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richardderus tenth thread of 2018

This is a continuation of the topic richardderus ninth thread of 2018.

This topic was continued by richardderus eleventh thread of 2018.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

Join LibraryThing to post.

Edited: Dec 1, 2018, 5:27pm Top

Man, Standing, Reading a Book by Vincent van Gogh! Can you even! Made in 1882.

Edited: Dec 18, 2018, 12:56pm Top

My 2018 Reviewing Goals

I'll shoot for 180 reviews written again this year. It was a doable target, but the reviews could be more exciting....

BookRiot's 2018 Read Harder "Challenge"

1. A book published posthumously
2. A book of true crime
3. A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance)
4. A comic written and illustrated by the same person—My Brother's Husband reviewed below.
5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia,
India, China, or South Africa)
6. A book about nature Guns, Germs, and Steel
7. A western
8. A comic written or illustrated by a person of color
9. A book of colonial or postcolonial literature
10. A romance novel by or about a person of color
11. A children’s classic published before 1980
12. A celebrity memoir
13. An Oprah Book Club selection
14. A book of social science Everybody Lies
15. A one-sitting book Voodoo Planet
16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series The Invisible Library
17. A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author
18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image
19. A book of genre fiction in translation Still Waters
20. A book with a cover you hate
21. A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author Widdershins
22. An essay anthology
23. A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60
24. An assigned book you hated (or never finished)

My Reviews Are Here:
Reviews 1-25 are linked there.

Reviews 26-31 are linked here.

Reviews 32-39 are linked there.

Reviews 40-54 are linked over here.

Reviews 55-70 are linked over here.

Reviews 71-101 (I misnumbered) are linked over here.

Reviews 102-110 are linked over here.

111 There There got Pearl Ruled and I still say ~meh~ is all it deserves in post 41.

112 Radio Free Albemuth ain't for the PKD-naive but the movie? see post 105.

113 Side Life by my social-media pal Steve gets only a mild paddy-spanking in post 122.

114 A Present for Pat makes the grim awful spectre of sexism a real blight in post 147.

115 Cry Wolf is well-written and probably even good, but heterosex queases me too much in post 152.

116 The Dreaming Stars goes back to the well for more Axiom madness in post 193.

117 Northwest Smith collects pioneering ladywriter C.L. Moore's spacer's tales from the pulps in post 215.

118 Cold Earth is seventh in Ann Cleeves's Jimmy Perez Shetlands mysteries, in post 216.

119 Europe at Dawn gives me all the happy in post 221.

120 Death and the Dervish is an amazing banquet of beautiful words in post 224.

121 The Fifth Risk doesn't ever explain its title in post 239.

122 The Disappearance of Emile Zola recounts a little-known passage in L'Affaire Dreyfus to great effect in post 242.

123 Hard Rain Falling is just flat miserable, see why in post 253.

Dec 1, 2018, 5:20pm Top

G'head, it's your nickel.

Dec 1, 2018, 5:28pm Top

5 cents.

Dec 1, 2018, 5:30pm Top

>4 weird_O: I raise you to a dropped dime. Here's Eelus to testify:

Dec 1, 2018, 5:37pm Top

Happy new thread

Dec 1, 2018, 5:46pm Top

Happy new thread Richard dear friend.

Dec 1, 2018, 5:52pm Top

>6 figsfromthistle: Hello Anita! I'm happy to see you here.

>7 johnsimpson: Thanks, John, I hope you and Karen are well.

Dec 1, 2018, 5:59pm Top

>8 richardderus:, Hi Richard, we are both well dear friend, getting ready for the festive period. Karen is out tonight with her work colleagues on their works Christmas party so I am sat home alone, hopefully she will not be too drunk or tired from all the dancing when she gets in sometime after midnight, ha ha.

Dec 1, 2018, 6:13pm Top

Happy new one, Richard!

Dec 1, 2018, 6:22pm Top

Hi RichardDear and happy new thread.

Edited: Dec 1, 2018, 6:50pm Top

Happy new thread, Richard!

This one is loading a lot faster ;-)
Nice Van Gogh up there, made in his time in The Hague. I have a book about him in those years Vincent in Den Haag, should get to it soonish.

Dec 1, 2018, 6:52pm Top

Happy New Thread! It could get tangled around here with all the new fiber!

Dec 1, 2018, 7:50pm Top

>9 johnsimpson: Heh! She's earned a binge, don't you think? See you soon.

>10 katiekrug: Your Kickassness! Happy that you're here.

>11 karenmarie: *smooch* Hey Horrible.

Dec 1, 2018, 7:51pm Top

>12 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! Sending hugs...I'm looking forward to the review of Vincent in the Hague.

>13 quondame: How do, Susan, happy to see you here.

Dec 1, 2018, 8:08pm Top

>15 richardderus: The single most powerful art moment I ever had was seeing Van Gogh in Amsterdam. I was 19 and turned from some of his Japonica to see the back of an old man walking away and pretty much broke into tears.

Edited: Dec 1, 2018, 8:43pm Top

Happy new one, Richard. You are zooming through the books this year!

Dec 1, 2018, 8:37pm Top

>16 quondame: Being in the presence of actual Art...created by the creator, not a scanned/massaged/perfected industrial object...packs a wallop, doesn't it? The first time I stood in front of a Jackson Pollock...Lavender Mist in the National Gallery of Art...I was woozy. It was so intensely THERE. It's the white-hot moment of creation on canvas, permanently and forever the way it was created, no editing no changes, it is itself and no other thing in the Universe is it. Love it, hate it, be left behind by it, this is the only thing that is this moment's record of being.

>17 jessibud2: Hi Shelley! It's all I have to do, so it's easy to rack up numbers.

Dec 1, 2018, 9:23pm Top

Happy new one, RD.

Glad to see you pinging the threads a little bit like old times. I hope to throw myself painlessly back into the fold too.

I do often read standing up and walking around which explains an assortment of bruises.

>18 richardderus: pollocks.

Dec 1, 2018, 10:14pm Top

Happy new thread, Richard. Your last one got away on me. I hope this one won't leave me in the dust.

Dec 1, 2018, 10:54pm Top

Happy New Thread, Richard dear!

Dec 2, 2018, 12:57am Top

Hapy New Thread and Happy Sunday, Richard!

>18 richardderus: Just been thinking about that, having seen yet another add for a "digital show", this time of Bosch's works, somewhere in Italy. While it's okay not to make originals travel around the globe all the time, and it's at least an occasion to see paintings in the original size and in all detail you'd otherwise never see, the impact is really not the same. Once went to a real Picasso show in Milan where there was also a digital Guernica. People looked at it for a moment and then were crowding around the real paintings.

Dec 2, 2018, 1:08am Top

>18 richardderus: Then there is Michaelangelo's Bacchus. Not that his David is particularly overrated, but the Bacchus was something way beyond what my 19yr old brain could encompass, but said brain at least knew that.

Dec 2, 2018, 3:07am Top

Happy new thread, Richard!

Edited: Dec 2, 2018, 7:46am Top

Happy Sunday, dear one. *smooch* from your own Madame TVT Horrible

Dec 2, 2018, 8:40am Top

>19 PaulCranswick: Heh...good one, Paul. "Abstract art? Bunch of pollocks."

>20 Familyhistorian: Things move fast, Meg, so I'm always in catch-up mode myownself. No fears.

>21 ronincats: Thank you my poor dear Roni.

Dec 2, 2018, 8:41am Top

Happy new one, Rdear. Wishing you a lovely Sunday. How about some breakfast?

Dec 2, 2018, 8:46am Top

>22 Deern: It's just the human essence of art that makes us want to be in its presence. I've seen many photos of cave paintings, watched that overblown Werner Herzog film about the French cave, and I know without a shadow of doubt that I'd have an utterly transformative experience being there in person.

Actually I'd be transformed into an anxious puddle of claustrophobia, but my point's valid.

>23 quondame: Bacchus

Oh, Florence...right on that dratted river that floods...what a place to plonk down so much gorgeous humanness.

Dec 2, 2018, 8:49am Top

>24 humouress: Thank you, Nina me lurve.

>25 karenmarie: *smooch* Did you ship your excess rain here? It's a steady drenching blurch all over my Sunday.

>27 Ameise1: Barbara! How divine. Sunday brunch complete with sunshine and blood orange mimosas! *smooch*

Dec 2, 2018, 9:46am Top

I am not such a fan of abstract but when I was still teaching, I had a link for my students to a website where, with a click of a mouse, one could create Jackson Pollack-like artwork. You could click to change colour, thickness of lines, direction, change from line to splatter to splash, etc. Very engaging and fun. I don't have the link anymore and just tried to google to see if I could come up with something but am coming up empty. Sorry. I was hoping to give you some *diversion* to play with...

Dec 2, 2018, 10:15am Top

>30 jessibud2: Thanks for the thought, Shelley, but There There finally caught me on p28:

"On the train he thinks of the looming panel of judges. He keeps picturing them twenty feet up staring down at him, with long wild faces in the style of Ralph Steadman, old white men, all noses and robes."

I'm caught at last, and not a moment too soon.

Dec 2, 2018, 10:24am Top

Happy New Thread, Richard.

>18 richardderus: Great comments!

I like the Van Gogh at top. His love of books adds to my love of Van Gogh. I've always liked his Still Life French Novels:

Dec 2, 2018, 11:13am Top

>32 jnwelch: Hey there Joe! I love that painting as well, it's so vividly intensely a story about books, about how van Gogh felt about the object "the book" and heaven only knows us readers can relate to that.

I am always amazed at the power of art to transform time. It's magical.

Edited: Dec 2, 2018, 11:36am Top

>3 richardderus: Hoping it's not too late to get into this game...

Dec 2, 2018, 11:55am Top

You're welcome any time, Linda3rd, as you know by now! *smooch*

Dec 2, 2018, 2:16pm Top

Someone I know on Goodreads just reviewed a gay romance as "so hot my panties just went *poof*"

Dec 2, 2018, 3:22pm Top

>36 richardderus: *snerk*

Happy new thread!

Dec 2, 2018, 3:41pm Top

>37 drneutron: I know, right?!

Thanks, Kim, happy to see you here.

Dec 2, 2018, 4:09pm Top

>38 richardderus: You are psychic!! How did you know I was coming? Now I am here. Happy new thread. Love the review in >36 richardderus:. LOVE IT!!! LOL

Dec 2, 2018, 4:56pm Top

>39 Berly: I see people who are dead to me...like certain Portlandians who just *poof* vanish...making no bones about just how *sniff* much we don't matter *snivel*

Have you seen Loving Vincent yet? It is so utterly gorgeous. It's available on Kanopy, so I'm sure you can see it. That's the public library streaming service, y'know, just enter your library card number and you can watch as many as 10 films a month!

Dec 2, 2018, 7:00pm Top

111 There There by Tommy Orange

Rating: 2.5* of five

Pearl Ruled @ p44

Due back at the library tomorrow and I just can't.

Nice writing, but I am not blown away the way so many are. I'm sure it's me. If, in future, the Kindle edition goes on sale, I'll buy it (IF it's under $3.99) but I have fewer eyeblinks ahead than I'd need to cram this bad boy into my skull.

Dec 2, 2018, 7:06pm Top

>41 richardderus: - Huh. I hadn't been all interested in this one, and then I read something recently that made me want to read it... I've stuck it on my library WL and will let it sit there a while to see if my interest holds.

Dec 2, 2018, 7:20pm Top

>42 katiekrug: I'm sure it's just me. I have to *want* a story for me to go past the statutory Pearl Rule point and Dene wasn't around long enough to get me there. Tony annoyed me. So, well, whatcha gonna do, each reader is their own final judge. Mene mene tekel, Tommy Orange.

Dec 2, 2018, 10:48pm Top

Happy New Thread!

Catching up: I skipped the spoiler for The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion and just ILL'd the thing instead.

Dec 2, 2018, 11:22pm Top

Tommy Orange had a very enthusiastic following at the Vancouver Writers Festival but I wasn't tempted to pick up his book after his reading from it, unlike some of the other writers who read from their books at the festival.

Edited: Dec 3, 2018, 10:16am Top

I'm in!

Re: Florence. Even the Popes couldn't destroy it. There's your eternal City.

ETC punktiashun. Damn auto spell.

Dec 3, 2018, 6:36am Top

Happy Monday, RD. Looks like more water and even frozen water headed your way today. Stay warm and dry!

Dec 3, 2018, 8:23am Top

>44 swynn: Hi Steve, thanks! I'm glad you decided to experience Killjoy's stories directly. I think Author Killjoy should be a force in the field for some time to come.

>45 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! I'm not all that surprised. I suspect he's a one-hit wonder. This isn't great and it's barely good, IMO, and unless his second novel is well underway I don't imagine we'll be hearing from Author Orange again.

Dec 3, 2018, 8:25am Top

>46 SomeGuyInVirginia: Morning, Larry, point well taken re: Florence. Goodness knows they *tried* to squash Florence often enough.

>47 karenmarie: *smooch* despite your little-ray-of-darkness prognostications.

Dec 3, 2018, 1:24pm Top

I notice a trend towards 2019ing among the 75er groupies. I blew past my 2018 goal of writing 180 reviews. I blew past my 2017 goal of writing 180 reviews. (136% this year, 116% in 2017)

So for 2019, the last year of the second decade of the 21st century, I'll up the goal to 200 reviews and make it for REAL reviews I want to publish on my blog. My goal won't count Pearl Rulings, or "it was okay" squibs.

By that standard, I finished the past two years with 181 and 183 reviews. So it seems like a fair goal and a stretch from the recent past. Now getting the reviews onto the blog...well, baby steps.

Dec 3, 2018, 1:26pm Top

A worthy goal, for sure. I hate writing reviews and mine have devolved over the years into short(ish) personal musings. Even that is sometimes too much for me, though!

Dec 3, 2018, 3:34pm Top

Thanks for moving on from the guy smashing the woman in the face -
I didn't get how something so hostile and ugly was supposed to be funny.

Dec 3, 2018, 4:01pm Top

>52 m.belljackson: ...where I see something I experience frequently, a woman assuming a man wants his space invaded for a hug. I can see what bothers you...can you see what about that is bothersome female presumption?

Dec 3, 2018, 4:02pm Top

>36 richardderus: What a great line. And now I want to know what book it was!!! *insert innocent smiley face here*

>50 richardderus: Yep, that is a worthy goal.

I've noticed There, There on several "best of 2018" lists. I appreciate your dissent (I haven't read it and I'm not sure that I will do so).

Dec 3, 2018, 4:06pm Top

>48 richardderus: Actually author Orange has a recent MFA and looks to be making writing his life's work. He's a young guy and from a minority so that counts in his favour. You will be hearing from him again.

Good luck or determination in reaching your 2019 blogging goals, Richard.

Dec 3, 2018, 4:10pm Top

>54 EBT1002: *snerk* The Magician's Angel by Jordan L. Hawk

I don't think you'll be irreparably harmed by your abstinence.

Dec 3, 2018, 4:11pm Top

>55 Familyhistorian: Long may he wave. I've seen many, many MFA novelists come and go.


Dec 3, 2018, 4:51pm Top

>53 richardderus:

Well, yeah, but is violence always the first best response? unless you are being ATTACKED...

And, in my experience, as a female, it is MORE often that a man reaches in for a hug.

Given the current state of evil, meanness, genuine attacks, and hostility, dealing with a well-intentioned hug,
whether male/male, female/female, female/male, or male/female,
ranks kind of not a big deal.

Dec 3, 2018, 5:05pm Top

>58 m.belljackson: ">53 richardderus: richardderus:

Well, yeah, but is violence always the first best response? unless you are being ATTACKED...

And, in my experience, as a female, it is MORE often that a man reaches in for a hug.

Given the current state of evil, meanness, genuine attacks, and hostility, dealing with a well-intentioned hug,
whether male/male, female/female, female/male, or male/female,
ranks kind of not a big deal."

Don't ever dismiss my feelings as irrelevant, unimportant, or petty while you are in my space. I have blocked you. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean you can't post in my thread but it does mean I won't see what you post.

Dec 3, 2018, 5:57pm Top

>49 richardderus: *smooch* back, dear one.

>50 richardderus: An admirable goal and definite good stretch for 2019. I'm going to back down to 100 from 105, I think, because I have found that this year has become a bit too much about the numbers for me. I'm also going to simply keep track of pages read and not try to make a goal of the number of them.

Dec 3, 2018, 7:58pm Top

>60 karenmarie: Most sensible. There's zero point in making a numbers game part of the plan if that's not a net positive.


Dec 4, 2018, 2:34am Top

>50 richardderus: Yay for admirable goals in 2019!! And boo for not liking There, There. I already have it. But maybe having the hype tempered by your opinion, lowering my expectation will actually give me a chance to enjoy it! So thanks. I think...

Dec 4, 2018, 2:46am Top

Happy Tuesday, Richard dear!

>50 richardderus: I have no thoughts about the next year yet, I caught myself with my last 2018 reading spurt.

Dec 4, 2018, 7:59am Top

Finally got to your latest thread. Hope things are going well for you.

Dec 4, 2018, 8:17am Top

>62 Berly: Thanks, Berly-Boo, I'm sure it'll be a stretch. That's what makes it a goal? I've never been too sure about the whole goal-setting thing's efficacy. I am not in the mainstream yet again with my opinion of There There. I hope it'll hit you completely differently from me.


>63 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! I can see how your mega-huge 2018 would make planning difficult. One can't rely on lightning striking again. The good part of setting any kind of goal is that it's you choosing and deciding. No one else to answer to. Happy reading!

>64 calm: Hello calm! It's January already outside, very unstable weather patterns that aren't what we're accustomed to with lots of trading back and forth between warm and cold variations from the expected. That means that I'm a bit more sensitive than usual to swelling's consequences.

Be well and warmish!

Dec 4, 2018, 8:35am Top

Hi RichardDear!

I have witty words of wisdom somewhere here, but can't seem to bring them to the fore. Not enough caffeine, I suspect.

*smooch* instead from your own Horrible

Dec 4, 2018, 8:40am Top

>66 karenmarie: The Disappearance of Emile Zola was entirely enough for me, thanks again.

*smooch* back, sweetness.

Dec 4, 2018, 9:21am Top

Buenos Dias, Richard. And Happy New Thread. Not a lot of time for visiting threads but I really appreciate folks taking the time to stop by mine.

I love the fact, we can sit out on the balcony at 7am and be perfectly comfortable. B.A.G.

Dec 4, 2018, 9:29am Top

>68 msf59:

It's 20° colder today than yesterday.

Dec 4, 2018, 9:44am Top

>69 richardderus: - Longjohns, mittens and a hot drink (of your choice). I'd also recommend a warm cat or two but I know better...;-)

Dec 4, 2018, 9:54am Top

>70 jessibud2: Heh. No Limbs of Satan need apply.

I'm warm enough inside, since my little DeLonghi heater works like a champ. But durn it, I have to go outside! Admittedly not right now, but soon enough, and that means The Big Chill for my achy knees. Yuck!

(I am so spoiled.)

Dec 4, 2018, 12:16pm Top

Last weekend I got sick of reading. That's either a red flag or growth, I can't decide.

My insomnia has kicked in and I am in a flipping poisonous mood; I've been awake since 1:00am. I'm also heading to my office Christmas lunch. My plan is to start drinking in the cab.

Dec 4, 2018, 1:18pm Top

Checking in on the new thread. I'm still a bit post NaNo sporadic! Add in work being insane and the forthcoming Christmas madness!

And apparently more than a bit discombobulated. Halfway through this message I went into the kitchen to serve the kids pud up. And, thinking about work and, well, books, opened a tin of beans to go on their crumble rather than custard...


I believe I need a large glass of wine.

Dec 4, 2018, 1:20pm Top

>69 richardderus: Ha! That's telling him, Richard.

I know There, There is in my future. I won't be surprised if my reaction is similar to yours, but we'll see. I am liking Washington Black, about 3/4 through, one that has been very popular on LT.

Edited: Dec 4, 2018, 1:25pm Top

>72 SomeGuyInVirginia: Oh dear! The poisonous mood sounds dire. Insomnia is a bear. The few times I've ever experienced it, I was utterly consumed by the rotten feelings sleeplessness engenders. Wishing you some consistent sleep soonest.

>73 BekkaJo: It's always wine-thirty somewhere, Bekka. Enjoy!

>74 jnwelch: I'm not sure about my view of There There being catching...too many have loved it. Washington Black frowns on me from the pile. Onward! Excelsior!

Dec 4, 2018, 3:14pm Top

I hope the weather warms up for you Richard.

>73 BekkaJo: Good luck with your NaNo hangover, Bekka.

Dec 4, 2018, 4:12pm Top

>76 Familyhistorian: I fear the winter is launched, Meg, but it's seasonable so it's time to adjust.

Dec 4, 2018, 5:36pm Top

>28 richardderus: The Bacchus changes mood and even age as you change your angle of observation.

Dec 4, 2018, 5:42pm Top

>78 quondame: And Silenus! Nasty little critter with a foxy look on his face, then all vulnerable. Miracle in stone, that is. David is gorgeous and perfect and awe-inspiring, but not as emotionally charged as Bacchus.

Dec 5, 2018, 3:18am Top

Just for you...tentacled hats and mittens! Stay warm. : )

Dec 5, 2018, 3:44am Top

I saw a tentacle lamp the other day. I meant to take a picture for you Richard; let me look for it.

What's this obsession with octopi anyway? You told Joe your spirit animal is okapi. They do sound similar, I suppose.

How do you find your spirit animal? I want to find mine, now! Or do I? What if it's not something nice and cuddly?

Dec 5, 2018, 8:32am Top

'Morning, RD!

>80 Berly: Those are a riot, Kim!

Dec 5, 2018, 9:17am Top

>80 Berly: Ooo! I wants them, Preciousssss!

>81 humouress: All the tentacled critters of the world are far more intelligent and adaptable and delicious than they're ever given credit for. I tend to root for the underdog. That's all.

There's a website devoted to helping you on your quest for a spirit animal.

>82 karenmarie: *smooch*

Edited: Dec 5, 2018, 12:57pm Top

>83 richardderus: Wait ... you root for the underdog and then eat them? I think there’s a problem there.

Will go and look for my spirit animal.

Eta: it’s a bee. I can live with that.

Dec 5, 2018, 12:19pm Top

Richard - I just took that quiz and don't want a bee to be my spirit animal. :(

I feel that my spirit animal is the UA, do you still love me?

Dec 5, 2018, 1:06pm Top

>84 humouress: That's pretty cool, without bees we'd have a lot less food and zero honey.

>85 karenmarie: *heavy, disappointed sigh* Of course.

Less. But still.

Dec 5, 2018, 2:31pm Top

Another bee here! Quite relieved, I like bees, and I'm all for love and peace. Not terribly impressive though, and not as cool and smart as an octopus.

Dec 5, 2018, 3:58pm Top

If I had a marine spirit animal, I'd want a cuttlefish. Coolest mollusc of 'em all.

Dec 5, 2018, 6:57pm Top

>68 msf59: There's our Mark, rubbing it in. (Actually, I'm glad he's having a good time.)
I went for a walk today during my lunch break -- 27F and sunny. And I am so far north that there are sections of sidewalk that the sun had never reached because it didn't get high enough to peek over the 4-story building across the street. Sheesh.

>75 richardderus: Have you not yet read Washington Black? I'd be so interested in your take on it.

Dec 5, 2018, 7:02pm Top

It seems that my spirit animal is an elephant. That works okay for me (although I've long thought it was a whale).

Dec 5, 2018, 7:52pm Top

I'd go with whale, then. Quizzes are fun enough, but you know you better than anyone else can. Same reason I chose an okapi! I don't remember what I quizzed out as since it seemed so utterly unlikely to me.

Dec 6, 2018, 6:00am Top

According to the quiz mine is a Panda Bear. I'm okay with that.

Dec 6, 2018, 7:51am Top

>86 richardderus: *preens* Have some pollen.

Dec 6, 2018, 8:05am Top

>92 calm: That's a great one! Lucky you.

>93 humouress: *CHOO*


Dec 6, 2018, 8:09am Top

'Morning, RD!

>86 richardderus: and >93 humouress: Bees are good, bees are cool, I buy local honey, and I actually have a friend who is on the Board of Directors of our county Beekeepers Association.

Dec 6, 2018, 8:12am Top

>95 karenmarie: ...but you wouldn't want to BEE one

Dec 6, 2018, 8:33am Top

Painful RD. Suffering, here. Low to moderate cleverness, so worth a point or two, but ONLY a point or two.

I'm actually terrified of getting stung, not allergic to them, but don't like pain. Best viewed from a distance.

Who is that cutie? I'm mostly a pop culture illiterate. As my dear friend Marie used to say, "He could eat crackers in my bed any day."

Dec 6, 2018, 8:50am Top

>97 karenmarie: I'll take the low point count in order to introduce you to Bradley Cooper:

He's the award-season favorite director and star of the latest incarnation of A STAR IS BORN. Turns out he can sing, act, and direct!

Dec 6, 2018, 10:10am Top

>94 richardderus: Oops. Royal jelly?

Dec 6, 2018, 10:13am Top

Is it just me or does Bradley Cooper look a bit like Ralph Fiennes?

Dec 6, 2018, 10:27am Top

>83 richardderus: (and all the chitchat following): I don't want to find out my spirit animal is a copperhead or a baboon. Or a dung beetle. I can live without that vital info.

Dec 6, 2018, 10:30am Top

The way I'm feeling today, my spirit animal would be a sloth... 😂

Dec 6, 2018, 1:10pm Top

>99 humouress: *schneeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrk* Dthad'z bedder

>100 katiekrug: It hadn't occurred to me, but yes indeed he does!

>101 weird_O: I seriously doubt anyone ever would admit to having any of those critters as spirit animals. Although I know a fair few who actually do have copperheads as spirit animals...all the women I'm related to, cold, venomous, ill-tempered creatures that they are.

>102 drneutron: The Megatherium kind would be pretty cool.

Dec 6, 2018, 2:59pm Top

Dec 6, 2018, 6:51pm Top

112 Radio Free Albemuth by Philip K. Dick

Rating: 3.5* of five

What a damned miracle it is to find this book again. In the Year of Our Suffering 2018, the weird way of PKD's imaginary travels has become our reality. Yuck! The fact that this wasn't published until after PKD's death suggests to me it wasn't fully baked yet. That is pretty much how I felt about the writing. He just didn't have a chance to get down into the working parts of the book before he died.

But damn, it's really really really scary how the imaginarium in his head led PKD to predict our present.

Then there's a 2014 movie that makes my hair stand on end. A good and faithful adaptation of the novel, a low-budget proof that the passion of a filmmaker makes for a good watch. I like this story because of how much it scares me. I think I should re-read the VALIS trilogy now!

Dec 6, 2018, 9:24pm Top

I see you are back and proliferating posts at a rate I can't keep up with!

Dec 6, 2018, 9:39pm Top

>106 thornton37814: Nobody's ever called me sluggish, Lori. :)

Dec 6, 2018, 11:31pm Top

>98 richardderus: He's BEE-you-tiful!! And I didn't know he could sing. Must see that movie....

Edited: Dec 7, 2018, 7:03am Top

>59 richardderus: Good move, sir. I blocked her a couple of years ago after she called me an asshole on my thread because I posted a recipe containing lamb. She's a special case.

Edited: Dec 7, 2018, 8:19am Top

My spirit animal world be...well, I'm afraid it would be a one antler deer, but I'd like to think it would be an eagle.

I'll check out RFA, I'll read anything with Dick on the cover.

I've got my move out inspection today, so I've actually snagged the larger place I wanted. When Amazon gets rolling here it's going to completely change the housing market.

RD, where did you go to school? You have one of the clearest writing styles I've ever read.

ETA: I'm also afraid my spirit animal would be the Elephant in the Room. And I wouldn't want it to be Hello Kitty, either.

Dec 7, 2018, 7:44am Top

‘Morning, darling Richard!

>98 richardderus: Oh my. Drop dead gorgeous. A pleasure to look at.

>105 richardderus: I just happen to have Valis on my shelves, just pulled it down, and just may read it this month.


Dec 7, 2018, 8:39am Top

>105 richardderus: I read the Valis trilogy, starting with Radio Free Albemuth, last year or the year before. Exceedingly weird, even for PKD. RFA did seem like a rough cut awaiting polish. I haven't seen the movie.

Dec 7, 2018, 8:57am Top

>108 Berly:, >111 karenmarie: Young Mr. Cooper's a treat for the peepers, ain't he? Well, I say "young." He's 43...that golden moment when men are interesting at last and still hot.

>109 kidzdoc: I really dislike doing that, but insulting me in my own space? No. Permission denied.

Glad to see you out and about, Doc.

>110 SomeGuyInVirginia: I went to Southwest Texas State, or Texas State University at San Marcos as they now call it. I learned to write a LONG time before I went there, though. I always strive for clarity, so thanks for telling me I hit my target!

Plan to be priced out of your home. That's the way it is when megacorps build in popular places. Queens?! Are they joking?

Heh. PKD is acronymized for that very reason! Squeamish little twidgees that straight boys are, they blanch at saying "I love Dick" the way they'd say "I love Asimov."

>111 karenmarie: *smooch*

>110 SomeGuyInVirginia:, >111 karenmarie:, >112 jnwelch: The film and the book are similarly...imperfect. The performances in the film are decent, the effects...one in particular...are inexpensive, just like the book's scenes and metaphors are creaky. I enjoyed both for what they are: scary accurate depictions of what's just happened. VALIS and the main trilogy are far better considered as reads.

Dec 7, 2018, 9:58am Top

Buenos Dias, Senor Richard. We hate leaving this weather, later tomorrow, but all the eating drinking must come to an end. It has been a great trip.

And I am so jealous that you get to see oystercatchers, in your area. They were a definite highlight for me.

Dec 7, 2018, 10:09am Top

They positively litter the joint! This spring I'll try to get some photos of the nesting pairs. They loves them some boardwalk.

Dec 7, 2018, 4:55pm Top

>83 richardderus: According to the website mentioned my spirit animal is a dog. So I am dogless now, but never in spirit ;-)

Dec 7, 2018, 5:22pm Top

>116 FAMeulstee: Perfect for you, Anita! I am dogless as well, though never in spirit.

Dec 8, 2018, 5:55pm Top

Happy Sunday!

...what? Of course it's Sunday. Somewhere.

Dec 8, 2018, 6:38pm Top

>118 richardderus: Sunday just started over here, Richard. No need for coffee yet, first some sleep :-)

Dec 8, 2018, 7:31pm Top

>119 FAMeulstee: Happy Sunday for realz!

Dec 8, 2018, 8:11pm Top

Dec 8, 2018, 9:09pm Top

113 Side Life by Steve Toutonghi

Rating: 4.5* of five

I want to tell you everything about the story because I can't imagine you'll pass up the book if I do. The problem is that the Spoiler Stasi will come drag me away, never to be seen or heard from again. So here:

“The machines of the mind are more difficult to recognize than machines of iron and steam.”

That's the basic building block of the entire imaginarium Author Toutonghi creates. The story of Vin, a tech startup failure, is predicated on the principle that he will know what machinery is when he sees it. Of course, the story's existence means that there is no way he will.

What's a tech bro to do when he fails to make his wad of cash from creating a new, wild Thing That'll Change The World? Vin decides to house-sit for fabulously rich but vanished Nerdean. Her house is an amazeballs mansion on Queen Anne Hill, the beating heart of Seattle's too-rich too-young $10-coffee-drinking yuppies (as my generation sneeringly called them). Author Toutonghi, a lifelong Seattleite, made me feel the city was a character in short, deft strokes. No long paean to place, this, rather a grounded in particularity poem. I like the latter just as much as the former. My lip-curling snark at the expense of Vin's generational cohort comes with being old and poor, so YMMV as always.

Vin's obsessive nature, in fact the Asperger's he seems never to have had diagnosed, leads him to disassemble the interior of this beautiful piece of architecture. He's searching for the one-name owner, convinced she's invisibly there somewhere although not likely to be either safe or, in fact, necessarily even alive. Vin keeps going, ignoring his only friend and the remnants of his family, not heaving his less and less clean body into sunshine or showers, until he finds what he most wants: Escape.

What are these crèches in the sub-basement hideaway? There are three...why? Can Vin, who recklessly and quite necessarily climbs into one, rely on coming home from wherever it is he's about to go? Hell, who cares, what the guy's leaving behind just ain't that great so off we go! I'd do precisely the same thing. See that weird device that can't be explained in any framework I possess? Notice the craptastic life I've got? Tally-ho! Let's see what happens.

And here is where I got that half-star thump. Author Toutonghi wrote Join, which I gave a good solid review in 2016. I liked that book a great deal as well. I didn't like the major missed opportunity I saw in it, and complained a bit about in my review. That's my issue here: Major missed opportunity again. If someone comes onto the stage I want them to be somehow explained and/or justified. Not necessarily even all that thoroughly, although I'd like that better as a reader, just tied in to the subtle and complex framework of this inner-space novel. Several pieces of the puzzle of Vin's multiveral travels and lives weren't given enough shape to assume real meaning in the story. NOTABLY included here is the cruel tease of introducing the fascinating scientification of the art of cliodynamics, utterly dropped...which means not explicitly tied into the story.

Now, the story itself: It's not a rollicking sci-fi thriller, as the publisher's comparisons to Philip K. Dick and Blake Crouch imply. Instead it's a well-built and deeply affecting interior novel, an exploration of Vin in all his multivarious selves, and in that sense a very French sort of récit. We're always a step away from the action due to the nature of our trip down the rabbit hole with disintegrating Vin. He's lost everything, he's throwing the dregs away with both ungrateful hands, and now he's found an out. Well, well, Vin, how shocking that you'd choose to duck out, so not like a guy like you. *snort*

But that character trait (I damn near typed "flaw" but had a stern talk with myself) makes possible a thoroughly fascinating self-autopsy. Vin's travels through the multiverse are all about working through a dreadfully wasted life, assigning blame and meaning, and all without consequences...except death, insanity, and Armageddon. Y'know, little bagatelles like that.

In the end, we get to this exact moment in identity discovery, this basic building-block of reality:

"But think about this, maybe even though there are infinite versions of you, maybe every single one of them is an asshole."


Dec 8, 2018, 10:26pm Top

Lurching through.

Dec 9, 2018, 1:02am Top

Happy Sunday Richard :)
It's 6:55am over here and I had my first coffee an hour ago. Time for a second one!
>118 richardderus: So true, want it in print on my kitchen door, and my office door

Tried to manipulate my spirit animal answers from bee towards dog last night, but the best I could do was panda. So I'm a panda bee now and imagine either a black/white bee or a yellow/black bear. Or a dog.

Dec 9, 2018, 4:24am Top

Happy Sunday, Rdear. I need my cappuccino in the morning and many espressi during the day. When I start drinking tea then I'm definitely ill.

Dec 9, 2018, 7:05am Top

Happy Sunday from snowy central NC, RD!

>118 richardderus: I must admit that one of the major factors in getting me out of bed in the morning is the thought of a cup of hot coffee.

Edited: Dec 9, 2018, 8:27am Top

>121 kidzdoc: Yep, it's pretty self-evident ain't it?

>123 weird_O: OMG a lurcher!!

Dec 9, 2018, 8:31am Top

>124 Deern: Quiz, schmiz, your spirit animal is what you decide it is. That's why mine's an okapi. Bosh on these silly deterministic quizzes.

Although I'm chuckling a mile a minure at the mental image of a bumblebee-striped panda.

>125 Ameise1: If I start drinking tea the Apocalypse has occurred. Nasty stuff! But tisanes like peppermint for medicinal purposes I will consume.

>126 karenmarie: *smooch* How much snow? I'll wander by and find out.

Dec 9, 2018, 8:43am Top

>128 richardderus: This is exactly how I drink ginger tea with honey, when a cold is approaching.

Dec 9, 2018, 8:48am Top

>129 Ameise1: That's the ONLY kind of boiled shrubbery I'll voluntarily, though with much grimacing, drink. The kind that soothes an unpleasant medical problem.

I have ginger and peppermint and camomile tisanes sealed in a freezerbag. Maybe three or four of each in their little bags, then I give the rest of the box to a friend of mine here.

Dec 9, 2018, 8:50am Top

>130 richardderus: Ok, that really sounds like a hate-love for tea.

Dec 9, 2018, 8:57am Top

More like "hate/grudging acceptance"...I never get within a light-year of experiencing love for the stuff!

Dec 9, 2018, 8:58am Top


Dec 9, 2018, 9:23am Top

I used to feel the same about tea, Richard, until I discovered green tea (gunpowder). It took a while to get used to it, but now I happely drink 2 cups a day. I still can skip the tea for a day, but absolutely NEED my daily coffee :-)

Dec 9, 2018, 9:29am Top

>133 Ameise1: ;)

>134 FAMeulstee: EW!! EWEWEW!!! That...that...substance does not enter my domicile. It tastes and smells like nothing else, only not in a good way.

I'm happy to know that consuming...that substance...hasn't corroded your pleasure-experiencing brain pathways so badly that you can't enjoy coffee. That would be tragic.

Dec 9, 2018, 9:39am Top

>135 richardderus: I promise I will never ever ask you for a cup of that substance, or expect you to like it ;-)

Dec 9, 2018, 9:59am Top

>136 FAMeulstee: There. Problem mostly solved. Now I can safely proceed with my one-man crusade to prevent the spread of tea-drinking in the civilized (ie bookish) world.

Dec 9, 2018, 11:01am Top

Yikes. I think I should be scared, very scared. I like tea, don't like coffee, I love my cats, and hate beets.

BUT.... I read. I do READ! Please don't banish me from your universe. We can still be friends, right? Right??

Dec 9, 2018, 11:08am Top

Tea AND Limbs of Satan. Begone!

But passionate reader...and erudite consumer of film...

...on balance, the entrée to the Court is renewed.

On condition of absence of advocacy for...those things...within these cyberwalls. It is so ordered. *rustlerustle*thwap*

Dec 9, 2018, 11:21am Top

Yes, SIR!!! Maybe I'll go rustle up a carrot cake in thanks..... ;-) Cream cheese icing ok?

Dec 9, 2018, 11:36am Top

>140 jessibud2: *slobber*drip*drool*

A certain amount of leniency might be purchased obtained in the presence of carrot cake....

Dec 9, 2018, 11:37am Top

Who's going to start the nominations for the 700s?

Dec 9, 2018, 11:44am Top

Happy Sunday, Richard!

Dec 9, 2018, 11:56am Top

>142 richardderus: Holy crow, that is lovely.

Dec 9, 2018, 12:30pm Top

>142 richardderus: - I don't know. Anything trump has *claimed* to have written?

The cartoon is brilliant, by the way! (I can't read the signature. Is that Roz Chast?)

Dec 9, 2018, 12:38pm Top

>143 figsfromthistle: Thank you, Anita!

>144 SomeGuyInVirginia: Ain't it?

>144 SomeGuyInVirginia:, >145 jessibud2: The inimitable Roz Chast strikes again.

Nope, the Orange Shitgibbon's books are the sine qua non of the category. Try harder! Jeanine Pirro, Ann Coulter, Tucker Carlson...that sort of thing.

Dec 9, 2018, 2:29pm Top

114 A Present for Pat by Philip K. Dick

First appeared in January 1954's Startling Stories on page 102.

Rating: 3.25* of five

What a ridiculous story. Ubercapitalist Horace Bradshaw an interdimensional supervillain-slash-thief! Such a stretch, that, making perfectly ordinary industrial pillage and plunder for massive profit but no benefit the idea of a being uninvested in the fate and needs of Planet Earth! After all, why should a criminal with the ability to depart from the very spacetime contiuum of the crime care even a smidge about those, those peons left behind?

Makes one ponder how very much different humans would behave.

All the stars off are for the appalling gender relations of the protagonist, the antagonist, and the readers who failed to rise up and smite PKD's 1954 sexist self.

Dec 9, 2018, 6:44pm Top

Happy Sunday, Richard! Thanks for keeping my thread warm & cozy while I was away cavorting. I am still dragging a bit today, so not feeling particularly social. Tough to catch up on the scores of neglected threads. I'll get there though. I may pop in here and there, during tonight's Bears game. Why did this big game have to be tonight? This old fart retires early, especially on a work night . Keeping my peepers open will be the mission.

Have you started the Murderbot series? If not, I highly recommend you jump in with All Systems Red. Fast and a lot of fun. I would like to party with this Bot!!

Dec 9, 2018, 7:10pm Top

>148 msf59: Hi Mark! I completely comprehend the lack of social desire so soon after re-entry. A bit of time is a good gift to give yourself in recompression.

I've got All Systems Red on my Kindle. Got to get through some of them pesky liberry books first.

Dec 9, 2018, 7:28pm Top

>91 richardderus: True enough. I'll stick with the whale and the raven. :-)

I'm in bummer re-entry mode, as well. My mini-vacation was shorter and much less tropical than Mark's but I've got those Sunday evening blues. Back to work tomorrow. Ugh.

Dec 9, 2018, 7:28pm Top

You will blaze through Murderbot...I immediately snagged the second book on audio.

And yes, I know all about those "pesky liberry books", although I have been showing fine restraint, of late.

Dec 10, 2018, 10:14am Top

115 Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

Pearl Ruled @ p116

Rating: 2.5* of five

I just can't. I don't like reading about straight people having sex. So that's why I don't wanna go on...I know your sensitivity to this unpleasant reality is different, but this issue increasingly makes a book unreadable to me. I am not straight, I didn't like straight sex very much when I was having it, and I am just not willing to compromise my remaining reading time with overlooking stuff not aimed at my pleasure centers.

Dec 10, 2018, 10:19am Top

>150 EBT1002: Post-vacay letdown syndrome...big bummer. So sorry you're there, and hoping you're on the up today Raven Lady.

>151 msf59: I'm pretty sure I'm going to be a fan. It's just amazing to me how this lady blazed across the firmament with novellas! This level of celebrity was once the province of the elephantine-tome author. I'm likin' the change.

Dec 10, 2018, 10:21am Top

'Morning, RD!

We're still in the middle of our storm, it seems - just got another 1.5" of snow.

>152 richardderus: Fair enough. Too many books, too little time. *smooch*

Dec 10, 2018, 10:25am Top

>154 karenmarie: Hey Horrible! Sorry for your snowy miseries. I am thoroughly grateful we haven't had a major snow yet. It seems to be the year for 'em.

Yeah, the eyeblinks grow fewer so more precious. Just not compromising as much as I once found it effective to do.

Dec 10, 2018, 10:49am Top

>150 EBT1002: Even as a kid, I used to get the blues on Sundays.

Dec 10, 2018, 10:53am Top

>156 SomeGuyInVirginia: Sunday is traditionally Old Nell's Curse among days of the week, especially for school-bound kids. Even I, gainfully unemployable for a decade now, notice when it's Sunday.

Dec 11, 2018, 2:04am Top

>152 richardderus: Oh yes, very much woman fantasy sex going on. You'll also want to avoid Ilona Andrews fer sure.

Dec 11, 2018, 7:53am Top

>158 quondame: Excellent advice that I shall follow to the letter. Thank you, Susan.

Dec 11, 2018, 8:47am Top

Good morning, RichardDear! Wishing you a coffee-and-scrumptious-brekkie morning.

Dec 11, 2018, 9:05am Top

Two barely-scrambled eggs, a cup of rice/refried beans/salsa from last night's dinner, and a jalapeño cheddar corn burrito wrap. Yep, perfect. *smooch*

Dec 11, 2018, 10:20am Top

Oh heavy heavy sigh...I ran into the memory limit on my Paperwhite. Auto-archiving is hard to do. Simple to perform, hard to accept...it feels as though I'm abandoning a loved one on an ice floe in the dead of winter.

Au revoir, little friends! I haven't forgotten you! *sob*

Dec 11, 2018, 10:26am Top

>162 richardderus: - I pretty much keep all my Kindle books in Collections on the cloud and just download the ones I'll be reading soon. I also have a Collection on LT for my Kindle books so I can easily see what's on there.

Morning, RD!

Dec 11, 2018, 10:35am Top

>163 katiekrug: I instituted that policy last year, but adding older books to the Collections isn't speedy for me. I just have that many. Oy.

Hey there Kickassness!

Dec 11, 2018, 10:36am Top

I find the interface of moving things from the device to the cloud to be clunky, for sure...

Dec 11, 2018, 10:37am Top

>162 richardderus: I felt that way when I started getting rid of books. I broke into it gently by tossing spy thrillers because I don't like spy thrillers. Now, if I feel like I don't want to read a book NEXT I can usually get rid of it.

I am the frog in boiling water, court executioner, any deranged, callous flak.

'Old Nell's Curse'. Define, prs. Guessing 'light condemnation; a gentle hex causing discomfort more than grief'?

Dec 11, 2018, 10:58am Top

>165 katiekrug: *clunk*judder*clank*wobble*

>166 SomeGuyInVirginia: I am slightly in awe of your ability to simply toss, heartlessly and insouciantly, an *actual*physical*book* into—shudder—the trash. Appalled and horrified go without saying, but still in awe.

"Old Nell's Curse" is a phrase I've only ever heard New Englanders use, and those older ones. It's meant to imply the Debbil Hisse'f pronounced anathema on the thing cursed and it is now an abomination unfit for proximity to decent christians.

Where one would find one of those is not addressed.

Dec 11, 2018, 11:26am Top

Hiya, Richard.

>152 richardderus: Good call - I'm pretty sure straight sex is featured throughout the Alpha and Omega series. You'll want to avoid the Eve Dallas mystery series, too - it's definitely a feature in every volume of that one.

I'm liking A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe so far; I'm near halfway through.

Dec 11, 2018, 12:14pm Top

>168 jnwelch: Hey there Joe. Yeah, the Eve Dallas books made me cringe a little, the three that I read. Naked in Death was okay, but just not *grabby hands*pagefan* good.

Near halfway! Yowza. It's got its hooks into you. I'm finishing the damned difficult to focus on The Dreaming Stars...although to be fair it's probably me that's having the difficulty, not the book's intrinsic quality.

Dec 11, 2018, 12:22pm Top

AAAK! NOT THE TRASH! No way! I donate everything to the lie-berry, or Operation Paperback. Gawd, I'd never throw a book away.

*i love those little guys*

...Oh mah gawd, what have I done?!

Dec 11, 2018, 12:38pm Top

>170 SomeGuyInVirginia: OIC

*removes Larry's name from the Dangerous Lunatic List*

Well I'm quite sure they're grateful, since you're giving them the good stuff. Liberry sales are The Bomb because of...generous donors, that's the phrase I was looking for, not "wild-eyed nutters" or "seriously disturbed madmen"...like you.

Dec 11, 2018, 4:14pm Top

Funny, Wild Eyed Nutter is my Indian name*. Ya’at’eeh, mofo.

*Actually, it's 'Wild Eyed Nutter' and not 'Funny, Wild Eyed Nutter'. -ed.

Dec 11, 2018, 4:25pm Top


Funny old guy, that Wild Eyed Nutter.

Dec 11, 2018, 7:24pm Top

Happy Tuesday, RD! I have been enjoying my day off. It was nice to have a quick recovery day. I mostly hung out with the books through the afternoon, making it through my Link collection. I really liked the title story.

Speaking of the Murderbot books, had you heard of Martha Wells before? I had not but it looks like this was not her first rodeo. Quite prolific, as a matter of fact. Good to know.

Dec 11, 2018, 7:33pm Top


Dec 11, 2018, 7:35pm Top

>174 msf59: I'd only vaguely heard of her Star Wars Universe sharecropper books. I don't care that much for fantasy, which was her main strength. She can sure as the devil write!

Dec 11, 2018, 8:23pm Top

>142 richardderus: I'll bet you have Chuckles in mind there, RD?

Vampire romance would certainly be on my list but I have pals that like the guff.

Dec 11, 2018, 8:28pm Top

>177 PaulCranswick: Oh nay nay nay, Friend Cranswick, I momnimate Chuckles for the 400s. Permaybehaps THE 400.

Perfectly corking to see you out and about! I hope this means the big project progresses apace.

Dec 11, 2018, 8:43pm Top

>178 richardderus: The 118 storey one is heading towards dispute as I wrote a letter to the Contract Administrator / Employer yesterday setting out the position that we are some US$75 million underpaid so far. The American company acting for the Employer is extremely intransigent and don't seem to understand the difference between the Commonwealth common law system of jurisprudence compared to the American way of doing things. A couple of their positions are clearly ultra vires to the laws in existence in Malaysia and my strategy is to encourage our Nominated Sub-Contractors (whose works are valued by the consultants) to commence proceedings to adjudicate the payment certificates issued. In such a way we could open up our own claims whilst maintaining with the Employer we had no choice in the matter. Typical British scheming from a student of history on the basis of divide and conquer!

Dec 11, 2018, 8:47pm Top

Sneakily Pearl-Harboring a Yankee megacorp. Aghast, I tell you, I am aghast. My pearls!

Dec 11, 2018, 9:12pm Top

>180 richardderus: So long as I don't become Kazuo Sagamaki!

Dec 11, 2018, 10:06pm Top

Don't fancy a Brazilian decade-plus?

Edited: Dec 11, 2018, 10:35pm Top

>170 SomeGuyInVirginia: Well, one doesn't throw out books, but my daughter donated her Twilight books as BBQ tinder to general approval.

>174 msf59: I found Martha Wells a couple of volumes into her Raksura series - those covers are kind of eye catching - and only last year backtracked to her other fantasy books.

>175 richardderus: Much lauded among my SCA friends!

Dec 11, 2018, 10:52pm Top

Hi Susan! That dining set is the bee's knees, and I'd love to possess it. Like, really a real lot like.

One of my (whispers) Goodreads friends likes Wells' Ile-Rien fantasy series. She trailed the bait before me but I stayed stalwart in my eww-ick no phauntaisee nawvelles stance. Having Murderbotted, I might realign that stance.

Dec 12, 2018, 1:10am Top

>182 richardderus: Nope, not even running a motor company.

Dec 12, 2018, 1:20am Top

>184 richardderus: You may remain stalwart without losing much - I rated them pretty highly but remember zilch. I would really miss her flying dudes though.

Dec 12, 2018, 3:05am Top

Martha Wells is one of the authors I think well of without being sure I've ever actually read anything by her (including Murderbot - I _have_ all of them, just haven't gotten around to reading).

Funny. I find an awful lot of books really annoying because the action comes to a screeching halt while the characters indulge in ROMANCE...but whether the action is personally titillating is not where my objection lies. Diff'rent strokes...

That dining set is _amazing_ and will be circulated among my SCA friends toot sweet.

I am busily trying to reduce my...um, I think the count comes to 62 banker boxes of books, either unread or I know I've read them but I have no idea what happened in them (and I didn't review them, either). But yes, they go to the library sale or other sales (once I've read them and decided their fate). I have, in fact, thrown out books. Two that come to mind, relatively recent (as in, in the last ten years) were the mystery missing the lower half of the last page - on which, apparently, the solution was revealed (top half of the verso was marveling over it, without saying what it was) and then a neat quip ended the book (half of neat quip visible). Very frustrating - and it was a 1950s hardback, the chances of ever finding another copy are extremely slim. I decided to spare the next person the agony. The other one had gotten damp and was not only raising a solid crop of mold (fortunately I'm not allergic, or wasn't then), but a good chunk of the middle of the book was solidly glued together with same. I tried prying it apart, but even when I could get the pages apart intact there weren't any visible letters on them any more. In the trash, in a sealed plastic bag.

BTW, the 62 boxes of books doesn't count the ones on shelves. That's a whole separate group - some of which I've decided I like and want to reread, some of which I just haven't gotten around to sorting yet. Reduce the boxes first, then get back to work on the shelves. And I'm reading more ebooks than paper, these days...

Dec 12, 2018, 7:44am Top

'Morning, RD!

Fantasy is hit or miss with me, mostly miss. So is SF and anything else I classify as 'supernatural'. Time travel, on the other hand, is almost always a hit.

Dec 12, 2018, 8:41am Top

>185 PaulCranswick: Heh. Especially not Toyota.

>186 quondame: I confess that her affiliations, unknown to me when I started reading the Murderbot books, would've kept me from picking her work up at all: She's an Aggie. An alumna of Texas A&M. Ugh. Silly, isn't it, to retain grudges learned in the 1970s.

But there you are.

Dec 12, 2018, 8:48am Top

>187 jjmcgaffey: Action vs action is an old debate, Mme McGaffey. I'll accept some instances of almost anything if it's the catalyst for something important that needs to happen in the story. I'm looking for particular things when I read about and decide to acquire books, so I am particularly unhappy and dissatisfied when I get a lot of something I wasn't bargaining for. Intricate sex acts in books I acquired for adventure would make me frown mightily.

Anything damaged, as in truly soaked, by water gets the heave-ho in my world. They aren't books anymore, they're mold vectors and I *am* allergic to the damn stuff.

That joiner should be getting dozens of commissions any minute now.

>188 karenmarie: *smooch* Hey Horrible, whass nuu?

Dec 12, 2018, 9:06am Top

It was 22F at 3 a.m., 27.5F when I got up. Bill's heading off to work about 9:30 although there are lots of accidents as he gets closer to Durham. He's being brave and intrepid, though. *smile* Potential lunch plans with a friend but haven't heard from her this morning, FoL work, reading, possibly a tree and poinsettias. Fun and games in central NC! *smooch* back from your own Horrible

Dec 12, 2018, 9:23am Top

Brr! It's 34° here, was only 33° for the low, but breezy...feels colder. Absolutely sun-struck out there, in contrast to your neck of the woods, and that makes even the coldth feel much better psychologically.

I finished The Dreaming Stars and need to write up my 4+ star review...the ending seriously creeped me out...

Dec 12, 2018, 2:51pm Top


Real Rating: 4.25* of five

While 500-year-old time-tossed refugee Sebastien wasn't a great friend to Humankind in his Axiom-enhanced state, he also wasn't as powerful as an actual Axiom being...and still the crew of the White Raven kept him alive because their adopted crewmember and the other 500-year-old time-tossed refugee Elena asked them to...and now we're about to find out if that was really such a good idea.

Does anyone really know the secret truth of another being? It's an ancient question and it's been answered...no, it's not possible...many times and in many ways. Why, then, do we as a species keep asking it? Because it's endlessly fascinating? Why should smacking your nose into a plate glass window at speed be fascinating?

Dunno, but it is.

So here we are, not long after The Wrong Stars ends, picking up the pieces of life as the White Raven's crew has been living it after the upheavals of discovering a Goldilocks ship, a genocidal alien race's existence and plans, and the real reason the Liars lie. Also the real reason the Free, or religious Liars, both lie and refuse to speak anything but the truth. (It makes sense in the books.) Callie and Elena are rockin' the relationship game. Stephen's his usual lugubrious self and even more so—he's lost his Church of the Ecstatic Divine congregation after all—but he's no slacker, he's busy trying to put Elena's ex-crush object Sebastien's brain back together in the new home base that the White Raven won off the space pirates they were hired by the now-destroyed Meditreme Station "government" to...well...deter, which in practice meant get them killed. It has a souped-up version of virtual reality, and Elena goes with him into Sebastien's head as they endure iteration after iteration of the man's megalomaniacal, unfettered-by-empathy actions to kill the crew that saved him.

After we get a high-concept comedy scene of Callie returning to the Jovian Imperative's coolest, most gentrified-Portland of a moon, in order to crash her funeral, the action commences. Her ex-husband (after recovering from the shock of seeing her in the flesh for the first time since his actions ended their marriage—and at the funeral he's hosting for her no less!) needs White Raven's unique skill set to accomplish something his corporate drones can't. What's causing shipload after shipload of company employees to vanish in the Owain system? The local old-timey bohemian hippie trippers aren't doing it, they've lost some of their own people.

Callie and the crew need money. Callie doesn't hate the ex anymore since Elena busted down the closet door and dragged her out. The ex is part of a family corporation that has more money than God. We'll take the job, says Callie, and thanks for the spiffy funeral.

In the course of setting up the main conflict of the book, we're back into the same group of characters that we had in The Wrong Stars. A similar quest is run, in that we have to deal with the Axiom's universe-domination fetish, not unexpectedly, but with some surprising new stakes added plus a super-dooper uber-cool new playground to duke it out on.

And here we come to my main source of deep satisfaction, my enhanced appreciation for the world Author Pratt's going for. At every turn the Axiom are godlike in their technological achievements, but still their bestial selves; their Achilles heel is their animal nature and it can be exploited even by the "suffering slime," their charming pet name for the technologically inferior beings that clutter up their Lebensraum. The Final Solution that we thought we were appalled by last book? Ha! Small potatoes compared to the revelations in this book.

When an author plays in the much-churned sand of the xenocidal aliens with humanity in their sights sandbox, I appreciate some effort being made to titillate me with novelty. Author Pratt gives me the gift of characters working out their deep truths. Callie, the domineering captain, also has an emotional side: Elena is her little lost waif in need of rescue plus the ex who banged up her heart by banging his boyfriend in their bed while she was self-centeredly off flying the spacelanes for adrenaline rushes that she still can't do without. Stephen the XO-cum-doctor, whose world blew up not once but twice, and whose response was to turn back to the comforting arms of Mother Church and lose himself in the designer-drug sacraments that both connect him in loving communion to all the universe while dulling the acute agony of individual loss and grief. These aren't mere cardboard cutouts, these are well-realized characters with important things to offer the reader. Their individuality is their weakness, their brokenness, and in time their greatest and strongest weapon.

The battle between the motley crew and the xenocidal aliens is played out in a virtual reality with enhancements that are as far beyond the VR Callie and company are accustomed to and the VR Elena and Sebastian know from 500 years back. The beings in this VR are self-aware. They experience themselves as we do, they are possessed of inner lives and self-awareness; the Axiom couldn't enjoy torturing and murdering them otherwise. And that's mostly what the Axiom are doing in their space station beyond the asteroid belt of Owain's system. They're playing the equivalent of video games while their meat-bodies slumber in a perfect stasis, awaiting a cosmic-era-long program to run in order to accomplish a truly, amazingly vile thing. The only reason Callie and company know about it is that the game needs an expansion module and the way that this is added involves the death of Planet Owain. Omelettes, eggs....

Sebastien is central to the crew's plans to stop the Axiom because he's been co-opted by them before and therefore has insight into the workings of these cosmic scumbags's minds. Callie trusts him about as far as she can throw him, but he's a useful tool...a thing that Sebastien is now bitterly accustomed to being. How he comes out of the battle is a major source of satisfaction for me as it involves his deepest character traits surfacing, changing the entire future in the process. Callie and Elena can finally agree on Sebastien's future and not have to compromise for the other's feelings.

The crew of the White Raven alters in composition and in character, the threats are neutralized but this is only the beginning of a much larger, more important struggle. The battle and resolution in the Dream, as the VR is called, and in Owain's system, and in the galaxy at large, are not really over. The game is afoot.

I'd like to mention the ending of this book in a most approving way: It gave me chills. I see a pattern developing that I'm not sure I'll like, if it plays out as I think is almost inevitable it will; but the last line of the book gave me horripilation. To my own surprise, I'll trust Author Pratt to deliver the goods.

Dec 12, 2018, 3:59pm Top

Happy Yule, fellow biblioholics.

Dec 12, 2018, 4:00pm Top

Dec 12, 2018, 4:12pm Top

>194 richardderus: Loook!! What's that over there?!?! *steals image*

Dec 12, 2018, 4:22pm Top

>195 katiekrug: Yeah, ain't it?

>196 laytonwoman3rd: STOP!! THIEF!! SHE'S GOT MY...
Hey, I can still see it here so what's the diff? *smooch*

Dec 12, 2018, 6:48pm Top

I just heard a completely new-to-me mondegreen: Someone responded to a political post of mine with "That's a mere bag of shells for {politician} considering how much {they} already stole."

Bag of shells? *light bulb* BAGATELLE!

Dec 12, 2018, 6:52pm Top

>194 richardderus: My kinda tree...although, I would have a bird or 2, perched here and there.

Edited: Dec 12, 2018, 7:37pm Top

Your school maps LIED!! This GIF represents a same-scale takedown of Mercator's lying "Projection."

Dec 12, 2018, 7:43pm Top

>199 msf59: I'd say sure, fine, whatevs...except birds don't get housebroken, so what protects our precious pages from a bird-liming?

Dec 12, 2018, 8:54pm Top

Dec 12, 2018, 9:54pm Top

>194 richardderus: Ooooh, gorgeous image!!

Dec 12, 2018, 10:12pm Top

>194 richardderus: Very nice, RD. Much better than my missing Christmas tree...


Dec 13, 2018, 2:31am Top

>200 richardderus: Somehow that makes me queasy...

Morning RD. Xx

Dec 13, 2018, 9:36am Top

>202 jessibud2: I know, right?!

>203 ronincats: So agree.

>204 karenmarie: Heh. No Chanukah Bush bitchin' allowed, I proffered a logical and cost-saving solution to your dilemma....

>205 BekkaJo: Howdy do, Bekka. I'm not queased, but I can see how one could be. Happy Thursday!

Dec 13, 2018, 10:25am Top

>194 richardderus: "Like"

Hmm. Now I'm going to have to find an opportunity to use the word "queased". Too good not to.

Dec 13, 2018, 11:43am Top

"That queases/queased me" generally gets mildly puzzled looks, just so's ya know. Glad you like it, it is a favorite of mine.

Dec 14, 2018, 7:11am Top

'Morning, RD!

logical and cost-saving solution It is, but I am an artiste and must have a dead-but-pretending-to-be-live palette to work upon for Christmas decorating.

After writing that, I realize that I need more coffee. 1/2 mug down, 1 1/2 mugs to go.

Dec 14, 2018, 8:49am Top

>209 karenmarie: *smooch*

Illogical, but totes adorbs. I am powerless.

Dec 14, 2018, 3:20pm Top

Morning, Richard! (or afternoon I suppose) Hope you are well! xo

Dec 14, 2018, 3:40pm Top

Hiya Chelle! It's a gloomy, chilly afternoon that I'm spending with some Abuelita Mexican ho-cho, my new Bluetooth earbuds from my adorable, generous YGC, and COLD EARTH which is really really good.

Dec 14, 2018, 6:59pm Top

Happy Friday, Richard. I am going to read a bit and then I have Spike Lee's latest, lined up on DVD. I have heard very favorable reports. Are you a fan of old-fashioneds? It has become my favorite drink. No frills, no B.S. I am still experimenting but I am getting pretty good, at making them. I just don't have an orange rind, at the moment.

Dec 14, 2018, 7:03pm Top

I enjoy old fashioneds a lot. I'm not entirely convinced all the groceries are additions worth concerning yourself about for most drinks, but the citrussy tang of an orange peel really *makes* an old fashioned.

Dec 14, 2018, 8:08pm Top

117 Northwest Smith by C.L. Moore

Rating: 4* of five

C.L. Moore was a phenom. She was a popular pulp goddess in an era that welcomed not the talented female, not even the grudging welcome of the feminist awakening time or the offhand occasional kudo of today's dismal cultural landscape. She muscled her way through the door of a paid writing career on talent, nary a "feminine wile" or a compromise in her integrity to be seen. It's true that she married...Henry Kuttner...and that she and her husband frequently collaborated, as they together earned more than she did alone on a per-word basis. But that seems a quibble as, in this our good day of the 21st century, women still earn almost 1/3 less than men in identical jobs. Why this should be is, was, and always will be a complete bafflement to me. No one has ever given me a remotely sensible answer to the question of why this should be true, now especially but really ever.

Anyway. Northwest Smith is, next to Jirel of Joiry, Moore's most famous character. Jirel gets more attention because she's a badass warrior queen in a fantasy setting, where NW is a man in spacer's leathers that Moore very lovingly describes more than once. And Moore also makes NW an object of desire, mostly for women but occasionally for men, and in one *very*memorable*story* even has ol' Northwest delivering a whole bunch of barely euphemised blowjobs to, well, to an unclearly described sentient and possibly even animate divine...thingy. No, not that thingy exactly, but a kind of numinous, umm, like cock-fountain-feeding trough thingy. Hell, I dunno, it's her kink not mine, but believe me when I tell you that the acts NW performs are most definitely and most lovingly described in such a way that any adult (even non-pervy ones, if you can find one to ask) knows *exactly* what she's talking about.

The coda in this book is what we today call flash fiction. A story called Song in a Minor Key that's about 500 words of homecoming nostalgia for Northwest as he at last returns to Earth after more than 20 years of exile in the alt-physics Solar System committing petty crimes and saving damsels in distress among the three inhabited planets of the inner worlds and one foray to the inhabited moons of Jupiter. It's a Golden Age Solar System for sure, everything has earth-standard atmospheres and earthly gravity or close to it; a naive world that she builds from her era's very different understanding of how the whole other-planets thing works. She even makes a nod towards the dawning realization among scientists of the unlikeliness of her premise in a story set on Earth's Moon. But I like the idea of reading about Otherness, and there's very little more Other than a Solar System with other human races on other worlds.

I don't think this collection will be for everyone. I suspect modern women will find much to sneer at in Moore's seductive enchantresses, mantraps to a woman. Stick to Jirel of Joiry, female persons. Men addicted to modern worldbuilding will buck and rear at the setting. But a few of us weirdos exist who want to revisit the dear dead days, and this is a means to do so; even though we can't undo modernity's death grip on our vitals, for some of us there is enough of the old-fashioned sexist racist unquestioningly accepting of that status quo left to resonate unironically with assumptions we no longer hold. All fifty of us should probably read this book.

Just not all in a gulp. It goes down easier in tapas-like savorings.

Shambleau hot damn! No wonder my memories of this collection are so...fond. Golden Age perversion of pleasure as Medusa's master pattern introduces Northwest Smith to delights so revolting that he can't stop himself from reveling in them while hating the perverse pleasures he's enjoying.

Black Thirst was daring stuff in the 1930s. It explicitly makes Northwest Smith into the object of a male-like alien creature's dark and hungry desire for male beauty. Shocking! And ever so humidly written.

Tree of Life is another "nameless horror infinite dread defeated by the steely honour of Northwest Smith refusing to be violated" story. Much of a muchness, in other words. Thag's little pocket universe is cool. The Botticelli grass is a great and lasting image.

Scarlet Dreams appeared in May 1934. They were more innocent times. This story, presented today, would only be published in one of those one-handed reading magazines. (Do those still exist or is wordy porn all on the web like visual is now?) Northwest gets completely hooked on tube steak, the literal only source of sustenance in a weird alternate dimension, and just loves it. A woman sacrifices her life to unhook him. *whew* This could easily be retitled "The B.J. Story." And now it has an illustration! Artist Gary P. DeSalvo painted a perfect atmospheric rendering of the story called Energy Source at Horror Sleaze Trash, which site one should put on the webtour of life.

Dust of Gods features Northwest and his Venusian partner in crime Yarol seeking the supercharged ashes of the Elder God Pharol (itals in the original, and always used in referring to this particular god) at the behest of a Peter Lorre-esque little smoothie, that he may...who knows, destroy the universe or summat, he seems like that kind of guy. Spoiler alert: They don't give the ashes to him.

Paradise Lost makes it clear that Moore's weird physics, allowing inhabited Venus and Mars, knows no limits save those of the Divine as Northwest in his atheism resists the Will of the Gods to astonishing effect.

Julhi has Smith spending a very long time in the Venusian Atlantis-cum-Brigadoon called Vonng. He is accompanied by a Venusian woman/seer and a totally wacked devilangel named Julhi who seduces him with what resembles closely the acid trips I remember from my misspent youth. Just as he's about to pay the bill for his ecstatic adventure, he escapes by committing a violent act. Comme d'habitude.

The Cold Grey God finds Northwest in a very unwilling near-death experience of battle with the titular god. While committing theft in service of an dead-ish pop idol, NW opens a gate for Mars's long-gone dread god to return after a million-year plus exile to resume its bloody rule. His steely mettle is tested from within as never before by expelling IT from his own body. Big fun.

Yvala places the Circe legend among the inhabited moons of Jupiter, a tropical paradise where Yarol and Northwest go on behalf of some slavers to procure women for the sex trade. Icky, right? But it's really evocative and atmospheric and I reveled in the ending, major ickiness aside.

Dec 15, 2018, 8:53am Top

118 Cold Earth by Ann Cleeves

Rating: 3.75* of four

Ach, Jimmy, you need to pull up your socks and get with the program or Willow's gonna get something better equipped to provide babies and boom-boom in Inverness! What a pity that'll be!

I'm invested in this novel series. I liked this entry just fine. I had a problem with the resolution: When Simon Shrinky-dink is the ONE AND ONLY voice even implying the the first victim was in any way unhappy, well...five alarms and red red flags, Author Cleeves! It wasn't enough to ruin my pleasure in spending time with Jimmy and Sandy and Willow, mind you. Something else almost was, though: When Andy Hay's gone off to Have A Think, it's about the least deft thing I've read Author Cleeves do! And Janeymum does not twig to her boyo's hidey-hole? No. He's got quite a lot of probletunities, does Andy. He's no mastermind to be successfully invisible to his doting mama when he's a hundred meters away.

So I twigged to the murdered right quick. I was sure the Hay family was in it, particularly once the nature of the business relationships around the community were limned in acid on the backs of my eyelids. EW! What I had built in my head wasn't the connection that came to light, though: I was sure Michael's girlfriend was employed by Rogerson and the motive was outraged revenge on Simon Shrinky-dink's part.

I'm also curious about a throwaway line that Author Cleeves gives to Mavis Rogerson about her Kathryn: "She's her father's daughter all right." Nothing at all is done with it. Nothing really led up to it, although the mother/daughter relationship appeared to me to be quite businesslike; I put it down to adult-child-back-in-nest syndrome. Might be I was only partway right....

There it is, laddies and gentlewomen. There's the reason I keep going with this series in a nutshell. Author Cleeves gives the reader so much more than she writes on the page. She puts in details that don't exactly redherringize you, but do command a fraction more of your attention than ordinary backgrounding. She doesn't fill them out. She says, in effect, "and what do you imagine will be behind this little nug of goodness?" then leaves us to it.

I get the feeling that she likes her readers and enjoys making things that fun bit extra.

So why, I hear the Parity-for-All Perfectioneers grumble, do you give this a "bad" 3-star plus rating? All those nosegays of praise and then *splat*? That's just wrong! The hell it is, Gold Star Granting Gremlins. You just take yourself off and read Red Bones or better still Raven Black! Author Cleeves is capable of nigh-unto-perfection. This book just isn't that. There's the rating explained.

Edited: Dec 15, 2018, 11:56am Top

I see I shall have to add Ann Cleeves as a mystery author to check out. Thanks for a fabulous review!

Dec 15, 2018, 12:02pm Top

>217 bell7: My pleasure! Definitely start with #1, Raven Black. This series absolutely must be read in order. Some, like the old-timey Miss Silvers or Nero Wolfes, not that urgent; here it truly is.

Dec 16, 2018, 12:17am Top

>175 richardderus: Great Viking boat dining set. I was behind on your thread (but not that far behind your thread just moves fast), anyway I did the spirit animal quiz and ended up with a snake - bees sound must better.

Dec 16, 2018, 1:56am Top

>218 richardderus: 1.14 Eur on Kindle, starting that series today. It‘s been a while since I read a good murder mystery.
Happy Sunday, Richard! :)

Dec 16, 2018, 8:07am Top

119 Europe at Dawn by Dave Hutchinson

Old friends make reappearances...old problems need solutions again, the only ones at hand are the ones that didn't work before...new faces wear old clothes and frighten us out of our sleep because the monsters under the bed never left.

An island in the Aegean Sea, the Scottish Embassy in Tallinn, a folk duo of no discernible talent but a huge reputation, and a pair of refugee teenagers tear through the pages trailing clouds of story as Author Hutchinson makes his last scheduled stop in hideously Fractured Europe.

So let me start with this. You're not going to make this your first stop on the route of the Coureurs des Bois. It would be a serious error of judgment to jump in any old how. It is necessary to read EUROPE IN AUTUMN first because so many things that happen in each book suddenly make sense in light of remembering events from the ones before; and starting from the first story helps make the experience of reading the fourth richly textured and satisfying.

The multiverse that Author Hutchinson posits, with its pocket universes and its bizarre cartographic secrets and its stunningly amoral and conscienceless elite, doesn't suddenly make sense in this book's denouement. It doesn't really ever make sense. It all—all the books, all the maps you hear about, all the baggy, wrinkled bits of story-cloth left on bushes here and there drying at their own pace—makes perfect sense as soon as you realize that. I'm not trying to be sibylline or obfuscatory. I'm giving you the effect of reading Author Hutchinson's deeply sculpted, complex story. What vistas open to you are important, but not decisive and defining. They're fractal artifacts of a universe possessed of no higher law than randomness. Remembering the things in your subjective past isn't always helpful, though it's always a good idea to rattle the dice in the brain-cup and see if boxcars or snakeyes come up. Either roll can be the winner because, like the real universe, shit just happens, what the hell. (Yes yes, it's a Terry Pratchett line, but believe me when I tell you that Author Hutchinson has a similarly depraved sense of humor to Sir Terry's.)

What you need to know about this book in particular is that Rudi coming back into focus, Rudi from the Krakow restaurant who really never wanted too much of what happened on his watch to happen...Rudi snaps the pieces of this shattered place's soul into focus as only he could. He still wants to feed people and be a cog in a machine that lacks malevolence for its constituent parts. And he is the reader in that sense, he is the character who does what he must but wants some of his work to matter in a simple way without Overtones.

He wants to live a boring life in boring times. The opposite of the "ancient Chinese curse" we've grown up hearing about. Europe's fracture due to the hideous plague of dubious origins is irreparable. The world cannot be put back together again. I think the Western Romans, especially the Britannians, of 500CE must have felt this way. It look the same. The sky's the same. The birds didn't change. But nothing will ever work again so what shall we do now?

Then there are those alternate places that aren't a thing like Fractured Europe...do they fit together better, are they functional societies, and what are we all going to use as glue to hold all the truly jagged pieces in place? There are no answers. There are no better-framed questions. There are a lot of smug bastards pretending they're on top of stuff. They're not. And you know what? Since no one is, since there's no top to be on, the world will sail on. Over the falls. Off the edge. Into safe harbor. Simultaneously.

This, my friends, is why I read Author Dave Hutchinson's books. Do not kid yourself. He sees reality, he tells you what's happening in eleventeen voices, he weaves disparate strands of story together and snips others without warning. This is what life actually is without the comforting lie of linear time to soothe our monkeybrains with story. Author Hutchinson tells us the story but unwraps it so we can get down in the gearbox that only quantum mechanics know how to grok.

I want you to read these novels. Don't start here. This is your reward for making a turbulent and beautiful journey. This is the final cataract on the river. You're prepared for it. And it's a great sense of understanding and accomplishment as you finish this book. For this is what it means to be awake and alive and fully present in a unique place. Control? None. Power? Illusion. A good dinner, some wine, and companions to enjoy. Do what it takes to keep that safe for the greatest number of people.

Happen I agree.

Dec 16, 2018, 8:26am Top

>221 richardderus: Good review of Europe at Dawn. I love this concept.

Morning, RD! Happy Sunday. Working through my 3rd and possibly final cup of java, (yep, I was up ridiculously early). I am falling behind, on my mini-reviews, after doing so well, pre-Mazatlan, so I hope to get to a couple of those today, but my current reads are also calling my name. There is also the Bears and Packers on at noon, so you know I will be tuned in to that.

Dec 16, 2018, 8:35am Top

>219 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! Snakes aren't popular critters, I know, but they're vitally necessary to the success of the overall ecosystem. Still not cuddly, at least not to people I know, so I don't blame you if you elect to change your banner animal.

>220 Deern: For 1.14 Euros it's a bargain. Well, if by "bargain" one means "low-priced gateway drug."

Read hearty!

>222 msf59: Hey Mark, amazed to see you here fully caffeinated at this hour. Write the minis before the game! They just pile up into an intimidating edifice of impossibility otherwise and NEVER get written!

Hope your Bears win today.

Dec 16, 2018, 10:35am Top

120 Death and the Dervish by Mesa Selimovic

Rating: 3.5* of five

An intense read. Beautiful translated words confronting and comforting the human fear of love by the means of examining the easier-to-grasp fear of death.

I've chosen some favorite phrases and liked them from the quotes. They appear below the review. (This describes a wonderful and useful function available on Goodreads.) I think the patience required to read a footnoted and glossary'd read won't allow its subtleties and tremendous pleasures to spread widely among US English-speaking readers.

Make no mistake: Ahmed Nuruddin is you, reader, a man whose loves and One True Love don't mark him out from the herd but place him in the center of it. He doesn't do a single thing that any one of us couldn't do, be it generous or cowardly or divinely inspired. It is simply that we wouldn't tread in his footsteps, wouldn't elect to give ourselves to an ideal in a world without respect for them.

I give the book a paltry rating, based on those comments; I found it necessary to break my reading into smaller bites than I would have liked to do. The feast is so rich, satisfying my word-lust in such short order, that I ended up feeling disconnected by the enforced consumption of many amuse-bouche reads between this book's courses.

I suspect many readers will be defeated by that very need. This is a book that, due to its own delights, ends up unfinished, bookmark poking the piles of paperbacks athwart its spine, a guilty glance sliding past it as the New Year's Resolution cry "I WILL FINISH THIS SHELF!" rings its falsely sincere echoes into our shared shame.

Dec 16, 2018, 12:20pm Top

I did one of those animal quizzes and got a tiger. I'm perfectly happy being a big cat! I don't think I even want to attempt your spirit animal quiz if there's a snake as an option. I suspect it's the same quiz I took anyway. However, I'd just prefer to continue to be a tiger!

Dec 16, 2018, 12:57pm Top

And so you shall remain, O Tiger Lady of Tennessee.

Dec 16, 2018, 2:49pm Top

Dec 16, 2018, 3:53pm Top

Well, you got me with that Europe at Dawn review. I'll add Europe in Autumn to the WL. I thought it was some kind of NF history book from the title!

Dec 16, 2018, 4:06pm Top

I got my reading mojo back, so I'm enjoying my books again. This is my first real vacation in years, so I still read a few pages, fall asleep, read a few more. It's kind of blissful, ack-shully.

Dec 16, 2018, 4:15pm Top

>227 thornton37814: Happy to bear the good tidings.

>228 jnwelch: Excellent!! I will tell Dave that the Arbiter of All Things Good is reading it and will Pronounce Upon It soon.

No pressure, of course. I'm sure he'll be perfectly fine with waiting until you're done with the series. Even if it takes years.

>229 SomeGuyInVirginia: It sounds devoon, ackshully. Simplement parfait. Disfruit it well/

Edited: Dec 16, 2018, 6:12pm Top

I've really got to dig into the Ann Cleeves series. I've only read the first installment. I adore the BBC production (which, I know, is only loosely related to the books).

And you've intrigued me with your comments about Dave Hutchinson. I'm adding Europe in Autumn to the wish list.

Dec 16, 2018, 6:26pm Top

>231 EBT1002: *crooning contentedly at Fractured Europe Sequence successes*

Dec 16, 2018, 6:46pm Top


Edited: Dec 23, 2018, 3:38am Top

This message has been flagged by multiple users and is no longer displayed (show)
On the serious consequences of online bullying:

I've made my point with the previous message which occupied this space. I'm glad it was reported and not simply ignored. That message came from a place of great suffering as opposed to petty grievances, as some small minds may think. Online bullying of a person like myself who suffers from suicidal clinical depression and extreme social anxiety and has been mentally and emotionally abused by a toxic mother since early childhood, much as the owner of this thread, should not be made to suffer a character assassination and randomly compared to a sexual abuser and oppressor because of petty grievances.

I share below my exchange with Tim Spalding. He asked me to edit this post to conform to LT TOS; I do so gladly. I have no intention of entering into further communication with the reprehensible individual who thinks attacking someone simply for expressing a differing point of view is acceptable behaviour, beyond wanting to make very clear just how much he tormented me on a mere whim. I simply wanted to restate clearly that I was originally completely innocent of wrongdoing or malice of ANY sort and was fully prepared to be a friend, and came only in peace. But RD attacked me viciously and willfully misinterpreted a simple comment I made, and immediately turned his friends and followers against me on a whim without giving me the benefit of the doubt. And then followed... the thorough character assassination which was really what sent me through the wringer: the completely random comparison to his cruel and abusive mother, while I was dealing with unbearable psychological and emotional assaults from a toxic mother of my own who constantly drove me to thoughts of suicide. For this and for the continued torment all this caused me I will never forgive him and I wanted him and all who read him to know this kind of psychological and emotional mistreatment has had very real and very serious consequences. That behaviour of this kind is given a pass in comple

Dec 16, 2018, 8:52pm Top

LT forbids personal attacks on members, so I have flagged the above post.

Dec 16, 2018, 11:56pm Top

>223 richardderus: Read it already, it was the perfect cold December Sunday for mystery reading. What a great setting! Had a dram of Lagavulin while reading. :)

Dec 17, 2018, 7:47am Top

Good morning, darling RD!

I'm fortifying myself with coffee and will go henceforth to prepare my holiday cards.


Dec 17, 2018, 9:11am Top

>235 katiekrug: :_)

>236 Deern: Superb way to celebrate the happy reading experience, Nathalie. I'm pretty sure that Cleeves's effigy gets burned at Up Helly Aa now. They must really hate all the Perez tourists popping with questions about the Armada....

>237 karenmarie: That makes my hands and wrists ache to think about it! I miss those sorts of absorbing Yuletide tasks, but the hand pain makes it just not worth it. *smooch* Enjoy!

Tragedy: I dropped the electric kettle, the lid broke off. No hot water for coffee!!
Comedy: A little elf had already sent me a back-up kettle because "you without coffee ain't no fun at all."

Dec 17, 2018, 9:40am Top

121 The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis

Rating: 5 angry stars of five

I fucking hate each and every person who voted for 45. The gigarich tech bros who enabled 4chan and Cambridge Analytica. And, of course, all you jackass libertarians and white supremacists.

This book explains why there is no hope for reconciliation between decent human beings and Trumpanzees.

Dec 17, 2018, 9:48pm Top

>238 richardderus: Someone knows you well, supplying you with a backup kettle.

Snakes are necessary but not cuddly - maybe that says something about me?

Dec 17, 2018, 9:57pm Top

Tomorrow is tooth surgery day--I am trying to veg out with no drama anywhere in sight.

Dec 17, 2018, 10:13pm Top

122 The Disappearance of Emile Zola by Michael Rosen

A very interesting digest of the paperwork, published sources, and private thoughts recorded between 13 January 1898 and Christmas 1900. The Dreyfus Affair's incredibly long shadow hasn't passed yet, the anti-"foreigner" attitude of many of the French has shifted to the Muslims. The rhetoric hasn't changed much.

Zola's response to the horror of his country's leaders, the men charged with guiding the Ship of State into safe harbor, listened to the lowest, the least, and the worst people in France, gave them something they wanted...an Other to abominate and excoriate...then put that designated scapegoat onto a ship to die in their most horrifyingly ghastly prison colony, was to scream his fury and rejection. The baseness, the injustice, the inhumanity of it, ate at Zola like acid. He was the author of a multi-volume body of work called Les Rougon-Macquart, a daringly honest and searingly realistic 20-volume cycle of tales about a clan of nothing-special French folk that earned Zola an international reputation for both talent and prurience. Reading them today, both seem reasonably accurate assessments.

So what, the guy's dead 116 years, the Dreyfus Affair happened 120 years ago.

Look around you. I would that we had a Zola to, in clear and direct prose, accuse the malefactors of our world of their crimes and, what's more, make the accusations stick. Will that be a lawyer named Mueller? Maybe...I hope so.

Rosen also includes translations of "Angelique," a "ghost story" that Zola wrote in London, as well as the stirring-if-stilted J'accuse! as it appeared in L'Aurore on 13 January 1898. If none of these events are familiar to you, go read this book immediately.

I'm stingy star-wise because Rosen's task includes the thankless one of framing his subject to people unfamiliar with the dramatis personae as well as the casus belli that got the whole thing going. As a result, he resorts to much inevitable spoon-feeding and that, I fear, caused my eyes to glaze over. It's necessary, it's even reasonably well-done, but it's bloody tedious and kept me from ever forgetting how Worthy the people were and how Relevant the warnings herein are. When my finger finds the shift key without being told to go there by my brain, we have a problem between us Author Man.

Paradoxically, that makes me want all y'all to read this book all the more! The beauty of history is that we are able to view causes and effects in their entirety; a thing obviously impossible in the present. The tragedy of history is that those who don't read it don't learn from it; a thing that could prevent the present from repeating the past verbatim. I will say this: When you read this book, you will not feel like you're being told to keep chewing that wad of kale until it goes down your throat. More along the lines of, "here's some lovely dark bread to sustain you, love, and a big pat of real butter for yummies."

Dec 17, 2018, 10:17pm Top

>240 Familyhistorian: I would never, ever, ever venture to express an opinion on this topic.

>241 ronincats: Surgery suerte, Roni my dear!

Dec 18, 2018, 7:31am Top

Edited: Dec 18, 2018, 8:19am Top

RD, stop whatever you're doing and read Meetings with remarkable manuscripts. I've just begun and I'm a slow reader so I doubt I'll finish before the year's end, but it's a rare book.

Dec 18, 2018, 8:20am Top

>245 SomeGuyInVirginia: Duly requested. Not a slow reader, but the mountain of pre-existing commitments is...daunting. Happy Tuesday.

Dec 18, 2018, 8:32am Top

>244 richardderus: - Bwahahahaha! Yup...

Dec 18, 2018, 8:37am Top

>247 jessibud2: I know, right?!

Dec 18, 2018, 9:48am Top

Sorry about your kettle but that's so nice that your little elf already had one for you!
I just discovered a refillable Keurig pod for the carafe so I can make a full pot of coffee with our regular hazelnut vanilla grounds. This makes me beyond happy! :)

Dec 18, 2018, 11:21am Top

>249 ChelleBearss: The pods are Evil Incarnate...unless they're reusable, in which case I say yay, so Yay!

Dec 18, 2018, 12:03pm Top

>244 richardderus: YOU'RE THE GUY who pulled that manuever in front of me the other day!

Dec 18, 2018, 12:23pm Top

>251 laytonwoman3rd: One word explanation: BOOKS.

Dec 18, 2018, 12:31pm Top

123 Hard Rain Falling by Don Carpenter

Wanting is not the same as having; having is not the same as making.

You can love and love, never saying the word, never getting eye-to-eye with the core of your need and gift, and be no closer to the beloved than bodies can get. Only children can be utterly consuming love objects, though far too often they aren't. And lovers? Far too scary to love unguardedly, I think, but most don't even get near to the guardrails before swerving back to the middle of the road.

It's the carnage from their fear-driven lurches that takes out the innocent bystanders. That's what this story is: The record of Jack's fear-driven, rage-fueled lurchings back and forth as love ungiven, ungivable, rots him from within, taking an agonizingly slow time to finish its dreadful work.

A dark and terrible story about a life unlived, only sweated out.

Dec 18, 2018, 12:53pm Top

I see you’re reading up a storm Richard, despite the >244 richardderus: detour.

Dec 18, 2018, 12:57pm Top

>253 richardderus: Many books due back, must get the reviews posted, must must must!!


Dec 18, 2018, 2:21pm Top

Dec 18, 2018, 2:40pm Top

>256 richardderus: - Justifiably so, it would seem!

Dec 18, 2018, 3:07pm Top

I can't tell anymore. So many indie authors/small press authors really don't have any sense that the "gift" of their deathless prose is frequently unwelcome, not because it's not good, but permaybehaps not what the reviewer likes, or is in the mood for, or has a single solitary thing to say about (the MF romance lady was the most clueless of the latter bunch).

It begins to feel like it's just me being snappish when they come in endless cohorts.

Dec 18, 2018, 3:30pm Top

124 The Fabulous Riverboat by Philip Jose Farmer



The only part of this that survived the decades well is the subplot about SamMark and his beloved, obsessed-over Livy. Be careful what you wish for in this life! (I actually mean "Riverworld life," though that hoary old saying is hoary and old because it never stops being true.) The "race relations" aren't new or trenchant, just tediously familiar. The modern then, well-trodden-trail now use of insomnia, depression, and drug use to self-medicate them is gloom-inducing. Heteronormative dreariness is de rigueur, tobacco use is unstigmatized, and the whole damned enterprise has at its core a frustrating reality: THIS IS A HUGE MISSED OPPORTUNITY. There's no essential difference between the various factions scrapping over bits and pieces. There's nothing, in short, new under this brand-new sun.

But DAYUM is the Fabulous Riverboat itself a spiffy Maguffin. I don't think it's too much to say the ride is worth the journey if only just.

Dec 18, 2018, 4:50pm Top

>244 richardderus: and >251 laytonwoman3rd: and >252 richardderus: LOL -- it's always helpful to know what made someone veer off into the exit lane so suddenly. :-)

Dec 19, 2018, 6:57am Top

'Morning, RD!

>256 richardderus: Grumpy works.

*smooch* from your own Horrible

Dec 19, 2018, 7:23am Top

Morning, RD! Happy Wednesday. I have been battling a bit of a cold this week, so haven't been around much. I have the day off, and it will be a busy one, but I hope I bounce back tomorrow.

I hope your week is going well.

Dec 19, 2018, 10:26am Top

>260 EBT1002: After all, BOOKS!

>261 karenmarie: *grumble* I was NOT born to be your audience, as I've said to many a self-centered goofball.


>262 msf59: Boo hiss cold! Yay day off! When you get home, drink a hot toddy and luxuriate. Even better is washing down a benadryl with a toddy. La-la land, here we come!

Dec 19, 2018, 7:05pm Top

>243 richardderus: Discretion is the better part of valour. LOL.

Dec 19, 2018, 8:06pm Top

>264 Familyhistorian: Discretion means not wearing velour.

Dec 20, 2018, 3:43am Top

Detection is the bitter heart of Javert.

Dec 20, 2018, 8:55am Top

'Morning, RichardDear!

*smooch* from your own gonna-be-way-too-busy-today Horrible

Dec 20, 2018, 10:32am Top

>265 quondame:, >264 Familyhistorian: ^^^What Susan said.

>266 SomeGuyInVirginia: ...à propos of...?

>267 karenmarie: Hey Horrible, busy busy is better than boredy boredy. Be wellsy wellsy.

Dec 20, 2018, 11:25am Top

I am reading CanLit monadnock David Helwig's collection of novellas, Coming Through, so I can take it back to the library and pay my fine. Beautiful writing. The first novella, "The Man Who Finished Edwin Drood," is organized around a gorgeous set-piece from the aforementioned unfinished Drood by the unmentionable Inimitable. Who is, of course, imitable to the point of both parody and pain. Nonetheless, the story is a deep one of love stolen, returned, atoned for, and unfelt.

"Perhaps I have never grown beyond my young days, when every attractive young girl was a promise of the paradise garden, when I expected so much, gladdened by an eyebrow, a nose, a hank of hair, a breast, falling in love twice a day, never satisfied."

It comforts me to realize that all of us old men really do find this revelation...we're still young...on the snowy slopes.

Dec 20, 2018, 11:30am Top

Dec 21, 2018, 7:12am Top

>244 richardderus: Ha! Love it! :D

I only read about half of Les Rougons-Macquart some years ago and hesitate to continue because I forgot all the relationships. But I really should, it's such a great comprehensive work and fits together so well if you read more than just the odd 3 or 4 famous ones.

Edited: Dec 21, 2018, 7:54am Top

Happy Friday, RichardDear.

>268 richardderus: I'm never, ever, bored. I may be doing something I don't want to do, but I'm happy to say that in the almost 3 years that I've been retired, boredom has never been a factor.

Dec 21, 2018, 8:39am Top

^Amen to that, Karen.

Morning, Richard. Yeah, maybe it's surprising, I don't know, but retirement turns out to be non-boringly great.

Dec 21, 2018, 9:08am Top

>272 karenmarie:, >273 jnwelch: - I third that motion.

Dec 21, 2018, 9:19am Top

The Solstice is upon us. In the North, we're coming to the end of longer nights and colder temperatures. We celebrate the return of the Sun's warmth and, even globally warmed, we're glad to see the Sun for more hours.

In the South, you're celebrating the brightest, longest day of the year. I hope you're outside soaking up warmth and Vitamin D to bolster you for your journey to harvest and rest.

For us all, I hope we can use this symbolic and energetic turning point to aim ourselves directly toward spreading the best and the brightest gifts we have within us to all who share our home the Earth.

Dec 21, 2018, 10:18am Top

Happy Midwinterday, Richard!

Dec 21, 2018, 10:28am Top

>276 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita!

Dec 21, 2018, 10:51am Top

Dec 21, 2018, 11:22am Top

happy solstice, RD! Hope the rest of your winter is warm and comfortable!

Dec 21, 2018, 11:42am Top

Thank you Richard. That's very sweet of you. Happy solstice to you and yours, too.

(Although you do seem to have missed me out, since we live on the Equator, pretty much.) ;0)

Dec 21, 2018, 11:50am Top

>244 richardderus: 😂

>275 richardderus: Thank you for that inspiring message, brother. I shall do my best to keep that in mind for the remainder of this year and throughout 2019.

Dec 21, 2018, 12:19pm Top

>278 katiekrug: Oh, how beautiful! Thank you, Your Kickassness!

>279 ChelleBearss: Warm, cozy, happy, and gay. So to speak.

>280 humouress: ...hmmm..."and to the bizarro-brains who live on the bleedin' Equator, faGwdsake move one way or the other!!"
That should be inclusive enough, no?

>281 kidzdoc: Great! Be well and happy and thoroughly enjoy your vacay.

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

>282 richardderus: *happy sigh*

He loves me.

Dec 21, 2018, 2:49pm Top

Happy Solstice Day to you too!

Dec 21, 2018, 2:50pm Top

Solstice smooches!

Dec 21, 2018, 2:58pm Top

Happy Solstice, Richard. Wonderful thoughts up in >275 richardderus:.

Dec 21, 2018, 3:02pm Top

>283 humouress: ...you were in doubt, O Overkill?

>284 mahsdad: Thanks, Jeff!

>285 Storeetllr: Ooo Pretty pretty! Thank you, Mary!

>286 jnwelch: It's hard to keep the abundance of darkness from feeling permanent, but I really try...hard...to hold to the memory that light always comes back in the end.

Dec 21, 2018, 4:12pm Top


This is Tim, the founder and president of the site.

This post recently came to my attention ( http://www.librarything.com/topic/299604#6658753 ). It is very far outside what LibraryThing allows, including a number of personal attacks.

I realize that your message was written from a place of considerable pain. I recognize that pain. I regret that you are feeling it. I hope you may not take my note as a rejection of it. I also recognize your contributions to the LibraryThing community over the years.

I gather you feel that another members bullied you. This concerns me deeply. But LibraryThing's Terms of Service, or TOS, are not contextual. We don't--we can't--read through all your interactions. And if we started excusing violations of the TOS based on other violations, or non-TOS meanness, we'd rapidly get into trouble being evenhanded and accurate. That said, I'm only too willing to look at specific messages you believe violate the TOS. I have not attempted to do much looking.

I would appreciate it if you could delete that message yourself, or edit it to remove all personal attacks. Under the TOS it is okay to say someone behaved badly. It is okay to say you are hurt. It is not okay to call someone a monster. Wishing someone a painful death is a very serious thing indeed. If you don't do anything, I'll delete it myself.

To indicate the seriousness of the situation, I shall be suspending your account for two days. For various reasons the suspension shall take effect January 3-4. The suspension also comes with a notice that further messages of this time will not be tolerated.

I hope you can take this notice in the spirit I intend. Your post was over the line and serious violation of our terms. It cannot stand. But I value your membership, and I regret that my site, and the people on it, have caused you anguish.




I understand all you've said and and I respect it, and I will indeed edit my message considerably to what I know will respect TOS.

What is most important to me in all you've said is that you understand and recognize that what I wrote came from a place of considerable pain. As they say: You can say that again.

I don't say this to alarm you and you need not take any measures because I've taken every precaution to make sure I am safe, but I have been suicidal for the last months and had to be talked down by my boyfriend as recently as last night. The bullying by the person in this group only furthered my trauma here in a group I though was a "safe space", where I received only kindness and consideration from most everyone else, save for his personal followers, and I felt the need to confront a person I did indeed feel was a monster for furthering my mental distress as a person with bipolar disorder suffering from acute social anxiety and continued clinical depression.

I've been contacted by other women this person has bullied in similar ways for expressing opinions he disliked. The unfortunate thing is he is a popular person with many friends and everyone lets him get away with inexcusable behaviour of this sort because he is openly homosexual, and as a member of the LGTBQ community gets immunity for behaviour that would be immediately be reported to you were he a Straight White Male. I myself am also a member of that LGTBQ community, only not openly so. I am also treated for mental illness, which I speak openly about, and feel I should definitely not be bullied online because I am at high risk for suicide and have openly discussed this with other members of this group.

I feel I need to share this back story with you. It is simply that all this has been festering for too many years and things have been coming to a head for me, and my mental health has been progressively degrading in the meanwhile. FYI, I am getting regular medical treatment, am regularly followed, am heavily medicated, and have been for many years. I've sought to move to other reading platforms, but because this individual is so active in online reading circles, I am forced to see his name and opinions appear elsewhere, even as I've blocked him everywhere, and it is extremely distressing to me. So... I decided to confront one of my personal monsters. Again, I am sorry if this breaks the rules of LT and I will make the changes necessary.

Meanwhile, I accept the consequences of my actions, and I am satisfied that I've made my point very clear indeed, enough so that someone thought it necessary to report my insane message. Too bad nobody thought it necessary to report RD's eye popping message when he posted a very long litany, a character assassination in fact, despite the fact he did not know me at all, in which he named me, and maintained I was exactly like his sexually and mentally abusive mother. By that point, I think my one and only "crime" was that I had responded to one of his book reviews in which he said he was happy to finally find a book that celebrated misogyny. My response was something to the effect that I hadn't realized misogyny was a thing we should be happy about. That book review and the character assassination that eventually followed, I assumed because he disliked the fact that I am just as opinionated as he is, but am in fact a feminist, don't sit well with me at all. You will also understand that I have no desire to seek any of those posts out all these years later to report them to you now.

Thank you for contacting me. And again, please know that I am safe and sound and no further action on your part as far as my personal safety is concerned is necessary.

Happy Holidays.


Dec 21, 2018, 4:40pm Top

Happy Holidays!

Dec 21, 2018, 4:43pm Top

>289 quondame: Oh, that's just perfect! Thanks, Susan.

Dec 21, 2018, 5:57pm Top

>272 karenmarie: "I'm never, ever, bored. I may be doing something I don't want to do, but I'm happy to say that in the almost 3 years that I've been retired, boredom has never been a factor."
Sigh. I can hardly wait.

Dec 21, 2018, 6:23pm Top

>291 EBT1002: I can't imagine you ever being bored, Ellen.

Dec 21, 2018, 6:49pm Top

I was going to send you the lovely image in >285 Storeetllr: but Mary beat me to it. Happy Solstice, Richard!

Dec 21, 2018, 6:59pm Top

>293 ronincats: Send it anyway, Roni. It's that lovely. ;)

Dec 21, 2018, 7:11pm Top

Yeah, boredom and I have had only a passing acquaintance now and then. I feel pretty lucky about that.

Dec 21, 2018, 7:12pm Top

>293 ronincats:, >294 Storeetllr: I agree, it's too beautiful an image to object to seeing it twice!

Edited: Dec 21, 2018, 7:41pm Top

Dec 21, 2018, 7:19pm Top

Okay!! That works. Looks deeeelicious, too.

Dec 21, 2018, 7:41pm Top

But I can repeat this too. It IS gorgeous!

Dec 21, 2018, 8:42pm Top

This message has been flagged by multiple users and is no longer displayed (show)
>288 Smiler69:...You messed up with Female Hysteria..the only way to "get" Richard is through his own words

Dec 21, 2018, 9:58pm Top

Am safely arrived in Blighty, RD.

Hani sends her love and hopes again that her corpulent spouse will whisk her to NYC sometime in the near future so that we can buy you a coffee and chew the fat.

Dec 21, 2018, 10:14pm Top

Be safe through the long night and be happy in tomorrow's light.

Dec 21, 2018, 10:21pm Top

>299 ronincats: It's really gorgeous and bigger I can appreciate it more.

>301 PaulCranswick: I would love that! I'm quite close to Kennedy...less than a 20min ride away. Visiting is always most lush in Fall, but will smile upon y'all any time you arrive.

>302 SomeGuyInVirginia: Thanks, Larry, it's a beautiful full moon so the darkness doesn't hold any special ickiness.

Dec 22, 2018, 8:02am Top

Belated solstice greetings!

I just had to go in to town for final shopping. On the last Saturday before Christmas. With a whiny 10 year old who'd hurt her foot ice-skating. I survived but it was a near bloody thing! Hoping your Saturday is more chilled ;)

Dec 22, 2018, 8:16am Top

'Morning, RD and happy Saturday to you. *smooch* from Madame TVT Horrible

Dec 22, 2018, 12:19pm Top

>304 BekkaJo: Happy Yule, dear Bekka, and you have my empathy. The middle-grade whinys are about as much fun as trench foot must've been.

>305 karenmarie: Hey Horrible!

New Thread Is Up!

This topic was continued by richardderus eleventh thread of 2018.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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138,981 messages


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