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karenmarie's 2016 ROOT challenge thread 1

This topic was continued by karenmarie's 2016 ROOT challenge thread 2.

2016 ROOT Challenge - (Read Our Own Tomes)

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Edited: Jul 15, 2016, 3:18pm Top

I have failed spectacularly on challenges so far in my 8 years and 3 months on LT, but I'm willing to try a challenge this year to change my 'tbr' tag to 'read' tag.

Thank goodness for the joys of Excel! I downloaded my tag "tbr" and created a pivot table. Karen's 1540 tbr books by year entered:

355 for 2007, 181 for 2008, 249 for 2009, 137 for 2010, 147 for 2011, 122 for 2012, 67 for 2013, 104 for 2014, 171 for 2015, 7 for 2016

To keep it from being intimidating, I'm going to begin modestly by saying that I'll read one book for each year entered. That's only 9 years, 9 books. I looked at both fiction and non-fiction will choose one for sure for a year, two if I get adventuresome. And, of course, if any other bookshelf books get read, I'll add 'em in!

2007: A History of the 20th Century 1900-1933 by Martin Gilbert
2007: The Case of the Black-eyed Blonde;Death Comes as the End;Not Quite Dead by Erle Stanley Gardner, Agatha Christie, Rex Stout

**done** 2008: A Key Into the Language of America by Roger Williams

**done** 2009: The Unstrung Harp by Edward Gorey

2010: Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making by John Curran
2010: The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill

2011: Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War by Tony Horwitz
2011: Many Waters by Madeline L’Engle

2012: Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life by Bill Minutaglio
2012: Hemingway’s Chair by Michael Palin

2013: George IV: Inspiration of the Regency by Steven Parissien
2013: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

2014: Both Flesh and Not: Essays by David Foster Wallace
2014: Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen

**done** 2015: Enough Rope by Dorothy Parker

Jan 16, 2016, 1:48pm Top

welcome! That's an interesting mix of books. Happy reading!

Jan 16, 2016, 1:50pm Top

Thanks, MissWatson! I had fun looking over my 'tbr' stack. My library is eclectic, for sure.

Jan 16, 2016, 1:51pm Top

Great idea to tackle the TBR with the powers of Excel! Best of luck with your challenge!

Jan 16, 2016, 2:01pm Top

Thanks, rabbitprincess. Unfortunately I'm right in the middle of a new book AND a new audiobook, so won't be able to post here for a while unless I read The Unstrung Harp just to get started!

Jan 16, 2016, 3:53pm Top

Nice list, Karen! Enjoy your ROOTing.

Jan 16, 2016, 5:05pm Top

Good luck with your rooting!

Jan 17, 2016, 10:25pm Top

Welcome & Happy 2016 ROOTing!
>4 rabbitprincess: I agree ;)

Jan 18, 2016, 6:40pm Top

Thanks, everybody! It's rather exciting, ROOTing, because I do it anyway, and now can record my tbr eliminations.

Jan 19, 2016, 7:38am Top

>9 karenmarie: It is exciting! and very stimulating to share every book with other ROOTers.

Jan 20, 2016, 12:04pm Top

So let me get this straight, your goal is 9?

Jan 21, 2016, 6:50am Top

'Fraid so. I have troubles with challenges and I don't want to over commit. And looking over last year's reads I see that I didn't read too many off my shelves. Of course, if I re-read or re-listen to Harry Potter this year, that will count, but I usually re-read/re-listen to them every other year.

For me reading cannot be "homework".

Jan 21, 2016, 11:05am Top

>12 karenmarie: And that should be the case for everybody. Reading is supposed to be fun. Homework reading is for a study or school.

Jan 22, 2016, 9:10am Top

>12 karenmarie: No problem, I just wanted to know what number to put down for you. Enjoying your reading is always, always the most important part. I try to remember that the ROOTs I have are there because at one point in time, I wanted to read them. That's how they got on my shelf so I should be excited about reading them. In 2015, I read over 100 ROOTs and I can't remember one I didn't like. Think positive, you may find a 5 star read sitting on your shelf!

Jan 22, 2016, 9:25am Top

Thanks for the encouragement, both of you. The only books I'm obliged to read are for my RL bookclub, and even then, I probably read about half. Like you, cyderry, my tbr stack contains things I wanted to read. I actually have a tag "ntbr" - not to be read - books I inherited from people that have sentimental value or that I acquired knowing I wouldn't read but wanted anyway. So the tbr tag is only for those books I anticipate reading.

Jan 23, 2016, 7:43am Top

That's what I like about this group, Karen, is that you only have to read what YOU want to read!

Jan 23, 2016, 8:28am Top

Hi tess_schoolmarm. Yes indeed.

Jan 23, 2016, 10:10pm Top

Ooooh, I really like how you've set up your ROOT system this year, Karen! And it's nice to see someone who has about the same number of TBRs as I do!

Jan 24, 2016, 2:26am Top

>18 LauraBrook: I think we all have a big amount of books on the TBR pile. Mine is 556 books tall!

Jan 24, 2016, 9:58am Top

Thank you, LauraBrook! I am a data parser, Excel is heaven, and I have a serious method to my LT madness.

And the excessive size of the tbr stack is pretty much the same as for everybody else - we buy books, intend to read them as soon as possible, then buy MORE books that need reading right way. Things slip.

connie53 - anything over about 5-10 books is a mountain, IMO. By then the buying cycle overwhelms the reading cycle.

I did finish a whopper of a book - unfortunately, I made the rule for myself that ROOT books had to be prior to July of last year. This one was a Christmas present. But, in the interests of sharing, here's my review of Pacific: Silicon Chips by Simon Winchester read 1/3 to 1/24. ***1/2 rating. 444 pages. Pacific

Jan 24, 2016, 10:10am Top

>20 karenmarie: You are so right about the TBR, the buying and the reading!

Edited: Jan 24, 2016, 10:38am Top

So as a reward for finishing a large fact-filled book, I decided to go for a ROOT challenge and read The Unstrung Harp by Edward Gorey. I absolutely adore sentences like

"He cannot help but feel that Lirp's return and almost immediate impalement on the bottle-tree was one of his better ideas."

And, a few moments later, the book is finished.

My First ROOT Challenge completed.

The Unstrung Harp by Edward Gorey 1/24/16 1/24/16 **** 64 pages. Lovely line drawings that you can gaze at for quite a while before you see everything, and the most delicious use of words imaginable. Fun.

Jan 24, 2016, 10:47am Top

WOW, you are fast!

Jan 24, 2016, 1:13pm Top

Congrats on your first ROOT! Also, thumbs-up on the review of Pacific. It's on the very long "read this someday" list.

Jan 26, 2016, 6:50pm Top

Great to see you here and good luck with your ROOT reading!

Jan 27, 2016, 6:39pm Top

Fast is easy if the book is tiny, Connie. I wanted a ROOT and it was the quickest. :)

rabbitprincess, thank you. And thank you for the thumbs-up. I was so glad to read it 'cuz daughter got it for me for Christmas, at my request.

Hi Lori.

Well, I'm down to 2 days of work before I retire. Probably more like 1 day and 5 or so hours. Yay. I was in a meeting this afternoon to resolve a problem that I identified last August, tried to get people going on, didn't succeed, then gave up, figuring it would come to a head when we needed to ship. Sure enough, today was the day. Costing wasn't done, Finance didn't know which rev was being built, what the sales order was calling for, miscommunications to Assembly who built the exact right thing, but created the inventory for the wrong rev. I did what I could, left the rest for tomorrow, and washed my hands of it. So glad I won't have to worry about "Hurricane" after Friday afternoon.

Jan 28, 2016, 2:15am Top

>26 karenmarie: I recognize the situation, Karen. We, as the team of deans of our school, told the managing board they need to find a new dean, because one of us is retiring in a year or so. And the new person has to follow a 2 year course to begin with. But there is no response at all.

Jan 28, 2016, 10:33am Top

>26 karenmarie: I remember when I retired I thought I would wash my hands of the problem items I left behind for someone else to deal with, but when you are involved with something and give it your all, part of you will still worry about how it managed.

Feb 2, 2016, 6:33pm Top

Hey connie - I have decided that ineptitude and pure incompetence are everywhere, even academe.

Chèli! It's even worse for me - my husband works there, is even in the same department as I was and his desk was about 30 feet from mine. So today I heard about ramped up requirements and vendors not being able to meet the increased demand for 2 of the product lines. So I'm out, but more involved than I would be otherwise.

On Thursday I'm going to have lunch with the women in the department I was in for 20 years of my time at my company. They want to take me to lunch and we couldn't squeeze it in before I left. And the two other retirees from our department will be there, my boss of 17 and 1/2 years of my time there, and the systems administrator, ditto on the time. So now we're even. 3 retirees and 3 poor babies still caught up in our company's dysfunctionality and toxicity.

Last day was nice - luncheon, cake, cards, money. Short not-particularly-graceful speech from boss, but it was from the heart. Yesterday and today seem like vacation, sort of. I'll start getting into the retirement swing of things, I'm sure.

Feb 2, 2016, 7:05pm Top

I'm a little behind here, but congrats on pulling your first ROOT!

Feb 2, 2016, 9:20pm Top

Congratulations on your retirement!

Feb 3, 2016, 6:26am Top

Enjoy your retirement!

Edited: Feb 6, 2016, 9:29am Top

Thanks, avanders. It was short and sweet and gave me a sense of accomplishment.

Thanks rabbitprincess and Miss Watson. So far so good. Here I am in my jammies, drinking coffee and listening to NPR. A few errands today, a lot of reading.

Edited: Feb 3, 2016, 11:09am Top

>33 karenmarie: sometimes that's all it takes to get the ball rolling :)

mmm your retirement sounds like it's off to a great start! Enjoy :)

Edited: Feb 3, 2016, 11:39am Top

>33 karenmarie: Sounds like you have a good start, Karen. Happy retirement!

Feb 6, 2016, 9:32am Top

Happy so far, off to a great start. A bit of a setback Thursday when I let myself get emotionally involved in 2 work problems - a phone call from my (former) team leader describing how awful it is since I left and she has to work for someone else, and husband's 30 minute diatribe about work (he works where I worked) when he came home. A + B = insomnia and a headache Thursday night. Yesterday was better.

Resolution: Let go. Do not get emotionally involved.

Feb 6, 2016, 12:07pm Top

>36 karenmarie: I think it can be difficult to not get emotionally involved, Karen. Especially if it are things your husband tells. You can't ignore him..

But the resolution is a good one!

Feb 6, 2016, 12:09pm Top

Jealous of your retirement (I'm about 3 1/2 years from mine), but happy for you! Enjoy!

Feb 6, 2016, 1:52pm Top

>38 tess_schoolmarm: same here. 3 1/2 year too.

Edited: Feb 6, 2016, 5:31pm Top

He is so vitriolic about work. I'd been there 20 years, he's been there 3 years. I remember the really good times, he came in too late for those. Plus he's totally envious and jealous, as is anybody who is working while I've just retired. At a family Christmas party, my 19-year-old cousin said he was jealous! He's still in college, just starting his career! And he's jealous. I never know what to say, even to you and tess, connie.

It's my turn now, but it will be your turn in the fullness of time?
Yay me, poor you? (No, just kidding!)

The only one who is absolutely supportive, unconditionally, without saying she's jealous or envious, is my daughter, bless her heart. She is ecstatically happy for me and proud of me.

On a ROOTier note, I think I'm going to read a ROOT after I finish Bill Bryson's newest - The Road to Little Dribbling.

While fetching A Key into the Language of America by Roger Williams, I found a book hiding behind another book and re-discovered Green Tea and Other Ghost Stories by J. Sheridan LeFanu.

The reason I bought the LeFanu book is that he was Harriet Vane's subject for a book she was writing. Being a total fan of Peter Wimsey and Harriet and indeed ALL of Dorothy L. Sayers' fiction, I am ashamed to admit that I didn't realize LeFanu was a real person until about 5 years ago. So now I have 2 ROOTs sitting here looking at me. :)

Feb 7, 2016, 1:49am Top

>40 karenmarie: It's not so much envy, Karen (I love my job and sometimes I'm so happy I can escape the household things and go to work). And now, being home after surgery, I can see how it will be. Lots of time to read and make puzzles left after cleaning and such. My time will come eventually. You have earned your retirement, so enjoy!

Edited: Sep 3, 2016, 6:41pm Top

So next year's ROOT will have a place earlier in my thread to capture both ROOTs and culls. Message 42 it is for 2016.

1. The Unstrung Harp by Edward Gorey 1/24/16 1/24/16 **** 64 pages. Lovely line drawings that you can gaze at for quite a while before you see everything, and the most delicious use of words imaginable. Fun.
2. *reread*Green Tea and Other Ghost Stories by J. Sheridan LeFanu 2/8/16 2/9/15 **1/2 92 pages trade paperback
3. The Case of the Moth-Eaten Mink by Erle Stanley Gardner 2/14/16 2/15/16 **1/2 226 pages mass market paperback
4. Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin 2/13/16 2/16/16 ***1/2 228 pages mass market paperback
5. Fox Evil by Minette Walters 2/17/16 2/24/16 **** 369 pages hardcover
6. Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver 3/27/16 3/31/16 437 pages hardcover
7. A Key into the Language of America by Roger Williams 2/8/16 4/4/16 *** 205 pages trade paperback
8. *reread* Outlander by Diana Gabaldon 4/10/16 4/14/16 **** 850 pages mass market paperback
9. *reread* Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon 4/15/16 4/24/16 **** 947 pages mass market paperback
10. *reread* Voyager by Diana Gabaldon 4/24/16 4/30/16 **** 1059 pages mass market paperback
11. *reread* Griffin & Sabine by Nick Bantock 4/29/16 4/29/16 **** 48 pages hardcover
12. Sabine's Notebook by Nick Bantock 4/29/16 4/29/16 **** 48 pages hardcover
13. The Golden Mean by Nick Bantock 4/29/16 4/29/16 **** 48 pages hardcover
14. *reread* Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon 4/30/16 5/8/16 1070 pages **** mass market paperback
15. The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon 5/8/16 5/17/16 ****1/2 979 pages hardcover
16. A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon 5/17/16 6/2/16 **** 980 pages hardcover
17. An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon 6/2/16 6/23/16 **** 820 pages hardcover
18. Enough Rope by Dorothy Parker 7/14/16 7/14/16 **** 110 pages hardcover
19. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman 07/24/16 7/30/16 ****1/2 343 pages trade paperback
20. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 7/30/16 8/1/16 ***** 255 pages hardcover
21. Where God Was Born by Bruce Feiler 7/15/16 8/18/16 *** audiobook, but 381 pages trade paperback
22. The Night of the Mary Kay Commandos Featuring Smell O-Toons by Berke Breathed 8/25/16 8/26/16 **** 96 pages paperback

1. Angel Face by Suzanne Forster. I liked some of her thrillers, but started this one and realized this wasn't a keeper.
2. The History of Ancient Egypt by Professor Bob Brier. Dull as ditch water. Dry. Sahara-like, even with photos. Abandoned.
3. Bathroom Reading: Short Stories for Short Visits by Rick Bylina. Where in heaven's name did I get this one?
4. Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay. Thought I'd like it when I found it at the thrift store. Looked at the back cover and NO.
5. Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner. Read it, liked it, time for it to go.
6. Faithful Place by Tana French. Duplicate copy.
7. Accused by Mark Giminez. Read, liked.
8. Con Law by Mark Giminez. Started twice, didn't like.
9. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. Bought it but am not reading this type of fiction now.
10. The Shack by William P. Young. Christian fiction. I'm not Christian, so don't know why I bookmooched it.
11. The Witch's Boy by Alex Beecroft. Fantasy. I'm past my (admittedly short) fantasy phase.
12. Raising Abel by W Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear. Too many thrillers, too little time.
13. To the Power of Three by Laura Lippman. thought it was part of her Tess Monaghan series, but it wasn't.
14. E is for Evidence by Sue Grafton. Found a hardcover to replace.
15. I is for Innocent by Sue Grafton. Found a hardcover to replace.
16. Passage by Connie Willis. Won't ever read again, need the shelf space.
17. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. Found a lovely hardcover copy for daughter, so don't need to keep on my shelves. I'll never read it again.
18. Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell. First of a series, terrific, won't continue the series.
19. Under the Beetle's Cellar by Mary Willis Walker. Don't want to read about buried children.
20. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. fantasy. See #11.
21. Green Tea and Other Ghost Stories by J. Sheridan LeFanu. Read twice.
22. As Husbands Go by Susan Isaacs
23. good in bed by Jennifer Weiner. A very good book, just don't want to keep it any more.
24. In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner.
25 The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner. Bought at a thrift store, now don't know why.
26. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
27. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy. Saw the movie, hated it, will never read the book.
28. Forty Words for Sorrow by Giles Blunt. Loved this book, but hated others in the series.
29. The Case of the Moth-Eaten Mink by Erle Stanley Gardner - I must have read it in my early teens because I read ALL the Perry Mason books but don't remember a single thing about it. I just re-read it and don't want it on my shelves any more.
30. F is for Fugitive by Sue Grafton. Duplicate.
31. One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz. Duplicate.
32. Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart by Gordon Livingston. Read it for bookclub and disliked it.
33. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. Read it, don't need it cluttering up my shelves.
34. The True Darcy Spirit by Elizabeth Aston. duplicate.
35. Black Fly Season by Giles Blunt. Abandoned the series with this one.
36. The Seville Communion by Arturo Perez-Reverte.
37. Leonardo's Swans by Karen Essex. I'm less inclined to read historical fiction.
38. Flashman and the Dragon by George MacDonald Fraser.
39. The Jester by James Patterson and Andrew Gross.
40. Calamity Town by Ellery Queen. I liked his older stuff, not so much his newer stuff.
41-52. The Alphabet Series by Sue Grafton, hardcovers: A,B,C,D,G,H,J,K,L,M,N,O. Duplicates.
53. The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold. Duplicate.
54. Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner. Read it, don't need it cluttering up my shelves.
55. These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon. I don't know how I got this on my shelves, but don't read Jan Karon.
56. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
57. Artemis Fowl The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer. Bought both of these at the thrift store for daughter when she was about 12 or so - 10 years on my shelves is more than enough.
58. Murder Being Once Done by Ruth Rendell. duplicate copy.
59. A Precious Jewel by Mary Balogh. duplicate copy.
60. Jade Island by Elizabeth Lowell. Had the trilogy, got rid of the first and third. Here goes number two.
61. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. Just because.
62. Murphy's Law by Lori Foster. silly romance.
63. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. Blech. Tried reading it and was irritated beyond measure. got these CDs at the library sale and don't even want to try them.
64. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. Dated. won't ever read again.
65. Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews. Vacation read. Off to the thrift store.
66. My American Dutchess by Eloisa James. Vacation read. Off to the thrift store.
67. Revenge by Lisa Jackson. Read 2/3 of it and just couldn't continue.
68. Favorite Brand Name low-carb magic by Publications International, LTD
69. The Charlotte Cookbook duplicate
70. Nourshing Traditions
71. The Chapel Hill Cook Book duplicate
72. Favorite Recipes from our Best Cooks Cookbook by Woman's Club and Jr. Woman's Club of Diamond Bar
73. The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker
74. Umbrella by Will Self
75. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
76. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
77. Bad Men by John Connolly
78. King and Maxwell by David Baldacci
79. Long Lost by Harlan Coben
80. Presidential Quiz Book by E. H. Gwynne Thomas
81. The Pursuit of Pleasure by Elizabeth Essex
82. The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews
83. The Source by James Michener An old faded, creased copy. I have two others
84. Lady Fortune by Anne Stuart Not worth carrying upstairs to my retreat.
85. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley duplicate copy, sent to daughter for her shelves
86. The Endangered Arctic by Fredrick Granath
87. Night of Sin by Julia Ross
88. The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones read and found wanting
89. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris audiobook
90. The Ice Master by Jennifer Niven audiobook
91. Lost in the Amazon by Stephen Kirkpatrick and Marlo Carter Patrick
92. The Unlikely Pilgrimmage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce started and ugh!
93. The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell will never read the rest of the series
94. Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie duplicate copy
95. Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen duplicate copy
96. The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen by Howard Carter duplicate copy
97. The Celestine Prophecy: An Experimental Guide by James Redfield
98. Where God Was Born by Bruce Feiler audiobook
99. Death of an Expert Witness by P.D. James duplicate copy

Edited: Feb 8, 2016, 6:21pm Top

Thanks, Connie. I think I'm overly sensitive - since January 6th, when I gave notice, all I've heard is envy and jealousy. My friend Louise told me yesterday to just tell people that it's lovely and they'll enjoy it when it's their turn.

Feb 9, 2016, 3:27am Top

>43 karenmarie: Your friend gave you a very good advise! My husband is retired since September 2015 and he has no clue what to do. He has no hobby's at all so he watches tv all day long. I would go crazy doing that. But I read and I have LT and my online book club to visit.

Feb 9, 2016, 7:37am Top

>43 karenmarie:, don't worry - people saying they are envious or jealous isn't meant to imply in any way that you don't deserve it (or be a negative feeling) - just that they wish they could enjoy it with you! My father just retired this year (well-earned!) and he's having a lovely time. I am a little envious just because I wish I could go with him on all of the adventures he now has time for.

Feb 9, 2016, 9:29am Top

Thanks Connie and Caramellunacy.

I'm worried about my husband when he retires - he USED to have lots of hobbies but isn't interested in them any more. All weekend he watches TV and plays on his cell phone. He does take care of the yards in the seasons they need caring for but used to sit on the porch swing and contemplate nature, used to care about his media room but doesn't go up there any more, used to visit friends on Facebook but doesn't do that either. Well, I won't have to worry about that for at LEAST 2 years, probably 5, since he's only 60 and we're not sure anything will be financially viable until he can collect Medicare.

Feb 9, 2016, 9:47am Top

In the same boat with some of you ladies. I can't retire for 4 years yet and my husband is semi-retired..works about 20 hours per week. In his "spare" time he sit and watches TV and plays games on his phone; absolutely NOTHING else. He does mow the grass and keep the pool clean in the summer, but does not leave the house for anything nor does he read.

Edited: Feb 9, 2016, 9:54am Top

>46 karenmarie: He could be my husbands twin, Karen. I am worried about mine too. I think your brain still needs some stimulation. TV is not doing that for me (nor for him). And Peet can watch reruns of CSI forever. Right now I'm starting to recognize conversations I hear. And without seeing any scenes I know that episode is rerun # 5.

Edit for >47 tess_schoolmarm: They are triplets

Feb 9, 2016, 10:17am Top

Wow! Triplets in Ohio, Netherlands, and North Carolina! Scary, isn't it. And MY husband watches re-runs of NCIS all the time. He does read the newspaper and magazines, but not books. I watched NCIS from start to finish with him last year (he had DVR'd it) and we keep current on the new episodes, but I don't want to watch it again. I, too, can recognize conversations and episodes as I wander through the living room to the library or sunroom.

Feb 9, 2016, 10:20am Top

>49 karenmarie: I'm flabbergasted! We could swap husbands and never know the difference. Does he fall asleep in the evening and sleeps for hours on the couch?

Feb 9, 2016, 10:24am Top

Sometimes he dozes for 10-15 minutes at a time, but doesn't sleep. It may be because he sits in the loveseat, which isn't wide enough for him to fully stretch out. Plus there's a blanket on half for the kitties - one or the other of them is usually visiting him and he pays them a lot of attention.

Feb 9, 2016, 10:30am Top

LOL...my husband sits in his lazy boy recliner and sleeps for hours....and if I walk by and turn off the TV or change channels, he immediately wakes up!

Feb 9, 2016, 10:30am Top

LOL...my husband sits in his lazy boy recliner and sleeps for hours....and if I walk by and turn off the TV or change channels, he immediately wakes up!

Feb 9, 2016, 10:32am Top

> Yes, and then he says "Hey, I was watching that!".

Feb 9, 2016, 10:40am Top

I don't dare turn the TV off or change channels - actually, the remotes intimidate me and I haven't taken the time to make my own users guide..... husband turns this one on and that one on and adjusts this and that and hey presto! a picture. I do it and I anticipate smoke coming out.

My dad used to sleep for hours in the recliner and he SNORED something fierce. I couldn't stand it. If we told him he was snoring, he'd grumble, stop for 5 minutes, then start right back up. I usually left, to go upstairs to my bedroom to read.

I'm going to get a small flat screen TV and blu-ray layer for my daughter's rec room to go along with my shelf takeover. Daughter said I could put books on "her" shelves as long as I don't throw her things away, but I can put them in dormers or the attic. It will be my den, away from NCIS or sports I'm not interested in watching. This, admittedly, is most of them, but I do occasionally watch sports with husband - Panthers (boo hiss about losing the Superbowl), Winter Olympics but NOT ice skating, and tennis grand slam events.

Feb 9, 2016, 11:05am Top

>55 karenmarie: LOL Karen...we must live in an alternate, identical universe! My hubby watches sports and NCIS ad infinitum along with all the "reality" shows like Swamp People, Tree House Masters, etc, which I can not abide! About the only TV I watch is Downtown Abby and it's going off at the end of this season! I also watch some Tennis and Nascar with hubby, but not often. We are Cleveland Browns fans but have had nothing to watch/cheer for the last 10 years.

I made the bedroom into my "compound." I have a TV/VCR player, my computer and a bookshelf all double-stacked. I could live in the bedroom (which has an adjoining bathroom) except I do make frequent trips to the kitchen.

Thankfully at least my husband will take me places (long weekends or a vacation once a year) when I plan it, etc.

Feb 9, 2016, 11:25am Top

>56 tess_schoolmarm: We have an L- shaped room. I'm usually in the top corner of the L and the TV is aroud the corner,

Wait: pictures

I'm on the left side of the table on the chair near the window. That's my favourite place.

This is the horizontal line of the L. That's Peet's spot in the corner of the couch. On the left side of the picture you can see the clock and part of a side-table where the TV is placed.

Edited: Feb 9, 2016, 12:12pm Top

Tess - I do like River Monsters, but won't watch any other reality shows. Husband loves Downton Abbey, we have all the seasons on blu-ray, and just finished watching season 6. (We bought it on Amazon mid-January and binge-watched 1-2 episodes per evening 'til done.) He will watch other things that I like, but he's irritated with me right now because I won't watch any more of Colony or Blindspot. We watched Fortitude, which was awful, and The Man in the High Castle, which he really liked and I ended up disliking. We love the first two episodes of Lucifer, so we do watch some things together that aren't sports.

Connie - lovely home!

Feb 9, 2016, 2:37pm Top

>57 connie53: love it! Looks cozy and calm :)

Feb 9, 2016, 3:15pm Top

Thanks, Karen and Ava.

Feb 10, 2016, 8:06pm Top

I agree with what others have said, well done you for retiring, and the envy I have is for all of the adventures you have ahead of you - and not having to be somewhere at X time in the morning every day! :)

Though I'm single, I'm laughing with you ladies about your husbands. It sounds sort of like my Mom and Dad, in that he'd watch the History or Science channel for hours, nap off and on (and snore like crazy), and didn't have many hobbies. He did woodworking, though, when it wasn't too hot or cold outside (had a mini-shop in the garage), and he liked doing puzzles. But still, my Mom complained many times when he was first retired about how he doesn't "do" anything. It's been 2 years since he's been gone now, and Mom and I laugh wistfully at how his constant napping used to infuriate her.

Sorry, hope I didn't bring anyone down. :-/

>57 connie53: Agreed, Connie, your home is lovely and calm!

Feb 11, 2016, 2:49am Top

>61 LauraBrook: Not bringing me down, Laura. It's just a generation thing. Men over 60 are not used to do anything in the house. They are not raised that way. My son and son in law are from a different generation and they participate in household things. Son is an expert in ironing and doing laundry. Peet had no clue about that sort of things. (and has no interest at all in learning. If he knows how, he has to do so).

And the napping infuriates me too!

Feb 11, 2016, 9:06am Top

Hi Laura. Thank you. It's very nice to get up when my eyes open, not when an alarm goes off. I appreciate it every day.

You're not bringing me down. My dad was the same way except he really didn't have any hobbies. I regret not knowing more about my dad's life.

Every time someone in my life passes, I wish wish WISH I had asked them more questions about themselves and their families. My grandma, great-aunt, dad, husband's mother, father, step-mother, great-aunt and uncle, and cousin John.

I don't mind the napping. I just tippy toe around and find a room far away from the snores - the sunroom - to either read or play on the computer.

One thing I must say in husband's defense, he does his own laundry, has our entire marriage (it will be 25 years in April). We married when he was 35 and I was 38 and I told him that since he had been on his own since he got out of the Navy in 1982 and managed his own laundry fine, I didn't feel any ownership over whether it was clean or not. I do all the linens and my clothes, and when daughter was growing up did all her clothes until she left for college. Now, when she comes home with a duffle bag of dirty clothes, she does them.

I finished the lovely little romp Savannah Breeze by Mary Kay Andrews. I needed something light and frothy since I've been reading so much non-fiction lately. Not much to say about it except that I had fun reading it and appreciate her deft hand at Southerners, lust, greed, come-uppance, restaurant ownership, and name brand clothing that rich people wear.

Today is another visit with the financial planner. Husband is coming home 2:30 or so to pick me up for a 4:00 p.m. appointment about 45 minutes away, then dinner. In the meantime I'm going to clean the propane stove glass, inventory a shelf or two of books, and find some more fiction to read.

Feb 13, 2016, 4:51pm Top

I've started Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin, a ROOT from 2010.

Edited: Feb 15, 2016, 2:01pm Top

I'm not that thrilled with Knots and Crosses, so yesterday I picked up an old Erle Stanley Gardner Perry Mason book and I finished it today. The Case of the Moth-Eaten Mink by Erle Stanley Gardner. I must say I was disappointed. The language was stilted and awkward, the case was confusing, and the resolution weird. I'm not sure I'll re-read any more, which is sad. I started reading Perry Masons when I was 11 and it was the adult continuation of my fascination with mysteries that started with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. I won't get rid of what's on my shelves, yet, but will wait a while before trying another.

I also read Green Tea and Other Ghost Stories by J. Sheridan LeFanu. I don't remember a single thing about it either, but apparently read it in 2009. My intention was to read another ROOT, so I'm going to count it.

Nevertheless, they are both ROOTs. They are both culls, too. :)

Feb 16, 2016, 2:22am Top

>65 karenmarie: Yes, definitely ROOTs.

Feb 16, 2016, 4:45pm Top

I finished Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin and it turned out to be a much better book than I thought halfway-through. John Rebus' backstory is critical to the entire book and there are some clever things, some interesting insights into the characters and to life and living in general, and a satisfactory mystery/solution. Just a teensy bit of deus-ex-machina, but it was okay with me.

Feb 21, 2016, 2:03pm Top

I've started another ROOT, Fox Evil by Minette Walters. So far so good.

Feb 21, 2016, 2:32pm Top

>68 karenmarie: I love Minette Walters, Karen. Have fun.

Feb 22, 2016, 10:18am Top

Hey, Karen. I read in the progress thread you have increased your amount of ROOTs you want to read. Or did I misread that. It's 11 now?

Feb 22, 2016, 1:46pm Top

Hmmm. I have 9 I have committed to this year with specific books, but I tend to just read what I want to read and have read other ROOTs as I see them on my shelves or discover them by inventorying my books.

I don't know how you want to classify that..... :)

Feb 23, 2016, 2:05am Top

>71 karenmarie: A ROOT is a ROOT, even if it's not on your list, I think. You could increase your ROOT's or you can add them to the group tickers and let them count as extras

Feb 23, 2016, 4:17pm Top

I agree, a root is any book (to my way of thinking) that is on my shelf, not read, whether it's been there 2 weeks or 2 years!

Feb 24, 2016, 1:01am Top

>71 karenmarie:

A ROOT is whatever you define it to be; whether it be books on a list, books physically on your shelves, virtual books, books pre-1990 or pre-2015, etc...

However, it helps cyderry a lot if you have a goal. Say "this year I'd like to try and read 20 books that count as ROOTs (as per my definition)". She has many members to keep track of and this helps save her valuable time that she could use for reading her own ROOTs.

Overall though, we're all happy to see your progress!

Feb 24, 2016, 10:17am Top

Thanks, Connie, Tess, lilisin.

for me, ROOTs are anything prior to 6 months of the entry date that I've put the book in my library. I've set my goal at 9 specific books, and any additional books I read will be gravy.

Feb 24, 2016, 10:21am Top

Finished Fox Evil at about 12:30 a.m. It was very good, suspenseful and moody. Her characters are vividly portrayed.

Mar 28, 2016, 4:39pm Top

I've started Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver. Excellent book so far.

Edited: Apr 1, 2016, 9:47am Top

And I finished Anatomy of a Murder yesterday. It was a wonderful book. the characters were well drawn, the action intense and continuous, and the ending with a final little twist that I had thought might happen.

Apr 1, 2016, 6:30pm Top

>78 karenmarie: Agreed! Anatomy of a Murder was great. I thought James Stewart was a good choice to play the defence attorney in the movie.

Apr 1, 2016, 6:41pm Top

Hi rabbitprincess. I have never seen the movie, but now I can, having read the book first!

Edited: Apr 5, 2016, 7:34pm Top

Yesterday while working with Dell to once again fix my computer back to Windows 8 after foolishly upgrading to Windows 10 (note to Dell users: check with Dell prior to upgrading. not all of their computers are compatible with Windows 10.), I picked up A Key into the Language of America that I started in February and finally finished it. Another ROOT!

Here's my review: A Key Into the Language of America

Apr 6, 2016, 9:21am Top

>81 karenmarie: oh bummer! Sorry about the computer situation & good avice!

& Congrats on finishing another ROOT! :)

Apr 6, 2016, 9:45am Top

Hi avanders - I should really say ANY brand of computer, check prior to upgrading. Them durned Microsoft Folks are pushing 10 regardless of whether it will work or not.

And thank you!

Apr 9, 2016, 10:12am Top

>81 karenmarie: Boy, do I hear you on that one! Actually, my Dell computer was supposedly perfectly compatible with Windows 10. In theory. In practice, bad things happened. Five hours on the phone with tech support, and I'm now back to Windows 8.1 for the foreseeable future. Which is extra frustrating, because I liked 10 better... until it stopped working. And, of course, the computer keeps bugging me every five minutes to go back to 10 again. Come on, Microsoft, get it together! Grrr.

Edited: Apr 10, 2016, 10:24am Top

Wow, bragan. Your story is even worse than mine as far as Dell goes. Your computer supposedly worked with Windows 10 and still hosed. I don't mind Windows 8.1, and go back and forth between the tiles and the desktop, depending on what I'm doing. I don't envision needing a new computer any time soon. And husband is first in line anyway - his Dell laptop is older.

I feel that there is a serious disconnect between software and hardware. Microsoft pushed software that may or may not work on my computer. I can't wait to get the phone call from Dell after this ticket is closed so I can, politely, communicate my displeasure with Dell.


I cataloged all my booksale purchases yesterday. I took books out of shelves downstairs to put upstairs (won't need them anytime soon) so I could put the new ones where I can see them every day. I just have to get husband to hand me books while I'm on the ladder to put them in the upstairs Parlour above the door. (recessed shelving, 16 linear feet). I've already asked him to help me today, so just have to wait for his Sunday morning shows to be over first.

Apr 11, 2016, 11:08am Top

In honor of the Outlander TV series (which we are watching), I've decided to re-read the book Outlander. Definitely a ROOT, even if a re-read.

Apr 11, 2016, 11:15am Top

>86 karenmarie: You know those nebulous, not-really claims to fame? Here's one: the next (forthcoming - starting soon I think) series of Outlander had a scene or two filmed just down the road from my daughter's nursery (which is in the middle of a load of farmland, down a country lane). To make the claim to fame even more nebulous, it was filmed in the week we were away on holiday, so we didn't see any of it going on!

Most of my claims to fame are that sort of not-quite-there-really-but-it's-the-best-I-can-do level! (another one is that a friend's daughter auditioned to be the voice of Peppa Pig in the Gaelic version of Peppa Pig, and didn't get it) (see what I mean?!).

Apr 11, 2016, 11:21am Top

>87 Jackie_K: Hi Jackie_K! I must say that those are wonderfully nebulous.

I'm really enjoying the TV series - Claire and Jamie's romance is to swoon over (as it was in the books) and I love the lushness of the production.

Well, after more work straightening up my home office and validating the inventory for my books in locations P11-P51, I am off to read.

Apr 11, 2016, 2:41pm Top

I love Outlander (both the books and the series). I watched season 1 several times! Can't wait for my brother to get season 2 for me.

Apr 11, 2016, 10:07pm Top

>87 Jackie_K: I would love to watch Peppa Pig in Gaelic! Or anything, really. My vocabulary is abysmal and I haven't done anything with it in years, but it's such a cool-sounding language.

Apr 12, 2016, 9:53am Top

Outlander is on my shelf waiting to be read. It is going to move up after those reviews/comments!

Apr 12, 2016, 10:43am Top

>89 connie53: We've just finished watching Season 1, Connie, and were lucky that husband was able to record the first episode of season 2 last night. For some reason he couldn't record it Saturday night during its premiere. Tonight, episode 1 of season 2!!

>90 rabbitprincess: I now know who Peppa Pig is and also did a bit of Youtubing of Gaelic and it is beautiful to listen to, even if I can't understand a single word.

>91 tess_schoolmarm: Move it up quick! It's a fantastic (re-)read. I'm on page 175 and am amazed at how loyal the series is to the book in both matters large and small. I know they do take liberties based on some of the comments by the producer after each episode, but some of the incidents are there exactly as written.

Today is back to the dentist for impressions for the (free to me) replacement crown for the defective one. So far 4 1/2 hours over 3 visits. Two more for sure. Grumble.

Apr 12, 2016, 1:25pm Top

>90 rabbitprincess: >92 karenmarie: I don't speak any Gaelic at all, but I could quite happily listen to someone reciting the phone book in Gaelic, it sounds so beautiful. There is a lot of brilliant traditional music (with modern twist) from Gaelic singers here - check out Capercaillie which is a brilliant Scottish band (they sing in English too, and do instrumentals - absolutely fantastic musicians).

We went on honeymoon to Harris (in the Outer Hebrides), and although I didn't hear much Gaelic we did once manage to stand in front of a couple of older women in a supermarket checkout queue, they were chattering away in Gaelic and it sounded so wonderful, even though they were probably just talking about the price of eggs.

Apr 12, 2016, 1:26pm Top

>92 karenmarie: Hope the dentist visit wasn't too gruesome!

Apr 12, 2016, 4:31pm Top

>93 Jackie_K: and >94 Jackie_K: Ugh. I was wrong. It was STILL digging out the broken porcelain from the crown. We were trying it without pain medication, but the Dentist moved to a sensitive spot and I saw red. Unfortunately I have a rather uninhibited vocabulary and said "SHIT that hurts." So 3 novocain shots later, with me literally shaking and with tears leaking out, he continued. And then, insult to injury, after another 30 minutes he said he didn't want to continue because what he was doing wasn't working and he wants me to go to back to the periodontics group that pulled my tooth and put in the implant. No cost to me, but NOW it's another dentist 40 miles away in addition to the eventual last 2 visits for the impressions and crown placement. Shit shit shit.

So it was gruesome. Feeling sorry for myself, I came home, got back into my jammies, and have been reading and eating chocolate pudding. Then Dell called to help me do two more things to get Windows 8.1 back. We finished that, and I came over here to check out LT. Now it's time to get off and go read some more.

I hate dentists. What makes it worse is that he's a friend of ours, and is always so nice. I had bad dental experiences when I was a child and unfortunately the same feelings always come up, even with the better technology and nice people.

Husband has been a fan of Capercaillie forever, so we're well familiar with them.

I've been doing Youtube Outlander and other Gaelic stuff. You're right, Jackie, they could probably have been talking about the price of eggs or a horrible murder and it would still sound lovely.

Apr 13, 2016, 10:39am Top

>95 karenmarie: Oh my, Karen. So sorry to hear of the harrowing dental experience. I feel your pain, friend, because those of my types of dental visits...nothing is ever easy. My heart starts palpitating, I get hot flashes, and I feel dizzy and nauseous before I even get the shots of novocain.

Apr 13, 2016, 2:30pm Top

>95 karenmarie: Oh wow, that sounds awful - poor you! Definitely jammies and chocolate for you!

Edited: Apr 13, 2016, 2:48pm Top

>96 tess_schoolmarm: Thank you. I'm fully recovered today, fortunately. Yesterday I was literally shaking and I could not control the hot tears gliding into my ears. Your reactions sound worse than mine though. I empathize.

At one point yesterday (whilst my inner conversation was a series of vicious swear words) I had lovely visions of throwing things through windows and punching walls. Me, bad tempered? :)

So today I made an appointment with the periodontics dentist for next Tuesday at 10 a.m. for a consultation to determine what to do. So at least two visits with HIM before going back to my regular dentist for 2 or more crown appointments. I am seriously unhappy about this. My regular dentist is 40 minutes away, Dr. G is 50 or more. This is getting expensive, gas wise, even if all the work is free to me because it was a defective crown apparently. After visiting Dr. G, I will reward myself with lunch with a former co-worker, an hour and a half the other way, then 40 minutes home. The consolation is that I will get to listen to and quite possibly finish the audiobook re-read of The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith. I don't listen to audiobooks in the house, just the car, and the only downside to retiring has been a major reduction of audiobook time (3 1/2 hours a week while working, perhaps an hour a week now).

>97 Jackie_K: Self indulgence lasted about 3 hours or so, then I bucked up and just had a (new normal) retirement day.

And re retirement - I'm not even close to being bored, not in any way, shape, or form.

Apr 13, 2016, 7:23pm Top

>98 karenmarie: What with flower beds and gardens and books and grandchildren, I don't think I will be bored in retirement, either. Four more years!

Apr 15, 2016, 8:09am Top

>99 tess_schoolmarm: You'll get there. And then it will take a while to realize you're not on vacation!

I haven't ventured outside yet to work in the garden, but it's almost time to plant vegetables and I do need to clear out the raised chicken-wire-enclosed vegetable garden in anticipation.

I finished ROOT number 8, Outlander by Diane Gabaldon. I've pulled Dragonfly in Amber and will start it as soon as I get off the computer this morning!

Apr 15, 2016, 10:36am Top

>100 karenmarie: I also really need to clear out the vegetable patch in my garden - I have planted seeds inside so the plants can grow a bit before I replant them in the garden, so I have all sorts of cute little baby vegetable plants sitting around on my windowsill :)

Apr 15, 2016, 1:26pm Top

>101 Britt84: I've done that some years - started from seeds - but this year will be seedlings from Lowe's most likely, with perhaps a 1-gallon tomato or two.

Apr 15, 2016, 1:59pm Top

>102 karenmarie: I guess starting from seeds is a bit more time consuming, but I kind of like seeing the whole process from scratch, so to say... Besides, there is a supermarket here that gives free seeds - one packet (with 4-5 seeds) with every 15 euro's of groceries - so I've been getting those (and getting them from friends and family as well), that way I'll be having free veggies...
I'm still a beginning gardener though - I started growing veggies last year and it worked surprisingly well (I was expecting everything to die on me ;) ), so I'm trying to expand a bit this year... Hopefully everything will come up nicely again :)

Apr 15, 2016, 2:49pm Top

>102 karenmarie: I like Lowe's seedlings, also.

Apr 15, 2016, 4:00pm Top

>103 Britt84: Free seeds, how wonderful! Good luck on your second year. It's a lot of fun and very satisfying.

One year I wanted heirloom tomatoes, so spent a few $$ and mail ordered heirloom tomato seeds - Cherokee, a yellow cherry tomato, German Johnson (although you can get seedlings of those in NC, a few others I can't remember. I started them in January and had them in individual cups in the warmest room in the house (privacy glass, faces west) - the master bathroom. I had them on racks over the Jacuzzi tub until I could plant them in April. They did marvelously.

>104 tess_schoolmarm: They are very healthy - we've never had any problems with them. We do have to buy German Johnson seedlings at a local mom-and-pop though. I have to have German Johnsons because they were my FiL's favorite tomato.

Well, I'm beginning to get a bit excited.

Apr 15, 2016, 5:11pm Top

>105 karenmarie: Karen, I bought heirloom tomato seeds one year while visiting Thomas Jefferson's plantation. They did well the first year, I tried to harvest the seeds for the next, but they didn't grow. I admit, I probably didn't harvest/store them correctly. I winged that part!

Apr 17, 2016, 1:52pm Top

A horror story, Karen! Really awful. I do not like going to the dentist at all.

I watched Outlander episode 1, season 2 yesterday. Loved it!

Edited: Apr 18, 2016, 8:11am Top

>106 tess_schoolmarm: I've never been able to harvest and successfully use seeds. And now that I'm using a small raised bed instead of my 50' x 80' fenced garden, I'm down to 3 tomato plants so am not experimenting at all.

>107 connie53: I know everybody hates going to the dentist. I just feel like I'm a big baby about it. I vocalize my displeasure - usually without swear words - and they know that my experiences as a child color every visit, even just the every 6-month exams.

Husband hasn't wanted to watch episode 1 season 2 yet.

He got laid off Friday - not fired as he was expecting so that's a small blessing - so he's home looking for a job. He did a bit of calling Friday and will file for unemployment today. The company is paying all medical premiums (including our portion) through July 31st. They or may not call him or the other 12 people laid off back.


The absolute hardest thing about getting married 25 years ago was that I very rarely got to have time alone in my house. I am an introvert and need time to regroup alone. Husband is an extrovert and needs people to be his best self. I know it's temporary, but I'm pretty stressed that he's home right now. And of course the blasted TV is on. Probably sooner than later we're going to have a come-to-Jesus meeting about my getting half a day without the TV on - otherwise I have to hide out in remote rooms to get the quiet I need. Sigh.

Apr 19, 2016, 10:22am Top

>108 karenmarie: I understand about the hubby home all day....my husband is self-employed and I don't like it when he doesn't have any work on the days I'm home!;) I got married at age 18 so have never really had any time to by myself or alone; and I do need that time, although I'm really an extrovert. I hope your husband is called back to work and/or finds a new, better job!

Edited: Apr 20, 2016, 11:04am Top

>95 karenmarie: sounds awful!! Hopefully it all resolves easily & with no more pain!

>98 karenmarie: oh good :)

>108 karenmarie: oh man, so sorry to hear about your husband being laid off :( Good luck to him finding a new job!

Ooph, that introvert-extrovert combo is a rough one! My husband & I are also introverts (though we're both outgoing.. just need alone time and down time to gather energy back), but his friend, who stayed with us for almost 3 months, is an extrovert.. and it was very difficult!! Have you tried to talk to him about the time you need? He may be able to give you intentional time, if he knows it will help?

Apr 20, 2016, 1:28pm Top

>110 avanders: No pain to speak of, just this hole where a crown needs to be.

Thanks, re husband. Early days yet, although he's not burning up the Internet working it. I understand that he needs recovery time and stress reduction time so haven't gotten snarly yet.

My husband knows that I need time to myself and is pretty understanding about it EXCEPT that he needs ME to help him feel positive/full of energy. Yesterday I was out on the porch in the hammock for 2 hours and husband was happy that I got to read out there alone. Today it's been hanging here in the sunroom (= my home office) while he's in the living room watching TV. I deliberately chose to go to lunch with husband and a friend of ours today, but in the future except for when we go to the gun shop next week for ammo, will let them go by themselves.

Apr 21, 2016, 11:10am Top

>111 karenmarie: well that's good news! :)

hee hee, snarly. ;) Yeah, it can take time to recover from being laid off, and many people seem to handle that different... :)
Ah yeah, that can be a hard duo to balance... So wonderful that you had 2 hours on the hammock!

Apr 21, 2016, 1:41pm Top

>112 avanders: Yesterday was hammock weather again. I had cleaned out one hummingbird feeder a couple of weeks ago and saw one of the wee cuties trying to get nourishment from it yesterday, so cleaned all 5 of them and filled them.

Today we went into town to run a couple of errands. A driver irritated husband, and he let loose a flood of cussing - stress from the work situation.

77F is hammock weather again today. I hope to see hummingbird activity.

Apr 22, 2016, 11:06am Top

>113 karenmarie: aww cute! I love hummingbirds :) Enjoy the day!
yeah - stress from work often spills onto the roads! :(

Apr 24, 2016, 8:22am Top

>108 karenmarie: So sorry to hear about your husband being laid off, Karen Marie. Really sorry. And I recognize the husband being home all day and TV on all day. My husband retired a couple of months ago. And I'm so glad I can go to work now every weekday. I need time too to read and do my own things. He wants me to go wit him for groceries but I hate doing groceries. He thinks it's a fun thing to do together!

Have a happy reading moment in your hammock!

Apr 24, 2016, 8:41am Top

>114 avanders: Hi Ava! Lots of hammock weather last week, not so much hummingbird activity. I may have made a mistake greasing the hummingbird feeder hangers to keep the ants from using them. I might clean the hangers off today and let both hummingbirds AND ants enjoy the sugar water.

I used to have road rage when I lived in Southern California. I would find a car to pace myself against when I got onto a road or freeway - I was happy if I was car lengths ahead of it and stabbity when I was car lengths behind it. And then one day I realized it just wasn't worth it. The only time I get upset now is if someone is causing an unsafe situation.

>115 connie53: Thank you, Connie. Our husbands are brothers born in different families. :)

The hammock is quite wonderful, but it does tend to give my lower back a bit of grief and heartache. I think I'll try to tighten it up a notch or two today. I won't stop using it, but I am requiring ibuprophen to offset the pleasure of using it.

Edited: Apr 24, 2016, 9:52am Top

I just finished my re-read and ROOT of Dragonfly in Amber. As good or better than I remembered it. I just pulled Voyager off my shelves. So far each mass market paperback has had more pages than the previous one - 850, 947, 1059. Chunksters, door stops.

Apr 24, 2016, 2:01pm Top

>116 karenmarie: yeah, some places seem to have more of a road rage problem.. when I lived in Chicago, it was par for the course... For me, in NM, it's not an issue anymore. I know some people here still have issues w/ it though. :P
Lol I like that word "stabbity" ;)

Edited: Apr 25, 2016, 9:23am Top

>118 avanders: I wish I could say that 'stabbity' is mine, but it's on this unapologetically complaining thread, created by the Green Dragon group and I appropriated it:


Apr 25, 2016, 2:07pm Top

>117 karenmarie:. Re-read! I want to do that too.

Apr 25, 2016, 3:31pm Top

>119 karenmarie: well, wherever it comes from, you used it well ;)
thanks for that link!

Apr 25, 2016, 5:21pm Top

>117 karenmarie: I think I'm probably just fickle, but I find if a book is more than around 300 pages my heart sinks a little bit, till I get into them. I have to really psyche myself up if I'm faced with a chunkster!

Edited: Apr 25, 2016, 5:52pm Top

>120 connie53: The thing about the Outlander books, Connie, is that I read them so long ago that it's like they are new. So much I didn't remember, so startled at how good the story is, so happy at the language and characters.

>121 avanders: I'm glad you like it, Ava, and you're welcome for the link. 'Stabbity' pleases me too.

>122 Jackie_K: I never discount a book just because of size, but I can understand your reluctance to commit the time and emotional energy to a long book that may not be pleasing. I don't know about you, but I abandon books with glee if they displease me, with nary a glance backwards. I can put them down after one page (Ahab's Wife) or 1000 pages (Far Pavilions) without feeling any guilt or regret. Now, if I was the type of person who feels compelled to read a book to the end, I might feel hesitant about committing to 300 or more pages, for sure.

I just came in from the hammock, after about 2 hours, having read much more of Voyager. I watched hummingbirds use the feeders, listened to the cows in the distance and the horses in the pasture, and enjoyed the twittering of the birds. The hammock is on a west-facing porch, and as the afternoon progressed the sun slowly crept across the porch and started glaring on the page and getting to be too hot. Husband dryly pointed out that the sun tends to do this from the west. I could put the hammock on the back porch, but we stubbornly faced the house towards our view, not the road, and the back porch, although about 300 feet from the cul-de-sac, does face the road. I'm rather more private than that when obliviously involved in a book. It's like not wanting a stranger to watch you sleep.

Edited: Apr 26, 2016, 11:22am Top

>123 karenmarie: I think that's the right attitude to have toward books... we could never read them all. Of course, I say thatj, but I fall squarely into the "feels compelled to read a book to the end" camp... working toward being better about putting a book down. It's this whole stupid FOMO thing.... ;p
Ya know... "what if it gets really good right after this page? or this page? or this page?..."

Funny how we get attached to certain things, despite the inconveniences those same things may offer... but if I were you? I would probably do the same thing! I would not want my reading-time facing the road...

Apr 26, 2016, 1:28pm Top

>123 karenmarie: >124 avanders: I am generally the type who feels obliged to read to the finish (especially if I've actually paid for the book - I'm less strict with library books and freebies), but I am starting to feel like life's too short to read turkeys. So I did abandon a ROOT earlier this year after 3 chapters - I started it thinking 'maybe it's me', but by the 3rd chapter I was pretty convinced it was the book, not me! It was SO badly written I was embarrassed reading it. And abandoning it felt so good!

Apr 27, 2016, 4:24am Top

I'm getting better at abandoning books too. Yesterday I was cleaning and rearranging my bookshelves and came across two books that did not speak to me at all. So I removed them from my LT shelves too.

Apr 27, 2016, 9:50am Top

I also have a compunction to finish what I started; it is rare that I abandon a book. However, I try to read 100 pages and then if no good, it's gone!

Apr 27, 2016, 10:49am Top

>124 avanders: FOMO. Thank you. I've never applied that to books, thank goodness. One more thing - I never read the last chapter or two if I'm abandoning a book - I stop on a page and that's it. I never skim books, either.

>125 Jackie_K: Feeling good when abandoning a book is rather freeing, isn't it? Too many books, too little time.

>126 connie53: Silent books deserve a good home. Maybe they'll speak to the next person.

>127 tess_schoolmarm: There's something called the Pearl Rule, created by Nancy Pearl (here's the rule from her page at WordPress): If you’re fifty years of age or younger, give a book fifty pages before you decide to commit to reading it or give it up. If you’re over fifty, which is when time gets even shorter, subtract your age from 100—the result is the number of pages you should read before making your decision to stay with it or quit.

I use the Karen Rule: If for any reason you don't want to continue reading this book, put it down. Keep it, get rid of it, re-start it, never finish it, finish it from where you left off.

Today is our 25th wedding anniversary. I made breakfast, a rare-enough occurrence in itself, and we're going to a wonderful restaurant tonight - The Angus Barn in Durham NC. I can almost taste the prime rib now.....

No other plans, except to perhaps look through our wedding album. Daughter is 2 1/2 hours away and working today, my family is in California, and husband has no immediate family. I found the wedding album recently - I had put it in a drawer in the old dresser in the sunroom but wouldn't have been able to tell you where it was if asked. When one of the legs on the dresser collapsed several weeks ago, I took the drawers out and put the dresser upside down on a blanket until our neighbor could repair it for us. There was our wedding album, along with all my genealogical research. Yay broken dresser on two fronts.

Apr 27, 2016, 11:53am Top

Congrats on the anniversary. I also could not put my finger on my wedding album!

Apr 27, 2016, 12:27pm Top

>128 karenmarie: oh, no, I don't read the last chapter or 2 if I've abandoned it. I would imagine it wouldn't make much sense? I have "skimmed" a book or two (though I don't generally do that)... but usually it's just to sort of look at the pages and see if anything jumps out at me. This would not be for a novel, of course, but if I were abandoning a book of short stories, e.g., such as the one I abandoned yesterday, I might skim... :) And I DO feel good about walking away! I think this conversation was on my mind and helped :)

& Happy Anniversary! Sounds like a great day planned!

Apr 27, 2016, 3:20pm Top

>128 karenmarie: Congratulations on your anniversary - enjoy your meal out! I do know where my wedding photos are, but haven't looked at them for ages. Might have to dig them out again (I did say I'd take them to work one day, as my colleague is getting married later this year so weddings are one of the topics of conversation in the office).

Apr 29, 2016, 6:10am Top

Congrats on your anniversary, Karenmarie. Enjoy your dinner!

I know exactly where my wedding album is. Upstairs in a closet with all the other albums (I think I have 20 albums showing my live from my baby pictures up to when I bought an digital camera)

This is me in 1956 with my dad. He had all his teeth pulled in preparation of a new denture.

Apr 29, 2016, 8:33am Top

>132 connie53: Great picture!

Apr 29, 2016, 8:33am Top

>129 tess_schoolmarm: Thank you. I would have eventually figured out where it was, but fortunately found it the hard way when the dresser broke.

>130 avanders: Some of the women in my RL bookclub say that they'll skim the book so as to have "read" it prior to bookclub meeting. One of the women actually reads the last chapter first, before starting books! I never read reviews of books before I start them, but do read introductions, cast of characters, look intently at maps, etc.

We did have a very nice day. Great meal at Angus Barn, looked at the wedding album, just hung out reminiscing.

>131 Jackie_K: The last wedding I went to was at MY house - a friend and his fiancé asked us if they could get married on our front porch. It was her third and his second and they didn't want her mother to take it over and didn't want the family tension that would have occurred because at the time his children weren't speaking with him because of the divorce. There were 6 of us - Geoff and Diane, husband and me, our daughter, and the minister. It was sweet.

>132 connie53: What a cute picture, Connie, with your sweet smiling face!

Part of my retirement project is to get all the pictures together in one place and possibly put them in albums. That's why I'm cleaning out the closet at the top of the media room stairs. It's about halfway done. Husband has albums from when he was younger, but I only have one album from my childhood and some pictures, plus lots of pictures of daughter when she was young. If I get everything together in one place then I want to scan and also put into physical albums.

I have been extremely low energy in the last two weeks, trying to cope with the fact that husband was laid off and my retirement plans are, of necessity, placed on hold. My alone time is no more. I'm trying to not slip into depression, but it's pretty hard right now to be upbeat and hard to control the anger I'm feeling.

Apr 29, 2016, 8:36am Top

>134 karenmarie: I completely understand your anger.

Apr 29, 2016, 9:06am Top

>132 connie53: aww love the pic! Thanks for sharing :)

>134 karenmarie: huh... that's weird. Both skimming for book group purposes and reading the last chapter first! I do read reviews sometimes before I read a book.. depends.. sometimes that's how I hear about a book in the first place. And occasionally, if I'm L-O-V-I-N-G a book, I sometimes read reviews just to have more to read about the book as I'm drawing out the finishing of the actual book... (though I'm careful about spoilers then)... but I just don't like spoilers in general ;p

Sorry to hear things with your husband being laid off have been difficult ... it is definitely easy to understand how anger develops out of frustration and depression at being thwarted in your retirement plans! I continue to hope it all resolves quickly!

Apr 29, 2016, 2:24pm Top

>135 tess_schoolmarm: Just hearing someone say they understand brings tears to my eyes. Thank you.

>136 avanders: It is fun to hear how other people approach reading - it's all fair and perfect.

I've become a very private person to my husband, and so my anger and frustration are pretty much bottled up inside. Some of it's love for him so that he doesn't take on my problems in addition to his, some of it is part of our relationship and my personality. Anyway, sometimes I want to scream, and then he stuns me with something helpful and understanding like today.

He knows I hate eating out all the time. Yesterday I had mentioned a restaurant that my friend Louise raved about. He immediately said we should go today, found the menu on his cell phone and was insistent that I look at it. I was non-committal. Today, when I had finally decided that we could run an errand and try the restaurant out, he said that he understood that I would probably not want to go out today and that I was probably feeling like I had been away from home too much this week. Bingo. So anyway, we went out, ran the errand, had a wonderful lunch, and I told him that the most I'd like to go out in any one week is twice, including with him AND with anybody else.

3 ROOTs today! Huzzah.

Griffin & Sabine, Sabine's Notebook, and The Golden Mean. I know I probably didn't do them justice, but I did take time to look at all the artwork and try to figure it out a little bit. Wonderful books. I'll have to see about getting the rest of them, but they are mucho dinero so may have to get them one at a time.

I'm going to finish up here and go read Voyager in the hammock for a while. When it gets too sunny and hot, I will continue working on the upstairs closet since part of today's errand was to take the old magazines, monitor, and printer to the dump to make more room for cleaning out.

Apr 30, 2016, 12:36pm Top

>134 karenmarie: Ohh Karenmarie! I feel so sorry that you feel that way, but I understand it too. I sometimes feel the same about my life now my husband is home all day. I feel watched all the time by him. And that irritates me very much (to put it mildly).

Apr 30, 2016, 1:17pm Top

>138 connie53: We are truly triplets! (and so are our husbands)

Apr 30, 2016, 3:37pm Top

>138 connie53: and >139 tess_schoolmarm: The book-reading-TV-watching-husbands Triplets. Sad but true. Ah, well, I'm not responsible for his life, just for my promise 25 years ago. I get phenomenally irritated, as you put it, Connie, and this morning when I woke up I realized that I didn't even want to come downstairs! The feeling left, but so far today I've read almost 150 pages of Voyager to finish it, cleaned more of the media room closet, done laundry, and straightened up the utility room. TV on the whole time, husband playing on cell phone and chatting off and on with my friend's husband, who is a talented carpenter and is replacing 3 windows upstairs. Tonight's dinner with friends of my husband's, tomorrow is our monthly RL book club meeting to discuss And The Mountains Echoed. One by him is enough, The Kite Runner, but unfortunately one of the women chose this one and I must at least start it by tomorrow night to give some kind of honest opinion. Sigh.

Apr 30, 2016, 5:12pm Top

It might also get better as time goes by... My parents both retired last year and they also found it weird and somewhat difficult to be at home together all the time - they just weren't used to it, and then you do start getting on each other's nerves. I hope your husband will soon find employment again and that you won't even need to get used to it, but if he does remain unemployed for a longer period, I hope it'll get easier... If anything the stress over his being laid off might get less; though job seeking is stressful too!

May 1, 2016, 8:23am Top

>141 Britt84: Thank you. Husband has had job disappointments since 1998 when he got laid off by Nortel. Since then it's been a properties development company he owned that was doing great until Hurricane Katrina and 9/11, over 300 resumes with no responses, then an hourly job at the company I worked for, which turned into a salaried job, and now the layoff. It's been a rough slog. He doesn't have a college degree, which with the advent of resume-scanning software, has pretty much eliminated him from even being called in for an interview unless he gets the personal name of someone to get in touch with. He's done that with 2 companies and one recruiter. It's only been two weeks, so I must be patient.

May 1, 2016, 1:49pm Top

>98 karenmarie: Even though I'm retired and used to listen to audiobooks in the car during the commute, I still listen to them at home while I do my needlework. Gives me two pleasures in one!

>128 karenmarie: Belated Happy Anniversary - 25 years you can be proud of that accomplishment - I know at times it's not easy.
As for the wedding album, I actually have mine sitting in the living room (we rarely go in there) but I try to look at it at least once a year - good memories. I told my husband once when he caught me looking at it, that I like to remember when we were young and in love, and he replied "aren't we still in love?" that after 42 years.

May 2, 2016, 10:09am Top

>143 cyderry: I haven't gotten the listen-at-home rhythm going yet. So far it hasn't seemed necessary but you never know.

How sweet of your husband! My husband is sweet that way, normally, but right now there are a tremendous number of stress factors on both of us that are making it hard to relax into the joy that 25 years should bring.

On a book note, I'm moving ahead nicely in Drums of Autumn, the 4th Outlander book by Diane Gabaldon. The action is currently in North Carolina - the state I've lived in for 25 years - and it adds a certain interesting note.

May 4, 2016, 10:44am Top

>137 karenmarie: aww they have a way of stunning us with helpfulness and understanding sometimes, don't they ;) Glad it happened for you so recently!
& congrats on finishing 3 ROOTs -- and the Griffin & Sabine trilogy! I'm glad you enjoyed them :D
I liked them much better than the 2nd trilogy (I just posted about it on my thread), though the 7th was quite lovely :)

>138 connie53: "I feel watched all the time by him. And that irritates me very much (to put it mildly)."
Murder. I would murder someone.

When we had a houseguest for nearly 3 months earlier this year, he was like that. NOT okay.

>140 karenmarie: sigh. I know that feeling (not wanting to come into the public space) :( I'm glad the feeling left!

>141 Britt84: that makes sense! And good to know :) I know a lot of people who are getting to that point -- dual retirements. It's good to know the initial frustration eases :)

May 5, 2016, 9:17am Top

>145 avanders: Thanks re Griffin & Sabine. You are responsible, and I thank you. I also just bought The Pharos Gate and being into instant gratification and spending $99/year for Amazon Prime, will have it show up tomorrow. Not a ROOT, but something I'm looking forward to sneaking in in the midst of my 2 books and having started Hiawatha by Longworth.

Fortunately I don't feel watched all the time by him like Connie does by her husband. My husband knows that I need to be alone more than with people, even him, although his needing people causes him to track me down multiple times per day. Yesterday it was showing me the new statement form for our mortgage and twice while I was outside in the hammock reading/cell phone playing.

Today is lunch with "the girls" as they call themselves, although they are not prepubescent females. For the first 20 years at my company I worked in IT with Michelle and Kazuko, and the last 15 included Robin. We're going to a place that our former boss Joe won't go to because he gets bees in his bonnet about certain restaurants and simply refuses to go there. Sometimes it's related to their rating, sometimes we have no idea why. So last week when we went out in sympathy for Robin's getting laid off a couple of days after my husband did and included our Joe and former network admin John, we went to the Joe-friendly restaurant La Dolce Vita instead of Café 121, which is where we're going today. Then I'm going to go into my old work to say "goodbye" to a woman who was on vacation when I retired in January.

May 5, 2016, 11:27am Top

>146 karenmarie: well you're quite welcome, but it's really Mr. Bantock who you can thank ;)
I also have instant gratification issues... and an Amazon Prime acct ;)

Oh good :) I'm glad you don't feel watched all the time :)
I'm sure Connie was also exaggerating a bit, as we do about our significant others ;)

Aww lunch w/ "the girls" sounds great! Enjoy!

May 5, 2016, 2:40pm Top

>142 karenmarie: Well, the thing is that the jobmarket is just bad right now... I'm currently looking for work myself and it's just so difficult because for any position there's so many candidates it seems like there's always somebody who is better suited. It's probably the same for your husband, there's so many candidates to chose from that it's hard to get a foot in the door anywhere. I hope he can stay a bit positive - I often feel down because of the situation, but there's not much you can do about it I'm afraid.
And then there are so many jobs that are temporary, or just hourly, or more of a freelance kind of thing... It seems like 'normal' steady jobs are becoming a thing of the past and we all need to start moving from company to company.
Anyway, I hope it'll work out and he'll soon have a new place - two weeks is not that long yet, who knows what opportunities will come along!

Edited: May 8, 2016, 10:27am Top

>147 avanders: The Pharos Gate is supposedly in my mail box; Amazon sent notification yesterday that it had been delivered but the FedEx truck didn't come down the drive. If the package is large, they come down the street, otherwise they get lazy and put stuff in our USPS mail box.

Had a very nice lunch with "the girls" and then went back to "work", visited with a few people and helped out Kazuko with some stuff on the computer systems I knew the best. Also met the new Payroll Mgr who is from CA, so we had a cozy little 10 minute chat.

>148 Britt84: I hope you find a job soon. Are you currently working? What do you do? Inquiring minds and all that!

There was one job mentioned by the recruiter a friend turned husband on to, but it's a 90-minute drive one way to Rocky Mount NC and I agreed with husband that 3 hours on the road was too much.

I'm at page 745 of 1070 in Drums of Autumn and chafing at the bit that I have other things I have to this morning before I can sit down and read.

May 9, 2016, 9:39am Top

Fourteenth ROOT finished, Drums of Autumn, also a re-read. So much better to me than the first time I read it. I have now pulled The Fiery Cross, another ROOT, and the fifth book in the series.

In the meantime I've read The Pharos Gate. Lush, richly detailed, illuminating, maddeningly obtuse. I loved it. Not a ROOT, as it showed up in my mailbox Saturday.

I definitely have enough books on my shelves to NOT buy one new book this year, but it doesn't work that way for me, alas.

Being as it was Mother's Day yesterday, my mother and I were talking on the phone and talk came around to books. She always sends me money for my birthday (next month) and I almost always buy books with it. I don't have the 8th and final book in the Outlander series so might use some of the money for that book, which pleased Mom.

May 9, 2016, 11:53am Top

>149 karenmarie: Argh! Well, hopefully you have it in your hands soon! Oh - I see you do :)
I'm glad you loved it! :)

Glad you had such a nice day :)
& Congrats on finishing a chunkster!

lol - I also have more more more than enough books on the shelves to not have to buy a new one for... probably a decade? But no, it never works that way...

Edited: May 13, 2016, 10:06am Top

>151 avanders: Hello Aletheia. I'm in the same boat you are - more than enough books to read without buying any more. I have 1604 of 4462 books that are tagged 'tbr' - to be read. At a "retirement calculated rate" of 130/year, that is 12.3 years of reading without buying a single new book. Not buying books is not in my nature, although I have cut down drastically at various financially-difficult times in the past and am trying to do so now by buying at the thrift store and buying used at Amazon for $.01 + $3.99 shipping when I can. They still come in, though. :)

I'm still reading The Fiery Cross, on page 407 of the 959 page hardcover. Still a ROOT, although I'd read the first 4 and this is new territory.

Hardcover books are getting harder and harder to physically read, especially if they are chunksters like this one is. Almost my entire career was using a computer. I had successful carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand in 2006 and retired this January. Less time on the computer on a daily basis, but I've unfortunately ramped up my cell phone "playing" and can't seem to STOP. So my thumbs hurt sometimes, and it is amazing how much thumb strength is involved in holding a book.

I have started sitting in the sunroom (also passes for my home office) to read during the day except when I'm in the hammock. Hammock reading is hard on my hands, sunroom reading isn't. As we get closer to summer I'll be spending less time in the hammock because North Carolina summers are the absolute shits. Hot and humid, with lots of bugs. Indoors in the air conditioning is my preferred living space from about 2-3 weeks from now 'til September.

Tonight we're visiting friends for a pizza party because they moved to Tennessee 18 months ago but had a house here in NC that didn't sell quickly. It's sold now, and their official tie to NC will end on Monday when the house closes. Tonight will be the last event at their old house. Sad. But, we'll have fun visiting with them.

Tomorrow is lunch with different friends at a new "Asian Fusion" restaurant halfway between Chapel Hill and our own little Pittsboro. We've been there twice and liked it a lot.

Husband hasn't had any nibbles on jobs yet. I'm stressed.

Edited: May 13, 2016, 11:01am Top

>152 karenmarie: wow. Your number blows mine out of the water! I have around 850 tbrs in the house... you're almost double that!
And 130 books/year? I wish I were at that rate!

I'm w/ you - not buying books is not in my nature ;p
But as I've said before.. For me, part of owning the books is owning the choice... e.g., I have a LOT of "cozy mysteries" that I gobbled up from thriftbooks.com and the library sales over the past year.. I may never read them ALL, but I now have an abundance of choices from which to pick when I'm in the mood. And for the prices (many were 25 cents or less!), that choice is worth it :) s'long as space is not yet an issue. And it's not. yet. ;)

Ooph, carpal tunnel surgery! I have a very very minor case of that, which is mostly addressed by a better ergo keyboard and mouse (and placement)... but holding thick books in a hand is not nearly as easy as it used to be! You're so right -- thumb strength really accounts for more than we realize! I can completely understand the aversion to hardcover books. :)

"North Carolina summers are the absolute shits" lol! That's just a funny phrase, though I'm sorry your summers are so icky... that is one definite plus of summers in the dessert... very low humidity and very low bugosity.

Hope you had a great pizza party w/ your friends! And you have the right attitude, I think :) You can have fun visiting them!

Sorry that your husband's job search hasn't been successful yet.. Maybe networking might be worth it? It will also get him out of the house ... ;)
You know, take people to lunch to just talk about jobs in general.. a lot of times, that kind of interaction results in leads that the computer/papers don't have. A lot of jobs aren't even advertised conventionally.... ?? In any event, good luck & hope your stress eases soon!

Edited: May 13, 2016, 11:29am Top

> 153 The 130 books a year is an estimate based on reading history and the fact that I'm retired now. At the rate I'm going this year (40 in the first 4 months) that's 120, plus I added 10 because I'm reading Outlander and they are all chunksters and after I'm done with those quite a few books will have less pages and I can add to the total more quickly. Only an estimate, of course!

Choice is the absolute key here, I agree. If I never bought another book (gulp! that sentence gives me the willies) I'd still have enough to read for many years. I also have books that are "ntbr" - not to be read - some of them are reference, cookbooks, bibles, etc., but some of them are inherited books that haven't sounded interesting so far but could be converted to 'tbr' if I got desperate!

I'm from Los Angeles, where we had hot DRY summers with few bugs, just like your summers in the desert. LA is, after all, a semi-arid desert. The days could be blazing, with temps over 100F, but the nights cooled down into the 60s. There were perhaps only 10 days a summer that didn't cool down at night. Windows open, cool breeze most summer nights.

I also plan on visiting Brenda sometime this year for a couple of days - she works full time so it would have to be a weekend, but I already have the invite.

My husband is very depressed for many reasons, and although he KNOWS the things to do, isn't doing them. I will try to get him to network if I can. Good idea about the lunches - he loves to eat out - it's just a matter of re-connecting with his old Nortel friends and scour LinkedIn. He's distraught over "ruining my retirement" although he only said that once, thank goodness; he knows he needs to find a job so that we have insurance 'til he's 65 and can get Medicare. He's younger than me, 60 to my 63. I'll be eligible for Medicare in 2 years. I don't have any health problems currently (except normal aches and pains, fortunately), but husband has high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, and diabetes which requires insulin. Sigh.

I've done a bit of networking on his behalf and have also found a local opportunity 15 minutes from the house - a defunct poultry plant has been bought and will be re-opened - and if they need any customer service or planning/expediting he has a good chance of getting a job there. Wouldn't that be fantastic. He's writing a cover letter that he wants me to look at so he can send it and his resume off to the HR guy mentioned in the local chatlist where I found the details.

Thanks for the support, Aletheia.

May 15, 2016, 7:06am Top

Hi Karenmarie! I hope the poultry plant has a job for your husband.
I don't want go on about my husband but he feels depressed too. About not sleeping and about his stomach aches and about getting through the day (and night). I try to stay positive and talk him out of his downward spiral. We just returned from a visit to the store to get some herbal medicine to make him sleep and feel better during the days. I hope it helps!

>145 avanders: I feel that way sometimes!

May 15, 2016, 7:21am Top

LOL my doubles, Connie & Karenmarie--my husband watches me, too....especially when I come from the kitchen! I can't carry a bag or a box but that he doesn't want to see what's in it. Unfortunately, he does not want to see the laundry or anything like that! We are both working right now and I honestly do not know what I will do when I have to live with him "fulltime". I'm glad to know that I'm not alone when I feel like this!

May 15, 2016, 9:50am Top

>155 connie53: Thank you, Connie. He hasn't finished the cover letter today and apparently didn't sleep most of last night so will be pretty tired today, but perhaps I can chivvy him into working on it a bit without getting a cranky reply. I hope the herbal medicine works for your husband.

>156 tess_schoolmarm: We're all in this together. Every woman I speak with whose husband is home more than not tells me they crave time alone in their house and to be able to just "do things around the house" without feeling like they're under a microscope.

We had fun with our friends at lunch yesterday, and they shared pictures of their recent trip to Costa Rica. They had a wonderful time. The heat and humidity got to Terri more than David and even if it got to him most of the time they were on the Pacific coast and he could take a dip. Terri doesn't swim and would only go in to her knees. Wonderful food, inexpensive accommodations, interesting things to visit and do if you like the outdoors life like they do.

Today is just around the house. Since husband hardly slept last night, I envision him dozing in front of the TV. Most likely he won't go into the bedroom and take a nap, but if he does, I'll be on the couch reading!

It's an absolutely gorgeous Carolina day, beautiful blue sky, crisp air. I've got the sunroom door open to get that nice fresh air into the house. 51F, high will be 68F. Perfect for the hammock, too.

May 15, 2016, 4:38pm Top

Oh I do hope that that job comes through for your husband! (and before that, that he does that letter!!).

>157 karenmarie: We are having similar weather too, for about the past week. As this is Scotland, and we are *not* used to it at this time of year, everyone is making the most of it and getting out and about. Me, the best thing about it is that I can hang the washing outside rather than having it drying in the house. I must be getting old, whenever I see blue sky my first thought is to get the washing on!

May 16, 2016, 2:44am Top

>158 Jackie_K: LOL, Jackie! I can visualize you running around with loads of washing to get every ray of sun there is.

May 16, 2016, 5:14am Top

It's colder and overcast today. So no more washing, and looks like I may have had my Vitamin D fix for this year! ;)

May 16, 2016, 9:10am Top

>158 Jackie_K: and >160 Jackie_K: Hi Jackie! Well, your sun came and went. I hope you got all the laundry done. Take advantage of the sun. We have a clothes dryer - no line anywhere outside, I'm afraid. But I remember line-fresh clothes from when I was a kid. Even though central NC gets lots of sun, the vitamins I take have Vitamin D in them so on days when I don't get outside (quite a few, actually) I'm covered.

>:159 It is a good visual, isn't it, Connie?

Yesterday was quiet. Lots of reading, brought down some picture albums from one side of the house. Husband looked through them, and today they will go to the cleaned-out closet at the top of the Media Room landing.

Today is taking Kitty William to the vet for his every 3rd year rabies shot. He's an indoor/outdoor kitty and there are rabies-carrying critters outside. He will also get his annual exam.

And reading and etc. Yesterday was too cool to sit outside, as it turned out. I tried once and that air circulating under the hammock was just too cool. Maybe today.

May 16, 2016, 10:42am Top

>154 karenmarie: yep, that sounds a lot like our summers! :) I love it when it cools down at night :) Having grown up in the midwest, where it's humid all the time in the summer, I especially appreciate the cool nights!

Yeah, it's so hard that doing things would help with depression, but the depression makes doing things so hard!
Aww, yeah it must be hard on him to be "ruining your retirement" -- though I'm sure he also appreciates that you're around while he's going through such a hard time... I'll keep my fingers crossed & his job search in my prayers!

And, oh that's great that you've found a local opportunity - hope it works out!!

>155 connie53: man, it's so hard dealing with depression -- your own or your significant other's! :(

>156 tess_schoolmarm: lol. no no no. I hope that isn't something that happens with my husband as more time passes!!

>157 karenmarie: wow, that does sound like a perfect day!

>160 Jackie_K: heh heh ;) Glad you had a lovely day!

May 16, 2016, 11:19am Top

Hi Aletheia! I haven't exactly thought about me being there for my husband while he's going through this - I've been a bit selfish, I think. I feel like I'm supportive and helpful, but not like he might actually like it that I'm around. After thinking about it, I'm sure he does appreciate that I'm around, and that makes things a tad easier for me. Thank you. Confusing sentences, but I hope you get the drift.

May 17, 2016, 10:28am Top

>163 karenmarie: oh well, whether you've thought about it or not, it sounds like he's probably benefiting all the same ;)
Totally understand. And it's certainly reasonable to feel selfish sometimes -- especially when we're feeling frustrated!

May 17, 2016, 10:56am Top

>164 avanders: Thanks, Aletheia. If he lived alone, I think he would be in really bad shape. He tends to go into downward spirals and right now he's questioning everything about his life. It's hard to listen to but I try to be positive for him and encouraging him. He's going to lunch with a friend today. I'm staying home, and will get some serious quiet time on the couch in the living room reading, but I have to go to the doctor for a 2 p.m. annual exam. Sigh. I hate going to the doctor, especially since he'll just tell me to lose weight. He's right, but I've had problems with my weight ever since I hit puberty, and it's not easy to lose weight when I'm stressed.

We're supposed to get rain the next 3 days and it's only 64F out. Too cool for the hammock again, but I'm making fantastic headway on The Fiery Cross, book 5 in the 8 book Outlander series.

May 17, 2016, 4:59pm Top

>165 karenmarie: I hope the visit to the doc wasn't too awful. I'm similarly 'big-boned', so you have my sympathy!

I did see a facebook meme this week which made me smile - it was along the lines of "I wish I was the size I was when I first thought I was fat".

May 17, 2016, 6:17pm Top

>166 Jackie_K: Not a bad visit at all. I told them I knew I was overweight and didn't want to know how much I weighed, and they didn't mention it. I've been going to this doctor for 18 years, so we were in accord. Everything else went well. He said that because I wasn't taking any preventative prescriptions (high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol) that I didn't need to come back for 2 years unless I got sick or started feeling bad. And they took blood and gave me a tetanus booster AND pertussis shot since it's making a slight comeback here in central NC because parents aren't immunizing their children in the foolish thought that they are being intelligent.

Oh, Facebook memes! Me too, me too! I wish I was the size I was when I first thought I was fat!

Another ROOT!! I just finished The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon. ****1/2 for sure. Stunning. Her writing moves me to tears.

Next will be another ROOT, book 6, A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

May 18, 2016, 11:16am Top

>167 karenmarie: wish I was the size I was when I first thought I was fat!
Me too! I was really goodlooking in my bikini when I was 18, but I felt fat all the time.

May 18, 2016, 1:05pm Top

>168 connie53: I looked good in a bikini, too..... sigh. I've felt fat since I was 13. There have been a few not-fat times, but even when I was slender for my build and height, I felt fat since I wasn't a size 2.

May 20, 2016, 10:25am Top

>165 karenmarie: ooph, my husband was the same! He's actually quite a bit better now, but for many years, whenever I would go out of town (which I used to do often), he'd basically stop eating, sleeping, or grooming himself. ?! Funny how we get so attached to each other ;p But it sounds like your husband really benefits from your positive and encouraging attitude! He's lucky to have you :)

ew, doctors. Yeah I'm not a fan myself.. even though I happen to like my doctor. I just don't like seeing her in a doctor-capacity. ;p
And weight is such a hard thing to manage! There's a reason why the weight-loss industry is a multi-billion? trillion? dollar industry...

>166 Jackie_K: >168 connie53: >169 karenmarie: yeah, right?! I totally wish I were the size I was when I first thought I was fat... sigh. I think I was a size, what, 10? 12? (I was an athletic kid/teen, so even at an 8, I felt very fit) I'd very happily take either right now...
lol in HS I had a string bikini... I ddn't wear it in public, but I was totally cool w/ it on in the backyard. Definitely definitely not today.

>167 karenmarie: good! Sounds like that was a good way for you to handle the situation :)

May 22, 2016, 11:03am Top

>170 avanders: And size 10 or 12 is? 38 to 40 in European sizes, I think. I'm a size 12 or 14 now. But I was a 10 then. I'm not complaining about my size, not really.

May 23, 2016, 10:40am Top

>171 connie53: lol yes, I suppose it's hard to translate sizes!

Let's see... according to this chart, an American 10 is a European 44.. whether that's true/accurate, I have no idea.

To put it into perspective:
An American size 0 is as small as it gets (like, emaciated, very ribby girls), and then each size up is an even number, i.e., 0, 2, 4, 6, etc., And generally (though it's definitely not always true), each size is like 10'ish pounds.

Apparently, the current "ideal" in America is an American 4 (used to be 6 or 8)... so if an American 4 is, let's say, a 5'4" woman who weighs... 120 pounds (54kg)? Then a 10 would probably be a 5'4" woman weighing 150 (68 kg). But of course body type hugely matters. I have a lot more muscle than the average American girl, so even at 5'2", when I was a size 10, I weighed more like 165 pounds (75 kg) -- that muscle weigh a bit! ;) Hope that's helpful....

Edited: May 23, 2016, 11:01am Top

>170 avanders: Hi Aletheia. He tells me frequently that he's lucky to have me. Today he's in a good mood. He mistook the day for his Unemployment appointment, actually drove about 5 miles before he figured out that today wasn't the 25th, but has stayed cheerful.

The weight loss industry is a fraud. They only address drastic calorie/carbohydrate reduction and now most of them make you buy their foods, which are outrageously costly. Then, once you attain your goal, if you do so, you are very likely to put the weight back on for all the original reasons that you gained weight in the first place.

My doctor didn't even mention my weight at all. Vonda, his nurse, must have clued him in. Plus he's known me for 18 years.....

>171 connie53: I dislike my size but losing weight has to occur, for me, when I'm happy. Being unhappy causes me to eat too much and many of the wrong things, which adds the pounds. Sigh. I was just getting a handle on food and consumption/portions when husband got laid off.

>172 avanders: *snort* Size 4. My left thigh is a size 4. (joking.....) But the 'ideal' is fostering so many body image issue problems among young girls that it's frightening. And I've always looked like I weigh less than I do. In fact, when I got married I weighed 140 pounds and everybody said I'd gotten too thin! But I'm "large boned" and was wearing 8-10s at the time. My wedding dress was a 14 because that label/style ran small - and that's an entire other issue. I wanted to buy a size 12, but they said that by experience many women gained weight before their weddings because of stress and they'd rather take a dress in than let it out. Well, they had to take mine in. Which, of course, cost me extra $$.

I had my dress dry cleaned after the wedding then stored in a specially-treated box to preserve it nicely. I think it's under our bed..... I honestly don't think my daughter will ever wear it - it's seriously not her style at all. Plus, it would have to be taken in again, because she's about a size 6 or 8. Little rat.

I've been trying to have no-sugar days and have gotten rather good at it. I had a relapse yesterday, because my neighbor is so stressed with her husband's colon cancer surgery and problems since then that I knew that a good batch of brownies would help. So I made them (from scratch from a recipe from the 1950s that I grew up with), doubled the recipe, and kept half. Haven't eaten any today..... there are 6 left..... I hope husband eats them all.

Oh, and back to ROOTing..... I'm on page 461 of 980 of A Breath of Snow and Ashes, book 6 of 8 in the Outlander series. It's wonderful.

May 23, 2016, 2:03pm Top

>173 karenmarie: that's so nice to hear that your husband tells you frequently he's lucky to have you! :-}
And that's awesome that your doc didn't mention weight at all.. I agree, the "industry" is bogus :P

lol yeah, size 4 ;p I just read that that was the new "American ideal." Bunk.
I completely agree it's problematic...

I have no idea where my "dress" (sari) is... in a box somewhere? probably? surely, right? :) But it probably won't ever be worn again, by anyone. We had a "standard" protestant wedding ceremony with the guys in suits, but the girls in saris (because my mom is Indian) :)

"Little rat" lol ;)

& Congrats on your ROOT progress! Glad your book is wonderful :)

May 23, 2016, 3:07pm Top

I saved my wedding dress, also, after cleaning in a hermetically sealed box. I had no daughters. I opened it after 20 years and sadly the fake pearls had disintegrated, turned black, and permanently stained the dress. Good thing I DIDN"T have daughters! When I got married I was weighing in at just about 100 lbs. Sad...sad...sad....what my weight is today!

May 23, 2016, 3:26pm Top

>174 avanders: Thanks, Aletheia.

>175 tess_schoolmarm: Oh, Tess, I'm sorry your dress was ruined.

My no-sugar day was ruined - my fault - but husband wanted a milk shake when we went out to run an errand and instead of getting an unsweetened iced tea with lemon, I got one too. And I didn't even really like it that much.

May 23, 2016, 10:50pm Top

>172 avanders:

An American size 0 is as small as it gets (like, emaciated, very ribby girls

As a representative of the size 0 crowd, I'd like to just point out that we are not all emaciated, ribby girls. I am a very healthy, and fit, soccer-playing woman in my 30s who eats three meals a day with lots of meats (fat included) and fruits and vegetables and chocolate. I've never purchased a diet, low calorie, zero sugar, of anything. Now yes, if I do a very deep stretch extending my hands to the sky then my ribs will jut out a bit but as a stretch pulls your skin taught against your ribs, that's quite normal.

In any case, just wanted to point that out. Also, we can't forget vanity sizing. Some brands have dropped the number on their clothing to make women (and men) feel better about themselves by dropping a size 16 to a size 10. Their body hasn't changed but they at least feel better by having a smaller number representing their size. I'm skinnier now than I was in high school but only because in high school my body was still immature and I had "baby fat" even though I only weighed maybe 5-7 pounds more. Back then I could barely wear a European size 38, now, I'm swimming in that size. So because of alterations such as this and other marketing strategies, clothing size really means nothing.

At the end of the day, it's not the number that matters, whether that be the label on the article of clothing, or the number reflected on the scale, as long as the person is healthy, active, and generally happy. That should be the ultimate goal.


By the way, I'm loving the husband conversations. I'm not married but it's so fun to get a look at married life.

Edited: May 24, 2016, 1:16pm Top

>175 tess_schoolmarm: oh no! at least it worked out in the end :)
wow, that's a tiny little bride!

>176 karenmarie: I hate it when that happens.. when I give in and then don't even enjoy the indulgence! ah well, each day is a new day :)

>177 lilisin: my apologies! I happen to personally know no size 0 americans who are not on the ribby side.. (and if I were a size 0, *I* would be quite unhealthy bc my body's not built for it), but it was an assumption all the same. Also, my size-0 friends definitely enjoy their physiques, so really, no judgment (I retract the word emaciated, which does have a negative connotation.. I was just using shorthand to put forth an image so someone with no knowledge of our sizing system might understand where it starts). Many people prefer a smaller look -- some even prefer the "ribby" look.. and some just strive for healthy :)

I agree, too, about vanity sizing... these days, it's hard to know where you are, size-wise.. but what's most important is that you're healthy!

Edited: May 25, 2016, 11:43am Top

>177 lilisin: Hi lilisin! Mine, too; apologies, that is. Thank you for your sharing. Intellectually I know there are people who are just naturally slender and fit, it's just hard to find them in all the diet industry/obesity epidemic talk. And for me, frankly, there's a large amount of envy in it. I'd much rather be petite and slender and able to wear anything. A lot of it is genetics. I come from big, big-boned women on both sides, but I could get back to size 10 or so if I could just stop overeating and exercise more. I've always known what it is, it's just that stress and other things get in the way.

I'm glad you're enjoying the husband talk. I'm enjoying it too because it's amazing to me that many of the women here on LT have husbands with similar patterns of behavior to mine and so different from my own behaviors. It's comforting and amusing.

I have a friend from college who's single, having lost what she calls the Love of Her Life to another,r 20 years ago. In our various discussions I've mentioned that my husband doesn't read books (he reads a lot online, but it's news and magazine stuff). and she said that would be a deal breaker for her, but honestly, I don't ever remember thinking at all that "my husband doesn't read books" and how it would impact our future relationship. "Nope, won't marry him because he doesn't read. Back to the dating pool." Would I rather he read than watch TV? I could envision quiet times in the living room both turning pages or swiping the Kindle.

In looking back at serious boyfriends over the years, though, I never seriously dated a man who read voluminously. Ever. Guess it's my lot in life to not have a significant other reading partner. More shelf space for me, though. :)

>178 avanders: Each day is a new day, for sure. No sugar, vanity sizing, etc. Have you ever read The Devil Wears Prada? Extremely interesting look at the obsessive 0s, not the healthy 0s like our new friend lilisin above.

Daughter has made an effort to carve time from work and is coming home tonight through Saturday a.m., with a friend visit Saturday/Sunday morning then back to us for Sunday afternoon before she has to get back to work on Monday. We haven't seen her since Christmas. She's missed her Dad's 60th birthday, our 25th wedding anniversary, and Mother's Day and will miss Father's Day, my birthday and hell, even her own birthday in August. I admire her work ethic and loyalty to her company, though, and am just glad that we'll get to visit. (Plus she's going to go through the books on the little yellow table, take what she wants, then I'll take the rest to the thrift store.)

I'm on page 595 of 980 of A Breath of Snow and Ashes and am still highly involved. I may have to take a bit of a break to read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald for next month's bookclub, though. In fact, I'll put it up now at the start of Part 9 and pull the Zelda book off the shelves. It's not a ROOT, more's the pity. But I found it at the Friends of the Library Sale in April so was thrilled.

Edited: May 25, 2016, 11:02pm Top

>178 avanders:, >179 karenmarie:

Oh, I know you guys meant no harm with your words. Just trying to defend those who are constantly told "go eat a sandwich" when they are perfectly fine and are eating many a sandwich. :)

Out of my three serious boyfriends, one was a non-reader, one was a reader with different taste, and one was a reader with the same taste. The last one was the one I thought I'd end up marrying until he decided that our perfect relationship was something other than what he had envisioned for himself. Although I had wonderful relationships with the two others and I didn't feel anything amiss from not discussing my books, it was nice getting to share my reads with someone sitting right next to me for once. Overall though, a reader versus a non-reader doesn't make a difference to me. However, someone who watches tv/movies in bed and has to sleep with the tv on or something like that is a no-no-no for me. Not happening!

May 26, 2016, 7:50am Top

My husband is a non-reader and we have been married for 41 years. He does read 1-2 books per YEAR, only westerns, only Louis L'Amour. He watches TV constantly and falls asleep each night with the TV on; but I'm a non-TV watcher so if I try to watch TV I would also fall asleep!

May 26, 2016, 7:52am Top

>180 lilisin: It's interesting isn't it, our partners' different reading 'profiles'! My husband is an avid reader, but we have such very different tastes we don't get to discuss our various reads very often! But that's OK - we share some interests and have others that are very separate, but he's cute so I forgive him those! I thought the discussion above about feeling 'watched' was really interesting - my husband is very introverted, so doesn't need tons of company, and likes working solitarily (is that a word? You know what I mean!) so if he's in the house he's often in his workshop in the spare room. So we don't trip over each other, even though he's in the house a lot (he works 3 days a week from home, and I work locally on those days so in effect we're in the house together quite a lot).

He does have very different reading habits to me though, which freak me out way more than the fact that we don't share the same taste in books - can you imagine this, he buys a book AND THEN READS IT STRAIGHT AWAY! He was absolutely horrified when I confessed how large my TBR list was :D

May 26, 2016, 8:07am Top

>182 Jackie_K:

he buys a book AND THEN READS IT STRAIGHT AWAY! He was absolutely horrified when I confessed how large my TBR list was

I have a worse confession than that.
My ex-boyfriend would read MY TBR pile faster than ME! I felt so ashamed! lol

May 26, 2016, 8:29am Top

>183 lilisin: OK, yeah that's embarrassing!!

May 26, 2016, 2:41pm Top

>179 karenmarie: oh that's sad about your friend :( But that's an interesting point... I think it's easy to say what is and isn't going to be a deal breaker before you meet the actual person you're considering ;) Once you meet a person, a lot of other things come into play.. I had a friend, in fact, who used to say she would NEVER marry a slob, she just couldn't handle it. Well, lo and behold, the love of her life is a slob. And they're great together. And his slobbyness is sometimes an issue... but they work on it :)

I didn't read Devil Wears Prada -- but I saw the movie. I can see what you mean.. the focus in the fashion world is definitely unique!

Glad your daughter made an effort to come home! It really is so nice when we're able to see family :)

And re Z: A Novel of Zelda.. I was pleasantly surprised by that. Quite an interesting read - hope you like it!

>180 lilisin: I'm glad you knew! :) It's good to be reminded of other perspectives!
I will also say re the TV issue... that's also something that can be worked on ;)

>182 Jackie_K: lol! bizarre habit he has ;) I have done that... but rarely. :)

Edited: May 27, 2016, 11:23am Top

>180 lilisin: through >185 avanders: Hi guys!

I've been offline since Wednesday a.m. because our ancient modem died. We're on Century Link (boo, hiss) and have worse internet than pretty much anybody in the entire state of North Carolina. It turns out that they sent us e-mails telling us we needed to upgrade our modem FIVE YEARS AGO, but husband somehow didn't see them. And instead of just shutting it off and turning it back on Wednesday, I reset it, thus completely destroying the handshake protocol to their server. So we've got another modem enroute to us today.

In the meantime, it was data reset day yesterday on our cell phone plan and we were too close to the limit to use my cell phone as a hot spot until today, when we've now used 0 of 22 GB. So I'm actually connected to the internet on my cellphone, using data until we get the modem. Sigh.

I'm going to wait until we get back on our wireless unlimited data before responding to all your wonderful, funny, and thoughtful messages, possibly sometime today, probably tomorrow.

May 28, 2016, 9:45am Top

>180 lilisin: I never dated or lived with a man who was as serious a reader as I was, even if it was different genres. The major benefit to having a reader in the house would be that the blasted TV wouldn't be on all the time.

True story: When I moved to NC to get married, husband had a (huge at the time) 35-inch TV, surround sound system and add'l speakers, DVD player, tape player, reel-to-reel drive, record player and all the receivers/amplifiers/etcs needed to support that in his 'media room'. He also had a TV in the bedroom. I have never had and never wish to have, a TV in the bedroom. I told him he got his choice in the bedroom: me or the TV. The TV never got turned on again and never made it to the house we built 2 years later. We've never had TVs in any bedrooms, only in "public" spaces, but not in my library, the home offices, or the kitchen.

>181 tess_schoolmarm: Hi Tess! 41 years is proof that 'mixed' marriages work. I watch TV when there are specific things to watch - some sports (pro football Carolina Panthers, some Winter Olympics but not figure skating, and whatever sport is on if I want to socialize in the living room), and some series/movies with husband. We've been watching Twin Peaks for the first time ever for either of us, which is fun, and with daughter here we started watching The Office again.

>182 Jackie_K: Buying a book then reading it directly. That boggles the mind. I have 1603 books that are tagged "tbr", plus two I received in the mail but haven't cataloged yet - The Bird Artist mentioned on msf59 Mark's thread, and The Scottish Prisoner because I'm reading Outlander. So 1605. I'm sure your husband would have a fit over that number. It gives me great comfort - I can find a book for ANY mood, fiction or nonfiction.

My husband, to give him full credit and honor, has had 3 sets of built in bookcases put in this house (library, my home office aka the sunroom, and recessed bookshelves over the door in the upstairs den aka parlour.) He'd build me more if we had the space for them, but I'm going to co-opt some of daughter's rec room shelves soon with her permission. All I had to do was promise to not throw anything away. Packing and storing is okay, though.

>183 lilisin: and >184 Jackie_K: I don't know how I'd feel if husband wanted to read my books - as long as he took care of them I don't think I'd mind.

>185 avanders: I supposed that if the partners in a marriage didn't work on the things that were bothering them it would be hard to maintain the marriage. Unfortunately I'm extremely non-confrontational; sometimes I have upsets and resentments and anger and am not willing to discuss things to avoid conflict. I'm also co-dependent, so sometimes needing to be liked overrides my need to make my statement. Sigh.

We've had a good time with our daughter. She left half an hour ago to visit a college friend - she'll stay at Amber's parents house, go to Barnes & Noble and Target, hang out, and etc., and come back sometime tomorrow late morning or early afternoon. We're a bit worried about the potential for Tropical Depression #2 to turn into Hurricane Bonnie because daughter lives in Wilmington NC, so she may have to leave to get back with enough time for bad weather/flooding without enough time to continue to visit. She has to be back to work on Monday for sure.

I'm really liking Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. It is a novel, not a biography, and according to the author, she used Scott and Zelda's letters and other sources, but all letters appearing in the novel are made up. The book provides a lot of emotional content from Zelda's perspective, as it should, and I'm also enjoying the references to other authors and movie/entertainment figures I've read or read about over the years; Anita Loos, Edmund Wilson, Ring Lardner, Flo Ziegfeld, Ernest Hemingway, etc. The author mentions that most sources are either Team Zelda or Team Scott - "For every biographer or scholar who believes Zelda derailed Scott's life, there is one who believes Scott ruined Zelda's."

Today is hanging out, mostly, and I think I'm going to purge the sunroom of books I've read by putting them in the rec room. Which means packing up some of daughter's stuff first. And, Cary is coming over to continue the carpentry work and perhaps even install the final upstairs double-hung window. His wife texted me this week that he should be here around 10ish.

May 31, 2016, 11:51am Top

>186 karenmarie: lol 5 years ago! Sorry your internet died... that can be so frustrating!!

>187 karenmarie: sounds like your husband made the right choice ;)
oooooh built-ins. I'm drooling a little.. I never thought about installing them myself though.. hmmmm.... perhaps a future project! Meanwhile, I will keep buying ones I love ;)

So true about working on things being necessary to maintain a marriage.. Even if you're non-confrontational, seems that after all this time, your husband understands your concerns.. even if it might take longer than it otherwise would if you directly stated it. My mom is actually the same way.. she is non-confrontational, even after 40 years of marriage! It's funny.. maybe even a little generational? But my sisters and I are all definitely NOT non-confrontational in our relationships ;)

Glad you had such a nice time w/ your daughter!
Hope the weather was wonderful and not at all dangerous!

Oooh and I'm so glad you're enjoying Z! I really really enjoyed it.

Jun 1, 2016, 4:42pm Top

>187 karenmarie: Yes, 1605 TBRs is way more impressive than my 300-ish. I am in awe!

Jun 2, 2016, 9:41am Top

Hi Aletheia! I don't know if it's generational or not. I may be modeling my mother's relationship with my father, unfortunately. My husband understands my concerns, I think, but honestly doesn't know how to deal with them because of HIS background and family dynamics. We're sort of a mess in the constructive argument area of our marriage, I'm afraid.

Daughter got back safe and sound, and Tropical Storm Bonnie pretty much fizzled out here and in Wilmington. She had two big bands of rain on the way home but once home the weather wasn't a threat.

I finished Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald the other day and think it's one of my top reads of the year so far. I broke down and bought The Romantic Egoists edited by Matthews Joseph Bruccoli, Scottie Fitzgerald Smith, and Joan P. Kerr. I've flipped through it and am enthralled - it's got photos, and excerpts from letters, notes, journals, and newspaper articles.

>189 Jackie_K: The number of tbrs I have sometimes pleases me and sometimes embarrasses me.

I'm continuing A Breath of Snow and Ashes and am about 140 pages from the end. It is still as exciting reading "Outlander" in book 6 as it was in book 1.

Jun 2, 2016, 9:50am Top

It just occurred to me that most people who are ROOTing are doing so and then getting rid of books. I'm ROOTing in order to read books off of my shelves that I intend to keep and have read 15 ROOTs, 5 of them re-reads. Separately I've CULLED 80 books.

And daughter was able to go through the culls last weekend and take what she wanted. The rest I've divided into 2 piles, one for the Thrift Shop and one to the Friends of the Library for their Fall sale. If I get organized this morning before my chiropractor's appointment, I will get them into the car and run those errands after the appointment. Then, the little yellow table in the sunroom will be cleared off, ready for new culls.

Jun 2, 2016, 10:18am Top

>191 karenmarie: I don't know, Karen....from the posts I read they don't get rid of them! I do read and get rid of 95% of my books, though. However, since 2011 80% of my reads are on Kindle so for me the actual job is to read the paper books and get rid of them--some to family members, some to friends in RL book club and some to donate.

Culling 80 books is great!

Jun 2, 2016, 11:26am Top

>191 karenmarie: I'm not yet in the mental headspace to contemplate getting rid of books - I just like how they look around the place, and I also think that it will be nice as my daughter grows up for her to have a wide range of books to choose from. However, as space isn't infinite I am starting to think about a few that maybe wouldn't hurt going to the charity shop (and which wouldn't be the end of the world for my daughter if she didn't read them).

In my teens I was an avid reader and re-reader, and I think that ultimately I would like to be in a place where I have so few TBRs that I can start re-reading some very old favourites.

Jun 2, 2016, 12:58pm Top

>191 karenmarie: Hi Tess! Thank you. Our percentage of Kindle reads is very different - I read perhaps 5% on my Kindle. I just can't get away from the idea that buying something on the cloud and on an electronic device is not as real as holding a book in my hands, in my house, and put it on my shelves. Different strokes for different folks, eh?

>193 Jackie_K: For years and years, Jackie, I had enough space on my shelves to not have to contemplate getting rid of any books. Then I started acquiring more and more. Husband had more shelves built, I've since filled them completely and double- and triple-stack some shelves. And, an extremely important change is that my reading tastes have partly changed. I very rarely read romances any more except to re-read my Georgette Heyers. I still read a lot of mystery and thrillers, but have also expanded my reading repertoire because of LT, for which I'm grateful. So I look at some books now and wonder why I bought them or retained them if someone gave them to me. I'm seriously considering revisiting all my romances with an eye to clearing most of them out.

I have no self-control, so if I want to re-read a book I do, regardless of how many tbrs I have. In fact, this year I've re-read 11 out of my 41 books read, 5 re-reads out of my 15 ROOTs.

Edited: Jun 2, 2016, 2:06pm Top

>194 karenmarie:, Well I too prefer hard books, but for several reasons have had to cave. Firstly is my eyesight, a lot of the print is too small for me to read comfortably, even with my bifocals. I can adjust the Kindle to a font I can read. Secondly, as I age I want to clean less, have more "space" and less dust collectors, so ridding myself of books that I can barely read is all good! It did take a lot of willpower to start using my Kindle and stick to it. However, many times the ebooks are cheaper, they are always there without taking up space. I think I have about 70 real books to read off my shelf...most of which I will cull. That will leave me with about 50 books that I won't get rid of. (Art books, history books, Little House books, The BobbseyTwins, etc.) I currently have about 500 books on my tablet with about 350 TBR!

Jun 2, 2016, 3:55pm Top

>195 tess_schoolmarm: Good reasons, Tess, and I'm sorry about your eyesight. I had cataract surgery in both eyes Dec 2014 and it has made reading more difficult, actually. But overall I'm pleased with the improvement in my vision.

I want to clean less, too, but so far that's been limited to removing non-book dust-collectors. I'd just as soon see a non-cluttered desk top, table top, dresser top, and etc., than one with stuff. This directly conflicts with husband, who likes to see stuff out. I keep beating back the flood and in the "public rooms" I have mostly won.

Books, though. I love to have them around me, see them, remember reading them or anticipate reading them, and just know that I have them. When we eventually downsize, I don't know what I'll do.

350 tbrs on your tablet. You're never without a book. Such a good feeling!

Jun 3, 2016, 10:19am Top

>190 karenmarie: That makes sense too! I think we're all very much a product of our upbringing :) The good and the bad.. and then we've.. slightly modified it over the years ;)
Glad to hear your daughter made it home safely!
And I'm also glad that you enjoyed Z so much! ooooh, I didn't know that. I may have to get that book too (Romantic Egoists)

>191 karenmarie: oh, and there's a "culling" thread that Fuzzi started here in the ROOTs group, too.. :)
I tend to "read and release" (only keeping books that I will definitely reread or that I definitely want to be able to lend out) book.. so for me, the ROOTing group helps me work on doing that more quickly... :)

>194 karenmarie: My sister had to double-stack when she was living with us (because her book collection puts mine to shame).. but her new house has all kinds of shelves ...
For me.. if I were at that point? I'd perform an emergency culling stat..... I'm a bit too OCD to be okay w/ double-stacked books!

Jun 3, 2016, 11:09am Top

>197 avanders: I've got quite a lot of double-stacking going on - I actually like the look. It's kind of 'lived in' and book-lover-y, which is a look I like!

Edited: Jun 3, 2016, 11:42am Top

>197 avanders: Wow, Aletheia, if I was that OCD I'd have to cull from 12 shelves out of 15 in the Sunroom. I don't have as many shelves like that in the Library, but still, there are probably several hundred books just in the library. The only downside to MSS (multi-stacked shelves) is that if I'm just browsing for a book, some are going to get frequently overlooked. If, however, I'm looking for specific books or authors, then looking on my LT catalog works because of my location tags.

My new goal is to only have books I haven't read in the sunroom, with a few exceptions for specific authors. This means moving books back and forth from the library to the sunroom, changing the location tag on each one as part of the process. Thank goodness for the Excel export function - I can create lists of books by shelf and title and write the new location on that list when I've moved something and update everything in one fell swoop.

I've printed out the list of the Sunroom locations, but have been strangely paralyzed this week. I still need to put everything either back on my desk or file it or box it after my desk reorganization project of last week and start the rec room cleanup/conversion to My Space instead of daughter's rec room.

I've seen the cull thread, but couldn't find it just looking for it. I've culled 80 books so far this year.

When I was reading Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald the best way to read it was to be in the sunroom near my computer so that I could look people/places/things up as I was reading. Lots of times I just wanted to get a visual of someone mentioned. The Romantic Egoists looks wonderful and I'm going to dive into it this weekend, I think. I don't feel that it's a book to read cover-to-cover, though.

I recently heard of a movie called Midnight in Paris about that time period, with the Fitzgeralds, Hemingway, Cole Porter, Jean Cocteau, etc., in it, and I am hoping to persuade my husband to watch it tonight with me. IMDB's description of the movie: While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s everyday at midnight. The clip I saw had Zelda and Scott - and Zelda was so animated and "flapperish" that I got intrigued.

Midnight in Paris clip

>198 Jackie_K: Hi Jackie! I like the look too, just as long as I can find what I'm looking for.

Jun 3, 2016, 1:53pm Top

It's taken me 4 years and reading over 400 books, but I can proudly say that I have only ONE double-stacked shelf (3 bookcases)!

Jun 3, 2016, 6:02pm Top

>200 tess_schoolmarm: Proud of you, Tess! That's a great accomplishment.

Jun 3, 2016, 10:19pm Top

>201 karenmarie: TY, Karen! I did have 7 double-stacked shelves. It's quite noticeable (to me!).

Jun 6, 2016, 11:40am Top

>198 Jackie_K: Totally true -- it is both of those things! It's just one area in which the OCD tendencies take over a bit in my own life ;P

>199 karenmarie: lol yes well... culling certainly has its very prominent place in our house ;) I actually do have real OCD tendencies -- I'm not full blown.. but I've had my moments (years) when the other stressors in my life caused some interesting responses... But as it applies to the books... they are NEATly organized. ... When someone looks at them and pulls a book a little too far out? I re-neaten it. (after they leave!) ;) And I absolutely have to be able to SEE all of the books....
>200 tess_schoolmarm: >201 karenmarie: and >202 tess_schoolmarm: But multi-stacking definitely (clearly) works for many people!
And That's awesome that you've made Excel work for you re book locations :)

I'd also heard of Midnight in Paris, but I still haven't seen it.. I'd like to, but I understand the Fitzgeralds aren't in it that much? If you watch it - let us know how you liked it!

Edited: Jun 9, 2016, 9:20am Top

>202 tess_schoolmarm: Hi Tess. Your efforts are impressive.

>203 avanders: Hey, Aletheia. Regarding OCD, I go through phases, too, but usually the books have to be neatly aligned. Fortunately or unfortunately, nobody else removes books from my shelves. If were needing to see all of my books, I'd be in trouble, although with the creation of Karen's Retreat (my new name for it), aka Daughter's Rec Room, I might be able to get closer to seeing all books. Of course, that means that they are in 5 rooms, but it's a fun goal to try to attain.

Midnight in Paris was a wonderful movie. I liked it and will probably watch it again at some point. True, the Fitzgeralds, Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Cole Porter, Man Ray, Pablo Picasso, and etc. only have cameos, but the movie itself is beautifully done and has a very large message that grows on you as the movie progresses. I wholeheartedly recommend it. The only problem some people might have with it is that it is a Woody Allen movie and if you can't separate his personal from his professional life, then you will refuse to see it from principle. Several of the people at bookclub the other night said that they wouldn't watch it for that reason. Also, interestingly enough, only 3 out of 12 people liked Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, citing the fact that they disliked/disapproved/hated/were disgusted by the people portrayed. They basically wrote off the entire Lost Generation/Jazz Age. Surprised me, because some of the best writers, composers, and artists came from that generation.


42 books read so far this year
17 of them are ROOTs
80 books culled - removed from shelves and given to daughter or Friends of the Library
146 books acquired - in my defense 76 of them were acquired at one event - the Friends of the Library March sale. Although putting it that way, that means 70 were otherwise acquired.

Edited: Jun 9, 2016, 12:11pm Top

>190 karenmarie:/>204 karenmarie: I read z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald not too long ago and was enthralled by it. I was at my childhood English bookstore on Lake Constance weekend before last and happened across Villa America and was SO TEMPTED, but ended up picking up The Accidental Empress instead as I was in Germany and reading about an Austrian empress seemed a slightly better fit.

But I am pretty sure I've just caught a BB with The Romantic Egoists...

I really enjoyed the bits of Midnight in Paris with the Lost Generation (and in the Belle Epoque). Much as I dislike Hemingway (to read and certainly in Z: a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald), I loved watching his character talk in these pompous blunt run-on sentences that sound EXACTLY like his written work to me (and also how he is constantly trying to fight someone to prove his manliness). Plus Tom Hiddleston's F. Scott Fitzgerald, exasperated with but doting on his Zelda was a lovely turn.

Essentially, I thought that if you could essentially ignore the main character Woody Allen stand-in (although, admittedly, this is thankfully one of the least Woody Allen Woody Allen movies) and just focus on the kaleidoscope of talented Lost Generation and Belle Epoque characters drinking, dancing and arguing across the screen, then the movie was fantastic, and I'm really glad you enjoyed it too!

Jun 10, 2016, 1:46am Top

>205 Caramellunacy:, 205

Funny but I absolutely despised Midnight in Paris. I thought it was poorly directed, poorly acted, poorly filmed and was in general a horribly written movie with as terrible a plot. I'm still baffled when people describe how much they enjoyed the movie. And I generally like Woody Allen films. Well, maybe every other film. And maybe more back in the day. His films are feeling a bit repetitive these days.

Oh how I love to see varying opinions. So much fun!

Jun 10, 2016, 7:23am Top

>206 lilisin:,
It's always so interesting to see how people's opinions differ

Maybe it's partly a matter of how you feel about Woody Allen movies in general? Most of his films just don't sit right with me at all (they feel very self-conscious and uncomfortable to me), while this one didn't feel very "Woody Allen" to me... which (for me) was a good thing.

That said, I will agree that the plot was ridiculous (and upon rewatching there were a LOT of things about the core plot/core characters that irked me), but I loved the spot the author/artist/famous figure game (even though they were often almost caricatures) too much to pay over-much attention to the present day scenes :)

Edited: Jun 10, 2016, 8:25am Top

>205 Caramellunacy: and >207 Caramellunacy: Ya got me! BB for Villa America. Thank God for Amazon used books. This one was $.47 plus $3.99 shipping for a hardcover in very good condition.

Midnight in Paris. Ah. I deliberately didn't mention the Belle Epoche because it is a critical part of The Message, but of course Tolouse-Lautrec, Gaugin, and Degas were just as much fun to "grok". I really liked the "Woody Allen stand-in" Gil, although the initial premise that he could get engaged to such a shallow, avaricious, inconsequential, and clueless woman was problematic. And since Hemingway actually got more air time than any other real person from the Jazz Age in this movie, it was amusing to see him act like the caricature of himself, both in his personal and his writing lifes. It would have been interesting to have Scott expound on his writing and beliefs.

I have only watched 12 out of Woody Allen's 48 movies. Funny, I actually lost track of him from about 1995 'til now. As I was coming up with my 12 of 48 statistic, I thought "I'd love to have the complete collection of Woody Allen movies and binge watch."

>206 lilisin: In hindsight, I'll agree with Caramellunacy that there were flaws in the movie, but I thought the plot a neat time travel twist. I got sucked in with the opening scenes of Paris. If I start a movie, I usually finish it. The only exception I can think of offhand is The Matrix, which I found disturbing and disgusting. Anyway, I have watched so few of Allen's more recent movies that I can't speak to their repetitiveness. I suspended disbelief in this movie and it worked for me. And I would watch it again.

I love varying opinions as they are (mostly) done here on LT, meaning that we can ATD - agree to disagree - and still respect one another and not get hurt feelings. That doesn't work well in some other areas of my life.

Yesterday I worked on Karen's Retreat. I moved furniture, cleaned and vacuumed baseboards and carpeting, got all daughter's books on one set of shelves (not double-stacked!). In order to get my Retreat under control, I realized that I had to get daughter's walk-in closet organized and space made available there in order to store stuff from KR. So I boxed up her karate stuff from when she was about 10, her boots and shoes, and her hats, including her cherished fedora. I folded all her hanging clothes and put them shelves and hung her jackets in just one portion of the hanging space. I'll put her 2 long coats and her high school graduation gown (!) downstairs in my closet. So now I can move her soft animals and games into her closet, freeing up the shelving in KR. All good stuff, but I spent about 8 hours on it yesterday and have probably 4 or more to go today. Then I have to add her books to my catalog (with tag "jmh" to indicate her books instead of "kph" that indicate mine). My intention of turning her closet into a linen closet probably won't pan out since there's so much of her stuff that I'll store in the closet in boxes. I was going to put some of her stuff in the dormers, but most of it would be heat-sensitive.

We're also going to go to Costco today, I think.

And I may get some reading done.

Jun 10, 2016, 1:14pm Top

>204 karenmarie: that's nice that no one removes books from your shelves... I make my book collection completely available to friends & family... just so long as I know what someone is taking ;) So they get handled a bit...
Karen's Retreat is a great name for that room!
Glad you enjoyed the movie! Will definitely have to check it out.. Done. Placed a hold at the local library :)
Only 3 people liked Z! I can't believe that! Esp. for that reason.. I guess that can be a huge turn off. But sometimes (and certainly w/ this book), it was the point, really... Ah well, can't please everyone!
Impressive stats - congrats!

>208 karenmarie: wow, you got a lot of work done! So much fun doing work on a room that you can consider a retreat.. that's up next for me too.. my sister has now emptied that room and I can start working.. well, almost. Husband will be painting it first.... :)

Jun 10, 2016, 1:44pm Top

Hi Aletheia! Thanks re the room name. I was going to call it my Woman Cave but that sounded too estrogen-ish. Then it was going to be The Retreat, but that sounded too public. So Karen's Retreat it will be.

When I was first getting OCD about my books, I told husband and daughter they could borrow anything they wanted as long as they told me what they were borrowing and then never put it back on a shelf. Daughter usually asks before she borrows and husband doesn't read books.

I can hardly believe 3 of 12 either. That may be our highest group dislike to like ratio ever except for When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro, which I think everybody universally loathed. Disliking a book because of the characters does make sense to me and I use it to abandon books all the time. And TV shows. I guess that I like Scott and Zelda so go on from there. I have all 4 of Scott's novels and have only read The Great Gatsby and have 4 of Hemingway's novels and have only read The Old Man and the Sea, so they're sorta equal reading wise, but I have always mentally preferred Fitzgerald.

I'm having fun keeping up with my reading stats this year. I've got a spreadsheet for the stats inspired by drneutron, and lists in this thread and my 75 Book Challenge thread for # of reads, culls, ROOTs, and acquisitions.

So far today I haven't done any work on Karen's Retreat. Just got back from breakfast out and the Costco run. How come we always spent $300 or more? This time it was the UPS for husband's computer that bumped it. I got The Fireman by Joe Hill, which was exciting, and we also stocked up on boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs and whole bean coffee for me.

I'm girding my loins to head upstairs for some more Retreat work.

Edited: Jun 12, 2016, 6:22am Top

Catching up on threads! And wow yours has a lot of new posts. I just skimmed them. Good luck on the creating your Retreat! Sounds lovely.

Jun 12, 2016, 8:09am Top

>209 avanders: I forgot to congratulate you on getting your own retreat. And wow. Your husband is painting it for you. Fantastic.

>211 connie53: Hi Connie! I've been verbose lately, just rambling on. Skimming is good. Thank you for wishing me good luck - I'm getting excited about it because there may only be 3-4 hours to get everything in its proper place, then some computer work getting daughter's books into my catalog.

I had a Home Economics teacher in 7th grade named Miss Letitia Perry. Very few of us liked her. We were required to take Home Ec and the boys had to take Wood Shop. Anyway, she had a phrase that I'm sure every Home Ec teacher everywhere used that we rolled our eyes at - A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place. However, the older I get, the more I appreciate it. And strive for it.

Jun 12, 2016, 8:49am Top

>212 karenmarie: I heard that phrase before in the Dutch version! And I think it's so true.

Jun 12, 2016, 9:43am Top

>212 karenmarie: That phrase has been the silent mantra of my homesteading! I always hated it when my mother said it to me a million times, but I was glad when as a young mother of 3 under the age of 5 that I could find anything at anytime (most of the time....except for the remote in the toilet bowl and other child "hidden" objects) and that my house always seemed neat and clean but I did not spend more than 20 minutes per day cleaning. That has carried over into my third stage of life now (over 60) and I find that it is imperative as I just don't have the memory I used to have! I allow myself one "slip up" and that's my home desk....looks like an explosion. I have tried to clean if off, but I think the problem is there is only one drawer and there is nowhere to put anything should I decide to put it away! It will be nice to have a haven of your own, enjoy!

Edited: Jun 12, 2016, 9:50am Top

>213 connie53: I did a bit of freetranslation.com and it was fun to see the phrase in Dutch, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and a few others.

>214 tess_schoolmarm: Your experience is mine - I hated when Ms. Perry would say it, but I hold it in high honor. It was hard when daughter was young and I had (and have!) to cope with a husband who pulls things out and doesn't put them away properly, but now that I'm retired I'm trying to get my house to follow this principle. My sunroom desk tends to get out of control easily, like yours, but now that I've got everything put away that I don't need on a day to day basis, it is a bit easier. Karen's Retreat won't be where I do any computer or other work, just a place to read, watch movies, listen to the radio and CDs, and be away from the ubiquitous TV in the living room.

I really need to start getting rid of things that we don't use/need, but I hesitate to get rid of too much because there are things daughter might want. Well, as long as I have storage space, I won't have to make too many decisions!

Time for a bit of breakfast then more work on Karen's Retreat. And then some soccer - football to most of the world - as there are 3 UEFA matches on today and husband and I have become interested.

Jun 12, 2016, 6:07pm Top

>210 karenmarie: lol yeah... I prefer retreat to cave ;) Mine was simply called the Book Nook.. but that room's being moved (into the room that Mark is painting) and what is left will be converted into what we're calling the Scotch Room. Sorta like a man cave but not ... ya know, quite so juvenile ;) No TV either - it's going to be like an old-school parlour, but manly'ish.

I haven't yet read When We Were Orphans, but my RL book group did and enjoyed it-- I was told I will enjoy it. I think I was out of town when we read that and hadn't yet gotten back to it..

Ooooh.. I did NOT like Scott (as a person .. and I didn't love Gatsby, but I also didn't hate it). But I did like Zelda... so perhaps there's something to it.. :)

Lol yeah, we also spend a lot at Costco too! ;p

>212 karenmarie: thanks! And yes.. he's pretty excited for it too :)

Jun 12, 2016, 6:52pm Top

>216 avanders: Hi Aletheia! I toyed with the idea of Woman Cave but that just sounded ridiculous in addition to sounding juvenile, as does Man Cave. Karen's Retreat sounds good to me. And, I like your Scotch Room - a manly designation if ever I heard one.

We have a Parlour upstairs, over the living room. About 10 years ago we added a ceiling in the 2-story living room to make it 9' and that created the Parlour. It is much nicer having a cozy living room AND the additional square footage. In addition to housing MiL's living room furniture, the Parlour was supposed to be a reading area for me but whenever the TV's on I can hear the TV. I also put my sound system in there but if I want to have it on loud, it interferes with TV downstairs. So - and I have you to thank for this for making me think of them together, Parlour and Karen's Retreat - I'm going to move the sound stuff into Karen's Retreat. I don't know how much of it's redundant, so it will either get transferred or stored in case daughter wants any of it.

I finished getting Karen's Retreat ready today for me, my overflow books, and my CDs/DVDs by cleaning off and making available a total of 8 of the 16 shelves; 30 linear/60 square feet. Four have daughter's stuff that would require too many boxes (her Breyer Horses and various and sundry), two have her books, and two are probably empty but a mystery as they're behind the old Sony Trinitron TV that's too heavy for us to move. We'll have to get someone to move it out. Then we'll take the flat screen that's downstairs and move it upstairs and buy husband a new 4K TV for downstairs, probably "my" birthday present. I'm happy to do this because he'll appreciate the technology more than me and I'll get a 60" flat screen upstairs. Karen's Retreat makes me feel good. My birthday is in 2 weeks, and depending on various financial things, we may be able to get the TV situation ironed out around then.

Next step is to get the linens and pillows evaluated and organized/thrown away/donated. And books that I've already read put in my Retreat and re-tagged, leaving space in the sunroom and library for new books. :)

I'm dragging a bit on An Echo in the Bone, but would like to finish it by next weekend.

Jun 13, 2016, 6:05am Top

>216 avanders: >217 karenmarie: My husband has his workshop in one of our spare rooms - our 2 year old daughter refers to it as 'Daddy's Toys', so that name has now stuck! My room, on the other hand, which will eventually be my home office when I can finally sort it out, is currently known as the Room of Doom, due to the amount of decluttering that still needs to happen!

Jun 13, 2016, 7:54am Top

>218 Jackie_K: Hi Jackie! I like 'Daddy's Toys'. Be careful and start thinking of a new name for your home office soon. Start practicing it, otherwise it will always be called Room of Doom. Good luck on the decluttering. It takes a certain frame of mind (and the time, of course) to get into one of those cluttered spaces and get them under control.

Today I am joining the Friends of the Chatham Community Library as a Member of the Board. I was invited after the last sale and am flattered and excited. I hadn't wanted to start making commitments after retiring in January, but this one involves books and some of my favorite people, so it's a win-win situation for me.

Tomorrow we're spending a ton of money (literally, $2000), to replace our water softening system. It's 18 years old, put in when we built this house, and recent leaks and water pressure issues make it necessary. Just one of those things. I look forward to consistent water pressure.

Jun 13, 2016, 10:57am Top

>219 karenmarie: I'm sure you will love being on the board---I've been asked, but since still working I declined. I hoped to be asked again when I can become involved.

Went through the very same thing with water softener about 2 years ago. However, this past year we had to put in a well pump and a pressure tank---hope they all last about another 15-20 years! We live in the country and so have to provide all of our own equipment--a trade off, I guess!

Jun 13, 2016, 10:57am Top

>219 karenmarie: I'm sure you will love being on the board---I've been asked, but since still working I declined. I hoped to be asked again when I can become involved.

Went through the very same thing with water softener about 2 years ago. However, this past year we had to put in a well pump and a pressure tank---hope they all last about another 15-20 years! We live in the country and so have to provide all of our own equipment--a trade off, I guess!

Jun 14, 2016, 10:26am Top

>221 tess_schoolmarm: I had the opportunity to become Treasurer a little over two years ago when I was still working and had started talking with the then-Treasurer about the responsibilities. I could swing the 1/2 day a month vacation time for the Board Meeting, and the occasional time here-and-there, but then my MiL took a turn for the worse with her stage IV lung cancer and I didn't feel like I could commit the time. MiL passed away in March of 2014, but I was shell-shocked and couldn't get back into the idea of any kind of commitment, much less the huge time drain of being Treasurer. I was Treasurer for daughter's 7th and 8th grade middle school PTA and Treasurer of Band Boosters for grades 10-12. (That's how I think about it!)

So now I'm on the board. I think there will be a lot of e-mail activity, once-a-month Board meetings except for July, the Annual General Meeting, and perhaps some committee work. Yesterday's meeting was interesting, although one of my favorite people was out of town. Thank goodness for Sue, the only person I knew. There seems to be a lot of vagueness, which doesn't please me at all, although the financials are being reasonably handled. They presented the Budget for next year (Jul 2016-Jun 2017) and shared the current financials, and we had a short discussion of declining membership and what to do about it. The Annual General Meeting is tomorrow night. They seemed surprised that I had already planned on attending. Really? I take my commitment seriously, that's why I haven't committed to anything else since retiring.

Yeesh! Well pump AND pressure tank. $$$ We're on well and septic too. I think part of today's activities will be a new pressure tank. All necessary, all just to get you back to where you were.

Jun 18, 2016, 5:29am Top

I'm sure you will like being on the board. If it involves books it can't be bad!

Jun 20, 2016, 9:58am Top

>217 karenmarie: lol yeah but .. at the end of the day, whatever someone chooses for their own space is good enough to me. I also really like Karen's Retreat :)
yeah it's a bit "manly" - but we'll work to change that impression! ;)

Very cool that you have a parlour upstairs! I love the idea of it. I didn't grow up with anything like that, but I love a place for just sitting and chatting. Just enjoying someone's company. And, of course, reading. ;) Cool idea to move your sound stuff into your retreat! It sounds like a perfect fit to me :)

>218 Jackie_K: love it! And it's probably true ;) Mark recently built himself a work bench & tool shelf-thingy out in the garage and has been VERY happy about his "toy" space! :)
lol Room of Doom -- hopefully that name doesn't stick once it's been decluttered! ;)

>219 karenmarie: Cool that you're joining your FOL board! Sounds like a great organization to be a part of!
Oof - it's always hard spending money to update something on the house, like that! For us, we have a roof replacement on the horizon...

Jun 20, 2016, 4:07pm Top

>223 connie53: Hi Connie! I hope so. I like the people I've met so far, and it is the cause closest to my heart - books!

>224 avanders: Hi Aletheia! We all need our own spaces, I think, whatever we do in them and whatever we call them.

When the house is 18 years old, like ours is, most of the things we are doing bring it back to neutral. Replacement windows and doors, spending money on the outside, interior work, and the water conditioning system..... eventually painting inside and out.

I've been moving books upstairs to the retreat (location tags R11-R82). Thirty books are sitting on the bottom step to be moved upstairs in batches of 10. They're all hardcovers and heavy.

I found some that were misshelved, too, bonus! So now I only have 47 misshelved out of 4544. 1%.

Jun 20, 2016, 11:13pm Top

>225 karenmarie: WOW--just wow at 4544 books! And sometimes I can't find something in my 400+ books.

Jun 21, 2016, 8:57am Top

>226 tess_schoolmarm: Hi Tess! Location tags work for me. I've said it elsewhere, that without something to tell me where a book is, I'm lost. Since I don't store books alphabetized, by author, by color, by genre, by subject, by anything else, I need to know what shelf they're on. My tags are 3 characters:


So R82 is Karen's Retreat, Row 8, Shelf 2. G01 is Great Room, and since I don't have bookshelves in there and the books are on an old 1928 White Sewing Machine (beautiful old piece of furniture), I just used 01 as a place holder.

And, of course, the dread misshelved, for those books that are missing in action.

Jun 21, 2016, 9:49am Top

>225 karenmarie: agreed :)
yeah I am dreading moving all the books upstairs too... batches of 10 sounds like a good idea!
Congrats on only having 1% misshelved ... especially out of >4000 books!

Jun 21, 2016, 9:56am Top

>228 avanders: Thanks, Aletheia. Unfortunately I had to add two to the 'misshelved' tag. But it is still a small percent of the total.

I moved the hardcovers upstairs this morning before my cleaning ladies arrived, and it did take 3 trips with about 10 books per trip. I am staring at another 41 books, mostly mass market paperbacks, that need to go upstairs too. I think I'll put them in a box and carry them all up at once.

I think I'll sit on the porch and read - with hot coffee I can't read in the hammock, but have a nice rocking chair and footrest, with a table to my right. It's going to be a stinker later on, hot and humid, but now is tolerable. Off I go!

Jun 21, 2016, 9:58am Top

>229 karenmarie: sounds amazing.. I'd love to sit with coffee and read right now! Alas... that will probably have to wait until at least this weekend.... Enjoy!

Edited: Jun 21, 2016, 2:56pm Top

>230 avanders: Thanks! I had about an hour of reading, then came in to work on books, eat some lunch, and watch some UEFA soccer. Husband came home from lunch with a friend, we watched the rest of the match, and now I'm LibraryThinging it after taking the 41 books upstairs, too. Plus I pulled all my Lee Child's Jack Reacher series out and 13 books from another shelf and they're all upstairs now, getting used to their new home. :)

This is a change for me, to keep books by status in the Sunroom - unread - and put all read books other places. It's fun and I'll be able to treat the sunroom more like a library - just scan for something I want to read.

Soccer's back on at 3, and I'm having dinner with a high school friend tonight. We went to high school in Southern California - several years ago I joined the Facebook group for my high school graduating class and discovered that Jan was a member too. Eventually we figured out that we only lived about 30 miles apart and started meeting for dinner. We've been meeting ever since, and have recently upped the ante to once a month.

Jun 21, 2016, 5:12pm Top

>231 karenmarie: I'm sure the books love their new home :)
Interesting... of your 4000+ books... about how many are unread? I'm sure you've mentioned this... It's nice to have all the unread books in one place.. We're going to have them in 3+ once the "imagination room" is complete.. ah well, at least each location will make sense w/ regard to the books within them... :)

Very cool that you have reconnected w/ an old high school friend! Have fun at dinner!

Jun 22, 2016, 5:59pm Top

>232 avanders: Hi Aletheia! Of my 4349 books, I have 1615 tagged 'tbr' - to be read. I have another 357 books that are NOT reference or cookbooks that are tagged ntbr (not to be read - I should probably call them dnr instead for do not read) - I just looked at them and quite a number of them should really be tbr - like all of Dickens, like some of the Beatrice Potters, etc. So probably around 2000 out of the 4349 on the absolute high side.

I like it - imagination room - is that it's name or is that a concept?

I'm not sure I'll get all my tbr books into the sunroom. Including the books I moved upstairs, it had 1300.... that leaves 300 out in the cold, so to speak. However, I am thinking of moving all my slipcased books, even if unread, and all the yearbooks upstairs and perhaps all my Stephen King and Dean Koontz, read or unread, and etc.

I might also do some more culling.... yeesh! But if not culling, then moving some of the tbr to my library on specific shelves.

Fun stuff, I'm slowly evolving it.

Jan and I had a nice time. She bought my dinner because my birthday is Sunday, which was special. We talked for 2 1/2 hours.

Jun 23, 2016, 1:50pm Top

>233 karenmarie: wow... wow on both ends! ~2000 owned books tbr... and ~2300 owned books, read!
.... so... why do you have dnr books? Dnr books are, for me, books that are quickly given away.... ;)
Makes sense that you couldn't fit all those books into 1 sunroom! 1300 already there! Impressive! Yeah, I find that moving whole categories at a time makes me fell better than breaking them up ;)

I'm glad you had fun w/ your friend -- and that she treated you! And Happy Birthday a couple days early!

Imagination Room -- both! :) It will serve many purposes.. a play room for the future kids, a book room, a craft room, and a present/wrapping room... I thought, what combines all those things? Imagination! I'm presently painting it.... Here's a pic of my progress as of Tues evening (I filled in a little more last night, but I have a bit of work to do still!)

I plan on putting all the kids books upstairs in this imagination room, as well as most trade (genre) paperbacks...
I'll leave downstairs the classics & "pretty" books (i.e., those "literature" ones that have such pretty covers ;))

Jun 23, 2016, 2:30pm Top

Very nice!

Jun 23, 2016, 3:56pm Top

>234 avanders: Hi Aletheia! Well, ntbr books are usually reference. The tag 'reference' means that they are to be dipped into as needed but never read cover to cover. But the 357 non-reference books that I've tagged dnr/ntbr need to be reviewed, some changed to reference, and some changed to tbr.

Thank you for the early birthday wishes. I love it, especially the book worm! 63 and counting.

Thank you too for the picture of your Imagination Room. You are very good. I am not an artist in any way, shape, or form, and appreciate those who are. It sounds like it will be a wonderful place.

Arranging and rearranging books is fun. I go through this periodically, but since being retired I am really getting a sense of how I want my library to "flow".

And, now for an official ROOT notification - I just finished An Echo in the Bone. For a while I was not enjoying it as it had introduced a new, pivotal character, but I started liking her/him and appreciating how Ms. Gabaldon was weaving her magic to bring all the people I love into this book. My eyes teared up a couple of times, and at one point when an amazing event occurred, I was muttering to myself as I went from living room to laundry room. Just at that moment husband came home and was startled at my vehemence and asked if I was talking to him. I said no, it was my book. I'm actually glad he didn't really hear what I said, because he's enjoying the TV series and it would have potentially spoiled it for him 5 seasons down the road. I'm not going to review any individual book per se, but will probably write something at the end of the series with spoilers hidden but available.

I have anticipated my mother's birthday money gift and bought the only Outlander book I didn't own - the last one called Written in My Own Heart's Blood. I also went over budget and bought The Outlandish Companion Volume 2. :) I didn't want to get Volume 2 until I had finished the series, but have bought it and will be strong and only look at it after finishing the last book.

Only 825 pages to go in the entire series, and Oooh, there's a family tree in the 8th book! I won't look at it yet, until after I finish.

Before jumping into it, however, I'm going to read our July bookclub book, The Story of Land and Sea by Katy Simpson Smith. Interestingly, it occurs just 15 years after where I've left off in Outlander, 1793, in North Carolina, which is one of the main locations in Outlander. it is short and sweet at 240 pages. Book club will be on July 11th at my house, so I also have to start thinking about how to feed and water 12 hungry and thirsty women!

Jun 24, 2016, 10:29am Top

>235 tess_schoolmarm: thanks :)

>236 karenmarie: Ah that makes sense re your ntbr category .. I do keep some reference books... not a ton, but some. I don't "count" them in my collection. :)
& thanks! I didn't think I was an artist -- in fact, my responsive sentence would sound exactly like yours.. until a couple years ago, I just tried painting.. turns out I did have a knack for it after all ;P

Congrats on another ROOT pulled!

Hee hee -- anticipating a birthday money gift ;D

Edited: Jun 27, 2016, 7:00pm Top

>237 avanders: Hi Aletheia - I count my ntbr books because I give them shelf space. They are part of my entire catalog of books. If, God forbid, my books got destroyed in a flood or fire, I'd want to replace them too. Cookbooks, dictionaries, The Outlandish Companion Volume 1 and The Outlandish Companion Volume 2, Bibles, and etc. Of course, some are irreplaceable, but at least they are documented.

I'm glad you 'tried painting' because it obviously pleases you and you're able to be creative in your house. I can't paint or draw, but I learned a long time ago to accept that I have other strengths. I still have a book called Drawing on the Right Side of The Brain on my shelves.

Thank you re my ROOT. I wish I had bought this last one previously so I could count it as a ROOT!

I started The Story of Land and Sea and after 50 pages abandoned it. It didn't grab me, wasn't lyrical, wasn't descriptive in a way that I could relate to. Perhaps I didn't give it a fair shake in anticipation of Written in My Own Heart's Blood.

Anyway, I'm on page 304 of this 8th book of the Outlander series and it's quite good.

I had a lovely birthday yesterday, a little melancholy because my daughter was working and my mother and sister are both in California. Ah well, now it's over - the first time I've really ...dreaded... is not the right word, but not anticipated is better I guess, my birthday since my 30s. Blech.

Starting in about 1984, my mother bought me the complete series of Agatha Christie books published by Bantam Books. They are quite nice, bound in black leatherette:

She gave me one or two per birthday and Christmas until I had all 89 of them including her autobiobraphy.

All that to lead into the conversation we had yesterday - I told her I was moving books upstairs, and she asked if I was going to move the Agatha Christies. Honestly, I hadn't thought about it, but probably wouldn't have; she had them there in her mind, having visited only a couple of times over the years. I know she most likely won't make the trip to NC again, and she was so pleased to visualize them where they that I promised I wouldn't move them. I re-read them periodically, and they're conveniently located to just browse through.

So today is a bit of time in the vegetable garden, reading, possibly starting some pickles, continuing to move books to Karen's Retreat. I've moved 314 books upstairs so far.

Edited to add no vegetable garden, no pickles, but I got the old, heavy TV out of my Retreat, cleaned the shelves behind there, vacuumed, got rid of extraneous cables and the non-blu-ray DVD player, moved daughter's books to the shelves behind where the flat screen TV will go, and am totally whupped.

Jun 30, 2016, 11:46am Top

>238 karenmarie: makes sense! :)
Yes, I quite enjoy painting .. I'm also glad I tried it!

lol, I often feel that way about new books ;)
Glad you're enjoying the 8th Outlander book!

Bummer that your daughter was working & your mother/sister are in Cali.. but glad that overall your birthday was lovely :)

Wow that's very cool re the Agatha Christie books! It must be a beautiful collection.. I can see why you wouldn't want to move them upstairs..

Edited: Jul 3, 2016, 9:49am Top

>239 avanders: Hi Aletheia. I love my Agatha Christie collection. When my mom gave me the first two for Christmas in 1987 I had to put a good face on it - thought it was a dumb idea but would never do to let her think that. And as the years progressed I came to value having such beautiful books and looked forward to each birthday and Christmas. It's probably the best present ever. Of course, it took about 12 years to complete!

Even though the 8th book of the Outlander series does not count as a ROOT since I just bought it, I decided to post my overall thoughts about the series here since the first 7 were ROOTs.

I finished Written in My Own Heart's Blood two days ago, the 8th and what I thought was final book in the Outlander series, but there is apparently a 9th in the works. It makes sense, based on where book 8 ended. If it was the end of the series I'd be saying "What?! But, but..." The books came out in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2014. I'll have to be patient for the next one. There are related books, a related series, and novellas, short stories, etc.

But just the series, all 7,530 pages in my combination of mass market paperbacks and hardcovers, is absolutely stunning. It is primarily the love story of Jamie Fraser, a Scot born ~1722 and Claire Beauchamp Randall, born 1918. There is magic and time travel and some of the most vibrant emotive writing I've ever read. The tone and genuine love of the story and characters are miraculously consistent across all 8 books. I've had tears in my eyes more times than I can count. It is historically believable as to motive, behavior, and representation of actual events. There are princes and generals, physicians and conjure-women, Mohawks and pirates, merchants and wives, good and bad people. Diana Gabaldon is an author of stunning intelligence who can share her story dramatically yet simply and throw in scenes of such humor and wryness that I found myself laughing out loud. I don't know what else to say except that if you like historical fiction and are willing to commit to a large chunk of time for 8 chunkster books, you should read this series.

Jul 9, 2016, 2:27am Top

Looks like you are enjoying being retired and getting your retreat organized, Karen. Interesting how the husbands seem to age in the same stuck in front of the TV way. Have a great weekend.

Jul 9, 2016, 9:11am Top

>240 karenmarie: Great review, Karen. I have the first book of the series on my TBR pile.

Jul 9, 2016, 1:33pm Top

>241 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! I love being retired and have most of the Retreat complete. All I need now is the flat screen TV, blu-ray player, and wireless speakers husband promised a while back. Not that I want to watch TV all that much there, it's just that occasionally I want options. I'm trying to break myself of the habit of reading in bed - not good for my back - and am hoping that the Retreat will help.

And yes, there is a dominant stuck-in-front-of-the-TV gene that seems to activate in the 50s/60s for lots of men!

Although I have to be honest and say that husband is outside right now, in 91F, 66% humidity and 107F heat index to finish cleaning up the Johnson-Grass-Takeover bed (used to be a Dutch Iris bed) before my book club meeting tomorrow night. He mowed 2 days ago and bought new outdoor potted plants for the concrete urns we have, and wants it to look nice. He's a keeper, even if the TV part is irritating. Well, to be honest, EXTREMELY irritating.

>Hi Tess! Thank you. I hope you enjoy Outlander when you finally tackle it.

Gabaldon reminds me of Dorothy Sayers in her willingness to add scenes that don't directly relate to the action but that round out the characters or share insights into the culture. There are times when I want a streamlined book that is just mostly action, but when I find a really good story, I want more than just bare bones.

My RL book club is going to discuss The Story of Land and Sea by Katy Simpson Smith, but I only read about 50 pages before putting it down. What I thought would be a nice segue from Outlander because Story is about North Carolina in the early 1790s has turned into an unfortunate and unfair comparison. Just couldn't get into it.

Jul 9, 2016, 6:48pm Top

>243 karenmarie: He does sound like a gem, Karen. I think I could overlook the TV thing if I had a husband who did that kind of thoughtful work.

Edited: Jul 15, 2016, 10:26am Top

>244 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! We've been married 25 years, so something's going right.

I have read another ROOT - Enough Rope by Dorothy Parker. Here's a summary in Wikipedia:

Parker published her first volume of poetry, Enough Rope, in 1926. The collection sold 47,000 copies and garnered impressive reviews. The Nation described her verse as "caked with a salty humor, rough with splinters of disillusion, and tarred with a bright black authenticity". Although some critics, notably the New York Times reviewer, dismissed her work as "flapper verse", the volume helped cement Parker's reputation for sparkling wit.

I had to remember that being published in 1926, this verse was daring, cynical, and not at all traditional. Here's one I particularly like:

Men by Dorothy Parker

They hail you as their morning star
Because you are the way you are.
If you return the sentiment,
They'll try to make you different;
And once they have you, safe and sound,
They want to change you all around.
Your moods and ways they put a curse on;
They'd make of you another person.
They cannot let you go your gait;
They influence and educate.
They'd alter all that they admired.
They make me sick, they make me tired.

Her poems speak of death, disillusionment, romance.

Jul 14, 2016, 8:48pm Top

>245 karenmarie: a good one!

Jul 25, 2016, 12:50pm Top

>245 karenmarie: That is pretty cynical! At least I understood what she was saying though, which I don't always manage with poetry!

Edited: Jul 25, 2016, 2:50pm Top

Hi Tess and Jackie! Thanks, Tess.

You're right about the cynicism, Jackie: Dorothy Parker had married, divorced, gotten pregnant by a lover, had an abortion, and tried to commit suicide before the age of 41, when she married her second husband. I haven't read a great deal about her directly, but have read some about the Algonquin Roundtable and have a biography, Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell is This by Marion Meade that's in my ridiculously huge tbr stacks.

Jul 25, 2016, 2:58pm Top

Here are a couple of my favorite quotes:

“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.”

"Katharine Hepburn delivered a striking performance that ran the gamut of emotions, from A to B."

"You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think."

"This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."

Jul 25, 2016, 3:13pm Top

Jul 30, 2016, 10:01am Top

I just now finished another ROOT, The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. I have given it 4 1/2 stars. It is absolutely stunning. Here's the synopsis from Foyle's author page of M.L. Stedman:

A survivor of the First World War trenches, Tom enjoys the solitude of life as a lighthousekeeper, but one trip to the mainland brings him a wife, Isabel, with whom to share Janus Rock. One fateful day, the sea washes a dinghy up on the shore containing the body of a man and a baby - very much alive - which the couple, desperate to start a family, decide to take as their own.

The writing is pure, stripped down much as the South Western coast of Australia was hardscrabble and minimalist in the mid 1920s. It's hard to imagine how the author was able to make everything so vivid with such pared down language, but she did. The story flows effortlessly.

So much of the emotion of this book is the love of a mother for a child and how being a mother is defined. There are raw emotions on almost every page - joy, anguish, loss, fear, love, hate. When Tom and Isabel realize that the birth mother, Hannah, is still alive, they have different reactions and emotions. Isabel is frantic to keep Lucy and Tom is frantic to keep Isabel happy. It goes against the grain with him, and eventually he cannot resist letting Hannah know anonymously that her daughter is alive and loved. This almost makes it worse for her, knowing her daughter is there but not with her. Only the actions of Bluey, one of the two men who bring supplies to Tom and Isabel quarterly, link the missing baby in town with the little girl on Janus Rock. And then the story intensifies. The author is brilliant at writing so sparingly about such raw, desperate emotions yet capture the depths and nuances. They ring true. Not every author can do that.

Not a book I'll forget any time soon, and perhaps the best book so far of this year's book club reads.

Jul 30, 2016, 1:33pm Top

>251 karenmarie: Our RL book club read that last year. I enjoyed it.

Jul 30, 2016, 6:25pm Top

>251 karenmarie: It sounds quite harrowing, but nevertheless that's another BB for me!

Edited: Jul 31, 2016, 9:38am Top

>234 avanders: Love that room, Ava!

@ Karenmarie! I love the way you are organizing your books. I too seperate my read and unread books. I have two main genres: Fantasy/SF and Everything else. You might have seen my thread with all the pics of my shelves.

And a very belated Happy birthday!

Edited: Jul 31, 2016, 10:35am Top

>252 tess_schoolmarm: I'm really looking forward to our discussion of it, Tess. Did your group like it or dislike it, generally?

>253 Jackie_K: I think I made it seem worse than it actually is, Jackie - it's a beautiful read about a bad situation, handled lyrically and interestingly by the author.

>254 connie53: Thank you, Connie! I've been a member of LT since 2007 (coming up on my 9th Thingaversary, amazingly!), and my method has evolved. I've mentioned elsewhere that the location tags were created within adding my first 100 books as I could see the need for finding books quickly. I haven't organized my books physically in decades beyond putting them on a physical shelf that makes sense for the size of the book. A few authors are grouped together but very few.

I did see the pictures of your shelves, and am envious of the single stacking. I don't have enough room to do that, although by putting 'read' books in my new Retreat, I can have the sunroom and most of the library only contain books to be read.

My main classification is whether it's fiction, non-fiction, or reference, then whether it's mine, 'kph', or daughter's, 'jmh'. After that I add things inconsistently - not everything that is a mystery has a 'mystery' tag, for example. I haven't added husband's books yet. He's probably got about 300 to 500, spread across 2 rooms, his home office and his media room. "O" and "M" will be used for those, along with the tag 'fwh' designating them as his.

And thank you for the late birthday wishes! I'm 63 now and going through all the 'Who's that in the mirror?" and watching the white creep into my hair. I think I look younger than my age, but that's not so much about me as about my genes. (although not smoking ever has probably helped with the wrinkles)

And I am reading another ROOT!

I am, finally, after a lifetime of not reading it for some reason, reading To Kill a Mockingbird. It is in anticipation of reading Go Set a Watchman, my book choice, for my RL book club meeting in September. I am fascinated and entranced. I honestly don't think I could have appreciated it before moving to North Carolina in 1991, and given my whirlwind marriage and raising of my now-23-year old daughter, I was too busy to have appreciated it in the last 25 years as much as I do now. It is exactly the kind of book that appeals to me. I've found other authors who speak in the same serious, eccentric, whimsical, language-driven way as Harper Lee and loved them - Rita Mae Brown and Charlaine Harris come to mind with Wheezie and Juts and Sookie Stackhouse - so am happy to go back to one who must have been an inspiration and influence.

I am also reading my husband's grandmother's 1960 copy - I do think it's possibly a first book club edition but haven't researched it enough - I've carefully set aside the immaculate dust jacket and am carefully reading the book. It is in excellent condition and I will return it to my shelves in the same condition.

Jul 31, 2016, 5:38pm Top

>255 karenmarie: Happy belated birthday, Karen. I know that "whose that in the mirror" feeling and tend to avoid looking even when there is a mirror in front of me. One thing that seems to lead to a more youthful appearance is retirement. Bet you look younger than when you were working!

Aug 1, 2016, 7:40am Top

>256 Familyhistorian: Thank you, Meg! I have been told by several people that I look more relaxed and happier. I think I'll look more relaxed and happy when husband finds a job. He got 'furloughed' in April, leaving us without his income but with medical/dental, but they permanently laid him off a week ago.

Aug 1, 2016, 12:52pm Top

I just finished To Kill a Mockingbird. Oh. My. Goodness. Only the fifth book in catalog that I've ever given 5 stars to.

Aug 1, 2016, 1:23pm Top

>258 karenmarie: It's wonderful, isn't it? I remember reading it at school in our English Literature class, and being blown away then. I think it's what first opened my eyes to injustice, racism etc - before then those sorts of issues just didn't even appear on my radar. I know it has its detractors and isn't perfect by any means (I think if I were to read it now I might feel a bit more uncomfortable about the anti-lower-classness of the portrayal of the Ewells), but I still think it is overall a wonderful read and very important.

Aug 1, 2016, 5:52pm Top

Hi Jackie!

TKAM was written in 1960 about events in the very rural Southern US in 1935. I found Scout's voice and her 'evidence' of the conversations she heard and then interpreted as totally authentic.

I have written and erased 3 paragraphs.... none of it seemed right to publish. Suffice to say that I was in agony every time I saw the "N" word. I was much less sympathetic towards the Ewells because I recognize them here, in 2016, in the county I live in.

I'm going to try White Noise by Don Delillo and see if I can get into it. If not, I may just do a comfort read of a Georgette Heyer or Agatha Christie after two intense reads in a row.

Aug 3, 2016, 2:00pm Top

>255 karenmarie: I'm 63 now and going through all the 'Who's that in the mirror?" and watching the white creep into my hair. I think I look younger than my age, but that's not so much about me as about my genes. (although not smoking ever has probably helped with the wrinkles)

I'm 63 too, and my hair is all grey. And I have the same mirror problem. My body might be 63, but my mind is 40 something. So I expect to see the me from some 20 years ago.

Aug 3, 2016, 5:06pm Top

>255 karenmarie: >261 connie53: I think we have discussed how much alike our husbands are previously...and it would appear that we 3 find ourselves much at the same point in our life. I am 61, but do not have more than 3-4 gray hairs on my head--my mother did not get gray until about age 70 and my father died at 63 with not much gray hair. The downside of that is that people don't believe I don't dye my hair! I, too, come from great genes, both my paternal grandparents died in their late 80's in fairly good health until the last year of their lives, my maternal great grandmother lived to be 100 afflicted with diabetes--well managed and controlled though during the last 20 years of her life. My maternal grandmother lived to be 97 and was in good health and even drove until the last year of her life--she died of cancer. My mother is 83 and in very good health...never in the hospital except for childbirth and a hysterectomy. Her mind is as good as mine. I hope that I can keep as healthy and sound mind as my ancestors...that is the reason for the life style change..aka diet. I have lost 30 pounds with about 50 to go. I did it all naturally, making wiser food choices (cut down on carbs by 90%) and walking a minimum of 10,000 steps per day, when I can. I'm only up to 3500 since the knee surgery in June, but since school starts in 2 weeks, that will increase rapidly. I, also, have never smoked and might have a total of 4-5 daquiris in an entire year, when out to dinner. Unfortunately my poisons are chocolate and potatoes---I can't seem to do them in moderation.

Karen, I'm glad you enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird. For some reason, I did not read it in school--it was never assigned or I would have read. I had seen the movie several times but it didn't really strike my fancy. However, TKAM was probably the first book I read on my first Kindle and I loved it. I was glad when the sequel was chosen for my RL book club in January, although it hasn't seemed to get good reviews.

I'm off to finish my Louisa May Alcott book of short stories and then back to Outlander (Voyager)! I so want to read outside but the sweat bees are so bad they swarm you by the dozens!

Edited: Aug 4, 2016, 1:09pm Top

>261 connie53: Hey Connie! I think most Baby Boomers go through the aging shock..... it seems to me that earlier generations didn't feel as invincible as we do, average life expectancy was lower, and people used their bodies harder than we do now in the industrialized countries as a rule. Less vanity and focus on youth, too.

Funny, when I think of myself I think of myself as about 22-24, not 40 even though that was a marvelous year for me as that's the year my daughter was born.

>262 tess_schoolmarm: Tess - great genealogical info. And congratulations on losing 30 pounds!!! That's fantastic. I'm good at avoiding potatoes as a rule, but chocolate is much harder. I'm sure the knee surgeries have been frustrating in that they prevent you from walking a lot, but as you say you'll be walking more with school and as your knees continue to heal.

My dad lived to be 86, his mother to be 82, and her mother to be 96. My mother is 84 and in declining health, but I think lifestyle trumped genes somewhat (she is a non-drinking alcoholic but drank heavily for many years). Her mother died at the age of 94, her mother at the age of 96. Both of my grandfathers died young, and, oddly, both at the age of 50. One had passed before I was born, the other when I was 4. I don't remember him although there is at least one picture of him holding me.

I am overweight but am trying desperately to curb my intake of sweets and just food volume in general. I've gotten back to drinking more water again, too. I do better at eliminating carbs when husband isn't home and since he was furloughed in April and permanently laid off two weeks ago, he's been home and it's much harder to eat properly with his eating habits and all the junk he buys. He's actually rather cranky with me right now because every time he offers me a cookie or candy I refuse - nicely - but I think he takes it personally. His relationship with food is terrible. He has diabetes and takes insulin every day, but eats more carbs than protein. He says he won't change his eating habits.

I'm like you, if it had been assigned, I would have read TKAM. GSAW is burning a hole in me to be read, but I won't start it until after we discuss The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman this coming Sunday. I'll read it next week, but make sure I take notes and identify quotes for book club discussion.

I'm reading an interesting mystery/thriller that was written in 1979 by Mary McCullen called But Nellie Was So Nice, recommended by LizzieD - Peggy. Nellie was my paternal grandmother's name, which she hated, and I bought the book simply because of the title. It's very good.

Aug 5, 2016, 9:36am Top

Well, I couldn't resist. I just had to write a review of TKAM:

To Kill a Mockingbird, review the 1058th review on LT

Aug 13, 2016, 2:18am Top

>262 tess_schoolmarm: I am 61, but do not have more than 3-4 gray hairs on my head--my mother did not get gray until about age 70 and my father died at 63 with not much gray hair. The downside of that is that people don't believe I don't dye my hair! I hear you on the hair thing, Tess. You must have Irish roots or something to not be grey at 61. I'm 64 and have a few grey hairs.

I was in a small genealogy seminar and we were waiting for a webinar to start so were chatting. The lady in front of me said to me, "Everyone in here has grey hair, how come you don't?" My answer, "Genetics." (I thought it was appropriate, it was a seminar on DNA.) But it was all in the tone, like she was accusing me of something - like dying my hair.

Aug 13, 2016, 4:33am Top

>262 tess_schoolmarm: >265 Familyhistorian: I'm kind of jealous - I found my first grey hair at 27 and now, 20 years later, I have considerably more than that! I don't dye it though - my hair is pretty evenly streaked with grey, and my hairdresser tells me that plenty of women pay lots of money to have highlights looking like mine. I like my hairdresser!

Aug 13, 2016, 10:00pm Top

>266 Jackie_K: I'm not going to dye either, I've been a very dark brunette for 61 years, I sorta like that glittery gray!

Aug 14, 2016, 10:36am Top

>265 Familyhistorian: - >267 tess_schoolmarm: I've never used hair color on my hair. I was always told that strawberry blonde + curls = disaster for hair coloring. Once I got past wanting straight blonde hair and accepted naturally-curly strawberry blonde hair, I was good to go. My hair is now more light brown than sb, but still very curly.

I don't anticipate wanting to dye my hair and hope I can be graceful about whatever color my hair decides to end up.

Edited: Aug 14, 2016, 11:47am Top

>268 karenmarie: nice picture! I also have curly hair, but I keep it short. My pic is on my profile!

Aug 14, 2016, 1:18pm Top

I have curly hair as well and fought it in my teens, because otherwise it would have taken over my entire head. Now that I am a grownup without teenage hormone issues, I can leave the hair curly and even cut it very short without it going crazy. It is mostly dark brown although it has been turning salt-and-pepper since sometime in my 20s, for which I blame my dad's family (they go grey early). Fortunately there are plenty of female relatives with lovely thick white hair that I can aspire to.

Aug 14, 2016, 1:38pm Top

>268 karenmarie: What stunning curls! My hair is more wavy than curly, although it does end up in some great natural curly ringlets which I really like. I am very happy that my daughter's hair seems to be doing the same, she's got some cracking curls.

I highlighted my hair a few times in my early 30s, but then when the roots showed through I realised that I was either going to have to let it grow out, or highlight/dye it forever. I chose the easy way out :)

Aug 15, 2016, 7:46am Top

>269 tess_schoolmarm: Nice picture, Tess! And all of your pictures. (I especially like the toffee - I've made toffee just like that before)

>270 rabbitprincess: I like all of your pictures, too, rabbitprincess! I can see your curls, and Patrick Stewart..... way cool. Rabbitprincess and Gizmo are exceptionally gorgeous bunnies, too. I have only watched the 4th Doctor and 9-11th doctors religiously, all the others sporadically. I hope you end up with lovely thick white hair.

>271 Jackie_K: Thanks, Jackie. I'm glad your daughter has curls. My daughter's hair is from my husband's side of the family - thick, auburn, wavy, not curly. She's got it in somewhat of a buzz cut right now with more on top - I don't particularly like it, but she does. :) She proudly calls herself a ginger. My dad, born in 1921 in Omaha Nebraska, apparently fought every day on the way home from school for a while when young for being called Ginger.

Aug 19, 2016, 10:08am Top

My 21st ROOT: Where God Was Born by Bruce Feiler 3 stars. This is the third book I have read by Feiler, the first was Walking the Bible and the second was Learning to Bow. I liked both of them better than this one.

From Amazon: In Where God Was Born, Feiler discovers that at the birth of Western religion, all faiths drew from one another and were open to coexistence. Feiler's bold realization is that the Bible argues for interfaith harmony. It cannot be ceded to one side in the debate over values. Feiler urges moderates to take back the Bible and use its powerful voice as a beacon of shared ideals.

Of course, when Bruce Fieler is talking about the Bible, I think he's mostly talking about what Christians call the Old Testament, but he does talk about the New Testament in this book.

I listened to the audiobook, read by the author. It was a combination of moving and irritating and I kept listening because for some strange reason I felt compelled to. He brings in a lot of his childhood, his marriage, and provides the most banal, abbreviated descriptions of the people he meets and interacts with. The most interesting insight to me was when he and his wife visited Iran. We demonize them, they demonize us. H was met with interest, kindness, and openness. His oft-repeated idea is that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all have Abraham as a common ancestor. 2 billion Christians, 1 billion Muslims, 12 million Jews are his main statistics. He talks about his personal faith not restricted by structure. I also have his Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths, which I'll probably try to read sometime this year, too.

I have stated elsewhere on LT that I am not Christian. The closest I can come to stating my personal religious beliefs is that I am a Liberal Theist. I have, however, always been fascinated by Judaism and occasionally read about it. I also occasionally read about Christianity, less occasionally about Islam. I need to read more about Islam, I think.

Aug 26, 2016, 3:42am Top

>268 karenmarie: >269 tess_schoolmarm: Great pictures. You are both lucky to have curly hair.

Aug 27, 2016, 9:31am Top

>274 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! I hated my strawberry blonde curls until my early 20s. Now I appreciate them. Of course, they do what they want to do most of the time, but I have finally found a very good hair stylist who knows how to cut my hair. She's younger than me, too, and is a local, so I don't think I'll lose her any time soon!

#22 ROOT. I was moving books that I had read from the Library to the Retreat, and grabbed a stack of Bloom County comics by Berke Breathed. Only after I got them all upstairs did I realize I hadn't read one of them yet, so spent a bit of time laughing over The Night of the Mary Kay Commandos Featuring Smell O-Toons.

Aug 27, 2016, 12:10pm Top

>275 karenmarie: I've discovered Bloom County quite recently, thanks to American friends posting it on facebook. I like it, although as the humour seems to be quite culturally-specific I am pretty sure that a lot of it is going over my head!

Aug 27, 2016, 4:25pm Top

I like the picture, Karenmarie!

I started dying my hair when my son was 7 or 8, and he is now 33. But stopped dying in the beginning of this year. So now I'm all grey and everybody loves it. >226 tess_schoolmarm: for the same reason. ;-))

Aug 27, 2016, 6:41pm Top

>276 Jackie_K: Hi Jackie! I'd agree, some of the humor and references are very specific. Any questions, there are sure a bunch of us here who could help you out!

>277 connie53: Thank you, Connie! I'm glad you stopped dying your hair - you look lovely.

Aug 27, 2016, 8:04pm Top

>273 karenmarie: I recently read a review of the book What is Islam? on the Tabletmag website (address below.) Of course, I had to get a copy of the book. It's currently languishing on my TBR pile (along with Destiny Disrupted and No god but God.)


Aug 28, 2016, 4:13am Top

>279 Sace: Hi Karen! Thank you for the link and the potential book bullet. I have recently made the resolution to try to learn more about Islam, so perfect timing.

I hate insomnia, although it did allow me to finish a non-ROOT but excellent book nevertheless - Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. The moon explodes into seven pieces. The world realizes that it's doomed, decides how to best preserve humanity. That is a little over half the book, then 5000 years later what humanity has done to survive. Extremely interesting concepts although I do admit that I preferred the first half.

Aug 28, 2016, 5:40am Top

Always happy to tell someone about a book. I really need to get around to reading all three.

Aug 28, 2016, 9:38am Top

>280 karenmarie: My husband is a big fan of Neal Stephenson, I'm pretty sure he's read Seveneves. Stephenson's books are so huge, though, I find them very daunting!

Aug 29, 2016, 8:19am Top

>281 Sace: You do mean that those are the only books about religion on your tbr pile, right? How big is your mount tbr?

>282 Jackie_K: Hi Jackie! I read Snow Crash for our book club in 2008 and except for about 30 pages in the middle somewhere, where he philosophized, disliked it. I only finished it because it was for book club and I had made a (stupid) resolution that year to finish every book I started. I broke the resolution in April, by the way. :)

They are real chunksters, for sure.

Aug 29, 2016, 12:09pm Top

Hi! I couldn't possibly catch up on the threads after my crazy-long absence, but I just wanted to drop by and say hi!

Edited: Aug 29, 2016, 12:39pm Top

>283 karenmarie: Oh, those are only books about Islam on my TBR. I've got squillions on Judaism and a couple on Christianity. My Mount TBR is probably insurmountable at this point! I've got closets and shelves filled with books :-/

Aug 29, 2016, 1:59pm Top

>284 avanders: Hi Aletheia and welcome back!

>285 Sace: Hey Karen. Excellent. Closets and shelves filled with books is as it should be.

I just went out with a woman who I've known for years at the Friends of the Library Sales, but who invited me out to get acquainted since I'm now a Member-At-Large on the Friends Board. We had a nice lunch then walked over to McIntyre's Fine Books and Bookends at Fearrington Village. I've tried to be somewhat circumspect buying books recently (trying not too successfully) but had a $35 gift card to McIntyre's and only spent $13 more on top of that! Trade paperbacks have gotten absolutely ridiculous - I bought 3 and they were $15, $16, and $16.99!!! So I spent about net $13, not so bad. I bought

A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler
Let it Bleed by Ian Rankin
River of Darkness by Rennie Airth

And Rhoda told me that she would set aside some books for me at the next Friends of the Library Sale on the 15th. I'll pay 'full' sale price, but she'll make sure I get them since she'll be volunteering all day and I get there first thing! Friends in high places.

I was disappointed that they didn't have Yuge by Gary Trudeau or Engineering Eden by Jordan Fisher Smith, but I'll get those somehow and in the meantime got 3 great mysteries.

Aug 30, 2016, 12:34pm Top

>286 karenmarie: thanks!

Sounds like a lovely trip to your bookstore! :)

Aug 30, 2016, 2:13pm Top

ALSO, looks like you've totally met and passed your goal?? (looking at >11 cyderry: >12 karenmarie: >42 karenmarie:)

Aug 30, 2016, 5:57pm Top

I have met and passed my goal of 9, but only 2 of the ones I said I'd read for ROOT.

Aug 30, 2016, 9:19pm Top

>286 karenmarie: Sounds like a successful day of book acquisition! Bravo!

Thanks for reminding me that I need to look into the Friends of the library in my town too.

Aug 31, 2016, 5:55pm Top

Hi Karen, just passing through--very busy with 2nd week of school and 1st week of teaching university online course. Can't seem to get through outlander #4 because I'm so busy working!

Edited: Sep 1, 2016, 7:13am Top

>290 Sace: Hi Karen! You should definitely check it out. Ours is quite good. It generates $40K (less a few expenses) in revenue, $20K in each of two sales per year and prides itself on the fact that the books are not picked over. Hence we get quite a few dealers. Since the goal is to make money regardless of (irritating, rude) source, we individual buyers have to put up with them. But the selection is always stunning. Our fall sale is September 15-17. Full prices on the 15th, half price on the 16th, and a bag of books for $5 on Saturday. Whee!

>291 tess_schoolmarm: Hi Tess! I know things will settle into a better routine for you in the next week or so - dare I mention that it's Great Expectations month too? :)

And GE is a ROOT for me and I've just read the first two chapters. A good start.

Sep 1, 2016, 7:35am Top

>292 karenmarie: I think I have to go to the main branch of our Library to get the membership form. It's such a shame that my "friends" doesn't have an online application or sign up material available at all the branches.

Your Friends book sales sound incredible!

Edited: Sep 1, 2016, 12:20pm Top

>293 Sace: They are. I always get great books at more than fair prices.

I encourage you to join your local Friends of the Library, but at least at our sale here anybody can buy books - you don't even have to be a member of the library even though the sales are at the library! We encourage people to join but certainly don't insist on it.

We've been discussing ways to increase membership recently and having membership forms available at the library (each of two libraries in the county has its own Friends) is definitely one way for us to accomplish that. Our membership 'form' is an envelope with the sign up form on the back so you can enclose a check or $$ and mail it to us or hand it in during sales. We've just hired a new group to manage our website, and I think an online form is also a good idea. Thanks!

Off I go to my next ROOT- Go Set a Watchman. It's for our September 11th RL book club discussion.

Edited: Sep 2, 2016, 10:14am Top

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

I finished Maisie Dobbs last night. Maisie Dobbs starts out as a housemaid. Her employers perceive her intelligence and thirst for knowledge and arrange for her to be tutored by a friend of theirs. She starts University, then volunteers to be a nurse in WWI. This is the backstory. The action takes place in 1929, after Maisie is established as a private investigator in London. It starts out with a man needing to find out if his wife is cheating on him and goes from there.

It was pretty good although vaguely disappointing. The mystery in 1929 is quite good, but it felt much more two dimensional than other books I've read about WWI. The best series I've ever read about the shell shock of WWI is the Peter Wimsey series by Dorothy Sayers - and all books also take place after the war but there are quite a few discussions throughout many of the books, at least the early ones, about Peter's shell shock. The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club starts off on an Armistice Day remembrance with a murder/natural death for Peter to figure out, and contrasts how two brothers have different responses to their wartime experiences and how it affects their lives later on.

So Maisie Dobbs said all the right things, and discussed front-line nursing and doctoring, but again, "lacking in vividness" seems the only way to describe it. I may or may not continue the series.

Sep 1, 2016, 8:08pm Top

>295 karenmarie: Glad I could help. I'm such a hermit that I love when things are available to online.

Thanks too for the review. Maisie Dobbs has crossed my path before, and I keep waffling about reading it. I'm collecting reviews right now. Eventually I might read it, but so far it hasn't spoken to me loud enough. I've got it on my wishlist I think.

Sep 2, 2016, 10:17am Top

Good morning, Karen!

Maisie Dobbs had not crossed my path until vancouverdeb (I think it was Deborah) reviewed the 12th book. At that time it seemed like the perfect series for me but now I am waffling on continuing. It is not a long book and definitely has some good action.

Have you ever read any of the Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane series by Dorothy Sayers?

Sep 2, 2016, 3:17pm Top

>289 karenmarie: well that's okay! I often make plans and then.. ya know, other pretty books come along :)

>291 tess_schoolmarm: fun! And frustrating... it's hard when you just want to get through a book but RL keeps getting in the way!

>292 karenmarie: wow! You never think of those library sales as being that profitable!

>295 karenmarie: sounds like it's okay if you move on from that series... ;) "lacking in vividness" can be a pretty big bar for me when there are so many other books out there!

Sep 3, 2016, 10:47am Top

Hunh. Lady Cop Makes Trouble just popped up on my radar with the description "An American answer to Maisie Dobbs." When I clicked on the link I discovered that it's the sequel to Girl Waits With Gun.

Have you read either of these? The covers look interesting.

Sep 3, 2016, 12:56pm Top

Hi Karen. When I clicked on Girl Waits With Gun and went over to Amazon with it, I remembered reading about this book. I never bought it, though. I'll put it on my wishlist. And then if I like it, Lady Cop Makes Trouble.

Sep 7, 2016, 8:53am Top

>295 karenmarie:, I read the first Maisie Dobbs recently and (though I liked the characters) thought the climactic bits of the mystery were a bit weak? contrived? out-of-character? I will probably pick up more in the series, because I did very much like the social commentary, historical aspects and the characters.

But you have definitely nailed why I was interested - the resemblance to the Lord Peter mysteries, which I devoured as a kid (because they were some of the few available English books while we were living abroad). I particularly liked Gaudy Night and there was a short story about several Lord Peter impersonators and a wine tasting?

Sep 7, 2016, 12:37pm Top

Hi! You're right - the mystery creaked a bit with coincidence.

Where were you living? I remember traveling in Greece and West Germany (yes, it was still West Germany) and books in English were expensive and rare. I still have a couple I bought in Athens.

I've been a fan of Peter Wimsey since college. I'm 63, so that's 40+ years. I was just going to write that Gaudy Night was my favorite Peter/Harriet mystery, but them I remember how much I love Busman's Honeymoon and the climactic scene when Harriet holds Peter when the murderer is hanged and I get shivers thinking of that scene. My favorite Peter mystery is Murder Must Advertise until I remember that The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club goes into shell shock and how different people handled their war experiences. And then I remember Strong Poison and Cremorna Garden and Miss Climpson's setting up as a medium to find her last will..... and how much I loved The Nine Tailors.

The only book I've never managed to read more than twice is Five Red Herrings.

And I can't remember the short story about wine tasting and impersonators..... I'll have to see if I can find it.

Sep 7, 2016, 4:33pm Top

We were in southern Germany (not very long after it ceased being West)

Based on a quick google it was most likely The Bibulous Business of a Matter of Taste in Lord Peter Views the Body. I remember being SO impressed that people could identify wines like that (maybe I just need LOTS more practice :))

Sep 7, 2016, 6:58pm Top

I have just re-read The Bilbulous Business of a Matter of Taste. Clever. I vaguely remember reading it and remember, of course, that Peter's middle names are Death and Bredon. He uses the same name in Murder Must Advertise to represent himself as a (nonexistent) cousin.

This topic was continued by karenmarie's 2016 ROOT challenge thread 2.


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