It's just seems different in terms of fantasy from what we are used to reading.

Aug 22, 2012, 12:27pm Top

Stopping by to say hi-life has been really busy with travel, my new dog, and work starting up again, so I wanted to make sure I fit in some LT time!

Aug 22, 2012, 9:06pm Top

Threads in double figures Caro - belatedly signed up after settling my stomach!

Aug 22, 2012, 9:35pm Top

Hi Caro!
You NEED to come back to New England. The weather has been much nicer. Tokyo sounds so hot and crowded. Makes me very happy I was born on this side of the world in the Berkshires!
Knowing you... you will make the best of it and have some fun :-)
Wishing Japan nice cool breezes from the north.

Aug 22, 2012, 11:00pm Top

Nice new thread, Caro! For Fukui's Sake sounds interesting - adding it to the teetering WL. Love that I can borrow it from the Kindle library. Hope you are having fun over there, and that you find a cool spot to reboot.

Aug 22, 2012, 11:09pm Top

>3 cameling: For Fukui's Sake sounds a laugh! I remember being told about the place I was to teach English at in Japan, it was said to be rural farm area. Imagine my surprise when the drive there from Nagoya was (to me) total built up residential, and that our "rural town" had traffic lights, 2 high schools, and barely a field to be seen. Obviously to me rural means no people, no cars, not much of anything. haha

Have fun in Japan, dont get lost on the subway!

Aug 23, 2012, 10:32am Top

Found your new thread!
Hi Caro!

Aug 23, 2012, 12:20pm Top

Re: the Kushiel books, Caro, I did move on to the second book earlier this year and had to abandon it. For me it moved soooo slowly and I could not make much headway with it. Didn't even get 1/3 of the way through when I gave up. But, for you, it might be ok. For me, that puppy is going to a new home.

Aug 23, 2012, 6:27pm Top

#12 : Morphy - if you like my travel stories you're going to love this one...

I got back from a meeting yesterday and was doing some work in my hotel room when I heard noises around my door. I thought it was the cleaner outside with her cart and vacuum brushing up against my door and didn't think anything of it. But there continued to be jostling noises and then what sounded like someone trying to get into my room. I had the 'do not disturb' light on. So i thought maybe someone was trying to put their key into the wrong room ... no worries, I've done that before... so i just waited, figuring the person will go away. But the sound persisted, so I walked towards my door, saw a piece of plastic sliding up and down between the door frame and the door itself. I looked out the security peep hole and coldn't see anything so when the plastic came through again, I yanked it hard and heard a yelp on the other side. Unlatched the door, opened it and saw a service man sitting on his butt, mouth agape at the sight of me. A hotel staff member in a suit standing next to him fell back against the wall in shock. I asked if they wanted to come into my room, and finally the suit bowed deeply, apologized profusely and said something about repairing the lock so my keycard would work. But I hadn't reported anything wrong with my keycard or lock working. So I gently suggested perhaps they had the wrong room. More apologies and deep bows from the pale and shaken men and away they went, and back I went to my work.

Minutes later, the general manager himself calls, apologizes for the 'very serious mistake' and comes to my room later with a bottle of chilled champagne, big basket of fruit (I certainly won't be in danger of scurvy for the duration of my stay) and a new keycard (whatever the guy did had apparently rendered my previous keycard void). What a cool apology for really a simple mistake.

#13 : Deb - Italy in the summer .. oh yes, all those sweaty unshaven armpits (male & female) on the hot subway... perhaps they forgot about this or are planning to rent Vespas or a little car?

#14 : Darryl, if you become a Prime member, you can download For Fukui's Sake for free on your Kindle. :-) How's that for an incentive to join the club?

Aug 23, 2012, 6:38pm Top

Ok, you got me with Pretty Witches All in a Row. I have to check that one out given my obsession with mystery series. So sorry to hear about the heat in Tokoyo. It just started getting cooler here in Texas. Come back home soon!

Edited: Aug 24, 2012, 8:58pm Top

#15 : Marky-Mark - For Fukui's Sake was similar to Iron and Silk. Both had humor and a good observation of the culture in which they were now immersed, but I think Salzman writes more lyrically.

#16 : Joe, I'm so jealous you got to ride camels. I'd love to do that some day. I didn't even know they had camels in Australia until you mentioned it. Somehow that's not an animal I equate with Australia. Wonder how they got there. I always associated camels with dry arid deserts ... oh wait, Oz has dry arid deserts too ...hmmm....well, you know what I mean. I think I'd like to visit Morocco and ride camels there.

#17 : Kim, my regular translator recovered nicely and was back at work yesterday ... much to my delight and relief, so yesterday's meetings went smoothly and productively. All in all, a great day.... made greater when I went to a sake tasting dinner with an ex-boyfriend who happened to be in Tokyo this week as well. I hadn't seen him in a few years, so it was great to catch up in person rather than emails or Facebook. :-)

#18 : Valerie, and yet yesterday I had lunch with 5 other people, 3 of which had a light sweater on. It was a very nice restaurant but I was feeling very warm in just a thin silk blouse. Go figure.

I did like Kushiel's Dart and on your recommendation, I will try out the second in the series. In fact, I believe I have it in my TBR Tower somewhere ... I think I remember seeing it.... or maybe I saw it in the bookstore and mentally placed it in my TBR Tower .... I shall have to go look when i get home this weekend.

ETA : edited to correct my spelling of desert v desserts. I can only blame food on my mind at the time I wrote this

Aug 23, 2012, 7:29pm Top

#19 : Hi there Becca. Always good to see you . Thanks for stopping by. Loved to hear of your travels through your dad, and seeing some of the photos. Enjoy the rest of your time off before work starts.

#20 : Paul, glad to hear your stomach is settling down. And I'm late to the double digit thread club, but I'm a member now. haha..

#21 : Cee ... send some cool breezes over if you can spare some, please. It continues to be hot and steamy ...but I have the afternoon off today and I plan on heading over to the Tokyo Skytree, currently the tallest structure in the world and then heading out to a little noodle shop in Asakusa where a guy makes fresh soba for the orders, then a bit of shopping in Shinjuku and then a yakitori dinner in Shinjuku. I head home tomorrow afternoon ...so I hope the humidity doesn't follow me all the way back to Boston.

#22 : Mamie ...have sunglasses permanently stuck to my face when I'm out, so I'm hoping I can convince myself it's cooler than it actually is. ;-) If you have a Prime membership, you can download For Fukui's Sake for free.

#23 : Megan, I'd like to visit Fukui perhaps the next time I'm in Japan and have a weekend free. The Shinkansen goes out there, apparently. I had asked some of my coworkers here in Tokyo about Fukui and they said it's a city with some of the friendliest people in Tokyo. Now how can I not visit, right?

Aug 23, 2012, 7:33pm Top

#24 : Hi Ellen - thanks for finding me. Ran 3 miles comfortably this morning. Whee! No more twinges ... I'm going to start reading Chi Running when I get back. So do you use these techniques when you run?

#25 : Hey Charlotte, thanks for the feedback on Kushiel's Chosen. Perhaps I should read it when I'm in a mellow mood and ready for something less frantic?

Aug 23, 2012, 7:35pm Top

My brother in law comes back from Taiwan and he thinks it's cold here. Sweater and all. We just look at him and think he's nuts, but I guess coming from the tropics, Calgary can be a tad chilly in comparison.

I hope you enjoy it when you get the chance. But like Fourpawz2 says, I do remember it being a bit slow and gave it a lower rating then the first and third book which I enjoyed a bit more. :)

Aug 23, 2012, 7:41pm Top

>26 cameling: What a strange story! Those guys seem a bit suspicious, IMO. I think I'd lock all of my valuables in a secure place if that happened to me, champagne and fruit basket or not.

I am now very tempted to join Amazon Prime, which I wasn't before. However, before I do, I'd like to see which books are available for borrowing. If they are books I would probably buy then I'll join; if not, I won't.

Have you gone to any English language bookstores in Tokyo? I posted a couple of links on my thread in response to your question.

Aug 23, 2012, 8:02pm Top

Caro, I read Chi Running several years ago and definitely used some of his advice. I keep thinking I want to peruse it again. I didn't fully embrace it, but what I remember, lo these many years later, is the part about channeling energy and allowing that to affect your form. I really believe it helped me increase the distance of my runs with fewer injuries. It also helped that I was falling in love with trail running at that time and had ready access to some of the most wonderful trails on earth! That is less true living in Seattle.....

Aug 23, 2012, 8:11pm Top

I'm with Darryl - I thought the story sounded off. Something not right was going on. You can't fix a key card by sliding it between the door and the jamb - that's how you break in. And I do have Amazon Prime - have had it for years, absolutely love it, and it is very well used.

Sorry about the heat.

Aug 23, 2012, 9:55pm Top

Hi there, nothing new to add, thirding the chorus of raised eyebrows and cleared throats at the story you were told about those persons who are no doubt of interest to the police.

Aug 24, 2012, 1:29am Top

#31 : Valerie, yes everything is relative. I know when I lived in Hong Kong for 2 years, it used to make grin every time I saw the locals wrapped up like eskimos when I was still walking around in just a long sleeve tee. Thanks for the heads up in support of what Charlotte said about Kushiel's Chosen.

#32 : Darryl, I have no valuables when I travel and I stay at this hotel every time I come to Tokyo, and I've been coming here for over 10 years. It's a good hotel. I think it was just a mistake.

English language books are not cheap here in Tokyo but that hasn't stopped me from spending an hour today at the Kinokuniya bookstore in Times Square, and drooling. *off to visit your thread and the links* ... I have time to head back there this evening if I want. :-)

#33 : Ellen, I was curious because a business associate of the hubster attended a ChiRunning workshop and claims that he hasn't had a running injury in over 2 years and credits the technique to his being able to run a marathon - from where he used to only jog for no more than 2 miles at a time.

Aug 24, 2012, 2:00am Top

#34 : Mamie, if this was in any other hotel and in a different country, I may have thought that too. But I do think they made a mistake, because the plastic was past the lock, and going up to the security bar. They may have been wondering why the door was still not opening and if something had jammed the door. Given that there were other people walking in the hallway since it was a relatively busy time in the early evening, I would have thought if they were burglars they'd try breaking in in the middle of the day when most people are out of their rooms. In addition, there are security cameras at regular intervals in the hallways on every floor.

#35 : Richard ... no, really ...they didn't look like burglars. Surely it was an honest mistake. and if not, then they would have robbed the wrong room because even if I had been out, I had my laptop with me, and my passport, extra credit card and cash were in the safe. All they could have been able to take would have been my sneakers and dirty clothes because I never unpack, so the rest of my clean clothes stay in my luggage, as does my Kindle and I lock my luggage when I'm out of the room. Oh, they could have taken my toiletries I suppose ... drat!... I knew my Sonic toothbrush was too much of a lure to criminals. ;-)

But having said all that, I do really appreciate and am so touched by the concern you're all showing. I just thought it was a funny incident because I'm in Japan and at the Hyatt.

Aug 24, 2012, 7:51am Top

>26 cameling: The thought of you yanking the card out of his hand makes me laugh. I love the image.

Aug 24, 2012, 11:28am Top

You make a compelling case for not traveling with a Sonic toothbrush....

Aug 24, 2012, 11:40am Top

Intriguing key card story, Caro. I'm glad you got a bonanza out of it.

Camels in Australia: "Thousands of the two main species of Australian feral camels, mostly dromedaries but also some bactrian camels, were imported into Australia during the 19th century for transport and construction as part of the colonisation of the central and western parts of Australia. Motorised transport replaced the camels' role in the early 20th century and many were released into the wild. As of 2009, the feral population numbered about one million, with a doubling time of about nine years." From Wikipedia.

We rode ours at Ayers Rock in the Northern Territory, near the center of Oz. Lots of desert there. The ones we rode actually were ones that were captured from the wild and trained - those in the business have an easy time getting more when needed. I was skeptical (Walklover arranged it all), but it was wonderful - we did it at dawn, before the day got hot. You'll love it. I'd do it again - Morocco sounds good to me.

Aug 24, 2012, 11:42am Top

I looked at the available offerings in the Kindle Lending Library for Amazon Prime members, and found essntially nothing that I would be interested in. None of the 40+ books in my Kindle wish list were eligible, and when I typed in the names of my favorite authors, none of their books showed up. I'm glad I checked this before I committed to signing up for a year, as I was about to do.

Edited: Aug 24, 2012, 9:04pm Top

#38 : Morphy, I'm not sure the guy shared the humor I found in the situation. I wonder what sort of telling off they received from their bosses when they reported their mistake, for I'm sure they must have received a tongue lashing. Still ...it's a shame I didn't have my camera at the ready because the expression on his face was priceless.

#39 : Richard ... you're a loon, but a lovable loon. ;-)

#40 : Joe - 1 million camels! *eyes glaze over* ... I was prepared to accept the fact that there are camels in Australia. I had assumed they were domesticated for tourist trade. I didn't think that they'd be feral and roaming wild across the deserts. But even then... 1 million camels? Wow, that is mind-blowing. But thanks for the tip because I'd most definitely love to try this out at some point, camel riding out to Ayers sounds like a blast..... after I do a camel ride in Morocco. I wonder if I should seek out and plan camel riding holidays around the world. hmm....

#41 : Darryl - apart from the Kindle lending library for Prime members, if you're a member, you also get free shipping on books you buy from Amazon as well as other products sold through and fulfilled by Amazon. So depending on how much you use Amazon, it might still be worth the membership fee. I purchase lots of stuff through Amazon so I've already made back my membership investment through the savings in shipping fees. They carry a brand of dental floss the hubster likes which isn't carried on the pharmacy shelves in the US.
But if you're not a huge Amazon user, then you've happily saved yourself $79. I checked and alas, they don't sell frozen foods, otherwise you could have found a new supplier for frozen dumplings to microwave at home :-)

Aug 24, 2012, 9:09pm Top

Started and tossed 2 free Kindle books last night. Bleah .. oh well, I'm happily started on The Lemon Table by Julian Barnes.

Last walk in Yoyogi Park planned for this morning and then I'm checking out of the hotel and on my way to the airport.

Be back in Boston on Saturday night. Fingers crossed for on-time flights all the way home.

Aug 24, 2012, 9:12pm Top

Forgotten Soldiers : What Happened to Jacob Walden - Warren Martin

Captain Jacob Walden and his plane get shot down in Vietnam in 1970, ejects to safety, only to be captured by farmers, is marched through jungles and is later turned over to the North Vietnamese. And therein begins a horrific tale of his captivity under the torturous hands of the Vietnamese and later the Russians as, not a POW but a criminal for well over 30 years. His years of isolation, torture, starvation and the effect they have on him physically, mentally an emotionally makes for hard reading sometimes, but the character studies of some of his fellow prisoners, the prison guards and his torturers make this a compelling read.

References are made throughout the book to historical events during the time of his captivity, including the storming of the Son Tay prison camp, Jane Fonda's infamous visit to the Hanoi Hilton prison, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the fall of the USSR.

It's not a perfectly written book but if you can close your eyes to some misspellings, grammatical errors and a one or two errors in the details, resulting from, I think a lapse in the author's concentration and oversight by the editorial staff, this is a gripping read.

What I wondered reading this was, how much of this is pure fiction and how much of it is based on what actually happened to some of the soldiers whose bodies remain missing since WWII or have been declared dead as a result of errors or cover-ups.

3.8 stars

Aug 24, 2012, 9:27pm Top

Safe and comfortable trip home, Caro!

Aug 25, 2012, 5:11am Top

Caro, what a frightening adventure in the hotel! Yikes! As for my sister and Brother in Law returning to the sweaty armpits of Italy, I'll have to ask my sister whether she forgot, or if that is a part of the trip that they plan to forgo this time round! LOL! I'll see her on Sunday and get the story... :)

Aug 25, 2012, 2:29pm Top

Safe journey...no armpit-related disasters...no drooling seatmates...no collapsing drinks trolleys...

Aug 25, 2012, 11:13pm Top

Boy....I'm really out of practice....I had a two posts here that just seem to have evaporated into the ethernet. 1st was a story about riding subways and trains in Japan and the other was a question about a possible meetup in Boston Sept 7 or 8. Bob and I are going to be at a Navy "do" at the Crowne Plaza in Natick (he's the guest speaker for the din-din on Saturday night) and I have free time on Friday afternoon and during AM up to about 4 on Saturday. Are you in town that weekend? Anywhere close to Natick? I've done the Boston touring bit, but thought if you were free we can maybe get together for some good joe or a drink or a whatever. Are there others in the area?

I realize it's short notice, and I haven't mentioned it sooner since I was under the impression you were still going to be in Japan, but it sounds like you are heading home.

And I definitely agree with your assessment of the Hyatt room intruders.....I would only have believed that in Japan, but I do believe that was just an honest mistake. I've never been anyplace where people are as honest as they are there. If they'd been other than Japanese, I'd have been instantly suspicious. Terrible I know, but there it is.

Edited: Aug 26, 2012, 1:32am Top

I think I'm going to dig out my copy of ChiRunning and skim through it again. Your colleague's crediting it with injury-free running sounds like a more dramatic parallel to my own experience when I read it a few years ago.

Aug 26, 2012, 7:33am Top

You are planning to write a memoir someday, aren't you Caro? I always visit your thread because it's my favorite on-going, super interesting saga. Even when you are home doing something mundane - like cooking or running - I know it's always going to turn into something riveting. You really ought to consider it.

I'm afraid I would have jumped to the conclusion that the hotel characters were bent on thievery and general mayhem. Too much like those movies where the heroine cowers in bed, the covers clutched in her trembling paws, while the camera fixates on the jiggling doorknob. Creepy!

Aug 26, 2012, 8:03am Top

Caro- Hope you are safely at home now, in your warm comfy bed. Hope you have a relaxing day planned.

Aug 26, 2012, 4:07pm Top

#45 : Safely home, Cee. Thanks for the safety threads keeping my planes aloft ..except for when they needed to safely descend.

#46 : Deb - I sit in anticipation of your sister's response to the summer recollection on an Italian subway. :-)

#47 : Richard - absolutely safe journey home .. made relaxing by the fact that I scored free upgrades to business class on each leg of my journey. Sweeeeet! I didn't even get much reading done from Tokyo to Chicago because I was sleeping most of the time on the flat bed my seat transformed itself into, snuggled under a cosy quilted duvet and with my head comfortably supported on a soft fluffy pillow. Slept again from Chicago to Boston, but only because the flight was so late I was tired.

Aug 26, 2012, 4:36pm Top

#48 : Tina - Alas, I'm going to be leaving for Singapore on September 5. I'm bummed that I won't be in town during your visit. I would have loved to have met you for drinks or something. But sadly, I'm home just for a week and a little bit, and then will be once again folding myself onto a plane for yet another long journey.

And I echo your comments. If the hotel incident had happened in most any other country, I would have been very suspicious but because it was in Japan and at the Hyatt, I have no doubt it was an honest mistake. Plus when I was checking out, there was clearly a comment against my name/room number because the senior manager on duty was hailed, and one again I was bowed to and apologized to for the 'serious mistake' .. and they removed the internet charges from my bill. I ended up feeling rather embarrassed by the whole thing.

#49 : Ellen, I'm going to read my copy of ChiRunning too and see if it makes me start to run any more easily next week.

#50 : Charlotte, thanks for the giggles. I don't consider the things that I encounter to be terribly interesting, although I will say that sometimes I wonder if I attract odd incidents or if they just seem to happen more often to me because I travel more than the average person. But you are so sweet with the compliment. Thank you for finding my thread interesting. I think it's interesting because of all the delightful peeps who contribute with their comments and their own stories.

It's interesting that you said you'd have jumped to the conclusion that the hotel characters were bent on thievery. I suspect I would have thought the same if I were in certain countries (that I don't want to name here so as not to offend anyone who may be lurking and who may be from those countries). If that had happened in some countries, I probably would have called the hotel manager and reported suspicious activity instead of just yanking the door open in my bare feet, shorts and tee shirt.

There have just been 2 hotels that I've gotten creepy vibes from, and I've made it a point never to stay in either of them since. In the first one, the hair on the back of my neck rose every time I opened the closet, so after the 2nd day, I took all my clothes out and hung my suits up around the room on lampshades. I'm sure the cleaning staff thought I was a hillbilly who didn't know what closets were for.
In the second, I woke at night when I heard whispers in my ear, found myself unable to move or even able to open my eyes, but then felt 'someone' sit at the corner of the bed and slowly move across over to me. I felt my hair lifted off my brow and my face being 'sniffed' and then the weight lifted off me. My eyes flew open and I reached over to turn the bedside light on, but I didn't see anything. The door was locked and latched, the windows were latched soo.... ? I turned the tv on and went back to sleep. And for the next couple of nights, I slept with the light and tv on, and didn't receive a second visit.

#51 : Hi Marky-Mark ... nothing strenuous planned for today. Woke late and had a lazy brunch. Just unpacking and laundry planned for the afternoon. I did get some reading done so that just about makes my day. A little bummed that I have to go to work tomorrow, but oh well.

Aug 26, 2012, 4:40pm Top

*eeeeeeeeeeeeek* at second hotel story!!!

Aug 26, 2012, 4:44pm Top

Thanks to my flight from Tokyo being delayed by an hour, I missed my connection in Boston and although I was pre-booked on the next available flight, that flight ended up being delayed by 3 hours because the pilots were flying in from D.C. and their flight was late. *sigh* I ended up not arriving in Boston until 1.30am. Still, I brought my Kindle Fire with me and happily watched one of the Inspector Montalbano movies The Snack Thief I had downloaded on it before I had left for my trip. I read a bit more of The Lemon Table before grabbing some dinner.

I had rented 4 Inspector Montalbano movies on my Fire, which is all they had. I guess I'm going to bite the bullet and purchase the other DVDs because I am now as hooked on the movies as I am on the books themselves.

The hubster very sweetly surprised me at the airport. With the additional delays, I had told him I'd just take a cab home and that he should just go to bed, but he texted me just as I landed to let me know he was there. He earns some brownie hubby points and today's been declared his day, so we do what he wants today .. .which for now, means watching Peyton Manning play in different colors. It is rather weird to see him anything other than a Colts uniform.

Aug 26, 2012, 4:44pm Top

I was going to try and keep this for September's S&S but the lure of the Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill was too strong.

The Hmong, whether they chose to side with the Japanese, the French of the Americans, are people who have never been fairly treated by the ruling parties at the end of each war in which their help was sought. In Laos, the plight of the nomadic Hmong is observed at first hand by Dr Siri when he is abducted during a road trip with Judge Haeng to Luang Prabang, by Elder Long to help free his young daughter from a demon. Dr Siri, whose earthly body hosts Yeh Ming, a powerful shaman, is well known among the Hmong. The history and culture of the Hmong is covered in detail through the observations of Dr Siri.

In the meantime, over in Vientiane, Nurse Dtui discovers a booby-trapped corpse in the morgue and it's her keen observations that manage to keep a young arrogant doctor, Gaeng, the hospital director and Dtui herself from being blown up. With the help of Phosy and Civilai, they uncover a Royalists plot spearheaded by an adversary from a previous book in the series.

With comic relief provided by Judge Heang whether he's spouting bigoted political propaganda or mistakenly eating pig swill, the adventures of Dr Siri and his team continue to entertain and educate.

4 stars

Aug 26, 2012, 8:26pm Top

Oh no! Bad flights. And curses on you for telling me there are Inspector Montalbano movies!! BIG points for the hubster. : ) I like him but not you. ; )

Edited: Aug 26, 2012, 8:47pm Top

Ewwww!!! on the creepy hotel stories. *SHUDDER*

Inspector Montalbano movies??? Where?

We are liking Peyton Manning's colors here in Denver. We'll see what happens. It's definitely much calmer without Tebow.

Aug 26, 2012, 8:49pm Top

Elway obviously should have kept Peyton in that game!

Aug 26, 2012, 10:10pm Top

Glad to hear you are back safe and sound, despite the shady hotel incidence. :)

Yes, definitely some brownie points to the hubsters for meeting you at the airport despite telling him he didn't need to. That's we all love right? You tell them not to come, although secretly you hope they do, and then it's all the much sweeter when you actually see that they did not what you said, but what you hoped. At least that's the way it is for me..haha!

Aug 27, 2012, 12:11am Top

>53 cameling: arrrgh, that was a ghost you encountered surely. Absolutely freaky stuff. I have heard some amazing ghost stories first hand. Only seen one once myself ;) But it was out of the corner of my eye.....out a car window....into the darkness....

Aug 27, 2012, 1:26am Top

53> Oh my, I would have been terrified!!! I've never experienced anything like that and I'm just as glad to be missing it.

I did stay at the home of one of my mum's cousin, in old Nashville. I was about 12 years old and the house was very old and very Victorian and very crowded with old, Victorian furniture. I swear I was not alone in the room, but whomever was there with me was not nearly as, um, material as your visitor.

Yay for hubster meeting you at the airport! Good hubster. :-)

Aug 27, 2012, 9:37am Top

>53 cameling: FF....if you hadn't said in the following post that you'd decided to start the Dr. Siri books, I'd have jokingly asked if a) the hotel was in Laos or Thailand, and b) did you think you were channeling Dr. Siri?

Aug 27, 2012, 11:31am Top

Wow, so much good stuff going on here, Caro! Welcome back, briefly. :-)

Creepy hotel stories - never had anything like those happen, but that may fall under, you travel so much more than me or anyone else I know.

I loved Curse of the Pogo Stick, too. As you say, the series always entertains and educates.

I stumbled across what for me was the latest Inspector Montalbano on TV last night - the movie for The Age of Doubt, the book of which just got published here. Great! A channel I've never paid attention to before, so now I'm going to be on the lookout. The actors are really growing on me.

I'm going to be in Boston for the day on 9/7. I'm going to be tied up all day in a meeting, and go back that night, which I thought would be unfortunate, but you're off on another junket anyway.

Aug 27, 2012, 1:41pm Top

What channel was that on, Joe?

Aug 27, 2012, 2:52pm Top

Well, for me, on Comcast in Chicago, it was channel 372, which is a Chicago public tv channel, but not the one of the ones that I'm used to. I'll look for the call letters when I'm home tonight. Might have been WYCC.

Aug 27, 2012, 7:32pm Top

#57 : Kim .. haha.. that was my reaction when I first discovered they had Inspector Montalbano on DVDs too. If you have a Kindle Fire, then you can rent the first 4 episodes from Amazon for $4.95 each for 7 days. I'd rent one first just to see if you enjoy the movie (although I was skeptical at first, I was hooked before I was even halfway through The Snack Thief and downloaded the other 3. Amazon doesn't rent the rest in the series, so I've decided to just buy the rest of them because I can see myself wanting to watch them again. :-) I've already re-watched The Voice of the Violin and The Shape of Water twice.

The actors that have been cast for some of the characters don't meet what I had visualized them to be, but after the first few minutes, it didn't bother me. The movies are as good as the books. Oh, but it's in Italian, so you have to not mind reading subtitles. I know some people who won't watch movies that haven't been dubbed in English because they don't like reading subtitles.

#58 : Jenn, a friend of mine has worse stories than I do. I think he's someone who's a 'sensitive' because he's able to see ghosts or spirits in a home, and tend to have very vivid and often scary nightmares. During some of his travels, he's been physically yanked off his bed while he was asleep by 'someone' . Once he woke to chantings and when he opened his eyes, he saw a red circle on the floor of his hotel room and a glowing soldier sitting in the middle looking at him, and talking to him although he couldn't hear what he was saying. When I was living in Hong Kong, he came over for a visit with his family, and I asked him to please not tell me if anyone else was inhabiting the apartment I was living in because I didn't want it preying on my mind after he left. He said when he was leaving that he hadn't seen anyone fuzzy during the week they stayed with me. What a relief.

Montalbano movies? Here you go : http://www.amazon.com/Detective-Montalbano-Episodes-Luca-Zingaretti/dp/B003OXSRW...

Aug 27, 2012, 7:49pm Top

#59 : Lori, I was held my breath when Peyton was sacked, but he hopped back up and I breathed again. With his neck surgeries, every tackle is going to be a bigger risk. He's such a class act. Even though I was never a Colts fan, I'm a Peyton fan ... when I'm not rooting for the Patriots. ;-) What is that commercial he's in where he's got wings on his back? That was cute.

#60 : Valerie - it's always good to be back. And yes, it was a nice surprise when the hubster showed up at the airport despite the late late hour. We were both a little hungry when we got home and while I was taking a shower, he made some toast and I made scrambled eggs when I came down. So we had a 'welcome home snack' at 2.30am ! The only irksome thing was that despite not going to bed until about 4am, I still woke up automatically at 6.30 ...bleah! I managed to doze a little till 8.30 but then I was wide awake and had to wake up. the hubster, on the other hand, stayed blissfully asleep until noon. Yeesh!

#61 : Megan, I haven't seen a ghost before (thankfully), but I've had some other similar incidents where I'm pinned down and unable to move while I 'feel' the air around me shimmer. I'm pretty certain I was visited by a ghost cat in the Marriott in Melbourne some years back. Why a cat? Because the 'footsteps' i felt on the bed next to me were tiny and felt the same as when my cats at home used to walk across the bed when I was on it. I wasn't scared that time, just mildly amused and curious ... the 'cat?' came up to my face, sniffed my ear and I thought I heard it purr a little, then walked away.

On ghosties ... Kath... where are you? Kath has good ghosty stories and has seen many.

#62 : Ellen, thankfully I don't experience visits from the Otherworld on a regular basis. Coexisting with spirits (regardless of religious beliefs) is very much part of life in many parts of Asia, and I've heard lots of hair raising stories.

Edited: Aug 27, 2012, 7:56pm Top

#63 : Tina ... ha...I certainly don't want to be channeling Dr Siri. He has way too many 'dreams' and visits from the spirit world than I would be comfortable with. But since you mentioned Laos and Thailand, I might as well tell you the hotels I mentioned in >53 cameling: were in Taipei and New Delhi respectively.

#64 : Joe - Inspector Montalbano on tv?! Was it in Italian or dubbed in English? Was it the same cast as the ones on the DVDs? Hmm... if it's on Chicago public tv, I wonder if it'd be on WGBH in Boston. I'll have to check out their website.

Bummer again on missing you in Boston. Any chance you'll be coming up this way again?

Aug 27, 2012, 8:54pm Top

Creepy hotel stories, Caroline! I think I would have freaked, at least on the second one.

Aug 27, 2012, 9:03pm Top

Good grief Caro.. I have no idea how I have gotten so behind on your thread, but I have read every post, and so I am thoroughly caught up :)

I love your ghostly stories in this thread, Ellen's too. I have never been frightened around ghosts and have often wished that I had been given the gift of speaking with those that have crossed over. So much comfort for all concerned. These stories are pretty good. I admit that having a spirit brushing my hair aside might have startled me! I think it was very brave of you to deal with it. I haven't stayed in many hotels... or for that matter visited many homes in my life. I have always been a bit of a loner... I guess. I have to admit that any spirits I have run into were interesting. I absolutely believe that you felt a cat spirit. That is common and I have seen a few myself. I would not like the feeling of being pushed down or held down. That is rude behavior if you are in body or in spirit, and If it ever happens again, I hope you let them know in no uncertain terms that it is not acceptable. Seriously.

I am sad that you are off traveling again so soon... Especially since delays have been plaguing you :(
I will be more careful not to misplace your thread again any time soon!


Edited: Aug 27, 2012, 9:11pm Top

Thank you for the movie link! ETA: Just found them at my local library. Hooray!

I would also prefer not to know if anyone less alive was inhabiting my home. Ignorance really can be blissful.

Aug 27, 2012, 9:12pm Top

Blissful can be dull, though :) We have no resident spirits here.. but there has been a pass through or two.
Mostly family...

Aug 27, 2012, 10:23pm Top

#71 : Kath - I think it's terribly rude of them to be pinning me down too. The first few times it happened to me, I was terrified but as I've experienced it more often, I mostly find myself feeling more annoyed than scared, and have tried to bite them (it sounds a little stupid, but that's what I thought would be best). If you know of any other methods for getting them to stop being so rude, I'll try them out the next time (although I hope there won't be a next time) it happens.

Oddly enough, I never experience any of this when the hubster's with me. All these incidents have taken place when I'm on my own, occasionally at home, but mostly when I'm elsewhere. Having said that, the hubster says he's woken up some nights and seen fuzzy people standing in the room. Thankfully, I haven't and the hubster is under strict instructions on pain of death, not to ever wake me to point them out to me whenever he sees them.

I am looking forward to being home for the week and labor day holidays. I hope there won't be delays in my upcoming trip, or at least that if there are delays, they're not going to cause me to miss connections. But these days, delays are just par for the course when it comes to air travel. It seems to be plaguing every airline as they cut their fleet and crew.

#72 : Jenn - lucky you. I checked with my library and they didn't have the DVDs. I wish they did, but then, I've convinced myself that they are movies I'll want to keep and re-watch from time to time. If I repeat this a couple more times, I will believe it. ;-)

#73 : Kath .. mostly family? Whose family? Yours or family of the previous owners of your house? I didn't know spirits could pass through ... like visiting while on a road trip?

Aug 28, 2012, 7:39am Top

I would just tell them.. LOUDLY! I hope there won't be a next time, but I say just tell them to stop and why.
Try to remember to surround yourself with light before falling asleep in a place that isn't home.

Sure they can pass through. And in my case, it has been family.. It is pretty common for family to at least find a way to say goodbye....

Now, in our other home.. it was the guy who lived and died there. He didn't pass through, he was still there when I left :P

Aug 28, 2012, 9:04am Top

I've never seen a ghost, but I've certainly felt them, and I've had visits in my sleep as well. Not going to call them dreams because I don't think they were. My great-aunt has also.

When she was a child, during WWII, she saw her older brother, Roy, telling her everything was going to be okay, and that he was glad Harry was going to make it. They got a telegram the next day saying that he had been killed. Harry (her oldest brother and my grandfather) had been in a plane crash the week before and broken his back. He was still extremely ill, but Roy came to him as well, and comforted him. He told the nurses his brother had died before he was told by any family etc.

When my granddad died, the night after, I saw him in a garden with my dad, and a young man I didn't know, but I was sure it was Roy. They were happy and content. I told my grandmother the next day, and she got a photo out that I had never seen before, and asked if it was the man, and it was. Of course, it was Roy.

My dad has been to visit on several occasions as well. Bittersweet, but I'm glad he's still with me in some way.

Aug 28, 2012, 7:40pm Top

#75 : Kath ...would they all speak English? I'm wondering because of the places I travel to. I'm just wondering if I told them to bug off in English, if they would understand or if they'd think I was inviting them to hang out and sit on me some more. *only being partially facetious*

I've had my dad visit me once about a year after he passed and I remember waking and feeling comforted. My mom says he's been to visit her on a regular basis.

#76 : Jenny - those are a couple of happy ghost stories. I like them. :-)

I wonder what makes a ghost a nice or mean one? After all, Roy was killed in the war so it must have been a violent, unwanted, unexpected and sad, and his life was cut off short, so why didn't he become a mean ghost, instead visiting family to comfort them?

Aug 28, 2012, 7:45pm Top

Good point. No idea... what languages do you speak?

Aug 28, 2012, 7:48pm Top

Those who remember in much earlier posts, there was a rather childish and petty author who disagreed with my review on Goodreads and posted a snarky snippy rant. Well, on the opposite end of the spectrum, the author of Forgotten Soldiers commented on my review in Amazon and first thanked me for the review and said he appreciated the input and feedback. He then went on to ask which version I read because he had revised the book and tried to correct some of the typos.

How different was that comment to the comment by horrid Ms Carol Tibaldi.

Needless to say I'm feeling very kindly towards Warren Martin and will do what I can to promote his book.

Aug 28, 2012, 7:50pm Top

Caro- Wow, that's very cool and much more appropriate. Thanks for sharing.

Edited: Aug 28, 2012, 7:51pm Top

#78 : Kath - haha... so I've got to try all the ones I know on the ghosties?

#80 : Marky-Mark. Absolutely ....you'd enjoy Forgotten Soldiers : What Happened To Jacob Walden. You should add it to your wish list. :-)

Aug 28, 2012, 7:51pm Top

Multi-lingual ghosts? Perhaps, when you pass over, language becomes obsolete and you can understand everything?

I've never heard any first hand experience of a malevolent ghost. They could simply be misunderstood. I can imagine the presence of one would be unnerving, hence the fear of them, but I've never felt fear, and I'm not sure I would even if I saw one. Curiosity and intrigue certainly, but after all, they can't physically do anything.

Speaking of animal ghosts, my grandparents dog was haunted by her favourite cat once. The cat was hit by a car and killed, and from the moment it happened, the dog refused to go anywhere near the cat's bed in the kitchen. She didn't see the cat be hit, but knew it all the same. They even replaced the bed, and other cats would sleep there, but the dog wouldn't even walk on that side of the kitchen afterwards.

I'm not sure what ghost behaviour would constitute nastiness, although definitely rude about the pinning down. It makes me wonder what they want, or are trying to say, more than anything.

Aug 28, 2012, 7:53pm Top

That is sort of what I think...language no barrier..

Aug 28, 2012, 8:09pm Top

#81 : Jenny - that's an idea that appeals. Language should be obsolete when one passes over. I like the thought of billowy clouds and everyone having a jolly good time together. No harsh words, no fights, no unpleasantness.... and tons and tons of books!

I love that your grandparents' cat came back to haunt the poor dog.

I think my friend being unexpectedly yanked off his bed in the middle of the night would constitute as nastiness on the part of the ghost in his room.

Aug 28, 2012, 8:12pm Top

Ahh yes, I forgot about your poor friend. Maybe he simply attracts the more.......interesting ones?!

Aug 29, 2012, 12:41am Top

79> Excellent.

*going in search of Montalbano movies*

Aug 29, 2012, 9:30am Top

yeah... rowdy spirits would be no fun...

Aug 29, 2012, 10:11am Top

*Waving hello* Now somebody tell me that my kids are all gone and I should go for a walk!

Edited: Aug 29, 2012, 10:55am Top

Jeesh, I sure got behind fast on this zipping long thread of yours, Caro.

>>65 ffortsa:, 69 Judy, I had it right about the tv broadcast of the Montalbano story, it's a PBS station here, WYCCW (the "W" at the end is unusual). It seems to be one with a lot of international scope. Caro, it was in Italian with English subtitles, perfect for me. (I don't like dubbed - it's offputting). I'm hoping more show up. So far I haven't been able to find a schedule for this station.

ETA: I did dig out more. Potters Field is scheduled to be broadcast here 9/2 (this Sunday). That's the only new one they have listed right now.

Aug 29, 2012, 6:47pm Top

#85 : Jenny - my friend certainly has yet to meet a friendly or humorous ghost. So maybe there is something about his aura that he attracts the less attractive of the Otherworld.

#86 : Ellen -found any yet? I received my DVD for the episodes Mystery of the Terracotta Dog, The Artist's Touch and A Trip to Tindari today. I'm soooo pleased!

#87 : Kath - you're the only person I know who has interacted with nice ghosties. What's your secret?

By the way on the subject of ghosties, has anyone read A Haunted Love Story : The Ghosts of the Allen House? It's a true story of a family's encounters with a set of 6 spirits inhabiting the house they moved into, a house where a socialite had taken her own life many years ago. I'm wondering if it's worth getting.

#88 : Hi Jenn .... Grab your iPod and go for a nice long walk!

Aug 29, 2012, 6:52pm Top

*waving* at Caro

Aug 29, 2012, 6:59pm Top

#89 : Joe - I checked our PBS tv schedules here and Inspector Montalbano is not on the schedule on any of the PBS channels.

I'm with you, when I watch foreign movies, I prefer it to be in their native language with English subtitles. I detest dubbing because it always sounds so weird, especially dubbers for Japanese movies. For some reason they seem to pick individuals with higher pitched voices and who speak rather stiltedly.

The good news though is my public library sent me an email today to say they are considering my suggestion that they purchase the Montalbano DVD series. Whooopeeee.

Aug 29, 2012, 7:02pm Top

#91 : heya Stas! Welcome home! Hope you managed to rest after your trip to Longview.

Aug 29, 2012, 7:11pm Top

Crazy day at work today and last minute scrambling to reschedule some meetings and make flight changes. One of my colleagues was supposed to deliver a presentation at a seminar in Tokyo next Friday. I've been hounding him for his presentation slides so our partner in Japan can translate them into Japanese for the audience. He finally calls me to day to ask if I can deliver the presentation instead because his father's scheduled for a heart operation next Tuesday and he wants to be closer to the US in case his mom needs help. He's currently in our London office and was intending to stay until mid next week and then fly to Tokyo from there.

I was planning on being in Singapore and had already scheduled meetings for Friday but given that this is a family thing, I can certainly understand him wanting to either come home and be with his mom in case of complications following his dad's surgery, or at least be within a 6 hour flight, rather than a 24 hour one.

We have a really good travel department and one of the agents helped rebook my flight to Tokyo first, but since the Saturday flights from Tokyo to Singapore are full, I'll have to stay there an extra day and then fly into Singapore late Sunday night. Hopefully there won't be flight hiccups because I've an early morning Monday meeting in Singapore I cannot miss.

Hopefully the people I was supposed to have meetings with next Friday will be able to squeeze me into their schedule in the first half of the following week.

Wish the airlines could be more understanding though ... they whacked me with a $250 penalty for changing my ticket. :-( Meanies.

Aug 29, 2012, 7:41pm Top

I'm with you on the whole dubbing thing. HATE listening to voice overs. But I guess, bad subtitles really annoy me as well. When I watch a show where I actually understand the language and then I read what they are translating into English, sometimes I wonder to myself how anyone understands what is going on because they are horrendous..

Hope everything works out with the flights and such. You are such an understanding and wonderfully positive person! :)

Aug 29, 2012, 7:57pm Top

#95 : Valerie - haha.. you just reminded me of a Chinese movie I watched, Crouching Tiger ...err... Leaping something or other (I always forget the name of this movie with Chow Yen-Fatt and Michelle Yeoh) where I understood the mandarin and looked down occasionally to read the English subtitles, and at times the translation had me nudging the hubster, agitatedly (I don't care... i like this word) to complain that they had it all wrong.

I've watched Spanish movies and I noticed they wouldn't translate the profanity... they keep the subtitles very PG for the most part.

Aug 29, 2012, 8:00pm Top

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

Haha! Your version of the title would probably be on the fake China version of the DVD where nothing is translated right... ;)

Aug 29, 2012, 8:28pm Top

> Location, location, location?

Aug 29, 2012, 8:52pm Top

#97 : That's it, Valerie ... thanks .. haha... there's just something about this title. I can never remember what the other animal is or what it's doing after the crouching tiger. Crouching Tiger Leaping Lizard might make a good sequel. No?

#98 : Haha.. that gave me the giggles, Kath

Not much reading getting done tonight. I'm watching the Republican Convention ... not sure why because all politicians drive me nuts. I will probably watch some of the Democratic Convention next week before I leave as well.

Aug 29, 2012, 8:57pm Top

How about this for a sequel...

Aug 29, 2012, 9:33pm Top

There isn't enough valium in the world to get me through the conventions........

Aug 29, 2012, 10:26pm Top

#100 : LOL ... love it, Valerie!

#101 : Kath - It never fails to amaze me how two-faced politicians are. One minute they're sniping at each other, calling each other dishonest, ill-informed, even stupid, and then at the convention the losers come on stage puffing out their chests and thumping the podium declaring the man who won the votes as a caring genius and the only leader who could lead this country out of the quagmire of economic and labor woes. Come on .... what hypocritical pills do they swallow each morning?
Both parties are guilty of harboring politicians who conduct the same practices, so I'm not siding with one over the other. And they wonder why nobody trusts them. Sheesh!

The speakers and Piers Morgan have aggravated me into inhaling a giant bag of potato chips. Grrr... can I blame weight gain on the politicians and pundits?

Aug 29, 2012, 10:48pm Top

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon! Great movie. I can't stand dubbed films either. Yuck!

I had the Republican Convention on in the background but just clicked it off, after Paul Ryan spoke for awhile. It's like the Hitler Youth!
I am so sad for our country right now. There is no reason we should be this divided. it's ridiculous.

Aug 29, 2012, 10:53pm Top

Death and Judgement - Donna Leon

I haven't read a Commissario Brunetti story in almost a year, so this was deliciously fresh. I've never read this series in order, so although I've already read some of her later works, this is the 4th in the series. One of the things I do so like about this series is the glaring contrast the corruption and the seedier side of Venetian society and the protective bubble of integrity and love in Brunetti's family.

In this book, a lawyer is killed on a train and an accountant commits suicide. The deaths bear no immediate links, but there is an undercurrent of deceit Brunetti suspects when he interviews the lawyer's wife, his brother-in-law and partner. His investigations turn up a prostitution ring and something more sinister. Through the assistance of the sultry and intelligent Elettra and his daughter, Chiara, Brunetti brings this complex investigation to a logical conclusion, although how it actually ends is rather surprising.

I think this is one of her better books in the series.

4 stars

Aug 30, 2012, 7:30am Top

Glad you liked your book... I love that stasfying feeling when you close the covers.. or, um... turn it off.. lol

Mark.. I agree, it makes me sad too.

When do you travel, Caro?

Aug 30, 2012, 7:58am Top

Piers Morgan will do that to you. I'm simultaneously pleased we got rid of him to you, and ashamed and embarrassed that now Americans may judge the British on the basis of him.

However, you've subjected us to some pretty horrendous people as well, so I won't feel too bad.

Good to see another person enjoying Brunetti. I definitely have likes and dislikes within the series but none fall below 3.5 stars for me, and are always a nice read.

Hope things go well with your travels.

Aug 30, 2012, 1:51pm Top

#103 : Mark - I agree .. I think the 2 parties should be spanked. It's ridiculous how childish they've been behaving and not trying to work for the better of the country. Instead we get all the stupid posturing and tantrums from each side, insisting on getting their own way on everything. And they wonder why nobody else thinks they should have a say in how other countries run their governments? Grr..... getting off my soapbox now.

#105 : Kath - given the couple of super meh free Kindle books I read recently, it makes a welcome change to be satisfied with the last couple of dead tree reads.

I leave next Wednesday for Tokyo.

#106 : Jenny - I wish you'd take Piers and Angus Ferguson back. You can send us Dame Judi Dench and Maggie Smith in their place.

Aug 30, 2012, 1:55pm Top

Pfffffffft, I don't think so!! Although I've never heard of Angus Ferguson. You can keep Sarah Ferguson as well :P

And I think you'll find we'll be keeping Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. Non-negotiable.

Edited: Aug 30, 2012, 4:04pm Top

Caro: Judy and I are more or less permanantly on New York time and my internal alarm clock wakes me at 6:00 AM New York Time like . . . err . . . clockwork.

But you go through so many time zones your internal clock must look like one of those from Salvador Dali.

Note a friend of mine who actually made a good living dubbing Japanese films sez he had to speak quickly because what is two or three syllables in Japanese is two or three sentences in English and they have to get it all in.

Aug 30, 2012, 3:48pm Top

Who's Angus Ferguson?

Lost track of Brunetti. Guess I need to go find some more.

Aug 30, 2012, 4:43pm Top

#108 : Jenny ... I don't think it's too much to ask for at least one of the fine ladies .... I watched a trailer for episode 1 in season 3 of Downton Abbey and they had Shirley MacClaine speaking with Maggie Smith. Only too too good. I'm disappointed she won't be in all of Season 3. it won't be the same without her.

Have you seen the movie 'Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'? She's in it as is Dame Judy and it's a marvelous film! I don't think I've watched anything Maggie Smith has been in which I didn't like.

And no, we don't want Sarah Ferguson, thank you ... she's a weird one.

#109 : Jim - the funny thing is that regardless of what country I'm in, I wake up automatically between 6 - 6.30am all the time. So you might be right .. my internal clock may resemble the fluid Dali one because it seems to meld into the time zone in which my physical self finds itself. And yes, I tend to get sleepy around the same time as I would when I'm home too.

Your comment about your friend having to squeeze in a couple of sentences in lieu of a few Japanese syllables when dubbing Japanese films reminded me of something I noticed when I watched the Montalbano films.

Joe (or anyone else who has watched the Montalbano movies): When you watched the Montalbano movies, did you notice that Livia wasn't really speaking Sicilian Italian? Could you make out from her lip movements if she was speaking English or some other version of Italian? Because her lip movements were not in sync with the Italian words spoken.

Aug 30, 2012, 4:44pm Top

#110 : Richard - Angus Ferguson is the Scottish late talk show host/comedienne on .... ABC? CBS? one of those 2 networks. He's the world's worst interviewer and a poor comedienne.

Aug 30, 2012, 5:26pm Top

>111 cameling: I'll have to pass on the Livia question, Caro. Somehow I didn't notice her lip movements weren't in sync. You've got me curious. I hope someone knows.

Aug 30, 2012, 5:30pm Top

I'm finding that I am simply unable to tolerate the convention coverage this time around, and I suspect that it will be the same for the Democratic convention. Alas.

Aug 30, 2012, 5:50pm Top

Livia doesn't speak Sicilian...she speaks standard Italian, cause she's from the mainland. Good lookin out, Search!

CRAIG Ferguson! Not Angus! And hands off my future husband.

Aug 30, 2012, 7:02pm Top

*carefully and slowly steps back from Craig Ferguson*
(who's he again?)

Aug 30, 2012, 7:11pm Top

#113 : Joe, when you watch Potter's Field this Sunday .. watch Livia's lip movements. For me it was a little distracting and I wish they'd left her speaking Italian. Surely the Sicilians would understand standard Italian?

#114 : Roni, to be honest, I didn't enjoy the last one 4 years ago either

#115 : Craig... that's right... duh.... (well, I am known for mixing up names, so this shouldn't be too much of a surprise!ha). Angus could have been his middle name? No? And NOOOO, you cannot possibly want this horribly unfunny man!

Good point about Livia, Richard ... I just wish they didn't dub. It's distracting when the lips aren't in sync with the dialogue.

Aug 30, 2012, 7:13pm Top

#116 : Megan ... here you go ... don't blame me if your eyes burn.

Aug 30, 2012, 8:09pm Top

Hi Caro -
Looks like you will be on the move again and squeezing in more than the average (executive) bear. Hope all your flights go smoothly...

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" - loved that movie. I have all I can do to read the subtitles and watch the action in a foreign movie. No idea what their lips are doing!
That must be very interesting knowing both languages - or maybe distracting as you say.

Aug 31, 2012, 12:04am Top

>118 cameling: not my cuppa, although I like the salt and pepper hair colour...and the black shirt :)

Aug 31, 2012, 12:29am Top

Up above:

can I blame weight gain on the politicians and pundits?


I want to get back to Donna Leon's books. I haven't read any in well over a year, either!

Aug 31, 2012, 12:40am Top

>118 cameling:, 120

*sigh* Yum.

Aug 31, 2012, 10:51am Top

Agree totally on the egregious behavior and posturing of the politicians! I feel compelled however to know what blasphemies are being spewed by both sides.

It constantly amazes me how the speakers at all of these events (and the endlessly gnarl inducing commercials) seem to forget the constitution. Like the President (incumbent, past, and future) can do anything he/she wants and doesn't have to worry about Congress helping out and doing its part. There are times I think we'd be better off sending them all home and in their place we'd need to specify that each state will have 2 senators (1 - a six grader who has had 2 years of social studies and the other, a resident of a senior housing facility and an annual income of under $50K), Congress persons will have to certify that they can read and then must attend a six week indoctrination including history and basic econ, they must surrender their passports, live in dormitories while Congress is in session, go home when it's not and agree that all members of Congress will have the same (or no) benefits as their constituents.

We could solve the health-care crisis in one fell swoop if Congress had to live under whatever health plan they passed.

Sorry for the hijack....rant over.

Aug 31, 2012, 10:57am Top

>117 cameling: You know, Caro, honestly, Livia has a lot of movements worth watching. But I'll try to focus at least part of the time on her lip movements.

Aug 31, 2012, 11:13am Top

#119 : Cee, yes, I haven't even bothered to put away my suitcase or the shoes I have in there. I'll need them again next week, so why take them out only to have to put them back in again, right? I'll need to replenish my toiletries bag with a new thing of dental floss but otherwise, I'm good to go. Just need to throw in a suit and some other clothes and I'm all set. It's deciding which books to take with me that will take the longest time to decide. I'll have my Kindle but I still like taking some dead tree books with me, and I will pass them along to a friend I'll meet in Singapore, so I have to select genres I know he reads.

Speaking of foreign movies, I watched one last night - 'After the Wedding' - a Danish movie that was amazing! I'd recommend this to anyone and everyone who doesn't mind reading subtitled movies if they don't understand Danish. It's about a man who has spent his time maintaining an orphanage in India and has to return to Denmark because they are running low on funds and their benefactor wants to see him in person. He makes a promise to one young boy to return in time for his birthday. However things in Denmark do not proceed as he had anticipated, he meets their benefactor, who he is startled to realize, is married to his ex-girlfriend. The benefactor invites him to the wedding of his daughter and proceeds to involve him in his life, all the while, hanging the additional funding for the orphanage like a carrot in front of him. He has a secret and a plan ..and all is revealed towards the end of the movie. I can't say more without giving it all away, but I can say it's a wonderful movie.

#120 : Megan, that's so nice of you to find something nice to say about him. ;-)

#121 : Ellen, good. Thank goodness the Rep convention is over. We now get a few days respite before the Dems have their next week. So maybe I'll get to eat more healthily over the holiday weekend. I know I'll at least have time to go for some hopefully nice runs because the weather is supposed to hold up all through Monday.

I was starting to get a little tired of Donna Leon last year, but I think it was because I was reading too many of them consecutively. Now that I've had a break for slightly less than a year, this one seemed delightfully fresh. It was nice getting back with Commissario Brunetti, kinda like meeting an old and dear friend after being apart for a while.

Aug 31, 2012, 11:18am Top

#122 : Rdear , if you need to lust after Scottish lads, couldn't you at least lust after one of these delicious boys?

James McAlroy

Ewan McGregor

Kevin McKidd

Aug 31, 2012, 11:40am Top

Added After the Wedding to my Netflix queue.

Aug 31, 2012, 11:48am Top

#123 : Tina ..I am tempted to copy out your requirements for Congress and post it on Facebook. Apart from making me laugh, I think it's worth a few rounds of applause because the current bunch are a frustrating lot. They don't want to cooperate with each other. They certainly don't seem to understand why they're really there and I can honestly say I don't believe they understand or care about the people they're sworn to represent. How many of them don't have private healthcare? How many of them have been unemployed, or had to take low paying jobs they don't like just to make ends meet? How many have had to tell their high school and college age children that they can't afford a field trip to another state much less a semester abroad?

But the sad fact is, we voted them in, so we have to take some of the blame. We also don't do enough to get our voices heard once they've taken office. I don't think we remind them often enough that they are supposed to bring our agenda and our concerns to the table and not what they assume.

Rant away ... it always makes for interesting conversations and an exchange of opinion.

I don't, however, think I know of a perfect government in any country. If someone knows or thinks of one, I'd really like to understand how they're elected and how they're run, and what we can learn from them to improve our own broken system.

Aug 31, 2012, 11:50am Top

#124 : Haha... yes Joe .. her face is above her collarbone! ;-) I'm going to check in with you on Monday after you watch Montalbano on Sunday. Did I mention that I'm so jealous you get it in Chicago on PBS?

#127 : Morphy, I'm sure you're going to enjoy this movie.

Aug 31, 2012, 11:51am Top

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman

The personal lives of journalists, editors, the owners and an avid reader of an English language newspaper in Rome are examined in this novel. It starts with an elderly freelance correspondent who is left behind in the times. He doesn't own a computer and faxes his stories in, and in desperation, he uses a slim rumor passed on to him by his son to put together a news article, which eventually is not accepted for lack of credibility. This sets the tone for each personality covered in each chapter. We see their struggles, their rise and at times their fall, in the cut throat world of journalism as each daily edition of the paper is faithfully is put together and released. The story of the avid reader is one where a person is sometimes trapped in a world of her own making but who through an accident, manages to free herself.

Each chapter could almost stand alone as a short story. The detail paid to the examination of each character's personality, their past, their hopes and their fears brought them to life for me. I found myself being indignant, anxious, joyful or sorrowful on their behalf ... in short, I was captivated by their stories.
3.8 stars

Aug 31, 2012, 12:14pm Top

We could solve the health-care crisis in one fell swoop if Congress had to live under whatever health plan they passed.

Yep. Oh yea.. I forgot to mention the running all over the world and living in 3 different time zones in one week.. ( over in my thread ) Hope you have a perfect day off, my friend!

Aug 31, 2012, 4:06pm Top

Ugh! just fought traffic into the city and back out again. What should have been an hour at most to take care of an errand ended up being a 2.5 hour ordeal thanks to holiday traffic. I didn't think of it, or I would have done it yesterday. Still, at least my errand is done. I renewed my passport and had to have it re-scanned and to get a new sticker in the back of my passport by the Customs and Border Patrol department because I have a Global Entry pass. This pass indicates that I'm a trusted traveler (ha! clearly they didn't take personal mishaps into account) and a frequent traveler outside the US. With the pass, I don't have to go through the regular citizens/residents immigration lines whenever I come back to the US (which at some airports is a teeth-gritting experience lasting an hour). Instead I get to use one of the global entry kiosks with my pass, and breeze through immigration in usually less than 10 mins. :-) And without them stamping in my passport and taking up valuable pages that I usually need for all the countries I travel to.

Aug 31, 2012, 4:07pm Top

Now I get to sit back and do some reading for a spell for the readathon and TIOLI challenge .. killing two birds with one stone, while keeping an eye on the US Open tennis matches.

Aug 31, 2012, 6:01pm Top

(ha! clearly they didn't take personal mishaps into account) clearly... LOL

Wow! you world taveler you :)

Aug 31, 2012, 7:13pm Top

Hi Caro- Funny, I've had 'After the Wedding' in my Netflix queue for awhile now. I'll have to bump it up a few spots. Glad you liked The Imperfectionists. It's one I really enjoyed too!

Sep 1, 2012, 11:42am Top

#134 : Kath, I'm looking forward to the day when I'm not maniacally traveling for work and get to travel only occasionally for pure pleasure. Which, if I end up changing jobs, might be sooner rather than later. who knows....?

#135 : Marky-Mark, you absolutely need to bump 'After the Wedding' up on your Netflix queue. It's one of the best movies I've watched in a long time.

Sep 1, 2012, 11:44am Top

Hope everyone in the US will have a wonderful long holiday weekend! What are your plans?

Sep 1, 2012, 11:46am Top

Doctor Who until my ears bleed.

Sep 1, 2012, 11:47am Top

Watched 'The Bourne Legacy' last night and it's not the best Bourne movie in the series, but it still entertained and Jeremy Renner is heart-thumpingly delicious! The hubster claims Rachel Weisz but hey, to each his/her own! :-)

Went for a nice run this morning made better by the fact that there were no mishaps and although I wished for better endurance, I know that will come once I get back into the rhythm of more regular runs. But I'm glad I was patient enough to wait until everything healed before putting on my running shoes. I just have to remind my muscles what they're really there for.

Sep 1, 2012, 11:48am Top

LOL! Reading, goofing off, eating. Maybe a movie.

Sep 1, 2012, 11:49am Top

Finished Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier this morning before the run. So that takes care of one book for my TIOLI Challenge for September and also one book down for the readathon.

The hitorical tale of Mary Anning, the reknown fossil collector and dealer in England in the 1800s. Mary was responsible for a number of important finds in the region of Lyme Regis where she lived, and was the first together with her brother, Joe, to discover a complete ichthyosaur skeleton to be properly identified and which was eventually sold to the British Museum.

This historical novel covers her life from the time she was struck by lightning as a baby in the arms of a neighbor, to adulthood when she at last established herself as a paleontologist, no mean feat consider the times and the restrictions placed on her by society because of her gender and her station in life as the working class daughter of a cabinet maker.

Her many fossilized finds helped support her family after her father's death, but it wasn't until she started to find more ichthyosaurs and then a plesiosaur that she started to earn enough money through the sale of her fossils finds that her family was finally able to lift themselves out of poverty. But life was not easy for Mary Anning, and as a child and indeed as a young adult, she was often taken advantage of by other collectors. She befriended a middle-aged spinster, Elizabeth Philpot, who moved down from London with her sisters after their brother married, and who was equally fascinated with fossils. Their friendship blossomed through their shared interest, despite their difference in station and age.

An interesting addition to the tale is the consternation felt by the religious when Mary and Elizabeth ask questions that border on blasphemy regarding the identity and extinction of the fossils that were once living creatures. The thin line between science and religion are delicately treated in this book.

A thoroughly enjoyable read.
4 stars

Sep 1, 2012, 12:00pm Top

Oh, I'm glad you liked it, Caro! That's one of my top reads from the last decade. The times, the gender issues, the chaotic reaction to what some viewed as an assault on religious views, the personalities and relationships, it was all great. Restored my faith in this author, after what for me was a disappointing outing in Burning Bright.

Sep 1, 2012, 12:05pm Top

*sigh* Requested from the liberry. *sigh*

Edited: Sep 1, 2012, 1:57pm Top

Fossils have never been at the top of my list of things to be found interesting. However, I do generally like Ms. Chevalier's works, and your review makes me at least want to take a peek at this one. Onto the "look for" list it goes.

Spending labor day weekend reading, sewing, listening to audio book and catching up on LT threads. Enjoy your rest.

Sep 1, 2012, 3:23pm Top

I tried a couple three ? hours of Dr Who.. Dunno. I don't think it's my cuppa... ?

Caro.. I patiently await the list......22 and counting..

Sep 1, 2012, 5:48pm Top

All caught up here- and it was a marathon session as I was 98 posts behind. How in the world did that happen? Now I need a nap!

Sep 1, 2012, 6:35pm Top

Wow, took me a while to catch up with this whole thread, but it was worth it. I figured I owed it to you since you so often drop by my place and I'm so terrible about reciprocating... But now there's so much to comment on and I don't know where to begin!

Ghosts: I certainly don't want to come off as someone who doesn't believe they exist, because as a child I was frequently aware of all kinds of strange "energies" and frequencies and what not, which I deliberately set about tuning out of as I grew up because it was definitely NOT helping my generally unstable nervous disposition and tenuous hold on sanity. So I'm tempted to ask, how do you know you weren't simply dreaming those strange visitations? I've had so many dreams within dreams within dreams within dreams where I've desperately wanted to wake up and did so over and over again, only to find I was trapped in a dream again. At one point, my dream life became so vivid that I was convinced (or almost) that the "real" me was actually my dreamer self and not the one in what we call RL. I'm still not entirely convinced that our dream selves aren't actually just as real as our waking selves. Which might explain why I'm such a basket case. :-)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: I can never remember the second part of the title either, other than it has a dragon in it. In fact, even though I've just read the title over and over on your thread, I just had to scroll up to verify that it was indeed "Hidden" and not something else. I really loved that movie, and got it on DVD ages ago, which is something I only do very very seldom. I should watch it again sometime soon.

While I'm on the movies topic, I just did a search on iTunes for "After the Wedding" and got kind of excited when the search turned up stuff, but it seems I can get the soundtrack, but not the actual movie. Boo. No chance of me getting the Inspector Montalbano series online either, and my library branch is to poor to consider purchasing DVDs, though I could give it a try, just in case...

I can't say I swoon much over anybody, ever, but Ewan McGregor... well let's say I wouldn't mind at all bumping into him someday. Same for Kevin McKidd and Craig Ferguson. I don't watch tv much, but whenever I see his show I just can't help liking him. A lot. I technically "follow" him on Twitter, one of the very few because in actuality I never look at my Twitter account. I've linked my blogs to it, so I do post there indirectly I guess, but Twitter... well I just can't seem to get very interested in it. I mean, who has time for all those freaking social media platforms?!

Remarkable Creatures may have been the very first ER book I received here on LT. Reading my review, I see I liked it, but wasn't all that appreciative, which is strange because it's made a good impression over time and I've actually got the audiobook version wishlisted since it's available at the library.

Ok. I could go on, but that's quite enough. I need to get cracking on reviews. The situation over on my thread is freaking me out. Only 11 of them to write. Yikes! Wish me luck with that.

Sep 1, 2012, 7:57pm Top

Hi Caro!
Wishing you a great Labor Day Weekend of relaxation and great food! Must build up your energy reserves for the next trip ;-)

Sep 1, 2012, 8:45pm Top

#142 : Joe, I didn't think much of Burning Bright either. In fact, it was my disappointment with that book which made me hesitate and thus take a much longer time acquiring a copy of Remarkable Creatures. Even with reviews I've read from others who gushed over this book about Mary Anning, I still couldn't bring myself to reach for it on my TBR Tower. If it wasn't for it meeting one of my TIOLI Challenges for September, I'm not sure how much longer it would have taken me to finally get to it. I'm now kicking myself for waiting so long... and my faith in Ms Chevalier has been restored.

#143 : YES! I managed to strike at Richard's wish list! Whoohooo.... *does a victory jig around my bonfire*

#144 : Tina - I wouldn't have thought a story around fossils would be too interesting either, but the first book that got me interested in the subject was The Seashell on the Mountaintop : A Story of Science Sainthood and the Humble Genius Who Discovered a New History of the Earth by Alan Cutler. Now having read this, I'm looking into reading about fossils more seriously.

Sep 1, 2012, 8:56pm Top

#145 : Kath - Which Dr Who were you reading? Or were watching the tv series, and if so which one? I'm a huge fan of Dr Who, both the books and the tv series, but I prefer the William Hartnell and William Russell version.

I had to scale down my pile because I'm still in the year when I'm challenging myself to read more books than I buy. So all that came home with me today from the pile of 28 (yes, it grew after my post on fb) are:

Party Food by Diane de Vantier (no touchstone)
Gourmet Gifts - Dinah Corley
The House Sitter - Peter Lovesey
Woman with Birthmark - Hakan Nesser
Vulture Peak - John Burdett
Obabakoak - Bernardo Atxaga
Bridge of Sighs - Richard Russo
Started Early, Took My Dog - Kate Atkinson
The Autumn of the Patriarch - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Blind Contessa's New Machine - Carey Wallace
Museum of the Missing : A History of Art Theft - Simon Houpt
The People of Paper - Salvador Pascencia

Sep 1, 2012, 9:17pm Top

#146 : Mamie - Things happen when we least expect it... haha... It is easy for threads to get away from us, what with so many other interesting threads to follow and RL 'intruding'. Thanks for coming in to visit..... there, there ... *fluffs pillow for your nap*

#147 : Ilana, thank you for taking the time to stop in and catch up. You pose an interesting question on the subject of ghostly encounters that occur in my sleep. Do I know that I'm not dreaming? No, and I've thought on occasion that perhaps I've dreamt the whole incident. But I don't usually remember my dreams unless they are bizarre, involve animals and funny. So I'm not sure that I actually dream much. I know I haven't had a nightmare since I was in my teens, or at least if I've had them, they haven't been so scary as to wake me. So perhaps these encounters are nightmares? But they seemed real, and I don't know enough about dreams or ghosts to decide one way or the other. But I do think it's possible that they are ghostly visits because of the physical incidents that have occurred with some of my friends.

I'm generally bad at remembering movie titles, so I'm not surprised that I keep forgetting the full title of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Ha! Even while I was typing that, I hesitated after 'Tiger' and had to think about the rest, going back up to your post to check. Sorry you couldn't pull up 'after the Wedding' on iTunes .. do you have a Netflix account? Because that's where I found the movie. They have quite a nice selection of foreign movies.

I don't use my Twitter account. I set one up a couple of years ago but then it was insane how it can suck you in. And I also quickly realized I really didn't care to know what everyone was thinking every second of the day. So it's left to fossilize.

Good luck with writing ... 11 (!) reviews. I know I can't wait to read them. ... but no pressure. ha!

#148 : Cee, actually we had a really nice day today ..dare I say it, a perfect one even!

Went for a run this morning in the woods ... no pain and no mishaps! Great start to the day. Had brunch with the hubster at a Shanghainese restaurant (I was about to take some pictures for Darryl, but then forgot) we'd never been to before but I'd heard of. The food was great, pretty authentic Shanghainese, and the hubster and I appeared to be the only customers not from China. Wandered into Cambridge and somehow found ourselves in the Harvard Book Store ... how did that happen? .. and spent a couple of delicious hours touching, reading and feeling all those delicious books crying out to come home with us.

Came home in the evening just in time to watch Federer trounce Verdasco and Murray struggle against Lopez but ultimately win the match.

Steak on the grill, heirloom tomato and goatcheese salad, grilled asparagus and warm ciabatta for dinner.

Oh and I managed to put in 3 hours of reading. :-)

Sep 1, 2012, 9:18pm Top

Popular Hits of the Showa Era by Ryu Murakami

"They always say that when human beings are extinct, the only living thing left will be the cockroach, but that's bullshit. It's the Oba-san" (Oba-san refers to middled aged women in Japan)

This totally irreverent, violent and somewhat bizarre novel has some incredibly funny moments. A group of young males, misfits in their own right, gather weekly for a party in Nobue's apartment to drink, giggle hysterically, munch on snacks, lust after a woman in an apartment across the street and put on costumed singing shows on a deserted beach. When one among them finds himself following an Oba-san after a drunken night with his friends, he is filled with a rage that has him reaching into his belt, pulling out a knife and slashing her throat. This action though, starts a chain of events nobody could have predicted.

A group of middle aged divorced women discover that one of their own has been senselessly murdered when one of their members comes across the victim's body. Finding a clue among the blood soaked clothes, she takes it to the group and they vow vengeance.

What ensues is a strangely compelling war between two improbable gangs. As the body count rises, so does the violence and the methods of exacting revenge. The at-times brittle prose only adds to the tension and the schizophrenic kaleidoscope of sights and sounds that fills the mind while reading this novel.

This book is also a study of loneliness and how groups sometimes form of individuals who want to be in company but aren't all too interested in understanding the personalities of the individuals in the group. But sometimes all that's needed is a single catalyst to convert individuals into a cohesive group. It was fascinating watching the evolution of the group take place, even as I found myself chortling at some of the inappropriately irreverent sentences.
3.8 stars

Sep 1, 2012, 9:26pm Top

Caro - I think I have read the entire original Target novelisations of Doctor Who which ran to over 150 books. This covered most of the first 5 doctors and was great growing up.

Some of these have recently been re-released (12 of them I think) and I have enjoyed catching up with my childhood again from here.

Sep 1, 2012, 9:32pm Top

Wow- that's as close to perfect as it gets.
Think I will favorite #151 and refer to it when I want to have a perfect day myownself - except instead of running, I will walk ;-)

Sep 1, 2012, 10:48pm Top

You've read two of my favorites Caro: Remarkable Creatures and The Imperfectionists. The thing about RC was that I totally did not expect to like it as much as I did but I was mesmerized throughout. And The Imperfectionists was just such a clever book and I don't think I will ever forget the Cairo stringer chapter for sheer laugh out loud guffawing. And the chapter with the CFO meeting up with the employee she fired was priceless too.

I would feel so much better about the health care law if congress and the president hadn't exempted themselves from it and forced the rest of us to pay for their Cadillac health care plans. I absolutely abhor politicians of all stripes.

Sep 2, 2012, 7:34am Top

I never read a Dr Who. I never watched more than a few minutes of a Dr Who. Yesterday, there was a marathon, I started watching at 7ish in the morning and watched for a while.. and came away rather baffled. I then read... I did tune in here and there through the day.. but then, after I stopped by here and saw rd comment, I started watching again. So I watched for another 4-5 hours, including the new season opener. With a little help from rd, I am currently planning to continue watching. I have been sucked in.

Sep 2, 2012, 12:29pm Top

#153 : Paul, I am in awe. I started my Dr Who voyage later on with the Missing Adventures series and then worked my way around the others. I haven't read them all, and have a few in my TBR Tower for those rainy days or sick days when all you want is to read comfort books. In my case, that often also include Enid Blyton books of my childhood.

#154 : Cee .. perfect days are all the more precious because they're so rare. Despite my sore muscles this morning which I'm using as an excuse to stay home to watch the US Open while the hubster goes for his run, I'm still feeling pretty energized from yesterday.

#155 : Bonnie - You picked up on my absolute favorite story in The Imperfectionists. The Cairo stringer story was hilarious .. especially the part about his laptop.

I was the same with RC as well ... I'd put off reading it for such a long time because I didn't think I would like it, but once I started (thanks TIOLI) I couldn't put it down.

You're absolutely right .. if you want to pass a healthcare bill, it has to apply to everyone. Politicians! Bah!

#156 : Kath - Whoopeee..another Dr Who convert. Happy Who marathoning. :-)

Edited: Sep 2, 2012, 12:38pm Top

Thanks to a recommendation by Cheli on another thread, I've been engrossed in http://www.fictfact.com , a website that helps you manage the series that you follow. It puts the series in order and tells you when the next is to be released. Oh dear ..... I'm not even finished listing all the series/authors that I follow and updating the reading status of each of the books. I predict this is going to take me a while, but I love the fact that I have a place now that keeps track of the books in a series that I'd like to follow or even the ones I've sort of given up following for a while.

If you've not already registered (it's free), I'd encourage you to do so. It's a great site ...but I disclaim all liability for chores left undone, children neglected, pets unfed, and friends forgotten while you lose yourself building up your list.

Sep 2, 2012, 1:04pm Top


Edited: Sep 2, 2012, 1:48pm Top

Caro- Good review of Popular Hits of the Showa Era. I like the mix of bizarre and humor. Not easy to pull off. Hope you are having a great day.
Have you read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind? I think this is one you will love.

Sep 2, 2012, 2:12pm Top

#159 : Err... dare I take it to mean that you've withered away parts of your day getting sucked into the hypnotic glow of the site, Rdear?

I have, sadly, not read a single line from my current book today because I've been picking at this site since 10 this morning!

#160 : Thanks, Marky-Mark. I think you'd like the book ... adding it to your wish list? ;-)

I haven't read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind but just took at it and it sounds delightful. Adding it to my obese wish list

Sep 3, 2012, 8:09am Top

I signed up with fictfact some time ago, but I don't really go there.. I feel like LT is enough for me.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is on my head board bookshelf waiting for me.. with a bunch of other patient books.

Caro, didn't you buy any books from that fabulous bookstore?

DW is just what I need, another addiction.. sigh.

Sep 3, 2012, 11:57am Top

#162 : Kath, one thing I like about fictfact is that it lists the books of a series in order. That's not always easy to find. I may not still read certain series in order, but it does at least help should I decide to do so.

Yes,i did buy books back from that bookstore....see post #150. :-)

Edited: Sep 3, 2012, 12:21pm Top

Kushiel's Chosen by Jacqueline Carey

The sequel to Kushiel's Dart does not disappoint. The first in the series introduced Phedre no Delauney as an anguisette, the red mote in her eye indicating that she's been chosen by Kushiel to follow a path of pain and pleasure. Trained in the skills of a courtesan of the Night Court, she is also trained to be a spy for the master of her marque, Afaniel Delauney.

In this, the court intrigue continues as traitor to the crown, Melisande Shahrizai escapes from prison. Suspecting another traitor within the court of Queen Ysandre de la Courcey of having assisted in the escape, Phedre, now a Countess having inherited Delauney's Montreve title and estate, and her merry band of ex-sailors and her Cassile protector, Joscelin, once again embark on a secret quest to find answers, find Melisande and to save the Queen. Phedre, now experienced in palace intrigue, war strategies, and having suffered the loss of friends and love, finds herself taking on the mantle of a leader, suffering the consequences of certain decisions and understanding not just the weakness of her enemies but also her own.

This book literally kept me up all night. I could not put it down until I had come to the last page despite its rather hefty size.
4 stars

I really liked this although it's not as gritty as the first in the series. I didn't find the start slow, I think, because it's been more than 2 years since I read the first in the series, so the start was a good summary of what happened in the book before. It's been a long while since I pulled an all nighter. The hubster woke a couple of times in the night to ask me why I was still reading .... I started reading this at about 11pm and finally finished it at 5.30 this morning. Needless to say I didn't wake until 9.30 this morning.

Not planning to do much today except watch the US Open, maybe go for a run or a swim, and make a grocery run for dinner.

Sep 3, 2012, 12:08pm Top

Caro- I've had Kushiel's Dart languishing on my shelf forever. I know it has many fans. I wish I could get to it this month.
Enjoy your day!

Sep 3, 2012, 12:39pm Top

It is so funny that you put a link to fictfact up there because I just spent time there this morning. Judy had mentioned it awhile back, and I checked it out briefly, but got called away from the computer and then forgot all about it. Then, this morning I was perusing the threads and what should I find on the September Series and Sequels thread but the link to that site that Richard posted - you guessed it, I got hooked in immediately. The kids were still sleeping, quiet house - I was engrossed until my sister showed up for an unexpected visit. So, drat, I had to get off. But I'll be spending some time there for sure...

Sep 3, 2012, 12:40pm Top

But... that isn't 22?

Sep 3, 2012, 1:11pm Top

#166 : Mamie -it's so easy to get sucked into fictfact. I've been slowly adding to my list of series in fictfact. Once I get all the ones I'm actively following, I guess I'll check out other potential series to follow.

#167 : Kath.. I received The Eye from the hubster when he noticed my extremely full baskets (yes, I was toting 2 and my arms I think, grew in length by a good 3 inches from the weight) ... so I culled the 22 down to a little pile of 12.

Sep 3, 2012, 1:22pm Top

Jumping into the fictfact discussion... I've used them for years...but I don't obsess about getting everything listed. I do have it bookmarked on my toolbar, because I use it constantly in the library when someone wants to know - '
what's next in a series? Or does that author have any other series. I simply add my series as I go along, nothing too stressing. I think I did do one letter of the alphabet a day when I first started. There were a few letters that took 2-3 days to get through, but I wasn't sitting for hours.

Also.... I love their emails telling me a new one is coming out!

Sep 3, 2012, 2:12pm Top

Hi, Caro! I'm happy to see The Blind Contessa's New Machine on your list above. That was a Richard rec for me and I really enjoyed i. It doesn't seem to be well known.

I watched Potters Field - great! Caterella is hilarious, Mimi gets in over his head, Fazio tries to follow what Montalbano is up to, and Montalbano is fabulous. It may be my favorite of all the ones I've seen so far. Butt no Livia at all, so I can't report back on her lip movements.

It turns out MHZ International Mystery is behind the tv broadcasts: http://italian-mysteries.com/MHz-International-Mystery.html.

Sep 3, 2012, 4:14pm Top

#169 : Tina .. now that I've gotten over the excitement of the fictfact website and also having 'somehow' lost about 3 hours of my day yesterday because I was sucked into the site, I plan to use it as a reference site, and an easier way to see which books in a series I'm following I haven't yet read. I thought I'd read all the books in the Hercule Poirot series and was shocked to discover that I missed out on Hercule Poirot's Christmas and Lord Edgeware Dies. Both are now on my obese wish list and I plan on redressing this oversight asap.

I like the email notification feature too .....I think .... that could be a double edged sword.

#170 : Joe - MHZ is not available in MA! *stamps foot in frustration* But the good news is my library said they will acquire the Montalbano DVDs. Whoopeeee.

It was Richard's recommendation of The Blind Contessa's Machine that had me adding it to my obese wish list, but I'm still glad to hear you liked it too.

Sep 3, 2012, 4:20pm Top

Just went on a major grocery run. Getting a head start on filling the fridge with meals or things the hubster can use to put together meals for himself while I'm away, and we have friends coming over for dinner this evening.

I'll make more stuff tomorrow evening to round off the other hubby meals, but for today, I'm doing simple things like grilled eggplant (he loves these in salads), roasted red pepper soup, pesto, bolonaise sauce and a shepard's pie. (He will overcook his pasta, but what the heck).

For dinner this evening, we're having lobster, grilled lamb chops, beet & goatcheese salad, potato salad and grilled bananas and pineapple. So all simple and easy to put together. The lamb chops are happily marinating in rosemary, garlic and olive oil now so they should be delicious later.

I was starting to read J.S. Watson's Before I Go to Sleep but the latest Jitpleecheep from Burdett sings a compelling and loud siren song. *sigh* I have to give in.

Sep 3, 2012, 5:41pm Top

>130 cameling: I quite enjoyed reading the Imperfectionists too, Caro. But I think I might just like looking at Ewan McGregor a little more.....
*off to post #126 again for another few last looks*

Sep 3, 2012, 7:52pm Top

I guess it's just as well.. hard to find a place to put them all...

Sep 3, 2012, 9:35pm Top

Belated comments on Congress:

IF we repealed amendment 17 and went back to the original method of selecting senators (appointed by state legislature), we would have more say. We have a much more powerful voice on a state level, and the senators themselves would be more responsive to the needs of their state. Just saying. It's a myth that popular elections usually get the people what they want or what is best for the country. Greek history. Puts too much reliance on the belief in the "goodness" of a politician. It's better to assume that people aren't always good and the more power they have the less "good" they usually are.

I am also not a fan of political parties. They divide. We need to all be Americans and vote for things that make America better for everyone - not just who our particular party says will make things good for everyone. That hasn't been working out very well. IMHO. We can figure it out.

Now, about Ewan McGregor. He was fantastic in Salmon Fishing in Yemen. I really liked that film.

Sep 3, 2012, 9:51pm Top

Hi Caro!
I buy beets and I buy goatcheese... when am I going to get around to mixing the two together in a salad???? How hard can that be - even for me? *sigh*
I wish Ron would go away on a trip and make a bunch of meals ahead for me! Ah... wait a minute. No I don't He's a lousy cook. Well - hope your dear hubby appreciates your good cooking ;-)

Sep 4, 2012, 10:08am Top

Assiduously ignoring post 158......

Caro, you did well to winnow the stack of 28 down to that very good selection. I'm picturing you carrying all these books around in a big basket, then finding a corner and sorting through them to determine which ones you can (sigh) put back...... at least, that is what I tend to do.

I didn't get in a single run this long weekend, but I figure I got some exercise painting the garage (I know I did -- my quads are sore!). I will get back to it tomorrow. I must or I won't be able to run 13.1 miles on the last Sunday of November!

Sep 4, 2012, 10:31am Top

Just keeping current here. I really liked Before I go to Sleep, so I hope you get back to it. That dinner sounds delicious!

Cee - You are cracking me up!

Sep 4, 2012, 10:33am Top

Way to go on convincing your library to carry the Montalbano dvds, Caro! I'm not sure how many I'll get on tv via MHZ, so I should check into that, too. I'm amazed they've done so many at this high quality level, but I'm sure they're considered molto bene in Italy.

Edited: Sep 4, 2012, 3:10pm Top

#173 : Megan ..*snort* ... I'm glad I've managed to provide you with a post that you can't get your fill of. ;-)

#174 : Kath .. oh no, no, no .. I can always find a spot for more books .. floor, table top, under tables, night stands, floor, squeezed in spaces on shelves, chairs, floor ... did I mention, floor?

#175 : Jenn, people within the parties don't even agree to the party line. What I find ludicrous are the people who spout agendas that are clearly opposite of the party's candidate, but then ask us to vote for the party. Say what? Would be nice not to have parties, but I think they're a necessary evil because you still need groups that will promote and support the candidate and given the size of this country, to (supposedly) spread the voice of the party and its (supposedly) unified plans for the country.

Did Ewan McGregor do Motorcycle Diaries? Trying to remember.

Sep 4, 2012, 3:21pm Top

#176 : Cee ... write it down as a to-do for this a salad this week. Especially if you warm the goat cheese up first. Mmmmm.... so good.

haha....the hubster can't cook at all, so I wouldn't want him making me a bunch of food whenever he has to leave town. I'd end up having to throw the lot away and feeling guilty. And yes, the hubster is very grateful for the filled fridge because I make what he likes and he doesn't have to think of meals. He likes to eat, but he's not one who's interested in food or thinking about it .... sometimes I wonder about this man!

#177 : Ellen, where's the half mara taking place in November? What's your workout training like? Do you intersperse days of straight running for distance with days for hill runs and days of speedwork? I hate squats, but I find they're good for working out quads and hamstrings for when I'm not able to run.

On my winnowing .. yeah, you've got the picture almost right .. but make that 2 baskets instead of just the one. It took me as much time trying to decide which books not to buy as it did for me to pick them off the shelves into the baskets. I think I changed my mind on the final selection of books at least 5 times. *sigh* And I'm not sure I made the right choice on 2 of them ... oh I want them, but I regret leaving 2 others behind instead.

#178 : Mamie, I'm going to bring Before I Go to Sleep with me for my plane read tomorrow.

#179 : Joe, I think it's you who mentioned the Montalbano DVDs from the start, and for that I have to thank you, because I really enjoy them. But at the same time, I'm gritting my teeth because now I want to get the entire series!

Sep 4, 2012, 3:23pm Top

>181 cameling: Hah! I know, Caro, me, too. I've been impressed with the Montalbano dvds.

BTW, I thought Before I Go to Sleep was a good read.

Sep 4, 2012, 3:44pm Top

a good friend gave me a copy of kushiel's dart a couple of years ago with a wink saying 'You'll like this one".

Curiously I put it aside and never opened it.

Maybe now is the time.

I love the new round of Doctor Who though I don't much like Amy Pond (can't understand the Scottish accent) and I'm not yet warmed up to Matt Smith. But the series always sucked me in.

Sep 4, 2012, 4:45pm Top

Hey, I have a floor?!!! What am I thinking ? Beets and goat cheese? beets and anything sounds ungood.

Sep 4, 2012, 5:28pm Top

Oh no Kath....trust Caro....beets and goat cheese are luscious!

Now a chime in about the political party discussion. I've just started reading a short book by Mickey Edwards (former Congressman, writer for Atlantic Monthly (among others) and political science prof. Got it from Net Galley entitled The Parties versus the People. How to turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans.

He posits that it is not the parties but the way the party system is employed to control Congressional assignments, agenda, etc that is causing the governmental gridlock we have to day. I've only just begun but so far find his work quite thought-provoking. I suspect that in the end, I'll be just as cynical as I am right now, but am approaching with an open mind.

Sep 4, 2012, 9:40pm Top

#182 : Joe - Oh goody..another happy reader of Before I Go to Sleep. I hope to finish Vulture Peak tonight (with one eye on the democratic convention) so I can get to this book on the plane tomorrow.

#183 : Jim - I'll be curious to see if you like Kushiel's Dart .. so yes, get to it ... soon, please. There's some BDSM erotica in it, but it didn't detract from this being among the top fantasy thrillers I've read in a while.

Want to brush up on Scottish accents? Watch Jackson Brodie on Masterpiece Theater. :-) I had 2 Scottish lecturers in University, and babysat for one of them, so I got used to the Scotty accent. When we watch Jackson Brodie episodes, the hubster often pauses it, and goes " what was that? what did he/she say?" Haha

Sep 4, 2012, 9:49pm Top

#184 : Kath - beets and peanut butter? not so good ... trust me. beets and apple salads are great too.

#185 : Tina, I hope you post a review of the book when you're done. I'd be interested in what he has to say and if he has any suggestions to change the system. The system we have now certainly is not working and there has to be a better way.

Sep 4, 2012, 9:50pm Top

I have a 7.30am flight tomorrow to Tokyo. Need to cast another eye on the presentation I'm going to deliver at a conference on Friday and then pack.

till Thursday folks ...

Sep 4, 2012, 10:03pm Top

Hi Caro- Off again, huh? Have a very safe trip!

Edited: Sep 4, 2012, 10:13pm Top

Safe trip my friend, and soon home...

Sep 4, 2012, 11:37pm Top

The Motorcycle Diaries was the lurvely Gael García Bernal. MeeeeOW.

Sep 5, 2012, 7:05am Top

I tried http://www.fictfact.com for a few hours then realized I was duplicating all the work I had done in my databases. Yes, I have a series database, among others! So I gave it up.

Have a safe trip! Looking forward to hearing a recap.

Edited: Sep 5, 2012, 7:56am Top

I guess I don't see how fictfact will do anything I need that I can't do with the series feature in LT. I can look there to see the order of the series (it's right most of the time; and I've heard that fictfact isn't always up-to-date, either) and tell by the checkmarks whether it's on my TBR or "read but not owned" list, etc.

ETA to add >147 Smiler69: I was thinking like Ilana, too. I believe in the paranormal, but all the same at least one of your experiences sounds rather like a classic case of sleep paralysis -- very normal thing, not paranormal, can happen to anyone anywhere on the edge of sleep. Hesitate to say, because hate to spoil a good ghost story . . .

Sep 5, 2012, 12:03pm Top

This user has been removed as spam.

Sep 5, 2012, 12:15pm Top

Caro - did open the link in 158....was worried that it seemed to want us to register to start making lists when I should eb certified for it already.....quickly minimised the link.....saw RD's obviously serious warning and will sit on the side and watch your list progress for a few days before succumbing to the inevitable myself.

Sep 5, 2012, 12:23pm Top

Trying to catch up with you Caro!

So glad you enjoyed Kushiel's Dart. Maybe you got the right idea about books of that size and scope and perhaps how they shouldn't be read back to back, as it may seem a bit slow in the beginning. I have plans to read Kushiel's Scion this month so I'll see if having time in between the books makes them that much better!

Sep 6, 2012, 2:17pm Top

Hi Caro!
Hope the traveling went smoothly... and your presentation too which I'm thinking will be coming up in a few hours!
Not all that great at calc'ing time zones.

Keep smiling ;-)

Sep 6, 2012, 2:46pm Top

Just checking in - how's Japan?

Sep 6, 2012, 5:10pm Top

Sorry to hear you had a bumpy ride!

Sep 6, 2012, 6:08pm Top

So.... everything okay on the other side of the planet???

Edited: Sep 6, 2012, 8:38pm Top

#189 : Marky-Mark .. off and landed in Tokyo last night. Apart from an extremely bumpy 15 minutes just before we descended into Chicago from Boston (it was so bad I was actually starting to feel a little nauseous ...which has never happened to me before on flights or rollercoaster rides) the flights were uneventful.

# 190 : Thank you, Kath. so far so good ..... *fingers crossed*

#191 : Megan ...I had to Google Gael Garcia Bernal. Puuurrrrrrrrr....

#192 : Morphy - I started a series wish list on LT, but then gave it up after.... maybe a week? I like the fictfact notification when the next in the series is to be released ...although I need that like I need a hole in the head. Still, it helps to be kept informed.

#193 : Terri, I am probably underutilizing LT, but I like to use it to keep a list of the books I've read, and I have a semi-updated wish list on it, but I prefer to keep my full wishlist on bookmooch since I use that site quite heavily. It's too much work to update the same database on 2 sites. What I like about fictfact and what I despair about it is alphabetically, I can also see what series authors I may not be aware of have written...... and..... be tempted. Heck. ;-)

On sleep paralysis, I've heard of this too and I think I may have experienced it a time or four, usually when I'm on the edge of sleep and wakefulness. But I don't know if sleep paralysis would include me feeling someone(thing) breathe on me or sniff my ear or step across the bed. I'm open to all options as to what really happened. Still makes for some good stories around the campfire with my young nieces and nephews. Haha

Sep 6, 2012, 8:44pm Top

On sleep paralysis I agree.

Nice to see you :) That means all is well in.... where are you? Tokyo?
And that is good. Hugs

Sep 6, 2012, 8:51pm Top

*waving* at Caro

Sep 6, 2012, 9:12pm Top

# 195 : Paul, I'm disappointed .. I thought for sure you'll have signed up lickety-split. I like the suggestions they make when I search for series by specific authors. Let's see how long you hold out because this thing has your name all over it. :-)

#196 : Valerie - yes, I think that's what I intend to do with this series. Maybe not wait another 2 years before I pick up the next, Kushiel's Avatar but certainly at least a year because if she follows the same formula, then she'll provide a summary in the first couple of chapters.

#197 : Cee, I think I'm as prepped as I will be for the presentation this afternoon. I just hope it goes well and I don't do a bad job. i have a meeting before that ... so actually I hope I don't get lost along the way. haha

For time zones.. now I'm in Tokyo, I'm 13 hours ahead of EST.

I have dinner plans with a couple of friends this evening so I'm definitely looking forward to that. Plus it's a Friday night and I have, for a change, no conference calls at night, so late night partying Tokyo style is on the cards. Whoohooooo

#198 : Hi Mamie, Tokyo is still as muggy as it was 2 weeks ago. But I'm staying at a hotel in the Ginza district this time. I don't usually stay here, so I'm looking forward to exploring a new neighborhood tomorrow morning and possibly going to a large hot bath place I saw on the bus on the way to the hotel. I love Japanese hot baths. There's a whole ritual about preparing for and steeping in the large communal (but gender specific) baths that just adds to the experience.

Sep 6, 2012, 9:27pm Top

#199 : Roni - it was the first time in my life, seriously, that I've left a plane feeling very green around the gills. It was so bad I couldn't even stomach the thought of even going to my favorite hot dog cafe in Terminal C of the O'Hare airport while I waited for my connecting flight to Tokyo. I went to the club lounge and poured myself a glass of coke, something I very rarely drink, and cut a green apple. Felt better after a while. The next flight was smooth and totally uneventful.

# 202 : Kath - yup, am now in Tokyo and all is well. I dozed just before my conference call at 11pm last night, then slept a bit but woke hungry at 3am, so ate a bag of doritos and went back to sleep. All refreshed when i woke at 6, went to the gym for a little workout and had a yummy Japanese breakfast after my shower. I'm all ready to face the day ... as Mighty Mouse use to say.

#203 Hiya Stas!

Sep 6, 2012, 9:32pm Top

Caro - I hope you are enjoying Tokyo and the Ginza district. If you see John Rain don't disturb him as it can have calamitous consequences. I have set aside Saturday afternoon for fictfact.com .

Sep 7, 2012, 6:18pm Top

>205 cameling: I love how when your are all over the show - time zone wise- you can just wake up at 3am and eat a bag of chips. Hope there are no more sickly bumpy flights for you, Caro!

Sep 7, 2012, 7:54pm Top

Good. Glad you're safe and sound :) And good to see you here checking in..

Sep 7, 2012, 9:01pm Top

Konnichiwa, Caro-san! I'm glad to hear that your trip from Chicago to Tokyo was an uneventful one.

Sep 7, 2012, 9:34pm Top


Edited: Sep 8, 2012, 1:45am Top

Caro, the half-mary I'm going to run is the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Nov. 28? It's usually cold and raining (I figure Seattle is throwing down the gauntlet: "what to run a marathon in Seattle? it will be cold and wet. Deal with it." )

Want to come join me?????? :-)

I run 3-4 times a week. One long run per week. This weekend, Sunday, I will do a 6-miler. I do some core work but not as much as I used to and I think squats are just an injury waiting to happen. For my 52-year-old body, it's much more important to stretch after every run (which I don't reliably do), build strength in my core, and take rest days. I had a good 2.5-mile run this morning. I was pleased that I got up and ran; it was tempting to stay in bed......

Sep 8, 2012, 3:34am Top

Caro - I hope you are having a good weekend thus far. I had dinner last night at our friends house - husband Japanese (Masao) and the wife is Malay). Very good homecooked Japanese food. Burdock with beef being one of my favourites.

Edited: Sep 8, 2012, 2:50pm Top

#206 : Paul - loved my free Saturday in Tokyo. Walked around Ginza and found an incredible restaurant that specialized in beef sashimi. It was small and the different cuts of very thinly sliced raw beef were absolutely delicious when dipped lightly in one of the 3 sauces provided. Followed with a bowl of steaming hot ramen and then a chocolate icecream stick. The rest of Ginza wasn't too interesting for me because it was primarily shopping stores and I'm not a huge fan of shopping (except for shoes and books) so I went off to Harajuku instead to people watch all the young adults dressed in more interesting outfits than you'd find at Comi-Con in San Diego.

Walked over to the Meiji Shrine, my all time favorite quiet walk in Tokyo is the gravel lush tree-lined path all the way to the Shrine. It's the epitome of tranquil, I think. Even the birds don't chirp there for fear of intruding on a person's meditational progress to the shrine. No Shinto wedding yesterday to chance upon though. Oh well... it was still, as always, a wonderful hour where my innerself just ... settled.

How did you make out with fictfact? Are you still up and working through Saturday night because you can't peel yourself away?

Sep 8, 2012, 3:00pm Top

#207 : Megan, I was woken up at 2.30am this morning because i had forgotten to turn on my sleepy time profile setting on my phone which, among other things, sets my phone on silent. Waking to a loud and snappy Calypso tune at 2.30am only to find I'm speaking with a telemarketer with a strong Southern accent makes one somewhat grumpy .... and I fell asleep with the tv on, I found myself staring blurry-eyed at an episode of Bones I missed ... so I watched the rest of the episode, munching on some gummi bears.

#208 : Howdy Kath ... checking in now because I'm on a bit of a sugar high after eating all those gummi bears. I only have 2 hours to go before the gym's open, so I'll probably read more and then go work out before breakfast.

#209 : Ohio gozaimasu Darryl ... I'm glad my flight was uneventful too and I was very happy to be able to send in favorable feedback to the United survey that in my email box following the flight.

I bought a book on Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement for my mom and when I told the sales helper that it was a present, they had it wrapped so beautifully it became, in itself, a work of art.

Sep 8, 2012, 3:03pm Top

That sounds like a pretty-much perfect day. *sigh*

Sep 8, 2012, 3:20pm Top

#210 : smoochies, RD!

#211 : Ellen .hmmmm...cold and wet conditions for a half mara.... boy, you surely put out a tempting offer ...NOT! haha..... but hey, I'll be with you in spirit. Now that my legs are back to normal, I'm still just working on getting them back in shape. it's amazing how much muscle you lose in just a couple of months of inactivity. But I'm taking heart in the fact that I can at least get out there again. The treadmills here at the hotel I'm at in Tokyo are rather ancient. It creaked, thumped and groaned when I pounded my hefty self on it yesterday morning ... I'm just keeping my fingers crossed it won't just give up on me today. Can't wait for tomorrow morning when I'll be in Singapore and I get a beach run in. I might even be able to persuade my mom's Golden Retriever to run with me .. that dog's rather sexist when it comes to choosing his running mates, preferring guys.

My goal is to run a 10k by Thanksgiving. I'm just about at 5k runs now on good days. *wonders if I'm being a little unrealistic*

#212 : Paul, I like burdock too.My favorite is kinpira gobo, a Japanese appetizer of sauteed burdock, carrots and daikon. I could eat it everyday.

Sep 8, 2012, 3:43pm Top

Read Vulture Peak by John Burdett, the latest in the Sonchai Jitpleecheep series about a Thai detective.

In this latest installment, our pot-smoking (only when stressed really) detective finds himself flying to Dubai, Hong Kong and Monaco to track down a massive international organ-trafficking operation with a base in Phuket. As always his interactions with the sex workers and katoeys of Thailand entertain but also opens a window into the sometimes mental and emotional world inhabited by these people. The mystery surrounding the deaths of 3 John and Jane Does, a monster without a face, and 2 exotic but deadly Chinese twins keep our detective in an almost constant state of confusion until the other shoe finally drops, and the plans he puts in place culminates in an unexpected finale.

One stylistic change the author's made in this book is to suddenly interject sideline comments directly to the reader, which I found incredibly irritating and annoying. But that's just me. I find this style of writing jarring. Even when authors write in the first person, I don't like them taking a step to the side, freezing framing everything, just to make an oftentimes cheesy and completely unnecessary comment to me. Because of this stylistic change, I need to ding them a half star.

It's certainly better than Kathmandu, so I'm glad, in terms of the main story, it held my attention, but I think it will probably only appeal to readers who are already fans of this series.

2.5 stars

Sep 8, 2012, 3:55pm Top

Telemarketer at 230 am! I know they didn't know what time zone your mobile phone was in but pu-lease! Don't these people know they are super annoying ringing at all!? I would have had some choice words to say to that person.

Sep 8, 2012, 5:46pm Top

Hi Caro - just caught up on your thread and feeling the Montalbano love all over again. I'm as up to date as I can be with the books and watched most of the tv series - love those actors! Sounds like you're enjoying Tokyo, I loved Harajuku on a Sunday.
I had a couple of months nursing a sore hip and so now have to work my way back to my previous fitness level, I feel like a slug some mornings. Maybe I should set some goals.

Sep 8, 2012, 6:18pm Top

Caro- I read the 1st 3 Sonchai Jitpleecheep books, but it looks like I can take a pass on the next two. Wow, that's to bad. The 1st 2 were terrific. 3rd was good.

Sep 8, 2012, 7:14pm Top

Always busy and up to all sorts of fun things... how Caro-like :)

Sep 8, 2012, 7:33pm Top

Caro - You are a fiend! I will only say I have another site firmly bookmarked!
Loved your descriptions of your saunter across Tokyo with the inimitable fuel stops along the way.

Sep 9, 2012, 10:38am Top

Glad things are going well for you, Caro - well, except for the telemarketer. I am not familiar with the Sonchai Jitpleecheep books - nice to know I could stop after three. Like Paul, I am firmly bookmarked into the site you mentioned.

Sep 9, 2012, 1:45pm Top

Hi Caro, I'm caught up now. Telemarketer at 2:30 am?? Unbelievable. They are relentless and thoughtless. I signed up for the no call list for both cell phone and home phone and they still call both. Of course I never answer but still, could they be more annoying. Have you ever known anyone to actually buy anything from a telemarketer??

Sep 9, 2012, 3:20pm Top

#218 : Megan, much as I detest telemarketing calls, I can't fault the telemarketer. They're just doing their job, and I think it's a pretty thankless one because seriously .. how many people actually buy what they're trying to sell? I suspect they get hung up on and even yelled at on a regular basis. It's the companies they work for that I hold in contempt because there should be rules -- no calls before 9am and no calls after 6pm.

in this case, they didn't know I was traveling on the other side of the planet, hence the ungodly hour for the call. When I told the person I was out of the US and that it was 2.30am where I was, I expected the person to apologize but when she started in on her sales pitch anyway, I hung up.

#219 : Kerry - I just finished watching the Trip to Tindari Montalbano DVD and I continue to love this series on disc. It's as good as the books. So now that I'm waiting for Camilleri to release his next Montalbano book, I'll make do by watching the tv series instead. I've gotten used to all the actors but Catarella. He's funny, but he's funnier in the book and he is the only actor cast that I still don't think fits the role. But it's not enough for me not to want to continue watching the series. :-)

Sep 9, 2012, 3:31pm Top

#220 : Marky-Mark - yup, the first 3 Jitpleecheep books were fantastic... and then the 4th fell with a solidly loud splat. I thought that was the end of the series, that I wouldn't pick up the next one if he did release another. But the cover of Vulture Peak drew me and so I caved. It's way better than Kathmandu and if you don't mind the occasional direct asides, it's almost as good as the first 3. I have to wonder what he was thinking to change his style like this. Perhaps he's trying to inject some playfulness in his book, to take away from the often rather gruesome subject matter of organ trafficking. I wonder if he'd mind if I sent him a little note asking him not to do it again.

#221 : Kath - hello my sweet. Not much fun arriving in Singapore at midnight today and finding that the Avis counter was empty ... they must have forgotten I was coming in and had reserved a car. So no rental car and I had to take a cab. I'll have to call them tomorrow morning and if they ask me to go back to the airport to pick up a car and not offer to pay for today's cab fare and the morning one, I'm going to tell them what they can do without my continued business.

So if I'm going to be car-less for the next couple of days, I'm keeping my fingers crossed it doesn't rain because there's nothing worse than trying to catch cabs in the rain while trying to make it to meetings on time.

Sep 9, 2012, 4:02pm Top

#222 : Paul -

*heh heh* aren't you having fun though? You're the man who collects statistics and makes lists like nobody I know. I figured you'd just have an orgasm when you got into fictfact.

#223 : Mamie, the Jitpleecheep series covers the seedy and corrupt side of Thailand. It's very clear that Burdett has spent a great amount of time living there because he understands the local culture and political practices so well.

#224 : Bonnie. I'm on the no-call list too ...but it hasn't stopped them from calling us at home which his very annoying. Hence I never answer the phone at home... I let the hubster have that thrill. :-) I don't get many on my cellphone. There must be enough people who agree to buy whatever they're selling to make it worth the cost of the equipment and agents. I don't know anyone who does though ... buy anything from telemarketers, that is.

Sep 9, 2012, 4:22pm Top

Before I Go to Sleep - S.J. Watson

How terrifying must it be to wake up and find yourself in bed with a man you don't recognize, in a room you don't recognize, with no memory of how you got there, and when you look in the mirror, to see a reflection of someone you don't recognize. Your mind tells you that you're in your 20s and you expect to see youthful skin, not wrinkles and old hands. Before hysteria sets in, you also realize you don't remember anything in your past that takes you to this point in time.

That's the premise of this story. The man in bed is Ben, Christine's husband and he informs her that not only is she married to him, she lost her memory because of a bad accident on an icy road, that her parents are dead and that she remembers things that happen within the same day while she's awake but that her short term memories disappear in her sleep and when she wakes the next morning, she goes through the same shock and panic, and he goes through the same explanation.

But Christine gets strange phone calls from a Dr Nash when Ben is at work, someone she doesn't remember. But he directs her to a shoebox in her closet and a journal that she has been writing in daily. She starts reading and through her journal, she slowly manages to piece together bits of her life and memories. But at the same time, she realizes that Ben has been lying to her. About her accident, about her best friend, about a son they had and even about her work. Can she trust him? Can she trust what she's been writing in her journal? Are they memories or her imagination?

I loved the way the suspense continued to build in this story, right up until the crashing end.

4 stars

Sep 9, 2012, 4:33pm Top

Hi, Caro! Sounds like you're having a good trip and getting in some good reading, too. I felt the same way about Before I Go to Sleep - that's a well done thriller.

And I agree with you and Mark about Kathmandu - bad enough that I wasn't sure about continuing the series, even though I loved the first three. But you've encouraged me on Vulture Peak, so I'll give it a try.

Sep 9, 2012, 9:05pm Top

Hahaha Caro - premature ejaculation is thankfully not one of my failings so I'll at least get to the end of my cataloguing first! btw found you over there too.

Sep 10, 2012, 9:06pm Top

Hi Caro! I saw this guy when I was shopping yesterday and thought of you - hope you're doing well in Japan!

Sep 10, 2012, 10:02pm Top

Caro..I completely agree with you about the casting of Catarella in the Montalbano series. Definitely not how I envisioned him, but still funny. So glad you're enjoying them.

Sep 10, 2012, 11:53pm Top

#229 : Joe, I don't think you'll be as disappointed with Vulture Peak as you were with Kathmundu. This was a much better story line ... and I just love the egomaniacal shenanigans of Colonel Vikorn in this one.

#230 : Paul, that must be why SWMBO is always smiling in the photos. ;-) I decided to catalog the Enid Blyton series that I used to follow and which my mother has still kept in the storage room. My young nieces and nephews are allowed to borrow them when they come over to visit ....keeps them quiet while the adults play mahjong and gossip. During the cataloging process into fictfact, I pulled out a few of my old favorites and had a lovely lovely time re-reading. *sigh* I don't know how any child could not read any one of Enid Blyton's books and not fall in love with reading. I actually think it's her different mystery series that made this a preferred genre for me.

Sep 10, 2012, 11:59pm Top

#231 : Laura, what a handsome camel! Thank you for thinking of me. I've left Japan and am now in Singapore .. for another day. I head up to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow evening and will meet with Paul on Thursday evening...camera in hand this time. (unless I forget ...... again)

#232 : Tina, I've decided to just buy the DVDs since they come 3 episodes in each pack. I definitely see myself watching them over in the future. I'm the same way with the Inspector Lewis series. Love love love that tv series and have the DVDs at home.

Sep 11, 2012, 12:03am Top

Thought I'd share a picture of my mom's Bruno after he'd had a hearty breakfast

And of course I can't leave Prince out either

Sep 11, 2012, 12:38am Top

Awww...cuddle radar on overload. :) They look like they enjoyed their meals to say the least.

I have Before I Go To Sleep on my bulging shelves so hopefully I can get to it sooner after reading your review! :)

I might have missed in all those messages, but are you back from Tokyo yet?

Sep 11, 2012, 6:47am Top

Caro - I also included the Enid Blyton Famous Fives. I think they were about the first things I remember reading. I quite like the fact that you can have three categories of series - current/finished, in-progress and not started. I have included in the "not started" those series that I have books on the shelves but not got round to yet. I am up to M in alphabetical authors so far and have 238 series so far with 118 in progress, 89 not started and 31 current.
I have noticed that the listing is far from complete. Chester Himes and his Harlem Cycle for example is not there.
See you on Thursday. x

Are you in the same hotel? You could be in for some fun if so as it is in process of renovation and my friend who stayed there was less than impressed with the noise. We should be adventurous and find a different bookshop!

Sep 11, 2012, 6:57am Top

Caro- Thanks for checking in. Good review of Before I Go To Sleep. I've had that one on my WL since it first came out. Have a wonderful meeting up with our great pal Paul!

Sep 11, 2012, 8:08am Top

awwww... pretty puppies :) Glad things are going well, good to hear that you had a chance to revisit some favorite books.. doesn't that feel good ? Glad to see that things are going well :)

Sep 11, 2012, 12:26pm Top

Re: #134 - I LOVE Inspector Lewis! So much so, that I watch it on Amazon Prime every Saturday evening while I eat my grilled cheese sandwich (love a good gcs!). When I first saw Insp. Lewis I was dying to get the books, only to discover that there are no books. I wish there were, if only because I think the Det. Sgt. Hathaway character would be even darker and more interesting on the written page than he is on screen. Was heartbroken to learn that next season will be the show's last.

Cute puppies!

Hope you are having a good trip.

Sep 11, 2012, 1:10pm Top

Am in mourning over losing Foyle's War and Inspector Lewis...what is TV coming to?

Sep 11, 2012, 2:32pm Top

What? They're both going away? *sob* This is terrible! I ADORE Inspector Lewis especially, and Hathaway too... Plus, 30 Rock is over too? GAH!

Sep 11, 2012, 6:15pm Top

Another KL meetup! Paul has been kept busy with international visitors lately! Have fun Caro.

Edited: Sep 11, 2012, 11:33pm Top

#236 : Valerie, the dogs are most definitely high on the cuteness factor and don't they know it. They love going for walks and despite their difference in size, they gambol along very nicely together and preen worthy of a beauty pageant queen when strangers stop and exclaim over them.

I left Tokyo on Sunday for Singapore and have been here since. I will leave Singapore for Kuala Lumpur later this evening for the rest of the week.

I encourage you to move Before I Go to Sleep up a rung or two in your TBR pile because you're going to really like this book.

#237 : Paul, I haven't even gone through fictfact alphabetically yet. I'm just adding the series that I'm currently actively following or have completed so far. There are a few that I've added which I haven't started yet. Once I think I'm done with my own list, I'll go through the alphabet and ..*sigh* add ones I've not been introduced to yet.

I am indeed staying at Le Meridien in Sentral once more. Thanks for the renovations warning. The last time I was there, they were renovating some part of the hotel as well. since I'm not there during the day, they can make as much noise as they like ... as long as they stop the hammering and drilling after 9pm and don't start up again before 9am. I'll text you tomorrow. Can't wait to see you again. :-) I'm all for adventure and dipping my foot in another bookstore .. whatever rocks your boat...and whereever you're familiar driving to. ;-)

Sep 11, 2012, 11:43pm Top

#238 : Marky-Mark ...you have to get this off your WL and into your hands asap. Before I Go to Sleep is so up your alley. I'll see if I can persuade Paul to sing a few bars of your favorite song when i meet him tomorrow. please submit your request here :-)

#239 : Kath - this part of the trip is going very well ... so well that I'm a little concerned for how the rest of the week will turn out. One hiccup is my boss tried calling me and texting me yesterday because he suddenly got it into his head that he needed to speak with me and had forgotten that I was traveling. I woke up to my phone ringing at about 2am ..didn't really look at the name and just turned off my phone... (I was dead tired) and went back to sleep. Somehow my subconscious must have taken note of the caller ID because I woke at 3am with a nagging feeling that I should take a look at my phone. *sigh* yup, 2 missed called from my boss and a few text messages asking me if i was there and that he wanted a quick call. Oh well .. so i called him back ... and he didn't answer his phone. So left voicemail and also texted a reply reminding him that I'm in Singapore and we already have a call scheduled for this afternoon. Hmph .. no reply ... which is not unusual for him. He expects you to be at the ready whenever he wants something, but he's not equally responsive.

#240 : Charlotte - The next season of Inspector Lewis is the last?!! Oh no, oh no, oh no! However will I cope?! I'll miss the sparkling repartee between Lewis and Hathaway. Boo hoooooooo.

#241 : Rdear .. I'm with you on Foyle's War. I miss that series too. On the other hand, there's the Wallender series starting again this week, I think... at least it is in MA.

#242 : Laura, I think the LT group need to petition the producers to continue developing storylines for the series that we all like.

#243 : Megan, will do. And this time I'll try to remember we need photographic proof of the Meetup.

Sep 11, 2012, 11:43pm Top

Death of a Cozy Writer by GM Malliet

Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk, millionaire author of cozy murder mysteries, summons his 4 children to the castle for a family gathering. Having grown up under the tyrannical thumb of their father who constantly threatens them with disinheritance, none of the 4 dare disobey. But the announcement that Sir Adrian is not engaged to be married but has instead eloped and is already married, to a woman who was once suspected of murdering her first husband throws his 4 children into confusion and the already strained threads between them unravel rapidly over dinner.

When first the eldest son Ruthven is found dead in the cellar, head bashed in with a mace and then later Sir Adrian himself is found slumped across his death, a dirk sticking out his back, the whole household comes under suspicion. Detective Chief Inspector St Just from the Cambridgeshire Constabulary is called to investigate the murders and in doing so, he uncovers a nest of vipers, secrets and conspiracies.

Reminiscent of Agatha Christie murder mysteries, this first in the series is simply engaging, delightful and full of clever twists.

3.5 stars

Sep 12, 2012, 12:18am Top

Caro - That makes two of us looking forward to tomorrow. I may bring SWMBO along for the ride depending on picking up the kids and so on as at least you will be able to talk to you to take you mind off the driving!
btw My mum must be on the sam epage as you and RD ad Foyle's War was a big favourite of hers.

Sep 12, 2012, 1:12am Top

Pictures! We need picture evidence! Have fun with the meet up, Caro. I'm sure Mr. Paul will be his usual charming self. ;)

Sep 12, 2012, 3:32am Top

Have a great time with Paul today, Caroline! When do you fly back to the US?

Sep 12, 2012, 8:16am Top

Death of a Cozy Writer ... I have been wondering what her other books are like, as I am very pleased with Max Tudor. I might have to consider trying those..

Sep 12, 2012, 12:50pm Top

I wish fans ruled the TV world, instead of advertisers.

Sep 12, 2012, 1:09pm Top

Oh, glad you liked Death of a Cozy Writer - I picked that up when it was a Kindle Daily Deal, so nice to know it's a fun read. Hope you have a great time at the meet-up with Paul- really, how could you not?!

Sep 12, 2012, 3:31pm Top

Waving hello!

I am finishing up a really fun little knitting project. Perhaps I will pop in with photos in a few days. :)

Sep 12, 2012, 7:07pm Top

Oh, Bruno and Prince are adorable!

Before I Go to Sleep is on my radar. The library has it. Maybe I should grab it sooner rather than later . . .

Sep 12, 2012, 9:50pm Top

Caro- I can't think of a song off the top of my head but please have a toast of some fine ale in my honor. Have a great time!

Sep 12, 2012, 11:23pm Top

251: Amen, Richard!

Sep 13, 2012, 8:12am Top

Caro is clearly off having adventures again.. stay safe and have fun, my friend!

Sep 13, 2012, 3:33pm Top

Ditto what Kath said!

Thanks for the kind, sweet soul you are!

Sep 13, 2012, 9:23pm Top

#247 : Paul, I'll leave it to you to repeat my warning to SWMBO... i have her in my sights and the next time I come to KL, if she doesn't come out to play, my people shall be activated and it won't be pretty ..all the stores she loves to frequent will close their doors to her. Oh wait ...you'll like that ... hmm... ok, my people and I will have to come up with a more suitable punishment where you won't be prancing around in glee.

Had a super super time last night ..... (like I didn't think I would?) and I wanted to take a few minutes here to post the picture (thanks to the very intelligent Nepalese waiter who figured out my camera better than I did. It's rather sad when a camera owner can't find the button to turn the thing on) before I head out for my meeting. then I'll come back in the afternoon and post replies and an indepth analysis of the KL Meetup.

Sep 13, 2012, 9:35pm Top

Great picture, Caro!

Sep 13, 2012, 9:49pm Top

*waving* at Caro

Love the picture of you and Paul!

Sep 13, 2012, 10:01pm Top

Great photo of 2 lovely people! Glad the Meet-Up went so well. When do you head back?

Sep 13, 2012, 10:13pm Top

Thanks so much Caro - warning re: SWMBO duly noted and it is a welcome change to receive warnings from someone else. To be fair she did seem genuinely disappointed to miss you yesterday.
"In-depth analysis"? Yikes!
Glad I didn't manage to spoil your photo too much....the beams are due to the surprise of the Nepali actually saying "cheese!" before pressing the button. The universal language of photography indeed. I'll have to ask Megan whether her dad was taught that at camera school.

Sep 13, 2012, 10:32pm Top

Love, love, the picture evidence! Can always count on you, Caro to capture these moments.

What fun you guys must have had! This little Canadian gal can only look on with friendly envy. :)

Sep 14, 2012, 4:35am Top

#249 : Darryl, I'll be heading back to Singapore tomorrow morning for the weekend and then leaving for Boston on Monday.

Poor Paul was stuck with my company for about 6 hours or so because of the traffic last night. I had a blast ...but who wouldn't in his company?

#250 : Kath, I think you'll like the St Just series. I've been considering the Max Tudor series. I remember you mentioning this on your thread a while ago.

#251 : Richard .. fans ruling the tv world may not necessarily be a good thing. Can you imagine how many more Kardashian, Tori Spelling, Bachelor/ette etc reality shows there would be on tv? Not to mention Maury-wannabes, Judge Judy et al. Be careful what you wish.

#252 : Mamie - there's no way anyone could not have a good time with Paul. :-) I liked Death of a Cozy Writer so much I'm going to get the next in the series...and my challenge be damned.

Sep 14, 2012, 4:57am Top

#253 : Hey there Jenn... can't wait to see the photos of your new knitting project. I love that brain hat you sent me! I'm thinking of wearing it together with a hospital gown and zombie makeup ..and going to the Halloween party as a lobotomy victim. ;-)

#254 : Terri - Bruno and Prince are a riot when they play or fake fight. I can never not laugh watching them and it also never fails to amaze me how aware Prince is of his strength because he's never hurt the smaller Bruno.

Grab Before I Go to Sleep before someone else comes along and nabs it out of the library.

#255 : Alas, Marky-Mark ... we were both teetotalers at dinner last night, not for want of available alcoholic beverage choices but somehow we both were in the mood for just simple water to accompany our amazing meal. But we did, if not raise a toast to you, mention you as we nattered about LTers we like and have been honored to count as friends. Alas, due to the lack of alcohol, he turned into a shy sheep and wouldn't croon a tune to be recorded and shared with our LT peeps. *hmph!*

Sep 14, 2012, 6:36am Top

Caro- So Paul got shy, huh? "wouldn't croon a tune to be recorded and shared". Well, if we get him to visit the Midwest next year, we'll try again.
Have a safe return on Monday and thanks for the toast.

Sep 14, 2012, 6:42am Top

And she's alarmed by which?!

Sep 14, 2012, 8:22am Top

Shy - moi? The lack of lubrication would have affected my performance is all. Next time I promise.
Jenny - how did you get such good shots of my mother in law?

Sep 14, 2012, 11:01am Top

Great photo, of course! Thanks for posting it. Glad to see that you managed another meet up... I wonder how many miles around the planet you have traveled over the years, Caro?

Weirdly, I keep hearing KL brought up on the news lately. Lots of stuff going on these days...

I imagine that you will be on the way home soon? Did I miss that?

Edited: Sep 14, 2012, 11:47am Top

>268 lunacat: LOL! Hilarious.

Love the photo of you and Paul, Caro (in >259 cameling:, not >268 lunacat:!), and it sounds like a very fun get-together.

Woo, the thought of you activating your people is scary. But I understand from Paul's posts that SWMBO is a mighty tough cookie.

Hope Singapore treats you well and you have a good trip back to Boston. I was in Boston long enough last week to see Logan Airport and the view from a high floor in Exchange Place on State Street. Boo. Fun was greatly lacking.

Sep 14, 2012, 6:24pm Top

A beautiful photo of you and Paul, Caro! Hope you have a great weekend in Singapore, and a safe flight back to Boston on Monday.

Sep 14, 2012, 7:05pm Top

#258 : Linda - sending you warm healing breezes from KL ... until I get home to what appears to be a suddenly chilly Boston. I'm hoping for one last sunny beach day when i get back and then I can fully embrace Fall.

#260 : Roni, the waiter very patiently waited for me to figure out .... how to turn the camera on. :-) If that didn't work hey no problem, I had a back up plan .... my phone. But this time, we did get the requisite MeetUp photo, thus making up for our lapse the first time we met earlier this year.

#261 : *waves* Stas ...I'm just glad I wasn't cross-eyed or half blinking when the photograph was taken. It wouldn't do for Paul to have a pic with a deranged looking woman.

#262 : Marky-Mark - I had into Singapore this morning and then leave for Boston on Monday. I think we're going to take Paul's itinerary in hand when he tries to plan his trek around America next year so he gets to add a new statistic to all the stats he lovingly collects ....he can build a new list for LT MeetUps and everyone who's attended one of these, where the MeetUps took place and how many each LTers attended them in a year. I suspect he'll top that list when he visits the US since we're all going to want him and his family to visit our little spot so we can show him our favorite bookstores and load him up with books, food and drink.

#263 : Paul - I'm trying not to take it to heart that Megan and Lenny got to meet SWMBO but I missed out on the pleasure. *sniffle*
I'm just glad my camera worked, after all that effort. I don't usually use it often, and when I got back to the hotel to download the pic onto my 'puter, I noticed that there was just one bar left to the battery! Close call.

Thank you for walking me through the cute Little Tokyo and the visit to the Times bookstore. I was sorely tempted with some of the books you pointed out to me, but I think I managed to curb my impulses most admirably .. if only because I knew I'd have to carry them back to Singapore with me in my duffle bag.

Peeps, I'm leaving KL today with an exciting haul of books through the generousness of Paul:
Drood by Dan Simmons
Heliopolis by James Scudamore
When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Lower River by Paul Theroux
Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gywnne

In addition, he gave me a packet of cute little mooncakes (a seasonal pastry filled with lotus seed jam) and a packet of flaky pastries filled with a bean paste. They're local delights and if the hubster is very nice, I might even share one of each with him. ;-)

Sep 14, 2012, 7:17pm Top

#264 : Valerie, you never know.. there could be a few Canadian MeetUps in the near future .. maybe you can persuade Paul to add Vancouver to his next holiday destination. I think we should allow Paul to vacation only in countries and cities where there are LTers to meet up with. :-)

#267 : Marky-Mark - I'm sure with all the libations you'll be stockpiling just before his visit out to your neck of the woods, you'll be more successful than I was at getting his inner songbird to thrill away.

#268 : Jenny ... you beast! What a jolt to my heart! I was reading through my thread and wasn't expecting a large and very vivid pic of a slimy maliciously grinning froggy. I can just see the spite in its eyes, planning its next ambush on my feet the next time I happen to walk under the branch he's clinging to. I'll find your weakness and return the favor, just see if I don't. *rubs hands with glee and rustles up a posse to spy on and uncover Jenny's object of fear and loathing*

Then again, I liked the cute pic of the camel. How did you photoshop my teeth into his hairy mouth?

#269 : Paul - I shall hold you to that promise. Perhaps if we include a karaoke session as part of the evening's planned activities, SWMBO will be there with bells on. ;-)

Err... does your MIL look like the froggy or the camel? If the former, I trust she doesn't also sound like the enthusiastic chorus sneering and shouting out rude jeers at it the other night as they cloaked themselves in the darkness by the path.

Sep 14, 2012, 7:26pm Top

crooning tunes huh? lol
Loving the in depth analysis so far. And a great shot of you guys! You look completely at home eating food and talking about books and LTers.....hm, now that I say it like that, its obvious!

Karaoke....uh-oh, I was forced into that in Japan, I was nay very good at it Im afraid, I mean, I could sing it OK, but had none of the theatrics required. *remembering "I believe I can Fly" being sung at top of lungs by my host while standing on table: with actions*

Sep 14, 2012, 7:26pm Top

#270 : Kath - I have no idea how many miles I've traveled around the world. I should perhaps one day put a list of cities I've visited through the years. I know where I haven't yet been that I'd really like to visit before I lose whatever little faculties I have left.

What stuff about KL have you been hearing in the news lately? I get a chance to catch up with the political stories from my friends when I'm here, and some of the shenanigans some of the politicians get up to. It never fails to reassure me that politicians the world over are generally cut from the same cloth. The difference is just the degree with which they're allowed to get away with things.

#271 : Joe, thanks for the clarification, although now that you mention it ....hmm......perhaps there is a smirk to froggy's smile that I caught on Paul a couple of times that evening.

When are you next visiting Boston? We have to make up for the lack of fun during your last quickie visit. I'm sorry I wasn't there to meet you ... I could have at least injected a wee bit of fun so your visit wouldn't be a total loss. :-)

#272 : Thanks Laura. I am looking to some shoe shopping with my mom and hanging out with a few friends in Singapore before I head back to Boston on Monday.

Gotta get going now to check out of the hotel and head to the airport.

Sep 14, 2012, 7:31pm Top

Hi Caro- It looks like Paul was very generous in his book offerings. I especially loved Empire of the Summer Moon. One of my very top reads of the year. I also have the Ishiguro on the shelf. Do I see a mini-G.R. in our future?

Sep 14, 2012, 7:43pm Top

Did you see William and Kate today? Or, more likely, did their visit cause any traffic disruptions that affected you?

Sep 14, 2012, 10:09pm Top

Caro - enjoyed catching up on your "in depth analysis" - happy memories already! You must of course share the cakes with the hubster given that there are five of each!
Mark - I couldn't bear to give up my version of Empire of the Summer Moon so Caro got a pristine one.

Certainly karoake will feature next time but Sister-in-law may be prevented from attending as she doesn't give anyone else a chance to hold the microphone, although it sounds as if that might be a good thing if Megan manages to join us!

Sep 14, 2012, 10:15pm Top

Paul- I think "Empire" is a perfect gift book. I don't even own a copy yet but I WILL. A must have.

Sep 14, 2012, 11:55pm Top

#275 : Megan, it's been an interesting experience having the pleasure and opportunity to meet with the LTers I've managed to coerce into meeting me thus far because each one has been not only a delightful and special occasion, but I've not yet had to suffer a single agonizing this-is-a-bad-blind-date moment with any one of them. Of course, that's only from my point of view and I don't know if any LTer I've met with so far had been silently wondering if they should exercise their telepathic skills to get someone to save them with a timely phone call claiming an emergency requiring their immediate assistance. Hmm... hang on..... now that I think of it.... Paul did have to use his phone a couple of times the other night.....

I used to go to karaoke parties every once in a while with my coworkers when I lived in KL years back and while I'm not a terribly good singer, I did well as a backup singer and spasmodic dancer. The Japanese karaoke experience, on the other hand, is a whole different ballgame. Back in July when I was in Tokyo and my friends decided on a karaoke session to round off the evening, I had the best abdominal workout in decades. The theatrics that accompanied some of the songs were just side-splittingly funny, especially when 2 guys (normally pretty straitlaced during the day) got up to sing and dance along to some JPop girl band. The fact that they almost mirrored every single cutesy wiggle had tears rolling down my face. I haven't stopped kicking myself for not thinking to record some of them on my phone.

Edited: Sep 15, 2012, 12:04am Top

#277 : Marky-Mark ... Paul was indeed incredibly generous with his book gifts. And as he so kindly reminded me, book gifts do not count towards my reading buy and buying less challenge. Whoohooooo.

I felt ever so guilty when I took our Night Train to Lisbon to give him along with Beneath the Lion's Gaze and Age of Doubt because I had been at work when the hubster called to say he was at a bookstore and if I wanted anything while he was there. I'd been planning on getting a copy of Beneath the Lion's Gaze and Night Train to Lisbon for Paul and so I asked the hubster if he'd mind picking up those 2 books for me while he was at the store. Needless to say I didn't think to mention it to him that I was intending these as gifts for a friend and when he brought them home, I just checked the titles to make sure he got the right ones, but then put them away in a little bag where I'd already stashed Age of Doubt that Paul had asked for, all ready to plop into my luggage when I was ready to pack for the trip.

I just about died when Paul flipped through the pages of Night Train to Lisbon and found markings on the pages!!! He thought they were mine but I don't write in or underline books I read so I knew I couldn't have mistakenly given him my copy instead. When I got back to my hotel after the wonderful evening with Paul, I called the hubster and asked him where he had indeed bought the books and why he chose to purchase used and scribbled in ones. He said I didn't tell him they were intended as gifts and thought I wanted them for myself, so he went to the seconds section to see if they had copies and voila. Sheesh! He said he was pretty proud of himself for thinking of checking the used section first. *sigh*

So lesson to me is if ever I ask the hubster to make book purchases on my behalf again, I'm going to need to remember to stress if they're meant as a gift or if they're just for me.

As to Ishiguro, that's a great idea. How about a mini-GR for When We Were Orphans in November?

Edited: Sep 15, 2012, 12:12am Top

#278 : Roni .. you're a genius! I never thought of W&K's being in KL. I wonder if it was indeed Prince Will and Kate's visit that caused such major traffic snarls throughout the city on Thursday and Friday evenings. I was out with some friends last night for dinner and the traffic was horrendous then too, even at 12.45am when one of them was driving me back to my hotel.

How very sweet of Paul to give up meeting his 2 young royals for an evening with me, especially with the traffic situation and him having to inch his way forward while skillfully avoiding the sneaky motorbikes and their riders.

#279 : Paul .... all I can say is ... and then there were 4. :-) I will promise not to nibble on any more of the goodies you bestowed. They were yummy and the cookie saved me from keeling over from hunger this morning since I didn't have time for my usual Ipoh white coffee and nasi lemak at the airport before my flight. The security lines were ridiculously long this morning and I just about made my flight with just 10 mins to spare. The cookie gave me the strength to carry my bag off the plane in SG. It was delicious... i hadn't had one of those in a really long time.

Sep 15, 2012, 12:25am Top

Caro - hahaha if I was using the phone to ditch you I did a pretty bad job of it as we were still together 4 hours later! I didn't raise the issue of the book markings and I'm looking forward to see if it helps me follow the book. Don't give the hubster a hard time as he was a great guy volunteering to get them in the first place. Safe trip. x

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2012

987 members

229,572 messages


This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.




You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,194,596 books! | Top bar: Always visible