scaifea's 2019 Thread #1
This topic was continued by scaifea's 2019 Thread #2.
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Raskolnikov, from Crime and Punishment (art by Diana Naneva)
From the Introductions Thread:
I'm Amber, a one-time Classics professor turned stay-at-home parent/lady of leisure. I spend my time sewing, writing, knitting, baking, and, of course, reading. Oh, and I run an Etsy shop and I'm co-writing a Latin textbook with a former colleague. So I keep busy.
My reading life is happily governed by lists, which means that I read a healthy variety of things across various genres.
I'm 43 going on 12 and live in Ohio with my husband, Tomm; our 10-year-old son, Charlie; and our two dogs, Tuppence the Border Collie and Mario the Golden Retriever.
Favorite Books from 2018
The Hate U Give
We Are Okay
The Sleeper and the Spindle
You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)
84 Charing Cross Road
In a Sunburned Country
The five-ish or so books I have going at once and the On Deck books nearly all come from the following categories and lists:
1. A book from the 100 Banned Books book (at least currently. As soon as I finish this list, I'll replace it with another, and oh, I've got tons of lists).
2. A children's book, for Charlie's library. I'm trying to collect books from various award lists, and I like reading them before reading them to Charlie or deciding to add them to Charlie's shelves. For this category, I’m currently working through three lists:
a. 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Die
b. The Newbery Honor books
c. Cooperative Children's Book Center list
3. A book from the Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy List, in chronological order.
4. A book for the Presidential Challenge. Books for this category are read in chronological (presidentially) order.
5. A list I'm working through together with my best friend, Rob: The Hugo/Nebula/WFA/Bram Stoker (and other) lists (combined, in chronological order)
6. For this category, I cycle through 9 different stacks:
a. Agatha Christie's bibliography (in chronological order)
b. Stephen Fry's bibliography (in chronological order)
c. John Boyne bibliography (in chronological order, sort of)
d. Neil Gaiman's bibliography (in some order other than chronological (don't
e. Christopher Moore's bibliography (in chronological order)
f. Maggie Stiefvater's bibliography (in chronological order)
g. The NEH Timeless Classics list
h. The National Book Award list (in alpha order by title)
i. The Pulitzer list (in alpha order by author)
7. An unread book from my shelves.
8. A book from my Read Soon! shelves.
9. A book on Buddhism or from the Dalai Lama's bibliography.
10. Book-a-year challenge: Three years ago, along with a few others in this group (*cough* Paul *cough*), I made a year-by-year list to see how far I could go back with consecutive reads. I've since been trying to fill in the gap years.
11. A book from the couple of series that I'm reading together with my mom.
12. A full-on re-read through Shakespeare's stuff.
13. A read-aloud-to-Charlie-at-bedtime book (or two).
14. An audio book, which I listen to as I knit/sew/otherwise craft/drive.
15. A Discworld book (so many of these are coming up soon on various lists, so I'm just diving into it)
16. This slot is reserved for books that just grab me and shout that they need to be read Right Now.
What I'm Reading Now:
-Crime and Punishment (Books by Year, 1866)
-(awaiting library holds) (Newbery Honor Book)
-The Name of the Wind (SFF Awards)
-The Fifth Elephant (Discworld read)
-Nicholas Nickleby (audiobook)
-The Treasure of Green Knowe (Charlie's bedtime book)
-All the Crooked Saints (Read Soon! Shelves)
Books on Deck:
-In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (series that my mom wants me to read so we can chat about it)
-The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Shakespeare re-read)
-Lolita (Banned Books)
-The Firefly's Lovers and Other Fairy Tales of Old Japan (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books)
-Lincoln (U.S. Presidential Challenge)
-Next of Kin (Boyne bibliography)
-(an unread book from my shelves)
-The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six Others (from my Read Soon! Shelves)
-Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (Buddhist reading list)
1. The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric (Read Soon! Shelves) - 7/10 = C
2. Viking's Dawn (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B+
3. Journey Outside (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+
4. Leader by Destiny (Newbery Honor Book) - 7/10 = C-
5. Eugenie Grandet (audiobook) - 8/10 = B
6. The Man Who Was Thursday (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 8/10 = B+
7. The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring (Charlie's bedtime read) - 8/10 = B+
8. Bhimsa the Dancing Bear (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B-
9. Carpe Jugulum (Discworld) - 8/10 = B
>9 richardderus: *Grabs smooch, sticks in pocket for later* Thanks, Richard!
Good morning, and Happy New Thread, professor! I pray that your mother is doing better today.
>11 kidzdoc: Thanks so much, Darryl. Here's hoping that they figure out where she's losing blood with those tests.
Dropping off a star to mark my place, Amber. Looking forward to keeping up with your reading and adventures in 2019.
Hi Amber, just dropping my star off and hope to be a more regular visitor this year.
I am SURE that you will have a list to add to my collection, Amber! Looking forward to it.
Good grief, how did I miss you thread? Hi Amber! Thread is now starred.
Happy new year, everyone! Charlie made it to 10:30 last night before we all gave up and crawled into bed, but we had fun playing MarioKart and Catan while we waited.
I should probably vacuum today, but I may let it slide and just sit in the rocking chair and read pretty much all day. We'll see how it goes.
On the reading front:
I started The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric yesterday and listened to a bit of Eugenie Grandet, too.
I wish you from my heart a healthy 2019 filled with happiness, satisfaction, laughter and lots of good books.
Happy New Year, Amber & family and Happy New Thread. Looking forward to sharing another year of books with you! I plan on starting Becoming tomorrow.
>41 scaifea: Definitely let it slide. Enjoy your book and rocking chair time!
>41 scaifea: Charlie made it as late as I did :)
Did he end up doing his speech?
Takin' this from Katie's thread - I love these.
Fill in the prompts, using titles of books you completed in the last year.
Describe yourself: The Housekeeper and the Professor
Describe how you feel: Savvy
Describe where you currently live: We Have Always Lived in the Castle
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: 84, Charing Cross Road
Your favorite form of transportation: Under Sea, Over Stone
Your best friend is: Honeyvoiced
You and your friends are: Witches Abroad
What’s the weather like: Bright Moon, White Clouds
You fear: Just One Damned Thing After Another
What is the best advice you have to give: You're Never Weird on the Internet
Thought for the day: You're Welcome, Universe
How I would like to die: Honk the Moose
My soul’s present condition: Just Add Magic
>49 katiekrug: Thanks! It's pretty fun to sort through and find good ones, I think.
The Universe hates a vacuum. So does my cat, and probably your dogs. So I say nuts to that. Anyway...poor innocent little dust bunnies...the vacuum makes all that racket so you won't hear them screaming...
>53 crazy4reading: Thanks!
>54 AMQS: Thanks, Anne! Oh, don't do it! It'll keep until later. I've found that the act of not vacuuming today has been very freeing.
>55 BLBera: Thanks, Beth! I know, right?! Part of it is the long hair - when he has it pulled back for ballet, he looks so much younger. He still has a lovely, round babyish face.
Hi Amber! You are always popping over to my thread so I wanted to finally make a return visit. Your young man is adorable, as are your lovely dogs. And I'm in awe at the reading lists! Soooo many lists! I think I definitely need to check out that list of 1001 kids books for my own adorable young man. Anyway, I hope 2019 is off to a good start for you and yours!
>57 Berly: Kim: Reading definitely won over vacuuming today and it was the best.
And yep, that answer seemed so perfect that I couldn't resist.
>58 HanGerg: Hi, Hannah! Good to see you! I've been working on the 1001 list for so long and still have a ways to go. Turns out that 1001 is kind of a lot of books... Ha!
A year full of books
A year full of friends
A year full of all your wishes realised
I look forward to keeping up with you, Amber, this year.
>5 scaifea: I love the snowy image of Tuppence, and the forlorn look of Mario. There was snow in Beavercreek, Ohio on Christmas morning. It was such a delightful time to open presents as the snow fell. I hope 2019 provides lots of time for reading, sewing and doing all the things that make you happy!
Happy New Year and happy new thread, Amber! Love the meme answers! And, hah, I was wondering if you guys made it to midnight (I didn't).
I'm also hoping we can find time for a meetup this year -- maybe in the spring?
Your thread is off and running for another year, Amber. I will try to keep up!!!! :-)
>60 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul!
>61 Whisper1: Linda: I missed having snow this year - it's a much more sure thing up in Wisconsin. Here we just had rain. But, it was a pretty wonderful Christmas, nonetheless.
>62 ronincats: Hi, Roni!
>63 foggidawn: foggi: Ooooh, YES! This fall was just nuts and about every other day I thought of sending you a message, but knew it would be difficult to schedule. Do we need to wait until spring? I'm ready now any time!
>64 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen!
>65 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda!
Tomm's back to work, but Charlie and I have one more vacation day before he's back to school and I try to get back into a routine. So, we're heading to the bookstore to spend our christmas gift cards, the paper store for some stationery for his pen-palling (with friends back in Wisconsin) and some lunch at Panera.
On the reading front:
Yesterday I started Carpe Jugulum, listened to a bit of Eugenie Grandet, and read a bit of Viking's Dawn.
Last year I sort of got away from posting new picture books that Charlie and I read (I love that he still loves exploring new picture books!), and I'd like to try to get back to that this year.
Last night we read:
When Sparks Fly by Kristen Fulton and illustrated by Diego Funck
Tells the story of Robert Goddard, the Father of US Rocketry. The illustrations are great, but the best part is how Fulton highlights Goddard's failures and how he just kept on trying. A cool mix of science, history and inspiration.
Only one more day until back to school ... sh he goes back on a Friday??
Chloe's school goes back on Monday.
>68 ChelleBearss: Chelle: He goes back tomorrow, but yeah I think it's a little silly to go back just for those two days. Why not let them have until Monday?
Making it to 10:30 is better than I usually do, so kudos to Charlie! Although this year, I actually made it to midnight, sort of. I fell asleep about 9:00 and woke up just before the ball dropped in Times Square, so I figured I might as well stay awake another hour until it was midnight here in Iowa. I think that still counts, right?
>66 scaifea: I have something every weekend in January, plus who knows what the weather will do? But February looks pretty open at this point, so maybe we can figure something out sooner rather than later.
Happy New Year, Amber! I hope that you and Charlie are enjoying his last vacation day.
>70 rosalita: Julia: I was so glad when he said he was ready for bed - my butt was already dragging! And yes, that totally counts!
>71 foggidawn: foggi: I'd also be happy to meet you for a weekday lunch, if that works for you. I'd even be happy to bring lunch to you in exchange for a library tour...
>72 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl! Charlie and I are having a great day! We did a little shopping and had lunch (Charlie changed his mind and decided on Piada, which we both love) and are now home to relax for the afternoon.
Carpe Jugulum! I wish I liked Pratchett's books as much as I do his titles.
>74 richardderus: Richard: Indeed. I enjoy them, but I'm not raving crazy about them as so many people seem to be. The characters are growing on me, though, so that now there are a handful that I'm really very fond of.
>75 scaifea: I watched Hogfather again this year, it's an amusing and pretty darned faithful adaptation of a book that was...okay. Then decided that The Color of Magic would be a good idea...it wasn't. I didn't like the book and Sean Astin as Twofeather was as annoying as his written counterpart. I actively detest Rincewind and forget that fact regularly, so apparently the Bibliogoddess has it in for me and causes these lacunae to appear so that she may drown me in ill will and irritation afresh every few years.
>76 richardderus: We watched The Color of Magic and Charlie really liked it. It's okay, but I agree that Rincewind is not fabulous. Death is my very favorite character, followed by Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg. Oh, and the leader of The Watch is good, too, but I can't remember his name offhand.
Just adding my admiration for your meme answers, Amber. I buried mine at the end of my 2018 thread as they were fine but not particularly sparkling as they have been in other years.
>78 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky! Well, we're really at the mercy of what we've read, so some years are better than others. I had some great options this time around.
Happy newish thread and Happy New Year, Amber. I hope you enjoyed Charlie's last day of vacation.
Ooof. Back to normal things, I guess. Treadmilling (double ooof), menu planning and putting together a grocery shopping list, the vacuuming that didn't get done a couple of days ago, make a bunch of appointments that need to be made (I need an ophthalmologist; Charlie and I need haircuts,...), and I want to make some brownies for Charlie's First Day Back After-School Snack. Will try very hard not to give up halfway through that list to take a nap, but I'm not promising anything.
On the reading front:
I spent some time with Crime and Punishment yesterday, which I'm enjoying much more than I expected I would, listened to more of Eugenie Grandet, and read a bit more of Viking's Dawn. Oh, and I picked up Circe, finally, with my B&N Christmas gift card yesterday. I need to figure out when to bookhorn that one in...
>85 alcottacre: Stasia: It’s way more engaging than I expected. I was thinking it would be a slog, and I’m happy that I was so wrong!
Sweet Thursday, Amber. I've read Crime and Punishment in my late teens. I liked it.
I liked C&P when I read it in high school, and I keep thinking I should do a re-read. I still have my HS copy...
>67 scaifea: It's funny, any semblance of a routine I had while Will's at school goes completely out the window when he's home and I love it that way. Hahaha, living on the edge, right?!
His back to school treat will be Pillsbury snowman cookies (he loves their seasonal goodness....and longevity) for study time nourishment in his dorm.
Another C&P lover here. An excellent read!
Morning, Amber! Hope Charlie has a great day back to school! (No one would judge you if you did sneak in a nap!!)
Morning, Amber. I am in favor of the nap. Just saying...
From last year's thread, I have to mention that the girls and I loved the Christmas gifts you made - especially Charlie's Totoro. So completely charming!
I also have C&P and Circe in the stacks, and I need ti get to them.
>90 Carmenere: Probably Sunday or Monday, hahaha typical of a college parent, i'm not entirely sure
...Amber...dear...time to wake up from that snuck-in nap and read some Crime and Punishment so the Bibliogoddesses don't feel neglected...wakey wakey!
Good meme answers! Dropping my star. I'm behind on threads, but I'm hoping to complete rounds and drop off my stars by the end of the weekend.
>92 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle! Ha! I'm feeling pretty awake right now (as opposed to at 5am this morning!), so I'll leave the napping for now, I think. So much on that To Do list...
>93 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie! Thanks - I'm so glad you like the gifts! Charlie loves Totoro, too, which makes me super happy.
Definitely try to get round to Crime and Punishment; it's definitely worth it (so far, at least). I'm hoping to squeeze in Circe soonish.
>94 Carmenere: Lynda: Ha! Is Will a dorm guy or does he have an apartment? That tends to make a difference in when they head back, I think, yeah?
>95 richardderus: Richard: Yeah, no nap just yet, and I suspect it's not going to happen today, but there likely won't be any C&P today, either.
Hi, Amber! Dropping a star to your thread...I hope to visit more often this year! Happy reading!
>102 FAMeulstee: Anita: Well, that's what I was expecting with this one, so at least I won't be disappointed when I get to Karamazov, eh?
1. The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric by Miriam Joseph (Read Soon! Shelves, 285 pages) - 7/10 = C
Well, that wasn't really what I was expecting. The title led me to believe it would be a cool discussion of the nature of language, but it's really just a grammar. And it reads like a grammar (i.e. not all that exciting). *shrug*
Post Note: Why do grammars have to be so dull?! Language is exciting and fun, so what can't the books explaining how they work reflect that? Yoicks.
>104 scaifea: Sorry it wasn't a better, more exciting and fun to read. Maybe you should write one?
>105 Berly: Kim: Ha! Well, I am! Sort of. I'm so-writing a new beginning Latin textbook...
2. Viking's Dawn by Henry Treece (1001 Children's Books, 253 pages) - 8/10 = B+
Young Harald and his father, Sigurd, sign up to travel with Thorkell Fairhair on his ship, The Nameless. Harald's father is injured and must be left behind, but Harald voyages with Thorkell and his colorful band of Vikings, meeting with adventures and misfortunes all along the way.
This one was more engaging and entertaining than I suspected it would be. For a children's book, it doesn't sugarcoat Viking life and the ending is bittersweet, which is refreshing, to be honest.
So, we've started a full-on rewatch of Parks and Rec at Scaife Manor, and I'd forgotten what a huge crush I have on this guy:
Have fun in Cincinnati! Re "Parks and Rec" I only watched it for the first time last year and I was amazed at how good it was. I'm also just starting to watch "The Good Place" on Netflix, which was created by Michael Schur who created P&R, and your guy in >111 paulstalder: made a multi-episode cameo as the leader of The Bad Place. Just a heads-up in case you haven't seen it ... :-)
Have a great trip!
>110 scaifea: I have never watch that but it seems like something Nate would like. We just got caught up on Letterkenny and need to find something else to binge together.
>112 rosalita: I just started watching The Good Place too! It's my daughter's fault (as so many things of this nature are). Now I suppose I have to add Parks & Rec to my TBW list....
>110 scaifea: It was a great show! Since reading The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: An Oral History by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, I really want to watch the episodes where Mullally guest-starred as Offerman's ex-wife. SO funny!
Hmmm...A Parks and Rec rewatch may be a very good idea...
I had never watched Parks and Rec when it was on, but we started watching it this summer, starting at the beginning. Totally love it. I think we are up to Season 4 now.
Happy new year, Amber!
I didn't discover Parks & Rec until I got a Netflix subscription, but fell in love with it on a binge-watch. I ought to binge some again.
>112 rosalita: Julia: Thanks! We had a great time yesterday in Cincinnati - Charlie *loves* his cousins and they play so well together, and then the four of us (Tomm, his brother and *his* wife, and I) had a blast playing Catan and generally just hanging out.
Tomm has been watching The Good Place and loving it, and I've caught a minute or two here and there and it looks good. I did watch a bit with Adam Scott and he's hilarious, of course. And I love that his a (sort of ) bad boy in it, too.
>113 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle! We definitely did!
Oh, you should definitely watch Parks & Rec - it's fabulous! And you'd get a glimpse into my childhood hometown, because, honestly, it's spot on as picture of small-town Indiana.
>114 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: I can see that Laura would like such a thing. She's pretty cool... And yes, definitely att Parks and Rec to the list!
>115 rosalita: Julia: Agreed!!
>116 klobrien2: Karen: Have you read Offerman's books? In the first one he details how they met and it's adorable. I love them both. And I agree that the episodes with the two of them together are amazing.
>117 katiekrug: Katie: YES! It's so good, isn't it? Again, total glimpse into my childhood upbringing. Pawnee is real, folks.
>118 jjmcgaffey: Thanks, Jennifer - I'll add that one to the list!
>119 swynn: Hi, Steve! It makes me happy that so many people like Parks and Rec. It's so, so good!
Laundry, a bit of baking, and lots of reading. Sounds pretty okay to me, to be honest.
On the reading front:
Nothing to report, I'm afraid - we were gone all day yesterday and I was too pooped last night to crack open a book at all. Will work to remedy that today.
>123 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks, Reba - good to know that the audio is worth it.
3. Journey Outside by Mary Q. Steele (Newbery Honor Book, 127 pages) - 8/10 = B+
A boy who has lived his entire life on a raft on a river which flows in a circle through a vast collection of underground caves accidentally finds a way out into the world and goes on a journey of discovery.
This is easily the most philosophical Newbery Honor Book I've ever read; think Plato's Cave for middle grade readers. And you know? It works. Happily recommended.
I'm gong to be reading Becoming this month, too. How's your mom doing? Have they figured out anything yet?
>125 scaifea: I will have to give that one a shot! Thanks for the recommendation, Amber.
A latish Happy New Year!
I'm on the list for Becoming - eventually the library will produce a copy for me. :)
You got me with Parks & Recreation. I've seen scattered episodes, but have just requested Season 1 from the library. Hooray!
>126 Morphidae: Morphy: Oh, I hope you love the Obama book - it's so wonderful.
Nope, no answers for my mom yet. And she's suffering from depression, brought on at least in part by the fact that she's starting to show some significant signs of dementia and she is really upset by this. It's rough right now, to be honest.
>127 alcottacre: Stasia: I hope you like it!
>128 streamsong: Yay for Becoming! And Parks and Rec!
>129 scaifea: I'm sorry to read this about your mom, Amber. Holding you in my thoughts.
>130 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. I haven't really talked about it because I haven't found the proper strength to do so yet. She's my mom and my best friend, and feeling her starting to slip away feels like too much for me to handle right now.
I have my annual eye exam with my new doc this morning, so hopefully that goes smoothly. Then I need to run a couple of errands (pick up a couple of library holds and a meds refill for Tuppence) before coming home to try to get back into a writing routine.
On the reading front:
After reading through Journey Outside yesterday, I made some progress with The Man Who Was Thursday, which is excellent so far, and with Leader by Destiny, for which I wish I could say the same...
We read an excellent picture book last night, Thomas Paine and the Dangerous Word:
It tells the story of Paine's childhood and his move to America, through his writing of Common Sense and its importance to the cause of independence. Very well done and the illustrations are great. Charlie's really interested in the Revolutionary War period right now, and he *loved* it.
Morning, Amber. Hope you had a good weekend. I am back to work but also looking forward to jumping back into Becoming, after a few days off. Getting close to the halfway point.
Amber, I am so sorry to hear about your mom. My thoughts are with you.
The Thomas Paine book sounds good. Is it a new one?
>134 msf59: Morning, Mark. I'm so glad that you're enjoying Becoming as much as I did.
>135 BLBera: Thanks so much, Beth. It's not easy, especially being 4 hours away, although that's better than the 7-hour drive we used to have.
The Paine book is excellent, and it was out last May, so it's fairly new.
I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I can't imagine how scary it must be. *hugs*
Hugs to both you and your Mom, Amber. I know it's hard for you both.
4. Leader by Destiny by Jeanette Eaton (Newbery Honor Book, 402 pages) - 7/10 = C-
A biography of George Washington for kids, ostensibly. It's such a shame when biographies are dull and dry. People's lives aren't dull, so how is it that some accounts of those lives are so brain-numbing? And it's an especial tragedy when that biography is intended for kids. Tsk. TSK, I say! *And* this won a Newbery Honor! *Shakes head in dramatic disbelief*
Hi Amber my dear, so sorry to hear about your mom, our thoughts are with you and your family. It is so scary for both of you and I can't imagine how you must be feeling. Sending special love and hugs to you, Tomm and Charlie and the rest of your family from both of us dear friend.
>143 scaifea: Now, now, Amber, be fair! It won the 1939 Newbery. They still locked kids in cages and beat them with switches back then. "Knowledge through Pain" was the battle cry of the "education" system. All of a piece with making our bizarre, hugely misrepresented first president boring instead of astonishing.
>145 richardderus: - Well, we still lock kids in cages, apparently, so......
>146 katiekrug: No no, silly Katie, then we locked *our* kids in cages. Now we just locks them furrin wetback kids in cages.
>144 johnsimpson: Thanks so much, John. I definitely appreciate those thoughts right now.
>145 richardderus: Richard: Fair point, fair point, although there are contemporary and even earlier Newbery nonfiction books that are *way* more entertaining.
>146 katiekrug: Katie: Oh, ZING!!
>147 jnwelch: Joe: Ha! The Rice Cake Theory of Education!
Thanks for the tip - I'll keep an eye out for that one; I do love a good free verse YA. I thought of you while finishing up Journey Outside (see >125 scaifea: ); I think you'd enjoy that one.
>143 scaifea: For curiosity's sake, I checked out what won the Pulitzer for History in 1939. Turns out it was a reference work, Frank Mott's extremely valuable and astoundingly boring History of American Magazines.
So the adults didn't have it much better. Not that that helps, considering the adults only had themselves to blame.
Hi Amber and a very late happy new year from me. I'm sorry to read about your mother.
I am going to try to keep up better on LT this year and so far am managing ok, but school isn't back for a few weeks!
Treadmilling, laundry, some etsy business, and some writing.
Eye appointment yesterday went fine - my eyes are still healthy and my lens Rx has only changed a tiny bit, which is a good thing, since they want $430 for new glasses (!?). Yeah, that's a hard pass for me, especially since I'm taking Charlie in next week to pick out new ones. Yoicks.
On the reading front:
Still listening to Eugenie Grandet, and then I started two new ones yesterday, too: Bhimsa the Dancing Bear and The Name of the Wind, which Tomm and also my best friend, Rob, have been trying to get me to read for ages. I'm 30 pages in and I can already see why. Wow. It's amazing!
Also, we reread a favorite picture book last night, The Emperor and the Kite:
Beautiful story (the tiny daughter of the emperor proves her worth by saving her father from throne usurpers) with illustrations to match.
I'm very sorry to hear about your mother's condition, Amber, and of course I can sympathize with you, as mine is also going through progressive dementia. You and her will be my prayers.
>158 kidzdoc: Thank you, Darryl. I've been thinking of you tons lately, and keeping you and your parents in my thoughts, too.
>160 Carmenere: Lynda: Huh! That's interesting. I wonder what the reasoning for that is (not that I particularly agree or disagree - I'm just curious).
>161 scaifea: The reason for the change is studies have shown retention rate is higher if students live on campus for two years and thus become more connected to the university. All the newer dorms you may have passed on North Campus were in response to the need for additional housing to accommodate students in anticipation of this change.
>157 scaifea: Glad to see your eye doctor appointment went well and your eyes haven't changed much. I am due soon for my appointment and I hate picking out new glasses!
>162 Carmenere: Lynda: Interesting. I haven't been up near north campus in a long time, but I bet it looks tons different!
>163 ChelleBearss: Chelle: Yes, I intensely despise getting new glasses because I'm pretty picky about the frames, and once I find one I like I just want to keep it. So that $430 price tag was just adding insult to injury.
Morning, Amber! Sorry to read about your mom - keeping the both of you in my thoughts.
I'm sorry about your mom, Amber. You are in my thoughts.
$430 for new lenses? That's cray-cray.
>165 Crazymamie: >166 katiekrug: Thanks, Mamie and Katie. I very much appreciate those thoughts.
>166 katiekrug: Katie: I know, right?! And that's pretty much just the lenses - the frames would be covered by the insurance. Apparently our insurance *doesn't* cover progressive/bifocal lenses, though. Insane.
For-profit healthcare disgusts, revolts, appalls, and sickens me.
That makes zero sense. Bastids.
But thanks for the reminder that I need to make an eye appointment!
>157 scaifea: Our eyeglass prescriptions are not complicated, single vision. We use eyebuydirect.com for our glasses. For about $30 I purchased decent, up to date, glasses for distance. At that price, I also purchased reading glasses which I use only occasionally. Sunglasses too. If your picky, you may not like them or miss the personal touch but at that price, it may be worth a gander to, at the least, have an extra pair hanging around.
Sorry I missed your post regarding your mom's health. It's so tough seeing a parent go through the aging process and I'm assuming your mom is still relatively young in the senior category.
>168 richardderus: Richard: Yep.
>169 katiekrug: Katie: Yep. And you're welcome!
>170 Carmenere: Lynda: I wonder if they do progressives? I may have to check that out...
And thank you. It's very tough. I'm the youngest of 6 by 11 years, so my parents were older when I came around and are now both in their 80s.
>171 scaifea: They do carry progressives at a greater cost but still less than you'd get elsewhere.
Oh, ok, similar to my mom who is 87. No sign of dementia with her, mainly diabetic issues and all the affects of that, heart, kidneys and poor circulation.
>171 scaifea: I am also the youngest of six but by 7 years - it was like being part of a big family and being an only child at the same time.
I'm so sorry to read about your mom. Kepping you and yours in my thoughts and sending lots of good vibes.
Amber, sorry to hear about your mother's problems. I'm the oldest of three, and was the closest to my mother when she began her decline into dementia. It's hard. I hope your siblings pitch in.
>172 Carmenere: Lynda: I may have to check in to that site, then!
My mom has had Type 1 diabetes for about 30 years now, so that's definitely an issue for her, too.
>173 Crazymamie: Mamie: YES, exactly!! You get me. *heart*
>174 Ameise1: Thanks so much, Barbara.
>175 ffortsa: Judy: I have one brother and one sister who are amazing and help our parents out tons. I feel so guilty that I'm far enough away that I can't help more.
5. Eugenie Grandet by Honoré de Balzac (audiobook) - 8/10 = B
In the post-French Revolution town of Saumur, the sweet and naive Eugenie is much sought after as a bride (for her father's money, mostly) although she seems generally unaware of the attention. She, her mother and their one servant lead a sheltered and Spartan life under the miserly and tyrannical gaze of her father, a local baron of the wine trade. When she falls in love with her penniless cousin and gives her savings away to help him, she starts down a path of misery and disappointment.
Well, it's not a happy read, but a well-crafted one, and it includes one of the most easy-to-loathe characters (Eugenie's father) I've ever come across. Recommended, if you like that sort of thing - think Thomas Hardy, but maybe a half-step less dreadfully depressing.
Sorry to hear about your mother, Amber. It is extremely difficult watching your parents age because we want to remember them the way they were when you were growing up. I hope your mother comes out of her depression soon.
>178 alcottacre: Thank you, Stasia. When I talked to her earlier today she seemed a bit better as far as the sadness goes, so hopefully the meds are starting to kick in. However, it seems pretty clear that she's turned a corner and it doesn't seem likely that she'll ever be her old self again when it comes to energy levels and general day-to-day tasks. I'm working on coming to terms with that myself so that I can be there for her in every way I can, including a source of positive energy (if that makes sense), when we visit, but I'm worried about the toll it'll take on Charlie when he sees her. I've talked to him as gently as I can about what's going on with her and that she'll likely be different, in order to try to prepare him, but I think hearing it from me and seeing it in actuality will be very different things for him. And he loves her so, so much. I don't want him to be devastated, and so, I'm worried.
>177 scaifea: Oh my...yep, that's a mood-clouder of a book. If books had mood rings, its would be black.
>180 richardderus: Richard: I debated not sticking with it, but I really wanted to know what happened...
>143 scaifea: Blurg. There are some terrific biographies out there for kids. Sounds like that's one to skip.
>179 scaifea: When my FIL's demetia was visible to everybody, my daughters took it very good. They were sad because their grandpa was gone in a way but they found another approach to him which was great. I think kids have their own way to manage it.
>182 AMQS: Hi, Anne! Yeah, I'd recommend avoiding this one, and you're right - there are some great biographies out there for kids, so it's no big loss.
>183 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! I do hope you get round to Journey Outside at some point, selfishly because I'd love to know what you think.
Eugenie Grandet wasn't so bleak that I got annoyed and quit, but yeah, it's not sunshine and rainbows, either. I'll keep Old Goriot in mind.
>184 Ameise1: Barbara: That's a great point - I generally need to give Charlie more credit than I do for emotional things like this, but I'm a worrywart parent, so I, well, worry.
Treadmilling and writing. Should be a nice, quiet day (I hope).
On the reading front:
Yesterday I focused on Crime and Punishment (and I still can't believe how much I'm enjoying it, to be honest) and Bhimsa the Dancing Bear. I'll likely get started listening to Nicholas Nickleby today.
Charlie and I read a new picture book last night that was pretty fun - The Universe Ate My Homework, about a girl who creates a black hole and then a universe to fill it, all in an effort not to have to do her homework. Cute and fun.
>187 msf59: Morning, Mark! To be honest, I'm not expecting to be wowed by NN (*cue snarky comment from Richard in 3..2..1..*), but it's one of those books that I want to read for the experience of having read it, if that makes sense.
Isn't Becoming amazing?! I'm doing a bit of a re-listen, since Charlie has been wanting to listen to it in car. I *love* that he's interested in it!
>188 scaifea: I read NN years ago before seeing that grand two part play. And I read it grudgingly, but was totally surprised by the pace, the sarcasm, the anger. Unlike some of his other books, I found it a terrific pageturner. Hope you like it.
I shall Loftily Ignore all mentions of Chuckles the Dick made in public spaces. Everyone's happier that way.
ye gawds nicholas nickleby that ohhh-waaahhh-pity-poor-me wallow in the unbearable suckiness of being him ugh
The universe ate my homework sounds delightful! In a similar situation, I've created a black hole and filled it with books all in an effort not to do housework. ;0)
So Charlie and I are on a Queer Eye binge (we watch it when Tomm's away on business because he can't stand it - he likes the Fab 5 but thinks the show glamorizes people who are "shitfless" and "can't be bothered to get their own shit together." (sometimes Tomm can be a ruthless grouch, but Oscar has long been my favorite Sesame Street monster so it works)), and I'm in love with every single one of those beautiful boys. So much fun, and I'm crying before the end of every episode. Charlie *loves* it, and Jonathan is his favorite - we both want him to be our personal stylist!
I watched the first episode of the re-boot, and instantly compared it to the original and found it lacking. But I think I need to give it more of a try.
>195 katiekrug: Katie: Really? I liked the original tons, but this one is just so much more. I'd say give it another go if there's a night you can't decide what to watch.
Will do. I think I just need to warm up to the guys, and it takes more than one episode to do that...
>197 katiekrug: Katie: I get that. I think what I love so much about this version is that they don't just give the person a superficial makeover, but also delve into some deeper issues with them and I think that's refreshing and sometimes surprisingly lovely.
So the neighbor’s shed door has been open all day (I suspect the gusty winds last night blew it open) and Mario has us all at Code Level Orange - she pretty much won’t leave the sliding door area (from which she can keep an eye on the neighbor's yard) and periodically woofs at in a troubled way. So funny and slightly exasperating.
Heh. I tend more toward Tomm’s opinion of people who can’t seem to get their life together. 😀
>200 drneutron: Jim: Ha! I don't completely disagree with being irritated with those people, but not to the point that I have to leave the room (which is what Tomm does when we try to watch it with him)! We should get you two matching trash cans...
>201 lycomayflower: Laura: The grumpy ones are the good ones!
I haven't heard any woofs or growls in awhile, so I suspect she's asleep in front of the sliding door...
Good afternoon, Amber.
We enjoyed the original Queer Eye, but haven't tried the new one. I'll let Debbi know how much you and Charlie like it. We've been watching "American Gods", the adaptation of the Neil Gaiman book, and enjoying it. They do play up the violence and blood more than I remember the book doing, but that may be in part because that's what's done these days, and in part because they're trying to convey that these really are old school, violent and bloody gods.
>203 jnwelch: Joe: I haven't tried the American Gods show, although I really loved the book. I bet it's pretty good, though, since Gaiman had a significant voice in its making. I'm glad you're liking it!
>208 MickyFine: Micky: You should be! Had a fantastic time. I got a private tour of the library where she works (*huge* and absolutely gorgeous), and then we went for gyros at a nearby Greek restaurant. 75er meetups are The Best.
Re: online glasses - there are about a dozen glasses sites, and all that I've tried (3) have been decent though not wonderful. Zenni, eyebuydirect, and...blanking on the other I've used. Warby Parker and glassesshop are the only others I can come up with off the top of my head.
They tend to go for the fashionable in frames - which means right now, if you like plastic full-rim cat-eye glasses you're in heaven. Since I like metal half-rims, I'm scraping for decent ones. The reason I've used more than one is that they stopped having frames I was happy with, actually (though Zenni now does have some - they were my first, and had _no_ metal half-rims when I went back).
They'll do progressives; I haven't actually gotten progressives from them, but given the mediocre results I've gotten from more traditional optical shops, I'll be buying there next time. I went to progressives a few years ago, after I'd gotten several pairs from online shops, and wanted more care while I got used to them (progressives) - the first ones were fine (from Sears), the second pair (from Costco) have not been winners. And both were well over $200, the other reason I'll be buying online next time.
Figure out the numbers for your current preferred frames - lens width and height, bridge width, earpiece length - and look for those numbers. It's amazing how much difference 5mm can make... Some frames have the numbers printed/etched on the inside of one earpiece, others you just have to measure.
Well, it’s just meetup week, what with you and foggi and also Victoria and me!
>209 scaifea: I’m so glad you came to visit!
>212 AMQS: Neither of us even thought of photos, but we’re plotting a larger meetup in Columbus later this year, so maybe we will
>179 scaifea: It sounds like you have done all you can to prepare Charlie. He might surprise you - children tend to take things in stride, I have found, including things like death and disease. I do hope he is not too devastated. It sounds like they are very close.
>210 jjmcgaffey: I'm nervous about ordering progressive lenses online - how would they know how to align them with your eyes? They always take measurements with the frames at the actual lens places...
>211 drneutron: Jim: I know, right?!
>212 AMQS: Anne: Sorry, no photos, but yes, the Greek food was great!
>213 AMQS: Anne: That's been happening to me, too, lately. So weird.
>214 foggidawn: I had a great time, and I can't wait to do it again! I also can't wait to see how much you'll love the Book Loft!
>215 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia. He's a pretty amazing kid, so I'm sure he'll be fine, but that also doesn't keep me from worrying.
6. The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books, 181 pages) - 8/10 = B+
A poet who is converted by Scotland Yard into an undercover policeman trying to take down a group of elite anarchists finds himself thick in their midst, elected to their top council of seven leaders, each going by the name of a different day of the week. As his adventure unfolds, Syme (aka Thursday) begins to question not only his own role in the drama, but the very fabric of the world.
Whoa, this was one crazy ride. I'm not certain that I completely understand what's going on in here, but I do know that it's a complete hoot. Think The Prisoner meets a darker, more urbane Narnia.
>217 scaifea: Obviously, I need to read that. I've tried Chesterton before and not managed to really get into it, but maybe I just haven't tried the right book yet.
>218 foggidawn: This is my first Chesterton and I had no expectations going in, which was many a good thing. At any rate, I did really like this one. It's weird but in a really good way.
>217 scaifea: What a great description this is: Think The Prisoner meets a darker, more urbane Narnia. So evocative!
>220 richardderus: Richard:
It's one of the few books I've read in recent years that I actually want to call "cool." And it totally is.
Vacuuming, a bit of laundry, possibly some baking, and then sitting back with a book and watching the snow come down.
On the reading front:
Listened to a bit of Nicholas Nickleby and read a bit of The Name of the Wind after finishing up the Chesterton.
Oh, and we reread another favorite picture book last night: Rapunzel:
7. The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring by John Bellairs (Charlie's bedtime read, 188 pages) - 8/10 = B+
Rose Rita's best friend, Lewis, is off to summer camp and she's left facing an entire summer of dullness and worry about starting junior high in the fall. But then Mrs. Zimmerman - a good friend who also happens to be a witch - invites her to tag along on a road trip through the Upper Peninsula and things start to look up. Mrs. Zimmerman's trip is brought on by a letter from her recently-deceased acquaintance, who has left her his farm and a particular magic ring, which ends up causing all sorts of trouble for both her and Rose Rita, including some hairy encounters with a nasty old witch, who also wants the ring and has it out for Mrs. Zimmerman.
I love Bellairs' books - great characters, fun stories, and just enough of the scary stuff to be creepy but not enough to keep a 10-year-old up at night. Perfect for bedtime reading with Charlie.
Happy 2019! Starring to follow your year of reading! So nice to be back and see familiar faces! Looking forward to catching up on your thread :)
>228 foggidawn: Definitely! They're so much fun, and Charlie loves them! I think they're perfect for kiddos about his age who want a slightly spooky mystery but don't like being really scared.
More laundry, but mostly just sitting in my rocking chair with my book, I think. Sounds amazing, to be honest.
On the reading front:
I spent some time with The Name of the Wind and Bhimsa the Dancing Bear yesterday; I'm hoping to finish up the latter today.
Last night we read Colors, which was cute but not spectacular.
8. Bhimsa the Dancing Bear by Christine Weston (Newbery Honor Book, 120 pages) - 8/10 = B-
Two boys and a trained dancing bear go on a walking adventure in India. They meet up with a haughty young prince, a kind philosopher, a troupe of evil robbers, and a hungry tiger before finding their way back home.
*Shrug* It was okay, but not fabulous. A bit dated, I suppose, and the characters a little flat.
>231 scaifea: Love it! And that it was Tomm's idea. I figured that it was Charlie's!
>231 scaifea: You guys must be VERY good...or very brave. So who brought it all crashing down?
>231 scaifea: Ah. The collapse of that tower explains the Richter level rumble I felt last night.
Hi Amber! Following along for 2019, and I've just added The man who was Thursday to the list.
>233 lycomayflower: Laura: Tomm is a *huge* fan of Jenga, which I find adorable and hilarious. It's one of the few things that brings out the little kid in him and I love it.
>234 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie!
>235 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: Oh, I was *so* brave (I hid behind Tomm for all turns but my own). And, um, yeah, it came down on one of my turns...
>236 kidzdoc: Darryl: Ha! It was a fairly massive crash, I have to say.
>237 Foxen: Hi, Katie! I hope you like it as much as I did!
>231 scaifea: Nice.
Jenga is the one game I love to play in a wildly risky fashion. Not sure what that says about me!
>242 charl08: Charlotte: Charlie is an absolute daredevil when it comes to Jenga. So funny, since he's extremely cautious in every other aspect of life.
>243 ChelleBearss: Chelle: It was intense but so much fun!
And yeah, I'm trying to plough through it - there are so many, though!
>244 katiekrug: >245 alcottacre: Katie and Stasia: No need for shame! It's a hoot, though.
>245 alcottacre: Stasia: I'm so happy that so many people seem to like Thursday; I had no idea what it was about going in and I was so happily surprised.
I discovered Bellairs while pregnant with Charlie and knew right away that I wanted to collect All The Things for his bookshelves. I'm so happy that it turned out as I had hoped and that he loves them, too.
Katie and Stasia - - maybe we three can just sit quietly in the corner and read while they do their Jenga thing :>
Treadmilling, a quick trip to the libraries, writing, Charlie's ballet class this evening.
On the reading front:
After finishing up the Pratchett I started All the Crooked Saints, which I've been excited about for ages. So far so good!
And we reread the wonderful Harry the Dirty Dog last night.
I have also never played Jenga - laughing that now there are four of us.
Morning, Amber! I love Harry the Dirty Dog. Just saying... And I have not read any Bellairs, but I did pick up The House With A Clock in its Walls on audio when it was an Audible Daily Deal a while back.
Morning, Amber. I hope you had a nice weekend. I am enjoying a day off, and despite the chill will probably go for a stroll in the woods.
>256 alcottacre: I've probably listened to one of his audiobooks before, but I'm afraid that I generally don't pay much attention to who the narrator is, unless it's a celebrity I know and love (Cumberbatch, Fry,...)
Love the Triple Jenga photo!
The Man Who Was Thursday is a crazy ride, isn't it? I felt like people reading it in its time period probably had an easier time following it?
>231 scaifea: What fun!!!! We love playing games with our neighborhood little friends. They are hooked on playing perfection.
Hoping today is a good day for you! It is 20 degrees here, but it isn't going to stop me from a trip to the library.
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