Joe's Book Cafe 26

This is a continuation of the topic Joe's Book Cafe 25.

This topic was continued by Joe's Book Cafe 2015.

Talk75 Books Challenge for 2014

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Joe's Book Cafe 26

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Edited: Dec 8, 2014, 10:29am

Art by Hayao Miyazaki

Welcome back to the cafe!

Edited: Dec 28, 2014, 2:51pm

2014 Books


1. Mad Mouse by Chris Grabenstein
2. A Conspiracy of Faith by Jussie Adler-Olsen
3. Kindred in Death by J.D. Robb
4. The Professor's House by Willa Cather
5. Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb
6. Die Trying by Lee Child
7. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
8. In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming
9. Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink
10. Japantown by Barry Lancet
11. View with a Grain of Sand by Wislawa Szymborska
12. Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch
13. High Heat by Lee Child


14. A Fountain Filled with Blood by Julia Spencer-Fleming
15. Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang
16. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
17. Cress by Marissa Meyer
18. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
19. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
20. Stone Cold by C.J. Box
21. The Martian by Andy Weir
22. Necessity's Child by Sharon Lee


23. The Orchard Keeper by Cormac McCarthy
24. Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb
25. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
26. My Dungeon Shook by Danez Smith
27. Black Boy Suite Black Boy Sweet by Danez Smith
28. Mrs. Tim of the Regiment by D.E. Stevenson
29. Little Green by Walter Mosley
30. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
31. Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
32. A Truth Universally Acknowledged: Why We Read Jane Austen, edited by Susannah Carson
33. Dream London by Ian Ballantyne
34. Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope
35. Treachery in Death by J.D. Robb
36. Our Friends from Frolix 8 by Philip K. Dick
37. Burning Girls by Veronica Schanoes


38. New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb
39. Refusing Heaven by Jack Gilbert
40. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
41. Sula by Toni Morrison
42. Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor
43. Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb
44. William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher
45. To Darkness and To Death by Julia Spencer-Fleming
46. Vagabond Vol. 35 by Takehiko Inoue
47. A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor
48. Delusion in Death by J.D. Robb
49. A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor
50. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra


51. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (re-read)
52. The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty
53. Calculated in Death by J.D. Robb
54. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
55. Hexed by Kevin Hearne
56. The Woman Who Wouldn't Die by Colin Cotterill
57. Graveyard of Memories by Barry Eisler
58. Death Without Company by Craig Johnson
59. The Graphic Canon Vol. 1 by Russ Kirk
60. Kindness Goes Unpunished by Craig Johnson
61. The Boy in His Winter by Norman Lock
62. Another Man's Moccasins by Craig Johnson
63. An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield


64. This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki
65. Skin Game by Jim Butcher
66. Scaramouche by Raphael Sabatini
67. Redeployment by Phil Klay
68. Agent Zigzag by Ben Macyntyre
69. The Dark Horse by Craig Johnson
70. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
71. Junkyard Dogs by Craig Johnson
72. Aimless Love by Billy Collins
73. Shots Fired by C.J. Box
74. Concealed in Death by J.D. Robb
75. The Tie That Binds by Kent Haruf
76. The Gauguin Connection by Estelle Ryan


77. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
78. Solanin by Inio Asano
79. As the Crow Flies by Craig Johnson
80. Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan
81. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
82. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
83. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
84. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
85. Incarnadine by Mary Szybist
86. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
87. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
88. A Trail Through Time by Jodi Taylor
89. Any Other Name by Craig Johnson


90. Midnight in Europe by Alan Furst
91. We were Liars by E. Lockhart
92. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
93. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
94. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
95. Personal: A Jack Reacher Story by Lee Child
96. Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made by David Halberstam
97. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
98. The Ghost Writer by Phillip Roth
99. Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich
100. A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr


101. The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
102. Open Season by Archer Mayor
103. The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman
104. Bitch in a Bonnet by Robert Rodi
105. Some Buried Caesar by Rex Stout
106. Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly by Agatha Christie
107. The Last Policeman by Ben Winters
108. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
109. Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami
110. Leonardo and the Last Supper by Ross King


111. Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
112. Daunt Books Children's Short Story Competition 2014 with an intro by Marcus Sedgwick
113. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein
114. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
115. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
116. Skylark by Patricia MacLachlan
117. The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
118. The Haymeadow by Gary Paulsen
119. The River by Gary Paulsen
120. Angelica's Smile by Andrea Cammileri
121. Counting by Sevens by Holly Goldberg Sloan
122. Washington Square by Henry James
123. Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen
124. Wait for Signs by Craig Johnson
125. Three in Death by J.D. Robb
126. Countdown City by Ben Winter
127. Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich
128. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin


129. Aya The Secrets Come Out by Marguerite Abouet
130. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
131. Blue Horses by Mary Oliver
132. Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
133. The Fourth Secret by Andrea Camilleri
134. The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
135. A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi
136. The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
137. Tricked by Alex Robinson
138. Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
139. The Graphic Canon Volume 2 edited by Russ Kirk
140. The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys


141. The Peripheral by William Gibson
142. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast
143. The Way I See It by Temple Grandin
144. Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood
145. Flying High by Kerry Greenwood
146. Americans' Favorite Poems edited by Robert Pinsky
147. The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
148. Let Him Go by Larry Watson
149. Naked Heat by Richard Castle
150. Brian's Hunt by Gary Paulsen
151. Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood
152. The Green Man by Michael Bedard
153. Lila by Marilynne Robinson
154. Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood

Edited: Dec 8, 2014, 10:26am

American Author Challenge 2015

January: Carson McCullers - Ballad of the Sad Cafe and Other Stories
Feburary: Henry James - Turn of the Screw
March: Richard Ford - The Sportswriter
April: Louise Erdich - The Round House
May: Sinclair Lewis - Babbitt
June: Wallace Stegner - Where the Bluebird Sings
July: Ursula K. LeGuin (read tons of hers) - Isabel Wilkerson The Warmth of Other Suns
August: Larry McMurtry - Lonesome Dove
September: Flannery O'Connor (read enough) Chaim Potok The Promise
October: Ray Bradbury - (read tons of his) Truman Capote Breakfast at Tiffany's
November: Barbara Kingsolver - Bean Trees
December: E.L. Doctorow - World's Fair

British Author Challenge 2015

January: Kazuo Ishiguro - Never Let Me Go
February: Evelyn Waugh - Scoop
March: Daphne Du Maurier - Jamaica Inn
April: Angela Carter - The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories
May: Margaret Drabble/Martin Amis - Jane Gardam The Man in the Wooden Hat
June: Anthony Burgess - Nothing Like the Sun
July: Virginia Woolf - Mrs. Dalloway or another if I've read that one already
August: Iris Murdoch - The Bell
September: Salman Rushdie - Midnight's Children
October: David Mitchell - The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
November: William Boyd - Restless
December: Hilary Mantel - A Place of Greater Safety, and maybe a Wodehouse for fun

Favorites from 2013

Top 5

1. Longbourn by Jo Baker
2. Benediction by Kent Haruf
3. Stones for Ibarra by Harriet Doerr
4. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
5. The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley

Second Five

6. The Greater Journey by David McCullough
7. Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi wa'Thiong'o
8. Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
9. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
10. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

Favorite Graphic Novel: The Nao of Brown

Three that were hard to keep off the list: Housekeeping, Song of the Lark, and How the Light Gets In

2014 American Author Challenge (kudos to Mark)

Willa Cather- January The Professor's House
Alice Walker- February The Color Purple
Cormac McCarthy - March The Orchard Keeper
Toni Morrison- April Sula
Eudora Welty- May The Optimist's Daughter
Kurt Vonnegut- June Cat's Cradle (re-read)
Mark Twain- July Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Philip Roth- August The Ghost Writer
James Baldwin- September Notes of a Native Son
Edith Wharton- October Ethan Frome
John Updike- November The Witches of Eastwick
Larry Watson- December Let Him Go


Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - opened my eyes to so many creative possibilities, including wordplay
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury - got me believing in school again after a soon-to-be favorite teacher assigned it
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White - took a typical self-centered kid out of himself and got me thinking about others; broke my heart for the first time, too
James Wright Collected Poems - midwestern poet caught me and fueled a lifelong interest in poetry
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - read it way post-college and got walloped; started lifelong Austen fandom

Dune by Frank Herbert - got me excited about the possibilities of science fiction, and thinking about environmental effects
Dr. Strange by Stan Lee and others - this hokey, mystical comic book was my favorite as a kid, and fueled my lifelong graphic fandom
Future Shock by Alvin Toffler - he took on emerging issues like economic disparities, overpopulation and pollution; trying to look into the future fascinated me
After the Quake by Haruki Murakami - my entry into his world that started me on lifelong fandom
Remember, Be Here Now by Ram Dass - matched my youthful hippiness perfectly, still working on some of its ideas

The Chosen by Chaim Potok - for the first time, got me enthralled by lives very different from my own
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki - what a mensch this man was; still the best on this subject I've read
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder - made me a fan of both Paul Farmer and author Tracy Kidder, and got me involved with Partners in Health
T.S. Eliot Selected Poems - bowled me over, so I felt like a patient, etherized upon a table; got the complete works later
Thank You, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse - fueled my appreciation of the absurd and started a lifelong fandom for this author

Edited: Dec 8, 2014, 10:29am

Love the Miyazaki! I think I'm going to do a Miyazaki movie challenge next year.

Dec 8, 2014, 10:38am

Abby is going to love your thread toppers, Joe! The third image is my favorite. Happy new thread, dear. Hoping that Monday is kind to you.

Edited: Dec 8, 2014, 11:10am

>4 Morphidae: Oh good, Morphy. What a great idea, to have a Miyazaki movie challenge. He's something special, isn't he?

As first in the door, you get one of my favorites of his, from My Neighbor Totoro:

Dec 8, 2014, 10:42am

>5 Crazymamie: Ha! Tell Abby to come on over, Mamie. I love the third one, too. He does some beautiful "paintings" of buildings, including in Spirited Away.

I love that first one. It's my pc wallpaper right now.

Edited: Dec 8, 2014, 10:52am

I like the last one best, I think.

ETA: I just figured out there are twelve movies that he directed so it would work out well!

Edited: Dec 8, 2014, 11:10am

>8 Morphidae: That's a good 'un all right, Morphy. Hope you enjoyed the Totoro one, too. 12=perfect.

Wanted to make sure Stephanie's link to the entertaining Billy Collins Ted talk made it over to the new cafe:

And here's her link for contributions:

Dec 8, 2014, 11:17am

I love the top image especially, what a gorgeous picture. I could live there in cartoon form. I should try some Miyazaki - where would be a good place to start for a virgin of this type of film?

Dec 8, 2014, 11:22am

Your thread is making me want to go buy a couple more movies on Blu-Ray just so I can appreciate the art better.

Dec 8, 2014, 11:23am

>10 lunacat: Princess Mononoke and Howl's Moving Castle are my favorites.

Dec 8, 2014, 12:14pm

I finished reading Ancillary Justice last night and enjoyed it very much. It is going to make my top of the year reading list. Great stuff in there. I do have to say that I never understood the gender thing. Does it matter if the hero of a book is a heroine instead? I also thought that the constant worry (in the story) about getting the verb tenses and genders exactly correct when speaking some of the languages went over my head and I had to settle for, that was part of the story so just go along with it, while reading. If gender was the issue at the heart of this novel then I do have to say that in my opinion, Ursula LaGuin did it better in Left Hand of Darkness. But for pure good story telling with a very original plot line this novel was a chart topper.

Dec 8, 2014, 12:19pm

>10 lunacat: Me, too, Jenny. Morphy identifies two good ones in >12 Morphidae:. It's hard to go wrong. That painting you (and I) like is from Howl's Moving Castle. Spirited Away (see >11 Oberon: above) won a bunch of awards, including the Academy Award, and My Neighbor Totoro (see >6 jnwelch: above) is a favorite in our family.

>11 Oberon: I know, Erik. Spirited Away is full of great images, isn't it? His art just knocks me out. Here's another one from it:

>12 Morphidae: Good ones, Morphy.

Dec 8, 2014, 12:20pm

Your toppers aren't loading for me, although pictures in subsequent threads are there....I think my internet connection is wonky today, though.

Edited: Dec 8, 2014, 12:22pm

>13 benitastrnad: Glad you had such a good time with Ancillary Justice, Benita. Yeah, I just went with the gender angle and enjoyed the story, too. I haven't yet seen a reaction to the second one. I'm certainly interested in what happens with Breq. Great idea there.

>15 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks, Linda. Let me know if it continues. I'll hope it's just your wonky computer. The second one is a gif, so we'll see whether that creates problems generally.

Edited: Dec 8, 2014, 2:18pm

William Gibson has been a big deal in science fiction for a long time, ever since Neuromancer came out in 1984 and won every sci-fi award in sight. More recently he started writing books situated in the present, starting with Pattern Recognition, set in 2002, which involved our obsession with brands and a mysterious artistic film clip circulating on the internet. That book still managed to have a sci-fi feel to it, as the main character tries to outwit the Russian Mafia concerning the film clip and also pursues answers to her own family's mystery, and so did the present day-situated ones following it. Now he's written a corker that is set in both the near future and a not-so-near future.

As he did with his Bridge trilogy (starting with Virtual Light, a favorite of mine), he creates a cohesive, believable environment the reader wants to spend time in, even with its lumps and flaws. Or maybe it's really two such environments. In one, our hero Flynne Fisher is scraping by in rural America with her brother ex-Marine Burton and his veteran friends, when a surveillance job in (what she thinks is) an interactive video game becomes much more. Someone from a different future London has made contact, Flynne sees something she shouldn't, and a time-travel real life game of spies and subterfuge begins.

Wilf Netherton is a PR guy (although not PR as we're used to thinking of it) in the future London. That city and the rest of the world have a fraction of today's population due to something called "the jackpot", but they also have lots of great tech. This includes "peripherals", well-made bodies you can rent and inhabit via projectional headgear. In our world, where Flynne and Burton live, money is hard to come by unless you're "building" illegal drugs, but Flynne's accidental contact with Wilf's world creates a cash infusion that drastically alters the local balance. Those with Wilf in that different future want something only Flynne can give them, and are willing to help her and her cohorts to get it.

If you're like me, you'll be disoriented at the start of the book, as it all comes at you fast and without explanation. But then it starts to sink in, and you start to see and smell and feel it, and then you're hooked. It's another entertaining adventure supplied by someone adept at imagining a future you'd travel to visit, if only you could find the airline. It's great to have Gibson back in top form. The post-ending ending (for me there seemed to be two endings, kind of like that last Lord of the Rings movie) isn't quite as good as the first ending, so I give the book a little less than four stars for that reason.

“He gestured for it to sit. The bench vibrated briefly in anticipation, shedding drops of rain. The peripheral sat.”

Dec 8, 2014, 1:10pm

Happy New Thread, Joe! I love the gorgeous toppers. How perfect, for a gloomy, drizzly Monday.
Hope the day goes well, my friend.

Edited: Dec 8, 2014, 1:24pm

Gibson does some lovely world creating doesn't he?

Aded to the wish list

Dec 8, 2014, 1:24pm

Totoro is our family favorite.

Dec 8, 2014, 2:21pm

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! I love Hayao Miyazaki!!! *starry eyes* I was so disappointed that he retired this year. His artwork and stories are just magical. Kiki's Delivery Service is my favorite, but I love all of his films that I have seen. He was brilliant to think of painting the backgrounds of his films in intricate detail and then adding the animation on top. Truly a genius. It is a wish of mine to own all of his filmed works on DVD; and a dream of mine to someday visit Studio Ghibli.

Happy new thread!

Edited: Dec 8, 2014, 2:36pm

>18 msf59: Thanks, Mark! Yeah, we can use some warm colors on this gloomy, drizzly Monday, can't we?

So far so good on the day. Hope yours is going okay.

>19 magicians_nephew: He sure does, Jim. Sounds like you know him well. I think you'll have a good time with this one.

>20 RBeffa: Hi, Ron. Yeah, Totoro is a charmer. Our kids respected Spirited Away, but really liked Totoro, especially our son. Otherwise they weren't quite as enamored of Miyazaki as their dad, although they might look at it all differently now that they're older.

BTW, the films all (I'm pretty sure "all") have had screenshot books so you can slow it all down and enjoy the artistry that way, e.g., Then there are "Art of" volumes, e.g., and who knows what-all.

Per Abby in >21 Thebookdiva:, your family might like Kiki's Delivery Service, too, if they haven't seen that one.

Edited: Dec 9, 2014, 10:02am

>21 Thebookdiva: Hiya, Abby! There were rumors emanating from the Pecan Paradisio that you might like the Miyazaki toppers. :-)

I've grown skeptical over the years about announced "retirements" (Michael Jordan and Brett Favre come to mind), so I'm hopeful we may yet see more from him, in some fashion. His artwork and stories are just magical. I agree - and Kiki's Delivery Service is one of my favorites. I'm so glad you mentioned it.

Because I've been treading the earth for so darn long, I do have a big collection of his movies on dvd, and also of his screen capture books mentioned in >22 jnwelch:. Grab your mum and come to Chicago and we'll have a Miyazaki- fest. (Please ask her to bring some pecan pie from your whereabouts when you come).

Thanks re the thread - it's mighty gray here in real life right now, so all the Miyazaki color is helping. Here's one from Kiki's:

Well, this is a new one. This post just won't take new images now. So please go to >38 and we'll try it there.

P.S. The second topper, the gif, is from Kiki's Delivery Service, too.

Dec 8, 2014, 3:22pm

Well, I blame your thread for my indiscretion. Just picked up The Wind Rises and Princess Mononoke on Blu-Ray over lunch. Probably a good thing they didn't have Spirited Away or I would gotten that Blu-Ray too to replace my beat up DVD.

Dec 8, 2014, 4:46pm

>34 Ha! Good to hear we're so inspiring, Erik. Hey, sounds like your family may actually be glad you lost your head over lunch. I've asked for The Wind Rises dvd for the holidays, so I'll likely join you on that one.

Dec 8, 2014, 5:48pm

>23 jnwelch: whoops, no picture is loading up. I am quite intrigued by the talk on Miyazaki, I think the movie Challenge Morphy is talking about sounds like a great idea.

Dec 8, 2014, 6:03pm

>25 jnwelch: I have to rewatch Mononoke before I let the kids see it. Was somewhat violent as I recall.

Dec 8, 2014, 6:30pm

We have almost all of Miyazaki's films on DVD. About the only recent one we don't own and didn't care for at all was Ponyo. Haven't seen the newest film. I like some of the other projects from the studio. I even liked the Earthsea one a lot for the beauty of it. My favorite of Studio G is Grave of the Fireflies. My now adult daughter grew up on all of these films and likes them all except Ponyo and Grave. It is a pretty depressing story but rather magnificent nevertheless. Disney foofs with the audio too much sometimes and several are much better in Japanese with subtitles. Secret World of Arriety is much better in Japanese with subtitles. Much better dialogue and less of it. Disney seems to want to add a bunch. Voices much more suited to the characters too.

Dec 8, 2014, 6:37pm

Beautiful artwork on the top and throughout this new thread, Joe. Can't pick a favorite, they all speak to me.

Spent most of the day Christmas shopping so I am looking forward to kicking back and relaxing this evening with Montana 1948.

Edited: Dec 8, 2014, 7:06pm

>23 jnwelch: picture is not loading. :(

But I love the pictures in the OP. Beautiful.

Dec 8, 2014, 8:17pm

Spirited Away is everywhere! How funny. I just watched segments of it with Wilbur- we borrowed the dvd from my dad.

Happy new (last!!?) thread, Joe! I have had a great day so far wandering about town after dropping off the car to get fixed. Walking (sans kiddos) is so pleasant. And I even ran into my sister which was so cool and unexpected. So we spent the morning together happily.

Dec 8, 2014, 9:03pm

Oooh, Spirited Away is one of my all-time favorite movies! I'm sad that Charlie doesn't like it, yet (he's afraid of the No Face guy)...

Dec 8, 2014, 11:34pm

I think I need to watch a Miyazaki film sometime soon. I saw trailers for Spirited Away way back when I think but didn't realize the films would be good?

Happy New Thread Joe!

Dec 9, 2014, 12:13am

Saw The Strange Library on my wanderings on the weekend (was looking for real Xmas cards) that is a piece of art, absolutely stunning, hmm I do think the description seen eleswhere, "picture book for adults" is a very good fit

Dec 9, 2014, 8:42am

>23 jnwelch: a Miyazaki-fest sounds wonderful. I own the books The Art of Howl's Moving Castle and The Art of Kiki's Delivery Service which I deeply enjoyed. I hope to add more books to that collection as well. I enjoy the GNs too, they are perfect for a quick revisit to the films. I think I've only seen half of his films. Here are the ones I own:
Kiki's Delivery Service
My Neighbor Totoro
Howl's Moving Castle
Spirited away
Castle in the Sky
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (haven't seen all of this one)
Secret World of Arriety
Princess Mononoke

Dec 9, 2014, 9:13am

>26 maggie1944:, >30 fuzzi: Thanks, Karen and fuzzi. I don't know why the pics go away sometimes. It was showing earlier. I've replaced it, so let's see whether this one sticks around.

I'm glad you're liking the Miyazakis!

>27 Oberon: Yeah, I'd do the same thing, Erik. Ours never saw Princess Mononoke, just me. It's been a while, but I had the same concern.

>28 RBeffa: Hiya, Ron. I didn't like Ponyo either. Just didn't have the charm of the others. I haven't seen Grave of the Fireflies or Tales of Earthsea, and should. The subject matter of the former does take a bit of getting mentally prepared. Interesting to hear on The Secret World of Arriety. I'm fine with subtitles, so I may try that.

>29 DeltaQueen50: I'm glad you're enjoying the artwork, Judy. Isn't he something? The care for detail is so unusual.

Montana 1948 is a good 'un, ain't it? I'm reading his Let Him Go, which is also very well done. These aren't the kind of books I end up loving, but they're topnotch.

Edited: Dec 9, 2014, 9:29am

>31 LovingLit: Hi, Megan! Spirited Away is a special one. I forget, how old is Wilbur? He might respond more to the gentler My Neighbor Totoro.

I remember the days when kid-free for a little while was one of life's great pleasures. How great that you ran into your sister and had a nice time with her. I'll be seeing mine soon, although we're all kind of yipping at each other at the moment over holiday logistics.

>32 scaifea: I can understand Charlie being scared by No Face Guy (Hungry Ghost). Maybe that's why our kids didn't warm up to Spirited Away the way I thought they would. Have you tried My Neighbor Totoro on him? Gentler story, although not pablum.

>33 jolerie: Yes, the films are amazing, Valerie. Your little guys might like ones like My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service. As Amber mentioned, Spirited Away has some elements that may be scary for little ones.

>34 roundballnz: Yeah, I read The Strange Library, Alex. I honestly didn't think the story was any great shakes, but maybe I'm being dense on this one. It is beautifully put together.

Have you read it? What did you think?

>35 Thebookdiva: You've got a bunch of my favorites there, Abby. Porco Rosso, The Castle of Cagliostro, and From Up on Poppy Hill are three that come to mind that you might enjoy adding. Castle in the Sky, which you have, is cool one that isn't as well known as it might be.

One for Tuesday:

Dec 9, 2014, 10:03am

>36 jnwelch: I am surprised that Ponyo is disliked by so many Miyazaki fans. It was my son's favorite movie for a couple of years so I have seen it more times than I can count. I thought it was charming. I especially liked all of the prehistoric fish that show up. I certainly thought it was superior to a number of his other movies. Maybe not top tier with Totoro and Spirited Away but still in the second tier with Castle in the Sky and Kiki.

Grave of the Fireflies is fantastic. Devastatingly so. If I ever teach a master's class on politics and war Grave of the Fireflies and the Fog of War will be the two movies that are part of the syllabus.

Edited: Dec 9, 2014, 3:33pm

From Kiki's Delivery Service (>23 jnwelch: just won't take an image), another try:

Dec 9, 2014, 10:05am

Nope, still no pretty picture.

Dec 9, 2014, 10:10am

>40 lunacat: Hopefully you see it now, Jenny. I had to reboot. Who knows.

Dec 9, 2014, 10:20am

Niet. Nadda. Nothing........... I've run out of n words............

Dec 9, 2014, 10:23am

In which post, Jenny? I'm not putting one in >23 jnwelch:, but there is one in >39 jnwelch:.

Dec 9, 2014, 10:24am

Nothing in 39 either. Maybe my computer???

Dec 9, 2014, 10:26am

I wanted to introduce Judy to the genre and picked Ponyo - I was dissapointed - she still doesn't get why I love amine.

One day I will bring out my Spirited Away DVD -- or Princess M.

Dec 9, 2014, 10:27am

Definitely nothing in >39 jnwelch:. Just sent the link to best friend who is sitting next to me and she got nadda as well. Maybe our wireless?!?

Dec 9, 2014, 10:31am

I just stuck a couple of Miyasaki DVDs on my wish list for Christmas. I hope the nieces check the list before it is too late to order something. Such beautiful art work.

Edited: Dec 9, 2014, 10:35am

>44 lunacat:, 46 Try emptying your cache, or rebooting. You may be still having the problem I cleared by rebooting? Or I can describe the picture to your best friend who can sketch it and send it to you?

>45 magicians_nephew: Ponyo was disappointing, Jim, a real outlier, IMO. Both of your alternatives (Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke) would make more of a positive impact, methinks.

ETA: >47 maggie1944: Oh good, Karen. Isn't the artwork wonderful? Abby explained that Miyazaki had the idea to do the artwork first and then place the animated story on top of it. It makes for a wonderfully detailed world.

Dec 9, 2014, 12:54pm

Hi Joe! Another damp, gloomy day but at least it is mild.

I also can not see the image in #39.

Why do you think you love the Haruf books but not the Watson ones? Do you think Watson has less heart & soul? I may agree with that but I also find that the books share a similar tone and feel. I think Watson goes a little darker. Just curious...

Dec 9, 2014, 1:14pm

>49 msf59: Hi Mark!

We'll see if folks still can't see >39 jnwelch: tomorrow. It may be a holdover from the posting problems before I rebooted. It's there, so I'm hopeful that's the problem, and when people come on fresh, it'll be there for them.

Yes, that's on track for why I love the Haruf books (and the Cather books, for that matter), but not the Watsons, even though I like the Watsons. The Watson stories that I've read (Montana 1948 and a good part of Let Him Go) are really good, and you get connected to the locale, but there's not quite enough fleshing out of the characters and their interiors for me to love them. It's a bit more distant for me. Does that explain it?

Dec 9, 2014, 1:45pm

Hi Everyone,

Wonderful to see that Joe' Cafe is still in business! Last time I stopped by (almost two years ago) I had a wonderful peppermint hot chocolate and a place by the fireplace. I hope to be able to read 75 books in a calendar year this time around. Sadly, I have been avenging about 10 a year... A dismal number. My inventory page is a mess at the moment... Off to give it some much needed TLC. It is nice to be back. I missed hanging out here. Have a healthy, happy holiday!

Edited: Dec 9, 2014, 2:02pm

Now, I can see 39. Yes, you did explain it well. I don't think many authors can pull off what Haruf managed to do.
Watson still works for me, the same McCarthy does.

Dec 9, 2014, 2:06pm

Happy New Thread, Joe. I love all those paintings. The colours are so strong.

Dec 9, 2014, 2:07pm

Dangerous! Your thread used to be just BB's and now you have movie bullets too? Oh wait, I forgot about the food. Yeah, just dangerous! ;)

Dec 9, 2014, 2:23pm

>37 jnwelch: I have not succumbed to buying yet ...... but was a thing of beauty - also saw they had a nice copy of Stone Mattress: Nine Tales, I do like the fact publishers are making 'paper' books a piece of art as well.

Edited: Dec 9, 2014, 2:34pm

>51 JenniferMichelle: Good to see you, Jennifer! Welcome back!

I hope we see you more around these here parts. We'll be glad to supply plenty of book temptations!

Meanwhile, let's get you some peppermint hot chocolate and let you settle in by the fireplace. :-0

>52 msf59: Ah good, glad you can see it, Mark.

I agree, I don't think many authors can pull off what Haruf did. I thought of Cormac McCarthy, too, in connection with Larry Watson.

I finished Let Him Go, and that sure was a riproarer of a finish. Really good book, and a fine capper to an excellent AAC year.

My favorites were Cloud Atlas and Ethan Frome. Many thanks for the inspiration to read so many good ones. Sula and The Color Purple weren't far behind those two.

>53 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara. I don't know about your part of the world, but we can really use some strong colors in ours. The snow's not here yet, and we're mainly getting a lot of gray right now. Glad you love the paintings.

>53 Ameise1: Ha! Dangerous in so many ways, Valerie, I know. I've forgotten who it was, but someone's thread mentioned eggnog cookies. I'm a fan of all things egg nog, so let's try some of those:

ETA: >54 jolerie: I'm looking forward to your thoughts when you do read The Strange Library, Alex. As you can tell, I was a bit disappointed. But maybe I was expecting too much.

The Atwood does look intriguing. Yeah, I suspect publishers eventually are going to have to fancy up paper books in general, to give folks a reason to buy them rather than an electronic copy. I also expect that e-readers will eventually (soon?) be able to convey the full color beauty and experience of paper books, with more of a feeling of texture. It'll be interesting to see how this goes.

Dec 9, 2014, 2:44pm

Joe, we are far away of having a colourful surrounding at the moment and I'm longing for a blue sky and sun since weeks.

Dec 9, 2014, 2:58pm

Eesh, eggnog cookies? What kind of devil food have you introduced into the cafe?! Next thing to pop up on the menu will be overcooked cabbage, brussel sprouts and soggy gelatinous custard pies.

Edited: Dec 9, 2014, 3:06pm

>50 jnwelch: post #39 is showing a broken link icon. There might be something simple like a period in the wrong place.

Post just the url and let us try to access it for ourselves? :)

Eggnog cookies sound yummy...

Dec 9, 2014, 3:13pm

>57 Ameise1: You and me both, Barbara. We fixed up the entrance to the cafe to make it a little more inviting. What do you think?

>58 lunacat: Hmm, those comparisons make me suspect you're not a fan of eggnog cookies, Jenny. Which part - the eggnog, or the cookies?

Dec 9, 2014, 3:16pm

>59 fuzzi: Thanks, fuzzi. It's showing here, after I cleared out what preceded, so I suspect the >39 jnwelch: will look okay to you whenever you reboot. But here's a link where you can look at a bunch:

I know, don't those eggnog cookies look good? Sounds like Jenny won't be wanting hers, so we can split them.

Dec 9, 2014, 3:20pm

Well I rebooted and cleared my cache and there is still no picture but I followed the link so it's all good.

Nope, definitely not wanting mine. I hate eggnog so it seems a huge waste of good cookies to me, putting eggnog in them!

Dec 9, 2014, 3:24pm

>60 jnwelch: Oh Joe, you brightened my day. It's SO beautiful. Thanks so much.

Dec 9, 2014, 3:29pm

>62 lunacat: Hmm. OK, there goes my theory. Thanks for letting me know, Jenny. We had this problem with Google Chrome users in a much earlier thread. I'll try replacing it again in >39 jnwelch:, and see if that helps. It may unfortunately be a lost cause, for mysterious reasons, since everything else is showing up for folks.

I thought it must be the eggnog! Isn't that funny, how tastes can so differ? To me, it's a rare treat. Let's get you some non-eggnog cookies!

>63 Ameise1: Ha! You're welcome, Barbara. That is bright and beautiful, isn't it? A vacation for the mind.

Dec 9, 2014, 3:35pm

Definitely :-)

Edited: Dec 9, 2014, 3:38pm

>64 jnwelch: Yay, success, I have picture as well as sound! I'm inordinately happy now, I thought I must be the dunce who had been rejected by the group and sent to sit in the corner.

And thanks for the cookies, they look much more preferable. Interesting note: I asked my best friend what she thought would be comparable in disgustingness to eggnog cookies and she couldn't see what my problem was with them in the first place. But then she loves eggnog.........

Dec 9, 2014, 3:39pm

>66 lunacat: :-) Hurrah!

Dec 9, 2014, 4:10pm

I think the peppermint hot chocolate and the frosted sugar cookies would be a great snack today. It is fairly cool down here in the South.

I have a wine club party to go to tonight and I spent last night making liver mousse from the Jacques Pepin recipe book Essential Pepin. It is very rich. I think a better name for this mousse would have been butter mousse as there is more butter in it than any other ingredient. I did not dress this one up with the aspic. When I made it for the party last year I made the aspic and decorated with the cut up vegetables that I formed into flowers and everything. Not enough time to do all of that last night.

I find Pepin's recipes elegant but simple to make. Buying that cookbook was a good move.

Dec 9, 2014, 7:23pm

>56 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! Hope you are relaxing tonight. I was curious why you included Mitchell on your favorite AAC picks? Slip of the mind or a slip of the keyboard...?

Dec 9, 2014, 7:27pm

>68 benitastrnad: I remember that cookbook, Benita. Classic.

>69 msf59: Yeah, Katie pointed that out, too, Mark. I was just testing you guys? He's American at heart, because of his love for the colonies?

Nope, just an author I hadn't read, and I thought it was via the AAC. Warbling by the organizer of the AAC would've been more accurate.

Dec 9, 2014, 8:37pm

>61 jnwelch: yes! I see it now. :)

I'm all for sharing unwanted eggnog cookies with you. :)

Dec 10, 2014, 7:29am

The cafe is really busy this week. I see all the pictures and clearly, you have won over my heart for this unique and talented artist. I'm looking forward to finding the time to watch some of the movies.

I love all things food, so I'll just wander around the outside of the cafe for a minute longer and revel in the possibility of a time when plants are happy and blooming as opposed to wet, cold, drippy, and sad looking (as they are in my yard now as we speak). Of course, my yard is not seen often this time of year as our daytime hours are greatly reduced.

I did a looooooong Instacart shift yesterday, shopping three times, one person actually had me shop for her 2X and only for small number of items. Funny. But not so funny, she lived in a nearly impossible address area where streets turn from one street name to another in the middle of a block and not even Siri could find her house. I am so grateful that I'm an old fashioned girl and carry paper maps in my car. Also, the iPhone has a compass. I feel as if I'm doing adult scavenger hunts. The third place was also in a difficult location, and dark streets with no porch lights showing off addresses. Awk. So a Noon to 6 pm shift resulted in my getting home at nearly 7 pm; oh, well, it is money! And I enjoyed being successful.

So, I need a quiet few hours sitting and enjoying the tea and cookies and a spot in which to read.

Edited: Dec 10, 2014, 10:10am

Mmmmm....cookies. All KINDS of cookies. Speaking of things not showing up, is anyone else experiencing the loss of certain "bits" on the site? For instance, right now the little blue arrow at the end of the thread banners (what takes you back to the top of the thread) isn't showing on my screen (PC). And on the Edit view for my books, the "Save" icon shows only the text, not the pretty green color. There are probably other things, too, that I would only notice if I was looking for them specifically. This happened a couple days ago at home, but I found everything normal when I logged on at work, so I thought it was just a glitch. Then back at home that night, same problem. LAST night, everything was normal at home, but this morning...same problem. Maybe someone is gaslighting me? Oddly enough, the "Save" icon works, but no amount of clicking in the vicinity of where the blue arrow should be will take me back to the top.

EDIT: At work, and everything is fine. Probably my own computer has an issue. I'll put the resident IT guy on it. He can get to it when he's done with the laundry.

Dec 10, 2014, 9:04am

>64 jnwelch: - those cookies are just waaaaay too pretty to eat! They'd make lovely tree ornaments.

Off to find an eggnog cookie recipe...

Dec 10, 2014, 10:35am

>71 fuzzi: :-) Sounds good to me, fuzzi. *warns Jenny to look the other way* Oh, look, fuzzi, we found some more eggnog cookies!

>72 maggie1944: Thanks, Karen. I'm glad we won over your heart for the creations of the unique and talented Mr. Miyazaki.

Your Instacart adventures sound awfully challenging, but in the end satisfying. Good to see the ability to read old-fashioned paper maps paying off. If you start coming across any faeries or the like, be sure to have iron or steel on you.

>73 laytonwoman3rd: Hiya, Linda. Wow, you are so lucky to have a resident IT guy who also does the laundry. Does he make house calls?

Yeah, there's no doubt that each computer brings its own set of oddities. I like using Amazon one-click, for example (dangerous to bibliophiles as it is!), but my computer automatically turns it off when I shut down. No big deal, I just turn it on again the next day, but even Amazon can't tell me a way to keep it left on. Never had that problem until I started using this computer.

All kinds of cookies? I like that idea:

>74 Fourpawz2: Aren't those cookies beauts, Charlotte? We've got more on offer in this post. Mmm, eggnog cookies . . .

Edited: Dec 10, 2014, 11:38am

Hi Joe! Sorry, you are feeling under the weather. I hope it is very short-lived. I am really enjoying Fangirl. Have any of your kids read any fanfic?

I am heading to the library to pick up more GNs (Ms. Marvel, for one) and other various things..

Dec 10, 2014, 12:51pm

Just stopping by to catch up with the cafe, Joe. A lot of beautiful going on here. I'll take some of those sugar cookies and a latte with an extra shot of espresso, please. Sickness at the Pecan Paradisio, so I'll just hang out here for a bit.

Edited: Dec 10, 2014, 1:32pm

>75 jnwelch: I am woefully ignorant. Does not a Forester Subaru have some iron or steel in it. Will that count? Or how about my flashlight. Well, maybe not - all plastic except the batteries. Hmmmmm - are iron and steel endangered metals?

Dec 10, 2014, 1:37pm

Hi Joe - lots of goodies on your thread and of course the Studio Ghibli talk, I'm also a Miyazaki fan. Only thing I've read recently that might appeal to you is The girl with all the gifts.

Edited: Dec 10, 2014, 2:02pm

>76 msf59: Thanks, Mark. This is when I'd like to spend some time in one of William Gibson's virus-free peripheral bodies. Madame MBH is on her second day of it, so I may more ahead of me. We'll see.

I'm glad you're really enjoying Fangirl. I did, too. I'm sure Becca has read fanfic, and may even have written some, talented youngster that she is. I think there are a eight bazillion Harry Potter fanfic stories out there.

Go Ms. Marvel! It's just a start in the series, but I sure like what it's offering.

>77 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie. Sounds like the Pecan Paradisio is experiencing the slings and arrows of virus misfortune like ours.. Great idea to hang out here. Sugar c's plus an extra shot latte coming up:

>78 maggie1944: Lots of iron and steel in cars, including Forester Subarus, Karen, so you should be fine there. But I'd still carry some with you when you end up on those windy dark streets with shapes in the fog. Here's a necklace with both:

Here's a stainless steel flashlight:

And if they ask your name, always say, "Rumpelstilskin". That should throw them off.

>79 avatiakh: Good to see you, Kerry, and to have another Miyazaki fan in the cafe. I can't comment on The Girl with All The Gifts, except to say you have excellent instincts, and one member of Casa Welch may be giving it to the other for the holidays.

Dec 10, 2014, 2:15pm

I am missing my fizzy drinks something fierce today! How about a ginormous diet Coke please?

Dec 10, 2014, 2:28pm

You bet, Stephanie. Passersby said this one is several feet tall.

Edited: Dec 10, 2014, 2:34pm

>80 jnwelch:, Thanks for the charms against the wicked lurking in the fog on dark, and stormy, nights. We seem to be setting up to have one of those, I'm watching the big evergreen trees next to my living room windows sway in the wind. These are big trees, too. Big!

Dec 10, 2014, 2:34pm

Jeez - miss a couple of days and you're deep into a new thread.

Love the images up top

Good to hear you're enjoying Phryne Fisher. I've listened to the first two and have the third waiting on the ipod once I get through with Serial.

Dec 10, 2014, 2:40pm

Loving all of the Miyazaki here, Joe! I've checked out Spirited Away, and will hopefully get to it after work tomorrow night. I've been missing animated children's movies lately, so watching Spirited (and some of his others) will surely be just the medicine I need. :)

Happy Wednesday to you!

Dec 10, 2014, 4:17pm

>82 jnwelch: That'll do for now. I can't have any fizzy drinks until at least 3 months after my surgery.

Edited: Dec 10, 2014, 5:17pm

Those cookies and the latte were a great late afternoon pick-me-up. Since it is downright chilly this afternoon here in Alabama I am thinking that it is a good night for some pasta figolie soup and some prosciutto breadsticks. I know it is a specific order, but does the cafe have any on hand? Maybe takeout - so I can sit at home in the recliner and slurp soup with a book in hand?

Edited: Dec 10, 2014, 5:35pm

>83 maggie1944: You're welcome, Karen. That sounds pretty great, actually. There's something special about being safe inside when it's stormy out.

>84 SuziQoregon: Thanks, Juli. Glad you're liking the Miyazakis.

I am enjoying the Phryne Fishers, although the second one had one element that I wasn't comfortable with. I didn't like the childish-looking hooker resolution with the bad guy, if you know what I mean.. But I've enjoyed so much about the series, I'm going to give the third one a try and see what I think.

>85 LauraBrook: Happy Wednesday, Laura! Good to see you. Good for you - Spirited Away and maybe one or two others should be just the ticket. Look forward to hearing your reaction.

>86 AuntieClio: Excellent, Stephanie. That should last you a while. :-)

>87 benitastrnad: Hmm, chilly in Alabama - sounds like we're all in for it. Let's see what we can do with that order.

Dec 10, 2014, 5:45pm

Hmm! Always the Cafe comes through with just what was ordered. Looks cozy and warm.

Dec 10, 2014, 6:22pm

Hope you feel better soon, Joe. Our family is slowly getting all better. Hopefully I didn't spread my germs while I visit the cafe. ;)

Dec 10, 2014, 9:48pm

>64 jnwelch: Ok, those Christmas Biscuits are making my ones look very amateur indeed. Hmph ;)

>87 benitastrnad: >88 jnwelch: :) The challenging specificity of that order has been met by the cafe!! I have to say it looks delicious.

Dec 10, 2014, 10:27pm

>88 jnwelch: agreed. That part was off-putting

Edited: Dec 11, 2014, 11:44am

>89 benitastrnad: :-)

>90 jolerie: Thanks, Valerie. I made it into work, but I'm not sure how long I'm going to last. We spent a lot of yesterday fast asleep.

>91 LovingLit: I'm sure your Christmas biscuits are most excellent, Megan. Doesn't Benita's order look good?

>92 SuziQoregon: Thanks, Juli. Wasn't it? I wish she'd figured out a different way to deal with it. Oh well. I'll hope it was an abnormality in the series.

Dec 11, 2014, 11:38am

Sorry you haven't been feeling well, Joe, and hope that changes quickly.

Dec 11, 2014, 11:46am

>94 ronincats: Thanks, Roni. I'm way better than yesterday, that's for sure. Madame MBH got it before me, so I seem to be trailing her by a day.

Dec 11, 2014, 12:11pm

Oh dear, sorry to hear about the illness and about trying to work through it. Thankfully I have a really strong immune system against bugs etc, but a poor one against itself - for example, I dared to try and socialise twice last week and ended up with tonsilitis. Hopefully you have a quick recovery.

Dec 11, 2014, 12:13pm

>96 lunacat: Ha! I know what you mean about over-extending on the socializing, Jenny. Particularly this time of year, when so much is going on. I'm actually going to miss a party tonight - no way I could handle that. This seems to be a particularly nasty cold. I don't get whammied often, but this one caught me. I think it's going to be a short day for me.

Dec 11, 2014, 12:21pm

Sweet Thursday, Joe! Sorry to hear you are not feeling very sweet. Bummer. Hope you feel better as the day goes along.
Still enjoying Fangirl. I really like her sense of humor and she cracks me up on occasion.

Did you see my PM?

Dec 11, 2014, 12:39pm

Thanks, Mark. Sweet Thursday! Yay for Fangirl! I agree on her sense of humor.

I just responded on your PM. Thanks for thinking of me.

Dec 11, 2014, 3:03pm

Hi Joe, just dropping by to say hello. As you must know I've been sort of busy with non-LT things of late, though I do like to drop in every day and keep my hand in and lurk here and there. I'll go over to The Book of Strange New Things and read your review as Kerry mentioned on her thread you'd done a great writeup on it. Wishing you well. xx

Dec 11, 2014, 3:38pm

Take it easy Joe and I hope you feel better soon!

Dec 11, 2014, 4:49pm

>100 Smiler69:. Good to see you, Ilana. Those non-LT things taking up your time sound wonderful.

Nice of Kerry to mention my review. Can't wait to hear what you think of The Book of Strange New Things.

>101 jolerie:. Many thanks, Valerie. I'm back at home with Madame MBH. We can't remember the last time we were both laid up at the same time. Simply couldn't have that happen when the kids lived here.

Dec 11, 2014, 4:50pm

*sending a virtual cup of hot sage tea with honey, lemon, and garlic*

The garlic blends with the sage nicely, and kills any bacteria who are hanging out in your throat causing some sort of havoc. I know it sounds unappetizing, but if you think of sage dressing for turkey you know it will taste good. Give it a try and I hope it will help ease the awfulness of a cold.

Sending my best getting better right away whammies to you.

Dec 11, 2014, 4:50pm

oh, and since you are both home, and "laid up", let's send a cup to Your Better Half, too. Both of you can get better soon, then!

Edited: Dec 11, 2014, 4:58pm

>103 maggie1944:. :-) Thanks, Karen. That recipe sounds good.

ETA: >104 maggie1944:. Madame MBH says to tell you thank you, too.

Dec 11, 2014, 6:07pm

Boo hiss on the bad buggies, as my mother would say. Or, depending on her mood, knock it off! Sometimes she was for us, sometimes agin'. I hope you shake this off quickly - the holidays are approaching!

Dec 11, 2014, 11:30pm

Happy new cafe, Joe! I absolutely love the first pic at the top.... that place looks lovely. I was going to offer up some pumpkin eggnog millet muffins I made this evening but I am guessing there might be a mixed reaction to that offering. Yes, I have been experimenting again.... ;-)

I hope you are feeling better soon, Joe. December is not a fun month for feeling under the weather.

Dec 12, 2014, 6:32am

Morning, Joe! I hope you're feeling much, much better this morning, friend...

Dec 12, 2014, 6:40am

>107 lkernagh: Please don't share. I beg of you ;)

Edited: Dec 12, 2014, 10:21am

>106 ffortsa: Thanks, Judy. I'm glad this is happening far enough ahead of our family gathering for the holidays.

>107 lkernagh: Isn't that cool, Lori? That's my pc wallpaper - I love it, too. Ha! I like your experimenting. I'd give you pumpkin eggnog millet muffins a go for sure.

I haven't been knocked sidewise like this for a really long time. Mainly trying not to fall asleep at work at this point. Coffee helps, but not enough.

>108 scaifea: Better, thanks, Amber. Still groggy, but it's almost the weekend . . .

>108 scaifea: If Lori took the eggnog out of the pumpkin millet muffins, would they work for you then, Jenny?

Hmm, how about some cream cheese-filled carrot cake muffins?

Dec 12, 2014, 10:38am

>110 jnwelch: Can I give them to Connie instead? ;)

Maybe I could have some muffins without fruit or vegetables in them? Choc chip around anywhere?

Dec 12, 2014, 10:42am

>111 lunacat: Chocolate Chips aren't vegetables??? Where does Vitamin C come from?

Dec 12, 2014, 10:55am

>112 streamsong: I think from sugar. That's why I eat so much of it. It's what keeps me healthy.

Dec 12, 2014, 11:20am

Beautiful thread Joe. Cookies, gorgeous artwork and the new entrance to the cafe are a feast for the eyes. Have a great weekend!

Dec 12, 2014, 12:02pm

>111 lunacat: Yes, Jenny, what a good idea. Give them to Connie, and these choc chip ones are for you:

>112 streamsong: LOL! These are profound and important questions, streamsong.

>113 lunacat: I like your theories, Jenny. I'm hoping lots of carbs are really good for us, too.

>114 NarratorLady: Thanks, Anne. I'm glad you're enjoying the thread. Have a great weekend, too!

Dec 12, 2014, 1:52pm

I received my advanced reader copy of The Green Man by Michael Bedard. Hope it's as good as it sounds.

Dec 12, 2014, 2:48pm

Hi Joe, I couldn't resist and scarfed a chocolate chip muffin as I breezed through. What an amazing picture above and it certainly matches well with your book, The Green Man. Hope you are soon feeling better.

Dec 12, 2014, 3:48pm

>116 jnwelch: Amazing!

Dec 13, 2014, 2:44am

>116 jnwelch: Interesting!

Dec 13, 2014, 8:18am

Joe, get well soon and I wish you a relaxed weekend.

Dec 13, 2014, 11:12am

>117 DeltaQueen50: Ha! Good, Judy. Those muffins were made for scarfing.

Isn't that a cool picture? I'm looking forward to the book. A young girl takes over running her aunt's bookstore - there's a premise LTers can appreciate, right?

>118 magicians_nephew: Right, Jim? It's the Sleeping Goddess in the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall, if I got it right.

>119 EBT1002: I want to visit it some day, Ellen. I want to go to Cornwall, anyway.

>120 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara! I hope you have a relaxed weekend, too.

Dec 13, 2014, 11:14am

That looks like a fine "excuse" to have a trip to England. Good luck accomplishing that.

Dec 13, 2014, 11:25am

>122 maggie1944: Ha! Thanks, Karen. We're going to try to get to England, and London in particular, on a regular basis. Venturing out in the countryside is part of the plan. I really want to get to that book mecca, Hay-on-Wye, too.

Dec 13, 2014, 11:52am

Yes! Come to the country-side!

In all seriousness, if you consider venturing out to London I'd be happy to show you/drive you around. I'm about 1hr drive away from the furthest out tube station to us, and 20mins away from a train station that has a 45min direct line to London. And I have my own car, so it's easy enough to arrange :).

Dec 13, 2014, 12:05pm

Happy Saturday, Joe! Sorry to hear that the Welch household is still recovering. Bummer. Try to make the best of your day. Reading is good medicine.

BTW- I justed started Ms. Marvel...

Dec 13, 2014, 12:25pm

>124 lunacat: Ooo, that sounds awfully good, Jenny. Thanks! I'll be in touch - it'll likely be next fall, probably in September.

>125 msf59: This has been one nasty bug, Mark. Can't believe it. Usually 24 hours is enough when this happens, but not this one.

Oh good, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by Ms. Marvel. Reading is good medicine is right - that's a main agenda item today. I'm missing a work meeting downtown. Oh darn, what a shame.

Dec 13, 2014, 12:42pm

Sorry to hear that you're still under the weather. Chimming in with Mark, a good book and a nice cup of tea helps most.

Dec 13, 2014, 12:55pm

>178 Thanks, Barbara. It's lousy enough that I've been drinking that rather medicinal-tasting Breathe Easy herbal tea, leavened with peppermint. But both of us for the first time see the light at the end of the tunnel, as opposed to the pillow at the end of the bed.

Dec 13, 2014, 1:12pm

I love Breathe Easy tea. It is so comforting when the stuffed up nose, and chest, arrive. I hope you'll soon be beyond needing it.

Edited: Dec 13, 2014, 1:22pm

>129 maggie1944: Thanks, Karen. It does help, for sure. I'm thinking this will surely pass this weekend.

Can't resist posting more Hay-on-Wye:

Dec 13, 2014, 5:23pm

Oh, I can't help but worry that those books will get damp, and then mildew-y.

Edited: Dec 13, 2014, 6:52pm

Heya Joe,
I have been so busy over the past week that I almost missed a whole thread.
To come back to your previous thread - the pipes from the "Stutenkerl" aren't sugar - sorry - they are made from ceramic and children tend to convert them into primitive flutes.

Love your thread toppers and the selection of pics from the Gibli studios. As I mentioned already on Mark's thread, Alex and I collect the movies and just love them.

As you possible have seen already on fb I have been to the Anselm Kiefer exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, which was absolutely brilliant. I am confident that you and Debbi would enjoy him as much as I did, if you don't know him already. Here are two pics.

I wish you a great weekend!

Dec 13, 2014, 6:47pm

Hi Joe. There's a lot of sickness going around over here, although I've been lucky in that regard. Hope you'll be up to snuff very soon.

Dec 14, 2014, 2:41am

>132 drachenbraut23: ooh, I like :)
Hi Joe, I hope you are well. I am about to hit the bath with Beneath the Wheel that I hope to finish off tonight, and then will get on with one of the two I have just started: I am Right You are Wrong and From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler. Why do I do this, start 3 books back to back? Yikes, I have issues ;)

Edited: Dec 14, 2014, 9:34am

Morning Joe! I hope you woke up feeling better this A.M. I have a day, of chores, mixed with some reading. We NEED to get the house decorated for the holidays, which are fast approaching.

Looking forward to getting back to Ms. Marvel.

Edited: Dec 14, 2014, 11:00am

>131 maggie1944: Hi, Karen. I keep hoping some LTer who has been to Hay-on-Wye will comment. I assume they have lots of experience with that issue. I'll go and report back some day.

>132 drachenbraut23: Good to have you back, Bianca! Debbi was reading to me from FB about your arduous return home. Glad you're reunited with Alex and settled in.

Anselm Kiefer looks like quite an interesting artist. You're right, that's an exhibit Debbi and I would've enjoyed.

Thanks for the info on the pipes. I can see children enjoying them as mini-toys. And I'm glad you like all the Studio Ghibli screen shots. Good for you two for collecting the movies. Me, too.

>133 brenzi: Good to see you, Bonnie! Yeah, we were just talking to a neighbor about how much sickness has been going around our area. Apparently we got caught by "The Cold", which is really laying into people.

The good news is I'm feeling much more up to snuff today. We just walked for Sunday morning coffee, always a positive sign. Stay lucky! These germs are well worth avoiding if you can.

>134 LovingLit: Hi, Megan. You know, I've read a fair amount of Herman Hesse, but Beneath the Wheel ain't one of them. I look forward to your reaction. We all loved The Mixed-Up Files, so I hope you enjoy that one. The biz one is not one I know, although "I am right, you are wrong" is a compelling philosophy.

Dec 14, 2014, 10:55am

>135 msf59: Good morning, Mark. Yes, feeling better today, thanks. We're still putting off putting up the tree and the present-wrapping, although we may get the Menorah out. I'm pretty sure Hannukah starts on Tuesday. (We do both in our house).

Ms. Marvel is intriguing, isn't it?

With my mind boggled by The Cold, I've only been able to handle the Phryne Fisher mysteries from Down Under. Now I'm on #4.

Hope you get done what you want today and otherwise have a relaxing time.

Dec 14, 2014, 11:08am

I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better, Joe!

Dec 14, 2014, 11:34am

Thanks, Darryl. Much improved - finally! This bug has been hard to get rid of. Sounds like you had a great trip out in SF, buddy.

Dec 14, 2014, 11:41am

Morning, Joe! Glad to hear that you are feeling better.

Dec 14, 2014, 12:27pm

Yay, great news that you're feeling better. There is nothing quite like the day you wake up and realise you feel normal as opposed to death warmed up. Can you tell I've had some really bad illnesses?!

Edited: Dec 14, 2014, 12:32pm

>140 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! Thanks. Yes, finally. Reading Phryne Fisher and eating ginger snaps. I won't be running a marathon today, but all in all this is a big step up.

ETA: >141 lunacat: Ha! Yes, I sense the voice of experience there, Jenny. :-) You're right, that death warmed up feeling was getting really old. I was thinking, what exactly is the point of viruses, anyway? But I suppose it's to eat and multiply, like everything else. This was a nasty bunch.

Dec 14, 2014, 12:40pm

Yup, poor little virus guys are just trying to survive like everyone else. And (you probably know this already) there are many more good, beneficial bacteria in the world than bad ones that kill us. I'm not sure whether viruses have anything going for them in the same way though. Double pneumonia has been the worst experience of illness and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy............well, maybe on them but no one else. I didn't realise it was possible to be too exhausted to sit up long enough to wee without assistance!

Although a friend and I were having a discussion today where we ruminated on the necessity of things like bacteria and viruses like HIV that kill us off. Of course we were only talking in a hypothetical sense as we don't want lots of people to die, but thinking about the huge population explosion since the advent of antibiotics and the better control or eradication of things like smallpox does make you wonder where the next epidemic is coming from, and whether Mother Nature is gearing up for a big population wipe out to try and reduce humans impact on the Earth. It seems unfeasible to keep multiplying as we are.

But that is as far as we got with our philosophical wonderings, and instead turned to ranting about the weather.

Dec 14, 2014, 1:07pm

Yeah, I've had similar thoughts, Jenny. And mosquitoes? Do we really need them? What a lot of misery and disease they spread.

I do know about the good bacteria but, like you, I don't remember hearing about good viruses.

You brought to mind Station Eleven, which involves a fast-moving and deadly flu epidemic. Who knows. Seems like eventually we need to find more turf, one way or another (another planet, or an alternate universe?) if we're going to keep multiplying as we are.

Dec 14, 2014, 1:10pm

i started a new steampunk novel today. Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway. I don't know anything about it and got sleepy-eyed way to early last night to get very far into it. I hope to remedy that this afternoon and do some reading.

I have been thinking of doing a small hike in Cornwall. My former boss did that about 15 years ago. She walked part of the South Coast Trail soon after the British government designated it as a National Trail. She walked somewhere in Dorset or maybe Devon and said that the walk was not strenuous and the scenery was wonderful. Since then, I have wanted to do that same thing.

I have the last of my Christmas bread to bake today. This time I am making Sweedish Cardamom bread. It is wonderful with butter and a cup of coffee. Might the cafe has some of that?

Dec 14, 2014, 1:16pm

>144 jnwelch: I guess the idea of mosquitoes is part of the same issue as the viruses and works as population control. Well, that's what I thought but having looked it up, apparently they are a huge part of the foodstuff for both aquatic animals (their larval stage is spent in water) and the adults as food for birds etc. And they've been around for 200 million years. So I guess they do have a purpose, or the eco system wouldn't have let them hang around!

Edited: Dec 14, 2014, 1:19pm

>145 benitastrnad: Oh, Angelmaker looks really interesting, Benita. Can't wait to hear what you think of it.

I'd love to hike in Cornwall. I can easily believe the scenery on the South Coast trail is wonderful, and not too strenuous fits well as far as I'm concerned. Great idea.

Oh yeah, Cardamom bread is a favorite here, too. We can pull that together for you.

Edited: Dec 14, 2014, 1:46pm

>145 benitastrnad: I've been wanting to read Nick Harkaway for a long time. He seems like my kind of writer. Kerry is currently reading The Gone-Away World and that is also one I want to get to.

Howdy, Joe! I think I will go and read a little Geek Love...

Dec 14, 2014, 1:58pm

Thanks for sharing that book list from the Book Expo (on last thread). Interesting titles, although none of them are familiar.

Glad to hear you're feeling better! I've felt like I've been hit by a truck all weekend, but unfortunately I had lots of commitments, so I've gotten very little rest. :-(

Dec 14, 2014, 6:40pm

Oh, mosquitoes, viruses, and things that sneak up in the middle of the night! I think that if the ecosystem doesn't want them, they could last any way. Way too powerful. And they are not hunted for trophies on peoples walls, or for the magical medicinal properties according to certain tribes, and their natural predators have too many predators their own selves. So. I think the viruses are after world domination and I would not really be surprised if they get it.

I am very glad you are feeling better and ready to get back into the game. I've spent today wrapping presents, decorating a couple of small decorative trees; and, watching the Seahawks vs. San Francisco game. Lots of quarterback sacking going on. Defensive teams are in their prime today, I think. I'm no football expert but these games are fun to watch. I love watching the quarterbacks when they decide to run after their lines have cleared a path. Good fun! It is in the 3rd Q and the score is SF 7, and Seattle 10. Not a high scoring game ..... yet.

I don't know if I'm going to get much reading done today.

Dec 15, 2014, 6:36am

Morning, Joe! That cardamom bread looks wonderful!

Dec 15, 2014, 7:17am

Morning Joe! Hope you woke up, feeling much better. I really enjoyed Ms. Marvel. I don't do much superhero comics but this one has a fresh twist.

I am sure you will want to avoid Geek Love. It's not your cuppa but it sure is mine...

Dec 15, 2014, 8:36am

Morning, Joe! Hoping that your Monday is full of good things. I'll take the usual, please. I need to gear up to actually begin wrapping - i have wrapped nothing yet. Not good...

Dec 15, 2014, 8:41am

Hi, Joe. Hope your Monday is not too taxing. 'Tis the Season for relaxing! And having lots of holiday cheer, of the nutritious and quenching types, as well as good moods. Hope it is all you want it to be, today!

Edited: Dec 15, 2014, 9:25am

>148 msf59: Now you've got me doubly interested in Nick Harkaway Mark. He's new to me.

Geek Love will probably not end up in my backpack any time soon, but I'm glad you're enjoying it.

>149 DorsVenabili: You're welcome, Kerry. Yeah, none of those titles was familiar to me either. It feels good to give a home to interesting ones from personable authors trying to make it. Sometimes they turn out to be real gems, like The Martian.

My sympathy on feeling like you were hit by a truck, but having to meet commitments. It may be a bit early for a beer, but you deserve a treat, and that's one I know you like. I enjoyed this one recently:

>150 maggie1944: You're right, Karen. Giant viruses probably will wander the earth, maybe feeding on giant mosquitoes, long after we've disappeared into the cosmos. My instinct is that we'd have problems if viruses disappeared - they're probably critical in some way to the circle of life - but I'm not so sure we'd miss mosquitoes at all.

I put off wrapping presents for one more weekend, as I still was in sloth-mode yesterday. Starting to get back to normal today, which means a snail's pace is achievable.

Congrats on the Seahawks beating the Niners! They're playing well going into the last part of the season, which is what you want. Our Bulls had a couple of good b-ball wins over the weekend; they have a chance at having a really good season this year.

>151 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Doesn't that cardamom bread look good? I can't remember where I first had that, but it's tasty all right.

Edited: Dec 15, 2014, 9:38am

>152 msf59: Ah good, Mark. I knew you weren't big on superhero GNs, but Ms. Marvel is something different, isn't it? It's great to have some intelligent writing about the varied experience of being raised Muslim in the U.S. That G. Willow Wilson has written other interesting GNs.

I am sure you will want to avoid Geek Love. Ha! Yeah, there are some dark ones I'll join you on, but that one belongs in someone's hands besides mine.

>153 Crazymamie: I feel your wrapping anxiety, Mamie. I've got to start at some point, too, although my numbers are probably a lot more limited than yours.

Thanks for the good wishes. I hope that this is a wonderful day at the Pecan Paradisio. Your usual? You bet (with a special latte in honor of Mercy):

>154 maggie1944: I think you've written a new holiday song, Karen. "Hope your Monday is not too taxing. 'Tis the season for relaxing!" Lovely. I'll try to live by those words.

I've never had a harder time being grumpy on Monday than since I joined LT. The thought of this being a wonderful day would've been beyond my ken back in the day. But I'll remain open to the idea given your inspiring words. :-)

Dec 15, 2014, 9:44am

Well, OK, then! BTW, I read Geek Love several years ago and I remember it as being quirky, not so much "dark". I mean it is not pollyanna, but not evil beyond comprehension. Just saying.

Edited: Dec 15, 2014, 10:08am

>157 maggie1944: :-) So far today's been pretty darn wonderful, Karen, I'll say that much. Particularly compared to that nasty cold that's gradually disappearing in the rear view mirror.

Good to hear your perspective on Geek Love. Maybe dark isn't the right word. I know I've looked at it several times, and each time thought, not for me. Our friend Mark knows me pretty well by now, so I suspect it'll stay that way.

I'm starting to be ready for more challenging reading again, so next is either going to be Lila or Being Mortal. Right now I'm near the end of the 4th Phryne Fisher mystery, and a ways into my ER book The Green Man.

Dec 15, 2014, 10:51am

I read The Gone-Away World last year and really enjoyed it, though it took a little bit of work to get in to. Not an absolutely stand out read but it was certainly worth the time.

Dec 15, 2014, 12:32pm

>159 lunacat: That looks intriguing, too, Jenny, thanks. The descriptions of his books remind me of the young Jonathan Lethem, when he was writing a bizarre detective story involving a gun-toting kangeroo, a western set on an alien planet, and one about a particle physics creation who becomes a romantic rival. I enjoy the boundary-pushing.

Dec 15, 2014, 1:11pm

Hi Joe! Hope you are muddling along on this mild Monday. Looking forward to seeing what your next book will be. Of course, I want it to be Lila. LOL.

Dec 15, 2014, 1:26pm

>161 msf59: You may have it right on my next one, Mark, we'll see. As you can tell, I'm a very general planner, and then a mood-of-the moment picker. I just finished and liked the Phryne Fisher, and now it's time to polish off The Green Man.

For GNs, I'm reading the new Batwomans, where they've given her a whole different, more modern angle, but they're not enough like Ms. Marvel to recommend them to you. I got a hold of another Mary Oliver poetry book, too, after liking that last one.

I'm going to get out in the mild temps, if only for a little bit. Hope it's going well on your end.

Dec 15, 2014, 1:47pm

Dec 15, 2014, 2:00pm

>163 ffortsa: Yes! :-) I love his early stuff, Judy. I respect his later stuff, but I'm hoping he gets kooky again at some point. He also was a lot more concise in the early ones.

Dec 16, 2014, 8:51am

>164 jnwelch: Wow. I just looked at Lethem's bibliography. That guy is busy!

Dec 16, 2014, 9:39am

>165 ffortsa: He sure is, Judy! My favorites probably remain Gun with Occasional Music and As She Climbed Across the Table. So weird.

Edited: Dec 17, 2014, 9:22am

I loved The Way I See It by Temple Grandin. Autistic herself, Dr. Grandin explains in simple terms the experience of those on the spectrum. For many such individuals, because of their sensitivity, sensory and auditory events can disrupt their lives and evoke extreme reactions. For example, fluorescent light flickers that "neurotypicals" don't notice, bells or music for changing classes, or the harsh rub of fabric on skin, can be so profoundly and painfully experienced that avoidance seems the only recourse. Even if tolerated, learning can be hindered and for some impossible unless sensory conditions are changed or the individual appropriately accommodated.

Dr. Grandin is an engagingly straightforward writer, and extremely knowledgeable in this area. At the same time, much of what she has to say comes across powerfully because it is grounded in her personal experience. She is adamant that those on the spectrum can learn to have satisfying lives, even the severely autistic. Early intervention is critical: "Doing nothing is the worst thing you can do. It will take less practice to change an inappropriate behavior at age two {than the} same behavior at age seven." Furthermore, "Most individuals on the spectrum have areas of strength that can be nurtured and developed into marketable employment skills."

In her case, her youthful interest in cattle chutes eventually developed into expertise in designing livestock environments. That's touched on in this book, but her experiences with animals are discussed more fully elsewhere in her writings. This book instead is a practical resource for those on the spectrum or those responsible for someone who is, and a clear-eyed view into the ASD world for everyone else.

Routine and repetition are important. "Consistency is calming, surprises produce anxiety." She insists that those with ASD need to learn "the rules and {how to} act in socially appropriate ways," even though that often does not come easily. She points out that people like her learn from the bottom up, from specifics to generalities, not the top down, generalities to specifics, as neurotypicals do. An example: if a neurotypical is taught to look both ways before carefully and safely crossing a street, he or she will apply that general idea to all the specific streets out there. It's different, according to Grandin, for someone on the spectrum. If taught near their home to look both ways before carefully and safely crossing the street, those with ASD may well apply it only to that street by their home, and cross dangerously elsewhere. Grandin explains that it will often be necessary to patiently teach them the same lesson at several streets, e.g. the street by their school and the street by grandma's, so that they have multiple specific examples to build on, and then to work patiently with them to generalize the idea.

She also emphasizes the benefits of high functioning autism, and believes many of our great talents and geniuses, like Einstein, are (or were) on the spectrum. As to those with Aspberger's Syndrome, "Aspies have great memories, pay attention to details, are persistent, focused, and love structure." “Preventing severe autism would be a worthy goal, but preventing mild autism and Asperger’s would be a grave mistake… {our} world would lose many creative people who have made the world a much more interesting place.” She is humorously skeptical of neurotypicals who are adept at socializing but little more:

“What would happen if the autism gene was eliminated from the gene pool?

You would have a bunch of people standing around in a cave, chatting and socializing and not getting anything done.”

Despite her academic achievements and honors, Dr. Grandin has a practical, common sense point of view, and that, combined with her flashes of humor, makes for exceptionally satisfying reading. The only place where it dragged a bit for me was in the discussion of effective complementary use of drugs, but others no doubt will find that section informative, too. Anyone interested in the workings of the mind and this particular disorder should enjoy this book. In one of her TED talks on Youtube, she's very funny about how Silicon Valley is filled with techies on the spectrum, but at the same time she pushes that we should be grooming many more with ASD for such jobs. This is a remarkable book by an impressive woman. Five stars.

Dec 16, 2014, 11:49am

Today is Jane Austen's birthday! Happy Birthday, Jane!

Dec 16, 2014, 12:03pm

Good Morning, Joe! Happy Birthday, Jane! I NEED to line something of hers up.

I will have to come back and read the Grandin review. I already have it on the WL.

Dec 16, 2014, 12:08pm

Good morning, Mark! Can't do better than some Jane reading.

Hope it's a good one for you today.

Dec 16, 2014, 12:27pm

Good morning Joe! Hope you and the family are well on your way to recovering??

I'm just about to start Where the Moon Isn't which is an alternate title to The Shock of the Fall. I think you read that one?? It took me awhile to figure out what LT was being wonky with the touchstone until I realized they were the same book..just different titles. I wonder why that is.....

Dec 16, 2014, 12:43pm

>167 jnwelch: A friend of mine is a pediatric occupational therapist, and spends most of her practice dealing with kids with sensory integration deficits, such as the ones Grandin talks about, where things that neurotypicals don't even notice drive kids on the spectrum to, literally, distraction. She has a lot of success in helping these kids learn to screen out the distractions. And as Grandin says, the earlier the better. The brain is plastic early on, and new pathways and capabilities can be created.

That doesn't mean some of the kids don't have other problems related to the autism spectrum, but they are better able to learn, manage their environment, etc.

Dec 16, 2014, 3:55pm

>171 jolerie: Good morning/afternoon, Valerie! (I was a little slow getting back). Yes, Madame MBH and I are doing much better, thank you. Poor son #1 has come down with something out in Pittsburgh, so we're hoping it's not too bad. Right now, daughter #1 wins the "dodge-the-germs" first place award (knock on wood).

Yes, I liked The Shock of the Fall a lot. It was recommended to me by Bianca (drachenbraut23) and Darryl (kidzdoc), who did, too. We never did figure out why the different titles. Hope it works for you. Very well done.

>172 ffortsa: It's fascinating, isn't it, Judy? Kudos to your friend for working with the kids and having a lot of success with those sensory issues. Right, anything that helps with the ability to learn and be self-sufficient is a positive, and even the severely impaired can have a lot to contribute if the right means of communication is found, as Grandin talks about.

Dec 16, 2014, 4:58pm

Good to year you're feeling better. I really must get to Ms Marvel

Dec 16, 2014, 5:07pm

>174 SuziQoregon: Thanks, Juli. Yes, I know you like comics and graphic novels. I'd love to hear what you think of Ms. Marvel. I really like what they've done with it.

Dec 16, 2014, 8:40pm

Bread butter and coffee. You have my heart with those three things. :)

My Nan was a huge fan of bread. So much so that one year my dad wrapped up a piece of bread for her Christmas present, and when she opened it she laughed and laughed and laughed. It is a lovely memory!

Love the Austen stamps. I get irked when posting things overseas as they stick a printed sticker on things instead of a stamp, unless I want to pay GST to get the stamps that is. (15% goods and services tax). Poo.

Dec 16, 2014, 9:22pm

Lots of good food and conversation here, Joe. I'm glad you are feeling better. I had to think of you and Mark today as we stopped by one of the local craft beer breweries and picked up a deck of cards, all 54 with a different local craft beer place on each one.

The virus conversation called to mind a classic short-story I read long ago, where these guys cured the common cold. The problem was, they then became so hypersensitive to smell they could not live with it. So they re-introduced the cold virus and the story ends with their ruefully speculating that this cold appeared permanent. Ring any bells?

Dec 16, 2014, 10:31pm

I was in the kitchen most of the afternoon making candies that I'm sending to my nieces and nephews. I have them ready to take to the post office now.

Dec 17, 2014, 9:21am

>176 LovingLit: The simple life is the good life, isn't it, Megan? Bread butter and coffee - the day is off to a good start.

Love that story with your dad and your Nan. Good for her for cracking up about it.

I love those Austen stamps, too. I keep trying to remember to see how to get some.

>177 ronincats: Hiya, Roni. I'm feeling way better, thanks. Even took a long walk yesterday, which hadn't been possible for a week. Yeesh. It's great how the craft beer scene has grown, isn't it? You would have been hard-pressed to come up with 54 local craft brewers not that long ago, I'm sure. Sure adds to the imbibing enjoyment.

Ha! I don't know that short story, but maybe someone else will remember it. What's it called, the law of unintended consequences? Colds (and viruses) (and mosquitoes) probably all have their critical role in the grand scheme, but zounds they are annoying and sometimes dangerous.

>178 thornton37814: Good for you, Lori. What kind of candies? Our dad's caregiver makes some most excellent chocolate confections which we'll no doubt be sampling next week. Her chocolate pretzels are particularly outstanding.

Dec 17, 2014, 10:10am

>177 ronincats: That story is called "The Coffin Cure", by Alan Edward Nourse. You can read the whole thing here.

Dec 17, 2014, 10:57am

Hi Joe! Glad to see you're feeling better, finally. Whew! What a doozy of a cold!

There are lots of weird viruses going around the library now, so I've upped my hand-washing from once an hour to once every half hour or task completed. So far, so good!

Haven't gotten to any Miyazaki yet (booooooo!), but Spirited Away is still sitting here at my house, waiting to be watched. Hopefully after work tomorrow night I can stay awake long enough to at least get it started. I'm sure once that happens, I'll be hooked.

I had to return Ms. Marvel unread, and there's a giant waiting list now! Ack!

Edited: Dec 17, 2014, 11:17am

>180 laytonwoman3rd: Nice, Linda. Thanks for the answer and the link.

>181 LauraBrook: You're smart with the handwashing, Laura. I'm hearing tales of the viruses from all over the country. Lot of talk about the lack of freezing temps as being part of the problem.

You'll have a good time with Spirited Away when you get to it, methinks. Wonderful artwork.

Too bad re Ms. Marvel. Yeah, it's making "Best of 2014" lists all over the place, so the publicity is probably creating that waiting list. Come visit and I'll loan you my copy. :-)

Dec 17, 2014, 12:24pm

Hi Joe, I don't know if you have a children section in your Café but I send you the perfect inviting poster for it. Wishing you a lovely day.

Dec 17, 2014, 12:45pm

I am currently listening to Diviners by Libba Bray and am having some problems with it. It is grisly, grim, and peopled with characters that I can't really sympathize with. It is almost 600 pages and at that length and given the subject matter I think it is an adult horror novel masquerading as YA. This is a talented writer that I like, and while she has always been a little edgy (A Great and Terrible Beauty series comes to mind as does Beauty Queens - Lord of the Flies on estrogen) somehow this book is doing some things that I don't like. I am not a censor by nature, but this book is really walking a fine line with me to the point where I may give up on it - even though I have listened to 300 pages of the book. It certainly isn't a Christmas type of book. Where are those copies of Phryne Fisher when I need them?

Dec 17, 2014, 1:05pm

Happy Hump Day, Joe! Glad to see you were immediately smitten with Lila. No surprise there, my friend.
I heard a little Rainbow Rowell news this A.M: Her next novel will be about Simon Snow and she is working on a GN. Pretty cool, huh?

And hooray for craft beer! How would we get through life, without it?

Dec 17, 2014, 2:10pm

Hi Joe. A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!

Edited: Dec 17, 2014, 2:45pm

>183 Ameise1: We do have a children's section, Barbara, although it hasn't been discussed in a while. This fits perfectly, thank you.

>184 benitastrnad: I swear I read a Libby Bray book at some point, Benita. I'm pretty sure it was Going Bovine. I left it mystified as to her popularity. I'm not a Lord of the Flies fan, on estrogen or not, so maybe that's why I don't get it.

Ooo, Phryne Fisher. I've got #5 going, and there's just been a murder on the dance floor at the Green Mill. Plus she's getting involved with a jazz band. One of her books sounds like it'd be a good alternative to me.

>185 msf59: Happy Hump Day, Mark! I'm only a little ways in, but I've no doubt Lila will be great cover to cover.

Cool news indeed re Rainbow Rowell. Simon Snow and a GN - I'm ready for both.

I believe the AMA has now identified craft beer as critical to a healthy diet. I'm making that up, but look at this encouraging chart:

>186 connie53: Hi, Connie! Good to see you.

Thank you for the holiday wishes. A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too!

Dec 17, 2014, 9:20pm

>179 jnwelch: I did white chocolate pretzels mostly, but I also did something called "Crock Pot Candy". It's a mixture of several kinds of chocolates and peanuts.

Dec 18, 2014, 6:02am

Morning, Joe! I *love* chocolate-dipped pretzels, and the Moomin characters in >187 jnwelch: are fantastic!
*happy sigh* I always enjoy a morning visit to Joe's Cafe, whether I post or no...

Dec 18, 2014, 8:53am

>188 thornton37814:. Yum! Yes, please, to both, Lori.

>189 scaifea:. Ha! Glad to hear it, Amber. Aren't those Moomins a stitch? Our daughter and I used to read those books together.

I'm off for a dental checkup, so please freely use the premises.

Dec 18, 2014, 9:17am

Sweet Thursday, Joe! I love the beer chart up there. I've always known it was good medicine. LOL. I am enjoying a day off today.

Have you heard of the Manhattan Projects? It is an alternate history comic, with Sci-Fi & supernatural elements, which include a bad ass Albert Einstein and an evil Robert Oppenheimer. Good stuff. I also have several more comics, stacked by my chair. Grins...

Dec 18, 2014, 12:10pm

Sweet Thursday, Mark! I thought that beer chart would make sense to you. I've just got to convince Madame MBH it fits with a low carb diet. Hmm.

Glad you're enjoying a day off - you've been working like a crazy man since your return from paradise, seems like.

The Manhattan Project is new to me, and looks intriguing. Normally I'm not much for alternate history stories, but this might be an exception. I sure like the idea of a bad ass Einstein. Looking forward to hearing more about what else is stacked by your chair . . .

Dec 18, 2014, 12:33pm

Oh the dentist.....not my favourite place to go, but such a necessary evil (no offence to anyone who works in that field). Hope your appointment is pain free....or at least at much as possible. ;)

Dec 18, 2014, 12:51pm

>193 jolerie: Thanks, Valerie. I know, a necessary evil is right, and I always feel some sympathy for the nice hygienists and dentists at our place who are doing us such an important service, but one everyone always dreads. This one was pain-free and routine, leaving me afterwards wanting to whistle and skip down the street to the train. Next visit is months away - woo-hoo!

Dec 18, 2014, 1:00pm

I liked the way Manhattan Projects started but it got a bit "busy" and bizarre for me, so I don't think I will continue. The same thing happened with Pretty Deadly. I admire the ambition but it is to much work to keep track of everything. I like my comics more grounded and low-key.

I have The Wake, Revival and Lazarus in the GN stacks.

Dec 18, 2014, 1:30pm

Ah, too bad on Manhattan Projects, Mark. I'll leave that one alone. Looking forward to one that takes off for you.

Edited: Dec 18, 2014, 2:45pm

This ER YA novel features family bonding (particularly O, don't call her Ophelia, and her aunt Emily), a dusty used bookstore named The Green Man, some romance and danger, ghosts, a supernatural magician, and a love of poetry. Emily is an aging poet who owns The Green Man and recently suffered a heart attack. She's having trouble taking care of the store, and her brother, O's dad, sends 15 year old O to help Emily for the summer. The two take a while to get accustomed to each other, but with her mother long gone, O is used to cooking, shopping and cleaning, and she becomes critical to both the store's and Emily's rejuvenation.

There are benign supernatural presences in the store - Mallarme's ghost always sits on the stairs, so they automatically walk around him, and periodically Ezra Pound and Emily Dickinson and others apparently descend from photos on the wall to wander around the store. One young boy seen perched on an outside wall turns out to have ties both to the store's becoming Emily's years ago and to O's being there. Another good-looking but secretive boy with a "smouldering edge" is interested in poetry and in O, who reciprocates both. She struggles to find out more about him and determine his true nature. Meanwhile, tales of the malevolent magician thread through Emily's dreams and memories, with a dangerous anniversary of his last performance coming up. At the same time, O has returned order to the store and considers reviving the poetry reading series, "Tuesday at the Green Man." Emily also seems to have a chance to acquire a valuable book collection that would save her financially - but is it too good to be true?

These threads are well-woven by Bedard, and come to a satisfying conclusion. Early on I worried that I was in for a lot of cliches ("In the candlelight, his face appeared as pale as chalk, his lips as red as blood, his hair as dark as a raven's wing"), but that passed quickly, the writing improved, the story got momentum, and I actually liked the poetry of O and others created for the book. For example, mulling over a "Garden Sculpture" in winter, O writes:

Winter has not been kind to you.
Frost has crept into the crevices
Of your features,
Worn the fine details dull.
From a distance you are snow,
Impossible survivor of the lost
Kingdom of zero.

Why "The Green Man"? His sometimes frightening, sometimes benevolent countenance is above the bookstore's doorway. Does he represent good or evil, life or death? Emily says, "Perhaps a little of both. He stands at the doorway between worlds. Life springs from him, all green and growing. But that life is rooted in darkness, as all life must be. And I imagine, sometimes, a bit of the dark world crosses over."

This is a solid, enjoyable outing. Three and a half stars.

Dec 18, 2014, 1:42pm

Yay to hear that the dentist went well and was trouble free :)

Dec 18, 2014, 2:46pm

>199 jnwelch: :-) Thanks, Jenny. It did and it was. Nice holiday present.

Dec 18, 2014, 2:53pm

Love the health benefits of drinking beer chart!!

Dec 18, 2014, 3:04pm

>200 SuziQoregon: Isn't that great, Juli? The best part is being able to say to your significant other, "I'm just drinking this for my health, Hon."

Dec 18, 2014, 9:53pm

I think I'd like The Green Man. I especially like YA books where the youngsters in them are shown to be capable people, not worthless, lazy, etc. etc.

Dec 18, 2014, 10:06pm

My copy of The Green Man arrived yesterday, so I'm glad to see you liked it!

Dec 19, 2014, 9:28am

>202 maggie1944: The Green Man would fit the bill for you, Karen. O is quite a capable, and brave, young woman.

>203 ronincats: Oh good, Roni! I'll look forward to your thoughts on The Green Man. I think you'll have a good time with it.

Dec 19, 2014, 12:30pm

Happy Friday, Joe! Gloomy and chilly out here but not bad for late December.
Yah, for Lila! Yah, for All Quiet!

Dec 19, 2014, 1:32pm

>205 msf59: I join your Yahs, Mark! :-)

Edited: Dec 20, 2014, 5:53am

I thought I'd suggest a menu for the Christmas meal here at the cafe:

This is according to 'The Accomplisht Cook', written in 1660 by Robert May.

A bill of fare for Christmas Day and how to set the meat in order

1. A collar of brawn (pork that is rolled, tied, and boiled in wine and seasonings).
2. Stewed Broth of Mutton marrow bones.
3. A grand Sallet (salad).
4. A pottage (thick stew) of caponets (young castrated roosters).
5. A breast of veal in stoffado (stuffed veal).
6. A boil’d partridge.
7. A chine (a cut of meat containing backbone) of beef, or surloin roast. Here’s May’s recipe:

To roast a Chine, Rib, Loin, Brisket, or Fillet of Beef
Draw them with parsley, rosemary, tyme, sweet marjoram, sage, winter savory, or lemon, or plain without any of them, fresh or salt, as you please; broach it, or spit it, roast it and baste it with butter; a good chine of beef will ask six hours roasting.

For the sauce take strait tops of rosemary, sage-leaves, picked parsley, tyme, and sweet marjoram; and strew them in wine vinegar, and the beef gravy; or otherways with gravy and juice of oranges and lemons. Sometimes for change in saucers of vinegar and pepper.

8. Minced pies.
9. A Jegote (sausage) of mutton with anchove sauce.
10. A made dish of sweet-bread (Here’s a recipe from A New Booke of Cookerie by John Murrell, published in 1615: Boyle, or roast your Sweet-bread, and put into it a fewe Parboyld Currens, a minst Date, the yolkes of two new laid Egs, a piece of a Manchet grated fine. Season it with a little Pepper, Salt, Nutmeg, and Sugar, wring in the iuyce of an Orenge, or Lemon, and put it betweene two sheetes of puft-paste, or any other good Paste: and eyther bake it, or frye it, whether you please.)
11. A swan roast.
12. A pasty of venison.
13. A kid with a pudding in his belly.
14. A steak pie.
15. A hanch of venison roasted.
16. A turkey roast and stuck with cloves.
17. A made dish of chickens in puff paste.
18. Two bran geese roasted, one larded (larding is inserting or weaving strips of fat in the meat, sometimes with a needle).
19. Two large capons, one larded.
20. A Custard.

The second course for the same Mess.

Oranges and Lemons
1. A young lamb or kid.
2. Two couple of rabbits, two larded.
3. A pig souc’t (sauced) with tongues.
4. Three ducks, one larded.
5. Three pheasants, 1 larded.
6. A Swan Pye (the showpiece: a pie with the dead swan’s head, neck, and wings sticking up from it).
7. Three brace of partridge, three larded.
8. Made dish in puff paste.
9. Bolonia sausages, and anchoves, mushrooms, and Cavieate, and pickled oysters in a dish.
10. Six teels, three larded.
11. A Gammon of Westphalia Bacon.
12. Ten plovers, five larded.
13. A quince pye, or warden pie (pears or quinces peeled and poached in syrup, then baked whole in a pie).
14. Six woodcocks, 3 larded.
15. A standing Tart in puff-paste, preserved fruits, Pippins, &c.
16. A dish of Larks.
17. Six dried neats (calf) tongues
18. Sturgeon.
19. Powdered (salted) Geese.

Anyone for dried calf tongues and powdered geese?

Dec 20, 2014, 7:47am

And the average life expectancy of the partakers of such feasts?

Dec 20, 2014, 8:01am

>208 maggie1944: If you consumed all of that in one go? I'd say you could expect to live perhaps until 3 days after Christmas, after which the heart attack and digestion issues would probably finish you off.

Dec 20, 2014, 9:00am

Joe, I wish you a lovely weekend and Merry Christmas.

Dec 20, 2014, 9:59am

Happy Saturday, Joe! I hope you have a nice day planned. All Quiet is completely blowing me a way! I am not sure prose gets any better than this.

Edited: Dec 20, 2014, 1:04pm

>212 jnwelch: Happy Saturday, Mark! So glad you're getting blown away by All Quiet. It's outstanding, isn't it?

Dec 20, 2014, 1:10pm

oops, missed some!

>207 lunacat: I wonder how many folks he planned to feed with all that, Jenny. Gadzooks! I bet a lot of folks were fast asleep in front of the football game after that repast. TVs were probably pretty primitive in the 1600s, too.

>208 maggie1944: This would help explain why they didn't live long back then, wouldn't it, Karen? Apparently those who could really packed in the comestibles while they were here, though.

>209 lunacat: Lovely, Barbara, thanks. There's something magical about lamps, isn't there?

Dec 20, 2014, 2:16pm

Wow on that Christmas menu. Just wow.

Dec 20, 2014, 4:09pm

Uh-oh. I think those bad buggies have made their way to Manhattan. On my own time, of course. I hope to be well enough to work on Monday, and save a few vacation days for january, and enjoy them!

Dec 21, 2014, 12:05am

Really, a steak pie and a custard will suffice.

Dec 21, 2014, 12:10am

*waving* at Joe

Dec 21, 2014, 3:56am

Joe - just popping by to say hello! I've been so busy that I'm very behind on everyone's threads. Sorry to hear that you have been ill but great to hear that you'll be in the UK again sometime soon. Hopefully my schedule won't be so hectic next time and we'll be able to meet up.

Dec 21, 2014, 4:41am

I love candles and lamps during the dark time of the year.

Dec 21, 2014, 9:59am

>214 SuziQoregon: Ditto, Juli.

>215 ffortsa: Ay-yi-yi, I hope the bad buggies go easy on you, Judy. There's some lousy stuff out there. Wish I had some words of wisdom, but we got knocked over for a while.

>216 EBT1002: You sure you wouldn't prefer a dozen steak pies, some game birds, a fish or eight, a half dozen rabbits, and a custard, Ellen? Maybe with some jellies?

>217 alcottacre: *waving at Stasia* You are almost on break, right? Yay!

Dec 21, 2014, 10:02am

>218 SandDune: Thanks for popping by, Rhian! Good to see you.

Yes, we expect to be regular travelers to the UK, although probably not as much as our friend Darryl (kidzdoc). It would be great to meet up in person. We had a fantastic time in September, and can't wait to come back.

>219 Ameise1: Me, too, Barbara. Madame MBH is nice enough to have a candle lit in our front hallway when I come home this time of year, which makes getting home even better.

Dec 21, 2014, 10:08am

We've set up Sunday brunch for whenever you're ready.

Dec 21, 2014, 10:15am

Oh, a tropical breakfast. How gorgeous is that. Thanks so much.

Dec 21, 2014, 10:44am

>223 Ameise1: Ha! You're welcome, Barbara! That improves the day, doesn't it?

Edited: Dec 21, 2014, 10:50am

I wondered whether there were any good viruses. After some study on the intergoogleweb, this is what I got:

Remember in War of the Worlds, viruses were what saved us from alien attack.

There are some viruses, called bacteriophages (?), that kill bad bacteria. Russia looked at using them instead of antibiotics, but apparently they're too specific.

Weak viruses are used in some important vaccines to help us fend off stronger viruses, like cowpox for small pox.

There's some speculation now that some may serve a similar role to some bacteria, in helping us strengthen our immune system and that kind of thing.

And then there's concern about the kind of unintended consequences of eradication depicted in that sci-fi story - maybe they help protect us, e.g., from an overly keen sense of smell that would make normal life intolerable?

So we probably shouldn't try to get rid of them altogether. But those nasty ones - arggh.

Edited: Dec 21, 2014, 11:22am

Happy Sunday, Joe! It sounds like you have the perfect day planned. I wish we did. We are having the family over later today. REALLY? I am moving a little slow after last night's festivities but I'll get it in gear.

I think I am going to read O' Pioneers.(It is very short) I think teaming Cather up with my last Watson (Orchard), will be a perfect way to end the year and the AAC.

Dec 21, 2014, 1:15pm

Oh yeah, great pick, Mark. I'm a big O Pioneers fan. You'll have a good time with that one. You're going to be our Watson scholar after all this reading.

I've got the family gathering coming up later in the week, but today is blessedly free. (We love 'em, but it's a lot of family, around the clock). Good luck with yours.

Lila just keeps getting better. What a writer.

Dec 21, 2014, 9:36pm

>226 msf59: & >227 jnwelch: Great idea Mark - a sort of full circle. I also agree with you Joe - great little book that one.

Trust that you have had a great weekend buddy and that the countdown to Christmas is well and truly on.

Dec 22, 2014, 9:02am

>228 PaulCranswick: There's our guy! Good to see you, Paul. Yes, great weekend, and Christmas is nearly upon us. We'll be uniting with family quite soon now, including our peripatetic son and his intended.

Happy Holidays to everyone at Hogwarts, too.

Dec 22, 2014, 9:11am

Sounds like good fun, if on occasion a tad tiring. Happy holidays to you all!

Edited: Dec 22, 2014, 9:51am

>230 maggie1944: Thanks, Karen. Congrats on them Seahawks!

Happy Holidays to you, too!

Dec 22, 2014, 11:26am

>221 jnwelch: "...we expect to be regular travelers to the UK."
I wish I could say that with such confidence. It goes without saying that our trip to Scotland was very nearly perfect. I have only visited London once, in 2002, and only for a couple of days. We were at that time on our way to Scotland with P's parents. We also spent a couple of days in Yorkshire at the end of that trip and it was lovely. I really want to take a full-on trip to England. I will always want to return to Scotland, too.

Dec 22, 2014, 12:07pm

>233 EBT1002: That Scotland trip you did seemed so great, Ellen. We really want to get back to Scotland, and we're hikers, too, so we may pick your brain about it some day.

We love London, as you can tell, and also hope to use it as a base to travel elsewhere, including Yorkshire and Wales.

Dec 22, 2014, 12:13pm

Hi Joe, doing a bit of my daily lurking session and just had to say hello as it's been an awfully long while since I left a sign of life on your thread. I got a bit of indigestion just browsing through Jenny's suggested holiday menu. Eek! We're not having anything like that, though we have a grain-fed free-range smallish duck sitting in the fridge (not a live one, mind), which we'll stuff with something delicious and serve with an orange sauce and potatoes and carrots and green beans and maybe a bit of foie gras as an appetizer, then Christmas log for dessert, which is indulgence a-plenty already.

Sorry I missed Jane Austen's birthday. Did you serve cake on that day?

Edited: Dec 22, 2014, 12:44pm

>235 Smiler69: Good to see you, Ilana! I know you've had good reason to be absent, with your blossoming relationship with Monsieur Pierre.

Sounds like you've got lots of good food in store for the holiday. I agree, Jenny's menu from the 1600s is more than can be fathomed, much less digested.

We should have had a cake for Jane Austen's birthday! We'll remedy that right now.

Dec 22, 2014, 12:54pm

Hi Joe! Hope the work day is going quickly. Do you have a short week? Are you going to see your Dad?
I finished All Quiet. The beauty and the power. What a read!
Next up on audio, is Acceptance. I wanted to finish up the Southern Reach trilogy before year's end, otherwise it'll get buried.

Dec 22, 2014, 12:59pm

Hi, Mark! Yes, and yes. Today's my last day this week (I know, I'm really lucky), and then we're off to visit my Dad and get together with the rest of the clan.

All Quiet is terrific, isn't it? I'm so glad it had that impact with you. I had no idea it was that good before reading it.

Good for you for keeping up with the Southern Reach trilogy. I'm going to be more slow getting to the last two, but I will at some point. I've read positive reviews about both.

Lila was just great, a five star read. How does she do it? I've never read a style like hers. As I mentioned over on your thread, it makes me want to go back and read Gilead again. What a creation Lila is. Unforgettable.

Dec 22, 2014, 2:04pm

love the SaltCakeCity - good one!

Dec 22, 2014, 2:59pm

>233 EBT1002: >234 jnwelch:
If I didn't already love Scotland before this year & I do after my visit this year, will be returning, (for me I think its important to return to your roots & keep that connection to the land) London was a blast, but the Yorkshire & Highland's feed the soul

Edited: Dec 22, 2014, 3:24pm

I am able to get to free wi-fi here at home so thought I would update you on my reading. For some reason I thought that you had read, or commented, on something written by Libba Bray so that is the reason why I told you about my latest venture with this author. The short version of my review of this book The Diviners is don't waste your time. The longer one follows.

I finished listening to The Diviners by Libba Bray while driving back to Kansas for the Christmas break. I have liked all of the books that I have read by this author, but this was the worst book Libba Bray has written. It was much too long and included every popular fantasy trope from ouija boards to government officials in black suits on missions of extreme secrecy. Not only was this a prime example of poor editing it was also a prime example of poor writing. Large sections of the book were repeats of earlier scenes and historical notes or points-of-fact were thrown in willy-nilly and had very little to do with the story. Or at least this story. Perhaps, they will have relevance to the next book in the series. It is very clear that this is intended to be the first in a series. However, I won't be reading another book in the series because of the poor writing and story line that just never worked all that well. The author should have written the book in front of her instead of trying so hard to set up the next books in the series.

Dec 22, 2014, 3:24pm

>239 magicians_nephew: :-) Isn't that cake a beaut, Jim?

>240 roundballnz: We loved the Scottish Highlands, Alex. Must needs get to Yorkshire. We're urbanites, so London works well for us. Lots of great bookstores, don't you know.

>241 benitastrnad: Ah, too bad, Benita, particularly since you've otherwise had a good experience with this author. Sounds like she took her eye off the ball in thinking about the ones to come.

Dec 22, 2014, 4:14pm

>242 jnwelch: urbanite would be an apt description for me as well, do like to go day-hiking though but never like to be too far from a volcano or mountain range ... miss my city centre days something special abt seeing Rangitoto each morning sunrise.

Dec 22, 2014, 4:18pm

OK, you got me curious, Alex, as a non-NZer. Here's what I found for Rangitoto Island:

Dec 22, 2014, 4:53pm

Yorkshire is absolutely gorgeous, though I prefer the Moors to the Dales. I'm a big fan of empty, bleak landscapes so you'd think I'd love Scotland, but I'm generally too cold up there. I'd move there in a heartbeat if the weather was better, but sadly I'm a soft southerner and despise being cold or wet!

Dec 22, 2014, 5:24pm

>244 jnwelch: Yes thats the one, great to walk up during the day - if you google "Rangitoto sunrise, you will some of the images that show why I love the morning view ....

here is one an twitter aquaitance took recently:

>245 lunacat: I am odd in that I love/like the cold, just not a big fan of the 'wet' - give me a cold/windy day over a hot sunny one any day :)

Dec 22, 2014, 5:44pm

Glad to hear it's your last day of work Joe! Let the happy holidaying begin. :)

I just nabbed a copy of Gilead this week but won't get it till the new year so I look forward to your thoughts on Lila. I keep hearing about what a great writer she is.

Dec 22, 2014, 7:18pm

Have a great holiday week, Joe and family! We begin the creeping back towards summer now! Yeah!

Dec 23, 2014, 7:09am

Today I bring for your delectation:

1854: Christmas pudding made with snow (and potatoes).

This is from a book of “recipes for cooking on hygienic principles” – what we would now call a health-food cookbook.

Christmas Pudding.

Mix together a pound and a quarter of wheaten flour or meal, half a pint of sweet cream, a pound of stoned raisins, four ounces of currants, four ounces of potatoes, mashed, five ounces of brown sugar, and a gill of milk.

When thoroughly worked together, add eight large spoonfuls of clean snow; diffuce it through the mass as quickly as possible; tie the pudding tightly in a bag previously wet in cold water, and boil four hours.

The book states that “It is a singular fact that puddings may be made light with snow instead of eggs – a circumstance of some importance in the winter season, when eggs are dear and snow is cheap. Two large tablespoonfuls are equivalent to one egg. The explanation is found in the fact that snow involves within its flakes a large amount of atmospheric air, which is set free as the snow melts.”

From: The New Hydropathic Cook-book. Trall, R.T, New York, 1854

Dec 23, 2014, 7:45am

We're leaving shortly on a long drive and then family-izing, so I'll catch up with you all at some point down the line. Hope everyone has a great day!

Dec 23, 2014, 8:21am

Boiling snow! Joe, your thread never fails to please.

Have a safe and relaxed long drive, and excellent good fun with the family-izing.

Dec 23, 2014, 8:31am

Safe travels, Joe!

Dec 23, 2014, 11:54am

Have a safe trip, Joe! Are you listening to anything, on the drive up?

Edited: Dec 24, 2014, 6:00am

You mentioned you'd like to see the festive Connie so I got some cheap tinsel and decked her out in it today. She wasn't best impressed. I'll do the rounds with it tomorrow evening but you get a sneak preview.

Dec 23, 2014, 4:57pm

no antlers?

Dec 23, 2014, 5:00pm

>255 ffortsa: I don't want to consider the repercussions if I'd put antlers on her. I fear a hospital visit might have been the result of her response to me. Maybe next year ;)

Dec 23, 2014, 10:27pm

Joe, here's to you and your lovely wife and family, not to forget Sherlock! It's Chrismas Eve's eve, and so I am starting the rounds of wishing my 75er friends the merriest of Christmases or whatever the solstice celebration of their choice is.

Dec 23, 2014, 11:51pm

Hi Everyone Christmas eve eve here already down under just a quick message

I hope everyone has a great day tomorrow, drink, eat & be merry

Looking to be perfect BBQ weather down here :)

Dec 24, 2014, 2:35am

Just dropping by to wish you and your family a great Christmas, Joe.

Dec 24, 2014, 11:05am

Happy Christmas to you and yours, Joe!

Edited: Dec 24, 2014, 12:39pm

>246 roundballnz:. Thanks, Alex. I'll try the googling when we return. Sure looks like a beautiful part of the world.

I like wet weather for some reason. My dad thinks that's one reason I like London so much. :-) Worked for Seattle, too.

>247 jolerie: Thanks, Valerie. We're holidaying happily. Hope you and your family are having a great holiday.

Gilead! Yes! Great book. I'll give some thoughts on Lila when we get back. What a wonderful character. She'll stick with you, as will all of it.

>248 maggie1944:. Thanks, Karen! Hope you're having a great holiday week, too. We're having a grand time in Welchland.

Why am I getting a visual of all of us creeping toward summer?

>249 lunacat:. You are the master of intriguing oddball recipes, Jenny! Over here that would probably be a Depression-era recipe. Snow is indeed way cheaper than eggs.

Please make this delicacy some time and report back?

Dec 24, 2014, 11:33am

>251 maggie1944:. Boiling snow, boiling snow, pudding all the way! It's the best time of year for snow dishes, Karen. I guess it would be, wouldn't it?

The pater familias is quite happy to have us all gathered around the hearth, and soon young Jesse and his bride-to-be arrive, along with a NYC niece and her hubby-to-be.

>252 scaifea: Thanks, Amber! It was a surprisingly smooth trip over, no snow. We'll see re the trip back.

Hope young Charlie is feeling better and you're all having a good holiday.

>253 msf59: Thanks, Mark. I had planned to listen to Jeeves and the Wedding Bells, but it didn't come into the library on time (it's there now, wouldn't you know it). Luckily seasonoflove always makes us mixed CDs for Hanukkah, so I got to listen to Goo-goo Dolls and Paramore and others while surfing through the countryside.

Dec 24, 2014, 11:41am

>254 lunacat: Coonie looks great, Jenny, thanks. That's not cheap tinsel; that's beautiful tinsel at a reasonable price. I'm sure Connie was a hit at the horse holiday parties. Do they drink oat beverages? I imagine bobbing for apples is a common party game.

>255 ffortsa:, >256 lunacat: Safety first. Santa hat?

>257 ronincats:. Hi, Roni! Thank you - I hope you and yours have a great holiday.

We were just talking about Sherlock and cats. He has no clue what they are or what their purpose is. He's keenly interested in other dogs, but will briefly look at cats and immediately lose interest.

Richard Derus could probably relate.

Dec 24, 2014, 11:49am

>258 roundballnz:. Merry Christmas, Alex! We're trailing you NZ-ers, per usual. Oh my, BBQ weather, that sounds so good. Please throw a shrimp on for us. Or do only Aussies do that?

Hope you're having a great day. Did Santa bring you any books?

>259 SandDune:. Thanks, Rhian. Hope you and yours are having a great Christmas, too.

We'll be opening a lot of presents tonight, as one nephew has his birthday tomorrow, and we've created some separation. Santa does bring some tomorrow though, too.

>260 scaifea:. Happy Christmas to everyone at Scaife Manor, Amber! Can't wait to hear what books everyone gets this year, including the esteemed and distinguished Charlie.

Dec 24, 2014, 12:31pm

Today your Christmas menu item is:

My Lady of Portland's Mince Pyes (from Sir Kenelm Digby The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelm Digby Opened,)

Take four pounds of Beef, Veal or Neats-Tongues, and eight pounds of suet; and mince both the meat and Suet very small, before you put them together.

Then mingle them well together and mince it very small, and put to it six pounds of Currants washed and picked very clean. Then take the Peel of two Lemons, and half a score of Pippins, and mince them very small.

Then take above and Ounce of Nutmeg, and a quarter of an ounce of Mace, some Cloves and Cinnamon, and put them together, and sweeten them with Rose-water and Sugar.

And when you are ready to put them into your Paste, take Citron and Orangiadoe, and slice them very thin, and lay them upon the meat. If you please, put dates upon the top of them. And put amongst the meat an Ounce of Caraway seeds. Be sure you have very fine Paste.

And to drink:

To make powdered hypocras (Le Mènagier de Paris) To make a lot of good hypocras, take an ounce of cinamonde, known as a long tube cinnamon, a knob of ginger, and an equal amount of galingale, pounded well together, and then take a livre of good sugar; pound this all together and moisten it with a gallon of the best Beaune wine you can get, and let it steep for an hour or two. Then strain it through a cloth bag several times so it will be very clear.

Dec 24, 2014, 12:34pm

I've been visiting everyone with the Connie festive photo, but as you had a preview, I'll wish you a very Merry Christmas full of joy, love and books, with my ridiculous cat instead.

And I think Connie will probably be like her mother and partake of some cider tomorrow :)

Dec 24, 2014, 12:52pm

From our family to yours!

Dec 24, 2014, 2:23pm

Wish you and your family a peaceful, joyful holiday, Joe.

Dec 24, 2014, 3:15pm

>265 lunacat:. You certainly have access to some hoary recipes, Jenny! I can't remember the last time I saw any Neats or their tongues, and I'm not sure where I'd look for Beaune wine. Maybe I need to find out where Beaune is?

>266 lunacat:. Your ridiculous cat is so funny! Did he (she?) just climb up there? What a photo!

I believe Madame MBH and seasonoflove will be partaking of cider tomorrow, too, just like you and Connie.

>267 jolerie: Thanks, Valerie. Love the festive snowman.

Sorry I can't do visuals on the iPad, but best holiday wishes from our family to yours! It's harder these days to get ours all gathered, but the gang's all here.

>268 DeltaQueen50: Thank you, Judy. We wish you and your family a peaceful, joyful holiday, too.

Dec 24, 2014, 3:18pm

My apologies to everyone for not getting around to your threads personally, but Walklover, seasonoflove, our busy non-LT son and the proprietor wish you all a wonderful holiday!

Dec 24, 2014, 7:02pm

Joe, I'm so happy to have made your acquaintance this year. Your cafe is one of the bedrocks of our community, thank you for your time and presence. I'm so grateful to have you in my life.

Dec 24, 2014, 8:28pm

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Dec 24, 2014, 10:09pm

Stopping by to wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday season and all the best in 2015!

Dec 25, 2014, 3:14am

Joe, best wishes to you for a very Merry Christmas!

Dec 25, 2014, 4:15am

Today, this decadent pie shall be served in the cafe:

Original Receipt in 'The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy' by Hannah Glasse, 1747 (Glasse 1747);

To make a Yorkshire Christmas-Pie

FIRST make a good standing crust, let the wall and bottom be very thick; bone a turkey, a goose, a fowl, a partridge, and a pigeon,

Season them all very well, take half an ounce of mace, half an ounce of nutmegs, a quarter of ah ounce of cloves, and half an ounce of black-pepper, all beat fine together, two large spoonfuls of salt, and then mix them together.

Open the fowls all down the back, and bone them; first the pigeon, then the partridge; cover them; then the fowls then the goose, and then the turkey, which must be large; sea- son them all well first, and lay them in the crust, so as it, will look only like a whole turkey;

then have a hare ready cased, and wiped with a clean cloth. Cut it to pieces, that is, joint it; season it, and lay it as close as you can on one side; on the other side woodcocks, moor game, and what sort of wild-fowl you can get.

Season them well, and lay them close; put at least four pounds of butter into the pie, then lay on your lid, which must be a very thick one, and let it be well baked. It must have a very hot oven, and will take at least four hours. This crust will take a bushel of flour. These pies are often sent to London in a box, as presents; therefore, the walls must be well built.

Dec 25, 2014, 7:16am

Hapoy Holiday, Joe.

Edited: Dec 25, 2014, 8:48am

I hope you are having a great time with your Dad, Joe. Enjoy!

Dec 25, 2014, 8:44am

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you, Debbi and your family, Joe! Meeting the two of you was one of the highlights of the year, and I look forward to getting together with the two of you again in 2015.

Dec 25, 2014, 8:46am

>275 lunacat:. And we thought tofurkey was overkill! Wow.

Dec 25, 2014, 9:20am

What a remarkable feat for the cafe! >275 lunacat:, I agree WOW is the only appropriate response. Let the feasting begin!

Dec 25, 2014, 10:03am

Dec 25, 2014, 10:38am

>281 streamsong: thank you!

Joe, I found The Frozen Thames through ILL, and am currently reading and enjoying it. Thanks for another good recommendation:( :)

Dec 25, 2014, 12:08pm

Merry Christmas, lots of fun, food and a Happy New Year to you and yours, Joe!

Dec 25, 2014, 4:58pm

>271 AuntieClio:. Thank you for the kind words, Stephanie. Happy Holidays! I'm grateful you joined LT and have become such a stalwart 75er and cafe patron. :-) I was just having coffee in my Bookhorn 75er cup.

Hope it's a relaxing and pain-reduced day for you.

>272 ChelleBearss:. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Chelle! Thank you for stopping by.

>273 lkernagh:. Beautiful, Lori, thanks. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Dec 25, 2014, 5:15pm

>274 AMQS:. Thanks, Anne. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

>275 lunacat: Another baffling mind-boggling old inspiring recipe, Jenny, thanks. I'm envisioning a pie crust about the size of a small shack. No wonder the "walls must be well built"!

>276 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara. Happy holiday!

>277 msf59: Thanks, Mark! We have a huge group here, so my dad is very happy. Three generations. Only problem is we can't get him to nap or go to sleep at a reasonable hour, as he doesn't want to miss anything.

Young Jesse's intended is a big hit, meeting many for the first time. We knew she would be. They make a great couple.

Happy Holidays to you and your family! We'll all have to report on books Santa (or other gift-bearers) brought when the dust settles.

Dec 25, 2014, 5:26pm

>278 kidzdoc: thanks, Darryl. I think you know that getting together with you in London was a big highlight for Debbi and me. Can't wait to do it again in 2015.

Merry Christmas to you and your family! I hope you're having a most excellent time. We were impressed with the food you ordered since you couldn't travel to NY. Good idea!

>279 ffortsa: Jenny's recipes are awesome in scope, aren't they, Judy? We've got a big group where I am, and I doubt we could make much of a dent in her latest pie.

>280 maggie1944:. Hi, Karen! I suspect you'd need several Instacarters to bring in all the ingredients for Jenny's latest creation.

Hope you're having a good holiday in your wonderful part of the country.

Dec 25, 2014, 5:37pm

>281 streamsong:. Merry Christmas, Janet! Thank you for stopping by. Hope you're having a great holiday.

Do you live anywhere near Helena? My sister and her husband from Helena are here in Michigan with me at our family gathering. We've spent some time in your lovely part of the world.

>282 fuzzi: Oh good, fuzzi. Glad you're enjoying The Frozen Thames. So good! Madame MBH just read it and liked it, too. Wish I had thought to get it for some other family members, as this is the perfect time of year to read it.

Happy Holidays to you!

>283 drachenbraut23: I love that sculpture, Bianca, thanks. Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year! I'm glad you're able to celebrate at home.

Dec 25, 2014, 10:22pm

Hope you're having a wonderful holiday, Joe. Thanks for giving us such a fine gathering place. Peace to you and your family in the new year!

Dec 26, 2014, 9:38am

>288 laytonwoman3rd:. Lovely, Linda, thank you. On behalf of our fine and invisible staff, we're all grateful to have wonderful folks like you stopping by on a regular basis. :-)

Thank you for the wishes of peace. Sure sounds good to me. I wish the same for you and your family in the coming year.

Dec 26, 2014, 2:50pm

Thinking of you, Joe, as we're at a rest stop just outside of Chicago right now...

Dec 26, 2014, 4:26pm

Happy belated Christmas, Joe!!
I'm looking forward to continued friendship and sharing of book passion in the new year. And hopefully another Chicagoland meet-up!

Dec 26, 2014, 7:15pm

Dec 26, 2014, 9:42pm

I'm a little late but Happy Boxing Day my Anglophile friend!

Edited: Dec 27, 2014, 12:03am

To all at the Cafe. Thanks for continuing to help to make this group the place to be on the net.

Edited: Dec 27, 2014, 12:24am

>287 jnwelch: Yes, I live in Hamilton, which is fairly close to Helena. MapQuest says 170 some miles which, in Montana, is a hop skip and a jump.

Can you talk them into LT? I'd love to see a few more Montana members!

Dec 27, 2014, 7:26am

Thanks, everyone. I'll get back to you.

Another traveling day. Hope everyone is having a most excellent holiday weekend!

Dec 27, 2014, 7:37am

Today I bring 18th Century Christmas cookies to the Cafe.

Christmas Cookey

To three pound of flour, sprinkle a tea cup of fine powdered coriander seed, rub in one pound of butter, and one and a half pound sugar, dissolve one tea spoonful of pearlash (a rising agent) in a tea cup of milk, kneed all together well, roll three quarters of an inch thick, and cut or stamp into shape and slice you please, bake slowly fifteen or twenty minutes; tho' hard and dry at first, if put in an earthen pot, and dry cellar, or damp room, they will be finer, softer and better when six months old."

---American Cookery, Amelia Simmons, 2nd edition (1746)

I'm not sure about the coriander seed?!

Dec 27, 2014, 8:14am

>297 lunacat: I'm not so sure about the "when six months old" part.

Dec 27, 2014, 12:19pm

It sounds like you had a great time with family over the holiday. I am wiped out with a happy smile on my face after having all six grandkids here at one time. So much fun! Joe, I have really enjoyed visiting your thread this past year. You create some mouth-watering virtual dishes at your cafe and many tempting books that I want to read. Thanks for being a big part of LT!

Dec 27, 2014, 2:43pm

A belated Merry Christmas / Happy Hannukah / Happy Solstice to you and yours, Joe! Sounds like you all had a wonderful holiday Chez Dad. Here's to a happy and healthy 2015 for us all!!!

Dec 27, 2014, 4:45pm

Joe, I wish you a lovely weekend.

Dec 27, 2014, 5:39pm

Thanks, Joe, for encouraging me to read The Green Man (not the one by Kingsley Amis, per incorrect touchstone). I enjoyed it a good deal, and it did help me make 50 books this year! Yay! I hope the New Year carries many happy encounters in the Café, and many good books.

Dec 28, 2014, 8:13am

Happy Sunday, Joe! I am not sure if you were traveling home today or you got back yesterday. Whatever, the case, I hope you had a fantastic time with your Dad & Co. I also hope you were able to squeeze in a little reading time.

I am well into Orchard, my 2nd Watson and final AAC read. This one is a bit different, more of a dark romance and the setting is Door County Wisconsin, which is pretty cool.
I also finished Acceptance. Not completely satisfying for a finale but enough there to make it worthwhile.

Dec 28, 2014, 8:40am

>290 scaifea: Hi, Amber! Wish we'd had a chance to meet up with you, although you probably were with relatives? I'll stop by and catch up.

>291 EBT1002: Happy Holidays, Ellen! It's been great to get to know you and become friends. Looking forward to lots of book fun in '15. Another Chicago meetup would be terrific. The only problem with son #1's move to Pittsburgh is fewer trips to Seattle, darn it.

>292 drneutron: Yay! Thanks so much for setting us up again, Jim. You make an awful lot of enjoyment possible for all of us.

Hope you're having a great holiday. I'm going to just keep this thread going, I guess, until it's time for the new one.

>293 NarratorLady: Thanks so much, Anne. Happy Holidays! Good to see you, as always. What are you reading these days? I'm a ways into Brown Girl Dreaming, which is really good - I can see why it got the national book award. Also, Missing Person by our latest Nobel Prize winner.

Dec 28, 2014, 8:56am

>294 PaulCranswick: That is very cool, Paul. Thanks. You bring so much to the 75ers. Happy Holidays!

>295 streamsong: Nice, Janet. That's a beautiful part of the country, although you need to be able to handle stiff winters, right?

They are readers, and I've talked to them about LT. I'll keep trying; it's a treat when you have other LTers nearby, I know.

>297 lunacat:, >298 maggie1944: Ha! Thanks, Jenny. Karen has a point. That six month part gives me pause, too. At least it's not a recipe for a six foot mound of cookies, which would've fit with the mega-quantity recipes you found before.

>299 Donna828: Hi, Donna. Thanks! It's great to be connected up with you on LT, and I look forward to meeting in person some day. I feel lucky that folks like coming here and enjoying the virtual food and books, and an occasional silly digression.

Six grandkids! I'll bet that was a blast. We look forward to the day when we have a few running around.

It was a fun holiday with the Welch clan, for sure. Glad you had such a good one.

Dec 28, 2014, 9:06am

Today we shall have:

Capon or goose stuffed with pork and eggs.

Take Parsley, & Swine's grease, or Suet of a sheep, & parboil them together till they are tender; then take hard yolks of Eggs, & chop for-with; cast thereto Powder Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Saffron, & Salt, & grapes in time of year, & cloves enough; & for default of grapes, Onions, first well boiled, & afterward all chopped, & so stuff him & roast him, and serve him forth. And if you desire, take a little pork cooked, & all to chop it small among that other; for it will be better, & namely for the Capon.

Dec 28, 2014, 9:15am

>300 LauraBrook: Happy Holidays, Laura! It was a swell time at Chez Dad. Lots of catching up, games, jigsaw puzzling and laughs. Plus some laudable edibles. Hope you've been having a good one and your mom is doing well.

A happy and healthy 2015 sounds just right. Cheers!

>301 Ameise1: Beautiful, Barbara, thanks. We had a smooth travel day yesterday and fun being back home. Today we need to restock the larder and get the house back in order, but there'll be reading and some goofing off as well. Hope you're having a wonderful holiday.

>302 maggie1944: Oh glad to hear it, Karen - The Green Man (found the right touchstone) was a good read, wasn't it? Congrats on the 50! LT alerts us to so many topnotch ones, doesn't it?

We'll have a new cafe for the new year, and I'm looking forward to all it brings, too.

>303 msf59: Hiya, Mark! Happy Sunday! Yes, we traveled back yesterday after a fantastic time with the pater familias and many clan members.

I was able to read a little bit, and at some point I'll post the holiday books I received - Debbi and my sisters were quite generous. One was Brown Girl Dreaming, and I know I'm going to be recommending it to you. Missing Person is pretty good, too, so far, and I finished another Phryne Fisher mystery.

Sorry Acceptance wasn't better, but at least it was a worthwhile finish to an intriguing premise.

Edited: Dec 28, 2014, 9:47am

Los Welcheros at holiday time

Dec 28, 2014, 9:49am

Love the picture, Joe!

Dec 28, 2014, 10:05am

Excellent family picture. *feeling inspired, wandering off to do some photo editing, hoping to post a family picture soon, myownself.*

Dec 28, 2014, 11:25am

What a gorgeous bunch you are. Thanks for sharing this lovely photo.

Edited: Dec 28, 2014, 12:55pm

>304 jnwelch:: Hi Joe and happy new year! My reading mojo disappeared with knee surgery but that's all fixed so back to the books! I'm reading Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story which, despite its title, promises to have plenty of lighter moments. I'm basing this hope on the author's fabulous memoir Little Failure which I highly recommend. Perhaps you've already read it?

As for 2015, I'm pretty sure that Pat the Bunny and The Very Hungry Caterpillar will be on my list since we're expecting our first grandchild any day!

Dec 28, 2014, 1:17pm

>309 Donna828: Thanks, Donna! That's at my dad's place, near the kitchen.

>310 maggie1944: Thank you, Karen. Glad we're inspiring you. Adriana is a great addition to the family. Somewhere we've got a pic of the whole crew; a niece's boyfriend took it, so I hope to get it soon.

>311 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara. It's a pleasure - what a good holiday that was.

>312 NarratorLady: Hi, Anne. Happy New Year!

I'm glad you've recovered from knee surgery and able to get back to the books. I've read other Gary Shteyngart, but not that one. He's a clever guy.

Congrats on the on the soon-to arrive grandchild! Yes, I remember those two books well, with our own wee ones.

Dec 28, 2014, 1:25pm

What a GREAT family photo, Joe! Thanks for sharing. It looks like the Bears didn't show up for the finale. We shouldn't be surprised, right?

Dec 28, 2014, 2:06pm

>314 msf59: Thanks, Mark!

Re the Bears: Ain't that the truth. What the heck was the matter with them this year? Looks like last place, unless they wake up enough to make it out.

Much more fun to watch the Bulls. They beat another good team last night (the N. O. Pelicans fka Hornets).

Dec 28, 2014, 2:12pm

or perhaps....The Seahawks.

Dec 28, 2014, 2:33pm

>316 maggie1944: Ha! Good reminder, Karen. Yes, the Seahawks. Go 'Hawks!

Dec 28, 2014, 2:39pm

You don't fancy my latest menu item in the cafe then Joe?

>306 lunacat:

Dec 28, 2014, 2:50pm

>306 lunacat:, >318 lunacat: Oops, missed that one, Jenny, thanks. Good lord, how did they all not weigh 300 pounds? I mean, 136 kilos? Makes me think of turducken, if I've got the right composite there.

Fancy might not be the right word for how I feel about your latest, but you sure have given us some interesting historical perspective on holiday feasting. Thanks!

Dec 28, 2014, 3:15pm

>17 jnwelch: It's weird that I missed this Gibson review! I did put it on the wishlist though. I will give him another try after not loving Neuromancer years ago.

>308 jnwelch: Awe! Love the family photo!

Did you watch Ascension? We're about half way through it. Interesting premise, but mediocre script. But I'm desperate for television sci-fi, so I persevere.

Dec 28, 2014, 3:17pm

>319 jnwelch: I might well start some more frugal recipes as we progress speedily towards the New Year and start watching our waistlines :)

Dec 28, 2014, 3:43pm

Think of Henry the VIII - gout? a tad over weight? Yes, I think some more peasant fare will be better for my waist line.

Dec 28, 2014, 3:56pm

>322 maggie1944:

Perhaps you'd prefer Rice of Genoa?

Take rice and bring it a boil in water and boil "them well" (until done, or cooked). And then take the rice off and place it in a fair vessell and pick them clean (remove the hulls, a necessary procedure for rice in medieval times) and set it on the fire again. And add to the rice fresh beef broth or marrow broth and let it boil well. And add ground saffron & salt, and if it is a fasting day temper it with almond milk & serve it.

Dec 28, 2014, 4:33pm

>323 lunacat: Now that sounds pretty good.

Dec 28, 2014, 9:18pm

Yup, sounds good to me. I have some rice, some beef broth, salt, and almond milk. I'll have to see if I can find that saffron I bought for my George RR Martin's cookbook.... ice and fire, or whatever. Good cook book. Must pull it out.

Dec 29, 2014, 7:54am

I felt there was a little too much enthusiasm for my latest historical fare so I'll go back to the weird and wonderful for today's special at the Cafe:

Viper-Soup. From Mr. Ganeau.

Take Vipers, alive, and skin them, and cut off their Heads; then cut them in pieces, about two Inches in length, and boil them, with their Hearts, in about a Gallon of Water to eight Vipers, if they are pretty large. Put into the Liquor a little Pepper and Salt, and a Quart of White Wine to a Gallon of Liquor; then put in some Spice, to your mind, and chop the following Herbs, and put into it: Take some Chervill, some white Beet-Cards or Leaves, some Hearts of Cabbage-Lettuce, a Shallot, some Spinach-Leaves, and some Succory. Boil these, and let them be tender; then serve it up hot, with a French Roll in the middle, and garnish with the raspings of Bread sifted, and slices of Lemon.

(Original Recipe in 'The Country Housewife and Lady's Director' by Prof. R Bradley, 1728)

Dec 29, 2014, 8:36am

Sounds tasty, really!

Edited: Dec 29, 2014, 9:26am

>320 DorsVenabili: Yes, do give Gibson another try, Kerri. He's a smart guy and a good writer. Virtual Light is another possibility, the start to the Bridge trilogy.

Thanks re the family photo! It was so good to be reunited, with new member Adriana.

Haven't watched Ascension - let me know what you think when done. I want Orphan Black back!

>321 lunacat: I see down below you were unable to stick to this heartwarming, waist-reducing promise, Jenny, although I guess eight Vipers is relatively modest compared to some of the others you've given us.

>322 maggie1944: Yes, Henry VIII no doubt was on the Jenny Lunacat diet, Karen. I bet the horses shied away when he wanted to ride.

>323 lunacat: This seems like a simple, palatable dish, Jenny. I assume it's from a different recipe collection, for those with limited access to huge quantities of meat? But I do notice that comment about fasting - if we're fasting, then why are we eating anything, including this dish?

Dec 29, 2014, 9:24am

>324 ffortsa:, >325 maggie1944: Yup, sounds pretty good, although we'd have to substitute veggie broth in our house. A George R R Martin cookbook? Treachery comes in many forms, I'm just warning you.

>326 lunacat: Now there's an eye-popping recipe for you. Take Vipers, alive, and skin them, and cut off their Heads I wonder how many chefs failed to survive this recipe? Sounds like it might be from the George R R Martin cookbook.

>327 maggie1944: We need to talk, Karen. I'm a little worried about your surviving your culinary preferences.

I was going to post a picture of viper soup or a viper, and both are too unsettling for early morning (or most times). How about some carrot cake muffins instead?

Dec 29, 2014, 9:39am

>329 jnwelch:

The ax in the hand seems to offer a fair chance of survival. And I'm assuming chef's hats are optional when preparing this dish.

Dec 29, 2014, 10:19am

Judging by distance, I predict the viper will hit the leg before the axe hits the viper.

"Poudre Douce or Sweet Powder is a medieval spice mix. Equally useful for flavoring savory main courses and sweet desserts, it was also used to mull wine, or hippocras. We've replaced the cassia flowers with extra cinnamon, although if ground cassia is available, two teaspoons may be used in place of half of the regular cinnamon.

4 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon grains of paradise, Pinch of nutmeg, Pinch of galangal, 1 cup sugar. Combine and store in a small, airtight jar."

This is the first recipe in A Feast of Ice & Fire and my copy is signed by George himself. (-:

hippocras - (thank you to Wikipedia) Hippocras12 (Latin: vīnum Hippocraticum), sometimes spelled hipocras or hypocras, is a drink made from wine mixed with sugar and spices, usually including cinnamon, and possibly heated. After steeping the spices in the sweetened wine for a day, the spices are strained out through a conical cloth filter bag called a manicum hippocraticum or Hippocratic sleeve (originally devised by the 5th century BC Greek physician Hippocrates to filter water). This is the origin of the name hippocras.

cassia - Cassia typically refers to cassia bark, the spice made from the bark of East Asian trees related to the "true cinnamon" (Cinnamomum verum) of Sri Lanka. Cassia is the typical "cinnamon" marketed in North America but is distinguished from it in Europe

Grains of Paradise - Aframomum melegueta is a species in the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. This spice, commonly known as grains of paradise, Melegueta pepper, alligator pepper, Guinea grains, fom wisa, or Guinea pepper, is obtained from the ground seeds; it imparts a pungent, peppery flavour with hints of citrus.

Although it is native to West Africa, it is also an important cash crop (it is 7$ per ounce) in the Basketo district (Basketo special woreda) of southern Ethiopia.1 The Pepper Coast (or Grain Coast) is a historical coastal region named after this commodity.

Galangal - Galangal /ɡəˈlæŋɡəl/note 1 is a rhizome of plants in the ginger family Zingiberaceae, with culinary and medicinal uses originating in Indonesia. The rhizomes are used in various Asian cuisines (for example in Thai and Lao tom yum and tom kha gai soups, Vietnamese Huế cuisine (tré) and throughout Indonesian cuisine, for example, in soto). Galangal is related to and resembles ginger. While ginger tastes a little like galangal, most cooks who use both rhizomes would never substitute one for the other and expect the same flavor profile.

OK, I think that is the last time I'll do this but you know sometimes one just is captivated by imagination.

Edited: Dec 29, 2014, 10:57am

>330 lunacat: Is Viper Soup that good, Jenny? I might pursue tamer fare, like minestrone soup, if it meant I could live to eat soup another day. How about sending a mongoose after the viper first, and then making soup from whatever results?

>331 maggie1944: Have you tried this recipe, Karen? I'm somewhat intimidated by a recipe which requires me to look up what it means. I was going to question how the heck one finds paradise to get those grains, but you answered that one. I'm still not sure what shop carries this important cash crop from Africa. He does make it all entertaining, I'll say that much.

signed by George himself = pretty darn cool.

Dec 29, 2014, 11:08am

BTW, I just read Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, and was wowed by it. I can see why it won the National Book Award. Go take a peek; she's pulled off something unusual and lasting.

Dec 29, 2014, 12:02pm

Golly, gee. I tried to duck but this is at least the second or third time I'm moved to put Brown Girl Dreaming on my wish list. So there it goes.

Dec 29, 2014, 12:16pm

>334 maggie1944: Good! You were actually the person I thought of first, Karen. I'm pretty sure you'll love Brown Girl Dreaming.

I'm going to try to do some quick reviews to highlight that one and a couple of others.

Edited: Dec 29, 2014, 12:41pm

We take our food out to her stoop just as the grown-ups
start dancing merengue, the women lifting their long dresses
to show off their fast-moving feet,
the men clapping and yelling,
Baila! Baila! until the living room floor disappears.

With Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson has written a fascinating and moving book in free verse about her family and growing up black in America. Born in 1963, she starts in Ohio and then moves with her mother to Greenville, South Carolina, where segregation was only reluctantly being let go, and it was still safer to ride in the back of the bus. Later she moves again to the more liberal New York City, where she gets fairer treatment and a better education, but also sidewalks instead of mimosa trees. She misses her relatives and the more easy-going living: “the South is so heavy in her mouth my eyes fill up with the missing of everything and everyone I’ve ever known.” Her grandmother in Greenville makes her follow the strict religion of the Jehovah's Witnesses, but she is surrounded there by family love. The racial prejudice is frustrating, but balanced by the feeling of community in her immediate neighborhood, and her best friend Maria.

Late August now
home from Greenville and ready
for what the last of the summer brings me.
All the dreams this city holds
right outside — just step through the door and walk
two doors down to where
my new best friend, Maria, lives. Every morning,
I call up to her window, Come outside
or she rings our bell, Come outside.
Her hair is crazily curling down past her back,
the Spanish she speaks like a song
I am learning to sing.
Mi amiga, Maria.
Maria, my friend.

Moving to New York is hard at first. “Who could love/ this place—where/ no pine trees grow, no porch swings move/ with the weight of/ your grandmother on them.” But as she settles in, she begins to understand her strength with words and storytelling, a strength that leads to the very book we're reading.

I don't know what caused Woodson to choose the free verse form, but it works beautifully. Easy to read and appropriate, it reminded me a bit of Spoon River Anthology. This was a special read. Four and a half stars. I'll be looking for others by this author.

Dec 29, 2014, 12:54pm

Howdy, Joe! I will come back and read your review of Brown Girl Dreaming. I have it lined up on audio and will get to it very soon . I am listening to Rainey Royal, a very solid YA, a bit in the Rainbow Rowell mold.

Do you own the deluxe version of Saga Vol.? If I can find a good price, I might pick it up to own.

Dec 29, 2014, 1:36pm

>337 msf59: Sounds good, Mark. I have a Lila review coming up.

I don't own the deluxe Saga; I'm not sure what it offers over the non-deluxe. Do you? I've got the non-deluxe.

Edited: Dec 29, 2014, 1:43pm

Marilynne Robinson’s latest novel set in Gilead, Iowa is titled, Lila, and features the young woman who married Reverend Ames in Gilead. The book begins around 1920, with Lila being stolen from a neglectful house by "Doll", an impoverished woman with a scarred face. Doll probably saves Lila's life, although it's touch and go for a while. They eventually hook up with a looseknit group that travels to find pickup work. The group has mixed feelings about Lila's presence, and eventually she leaves. After some adventures, she winds up living in a deserted shack outside Gilead. One Sunday, disheveled and sad, she slips into a church service being led by Reverend Ames. Despite their differences, including him being in his 60s and her in her 30s, they connect immediately. A relationship cautiously develops. “It felt very good to have him walking beside her. Good like rest and quiet, like something you could live without but you needed anyway. That you had to learn how to miss, and then you'd never stop missing it.”

Ames is maybe the toughest kind of character to create: honest, ethical, questing for spiritual understanding, and nonetheless interesting. A widower, he falls for Lila, and has a patience with her that she's never experienced before. She begins to tend his garden in secret, and then openly. Having lived her life on the road and in distressed circumstances, she is bright but uneducated, and most social graces are unknown to her. Yet he loves what she brings to his life, just as she loves the stability and honesty he brings to hers. “She could see it surprised him, too, sometimes. He told her once when there was a storm a bird had flown into the house. He’d never seen one like it. The wind must have carried it in from some far-off place. He opened all the doors and windows, but it was so desperate to escape that for a while it couldn’t find a way out. 'It left a blessing in the house,' he said. 'The wildness of it. Bringing the wind inside'.”

They know that, given his age, their time together is likely limited. They also know it will not be easy for her to get along in a close community after her previous wandering life. But she is thirsty for knowledge, and even "steals" a Bible to better understand what the Reverend is talking about. She is brave, and her lack of the usual background allows her to bring a perspective that sometimes puts the Reverend back on his heels and at the same time opens him up. “She said, 'I don’t know why I come here. That’s a fact.' He shrugged. 'Since you are here, maybe you could tell me a little about yourself?' She shook her head. 'I don’t talk about that. I just been wondering lately why things happen the way they do.' 'Oh!' he said. 'Then I’m glad you have some time to spare. I’ve been wondering about that more or less my whole life.'” She is deeply concerned about the "unsaved" people she has known who had goodness but were forced into difficult choices by their poverty. Can it be right that they'll be excluded from heaven, having never known a church?

This book is beautifully written. I don't know how she does it; no one else writes like this. The depictions of poverty are brutal and nightmarish; the longing for better circumstances and salvation is palpable and believable. Lila is an unforgettable character, someone who refuses to succumb to what should crush her, and who unexpectedly finds love and learning. This is a perfect complement to Gilead. Five stars.

Edited: Dec 29, 2014, 2:27pm

I don't know how she does it; no one else writes like this. Yeah. Isn't she good?

Dec 29, 2014, 2:48pm

Joe, I completely lost track of your fast-moving thread over the past few months since I've not been around much, but I hope you had a good Christmas and that your 2015 is everything you want it to be!

Dec 29, 2014, 2:53pm

>340 laytonwoman3rd: She's amazing, Linda. How lucky we are to have her.

>341 rosalita: Good to see you, Julia! I know you've had a bit on your plate lately. It was a great Christmas visit with family, and I'm pulling for 2015 being most excellent. Hope you've been having an enjoyable holiday, too.

Dec 29, 2014, 2:59pm

All these glowing reviews of Robinson had me scrambling to find a copy of Gilead. I was never interested in the book whatsoever until LT. Goes to show how dangerous it is to hang around this place... :D

Dec 29, 2014, 3:19pm

>339 jnwelch: ooooh, looks enticing! I read the first paragraph only as don't want to spoil it for when I (eventually) get to it.

Dec 29, 2014, 3:24pm

Hi Joe - still loving your reviews and, for the most part, agreeing! I have Lila up next and am looking forward to it. Have you read Euphoria? A real gem. All the best for a happy and healthy 2015.

Edited: Dec 30, 2014, 9:20am

>343 jolerie: How did I miss you initially, Valerie? Sorry about that. Isn't it great, how dangerous it is to hang around this place? I've now read more books than I can count because of LT, many of which I never would have even known about. Hope you're able to find time for Gilead and Lila when the ragamuffins are otherwise occupied.

>344 LovingLit: Good, Megan. You'll be glad you picked Lila up when you get to it.

>345 vivians: Nice to see you, Vivian. Thanks re the reviews - I'm always interested to hear where views diverge, so please feel free to let me know when you don't entirely agree. I learn from comments like that.

Euphoria sure does look intriguing. It's new to me, and I've added it to the WL.

Best wishes to you for a happy and healthy 2015, too!

Dec 29, 2014, 6:04pm

Determinedly wielding. Or something.

Edited: Dec 29, 2014, 6:56pm

Gorgeous review of, Lila, Joe! You knocked another one out of the park and what a book it was! Big Thumb!! I do no reread very often but I am considering revisiting Gilead and to continue to read these books in a perpetual loop.

This is a link for the Saga Deluxe Edition, which features the first 18 issues, with plenty of extras:

Edited: Dec 29, 2014, 9:05pm

>347 lunacat: I'm baffled and boggled by your post, Jennycat. Determinedly wielding? Last I knew we were talking about a mongoose and viper soup. Which is pretty strange all by itself, when you think about it.

>348 msf59: Thanks, Mark! I'm glad that hit home for you - I know you loved Lila, too.

Thanks for the link for Saga deluxe. I'll check it out. This series is so good I'll seriously consider it if there's a good price out there.

Dec 29, 2014, 8:59pm

Darn it Joe, you are not supposed to end - or near end - your 2014 reading with anything that will become a book bullet for an unsuspecting customer. I mean really, the holidays have taken their toll and my guard is down.

Enough of the fun poking. I think I would have been horrified if you had found Lila to be less than wonderful, so I willingly take the book bullet and look forward to following your reading over in the new group. ;-)

Dec 29, 2014, 10:34pm

Great reviews of Brown Girl Dreaming (which I also loved) and Lila, Joe!

Will you be preparing Viper-Soup for us, Jenny?

Dec 30, 2014, 12:14am

Love your last couple of reviews. Definitely intrigued by them.

Dec 30, 2014, 12:16am

Does the cafe have a sister branch in 2015 group yet by any chance ?

Dec 30, 2014, 8:00am

>308 jnwelch: What a wonderful Welcheros pic. It looks like you had quite a bit of fun.

Thanks for quite a few inspiring reviews, Joe. I have Brown Girl Dreaming and Lila already on my WL, also I still have to read Gilead which has been sitting on my TBR forever.

I wish you Welcheros (love that) a wonderful 2015!

Dec 30, 2014, 8:05am

Today, for our frugal feast, we are serving:

Roasted Cow's Udder

Take a Cows Udder, and first boyl it well: then stick it thick all over with Cloves: then when it is cold spit it, and lay it on the fire, and and apply it very well with basting of sweet Butter, and when it is sufficiently roasted and brown, then dredg it, and draw it from the fire, take Venegar and Butter, and put it on a chafing dish and coals; and boyl it with white bread crum, till it be thick: then put to it good store Sugar and of Cinnamon, and putting it into a clean dish, lay the Cows Udder therein, and trim the sides of the dish with Sugar, and so serve it up.

Dec 30, 2014, 9:02am

>350 lkernagh: Ha! Sorry (well, not really) about that, Lori. You'll love Lila when you get to it. What a writer. What a character. What a story. Tis the season for book bullets, isn't it? How to use those lovely gift cards - not a problem for LTers,

>351 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl! I saw you rated Brown Girl Dreaming highly. What an accomplishment. I'm going to look at those two other free verse books you mentioned.

Inspired by its being your "book of the year", I've started Being Mortal. I can already tell it's going to be an important read.

I believe Jenny has moved on from viper soup to cow's udder. She can be hard to keep up with when it comes to the culinary arts.

>352 SuziQoregon: Thanks, Juli. Did I mention that I'm envious that you can just wander over to Powell's and pick up both of them?

Dec 30, 2014, 9:13am

>353 roundballnz: No 2015 cafe branch yet, Alex. I'm trying to hold out until the end of the year, but I may need to give up on that idea, as this one is getting pretty overextended. We'll make sure you have a seat at the gala opening of the new one. :-)

>354 drachenbraut23: Thanks, Bianca. I hope you get to meet the younger generation of Welcheros some time; we think they're swell.

You're welcome re the reviews. I'm glad you find them inspiring. They're always easier to write when I like the book a lot. Do read Gilead when you can -it's exceptionally good. As is Lila. I have to say, I can't imagine reading a book in German the way you do in English. It's impressive.

Thank you for the good wishes for the Welcheros, and we wish you a wonderful 2015, too!

>355 lunacat: I'd like to say this one sounds udderly delightful, Jenny, but for me shudderly bizarre is closer. At least there's lots of sugar. I do like the sound of stick it thick all over.

I figured out the "determinedly wielding" when I saw I had described this lengthy thread as "unwieldy" on another thread. Thick as a brick, it's getting to be. Sticking thick all over. But it still seems to come up reasonably fast on the computer, so we'll try it for a while longer.

Edited: Dec 30, 2014, 2:03pm

Hi Joe, I thought I would swing by for an eggnog latte - I know, Jenny, I said that word. Sorry! - and to thank the patron for a great year of good food, drinks, book reviews and wonderful conversations. If the cafe was a bricks and mortar place and not virtual, I believe it would be one hopping place of positive energy!

Dec 30, 2014, 2:20pm

>358 lkernagh: Well at least you had the decency to apologise, so I'll forgive you. I might even give you a complimentary serving of Roast Cow's Udder.

Dec 30, 2014, 4:00pm

>358 lkernagh: Thanks for the kind thoughts, Lori. I'd love to go to a bricks and mortar cafe like this one, filled with book readers. How great would that be? It's been a fun year, for sure. We'll keep it going in 2015.

Mmm-mmm mumble latte? You got it:

>359 lunacat: Lori seems to be hiding somewhere, Jenny. Might have something to do with that RCU complimentary serving.

Dec 30, 2014, 4:04pm

>360 jnwelch: I think you'd soon regret your decision to go to the real life version of the cafe if I was in charge of the menus.

Dec 30, 2014, 4:19pm

>361 lunacat: LOL!! We'd be the talk of the town, that's for sure, Jenny.

Dec 30, 2014, 8:52pm

>360 jnwelch: - lovely latte, Jim!

>361 lunacat: & >362 jnwelch: - If anything, the cafe would be known for an eclectic menu!

Dec 31, 2014, 12:32am

>356 jnwelch: and my office moved to a different building this week so now I'm only a few block from Powell's. This could be dangerous.

Dec 31, 2014, 12:44am

That was a wonderful family picture, Joe, one to be treasured.

Dec 31, 2014, 5:06am

Happy New Year everyone ...

Dec 31, 2014, 7:02am

Happy New Year's Eve, Joe! Are you off the rest of the week? I sure hope so. I work today and Fri & Sat but at least I am off tomorrow! Grins...

I'll be starting Brown Girl Dreaming. It should keep me warm out there. I hope to get my mitts on Being Mortal very soon.

Dec 31, 2014, 7:47am

Today at the Cafe, we shall be serving:


Take three or four clear red carrots, boil and peel them, take the red part of the carrot, beat it very fine in a marble mortar, put to it the crumbs of a penny loaf, six eggs, half a pound of clarified butter, two or three spoonfuls of rose water, a little lemon-peel shred, grate in a little nutmeg, mix them well together, bake it with a puff-paste round your dish, and have a little white wine, butter and sugar, for the sauce.

Original Receipt in 'English Housewifry' by Elizabeth Moxon, 1764

Dec 31, 2014, 3:02pm

Dec 31, 2014, 4:12pm

May all your wishes come true.

Dec 31, 2014, 5:09pm

I envy your recent time in Ann Arbor, Joe. Sure wish I could have been there myself the past couple of days ...

It has been such a pleasure to make your acquaintance this year. Thanks for all of the café treats and fabulous book suggestions. You've been one of my "go-to" sources for book ideas.

Have a safe and Happy New Year!

Dec 31, 2014, 5:11pm

I'm making my final swing through the 2014 threads, Joe. I'll be seeing you on the other side!

Dec 31, 2014, 5:19pm

Ja! What >372 ronincats: says. I dropping the star off this cafe.

Edited: Jan 1, 2015, 2:37am

Happy New Year, Joe!

See you next year at your new cafe!

Dec 31, 2014, 8:02pm

Happy New Year Joe! I hope 2015 is a very special year for you!

Dec 31, 2014, 8:34pm

Stopping by one last time, in 2014, Joe.

Someone somewhere recommended The Frozen Thames, was that you? Anyway, I found it, and read it, and enjoyed it.

On to 2015!!!!!!!

Dec 31, 2014, 11:31pm


I didn't see you over the other side yet so I'll do it here:

Happy New Year from your friend in Kuala Lumpur

Jan 1, 2015, 8:51am

A wonderful 2015 to you and the other "Welcheros" Joe!

Awaiting patiently the re-opening of the new cafe!

Edited: Jan 1, 2015, 9:04am

I hope you have a great New Year, my friend! Your friendship means a lot. I am LOVING Brown Girl Dreaming!!

Jan 1, 2015, 9:38am

Happy New Year everyone! The staff finally succeeded in waking up the proprietor after a festive New Year's Eve.

>363 lkernagh: You're welcome, Lori! Eclectic might even be an understatement for the menu here, particularly with Jenny's unusual additions.

>364 SuziQoregon: Oh my, that sounds rather wonderful, Juli. What a great place to take a break from work.

>365 ronincats: Thanks, Roni. I treasure that family, as you can imagine. I've got a couple of more I'll post over in the new cafe (under construction).

>366 roundballnz: Happy New Year, Alex!

Jan 1, 2015, 9:44am

>367 msf59: I work tomorrow, Mark, but then I have the weekend off. Plus work should be pretty easy.

Glad you're starting Brown Girl Dreaming. That's a special one.

>368 lunacat: Gosh, that carrot pudding even seems manageable and not overwhelming to eat, Jenny. Did they slip up back then?

>369 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks, Linda! Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

>370 Ameise1: Happy New Year, Barbara! Hope your wishes come true, too.

Jan 1, 2015, 9:49am

>371 michigantrumpet: Ha! I like those resolutions, Marianne.

Ann Arbor was almost balmy for December, if you can believe it. High 50s. We were out near Gallup Park and Huron High. Great family get-together.

It's been a pleasure to get to know you over the past year. What a wonderful addition to the 75ers group you've been!

>372 ronincats: Happy 2015, Roni! We'll see you soon at the new place.

>373 maggie1944: Hi, Karen. Happy 2015! See you there!

>374 Storeetllr: Lovely, Mary, thanks. See you there!

Jan 1, 2015, 9:50am

I just misread your above statement to Lori and thought you said "...Jenny's unwanted additions." I was fully prepared to be very indignant but then reread it and was reassured.

Today we are serving:

Lamb's Fries

Lamb's fries are generally taken to be testicles, soaked, peeled and fried with onions, however there is some evidence that the term has been used for chopped liver.

'The west Somerset word-book: A glossary of dialectal and archaic words and phrases used in the west of Somerset and east Devon', 1886, by Frederick Thomas Elworthy, has; "FRY: The products of lamb's castration are called lamb's fries and are eaten with much gusto."

Jan 1, 2015, 9:55am

>375 Whisper1: Thanks, Linda! I hope 2015 is a happy and healing year for you.

>376 fuzzi: Happy 2015, fuzzi! I did recommend The Frozen Thames. Isn't it a gem? So glad you liked it.

>377 PaulCranswick: Hey, my friend in Kuala Lumpur - Happy New Year! I'll get the new place open soon. Hope you have a happy and biblio-acquisitive new year.

>378 drachenbraut23: Thanks, Bianca. Lovely. Los Welcheros send back their best wishes for a Happy 2015!

>379 msf59: Happy New Year, Mark! Vice verski - great to have you as a friend! So glad you're loving Brown Girl Dreaming. It's a standout, isn't it? Debbi asks whether you're doing it on audio, and if so, does the author read it?

Jan 1, 2015, 10:45am

Yes, the author narrates, Brown Girl and she does a terrific job.

Jan 1, 2015, 11:45am

Thanks, Mark. I'll let Debbi know. She's going to read it at some point.

Jan 2, 2015, 1:13pm

>368 lunacat: with a receipe like that who needs the freakin' carrots?

Jan 3, 2015, 2:03am

>383 lunacat:, In Texas they have calf fries, and in Colorado they are called Rocky Mountain Oysters. And yes, I've sampled the wares.
This topic was continued by Joe's Book Cafe 2015.