Familyhistorian's Year of History and Mystery part 7
This is a continuation of the topic Familyhistorian's Year of History and Mystery part 6.
This topic was continued by Familyhistorian's Year of History and Mystery part 7.
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Smoky air obscuring the mountains and filtering the sun.
My name is Meg and I love reading, especially histories and mysteries. This is my fifth year as one of the 75ers. It is great to find out what other people are reading but very dangerous, beware of flying book bullets! I keep myself busy with research and writing and hope to uncover more mysteries in family history this year.
View off my balcony. I had to snap it through the window before he flew away. I think he saw me.
Challenges I will do my best to partake of in 2017
American Author Challenge
January- Octavia Butler - Wild Seed - DONE
February- Stewart O' Nan - A Prayer for the Dying - DONE
March- William Styron - The Confessions of Nat Turner - DONE
April- Poetry Month - The Silence Now by May Sarton - DONE
May- Zora Neale Hurston - Dust Tracks on a Road - DONE
June- Sherman Alexie - Flight - DONE
July- James McBride - Song Yet Sung - DONE
August- Patricia Highsmith - A Game for the Living - DONE
September- Short Story Month
October- Ann Patchett
November- Russell Banks
December- Ernest Hemingway
British Author Challenge
January: Irish Britons – Elizabeth Bowen & Brian Moore - A World of Love by Elizabeth Bowen - DONE
February: Science Fiction & Fantasy – Mary Stewart & Terry Pratchett - The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart - DONE
March: A Decade of British Novels: The 1960s - 10 Novels by Men; 10 Novels by Women - The L-Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks - DONE
April: South Yorkshire Authors: As Byatt & Bruce Chatwin - The Biographer's Tale by A.S. Byatt - DONE
May: Before Queen Vic: 10 Novels written prior to 1837
June: The Historians: Georgette Heyer & Simon Schama - Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer - DONE
July: Scottish Authors: D.E. Stevenson & R.L. Stevenson - Miss Buncle Married by D.E. Stevenson - DONE
August: Britain Between the Wars: Winifred Holtby & Robert Graves
September: The New Millennium: A novel chosen from each year of the new century
October: Welsh Authors: Jo Walton & Roald Dahl
November: Poet Laureates: British laureates, children's laureate, National Poets
December: Wildcard: Elizabeth Gaskell & Neil Gaiman
Canadian Author Challenge
January : Anne Michaels & Robertson Davies - Fugitive Pieces - by Anne Michaels - DONE
February : Madeleine Thien & Rohinton Mistry
March : Anne Hebert & Alistair McLeod - No Great Mischief by Alistair Macleod - DONE
April : Magaret Atwood & Guy Vanderhaeghe
May : Louise Penny & Leonard Cohen - The Murder Stone by Louise Penny - DONE
June : Heather O'Neill & Dan Vyleta
July : Carol Shields & Wayson Choy - Jade Peony by Wayson Choy - DONE
August : Ruth Ozeki & Douglas Coupland - Souvenir of Canada by Douglas Coupland - DONE
September : Lori Lansens & Steven Galloway
October : Alice Munro & Arthur Slade
November : Gil Adamson & Guy Gavriel Kay
December : Donna Morrisey & Wayne Johnston
The 2017 Non-fiction Reading Challenge
January: Prizewinners - Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World by Maya Jasanoff - DONE
February: Voyages of Exploration - Road to the Isles: Travellers in the Hebrides 1770-1914 by Derek Cooper - DONE
March: Heroes and Villains - The Jack the Ripper: Whitechapel Murders by Kevin O'Donnell - DONE
April: Hobbies, Pastimes and Passions - Family Matters: A History of Genealogy by Michael Sharpe - DONE
May: History - A History of Scotland: A look behind the mist and myth of Scottish History by Neil Oliver - DONE
June: The Natural World - Corpse: Nature, Forensics, and the Struggle to Pinpoint Time of Death by Jessica Snyder Sachs - DONE
July: Creators and Creativity - Falling Backwards by Jann Arden - DONE
August: I’ve Always Been Curious About…. - The King's Grave: The Discovery of Richard III's Lost Burial Place and the Clues It Holds by Philippa Langley & Michael Jones
September: Gods, Demons and Spirits
October: The World We Live In: Current Affairs
November: Science and Technology
December: Out of Your Comfort Zone
Reading Through Time
January-March 2017 - Renaissance/16th century - Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer DONE
April-June 2017 - 17th century - Trapped at the Altar by Jane Feather DONE
July-September 2017 - 18th century
October-December 2017 - Napoleonic Era
January 2017: First Encounters - Scotland Farewell: The People of the Hector by Donald MacKay - DONE
February 2017: Storico Italia - The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich - DONE
March 2017: Meeting Madness - Agatha: The Real Life of Agatha Christie by Anne Martinetti, Guillaume Lebeau & Alexandre Franc - DONE
April 2017: It's a Family Affair - My Dark Places by James Ellroy - DONE
May 2017: Oh What a State of Affairs - A History of Scotland: A look behind the mist and myth of Scottish History by Neil Oliver - DONE
June 2017: Fight for your Rights - Triangle: The Fire that Changed America by David Von Drehle - DONE
July 2017: Viva La Revolución! - America Goes to War: A Social History of the Continental Army by Charles Patrick Neimeyer - DONE
August 2017: Art: Making it, Preserving it, Collecting it, Stealing it - Tom Thomson: Trees by Joan Murray - DONE
September 2017: Historically Significant Event
October 2017: Gothic
November 2017: Noir or Darkness
December 2017: Twisted Fairytales
Right now I am blogging about life in the British Army in the 1850s – 60s filling in the outline sketched through official records. Check out my blog at A Genealogist's Path to History
Books read in 2017
The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50 Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot
A Groom with a View by Jill Churchill
Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey
Hell & High Water by Tanya Landman
No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod
Flight by Sherman Alexie
Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
Agony of the Leaves by Laura Childs
60 Years Behind the Wheel: The Cars We Drove in Canada 1900-1960 by Bill Sherk
Family Matters: A History of Genealogy by Michael Sharpe
The Murder of Bob Crane by Robert Graysmith
The China Governess by Margery Allingham
Terminate (Retribution) by Natasha Deen
Song Yet Sung by James McBride
Corpse: Nature, Forensics, and the Struggle to Pinpoint Time of Death by Jessica Snyder Sachs
The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy
Trapped at the Altar by Jane Feather
The House at Sea's End by Elly Griffiths
Miss Buncle Married by D.E. Stevenson
America Goes to War: A Social History of the Continental Army by Charles Patrick Neimeyer
Books acquired in 2017
Property of a Noblewoman by Danielle Steele
Fleshmarket Close by Ian Rankin
Ice Lake by John Farrow
Friends of the Heart by Barnes & Otto
Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks
The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards
Bloody History of London by John E. Wright
Fatal Enquiry by Will Thomas
Pierre Berton's War of 1812 by Pierre Berton
The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn
Unplug by Suze Yalof Schwartz
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
Discover Scottish Church Records by Chris Paton
Social History: Enhance Your Family Story by Barbara Starmans
Graphic Design: The New Basics by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips
Blind Justice by Bruce Alexander
Doctor Syn by Russell Thorndyke
The Quick by Lauren Owen
Draw Buildings and Cities in 15 Minutes by Matthew Brehm
March by John Lewis (the 3 volume set)
I heart Vegas by Lindsey Kelk
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs
A Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan
The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor
The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
A Dangerous Fiction by Barbara Rogan
Rosie's War by Kay Brelland
Europe Between the Oceans: 9000 BC-Ad 1000 by Barry Cunliffe
The Best American Comics 2016 by Roz Chast
Max Perkins: Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg
The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan
The Dead Woman of Deptford by Ann Granger
The Hidden Thread by Liz Trenow
Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
Empire of Deception by Dean Jobb
Is it safe? Happy new thread!! Your thread header is my reality. Hope we get clear air soon.
>13 Berly: Just a few more and I'll be done, Kim. Is your air that smoky? Do you have fires in your area or is that all because our province is burning?
Yes, I see that you keep filling in. I just didn't want to be in the middle of your openers. Yes, our air is that smokey. We are getting your air if it blows one way and then our eastern fires if it blows the other. Everything smells like smoke.
>15 Berly: That looks pretty thick. Our air advisories have been on for about a week now. It would be really nice and sunny if there wasn't so much smoke. I can't believe that I am actually wishing for rain. The smell isn't that bad here or maybe I am just getting used to it.
65. Falling Backwards by Jann Arden
Falling Backwards is Jann Arden's memoir about her life growing up in a far from perfect family in the Canadian Prairies. She had an interesting and far from conventional life even though her parents struggled to conform to the post war norm for a while at least.
The memoir helped to explain where some of the ideas for her songs come from as well as her down to earth sense of humour. I have always enjoyed her music which includes such songs as Insensitive and Could I be Your Girl but, unfortunately, I have yet to experience one of her concerts in person.
66. Islay, Jura and Colonsay: A Historical Guide by David H. Caldwell
I read Islay, Jura and Colonsay: A Historical Guide as part of my continuing research on Islay, one of the western isles of Scotland where my forebears came from. It reached back into history as far as the early inhabitants of the Islay and the neighbouring islands of Jura and Colonsay and brought things up close to the present day but the history was only the first half of the book. The rest of the book itemized archealogical finds on all three islands.
It would probably be a useful guide to have on hand when exploring the land in person. The itemizing of the various finds was not that interesting when you couldn't go out and hunt them down.
>19 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. Best wishes for the week ahead.
Congrats on your shiny new thread, Meg. I love the photo you took from your balcony,
From the previous thread: Where will your travel take you?
>21 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara. I am planning a trip at the end of September but it is only in Canada. I haven't figured out all my destinations yet but I know that I will end up at a conference in Halifax and will also visit my brother in London, Ontario before that.
>22 Familyhistorian: It's only in Canada. I've never been in Canada. It would be an 'exotic' place for me. I've seen lots of photos from Canada and it looks gorgeous. I think there are lots of beautiful places to visit.
Wishing you a good start into the new week.
>23 Ameise1: Canada is a huge country, Barbara. There is lots of it to visit. I have never been to Europe so that would be exotic for me (the UK doesn't count of course.) The week is starting off just fine as it is a holiday for BC Day.
Happy New Thread, Meg. Sorry about the continuing smoke. Ugh!
>5 Familyhistorian: I LOVE the barred owl! How perfect is this?
You are doing very well on the AAC. High Five!
Happy New Thread, Meg.
>5 Familyhistorian: Wow. Our birder friend Mark is going to be envious of your owl outside the window. It looks like you live in a lovely part of the world.
Happy new thread, Meg. The book on Islay sounds really interesting, especially since you have family from there.
>26 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. I think he was looking right at me for that shot.
Hi Meg, happy new thread my dear, hope you are having a good start to the week.
>27 msf59: I thought the owl photo would catch your attention, Mark. I was making dinner and just wandered into the livingroom and saw him fly in. Fortunately my phone was close to hand.
I am not doing so well on the AAC this month. I looked for Highsmith in the fiction section of the library rather than the mystery section and came back with Small g: a Summer Idyll. A few pages in I realized that I am not going to care about the characters. I'll have to go back to the library and get another.
This month's Reading Through Time challenge is about Art. I am reading one of my Thomas collection - Tom Thomson: Trees by Joan Murray. It's a small hardcover book with lots of coloured plates of his works.
>28 jnwelch: Ha Joe, Mark already chimed in. It is a pretty amazing place to live - right next to a feeder stream to the Coquitlam River but just a couple of blocks from city hall, the Evergreen Theatre and public transportation. It is a pretty amazing place to live and it is good to see the wildlife except for the 500 pound bear that visits the garbage containers in our parking lot.
>29 RebaRelishesReading: It was an interesting book about Islay, Reba. I got it out from the genealogy library but when I looked at the bibliography there was another Islay book by the same author. I looked it up and the cover looked very familiar. Sure enough, Islay, the Land of the Lordship is on my shelves - unread.
>30 EBT1002: Hi Ellen, there is a breeze but it doesn't seem to be doing much about the smoke. I have a feeling that it is blowing the smoke in rather than out.
>5 Familyhistorian: was a matter of good timing and a large enough bird to stand out from the foliage. I tried to catch pictures of the hummingbirds and finches and other smaller birds that I can see through the deck window but they don't show up very well if I manage to have a camera of some kind on hand. It is an amazing view, though. I am sitting typing at the dining room table and keep checking for movement in the scene outside.
>33 johnsimpson: Excellent start to the week, John. It is BC Day so we have a day off work. Hope you have a great week yourself.
67. Unnatural Causes by PD James
I was searching for PD James' novel An Unsuitable Job for a Woman as I have never read any of her Cordelia Gray books and want to start at the beginning of the series. The only copy of the book that I found in the library was in a book which encompassed three novels. Since they are there, I will probably read them all but I am going to count each one as a book rather than the whole collection as one.
Unnatural Causes finds Adam Dalgliesh visiting his elderly aunt in remote Monksmere Head. She lives among a bunch of eccentric writers. Of course, one of them is discovered dead but has he been murdered or died of natural causes? It looks like a natural death but someone has cut off his hands and set him adrift in a boat.
It is a puzzle to the police and, for once, Dalgliesh is not the investigating officer. He can't help but get involved as he is staying with his aunt and it is her cleaver that was used to hack of the dead man's hands.
68. Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Because of Miss Bridgerton was a fun historical romance about Billie Bridgerton and George Rokesby who were brought up in neighbouring noble families. Of course, Billie and George have never thought of each other as more than a thorn in each others side but we know what that leads to don't we?
69. A Cotswold Ordeal by Rebecca Tope
The Cotswold mystery series is based on an ingenious premise. Thea became a professional housesitter after being left a widow. She moves to different places in the Cotswolds to look after other people's houses. As a stranger to the area, she doesn't know who to trust or what the local sentiment is about events affecting their village.
When murder happens, once again close to where she is housesitting, what is she to do and who is she to trust? This episode in the series shows more of Thea's own background as her sister, in crisis in her marriage, comes to stay with her. Things are also heating up between Thea and the superintendent assigned to this case as well as the last one in which Thea became involved. I will definitely have to read the next book in the series to see what happens.
Speaking of backyard birds, one of my favorite things of late has been to turn on our irrigation system (which our temporary housemate fixed as part of our chores-in-lieu-of-rent arrangement) and watch the hummingbirds take baths in the light sprinkler system. Yesterday one was hovering in the intersection between two light sprays, spreading his tail out and clearly just loving the water. It has not rained here in two months now, so I know he was having a good time getting his feathers all cleaned up. SO fun to watch them!
>44 EBT1002: Now that sounds like a handy housemate to have. I have heard of people putting out hummingbird feeders to attract them (not here because - bears.) Who would have thought that hummingbirds would be attracted to the sprinkler but it has been dry. Last night on the weather they announced that we haven't had any appreciable rain for 48 days.
>43 Familyhistorian:, Hi Meg, both Karen and I are loving the Cotswold Mysteries with Thea and Hepzie and because we have had a few breaks in and around these villages they bring back happy memories, so glad you are enjoying them too.
>46 johnsimpson: They are good, John. It really is a good idea for a mystery series because Thea is in a new place dealing with strangers every time there is a murder.
Fair warning, Meg. I'm prowling around the threads. A four-day weekend in which I didn't turn on my computer once has me scanning threads as quickly as I can. Have you seen the video of three working guys rescue a big barn owl from a plastic-net fence in which it got really tangled? They did a good job, and the owl flew off when they were done.
>48 weird_O: Those threads fill up rapidly, Bill. I think they got away from me this year. I never saw the video of the owl rescued by three working guys. It must have been tricky.
>18 Familyhistorian: LivingDNA, which is the one which breaks the British Isles up more than others, projects I have ancestry in the Orkney Islands. I have not found it yet with the paper trail. Perhaps one day! I do enjoy books with an Orkney setting, for what it's worth!
>49 Familyhistorian: Here's a link to the owl rescue video.
>50 thornton37814: LivingDNA looks very interesting, Lori. I having been looking for a UK based DNA test because I haven't gotten very far with the US based ones. Looks like they will have matching sometime soon. I have a pretty good idea where most of my UK roots are from but it might come up with some surprises. I think my Scottish roots are limited to the western isles but you never know.
>51 weird_O: That is quite the video, Bill. A lot of patience all round!
>43 Familyhistorian: I've put the first in the series, A Cotswold Killing on my wishlist. Sounds intriguing.
>45 Familyhistorian: It never occurred to me that hummingbird feeders might attract bears. We have black bears in this part of our state, but none ever sighted closer to me than about 6 miles away.
>54 karenmarie: The Cotswold series is a good one, Karen.
Well, we are not supposed to have bird feeders of any kind because of bears. They also warn about ripe fruit on the trees. I was talking to my neighbour about the bear that I saw. Apparently, he went the rounds of all the garbage the night that I saw him leaving the parking lot. The bear, Big Ben, is known to make the rounds in the area, an area which covers the greenbelt parts of two cities. There was a recent story in the news about some guy in Port Moody, the next city suburb over, who left his doors open because it has been so hot. A bear waltzed into his kitchen and opened the fridge. The bear was caught and destroyed. I think it might have been Big Ben because our organics garbage has not been tipped over for days.
I also added A Cotswold Killing to the WL, and our daughter is interested, too.
I love the Cotswolds. Something about them really gets me.
>56 jnwelch: Ooh, I feel like an influential reader now, Joe. It is a good series. She has a few out and I read one of her other books, A Dirty Death, but I like the Cotswold ones best so far although, looking at her list, there is a book called And No Birds Sing which is a Rosemary and Thyme book. I like Rosemary and Thyme. She isn't even listed as author of that book but it is in a list of her works - curious.
>58 karenmarie: Great prices, Karen. You are brave starting a new series.
Bears and cities aren't a great mix. They didn't used to a problem in my neighbourhood until they started building up the mountain. Yesterday I was walking to the Farmer's Market. I usually take a short cut through the grounds of the school behind me. The road that I take goes beside the river park. As soon as I got on the short street I saw a small bear nosing around the park entrance. I was about to turn around and take the long route to the market when the bear went in the park entrance and then a car came down and parked near the entrance. I had to go down and warn the driver not to go in the park and, since the bear didn't come back out, I took my short cut through the school yard. I kept my eyes peeled all the way.
That is an amazing photo of the cougar on the tracks. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Meg, I am finally getting caught up with you. Those pictures of the cougars above is amazing. And bears at your garbage - I think I am glad that at this end of the city the only wildlife we have to worry about going after the garbage are raccoons and crows. We do have coyote in the area which is worry for people with small pets.
From your previous thread, I read and loved The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy when I read it a few years ago. I particularly remember enjoying his grandmother and her "I die soon" threats. I have All That Matters by him on my shelf which continues the story.
I hope you are enjoying our much cooler air and clearer skies!
Holy Moly -- bears in the parking lot and cougars in the Skytrain station!! I think I'll stay in the middle of the city next time I visit Vancouver lol
I'll add my voice to Judy's above - Delta Queen. I've also read The Jade Peony and All that Matters. I've loved reading Wayson Choy. Ugh to the cougars that at the Skytrain station. I'm quite glad to be a distance from the mountains! A shocking business in downtown Vancouver yesterday with the bus incident at Canada Place, and then today a stunt driver from Deadpool filming died while doing a stunt. Sad stuff.
>78 I was surprised when I saw that shot, Jim. Quite amazing.
>79 Well, actually two cougars, Joe, and they are pretty brazen.
>80 That photo caught my attention, Karen.
>81 Yes, there are two cougars, Anita. The surveillance camera isn't that clear.
>82 Hi Erik, it caught my attention.
>83 We have the raccoons and coyotes too, Judy. Actually there is a pack of coyotes that lives in the river park beside my place. They sometimes start howling in unison at night. Sometimes train whistles set them off.
I enjoyed The Jade Peony but wished it had shown more of Vancouver.
I just hope the wind keeps blowing the way it is now. That smoke and heat was a bit too much.
>84 Well, there was a story in May where they tranquilized a young bear in East Vancouver, Reba. They did say it was an unusual event, though.
>85 I enjoyed the Wayson Choy, Deb. Might get to the second one eventually. The thing that really caught my attention about the cougars at that station was that it is not that well used. There have been times that I stood on the platform there waiting for a train and I was the only person waiting. I could picture waiting there by myself when some critter decided to use the track as a travel corridor. Sad news about the tourists and the stunt driver.
It is good to have you back and posting again.
I am glad to have raccoons instead of cougars and bears, except for this morning when I went outside and they had gotten into the trash and it was strewn all over the place. Oops! Guess the lid wasn't on tight.
Two cougars, I didn't see the second one at first.
>90 We have raccoons outside, which is why the trash cans and the metal cans with bird food in them are in the garage. They're clever beasts and could even open up the metal cans with bungie cords holding them shut!
>90 Those raccoons can be nasty, Kim. A coworker has a family of raccoons staying at his house and he is trying very hard to get rid of them. I hope the mess you had to clean up wasn't too bad.
>91 The quality of the photo isn't that good, Karen. I was a still taken from surveillance footage. It must have been a shock when they looked at the footage and saw those two cougars using the track as a pathway.
Hi Meg, hope you have had a good week my dear and wish you a great weekend dear friend, sending love and hugs.
>94 Thanks, John. I am slowly getting caught up with the thread. I hope to get to your latest before you start a new one.
You sure live close to nature, Meg. I suppose if we lived right in Steveston, we'd hear coyotes and what not off and on. Where we are in Richmond, it is mainly the dreadful raccoons that I see and hear sometimes at night. And we smell the odd skunk too .
>96 I live right next to the green belt which is the park for the Coquitlam River which is a travel corridor for wildlife. It is also at the bottom of Coquitlam Mountain. It is close to nature but a couple of blocks down the road they are building multiple condo towers. So I guess you could call it close to nature in the city, Deb.
70. The Green Ray by Jules Verne
I had never heard of this book by Jules Verne until someone posted about it on the ROOTs threads. It is a short book about a Scottish family which consists of a young woman and her two uncles. The uncles hatch a scheme to marry her off, but off course, they don't ask Helena if she likes their choice. She puts her uncles off by getting them to agree to an expedition in a search for a phenomena that happens sometimes at sunset off the Scottish coast, a green ray which comes out of the sun and sea. Of course, the man who is the uncles' choice comes along but another young man also joins the expedition – romantic triangle, anyone?
The book was short and fun, particularly poking fun at the inappropriate young man who was the uncles' choice. I mainly read it because it is a travelogue of sorts of the Inner Hebrides with action happening in Oban and on Staffa.
Hi, Meg. Just checking in with my pal. I LOVE the cougar photos up there. WOW! That would definitely freak a person out, especially in a subway setting. Grins...
>98 What an intriguing little book. I've never heard of it either, but have added it to my wishlist.
>99 Yes, that shot makes me wary of standing on that platform by myself which I have done at that very station. LT was slow to load this morning so I picked up one of my current reads. You might appreciate it because it is Joan Murray's Tom Thomson: Trees, a beautiful little book full of colour photos of Thomson's pictures of, you guessed it, trees.
>100 I have only heard of Jules Verne's better known works, Karen. Apparently he wrote a lot more. It was an interesting look at Scotland at that time and particularly of an area of Scotland which I am interested in. I just recently learned of Staffa, where part of the action happens.
A photo of Fingal's Cave where some of the action in the book takes place.
Oh, that's a great pic! Back in my younger days, I did some caving in West Virginia. Never saw anything that cool, though. 😀
>103 I wish that I had known about Staffa when I was in Scotland, Jim. That is pretty cool looking but they had to have just the right day to get that shot. From what I read the weather has to be good or else you don't get to go to the island at all.
>104 It is amazing isn't it, Deb. I never heard about the island of Staffa before I learned about it on LT.
>105 It is real, Kim. This is what the outside of the island looks like.
>106 It is a bit of a pain to get to, mind! Although you can take an (all day) sea trip from Oban.
The basalt columns are the same geology that created the Giant's Causeway.
>108 Wow!! That's amazing. I'm going to have to look that up.
>109 Interesting, hmm?
>110 From what I read about Staffa it did sound difficult to reach and sometimes, due to weather, impossible.
>111 I didn't hear of it when I was in Scotland, Reba. I found out about it on LT. See this is an educational place!
71. Souvenir of Canada by Douglas Coupland
Souvenir of Canada was the first Douglas Coupland book that I have read and I read it for the CAC. I am not sure why it took me so long to read one of his books because I have heard about Coupland for years.
This was a visual as well as written explanation of things Canadian. Many of the descriptions hit home because they reflected my own experience with Canadian culture. It was a trip down memory lane but a bit skewed because Coupland grew up on the west side of Canada and I grew up on the east. It was a quick read – well, of course, visuals – which is why I picked it off the shelf.
There were also parts of the book where he touches on things that I could readily relate to. One of those the feeling of being a kid in Canada during the cold war when it was the buffer zone between the US and USSR. Anyone remember the Dew Line?
Life has been very busy lately. There is so much to do getting ready for retirement and on top of that there seem to be so many more social things to do and see. Last weekend was a full one with a wedding on Saturday and the annual PoCo Car Show on Sunday. As usual the day was sunny and the cars shone.
I took today off to get some errands done and meet a friend for coffee (well, tea for me). It gave me the chance to book tickets for the post-retirement trip I planned for October. Why is it so nerve wracking to book flights on-line. I spend most of the time checking dates and times and second guessing myself. Well, at least it is done now.
Hi, Meg! Love seeing you make those post-retirement plans. How exciting. I am seriously jealous.
>115 Hi Mark, your turn will come. I hope that you won't have to work as long as I did to get to this point! I was planning to retire way earlier when life threw me a curve ball. In 2009 retirement in 2027 was looking like a distinct possibility so this is all good.
>116 Oh, I didn't know that, Meg. What an unfortunate curveball, but I'm glad you're able to do it so much earlier than 2027!
Curve balls! A lady I sometimes walk my dog with told me last week that she had been planning to retire at age 66 and all of a sudden her company is " restructuring" and it looks like she'll be be retiring shortly , as in a few months at the age of 64. She was undecided if she would take a package or wait until they forced her out. What a world! I think she is pretty well off financially, but still, I think she was counting on that extra two years of working and is not quite psychologically ready for retirement. As she said - it's like I had the carpet pulled from under my feet. I'll see later this week, likely and then I'll find out more. It sounded to me like she was preparing in her mind to " take the package " .
>117 Me too, Joe. It would have been hard to still be working in my 70s.
>118 I know of a lot of people who would like to have that happen to them, Deb. There is nothing wrong with retiring earlier especially if the company is going to pay you to do so!
>120 I think her " package " was just 2 weeks salary per year worked. Nothing to write home about, in her opinion. The days of " buyout packages " are gone, I think. Now , a REAL payout package, that might be worth it.
>121 I see what you mean, Deb. I think that when they were offering buy outs where I work it was 3 weeks salary per year worked. Still, it is pay for not working. That looks pretty good to me right now. Of course it is not like the payout packages that politicians or executives get but those don't usually trickle down to the working stiffs.
This is my last day of work before a two week vacation. No travel for me this time but lots more prep work for this retirement thing. There is some package that I was sent that I have to make decisions about pension etc. I really should give that a look. I won't be nearly as exciting as making decisions about a buy out package, though. But, still it is good to get to this point which was highly doubtful in 2009 when I had just signed up for a 35 year mortgage, had to pay support to my ex and house, feed and pay tuition for a student in his early 20s plus pay my own tuition for the program I had just started.
Woo, I'm glad you can favorably look back at that tough 2009, Meg. Planning for retirement during your two weeks off is hard to complain about, I guess, but I hope you get some time to relax and enjoy.
>123 Wow! I can't imagine taking a 35 year mortgage on so close to retirement . I'm glad everything has gone so well for you. Best wishes as you make your decisions for your retirement. My walking buddy said that though she is 64, she had not yet received anything from the government regarding CPP or OAS. I haven't heard from her since last week when she was telling me of the big changes that seemed to be coming her way, so I 'm not sure what she has decided. A lot to take in so suddenly.
>124 Oh, yes there will be enjoyable times, Joe. On Monday I will be going to an author's event with Louise Penny and on the last Sunday of my vacation it is Bard on the Beach for Much Ado About Nothing. I am looking forward to those events and a lot of reading, well hopefully.
>125 I did question that 35 year mortgage, Deb. I don't think they even offer mortgages that long anymore. As I remember it, I received something from OAS about 6 months before I turned 65 but that might not be the norm as I was already on their radar because of receiving CPP survivor benefit. Retirement is a big change especially after spending so long going to the same place every work day. I hope everything works out well for your walking buddy.
72. Triangle: The Fire that Changed America by David Von Drehle
I really enjoy history and was interested in the view of New York, particularly working class New York at the beginning of the 20th century, shown in Triangle: The Fire that Changed America. However, it was a slow read because the reader was introduced to a number of people who were to later figure in the book. Reading so many immigrant stories slowed the narrative down.
The narrative sped up a bit with the events of the 1909 garment worker's strike. Picketers in those days were treated brutally by management and the police were on the side of the bosses. While the workers got some concessions when the strike settled, safety was not one of them. Safety in those early factories was not a real concern at all which is why so many people perished in the Triangle fire. The fire was able to spread easily and the fire department's equipment didn't reach to the floor that the factory was on.
Fires were not uncommon but there was so much outcry after the Triangle fire that it couldn't be swept under the rug. The aftermath of the fire lead to safety regulations and legislation which paved the way to the more worker friendly workplaces that we have today.
Happy Saturday, Meg. Have a great vacation. Good review of Triangle. Sounds like a good one.
>129 Triangle was interesting and a really good look at New York at the turn of the 20th century, Mark.
Vacation is going well so far. Reading this morning and volunteering this afternoon. I was given a name badge for PoCo Heritage just recently and as I am volunteering for them this afternoon I had to find it. I hate when I put things aside and can't find them again. Hmm, maybe it has something to do with all the piles of books, binders and papers all over the place around here. I did find it in a pile of papers along with the paperwork from work that I need to peruse. Besides that the tote bag I carry now has less junk in it and I can see the surface of my weight bench again.
Meg--Sounds like you have fun things planned for your vacation. Glad you booked your trip. : )
>131 Well, a vacation can't be all work and no fun, Kim. Have a great weekend. I know I will.
I am currently reading Tom Thomson: Trees by Joan Murray and came to the picture of The Pool and had to stop so I could come back to it again.
73. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by P.D. James
I have read quite a few of P.D. James' books over the years, usually ones that feature Adam Dagliesh as the detective. They are good mysteries but you always know that Dagliesh has the power of the law behind him even if he tends to go with his own conscience. I heard of the mysteries with Cordelia Gray as the protagonist and wanted to check one out. It took a while to track down the first book in the series, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman.
The woman, Cordelia is a fledgling PI who has been left the PI business by her partner. She spent a short time with her partner as mentor but now has to do it on her own, making it up as she goes. In this case she has been asked to look into a case of suicide by the father of the victim so off she goes to Oxford to see what she can find out.
James has fun with her young female detective. You can almost feel her relief at being on the shadier side of the law. Things do work out in the end but in surprising ways and not what you would you would usually find in a P.D. James novel. Now I need to find the next one in the series.
The independent bookstore in our local mall is closing down so the sales are hard to resist. I was waiting for a prescription at the drug store and had to kill some time and this book haul was the result.
Hero of the Empire by Candice Millard
The Truth about Style by Stacy London
The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Somme Stations by Andrew Martin
Goodnight from London by Jennifer Robson
I am particularly interested in accounts of London turning the blitz as I had family living in the East End during that time. Fictional accounts can be some of the best sources of information if they are well researched and the actions of the characters ring true. Goodnight from London is a well researched account of this time as well as being an interesting story.
The heroine is Ruby Sutton, a young American journalist sent over to work for a London tabloid and send copy back to its sister paper in the US. London is a far cry from what she is used to but she is a survivor with an interest in people which makes her not only a good writer, but able to adapt to her surroundings. There is peril and romance and mystery; an all around good read.
Nice book haul and review. What is the Language of Flowers about? That piqued my interest....
It has now been 71 days since we had any appreciable rain. It drizzled at SeaTac on August 13, but most of the city didn't get anything that day (including us, we got about 12 drops, and I'm not exaggerating!). I watch what is happening in Houston and then think about how dry it is here. Strange times.
>135 Nice book haul. A Candice Millard! Yay! That is one I want to read.
Keep enjoying your vacation!
>137 The cover blurb caught my eye, Kim. It reads:
The Victorian language of flowers was used to express emotions: honeysuckle for devotion, azaleas for passion and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones it has been more useful in communicating feelings like grief, mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings.
Now eighteen, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. When her talent is spotted by a local florist, she discovers her gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But it takes meeting a mysterious vendor at the flower market for her to realize what's been missing in her own life and, as she starts to fall for him, she's forced to confront a painful secret from her past and decide whether it's worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
>138 I went for a walk around the lake at Lafarge Park today. The water is so far down - even worse than the drought in 2015. Where there is usually water in the feeder part for the lake, there is only mud.
I had to snap up the Candice Millard, Ellen. I have been eyeing it for a while and it was less than half price.
My vacation is going well so far. Tonight was a special night out. Went out for dinner with a couple of friends before going to see Louise Penny at St. Andrews Wesley United Church. It was an impressive, if sweltering, venue and Ms. Penny was her usual interesting and articulate self. Now I need to figure out where I am in the Three Pines series and continue on.
>139 Thanks for posting the review. I am right--I would enjoy that one!! In fact, I did!! LOL I hope you enjoy it, too.
Congratulations on your retirement! I'm glad that your position has improved so much since 2009 that you're now able to take the leap. I've been retired since January of 2016 and don't miss work a bit. Not one tiny bit. Not the commute, not the work, not the people (except for a couple who I keep in touch with), not the stress.
And regarding a 35-year mortgage, we're just in the process of finalizing a 30-year mortgage refinance. We had an 18-year-to-go mortgage. Husband asked where I thought we'd be in 18 years. I said either in a smaller home or a retirement community, so he said "What's the difference between 18 years and 30 years when we'll have sold the house by then anyway?" And the additional $400/month is great for cash flow.
I just ordered Louise Penny's newest book, should get it Thursday. Looks like you got to see her yesterday. How was it?
>144 Not so much meet as see Louise Penny along with about a thousand other people, Deb. She is very popular and filled St Andrews Welsey on Nelson and Burrard. It was sweltering in there as there was no air conditioning. Sometimes it feels like we live in a much warmer country than the one that I am used to.
I really liked Jennifer Robson's book and should have a look for her other works.
>145 I was talking about retirement with the two friends I was with last night. They both recently retired and are currently enjoying the process of finding out what they want to do. I was discussing with Shelley what I do now between volunteering, blogging, reading, cooking etc and she asked me how I find time for everything. The answer was with a lot of juggling and not much sleep, so yes I am looking forward to retirement but I will miss my coworkers as we have become very tight. I think that a lot of us will keep in touch after as we have gone through a lot together.
The 35 year mortgage was a bit of a shock but the only way to swing things back in 2009. It was hard to go back to having a mortgage as I had paid off the one for the house that I shared with my ex. But circumstances changed and I paid off that 35 year mortgage in July of this year so its all good.
They were flogging the newest Louise Penny at the event last night but I resisted. It was easy because of the crowds and because I couldn't even remember where I am in the series so have many to go. The newest will be out in paperback by the time I get to it.
Louise Penny is always a pleasure to listen to. This time there was a moderator who was asking questions. She talked about her inspiration for Gamache, her husband Michael who died last year. It was funny to hear her stories about the Clintons coming to visit her in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. I always come away from these talks with a desire to read more by the author. I just have to figure out which is the next book in the series that I should be reading.
How cool to have seen Louise Penny. She's a favorite of mine. I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of her latest book later this week (I pre-ordered it months ago).
>146 I am looking forward to Hero of the Empire, Joe. I didn't know that Winston is one of Becca's favs. I admit to having a soft spot for Winston as well, after all it was his words and determination that rallied the people to save my homeland.
>149 There were plenty of the new books on offer last night, Reba, but I resisted temptation because I have lots more in the series to read before I get to the latest. I hope your book comes for you soon.
>150 DIL=son #1's wife, Adriana Ramirez, Meg. She says Winston has fascinated her since she was a child. I could see Becca going for this one, if we could somehow convince her that it's a true crime book. :-)
Yes, he was a complex guy, and inspiring at a time when it was so needed. You'll see in Hero of the Empire that he knew (had no doubt whatsoever) that he was destined for greatness.
>152 Oh, I misread your previous post, Joe. I can see the fascination. He was a interesting character. Maybe someone should do a GN of Hero of the Empire. Would that do to peke Becca's interest or does it have to be an actual comic?
I wonder what it would feel like to know you were destined for greatness? Must have been frustrating at times!
You're going to have a lot of fun finding out how Winston handled attempts to sideline hm when he was, as a young man, destined for greatness.
Becca's thing is Funkopops (small toy statues based on movie and tv characters); her dad's thing is graphic novels. (We complement each other at Comic Con). So we need a TV series based on Hero of the Empire and then a Funkopop based on that. She loved the Sharpe TV movies with Sean Bean, so a rugged, good-looking guy in the lead role as Winston would help.
Yes, it has been warm this summer! Today is even worse than usual. Last night was not bad at all for my walk, but then that is along the riverside in Steveston. Usually a nice breeze up.
>154 Hmm, it might be more difficult to rustle up a TV show (with requisite good-looking male lead) than a comic or GN, Joe. Funkopop's you say. Does she have a large collection?
>155 It has been hot and dry for a long long time, Deb. I took a walk this afternoon. I was about this point
walking up this hill when I realized
1) that I forgot to put on sunscreen
2) that it was hotter than usual.
I checked the temperature on my phone at it was 32C (about 90F). I noticed the mountains were hazy too. I hope smoke isn't moving in again.
>156 Does she have a large collection? Does she ever!
All things Sherlock, most things Minion, and beyond that she'll have to tell you. She doesn't have a big apartment, so she was already planning out the landing areas for the new ones she got at Comic Con.
>158 Oh oh, sounds like a few more Comic Cons and she will need a new place, Joe. Hmm, that kind of sounds like my book collection *sigh*.
>159 Right! As you can imagine, her place is filled with books, too. It's kind of cool, actually. Very happy place.
I think it is hotter today than yesterday and yes, today there is a bit of smokey haze. It is supposed to cool down significantly on Wednesday. Fingers crossed!
>161 Ha, I just heard on the news that there is smoke in the air and a new air quality advisory. This time the smoke is coming from fires south of the border. I guess we shared ours with them, now they are returning the favour.
>143 vancouverdeb: Yes, I read it...last year!! I didn't recognize the title, but your description. LOL Don't panic. I can't read that fast!
Our air quality just got worse and worse throughout the day. Sorry! : (
>164 Ha, I didn't really think you had read it that fast, Kim.
Well, when they said the smoke was coming from south of the border they did mention California wildfires, so we'll blame it all on them. Too bad they couldn't ship in some of the water from Texas.
>157 That looks a warm place for a walk. Hope the smoke blows over soon.
>166 It was warm, Charlotte. I just hope that the smoke doesn't get thicker. We had extremely hot weather with smoky skies for two weeks earlier in the summer and I hope it doesn't come back. We haven't had any rain to speak of since some time in June.
>167 You are welcome to some of our rain. I took a walk on Sunday and at one point sunk to my ankle in an unexpected swampy part. Still, I love my walking boots - my feet remained totally dry.
^Nice little book haul up there, Meg. Glad to see Hero of the Empire in there. I am a big fan of Millard. Enjoy!
Glad you had a good time at the Penny event and good luck with reorganizing those books. Big task, but it is always nice handling those books.
I'm glad you enjoyed the Penny event.
Once RichardDerus got me started on the Inspector Gamache series I've read every one as soon as it came out. This one got away from me, didn't realize it came out this week, and it's showing up tomorrow by 8 p.m. I should have time to finish Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by then!
I hope that September flies by in the best possible way for you, as you get ready to retire from the work world.
We are now getting smoke from fires near Cle Elum in central Washington. I hate to say it with what is happening in Texas but I really wish it would rain.
>168 Thanks for the offer and good luck with all your rain. It sounds like you are well equipped for it. All this sun and hot weather is unusual here. It is a rain-forest and usually very green.
>169 I am looking forward to reading the Millard after all the good things I heard about her writing. I think there might have been a little bit of warbling on your thread, Mark.
I haven't gotten too far with the book reorganization. It is basically only my nonfiction that is organized. I think most of the fiction can fend for itself. I started reorganizing months ago but stopped. Now there are books in stacks all over and there are new books to put in the categories that were already reorganized. I have told myself that I can't take out any books to read from those shelves until I am all done. I hope that will be sufficient incentive *sigh*.
>170 Time is passing quickly, Karen. It helps that I am on vacation for two weeks, then have days off here and there throughout September.
I really enjoy author events and Louise Penny is a really interesting writer. I came to the Three Pines series later. It seems that she became popular in the US before Canada. That is so typically Canadian. I am not very far into the series, in fact I can't remember which is the next one to read. I will have to figure that out and get back to Three Pines.
>171 I was googling to find out when our last rain was but I couldn't find it. I did find some stories about record breaking rain in March. Do you remember back then wondering if the rain would ever stop. That came just after the snow that kept on coming. I miss changes in the weather. On the news last night they said that the smoke was coming from Washington, California and some other places - they really just meant it wasn't from BC for a change. It doesn't look as smoky today. It is easier to see the mountains. I hope it has cleared up where you are, Ellen.
75. The King's Grave: The Discovery of Richard III's Lost Burial Place and the Clues It Holds by Phillipa Langley & Michael Jones
After seeing a TV documentary about the dig for Richard III's body, I wanted to know more. The King's Grave: The Discovery of Richard III's Lost Burial Place and the Clues It Holds filled in a lot of the gaps in my knowledge.
It was written in alternating chapters. One set of chapters was about the dig, gathering interest, finding funding and the hit or miss aspects of archaeological digs. The alternating chapters were about Richard, his early life, his ascent to the throne, the battle at Bosworth and the subsequent villainizing of Richard by the Tudor propaganda machine. It brought some of the accepted history under scrutiny.
It was very interesting to find out more about archaeological digs and about history. Too right that the victors get to write history as the case of Richard III clearly shows. Oh, and if you want to know about the princes in the tower, one of the appendices gives the author's two different opinions on what happened to the princes.
>177 Thanks, Anita. I actually reached it about a week ago, I am so far behind in posting about my reads.
Hi Meg, congrats on reaching 75 books read my dear. Hope all is well with you and you are having a good week dear friend.
>179 Thanks, John. The week is going well because I don't have to work. I hope to get some stuff done like catching up with the LT threads and yours is on the list.
76. The Celtic World: An Illustrated History 700 B.C. to the Present by Patrick Lavin
I am interested in Celtic history due to my family connections as my ancestors were definitely Celtic coming from Ireland and from the Western Isles of Scotland. One of the books on my shelves is The Celtic World: An Illustrated History I was good introduction to the history of the Celts.
The author cites Barry Cunliffe for some of the history in the book. I was in the bookshop the other day and there was a book by Barry Cunliffe so of course I had to take it home. So it is not only on the LT threads where you have to look out for BBs but in other books as well.
77. A Game for the Living by Patricia Highsmith
I read A Game for the Living for the AAC. It was an interesting look at two men who are suspects in a woman's death. Both of them were her lovers but they all got along. One of them confesses but, as he has Catholic guilt, his confession is dismissed. The other man is not so sure and much of the book consists of him trying to figure out the truth.
The book blurb says the novel a “taut psychological thriller that explores the limits of friendship between two men hunting a murderer in Mexico”. The interactions between the men were interesting and so were the views of Mexican society. Unfortunately, most of the tension was lost on me because I figured out the murderer pretty early on in the novel.
78. Scandal in Skibbereen by Sheila Connolly
I enjoyed the County Cork mystery's first entry Buried in a Bog. It was fun to visit again with Maura, the girl from Boston who is now starting to feel a bit more at home in the place her ancestors had called home.
In Scandal in Skibbereen she is now the proud owner of a pub and a wee house. Well placed, you might say, to hear about the next mystery which comes in the form of a woman from New York looking for a lost painting, a Van Dyck no less which may be in the local manor.
This was another good entry in this Irish flavoured mystery series. I will have to check out the next one.
79. Tom Thomson: Trees by Joan Murray
I usually read books from my Tom Thomson collection for clues to family history. This time I concentrated on his art. Tom Thomson: Trees is a delightful little book filled with colour plates illustrating various aspects of the trees that Thomson included in his sketches and paintings. It was very enjoyable.
>191 Thanks, Mark. The Thomson book is a beautiful little book. I'm sure you would like it. It has pictures like >133 Familyhistorian: in it.
I am sitting here following up on LT listening to the car horns in the parking lot. My neighbours are once again trying to scare off the bear *sigh*. I just wish the strata would do something about the garbage enclosures like they promised for last spring.
>194 It seems to come from all angles, doesn't it. Not that we really need any excuses to find more books!
>195 Thanks. I am sure you will find The King's Grave interesting, Karen. Did you see the TV documentary The King in the Car Park? I posted about it on my ROOTs thread. Once I found it on You-Tube I had to watch it again.
Hi Meg, I am back home after a lovely visit to the Island and catching up with my family. I would certainly feel better if we could have a couple of days of rain, it is so dry that I worry about someone tossing a cigarette. I did notice that it was very hazy today so I think the whole Pacific Northwest could use a refreshing shower or two!
Your retirement is really coming up fast. I think planning a trip is a great way to kick it off. Before too long, I suspect you will be wondering how you ever fit work into your busy schedule!
Enjoy the rest of your holiday!
>198 Rain would be good, Judy. I have a creek just behind my house and there is mostly mud with just a little water there. It is amazing how long it has been hot and sunny.
I will only have a short time left to work after my vacation. Retirement is coming up very quickly so I am not has frazzled as usual by not getting everything I want done on my vacation. I am making some headway on reorganizing my library (ie finding somewhere to put the new books).
I hope you enjoyed your time on the Island. I haven't checked in on your thread lately, did you sell your house?
>201 Hi Paul, thanks. I hope your weekend is going well and that things are improving at home.
Congrats on reaching 75 and congrats on the retirement.
Wow, lots was going on here during my absence. You've done some great reading. I just ordered the first three of the Louise Penny series because I started to read it in the middle.
Happy Sunday, Meg.
>197 I haven't seen The King in the Car Park, but have set up the link so I can watch it at my leisure. Thank you!
>204 I started the Louise Penny's in the middle too, Barbara. I am not sure where I am in the series because after the first few that I read I started at the beginning. I have to sort that all out. Maybe I will have time once I retire (smiles).
>205 The documentary is very interesting, Karen. The focus is on Philippa Langley who was the driving force behind the dig and one of the authors of The King's Grave.
This topic was continued by Familyhistorian's Year of History and Mystery part 7.
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.