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lindapanzo's open-ended reading challenge--part 1

2019 Category Challenge

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Edited: Jan 27, 3:41pm Top

I'm back again. I note that 2019 will be my 11th year in the category challenge.

Many of the usual categories but a few completely new-to-me categories, for a change. I'm picking 9 categories but not imposing a minimum, though I hope to read at least 5 books per category.

Initially, I am thinking:

1. Mysteries
2. Baseball
3. Nonfiction
4. Fiction
5. Sports
6. Books I need to read and review
7. Print Books Off My Shelf
8. Music
9. Self-help

Any comments/suggestions, especially as to the music and self-help categories, would be appreciated. I have more books than I know what to do with in the first two categories.

In 2019, I would especially like to make a dent in my piles of actual paper/print books and so, I will count these books in the "print books off my shelf" and also place said book into the other category it could fit in. That is, count it for double points for this challenge.

Edited: Aug 18, 8:40pm Top

Category 1: Mysteries--11 books read


1. Caramel Canvas by Jessica Beck--finished on 2/13/19
2. Murder in Greenwich Village by Liz Freeland--finished on 2/28/19
3. Broken Bone China by Laura Childs--finished on 3/20/19
4. Better Off Read by Nora Page--finished on 5/13/19
5. Dark Drizzles by Jessica Beck--finished on 5/28/19
6. Counterfeit Confections by Jessica Beck--finished on 6/11/19
7. Flipped for Murder by Maddie Day--finished on 6/27/19
8. Grilled for Murder by Maddie Day--finished on 7/10/19
9. Measured Mayhem by Jessica Beck--finished on 8/6/9
10. Scone Cold Dead by Karen MacInerney--finished on 8/8/19
11. Pecan Pies and Homicides by Ellery Adams--finished on 8/18/19

Edited: Aug 14, 12:27pm Top

Category 2--Baseball - 7 books read

1. Let's Play Two: Poems About Baseball--finished on 3/2/19
2. The 1969 Cubs: Long Remembered Not Forgottten by Fergie Jenkins--finished on 4/21/19
3. Hurricane Season by Joe Holley--finished on 4/27/19
4. The Cubs Way by Tom Verducci--finished on 5/25/19
5. The Legends of Last Place by Abe Streep--finished on 6/27/19
6. Let's Play Two: The Legend of Mr. Cub, the Life of Ernie Banks--finished on 7/26/19
7. The Joy of Ballpark Food: From Hot Dogs to Haute Cuisine by Bennett Jacobstein--finished on 8/14/19

Edited: Aug 19, 9:09pm Top

Category 3: Nonfiction--12 books read


1. Rain: Four Walks in English Weather by Melissa Harrison--finished on 1/6/19
2. Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover--finished on 1/21/19
3. Fraternity: An Inside Look at a Year of College Boys Becoming Men by Alexandra Robbins--finished on 2/18/19
4. Hurricane Season: What Katrina Taught America by Susan Zakin--finished on 4/3/19
5. The 1959 Yellowstone Earthquake by Larry Morris--finished on 4/9/19
6. Collision on Tenerife: The How and Why of the World's Worst Aviation Disaster by Jon Ziomek--finished on 4/23/19
7. Enemy of the People: The Untold Story of the Journalists Who Opposed Hitler by Terrence Petty--finished on 6/2/19
8. Deep Dark Blue by Polo Tate--finished on 6/14/19
9. West Point Woman by Sara Potecha--finished on 7/1/19
10. Cafe Tangier: A Western Woman in Morocco by Patricia Clough--finished on 8/8/19
11. The Paranoid Style in American Politics: An Essay by Richard Hofstadter--finished on 8/15/19
12. Rose Valland: Resistance at the Museum by Corinne Bouchoux--finished on 8/19/19

Edited: Yesterday, 7:04pm Top

Fiction (but not mysteries)--6 books read


1. Sackett's Land by Louis L'Amour--finished on 1/25/19
2. Eleanor vs. Ike by Robin Gerber--finished on 3/27/19
3. This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp--finished on 6/9/19
4. The Spies of Shilling Lane by Jennifer Ryan--finished on 6/13/19
5. In Skates Trouble by Kate Meader--finished on 6/17/19
6. Navy Brat by Debbie Macomber--finished on 8/20/19

Edited: Oct 28, 2018, 3:01pm Top

Sports (but not baseball)

Edited: Aug 17, 6:49pm Top

CATEGORY 6: Books I need to read and review--36 books read

I find that, at any given time, I have at least 6 to 12 "free" books that I'm obligated to review. Including this category presupposes that I will continue to get ER books, books from Net Galley, and books from First to Read. If something changes and I don't, I'll revisit this category.

Note that, at present, this list includes about a dozen books left to review. That number never seems to get any smaller.


1. The Vanishing Man by Charles Finch--finished on 1/3/19 (from Net Galley)
2. Past Due for Murder by Victoria Gilbert--finished on 1/10/19 (from Net Galley)
3. Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake by Sarah Graves--finished on 1/15/19 (from Net Galley)
4. The Prisoner in the Castle by Susan Elia MacNeal--finished on 1/28/19 (from Early Reviewers)
5. The Foyles Bookshop Girls at War by Elaine Roberts--finished on 2/2/19 (from Net Galley)
6. Something Read, Something Dead by Eva Gates--finished on 2/6/19 (from Net Galley)
7. The Darkest Year by William K. Klingaman--finished on 2/23/19 (from Net Galley)
8. Murder in Midtown by Liz Freeland--finished on 3/7/19 (from Net Galley)
9. Trouble on the Books by Essie Lang--finished on 3/13/19 (from Net Galley)
10. 108 Stitches by Ron Darling--finished on 4/2/19 (from Net Galley)
11. Dying for Devil's Food by Jenn McKinlay--finished on 4/4/19 (from First to Read}
12. Murder in the Reading Room by Ellery Adams--finished on 4/29/19 (from Net Galley)
13. Murder Knocks Twice by Susanna Calkins--finished on 5/3/19 (from Net Galley)
14. Thread on Arrival by Lea Wait--finished on 5/6/19 (from Net Galley)
15. Read on Arrival by Nora Page--finished on 5/14/19 (from Net Galley)
16. A Dagger Before Me by Jeanne M. Dams--finished on 5/19/19 (from Net Galley)
17. Foul Play on Words by Becky Clark--finished on 5/27/19 (from Net Galley)
18. Sweet Tea and Secrets by Joy Avon--finished on 6/1/19 (from Net Galley)
19. Remembering the Dead by Elizabeth J. Duncan--finished on 6/4/19 (from Net Galley)
20. Almost Yankees: The Summer of '81 and the Greatest Baseball Team You've Never Heard Of by J. David Herman--finished on 6/6/19 (from Net Galley)
21. Word to the Wise by Jenn McKinlay--finished on 6/9/19 (from First to Read)
22. The Long Call by Ann Cleeves--finished on 6/17/19 (from Net Galley)
23. A Forgotten Place by Charles Todd--finished on 6/19/19 (from Early Reviewers)
24. The Liar in the Library by Simon Brett--finished on 6/22/19 (from Net Galley)
25. Strangled Eggs and Ham by Maddie Day--finished on 6/24/19 (from Net Galley)
26. Read and Buried by Eva Gates--finished on 7/3/19 (from Net Galley)
27. A Plain Vanilla Murder by Susan Wittig Albert--finished on 7/6/19 (from Net Galley)
28. Peach Clobbered by Anna Gerard--finished on 7/16/19 (from Net Galley)
29 The Body in the Wake by Katherine Hall Page--finished on 7/27/19 (from Early Reviewers)
30. And Then They Were Doomed: A Little Library Mystery by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli--finished on 7/30/19 (from Net Galley)
31. Haunted House Murder by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross--finished on 7/31/19 (from Net Galley)
32. Jealousy Filled Donuts BY Ginger Bolton--finished on 8/4/19 (from Net Galley)
33. Jet Girl: My Life in War, Peace, and the Cockpit of the Navy's Most Lethal Aircraft, the F/A-18 Super Hornet by Caroline Johnson--finished on 8/5/19 (from Net Galley)
34. Crypt Suzette by Maya Corrigan--finished on 8/12/19 (from Net Galley)
35. Saving Mona Lisa: The Battle to Protect the Louvre and its Treasures from the Nazis by Gerri Chanel--finished on 8/14/19 (from Early Reviewers)
36. Death in Focus by Anne Perry--finished on 8/16/19 (from Net Galley)

Edited: Aug 15, 11:56am Top

CATEGORY 7: Print Books Off My Shelf--6 books read

For this category alone, I am aiming for a specific number, namely 36 print books for the year. This would match my ROOT goal for the year.


1. The Prisoner in the Castle by Susan Elia MacNeal--finished on 1/28/19
2. The 1969 Cubs: Long Remembered Not Forgotten by Fergie Jenkins--finished on 4/21/19
3. The Spies of Shilling Lane by Jennifer Ryan--finished on 6/13/19
4. A Forgotten Place by Charles Todd--finished on 6/19/19
5. The Body in the Wake by Katherine Hall Page--finished on 7/27/19
6. Saving Mona Lisa: The Battle to Protect the Louvre and its Treasures from the Nazis by Gerri Chanel--finished on 8/14/19

Edited: Jun 18, 1:02pm Top

CATEGORY 8: Music--1 book read

1. Why Sinatra Matters by Pete Hamill--finished on 2/10/19

This is a category I've long wanted to include in my category challenge. I don't play an instrument so I'm thinking of music appreciation and/or musical biography types of books.


--The Joy of Music by Leonard Bernstein
--Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter by Randy L. Schmidt
--The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of "Hallelujah" by Alan Light
--Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon--And the Journey of a Generation by Sheila Weller
--Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks
--Paul Simon: The Life by Robert Hilburn
--Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
--A Portrait in Four Movements

Edited: Jul 19, 11:52am Top

CATEGORY 9: Self-help--1 book read

This category is inspired by recent wellness webinars and online courses in gratitude, perseverance, and listening skills, though I'd be open to other self-improvement type books.

1. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth--finished on 7/18/19


--The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
--The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
--Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness by Ingrid Fettell Lee
--Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness by Rick Hanson
--Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff
--The Irresistible Introvert: Harness the Power of Quiet Charisma in a Loud World by Michaela Chung

Oct 29, 2018, 12:05pm Top

Great to see you all set up and ready for 2019, Linda. That's a very good idea - to keep your categories open ended - I may just have to copy that as I am struggling to read at least 10 books for all my categories this year.

Oct 29, 2018, 3:47pm Top

>11 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy, having to meet a specific number of books is where the pressure comes in. I'd like to read at least 5 in each category. Obviously, for mysteries, I can have that done the first week of the year but, for music and self-help, 5 is a decent number but not something that would put undue pressure on me.

This year, I found that reading 10 food-related books was a bit too much for me. I may not finish all 10.

Edited: Oct 29, 2018, 6:40pm Top

Ugh!! Already second thoughts.

I'm putting the Great American Reads list here, just in case. Maybe I'll switch out the Kindle singles category. I've read so few of the GAR books that I told myself I'd make it a category next year.


Oct 29, 2018, 6:50pm Top

Good luck with your challenge!

I really liked The Checklist Manifesto and hope you do too :)

Edited: Oct 29, 2018, 7:03pm Top

>14 rabbitprincess: Music and self help, because they're new and different, are of the most interest to me. The other categories are where I already do the bulk of my reading.

I picked up a copy of The Checklist Manifesto years ago and so hoping to fit it in.

Nov 2, 2018, 11:11pm Top

Looks like some great reading!

Nov 3, 2018, 8:56am Top

>15 lindapanzo: This year I enjoyed Revolution in the Head, by Ian MacDonald. The introduction is kind of boring, but the actual analysis of the Beatles' songs (what makes some work better than others, how they achieve a desired effect) is fascinating.

Nov 4, 2018, 9:49pm Top

I have you starred. I'm waiting until Thanksgiving break to post mine. I think I've about settled on my categories, and I don't see major changes in them. I've "sat on them" for awhile and still like the set-up.

Edited: Nov 7, 2018, 3:16pm Top

Looking forward to following along. You have some good reading planned.

>17 rabbitprincess: Based on your excellent review of Revolution in the Head I ordered a copy for myself. My son and his wife nabbed it right away and absolutely raved about it, couldn't praise it enough. It's now back with me and I'm looking forward to reading it soon.

Nov 7, 2018, 3:52pm Top

Wow, I haven't been around much but thanks for all the visits.

Contrary to my earlier thoughts, I won't add a Great American Reads category. Those can go under fiction. I want to keep it simple, but easy, though challenging, for myself.

Lori, no matter how long I sit on my categories, I'll undoubtedly change at least one or two. This year, I had a food and drink category and now I sort of resent having to read a couple of the books. I sort of want to read them but yet I've got lots of others I'd rather read. I may not even try to finish my 2018 category challenge as a result.

Nov 8, 2018, 1:59pm Top

My minimum number per category next year will probably be pretty low for next year--5 or 6. I intend to read more than that overall, but I am not necessarily trying to have an even distribution. I just want to make a dent in the TBR piles.

Nov 8, 2018, 3:37pm Top

>21 thornton37814: The only way I'd make a dent in the TBR piles would be to read only my own mysteries and baseball books. Now there's a thought...

Nov 8, 2018, 7:17pm Top

>22 lindapanzo: Not a bad plan! You'd be reading what you enjoy!

Nov 20, 2018, 6:17pm Top

>23 thornton37814: Absolutely.

For my first 6 categories, I already own enough books to keep me reading for several years. For my last 3 categories, I'll aim to come up with some ideas. I'm especially looking forward to the self-help category as I'm finding lots of great ideas for this one.

Dec 2, 2018, 6:28pm Top

Lovely to see you back for another year of category reading, Linda!

Dec 15, 2018, 8:30pm Top

It's been about 6 weeks since I set up by 2019 category challenge and I still have no plans to change my categories. I think that's a personal record!!

As 2018 dwindles down, I'll be thinking more about possible 2019 reads in some of the categories I rarely read.

Dec 15, 2018, 9:35pm Top

>26 lindapanzo: I made sure I had catch-all categories for fiction and non-fiction and magazine/journal reading, so I think I'm good to go!

Dec 15, 2018, 9:49pm Top

>27 thornton37814: I could use a magazine/journal reading category. How do you keep track? Issue read? I usually pick and choose through my magazines.

Dec 15, 2018, 10:10pm Top

I'm going to count those separately. I will list articles and probably do a page count. I have 4 journal/magazine categories and 15 regular ones. You can look at my set-up.

Dec 15, 2018, 10:20pm Top

>29 thornton37814: Thanks, I will take a look.

I would think of that as a bonus category. I tend to neglect my magazines and they stack up so it'd be nice to keep a record.

Dec 16, 2018, 3:34am Top

I have Quiet by Susan Cain on my list for the AlphaKit - might be good for self-help. Also I love Brene Brown's books.
Music wise, I would love to read biographies of people like Janice Joplin, Mama Cass, Shirley Bassey. Music is a great category that I would never thought of - you have given lots of new books to think about!

Dec 16, 2018, 6:55am Top

>30 lindapanzo: I knew there was absolutely no way I wanted to keep track of 19 book categories. This made it easy for me to include categories for the three scholarly and/or peer-reviewed genealogy journals to which I subscribe while reading articles from magazines, other genealogy journals, and for research (lectures, my own family, etc.) I doubt I'll include ones that record abstracts unless the introduction is longer than the abstracted records. That occasionally takes place when one editor takes records from unusual record groups and talks about the overall records, why they were created, etc. so a few might make their way into the miscellaneous category. I needed a way to make that reading "count" too so I'd tackle the mounds piling up. I know my book reading will go down, but that's okay. The other will "count" but in a different way. I won't use touchstones, but I will include bibliographic citations for articles read.

Dec 31, 2018, 11:28am Top

Dec 31, 2018, 3:01pm Top

Jan 1, 11:11am Top

Happy New Year!

Jan 1, 11:24am Top

Happy New Year!! Hope you have a happy, healthy year filled with great reading.

Jan 3, 4:19pm Top

First book of the year!! Woo-hoo!!

The Vanishing Man by Charles Finch--finished on 1/3/19

The Charles Lenox mystery series, set in England in the 1800’s, is among my favorites and this prequel, in which Lenox is age 26 in 1853, does not disappoint. Once again, there is a strong and interesting plot as Lenox comes to the aid of a duke in a complex plot involving family, theft, murder, and Shakespeare, as well as a great sense of time and place. I loved getting this glimpse into the younger Lenox as he is just starting out in his career, and also enjoyed reading about the recurring characters, such as Lady Jane and Graham, at this earlier stage of Lenox’s life.

I absolutely love this series and highly recommend it to my friends who like mysteries. The only issue I have is: Do I recommend that people read these books in the order published, as I have, or in chronological order? Either way, this is one terrific historical mystery series!!

(I received this book from the publisher, via Net Galley, in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

Edited: Jan 4, 7:24am Top

>37 lindapanzo: - I really like this series too. I'm planning to read the pre-quill The Woman in the Water this year. I notice this one is listed as 0.5 in the series. is it a shorter book? I may try to fit it in too before I continue with the rest of the series.

Jan 4, 8:31am Top

>37 lindapanzo: A BB for me! I like historical mysteries. I will start with the prequel and see if this series might be for me!

Edited: Jan 4, 9:14am Top

>38 dudes22: >39 tess_schoolmarm: Finch has a series of three planned prequels. The Woman in the Water was the first prequel and this was the second. I don’t remember the length. Not sure who/how they number these things.

There is as another labeled as a prequel but it was just a short story.

Jan 4, 9:44am Top

> 40 TY I feel compelled to start at the beginning, so I guess The Woman in the Water would be my first!

Jan 4, 11:21am Top

>38 dudes22: - Woman in the Water is a standard length novel. This is one of my favorite series too!

Jan 4, 12:02pm Top

An East End Murder is his short story. Seven years ago when I read it, I gave it 2.5 and I NEVER give anything a rating that low. Unless I absolutely had to read it, I'd DNF and not rate it at all.

I love this series. I'm hoping that, after the third and final prequel, he resumes the series.

btw, the new one I read The Vanishing Man is due out on Feb. 19.

Jan 4, 3:18pm Top

>37 lindapanzo: - Lovely to see a second wonderful review for The Vanishing Man! Looking forward to getting caught up with the Charles Lennox series.

Jan 4, 7:09pm Top

Thanks for the info. I knew I'd spelled prequel wrong but couldn't figure it out and was too lazy to look it up.

Edited: Jan 13, 12:25pm Top

Today is my 10th Thingaversary!! So happy I found this great group of people.


1. These Truths by Jill Lepore
2. Educated by Tara Westover
3. Paul Simon: The Life by Robert Hilburn
4. Grit by Angela Duckworth

Jan 13, 12:13pm Top

Happy thingaversary!

Jan 13, 12:27pm Top

>47 tess_schoolmarm: Thanks. I recall that it was a snowday off from work and I was rummaging around online and looking for a spot to keep track of my reading and here I am, now 10 years later.

Jan 13, 12:28pm Top

Happy thingaversary! Are you haveing a thingaversary book buying session? Do let us know what you succumbed to!

Jan 13, 12:34pm Top

Happy Thingaversary! :)

Jan 13, 12:35pm Top

Hanks. My list so far is above. I know I’ve picked up more than that. Not counting ones I got from Net Galley.

Jan 13, 3:06pm Top

>51 lindapanzo: Remind us to look up when you complete the list!

Edited: Jan 13, 3:11pm Top

>46 lindapanzo: I think that's how I came to LT...I think I googled free online book library and ended up here! I'm so glad! It's been 9 years for me, but I've cleared off over 1000 books from my TBR piles/shelves. My goal is to be under 500 (tree books and ebooks) by my 10th anniversary. I was surprised to find so many book readers as nerdy as myself!

Jan 13, 9:19pm Top

Happy Thingaversary, Linda!!!!!

Jan 13, 11:13pm Top

Happy Tenth!

Jan 14, 1:08am Top

Happy 10th Thingaversary, Linda. It was a wonderful and happy accident that brought so many of us to this site - I can't imagine how I would fill my time without LT!

Jan 14, 5:41am Top

Happy Thingaversary!

Jan 14, 1:56pm Top

Wow, thanks everyone for stopping by. Judy, yes it was a happy accident that we stopped by and also fortuitous that Cheli was one of the first people I met on LT and so I joined some of the same groups as her.

Finished my Thingaversary book buying spree. Very heavy on nonfiction, with just one mystery (I've been getting most of the new mysteries I want lately via Net Galley), plus one novel. The rest are nonfiction, including a few baseball-related books.

I heard Hazelgrove speak at our library last year (and had already read, and loved, his Al Capone and Chicago history book) so he had to be on the list.

Very excited about my new books.


1. These Truths by Jill Lepore
2. Educated by Tara Westover
3. Paul Simon: The Life by Robert Hilburn
4. Grit by Angela Duckworth
5. Better Off Read by Nora Page
6. The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
7. From the Ground Up by Howard Schultz
8. The Cloudbuster Nine: The Untold Story of Ted Williams and the Baseball Team That Helped Win World War II by Anne R. Keene
9. The Boyer Brothers of Baseball by Lew Freedman
10. Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson by William Hazelgrove
11. The Good War: An Oral History of World War II by Studs Terkel

Jan 14, 2:14pm Top

Happy Thingaversary!!!

Jan 14, 3:01pm Top

Enjoy your Thingaversary books!

Edited: Jan 15, 6:52am Top

>58 lindapanzo: Happy Thingaversary and congrats on the new Tenner badge and more importantly the book haul.

Jan 15, 10:57am Top

Happy Thingaversary and a very nice book haul! I have #2 on my TBR pile that I hope to get to in 2019.

Jan 15, 1:35pm Top

Thanks for the thingaversary good wishes.

Of course, I'm hoping to get to all of these this year, but we'll see about that. Right before, and during, spring training, which is now about a month away, I tend to enjoy focusing on baseball books.

Every time I see a Net Galley item of interest, I jump at that. Fortunately, their publishing dates are spread out so I'm not overwhelmed. The February one, The Darkest Year is one I'm especially looking forward to, as it deals with World War 2 and the homefront, which has always been an interest of mine. I was always peppering my uncles with questions about it. Mom was pretty young then (almost 5 when the war broke out) but she's heard stories and remembers a bit, too.

Jan 17, 12:20am Top

Nice book haul, Linda!

Jan 17, 4:58am Top

Enjoy your new books!

Jan 20, 3:13pm Top

I'm just catching up, so late to the party. Congratulations on your Tenner!

Feb 23, 8:56pm Top

The Darkest Year: The American Home Front 1941-1942 by William K. Klingaman--finished on 2/23/19

People who think that Americans were united behind the war effort during World War 2 will be set straight by this fascinating, eye-opening look at the American home front during the first year of the war. Focusing on the year from Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, to December 7, 1942, the author examines all aspects of American life and how they were impacted by the war, with a particular emphasis on areas where the populace disagreed with, or went even further, such as rationing and hoarding.

However, the best parts of this highly readable and always compelling book focused on the little things a reader might not think of. How weather forecasts were vague, so as not to give information away to the enemy. Even sports announcers could not say that a ballgame had been rained out.

This riveting, outstanding, well-written book will hold a top place on my list of favorite books of 2019. It's one I'd highly recommend to those who love to read about American history.

(I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via Net Galley, in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

Apr 18, 6:02pm Top

Yikes, my own thread and I haven't posted in almost two months.

I am alive and well. Today is the first anniversary of my thyroid/chest surgery and I'm doing well.

I have no idea where time is going. I'm hardly reading and have been totally AWOL on LT.

Apr 18, 6:03pm Top

>68 lindapanzo: Glad to hear you are recovering!

Apr 18, 6:11pm Top

>69 tess_schoolmarm: As I say, I don't know where the time has gone. My sister and I are planning an event for Mom and Dad for their 60th wedding anniversary, which is one week from today. It doesn't take that much time though.

Mark invited me to a meet-up at a Chicago German restaurant with him, Joe, and a visiting LTer, drneutron, from Baltimore. I'll have to see if I can post a picture of that.

As for health, I'm breathing better with a daily inhaler. When I mentioned the surgical anniversary, someone mentioned that she really couldn't see my incision anymore and, by golly, she's right. At least the part not typically covered by my shirt. You have to really look for it.

Apr 18, 6:13pm Top

Here it is...

Had a nice Chicago meet up Tuesday at the HofbrauHaus in Rosemont with Mark (msf59), Joe (jnwelch), and Jim (drneutron) who was visiting our area.

Here's a photo...

I'm drinking a small, ladylike beer. Two drinks for me and I usually need a nap.

Joe is sitting next to me with Mark across the way from me and Jim next to him.

Apr 18, 6:29pm Top

I saw this picture on Mark's thread, Linda, I would have loved to have joined in with this fun group!

Apr 18, 6:38pm Top

>68 lindapanzo: Welcome back to your own thread!

Apr 18, 6:43pm Top

>72 DeltaQueen50: We were talking about all the people we'd love to meet someday. Maybe we will.

>73 thornton37814: LOL

It seems amazing to me but I haven't finished a book since April 9th, and that was a book about the 1959 Yellowstone earthquake. I've enjoyed the book I'm reading, the Fergie Jenkins book about the 1969 Cubs. A favorite topic and only 247 pages but, somehow, it's just not getting done. I am about halfway though. Maybe because it's a print book and I'm not used to those.

I did get new glasses, which I thought would help. My distance vision was unchanged but my reading lenses are much stronger now and I can definitely see/read more clearly.

Apr 24, 9:05am Top

Good news on your recovery and the new glasses. Enjoy the reading!

Apr 24, 2:46pm Top

>75 MissWatson: Thanks. I'm finally reading again. Just finished only my 25th book this year, late last night, a book about the 1977 collision of two fully-loaded 747's in the Canary Islands. Collision on Tenerife: The How and Why of the World's Worst Aviation Disaster.

Apr 24, 7:16pm Top

>76 lindapanzo: Ooh, that sounds interesting! I know the general story of the Tenerife disaster, but I can't say no to a book about it!

Apr 24, 7:30pm Top

>76 lindapanzo: sounds interesting and I bet you are glad to be reading again!

Apr 24, 9:34pm Top

The plane crash book was interesting. One annoying thing, though, is the footnotes. At bottom of the page, he'd say whether he interviewed the person or whether he changed the name to spare the deceased person's family. So, in other words, the reader knows up front who made it and who didn't.

Now, I'm back to reading books on my Kindle.

Apr 25, 2:59pm Top

>76 lindapanzo: la la la not listening. As a scaredycat flier, I'm not going to pick that up to read!

Apr 25, 3:58pm Top

>80 Helenliz: One thing I learned is to make it a point of looking for the closest exit and note a spot on the floor in order to get to that exit. In a pinch, most people either panic or have negative panic and can't move at all. I do that when I travel. Look for stairwell closest to the room.

Apr 25, 4:03pm Top

>81 lindapanzo: Oh, I don't think I'm going to crash, it's an irrational fear that I just shouldn't be up there. My primeval brain has fled for the hills long before my rational brain has a chance to have any say. Tranquillisers are the first thing I pack when I know I've got to fly.

May 15, 4:27pm Top

Haven't been around LT much and my reading has gone downhill. Our (large) company's computer systems were hacked and its been "all hands on deck." I haven't even watched the Cubs or the NHL playoffs much the past 10 days or so.

May 15, 4:42pm Top

>83 lindapanzo: oh my! Hope things calm down and you can stop the fire fighting - it can be so exhausting.

May 15, 5:01pm Top

>84 Helenliz: We are a large company. The first day, we weren't even sure that we could buy food in the cafeteria or even get back into the building if we left. Little by little, it's been coming back.

May 15, 8:40pm Top

Welcome back! It's good to hear you are doing well after surgery last year. Great photo of your Chicago meetup!

May 28, 1:25pm Top

Photo of Mom and Dad on their wedding day, in April 1959.

Photo of Mom and Dad in April 2019.

While I'm in a posting mood, here's a pic of my niece, Jill, and me, at her HS graduation last week. She will be attending Butler University in the fall.

May 29, 3:45am Top

>87 lindapanzo: Congrats to your parents, Linda. That is an amazing anniversary to celebrate. And all good wishes for the future to your niece.

May 30, 12:22pm Top

Thanks for sharing the pictures! Love seeing old wedding photos.

May 30, 12:38pm Top

>88 MissWatson: >89 LittleTaiko: Thanks. The niece wants to be a physician's assistant and the university she will be going to has an auto-admit to their master's program in PA. They've got rules etc but it's much easier to get into the master's program that way.

Jun 4, 1:29pm Top

One interesting thing...of the 38 books I've read so far this year, which is way, way below my usual at this point, exactly half (19) have been freebies, with the bulk of those, 17, coming from Net Galley. I note, too, that I am down to only seven Net Galley books left. That seems like a lot but not too long ago, that number was somewhere around 12 or 13, I've made a big dent in my Net Galley pile.

I haven't been asking for Early Reviewers books as much lately. I've got a few more to read but have read only one of those ER% books so far this year. Seems like they haven't had very many of "my kind of books" lately.

Also, this is the last month for the First to Read program. I've read only one First to Read book this year and won one last one, a Library Lovers cozy from Jenn McKinlay, which arrived today. I am eager to read that one. Despite the technology limitation, I'm sorry to see this program end. They've replaced it with a program whereby, if you enter the proper codes and order number from Random House books you've purchased, you will, after 12 such purchases, I think, get a free book of your choice directly from them.

Anyway, with ER becoming less relevant to me and First to Read disappearing, I will continue to peruse my favorite publishers on Net Galley. I may occasionally "go for broke" on a publisher whose criteria I may not meet. It worked for me with a publisher or two before, to my delight.

Jun 14, 9:25pm Top

Finished quite possibly my favorite book of the year so far, a World War 2 novel, again, by Jennifer Ryan, the author of the The Chilbury Ladies' Choir. This brand new one is called The Spies of Shilling Lane. A terrific mother/daughter novel. Mrs Braithewaite travels to London to track down her daughter to tell her a secret, before the daughter would here it elsewhere but there's a fear that the daughter may have been lost in the Blitz. With the assistance of the daughter's Nervous Nellie landlord, Mrs B embarks on an adventure of tracking down her daughter in wartime London. Wonderful book!!

Jun 16, 6:50am Top

>92 lindapanzo: Glad to hear that one is worthwhile.

Jun 24, 5:20pm Top

Hmmm, our new library is about to open and the current library will be closed from mid July til early August so they can move. Any books that would be due on or after July 15 will instead be due in mid August. This seems like an opportune time to shock up on those doorstopper books I've been meaning to read.


Jun 27, 9:26pm Top

>94 lindapanzo: - Good idea!

Jul 13, 6:04pm Top

It's hot!! After a spring and early summer with almost no warm weather, we've been cooking for over a week, with only an occasional respite.

Still reading, but not as much as in June. One current book, which is a very interesting one, is Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. I've also got a debut cozy set in Georgia going.

Hope all are well and staying cool this summer!!

Aug 6, 10:49pm Top

Yay!! Our fancy new library opened yesterday and I’ve already found a few reading spaces I’ll love!!


Aug 8, 8:57am Top

Looks like you've got lots of space now.

Aug 8, 10:09pm Top

Looks like a great place to hang out with a few books, Linda!

Aug 14, 1:27pm Top

The new library is terrific, though I haven't had much chance to spend time there.

I've got a book on reserve which should arrive any day now and so I'll have to go there in order to pick up the new Mary Doria Russell book, The Women of Copper Country.

Aug 15, 11:06am Top

>100 lindapanzo: A new Mary Doria Russell book?! Must investigate immediately!

Aug 15, 1:40pm Top

>101 christina_reads: - I feel the same.

Aug 15, 6:18pm Top

>100 lindapanzo: Say what! I gotta find this.

Aug 15, 6:41pm Top

>103 rabbitprincess: 1913 miner's strike in Calumet, Michigan, in the U.P.

The library description on LT says: "inspiring historical novel about "America's Joan of Arc" Annie Clements--the courageous woman who started a rebellion by leading a strike against the largest copper mining company in the world."

Aug 15, 7:52pm Top

>104 lindapanzo: Most intriguing! Will definitely have to get the library to buy it, at least.

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