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The Art of Reading - Nittnut's Fourth

This is a continuation of the topic The Art of Reading - Nittnut's Third.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Sep 2, 2018, 8:02pm Top

Continuing with my father-in-law's art, this is a silk screen titled Ash Street Corner.

Many of you know that my father-in-law passed away in October 2017. What you may not know about him is that he was an accomplished artist. He taught art in public high schools for over 30 years. He has been honored as a notable artist of Ventura County, California. Instead of selling his artwork, he gave it away. We have always had his paintings in our home, and whenever we move, we don't feel settled until we've hung them. This year I will be using his artwork as my thread toppers. Enjoy.

I'm Jennifer. I read in bed. Also at the pool, in restaurants, at the beach, but not in the car. I have been married 25 years to my best friend. He puts up with my reading addictions, mostly, although I am not allowed to read while watching sport. We have three children ages 19, 14 and 11 and I often find them reading in bed after lights out. Success! We have lived in California, Oregon, Colorado, New Zealand, and now we live in North Carolina and we like it.

Edited: Sep 2, 2018, 8:04pm Top

Top reads of 2017


American Author Challenge

January- Joan Didion
February- Colson Whitehead
March- Tobias Wolff
April- Alice Walker
May- Peter Hamill
June- Walter Mosley
July- Amy Tan
August- Louis L'Amour
September- Pat Conroy
October- Stephen King
November- Narrative Nonfiction
December- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Non-Fiction Challenge

January -- Prize Winners
February -- Biographies
March – Far, Far Away: Traveling
April – History
May – Boundaries: Geography, Geopolitics and Maps
June – The Great Outdoors
July – The Arts
August – Short and Sweet: Essays and Other Longform Narratives
September – Gods, Demons, Spirits, and Supernatural Beliefs
October – First Person Singular
November – Politics, Economics & Business
December – 2018 In Review


Additional reading goals include:
Wheel of Time series - continued - This will be a long term effort. I have the next 2 on the floor in my room...
Books off the shelf

Edited: Sep 2, 2018, 8:05pm Top

January Favorites

January Reading

1. The Library at the Edge of the World
2. Stand Firm: Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze
3. Hero of the Empire
4. Iran Awakening
5. Slayers
6. Slayers: Friends and Traitors
7. The Year of Magical Thinking

February Favorites

February Reading

8. Artemis
9. Heartless
10. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
11. Dead Wake
12. The Underground Railroad
13. The Hounds of Spring
14. A Country Between: Making a Home Where Both Sides of Jerusalem Collide
15. Cotillion

March Favorites

March Reading
16. Lily and the Octopus
17. Samuel Adams: A Life
18. The Whiskey Sea
19. Digging In: A Novel
20. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
21. Scythe
22. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
23. Lightfinder
24. This Boy's Life
25. The Book of Polly
26. Turn Right at Machu Picchu
27. Snow in April
28. Eleanor and Park
29. Flowers in the Rain

April Favorites

April Reading
30. Blind Justice
31. The Color Purple
32. Wolf Hollow
33. My Cousin Rachel
34. The Bookshop on the Corner
35. Let it Snow
36. Queens of the Conquest
37. There You'll Find Me

Edited: Dec 31, 2018, 1:46pm Top

Currently Reading:

Currently Reading: The Earth is Weeping

Newbery Award: The Dark Frigate

Currently Listening: West Like Lightning


January - Joan Didion - The Year of Magical Thinking
February Colson Whitehead - The Underground Railroad
March - Tobias Wolff - This Boy's Life
April - Alice Walker - The Color Purple
May - Pete Hamill - The Gift: A Novel
June - Walter Mosley - The Long Fall
July - Amy Tan - The Bonesetter's Daughter
August - Louis L'Amour - Sackett's Land
September - Pat Conroy - Lord's of Discipline - abandoned
October - Stephen King - PASS
November -
December -


January - Award Winners - The Year of Magical Thinking
February - Biography - Samuel Adams: A Life
March - Travel - Turn Right at Machu Picchu
April - History - Queens of the Conquest
May - Geography - Prisoners of Geography
June - Great Outdoors - American Wolf
July - The Arts - MythMaker
August - Short and Sweet - The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For
September - Gods, Demons, and Myths - PASS
October - Memoir - Navigation: A Memoir
November -
December -


September Reading

94. Spinning Silver
95. Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie
96. Three Feathers
97. Snowdrift and Other Stories
98. Dragonheart
99. These Old Shades
100. Devil's Cub
101. The Bigfoot Files
102. Dawn's Early Light
103. Yankee Stranger
104. Ever After

October Reading

105. Freckles
106. Navigation: A Memoir
107. Salt to the Sea
108. The Earth is Weeping

November Reading

109. The Thirteenth Tale
110. My Italian Bulldozer
111. Queen of the Tearling
112. Invasion of the Tearling
113. Fate of the Tearling
114. Love Walked In
115. The Tourist Trail
116. Opal
117. The Heiress of Linn Hagh

December Reading

118. West Like Lightning
119. Packing for Mars
120. The Snow Child
121. Slayers: Dragon Lords
122. Wildwood Dancing
123. The Quartet
124. One Plus One
125. The Horse Dancer
126. The Ship of Brides

Edited: Sep 2, 2018, 8:33pm Top

Sep 2, 2018, 8:46pm Top

#94 Spinning Silver

This exceeded expectation. I loved it. I realize it's only the 1st of September, but I am sure this will be one of my favorites for this month.

Multiple narrators, parallel kingdoms that are seemingly at odds with one another, part riff on Rumpelstiltskin, part folk lore, strong female characters, all beautifully blended into a compelling story.

Sep 2, 2018, 11:17pm Top

Happy New Thread, Jenn!
I LOVE that silk screen up top. Your FIL was seriously good.
I had planned to read The Wright Brothers this summer while I had the leftovers from our book club. I didn't do it, so I expect I'll kick myself even harder when you report that you loved it.

Sep 3, 2018, 12:33am Top

>7 nittnut: I'm looking forward to reading this, just waiting for the library to get it in. Happy new thread. I love your f-in-l's art.

Edited: Sep 3, 2018, 1:05am Top

Happy new one, Jenn! Look at you on #94 and I see you chose your "silver" book. : ) Love your Dad's painting up top. And from your last thread, good luck with the library revamp.

Sep 3, 2018, 10:14am Top

Hi Jenn, and happy new thread.

From your previous thread - I'm glad to hear the library revamp is going well and that Mr. E is helping.

You're having a splendid reading year so far. Congrats.

Sep 3, 2018, 11:00am Top

>7 nittnut: Yes! I adored Spinning Silver, too. And your father-in-law's art in the topper is lovely.

Sep 3, 2018, 1:29pm Top

Happy new thread! I love the silk screen!

Sep 3, 2018, 2:05pm Top

Happy new thread, Jenn. Thanks for sharing your father-in-law's lovely art with us.

Sep 3, 2018, 10:21pm Top

Happy new thread !

Sep 4, 2018, 11:09am Top

Happy new thread, Jennifer!

The topper is beautiful, drawing with only a few colors gives a nice feel to it.

Sep 4, 2018, 1:34pm Top

>8 LizzieD: Well hello Peggy! Nice to see you - and first! I did love The Wright Brothers, and the audio is excellent if you ever read that way.

>9 avatiakh: Hi Kerry. I hope it comes soon! I love his art as well. I am so glad we have so much of it, and so sad that there won't be any more.

>10 Berly: Hi Kimberly! The library revamp is coming along. I am well in to the 300's and ticking along. I will be having a wee break, see below, but will hopefully continue this weekend.

>11 karenmarie: Hi Karen! lalala "You're the inspiration..." lalala and I'll be looking for more when the books are entered. I got a delivery of a new book this weekend, and my husband was bewailing the fact that I'd never be done if I kept getting new books. LOL

>12 rosalita: Hi Julia! It's so good isn't it? The art and the book :)

>13 drneutron: Hi Jim! It's one of my favorites. It hangs in the dining room with its twin

>14 RebaRelishesReading: Hi Reba! How is Yo-Yo Ma? :)

>15 figsfromthistle: Thanks for stopping by!

>16 FAMeulstee: Thank you Anita. I love it. See its wall partner above...

Sep 4, 2018, 1:38pm Top

I'm just going to leave this here and try to be grateful I don't live in Florida or Texas:

I am sitting at the computer with an ice pack on my neck. I was helping finish the great garage paint/shuffle/clear out/organize yesterday and while carrying wire shelving and walking backwards, managed to get both legs tangled in different things. A ladder and I don't really remember what else. Thanks to karate skills (who knew?) I was able to fall and roll and manage not to break any legs or arms or impale myself on wire shelving. I am all bruise up my right side and I gave myself a sideways whiplash. Chiropractor on Friday. If I keep moving, I'm not too badly off. I hope water fitness class tonight loosens things up a bit more. I don't bounce like I used to, that's for sure. On the bright side, we can now fit the car in the garage.

Sep 4, 2018, 1:41pm Top

#95 Sleeping Freshman Never Lie in the pile Miss M makes for me

Funny book told from the perspective of a high school freshman boy. I quite enjoyed it. The character develops well and his voice is very believable. Some good, not too preachy, lessons about being kind and having the courage to be yourself.

I am currently reading The Earth is Weeping which is both excellent and heartbreaking.

Sep 4, 2018, 1:45pm Top

Happy new thread! I like your FIL's silk screens a lot. They have a sort of 1950s feel to me.
>18 nittnut: That sounds awful! I hope you feel better soon!

Sep 4, 2018, 10:00pm Top

>18 nittnut: Ouch, woman!! Glad you know how to fall well, but still. Take care, will ya?

Sep 4, 2018, 10:04pm Top

>18 nittnut: Thanks to karate skills (who knew?) I was able to fall and roll
Wow- did you have karate lessons as a kid? Or did you just tap into some innate karate skills bank? Either way, glad you made it through it, and please, less tidying, more reading ;)

Sep 4, 2018, 10:58pm Top

Happy New Thread, Jenn. Your FIL was very definitely talented!!

Sep 5, 2018, 10:09am Top

Hi Jenn!

I'm so sorry about your fall, bruising and side-ways whiplash. Sounds awful, and I'm glad you're going to the chiropractor.

Sep 5, 2018, 1:56pm Top

>20 mstrust: Hi Jennifer. I think it's the colors - and I agree with you. I am not well educated in "art" but I know what I like, and I like Grandpa's art.

>21 Berly: I was happy to note that all that falling practice we did in karate actually kicked in. I need to find myself a new place to keep up my skills.

>22 LovingLit: Innate karate skills bank LOLOL
All my karate skills, falling and otherwise, happened in NZ. I took it up when the kids started. It was good fun, and I miss it. I'd be starting over now, I suppose, except for the falling skills. Ha!

>23 ronincats: Yes indeed. Hi Roni!

>24 karenmarie: Sigh. It's inconvenient to be a klutz.

School updates: Mr. E had a hard time waking up this morning and was a bit emotional. Tired, tired, tired. He does like his teachers and seems to be finding friends to eat lunch with. There is a new principal, and I highly approve of her decision to allow the 6th graders to choose who they eat lunch with. Last year all the students had to sit with their class. Lame. I also found out he's in "Advanced PE" - who knew there was such a thing? It seems to stand for PE every day, which is a good thing. He reported yesterday that he is really happy that he and his friend no longer have to share a bus seat with any other kids. Because they are sharing with a viola and a cello. Way to find the silver lining LOL.
Miss M is doing high school like a rock star. She is also suddenly wearing makeup every day and is no longer the only HS student without a mobile phone. We broke down over the weekend and got her one, and it's been a riot. I am now calling my regular updates The Margo Report. I am sure it will wear off eventually, but it's highly entertaining.
Mom and dad are kind of tired too. Lol

Sep 5, 2018, 6:57pm Top

#96 Three Feathers - graphic novel

I am adding this one - probably read it in April or May, but didn't list it. Oops. The things you find when you catalog your library, right?

I really liked this story. I like the idea of restorative justice, and I think it should be used more extensively, especially in the case of juvenile offenders. The artwork is excellent.

Sep 6, 2018, 12:42pm Top

>17 nittnut: re YoYo Ma. I don't remember if I told this story before but turned out he has quite a sense of humor. For starters, when the president of the institution introduced him the pres. said "I often love my job but today is simply a 'pinch me' day" at which time YoYo stood up from where he was sitting (behind the press.) and tip-toed up to the podium and pinched the pres. on the shoulder. He just kept doing charming, funny things the whole time he was on the stage. I think I would really enjoy him as a friend.

Sep 6, 2018, 2:36pm Top

>27 RebaRelishesReading: That's funny! Thanks for sharing. It's nice to hear stories like that, especially if we've only seen someone in a serious setting, it makes them seem more accessible.

#97 Snowdrift and other stories

This was sort of a new Heyer. It's really Pistols for Two with three additional, newly discovered, stories added. It was fun to read.

Sep 8, 2018, 8:34am Top

Hi Jenn!

Snowdrift and Other Stories - ooh, ooh. I have Pistols for Two but hadn't heard of this one. Another one on the wish list.

Sep 8, 2018, 9:40am Top

Happy New thread, Jenn. Based on post #5, we should all be one happy bunch!

Glad to see you are doing so well on the AAC. I am enjoying my Conroy.

Sep 8, 2018, 1:22pm Top

Jenn--karemarie said you were right in the path of Hurricane Florence--hope you stay safe.

Sep 8, 2018, 4:51pm Top

Hi Jenn, I love the idea of collecting happiness…and books. So sorry you found out that you lost your bounce in such a painful way. I hope you are feeling less sore each day.

Again, I'll tell you how lucky you are to have your father-in-laws paintings to enjoy. And it looks like Margo has inherited his talent. I loved seeing her vibrant watercolors on the last thread. My favorite was the sea turtle.

Be safe with a hurricane in your near future. Get out a good supply of candles so you can keep reading in case you lose your electricity.

Coincidentally, I just read about Spinning Silver over on Anne's thread. Fantasy isn't my favorite genre but I may give one of Novik's books a trial run as I'm considering them for Christmas gifts for teenage granddaughters. Who knows, I might become a convert to fantasy.

Sep 8, 2018, 11:57pm Top

>29 karenmarie: Hi Karen! I liked the new stories, for what it's worth. :)

>30 msf59: Hi Mark. We should be Very happy, Lol. It's been a good AAC year, I think. I am reading Lords of Discipline because it was on sale for Kindle. I might get 2 Conroys in this month.

>31 Berly: Hi Kimberly, I guess we are, although we only have rain in the forecast. We are pretty far inland. We have to worry about Peggy and the coastal areas though.

>32 Donna828: Hi Donna. I am feeling less sore, although I have a few bruises that are making their presence known. Nothing like a good bruise to the knee for reminding you of things. I have emergency water and flashlights and things, but I doubt it will be too big a deal here. It could change, but right now it looks like inland will just have rain. The poor coast though.
Spinning Silver is more fairy tale than anything, and it's complex and intriguing. You might like it, and still not be a convert to fantasy, lol. Margo is reading it now, so I will report what she thinks of it.

Sep 9, 2018, 12:01am Top

#98 Dragonheart

This is a Pern story, by Anne McCaffrey's son. He does a great job. I think the story moved a little more slowly and there was more detail, but it was still good.

Fiona is the daughter of a Lord Holder. She unexpectedly impresses a gold dragon. Soon after, the dragons start getting sick and dying.

I am currently reading The Earth is Weeping, which I have to do in small doses because it is very sad, and The Chilbury Ladies Choir

I am sleepy and off to bed.

Sep 9, 2018, 7:45pm Top

I'm just going to leave this here - for all of you who are into Family History research.

Sep 9, 2018, 9:24pm Top

>35 nittnut: ROTFLMAO!!!!

Just finished Spinning Silver today, loved, loved, LOVED it!

Sep 9, 2018, 10:03pm Top

Love the artwork! Our house is full of art pieces from places we traveled on vacation. It is especially meaningful,that this is personal artwork to you!

Love your choices of authors- very ambitious lists you post.

Sep 9, 2018, 10:33pm Top

>34 nittnut: Oh, I haven't read a Pern novel in years!! Thanks for that.

Sep 10, 2018, 2:24pm Top

>35 nittnut: *snerk*

Sep 15, 2018, 1:58pm Top

>5 nittnut: I love that! Next time my daughter twits me about having too many books, I'll tell her that. Or maybe I should just get a sign and hang it up.

Happy newish thread, Jenn. Thanks so much for sharing your FIL's art. It is wonderful.

I hope you are not in the path of Florence.

Sep 15, 2018, 3:37pm Top

>36 ronincats: It's a funny meme, isn't it? I'm so glad you loved Spinning Silver. My daughter and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was great how she took so many twists and turns!

>37 investory: Thank you! It is nice to have objects around that have meaning, and our homes don't feel like ours until we have Grandpa's art on the walls.

>38 Berly: Sure! Any time. Lol

>39 drneutron: *grin*

>40 BLBera: Hi Beth. Happiness for the price of books is not terribly expensive, right? I am glad you're enjoying the artwork. I do wish more people could see his work. I love it.
We are not quite in the path of Florence, but close enough, thank you. If it turns just slightly, it will come right over us. If it stays on the current path it will just sideswipe. We have rain, rain, rain and flood warnings, but little wind.

Sep 15, 2018, 3:41pm Top

Hello everyone - just dropping in to say we're still here and we've got power. We are wet, but so far just on the outskirts of the storm. It's not over yet, and those who are in it are having a rough time. My husband was supposed to be in Seattle for two weeks, but he managed to get a flight home on Thursday. I am very happy he's back. Of course, he's just going to get sent out all over NC to monitor dams, but that's at least much nearer to home. I wish we could send some of this water out west. My sister is under fire evacuation alert again in UT.

I've read some books, but I'm going to have a nap before I post them.

Sep 15, 2018, 5:45pm Top

Glad to hear you're doing okay!

Sep 16, 2018, 9:21pm Top

Thanks for the update, Jenn. Good luck! Fingers crossed that the storm stays on its present path.

Sep 17, 2018, 5:46pm Top

>43 mstrust: We are in great shape here. We have heard from Peggy and Karen is good too, so that's happy news. Now we wait for the water to go down so we can clean up.

>44 BLBera: The storm is gone gone gone this morning. It's sunny and warm and very humid. *lies on sofa with large fan*

OK. I read a couple of books. I hope I didn't forget one.

#99 These Old Shades
#100 Devil's Cub

Enjoyable re-reads of a couple old favorites. I used to like Devil's Cub better, but this time around I am leaning heavily toward These Old Shades.

I might have read something else and forgot, but I do know I have started too many books. I am reading Bigfoot Files which is an ER book and The Earth is Weeping, and I started Lords of Discipline.

Sep 18, 2018, 1:31am Top

Glad you are safe and sound and that your hubby could be home with you. Thanks for the update on Peggy and Karen, too. : )

Sep 18, 2018, 8:33am Top

Hi Jenn!

Yup. "Sunny and warm and very humid." We had a thunderstorm yesterday afternoon. Although we got more rain with Florence, it rained harder yesterday afternoon. Ah, lovely NC weather!

Sep 18, 2018, 12:28pm Top

>45 nittnut: Great! So glad to hear the storm is gone!

Sep 18, 2018, 4:19pm Top

>35 nittnut: lol! Oops. Now, that didn't feel quite right......and then we found out why!!!

Sep 18, 2018, 10:01pm Top

I'm so glad to hear that your family came out of the hurricane relatively unscathed, Jenn. I also prefer These Old Shades to Devil's Cub, though neither are among my most favorite Heyers.

Sep 19, 2018, 12:24pm Top

>46 Berly: Hi Kimberly!

>47 karenmarie: Another hot and humid day today. Should be a great night for baseball. Fingers crossed the temps go down quickly after 6 pm.

>48 mstrust: We are too!! Now we just need to get rid of the water.

>49 LovingLit: LOL So right.

>50 rosalita: I agree - not my favorite Heyers either, but enjoyable. I still can't get my daughter to finish one. If she would just give it a try, I know she would like one.

Sep 19, 2018, 10:44pm Top

Glad you all are okay, Jenn. I do like those two Heyers--love Mary Challoner to pieces!

Sep 21, 2018, 1:49am Top

>28 nittnut: I had not heard about Snowdrift and other stories. That definitely goes on the acquisitions list! Myself, I prefer These Old Shades as it is much more of a mystery.

Sep 21, 2018, 5:55am Top

Hi Jenn!

These Old Shades and Devil's Cub are two of my favorite Heyers. I agree with Roni - love Mary Challoner to pieces. I'm sure I've asked this before, but what is your favorite Heyer?

I hope your week is going well.

Sep 21, 2018, 3:35pm Top

>52 ronincats: Mary Challoner is a great character. :)

>53 Familyhistorian: Just be aware, as I'm sure you noted, that only three of the stories are new.

>54 karenmarie: My favorite Heyer is probably Cotillion. It makes me laugh. I also adore Frederica and The Nonesuch.

This has been a good week. I am sleepy this week for some reason, but I'm sure I will snap out of it. I got my flu shot yesterday, so that didn't help. My doctor said she already had one positive flu case. Ugh.

Miss M ran for student council and got Treasurer. A boy in her English class is now referring to her as "The One with the Gold Coins." Lol

Sep 24, 2018, 3:39pm Top

#101 The Bigfoot Files - ER, YA

Miranda has had an unusual childhood. Her mother, Kat, is a cryptozoologist. They have traveled all over looking for monsters like Bigfoot. Now, Miranda has grown into a highly organized, highly tense pre-teen. She struggles for perfection, hoping that nobody will notice her very unconventional home life.
I mostly enjoyed this story of how we judge unfairly, even the people closest to us, and how sometimes the thing we are looking for is right in front of us, if we will only choose to see it. I am fairly sure that the things I didn't enjoy had mostly to do with seeing through the eyes of a pre-teen in a snit, and so will refrain from judging those too harshly.

Sep 25, 2018, 8:32am Top

Hi Jenn!

We'll get our flu shots in October some time. I hate that logey feeling after getting it - some years are worse than others but still.

Yay Miss M! It's a great learning experience. When I was in high school I was in Junior Achievement and was Treasurer.

Sep 29, 2018, 9:04am Top

>57 karenmarie: I hope you're well rested and ready for another big day! I've definitely had a sleepy week, maybe I can blame it on the flu jab? You have a long history of treasurer type work. :) This week we are building a homecoming float. Who knew we would all be on the student council? Lol

Sep 29, 2018, 9:12am Top

#102 Dawn's Early Light
#103 Yankee Stranger
#104 Ever After

Historical fiction, covering respectively, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the Spanish-American War. It's a family saga spanning generations.
I dove into these old favorites this week. It's been a very long time since I read them, and while the story is still entertaining and engaging, some things really grated on me. The family featured in the story didn't "own" slaves, but the attitude toward their black servants was very paternal. The author completely ignores reconstruction, and there are a lot of men nearly thirty falling in love with women in their teens. As a young teen reading these books from my grandmother's shelves, I wouldn't have noticed any of this. As an adult, it's impossible to ignore, and definitely reduces my enjoyment.

Abandonded - Lord's of Discipline

Still reading The Earth is Weeping, which is excellent.

Edited: Sep 30, 2018, 9:02pm Top

We had an amazing day today. We were part of a team assigned to a town near Wilmington, NC to help with tree removal and hurricane clean-up. Our team was awesome. We had about 16 adults and 18-20 teens (they move around more so harder to count, lol) and we cut down trees and hauled away debris from 5 properties. It was hard work, but so good to be able to do something to help. Along with all the work, we had 1 stuck truck, 1 blistered toe, multiple scrapes and scratches, a lot of mosquito bites and one probably not venomous snake bite (oh my). Yes, she went to the ER to make sure.

Sep 30, 2018, 9:41pm Top

And this is what my kids looked like 5 minutes into our drive home. We did get up at 4:30 am, so I guess it's not a huge surprise.

Sep 30, 2018, 10:30pm Top

Good for you, Jenn! And I got my flu shot last week too, but I don't ever have any reaction to them, thank goodness.

Oct 1, 2018, 9:46am Top

>60 nittnut: How nice of you to help, Jenn, with such a large group things can be done in a day.

Oct 3, 2018, 1:34am Top

Oct 3, 2018, 2:50am Top

>61 nittnut: Love this picture. Looks like they had been very busy! Must be great to be able to contribute to the clean up.

Oct 3, 2018, 9:17am Top

Hi Jenn!

Y'all did good. SE NC is still feeling the effects of Florence. I'm glad to report that my daughter's apartment wasn't damaged at all. All she had to do was clean out her refrigerator and freezer (5 days without power), clean/disinfect, and restock. Her school is delayed one more week and she'll start back up on October 8.

>60 nittnut: and >61 nittnut: Thanks for sharing!

Oct 3, 2018, 10:50pm Top

Wow, Jenn! Y'all are ALL RIGHT!
Thank you for all your contributions to relief in the aftermath of Florence.

Oct 4, 2018, 10:22am Top

Jenn, I am so proud of you and your family for helping out in such a tangible way. That’s a lesson your kids will remember forever. 😇😇

Oct 4, 2018, 10:36am Top

How good of you to help out in the aftermath! I've always wanted to do such a thing...but I've always been employed in the past and never had a good opportunity. Perhaps now that I am a homemaker it would be easier? Especially if I could bring along my step kids. Who do you volunteer through? I wonder if the Red Cross allows people to bring along their kids?

Oct 4, 2018, 10:23pm Top

>62 ronincats:/>64 ronincats: Hi Roni. We are covered for flu - fingers crossed. Love the Fall in NC meme. It's so true. It's been 88 degrees the last 2 days.

>63 FAMeulstee: It was amazing how much we got done, and mostly due to the large group of teens who never stopped working. Great kids!

>65 charl08: It felt good to be able to help. I really wanted the kids to have the experience. I think it's good to not just see it on the news, but meet people who have experienced a disaster and try to help.

>66 karenmarie: It's good that it was just the fridge/freezer! Such a pain to clean, but at least not moldy. Miss M came out with a HUGE mosquito bite on Monday. 13 cm! We took her to the doctor and she got meds and it's all better, but wow. That was something. She treated it sort of like a science experiment. We have photos of the progression with a ruler. LOL

>67 LizzieD: It was a little bit. We hope we have another opportunity to go out again. :)

>68 Donna828: I hope so! That's my goal.

>69 The_Hibernator: Our church has a humanitarian arm that is very active world-wide. https://www.lds.org/topics/humanitarian-service?lang=eng&old=true They organize groups and assign us by congregation to specific areas. We were able to bring kids 12 and older. There are many other wonderful groups who organize volunteers as well. I know Samaritan's Purse is very active, lots of local churches, etc. Depending on what you're doing, you can have younger kids help out. I know we've had younger kids help with packing food packs and hygiene kits and things like that. If you are interested in local volunteer opportunities, check out justserve.org in your area - it will have local opportunities of all kinds. We have made welcome kits for refugees, school supply drives, backpacks program for kids experiencing food poverty, playing with dogs at the shelter, etc.

Oct 4, 2018, 10:27pm Top

#105 Freckles

I love this story. I love the description of the Limberlost and the sweet story of Freckles. I have my grandmother's copy, so it's also a sentimental attachment.

Reading too many books at once:
The Earth is Weeping
Navigation: a Memoir
Salt to the Sea

Edited: Oct 4, 2018, 11:30pm Top

Oh, the Limberlost! A Girl of the Limberlost was my mother's favorite childhood book. By the time I first read it, I was too old and sophisticated. Now I wish I had gotten a copy just a little sooner.

Oct 6, 2018, 12:47pm Top

Congratulations on helping out and teaching your kids to do the same. What a great family!

Oct 7, 2018, 2:16am Top

>61 nittnut: that is cool. In the face of such enormity it feels good to do something to help.

Oct 7, 2018, 5:05am Top

Oh Freckles. In an echo of >72 LizzieD:
My dad always raved about this book being a wonderful story, why didn't I read books like that. When I was about 12 or 13 and in full on grumpy teenager mode, he got a trunk of his old stuff sent from home. In the trunk was this book, and of course I read it. I was very teenager-scathing about all the optimism and self-improvement, and my poor dad was a bit upset. I have since apologised. (The book is still on my parents' shelves). I didn't know there was a girl character book - might see if I can find one for my Dad.

Edited: Oct 7, 2018, 7:50am Top

>64 ronincats: LIKE!

Happy Sunday, Jenn. I hope you are loving Salt to the Sea as much as I did. The Earth Is Weeping sounds like another heart-breaker. I had not heard of that one.

Oct 7, 2018, 11:09am Top

Hi Jenn and happy Sunday to you!

Wow, I've never heard of a 13 cm mosquito bite. Even out here there are still quite a few puddles near the creek and both neighbor Louise and I have gotten several mosquito bites, but nothing like Miss M's. Glad you took her to the doctor and got meds.

Oct 8, 2018, 3:19pm Top

#106 Navigation: A Memoir Five Big Fat Stars

I am so happy to have finally read Navigation, which has been on my Kindle for a very long time. I have really enjoyed the books I have read by Joy Cowley, and based on her memoir, I am pretty sure we'd be friends. She comes across as a lovely person. Just a few things from the book that I particularly enjoyed:

She describes this memoir as A collection of anecdotes, viewed from a place of deep gratitude; my only regret is that I cannot name every one of the people who have shaped my life in some way. I'm like a riverbed trying to identify all the stones that make it what it is.

She relates a story of being invited for the first time to PEN (NZ Society of Authors) and how utterly out of place she felt. She was turning to leave when Ngaio Marsh introduced herself and drew Joy into the group and introduced her to everyone. Joy said, I discovered in the next hour that famous writers and poets were real people.

She received a letter from the Mark Twain Society, informing her that she had been made an adopted daughter of Mark Twain. Thinking she was being punked, she replied:
Dear Mr. Clemens, It is an honour to be the adopted daughter of Mark Twain but if I had been born at a different time, in a different country, I would have preferred to be his mistress.
The Mark Twain Society published her letter on the front page of their magazine. She says, "...this was 1969, and for weeks I whimpered with embarassment."

The wild bees no longer sing in the blood, but the honey they've left behind is exquisite.

Oct 8, 2018, 3:34pm Top

>72 LizzieD: I suppose it is fortunate that I read them before the teen years. Although, admittedly, I am not all that sophisticated and jaded of a reader. I still cry when I read Little Women. *grin*

>73 RebaRelishesReading: We are great, most days. Like the little girl with the curl, when we are good, we are very, very good, and when we are bad... LOL

>74 LovingLit: That's just it. We can do our little bit, and a lot of people are out doing theirs, and quite a lot gets done. A lot of credit goes to the people out driving house to house and finding out what needs doing, then directing the help there.

>75 charl08: Look out for A Girl of the Limberlost for sure. It's a lovely story. You might even like it a bit better than Freckles. It's still full of self-improvement, but it was the style of the period. Knowing that now will probably help your *gag* reflex. Lol

>76 msf59: Yes, and in case you were wondering, it's still HOT. Sigh... I am liking Salt to the Sea, but I'm not very far in. I must reduce the number of books I am reading. Easily solved, of course, just read them, right?

>77 karenmarie: Gargantuan mosquito bite is all better. I hope you had a lovely weekend! I am looking forward to lower temperatures, but I am worried we are not quite ready for more rain. It will completely mess up baseball this week as well, which is good for this week, but not so good for the following weeks.

For anyone who wants to know, the Freshman class homecoming float won first place. They are chuffed. It really was the best float by far, if I do say so myself. Miss M and her daddy built the TIE fighter.


Oct 8, 2018, 10:50pm Top

Oh, I loved Freckles as a child, and even A Girl of the Limberlost in my 20s. Definitely books of their time, but still worthwhile.

Oct 9, 2018, 4:56am Top

Waving hello - lovely photo of the kids after the day of helping. And as usual, you have read more NZ fiction than I have!!
Haven't read all your book reviews yet...got 8 months of LT to catch up on and just sneaking back in before I run away again - still 4 weeks till senior exams happen and I get some time back.

Oct 9, 2018, 9:44am Top

>80 ronincats: Absolutely worthwhile. :)

>81 cushlareads: Hi Cushla! I hope your term break was refreshing.

Oct 9, 2018, 3:08pm Top

I have finally caught up with you, Jenn. I can see why the float one first place- it's wicked cool. We have been busy battening down the hatches since we are in the path of Hurricane Michael. I am really hoping we don't lose any of our pecan trees with the predicted winds.

Oct 10, 2018, 7:22am Top

>79 nittnut: I was talking to my dad about this last night - might get him a copy for Xmas (and then read it when he's finished: shameless).

Love the float!

Oct 10, 2018, 4:26pm Top

>79 nittnut: oh yea, that float is amazing. Hands down my fave ;) (even if I had have seen the rest!!)

Oct 11, 2018, 4:51pm Top

>83 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! You'll have come through OK by now I hope. Fingers and toes crossed!

>84 charl08: Ah, don't even bother to feel shame about that. I am sure he will want you to read it and love it. *grin*

>85 LovingLit: Thanks Megan! No need to see the rest... lol

We are hanging in there - lots of rain and wind, tornado watch until 9 pm or so. The pond in the neighborhood has flooded at a low spot and covered the connector road. People have other ways to get in and out, so it shouldn't be a problem.

#107 Salt to the Sea BOB - off Miss M's pile for me to read

This is a fictional account of Operation Hannibal, which was the largest sea evacuation ever, and the ships that were torpedoed by Russians during the evacuation. I hadn't ever heard this story. It was excellent. At first I was bothered by the very, very short chapters and changes in POV. However, by the middle of the book I knew who everyone was and it worked better.

Oct 11, 2018, 5:31pm Top

Hi Jenn! Hope you still have power 'up north'. We lost power down here but have the generator.

Oct 11, 2018, 11:11pm Top

I trust you got through it unscathed, Jenn. You had Michael worse that we did.
I'm really, really, really looking forward to the cool-down. I know it will warm up again, but I do so hope the worst of the heat is through for the year.

Oct 12, 2018, 6:00pm Top

>87 karenmarie: We never lost power, although we did have about an hour of flickering lights. So many people around us did lose power. I have had friends over doing emergency laundry and charging electronics. We may even babysit a bearded dragon over night because it needs its heat lamp. Today is glorious and cool, and everything is scrubbed clean. Driving around town is a little dicey, as you never know which roads have trees/power lines down and you'll have to turn around and go another way. Other than that, we are relatively unscathed. How are your trees?

>88 LizzieD: We are in a little pocket that didn't lose power and seems to have come through well. It sure rained hard for a while yesterday. I am so glad it was quick. Now if only we could put that water somewhere besides your river? I am loving the cooler temperatures. I hope very much that it doesn't warm up very much.

This week has been EXTRA. I mean hurricane, yes, but before that even happened we were involved in helping a woman and her three littles leave an abusive relationship - which is ongoing drama - my eldest son was tentatively diagnosed with fibromyalgia (anyone deal with that and have advice?) and he broke his phone so we didn't know anything about it until he finally emailed me. I sent one of those "Don't make me come down there" emails because my Mom radar said something was not right, and my mother just found out she will need heart surgery. Angioplasty next week to determine if it's bypass or open heart. *huge sigh* Would I prefer this to all be spread out, or not? Who knows. I kind of want to lose myself in an epic novel, but I really can't hide from any of this. We will muddle through. At least my son is not on life support in the hospital or worse, so that's something to be grateful for.

Oct 12, 2018, 10:14pm Top

So glad you didn't lose power - what with everything else going on in your EXTRA week, that would have been insult to injury. So we're still without power and the outage map shows ALL power in our county being restored on October 15th at 11:45 p.m. Sigh.

I hope the woman/littles leaving the abusive relationship are safe and can get a fresh start.

I'm sorry to hear about your eldest son's tentative diagnosis, good for your Mom radar. Bad about your mom needing heart surgery. Aren't your son and your mom in different states, and both NOT in NC?

You're in my thoughts and prayers and if I can do anything for you, all you have to do is ask.

Oct 12, 2018, 10:53pm Top

Dear Jenn, you are really being tried. I wish it were not so. My prayers for both your son and your mother and you as you deal with everything you have to deal with. Courage, Strength, and Faith, friend!

Oct 15, 2018, 1:17pm Top

Wow, that's a lot to be dumped on you all at once. I'm wishing you the best!

Oct 15, 2018, 8:33pm Top

>90 karenmarie: Got power yet, Karen? Fingers crossed that you do! Littles and their mother are safe at the moment. Now they proceed through the court system. We will see how it goes. Indeed, everyone is in different states and nowhere near here. Sigh. Thank you for that. We'll take all the prayers we can get.

>91 LizzieD: Thank you Peggy. One day at a time, as you well know. :) I am holding up fine, aside from a slight tendency to fall asleep any time I hold still. *grin*

>92 mstrust: Thank you!

Oct 15, 2018, 10:56pm Top

I seemed to have lost your thread, Jenn, but I’m glad I finally found it again. Your father-in-law’s artwork is beautiful.

Trying issues always seem to come in clumps and I’m sorry that you are in the midst of a rather large clump at the moment. Keep the faith, my friend, and I hope things all work out for the best.

Oct 16, 2018, 8:49am Top

We got power back Sunday evening at about 6:30 p.m., a total of 74 hours without power. The generator actually worked successfully the entire time thanks to the new battery.

Hang in there, my dear.

Oct 16, 2018, 9:37am Top

Ah, I'm sorry you had a difficult week. I will keep you in my thoughts.

Oct 17, 2018, 9:37am Top

>89 nittnut: Oh my , Jenn, life is really heaping it on right now isn't it? Keeping all concerned in our thoughts and prayers.

Oct 18, 2018, 2:37am Top

Thinking of you Jenn. A friend has FM, I know she had challenges getting UK doctors to accept their prescriptions when they moved, it seems advice varies a lot between countries (perhaps this is uber obvious to someone so well travelled, sorry!) I could ask her what she takes if that would be useful.

Oct 18, 2018, 8:26pm Top

>89 nittnut:

From my Daughter who has had experience with Fibromyalgia -

Have compassion for yourself.
Set up regular recovery days off in between school or work to really totally rest.
Have some times every day for rest and relaxation.

Get a great GP whom you trust to balance your medications and quickly monitor side effects.
(Lyrica and Cymbalta can be challenging for many people.)
Ignore anyone who says it is not a real disease.
Find more things in your days that you look forward to, things that just make you happy.

Avoid stress.

Do gentle exercise like yoga, tai chi, water aerobics - start slow, but stay with movement every day.
Dancing in your home can be fun!
Take Ibuprofen (or other recommended light pain reliever) 20 minutes before exercise for pain management.

Oct 25, 2018, 9:19pm Top

>94 Copperskye: Hi Joanne! Thank you for finding me again. :)

>95 karenmarie: Hanging on by my fingernails. *grin* My girl who has left the abusive relationship is holding strong. She does better every day. We are now in the process of trying to find her some low income housing. Progress is happening.

>96 The_Hibernator: Thanks Rachel!

>97 RebaRelishesReading: Hi Reba. Heaping Tablespoons. Lol

>98 charl08: I would be interested to know if your friend has found something she really feels is helping. Thank you.

>99 m.belljackson: Such a thoughtful post! Thank you. I have passed on this information to my son.

I am briefly stopping by to say hi and disappear again. RL is very real. Happy update, my mother qualifies for bypass, which is great news. We will know more after she meets with the surgeon in November. Exhaustingly, my two weeks of crazy have been followed up by a visit from my MIL, BIL, and tomorrow night, my SIL and nephew arrive for the weekend. MIL and BIL are very happy to sleep in, wake up and ask to be taken places and entertained, and then disappear for naps about the time for dinner prep and so forth. I am very much looking forward to dropping everyone off at the airport on Monday afternoon. How about that? Wishing for Monday. For. Real.

Oct 26, 2018, 9:51am Top

Hi Jenn!

Nice to see you pop up again. I'm happy to hear that your mother qualifies for the bypass and that things will progress on that front. I hope your son is doing okay. Too bad about the in-law invasion, especially as it doesn't sound like they are helpful or considerate houseguests. Yay for Monday, indeed.

Oct 28, 2018, 8:24pm Top

#108 The Earth is Weeping

Even if you've read Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, this is a worthwhile read. A comprehensive and relatively unbiased history of the Indian Wars, full of heroes and villains. It is a sad, sad story, but a very important one. Highly recommended.

Oct 28, 2018, 8:26pm Top

>102 nittnut: Sounds like a very good book, Jenn. I'll put it on the "perhaps" list though since my TBR and "wish" lists are really getting out of hand.

Oct 28, 2018, 8:27pm Top

>101 karenmarie: Hi Karen! I will be back to normal after 4 pm tomorrow, no, I take that back. I will probably be back to normal by Wednesday. I will have to clean my house and read something frivolous, and then I will feel much better. Maybe by Friday my shoulders will drop down from my earlobes and settle in their normal position.

Oct 28, 2018, 8:28pm Top

>103 RebaRelishesReading: Hi Reba! I know what you mean. I have given up even a hope of staying on top of the TBR list. After all, why would I want to limit the number of books I want to read? LOL

Oct 28, 2018, 8:30pm Top

>103 RebaRelishesReading: Good point there, Jenn!

Oct 28, 2018, 8:50pm Top

>78 nittnut: I also loved Navigation: a memoir and I've met Joy a few times, she is absolutely lovely.
I loved A girl of the Limberlost when I read it as a young girl, one of my mother's books, I still have the copy somewhere. I've never read Freckles.

Sounds like you are very busy.

Nov 3, 2018, 5:06pm Top

Hi Jenn,

What a crazy 2 weeks you've had. I hope the surgery for your Mum goes really well and happens soon, and that you can figure out some ways to make the fibromyalgia for J manageable. (And more frivolously, that he has sorted out his mobile phone - aaaagh! T and F both do that but only for hours at a time, not weeks.)

Am on the Book Deposioty website right now looking at The Earth is Weeping. I know nothing about the settlement of the American west except what I got from Little House. I think I have Bury my Heart downstairs somewhere.

Nov 3, 2018, 11:19pm Top

>106 RebaRelishesReading: :)

>107 avatiakh: Hi Kerry. I imagine her to be lovely. I would love to meet her. I suppose you know that Freckles would be the prequel to A Girl of the Limberlost, although they stand alone very well.

>108 cushlareads: Hi Cushla! Nice to see you around. :) Mom sees the surgeon on the 14th and they will set the surgery date. We are going to have Thanksgiving at my brother's in California, so I will get to see her and see how she is really doing. Jonah has his phone sorted. I hope very much he is just tired and needs more exercise, rather than having an autoimmune disease. We will see. He has doctor visits too.
The Earth is Weeping seemed to me to be more of a history than Bury My Heart, which is maybe more of an apologist angle. I don't really have an argument against it, I just liked The Earth is Weeping better.

I've been reading, but busier than I would wish to be still. Sort of normal anymore though.

Here's the list. Reviews to come later.

#109 The Thirteenth Tale - re-read
#110 My Italian Bulldozer
#111 Queen of the Tearling
#112 Invasion of the Tearling
#113 Fate of the Tearling

Happy Falling Back for those who are. I'm off to get my extra hour of sleep.

Nov 5, 2018, 12:20am Top

Hi Jenn--man you have been hit from all sides! I am glad your visitors are gone and I am sending best wishes to your son and mom. And in the midst of all this you are taking care of another family. You are amazing! Hope you take some time for yourself.

And I hope you liked the Tearling series! I am thinking since you read them straight through you liked them as much as I did.


Nov 6, 2018, 9:06pm Top

Hi Kimberly. It's been a crazy couple of months. We are hanging in there. I took those BB's over on your page, and I found them unputdownable. :)

Nov 6, 2018, 9:32pm Top

#109 The Thirteenth Tale

This is a re-read for me. I remembered liking it, but this time around it seemed way creepier to me. It's a gothic tale, a little reminiscent of Wuthering Heights. Very atmospheric and creepy, and more than a little disturbing in parts. I would have to say that it suffered in the re-read.

#110 My Italian Bulldozer

A food author travels to Italy to finish his book and recover from a recent breakup. The only vehicle he can find to rent is a bulldozer. This was the least believable McCall Smith I have read, and maybe even mildly boring. 2 stars.

#111 Queen of the Tearling
#112 Invasion of the Tearling
#113 Fate of the Tearling

I highly enjoyed this series. The world building was good and the characters were believable. The story moved at a really good pace. The only weakness was that the author did not quite convince me - I couldn't quite believe the transition from modern to medieval. Not quite. And the language was a little too rough. Either way, really fun series.

#114 Love Walked In

Another re-read that I didn't like as well this time through. *shrug*

Nov 7, 2018, 9:47am Top

Hi Jenn!

Hope all is settling down "up north".

Nov 7, 2018, 11:10am Top

Wow, sorry about the craziness of RL, but that's great news about your mom. Good luck!

Nov 7, 2018, 2:07pm Top

>113 karenmarie: Nope. Not so much. *shrug*

>114 The_Hibernator: Thanks Rachel. I am hopeful that my mom will do well in her surgery. She's strong.

I just realized something. It was my 9th Thingaversary in July, and I completely missed it. Completely and totally. I am now going to celebrate by making a list of books I want. Not sure I will buy 9 books at once, but it's not unheard of. :)

Nov 7, 2018, 3:01pm Top

I hope you find 9 books you simply can't resist and have a wonderful, bookful Thingaversary (a bit late) :)

Nov 8, 2018, 2:01am Top

>115 nittnut: Happy (July) Thingaversary!! Have fun making your list. ; )

Nov 8, 2018, 7:52am Top

Sorry to hear that things are still stressful, Jenn. It's good to be strong, as I know you are, but sometimes it would be nice if there weren't things requiring strength. Hang in there.

Happy belated 9th Thingaversary.

Nov 8, 2018, 9:02am Top

>116 RebaRelishesReading: Hi Reba! I pre-ordered 1 book. The Winter of the Witch, which I am very much looking forward to. It's a good start. :)

>117 Berly: haha! Thank you. It's serendipitous, I needed a bright spot in this week.

>118 karenmarie: Thanks Karen. The hardest part of all of the stuff going on is the stuff I have no control over and can't really do much about. The helpless feeling is harder to deal with than anything. I am sure it will pass, or reach a sort of simmer, at some point.

Nov 10, 2018, 12:01am Top

Sadness all around. The recent shooting in Thousand Oaks hits close to home. It is very near to where I grew up. My brother is a Ventura County sheriff's deputy and so he has lost a friend. I am so grateful that my brother wasn't working that night, and so sad for all the families who lost loved ones. Then right on top of that loss, fire. I have friends in the affected areas, but so far my family is safe.

Nov 10, 2018, 3:20am Top

Oh, Jenn. I am so sorry. I am glad your brother is safe. I don't know what else to say. Sending hugs.

Nov 10, 2018, 10:22am Top

I'm so sorry, Jenn

Nov 10, 2018, 10:25am Top

>120 nittnut: - Oh, Jenn. That's so awful. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Nov 17, 2018, 11:32pm Top

Kimberly, Julia, Katie - Thank you for your kind thoughts. We are in California now, for my parents 50th wedding anniversary. We are about 20 miles north of the Malibu fire, and there is no smell of smoke and no sign of fire, other than lots of marquee signs saying thank you to the firemen. We drove in from Los Angeles airport at 12:30 am, so we didn't get to see any of the burn area yet. We spent the whole day doing yard work at my MIL's house. We filled a huge dumpster with tree branches and yard debris of all sorts. I am so ready for bed, and kind of wondering whether we have any idea how to vacation?

I am reading Packing for Mars and liking it a lot.

Nov 17, 2018, 11:43pm Top

#115 The Tourist Trail ER

Biologists, environmentalists, FBI agents, computer geeks and vegan activists all come together in this slightly odd novel. Very little time was given to character development, which led to very little buy-in from me on the motivations and passions of the characters. The writing was OK, not terrible, and the story was occasionally interesting. I did like the penguin bits fairly well. Overall, not the best. I'll give it 2 stars.

Nov 18, 2018, 7:01am Top

>125 nittnut: That's too bad. I've had a lot of 2 and 3 star reads lately. I need to catch up on my ARCs. That's the plan for a good bit of this week! I've got two clients to research for this week too. I may actually complete both of those projects, but I still have other clients.

Nov 18, 2018, 4:46pm Top

Hope you get to enjoy your time here in CA! Sounds like you're being a big help to your M-i-L though, which is very nice. Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Nov 18, 2018, 5:56pm Top

Hi Jenn!

Congrats to your parents on 50 and happy Thanksgiving.

Nov 20, 2018, 1:18am Top

You are a good kid doing all that yard work for your parents. Congratulations to them on reaching their 50th! Hope you have a nice Thanksgiving.

Nov 25, 2018, 9:13pm Top

Happy Belated Thanksgiving to all. We are back from California and somewhat tired. Love those red-eye flights *eyeroll*. I didn't get much reading done, long flights notwithstanding. I never really adjusted to west coast time, so I was waking up at 5:30 am and falling unconscious about 7:30 pm. We had a great time with family. My brother's farm is a fabulous place. It was kids, dogs, quads and dirt for days. I loved being warm and near the beach.

Here's my reading update:

#116 Opal

Does this really count as a book? I don't know. It's 4.5 in the Raven Cycle. It was just OK. A little vignette featuring Adam and Ronan, and one of Ronan's dream creatures.

#117 The Heiress of Linn Hagh

Ugh. This was so clunky. I think some of the characters have promise, but the main character annoyed me hugely. How a woman author can write such a glaringly misogynistic book, I will never know.

I am currently reading Packing for Mars and The Quartet, which are both excellent.

Getting my world back in order and maybe even decorating for Christmas this week.

Nov 25, 2018, 9:16pm Top

>126 thornton37814: Hi Lori, I know - it's frustrating when we have a phase of low star reads. I am hoping the next few books are better. The two I'm currently reading will be 3-plus.

>127 RebaRelishesReading: Hi Reba! I hope your Thanksgiving was lovely. :)

>128 karenmarie: Thanks Karen! How was your Thanksgiving?

>129 Berly: We try, but mostly we do a LOT for my MIL. My parents are stubbornly self sufficient. I am looking forward to being able to help my mother when she has surgery, because I don't get the opportunity to do as much for her as I would like.

Nov 25, 2018, 9:45pm Top

Had to pop back in and share. I signed the kids up for SantaThing this year. I think they are going to love it. Hooray!

Nov 25, 2018, 9:59pm Top

Hi, Jenn. Welcome back. Glad you had a nice holiday with the family.

I was crazy about Packing For Mars. My favorite Roach. Nice to see you feeling the same way.

Nov 26, 2018, 9:09am Top

>130 nittnut: The Heiress of Linn Hagh is on my Kindle. I downloaded it either free or cheap. I have not gotten around to reading it, but I think I'd read another book by the author in the meantime, deciding that one wasn't a high priority. I think I downloaded it because it supposedly had a genealogy angle to it.

Nov 26, 2018, 11:39am Top

Hi Jenn!

Welcome back.

Nov 27, 2018, 2:01pm Top

>120 nittnut: The fires in California were very close to where my grandparents lived when they were alive. All that loss is so scary and sad.

Nov 29, 2018, 4:12pm Top

>133 msf59: Hi Mark! I am driving my family crazy while reading Packing for Mars. I read, then "hey, you guys! Listen to this!" LOL

>134 thornton37814: Hmm. Genealogy angle was sort of there. It would have been way better if they had made more of it, IMO.

>135 karenmarie: Hi Karen. Got to PM you...

>136 The_Hibernator: It's truly awful. It was amazing to see where the fire went and what it burnt and what it didn't burn. Really odd.

This week has been, well, I've lost control of it, whatever it is. Back later...

Dec 2, 2018, 3:00pm Top

#118 West Like Lightning

I listened to this on audio. I don't think it is the best format for an audio book. In the end, while it was a a pretty decent book, it was too broad to be truly about the Pony Express, and too narrow to be a comprehensive history of the West. I felt like the story skipped around a lot. It starts with a pony rider taking the news of Lincoln's election west. Then, it ranges all over the place forward and backward in history, back and forth across the plains. It's all related, but I felt like the story of the Pony Express was mostly lost. Sometimes I would forget that was the whole point of the book because the section I was listening to at the time didn't really have any Pony in it. It still rates 3 stars for being an engaging listen.

Dec 2, 2018, 3:01pm Top

Happy December everyone!

Dec 3, 2018, 11:22am Top

You too, Jenn!

Dec 3, 2018, 2:37pm Top

A book about the pony express should definitely have ample amounts of ponies. Happy December...

Dec 4, 2018, 2:47am Top

Oh my- you have had a busy few weeks. RL is a bust sometimes, I hope you can manage to keep on trucking through each day, one day at a time and one issue at a time!
Happy December to you too :)

Dec 4, 2018, 7:02pm Top

>140 mstrust: Hi Jennifer

>141 charl08: I completely agree Charlotte! :)

>142 LovingLit: We are definitely in a one day at a time mode here. I won't say when I hope things will settle down. Might jinx self. We did get the Christmas tree decorated, so that's something fun. It's getting so I almost have to get on a treadmill or an elliptical machine at the gym to get any reading done. Lol

Dec 4, 2018, 7:20pm Top

Dec 5, 2018, 8:54am Top

Hi Jenn!

Pretty amazing, isn't it? People are already panicking.

Dec 5, 2018, 9:14am Top


Dec 5, 2018, 10:01pm Top

>145 karenmarie: We had a flurry of snow at about 3:30 this afternoon. One big cloud passed over and dropped a little snow and moved on. It was weird.

>146 drneutron: Hi Jim :)

I did go get books. For the record. Not that I wouldn't have gone to the library anyway...

Dec 6, 2018, 2:03am Top

I like the order: books, then bread!

Edited: Dec 6, 2018, 8:41am Top

'Morning, Jenn!

A snow flurry yesterday. my goodness.

The Weather Channel is now saying you're going to get 8-12" of snow on Sunday, and we're going to get 5-8". Since it's already Thursday, my guess is that there will be white stuff in our immediate future.

Extra bread! Extra milk! Backup stores of whole bean coffee!

>148 charl08: I hadn't noticed that, but of course.

Dec 6, 2018, 1:35pm Top

>148 charl08: Of course.

>149 karenmarie: I will believe it when I see it... My kids sure want all that snow. Anticipating yet more days off school.

I HAVE SOME BOOKS TO GIVE AWAY. First come, first dibs.

My Name is Red - not my thing, permaybehaps someone else will enjoy.
The Tourist Trail ER book

Let me know if you are interested in one or both.

Dec 6, 2018, 2:14pm Top

My kids sure want all that snow. Anticipating yet more days off school.

Jenna loved days off for snow and hurricanes until she realized that they would have to be made up - spring break, Saturdays, end of year. *smile*

Dec 6, 2018, 2:56pm Top

>151 karenmarie: Yes. We seem to be living in the moment here. I want the days off now, I don't care about later. Until later...

Dec 7, 2018, 9:02pm Top

#119 Packing for Mars

Mary Roach has put together a narrative of all the odd and fascinating little things about space travel that you never, ever hear about. Everything from the food, to showers (or lack thereof) and bodily functions in space. I really enjoyed this. I also enjoyed making my family listen to bits and pieces of things as I made my way through. 5 stars.

Dec 10, 2018, 10:21am Top

#120 The Snow Child

An older couple, wishing for a child, makes one out of snow. It is a bitter-sweet story, in the tradition of Russian fairly tales. Well written and magical.

We are snowed in. No school or work today, so I am getting some reading and sewing time in. We probably got more than 12", but I didn't measure. It's a winter wonderland, but I'm not walking in it.

Dec 10, 2018, 10:23am Top

Hi Jenn!

Ditto re being snowed in. Bill thought about going into work until he turned on WRAL and saw the mess out there, and then we've just gotten another 1.5" of snow.

Stay safe and warm and yay for reading.

Dec 10, 2018, 12:54pm Top

>153 nittnut: I love Mary Roach! Have you ready anything else by her? I think I've read everything except Bonk and Grunt, neither of which my library has.

Dec 10, 2018, 6:40pm Top

I hope you're warm and have some good books while snowed in.

Dec 11, 2018, 8:49pm Top

>155 karenmarie: How's it going today? I ventured out to the grocery store and to get Mr. E a haircut. It wasn't too bad once we left the neighborhood, but it's all going to freeze hard again tonight. Kids are out of school for the foreseeable future. Miss M got all her books cataloged, so I should really try and call you while we are stuck home still. :)

>156 rosalita: I have not read anything else by Mary Roach, but I definitely will be reading more.

>157 mstrust: Mmmm. Thank you.

Dec 11, 2018, 9:09pm Top

I will just put this here again, in case anyone missed it.

I HAVE SOME BOOKS TO GIVE AWAY. First come, first dibs.

My Name is Red - not my thing, permaybehaps someone else will enjoy.
The Tourist Trail ER book

Let me know if you are interested in one or both.

Dec 11, 2018, 9:33pm Top

Hi Jenn! I stayed in all day, mostly working on confirming membership $$ for the fiscal year by comparing every membership form against my membership deposits by member. Took about 4 hours with a bit more analysis tomorrow. Got some reading done, too. *smile*

I should be home before 11:30 and after 2 tomorrow, Thursday's a bust, but I'll be available all day Friday. I think it's supposed to be down to 20F, 23F, or 26F, tonight, depending on what weather report I look at. Either way, Bill will probably not go to work first thing.

Dec 14, 2018, 4:12pm Top

>144 nittnut: Ha! That's funny

Hope you are having a good December!

Dec 16, 2018, 2:26pm Top

>160 karenmarie: Hi Karen. I clearly have no control over my time these days. I am sure I will manage to talk to you some time. Lol You keep very very busy with FOL. :)

>161 ChelleBearss: It ended up being snowpocalypse. Kids were out of school for a full week. I didn't mind having them around, but I got tired of being stuck in. You see, here, apparently, the master clean up plan is Wait For It to Warm Up and Melt the Snow For Us. It takes a bit longer that way.

In other news, the first SantaThing books for my kids have arrived, and the picks are perfect. So perfect. It's almost more fun seeing them get books. Almost. lol

Dec 16, 2018, 8:57pm Top

It sounds like you are handling the Snowpocalypse well, Jenn. I was sorry to hear about your mother's heart problems and Jonah's diagnosis. I have a friend with Fibromyalgia and she has good days and then she has bad days. It's the not knowing how to plan things that drives her crazy.

I really liked Packing for Mars. It was such a fun book, and I learned a few things from it. I hope that you find more books that will give you a little breather from the drama in your life these days. Please keep us posted on the progress of both your mother and Jonah.

Dec 17, 2018, 11:15pm Top

>163 Donna828: Hi! We had a very relaxed and enjoyable week. My mother is having her surgery in January. She says her doctor thinks she will do really well. Jonah definitely had good days and bad. I believe it takes a long time to get a true diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Even so, it's hard to cope with for sure.

I got my SantaThing books today. Rosalita (Julia) was my Santa and she did a marvelous job. I am excited about everything. I got Isaac's Storm, Word by Word, A Thread of Grace, and Midnight Riot.

Mr. E got The Bad Beginning.
Miss M got The Tough Guide to Fantasyland and she is geeking out.

Dec 18, 2018, 7:21am Top

I'm glad you liked the books I chose, Jenn! I decided not to participate in SantaThing this year, but thought I might help if they needed extra pickers (that's the funnest part anyway) and when I saw your name I knew I had to jump in. I hope you love all those books as much as I did!

Dec 18, 2018, 2:44pm Top

>165 rosalita: I am so glad you jumped in! I think picking is the most fun too. Although seeing my kids delighted faces when they received a surprise book was pretty fun too.

Dec 18, 2018, 2:46pm Top

>166 nittnut: Oh, that would be the most fun — you get the surprise of not knowing what the books are, plus the joy on the kids' faces. Perfection!

Dec 19, 2018, 6:40am Top

Hi Jenn!

Yes, NC is not well known for dealing with snow, although they do brine the major roads. Bill stayed home Snowpocalypse Monday but went to work the rest of the week, although he went in late Tuesday and Wednesday.

I love the Lemony Snicket series! Mr. E has some fun reading ahead. Julia did good by you, too.

Edited: Dec 21, 2018, 1:18pm Top

>167 rosalita: Exactly!

>168 karenmarie: Hi Karen! We are all very pleased with our books. And we have some cozy reading days coming, I hope.

I have a lurking feeling that I've left out a book or two. Ah well. Here are the ones I can remember...

#121 Slayers: Dragon Lords

I am slowly working my way through this series that is a favorite of a friend of mine. It's OK. I'm not a huge fan of the teen love triangle trope though. I also feel like I've reviewed this, but I can't find it. So there you have it.

#122 Wildwood Dancing

Five sisters instead of twelve, only one suitor, and an eldritch wood. A fun twist on the Twelve Dancing Princesses tale, complete with heroes and villains and an enchanted frog.

#123 The Quartet

One of the better books I've read on the subject of the development and writing of the United States Constitution. The book focuses on four major players, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, George Washington and James Madison, and how they and their colleagues shaped the future of the United States. They defined the failures of the Articles of Confederation and dared to completely replace them. The author has some interesting insights and views in regard to the way we think about the founding fathers and about the creation of the Constitution.
In the long run - and this was probably Madison's most creative insight - the multiple ambiguities embedded in the Constitution made it an inherently "living" document. For it was designed not to offer clear answers to the sovereignty question (or for that matter, to the scope of executive or judicial authority) but instead to provide a political arena in which arguments about those contested issues could continue in a deliberative fashion. The Constitution was intended less to resolve arguments than to make argument itself the solution. For judicial devotees of "originalism" or "original intent." this should be a disarming insight, since it made the Constitution the foundation for an ever-shifting political dialogue that, like history itself, was an argument without end. Madison's "original intent" was to make all "original intentions" infinitely negotiable in the future.

Dec 22, 2018, 1:42pm Top

Happy Holidays Jenn!

Dec 24, 2018, 11:47am Top

Hope you have a great holiday season!

Dec 24, 2018, 11:52am Top

Merry Christmas LT Friends!

Dec 24, 2018, 12:50pm Top

Merry Christmas, Jenn! It's Christmas morning over here already. You aren't missing a gorgeous Wellington day though - steady drizzle then heavy rain coming later on! Have you got tons of snow? I hope you have a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Dec 25, 2018, 3:00am Top

Or in other words, Happy Christmas!

Dec 25, 2018, 4:29am Top

Happy holidays, Jenn

Dec 25, 2018, 1:34pm Top

>171 ChelleBearss: Thank you Rachel. I hope your Christmas is peaceful!

>172 nittnut: Thanks Chelle!

>173 cushlareads: Sorry you have a dreary day for Christmas. We don't have any snow at the moment, thank goodness. We had 5 days off school earlier in the month with 13 inches, and we are all good for snow. Lol

>174 SandDune: Lovely Rhian! Thank you.

>175 PaulCranswick: Happy holidays to you Paul.

Dec 26, 2018, 1:17am Top

Best wishes to you for a very merry Christmas!

Dec 26, 2018, 9:06am Top

Hi Jenn!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying the cold-but-clear weather. Jenna and I are relaxing for now and will do some post-Christmas cleanup a bit later.

Dec 26, 2018, 1:01pm Top

Well, Jenn, we made it through another year…almost. Wishing you all the best for more good reading in 2019. I hope your mother does well with her surgery and that good health is in all your futures.

Dec 26, 2018, 2:45pm Top

>177 AMQS: Thanks Anne!

>178 karenmarie: Hi Karen! We are tidying up around here after a lovely, lazy couple of days. I think we will go for a walk later. Someone's hounds have got loose and are cavorting around my yard. Thank you for the lovely card!

>179 Donna828: Hi Donna. Thank you for the good wishes. We are all a little worried, of course, but mom is strong and I think she will do well.

The Book Haul (we will call it the small haul)

The Path Between the Seas

and of course my lovely SantaThing haul from Julia:

Isaac's Storm
Word by Word
A Thread of Grace
Midnight Riot

This was the year of the game. We received Spyfall, Spontaneous, Splendor, Pit, and Carcassonne. We have already had a round of Carcassonne, which was fun.

Dec 26, 2018, 2:54pm Top

I picked up a bunch of fluffy books at the library. I have already abandoned two, which shall remain unnamed. I have finished two others by an author I have mixed feelings about, but hey, for fluffy books I try to be a little less judgmental.

#124 One Plus One
Damsel - separated with two children, one hers and one step - in distress. Rescued in a roundabout way by rather well-to-do man in a legal predicament. Entertaining.

#125 The Horse Dancer
Young girl living with her grandfather in council housing in London is also a horse-riding prodigy. Between them, she and her grandfather have trained a beautiful horse to do the special movements of the Le Cadre Noir. I most enjoyed the history of Le Cadre Noir.

Dec 26, 2018, 8:25pm Top

Happy holidays, Jenn. Looks like some nice books came your way. Of them, I've only read The Path Between the Seas but once again McCullough made a topic I didn't think was very interesting into a page-turner for me. He's amazing.

Dec 31, 2018, 11:25am Top

Dec 31, 2018, 1:57pm Top

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

Edited: Dec 31, 2018, 2:14pm Top

>182 RebaRelishesReading: I agree Reba! McCullough is a great writer. I've enjoyed everything I've read of his.

>183 thornton37814: Happy New year Lori!

>184 karenmarie: Thanks Karen! All the books I could wish for might be a tall order, LOL

Dec 31, 2018, 2:15pm Top

I'm off to make my new thread. Here's my top 4 of 2018, just for fun.

Dec 31, 2018, 4:45pm Top

>186 nittnut: Ooh, Hounds of Spring and Prisoners of Geography are both on my shelves. Good to see that you thought so highly of them.

Dec 31, 2018, 5:17pm Top

Happy New Year's Eve!!

Jan 1, 10:54am Top

Happy New Year everyone! You can find me here - https://www.librarything.com/topic/301500

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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