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Alcott Acre's More Board Games than Books (Part the First and Last)

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Dec 29, 2018, 3:57pm Top

In 2018 - 421 plays from 165 different games:

Merkator x2
The Voyages of Marco Polo x2
Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary
Saint Petersburg (second edition)
Grand Austria Hotel
Ancestree NEW!
Roll Player x5
Jump Drive NEW!
First Class: All Aboard the Orient Express! x2 NEW!
Dark Gothic x19
Charterstone x10
Junk Art x2
A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game x12
Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy
Railroad Revolution NEW!
Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure x4
Legendary: Buffy The Vampire Slayer x3 NEW!
Xanadú NEW!
Terraforming Mars x2
Bastion x2 NEW!
Hardback NEW!
Orléans: Deluxe Edition x2
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 6 – France & Old West x3 NEW!
The King's Abbey
Champions of Midgard
San Juan
Rome: City of Marble NEW!
Orléans: Trade & Intrigue NEW!
Century: Spice Road
Keyper x2 NEW!
Edge of Humanity NEW!
Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Sagrada x2
Exit: The Game – The Pharaoh's Tomb NEW!
Pandemic: Rising Tide NEW!
Splendor x3
The Pursuit of Happiness x2
Elder Sign
Dream Home
Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 x21 NEW!
The Oracle of Delphi NEW!
Above and Below
Kingdom Builder
Transatlantic x3 NEW!
Dice Forge x2
Castle Panic x3
Imperial Settlers
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle x6
Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters
Pandemic: The Cure
Tikal x2
Forbidden Desert
Anachrony x2 NEW!
Concept x2
Village x3 NEW!
Quests of Valeria
Steam Time NEW!
Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu x3
Power Grid: The First Sparks NEW!
T.I.M.E Stories
Hyperborea x2 NEW!
Pulsar 2849 NEW!
Legacy of Dragonholt x2 NEW!
Near and Far x5 NEW!
The Quest for El Dorado x5 NEW!
Blue Moon City x2
The Colonists NEW!
Qwixx x3
Gaia Project NEW!
Thurn and Taxis
Space Base x2 NEW!
Celestia x2
Covert NEW!
Rise of Augustus x4
La Granja
The Palaces of Carrara
World's Fair 1893
Valley of the Kings: Last Rites NEW!
The Builders: Middle Ages
Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game
The Tea Dragon Society Card Game NEW!
Codenames x2
Arkham Horror
SOS Titanic x2
Codenames Duet x7 NEW!
Century: Eastern Wonders NEW!
Ticket to Ride: New York x4 NEW!
The Game x14 NEW!
Asking for Trobils NEW!
The Networks
Dead Men Tell No Tales x2
Beyond Baker Street x2 NEW!
Automobiles x2
Abyss x2
Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War NEW!
Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger x2 NEW!
La Isla
Spy Club x7 NEW!
Code 777 NEW!
Notre Dame
Tiny Epic Quest NEW!
Istanbul x2
Doodle Quest x2
Relic Runners
Clank!: Sunken Treasures NEW!
At the Gates of Loyang
Welcome To... x2 NEW!
Legendary Encounters: The X-Files Deck Building Game NEW!
Kings of Air and Steam NEW!
Mystery! Motive for Murder x3
New Bedford NEW!
Ancient Terrible Things x2
Dragonsgate College NEW!
Clank!: The Mummy's Curse NEW!
Trekking the National Parks: Second Edition x3 NEW!
Dragon Castle x2 NEW!
Ascension: Realms Unraveled
Gizmos x3 NEW!
Everdell NEW!
King of Tokyo x2
Rajas of the Ganges NEW!
Root x2 NEW!
Agra NEW!
Discoveries x2
Dinosaur Island NEW!
Stop Thief!
A Feast for Odin x2
The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire
7 Wonders
Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule!
Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game x2 NEW!
Great Western Trail NEW!
Root: The Riverfolk Expansion NEW!
Cottage Garden
Obsession NEW!
Spirit Island NEW!

Edited: Today, 7:10am Top

In 2018 - ?? books - not even worth counting!

Changes are in the air though!!

1 - My local library FINALLY has Overdrive, which I was first introduced to by Tina (tututhefirst) several years ago

2 - I rediscovered my love of audiobooks, which is certainly helpful considering that I still cannot hold a book correctly a mere 8 months after my arm surgery

Goodreads Challenge:

1. A book that was nominated for or won an award in a genre you enjoy - The Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King - won the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction
2. A book with one of the 5 W's in the title (Who, What, Where, When, Why)
3. A book where the author’s name contains A, T, and Y -
4. A book with a criminal character (i.e. assassin, pirate, thief, robber, scoundrel etc)

5. A book by Shakespeare or inspired by Shakespeare
6. A book with a dual timeline
7. 2 books related to the same topic, genre, or theme: Book #1
8. 2 books related to the same topic, genre, or theme: Book #2

9. A book from one of the top 5 money making genres (romance/erotica, crime/mystery, religious/inspirational, science fiction/fantasy or horror) On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle
10. A book featuring an historical figure
11. A book related to one of the 12 Zodiac Chinese Animals (title, cover, subject)
12. A book about reading, books or an author/writer

13. A book that is included on a New York Public Library Staff Picks list - list can be found here https://www.nypl.org/books-music-movies/recommendations/best-books/staff-picks
14. A book with a title, subtitle or cover relating to an astronomical term
15. A book by an author from a Mediterranean country or set in a Mediterranean country
16. A book told from multiple perspectives
17. A speculative fiction (i.e. fantasy, scifi, horror, dystopia)

18. A book related to one of the elements on the periodic table of elements
19. A book by an author who has more than one book on your TBR
20. A book featuring indigenous people of a country
21. A book from one of the polarizing or close call votes

22. A book with a number in the title or on the cover
23. 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #1 Something Old
24. 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #2 Something New
25. 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #3 Something Borrowed

26. 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #4 Something Blue
27. A book off of the 1001 books to read before you die list
28. A book related to something cold (i.e. theme, title, author, cover, etc.)
29. A book published before 1950
30. A book featuring an elderly character

31. A children’s classic you’ve never read
32. A book with more than 500 pages
33. A book you have owned for at least a year, but have not read yet - The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
34. A book with a person's name in the title - Emily Alone by Stewart O'Nan

35. A psychological thriller
36. A book featured on an NPR Best Books of the Year list - list is here: https://apps.npr.org/best-books-2018/
37. A book set in a school or university
38. A book not written in traditional novel format (poetry, essay, epistolary, graphic novel, etc)

39. A book with a strong sense of place or where the author brings the location/setting to life
40. A book you stumbled upon
41. A book from the 2018 GR Choice Awards - list found at https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-fiction-books-2018
42. A book with a monster or "monstrous" character
43. A book related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) (fiction or nonfiction)

44. A book related in some way to a tv show/series or movie you enjoyed (same topic, same era, book appeared in the show/movie, etc.)
45. A multi-generational saga
46. A book with a (mostly) black cover
47. A book related to food (i.e. title, cover, plot, etc.)

48. A book that was a finalist or winner for the National Book Award for any year
49. A book written by a Far East Asian author or set in a Far East Asian country
50. A book that includes a journey (physical, health, or spiritual)
51. A book published in 2019
52. A book with a weird or intriguing title

Dec 29, 2018, 5:16pm Top


Dec 29, 2018, 5:48pm Top

nice to see you here!

Edited: Dec 29, 2018, 6:56pm Top

>3 BBGirl55: Hey, Bryony! Thanks for stopping by the Acre!

>4 torontoc: Same to you, Cyrel!

I am off to wander through the threads and see if I can discover both of yours!

Dec 29, 2018, 6:30pm Top

Hi, Stasia!

Dec 29, 2018, 6:55pm Top

>6 kidzdoc: Hey, Darryl! Thanks for coming by.

Dec 29, 2018, 7:34pm Top

Happy new thread, Stasia!

Dec 29, 2018, 7:56pm Top

Stasia! So good to see you starting a thread for 2019. I know life has been incredibly busy....

dropping off my star. :-)

Dec 29, 2018, 7:57pm Top

>8 norabelle414: Thanks, Nora! Let's hope I keep with it better this year than I have the past couple!

Dec 29, 2018, 7:57pm Top

>9 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen!

Dec 29, 2018, 8:01pm Top

Happy new thread, Stasia! Looking forward to hearing some about your audio reads & games in 2019.

Dec 29, 2018, 8:05pm Top

>12 bell7: Thanks, Mary - and a very big "Thank you" for the lovely card you sent me at Christmas!

Dec 29, 2018, 8:16pm Top

Here I am, slapping a star on your thread. :)

Dec 29, 2018, 8:21pm Top

>13 alcottacre: You're very welcome!

Dec 29, 2018, 8:43pm Top

Hi, Stasia! I'm glad to see you back!

Dec 29, 2018, 10:45pm Top

Stasia! Welcome back!

Dec 30, 2018, 12:49am Top

Dec 30, 2018, 3:07am Top

Happy New Year, Stasia! Starred you!

Dec 30, 2018, 10:54am Top

Welcome back, Stasia!

Dec 30, 2018, 12:49pm Top

My stats on games are:

477 plays of 212 games in 2018 :)

I think I'm most excited to get Chronicles of Crime in the new year. And we're about to start a 4p campaign of the Rise of Queensdale which should be great.

Dec 30, 2018, 3:16pm Top

> 14 >16 harrygbutler: >17 drneutron: >18 Berly: >19 SandDune: >20 mstrust: >21 lunacat: Thanks, fuzzi, Harry, Jim, Kim, Rhian, Jennifer, and Jenny!

Nice stats, Jenny. I am looking forward to Chronicles of Crime as well in the new year. Not sure when I will get my hands on it though. Have you tried Detective yet? My family is HOPELESS at deduction games and yet we continue on, lol. Beth and I are going to start a 2-player campaign of Queensdale some time in 2019 - probably when the 3 of us are done with Detective - and we need to finish up our Pathfinder campaign as well.

Dec 30, 2018, 3:23pm Top

Hi! I saw that you're having trouble holding a book. My mother has arthritis so I bought her a book pillow to help with her reading. They come in a few different styles (Amazon has 4 listed) and are usually inexpensive (you might could even make one yourself). Hopefully that might help. :)

Dec 30, 2018, 3:23pm Top

Kerry got me a gift card from Books-a-Million for our Christmas so, of course, I felt the need to spend it before it burned a hole in my pocket. Not being able to hold books does not stop me from buying them:)

I picked up:
Then They Came for Me by Matthew Hockenos
The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton
We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth

Any thoughts on these? Good or bad picks?

Dec 30, 2018, 5:46pm Top

*waves* Hiya! Nice to see you!

Dec 30, 2018, 5:55pm Top

Just setting down my cushion Stasia.

Dec 30, 2018, 10:48pm Top

Hi Stasia! Stopping by to drop a star.

Dec 30, 2018, 10:57pm Top

Just dropping off my star, Stasia. Rotten news about the after effects of your surgery.

Dec 30, 2018, 11:00pm Top

>24 alcottacre: I know nothing about any of these! So I am no help whatsoever. ; )

Dec 30, 2018, 11:40pm Top

Hey-o! Dropping off a star, fresh off a loss in only the second game (first attempt at February) in Pandemic Legacy: Season 1... sigh. :P

Dec 30, 2018, 11:52pm Top

So happy to see you back again, Stasia! Wishing you a very happy 2019 filled with lots of games, reading, and continued healing.

Dec 31, 2018, 2:39am Top

Happy New Year Stasia!

Dec 31, 2018, 7:39am Top

>25 lycomayflower: >26 Caroline_McElwee: >27 lkernagh: >28 bohemima: >31 MickyFine: >32 The_Hibernator: Hey, Laura, Caroline, Lori, Gail, Micky, and Rachel! Thank you for dropping by the Acre!

>29 Berly: Well, rats, Kim - I was counting on you! :)

>30 dk_phoenix: Faith, playing through Pandemic Legacy Season 1 has been (thus far) hands down my favorite gaming experience ever. I loved it! I have also played through Season 2, which for me was not as strong, but there are a lot of people who like Season 2 more than Season 1. I cannot wait to see what Season 3 brings!

Dec 31, 2018, 9:33am Top

How wonderful to see you! Wishing you all the best in 2019.

Dec 31, 2018, 10:39am Top

Happy new thread and happy new year, Stasia! Hope 2019 brings you better health and less aches and pains.

Dec 31, 2018, 10:49am Top

Happy new thread! I slacked off on my game-logging this year, so I couldn't tell you my overall stats, but we played a lot of Ethnos. I agree with all your comments about Pandemic Legacy.

Dec 31, 2018, 10:57am Top

Happy new thread, Stasia! Hope those audiobooks help you get back into the swing of reading!

Dec 31, 2018, 11:50am Top

Happy reading in 2019, Stasia!

Dec 31, 2018, 4:41pm Top

Happy 2019 reading, Stasia! Here's hoping you can shrink that black hole a bit this year!

Dec 31, 2018, 5:17pm Top

Happy New Year Stasia

Dec 31, 2018, 8:07pm Top

>34 billiejean: >35 Carmenere: >36 _Zoe_: >37 ChelleBearss: >38 FAMeulstee: >39 thornton37814: >40 avatiakh: Thanks, Sandra, Lynda, Zoe, Chelle, Anita, Lori, and Kerry! Happy New Year to you all!

>36 _Zoe_: I still have not managed to get Ethnos to the table despite having owned it for at least a year now. Glad to know you enjoyed PL: S1 too!

Dec 31, 2018, 9:38pm Top

Making my rounds, dropping off stars, and wishing you...

Jan 1, 10:25am Top

I wish you from my heart a healthy 2019 filled with happiness, satisfaction, laughter and lots of good books.

Jan 1, 10:32am Top

Wishing you a game- and book-filled 2019, Stasia!

Jan 1, 10:43am Top

>24 alcottacre: Hooray for new books in a new year! We Were The Lucky Ones made my Top Ten List. I didn’t hear much about it on LT so maybe you can help promote it.

Happy New Year, Stasia. Enjoy the audio books. I’d be lost without them as walking and bedtime companions.

Jan 1, 11:54am Top

Happy New Year, Stasia. I hope the arm gets better this year, and that audiobooks work for you.

Jan 1, 11:55am Top

>42 EBT1002: >43 Ameise1: >44 harrygbutler: >45 Donna828: Thanks, Ellen, Barbara, Harry and Donna!

>45 Donna828: I am going to have to move We Were the Lucky Ones to the top of my stack, Donna. Thanks for the input!

Happy New Year, everyone! I am starting off the year gaming - finishing up the one Beth and I started yesterday and starting Lisboa - a big beast of a game :)

Jan 1, 12:25pm Top

Ethnos is a nice game but I would struggle to recommend it with 2p. 3 and above gets much more interesting.

Jan 1, 12:43pm Top

Happy New Year, Stasia and Happy New Thread. I love seeing you post on the threads. We hope this continues. Have a great year of reading.

Jan 1, 1:50pm Top

Happy New Year Stasia. I look forward to following your reading this year.

Jan 1, 2:04pm Top

Nice to see you back here, Stasia. Happy New Year!!

Jan 1, 2:29pm Top

>48 lunacat: Yup, I completely agree that Ethnos is not a two-player game! We tried it once and won't make that mistake again. But fortunately we have plenty of good two-player games; it's 5- or 6-player games that are harder to find.

Jan 1, 7:22pm Top

Happy 2019
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, Stasia, this year.

Jan 1, 9:03pm Top

Dropping off my star, Stasia!

Jan 1, 9:26pm Top

Happy New Year and happy new thread, Stasia! Wow, what a list of games! I didn't count how many I played last year -- maybe I should start tracking that. I did find a group of friends to game with -- we meet every month or so. Favorites so far include Ticket to Ride and Kill Doctor Lucky, though we've played many other things as well. I've also been gaming with my brother and sister-in-law whenever we get together. We've worked through the first five "years" in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle. Cooperative games work best for us, so once we finish this one, we'll have to find something similar.

Glad you're getting better audiobook access! I have been listening to quite a few over the past few years.

Jan 2, 5:18am Top

Happy New Year Stasia! And happy new thread!

Wishing you and your family the best for 2019.

Jan 2, 7:27am Top

>48 lunacat: >52 _Zoe_: I am hoping to get my husband to play it with Beth and me - I actually bought it with him in mind, so it is unlikely that we will play it 2p. Thanks for the heads up though, Jenny and Zoe!

>49 msf59: >50 Caroline_McElwee: >51 lindapanzo: Thanks, Mark, Caroline, and Linda! It is good to be around again.

>53 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. I am not sure how much reading I will actually get done - between arm problems and fatigue I feel like I am fighting an uphill battle - but I am going to give it my best shot.

>54 ronincats: Thanks, Roni!

>55 foggidawn: Have you tried Pandemic yet? If not, I highly recommend it! If you like base Pandemic, then definitely try Pandemic Legacy: Season 1. If you have not checked out www.boardgamegeek.com, give it a try. I track all of my plays there and keep up with the collection.

>56 humouress: Thanks, Nina! Happy New Year to you too!

Jan 2, 8:38am Top

Hi Stasia! Thanks for dropping by my thread. I'm paying a return visit, as I hope to keep more in touch with everyone this year. Oooh, I didn't realise you were a board game addict! I'd love to get more into board games but it's hard to know where to start. I have Catan and Carcassonne and that's about it. I know Pandemic is supposed to be amazing but what's all this about seasons??
Also, I read Hillbilly Elegy at the end of last year. Interested in your thoughts when you've finished it!

Jan 2, 10:42am Top

Happy New Year, Stasia!

Jan 2, 3:49pm Top

Hi Stasia, dropping a star and wishing you a Happy New Year!

Jan 3, 7:12am Top

>59 HanGerg: Hey, Hannah! I am not sure if you are referring to the board game Seasons in your post or not, but that is one I have not played, so I really cannot give any input on it. Sorry!

>60 kidzdoc: >61 aktakukac: Thanks, Darryl and Rachel!

Edited: Jan 3, 7:17am Top

Book 1: Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance - I listened to this one on audiobook, narrated by the author. I wanted to like the book more than I did. I liked the portions of the book dealing with Vance's memoir, but when he veered off into politics and sociology, he lost me a bit, especially as he tended to make a lot of generalizations. I think he would have been better served to stick to his story. I laughed at the beginning when he said that only in Appalachia would grandparents be called "Memaw" and "Papaw" - mine and my sisters kids have been calling our father and mother that since they were born - and we are all in Texas, not anywhere close to Appalachia! Recommended, 3.75 stars Library Book

Jan 3, 7:56am Top

Hi Stasia. Happy new year and happy new thread.

Congrats on finishing your first book of the year.

Memaw and Papaw are very common here in central NC. My husband's step-mother, my 2nd MiL, made a clever variation on it. Her name was Kay, so our daughter called her Kayma.

Jan 3, 10:50am Top

Happy reading in 2019 Stasia

Jan 3, 10:59am Top

Stasia, my mouth is still hanging open from your opening post. I stand in awe of your board game adventures!

Jan 3, 11:38am Top

>64 karenmarie: >65 calm: Thanks, Karen and calm! I think you are probably closer to Appalachia than I am, Karen (geography is not my thing), so I am not really surprised by the usage of Memaw and Papaw there in NC. Neat variation on it for your MiL.

>66 Crazymamie: I am hoping for at least as many this year too, Mamie!

Jan 3, 11:41am Top

Hi Stasia! Nate and I are hosting a board game night this weekend and I thought of you! My sister and BIL are coming over for some drinks and fun. We have Pandemic, Exploding Kittens (adult version) and What Do You Meme. I think it will be lots of fun!

Jan 3, 12:21pm Top

>63 alcottacre: I have been told that "What you are getting wrong about Appalachia - Catte" is a sort of rebuttal to this book. I haven't read either yet but I grew up in Appalachia and I am curious about both of the books. I'm just not sure if they'll be good reads or eye-rollers.

Jan 3, 12:37pm Top

>62 alcottacre:. " I am not sure if you are referring to the board game Seasons in your post or not". Oh dear, a mix up! I was trying to refer to Pandemic: Legacy. You and Faith were earlier discussing whether Season 1 or 2 was the best of that game - at least to my untutored eyes you were. This is what happens when one blunders into unknown territory!
I agree about Hillbilly Elegy. He seems to judge a lot of his neighbours based on what he sees them spending their food stamps on at the grocery store, thereby buying into right of centre ideas about personal responsibility etc, but at the same time acknowledging that he wouldn't have succeeded in life without lots of stars aligning to save him from the fate of those neighbours. His arguments seem a bit muddle headed, to say the least.

Jan 3, 4:13pm Top

>68 ChelleBearss: I hope you have a great time, Chelle!

>69 genesisdiem: I will have to check and see if my local library has a copy. Thanks for the mention!

>70 HanGerg: I LOVED Season 1. Season 2, not so much, Hannah. "Muddle-headed" is a good description of Vance's arguments, I think.

Jan 3, 5:56pm Top

Wonderful to have you back on LT, Stasia! Happy New Year!

I'm sorry to hear that your arm still has not fully come around from surgery. "Will I be able to hold a book, Doctor?" seems a lot simpler request than, "Will I be able to play the piano", when you've never played it before. I'm glad the audio books are working for you. I've often thought that's what I'd do if I lost my vision or otherwise developed trouble reading print.

You may remember that my son and DIL are avid board game players, so I'll be watching for your recommendations. They tend to play easier ones when we visit, to accommodate our cluelessness, and this time it was "Exploding Kittens." Some interesting strategerie, and lots of laughs.

Jan 3, 6:11pm Top

Stasia, That is an incredible list of games!!!!

I wish that your arm would heal and stop nagging you since surgery.

Jan 3, 7:07pm Top

Ah too bad Hillbilly Elegy wasn't a better book. I've heard mixed reviews about it, but will be reading it later this year with my book club.

Jan 3, 7:16pm Top

>72 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. Audiobooks are saving my sanity these days. If your kids ever need game recommendations, I will be glad to help - although I will say that my taste in gaming has evolved to heavier games. Still, I have a casual gamer in my family in the person of my husband, who is not a gamer, so I can make some useful suggestions in that direction too :)

>73 Whisper1: The problem is 2-fold. The hypersensitivity from the incision is still with me and the arm is just not healed on the inside. The 6-month window has come and gone, but they told me that it could take up to two years. I just do not have that kind of patience, lovey!

>74 bell7: Mary, you may like it more than I did. I know that some people highly regard the game. Let me know!

Jan 4, 4:47am Top

Happy new year, Stasia.

Jan 4, 5:53am Top

>76 DianaNL: Thanks, Diana!

Jan 4, 1:51pm Top

Book 2: The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman - Nonfiction; Donna brought this one to me at the Joplin meetup in 2017 and I am glad I finally got around to reading it, because I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book concerns the couple who ran the national zoo in Warsaw prior to WWII and their experiences after the blitzkrieg invasion of Poland in September 1939. The story is told primarily from the standpoint of the wife (hence the title), but does not neglect to relate the experiences of either her husband and son. I saw that some reviewers who did not care for the level of detail that Ackerman put into the book, but I loved it - the book is the experience of the family and those details mattered to them. 4 stars; Highly Recommended Mine

Jan 4, 8:41pm Top

Happy new year, and happy reading! :)
The Zookeeper's Wife looks really interesting, and I'll check whether my local library has it!

Jan 5, 6:40am Top

>78 alcottacre: I listened to that one a few years back and was really captivated by it. I'm so glad that you liked it, too!

Jan 5, 7:51am Top

Happy new year.
I wish, that you may find a good and solid path in 2019

Jan 5, 8:08am Top

>79 applebook1: I hope you enjoy it when you get a chance to read it, Yoona!

>80 scaifea: I am glad I am not alone in enjoying the book, Amber.

>81 paulstalder: Thanks, Paul. Happy New Year to you too!

Edited: Jan 5, 8:13am Top

We played Fantastic Beasts: Perilous Pursuits for the first time last night and Kerry, the casual gamer among us, absolutely loved it, which is good since I bought it for him for Christmas.

Hitting the table today will be Ora & Labora, an economic simulation/worker placement game set in the Middle Ages and Detective: A Modern Board Game, in which we will be - you guessed it - detectives.

Any information you might like on these games can be found on www.boardgamegeek.com - or you could just ask me. . .

Jan 5, 8:33am Top

Happy New Year Stasia! Lovely to see you around the threads!

Jan 5, 3:51pm Top

>84 nittnut: Thanks, Jenn!

Edited: Jan 5, 6:51pm Top

Picked up at the local library today:

Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen - from Kim's Best of 2018 list
The Color of Courage by Julian Kulski
Evicted by Matthew Desmond - from Darryl's "Voices of Color/Social Justice" list
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones - also from Kim's Best of 2018 list
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith - inspired to read by fuzzi's "Classlcs" challenge
Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King - for the January nonfiction challenge - Pulitzer Prize winner, 2013

Received in today's mail: Dragon Hunter by Charles Gallenkamp

Now if only I can figure out how to grow another arm so that I can get them read!

Edited: Jan 6, 9:03am Top

Games hitting the table today:

Detective: A Modern Board Game - we ended up not playing this one yesterday;
Pathfinder: Rise of the Rune Lords - Beth and I are trying to finish our campaign of this one; and, if time allows;
Reef - new to us

Jan 6, 9:16am Top

Stopping by to wish you Happy New Year.

I am gobsmacked by your game list. I can barely play checkers, no correction, only the word games like Scrabble work at all for me.

Jan 6, 9:26am Top

>89 sibyx: Happy New Year to you too, Lucy!

Jan 6, 9:43am Top

Took me a while to get here Stasia but I'm finally here. I've wanted to read The Zookeeper's Wife for some time so it's good to see you enjoyed it. Happy New Year!

Jan 6, 9:55am Top

>91 brenzi: Happy New Year to you too, Bonnie. I hope that you enjoy The Zookeeper's Wife when you read it!

Jan 6, 10:01am Top

>88 alcottacre: Ooh, nice batch of books. I loved the O'Nan, the Giles and the Backman. I also really enjoyed Hidden Figures. Great choices.

Happy Sunday, Stasia. I hope you are enjoying the weekend. I know, I am. Grins...

Jan 6, 10:14am Top

>93 msf59: Good to know, Mark! Yes, I am finally reading the Giles book that you sent me :)

Happy Sunday to you too!

Jan 6, 10:37am Top

Hi Stasia!

I am in awe of your gaming! I can't wait until my littles are a bit older to bring in more board games. Right now, we play a lot of Uno and Sorry with the 7 year old and Pop the Pig or Sneaky Snacky Squirrel with the 3 year old.

I read A Man Called Ove two years ago and enjoyed it. I think I have The Zookeeper's Wife on my TBR pile.

Jan 6, 10:39am Top

>63 alcottacre: and my cousin in Houston is referred to as Memaw, as well. Seems like the author doesn't know too much of the US if he's claiming ownership of the beloved moniker as belonging to Appalachia.
Lot's of good reading being done here. Look forward to your thoughts on Ove, as I read it in December.

Jan 6, 10:57am Top

Hi Stasia!

My niece and her wife gave us Exploding Kittens for Christmas, but my husband doesn't play board games and when Jenna's home we usually play card or dice games. Does Exploding Kittens work with only two people?

>86 alcottacre: I love A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Jan 6, 11:43am Top

Hi Stasia! Happiest of New Year's to you!

Wow - I am so sorry about your arm. I'm glad that audiobooks are working for you.

I don't get much chance to play games, although I played Red Dragon Inn with my son and his fiance several times this year. I love your lists of games, and wish I could find someone who also enjoys them!

Jan 6, 2:48pm Top

Belated happy new year to you and the family Stasia! I will enjoy vicariously seeing you enjoying board games - my husband has to deal with a lot of fatigue with his illness and since he got ill we don't really play games anymore but we bought my SIL and her husband the original version of Pandemic for Christmas as they both enjoy games so I am hoping they enjoy it.

I loved the film of Hidden Figures but still haven't got round to the book - hope you enjoy that one!

Jan 6, 3:19pm Top

>95 jayde1599: Jess, BoardGameGeek is not just for adult games, it has kid's games listed and reviewed too. I cannot recommend it enough as a resource. I can make some recommendations as well, but I do not have small kids any more, so I cannot speak from actual experience with the game. There are a couple that I can recommend, Leo Goes to the Barber (ages 6+) and Robot Turtles (ages 4+). You can probably get hold of them through Amazon.

>96 Carmenere: I am about halfway through Ove - I started it last year, but never finished it, so I restarted it completely - and enjoying it. I am hoping to finish in the next couple of days. I will keep you posted, Lynda!

>97 karenmarie: Karen, I have never played Exploding Kittens, so I cannot tell you whether it plays at 2-player or not. I would suspect from what I know of the game, that it does not. Because it is more of a party game, from what I read on BGG, the recommended player count is 4-5 players.

>98 streamsong: Janet, come visit me! I will play games with you!!

>99 souloftherose: Pandemic is a terrific game, Heather, especially if your SIL and hubby enjoy cooperative games. There are multiple expansions for the game too, as well as the 2 Legacy versions currently out (the third is expected some time this year).

Jan 6, 3:48pm Top

Just breezing through, enjoying the chat about games.

My goodness, Stasia, I hope your arm heals soon.

Jan 6, 4:41pm Top

Hi Stasia my dear, just dropping my star off and hope you have a fantastic year dear friend.

Jan 6, 5:53pm Top

Finally caught up with your thread, Stasia. I hope that we will see a lot more of you around the 75ers in 2019 and that your arm gets back to normal soon.

Jan 6, 6:36pm Top

>101 bohemima: Thanks, Gail. I hope so too, but I will tell you it has been worse the past couple of weeks unfortunately.

>102 johnsimpson: Hello, John. Thank you for stopping by!

>103 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. It is like coming home being with the 75ers! I hope to be around much more in 2019. You will probably all want to get rid of me before all is said and done :)

Jan 6, 8:37pm Top

>78 alcottacre: I’m glad you liked Zookeeper’s Daughter, Stasia. I like rehoming my books.

Jan 6, 8:47pm Top

I got three games for Christmas: 1) Cat Crimes 2) Yahtzee--National Parks edition 3) 221B Baker Street. The first one is pretty much one that can be played alone. Yahtzee, of course, can be played alone. We never got around to playing 221B Baker Street when all the family was there. We just had too many other games that were new to play them all. At least two of us were very eager to try mine. Hopefully I'll find someone who will play it with me.

Jan 6, 9:30pm Top

>75 alcottacre: Stasia, I developed Hypersensitivity after a hand surgery. The surgeon said to periodically rub the area slightly with an emory board.

>78 alcottacre: I recently obtained a copy of The Zoo Keepers Wife. I paid .50 for it and found it on the sale table at my local library. You may remember that I took you there when you visited what seems to be such a long time ago (sigh).

I really cannot tolerate any kind of hardship of an animal. I imagine some of them die...I will have a hard time reading it if so. Still, it calls to me.

Jan 7, 1:05pm Top

>105 Donna828: Thank you again, Donna. The book is a keeper for me!

>106 thornton37814: My mother is a huge Yahtzee fan - I never fail to lose to her because dice just hate me, lol. Too bad we do not live closer because I would certainly play games with you!

>107 Whisper1: Almost 9 months of hypersensitivity is a bit much. I will have to try the emory board approach. Thanks for the tip, lovey.

Yes, unfortunately in The Zookeeper's Wife some of the animals die, but there is also a great deal of hope and selflessness in the book which helps offset the losses. I do hope you will give it a try and let me know what you think of it.

Edited: Jan 7, 5:51pm Top

Games played today:

Santa Cruz - an exploration/strategy game
Pathfinder: Rise of the Runelords - Beth and I are trying to finish our campaign of this one because we have another campaign game that we would like to start

Jan 7, 5:54pm Top

Book 3: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones - Kim recommended this series on her 'best of 2018' list; this is the first book in the series, introducing the main characters and the world in which they inhabit. I enjoy the main character, Charley Davidson, who is the grim reaper. I am hoping that the further books in the series give more explanation of her abilities and how they work, but I think this was a good introduction and I have already put the second book on hold at the local library. 3.5 stars (Guardedly Recommended); Library Book

Jan 7, 7:14pm Top

Hi Stasia, I read First Grave on the Right a few years ago, I enjoyed it but have yet to read the others.

The Zookeepers Wife sounds interesting, I really should read more NF titles. First BB of the Year for me :)

Jan 7, 9:07pm Top

Hello alcottacre! Just dropping a star. It looks like your reading this year is off to a good start!

Jan 7, 9:30pm Top

Happy New Year, Stasia.

What an impressive list of board games, must be fun.

Jan 8, 11:49am Top

Happy Tuesday, Stasia! I just reread the first book in that Charley Davidson series last year - I had started the series and read the first few years ago, and Kim's recent journey through them reminded me what fun they were.

Thanks again for the game recommendation - I will report back when we have purchased and played it.

Jan 8, 12:22pm Top

>111 fairywings: I hope you enjoy The Zookeeper's Wife if and when you get a chance to read it, Adrienne.

>112 brodiew2: Thanks, Brodie!

>113 EllaTim: Yes, games are a big thing around my house :)

>114 Crazymamie: I hope you enjoy the game when you get your hands on it, Mamie!

Jan 8, 12:23pm Top

Games hitting the table today:

Peloppones - a civ building game
Paperback - a deck-building word game

Edited: Jan 8, 12:32pm Top

Book 4: Emily, Alone by Stewart O'Nan - When I started reading this book, I did not realize that it was the second book in a series, but as near as I can tell, reading the first book was not needed to enjoy the second. I liked this book a lot. I could relate to Emily on a lot of levels. Emily, who seems to have depended a lot on Henry (whose tale is told in the first book), her husband, but she comes into her own in this book. The story is believable and told in a straight forward manner, although we certainly come to care about Emily, the tale is not told in a bathetic way. 4.25 stars; Highly Recommended; Library Book - Read on tablet

Jan 8, 12:46pm Top

Stewart O'Nan is one of my top five favorite authors, Stasia. I'm glad you liked that one. I haven't read it or the first one (yet).

Edited: Jan 8, 1:14pm Top

>118 katiekrug: I need to go back and read Henry's story now. I will have to see if Overdrive has that one too.

Jan 8, 2:11pm Top

Hi, Stasia! I'm enjoying seeing your posts on games. Erika and I had some fun trying out the miniatures game Pulp Alley not too long ago, and I'm (patiently) awaiting the deluxe reprinting of The Fantasy Trip, a hex-and-counter system I played back in the 1970s and lost sight of thereafter. (It was moribund for years until Steve Jackson of Steve Jackson Games, the author, was able to recover the copyrights for his material last year and ran a Kickstarter to bring it back.)

Jan 8, 7:04pm Top

>120 harrygbutler: Oh, the joys of Kickstarting games. I have been patiently waiting for one game for almost 2 years now. Hopefully it will see the light of day in 2019.

I admit that I have never heard of The Fantasy Trip. I will have to check into that one!

Edited: Jan 8, 7:09pm Top

So, I went to the doctor late this afternoon because the arm has been giving me fits for the past couple of weeks. They are going to start me on some medication to help the nerve to calm and hopefully help with the hypersensitivity of the incision. Nine months is a little much for that to still be going on IMHO. They are going to start me on the meds at night and in a couple of weeks increase the dosage. If that does not work, they are going to put me on steroids - again.

I will be so glad if that nerve ever decides to behave itself!!

Jan 8, 8:13pm Top

>117 alcottacre: I need to read some Stewart O’Nan. I haven’t read any of his books and I know he’s prolific.

>122 alcottacre: I hope you get some pain relief Stasia.

Jan 8, 8:25pm Top

Fingers crossed that the new meds will work for you!

I read The Zookeeper's Wife a couple of months ago and I really liked it. I think it's a book that most readers would enjoy. Like Linda, I am sensitive to reading about animal suffering and death. I didn't find Ackerman's treatment of it intolerable.

My last completed book in 2018 was American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard. Greater Appalachia is one of the eleven cultures profiled in the book. One of the chapters in the book is "Appalachia Spreads West." The map at the beginning of the book shows the locations of the nations. On this map, Greater Appalachia includes the southwest corner of Pennsylvania, all of the western tip of Maryland, the western halves of Virginia and North Carolina, the northwestern tip of South Carolina, all of West Virginia and Kentucky, East and Middle Tennessee, north Georgia, northern Alabama, the northeast corner of Mississippi, southern and part of central Ohio (along the Ohio River), the southern 2/3 of Indiana, the southern 2/3 of Illinois, the southern half of Missouri, the northwestern part of Arkansas, the southeastern corner of Kansas, most of Oklahoma, and the northern half of Texas. Many of these areas are not geographically in Appalachia, but the local culture has been influenced by the Appalachians who migrated there in the 19th century. My central Indiana great-grandparents were Mamaw and Papaw. That part of Indiana is within the Greater Appalachian "nation" in Woodard's book. From my family history research, I know that at least half of my ancestors who settled in Indiana migrated there from Appalachia.

Jan 8, 9:19pm Top

Hooray for Emily, Alone! Good review. Sadly, I have not read the first one either.

Jan 8, 9:25pm Top

Stasia, I'm glad that the doctor could provide some assistance. I remember all so well how much you hate going to a physician. That certainly has been tested these last few years.

I hope all goes well for you. I thought of you when I was in Barnes and Noble a few days ago. People were looking at the new board games that were recently shelved. Looks like you and many others are not alone!

All good wishes my friend. I do miss you lots!

Jan 8, 9:53pm Top

>100 alcottacre: Ha! Won't you be surprised when I show up at your door with a bag full of snacks!

I hope the new meds calm the nerve pain. Nine months is much too long!

Jan 9, 6:51am Top

>123 brenzi: Stewart O'Nan is a good one, Bonnie. You should really give his stuff a try :)

>124 cbl_tn: That is interesting about how far the Appalachian culture has spread. My parents are both from Pennsylvania - although not from the southwestern part of the state - and as far as I know, neither of their parents came from the Appalachian area. My father's father was from Belgium. His mother was an orphan, so I do not have any idea where her parents were born. Both of my mother's parents were from a long line of Pennsylvanians.

>125 msf59: OK, Mark. You and I have to get to the first book this year, you hear? :)

>126 Whisper1: My hatred for going to the doctor knows no bounds, lol. I miss you too, lovey. One of these days we will meet up again!

>127 streamsong: Come on down! What kind of snacks do you like? No Cheetos around the games!

The nerve pain has been going on for 14 months now. It has just been 9 months since the surgery that was supposed to fix both the nerve and the tendinitis in my elbow.

Jan 9, 7:07am Top

Book 5: The Gates of November by Chaim Potok - Nonfiction; I am not sure that I can say enough good things about this book - Potok, best known for his fiction, tells this story as only a master storyteller can - how Solomon Slepak, a Jew, rose in status during the post-revolutionary Stalin years, when Jews were more often pushed aside, ignored, or killed through pogroms. His son, however, turns his back on his father's belief in the Communist system and becomes a dissident. Toward the end of the book, Potok makes the point that there is a "cautionary tale in the Slepak chronicles" for Americans. 4.5 stars; Highly Recommended Mine

Jan 9, 7:09am Top

Family Game Night at my house tonight, so only one game hitting the table today (AFAIK) - Reef, a game that none of us have played yet, so we will all be learning it together.

Jan 9, 11:47am Top

I'm glad the Potok book was so good. I have only read his fiction.

Hoping and praying that your treatment gives you relief.

Jan 9, 11:54am Top

>131 billiejean: Thanks, Sandra!

I have another of Potok's nonfiction books around here too and if I ever find it, I might get it read too!

Jan 9, 11:56am Top

Quote for today from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn:

"The secret lies in the reading and the writing. You are able to read. Every day you must read one page from some good book to your child. Every day this must be until the child learns to read. The she must read every day. I know this is the secret."

Jan 9, 12:03pm Top

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my favourite books ever. I've just picked up my very old, very battered, falling apart copy and taken it into work to read there. A big chunk is loose and it's been dropped in the bath at least twice, but I won't get rid of it until it is actually unreadable.

Jan 9, 1:52pm Top

>63 alcottacre: That book is on my Audible wish list but may not survive the next wish list cull. Most of my"reading" is by way of Audiobooks, because they are so convenient and relatively cheap (none costs me more than £4.50 ish) and I am already building up a big TBL pile. I suspect that the pile is going to get bigger because I have (re)discovered the world of podcasts. There are some excellent ones out there: Welcome to Night Vale and Ear Hustle being two of my current favourites.

Jan 9, 4:36pm Top

>134 lunacat: Good to know, Jenny! I have never read it until now. I actually had to check it out of the library, even though I own it. I just cannot find it at the moment. I have a copy of Charlotte's Web that probably rivals the batteredness of your copy of Tree.

>135 meanderer: I listen to audio books at my office, so I go through them fairly quickly, Tony. I have a big TBL too!

Jan 9, 6:31pm Top

>136 alcottacre: I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who has to resort to the library because of an inability to find a book that should be on a shelf at home!

Jan 9, 6:32pm Top

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was/is one of my favorite books too and is one of the only books that I have reread a few times. Unfortunately I think my copy is still in a moving box until I can get space for “my” bookshelves. (We made priority for the kids books so mine are still boxed up until we can finish the basement/Rec room, freeing up the office of toys/kid stuff.)

Jan 10, 7:32am Top

>137 harrygbutler: LOL, Harry. It is so frustrating to not be able to find that one book you are looking for, isn't it?

>138 jayde1599: I admit that I was a little put off by the mild antisemitism in the first few pages of the book, but I am enjoying the read now. I am only about 1/3 of the way through, but I anticipate getting the book finished in the next few days. I hope you get your books on their shelves soon! I know how that goes.

Jan 10, 7:35am Top

Hitting the table today:

Finca - Finca is now out of print (although I believe that there is a reprint in the works), but it is a lovely quick-playing (about 45 minutes - 1 hour) economic game

I am back to work for the first time in several days, so the game playing will slow down during the work week. Hopefully I will get in a bunch over the weekend :)

Jan 10, 9:42am Top

Have "fun" at work! It's always hard to go back after a few days off.

Jan 10, 11:22am Top

Our choir is going to host a game night in the church fellowship hall February 1. You are invited to East Tennessee to participate, Stasia! It sounds like it will be fun. The worship pastor is supplying sandwiches, chips, and drinks. We all bring desserts and games.

Jan 10, 3:54pm Top

>141 The_Hibernator: It took me half a day to unbury myself from emails, lol. Yes, it is hard to go back, Rachel.

>142 thornton37814: Trust me, Lori, if the commute was shorter, I would be there!

Jan 10, 4:00pm Top

Book 6: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman - this book was recommended to me by Deb (vancouverdeb) - and others, I am sure - back in 2017 and I finally finished it today and am so glad that I did because I loved this story of a widower, who spends the majority of the book trying to kill himself and being thwarted at every turn. I wonder if Ove questioned his humanity since he seemed to think of himself as someone who always followed the rules, even to his detriment, and if that is part of the reason that he was hellbent on killing himself because his wife, whom he definitely considered his better half, had died and everything good in his world left with her. He learns that he is not only capable of feeling, but goodness and selflessness as well - did he learn these traits from his wife?; Highly Recommended, 4.25 stars Mine

Jan 10, 4:54pm Top

>144 alcottacre: Very nice review, Stasia. I have that one in the stacks somewhere.

Jan 10, 6:41pm Top

I'm so sorry to read your arm continues to give you grief! I hope the new meds actually help and not just mask the pain.

Count me as another Stewart O'Nan fan. He's an artist, painting pictures with his prose.

I'm so glad you rated Ove so highly! I read it last month and enjoyed it so much I chose it for my entry in the neighborhood book swap. Hope I can read more Backman in the near future.

Jan 10, 7:35pm Top

>145 Crazymamie: I hope you get a chance to read it soon, Mamie. Move it up the stacks!

>146 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. Yes, I really need to read more Stewart O'Nan! I am with you on the Backman.

Jan 10, 7:39pm Top

Another quote from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn:

"From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. There was adventure when she tired of quiet hours. There would be love stories when she came into adolescence and when she wanted to feel a closeness to someone she could read a biography. On that day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived."

I can so relate to this!

Jan 10, 8:06pm Top

>148 alcottacre: That's of my favorite books!

Jan 10, 8:07pm Top

>129 alcottacre: The Gates of November sounds great, Stasia. I am loving Asher Lev, so it sounds like I need to read everything this guy has wrote.

>144 alcottacre: Ove is such a good book, isn't it? It was my introduction to Backman.

Jan 11, 7:32am Top

>149 cbl_tn: I have no idea how I missed reading it before now, Carrie!

>150 msf59: I would agree, Mark. I need to read everything Potok wrote too. The only disappointing book that I have read by him is Old Men at Midnight, which I fully intend to read again. Maybe I just missed something the first time around and will better appreciate a re-read more.

A Man Called Ove was my first Backman book. I will definitely be on the hunt for others!

Jan 11, 7:34am Top

Hitting the table today:

Shadowrun: Crossfire - one of my all-time favorite games, Beth and I are trying to reach 100 plays before the end of the year. This is a terrific (and hard) deck building game.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Rune Lords - trying to finish out the campaign may kill us!


Jan 11, 8:46am Top

Glad to see you loved Ove! Have a great Friday games night!

Jan 11, 6:57pm Top

>153 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle!

Edited: Jan 11, 11:07pm Top

Book 7: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly - nonfiction, audio book; I wanted to like this book better than I did, but I think it could have benefited from some judicious editing; That being said, I did like the book overall and was very interested in the subject matter of these African American women who were integral to the aircraft industry during WWII and later on, during the space race with Russia; Guardedly Recommended, 3.75 stars Library Book

Book 8: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith - I read this for fuzzi's Classic challenge and am still wondering why it took me so long to get around to reading it. This is the quintessential coming-of-age tale of Francie Nolan, a Brooklyn girl with a drunkard for her well intentioned father and a mother who favors her son over her daughter. Francie and her situation are not sentimentalized - the poverty goes bone deep for her family, but so does Katie and Francie's determination that Francie is going to get an education and you know, deep down, that is just what is going to happen. Highly Recommended, 4.5 stars Mine

Jan 12, 9:17am Top

>155 alcottacre: Sorry you didn't like Hidden Figures better; I liked it so well that I can barely watch the movie now, which is just as well because Mrs. swynn has told me she doesn't care what it got wrong will I please let her enjoy it. Fortunately we saw the movie first, so we got to enjoy it together that once.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn I read for a RL reading group a few years ago, and saw that for many in our group it was something very special. I'd have liked a little more plot, but thought that Smith did a really good job evoking the setting.

Jan 12, 11:28am Top

>156 swynn: I am still probably going to watch the film, which I have not seen yet, at some point. I will probably have to watch it on my own since I doubt my husband, an action movies fan, will like it.

From what I understand about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was semi-autobiographical, so that may be while there is not as much plot as you would have liked?

Jan 12, 11:31am Top

We are going to visit my father today, so not as much gaming as I would like going on -

Detective will be hitting the table again today. We are playing through Case 3. Really liking this game!

Jan 12, 12:31pm Top

Hi, Stasia.

Did I tell you it turns out that our son Jesse is a big fan of boardgamegeek.com? His collection is here: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/collection/user/Welchiii

Jan 12, 5:08pm Top

Such an amazing amount of games, Stasia. Sounds like you all enjoy them.

Jan 12, 5:36pm Top

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of those kids' books that left an indelible mark. I can picture the cover of the copy I read now. I think the scene where she gets tricked out of her right pay because she doesn't talk to the other staff ought to be taught in schools.

Sorry about Hidden Figures though: I'm with > >156 swynn: The movie is nowhere near as good. (But still good!)

Jan 12, 8:12pm Top

>155 alcottacre: Hi Stasia. Hidden figures was one if my faves for 2018, but I haven't read A tree griws in Brooklyn.

Jan 12, 9:53pm Top

>159 jnwelch: Anyone who likes Pandemic can't be all bad, Joe :)

>160 Familyhistorian: Oh, yeah. We love them around these parts!

>161 charl08: I have no idea why it took me so long to get around to reading it, but I am glad I finally got to A Tree in Brooklyn.

>162 markon: I suggest you get around to it, Ardene! I do not think you will be sorry.

Jan 13, 1:05am Top

Hi Stasia!

I didn't read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as a child but I read it a couple of years ago and I agree that it's so very worthwhile. I wish I had read more books like that in my youth; I lacked good guidance and I didn't find some of the great children's/YA classics until much later.

I'm currently reading Well-Read Black Girl and I love the stories of early reading and the impact particular authors had on the various essayists in the collection. I recommend it.

Jan 13, 1:32am Top

>86 alcottacre: "Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen - from Kim's Best of 2018 list
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones - also from Kim's Best of 2018 list"

Oh! No Pressure!! LOL. First Grave on the Right -- I just love Charlie's internal snark and the quirky characters she hangs out with. Fun, light stuff. Glad you are looking forward to the second in the series.

>122 alcottacre: Man, sorry your nerve is still not behaving. I hope you get some relief soon. That is so wearing. Painful. Annoying.

>144 alcottacre: A Man Called Ove -- Loved this one!! And any book by Backman.

Love all the A Tree Grows in Brooklyn quotes. I read that one a few years back. Classic.

Happy Sunday--may the gaming go on!

Jan 13, 7:59am Top

>164 EBT1002: I hear you about missing classic children's books when I was a child. I pretty much went from picture books to adult books. I am not even sure there was such a thing as young adult books when I was growing up, Ellen. Did you run into that?

>165 Berly: Kim, I agree with you about Charlie's snark, one of the reasons that I kept reading. I need some light fun stuff to offset some of the darker stuff I am reading.

As far as the nerve goes, the new medication I am taking is working wonders. I still have the hypersensitivity along the incision, but the nerve pain from my back down my arm has stopped - at least for the past 3 days.

Trust me, gaming will be going on today! Speaking of which. . .

Edited: Jan 13, 8:05am Top

Games hitting the table today:

Le Havre - Beth and I are making this the year of Uwe Rosenberg and this is one of his classics, an economic worker placement game

Porta Nigra - I bought this one for Beth for Christmas. The game is designed by another couple of our favorite designers, Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling. This is an area control style game.


Jan 13, 10:36am Top

Hi Stasia!

So glad to hear that your new medication is working wonders.

Jan 13, 11:09am Top

Hi Stasia! I thought I had been by your thread before, but apparently I had not. Happy New Year! That is an impressive board game list! Do you do reviews of them anywhere?

Edited: Jan 13, 12:15pm Top

>169 karenmarie: I am thrilled by the results from the new med - and sincerely hope it keeps up!

>170 Foxen: No, Katie, I do not do game reviews. Shoot, I do not even do book reviews! Thanks for stopping by!

Jan 13, 12:29pm Top

Book 9 - The Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King - Nonfiction; I read this book for Suzanne's nonfiction challenge and am glad I finally got around to reading it. Once I reached the second half of the book, I just could not put the game down. I lived in Florida for around 6 years and have never heard of this case (of course, I was a child from 6-12, but still). My knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement, which I had never seriously considered rectifying until several years ago, continues to grow. Once again as I have said before, I will never understand man's inhumanity to man. This is the kind of book that stresses me out - I know that it is not going to end well. I so respect the men and women who fought, and continue to fight, for equal rights. None of this tells you anything about the book itself, but I see why King won the Pulitzer Prize for it. He explains the circumstances of the alleged "crime," letting the reader know from the outset that there was basically no evidence against the accused, including completely contradictory evidence in the case of Charles Greenlee, who was 16 years old at the time of his arrest (I literally cheered when I found out he had escaped from prison.) I cannot say enough good things about this book, which made me once again question where my biases lie. I was raised by a father who was nothing short of a bigot and have spent a lot of my life trying to overcome that upbringing. Highly recommended, 4.5 stars Library Book

Langston Hughes penned a poem for one of the heroes mentioned in this book, Harry T. Moore, whose house was bombed with him, his wife, 2 daughters, and mother in it. Moore and his wife passed away due to their injuries. I share Hughes' tribute here:

Ballad of Harry Moore
(Killed at Mims, Florida, on Christmas night, 1951)

Florida means land of flowers.
It was on Christmas night
In the state named for the flowers
Men came bearing dynamite.

Men came stealing through the orange groves
Bearing hate instead of love,
While the Star of Bethlehem
Was in the sky above.

Oh, memories of a Christmas evening
When Wise Men traveled from afar
Seeking out a lowly manger
Guided by a Holy Star!

Oh, memories of a Christmas evenin
When to Bethlehem there came
"Peace on earth, good will to men"--
Jesus was His name.

But they must've forgotten Jesus
Down in Florida that night
Stealing through the orange groves
Bearing hate and dynamite.

It was a little cottage,
A family, name of Moore.
In the windows wreaths of holly,
And a pine wreath on the door.

Christmas, 1951,
The family prayers were said
When father, mother, daughter,
And grandmother went to bed.

The father's name was Harry Moore.
The N.A.A.C.P.
Told him to carry out its work
That Negroes might be free.

So it was that Harry Moore
(So deeply did he care)
Sought the right for men to live
With their heads up everywhere.

Because of that, white killers,
Who like Negroes "in their place,"
Came stealing through the orange groves
On that night of dark disgrace.

It could not be in Jesus' name,
Beneath the bedroom floor,
On Christmas night the killers
Hid the bomb for Harry Moore.

It could not be in Jesus' name
The killers took his life,
Blew his home to pieces
And killed his faithful wife.

It could not be for the sake of love
They did this awful thing--
For when the bomb exploded
No hearts were heard to sing.

And certainly no angels cried,
"Peace on earth, good will to men"--
But around the world an echo hurled
A question: When?...When?....When?

When will men for sake of peace
And for democracy
Learn no bombs a man can make
Keep men from being free?

It seems that I hear Harry Moore.
From the earth his voice cries,
No bomb can kill the dreams I hold--
For freedom never dies!

I will not stop! I will not stop--
For freedom never dies!
I will not stop! I will not stop!
Freedom never dies!

So should you see our Harry Moore
Walking on a Christmas night,
Don't run and hide, you killers,
He has no dynamite.

In his heart is only love
For all the human race,
And all he wants is for every man
To have his rightful place.

And this he says, our Harry Moore,
As from the grave he cries:
No bomb can kill the dreams I hold
For freedom never dies!

Freedom never dies, I say!
Freedom never dies!

Jan 13, 3:05pm Top

>166 alcottacre: You are correct about no YA sections in libraries back then. A few authors did write primarily for teens, but they were usually found in the adult section. Lois Duncan's Down a Dark Hall is one that I discovered about 4th grade. That's one most of us took turns checking out. The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew existed, but most libraries didn't stock them unless it was on a paperback rack. Most of us traded those back and forth between us beginning about 3rd grade. Like you, I went pretty much from picture books and a few of the childhood classics (Little House books, Old Yeller, Misty of Chincoteague, etc.) to adult books. Phyllis Whitney was probably my favorite, but I loved Victoria Holt and any of those Gothic or romantic suspense genre novels. My brother worked in a store that sold things like Harlequin romances when I was in middle school. At the end of the month or however long they were supposed to keep them, they'd have to remove the covers of anything that had not sold; however, he'd bring big bags of books home. My sister-in-law read them first and passed them to me. During the summer, I would often read two a day. They were not necessarily all Harlequins, but a large number were. They were so formulaic, but at least the setting varied. I liked to imagine I traveled to all those exotic places!

Jan 13, 3:39pm Top

I read Enemy Women a few years ago its a nice picture of life during the Civil War for the civilian population

Jan 13, 4:12pm Top

>173 thornton37814: I read the entire Hardy Boys series when I was about 12, I remember distinctly. My mother was a huge Victoria Holt, Philippa Carr, Jean Plaidy, Barbara Cartland fan when I was growing up. I enjoyed Holt's and Carr's books (yes, I know that they were the same person), but never cared for Cartland. I do not think I read any of Plaidy's books at all, but I turned to the other's books after graduating from the Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Sydney Taylor, and Hardy Boys books. I loved historical fiction (still do, unless they are historically inaccurate) and read a ton of the Harlequin romances in that genre.

>174 magicians_nephew: Thanks for dropping by, Jim. I am enjoying Enemy Women although I do not care for the style of not showing the quotation marks so that I can tell with 100% certainty who is talking.

Jan 13, 8:31pm Top

>175 alcottacre: A few years ago, I looked up books by a prominent author (and I don't remember which one it was), discovering the person got her start writing those formulaic Harlequin romances. I wish I could remember which one it was, but it really surprised me. I decided I had probably read a few of those back in middle school.

Jan 13, 8:41pm Top

>176 thornton37814: I am not surprised at an author getting her start writing Harlequins. I would think it would be a good training ground for an aspiring author.

On another note, I have my first DNF book for the year - Mexico: Stories by Josh Barkan. I have read the first 100 pages and just cannot continue with it. Not my cuppa at all. Mark, I know, liked it and ranked it 4 stars. Not for me though.

Jan 13, 8:43pm Top

Stasia, I don't think I've mentioned it yet, but it is so good seeing you making the rounds and adding to your black hole! We've missed you (and your black hole)!

Jan 13, 8:50pm Top

Great to see you, Stasia! So glad you enjoyed A Man Called Ove and I'm happy to add to your black hole.

Jan 13, 9:58pm Top

Hey, Stasia, thank you so much for stopping by to say hello! I am another impressed with all the games. When I was young, I used to identify as a gamer and loved learning all the games! I used to always carry a couple of decks of cards everywhere in case I could talk someone into an impromptu game of Spite & Malice or something similar. But now I am old and just don't have the attention span or stamina. Fluxx is about the level of game that I can do. Munchkin is about at the far limit for me. Someone tried to teach me Settlers of Catan, but that was just too many pieces and rules for me to deal with as a casual player. I go to an annual New Year's Eve party that features all the games, and this last one I actually played a couple: Simon's Cat and Sushi Go! I really enjoyed both. And I was excited to finally learn Sushi Go! as I had seen it around for awhile and was intrigued.

>63 alcottacre: I was interested to read your lukewarm reaction to this book. That book seems to be the latest darling of various liberal circles. I was dubious about giving it a try myself.

>73 Whisper1: I totally sympathize with the recovery concerns. I had major surgery in July, including an incision in my armpit. I got the same spiel about 6 months and then 2 years. In my case, largely whether my lymphedema symptoms might improve. I had a similar problem with a nerve in my arm after my second mastectomy. The pain went on for months, but it did finally subside. I hope the same for you. Good luck!

>155 alcottacre: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is not one that I read when I was a child. Sounds very sweet. I might look it up.

Jan 14, 5:32am Top

>172 alcottacre: A powerful poem, Stasia.

Jan 14, 7:34am Top

>178 thornton37814: Thank you, Lori. I appreciate the kind words. It is very good to be back, even if I can no longer read all of the threads every day.

>179 vancouverdeb: It is good to be seen, Deborah! I appreciate all additions to the BlackHole.

>180 justchris: Hey, Chris! There are a lot of casual games these days. Splendor is a good one and so is Century: Spice Road or Century: Golem Edition (they are the same game, just with different themes. Sushi Go is very fun. My family enjoys that one! As far as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn goes, I would not classify it as 'sweet.' Give it a go and tell me what you think after you have read it.

>181 harrygbutler: I agree, Harry, which is why I posted it. I am not much of a poetry fan, but I do enjoy Langston Hughes (and a few other poets.)

Edited: Jan 14, 8:07am Top

>168 alcottacre: Wow! That is a great current reading list. Perfect variety. Evicted is truly amazing. It was the best book, I had read, that year and still sticks with me. I also liked Mexico: Stories.

In regards to Backman, I also really enjoyed Beartown, so keep that one in mind. There is a follow-up too, but I have not read it yet.

Jan 14, 8:20am Top

Hi Stasia!

>172 alcottacre: Your review and the Langston Hughes poem make me regret not reading beyond the 10 or so pages I tried before abandoning it.

Edited: Jan 14, 9:31am Top

>175 alcottacre: I read all of my mom's Victoria Holt and Philippa Carr books in my pre- to early teens, and was amazed to discover, a few years later, that Holt, Carr, and Plaidy were the same person!

Last night was game night with a group of work friends -- we played Villainous (very complex! We spent most of our playing time trying to figure out how things worked), and a casual word game called FitzIt, which we all enjoyed. Our usual mode of game play is to tackle a longer or more involved game first, then play a few casual games to give our brains a break.

Jan 14, 2:39pm Top

>183 msf59: I started Evicted yesterday, but did not get very far. I am glad to know that you think it is amazing, Mark!

>184 karenmarie: I encourage you to give the book another try, Karen. It is rough going at the beginning, but like I said, once I hit the halfway point of the book, I could not put it down.

>185 foggidawn: I knew that they were all the same person - my mother told me - but have no idea why I never read any of Plaidy's books.

I wish I had a gaming group, foggi! I love playing with my family, but I would love to have a group to play with.

Jan 14, 3:55pm Top

I am happy you have Queen of the Tearling -- I really liked it.

Jan 14, 4:16pm Top

>182 alcottacre: I would classify myself as more of a casual gamer, and Splendor is my #1 fave. I'll have to try Century: Spice Road!

Jan 14, 7:44pm Top

>187 banjo123: I am 'borrowing' my daughter's copy - at least until I have read it. Good to know you enjoyed it, Rhonda.

>Natalie, have you tried the expansion to Splendor yet? It is called Cities of Splendor and, with the exception of one of the modules it introduces, I like what it adds to the game. Let me know what you think of C: SR when you get a chance to play it.

My Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is kicking in tonight, so I am off to bed - and yes, I know it is before 7pm, but there you go :)

Jan 14, 8:34pm Top

oooo! I read Mexico: Stories a couple of years ago. Pretty solid, I thought. I'll just sit here quietly until you finish.

Glad you liked ATGiB. I too did not read it when I was a YA. I'm sure I would not have appreciated as much back then as I did as an adult.

Yesterday, 12:54am Top

>189 alcottacre: No, but I keep meaning to! Soon... :)

Yesterday, 3:32am Top

>172 alcottacre: Thanks for sharing this ballad, Stasia.

Pleased to hear that the new medication is helping.

Yesterday, 3:34am Top

>182 alcottacre: Have made note of the game recommendations. After several years of eschewing games more or less entirely as too fatiguing to learn given how rarely I get together with people to play games, I am starting to feel more playful again.

>181 harrygbutler: and >184 karenmarie: Thanks for referencing the Langston Hughes poem--it made me go back and read it instead of whizzing by. Indeed worth the read. His poetry has had a profound influence on so many people.

Yesterday, 7:31am Top

>190 Carmenere: Lynda, I did not finish Mexico: Stories. It just was not my cuppa.

>191 curioussquared: Let me know if and when you try it, Natalie. I will be curious as to what you think.

>192 paulstalder: Thanks, Paul. I am glad that the medication is working. I am a Langston Hughes fan, so I am glad you enjoyed reading his poetry.

>193 justchris: Chris, if you are just a casual gamer, I can make a lot of recommendations for you. Actually, if you are any kind of gamer I can pretty much set you up :) I am glad you are feeling playful again.

Yesterday, 10:26am Top

>144 alcottacre: I plan on reading A Man Called Ove this year as well. It answers one of my POPSugar challenges, I believe.

>189 alcottacre: Sorry to hear that your Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is kicking in. That is a very difficult condition to deal with, and it is quite misunderstood by the general public.

Yesterday, 12:19pm Top

>194 alcottacre: I definitely will! I think our couple friends who we often game with have a copy so maybe I'll request that one next time we play. We've been playing a lot of Dominion lately. My boyfriend also got The Castles of Burgundy for Christmas so that's another we need to break open!

Yesterday, 7:16pm Top

>195 The_Hibernator: I hope you enjoy Ove when you get to him, Rachel. I loved the book! Yeah, my CFS is trying at times.

>196 curioussquared: Castles of Burgundy does not look like much, but the gameplay is terrific. Stefan Feld is one of my favorite board game designers. CoB is not my favorite of his games - that would go to Bruges, especially with the expansion - but it runs a very close second.

Yesterday, 7:30pm Top

Book 10 - On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle - Audiobook; this is the first book in the Coffeehouse Mysteries series. I may try the second book, but if it does not improve over the first, I will not continue. There is no need to spout at me everything you know about coffee varieties, the history of coffee, how to brew coffee, etc. Geez louise, I do not even like coffee! We have yet another heroine torn between two men in a light mystery series - I am looking at you Joanna Fluke, which I find annoying at best; Not recommended, 3 stars Library Book

Book 11 - Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles - There were parts of this book that I really liked - I think Jiles did a great job of showing the tragedy of war from both the Union and Confederate sides, the hardships that the women who were left behind had to deal with, the fact that there were soldiers on both sides that were out for nothing but retribution and would do anything to get it. That being said, however, there were a few too many coincidences that just did not feel fit into the story itself; Guardedly Recommended, 3.75 stars Mine

Yesterday, 7:38pm Top

I am ridiculously excited to have received a 2-volume set of American Ethnic Writers in today's mail. My local college library has it, but it is in the reference section and I cannot bring it home to study over.

The books cover African American, Native American, Asian American, Jewish and Latino writers. They give a brief biography of the author as well as suggested works to read by them and additional reading material on the author themselves. I am really trying to expand my reading horizons and think these books will be a wonderful tool in accomplishing that.

Yesterday, 7:44pm Top

Sounds interesting! I’ll be watching for some good recommendations from it.

Yesterday, 8:05pm Top

>198 alcottacre: The coffee shop series is not my favorite. It's okay. I've never rated one higher than 3.5. I'm ready for #6 or #7, I can't remember which one. I've had it out to read for a couple of years but never get around to it.

Yesterday, 8:21pm Top

>194 alcottacre: Thank you for the offer of game recommendations. I may take you up on it later this year after I move into my new condo. Right now trying (and failing) to downsize. It's good to feel an improvement in spirit.

>199 alcottacre: Sounds like a great starter kit for going beyond the usual suspects we inherit from English class into adulthood. I'll be interested in hearing who all's included in the book. I think the first time I read a story by an African American author for a class was when I was a senior in college taking an elective class during my last semester.

Today, 7:03am Top

Happy Wednesday, Stasia. I enjoyed your thoughts on Enemy Women. It has been a long time since I read it now, so I can't recall the coincidences. Was this your first Jiles?

Today, 7:15am Top

>200 drneutron: I will do my best, Jim.

>201 thornton37814: Yeah, I do not think is destined to be one of my favorites either, Lori. I will give another one a shot, but if the series does not improve, I will give it a miss in future.

>202 justchris: No problem, Chris. You know where to find me :)

When I was in school - ages ago - there were no such things as African American, let alone any other minority (? not sure this is the right term) writers or female writers for that matter. They all seemed to be white men. I am so glad this group has introduced me to the diversity of writers out there!

>203 msf59: No, Mark, Enemy Women was not my first Jiles. I read one other book by her that I enjoyed more, News of the World.

Edited: Today, 7:25am Top

Hitting the table tonight (Beth and I FINALLY finished Le Havre):

It is Family Game Night, which means that Kerry plays along with Beth and me. We rotate picks for FGN and tonight I am falling back on one of my favorite designers, Uwe Rosenberg. This is one of his early games and we just have a great time playing it, Bohnanza. Who couldn't like a game about bean farming?


Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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