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Katie Commits to Nothing in 2019, Part 5

This is a continuation of the topic Katie Commits to Nothing in 2019, Part 4.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Feb 11, 8:56am Top

Image by de Gobuji

Hello Old Friends and Welcome New Ones!

I'm Katie, and I've been with the 75ers since 2011. I live just outside New York City with my husband, "The" Wayne, and our cat, Leonard. I work from home for a global engineering association, which allows me to scratch my travel itch a few times a year. In addition to reading and traveling, I enjoy taking advantage of all that my current location has to offer, from bars and restaurants to theater and museums to seasides and mountainsides. I lived 12 years in "exile" in Texas and am glad to be back in the northeast :)

My only "goal" for this reading year is to not have any goals. I am hoping to read more of the 3500 books I currently own rather than shiny new ones, but I'll just be happy with a year of excellent reads, regardless of where they come from.

Edited: Yesterday, 9:25am Top

(audio) (print) (Kindle)

Off my shelf (pre-2019): 5
Off my Kindle (pre-2019): 2

18. Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco (audio) (4 stars)
17. Dream When You're Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg (3 stars)
16. Lucky Suit by Lauren Blakely (audio) (3.5 stars)
15. Enlightening Delilah by M.C. Beaton (audio) (3 stars)
14. The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut (4 stars)
13. The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie (4 stars)
12. Murder in an English Village by Jessica Ellicott (audio) (2.5 stars)
11. The Garden Party by Grace Dane Mazur (4 stars)
10. In the Sea There Are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda (audio) (3 stars)
9. The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld (4 stars)
8. The Governess Game by Tessa Dare (4 stars)
7. Blood on the Forge by William Attaway (4.5 stars)
6. Boo by Neil Smith (audio) (3 stars)
5. The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwan (3.5 stars)
4. Good Neighbors by Ryan David Jahn (4 stars)
3. A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh (audio) (3.5 stars)
2. By the Book by Julia Sonneborn (3 stars)
1. Going Back by Penelope Lively (3.5 stars)

1. Eucalyptus by Murray Bail

Edited: Feb 11, 8:57am Top

My Ratings (revised, once again, as I continue the fruitless search for the perfect scale...)

2 stars = below average
3 stars = average
4 stars = above average
5 stars = perfect *for me*

(Anything below 2 stars is unlikely to be finished)

Edited: Feb 11, 9:03am Top

A Book You Should Read
(A new, regular feature on my threads...)

Pride, Prejudice and Jasmin Field by Melissa Nathan

I remember really enjoying this fun re-telling of P&P set in contemporary London. Nathan wrote smart rom-coms - I enjoyed every one I read, but this was probably my favorite. Unfortunately, she died at a relatively young age from breast cancer in 2006.

Edited: Feb 11, 9:02am Top

And with that, this thread is open for business!

Feb 11, 8:57am Top

6/5 Hi.

Feb 11, 9:02am Top

Happy new one!

Feb 11, 9:03am Top

>6 richardderus: - Hi!


Feb 11, 9:03am Top

>7 figsfromthistle: - Thanks, Anita!

Feb 11, 9:17am Top

>8 katiekrug: Oh GAWD yes, it's a double-pot day over here. TYVM

Feb 11, 9:24am Top

Happy new thread, Katie. Hope you're feeling better and are ready and raring to face the week. >:-)

Feb 11, 9:30am Top

Happy new thread! >4 katiekrug: Making a note of this one as Austen retellings are one of my favorite reading projects!

Feb 11, 9:32am Top

>10 richardderus: - YVW.

>11 Helenliz: - Feeling a bit better, Helen, though now I'm left with a nasty cough. That's usually the last stage of my colds, so hopefully it will be outta here in the next couple of days!

>12 cbl_tn: - I hope you like it Carrie!

Feb 11, 9:50am Top

Morning, Katie! Happy new one! I am torn about the recommended book this time, as I have always been disappointed by P&P retellings.

Feb 11, 9:55am Top

Morning! Happy new thread!

Feb 11, 9:57am Top

Morning, Katie. Happy New Thread!

Feb 11, 10:03am Top

>14 Crazymamie: - Hi Mamie! I'm a sucker for those re-tellings but I understand if you often find them disappointing. Take a pass - there are plenty of good books out there :)

>15 drneutron: - Morning, Jim and thanks!

>16 jnwelch: - Good morning, Joe!

Feb 11, 10:08am Top

Your threads are flying by! I'm going to check out the Nathan.

Feb 11, 10:30am Top

>18 vivians: - Hi Vivian! The Nathan would be good filler in between some heavier reads...

Feb 11, 12:37pm Top

Hi, Katie. Sorry you're not quite quits with that cold.

Feb 11, 2:03pm Top

Hi Katie and happy new thread.

From your last thread, I liked Malkovich’s The A.B.C. Murders. It was interesting in a stand-alone-type-of-mystery with an interesting detective who happened to be named Hercule Poirot. There’s very little of the ‘real’ Poirot in Malkovich but it was good entertainment and for some strange reason I was not angry at the interpretation – I guess it didn’t threaten my preconceived notions of Poirot from reading the books forever and repeatedly and without having watched any movie/TV series adaptation ever except for the execrable Branagh Murder on the Orient Express. Branagh I completely dismissed.

I liked that it was a 3-episode series instead of a 3-hour movie. The lighting was atmospheric (read: dark) and without the repartee between Poirot and Hastings there wasn’t much liveliness, but it moved along at a reasonable pace for the time period, I thought.

Feb 11, 2:55pm Top

>20 ffortsa: - Thanks, Judy. Just left with the awful post-nasal drip-induced cough. Blech.

>21 karenmarie: - It's interesting to hear everyone's different reactions, Karen. I agree with you about the Branaugh version.

Feb 12, 1:07am Top

Happy new thread Katie.

>4 katiekrug: BB right there. I love P&p retellings or spin offs, some are good, some not so good, but all usually fun to read.

Feb 12, 9:04am Top

>23 fairywings: - Hi Adrienne! I do enjoy a good P&P spin-off/re-telling/homage, as long as the writing is good. Some of them are pretty badly written, but not the one I highlighted above :)

Edited: Feb 12, 9:33am Top

Snow day today! Just kidding. I work from home. But all the local schools are closed, and The Wayne is working from home. It just started flurrying, and we are supposed to get 3-5 inches of snow and sleet. Not a lot, but the sleet can be dangerous, so I'm glad The Wayne decided not to venture into the city and then force me to pick him up later in the day when the conditions get worse...

I don't think I've commented on my current read - The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut. It's about a counselor in a women's prison whose new patient is an old high school classmate. She's in for murder. The perspective switches between the two, and I'm not really sure where it's going, but it's pretty good.

I'm almost done with my current audio - Enlightening Delilah - which is a Heyer-esque Regency romp. Not bad for audio, but no great shakes either.

Feb 12, 9:31am Top

Happy new thread!
We also have a snow/ice day today and all our local schools and libraries are closed. It's pretty yucky outside and I'm glad that we have nowhere to go!

Feb 12, 9:33am Top

Hi Chelle! I'm glad I have nowhere to go, too :)

Feb 12, 9:35am Top

>25 katiekrug: Hey there, Kickassness. I'm pretty sure The Captives is all about me...so permaybehaps not my best idea for a read. I'll see what you have to say before deciding.

Feb 12, 9:37am Top

Morning, Katie! Hooray for not having to go out - I'm not going anywhere, either.

Feb 12, 9:46am Top

>28 richardderus: - Ha! I'll let you know...

>29 Crazymamie: - Hooray for hermiting!

Feb 12, 1:55pm Top

Goddesses. Winter's steel jaws are back around my feet and ankles after yesterday's hoofin' around. Ow. And Rob scolded me for doing too much when he'd've gone to the PO for me at the least. The crullers he handed me in exchange made the grouching tolerable.

Feb 12, 2:40pm Top

Poor you! But crullers!

Feb 12, 3:17pm Top

Happy new thread, Katie. Psyched I made it before you cracked 50 posts. I'm wavering on the P&P retelling and you might hit me yet.

Feb 12, 3:49pm Top

Oh, give it a try, if you can find a copy, Micky!

Feb 12, 3:49pm Top

I have completed the LT Valentine's Day treasure hunt and collected my 18 hearts. Only minimal use of hints and Google :)

Feb 12, 7:17pm Top

Happy new one, Katie.
>4 katiekrug: This sounds like fun.

Feb 12, 7:17pm Top

>35 katiekrug: I'm impressed. I only got 11.

Feb 13, 6:56am Top

>35 katiekrug: I've been frustrated by the previous hunts and given up in despair, but last night I took a peek and saw one that I knew off the bat. And then I had to try a few more. I ended up with 15 by the end of the evening, with a bit of Googling but not toooo much.

Feb 13, 7:03am Top

Happy New Thread, Katie! I hope your having a good week and enjoying those current reads.

Feb 13, 7:13am Top

>4 katiekrug: Adding that one to the BlackHole. Thanks for the recommendation, Katie.

I finished The Child Finder the other day and, like you, thought it was very good, but not great. I am looking forward to the next installment of the story.

Feb 13, 9:18am Top

>36 BLBera: - I enjoyed it way back when, Beth!

>37 BLBera: - I love those hunts. They're a nice distraction from work :)

>38 lauralkeet: - I used a little Google-fu, and some of the hints on the Talk thread devoted to it. But I got at least 3/4 on my own, I think...

>39 msf59: - Thanks, Mark! So far, so good :)

>40 alcottacre: - Any time, Stasia! I'll definitely read the next in the series from Denfeld.

Feb 13, 9:20am Top

>41 katiekrug: I got into double figures with a bit of googling, the last 4 or 5 I needed the hints to get.
Happy hump day.

Feb 13, 9:22am Top

Our winter weather didn't amount to much. A couple of inches of snow and sleet/freezing rain. It's already almost 40F so everything is melting... Regular work day today, and then I was going to go to yoga but my preferred instructor seems to be taking the entire month off, so I think I'll take the opportunity to join the new gym that opened in our town. It's cheap and designed for non-gym rats - similar to the one I went to in Dallas, I think.

The Wayne has a team-building activity tonight - ax-throwing (WTF?) at some place in Brooklyn, so I expect he won't be home until after 9 or 10...

I'm almost done with The Captives, and I'm eager to see how it concludes. This one has been a pleasant surprise - random library choice FTW!

Feb 13, 9:23am Top

>42 Helenliz: - Happy hump day to you, Helen!

Feb 13, 9:48am Top

Ax. Throwing. Did he become a lumberjack or a Viking since we last met? 😀

Though it does sound like fun!

Feb 13, 9:50am Top

Apparently it's the new hipster thing to do. Which cracks me up because he is so totally not a hipster :D

Feb 13, 10:00am Top

Hipsters are learning to throw axes.

I despair.

Feb 13, 10:15am Top

Ax-throwing. WOw!

Morning, Katie!

Feb 13, 10:16am Top

>47 richardderus: - Well, The Wayne is also learning, so he can save us from the hipsters :)

>48 Crazymamie: - Morning, Mamie!

Edited: Feb 13, 10:42am Top

>43 katiekrug: Not just Ax throwing, but DRUNKEN Ax Throwing. That place is a bar, as well.

Feb 13, 10:47am Top

Oh, lord help us!

Feb 13, 11:53am Top

Ax throwing. Hmm.

Feb 13, 12:12pm Top

Maybe it'll come in handy during the Zombie Apocalypse, Beth?

Feb 13, 12:25pm Top

>50 ELiz_M: Suggest the rest of us take cover!

I saw an item on it on the News, I think it was part of a series looking at how odd different the Americans are: look, they do axe throwing as a team building exercise.
I can think of a few people I could well have axed during a team building exercise that involved sharp impliments...

Feb 13, 12:27pm Top

So I'm gone for two days and come back to find you're 53 posts into a new thread -- and The Wayne is going to get drunk and start throwing axes!! HELP!

Feb 13, 12:31pm Top

>54 Helenliz: - Hopefully, The Wayne is too new to (a) get axed by any colleagues and (b) know any well enough to want to ax them :)

>55 RebaRelishesReading: - LOL, Reba! One hopes they limit the alcohol at such establishments... but who knows?

Feb 13, 12:46pm Top

>54 Helenliz: The first place I ever experienced ax-throwing in a bar was in Toronto, actually, so I'm not entirely sure it's an American invention. The appeal rather escapes me.

>56 katiekrug: If it's anything like the one here in Iowa City, there's a limit to how many drinks you can have before you start tossing axes.

Feb 13, 12:58pm Top

>57 rosalita: - Well, thank goodness for that!

Feb 13, 2:55pm Top

>57 rosalita: there's a limit to how many drinks you can have before you start tossing axes. Ha! Words to live by.

Feb 13, 3:12pm Top

Axe throwing? Wow. I will remember to look grateful the next time someone mentions the (blessedly sport free) work bbq.

Feb 13, 4:28pm Top

>53 katiekrug: Good point. Off to buy an ax.

Feb 13, 4:59pm Top

>59 jnwelch: - Indeed, Joe :)

>60 charl08: - Yes, count your blessings, Charlotte!

>61 BLBera: - *snork!*

Feb 13, 9:37pm Top

>4 katiekrug: That's the second P&P related Book Bullet today, Katie! Thanks! And the library has this one. (To be fair, the other one won't be out for a couple of months) Oh, and happy new thread!

Feb 13, 11:24pm Top

Happy new thread, Katie. Did the new gym work out ok? I hope the Wayne had a pleasant evening with his ax throwing coworkers. The mind boggles!

Feb 14, 1:43am Top

I think we are all need to be reassured that The Wayne arrived home without any axe related injuries.
Put it this way, it's not a team building idea I'm going to be suggesting any time soon!

Feb 14, 5:20am Top

I am also checking in for an axe update...

Feb 14, 8:57am Top

>63 ronincats: - I hope you like it, Roni! What was the other P&P-related BB?

>64 Familyhistorian: - Hi Meg! I ended up meeting a friend for dinner so didn't get to the gym. I'll go tomorrow. The Wayne did have fun :)

>65 Helenliz: and >66 susanj67: - The Wayne and his bloody stump all his limbs returned home safely! Apparently it was great fun, and he was really good at it. Must be thanks to his Swedish viking forebears... :)

Feb 14, 9:01am Top

Morning, everyone! Nothing much going on here. Work-work-workity-work. And it's cleaning lady day so hurray for that.

I finished two books yesterday, so will write up some comments on those in a bit.

We're not doing anything much for Valentine's Day - Chinese take-out, a bottle of wine, and maybe a couple of episodes of 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' :)

Feb 14, 9:21am Top

Morning, Katie! Your Valentine's Day plans sound perfect to me. Birdy is making heart-shaped pancakes as I type - she is a Pancake Diva. She has chocolate hazelnut syrup to put on top.

Hooray for The Wayne's hidden talents!

Feb 14, 10:25am Top

Morning, Mamie!

That Birdy is a gem - you should keep her around :)

The Wayne was quite proud of his ax-throwing prowess...

Feb 14, 10:28am Top

>70 katiekrug: just as long as he doesn't bring his new found prowess home with him. Do you have an axe in the shed???

Feb 14, 10:29am Top

The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut

This is a hard book to describe. I thought it was going to be a suspenseful thriller, but instead it's a slow-burning psychological study. Frank is a therapist at a women's prison in New York State. One of his new patients is a former classmate whom he had a crush on in high school; she doesn't seem to recognize him but that doesn't stop him from becoming re-obsessed with her. The story is told from Frank's perspective and from Miranda's, and includes a lot of backstory about Miranda's childhood and family life. The climax of the story is a bit hard to believe - okay, very hard to believe -, and overall, the novel was uneven but it kept me turning the pages and staying up a bit past my bedtime on multiple nights, so I'll call it a win.

4 stars

Feb 14, 10:29am Top

>71 Helenliz: - LOL, Helen! We probably have an ax around here somewhere, but I expect it's buried in the garage somewhere...

Edited: Feb 14, 10:43am Top

Enlightening Delilah by M.C. Beaton

This was a frothy Regency-era romance in the vein of Georgette Heyer, but not of that caliber. It was entertaining enough on audio, and short, and that's really all I have to say about it. *shrug*

3 stars

Feb 14, 10:45am Top

I'm now listening to Lucky Suit, an Audible Originals rom-com novella, and in print, I'm focusing on Part 2 of These Truths before starting something new.

Feb 14, 1:08pm Top

>75 katiekrug: I read that as "Lucky Slut"! I confess I was a bit verschmeckeled that you'd absorb something with that title.

Happy Sunshine!

Feb 14, 1:26pm Top

>76 richardderus: - Oh, I don't know, "Lucky Slut" totally sounds like something I'd read *grin*

Feb 14, 1:38pm Top

Happy Valentine's Day!! ❤️💚💗💙

Feb 14, 2:01pm Top

>77 katiekrug: Heh. I just put Wordslut on The List. How can one resist a book by a feminist linguist?

Feb 14, 2:15pm Top

>78 ChelleBearss: - Thanks, Chelle!

>79 MickyFine: - What a great title!

Feb 14, 3:35pm Top

>80 katiekrug: Right? It isn't scheduled to be published until June (perils of being a collections librarian, you're excited about books months before you can get your hands on them) and I'm already looking forward to it. I'm such a word nerd.

Feb 14, 3:42pm Top

But a poetic one, so double bonus ;-)

Feb 14, 8:16pm Top

>67 katiekrug: Mary (bell7) just finished an ARC that will be out in May titled Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev. She really liked it. See here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/300898#6734608

Feb 14, 8:32pm Top

>83 ronincats: - Ah, yes. I made note of that one, too!

Feb 14, 8:46pm Top

How can this be #85 in thread #5 already!?!?! Well, that is easy, Kim. Katie is well-read, funny, full of shenanigans, and talks about exciting things like ax throwing!! What's not to like.

: )

Feb 14, 8:52pm Top

Ax-throwing for team-building? Are they gonna rob and pillage? Honestly, I am SO glad to be retired, I can't tellya.

Feb 15, 9:11am Top

>85 Berly: - Kim, I have everyone tricked into thinking I'm fun and worth following. They'll learn soon enough... ;-)

>86 laytonwoman3rd: - No, it was a machine learning team, so they'll just program and create algorithms and turn the robots into their mercenaries. Heh.

Feb 15, 9:19am Top

Yay for Friday! We had a nice evening last night with our Chinese takeout and wine. We watched trash TV, including Project Runway All Stars which is always fun with The Wayne because he gets really into it and offers surprisingly insightful critiques. He also brought me flowers, thanks to Twitter bringing in a florist to be on-site so non-planners like him could nab last minute Valentine's bouquets. Heh.

No big plans for the weekend other than... wait for it.... organizing the kitchen pantry. So exciting, I know. We might go see a movie if we feel so moved. I want to see The Lego Movie 2 but might wait a few more weeks to have less chance of annoying kids dominating the audience.

Feb 15, 10:40am Top

Lucky Suit by Lauren Blakely

A funny and sweet romance novella which, given its length, included surprisingly well-developed characters who seemed very real. It made me want to try one of Blakely's full-length novels.

3.5 stars

Feb 15, 11:58am Top

>88 katiekrug: The Wayne did good. Gorgeous posies.

I've got so many romance books on The List at the moment, I'll wait until you read a full-length Blakely before I consider that a hit.

Feb 15, 12:24pm Top

>90 MickyFine: - It's not a Must Read (or Must Listen, in my case), but it was free from Audible and a pleasant diversion :)

Feb 15, 12:24pm Top

>88 katiekrug: Twitter, for all that they routinely put me in jail for being leftist, done good by their folks.

>89 katiekrug: *snigger* Lucky SUIT SUIT SUIT not that other thing SUIT *muffled hoot*

Feb 15, 12:46pm Top

>92 richardderus: - I have to say, they do some cool stuff for their employees.

"Jane, you ignorant SUIT!"

Feb 15, 1:09pm Top

HA!! Perfect.

Feb 15, 3:07pm Top

I took half an hour this afternoon and walked to the library to return a book and then to the post office to mail my nephew's birthday card, and then took the long way home. It's all sunshine-y and warmish (55F) out. Lots of puddles from melting snow :)

I started a new audio on the walk - Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Obama's former Deputy Chief of Staff. I'm enjoying it a lot already, especially for her insight early on into being a woman in politics - apparently her experience in the upper echelons wasn't much different from mine in the land of the peons!

Feb 15, 3:08pm Top

And of course, I *just* got a notification that a book I requested is ready for pick-up from the library. Never fails... I have two more on request, so I'll wait to see if anything else arrives int he next day or two...

Feb 15, 4:17pm Top

Sounds like you had a lovely Valentine's Day, Katie. My Hubby came through with flying colors as well. It's always nice to get confirmation that we made the right choice in our partners.

Feb 15, 6:37pm Top

Hi Katie, stopping by to get caught up.

>43 katiekrug: - Oh, axe throwing! My niece has done that and said it was a lot of fun (and a great workout!) A nice change from all those Escape/Panic Room setups.

>88 katiekrug: - Lovely V-Day gift! Due to the crazy winter weather that has slammed the island for the past week - Even though Victoria is part of Canada, we just are not equipped for any snowfall - flowers were going at an insane premium so I said I was perfectly happy with wine and chocolates.

Feb 15, 10:18pm Top

>97 DeltaQueen50: - It is nice to have that confirmation, Judy! Well put.

>98 lkernagh: - I think it's always fun to do something different, Lori. The Wayne had a blast. Nothing wrong with wine and chocolate for Valentine's Day - or any day, really!

Feb 16, 8:07am Top

‘Morning, Katie!

>35 katiekrug: Congrats! I had to beg for help on #18 on the talk thread, but eventually got it.

>67 katiekrug: I’m glad that The Wayne returned intact.

>72 katiekrug: … almost a book bullet, but I dodged at the last second.

>88 katiekrug: Yay for Valentine’s Day Flowers and Organizing the Kitchen Pantry. (It’s something I need to do again myownself.)

Feb 16, 9:28am Top

>100 karenmarie: - Morning, Karen! Thanks for catching up. I'm actually kind of excited about the pantry organization. If the zest for organization continues, I may do some Kondo-ing of my clothes, as I have entirely too many...

Feb 16, 9:29am Top

Happy Saturday, Katie! Hooray for Chinese takeout, wine, and trash tv. Of course, now I am wanting the Chinese.

Feb 16, 9:42am Top

The Chinese was excellent, Mamie. It took us a while but we finally found some high quality Chinese takeout (no delivery, alas).

Feb 16, 9:45am Top

I had a bit of a sleep-in this morning and am now enjoying some coffee and LT. Next I'll do the NYT crossword to keep my streak alive :) And then I might get dressed and do something productive. Or not.

I started Dream When You're Feeling Blue last night. It's about a family in Chicago during WWII. So far, so good. Berg's usual smooth, if not super profound, story and writing...

Feb 16, 10:10am Top

>104 katiekrug: I might get dressed and do something productive.
Whoawhoawhoa there, Miss Lady, no need to go crazy!
Or not.
Much more The Thing. (Clearly I'm still reading Heyer.)

Feb 16, 11:04am Top

>105 richardderus: - Still in my pajamas, but The Wayne is making noises about running some errands soon, so..... ?

Feb 16, 11:09am Top

>106 katiekrug: ...so wave bye-bye and remind him to bring home some pizza.

Feb 16, 11:38am Top

LOL. I don't mind running errands with him. We see so little of each other during the week, it's a chance to spend some time together :)

Feb 16, 3:06pm Top

>108 katiekrug: You love him enough to get dressed on a weekend?! OMG

Feb 16, 6:04pm Top

>88 katiekrug: That's great that Twitter does that! I never get flowers as Nate hates spending money on them because they die. I sometimes get a plant on Mother's Day. I got wine and chocolate for Vday so I won't complain :)

Feb 16, 7:34pm Top

Hi Katie! Just catching up on threads a bit now I'm home. One of my librarian friends heard about my recent read of Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors and she's going to send me a whole list she has going of Austen-inspired reads :D

Feb 16, 8:13pm Top

>109 richardderus: definitely true love! 😀

Feb 16, 8:51pm Top

>109 richardderus: and >112 drneutron: - He's worth it :D

>110 ChelleBearss: - They die, but wine and chocolates get eaten. Circle of life!

>111 bell7: - Oooh, please share the list when you get it!

Feb 16, 8:57pm Top

So we were having lunch after running some errands and decided it was too nice a day to waste, so we caught a train to the city and walked around SoHo and NoLita a bit - went to a bookstore and then had drinks at a tiny Italian place. Then we took the subway to Koreatown and had an excellent dinner before catching the train home. All in all, a very nice late afternoon/evening.

Feb 16, 9:28pm Top

>114 katiekrug: went to a bookstore
You are being surprisingly reticent here. Show us the book haul!

Feb 16, 9:35pm Top

>115 lauralkeet: - The place was so packed, it was a bit hard to get around. I picked up a Europa Edition - Mad Boy by Nick Arvin, historical fiction set during the War of 1812, and The Wayne got a cookbook for doing Indian in the InstantPot.

Feb 17, 7:11am Top

>116 katiekrug: thanks Katie. Saturdays in that part of NYC can be a bit nuts, but I'm glad you came away with a couple goodies.

Feb 17, 9:57am Top

>117 lauralkeet: - I'd been wanting to get to that bookstore for almost a year. For my birthday last year, Liz in Club Read (Hi Liz!) who's become a RL friend, gave me gift cards to 4 bookstores, including McNally Jackson, and it was the last one I hadn't yet been to.

Feb 17, 9:59am Top

Grocery store today, THEN organizing the pantry finally. We are trying a new recipe for dinner - lemon dill chicken. For Christmas, I gave The Wayne a little hydroponic herb grower, and it is going gangbusters. We are over-run with fresh dill, two kinds of basil, and thyme.

Feb 17, 10:14am Top

Morning, Katie! Yesterday sounds delightful - I love days that just kind of unfurl like that. I am crossing my fingers that the cookbook The Wayne picked up has delicious recipes that you can share. And hooray for fresh herbs - let me know how the lemon dill chicken turns out.

Feb 17, 10:33am Top

>118 katiekrug: You went to McNally! Almost as good as the bookstore is their pen and fancy notebook stores around the corner/down the street. And yeah, that is a rather cramped store (but beautifully arranged!) even when not a weekend.

Feb 17, 11:36am Top

>120 Crazymamie: - Morning, Mamie! I will definitely let you know how dinner turns out. And I'll share any good recipes we discover from the cookbook :)

>121 ELiz_M: - Ooh, fancy notebooks! Definitely going there next time. Not that I don't have a million notebooks already, but I can't resist...

Edited: Feb 17, 11:52am Top

"overrun with fresh dill" Oooohh.....that sounds divine. I love that smell. Can you share where you got this hydroponic herb thingie and what it's called?

Feb 17, 12:00pm Top

>119 katiekrug: Fresh dill!! I adore fresh dill. And lemon dill chicken is delish. One can do the same thing with pork roast, in case you're looking to branch out.

Feb 17, 12:08pm Top

>123 laytonwoman3rd: - It's this one, Linda. He's threatening to get another one...


>124 richardderus: - Thanks for the tip, RD! Dill is probably my favorite herb. I love it on fish, but The Wayne doesn't eat much seafood.

Feb 17, 2:04pm Top

It sounds like you're having a wonderful weekend, Katie. It's snowing here. Again. The herb garden sounds like a great idea.

Feb 17, 2:29pm Top

You clearly don't need me hanging around and taking up valuable space. My wife and I are quite content to take it easy on the weekends, especially after taking it easy all week. What are ya gonna do? We have our priorities.

These Truths is consuming the weekend's reading time.

Feb 17, 3:27pm Top

>125 katiekrug: Thank you...I must find room on my counter for that. I've tried just growing herbs, both inside and out without the greatest success. Maybe this is my solution.

Feb 17, 3:43pm Top

>126 BLBera: - Well, we were having a great weekend until I discovered part of the carpet in the basement was wet. It looks like a pipe inside the wall is leaking. I'm waiting on our landlord to respond to my text...

>127 weird_O: - Hi Bill! We like to take it easy, too. Until we don't and need a break from doing not much of anything :)

>128 laytonwoman3rd: - I was a little skpetical of it, Linda, but it's been great. You can also get different seeds for it, depending on what you want to grow. This one came with thyme, dill, Thai basil, Genoese basil, and mint. It takes up less space than I expected (I am bad at estimating space/measurements). It sists on the top shelf of our baker's rack.

Edited: Feb 17, 4:14pm Top

>116 katiekrug: I can't seem to visit Manhattan without going to McNally Jackson. Last time, it was summer and I must have spent 30 minutes lost in their "summer reading guide" posted on the wall. It was a sort of matrix plotting books on two axes (this would be more meaningful if I could only remember what the axes were, but it was intended to help you choose from their recs).

>121 ELiz_M: pen and fancy notebook
Wait, what?! I did not know about this. I also need to make a return visit to CW Pencil, which I just adore.

Feb 17, 4:38pm Top

>130 lauralkeet: - I'll have to go back this summer and see if they do another summer reading guide...

Feb 17, 4:40pm Top

As I mentioned in >129 katiekrug: to Beth, I discovered wet carpet in our basement this afternoon. It wasn't the whole basement, but enough to freak me out. The Wayne investigated a bit, while I got in touch with our landlord (who is fabulous). They are now cutting a hole in the wall. It looks to be the main drain pipe (greeaaat) which is old and may have a failing joint. This should be fun... *eye roll*

Feb 17, 4:42pm Top

>132 katiekrug: DREADFUL!!

Feb 17, 6:05pm Top

>132 katiekrug: Eeuw. I hope you can get it fixed soon. Lucky you have a good landlord.

Feb 17, 6:22pm Top

>132 katiekrug: ugh, but kudos to the landlord for getting right on it (and on a holiday weekend, at that).

Feb 17, 7:20pm Top

>133 richardderus: - Indeed!

>134 BLBera: - Thanks, Beth. We are lucky in our landlord. He only lives a couple of blocks away :)

>135 lauralkeet: - I was worried he was out of town at first, but he texted me back about an hour after I contacted him.

Edited: Feb 17, 7:23pm Top

Water does not appear to be coming from the main pipe, which is good. But it may be coming from under the slab, which is bad. We have a lot of stuff in the basement - half of it is our office, and the rest is used for storage. Luckily, the Wayne is off tomorrow and can move some stuff because I think the carpet is going to have to be taken up to investigate the leak source. Not sure what I'm going to do about work. I can use my laptop anywhere, obviously, but I have two big monitors at my desk which makes working so much easier... Oh well, not the end of the world, really. And certainly a first world problem.

Edited: Feb 17, 9:30pm Top

Ugh to water problems! We just finished spackling the ceiling post upstairs toilet flood, and maybe sometime in the next month we will paint said ceiling. Was also fun getting the heating bill after my husband ran heaters, fans and a dehumidifier for 2 weeks plus cranked the heat up to 74 degrees upstairs. Good luck!

Feb 17, 9:51pm Top

I am also currently dealing with a wet basement. Not fun

Feb 17, 9:52pm Top

Sorry about the water problems, Katie, I hope you can identify the source soon. I find it's always worse not knowing.

Feb 18, 3:52am Top

Hoping the water issues are resolved speedily. Why do things like that always happen at the least convenient time?

Feb 18, 8:46am Top

Sorry about the basement, Katie. I hear you on the big screen issue too. I had to spend nearly a day reviewing files last week and typing into a giant Excel spreadsheet on a Surface Pro (about 14 inches). It nearly drove me MAD. How I missed my big screens.

I hope they can diagnose and fix it fast. Or that The Wayne moves your screens upstairs :-)

Feb 18, 9:13am Top

>138 nittnut: - Hi Jenn. Ugh to house stuff. Thanks for the good wishes!

>139 jessibud2: - My sympathies, Shelley.

>140 DeltaQueen50: - Judy, you are right about not knowing the cause being the worst of it.

>141 Helenliz: - Thanks, Helen. It's a holiday weekend here, but that means The Wayne is around to help deal with it. He has today off. I don't :-/

>142 susanj67: - Hi Susan. I am working at my desk now, while I can. We'll see what the rest of the week brings...

Feb 18, 9:29am Top

Hi Katie!

Sorry about the water in the basement problems, glad that your landlord seems responsible.

Feb 18, 10:41am Top

I wish you a visitation from the Spirit of Washington and Lincoln today as you sing your Presidents' Day hymns and sacrifice your Presidents' Day play money on the Mattress of Sanctity.

Feb 18, 10:43am Top

>114 katiekrug: I've been a city kid my whole life and have never been to that bookstore (hangs head in shame). Must remedy that. Sorry to hear about the wet basement.

Feb 18, 10:48am Top

>144 karenmarie: - Thanks, Karen! The landlord is coming back with his contractor sometime this morning.

>145 richardderus: - Snork! I'd sing hymns if I had the day off, but since I don't, I'll keep up my standard grumbling :)

>146 vivians: - It's a good one, Vivian. Fiction is arranged by region, which I like. Thanks for the commiseration...

Feb 18, 11:17am Top

More sympathy from me Katie. Thanks for the (ice) hockey tip. The bookshop sounds really good, even if it was busy.

Feb 18, 12:37pm Top

>114 katiekrug: Sounds like a wonderful day! >119 katiekrug: I've been thinking about growing some herbs in the window of our kitchen in NY and hydroponic sounds like a good way to go. Any advice or info about where/what to buy? Just found the answer at >125 katiekrug: :)

Ugh to your water problem! I hope it can be resolved quickly and relatively painlessly.

Feb 18, 3:06pm Top

>148 charl08: - Thanks, Charlotte. I'll put the shop on the list for your NYC visit :)

>149 RebaRelishesReading: - Thanks, Reba. It's such a pain in the neck (the water issue, not the herb garden). Update below...

Feb 18, 3:11pm Top

Our landlord and his contractor came over this afternoon and to make a long story short, they are going to rip up the entire basement slab and re-lay it. Apparently, back in the day when the house was built, they just poured concrete on dirt to make basement floors. Eventually, of course, these crack, and allow water to seep up, which is what happened to us. These days, they lay gravel and put in French drains and then pour concrete slabs, providing excess water a place to go. So sometime in the near future, we'll have to move everything out of the basement (and there is A LOT of stuff down there!). I'll move my office to either the spare room on the 3rd floor or into the guest room on the 2nd floor. Our landlord will provide a POD to put the other stuff in. My biggest concern is how long this project will take, since it means no access to the washer and dryer!

Feb 18, 4:00pm Top

>151 katiekrug: - Lucky you, getting such fast action. I am still waiting for our property manager to decide on a contractor. it's been over 3 weeks since I first noticed water in my basement.

Just make sure you do all the laundry the day before they arrive to start work! ;-)

Feb 18, 4:07pm Top

We really have lucked out with our landlord, Shelley. It's a relatively small town and he's lived here forever and owns the local Shop Rite grocery store so is a real part of the community. And the house is beautiful so I'm sure he wants to protect his investment! I knew he'd be a good one when he and his wife came by right after we moved in and brought a huge gift basket with bottles of wine, chocolates, and gift cards (to Shop Rite, of course!) :)

It's a huge hassle but it's nice being able to let someone else handle it. All I have to do is follow orders!

Edited: Feb 19, 6:48am Top

>130 lauralkeet: Goods for the Study, 234 Mulberry Street:


>151 katiekrug: Amazing! I live on the top floor of my building and had water damage in the kitchen wall for 5 months (steadily getting worse) and after a dozen of phone calls, a certified letter to both the management office and the address where the money goes, and a visit from the management company, it wasn't until I filed a complaint with the city that that they finished fixing the roof and my wall. :/

I only had to live with the disruption of repair for 5 days. I can't imagine having to displace so much stuff for weeks.

ETA: There are services that will pick up your laundry and deliver it to you washed and folded. You did say the Wayne was making more money at the new job....

Feb 19, 7:04am Top

>154 ELiz_M: ooh .... that's lovely. My daughter lives in Brooklyn; I'll have to see if she's been there. I might have to check it out on my next visit.

Feb 19, 7:15am Top

Yay for great landlords! We had one when we first got married and rented a cute little 1950s bungalow. The owner was so kind and we've stayed friend with him and his family.

Feb 19, 7:38am Top

>154 ELiz_M: - Definitely checking that place out next time I'm in the neighborhood.

I may look into a laundry service if ours is out of commission for more than a week. I'm just afraid I'll like it too much and never go back!

>155 lauralkeet: - Hi Laura!

>156 scaifea: - It sure makes a difference to not have to fight with the landlord (not that I would really know, as I've never had a problem, but I can imagine it could be a big stressor).

Feb 19, 7:51am Top

>154 ELiz_M: I love the look of that store! Too bad we do not have one down here.

Hey, Katie!

Edited: Feb 19, 7:54am Top

>154 ELiz_M: - HA! I looked hard at that picture and at first glace, could have sworn they were shelves and shelves of children's rain boots! :-) Wondered what all the fuss was about!

Feb 19, 8:57am Top

>158 alcottacre: - It looks fabulous, doesn't it, Stasia?

>159 jessibud2: - I can totally see that, Shelley...

Feb 19, 11:41am Top

"OH NO" to your basement problem. Having to move everything out of there sounds like a huge pain but glad you have a good landlord so at least you don't have to fight to get it fixed.

Feb 19, 12:31pm Top

>161 RebaRelishesReading: - Thanks, Reba. It could be so much worse... as I keep telling myself when I start to stress out :)

Feb 19, 12:32pm Top

Well, after a comedy of errors, including the run around from a ridiculously awful Egyptian government website, I finally got my visa for Egypt, so I guess I actually have to go now. Yay?

Feb 19, 2:13pm Top

Yay? I would be happy to go to Egypt in your place. Just saying.

Feb 19, 2:26pm Top

>164 Oberon: - I would be more excited if I hadn't been before, and if I had the time to do something after the work portion is over... In 2007, I did get to Luxor and then a river cruise down to Aswan with stops at Edfu and somewhere I can't remember the name of (bad Katie). I love Egypt. I don't love having a 10.5 hour layover in London, getting in at 2:30am, working for 5 days, and doing it again in reverse :)

I'm a brat.

Feb 19, 3:36pm Top

>165 katiekrug: Ouch. Hope it all goes smoothly, Katie.

Feb 19, 5:53pm Top

>165 katiekrug: Hopefully you will at least make it to the museum or something while there even if you don't get to do full on site seeing.

Feb 19, 6:24pm Top

Sorry to hear about the water problems Katie. I think the power of water is one of the most underestimated problems in the world. I don't mean hurricanes and other natural disasters but normal everyday water problems like you're experiencing. Flooded basements, leaky roofs, faulty plumbing. Ugh.

Feb 19, 9:42pm Top

Over a 100 posts behind? WTH? Trying to slowly make the rounds, after my epic weekend in MN. Glad to attend another Meet Up, with Rachel and Erik. Meet Ups never get old, do they? I am hoping to get to D.C. for ALA, at the end of June. It would sure be nice to get a sizable group together.

Good luck with the basement project, Katie.

Feb 19, 9:49pm Top

Could they coordinate the basement repairs with your trip, Katie? Probably takes longer than your trip though, huh? Pits, but it is a lovely house...

Feb 19, 10:00pm Top

>166 charl08: - Thanks, Charlotte.

>167 Oberon: - I'm certainly going to try, Erik!

>168 brenzi: - I think you're right, Bonnie. It can certainly cause a lot of havoc!

>169 msf59: - Hiya, Mark! I'll probably have to miss ALA in DC, as I have a work trip at the end of June, followed by vacation. It would have been nice to go, and easy to get the train down. Alas.

>170 ronincats: - Roni, I'd feel guilty leaving The Wayne to deal with everything on his own. If it just happens that way, that would be okay by me, but I don't want to try to engineer it that way :)

Feb 19, 10:02pm Top

I finally went to my new gym and had some quality time with my audio book on the treadmill :) Then when I got home, I was uncharacteristically seized by the desire to cook, so I FINALLY made the lemon dill chicken recipe I mentioned last week. It turned out great - the sauce is really flavorful and came together beautifully. It's a reasonably easy dish to make, so I will definitely add it to the rotation.

This is the recipe: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252591/lemon-dill-chicken/.

Feb 20, 8:44am Top

I can definitely related to the work travel woes. Usually when I go somewhere for work, i’m lucky to get an afternoon to do something. 🙄

Feb 20, 9:11am Top

>173 drneutron: - Sometimes I am able to take some extra time after the meetings to see something of the place where I am. But since I've been to Egypt already, and I have a couple of biggish holidays on the calendar for this year, I decided to just come right back home.

Feb 20, 9:13am Top

The Wayne is working from home today, as right-wing loony Laura Loomer has organized a protest outside Twitter NYC today, so the staff was given the option not to come in. It's fine by me, because we are supposed to get some winter weather later today, and I'd rather not have to go out in it to pick him up from the train.

I finished a book last night (more later), so now I need to start Go, Went, Gone for my book club next week. I'm really looking forward to this one!

Feb 20, 9:21am Top

Dream When You're Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg

This book was fine. It tells the story of an Irish-American family living in Chicago during World War II. It's essentially a novel of the homefront, and in parts, it was really engaging. But in others, it was heavy-handed and awkward, and I found the ending just so odd and off-putting, that I finished it dissatisfied. Overall, though, it's not a bad read. And it's another hardcover off my shelf that I can now purge :)

3 stars

Feb 20, 9:30am Top

Well, CARP to the basement water woes! The landlord providing a POD is full of fabulous, at least. Hang in there, Katie.

>159 jessibud2: That is exactly what I thought, Shelley!!

>172 katiekrug: Thanks for the link to the recipe!

>176 katiekrug: So no, then.

Feb 20, 10:00am Top

>177 Crazymamie: - Hi Mamie! Thanks for the commiseration :)

Do try the recipe - the sauce was SO tasty. It would also be good on fish.

And yes, you can safely skip the book!

Feb 20, 10:07am Top

Good on chicken tastiness, boo on Egyptian unhelpfulness, and HISSSSSHISSSSSSSSSSSSS BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO on 21 hours of your life spent in effin' LAYOVERS!! There oughta be a law.

Edited: Feb 20, 10:50am Top

>179 richardderus: - That about covers it!

ETA: Well, actually, my layover on the way home isn't nearly as bad. I think it's 4 hours? But still!

Feb 20, 11:12am Top

>176 katiekrug: Good to know I can leave this one off the list. Thanks for the comments and not adding a BB, Katie. :)

Feb 20, 12:09pm Top

What a layover! Are you airside the whole time? Because I could always come out for refreshments if you have to go through immigration :-)

>176 katiekrug: I think I'll give that one a miss :-)

Feb 20, 12:28pm Top

Susan, I could technically leave the airport and come back, but I'm not sure I want to deal with the hassle. If I just sit tight, I don't have to go through security again. I plan to set myself up in one of the BA business class lounges (which I can access due to my platinum status with American Airlines, not because I'm flying business class because I'm not and no I'm not bitter about it, thanks for asking) and read and nap and drink free wine :)

I will be in London at the end of June and am hoping we can catch up then! And Helen might be available too!

Feb 20, 6:04pm Top

>183 katiekrug: no business class despite two long haul flights? Ugh, this sounds like travel hell. Thank goodness for books, naps, and free wine.

Feb 20, 9:03pm Top

>184 lauralkeet: - I won't bore you with my rant about our travel policy and how it is based on one's level in the company as opposed to purely on length of travel. Grrrr.

Feb 20, 9:51pm Top

Sorry to hear about your basement woes, Katie. Can they do the repair any time of year? Boo to a 10.4 hour lay over. Too bad that you can't squeeze a meet up in there.

Yesterday, 1:39am Top

>185 katiekrug: our travel policy and how it is based on one's level in the company as opposed to purely on length of travel. Oh, that’s mean!

Yesterday, 7:18am Top

>185 katiekrug:, >187 SandDune: I agree with Rhian but also why am I not surprised? Where I worked, we had a policy that allowed business class on long haul flights. At least that was the policy for US employees. I then found out European colleagues had different rules, which seemed to vary by location. I led a team comprised of people working at office locations (which allowed business class) and manufacturing sites (which did not, out of some misguided pride in being cost conscious). This caused a lot of tension and hard feelings between team members, rightfully so.

This reminds me why I'm glad to be retired! 😀

Yesterday, 9:19am Top

>186 Familyhistorian: - Thanks, Meg. I think the work can be done anytime. The Wayne said he got the impression it might not be until the spring. Not sure why he thinks that, but he was the one talking to the landlord and the contractor, so...

>187 SandDune: - It's pure BS, Rhian. I travel for our Board of Directors meetings, which means most of our senior staff goes. So I am usually the only one NOT flying business class, which is ridiculous because I'm the one responsible for everything. I should say that my boss is somewhat flexible, so going to Asia, for instance, he will approve business class for me. I just feel like I shouldn't have to ask... This trip to Egypt isn't too terrible - it's mostly the layover that stinks. The flight from NY to London is a little over 6 hours, and then London to Cairo is 5.

>188 lauralkeet: - I think it's the inconsistency that bothers me the most, Laura. And no one's comfort and health should be more important than anyone else's, as far as I'm concerned.

Yesterday, 9:21am Top

Yesterday we had snow and sleet and then rain. Today it's going to be in the 50s. Such an odd winter... Last night, we ventured out on the snowy streets to go out to dinner, and I had the best fettucine alfredo (with prosciutto and peas) ever. Not great for my waistline, but it was worth it. And so rich, I brought about half of it home.

I am working a half day today, and then going into the city to meet my best friend. She's a teacher and has this whole week off. We are going to see a movie, get dinner, and then go to an event at the NYPL with the author (Kruschev's granddaughter) of In Putin's Footsteps, which is sort of a travelogue, memoir, current affairs mash-up. Should be interesting!

Yesterday, 11:13am Top

Morning, Katie! I am drooling over the thought of your dinner - sounds fabulous.

It's rainy and oh, so humid here - going to 80F today. I am happy that I ran all of my errands yesterday, so I don't have to go out in it. Georgia weather is mostly yuck.

"...no one's comfort and health should be more important than anyone else's..." SO true. When I was reading that the first time, I thought you were going to say that no one's was more important than yours - so I laughed, but then that wasn't where you went. *serious face* SO, yes, excellent point but a missed opportunity for snark.

Yesterday, 2:45pm Top

>189 katiekrug: Back in the dim and distant days when I flew for business it was business class for everyone over a certain distance.

Yesterday, 2:56pm Top

Your plans for the day sound great, Katie.

We had ANOTHER snow day and foot of snow yesterday. I am so over winter. I should take a picture of the snow in my yard.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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