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karenmarie's 2017 reading and occasional other nonsense - part 2

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: Jan 31, 2017, 7:44am Top

Thread the second!

I would like to read a minimum of 100 books. I read 93 in 2016 and I seem to be reading more chunksters than in previous years. However, I also have started keeping track of pages read and I read 31,717 pages, so applying the same percentage would create a goal of 34K pages.

And I am reading the Literary Study Bible for the entire year, and am tracking the number of pages read. I'll update it at the end of every month.


Here are most of the books in the Sunroom - all, except for Hot Guys and Kittens unread and just waiting to be picked up in 2017!

My take on the Pearl Rule:

Karen's Rule "If for any reason you don't want to continue reading a book, put it down. You may keep it, get rid of it, re-start it, never finish it, finish it from where you left off, but put it down." A different way of saying it is that I abandon books with glee if they're not working for me.

Apologies to SuziQoregon (Juli) - I have appropriated your 2016 subject line because I like it so much!

Edited: Mar 1, 2017, 3:36pm Top

Books read in 2017

01. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J. K. Rowling 1/1/17 1/3/17 **** 318 pages hardcover
** Defining the Wind by Scott Huler abandoned after 61 pages read
02. The Stolen Bride by Jo Beverley 1/3/17 1/3/17 ** 269 pages trade paperback
03. The Patriotic Murders by Agatha Christie 1/8/17 1/9/17 *** 211 pages hardcover
04. Black Coffee by Agatha Christie 1/10/17 1/11/17 ***1/2 184 pages hardcover
05. The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories by Agatha Christie 1/13/17 1/14/17 ***1/2 185 pages hardcover
06. American Tabloid by James Ellroy 1/4/16 1/19/17 **** 592 pages trade paperback
07. Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham 1/23/17 1/26/17 **** 378 pages Kindle
08. Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell 1/27/17 1/27/17 ***1/2 144 pages trade paperback
09. The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham 1/28/17 1/29/17 **** 398 pages Kindle
10. Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie 1/29/17 1/30/2017 ***1/2 201 pages hardcover
11. One Good Turn by Carla Kelly 1/31/17 1/31/17 **** 215 pages mass market paperback
12. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway 2/4/17 2/5/17 ***1/2 140 pages hardcover
13. The Dutiful Daughter by Vanessa Gray 2/1/17 2/5/17 ** 216 pages mass market paperback
14. Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate 2/6/17 2/7/17 *** 250 pages trade paperback
15. The Crossing by Michael Connelly 2/8/17 2/10/17 ***1/2 388 pages hardcover
16. The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly 2/10/17 2/12/17 **** 400 pages hardcover
17. My Dark Places by James Ellroy 2/13/17 2/16/17 **** 427 pages trade paperback
18. Jeremy Poldark by Winston Graham 2/17/17 2/19/17 **** 344 pages trade paperback
19. This Thing of Darkness by Harry Bingham 2/21/17 2/24/17 **** Kindle 562 pages trade paperback
20. Bleak House by Charles Dickens 2/1/17 2/27/17 Kindle 830 pages hardcover
21. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders 2/20/17 3/1/17 ***** 343 pages hardcover

Warleggan by Winston Graham 2/27/17 471 pages trade paperback 1953
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt 11/15/16 318 pages hardcover 2012
The Literary Study Bible by Leland Ryken and Philip Graham Ryken 1/1/17 1879 pages hardcover plus 15 pages Preface, Introduction, and Features 2007

Edited: Mar 3, 2017, 8:24am Top

Adds in 2017

January - 18
1. Amazon Gift Card American Blood by James Ellroy suggested by Ameise1
2. Amazon Gift Card The Cold Six Thousand by James Ellroy suggested by Ameise1
3. Amazon The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood - suggested by SGiV
4. Bookmooch hide and seek by Ian Rankin
5. Friend Louise Killer View by Ridley Pearson
6. Friend Nancy I Am Radar by Reif Larsen
7. Amazon Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler
8. Amazon The Assault by Harry Mulisch suggested by Paul C. and Anita
9. Bookmooch A Knife to Remember by Jill Churchill
10. Bookmooch Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost
11. Amazon Quiet by Susan Cain
12. Bookmooch Creation by Gore Vidal
13. Amazon The Three-Body Problem
14. Mom Holy Bible
15. Mom Bottom Line's Secret Food Cures
16. Mom Bottom Line's Best-Ever Kitchen Secrets
17. Mom Bottom Line's Best-Ever Home Secrets
18. Mom Hummingbirds by Esther Qusada Tyrrell and Robert A. Tyrrell

February - 41
19. Amazon Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate recommended by jillmwo Jill
20. Thrift Shop Idiot's Guide to Conversational Sign Language
21. Thrift Shop I Am America (And So Can You) by Stephen Colbert
22. Thrift Shop Night Film by Marisha Pessl
23. Thrift Shop The United States of Europe by T.R. Reid
24. Thrift Shop Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener
25. Thrift Shop Closed Casket by Agatha Christie
26. Thrift Shop Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton
27. Thrift Shop Simply Tai Chi by Graham Bryant and Lorraine James
28. Thrift Shop Hegemony or Survival by Noam Chomsky
29. Thrift Shop Apes, Angels, and Victorians by William Levine
30. Thrift Shop My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
31. Thrift Shop Four in Hand by Stephanie Laurens
32. Amazon The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly
33. Circle City Books My Dark Places by James Ellroy
34. Amazon Racing the Devil by Charles Todd
35. Friend Karen The Trouble with Islam Today by Irshad Manji
36. Friend Karen Goddesses: An illustrated journey into the myths, symbols, and rituals of the goddess by Manuela Dunn Mascetti
37. Friend Karen The Eagle and The Rose by Rosemary Altea
38. Friend Karen Last Call by Daniel Okrent
39. Friend Karen Wildflowers in Color: Eastern Edition by Walter
40. Friend Karen Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
41. Friend Karen The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
42. Friend Karen Blind Your Ponies by Stanley Gordon West
43. Friend Karen Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas by Tom Robbins
44. Friend Karen Jerusalem, Jerusalem by James Carroll
45. Friend Karen Sweet Thunder by Ivan Doig
46. Friend Karen The Warrior Queens by Antonia Fraser
47. Friend Karen Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof
48. Friend Karen Invisible Acts of Power by Caroline Myss
49. Uncle Oren - New Testament
50. Thrift Shop - The Spanish Bride by Georgette Heyer
51. Kindle - The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham
52. Kindle - This Thing of Darkness by Harry Bingham
53. Kindle - The Dead House by Harry Bingham
54. Amazon - Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
55. Amazon - Warleggan by Winston Graham
56. Amazon - The Black Moon by Winston Graham
57. Amazon - The Four Swans by Winston Graham
58. Amazon - The Oxford Companion to the Bible
59. Costco - The Rainbow Comes and Goes by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt
60. Amazon - The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton

Edited: Feb 5, 2017, 2:13pm Top

Culls for 2017

1. The Stolen Bride by Jo Beverley Drivel
2. Defining the Wind by Scott Huler I will never read this book
3. Tishomingo Blues by Elmore Leonard started, abandoned
4. Touch by Elmore Leonard bookmooched but won't ever read
5. Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener duplicate
6. Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener triplicate
7. The United States of Europe by T.R. Reid duplicate
8. The Dutiful Daughter by Vanessa Gray too stupid to keep

Edited: Mar 1, 2017, 9:17am Top

Year-to-Date Statistics

20 books read
6,989 pages read, 61 of those pages of abandoned books, 302 pages of The Literary Study Bible

Male 65%
Female 35%

Living 65%
Dead 35%

US Born 35%
Foreign Born 65%

Hardcover 40%
Trade Pback 30%
Mass Market 10%
Audiobook 0%
e-Book 20%

My Library 100%
Other 0%

Re-read 0%
Series 65%

Fiction 95%
NonFiction 5%

Author Birth Country
Australia 5%
England 60%
US 35%

Original Year Published
1852 5%
1939 10%
1940 10%
1950 5%
1952 5%
1980 5%
1990 5%
1995 5%
1997 5%
1998 5%
2001 5%
2012 5%
2015 25%
2016 5%

Fantasy 10%
Fiction 5%
Historical Fiction 10%
Literary Fiction 5%
Memoir 5%
Mystery 50%
Romance 15%

Edited: Jan 31, 2017, 7:47am Top

A big thank you to everybody who visited my first thread.

Edited: Jan 31, 2017, 7:47am Top

Next one's yours - Welcome!

Jan 31, 2017, 7:48am Top

>7 karenmarie: - Happy new thread, Karen! :-)

Jan 31, 2017, 8:33am Top

Happy new thread!

Jan 31, 2017, 8:43am Top

Happy new thread, Karen.

Jan 31, 2017, 9:15am Top

Happy New Thread , Karen!

Jan 31, 2017, 9:33am Top

I'm in! Big Tiny wouldn't let me hit the snooze button today even though I got no sleep last night. I'm totally jealous of the reading time you have. Nice work on the reading list!

Edited: Jan 31, 2017, 10:07am Top

Thank you jessibud2, ChelleBearss, ameise1, vancouverdeb, SomeGuyInVirginia.

Today my goal is the last 20 (gulp) pages of Exodus for the Group Read of the Bible as Literature, and a frivolous romance I picked up last night. Tomorrow I start Bleak House for the Group Read. Here's the link if anybody is interested: Group Read Bleak House

Today I also need to get in touch with the art gallery that sold Mom and Dad a painting in 1967 to get it appraised and possibly have them take it on consignment. Sigh.

>12 SomeGuyInVirginia: Bad Parker D! And thank you re my reading list. I hardly read at all in California yet so far have racked up a respectable number, 10, and pages, 2915, for January.

Jan 31, 2017, 10:29am Top

Happy new thread!

Jan 31, 2017, 10:30am Top

Hey Thanks for mentioning Sad Cypress. I don't remember it either, so maybe I didn't read it lo those many years ago, or if I did, it will be fun all over again anyway. I managed to get it from the library using Overdrive, on my phone. Perfect for the gym.

Jan 31, 2017, 11:46am Top

>14 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

>15 ffortsa: You're welcome, Judy. I like to re-read Agatha Christie mysteries anyway, but this one was totally new to me. And it's been on my shelves since 1999!

Jan 31, 2017, 3:41pm Top

Happy new thread Karen my dear, I see that your reading is going well . Hope you are having a good week so far and that the rest of the week is kind to you. Sending love and hugs.

Jan 31, 2017, 4:41pm Top

Happy new thread Karen!

I have considered to join the Bible as Literature group. So far I haven read anything, but do follow the tread.

Jan 31, 2017, 10:27pm Top

>17 johnsimpson: Hi John! Yes, I've really been able to get some good reading in this month. The week is going well, too. Sending love and hugs back to you and Karen!

>18 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! Following along is good. I must admit that I am a bit behind, but only just a bit. Being sick makes it hard to concentrate, so I've been reading mysteries and lightweight romances!

Tomorrow I start Bleak House. And continue reading the Literary Study Bible. I will also find various and sundry other fiction books to read as the month progresses.

Feb 1, 2017, 12:08am Top

Happy new thread, Karen. I am on half speed with me being in the UK and not having my normal internet access but I couldn't miss your new thread.

Feb 1, 2017, 2:09am Top

Happy New Thread!

Feb 1, 2017, 6:33am Top

"Tomorrow I start Bleak House." Yah! It such a great read. Enjoy!

Morning, Karen. Hope the week is going well.

Edited: Feb 1, 2017, 5:47pm Top

>20 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! I find it ironic that you in the UK and I in the US have internet problems while you in Malaysia having your 'normal internet access' don't have problems.

>21 Berly: Thanks, Berly! That reminds me that we are going to be reading A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler for our March book club discussion. I found it at the thrift store, a lovely hardcover copy, so am all set to start reading it in mid-February.

>22 msf59: The week is okay - I am slowly but surely recovering from the terrible cold I've had. I didn't even take any cold medication last night!

My reading goals for today are to
  1. Finish Exodus for the Bible as Literature a Group Read and calculate how many pages per day I need to read to get Leviticus and Numbers 1-18 finished by February 12th. Done! Will need to read 6 pages per day for Lev & Numbers.
  2. Read 2 Chapters of Bleak House. Done!
  3. Continue reading a light fluffy Regency period romance I started last night. on-going

And I am so proud that I found out how to make a numbered list!!!! Scroll down a bit in the below link:

Fancy Stuff by JPB

Feb 1, 2017, 5:48pm Top

Feb 1, 2017, 11:02pm Top

Happy New Thread, Karen!
And ---- GOOD LUCK reading 6 pages a day of Leviticus and Numbers! I have a sneaking suspicion that I'd find more to interest me (in Lev. at least) than I did when I read them through at age 11, but I'm not sure I'm willing to risk it yet.
Enjoy Bleak House!

Feb 2, 2017, 1:04am Top

Enjoy your Bleak House read! I've just finished Great Expectations and really came to love the story and the characters. Happy February reading.

Edited: Feb 2, 2017, 7:10am Top

>25 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! Thank you. Sounds like I'll need the luck. But I am stubborn, and persevering, and am NOT going to be daunted by Leviticus, not yet at least. I think that the format of The Literary Study Bible helps. It's in a narrative format, unlike most Bibles I'm used to. The print is a tad small for these 63-year old eyes, but with a good reading light and putting a sheet of plain white paper behind it, it works. This sample a bit blurry, but it's the second attempt and I'm not going to spend any more time on it. Here's Leviticus 1 in its entirety.

>26 vancouverdeb: Hi Deborah. So far so good, 2 chapters in. Frankly, I hope I love the characters more than I did those of Great Expectations, because Pip was more dislikeable than likeable, and Estella a horror. the story was good, it was atmospheric and detailed. The two characters I did like were Magwich and Joe Gargery.

February plans, like every month, are fluid. I'll continue reading The Literary Study Bible and Bleak House, The Righteous Mind and the fluffy Regency romance I'm currently reading, and may read End of Watch, The Cold Six Thousand, The Blind Assassin, Verdict of Twelve, and/or Quiet. Or, any of the other 1696 books I have tagged 'tbr' - to be read.

Off to read after a few quick thread visits!

Feb 2, 2017, 9:13am Top

The only book of the Bible I haven't read is Song of Solomon. I need to read that so to count whole book as a February read! Why come the ESV and not King James?

Feb 2, 2017, 9:51am Top

Hi Larry! I think you should read Song of Solomon in February and get the credit for the whole Bible! I'll get the credit in December, for one book, but I am counting pages read by month.

Rachel, The_Hibernator, wanted a literary reading of the Bible, said she was going to read it and if anybody wanted to join her she'd create a group read, and chose The Literary Study Bible by Leland Ryken and his son Philip Graham Ryken. When I committed to joining this group read, I wanted to read what she was reading. I don't think too many of the people participating in the group are using this book, and frankly many of them are bringing in lots of peripheral books and religious viewpoints that are displeasing to me. This is supposed to be a literary reading. I do admit to asking two religious questions since I had the resources available, but just now posted some quotes from "Tips on Reading Leviticus" to get myself on track and potentially hint that this is supposed to be a LITERARY reading. Rachel has gone silent - she's got some issues going on, I believe. However, I'm going to keep doing this.

To actually answer your question, The Literary Study Bible uses the ESV. There's no choice in the matter.

I initially brought out a KJV, thinking I'd parallel read, and may do so down the line, but there's been too much going on right now, what with husband's new job, Mom's Memorial, a terrible 7-day cold that I can finally, happily, report that I'm over except for a few sniffles, and continuing efforts in settling Mom's estate including but not limited to selling things we don't want, appraising and selling the house, paying bills, suing the mortuary/crematorium, and the emotional fallout, always there, lurking.

Having said all that, I'm actually doing pretty well. Today is deep-tissue massage for 1 1/2 hours, painful bliss!

Feb 2, 2017, 3:38pm Top

Oh, I love deep-tissue massage. My skin tingled just thinking about it. It truly is painful bliss. Now I need to go and book myself in for one I reckon.

Feb 2, 2017, 3:59pm Top

I am impressed - You read a lot of books thus far. Happy Belated New Year.

May 2017 be filled wonderful books that take you to lovely places

Feb 2, 2017, 4:08pm Top

Oh man, a massage sounds wonderful! I've got a cold, too, a pretty bad one but I think today is the apex (nadir?). I avoided a lot of the congenital health problems my brother has, but I do have the immune system of a crack head. I was thinking this morning that I'm sick a lot! Ah well, I've seen to many elderly husks in hospitals to want to live forever.

Leviticus. You won't get more Old Testament than that. If I had a kid I'd insist that he or she had a grounding in the classics and the Judeo/Christian tradition. Not as a moral compass, really, but so that they would feel comfortable reading Titian's Flaying of Marsyas or watching Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra. The Western tradition is so profoundly rich, and we've been able to hang on to most of our stuff, rather than losing everything in wars or edict. Did yo know that there are twelve ways to interpret what's going on in a painting of the Annunciation, depending on where the angel's or Mary's hands are? Wacky!

I'm rambling, blame the Sudafed.

Feb 2, 2017, 4:17pm Top

Leviticus. Imagine teaching a roomful of teenagers in an early morning Bible study? They particularly loved the detailed instructions on burnt sacrifice. As did I. Of course.

Edited: Feb 2, 2017, 5:20pm Top

>30 lunacat: Hi Jenny! (decision made, thanks!) Yes, if you agree with the painful bliss part then I don't have to warn you. How is it that my massage therapist Sherry can find ALL the twisted, tight, spasming, blocked, inflamed, and etc. bits and pieces, work through them without causing me to sob out loud although today was close a couple of times, then calm everything down, pat everything better, and send me on my happy pain-free way? She's a miracle worker.

Hie thee off to deep-tissue massage!

>31 Whisper1: Hi Linda! Thank you for visiting and for the lovely wish. I would have read more except that I was out of town for 3 days (5 actually, but I got a lot of reading done on the airplanes) and then had such a bad cold that there were a few times I actually couldn't read.

I'd recommend deep tissue massage but probably not with back/neck issues just treated with injections....

>32 SomeGuyInVirginia: I love your ramblings, Larry, Sudafed-ed or Sudafed-free. Schools don't teach classics any more, they teach to tests. I watched daughter, who loved to read and be read to, turn reading into 'homework' in first grade, and it broke my heart. She reads some now, but is more of a PS4 gamer. As she puts it, after work she likes to have a bite of dinner then "kill things." Sigh. But she did just re-read Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle-Stop Café by Fanny Flagg, so there's hope for her.

Hie thee off to deep-tissue massage too!

>33 nittnut: Hi Jenn! Blech. Fat, kidneys, long lobe of the liver. Flinging the blood on the side of the altar. Do the girls like it too, or just the boys? Not my favorite reading, for sure, but it is what it is.

I wonder what the first literary book will be? Bible folks out there - when can I anticipate a literature-quality book of the OT?

Feb 2, 2017, 6:48pm Top

And, ah, did I mention that while in town today I stopped at the Thrift Shop? And that non-fiction books were on sale for $.05 - a nickel - each? I was oh, so strong. I only got 7 non-fiction.

Idiot's Guide to Conversational Sign Language by Carole Lazorisak and Dawn Donohue
I Am America (And So Can You) by Stephen Colbert
The United States of Europe by T.R. Reid
Simply Tai Chi by Graham Bryant and Lorraine James
Hegemony or Survival by Noam Chomsky
Apes, Angels, and Victorians by William Levine - I think this is actually the copy I donated in 2015
My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
= $.35
Four in Hand by Stephanie Laurens
Night Film by Marisha Pessl
Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener
Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah (Agatha Christie)
Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton
= $10.20
Total $10.55

Not bad for 12 books, 6 of them hardcovers with dust jackets.

Feb 2, 2017, 6:57pm Top

Awesome haul there!! I haven't read any of those. : )

Feb 2, 2017, 7:10pm Top

Thanks, Berly! I will retire my old copy of Tales of the South Pacific because this one is from the Reader's Digest World's Best Reading series. Beautiful copy.

Feb 2, 2017, 7:30pm Top

>35 karenmarie: Wow, that's great! The best I ever did was 7 Jim Butcher books for .70 total at the end of my local library sale. All paperbacks but in excellent condition.

Feb 2, 2017, 8:03pm Top

Hi, Karen! Hooray for book hauls, bible reading, massages and Bleak House!

Sweet Thursday, my friend.

Edited: Feb 3, 2017, 7:54am Top

>38 Dianekeenoy: Thank you! I spent nearly an hour there. And 7 for $.70, not to be sneezed at, Diane, with the bonus of being in excellent condition.

>39 msf59: Hallo Marky-Mark! All good stuff, right? Thursday's been a good day. Now, with a snootful of wine in support of nittnut's brush with the IRS, I'm off to read my fluffy regency period romance and go to bed early.

Do any of you watch The Good Place with Kristen Bell and Ted Danson? It is the strangest and most bizarre little show. We love it.

Feb 3, 2017, 1:03am Top

Nice book haul, Karen. Happy Friday.

Feb 3, 2017, 5:42am Top

Awesome book haul for an awesome price! I love book bargains :). I hope you got a vaguely decent night of sleep with the assistance of Jenn's IRS wine.

Feb 3, 2017, 8:00am Top

>41 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! Thank you. I was pleased.

>42 lunacat: Hi Jenny! Me too. I have gone in there and left empty handed, so was rather pleased. They are going to remove and donate all the non-fiction books somewhere, then put ALL new non-fiction in Monday. I might go over there and check out all the new non-fiction Monday afternoon.

I got a great night's sleep. I turned out the light at 10:30 and slept very well 'til 7:15. Ha. Jenn's IRS wine. I like it.

Today is lunch with my old IT department at the company I retired from after 20 years. I missed the Christmas Dinner by being in California, so will be nice to see everyone again. There are 6 of us total, and now only one of them is working there, 4 of us are retired, and one got laid off at the same time as my husband and it seems that she may not go back to work in the same field.

Edited: Feb 3, 2017, 9:22am Top

>34 karenmarie: Ha! Nobody liked it. Sarcasm.

As far as a literary book in the OT, IMO once you get through the mosaic law stuff it gets better. However, it's a struggle for the western reader. The writers were Jewish, Eastern, given to imagery and song. Of course most of the Mosaic Law is imagery as well, types and symbolism, but it's not quite as engaging as the wars between the tribes and the succession of good and bad kings and so forth. I love the books of Ruth and Esther - woot! Women in the Bible! There's also a great story in Judges chapter 4 featuring Jael, a clever lady, graphically ending a battle in favor of the Israelites. Perhaps that is not so literary, but definitely has some Wow factor.

Feb 3, 2017, 9:15am Top

Happy new one, Karen!

Nice book haul from the thrift shop - I really loved My Reading Life...

Feb 3, 2017, 9:50am Top

>44 nittnut: interesting. I found myself reading Genesis almost as an adventure story, wondering what would come next. Duh. Like I didn't know. Now I'm starting Exodus, same feeling. I'm using a moderately new translation by Robert Alter, and there are more footnotes than text, but I'm enjoying it. Now when we come to the next book, not sure how I'll feel. Laws. yech.

Edited: Feb 3, 2017, 4:37pm Top

>44 nittnut: Thanks, Jenn! I have Hope. And I'll look forward to the women.

>45 katiekrug: Hi Katie, thank you! I only read Pat Conway's The Prince of Tides. Loved it, but it didn't compel me to read anything else by him. I think a book about a reader's life will be good.

>46 ffortsa: Hi Judy! Yup. Laws. I fixed my sketchy/incorrect knowledge of Genesis and Exodus, but don't ever remember reading Leviticus or Numbers.

Other parts of the Bible will be vaguely familiar as I go through the year, as I took four classes for a religion requirement at the Church-of-Christ-affiliated Pepperdine University 1971-1975:

  1. Old Testament Survey
  2. New Testament Survey
  3. Prophets - I did a paper on Hosea
  4. radical for Peppy Tech, Love: Secular and Religious Readings (I Corinthians 13 figured heavily and I can't remember any of the other religious readings. We also read Four Loves by C.S. Lewis, and I can't remember the secular readings.)

Feb 3, 2017, 11:07am Top

Happy Friday, Karen. I may have to try A Good Place. Sounds interesting.
Enjoy your lunch.

Edited: Feb 3, 2017, 1:41pm Top

I read Night Film last year and loved it.

Feb 3, 2017, 4:23pm Top

Hi Karen, a great book haul there my dear and you are motoring on with your reading so far, I should finish two books over the weekend hopefully whilst nursing Karen. Hope you are having a nice Friday and wishing you and the family a nice relaxing weekend, sending love and hugs.

Feb 3, 2017, 4:42pm Top

>48 msf59: Hi Mark! We had a very nice time, although our beloved boss Joe wasn't there. We had fun anyway.

>49 beeg: Hi Brenda! Yay. I loved her first book Special Topics in Calamity Physics so am encouraged.

>50 johnsimpson: Hi John! I am zooming along with the reading, yes.l Congratulations on the book reads, sorry on having to nurse Karen (I'll have to go over to your thread to get more details). Friday's nice. Tomorrow may be lunch out with friends, errands for sure. Sunday will be book club and Super Bowl - there is some conflict, so will have to see if husband can stand watching the first half and halftime alone until I get home from book club. Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

Feb 3, 2017, 4:44pm Top

Hi Karen, I forgot about the Superbowl my dear, hope you enjoy the game after your book club.

Feb 3, 2017, 9:21pm Top

Thank you, John! I'll be home in time for the fourth quarter, probably. I'll have to watch Lady Gaga's halftime show on Youtube later.

And that means that I need to do a quick read of the book for the meeting - The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.

Feb 4, 2017, 12:04am Top

We are hosting the SuperBowl here at my house. The kids are all bringing friends. It will be controlled mayhem! : )

Feb 4, 2017, 9:07am Top

Hi Berly! Yay for controlled mayhem. And who are you all cheering for?

Feb 4, 2017, 9:42am Top

>35 karenmarie: Book for a nickel?? You were very strong.

Stopping by to bless your new thread!

>45 katiekrug: My Reading Life was terrific. I listened to Conroy read it.

Feb 4, 2017, 9:50am Top

>56 witchyrichy: I know the thrift shop manager and confirmed with her that it was five cents per book, not fifty. She told to 'get me a buggy full'. Rather than grab a buggy (shopping cart to most people), I resolutely walked past the buggies and got out with my smallish stack of 11. Yes, I was strong. I am proud. Now I feel a tad regretful, but don't have any more chances to go back before they are gone.

However, I saw on Paul's thread (PaulCranswick) the pictures of him in one of his favorite book stores and it reminded me of the used book store in my little town. I need to go there next week, just for the heck of it, but perhaps to pick up a couple of the books on our book club list.

Feb 4, 2017, 11:04am Top

Morning Karen. Happy Saturday. Hope you get to spend plenty of time with the books.

Feb 4, 2017, 2:53pm Top

5 cents apiece and you only got 11. That's some serious willpower!

Feb 4, 2017, 7:43pm Top

Books for 5 cents! That is unheard of. In Canada, we have gotten rid of the penny and I had to double check on the nickel, but so far we still have nickels! :) I use my debit card so often I almost forget what change looks like. And I don't miss a lot of change. We have our loonies and toonies of course, ( coins to replace our dollar and two dollar bill ). Too much weight with all that change.

Feb 4, 2017, 10:00pm Top

>58 msf59: Late hello, Mark! I spoke with a book club friend today who says that she found quite a few of the book club reads at the thrift store, so I'll be on a mission next week to see if he still has or has gotten more copies of some of those books.

>59 drneutron: Hi Jim. Well, frankly, they had been picked over pretty seriously and I was glad to get what I did. I do admit that I put down another 10 or so that were just so peripheral that I couldn't justify the shelf space, even for $.05 each.

>60 vancouverdeb: I didn't realize y'all had gotten rid of the penny! 5 years ago, too! Live and learn. I always have some change in my wallet and try to use it if I can, including pennies. I still even see some Canadian pennies in rolls of pennies here in central NC, USA.

I'm reading The Old Man and the Sea for book club meeting tomorrow night. I had been debating whether to go or not because of the Super Bowl but since neither husband or I have a horse in the race although I seriously want the Patriots to lose, book club THEN perhaps the fourth quarter of the game. I'll watch Lady Gaga's halftime show on youtube later on.

Feb 4, 2017, 11:03pm Top

Yay, Karen! I'm pleased that you're feeling a lot better and thrilled and envious at your book haul, and DELIGHTED that I'm not the only person in the universe who buys back a book she gave or sold to a used book place. Good all around!

Feb 5, 2017, 10:13am Top

Good morning, Peggy! Thank you all around.

I made a new recipe yesterday - a buttermilk pound cake - to use up some buttermilk and it is excellent - rich and dense with the hints of lemon and vanilla I used.

Pound cake and coffee for breakfast. Yum.

Feb 5, 2017, 10:14am Top

Morning Karen! Happy Sunday! Hooray for pound cake and coffee!

Feb 5, 2017, 10:22am Top

Amazing haul. Super willpower indeed!

Sounds like you have a great day planned.

Feb 5, 2017, 10:34am Top

>64 msf59: Hi Mark! thank you. It was good. Now, off for a second cup of coffee.

>65 streamsong: Good morning, Janet! Once I had committed to no buggy/cart, it became a matter of deciding which books I was willing to carry.

Today is finishing The Old Man and the Sea. It's short, 140 pages, and I'm on page 89. It's powerful and easy. Then back to Bleak House, which I am a tad behind on.

Feb 5, 2017, 12:51pm Top

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
2/4/17 to 2/5/17

The description from Wikipedia:

The Old Man and the Sea is a short novel written by the American author Ernest Hemingway in 1951 in Bimini, Bahamas, and published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction by Hemingway that was published during his lifetime. One of his most famous works, it tells the story of Santiago, an aging Cuban fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Florida.

In 1953, The Old Man and the Sea was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and it was cited by the Nobel Committee as contributing to their awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954

It is as pure a novella as any I’ve ever read. A simple life, a simple man, a simple task, a boy who loves an old man. It is as bare bones as the skeleton of the giant fish that the old man finally brings back into the harbor.

What pleased me was the knowledge the old man had about the sea - the currents, the clouds above it, hurricanes. It also pleased me that he knew the habits of the marlin after he had hooked it - diving, moving into the currents, finally coming up and circling the skiff. He respected the fish, loved the fish, honored the fish.

I cared about the old man and the boy too. They loved each other, and that shone through each page the boy was in or mentioned in.

All in all, a very sastisfying read.

Feb 5, 2017, 1:18pm Top

I loved that one. Read it when I was at grammer school.

Feb 5, 2017, 1:32pm Top

5 cent books!!! Whoohoo!

(Shhhh. Don't tell Karen I am rooting for the Patriots.)

Feb 5, 2017, 2:12pm Top

>68 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! I seem to have gotten a very strange literature education growing up - lots of things I should have read that I didn't. Ah well, I've read it now! I love it too. I have three other novels by him, might consider reading another this year.

>69 Berly: Yay 5 cents. I was absolutely thrilled.

(I like you anyway, Berly! And except for the fact that the owner, head coach, and idiot quarterback of the Patriots are Bloviating Orange Gasbag supporters, I'd probably want the Patriots to win. But some betrayals must be punished. *smile*)

I just finished the fluffy and ultimately unsatisfying Regency romance I've been gnawing on like a dog on a bone, The Dutiful Daughter by Vanessa Gray. It's hardly even worth writing a review about, so I won't. Suffice to say stock characters, silly situations, stupid hero for not doing things right, and stupid heroine for being so spineless for so long. I've removed it from my catalog and it's now on the little yellow table, with the other culls of 2017.

Feb 5, 2017, 4:38pm Top

>67 karenmarie: I had to read that one for school, Karen, one of the few I didn't dislike back then ;-)
You make me want to read it again.

Feb 5, 2017, 6:33pm Top

It is kind of cool to be without the penny, Karen. They just round up or down, unless you are writing a cheque or using a debit card. I think I had to read The Old Man and The Sea back in high school and I don't think I cared for it. Maybe I should try it again. Great review.

Feb 5, 2017, 6:52pm Top

Hi Karen! Your buttermilk pound cake sounds delicious. I love pound cake...

Feb 5, 2017, 10:48pm Top

>71 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita. It's a short, good read, IMO.

>72 vancouverdeb: Penniless, eh, Deborah! Interesting that for cash transactions they round up or down but that for checks or card activities it's exact. Thank you re the review. I really, really liked it. The writing was powerful.

>73 katiekrug: It is good pound cake, Katie. It's very moist with a great flavor. Might even beat out my husband's great-aunt Eloise's "Rebecca's Pound Cake", which I thought had no equal.

Wah. The Falcons blew it. I came home from book club and the Falcons were up 28-3 and lost it in overtime.

Husband, bless his heart, recorded Lady Gaga's halftime show so I could watch it on the 60" TV instead of the 21" monitor. It was fantastic.

I need to find a book to read - just can't face Bleak House tonight. I did find a free Kindle version, so am reading it in book form and Kindle form.

I think I'll read Verdict of Twelve, a book bullet from jillmwo.

Feb 6, 2017, 9:27am Top

I can't believe the Falcons blew it like that! Doh!

Feb 6, 2017, 9:37am Top

>67 karenmarie: One of these days I should get around to reading some Hemingway!

Feb 6, 2017, 11:43am Top

>75 SomeGuyInVirginia: Me either. Husband says I jinxed them - I came home when they were up 28-3 in the 3rd quarter with 6 minutes left in it and they didn't score or do anything productive after that at all. Blech.

>76 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle! The Old Man and the Sea is short and sweet. It won't take you long at all. Then you can say you've read Hemingway!

I'm feverishly catching up on Bleak House - I had gotten behind in the Bible readings (Bible as Literature group read) and am caught up on that and have now gotten to chapter 10 of Bleak House.

It's a shock to go from Hemingway to Dickens, I must say. Sparer than spare to verbose.

Feb 6, 2017, 5:52pm Top

>70 karenmarie: Karen, I'm the same - there were a lot of books that most schools taught, but for some reason, not my school. We hardly read any of the "classics." I did manage to read The Old Man and the Sea though in a non-required HS class. I also remember reading in that class a book, A Bell for Adano by John Hersey, which I liked better, but which doesn't seem to get much recognition!

Feb 6, 2017, 11:28pm Top

An added YUM for that pound cake, which I trust is long gone!
I find Hemingway hard to read. Go figure. (Oh! My D is for Dickens. O.K.)
I meant to add my 2¢ worth to what I'd read in the OT as literature...... Psalms of course, but not all at once. 2nd Isaiah (chapters 40-6?). Hosea. Amos. Esther and Ruth. I'd also recommend putting out the $ for a good one-volume help The Oxford Companion to the Bible. I see that Amazon has used copies for 1¢ + the $3.99 handling.....totally worth the price to get the kind of higher criticism that may not be available in your study Bible.

Edited: Feb 7, 2017, 7:35am Top

Morning, Karen! Rainy start to the day here, but still mild. no complaints. I am off today anyway...so moot point.

Yah, for The Old Man and the Sea. We will feature Mr. Hemingway in December, on the AAC. I have not read him, in a long while.

Feb 7, 2017, 8:27am Top

>78 rretzler: Hi Robin! Do you remember whether you liked The Old Man and the Sea? I haven't read A Bell for Adano, but I have read and still have on my shelves Hiroshima by Hershey.

>79 LizzieD: Hi Peggy. There's still some left - I keep it in a Tupperware cake keeper. I've given some away and husband and I have been knoshing on it.

If you adore Dickens beyond measure, then I can see why Hemingway would seem hard to read. It's spare and can seem abrupt cf. to Dickens.

Thank you re books of the OT that are literary. I just bought a 'very good' used hardcover hardcopy of The Oxford Companion to the Bible per your recommendation. Thank you for that too!

>80 msf59: Good morning, Mark! Yay for a day off.

Maybe I'll join the AAC for December since I still have 3 of his books on my shelves that I haven't read yet.

Off to read for a while. I'm going to have lunch with husband today. It's 45 minutes each way during the middle of the day. This will be the first time I see his office - it's disconcerting to not have a visual image of what his office/desk situation is. Today will remedy that.

Feb 7, 2017, 10:43am Top

I'm tickled that you'll have *OCB* for your literary journey. I think that it's super (I'm browsing in my Reggie Perrin) that you're getting to see your husband's new workplace AND get lunch! Enjoy!

Feb 7, 2017, 3:15pm Top

>82 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! I love Amazon.

It was good to see husband's desk set up and situation. I have been friends with V for 7 years from daughter's high school band boosters, and she's the one who got Bill in the door for the job. So I saw her, too, and met one of the owners and the new sales rep. It was all good. I also got to see the fish, singular, in the exceptionally algae-filled but obviously healthy for the fish tank.

We had lunch at Ruby Tuesday's. Salad bar, grilled tilapia, and grilled zucchini. Yum.

I just finished Verdict of Twelve, a good 3-star read. I've read too many Agatha Christie books to not see the ironic ending coming, even if not the details, although the crime itself was interesting.

Feb 7, 2017, 4:01pm Top

Sounds like you've had a nice day, and it must be better to be able to imagine the husband's set up. I don't know what TheBF's office looks like so it's up to my imagination.

Feb 7, 2017, 4:34pm Top

>66 karenmarie: Today is finishing The Old Man and the Sea.
I remember loving that book, I only read it a few years ago too. It is short, but to me it seemed to pack so much into it. I will read it again one day.
And now I want to check out A Bell for Adano as well!

Feb 8, 2017, 11:06am Top

Happy Wednesday, Karen. Hope the day is going well.

Feb 8, 2017, 12:37pm Top

Hi Karen, i hope the week is going well.

Feb 9, 2017, 10:03pm Top

>84 lunacat: Hi Jenny! I did have a nice day.

>85 LovingLit: Hi Megan! I will probably read it again one day, too.

>86 msf59: Hi Mark! Wednesday was good, today was mostly good. The best part was getting my car washed. There is a rather seedy looking set up in town but I'd heard good things about them. It only cost $20 and they did an excellent job on my Ford Escape. Cars run better when clean, you know. *smile*

>87 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! Yes, pretty good. I do need to get a bit ahead on Bleak House tomorrow. Haircut day, too.

I acquired 15 books today - one from the local used book store and 14 as a late Christmas present from my friend Karen in Montana. I'll report on them tomorrow, suffice to say that there are no duplicates and they all look quite wonderful.

Feb 10, 2017, 6:40am Top

15 books? Happy Friday indeed, Karen. If you can, post what you got-inquiring minds and all that...

Edited: Feb 16, 2017, 9:05am Top

Hi Mark!

For Inquiring Minds and all that....

From the local used book store, with part of a $20 gift certificate I had forgotten about, I bought
My Dark Places by James Ellroy

From my friend Karen in Montana:
The Trouble with Islam Today by Irshad Manji
Goddesses: An illustrated journey into the myths, symbols, and rituals of the goddess by Manuela Dunn Mascetti - even though it shows 26 members, I can't find the right touchstone
The Eagle and The Rose by Rosemary Altea
Last Call by Daniel Okrent
Wildflowers in Color: Eastern Edition by Walter
Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
Blind Your Ponies by Stanley Gordon West
Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas by Tom Robbins
Jerusalem, Jerusalem by James Carroll
Sweet Thunder by Ivan Doig
The Warrior Queens by Antonia Fraser
Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof
Invisible acts of Power by Caroline Myss

Karen's like me - has many books, is always looking for new ones. She lives near Bozeman Montana and they apparently have lots of good used book stores and friends of the library sales.


Feb 10, 2017, 8:59am Top

You find really good book stores in the weirdest places. There's a yooge one in Manassas, VA.

Feb 10, 2017, 9:14am Top

Good morning, Larry!

It's very odd, because in the last 4 months or so I have not had the yooge hankering to buy books to simply buy books that I've already always had. Two points: The $.05 cent nonfiction sale yielded only 5-6 nonfiction books the other day, and yesterday with a $20 gift certificate I only 'spent' $6.

I don't know if it's a general malaise following upon my mom's stroke and death, or depression following the discovery of how badly her affairs were managed, or simply all the stress that has accumulated since early last year with husband's job layoff, 8 months of him not working, and now the new, shiny job. He likes it a lot, only complains about the commute and having to get his eyes used to spending all day looking at two monitors.

I'm enjoying RT2 tremendously and will enjoy it even more as Mom's affairs are wound down.

In the meantime, instead of catching up on threads and spending 2 or more hours on LT doing that, I'm going to go read The Literary Study Bible and Bleak House.

Feb 10, 2017, 9:16am Top

I'll vouch for Blind Your Ponies (which has nothing to do with cruelty to animals!!), The Tiger's Wife and Half the Sky.

I wish you could get your friend Karen to join LT! I'd love to have a few Montana 75'ers to meet up with occasionally.

Feb 10, 2017, 9:23am Top

Hi Janet!

I decided to post the picture of the 15 books I got yesterday, so I'm back for a quick minute after saying I'd be off for a while!

Thanks for the input.

I've mentioned LT to Karen several times. I am planning a visit this year, and if I do, I'd love to have a meet up with you and Karen. I've put her off for 2 years now, saying I'd visit but then bailing. I owe her at least a week, maybe more.

So I need to go to CA soon - sometime after husband's 61st birthday AND after we get the death certificates for my Mom, and to Montana for a long-overdue visit to my college friend Karen.

Here's a pic of the 15 books:

Edited: Feb 10, 2017, 2:18pm Top

Nice haul, Karen. Happy Friday. I loved Brooklyn.

Feb 10, 2017, 11:08am Top

Happy Friday, Karen. Great book haul. Many of these I am not familiar with, so I will watch for your input. Loved Brooklyn and Doig is always a safe bet.

You got some reading to do, better get crackin'...

Feb 10, 2017, 12:13pm Top

>90 karenmarie: Nice haul, Karen, I have Brooklyn from the library at my e-reader, only a few pages in.

Feb 10, 2017, 3:17pm Top

Hi Karen hope you are having a great Friday my dear and what a lovely book haul, I have yet to add to my books with a purchase this month, I wonder how long that will last.

I hope you have a lovely and relaxing weekend my dear, sending love and hugs.

Feb 10, 2017, 3:58pm Top

>95 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! Thank you. There's nothing more fun than opening a box of books from someone who knows you well.

>96 msf59: Hi Mark! I have so much reading to do it's almost paralyzing. I'm feeling the commitments - Bible and Bleak House so am reading fluff other times.

>97 FAMeulstee: Hey Anita! I'll be interested in your thoughts about Brooklyn.

>98 johnsimpson: Thank you, John! Friday's been nice - haircut, sewing the ends of corn bags and having a Cosmopolitan, talking with daughter. I have just finished a teensy review of The Crossing by Michael Connelly, see next post.

You need to get at least one book this month, John! I know you've been focused on Karen and etc., but you still have 18 days so go for it! Sending back love and hugs to you and Karen and I hope you have a lovely and relaxing weekend, too.

Edited: Feb 11, 2017, 9:04am Top

The Crossing by Michael Connelly
2/8/17 to 2/10/17

The description from Amazon:

Detective Harry Bosch has retired from the LAPD, but his half-brother, defense attorney Mickey Haller, needs his help. A woman has been brutally murdered in her bed and all evidence points to Haller's client, a former gang member turned family man. Though the murder rap seems ironclad, Mickey is sure it's a setup.

Bosch doesn't want anything to do with crossing the aisle to work for the defense. He feels it will undo all the good he's done in his thirty years as a homicide cop. But Mickey promises to let the chips fall where they may. If Harry proves that his client did it, under the rules of discovery, they are obliged to turn over the evidence to the prosecution.

Though it goes against all his instincts, Bosch reluctantly takes the case. The prosecution's file just has too many holes and he has to find out for himself: if Haller's client didn't do it, then who did? With the secret help of his former LAPD partner Lucy Soto, Harry starts digging. Soon his investigation leads him inside the police department, where he realizes that the killer he's been tracking has also been tracking him.

I really liked this mystery because the words “the crossing” represent the strategy Harry uses to find where the victim’s life crosses the client’s and Harry’s feeling that he has crossed over to the dark side of defense.

The slow unraveling of the issues of the case are interesting and believable. Harry and Mickey have totally different views on what to pursue and how to use the information, which also give this book an edge and tension that go nicely with the tension of finding the real killer.

All in all a good addition to the series – Harry’s and Mickey’s.

Feb 10, 2017, 5:26pm Top

>100 karenmarie: I listened to this on audio and really liked it. Can't remember the reader but he did an excellent job.

Feb 10, 2017, 5:28pm Top

Oooh, sounds like a good read.

Feb 10, 2017, 6:50pm Top

>101 Dianekeenoy: Hi Diane! I'm conflicted about audiobooks because I love listening to them in the car but don't commute any more (retired a year ago) and don't even have one going right now. I've never been interested in listening in the house, so I'm losing out on a lot of good listening, I know!!

>102 SomeGuyInVirginia: It was, Larry. I've just started the newest one, The Wrong Side of Goodbye and it's started out nicely, too.

I've 'borrowed' the following from jessibud2, Shelley:

Hmmm, food for thought: I subscribe to the online newsletter called A Word A Day. At the end of each day's email, there is a thought of the day. Anyhow, how's this for timely (chosen, I'm sure, deliberately):

The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else. -Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US President (1858-1919)

Feb 10, 2017, 7:26pm Top

>103 karenmarie: - I also retired a year ago but still keep an audiobook going in the car, for when I go out on errands. Obviously, it's slower going, as far as numbers of audiobooks I get through because I am not always in the car every day. But I don't think I could give them up entirely!

Feb 10, 2017, 11:55pm Top

>94 karenmarie: Nice haul!!

Feb 11, 2017, 3:45am Top

>100 karenmarie: pst, the touchstone leads to another book

I think it must be ages since I read my last Michael Connelly. There was a time I couldn't stop reading his books. It loojs like I should go back to his books.

Hapoy weekendm Karen.

Feb 11, 2017, 9:11am Top

>104 jessibud2: You're right - I should always keep one in the car. I've got a few upstairs that I can choose from.

>105 Berly: Hi Berly! I am going to try to get them added to my catalog today.

>106 Ameise1: Hi Barbara. >100 karenmarie: is fixed. I am usually more careful to get the right book than that, so thank you!

I really like his books and am enjoying the newest. This morning, however, is getting through Numbers 18 read and some more chapters of Bleak House.

I like reading Bleak House and am enjoying quite a bit of the story, and like the descriptive bits.

Feb 11, 2017, 2:20pm Top

>104 jessibud2: Count me among the recently retired. I find I'm more inclined to go for a walk or go to the gym and use the treadmill if I have an audiobook. I'll stay longer, walk farther, just to keep listening. It's great incentive for me.

Feb 11, 2017, 4:12pm Top

Hi Karen, hope you are having a good weekend my dear, glad you are enjoying the Connelly books, I must get back to Harry Bosch, next on the list for me is Trunk Music although I have read a few some were out of sync but this will put me back on track. Sending love and hugs dear lady.

Feb 12, 2017, 3:31am Top

Hi Karen, great book haul at $0.05 per book. I have never seen prices like that. Sounds like you are settling into retirement take 2 very well.

Edited: Feb 12, 2017, 3:46am Top

>108 ffortsa: Hi Judy! It really sounds like I need to try to incorporate more audiobooks into my lifestyle.

>109 johnsimpson: Hello John! Good weekend, even if a bit of insomnia. I just read for 3 hours and have finished another Harry Bosch - the latest. Review in next post. Trunk Music is excellent, and getting on track is good for this series. Reading them out of order loses some of the development of Harry's character and backstory.

>110 Familyhistorian: Hey Meg! It was a great controlled haul - I didn't fill the buggy like Kim suggested. I also got a great late-Christmas-present haul from my friend Karen in Montana two days ago, and had fun cataloging them yesterday.

RT2 is coming along nicely. Dealing with my mother's estate is the only wrinkle, and that will go on for a while, but otherwise I'm good. *smile*

Feb 12, 2017, 3:45am Top

The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly
2/10/17 to 2/12/17

The description from Amazon:

Harry Bosch is California's newest private investigator. He doesn't advertise, he doesn't have an office, and he's picky about who he works for, but it doesn't matter. His chops from thirty years with the LAPD speak for themselves.

Soon one of Southern California's biggest moguls comes calling. The reclusive billionaire is nearing the end of his life and is haunted by one regret. When he was young, he had a relationship with a Mexican girl, his great love. But soon after becoming pregnant, she disappeared. Did she have the baby? And if so, what happened to it?

Desperate to know whether he has an heir, the dying magnate hires Bosch, the only person he can trust. With such a vast fortune at stake, Harry realizes that his mission could be risky not only for himself but for the one he's seeking. But as he begins to uncover the haunting story--and finds uncanny links to his own past--he knows he cannot rest until he finds the truth.

At the same time, unable to leave cop work behind completely, he volunteers as an investigator for a tiny cash-strapped police department and finds himself tracking a serial rapist who is one of the most baffling and dangerous foes he has ever faced. b>

This one is even better than The Crossing. We get the best of both of Harry’s worlds – private investigator and cop. The private case relies on old evidence, Harry’s memories of Vietnam, and some boxes in an attic. Harry is also working on the Screen Cutter case for the San Fernando PD, the serial rapist case where clues and hints and stray comments help Harry figure out who the rapist is and how he’s been finding his victims. Some of Harry’s earlier cases with criminals who taunt him would be “baffling and dangerous foes”; this guy is just perverted and dangerous.

I continue to be fascinated by Harry Bosch as he matures, deals with his daughter Maddie’s continued absence as a sophomore at a college in Orange County, and decides what’s important to him.

Feb 12, 2017, 7:36am Top

Happy Sunday, Karen! Hope you have an R & R day planned. We have a birthday party to attend this afternoon, so I hope I can squeeze in some reading beforehand.

Feb 12, 2017, 7:59am Top

Nice book haul, Karen! Of the lot, I've only read Brooklyn. It's a quiet sort of a book, but very enjoyable. Wishing you a lovely Sunday!

Feb 12, 2017, 8:34am Top

Feb 12, 2017, 9:33am Top

>113 msf59: Hi Mark! Thanks. Have fun at the birthday party and then happy reading.

Today is #4 in a series of live theater events I attend at the Playmakers Repertory Company of Chapel Hill. My friend and neighbor Louise and I bought the 6-event sweries and have great tickets - almost center stage mezzanine. We go out to lunch first then attend the 2 p.m. matinee. I'll try to get a bit of reading in before we go. Here's the blurb on today's entertainment:

Intimate Apparel

Mending a life unraveling at the seams

Esther sews elegant intimates for high society and fallen women alike, fashioning an independent path in her search for love and respect. A compelling look at the joys and sorrows of an African- American seamstress told against the rich tapestry of 1905 New York.


“quietly subversive … a defining piece of American drama”

— The Observer

>114 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deborah. I'm on the lookout for a new book, so might pick up Brooklyn. I opened The Three-Body Problem after I posted the above review, but I need something lighter, I think.

>115 DianaNL: Hi Diana! Thank you.

Feb 12, 2017, 11:32am Top

>116 karenmarie: quietly subversive

Wouldn't that cover a number of us in as nice a way as possible?

Have a great Sunday.

Feb 13, 2017, 1:44pm Top

>117 PaulCranswick: Yes it would, Paul.

Although I think I must say that in this case, to me, it wasn't so much about being black, as being an illiterate woman in 1905 NYC. Quite a bit of the action could have been translated to a white cast and it would still have worked. So it's subversive, but it spoke to me as a feminist subversive piece. Not being black/African-American, I can't speak to the additional aspects that relate to suppression and prejudice against blacks/African Americans. But all in all, it was extremely well acted, well staged, and well written.

And so Sunday was good. I must admit that I was dozing in and out of a documentary on ancient Egypt and went to bed early, after having been up for 3 hours in the middle of the night with insomnia.

Feb 13, 2017, 3:24pm Top

It sounds like it would have been a good show. I'm trying to find time to go see Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Ford Theater.

Edited: Feb 13, 2017, 3:35pm Top

Playmakers Repertory is consistently good. It's a small venue, horseshoe shaped seating around what's always an amazing set.

I've never seen Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? I imagine that it's a very emotionally demanding play to see. Have you seen it before?

Wow! Just checked out Ford's Theater and the info on Lincoln's Assassination and the virtual tour are both fantastic. How wonderful to see a performance there!

Feb 13, 2017, 4:35pm Top

>120 karenmarie:, 119 - Many years ago (must have been around 1985 or so), I was visiting a cousin who lived in DC and we went to see a show at the Ford Theatre. It was called Hot Mikado and was fantastic. If my memory is correct, it was an all-Afro-American cast, and the music of the original Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado was all jazzed up. I was so impressed with the show and the theatre itself, as well.

Edited: Feb 13, 2017, 9:33pm Top

>120 karenmarie: Lucky you, Shelley!

My favorite theater experience was seeing Robert Guillaume in the Los Angeles production of The Phantom of the Opera. My college friend Jacqui bought tickets for us to see it, mine as my Christmas present. Her boss had seen it and absolutely insisted that we have mezzanine front row center seats, which, if you've seen Phantom, you realize are the best seats in the house. Stunning, absolutely stunning.

Feb 14, 2017, 9:21am Top

>116 karenmarie: Your theatre event sounds like a fun time. I hope you enjoyed it.

Feb 14, 2017, 3:01pm Top

It was good. There was humor and sadness and irony and etc. We both really liked it a lot.

My friend Louise said afterward that it reminded her of her family - she's white, in her early 80s, but I think grew up in poverty and related to it on that level.

Feb 15, 2017, 12:39am Top

It's always good when all the people in a group enjoy the entertainment. Sounds like you are good theatre companions, Karen.

Feb 15, 2017, 7:02am Top

Morning, Karen! I am enjoying a day off. I hope you have a good one too.

Feb 15, 2017, 8:41am Top

>125 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! Oh yes. We always like the plays - if nothing else we appreciate the sets and the excitement of a play. Some are better than others, obviously, but we've never been disappointed.

>126 msf59: Yay Mark! I hope you have a good one.

It's raining, I'm on my first cup of coffee, and going to read 6 pages of the Bible and as much Bleak House as makes sense before I yearn for my 'free reading book' My Dark Places by James Ellroy.

Feb 15, 2017, 8:55am Top

>127 karenmarie: "free reading book"--ha. I can remember that in elementary school--probably from 4th through 6th grades--I always carried a free reading book with me. "If you're finished with your work, you can get out your book for free reading." That was one of the happiest phrases of my young school life.

How are you liking Bleak House? I'm so impressed that you're doing that one and the Bible in group reads. We read Bleak House in one of my college lit courses, and--the story of my life--I was usually the only one who had read the day's reading, which is probably a common experience for a lot of people in the 75. My professor for that class was a terror, but I sort of liked him for that.

Feb 15, 2017, 9:53am Top

Good morning, Becky!

The 'homework' aspect of February is very apparent to me, so getting BH done will make me happy.

Do I like it? Some parts of it are wildly humorous and ironic, some parts depressing almost beyond bearing. I have a hard time accepting some of the conversations and situations, not Jarndyce & Jarndyce itself, however. I love reading about what a spoiled baby Richard is and how Esther sees it but sugarcoats it. I love John Jarndyce's growlery and how the winds being up are representations of the emotions he can't express.

I'm on page 333 of 830 in my hardcover edition although I'm reading it on my Kindle and bookmarking the book when I've finished a chapter. I've got a lot of serious reading to do in order to make my month-end goal.

I, too, in high school and college was one of the few who always had readings and homework done.

Edited: Feb 15, 2017, 10:23am Top

Good morning, Karen!

I'm falling badly behind on Bleak House. I need to finish a few library checkouts today that are due tomorrow and have waiting lists so I can't renew them. And then ....

I need to get over to the thread and make a few comments.

Feb 15, 2017, 11:21am Top

Hi Janet! I'm behind too. Bleak House seemingly isn't a can't-put-it-down book except for our beloved LizzieD, I think.

I plan on reading lots and lots today, but then 'rewarding' myself with My Dark Places.

Feb 15, 2017, 11:59am Top

Happy Wednesday, Karen.

Feb 15, 2017, 12:46pm Top

We are seeing a play this weekend, called Marjorie Prime, By Jordan Harrison

It's about a family grappling with the difference between a life lived and a life remembered. The main actress is 85-year-old Marjorie and she struggles to keep hold of her memories and identity, using an artificial version of her late husband, Walter. Sounds like a cool exploration of aging, memory and technology. I have high hopes because I like the actors and this play was a 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama and it will be a 2017 film, adapted by the Season 4 writer/producer of Orange Is the New Black starring Jon Hamm, Lois Smith, Geena Davis & Tim Robbins. We'll see!!

Feb 15, 2017, 2:03pm Top

>132 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara! Today is good, if lazy.

>133 Berly: Hi Berly! Your play sounds fascinating - I just looked it up. You'll have to tell us how you like it.

Feb 15, 2017, 4:38pm Top

Hi Karen, hope you are having a good week my dear, I see you are reading Bleak House at the moment and hope you are enjoying it. I have a number of Dickens books to get round to, I have them in hard back pocket editions from the 1920's and 30's and the pages are wafer thin with very small text. Sending love and hugs.

Feb 15, 2017, 6:25pm Top

Hi John! I am having a good week. Bleak House is coming along, although a bit more slowly than I like.

I'm really enjoying My Dark Places by James Ellroy about his life and his mother's murder.

Wafer thin with very small text. I'm getting too old for that, myself, although I appreciate that they must look quite wonderful. Sending love and hugs back to you and Karen!

Feb 15, 2017, 6:46pm Top

A lazy day sounds a pleasant Wednesday indeed, Karen. I hope it was.

Feb 16, 2017, 2:52am Top

>94 karenmarie: nice stack!! Always a lovely moment, bringing stuff like that in the house :) And you get to look at it and rearrange it for a while too, I love that part.

Feb 16, 2017, 8:04am Top

>137 lunacat: Totally lazy, Jenny. I'm still avoiding a couple of things I need to do, but am resolved to get at least two of them done today.

>138 LovingLit: Hi Megan. Thanks. I really like messing with my books too. Right now I'm pretty satisfied with the way things are - I had an entire shelf available to put these babies on, rather than having to put a few here and there. Next step is to get rid of duplicates. I have 127 books that can be culled if they are duplicates that I don't want to keep.

Feb 16, 2017, 8:13am Top

>139 karenmarie: - Duplicates. It drives me nuts when I find a duplicate on my shelf and sadly, it is not a one-off occurrence. I know I am not alone in this (and in a warped way, that gives me comfort!) but still. Sheesh.

Edited: Feb 16, 2017, 8:22am Top

Hey Shelley! Duplicates make me crazy because in most cases it means I've spent money twice, although some are from MiL's library. All 4,475 of my books have location tags (there are also 188 of daughter's books cataloged). I downloaded to excel, created a pivot sheet by title, did a count of each title, and of the 152 duplicate titles, 127 are the duplicates that I mentioned above. Or among - here are the triplicates:

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Gaudy Night
Gone with the Wind
Little Women or Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy
The Doorbell Rang
The Drop
The Grapes of Wrath
The Mayor of Castorbridge

Edited: Feb 16, 2017, 9:49am Top

And here's where I am in The Literary Study Bible and Bleak House. Sigh.

Feb 16, 2017, 11:14am Top

Triplicates? Yikes! Although you can never have enough copies of Grapes, IMHO.

Sweet Thursday, Karen.

Feb 16, 2017, 11:31am Top

Sort of catching up here, Karen......... Happy you to get to the Playmakers!!!! Happy you to be so close to Chapel Hill in any case!!!! One of my best HS friends has been back in the area for several years now (after spending most of her adult life in Spokane where she and her oboist husband did the Royal Fireworks Festival). She is an early keyboard musician and now director of Baroque and Beyond who perform an annual concert series. Look for her if you are interested (Beverly Biggs), and if you go, tell her I sent you.
I have several of your great book haul but have read only 2, I think. I didn't love The Tiger's Wife, but I recommend Brooklyn without reservation.
Happy Bleak Housing!

Feb 16, 2017, 3:56pm Top

Hi Peggy! Yes we love Playmakers. I just looked up Baroque and Beyond and have printed their flyer. They have a concert on March 12th - Beverly will be playing the harpsichord, and the whole thing sounds wonderful. I don't know if I'll be in town or not, but it's definitely something I'd enjoy. As we get closer I'll have to see if I can work it out.

I just got to the point in BH where we Lady Dedlock learns the truth! (Chapter XXIX). Exciting.

Feb 16, 2017, 4:24pm Top

I think I have triplicates of Dubliners and definitely of Pride & Prejudice - I think I actually have at least 4 copies of that... *refusingtofeelguilty*

Feb 16, 2017, 6:53pm Top

Hi Katie! Nah, no guilt necessary.

Feb 17, 2017, 1:19am Top

>139 karenmarie: :) I relate!! A book arrived for me in the mail today from the Book Depo, a replacement one for a ratty copy I have of Last Orders. This one is newly published and so pretty...

Feb 17, 2017, 8:17am Top

>142 karenmarie: Love the visual! Ha.

I confess to having triplicates, and someday when I'm gone someone will look at my shelves and just shake their head--"Why does this woman have so many copies of (fill in the blank--my five copies of Pride and Prejudice will probably send someone over the edge). I have two copies of Little Women. One is my original copy from when I was about 10 years old or so (a "modern" abridged edition (gaah) that cost $1.00; the other one is the copy that I coveted at that age with all my heart (Illustrated Junior Library). But it was expensive, I was told, and why would I "need" another copy of a book I already had. I bought a used edition of that book a few years ago, and it's one of the most loved books in my collection. On the inside flap is written $3.95. Sigh.

I also have many in this category--original paperback editions going back to the early 1970s with iconic covers that I would never actually read again (like my 1970 copy of Love Story). So when I want to read them (not Love Story--ha), I get another copy in a (larger type) edition.

I make no apologies. (smile)

Feb 17, 2017, 8:23am Top

>141 karenmarie: I like the conversation about dublicates, Karen, so I looked up mine.

I have 15 duplicates catalogued on LT. Before LT we had more!
Haven't bought a duplicate for a long time, most books are ordered on-line and I check on LT first.

4 duplicates, because we have them in two languages.
Then there are a 7 we have in different editions, both too good to cull ;-)
The remaining 4 are no real duplicates, I read them from the library in a different edition.

Feb 17, 2017, 9:27am Top

I have very few duplicates on the shelves. I am getting better at that now that I can check LT when I am in a bookstore. The thing that drives me crazy is when the title of a book is changed so you don't realize that you are picking up the same book. Books for a few authors are like this, like Agatha Christie mysteries.

Edited: Feb 17, 2017, 9:27am Top

>142 karenmarie: Don't despair!! It is still progress. : ) And they are not duplicates. ; )

Feb 17, 2017, 9:39am Top

>148 LovingLit: Hi Megan! It is lovely. I've replaced many books over the years - especially my rattier Georgette Heyers. Of course the question is are you going to get rid of the ratty one?

>149 labwriter: Hey Becky! Thank you. I'm using a white material-lace bookmark with a Cross at the top for the Bible. It seemed appropriate. I do not know where I got this bookmark, possibly from one of my MiL's books. I never buy bookmarks. They just migrate in.

Ah, sorry about the abridged Little Women. When I was young I didn't know any better that most of the books I read from Scholastic Book Services were abridgements, and I also read the Reader's Digest Condensed books.

I'm glad you have a book that makes you feel so good.

>150 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! No real duplicates, for sure!

I also have 3 copies of The Catcher in the Rye - one a hardcover that I inherited from MiL, one a paperback copy I bought while in high school, and the same paperback, bought by husband when he was in high school. Lots of duplicates fall into this category of keeping for sentimentality.

I know for sure that one of the Little Women is MiL's, and one is a slipcased edition I bought because I love old slipcase editions of books.

We'll see how many I actually take off the shelves.

Feb 17, 2017, 9:52am Top

I know I've purposely bought some duplicates; usually an ebook to replace a hard copy and I haven't got around to jetting the physical book. I try to avoid dupes.

Edited: Feb 17, 2017, 10:21am Top

Hi Larry! I actually don't really consider my e-book copies legit - I only have a few of them cataloged here on LT, usually after I've read one of them and if I've specifically bought it instead of buying it 'cuz it's cheap or free.

Do you catalog your e-books?

Edited: Feb 25, 2017, 6:02pm Top

My Dark Places by James Ellroy
2/13/17 to 2/16/17

The description from Amazon:

In 1958 Jean Ellroy was murdered, her body dumped on a roadway in a seedy L.A. suburb. Her killer was never found, and the police dismissed her as a casualty of a cheap Saturday night. James Ellroy was ten when his mother died, and he spent the next thirty-six years running from her ghost and attempting to exorcize it through crime fiction. In 1994, Ellroy quit running. He went back to L.A., to find out the truth about his mother--and himself.

In My Dark Places, our most uncompromising crime writer tells what happened when he teamed up with a brilliant homicide cop to investigate a murder that everyone else had forgotten--and reclaim the mother he had despised, desired, but never dared to love. What ensues is a epic of loss, fixation, and redemption, a memoir that is also a history of the American way of violence.

This book grabbed me from the beginning and never let go. Once again, as with many of the authors I love and books I read, it is about Los Angeles. I grew up in LA and know El Monte, Watts, Beverly Hills, the San Gabriel Valley, and the feeling of LA. I was 5 when his mother was killed, living 30 miles away, in Hawthorne. I know the streets and demographics. It simply adds to an excellent memoir and murder mystery.

James Ellroy is brutally honest in this book and it is an exorcism of sorts. From the vantage of almost 40 years after the crime, from the eyes of a 10 year old to those of a 47-year old, he records the facts, the suppositions, his descent into drugs and petty crime, his twisted feelings, often incestuous, towards his mother, and his search for her killer. His partnership with Detective Bill Stoner is amazing for their rapport and their leaving no stone uncovered.

James Ellroy even visits the family he has written off, going to the towns his mother lived in, connecting with relatives he had never heard of and re-connecting with those he thought would hate him forever.

I could hardly put this book down. It is a testament to detailed police work at the time of the murder and later. It is also a testament to Ellroy’s willingness to share his deepest feelings, obsessions, and motivations with us.

Feb 17, 2017, 10:58am Top

Hi Karen! I joined LT originally as I was finding myself with duplicates and wanted to prevent that. I started keeping track of what books I owned and found the duplicates stopped, unless they were gifts and then I'd either return them if I could or give them away

Feb 17, 2017, 11:00am Top

Hi Chelle!

Good for you! I still unintentionally books I already have if I'm not diligent and whip out the old cellphone to check at the thrift shops or used book stores I go to.

I'm so glad you've found that LT is so much more - just as I have. I originally joined to catalog my books.

Feb 17, 2017, 11:05am Top

So after reading 6 pages of Deuteronomy for the group read, I'm going to go upstairs and assess the Parlour. I will take a before picture and post and you will all be able to see how chaotic a room can get when not really used and things get shoved in. Brutal honesty, here. It is a disaster. Back later with the pic.....

Feb 17, 2017, 1:26pm Top

Feb 17, 2017, 1:39pm Top

I found another New Testament. It was in a stack of pictures. It is my husband's mother's maternal aunt's husband's - my husband's great-uncle's. He was in WWII and this is a New Testament issued to servicemen. The inside right page says:

As Commander-in-Chief I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States. Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and diverse origins have found in the Sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel and inspiration. It is a fountain of strength and now, as always, an aid in attaining the highest aspirations of the human soul.

(stamped signature) Franklin d. Roosevelt

Feb 17, 2017, 2:03pm Top

>160 karenmarie: Aak! Must impose order! That is giving my inner OCD child the shpilkes. Think how great it's going to be when you're done.

I have cataloged all 2,840 of my ebooks, and dumped them into their own collection. I'm with you, though, and have not broken them down further into collection types (mystery, history, math, etc.). So rifling through them can be a pain.

Feb 17, 2017, 2:43pm Top

I will be much happier when I walk by that room and don't see crap all over, for sure. I have boxes of pictures to move to the organized Media room closet, some linens to put away, and etc. There are 8 chairs and one large sofa in that room, a corner hutch, a dresser, an end table, a rolling cart, a gateleg table, and a horseshoe leather-covered coffee table. There's no real way to make it a pretty room if I keep all that furniture in there, but frankly there's nowhere else for it to go. Unless...

Feb 17, 2017, 3:34pm Top

Nope. The dresser won't fit in the hall.

I found lots of neat stuff in the dresser, though.

Feb 17, 2017, 3:57pm Top

Hi Karen, it has been a good day for Karen and she has got her scan appointment for Monday, yay. Hope you are having a good day my dear and I hope you have a great weekend dear lady.

Ever since I kept a notebook of authors and their books I rarely end up with a duplicate, this only happens if I haven't got my notebooks (as it is now) on me or Karen hasn't got her scraps of paper with her. Any duplicates and books we have read and don't want to keep are put in a box, when it is full we leave it until Amy has had a look and then they go to a charity shop as most of them come from charity shops anyway. The current box is nearly full so I will start another and these will go to Barter Books in Alnwick so they can give me a cash value to spend on more books from their vast stock, this will also enable us to visit a lovely lady who used to teach Rob and Amy when they were first starting school as she lives just 8 miles from Alnwick on the coast and has a fantastic property.

Feb 17, 2017, 7:54pm Top

So far behind here! Wow.

>122 karenmarie: It's been years, but I completely agree. I saw that production of Phantom, and Robert Guillaume was Brilliant.

I have this fantasy that when I unpack all my books, I will update LT with the scanny thing as I unpack them. Only I bet you the scanny thing isn't with the books. We shall see what happens.

Feb 18, 2017, 6:29am Top

>156 karenmarie: I suppose I have to huy it because my libra4y hasn't got a copy of it. Great review. Thanks so m6ch, Karen.
Happy weekend.

Feb 18, 2017, 7:53am Top

Morning Karen. Happy Saturday. Gorgeous day here in the Midwest. It makes working a bit easier.

Feb 18, 2017, 8:21am Top

Happy Saturday! I am hopelessly behind on all the threads. Hope you are making progress on your parlour. House cleanup is on my list as well.

Feb 18, 2017, 8:41am Top

>169 witchyrichy: That certainly makes two of us, Karen.

Scared to look at your book sorting escapades. Have a lovely weekend, Karen.

Edited: Feb 18, 2017, 10:01am Top

>165 johnsimpson: Hi John! I'm glad to hear that Karen has the appointment on Monday. I hope she can get through the weekend with minimal discomfort and get some answers/plans on Monday.

I started using my cell phone to check for duplicates a couple of years ago - I sign in to LibraryThing and check that way. I'm anxiously looking forward to the LT android app, which from what I can glean here on LT should be available in the March - May time frame. Of course that may slip, but at least it's on the horizon.

You have your box, I have my little Yellow Table. It's where I keep books I've borrowed, a blanket for the cat, and all my culls. Once my daughter has gone through the culls and taken what she wants, off to the thrift shop the rest go, where I get a tax receipt to apply to our taxes.

>166 nittnut: How lovely that we both saw the same production of Phantom, Jenn! It still gives me goose bumps thinking about that whole evening with my friend Jacque - dinner at an elegant restaurant and Phantom.

I have a scanny thing (and I even know where it is!) if you can't find yours when it comes time to unhpack and scan your books - it would be a great excuse to come visit you in your new house up the road! (hint hint). This is separate, of course, from our meet up with Peggy.

>167 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! I'm flattered that I've given you a book bullet! Happy weekend to you too, my dear.

>168 msf59: Hi Mark! I bet it does - no snow, rain, wind, fog, etc. Our weather is gorgeous out here today too. Blue skies and 41F, heading to 72F by the afternoon.

>169 witchyrichy: Good morning, Karen! The parlour is under control, although I must admit that I need to finish putting the photos in the closet (which is down one set of stairs and up another!), the Christmas dishes behind the guest bedroom closet in the attic storage, and probably get rid of the 30-year old (no exaggeration) Schwinn exercise bike. Parlour photo later, I promise.

I spent 3 hours the other day getting caught up on threads. It doesn't always mean posting, but I do post frequently. Some of our friends' threads are becoming amazingly active recently.

>170 PaulCranswick: Hey Paul! Thank you re the weekend. Maybe some book sorting/eliminating today.

Monday is husband's 61st birthday. He wants his special dinner (Beau Monde Chicken) and dessert (homemade cheesecake) tomorrow, so will get all the ingredients during our grocery store run today. He's taking Monday off, but we'll probably just have lunch out. So far he hasn't expressed anything he'd like to do special.

He has become almost impossible to buy for, so the only thing I can offer him, which will be something he can anticipate and plan for and make decisions about, is the offer of a new 4K TV for the living room when there's money from my Mom's estate. We got a 4K TV for my Retreat upstairs last year, which he won't watch because he says it will make him hate the one downstairs, so he's watching our 'crummy' 60" HD smart TV. He says he can see the difference immediately. I can't. So I'm going to print up a picture of a 4K OLED 65" TV, put it in a box, wrap the box, and give that to him. (because you know, size matters *smile*)

Feb 18, 2017, 3:30pm Top

Hi Karen, hope you are having a good start to the weekend my dear, we have had a good day and I will post more on my thread, sending love and hugs.

Feb 18, 2017, 4:14pm Top

>153 karenmarie: I've replaced many books over the years - especially my rattier Georgette Heyers. Of course the question is are you going to get rid of the ratty one?
I usually take my cast offs to the staff/post-grad lounge where we have a book exchange shelf. Or, if I can identify a specific person who I think would like the book, I will sometimes remember to pass it to them directly!

>171 karenmarie: off to the thrift shop the rest go, where I get a tax receipt to apply to our taxes.
You get tax back for donating books to the thrift shop? We can apply to get a third of the amount of our donations back, for us that means money back from our regular Amnesty donation, and 1/3 back from the school donations. That usually means about $150 a year we get back as our rebate

Feb 18, 2017, 10:54pm Top

>156 karenmarie: You got me with My Dark Places, Karen. Just checked my library and it is in and I already plan on going there tomorrow. Just hope it is still there when I go looking.

>160 karenmarie: Yep, that looks like stuff was shoved in there. Will you post the after photos?

Feb 18, 2017, 11:18pm Top

Hi, Karen. I wouldn't dare take a picture of our "library," which is piled high with boxes of books and book piles and the outdoor plants indoors for the winter. Good grief!
Happy Birthday to your husband and wishes that you may enjoy the celebration!
My only duplicates, I think, are the ratty copies that I can't bear to give up because I remember how much they meant to me when I got them and because nobody else would have them.
(Megan, I'm off to investigate Last Orders.)

Feb 19, 2017, 3:36am Top

Happy Sunday, Karen.

Feb 19, 2017, 8:20am Top

>172 johnsimpson: Hi John! I read with interest about your day out and am glad Karen was able to have such a busy day after her recent woes. Sending love and hugs to you both!

>173 LovingLit: Hi Megan! The tax receipt comes off of net income, so it reduces our tax burden by an extremely small amount. I take the books there more because when daughter was in school the county-wide thrift shop system always only kept $10K for its capital fund and distributed the profits back to the 14 schools in the county. Each got 1/14th of 40% of the profit, and the other 60% of the profit was distributed based on percentage of total hours volunteered by school and when daughter was in high school by group within school. Our Band Boosters always got upwards of several thousand dollars per year, most of which was applied to each student's band Fair Share payment requirement based on hours worked by that student or family member. I was a thrift shop supervisor, so got many hours for daughter's fair share requirement. I'm pretty sure by now they have distributed over $2 million since inception. It's so worthwhile. Plus, I have gotten some great books, clothing, and etc. there over the years.

>174 Familyhistorian: Cool, Meg! I hope you enjoy it and his writing style. Barbara got me re-hooked on James Ellroy with her review of The Cold Six Thousand. (I have, and read a long time ago The Black Dahlia). I bought American Tabloid and The Cold Six Thousand with an Amazon gift card I received at Christmas, have read American Tabloid and will probably read TCST this spring. I found My Dark Places at the second hand book store in town after re-finding a $20 gift certificate.

>175 LizzieD: Yes, Peggy, I was brave, hoping that people wouldn't write me off as a total slob with that picture. Part of the reason to post was to shame myself into doing something about it. I don't think I'll get much done today as today I'm making a cheesecake and cooking husband's request for his birthday dinner, and tomorrow he will be at home - he requested and was given permission to have his birthday off.
ut I have gotten the room itself about 95% of the way done.

And re plants indoors - we have two huge outdoor plants in the living room. They hadn't died by the time of the first frost last fall so we brought them in. We've kept them going and will see how they do when we put them out after the last frost date. If they don't die, it will save us buying plants to fill the cement planters we inherited from husband's grandmother.

I have several sets of duplicates that will never get purged as they are sentimental copies. 25 sets of duplicates are for that reason. And some of the 127 sets may remain - I just have to go through them one at a time to decide. Next week!

Feb 19, 2017, 8:30am Top

Happy Sunday, Karen! It looks like it might be close to another record-breaker today.

Hope your husband enjoys his birthday dinner.

Feb 19, 2017, 9:46am Top

>176 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! Thank you. Sorry I forgot to reply in my response above. So far Sunday is good. I hope the start of your ski holiday is going well.

>178 msf59: There, and here, I think. We're supposed to get to about 71F. Yesterday was more like 75F, not the 72F predicted.

Thank you. Unfortunately, he has acquired a very sore throat and is talking himself into a cold. He is pretty cranky right now as he hasn't had a cup of coffee yet, so I'm leaving him to his own devices until he stops growling. *smile*

Feb 20, 2017, 9:31am Top

>177 karenmarie: I visited the library yesterday, Karen, and came back with My Dark Places. Now I just need the time to get to it. The search took me to a different place in the library where all of the books about real life murders are and, funnily enough, I was looking for books about murders in Vancouver for some research I am doing for my blog. Didn't find what I was looking for but I did pick up a book about the bath tub murders.

Feb 20, 2017, 10:20am Top

>177 karenmarie: I love thrift shops with good causes. Truth be told, I mostly dress my kids from thrift shops. They grow out of stuff so fast, it's painful to pay for new stuff. Also, people donate the greatest stuff, if you take time to look, and sometimes I find great fabric on something out of date that I can remodel. Not so much luck for myself though.

If you're looking for an excuse to drive to Greensboro, you're trying too hard. Lol. I'm rather bound by the kids' school schedule, but I'm happy to meet you for lunch and book shop browsing any time. What's midway?

Feb 20, 2017, 10:24am Top

Morning, Karen!

Feb 20, 2017, 10:27am Top

Hi Karen--Happy Monday and best wishes to your Hubby on his birthday!! Dark Places looks quite good, but I need some lighter fare right now. Great write-up.

Edited: Feb 20, 2017, 11:48am Top

Hi Karen - I'm so impressed that you cleaned out your Parlour. The kids' upstairs old bedrooms look like that and I am slowly, slowly cleaning out.

I dropped off a bag of clothes at the thrift store and a bag of books at the library last week, and thought I was doing good!

Since I've been dieting, I've been buying thrift store pants for me. I hope to shrink out of them quickly to the next size down, and it's a bonus to be able to try on different brands all in one location since I have no idea what fits anymore.

My Dark Places sounds excellent! Good review!

Edited: Feb 20, 2017, 11:50am Top

>180 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! I'm glad to have been the motivator to find another and appropriate section of the library for you. I'll be interested in hearing what you think of My Dark Places when you can fit it in. Do you mean George Joseph Smith and the "Brides in the Bath" murders? I've only heard about it peripherally in other mysteries I've read over the years.

>181 nittnut: Hey Jenn! I wish I had considered thrift shop clothes earlier in daughter's younger years. I bought seriously good stuff for her. The only consolation was that usually things lasted for a while because I bought a size up and she looked sloppy for a while and then things fit. And her pajamas were always Hanna Anderssons and lasted forever. The nice thing abut Hannas were that they had close cuffs on both the sleeves and legs so they could be bought extra big and wouldn't flop off. They wore like iron, too.

I'm not sure there's a reasonable halfway to Greensboro, but you're only roughly 45-60 minutes from me, so I'd love to come that way! Things are a bit unsettled because we don't have Mom's corrected death certificates and I'll have to go to CA when we get them to start, FINALLY, getting her estate settled. I'll know more this week. Thanks - lunch and book shop browsing sound wonderful.

>182 katiekrug: Hi Katie!

>183 Berly: Thanks re husband - he's in the living room coughing up a lung, I think. I went to the pharmacy and bought more cough drops, Dayquil, and Chloraseptic throat spray. He's feeling rotten, but was very excited when he opened his present and can start bragging, planning, and researching a new TV. We're looking at a while, after we figure out Mom's estate, but he said that's okay - there will be 8K technology out this year and it might be worthwhile waiting for that anyway. He visibly perked up when he realized what his present was and has already texted friends and gotten online. He's pretty predictable when it comes to technology. *smile*

And I'm working on the Bible for the year-long group read. Our fearless leader has gone incommunicado because of personal issues, which is sad, but hasn't demotivated me. I'm reading my 6 pages, small print, tissue-thin paper, a day and am up to Deuteronomy 16. And I'm at about page 486 of 830 pages of Bleak House. I really like Esther Summerson, John Jarndyce, and Charley. Most of the others, meh. Well, Miss Flite, perhaps.

I was going to start Racing the Devil, the new Ian Rutledge, but just got Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, and am going to start it instead. I saw him on Stephen Colbert and Had To Have This Book.

Feb 20, 2017, 12:27pm Top

My copy of Lincoln in the Bardo gets here tomorrow! Saunders is one of my all-time favorites. Can't wait to hear what you think.

Feb 20, 2017, 12:46pm Top

Yay, Larry! Great minds.....

Husband wants to watch a new series called Billions (?) that he's recorded - we'll see if we like it. So early afternoon's out, but I'm starting it later.

Feb 20, 2017, 2:41pm Top

>187 karenmarie: Hi Karen!
My in-laws watch Billions and really like it. I think they had mentioned it started back up last night?

Feb 20, 2017, 3:03pm Top

Hi Chelle!

We just watched the first two episodes and really like it. We had a free Showtime weekend so husband recorded it, but he won't be willing to pay for Showtime. Oh well, we'll at least enjoy the first season....

Feb 20, 2017, 4:03pm Top

Well, I'm extremely disappointed in my copy of Lincoln in the Bardo. There's a crease on the inside front cover and even though the pages are deckle-edged and some variation is expected, this is what mine looks like. Plus, there appears to be warping. Why me? I'm sending it back and getting another copy, which should arrive on the 22nd.

Feb 20, 2017, 7:59pm Top

>190 karenmarie: I don't blame you one bit! My new books must be perfect or I can't even read them until I get a perfect copy!

Feb 20, 2017, 8:51pm Top

Glad your husband is feeling better - or at least, feeling happier!
>190 karenmarie: >191 Dianekeenoy: Absolutely! The price of a new book is too high for it to be that much less than perfect. I'm not sure why the employee who pulled that one for you didn't discard it or put it in the return container. I also DESIRE a copy of *LitB*!

Edited: Feb 20, 2017, 9:18pm Top

>191 Dianekeenoy: Hey Diane! Yup. I've done this before - they, Amazon, are at least sending new books to me in cardboard rather than the bubblewrap envelope one new book came in - the dust jacket was seriously creased so I sent it back. I'm also the person who is perfectly happy with a used copy when that's all I'm willing to pay.

I was going to read it anyway until the new one came, but you're right on that too - it must be perfect. I can't get any enjoyment out of it so will wait for the new copy. Drat.

>192 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! He's still feeling pretty rotten and may not go to work tomorrow. He sounds awful too - lots of coughing, painfully tight, I can just hear it hurt his throat.

That book should never have made it out of the publisher's house. Too much is wrong with it.

So if you consider all the books I've gotten from Amazon they're still pretty good, but I wanted to read LitB now. Spoiled and cranky, eh?

So now I've got to find another book, one that will last until Wednesday only. We're supposed to read A Spool of Blue Thread for March's book club discussion, but it's not appealing to me right now. Meh.

Off to find a book.

Edited: Feb 20, 2017, 9:44pm Top

Good for you for requesting a perfect copy. I recently got a book off Amazon, brand new, and the pages weren't cut properly, so there were odd folded bits that hung out in awkward places. I also ordered a game one time, which came in a box, the box was undamaged, but the game was smashed to bits. They had to have packed it just like that. So bizarre. But Amazon is great about replacing things, so it was OK in the end.

We'll get a meetup organized one of these days. When you're not going back and forth to CA and I'm not buying a house. *grin*

Edited: Feb 21, 2017, 8:21am Top

>194 nittnut: Hi Jenn. Yes, I'm glad I did it, but now my Instant Gratification switch is in the off position and I'm impatient for tomorrow. And yes, let's get together after we both get a bit more settled. And have a meet up with Peggy, too!

Feb 21, 2017, 8:21am Top

Good News for Fiona Griffiths Fans if you have a Kindle:

I just got this in an e-mail this morning from Harry Bingham - I joined his e-mail list on his website a while back.


Unless it's all just fake news and post-truth craziness, this world of ours is heading in a very strange direction.

Now there's not a lot any of us can do about that, but we can at least rely on a small Welsh detective to bring her own peculiar version of law and order to the hills, valleys and cities of Wales.

To celebrate the onset of spring, and because we all need a little more joy in our lives, I'm holding a special four-day only sale of every Fiona Griffiths title at $0.99 or less.

Book 1: Talking to the Dead, free (for today only; thereafter $0.99)
Book 2: Love Story, with Murders, $0.99
Book 3: The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths, $0.99
Book 4: This Thing of Darkness, $0.99
Book 5: The Dead House, $0.99

This offer will end at close of play February 24th, so don't delay. I know most of you have most of the titles already - but now is a brilliant opportunity to fill any gaps in your collection. If you have friends or loved ones who might enjoy the series, tell them now, so they can grab it with both hands.

I won't run another sale like this for at least twelve months, so this really is a grab-it-while-you-can moment.

I'll send one further reminder in a couple of days, but then that'll be that. Done and dusted. All over for another year.

Oh, and two more pieces of news:

1) There'll be a new book out this summer. It's called THE DEEPEST GRAVE and it's a good un. I can report that Fiona gets into one or two little spots of bother in the course of the story . . . but I'm fairly sure it'll all come out OK in the end. I'll let you know more about that as we get closer to the big day.

2) Do I have a sniff of TV interest? Well, maybe. Just possibly yes. Nothing firm to report yet, but that pot is coming to a nice rolling simmer. If we do end up signing a deal, you guys will be the very first to know. (After my mum, I mean. Mothers get to know these things first; that's just the rule.)

If you need reminders about which book is which, you can find all the details below.

Otherwise, have a fabulous spring, enjoy reading or re-reading or re-re-reading Fiona . . . and see you all again, very soon.

Best wishes and gweld chi cyn bo hir.

Harry Bingham

PS: You've got friends, right? So be a buddy.

Feb 21, 2017, 8:27am Top

Happy 61st to your hubby and I hope he's enjoying his big screen.

Feb 21, 2017, 8:37am Top

Thank you, Paul!

My husband is still sick and didn't go to work today - he had yesterday off as a vacation day because of his birthday, but he called in sick today. I know he really loves his new job since he said "I really wanted to go to work today."

The 'old' 60" big screen is in the living room and is always on when husband is home. We also have a projection TV system upstairs in his Media Room, but he never uses it because it's not 'smart' and quite a bit of what we watch is on Amazon Prime and other 'smart' TV options. Even the quality of the 60" TV is at least as good as the now-obsolete projection TV upstairs. I just spoke with him and punted the idea of moving the 60" upstairs when he gets the new one and getting read of the defunct system upstairs. He said it's a good idea. That way daughter can play her PS4 games upstairs when she visits without disrupting her dad and we'll have made the Media Room usable again.

Off to the dentist in about 20 minutes for my 6-month check.

Feb 21, 2017, 9:12am Top

>196 karenmarie: And, I just ordered all copies 2 days ago from Book Depository! Well, I do prefer "real" books, but still thinking it might not hurt to also have on Kindle...like money in the bank...

Feb 21, 2017, 9:43am Top

Happy Birthday to your hubster. Sorry to hear zhat he is under the weathet. I hope he gets well soon.

Feb 21, 2017, 12:40pm Top

>196 karenmarie: Oh, thanks for that heads up about the Harry Bingham books. I was just thinking of starting the series, and now I got all 5 books for $3.96!

Sorry your husband is sick. It's such a drag, especially when you have things you want to be doing, like a job you really like. I hope he revives soon.

And I wanted to say that I read My Dark Places a few years ago, and came across it on my biography shelf as I was rearranging books yesterday. Wasn't it wonderful? I may read it again one of these days.

Feb 21, 2017, 12:47pm Top

>199 Dianekeenoy: Hi Diane! It's definitely not a bad idea to have a Kindle copy available, even if you have the paper books.

>200 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara.

>201 ffortsa: You're very welcome, Judy. I posted it as soon as I saw it - unfortunately too late for Diane above.

He's a bit perkier but still coughing terribly.

My Dark Places was wonderful. I might even consider reading it again because his honesty and unflinching look at his mother and father are so beautifully written.

Back from the dentist - 6 month check - no problems, yay!

I'm going to read some more Bleak House, am on track with the Bible, and have started the 4th Harry Bingham, This Thing of Darkness. His books are just soooo darned good.

Feb 21, 2017, 3:57pm Top

>177 karenmarie: aah, the complexities of tax systems, it pays to know them! Sounds like a good system.

>190 karenmarie: I would return that too. And be irritated. I hope you get your copy today (its the 22nd today here, so that might mean tomorrow for you)

Feb 21, 2017, 4:02pm Top

Hi Karen, belated birthday greetings to your husband my dear, hope he is feeling better. Hope all is well with you and thank you for the kind messages for Karen, she feels better with a diagnosis now and I have put a post on my thread about it. Sending love and hugs.

Feb 22, 2017, 7:09am Top

Morning Karen! Happy Wednesday! And hooray for Fiona Griffiths. She is sure getting plenty of LT love.

Feb 22, 2017, 8:12am Top

>202 karenmarie: Glad your dentist appointment went well and thanks for the reminder for me! I cancelled my appt in September without rescheduling and now it is March! Oh dear! Time to make a phone call ;-)

Happy Wednesday!

Feb 22, 2017, 9:00am Top

>203 LovingLit: Hi Megan! I have printed out the return labels and will box up the defective one today. I'll put in the UPS drop box the next time I'm in town.

I should be donating books to the Friends of the Library since I'm a board member, but I've always also supported the thrift shops and so will continue as I began.

>204 johnsimpson: Hey John! Husband enjoyed his birthday, even though he was sick on Monday. He is still home today, but says he's feeling better but has a terrible headache. He's never been one much for headaches, that's been my issue, but I'm sure he'll go back to work tomorrow. Other than that, things are going pretty good. Sending love and hugs back to both of you!

>205 msf59: Good morning, Mark! I read the second Fiona Griffiths first, then the 1st and then 3rd. I snagged 3,4, and 5 and am reading 4 on my Kindle.

>206 witchyrichy: I'm glad to be of service, Karen! I go every 6 months.

Today is lunch with Rhoda, a friend from Friends of the Library. She invited me over for soup and dessert today. That should be fun. She's extremely intelligent and loves books - mysteries specifically. I'm sure we'll have a great time talking and hanging out.

Feb 22, 2017, 11:06am Top

Karen--Glad you are getting another, perfect book. And that the dentist went well. Hoping Hubby gets well soon and I already broke down and bought the Bingham series. Have fun at lunch!!

Feb 22, 2017, 3:39pm Top

Hi Berly! I'm glad you got the Bingham series - I hope you enjoy them. I'm enjoying the fourth one.

I had a great time at lunch - Rhoda's a retired lawyer so we had fun talking about my Mom's Interesting Estate Settling issues and one of her nieces, described as 'deadbeat', and all the fun stuff dealing with her. We also talked about books, of course, and the Friends of the Chatham Community Library Board, personalities and politics.

Home now, going to see how husband's doing - daughter called on my way home and we just got off the phone.

Feb 24, 2017, 11:37am Top

Good lord, the weather here is beautiful. Are you having 78 degrees and sunny, too?

Feb 24, 2017, 12:41pm Top

Happy Friday, Karen.

Edited: Feb 24, 2017, 5:15pm Top

>210 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! It's only 74F, with fat puffy white clouds moving slowly through.

I will undoubtedly have to bring it in when the weather remembers that it is still technically winter, but am going to put the hammock out tomorrow. :)

>211 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! Thank you.

Today was Sangria Friday, which was a lot of fun. Some days we don't get sangria, but we did today and it just hit the spot. Then a brief trip to Costco for a few necessities and, of course, a book - The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt.

I haven't gotten any reading done today, so need to get cracking on the Bible, Bleak House, and This Thing of Darkness.

Feb 24, 2017, 4:07pm Top

Hi Karen, I wish it was 74F here but have to settle for 50F instead. Hope you are having a nice Friday my dear and wish you a great weekend dear lady, sending love and hugs.

Feb 25, 2017, 9:15am Top

>213 johnsimpson: Hi John! 50F is much more of what I would expect here, too. It's going to be ridiculously warm again today - high of 79F.

Hammock weather, even if I have to bring the hammock back in.

Well I just went through an interesting exercise - I unintentionally deleted The Dead House, the fifth Fiona Griffiths, from my Kindle and had to call Amazon Customer Service to get help. It took less than a minute to get through to a Real Live Human Being, and it got resolved quickly.

I'm not going to read it next, however; I'm going to continue reading Lincoln in the Bardo now that I have my replacement copy. I had gotten to page 76 - realized that the defects bothered me too much - so will pick up from there.

Feb 25, 2017, 9:22am Top

>195 karenmarie: With Peggy, it goes without saying. :)

>196 karenmarie: I fell prey to that particular deal too - thanks to Katie and Mamie. I'm looking forward to it.

Feb 25, 2017, 9:31am Top

>215 nittnut: Hi Jenn!

Late last night I finished This Thing of Darkness, book 4. I'll savor the anticipation of book 5, The Dead House since we don't have a book 6 yet.

Feb 25, 2017, 10:56am Top

Morning, Karen. I am so glad to hear you are enjoying the Saunders novel. I have it saved on audio. I have heard nothing but good things.

Have a great weekend.

Feb 25, 2017, 12:52pm Top

Hammock!?! Gosh, I have to wait several months until I can think of bringing mine out.

Happy weekend, Karen.

Feb 25, 2017, 1:19pm Top

>217 msf59: Hi Mark! So far so good. I do realize that I need to slow down my reading and savor it a bit more. It is lyrical, comic, amazing. I have marked two quotes that I want to share here, later, but now I'm going to go sit in the hammock, which I just put out, and enjoy the 74F blue sky and puffy cloud sky. I'll be reading more of Bleak House first, then transition to Lincoln in the Bardo.

>218 Ameise1: Well, Barbara, this is unseasonable weather, for sure, but I'm going to enjoy it while I can. Here's the forecasted high starting tomorrow: 57F, 65F, 72F, 78F, and then 60F. Some days can be hammock days, some might be too cool.

Feb 25, 2017, 3:28pm Top

Happy hammock. I'm jealous ;-)

Edited: Feb 25, 2017, 4:17pm Top

Hi Barbara - I am happy to have enjoyed the hammock for everybody - it was warm yet breezy and just right for hanging out. I had to share the hammock with Kitty William. I read two chapters of Bleak House, played a few cell phone games, and had a text chat with my sister, who had an asthma attack on Thursday and is still having difficulties breathing and is coughing a lot, even after a breathing treatment and prednisone at the urgent care. She never had it as a child - got it in her 40s. It had gone away, we thought, but I think the stress of the last 6 months or so has brought it back. We hope this is a one-and-done episode.

Edited: Feb 25, 2017, 4:47pm Top

The format of Lincoln in the Bardo is a combination of conversations, quotes, and observations.

These two quotes are quite moving and beautiful to me:

pp. 49-50
One feels such love for the little ones, such anticipation that all that is lovely in life will be known by them; such fondness for that set of attributes manifested uniquely in each: mannerisms of bravado, of vulnerability, habits of speech and mispronouncement and so forth; the smell of the hair and head, the feel of the tiny hand in yours – and then the little one is gone! Taken! One is thunderstruck that such a brutal violation has occurred in what had previously seemed a benevolent world. From nothingness, there rose great love; now, its source nullified, that love, searching and sick, converts to the most abysmal suffering imaginable.

In “Essays Upon the Loss of a Child”, by Mrs. Rose Mulland.

p 51
His mind was active, inquisitive, and conscientious; his disposition was amiable and affectionate; his impulses were kind and generous; and his words and manners were gentle and attractive.

In “Funeral Oration for Willie Lincoln,” by Phineas D. Gurley in “Illinois State Journal.”

Feb 25, 2017, 5:01pm Top

Hi Karen, thank you for your lovely messages my dear, they are very much appreciated and Karen says thank you for your concern, sending love and hugs.

Feb 25, 2017, 5:38pm Top

Hi John! You're both very welcome. That's what friends are for. :) Sending love and hugs.

Edited: Feb 25, 2017, 6:02pm Top

This Thing of Darkness by Harry Bingham
2/21/17 to 2/24/17

The description from Amazon:

A marine engineer is found hanged in a locked apartment. Some artwork is stolen, then mysteriously returned. A security guard is found dead at the base of a Welsh cliff. When Fiona Griffiths is tasked to look through a stackload of cold cases, her bosses don't expect her to find anything of interest. But then she finds that an impossible robbery really happened. That a nailed-on suicide was anything but. That the dead security guard was almost certainly murdered. Before long, Fiona is embroiled in what will become the toughest case of her career so far - one that forces her to enter the heart of darkness, and a journey that will test her mental toughness to its very limits.

The fourth book in the Fiona Griffiths series did not disappoint. It was a page turner, even if I did read it on my Kindle. As with the first three, this book is intelligently written and kept me on my toes.

Fiona is trying to return to Planet Normal after her undercover work of The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths. But from her reading of the cold cases, her incredible mind links things that don’t seem linkable. That, of course, puts her in danger. Harry Bingham has a way of writing dangerous, tense situations that is detailed without being boring and gory without being gross. You won’t be surprised to hear that Fiona kicks butt and takes names.

We don’t see much of Fiona’s family, and we see her with fewer symptoms from her health issues than in previous books. We learn a lot about two special technologies, which shall remain nameless in the pursuit of a spoiler-free review.

Feb 25, 2017, 6:01pm Top

Jeremy Poldark by Winston Graham
2/17/17 to 2/219/17

The description from Amazon:

Ross Poldark faces the darkest hour of his life in this third novel of the Poldark series. Reeling from the tragic death of a loved one, Captain Poldark vents his grief by inciting impoverished locals to salvage the contents of a ship run aground in a storm-an act for which British law proscribes death by hanging. Ross is brought to trial for his involvement, and despite their stormy marriage, Demelza tries to rally support for her husband, to save him and their family.
But there are enemies in plenty who would be happy to see Ross convicted, not the least of which is George Warleggan, the powerful banker whose personal rivalry with Ross grows ever more intense and threatens to destroy the Poldarks.
And into this setting, Jeremy Poldark, Ross and Demelza's first son, is born...

The third book in the Poldark series is as good as the first two. The writing is strong, alternating among various points of view seamlessly.

Demelza is such a strong character. She yields to Ross yet stands up to him. She goes behind his back, too, and hides things from him. It is almost more Demelza’s book than Ross’s; and Jeremy, their son, is just an infant in this book. Francis, Elizabeth, George Warleggan, and the rest of the people of the Cornish coast are vividly portrayed. There is humor and tragedy and romance and conniving, lying, cheating, love, and pretty much everything else a swashbuckling series should have.

Feb 25, 2017, 9:02pm Top

Karen, I'm caught up with your busy thread once again. I am jealous of your nickel books! That's what I call a bargain. My Reading Life is wonderful even if you're not a Pat Conroy fan. He had a lifelong love affair with books and writes lovingly about them.

I hope your husband is feeling better. I like the way you gifted him with the anticipation of a fancy new TV. I'm a believer in delayed gratification and find joy in researching and dreaming about a new toy.

I see you and Jenn are planning a meetup. She is a lovely person with lots of fun interests. I met her when she lived in Denver a few years ago. I would like to meet Peggy, too. Her friend Stasia speaks highly of her. You three are going to have so much fun when the time is right.

Feb 26, 2017, 6:06am Top

>226 karenmarie: I am as big a fan as you are on the Poldark books. Another one soon for me, I think.

Have a great weekend, Karen.

Feb 26, 2017, 6:52am Top

Looks like you're cracking through the books Karen. I hope you are having a nice weekend :).

Feb 26, 2017, 10:38am Top

>227 Donna828: Hi Donna! The nickel books were a wonderful fluke. I might pull My Reading Life when I've completed Bleak House. I'm finding that my reading muscles are coming back after taking on two challenges last September in addition to my usual reading.

It took me a while, but I found a quote that I had written my Records book. Not a journal exactly, but grades in school, what I received various Christmases and birthdays in the late 1960s... quotes from books and magazines that were meaningful. This one has always stuck with me, and I wanted to get it exactly right. It's what motivated me to give my husband the gift of anticipation. Of course, 'pleasure' is in the eye of the beholder. *smile*
Pleasure not known beforehand is half wasted; to anticipate it is to double it.
Eustacia Vye in Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy

I'm looking forward to meeting up with Jenn and Peggy. Jenn's got to get moved into her new house, and I have to get through one more round of Mom's stuff in CA. I'm personally hoping for late March meet up but haven't spoken with Jenn or Peggy about it yet. Then certainly, and possibly before, if she can't find her scanner thingie, I can loan her mine:

>228 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! I just bought 4,5, and 6. Wht's next on your Poldark hit parade? It will be hard to choose between Warleggan and The Dead House, the fifth Fiona Griffiths mystery. Of course, I'll be able to get them both read within a week, probably, so it's not too much of a sacrifice either way. The only thing that might interfere is the next necessary trip to CA. We anticipate getting Mom's corrected death certificates by the end of next week and so can finally take the next steps with her estate. I will probably need to be in CA for that, emotionally if nothing else.

>229 lunacat: Hi Jenny! Today is beautiful blue skies, currently a chilly 37F. Coffee, slippers, just made chipped beef on toast for brekkie.

So far the weekend is good. Husband is still sick and sounds like he's coughing up a lung periodically. The person who we think shared her germs coughed for a month, so he gloomily anticipates coughing for a while longer. Yesterday was glorious hammock weather. Today's a bit cooler, but maybe with my wool socks and LL Bean slippers and a nice microfleece blanket, I might brave the chill in the hammock later on.

Going back to Bleak House in a bit.

Feb 26, 2017, 10:48am Top

Morning Karen! Happy Sunday! I also loved My Reading Life. I had meant to read more Conroy, after reading it but never got around to it.

Hope you are enjoying Bleak House.

Feb 26, 2017, 11:06am Top

Hi Mark! Yes, I am, thank you! Lots of birdbath activity on your thread from me, with two pictures to follow very soon.

Bleak House has gotten more interesting and I've got more emotion invested into it now that I have all the characters straightened out. I love Esther Summerson best and like her chapters best.

Edited: Feb 26, 2017, 5:47pm Top

After the homeowners' association meeting today, I went to Louise's house and we had a cup of tea. I asked her what birds she had seen here, at this house, in her 20 years of living here. She may have forgotten a couple, but here's her list. Some are generic - like blackbird, but some are very specific.

Red Wing Blackbird
Indigo Bunting
Brown-headed Cowbird
Brown Creeper
Yellow Billed Cuckoo
Bald Eagle
House Finch
Purple Finch
Northern Flicker
Great Crested Flycatcher
Blue Gray Gnat Catcher
Canada Goose
Blue Grosbeak - migrators, hasn't seen in a couple of years
Rose Breasted Grosbeak - ditto the blue
Cooper's Hawk
Harrier Hawk
Red-Shouldered Hawk
Red-Tailed Hawk
Sharp-Shinned Hawk
Blue Heron
Ruby Throated Hummingbird
Dark-eyed Junco
Golden Kinglet
Ruby Kinglet
Mourning Dove
Orchard Oriole
Barred Owl
Pine Siskin
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker
Chipping Sparrow
House Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White Crown Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Brown Thrasher
Tufted Titmouse
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Cedar Waxwing
Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Red Bellied Woodpecker
Carolina Wren

Her biggest thrill was seeing a Golden Eagle in Montana.

Feb 26, 2017, 6:23pm Top

I am so far behind with threads it is scary! Sorry to read that you ended off January with a nasty cold.

Ah.... Bleak House. I hope you enjoy it more that I did. I have decided that other Great Expectations - I know, so many readers hate that one! - I am not a bit fan of Dickens' works. Oh well.... there are always other authors for readers like me.

Love the book buying you have been engaging in! I have about 8 years worth of reading on my TBR shelves at the moment so I might - and that is a really big might - hold off on any purchases this year. Easy to say in February! ;-)

No triplicates or duplicates in my personal library but that is only because I rely on my phone to search my LT catalogue before I make a purchase.... that and I haven't yet succumbed to the desire to have matched sets of books (drat publishers that re-release books under new covers!). Like you, I am anxiously awaiting the LT android app.

>190 karenmarie: - Sorry to see your new copy of Lincoln in the Bardo arrived in such poor condition!

Sorry to see that your husband has come down with the bug and is off sick. I hope he is feeling better soon.

... all caught up!

Feb 27, 2017, 2:25am Top

>233 karenmarie: Wow, that's a wide range of different birds.
Wishing you a good start into the new week.

Edited: Feb 27, 2017, 1:45pm Top

>234 lkernagh: Hi Lori! Good to see you here. There are quite a few characters in BH, and I find that some chapters are more interesting than others; but you need all the chapters to keep up. I'm on chapter LV and have XIII to go - VI.V to go each of today and tomorrow! (I love Roman Numerals.)

I will definitely make the push today and tomorrow to finish because I committed to myself and the group to read it in February. I wish this had been a leap year.

As I've been reading it, I've been swearing to not read any more Dickens, but I may modify that to say that I might consider reading one per year.

I do the same checking now on my cell phone on LT, but at the Friends of the Library Sale I haven't taken the time but should.

Husband coughed a lot over the weekend and is resigned to coughing for a while since that seems to be what this particular version has been doing to people we know.

>235 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! Louise amazes me. She knows shapes, markings, juvenile vs. adult plumage, male vs. female, and loves every bird she sees. We sit at her kitchen table and look out the plate glass window. She has quite a few bird feeders, and I'll ask about a bird - if it's not a cardinal or one of a handful of other birds I easily recognize I ask her. She'll take a quick look and Bam! Bird, sex, juvenile or adult. It's uncanny to me, but I asked her when she started birding and she said when she was pregnant with her older child - about 60 years ago. She'd sit on her porch sewing and just got fascinated.

Today I must finish putting up the things I took out of the Parlour. The Parlour is under control but I won't post the after picture 'til the crap in the hall and guest bedroom are actually put away and not just out of sight.

And read, of course. And make some bacon for breakfast.

Feb 27, 2017, 8:59am Top

>233 karenmarie: That is a long list of birds, impessive!
I never wrote down the birds I have seen, maybe I should try it someday...

Feb 27, 2017, 9:24am Top

When my parents moved to Williamsburg, I was sitting on their balcony when a single yellow finch flew by. I remember thinking 'Look at that poor bird, somebody's parakeet got loose. What a shame, I hope they can catch it.' They sure are purdy. I saw five or so in a tree once, like something out of RL Stevenson.

You know what I've been toying with? Reading Shakespeare. It seems like that, the Bible, and Paradise Lost are the Big Three.

Feb 27, 2017, 10:46am Top

I haven't ever started a life list of birds, either. Perhaps I need to. All the bird watching threads are really piquing my interest.

I'm glad to hear Bleak House is picking up. I love the eccentric characters, but the plot is eluding me. I'm about a third of the way through.

Feb 27, 2017, 1:53pm Top

>237 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! It would be lovely to see your list, Anita, since it would be so different from ours here.

>238 SomeGuyInVirginia: Bird ignorance, Larry! I have it even now. Looking at Louise's list I was amazed at the amount of information about each and every bird I could find on multiple websites.

I admire the idea to read Shakespeare, Larry. I've read all the sonnets and a few of the plays, the plays being school requirements. How would you tackle the project? Have you given it any thought?

>239 streamsong: Hi Janet! If you've got the energy and inclination, I'd be glad to see yours. Do you have a Golden Eagle on it? As I wrote above, Louise's biggest thrill as a birder was seeing a Golden Eagle in Montana. I haven't started a life list, and at this point could only put a few birds on it, a small subset of Louise's and a few from the coast. I'm not at all sure I could even think of another project at this time, which is what it would be, so am going to relegate it to another year perhaps!

However, one project is done! I persevered, today, at the expense of everything else, and finished Bleak House. I may have to give it 4 1/2 stars..... I'll be writing a review but putting it as a spoiler on the group read thread and post it here complete.

Feb 27, 2017, 3:50pm Top

Hi Karen, that is some list of birds my dear.

Feb 27, 2017, 4:27pm Top

I was thinking about a group read- one play in 2 or 3 weeks. I don't know why, but I feel no pull to reading Moby-Dick or War & Peace, but I do feel like I need to read all of Shakespeare.

My new Echo arrived, Amazon joy tonight. Plus, I bought a WeMo switch so I can turn lights on and off without having to move a muscle.

My fitbit thinks I'm in a coma.

Feb 27, 2017, 7:15pm Top

>241 johnsimpson: Hi John. Yes, once she started listing them, I was amazed. And these are only her North Carolina Birds. This doesn't count New Jersey, Florida, where they spent hours before spotting a Painted Bunting, or Arizona, where they took at least one trip just to look for hummingbirds. Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

>242 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! I'd participate. It doesn't sound too strenuous, play by play. I never want to read Moby Dick or War and Peace, but if I need more 'kul-chah', then a good dose of Shakespeare sounds good.

You are a hoot. A WeMo switch and a twitching fitbit. *smile*

Edited: Feb 27, 2017, 7:17pm Top

Bleak House by Charles Dickens
2/1/17 to 2/27/17

In keeping with displaying my book covers, but I do apologize for its drabness.

The description from Amazon:
Charles Dickens's masterful assault on the injustices of the British legal system.

As the interminable case of 'Jarndyce and Jarndyce' grinds its way through the Court of Chancery, it draws together a disparate group of people: Ada and Richard Clare, whose inheritance is gradually being devoured by legal costs; Esther Summerson, a ward of court, whose parentage is a source of deepening mystery; the menacing lawyer Tulkinghorn; the determined sleuth Inspector Bucket; and even Jo, the destitute little crossing-sweeper. A savage, but often comic, indictment of a society that is rotten to the core, Bleak House is one of Dickens's most ambitious novels, with a range that extends from the drawing rooms of the aristocracy to the poorest of London slums.

When I finish a book, I try to think of the one word that best describes how I feel at that exact moment about the book. This one started out at “Excellent”, meaning 4 stars, yet about 5 minutes later, as I started thinking back, it became “Stunning”, 4.5. And there is stays. I can’t quite put it up there with Pride and Prejudice, or The Source, or The Killer Angels, or, finally To Kill A Mockingbird – my only 5-star rated novels - but it’s awfully close.

I won’t pretend to be a serious Dickens fan, because I’ve only read 4 of his works, and A Christmas Carol is barely a novella, much less a novel; but of David Copperfield, Great Expectations, and Bleak House, the third is by far the best. It’s caustic, tragic, comic, heroic, ironic, and pedantic. It’s confusing and verbose, yet there are paragraphs of sheer beauty and emotional power that are quite stunning, hence my rating.

I was going to say there were characters I could have done without, but when I come to try to list them, I can’t. They all play their part, with vivid descriptions or vivid actions that immediately convey who and what they are.

I wish it had been shorter, yet I can’t imagine what could have been cut out.

Most of all, by the last of the 830 pages in my edition, by my reckoning it was far better than I expected and definitely worth the read. All the loose ends were tied up, everything explained, and even if there were unhappy endings for some people, they all made sense to me.

I do so love John Jarndyce. He is Esther Summerson’s guardian and in love with her; yet when he realizes where her heart lies he gives over and provides a living and home for her and Allan Woodcourt, her own Bleak House. The title says it all – it’s not Jarndyce & Jarndyce, after all, but Bleak House. Bleak House because of John Jarndyce and his absolute goodness and involvement with almost every character either directly or indirectly, and Bleak House because of the two love stories intertwined in their rooms.

I admire Inspector Bucket for pursuing truth. I admire Esther Summerson for being honest and loving and dutiful. I admire Lady Dedlock for being loyal to Sir Leicester and living with her tragedy. I admire Sir Leicester for his love of his Lady.

Mr. Tulkington is a right villain, Mr. Guppy is obsequious. Grandfather Smallweed disgusting, and most of the women much stronger than one would imagine. And I got choked up when Jo died. I could say something about pretty much every character, but instead I will say read it and enjoy it for yourself.

Feb 27, 2017, 7:19pm Top

I'd do some Shakespeare.

Feb 27, 2017, 7:25pm Top

>245 drneutron: Cool, Jim!

Feb 27, 2017, 7:32pm Top

>240 karenmarie: Our life list started as simple annotations in our bird guide: date and location. We are bird nerds from way back and now that we've gotten some young farmers in our cottage and a camper trailer, we are ready to head out for some of our favorite trips that include lots of time in your state. The winter cost in North Carolina is spectacular: snow geese as far as the eye can see, avocets with their long legs, and ducks, ducks, ducks. They can be hard to ID in the winter as they all tend to be brown but a good scope helps a lot.

Today' thrill was several bald eagles playing over the farm. We need to head down the road to the nature refuge that harbors red-cockaded woodpeckers, an endangered species.

Feb 27, 2017, 7:40pm Top

>244 karenmarie: Karen, I am so pleased that Bleak House was an unmitigated success and I enjoyed your review without revealing the spoilers. I am meandering through it slowly but have to agree that it is in the front rank of his work.

Feb 27, 2017, 7:43pm Top

>247 witchyrichy: Hi Karen!

Today I paid particular attention to a sparrow hopping around on the ground near the feeders - I have the markings in my mind's eye and will look him up tomorrow. I've never made a list, but may, just may, start. No promises, mind you, but well. We'll see. *smile*

I would love to see bald eagles. There have been nests within a mile of here, according to Louise, but I've never seen the nests or the birds. I know that there are red-cockaded woodpeckers here in NC, south of me, I think, where there are long-leaf pines.

Feb 27, 2017, 7:49pm Top

>248 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! Yes, I'm extremely glad to have read and thoroughly enjoyed/loved it. Thanks re my review, too.

The only reason I powered through it today at the end was that I get twitchy with obligations and thought a month enough time. It was for me, as I've also read 8 other books for a total of 3,557 pages in February, in addition to reading 166 pages of the Bible for the year-long Literary reading of the Bible. Plus I'm 150 pages into Lincoln in the Bardo and have just started Warleggan.

I'm on a reading tear, that's for sure!

Feb 27, 2017, 8:07pm Top

>250 karenmarie: I wish I could get a little of your reading mojo as I have been struggling to make headway.

Feb 27, 2017, 8:11pm Top

>251 PaulCranswick: Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't, right? I'm sorry you're struggling and can definitely relate to that feeling. It will turn around for you, but you do have so much going on that I'm amazed sometimes when I see that you've read anything at all. And you do not read fluff, to my best knowledge, so hats off to you for getting in as much reading as you have!

Feb 27, 2017, 8:15pm Top

>244 karenmarie: Great review of Bleak House, Karen. It brought back a lot of my own memories of it. And 4.5 stars is just about right.

A huge number of Sandhill Cranes have been flying over our area, heading north. I saw about a dozen but heard them through out the day.

Edited: Feb 27, 2017, 8:18pm Top

>253 msf59: Hi Mark! Thank you! I appreciate it.

Just listened to a recording of Sandhill Cranes, saw a picture, and am jealous. Unfortunately, they avoid North Carolina like the plague!

Feb 27, 2017, 8:44pm Top

>233 karenmarie: That is an awesome list of birds. In NZ, I started marking the pages of my bird book at some point, thinking it would be nice to have a lifetime record. I honestly can't remember if I marked my US bird book. I have also seen a Golden Eagle, in Montana up near Glacier NP. It might just be the place to see them.
I admit to being surprised at how common the cardinal is. For some reason I expected it to be harder to find.

Feb 27, 2017, 9:05pm Top

>244 karenmarie: - I'd call that cover... bleak....

Feb 27, 2017, 11:03pm Top

>254 karenmarie: Hi! I see there is bird watching going on over here, too!! My biggest claim to fame is the Barred Owl I just saw. And hummingbirds, but I don't have my feeder up yet. >255 nittnut: Oh, and I have seen a Golden Eagle same place you did when I was about 16. Big family trip and we were all thrilled!

I am halfway through Fiona's first book and am glad to see that they hold up down the line.

Edited: Feb 28, 2017, 2:57am Top

>244 karenmarie: Great review, Karen.
I hope you have another hammock day. We've got snow over the night. Oh dear, I was so looking forward to spring.
Happy Tuesday.

Feb 28, 2017, 9:15am Top

>255 nittnut: Hi Jenn! I am trying to get a visit in to my college friend who lives near Bozeman MT this summer, so can now say "I want to see a Golden Eagle". Cardinals are the State Bird of seven states, North Carolina included. We always have swarms of them. They like our feeders for sure. I'm toying with the idea of starting my Life List (at the age of 63!).

What was your most thrilling sighting in NZ?

>256 jessibud2: Okay, Shelley! Very clever. It is, I'd have to agree with you. *smile* But this series does have all original illustrations, which are quite lovely. Original Bleak House Illustrations

>257 Berly: Hi Berly! Your Barred Owl caused me to get out my Audubon Bird Guide: Eastern Land Birds, copyright 1946 to confirm him! The book is still out, along with my binoculars. It's been mentioned to get a scope, and if I have a high level in all the bird talk come birthday time in June, that might be what I request for my Birtthday. I hope you continue liking Fiona Griffiths. After I finish Warleggan, the 4th of the Poldark series, I'm going to read the 5th Fiona Griffiths, The Dead House. And then that will be it until Harry Bingham publishes the 6th one.

>258 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara. I think today might become a hammock day - it's supposed to get to 77F. I'm going to lunch with my old IT department today, but after.

Snow? Yeesh. Friday night we are supposed to get a hard freeze of 26F, so bye-bye blooms. Except for my pansies, which are still doing well. We bought them in October, I think. And this is the tulip tree that my IT department got for me when my dad passed in 2006. It was a skinny little 1-gallon twig and now it's gorgeous. At least until Friday night, that is!


Feb 28, 2017, 9:19am Top

Beautiful photos, Karen. Have fun at your lunch gathering.

Feb 28, 2017, 9:29am Top

Thank you, Barbara! I do not miss work at all, but I miss my IT department friends of 20 years. I live 30 miles from the town they all live in, so getting down there isn't as frequent as it could be.

Feb 28, 2017, 9:32am Top

I saw a redbud blooming in town today, right on the other side of the road from the Tidal Basin. The cherry blossoms hadn't started, (thank god.)

Feb 28, 2017, 9:47am Top

We loved our redbud, Larry, and were sorry to have to cut it down. It was diseased and would have come down in a big storm anyway. Sad. RIP

This picture is from April 2013, just the blooms.

Feb 28, 2017, 9:58am Top

One more, my forsythia about a week ago.

Edited: Feb 28, 2017, 10:26am Top

It's so wonderful to see the spring flowers! Thanks for sharing.

I told my neighbor that my crocus *always* bloom by the end of February. It's not going to happen this year. But my indoor orchid is blooming beautifully, so I least I have gorgeous color inside if not out.

With Mom's passing in October, I left the yard in a total mess last fall. Now that the snow is melting, I can see just how bad it really is.

I won't give up on Bleak House! I almost never give up on books. I think I need to concentrate on it a bit more instead of reading it as one out of many.

ETA: I'd read a Shakespeare play or two. I haven't read them all - I'm especially deficient with the histories.

Edited: Feb 28, 2017, 3:02pm Top

>265 streamsong: Hi Janet! You're welcome. I have an indoor orchid, given to me by my daughter, that is a riot of blooms right now too. And my Christmas Cactus is blooming too, although only about 4 or 5, not the whole plant.

What worked for me with Bleak House, at least initially, was to read 2 chapters a day. Every day. Then, when it got exciting about page 500 or so (out of 830), I started reading more. I also had the goal of getting it all read in February, so had that impetus, too.

Okay, another Shakespeare taker! Larry is willing to lead a group read of a play. It may turn into multiple plays, but for now one. He says that he is busy until the end of March with work, so we have time to discuss and get excited.

I looked on Wikipedia and there are 38. I don't know which one Larry would want to do (and/or start with).

Feb 28, 2017, 4:48pm Top

Oh, I love forsythia! Thanks for sharing that photo.

Feb 28, 2017, 5:26pm Top

>266 karenmarie: I don't know which one Larry would want to do (and/or start with).

I would suggest Henry IV, Part I.

Feb 28, 2017, 6:11pm Top

>267 katiekrug: You're welcome, Katie. We lived in this house for 13 years before husband finally got me my forsythia. I absolutely love it too.

>268 labwriter: Hi Becky! I'm going to leave it to Larry to get this thing started in his own time and make his choice of play. If he wants input, I'm sure he'll ask for it..... I'm happy there's so much interest already, but as Larry indicated, he can't start it any time soon.

Mar 1, 2017, 9:18am Top

I have updated my statistics for the year.

YTD Reading Statistics

Mar 1, 2017, 10:36am Top

>259 karenmarie: It's never too late to start a life list. And since you're not doing a Big Year, you can just tick off the ones you know you've seen. We won't send the Audubon police to check. ;)

I don't know for sure what was my favorite sighting in NZ. I didn't see the two I wanted to see in the wild (Albatross and Kiwi), although they would have been a long shot anyway. I loved seeing the Little Blue Penguins, and there are such neat little birds. Fantails are adorable. The tui has an amazing song and it was so much fun to watch them feeding on the kowhai flowers and then getting a bit silly and drunk.

There will definitely be a bird feeder near the back porch of the new house. I am looking forward to sitting out there with a book and watching the birds.

I am so sad for all the blossoming plants. Come Saturday morning, things may look a little bleak.

Mar 1, 2017, 11:07am Top

Morning, Karen. Love all the spring flowers. We are in desperate need for some color. The gloom can get you down.

Mar 1, 2017, 11:34am Top

Hi Jenn! I think the blackbird I just looked at through the binoculars is a Rusty Blackbird. Not sure. I did see a Pileated Woodpecker on my feeders, just before I refilled them and the suet feeder.

Wouldn't it have been stunning to see an albatross! I just listened to tui song, and love their funny white tufted chests.

We love our feeders. We put out mixed seed in two of them and one has oiled black sunflower. I also have the suet feeder, which seems to attract the woodpeckers and cardinals even.

The cake is out of the oven, cooling. The pecans are pralined. I'll make the frosting in a while after the cake is completely cool.

Our tulip tree will be okay, as it's right near the house, but I'm not sure the forsythia won't be undamaged. Sigh.

Off to finish some coffee and read a bit.

Mar 1, 2017, 12:20pm Top

Okay here it is, the Caramel Praline Cake! The frosting is still cooling, so can't cut into it yet.

Mar 1, 2017, 12:35pm Top

Thanks for sharing the spring blooming pictures. What is a tulip tree? It looks like a magnolia.
Don't worry about the forsythia, most stand some frost and they can grow back easy.

Mar 1, 2017, 1:22pm Top

You're welcome, Anita!

It may not be a tulip tree. My neighbor Louise doesn't think so, and when I went to look it up just now, I think it's not right. I'll have to check with Louise tomorrow.

I was thinking this morning that we might need to put out a covering on the forsythia. I have a king-sized sheet, perhaps. But if we don't get it done, it will be as per usual - we let nature take its course on our 8 acres mostly.

Mar 1, 2017, 3:12pm Top


Mar 1, 2017, 3:32pm Top


Edited: Mar 1, 2017, 10:16pm Top

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
2/20/17 to 3/1/17

The description from Amazon:
February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.

From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?

Five stars. In my rating system, a masterpiece. Only the 6th book I’ve rated at 5 stars out of my many, many books. One of a kind.

For me, no normal review will work. The “thrilling new form” is brilliant and demands concentration. The chapter where one character describes the weighing of the soul and heart and the determination of heaven or hell are the most terrifying I’ve ever heard, the many descriptions of grief and sorrow that weave in and out of the book are heartrending, and the ending is wholly satisfying.

I bought this book after seeing George Saunders on Stephen Colbert's show and Had To Have It.

Mar 1, 2017, 4:45pm Top

>278 karenmarie: Could you send some over, please?

Congrats on a five stars.

Happy Wednesday, Karen.

Edited: Mar 1, 2017, 5:05pm Top

>279 karenmarie: - That's quite an endorsement, Karen! Sounds intriguing

Mar 1, 2017, 5:26pm Top

Oh, thank you that was delicious.

George Saunders is one of my select favorites. I love everything he's ever written, and yes I'd put his work in 'masterpiece' category. He never fails to delight and only Orwell seems as tuned into the heart as he. Maybe Steinbeck.

Mar 1, 2017, 5:49pm Top

>280 Ameise1: It's awfully good, and as nittnut said, very rich, but definitely worth the effort. I made it in a smaller pan than the recipe called for, and it was perfect. I can't imagine making it in the larger pan, frankly.

Thank you. Last year I had To Kill A Mockingbird as a five-star read, and now this one. My last 5-star read before that was The Killer Angels in 2008.

Yay Wednesday! I finished Lincoln in the Bardo in the hammock this afternoon, made the cake, did some laundry, and talked with my daughter. A good day so far.

>281 jessibud2: Hi Shelley! I'll be interested in what other people have to say as the year goes on. It's just one of those books that grabbed me from the first sentence and never let go. Probably not for everybody, and as one who normally doesn't like non-traditional forms I'd usually include myself in that category, but oh well.

>282 SomeGuyInVirginia: You're very welcome, Larry! A good Southern recipe, for sure. Nice to know that you like George Saunders. As a rule I'm not too tempted with short stories, but I may have to adjust my thinking if his short stories are anything remotely as emotional and powerful as this novel.

Mar 1, 2017, 8:28pm Top

>272 msf59: I think you may have missed me up there. Just sayin'...

>279 karenmarie: Hooray for Lincoln in the Bardo and 5 stars! I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this one. I need to bump it up. I have the audio. I wonder if I should grab the print book as well?

Mar 1, 2017, 9:19pm Top

>279 karenmarie: Well and truly book bulleted by that review. Wow.

It rained hard for a while and we had one great big flashbangboom! that made my toes tingle. It's nice and cool and damp now. I quite like it.

Mar 1, 2017, 10:19pm Top

>272 msf59: and >284 msf59: I'm sorry, Mark! You're welcome - I love my harbingers of spring. It's not as gloomy down here as up there, but especially this year for some reason I'm really responding to my flowers.

I think we discussed audio vs print on your thread a bit, what with the 166 narrators.....? Having read the book I can't imagine listening to it, but you'll have to report back after you start it. I can already see myself re-reading it sometime within the next year or so.

>285 nittnut: I hope that when you read it you are as gobsmacked as I was, Jenn.

We had an inch of rain, lots of power flickers because Duke Power sucks, and one thunder boomer where my husband turned off the volume of the TV because he saw the flash of lightning and wanted to hear the HUGE crash of thunder. And then we had rolling thunder for upwards of an hour or so. It's all gone now.

Back to Warleggan. Pretty darned good, too, in an entirely different way than Lincoln in the Bardo of course. It's been 6 hours since I finished the book and wrote my review, so I feel good about going back to Poldark again.

Mar 1, 2017, 11:54pm Top

>244 karenmarie: wow, that is one of life's must-reads! Nice one.

Edited: Mar 2, 2017, 7:48am Top

>287 LovingLit: Hi Megan! Yes, it is. Thank you. I'm more glad I read it than Great Expectations. At this time I consider that I'm 'done' with Dickens, but you never know.

Mar 2, 2017, 9:33am Top

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. And good luck with this crazy weather.

How are those current reads treating you?

Mar 2, 2017, 11:47am Top

Hi Mark! I'm enjoying two of the three, currently - for some reason I haven't cracked The Righteous Mind in months. But my daily dose of the Old Testament continues, and I'm really enjoying Warleggan, the 4th in the Poldark series.

After this I might read The Dead House, fifth and currently final Fiona Griffiths. Or not - the advantage of having almost too many tbrs to count is that any mood will be satisfied.

Edited: Mar 2, 2017, 6:46pm Top

I managed to avoid going into three book stores in town when I ran errands today - the thrift store, the habitat for humanity store, and the used book store. I was rather proud of myself.

Edited: Mar 2, 2017, 6:46pm Top

But, books just keep showing up. I don't know who orders them.... wait. Well, I do, actually. I think this is the last of my February Frenzy, The Xibalba Murders arrived today, a recommendation by my friend Karen in Montana.

I am getting more interested in watching the birds on our feeders, and especially since Louise gave me her list, I'm trying to see what birds I can recognize. Today I saw a female red-bellied woodpecker on our feeders and when I went over for a cup of tea with Louise this afternoon, sharing some of the Caramel Praline Cake, I saw the male on her sunflower seed feeder and in a tree near her deck.

Mar 3, 2017, 3:57am Top

Happy Friday, Karen.

Mar 3, 2017, 8:05am Top

Thank you, Barbara!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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