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richardderus's second thread of 2019

This is a continuation of the topic richardderus's first thread of 2019.

This topic was continued by richardderus's third thread of 2019.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Jan 13, 4:00pm Top

1949 Hudson Commodore, two-tone survivor looking great at 70 years old.

Edited: Jan 25, 2:47pm Top

Hard for us to imagine, I know, but once there was a time when one could walk down the street and immediately on sight tell what kind of car someone was driving. Who knows what dreary gray transport module just glided past us today? THIS car was different from the others! I miss that.

Damn, it's almost the end of the Teens. The days may drag, but the years WHOOSH by! I'll shoot to write 200 reviews for my blog, meaning real reviews not impressions or squibs. My ancillary goal will be to create some sort of post about the Pearl-Ruled books explaining why I am abandoning ship; I'll set an arbitrary count of 100 of those since goodness knows I abandon a lot of books.

My 2018 Reviews Are Here:
Reviews 1-25 are linked there.

Reviews 26-31 are linked here.

Reviews 32-39 are linked there.

Reviews 40-54 are linked over here.

Reviews 55-70 are linked over here.

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

Reviews 102-110 are linked over here.

Reviews 111 - 123 are reviewed over here.

Reviews 124-127 are there.

2019's Reviews Are Here:

Reviews 1-4 are here.

This thread's output is:

PR1 When Saigon Surrendered is the author's first novel and first mystery in a series, but not for me in post 26.

5 Coming Through: Three Novellas collects three of CanLit monadnock David Helwig's signature pieces, see post 110.

6 The King's Evil is a mid-career short novel from David Helwig that hit some sweet spots in post 268.

Edited: Jan 16, 6:53pm Top

Via Bookish, here's a list of challenges to #KillYourTBR (note that I've modified a few entries to make them possible for me to meet):

  1. A book you bought for the cover

  2. A book by an author you’ve met

  3. A book you’re embarrassed you haven’t read yet

  4. A book that is under 220 pages

  5. A book that came out the year you were born

  6. A book whose title uses alliteration
  7. When Saigon Surrendered
  8. A book in your best friend’s favorite genre

  9. A book from an independent publisher

  10. A book you borrowed from the library

  11. A book featuring a fictional language

  12. A novel that includes a recipe (Bonus points for making the recipe)

  13. A book won in a raffle/giveaway

  14. A book about going on a quest

  15. A book set in a city you’ve visited

  16. A book with a dust jacket

  17. A book by two or more authors

  18. A book that is over 1000 pages

  19. A book that’s been out for less than a month

  20. A book with a name in the title

  21. A book from a genre you want to read more of

  22. A book written by a Native American author

  23. A book with an asexual character

  24. A book you were given as a gift

  25. A book translated from Spanish

  26. An award-winning graphic novel

  27. A book featuring a false confession

  28. A book you meant to read in 2018

  29. A book featuring a memorable companion animal

  30. A book set in South America

  31. A book with a cover you kind of hate (but a story you love)

  32. A book by an author you’ve never heard of before
  33. Coming Through: Three Novellas
  34. A book of short stories

  35. A book featuring a nonbinary protagonist

  36. A book you’ve been waiting for forever

  37. A book about intersectional feminism

  38. A book with a place in the title
  39. Our Man in Havana
  40. A book bought at/from a physical bookstore

  41. A book by an author you’re thankful for

  42. A book with gorgeous descriptions

  43. A book signed by the author

  44. A book set in Africa

  45. A book about mental health

  46. A book written by an immigrant

  47. A retelling

  48. A book about incarceration

  49. A book recommended by an author

  50. A book with a person of color on the cover

  51. A book by an author who uses a pen name

  52. A book whose title includes a verb

  53. A book recommended by a librarian

  54. A book being adapted in 2019

  55. A book you found in a Little Free Library

Jan 13, 4:00pm Top

Okay, now you.

Jan 13, 4:16pm Top

Happy new thread!

Jan 13, 4:17pm Top

Happy new snazzy cars, Richard! :-)

Jan 13, 4:19pm Top

>5 figsfromthistle: You're first, Anita! Welcome.

Jan 13, 4:20pm Top

>1 richardderus: !!!!! Gasp !!!!!! and Happy new thread.

Jan 13, 4:23pm Top

Happy new thread, RD. Love the topper!

Jan 13, 4:24pm Top

Happy new thread!

Jan 13, 4:27pm Top

>6 jessibud2: Hi Shelley! Ain't they grand?

>8 quondame: I know, right?! And thanks, Susan.

>9 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! *smooch*

>10 ChelleBearss: Thank you, Chelle.

Jan 13, 4:34pm Top

Happy 2nd thread. Extremely sexy car as your topper...

Jan 13, 4:38pm Top

Happy second thread Richard, I just love the thread topper photos dear friend.

Jan 13, 4:43pm Top

Congratulations on your new thread, Richard.

And what a marvelous review of the Greene on Thread One. I love Greene and all his works. So sneaky in his messages.

Jan 13, 4:50pm Top

>12 karenmarie: Thanks, Horrible, and ain't it just! I'd love to go rollin' around Long Beach in that set of wheels.

>13 johnsimpson: Thank you most kindly, John. I'm wistful about how exciting and elegant cars used to be. Today's cars are a LOT better engineered and built, but these were *fun* and today's just aren't.

>14 bohemima: Thank you, Gail, and also for the compliment. I loved re-reading Greene as an old man. His messages are so much clearer to someone who's got some miles under his belt.

Jan 13, 4:54pm Top

>15 richardderus:, Wouldn't it be just great if they could combine the great modern engineering with the style of yesteryear, how good would that be.

Jan 13, 5:22pm Top

Happy new one, Richard!

Jan 13, 5:27pm Top

>16 johnsimpson: I'm waiting for the One World Government's Supreme AI to mandate this.

>17 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie!

Edited: Jan 13, 5:38pm Top

Happy New thread, Richard! Re: Greene, I read The Power and the Glory for a college class three-fifths of a lifetime ago and thought I ought to read some more Greene. Your review makes me want to get around to that ...

Jan 13, 5:50pm Top

Happy new thread, Richard! Now that's a stellar thread-topper — a step-down body stunner.

Jan 13, 6:12pm Top

>19 swynn: Thanks! That's easily Greene's most famous work, but it's not a favorite of mine. The Comedians is another of Greene's that I like better than The Power and the Glory.

>20 harrygbutler: Hello Harry, and thanks. Yeah, the Longer—Lower—Wider 1949 Hudsons were revolutionary and, to my eyes, just lovely.

Jan 13, 6:26pm Top

Happy new thread, Richard!
I had to laugh when I saw your "Pearl ruled" ticker :-)

Jan 13, 6:45pm Top

>22 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita, it was a moment of desperation that led me to make it: Have I read this before? Wait, why does this sound so familiar...oh yeah! I dropped it when {thing} happened. This way I'll have a reason to keep count and likely not forget as readily.

Jan 13, 8:14pm Top

Happy new thread!

Edited: Jan 13, 9:36pm Top

Happy new thread, Richard! Still with the cars, huh? When I was a junior and senior in high school, one of my best friends had a used one of these--the best for cruising up and down Buckeye and Third Street for hours on end except in the dead of winter. Convertibles were really designed for southern California. (ETA nobody had air conditioning back then, not in the house and certainly not in cars!)

Jan 13, 9:40pm Top

When Saigon Surrendered by James Aura


I was looking forward to this read, honest I was. I like the time period, the narrator's in my age cohort, the country setting appeals. But then:
Grandma and I just sat there. We didn't say a word, but I knew what she was thinking.
Bobby Ray's dead and Saigon has surrendered. Just like that. Her only boy and my only Dad, out there in the ground behind Wesley Memorial Methodist Church.

And soon after:
Russell, the gallant knight, with sureness of spirit and the smile of the gods, was carrying the woman who raised
him into the rainy night. I was Paladin, Tristan and King David.

But this about tore it:
She had a way about her that spoke of homemade bread, and caring for people, and the kind of patience that women have when they help a ewe birth a lamb, or stay up in the night with a baby calf bawling for its momma.

What *did* tear it was:
When I got to the truck, the dream-woman, the nurse was lying on the seat. She was sobbing. Well, I felt like I'd had about enough excitement for one night.

Nothing more implausible than Russell being a kid, a college freshman when he's uttering this stuff; soon enough, he's got the funeral all done and Uncle Thingummy coming to the farm for a heart-to-heart that, frankly, defies description.

So I started flipping around, figuring I'd see what was going to come to pass, and one minute Russell's that kinda backward kid and an Avenger against unholy horrors the next! It's not bad writing, per se, but it's a bit too impressed with itself. That will most likely smoothe out as the author gains experience.

I'm not going to go into my Literary Dalek mode and grate "EXTERMINATE EXTERMINATE" all over you, but go in knowing this: at $2.99 I didn't feel ripped off and want my money back, but I don't see myself giving Author Aura another $2.99 any time soon.

Jan 13, 9:47pm Top

Happy new thread, Richard!

Jan 13, 9:54pm Top

>24 drneutron: Thank you, Jim, it's only the seventeenth day the group's been up and how many of us are on or near second threads! Wowza.

>25 ronincats: Hi Roni! That Studebaker Lark is so handsome, and brings back so many good memories. A friend of my oldest sister's had a 1962 that she used to take me around in. It was heaven!

>27 thornton37814: Hi Lori! Thanks.

Jan 13, 10:03pm Top

Happy new thread, Richard. The Hudson Commodore is drool-worthy.

Jan 13, 10:49pm Top

>1 richardderus: Oh. My. Everything I own should be that color.

Jan 13, 10:57pm Top

>28 richardderus: Then you know. But making out in the back seat (my friend and her date were in the front seat--dirty mind!) in February left something to be desired--like feeling in one's extremities.

Jan 13, 11:12pm Top

>29 Familyhistorian: So agreed, Meg.

>30 laytonwoman3rd: Couldn't agree with you more.

>31 ronincats: Ohhh owww. February - convertible - Kansas! ew

Jan 14, 1:58am Top

>26 richardderus: Love that disparaging review and will happily avoid When Saigon Surrendered}.

Nice topper. ; )

Jan 14, 2:31am Top

Happy new thread Richard!

>1 richardderus: More cars? I like these.

Jan 14, 9:42am Top

Happy New thread 🍰🍰🍰🍰🍪🍪🍪🍩🍩☕

Jan 14, 9:49am Top

Good morning, RD! How did the chili dogs and spice cake w/brown sugar cream cheese frosting go over?

>26 richardderus: I adore examples of wonderful, execrable, or self-important writing. And Literary Dalek mode and grate "EXTERMINATE EXTERMINATE" makes me smile.


Jan 14, 10:58am Top

>33 Berly: Hey Kimmers, thanks for the kind words. I'm enamored of that Hudson!

>34 humouress: Hiya Nina, yep it's 1949 automovehicular time on my threads this year.

>35 BBGirl55: Yum yum, thanks Bryony.

>36 karenmarie: Hey Horrible, thanks for the validation...I was a little hesitant to write something even that mildly disenchanted because this is a tyro author. Despite all sorts of advice to the contrary, authors will read their reviews, especially if there aren't that many. I really thought about how to be clear what I was objecting to, so what could be better than using quotes? Can't come at me for putting thoughts in someone's head. They're your words, others could disagree with my interpretation.

But lawsy me!

Rob ate *every*scrap* of the hot dogs, the buns, the chili, the rice, and I sent the uneaten wedge of cake home with him. He texted me when he got home: "Cake was perfect walking-home snack"

He's 6ft tall. Has a 33" waist. Weighs a buck fifty-nine.

I hate him.

Jan 14, 12:59pm Top

Happy new one, BigDaddy! That topper s a beauty, and so is your review of Our Man in Havana from the previous thread. I love Greene - my favorite so far is The Quiet American, but I have liked everything I have read by him.

Laughing about Rob - Daniel is the same way. I have no idea where he puts it.

Jan 14, 1:06pm Top

>38 Crazymamie: TYVM, Mamie dearest, about my Greene review. I am afraid that the film of The Quiet American supplanted the book in my memories. It's not remotely like the book, either, since the film is gung-ho Captain Sam-Uncle America Will Save The Day jingoistic nonsense. I wonder if I should re-read it to see if I can root out that lousy film.

Rob's a surfer, and just came back from a month of winter-sportsing, so I'm not that shocked at his ability to eat a 5,000-calorie meal and not gain weight. Resentful, yes...shocked, no.

Jan 14, 2:03pm Top

The Picture of Dorian Gray...written 130 years ago...was just described in a journalist-reviewer's post to Another Bookis Site as "what an unusual novel."

Um. Really. Pretty much a cliche by now, wouldn't y'all agree?

Jan 14, 2:29pm Top

Happy new thread!!

Jan 14, 2:36pm Top

>41 SuziQoregon: Hi Juli, thanks for stopping in.

Jan 14, 2:47pm Top

Happy new thread RD :)

>40 richardderus: And, well... yes... oh dear.

Jan 14, 2:50pm Top

>43 BekkaJo: A paid professional in the field no less! I was not best pleased.

Thanks! *smooch*

Jan 14, 6:17pm Top

>23 richardderus: Totally understand you don't want to read Pearl ruled books again, Richard.
But I am afraid a ticker alone won't help. How about keeping a list, tagging them at LT, or putting a sticky note at the first page?

Jan 14, 6:21pm Top

>23 richardderus: If they're Pearl Ruled, they get tagged in my catalog as such, but I'll have a fail-safe this way...if the catalog and the ticker don't match, something's wrong!

I saw this today and damn near plotzed. Who *is* this ridiculous skinny cow?

Jan 14, 6:25pm Top

Happy Newish Thread, Richard.

Keep the classic cars coming! Love that Hudson up top.

>26 richardderus: LOL! And maybe a Pearl-shaped tear or two. The one that tore it is hilarious - it comes close to being an entry in the Dark and Stormy Night competition. Please don't sob on my truck seat; I've had enough excitement, thank you very much.

Jan 14, 6:25pm Top

>46 richardderus: Ahh, the same as I do with some categories like TBR, YA, Dutch writer etc.
I sometimes drive myself mad when the numbers in the LT catalog don't match the numbers on my spreadsheet. I keep on searching until I find my mistake :-)

Jan 14, 6:34pm Top

>47 jnwelch: I swoon a little every time I open my thread. So handsome, so elegant!

I'm satisfied that I struck a balance between poking fun and being of some help to the readers of the world.

>48 FAMeulstee: Oh, I can go mental over the bookkeeping errors!

Jan 14, 6:41pm Top

Happy New Thread, Richard! Love the Hudson Commodore topper. That is a beauty. I hope you are having a good day.

Jan 14, 6:43pm Top

>50 msf59: It's been lovely, thanks Mark. I expect it'll end the way it began: Quietly. I love those days.

My twentysomething self just screamed in horror.

Jan 14, 6:55pm Top

Edited: Jan 14, 7:01pm Top

Hello Richard! Happy new thread!

I have the first three episodes of S2 of Travelers under my belt. This show certainly doesn't pull any punches in the shaking up the status quo. The addition of Enrico Colantoni to cast is a strong move. What a versatile actor.

Jan 14, 7:13pm Top

>46 richardderus: Who *is* this ridiculous skinny cow? I first heard of her this week and was stunned that she'd say get rid of books - I think what I saw was an article about how thrift shops and the Salvation Army are benefiting from peoples' misguided need to get rid of things that don't give them 'joy'. I bet there's a lot of regret floating around right about now...

Jan 14, 7:16pm Top

>54 karenmarie: Sadly, my wife has never shared my love of reading or acquiring books. It is a compromise I have had to live with, but I still get my reading in and there are volumes I am absolutely unwilling to part with. We have an understanding.

Jan 14, 7:50pm Top

>52 jessibud2: Heh. I know, right?

>53 brodiew2: Oh my...there are some thrills and spills ahead of you! I'm almost done with season 2, and what the show does with your spoiler is eye-opening. Disturbing.

>54 karenmarie: *pssshhh* Look at her! She's Martha Stewart 2.0. If she needs something that was purged because it failed to give her joy, she has her assistant send his secretary for another one.

>55 brodiew2: *sigh* When will y'all ever learn...mixed marriages are never happy. Bookish folk need to keep it in their own tribe.

Jan 14, 8:59pm Top

Hi Richard! Just to let you know there is a vote happening on my thread! If you could be a dear and vote please. Thank you! 🍰🍩

Jan 14, 10:10pm Top

>56 richardderus: She'd never admit it, though, wee skanky declutterer. I like my things.

My mixed marriage works - Bill isn't a reader but he understands my need for books and reading and we have bookcases all over the house. He's never once complained about how many books I bring into the house - as a matter of fact, he finds it rather endearing. Lucky me!

If I had it to do again there are two things I'd consider differently for a mate - one who reads and one who eats the same kind of foods I do. We've managed 27 years, though, through tolerance and acceptance and love.

Jan 14, 10:20pm Top

>57 BBGirl55: K

>58 karenmarie: I had a suitor once, charming man with a great smile and a warm heart...read widely...lost me for good (there were other issues) when, on learning my books came with me, said "not in my house!"

Quite so.

We speak occasionally, pleasant chats but there's always a little echo in my mind of that phrase.

Jan 14, 10:38pm Top

>59 richardderus: yeah, that's kind of a deal breaker for me too. ::smooch::

Jan 15, 12:20am Top

>60 AuntieClio: Somehow that doesn't surprise me. *smooch*

Jan 15, 12:45am Top

>46 richardderus: So not right!! Who is this crazy woman? (I know, I know, she helps people de-clutter their houses, but seriously, how can she be so wrong?)

Jan 15, 1:15am Top

>62 Berly: She's Martha Stewart 2.0. ::eyeroll::

Jan 15, 1:21am Top

: P

Edited: Jan 15, 1:48am Top

>40 richardderus: Maybe he meant '... for its time'?

>48 FAMeulstee: I get a bit obsessed with organising (although my husband gaily runs amok through my 'systems' and then complains that the house is untidy) and I've been trying to sort out the Lego (we must be at 30-50 individual boxes of different themes). Finally these holidays, I've managed to get my younger son to actually do some of the work and yesterday I showed him how I've sorted the Lego to which he said that I have the more fun job and he wants to do the organising. *evil grin* Pass the infection on.

>56 richardderus: My husband isn't a great reader (although he has good intentions) but he's happy enough for me to read and is thrilled that our younger son is a reader. When we moved into our house, he gave me a whole wall of bookshelves in the study/ library but that was ten years ago and I need more now. He does have a shelf of self-help religious type books that have only been touched once in the twenty + years we've been married and that was when we moved house. But sadly, he won't give them up for me.

>59 richardderus: 'Read widely but didn't allow books in his house'? Can't quite see that.

>51 richardderus: Your twenty something self still survives? *sigh* I'll go and look for mine (though I suspect she's not very far away).

Jan 15, 1:53am Top

>55 brodiew2: Bookish folk fight for shelf space. Collectors of comic reprints are voracious shelf hogs.

Jan 15, 9:03am Top

>46 richardderus: Ugh. She is all people at work are talking about right now. I know a lot of houses, mine included, could use some paring down and purging of junk but I think she takes things a bit extreme.

Jan 15, 9:26am Top

>46 richardderus: Right. Um...JUST NO. The girls and I watched her show, and we were just sitting there with our mouths open. I think if you are going to help other people organize their lives, then you have to first understand how they live and what they value - not expect them to organize their lives according to what you value. It just makes no sense to me.

Jan 15, 10:22am Top

My cousin Susan in Minnesota and I have just been having a FB conversation about Kondo. We have concluded that a) she has no idea what life is about; and b) she has a very skewed concept of "joy". Susan is contemplating writing a book called "Maxify Your Life". I told her she could use photos of my house if she wanted them.

Jan 15, 10:24am Top

>69 laytonwoman3rd: I love this!!

Jan 15, 10:31am Top

le sigh

thread three already?!

Jan 15, 10:31am Top

>3 richardderus: Oh no! Another book challenge. Now I'm going to have to challenge myself! (I rarely finish these challenges, but like coming up with ideas for what to read for the challenges by taking things off my bookshelf (if I can). That gives me a variety of choices for a year that I would likely spend reading the same genre over and over. :)

Jan 15, 10:49am Top

I was introduced to this Marie Kondo person just this morning, via a political blog I follow. Thirty books, eh. I've got at least that piled next to the bed. I should add that views of Miss Kondo were uniformly negative. Someone contributed a link:

Jan 15, 10:50am Top

I don't understand why Kondo seems to be all the rage NOW. I read her first (and only, for me) book a few years ago when it first came. That was more than enough for me. I rarely yell at books out loud but I did with hers. I think Mamie got it exactly right in >68 Crazymamie:. I think a lot of us like the *idea* of decluttering and minimalizing, but the reality of it, especially for us bookish types, well, I would venture to say that in North America, most people can't fold and stand on end their entire lives into one drawer, as Kondo seems to think necessary.

A more realistic approach, if one needs a book to help out, is Peter Welsh's Does This Clutter Make my Butt Look Fat. He, at least, is sane... (I didn't succeed with that one, either but at least I wasn't screaming at him)

Jan 15, 1:10pm Top

>73 weird_O: "Why not donate them to the library? That way they'll still be there whenever you want them -- "

If it gives you more encouragement to keep your books -- no, they won't. Because we librarians are putting that stuff right in the Friends booksale. Sorry.

Not, of course, that anyone needs encouragement to keep their books as long as possible like any reasonable person.

Jan 15, 1:24pm Top

>1 richardderus: Damn that is a gorgeous car.

>46 richardderus: Richard, you have GOT to watch 'Tidying Up with Marie Kondo' on Netflix, she bounces and jetés and warbles like a Disney animated character. She hops for gawdssake! I've never seen anyone so relentlessly agreeable. She's like the tidiest geisha ever.

But srsly, that 30 books thing is just whack.

Jan 15, 1:27pm Top

>64 Berly: :)

>65 humouress: #40--if he did, he shoulda said so!
#56, #59 Your husband is the opposite of my former suitor, who read library books or bought books then gave them away when he reached an arbitrary and infinitely movable tipping point.
#51 Oh, he's around here somewhere. *smooch*

>66 quondame: They certainly are! BJ's comics collection was a thousand or so titles. Should've been no problem to store, I do it all the time.

HA! They *ate*the*world*!

Jan 15, 1:32pm Top

>67 ChelleBearss: A bit extreme is a very polite way to say "the woman's a wack job!"

>68 Crazymamie: She's what many many people crave: An Authority. She's confidently, assertively wrong, but being that confident and assertive, she's automatically Right to some. To be fair there are really needy people who can encounter this voice of authority and have the realization that she's singing in their key. Takes all sorts...which I think gets lost in these crazes.

>69 laytonwoman3rd: I'd like six copies of Maxify Your Life, please. I'll put them on my shelf next to the copies of my cookbook, Start with a Stick of Butter.

Jan 15, 1:36pm Top

>70 Crazymamie: Me too!

>71 mckait: Thread two, dearest, not three. *smooch*

>72 The_Hibernator: This one appealed to me for some reason, Rachel, and I can see the logic of reducing the load...just not down to thirty...but a spur to goad my clearing out isn't unwelcome. It comes with a sense of accomplishment. Makes it so much less like work.

I hope.

>73 weird_O: Bibliophibians. Yes, that's exactly it, Bill. I am a bibliophibian, having been raised by a mother who was a big reader.

Jan 15, 1:39pm Top

I say no to Kondo! Ha 30 books! If I'd own her book, it would be the first out of the door! However, she does know how to fold a t shirt :)

Edited: Jan 15, 1:42pm Top

>74 jessibud2: The issue for me is simple: Why would I want such a life, Miss Kondo? What nonsense it is to say, "this is the life you must lead," at least to the majority of people. If her rules were made mandatory on pain of punishment, I'd be constantly punished.

>75 swynn: I know that's what happens to books donated to libraries so I quit. Now that I'm faced with the consequences of that decision, I'm wavering....

>76 SomeGuyInVirginia: It's a royal beauty, alrighty all right! I sampled a few minutes of her show and didn't find her agreeable at all, rather "bouncy" and "chirpy," two extremely disagreeable qualities.

I could not possibly agree more.

>80 figsfromthistle: I didn't make it that far into the show, but that is one useful skill. Maybe...NO! WHAT AM I THINKING?!

Jan 15, 3:11pm Top

>78 richardderus: Butter, yes. I know 2 fabulous 3 ingredient sauces that all start with that sentence.

To be be fair to my comic collecting husband I have dolls. Most are currently packed away, but there is an increasing collection starting in that far corner there who have jumped the barrier and are standing about (Daniel Craig and Gal Godot) on the next shelf over (blocking access to Li'l Abner reprints). The miniature tools only take up a drawer, for now.

Jan 15, 3:58pm Top

I have more than 30 books in the trunk of my car.

Jan 15, 4:29pm Top

>82 quondame: I'm seeing clutter in my mind's eye, and I am liking it.

>83 SomeGuyInVirginia: One never knows when the worldwide book drought of Stasia's nightmares will occur, or where one might be at that moment.

Jan 15, 4:44pm Top

I love clutter. My books are surrounded by lots of clutter.

Jan 15, 4:48pm Top

>85 BBGirl55: *hi5* my kinda Britgal.

Edited: Jan 15, 5:00pm Top

>56 richardderus: you flatter me. My book shelves are full of not just books but figurines, Magic 8 balls, photos, bubble bath bottles, many many mugs that hold everything from bookmarks and paint brushes to loose change, batteries and sonic screwdrivers.. if there is space it will go on the shelf.

Jan 15, 5:15pm Top

>87 BBGirl55: *chuckle* I can see it now.

Jan 15, 5:37pm Top

>88 richardderus: trying to share a pic but none of the ways I have tried will let me.

Jan 15, 7:18pm Top

Hi RD! Sorry, you are having a tough day. Has it improved at all? If not, can you drink alcohol? I am sure you are on meds. Hope you can relax this evening.

Jan 15, 7:55pm Top

I seen a lot about Kondo on the threads lately. She has been around for a while from what I can see. Did she just come out with her edict on how many books you should keep recently. She is clearly delusional!

Jan 15, 8:29pm Top

I'll stick up for Kondo, just to be contrary. I'm sure her method works for some people. Good for them. As long as no one is *forcing* me to follow her edicts, why would I care?

Hello, Richard! I'm holed up in my hotel room, cruising the threads, and watching crap TV Iwould never watch at home. And avoiding any more Tex-Mex for the foreseeable future.

Jan 15, 9:42pm Top

Tuesday Smooch!!

Jan 15, 11:00pm Top

I think the new Kondo buzz is because of her Netflix show. I read her book also several years ago when it was first making the news. And I like her folding method because I have very few closets (limited hanging clothing) and I can fit half again as many clothes in a drawer and SEE them ALL when I do so. It allows me to keep more clothes because I subscribe to Dana White's mantra of you can keep whatever you can fit into the space you have!

Jan 16, 12:41am Top

>94 ronincats: Ahh. There was an article in the papers here about the Kondo method of decluttering. So I hurriedly turned the page before my husband could see it. I might look into her folding method, if you say you can fit more, but I'm loathe to change from my method, since I'm a creature of fixed habits.

Jan 16, 8:56am Top

>73 weird_O: "Love!" May we all aspire to be bibliophibians.

Hope today's a better one for you, Mr. D.

Jan 16, 9:20am Top

Good morning, RichardDear! I hope you're doing better this morning, sucking down prodigious amounts of coffee and eating something scrumptious.

Edited: Jan 16, 10:02am Top

>89 BBGirl55: Bryony, have you resorted to the old-fashioned way? {img src="PASTE THE ADDRESS HERE"height=400} and replace the braces "{}" with pointy brackets.

>90 msf59: I went to sleep early. That's the best way to stop having a nasty day. Hope your Humpday load is light.

>91 Familyhistorian:, >94 ronincats: She's not a tyro, her first book came out in the US five years ago, but the current level of notoriety came with her Netflix show. I watched the first one. I do not like her.

Jan 16, 9:29am Top

>92 katiekrug: Yay for what works! Boo for boosting foolishness in the faces of the manifestly unfit (eg, biblioholics).

>93 Berly: Hi Kimmers, happy to see you. *smooch*

>95 humouress: Hide all printed material re: Kondo from your husband! If you can bribe one of the boys to program a parental control to eliminate cybermentions of her, that'd be extra insurance against his infection with the KonMari virus.

Jan 16, 9:35am Top

Happy Wednesday, Richard! I'm a happy bibliophibian myself, but with limited space in a two-room apartment, I do try to keep clutter down and have gotten to a "buy new clothes, get rid of some old" place because I just don't have room for any more. Every available wall space had bookshelves, though, so it's like living in my own little library and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Jan 16, 9:51am Top

>96 jnwelch: Couldn't possibly agree more, Joe. It's started out with a better bang, has Wednesday, so the auguries are good.

>97 karenmarie: Not quite ready to eat, but the coffee part's well in hand, thank you Horrible. I made the pot and, while balancing the milk jig to pour in some tummy medicine, decided to treat myself to a black coffee day. Much more satisfying.
I'm all set to get outdoors! Not. It's cloudy and I don't wanna. Things are aching, nostrils are stuffy (conifer pollen allergy), skies are cloudy, nope. I'll eke out this last bit of butter, the dregs of the pickle jar, and the last hot dog will do just fine cut into rings for mac'n'cheese.

Tomorrow is another, brighter, day.

Jan 16, 10:05am Top

What the hell, LT?!? A post just vanished!!

>96 jnwelch: A-women, Joe. I am all about bibliophibian-osity. It's a lot better today, thankfully, and I'm coddiwompling thitherward without haste.

>97 karenmarie: *smooch* Two pots brewed...now reducing the second pot's leftovers to make mocha icing for the YGC's cake.

>100 bell7: Hi Mary! Two-room personal libraries are The Bomb. *smooch*

Jan 16, 10:49am Top

Came over here to check up on you, and I am happy to hear that Wednesday has started out with a better bang. Good thinking to stay in. *double smooch*

Jan 16, 10:57am Top

>103 Crazymamie: Hiya Mamie, thanks for checking on me. I'm happily shouting at the current political news, banging my fist on every single thing I can while spouting imprecations against various national figures, and attempting to understand why "...and it shows" is the Meme of the Moment.

Status quo, in other words.

Jan 16, 11:01am Top

Yep. That is Birdy and I Every. Single. Morning.

Jan 16, 11:05am Top

Doesn't help anything, does it. Darned ol' reality. Still resisting my strenuous efforts to reshape it into something attractive and appealing.

Jan 16, 4:59pm Top

I've slowed waaaay down in the collecting of books due to lack of funds. Most come in around Christmas via gifts from family, friends, and SantaThing. I think I got a good two dozen. I don't collect anything else.

Well, I DIDN'T. *gives Crazymamie the side-eye*

But *somebody* gave me a couple Harry Potter Fantastic Beast Legos for Christmas. Then I had to buy four more. And it's taking every I have to wait until February to buy more. (I'm allowing myself four per month.)

Jan 16, 5:05pm Top

>107 Morphidae: Heh. She's evil like that, our Mamie.

Jan 16, 6:29pm Top

>98 richardderus: I have... it's a pain

Jan 16, 6:46pm Top

5 Coming Through: Three Novellas by David Helwig

Rating: 4.5* of five

The Publisher Says: Writer David Helwig's place in Canadian Letters spans practically every realm, from novels, short fiction, poetry, and plays, to essays and reportage. Helwig is one of the generation of writers including Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, and Michael Ondaatje to achieve wide critical acclaim and popular following in Canada. Even so, Helwig remains virtually unknown in the United States. Bunim & Bannigan is pleased to present for the first time Coming Through, a unique collection of three tightly crafted novellas of remarkable variety and versatility. These wise, whimsical, and mordantly funny stories by an under-appreciated master writing in his favorite genre are sure to delight American readers.

My Review: I haunt Wikipedia. I like its "Recent Deaths" obituary aggregation feature. I learned of David Helwig's existence from it, and being a CanLit fancying Murrikun, I looked on my county library system's catalog to see what they had. This collection of three novellas made the cut.

I am not surprised Helwig is unknown in the US after reading them. These are excellent pieces, well made, but of the literary world's least popular area: The Quiet Room. There are no pyrotechnics here. Helwig committed the sin of being born male, so he had no natural constituency lobbying for him to receive attention as did fellow short-fiction mavens Alice Munro or Mavis Gallant. I knowingly commit literary heresy when I say this: He's every bit as talented and accomplished a storyteller as either of them.
Perhaps I have never grown beyond my young days, when every attractive young girl was a promise of the paradise garden, when I expected so much, gladdened by an eyebrow, a nose, a hank of hair, a breast, falling in love twice a day, never satisfied.

A great splash of roses...with that self-satisfied air that florist's roses always have, cosmetic abundance, the cryogenic look of a movie star after a successful facelift.

These from The Man Who Finished Edwin Drood
This short work is a uniformly excellent telling of the wages of sin. We are all monads, singular and indivisible units of universal life, for when we are divided, we are destroyed. "Wicked Uncle" (and how quickly that self-description palled!) learns, re-learns, ultimately owns his wholeness as his wronged predecessor dies by him.
Proceeding to some more man-centered prose, I offer:
Now the necktie is growing more unusual...to see three striped ones in this audience is odd almost to the point of that one might consider it ominous. ... Three strips of stripes from the drunken brush of God.

...{L}ife, as we all know, is not a story at all. It is the music of no mind.

I expect that the striped ties will return for the end of the last lecture, as they were here for the beginning of the first. Their pattern of presence and departure is unreadable, but all truth is unreadable until it is the heap of dead facts we call history.

These are from The Music of No Mind
A story that's so deeply sad...a has-been, really a never-was old lecturer in art history delivers three hours of talk over three nights. He speaks about all his hobby-horses, including the rotter whose death got him the gig, who once upon a time stole his wife. Richly allusive, gorgeously pictorial, utterly incomprehensible to one unlearned in the culture of the midcentury & its roots in the Belle Epoque. It badly needs illustrations! The artworks referenced in it won't be familiar to any but those unusually informed about the visual arts.
Finally, these gems:
Moods, the weather of heart and soul.

A vain, foolish man, but weren't they all? Open their zippers and their brains fall out.

Chosen fromA Prayer for the Absent
It is the longest, and to my mind least successful, of the novellas. I wasn't a big fan of Carman Deshane or of Norma; they carry the story, so that's a problem. These two people are well-matched adversaries. Carman's heart is weak; Norma's body got away from her somehow. In the end, they find some end-of-life peace in their sparring. Kind of a modern All in the Family Archie and Edith. I found those two tiresome forty-plus years ago, and their constant bickering was one of the biggest things that shoved me away from regular TV watching for twenty-five years.

Jan 16, 7:21pm Top

>109 BBGirl55: I know...but it works always.

Jan 16, 7:27pm Top


Jan 16, 7:30pm Top

Not quite yet...I suggest using a newly copied address. Sometimes going back to the site where the image lives and double-clicking on the image itself is the best means to copy the address.

Jan 16, 7:37pm Top

Still not working, so tired will work out the kinks tomorrow.

Jan 16, 7:39pm Top

Hm. I wonder if it's the address itself...when you feel up to it, paste the addy you're using into a message plain-text and let me look.

Edited: Jan 17, 5:50am Top

>98 richardderus: There is no space between " and height, should be {img src="PASTE THE ADDRESS HERE" height=400}

>114 BBGirl55: I can see the picture if I open in new tab, so you are nearly there. You used the page URL (http://www.librarything.com/pic/6729934) instead of the address of the picture. Maybe Richard can explain how to get the right address.

>115 richardderus: http://pics.cdn.librarything.com/picsizes/eb/96/eb9695e7ec5c24d637438307277434b4...

Jan 17, 7:38am Top

'Morning RD!


Jan 17, 7:47am Top

>110 richardderus: Sold! I will have to see if I can dig up a copy of that one.

I have decided after reading that woman's views on books, that I am a clutterholic and content to be so.

Edited: Jan 17, 8:43am Top

>116 FAMeulstee: I do not know what it is about LT pics, but this is constantly happening. I've worked on it but can't make the image show. I used to have the same problem, and now I don't upload images to LT because I can never access them again!

>117 karenmarie: Hey Horrible. *coffee sip* What's new. *smooch*

>118 alcottacre: Heh. Why does that not surprise me. Like, in the least. Needless to say, #MeToo.

Jan 17, 8:56am Top

Jan 17, 8:57am Top

Morning, BigDaddy! Sweet Thursday to you. I deny any responsibility for Morphy's latest addiction. *blinks*

Jan 17, 8:58am Top

>119 richardderus: Click with right on the picture and choose "copy address of picture" or choose "open picture in new tab", to get the address of the picture itself.

Jan 17, 9:05am Top

>120 Crazymamie: Perfection!

>121 Crazymamie: HA!! Like you're some sweet, helmet-haired Southern belle with all that innocence! HA!! I say. I know perfectly well you're entirely responsible for Morphy's addiction.

But hey, you're too dear and sweet to be mad at, so...Thrilling Thursday, Mamie dearest! Join me for a slice of sour cream coffee cake with cinnamon pecan streusel?

>122 FAMeulstee: I wonder why it worked for Mamie but not fr me!

Jan 17, 9:11am Top

>123 richardderus: Yes, please! YUM! The "helmet-haired Southern belle" made me snort my coffee - well played.

I have no idea why it worked - I just followed the link Anita posted and plugged it into left carrotimage width="600" src="image address"right carrot, if that makes sense.

Jan 17, 9:14am Top

>124 Crazymamie: It's my memory of all those cans of AquaNet that prevent me from even considering a return to mah homeland.

That's an interesting string. I'll have to try it.

Jan 17, 9:30am Top

Right. You are safe with me as I don't even own any hairspray. You are, however taking me back to my childhood - my mom wore a French twist that was sprayed to within an inch of actual varnish and used to actually get a dent in it if she slept on it wrong. Makes me laugh just thinking about it.

Jan 17, 9:33am Top

Hence the prevalence of rat-tailed combs in the Rexall. Popped those dents out a treat!

*shudder* Unwashed hair gives me heebiejeebies.

Jan 17, 9:40am Top

>127 richardderus: Ha! Yep - me, too, with the unwashed hair.

Jan 17, 9:46am Top

>111 richardderus: Love it. So true.

Jan 17, 9:56am Top

>128 Crazymamie: Especially in the sweat-soaked South.

>129 The_Hibernator: I'm always looking for reminders to be less harsh and judgmental, Rachel, and that one combines a good message with lovely colors and a nice graphic. A spoonful of sugar, doncha know.

Jan 17, 9:59am Top

>130 richardderus: Well, thank goodness I did not have to live with my mother in the sweat-soaked South. YIKES.

Jan 17, 11:21am Top

>131 Crazymamie: Amen amen, I say unto you, A MEN Sister Woman.
I really like this quote from page 58 of Wasteland: The Great War and the Origins of Modern Horror:
"The corpses in the wasteland of past and present haunt us. We are still in Eliot's land of the dead, imprisoned in Kafka's penal colony, running from the unexplained rage of the golem, listening to Lovecraft's drumbeat of horror, and shivering in the chilly shadow of Grau and Murnau's Nosferatu. We cannot awaken from history."

Jan 17, 11:44am Top

Jan 17, 12:11pm Top

Hi again!

>123 richardderus: So glad I don't have sour cream in the house. It's not worth a 17-mile round trip to get some. Whew!

>133 richardderus: What!? How!? Why, that's me. Are you mellowing in your old age by including a you-know-what?

Edited: Jan 17, 2:29pm Top

>114 BBGirl55: >116 FAMeulstee: >120 Crazymamie: There is so much Yes! on that shelf. Alas, my Scarlett Barbies are hidden somewhere NRFB. The hedgehog pic is the cherry on top!

>136 Fixed?

Edited: Jan 17, 2:31pm Top

>134 karenmarie: I just ignore the c-a-t. It's not a photo, so it doesn't trigger psychosomatic wheezes and sneezes.

>135 quondame: The shelf is actually in >114 BBGirl55: Bryony's house, Susan...Anita and Mamie and I were working out a way to post the photo for her since my HTML solution didn't turn the trick...we got there. Yes, the shelving is replete!
I went to the library today so I could drop off some and pick up a few more. Unlike my customary mild struggle to get the too-many-renewals batch over-renewed (they can do this but usually make me listen to a lecture), Christiana renewed them all and said, "when the storm's over bring them back but until then no fines." A very, very pleasant change from the ordinary!

On my way home from there, I always stop in at the fruitstand to see if they've got any hurt apples or pears for me. I was heading inside to pay $1 for 5 slightly dinged apples when the counter lady (she has no name, none of us who shop there know it and she refuses to answer if one asks) Lit UP when she saw me...she saved six about-to-go nectarines for me! She knows I love them. I can afford one or two a month ($6 a pound = 2 nectarines, umm no not even weekly). She sold them to me for $1!

I ate one, yummo, and texted Rob that I would make nectarine upside down cake, was he interested? I got a photo back of him drooling. Heh.

Jan 17, 2:54pm Top

Jan 17, 3:26pm Top

Oh no!!! A squid squad. I laughed out loud on that one and scared our senior .. ah.. er.. feline.

Jan 17, 3:55pm Top

"Look, Martha! A squad of squid!" "Albert, you silly old fuffertut, it's a SQUID SQUAD!"

The elder statescat mustn't be riled, now, who knows what could happen.

Jan 17, 4:04pm Top

Can't remember if you were the one to get us all started on Marie Kondo, Richard, but a friend on another book site I am on just posted this and I figured your thread is a good place to (re)post it, since everyone comes by here anyhow. It cracked me up:


Jan 17, 4:47pm Top

>140 jessibud2: Shelley, that's absolutely wonderful!

Jan 17, 4:54pm Top

We should form a committee to get it called a squad.

Jan 17, 5:26pm Top

And another thing, the problem with that joy/stuff thing is that most of the things that bring me joy belong to other people, and they get really pist if I try and give it away for them. As does the state of Maryland. Don't ask.

Jan 17, 5:32pm Top

>139 richardderus: When the elder statescat gets riled either he runs around like a kitten bouncing off the walls and zooming up and down the stairs or he gets confused and yowls until one of us 'finds' him and brings him into the family circle.

Edited: Jan 17, 5:41pm Top

>140 jessibud2: I think I'm the guilty party, and have I been hearin' about it on Goodreads! ::eyeroll::

I dote on Tom Gauld.

Jan 17, 5:50pm Top

>141 karenmarie: I adore him.

>142 SomeGuyInVirginia: The Squids in Squads Squadron.

>143 SomeGuyInVirginia: Color me intrigued....

>144 karenmarie: At his age, damn right you go find him.
So my nectarine upside down cake is crockpotting away. The InstantPot does better with cake mix cakes for some reason and do NOT let anyone tell you it's as good as a bread machine cuz Uncle Daddy here is gonna shut that one down. It'll do for quick breads like banana nut bread etc. Loaf-bread? Not so much. Three tries, one with no-knead, one with knead, one with lower-gluten einkorn flour. Edible but just barely, weird texture yuckiness, slight hint of underdoneness in the einkorn-flour loaf.

*sigh* I want a new bread machine! I put one in my Ammy cart, then came the shutdown so I don't know if I'll have grocery money in February...I hope so, but I ain't takin' chainces! Proctor-Silex won't stop shipping just yet, even though this model's made in China.

I am not enjoying the wider world these days.

Jan 18, 12:57am Top

>136 richardderus: Oooh nectarine love! How wonderful.

Jan 18, 7:56am Top

>145 richardderus: LOVE! I bet he'd let us have more than 30 books, too.

Jan 18, 10:55am Top

>147 AuntieClio: It was lovely nectarine goodness, as well. I'm so pleased with the way it turned out. I use Alice Waters's upside-down cake recipe from The Art of Simple Food because, well, I've tried several and her method makes the most consistently moist and flavorful cake; it took to the crockpot amazingly well.


>148 jnwelch: Heh. I'm sure of it, Joe.
Last night's upside-down cake was, as I said to Stephanie, lovely. The YGC took most of it home so I won't turn into a woolly mammoth from overindulgence, but I got my doted-on edge bits with the slightly crispy sugar topping. Cakes need to be soft, but I'm not a soft-food fancier, so wherever I can find some textural contrast is where I'm happiest.

How lucky I am that I have access to these appliances, to the food I can turn into eating that my fellow denizens don't have, and someone I want to share it with. So many of the inmates don't even have friends among the population here, let alone people in the outside world who care about and for them. It's a source of ongoing gratitude for me to have this life.

Jan 18, 11:47am Top

>149 richardderus: I'm glad you feel lucky to have what you have, Richard. It is very lonely living an isolated life, as you say. I often wonder what happened to the family members of such isolated people. :(

Jan 18, 12:19pm Top

Pumpkin pecan pancakes. Because Friday. *smooch*

Jan 18, 1:29pm Top

>150 The_Hibernator: Sad to say, Rachel, I understand why many of the families gave up on these folks. Many have mental health issues that make them hard to manage, many many have addiction problems and the biggest subset of those is tobacco users who are declining mentally and physically from the ravages of smoking. Many more just aren't pleasant company.

I'm happy that I live in a state where these aren't recipes for bridge-dwelling, like Texas (where I'm from).

More? Is there more? I'd like some more, please.

Jan 18, 2:02pm Top

Jan 18, 2:27pm Top

>153 Crazymamie: *happy dance* This is very clearly my ask-and-ye-shall-receive day!

Jan 18, 2:56pm Top

Yes! Yes, I wish this. Doesn't everyone?

Jan 18, 3:52pm Top

Happy Friday afternoon, RD!

>146 richardderus: At his age, damn right you go find him. This afternoon when I got home from running errands he got lost in Bill's home office. I found him, brought him into the Sunroom, let him lick my ice cream bowl, and he's now ensconced in the fleece basket. He's such a Catman.

>155 richardderus: Except Virginia Woolf, of course. *dodges*

It would be underneath the house, accessible from the Library via invisible door. I'd still keep my books upstairs but swap books around periodically. *happy dance*

Jan 18, 3:52pm Top

I think a group of squid should be called a squat

Jan 18, 3:57pm Top

>154 richardderus: *grin*

>156 karenmarie: No, Woolf gets to stay, but Jonathan Franzen can go.

Edited: Jan 18, 4:07pm Top

>156 karenmarie: Ego te excommunicato.

(Unless I get my own key to the library, that is, so I can bring in ALL THE VIRGINIA WOOLF)

>157 magicians_nephew: Ha! That's a fun alternative, Jim.

>158 Crazymamie: No, no, Mamie dearest, Franzen and Foster Wallace and co. should all stay! It's ALL the books.

(Besides, we're bound to need kindling sooner or later.)

Jan 18, 4:22pm Top

*grumbles* Oh, Okay.

You know, it's getting kinda cold in here. Let me just see if I can warm things up a bit. Is that a fireplace I see over on that back wall?

Jan 18, 4:57pm Top

Yep sure is...but gosh golly gee there's not a stick of wood in the place! How *ever* are we going to kindle a blaze?

Oh hey, these are really big books and we've got loads and loads of those so...

Jan 18, 5:04pm Top

Nectarine upside down cake sounds yummy, Richard. I have never heard of David Helwig and I live in the country. My library has oodles of his books but a lot of them look to be poetry.

Edited: Jan 18, 8:57pm Top

>162 Familyhistorian: Wikipedia as literary discovery tool. I'm rolling the dice again with Sam Savage...he died yesterday, I've never heard of him, so I library'd up Glass, his novel about a literary widow who writes a book instead of a Foreword to her dead husband's last novel.

ETA It's interesting to me that you're unfamiliar with Helwig and I got to introduce you to his work...another Canadian of my acquaintance had a similar experience when I brought up Mordecai Richler some years ago, having never heard of or read any Richler. A young Albertan gentleman of my bygone flaneuring days probably stayed in a relationship with me longer than he would otherwise have chosen to because I brought David Quammen and Chesley Bonestell to his attention...and I wanted my books back!

Jan 18, 6:33pm Top

Well, I knew I couldn't get by with keeping Ms. Woolf out. Okay, she can stay, but I just won't look at her books. And of course you may have the Key to the library.

Jan 18, 7:02pm Top

>164 karenmarie: A sensible person knows when to bow to the inevitable. Hey, I didn't even float the idea of keeping Chuckles the Dick's books out.

We really need fuel now that it's winter at last.

Edited: Jan 18, 8:54pm Top

Happy Friday, Richard! I hope you have been feeling better. I really enjoyed Artificial Condition. This is such a fun series.

>145 richardderus: I LOVE the Gauld posts. This guy is such a perfect fit for us, isn't he?

Jan 18, 8:56pm Top

>1 richardderus: I hope I can look anywhere near as good at 70.

Have a great weekend, RD.

Jan 18, 9:00pm Top

>165 richardderus: Hey Mark, I'm better cold-wise but worse joint-wise. *sigh* It just keeps on going, but since it's mid-January it's pointless to grumble since we've finally got winter weather.

I know, like Obama I'd like to have Tom Gauld join our group!

>166 msf59: Ha! Me too, Paul. Hellfire, I'd like to look the human equivalent of that good now.

You as well.

Jan 18, 9:23pm Top

No nectarines for me today. The grocery circular hinted there might be some available but, unsurprisingly, there were none to be had. Also unsurprisingly, the local grocer has done away with the helpful young people who bag groceries and wheel them to Gracie. A mixed blessing this, as they tended to put heavy things on top of squishable things. But now the poor cashier, with help from her grateful customer, has to bag things. Berries were on sale, so all was not a loss.

Plus a venture to the library to pick up a reserve Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow for an upcoming Drink Tank/Journey Planet issue on Hamilton the musical. And a Terry Goodkind book I "bought" on the honor system. No cash with me, so the librarian told me to pay for it next time I'm in. ::gasp::

And *smooches*

Jan 18, 9:28pm Top

Hi Stephanie! Happy weekend stock-up. I'm accustomed to being the bag help by now, though it still rankles.

That issue on Hamilton sounds like it'll be a good one. Will you also re-blog your review when the next issue comes out?


Edited: Jan 18, 10:14pm Top

Hi Richard. I love Canadian literature in general and several rather obscure authors in particular including Elizabeth Hay, Ami McCay, Timothy Findlay, Miriam Toews, Mary Lawson, Wayne Johnston, Guy VanDerhaghe, and Stephen Galloway but hadn’t heard of David Helwig. I’ll be looking for him now. Thanks

Jan 18, 11:50pm Top

Lord, it's almost time for a new thread and I'm just arriving! That Hudson Commodore is beautiful!!

>111 richardderus: Love that.

Reading through, chuckling. I agree that Franzen would be good for providing kindling. Not sure about Foster, having never tried him (because, why?).

Jan 18, 11:51pm Top

p.s. I know the joint pain is simply a fact of life this time of year. I wonder how you'd do in Tucson? It is lovely this time of year (not so much in July).

Jan 19, 12:18am Top

>170 richardderus: we're sorta moving away from other people bagging our groceries for us, I think. Depends on the store, but I'm just as happy to do it myself if it means squishy things stay on top.

Any reviews I write go on the blog too. Articles specifically for the zines are a different matter, not that there are hard and fast rules for any of this. As usual in my life, I think Chris isn't quite sure what to do with me. I seem to be the only contributor organized and ready to go when he gives a deadline.

I think we got the formatting issues figured out and I took the opportunity to create a masthead specifically for work like this.

Jan 19, 12:30am Top

>172 ronincats: I had suspected this was the internet run amok again, hadn't really bothered to follow along in any great detail. Thanks for the links!

When I first heard about the controversy, I thought, "Who are they kidding?" Followed by, "I really want to finish purging my library." Which, you know, you do you.

And that's what I think Marie Kondo's advice might really be, "You do you." Having someone help you get organized and clear out the clutter often opens our eyes to what we've been overlooking. There are days when I realize I've let the recycling pile up a bit and am thankful I caught it before my apartment began to look like Grey Gardens.

Just my reference shelf alone has 30 books on it. I can't imagine paring any of them.

Jan 19, 8:29am Top

>133 richardderus: I love that one!

Happy weekend, RD!

Jan 19, 10:48am Top

"How lucky I am that I have access to these appliances, to the food I can turn into eating that my fellow denizens don't have, and someone I want to share it with. So many of the inmates don't even have friends among the population here, let alone people in the outside world who care about and for them. It's a source of ongoing gratitude for me to have this life."

Ah, that's lovely. I try to remember to be grateful for all the good things in my life, but often fail. Thank you for the reminder.

Stay warm this weekend!

Jan 19, 11:06am Top

'Morning, RD! You were strong to not mention excluding C the D.

My complaint about bagging groceries is that I also now have to put the groceries on the damned conveyor belt and most times put the bags into my cart. That means handling each item a total of 6 times. I understand why grocery stores do it, but I still don't like it.

>172 ronincats: Thanks, Roni! I read the first article, then went to and saved a link in that one about literary identity and reading crises to read later. I'll try to get to the other two today or tomorrow.

*smooch* from Madame TVT Horrible

Jan 19, 6:04pm Top

I just watched the classic film, Clue. (Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd and- that dude who played Saul's brother on 'Better call Saul', i recognised his voice first). It is set in the 1950s and has some cool cars.

>161 richardderus: *gasp*
Lol. I recall your lack of love for Franzen in particular.....

Jan 19, 9:21pm Top

Hello there . . . I finally had some time to actually read all the threads I've starred. Shocking.

>133 richardderus: Love it!

>137 richardderus: Yes!!!

Jan 20, 7:08am Top

>155 richardderus: Love it!
And all nicely ordered please, so I can find the book I need to read ;-)

Jan 20, 7:26am Top

'Morning, RichardDear.


Jan 20, 8:53am Top

Good Sunday morning, Richard! I hope you have a wonderful day, indoors with heat and electricity in all this snow/ice, with lots of books and coffee.

Jan 20, 9:19am Top

Ugh. I hate clutter. I'm only just sorting out after the arrival of Billie the terrible. I'm getting there. I need to tackle and rearrange my bookshelves. The one to the left of the fireplace is almost there, the one on the right is not.

Jan 20, 1:55pm Top

>171 brenzi: We're such weirdos, Bonnie, that we actively look for furrin authors! I'll draw your attention to Richard Wagamese as well, he's written one perfect book called Indian Horse and others I need to get around to...thanks for the reminder!

>172 ronincats: Ignored? When? I responded to you and Meg together in >98 richardderus: above. I'd never ignore you. Not on purpose, anyway.

I accept that she was taken out of context but reject her thesis anyway...a clutterless life might work for some, but her magic and life-changing assertion is evidence enough for me that she has guru tendencies. As to those responding to it being racists, how unutterably tiresome that this "undertone" is seen everywhere. Cry wolf often enough....

Jan 20, 2:02pm Top

>173 EBT1002:, >174 EBT1002: Hi Ellen! Yup, kindling's the only use I've got for those books...and others...so I say it clearly and let the snippish fall over where they may. Tucson and I, in fact all places with deep familiarity of 100° heat, are natural enemies. I do not want to be hot. No thanks. I'll take my lumps here in strong preference to that!

>175 AuntieClio: We done moved, dearie me lass. I haven't seen a bagger in at least a decade. Poor old working people, no further need for them and no one with a soul controlling the levers of the economy to redistribute the income downwards. Makes me ill.

You're working out many other issues and making a splash! This is excellent news.

Jan 20, 2:03pm Top

>155 richardderus: If you had a secret library with all the books in the world in it, the rest of us would have no books to read. We'd have to form a posse to demand you share your treasures. ;-)

Jan 20, 2:05pm Top

Happy Sunday, RD! After, trudging through the snow yesterday, it is nice to just kick back with the books today, in the cozy comfort of the Man-Cave. Football and beer, in my very near future.

Hope you are having a fine weekend.

Jan 20, 2:06pm Top

>176 AuntieClio: Since there is no law forcing me to watch more than the one episode I watched, I'm retiring from the lists.

>177 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle! Me too, I'm almost never lonely when I'm alone. It's deeply satisfying to me. I feel a bit sorry for others who don't have that gift for happy solitude.

>178 katiekrug: I live to serve, Katie. It's been a trudge reaching this point, but if I can reach back and give others something that'll help over the rough spots, I'm a doubly fortunate old man.

Jan 20, 2:18pm Top

>179 karenmarie: I know, right?! Handling things six or seven times is inefficient. Not to mention annoying. *smooch*

>180 LovingLit: Michael McKean. Yep, I remember Clue well. One of the first moments I had a presentiment that getting older was inevitable, since for me Tim Curry will always be Dr. Frank N. Furter. He was...gasp!...Middle Aged in that film! OMG I WILL BE TOO OMG

Ah, youth.

My "lack of love" for...him...is deeper and stronger than that! After the idiocy with Oprah and the truly not-that-great books, well, it's hard not to snort dismissively when I run across praise directed at him.

>181 SuziQoregon: Hi Juli! That ol' thread-keepin-up deal is easier when one just reframes the discussion as "catching up with old friends." Glad to see you!

Jan 20, 2:28pm Top

>182 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! In a library that size there would need to be many, many re-shelving and organizing minions. I sense full employment among the bookish!

>183 karenmarie: Hiya Horrible. *smooch*

>184 bell7: Hi Mary! It's a fully electrified, toastily heated day. I'm light on the books just now because hand pain, but I'm luckily able to access my coffee stash. Happy Sunday!

Jan 20, 2:33pm Top

>185 mckait: Hi Kath! Yeah, your clean-and-simple ethic is a fading aspiration to me. I'm cluttered, and that's how it's gonna stay. BillieBailey's arrival was sure a turbocharge to your decluttering! And I'm richer by a copy of The Woman in White for it. *smooch*

>188 thornton37814: Hi Lori! My bunker isn't entirely sealed...

>189 msf59: Hi Mark! It's been a cold cold one, so I'm cripplin' along, but the fact is it's wintertime so I don't indulge myself in mutters. It's not anything unusual to have a storm in the season PLUS I'm lucky enough not to have to leave my cocoon unless I want to. Win-win!

Jan 20, 3:03pm Top

Interesting discussion here about baggers at the grocery. We are lucky to have a southern grocery chain, Publix, which hasn’t adopted the new practice, and probably won’t in the foreseeable future. Their baggers include older people and many Downs Syndrome people. If time and circs permit, they’ll unload your cart onto the conveyor as well. In slow hours, register clerks bag groceries. No tipping is allowed, and they always offer to go to the car and transfer the bags. Their slogan is “Where shopping is a pleasure,” and it surely is. Everyone from shelf stockers to managers to visiting execs smilingly help you find items.

I don’t like clutter because it makes me anxious, but I believe in choosing your own poison.

Here’s to a wonderful week of reading for all of us.

Jan 20, 3:25pm Top

>194 bohemima: Hiya Gail, wow...I haven't been to Florida in a while so that Publix memory is vanished. The Austin grocery chain is HEB so that's my last clear memory of baggers...though come to think on it, Pathmark had baggers here until c. 2010.
The wintertime ouchies have me firmly in their grip. The rapid weather change did dirt to my swollen joints so I'm spending most of my time sleeping and watching TV. Even the Kindle's a bit too much for me today. The week ahead should bring us back to more ordinary weather so I'm looking forward to that.

Happy new week, all. I'll get around threads as best I can as soon as possible.

Edited: Jan 20, 3:51pm Top

>194 bohemima: I’d say clutter definitely doesn’t make me anxious though it frustrates the heck out of my husband. It’s not that I like clutter per se; it just ... happens.

Though I have managed to clear some books off my bedside table (and can now even see a sliver of the surface) by finishing off some reviews for last year.

>195 richardderus: You’re welcome to some of the heat from Singapore, Richard. It’s been good and hot these past couple of weeks.

Jan 21, 7:10am Top

Hopefully the wintertime ouchies will disappear miraculously.

Jan 21, 8:14am Top

'Morning RD. Brrrr. It's cold here too - 16F.

Do you ever listen to audiobooks? Enquiring minds and all that.

*smooches and gentle hugs* from your own Horrible

Jan 21, 10:07am Top

>194 bohemima: Gail, your post made me laugh because we shop at The Publix, and I get really annoyed when they insist on loading your groceries onto the conveyor belt - I have a system, and I want to do it myself. Also, I don't want my carefully picked out produce to be bruised. And I wish they would let us bag it ourselves if we wanted to - I would LOVE to bag it myself. They are always very friendly and helpful, I just wish those two particular things were optional - they get hurt feelings or else slightly ticked off if I insist on loading the conveyor myself, even if I am very nice about it. I also like to take the groceries to the car by myself, but they are fine with that.

Morning, BigDaddy! You know what day it is, we're going to need us lots of this:

Hoping the winter ouchies are less painful today. *smooch*

Jan 21, 10:13am Top

Dropping by to say hello. Hopefully, the cold weather and your joint pain eases up.

Jan 21, 11:33am Top

That Hudson up top is pretty dandy, RD. But I'd rather have this one:

Edited: Jan 21, 2:11pm Top

>186 richardderus: Oh. ....abject apologies, dear Richard! That's what I get for tracking only the leftmost column.
>187 richardderus: Small town midwest stores still bag and carry out to the car. At least the non-chain grocery in my home town in the middle of Kansas does. No tips allowed, either.

ETA I had to think of you when I saw this yesterday: https://www.gocomics.com/adamathome/2019/01/20

Edited: Jan 21, 2:39pm Top

Hello Richard!

Slow but sure progress on Travelers. I just watched episode with the bombing and assassination. Excellent episode and it cause the bad guy to go on the run. Traveller 001, no less. Very interesting.

Edited: Jan 21, 5:14pm Top

>194 bohemima: A guy with Downs syndrome used to bag groceries at the place I shopped when I lived in DC. I don't know why, I can't remember what I said or did that made him do it, but every time I went there he'd give me a hug. It was nice.

Jan 21, 5:01pm Top

Happy new thread, RD! Continue to love the images of vintage vehicles decorating your threads.

>26 richardderus: - Well, darn on the Pearl Ruled book. ;-(

While I don't follow Kondo's recommendations/ advice, I have been working on downsizing a number of items for the past 14 months. The idea being that I want to be able to "lift and shift" easily should a new job opportunity arise that requires a major move. Sadly, physical books are heavy to move. ;-( So all new book purchases are ebooks only and I am slowly working my way through my physical TBR books so I can then find new homes for those books. So, maybe I am kind of in support of Kondo's ideas, but only because I know I will be moving off this island at some point and don't want to face a huge moving expense if I can avoid it. ;-)

>110 richardderus: - lovely review!

>111 richardderus: - Fabulous! I so need that as a screen saver on my office computer! *stealing*

>146 richardderus: - You have no idea how happy I am to learn that the InstantPot is not the "be all and end all" of kitchen appliances! I am old school: no microwave, just the following non standard kitchen appliances: an electric kettle and a french press (coffee and tea options), a coffee bean grinder, a mini blender (no ice crusher option), a Ninja mini chopper and a toaster/convection oven. Colour me a contented cook. ;-)

Skimmed read my way through so I am pretty sure I missed some other interesting topics, but happy to report that I am all caught up, for now.

Jan 21, 7:26pm Top

>196 humouress: Oh yes please, may I borrow about 20C, please? It's a ghastly, windy -20F wind chill today. I'm wretched.

>197 The_Hibernator: Sadly, Rachel, not on the cards.

>198 karenmarie: No, ear-reading = sleep. No more than 10min and I'm gone.

Jan 21, 7:30pm Top

>199 Crazymamie: Oh dear, Mamie, it'd escaped me that this was Baja Tuesday. It's been a struggle to do anything for several days so today I just didn't.

>200 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita, it'll get better when the weather does.

>201 weird_O: Hello Bill! Those Hornets were amazing. I drove a 1953 version...not racing spec, but still pretty lively by the standards of the day.

>202 ronincats: *tsk* Shortcuts will always cut you in the end. I oughta know. *smooch* I can see why you thought of me, all right. Heh.

Jan 21, 7:42pm Top

>203 brodiew2: It's a series worth taking one's time over, so that slow-but-sure trip is the best idea. And the Big Baddie...well, I am not in any way sorry that one's on the run. I'm looking forward to a condign fate being meted out.

Although I completely understand the whys, the hows make me madder'n a wet hen.

>204 SomeGuyInVirginia: That's a charming memory! Impossible to know what impact we have on others, either good or bad.

>205 lkernagh: I can see a practical person's hand in this, for certain, but it's not like I think this "do it this way for true happiness" guru is anything less than culpable. Setting one's self up as any kind of guru lets one in for all the blame that comes with it as well as the praise.

The InstantPot and I are besties, but it's not perfect. I'm so pleased to be able to saute ingredients, and some other things, that its flaws are forgivable. Especially in the absence of a kitchen. I go to Rob's in order to have a semi-normal kitchen. A tiny one, but more than I have.
Bad, nasty few days, today's the worst. Tomorrow promises to be better, so I hope to be better as well.

Jan 21, 7:53pm Top

>208 richardderus:- Sorry to learn that today has not be a good one. I agree with your comments and happy that InstantPot has good, practical uses! Take care of yourself. *smooch*

Edited: Jan 21, 10:22pm Top

Have some desert heat. Weather in Singapore is overcast and cool today, at 29°C.

Jan 22, 10:22am Top

I'm sorry the cold is affecting you so badly. Fingers crossed for the warm-up!


Jan 22, 1:42pm Top

So sorry the weather is hard on you, Richard dear. Sending warm thoughts across the Atlantic.

Jan 22, 2:04pm Top

Feel better soon, Richard!! Think WARM

Jan 22, 2:46pm Top

>209 lkernagh: Lori, it's a lifesaver for someone who wants to eat a normal diet. I'm not likely to want to eat the super-high-carb diet here.

>210 humouress: Ha! Thanks for the Hudson photo, Nina, made me chuckle.

>211 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie, today's better and that's what I'm after.

>212 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita, much greater warmth today!

>213 jessibud2: Thank you, Shelley, it's a warmer day indeed.

Jan 22, 2:53pm Top

The howling wind and icyfreezycold is passed, thank goodness, and I'm slowly regaining speed. Who knew 30° would feel comfy?! After feeling like it was -20° for several days it's a huge positive change. Tomorrow and Thursday promise to be cloudy and drizzly but back up to ordinary highs of 40°. Take it I shall.

No reading done, no ability to hold a book or even a Kindle. Netflix and Prime are doubtless gleeful at my constant consumption over the past few days. I'll wander about the threads soonish, see what y'all've been gettin' up to in my absence.

Jan 22, 3:11pm Top

Glad you're doing better, RD. TV and sleep do have their place, for sure.


Jan 22, 3:33pm Top

>216 karenmarie: TYVM, Horrible dear. *smooch*

Jan 22, 6:48pm Top

I have an abuelo lying on the floor under my kitchen sink trying to fix the leak. And by fix, I mean replace the entire faucet. He is unattended and I am just sitting quietly at my computer doing my best not to fret about this whole enterprise.

Hope the weather lets up soon.


Jan 22, 6:51pm Top

>218 AuntieClio: Thanks, sweetness! I'm loads better today and expect to be able to walk to the library and back tomorrow...round trip 1.1 miles. I'll take my rolly-cart so I don't send myself to the hospital trying to carry eight (8) books back.

Gawd, I'm a greedy old reader.

Jan 22, 7:37pm Top

>219 richardderus: Aren't we all greedy readers of some sort?

Jan 22, 7:53pm Top

I suppose so. It's in the readerly DNA.

Jan 22, 8:25pm Top

Hi Richard! Glad your weather is slowly heating up again. Brrrr! Hope your cold is over and the joints feel better, too. A miserable combo if ever, especially if even holding a Kindle is too much. Have fun drooling over books at the library tomorrow. Smooches. : )

Edited: Jan 22, 8:29pm Top

>222 Berly: Thanks, Berly! I get around the barely-sub-lethal drooling issue by never moving past the circulation desk. I drop off the reads, pick up the holds, and hotfoot it outta there. Otherwise All Would Be Lost.

Jan 22, 8:32pm Top

>223 richardderus: Ah ha! A brilliant plan to prevent death-by-drooling. You are never lacking in the brains department. ; )

Edited: Jan 22, 8:46pm Top

>224 Berly: Heh...Self-Preservation ᴙ Me.

Jan 22, 9:16pm Top

Jan 22, 9:43pm Top

By Stacy Morgan @ Clay Con West 2019

Jan 22, 9:54pm Top

>226 Berly: I only *wish* I could take my midsection inflationary device off.

>227 quondame: How utterly gorgeous! Thanks, Susan!

Jan 23, 12:24am Top

>223 richardderus: Well, when you're picking up 8 books just from the hold section it pays to not get close to temptation. Good to see that you are able to get out and back to reading, Richard.

Jan 23, 11:11am Top

"Everyone Grows Older, Not Everyone Grows Up" Calvin and Hobbes by M.S. Corley

Jan 23, 11:12am Top

>229 Familyhistorian: My willpower will be tested in 3...2...1...

Jan 23, 12:31pm Top

>230 richardderus: - WHOA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hmmm. I am uncertain about this. Of course, Calvin will never grow up, but I am not even sure I want him to grow older. Something about this just seems wrong. I mean, wouldn't that mean he has made it out of first grade... and how will they ever fit onto a toboggan? Or into a rocket....

Oh, Richard....

Jan 23, 12:49pm Top

Hi, Richard. Glad the improvement in the weather has improved things for you.

Jan 23, 1:16pm Top

>230 richardderus: "Like". I'm not sure I'd expect Hobbes to become so serious, though.

Jan 23, 1:28pm Top

>232 jessibud2: I suspect the toys will change, even though they won't quit playing with them.

>233 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry, I'm back from the library and have had 30min to put my feet up so I'm feeling fine.

>234 jnwelch: If Calvin's a muffin, you can't expect him to hang with a cartoon! They'll both get more serious, in one sense, but those two grow up...? Never.

Jan 23, 3:40pm Top

So good to hear you're feeling a bit better.

Jan 23, 3:46pm Top

>236 SuziQoregon: Hi Juli! I am indeed better. I think I overdid it a bit. I walked 1.1 miles round trip to get my 8 library holds, stopped by the fruit stand to pick up packages of hurt fresh apples for a buck, and walked off with some perfect-for-cooking bananas that're presently turning into banana bread in my InstantPot.

Many things hurt again.

I'm delving into The King's Evil, a weird little novel by CanLit biggie David Helwig. Charles I lived out his life in a cottage near Niagara. Haw!

Jan 23, 3:50pm Top

>237 richardderus: well that was rather silly of you. Take care!!

Jan 23, 7:33pm Top

Keep Only 30 Books! Nothing makes me happier than an overstuffed shelf! Security.

Jan 23, 8:12pm Top

>238 SuziQoregon: It was, though it was necessary as there were some that were about to be returned to their originating library. Can't have that!

>239 sibyx: *snort* Foolishness. I must have more books than I can hope to read before they play "Taps" unless I grow 15 more autonomous eyes.

Jan 23, 8:14pm Top

>240 richardderus: that's the only case for immortality I can make

Jan 23, 8:19pm Top

Heh. The only one I'd care to experience is that one. *smooch*

Jan 23, 10:00pm Top

>240 richardderus: I must have more books than I can hope to read before they play "Taps" unless I grow 15 more autonomous eyes.

LOL - Don't we all?

Jan 23, 10:56pm Top

I should hope so!

Jan 24, 1:39am Top

But I think you would need more than one brain for all those eyes reading different things, wouldn't you?

Jan 24, 3:00am Top

I've been awol. It's early in the year but it's been a pig of a couple of weeks. So... hola! Hope the winter ouchies are staying away?

Also, I obviously hadn't popped in for a while so my first unread was >46 richardderus:

There are no words.

Jan 24, 6:20am Top

>219 richardderus: Now that’s thinking ahead. Many’s the time I’ve borrowed on my library card to capacity and then had to juggle 8-10 books in my bare hands. (A case of ‘eyes bigger than...’ )

Jan 24, 7:00am Top

Morning, Richard. Sweet Thursday. I am finishing up a bowl of cereal and my second cup of coffee, before heading out. It looks like we are getting blasted with an arctic blast. Below zero temps late tonight. Send warm thoughts.

I hope you are having a good week.

Jan 24, 8:36am Top

Morning, Richard!
Hope the cold isn't bothering you as much. We've gone from -18c to -3c and while I'm not by any means warm, I'm at least not completely frozen any longer!

Jan 24, 9:18am Top

‘Morning, RDear!

>230 richardderus: I adore that pic of Calvin & Hobbes.

>237 richardderus: I hope that your ‘overdid’ yesterday is all gone.

Here’s a wonderful article about an Octopus Whisperer, in case you haven’t already seen it: Octopus Whisperer

Jan 24, 9:18am Top

>230 richardderus: They both look ... I dunno... rueful, maybe?

Jan 24, 2:11pm Top

Jan 24, 3:27pm Top

>250 karenmarie: Wow, what a wonderful article and video, Karen. I love the "Octopus Whisperer"!

Jan 24, 4:16pm Top

>245 Familyhistorian: No, I don't think so. We possess spare processing power; the bottleneck is the input wetware, the visual receptors and transmitters. I'm game to be the subject of the experiment!

>246 BekkaJo: Hi Bekka! *smooch*

There were plenty of words said, as you saw. And go look at the thing on my Goodreads timeline. Whee dawggie.

>247 humouress: I'm just not physically able to carry heavy weights anymore so I make plans for almost everything I do ahead of the doing. It saves me lots of time and effort, so it's well worth it.

Jan 24, 4:25pm Top

>248 msf59: Warm thoughts:

Resort in the Maldives, with space for us all to hammock out and read after snorkeling and swimming.

It's a week, it's passing...right now it's 52° and raining, tomorrow it'll be 34° and cloudy...wintertime! Whee. My ouchies are under control at last, so I agree that it's Sweet Thursday.

>249 ChelleBearss: -18C is cold, alrighty all right. It'll be about 1.5C here tomorrow. It's not -17F anymore, so I'm callin' it good!! *smooch*

>250 karenmarie: Hidy hoe, Miz Horrible von TVT. My "overdid" got a LONG sleep and I'm human again. I'll wander over to the article in a bit. I have lots to catch up on since the dramatic weather swings ending in a heavy rain caused a cable to fail and isolated me from my beloved cyberspace most of today.

Isn't that a cool image of the guys? I love the idea of Calvin and Hobbes as adult-bodied but still rambunctious and wild kids.

Jan 24, 4:28pm Top

>251 laytonwoman3rd: Heh, I know, I read it as the roguish ruefulness of a guy about to be wildly inappropriate and reveling in the thought.

>252 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel! *smooch*

>253 jnwelch: *gaaah* Now I have to drop everything and go look! Joe...Joe...such a bad influence you are, Joe. Here I was gonna be organized and adult about...
...who'm I kidding? I'm a total self-gratifying adolescent when I come in contact with stuff about my beloved Tentacled Americans.

Jan 24, 8:22pm Top

The King's Evil, page 57: We're reading excerpts from Eikon Basilike, allegedly penned by Charles I though widely presumed to be ghosted for him, in an annotated 18th-century copy, over main character Dross's shoulder:
Freedom, Moderation and impartialitie are sure the best tempers of reforming Councels, and endeavours; what is acted by Faction, cannot but offend more than it pleaseth.
And in the eighteenth-century (is it?) hand is written beside this and along the bottom of the page.
Hard words. He would take from Man what no man has ever agreed to give, and can never, without being less than Man.
Written in 1980s Canada. Author Helwig saw today plainly, based on this evidence! Or is it merely the case that humanity isn't all that original in its collective thinking?

Jan 24, 8:42pm Top

>255 richardderus: Snow is on its way here next week. The estimates I'm seeing are 3.8 to 4.4 inches. The Maldives resort looks inviting! However, I won't really mind staying home with the cats if we get that amount because that will be enough to call off classes.

Jan 24, 9:05pm Top

>258 thornton37814: That's a great net result, then, Lori. I'm happy we only had the proverbial "wintry mix" here today, and no precip predicted through Monday. Anything that *doesn't* produce ice is a Good Thing.

Jan 24, 9:07pm Top

>259 richardderus: Tuesday's when we have the big event predicted although we do stand a chance for some flurries at least on Sunday.

Jan 24, 11:08pm Top

From page 83 of The King's Evil:
It was necessary to invent history in order to invent the future. The sense of necessity in Cromwell and Lenin (and even in Jefferson) springs from an obsession with time, change, an obsession with cause and effect that starts to make the effect seem like the cause of its own cause. The future is the cause of the past, and we play antiquarian games to reassure ourselves that the past is past and different so that we can believe that the future will be different too.

Wool-headed Dross making sense of the world is a somewhat mitigated pleasure to me.

Edited: Jan 24, 11:12pm Top

>261 richardderus: True developmentally as well. If children develop no sense of their own history, the past, they live only in the present and don't develop the cognitive capacity to "invent the future" in the sense of being able to engage in goal-oriented behavior. Sounds very dry but it is ESSENTIAL!!!!

Jan 25, 12:35am Top

>191 richardderus: My "lack of love" for...him...is deeper and stronger than that! After the idiocy with Oprah and the truly not-that-great books, well, it's hard not to snort dismissively when I run across praise directed at him.
Oh no! Tim Curry is a tool? Any more info, or must I Google and take my chances? ;)

>261 richardderus: It was necessary to invent history in order to invent the future.
I agree! The way we set the scene defines, in some ways, how we can talk about the future.

Jan 25, 12:41am Top

>262 ronincats: (also >263 LovingLit: ) Hi Roni! Yes. The sense of one's existence in a context not coterminous with one's measly existence is a crucial piece to the puzzle of identity, ultimately the source of the future's reality.

>263 LovingLit: Heavens no! I referred to Mr. Jonathan Franzen, Literary Naked Emperor.

Jan 25, 3:30am Top

>264 richardderus: Phew. Just Franzen, that old chestnut ;)
I always liked Tim Curry, seen first in Clue by me and then rather shockingly in Rocky Horror. I loved him in Rocky Horror, but as I saw Clue about 15 times in my early teens, it was very cool to revisit it.

Jan 25, 12:05pm Top

Tim Curry is one of my household gods.

Jan 25, 1:00pm Top

>265 LovingLit: I saw Rocky Horror Picture Show well over 100 times. Austin, where I spent the 1970s, was the first place to have a full-blown midnight movie cult around the film. It started in 1976, and so did I! We had a great, great time, the cult grew and grew, Richard O'Brien visited and ultimately world-premiered Shock Treatment (the less successful sequel to RHPS) in Austin.

Never did meet Tim Curry, drat the bad luck.

>266 SomeGuyInVirginia: With ya on that one, Brother Man.

Jan 25, 2:43pm Top

6 The King's Evil by David Helwig

Rating: 4.25* of five

The Publisher Says: Dross stands on the precipice of sanity. One of his last lucid thoughts is that he knows he's going to tumble, shortly, into the abyss of madness. He is drugged by his past, haunted by his mother's madness, addicted to the memories of the woman who rejected him and later died in a hospital cancer ward. He does not know where she is buried.

Trapped in his personal history, Dross packs up his unwieldy body, takes a leave of absence from his work, and moves into his vacationing cousin's house in Niagara. Alone, mesmerized by log fires, Dross doubts if anything can keep him from insanity's beckoning flames.

There is an intruder, however, a knocking on his consciousness, a woman, a stranger with information about his cousin's house. She tells Dross she is a historical researcher and that the house had been razed in 1823 and was rebuilt on the original eighteenth century foundation. He explores the ancient basement one sleepless night. Through a hole in the wall Dross spies another room, deeper than the basement. Hidden there he finds an old book in a locked box, and in the book a secret. The owner was King Charles I who, according to history, was beheaded, but according to the cryptograms and notations in the margin, escaped his recorded fate and lived under another identity on the same foundation where Dross now stands. This is what Dross needs: One small thread of external thought to weave into a web large enough to catch him from his fall. The house in which he cannot sleep, the house in which he consumes too much brandy and too little food, has a history longer and more involved than his own.

Bolstered by a new obsession, Dross sets out to prove history wrong, and in this pursuit he, like Charles I, avoids his own fate.

My Review: I like Wikipedia's "Recent Deaths" obituary aggregation feature. I learned of David Helwig's existence from it. Being a CanLit fancying Murrikun, I sallied forth to the Long Beach Library's ALIScat site and, after discovering there were several Helwig titles available, eenie-meenied Coming Through: Three Novellas. See my review for details of my appreciation for Author Helwig's writing. The title of this work amused me. The conceit of Charles I not losing his head on 30 January 1649 (370 years ago this week) appealed to me. This slim book appeared among the eight holds I needed to pick up at my local library a few days ago, before they were due to be returned to their originating branches. Faithless to common sense's proddings, I jumped it up the queue. I came home to eagerly begin reading the story at once.

I'm a hopalong reader, not ordinarily reading books...even short ones...in one go. A chapter here, a subheading there, is my habit. It's a means of lowering my Pearl-Rule rate from over half of all library books I pick up. This book, however, grabbed me and kept me reading, with interruptions for canoodling with my Young Gentleman Caller when he showed up to surprise me; I then was implored to make us some food in order to prevent his young body from wasting away. At least that's how he presented the situation to me, poor hungry lamb. Despite some dire flap copy (see above), which usually bodes ill for how I receive the book, I dove deep into the story before my starveling was all the way out my door (carrying a hunk of my homemade banana bread as insurance against recurrent malnourishment).

The Freeport library sent me a 1984 Beaufort Books edition, surely one of the last titles they published before pioneering indie book distributor Eric Kampmann's mothballing of the imprint after buying it. (Twenty-four years later Kampmann revived the imprint by publishing OJ Simpson's If I Did It amid much hullaballoo.)

It's a great pity to me that there are only remnant hardcover copies of The King's Evil still available. Bunim & Bannigan, Helwig's Canadian publishers, don't appear to have the rights to this title as they don't list it for sale. But I'm realistic enough to sense that most people with any interest in the quiet pleasures of a bereaved-but-bereft unhusband's descent from grief into madness will most likely do as I did. The library is, in some places anyway, still the best resource for unusual and out-of-the-way older books.

A greatly expanded TL;DR version of this review will go live on 26 January 2019 at my blog.

Jan 25, 9:26pm Top

>268 richardderus: Masterful use of a teaser there, Richard. Good to hear that the YGC had sustenance to take home with him so he didn't succumb to malnutrition.

Jan 25, 10:23pm Top

>269 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg! I'm finally at a point of acceptance on the TL;DR blogged version. I could tinker and fuss until 2029 and never feel it's *right* so I know I need to let it go. It'll go live tomorrow morning at 6:30 EST.

Yes, the frail starveling (all 6ft and 185lbs of him) texted to ask if there could be more banana bread tomorrow as he was concerned he'd "fall out" during his sporting whatever in the absence of it. It's crockpotting away. My roommate isn't excited about that since he 1) doesn't care for bananas and b) can't have any.

Jan 25, 11:15pm Top

>254 richardderus: It's the planning ahead part that gets me.

>255 richardderus: Welcome to my life! I only wish. I was supposed to get a holiday there for my Xtieth birthday but a baby happened. I thought we could do it this year, as it's (X+10)tieth, but said baby and brother have been promised a visit Stateside as a reward, as this is a major exam year.

>266 SomeGuyInVirginia: >267 richardderus: Explains a lot...

>268 richardderus: Sounds intriguing, but not my genre. Wot, no banana bread for me?

>270 richardderus: hope you made extra.

I'll take my life in my hands and ask, Richard, do your roommate and you get on at all? I hope so, since you (presumably) have to see each other every day.

Edited: Jan 26, 7:30am Top

'Morning, RD. Strangeness - it's 4 degrees colder here than where you are. And I have to go out in in it in 45 minutes. Books, yes, but 20F? Here in NC?

Banana bread sounds lovely. Do you put nuts in it? If so, what kind?

Jan 26, 10:09am Top

>271 humouress: Hi there, Nina! I admire your fortitude. Most of us would need a resort vacation at the mere *notion* of becoming a parent at the half-century mark. Kudos for taking it so calmly!

Old Stuff annoys me, but really the problem is he's entering dementia and I don't want to be the one tasked with living his life for him. For now it's still manageable.

Your banana bread, madame:

I was specifically asked to "make the edges crunchy" so I dusted the buttered liner with a bit of plain ol' sugar. Worked fine.

>272 karenmarie: Hey Horrible! I do make male banana bread, using pecans. Here is the recipe I use: https://crockpotladies.com/recipe/crockpot-banana-bread/
My other addition is 1/2t cinnamon.

Rob liked the crunch of the wall-edge bits a lot. He also likes peanut butter on the wedges, something I'd never even considered before.

Jan 26, 10:11am Top

>267 richardderus: Love Rocky Horror. One of the main themes for my teens. I did watch shock treatment, but the only song/thing I can remember is 'Little black dress' -

Well first you go rip rip rip
Then you go snip snip snip
Then you whip in a zip zip zip
And split it up to the hip hip hip

Jan 26, 10:26am Top

>274 BekkaJo: I liked "Bitchin' in the Kitchen" too! The glassy-eyed stares into the shopping-channel screens as they sing, "ooooh Toastmaster" made me guffaw.

Jan 26, 10:48am Top

>273 richardderus: Oi! I'm not that old!

But I may forgive you since you provided banana bread (is that your actual bread?). Crunchy edges? *swoon* YUM! Peanut butter? Haven't tried that.

Jan 26, 10:49am Top

All caught up with you, Richard. Happy Saturday! Your banana bread looks yummy, and I love when the edges are crunchy.

Most excellent review - I had never heard of that one, so thanks for bringing it to my attention. *Saturday smooch*

Edited: Jan 26, 10:55am Top

>276 humouress: Heh

That's not my photo, no indeed, though I wish it was. I like those plates. My finished version looks almost exactly like that. It's surprisingly easy, with a liner, to make those crunchy edges using a minimum of sugar to dust the buttered sides of the bag. The long cooking time would normally cause the sides to absorb the butter and sugar but preheating the crockpot makes it less of a worry.

A moist towel with dried beans in it placed in the crockpot on "high" for an hour before the liner with the mixture goes in. Done and dusted.

>277 Crazymamie: Hiya Mamie! *smooch*

Jan 26, 2:44pm Top

I'm another fan of the crunchy edges. GuessI have several people to fight for them!

Edited: Jan 26, 6:33pm Top

Meg said it well - masterful use of a teaser for that The King's Evil review, and intriguing musings on your blog. Not my cuppa, but I feel edified.

Jan 26, 7:34pm Top

>279 katiekrug: Heh! And Rob has pole position. I've undertaken to make him some brownies with enhancements to make crunchy edges. I'll report results.

>280 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. I think you'd hate the book...you'd have to grow your hair back so it could cause you to go bald with outraged impatience.

Jan 26, 8:46pm Top

I used to attend the midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture show downtown as a kid and we would all get dressed up and bring all kinds of props to let loose during the show. Needless to say, it wasn't the cleanest of theatres, but that wasn't the point. SO much fun!

>273 richardderus: I am hungry now.

Jan 26, 9:14pm Top

>282 Berly: Some sanitized swept sweet-scented suburban sixplex would make RHPS about as much fun as making out in front of your grandma.

I was amazed that 1.75 recipes disappeared down Rob in ~36 hours. He even went looking for more uberripe bananas without any luck!

Jan 26, 9:27pm Top

>268 richardderus: Lovely review, especially with the presence of your YGC. I hope he enjoyed the extra helping of banana bread.

Rocky Horror Picture Show. Oh my. I saw it probably only a couple dozen times. One of the more memorable was in about 1980 when a couple college friends and I invited our two Sociology professors to go see it with us. We explained that it seemed like a good study of pop culture and crowd behavior. It was tremendous fun although it was probably also the only time I saw it without the assistance of THC. ;-)

Jan 26, 9:47pm Top

>268 richardderus:. Again you manage to draw me in with a cogent and tantalizing review Richard. And for a book I may not even be able to acquire. I may have to start a collection just for the books you recommend.

I hope the upcoming cold weather doesn't increase your pain again. Maybe you aren't getting what's coming my way by Wednesday.

Jan 26, 11:20pm Top

Does anyone else remember the "Z" channel? In the early 80s Rocky Horror Picture Show played on it a lot. I watched, a lot, entirely unaware of theaters full of toast throwers. Because it was on just about every day I never taped it. Stupid me.

Jan 27, 12:19am Top

I forgot to tell you I picked up a copy of Rod Duncan's new book, The Queen of All Crows, this week when we went by Mysterious Galaxy. It is now residing on one of my newly organized TBR shelves.

Jan 27, 4:02am Top

Big waves from over the pond before you'll set up a new thread.

Jan 27, 6:06pm Top

>284 EBT1002: Hi Ellen, I wasn't a big consumer of THC. I was usually ethanol'd into mellowness almost all the time, though.

Rob was very worried about me today, I was really miserable with this cold and yet insisted (in my pigheaded way) on going to the grocery store and the library. He said nothing, just showed up at the store, accompanied me around, carried stuff, and steering me back to his place and made me comfy to sleep it off. I just got back from there.

>285 brenzi: Hi Bonnie! It's still available from Ammy, though not in huge numbers. I suspect that you might not be a huge fan of the story, it's really a clueless arrogant Man's descent into a tantrum because he doesn't get his own way.

>286 quondame: Yes indeed, Susan, Channel Z was a phenomenon in 1970s/1980s LA. It was never available outside the metro area, and never had much more than 350,000 subscribers. Couldn't you just kick yourself for all the goofups you made back in your youth!

>287 ronincats: Hey there, Roni! I know Rod would be pleased. I'm going to put up my review of The Outlaw and the Upstart King, second of the current trilogy, very soon.

>288 Ameise1: HI THERE BARBARA!

Jan 27, 6:39pm Top

> 289 Oh you mean a story about nearly every American male??? Lol.

Jan 27, 10:04pm Top

Poor RD. Rob is the bestest for taking care of you. Now, follow up like a good boy and take better care of yourself. Is there no way to get rid of Old Stuff?

Jan 28, 12:48am Top

Very intriguing review of The King's Evil, Richard. Madness and secret history ... yum. Too bad about some of the tone-deafness. Copies seem pretty scarce: it's not held in either of the library consortia I have access to. Glad you were able to find a copy & share.

Jan 28, 9:49am Top

I hope today is better for you.

Jan 28, 10:13am Top

Checking in after a too long absence, RD :)

>145 richardderus: Love it!

>155 richardderus: Amen, amen, and amen!!

>230 richardderus: I love Calvin and Hobbes!

>268 richardderus: Adding that one to the BlackHole!

Jan 28, 12:55pm Top

YGC has come a long way, what a gem he is.


Jan 28, 1:07pm Top

Hope you're feeling better today.

Jan 28, 2:35pm Top

Feel better soon, Rdear.

Edited: Jan 28, 4:23pm Top

>255 richardderus: Oh, if only. We've got a snow day. Like I said on my thread, my whole day has been taken up by working on my thread, feeding and soothing my baby, and feeding the kids nutritious meals and snacks. Ugh!

Hope you're feeling better!

Jan 29, 8:29am Top

*smooch* from Madame TVT Horrible

Jan 30, 12:04pm Top

Aaargh... missed a whole thread again. Errr... great food pictures (must make banana bread, why didn't I buy bananas today?!?), I want to be on the Maldives right now, and while I need to learn to declutter better and more regularly, this will not extend to my books!
I love looking at real estate ads with room pictures, and only in about 1 of 50 cases I see a real well-stocked book shelf. Always big TVs, but rarely literature. Imo places with books look so much nicer and not messy at all. (my mum sees that differently, in their new place almost all books have disappeared from view)

>289 richardderus: I see you have a cold, get better soon please!

Jan 30, 1:47pm Top

I am not, the virus's best efforts aside, dead. I'll make a new thread later today. Thank you all for visiting! A huge, germless *smooch* from the safety of the screen.

This topic was continued by richardderus's third thread of 2019.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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