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karenmarie's eclectic reading - chapter 1

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Edited: Jan 1, 12:25pm Top

Welcome to my first thread of 2019.

There is no new way for me to say how much I love being retired, so here’s last year’s message, although I’ve changed the graphic.

Being retired is bonaroo! It’s the berries! It’s aces, snazzy, hot, smooth, sweet, swell, keen, and cool. It’s also the fox’s socks, the cat’s pajamas, the bee’s knees, the eel’s hips, the monkey’s eyebrows, the sardine’s whiskers, the gnat’s whistle. I do not miss working at all. I still do a happy dance every morning I don’t have to wake up to an alarm.

I read, am a charter member of the Redbud and Beyond Book Club, now in its 22nd year, am Treasurer for our local Friends of the Library (henceforth abbreviated FoL), and manage our home, finances and etc. as my husband heads off to work Monday – Friday. My introverted self loves the Monday - Friday quiet to recharge my batteries and have huge blocks of quiet time to read.

I have been married to Bill for 27 years and am mother to Jenna, 25, living about 3 hours away and working on a 2-year business administration program at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington. We have two kitties, 18-year old Kitty William and 11-year old Inara Starbuck. We live in our own little corner of paradise on 8 acres in central North Carolina USA.

This year’s picture theme Children of the Family. This one, circa 1964, is of my sister and 4 other neighborhood girls. My sister Laura is in the middle, wearing our mother’s much-coveted quilted Rose Skirt, which we got to wear only very occasionally for dress up.

My goal is to read 100 books in 2019, down 5 from 2018. Of those 100, I’m going to try to read 45 that were on my shelves prior to today, January 1, 2019. I am only going to count pages, not strive for pages this year, so have set a counter for 30,000.

A few quotes from one of my favorite authors. I plan on reading all her fiction works in published order this year. I give you Dorothy Leigh Sayers, 1893-1957, one of the most intelligent and articulate writers I have ever been privileged to read.
The popular mind has grown so confused that it is no longer able to receive any statement of fact except as an expression of personal feeling.

Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced old woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force.

A society in which consumption has to be artificially stimulated in order to keep production going is a society founded on trash and waste, for such a society is a house built upon sand.

Wherever you find a great man, you will find a great mother or a great wife standing behind him – or so they used to say. It would be interesting to know how many great women have had great fathers and husbands behind them.

And, finally, my theme for 2019 is eclecticism – picking and choosing what to read from a wide variety of genres, styles, and centuries. I always try to do this, but last year ended up being mostly American writers and mostly mysteries. Within the scope of my goal of reading what is fun and challenging yet pleasurable, I want to read more from my shelves – books I have acquired by non-US writers and that I don’t automatically go to when looking for something new.

Edited: Yesterday, 2:10pm Top

Books read

1. The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam 1/1/19 1/3/19 ****1/2 233 pages trade paperback
2. Nerve by Dick Francis 1/3/19 1/5/19 ***1/2 313 pages mass market paperback
3. The Body in the Transept by Jeanne M. Dams 1/7/19 1/8/19 *** 1/2 206 pages mass market paperback
4. Whose Body by Dorothy L. Sayers 1/8/19 1/9/19 **** 137 pages hardcover
5. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers 1/9/19 1/14/19 **** 296 pages hardcover
6. Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston 1/13/19 1/16/19 121 of 176 pages Kindle

Currently Reading:
Kindred by Octavia Butler 1/16/19 306 pages hardcover **Kindle 1979
Freddie Mercury: A Kind of Magic by Mark Blake 1/5/19 224 pages hardcover 2016
These Truths by Jill Lepore 1/5/19 960 pages hardcover 2018
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth 1/17/19 1349 pages trade paperback 1993
Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney: Slavery, Secession and the President's War Powers by James F. Simon 10/24/18
The Gospel in Dorothy L. Sayers edited by Carole Vanderhoof 11/10/18 235 pages trade paperbook 2018
Red:A History of the Redhead by Jacky Colliss Harvey 6/28/18 218 pages hardcover
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari 5/5/18 464 pages hardcover, Kindle

Edited: Jan 16, 11:41am Top

Books added - goal: Less than the 422 *winces* added last year. Note: Any books acquired before 1/1/19 but added now will be noted and not counted against this year's total.

1. Louise - Betrayed by Lisa Scottoline
2. Louise - If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin
3. Louise - Accused by Lisa Scottoline
4. Bookmooch - The Body in the Transept by Jeanne M. Dams
5. Louise - The Snow Globe by Judith Kinghorn
6. Louise - Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult
7. Jenna - Freddie Mercury: A Kind of Magic by Mark Blake
8. Amazon - These Truths: A History of the United States by Jill Lepore
9. Habitat - The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo
10. Amazon - The Dry by Jane Harper acquired 11/19/18, added to catalog 1/13/19
11. Bookmooch - The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan

Edited: Jan 16, 11:40am Top

Books culled goal: More than the 84 from last year.

Mot of the Harry Hole books by Jo Nesbo:
1. The Bat - hardcover
2. Cockroaches - paperback
3. Cockroaches - audiobook
4. Nemesis - hardcover
5. The Devil's Star - paperback
6. Redeemer - paperback
7. The Snowman - hardcover
8. The Leopard - paperback
9. Phantom - hardcover
10. Police - paperback

11. White Noise by Don DeLillo - started it, didn't like it
12. The Body in the Transept by Jeanne M. Dams - liked it well enough but won't continue the eries
13. The Shimmering Stones of Winter's Light by Constance Walker - gothic, no

Edited: Jan 1, 12:28pm Top

Statistics Through December 31, 2018

105 books read
11 books abandoned
31700 pages read
79.5 audiobook hours
Avg pages read per day, YTD = 87
Avg pages read per book, YTD = 302

Male 43%
Female 57%

Living 58%
Dead 42%

US Born 76%
Foreign Born 24%

Hardcover 51%
Trade Pback 34%
Mass Market 8%
Audiobook 5%
e-Book 2%

My Library 96%
Other 4%

Re-read 32%
Series 51%

Fiction 87%
NonFiction 13%

Author Birth Country
Canada 1%
England 17%
Ireland 2%
Scotland 2%
South Africa 1%
Sweden 1%
US 76%

Original Decade Published
1810-1819 1%
1830-1839 1%
1900-1909 1%
1920-1929 2%
1930-1939 2%
1950-1959 1%
1960-1969 1%
1970-1979 4%
1980-1989 10%
1990-1999 13%
2000-2009 22%
2010-2018 42%

Archaeology 1%
Comics 2%
Fantasy/Supernatural 9%
Fiction 13%
Historical Fiction 4%
History 4%
Humor 1%
Linguistics 1%
Memoir 4%
Mystery 1%
Poetry 51%
Politics 2%
Romance 4%
Social Commentary 1%
Steampunk 1%
Thriller 1%
True Crime 1%

Jan 1, 9:20am Top

The next message is yours.

Jan 1, 10:22am Top

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

Jan 1, 10:31am Top

Happy New Year, Karen and Happy New Thread. Looking forward to sharing another year of books and birds with you! I have started my bird feeder tally this morning and I have all ready logged 7 species. Yah!!

Jan 1, 10:34am Top

Happy New Year, Karen! Wishing you lots of great reads in 2019.

Jan 1, 10:42am Top

Happy New Year!

Jan 1, 10:50am Top

Happy you're hear at last, Horrible. *smooch*

Jan 1, 11:03am Top

Happy new year, Karen!

Jan 1, 11:07am Top

Happy 2019, Karen!

Jan 1, 11:09am Top

Happy new year!

Jan 1, 12:14pm Top

Welcome back, Karen!

Jan 1, 12:20pm Top

Happy New Year, Karen! Welcome back :)

Jan 1, 12:22pm Top

Happy New Year, Karen!

Loved those quotes from Dorothy Sayers. Wishing you a lot of fun reading them all!

Jan 1, 12:45pm Top

>7 Ameise1: Thank you Barbara!

>8 msf59: Thanks Mark. Books and birds are top on my list for 2019. Congrats on your starting off the year with your 2019 list right away. 7. Fantastic.

>9 harrygbutler: Thank you Harry, and you know how much I love kitties.

>10 The_Hibernator: Thank you Rachel. Very cool image.

>11 richardderus: Yes indeed, RD! I added this thread early this morning but it wasn’t showing up and editing didn’t seem to be working at all so I gave up for a while. I made breakfast for the three of us – fresh spicy hot sausage patties and homemade buttermilk waffles with Real Butter and Real Maple Syrup. I also put some raw unhulled sesame seeds on the batter of mine before putting the top down on the waffle maker – yum. Then we finished watching season 3 of Rizzoli and Isles. I can’t get the series on Dish, Netflix, or Amazon, without paying, so friend Karen in Montana has been getting the seasons from the library. Season 3 was in my Christmas present box. I now have to mail it back to her so she gets it before January 9, the due date. Now we want season 4!!!

>12 katiekrug: Thank you, Katie!

>13 ChelleBearss: I can hardly believe it’s 2019, Chelle – seems like an alien number to me, although it’s not a prime number. *smile*

>14 witchyrichy: Thank you, Karen!

>15 drneutron: Jim, first of all thank you for all you do for our group all throughout the year, but especially now when we’re all in a frenzy to post and find people and start a new year of reading and chatting. And this is my twelfth year in the 75 group.

>16 figsfromthistle: Thank you, Anita!

>17 EllaTim: Hi Ella, and thank you! I’m excited to have a DLS project. I will even re-read the least-favorite, Five Red Herrings and not put it down like have 2 or 3 other times.

I’m currently reading The Gospel in Dorothy L. Sayers, edited by Carole Vanderhoof. I couldn’t give it the appropriate attention before the end of the year because I wanted to meet my goal of 105 books (which I did, even if the last 3 were teensy-weensy ones!), but now have the luxury of being able to read a bit more casually, at least for a while.

I need to do a bit of research on the short stories – I want a complete list, including the Montague Egg stories and any others that have neither detective (can’t remember, offhand.)

Jan 1, 1:13pm Top

Happy New Year & New Thread, Karen. Starred you!

Edited: Jan 1, 1:29pm Top

Thank you, Rhian!

I've just spent some time finishing and unstarring everybody's 2018 threads and have gone through once to star everybody's 2019 threads. I'll keep trolling the group thread for a while to make sure I've found everybody.

In the meantime, we're going to take down the Christmas tree at halftime of the Iowa game - whoever they're playing - and put up the rest of the Christmas decorations with the exception of my Lladro Christmas Bells. I want to see them for a few more days.

Jan 1, 1:42pm Top

>20 karenmarie: I am in the process of doing the same...unstarring, starring. It may take a few days to get things under control! : )

Jan 1, 1:58pm Top

I know - new books in a brand-spanking-new year. Heaven.

I'm more organized this year with the unstarring and starring.

We just got the ornaments and lights off the tree and the tree outside. I swept up the surprisingly-few needles and it was all done during halftime! More stuff to do later, of course but it's a start.

And the Norfolk Pine is happy to be back in its usual place.

Jan 1, 3:55pm Top

Happy New Year!

Jan 1, 4:16pm Top

Hi Karen my dear, I have dropped my star off and I will be visiting/stalking lol, your thread on a regular basis dear friend.

Jan 1, 4:34pm Top

Happy reading in 2019, Karen!

Jan 1, 4:53pm Top

Dropping off my star, Karen!

Jan 1, 4:54pm Top

>22 karenmarie: I've not yet been very systematic about starring. I generally leave the stars in place on the old threads, as I don't expect them to see much, if any, activity after the first couple of days.

We have our tree on a 5' x 7' rug. I'm hoping the weather will prove warm enough when we take down the tree this weekend that I can throw the rug over a clothesline and beat it to get most of the needles out.

Jan 1, 5:11pm Top

Jan 1, 6:21pm Top

Dropping off my star and looking forward to another year of reading in community.

Jan 1, 6:28pm 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, Karen, this year.

Jan 1, 9:43pm Top

Happy New Year, Karen. It sounds like retirement is not so bad.

Edited: Jan 1, 11:53pm Top

Happiest of Happy New Years to you, Karen! May this be the year we meet in the flesh!
Thank you for reminding me of The Man in the Wooden Hat. I've started it and will maybe be able to move on when the rest of the group takes up #3. I had forgotten how much I enjoy Gardam!

Jan 2, 7:55am Top

>23 mahsdad: Thank you, Jeff!

>24 johnsimpson: Hi John! Stalk away, LOL. Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

>25 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita!

>26 ronincats: I like being starred. Thanks, Roni.

>27 harrygbutler: I have almost gotten everything starred and unstarred, Harry.

Since Bill made take-the-tree-down noises on Monday, I took advantage of Jenna being home and took him up on it.

>28 quondame: Thanks, Susan!

>29 EBT1002: Hi Ellen. I’m looking forward to another year of reading here too. LTers are the best.

>30 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul, and thank you. ‘Keeping up with the LTers’ is one of my favorite things to do, after reading of course.

>31 BLBera: Thank you, Beth. Retirement’s better than not so bad, it’s tolerable. *smile*

>32 LizzieD: We’ll make it happen soon, Peggy. Happiest of New Years to you, too.

I re-started The Man in the Wooden Hat last night for my first fiction read of 2019 – I’d read 5 pages a while back but am now on page 53. Gardam is a treat, for sure.

Jenna’s going back to Wilmington today – she mentioned it oh-so-casually yesterday. She’s getting a bit antsy and needs some settle-back-in time at her apartment before school starts on Monday. She and I will get the rest of the Christmas things put up today. Bill’s off to work today, grumpy at having to be there when he’s pretty sure his work computer is still hosed. His company, bless their tiny hearts, decided to switch from their old network provider to Spectrum just before Christmas. And of course there have been problems, so Bill can’t access the main network drive where all his work is. It’s a migrating problem, too, because 2 of the owners are having problems now.

Jan 2, 8:47am Top

Hope you enjoy your last day with Jenna before she heads back to school!

Jan 2, 8:56am Top

Enjoy your day with Jenna.

Jan 2, 10:55am Top

...wait...this isn't Monday? It *feels* like Monday. End-of-Holiday blechs setting in. Have a fun not-Monday-but-should-be.

Jan 2, 1:40pm Top

>34 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle! We finished getting Christmas back in boxes and in the attic, watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and I beat her at Yahtzee. She's getting her stuff together now and will head out within the half hour.

>35 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara!

>36 richardderus: Hmm. It feels like Bill-back-at-work-and-Jenna-going-back-to-Wilmington-and-Karen-gets-a-minute-to-herself. Love my family, love my hamster ball of personal space.

Sorry you've got the blechs, hope YGC can cheer you up.

Jan 3, 6:33am Top

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. Last work day of the week for me, since this is my weekend. Yah! Bird outings planned too. Double yah! And speaking of birds, would you be up for keeping a bird feeder watch, at the top of your thread, keeping track of each species you see? I thought this would be fun.

Jan 3, 7:31am Top

Hi Mark!

Yay for Thursday. I'm glad your weekend is coming up. I'll check out your thread to see what you mean about tracking each species. It might be fun.

Jan 3, 7:34am Top

Happy New Year, Karen!

Jan 3, 9:27am Top

Morning, Karen! I'm looking forward to sharing in your reading adventures again this year. Loved looking at your 2018 stats, so thanks for sharing them.

Jan 3, 9:36am Top

Ugh have to brave the world darn it...the Stop'n'Shtup sales are over today so I have to stock up on a few things. Discovering the crockpot makes good cornbread is excellent, that the instant pot makes non-mix cakes to perfection is better, and the teeny rice cooker makes one-person portions of meats and casseroles is best! I can eat like a normal person. Very satisfying.

Jan 3, 9:38am Top

Sweet Thursday, Karen. I saw that your in for the Dick Francis' reading. I like his books.

Jan 3, 9:42am Top

Good morning, Karen. Enjoy your day.

Jan 3, 10:25am Top

>40 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia.

>41 Crazymamie: ‘Morning to you, too, Mamie. I’m very excited about this year with all my LT friends and books. You’re welcome re my stats.

>42 richardderus: Hi RD! Ah, grocery shopping. We usually do that on Saturdays and I sometimes have to make a mid-week run. Today I have no plans on going out.

Good corn bread is critical to Life. When I first moved to NC I decided I would find the perfect Southern Corn Bread Recipe to wow my husband with. I must have tried 6 or 7, didn’t like any of ‘em, and then tried the recipe from a cook book I brought from California – The Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Bread Cook Book. I’ve been using it for the last 26 years or so.

Yay scratch cakes, and using your rice cooker for Real Meals is so good for you. *smooch*

>43 Ameise1: Hi Barbara. As I wrote on the Dick Francis thread, my MiL introduced me to his books. I’ve got 42 of his novels on my shelves, a collection of great racing stories , his biography of Lester Piggott, and his autobiography. The yearlong challenge of 6 books isn’t too taxing, either, unlike my personal challenge of all 25 Kinsey Millhone novels last year, which almost did me in.

>44 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! Thanks. Lazy is the operative word. I just finished breakfast and talked with friend Louise and will continue reading The Man in the Wooden Hat a while before talking some cleanup in the kitchen.

Jan 3, 12:07pm Top

Thanks for the nice note on my thread this morning Karen.

I agree that it is great to be retired. So much more time for books and everything else. Your book additions last year are scary! The last couple years, with mixed success, I've focused on purging at least as many as I bring in. I too love having books around me but it was getting a little crazy at my house.

Happy reading in 2019!

Jan 3, 4:29pm Top

Hi Ron!

You're very welcome. It's nice to start getting to know new LT friends in addition to following friends I've had for years. I must admit that Jasper immediately got my attention, as I have two kitties myself.

Last year was an aberration at 400+ books. I hope to be much more discriminating this year and can't rely on the largesse of friends who made last year have such a high body count, as it were.

I will work on decommissioning many of the romances that are upstairs in my Retreat, always excepting Mary Balogh, Georgette Heyer, and a few others. My real question for some of these will be "will I ever read you again?" since my daughter does not like romance books At All. She's much more a historical fiction and fantasy reader.

Thank you re 2019 - I just finished my first book of the year.

Jan 3, 4:39pm Top

1. The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam

1/1/19 to 1/3/19

From Amazon:

Book Two in Jane Gardam's Old Filth Trilogy

The New York Times called Sir Edward Feathers one of the most memorable characters in modern literature. A lyrical novel that recalls his fully lived life, Old Filth has been acclaimed as Jane Gardam?s masterpiece, a book where life and art merge. And now that beautiful, haunting novel has been joined by a companion that also bursts with humor and wisdom: The Man in the Wooden Hat.

Old Filth was Eddie’s story. The Man in the Wooden Hat is the history of his marriage told from the perspective of his wife, Betty, a character as vivid and enchanting as Filth himself.

They met in Hong Kong after the war. Betty had spent the duration in a Japanese internment camp. Filth was already a successful barrister, handsome, fast becoming rich, in need of a wife but unaccustomed to romance. A perfect English couple of the late 1940s.

As a portrait of a marriage, with all the bittersweet secrets and surprising fulfillment of the 50-year union of two remarkable people, the novel is a triumph. The Man in the Wooden Hat is fiction of a very high order from a great novelist working at the pinnacle of her considerable power. It will be read and loved and recommended by all the many thousands of readers who found its predecessor, Old Filth, so compelling and so thoroughly satisfying.

Why I wanted to read it: Second in the Old Filth series, in anticipation of hosting a group read of the third, Last Friends sometime early this year.

I knew Jane Gardam was toying with us while reading Old Filth. There were many subtle signs of secrets and knowledge possessed but not shared, made obvious, yet still vague and open to other interpretation, by the end of the book.

Some of these secrets became confirmed in this book, told mostly from Betty’s perspective yet Gardam robbing it of being her book completely at the end by going back once again, as happened in Old Filth, to describe events after her death.

Betty is immediately likeable and we so wish for her to have the life she clearly yearns for yet by reading the first book already know is not to be. We simply learn how things don’t work out for her in the way she anticipated even as she has a distinguished life and one with honors and many satisfactions. They are glossed over, though, as are Filth's, to describe the emotional content of their lives. The central and emotional decision of each of their lives is what these books are about.

Gardam is a master at saying things by not saying them, telling us about feelings obliquely and conjuring up entire scenes with one sentence, one phrase, even a word or two.

This is a book to re-read at leisure, once the excitement of rushing through it leaves you happy to understand things but knowing that you missed others that may or may not be shared in the third book.

I must say, too, that the physical copy I own, the Europa edition is a pleasure to read, as was the Europa edition of Old Filth. My copy of Last Friends, also Europa, is winging its way to my house even now.

Jan 3, 5:43pm Top

I think I liked Betty much more than Eddie after I finished this book. What she was, as a person, was so much less She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyedish than I felt she came across in Old Filth.

Jan 3, 5:59pm Top

>48 karenmarie: - Nice review, Karen. I'm glad the trilogy is a winner (so far!) with you. I loved it.

Jan 3, 6:12pm Top

>49 richardderus: Up until about the middle, I was very irritated with her for having her fling with Veneering, and not realizing until the end that Filth spent his time before the wedding flinging with Isobel. I think Filth appreciated her SWMBO take-charge attitude towards the logistics and things of life. I can't think that she knew about him and Isobel, though - what do you think?

>50 katiekrug: Hi Katie. Thank you. Glad to hear that you loved it. Last Friends will arrive on Saturday, a Christmas gift from Jenna (Amazon sent the wrong edition, not the Europa one Jenna ordered, so we're sending that one back no charge to Jenna and I'll have a shiny nicely-matched trilogy), but I will be strong and figure out the right time for us to have a group read of it sometime soonish. Gotta get weird_o to acquire #2 and #3 and read #2.... after all, he's the one who inspired me to read the first in December.

Jan 3, 9:05pm Top

Things are hopping over here, Karen. Happy New Year! I loved this Dorothy Sayers quote:
"Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced old woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force." She sounds like my kind of woman. Do you have a particular favorite book of hers that you can recommend as a starting place? I can't believe I haven't read anything by her.

Oh my, I loved the Old Filth series. And those Europa books are lovely to read. I always look for them in used bookstores. I think I have a couple I haven't read yet. Since I joined the ROOTs group, I will be reading more of my own books. I happened to see you over there but didn't stop to chat. I'm kind of a one-group gal!

Jan 3, 11:01pm Top

Happy 2019, Karen. You already got me with a BB and you are only one book in. Well, sort of a triple BB if Old Filth pans out for me. Good luck with reading the books from your own shelves. That's my aim this year too.

Jan 3, 11:17pm Top

Wow! You zipped your way right through the hat. I'm looking forward to it, have started it, am just currently reading Other Things or not.

Jan 3, 11:28pm Top

Pant...pant! Just trying to keep current here. : )

Jan 4, 12:52am Top

>1 karenmarie: What a great way to express exultation at being retired! I agree. I've only been retired two months, but I love, love it. At first I wondered about the financial end of it all, but so far, so good. I love sleeping later, drinking a cup of tea while sitting down instead of standing up while trying to get ready for work.

All good wishes to you and yours for a wonderful 2019!!!! I look forward to visiting here often (now that I am retired.)

Jan 4, 12:54am Top

>51 karenmarie: Re: spoiler #2, I think you're correct or there might've been some awkwardness.

Jan 4, 4:48am Top

Happy new year, Karen.

Jan 4, 8:50am Top

>52 Donna828: Hi Donna! I love visitors, and we’re all so excited about the new reading year, aren’t we? Yes, things are hopping. I keep threads in the 75 AND the ROOTs groups and have several friends there who don’t participate here. The friends that participate in both don’t post in my ROOTs thread and I don’t post in theirs. I find it takes enough time to keep up with everybody in only one place.

Anybody not interested in my detailed answer re the novels of Dorothy Sayers, just skip the 'spoiler'. It's not a true spoiler, just a way for you to ignore it easily. You may regret asking which DLS novel to start with because it's unleashed my inner lecturer. I just spent a bit of time with my spreadsheet of Sayers’s fiction.

Her novels fall into 4 categories:
Lord Peter - It’s not critical to read the Lord Peter novels in any particular order in my opinion, but it’s helpful to read them in order because although they are not spoilers, there are references to previous cases. We also learn more about Lord Peter as events of his personal life, especially his time in WWI, are somewhat stingily shared over the novels. Therefore Whose Body? is first up.

Lord Peter and Harriet Vane – These must be read in order. There are only 4. If you're not going to read in publication order (see below), you must start with Strong Poison.

Standalone with co-author Robert Eustace - an epistolary murder novel. I love ‘em, many people actively dislike ‘em. Lord Peter is not in this one, but I have always liked it.

Collaborative novel with members of the Detection Club – I’ve never read them and really don’t have any desire to do so, even though the Detective Club had many prominent novelists as members. I didn't list them here.
Having said the above, I suggest reading them in publication/combined series order, always excepting The Documents in the Case, because even in the Lord Peter novels, after the first with Harriet Vane, there are occasional references to his ‘pursuit’ of her and even occasional meetings with her. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t, but I didn’t know enough to read them in order lo! these many years ago, and if I had it to do over again I, would.

Here’s the publication/combined series order.

Lord Peter Whose Body?
Lord Peter Clouds of Witness
Lord Peter Unnatural Death
Lord Peter The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club
Lord Peter and Harriet Vane Strong Poison
Standalone The Documents in the Case
Lord Peter The Five Red Herrings
Collaborative Detective Novel The Floating Admiral
Lord Peter and Harriet Vane Have His Carcase
Lord Peter Murder Must Advertise
Collaborative Detective Novel Ask a Policeman
Lord Peter The Nine Tailors
Lord Peter and Harriet Vane Gaudy Night
Collaborative Detective Novel Six against the Yard
Lord Peter and Harriet Vane Busman's Honeymoon: A Love Story With Detective Interruptions
Collaborative Detective Novel Double Death: a Murder Story

>53 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! Thank you! As regards BBs, we aim to please. *smile* I hope you read the Old Filth series, and since we’re going to be doing that group read of the 3rd book early this year, the timing might be right for you to read the first two and then join in. Of course, you may not like Old Filth… Good luck with your reading from your own shelves.

>54 LizzieD: I did, Peggy. Yesterday was a total down day for me – I refused to run errands, refused to do major housework, sat around in my jammies, and puttered around and read. Other Things are good to be reading, too.

>55 Berly: Hi Kim! Things always slow down after a while. Take a deep breath.

>56 Whisper1: Thank you, Linda! Last year I start accumulating 1920s slang sayings for good things and adding one a month to my threads. Then I added things from the 1930s, and then a few more for good measure. Then I added the Snoopy Dance, but am honoring Calvin and Hobbes this year instead. I’m so glad you love retirement so far. It’s almost bewildering to have so much time available and not be so structured, isn't it? It took me a bit to just relax and realize I wasn't using vacation days. I look forward to seeing you here and seeing how much retirement suits you on your own thread.

>57 richardderus: Glad to get confirmation, RD! Gracious – you were up at 12:54? Insomnia, YGC, or just reading?

>58 DianaNL: Thank you, Diana!

Edited: Jan 4, 9:01am Top

Happy New Year, Karen!

Good review of The Man in the Wooden Hat. Yes, for me one of the pleasures was half-understood events and relationships emerging more into the light. She is a master of giving us glimpses, and making us want to know more. I'm looking forward to the group read of the third one. I know what you mean about the pleasure of reading the Europa editions. I read some books on Kindle, but this one will be Europa again.

Being retired is bonaroo! It’s the berries! It’s aces, snazzy, hot, smooth, sweet, swell, keen, and cool. It’s also the fox’s socks, the cat’s pajamas, the bee’s knees, the eel’s hips, the monkey’s eyebrows, the sardine’s whiskers, the gnat’s whistle. I do not miss working at all. I still do a happy dance every morning I don’t have to wake up to an alarm.

Ha! Yes, yes, yes, and yes (and yes!)

P.S. I just read your DS lecture - loved it! I love the Lord Peter books, and the Lord Peter- Harriet relationship gets me every time. There's a good BBC (I think) version of them with Harriet Walter as Harriet and Edward Petherbridge as Lord Peter.

There's an earlier series with Ian Carmichael as Wimsey that's fun, but he's too . . . lightweight? for my tastes.

Edited: Jan 4, 9:08am Top

Hi Joe and thank you twice!

So many of my friends here on LT are retired, very few of them indicate what their careers were. So I'll ask if it's not too painful - what did you do for a living before getting to the Glorious State of Retirement?

Ha. P.S. to your P.S.

Thank you re DLS. Yes, there is the wonderful 1987 version of LP and HV on the BBC, but they only did the first three.

I, too, find Ian Carmichael too lightweight, and physically he's just not right. I must admit I haven't watched one even to completion, but did buy them at the last FoL sale, and may actually watch them.

Jan 4, 11:40am Top

All caught up again, Karen! Happy Friday to you! Like Joe, I love your Dorothy Sayers response - I have not read anything by her, but I do have Whose Body in the Kindle stacks.

Jan 4, 11:56am Top

Gaudy Night was the berries. That is all.


Jan 4, 11:59am Top

>48 karenmarie: I have only read the first book of the trilogy, Old Filth. Unfortunately, my local library is not helpful regarding Gardam's books - it only has 2 - and neither of them are from this trilogy. I will have to look further afield. Thanks for the review, Karen!

Edited: Jan 4, 7:40pm Top

I still do it for a living. And I do a little dance every morning when I wake up, too, but that's to get the kinks out. Even after four years, I still get startled looks from P-Bitty.

Edited: Jan 4, 6:35pm Top

>62 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie! I love DLS with a grand passion, so anytime I can pontificate, I go for it.

Her books are intelligent, witty, clever, and move at a 1930s pace, not a 2018 thriller pace. She digresses a lot, which I love, as well as not skimping on detail. I hope Whose Body? rises to top of stack this year and that you like it, or even better yet, love it.

>63 richardderus: Absolutely. The scene where she finally agrees to marry him brings tears to my eyes. But if you’ve read Busman’s Honeymoon, don’t you think that the scene where the murderer is going to be executed and Peter ends up with his head cradled against her breast to block the sound as the clock strikes the execution hour and she is exalting powerfully and beautifully written? *smooch* from your own Horrible

>64 alcottacre: Hi Stasia. You're welcome - I hope you can find the second one. Betty's story is just as powerful as Edward's.

>65 SomeGuyInVirginia: Ha. Your little morning dance probably irritates Da Floof because he wants you to stay home.

Jan 4, 7:01pm Top

>66 karenmarie: I mist up every time. *sniff* Absolution after restitution. It's perfect.

Jan 4, 7:02pm Top

The day was sunny. The day was grey, and now the rain washed both of them away. So, it is a great night to spend in pjs finishing one of the first books of the year.

Jan 4, 9:21pm Top

>67 richardderus: Yes.

>68 Whisper1: In PJs, reading. Two of my favorite things. Go for it, Linda.

Jan 4, 9:48pm Top

TA-DA! Thanks for the link, Karen and your kind way of agreeing that I must be blind. I did look for this thread in the 2019 75ers list under the *Groups tab (is that what you mean by threadbook?). Anyhow, starred now! Happy new year!

Jan 4, 10:00pm Top

Love your reading stats for last year. I am sooooo going to delve into the intricacies of my book stats when I retire, you just wait ;) (that'll be in about 25 years, just to be clear).

Happy new year, and new thread! Here's to a year of great reading ahead :)

Jan 5, 6:55am Top

>70 jessibud2: You're very welcome, Shelley. Threadbook is a wikithing link set up by Jim each year in the Group thread. When you go to the 75 Books Challenge Group thread, this is part of what you see. Down where I put in a big fat red check you'll see 2019 Threadbook. Click on it and you'll see, alphabetically by username, the username with the person's given name and links to every thread they create during the year. I've gone through it a few times already this year to 'find' people who hadn't set up threads early or who had fallen off my radar.

>71 LovingLit: Thanks, Megan. It took a few years to refine my spreadsheet, our own drneutron being the inspiration for me to even want to look at stats, and now all I have to do is copy last year's to a new name, delete all the entries but leave the totals lines in and then add books as the year progresses. A year of great reading to you, too!

Edited: Jan 5, 7:22am Top

Shelley mentioned book clubs on her thread, and I thought I'd post what we read in our book club last year. Our reading year is always staggered because we have 12 members and a book selection month, so a 13-month book club 'year'. Last year's was December 2017 - November 2018. We were supposed to meet in December but there were some major scheduling conflicts so we're picking books tomorrow night for the February 2019 - January 2020 book club year. My book will be, as always, one I haven't read before - Kindred by Octavia Butler. Here's what we read last year.

Jan 5, 7:33am Top

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

Jan 5, 7:47am Top

Morning, Karen. Happy Saturday. Well, I am off on another bird walk, this one organized. I have been busy this weekend, but I want to take advantage of this beautiful January weather. Who knows how long it will last.

Congrats on the Bald Eagle sighting and enjoy your day.

Jan 5, 8:47am Top

Happy weekend, Karen.

Jan 5, 9:10am Top

>74 paulstalder: Hi Paul! Thank you.

>75 msf59: 'Morning, Mark. Have fun on your bird walk. It will be warm in Chicagoland for sure. Here it is disgustingly warm - 46F going to a high of 62F. I always get a thrill when I see the bald eagle perching in the tree overlooking the pond.

>76 Ameise1: Thank you Barbara! Today is errands and reading, tomorrow evening is book club. Just enough to be busy, not too much to be frazzled.

Jan 5, 9:29am Top

Morning, Karen!
Your book club had some great titles last year. Do you already have this year's picked out or do you pick each month for the next?

Jan 5, 10:01am Top

We pick books tomorrow, 12 members, 12 books, one each, 12 months worth of reading. This way everybody knows in advance what's due to be discussed when. Last year two people changed books after the initial selection, and since I'm the Secretary, I had to republish the schedule a couple of times. I'm not officially the secretary, but since I like spreadsheets and being organized and correct, I took it over from someone who was more casual about book titles and correct spelling of author names. *smile*

My book will be Kindred. I was thinking of Becoming, but so many of our members use the library or share books among themselves that it would be scheduled too late in the year for my taste. If it does get scheduled that late, I'll still read it in the next month or so.

Jan 5, 11:19am Top

>48 karenmarie: Great comments, Karen. It makes me want to pick up the trilogy again.

>73 karenmarie: It looks as though your book club chose a lot of books you didn't care for last year. Better luck this year. I look forward to seeing what you choose. We chose ours last night, and I'm looking forward to this year's reading.

Jan 5, 11:51am Top

Morning, Karen! I want to see what your book club chooses - always intriguing what gets chosen, and I love seeing what people are reading for various different book clubs.

Jan 5, 2:32pm Top

Wow oh wow! You are going good, Karen. I finally started a thread for 2019, and I stocked it with my 2018 stats and ten favoritest books. I even have finished two books this year.

Seems I have spotted everyone about a month, so it time for me to get rolling.

Jan 5, 8:43pm Top

>80 BLBera: Hi Beth! Thank you. I see from your library that you have rated all 3 so must have read them. It sounds like you enjoy re-reading books.

My book club chooses a lot of books I don’t care for every year. We’ve read 225 books since inception. I’ve personally finished 128 of those, for 57% completion rate. Of the ones I finished, I liked 107 of them. The personalities of our members lead to some predictions on what types of books they recommend, and some of those genres/author countries/etc. don’t appeal to me. I always start the book, just don’t always finish the book.

I am not at all fond of Mexican/Central Amerian/South American literature, as an example. I don’t particularly like YA, which is a favorite of one of our members. Another woman likes very sentimental books, not something I’m always comfortable with although A Man Called Ove was her choice, which I loved. I actively dislike books about dogs and didn't read past chapter one of spill, simmer, falter, wither. The year before last I finished 6 and liked 5, actively disliking The Crying of Lot 49 and thanking goodness that it was very short. I could go on and on. What, me opinionated?

>81 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! Okay, I’ll report the selections for Feb 2019-Jan 2020 sometime Monday or Tuesday.

>82 weird_O: Hi Bill. Congrats on finishing two – so have I! My second book is the first in the Dick Francis shared read, Nerve. I finished it about two hours ago. I don’t feel an overwhelming need to write a review although I might change my mind in the next day or so.

It would be sweller-than-swell if you were to acquire The Man in the Wooden Hat and read it so that I could find out what makes sense for the group read of Last Friends. No pressure…. *smile*

Jan 5, 9:02pm Top

Karen, I admire your ability to stick with a book club. I've discovered that it is difficult for me to read a book that I must read within a period of time.

As much as I try, usually, I simply grab a book that calls to me.

Happy weekend to you.

Edited: Jan 5, 9:42pm Top

Hi Linda!

Prior to LT, the book club was my only social reading activity. I have known some of these women for 25 years and that's also part of the attraction of staying in the group - it is good to be known.

Our book club meets the first Sunday of each month, so I will read the book the month before. If I don't like it I put it down. There's only one book I abandoned that I've regretted abandoning - Room by Emma Donoghue - and I borrowed a friend's audiobook immediately after the meeting and fell in love with the story. I bought the book later and have it on my shelves. Another book I didn't like when I started it was Sexing the Cherry, I got rid of it, and now I'm on the hunt for it. Other than that, if I start a book and don't like it, I get rid of it and don't think about it any more. Some of the women finish every book club book as a sign of respect for the woman who chose it, but not me. I abandon books with glee if they're not working for me. Reading, at the age of 65, unless one is in school, shouldn't be homework, IMO.

Other than book club and the occasional challenge or group read here, I usually do the same - simply grab a book that calls to me.

Jan 5, 11:54pm Top

Hooray for LORD PETER and company! Stasia and I started a chronological read several years ago, but I balked at reading all of the short stories and abandoned the project except for rereading my favorite novels. Ian Carmichael was totally miscast as LP, but I watched them all because they were all that was available at the time. (My favorite line - not DLS - from the IC series.... A blond looks at IC and asks, "Is them your real teeth?") On the other hand, Edward Petherbridge was absolutely perfect, and I do wish that they had done all of the novels with him.
>84 Whisper1: Linda, I absolutely decline to read something in a stated amount of time. That's part of the reason that I must have a book in my own library as a general rule. My book club is interesting....... Each month one member puts in a book, and the librarian (me, in fact) doles them out from oldest member (my mom) to newest. I normally don't read these books since they are heavy on romance and popular fiction. (I joined because it is my mama's book club.) On the other hand, sometimes I get a great one - The Boys in the Boat, for instance.

Jan 6, 8:34am Top

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. No bird walks today. We have a surprise birthday party to attend to in the early afternoon and some chores need to be done. It has been a nice weekend, although I have neglected my LT pals. I will have to remedy that.

Edited: Jan 6, 8:50am Top

>86 LizzieD: Thanks, Peggy. If I'd thought ahead and formalized my plan on reading all her fiction this year, I'd have NOT started The Gospel in Dorothy L. Sayers and read it as a companion book. As it is, the only chapters directly relating to books are the ones for Gaudy Night and Busman's Honeymoon. Oh well, them's the breaks. I've read all the short stories over the years except possibly

"Striding Folly"
"The Haunted Policeman"

and really loved them all. I have come to the conclusion that I only love short stories by a few non-mystery writers but all the short stories by my favorite mystery writers.

Related to the IC quote, I always love the quote from Busman's Honeymoon where a local woman spies Lord Peter standing undressed at the window on the morning after they arrive at Talboys and says something about how pale and hairless Peter is, but that it may not matter as her son-in-law was a 'wunnerful hairy man' but that the couple had no children - so it just goes to show you. Or something like that. When I re-read it, I'm sure I'll relish it enough to quote it again.

>87 msf59: 'Morning, Mark! We're in the beginning of the year feeding frenzy as far as threads and posting goes. I'm way behind, too, although I've been spending half an hour or more visiting threads every day.

I've started These Truths for Kim's group read. Only an introduction and page 9 in, I'm finding this completely fascinating so far. It's a chunkster at 960 pages.

Jan 6, 9:37am Top

Wow this thread is busy already! Stopping by to wish you a Happy New Year!

Love your 2018 stats.

Love Jane Gardam!

Jan 6, 9:53am Top

>79 karenmarie: I will be curious to see what you think of Kindred. I have owned it for a while now, but not yet gotten it read.

Jan 6, 10:08am Top

Karen - Strong opinions make for good discussions in book clubs. I tend to like, and finish, most of our books because I'm not good at not finishing books. That being said, last year, I did put down The Innovators and gave it away. I knew it was one I would never go back to.

I love Dorothy Sayers. I've read most of hers several times. That is a great quote from Busman's Honeymoon.

I don't reread as much as I used to. But there are books I love to revisit. And I do a certain amount of rereading for classes.

Edited: Jan 6, 11:27am Top

>89 sibyx: Hi Lucy! Thank you. I was sweating bullets near the end of last year because I really wanted to make my goal of 105. I met it, even if the last couple of books were shorties.

Jane Gardam is now on my radar - she's written children's books, short story collections, 6 other novels besides the Old Filth Trilogy, and one book of nonfiction about the Iron Coast of Yorkshire.

>90 alcottacre: I bought it on Kindle about a year ago, Stasia - I don't remember what prompted me - and am excited to hve it for book club this year. I'll be publishing our new book club schedule tomorrow or Tuesday, so perhaps we could read it the same month!

>91 BLBera: Oh boy, Beth, do I have strong opinions about our books! The ones for book club that I don't finish I usually tell why, but briefly, so as to not take anything away from the women who've actually read the book. I only unload on books I dislike AND finish, like Twelve by Twelve in August of 2012. It still gets me going.

One of the women in our book club feels compelled to finish every book she starts - I made that a new year's resolution for 2008 and was twitching and beside myself by March, when I gave it up. I abandon books without a second thought, and I rarely finish an abandoned book.

I've read most DLS novels at least twice except for Five Red Herrings, which is my least favorite by her. I'm determined to read it this year, though, as part of this personal challenge.

Last year 32% of my reads were re-reads for my Sue Grafton challenge. That was 25 books right there. The other authors I re-read were Austen, Christie, Heyer, Larson, Rowling, and Saunders.

I'm getting excited about book selection tonight because of a New Book Club Year and also because it's potluck and I'm going to bring a wonderful cheese ball. I only made one for the first time less than a month ago, but everybody loved it and I'm sure they'll love it tonight, too. Cream cheese, goat cheese, orange zest, dried cranberries, shaped then rolled in toasted pecans.

And, just added, Bill showed me this quote on his cell phone and I had never heard it before. Admittedly from a male point of view, but nicely said regardless.

Jan 6, 12:47pm Top

Happy Sunday, Karen! That cheese ball sounds wonderful.

>92 karenmarie: Love the quote!!

Edited: Jan 6, 1:43pm Top

>92 karenmarie: - Great quote, and quite an interesting perspective!

Jan 6, 4:54pm Top

Hi Horrible, into my 81st hour without reading any stories. Ugh. I gave up on trying to get the camputerphone to co-operate with downloading the pic of my Yule surprise, so I sent it to you on Messenger. Go look at Facebook.


Jan 6, 9:38pm Top

Hi Karen. I am still slowly making my way through the threads and finally stumbled across yours! Love the Calvin and Hobbes dance and your theme for the year.

>48 karenmarie: - Fabulous review! I hope to read the Old Filth trilogy this year, with the first book being a re-read.

>73 karenmarie: - Sorry to see Plainsong was an abandoned read for you. I just complete a re-read and loved it just as much as my first go at the story, but understand not all readers like the same stories.

Jan 6, 10:38pm Top

>93 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie!

>94 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley!

>95 richardderus: Why not reading? I’ll have to zoom over to your thread. I see, I see! Beautiful. *smooch*

>96 lkernagh: Hi Lori and welcome. Sometime early this year we’re going to read Last Friends – there are thirteen of us who have expressed interest.

I think the thing with Plainsong was that I had just read A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley and the similarities were too much and the Smiley book so stunned me that I felt Plainsong suffered in comparison. It was also extremely depressing to me.

Okay lads and lasses, here are the books chosen for my book club with the date for discussion. I was going to pick Kindred by Octavia Butler for my read, but by the time it got to me there were so many depressing and emotive and slavery-themed books that I chose to drop it. I dredged up my second choice from memory – Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk. I’m not overly thrilled with the year’s choices, frankly, but will, as always, at least start each book.

Jan 6, 10:58pm Top

Hi, Karen. I've favorited your message about the reading order of the Sayers books. I've read Whose Body? and a book of short stories, but want to read the Sir Peter and Harriett Vane books in particular, as I've heard so much about them.

I was a school psychologist for 31 years in an elementary district in the 4th poorest city in the nation (100% on free lunch, 89% minority (and what does that mean in that context?), where my role included assessment, counseling and consultation and I loved it--all but the paperwork!

Jan 6, 11:09pm Top

>98 ronincats: Roni, read DLS AT ONCE!!!!!! Whose Body? is the weakest of them all except for the tedious *Red Herrings*. I can't say how many times I've read the novels, and I read the short stories cover to cover once, and that's about enough.
>97 karenmarie: That's an interesting list, Karen. I wish I had liked The Essex Serpent more, but otherwise, you have at least an opportunity for some good ones. I've read a couple of A.B. Yehoshua's mysteries and am happy to see him getting some attention.
Keep us posted!

Jan 6, 11:25pm Top

Karen, Thank you very much for that detailed list of the Sayers books. Like Roni, I saved it to my Favorite Posts. It looks like Peggy is a fan, too. I do appreciate the feedback and look forward to reading a new author.

Jan 7, 12:13am Top

>97 karenmarie: - Good to know and now adding A Thousand Acres to my future reading pile. ;-)

Jan 7, 7:04am Top

>97 karenmarie: I like the list. Nice diversity. I really enjoyed Lillian Boxfish, Circe and Educated. I liked the Tan too.

Morning, Karen. Off to work, for my long week, but at least I get to jump back into the Obama memoir. Nearing the halfway point.

Edited: Jan 7, 7:39am Top

Hi Karen. Looking at your list, I can highly recommend A Piece of the World. I think I read the Amy Tan one but I am not sure. I know it's on my shelf along with one or two others by her. I want to read Barracoon. I have a link to a terrific interview about it, I think by someone who was instrumental in getting it published. I can find the link if you are interested. I read the Dickens in high school and that's probably all I remember about it, lol! Oh, for what it's worth, I caught a typo: you wrote June twice, instead of July. (it's the teacher in me)

Jan 7, 8:29am Top

Hi Karen. Good luck with your reading group.

I have read the Dickens, though years ago, could try a reread. And the one by Amy Tan, unfortunately I was so impressed by her first book, that this one was disappointing to me.

Started on Old Filth because of all the talk here about it. I'm loving it!

Jan 7, 8:40am Top

Morning, Karen! Thanks for sharing the list of book club picks - I have read only A Tale of Two Cities and Annihilation. I have The Essex Serpent and Circe in the stacks. Sorry you are not happier with the choices, but I think it is an interesting mix.

Edited: Jan 7, 9:22am Top

>98 ronincats: Hi Roni! Glad I could be of service. And, see lizzied’s message below – this may be a DLS year for more LTers than just me.

Your career sounds fascinating. There were only school nurses when I was coming up, that I know of. I know about paperwork! My last several years before retirement were a battleground of paperwork vs helping users. I did the minimum to get by.

>99 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! Tedious is a very good word to use in describing The Five Red Herrings. In addition, the phrase “unlikeable characters” comes to mind – always excepting Lord Peter and Bunter, of course.

I’m seriously not thrilled with Barracoon because while historically and phonetically correct, I know I’ll have major difficulties in reading it because the woman who chose that book read a paragraph out loud and I was appalled – I’m not good with American dialect. I’m going to go to the Library today or tomorrow and see if I can get it downloaded as an audiobook. I think I saw that as an option when I looked last night. DLS, of course, is different. I really 'get' the dialects she uses. *smile*

I’ll keep you all posted, for sure.

>100 Donna828: You’re welcome, Donna! I hope you can pick up one or more DLS books this year.

>101 lkernagh: Hi Lori! Ah, an unintentional book bullet. I devoured it and loved it and gave it 4.5 stars. As I’ve written elsewhere, I’m extremely stingy with 5 stars, so 4.5 means I found it to be stunning.

>102 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark! Glad to see some Mark love for our choices. *smile* I hope your work day goes well. Becoming is staring at me, but I’ve started These Truths for berly’s group read. The big decision is will I have two active non-fiction books going at once or wait until I’ve finished the first 149 pages (January’s read) and fit in Becoming before starting the second section?

>103 jessibud2: Hi Shelley! The Kitchen God’s Wife is her second book, originally published in 1991. I read The Joy Luck Club when it came out in 1989, I think, but haven’t read any others by her although I’ve got novels 3, 5, and 6 on my shelves. Drat. Kira should have picked one of those…

You’ve got good teacher/proofreading skills, Shelley, but that was deliberate – we didn’t want to impinge on anybody’s Fourth of July weekend (the 4th is on a Thursday this year, so some folks might want to take Thursday – Sunday as a long weekend) and the 12th was too far along in the month to give people time to read Educated. So June 30th was suggested, the first time ever that we’ve backed into a previous month date-wise.

>104 EllaTim: Thank you, Ella! I wonder if a group read of A Tale of Two Cities, scheduled for November, would be a good idea? I seem to be in charge of hosting an annual Dickens read, was thinking of David Copperfield or Oliver Twist based on a comment-conversation with @luvamystery in December. I’ve just written to her again asking if she’d be up for a November group read of A Tale of Two Cities or if she still wants Dvid Copperfield or Oliver Twist - in which case, we could probably do a group read of one of those two in late spring and then I’d privately read AtoTC in Novmber. Gads, two Dickens in one year…

The Kitchen God’s Wife is not one I’d pick up by myself these days – my reading interests have changed since I liked The Joy Luck Club, but I always at least start each book.

I’m soooo glad to hear that you’re reading and loving Old Filth!!!

>105 Crazymamie: ‘Morning, Mamie. You’re welcome. Last year I’d read Rules of Civility and Lincoln in the Bardo, but this year it’s 12 books that are new to me. I don’t know why I am so disappointed with this year’s list. Perhaps I’ll finish and love more than the 60% that is my usual result.

Today is will be some reading, perhaps visiting with friend Louise to show her my BookSeat – which I love – and some house cleaning. First off is brekkie and a second mug of coffee.

Jan 7, 9:25am Top

I am so happy you love your BookSeat! I love mine, too.

Jan 7, 9:33am Top

Interesting books for the year. I'll be interested in your thoughts on some of them. The Essex Serpent is one that I keep seeing and have thought of picking up.

Jan 7, 9:49am Top

Good morning, Karen! I hope your Monday is off to a good start.

I've never had any interest in joining a book club, perhaps because of all the mandated reads and discussion I had to put up with in graduate school.

Edited: Jan 7, 9:53am Top

>107 Crazymamie: I'm using it for the door-stopper These Truths. I tried it on a mass market paperback (Nerve, actually) and wasn't stunned, but for holding the chunkster, it's fabulous. Just flip down the plastic holder, flip the page, flip up the plastic holder, and voila! I don't think I'll need to buy chunksters for the Kindle any more because I do prefer paper books and the BookSeat is da bomb.

>108 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle! Interesting. Hmm. What I didn't mention is the other books offered up - had we chosen differently it could have been a very depressing year indeed. Since I'm 'secretary', I keep track of all books mentioned, so here are the has-runs:

The Blood of Emmett Till Timothy B. Tyson
Pachinko Min Jin Lee
Just Mercy Bryan Stevenson
Lab Girl Hope Jahren
Mrs. Dalloway Virginia Woolf
Less Andrew Sean Greer
Home Fire Kamila Shamsie
What We Were Promised Lucy Tan
American Nations Colin Woodard
Good Omens Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Why Manners Matter Lucinda Holdforth
Baba Dunja's Last Love Alina Bronsky
This Side of Brightness Colum McCann
the Buried Giant Kazuo Ishiguro
Kindred Octavia E. Butler

Thank God they didn't want Mrs. Dalloway, as I actively dislike Virginia Woolf.

Jan 7, 10:00am Top

I think your list for next year looks interesting, Karen. Sorry you aren't more enthused, but hopefully a couple will surprise you!

As for the "has-runs": I wish Just Mercy had made it, as that is a wonderful, and wonderfully important, book. Oh, well. My group doesn't even consider NF which I think is a shame.

Jan 7, 10:22am Top

>110 karenmarie: Waitaminnit waitaminnit wasn't Kindred your inalienable-right pick? I are to confused being.

Happy Whatever-day, We're Retired. *smooch*

Edited: Jan 7, 10:43am Top

>111 katiekrug: I always start each book (with the exception of Virginia Woolf, *smile*) with the expectation of liking it and only abandon it if I start thinking longingly of other books on my shelves.

We tend to stay away from NF although we've got 3 this year. One of our group really doesn't like NF at all and she wasn't looking particularly happy by the end of the meeting. She's also a person who always finishes a book she starts and always reads the book club books.

>112 richardderus: Yes, Kindred was my inalienable-right pick, Darling Richard. That's how our group works, but as we were going around and I was writing down choices and books-for-later-decisions, I realized that Barracoon, The Blood of Emmett Till, Just Mercy, Home Fire, A Woman in Jerusalem, Baba Dunja's Last Love, and even This Side of Brightness were all going to be serious, emotion-laden books with injustice, racism, Chernobyl, underground workers, a dead woman, and etc., so Kindred, which is described thusly in Amazon's first paragraph The visionary author’s masterpiece pulls us—along with her Black female hero—through time to face the horrors of slavery and explore the impacts of racism, sexism, and white supremacy then and now. was simply more of the same, even if the draw for me was the time travel. By the time we were half-way through people presenting their books or choices among books, people were groaning or commenting on it possibly being a depressing year, and I just didn't feel right about it anymore. I had tagged these 5 books, but could only remember Elinor Oliphant and Lillian Boxfish and remembered EO as a difficult character. Had I remembered The Princess Bride I might have chosen it, but I don't feel bad about my choice at all.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine Gail Honeyman
Kindred Octavia Butler
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk Kathleen Rooney
Remarkable Creatures Tracy Chevalier
The Princess Bride William Goldman

Happy Whatever-Day is right. I only know it's 'Monday' in spoilerish hiding because Joe might come visit again because Bill's gone off to work after a day of him watching sports. *smile*

Jan 7, 11:28am Top

I agree with you on dialect, but Barracoon sounds like a mesmerizing story. I don't think I'd ever heard of it until you mentioned it.

Who nominated A Tale of two Cities?

Jan 7, 11:33am Top

Hi Larry! I need to get it this week, paper, Kindle, audio. It does sound mesmerizing. The dialect scares me, but I'll put on my big girl pants and go into it with a positive attitude if I can.

AToTC was chosen by the accountant in our group, 50-ish, SF lover, non-fiction disliker, compulsive-book-finisher. Her copy is one her sister gave to her 50 years ago and she re-reads it periodically. She brought it as backup, as her first choice was Circe, already taken.

Jan 7, 11:39am Top

If you can get Barracoon on audio, that might be the best thing. When reading Their Eyes Were Watching God, I read a lot of it out loud at the beginning until the language felt more natural to me and I could process it with just my eyes.

Jan 7, 11:42am Top

Yes, Katie, I'm thinking that would be best. I'll try the library first, but Amazon has it for $16.07 and I have some Amazon Visa points and could get it for free.....

Jan 7, 12:32pm Top

A late but hearfelt Happy New Year!

Uh oh - I've never read any of the Dorothy Sayers books. It looks like I may have to remedy that. I have so many series started and not completed that I hate to start any more ....

Your book club list looks intriguing. I'll skip A Tale of Two Cities. I found it much more readable than many of the other Dickens, but don't think I'm up for a reread.

My book club is heavy on the Serious Non Fiction this year. We're also reading Educated which will be a reread for me. The first book is Lonesome Dove which, to my surprise, I am enjoying.

Jan 7, 12:39pm Top

Hi Janet!

Thank you and nice to see you here. Of course I only posted on your thread today...

I've got lots of series going, too, but I only have a few where I Must Acquire The Next Book In The Series Immediately. Reacher, Gamache (again, after being phenomenally irritated with Penny's last 3 or 4 books because of style, not plot or characterization).

I wanted to read Educated while Jenna was reading it for her college English class but was reluctant to buy it. I got it from the Library just before Christmas and turned it back in without incurring fines (yay!) last Friday. Now I'll wait until July to read it for August discussion.

I'd love to see your book club's schedule - if you post it on your thread I promise to read it and comment.

I read Lonesome Dove a gazillion years ago. Loved it, don't remember a single thing about it. I don't even have it on my shelves anymore.

Jan 7, 1:53pm Top

KarenMarie - how did I wait so long to wish you a Happy New Year? I do wish it now. Your thread and reading is off to a great start.

Jan 7, 1:53pm Top

>113 karenmarie: OIC

Well, it's a wise thing to be flexible, especially when a group thing is involved.

I'm almost done with the first season of Travelers, the Netflix time-travel series that stars Will Truman...I mean Eric McCormack!...and is very, very absorbing. In case you need something else to suck your time away....

Jan 7, 4:10pm Top

OK, I got confused - what book did you pick with your inalienable right for book club, Karen?

It's a good thing I never read spoilers, or >113 karenmarie: might've upset me. Happy four-days-until-Friday, as someone said over on my thread.

I'm in one of those periods where I'm reading a bunch of books and finishing none. I'm going to try to finish a couple so I can get on the Dick Francis and Chaim Potok wagons.

Jan 7, 4:38pm Top

I saw Barracoon on another thread last year and thought I should read it but didn't do anything about it. Now that I saw it in your book club list I put a hold on it at the library. I hope all my holds don't come in at the same time like they did at the end of last year!

Jan 7, 5:31pm Top

>120 ffortsa: Hi Judy! Sometimes finding all the threads, or actually going to them after starring them takes a while. I’m happy to see you here and thank you for your new year wishes.

>121 richardderus: This is our 22nd year and even the newest members have been in the book club for 12 years, RD, so we’re all pretty used to one another by now and mostly everybody’s flexible. I did have a snarling match with one of the newer members last book-selection meeting when she was insisting that you had to have read the book first before recommending it for book club and I told her that I was a charter member and we never had that rule and I wasn’t about to follow it. Nobody mentioned it this year. *smile*

Travelers – we’ll have to check it out. We’re in season 3 of re-watching Outlander and will watch it and season 4 before we need something new, so I’ll keep it in mind.

>122 jnwelch: My book is Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney. You don’t want to read the spoiler in >113 karenmarie: for sure… I was protecting your delicate sensibilities, Joe. Yup, four days ‘til Friday. Good luck finishing a book or two soon.

>123 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! Ha, Barracoon is popping up everywhere, isn’t it?

Well, I’m happy that Bohemian Rhapsody and Rami Malek won at the Golden Globes. And Glenn Close’s acceptance speech – apparently she was absolutely shocked that she won – was sweet and beautiful. I didn’t watch any of it – never would, actually – but my cell phone notifications were exploding when I got up this morning with all the news and YouTube is my friend. Poor Gaga, although really – is another A Star is Born absolutely necessary? Do I need to dodge?

Jan 7, 9:57pm Top

>106 karenmarie: Wouldn't mind a Dickens group read, but would prefer Oliver Twist or Tales of two cities. I have read David Copperfield pretty recently.

I heard part of Glenn Close's acceptance speech, liked what she said. Do you think she wasn't prepared?

Jan 7, 10:35pm Top

Oooohhhh... Is there a potential Dickens group read in the making? If so, please do let me know. Would love to join in if the book is one I haven't read yet!

Jan 7, 11:06pm Top

Oh! A copy of Pachinko arrived in the mail for me today from PBS, and I got to it before the thief. I don't know when I think I'll read it, but here it is.
My D may be for Dickens, but it's been several years since I read the guy. I think trying Martin Chuzzlewit when I wanted to read *Copperfield* was not a good thing. Theoretically, I'd want to join the group, but *ToTC* and *OT* are both on my 3rd level of 4, level 1 being the best.
I like the looks of the bookseat..... sending the info to Stasia right this minute!

Jan 8, 7:03am Top

Morning, Karen. I snagged my audio copy of These Truths. I will probably dip into it after the Obama memoir. I think I will take my time with this one, and read small chunks. Enjoy your day.

Jan 8, 7:13am Top

Hi Karen - Your book club list looks interesting. You might be surprised. We are also reading Pachinko, in June I think.

Jan 8, 7:21am Top

>125 EllaTim: Hi Ella. Yikers. I’ve heard back from luvamystery65 and she would prefer David Copperfield, which was my first thought for a Dickens group read. I’ll be reading A Tale of Two Cities for book club in the fall and may consider making that a group read too, but for now I’ll see how many people might be interested in David Copperfield. Perhaps we can read Oliver Twist next year, and you can participate in the fall with A Tale of Two Cities.

I think Glenn Close’s speech was not exactly prepared but they all must have an idea of what they’d say if they won, however remote the possibility. Her expression when her name was read aloud was stunned.

>126 lkernagh: Looks like there might be two this year, Lori – David Copperfield late winter or early spring and A Tale of Two Cities in November since my book club is discussing it in December. What’cha think?

>127 LizzieD: I’m glad you beat the thief out, Peggy. It’s a sad state of affairs that you have to worry about that since someone stole all those books.

Would you participate in a DC read of DC? Which are your level 1 Dickens’s?

I’ve got These Truths propped up in my Book Seat and it’s fantastic. I hope Stasia can benefit from it.

>128 msf59: Good morning, Mark! It’s a chunkster for sure, but I bet you would get it finished before the scheduled read is done.

Today is an open vista – nothing scheduled unless I decide to go with Bill when he visits the eye doctor. The left lens has popped out of my glasses twice recently, and I’ll check with them to see if one of their technicians will be there who can fix it. If so I’ll let him pick me up about 3:30 or so and then we’ll stop somewhere for an early supper after.

Edited: Jan 8, 6:15pm Top

Late, but fun, here’s my list of favorite reads from 2018. I re-read Lincoln in the Bardo and once again gave it 5 stars, a masterpiece. The others are all 4.5 stars.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. I think people either loved it or hated it. I was mesmerized by its amazing cast of characters, its depth of feeling, its credibility. I think this is a book that I could re-read once a year and still learn new things about the characters and the human condition.

The Story of Human Language by John McWhorter - audiobook. This series of lectures is absolutely stunning. This is a re-listen for me. McWhorter is an Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia. He also is a contributing editor to the Atlantic Magazine. He tackles how languages form, how creoles and pidgins evolve, and interesting and obscure languages and dialects. What I took away from this series is how fluid language actually is, along with McWhorter’s unbounded joy with words, cultures, and languages.

Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer. This is a beautifully written book about two misfits who find each other as children, marry and have a family. He remains outside the norm, she tries to fit in.

Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz. A road trip to find the very real and very strong feelings of loyalty, ignorance, racism, and entrepreneurship surrounding the myth and ethos of the Confederacy.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer. A gay man takes a road trip to avoid a wedding. Sounds shallow, and it took about 100 pages or so for me to realize how very much I loved this character and his journey through life. I was surprised when it won the Pulitzer Prize but now I see the selection as prescient and wise.

Lisey’s Story by Stephen King. This is a love story and a story of Lisey’s evolution and growth. Now one of my favorite Stephen King novels.

November 22, 1963 by Adam Braver. I’ve been fascinated by the Kennedy Assassination ever since I was 10 and came in from recess to hear that our President had been shot. It reads like nonfiction because it’s so credible and interweaves Jackie’ story with ‘real people intimately connected with that day’, as described on Amazon. It brought back the sadness, awe, and damage that occurred to our psyches and our country on November 22, 1963.

Jan 8, 8:47am Top

Great list of favorites, Karen. I haven't read any of them! So, I have some new items on my WL. Thanks, I guess.

Edited: Jan 8, 9:05am Top

Thanks, I guess. Book bullets are fun and dangerous, aren't they?

Jan 8, 9:23am Top

Good morning! I am finally getting settled in for the new year after a trip to Pennsylvania to visit friends and family. Really, really need some quiet time.

>118 streamsong: Glad to know someone else hasn't read Dorothy Sayers. I've favorited the list above but may wait until my own retirement (or at least until a beach week) to dive in.

Jan 8, 9:39am Top

Good morning, Karen. I hope you have a good Tuesday.

Jan 8, 9:48am Top

>134 witchyrichy: Hi Karen! good morning to you, too. I hope you can get some quiet time very soon - I know I start twitching when I don't get it.

I hope a beach week comes soon so you can dive in - I personally like Whose Body? as much as any by Ms. Sayers, and recommend starting there because it's just so darned fun and clever.

>135 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! So far so good, coffee, food, LT. Next up is an hour or so of reading, then I simply must vacuum and do a few more housewifey-type things.

Jan 8, 10:44am Top

I'll just leave this here.

Jan 8, 11:42am Top

Drink Coffee - check
Read Books - check
(vacuum the downstairs to remove guilt) - check
(talk to daughter) - check
Be Happy - check

Resume Reading Books - next up

Jan 8, 11:53am Top

>138 karenmarie: The perfect day!

Jan 8, 11:56am Top

>137 richardderus: Oh, I love that!

Morning, Karen! I have not read any of your favorites from last year. I did attempt Lincoln in the Bardo, but it didn't work for me.

Jan 8, 12:49pm Top

First: I've ordered copies of The Man in the Wooden Hat and Last Friends, and I should get them next week. So I'll read *Hat* by the end of the month. Okay?

Second: Keep on chooglin'.

Jan 8, 12:53pm Top

>139 richardderus: Yes. I might need a nap, too, after eating a few crackers with left-over cheese ball.

>140 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! LitB is not for everybody, for sure. And all except Less were originally published at least 6 years ago.

2004 The Story of Human Language
2012 Shine Shine Shine
1998 Confederates in the Attic
2017 Less
2006 Lisey's Story
2008 November 22, 1963

Jan 8, 12:58pm Top

>141 weird_O: Yay, Bill! Good news on the Gardam front. That sounds like perfect timing - a February read, after the frenzy of the new year and it should give everybody else who hasn't had a chance to read The Man in the Wooden Hat time to read it, too. I saw a few things online about not necessarily needing to read them in order, but our Last Friends group read will make the assumption that folks have read the first two. I'll start making group read noises for February in a week or so.

Oh my, of course I remember chooglin'! CCR were among my favs.

I shall do so, for sure.

Jan 8, 3:35pm Top

>137 richardderus:, mine would be Drink Tea, Read Books, Be Happy, must look for that.

Edited: Jan 8, 4:02pm Top

>85 karenmarie: Hi Karen Jeanette Winterson is a very powerful writing. Her book Why Be Happy When You Could be Normal is incredible. I haven't read Sexing the Cherry. After reading Why Be Happy.... I went to youtube and listened to some of her interviews. She is highly intelligent and a wonderful writer.

How wonderful that you have a group that has been together for 25 years! I'd hang on to that as well. How about that, we are near the same age. I turned 66 in September of 2018. I waited until I could retire at 66 to receive a good pension and social security.

Now, I have a lot of time to read and do nothing if I choose.

Jan 8, 6:09pm Top

>131 karenmarie: - Karen, your touchstone leads to a different book about Kennedy. I am in the same camp as you regarding that historic event and clicked to read other reviews, too, But it isn't the same book

Jan 8, 6:22pm Top

>144 johnsimpson: Hi John! Of course yours would be Drink Tea, Read Books, Be Happy.

>145 Whisper1: I really want Sexing the Cherry. I bought it in 2000 and didn't finish it and got rid of it. Drat. I will go to YouTube and look at some of her interviews.

It's nice to be known - I moved to NC in 1991 and nobody here knew me, excepting Bill, of course. It's not the same as the people who've known you since childhood, but it will do. And I do now have my dear high school friend Jan who lives close enough so that we can get together for dinner once a month. I'm so happy that you're retired, now, Linda! I retired at 62 1/2 and it was right for me, but everybody's different. Reading and doing nothing and sleeping in are all wonderful things to do in retirement. I spend lots of time looking at the birds on my birdfeeders, too.

>146 jessibud2: Fixed, thanks Shelley. I try to be diligent but am not always successful.

Jan 8, 7:19pm Top

>131 karenmarie: I like that best of list up there, Karen. Glad to see Lisey's Story & Confederates in the Attic on there. Bardo is a no-brainer.

Jan 8, 8:59pm Top

Thanks, Mark! As you may recall, I listened to LitB and followed along in the book, which, for me, made it a wonderful 'reread'.

I need to find a new fiction read. I've got six nonfiction books going and just finished a cozy mystery. I don't particularly like cozy mysteries, but this is the first in the Dorothy Martin series by Jeanne M. Dams, and it was quite satisfactory.

Edited: Jan 8, 9:53pm Top

>131 karenmarie: My son in law is a Stephen King fan. If he hasn't read Lisey's Story, I'll order it from Amazon and send it to him. I also read Shine, Shine, Shine. I read it awhile back, and remember that I liked it.

You are right about Lincoln in the Bardo. I liked, but didn't love it. Though, the depiction of his grief for his son was so wonderfully written and heart-breaking.

Jan 8, 11:20pm Top

I do think I could be in for a *D. Copperfield* group, Karen. It is one of my level 1s along with Bleak House and Our Mutual Friend. Level 2s include Dombey & Son, Little Dorritt, Hard Times (not everybody's favorite), and maybe Great Expectations. Level 4s are Barnaby Rudge and Oliver Twist. Everything else is on Level 3 moving around in precedence depending on my mood. I'm pretty sure I'm leaving out something I feel strongly about one way or the other, but I'm too tired to think, so I'll go. Good Night!

Jan 9, 10:35am Top

Quiet around here this morning. Hopefully that means good reading, not errand running and beck-and-calling. *smooch*

Jan 9, 10:42am Top

>152 richardderus: What Richard said. Morning, Karen!

Jan 9, 12:00pm Top

I keep on meaning to read Lincoln in the Bardo! I've got a copy but it's boxed up. It doesn't matter that I'm moving 75 feet down the hall, everything still has to be packed up!

I'm buying ebooks almost exclusively now, or borrowing from the library. I've got one more big move after this next one, and I dread boxing up the 2,500 physical books in the Traveling Lie-berry, then unboxing them. Plus, I've got my books in storage, so for the first time ever, on February 23, the SGiV Lie-berry will be under one roof. I hope it doesn't cause a rift in the space-time continuum.

Jan 9, 12:32pm Top

>150 Whisper1: I’ve read 21 Stephen King books since first reading him in 2009. I was an ignorant snob – thought that popular an author couldn’t possibly write good stuff. Ah, how wrong I was! I hope your SiL likes it, what a kind MiL you are! Shine Shine Shine was for book club. It was one of the 60% I finished and liked last year.

The lyrically emotional content of LitB was what got to me – the characters all expressed it differently and that is perhaps Saunders’s genius.

>155 karenmarie: Yay Peggy! I’m going to make note of your Dickens Levels for future reference. *smile* I’d love for you to participate in a David Copperfield group read.

When we meet in real life, which I’d like to do sooner than later, we can discuss Dickens, among sooooo many other things.

>152 richardderus: Hi RD! I started off responding crack o’dawn (8:30 or so) but got diverted when my sister replied to yesterday’s text that she did not receive the birthday presents I sent to her from Amazon yesterday. My order indicated that the package had been ‘hand delivered to a resident.’, so I had to do some calling and checking with Laura and etc. Finally, Ammie refunded my entire order because one of the items could not be replaced because it was 3rd party AND gave me a $10 credit. I’ll re-order sometime later today. Pisses me off, because her birthday is today, but she understands. I’ll do one last confirmation that the package didn’t turn up first.

And then I spoke with Louise, and did a bit of baseboard cleaning in the kitchen and now I’m back.

Please disregard my responses to >151 LizzieD: Peggy and my discussion below – you’ll only get frazzled. *smooch*

>153 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! Whew. 12:19. I’m going to go visit neighbor Louise soon to show her my BookSeat!

>154 SomeGuyInVirginia: Larry! I’ll be interested in your take on LitB when it’s unboxed, you’re settled in, and you get a chance to read it. I’m very excited that you’ll have your books all out and available on/after February 23rd – as I recall, you’ve got a much larger lie-berry than the Traveling Lie-Berry, and having them all with you has to be worth major anticipation and excitement points!

RD – you can ignore the following. Apologies for not posting on anybody’s threads so far today – perhaps when I return from visiting Louise.

Regarding a David Copperfield read, I went back over the three group reads I hosted of Dickens since 2016. They are Bleak House, Great Expectations, and Nicholas Nickleby.

Roberta, luvamystery65, messaged me in December suggesting a David Copperfield read. I’m going to be reading A Tale of Two Cities in November for my book club’s December discussion, don’t know whether I want to make that a group read or not, and so think a soon-ish read of DC might be in order. Here’s a list of everybody who posted on any of the three group threads – anybody listed here and obviously anybody new who wants to read DC can post a message below to indicate interest and a potential time frame of February or March. I don’t want to start one this month, but of Feb or Mar, will follow the majority of the group’s wishes. Here’s the surprisingly long list:

Given Name User Name Thread(s) Posted On
Aletheia avanders BH
Anita FAMeulstee GE
Belva rainpebble GE
Bill weird_o NN
Cody neverstopreading NN
Donna floremola BH
Ella Ellatim NN
Ellen EBT1002 NN
enemyanniemae enemyanniemae BH
fuzzi fuzzi NN
Genny gennyT BH
Janet streamsong BH,GE
Jim magicians_nephew NN
Jo eclecticdodo BH
Joe jnwelch BH,NN
Judy ffortsa NN
Julia rosalita NN
justmum justmum BH
Kathy kac522 BH,NN
Kerry CDVicarage BH
Kim Berly BH,NN
Larry SomeGuyInVirginia GE
Linda LindaPanzo NN
Liz lyzard BH
Lori lkernagh NN
Lori Thornton37814 NN
mamzel mamzel BH
Marianne m.belljackson NN
Marilyn muddy21 BH
Mark msf59 NN
mthespinner mthespinner BH
nerwende nerwende BH
Paul PaulCranswick BH,GE
Paws PawsforThought BH, NN
Peggy LizzieD BH
Peter pgmcc BH,NN,GE
Rhonda banjo123 GE
Roberta luvamystery65 BH,NN,GE
Robin rretzler NN
Ron Rbeffa BH
Stasia alcottacre NN
Susan susan67 BH
Teacup_ Teacup_ GE
Tess tess_schoolmarm GE
Ursula ursula BH

Jan 9, 1:00pm Top

>110 karenmarie: I think you should have read "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett for your bookclub! It's not depressing at all. ; )

>138 karenmarie: Sounds like you had a great day. Hope you have another one today.

Jan 9, 6:42pm Top

Hi Kim! I'd have preferred Good Omens (I don't think this is the right touchstone but I can't find the right one) to the one chosen, A Tale of Two Cities, but our group is consistenty reluctant to read SF and we already had one - Annihilation.

Today was the Amazon battle, a bit of housework, coffee, brekkie, laundry, visiting with Louise, reading, and writing the following review. It's been a very nice day so far, with Outlander to look forward to tonight with Bill.

Jan 9, 6:44pm Top

4. Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers
1/7/19 to 1/9/19

From Amazon:

There's a corpse in the bathtub, wearing nothing but a pair of pince-nez spectacles. Enter Lord Peter Wimsey, the original gentleman sleuth. Urged to investigate by his mother, the Dowager Duchess of Denver, Lord Peter quickly ascertains that the sudden disappearance of a well-known financier is in some way connected to the body in the bathroom. But discovering exactly which way they're related leads the amateur detective on a merry chase.

Written by a master of the detective story, this atmospheric tale abounds in the cozy delights of an English murder mystery. Dorothy L. Sayers ranks with Agatha Christie as a defining author of the genre. A novelist, essayist, and medieval scholar, Sayers was among the first women to receive an Oxford degree, and her translations of Dante remain in wide circulation. This novel marks the debut of her most popular creation, Lord Peter Wimsey, whose continuing adventures unfold amid the lively world of upper-crust British society in the 1920s.

Why I wanted to read it: First novel in the Peter Wimsey series by Dorothy L. Sayers. I set a personal challenge to re-read all her fiction this year.

An old friend, this book, as much fun to read for perhaps the 6th or 7th time as it was the first time. We meet Peter Wimsey, witty, debonair, troubled by his WWI service and a personal blow after that, residing in London with his former Sargent and current gentleman’s gentleman, Mervyn Bunter. Wimsey collects books and rare documents, plays piano beautifully, and has become an amateur sleuth. Detective Inspector Charles Parker is introduced, as he is searching into the disappearance of Sir Reuben Levy. The cases may be two parts of one whole…

The writing is erudite, witty, clever, and well-paced. Dorothy Sayers was a master at describing people, both physically and how they fit into England’s class structure, with a few sweet or pungent sentences. The actual deductions are made in the same manner as Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot – out of sight of the reader, to be elucidated when the case has been solved. All of a sudden the entire case becomes clear, actions are taken, and the book ends satisfactorily for Peter, Bunter, the Dowager Duchess, and Detective Inspector Charles Parker.

There is something clever, funny, or riveting on pretty much every page. Here are three quotes of dozens I could have shared. The first is with Peter and his mother at the family seat, the second in Detective Inspector Parker’s rented rooms, the third at 110A Piccadilly, W1, Peter’s London residence.
”It’s very nice to see you, dear,” said the Dowager Duchess, placidly. She was a small, plump woman, with perfectly white hair and exquisite hands. In feature she was as unlike her second son as she was like him in character; her black eyes twinkled cheerfully, and her manners and movements were marked with a neat and rapid decision. She wore a charming wrap from Liberty’s, and sat watching Lord Peter eat cold beef and cheese as though his arrival in such incongruous circumstances and company were the most ordinary event possible, which with him, indeed, it was.

“Have you got the old lady to bed?” asked Lord Peter.

“Oh, yes, dear. Such a striking old person, isn’t she? And very courageous. She tells me she has never been in a motor-car before. But she thinks you a very nice lad, dear – that careful of her, you remind her of her own son. Poor little Mr. Thipps – whatever made your friend the inspector think he could have murdered anybody?” p 26

Through his bedroom window, hygienically open top and bottom, a raw fog was rolling slowly in, and the sight of a pair of winter pants, flung hastily over a chair the previous night, fretted him with a sense of the sordid absurdity of the human form. p 45

And then it happened – the thing he had been half-unconsciously expecting. It happened suddenly, surely, as unmistakably, as sunrise. He remembered – not one thing, nor another thing, nor a logical succession of things, but everything – the whole thing, perfect, complete, in all its dimensions as it were and instantaneously; as if he stood outside the world and saw it suspended in infinitely dimensional space. He no longer needed to reason about it, or even to think about it. He knew it. p 90

Jan 9, 7:35pm Top

>158 karenmarie: I enjoyed the quotes very much. It shows how well Sayers deployed her monumental erudition in service of story-telling, especially the one from p90. Such a delight to have those stories to fall back on when trendy trinket-tray books disappoint.

Jan 9, 9:35pm Top

I read Whose Body? just...*checks reading list*...four years ago, and none of the quotes ring a bell. Not even a clink on a water glass. I read this stuff and it just dribbles out...somewhere.

Having a little stall here in mid-January. I've got three or four books going, but none has really grabbed me. I'll try a couple more. This happens (to me). I'll get 'em all read. Then "That Wooden-Hat Guy" will show up.

Jan 9, 11:09pm Top

Love, LOVE, LOVE DLS and Lord Peter - even Whose Body?. Thanks for the review and the delightful snippits.
That's quite a list for *DC*. I do believe I'll look forward to the reread!

Edited: Jan 10, 7:05am Top

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. I loved David Copperfield but I just read it, a few years ago, (2012 to be exact). I actually hosted a Group Read of it. Some folks never finished it. LOL. I still have a few of his to get to. I hope I can bookhorn in one this year.

Edited: Jan 10, 8:40am Top

>159 richardderus: Good morning, RD! Glad you like 'em. trendy trinket-tray books Amen, brother.

>160 weird_O: Hi Bill! As I'm reading, if something particularly strikes me, I write it on the back of a 2.75" x 8.5" bookmark - FoL always has bookmarks for our two sales a year - and the blank back is perfect for noting page numbers and the first few sentences of a quote that I might want to use in a review. I also use them as bookmarks. *smile* Those three quotes struck me this time - perhaps in another 5 years or so others will leap out at me.

>161 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! I'm so glad we're in the DLS fan club here. I've just re-read the first chapter of The Gospel in Dorothy L. Sayers, Whose Body?, a discussion of Conscience. In order to not 'taint' my rereads, I will only read the appropriate chapter in *Gospel* after finishing the book. The opening notes of this chapter, by editor Carole Vanderhoof tell us
But already in this first installment, Lord Peter's offhand remarks hint at a young author not only adept at religious and literary allusion but also taken with underlying themes of free will, responsibility, and the role of the conscience. For instance, in this fast-paced book full of slapstick humor there are at least thirteen references to Dante. Appropriately, the first words in the book are: "Oh, damn!"
Re David Copperfield, the list of folks who participated in the 3 group reads I've hosted are my 'pool' - I'm going to PM each person who doesn't respond here on my thread. My healthy ego wishes everybody visited me all the time but alas! reality tells me I'm going to have to solicit most of them.

>162 msf59: Good morning, Mark, and happy Thursday to you! Hmm. I don't remember a group read of it, but Dickens wasn't on my radar at all then. Have you read A Tale of Two Cities? I'll be reading it in November, perhaps even starting mid-October because of Thanksgiving, in order to discuss it at our December 1 RL book club meeting. Perhaps we can either have a mini-group read or even a full-blown group read if other people are interested.

Brrrr. It's a nice bright 27F here, going to a high of 41F. The propane stove in the Sunroom is keeping Miss Inara in her fleece-lined basket and me warm, as is my first mug of coffee.

I have a deep-tissue massage at 11. Bliss anticipated.

Jan 10, 8:42am Top

Calling all Dickens readers!

I'll be hosting a David Copperfield read soon. If you're interested, please let me know here and indicate whether March or April will work better for you.

Jan 10, 9:06am Top

>164 karenmarie: That's one that I've tried to read and then ended up bailing on. Perhaps I'll follow along and get inspired by you all

Jan 10, 9:16am Top

Crows: Better citizens than most humans.


Jan 10, 9:26am Top

>164 karenmarie: I love Dickens, but I've read David Copperfield too recently to want to read again. I hope you all enjoy yourself. Are there any more you plan on hosting this year?

Jan 10, 2:50pm Top

>165 ChelleBearss: I'm personally going to be reading A Tale of Two Cities in November - if there's enough interest I suppose I can make it a group read.

>166 richardderus: You're right, RD! *smooch* back

>167 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel! See my answer to Chelle.

Jan 10, 5:12pm Top

Evening, Karen! Alright, you've convinced me to get to Whose Body this year - I know I have it in the Kindle stacks.

Jan 10, 5:13pm Top

Must decline the David Copperfield event. Like Rachel, I've read it too recently. Lately got a sniffy copy of The Old Curiosity Shop, but of course that's not what the group is drawn too. Too many books, too little time.

I want to report that my wife has signaled a willingness to see a bookcase or two appearing. This is the one true response to what some would call "too many" books. It's not too many books, it's too few shelves.

Jan 10, 5:50pm Top

>163 karenmarie:

Didn't you have a couple of Dickens that we voted on for the next book club read?

I think there were a few "Please, NO!" but otherwise agreement on at least two...

Jan 10, 6:12pm Top

>169 Crazymamie: Yay Mamie! I hope you absolutely love it.

>170 weird_O: Okay, Bill, I understand. We’ll keep you busy with Last Friend soon.

Too few shelves is absolutely correct! Good for your wife. Give her my regards – supporting the book habit is a valuable trait to find in a spouse – my own Bill’s the same way.

>171 m.belljackson: Hi Marianne! I don’t remember voting on what to read next - but I just looked on the Nicholas Nickleby thread and there was some discussion about DC and OT – luvamystery65 got her licks in first with DC and you had read both recently but preferred OT for 2019. thornton37814 said she’d go with either. I don’t want to upset you or make you angry, but I think I’d prefer to go with DC this time. I may host A Tale of Two Cities in the fall since I’m reading it then anyway for RL book club, and we can definitely read Oliver Twist in 2020.

Jan 10, 7:02pm Top

>172 karenmarie:

Yemen, Republicans who do not have the courage to confront and remove their lunatic, the end of the Arctic...are the things that "upset" or make me "angry" today - not a Dickens book selection!

I'll join whatever is chosen and look forward to many strong opinions and creative discussion.

A Tale of Two Cities will be welcome too.

Edited: Jan 10, 9:35pm Top

Welcome aboard, then, Marianne, and we'll have a wonderful group read of David Copperfield.

And it's already sounding like a fall group read of A Tale of Two Cities is indicated.

Jan 10, 10:22pm Top

Count me in for the David Copperfield Read. I read and liked it so many years ago that it will probably be like reading it for the first time. No preference as to month. I’m busy all the time. Ha! Thanks for setting this up, Karen.

Jan 10, 11:28pm Top

I said it before, and I'll say it again: I'll read *DC* with you. I'd like April better, but March is the longer month! ----- as you choose.
>170 weird_O: Shelves!!!! My DH hasn't built any in a few years, but at least for the last few he did build, he didn't say, "Now when you get these filled, don't buy any more books."

Jan 11, 6:28am Top

Hi Karen.

Here's another one who's favourites your message about the reading order of Sayers.

I only started reading her last year (or was it late 2017?) and love her. I've been reading the books in the order LT has placed them in, which is as follows:
Whose Body?
Clouds of Witness
Unnatural Death
Lord Peter Views the Body
The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club
Strong Poison
The Five Red Herrings
Have His Carcase
Hangman's Holiday
Murder Must Advertise
The Nine Tailors
Gaudy Night
Busman's Honeymoon: A Love Story with Detective Interruptions
In the Teeth of the Evidence and Other Stories
Striding Folly

I'm currently in the middle of reading one of the short story collections, Lord Peter Views the Body, and am enjoying it as much as I have the others. I did like Whose Body? - I wouldn't have continued readin Sayers if I hadn't liked it since that was my first.

I'm interested in the Dickens reads (both of them), but can't promise I'll be able to join in on any group reads. I'll keep an eye out for it, and if my concentration and reading mojo is playing nice I'll join you.

Jan 11, 6:35am Top

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday. I have read A Tale of Two Cities, but it has been more than a decade. I may join in. We will see. I am really enjoying These Truths.

Jan 11, 6:50am Top

Just catching up a bit!

>97 karenmarie: I have read exactly 2 of the titles on that list: Educated by Tara Westover and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

>106 karenmarie: >125 EllaTim: I would join in a Dickens group read!

>138 karenmarie: I would have to change it to "Drink Tea" as I cannot abide coffee.

Jan 11, 7:49am Top

>164 karenmarie: You have a place left in that DC group read? I started it sometime last fall, but didn't get far until it was lost in my "started, unfinished but not abandoned" pile. Surprisingly and all of a sudden it was December, and the yearly mandatory A Christmas Carol reread got in the way. So I'd like to join in if I may?

Jan 11, 8:44am Top

>175 Donna828: Hi Donna! Excellent. I’m updating my list. I don’t want to have Jim put anything in the wiki yet – I’d like us to at least start it at about the same time.

>176 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! You’re the only one who’s actually expressed an opinion on when we’ll start DC, so April’s a contender, too.

>177 PawsforThought: Hi Paws! I’ve added you to my DC list and will let you know. Let’s hope your concentration and reading mojo are happily timed with the group read.

I’m so glad that you’re reading DLS’s fiction! I’ve just started Clouds of Witness.

Lord Peter Views the Body, Hangman’s Holiday, In the Teeth of Evidence, and Striding Folly are all short story collections. I have a short story collection called Lord Peter, which includes ALL her short stories, including the ones in Striding Folly. I also have the first three short story books – LPVtB, HH, and ItToE in ratty old paperback.

She wrote one other novel, with Robert Eustace, The Documents in the Case, which is epistolary, and is not a Lord Peter novel. I absolutely adore it since I love epistolary novels. And finally, she also contributed to four novels with members of the Detection Club, which I’m not particularly interested in although I may read them at some point. Many people don't use Wikipedia, but I do, and here's the List of Works by Dorothy L. Sayers, which is much better than anything else I've been able to find on the web, including her official website: List of Works.

>175 Donna828: Hi Donna! Excellent. I’m updating my list. I don’t want to have Jim put anything in the wiki yet – I’d like us to at least start it at about the same time.

>176 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! You’re the only one who’s actually expressed an opinion on when we’ll start DC, so April’s a contender, too.

>177 PawsforThought: Hi Paws! I’ve added you to my DC list and will let you know. Let’s hope your concentration and reading mojo are happily timed with the group read.

I’m so glad that you’re reading DLS’s fiction! I’ve just started Clouds of Witness.

Lord Peter Views the Body, Hangman’s Holiday, In the Teeth of Evidence, and Striding Folly are all short story collections. I have a short story collection called Lord Peter, which includes ALL her short stories, including the ones in Striding Folly. I also have the first three short story books – LPVtB, HH, and ItToE in ratty old paperback.

She also wrote one other novel, with Robert Eustace, The Documents in the Case, which is epistolary, and is not a Lord Peter novel. I absolutely adore it since I love epistolary novels. And finally, she also contributed to four novels with the Detection Club, which I’m not particularly interested in although I may read them at some point.

>178 msf59: Hi Mark! Thank you. I’m pretty busy today- FoL meeting at 10, lunch with a friend at 12, and then, in an unhappy scheduling timing issue, dinner with Bill and another couple at 6. Two meals out in one day is extremely rare for me.

I read another 30 pages of These Truths yesterday. It’s definitely holding my interest.

>179 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! Glad you'll join us for DC. Book club books-wise, that’s two more than me – this is one of the more unusual years where I haven’t read any of them beforehand.

I only drink hot tea when I’m sick; then I dose it with lots and lots of sugar or Stevia. I drink unsweetened ice tea at pretty much any non-breakfast meal out except special places where I’ll have a glass of wine. My daughter cannot abide coffee either – which also includes not liking it when disguised with chocolate in the form of ‘mocha’. However, she does love the smell of coffee beans when I open a new bag, which is one of my favorite smells.

>180 DeusXMachina: ‘Morning DXM! We absolutely have a place for you in the DC read. I’m keeping a list of those who are interested – the more the merrier – and have added you to it. So far we have 8, including me.

>178 msf59: Hi Mark! Thank you. I’m pretty busy today- FoL meeting at 10, lunch with a friend at 12, and then, unusually, dinner with Bill and another couple at 6. Two meals out in one day is extremely rare for me. Can't be helped, though.

I read another 30 pages of These Truths yesterday. It’s definitely holding my interest.

>179 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! That’s two more than me – this is one of the more unusual years where I haven’t read any of them beforehand.

I only drink hot tea when I’m sick; then I dose it with lots and lots of sugar. I drink unsweetened ice tea at pretty much any non-breakfast meal out except special places where I’ll have a glass of wine. My daughter cannot abide coffee either – which also includes not liking it when disguised with chocolate in the form of ‘mocha’. However, she does love the smell of coffee beans when I open a new bag, which is one of my favorite smells.

>180 DeusXMachina: ‘Morning! We absolutely have a place for you in the DC read. I’m keeping a list of those who are interested – the more the merrier – and have added you to it. So far we have 8, including me.

Jan 11, 11:42am Top

Oh man, coffee beans in the bag is one of the best smells, ever! I also love the smell of unsmoked cigars. Back in the day, I used to put a cigar in my suit jacket pocket so that I'd get that smell. I don't even know where there's a cigar store any more, though. Used to be one just around the corner, but I think it's a restaurant now.

Jan 11, 1:07pm Top

I'll probably join in for DC. Many moons ago (1970's?) I read a Reader's Digest Condensed version of it in their classics for young readers volumes. A wonderful aunt bought this series for my brother and me and it was my first intro to many of the classics. I remember being enthralled by Jane Eyre.

I don't remember much of the plot of DC except it was rather pleasant, and since I only read an abbreviated version, I haven't marked it off my 1001 list.

Jan 11, 1:19pm Top

You've got quite a crowd for DC. I'm probably not going to join in, as there are so many books lying around that I haven't read yet, and I'm trying to focus on them.

That said, I just realized I have an entire set of Dickens in my storage locker, because there was no room on the shelves and the books themselves were deteriorating. Bindings have dried out alarmingly. The pages, however are not foxed or yellowed - the set dates to 1944 when good paper and letterpress were still the norm.

Jan 11, 2:21pm Top

>182 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! I don't recall the smell of unsmoked cigars. My dad smoked Roi-Tan Bankers after giving up cigarettes. My sewing kit is an old Roi-Tan Bankers box.

>183 streamsong: Glad to have you Janet - I read quite a few condensed versions of classics when young, not even knowing they were condensed/abridged. Call of the Wild comes to mind. Anyway, we'll be glad to have you and you'll be able to check off another on your 1001 list!

>184 ffortsa: We do, Judy, although I certainly understand your not wanting to join on this one. How exciting to realize you've got a complete set of Dickens. Maybe you can join in what I now see as the inevitable fall group read of A Tale of Two Cities.

OverDrive Luddite no longer - I successfully downloaded Barracoon to my Kindle from our Library's OverDrive account. I may not be able to go to the February meeting to discuss it since it's on SuperBowl Sunday and I will most likely watch it with Bill regardless of who is playing. But at this time I do fully intend on reading the book.

Jan 11, 4:03pm Top

>177 PawsforThought: Back in the 60s my parents introduced me to Lord Peter Wimsey, but we owned none of the books and our local library had only one or two, so we did ILL and I was forced to sneak into the house after picking up the newest arrival or I'd have to wait for my dad to finish reading it. Since then I've re-read them and own all the paperbacks, but have lost my total love for stories featuring upper class Brits, and glorification of intellectual games has also somewhat lost it's glow.

Jan 11, 4:03pm Top

Bleurgh. Ugh-y day, Ammy order problems, library trip ending with snappish YGC in a foul mood, return to find myself being lectured for this'n'that.

Some days just stink. This is one.

Edited: Jan 12, 8:53am Top

>186 quondame: Hi Susan!

>187 richardderus: Ah, RD, if I lived close to you I'd drive over and kidnap you and ply you with your favorite afternoon beverage and the sweet of your choice. I'm sorry today is a stinky one and hope that it either improves dramatically or that you can read your way to tomorrow.

hugs and *smooches* from your own Horrible

Jan 11, 4:50pm Top

>188 karenmarie: I feel better now. I'm going to read Graham Greene. He's even more misanthropic than I am!

Jan 11, 4:57pm Top

I don't remember Whose Body? from your description, Karen, but I must have read it at some point. It is on my shelves so it looks like it is due for a reread. Looks like Barracoon is on its way to me. I just hope it isn't ready when I go to the library tomorrow. I would prefer to pick up 3 holds but there is potential for 6. Why do they all come at once?

Jan 11, 5:12pm Top

>189 richardderus: Yay.

>190 Familyhistorian: I gave up on the library a long time ago - that might sound strange coming from someone who is Treasurer for the Friends of the Library - but I got tired paying large fines and even more tired of feeling like I had to read a book within a time constraint. It felt way too much like homework. That's why I don't like too many challenges. I know that once we start DC I'll feel stressed for about the first 150 pages or so, then start going with the flow, and the DLS challenge I've set myself will be a breeze compared with last year's A-Y Alphabet Series. Actually, this year is shaping up mostly-challenge free.

Our library loans books for 3 weeks. Is yours the same or different?

Jan 11, 5:17pm Top

>191 karenmarie: I have 3 local library systems and they vary from 2wks-3wks for new books to 3wks-4wks for regular checkouts. The time on the hold shelf also varies from 1wk to 3wks. Then there are the e-books they offer, which also vary, but at least I don't have to worry about fines even when I go to airplane mode to keep one around.

Jan 11, 6:30pm Top

>158 karenmarie: what an incredible review!!!!

Jan 11, 6:47pm Top

>186 quondame: How wonderful that your family's shared love of the Wimsey book was so strong that you had to sneak the books in to get to them first.

Jan 11, 8:41pm Top

>191 karenmarie: I have been a library member since I was six years old, but a couple of years ago I quit because of all the fines. Last year I became a member again and found that the library has changed it's policy. The fines are a lot smaller. Books can be borrowed for three weeks, and renewed two times after that. And even CD's can now be borrowed for a decent length of time without awful fines when you are a day late. I am very happy!

And then there are eBooks and audiobooks. :-)

>194 PawsforThought: Hi Paws, Good to see you back!

Jan 11, 11:50pm Top

Ah well, I don't use our library because I have one of my own that isn't based on Nicholas Sparks and Danielle Steele and their ilk. On the other hand, I am very grateful that they bought a copy of The Underground Railroad just for me and put me first on the "Hold" list.
I also normally can't read a book in an allotted segment of time. Very little turns me off more. I won't be bothered by *DC* in Group Read though. I'll either do it or I won't, and nobody will care!
Hi, (((((Karen)))))!

Jan 12, 7:44am Top

>58 DianaNL: Good morning, Karen. Now that's a fun rereading challenge! It has been quite some time since I've read Sayers myself; maybe I'll get around to pulling a book or two of hers off the shelf over the course of this year.

Jan 12, 8:26am Top

A Tale of Two Cities is one that I've been planning on re-reading. In fact, I have a copy in my audible library.

Jan 12, 8:40am Top

>136 karenmarie: I *do* have a beach week scheduled for Corolla around Easter. My parents have a house for TWO weeks, and I could stay the whole time if I wanted. I'm not retired but as long as I have internet, I can do my work from anywhere including a porch overlooking the ocean watching for pelicans and dolphins. I give money to the wild horses and may even take one of the rides to the four-wheel drive area to see them.

>149 karenmarie: >155 karenmarie: I read LitB first and then listened to it at, I believe, your recommendation. I wouldn't have wanted to start with audio as it might have been harder to get up and running but I preferred the audio as the story telling medium. I was actually introduced to the novel through the NY Times interactive narrative.

Edited: Jan 12, 9:18am Top

aack - give me a minute to reply to everybody

Jan 12, 9:21am Top

>192 quondame: Our county has 3 branches of the library, but I don’t know their policy for inter-library loans – we’ve got some large cities nearby (Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham) and the offerings there might complement our tiny county’s branches nicely. Moot point for me though, as I rarely (like only 2 times last year) checked out paper books.

>193 Whisper1: Thank you Linda!

>194 PawsforThought: I can’t imagine – Mom read mysteries but she never read Sayers to the best of my knowledge and I don’t think I ever told her about them, which is sad, actually – she might have loved them since she loved Agatha Christie. Yes, they are completely different in almost every way, but the time period and country would have been the common denominator.

>195 EllaTim: Hey Ella! I’m glad your library has made it a ‘good deal’ again.

>196 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! That’s very nice of your library. I just looked on our library’s website and they have a form you can fill out for purchase suggestions – no guarantees, but they say they carefully consider each suggestion.

>197 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! Oh yes, I’m very well pleased with it and am already reading Clouds of Witness. If my reread inspires others to read or reread DLS, then yay.

>198 The_Hibernator: ‘Morning, Rachel! I’ll add you to my list just in case you want to wait until November.

>199 witchyrichy: Good morning, Karen! What a nice vacation to look forward to. We've never been to Corolla, but I just looked up a bit about it and it sounds fascinating. Working and watching for pelicans and dolphins is a good combination.

I'm glad that you liked LitB well enough to go back for a listen.

Jan 12, 9:38am Top

Morning, Karen. Light snow falling here, but as long as it doesn't make surfaces slippery I should be just fine and it doesn't feel as cold as it has been.

Enjoy your day.

Jan 12, 9:44am Top

>195 EllaTim: Hi Ella! Nice to see you again. I'm back, I hope.

>201 karenmarie: Yeah, I do think they have quite a bit in common with Christie's books, even if they feature a different social class, for the most part. Sayers feel to me a bit like a mix between Christie and Wodehouse, so no wonder I like her writing when those two are some of my all time favourites.

Edited: Jan 12, 9:54am Top

>202 msf59: 'Morning, Mark! Stay safe out there.

Today is normal errands then going with Louise to the Library. Here's the blurb from the library's website:
Join Chatham resident and yoga instructor, Tim Keim, for a introduction to the science of Ayurveda. The science of Ayurveda dates back over 5,000 years, and is the healing system of Yoga.

During this 45 minute presentation, Tim will explore the root causes of disease, the basic elements of the human constitution (what we're made of) according to Ayurveda and how to match the qualities of imbalance with the opposite qualities that will create health and harmony in mind and body. Learn how to balance the elements of our food and the powerful herbs of Ayurveda with our individual constitutions to address disease. Tim will also delve into how sound, aroma, taste, sight and touch can all be employed to boost the immune system and prevent the serious diseases that are so common to industrial societies. Participants will learn about how Ayurveda unleashes the body's potential to heal itself by regulating genetic expression and body chemistry.
>203 PawsforThought: I've read a tiny bit of Wodehouse, and there was actually some criticism of Whose Body? because Peter was so much like Bertie Wooster.

Jan 12, 10:50am Top

Morning, Karen! Happy Saturday!

Jan 12, 11:36am Top

Been checking the mailbox several times a day, looking for those two Gardam books. Yeah, the mailman comes but once a day, but you never know. Doesn't hurt to check.

A mere 50 pages left in The Count of Monte Cristo. Jackson Brodie next, perhaps. Or Sayers. Or back to the ladies I didn't get to in December.

>196 LizzieD: Ah well, I don't use our library because I have one of my own that isn't based on Nicholas Sparks and Danielle Steele and their ilk. Ditto that.

Jan 12, 12:24pm Top

Happy Saturday, Karen!

The Ayurveda presentation sounds interesting. I hope you have a good weekend, and that the weather isn't too much.

I'm glad you're enjoying the Dorothy Sayers rereads. It is inspiring - for me it'll be somewhere down the line, as we're focused on trying read books off our tbr shelves at Casa Welch.

Jan 12, 3:09pm Top

>204 karenmarie: Peter and Bertie Wooster? Maybe a superficial likeness , but no, not really! Bertie is nothing without Jeeves. Lord Peter doesn't even have a sidekick.

Jan 12, 5:17pm Top

>208 EllaTim: Lord Peter has Bunter! Who is a genius and Lord Peter flat out says he'd be nothing without him.

Jan 12, 5:43pm Top

>205 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! Thank you.

>206 weird_O: A watched mailbox never fills with books. Look away!! I hope they come soon.

>207 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. It was informative and I plan on learning more. There were perhaps 70 people there – a good turnout for small-town central NC on a raw rainy/sleety day.

Good luck on tbr reading at Casa Welch. *smile*

>208 EllaTim: I think the comparison was on the apparent vacuous remarks and behavior of Peter. Bunter isn’t exactly a sidekick, but definitely orders Peter’s life.

>209 PawsforThought: He does have Bunter but whereas with Bertie and Jeeves I get the sense that Jeeves manages Bertie, Peter knowingly lets Bunter manage him to a point and then Bunter knows where to stop.

Edited: Jan 12, 6:22pm Top

>210 karenmarie: There's definitely a difference in their respective relationships, but they do have a lot in common. And there is a lot of humour in the books that I feel are related to Wodehouse's humour.

Jan 12, 6:37pm Top

I'm using the library more and more these days, especially for mysteries, as I can usually check them out in ebook format and start reading them instantly. The library still charges modest fines for late paper books, but I rarely get them, being too lazy to walk the six blocks more than once a month. However, paper books can be renewed as long as no one has them on hold, whereas electronic books can't (you can return them and borrow them again if no one has them on hold.)

My sister the college librarian says that many libraries are abolishing late fees altogether to encourage a)borrowing and b)returns. I just have no more room for books - this will be a year of purges, I think. Most of them will go to the library! As for ebooks, I have decided to ignore the book-candy of the Amazon sales and just read what I have unless a book club book is required. (We will see how long that lasts!)

Jan 12, 7:06pm Top

>212 ffortsa: My friend is the librarian of one of the local libraries I visit. There is the secondary library she runs, and then the major Carneigie library in Easton, PA. They are funded by the school district. She mentioned that the more books that are checked out, the better for their funding. They too are looking for ways to increase people to check out books. She works so very hard. I told her that after I am retired for six months, I will help with her children's reading program.

Judy, good luck with the purging. Alas, I slipped into the book purchasing abyss today. There is a discount/warehouse store about 1/2 hour from my house. I visited today after lunch with a friend. I brought home 20 books, most of which are on my TBR list. And, all were either $2.99 or $1.99. Still, I'm helpless when I'm near a book sale. I will pass them along when I finish reading them.

As soon as I get pain under control, I vow to systematically go through the stacks and book cases and give away those that I know I will not read. I will offer them to 75 challenge folks.

Edited: Jan 12, 7:54pm Top

I'm in for David Copperfield either month. I'd probably be up for A Tale of Two Cities if you make it a group read in November too.

Jan 12, 9:00pm Top

Stopping in to wish you a Happy New Year! Like Linda >213 Whisper1: , I slipped into the book purchasing abyss yesterday evening. I'm trying so hard to just use our library, but with the Canada Reads longlist out, I'm afraid I felt " obliged " to pick up a couple of books in support. ;-)

Jan 13, 12:48am Top

I love that there is to be a group read of David Copperfield. I won't join in; i read it in 2012 and gave it 4.5 stars.

I'm rather fascinated by all the different relationships and different experiences with libraries. I belong to my local library in my new town but haven't used it much yet. I'm still a member of the Seattle Public Library, which is a marvelous system with so many branches. I only check out ebooks from that site now but I was a regular visitor when I lived there. My branch was the Douglass-Truth Branch and it was a lovely space. The fines were quite small (and now that I think of it, I believe I still owe them a dollar or two).

Jan 13, 8:21am Top

>211 PawsforThought: Oh yes, I agree that there’s a lot in common as far as ‘managing’ their charges, and there is actually quite a bit of humor in the DLS fiction just in general.

>212 ffortsa: Hi Judy! I just took the ‘ebook’ plunge. Our library has OverDrive. In addition to being able to check out an ebook, I was also able to put it on my Kindle. I think our library had a fine forgiveness day last year. Good luck with your purges. I went through a get Kindle books phase. The problem is I never added them to my LT catalog and so I forget about them. I need to put them on LT…

>213 Whisper1: Hi Linda. I know our library reports on books checked out by age – children, teenagers, adults. I’ll have to ask our County Librarian how the funding works logically. In the last 3 years their budget has not changed for anything except staffing. Fortunately, that’s gone up.

I hope that when 6 months have gone by that you will make very sure that’s what you want – you may be chomping at the bit but you also might be curiously reluctant to take on anything.

the book purchasing abyss gets us all on occasion. My downfall is always the FoL sales. And, reviewing your stacks is a fantastic idea. I’ve been thinking of getting ‘heartless’ with my books, too, and getting rid of the ones I know I won’t read.

>214 thornton37814: Yay Lori!

>215 vancouverdeb: Hi Deborah, it’s nice to see you here. At least with this kind of addiction we come out with lovely thing to read, not temporary highs.

>216 EBT1002: Hi Ellen! Glad you liked reading it. I read it in high school and only barely remember the plot.

Do you use your college/university's library?

The main branch of our county’s libraries, the one I’m FoL Treasurer for, is part of the campus of the Chatham County Community College system and therefore they keep books for the students and have a large computer lab and quite a few private study rooms. If you have a student ID or a library card you can use the computers. We also have 2 computers dedicated to genealogy that don’t require you to ‘sign in’. They have Ancestry, saving me getting a subscription although I need to renew Ancestry simply to get access to my family tree and link my DNA results.

No errands today. No social events today. Books, a pot of chili, football if I want to keep Bill company. It’s 34F and raining. The creek’s come out of its banks again, but, as always, not anywhere near the house.

Jan 13, 9:52am Top

" Books, a pot of chili, football..." Wow, that sounds perfect.

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. I am looking forward to a very lazy day with the books. I have not had one of those in awhile. I am going to close my laptop, very soon now and get cracking. Enjoy your day.

Jan 13, 10:04am Top

Thanks, Mark! I'm glad you're off work today and can read. Have fun!

You and I are in the same boat football-wise - your Bears lost and my Panthers lost. And Bill's Cowboys lost last night, too, so we'll see how much more football we watch this season.

Jan 13, 2:35pm Top

Happy Sunday, Karen!
Congrats on successfully using your library overdrive! I tend to use that more that the paper books as I like to borrow audiobooks

Jan 13, 4:24pm Top

*puff puff*

I'm recently in from the cold. My review of Our Man in Havana is up and the second thread's started. Rob's going to come by after work and have chili dogs. The spice cake with brown sugar cream cheese icing is cooling. I...acquired...two more milk crates to put books in.

Gawd, I'm boring. Good thing I like it that way.

Jan 13, 4:31pm Top

>220 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle! I'm rather proud of overcoming my ebook Luddite tendencies!

>221 richardderus: You've had a busy day so far, RichardDear! I read your review, lamented that it's one of his I don't have. Yay Rob, chili dogs, and spice cake with brown sugar cream cheese icing - swoon.

I call it 'liberating' instead of 'acquiring'... just think how much more happy they'll be with you than with their previous owner. *smile*

Boring old you is quite entertaining, as you well know. *smooch*

Chili on the stove, countertops clean, timer set for 6 minutes - I'll go back in the kitchen and stir a bit, then turn the chili down so it will be ready about 5:30 or so. Couple more stirs, sharp cheddar out and waiting, and yum!

Jan 13, 4:44pm Top

>222 karenmarie: Yeah, the icing's one I just invented by accident one day and now I love it. I cream the butter and brown sugar with 2T applesauce, then add the cream cheese and a scant teaspoon vanilla extract. The spice cake gets pecan pieces heaved in. Rob said, when I asked him to come over, that he'd only do it if we had cake so this is the one he gets since he was so enthusiastic about it the first time. This way I'll know if he was just being polite.

My chili's out of a can with added onion powder, 1/4C hot sauce (not a typo or an exaggeration), and as much fresh chopped onion and sharp cheddar as needed. Tastes okay. I just didn't have it in me to go to the grocery store today. The temp never got to freezing here by the sea.

Jan 13, 7:05pm Top

Chili dog chili needs to be out of a can anyway, even if it's 'enhanced'. And bribing your honey with cake is not a bad thing at all.

Jan 13, 7:08pm Top

Jan 13, 9:07pm Top

Thanks for your kind wishes, Karen . I too am hoping for a quick recovery for Dave . He is back to the doctor on Wednesday and also is going to see a physiotherapist on Wednesday. I'm not sure if the physio will have any ideas, perhaps it is just a matter of time, but I feel encouraged that it might help. Yes , I guess we always worry about our kids. I must admit , as the eldest of five, I'm not sure that my parents worried that much about us. I think possibly because 5 of us happened along in 9 1/2 years, my parents were overwhelmed and just hoped for the best? I've asked my mom if she worried much about us, and she said she just assumed we'd all have good sense. I think she has trouble understanding my worries with my two. My mom is having real trouble with her hearing and recently cancelled a trip to to Europe with friends. I think she felt that she would not understand her friends, nor the what was happening on the RiverBoat Tour, and thus she cancelled. She is a very fit 77, at least in my eyes, so I was sorry that she cancelled her trip. Oh, another thing to worry about - at least a little. Fortunately my sister lives with my mom and that helps a lot.

Jan 13, 10:28pm Top

Just had to speak up to say that I LOVE my library. It just keeps getting better and better. I started using it regularly after the catalog went online. The San Diego system is huge, but the local branch is just 3 blocks away and I can have any book in the system sent there via the online catalog. Then a few years ago, they went from a 3 week check-out period with one renewal to FIVE renewals (as long as no one else is waiting for it). And then in the last year, they added both automatic renewal (if no one waiting) AND no library fines. If your book is overdue, you can't put a book on hold or check out a new book until you turn it in--much more effective a penalty for me than money!! And I've saved so much money on books as a result (and so much space on my shelves). Of 122 new books read last year, 49 were library books.

Jan 14, 5:24am Top

Good morning, Karen. I hope you had a good weekend, and that your week is off to a pleasant start.

Jan 14, 6:26am Top

>217 karenmarie: Yesterday sounds like my kind of day.

Jan 14, 7:36am Top

>225 karenmarie: Love it!

Morning, Karen. Enjoying my second day off and this one will involve a stroll in the woods, despite the January chill. My feeders have been busy, the last couple of days but no unusual visitors.

Jan 14, 7:42am Top

Just coming by to say "Good morning!" I hope you have a great day, Karen!

Edited: Jan 14, 7:54am Top

>226 vancouverdeb: You’re welcome Deborah. The best thing Dave can do, of course, is to be as patient and as dedicated to PT as he can be. I hope he's that kind of guy. Even though my mom called every single time we had weather or to follow up if something was going on here, she did tell me one time that she didn’t worry about me as much as she did about my sister and brother. I’m sorry that your mom cancelled her trip to Europe. I hope she can not feel so self-conscious about her hearing issues and just go while she has her health. At least your sister is there with your her. My mom lived alone, was fiercely independent, and there were people who took advantage of her before she finally had to let me in as her DPOA and my sister in as her MPOA.

>227 ronincats: Hi Roni. I think the benefit of NOT having to track and manage fines and not deal with cash and other payments towards fines outweighs the occasional person who doesn’t return books and then doesn’t return to the library. I know that our local library hates dealing with fines and the ten cents per copy that people pay to make copies. It means a trip to the bank every day.

I’m impressed – 49 of 122.

>228 harrygbutler: Hi Harry. I did have a good weekend. The siren call of coffee persuaded me to get out of bed at 7:15 this morning, and I’m sipping on my first mug. I’m washing the kitty beds. Unfortunately Miss Inara was sick near one (so glad it wasn’’t in one) and got it a bit messy, so I’m washing both of them to balance the washing machine. Next up is reading for a bit then tackling the stack of papers staring balefully at me.

>229 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel. Except for cooking breakfast and making a pot of chili, I did Karen-type things yesterday even if I did spend too much time in front of the idiot box watching football and then Outlander with Bill. I really do start twitching after Too Much TV, even if it's things I like. I know you’re trying to carve out time for yourself with baby IL, M&D, a husband, and parents who rely on you, and I wish you continued success in managing all that.

>230 msf59: 'Morning, Mark. So glad you've got today off. I hope birds, books, and possibly beer later (?) will make for a great day off.

>231 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! Good morning to you, too. As much as I love Bill, I do love my alone time so today will let me recharge my batteries.

Jan 14, 9:03am Top

I suspect other libraries are looking to see how San Diego does with the no fines. It's been discussed and implemented (on a small scale) for years in library circles. In fact, I suspect I'll be redoing loan rule tables and overdue notices over the summer at our academic library to make the change to "no fines." However, a charge for book replacement will show up on patron accounts once a book is due and not returned until the book is returned. We will probably also implement longer loan periods for some materials and patron groups at the same time. We just have not figured it all out yet.

Jan 14, 11:38am Top

The Long Beach library director and I had a series of chats about the regressive nature of fines. While each library in our county is independent, they form a lending and buying consortium and that means significant coordination of resource allocation. That makes changing lending and fine-charging policies complex in a way that a unitary system wouldn't experience. I'm still advocating for the San Diego system's method: Overdue? No holds or checkouts until you're in compliance. Our system's 28 days plus two renewals, doable online, already has a reserved-materials exclusion. I'd *LOVE* an auto-renew feature. I get exceptions for a third renewal because I'm a power user and a disabled person. But I'm also a grazer, reading six or seven books at the same time, so sometimes even that third renewal sees something go back incomplete.

*smooch* Library talk...another reason LT is irreplaceable in my life.

Jan 14, 11:50am Top

>233 thornton37814: It sounds like a moving target and of course it will require system, procedure, and customer service changes to make it successful. good luck.

>234 richardderus: Library fines and taxes - usually regressive. Our county has one library, three branches. Each branch has a manager, with a county-level librarian overseeing it all. I'll have to ask Rita or Linda if they're considering no fines.

I usually keep one fiction (currently Clouds of Witness) and many non-fiction books going at once. I'm pumped about getting Barracoon as an e-book for my Kindle from the library and may borrow more e-books for my book club's selections this year.

I'm straightening up the Sunroom, aka Karen's Home Office while listening to the OST of Bohemian Rhapsody. I can finally see desktop.

Jan 14, 11:55am Top

I bought Barracoon with a gift card I got at Yule, so I'm...comme d'habitude...putting it after all the check-outs!

Jan 14, 2:11pm Top

It's amazing how books pop out of the woodwork when mentioned once... now I'm seeing Barracoon all over my friends' threads.

Since my Panthers and Bill's Cowboys are both out of the running for the Super Bowl, and Bill doesn't feel the need for me to watch the Super Bowl with him, I will probably go to February 3rd's book club meeting to discuss Barracoon. First February meeting for me in more than a decade.

Jan 14, 7:07pm Top

5. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers
1/9/19 to 1/14/19

From Amazon:

The fiancé of Lord Peter's sister, Mary, is found dead outside the conservatory of the Wimsey family's shooting lodge in Yorkshire. The evidence points to their older brother, Gerald, the Duke of Denver, who is charged with the murder and put on trial in the House of Lords.

To clear the family name, Lord Peter and his close friend Inspector Charles Parker scour the lodge's grounds, finding several tantalizing clues, including mysterious footprints, a piece of jewelry, and a cat charm. What do these leads mean, and why are Mary and Gerald suddenly acting so mysterious? Unraveling a string of coincidences, Lord Peter is determined to solve this intriguing case. But will the answer save his brother . . . or condemn him?

Why I wanted to read it: Second novel in the Peter Wimsey series by Dorothy L. Sayers. I set a personal challenge to re-read all her fiction this year.

Peter is desperate to protect his family yet determined to solve the murder, regardless of who did it. He and Charles Parker work the case as if it was not personal although Gerald accuses Peter of sensationalism and butting in where he’s not wanted. He solidifies his need to be a detective and his ability to be a good one.

The coincidences may seem a bit Too Much to someone new to the mysteries of Dorothy Sayers, but to those of who absolutely adore every word of fiction she ever wrote, it’s amusing to see how she works them, justifies them, uses them.

What I love about this series is the beauty, humor, and intelligence of the writing, the atmospheric descriptions, the marvelous dialog.
The party gathered about the breakfast-table at Riddlesdale Lodge held, if one might judge from their faces, no brief for that day miscalled of sweet reflection and holy love. The only member of it who seemed neither angry nor embarrassed was the Hon. Freddy Arbuthnot, and he was silent, engaged in trying to take the whole skeleton out of a bloater at once. The very presence of that undistinguished fish upon the Duchess’s breakfast-table indicated a disorganized household. p 160 in my three-novel edition


Peter to Sir Impey Biggs: “Suppose I murdered Cathcart myself—“

“You didn’t.”

“I know I didn’t, but if I did I’m not goin’ to have you askin’ questions and lookin’ at me in that tone of voice. However, just to oblige you, I don’t mind sayin’ plainly that I don’t know who did away with the fellow. When I do, I’ll tell you.”

“You will?”

“Yes, I will, but not till I’m sure. You people can make such a little circumstantial evidence go such a damn long way you might hang me while I was only in the early stages of suspectin’ myself.” p 192


“I fancy I did hear somebody moving about,” said Mary, “but I didn’t think much about it.

“Quite right,” said Peter,” when I hear people movin’ about the house at night, I’m much too delicate-minded to think anything at all.”

“Of course,” interposed the Duchess, “particularly in England, where it is so oddly improper to think. I will say for Peter that, if he can put a continental interpretation on anything, he will – so considerate of yu, dear, as soon as you took to doing it in silence and not mentioning it, as you so intelligently did as a child. You were really a very observant little boy, dear.” p 248


Mr. Murbles to Peter: “An odd old client of mine died the other day and left me a dozen of ’47 port.”

“Gad,” said Peter. “’47! It’ll hardly be drinkable, will it, sir?”

“I very greatly fear” replied Mr. Murbles, “that it will not. A great pity. But I feel that some kind of homage should be paid to so notable an antiquity.”

“It would be something to say that one had tasted it,” said Peter. “Like going to see the divine Sarah, you know. Voice gone, bloom gone, savour gone – but still a classic.”

“Ah,” said Mr. Murbles. I remember her in her great days. We old fellows have the compensation of some very wonderful memories. p 256
We learn a little bit more of Peter’s disappointment after the war, a little of Mr. Parker’s feelings, and the devotion and love that Bunter has for a master who hears a horse in distress.

Jan 14, 7:53pm Top

I relate to page 256. I'm happy I have a misspent youth to look back on.

Jan 14, 10:04pm Top

Me, too, RD! My misspent youth was very enjoyable.

Jan 14, 10:21pm Top


Jan 14, 11:33pm Top

I was so good that I think I really misspent my youth! Nevertheless, I love and adore DLS and LPDBW!

Jan 15, 1:11am Top

>238 karenmarie: I see you are reading more Dorothy Sayers--and having fun while you are at it! Happy Tuesday, even though I know they are all Saturday to you. : )

Jan 15, 1:14am Top

Hey yo! Good report. I posted a report on Whose Body? I re-read it on the weekend and it was just a new, never-read, totally unknown book to me. Oh, but a good one. I only have The Nine Tailors, but I'll be on the lookout for the others.

Edited: Jan 15, 6:13am Top

>241 richardderus: *smooch*

>242 LizzieD: Mr. Murbles and Peter are talking about wonderful memories, not necessarily wild and crazy; I’m sure you have wonderful memories, Peggy! It’s just that I have wonderful memories some of which are wild and crazy.

>243 Berly: Hey Kim! I guess you could say that my days are all Saturdays, although to be perfectly honest I have the weekends with my Bill like I always did and now have M-F as ‘me’ days and as noted above, without an alarm. Officially I’m down to one alarm day a month in the months we have Friends of the Library board meetings, otherwise I mostly schedule things for 10 a.m. and later just to make sure I don’t have to set one.

>244 weird_O: Thanks, Bill! I shall zoom over to your thread tout de suite and check it out. Next up is, of course, Clouds of Witness for you, for me it’s Unnatural Death or the stories in Lord Peter Views the Body – both originally published in 1928. I think I'm going to read by original published date, which will weave short stories among the novels.

This morning I woke up to the Irritating Kitty William Alarm Clock and hurried to feed him so he wouldn’t wake Bill before Bill’s normal 6:20 wake up time. The cat is now sitting on my desk calendar, left improvidently on the printer. He’s not hurting it and is quiet, so I’ll leave him alone.

Jan 15, 8:55am Top

>238 karenmarie: Good morning, Karen! The quotation from page 256 makes me think of going to see Chuck Berry in concert several years ago. Of course well past his prime, though his playing and the show were both good, but we were glad to get the chance to see him before he was gone.

Jan 15, 9:08am Top

Good morning, Karen! I was just saying to Nate that I missed our kitty and wanted to think about getting another ... and then you remind me of the unnecessary cat wake up calls, so perhaps not!

Jan 15, 10:29am Top

>245 karenmarie: I'm lucky my cats rarely wake me up to get fed. They manage to wait patiently for me. All three of them. :) But IL woke me up this morning at 5:20. :) He's doing a good job of sleeping now, though.

Jan 15, 11:08am Top

>246 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! I feel that way about Mikhail Baryshnikov. I saw him past his prime in LA with the ABT.

>247 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle! I think you probably get a lot of early kidlet wake up calls, so perhaps adding a kitty to the mix might need to wait for a while. It turns out that Bill heard KW this morning and was Very Cranky about it.

>248 The_Hibernator: You are lucky, Rachel. Of course IL makes up for their being patient for their food!

Edited: Jan 15, 3:59pm Top

The Fairfax county lie-berry system is pretty awesome and I use it all the time, but they will turn you over to a collections agency if your fine isn't paid. Yikes!

Jan 15, 2:15pm Top

Hi Horrible, late start after a rough, icky night. Anyway, here I am. *smooch*

Jan 15, 3:09pm Top

>250 SomeGuyInVirginia: Collections? And potentially ruin your credit? Yikes indeed.

>251 richardderus: Hi RichardDear. Sorry you had a rough, icky night. *smooch* back

Jan 15, 3:45pm Top

>237 karenmarie: Barracoon is one of the hold books waiting for me at the library, Karen. My primary library is the downtown Vancouver one because it feels big enough to house all of the books that I want to read - it has 6 floors of books. They allow you to sign books out for 3 weeks with 2 renewals unless someone is waiting for them. Many of the books I read are holds so there usually is someone waiting especially as we have unlimited yearly holds. There are still fines for overdue book and for holds that are not picked up in the allotted time. I have started to use the library more since I have run out of shelf and stacking space.

Jan 15, 4:31pm Top

>252 karenmarie: TYVM I'm doing all I can to see there's no repetition of it tonight.

>253 Familyhistorian: I have started to use the library more since I have run out of shelf and stacking space.
This was my motivation as well.

Jan 15, 5:02pm Top

>253 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! I'm on page 46. The vernacular is a bit tough, frankly, but it's a relatively short book at 176 pages (at least that's what my Kindle says), and I Shall Persevere.

Six floors of books. Unbelievable. I think I'd start hyperventilating.

I have started to use the library more since I have run out of shelf and stacking space. Are you looking to get more shelving, cull books, or start taking dishes out of the kitchen and using the kitchen cupboards? *smile*

>254 richardderus: I wish you lots of deep, healing sleep. With or without amazing dreams, as desired.

I have started to use the library more since I have run out of shelf and stacking space. I know space is tight for you, too, RD.

I'm feeling a bit punky - I think I took my vitamins at the wrong time and (possible TMI) I'm burping fish oil. Drat. Probably not going to have chili for dinner tonight.

Edited: Jan 15, 5:57pm Top

>242 LizzieD: Oh, me too! Much too good a girl. Can we get do-overs?

>253 Familyhistorian: My motivation as well. I don't want any more books in this apartment, and would love to work it so that I have fewer books and more wall space. The library is an intermittent savior - sometimes I don't have the choice.

Jan 15, 7:14pm Top

Hi, Karen. Late day check in. Cold one here today, but my books kept me distracted. And no birds either. They must be huddled up somewhere, keeping warm.

Jan 16, 8:26am Top

>256 ffortsa: Hi Judy. Now that I know how to use OverDrive and my Kindle and actually checked out 2 books last year, I'll try to at least use the Library for my book club books.

>257 msf59: Hi Mark. Books and warmth are a good thing. That's strange about your birds. It's 25F here right now and I've got Cardinals, some kind of Sparrow, and I think I saw a Titmouse.

First sips of coffee are always the best...

Jan 16, 9:47am Top

I HATE fish oil burps. They're the worst type.

Jan 16, 9:52am Top

>258 karenmarie: a-women, Sister Lady.


Jan 16, 11:13am Top

>259 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel! Yes, indeed.

>260 richardderus: Thank 'ee kindly, brother.

I've finished as much of Barracoon as I can comfortably read on the Kindle. I explain why Kindle is not the best medium for this book, below.

Jan 16, 11:34am Top

6. Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston
1/13/19 to 1/16/19

From Amazon:

New York Times Bestseller
Amazon's Best History Book of the Year 2018
TIME Magazine’s Best Nonfiction Book of 2018
New York Public Library’s Best Book of 2018
NPR’s Book Concierge Best Book of 2018
Economist Book of the Year
SELF.com’s Best Books of 2018
Audible’s Best of the Year
BookRiot’s Best Audio Books of 2018
The Atlantic’s Books Briefing: History, Reconsidered
Atlanta Journal Constitution, Best Southern Books 2018
The Christian Science Monitor’s Best Books 2018
Barnes & Noble’s Best Books of the Year
“A profound impact on Hurston’s literary legacy.”—New York Times
“One of the greatest writers of our time.”—Toni Morrison
“Zora Neale Hurston’s genius has once again produced a Maestrapiece.”—Alice Walker

A major literary event: a newly published work from the author of the American classic Their Eyes Were Watching God, with a foreword from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, brilliantly illuminates the horror and injustices of slavery as it tells the true story of one of the last-known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade—abducted from Africa on the last "Black Cargo" ship to arrive in the United States.

In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama, just outside Mobile, to interview eighty-six-year-old Cudjo Lewis. Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America as slaves, Cudjo was then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation’s history. Hurston was there to record Cudjo’s firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States.

In 1931, Hurston returned to Plateau, the African-centric community three miles from Mobile founded by Cudjo and other former slaves from his ship. Spending more than three months there, she talked in depth with Cudjo about the details of his life. During those weeks, the young writer and the elderly formerly enslaved man ate peaches and watermelon that grew in the backyard and talked about Cudjo’s past—memories from his childhood in Africa, the horrors of being captured and held in a barracoon for selection by American slavers, the harrowing experience of the Middle Passage packed with more than 100 other souls aboard the Clotilda, and the years he spent in slavery until the end of the Civil War.

Based on those interviews, featuring Cudjo’s unique vernacular, and written from Hurston’s perspective with the compassion and singular style that have made her one of the preeminent American authors of the twentieth-century, Barracoon masterfully illustrates the tragedy of slavery and of one life forever defined by it. Offering insight into the pernicious legacy that continues to haunt us all, black and white, this poignant and powerful work is an invaluable contribution to our shared history and culture.

Why I wanted to read it: First book of the new book club year.

For me, reading this on Kindle was not a good idea. It becomes choppy and hard to digest – not Cudjo’s narrative as written by Hurtston, but front matter and foreword and introduction and editor’s note and afterword and additional material, afterword, acknowledgements, list of founders and original residents of Africatown, glossary, bibliography, notes, about the editor, about the author, 'also by' Zora Neale Hurston. I'm not a Kindle maven by any means, so perhaps others can zoom back and forth easily.

I've read the Foreword by Alice Walker, the narrative written by Zora Neale Hurston, and the Afterword by Deborah G. Plant, a total of 121 pages of the 176 officially listed.

With regards to just Cudjo’s narrative, I found it poignant, detailed, vivid, and tragic. His capture by the Dahomey and sale to the white people is horrific and detailed. He was 19 when captured and sold, spent 73 days on the Clotilda and sold upon arrival. He spent 5 years and 6 months a slave until freed by the end of the Civil War. I didn’t question his recollections because of his age when captured, his understanding of his people and of the Dahomey, and his obvious intelligence with a lifetime to put his story into perspective and to codify his memories.

His former master would not give the freed blacks land, so they earned money to buy land and 32 of the original Clotilda shipment of slaves founded Africatown. He and his wife had 6 children and all of them preceded him in death. Hurston interviewed him when he was 86 and then again when he was 90. This book is about his whole life, with most of it focused on his life in Africa and capture by the Dahomey and his life after the Civil War in Africatown and with his wife and children. There is little of his time in servitude, relatively speaking.

This book was published in 2018 as a scholarly work, in a way, because especially in the Afterword there is quite a bit of discussion about Hurston’s plagiarism and not crediting sources in some of her early anthropological work. There are interested and complicated gymnastics to try to justify these actions. Some justify it, some abhor it. Hurston herself was stunned – my word, not hers – to discover that black Africans captured and sold people into slavery.
“One thing impressed me strongly from this three months of association with Cudjo Lewis,” Hurston writes. “The white people had held my people in slavery in America. They had bought us, it is true and exploited us. But the inescapable fact that stuck in my craw, was: my people had sold me and the white people had bought me. That did away with the folklore I had been brought up on—that the white people had gone to Africa, waved a red handkerchief at the Africans and lured them aboard ship and sailed away.” p 125 in Afterword as quoted by editor Deborah G. Plant

Hurston had imbibed Boas’s theory of cultural relativity and understood that there were no superior or inferior cultures; she understood that cultures were to be assessed and evaluated on their own terms. p 120, Afterword edited by Deborah G. Plant

“The book purports to be solely the words of Cudjo; in fact, it is Hurston’s imaginative recreation of his experience. Her purpose was to recreate slavery from a black perspective… but she was doing so as an artist rather than as a folklorist or historian.” p 126 in Afterword, Hemenway as quoted by editor Deborah G. Plant

The historian Sylviane Diouf states that Hemenway’s characterization of Hurton’s manuscript was “uncalled for.” p 127 in Afterword, Deborah G. Plant
Lots of erudite squabbling here, just crying out to be understood in more depth.

But back to Cudjo’s narrative for a minute. Two things struck me – his detailed memories of his life in Africa and his capture and his repetition of the plaint that American-born slaves held African-born slaves in contempt and ridicule. Apparently both white masters/society AND American-born slaves called him and other African-born slaves savages and worse. Remember that this was the last ship carrying slaves to America in 1859 – many decades after the trade was officially and mostly stopped. Here are two quotes from the narrative itself. The first is obviously Hurston with wit and great imagery, the second her translation of Cudjo’s vernacular. If this is a quote by him, his anguish and poetical expression of it heart wrenching.
For us I brought a huge watermelon, right off the ice, so we cut it in half and we just ate from heart to rind as far as we were able.

Then it was necessary to walk it down so he showed me over the Old Landmark Baptist Church, at his very gate, where is the sexton.

Watermelon, like too many other gorgeous things in life, is much too fleeting. We lightened our ballast and returned to the porch. pp 36-37

“When I see de king dead, I tro to ‘scape from de soldiers. I try to make it to de bush, but all soldiers over-take me befo’ I git dere. O Lor’, Lor’! When I think ‘bout dat time I try not to cry no mo’. My eyes dey stop cryin but de tears runnee down inside me all de time.” p 47
I need to read this book again, the physical book, because intellectual curiosity demands it and this is a case where Kindle just didn’t cut it for me.

Jan 16, 11:40am Top

>262 karenmarie: That sounds like a fun read. I'm looking forward to it!

Jan 16, 12:02pm Top

>262 karenmarie:

I gave this to my daughter (43 years old) on Christmas Eve and asked her to share it when she was done reading.

Last week, she told me that she had not opened the book because the man's face was so very deeply spiritually sad.

Jan 16, 12:31pm Top

>263 richardderus: I'll be interested in what you think RD! 'Fun' in the sense of intellectually stimulating, perhaps. *smooch*

>264 m.belljackson: Hi Marianne! I hadn't heard of it until the other Karen in our book club made it her choice, and was very leery of the vernarcular. However, I persevered and was rewarded.

I can see why your daughter sees that in his face. His life after the age of 19 was filled with violence, upset, injustice, and sorrow. It's not an easy read by any means, but well worth it. This from someone who doesn't usually like 'not an easy read' books all that often.

I haven't been able to settle into a fiction read since Clouds of Witness. I don't want to start Unnatural Death for some reason, and am trying to find the right fiction read.

Jan 16, 3:49pm Top

I just downloaded Barracoon, it sounds fascinating.

Jan 16, 4:08pm Top

>239 richardderus: >240 karenmarie: I'm glad my "misspent youth" happened before email and social media. I have love letters from my husband and the few printed photos spark memories and stories when we get together with old friends.

Jan 16, 4:23pm Top

>266 SomeGuyInVirginia: Yay Larry! You'll have to let me know what you think of it. I'm rather proud of myself - rather than keeping it until it just 'disappeared' from my Kindle, I actually returned it.

>267 witchyrichy: Me, too, Karen. Just think of all the wild and crazy party videos and texts that aren't out there in the ether... *shudder* I have precisely one love letter from Bill, but that just makes it special.

I decided to start Kindred by Octavia Butler even though it won't be for book club - so far, so good. I'm on page 69 and really like it.

Jan 16, 4:25pm Top

>267 witchyrichy:, >268 karenmarie: Yeup, them kiddies got themselves an eternal archive of idiocy that we escaped. Yay!

Jan 16, 4:58pm Top

>269 richardderus: I love the "eternal archive of idiocy" The summer I graduated high-school I was sent on a group tour of Europe where I could get up to any mischief at all and no one in our small town would ever hear a word of it.

Jan 16, 5:33pm Top

>269 richardderus: Yes they do.

>270 quondame: Small town living - I didn't have that, growing up in LA. I lived at college starting in my sophomore year, then moving to an apartment near campus and then a small cottage at the beach, finishing off my senior year. Mom and Dad had no real idea of what I was up to. I refused their money starting when I was a sophomore, too, working for the school and graduating without owing a penny. They had no control over me. To be fair, they didn't want to control me, although Dad was pretty upset once I started voting and always voting blue...

Edited: Jan 16, 9:44pm Top

>271 karenmarie: I didn't know enough to mind being controlled until, from time to time, I did and turned out to be controlled only so far, to everyone's surprise. In some ways my parents were pretty OK, for an Aspergers paired with a subtle control freak paranoid. I actually had a lot of fun in LA going shopping, restaurants, plays (I saw practically everything Jason Robards did on stage in LA and Richard Chamberlain not to mention Jessica Tandy & Hume Cronyn.)
So I already loved LA when I graduated from college, and was certain this big city was where I wanted to live. It's taken some management and a few abandoned jobs to stay in LA.

Jan 16, 9:42pm Top

>262 karenmarie: Barracoon is in my TBR pile for this year.

Jan 16, 10:30pm Top

Hi, Karen! I didn't really have time to hit threads today, so I'll just wish you a pleasant Thursday tomorrow.

Yesterday, 6:38am Top

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday. Great review of Barracoon. I will have to see if I can get my mitts on that one. It got by me last year.

Yesterday, 7:20am Top

>272 quondame: Hi Susan. I’m glad your parents were “pretty OK” – yikes about the Asperger’s parent and the subtle control freak paranoid. In fact it sounds like you were very lucky. Of course I had an alcoholic parent and a WWII PTSD parent, come to think of it, so my parents were "pretty OK" for all of that. (And my mother finally stopped drinking in the mid '80s, I think. I'll have to ask my sister.)

I loved LA, never knowing different until I tried Connecticut from 1977 – 1981. I waitressed in CT, met a few cool people, none of who I’m in touch with, worked hard, saved money, then came home and got a job as a computer programmer. LA has anything you want within a couple of hours drive – I loved looking through the LA Times’ Calendar section to see what movies, bands, art events, and plays were available and all the news about movies being made. It was my favorite part of the chunkster Sunday paper. I loved finding different restaurants, and just driving around sometimes. I’m glad you loved LA and decided to stay there. I’m glad to be from there, but can’t imagine living there any more – I don’t have enough money to live in any section I’d love to live in!

>273 thornton37814: Hi Lori. It will be fun to visit you thread and other threads this year and see who else has read Barracoon and what they think of it.

>274 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry! Today I’m going to run a few errands, clean a shelf in the pantry *OR* take all the pans off the overhead rack and clean it, and, of course read and visit here on LT.

>275 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark! Is it your Friday, or are you off a day? *smile* That’s something I was doing for a while – getting a day ahead of myself. Now I check my cell phone or the date/time on my task bar to make sure I’m on the right day. Thank you re Barracoon. I’d loan you mine, but this was the first I ever used OverDrive to download a book to my Kindle, and unless I can find a copy for my shelves from FoL sales, I won’t buy one new.

Yesterday, 7:39am Top

>232 karenmarie: I understand what you mean. I need my alone time away from Kerry and Beth too.

>262 karenmarie: Oh yeah, hit me with that BB! Into the BlackHole it goes!

Yesterday, 7:47am Top

Hi Stasia!

3Bs - Barracoon Book Bullet. I honestly didn't think I'd like it, but since I always start every book club book, I just kept going. I never considered abandoning it like I do to 40% of 'em.

Yesterday, 8:49am Top

Thursday Thrills, Horrible my dear friend. I had a dream about visiting you and Bill...I was driving up your road and suddenly was enveloped in passenger pigeons. I ended up in the creek, wet but thrilled.

I've always had weird, intense dreams, but this one was memorable!

Edited: Yesterday, 9:50am Top

>262 karenmarie: I've heard great things about that book. Should really read it.

>268 karenmarie: I loved Kindred

Yesterday, 10:00am Top

Sweet Thursday, Karen!

I've read other Octavia Butler books, but not Kindred. I need to fix that. Right now I'm reading one in the Invisible Library series, The Mortal Word. Fun stuff.

Why do I keep hearing the sound of fish oil burps here?

Edited: Yesterday, 10:35am Top

>279 richardderus: Well RD, I’m happily surprised that we’d figure in your dreams. Birds, too, creek, too. You nailed the salient points. Of course the guest bed is pretty comfy and if stairs are an issue the fold-out queen bed in the library is sorta comfy but of course there are books to look and be surrounded by… c’mon down!

>280 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel. I think Barracoon will fit into your Bookish Reading Challenge!

A book with a person of color on the cover - I'm sure I'll find one

Glad for the confirmation on Kindred.

>281 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! So far so good. Coffee, brekkie, reading, cleaning the ceiling fan in the Sunroom and the transom between the kitchen and the dining room.

I surprised myself by not liking the first entry in the Invisible Library series – it just irritated me for some reason, but I realize I’m in the minority here as everybody else seems to really like it a lot.

Finally no more fish oil burps. You’re just hearing the echoes. I was really queasy pretty much all day.

Yesterday, 10:49am Top

Epic report on Barracoon, Karen. My hat is off to you! Still no Gardam books. Maybe today.

Yesterday, 11:06am Top

Thanks, Bill. I hope it's not a wooden one.... and I hope your books come soon. There's been no rebellion from the troops but I'll bet there will be much happiness when we can start a group read of Last Friends.

Yesterday, 12:46pm Top

>268 karenmarie:

I haven't read Kindred, but just finished Octavia Butler's The Parable of the Sower.

It has to be one of the most terrifyingly depressing
(in the sense of how much of this has already started to happen in the past two years)
books ever.

Moved on to the more cheerful THE GOLDFINCH where the Met Museum just exploded...

Yesterday, 1:44pm Top

>276 karenmarie: Yeah, LA has always been expensive and so many of my renter friends are being brutally priced out of the market here in the last few years. Back in the 90's the company I worked for had a successful IPO and I ended up with 1) money for a house in WLA, 2) to keep my daughter in a private school, 3) to seed my daughters' college fund, 4) to fund the last two years of my husband's bachelor's degree 5) lots and lots of toys and clothes 6) a permanently burnt out brain so far as my profession was concerned.
Having parents, however troubled or troubling, who care for you and about you, makes all the difference. Even before I had my daughter (at 44, so this wasn't something I understood when I was young) I realized that my parents were just the poor sods who got me for a kid. I'm sure that they would have opted to be perfect if anyone had given them a choice, but they were interesting and skilled at very different things, found many things in life to enjoy and treasure and left a tidy wee estate for their 4 children.

Yesterday, 4:43pm Top

>285 m.belljackson: Hi Marianne - I'm in the These Truths group read and wrote this this morning:

p 144 ('he' being Madison)

In an essay called "Public Opinion," he considered a source of instability particular to a large republic: the people might be deceived. "The larger a country, the less easy for its real opinion to be ascertained," he explained. That is, factions might not in the end, consist of wise, knowledgeable, and reasonable men. They might consist of passionate ignorant, and irrational men, who had been led to hold "counterfeit" opinions by persuasive men. (Madison was thinking of Hamilton and his ability to gain pubic support for his financial plan.) The way out of this political maze was the newspaper. "A circulation of newspapers throughout the entire body of the people," he explained, "is equivalent to a contraction of territorial limits." Newspapers would make the country, effectively, smaller.

This is painfully apparent right now here in the US. I don't know how many more books I can read about how dangerous it is for our country right now with drumpf and his "passionate, ignorant, and irrational men" in the White House.

I read The Goldfinch in May of 2015. Loved it, but it not an 'easy' read, either.

>286 quondame: I remember renting a little beach cottage in 1974 at Redondo Beach for $185/month, 1½ block from the pier. It was rather exorbitant at the time.

You’re very lucky with the IPO. You and I are also lucky to have parents who care for and about you; it does make all the difference. No tidy wee estates for my sister and me, alas, but a little bit. After all, their job wasn’t to make us rich.

Yesterday, 4:57pm Top

You know, I've often wondered what the apartment in Three's Company would cost today. How many dollars are in a gazillion?

Yesterday, 5:07pm Top

>287 karenmarie: I had a 4th St. apt in Santa Monica for $125 that year. My mom always said it was good to have thrifty ancestors. She didn't and wasn't, but my dad's were and he outlived her by over 20yrs. The only rich in our family is my older brother who says it's the 0.001% who are the problem, not folk like him. (He actually lived in DT's tower for a few years). I'm the poor one, the house being just about my only real asset, though it's a great one. My husband works about half the time which has been enough for us to get by without luxuries other than lots of good food. I know I've been very lucky in my life. Though I faced significant sex discrimination as a computer programmer it was nothing like as bad as it came to be 15-20yrs after I started - there weren't enough computer literate people in the mid-70s for them to keep the boys club, though by '79 a boy just out of high school who really knew his shit could get more than I could.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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