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Moving Right Along and Getting Comfy in 2017 - Q3 (Storeetllr/Mary)

This is a continuation of the topic Moving Right Along in 2017 - Q2 (Storeetllr/Mary) .

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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1Storeetllr
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 11:22pm Top

Happy Summer, Everyone! Greetings from Southern Colorado.

Don't know about you, but we have been getting some HOT weather here in Pueblo. I feel fortunate in that my new digs seems to stay relatively cool on hot days even without the A/C. Of course, when the temps hit the 90s, I tend to turn on the air, plus the ceiling fans and a couple of table fans, and mist the birds frequently with cool water from the spritzer bottle. Rosie isn't thrilled about that, but Nickel sometimes asks for it, ruffling up her feather and making the "tsh tsh" sound that the spray bottle makes. We've also been enjoying the back patio, especially in the morning when it is still cool and shaded.


Rosie checking the skies for predators (she's actually under the patio overhang)


Nickel, inspecting the container garden (looking for bugs?)

I also give my little container garden, which is growing by leaps and bounds, a daily watering, and change the sugar water in the hummingbird feeder. So far, I've spotted a few of the little guys slurping up the nectar, but I haven't gotten any pics of them yet.

As of 6/4/17 As of 6/21/17

I did get a few pics of what I think is a Northern Flicker pecking at the soil, looking for his (her?) breakfast. Maybe Mark, our resident birding expert, can confirm.



via GIPHY



2Storeetllr
Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 8:26pm Top




Books Read in 2017
(List of 1st Quarter Books Read is here.
List of 2nd Quarter Books Read is here)

July

59. When Falcons Fall by C. S. Harris. 4.5 stars. Excellent entry in the St. Cyr mystery series, after a disappointing previous novel (disappointing to me, anyway, although I know a lot of people really liked it). Sebastian, along with Hero and their son Simon and entourage, travel to the small village of Ayleswick where Jamie, his probable half-brother, was born and raised. His purpose is twofold: to visit Jamie's grandmother and to see if he can find out any information of his own ancestry. The day after he arrives, a beautiful young woman is found dead on the banks of a river, and the young and inexperienced magistrate turns to Sebastian for help in solving the mystery of how she died. I really liked this entry in the St. Cyr historical mystery series, even though some of the usual cast of characters (such as Paul Gibson and the City of London) are missing. The descriptions of the Shropshire village, its denizens and their various foibles, is wonderful. The bits of historical information about the Enclosure Act and its impact on small farmholders and villagers is interesting and forms a basis for the mystery, as does the presence in the neighborhood of Napoleon's brother Lucien. Really looking forward to the next book Where the Dead Lie.

60. The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin. 4 stars. Audio. After a bit of a rocky start, I enjoyed this, the second book of The Broken Earth trilogy that began with The Fifth Season - enjoyed it without actually really understanding a lot of it. For instance, is "Father Earth" an actual entity or a personification, or perhaps a "supercomputer"? How come Alabaster and Essun turned/are turning to stone after using the obelisks but Nassun isn't? Is this a far distant future Earth or an entirely different world? What's the deal with Schaffa - does he truly care for Nassun or is he biding his time to use her for his nefarious purpose? WHAT is his nefarious purpose? WTH ARE the obelisks, were they created or are they natural items in this world, and what were they used for? Where did the stone eaters come from originally? Is "silver" magic or nature and does science enter into this? How, after thousands of "seasons," does advance medical tech survive so a relatively stone-age civilization reattach an arm? Okay, thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I'll hope that the third in the series - The Stone Sky - answers some of my questions at least.

61. Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman. 4.5 stars. First in an urban fantasy/mystery set in NYC. Bonnie Torres is a Talent, a worker of magic which, in this world, means someone who can control current, which is akin to electricity. She's currently looking for her first job out of college, without any luck, when she gets a message, caller unknown, to show up at an office near 125th and Amsterdam the next afternoon. When she gets there, she finds 4 others in the waiting room - all Talents. After waiting long past the time set for the appointment, they barge into the inner office and find a dead body on the floor. Instead of running away or calling the police, and sensing current, they begin to question what happened, how it happened, and when. Thus, PUPI (Private, Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations), pronounced "puppy," comes into being. Really cool world building, interesting characters. Reminds me a bit of the magic of London in the Matthew Swift/Blue Electric Angels series, but not as dark. It does have a kind of cliffhanger ending, which I normally dislike, but in this case I think it is acceptable. I really enjoyed this and can't wait to read the next in the series.

62. Miles to Go by Laura Anne Gilman. 3.5 stars. First in the Sylvan Investigations spin-off series, features a young Talent - a Storm Seer - who only recently found a mentor and began training to use her gift, which is to see those who will soon die. She has a vision of three teens and a half human named Danny, who is a PI who has done some work for PUPI. Danny's a loner, but he agrees to allow Ellen to shadow him as he goes about trying to find the teens before they die and to keep them (and himself) safe. Good but not as good as Hard Magic. I will continue the series, though. I really like this world.

63. Pack of Lies by Laura Anne Gilman. 4 stars. Second in the Paranormal Scene Investigations urban fantasy/mystery series. In this one, the PUPI team is called in to confirm that the gory killing by an Asian unicorn of a Talent who attempted to rape the companion of said unicorn was as it appears. Trouble is, though three of those involved were Talent, the team doesn't pick up any strong emotions at the scene in a situation where at least the female victim and the the attempted rapist's companion should have been emoting like crazy. During the course of the investigation, Bonnie (from Hard Magic) meets Danny (from Miles to Go). This series is quite addictive - I am already wanting to start the third book, though I have others I'm currently reading.

64. Tricks of the Trade by Laura Anne Gilman. 4.5 stars. Third in the PSI urban fantasy/mystery series, and another good'un. A little more about the strange and unsettling connection between Bonnie and Venec, one of the "Big Dogs" who run PUPI. In this one, the pups meet a mischief imp and an Old One and a lot more of the fatae (aka fae) than they really want to meet, and Bonnie renews her acquaintance with Madame, an Ancient, who receives roses from her adoring admirers which she eats like candy. This continues to be a fun and addictive series, but there's only one more left (so far) and so I am trying to avoid reading it right away.

65. Dragon Justice by Laura Anne Gilman. 4.5 stars. Fourth and latest in the PSI series. Really good, and this one even made me cry. Not going to even talk about the storyline so as not to give away any spoilers. If you want to read a good urban fantasy series with minimal "romance" (and no sex scenes!) and what romance there is being actually crucial to the story, then this is the one.

66. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. Audio (read by Neil Himself!). 5 stars (4.5 stars for the book and an extra half star for the reading). I'm not crazy about mythological stories retold, or fairy tales retold, or anything like that, so I was a bit hesitant to read this, because I love Gaiman's stuff and didn't want to be disappointed. May I just say I had nothing to worry about. This was magical, and Neil's narrative made it doubly so. Highly recommend the audio version. The print version is probably good too, but, like the original myths, it's perfect listening to Neil tell the tales of Odin All-Father, Thor, Loki, Freyr, Balder, Freyja, Nanna, and the rest of the Aesir and the Vanir, and the Frost Giants.

67. A Purely Private Matter by Darcie Wilde. 3.75 stars. Audio. While I enjoyed this Victorian mystery for its depiction of London society, I found the characters a bit annoying. I know repression is the word for Victorian society, but these people seemed a bit over the top with it. Also, the ending, unexpected and dramatic as it was, was a bit disappointing. Still, a decent read, and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

68. The Whole Art of Detection by Lyndsay Faye. 4.25 stars. Audio. LTER. Disclosure: I'm not a big fan of fanfiction and don't usually enjoy reading stories about characters that were created by a different author, especially iconic characters like Mr. Sherlock Holmes, but I really like Lindsay Faye - her Timothy Wilde trilogy was wonderful, and I enjoyed her Jane Steele, loosely based on Jane Eyre - enough to try this book of short fiction detailing some of Holmes' hitherto unknown cases, including a few that occurred before he met Dr. John Watson. (Somehow I missed reading Dust and Shadows, which pits Holmes against The Ripper. I'll be remedying that oversight soon.) When I requested this audiobook, I was driving a lot. Soon after I received it, though, I was all moved and am no longer in my car for long drives, so it took me awhile to finish because, honestly, I didn't feel compelled to continue. So at some point I borrowed the eBook from the library, and then - well, then it got compelling to the point where I also borrowed the audiobook from the library so I could listen to it when reading wasn't possible and I wasn't easily able to load a CD.

Now, on to the stories themselves. The early Holmes stories - before he became a great detective when he was still learning his craft - weren't my favorites, though they were interesting in filling in that part of Holmes' life. I think the way they were told - Holmes telling Watson stories to take Watson's mind off other things - was part of the problem. Too cute. After that shaky beginning, though, it became as if Faye were channeling Doyle. She captured Watson's voice almost perfectly, as well as her recreation of Holmesian London and its denizens, and the stories where Holmes is the narrator sound like I imagine Doyle might have written him. The obvious affection between Holmes and Watson is new, but I think had Doyle not been a repressed Victorian gentleman he might have written more like that because, really, the two men were friends for a ell of a longer time than is likely had Holmes not felt more affection and respect for Watson than what I recall from the original stories.

One of my favorites is "The Diadem Club Affair," a fun story told in Holmes' own voice, not least because of the character of flibbertigibbet Lord Chesley Templeton and because it has a nice twist at the end that introduces the Baroness Orzy. The other story told from Holmes' point of view - "The Gaskell Blackmailing Dilemma" - is also a favorite, though a bit darker and not as much pure fun.

I think anyone who loves Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original Sherlock Holmes stories will enjoy this book, but I think it would be best read first in print and then, if inclined, the audiobook.)

69. (Book 69 on my 69th birthday! How cool is that?!? The Cold Eye by Laura Anne Gilman. 4 stars. The saga continues as Isobel, the Devil's Left Hand, the cold eye of justice, the quick knife in the dark, travels The Territory with Gabriel, her mentor on the Road and discovers a place of horror that resulted when a magicians' ceremony went terribly wrong and, if not healed, threatens to unravel The Territory even while an outside enemy is gathering itself to conquer The Territory. Not quite as enchanting as Silver on the Road and a bit meandering, but worthwhile and enjoyable and lays the basis for the next in the series (oh! I HOPE it's a series and not a trilogy).

August

70. Staying Dead by Laura Anne Gilman. 3.5 stars. Would have given it a 4 star rating except the first 100 pages were a bit boring, and I had to keep forcing myself back to it. Then it got good, and the last 100 pages were really good. So...maybe she will have hit her stride with the second book of the series, which is on my Kindle now as I speak.

71. The Passion of Cleopatra by Anne Rice. 3.5 stars. ER copy from First-to-Read. First half of book was kind of boring, but then it picked up. End was a bit of a disappointment. More later after I've thought about it awhile.

72. Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer. 3.5 stars. Audio. Third in the Southern Reach/Area X trilogy and second favorite of the three (Annihilation was first; I wasn't thrilled with Authority). For the denouement of a trilogy, it didn't answer many questions but leaves you dangling, almost there, the answers just over the horizon, mind-bending and enjoyable but ultimately unsatisfying. If you've read one and two, this is a must. If you haven't read Annihilation and aren't into strange fiction that includes scifi and horror, then you probably want to give it a pass.

73. Big Machine by Victor La Valle. 4 star. La Valle is the author of Ballad of Black Tom, a novella that rifts on Lovecraft's The Horror of Red Hook and was short-listed for this year's Hugo awards. I enjoyed a lot when I read it a few months ago, so I was looking forward to reading more by La Valle. I chose this novel on the basis of its opening sentence: Don't look for dignity in public bathrooms. This is a weird and highly original novel about crazy cults, addiction, redemption. The characters are all mostly unlikable, the magical realism uneven, the situations gritty and of the kind I hope never to be involved in, the villains both awful, like a gory train wreck, and oddly appealing, the only decent character in the entire novel was killed for no reason, and there were parts of it I absolutely did not understand. Some of the writing was brilliant, and parts of the storyline were so boring they made me want to put the book down and forget to pick it back up. Yet...yet...it got to me and I don't think I'm going to be able to stop thinking about it for some time.

74. Where the Dead Lie by C.S. Harris. 4 stars. Another excellent adventure, a little darker even than usual, concerning the disappearance of dozens of street urchins and the subsequent discovery of their tortured bodies. New interesting characters are introduced who I hope will appear in subsequent books.

September

75. The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters. 3 stars. Audio (read by Barbara Rosenblat). 20th iby publication; 11.5th chronologically in the Amelia Peabody series. It was obvious to me that this was not written by Elizabeth Peters who died in 2013. Also, it's out of order (published this year but belongs between Books 11 (Falcon at the Portal) and 12 (He Shall Thunder in the Sky. The characters were just enough out of sync to make it jarring, and, unlike Peters' earlier books in the series, this was more a series of scenes that didn't fit together easily and was without a lot of character development. Also, I'm sorry to say that Rosenblat's performance was not up to its usual high standards.

76. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson. 4.5 stars. Audio. Read by the author. I admit, some of this went over my head. Well, a lot of it did. I've never been much of a science geek, but this book, along with the Hawking book I read a few months ago, is getting me more interested. If I were younger, after reading this, I might want to be an astrophysicist too. Anyway, the book's conversational approach and the author's voice make the subject highly accessible. Highly recommended, even for those who are not science/math orientated.

77. Shadowed Souls by Jim Butcher and others. 4 stars. Audio. Uneven collection of short stories about, well, shadowed souls - people who are tortured by who they are and what they do, most of it dark and sometimes bloody, though always for a good cause. Butcher’s “Cold Case”, featuring Harry Dresden’s one-time apprentice Molly Carpenter, and “Sleepover”, set in Seanan McGuire’s Incryptid milieu, were two of my favorites. I also enjoyed “Peacock in Hell” by Kat Richardson, “Baggage” by Erik Scott de Bie, and “Sales. Force.” by Kristine Katheryn Rusch. Other stories in the collection are: “Solus” by Anton Strout which introduces readers to Simon Canderous, the protagonist of Strout’s Dead… series, “Hunter, Healer” by Jim C. Hines, “What Dwells Within” by Lucy A. Snyder featuring sorceress Jessie Shimmer, “If Wishes Were Fishes” by Tanya Huff, “Impossible Monsters” by Rob Thurman and “Eye of Newt” by Kevin J. Anderson, featuring Dan Shamble, Zombie Detective. One good thing is I found a few more series I'm definitely going to read and at least one that I'm staying away from.

78. Secrets in Death by J.D. Robb. 4 stars. 45th in the series, and a good one. Not a lot of surprises or plot twists, just good character interaction in a solid police procedural.

79. How the Marquis Got His Coat Back by Neil Gaiman. 5 stars. Audio. Fun production of a screenplay rather than a novella, with many different actors in the various parts, including Neil. Action takes place shortly after Richard Mayhew gets back to London Underground, but he's only in it for a brief moment. We meet a Shepherd from Shepherd's Bush! And we meet the Elephant of the Elephant and Castle (and oh! how he loves to bugle). And there was one big (to me) surprise, a character I don't recall meeting or even hearing about before, and I've read Neverwhere at least a half dozen times. So much fun!

80. Come Sundown by Nora Roberts. 4 stars. So, THIS is the kind of romantic thriller I enjoy the most. A couple pages worth of sex scenes out of hundreds of pages of good story. Murder, kidnapping, rogue cop, romance, rightwing gun nut "patriot," beautiful Montana sunsets, horses. I can imagine Nora Roberts, angry over what is happening in this county today with the pseudo-patriots and the gun nuts and the misogyny and, rather than sit and Tweet about it wrote a great book showing exactly what those things can result in.

October

81. Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. 4 stars. The first two sections were surprisingly good; the last section, set 5,000 years after the events in the first two, was a real slog. On an otherwise unremarkable summer day, something hit the Moon with such force that the Moon broke into pieces. At first, nothing else happened - people around the world looked up to see the pieces hovering in the same relative position they had been in when they were part of the whole. Then they started careening into each other, sending shards flying off into space where they began falling to Earth. One media-savvy astrophysicist - who seemed to be modeled on Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye - posited that the pieces of the Moon would soon be destroyed and bolide hits would soon increase until they became a Hard Rain, spelling the end of life on Earth. I have to say, it was so well told that I cried more than once as the people on Earth started to work toward saving at least some people so that when the White Sky happened and the Hard Rain began, humanity would have a chance to survive. As for the third section, much much too wordy, and none of the characters really appealed. Also, a bit of a personal disappointment because I kind of figure out mostly how it would end, except I thought it would be funny if the Martian contingent to come racing back to Earth to save the day or add to the mix of groups that hated each other, and that was another downer how little had changed in that respect.

82. Archangel's Viper by Nalini Singh. 3.75 stars. Audio. This installment in the world of the Guild Hunters features Viper, one of Raphael's Seven, and Holly Chang aka Sorrow, the only "survivor" of the bloody rampage of the Archangel Uram. Or is she? The story was okay, but I didn't feel enough of a connection between Viper and Holly to account for their romantic relationship. I don't know, could have been me. As I said, the story was good, and it's hard to give a synopsis without giving away spoilers, but it takes place mostly in New York, where someone has put out a contract on Holly, thinking her an unimportant vampire-change failure. The last part in the Archangel Michaela's territory and is the only part where Raphael appears.

83. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire. 4 stars. Prequel to the 2017 Hugo award winning novella Every Heart a Doorway.

84. The Gathering Edge by Sharon Lee. 3.5 stars. Audio. The continuing saga of Theo and Bechimo. Just the slightest bit boring, though I enjoyed it enough to keep going. Ends on a bit of a cliffhanger tho that's not a problem as it's part of an arc that hasn't reached its resolution yet.

85. The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey. 5 stars. Audio. I'm not much one for zombies. Vampires and werewolves have been my monsters of choice, tho even those tropes have become a bit stale over the past few years as books about vamps & shifters have flooded the market. Everything about this novel - a story about a little girl named Melanie during a zombie apocalypse - it is just about perfect. The story, the characters (whether I hated them or loved them), the world building, the narrator (Finty Williams, who is so good!), even the ending, which I admit I did not see coming, though I should have. It has horror, though not your Friday-the-13th kind of horror. It has gore, though not in-your-face-until-you-want-to-vomit gore. It has suspense and pathos, skullduggery and heroism. It's pretty much my favorite book so far this year, and it's about zombies! Who'da thunk it?

Note: I've been in a reading slump since - well, to be honest, since 11/9/16. A lot of the pleasures in life have paled since then, but the pleasure I missed the most was reading. With this book, I have renewed home that the slump is done.

86. Bird Box by Josh Malerman. 3.75 stars. Audio. Something is causing otherwise sane and ordinary people to go insane and murder others and/or kill themselves. Eventually we get to know how the apocalypse unfolds through one woman's story, which jumps back and forth from the very start of "The Problem" to a time about 4 years later when she is escaping with two children (not a spoiler). We also never know exactly where the insane-making thing has come from or see what it is, and I thought the ending was just the slightest bit lame, but otherwise a pretty suspenseful horror story.

87. Besieged by Kevin Hearne. 3.75 stars. Audio. (Read by Luke Daniels) Short stories in the Iron Druid saga, some from the very beginning, others featuring Granuelle, the rest in between. Enjoyable but not that memorable individually.

88. The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey. 5 stars. Audio. Stunning finish to the zombie apocalypse saga that began with "The Girl With All the Gifts." "The Boy on the Bridge" is a contemporaneous story set in the same world as "The Girl," as well as a sequel that ties it all up. I loved both these novels so much, and I am not a fan of zombies! Highly recommended for everyone, even those who do not normally read horror fiction.

December

89. Blue Monday by Nicci French. 3.5 stars. Audio. The psychologist does things/misses things that made me think "TSTL" a number of times, and the chief detective was a jerk - first inviting the psychologist to help with the case, then cursing her out for whatever, then ignoring her calls. No wonder his wife left him. As for the mystery, it was pretty solid except I managed to figure out the twist at the end long before the end, and I'm usually hopeless at that. Will give this series another chance because friends have recommended it.

90. Home for the Holidays by Jeaniane Frost. 4.5 stars. Audio. Short story (more like a novella) in the Night Huntress series. How to spend the holidays when you're a vamp with friends that include demons, ghosts, and other assorted creatures. Cute, and it was fun to spend some time with Cat and Bones again.

91. Tuesday's Gone by Nicci French. 4 stars. Second in the Freida Klein series and much better than the first, imo, except the police detective AGAIN asks Freida for help and then gets mad at her (he's like a two-year old, I swear) when she doesn't perform per his instructions.

92. Waiting for Wednesday by Nicci French. 3.75 stars. Audio. The story continues, with Frieda Klein solving a case of serial kidnapping/murders that the authorities don't even know about while seeming to fall apart emotionally. For a therapist, she sure does take on a lot of blame that isn't really hers, and, AGAIN, the cops treat her like she's a mentally ill child even after she solved two cases all by her lonesome. I'm torn by this series, but obviously it's gotten to me.

93. Thursday's Children by Nicci French. 4 stars. Audio. A woman who new Frieda in high school comes to her for help with her teenage daughter. Frieda goes back to the town where she grew up to help the girl and confront her own past, and we find out a few things about Frieda's childhood and perhaps why she is so cold and seemingly emotionless most of the time, why she needs to be alone so much, and why she is estranged from her family.

94. Friday on My Mind by Nicci French. 4 stars. Audio. Although again Frieda acts in a way that is almost TSTL, this was a good mystery that has her on the run after she is accused of murder on very flimsy evidence. Do British police detectives really act like that?

95 Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman. 3 stars. Audio, read by author. Short stories, much darker and more brutal than most of the other stuff of his that I've read. Also a lot of sexual images. Not my favorite Gaiman, but I am glad I listened to it.

96. Dark Saturday by Nicci French. 4 stars. Audio. About a year after the events in the last book, and after vowing to stay away from investigative work and concentrate on her therapy work, Frieda is dragged into a case that has been reopened due a question of the way the case was handled. About 13 years earlier, a young woman - I think she was just 18 - was arrested & convicted for the bloody and violent murder of her mother, step-father and little brother, and has spent the past dozen or so years in a hospital for the criminally insane, which is a house of horrors in itself.

97. The Night Show by Michael Connelly. 4 stars. Audio. Okay, I tried reading this on my Kindle and got bored, then tried listening to it on audio and was still bored. But others have liked it, so I persevered, and right after I thought about giving up on it then decided against it, about 20% of the way in, POW! It got unputdownable (or, rather, unturnoffable). I should have trusted that Connelly would not let me down.

98. Silver Silence by Nalini Singh. 4.5 stars. Audio. Reread. I read this back in June as an eBook. Although I enjoyed both versions the audio is awesome!

99. Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh. 4 stars. Audio. This is my favorite Psi-Changling novel, but I gave it 1/2 star lower than I would have if the reader had been better.

100. Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh. 4 stars. Audio. Reread.

101. Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh. 4 stars. Audio. Reread.

Now Reading

The Deepest Grave by Harry Bingham
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Provenance by Ann Leckie

Up Next

What Happened by Hillary Clinton. Audio - a politically savvy friend assures me this memoir is NOT a downer but rather that it is inspiring, so my fears that I'll be further depressed by reading it, fears that have kept me from it, should be put to rest.

On Deck

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate. Audio - not sure how this one is going to go down for me after the allegations of him being a serial sexual predator caused him to resign from the Senate. What a fucking disappointment that was, on a number of different levels.

Books to Borrow/Buy

Due Diligence by Sharon Lee (not available from library)
Darkly Human by Laura Anne Gilman (not available from library)
Occupy Me by Tricia Sullivan (reccied by Majleavy) (Not available from library)
News of the World by Paulette Giles, reccied by Mark & others
Incryptid series by Seanan McGuire, trying again
Kat Richardson
The Midnight Line by Lee Child.
Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly. (Harry Bosch #whatever, publish date 10/31/17)

Why Kill the Innocent by C. S. Harris (St. Cyr #13, publish date 4/3/18)
Dark in Death by J.D. Robb. (#46, publish date 1/30/18)
The Wanted by Robert Crais (publish date, 12/26/17)
Insidious Intent by Val McDermid (publish date 12/5/17)


*****
Books I Gave Up On/Put Aside For Awhile

Cold-Forged Flame by Marie Brennan. New fantasy series. Kind of boring, but just might be my mood.
The Devil in Silver by Victor La Valle. Audio. Neither the story nor the characters grabbed me. Again, could have been my mood, because I am very much enjoying La Valle's Big Machine.
Radium Girls by Kate Moore. Audio. Was not enjoying the audio so will get the book in print and read it later.
Mechanica by Betsy Cornwall (ditto)
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer (and ditto again)
The Changeling by Victor La Valle. (ditto yet again)
The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt. Audio. (A little too much kissing etc. in this book.)
Leviathan Wakes by James Corey. Audio. (Stopped holding my interest about halfway thru, and I have so many other books I need and want to get to, so I set this one aside for a time.)
Curse the Dark by Laura Anne Gilman. (Just ran out of time.)
The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz (Audio). Stalled in the middle; not that good.
The Rat Catchers' Olympics by Colin Cotteril. Just ran out of time. Also, prefer audio.
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry. Hardcover. (Gift from Mark!) Stalled. Putting aside until December.
Nevertheless, She Persisted, collection of short stories, edited by Mindy Klasky (LTER). Stalled. Putting it aside until December.
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King. Audio. Almost finished but too high tension for bedtime reading so stalled and now it's NaNo November!
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Ten. Not all that compelling.
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh - No time before NaNo November, darn it.
Night School by Lee Child - Halfway thru & I was bored. Also, sexual encounter that makes no sense except as a male palliative.
Artemis: A Novel by Andy Weir - just couldn't get into it, didn't like the protagonist, and then came NaNo. I own it, tho, so no rush.

3Storeetllr
Edited: Jan 2, 7:53pm Top

Favorites

Q1

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. 5 stars. Audio.
March: Book Three by John Lewis. 5 stars. GN
The Fall of the House of Cabal by Jonathan L. Howard. 4.5 stars. eBook

Q2

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. 4 stars. Audio.
We Are Legion by Dennis E. Taylor. 4.5 stars. Audio.
Silver Silence by Nalini Singh. 4.25 stars. eBook
Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan. 4.5 stars. Audio.
Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman. 4 stars. eBook

None were 5-star books, but all were eminently enjoyable.

Q3

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. 5 stars. Audio
How the Marquis Got His Coat Back by Neil Gaiman. 5 stars. Audio.
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. 4.5 stars. Audio.
Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman. 4.5 stars.

Q4

The Girl With All the Gifts, 5 stars and
The Boy on the Bridge, 5 stars, both by M. R. Carey

Hon. Mention: SeveneveS by Neal Stephenson. 4 stars

4FAMeulstee
Jul 1, 2017, 4:33pm Top

Happy new thread, Mary!
Rosie and Nickel look happy and your container garden is growing fast.

5ronincats
Jul 1, 2017, 4:49pm Top

Happy New Thread, Mary!

I would think A Purely Private Matter would be a quicker listen than The Obelisk Gate. With the first book of that series, I was paging back and forth trying to figure out the timelines; I would have been completely lost with an audiobook. Brave woman!!

6msf59
Edited: Jul 1, 2017, 6:31pm Top

Happy Saturday, Mary! Happy New Thread! Go Rosie! Go Nickel! Hope life is treating you well in Pueblo.

I think you are right about that bird being a Northern Flicker. The black patch on the chest is a good indicator. Are those pigeons in the background?

I hope you end up enjoying Days Without End as much as I did.

7witchyrichy
Jul 1, 2017, 6:59pm Top

Happy new thread! Your container garden looks lovely!

Glad to know you enjoyed Lincoln in the Bardo. It is on my TBR pile. I've also had some fun with the New York Times Virtual Reality app for the novel. There's a YouTube Video that gives you a similar experience even without the VR headset.

8Storeetllr
Jul 1, 2017, 8:08pm Top

>4 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita! Thanks! They seem to be pretty happy and relaxed these days. I'm so pleased with the container garden. The tomatoes are flowering, and the cherry tomato vine has a few clusters of fruit on it already!

>5 ronincats: Thanks, Roni. As far as being brave goes, we'll see. I haven't started Obelisk Gate yet, so not sure if it's going to work as an audio. I'm going to try though.

>6 msf59: Hey, Mark! Thanks for confirming my sighting. Not sure what those other birds are, but I posted a rather fun video clip on Instagram that shows them "interacting" with the Flicker. https://www.instagram.com/p/BWBLHMplYOn/?taken-by=marykontrary I am enjoying Days Without End, though it's slow going - NOT the fault of the book. I'm not doing as much reading of print/ebook as listening to audiobooks these days. My eyes get so darn tired...

>7 witchyrichy: Thanks, Karen. Something is eating some of the seedlings. I suspect snails. Thinking of going out snailing tonight. I didn't know there's a Lincoln in the Bardo VR app! Thanks for the tip. I'll check it out.

9PaulCranswick
Jul 1, 2017, 9:44pm Top

Happy new thread, Mary.

>1 Storeetllr: Southern Colorado looks warm but lush!

10jnwelch
Jul 1, 2017, 10:13pm Top

Happy New Thread, Mary!

Lincoln in the Bardo and the Bobs in We Are Legion are two I also enjoyed.

11Storeetllr
Jul 1, 2017, 10:32pm Top

>9 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul! It is warm, but, with a generous (and costly) application of water, it stays lush. lol

>10 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! Yes, I think you may have been one of a couple of those who's ravings about the Bobiverse got me to read We Are Legion.

12dallenbaugh
Jul 2, 2017, 8:39am Top

>8 Storeetllr: Hi Mary, I would be surprised if you had snails. I have never seen one in southern Colorado. Too dry! Birds will eat the seedlings and also squirrels and pack rats so you might have a challenge to find out which one it is. Hardware cloth sometimes works over the seedlings till they get bigger.

Happy 4th!

13Storeetllr
Jul 2, 2017, 12:27pm Top

Thanks for the tip, Donna! I hadn't seen any silver trails, so I'm not surprised that it's probably not snails. I have birds and squirrels aplenty out back, but pack rats? I never heard of those. Although they'd fit right in at my house, as I have been known to call myself a pack rat a time or two. I may have some netting that might help protect the little seedlings.

14Storeetllr
Jul 2, 2017, 4:17pm Top

Over the past few months, none of the Kindle First books appealed, but this month Amazon is offering TWO books that look really good. One is A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang, a historical mystery set in NYC in around 1918. The other is The Sky Below, a memoir by astronaut Scott Parazynski and Susy Flory. What to do? What to do?

15drneutron
Jul 2, 2017, 6:21pm Top

Happy new thread!

16ronincats
Jul 2, 2017, 8:47pm Top

>14 Storeetllr: Can't help you, although I agree that the Kindle First choices have been unappealing for months now. I got the science fiction choice, Secondborn.

17dallenbaugh
Jul 3, 2017, 9:16am Top

>14 Storeetllr: and I chose The Sky Below.

18rosalita
Jul 3, 2017, 9:23am Top

>14 Storeetllr: >16 ronincats: Yes, the Kindle First books have been "find the least bad" for months. It's rather discouraging and yet I keep choosing books and not reading them. I'm glad to hear there are some better choices this month; I'll have to check them out.

19Storeetllr
Jul 3, 2017, 1:31pm Top

Thanks for the feedback, all!

>16 ronincats: I looked at that one, Roni, but for some reason it didn't appeal as much as the others. Have you started it yet? What do you think?

>17 dallenbaugh: I really like the look of that one, Donna!

>18 rosalita: Yes, I haven't chosen any from the last two batches, Julia. Like you, I tend to request them and then they sit on my Kindle, unread. Similar to books I buy, which tend to sit on my shelf and wait until I'm done with all the library books that have due dates. lol

20DeltaQueen50
Jul 3, 2017, 4:46pm Top

Hi Mary, I wanted to come by and wish you a very happy 4th!

21Storeetllr
Jul 3, 2017, 9:04pm Top

Thanks, Judy!

And to all my American friends ~

22witchyrichy
Jul 4, 2017, 8:23am Top

Happy 4th to you!

23msf59
Jul 4, 2017, 8:40am Top

Happy 4th, Mary! How are those current reads treating you?

24Storeetllr
Jul 4, 2017, 2:13pm Top

Thanks, Karen and Mark! Hope you are both having a fun and relaxing holiday!

Mark, I am enjoying all of them, though my reading has slowed a lot in the past few months. Not sure why. It's not like I'm doing much else (except, you know, LT, FB, Twitter). I used to be able to listen to an audiobook and do other things - household chores, gardening. Now, when I listen, I just want to sit and listen, so I've been trying to avoid listening except at bedtime in order to get at least some things done. Also, I'm not doing much driving, which is when I used to listen a lot to audiobooks. Also, I happened to visit someone's *cough*Roni*cough* thread the other day and was hit with a BB which I was able to get from the library right away, so I started on that one instead of finishing the ones I was reading.

Well, I bet you weren't expecting such a detailed answer when you asked. :)

25ronincats
Jul 4, 2017, 8:30pm Top

*cough*ah, you know you love it!* cough*

Hi, Mary. Just stopping by to wish you a happy 4th!

26Storeetllr
Jul 5, 2017, 3:41pm Top

Hahahaha, Roni! I did love it! As I think I mentioned, I wasn't thrilled with the last one, but loved When Falcons Fall. Now I'm back to Obelisk Gate and, though parts of it are sometimes a bit hard to follow as an audiobook, am enjoying it a lot.

27Storeetllr
Edited: Jul 7, 2017, 1:21pm Top

So, I'm back to culling my bookshelves and came upon Anne Rice's The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned. I really enjoyed this book so, before donating it, wanted to be sure I could borrow it from the library in case I ever wanted to reread it. Anyway, I had forgotten that Rice is writing a sequel titled Ramses the Damned, the Passion of Cleopatra which is coming out in November. I was able to "recommend" it for purchase and to have a hold put on it for me when it comes out, if the library does buy it.



Same with Besieged, a book of Iron Druid short stories.



It's the little things in life that make me happy these days.

Also making me happy is that I have another 50 books to donate to the library (and/or give to someone who really wants them, if you let me know soon). Check out the new books on the list to be given away: http://www.librarything.com/catalog/Storeetllr. I also have a couple Xanth novels that I'm holding for RichardDerus, if his friend still wants them. Cheers!

28lkernagh
Jul 7, 2017, 5:07pm Top

Happy new thread, Mary. Love the pictures of Rosie and Nickel. Your container garden is growing fabulously!

Congratulations on your book culling!

.... all caught up. ;-)

29rosalita
Jul 7, 2017, 5:09pm Top

Hi, Mary! I thought you might find this article on the recent Photobucket débâcle interesting:

The big lesson from Photobucket's 'ransom images' debacle

30Storeetllr
Jul 7, 2017, 6:19pm Top

>28 lkernagh: Thanks, Lori! The girls seem to be thriving, as is the tiny little container garden I've got going this year. I hope to have something a bit larger next year in the garden department, though I'm having trouble finding a sunny enough spot in the backyard. Well, we'll see how the winter treats the big ol' tree in the backyard with all of its spreading branches.

>29 rosalita: Interesting, yes. I don't imagine P-bucket aka Scambucket will be around that much longer. Just on principle alone, I'd refuse to participate in ransoming my pics. Fortunately, I have all my own photos saved in various other places. It's just that my earlier threads and my blog (which I haven't been keeping up) are filled with that damned ransom note. I can understand a company needing to generate revenue, but this is not the way you do it, if you want to stay in business or at least have a good reputation.

31ronincats
Jul 7, 2017, 6:36pm Top

>27 Storeetllr: Thanks for the heads-up on the new Kevin Hearne book--I just went to my library website and requested they purchase it. They have all the other Iron Druid books, so it shouldn't be a problem.

>29 rosalita:, >30 Storeetllr: I used to use P*bucket to store photos I wanted to share online, especially before LT expanded their limits, but haven't used them for several years now. I did try to a couple of months ago but the overwhelming ads meant I couldn't navigate the site to do what I wanted to do, so I stopped doing it. Needless to say, I won't be using them again.

Are you considering doing what you did in your last rental and doing the straw bale gardening? I thought that was an excellent idea, especially for a rental.

32Storeetllr
Jul 7, 2017, 7:38pm Top

Hi, Roni! I'm excited about the new Iron Druid book too and really hope my library purchases it. As for P-bucket, well, the less said the better. Trying to keep it clean here on LT. ;) Except to say I'm disgusted by their attempt to extort a ransom from their users.

I am planning to do the straw bale garden next year, assuming I can figure out where to put it. It was really sunny out back all spring, but when the tree leafed out, it's almost all shade for most of the day.

33majleavy
Jul 8, 2017, 1:24pm Top

>27 Storeetllr:, >31 ronincats: Hi, I'm Michael (majleavy), visiting this thread for the first time. Just wanted to echo your shared enthusiasm for the new Kevin Hearne: I've been saving a B&N coupon for it. I've read the whole series, including the e-books (well, not the one written by Oberon the wolfhound). Hope we all enjoy it!

34witchyrichy
Jul 8, 2017, 1:42pm Top

I am also in the midst of culling. I put a big box in the library and as I finish books I know I won't reread, I toss them in. I've also added a bunch of shelf setters that were read in the past. I'm taking the box to book group at the library to see what the librarian might want now or want me to save for the fall book sale. It's actually been easier than I thought to part with them...maybe an overall sense of needing to downsize. I cleaned out the attic room last week and have items sitting everywhere waiting for the local antiques/second hand shop owner to come by and claim any she might want before they go to goodwill.

35Storeetllr
Jul 8, 2017, 7:49pm Top

>33 majleavy: Hi, Michael! Welcome! Nice to meet a fellow Iron Druid fan! I'm not a huge fan of short stories, but the ones I've read by Hearne have been very enjoyable, so I am very excited about his new collection.

>34 witchyrichy: Way to go, Karen! My downsizing is progressing veeeerrrrryyyy sllloooowwwwly. Like, years slowly. (I started in 2008.) lol Still, I look forward to the day I have no extraneous junk lying around - either out or in boxes - to keep me from enjoying what remains or from finding what I really want or need. Of course, when I say junk, I'm currently talking about stuff that is still usable or beautiful or meaningful that is almost impossible for me to let go. The true junk, as well as the stuff that I kind of liked or that was kind of meaningful has already been disposed of.

36Storeetllr
Jul 8, 2017, 8:06pm Top

Here are my first three reads for July, with brief thoughts about them:

59. When Falcons Fall by C. S. Harris. 4.5 stars. Excellent entry in the St. Cyr mystery series, after a disappointing previous novel (disappointing to me, anyway, although I know a lot of people really liked it). Sebastian, along with Hero and their son Simon and entourage, travel to the small village of Ayleswick where Jamie, his probable half-brother, was born and raised. His purpose is twofold: to visit Jamie's grandmother and to see if he can find out any information of his own ancestry. The day after he arrives, a beautiful young woman is found dead on the banks of a river, and the young and inexperienced magistrate turns to Sebastian for help in solving the mystery of how she died. I really liked this entry in the St. Cyr historical mystery series, even though some of the usual cast of characters (such as Paul Gibson and the City of London) are missing. The descriptions of the Shropshire village, its denizens and their various foibles, is wonderful. The bits of historical information about the Enclosure Act and its impact on small farmholders and villagers is interesting as well as heartbreaking and forms a basis for the mystery, as does the presence in the neighborhood of Napoleon's brother Lucien. Really looking forward to the next book Where the Dead Lie.

60. The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin. 4 stars. Audio. After a bit of a rocky start, I enjoyed this, the second book of The Broken Earth trilogy that began with The Fifth Season - enjoyed it without actually understanding a lot of it. For instance, is "Father Earth" an actual entity or a personification, or perhaps a "supercomputer"? How come Alabaster and Essun turned/are turning to stone after using the obelisks but Nassun isn't? Is this a far distant future Earth or an entirely different world? What's the deal with Schaffa - does he truly care for Nassun or is he biding his time to use her for his nefarious purpose? WHAT is his nefarious purpose? WTH ARE the obelisks, were they created or are they natural items in this world, and what were they used for? Where did the stone eaters come from originally? Is "silver" magic or nature and does science enter into this? How, after thousands of "seasons," does advance medical tech survive so a relatively stone-age civilization reattach an arm? Okay, thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I'll hope that the third in the series - The Stone Sky - answers at least some of my questions.

61. Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman. 4.5 stars. First in an urban fantasy/mystery spin-off series set in NYC. Bonnie Torres is a Talent, a worker of magic which, in this world, means someone who can control electrical current. She's currently looking for her first job out of college, without any luck, when she gets a message, caller unknown, to show up at an office near 125th and Amsterdam the next afternoon. When she gets there, she finds 4 others in the waiting room - all Talents. After waiting long past the time set for the appointment, they barge into the inner office and find a dead body on the floor. Instead of running away or calling the police, and sensing current, they begin to question what happened, how it happened, and when. Thus, PUPI (Private, Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations), pronounced "puppy," comes into being. Really cool world building, interesting characters. Reminiscent of the magic of London in the Matthew Swift/Blue Electric Angels series, but the story is not as dark. It does have a kind of cliffhanger ending, sort of, which I normally dislike, but in this case I think it is acceptable. I really enjoyed this and can't wait to read the next in the series.

37ronincats
Jul 8, 2017, 8:41pm Top

I feel like you are my book twin, Mary! I'm sad because Where the Dead Lie is the last book currently published, and it supposedly ends on somewhat of a cliff-hanger. I wonder when the next one is due out?

I'm reading Leviathan Wakes prior to The Obelisk Gate, but moving rapidly through it, 424 pages out of 561, so I will be starting the latter immediately afterward. Then I'll consider your questions. ;-)

After reading and enjoying Silver on the Road by Gilman, I am interested in trying her two previous series and, contrary to what I said before, a thorough search indicates the library does have the first three PSI series books so I ordered Hard Magic.

38Storeetllr
Edited: Jul 8, 2017, 8:50pm Top

Hello my book twin! I don't know when the next St. Cyr is due out. I still have Where the Dead Lie to read, so I'm not feeling the sadness yet.

DON'T read the spoiler questions if you haven't read TOG! I tried not to make them too spoilerish, just in case, but they do give away a little. I'll be interested in your take on TOG (and any insights you may have that will shine a light on my questions).

I think you'll enjoy Hard Magic, Roni. The beginning couple of chapters weren't all that exciting, but then it really gets going and is unputdownable - at least I found it that. Have you read The Cold Eye, the sequel to Silver on the Road? I read an excerpt (on Amazon) - the first chapter or two - and it looks good!

ETA I've requested Leviathan Wakes from the library and now just waiting my turn.

39msf59
Jul 9, 2017, 7:15am Top

Morning, Mary! Happy Sunday. We are back from our quick little Milwaukee trip but had a good time. Always enjoy a fellow LTer and fine beer.

Hope your weekend is going well.

40Storeetllr
Jul 10, 2017, 10:08pm Top

Thanks, Mark. Weekend was fine, but no different from the rest of the week. That's the way it is when you're retired! :)

41DeltaQueen50
Jul 10, 2017, 10:24pm Top

Hi Mary, I've found that since my hubby has retired we often have trouble remembering what day of the week it is! One of my current reads is Uprooted by Naomi Novik and I am absolutely loving it!

42Copperskye
Jul 10, 2017, 10:29pm Top

>41 DeltaQueen50: We also have that day of the week problem. We joke that it's one reason why we get the daily newspaper delivered (two on Sunday- I always know when it's Sunday). :)

Hi Mary, hope you're staying cool!

43Storeetllr
Jul 12, 2017, 2:07pm Top

>41 DeltaQueen50: Haha, Judy, it's much the same for me! Sometimes I have to check my smartphone to find out when I am. And that's why I use e-billing for my regular monthly bills an am absolutely rabid about putting appointments and things that must be done on my e-calendar. Otherwise, pffft! Doesn't happen. I tried to read Novik's Temeraire series, but I only finished the first and got halfway through the second before I decided it wasn't for me. :( Not sure why, because I usually love dragons, and Novik's writing is very good, but it just didn't "speak" to me. Uprooted, on the other hand, sounds intriguing. Thanks for the tip!

>42 Copperskye: Hi, Joanne! Glad it's not just me. I don't get the paper, but I might start, and not only to line the birds' cages. :) Yeah, the heat is brutal down here. I've been using the A/C and shudder to think what the bill's going to be. I actually had to use it all night one night because it never cooled down enough to sleep, even with the fan going and after a cool shower. I'm doing my best, though, to avoid using it unless absolutely necessary for my and the birds' health. Luckily, this house is built to keep cool air in and hot out - thick walls, double-paned windows, ceiling fans in almost every room, and shade trees front and back. How's the weather up your way? I need to get over to your thread and see what you've been getting up to. I've been sadly amiss with a lot of threads this past couple of weeks.

44Storeetllr
Jul 12, 2017, 2:23pm Top

So, I've been hijacked by a new author, and I can't seem to stop reading her stuff. Don't you love it when that happens!?!

62. Miles to Go by Laura Anne Gilman. 3.5 stars. First in the Sylvan Investigations series (a spin-off of the Paranormal Scene Investigations (PSI) urban fantasy/mystery series that started with Hard Magic). This features a young Talent - a Storm Seer - who only recently found a mentor after 20-some years of believing she was insane and began training to use her gift, which is to see those who will soon die. She has a vision of three teens and a half human named Danny, a PI who has done some work for PUPI. Danny's a loner, but he agrees to allow Ellen to shadow him as he goes about trying to find the teens before they die and to keep them (and himself) safe. Good but not as good as Hard Magic. I will continue the series, though. I really like this world.

63. Pack of Lies by Laura Anne Gilman. 4 stars. Second in the PSI urban fantasy/mystery series. In this one, the PUPI team is called in to confirm that the gory killing by an Asian unicorn of a Talent who attempted to rape the companion of said unicorn was as it appears. Trouble is, though three of those involved in the incident were Talent, the team doesn't pick up any strong emotions at the scene in a situation where at least the female victim and the the attempted rapist's companion who escaped with non-life-threatening injuries should have been emoting like crazy. Also, although all four beings involved tell a different story, it's clear that all truly believe the stories are true, including the unicorn who is genetically incapable of lying. During the course of the investigation, Bonnie (from Hard Magic) meets Danny (from Miles to Go). This series is quite addictive - I am already wanting to start the third book, though I have others I'm currently in the middle of reading.

64. Tricks of the Trade by Laura Anne Gilman. 4.5 stars. Third in the PSI urban fantasy/mystery series, and another good'un. A little more about the strange and unsettling connection between Bonnie and Venec, one of the "Big Dogs" who run PUPI. In this one, the pups meet a mischief imp and an Old One and a lot more of the fatae (aka fae) than they really want to meet, and Bonnie renews her acquaintance with Madame, an Ancient, who receives roses from her adoring admirers which she eats like candy. This continues to be a fun and addictive series, but there's only one more left (so far) and so I am trying to avoid reading it right away.

45DeltaQueen50
Jul 12, 2017, 2:56pm Top

Mary, I read and liked the first 3 of the Temeraire books, but have felt no urge to continue on with the series. I like the fairy-tale quality of Uprooted, and I like that, as far as I know, it's a stand-alone.

46rosalita
Jul 12, 2017, 3:02pm Top

Ah, Temeraire! I loved the first book and liked the second and third, and I've read the rest but not liked them as well. I think I missed the interactions between T and the other dragons that were introduced in the first book, as he and Lawrence were off flying around the world on their own or with new dragon friends. I don't know if I'm keep reading if there's another one.

47ronincats
Edited: Jul 12, 2017, 3:22pm Top

I have The Cold Eye and Hard Magic waiting for me at the library.

I keep thinking of you, Mary, every time the flock of feral parrots flies by overhead! That's usually once a day.

Regarding Temeraire, I loved the first book, liked the second book, and got bored by the third, so haven't continued.

48majleavy
Jul 13, 2017, 6:05pm Top

>35 Storeetllr: Hi, Mary. Thought I'd let you know that I just finished Besieged: stories from the iron druid chronicles. It was fun in the way you'd imagine: diverting anecdotes, a few bits of the past filled in (including how Atticus became Owen's apprentice), and some set-ups for the main events to come. Hope you enjoy it when you get your hands on it.

49lkernagh
Jul 14, 2017, 5:25pm Top

>44 Storeetllr: - So, I've been hijacked by a new author, and I can't seem to stop reading her stuff. Don't you love it when that happens!?!

YUP, sure do!

50Storeetllr
Edited: Jul 15, 2017, 2:33pm Top

Hey! Visitors! I've been out-of-touch the past few days, so I haven't responded to your posts. Thank you for keeping my thread going in my absence.

>45 DeltaQueen50: Good to know, Judy. As soon as I finish the half dozen or so books I currently have out from the library, I'll see about requesting Uprooted.

>46 rosalita: I know a lot of people love the Temeraire books, Julia, and I was feeling a bit left out, so I'm relieved to know I'm not the only one who didn't find them as enchanting as others. Though I do wish the experience had been better for both of us.

>47 ronincats: Looking forward to your take on Hard Magic, Roni, and The Cold Eye. We used to have a huge flock of wild parrots in Pasadena. I loved seeing them flying free - except when then would wake me at 5 a.m. squawking in the trees outside my bedroom. Okay, if you didn't enjoy the Temeraire series past the first one, and Julia didn't find it enchanting either, I feel vindicated.

>48 majleavy: Hey, Michael! Besieged sounds just as I thought it would be. So glad you enjoyed it. I've requested it from the library, and, as soon as they get their copy(ies), I'm on the hold list.

>49 lkernagh: :-)

51Storeetllr
Jul 15, 2017, 2:44pm Top

Calling all scifi and fantasy fans! Penguin's First-to-Read program is offering a whole bunch of interesting-sounding early review books to their members. I chose Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra because I have been wanting to read it after having recently reread Ramses the Damned: The Mummy, but there were a couple others that also called to me so may request more than one this time around. I've read some really good early review books through this program (and a couple of meh ones, tbh, but nothing's perfect, right?), for nothing more than a review by a certain date, usually 3-4 weeks after you get the book. Good deal, huh? http://www.firsttoread.com/Default.aspx

52Storeetllr
Jul 17, 2017, 3:50pm Top

Well, looks like my reading slump that began on 11/9/16 has ended! Yay!

65. Dragon Justice by Laura Anne Gilman. 4.5 stars. Fourth and latest in the PSI series. Really good, and this one even made me cry. Not going to even talk about the storyline so as not to give away any spoilers. If you want to read a good urban fantasy series with minimal "romance" (and no sex scenes!) and what romance there is being actually crucial to the story, then this is the one.

66. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. Audio (read by Neil Himself!). 5 stars (4.5 stars for the book and an extra half star for the reading). I'm not crazy about mythological stories retold, or fairy tales retold, or anything like that, so I was a bit hesitant to read this, because I love Gaiman's stuff and didn't want to be disappointed. May I just say I had nothing to worry about. This was magical, and Neil's narrative made it doubly so. Highly recommend the audio version. The print version is probably good too, but, like the original myths, it's perfect listening to Neil tell the tales of Odin All-Father, Thor, Loki, Freyr, Balder, Freyja, Nanna, and the rest of the Aesir, the Vanir, and the Frost Giants.

53majleavy
Jul 17, 2017, 4:40pm Top

Hi Mary. Interesting that you note "no sex scenes" in the PSI series. Personally, I have no problem with x-rated material as such, but I've given up on more than a couple of series because of all the sex cluttering things up. I think particularly of Laurel Hamilton, whose work I once loved, but sheesh. Sex'll probably keep me from reading further in Delilah Dawson's Blud series, as well - there's way way less of it than in Hamilton, but still it's like too much drum or bass soloing in jazz, bringing all the rhythm and momentum to a screeching halt

54rosalita
Jul 17, 2017, 5:43pm Top

Hooray for kicking that darn reading slump to the curb, Mary! Those are no fun at all.

Sounds like those last two were real winners!

55scaifea
Jul 18, 2017, 6:42am Top

>52 Storeetllr: Yay for Neil!! I listened to that one, too, and loved it, of course.

56Storeetllr
Edited: Jul 18, 2017, 2:09pm Top

>53 majleavy: Isn't it the truth, Michael?!? I'm no prude, but I prefer to get my soft porn from romance novels, where it at least mostly belongs (though I'm partial to Georgette Heyer et al), and not my urban fantasies. Or mysteries. Or scifi. There are a couple of favorite series that I continue to read even though I have to skim past the one or two seemingly obligatory sex scenes because the story's so good. One is the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh. Same with her Psi-Changling series. I gave up on Hamilton long ago, I think after Incubus Dreams, when it seemed to be nothing but sex. That was the 12th in the series, so I did give it a good chance.

And before you ask, yes, this is definitely a hot-button issue with me. :)

>54 rosalita: Hi, Julia! It is a huge relief to feel excited about reading again!

>55 scaifea: I'm not surprised that you loved it, Amber. Listening to him read it was like being there, in the hall of a Norse chieftain, drinking mead after a feast and listening to a famous skald telling the tales of the gods to a rapt audience, while the smoke from the fire roaring on the hearth in the middle of the hall rose up to linger amongst the huge beams before drifting out the hole into the cold winter's night sky. Or, at least, that's how it felt to me.

57majleavy
Jul 18, 2017, 3:15pm Top

> 56 Exactly as you say, Mary. Back in my Anne Rice days, the sex in her books never bothered me because they seemed of a piece with her overall sense of the voluptuousness of the world; but she's a special case, I think.

58witchyrichy
Jul 21, 2017, 5:50pm Top

>51 Storeetllr: Thanks for the tip on the First Read site. I signed up for Netgalley and got my first response to a request. It was fun and led me to the two previous books in the series by James Becker centered around the Knights Templar.

59Storeetllr
Jul 21, 2017, 6:10pm Top

Hi, Karen - Hope you enjoy the First Read site! I've read some cool early review books (and a couple of not-so-cool ones). I used to get books from Netgalley, but then one of the publishers (can't remember which one) apparently blackballed me for some reason (no idea why), and I got annoyed and dropped Netgalley. This was a few years ago.

60Storeetllr
Edited: Jul 25, 2017, 9:01pm Top

67. A Purely Private Matter by Darcie Wilde. 3.75 stars. Audio. While I enjoyed this Regency mystery for its depiction of London society, I found the characters a bit annoying. I know repression is the byword for Victorian society, but these people seemed a bit over the top with it. Also, the ending, unexpected and dramatic as it was, was a bit disappointing. Still, a decent read, and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

68. The Whole Art of Detection by Lyndsay Faye. 4.25 stars. Audio. LTER. Disclosure: I'm not a big fan of fanfiction and don't usually enjoy reading stories about characters that were created by a different author, especially iconic characters like Mr. Sherlock Holmes, but I really like Lindsay Faye - her Timothy Wilde trilogy was wonderful, and I enjoyed her Jane Steele, loosely based on Jane Eyre - enough to try this book of short fiction detailing some of Holmes' hitherto unknown cases, including a few that occurred before he met Dr. John Watson. (Somehow I missed reading Dust and Shadows, which pits Holmes against The Ripper; I'll be remedying that oversight soon.) When I requested this audiobook, I was in the midst of my move, driving hundreds of miles a week. Soon after I received it, though, I completed the move and am no longer in my car much, so due to that it took me awhile to finish and because, honestly, I didn't feel compelled to continue. So at some point I borrowed the eBook from the library, and then - well, then it got compelling to the point where I also borrowed the audiobook from the library so I could listen to it when reading wasn't possible and I wasn't easily able to load a CD.

Now, on to the stories themselves. The early Holmes stories - before he became a great detective when he was still learning his craft - weren't my favorites, though they were interesting in filling in that part of Holmes' life. I think the way they were told - Holmes telling Watson stories to take Watson's mind off other things - was part of the problem. Too cute. After that shaky beginning, though, it became as if Faye started channeling Doyle. She captured Watson's voice almost perfectly, as well as recreating Holmesian London and its denizens, and the stories where Holmes is the narrator sound like I imagine Doyle might have written him. The obvious affection between Holmes and Watson is new, but I think had Doyle not been a repressed Victorian gentleman he might have written more like that because, really, the two men were friends for a hell of a longer time than is likely had Holmes not felt more affection and respect for Watson than what I recall from the original stories.

One of my favorites is "The Diadem Club Affair," a fun story told in Holmes' own voice, not least because of the character of flibbertigibbet Lord Chesley Templeton and because it has a nice twist at the end and the connection with Baroness Orzy. The other story told from Holmes' point of view - "The Gaskell Blackmailing Dilemma" - is also a favorite, though a bit darker and not as much pure fun.

I think anyone who loves Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original Sherlock Holmes stories will enjoy this book, but I think it would be best read first in print and then, if inclined, the audiobook.

61ronincats
Jul 25, 2017, 7:48pm Top

>60 Storeetllr: So is it that you didn't like this second book (A Purely Private Matter as much as the first one?

62Storeetllr
Edited: Jul 25, 2017, 9:01pm Top

Yes. I did not enjoy A Purely Private Matter as much as A Useful Woman. I didn't dislike it; it just didn't grab me like the first one did.

ETA this was my review of the first one:

55. A Useful Woman by Darcie Wilde. 4 stars. Audio. Okay, I've found the last few books I've tried to read that had a similar protagonist and storyline boring (referenced series will be disclosed on request), but I really enjoyed this Regency mystery - I hesitate to call it a "romance," though it had elements of romance in it. Heyer it isn't, nor Austen, but it is a light, fun read nonetheless. There were a few things that jarred me, having to do with titles and the addresses of various nobility, a few awkward turns of phrases that seemed to me to be a bit anachronistic, and a plot point or two that didn't make sense, but nothing that stopped me from enjoying it and looking forward to the next in the series. Recommended by ronincats- thanks Roni!

63msf59
Jul 26, 2017, 6:59am Top



^Enjoy your special day, my friend!

64FAMeulstee
Jul 26, 2017, 8:46am Top

Happy birthday, Mary!

65Storeetllr
Jul 26, 2017, 3:26pm Top

Aw, thanks for the birthday love, Mark and Anita!

66rosalita
Jul 26, 2017, 3:31pm Top

It's your birthday?! I hope you're having a spectacular day, Mary!

67jnwelch
Jul 26, 2017, 4:01pm Top

What Julia said, Mary. Happy Birthday!

68Copperskye
Jul 26, 2017, 9:19pm Top

Happy birthday to you!!!

69ronincats
Jul 26, 2017, 11:49pm Top

Ooh, a late in the day Happy Birthday to you, Mary!! Today was my husband's birthday and our wedding anniversary so it's a big day for us as well.

70drneutron
Jul 27, 2017, 9:43am Top

Happy birthday!

71Storeetllr
Jul 27, 2017, 3:23pm Top

Thank you for the birthday wishes, Julia, Joe, Joanne, Roni and Jim! I appreciate them so much!

Happy anniversary to you and your hubby and belated happy birthday to him, Roni! Hope your super special day was extra special!

72Storeetllr
Jul 27, 2017, 3:26pm Top

69. (Book 69 was added on my 69th birthday! How cool is that?!?) The Cold Eye by Laura Anne Gilman. 4 stars. The saga continues as Isobel, the Devil's Left Hand, the cold eye of justice, the quick knife in the dark, travels The Territory with Gabriel, her mentor on the Road and discovers a place of horror that resulted when a magicians' ceremony went terribly wrong and, if not healed, threatens to unravel The Territory even while an outside enemy is gathering itself to conquer The Territory. Not quite as enchanting as Silver on the Road and a bit meandering, but worthwhile and enjoyable and lays the basis for the next in the series (oh! I HOPE it's a series and not a trilogy).

73FAMeulstee
Jul 28, 2017, 1:29pm Top

>72 Storeetllr: That is cool, Mary :-)
Next year one book more on this date?

74lkernagh
Jul 28, 2017, 6:36pm Top

>60 Storeetllr: - Wonderful reviews and Yay for more Faye love!

Oh, dear... looks like I am a tad late with Happy Birthday wishes for you, Mary. Hope your day was fabulous.

75ronincats
Jul 28, 2017, 9:27pm Top

>72 Storeetllr: I'm about half-way through right now, should make good progress tonight!

76Storeetllr
Jul 30, 2017, 2:23pm Top

>73 FAMeulstee: Cool idea, Anita. I'll have to try to remember to time my reading that way next year. :)

>74 lkernagh: Thanks, Lori. Never too late for birthday wishes! My motto is that your birthday doesn't end until the last card/greeting/present is received. Either that or the last day of the birthday month. Glad you enjoyed my reviews!

>75 ronincats: I saw your review on your thread, Roni. Glad you enjoyed it too and I'm right there with you waiting eagerly for the next in the Devil's West series! Did you start the PSI series yet? It's my favorite of the three interconnected urban fantasy series.

77ronincats
Jul 30, 2017, 2:49pm Top

Yes, I've read the first and have Pack of Lies on its way to my local library branch.

78Storeetllr
Jul 31, 2017, 3:06pm Top

Yay! It's pretty good urban fantasy, isn't it, Roni!

79majleavy
Jul 31, 2017, 3:07pm Top

>76 Storeetllr: so I can still say "happy birthday," then

80Storeetllr
Jul 31, 2017, 3:13pm Top

Oh, heck yes, Michael! I never turn down a good happy b/day greeting!

81Storeetllr
Aug 1, 2017, 3:48pm Top

July stats:

Books read:

11 novels

59. When Falcons Fall by C. S. Harris.
60. The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin.
61. Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman.
62. Miles to Go by Laura Anne Gilman.
63. Pack of Lies by Laura Anne Gilman.
64. Tricks of the Trade by Laura Anne Gilman.
65. Dragon Justice by Laura Anne Gilman.
66. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.
67. A Purely Private Matter by Darcie Wilde.
68. The Whole Art of Detection by Lyndsay Faye.
69. The Cold Eye by Laura Anne Gilman.

Ratings:

5 star: 1
4.5 star: 4
4 star: 4
3.5 star: 2

Gender demographics:

10 by women
1 by a man

Format:

4 eAudiobooks
7 eBooks

Genre:

Urban fantasy: 5
Historical mystery:3
Western fantasy: 1
Fantasy: 1
Scifi/fantasy: 1

82Storeetllr
Aug 1, 2017, 5:09pm Top

Book Riot's list of books coming out in August. I've already hunted up (down?) a few of them, including The Dire King, The Clockwork Dynasty, and The End of Alzheimer's by Dale Bredesen (no Touchstone).

http://bookriot.com/2017/08/01/must-read-august-new-releases/?utm_source=Sailthr...

83msf59
Aug 1, 2017, 5:47pm Top

Hi, Mary! Just checking in with my pal. I like your July stats. I will do a round-up, a little later too.

I saw your Book Riot August list too! WOW! These lists are killing us. So many fine, promising titles, it just blows my mind. How do we ever catch up, huh?

Are you a fan of Paulette Jiles? I just finished The Color of Lightning and she wrote another excellent Old West novel. Jiles Rules!

84Copperskye
Aug 1, 2017, 6:09pm Top

Laura Anne Gilman seems to have your attention! There's something really nice about finishing one book by an author and having another (and another) to pick up next and continue.

Did you get a lot of heavy rain down your way? We did, apparently, while we were gone but then I kept hearing flash flood watches for the Pueblo area recently.

85majleavy
Aug 1, 2017, 7:35pm Top

>82 Storeetllr: Hi, Mary. Thanks for the Book Riot link. Dunno if I'm sad or glad that it has nothing that I just have to have. End of Alzheimer's does intrigue though; I've got family history, there, on both sides.

86Storeetllr
Edited: Aug 1, 2017, 8:17pm Top

>83 msf59: Hi, Mark! Catch up? What is this "catch up" about which you speak? I am still waiting to read Jiles' News of the World which is on my Wish List but hasn't gotten any closer to my TBR pile than that. :( SO MANY BOOKS!

>84 Copperskye: Joanne! Aloha and welcome back to reality! Yes, we've been getting thunderstorms with lots of rain for a short period of time almost every afternoon for the past week or two. I don't mind because it's been a heck of a lot cooler the past few days. I've even gotten some stuff done around here.

Yeah, I really like Gilman's fantasy novels, both her Devil's West series and her urban fantasy serieses. Have you read any of her stuff?

>85 majleavy: Yes, right there with you, Michael. Alzheimer's on both sides of my family. I pray I don't get it, but you know how genetics is.

Here's one more list that everyone around here is probably going to be interested in seeing. The Man Booker Prize 2017 Longlist:

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Thank you, Mark, for sending me this book! I really enjoyed what I read of it, though I've managed to misplace it, but I'm sure it will turn up any day now.)

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Solar Bones by Mike McCormack

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

Elmet by Fiona Mozley

The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (Read this one earlier this year. It was one of my favorites so far.)

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

Autumn by Ali Smith

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Another I want to read that was put on my radar by LTers.)

http://bookriot.com/2017/07/27/introducing-the-man-booker-prize-2017-longlist?ut...

87msf59
Edited: Aug 1, 2017, 8:59pm Top

Sorry, I thought everyone had read News of the World! Grins...Come on, it's a shorty, for crying out loud.

88Copperskye
Aug 1, 2017, 9:02pm Top

There apparently was quite a downpour here a few days before we got back with 2" of rain in a few hours which is pretty much unheard of. Skye's pool, which had been leaning on the fence, was blown over and half filled with water (about 5 inches total) so lots of rain. Yes, of course Skye has a pool!

I've only read two books on the list so far. Autumn and Lincoln in the Bardo. I plan on getting to a few more but I'm hoping George Saunders wins!

89PaulCranswick
Aug 5, 2017, 6:27am Top

>87 msf59: I haven't read it either!

Have a lovely weekend, Mary.

90Storeetllr
Aug 6, 2017, 2:55pm Top

>87 msf59: Oh, Mark! I'm so far behind on my TBR list I can never die. lol



>88 Copperskye: Wow! Big wind and heavy rains. It's the entire state, I think. We've had crazy weather here the past couple of weeks, but I'm not complaining because it's cooled off so much I haven't had to use the A/C for over a week! I only mind the storms when I have plans to go out, but since I hardly ever get out, it's not a real problem. I thought Bardo was good too.

>89 PaulCranswick: Hi, Paul! Thanks, I've had a good weekend so far. Yesterday morning got out early to the farmers' market and picked up a big bag of farm-fresh fresh food for less than $20.* Hope you had a good weekend too.

*A dozen eggs from chickens fed organic meal and allowed to pasture; a bunch of golden beets; a bunch of red beets; 2 lemon cukes; 3 ears of corn; a jalapeno pepper (which I add to the birds' food); two heritage tomatoes (one is red, one purple); and a couple other things which have slipped my mind.

Yesterday, I saw my first monarch butterfly! Then two more showed up. They were just passing through, but it was nice to see them. Haven't seen any yet today.

91rosalita
Aug 7, 2017, 6:21am Top

>90 Storeetllr: Your farmers market haul sounds awesome! Almost as much fun as nabbing a big bag of books. :-)

Hope your week is a good one!

92Storeetllr
Edited: Aug 8, 2017, 6:11pm Top

>91 rosalita: Almost! :) Thanks, Julia.

So, none of Penguin's First-to-Read offerings (enter through August 14, the U.S. only (sorry)) offerings appeal to me this time around, but another LTer might be interested:


www.firsttoread.com

93msf59
Aug 8, 2017, 7:09pm Top

Hi, Mary. Just checking in. Sorry, to hear about the crazy weather. Hope it abates. We have been having lovely weather. No complaints here.

I hope your reading is treating you fine, my friend.

94drneutron
Aug 9, 2017, 10:05am Top

Hmmm - the two thrillers might be good... I'll have to check them out.

95Storeetllr
Aug 9, 2017, 1:28pm Top

>93 msf59: Hi, Mark! I don't mind the weather (because I don't have to go out in it). Watching lighting storms and torrential rain is kind of fun from the sofa inside the house. :) I particularly like not having to use the air conditioning. My reading has slowed down a bit again, though, which is always troubling. I may not make it to my goal of 75x2 this year.

>94 drneutron: Hi, Jim! Which of the thrillers are you considering?

96DeltaQueen50
Aug 9, 2017, 2:12pm Top

Hi Mary and a belated Happy Birthday to you. I hope you did something special for yourself on your big day. We are still trying to get this house sold and are trying to keep positive energy up. We been having a very hot dry summer here and sure could use some of that rain you got.

97drneutron
Aug 9, 2017, 7:58pm Top

Oh, there's three! They all look kinda fun to me, but then I love a good thriller! 😀

98ronincats
Aug 11, 2017, 8:22pm Top

Hugo Awards are out! My comments here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/265555#6143033

99Storeetllr
Aug 11, 2017, 10:47pm Top

>96 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy! Good luck on selling your house. I've heard it's a seller's market, but that could just be down here in Colorado. I'm actually loving the cool moist air we're having. It's unusual in Pueblo in August, that's for sure.

>97 drneutron: Hope you get the one you request. Can you ask for more than one? I've only ever wanted one, so I never checked it out.

>98 ronincats: Woo-hoo! Very cool! Thanks for tagging me with the link to your comments, Roni. I left a couple of comments on your thread.

100Storeetllr
Aug 14, 2017, 3:37pm Top

They do, don't they, Jim and Paul! I had the last of the sweet corn last night, and it was amazing! Love the Saturday morning farmers' market! Next week, I'm going to try to get there early before all the kale is gone. :)

101DeltaQueen50
Aug 14, 2017, 3:44pm Top

That looks like a great haul from the Farmer's Market, Mary. We live in an area where there are quite a few farms so yesterday we drove out and picked up some fresh corn, it was delicious! We also live in an area where they grow tons of blueberries which we have been feasting on as well. Good luck with the kale, yum, I love me some greens as well! :)

102Copperskye
Aug 15, 2017, 12:21am Top

>100 Storeetllr: Nice!

I love this time of year- Palisade peaches, Olathe sweet corn, Rocky Ford melons...not to mention the other not always local farm goodies!

103PaulCranswick
Aug 16, 2017, 5:10am Top

>103 PaulCranswick: Mary traditionally we have night markets here where the vegetables are both interesting and extremely fresh. They are normally run by smallholders. This would be a typical stall:

104Storeetllr
Aug 16, 2017, 1:58pm Top

Hi, Judy, Joanne and Paul - Yay for farmers' markets and fresh locally grown food!

>106 Paul, to me that is food porn of the finest kind!

105msf59
Aug 16, 2017, 8:29pm Top

Hi, Mary! Loving all the fresh veggie photos! Sadly, I am not growing anything this season and it makes me sad. I also have no customers, that are sharing the joy this year, but my wife has a patient or two, that are supplying tomatoes, cukes and zucchini. This makes me happy.

How is the reading going? Anything warbling about?

106Storeetllr
Aug 16, 2017, 10:19pm Top

Hi, Mark - I felt same as you last year when I didn't plant a garden. Sad. Glad you're getting at least some of the bounty from others' gardens!

So far this month, I've read three 3.5 star books and one to which I gave wobbly 4 stars (as an average between 3 stars and 5 stars), so not much warbling going on here. :(

107Storeetllr
Sep 1, 2017, 1:19pm Top

Not a stellar month, for reading, ratings, and otherwise. Oh, well, life can't always be perfect.

August Stats:

Books Read

5 novels

70. Staying Dead by Laura Anne Gilman. 3.5 stars. Would have given it a 4 star rating except the first 100 pages were a bit boring, and I had to keep forcing myself back to it. Then it got good, and the last 100 pages were really good. So...maybe she will have hit her stride with the second book of the series, which is on my Kindle now as I speak. (416 pp.)

71. The Passion of Cleopatra by Anne Rice. 3.5 stars. ER copy from First-to-Read. First half of book was kind of boring, but then it picked up. End was a bit of a disappointment. More later after I've thought about it awhile. (416 pp.)

72. Acceptanceby Jeff VanderMeer. 3.5 stars. Audio. Third in the Southern Reach/Area X trilogy and second favorite of the three (Annihilation was first; I wasn't thrilled with Authority). For the denouement of a trilogy, it didn't answer many questions but leaves you dangling, almost there, the answers just over the horizon, mind-bending and enjoyable but ultimately unsatisfying. If you've read one and two, this is a must. If you haven't read Annihilation and aren't into strange fiction that includes scifi and horror, then you probably want to give it a pass. (9 hrs., 38 min.)

73. Big Machine by Victor La Valle. 4 star. La Valle is the author of Ballad of Black Tom, a novella that rifts on Lovecraft's The Horror of Red Hook and was short-listed for this year's Hugo awards. I enjoyed a lot when I read it a few months ago, so I was looking forward to reading more by La Valle. I chose this novel on the basis of its opening sentence: Don't look for dignity in public bathrooms. This is a weird and highly original novel about crazy cults (I know; what other kinds are there?), addiction, redemption. The characters are all mostly unlikable, the magical realism uneven, the situations gritty and of the kind I hope never to be involved in, the villains both awful, like a gory train wreck, and oddly appealing, the only decent character in the entire novel was killed for no reason, and there were parts of it I absolutely did not understand. Some of the writing was brilliant, and parts of the storyline were so boring they made me want to put the book down and forget to pick it back up. Yet...yet...it got to me and I don't think I'm going to be able to stop thinking about it for some time. (386 pp.)

74. Where the Dead Lie by C.S. Harris. 4 stars. Another excellent adventure, a little darker even than usual, concerning the disappearance of dozens of street urchins and the subsequent discovery of their tortured bodies. New interesting characters are introduced who I hope will appear in subsequent books. (347 pp.)

Ratings:

4 star: 2
3.5 star: 3

Gender demographics:

3 by women
2 by a man

Format:

1 eAudiobooks
4 eBooks

Genre:

Urban fantasy: 1
Historical mystery: 1
Fantasy: 1
Scifi/horror: 1
Horror/fantasy: 1

Pages Read - 1,565
Hours Listened: 9 hrs., 38 mins.

108Storeetllr
Sep 1, 2017, 3:19pm Top

My little container garden today. Tomatoes are ripening, herbs are lush, flowers are blooming.

109FAMeulstee
Sep 3, 2017, 8:05am Top

Your reading may not have been stellar, Mary, your plants look stellar to me!

110rosalita
Sep 4, 2017, 9:41am Top

Your container garden looks fabulous, Mary! And you have my sympathy on the slow reading in August — me, too.

How are Nickel and Rosie doing?

111DeltaQueen50
Sep 4, 2017, 10:30pm Top

Hi Mary, hope you had a lovely Labor Day weekend! We are still having a heatwave here so I spent most of the day sitting under a fan.

112lkernagh
Sep 5, 2017, 2:31pm Top

>111 DeltaQueen50: - Love your garden!

113Storeetllr
Edited: Sep 14, 2017, 6:53pm Top

>112 lkernagh: Thanks, Anita! The tomatoes have been ripening, and they are fantastic! Just had a caprese salad with a dozen cherry tomatoes and fresh basil, and it was so good. Next year, I'm growing a half dozen tomato plants, and as many basil plants. :)

>113 Storeetllr: Thanks, Julia - I hate it when I can't focus on reading. Makes me feel unmoored. Thank goodness the slump seems to have ended, and I've started reading again. Nickel and Rosie are okay. Both have been feather plucking. I'm hoping they stop in time to grow some insulating feathers for the cold weather.

>114 Hope your heatwave has ended, Judy. It can still get hot here, but I'm finding it mostly pleasant. The house is so well-insulated that I haven't had to use the A/C, even when the temps get up into the 90s.

>115 Thanks, Lori!

114Storeetllr
Sep 14, 2017, 6:54pm Top

Well, I've been away from LT for awhile and only on other social media for a short time in the mornings. The news is so bad, and I get so depressed. Last week I went to my first meeting of the local #Resist group, and I plan to get active. Met a woman who is running for city council and will also be helping her campaign.

Went up to Salida (CO) to see my sister in her new house. It's a little too high up in the mountains for me to stay long, but we had a lovely afternoon. Here are a couple of pics of the Arkansas River which runs through Salida and which we lunched beside and a red caboose beneath the "S" hill.






115Storeetllr
Edited: Sep 14, 2017, 7:12pm Top

So far in September, I've finished these books:

75. The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters. 3 stars. Audio (read by Barbara Rosenblat). 20th by publication; 11.5th chronologically in the Amelia Peabody series. It was obvious to me that this was not written by Elizabeth Peters who died in 2013. Also, it's out of order (published this year but belongs between Books 11 (Falcon at the Portal) and 12 (He Shall Thunder in the Sky. The characters were just enough out of sync to make it jarring, and, unlike Peters' earlier books in the series, this was more a series of scenes that didn't fit together easily and was without a lot of character development. Also, I'm sorry to say that Rosenblat's performance was not up to its usual high standards.

76. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson. 4.5 stars. Audio. Read by the author. I admit, some of this went over my head. Well, a lot of it did. I've never been much of a science geek, but this book, along with the Hawking book I read a few months ago, is getting me more interested. If I were younger, after reading this, I might want to be an astrophysicist too. Anyway, the book's conversational approach and the author's voice make the subject highly accessible. Highly recommended, even for those who are not science/math orientated.

77. Shadowed Souls by Jim Butcher and others. 4 stars. Audio. Collection of short stories about, well, shadowed souls - people who are tortured by who they are and what they do, most of it dark and sometimes bloody, though always for a good cause. Butcher’s “Cold Case”, featuring Harry Dresden’s one-time apprentice Molly Carpenter, and “Sleepover”, set in Seanan McGuire’s Incryptid milieu, were two of my favorites. I also enjoyed “Peacock in Hell” by Kat Richardson, “Baggage” by Erik Scott de Bie, and “Sales. Force.” by Kristine Katheryn Rusch. Other stories in the collection are: “Solus” by Anton Strout which introduces readers to Simon Canderous, the protagonist of Strout’s Dead… series, “Hunter, Healer” by Jim C. Hines, “What Dwells Within” by Lucy A. Snyder featuring sorceress Jessie Shimmer, “If Wishes Were Fishes” by Tanya Huff, “Impossible Monsters” by Rob Thurman and “Eye of Newt” by Kevin J. Anderson, featuring Dan Shamble, Zombie Detective. Somewhat uneven, but that's to be expected in a collection. One good thing is I found a few more series I'm definitely going to read and at least one that I'm staying away from.

78. Secrets in Death by J.D. Robb. 4 stars. 45th in the series, and a good one. Not a lot of surprises or plot twists, just good character interaction in a solid police procedural.

79. How the Marquis Got His Coat Back by Neil Gaiman. 5 stars. Audio. Fun production of a screenplay rather than a novella, with different actors in the various parts, including Neil. Action takes place shortly after Richard Mayhew gets back to London Below, but he's only in the story for a brief moment. We meet a Shepherd from Shepherd's Bush! And we meet the Elephant of the Elephant and Castle (and he does love to bugle). And there was one big (to me) surprise, a character I don't recall meeting or even hearing about before, and I've read Neverwhere at least a half dozen times. So much fun!

I'm currently reading these:

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry. Hardcover. (Gift from Mark! Slow-going but enjoyable.)

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. (This one snuck in unexpectedly and sucked me in so fast I had no idea hours had gone by as I gobbled up the first 140 pages a couple of nights ago. Surprisingly accessible scifi; surprising because I couldn't get into his Cryptonomicon earlier this year. Currently I'm up to p. 412, which is not quite halfway through the book. It is so haunting, especially the part that describes the White Sky and Hard Rain. I cried.)

The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt. (Not sure why I started this; perhaps I needed a little light romance between sessions of Seveneves.)

Next up is an LT Early Review ebook:

Nevertheless, She Persisted, collection of short stories, edited by Mindy Klasky

I just picked up a few audiobooks from Audible using my credits:

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
The Gathering Edge by Sharon Lee
Al Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken

116drneutron
Sep 14, 2017, 9:13pm Top

Congrats on blowing past 75!

117ronincats
Sep 14, 2017, 9:35pm Top

Jim has been stealing my "blowing past" line, so I'll just say congrats, good work, glad your tomatoes are good, lovely pictures, and the first two sections of Seveneves are mind-blowing. I felt he could have stopped there, though.

118Storeetllr
Sep 14, 2017, 9:43pm Top

Thanks, Jim!

And Roni! Yes, I've been gobbling Seveneves down, but I got to the part where one of my least favorite characters is making trouble for the Cloud Ark and one of my favorite characters just got killed. So I'm taking a break now to read some light romance, which I know will not result in any of my favorite characters dying.

119rosalita
Sep 15, 2017, 6:18am Top

It's great to see you back, Mary, and congrats on passing 75.

120Copperskye
Sep 15, 2017, 1:47pm Top

Look at you - 75 books already! Congrats!!

121DeltaQueen50
Sep 15, 2017, 11:27pm Top

Congrats on passing the 75 mark, Mary! And hooray for getting involved in the political system, it needs a lot of tweaking and it's good to see people starting at the grass root level.

122EllaTim
Sep 16, 2017, 7:42am Top

Hi Mary, lurker passing through.
Loved your birds, at the top!

I haven't read anything by Stephenson yet. But I have Cryptonomicon on my TBR list. Good to know that there is another option as well, as you made Seveneves sound really good.

123FAMeulstee
Sep 16, 2017, 2:24pm Top

Congratulations on reaching 75, Mary!

124Storeetllr
Sep 17, 2017, 5:45pm Top

Thanks, Julia, Joanne, Judy, Ella and Anita!

>124 Storeetllr: Yes, we are screwed on the national level just now, so local level is where I think I need to get involved, though it's all interconnected. We must get as many people as possible out to vote in the coming local AND midterm elections, and that involves stopping the voter suppression that is going on on the national level. It can get overwhelming and depressing.

>125 Welcome to my thread, Ella! I hope you come by often! I don't remember why I wasn't thrilled with Cryptonomicon, but I did go through a reading slump over the past few months, and that might have been it.

125msf59
Sep 17, 2017, 10:03pm Top

Happy Sunday, Mary! Congrats on hitting the Mighty 75 Mark! Always an impressive milestone.

Hope you are continuing to enjoy the Barry and I hope you love the Franken bio, as much as I did.

126Storeetllr
Edited: Sep 19, 2017, 2:10pm Top

Hey, there, Mark! Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad to have reached the Mighty 75, but being later than I'd hope won't be doubling it to 150 for this year like I've done in recent past years.

I am enjoying Days Without End, but slowly. I was in a reading slump for a few weeks, which may be ending (I say "may be" because, although I have been reading again, I seem to run out of steam halfway through most books and must force myself to continue. This includes the great books that I've started in the past week or so. I hate being in a slump.)

127Storeetllr
Sep 20, 2017, 11:25pm Top

My little artist Nickel had some fun with the paper roll in her cage today.

128EllaTim
Sep 21, 2017, 5:23am Top

>130 That must have been some fun, am I mistaken or is she looking with satisfaction? Do you give her the paper roll for fun?

129Storeetllr
Sep 21, 2017, 1:12pm Top

Yes, I do believe she is looking quite self-satisfied, Ella. She likes to shred it, but mostly she likes watching it unravel in a whoosh!

I buy rolls of paper to use as cage toys for her and Rosie.

130msf59
Sep 21, 2017, 2:56pm Top

Sweet Thursday, Mary. I hope you have snapped out of that reading slump. Fingers crossed.

Brutally hot here, in the Midwest. Glad I have the day off.

131Storeetllr
Sep 21, 2017, 4:28pm Top

Thanks, Mark. No, I seem to keep going in and out of that slump and am feeling bummed about it.

Sorry it's so hot in Chicago but glad you've got the day off. Today's the hottest it's going to be for the rest of the week here (at around 90F). Looking forward to constantly cooling temps for the rest of the week and rain on Sunday with temps in the 60s!!! Yikes!

132Copperskye
Sep 25, 2017, 7:14pm Top

>130 msf59: I think Nickel needs a little dish or two of finger paint to dip her toes in and really create some art! :)

133Storeetllr
Sep 29, 2017, 7:42pm Top

>135 Haha. I might consider it if I wasn't renting the place. She already paints the wall with pomegranate seed juice every morning.

So, I've been making foraging toys for the birds. I spent over 1/2 hour making two foraging toys.

Here's Nickel checking out the newly hung toy:


Less than 5 minutes later:


Here's Rosie, trying to figure it out. She isn't very good at foraging.


The Rosie image isn't real clear because she is highly suspicious of the cellphone and won't allow me near her if she sees it so I had to stay across the room and pretend I wasn't taking pics.

134ronincats
Sep 29, 2017, 8:17pm Top

Looks like your toys were a big hit, Mary!

135Storeetllr
Sep 30, 2017, 2:48pm Top

Nickel's completely destroyed hers and it is hanging in tatters, waiting for me to take it down and toss it. I put Rosie's in her cage, but she made me remove it before she would go in for the night because it was so scary. I'll be refilling it and giving it to Nickel.

136EllaTim
Sep 30, 2017, 6:31pm Top

>137 Two very different characters! It's foraging, so there's something nice and edible in there, I suppose?

137Storeetllr
Sep 30, 2017, 8:12pm Top

>139 Of course! Almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, banana chips. They do not go without treats, that's for sure!

138Storeetllr
Oct 1, 2017, 3:38pm Top

Well, it's Quarter 4, but I don't think I'll need to start a new thread again this year.

Sept. Stats:

Books Read - 5
Nonfiction - 1
Novels - 3
Short stories - 1
Screenplay - 1

75. The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters. 3 stars. Audio
76. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson. 4.5 stars. Audio.
77. Shadowed Souls by Jim Butcher and others. 4 stars. Audio.
78. Secrets in Death by J.D. Robb. 4 stars.
79. How the Marquis Got His Coat Back by Neil Gaiman. 5 stars. Audio.
80. Come Sundown by Nora Roberts. 4 stars.

Ratings:

5 stars: 1
4.5 stars: 1
4 stars: 3
3 stars: 1

Gender demographics:

3 by women
3 by men

Format:

4 eAudiobooks
2 eBooks

Genre of fiction:

Urban fantasy: 2
Historical mystery: 1
Romantic thriller: 2

Quarter 3 favorites:

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
How the Marquis Got His Coat Back by Neil Gaiman
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman

139EllaTim
Oct 1, 2017, 3:45pm Top

>140 Ah, sounds nice!

I've never read any Gaiman, maybe I should start looking, lots of praise for his books here.

140Storeetllr
Oct 1, 2017, 3:55pm Top

>142 Well, from your book list, it looks like you do enjoy a good urban fantasy, so I think you'll probably like Gaiman.

My absolute favorite of his is Neverwhere, but it's not everyone's. I also really enjoyed The Graveyard Book. Ocean at the End of the Lane and Anansi Boys were good too. I wasn't as enchanted as most with Stardust and Coraline, and I had a hard time with American Gods, though many love that one, and I may reread it sometime just to see if I like it any better the second time around.

141msf59
Oct 1, 2017, 4:56pm Top

Happy Sunday, Mary! And Happy October! Hope life is treating you well, along with those current reads.

Love to see the Gaiman chatter. I wasn't crazy about American Gods either but I will revisit it, at some point. I also did not connect with the Showtime series either. Yuck!

142rosalita
Oct 1, 2017, 8:17pm Top

Love the pics of the girls, and Nickel digging into her treats. It must have been a bit daunting to spend so much time creating it, only to see it destroyed in minutes!

143EllaTim
Oct 1, 2017, 8:20pm Top

>143 EllaTim: Thanks! Yes, tastes vary of course. But Neverwhere or The Graveyard Book both seem interesting.

Have a nice October ahead, I like that one, no worrying about what time it is going to be where you are.

144Copperskye
Oct 1, 2017, 8:46pm Top

They are both so pretty! Nickel's red tail feathers are so striking! Skye isn't crazy about being photographed either so she can empathize with Rosie.

Hope you have a good week!

145Storeetllr
Oct 2, 2017, 3:44pm Top

>144 Copperskye: Hey, hi, there, Mark! Yes, Gaiman has become one of my favorite authors whose work I know I'm probably going to love, especially if I'm listening to the audio and he's the narrator. His voice! Sorry you didn't enjoy the TV adaptation of American Gods, but I have to say I'm not surprised. The trailers I saw weren't appealing, and it IS hard to adapt books to film almost universally.

>145 Storeetllr: Thanks, Julia! I'm used to spending a lot of time creating toys only to see them destroyed in minutes. Worse is the opposite: when the birds completely ignore the toy. lol At least when they destroy them, I know they are getting enjoyment out of them.

>146 Hi, Ella! Tastes do vary, so I hope if you try either of those Gaimans you will enjoy them as I have. Are you referring to the time change, which is stupid and I'm not sure why we continue to have it? Although, when I worked, I LOVED the autumnal change, because I got to sleep in an extra hour. Spring, on the other hand...

>147 Thanks, Jo. Poor Skye. I know you like taking photos of her. I still love that pic of Nickel and Skye at Petco from a couple of years ago. You have a good week too, though after last night's tragic event and the way the Administration has behaved toward Puerto Rico and what those folks are going through, I'm not sure how good it's going to be. I hope my local #Resist group does something to bring attention to gun control and the plight of Puerto Rico, though there is SO MUCH WRONG that needs to be addressed one could have marches and protests every day and still not cover it all.

146Storeetllr
Oct 5, 2017, 11:55pm Top

Final pics of the garden. On Sunday, I will be bringing in the tender plants and covering the rest as Monday night it's supposed to be 32F here.





The tree is starting to change colors and lose its leaves.



And I'm wringing every last drop of warmth out of the sun before it's too cold to sit out in the garden.

147FAMeulstee
Oct 6, 2017, 6:36am Top

Nice pictures of your garden, Mary, what were you reading on the e-reader?

148Copperskye
Oct 6, 2017, 12:16pm Top

Love your photos, Mary! I am also "wringing every drop of warmth" and trying to read outside as much as I can. It's that season where the sun is a bit too warm and the shade is a bit too cool.

Are you getting the influx of Painted Lady butterflies down your way? I've never seen so many! They look like little Monarchs.

149drneutron
Oct 6, 2017, 1:37pm Top

Nice reading spot!

150Storeetllr
Oct 6, 2017, 1:51pm Top

>150 Storeetllr: Thanks, Anita. It's Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire, a novella about a pair of unhappy twins whose parents, without overtly doing anything evil, are the most evil parents in literature imo. When they are 12, the girls find a doorway to the world of Moor. kind of like the way the kids in Lion, Witch find the doorway to Narnia in the back of the wardrobe. There the similarities end. I don't normally enjoy YA or "coming of age" stories, but this is an exception! It's a prequel to the 2017 Hugo award winning novella Every Heart a Doorway. Roni of Ronincats turned me onto this author, and I haven't been disappointed since with anything of hers I've read.

>151 Yes! I saw one just this morning, visiting the hot pink geranium shown in the picture above. I thought it was a monarch but that it was really small, so I'm glad to know it is a painted lady I saw. There have been a few fluttering around over the past few days, but nothing like a swarm.

So, I've been thinking about next year's garden (typical gardener mentality: I don't even have this year's garden tucked away and am already dreaming of next year's). Rather than deal with messy, heavy straw bales, I might buy a "Garden Tower." Does anyone have experience with one of these kinds of things? Because I'm never sure from year to year if I'll be a the same place, and because I can't (usually) dig a garden bed in rental property, I'm always on the lookout for ways of gardening that don't take up a lot of room, are easy to maintain, and can be easily (relatively easy, anyway) moved. This particular model has a built-in composting system, which I like the idea of, and it looks like it would produce enough vegetables, herbs and flowers for me and a couple of my neighbors. :) Vining plants like squash and cukes would be planted in the pots I have so they can spread out. (As always, my gardening dreams involve BIG projects.)

151Storeetllr
Oct 6, 2017, 2:04pm Top

>152 Oh, hey, Jim! You snuck in while I wasn't looking! Thanks, I love it back there! It's so calm and quiet. Rosie can be out there with me too, but Nickel's wings have grown back, so I haven't been bringing her out for fear she'll fly off, though she is not really a flyer.

So, here is a pic of the tree that I just took. My camera phone doesn't do justice to the gold of the leaves, but I think the difference from just yesterday (>149 drneutron:) is clear!



This morning, as I stood by the kitchen sink looking out the window as I washed a few dishes, it looked like golden snowflakes coming down.

152ronincats
Oct 6, 2017, 4:36pm Top

Glad you are enjoying the McGuire, Mary! No experience with the tower, although I would think you'd have to work hard to keep it well watered. Still, the output might be worth it. I've had good reviews from friends with Earth Boxes.

153Storeetllr
Oct 6, 2017, 6:15pm Top

Thanks for recommending McGuire, Roni!

One reason I like the tower is that it's a composter as well as a grower, and there's a pan in the bottom where you get compost "tea" that you pour over the top level daily. I have to water daily with the regular containers anyway, so it wouldn't be a big deal if I had to do it with the tower. The Earth Box idea looks good, but again it's a horizontal spread, and I'd need a lot of them to grow as many plants as I want.

154richardderus
Oct 6, 2017, 7:33pm Top

>153 Storeetllr: Hi Mary! I had a garden tower last year to grow salad greens. It was stolen, but it was great.

I made a thread...can't break tradition.

155msf59
Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 8:37pm Top

>149 drneutron: I love the garden photos, Mary. Simply gorgeous, although I did not see a bird feeder anywhere. Are they tucked behind one of those trees?

Happy Weekend, my friend. How are those books treating you?

156Storeetllr
Oct 7, 2017, 3:39pm Top

>157 Richard! What a wonderful surprise! So glad you're back! I'm glad to know you like the tower but how awful that someone stole yours. I want to swear, but I try to keep my language clean here. (I save most of my profanity for FB & Twitter. *snerk*)

>158 Thanks, Mark. No, no bird feeder. I did have a hummingbird feeder up for awhile, but the ants discovered it, and I couldn't find a place to put it where they didn't get to it. I plan to get some feeders for winter so the birds that hang around here all season don't starve, though I'm going to have to get one with a squirrel baffle. I've got a couple of really pesky squirrels that have already ruined a couple of tomatoes.

157richardderus
Oct 7, 2017, 5:13pm Top

>159 Those are the places to deploy it. A FB friend and I have taken to calling it "Trumpbook" in both the Murrikin and UK senses of the word.

158Storeetllr
Oct 8, 2017, 3:04pm Top

Haha, RD, you and your friend have got it right, though I block every Trumpateer, BernieBot, GunNut, Mansplaining Misogynist, and/or Asshat-in-General I come across on both sites, whether I know them personally not and whether they are personally insulting me (which is about the best they can do, most times, because discussions take too much critical thinking) or not. There's enough craziness in my life without allowing those whackadoodles to raise my stress level even higher.

159Storeetllr
Oct 8, 2017, 3:08pm Top

So, on Oct. 5 in >149 drneutron: I posted some pics of my garden. The leaves of the big tree in back were just beginning to turn. The next day, the leaves were a bit more golden (>154 richardderus:). Today, I have a golden carpet on my lawn and the leaves are brilliant yellow. That is in only four days! Amazing! Tree must know there's a freeze coming (tomorrow night).





Who needs to drive up to Aspen to see the gold?

160rosalita
Oct 8, 2017, 3:15pm Top

Beautiful!

161EllaTim
Oct 8, 2017, 7:47pm Top

>164 Wonderful tree pictures Mary. And so fast it has become so beautifully yellow.

I have s similar garden tower like thing as you were asking about, it can work well, but requires careful attention to watering. It needs more water than you tend to think.

Have a nice week!

162PaulCranswick
Oct 8, 2017, 8:08pm Top

I am very much a tree lover, Mary, so your pictures caught my eye immediately.

I love autumn when the leaves turn beautifully to amber and russet and then prepare a duvet for the lawn as the air cools towards the coming winter.

163FAMeulstee
Oct 9, 2017, 10:37am Top

>162 PaulCranswick: Beautiful, Mary, the golden yellow looks lovely against the blue sky.

164richardderus
Oct 9, 2017, 10:55am Top

>162 PaulCranswick: How gorgeous! Living next to the North Atlantic, there're very few colorful trees that survive here. It's the drawback to the dream.

Please expunge "mansplain" from your vocabulary. It is offensive and sexist language meant to insult and demean people based on gender. I personally regard it as lazy, categorical thinking.

165Storeetllr
Oct 16, 2017, 5:53pm Top

>163 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Julia!
>164 richardderus: Thanks, Ella - the tree was beautiful for about 4 days. Now, it's leaf-raking time. Good to know about the tower needing more water than one thinks. Thanks for the tip!
>165 Storeetllr: Hi, Paul! The fall color is the best part of the season.
>166 Thanks, Anita! I love the gold leaves against the blue of the sky too.
>167 Thanks, Richard.

166Storeetllr
Oct 16, 2017, 8:05pm Top

Those gorgeous golden leaves from a week ago?



Filled five large black lawn bags (and the compost bin) so far and only half done raking the yard.

167Storeetllr
Oct 16, 2017, 8:09pm Top

For an accurate idea of size:

168msf59
Oct 16, 2017, 8:14pm Top

>162 PaulCranswick: I LOVE the fall photos of your yard!

Hi, Mary! Hope you had a good weekend. We had a lot of rain lately but it looks like this week will be pretty nice.

169PaulCranswick
Oct 16, 2017, 10:02pm Top

>170 A bit naughty perhaps, Mary, but I would love to fall right into that mound of leaves.

170Copperskye
Oct 16, 2017, 10:26pm Top

>169 PaulCranswick: Nice rake work!! Hope it doesn't get windy!

171scaifea
Oct 17, 2017, 7:50am Top

>172 Ha! I was thinking the same thing! I'd LOVE to jump right into that pile! (I'd help rake it back up, though - promise!)

172Storeetllr
Edited: Oct 17, 2017, 5:59pm Top

Haha, I wanted to jump into that pile of leaves too. I just wasn't willing to rake it back up.

>171 scaifea: Thanks, Mark! I had a good but very exhausting weekend. Went to the last Farmers' Market on Saturday morning, and on Sunday drove up to Denver for a family get together. While I was up there, I stopped at a Middle Eastern market to buy some bottles of distilled rosewater that I use to make hand lotion, and at Zero Market to buy some zero-waste things, one of them (spray-on hair conditioner and a metal spray bottle) for my daughter in NYC who can't get it there. After the family thing, I went to Trader Joe's, because we don't have one nearer than an hour away up past Colorado Springs - and what a horrible drive that is. The weather was gorgeous, the sun was hot, and it was lovely to see my sis, nieces, great-niece and -nephew, and their friends.


Playing touch football at City Park (bottom right is Frenchy, longing to join the fun)


L-R: Dylan, her pre-school best friend, Elliot

173Storeetllr
Oct 17, 2017, 2:26pm Top

>172 Storeetllr: Not naughty, Paul, unless I'm naughty too.

>173 Storeetllr: Thanks, Joanne! They're all bagged up now so to the winds I snap my fingers!

>174 Hi, Amber - it would be so fun if we could all be naughty together. Or, wait, no, that didn't come out right. I meant if we could all jump into the leaves together.

Okay, I need my second cup of coffee.

174rosalita
Oct 17, 2017, 5:57pm Top

You've had some fun outings, Mary! I love all the photos, which I usually miss because I'm not on Facebook. I know it's extra work to post them here, but I appreciate it!

175Copperskye
Oct 17, 2017, 6:27pm Top

Great photos, Mary and what beautiful weather you had for a family get-together!!

Next time you're up this way, let me know and we can at least grab a cup of coffee!

176msf59
Oct 17, 2017, 6:59pm Top

>175 Copperskye: Love the family photos. The kids are cute. Sounds like a crazy-busy weekend but family time is always worth it.

177Storeetllr
Oct 18, 2017, 1:38pm Top

>177 Storeetllr: Thanks, Julia! It's my pleasure to share photos, and it's good to know you enjoy them! I enjoy yours too, and your clickbait, even if I don't say so on your thread.

>178 Hi, Jo. Yes, let's! I didn't this time because I knew I wasn't going to have time, what with the family event and all the errands I hoped to get done. Next time for sure!

>179 Thanks, Mark. Yes, they are cute. Elliot is almost two, and he is SUCH a boy! Dylan's always been adorable, but now she is more outgoing, probably because she's getting older (almost 5) but also because of preschool. I advocate preschool to all parents - even if only a couple of days a week - because, done well, it helps socialize kids and gets them prepared for kindergarten. Anyway, it was really great to spend time with them and the rest of the crew, even if all that driving did knock me out.

178Storeetllr
Edited: Oct 18, 2017, 1:58pm Top

So far, my reading in October consisted of five novels, the last one a 5+ star!

81. Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. 4 stars. The first two sections were surprisingly good; the last section, set 5,000 years after the events in the first two, was a real slog. On an otherwise unremarkable summer day, something hit the Moon with such force that the Moon broke into pieces. At first, nothing else happened - people around the world looked up to see the pieces hovering in the same relative position they had been in when they were part of the whole. Then they started careening into each other, sending shards flying off into space where they began falling to Earth. One media-savvy astrophysicist - who seemed to be modeled on Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye - posited that the pieces of the Moon would soon be destroyed and bolide hits would soon increase until they became a Hard Rain, spelling the end of life on Earth. I have to say, it was so well told that I cried more than once as all the peoples of Earth learned to work together in the race to save at least some people so that when the White Sky happened and the Hard Rain began, humanity would have a chance to survive. As for the third section, much much too wordy, and none of the characters really appealed. Also, a bit of a personal disappointment because I kind of figure out mostly how it would end, except I thought it would be funny if the Martian contingent were to come racing back to Earth to save the day or add to the mix of groups that hated each other, and that was another downer - how little had changed in that respect. (Note: I originally rated this 3.75 stars, but, when posting this, I realized I liked it more than that and was still thinking about it so upped it to a 4.)

82. Archangel's Viper by Nalini Singh. 3.75 stars. Audio. This installment in the world of the Guild Hunters features Viper, one of Raphael's Seven, and Holly Chang aka Sorrow, the only "survivor" of the bloody rampage of the Archangel Uram. Or is she? The story was okay, but I didn't feel enough of a connection between Viper and Holly to account for their romantic relationship. I don't know, could have been me. As I said, the story was good, and it's hard to give a synopsis without giving away spoilers, but it takes place mostly in New York, where someone has put out a contract on Holly, thinking her an unimportant vampire-change failure. The last part in the Archangel Michaela's territory and is the only part where Raphael appears.

83. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire. 4 stars. Prequel to the 2017 Hugo award winning novella Every Heart a Doorway. Enjoyable, and it was good to know how the girls ended up the way they were in Every Heart.

84. The Gathering Edge by Sharon Lee. 3.5 stars. Audio. The continuing saga of Theo and Bechimo. Just the slightest bit boring, though I enjoyed it enough to keep going. Ends on a bit of a cliffhanger tho that's not a problem as it's part of an arc that hasn't reached its resolution yet.

85. The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey. 5 stars. Audio. I'm not much one for zombies. Vampires and werewolves have been my monsters of choice, tho even those tropes have become a bit stale over the past few years as books about vamps & shifters have flooded the market. Everything about this novel - a story about a little girl named Melanie during a zombie apocalypse - it is just about perfect. The story, the characters (whether I hated them or loved them), the world building, the narrator (Finty Williams, who is so good!), even the ending, which I admit I did not see coming, though I should have. It has horror, though not your Friday-the-13th kind of horror. It has gore, though not in-your-face-until-you-want-to-vomit gore. It has suspense and pathos, skullduggery and heroism. It's pretty much my favorite book so far this year, and it's about zombies! Who'da thunk it?

Note: I've been in a reading slump since - well, to be honest, since 11/9/16. A lot of the pleasures in life have paled since then (like unbroken sleep), but the pleasure I missed the most was reading. With this book, I have renewed hope that the slump has ended.

179FAMeulstee
Oct 19, 2017, 4:42am Top

I was in doubt about putting The girl with all the gifts on mount TBR. Your review convinced me that I might like it :-)

180EllaTim
Oct 19, 2017, 7:02am Top

>Hi Mary, I hope you are really getting over your reading slump. Over a year, that is too much.

I don't like zombie stories as well, but your enthusiasm is making me rethink.

181Storeetllr
Edited: Oct 19, 2017, 12:09pm Top

Hi, Anita and Ella! I think you'd enjoy it, if it's well-translated. It's so well-written and multi-layered, with multi-dimensional characters. Yes, it's a zombie apocalypse story, but it's also about right-and-wrong and how far you can go to attain a worthwhile goal without losing your humanity and common decency, and how sometimes an act of caring and heroism is payback for prior act of cowardice and selfishness. I don't know, it just really got to me, as you've probably noted.

>183 Thanks, Ella. I hope so too. I think so, because I'm already enmeshed in another horror novel (October is my Halloween Horror month) - Bird Box. Not as enamored of it as Girl With All The Gifts, but I'm enjoying it.

182Storeetllr
Oct 22, 2017, 12:23am Top

Now the gold is in the front yard!

183Copperskye
Oct 22, 2017, 12:53am Top

>185 Very pretty!

We had a LOT of wind today and now there's gold all over the lawn. Again.

184Storeetllr
Oct 22, 2017, 3:38pm Top

Haha, yes, the downside of all the pretty golden leaves.

185EllaTim
Oct 22, 2017, 8:16pm Top

>185 EllaTim: That's beautiful, Mary! Not a small tree either.

186Storeetllr
Oct 26, 2017, 3:35pm Top

Yesterday was sunny and in the 80s. I hung sheets out on the line, sat for awhile soaking up some sun, and took some closeup shots of the flowering lavender.





Today is in the 50s, cloudy and windy.

It might snow tonight.

Colorado.

187EllaTim
Oct 26, 2017, 5:15pm Top

>189 Looks like a wonderful day. I'm hoping for you that the snow will stay away and you can enjoy the lavender a bit longer.

188Storeetllr
Oct 26, 2017, 5:57pm Top

Thanks, Ella! I've brought the lavender and pineapple sage inside along with the house plants that were vacationing on the back patio and only take them out on warm days, so they'll be safe. The other plants (a cherry tomato that isn't done fruiting; kale; basil) will be covered up tonight for sure.

I don't really mind snow, as long as I don't have to be out in it! :)

189msf59
Oct 26, 2017, 7:03pm Top

>185 EllaTim: LIKE!

And hooray for The Girl With All The Gifts and the death of a book slump.

190ronincats
Oct 26, 2017, 8:54pm Top

Loving your fall pictures, Mary.

191DeltaQueen50
Oct 26, 2017, 9:16pm Top

Hi Mary, it's been awile since I've caught up with you. So happy to hear that you loved The Girl With All the Gifts as it was a 5 star read for me, too. I do love zombie books but that one was special. I've seen the movie on Netflix as well and I thought it was well done. I have also picked up Fellside which is set in the same world as TGWATG and I am looking forward to fitting it in next year. We are having a ScaredyCat Challenge at the Category Challenge next year, part horror, part thriller and I am excited about that. The house is still for sale, we had another offer fall apart and we are trying not to get too depressed about it, expecially as it appears we will not be in the apartment for Christmas this year. :(

Your yard looks gorgeous in the autumn, I love how gold the trees are and how bright they are against the deep blue sky.

192ronincats
Oct 27, 2017, 1:21am Top

Back to say that our weatherman is saying you will be down to 15 degrees tomorrow--now THAT is a hard freeze indeed. Stay inside and warm!

193Storeetllr
Oct 27, 2017, 6:18pm Top

>192 ronincats: :) Glad you like it, Mark. All the leaves have now fallen. Winter has arrived MUCH too early for my taste. I'm glad the reading slump has mostly ended too!

>193 Storeetllr:, >195 Thanks, Roni! Yes, I don't think it's going to get down to 15F today here in Pueblo, but the 20s are cold enough! I woke up at 3 a.m. thinking I'd forgotten to cover the plants. lol Turned out they were all snug under blankets but the pelargonium on the front porch was shivering, so I brought it inside for the rest of the night. Did I mention it was 3 A.M.? Yikes!

>144 Copperskye: Oh, my, you are having some rough times with the house sale, Judy. I'm sorry because I know how much you want to get into the apartment. Can you move before you sell the house? I did enjoy Girl With All the Gifts and am looking forward to reading The Boy on the Bridge, which seems to be kind of a prequel or companion novel to Girl. I'll have to check out the film, though I'm not much one for movies. Also Fellside. Did you ever read Mike Carey's Felix Castor series? I read the first couple and liked them okay, and I also liked his Lucifer graphic novel series, but he's really hit his strike with Girl. And I do not usually like zombie stories so you know it is exceptional. :)

194Familyhistorian
Oct 27, 2017, 6:53pm Top

Your autumn pictures are really pretty. Is it really getting that cold already?

195witchyrichy
Oct 28, 2017, 9:37am Top

Love your autumn pictures! Mostly stopping by to say hello after being away for a bit.

196ronincats
Oct 28, 2017, 3:52pm Top

I want to throw out a request for participants in a group read of one of my favorite but relatively unknown fantasy novels, God Stalk by P. C. Hodgell. The "stalk" refers to stalking gods, not a stem. It is the first of a still ongoing series, but it is a complete story and easy to walk away from after the first book if you wish--indeed, all of us had to wait many years after this one to get a sequel. I am looking at possibly November, December or January for the time frame, but the actual month will depend on what those interested work out. If you would be at all interested, please PM me or drop by my thread and let me know.
http://www.librarything.com/topic/270239

197Storeetllr
Edited: Oct 28, 2017, 5:48pm Top

>197 Storeetllr: Thanks, Meg! Glad you are enjoying the autumn pics. Yes, apparently it gets really cold during autumn & winter in Pueblo at night but warms up during the day. I'm looking forward to the warm days. Waiting...waiting...

>198 Karen! Good to "see" you again! I've been AWOL myself more this year than not. I need to "find" your thread again and stop by to say hi too!

>199 Hahaha, Roni - as I think I mentioned over on your thread, thinking it was a stalk (like celery) with a head of a god on it was one reason I did not read God Stalk. I keep meaning to read it, so this will be a good chance for me to read it. I vote for December or January - I'm doing NaNo again this November so won't be reading much, if at all. I'll pop over to the thread and repeat my vote there. Thanks for the invitation!

198Storeetllr
Oct 29, 2017, 3:47pm Top

Over on Mark's thread, he quoted a line from A Guide to the Birds of East Africa:

There is something about birds, their beauty and freedom, that is good for a man's soul.

As you know if you've visited my threads over the years, I have two parrots: Rosie, a Mexican Red-Headed Amazon and Nickel, a Congo African Grey. Both were adopted by me after their former owners (God, how I hate that word used in conjunction with birds) decided they no longer wanted/could no longer care for them. You may also know that I volunteered for a few years at The Gabriel Founation, which is a parrot sanctuary here in Colorado that houses between 500 and 750 rescued/relinquished pet birds at any given time, here in Elizabeth and at a facility in Florida. Though I no longer can volunteer for TGF, I continue to support it as best I can by donating money and newspapers (500 cages require a LOT of newspaper for lining).

In 2008, 31 macaws were rescued by Orange County (VA) Animal Control from a farm in Virginia in a case of extreme neglect. The Court gave them to TGF to care for. Some were brought to TGF's facility in Elizabeth, CO and 22 were brought to a facility in Florida where, over the years, they've been joined by other rescued macaws. Now, due in part to hurricane damage, all 48 of the Florida macaws must be brought north to join the flock in Elizabeth before Thanksgiving.

Trouble is, the Elizabeth facility doesn't have enough transport carriers for this many macaws, or large cages to house them once they are here. In addition, there will be transportation costs, vet costs, and the costs of building a new place to house them in Elizabeth. TGF is in dire need of assistance. Even a small donation would be welcome.

You can read about the macaws and, if inclined, make a donation here. You can note on the donation form that your donation is for the "Florida Macaws."

199Copperskye
Nov 10, 2017, 12:08pm Top

Oh, wow, Mary, those poor birds!

I gave to TGF last year during Colorado Gives Day and will go over the website and check out the Florida Macaws!

Hope all is well!

200Storeetllr
Nov 11, 2017, 2:52pm Top

Thanks, Joanne. Even a small donation at this time would be helpful. And Nickel and Rosie join me in thanking you for donating to TGF during CO Gives Day, since TGF is where they will go after I'm no longer able to care for them (hopefully not for a few years) and we want to be sure it stays around for the long term.

I'm good, thanks. Doing NaNoWriMo this year so haven't been reading and haven't been around LT much the past 10 days.

201lkernagh
Nov 19, 2017, 4:47pm Top

It appears it has been almost two months since I last stopped by for a visit! I almost chocked on my tea, I was laughing so hard when I saw how Nickel had "teepee'd" her own cage! I love how Rosie is suspicious of cellphones and cameras... camera shy, is she? ;-)

Lovely to see the fall colours you have posted on your threads. I love this time of year for all the brilliant colours the leaves turn.

Good luck with NaNoWriMo!

202FAMeulstee
Nov 19, 2017, 6:03pm Top

>181 Storeetllr: & >182 Storeetllr: Thanks to you I have read The girl with all the gifts, Mary, thanks!

203PaulCranswick
Nov 23, 2017, 3:44pm Top

This is a time of year when I as a non-American ponder over what I am thankful for.

I am thankful for this group and its ability to keep me sane during topsy-turvy times.

I am thankful that you are part of this group.

I am thankful for this opportunity to say thank you.

204ronincats
Nov 23, 2017, 6:47pm Top

Missing you, Mary. Hope you are with family having a happy Thanksgiving today.

205DeltaQueen50
Nov 23, 2017, 10:24pm Top

Also missing you, Mary and hoping you are having a very happy Thanksgiving.

206Storeetllr
Nov 30, 2017, 10:21pm Top

>204 ronincats: Hi, Lori! Thanks for your good wishes. Just finished Nano and won my pretty shiny purple bar! Yeah, Nixie and Rosie are a couple of real hoots. Glad you enjoyed all the fall gold!

>205 DeltaQueen50: Hope you enjoyed it, Anita! I always worry...

>206 Storeetllr: And I and the rest of us here on LT are thankful for you! Thank you.

>207, >208 Thanks Roni and Judy! I missed being here, but the last two weeks have been a bit frantic for me. All worth it, though, for THIS:



AND THIS:

207lkernagh
Nov 30, 2017, 10:27pm Top

Congratulations on the NaNoWriMo win!

208Storeetllr
Nov 30, 2017, 10:32pm Top

Thanks, Lori! I didn't think I was going to be able to do it, but going to the weekly write-in really helped. There were only 4 or 5 or us on any given evening, but the other WriMos were so inspiring and encouraging. Four of us are planning to continue meeting - once a month, only - beginning in January as we continue our writing journey. I for one am excited, because I have been wanting to join a writing group but have been kind of shy about joining one that has already been going for awhile. Three of us write fantasy or scifi, and two of us write historical romance (I'm in both groups), so we are a good fit.

I was just looking for your thread but seem to have lost it over the weeks since I visited. If I don't find it, can you point the way?

209ronincats
Dec 1, 2017, 12:14am Top

Welcome back, Mary, and congratulations!

210drneutron
Dec 1, 2017, 9:16am Top

Congrats!

211EllaTim
Dec 1, 2017, 12:24pm Top

Congratulations! Tell us something more, was it hard? Did you have the idea for the story already, before the start?

212jnwelch
Dec 1, 2017, 2:56pm Top

Ha! Love it, Mary! Congrats on the bigtime Nano win!

I like Ella's questions - how was it to do that? Did you have an outline, or did you just go for it?

213Storeetllr
Dec 1, 2017, 3:33pm Top

Thanks, Roni, Daryl, Ella and Joe!

To answer Ella's and Joe's questions, I've been doing NaNo since 2006. Some years are harder than others. This year I was really struggling all the way through Thanksgiving weekend. As of Sunday morning, with 5 days left to go, I was 12,000 words behind and had 20,000 words left to write. It seemed impossible. I considered just giving up, but Tuesday was our weekly write-in, which I had organized, and it didn't feel right to skip it, so I decided to keep going, see how far I could get. I admit I did little else those 5 days than write.

As for whether I had an outline - hahahahaha. Sorry, no, I am not that well organized. In NaNo, they call people like me - who just start writing with no outline or plan - Pansters. I DID, however, know what I was going to write about. In 2015, the last time I did NaNo before this year, I wrote a story that I decided would be a prequel, if you will, and this year's story is the first book in the series - or will be, if I ever finish it. The prequel was finished at a little over 50k words, so it's more a novella. At a little over 50k words, this year's novel is about 1/2-2/3 finished.

Now, two wonderful things about this year's NaNo: First, I met a few really great people at our write-in, and we have decided to continue to meet in 2018. Weekly is a bit too much, so we said we would start with once a month and see how it goes. I've been wanting to join a writer's group for years but have been to intimidated to join a going group, so this is just perfect! Second, I learned something about how I write and why I was having so much trouble with the writing before Thanksgiving. Turns out, I was writing an action story, without much character interaction or introspection. Once I changed the focus to the characters, the writing flowed (mostly). Of course, action is important in urban fantasy (which is what this is), but character development, motivation, and interaction is perhaps even more important, at least to my writing process.

So, today, after I check my emails, I'm getting offline and CLEANING MY HOUSE. (It is a total disaster after five days of neglect. lol) Then, I'll come back and visit the threads of everyone I've been neglecting this past month.

214FAMeulstee
Dec 1, 2017, 5:11pm Top

>209 ronincats: Congratulations on NaNoWriMo!
Yes, I enjoyed The girl with all the gifts! I always worry too, when someone reads a book on my recommendation...

215DeltaQueen50
Dec 1, 2017, 7:59pm Top

Congratulations, Mary on your NaNoWriMo success. I bet you feel great but exhausted. :)

216jnwelch
Dec 3, 2017, 8:02pm Top

>216 jnwelch: Thanks, Mary! Fascinating. I love that idea of the group write-in. I've read authors talking about how the characters' interactions propelled their writing, so what you say makes sense to me. How great to have it down on paper, and now you can work it over and polish it.

217msf59
Dec 3, 2017, 8:09pm Top

Happy Sunday, Mary. We have missed seeing you around. Congrats on on NaNoWriMo! Very impressive, my friend.

Good luck getting back to your life. LOL. And hopefully the books too.

218EllaTim
Dec 3, 2017, 8:43pm Top

>216 jnwelch: It's wonderful you found such a helpful group. I can imagine everyone has their own way of writing, but support can really help to get over the bumps in the road.

And happy cleaning :-)

219Storeetllr
Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 1:15am Top

>217 msf59: Thanks, Anita! Glad to hear you enjoyed Girl with all the Gifts! Now you need to put The Boy on the Bridge on your TBR list. It's not exactly a sequel, not exactly a prequel, but it is set in the same world and overlaps the timeline of Girl.

>218 EllaTim: Thank you, Judy. Yes, 50k words in one month is a lot, but it's less fatiguing if you do it right. I, of course, seldom do it right. lol (ETA that by "right" I mean slow and steady, about 1,600 words a day, give or take. I tend to do stretches of a few hundred words and then a day or two of 3-5k words/day to "catch up." It's exhausting. I love it.)

>219 Storeetllr: Well, Joe, about half of it is down on paper, so that is good. I still have about 30k words left to go in the story. THEN comes the polishing. :)

>220 Hey, thanks, Mark! I've missed being around, but I can spend hours online which I couldn't afford if I wanted to "win" Nano. As far as getting back to my life: the first few days after NaNo is always a little weird - a bit of feeling lost (what to do now?), a bit of depression it's over, a bit of happiness to have made it to 50k words, a bit of anxiety about going forward with the writing. I did manage to read a book tho! That's a good thing.

Speaking of goals, congratulations on reaching 9,000+ posts so far this year! You chatty warbler, you. :)

>221 Hi, Ella! Yes, finding a good fit for a writing group is always a challenge, as artistic folks can be a bit, um, self-absorbed. But these writers were great - not a lot of feedback - we were all working too hard to reach our goal for that, but a lot of enthusiasm and encouragement. As for the cleaning, maybe I'll start on Tuesday. :)

220Storeetllr
Dec 13, 2017, 2:55am Top

Just wanted to say how happy & relieved I am that Jones won in Alabama today. However, I've read that 65% of white women voted for the anti-Muslim, anti-women's rights, anti-gay child molester. That is beyond comprehension to me.

221witchyrichy
Dec 16, 2017, 9:53am Top

Congratulations on the NaNo win! Impressive! I would be happy if I could just do 500 words of a blog entry every day.

Mostly stopping by to say hello...I haven't forgotten my LT friends but the fall really sapped my energies. I'm just not as young as I used to be, I guess.

Hope December is treating you well. I was also glad for the Jones win but, like you, cannot understand the women who voted for him. Was there any break out for ages? I seem to remember hearing that the "new south" is becoming a much different kind of place where people like Moore will not thrive. But his video about what the election means is a frightening glimpse into his world view. It's hard to watch but essential viewing for anyone trying to understand Moore and his conservative evangelical community.

222Storeetllr
Dec 16, 2017, 12:37pm Top

Hi, Karen! So glad you stopped by! Thanks! I love NaNo, but it really does sap one's energy and take a lot of one's attention and time. I read not one book during November. That's how intense it is!

I hope you are recovering from the fall craziness - whatever it was - that kept you away. I missed you!

December is okay. I'm going to be so so so so so glad when this year is done, though I'm not feeling as optimistic about 2018 as some. So many people have the attention span of dust motes. Many days, I feel like King Theoden: "How has it come to this?"

Well, must run - I'm off to join in an anti-war rally sponsored by my local Indivisible group. I'll stop by your thread when I get back (assuming I don't get arrested or something). :)

223DeltaQueen50
Dec 19, 2017, 12:25am Top

Hi Mary, Christmas is sneaking up on me and I can see that I am going to be pretty busy the rest of this week and then I am heading over to my Mom's for the week between Christmas and New Years. I hope you have a lovely holiday season and I hope to catch up with you in 2018!

224ronincats
Dec 19, 2017, 12:26am Top

Here's hoping that your absence from the thread isn't due to being arrested, Mary!

225Storeetllr
Edited: Dec 19, 2017, 4:07pm Top

Haha, Roni! No, I've just been a bit busy and really have little to say. Tomorrow, on the other hand, I'm going to another protest, this time a Taxpayer Outrage protest, which we're going to have in front of our local newspaper which is right-leaning. So, if I "disappear" for awhile, you'll know why.

Thanks, Judy - sounds like you are super busy so I'm extra grateful for your early Christmas visit. :)

226richardderus
Dec 21, 2017, 3:10pm Top



Happy Yule Book Flood!

227ronincats
Dec 23, 2017, 5:31pm Top

It is that time of year again, between Solstice and Christmas, just after Hanukkah, when our thoughts turn to wishing each other well in whatever language or image is meaningful to the recipient. So, whether I wish you Happy Solstice or Merry Christmas, know that what I really wish you, and for you, is this:

228lkernagh
Dec 23, 2017, 7:37pm Top

Hi Mary, stopping by to wish you and your loved ones peace, joy and happiness this holiday season and for 2018!

229Copperskye
Dec 23, 2017, 11:22pm Top



Merry Christmas, Mary!

230AMQS
Dec 25, 2017, 1:31am Top

Mary, best wishes to you and yours at Christmas!

231PaulCranswick
Dec 25, 2017, 4:11am Top



Wishing you all good things this holiday season and beyond.

232EllaTim
Dec 26, 2017, 8:28pm Top

Wishing you a very happy holiday season, Mary!

233witchyrichy
Dec 27, 2017, 11:28am Top

Coming by to wish you a happy holiday and all the wonders of a new year!

234Familyhistorian
Dec 28, 2017, 12:46am Top

Congratulations on the NaNo win, Mary. I didn't realize that they gave out certificates. What incentive to be recognized and you ended up with a couple of writer's groups as well. That went well. Are they in person writer's groups and how did you find a group to join?

I hope that you are having a wonderful Holiday Season and maybe you are back there writing a few more scenes to get closer to the end.

235Storeetllr
Dec 28, 2017, 3:36pm Top

Oh! So many lovely holiday greetings! Thank you so much, Richard (haha, cute), Roni, Lori, Jo, Anne, Paul, Ella, Karen, and Meg.

I'm afraid I've been MIA the past week and haven't left anyone any holiday greetings, but I do hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas/Hannukkah/Kwanza/Festivus/Solstice/whatever holiday you celebrate. I am feeling better and looking forward to 2018 more than I've looked forward to a new year in decades. "Remember, remember, the 6th of November" is going to be my mantra for 2018, second only to #ImpeachtRump.

>237 Thanks, Meg. If you "win" (write 50k words in Nov.), NaNoWriMo sends you a link to a certificate that you fill in and print yourself, if you choose. The writers' group is in person. It started because I have found write-ins help me reach the goal - something about accountability, I suppose, and encouragement of the group. Anyway, I posted on the NaNo website asking if anyone in the area would be interested in doing a weekly write-in, and a number of WriMos responded. Of those who participated, four of us decided we would like to continue meeting once a month in 2018, so I guess you could say we started our own group! One of those who will be in the group is a published author (!) - he writes scifi, one is a young woman who also writes scifi, another is a young woman whose NaNo novel was historical fiction, and me who writes mostly historical fiction and urban fantasy.

236Familyhistorian
Dec 29, 2017, 1:37am Top

>238 The continuing groups are a really great outcome of that month of hard work, Mary. Keep it up and get to the end of the book!

237jnwelch
Dec 29, 2017, 12:30pm Top



Happy Holidays, Mary!

238Storeetllr
Dec 29, 2017, 10:28pm Top

>239 Thanks, Meg. I hope to do so, but the 50k that's already there is only about 1/2 of the story. I've got aways to go!

>240 Thanks, Joe!

239rosalita
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 10:31pm Top

Happy New Year, Mary! I won't be setting up shop in the 2018 group until Jan. 1, but I'll look you up when I get over there.

240Storeetllr
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 11:04pm Top

Thanks, Julia! See ya next year. :)

241Storeetllr
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 11:07pm Top

To all my wonderful LT friends

242EllaTim
Dec 30, 2017, 11:54am Top

Hi Mary, wishing you a happy New Year's Eve, and a very good 2018!

243ronincats
Dec 30, 2017, 8:09pm Top

The God Stalk group read thread is up in the 2018 group, Mary, here:

https://www.librarything.com/topic/279620

244Storeetllr
Dec 31, 2017, 5:28pm Top

Thanks, Roni!

245Storeetllr
Dec 31, 2017, 5:28pm Top

Thanks, Ella! Happy 2018 to you too!

246Storeetllr
Dec 31, 2017, 5:48pm Top

Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve, all! See you on the other side.

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