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karenmarie's 2017 reading and occasional other nonsense - part 6

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Jun 15, 2017, 8:51am Top

Welcome to my sixth thread of 2017. Thanks to all who visit!

I joined LT in October of 2007, anxious to find a good place to catalog my books. I never dreamed that I’d make so many friends, participate in so many conversations, and get SO MANY book bullets! My reading has expanded thanks to the 75 Book Challenge. I have also, in that time, doubled the number of books on my shelves, from about 2200 to about 4400. I’ve got the bug bad, I’m afraid. *smile*

My goal is to read a minimum of 100 books and seem to be on track with 44 read through the middle of June. I also want to read 34,000 pages. This will include abandoned book pages, so far only 183, thank goodness!

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.


It’s been a rough year, dealing with my Mom’s death in December 2016 and the responsibilities and problems dealing with her estate. The house is finally on the market, sister and I are doing well, and I think I can finally relax a bit.

Mom and Dad’s House in Southern California, and our house in central North Carolina.

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: Jul 16, 2017, 5:09pm 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
** The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton abandoned after 122 pages read
22. Warleggan by Winston Graham 2/27/17 3/9/17 **** 471 pages trade paperback
23. The Black Moon by Winston Graham 3/10/17 3/13/17 ****546 pages trade paperback
24. The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie 3/14/17 3/18/17 **1/2 214 pages hardcover
25. The Four Swans by Winston Graham 3/19/17 581 pages trade paperback 1976
26. Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation by Kyo Maclear 3/28/17 3/29/17 ****1/2 221 pages
27. His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis 3/1/17 to 4/3/17 **** audiobook, 14.75 hours unabridged
28. The Angry Tide by Winston Graham 3/30/17 4/9/17 **** 612 pages trade paperback
29. The Twelve Terrors of Christmas by John Updike 4/13/17 4/13/17 12 pages hardcover
30. Amok by Stefan Zweig 4/14/17 to 4/14/17 ***1/2 121 pages hardcover
31. The Stranger from the Sea by Winston Graham 4/9/17 4/17/17 ***1/2 499 pages trade paperback
32. Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama 4/3/17 4/19/17 ****1/2 audiobook, 7.5 hours abridged
33. The Big Year by Mark Obmascik 248 pages, 253 pages trade paperback 4/18/17 4/21/17 **** 250 pages trade paperback
34. The Miller's Dance by Winston Graham 4/22/17 4/26/17 **** 485 pages trade paperback
35. The Dead House by Harry Bingham 5/1/17 5/4/17 **** 500 pages trade paperback
36. Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews 5/6/17 5/8/17 *** 402 pages trade paperback
37. The Twisted Sword by Winston Graham 5/9/17 5/12/17 **** 645 pages trade paperback
38. Bella Poldark by Winston Graham 5/12/17 5/17/17 ***1/2 704 pages trade paperback read as e-book on Kindle
39. Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella 5/17/18 5/22/17 ****1/2 272 pages trade paperback read as e-book on Kindle
40. The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah 5/23/17 5/25/17 *** 384 pages hardcover
41. The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston 5/25/17 5/28/17 *** 336 pages hardover
42. Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews 5/28/17 6/1/17 *** 582 page mass market paperback
43. Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris 6/1/17 6/6/17 *** 305 pages hardcover
44. A Cup of Light by Nicole Mones 6/10/17 6/12/17 **** 292 pages trade paperback
45. Festive in Death by J.D. Robb 6/12/17 6/16/17 ***1/2 389 pages hardcover
46. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling 4/20/17 -5/8/17 and 6/10/17 - 6/22/17 **** audiobook 8.3 hours unabridged
47. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari 3/16/17 6/29/17 ****1/2 416 pages hardcover
48. Home by Harlan Coben 6/29/17 7/1/17 **** 442 pages mass market paperback
49. The Deepest Grave by Harry Bingham 7/1/17 7/4/17 **** 454 pages trade paperback
50. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn 7/4/17 7/6/17 ***1/2 252 pages hardcover
51. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn 7/7/17 7/9/17 **** 538 pages mass market paperback
52. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling 6/23/17 7/14/17 **** audiobook 8.3 hours unabridged
53. An Atlas of Countries That Don't Exist by Nick Middleton 7/14/17 7/16/17 **** 240 pages hardcover
54. Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood 7/14/17 7/16/17 ***1/2 175 pages trade paperback

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling 7/14/17 audiobook
Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut 6/16/17 219 pages hardcover 1997
Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson 6/17/17 614 pages hardcover 2007
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 18 pages Preface, Introduction, and Features 2007

Edited: Jul 14, 2017, 3:38pm 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 - 42
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

March - 7
61. Bookmooch - The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
62. Amazon - A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
63. Costco - Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
64. Amazon - My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
65. Amazon - The Angry Tide by Winston Graham
66. Amazon - The Stranger from the Sea by Winston Graham
67. Amazon - The Miller's Dance by Winston Graham

April - 64
68. Friends of the Library free for donating time - Dead Man's Time by Peter James
69. Friends of the Library free for donating time - The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough
70. Friends of the Library free for donating time - Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre
71. Amazon - A is for Arsenic by Kathryn Markup
72. Thrift Shop – You Suck by Christopher Moore
73. Thrift Shop – Mansfield Park Revisited by Joan Aiken
74. Thrift Shop – Festive in Death by J.D. Robb
75. Stasia - The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
76. Amazon – The Miller’s Dance
77. Amazon – The Stranger from the Sea
78. Amazon – The Angry Tide
79. - 123. Friends of the Library Book Sale: 45 books
The 26 Letters by Oscar Ogg
Astray by Emma Donoghue
Enemy Women by Penelope Jiles
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
A Judgment in Stone by Ruth Rendell
Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews
The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood
Not Dead Enough by Peter James
Dead Like You by Peter James
Not Dead Yet by Peter James
The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu
Death's End by Cixin Liu
The Book of Abraham by Marek Halter
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Mass Market Paperback - O Jerusalem by Laurie R. King
Audiobook - Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
The Covenant by James Michener
Alaska by James Michener
Caribbean by James Michener
Chesapeake by James Michener
Return to Paradise by ... you guessed it..... James Michener
The Man of Property by John Galsworthy, slipcased
Amok by Stefan Zweig
The Life and Campaigns of Napoleon by M.A. Arnault and C.L.F. Panckoucke - 1852
Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot - 1935 - first US edition with tattered dust jacket
The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
Mission to Malaspiga by Evelyn Anthony
The Poellenberg Inheritance by Evelyn Anthony
van Loon's Lives by Hendrik Willem van Loon
Adam and Eve and Pinch Me by Ruth Rendell
The Incongruous Spy by John le Carré - two novels, Call for the Dead and A Murder of Quality
The Twelve Terrors of Christmas by John Updike with Drawings by Edward Gorey
The Poems of James Russell Lowell
The Library Paradox by Catherine Shaw
The Victoria Vanishes by Christopher Fowler
Brother of the More Famous Jack by Barbara Trapido
The Ludwig Conspiracy by Oliver Pötzsch
The Missing File by D.A. Mishani
New Orleans Noir edited by Julie Smith
The Kookaburra Gambit by Claire McNab
Wartime Writings 1939-1944 by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Blackwater by Kerstin Ekman
Copper River by Willliam Kent Krueger
The Ogden Nash Pocket Book by Ogden Nash with Introduction by Louis Untermeyer
124. Cordelia by Winston Graham
125. Amazon – Peterson Guide to Eastern Birds by Roger Tory Peterson
126. Amazon – Bella Poldark by Winston Graham
127. Amazon – The Twisted Sword by Winston Graham
128. Amazon – The Loving Cup by Winston Graham
129. Bookmooch - Tomorrow Will Be Better by Betty Smith
130. Friend Louise - The Appeal by John Grisham
131. Costco - White Trash: The 400-Year Untold Story of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

May - 6
132. Sanford PTO - Blood's a Rover by James Ellroy
133. Bookmooch - The Faith Club by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Priscilla Warner
134. Amazon - The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah - Kindle
135. CVS - Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews
136. Amazon Kindle - The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston
137. Amazon Kindle - Bella Poldark by Winston Graham

June - 15
138. Diamond Bar FOL Bookstore - Midnight Crossing by Charlaine Harris
139. Diamond Bar FOL Bookstore - A Study in Scarlet/The Hound of the Baskervilles by A. Conan Doyle
140. Bookmooch - A Cup of Light by Nicole Mones
141. Amazon Kindle - The Man Who Could be King by John Ripin Miller
142. Amazon Kindle - This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
143. Amazon - spill simmer falter wither by Sara Baume
144. Amazon - The Deepest Grave by Harry Bingham
145. LT ER book - An Atlas of Countries That Don't Exist by Nick Middleton
146. Walgreens - Home by Harlan Coben
147. Thrift Shop - Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb
148. Amazon - Making the Mummies Dance by Thomas Hoving
149. Amazon - Lincoln in the Bardo audiobook
150. Amazon - Theft by Finding by David Sedaris
151. Mom's House - Franklin School Yearbook 1949
152. Mom's House - Franklin School Yearbook 1950

July - 10
153. Friend Karen - The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Bible by Bell and Campbell
154. Friend Karen - Beowulf Translated - Bilingual Edition by Seamus Heaney
155. Friend Karen - Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone by Martin Dugard
156. Friend Karen - The Way of the Shaman by Michael Harner
157. D&K Library - Faith and Works by Helen Zagat
158. D&K Library - You're Only Old Once!: A Book for Obsolete Children by Dr. Seuss
159. D&K Library - Ships by Enzo Angelucci
160. Thrift Shop - Julie & Julia by Julie Powell trade paperback to replace ratty mass market
161. Thrift Shop - Close by Martina Cole
162. Thrift Shop - Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence
163. Amazon - Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood
164. McIntyre's - The Stranger by Harlen Coban

Edited: Jul 11, 2017, 3:21pm 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
9. A Darkness More Than Night by Michael Connelly duplicate
10. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster duplicate
11. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith duplicate
12. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith triplicate
13. A Woman of Independent Means by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey duplicate
14. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie duplicate
15. Angels Flight by Michael Connelly duplicate
16. Anna's Book by Ruth Rendell writing as Barbara vine duplicate with Asta's Book
17. Balthazar (Alexandria Quartet) by Lawrence Durrell duplicate
18. Black Orchids by Rex Stout duplicate
19. Clea (Alexandria Quartet) by Lawrence Durrell duplicate
20. Justine (Alexandria Quartet) by Lawrence Durrell duplicate
21. Mountolive (Alexandria Quartet) by Lawrence Durrell duplicate
22. A Darkness More Than Night by Michael Connelly duplicate
23. Dinner at Antoine's by Frances Parkinson Keyes duplicate
24. Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell duplicate
25. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift duplicate
26. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift triplicate
27. Cat People by Bill Hayward duplicate (I bought one copy, a friend gave me a second, so I'm keeping the second out of sentimentality)
28. The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton abandoned after 122 pages
29. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler meh didn't want to read
30. The Spanish Bride by Georgette Heyer got a new trade paperback
31. David Coperfield by Charles Dickens, duplicate
32. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, duplicate
33. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, duplicate
34. Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand translation by Brian Hooker duplicate
35. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer duplicate
36. The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene duplicate
37. The Elements of Style by Strunk and White
38. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
39. Miracle in the Hills by Maqry T. Martin Sloop duplicate
40. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad duplicate
41. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
42. Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith duplicate
43. Roots by Alex Haley duplicate
44. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence duplicate
45. Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling duplicate
46. The Road by Cormac McCarthy duplicate
47. In Search of J.D. Salinger by Ian Hamilton duplicate (kept SGiV's copy)
48. Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey triplicate
49. Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey triplicate
50. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey triplicate
51. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey triplicate
52. The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey duplicate
53. Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey duplicate
54. A Shilling for Candles by Josephine Tey duplicate
55. The Singing Sands by Josephine Tey duplicate
56. The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder duplicate in Thornton Wilder Trio
57. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll triplicate
58. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen duplicate
59. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain duplicate
60. Casual Day Has Gone Too Far by Scott Adams duplicate, given to daughter
61. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers duplicate
62. Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers triplicate
63. Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers triplicate
64. Have His Carcase by Dorothy L. Sayers duplicate
65. Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate don't want to keep
66. The Mayor of Castorbridge by Thomas Hardy duplicate
67. A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain don't want to keep
68. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy triplicate
69. Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman duplicate
70. Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs duplicate
71. The toplofty Lord Thorpe by Kasey Michaels 2.5 stars taking up shelf space
72. The Beleaguered Lord Bourne by Kasey Michaels 2.5 stars taking up shelf space
73. The Ruthless Lord Rule by Kasey Michaels 2.5 stars taking up shelf space
74. The Enterprising Lord Edward by Kasey Michaels 2.5 stars taking up shelf space
75. Journey to Ixtlan by Carlos Castaneda duplicate
76. Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind by Donald Johanson duplicate
77. the lives and times of archy and mehitabel by don marquis duplicate
78. Lord Peter by Dorothy Sayers duplicate
79. QB VII by Leon Uris duplicate
80. Seabiscuit by Laura Hilldebrand duplicate
81. No Second Chance by Harlan Coben duplicate
82. The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff duplicate
83. the Floatplane Notebooks by Clyde Edgerton duplicate
84. Shining Through by Susan Isaacs duplicate
85. Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford duplicate
86. The Woods by Harlan Coben duplicate
87. The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles duplicate
88. The Doorbell Rang by Rex Stout duplicate
89. The Doorbell Rang by Rex Stout triplicate
90. Tutankhamun:The Untold Story by Thomas Hoving duplicate
91. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy duplicate
92. The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy duplicate
93. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy duplicate
94. Life's Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown Jr. duplicate
95. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner duplicate, contained within anthology
96. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame duplicate
97. Royal Escape by Georgette Heyer duplicate
98. Bulfinch's Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch duplicate
99. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather duplicate contained within anthology
100. The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith duplicate
101. The Sherlock Holmes Novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle duplicate
102. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy Sayers duplicate
103. Unnatural Death by Dorothy Sayers duplicate
104. Whose Body? by Dorothy Sayers duplicate
105. The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy Sayers duplicate
106. Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy Sayers duplicate
107. The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers duplicate
108. The Balloon Man by Charlotte Armstrong duplicate, contained within anthology
109. The Witch's House by Charlotte Armstrong duplicate, contained within anthology
110. The Gift Shop by Charlotte Armstrong duplicate, contained within anthology
111. The Turret Room by Charlotte Armstrong duplicate, contained within anthology
112. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins duplicate
113. Austenland by Hale, Shannon 2.5 stars
114. The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman by Brown, Nancy Marie 2.5 stars
115. Einstein's Dreams by Lightman, Alan 2.5 stars
116. The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy by Slater, Maya 2.5 stars
117. The Great Influenza (The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History) by Barry, John M. 2.5 stars
118. 'Tis by McCourt, Frank 2.5 stars
119. Fire and Ice by Stuart, Anne 2 stars
120. Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe by Rosen, William 2.5 stars
121. Fangs But No Fangs (The Young Brothers, Book 2) by Love, Kathy 2.5 stars
122. Fangs for the Memories (The Young Brothers, Book 1) by Love, Kathy 2.5 stars
123. I Only Have Fangs for You (The Young Brothers, Book 3) by Love, Kathy 2.5 stars
124. The Giver by Lowry, Lois 2.5 stars
125. The Member of the Wedding by McCullers, Carson 2 stars
126. The Assault by Harry Mulisch started it, didn't like it
127. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante started it, didn't like it
128. Astray by Emma Donoghue duplicate
129. van Loon's Lives by Henrik Willem van Loon duplicate
130. The Man of Property by John Galsworthy duplicate
131. Sandy Koufax - Strikeout King by Arnold Hano - will never read
132. Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power by Richard J. Carwardine started listening and didn't like the reader's voice and didn't like the tenor of the book
133. The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman - dated, boring
134. Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews - bought in CA, not worth paying to ship home to NC
135. A Study in Scarlet/The Hound of the Baskervilles by A. Conan Doyle
136. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee audiobook, duplicate, 2nd one purchased better quality
137. The Judas Pair by Jonathan Gash
138. The Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell
139. spill simmer falter wither by Sara Baume abandoned yeesh. depressing. And dogs.
140. Julie & Julia by Julie Powell mass market paperback replaced with trade paperback

Edited: Jul 1, 2017, 8:32am Top

Year-to-Date Statistics through June 30

47 books read
17,376 pages read, 183 of those pages of abandoned books, 985 pages of The Literary Study Bible
30.55 hours of audiobooks

Male 66%
Female 34%

Living 60%
Dead 40%

US Born 38%
Foreign Born 62%

Hardcover 34%
Trade Pback 32%
Mass Market 6%
Audiobook 6%
e-Book 21%

My Library 94%
Other 6%

Re-read 4%
Series 55%

Fiction 85%
NonFiction 15%

Author Birth Country
Australia 2%
Austria 2%
Canada 2%
England 53%
Israel 2%
US 38%

Original Year Published
1852 2%
1922 2%
1939 4%
1940 4%
1950 2%
1952 2%
1953 2%
1961 2%
1973 2%
1976 2%
1977 2%
1980 2%
1981 2%
1982 4%
1990 4%
1995 4%
1997 4%
1998 2%
1999 2%
2001 2%
2002 4%
2004 4%
2012 4%
2013 2%
2014 6%
2015 13%
2016 4%
2017 6%


Biography 2%
Fantasy 6%
Fiction 11%
Historical Fiction 21%
History 2%
Literary Fiction 4%
Memoir 9%
Mystery 32%
Nature 2%
Romance 11%

Jun 15, 2017, 8:55am Top

Next message is yours!

Jun 15, 2017, 8:57am Top

Happy new thread, Karen!!

Jun 15, 2017, 8:59am Top

Thanks, Shelley!

Jun 15, 2017, 9:00am Top

Happy new one, Karen!

Jun 15, 2017, 9:01am Top

Good morning, Katie, and thank you!

Jun 15, 2017, 9:08am Top

Happy new thread!

Jun 15, 2017, 9:51am Top

I'm in!

Jun 15, 2017, 10:38am Top

Hi Jim and Larry! Thanks for stopping by.

I'm reading Festive in Death by J.D. Robb, #39 in the Eve Dallas series. A murder mystery, preachy, fun sort of; for the last 3 or 4 books I've threatened to abandon the series but so far haven't. I'm almost done, then will read spill simmer falter wither by Sara Baume for our July book club meeting, which will be at my house on July 9th. I must start thinking of a menu for 12.

Today I finally wrote a long-overdue e-mail to friend Karen in Montana. I'll clean out the boxes, do a bit of weeding (it's already a scorcher - 76F but feels like 90F), then eventually bop into town to pick up a few this-and-thats.

Jun 15, 2017, 11:32am Top

Happy new thread, Karen! We've got a bit of a break from the heat, so I'll be out later, after work, spading up some more of the area where I'm planting beans.

Jun 15, 2017, 12:21pm Top

Message 302 from last thread, Larry!

I kept Mom's charm bracelet, too. I was fascinated by it as a kid and I remembered every single one. Please tell me that you've put in some hammock time so I can live vicariously through your pleasure. I'm visiting Dad this weekend, but won't really have much time to prop my feet up and read on the balcony. Dad can't see but he goes through 3 or 4 audiobooks a week, so he totally gets it when I do want to slink off and read, though.

I looked at Mom's charm bracelet yesterday. Lots of sports and music-related charms, a 25th wedding anniversary charm, and her birthstone for July charm. It's nothing I'd ever wear, but nice to have.

I put in hammock time two days ago, but it's too hot now. I just got in from weeding for about 15 minutes. That damned Johnson grass will be the death of me.

I hope you have a good time visiting your Dad. Parker going too, of course?

Between the Alexandria shooting and the San Fran UPS shooting there is entirely too much crap going on in this country right now.

>14 harrygbutler: Thank you Harry! Good luck with getting the bean area prepped. Bush or pole? Green or other? Inquiring minds and all that.

Jun 15, 2017, 2:03pm Top

>15 karenmarie: In this area I'll be planting lima beans; we also have some wax beans planted. They're all bush beans this year. We've done pole beans before, but haven't gone with those varieties for several years. We already have some beds planted with lima beans, but we had so many left over to plant that I decided to get a head start on the area I'm planning to use for strawberry plants that we'll be ordering in the fall.

Jun 15, 2017, 3:25pm Top

Happy new thread!! #39 books in that series! Wow, that's dedication to stick with it

Jun 15, 2017, 4:20pm Top

Happy new thread Karen my dear, hope you are having a good day dear friend. We have been to David Austin Roses and had a fabulous day looking at hundreds of varieties of rose and the scents were gorgeous.

Jun 15, 2017, 7:52pm Top

Happy New Thread, Karen. Nice to see you back in the fold.

Jun 16, 2017, 1:13am Top

A new thread! A new thread!! I was wowed by all your book acquisitions, and then even more impressed by the culling you've been doing. Great job!!

Jun 16, 2017, 10:10am Top

>16 harrygbutler: Ooh, lima beans. I love lima beans. My FiL/MiL used to get baby limas at the Farmers Market in Raleigh every summer and always gave us a baggie full, shelled. I love ‘em in succotash too. My paternal grandmother, who lived with us, used to plant wax beans. I really loved them, too.

I didn’t plant a garden this year. We paid to have the handyman clean it out and prep it in early May, then off I zoomed to CA. It was only after I’d been there a week that I remembered that I hadn’t planted. I secretly hoped husband had planted it for me, but it didn’t happen. Sigh.

>17 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle. There are currently 46 in the series. I usually hate the Christmas ones but… well. Perhaps I’ll write a review after all. *smile*

>18 johnsimpson: Thank you, John on both counts! Your olfactory experience sounds wonderful. Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

>19 msf59: Thanks, Mark! I’m back in the fold and back in the saddle, and although I still haven’t visited everybody’s thread since I went to CA I’m slowly getting caught up.

>20 Berly: Yes, Berly! And thank you. I’m not quite at one book out for one book in, but could easily get there if I put my mind to it.

Well, I’ve abandoned another book for book club. I’ll preface this by saying that I’m not really a dog person but was willing to give the book a chance. Perhaps the dog is endearing and adorable, but the first 20 pages of first-person narration by the man who gets the dog from the shelter are so depressing and so weirdly written that I found myself trying to force the read….. nope. So spill simmer falter wither by Sara Baume becomes the 6th book of 9 from my RL book club that I’ve abandoned this reading year. And the year started out so well with The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker and Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene. Skip the awful Defining the Wind by Scott Huler, then the spare and strong The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway, and the next 5 have been duds.

The book club meeting is at my house July 9th and I’m starting to work out a menu. I haven’t gotten anything settled yet at all, but it’s always fun to look at recipes.

Having abandoned the book club book, I have to find another book to read. I’ll do some reading in the Bible for the year-long read. I want to read Tree of Smoke with Mark and Bill, but don’t know if I want to start it yet or not. Fickle, aren’t I?

Jun 16, 2017, 10:32am Top

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday. Hope your day goes smoothly.

Jun 16, 2017, 10:43am Top

Thanks, Mark! So far it's been totally self-indulgent. Coffee, a bagel with cream cheese (no Simply Fruit in the house, wah!), talking with neighbor/friend Louise, here on LT.

I need to gird my loins and pick up the Bible to get back in the saddle with my yearlong Bible as Literature reading. I stopped in CA and haven't picked it back up yet.....

I've seen Tufted Titmice and two Carolina chickadees at the feeder today.

Jun 16, 2017, 10:57am Top

Hi, Karen! Enjoy your Friday!

>21 karenmarie: We both really like both lima beans and wax beans. We have succotash occasionally, but more often the limas and the corn are separate. We like green beans OK, too, and have grown them, but they are so readily available from local farms that we decided it wasn't worthwhile giving them the space needed to actually get a good-sized crop. The other beans are rarer, so it is worth it to us to plant them. We don't usually grow enough to freeze in quantity, but instead eat them fresh as long as we can.

We try to put in a garden every year, at least with plants in the raised beds, but we don't always get all of the planned crops in. This year I was hoping we'd put in some ground cherries, but we didn't get the seeds started indoors in time, and I haven't found seedlings anywhere to put in. I'd like to turn them into an edible perennial border somewhere in the yard (if they'll survive the winter, which may not be the case here).

Edited: Jun 16, 2017, 12:36pm Top

Hi Harry! Thanks.

I like the idea of growing something harder to find in the markets. Maybe next year.....

Two important things:

1. The new Fiona Griffiths book is out today, The Deepest Grave. I just bought it and it will arrive from Amazon on Monday.

2. In the 1970s I bought my mother Hummingbirds of the World, a series of porcelain cups/saucers/stands from the World Wildlife Fund. I had them shipped home last week and they arrived Wednesday. They're now in the Parlour. I don't know where their permanent home is, but at least the kitties can't get to them there. The portrait is of my husband's mother on her wedding day in 1953.


Jun 16, 2017, 12:49pm Top

Pretty! I like them set out like that. How do you get to the books way up at the ceiling?

Jun 16, 2017, 4:00pm Top

Thanks, Larry!

Ladder. I'd like a library ladder, but the room's too small for that, so it's the ugly blue ladder that I keep tucked away upstairs. The Parlour books are the last ones to get organized - I'll be putting not-likely-to-be-needed books read and strange reference books up there one of these days. Right now it's a combination of read, unread, not to be read, reference, fiction, nonfiction. If I can get daughter home for more than a day or so, I can have her do the heavy lifting, as it were.

When we decided to make a room upstairs, cutting the living room to a 9' ceiling instead of two story, as they were building the wall I saw a chance for more recessed shelving like in the Retreat, and they did it for me. It's just hard to get to the shelves easily. I've currently got 269 books up there.

Jun 16, 2017, 7:48pm Top

I just ordered The Deepest Grave after reading your post! It will arrive on my birthday, June 20! I love these books, I've only read 3 but I have them all standing by! Beautiful cups and saucers!

Jun 17, 2017, 8:22am Top

Have a great Saturday, Karen! Ours will be busy with a flea market and a book sale, and then perhaps some gardening late in the day. Among other things, we have a yard of mulch to bring over from our neighbors' driveway (we order the load together) and perhaps get busy spreading.

Jun 17, 2017, 2:31pm Top

Happy new thread, Karen and I'll take this opportunity to wish you a lovely weekend.

Tree of Smoke is a weighty and challenging read - good luck!

Jun 17, 2017, 6:38pm Top

>28 Dianekeenoy: Hi Diane! Yay. Happy early birthday to you. I've read all 5 books and am excited to be getting #6.

Thanks re the cups.

>29 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry. Sounds like a lovely Saturday, balanced with work and play. Of course, gardening may be considered play, too...

>30 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul! So far it's been good - we ran errands this morning, have relaxed this afternoon, and tomorrow is Father's Day so my husband has put in an order for one of his favorite dinners and I fudged and let him pick out a frozen-pie to be baked fresh. The dinner is homemade chicken pot pie made like his Grandmother used to make it, fresh cantaloupe, and green beans. The pie is a Dutch Apple Pie, courtesy of Marie Callendar.

I'm going to treat Tree of Smoke like Dickens - unless it grabs me and carries me away, I'll read 20 pages per day for a month. I have found that manageable with the two Dickens' I've read in the last two years and the John Irving Challenge last year, Until I Find You. Of course if it carries me away I'll have it read within a week or so at the most.

Right now I'm reading a wonderful book if you like Kurt Vonnegut - Timequake. It's his last novel and as acerbic and informed as all his other novels.

Jun 18, 2017, 7:40am Top

Congrats on your shiny new thread, Karen. What a beautifulk home you have. Wishing you a lovely Sunday. I hope it's a perfect hammockday.

Jun 18, 2017, 8:18am Top

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. I am 50 pages into Tree of Smoke. Nothing earth-shattering yet, but solid enough. Lots of characters, to sort out. Hope to read a big chunk before our company arrives later.

Jun 18, 2017, 8:52am Top

Hi, Karen! I hope you enjoy your Sunday. Here it's a steamy one, so after a little gardening, I think I'll get in a fair amount of reading inside in the air conditioning.

Edited: Jun 18, 2017, 8:55am Top

>32 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! Thank you twice! I just woke up, have taken a first sip of coffee, and will make breakfast for husband and me in a bit. It's Father's Day here in the US. Daughter lives 3 hours away and is working so will call sometime later today.

I'd love to sit out in the hammock, but the relative humidity is 89%. There won't be too many hammock days this summer since I do terrible in humidity. The air conditioning is my friend.

>33 msf59: Hi Mark! Thank you. I need to read some of the Bible first to try to catchup some on my year-long Bible-as-Literature read, then plan on cracking ToS.

Jun 18, 2017, 9:16am Top

Happy new thread! I love your display of the hummingbird cups and plates along with the photo of your mother. As my husband and I begin to clean out, it is the family things that stay.

Eastern Virginia is also plunged into heat and humidity. We just turned on the AC in our den and it is only 9 AM. So much for the cool mornings. I'll move from the porch to the pool.

Jun 18, 2017, 10:42am Top

Hi Karen! Thank you. I was proud to only bring back 5 boxes of things - thank God that she loved to read but didn't collect books like I do. Otherwise.....

Photos, two of her high school annuals (1949 and 1950), small crystal things she loved, and here's a stained glass hummingbird piece she made when she was taking a stained glass class. I know, it's a tad crooked, but that's because I can't get the chain links to shift properly in the window latch. Not its permanent home, either, but good enough for now.

We haven't been able to open windows since I've been home. The idea of taking a dip in a cool pool is entrancing...

That's the one thing great about SoCal. I could open the sliding glass doors as late as 8 a.m. or so and still get a gorgeous cool breeze. Here, I'm a prisoner of the air conditioning, I'm afraid.

Jun 18, 2017, 10:48am Top

>37 karenmarie: That's a nice bit of stained glass that your mother did, Karen.

Jun 18, 2017, 10:52am Top

Thank you, Harry! She had it hanging in her kitchen, on a hook over a window, and I am glad I've got it here. Sister didn't want it, fortunately. The more I look at it, in detail, the more impressed I am. I never told her how much I liked it, I'm afraid.

Jun 18, 2017, 1:18pm Top

Love the hummingbird piece! And I am glad you got the teacups back. It is so nice to have a few mementos around. Have fun with the rest of Father's Day.

Jun 18, 2017, 6:09pm Top

It's a conspiracy, I tell you. I was at brunch with my Dad and brother when brother whips his phone out and tells Dad;s friend who is sitting next to me 'Check out what I'm into now,' and starts showing him pictures of the birds he's seen in his yard lately. Wackiness!

Jun 18, 2017, 8:58pm Top

Happy new thread, Karen! How wonderful that you have your mother's charm bracelet! My last trip home my dad gave me my mom's watch. Nothing special about it but I love the antique look of the stainless steel band and the fact that I can wear something close to my skin that was also worn close to my mother's skin. Definitely high on the sentimental value.

>25 karenmarie: - Love the display!

>37 karenmarie: - Crooked makes the stained glass all that more personal and precious.

Jun 18, 2017, 9:26pm Top

I'm very impressed that you gave away almost as many books as you acquired. My discipline hasn't extended to that yet, so it's a good thing most of my acquisitions are on my Kindle lately.

And what a pity that your weather doesn't permit more outdoor hammock time! I am finding New York City similarly hot so far this summer, and much earlier than usual. I race out to spend time walking when the weather permits, but it looks like a long air-conditioning affair this year.

I keep hoping to restart my literary bible read, but I'm far behind the pack at this point, and mainly would do it for my own curiosity. I may look around for a course to audit in the fall - New York colleges offer several opportunities to audit courses for a single token fee per semester, so I hope to find a course or two per semester starting then.

Jun 18, 2017, 9:34pm Top

>31 karenmarie:

Which two Dickens' did you read?

I loved Tale of Two Cities, but cannot believe the same author wrote BLEAK HOUSE, truly awful l/4 through.
Hoping for redemption soon.

Jun 18, 2017, 10:01pm Top

>40 Berly: Thank you, Berly! Me, too. Sister and I each took back things we gave Mom or Dad. I must admit that I didn’t want the Bones, Murder She Wrote, or Perry Mason DVDs I gave her, so off to the Goodwill they went, but daughter was ecstatic to get the audiobooks of the Harry Potter Books and the Star Trek DVDs.

>41 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hey Larry! Ya can run but ya can’t hide. Bird wackiness! It’s getting to many of us, isn’t it?

>42 lkernagh: Hi Lori! I’m so glad you have your mom’s watch and that you wear it. I am not a Charm Bracelet Girl, but I have it in a sweet little box in the Sunroom on one of my book shelves. I’m also glad to have some family heirlooms. Sister and I divided things up and we each felt good about what we got. These are some of mine. The shepherdess was G-Grandmother Chadima's, the crystal bowl was G-Grandmother Holets', and although I recognize the Dicing Boys bowl, I don't know which side of the family had either the plate or that bowl.

>43 ffortsa: Thanks Judy. Quite a few this year are duplicates that I should have gotten rid of years ago, but I’ll take the compliment. My tastes have changed some, too – some of the books I acquired from Bookmooch a while back don’t appeal any more. I also got ruthless with some romance authors. I need to clean out my Kindle, but as it’s only about 5-10% of what I read in a year, if that, I’ll just be lazy and keep stuff out there.

I got one hammock day in since I returned June 9th, and if I get any more this summer I’ll consider myself lucky. I can’t do much walking because of problems with my feet, so it’s a really long air-conditioning affair this year for me, too.

I read some Job yesterday and today. I need to discipline myself again and start reading first thing in the morning, even before signing into LT. Once I get on here, I can be on for hours at a time.

I’m bitterly disappointed that the leader dropped out and that the others aren’t reading the same Bible that she was reading and recommended, so really feel abandoned and on my own. I would feel worse if I stopped reading it, though, so I’m persevering. Good luck with auditing courses – sounds like a fantastic plan. I’ll have to look into that perhaps.

>44 m.belljackson: Hi Marianne. Great Expectations and Bleak House. Of the two, I infinitely preferred Bleak House, as there were several admirable characters there and the only two I liked in GE were Pip’s sister’s husband and his benefactor. Can’t remember either name, so that tells you how much I haven’t cared over the long run about it. Especially compared with BH, which I read avidly then reinforced with a truly excellent BBC production. At this point I can’t think of a single reason for me to read any more of Dickens, but you just never know…..

What Dickens have you read besides Tale of Two Cities?

Father’s Day is mostly over. I did an awfully lot of cooking this afternoon, and husband appreciated every single bite, making it worth it. But I’m purely whupped and am going to go read and hopefully get a good night’s sleep.

Jun 19, 2017, 9:34am Top

Heya Karen. Does the bowl on the left have a mark on the bottom? Is it an RS Prussia, or RS Germany? It look interesting. Nice haul. I love crystal. Mom had a bowl similar to that and she put potpourri in it. You were also smart to not take a ton of stuff that you'd have to either find a place to store or sell off later.

I only have one bit of glassware from my grandmother's house, but it's a treasured piece. I have it was high up so that Parker doesn't accidentally knock it off. Do my second and third favorite kitties ever knock stuff off the shelves? Heaven forfend!

Jun 19, 2017, 10:16am Top

The shepherdess is Amphora. The plate and bowl are both R S Prussia. The bowl on the right is Dicing Boys-Dice Throwers - whatever - I've seen plates and other pieces on the Internet, but never the round bowl.

The couple we bought a horse from own an antique store about 2 miles from our house, and I'm going to call Bob to see if he evaluates porcelain or knows someone good who does. I've also got Mom's (mostly) costume jewelry AND husband's mother/grandmother's costume jewelry to be evaluated/appraised.

Catman broke the cover of a crystal dish that belonged to husband's grandmother, but it was really my fault since I had put a pillow for him to sit on too near it and when he shifted, it fell and broke.

We have a corner hutch in the dining room and at one point, in my vanity, I was keeping it open. A kitty, don't remember which one, got up and broke one of husband's grandmother's Castleton Rose cups/saucers. Thank goodness for Replacements.com - these are daughter's heritage and I felt obligated to replace it. Hutch is now kept closed.

The reason I'm excited about the crystal bowl is that I don't have anything else from my mother's paternal grandparents. My Aunt Joyce says that the bowl was from Anna Holets, Mom's paternal grandmother. There were three pieces from Anna, one for my mother, one for her sister, one for her brother.

Jun 19, 2017, 10:46am Top

>45 karenmarie: >47 karenmarie: Interesting pieces, Karen, and nice ties to your ancestors. Have a great Monday!

Jun 19, 2017, 11:00am Top

Nice porcelain! My grandmother collected RS Prussia so I've seen a lot of it, but I've only ever seen pictures of Prussia with human figures. You may have a real prize on your hands! I hope so.

I hear you on not blaming kittens. I was cleaning and moved my Mata Ortiz tribal seed pot to a ledge, which Parker uses to launch himself into the kitchen. He hit that thing and it flew into a piece of wooden furniture. Broke into a hundred pieces, big bang, cat was scared to death. Poor little guy. I wound up apologizing to him for his becoming so scared.

I stick the tub mat on the wall after my shower, and it once fell on Parker while he was in the tub trying to figure out the allure. He was terrified so I picked him up and his little heart was pounding. Of course I took him back into the bathroom and yelled at the mat so he'd get over it. 'Bad mat!' I'm not normally a crazy person.

Jun 19, 2017, 11:41am Top

Checking in on the new thread, Karen!

>37 karenmarie: Love the stained glass!

Jun 19, 2017, 2:31pm Top

>48 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry! Monday's looking good - lunch with former co-workers, a book bought at the pharmacy when I bought new gel insoles for my shoes, and TWO books in the mail - the newest #6 Fiona Griffiths The Deepest Grave and an ER book, An Atlas of Countries That Don't Exist, a beautiful hardcover.

Three books in one day. Whoo-yah.

>49 SomeGuyInVirginia: The R S Prussia bowl was appraised 25 years ago, so it will be interesting to see if it's gone up or down in value. It was not insignificantly valued at the time.

Poor Parker, and good cat daddy for blaming the true culprits - the pot and the tub mat. I must admit that I have never actually yelled at the true culprit, but I'll keep it in mind for future issues. I've never heard of Mata Ortiz tribal seed pots, but looking online I can see they're gorgeous.

>50 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! It pleasing to look at, isn't it?

Jun 19, 2017, 4:52pm Top

I've finally seen a hummingbird at the feeder since I returned to NC! Male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.

And I've seen the male Indigo Bunting again today.

Jun 19, 2017, 10:03pm Top

>49 SomeGuyInVirginia:
>51 karenmarie:

The Mata Ortiz pots online are incredibly beautiful - I clicked on a duck effigy on sale for $270 - sure would love that one!

SomeGuy - did you ever get a replacement for the tribal seed pot?

I have a small "Apple Blossom" black pot from the Santa Clara Pottery, signed by Teresa Naranjo,
and stored high in a built in glass cabinet in the kitchen.

Karenmarie - In addition to Tale of Two Cities, I read David Copperfield many years ago.
The characters in Bleak House have not been as memorable.

Jun 19, 2017, 10:12pm Top

Hi, Karen. Hooray for the hummingbird sighting. Are the males more colorful? I have not even noticed.

Jun 20, 2017, 5:31am Top

Happy new thread, Karen, glad you are safely home.

You are still going strong in aquiring vs culling books :-)
The stained glass hummingbird is beautiful, I love to see stained glass.

Jun 20, 2017, 6:23am Top

>53 m.belljackson: Now that you mention it, Marianne, I think I read David Copperfield while in high school. But I can’t remember anything about it.

Keeping things safe and protected from kitties is a requirement around here anymore, although with one at 10 years and one at 18 years, they’re slowing down some.

>54 msf59: Hi Mark! I was happy to see him. Males are much more colorful than the females.

>55 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! Thank you twice!

I’m going to do some more culling, perhaps Friday. I’m still acquiring books faster than I read them. Last month being away made it easy to not acquire books, but I’ve fall off the wagon a bit since being home.

I woke up early for some reason and couldn’t get back to sleep. Doing a load of sheets before the cleaning ladies come so that they’ll make the beds with fresh.

I’ll be off visiting threads after 8 a.m. when they arrive. I can take this time to focus on some quality reading, I think.

First sip of coffee taken, books at hand.

Jun 20, 2017, 8:52am Top

Hi, Karen! Hurrah for the hummingbird and the bunting! Have a terrific Tuesday!

Jun 20, 2017, 9:40am Top

Thanks, Harry! It was rather exciting, I must admit. The Tufted Titmice are amusing me this morning - they grab one sunflower seed and go back into the Crepe Myrtle to pound it open on a branch. Then back for another.

Jun 20, 2017, 9:42am Top

Hi Karen! Love all the hummingbirds! Prisoner of air conditioning indeed. :)

Jun 20, 2017, 10:43am Top

>58 karenmarie: I saw similar behavior by a song sparrow in our garden a few days ago, but there weren't really any seeds there for it to be grabbing, so I wasn't sure what was going on. I finally figured out that it was grabbing ants that have a colony in that raised bed.

Jun 20, 2017, 1:12pm Top

>45 karenmarie: Oh, dear. No more Dickens? What about your lovely set and your 'one Dickens a year' challenge?

But then, I'm the person who has taken four months to read Bleak House. :) I'm almost done, and to the point where I'm actually enjoying it. Only about thirty pages to go; I will try to finish it today. I will also watch the PBS series, especially you've given it high marks.

Yeah, I'd most probably do another Dickens next year, since there are so many on the 1001 list. I also read David Copperfield in high school, but don't remember much about it.

I'm loving your bird posts. I've seen one hummingbird tooling around my house, but not sure which kind. It's pretty drably marked, so I'm thinking it's a female of whatever type. I'm looking forward to being able to see more clearly - it should help my bird spotting a lot!

Jun 20, 2017, 1:24pm Top

>45 karenmarie: Oh oh oh, Karen. What you're doing to me. Re: Dickens...

Great Expectations and Bleak House. Of the two, I infinitely preferred Bleak House, as there were several admirable characters there and the only two I liked in GE were Pip’s sister’s husband and his benefactor. Can’t remember either name, so that tells you how much I haven’t cared over the long run about it. Especially compared with BH, which I read avidly then reinforced with a truly excellent BBC production.

I've got Great Expectations on my 2017 AMRT List (Absolutely Must Read This). And a "lethal hazard" placard on Bleak House. (Oh all right, I don't actually have a copy of BH). I believe the BBC did productions of both novels, featuring Gillian Anderson (Agent Scully in "The X Files"). The summary of BH that's in my head is that an inheritance is litigated endlessly and with growing rancor, until...when a judgment is rendered...there's nothing left of it. My impression is that the book is very aptly named.

I'm not particularly enthused about GE. I've seen both the David Lean 1946 film (with John Mills as Pip) and the 2011 miniseries. But I am okay with reading it.

And now, you undermine by resolve. I'm gonna go with Marianne.

Jun 20, 2017, 3:42pm Top

Hi Karen, it must be nice to see hummingbirds my dear and I am a little jealous. Hope you had a good weekend and are having a good beginning to the week dear friend, sending love and hugs.

Jun 20, 2017, 4:31pm Top

I like hummingbirds and the idea of a bully bird still cracks me up. Is it cooler there in NC? It is somewhat here.

>53 m.belljackson: Not yet. Maybe for Christmas!

Jun 20, 2017, 5:04pm Top

>59 nittnut: Hi Jenn. This afternoon doesn’t seem quite so oppressive, thank goodness. I’m not going out in it mind you, but I did just get back from taking Kitty William for his annual exam and they clipped his nails for me, too. He’s doing great for a 17-18 year old kitty and the vet was pleased. She did say to maybe keep a night light on because his vision has gotten worse, though.

>60 harrygbutler: Wow, Harry. That is so cool. Of course having an ant hill in your raised garden is not cool, but ants are fascinating.

>61 streamsong: Well,Janet, I said that after Great Expectations but did enjoy Bleak House. Never say never….. and I’d forgotten about the one Dickens a year. Okay, so perhaps in 2018 A Tale of Two Cities.

Congratulations on your persistence, especially with all your vision problems. I watched the series immediately after finishing the book, and it was a very good experience.

We only get Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds out here unless they are Accidentals, although one website did say we can get Rufous. Montana gets different ones, I’m sure.

I just now had a Carolina Wren at my feeder, the first for several months. He’s gorgeous and was hopping around the Crepe Myrtle and sitting in the feeder tray gobbling up seed.

Yay eye surgery!

>62 weird_O: Hi Bill! Don’t mind me! Read away. Most people like GE, after all. But I must say that I am a Janeite rather than a Dickensian anyway, so even getting me to admit that I like BH is a pretty big deal.

Stay resolute! Go for it!

>63 johnsimpson: Everybody has their own exciting birds, John – I just checked out a website (Avibase) that says there are 472 species of birds for Yorkshire (some are rare, some are accidental). So even though there are no hummingbirds on the there are some I’d love to see. Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

>64 SomeGuyInVirginia: I love hummers, too. I’m sure I got that from my Mom. And I only remember that she named him Pugnacious after I was squirting water into her birdbath in CA….. that’s a memory from 50 years ago. Sheesh.

It is cooler although we’ve had thunderstorms almost every night for a week. There was a doozie last night after dinner that flickered the power, then one in the middle of the night that I woke up to but immediately fell back asleep to.

Jun 20, 2017, 7:20pm Top

>61 streamsong: My 'lovely set' of Dickens, inherited from my mother (who loathed him), is in storage, and after all this time the bindings are aging badly, but the lovely letterpress pages are holding up. May I suggest Nicholas Nickleby? I read it as prep for seeing the two-part play many years ago, and was very surprised by the energy and clarity of the story. I was as excited by it as I was by the stage play, and that is saying a lot.

Jun 20, 2017, 11:13pm Top

NO way I can catch up on the brand new thread.........but I've loved the pictures.
And for the record, Bleak House remains my very favorite Dickens.

Jun 21, 2017, 7:16am Top

>66 ffortsa: Hi Judy! In the event that I do read another Dickens, I've just added Nicholas Nickelby to my list. "Energy and clarity" are not two words I'd apply to my admittedly-limited exposure to Dickens. A Tale of Two Cities has been mentioned several times by other folks.

>67 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! I'm still not caught up from my trip to CA - I still haven't visited all the threads I have in my favorites. It's good to see you here, and I'm glad you like the pictures.

Just got up, first sip of coffee taken, time for a bit of reading, then I'll visit some threads.

Today's a visit to the chiropractor the going to lunch with friend Carl. He owes me $8.99 for something I ordered for him on Amazon Prime and that's being delivered to his house today. (A dog brushing mitt, for those who need to know. *smile*) We'll probably stop off at the grocery store. The soonest Carl will be able to drive is August, so I'm back in errand mode with him.

Jun 21, 2017, 7:30am Top

>56 karenmarie: We may only be seeing male hummingbirds then. They are usually colorful.

Morning, Karen. Happy Wednesday. How far did you get in Tree of Smoke? I am about 240 pages in.

Hooray for a Carolina Wren. Nice looking bird. I have not seen one yet.

Jun 21, 2017, 8:55am Top

Hi, Karen! Ruby-throated hummingbirds are what we get around here, too.

I'd be interested in a shared read of A Tale of Two Cities next year, if you choose that one.

Have a terrific day!

Jun 21, 2017, 9:29am Top

I read A Tale of Two Cities during summer break in college and liked it, but I confess to enjoying Dickens although I haven't read much of his work. Delphi has his collected works available on Amazon Kindle for under 3 bucks; the man must have never put his pen down. I'd be up for that group read.

Jun 21, 2017, 3:58pm Top

Hi Karen my dear, hope you are having a good week my dear and I am really enjoying GWTW immensely and hopefully will finish it on the last day of the month and therefore complete 1,000 books read in 22 years exactly, sending love and hugs dear friend.

Jun 21, 2017, 5:35pm Top

>68 karenmarie:

A Tale of Two Cities is very different from Charles Dickens' other works and, far and away, for many folks, the Five Star Best!

Jun 21, 2017, 9:07pm Top

>73 m.belljackson: Agreed. I like that one a lot. Probably because there aren't as many words...

We've had a couple of really nice days here. I suppose at some point it will stop raining, but I have no complaints.
I have seen a few Carolina wrens at the feeder, but not many. I suspect they are visiting when I'm not looking. We had a battle for the feeder today. Some grackles were pushing the little birdies around, but eventually they were chased off. We call them Gronkles (How to Train Your Dragon) at our house. Lol

Jun 21, 2017, 9:08pm Top

>72 johnsimpson: Wow, that's great!

Edited: Jun 21, 2017, 10:04pm Top

>69 msf59: Hi Mark! If they’re colorful, they are males.

I’m about page 58 or so. I was busy doing lots of other things today, so reading took a hit.
I saw a Carolina Wren earlier this year and was excited to see him/her again. Both sexes have the same markings.

>70 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! I really enjoy watching hummingbirds. I definitely got that from my mother.

I made a note in my desk calendar for December 18th; a bit arbitrary, but mid-Decemberish re a Dickens read for next year. *smile*

I had a nice, if somewhat unproductive day. Ah well, they happen.

>71 SomeGuyInVirginia: Duly noted, Larry!

>72 johnsimpson: Hi John! I noticed that you were on book 1000 – so wonderful and such an accomplishment. I hope your timing is perfect.

Believe it or not, I had looked at your books list recently and was going to suggest the 8th Outlander, but GWTW is such a stunner. Sending love and hugs back’atcha!

>73 m.belljackson: I’ve heard that from several folks, Marianne, and I’ll probably allow myself to be dragged kicking and screaming onto AToTC group read early next year.

>74 nittnut: Succinct Dickens for Jenn, eh?

The weather has been much nicer, agreed, although all the recent rain has caused two varieties of fungi to grow on our River Burch stump. Pic tomorrow if I can remember since it’s pitch black out.

My daughter would catch the How to Train Your Dragon reference. You could always try to spray them with the hose like my Mom did with the ‘bully bird’, as Larry calls him.

For a while the male cowbirds were dominating at the front porch feeder, but for some reason they aren’t hanging around since I got back. I have seen one female, but that’s all. Lots of Tufted Titmice, Cardinals, one Indigo Bunting, and the Carolina Wren today. Oh, and we saw a male Goldfinch on the Squirrel Stopper feeding station this evening. Louise says there’s a Meadowlark hanging out at another neighbor’s house in the tree next to the magnolia (TMI, I know), but I haven’t seen it.

>75 SomeGuyInVirginia: It is great, isn't it? Bravo for John!

Edited: Jun 22, 2017, 6:55am Top

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. I did not get as much reading in, as I would have liked yesterday, due to other activities but I hope to catch up.

Enjoy your day!

Jun 22, 2017, 7:19am Top

Hi Mark! We're singing out of the same hymn book. I'm on page 63. I did, however, read a good amount in the Bible yesterday, 34 pages, small print, large book, tissue-thin paper.

I'll be taking friend Carl to a doctor's appointment today. I'll have to leave the house around 9:30 for his 10:40 appt. I hope to be home by 1. Then a haircut at 4 and dinner with a friend at 6. Tomorrow will be the first and only day this week without any commitments/obligations. I plan on hibernating.

Jun 22, 2017, 8:03am Top

Hi, Karen! Our neighbor reports they have seen hummingbirds visiting our feeder, so it should just be a matter of time before we get to see them, too. Have a terrific Thursday!

Jun 22, 2017, 8:07am Top

Hi Harry! I just posted on your thread. Yay hummingbirds. I hope you see one soon.

Edited: Jun 22, 2017, 11:25am Top

The sparrows that build a nest in my building continue to fascinate P-Bitty. Every morning when I'm getting his food ready he stands on point in the kitchen window to stare them down and let me know he's on it.

I'm leaving him with Dad for a few weeks! I'll miss the tiny creature but it will be nice to be able to open the windows and not worry about him learning the hard way that cats can't fly.

Have a great time hibernating, hopefully you'll be able to get some hammock time in soon!

Jun 22, 2017, 10:15am Top

Enjoy your hibernating tomorrow! Hope you find some time to relax

Jun 22, 2017, 10:18am Top

I think I'll hide out as well

Jun 22, 2017, 5:21pm Top

>81 SomeGuyInVirginia: Ah, spoiled P-Bitty. Good for your Dad, too. There are very few things more wonderful than cat kids or (for you dog lovers out there) dog kids.

>82 ChelleBearss: I don't plan on leaving the house tomorrow except to perhaps visit Louise. No errands. Yay.

>83 beeg: Hide away, Brenda. I'm sure you need some R&R.

Today was taking Carl to the doctor - it turns out that the cough that he was convinced was related to a hiatal hernia he's been diagnosed is just a remnant of a bad cold. I got a Diet Dr. Pepper out of it.

I also got a tire pressure check at his house because on the way to his house my Low Tire Pressure light came on. The rear passenger tire was dangerously low so after I got him back home I immediately drove to the Ford dealership in town and they identified a slit in the side, of course in a place that can't be repaired. I've ordered two new tires for the rear and am driving on the baby spare. Crap. I cancelled dinner with my friend Jan 'cuz I don't want to drive 80 miles round trip on it. Sheesh.

Jun 22, 2017, 5:48pm Top

>84 karenmarie: I am sorry you had to cancel dinner, Karen.
Enjoy your obligation free day tomorrow!

Jun 22, 2017, 10:20pm Top

Hi Anita! Jan and I rescheduled for next Thursday. She completely understood - her daughter drove too far on a baby spare and blew it out. So I'm glad I erred on the side of caution.

Thank you. I'm really looking forward to it.

Jun 23, 2017, 8:07am Top

Hi, Karen! Enjoy your quiet Friday!

Jun 23, 2017, 8:14am Top

Hi Harry! Thank you. Yay for an errand free day,

Jun 23, 2017, 8:23am Top

Happy Hibernation Friday!

I read A Tale of Two Cities a few years back. I'm thinking it was a group read here on the 75 .... Anyhoo, while I enjoyed the read, I don't think I'd reread it. Perhaps I'll take >66 ffortsa: Judy's suggestion and give Nicholas Nickleby a try next year.

Jun 23, 2017, 8:34am Top

Thanks, Janet! My list of things to do is growing exponentially, but I'm going to try to pace myself. I want to wrap two books for mailing for Bookmooch, get the Johnson grass I pulled up the other day out behind the shed, read, do laundry, power wash the walkway, work on the Retreat when I get the shelf brackets from Amazon today.....

I've added your name to the list of folks who might be interested in Dickens next year.

Jun 23, 2017, 9:11am Top

I finished my 4th or 5th re-listen of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. So brilliant! J.K. is such a wonderful author and excellent human being.

Jun 23, 2017, 10:36am Top

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday. Fast approaching the halfway point in Tree of Smoke. I am liking it but not sure I am loving it...at this point.

Jun 23, 2017, 2:09pm Top

>84 karenmarie: Fur babies!

A bird flew past us this morning and without thinking I said 'Male Cardinal.' I blame you totally.

I want to know if >72 johnsimpson: made it to 1000?

Jun 23, 2017, 3:57pm Top

>72 johnsimpson: Oh, last day of the month. I thought it was today, for some reason.

Jun 23, 2017, 5:58pm Top

>92 msf59: Hi Mark! I'm really trying to get caught up on the Bible reading for my year-long Bible as Literature read so haven't spent as much time with ToS as I would wish. I should be caught up Sunday on the Bible (reading 30 Psalms a day sucks) and back to 6 pages a day, allowing for much more 'free' reading. I'm really liking it, but like I said above (or on your thread?) it's a dense read.

>93 SomeGuyInVirginia: I accept the blame willingly, Larry. It's fun, isn't it? There's a female Cardinal on my feeder right now, as a matter of fact. Earlier today I was dozing in front of the computer, having spent quite a bit of time power washing the walkway and was startled to see two birds rise up in front of the windows either in courtship mode or aggression mode. It was just a glimpse before they zoomed off, one after the other, and they weren't any of my usual culprits. Don't have a clue as to what they are.

Yup for johnsimpson's 1000th read, last of the month.

Cat kids, fur babies. It's all good.

Besides the power washing and Bible reading I've done a whole bunch of nothing except visit Louise. The shelf pegs are not going to work. I'm just going to have to splurge and get the more expensive ones that lock the shelf in. Drat. Another delay.

Jun 23, 2017, 7:18pm Top

>91 karenmarie: I love that it still holds up after so many years! I plan to start it (and probably finish it) on Monday for the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary!

Jun 23, 2017, 10:25pm Top

Hi Chelle! It holds up brilliantly. It's amazing to me that it's been 20 years.

Edited: Jun 24, 2017, 8:59am Top

I'm going to the National Cathedral today to see an exhibit of stained and etched glass made by the friend of a friend. It will be interesting to see if I can step on holy ground without pitching a fit or bursting into flame. Which reminds me, I need to find my fake blood.

Jun 24, 2017, 9:28am Top

Hi, Karen! I hope you have an enjoyable Saturday! We're planning to go to German Day festivities later today, if the weather is cooperative. Before that, I hope to get some reading in — and perhaps a little gardening, but at the moment everything is doing well (lima beans are popping up all over) and there's not much in the way of weeds.

Jun 24, 2017, 11:49am Top

>99 harrygbutler: German festivities are always so civilised aren't they? Sausages and beer.

Have a wonderful weekend, Karen.

Jun 25, 2017, 7:06am Top

>98 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! I hope your visit to the National Cathedral yesterday was a great experience. I’ll be anxiously awaiting confirmation that you didn’t pitch a fit or burst into flames.

>99 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! I did have an enjoyable Saturday. German Day sounds fun. I loved the food and wine and beer when I was in what was then West Germany in 1979. And it’s rather exciting when those little plants first poke their leaves up out of the soil, isn’t it?

>100 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! Thank you. So far so good.

Today is my Dad’s birthday. He would have been 96 this year. And tomorrow is mine. I’ll be 64. I particularly like the symmetry of my birthday 6-26-53. June is a great month and can’t help not being the 8th month. And, of course, with my lucky number being 8, 2+6 and 5+3 are serendipitous. 64 is also one of two perfect birthdays for someone focused on 8s, the other being 8 itself, of course.

I’m going to finally get caught up on the year-long Bible as Literature read if I can get through the last 30 Psalms today. Then I’ll be back to 6 or so pages per day.

Jun 25, 2017, 9:41am Top

Happy Sunday, Karen!

Edited: Jun 25, 2017, 10:30am Top

Hi, Karen! Enjoy your Sunday! The German Day event was a fun time, with good food, beer, and music (the Philadelphia German Brass Band for much of the time we were there); it was a fundraiser for the Steuben Day parade that happens in Philadelphia every fall.

I like watching all the plants, but the beans are so amazing, going from just barely poking through to a few inches tall in just a couple days. Their growth provides a clear indication why Jack ended up with a magic beanstalk overnight.

>100 PaulCranswick: I go to them when I can, Paul. We like this particular German-American club the best (based on the events we've attended). If it were a little closer to where we live, we'd likely join.

Edited: Jun 25, 2017, 10:52am Top

Hi Harry! so glad you had a good time. The only time I really enjoyed drinking beer was in West Germany. Must have been the food and atmosphere in addition to the quality of the beer!

Well, there's trouble in River City. I saw a squirrel on my front-porch feeder today, in broad daylight, just blatantly hanging onto it for dear life, swaying back and forth until I tapped on the window and scared him away.

So here's one of my early birthday presents, the "Brome 1024 Squirrel Buster Plus 6"x6"x28" Wild Bird Feeder with Cardinal Perch Ring and 6 Feeding Ports, 3qt/5.1lb Seed Capacity." The weight of the squirrel causes the feeding ports to be covered. It's adjustable too, so that you can keep grackles and other large birds from feeding at it too. It should arrive Tuesday.

The one currently on the front porch will be moved to the Squirrel Stopper in the back. The Squirrel Stopper is a huge success, by the way - I just love seeing the squirrels UNDER the feeder.

Jun 25, 2017, 11:39am Top

I chased the squirrel off the feeder AGAIN, darn him.

However, good news! I'm finally caught up on all the threads I wasn't able to keep up with while I was in California - that would be all of them.

So yay.

Jun 25, 2017, 11:49am Top

>104 karenmarie: I'm really not much of a beer drinker myself, but I usually have one or two when we go to something like this. There was a Weinstube area, too, for those who wanted it, and because the hosting organization was a social club with a bar, it was possible to get mixed drinks as well, a few out on the grounds, and others inside.

That's a nice-looking feeder, and the ability to foil at least some of the larger birds could be handy. We've considered getting similar feeders, but as they wouldn't thwart the house sparrows we've never take that step.

>105 karenmarie: Hurrah for catching up!

Jun 25, 2017, 5:20pm Top

Hi Karen, hope you are having a really good weekend my dear, I have completed my 999th book this afternoon and just have 274 pages left on the Thousandth book so should finish it before the end of the week, Sending love and hugs dear friend and will send a special message tomorrow.

Jun 25, 2017, 6:03pm Top

It is 3 minutes after midnight over here, so it is the 26th:

Happy Birthday, Karen!!!

Jun 25, 2017, 8:08pm Top

Happy early birthday!

Jun 26, 2017, 7:11am Top

Happy birthday, Karen! Enjoy your day!

Jun 26, 2017, 7:17am Top

Happy birthday, Karen!! :-)

Jun 26, 2017, 9:55am Top

Happy birthday, Karen! I love your new feeder! What else do you have planned for the day?

Jun 26, 2017, 10:25am Top

Didn't burst into flame, even when I crossed the rood screen and stood before the high alter! That's real growth, that is! Somebody up there likes me.

Jun 26, 2017, 11:01am Top

>106 harrygbutler: Thanks, re the feeder. Are house sparrows that heavy?

>107 johnsimpson: Hi John and so happy you’re closing in on GWTW. I hope your wisdom tooth problem isn’t slowing down the reading too much. Sending love and hugs back to you and Karen.

>108 FAMeulstee: Yay! Thank you, Anita.

>109 drneutron: Thank you, Jim.

>110 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry. So far it’s coffee, LT, bacon, and reading. Who could ask for more?

>111 jessibud2: Thank you Shelley!

>112 streamsong: Thanks, Janet. I hope it works as advertised, keeping Mr. Squirrel off! Plans for the rest of today are reading, still contemplating the German Chocolate Cake, and whatever pops into my head. We aren’t going out to dinner tonight as I want to go to S & T Soda Shoppe and get what’s officially called Lasagna, but what the locals order as “Bowl of Cheese”. Literally in a bowl, mostly cheese and noodles with a hint of tomatoes, nicely browned on top and served with garlic bread. Heaven on earth. They aren’t open Mondays, so my husband doesn’t know yet, but that’s where we're going tomorrow night. Tonight will probably be grilled cheese sandwiches (his with ham, mine with turkey) and fresh cantaloupe. And who knows? Perhaps German Chocolate Cake.

>113 SomeGuyInVirginia: Ah, so glad, Larry! Having connections in high places is a good thing.

Speaking of religious stuff, it’s off to read 10 pages of Proverbs. Then Tree of Smoke.

Jun 26, 2017, 11:07am Top

Happy Birthday, Karen!

Jun 26, 2017, 2:45pm Top

Happy Birthday, Karen!!

Jun 26, 2017, 3:16pm Top

Happy Birf-Dee!

Jun 26, 2017, 6:25pm Top

Happy Birthday Karen :)

Jun 26, 2017, 6:50pm Top

YAY! It's your birthday! Hope it's a happy one!! (When you and I and Jenn meet, I vote for a bowl of cheese for lunch!)

Jun 26, 2017, 9:18pm Top

Happy Monday! Happy Birthday, Karen. I love the birthday bird feeder too. A fancy one.

550 pages into TOS. Seeing daylight...

Jun 26, 2017, 10:30pm Top

Happy Birthday, Karen!

Edited: Jun 27, 2017, 6:34am Top

Thank you Katie, Chelle, Larry, Brenda, Peggy, Mark, Meg! I had a wonderful day.

>119 LizzieD: Yes! Bowl of Cheese for lunch it is. We really need to get cracking on that, don’t we? There’s a used book store up the street called Circle City Books that we can meander through, too!

>120 msf59: The fancy bird feeder is one husband picked out. It needed to be sturdy and able to foil those dratted squirrels.

Yay on ToS, Mark. I didn’t read any of it yesterday- the day got away from me in a good way. I did make German Chocolate Cake from scratch, frosting, too, and it was wonderful. Husband doesn’t like coconut, so I always put some chocolate frosting on part of it.

I think I’ll have a piece with my morning coffee.

Jun 27, 2017, 7:01am Top

Morning, Karen. Hooray for German Chocolate Cake! I wish I could stop by and have a piece. Our weather continues to be beautiful. Sunny and 70s.

Happy Camper! Enjoy your day.

Jun 27, 2017, 7:14am Top

Hi, Karen! I'm glad you got to enjoy some cake. Have a terrific Tuesday.

Edited: Jun 27, 2017, 7:29am Top

>123 msf59: Thanks, Mark! First cup of coffee downed, and now my stomach's telling me it's hungry! Time for cake..... I wish you could stop by for a piece of cake, too!! Ditto on our weather, no humidity and I even have the Sunroom door open to get that fresh, cool air.

>124 harrygbutler: Hi Harry and thanks! I must admit it's quite good..... scratch cake, scratch Coconut-Pecan frosting. For the first time ever I bought canned chocolate frosting. I just wasn't in the mood to make homemade chocolate frosting, too..... husband, of course, said that the frosting was fantastic. Harrumph.


Today is noodling around the house with various and sundry until I get a call from the current Friends of the Library Treasurer Pete to tell me he's finished his golf game (!) and is ready to meet at the Library to start getting me set up as Treasurer. Then off to dinner with husband at S & T Soda Shoppe.

Jun 27, 2017, 8:53am Top

Enjoy your cake for breakfast! I could go for some of that! :)

Jun 27, 2017, 10:45am Top

German chocolate cake is my favorite!

Jun 27, 2017, 10:52am Top

>125 karenmarie: I don't care for chocolate cake myself, a taste I inherited from my dad. I tend to just make a yellow cake (from scratch) or a spice cake (from a mix). I generally don't bother with homemade icing. My dad's favorite is black walnut chiffon cake, which I think very good as well. I recently came across a recipe for tomato soup cake, and it sounds tasty, so I'm planning to give it a try soon.

Jun 27, 2017, 1:33pm Top

>126 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle! It was yummy, for sure. I'm going to be strong and NOT have another piece of cake this afternoon. I'll probably have one after dinner, but the caffeine did get to me last night so maybe I can be strong and wait for breakfast again.

>127 SomeGuyInVirginia: Mine too, Larry. Totally worth the effort. This time I pulled out the KitchenAid and it saved my hands and wrists! I gave some to Louise a while ago.

>128 harrygbutler: Yellow cake is good, too. Black walnut is such a wonderful flavor. I have black walnut trees on our property and when I'm in the mood to go to the tremendous effort of harvesting, hulling and avoid staining everything in sight, then actually getting the nut meats out, I make a family hickory nut recipe substituting them instead. My great-grandmother Agnes used to send us shelled hickory nuts for Christmas and they make the BEST cake - her recipe!! I've gotten to where I like cream cheese frosting on this cake, regardless of nut used.

I've never tried tomato soup cake. There are also mayonnaise cakes. I've never made one but apparently they're very moist.

Jun 27, 2017, 1:43pm Top

Happy Birthday for yesterday Karen!

Jun 27, 2017, 4:06pm Top

Hi Karen, what sort of a friend am I? I write on your thread that the following day I will post a special message and I fail to do it. Wishing you a belated happy birthday dear friend and hope you will accept my apologies for being a day late. I hope you had a really lovely day my dear and got some nice presents and cards, I would send you one if I could. Sorry, sorry, sorry for the delayed birthday wishes, do forgive me my dear, sending special birthday love and hugs from over the pond.

Jun 27, 2017, 5:28pm Top

>125 karenmarie: Yummy!!!!!
All cakes (except my own birthday cake) are made from scratch, but they are few and far between. My mother made yellow layers with boiled chocolate icing for my daddy every Saturday of their lives together for 35 years - SO GOOD. On the other hand, the Hershey Syrup Cake is the easiest and one of the best ever, if chocolate is your passion.

Jun 28, 2017, 2:55am Top

Karen--Happy belated Birthday!! Hope it was a happy, happy one and that you have a great year ahead. I won't tell if you sneak another piece of cake. ; )

Love all the bird talk and photos.

Jun 28, 2017, 8:17am Top

>130 SandDune: Thank you, Rhian!

>131 johnsimpson: You’re a very dear friend, John, and although absolutely unnecessary, apologies accepted. I had a wonderful day. Good weather, good books, visiting people here on LT, and making my own birthday cake ‘cuz store-bought just doesn’t cut it for German Chocolate Cake for me. Please don’t beat yourself up. Life gets in the way sometimes, and special birthday love and hugs are gratefully accepted.

>132 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! Scratch cakes don’t take THAT much extra time, but are so worth it. I adore yellow cake with chocolate icing. Wow, every Saturday of their lives. Fantastic! Are you a recipe sharer? If so, can I have it? Never made Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup Cake , but the recipe looks and sounds great.

Chocolate isn’t my passion, exactly, although I adore it. Too many recipes are chocolate overkill – I never order anything at a restaurant like Death by Chocolate, or Chocolate Decadence. I’m just as happy with a fruit pie, lemon meringue pie, or (daughter’s favorite) pumpkin pie.

>133 Berly: Thank you Berly! I ended up not having any more cake yesterday except the breakfast piece, and am going to have it again for breakfast, possibly some bacon, too.

My new front-porch bird-feeder should arrive today, a slap-in-the-face to the squirrels, hopefully. Two books arrived last night but are in our mailbox, Making Mummies Dance and Theft by Finding. I’ll grab them on my way back from morning errands. And the audiobook of Lincoln in the Bardo arrived early yesterday. Yay for birthday books, from me to me.

The Bowl of Cheese, aka Lasagna, at S & T Soda Shoppe last night was heavenly. I was so hungry for it by the time it arrived that I ended up eating the whole thing, along with the two (smallish) pieces of garlic toast. When we got home I joked I was in a cheese coma, but ended up napping on the couch from about 7:45 to 9! Husband said I snored. He also said Inara came over and sniffed at me. I was oblivious.

Today is a chiropractic visit. I went for the first time in 8 months last week and my doctor, bless her heart, coded it as an acute flare up, meaning that the insurance would cover it. And although we’re paying quite a bit for insurance through husband’s job, it’s SO NICE to just have a $20 co-pay. Then it’s off to get two new rear tires. One got an unrepairable slit in it and I’ve been driving around, cautiously and infrequently, on the baby spare so it will be nice to feel good about driving again. It’ll be about $360 or so, unfortunately, but oh well. Finally will be dinner with friend Vanessa, the woman who got husband his job at the company she works for. We haven’t seen each other in months, for a variety of reasons, so it will be good to catch up with her.

Edited: Jun 28, 2017, 8:34am Top

>129 karenmarie: Good morning, Karen!

It has been many years since I cracked black walnuts and got all stained; nowadays we just hunt down the (tiny) packages in the grocery store when needed. I do snack on regular walnuts and find they stay fresher longer in the shell, though it means a bit more work (and two-handed work at that) to shell them. A hickory nut cake sounds well worth sampling!

I had never heard of a tomato soup cake until recently, but as we have some cans of tomato soup on hand and aren't getting through them very quickly, I've decided to give it a try.

I generally make cakes from scratch, but I do pick up spice cake mixes from time to time, and I don't make that many overall, as cakes aren't my favorite dessert.

Have a great Wednesday!

Jun 28, 2017, 9:33am Top

Hi Harry! Good morning back to you.

But, but, they're there! Black walnuts, that is. On my trees in the back near the creek. And one huge volunteer near the driveway, probably 8-10 years old now, and now daughter's little black walnut tree in the front. Hers is a volunteer that started near our back deck about 4 years ago perhaps. It needed to go, so daughter carefully uprooted it and transplanted it. There are a dozen or more nuts this year! Last year had 3, so we're making progress.


You'll have to let me know how the tomato soup cake tastes. And how you're going to frost it. Inquiring minds and all that! I actually am a canned tomato soup fan, made with water, and with small batches at a time of crushed crackers thrown in so they stay crisp-ish.

Edited: Jun 28, 2017, 11:41am Top

>134 karenmarie: I was sure I had a copy of Making the Mummies Dance but it's not listed, so I put it on my wishlist. DC was fortunate to have J. Carter Brown at the National Gallery, he put together the 1492 exhibit, and the Vermeer. A good museum director can accomplish astonishing work.

Ack-shully, tomato soup cake sounds kind of groovy.

Jun 28, 2017, 10:41am Top

A belated Happy Birthday, Karen. I suspect from the preceding posts that it was lovely.

Jun 28, 2017, 10:56am Top

An important and, I'm afraid, oft overlooked aspect of cake is proper apportioning. He's how you should do it:

Jun 28, 2017, 11:14am Top

>139 weird_O: LOL! Love it. ^^

Jun 28, 2017, 12:35pm Top

>137 SomeGuyInVirginia: I've read Tutankhamun:The Untold Story two or three times and it never loses its appeal, so I thought this would be another good 'un.

Okay, Harry - the pressure's on. We need empirical data about tomato soup cake.

>138 ffortsa: Thank you, Judy. Oh yes, it's been a pretty nice week so far all around. I just had a piece of birthday cake in lieu of lunch - I didn't have one with this morning's breakfast, so figure I'm allowed. I did have a glass of fat-free milk to go with it!

>139 weird_O: Oh yes, Bill, for sure. Notice in >125 karenmarie: above that 2/3 of the cake is frosted with MY frosting, only 1/3 with what husband likes. And I gave away two of those pieces to neighbor Louise, besides.

>140 Berly: Hi Berly! Me, too. I am trying to pace myself, but it's hard.

Jun 28, 2017, 12:42pm Top

>136 karenmarie: Oh, how amazing to be able to have nut trees in the garden! I wish I could have that - the garden would be overrun with hazelnut bushes and walnut and almond trees. But they requite a warmer climate than I can offer, so I have no choice but to get my nuts and almonds from the shop.

Jun 28, 2017, 12:50pm Top

I admit that I'm lucky, PawsForThought, in that we didn't have to plant either the hickory or black walnut trees. The one thing I regret is not planting pecan trees. Still might, in the fall, but probably not as I'm retired and husband will retire in 4 years and we'll probably downsize.

Jun 28, 2017, 2:33pm Top

Hi Karen. I just replied to you on my thread re the audiobook version of Born a Crime. Check your library!

Jun 28, 2017, 3:06pm Top

Thanks, Jessie! I'll check with our library.

I just got and put up my new front porch squirrel-proof bird feeder. In the first 5 minutes I had a Titmouse, a Cardinal, and a Carolina Chickadee on it.

Jun 28, 2017, 3:15pm Top

>145 karenmarie: - And no squirrels!! Yay! ;-)

Jun 28, 2017, 4:41pm Top

>136 karenmarie: If we had a stand of black walnut trees, I'd probably be a stained mess every fall. But our suburban lot really can't accommodate such trees if we want the vegetable garden we have; that's why we've gone with berries and grapes instead in most spots, though Erika did find a spot for a dwarf peach tree. Hurrah for your daughter's tree rescue — the more black walnuts, the better!

>141 karenmarie: OK, the cake is in the oven. :-) I'll report back after we try it this evening.

>145 karenmarie: Enjoy the new bird feeder!

Jun 28, 2017, 7:19pm Top

Happy Wednesday, Karen! Finally finished Tree of Smoke. Not a bad read, but nothing special either, IMHO. I was hoping for much more.

Jun 28, 2017, 11:21pm Top

>143 karenmarie: Downsize? What will you do with all your books? It is good not to have upkeep like garden chores but when I "downsized" to a townhouse from a house I ended up with a bigger place which is a good thing as my library kind of exploded.

Jun 29, 2017, 7:37am Top

>147 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! I was a stained mess for several years. The important thing that I did was to buy Hunts Black walnut Cracker: HBWC

Looking forward to the Tomato Soup Cake Report. I told my husband on his way out the door this morning that I wanted to see a squirrel fail on the new feeder. So far no go, although I just saw a Carolina Wren on it.

>148 msf59: Hi Mark! ToS is officially moving to the x pages a day group, along with the Bible for the Bible as Literature challenge. I'm going to finish up Sapiens today, finally, then probably pick up the 6th Fiona Griffiths book, just out, or possibly find a short fiction novel to make me feel better about my reading numbers for the half-way year mark. My goal of 100 is still more than attainable, it's just that I wanted to have 50 read by the end of June and will probably only have 47, possibly 48, unless I go on a short-book bender. Congrats on reaching 75, by the way!

>149 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! I honestly don't know, although I could probably cull 10% right now without its being too painful. That would still leave ~4000. We won't build again, but I envision a smaller house with lots and lots of shelving..... probably an impossible dream. I'd need about 300 liner feet of shelving, built in or portable, I'm afraid.

Ha. My library kind of exploded too, since I joined LT. I've literally doubled it in almost 10 years I've been on LT (Oct 2007). It's a nice problem to have, IMO.

Today is just being home until I leave for dinner with a friend. I had to cancel on her last week when the passenger-side rear tire got a slit and wasn't repairable. I didn't want to drive long distances with the baby spare, but $370 later, I'm good to go.

I'm going to read, work a bit on the Retreat, perhaps power wash the walkway a bit. Being on the north side of the house, it gets grungy quickly.

Jun 29, 2017, 8:45am Top

Good morning, Karen! The tomato soup cake was a success — a moist spice cake (with no tomato flavor) that both Erika and I liked.

More details on my thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/260401#6093653

>150 karenmarie: I'll have to look into getting that walnut cracker sometime. Does it work for regular walnuts, too, or does it shatter them too much?

I had a great-great-uncle who had lost an arm in an accident who used to crack walnuts by putting them on his driveway and driving over them with his car.

Jun 29, 2017, 9:35am Top

>150 karenmarie: Oh, that kind of downsizing. We are city folk here and downsizing is not usually a smaller house but a townhouse or condo which means no more yard work. I love not having to cut the grass - all the yard work was left to me in the end and was just too much on top of running the house, arranging for renos and working full time. I have been getting better at culling books lately but still not enough to create sufficient shelf space for the incoming books. Maybe a retirement project?

Jun 29, 2017, 9:56am Top

>151 harrygbutler: Yay for the tomato soup cake! It really looks good.

I don't know if the HBWC works for regular walnuts or not. You don't have to bring the lever all the way down, though, so cracking the shell until it looks 'peelable' would probably be viable.

Since I do so much baking, I usually buy large bags of shelled walnuts and keep them in the freezer 'til needed. Ditto pecans and almonds. I remember as a child sitting on the back porch tasked with shelling walnuts for cakes. I don't know if you could buy shelled walnuts and my mom was just cheap, or if they didn't arrive on supermarket shelves 'til after about 1966 or so.

Enterprising uncle!

>152 Familyhistorian: If I have the option of smaller house/yard vs townhouse, I'd prefer the house because I love that my closest neighbor is 300 or more feet away and I can only see their house if I squint through the trees. I'm not really much of a casual-neighbor people person. It's taken 15 years for me to really be good friends with neighbor Louise, after all. I like the dark and the quiet.

When I was at Mom's May 9 - June 9, I was unhappy at all the ambient light from street light that crept in the house and the noise the neighbors made - I could hear even regular-voiced conversations from across the street and the traffic, while not horrendous, was noticeable. It made me appreciate my house even more than I already did.

Jun 29, 2017, 10:13am Top

Just catching up here. Not much to add. Just Hi!

Jun 29, 2017, 11:39am Top

>153 karenmarie: One thing about living in the city is that there is always noise and always light. When I lived on Capitol Hill all I wanted was a place in the country where it was quiet and dark at night, but especially quiet. Man I got to hate people's stereo systems. I admit I do have country house envy.

Jun 29, 2017, 12:01pm Top

>155 SomeGuyInVirginia: Ditto on the country house envy. I'd love more quiet and less light, and a little space for a garden. My apartment faces a main thoroughfare in NYC, so there's always traffic noise, including sirens and loud talking even on the 15th floor (acoustics are really interesting that way).

But I doubt I could get used to needing and maintaining a car again, and using it to get everywhere. I'd probably have to get a custom-fit bike, which isn't a bad idea anyway. Everything here is so convenient. I do a lot of walking - an hour will cover about half of Manhattan.

Jun 29, 2017, 12:55pm Top

>154 Berly: Hi Berly! Thanks for stopping in.

>155 SomeGuyInVirginia: Except for two times in my adult life when I lived in small apartment complexes, at least I've always been able to rent small houses. Hearing other peoples toilets flush, hear their talking, hearing their music, and etc. is something I've never liked and have gone to great effort to avoid.

When I agreed to marry my husband and move to the wilds of North Carolina, he was terribly worried that city girl wouldn't be able to adapt nor be happy being country girl. It didn't take him long to realize that I relish quiet, dark, isolation, and choice about interacting with other human beings. I miss my friends and family (some of them, that is *smile*) and convenience of shopping, cultural events, and infrastructure, but I don't miss city life per se.

Perhaps, Larry, you can retire to a country house in or near a small town. Parker could become an indoor/outdoor kitty, and you could hammock to your heart's content.

>156 ffortsa: Hi Judy! It's the convenience of things that I miss, for sure. Being from LA and needing a car to go anywhere made it easy to adapt to needing a car to go anywhere here, too, although there are less things to go to locally. Even the simplest trip is 18 miles round trip and takes 40 minutes at a minimum. Daughter will have to pry my car keys out of my aged decrepit hands, I'm afraid.

Jun 29, 2017, 12:56pm Top

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
3/16/17 to 6/29/17

The description from Amazon:

From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?

Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

This book spans the years from 2.5 billion BCE to present day. It starts off with genus Homo in Africa and ends with a discussion of who/what will replace Homo Sapiens It is broad-ranging, meticulous, thought provoking, and a very dense and challenging read.

He discusses the 4 Revolutions – Cognitive, Agricultural, Scientific, and Industrial. He discusses archaeology, language, coinage, religions, empires, the replacement of family and community by state and market. It’s all terribly fascinating. As I was coming to the end I realized that he is warning us that just like Dorothy in Oz, we are not in Kansas anymore. Everything has changed in the last 200 years and we are finally catching up to this realization in some respects and holding out hope that it isn’t so in others.

Dr. Harari paints with broad brush, which opens up interesting lines of inquiry and different ways of looking at things I have considered in one way only. He ties things together that I’d never considered related. He shares recent scientific discoveries and theories in understandable prose. Anyone who is interested in Mankind and our place in the cosmos/earth would benefit from and enjoy reading this book.

Jun 29, 2017, 1:36pm Top

>158 karenmarie:

Impressive - both book and review!

Does the author give any clues about how homo sapiens turned into the Bonkers Chickens
on the issue of race?

Jun 29, 2017, 2:31pm Top

>157 karenmarie: I remember my Mom was the exact opposite- she grew up in the country and, while she would live in the suburbs of a major city, she was never happier than when she was in the middle of Manhattan or Berlin or Mexico City. I told her that I was going to retire to some little town in Western NC or Texas and she'd look at me like I was switched at birth.

>156 ffortsa: I live on the 16th floor and I totally get it.

Jun 29, 2017, 5:48pm Top

>156 ffortsa: We lived a year on the 21th floor, in the midst of Rotterdam, from one busstop we could hear all converstaions ;-)

We are still in doubt... We live in a quiet neighborhood on the edge of town, but in some years I would like to have all on one floor without garden, only balcony. Maybe a condo in a small town would be quiet enough?

Jun 29, 2017, 6:26pm Top

>159 m.belljackson: Hi Marianne! Thank you. Once I got focused on it again, I just couldn’t put it down.

I must admit that I’m totally clueless about Pearls Before Swine, so don’t have an answer for you.

>160 SomeGuyInVirginia: I think that sometimes, Larry, we are the opposite of our parents. Mom and Dad came from the Midwest, medium-sized cities, and both loved LA with its mild non-Midwest weather and suburban environment. They really never understood my wanting to be in rural NC, but were happy about if I was happy about it.

The few times I was in an apartment building there were upsets with neighbors or TMI about their lives. Every time I could, I moved to a small house. No shared walls.

>161 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita. 21st floor. Boggles the mind. I’m still not to the point of wanting to sacrifice anything – space, quiet, dark, yard/garden. I’ll get there, I’m sure, but not quite yet.
If you found a condo in a quiet building in a small town, that sounds ideal.

Dinner plans got cancelled this week by Jan – her husband found out today that his supposedly-completely-gone-lung-cancer has returned. He is devastated as you can imagine, and needs Jan to be there for him. We’ll probably go out Monday since she has a 4-day weekend. I don’t think my husband has a 4-day weekend, just Tuesday.

I’m reading a new Myron Bolitar by Harlen Coban, Home. Lightweight fun fiction, just what the doctor ordered!

Edited: Jun 29, 2017, 6:38pm Top

>162 karenmarie: Sorry to hear about your friends husband, Karen :'(

That was the best appartment we ever lived, perfectly isolated never heard a neighbor. Only the conversations at the busstop when that window was open ;-) The one big minus was that it had nothing outside, with a balcony it would have been perfect. But I don't want to go back to a big city and we can't afford such a place now.

Jun 29, 2017, 6:51pm Top

Sweet Thursday, Karen! We had a lot of activity at the house today. The contractor finally came back to finish our main bathroom. They started this project at the end of March. We sure hope they got everything right this time.

At least, I did get some reading in and did some book reorganizing, to boot.

Jun 29, 2017, 8:52pm Top

>162 karenmarie: Oh damn, I'm so sorry about your friend's husband. That's got to be a terrible feeling, to think you're OK and the disease to return.

I used to smoke but stopped after a short while because I knew it was bad for me, and smoking had become such a hassle. But I loved it and have always said that if the doctors give me a burn notice I'm going to light up in their office. But that's me, I'm a people person.

There are times when I think that if I could get a large enough apartment with a balcony and NO NOISY NEIGHBORS, that would probably be best for me. That was in midtown Manhattan with a view of the park. West side, corner unit facing east and south. And a library large enough where all my books could fit on the shelves standing up and side by side. Plus a farm in Asheville. The kind of farm where you rent the field to actual farmers to take advantage of the tax break. I think it's doable with $40 million. I just bought a lottery ticket so I'm thinking out loud.

Oh, who am I kidding, I'm a country boy at heart. A place like yours is ideal. Although a pied-à-terre in New York would be nice...

OK, final offer- a large ante-bellum place in Charleston, completely renovated with all the mod cons, but understated so that the look and feel of the place is preserved.

I hope that your friends get through this time and the husband is quickly brought into remission.

Edited: Jun 30, 2017, 8:21am Top

>153 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! The cake was good.

I don't do too much baking these days, but every now and then the mood for something hits me.

I'd be happy to have a bit more land -- ours is a fairly ordinary old suburban lot (our house is about 110 years old) -- so I'd have room for a larger garden and for more trees, while still having a usable amount of yard. Further out in the country would be nice for me, as I just feel better once I can escape from the oppressive city and be surrounded by farms or woods. (I worked someplace where they moved us into an office with a view of Manhattan, and though everyone else thought it was just great, I would much rather have had a view of a field or a forest, or even my own back yard.) I've lived in cities, and in apartments and townhouses, and I much prefer a separate house. I also found that most of the vaunted advantages of city living just didn't amount to much to me, as I didn't go to, say, the theater more than once or at most twice a year, and the same for similar activities, and that frequency remains manageable even when living at a distance -- one just loses the convenience of deciding to do it at the drop of a hat.

Hoping for healing for your friend's husband!

Jun 30, 2017, 9:19am Top

Hi Larry! I’m glad you quit smoking. I never took it up, because when I was six I swore I wouldn’t. Mom and Dad smoked like chimneys – she 2 ½ packs a day and he 3 packs a day – and we had huge ashtrays scattered all over the house. Dad got what I remember being called a pre-cancerous lung condition and stopped smoking. Mom quit to be supportive and make it easier on him to quit. Dad took it up years later, first with cigars and then again with cigarettes until he finally quit after having bypass surgery. Mom became vehemently non-smoking. She always hated that he took it up again and of course being Dad never conceded his right to smoke in the house. My brother smoked in the house, too.

I had a friend in CA who quit and told me that even after 3 or 4 years that she craved cigarettes every day. I admire that discipline, to not smoke when you'd like to, in you and her.

I had chronic bronchitis years from the secondary smoke. And of course we must have smelled terrible from the smoke. My husband never smoked, and our daughter doesn’t smoke.

I wouldn’t mind a pied-à-terre in NYC at all, frankly, and of course have enough money to be able to go there when I want kul-chure. And of course a farm in Asheville *blink*. I’d like it for being close to Biltmore, which I adore. Don’t know enough about Charleston, but mod cons are absolutely de-rigueur. I lust after a 6-burner gas stove. Alas, I don’t need one any more.

Jan is not sanguine. John has severe COPD and is on oxygen 24/7 and is significantly weaker than the last time they treated him. She will go with him to his appointment with the oncologist next week with a list of questions. He’s only 67 but looks much older. They may or may not decide to treat, depending on how fast/slow growing the cancer is.

>166 harrygbutler: It looked good, Harry! I don’t do much baking these days either because there are just the two of us and we’d eat it. Now if daughter lived at home…..

I love that your house is 110 years old!

When I lived in LA and had a large group of friends, I was frequently at the ballet or theater or a musical event. Live entertainment in LA is stunning. You can find the big productions, of course, but little venues with delicious plays and actors. Or a concert of harpsichord music. Or The Beatles (1963), Cat Stevens (1973), or David Crosby (1975 or so). Or Paul McCartney on the Wings Tour in 1976. Or Baryshnikov.

Here I have a subscription to the Chapel Hills Playmakers Repertory and that’s pretty much it. But I honestly feel that our land and house and privacy outweigh the loss of entertainment – and I could go to more if I wanted.

Thanks re Jan.

Jun 30, 2017, 3:29pm Top

Hi Karen! Sorry I missed your birthday. Happy belated! The cake looked delicious. I love coconut pecan frosting. Yum.
Squirrels. Sigh. They don't get into our feeder, but there is a family of them living in the rhododendrons and they love climbing all around our screened porch. My husband goes out and chases them off, but I can't be bothered. I'd never get anything done. Right now, one is trying to get a drink of water from the planter on the patio.
I hope your weekend is a good one. We are off to Jacksonville on Sunday, hoping there won't be too much of a crowd at Cape Lookout on Monday morning. It's supposed to rain, so maybe we'll be alright. :)

Jul 1, 2017, 1:51am Top

>153 karenmarie: I can't imagine living so far from neighbours, Karen. Even when we lived on a farm it was on a well travelled road and the neighbours were pretty close. But then, I live in the Lower Mainland of BC where real estate is at a premium. I am very lucky with the townhouse that I live in because it really is the best of both worlds. The street it is on ends just after you get to the main driveway. It is not a through route because there is a river in the way. There is a park along the river. I have hardly any yard but I don't really care because my view is of a stream and trees and sometimes there are even ducks in the stream. Noise is not too bad although the kids in the school yard just beyond the trees and stream can be a bit noisy at times. It is not hard to take and within walking distance of rapid transit and a mall.

Jul 1, 2017, 7:15am Top

^Not sure if you missed me up there? Smiles...

Morning, Karen. Happy Saturday. Just getting ready to shove off to work. Oh joy, but at least it is supposed to be a nice day and then there are the books...

Jul 1, 2017, 7:34am Top

>168 nittnut: Hi Jenn! Thank you. It was good. It’s now gone. Perhaps Monday I can get back to the I-feel-so-much-better-when-I-don’t-eat-sugar eating plan. All the birthday candy and cake are now gone. It’s just that husband, who is diabetic and shouldn’t eat ANY OF IT, always has sweets around. It tests my willpower.

The never-ending squirrel battle. For me as long as they’re not eating the bird food directly from the feeders, I’m happy. As I noted above, I’m ecstatic to see them UNDER the feeders. The new feeder must be working on the front porch, because I was seeing a squirrel on the old one, more frequently every day, last week, but he must have had a bad experience with it (yay) and I haven’t seen a squirrel fail on the new one.

Enjoy Cape Lookout. I adore the NC coast.

>169 Familyhistorian: To each her own, eh? It sounds like a sweet deal for you, Meg, with a mall and close-by transportation.

>170 msf59: I’m sorry, Mark! I read it and then proceeded to not QC my entry before posting it. (I have Word open right now, at the bottom of the screen, and scroll up and down to reply to my lovely visitors. I cu6t and paste into LT).

I didn’t realize that the bathroom project was not complete yet – I admit that sometimes you have so many visitors on your threads that I miss things. Did they ‘finish’ it and it’s wrong, or was there a delay in finishing it?

Good weather and good books. Sorry about the work part, but you can get some audiobook listening in, right?

Today is normal errands and meeting our out-going Treasurer at the yes-they're-open-on-Saturday bank to get me added to the Signature card for our checking account.

Our power’s been off since 6:30 or so. The clicks and beeps woke me up. Thank goodness for my UPS/power surge protector. Looks like the power should come back ~9:45 a.m. if we’re lucky. It’s a big outage – over 700 customers. That on top of the phone service outage earlier this week make me realize how vulnerable we are. We’re in a lightly-populated area of the county, and so we don’t get resources as much as heavily-populated areas because the return is less for them. Bastards. Breaking up Ma Bell was the worst thing that could have happened to rural areas, and Duke Power taking over Progress Energy is another. It never benefits the customer.

Jul 1, 2017, 8:01am Top

Good morning, Karen!

After a couple outages and a few near misses where folks not far away were without power for days, we've considered getting a backup generator, but it just never quite rises to the level of a must. If we do take the plunge at some point, I'd like to get the kind that would connect to our natural gas line and would kick on automatically in case of an outage to supply power to the whole house.

Have a great Saturday!

Jul 1, 2017, 8:41am Top

Hi Harry!

As long as you're not out for days and days, you'll do fine. The first time you're without power for a long time, it might bubble up to a higher priority.

We just got the power back on, much earlier than the outage website indicated. Husband is letting the generator run a bit longer as part of his once-a-month generator check.

Ours is a most-house generator. We bought a propane generator in 2000 (combination of husband crankiness, see below, and my fears of Y2K) and hooked it up to our 500-gallon-underground propane tank. At that time I estimated that we could go 22.5 days on generator power alone on a full propane tank. Ours does not kick on automatically, and we have to go out to the shed, turn it on, and come back to the breaker panels in the garage to flip various and sundry switches. I have it all written down, and I think my husband wishes I'd put the generator on before he got up, but I'm still leery of the whole process and waited for him.

In hindsight we should probably have made it whole house, but we do fine with it. As long as my husband has TV, he's happy. I'm serious. Before we had the generator, he was impossible to live with when the power was out.

Jul 1, 2017, 9:18am Top

Year-to-Date Statistics through June 30

47 books read
17,376 pages read, 183 of those pages of abandoned books, 985 pages of The Literary Study Bible
30.55 hours of audiobooks

Male 66%
Female 34%

Living 60%
Dead 40%

US Born 38%
Foreign Born 62%

Hardcover 34%
Trade Pback 32%
Mass Market 6%
Audiobook 6%
e-Book 21%

My Library 94%
Other 6%

Re-read 4%
Series 55%

Fiction 85%
NonFiction 15%

Author Birth Country
Australia 2%
Austria 2%
Canada 2%
England 53%
Israel 2%
US 38%

Original Year Published
1852 2%
1922 2%
1939 4%
1940 4%
1950 2%
1952 2%
1953 2%
1961 2%
1973 2%
1976 2%
1977 2%
1980 2%
1981 2%
1982 4%
1990 4%
1995 4%
1997 4%
1998 2%
1999 2%
2001 2%
2002 4%
2004 4%
2012 4%
2013 2%
2014 6%
2015 13%
2016 4%
2017 6%


Biography 2%
Fantasy 6%
Fiction 11%
Historical Fiction 21%
History 2%
Literary Fiction 4%
Memoir 9%
Mystery 32%
Nature 2%
Romance 11%

Jul 1, 2017, 12:38pm Top

>171 karenmarie:

Re: squirrels - from online Rodale Organic Life -

"If you are dealing with flying squirrels, heaven help you,
consider giving up and feeding them...
or getting a pack of Great Pyrenees."

Their first serious suggestion was to get a Dog.

When we had our two rescue dogs, Border Collie and Chesapeake Bay,
we rarely even saw a squirrel. Now they are flying through the
air and trees like Cirque de Soleil. And, chipmunks greet us at the porch steps.

Re: Bonkers Chicken - it's from Stephan Pastis PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, around the 20th of November 2010.
I tried to find a Link after both a Pastis and Bonkers Chicken Search, but could locate no easy one to send.
His "Rat" is not to everyone's taste, but this one and the recent thinly veiled anti-trump ones are good.

Jul 1, 2017, 2:24pm Top

Hi Marianne! I like it - flying squirrels.

When I first moved to North Carolina in 1991, husband had a little house in a different part of the county from where we are now. He had a bird feeder hanging 10 feet away from the porch. There was evidence of squirrel tampering on the feeder, but neither of us could believe that squirrel could jump 10 feet. But one day I saw one, and it did, and I was impressed.

I'm a cat person through and through. I had a Doberman once, many years ago in LA, but boyfriend got him when we split up and that was the last dog. And, at the age of 64 I just can't see getting another one, even if husband wanted one. We'll leave the dogs for daughter, who will eventually get one and probably bring it with her when she comes home for weekends. That will be enough Dog for me for sure.

Thanks for the info re Bonkers chicken. In so many ways I'm a pop culture illiterate.

Jul 1, 2017, 7:42pm Top

>104 karenmarie: Happy belated birthday! I have two of the Brome feeders and even added the plastic umbrellas. The squirrels have not even attempted to breach them. But, I haven't noticed that that cardinals use them. They still tend to be ground feeders.

I came home from a week of traveling to discover that bees had invaded the window hummingbird feeders. I've let them go dry and am not sure I will try again. The hummers seem to be happy with the hanging feeders but we miss seeing them at the window.

Jul 1, 2017, 8:37pm Top

I want to hear from John on whether he made 1000 books...or not! I've found myself thinking about that a lot these last few days, so I hope so!

I was on the road at 4:00am to make Williamsburg before the traffic built up, and I was about 2 hours too late. And it's gotten so hot and humid again. What's the weather like in your neck of the woods?

Jul 1, 2017, 10:18pm Top

>177 witchyrichy: Thank you, Karen! I didn't realize there are plastic umbrellas - I'll have to check them out. The cardinals have been using my Brome. I only have hanging feeders for the hummingbirds. The only windows that would work are too far off the ground for me to reach easily.

>178 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! John did make 1000 books. GWTW was successfully finished yesterday. His thread has quite a few statistics related to his 1000 books - interesting and informative.

Happy July 4th Weekend to you. It's nasty, nasty, nasty. I haven't done any power washing of the walkway in the last two days because of it. I may break down tomorrow morning, there is only a small amount left.

I need to find a new book. I picked up The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes but it's not the right thing. Sigh. Perhaps the new Fiona Griffiths?

Jul 1, 2017, 11:05pm Top

Karen, I'll be glad to give you the recipe for Mama's boiled chocolate icing (it's basically fudge), but I'm not sure of the proportions since I haven't made it for several years. The yellow layers were a basic 1-2-3 cake, which would have been dry had it ever lasted past Tuesday.
I had something else that I was going to comment on, but it's gone now. Ah, the ageing brain!

Edited: Jul 2, 2017, 6:25am Top

Hi Peggy!

My MiL used to say "I miss my mind." That's how I felt yesterday when I was looking for the box of plastic shelf pins I had bought, opened, partially used, and set God-knows-where. After 15 minutes of looking, I finally found them right in front of my eyes on the end table. They were literally less than a foot away from where I sat down and tried to work out where I had left them. Sigh.

I usually have something that is missing. I always know it will turn up, it's just a matter of when.

I'd love to have the recipe. If it's rough, that's okay - quite a few of the recipes I use aren't exact. Of course, you could make the cake and nail down the proportions. *smile*

I'm sentimental about recipes and always remember the person I got them from or what cookbook I got them out of and remember whose cookbook it was if I inherited it. Yikes, what a convoluted sentence.

Ah well, I've only had a couple of sips of coffee. Not insomnia exactly, but wide awake at 5 a.m. And then my stomach growled. Sigh. Whole wheat toast and black coffee, starting Ecclesiastes on the year-long Bible as Literature read.

I started the 6th Fiona Griffiths novel last night, The Deepest Grave. It's got a great corpse, as Fiona would say, has archaeology in it, (one of my favorite subjects), and yet my teeth are clenching because of the sentence fragments. Are there more than in his other books? Not sure, but this is really getting my attention.

Dinas Powys.

A biggish village just outside Cardiff. A wood valley. A low hill.


A pair of coppers. A mutter of radio.

Police vehicles, too, of course. Two patrol cars.

Louise Penny does this better (worse) by Making. Each. Word. A. Capital. Letter. And. Punctuating. It., but I find this type of writing irritating at best and book-closing at worst.

Not to say I won't continue reading and love the book, but really!

Jul 2, 2017, 7:21am Top

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. I had not been reporting on the bathroom rehab, because I was aggravated, plus we were stuck in limbo. They did come out on Thursday and got the majority done, FINALLY!! but now we discovered leakage coming out of the bottom of the shower stall. These guys were terrible and the drama continues...

I hope you have a fine day.

Jul 2, 2017, 7:28am Top

Hi Mark! Thank you. I'm so sorry about the rehab problems and especially the leakage.

Today will be major laziness with a few clean-out-the-filing-cabinet moments so that I can start properly storing Friends of the Library checks, deposit slips, and etc. now that I'm officially Treasurer.

I'm going to encourage myself to NOT go outside in the humid nastiness to finish the power washing.

Jul 2, 2017, 10:39am Top

Hi, Karen! I hope you're enjoying your Sunday.

>173 karenmarie: I don't mind power outages. We've always had plenty of oil lamps around so we'd have light, and now we have some of the Rayovac Sportsman camping lanterns, which are compact but put out plenty of light for reading. An if we were desperate to listen to music, I could crank the Victrola in the dining room. :-) Our freezer is not frost-free, so it's good for at least a day or two for keeping the food without spoilage, so long as the door stays shut. I just wish our stove were gas, as that would make it easier to cook with the power off -- switching over is in our plans for when we replace our gas furnace; most of the piping is there because there'd been a gas range in the past, so it should be straightforward to have it reconnected and switched back over.

Jul 2, 2017, 5:19pm Top

>182 msf59:

The State Journal (Madison, Wisconsin) has a feature, SOS, which invites readers to write to get help
for problems like your plumbing one.
Maybe the Chicago Tribune
(which recently had a trump editorial reprinted up here which I 100% agreed with -
great surprise to me since I loathed their politics in my Sun Times days) offers something similar...?

Jul 2, 2017, 6:13pm Top

>174 karenmarie: Nice stats, Karen.

I was so used to and irritated by power outages in Egypt that I ended up working with Siemens and building power stations! Don't recommend it to everyone as the travelling can be unpredictable. I left their employment because they asked me to swap Malaysia for Zimbabwe!

Have a great Sunday evening.

Jul 3, 2017, 8:10am Top

>184 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! I had a good Sunday. I got a few things done, read some, and watched some of the 3rd season of Sherlock with my husband.

The most important thing I learned about summer power outages in North Carolina was to USE the food from the freezer, not try to save it. Hurricane Fran in 1996 left us without power for 5 days in September, a very hot time of year here. I ended up throwing away almost all the freezer food, as did most people. Generators were rarer than they are now.

>185 m.belljackson: Hi Marianne! One of the two big local TV networks out here, WRAL, has a consumer complaint function called 5 On Your Side. Mark’s problem is exactly the type of problem they help with.

>186 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul! I worked with Siemens, too, but not as a result of power outages! I worked for a small division that made solar discs, in 1989. It’s a fascinating process. I worked in IT as a consultant for a while, had a great time learning their product line.

Yesterday I sacrificed a book shelf. I distributed the books among other shelves and updated their location tags so that I could gather up all the little things I’ve been putting on shelves all over the Sunroom. It was beginning to irritate me, all that ‘busy-ness’ on so many shelves, so I consolidated it to one shelf. Here’s the pic:

Today is lunch with my IT friends about 30 miles from here. Last week Michelle was supposed to bring blueberries, an additional enticement for me to drive the distance, but they had run out by the time she went to get them. So today I’ll get 10 lbs of fresh ‘local’ blueberries (local from the NC coast) and have lunch. It’s Mexican today, I believe. Then I’ll spend a bit of time with the Librarian to get clarification on several budget items so that we can nail down a 2017-2018 budget at our July meeting, which is Monday the 10th.

Jul 3, 2017, 9:39am Top

Good morning, Karen!

Blueberries are plentiful around here, so I'm always tempted to buy them in quantity, but we don't actually eat a lot of them, so they sometimes sit in the freezer for ages. I did come across a recipe for blueberry quick bread that I plan to try — it makes five mini-loaves, so we can easily share with neighbors and Erika can take one or two to work to share easily as well.

Enjoy your lunch!

Jul 3, 2017, 10:03am Top

Morning, Karen. We just finished off a lovely amount of blueberries, brought to us fresh from Wallace, NC (prime bb country). I am amazed at how long they stayed fresh - at least 3 weeks. Makes me wonder what we buy here.
I'm awed by your consistent re-tagging books by location when you move them. It's an if-y proposition for me, doggone it!
Anyway, here is the official chocolate icing recipe which Mama put into our family's cookbook.

Boiled Icing

2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
4 T. cocoa
½ stick butter
1 t. vanilla

Boil first three ingredients to soft ball stage (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla.
Beat until cool and spread. (You will see the sheen of the chocolate change if you've done it right. Also, if you take the time to mix the sugar and cocoa thoroughly before you start, and grind out all the sugar lumps, you'll have a better chance of a lovely smooth icing. And, of course, don't stir the mixture after it starts to boil.) (We didn't have a candy thermometer when I was growing up, so each new cake was an adventure.) (If the icing gets too stiff, stir in a bit of milk to correct the consistency. If it doesn't stiffen enough, it's good syrup over the cake.)
(Mama wrote in the cookbook notes, "I made this cake for Tom on 36 anniversaries, and nearly every Saturday for 36½ years. It was his favorite.")


Jul 3, 2017, 1:03pm Top

>189 LizzieD:

Recipe looks promising for a 4th of July cake...

Do you boil on medium or high or medium high?


Jul 3, 2017, 3:18pm Top

I love blueberries. Someone picked some for Dad, I think he's taking them with him to Ocracoke Island for the 4th. He and bro and driving there today to spend a week.

Da Peep and I made it back safe and sound. I'm going out to get my hair cut before the Beeg Hooplah tonight and tomorrow.

Gosh, the weather has become horrid.

Jul 3, 2017, 10:45pm Top

>190 m.belljackson: I've never thought about it --- medium high to high, I guess.

Jul 4, 2017, 6:51am Top

>188 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! Yesterday got away from me and I never got back to LT. I still have blueberries in the freezer from last year or the year before, but the lure of fresh ones sent me off the edge and I bought 10 lbs. I gave some to Louise, plan on making blueberry muffins for brekkie this morning.
The butter’s already out softening. Husband’s still asleep, kitties are fed, first cup of coffee has been sipped. Blueberry quick bread sounds good, too.

Lunch was fun and frustrating. There were 5 of us. Joe and John were already there when I got there at noon, but Michelle and Kazuko were late. The talk was desultory and mostly about how awful it is there now, which is what we mostly talk about all the time. I did get a chance to talk about reading some with Kazuko, but she’s the only one who’s a reader. Sigh. So we didn’t finish up ‘til 1 on the dot then I had to drive back to the (old) office to get the blueberries since leaving them in the car at this time of the year is not a good idea. That made me late to the meeting with the Librarian, but she was okay with that. It just made the day rushed and stressful.

>189 LizzieD: Thank you, Peggy! Your Mama’s comments are an important part of the recipe.

>190 m.belljackson: Hi Marianne!

>191 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! That sounds like a nice trip for your dad and brother.

Give Parker D. skritches from me. I took this picture yesterday and it cracks me up. You just can’t plan something like this:

It’s horrid here, too. I haven’t done any power washing of the walkway for days, only have two small sections to finish but just don’t have the desire to breathe through wet wool.

>192 LizzieD: Hi again Peggy!

Today is the second day of Wimbledon, but I didn’t watch any yesterday. Too busy, and Roger wasn’t playing. He plays 3rd today on Centre Court. First big upset was yesterday, Wawrinka, the 5th seed, is out in the first round. Shocker.

Husband and I will watch tennis off and on today and not do much of anything else. I made noises yesterday about going out to breakfast this morning until I realized that Roger will be playing sometime around lunch time.

Jul 4, 2017, 7:16am Top

Within the last 20 minutes I've seen a male House Finch and a Carolina Wren. They are really enjoying the sunflower seeds.

Jul 4, 2017, 7:52am Top

"Within the last 20 minutes I've seen a male House Finch and a Carolina Wren." Hooray! Our feeders have been quiet...

Morning, Karen! Happy 4th. We are attending a cookout, hosted by our daughter's boyfriend's folks. It will be the first time we meet them. I hope someone there reads books or likes birds.

Jul 4, 2017, 8:21am Top

>193 karenmarie: My only foray outside yesterday was to head to the swimming pool for a quick dip and then a float in the evening. Best gift ever from my husband: it's big enough to get in a few strokes but mostly good for floating and reading.

>189 LizzieD: I may have to try the icing as a new recipe. I'm pretty much a butter cream girl: throw it all in the mixer and let it do the work.

Jul 4, 2017, 9:34am Top

May the Fourth be with you!

Jul 4, 2017, 10:12am Top

>195 msf59: Have fun at the cookout, Mark! I don't have a lot of activity at the feeder, although I did see a very strange male Cardinal today - mites or a disease or something. No crest, no black around his eyes. Poor thing.

>196 witchyrichy: If I had a swimming pool, I'd do exactly what you are doing! Very nice of your husband.

>197 SomeGuyInVirginia: Thank you, Larry!

So far laziness, watching tennis. Djoker is playing so I'm not particularly interested although I might watch a game or two to assess the Threat to Roger.

Jul 4, 2017, 11:02am Top

I just saw the female House Finch on the feeder at the same time as the male. Exciting times.

Djokovic's opponent defaulted, apparently was injured. Roger's match starts in a couple of minutes.

Jul 4, 2017, 11:48am Top

>199 karenmarie:

Rafa, Andy, and Roger - what a fun week!

Jul 4, 2017, 12:09pm Top

Hi, Karen!

>193 karenmarie: That's a fun photo!

>194 karenmarie: House finches are pretty common at our feeders.

Have a terrific Fourth, Karen!

Jul 4, 2017, 12:12pm Top

Hi Marianne!

Fun week for sure, but disappointing in that Roger's opponent, Dolgopolov, defaulted too due to injury, 6-4, 3-0, I think. If I was a ticketholder, I'd be upset.

We did get to see Roger become the only man to record 10,000 aces, though.

Jul 4, 2017, 1:17pm Top

>193 karenmarie: That is a cool picture. He's showing you were you left off yesterday.

Parker's been stomping around missing his Granddaddy, who is available to play with him 24/7 and thinks it's cute when Parker wakes him up at 4:00am every morning. I'm going back in a couple of weeks and will leave him for a few weeks. My baby!

So the bird feeder is a success. I always thought squirrels were cheaters, too, although they're cute as the dickens and I used to feed them all the time before my apartment complex allowed dogs and they chased the tree bunnies off.

Have you seen those horse head squirrel feeders? I've only seen pics but if they're anywhere near as cool as that they they are very cool indeed.

Some people and their kids.

Jul 4, 2017, 1:58pm Top

>193 karenmarie: - Love that pic! lol

Happy 4th of July, Karen

Jul 4, 2017, 3:36pm Top

>203 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! He was actually waiting for me to put down a few small pieces of bacon. Looks can be deceptive, especially religious looks. *smile*

Grandparents get to spoil the kids then send them merrily home to Reality. Poor Floof. I hope your dad and bro are having a good time at Okracoke.

I'm speechless. Horse-head squirrel feeder. Wonders never cease.

>204 jessibud2: Thanks Shelley. Husband actually expressed low-level boredom, but pretty much everything's closed.

I'm thoroughly reveling in The Deepest Grave by Harry Bingham, the 6th in the Fiona Griffiths series.

Jul 4, 2017, 9:31pm Top

Hiya, Karen. Here's to Fourth of July hooting and hollering and banging and booming.

Jul 5, 2017, 6:19am Top

Hiya, Bill! Thank you. I like that.

Jul 5, 2017, 6:41am Top

Morning, Karen. You mentioned the discolored cardinal. I heard this time of year can be tricky, because the juvenile's are appearing and sometimes they have different color schemes. Not saying that is what happened with the cardinal but just a thought.

Warming back up here in the Midwest. Enjoy your day.

Jul 5, 2017, 8:11am Top

Good morning, Karen! I think we may have a juvenile cardinal visiting our feeders (per Mark's suggestion), though it isn't as obvious as the young sparrows and starlings, which perch and demand to be fed. Have a terrific day!

Jul 5, 2017, 5:09pm Top

Reporting from South Louisiana "hot as hell and twice as humid" I flushed a large red-headed woodpecker during a walk to get the mail. I've only seen two of these monsters.

Jul 5, 2017, 10:46pm Top

Hope you're staying cool; it's a struggle!

Jul 6, 2017, 6:05am Top

>208 msf59: Hi Mark! If I see him again I’ll use the binoculars on him to see if I can get a fix on what the issue is. I haven’t seen Louise in a couple of days so will ask her, too. It’s warm and nasty out here.

>209 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! I find it difficult to distinguish between female and juvenile cardinals, but really need to look at various photos on the Internet to get it better fixed in my mind.

>210 beeg: Hi Brenda! I know that North Carolina is not nearly as nasty summer-weather-wise as Louisiana and can only admire the stamina of the people who live ‘down there’. It’s bad enough up here.

Oh, exciting! Big birds of any kind are fun and rare sightings are such a rush.

>211 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! Having just said that NC isn’t as bad as Louisiana (can’t write LA because to me LA means Los Angeles), it’s still a burden. I really enjoyed the way it cooled down at night when I was in CA.

Today is Friends of the Library stuff and paying utility bills on Mom’s house. No bites yet on selling the house, but since we’re just giving it 3 months and I can pay the utility bills with Mom’s money, I’m not sweating it. Tonight is dinner with friend Jan. It will be nice to get caught up with her.

Jul 6, 2017, 7:03am Top

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. A hot one here today but since this is my last work day of the week, I am keeping a positive attitude.

Enjoy your day.

Jul 6, 2017, 7:08am Top

Hi Mark! We just cross-posted! I'm glad you've got your weekend to look forward to.

Jul 6, 2017, 9:24am Top

What will you do with the house after the 3 months?

Yesterday was hot and rainy and today is cool and rainy. Ugh.

Jul 6, 2017, 10:06am Top

Good morning, Karen! I have to admit I'm mostly guessing that the cardinal I'm seeing is a young one -- it doesn't really match the females that were/are visiting, and it showed up more recently, so I've used those as clues. I really ought to dig out one of our birding guides to double-check.

Jul 6, 2017, 10:52am Top

>215 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! Since it's a reverse mortgage (ugh. blech. my parents were not good money managers.) I will give it back to them and get a deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure. My sister and I won't get any money out of it and I'll have spent the last 7 months paying utilities, but that's the best we can hope for if it doesn't sell.

Today is 79F and humid, going to a high of 92F and humid. Horrible NC summer weather. The only thing it is good for, IMO, is the growing of vegetables, but I didn't plant a summer garden this year because of Mom Stuff Stress and then leaving for CA the last possible week it would have made sense to plant.

>216 harrygbutler: Hi Harry. Since I'm so new to birding I use my books and this website a lot:

All About Birds

I just finished power washing the last two sections of walkway and cleaned off the steps too. Power washer is in the garage, where it belongs. *smile* Now, to read and anticipate lunch.

I have seen signs of squirrel attempts at the new feeder, but nothing successful. Maybe he'll give up soon. Right now there are many House finches and one Chickadee out there. Did I mention that one of the first days I had it up 4 Cowbirds successfully weighed it down enough to close the feeding ports?

Jul 6, 2017, 1:02pm Top

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
7/4/17 to 7/6/17

The description from Amazon:

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

This book highlights two psychological disorders, one of which isn’t a spoiler – Camille is a cutter. She cut dozens of words into her own flesh over the years. As long as she stays away from any of the issues that plagued her childhood, she is a functioning adult. As soon as she returns home to her mother, her step-father, and the half-sister she barely knows, she starts coming apart. At the same time she’s trying to solve the mystery of the deaths, ascribed to a serial killer. She gets involved with the Detective from Kansas City assigned to the case, and gets involved with another, much more inappropriate man. She uses her knowledge of Wind Gap to help guide her to the solution and identification of the killer.

I think I’m supposed to like Camille because she’s the protagonist, because she’s damaged, because the story is told from her point of view. I don’t particularly like her at all, yet the book still works for me. The writing is breezy yet subtle, infused with horror yet a pastiche of eccentric Southerners. Even though the action takes place in Missouri, we’re in the heart of the South, and never for a moment left to forget that fact.

Stephen King is quoted on the back of the dust jacket: I’m going to quote the whole thing, because Mr. King is such a better writer than I am.

To say this is a terrific debut novel is really too mild. I haven’t read such a relentlessly creepy family saga since John Farris’s All heads Turn as the Hunt Goes By, and that was thirty years ago, give or take. Sharp Objects isn’t one of those scare-and-retreat books; its effect is cumulative. I found myself dreading the last thirty pages or so but was helpless to stop turning them. Then, after the lights were out, the story just stayed there in my head, coiled and hissing, like a snake in a cave. An admirably nasty piece of work, elevated by sharp writing and sharper insights.

The last thirty pages or so scream at you and you're left feeling bludgeoned and battered. A very satisfactory and disturbing end to a very satisfactory and disturbing book.

Jul 6, 2017, 1:50pm Top

>217 karenmarie: - Great news about your new feeder, Karen. I have just one feeder but it's similar to yours, where the weight of anything heavier than a songbird will slide that cage down to cover the ports. I have also watched (with glee, I might add) as the squirrels try and tried and try some more to figure out how to work around this problem. So far, I'm winning, which, before getting this feeder, was a rarity for me in this fight!

Jul 6, 2017, 7:46pm Top

Holy cow, I read Sharp Objects in 2011 and don't remember anything about it. I must have liked it, though, because I looked for her other book Dark Places.That was an audiobook for me and I remember a lot about it. Funny how the mind works.

We don't have to power wash nuthin' here in the Nation's Blah, it's been raining for two days. We're supposed to have some good weather this weekend! Whoo hoo!

Jul 7, 2017, 9:07am Top

Morning, Karen! Happy Friday. Good review of Sharp Objects. It was my first Flynn and I thought it was a dazzling but very disturbing debut.

Jul 7, 2017, 9:29am Top

>217 karenmarie: Good morning, Karen! That Cornell Lab site is very useful indeed. A gray and cloudy day here; I'm hoping it will rain, as the garden certainly could use it.

Edited: Jul 7, 2017, 10:06am Top

>219 jessibud2: Hi Shelley! Glee works here, too, as I see squirrels on the ground under my Squirrel Stopper and haven’t seen anybody actually on the new feeder in 2 weeks. Congratulations on winning so far.

>220 SomeGuyInVirginia: You know, Larry, I almost remember reading this, too, but not quite. I had it tagged 'tbr' before this week's reading, but it was in the back of my mind that I might have already read it. If not, then I've read another book about a cutter. I have pulled Dark Places off my shelves and will start it today. I had picked up another book, but your post reminded that I still had a Gillian Flynn to read!

Sorry about all the rain, I do hope it clears up for the weekend.

>221 msf59: Hi Mark! Thank you. Dazzling and disturbing are another good way to describe it.

>222 harrygbutler: Good morning, Harry! I love that site. I hope you get the rain you need for your garden. We’ve got blue skies with streaky white clouds.

I was worried about Kitty William this morning. He usually hangs around if I’m eating bacon for breakfast, sitting on the printer and looking hopeful. He wasn’t there this morning, hadn’t yowled for new fresh wet food in his bowl either. So I got worried, opened closet doors, walked around the house, went into the garage in case he’d snuck out when husband left for work. No Kitty. I called husband, who assured me KW had eaten some treats and spent time in his lap this morning. However, KW’s increasing deafness explains that while I was yelling all over the house for him, he was sleeping in the dining room. I had to lighten the pic, so it looks overexposed by the window.

Jul 7, 2017, 11:08am Top

>224 harrygbutler: Hi, Karen! The rain did come.

I'm glad you found Kitty William. I sometimes go through the same thing when one of the cats deviates from its usual behavior, especially because once Otto had indeed gotten out, and we didn't realize it at first. The poor cat was terrified by the experience (in part because it was a rainy night) and has since shown no inclination to visit the outdoors again, but Elli was once a stray and probably wouldn't mind an excursion, and Pixie sometimes seems to want out when we have just the screen door closed in back.

Jul 7, 2017, 11:48am Top

>223 karenmarie: Aw sweet kitty. It's such a relief when you think they're lost and then you find them. Parker almost once got locked in the linen cupboard all day, but I knew something was up when he didn't show up at the door while I was putting my shoes on. He'd gotten in when I opened the door to get to my vitamins.

I love houses with windows that are low to the floor. My parents had those when I was a kid and now anything different looks funny.

Jul 7, 2017, 12:36pm Top

>223 karenmarie: Glad to hear your cat was alright and not actually missing. My kitty disappeared for three days once - in the middle of a really cold winter. We were convinced he'd been hit by a car and killed but all of a sudden there he was. We tracked his prints to the neighbours' old barn - he'd probably been nosy and got accidently locked in (the barn is only used for storage).

Edited: Jul 8, 2017, 6:45am Top

>224 harrygbutler: Glad you got the rain, Harry! Indoor kitties, eh? We have a kitty door, so they come and go at will. One of these days we’ll have to start keeping KW in, as his eyesight fails. Not there yet, but he is 18, after all.

>225 SomeGuyInVirginia: Yes, sweet boy. And they are so curious. Inara got locked in the upstairs bedroom closet last week for about 6 hours. Once she didn’t come out for dinner, I got logical, remembered that I’d been in the closet, and let her out. We won’t say what she did on the pillow in there, but we did have to throw it out. I thought it was good of her to use the pillow instead of the carpeting.

Window-wise, the design of this house had the tall windows, and we love them too. They make it seem more old-fashioned to me.

>226 PawsforThought: Smart kitty. I’m glad he came home. One time our Merlin was gone a week and we were also convinced that she was dead. She showed up a bit gaunt and had gouge marks in her neck. That was the last time we ever put a collar on a cat – she must have gotten tangled up in barbed wire. There’s a lot of it out here.

I bought out the grocery store. Now all I have to do is prepare, cook, and bake. Most of it Sunday, although some of the prep can be done tomorrow.

I'm reading Dark Places, the other Gillian Flynn that was on my shelves. So far so good. Substituting the name Libby for Camille from my review above: I think I’m supposed to like Libby because she’s the protagonist, because she’s damaged, because the story is told from her point of view.

Jul 8, 2017, 12:58am Top

>227 karenmarie: Oh, that sounds horrid, poor kitty! We've never had collars on our cat - for that exact reason. They roam free and there are a lot of things they could get stuck on. (Ear tattoos or chips are the law here so it's no problem ID-ing a cat if lost/hurt.)

Jul 8, 2017, 8:13am Top

Glad you found where Kitty William was hiding in plain sight, Karen.
I like the picture. Cats look so comfy when they are curled up.

Jul 8, 2017, 8:38am Top

Hi, Karen! I hope your Saturday is a good one. I'm heading to another bookstore sale a little later this morning.

Jul 8, 2017, 10:30am Top

Glad KW is O.K.! I spent HOURS looking for Phoebe when she was a yard cat. She would be watching from under the steps or the azaleas. Eventually, she moved in and never went out again except for one brief, hilarious moment on the snow when her back paws stretched to the max. I should find the picture, and we snatched her up and took her inside too safety and warmth immediately.

Jul 8, 2017, 10:35am Top

>228 PawsforThought: We were just so glad to get her back, Paws! No more collars after that. She went to kitty heaven at the age of 18. We've never chipped our cats, and tattooing gives me the willies. Where do you live that it's required?

>229 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! Yes, plain sight! He's sitting right here with me now, soaking up the heat from the lamp near the printer. He got a snootful of wet kitty food this morning, had a slurp of water, got up on the printer, burped, and is now dozing.

>230 harrygbutler: You'll have more fun than me, Harry! Book club prep, lunch out with friends of husband's, who are nice, and I always have a nice time with them, but I'd rather not take the time today of all days. Plus, Roger is playing 3rd on Centre Court, and depending on how the first two matches go we may or may not get to see any of his match.

>231 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! Phoebe sounds wonderful. I'd love to see that pic.

Jul 8, 2017, 10:38am Top

Hi Karen- glad Kitty William was hiding in plain site. Does he always answer when you call? Mine don't. Sigh.

My cat Cree, was late coming in this morning. As a used-to-be-feral he insists on spending nights outside - especially during the full moon. My heart sank when he wasn't at the window this morning. He did show up later, checked to make sure there were kibbles in the dish, declined to eat any, and went back out.

I've meant to read more of Gillian Flynn after I read Gone Girl but haven't made it back to her, yet. That one had two thoroughly unlikeable protagonists.

Jul 8, 2017, 11:56am Top

Happy Saturday! We have been out weeding and replacing bits of siding on the house this morning. It's a lovely day. All of our busy activity is keeping the birds away, but the occasional brave cardinal has stopped by.

Jul 8, 2017, 12:07pm Top

>232 karenmarie: I live in Sweden. I think it's a good law - makes it much easier to return lost kitties (any found without chip/tattoo will be taken in by the rescuers and get a chip/tattoo and then be adopted out - that's how we got our current fuzzball). The tattoo isn't a big deal- it's done with a gun similar to the one used to pierce earlobes, and only hurts for a moment.
18 is a good long life for a cat, and I'm sure it was a happy one, too.

Jul 8, 2017, 1:08pm Top

>235 PawsforThought:

Is Knausgaard still living in Sweden?

His short articles for The New York Times were pretty unmemorable,

so hoping he's graced you with some new and fresh ones.

Edited: Jul 8, 2017, 2:12pm Top

>236 m.belljackson: Accordling to Wikipedia he lives with his family int he very picturesque region of Österlen in the very south of Sweden. But it also says he's still married to his ex-wife so take that with a grain of salt.

I've never read a Knausgård book in my life, nor any article. I have no idea if he's written any articles for Swedish newspapers - not the one I normally read, at least (Dagens Nyheter, which is the biggest one), but he might have.
His ex-wife was one of the people chosen to host a "Summertalk" this year (it's an hour-long radio show where a new person every day during the summer gets to talk about what they want, it's a mix of people - mostly fairly well-known - from different areas of society).

Jul 8, 2017, 1:39pm Top

Glad you found Kitty.

I made an early morning run to the grocery store as well! I offered to make a honey lemon cake for a dinner we're attending tomorrow. Can't decide if I'm making it today or tomorrow.

My husband brought in a big box of roma tomatoes that are now in the crockpot, cooking down for sauce.

Jul 8, 2017, 4:06pm Top

Hi Karen, hope all is well with you and your husband my dear, I hope you are having a good weekend dear friend and send love and hugs.

Jul 9, 2017, 8:18am Top

Morning, Karen! Happy Sunday. We are back from our quick Milwaukee jaunt. Love spending time with a fellow LTer.

Yah, for starting Dark Places. I loved that one, as well. She is one sick puppy. LOL.

Jul 9, 2017, 8:21am Top

Happy Sunday, Karen. I try to make it back on LT.

Jul 10, 2017, 9:30am Top

How did the book club go?!

Jul 10, 2017, 10:10am Top

Good morning, Karen! I hope your Sunday was a pleasant one and that the week is off to a good start. I didn't get too many books at the sale, but did find a few. Yesterday was gardening — chiefly weeding — and reading.

Edited: Jul 10, 2017, 2:23pm Top

>233 streamsong: Hi Janet! He does not always answer, especially if he’s asleep. And the older he gets, the more he sleeps. That was the case the other day. Both of my kitties are very talkative, though. I like it.

Glad Cree made an appearance. They don’t realize that we get upset if they go off schedule.

I’ve loved all three books by Flynn. So for 3 books she’s got 4 unlikeable protagonists, although Libby Day, from Dark Places, grows on you and does some growing up.

>234 nittnut: Hi Jenn. Busy day for you. Same here with the outside activity – power washing the walkway kept the birds away, too.

>235 PawsforThought: It is a good law. I just can’t see it working here though, frankly. Cats are not considered as regulate-able (made up word, but you get the idea) as dogs out here.

Last night at book club meeting at my house Kitty William was flirting as we moved into the living room for the book discussion. He sat right beside Stephanie and was just so darned cute. Later he moved to his cushion, usually on the coffee table, but for the meeting on the floor by the fish tank. He got many pettings and scratches under the chin and oohs and aahs and wonder that he was 18.

>236 m.belljackson: Hi Marianne!

>237 PawsforThought: I’ll have to check out Knausgård just so I know what this conversation is about!

>238 witchyrichy: Thanks, Karen. Yum, honey lemon cake. I debated making a lemon poppy seed cake, but needed to use up the buttermilk in the refrigerator.

Yum to fresh tomato sauce. When I have my own vegetable garden, I make fresh tomato sauce which I then freeze in bread pans and then vacuum seal. I think there’s still some in the outside freezer from 3 years ago….. it will be perfectly wonderful, safe, and tasting of summertime.

>239 johnsimpson: Hi John! Things have been busy yet are going well. Thank you and sending love and hugs back to you and Karen.

>240 msf59: Hi Mark! I’m glad you’re having some vacation time. She is one sick puppy meaning the character or the author? Strong arguments on both accounts. *smile*

>241 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! Nice to ‘see’ you here visiting. I got very busy preparing for book club meeting last night and so haven’t visited threads for several days but will later today or tomorrow morning.

>242 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! It was lots of fun, exhausting, and I’m still getting the kitchen back under control. Here’s the menu. Everything homemade.

Appetizers, guacamole, white bean dip, pita wedges, tortilla chips, and cauliflower wedges for dipping.

Entres: Green been salad with chicken, papaya, and feta – apricot vinaigrette.
Korean-style grain bowls with spicy marinated steak – served salad style with marinated purple cabbage and carrots and sugar snap peas. The grain was brown rice, mixed with baby spinach leaves.

Dessert: Buttermilk pound cake with blueberry-lemon compote.

Wine, water, coffee.

We had a lot of fun eating and then discussing the book. The group normally breaks up promptly at 9 or sometimes even a bit before, but nobody left til about 9:30! A huge success.

So today I’m whupped and still have some things to get under control in the kitchen. And first thing this morning I had a Friends of the Library Board meeting that I had a bit of last minute prep on, so today’s been busy.

>243 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! Sunday was busy for book club, but I did manage to give myself enough time to finish Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. I had to pace myself on the cooking, cleaning, and setup.
Any books found are a win. And weeding and reading are all very good things.

So I’ll reiterate that I’m whupped. I’m going to go read for a bit, then clean the stove from the cooking yesterday. You just can’t grill marinated steak without making a mess. I picked up a fluff book – The Perfect Husband by Lisa Gardner. I’m just not in the mood for serious fiction right now. Apparently the book discussed last night was a real downer. People liked the writing but were all pretty much appalled at the story and wondered how the author could spend a year or more with such a depressing subject and outcome. spin simmer falter wither by Sara Baume. Great title, wasted on a book about a damaged man and an apparently vicious dog.

Jul 11, 2017, 8:02am Top

Morning Karen. Happy Tuesday. The other joy of vacation, is keeping a closer eye on my feeders. No real surprises but just enough activity to keep a smile on my face.

I was definitely referring to Gillian Flynn as the sick puppy. LOL.

Jul 11, 2017, 9:00am Top

Good morning, Mark!

Sitting reading and occasionally peering at the feeders is one of my pleasures, too. Enjoy!

Today I need to get more sunflower seed and wild bird seed. 50# of the first and 40# of the second. Plus go to the bank, the grocery store, and the library to drop off membership forms for our Membership Queen Sue.

I put down The Perfect Husband after 128 pages. I wanted fluff, but not fluff with sadism. Not to say I wouldn't read it some other time, just not now. I'm not quite sure what to start.

Jul 11, 2017, 9:47am Top

Works is super busy right now, so I'm reading Masterstroke by Tim Heald. It's perfect fluff, a drawing room comedy of a mystery, and since it's on my Kindle I can read with the lights out and just drop off where ever. You might like Heald's stuff, and they're all a few bucks on Amazon.

Jul 11, 2017, 10:56am Top

Hi Larry!

I'll have to check it out. Right now I'm trying to get organized for my errands and not being very successful at it. Sigh.

Jul 11, 2017, 11:13am Top

>218 karenmarie: I have Sharp Objects waiting for me. I was thinking it is a perfect October read! Glad you liked is so much. And super glad your kitty is not lost but found. Happy Tuesday. : )

Jul 11, 2017, 2:58pm Top

Thanks, Berly! I hope you like it as much as i did.

I'm feeling bereft with no new Gillian Flynn to read. Books always require the right timing - I've had Sharp Objects on my shelves for 3 months and Dark Places for 16 months.

Kitty William urped on the bed at 3 this morning, fortunately on something portable, a pillow. Just a teensy bit, but that gaaking sound is unmistakable. So I was up for an hour and a half before I could get back to sleep. Bless his little heart.

I just got back from the thrift store, the post office, the bank, the bakery next to the bank, the grocery store, Southern States for bird seed, and the library. Then I had to take the doughnut I bought for Louise over to her for a quick visit. My husband and I liked our doughnuts, too..... Bavarian Cream-filled with chocolate fudge frosting.

I got 3 books at the thrift store -
Close by Martina Cole - John, this is the first one I've seen by her that I remember.
Julie and Julia by Julie Powell - a trade paperback in excellent condition to replace the mass market paperback that's ratty
Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence about Jane Austen's real-life romance with Tom Lefroy

Jul 11, 2017, 4:41pm Top

>237 PawsforThought:

Sounds like you're not a fan!!!

I found a lot to like and love and laugh at in the first book
(though his adoption of the title from Germany still doesn't feel right),
some in the second book, and mostly hmmmmmm on the last ones...

Hope he redeems himself and manages to find a birth control method that works -
he did go on and on about not being able to parent adequately,
maybe "normally," by some standards.

Jul 11, 2017, 6:16pm Top

>251 m.belljackson: I've just never read him. What I've seen of him in interviews doesn't make me interested. Seemed a bit too interested in himself - but that could just be me misinterpreting.

Jul 11, 2017, 9:18pm Top

>252 PawsforThought:

I remember reading - maybe in a New York Times review - that the people of Sweden
had many more worthy things to think about than the whereabouts of Karl Ove.

As his books reveal, he is TOTALLY immersed in himself...when he at times surfaces,
he can offer some true inspiration.

Jul 12, 2017, 12:58am Top

Happy Wednesday, Karen. Wishing you a most lovely day.

Edited: Jul 12, 2017, 8:24am Top

Morning, Karen. Hot and steamy day here. I think I will just hunker down again with the books.

Enjoy your day.

Jul 12, 2017, 9:36am Top

>250 karenmarie: we love our kitty too but the places she choses to vomit on really are rather annoying! Ours decided our bed quilt was the perfect place and left a huge spread. Ugh. Glad yours was portable and not something that needed your night time attention

Jul 12, 2017, 9:44am Top

>250 karenmarie: >256 ChelleBearss: We've never had a cat to choose something portable or bare floor instead of carpet or rug or bed. Oh well.

Jul 12, 2017, 9:46am Top

>256 ChelleBearss:

We lowered the vomiting rate with Royal Canin Indoor Intense Hairball 34
after our lovely black cat, Victoria, refused the green tube of hairball treatment.

Jul 12, 2017, 11:11am Top

Gah, it's like the wrath of God out there today. I heard it was +110 in Nebraska, and that's got to be hell with that humidity.

Jul 12, 2017, 3:38pm Top

Hi Karen, hope you enjoy the Martina Cole book you have picked up my dear, I bought the latest one in paperback the other day but will save it for a while as I must get to books that have been on the shelves for a lot longer. Sending love and hugs dear friend.

Jul 12, 2017, 10:33pm Top

Hi, Karen! It's been fairly busy here with work, so I haven't been much on LT the last couple days.

>250 karenmarie: I'm glad you found some books at the thrift shop. Overall I tend to find less than I used to, perhaps in part because I have many of the books that I used to find there, but I've been fortunate recently that one local chain of thrift stores has regularly had at least one or two books for me each visit.

Bavarian cream with chocolate icing is good, but my favorite doughnuts are white cream — provided the cream is not too sweet. A small local chain, Yum Yum Bake Shops, has the best available locally, but the best I've had in the past 10 or 15 years was probably from a vendor of assorted farm products at the Lancaster (Penna.) Central Market, where the cream doughnuts were the only doughnuts they had.

Jul 13, 2017, 7:18am Top

>254 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! I did have a lovely day. I watched tennis and visited a sick friend. She is having trouble concentrating on paper books so I loaned her two audiobooks – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Dreams of my Father. We had a good 2-hour catch up visit since we hadn’t seen each other since early spring.

>255 msf59: Hi Mark! Hunkering down with books is good. I’ll be able to do that ‘til about 10 a.m. or so, when I expect a phone call from my aunt on the West Coast. It’s time for a good catch-up phone call with her. She’s my mother’s sister and was so supportive when I was out there going through all the mess of the house and BiL.

>256 ChelleBearss: We were lucky this time, Chelle. Other times, not so much. And I won’t go into detail about the urp on the carpet in the living room last week….

>257 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! Sometimes I think they deliberately avoid the hardwood floors in favor of the edges of our area rugs with the fringe. I’ve been known to grab a heaving cat and get it to the hardwood floors just in time.

>258 m.belljackson: Hey Marianne! I really need to give them both a dose of Vaseline for hairballs. It’s probably not advised any more, but always worked with our kitties and never seems to have harmed them. Some of our kitties treated it like crack cocaine and would almost take our fingers off getting to it, other kitties we had to dab it on their noses to get them to lick themselves clean.

>259 SomeGuyInVirginia: Yesterday was particularly vicious out here, Larry, at 94F with killer humidity. I was mostly in the house, but do feel for people who have to be out in it. 110F in Nebraska! So dangerous.

>260 johnsimpson: Hi John! I’m looking forward to it but haven’t started it yet. Sending love and hugs back to you and Karen.

>261 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! It’s hit or miss at the thrift shop. I’ve been known to leave with no books at all, and I get tired of seeing the same authors, the same books, the same types of books that don’t interest me. But after being retired for a year and a half (!) I still find it an incredible luxury to be able to just browse whenever I want for as long as I want.

My favorite doughnuts are actually apple fritters, or just plain fritters here in NC, but I must admit that doughnut was absolutely heavenly the other day. Yum to cream doughnuts, too.

My husband had a very upsetting thing happen to him on the way home from work last night – while waiting at a light to turn left, about 10 or so cars back, a deranged woman and young man wanted to cross traffic and started literally battering the van in front of my husband with their car. The van couldn’t move, but they kept it up. Lots of one-finger salutes and cussing on both sides that husband could hear even through closed windows and NPR. The young man in the passenger seat was waving a gun around, too. Finally the traffic began to move and the van pulled forward. My husband stayed stopped and waved them across. As they were going across, the young man in the passenger seat pointed the gun at my husband and kept it pointed him at him as they crossed. Husband was and is shaken. He didn’t sleep well last night because he couldn’t get it out of his head. It could have ended badly, for sure. Nobody called 911 or anything. Husband didn’t think of it because he was so stunned at what was going on, and it probably wouldn’t have been a good idea to appear to be on his cell phone with a maniac with a gun in front of him, but people farther back could have, perhaps. Husband sounded very depressed as he headed off to work just now. And there’s absolutely nothing I can do to help him.

Today will be a bit of tennis first thing, then my aunt’s phone call, then a call to a Friends of the Library volunteer who is fretting about getting a smart phone. I told her I’d drive her over to the Sprint store with her and look at them, a 50-mile round trip I'm afraid. She’s anxious to get one prior to our fall sale as we are going to start using credit cards with the Square system.

Jul 13, 2017, 7:40am Top

>262 karenmarie: - My goodness! That must have been terrifying, for sure. I am stunned that no one else called 911. I agree that it was for the best that your husband didn't move. Did he call police afterwards to at least make the report, give a description of their car (even if he didn't have a license number) and the occupants and location? At least it would be on the record in case other calls did come in.
Even up here in Canada we are hearing of more and more incidents with people having guns. Not nearly to the level as in the States, of course, but it's something that scares the daylights out of me.

I hope your husband is able to focus on the good outcome - that no one was hurt - and can get past this.

Jul 13, 2017, 7:56am Top

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. Another muggy and damp day here. I am wrapping up The Warbler Road. I think you would have a good time with this one. All about the birds and beautifully written too. As a bonus, it is a shorty. You should see if you can find a copy.

Edited: Jul 13, 2017, 8:01am Top

Hi Shelley!

My husband was so shaken that he just wanted to get home. The car did not have a license plate - he did look for that. I mentioned last night that he could call the police and report which driveway the car came out of, and he said he'd have to do it anonymously because he's paranoid about gang in Durham NC. I didn't push the issue.

He repeated that he's never had a gun pointed at him in his life. He tends to be much more emotional about things than I am, and I know he will dwell on this for days. He has to go down into the pit, wallow around for a while, then come back up slowly.

Jul 13, 2017, 8:02am Top

Hi Mark! Muggy here, damp not so much. I'll check out The Warbler Road for sure. I hope you're enjoying your vacation.

Jul 13, 2017, 8:26am Top

Good morning, Karen! I hope the day treats you well.

>262 karenmarie: Sorry to hear about your husband's experience. I hope he is able to put it aside soon.

My first encounter with potentially violent crime was many years ago now, when I visited Washington, D.C., as a high school senior for an early admissions weekend at Georgetown. As I walked to the DC bus station I was held up at knifepoint, but the poor slob had picked the wrong victim — I had less than a dollar spending money left at the end of my trip. He took that little bit of change, though, then ran off because people were coming. Several years later, in another city, was a much scarier situation, more analogous to your husband's encounter, when a fellow crossed the street and threatened me because he thought I had looked at him in a way he didn't like. (I hadn't; I'd barely noticed him passing by.)

Jul 13, 2017, 9:18am Top

Oh Karen, your poor hubby!

Jul 13, 2017, 9:38am Top

Sorry about your husband's experience. That must have been terrifying!

Jul 13, 2017, 9:49am Top

Good grief! That must have been horrifying.

//And there’s absolutely nothing I can do to help him.// You're a great person and a great wife and your just being there is what he's going to come out of the pit for.

Jul 13, 2017, 11:20am Top

I'm appalled about your husband's experience. I'd still be shaking too. Meanwhile, the Guy has it exactly right. You're his rock, and you're very present. Good for you both!

Jul 13, 2017, 12:45pm Top

>262 karenmarie:

PTSD (daughter is a therapist) can follow terrifying "incidents" like this.

Jul 13, 2017, 12:58pm Top

>262 karenmarie: That's awful. I'd be shaking too. People with guns and psychological or societal damage are terrifying to think of, because of just such situations as this one, where there was no reason for such violence. At least you can run away from fists, knives, etc. Cars and guns, not so much.

Jul 13, 2017, 4:20pm Top

>262 karenmarie: & >265 karenmarie: Oh, Karen, that must have been terrifying for your husband.
I was a bit shaken when I only saw officers with guns when I left the airport in London last May, let alone such a thing pointed at you...
Hugs to you and your husband.

Edited: Jul 14, 2017, 7:28am Top

>267 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! I had a pretty good day yesterday, thank you. Husband report below. *smile*
You’re lucky that you were unhurt both times.

I lived in south central LA while at Pepperdine University (before and during the time they were abandoning the LA campus for Malibu). You learned to walk on the side of the street with traffic coming towards you so you couldn’t be cruised and dress as grungy and unattractive as you could possibly look. We still got propositioned. One time while at Taco Bell some guys came up to the fire pit they had there, and heated up chains in the fire. It was a dangerous walk home that time for sure! Walking home from classes that ended at 9 or 10 p.m., I always walked down the middle of well-lit streets with my keys out and splayed out between my fingers to be used as a potential weapon. Don’t catch peoples’ eyes, get someone to walk home with you if you can. I felt invincible, but things could have gone terribly wrong, of course.

>268 beeg: Hi Brenda! He slept better last night.

>269 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle! It was. He hates his commute already, and this is just cementing his feelings about how evil and dangerous Durham NC is.

>270 SomeGuyInVirginia: It was, Larry. Thank you for your kind and generous words.

>271 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! As I wrote above, I lived in south central LA. It was 1971-1974. There was never anything as bad as that there at Pepperdine, even in the middle of the original Crips and Bloods gangs territories. No wonder Peppy Tech moved, although I never had any kind of emotional attachment to Malibu campus.

>272 m.belljackson: I’ll keep an eye out for any signs of distress. We’re coming up on the weekend, so will have more time to observe. Thanks, Marianne, for the heads up.

>273 ffortsa: He literally couldn’t escape – the cars were wedged in bumper-to-bumper. It wouldn’t been smart to antagonize them anyway.

>274 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita. It was. And I can imagine your being shaken up at the airport in London. I just remembered that in the fall of 1990 there was some kind of terrorist incident at Los Angeles International Airport. I was actually taking my then-future husband there for a flight, but there were armed policemen guiding traffic where they wanted them to go. And of course there was the time I made a wrong turn and got on the approach road to Fort Bragg. Many men with guns there, too, but I politely explained that I got on the road by mistake. Young daughter and I were allowed to make a U-turn and leave.

My husband slept better last night, but still tossy-turny. I’m hoping it mostly becomes a dine-out story, although like I wrote above yesterday he’s more emotional than I am (well, at least overtly expressing those emotions) and may display signs of PTSD, as Marianne points out above.

Today is watching the Semi-finals of Wimbledon. Querrey- Cilic and Federer-Berdych.

Roger all the way!

Later I’m off to one of the Sun Trust branches to meet the former Treasurer to help me get authorized for an on-line presence. It just happens to be near a very fine indie bookstore, McIntyre's Fine Books and Bookends - McIntyre's

And I’m in a start-then-abandon situation with books. I’ve abandoned one after 128 pages, but am restless about 3 others I started and can’t seem to get in to.

Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood, the first in the Phryne Fischer mysteries, set in Australia in the 1920s, arrives today from Amazon, and I’m hoping that will get me out of the slight book doldrums I’m in. Alternatively, something from McIntyre's might jump start my reading. I'm still doing well with the Bible as Literature, at Isaiah 10 right now.

Yesterday 3 male hummingbirds were doing an amazing territory dance. I captured it on video, but can’t upload it here, sad to say. Right now I’m watching two female hummingbirds play a very different kind of territory game. The males hovered and danced around each other, the females directly divebomb and chase each other off. They are so much fun to watch!

Tennis in half an hour, gotta get breakfast made and visit a few threads here first!

Thank you all for your comments and support for my husband. I'd much rather it had happened to me, frankly.

Edited: Jul 14, 2017, 8:08am Top

"Yesterday 3 male hummingbirds were doing an amazing territory dance." Sweet!!

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday. We are heading to WI, for a couple of days. Hope to get some birding in.

The Golem is off to a good start.

Jul 14, 2017, 8:25am Top

Good morning, Karen! The hummingbird viewing sounds excellent. We finally got to see one at our feeder yesterday morning, but it was silhouetted, so I don't know whether it was male or female.

Good luck at the bookstore!

Jul 14, 2017, 9:42am Top

Somebody, probably the van driver, called that in to the police. That kind of stuff gets reported. Still, that is some scary stuff.

I've got a copy of Cocaine Blues and would be interested in what you think of it.

Do you remember when I wrote that I saw one sparrow jumping on the back of another? You said that it was probably a mating dance and you were right, although it seems kind of ooga-booga cavemany to me. Every year sparrows build a nest in a space in the wall where the flashing meets the bricks between my balcony door and the kitchen window, and I'm guessing that it had to be those two. The male is very territorial and sits on the balcony railing and tweets at Parker, who makes a big show of his hunting skills by stalking the bird from behind the glass and giving that weird juddering meow. I stand behind him and congratulate him on his ferociousness, and try to scare the bird off by waving my arms so that Parker gets that pleased with himself look.

Jul 14, 2017, 3:57pm Top

Hi Karen, so sorry to hear about the gun incident with your husband my dear, it must have been terrifying for him and no wonder he is having sleep problems. Hopefully he will get back to his normal self over the next few days and the incident will be a distant memory, give him a special hug from both of us.

Looking at what you are going to read, I also have Cocaine Blues and the next two in the series on my TBR pile so would be interested in your thoughts on it. Hope you are having a nice Friday dear friend and send love and hugs.

Jul 14, 2017, 4:18pm Top

Hope the weekend is good for you and your husband, Karen. If we ever get our government back, maybe we can institute mental testing for gun purchases, gun permits, AND driver's licenses.

Jul 14, 2017, 7:14pm Top

>280 weird_O:

Was Australia the country that completely outlawed guns?

Jul 14, 2017, 7:30pm Top

I think so, Marianne.

Jul 14, 2017, 10:32pm Top

Hi Karen! Stopping by to get caught up.

>42 lkernagh: - Your family keepsakes are wonderful and I love the history behind them.

>52 karenmarie: - Lovely on the hummingbird sighting! Hummingbirds are so beautiful, and always interesting to be sitting outdoors and hear them before you might sight them.

I hope RL is resuming to normal for you after all you have been through.

Darnitall.... looks like I missed your birthday. Happy belated birthday wishes to you, Karen!

Never say no to cake... except for maybe red velvet. I have yet to encounter a red velvet cake that didn't taste gritty or grainy. ;-(

>262 karenmarie: - What a very frightening situation for your husband! I am glad to see that he was not physically harmed even though he was understandably psychologically harmed by the incident. I remember back in my 20's being the victim of a store "holdup" for the cash in the till No gun was pointed at me, just a show of something that could have been a gun being held inside the pocket of the guy's coat jacket and a note asking for all of the money in the till. The cops did arrest the suspect within 30 minutes of him leaving the store (I had called 911 as soon as he was gone) and I remember being driven down to the police station by two detectives so that they could take my statement and confirm the suspect they had in custody was the one who held up the store. What still seems surreal after all these years is that while the robbery was happening there were three customers in the store (as well as two of my co-workers) and no one was aware of what was happening at the till until after it was all over.

I did a fair bit of skim reading so I probably missed some stuff while getting caught up. Wishing you a lovely weekend.

Jul 15, 2017, 4:37am Top

So sorry to hear what your husband had to go through. It's so awful for me unbelievable. I hope he could calm down.
Wishing you a relaxed weekend.

Edited: Jul 15, 2017, 8:29am Top

>276 msf59: Hi Mark! The babies have hatched, and so we now have perhaps half a dozen or more hummingbirds. Two just zoomed off as I write this. Have fun in WI! I hope you see some beautiful birds. And, of course, yay to The Golem and the Jinni. Such a powerful and strange book, mystical, magical.

>277 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! Depending on the time of day and lighting I can’t tell male from female either. They’re a joy to watch. If it was hammock weather, which it is SO definitely not, I’d be able to hear them too , just like Lori wrote about above.

I found one book at the book store, The Stranger by Harlan Coben. Thanks to LibraryThing’s Android App I was able to quickly confirm that I don’t already have it. Yay McIntyre’s! Yay LT App!

>278 SomeGuyInVirginia: I hope so, Larry. My husband got quite a bit of paranoid confirmation of his unwillingness to report it from some of his more …er… right-wing friends. My husband is not right-wing but somehow has acquired friends who voted for pre*ident small hands.

Ooga-booga cavemany. Animals don’t seem to care about our human sensibilities when it comes to procreation, do they? How exciting to have the sparrow’s nest where you can see it, and how bold and brave of Parker to keep an eye on the situation. I like the way you describe it – that weird juddering meow. How brave of the sparrow, too, frankly, to stare down a known predator.

>279 johnsimpson: Thank you, John. Fortunately it seems to have settled into a bad-dream status, or as you put it a distant memory. I’ll give him your special hug this morning – he’s still sleeping.

I’ll have to report back on Cocaine Blues to both you and Larry.

>280 weird_O: Hi Bill! Thank you. Wimbledon Singles Finals. I’d like to see Muguruza win, simply to share the wealth. Paradoxically, it’s Roger all the way for me. No sharing of the wealth for the men. I want Roger to get #8 and #19, Wimbledon titles and majors titles respectively.

Huh. Get our government back. Oh my, yes. I agree to all of the above. Of course, I already have MY Colt Commander .45 ….. but for everybody else, naturally. *smile*

>281 m.belljackson: and >282 weird_O: A quick look online indicates that Australia has very restrictive gun laws, but guns are not completely outlawed.

>283 lkernagh: Hi Lori! I love laying in the hammock and hearing that distinctive whirring-buzzing sound. Thank you re my late birthday wishes.

Life is settling down. I need to get back to the routine I started after husband got his job in January and also carve out a regular schedule regarding Friends of the Library Treasury activities. I still need to get settled into that, still need to get the online presence. I’m also going to get a debit card. I mentioned it to the membership volunteer, and she said what I think quite a few of them would say “But we’ve never had one before”. I’m just going to get it anyway and not mention it until its benefit becomes apparent. I can see where it will be helpful for a bit of this and that.

Wow, being in a store during a holdup. Very scary.

>284 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! He’s doing better. Our weekend will be very relaxing, nothing planned except errands and tennis. Of course there’s laundry staring at me, and photos to scan, and things to straighten up, but that’s just the normal stuff.

Jul 15, 2017, 10:31am Top

>285 karenmarie: Hope you enjoy the The Stranger. I have two Coben books on my shelves that I have never opened

Jul 15, 2017, 2:59pm Top

Ooh, Chelle! I've read 17 of the 24 books of his I own, mostly the Myron Bolitar series. I really enjoy his books.

We just got back from running errands. Friend Carl wanted to join us - he of the 6-month driving restriction due to a seizure - so we picked him up, went to the dump, went to lunch, dropped Carl off at Great Clips for a haircut, went to the grocery store, multi-tasked with me waiting at the grocery store for Carl while husband got off-road diesel for our tractor, took Carl home, stopped off at the Post Office for me to check the PO Box for the Friends, then to the pharmacy, then home. A very productive day.

Now, it's time to read.

Jul 15, 2017, 6:11pm Top

My goodness, You've had an exciting week. Some of the wrong sort of exciting though. I'm glad your husband wasn't hurt. I've had a gorgeous day all by myself. My husband took both kids off to a swim meet in W-S early this morning, and they are just on their way home now. They should be perfectly exhausted. *grin* We are having meatloaf for dinner with lots of fresh fruit and new potatoes. Then off to bed for the kiddos. We need to figure out our meetup. I will PM you.

Jul 16, 2017, 7:59am Top

Hi Jenn! Exciting, yes, both good and not so good. But things are calm here. Husband has a lot of anger about the incident and is, figuratively speaking, kicking the cat, by being extremely negative about pretty much everything. I'll try to just let him process it this way, but it is a bit wearing.

Having the house and time to yourself is special when the kids are young. I hope you had a wonderful time by yourself.

This morning is the Men's Final at Wimbledon, Cilic vs Federer. I'm a Fed fan all the way and will bring out Federer Bear, my signed photograph of him AT Wimbledon (purchased by husband, not acquired at Wimbledon by me, unfortunately), and, if I can find it, one of my two Wimbledon towels.

I just finished an interesting ER book, An Atlas of Countries that Don't Exist by Nick Middleton. I'll write a review today sometime, necessary for the ER Gods, but perhaps interesting here, too.

Off to read a bit more of Cocaine Blues - the first Phryne Fisher Murder Mystery. It's coming along nicely.

Jul 16, 2017, 8:47am Top

An Atlas of Countries That Don’t Exist by Nick Middleton
7/14/17 to 7/16/17

The description from Amazon:

What is a country? Acclaimed travel writer and Oxford geography don Nick Middleton brings to life the origins and histories of 50 states that, lacking international recognition and United Nations membership, exist on the margins of legitimacy in the global order. From long-contested lands like Crimea and Tibet to lesser-known territories such as Africa's last colony and a European republic that enjoyed independence for a single day, Middleton presents fascinating stories of shifting borders, visionary leaders, and "forgotten" peoples. Beautifully illustrated with 50 regional maps, each country is literally die-cut out of the page, offering a distinctive tactile experience while exploring these remarkable places.

The Introduction to this fascinating book is beautifully, succinctly, yet inclusively written to describe some of the attributes of ‘countries’ and to describe some things that are not in countries. Borders as a construct make an appearance, too.

The book is divided into geographical and ‘other’ zones. They are Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Asia, Oceania, and Elsewhere. The countries include colonized areas reasserting sovereignty, concrete-and-coral-block atols, tribal organizations, and political and logical entities making a statement.

Each country is allotted 4 pages – The first has name, brief description, and flag. The second has the die-cut out surrounding the 4th page’s map of the country, Date Declared, Capital, Population,, Area, Continent, and Language(s). Some have Founder and Date Dissolved. The third page is vivid prose highlighting either general historical info or a specific incident that describes the beginning or ending of the country’s existence. The fourth page is the map of the country within the context of sister countries, and the location on a globe.

The information is fascinating. It is just enough to give a feel to the country or its founder, not too much to drag out. It made me want to learn more about some of these countries.

My only criticism is that the color choice for the first and second pages, a red, and the font on the third page, italic, make it a bit of an effort to read.

Jul 16, 2017, 8:49am Top

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. How is the hummingbird family doing?

Edited: Jul 16, 2017, 11:39am Top

Hi Mark!

Almost every time I look out and wait no more than half a minute, I see one or more hummingbirds.
There's a male on the feeder, just got divebombed, is back on, taking a big drink. Now gone. It's so much fun.

And ROGER WON! Straight sets, first time a man has won all matches in straight sets since 1976. First time a man has won 8 Wimbledons, first time a man has won 19 majors. I'm happy. And of course it's because I put out the mojo, including both Wimbledon towels!

Jul 16, 2017, 12:53pm Top

I am so sorry to hear about your husband's experience with violence. I hope he is doing better.

Jul 16, 2017, 2:24pm Top

>290 karenmarie: - Ooo, this sounds good!

Edited: Jul 16, 2017, 3:56pm Top

>293 witchyrichy: Thanks, Karen. He's having a relaxing day and not expressing any anger or upset right now. Watching tennis was good, especially since Roger won without any stress or strain. It turns out that Cilic had blisters, but Roger didn't know it as the match progressed. I feel bad for Cilic but glad for Roger.

>294 jessibud2: Hi Shelley! I've posted the same review on my book's page to get ER 'credit' for reviewing it. It's a fun and thought-provoking book.

Jul 16, 2017, 5:21pm Top

For some reason, I'm really cruising along with books this weekend!

Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood
7/14/17 to 7/16/17

The description from Amazon:

This is where it all started! The first classic Phryne Fisher mystery, featuring our delectable heroine, cocaine, communism and adventure. Phryne leaves the tedium of English high society for Melbourne, Australia, and never looks back. The London season is in full fling at the end of the 1920s, but the Honorable Phryne Fisher―she of the green-gray eyes, diamant garters and outfits that should not be sprung suddenly on those of nervous dispositions―is rapidly tiring of the tedium of arranging flowers, making polite conversations with retired colonels, and dancing with weak-chinned men. Instead, Phryne decides it might be rather amusing to try her hand at being a lady detective in Melbourne, Australia.

Almost immediately from the time she books into the Windsor Hotel, Phryne is embroiled in mystery: poisoned wives, cocaine smuggling rings, corrupt cops and communism―not to mention erotic encounters with the beautiful Russian dancer, Sasha de Lisse―until her adventure reaches its steamy end in the Turkish baths of Little Lonsdale Street.

What a delectable romp! Phryne Fisher is a flapper, a liberated young woman. She is happily promiscuous (and has safe sex!), is generous with her money, is intelligent, and is very brave. She was born into poverty but due to three deaths and her father inheriting a title, has money, entrée into society, and is a winsome combination of her pre- and post-money selves.

We are not allowed inside her detecting thought processes, but we are allowed into her thoughts about the people she meets, homosexuality, drugs, politics, society, and cars, among other things.

I didn’t even know that the Australian TV series The Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries was based on the Phryne Fisher books until after the first one or two when I started paying attention to the introductory credits. The book is somewhat different than the series, naturally, but all in all it is a satisfying start to what might become a well-loved series. We meet Dot, Bert and Cec, the not-a-romantic-interest Detective Inspector Robinson, and various and sundry others.

Jul 16, 2017, 8:00pm Top

Ooh, that sounds like fun. I think The Miss Fisher Murder Mysteriesis available on Netflix but I've always avoided it because I imagine the book will be better.

Jul 16, 2017, 11:09pm Top

My DH enjoys the Miss Fishers, but I'm never awake enough to watch with him. I didn't realize that they were books first. Good to know!

Jul 17, 2017, 1:03am Top

Hi Karen--I hope your Hubby is back to sleeping well at night. What a story!! How awful.

I am very jealous of the hummingbirds. For some reasons, my feeders are not drawing any birds this summer. I am so disappointed. : (

Good job on your book reading lately! Happy Monday.

Jul 17, 2017, 2:47am Top

Hi Berly!

Every year is different regarding the hummingbirds. This year we're lucky.

Thanks, and thanks!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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