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calm reading 75 and beyond

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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1calm
Edited: Jan 8, 7:59am Top

The Cats as Kittens (Lexa and Xander)

Intro

Hi I'm calm and I have been a member of LT and the 75ers since 2009. Last year I wasn't very chatty and I can't make any promises for this year either; though I do lurk on a number of threads.

Last year I read a lot of fantasy series, some sf and historical fiction mixed in with a little bit of other fiction and 2 or 3 non fiction.

I live in West Wales with two cats and a houseful of books. I am trying to read the books that come into the house shortly after acquiring them but I do have a lot on my TBR shelves (some of which have been languishing for years though I did have good intentions when I bought them).

Best of 2017 not counting re-reads

5 stars
The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey - just loved it
Fitz and the Fool Trilogy by Robin Hobb - amazing conclusion to the story

4.5 stars (in alphabetical order)

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
The Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diamant
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
The Humans by Matt Haig
The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
The Good People by Hannah Kent
Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver
The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland
The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers
New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Anathem by Neal Stephenson
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

They were all really good reads for very different reasons but not quite perfect so I can't give them the full 5 stars

2calm
Edited: Sep 20, 10:25am Top

Read in 2018

January

1 Not Forgetting the Whale by John Ironmonger (library)
2 Hild by Nicola Griffith
3 King Rat by China Miéville
4 Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner
5 The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
6 Colours in the Steel by K. J. Parker
7 The Belly of the Bow by K. J. Parker
8 The Proof House by K. J. Parker
9 Zone One by Colson Whitehead
10 The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
11 The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey (library)
12 The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier

February

13 Sister Noon by Karen Jay Fowler
14 Kine by A. R. Lloyd
15 H(A)PPY by Nicola Barker (library)
16 The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (library)
17 Fellside by M. R. Carey (library)
18 Hothouse by Brian W. Aldiss
19 My Grandmother Sends her Regards and Apologises by Fredrik Backman (library)
alternative title - My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
20 Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield
21 The Last Family in England by Matt Haig
22 Day Four by Sarah Lotz (library)
23 Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth (library)
24 Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman (library)
25 Under a Pole Star by Stef Penney (library)
26 A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K Le Guin
27 The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
28 The Death Instinct by Jed Rubenfeld
29 The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K Le Guin

March

30 Forests of the Heart by Charles de Lint
31 The Farthest Shore by Ursula K Le Guin
32 The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson
33 Tehanu by Ursula K Le Guin
34 Farthing by Jo Walton
35 Ha'penny by Jo Walton
36 Half a Crown by Jo Waton
37 Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
38 Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck (library)
39 Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (library)
40 Host by Peter James (library)
41 The Golden Cat by Gabriel King
42 Metamorphoses by Ovid
43 The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt

April

44 The Kingdom Beyond the Waves by Stephen Hunt
45 Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner (library)
46 The Snow Queen by Joan D Vinge
47 Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
48 A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne Harris (library)
49 Frogkisser by Garth Nix (library)
50 Grass by Sheri S Tepper
51 Raising the Stones by Sheri S Tepper
52 Sideshow by Sheri S Tepper
53 Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman (library)
54 Icehenge by Kim Stanley Robinson
55 Six Moon Dance by Sheri S Tepper

May

56 Od Magic by Patricia A. McKillip
57 Into the Green by Charles de Lint
58 Shogun by James Clavell
59 Ape House by Sara Gruen (library)
60 The Memory of Whiteness by Kim Stanley Robinson
61 The Power by Naomi Alderman (library)
62 Artemis by Andy Weir (library)
63 To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey (library)
64 Rose Madder by Stephen King
65 The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
66 Eight Months on Ghazzah Street by Hilary Mantel
67 Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic by Tom Holland

June

68 Moving Mars by Greg Bear
69 In the Approaches by Nicola Barker (librarY
70 Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd
71 The Fresco by Sheri S Tepper
72 Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (library)
73 Oversleeper by Matt Mountebank (library)
74 The Scandal AKA Beartown (US title) by Fredrik Backman (library)
75 Water & Glass by Abi Curtis
76 Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs (library)
77 Someplace to be Flying by Charles de Lint
78 Stardust by Neil Gaiman
77 The Shattered Chain by Marion Zimmer Bradley
78 Thendara House by Marion Zimmer Bradley

July

79 City of Sorcery by Marion Zimmer Bradley
80 Mulengro by Charles de Lint
81 Circe by Madeline Miller (library)
82 Imajica by Clive Barker

August

83 Pompeii by Robert Harris
84 The Darkening Age by Catherine Nixie (library)
85 Shardik by Richard Adams
86 Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (library)
87 Bright Air Black by David Vann (library)
88 The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip
89 The True Game - Sheri S Tepper
90 The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
91 Jinian Footseer by Sheri S Tepper

September
92 Dervish Daughter by Sheri S Tepper
93 Jinian Star-eye by Sheri S Tepper
94 Stormqueen! by Marion Zimmer Bradley
95 Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre
96 The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín (library)
97 Hawkmistress by Marion Zimmer Bradley
98 Harrowing the Dragon by Patricia McKillip
99 The Female Man by Joanna Russ (library)
100 The Crash of Hennington by Patrick Ness
101 Winter Rose by Patricia McKillip

reading
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

3calm
Edited: Jul 10, 11:55am Top

Acquired in 2018

Library
The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey
H(A)PPY by Nicola Barker
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
Fellside by M. R. Carey
My Grandmother Sends her Regards and Apologises by Fredrik Backman (alternative title My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry)
Day Four by Sarah Lotz
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
Britt-Marie was Here by Fredrik Backman
Under a Pole Star by Stef Penney
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck
Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner
Host by Peter James
A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne Harris
Frogkisser by Garth Nix
Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman
Ape House by Sara Gruen
The Power by Naomi Alderman
Artemis: A Novel by Andy Weir
To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey
In the Approaches by Nicola Barker
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
Oversleeper by Matt Mountebank
Circe by Madeline Miller

Second Hand
Zone One by Colson Whitehead (read)
Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Mercedes Lackey
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge (read)
Farthing by Jo Walton (read)
Ha'penny by Jo Walton (read)
Half a Crown by Jo Walton (read)
The Kingdom Beyond the Waves by Stephen Hunt (read)
The Two of Swords (volume 1) by K J Parker
The Two of Swords (volume 2) by K J Parker

LT ER

Water & Glass by Abi Curtis

4calm
Jan 8, 7:32am Top

Welcome to any visitors or lurkers. I haven't finished up-dating 2017 yet but thought it was time to get started in 2018

5thornton37814
Jan 8, 10:15am Top

Love the cats! Happy 2018 reading!

6quondame
Jan 8, 12:38pm Top


Welcome from a newcomer. I read mostly F&FS and share some of your reads for last year.

7PaulCranswick
Jan 8, 1:19pm Top



Happy New Year
Happy New Group here
This place is full of friends
I hope it never ends
It brew of erudition and good cheer.

8calm
Jan 8, 1:31pm Top

Thanks Lori - I love the cats as well.

Quondame - nice to meet someone who reads the same sort of books. I'll be sure to lurk your thread for ideas :)

Hi Paul - thanks for finding me :)

9souloftherose
Jan 8, 1:50pm Top

Welcome back calm! Lovely to see a picture of your kitties in >1 calm:

I've just started what will be a partial reread and then continuation into books I haven't read yet of Robin Hobb's Farseer/Elderlings series. Reread Assassin's Apprentice this month and itching to get to book #2. She draws you in to her world so well....

10calm
Edited: Jan 8, 1:58pm Top

Hi Heather - that's an old pic when they were kittens. I'm not very good at taking photos and uploading them from my phone.

Hobb's world-building is brilliant. She does put her characters through a lot I could barely see to read the last part of the last book as I was in tears

edit for spoiler tag

11libraryperilous
Jan 8, 3:44pm Top

Looking forward to your thoughts on Hild. Cute kitties!

12richardderus
Jan 8, 7:35pm Top

Hello calm, happy to see a thread by you.

13Kassilem
Jan 8, 10:10pm Top

Hi calm. I'm looking forward to seeing what you read this year!

14Berly
Jan 9, 2:28am Top

Found you!! I loved The Girl with all the Gifts, too. 5 stars. I hope we see more of you this year, but no pressure! LOL : )

15souloftherose
Jan 9, 4:06am Top

>10 calm: 'She does put her characters through a lot'

Yes, I remember that from my first read-through - I think that was originally why I stopped reading the series (after book #2 of the Tawny Man trilogy) but I'm hoping I can stay the distance this time.

16sirfurboy
Jan 9, 6:40am Top

Happy new year. Good to see your thread again, so I starred it.

17archerygirl
Jan 9, 7:34am Top

Happy new year! Dropping off my star :-)

18Carmenere
Jan 9, 8:36am Top

Hi calm!

Wishing you an outstanding year of reading!

19calm
Jan 9, 10:49am Top

>11 libraryperilous: Hild wasn't what I expected, but it was a very good story. I was pleased to see that Nicola Griffith will continue Hild's story but it has been a few years and I don't know when the net book will appear.

>12 richardderus: Richard I'm here every year. I just don't say very much :)

>13 Kassilem: Thanks Melissa - so am I :)

>14 Berly: Thanks Kim. The Girl with all the Gifts was excellent and I hope to pick up the sequel from the library sometime

>15 souloftherose: I think it is partly how she makes us care for her characters that makes it so heartbreaking. I noticed that you and some others are doing a group read of the books. I hope you manage to stick with them with the support.

>16 sirfurboy: The same to you Stephen

>17 archerygirl: Thanks Katherine

>18 Carmenere: Hi Lynda

20fuzzi
Jan 9, 12:37pm Top

Found you, starred you!

:)

21ChelleBearss
Jan 9, 7:45pm Top

Happy first thread!

Love your best of 2017 list! Some great ones there. The Girl with all the Gifts is on my wishist already!

22libraryperilous
Edited: Jan 13, 11:35am Top

>19 calm:, in re: >11 libraryperilous: It looks like the sequel is titled Menewood, but her blog indicates she's still writing it.

23Berly
Jan 20, 11:10pm Top

I almost bought the sequel, The Boy on the Bridge, last week, but I was saving up for a trip to Powell's bookstore that I knew was coming up. Soon though!

24calm
Jan 30, 1:11pm Top

Thanks Fuzzi

Hi Chelle - The Girl with all the Gifts is a good one

Diana - I saw that but unfortunately books take a lot longer to write than to read. I'm just grateful that there are authors who are willing to write books I want to read however long it takes :)

Kim - I borrowed The Boy on the Bridge from the library and actually it is a prequel. So it took me a while to settle into reading as I tried to tie what I was reading with what happened in Girl with all the Gifts but I did end up enjoying the story.

25jolerie
Jan 30, 1:12pm Top

Calm!

Nice to see you in the group again.

I am slowly trying to get myself back into the swing of things. :)

26calm
Jan 30, 1:15pm Top

Hi Valerie I saw that you were back ... with a third monkey! Silas is a cute looking boy and the others have grown so much.

27jolerie
Edited: Jan 30, 1:17pm Top

Haha, seems to be the way I operate. Have a kid, then disappear, and then come back when my life has some semblance of sanity. :)

28calm
Edited: Feb 13, 9:20am Top

Monthly recap - January

1 Not Forgetting the Whale by John Ironmonger (library)
2 Hild by Nicola Griffith
3 King Rat by China Miéville
4 Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner
5 The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
6 Colours in the Steel by K. J. Parker (re-read)
7 The Belly of the Bow by K. J. Parker (re-read)
8 The Proof House by K. J. Parker (re-read)
9 Zone One by Colson Whitehead
10 The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (re-read)
11 The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey (library)
12 The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier

Favourite - King Rat - I love Mieville and this was one I have wanted to read ever since I discovered his work. It did not disappoint.

Most disappointing - Swordspoint. I liked the setting but didn't really like the characters or the story.

29souloftherose
Feb 1, 2:39pm Top

>28 calm: Shame about Swordspoint but at least you don't have to worry about finding the sequels!

30Carmenere
Edited: Feb 1, 2:56pm Top

>28 calm: Wow, calm! What a stellar month! Hoping February will follow suit.

31calm
Feb 1, 3:01pm Top

>29 souloftherose: Heather unfortunately I am not so sure about that as it looks like the later books are set a number of years later and are about different characters and might fit my taste a bit more, But it really does depend on if they turn up in any of the places I buy second hand books.

I'll also see if I can pick up the one Kushner book, Thomas the Rhymer, that I can get from my local library.

32calm
Feb 1, 3:03pm Top

>30 Carmenere: Lynda it was quite a good reading month :)

33sirfurboy
Feb 1, 4:37pm Top

Can you tell me anything about The Boy on the Bridge ? The Amazon write up is intriguing but not really very revealing.

Thanks.

34quondame
Feb 1, 11:08pm Top

>31 calm: Privilege of the Sword does indeed feature a different sort of story and a different or altered set of characters. And The Fall of the Kings is only nominally the same world, with the supernatural intruding. Unless I hit myself over the head I also keep thinking Mary Gentle's A Sundial in a Grave: 1610 is set near Riverside. Swordsmen you know.

35calm
Feb 2, 3:08am Top

>33 sirfurboy: Stephen the Amazon write up is a very intriguing description but not very helpful. The boy referred to is one of the characters. I wouldn't read Boy if you haven't read Girl even if it is set earlier in the world M. R Carey created. Spoilers follow for those who have not read Girl with all the Gifts, hopefully without given too much away:)

The story is about the original crew of the Rosie and what they discover about the Hungries; the Children and why they don't return. Actually the description is slightly misleading as most of the crew don't think the boy is necessary or part of the team but only there because one of the scientists insists on taking him. Even though he is the one who developed the blocker that prevents Hungries detecting humans.

>34 quondame: Susan that is what I thought from looking at the descriptions and some of the reviews and why I will probably keep my eyes open for them.

The Gentle is one I haven't read though it is on my (non-LT) wishlist. I really liked the few of her books that I read.

One of the reasons I re-read the Fencer trilogy was to read about another swordsman :)

36sirfurboy
Feb 2, 6:57am Top

>35 calm: Thanks. I have now added The Girl with all the Gifts to my TBR. :)

37libraryperilous
Feb 2, 9:44am Top

I DNFed Swordspoint. Like calm, I liked the setting, but I never connected with the characters or the plot points that drove their decisions.

>24 calm: Yes. I also would rather wait for a better sequel than read one banged out too quickly. I've been waiting years for the conclusion of Rosemary Kirstein's Steerswoman series. She blogs about her experience writing the last two books and frequently mentions how much she wants to reward her readers' faith in the quality of her writing.

38calm
Feb 2, 11:42am Top

>36 sirfurboy: I hope you like it Stephen :)

>37 libraryperilous: Diana I very rarely DNF a book, it has to be completely unreadable and there is normally at least something that keeps me reading.

There are a few authors who started writing series who seem to have come to a halt for some reason or another. But I could never write a book and admire those who do and I am willing to be patient while they write.

39PaulCranswick
Feb 18, 8:25pm Top

Quiet is February in West Wales, Calm.

Hope all is well. xx

40calm
Feb 19, 6:33am Top

I like quiet, Paul :)

All is well and I am updating my books read/acquired lists. No Cranswickian book hauls though I was pleased to find the Small Change trilogy by Jo Walton (still shrink wrapped) for £1.50!

I will do a monthly round up post at the beginning of March, but February is looking good so far. I've already read as many books as I did in January :)

41sirfurboy
Edited: Mar 1, 5:49am Top

42calm
Mar 1, 5:57am Top

>41 sirfurboy: Diolch

Happy St David's Day to you as well, Stephen

43sirfurboy
Mar 1, 6:04am Top

I hope you are staying warm - I understand there is a lot of snow out of town.

44calm
Mar 1, 6:15am Top

Not very much snow here but the wind is cold, fortunately I am not too far from the coast so it is rare for snow to stick.

Staying in with a book seems like a very good idea though

45calm
Mar 1, 6:59am Top

February roundup

1 Sister Noon by Karen Jay Fowler
2 Kine by A. R. Lloyd
3 H(A)PPY by Nicola Barker (library)
4 The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (library)
5 Fellside by M. R. Carey (library)
6 Hothouse by Brian W. Aldiss
7 My Grandmother Sends her Regards and Apologises by Fredrik Backman (library)
alternative title - My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
8 Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield
9 The Last Family in England by Matt Haig
10 Day Four by Sarah Lotz (library)
11 Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth (library)
12 Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman (library)
13 Under a Pole Star by Stef Penney (library)
14 A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K Le Guin
15 The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
16 The Death Instinct by Jed Rubenfeld
17 The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K Le Guin

Favourite - My Grandmother Sends her Regards and Apologises by Fredrik Backman. I liked this one a lot, a great cast of characters and a different story.

Most disappointing - probably The Last Family in England by Matt Haig as I was expecting more than happens. It seemed more like a modern family drama - a couple having problems; troubled teens; an ageing parent who needs to move in to the family home. Telling the story from the dog's point of view didn't add enough to make it truly enjoyable.

46ChelleBearss
Mar 1, 7:45am Top

Wow, that's a great February!

47calm
Mar 1, 11:29am Top

Thanks Chelle.

48jolerie
Mar 2, 3:16pm Top

Not a shabby February at all, Calm. ;)

49calm
Mar 3, 8:15am Top

It wasn't too shabby. A few real page turners, some short books and reading more (less TV and computer games) added up to a lot of books read :)

50Berly
Mar 16, 9:33am Top

Hi there! I just picked up Beartown by Backman. I like his work a lot. Nice reading in February! Hope March is going well, too.

51calm
Mar 21, 4:22pm Top

>50 Berly: Hi Kim. I think I want to read more Backman. Britt-Marie wasn't as good as My Grandmother ... but I'll see what else the library has.

Not reading as many this month ... I'm back to the computer games:)

52PaulCranswick
Apr 3, 4:38am Top

Hope you are doing well, Calm.

I picked up Beartown fairly recently too.

53calm
Apr 10, 11:06am Top

March Roundup

1 Forests of the Heart by Charles de Lint
2 The Farthest Shore by Ursula K Le Guin
3 The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson
4 Tehanu by Ursula K Le Guin
5 Farthing by Jo Walton
6 Ha'penny by Jo Walton
7 Half a Crown by Jo Walton
8 Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
9 Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck (library)
10 Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (library)
11 Host by Peter James (library)
12 The Golden Cat by Gabriel King
13 Metamorphoses by Ovid
14 The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt

Favourite - tough choice as there were a couple of re-reads of books I love (Forests of the Heart and Good Omens) and re-reading The Court of the Air was better than I remembered. I was also impressed by Farthing and Wolf Winter.

Most disappointing - The Long Ships, somehow I expected more and didn't really like the characters and their relationships. Still an interesting look at Viking life. Host wasn't that impressive either but I didn't expect as much of that one.

54calm
Apr 10, 11:13am Top

Hi Paul I think Beartown is available at my local library but under a different title (at least the blurb seems to be of the same book). Maybe I will pick it up next time I am in town.

Hope you are doing well and survived LT's downtime.

55Berly
Apr 20, 11:55pm Top

Good Omens was a good one. Haven't really read the other ones. But nice total for March!!

56PaulCranswick
Apr 21, 7:48am Top

Dropping by to wish my favourite West Walian a lovely weekend. xx

57calm
May 1, 10:39am Top

April Roundup

1 The Kingdom Beyond the Waves by Stephen Hunt
2 Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner (library)
3 The Snow Queen by Joan D Vinge
4 Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
5 A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne Harris (library)
6 Frogkisser by Garth Nix (library)
7 Grass by Sheri S Tepper
8 Raising the Stones by Sheri S Tepper
9 Sideshow by Sheri S Tepper
10 Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman (library)
11 Icehenge by Kim Stanley Robinson
12 Six Moon Dance by Sheri S Tepper

Favourite - Best, for me, was re-reading Six Moon Dance. I really like Tepper's work - good world-building; interesting aliens and social messages that fit my worldview.

Most disappointing - Difficult as I liked everything I read in April but if I had to say it was probably Thomas the Rhymer. I don't think Kushner's writing works for me, but it wasn't a bad book.

58calm
May 1, 10:42am Top

Hi Kim - Good Omens is fun

Paul - weekends are fine, not so different from everyday for me :)

59PaulCranswick
May 6, 5:15am Top

>58 calm: They are, however, very different for me, Calm. Sunday is really my only day of rest and I don't always manage to do that so well every time either.

Hope your Sunday will be a book filled and special day.

60calm
May 6, 9:49am Top

I hope you have a great Sunday Paul. I noticed that you are spending at least part of it catching up on the threads :) Hope you get some time with your books as well.

I'm reading Shogun - a real doorstopper at over 1100 pages! So can only do a few pages at a time. As for special - I will be Skyping with my mother later and, possibly, my sister may join the conversation as well.

61fuzzi
May 8, 10:54am Top

>60 calm: Shogun is a book I first read in 1980, and probably at least 4 or more times since. If I pick it up to just "check a passage", I wind up reading it the rest of the way through. I've broken a couple paperback versions over the years.

62calm
May 8, 12:53pm Top

>61 fuzzi: I saw the TV series back in the 80's and thought I read the book as well, but I don't remember anything:(

It is very good and I can understand it being a book that people re-read.

63fuzzi
May 8, 9:14pm Top

>62 calm: I read the book just before the series came out, and while I did enjoy watching that production, it paled in comparison to the novel.

64calm
May 9, 6:26am Top

>63 fuzzi: That's probably why it has been sitting on my TBR stack for more than 6 years :) I just thought that I had read the book so it didn't seem like one I would hurry to re-read (based on the TV series).

65Berly
May 10, 2:54am Top

Hope you enjoy Shogun! I watched the series and don't have the book. ; ) I'll just await your impressions.

66calm
May 10, 1:05pm Top

>65 Berly: Hi Kim. It is going well, so far, I'm slightly more than half way through now. It's good historical fiction and the culture clash between Blackthorne and the Japanese world he finds himself in is intriguing.

67Berly
May 22, 12:50am Top

So now you must be, what finished? 2/3 of the way? : ) Verdict?

68calm
Edited: May 22, 5:34am Top

Finished - it was very good. I don't know much about Japan and its history but I think Clavell did his research and gave a good portrayal of what life would have been like at the time. It was also vey violent in places which, while appropriate, was shocking to me. I thought the characters were well developed and the relationships/reactions between them believable.

69quondame
May 22, 11:21am Top

>68 calm: I enjoyed Shogun quite a bit. It was an exotic version of the Sabatini & Shellabarger novels I read as a teenager with significantly more believable characters. I loved the sea battle especially.

70calm
Jun 1, 6:01am Top

>69 quondame: Susan I don't know the Sabatini & Shellabarger novels. Shogun was good though.

71calm
Jun 1, 6:11am Top

May Roundup

1 Od Magic by Patricia A. McKillip
2 Into the Green by Charles de Lint
3 Shogun by James Clavell
4 Ape House by Sara Gruen (library)
5 The Memory of Whiteness by Kim Stanley Robinson
6 The Power by Naomi Alderman (library)
7 Artemis by Andy Weir (library)
8 To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey (library)
9 Rose Madder by Stephen King
10 The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
11 Eight Months on Ghazzah Street by Hilary Mantel
12 Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic by Tom Holland

Favourites - To the Bright Edge of the World; Ape House; Artemis and The Power as new to me reads. Also really enjoyed the re-reads of Od Magic and Rose Madder.

Most Disappointing - Eight Months on Ghazzah Street, I just got a bit lost and confused by the end of it. I also didn't click with any of the characters.

72quondame
Jun 1, 3:59pm Top

>70 calm: Both are writers from the 1st half of the 20th century - my parents would have read them, and several of the books, Captain Blood and Prince of Foxes have been made into swashbuckling movies.

73fuzzi
Jun 1, 8:20pm Top

>72 quondame: oh, Captain Blood was very good. I read it a few years ago, enjoyed it quite a bit.

74souloftherose
Jun 3, 4:07am Top

>57 calm: You've reminded me I have a couple of unread Tepper's in my TBR pile and I need to get back to the Grass trilogy

75calm
Jun 3, 5:19am Top

>72 quondame: I see. I don't think I have read any of their work, but I am not really into swashbucklers :)

>73 fuzzi: Good to know if I ever decide to read one.

>74 souloftherose: I like Tepper's work. I think she writes interesting aliens though she can, sometimes, be a bit too eco-feminist for some people. I have nearly all her novels, I'm just missing the last two - The Waters Rising and Fish Tails.

76Carmenere
Jun 3, 8:51am Top

Good Sunday to you, calm! I've become a rather lax poster of late. You're doing a fine job with the books this year! Hope all 's well in your corner of the world. I'm sure Lexa and Xander have grown quite a bit since January but just as much fun.

77calm
Jun 3, 8:55am Top

Hi Lynda. I don't post much; I do a lot of lurking though :) Your Mexico trip sounded fun.

Lexa and Xander are pretty solid cats now but I'm not taking any photos at the moment. It is good to have them around.

78quondame
Jun 3, 2:16pm Top

>57 calm: >74 souloftherose: Though she liked Six Moon Dance, probably more than I did, I haven't got my daughter to read any other Tepper - though I've waved the True Game series under her nose a couple of times. My favorites are the first two Marianne books, and I like the 3rd too, just not as much.

79fuzzi
Jun 3, 6:12pm Top

>75 calm: I recall that there was a lot of dialogue in Captain Blood, not as "swashbuckely" as Errol Flynn would have liked you to believe!

80quondame
Edited: Jun 3, 10:52pm Top

>79 fuzzi: Both the books I mentioned have a lot to offer in addition to straight up adventure, though both are totally of their time with attitudes toward women that are often much improved in the last decade of adventures.

81PaulCranswick
Jun 4, 12:02am Top

>71 calm: Very interesting, varied and long reading for May, Calm. Shogun is a real chunkster, I know.
Hope all is well in West Wales. xx

82calm
Edited: Jun 4, 6:58am Top

>78 quondame: - The True Game was my first Tepper :) For someone who likes Six Moon Dance I would recommend trying The Fresco, maybe The Family Tree. I have read the Marianne trilogy but it ddn't make it into my top reads by her; maybe time for a re-read and see if it is better than I remember.

>79 fuzzi: and >80 quondame: I doubt very much if I will get to them; lots on the TBR pile and they don't really sound like my kind of read :)

>81 PaulCranswick: I like a bit of variety though I do find it easy to revert to reading a lot of fantasy and sf :) I don't mind reading chunksters as long as there is a good story and characters I can empathise with.

All is well in West Wales. I was pleased to hear that Hani made it back to you safely.

83quondame
Jun 4, 12:35pm Top

>82 calm: I once read the first Marianne book onto tape for a blind friend who noticed what I had not - the obsessive compulsive score keeping and magical thinking. It made me completely reevaluate the books which I liked very much already. I have issues with some books by Tepper and love others and wouldn't expect anyone to have the same preferences, she is, as a food analogy, a mix of somewhat over flavored dishes. Jo Clayton strikes me somewhat the same way.

84souloftherose
Jun 4, 5:11pm Top

>75 calm:, >78 quondame:, >82 calm:, >83 quondame: I'm slowly working my way through her books for the first time and collecting most of them second-hand. I've enjoyed the ones she's most well-known for like Grass and The Gate to Women's Country but I have a real soft spot for the True Game series. Still haven't read the Marianne series but I have heard others recommend that series too.

85calm
Jun 5, 6:47am Top

>83 quondame: - I'll bump it up the re-read pile. Tepper is one of those authors who I can re-read quite happily. I like some of her books more than others but there is normally something thought provoking that makes a second look worthwhile :)

>84 souloftherose: - Heather I got most of mine second hand as well. Good luck collecting them, I don't come across her work very often in the local shops.

I will always have a soft spot for the True Game as it was my first. The Mavin Many-shaped and Jinian trilogies add to that world.

86libraryperilous
Jun 21, 9:25pm Top

I've yet to enjoy a Mantel book. I should bump Tepper up my TBR list.

87calm
Jun 22, 8:29am Top

>86 libraryperilous: I sometimes wish I hadn't started a Least Favourite/Most Disappointing book of the month. I've liked most of the Mantel's I have read - but there was something about Eight Months that didn't work for me so it was the most disappointing read. It also didsn't make me want to pick up her unread books from my TBR shelves :(

Tepper doesn't work for everyone but her books make me think and, as far as I am concerned, she writes good alien species. Of course not all her books have aliens but when she does include them they are not just humans in a different body.

88Berly
Jun 29, 7:53pm Top

Dang it! And you have more Mantel's waiting for you. Well, give it some time and think back to you favorite one. Your love will come back.

89calm
Jul 1, 9:53am Top

> Hi Kim - I like the historicals - A Place of Greater Safety; Wolf Hall and the contemporary ones with a hint of the supernatural Beyond Black and Fludd. I think the others I have are more straight contemporary novels like Eight Months. She is a good writer so I'm sure they will work their way to the top of the TBR someday :)

90calm
Edited: Jul 10, 11:56am Top

June Roundup

1 Moving Mars by Greg Bear
2 In the Approaches by Nicola Barker
3 Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd
4 The Fresco by Sheri S Tepper
5 Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (wrong touchstone)
6 Oversleeper by Matt Mountebank
7 The Scandal AKA Beartown (US title) by Fredrik Backman
8 Water & Glass by Abi Curtis (75th book of the year)
9 Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
10 Someplace to be Flying by Charles de Lint
11 Stardust by Neil Gaiman
12 The Shattered Chain by Marion Zimmer Bradley
13 Thendara House by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Favourites - New to me - Library of Souls I really enjoyed the conclusion to the Miss Peregrine trilogy; re-reads - The Fresco (still one of my favourite Tepper's); Stardust (it's Gaiman!); Someplace to be Flying (the crow girls and a re-read of a favourite author) and the sheer sweep of Sarum (over 4 thousand years of history; his debut novel; stood up to re-reading)

Least Favourite - none there wasn't anything that disappointed me this month.

91lkernagh
Jul 6, 4:48pm Top

Looks like you had a good reading month, calm! Wishing you a lovely July.

92calm
Jul 7, 2:14am Top

Hi Lori.

Unfortunately July is not going so well. Xander was hit by a car, Thursday evening, and I still don't know if he will need to have his leg amputated. They managed to stitch the wound but the vet is worried about the blood supply to his foot. I'm taking him back to the vet later today.

He is such a good boy and I hope he recovers.

His sister has refused to go in the same room as him since I brought him home yesterday. She seems really scared and I don't know how long it is going to take for her to adjust to the situation.

Has anybody out there been through something similar? If so any advice?

93FAMeulstee
Jul 7, 1:05pm Top

>92 calm: So sorry to read about Xander, I hope he can keep his leg.
No experience with the situation, but I guess Lexa can be scared because Xander is in pain, or because her human is in distress because of what happened. I hope she will adjust again in time.

94calm
Jul 7, 1:17pm Top

Thanks Anita - she has calmed down some. I did a mini re-introduction after getting back from the vets. She has always been a nervous cat but this was extreme even for her.

I still don't know whether Xander will keep his leg - the vet said that maybe it isn't getting the blood it needs but we don't know for sure either way. We see the vet again on Monday and I'm hoping for good news but am prepared for the worst. Many pets live long and healthy lives with three legs.

95libraryperilous
Jul 7, 5:53pm Top

I'm sorry about Xander's health. I hope he heals soon, and that Lexa keeps adjusting, too.

Rutherfurd has been recommended to me by many people. Sounds like you had a very good reading June!

96calm
Jul 8, 4:27am Top

>95 libraryperilous: Diana - thank you. Apart from the bandage and not being able to walk, yet, Xander looks healthy - clear eyes and shiny coat. So I am hopeful he will heal quickly. Lexa is a lot calmer though still unsure when she is near him.

I like the Rutherfurds I have read. If you like historical fiction the way he tells the history of an area through a number of families and significant events gives a good overview of the place and times.

97calm
Edited: Jul 11, 7:58am Top

Xander update - On Monday the vet was concerned about possible nerve damage as he didn't react when she changed the dressing. He did have blood getting to the paw. After today's visit the vet seems pleased with his progress, he reacted while the wound was cleaned and dressed so it looks more likely than not that he will keep the leg. He is the most laid back cat I have ever had and it does take a lot to bother him.

Lexa is more or less back to normal. Neither of them are eating very much but we are in the middle of a heatwave and a friend has said that their cats are eating less at the moment as well.

More details here - https://www.librarything.com/topic/293292

98ronincats
Edited: Jul 12, 8:24pm Top

Calm, I don't know how I missed getting your thread starred at the beginning of the year!! I'm all caught up on Xander now--kind of happy that I'm doing it at this point when the news is good, but I know it has to have been traumatic for you and the kitties. And you've been doing such good reading this year, many of my favorites such as Good Omens and Od Magic, The Goblin Emperor and Frogkisser, and also favorite authors such as Le Guin and Tepper (and following those feminist authors with Bradley's The Shattered Chain and Thendara's House--you've been on a consciousness raising binge!!).

ETA By the way, I've found a Welsh ancestor in my maternal grandfather's line, a Sarah Bowen (1618-1676) from Swansea, Glamorgan who emigrated to Massachusetts around 1640.

99libraryperilous
Jul 12, 6:00pm Top

I'm so glad Xander is better and blood is circulating to his paw. It sounds like Lexa is adjusting, too.

My mom's cat is eating normally, but she's been sleeping a lot more during the heatwave. She also doesn't seem to enjoy having the door and window open as much, except very early in the morning, before the air gets too heavy.

>98 ronincats: The Goblin Emperor is such a special book, one of my all-time favorites. Frogkisser sounds fun!

100Berly
Jul 12, 8:36pm Top

Phew! Hope Xander continues to recover well and Lexa can relax. What a horrible thing to happen! Sending good mojo!

101calm
Edited: Jul 13, 6:32am Top

>98 ronincats: Probably because I don't post much on other people's threads Roni:) Also I was very quiet last year. I'm trying to do better in 2018 at keeping the books read list up-dated and also giving a monthly report. I'm not reviewing but if anyone wants to ask about anything in the list I'm happy to say something.

Yes it was traumatic for all of us. The cats seem to be coping better than I am. As an agoraphobic; anxiety prone person it is very exhausting for me but I will do everything I can for Xander and try to stay calm.

Of the books you mentioned only The Goblin Emperor and Frogkisser were new to me reads. I have been doing a lot of re-reading this year. Real life politics around the world is so depressing, misogamistic; anti-human rights and isolationist views seem to be getting more prevalent. So at the moment I feel like reading books that give a different viewpoint. Tepper is one of my favourite authors. I know some people have a problem with her eco-feminist ideas but not me. I still haven't read her last two books so I still have those to find.

I was born in England but do have Welsh ancestors. I don't remember if it was a great or great- great grandmother on my father's mothers side who was born in Powys. My father and, to a lesser extent my sister, are the genealogists in my family. I haven't heard recently how far back they have managed to get but I don't think they are back to the 17th Century yet. One of my mother's great (possibly great-great) uncles emigrated to the US and settled in Utah so there has been a lot of work done on the paternal side of her family. Her mother's side hit a dead end as there were Travellers in her ancestory so birth, marriage and death records are not easy to find or even non-existent.

>99 libraryperilous: Yes Diana things are going better. I have added today's vet visit update to the other thread.

I think differences to their routine have affected the cats. Lexa has always had some degree of separation anxiety when I leave the house and needs lots of cuddles and reassurance when I get home. So taking her brother away for some time and my not being here haven't helped. I'm sure they will both eat when they are hungry.

Frogkisser is fun. I found it in the children's section of my local library after reading about it on somebody elses thread.

>100 Berly: Thanks Kim. Good mojo is always welcome and things seem to be slowly moving in the right direction

102ChelleBearss
Jul 15, 8:31am Top

Sorry to see Xander was injured! So glad that his paw is doing better now though!

103calm
Jul 15, 9:22am Top

>102 ChelleBearss: Thanks Chelle. He is doing better though we still don't know how much use he will regain in that leg and paw. I'm trying to keep this thread gore free so the details are in the thread I linked to in >97 calm:

It was good to see the photos of your girls enjoying playing in the water but I hope you are getting some respite from the sun and the sunburn. Is Nate back from his epic motorcycle drive?

104calm
Jul 17, 7:38am Top

Unfortunately we have has a setback. Xander's wound has stopped healing, there is necrotic tissue and he is staying at the vets for intensive treatment. I hope that this will work but if not I'm going to have a three-legged cat.

I'm still not reading very much:(

105calm
Jul 17, 11:55am Top

Update - the vet called. They are removing his leg tomorrow. It is the best thing for him.

106FAMeulstee
Jul 17, 12:15pm Top

>105 calm: Oh, I am so sorry it has to come to amputating Xander's leg, ((((hugs))))

107calm
Jul 17, 12:56pm Top

>106 FAMeulstee: Thank you. They did their best to save it and I'm sure he will recover quickly. Hugs greatfully received.

Hope everything is going well with you.

By the way I visited the library before coming home from town today and Pompeii was on top of the returns shelf! As I'm not reading very much at the moment it was the only book to come home with me.

108FAMeulstee
Jul 17, 6:50pm Top

>107 calm: What a nice coincidense, calm, I hope you like Pompeii as much as I did!

I am slowly improving :-)

109calm
Jul 18, 3:46am Top

>108 FAMeulstee: When I studied Ancient History I preferred Republican Roman history but the story of Pompeii is fascinating and I'm looking forward to reading Harris's novel.

Pleased to hear that things are improving. I hope you get back to the right dose soon.

110quondame
Jul 18, 4:25am Top

>105 calm: I hope Xander heals quickly and comes home to you happy.

111calm
Jul 18, 3:14pm Top

>110 quondame: Thank you

He will be home tomorrow. They had only just operated when I called and he needs some time to recover from the procedure and to see if he will actually try to stand. I hope he adjusts quickly and is back to his normal lovable self soon.

112libraryperilous
Jul 18, 5:41pm Top

Sorry to hear about Xander's surgery, and I hope he recovers quickly. Sending internet hugs to you and your kitties in this stressful time.

I'm sure you'll do all you can to help Xander adjust. It sounds like you have a great vet, too.

113calm
Jul 19, 5:02am Top

>112 libraryperilous: Thank you very much.

Unfortunately I still don't know when he can come home. I need to phone later, around 2pm UK time, hopefully they will say I can bring him home.

As I only talked to the receptionist I wasn't given any details but I'm sure if there was a major problem one of the vets or nursing staff would have spoken to me. So far they have been very good at keeping me informed.

114calm
Jul 19, 1:19pm Top

and he's home. He was pleased to see me when I got to the vets; apparently they were having some trouble getting him to eat or move. While I was there he cleared the bowl of chicken they had given him and he sat up and moved a little bit. It will take some time for him to learn to walk again.

Hopefully he will heal quickly and things can get back to normal around here.

115FAMeulstee
Jul 19, 6:27pm Top

>114 calm: Glad to read that Xander is back home!
Is Lexa more accepting to him this time?

116calm
Jul 20, 4:14am Top

>115 FAMeulstee: thanks I'm glad too :)

yes she is. They are hanging about in the same room; he still seems happier in the cat carrier but he has come out for some food. Lexa either sits on top of his carrier; lies a short distance away or gets in her own cage.

117lkernagh
Jul 20, 12:39pm Top

Oh wow.... Poor Xander! Very glad to see the good news that he is now home and will hopefully quickly adjust to his new mobility. {{{{Hugs}}}}

118calm
Jul 20, 1:44pm Top

>117 lkernagh: thank you. As long as I can keep Lexa from pouncing on him things should go well; for the first time since the accident she wants to play but loses interest pretty quickly when I try to distract her with toys. Xander still doesn't want to move much, he has found his safe spot and has to be encouraged to come out.

119ronincats
Jul 20, 4:48pm Top

Glad Xander is home and the healing has started.

120calm
Jul 21, 5:06am Top

>119 ronincats: Thank you Roni. We saw the vet today and he was pleased with how the wound is healing. This time next week the stitches will be removed.

121calm
Jul 28, 10:30am Top

Xander is healing well but (I hate to do this) the final bill was a lot more than I thought it would be and I need to get some things to make the house more three-legged cat friendly. So I set up a gofundme
https://www.gofundme.com/bjbwk-help-for-xander

Any help (not necessarily financial) would be very welcome so if anybody is on Facebook or Twitter and could possibly share the link I would be really grateful. I don't have many followers on Twitter and have never been on Facebook and this is the kind of thing that needs people to see it.

122souloftherose
Jul 28, 4:56pm Top

{{{{{calm}}}}} and {{{{{Xander}}}}} (and {{{{{Lexa}}}}} so she doesn't feel left out....)

Have donated and shared on twitter and facebook - can I also post the link on my thread here?

I'm so sorry you're all going through this. I'm glad to hear Xander is healing well. I think he and Lexa will both adjust but I know how concerning it can be as the pet owner seeing one of our fur babies unsettled.

123calm
Jul 29, 3:34am Top

Thank you Heather, both for the donation and the shares. Of course you can post the link on your thread.

Lexa wants to play with Xander but he isn't interested and is not ready for wrestling or games of chase.
Unfortunately it is raining heavily so I can't just let her outside so he gets some time to himself.

A recent photo of Xander hiding at the back of the cat carrier



and one where Lexa was still being gentle with him

124calm
Edited: Aug 1, 8:54am Top

July was a terrible month for reading. I only just managed to finish the book I started after the accident (I stayed up late last night to finish it) but it was 1100 pages. But it is not about the numbers and I liked everything I read. Everything except Circe was a re-read and Imajica had been near the top of my to re-read pile for sometime and I wanted something wonderous, dark and challenging so I thought now would be a good time; I still love it.

1 City of Sorcery by Marion Zimmer Bradley
2 Mulengro by Charles de Lint
3 Circe by Madeline Miller (library)
4 Imajica by Clive Barker

125libraryperilous
Aug 1, 2:18pm Top

I'm glad you enjoyed what you did read in July. Hmm, Imajica does sound interesting. I'm glad you liked Circe. I don't do a good job of ranking my yearly reads, but I expect Miller's novel would be on a list if I made one.

I'll be able to make a donation to you and Xander early next week, and I'll share the post on my thread and on Facebook after I do. I hope you, Xander, and Lexa are doing well, and that Xander is improving.

126quondame
Aug 1, 2:51pm Top

>124 calm: City of Sorcery never seemed to fit any of the other MZB Darkover books and seems pretty well ignored by the non-MZB sequels. I'll have to check out Imajica since I've read the other three on your July list.

127calm
Aug 2, 4:27am Top

>125 libraryperilous: thank you Diana.

Circe was very good, I wonder which Homeric character's story she will write next or whether she will do something different.

Xander will need some more time. he still doesn't want to leave the floor and keeps finding nooks to hide in. I've seen a cat tree online that has three levels including boxes on two of the levels that I think he will like as it provides hiding places. It is 20% off at the moment as well so I just need to order it before it goes back to full price.

>126 quondame: I have the Renunciates Omnibus so just carried on reading after The Shattered Chain and Thendara House. Of course now I'm tempted to read the Forbidden Tower and some other Darkover books as well. Some years ago I was trying to tack down a MZB book that I thought was part of Darkover, it wasn't and also not as good as I remembered from my first read, so I think I have all the novels and some short story collections. So I haven't read much non-MZB Darkover - just some of the short stories included in those collections.

>125 libraryperilous: and >126 quondame: For Barker's fantasy I would recommend starting with Weaveworld or the Abarat series which is YA and, as far as I know, not complete yet. Imajica has some really dark scenes lots of death; rape and also a dog is killed spoiler includes some things that are triggers and would put some people off reading the book.

I'm posting the Gofundme link again

https://www.gofundme.com/bjbwk-help-for-xander

Any help (not necessarily financial) would be very welcome so if anybody is on Facebook or Twitter and could possibly share the link I would be really grateful. I don't have many followers on Twitter and have never been on Facebook and this is the kind of thing that needs people to see it.

128ChelleBearss
Aug 2, 9:02am Top

Sorry to see that Xander needed to have his leg removed. Poor little kitten! Hope he is doing better now and hope you are doing ok!

129calm
Aug 2, 9:23am Top

>128 ChelleBearss: thank you Chelle. I think he needs more time, he still wants to hide and doesn't want to be out in the open. At the moment he is curled up in the corner behind my bedroom door. I'm sure he will be more active as he adapts. Of course Lexa doesn't understand why he doesn't want to play so that might be one of the reasons he is hiding.

I'm ok though I haven't left the cats alone for long since he came home and I'm still not reading very much.

130ChelleBearss
Aug 2, 11:07am Top

Hopefully once he is fully healed he will be more social.
We had to have one of our dog, Jackson, toes removed as he couldn't beat an infection in the bone. He limped and babied it for a while and then one day he was his normal self. He even lets us touch his foot now. I know that's not as big as having a leg removed, but I think just time helps.

131calm
Aug 2, 12:17pm Top

Poor Jackson, I'm pleased to hear that he got back to normal.

Xander lets me touch him; the wound is now just a scar and his fur is growing back so I think he is healing well and just needs time to adjust. I've heard so many stories of three-legged cats and even one born with no hind legs - all of whom have adjusted and live pretty full lives. Including climbing trees and hunting!

132quondame
Aug 3, 3:21pm Top

>127 calm: As to triggers, though I'd guess I've been exposed to both personal and general nastiness from time to time, if not as much or as sever as others, I have yet to see or read anything that threw me into even so much distress as an over-stimulation panic attack can. I dislike the manipulations of the horror genre particularly in movies, but other than being sent to bed just as King Kong escaped from chains in the theater, haven't internalized any of it.

133calm
Edited: Aug 3, 3:50pm Top

>132 quondame: Personally I like things pretty dark sometimes and don't mind horror as a genre. A couple of the things in the spoiler are topics/events that I know some people don't want to read about so it is worth saying.

I think the only time I was affected by a movie was when the person I went with, who had seen the film before, grabbed me at a scary point. They didn't do it because they were scared but to get a reaction out of me. I should have got out of that relationship a lot sooner than I did.

Panic attacks are horrible. I'm sorry to hear that you suffer from them.

134quondame
Aug 3, 11:36pm Top

>133 calm: Thank you for the sympathy. The panic attacks as discrete events are pretty much a thing of the far gone past when I was out socializing at night and had minimal control over where my group went. On the other hand, leading a quite at-home life and rarely doing social events in enclosed echoing spaces or city streets means that I have structured my life to avoid such attacks so I can't say I've overcome them. Just because I don't have to deal with triggers doesn't mean I think they shouldn't be posted.

135calm
Aug 4, 7:57am Top

>134 quondame: Ditto on not doing social events and also having an escape route planned if they can't be avoided.

136fuzzi
Aug 4, 6:05pm Top

Sorry to hear about Xander's leg. My Java broke his leg in two places when he was about one, and required a cast. At first he kept falling over, and got angry, but eventually he was his old self, thumping down the hall and jumping despite the cast. Give Xander time.

137calm
Aug 5, 4:37am Top

>136 fuzzi: Thank you. Poor Java.

I'm trying not to push Xander to do too much until he is ready. He is eating and using the litter tray but he just wants to be under the bed most of the time. I hope that he will do more before too long.

138calm
Edited: Aug 5, 9:59am Top

Today's Xander pic



I'm posting the Gofundme link again as I added an update

https://www.gofundme.com/bjbwk-help-for-xander

Any help (not necessarily financial) would be very welcome so if anybody is on Facebook or Twitter and could possibly share the link I would be really grateful. I don't have many followers on Twitter and have never been on Facebook and this is the kind of thing that needs people to see it.

139souloftherose
Aug 5, 3:58pm Top

>138 calm: I saw your update earlier - glad he is starting to show a bit of interest in some toys. Hopefully he will get more confident about playing with them and with Lexa again.

140calm
Aug 6, 5:07am Top

>139 souloftherose: Thanks Heather.

141libraryperilous
Aug 6, 8:39pm Top

Thanks for the content warnings, calm. I definitely will have to skip that one. I really don't like grim in fiction at this time.

>133 calm: Oooooof. Thank goodness you did get out of that relationship, even if it was later rather than sooner.

My worst movie with a jerk story is just the garden variety getting pawed by someone who thought no meant yes. The twist is that the movie was Columbine. Who tries to do that during a heavy film? Of course, I saw a couple making out during Schindler's List, so maybe I'm just a movie theater prude.

Glad to hear Xander is slowly getting better! How are you and Lexa?

142calm
Aug 7, 4:53am Top

>141 libraryperilous: - No worries. When someone says that they are interested in a book I read I need to remember that certain things will be upsetting to other people. Imajica is very grim in places and some of those are quite graphic. There are plenty of other books.

That relationship got worse and they also stalked me for years after I left, one of the reasons I didn't share my real name when I joined LT.

Fortunately I have never got involved with anyone who has pawed me when I said no. I'm sorry that it happened to you.

Xander is now by the door when I get up in the morning and heads straight under the bed :( Lexa seems OK, I'm letting her out through the kitchen window, which Xander can't reach yet, but she doesn't spend much time outside. At the moment she is curled up next to me. I still need to get it together to go to town and get some things to make Xander's life easier and to, hopefully, get him moving and out from under the bed.

143PaulCranswick
Aug 10, 3:30am Top

Sorry to read about the travails of Xander, Calm.

>132 quondame: & >133 calm: Hani suffers from panic attacks and they can be a little scary. She has called me on more than one occasion as she is parked at the side of the road is real distress and I have had to talk her into a better place or go and fetch her. Without love and understanding panic attacks are so much harder to overcome, I would guess.

144calm
Aug 10, 7:22am Top

Thank you Paul, unfortunately no change in his behaviour yet. I did manage to go to town on Wednesday and got some more toys. I also ordered a new cat tree which was delivered this morning. Lexa has been all over it but Xander is still under the bed and I don't want to force him out.

You are a good partner - it is very hard to understand what the person suffering a panic attack is going through. It is easier if there is a sympathetic person nearby when they occur.

145Berly
Aug 14, 1:25am Top

Sending hugs and good mojo to you, Xander and Lexa! I hope the new toys and tree entice her out soon.

146calm
Aug 17, 4:34am Top

>145 Berly: Thanks Kim, no major improvements yet. He still prefers to hide either under the bed or in the lowest section of the cat tree. Though he has used the scratching post, while laying down.

He also watches the cat wand and managed to catch the end a few times when I got it close to his paws, maybe he will start moving towards it. I also leave toys dangling over the side of a box and he hooks them off.

I have tried to let him out into the garden but he won't take that step out of the door yet.

Lexa seems fine, though she accidentally caught her claw in my toe this morning when I was playing with her.

I'm still not reading much:(

147libraryperilous
Aug 17, 5:57pm Top

>142 calm: Oh, that's terrible, calm. I'm sorry that happened. Ugh.

Poor Xander, but it does sound like he's improving slowly. Has the vet offered any timeline for the healing process?

I hope you feel like reading a bit more soon.

148calm
Aug 19, 10:03am Top

>147 libraryperilous: The vet didn't say how long he would take to heal. I think it is more of a confidence problem and that will just take time.

There are only so many hours in the day and I'm reading good books but I am just not reading for as long because I am spending extra time with Xander and Lexa. Most of that has me on the floor trying to coax Xander out from under the bed with toys and treats but I'm not having much success yet. There was some progress today as he asked to go outside, he was only out for a few seconds but it is a start.

I'm also watching TV and playing computer games instead of using that time to read.

149libraryperilous
Aug 28, 5:52pm Top

Hey, calm:

just wanted to pop in and see how you, Xander, and Lena are doing. I hope there's been some improvement or at least a reduction in stress levels for all of you.

150calm
Aug 31, 9:24am Top

Hi Diana - not much change, unfortunately. Xander still spends most of his time during the day under my bed. Lexa sometimes joins him :) They both look healthy and Xander sometimes asks me to open the door but doesn't go out. He doesn't freak out as much when I pick him up though.

Reading has been slightly better though not up to the level it was before the accident

151PaulCranswick
Sep 2, 11:28am Top

Wishing you a lovely Sunday in West Wales, Calm.

152Berly
Sep 8, 3:47pm Top

Just popping in to say Hi!

153libraryperilous
Sep 10, 10:07pm Top

Aww, poor Xander. It sounds like he's at least healing. Does the vet think there might be phantom limb pain? Do cats even get that?

Anyway, hope your September goes a little better than your August, and that Xander continues to make some improvements.

154calm
Sep 11, 11:26am Top

>151 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul, thanks for stopping by.

>152 Berly: hi back Kim :)

>153 libraryperilous: I haven't talked to the vet about how Xander is doing. I do know it will take time and he might not ever get back to his old adventurous self. He still likes to hide under the bed most of the time but he did have a little playtime this morning where he almost got onto the bed, so I picked him up and he stayed for a while.

I haven't got around to updating my reading list or even doing my August round-up yet. Soon ... I hope. I might even start a new thread when I get some recent cat pictures onto my computer.

155calm
Sep 11, 1:13pm Top

August Roundup (touchstones don't seem to be working at the moment)

1 Pompeii by Robert Harris (library)
2 The Darkening Age by Catherine Nixie (library)
3 Shardik by Richard Adams
4 Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (library)
5 Bright Air Black by David Vann (library)
6 The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip
7 The True Game - Sheri S Tepper
8 The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
9 Jinian Footseer by Sheri S Tepper

Better than July for number of books read. New to me favourite was Spinning Silver, a wonderful story very loosely based on Rumplestiltskin. No real disappointments but everything except the library books was something I had read and liked before. I did hope for more from Bright Air Black, a re-telling of Medea, but Vann's interpretation of her was very angry woman against the world and Jason came off as a bit of a wimp.

156quondame
Sep 11, 2:24pm Top

>155 calm: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is my favorite fantasy book.

157calm
Sep 11, 3:11pm Top

>156 quondame: It is wonderful. McKillip is a beautiful writer, I'm reading her short story collection Harrowing the Dragon at the moment.

158libraryperilous
Sep 12, 2:38pm Top

Spinning Silver is one of my 2018 highlights, and I loved it as much or more than The Goblin Emperor. Truly a wonderful, fresh novel.

159calm
Sep 13, 9:04am Top

>158 libraryperilous: For me Spinning Silver was much better than The Goblin Emperor, but I expected more from TGE after seeing so many people raving about it. Spinning Silver is new enough for me to not to have seen too many opinions about it from others.

160libraryperilous
Sep 21, 6:29pm Top

>159 calm: Yes, that happens to me frequently. Both of my most-anticipated fantasy reads this year, Spinning Silver and European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman exceeded my expectations, so I was very excited about that.

How is Xander?

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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