Ronincats Reads On in the Company of Friends: Take 6
This is a continuation of the topic Ronincats Reads On in the Company of Friends: Take 5.
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Hey, Mom, time to pay attention to ME instead of that computer!
I’m Roni in San Diego and I’ve been a member of the 75 book challenge group since 2008. I have a husband, 6 cats, 1 dog, a garden, many books, and am retired. I spend my time reading, gardening, crocheting, and making pottery and wire jewelry.
My main focus in reading is in speculative fiction (science fiction and fantasy) but I also try to read at least a dozen nonfiction books per year and am keeping up, more or less, with 4 mystery series. Welcome to my thread. If you are a speculative fiction reader, comment on my thread and I’ll come visit you.
I follow those members with similar tastes or that I forged friendships with back in the days when this group was smaller--there is no way I can keep up with everyone, although I would love to be able to. But I definitely return visits!
Goals for 2018:
1. Read 150 books and 50,000 pages. So 2017 was the second year in a row that I didn’t meet this goal, reaching 141 books and 47,024 pages, but it is still quite doable.
2. Read at least 40 books off my own bookshelves (BOMBs). I have 295 books tagged “tbr” and that does not count my new acquisitions this month. Books acquired last year that I did not get read number 45. I only read 32 BOMBs this year, not meeting my high goal of 50. In two days, all of my books will be BOMBs.
3. It looks like I have been averaging about 85 books acquired for the last 6 years, so I will keep the goal of acquiring no more than 85 books. I need to do better at de-accessioning books from my stash, however, than I did this year (29). I will set the goal of 50 books out the door once more.
Books Read in 2018
1. Neogenesis by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
2. Behind the Throne by K. B. Wagers
3. God Stalk by P. C. Hodgell
4. Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis
5. Cloudbound by Fran Wilde
6. Dark of the Moon by P. C. Hodgell
7. Seeker's Mask by P. C. Hodgell
8. To Ride a Rathorn by P. C. Hodgell
9. Bound in Blood by P. C. Hodgell
10. Honor's Paradox by P. C. Hodgell
11. The Sea of Time by P. C. Hodgell
12. The Gates of Tagmeth by P. C. Hodgell
13. The Birds' Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggins
14. To Visit the Queen by Diane Duane
15. Blood & Ivory: A Tapestry by P. C. Hodgell
16. The Last Meow by Diane Duane
17. Legacy by James H. Schmitz
18. The Hounds of Spring by Lucy Cummin
19. Cast in Deception by Michelle Sagara
20. Strange Tomorrow by Jean Karl
21. The Earl's Return by Emma Lange
22. A Weekend with Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly
23. Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
24. Court Duel by Sherwood Smith
25. The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett
26. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin
27. The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula Le Guin
28. The Farthest Shore by Ursula Le Guin
29. Tehanu by Ursula Le Guin
30. Tales from Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin
31. The Other Wind by Ursula Le Guin
32. Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones
33. The Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones
34. The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden
35. Drowned Ammet by Diana Wynne Jones
36. The Crown of Dalemark by Diana Wynne Jones
37. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
38. In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce
39. The Woman who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce
40. Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce
41. Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
42. Wolf Speaker by Tamora Pierce
43. Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce
44. The Realm of the Gods by Tamora Pierce
45. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt
46. Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor
47. Omens by Kelley Armstrong
48. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
49. The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson
50. The Dispatcher by John Scalzi
51. Visions by Kelley Armstrong
52. Into the Fire by Elizabeth Moon
53. The Queen's House by Edna Healey
54. A Moment of Silence by Anna Dean
55. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
56. Call of Fire by Beth Cato
57. Black Panther #1 by Ta-hesi Coates
58. Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic
59. Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor
60. Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend
61. Besieged by Kevin Hearne
62. After the Crown by K. B. Wagers
63. Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
64. The Tale of Angelino Brown by David Almond
65. The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White
66. Altered Traits by Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson
67. Honor's Knight by Rachel Bach
68. Tempest's Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
69. A Lot Like Christmas by Connie Willis
70. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
71. First Test by Tamora Pierce
72. Page by Tamora Pierce
73. Squire by Tamora Pierce
74. Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce
75. Tricksters by Tamora Pierce
76. The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
77. Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire
78. Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor
79. Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor
80. Heaven's Queen by Rachel Bach
81. The Flowers of Vashnoi by Lois McMaster Bujold
82. Scourged by Kevin Hearne
83. Longitude by Dava Sobel
84. How Much For Just the Planet? by John M. Ford
85. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
86. What Makes this Book So Great by Jo Walton
87. I Met a Traveller in an Antique Land by Connie Willis
88. The Scent of Magic by Andre Norton
89. The Iron Khan by Liz Williams
90. Foiled by Jane Yolen
91. A Gentleman of Fortune by Anna Dean
92. No Time to Spare by Ursula Le Guin
93. Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciara Doidge
94. Terrier by Tamora Pierce
95. Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
96. Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
97. The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker
98. The Hidden Queen by Alma Alexander
99. Promised Land by Connie Willis and Cynthia Felice
100. The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margaret Magnusson
101. The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman
102. The Pride of Chanur by C. J. Cherryh
103. Changer of Days by Alma Alexander
104. The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
105. And the Earth Did Not Devour Him by Tomas Rivera
106. Silence by Michelle Sagara
107. Midshipwizard Halcyon Blythe by James M. Ward
108. The House of Broken Angels by Luis Urrea
109. American Jesus by Stephen Prothero
110. Why Kill the Innocent by C. S. Harris
111. The Turnaway Girls by Hayley Chewins
112. Latchkey by Nicole Kornher-Stace
113. One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
114. So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Olua
115. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown by Seanan McGuire
116. Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger
117. A Corpse at St. Andrew’s Chapel by Mel Starr
118. Touch by Michelle Sagara
119. Grave by Michelle Sagara
120. The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
121. Competence by Gail Carriger
122. Alliance by S. K. Dunstall
123 To Kill a Warlock by H. P. Mallory
124. The Android's Dream by John Scalzi
125. Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff
126. The Levin-Gad by Diane Duane
127. The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs
128. The Second Summoning by Tanya Huff
Books Acquired in 2018
✔1. Neogenesis by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
2. Darwin's Armada by Iain McCalman
3. The Gene: an intimate history by Siddhartha Mukherjee
4. The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone
✔5. Cast in Deception by Michelle Sagara
6. The Ghost Sister by Liz Williams
7. After the Crown by K. B. Wagers
8. Silence by Michelle Sagara
9. The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst
10. The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson
11. The Skill of our Hands by Steven Brust and Skyler White
12. Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
13. The Tale of Angelino Brown by David Almond
14. A Moment of Silence by Anna Dean
15. Out of the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
16. Black Panther #1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates
17. Foiled by Jane Yolen
18. A Corpse in St. Andrew's Chapel by Mel Starr
19. Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire
20. How Much for Just the Planet by John Ford
21. What a Wonderful Word by Nicola Edwards
22. What Makes This Book So Great by Jo Walton
23. A Short History of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn
24. Latchkey by Nicole Kornher-Stace
25. Melmoth by Sarah Perry
26. Changer of Days by Alma Alexander
27. American Jesus by Stephen Prothero
28. The Turnaway Girls by Hayley Chewins
29. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown by Seanan McGuire
30. One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
31. The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman
32. Touch by Michelle Sagara
33. Grave by Michelle Sagara
34. Beyond the Streak by Jason King
35. The Levin-Gad by Diane Duane
36. Book Lust by Nancy Pearl
37. Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt
38. Real Stew by Clifford Wright
39. Unexpected America by Wanjiru Warama
Oh my goodness! Your top cat could be my Tully's brother. I'll take a picture of him to show you, (((((Roni))))). He's the one with the flea allergy, who has finally responded to this particular treatment and grown back all the back-of-the-cat hair that he licked off over the past couple of years. He's my boy.
I look forward to this thread and all your reading and creating!
Happy new thread, Roni. Nice looking topper. I didn't realize that you have a dog as well as all the cats. It must feel out numbered.
Happy new thread, Roni.
Cats and books go well together, they enrich life and are beautiful.
Happy new thread!! The newness made me focus on how many books you've read -- WOW! Most impressive.
answering question from your last thread -- we leave for Scotland on Friday. We'll be gone for five weeks, then back to Chautauqua until the end of October. We'll be back in San Diego some time in early November.
Happy new thread, Roni!
Excellent kitty pic for your topper, and they do tend to get in our faces when we're on the computer, don't they? Both of my kitties have now learned to sit on my open book if my back is turned for a minute, too.
Happy new thread Roni! I'm happy to report I'm picking Spinning Silver up at the library tomorrow and looking forward to it :-)
Jumping in on your new thread, Roni. And welcoming you home. I'm glad your trip to Kansas went as planned. Your to-do list to get ready for it was very thorough. Not surprised that you only got two books read with so much family to see. You got me with a book bullet on #127. I'm a sucker for books about books.
Well here I am. Nice to see a new thread! -- and I am curious how your dog feels about so many felines!
I will have to check out Naomi Novik. (you reminded me)
Back now from catching up on your other thread -- I'm away from home to, on the Cape, and I've had wall to wall guests, not that there is anything wrong with that, but it has made concentrated reading just about impossible! So much palaver! Ah well, that is the end of summer for you.
Sad a kitten went missing but I am so respectful of your decision and efforts to neuter the wild ones.
Glad you are home safe and sound.
Hello Dear One! I am stopping by to say hi. I am also glad you are home safely.
Happy New Thread, Roni!
You mentioned on your prior thread that your husband wants the kitty menagerie out of the yard. Are you looking for homes or...?
Also, you note at the top of your thread that you are keeping up, more or less, with four mystery series. I could probably figure it out by perusing your books read but would you mind listing them for me?
It's outside your usual genre but I'm currently reading Washington Black and it is SO good. :-)
Kitty!!! What a nice way to start a new thread!
I am, as always, in awe of your reading. Cheers!
Happy new thread! I just finished Spinning Silver and enjoyed it hugely. I am looking forward to seeing what you think!
Happy new thread, Roni. I am looking forward to reading Spinning Silver but right now there is a huge line-up for it at the library. I will wait until it's not quite so new and shiny!
>8 thornton37814: Thank you, Lori. Knew you'd appreciate my kitty. He's a year and a quarter old and over 15 pounds.
>9 BLBera: Thank you, Beth.
>10 LizzieD: Thank you, Peggy. I'll look forward to Tully's photo.
>11 avatiakh: Isn't he just, Kerry? Your three are gorgeous as well.
>12 quondame: Hi, Susan. Thank you.
>13 Familyhistorian: Molly holds her own, Meg. She's the same size as the cats, so sometimes she thinks she's one of them.
>14 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara.
>15 SirThomas: Danke, Thomas.
>16 RebaRelishesReading:, >17 RebaRelishesReading: Safe travels, Reba!
>18 karenmarie: Thank you, Karen. Somehow, every cat learns that trick...
>19 souloftherose: Hi, Heather. Looking forward to your comments.
>20 figsfromthistle: Thank you, figs.
>21 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita.
>22 Donna828: Hi, Donna. I'm still putting off writing the thorough review with quotes that I want to on that book.
>23 sibyx: Thanks, Lucy. Molly came into a house with cats and adjusted quite well. She's 11 now and has borrowed all the cats' tricks she likes, like getting onto the back of the couch to sleep. How are your cats adjusting to the new puppy?
>24 Whisper1: Thanks, Linda. Glad you are feeling well enough to do some visiting!
>25 Berly: Thanks, Kim. It's finally cooled down here--how about you?
>26 EBT1002: No, they are too wild, Ellen. He's just tired of them pooping in the yard. Let's see, the mystery series are: the Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries by C. J. Harris, the Dr. Siri mysteries by Colin Cotteril, the Her Royal Spyness mysteries by Rhys Bowen, and the Flavia de Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley.
>27 beserene: Hi, Sarah. Since you are responsible for a gazillion book bullets here, you should not be surprised.
>28 nittnut: Hi, Jenn. I got diverted but will be back to it very soon.
>29 quondame: I'll read them when I finish the book, Susan.
>30 DeltaQueen50: I had to wait for the library too, but I got my hold in while it was still on order and only had to wait about 7 weeks, Judy.
So, I mentioned getting diverted. Yes, I did. First of all, I realized that the new book by Jo Walton had been delivered to my Kindle while I was on vacation--just realized it this weekend!
Book #130 An Informal History of the Hugos by JO Walton (576 pp.)
This is Jo Walton musing over what books (and novellas and novellettes and short stories and all the rest) were nominated each year from 1953 to 2000 and what else was available and whether the nominations were a good representation of the field, with comments by such integral contributors to the field as Gardner Dozois. Fascinating to enthusiasts of the genre, I couldn't put it down.
And then yesterday, Night and Silence was released to my Kindle. I have all the earlier books in MMPB format, but no, after 11 books in paperback, THIS one was released in hard cover, undoubtedly so it could match up with all the earlier books. Well, no. Just no. I sprang for the Kindle, which is still considerably more than the paperback at $12.99, because it IS October Daye and I love that series. So I'm 69 pages into that, and when it's done, I'll return to Spinning Silver.
The weekend turned out to be a quiet 3 days mainly spent watching tennis. Our time zone means that the games are done by 10:00 news time, rather than the wee hours of the morning, but it was traumatic to watch Roger last night. Also sorry to see Sloan lose this morning and Isner as well. Sabrina started out rocky but came back. Currently watching the 4th set between Nadal and Thiem. I was putting supper on and totally shocked to come in and see that first set score, 6-0 Thiem, but it's been much more even since then. We did go out today and take Molly for a short walk. Our marine layer has set in and it was overcast and in the 70s--beautiful walking weather.
Whoa. An Informal History of the Hugos sounds fascinating!
See, you get me with BBs too! It's not just me! lol
Happy Newish Thread, Roni!
I just got Night and Silence, too. It'll make for good travel reading.
Happy new thread, and welcome home! I look forward to hearing what you think of Spinning Silver. I usually enjoy Jo Walton's books, but since I don't follow the Hugo awards, I think I'll pass on that one.
>32 beserene: B>D
>33 jnwelch: Sounds good, Joe.
>34 foggidawn: Thanks, foggi. If you've read a lot in genre during the period under discussion (1953-200) you'll find a lot of interest whether you follow the Hugos or not. Otherwise, no.
So, I need to write up this book (listed on the last thread) because I want to return it to the library tomorrow and pick up my holds, which include the second Murderbot book!
The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs
As I said before, at first I thought this a rather slight book, but by the end, I wanted my own copy for all the references! Jacobs is NOT a fan of reading lists, which contribute in his opinion to reading in order to have READ a book, not for the joy of reading. He feels you should read by whim, for the pleasure of it.
The book that simply demands to be read, for no good reason, is asking us to change our lives by putting aside what we usually think of as good reasons...It's asking us to do something for the plain old delight and interest of it, not because we can justify its place on the mental spreadsheet or accounting ledger...by which we tote up the value of our actions.
Consider in this light the far more dreadful 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. Leaving aside its absolute violation of the sovereighty of Whim--given the length of the list and the brevity of life, if you enslave yourself to this tome's tyranny you'll never read another word just for the hell of it--let's just focus on the salien fact that this book is not about reading at all...(it) is the perfect guide for those who don't what to read but who want to "have read".
What reading teaches, first and foremost, is how to sit still for long periods and confront time head on. The dynamism is all inside, an exalted, spiritual exercize so utter engaging that we forget time and mortality along with all of life's lesser wores, and simply bask in the everlasting present. (Schwartz)
If most of us read too fast, most of us also read too many books and are unwisely reluctant to return to something we think we already know. I use "think" there advisedly, because as my examples show, a first encounter with a worthwhile book is never a complete encounter and we are usually in error to make it a final one. But those who want to have read, who are checking books off their "bucket List," will find the thought of rereading even more repulsive than the thought of reading slowly and ruminatively. And yet rereading a book can often be a more significant, dramatic, and, yes, NEW experience than encountering an unfamiliar work.
It is the discussions of particular books and authors that gives this book its charm and depth.
Aaand another one! My library tells me that I don't own the Jacobs book, and yet... I could swear I've seen it around here somewhere... *goes off to search for book*
Hi, (((((Roni)))))! I love the quotations from Jacobs and agree in large part. Oh dear. Yet another book that I should read.
Here's Tully as a young man.....His white nose-streak is much broader than ?'s.
>36 beserene: ;-) Did you find it?
>37 LizzieD: Oh, yes, Miles has a smudge nose, but they are both handsome fellows!
Book #131 Night and Silence by Seanan McGuire (368 pp.)
This is book #12 in the October Daye series. Don't start here. The action is fast and furious as always, but it's starting to seem a little repetitious. The best thing about this book was more development of Gillian as a character, but the Miranda bombshell seemed to come out of nowhere. Still, I can see where it will lead to further developments. Still enjoyable.
Book #132 Artificial Condition by Martha Wells (159 pp.)
Brought this home from the library on Thursday and decided to dive in right away. Love Murderbot but this seemed way too short. Glad I'm not buying these. Loved ART as well, hope we meet up again.
Book #133 The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George (408 pp.)
Someone, I know not who, put this book on my radar, and I found it in a thrift store and so picked it up. I nearly Pearl-ruled it at page 75. But then Jean Perdu got out of Paris and I did enjoy his voyage through the canals and rivers of France and the descriptions of towns and food. But the plot itself is sentimental and somewhat saccharine and not something I would choose to pick up on my own. This has been my bathtub book which is why it got finished before Spinning Silver, sitting on my nightstand.
I'm back into Spinning Silver now. I shall have to pick up the pace, as I also brought Foundryside and Witchmark home Thursday and the computer tells me that once again all of my holds are on the way to me all at once: Cold Magic, Space Opera, Kill the Farm Boy, Rogue Protocol, and Naughty in Nice are all on their way to my branch for me and I'm #1 in line for The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter, so it should follow soon.
>38 ronincats: I have not found it yet! (This is one of the things that drives me bonkers -- I know that my cataloguing is imperfect, so when my brain goes "we have that!" but my catalog says "no we don't," I'll tend to follow my brain. But sometimes my brain is just... wrong. lol)
I did run across Jo Walton's What Makes this Book So Great, so I suppose I'll have to content myself with that until I find, or obtain, the Jacobs. That cover was just so darn familiar! I could've sworn!
Hi Roni, I hope you are having a good weekend. I have totally fallen in love with the Murderbot stories, have you read anything else by Martha Wells?
Phew! All caught up which was quite an epic read as I got very behind!
It's always a delight to hear about your RL comings and goings as well as all the many books that sound mighty tempting! I have been ruminating on the idea of getting a cat lately. The only thing not in their favour that I can see is all the grisly offerings and what that means for the wildlife population of the local area. We have lots of frogs in our garden at certain times of year; I shudder to think of the carnage. Do you find that's a problem with your huge family of kitties?
The quotes from that Alan Jacobs book made me think I might really enjoy it. It certainly sounds thought provoking. But as someone working my way through a big reading challenge based on a "1001 books to read..." type list, I'm not sure if I agree with his thoughts on those. I used to read purely on a whim and for the sheer pleasure of it, but I realised there were huge gaps in my reading knowledge; very few books pre-twentieth century for example. And now I'm trying to fill some of those gaps. It doesn't always work, and I've hated some of the books, but I've also discovered authors that I now cherish and have found the desire to read for pleasure too. So, nothing wrong with trying to deliberately broaden your horizons, I say.
I read the first murderbot book and loved it. I got it on my kindle for a good price, but all the subsequent books are SO expensive! I don't know how they justify it for novellas! I will try and hunt them down through the library system perhaps, but I don't know if my local library is that up-to-date in its Sci-Fi offerings.
>39 quondame: Looking forward to both of them, then, Susan.
>40 beserene: Well, that Walton book is even better, Sarah, so enjoy!
>41 DeltaQueen50: Yes, I've read a couple of her fantasies, Judy, which were good but not stand-out in the way the Murderbot books are.
>42 HanGerg: Actually, Jacobs addresses that, Hannah, and says we have to move beyond whim to Whim in order not to just keep repeating what we like over and over. And as for the Murderbot books, you can only ask!
Book #134 Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (466 pp.)
This is SO GOOD!!! Says me, who usually doesn't care as much for multiple perspective books! I didn't have any difficulty following the shifts in person, and it didn't distance me from the storyline or characters. Intricate, rich, embellished, distinctive characters and families...this is fantasy at its best.
>42 HanGerg: My two cats are strictly indoors, so I don't have any problem with "grisly offerings". I've had 11 cats throughout my life (since I was a child); the first five were indoor-outdoor, and all but one died of it (the one disappeared - stolen, hit by a car, or ran away, no idea (though the middle one is the most likely). One taken by foxes, one ate rat bait, one hit by a car, and one caught pneumonia. Since then I've had 6 cats, strictly indoors - and four of them died of old age (the last two I have now, and they're 14 years old). With that history, I don't let them go outside at all.
The only times in my life I _didn't_ have a cat were when I went away to college - and both times, I was quite uncomfortable without them. So I definitely recommend you get a cat!
>44 jjmcgaffey: Oh, yes, forgot to respond to Hannah about the cats. MY cats are indoor only as well, but having such a concentration of feral cats outside these last two years has scared off some of my bird population.
ETA and yes, I know that's much more typical of the US than Britain.
My previous 2 cats I acquired from a friend whose cats had kittens under his bed. I took 2, at the age of 5 weeks. They were strictly indoor cats and lived good long happy lives, dying of old age at 18 and 19 years of age. My current 2 cats were rescues from the Humane Society in 2003. They are now 17 and 18 and slowing down but still happy indoor cats (except for Mia, who likes to come outside with me when I go out to read. I put a collar and leash on her and she sits contentedly on her lawn chair. I don't tie the leash to anything but she just thinks she is tied so doesn't ever even try to leave the chair;-)
Hmm. Very interesting about the cats! I must admit, I never thought about having a house cat. It's not very common here, as you rightly say Roni. But Jennifer's statistics certainly make one think.... I would just feel like I was denying their wild cat natures to roam the neighbourhood and cause mayhem, but then your two look as happy as can be Roni so I guess that's just my hang up! Certainly something to mull over.
I have been very lucky with my female indoor/outdoor cats as the last two lived to 18 and 16. I was a bit nervous about one when I moved closer to the river and the coyote population but she was old enough not to roam far by that stage in her life. I kind of miss having a cat but it does make going away easier.
You likely will get elephant stampedes every now and then, as they get the impulse to run (it's amazing how noisy a little fuzzy-footed cat can be!), but with caves (either made for cats, or composed of the undersides of your furniture) and high spying places (shelves, especially near the windows) and comfortable places to sit and snuggle with each other or their human...I don't think I'm denying my cats much of what they want. The only thing they lack is hunting, and as I don't want to deal with the grisly offerings (or the ones I don't see...), they have to settle for catnip toys and the occasional fishing pole (they love it, it tires out my arm. Flexible plastic pole, about a meter long, with a sturdy string about the same length and something tied on the end. My current one has a suede tassel, which has lasted a lot better than the more usual feather or cloth teaser).
And of course cleaning the litter box. But letting them poop outdoors is kind of nasty - at least dog owners are supposed to clean up after their pets, cat owners can't (can't follow them around, for most cats). I'd rather clean the litterbox every day or two than go out in whatever weather a couple times a day, anyway. (that's cats vs dogs, not indoor cats vs outdoor. Slight subject slide.)
My three feral kittens that came in from the cold last year--meaning they were born and lived their first few months of life outdoors--have never expressed any strong desire to go out. That does mean, as Jenn says, that you have to make the indoors interesting for them. If they don't get accustomed to going outside, they don't miss it.
Had a lazy day yesterday and finished a Kindle freebie.
Book #135 Gabriella by Brenda Hiatt (246 pp.)
This was picked up as part of my perpetual quest to find Regency romances that approach those of Georgette Heyer. This was not too bad--no egregious errors, some attempt at individualization of the family characters at least, but no twisting of the tropes or clever banter. Final judgment--decent.
Since yesterday was lazy, today I had to do some gardening and plant the flowers I bought to put in my hanging baskets and peas into the garden beds this morning while it was still shady and relatively cool. Now I am working (again) on organizing my wirework and beading supplies back in my office. I had moved to a library table in the living room but then realized that with three young cats in the house, I could NOT work out there, so am moving it all back in here where I can shut the door if I want to work. But that takes some clearing out and reorganization which has been going on rather sporadically since we got back to San Diego. And I DO need to start working on some stuff. My first fall show is on the 22nd, and then they go on from there. While the jewelry is not as major in my booth as the pottery and I have been finishing up some crochet projects (which I need to photograph) while watching tennis and football, I would like to replace my blue tree of life necklace (gave it away to a friend back in Kansas) and make up some fresh ear climbers at the least.
Currently reading Witchmark, which I started last night and is interesting--thrown right in and haven't gotten it all figured out yet, but early days. I have Spinning Silver and Artificial Condition ready to go back to the library tomorrow, where there are Cold Magic, Kill the Farm Boy, Rogue Protocol, and Naughty in Nice all waiting for me. Space Opera is still in transit.
I just read A Hero for Antonia by Elisabeth Kidd; it's a quite decent Regency. Some clever banter, no egregious anachronisms, and the characters are solid. I'm looking for more by her - might be worth checking out. She's no Heyer, but I'm kind of burned out on Heyer right now - I'm beginning to notice her formulas.
>35 ronincats: I have this on the wishlist, but need to bump it up! I love the quotes. I think whim reading vs things we feel we 'should' read is a fascinating debate.
>35 ronincats: I liked that quote! Yes to rereading, and reading slowly to savour a book.
There is something to be said for reading from a list, or other people's suggestions as well. Before I found LT I used to read a lot of very similar books, rather boring. Now I have a TBR-list, and never lack ideas.
I had two cats, they couldn't go outdoors, but my house is small, and the male cat should really have had more space, a large and active cat, that would have fitted right in at a farm. Both are gone now, and now I just "have" a shared cat at our allotment. He belongs to a family in the nearby village, but he likes the outdoors better, I guess. He sometimes catches birds, or frogs, or mice. I don't think it's a problem as long as there aren't too many cats.
Good to know the Naomi Novik is good. They have lots of her work at the local library and I keep picking them up and putting them back as the blurbs never grab me, but now I shall go further!
If you are looking for Heyer-alikes, I just read The Scarlet Pimpernel which kind of reminded me of Heyer in some ways. It was a fun, romance spiced romp from a female lead character's perspective; not what I was expecting at all, and I enjoyed it. There are loads in the series too. I'm not sure where the plot goes from the neat resolution of the first book but if they're cheap for the kindle (and I suspect they are) I will surely investigate at some point!
Looking forward to seeing all the loot going off to the craft markets soon!
>54 HanGerg: The first few of Naomi Novik's Temeraire books are fun reads, but then it gets a bit tedious and depressing as her main character is in difficulties and seems to have no resources beyond Temeraire and there are no side characters to take the story burden. The series picks up in the last couple of books but they don't compare to the first 3.
>51 jjmcgaffey: The library has this, Jenn, so I've ordered it. I love the app that shows if a book here is available at my library!
>52 charl08: I hope you can get a copy soon, Charlotte.
>53 EllaTim: The author does address that, Ella, and makes a lot of sense.
>54 HanGerg: I have to echo Susan in >55 quondame:, Hannah. I loved the first Temeraire book, liked the second one, the third one drug on for me and I've never continued the series. But I did really like last year's Uprooted as well as this new one, so I can recommend that.
I've never read that historical classic, Hannah, and didn't realize it had all those sequels. You remind me, though, that I mean to get back to the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig.
Description: American graduate student Eloise Kelly heads to England to conduct research on her dissertation on the Napoleonic-era "Flower spies." The Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian have long been unmasked, but it is the Pink Carnation who has intrigued Eloise. While conducting her research, she becomes entangled with Colin Selwick, the descendant of Purple Gentian Richard Selwick. The books take place against both a contemporary setting and a Napoleonic setting.
Book #136 Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells (158 pp.)
So I did stop by the library on the way to have my hair cut, and picked up all 5 of the books listed above. I read 60 pages while I was there and finished it up when I got home. Murderbot continues to be a hit! Can't say too much about the plot, but rest assured there is lots of action as well as lots of media and unwanted interactions with humans.
>56 ronincats: Huh. I've read The Scarlet Pimpernel, many many years ago, and remember it fondly - but I'd forgotten that it was mostly from her point of view until reminded. I have quite a few of the sequels, but haven't gotten around to reading them (or rereading the first one). Check Gutenberg, that's where I got them.
Yes, Black Powder War is really aimed at Napoleon geeks; if you don't know what actually happened, the (very, very) detailed look at what happened because of dragons is...pretty boring. The later books are better, but not a patch on His Majesty's Dragon - as >55 quondame: says, they're in serious difficulties, and only seem to get in deeper. I read...a couple more, I forget where I quit. I don't think I've read Tongues of Serpents.
Uprooted is fantastic, though, so I'm looking forward to Spinning Silver - it just came in from the library as an ebook, for me (today, actually). Not sure I'm up to reading it, though, I've been reading old romances and feeling satisfied (I have a nasty cold, it interferes with brain). I've got it for three weeks, so not a problem.
Jenn, sorry you are still feeling so sick!
Book #137 Witchmark by C. L. Polk (320 pp.)
I wanted to like this one a little more than I did. Parts were done well, but overall it felt like too little time was spent on anything and too much was being crammed in. Plus it stopped at a pausing point but the story is by no means complete and it threw in a romance at the very end...YMMV.
What I brought home from the pottery studio Thursday. This is all small stuff; the bowls in the front are 3" in diameter (8-9 cm.).
>59 ronincats: They look lovely, Roni!
My favorite is the light colored one at the back.
>61 ronincats: Oh lovely!
I also like the bowl in front where you got the blue just around the rim along the inside. (But I am always partial to blue)
Gorgeous pottery! I love the close-up, but my favorite color one is the mustard colored one.
I'm so glad you enjoyed Spinning Silver. I feel the same about the Temeraire books. I thought they fell off badly after the 3rd book. What a great idea though!
I felt that way about Little Paris Bookshop as well. But at the time I needed something to listen to in the car and the narrator for that title was very good.
Thank you, Anita, Beth, Charlotte, Mary and Jenn, for dropping my and for liking my pottery. My first show of the season is Saturday and I will be busy all week getting organized for it.
Book #138 Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne (364 pp.)
I wanted to like this more than I did. I loved the premise--it was time to make fun of white male power fantasies, the formula for which almost always involves some kid in a rural area rising to power in the empire after he loses his parents, usually because somebody comes along and tells hem not to worry, he's special.
And I can tell the authors had a lot of fun writing it, giggling to each other as they topped one outrageous pun or scene with another. And yet...it was too heavy-handed for me. For one, it made me feel ignorant, knowing that I was missing the majority of the entendres (I did get "Help me, I've fallen and I can't get up." For those not watching American TV, that is the tag line of an egregious commercial for life alert pendants. And the characters were such anti-stereotypes that they were stereotypical in their own ways and that made it hard to fell any empathy for anyone in the story. And it felt like a mish-mash. Now, I love Terry Pratchett and Jasper Fforde and even though I know that, especially in the latter's books, I am missing allusions, the characters carry me through. And I adore Diana Wynne Jones' send-up of fantasy trophes in Dark Lord of Derkholm with a passion. So I don't think it is the subject matter or the humorous take that turns me off (or at least to dim) but the execution. If you like Piers Anthony's later Xanth books or love Monty Python's broad humor, you'll like this. Otherwise, venture at your own risk. YMMV.
While I was in Kansas I managed to finish Anubis Gates by Time Powers. I read it, but it wasn’t the best time travel book I have read. I still think that for time travel Connie Willis is queen.
I drove through Manhattan, Kansas just ahead of the huge rain that inundated the west and south sides of the town. I then drove right along that front for almost a 100 miles and I have never seen lightening so fierce and constant. It was like trying to drive with a strobe light on! As soon as I turned west the huge pounding amounts of rain turned to a gentle rain, and then it was 7 days of cool wet weather.
Apparently, they had the same kind of lightening in Lincoln, Nebraska the day before I was driving as they had to cancel the football game. Strange weather for the Plains at this time of year.
>68 ronincats: Good warn off - I stopped reading Antony after 1) realizing how much of his misogyny I had already swallowed 2) his diary entries at the end of each novel praising himself for extreme pushups in one paragraph while complaining about shoulder pain in the next.
>69 benitastrnad: Anubis Gate has some of my favorite moments of all time. I'm a great fan of Tim Powers alternate views of historical figures, and he is superb with stories set in Los Angeles.
>68 ronincats: That's...kind of what I'd thought about Kill the Farm Boy. Good idea, over the top for me. Thanks for taking the bullet so I didn't need to!
On the other hand, I'm now knee-deep in Spinning Silver - and it is fantastic. I'm at just after Basia's wedding - not much more of the book to go, but wow. I've been recommending it left right and center.
>68 ronincats: I'll probably read it eventually, but it's good to know that I'm not necessarily missing much by waiting.
If you like Piers Anthony's later Xanth books or love Monty Python's broad humor, you'll like this.
Hm ... I'm *very* fond of Monty Python, but I never warmed to Xanth, even as a teenager when several of my friends read them like animal crackers. I've read two: A Spell for Chameleon which was just okay, and Night Mare which cured me of wanting to read more. So it's still a coin toss for me I guess.
I'm catching up and I did have a lot of comments, but I've been putting off something that I should have done weeks ago so I really should get that done. Glad you're back in the swing of things - I did leave some comments on your last thread.
>59 ronincats: Ooh - can I have that light-coloured one at the back? Or maybe the turquoise-rimmed one at the front? Or the lime green ... oh, dear.
>69 benitastrnad: I love Tim Powers, Benita. Kansas is famed for the spottiness of its weather. My mom, 40 miles to the southwest, only got a light rain while Manhattan was getting its downpour.
>70 quondame: No misogyny here, Susan, but a lot of bowel humor and penis entendres just got to be too much. Anthony is an ass.
>71 jjmcgaffey: Glad you are loving Spinning Silver and hope you are feeling better, Jenn.
>72 swynn: There were a couple of the early Xanth books which weren't bad (the one with the spider as a sidekick!), but they got so bad after that...
>73 humouress: Hi, Nina! Come on over and you can have them.
>74 foggidawn: Yeah, I think you can miss it, foggi.
Book #139 Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen (329 pp.)
It's a cold miserable winter in 1933 in London, with the economy in shambles and Binky and Fig in the London house making life also miserable for Georgie. Seems like everyone is going to the Riviera to get warm, if they can afford it, which Georgie can't. But then the Queen has a mission for her in Nice...
Love these Her Royal Spyness mysteries--this is the fifth in the series.
>75 ronincats: We had been planning a visit to Seattle this year but then we saw my son’s grades. Next year is a big exam year for him and we need him to focus. Maybe after that ...
Wow, lots of great conversations here. Here to lurk mostly - I'm having a hard time keeping up to date on the threads this year.
Hi Roni, gorgeous pottery - I love that light blue one. I need to get back to 'Her Royal Spyness" series - great fun!
>68 ronincats: Thanks for taking that one for the team, Roni. That book had been auto-recommended to me everywhere, but as Kevin Hearne already drives me crazy with his templates and heavy-handedness and Delilah Dawson does not have a reputation for subtle, I wondered if perhaps it might be a teensy bit over-the-top. You're the hero of the day!
Also, this just makes me miss Terry Pratchett even more. :(
I wanted to read Anubis Gates because it kept turning up in conversations on your thread. I think the beginning was a little rough and I couldn't quite grasp what was going on in the beginning, with the same character changing all the time. I am still pondering who or what Dr. Romany was, or wasn't, but by the end of the novel, things came together in a satisfying way. One part of me could "get" what the author was trying to do, but the other part couldn't figure out who or what the various characters had morphed into because of all their hopping back and forth between times. It was unexpectedly funny as well as terrifying. However, I liked To Say Nothing of the Dog better. I want to read the Doomsday Book next.
I'm sooo far behind! In just two weeks! Anyway -- love the cat with crossed paws and the only book that grabbed at me was the Novik, and that series is already WL'ed!
I'm nearing the end of my Pratchett audio feast and it is so so so sad. In fact, tempting to never listen to anything else ever again, just go round and round. I have two or three scattered one-offs to read, like Small Gods and then that's it. Wah!
Well, everyone is doing fine dog and cat-wise except my daughter's new kitten who really finds dogs to be an insult. But the upstairs is cordoned off for cats, so he has plenty of space to roam in.
Hmm I had some other pet-related thought but it has evaporated. If it comes back I will add it.
>82 sibyx: I read The Anubis Gates long before I encountered To Say Nothing of the Dog and while I was very much involved in Regency England dance and costume, so it became a real established favorite. I didn't learn about Connie Willis nearly soon enough - I was kind of busy in the 1990's and there were few authors I read as they came out, nor did I often add authors to my list.
>76 humouress: One of these days...
>77 Kassilem: Hi, Melissa, good to see you!
>78 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Yes, I do enjoy that series.
>79 beserene: Yes, Pratchett is indeed missed, Sarah. However, let me point out that I quite liked A Plague of Giants, the first book of Hearne's new epic fantasy series. Not humorous, straight epic fantasy, but very interesting.
>80 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara.
>81 benitastrnad:, >83 quondame: I also read The Anubis Gates long before the Willis was published and have always enjoyed it, as I do so much of Tim Powers. I thought the body changes were intricately plotted and very effective.
>82 sibyx: Lucy! Good to see you out and about. I trust that Fin is appropriately house-trained and you are back home. A new kitten? Male or female? Coloring? How old? How does it get along with the other cats?
So, yesterday and today I've been prepping for my first craft fair of the fall season on Saturday. As usual, here's most of the pottery on the dining room table. I've got 4 boxes but I'm only taking 3 to this show, which is a new one for me. I'm leaving most of the new stuff for the repeat shows later in the fall, where they've already seen some of my older stuff. Here's what it looked like early this morning:
Book #140 Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones (345 pp.)
I reread this to get the taste of Kill the Farm Boy out of my mouth.
Spent way too much time on LT figuring out the Talk Like a Pirate Day Treasure Hunt. First, the pages were acting up but once that was cleared up, I appreciated the hints on some popular movies I'd never seen. Well done!
>84 ronincats: Agghh! Pottery overload!
Hmm - but I like the turquoises. Oh, and the sapphire blues. And the greens ... you're doing it to me again. But what I really wanted to say was kudos on the matched sets. Have we seen those before?
>84 ronincats: Wow! Love that table full of pottery! I would certainly stop by a table with all those brilliant colors and interesting shapes!
Best of luck at the craft show, Roni. Your wares look very enticing. I am totally engrossed in the fantasy book that I am reading right now. A Crown For Cold Silver probably isn't for everyone as it has lots of violence but it reminds me somewhat of Joe Abercrombie's books and I am a huge fan of his so I am enjoying this epic saga.
I had trouble getting in to Witchmark, but I've left it on my TBR. Glad you enjoyed Jacobs' book. I think perhaps those kinds of books read as slight because so much of what is written in them is common sense. :)
I'm still trying to resist the urge to reread Spinning Silver RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE.
>84 ronincats:. WOW! That’s a lot of pottery. Good luck with the shows.
Well, the craft fair was okay--not great, not terrible, but okay. I sold 4 pieces of pottery overall, which was less than I was hoping for, and 7 of my earclimbers, which consistently make me a profit. And we are not used to this, after the summer hiatus. Neither the loading and unloading hauling around nor the up and down to communicate with customers! We were both totally exhausted and sore last night and still a bit sore this morning. Today will be a relaxation day.
Thanks for visiting, Nina, foggi, Janet, Beth, Rachel, Judy, Diana, Barbara, and Reba. I appreciate the good wishes for the fair. Judy, I haven't read Abercrombie because of the reputation for violence as I have a hard time tolerating that if it's at all graphic.
Book #141 A Name Among the Stars by Mark Henwick (321 pp.)
This book came to my attention when I read a review by Charles de Lint in the March/April F&SF magazine. When I went to Amazon, the ebook was now $4.99 rather than the $2.99 it had been at the time of the review, so I just got the free sample sent to my Kindle. I enjoyed that and so went ahead and bought the ebook and finished it rather promptly. Now, this is not outstanding fiction, nor is it groundbreaking, but it ended up being a very enjoyable space opera-ish adventure/romance told from a woman's POV written by a man. Just fun and interesting and well done.
Book #142 Angel Isle by Peter Dickinson (500 pp.)
This was a reread as I intend to donate it to my neighborhood middle school library. I read it about 10 years ago when it first came out. I have loved Peter Dickinson's work since I first read the Changes trilogy in the early 70s, and I enjoyed the first book in this world, The Ropemaker. But this epic fantasy seemed much longer than it needed to be, even though the world was fascinating.
Just popping in to admire the pottery and the books! ; ) Sorry the show wasn't stellar. Better luck with your usual ones.
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