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drneutron's (Jim's) Reading to Avoid Work - Chapter 7

This is a continuation of the topic drneutron's (Jim's) Reading to Avoid Work - Chapter 6.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Aug 16, 2018, 12:05pm Top

Post-launch edition of the thread! Here's one last PSP pic for a topper.

Edited: Aug 16, 2018, 12:07pm Top

The Usual Stats

Total Books: 67

Author Gender
Male: 49 (64%)
Female: 28 (36%)

Author Status
Living: 76 (99%)
Dead: 1 (1%)

Publication Medium
Hardback: 5 (7%)
Trade: 20 (32%)
Mass Market: 2 (3%)
eBook: 40 (60%)

Fiction: 47 (70%)
Nonfiction: 20 (30%)

Library: 46 (69%)
Mine: 21 (31%)

ARC: 7
Re-Read: 1
Series: 27
Group Read: 2

Aug 16, 2018, 12:37pm Top

Happy new thread!! Great topper!

Aug 16, 2018, 1:16pm Top

I have meant to drop by and holler a "congrats" on the launch. When I saw the launch news I went oooh that hasta be Jim's. So so cool.

Aug 16, 2018, 1:54pm Top

Congratulations, Jim. Thanks for letting us share the experience!

Aug 16, 2018, 2:32pm Top

>6 jessibud2: Thanks! I thought it was a neat shot.

>7 RBeffa:, >8 Oregonreader: Thanks! I'm glad folks have enjoyed following along.

Aug 16, 2018, 3:04pm Top

68. THe World of Gerard Mercator by Andrew Taylor

Pretty much anyone who's seen a map has at one time or another seen the world represented in the Mercator projection. See, it's really hard to turn the surface of a sphere into a flat map - you either get directions between points right or you get distances right, never both. Mercator was the first to develop a map that navigators could use to plot straight-line courses, which was a huge development that, weirdly, didn't catch on for 50 years or so after his death. Yeah, the map has its flaws, like overly emphasizing the size of Europe and underemphasizing out America and Africa, but this was the gateway to a modern understanding of projective geometry and a great stride forward in geography.

But Mercator was more than a one-off creator of a map. Most of his life was spent collecting and collating geographic data from a wide variety of sources to produce accurate maps and intricately made globes, with a hand in scientific instruments. He was a businessman first, but also proponent of Church reform in a time when that could (and for him, did) result in interference by the Inquisition. Taylor's biography is a good retelling of an interesting life, though I wish there were more sources available to give more detail.

69. Bimbos of the Death Sun by Sharyn McCrumb

Yeah, the title. *Sigh* In reality, McCrumb's book is a satirical mystery that pokes fun at the mid-90s fan and con culture. Fun - at points, laugh out loud - and frothy, there's not much mystery here. But really, that's not the point. Nice brain candy.

70. Badass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer

Timbuktu was quite the academic center in it's heyday, and one of the results was the production of many, many manuscript works in Arabic and regional languages from the period when Europe was Medieval. And surprisingly, these manuscripts were mostly saved as treasures kept within families. In the late 20th century and several centers were built in Timbuktu were built to collect and preserve these manuscripts. But times change, and when Al Qaeda and other fundamentalist groups formed in Mali, the manuscripts became the target of these groups. Hammer's book tells the story of how these ancient treasures were saved.

Aug 16, 2018, 5:14pm Top

Do love that topper!

Aug 16, 2018, 6:16pm Top

Happy new thread, Jim!
It was so special to see the launch & knowing someone in the team :-)

Aug 16, 2018, 6:16pm Top

>10 drneutron: What?! You have had time to read during all the launch hoopla? You are Super Man! : ) Happy new thread.

Aug 16, 2018, 6:27pm Top

>10 drneutron: - I have that Timbuktu book on my shelf!

Aug 16, 2018, 7:06pm Top

Happy new thread Jim! >1 drneutron: Glorious!

>10 drneutron: Tempting...

Edited: Aug 16, 2018, 8:13pm Top

Happy New One, Jim!

Speaking of brain candy, Thrawn was pretty good on audio. I am going to try The Commodore Deutermann while waiting for the new Thrawn: Alliances from the library. I know you stick to print, but thought I'd drop the seed on the book anyway.

Aug 16, 2018, 9:20pm Top

>11 SuziQoregon:, >12 FAMeulstee: Thanks!

>13 Berly: Yeah, some reading was done. I’m hoping to make a personal best this year.

>14 jessibud2: Give it a shot!

>15 humouress: Thanks!

>16 brodiew2: I’ll check it out!

Aug 16, 2018, 9:46pm Top

Happy new thread, Jim! Looks like you are nearing 75!

Aug 17, 2018, 4:30am Top

Happy new thread Jim, great topper.

Aug 17, 2018, 6:46am Top

Happy New Thread!!

Aug 17, 2018, 8:02am Top

Thanks, everyone!

>18 thornton37814: Yeah, I've got 71 and 72 in the works.

Aug 17, 2018, 8:33am Top

Happy New PSP Thread, Jim!

Have you read the Murderbot Diaries yet? You'd get a kick out of them, methinks. The first is All Systems Red.

Aug 17, 2018, 8:34am Top

Happy new thread! Love the topper!

Aug 17, 2018, 11:34am Top

Happy new thread.

I suppose it is too early to say how well PSP is doing but it is exciting to think that you will start getting data before the end of the year.

Aug 17, 2018, 1:43pm Top

Happy new thread, Jim. That is a topper to be proud of!

>10 drneutron: Great strategy to sneak something fluffy in between the two more serious reads. Although, I thought that The Badass Librarians of Timbuktu was easy to read because it delivered the information it had to between the events of what seemed like and adventure story at times.

Aug 17, 2018, 2:58pm Top

>22 jnwelch: THey're definitely on my list! I'm still trying to clean out my pile of TBRs before getting more, though... 😀

>22 jnwelch: Thanks!

>23 RebaRelishesReading: PSP's doing well right now. We're commissioning, i.e., trying everything out and learning how to fly it.

>25 Familyhistorian: It definitely was easy to read, but the thought of all that destruction of manuscripts (and other stuff and people) gets to me. So brain candy!

Aug 17, 2018, 2:58pm Top

Saw this on another thread - NPR's recommendations for horror and scary stuff. Pretty much all great selections!


Aug 17, 2018, 4:08pm Top

>26 drneutron: ... um ... shouldn’t you have learned to fly it before you launched it?

Aug 17, 2018, 4:59pm Top

>28 humouress: Unfortunately, until we actually get spacecraft in space, not everything is completely testable - gravity and atmosphere, for instance, change the way the spacecraft behaves. So we always find quirks in behavior that we need to understand. This is what gives a spacecraft personality!

Aug 18, 2018, 12:38pm Top

Happy new thread!

>27 drneutron: Thanks for sharing! I'll be sure to check that link out
I think some of us are going to do a group read of The Fireman by Joe Hill in October if you are interested

Aug 18, 2018, 9:04pm Top

Oh, definitely interested!

Aug 19, 2018, 12:03am Top

>30 ChelleBearss: Remind me later!!! I'd like to give it a go. : )

Hi, Jim!

Aug 19, 2018, 1:27pm Top

>30 ChelleBearss:, >31 drneutron:, and >32 Berly: Hmmm, maybe I'll join in. I can have all of you virtually holding my hand through it.

Aug 19, 2018, 5:37pm Top

Congratulations on the launch!

>10 drneutron: I am a huge fan of Bimbos of the Death Sun and its sequel Zombies of the Gene Pool. Yeah. The titles. But they make me laugh.

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu was interesting, but that's definitely a title I didn't love.

>28 humouress: Snort. You made me laugh, Nina, because I was thinking something along those lines....

Aug 19, 2018, 6:10pm Top

>34 Dejah_Thoris: Thanks!

Bimbos was a reread, but I’ve never read the sequel. Time to track it down!

Aug 19, 2018, 7:45pm Top

Hat's off to you and your colleagues, doctor. Hope your highly sophisticated gizmo continues to work excellently.

Thumbs up too on your reading numbers.

Aug 19, 2018, 7:49pm Top

Happy Sunday, Jim. Happy New Thread! Love that topper. I got seriously behind on the threads, so it is going to take me awhile to catch up.

Hooray for The Fireman in October! Lets do it!

Edited: Aug 21, 2018, 9:58am Top

Hi Jim. Happy new thread, happy continuing success with PSP.

>10 drneutron: Bimbos of the Death Sun and The Bad-ass Librarians of Timbuktu. Two wonderful titles that made me smile. Timbuktu is now on my wish list.

Aug 21, 2018, 10:10am Top

>36 weird_O: So far so good! We completed our biggest propulsion burn to target Venus yesterday morning - it was a great success!

>37 msf59: Yep, I want to make sure that group read happens! Started Bearskin last night. Five chapters in - so far it's great!

>38 karenmarie: Thanks! Yeah, those are some pretty good titles. Fortunately, the books live up to them. 😀

Aug 21, 2018, 10:44am Top

What a great photo topper, Jim! I'm back home now and catching up with everyone, slowly but surely. I really enjoyed the McCrumb books back in the day (circa 1988) but think the first book is better than the second. They are fun, regardless.

Aug 21, 2018, 3:20pm Top

Happy new thread.

Aug 21, 2018, 3:45pm Top

Jim, thanks to your review, I've just ordered Bad Ass Librarians of Timbuktu. I'm looking forward to it.

Aug 21, 2018, 4:15pm Top

>29 drneutron: I never thought of spacecraft as having personality but, when I really think about it, most of our vehicles have some type of personality. I have just been doing research on the Empress of Ireland which was sunk in 1914 and ocean liners definitely had their own quirks as well. That ship had one personality above the water and a different personality for the divers that explore the wreck where it lies in the St. Lawrence.

Aug 21, 2018, 8:16pm Top

>40 ronincats: I suspected that might be the case - it strikes me that the idea might get stretched a bit thin. 😀

>41 figsfromthistle: Thanks!

>42 Oregonreader: Cool! I hope you enjoy it!

>43 Familyhistorian: Oh, yeah. Every one is unique with it’s own personality. PSP is flying well, but likes to spin in the sunlight a little more than we’d like. 😀

Aug 23, 2018, 11:14am Top

71. Irresistible North by Andrea di Robilant

About 150 years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, a guy named Nicholó Zen, sailed from his native Venice to the north to do some trading, and on subsequent trips joined by his brother. Their journey took them from the Orkneys and Faroe Islands to Iceland, Greenland, and maybe to the northern stretches of North America, producing a map that shows these Venetians really discovered America that influenced mapmakers for centuries afterward.

Or maybe not. The only record we have of this is a book written some generations later - well after the exploration of the New World and successful voyages around Africa - by a descendant based on five letters that were preserved by the Zen family. And the map? It's a struggle to connect the geography shown on the map with anything we know about the actual geography of the supposed trip. So there is, naturally, quite a bit of academic controversy (bring the popcorn!) about the story and whether these voyages really happened.

di Robilant is clearly in the camp of those who believe the Zens really did make it to America, and from what I've gathered, that's definitely a minority opinion. He makes a good case, though, and it's fun to see how he spins gold from so little straw (mostly from interpreting place names on the map). Controversy aside, it's clear that there was more trade and travel going on by the Norse across the centuries across the region than the naive picture usually taught about Columbus sailing off into the unknown and discovering something nobody else had ever seen - indigenous people aside...

72. Stonehenge by Francis Pryor

Short history of the development of Stonehenge in the context of other local sites and the spiritual/communal uses of these sites. Has some more up to date archaeology that I hadn't seen before, and the breakdown of how the features were built up across the prehistoric eras when it was used.

73. The Flanders Panel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

An art restorer preparing a painting for auction discovers a hidden message under the layers of paint. It appears the painting may be a message giving the identity of the murderer of one of the people in the painting - a knight from hundreds of years ago. The key to the mystery, though, is in a chess game being played in the painting. And when the painting leads to a modern day murder, the restorer must solve both mysteries before the killer gets her.

74. Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Octavia E. Butler

Fantastic visual adaptation of the classic sf story - a great representation of the story!

Aug 23, 2018, 1:33pm Top

Hi Jim, I've started the annual September Series & Sequels thread.

It's over at: https://www.librarything.com/topic/295308

Hoping interested people will stop by.

Aug 23, 2018, 4:55pm Top

Happy new thread Jim.

Aug 23, 2018, 8:45pm Top


Aug 24, 2018, 10:22am Top

>45 drneutron: The Flanders Panel put me onto a huge Perez-Reverte kick. I especially liked his Alatriste series.

Aug 24, 2018, 12:02pm Top

Hey Jim, I know this is "preaching to the choir" for you, but I thought all the rest of us might enjoy this video from the YT channel Smarter Every Day. The host, Destin went to Florida before the launch and interviewed a bunch of your fellow scientists about the design of PSP. Pretty cool stuff...


Aug 24, 2018, 1:39pm Top

>49 Oberon: Cool! I'm definitely going to read more of his stuff - will look into the series.

>50 mahsdad: Hadn't seen that one yet - very cool! Felipe, the mechanical engineer he interviewed, is one of the smartest engineers I know.

Aug 24, 2018, 2:11pm Top

>45 drneutron: Ah, I'm adding that Stonehenge book to my TBR. I read the Bernard Cromwell fictionalization a while back and found it somewhat lacking in actual, you know, facts. :-)

Aug 24, 2018, 8:53pm Top

😀 The author has other books on British archaeology out - i’m Going to see if I can find them. I liked his writing style and his science seems well founded.

Aug 25, 2018, 8:16am Top

I really should read some more of Francis Pryor's work, I really liked the 2 I have read. He's also appeared on TV ... I first saw him on Time Team, a UK archaeology program.

Aug 25, 2018, 8:25am Top

Which two did you read? I’ve heard of a time Team, but never watched it. I should check to see if it’son Any of our streaming services.

Aug 25, 2018, 8:37am Top

Britain BC: Life in Britain and Ireland before the Romans and The Making of the British Landscape : how we have transformed the land, from prehistory to today and I actually read both of them when I was reviewing books.

Time Team was a really interesting series - a team of archaeologists had 3 days to dig a site of interest. Francis Pryor wasn't in all of them, I think it depended on what sort of site they were investigating, so if it was prehistoric he was more likely to be involved. It was presented by Tony Robinson (Baldrick from Blackadder) and I still watch the occasional re-run episode when it shows up on TV.

Aug 27, 2018, 7:51pm Top

Hello Jim! I hope all is well.

Did I mention 'The Expanse'? I finally completed season 3 and, WOW!, what a cool show. Have you seen it or read the books? I can't remember if I asked about it before.

Aug 27, 2018, 8:16pm Top

Yup! I’ve seen the first two seasons - it’s really good. Books are on my Overdrive wish list.

Edited: Aug 28, 2018, 9:09am Top

I accidentally put this on the wrong DrJim thread. Trying again ...

Hi, Jim! The student newspaper at the University of Iowa, where I work, had an article in today's paper about the Solar Probe:

UI Experiments on Board NASA's Trip to the Sun

I'm sure you know that UI is the home university of James Van Allen, who discovered those pesky radiation belts. It's very cool that we continue to have a role in current space magic.

Aug 28, 2018, 8:05am Top

Nice! We should be turning on their instruments in a few days.

Van Allen worked at APL, where I work, off and on in his career. He always had close association with the scientists here - and we built and operate the Van Allen Probes studying the radiation belts.

By the way, for the first 15 years or so of my career, my job was to model and predict space radiation exposure for spacecraft and make sure that systems would survive that exposure!

Aug 28, 2018, 9:12am Top

>60 drneutron: I'm sure you know way more about Dr. Van Allen than I ever could, especially since you started your career in space radiation, Jim. I'm sure you got glowing reviews! (Sorry, I had to do it.) :-D

Aug 28, 2018, 9:27am Top


Aug 28, 2018, 11:54am Top

No doubt those glowing reviews were due to that radiant personality of yours. Your career seems to be on a firm trajectory, with the sky (not) the limit.

Aug 29, 2018, 7:35am Top

Happy somewhat belated new thread, Jim!

Edited: Aug 30, 2018, 9:41am Top

And now for

Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin

Rice Moore is hiding from his past as a runner for a drug cartel - and from a violent act of revenge he committed against them. He's now caretaker for a wilderness preserve in Appalachia. But when he finds a series of bear kills - for paws and gall bladders to sell on the black market - he decides it has to stop, and he's the only person who can do it.

Thanks to Mark for sending me this one - it's a really good thriller, full of suspense. At times very violent, it'll keep you on the edge of your seat. McLaughlin's a new author and I'll be watching for more from him!

Aug 30, 2018, 11:40am Top

Congratulations on reaching 75, Jim!

Aug 30, 2018, 11:54am Top

Congrats on hitting 75!! :)

Aug 30, 2018, 3:58pm Top

Hi Jim, congrats on reaching 75 mate.

Aug 30, 2018, 4:47pm Top

Thanks, everyone!

Aug 30, 2018, 9:19pm Top

Congrats on 75!

Aug 30, 2018, 9:34pm Top

Congrats on 75, Jim! (I saw over on the Bragging & Backslapping thread that you'd hit the mark and wanted to come see the title of the milestone book!)

Aug 31, 2018, 1:08am Top

Congratulations on reaching 75, Jim!
And thank you for your work for this georgeous group!
Keep on reading and doing!

Edited: Aug 31, 2018, 3:25am Top

Congratulations, Jim!

Aug 31, 2018, 5:27am Top

Yay for 75!!

Aug 31, 2018, 8:13am Top

Thanks, everyone! I'm surprised given the year I'e had, that I'm on track with my reading to make a personal best since I started counting. 😀

Aug 31, 2018, 9:03am Top

Congratulations -- on reaching your goal even early in a very demanding year AND on being on track for a personal best. Way to go!!

Aug 31, 2018, 9:26am Top

Congratulations Jim.

Edited: Sep 2, 2018, 3:35pm Top

76. Report to Megalopolis by Tod Davies

Fourth (though largely stand-alone) in a series giving the history of a land called Arcadia, Davies has adapted and manipulated the story of Frankenstein to talk about civilizations and ambition and how we treat each other.

Honestly, I don't think the author could have been any more heavy-handed, which ruined what could have been a great fantasy tale. I'm a fan of stories with unreliable or morally questionable narrators - these stories often explore some really interesting aspects of psychology. But instead, this just came off strident more than anything else.

77. Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor

The second volume of Okorafor's series of novellas talks about many of these same themes. And the contrast couldn't be starker. Binti's story is compelling and thought-provoking with out the stridency of Davies' writing. This is a beautiful piece of work with characters, not caricatures, and worlds, not stereotypes. These are must-reads!

Sep 2, 2018, 4:50pm Top

Congratulations on 75!

Sep 2, 2018, 6:23pm Top

Woo hoo on blowing past the 75 book mark, especially with the workload you've had this year!!

Sep 2, 2018, 7:04pm Top

>78 drneutron: I read the first book in that Arcadia series many years ago, because I got it from LTER (as I imagine you did with this one). Boy, was it awful. I feel your pain!
When I saw the 4th one available from LTER recently I was surprised anyone would publish more of them! And then I remembered....the author owns her own publishing company.

Sep 2, 2018, 8:30pm Top

Congrats on 75!

Here's another Smarter Every Day video. Destin got to be on the platform with the CEO of ULA when they did rollback prior to launch. This stuff never gets old...


Sep 2, 2018, 8:47pm Top

>79 banjo123:, >80 ronincats: Thanks!

>81 norabelle414: Ah, her own publishing company. That explains a lot! Yep, pretty bad.

>82 mahsdad: Cool! I’m pretty impressed with Smarter Every Day. When I get a minute, i’ll check that one out.

Sep 3, 2018, 2:46am Top

Amazing topper! So glad it is up. Also, congrats on 75 :)

Sep 3, 2018, 2:17pm Top

Congratulations on 75!

Sep 3, 2018, 7:28pm Top

Thanks, Bekka and Reba!

Edited: Sep 3, 2018, 8:31pm Top

^Congrats on hitting our magic number, Jim. And I think Bearskin was the perfect choice. I am glad you enjoyed it.

Happy Labor Day, my friend. I hope you had a great holiday weekend.

Sep 3, 2018, 11:48pm Top

And another congratulations on hitting the magic 75, and early, too!!

Sep 4, 2018, 8:06am Top

>87 msf59: Thanks! I did have a good weekend. In spite of a friend's daughter's wedding all day Saturday, I was able to get in about 250 pages of reading, mostly on Monday. I'm just about finished with The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O - which I loved - and am a pretty good way into The Mechanical. Plus steaks on the grill yesterday! 😀

>88 Berly: Thanks!

Sep 9, 2018, 10:50pm Top

That was last week. What about THIS week? : )

Sep 10, 2018, 12:48pm Top

Wow it's been that long since I posted?

- All instruments on PSP have been turned on and checkout has begun. So far so good!
- First Venus gravity assist is coming up, so preps are beginning.
- Mostly just working around the house on my off hours to catch up on things missed over the summer. And mowing. Always mowing.
- Went to the first home football game of the season at the Naval Academy. Rained on us the whole time. Still enjoyed a good game!
- Finished The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. Am most of the way through my next two - a clockpunk thing by Tregillis and a book on the interplay between science and magical belief during the Renaissance period (which has been a little disappointing, but not bad).

Sep 11, 2018, 3:19am Top

Oh, there you are! Welcome back. And thanks for the update. Good luck with the mowing. And all the rest of the stuff you mentioned. : )

Sep 11, 2018, 1:16pm Top


Sep 11, 2018, 5:39pm Top

"the interplay between science and magical belief during the Renaissance period"

That sounds interesting, looking forward to seeing your thoughts on it

Sep 15, 2018, 8:17pm Top

Been a bit since I’ve posted an update, so...

78. The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland

This one punches all the right tickets for me: time travel, quantum physics, satire of government bureaucracy... I’m seriously hoping for a second!

79. A Magical World: Superstition and Science from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment by Derek K. Wilson

Not at all what was promised. Apparently “magic” includes any and all “non-rational” thinking. So what this really covers is the interplay of scientific and (mainstream Christian) religious thought during the time period called out with a bit of alchemy and radical apocalyptic prophecy thrown in. Not a bad book - it reminded me that the people (white males) who were leading the scientific and rational philosophical changes were embedded in a wider culture, and our attempts to understand them have to take this into account.

80. The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis

Jax is a servitor made by alchemists of the Dutch Empire. Now, servitors are controlled by punishing “geasa” , so must do what humans command, and are completely devoid of free will. Except every so often, something happens to a servitor, and this control is broken; rogues have free will, but cannot be allowed to continue existing. And Jax has stumbled across a hidden bit of alchemy that has freed him...

Very good clockpunk!

Sep 16, 2018, 12:20am Top

>44 drneutron: That PSP sounds like one joyful gal!

>65 drneutron: Belated congratulations on your 75 Jim!

Sep 16, 2018, 9:15pm Top


Sep 17, 2018, 12:29pm Top

So, in reviewing my book-tracking spreadsheet, I discovered that I missed adding a book earlier this summer during my Florida banishment.

81. The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman

Third in the Invisible Library series - better than the second, as good as the first.

Sep 19, 2018, 10:02am Top

I be lovin' Talk Like a Pirate day!

Sep 19, 2018, 11:44am Top

Few things force me to drop everything else and focus on just one thing like Talk Like a Pirate Day

Sep 19, 2018, 2:48pm Top

😀 Already found three!

Sep 19, 2018, 6:30pm Top

>99 drneutron: Not me. It's OK until it intrudes on everything. It was sort of funny, once.

Sep 19, 2018, 10:18pm Top

Yeah, i get that. I just need a little silliness every now and then for stress relief.

Sep 19, 2018, 10:28pm Top

Got all the treasure! This year’s quest was easier than previous, but still loads of fun!

Sep 21, 2018, 11:16am Top

Too bad #79 wasn't all the title promissed. It sounds good...

Sep 21, 2018, 2:22pm Top

Yup. IUt wasn't bad, just not what was advertised - that would have been better, I think.

Sep 21, 2018, 2:49pm Top

I felt that way about Philbrick's Mayflower. I was interested in learning more details about the voyage and original colony. Instead, it felt like it was mostly about the later colonies fighting with the Natives. It had more of a "political" agenda than I had wanted. Not that I'm cool with what the later colonies did to tbe natives, it's just not what I thought I was reading. I should have focused more on the subtitle. 😂🤣

Sep 22, 2018, 9:08am Top

😀 Yeah, and the LT reviews.

Sep 23, 2018, 3:40pm Top

82. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

Overdrive group read for first half of September, so I had to join in! Good as always!

83. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

McNamara became obsessed with a long series of break-ins, rapes, and killings across California in the 70s and 80s. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is the story of the crimes, her and others’ investigations, and the rise of DNA analysis that allowed police to make an arrest just months after McNamara died from cancer. Very good, and interesting in a work-in-progress kind of way.

Sep 24, 2018, 1:23am Top

Congrats on finding all the pirate booty!!

Sep 24, 2018, 9:45am Top

>104 drneutron: Got'em all as well! Perhaps you will win some shiny new coasters.

Sep 24, 2018, 4:13pm Top

A very belated Congratulations on 75!

Edited: Sep 24, 2018, 6:31pm Top

>104 drneutron: Congrats on finding them all, Jim!
I started late with the hunt, as I returned from vacation today.
I was trying to catch up with the threads, but found myself searching for the treasures :-)
Twenty minutes ago I found the last one. Bedtime now, other threads will have to wait until tomorrow...

Sep 24, 2018, 8:03pm Top

>110 Berly: Thanks!

>111 figsfromthistle: Yeah, just once I'd like some free LT stuff... :)

>112 nittnut: Thanks!

>113 FAMeulstee: Yeah, I drop everything for the hunt too. Even work :)

Sep 24, 2018, 9:44pm Top

Hi, Jim. Glad you got to I'll Be Gone in the Dark. I found it a very haunting and disturbing book. I just wish she could have finished it up.

Sep 25, 2018, 8:00am Top

Haunting is a good way to put it, especially if you go into it knowing what happened to her before the book was published, then what happened with the arrest afterward. Cols cases always get to me anyway.

Sep 27, 2018, 1:57pm Top

I was all about the treasure hunt too. Fun this year.
I really need to get to I'll Be Gone in the Dark soon.

Sep 27, 2018, 3:38pm Top

It was really good! Go for it.

Sep 29, 2018, 11:44pm Top

Dropping by to wish you a lovely weekend, Jim.

Sorry to have been MIA so long.

Sep 30, 2018, 2:32pm Top

No worries - life is life. I’m just glad you’re back! 😀

Oct 1, 2018, 1:38pm Top

84. Clockwork Boys by T Kingfisher

First of a pretty good clock punk/fantasy duology (second one is below). A thief/forger, assassin, scholar, and discredited paladin, all criminals, are forced to find out how to stop an invasion by clockwork fighting machines. Light, but fun - read them together if you can.

I love it when a random find at the library turns out to be a winner!

85. The Insatiables by Brittany Terwilliger

What would you do to get ahead? What cost are you willing to play? Terwilliger offers up a satirical look at just these issues in The Insatiables. Halley Faust - yeah, there’s the tip-off of what Terwilliger is going for - has to make these choices while working in a soul-sucking corporate environment. Fortunately, the look we get into Halley’s mind is well-written and quite fun.

86. Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

Third in the trilogy (?) of novellas - I enjoyed this one as much as the others. Great wrap to Binti's story (unless Okorafor writes more!).

87. The Wonder Engine by T Kingfisher

Second half of the duology!

Oct 1, 2018, 10:31pm Top

I love T. Kingfisher/Ursula Vernon - her stuff is weird in ways that really work for me. She writes childrens books under her own name and adult(er) stuff under Kingfisher. I have both of the Clocktaur Wars books, but haven't yet read them - among many more by her I haven't gotten to. She's also a lot of fun on Twitter - gardens, books, art, and weird events; I don't think I could define them better than that. There was, for instance, the time a skeleton (of a...crow? or a rat? I forget) showed up on her bedside table. Neither she nor her husband had put it there...it took several days for her to figure out where it came from. She loved it immediately - in fact, she went and burbled joyously at her husband for getting her this lovely gift, and he said "what gift? What are you talking about?"... Weird events.

Oct 1, 2018, 10:35pm Top

😀 The Clocktaur books were fun - give ‘em a go! I’m already on th3 lookout for more of her adulter stuff.

Edited: Oct 1, 2018, 11:29pm Top

So far I've read The Raven and the Reindeer - a fantastic take on The Snow Queen - and The Seventh Bride, a weird and wonderful version of Blackbeard. Plus a whole bunch of her kids stuff - I _love_ Castle Hangnail, and her Princess Harriet the Hamster stuff is incredibly funny. I don't like Dragonbreath as much, but it's not bad.

Oct 2, 2018, 10:44am Top

Sounds good! I'll take a look!

Edited: Oct 3, 2018, 8:53am Top

Yay for Binti! I enjoyed the whole trilogy, too, Jim. I'll take a look at Clockwork Boys.

Oct 4, 2018, 3:19pm Top

By the way, we did our first Venus flyby yesterday...

Successfully, I might add. 😀

Oct 4, 2018, 4:58pm Top

Wow, what a topper!

I really need to bump the Binti series up Mt TBR. The books sound amazing.

Oct 4, 2018, 7:51pm Top

Yup, you do! 😀

Oct 4, 2018, 8:59pm Top

>121 drneutron: I finished book 2 today and look forward to reading the third soon. Glad to hear it's just as good as the first two!

Oct 5, 2018, 3:06pm Top

>127 drneutron: That is great news, Jim!
(I hope the "we" just refers to the probe... ;-) )

Oct 5, 2018, 5:16pm Top

>127 drneutron: Wonderful!

Oct 6, 2018, 8:00pm Top

>139 Well, we’re living vicariously through our spacecraft... 😀

>140 thanks!

Oct 7, 2018, 5:07am Top

>127 drneutron: V cool. Living vicariously sounds a much safer approach ... Will you go see the new film about Armstrong?

Edited: Oct 7, 2018, 7:47am Top

Happy Sunday, Jim. Have you started The Fireman? I am pretty deep into it, but I have to say, I am finding it a bit disappointing. I am sure it will easily be my least favorite. I hope it works better for you.

I also hope The Outsider, which I am reading later in the month, is much more satisfying.

Edited: Oct 7, 2018, 6:52pm Top

>134 charl08: If we get a chance, we’ll go see it, but if not, it’ll be on Amazon Prime or Netflix eventually. 😀

>135 msf59: I’m about 50 pages in and am not that impressed. I’ll call it ok, but no great shakes. Hope it improves, but others have been pretty meh about it.

The Outsider certainly sounds better!

Oct 7, 2018, 10:46pm Top

I thought The Fireman was good but not great. Pissed off about the ending. So there. ; )

Oct 11, 2018, 11:00am Top

An update!

88. A People's History of the Vampire Uprising by Raymond A. Villareal

Virus turns some people into vampires, but these vampires aren't content to hide in the shadows - they want full rights and citizenship. Except maybe there's a plot to infiltrate the highest levels of government and wealthy society so that these vampires can take over.

Written as a mockumentary somewhat like World War Z, the book suffers from what most in this style do - there's this huge global plot line, but no actual story happening. Characters tell things, but the stories are disjointed and don't really connect up to a single whole. Can't say I'd recommend it, but it may work for some.

89. The Secret History of Magic by Peter Lamont and Jim Steinmeyer

So right off the bat, the magic we're talking about here is entertainment. Stage magic, close work with cards and cups and stuff. Escapes, sawing a person half. Stage magicians are notoriously bad historians - if you've read anything by a real magician, it's usually filled with myth and tall tales and self-promotion. Lamont and Steinmeyer try to correct that by being a bit more objective and honest about the history of magic for entertainment. It's a decent bit of fun, though too short to be broadly encompassing. A decent book leading up to Halloween!

Edited: Oct 11, 2018, 11:22am Top

>138 drneutron: There was a sketch on Saturday Night Live last weekend called "So You're Willing to Date a Magician" that made me laugh *so hard* and is definitely lampooning all of the ways that stage magicians mythologize about themselves.


Oct 11, 2018, 2:31pm Top

>139 norabelle414: 😂😂 That was awesome! And a lot like the book.

Oct 13, 2018, 11:07pm Top

Congratulations on reaching 75!

Oct 14, 2018, 7:37am Top


Oct 14, 2018, 8:40am Top

Hi Jim!

Very belated congratulations on reaching 75. You got there pretty quickly, and good luck on attaining your personal best.

PSP is performing beautifully. Congrats.

Oct 15, 2018, 2:28pm Top

Thanks! We're getting set for our first solar encounter in two weeks. Time's passing quickly!

Oct 15, 2018, 2:46pm Top

Hello Jim! I hope all is well with you.

Oct 15, 2018, 7:16pm Top

>144 drneutron: The official site is so good, really appreciate all the visuals!

Oct 15, 2018, 7:51pm Top

>144 drneutron: First solar encounter, that sounds impressive.

You must be pretty busy still, keeping everything on track?

Oct 15, 2018, 10:28pm Top

>146 pbirch01: Thanks! We’re pretty proud of it!

>147 EllaTim: Actually, the spacecraft is hard to communicate with as it gets closer to the sun, so things are quieter now as we sit back and watch it go. It’ll get busy again in mid-November when we start downlinking the science data from the encounter.

Oct 16, 2018, 9:58am Top

Re: book number 88. I have difficulty getting into books like this, too. I am a plot-oriented person, so global mocumentaries aren't really my thing. I thought World War Z was just ok.

Oct 17, 2018, 9:47am Top

Me too. I was perhaps a bit more impressed by that one because it was the first of this style I read, but it got old pretty quick. 😀

Oct 18, 2018, 9:02pm Top

Hello Jim!

>138 drneutron: >149 The_Hibernator: I listened to World War Z on audio and enjoyed it greatly. Each section had a different narrator and it was written like a book of short stories that each have a thread of a historical progression. My two cents.

Oct 19, 2018, 1:49pm Top

Yeah, I can imagine that the variety of narrators made it more like a radio show, and so more interesting. I'll have to give it a try sometime.

Oct 24, 2018, 10:32am Top

Been neglecting my thread again - mrsdrneutron and I were off to the Eastern Shore of Maryland for a few days in a B&B. Wifi sucked, so little to no LT. Plus, I was supposed to be paying attention to her... 😀

Anyway, here's the latest update!

90. Hunting Charles Manson by Lis Wiehl and Caitlin Rother

Lis Wiehl is a former prosecutor and CNN commentator who put together a look at the Manson murder investigation from an informed outsider's view. There've been lots of books written on the subject, including Bugliosi's Helter Skelter, but this is first I've read that focused more on the investigation than Manson's and the Family's bizarreness. No lurid descriptions of murder scenes or attempts to demonize. Instead it's a rather factual story that's more journalism than entertainment.

91. The God Gene by F Paul Wilson

Wilson's books are mostly all connected by what he calls the Secret History of the World, and if you've ever read any Repairman Jack books, you've delved pretty deep into it. The ICE Sequence, of which this is the second, is a parallel series that are, on the surface, thrillers. But the Secret History drives the backstory and provides the motivation for the plot.

In the God Gene, the brother of one of our heroes has discovered an unknown primate that shows very human-like creativity and willingness to eliminate competitors. So he decides to save humanity from them...

Nice thriller coming from a favorite world-building author.

92. The Fireman by Joe Hill

The world has been devastated by a fungus that causes infected to spontaneously combust. All Harper wants to do is help victims and have her baby in the midst of the world falling apart. But when she comes down with Dragonscale, everything changes for her.

Post-apocalyptic thriller, horror with a touch of supernatural, story of family and the ways it can go wrong, The Fireman may not be Hill's best, but it's good enough for me.

Oct 24, 2018, 2:22pm Top

Hello Jim! Excellent reviews. I'm not a horror guy generally, but The Fireman is getting some decent reviews around the boards.

Random Question: What is one of your favorite page turning thrillers?

Oct 24, 2018, 3:55pm Top

The Fireman isn't particularly scary - it's more of a thriller. It's worth a look!

Recent thrillers:
- F Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack series comes to mind.
- Bearskin was very good.
- Steven Brust's Good Guys
- Zodiac Station by Tom Harper

All were fun, written very well!

Oct 24, 2018, 7:30pm Top

Yes! Got all the Halloween treasures! And only a couple of hints needed!

Oct 24, 2018, 9:35pm Top

>156 drneutron: Yeah me too. This one was pretty easy, but fun. Only really needed hints for #7

Oct 24, 2018, 11:38pm Top

Hi Doc! Hurray for the B&B retreat and paying attention to Mrs Dr N. I am sure you got points.

I enjoyed The Fireman and would be up for another one by Hill.

So exciting that you're getting close to the sun! Soon....

And congrats on finding all the Halloween treats. I haven't been here all week and haven't even tried for one. Yet.

Oct 25, 2018, 5:19am Top

>156 drneutron: Me, too, and I never do well at those!!

Oct 25, 2018, 7:30am Top

>156 drneutron: Got all treasures too, it was fun. The search kept me up late last night.

Oct 25, 2018, 8:18am Top

>158 Berly: You should definitely read some more of Joe Hill's stuff. Strange Weather's a good choice, as is Horns. Though, I haven't come across a bad one yet. 😀

>159 scaifea:, >160 FAMeulstee: Great! It was a good one, though the use of locations Common Knowledge tripped me up a bit.

Oct 25, 2018, 10:18am Top

I also got all my candy corn :)

Edited: Oct 25, 2018, 10:27am Top

Cool! Competition for the free t-shirt and coaster give-aways is on the rise... :)

Oct 25, 2018, 11:00am Top

If I win a t-shirt, I'll give it to you. I got one with one of the earlier hunts :)

Oct 25, 2018, 11:03am Top


Oct 25, 2018, 9:35pm Top

I got them all as well :) I enjoy these hunts!

Oct 31, 2018, 9:23pm Top

The Parker Solar Probe made the CBS evening news tonight, Jim!

Oct 31, 2018, 10:32pm Top

Cool! I’ll have to check it out. Was it for the new records?

Oct 31, 2018, 10:38pm Top

The Helios probes are pretty interesting to read about and crazy that they went so fast and so close to the sun way back in the 1970s!

Oct 31, 2018, 11:14pm Top

It was that this is the closest a manmade object has ever come to the sun. From now on, of course, it will just keep breaking that record, right?

Nov 1, 2018, 9:22am Top

>169 pbirch01: Yup - that was a good mission that generated lots of good data!

>170 ronincats: Yeah, we'll break that record again each time we do another Venus flyby. The gravity assists lower our perihelion, the point in an orbit that's closest to the Sun, which means our speed at that point also increases.

Nov 2, 2018, 2:38pm Top

Time for an update!

93. Pale Horse Rider: William Cooper, the Rise of Conspiracy, and the Fall of Trust in America by Mark Jacobson

Many of the things we hear now from the far right didn't just spring up over night. There have been lone prophets preaching government conspiracy and the New World Order for decades - and Bill Cooper was one of the best. From an Arizona mountaintop studio, his Hour of The Time shortwave broadcast laid out the hidden world and how it works. His Behold a Pale Horse is a classic of the conspiracy crowd - and surprisingly a must-read book if you're in prison or into hip-hop and rap. Yeah, this old, fat, white guy is deeply imbedded in the thinking of the likes of the the Wu-tang Clan and the like. Because Bill Cooper has the key to understand what's *really* happening in the world.

Jacobson's depiction of Cooper from growing up in the 50s as a military kid to his death in a shootout with cops outside his home is one of weirdness, bizarre thinking, alcoholism and both giving and receiving abuse - and ultimately one of sadness that this obviously intelligent man got so off track to believe that the world must be controlled by hidden forces and that the truth must be out there. He jumped on all the bandwagons: government conspiracies involving UFOs and aliens gave way to the Illuminati using fake UFO conspiracies to control the masses and bring about a Socialist New World Order. Fascinating character, well done biography.

94. Gaslight Gothic: Strange Tales of Sherlock Holmes edited by J. R. Campbell

Conan Doyle mixed Gothic elements into quite a few of the Sherlock Holmes tales, and this collection takes that idea and runs with it. Each author has imagined Holmes and Watson embedded in the ghostly, the mysterious. It's a fun collection for anybody who can't get enough of Sherlock!

95. Night-Gaunts by Joyce Carol Oates

Short story/novella collection by one of my favorite scary authors. JCO never disappoints.

Nov 5, 2018, 2:08am Top

Hubby and I saw "First Man" about Neil Armstrong on Saturday. I remember watching the first lunar landing as a little kid, but I had no idea all that went into getting us there. What a rocky road. I thought it was a great film.

Nov 5, 2018, 6:22am Top

Hi, Jim. Good review of Pale Horse Rider. Never hear of this guy. Interesting stuff. I am loving Washington Black and should finish it today. I think you will really like this one. It takes unexpected turns.

Nov 5, 2018, 9:29am Top

>173 Berly: Haven't seen it yet, but I hope to soon. Glad you liked it!

>174 msf59: I started it last night - about 5 chapters in. I'm loving it!

Nov 5, 2018, 9:55am Top

Hi Jim!

Continuing congrats on PSP's record breaking flight.

>153 drneutron: I liked The Fireman, but I thought it could use some editing.

Nov 6, 2018, 5:49pm Top

I'm glad so many people liked The Fireman. I've only tried one Joe Hill book NOS4A2, and didn't like his style of writing, but maybe I didn't give him enough of a chance.

Nov 7, 2018, 6:00pm Top

>176 karenmarie: Yeah, he gets his wordiness honestly from his dad. Must be in the genes!

>177 The_Hibernator: This one’s definitely different from NOS4A2. You might also try Horns to see how you like that.

Nov 8, 2018, 10:01am Top

An update now that we've gotten through our first perihelion!

96. Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner

A serial killer suspense/thriller followup to UNSUB - came across the first one this summer while on the launch campaign and enjoyed the brain candy. This one's more of the same, but since I like the first, that's a good thing.

97. Wild Fire by Ann Cleeves

Last (?) in the Shetland Island series, and a fine book as usual. I'm sad to see this one go. Now maybe I can start some of her other series!

Nov 8, 2018, 9:31pm Top

You'll like the Vera Stanhope series by Ann Cleeves, I predict with confidence.

Nov 9, 2018, 9:40am Top

Yep, that's my next series to jump into. I've got the first on Overdrive reserve, but it may be a few weeks before it's available.

Nov 9, 2018, 11:51am Top

Got a quick one in last night - A Study in Emerald. Graphic novel adaptation of Neil Gaiman's short story mixing up Sherlock Holmes and Lovecraftian weird. Really fun!

Nov 9, 2018, 2:24pm Top

Hello Jim! I hope all is well with you?

have you read all of the available Stormlight books by Sanderson? I have to say, Dalinar Kholin is my favorite character.

Nov 9, 2018, 2:29pm Top

Nope, just the first - I need to get back to the series. Dalinar is great, but I'm also fascinated by Szeth and his backstory. Shallan's also interesting, and I'm curious to see where he goes with her story-telling.

Edited: Nov 9, 2018, 2:36pm Top

Shallan sure seemed willing to throw her family on the back burner after her big revelation.

Szeth is interesting as well. I wonder if will win his freedom, and what it will mean for him. He is much like an enslaved Genie at the moment.

Nov 9, 2018, 6:15pm Top

Yeah, that’s one of the things I’m interested in finding out - what are the consequences of how she treats her family? And that’s what I thought of when reading Szeth’s sections too!

Nov 14, 2018, 3:57pm Top

99. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

The story of an orphaned slave in Barbados who attracts the attention of a scientifically-minded brother of his master, and what happens to him as he grows beyond his origins. Edugyan is a fantastic writer - her words are beautiful, her characters are wonderful. Mostly, though, I loved watching Wash work his way to personal freedom, first out of slavery, then out of dependency on Titch, and finally from his ties to an older naturalist who is using his ideas as a last grasp of renown. You should read this now!

100. Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith

Suppose you came across a stranger with absolutely no connections to you, and this stranger offered to get rid of a significant problem in your life through murder. And all you have to do in exchange is to return the favor. Would you do it? Like most normal folks, Guy Haines doesn't - he gets away from the stranger as quick as he can. But the devil just won't let him go, and watching the descent into darkness is fascinating stuff, indeed. Highsmith's got some really interesting insights into human nature and the worst is shown here.

Nov 14, 2018, 4:11pm Top

>187 drneutron: Excellent reviews, both, Jim.

99. Highsmith definitely has a grip on the dark side. I remember Robert Walker's performance in the film being chilling. I just looked it up. I didn't realize it was his final film.

100. Looking forward to Washington Black in 2019.

Nov 14, 2018, 4:35pm Top


Amazon Prime has the movie to rent, so I'll have to watch it soon. It'll be interesting to see what Hitchcock did with the novel's story.

Edited: Nov 14, 2018, 4:46pm Top

>189 drneutron: I think you will be impressed. I'm not sure about novel/movie differences, but Hitchcock is in his prime and provides a chilling film.

Nov 14, 2018, 5:16pm Top

Stopping by to say hello

Nov 14, 2018, 5:32pm Top

Nov 14, 2018, 6:12pm Top

Good reviews, Jim. I've got Washington Black, and you're inspiring me to get to it sooner rather than later.

Nov 15, 2018, 9:35am Top

You should. It's great!

Nov 15, 2018, 5:19pm Top

I have Washington Black on my recent social justice historical fiction list. I can't wait to read it. I'm especially intrigued by the critique of the racism inherent in scientific research.

I should Strangers on a Train. Highsmith is a rare bird for me. I disliked both the film and book versions of The Talented Mr. Ripley, but I disliked the book more. Anyway, I should try her again.

Nov 15, 2018, 5:34pm Top

Hooray for Washington Black, Jim! Warble away, my friend!

Nov 16, 2018, 10:44am Top

>195 libraryperilous: Wow, there's a lot I want to comment on regarding racism, slavery and when Wash is truly free in the book. But I don't want to spoil the story, which is so good on it's own level. Stop back by when you read it and we can talk about it at a deeper level!

>196 msf59: Yep, warbling!

Nov 18, 2018, 5:04pm Top

Great review of Washington Black, Jim. Have you read anything else by her?

Nov 18, 2018, 8:59pm Top

Hi Jim. There was a really good interview today on CBC radio with Esi Edugyan, author Washington Black. If you are interested, here it is:

Interview with Esi Edugyan

Nov 19, 2018, 9:24am Top

>198 Familyhistorian: I haven’t, but I plan to! Ant suggestions?

>199 jessibud2: oh, cool. Something to listen to while I paint our stairs!

Nov 21, 2018, 8:20pm Top

101. Doc Unknown by Fabian Rangel Jr.

I needed a graphic novel to clear my mind, came on The Complete Doc Unknown on Hoopla. Rangel’s superhero is part Iron Fist, part Shadow, and a bit of Batman - with a dose of the Weird too! Not groundbreaking work, but nicely plotted and drawn with a lot of love for the art form.

102. Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray by Sabine Hossenfelder

Theoretical particle physics is in a bit of trouble these days. There are things about the Standard Model that nobody likes, yet it’s incredibly accurate. So theoreticians spend a lot of time trying to extend the model or find an underlying theory to explain these things. And since there’s no data, the only guiding principles are those of “beauty”, “simplicity”, and “elegance”, which in the context of physics are particularly ill defined. And with the LHC producing nothing beyond the Standard Model, there’s a real crisis going on in the field.

Hossenfelder is one of these theoreticians trying to get physicists back to the fundamentals of the scientific method. It’s an uphill battle, and frankly, she’s a bit bitter about it. This may not be a book for everyone - some knowledge of the basics of particle physics is helpful - but for me, it was pretty interesting.

103 Dreadful Company by Vivan Shaw

Sequel to Strange Practice - a really good urban fantasy I read earlier this year - and just as much fun! If you’ve read the first, you’ll love this one, and if you haven’t, you should!

Nov 22, 2018, 1:28pm Top

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends! Happy Thursday to everyone else!

Nov 22, 2018, 1:31pm Top

Happy Thanksgiving, Jim. Have a great day with the family.

Nov 22, 2018, 3:56pm Top

Nov 22, 2018, 8:52pm Top

>203 msf59: Thanks! And congrats on da Bears win!

>204 EBT1002: Thanks! I hope yours was good too!

Nov 24, 2018, 5:25pm Top

>197 drneutron: I definitely will.

>201 drneutron: I have Lost in Math pretty high on Mt. TBR. I've also seen it make the rounds on a few 'best science books of 2018' lists.

Nov 24, 2018, 5:30pm Top

>206 libraryperilous: I can see why LiM would rank highly on lists - it’s a good book with an interesting message to the theoretical physics community, and maybe a check on some of the overly exuberant popular works. I’ll keep an eye out for your thoughts on it.

Nov 25, 2018, 10:25pm Top

Where would we be without you buddy?

Thanksgiving is an appropriate time for me to stop by and say thank you for continuing your admin of this group. It has been a life saver to me often.

Edited: Nov 27, 2018, 12:18am Top

Doc--I already have Washington Black on my WL, but I've now added Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. Dangerous thread here. I am leaving quickly before I get in more trouble....!

Nov 27, 2018, 8:18am Top

>208 PaulCranswick: Thanks! It's a labor of love for me. Glad to see you making the rounds again!

>209 Berly: My work here is done... for today. 😀

Nov 27, 2018, 9:52am Top

Howdy, Jim! I was wondering as Mars Insight landed successfully yesterday if you played any part in the project. Awesome stuff going on way up high!

Nov 27, 2018, 10:22am Top

I didn't, but the spacefaring community is pretty small and I know some folks that are. And we all get excited when someone's successful - next time it might be my project!

Nov 27, 2018, 10:25am Top

>212 drneutron: I'm looking forward to it.

Nov 27, 2018, 10:38am Top

>153 drneutron: Hunting Charles Manson is now on the TBR list.

I hope you had a good Thanksgiving. All good wishes for a lovely holiday.

Nov 27, 2018, 10:51am Top

>213 Carmenere: Me too!

>214 Whisper1: It was very good - quiet, relaxing, good meal with friends, even got the outside Christmas decorations up!

Nov 27, 2018, 1:08pm Top

104. The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

It's that old story... science/nature writer meets octopus, love ensues! 😀 Seriously, Montgomery has told a great story of her interactions with several octopodes from the Boston Aquarium, interspersed with lots of interesting info about the animals and thoughts about the nature of intelligence and consciousness. Highly recommended.

105. The Shimmer by Carsten Stroud

What started as an interesting police procedural/thriller quickly turned into something a bit more bizarre and more interesting. I don't want to give away too much, but this one jumps into the sf/fantastic - all the better to my mind.

Nov 27, 2018, 1:52pm Top

>216 drneutron: I just bought The Soul of an Octopus. Glad to hear it's good.

Nov 27, 2018, 5:26pm Top

My copy of Washington Black hath arriven at the library and it. is. all. your. fault!

Nov 27, 2018, 6:04pm Top

>200 drneutron: An earlier book of her's, Half Blood Blues, also won the Giller. I enjoyed it if that is any recommendation, Jim.

Nov 27, 2018, 9:55pm Top

>218 richardderus: Hah! I’ll gladly take the blame. 😀

>219 Familyhistorian: it’s on my list, and yes, it’s a great recommendation!

Nov 27, 2018, 10:20pm Top

>216 drneutron: Ha! I already read The Soul of an Octopus this year -- loved it! And that means you can't hit me with another book bullet either. : P

Nov 28, 2018, 8:03am Top

>221 Berly: I think I picked it up from you - so BB in reverse!

Nov 28, 2018, 8:35am Top

I'm another fan of The Soul of an Octopus, Jim. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Those darn octopodes! ( That's the plural, right?)

I need to get to Washington Black asap. Good review.

Edited: Nov 28, 2018, 7:31pm Top

Hello again = is there any way to transfer my anti-trump thread: https://www.librarything.com/topic/297680 to a 2019 thread
in order to keep all the contributions...?

If you could place your answer on the thread, that would be great. Thank you!

Nov 29, 2018, 8:55am Top

>223 jnwelch: If you want to keep the Greek plural, yep, octipodes. But as it turns out, octopuses is in the dictionary too! It's one I'll be warbling about.

>224 m.belljackson: I'll answer there.

Nov 30, 2018, 6:21am Top

*Warning: Classics Professor ramblings ahead*

>225 drneutron: Both plurals are correct! Octipodes is the actual, original Greek plural, but any word that has come into English with normal usage and therefore has been adopted as an English word gets a legitimate English plural, too.

Nov 30, 2018, 8:16am Top

>226 scaifea: I just think octopuses is a cool word. One of those that are fun to say! 😀

Nov 30, 2018, 8:43am Top

>227 drneutron: Definitely! Of course, as a classicist, I prefer the sound of 'octopodes' (pronounced oc-toe-poe-days).

Nov 30, 2018, 10:47am Top


Dec 3, 2018, 4:27pm Top

Ha, I am reminded of the teacher who said "there is more than one way to spell a word" - well unless you have spellcheck which only thinks the US spellings are correct. (mumble, mumble)

Dec 4, 2018, 2:13pm Top

>230 Familyhistorian: 😀 Auto-correct is the bane of my existence!

Dec 4, 2018, 2:13pm Top

106. A Dangerous Duet by Karen Odden

Nell's an accomplished pianist, but since this is Victorian London and Nell is a respectable woman, can't really do anything with it. But to earn money to study at the Royal Academy, she takes a job disguised as a man at a music hall where maybe more than show business is going on. And Nell's brother, a Scotland Yard inspector investigating a city-wide plague of burglaries, may be digging into the place as well.

A Dangerous Duet is a decent, but not great depiction of Victoria London, and a decent, but not great, mystery/suspense story with a little romance thrown in. It's a pleasant diversion, but the general feel is more modern than Victorian, and the mystery itself isn't very mysterious. Should work well if you need a diversion though!

Edited: Dec 8, 2018, 6:28pm Top

Hi, Jim. You've been doing some good reading. I see some that are on, or I'm adding to, my TBR list: Washington Black, I'll be Gone in the Dark, Strangers on a Train, Hunting Charles Manson, Night-Gaunts, Wild Fire, and maybe The Fireman.

Of course, my TBR list already has more books than I could read by the time I'm 100 years old . . . :)

Dec 9, 2018, 10:01am Top

😀 Glad you found some to try!

Dec 9, 2018, 11:06pm Top

I had never heard of The Soul of an Octopus but I'm adding it to my wish list. Go figure.

Dec 10, 2018, 12:18pm Top

Excellent! It was s good read.

Dec 11, 2018, 7:34pm Top

Hi, Jim. I hope everything is going well. Glad to hear you also enjoyed All Systems Red. Yah!! I have all ready snagged the audio of the second volume. Had you heard of this author before? She looks to be quite prolific.

Dec 11, 2018, 8:27pm Top

Hello Jim! Did you get around to the Strangers on a Train film?

Dec 12, 2018, 8:59am Top

>237 msf59: Yep, I've read the first few of her Ile-Rhen fantasy series and still have the second one. At some point I need to finish the series.

>238 brodiew2: Not yet - Christmas time off starts the 21st, and I hope to watch it then.

Dec 12, 2018, 10:29am Top

Been meaning to update...

107. The Ship, the Saint, and the Sailor by Bradley G. Stevens

Back in 1860, a Russian sea captain lost a ship named the Kad'yak off the coast of Kodiak Island while carrying ice to California. One hundred forty three years later, a marine biologist studying king crabs in Alaska decides to try and find it. They do, but not without drama.

Stevens' memoir of the search for the Kad'yak, the players involved, the legal fights over ownership and salvage was certainly interesting, and I enjoyed learning about the history of Russian trade in 19th century Alaska and the legalities of shipwrecks. Is it "captivating" and "poetic" as claimed on the back? Not really - but for those interested in the subject it'll be a nice read.

108. Acceptance by Jeff VenderMeer

Decidedly Weird ending to the Southern Reaches trilogy. Very much my kinda thing, but it's a bit out there...

109. All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Ok, so all you folks warbling about this one were right. It's great! I'm gonna jump on the next as quick as I can get it. 😀

Dec 12, 2018, 11:20am Top

>240 drneutron: #107 Ooo. I am a major Bob Ballard fan, so I'd likely enjoy this one.

#108 Heh. So pleased you like this wonderfully weird series.

#109 Yeup. Love the Murderbot even though the author's an Aggie.

Dec 12, 2018, 11:31am Top

Just a touristy shot from one of those orbs out there. The moon? Mars?

Dec 12, 2018, 3:21pm Top

Dec 12, 2018, 5:28pm Top

Go Murderbot! What an addictive series.

Dec 12, 2018, 8:33pm Top

>241 richardderus: I work with folks on both sides of that particular war, so let me just say “I am Switzerland”! 😀

>242 weird_O: 😂 I’d guess JPL’s rover test facility...

>244 jnwelch: Even talked Mrsdrneutron into giving it a try. Ok, didn’t take much, but I’m a-warblin’!

Dec 13, 2018, 7:58am Top

I have been sadly remiss in visiting lately, Jim, so just want to say hello and continued good reading to you.

Dec 13, 2018, 1:49pm Top

Hey! Thanks for stopping by!

Dec 13, 2018, 9:35pm Top

>240 drneutron: I've got All Systems Red home from the library, and can't wait to get at it. And there are more in the series? Yay!

Karen O.

Dec 14, 2018, 4:13pm Top

Hello Jim! I just got my hands on Star Trek: Discovery Season 1. Have you seen it?

Dec 14, 2018, 9:13pm Top

>249 brodiew2: is this the tv series? I loved it and cannot wait for the new season to come on in January.

Edited: Dec 14, 2018, 9:17pm Top

>250 crazy4reading: Yes. I have seen the first three episodes and am hoping it improves. It looks great, but I'm concerned about the lack of virtually any characters to connect with or root for. I haven't met Ash yet, but have a feeling I'll like him.

Dec 14, 2018, 9:36pm Top

>250 crazy4reading: I haven't watched it since it premiered and I want to re-watch before the new season starts because I am afraid I might get lost in the story once it starts up again.

Dec 15, 2018, 7:54pm Top

>249 brodiew2: Yep! And it was great! I think you’ll find you connect with the characters as you go.

Dec 16, 2018, 12:20am Top

Thanks Jim. The fifth episode was my favorite so far.

Dec 16, 2018, 6:58pm Top

Sigh. I come to your thread. I skim along. I add something else to my wish list. It's turning into a predictable pattern.
This time it's All Systems Red. It's definitely outside my usual genre but so many trustworthy people are warbling about it!

Have a great week, Jim.

Dec 16, 2018, 8:34pm Top

>231 drneutron: Just think if you were in a country with different spelling how much more aggravating auto-correct would be. It's bad on the computer but so much worse on my phone!

Dec 16, 2018, 9:00pm Top

>255 EBT1002: Glad you’re going to give it a try!

>256 Familyhistorian: 😀

Dec 18, 2018, 4:05pm Top

109. Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews

Didn't see the movie, but got interested in the book. This isn't a thrill-a-page Jason Borne spy novel - rather, it's playing the long game like any good spy should. The tension builds throughout as the relationship between two spies trying to turn each other becomes a plot-within-plot wonder. One of my faves of the year.

Matthews is a retired CIA agent, so I'm guessing that the story is pretty authentic. At least it feels that way to me. And it's the first of a trilogy - the second is already on reserve at the library! Oh, and it appears that there's a high level US elected official that's been subverted by the Russians in the third book that bears a resemblance to a high level US elected official that has Russia trouble today... Can't wait to get to that one!

110. Carter & Lovecraft by Jonathan L. Howard

Daniel Carter is a New York City detective who chases down a serial killer only to have his partner suddenly commit suicide at the crime scene. Because there's something about this case that opens a door to eldritch things. Then Carter inherits a bookstore in Providence from a person he's never heard of - staffed by the last descendent of H. P. Lovecraft. And while he's trying figure out just what's going on, more mysterious killings start happening and it's up to Carter & Lovecraft to save the world.

Howard is the author of the Johannes Cabal series, which I loved. Carter & Lovecraft isn't quite as good, but I enjoyed it! This one's the first of a trilogy and my library doesn't have the other two, so I'm going to have to scavenge to find the others.

Dec 19, 2018, 11:25am Top

>258 drneutron: #110 I concur about the slight sense of letdown. I am a Mythos reader, though, so I was happily ensorcelled.

Dec 19, 2018, 5:57pm Top

I had a dream that drneutron was a superhero saving the world from climate change. 🤣😂

Dec 19, 2018, 10:28pm Top

😀 Unfortunately, my superpower is mysteriously knowing the best restaurant in any given place.

Dec 21, 2018, 9:46am Top

Find the Light—Reflect the Light—Be the Light

Happy Yule 2018!

Dec 21, 2018, 3:57pm Top

Happy holidays to you!

Dec 22, 2018, 7:04am Top

Hoping your holidays are filled with good friends and good books

Dec 22, 2018, 11:55am Top

Thanks! I hope yours are too!

Dec 22, 2018, 4:30pm Top

(Or in other words, Happy Christmas, to you and yours!)

Dec 22, 2018, 11:44pm Top

Thanks! And to you and yours!

Dec 23, 2018, 2:13am Top

Happy Holidays Jim!

Dec 23, 2018, 8:22am Top

Dec 23, 2018, 9:49am Top

Thanks! Both cards are beautiful!

Dec 23, 2018, 11:02am Top

Happy holidays Jim. Thanks for everything you do for the group all year.

Edited: Dec 31, 2018, 8:03am Top

Hi Jim, we would like to wish you and your good lady Danita a very Merry Christmas and send seasonal love and hugs to both of you from both of us dear friend.

Dec 23, 2018, 4:55pm Top

the light is born (a nativity scene from Riehen)
Wish you a happy Christmas time

Dec 23, 2018, 5:22pm Top

>271 charl08: Thanks! I hope you and yours have a great holiday too!

>272 johnsimpson: I will certainly pass along the hugs! Best wishes for you and Karen for the holidays and in 2019!

>273 paulstalder: That’s very beautiful! I’d love to see the original sometime. Merry Christmas!

Dec 23, 2018, 9:59pm Top

It's been a while since I was here, but this seems an appropriate time to visit my favorite rocket scientist, with tomorrow being the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8's glorious mission and that amazing photograph of our Big Blue Marble...

Merry Christmas to the Kinnisons and their kin!

Edited: Dec 24, 2018, 2:36pm Top

Hi Jim!

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas!

Dec 23, 2018, 11:21pm Top

Hi Jim! Joining the crew in wishing you and all your loved ones....

Dec 24, 2018, 6:37am Top

^Have a great holiday with the family, Jim. I hope you get some bookish gifts.

Dec 24, 2018, 7:36am Top

Dec 24, 2018, 7:44am Top

I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a peaceful time.
...and thank you for your work for this gorgeous group.

Dec 24, 2018, 8:21am Top

Wishing you and your family all the best for the holiday season, Jim

Dec 24, 2018, 10:27am Top

>275 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks! We're having a good time with The Son over the holiday. Weirdly, we've been the recipients of several bottles of whiskey as gifts. I think this one's going to be remembered as the "Christmas of Booze". 😀

>276 SqueakyChu: Thanks! We need to plan a meet up sometime in 2019 since I'm a bit freer these days. 😀

>277 EBT1002: Thanks! I hope you and P have a great holiday in your new place.

>278 msf59: I have a few book-shaped packages under the tree. 😀 Have a great holiday, Mark!

>279 Ameise1: Thanks! And to you!

>280 SirThomas: That's a beautiful scene. Merry Christmas!

>281 jessibud2: Thanks! Happy holidays to you!

Dec 24, 2018, 10:27am Top

Just as an FYI... There may be a present for everyone tomorrow on LT. Or maybe the day after if I get lazy...

Dec 24, 2018, 11:32am Top

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Dec 24, 2018, 11:52am Top

Stopping by to wish you a wonderful season of peace and light and a magical new year!

Dec 24, 2018, 12:00pm Top

Merry Christmas!

Dec 24, 2018, 2:37pm Top

>284 ChelleBearss: Thanks! Merry Christmas!

>285 witchyrichy: Thanks! I hope 2019 is wonderful for you!

>286 nittnut: Merry Christmas!

Dec 24, 2018, 2:40pm Top

A Merry Christmas to you, Jim.

Edited: Dec 24, 2018, 3:03pm Top

That's the original

Dec 24, 2018, 3:10pm Top

>212 drneutron: Here in Switzerland we were pretty happy that Mars Insight's landing was so good. We are looking forward to receiving all the seismographic data from the seismometer put in position a few days ago.

Dec 24, 2018, 3:12pm Top

Stopping by to wish you and your family a merry Christmas Jim, and to say thank you for everything you do for the group!

Dec 24, 2018, 6:58pm Top

Merry Christmas to you and yours! Looking forward to a very bookish 2019

Edited: Dec 24, 2018, 7:26pm Top

Merry Christmas to you and your family Jim!

(I'm afraid this is more of the same for you, but hey, mulled cider doesn't really count as booze)

Dec 24, 2018, 8:03pm Top

Merry Christmas!

Dec 24, 2018, 8:11pm Top

>283 drneutron: What could it be????

Edited: Dec 24, 2018, 11:05pm Top

Hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas, Jim. Don't drink too much whisky!

Dec 25, 2018, 3:05am Top

Happy holidays, Jim.

Drink as much whisky as you like!

Dec 25, 2018, 5:56am Top

Happy Christmas from Santa Mouse and Rudy the Red Shelled Lobster, Jim! I hope that we finally get to meet in person in 2019.

Dec 25, 2018, 7:20am Top

Dec 25, 2018, 8:01am Top

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Jim.

Dec 25, 2018, 8:03am Top

>288 bohemima: Merry Christmas!

>289 paulstalder: neat! It made an interesting image.

>290 paulstalder: I’ve been taking some vacation time, so hadn’t heard the seismo is down. It’ll be interesting to see what data they get!

>291 souloftherose: Merry Christmas!

>292 mahsdad: Merry Christmas! Interesting pic, as always.

>293 EllaTim: Merry Christmas! Mulled cider always welcome!

>294 quondame: Merry Christmas!

>295 laytonwoman3rd: Hmmm. I wonder... 😀

>296 Familyhistorian: Nah. The mother-in-law is staying over for Christmas, so we’re being good. 😀

>297 PaulCranswick: Merry Christmas, Paul. I’m a modest drinker at best, so the whisky will last a while. 😀

>298 kidzdoc: Merry Christmas, Darryl. I hope so too. And I hope Mom’s doing better!

>299 Kristelh: Merry Christmas to you!

Dec 25, 2018, 8:04am Top

>300 harrygbutler: you sneaked in on me! Merry Christmas!

Dec 25, 2018, 12:45pm Top

Seasons Greetings from Singapore! Wishing you and your family joy, peace, good fortune and good health now and in the coming year.

Dec 25, 2018, 1:07pm Top

>303 humouress: Merry Christmas!

Dec 25, 2018, 1:07pm Top

I'm feeling a little lonely over here... Come join me!


Dec 25, 2018, 1:46pm Top

Oh my goodness! 2019 Is up already? Well then.

Dec 25, 2018, 1:54pm Top

Yup. Basic framework is in place, just waiting for folks to add their threads!

Dec 25, 2018, 1:57pm Top

Merry Christmas, Jim. Hope you like your Christmas Swap books!

Dec 25, 2018, 2:01pm Top

Oh I reaallllly did! Are you my secret santa?

I'm already a quarter of the way through Paperbacks from Hell and The SoThe n is threatening to take it back to Indiana when he goes. I've told him he'll have to fight me for it. 😀

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter is also on mrsdrneutron's list. Within the Sanctuary of Wings and Arabella of Mars are both gonna get read soon!

Dec 25, 2018, 2:04pm Top

Yes, I am. And I can personally recommend the last three books as great fun.

Dec 25, 2018, 3:02pm Top

>305 drneutron: WOOT!! Just the pick-me-up I needed today. Thanks so much for all you do, Jim.

Dec 25, 2018, 3:02pm Top

😀 No problem...

Dec 26, 2018, 9:54am Top

Happy Christmas, Jim!

Dec 26, 2018, 12:13pm Top

Happy Christmas and Happy New Year!

Dec 27, 2018, 9:42am Top

One last (?) one:

111. Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction by Grady Hendrix

The 70s and 80s saw lots of cultural changes - among them, an explosion of cheap horror paperbacks mass marketed across the US, and boy, was there a ton of them ranging from high quality big names like Stephen King to unknown hacks pumping out derivative over-the-top stuff as fast as they could. It was a beautiful time. 😀

Hendrix (author of Horrorstor) clearly has a love for horror pop culture of the 70s and 80s. His book is a history of the industry and the writers along with short, hilarious summaries of the most notable works. (And “notable” doesn’t necessarily mean “good”!) Plus page after page of the best cover art to be had - even when the art had absolutely nothing to do with the story inside.

Sadly, the 80s turned into the 90s, and horror writers ran out of ideas and just wrote the goriest things they could think of. And people shifted to romance and thrillers. Still, some real gems can be found in used bookstores and library sales - and I’ll be keeping an eye out for them!

Thanks to Roni for a great Secret Santa selection!

Dec 27, 2018, 2:21pm Top

LOL at your "Christmas of Booze". Hope you're having a good visit with your son.

I've been dropping a few stars on some 2019 threads but probably won't set mine up until this weekend. Thanks again for everything you do for the group.

Dec 27, 2018, 2:30pm Top

>316 SuziQoregon: 😀 It's been a good visit. He's here until the middle of January so that he can take care of my mother in law while mrsdrneutron and I are in Barbados for a few days. So we're really enjoying him while it lasts!

It's my pleasure to get the group going each year! See you when you get a thread going!

Dec 27, 2018, 3:13pm Top

>315 drneutron: Although horror is very much NOT my thing, Jim, when I read the book description I knew I had to get it for you!

Dec 27, 2018, 4:00pm Top

Thank you for holding off until a week before the new year to create the 2019 group. Although everyone seems to have abandoned 2018 and sneaked into next year already. Mind you, at least they'll only be a thread or two in, instead of the usual several, by the time I turn up there, ahead of most people's time zones and expecting a fresh new group. :0)

How's the solar probe going? All quiet on the western front?

Dec 27, 2018, 4:04pm Top

>319 humouress: Yeah, I learned that lesson a couple of years ago. 😀 The madness seems to be under control this time around.

PSP is performing well. We made it through the first encounter with no problems and have been getting science data down. Some first bits of data have been shown and the scientists are very excited!

Dec 29, 2018, 8:39am Top

Woo woo! for data coming through. The important stuff will eventually filter down to us lay people, I'm sure.

Dec 29, 2018, 4:44pm Top

The important stuff will eventually filter down to us lay people, I'm sure.

Yes, but if NASA finds some sort of extremely hardy SunPeople living out there in the corona, I hope you'll tell us, Jim!

Dec 29, 2018, 8:55pm Top

I though this was a great summary of when that data will be available:


tl;dr The first images are expected by the evening of January 1, with release planned for January 2.

Edited: Dec 29, 2018, 10:02pm Top

Here’s the first picture of a solar wind streamer coming from the Sun taken by our WISPR camera. The bright spot is a Mercury seen through the Sun’s corona!

Dec 29, 2018, 10:05pm Top

>323 pbirch01: I’m looking forward to seeing what they get. I’ve seen some of the optical navigation images, but UT looks like a dot a few pixels big in them. 😀

Dec 29, 2018, 10:06pm Top

Just keeping this here as a note for future reference - found on another group and don’t want to lose it!

Bierce, Ambrose - The Spook House
Bierce, Ambrose - The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter
Carter, Angela - The Magic Toyshop
Du Mauier, Daphne - Rebecca
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - The House of the Seven Gables
Hill, Susan - I'm the King of the Castle
Hill, Susan - The Man in the Picture
James, Henry - The Turn of the Screw
McGrath, Patrick - Trauma
Oates, Joyce Carol - A Fair Maiden
Poe, Edgar Allan - The Pit and the Pendulum: The Essential Poe
Poe, Edgar Allan - The Fall of the House of Usher and other stories
Radcliffe, Ann - The Romance of the Forest
Shelley, Mary - Frankenstein
Stoker, Bram - Dracula
Walpole, Horace - The Castle of Otranto
Wilde, Oscar - The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales

Dec 30, 2018, 3:53pm Top

>324 drneutron: Wow! So cool, Jim. Looking forward to more and more!

Dec 30, 2018, 7:03pm Top

>324 drneutron: Love the picture, Jim. Have a Happy New Year!

Dec 30, 2018, 8:38pm Top

Two more - I think these will be the last of 2018!

112. The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves

I needed an Ann Cleeves fix now that Jimmy Perez has come to an end, so I thought I’d give Vera Stanhope a try. It was good, but I wasn’t as taken with it as with the Shetland series. Still, i’ll keep going and see if I grow to like it.

113. Black Chamber by S. M. Stirling

Luz O'Malley Arostegui is an agent for the Black Chamber, a secret organization started by Teddy Roosevelt after winning the 1912 election. Now a few years later, as the US is on the brink of entering an alternate version of World War I, she must impersonate a Mexican agent for the Germans to stop a devastating attack on the US.

Stirling’s Luz is a superagent a la James Bond, so the plot gets a bit over the top. But Stirling’s a great writer and the book is just a boatload of fun!

Dec 31, 2018, 8:06am Top

Hi Jim, we would like to wish you and Danita a very happy new year and hope that 2019 is a good one for you both, sending love and hugs to both of you from both of us mate.

Dec 31, 2018, 9:18am Top

Thanks! I hope you and Karen also have a great year. Someday I hope to have a pint with you!

Dec 31, 2018, 10:17am Top

>331 drneutron:, That would be really good, cheers for now.

Dec 31, 2018, 11:37am Top

Dec 31, 2018, 2:01pm Top

No hope at all of catching up, Jim, so will just close out the year with

Wishing you a new year filled with joy, happiness, laughter, and all the wonderful books you could wish for.

Dec 31, 2018, 2:50pm Top

Dec 31, 2018, 6:04pm Top

Happy New Year's Eve!!

Dec 31, 2018, 7:04pm Top

Wishing you and yours a happy and joyous 2019, filled with peace, love, and great books.

Dec 31, 2018, 7:50pm Top

Happy new year, everyone!

Jan 1, 11:07am Top

Jan 1, 11:13am Top

Jan 1, 12:12pm Top

Thanks for setting up the 2019 thread book Jim! And all the best for a happy and healthy new year!

Jan 1, 12:46pm Top

My pleasure! Welcome to the thread, folks!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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