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Norabelle414's Trilogy in Two Parts

This is a continuation of the topic Norabelle414's Trilogy in One Part.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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1norabelle414
Edited: Aug 5, 12:30pm Top


My cat, Rory Pond, and his best frenemy Lunar.

Hello and welcome! I'm Nora. I live in Washington DC. This is my TENTH year of having my own thread in the 75ers group! Aside from books, I also love:

animals - on the weekends I volunteer at Smithsonian's National Zoo
TV - scripted only, mostly science fiction and fantasy, especially anything based on a book
feminism
theater - I have season tickets to Arena Stage but I often go to shows elsewhere as well
podcasts - especially about books
knitting
travel

You can find me on Twitter @ norabelle414

3norabelle414
Edited: Aug 5, 12:39pm Top

Let's move on from the previous very whiny thread, shall we? My carpets are getting cleaned today and hopefully that will be the end of this (that's what I thought last time).

4norabelle414
Edited: Aug 5, 12:40pm Top



9. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Read for the zoo book club that I run. This book is extremely depressing, but interesting to read as a historical artifact.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

5foggidawn
Aug 5, 12:37pm Top

Happy new thread! I relate very strongly to your meme above.

6norabelle414
Aug 5, 1:08pm Top

>5 foggidawn: Thanks foggi! Last night I had a stress dream that when I had my back turned a little kid got into the giant panda exhibit at the zoo. The giant panda was sleeping and didn't care, but I knew it was somehow my fault! So the meme is my anxiety stuffing that weird dream into my head :-)

7foggidawn
Aug 5, 1:11pm Top

>6 norabelle414: Yep. I mean, in my case it would be the anxiety waking me up way early in the morning, but still. It let me sleep in until 5:45 today (desired wake-up time: 7:00), so I feel like that's progress?

8PaulCranswick
Aug 5, 1:23pm Top

Happy new thread, Nora.

>4 norabelle414: I am currently reading Silent Spring and I am surprised how relevant it still is.

9norabelle414
Aug 5, 1:29pm Top

>7 foggidawn: Yeah I'm just coming to terms with the fact that I can't sleep in anymore, and if I want to get more than 7 hours of sleep I will have to get in bed and turn out the lights before 11:30, whether I have somewhere to be the next morning or not. Ugh!

10norabelle414
Aug 5, 1:55pm Top

>8 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul! Lots of it is still very relevant, but I also think there's a lot that has changed since then. Carson advocates several times for introducing new predators to areas with invasive insects, which most conservationists know now is an extremely bad idea!

11ChelleBearss
Aug 5, 2:55pm Top

Happy new thread!

12drneutron
Aug 5, 7:31pm Top

Happy new thread!

13norabelle414
Aug 6, 9:58am Top

>11 ChelleBearss:, >12 drneutron: Thanks Chelle and Jim!!

14figsfromthistle
Aug 6, 10:00am Top

Happy new thread! Very cute cat topper

15norabelle414
Aug 6, 10:29am Top

>14 figsfromthistle: Thanks Anita!

16norabelle414
Edited: Sep 30, 9:54am Top

Got my carpet cleaned again yesterday. Today I'm going to try to get someone from management to come up and inspect and confirm that my apartment does not smell. Then I'll set up one litterbox and bring Rory back home. I've moved some furniture around and I think I can fit the litterbox between the dining table and the kitchen trash can (which is well outside the kitchen because my kitchen is extremely small). It's not ideal but it's away from the front door and away from the neighbors who are complaining. Since it's so close to the wet trashcan it should be easier to scoop immediately after he uses it.

I'm thinking of hiring a cleaning service, just once a month or so (if they'll do it that infrequently?). I'm good about vacuuming and cleaning the toilet and bathtub and kitchen counter but there are just so many things to clean (baseboards?? blinds?? behind the fridge??) and I feel like I can't keep up.

____________________

I currently have Evvie Drake Starts Over (which I have started) and An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good checked out from the library. Since the last time I checked out a book from the library (maybe 6 months ago?) they have implemented automatic book renewals, which is cool! If a book is available to be renewed, the system will automatically renew it for me 3 days before it is due.
Soon I'm hoping to get to Dealing with Dragons (reread) and A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, which will both be covered on podcasts I listen to.
The next book my zoo volunteer book club is reading is The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife by Lucy Cooke, for the November meeting.

____________________

Recently watched:
Jane the Virgin, series finale - amazing!
Andi Mack, series finale - amazing!
NOS4A2, season one - boring
The Good Fight, season one - very entertaining. Subsequent seasons are not airing on broadcast TV so I won't get to them for a long time.

Grantchester, season 4 ep 1-4 - the mysteries of these episodes were perfectly fine but the rest is kind of anti-climactic after the drama of season 3. Amanda is just gone and we don't talk about her again and Sidney moves on after an off-screen time jump. When the whole point of the first 3 seasons was that he could never move on from her?? I don't buy it. He left Amanda last season because he didn't want to leave Grantchester or the church and now he's leaving Grantchester and the church AND ENGLAND? I'm fine with him leaving, the show will be fine without him, it just does not make sense. Ah well. The new Detective Hot Vicar seems fine.

Veronica Mars, seasons 1-3 (rewatch) and season 4 - very good! I liked it better than the movie, but I also like season 3 a lot and I've been informed that's a very unpopular opinion. So what do I know! {MAJOR SPOILER, SERIOUSLY DO NOT CLICK}Though I did not want Logan to die, I do like the closure of it. Veronica isn't really Veronica if she's happy - this is a noir, not a romance novel. Either Logan or Keith had to go, and I'm happy with the result. Plus did you SEE that dream she had about Leo??? Because I did. Several times. #TeamLeo.
Unfortunately, I got the ending of season 4 spoiled for me within 2 days of the season being posted (which if you recall was a week before it was scheduled to be). I very diligently muted all Veronica Mars related words on Twitter, like I now have to for any show I don't watch in real-time, but an account that I follow retweeted a screenshot of a tweet that had spoilers in it. Wild!! It was the account of a romance novel reader podcast, warning their listeners not to watch Veronica Mars season 4 because it doesn't have an HEA (the tweet explicitly said what the end was). VERONICA MARS IS NOT A ROMANCE NOVEL! I watched Veronica Mars for the first time a decade after it was off the air, and now new episodes come out and I *still* don't get to enjoy the twists in real time. Sigh.

17katiekrug
Aug 6, 2:33pm Top

Happy new thread, Nora.

I've used two different cleaning services (national, franchise chains) and they both offered once-a-month service, so that shouldn't be a problem. Not sure they'll do the level of detail you are looking for, but it can't hurt to ask.

Re: the litter box, we recently changed to the Breeze system, which eliminates A LOT of the odor and is way easier to clean up.

https://www.amazon.com/Purina-Tidy-Cats-BREEZE-Litter/dp/B001411SK0

18norabelle414
Aug 6, 2:51pm Top

>17 katiekrug: Thanks for the tip, Katie! I will keep that litterbox in mind if things don't get better.

19leahbird
Aug 7, 12:08am Top

>16 norabelle414: FINALLY!!! I'm convinced that Logan's death was faked. They spent a weird amount of time on him doing security with the politician and then that whole thread was mostly left just dangling. And there was a car pulling up right before the explosion that seemed really unnecessary for them to linger on. I think he was snatched by the politician or the military for some next season plotline.

I just can't figure out if Veronica knows or not... Is she heading out to look for him? Are they investigating something big together? Or does she think he's dead and then is going to start getting weird clues about him?
I know, it's grasping. But all the released reasons seem to be weird and I think it's misdirection. I'm probably wrong.

20norabelle414
Aug 7, 9:46am Top

>19 leahbird: The reasons I've heard are 1) it's a noir so Veronica can't be happy for long and 2) Rob Thomas wants the next season to pull Veronica away from her high school acquaintances and move her out of Neptune, which he thinks is the only way the show can transition into a real adult noir story instead of a nostalgia-fest. I think there might be a slight possibility that he survived and comes back at some point in the distant future, but I don't think you could read this interview and think he's going to be a major character ever again: https://www.vulture.com/2019/07/veronica-mars-season-4-rob-thomas-interview.html

The car that they focus on when Logan gets into Veronica's car is parking enforcement, who is going to get the car towed if he doesn't move it right away for street cleaning. It's to show that he HAS to move Veronica's car right away, he couldn't have waited a few minutes and avoided getting blown up.

21norabelle414
Edited: Aug 8, 11:27am Top

This time of year I *always* end up doing a book inventory, whether I intend to or not. Something about long days and hot weather, maybe? I started last week when I was supposed to be cleaning in preparation for my carpet treatment. I check what books from my catalog I actually have on my shelves (I tend to lend out books and they tend to not come back), re-shelve books that were out because I read them (or I pulled them with the intention of reading and then did not), shelve new books, pull books I want to read soon, and get rid of some books. This year, that includes all 5 A Song of Ice and Fire books, freeing up a full 10 inches of bookshelf space all by themselves. Saying goodbye to:

Storm Front by Jim Butcher (not read)
Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card (read)
First Meetings in Ender's Universe by Orson Scott Card (not read)
When a Gene Makes You Smell Like a Fish: And Other Amazing Tales about the Genes in Your Body by Lisa Seachrist Chiu (read)
The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl, Book 2) by Eoin Colfer (read)
Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse) by James S. A. Corey (read)
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl (read)
Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen (read)
I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle (not read)
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (read)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (read)
October Sky by Homer Hickam (not read)
The Gunslinger (revised and expanded edition) by Stephen King (read)
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (read)
The Next Queen of Heaven by Gregory Maguire (read)
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (read)
A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin (read)
A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin (DNF)
A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin (not read)
A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin (not read)
Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore (replaced with a different copy)
Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund (read)
them by Joyce Carol Oates (read)
The Red Queen by Matt Ridley (replaced with a different copy)
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (read)
Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith (read)
Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith (not read)
America (the Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction by Jon Stewart (not read)
Earth (the Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race by Jon Stewart (not read)
The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells (read)

That's 30 books out, compared to 36 books gained so far this year. A lot of the books in have been graphic novels/comics so I probably have a net gain of bookshelf space! I've also moved all of my graphic novels/comics to their own shelf underneath the TV, so my four main bookshelves are looking pretty nice! I'll post pics when I'm done.

22MickyFine
Aug 8, 11:54am Top

>21 norabelle414: Ooh, nicely done, Nora!

23_Zoe_
Aug 8, 12:21pm Top

24libraryperilous
Edited: Aug 9, 5:59pm Top

re: Veronica Mars (and I've no plans to watch the new eps), I do think the criticisms about female detectives always portrayed as broken and incapable of happiness in personal relationships are interesting. I don't require a happy ending, but I also don't think a noir designation always needs to exclude it. Again, no specific opinion on this particular show's ending, but I saw a couple of Twitter threads by feminist media critics who touched on the sexism behind male show writers consistently writing female characters with trauma in their pasts as unworthy of healthy relationships.

Congrats on the deaccessioning!

ETA: male show writers of a large number of shows, not just VM. Sorry, that paragraph is a jumble.

another edit: I've had Alice Bolin's essay collection, Dead Girls, on my TBR for ages. I might have to bump it up.

25norabelle414
Aug 9, 8:10pm Top

>24 libraryperilous: I think that's generally true, but there are other female characters who have trauma and have healthy relationships - {spoilers for seasons 2 and 3} Mac and Parker were both very traumatically raped but they have perfectly fine relationships after that. Also, {season 4 spoilers} Rob Thomas explicitly says that the reason he killed off Logan was so that the show could continue as something else - he doesn't intend for this to be the end for Veronica. If this was the end for her then maybe he wouldn't have killed Logan. Veronica did have a happy ending at the end of the movie, because at the time he intended for that to be Veronica's end.
I don't really think it's fair to paint Rob Thomas with that brush when he's written plenty of other complex female characters on both Veronica Mars and iZombie, with varying levels of trauma and relationships.

26norabelle414
Aug 12, 2:21pm Top

Last Tuesday I had someone from the management office come up to my apartment to inspect. She said it did smell a bit like cat to her but it wasn't overpowering and she is very sensitive to cat smells. She said she would try to address the issue from my neighbor's side of the wall going forward (though she is just the person who happened to be in the office when I stopped by, I don't know if she can single-handedly decide that.)
Rory came home Tuesday night. I moved a bunch of his stuff out of the bedroom (the room abutting the complaining neighbor) and cleaned the cat tree in there just in case the problem is dander/fur. I'm experimenting with not allowing Rory access to the bedroom when I'm not in it. He's mostly okay with it (a little complaining but I can easily distract him) when I am at home, though I have no way of knowing if he complains when I'm not home. I'd like to think he's smart enough to know it's pointless. We'll see if I get noise complaints along with the odor complaints.

My mom announced last Tuesday that she was coming down to visit us on Saturday. She told my brother she would walk his dog around dinnertime on Saturday (he was getting home very late that night) and then told me that her flight wasn't getting in until 10pm. So I ended up walking the dog, which I don't mind at all but my brother should know better than to trust our mom with something like that.
My mom stayed with me Saturday night, then Sunday morning she came with me to the zoo. Sunday was my brother's birthday so we all went out for dinner. She's staying with my brother and sister-in-law for the rest of her trip (they have a real guest room, I just have a pull-out couch in the living room), and leaving on Wednesday.

____________________

TV:
Bulletproof: British-import cop show. Did not like.
BH90210: A fictional behind-the-scenes show of a fictional Beverly Hills, 90210 revival. I really like the concept but I've never watched the original show so it's lost on me.
Two Sentence Horror Stories: A webseries based on, I think, a Tumblr meme? I'm not opposed to it in theory but the first two episodes were both about sexual assault so that's a big ole NOPE from me.
iZombie, series finale: The show has gone downhill the past couple seasons but the ending was very nice.

I have a few episodes from last week to catch up on, and then I'll watch season 1 of Ramy and season 3 of Harlots before disabling my Hulu account and heading back to Netflix to watch season 2 of Derry Girls and season 3 of GLOW.

27norabelle414
Aug 12, 2:23pm Top



10. Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

Fine, but not my thing. Very readable. I liked the ending and it somewhat made up for the earlier parts that I did not like.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

28bell7
Aug 12, 7:58pm Top

*Fingers crossed* that everything goes well in addressing the odor issue from the other side of the wall and that Rory is not complaining while you are gone. Hope the rest of the visit with your mom goes smoothly - and looking forward to your thoughts on Derry Girls, I'll be watching it too over the next few days.

29norabelle414
Aug 13, 3:26pm Top

>28 bell7: Thanks Mary!

____________________

I'm going to post reviews below for all the books I've already read this year, nobody get too excited!

30norabelle414
Aug 13, 3:39pm Top



3. The Bees by Laline Paull, read by Orlagh Cassidy

This is a reread, for a book club that I run for zoo volunteers. I originally read the book in 2014 as a combination of audio and paper, this time I listened only on audio. I still found the book to be far too long, and ended up skipping sections. There are sections of the story that work really well, and others that fundamentally cannot because it is impossible to get inside the mind of an animal that does not have a mind of its own. I did not get anything more out of it reading it a second time. No one showed up for this book club meeting except me, which could be a coincidence or could be an indication of how the other members felt about the book.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ♥ (3.5/5)



4. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, read by Bernadette Dunne

18-year-old Mary Katherine Blackwood (Merricat) lives in a big old house with her sister and her uncle. Something traumatic happened to the rest of her family, and the nearby townspeople blame the Blackwoods for it. They resent the money the Blackwoods (used to) have, and only come by to gawk and gossip. When a long-lost relative comes out of the woodwork to claim family money, the tentative truce with the townspeople is broken.

Very Shirley Jackson-y. The story raises more questions than it ever answers. Merricat is an extremely unreliable narrator, to the point where it’s possible some supernatural shenanigans are going on, but we have no way of knowing. A very enjoyable, short audiobook.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)



5. Josie and the Pussycats, Volume 1 by Marguerite Bennett, Cameron Deordio, and Audrey Mok

Josie and her best friend Melody start a band with Melody’s veterinarian, Valerie. Josie is an ambitious dreamer, Valerie is practical and brings Josie back to reality, and Melody loves animals. They get picked up by an agent and tour the world. Adventures ensue.

This series is *extremely* funny and entertaining, but has no plot whatsoever. Josie does something stupid out of ambition and Valerie reminds her of the value of friendship. Melody loses it over a kitten. Villains include music venue staff wielding contracts with exploitative fine print, animal traffickers, and Josie’s rich ex-bestie. A fun diversion but nothing deep. The artwork is fantastic.

This volume also includes Jughead #9. I’m no Jughead fan, but this issue was written by Ryan North, and boy is it charming. There’s footnotes galore and it involves Jughead meeting Sabrina! My fave. I just might read more of this version of Jughead.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)



6. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

Wayside School was supposed to be 30 classrooms side-by-side but instead it was build sideways – 30 classrooms tall. This is a book of stories about the class on the 30th floor.

The whole “sideways school” thing never made much sense to me as a kid; I’ve always lived in an urban area and I never went to a school building that had less than 4 stories. A 1-story school would have been far more bizarre to me than a 30-story school. Other than that, this book really holds up! It’s a great intro to absurdism for kids. My particular favorite was the story about Sherrie, who sleeps all through class and the teacher lets her because she assumes Sherrie must be concentrating on learning so much that she falls asleep. Even a story which could have aged poorly, about a boy with a girl name and a girl with a boy name who decide to switch names, turned out to be well-handled. If you remember this book from childhood and have considered revisiting it, I highly recommend doing so! Or give it to your own kids with confidence.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)



7. Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot, illustrated by Edward Gorey

A book of odd poems about various cats and kinds of cats. As a kid I thought this was weird and boring, and as an adult I still do. I’m not a poetry person and not even illustrations of cats can change that. There are brief moments of imagery in the poems that spark my interest, but not much. I associate much more with Gorey’s delightful drawings than the poems themselves.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)



8. Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat: Vol. 1: Hooked on a Feline by Kate Leth, Brittney L. Williams, and Natasha Allegri

Super hero Patsy Walker and her super friends thwart goofy villains and make even more friends while trying to pay New York City rent.

This is definitely not the Patsy Walker from the Jessica Jones TV show! She is light and frothy and funny. I really enjoyed the adventures of her and her friends: She-Hulk, Valkyrie, Squirrel Girl, etc. The story is very accessible, with little notes and sidebars telling the reader who various characters are. I loved the tone and the artwork. I highly recommend it if you want something fun, and I will definitely be reading more.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ♥ (4.5/5)



9. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

A 1962 expose on the long-term costs of humanity’s abuse of the environment. Rachel Carson worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and she saw firsthand what pesticides, herbicides, and invasive insects were doing to animals, humans, and the ecosystem.

This book was also for the book club I run for zoo volunteers. We had a very good discussion about it. The statistics and anecdotes were very shocking, though 57 years later none of us were exactly sure where society stands on any of the specific cases Carson discussed. Many of our current environmental problems are ones she could not have imagined – there’s no way to know what she would have thought of GMOs or organic panic or plastic vs. paper straws. Some of the solutions Carson proposed seem shockingly nearsighted to me, such as introducing invasive non-native predators to areas with invasive non-native pests. Noooooo! But it was still fascinating to read the origin of so much of our current knowledge about the environment.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)



10. Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

Evvie Drake was getting ready to leave her husband when he died in a car accident. A year later, her life still doesn’t feel normal. To make ends meet while she gets back on her feet she takes in a boarder – a former major league pitcher who can’t pitch anymore.

This gentle romance was perfectly fine, but romances aren’t really my thing. The writing was very readable. I don’t care about baseball, which isn’t a problem for understanding the book but I might have appreciated it more if I did care at least a little. I had some suspension of disbelief issues toward the beginning, mostly involving Evvie and Dean’s transition from complete strangers to close friends, and Evvie’s relationship with her other friends. However, the ending had a lot of really great things to say about trauma that made up for it.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

31norabelle414
Aug 13, 8:11pm Top



11. An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten, translated by Marlaine Delargy

Maud is 88, which is the perfect age to murder people who bother you, because no one will ever suspect you did it!

A tiny* book of clever stories. I enjoyed it a lot! Some characters from the author's other books (more traditional Scandicrime) show up toward the end, but you definitely do not need to know who they are to enjoy this funny little collection.

*I've only read a few books this year but two of them have been teeny tiny hardbacks about female murderers. What's up with that?

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

32MickyFine
Aug 14, 10:35am Top

>31 norabelle414: That is an excellent cover.

33norabelle414
Aug 15, 3:14pm Top

Well, it never ends.

Tuesday night I did not sleep well at all so I decided that I would take Wednesday off as a mental health day. My boss is out this week and I have accumulated a lot of paid leave so it would have no impact on my work if I took the day off to snoozle. I got up at my normal time to text my coworkers that I wouldn't be in, then went over to my computer to update my timecard.

And my computer wouldn't load Windows.

So I spent the entire day trying to fix it, or get my data off of it, or anything. I did get Windows to run in Safe Mode once, but it was early in the process so I spent the time trying to fix Windows instead of backing up my data as I should have. I can't get it to run in safe mode at all anymore, and when I try to restore to a save point I get an error that there's something wrong with my C drive. Then I run some diagnostic tests to find out what's wrong with my C drive and it says everything is fine (for a 6yo mid-range laptop).

I've purchased a new computer and it will be here Tuesday. Until then I will try a couple more ways to copy my data. If that doesn't work I have to decide if I had any data on my laptop worth saving (I struggle to think of anything that isn't saved online somewhere) and maybe pay to get it recovered. Data recovery costs a lot!

I'm very tired.....

34foggidawn
Aug 15, 3:50pm Top

>33 norabelle414: Ugh! Sorry about your computer problems (and sleeping problems -- I've had those lately, myself).

35MickyFine
Aug 15, 4:13pm Top

Oh Nora. If I were closer I'd be taking you out for a cup of tea right about now.

36norabelle414
Aug 15, 9:51pm Top

Crisis averted, for now! I managed to get my old computer up and running and copied all my files to an external hard drive. I had to reinstall Windows, which involved uninstalling all other programs, and I lost some stuff that way, but not much.

Quite the wake-up call! I'm looking forward to my new computer next week.

37bell7
Aug 16, 7:22am Top

>36 norabelle414: Oh good, so glad you were able to get it all onto an external hard drive. Hope your new computer is excellent!

38MickyFine
Aug 16, 11:11am Top

>36 norabelle414: Huzzah for saving data!

39MickyFine
Aug 16, 11:33am Top

Unrelated, the actress who played Gigi Darcy in Lizzie Bennet Diaries was in the episode of The Flash that I watched last night and it made me happy. Also, Supergirl watched the episode where Barry accidentally crosses over to Kara's universe and it was a delight from start to finish. I just want them to be best buds and be in the same universe all the time. Add in Felicity and it would be my perfect adorably charming trio.

40norabelle414
Edited: Aug 16, 12:36pm Top

Gigi Darcy!! She was so good on that episode. I'm still wondering what exactly was going on with her hair.



There is so much future crossover goodness waiting for you ♥

41MickyFine
Aug 16, 1:44pm Top

>40 norabelle414: I loved how excited she was about the ice cream.

I am looking forward to all the crossovers awaiting me. :D

42norabelle414
Aug 16, 2:20pm Top

>41 MickyFine: Both Kara being so excited about ice cream and also Barry being like "hmm I need to show people I can run fast, I'd better get them ice cream" are so so good.

43norabelle414
Aug 16, 2:54pm Top

I'm caught up on all of my non-streaming TV. I watched the first few episodes of Ramy on Hulu and enjoyed it.

This weekend I have free HBO so I'll be catching up on Barry s2 and Veep s7, and checking out new shows Gentleman Jack, Los Espookys, and Chernobyl. I expect to get a lot of reading and TV watching done this weekend, since my computer no longer has any games on it and I'm not going to bother reinstalling them before my new computer arrives on Tuesday.

44MickyFine
Edited: Aug 16, 3:16pm Top

>43 norabelle414: I've got Monday off and I'm trying to figure out what balance of reading/TV time I want. I'm super behind on West Wing for keeping up with West Wing Weekly but I also have barely watched season 4 of Outlander (even though I bought a season subscription on iTunes). But there's also a stack of 6 books waiting for me...

45ChelleBearss
Aug 16, 8:09pm Top

>21 norabelle414: that’s a decent book cull! I see you offloaded the No.1 Ladies Detective book. Did you enjoy that?
I recently finished one of McCall Smith’s Paul Stuart novels and it was decent.

46norabelle414
Aug 16, 8:47pm Top

>45 ChelleBearss: Thanks Chelle! I enjoyed the first one when I read it many years ago but I didn't like the second one nearly as much. I think I'm in a different place in my life now and I'd rather read stories about Black Africans that are written by Black Africans, but I would definitely try one of his Scottish novels if I came across one.

47norabelle414
Aug 17, 10:04am Top



12. Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

Cimorene is a princess, but she hates doing princess-y things like dancing and etiquette. So she runs away to become the personal assistant to a dragon, and foils the plans of some conniving wizards in the process.

This was my very favorite book as a kid, and it really holds up. I love that the things Cimorene runs away to do (cooking, cleaning, organizing) aren't exciting or glamorous, she just wants to be able to do things for herself. It's kind of a reverse Cinderella. (Though of course Kazul is respectful and friendly and not abusive.)

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (5/5)

48libraryperilous
Aug 17, 5:11pm Top

>47 norabelle414: Ooohhhh, need to read this.

49curioussquared
Aug 17, 5:44pm Top

>47 norabelle414: >48 libraryperilous: One of my all-time favorites!

50norabelle414
Aug 17, 6:30pm Top

>48 libraryperilous: Diana, you are in for such a treat!

51norabelle414
Aug 18, 10:16pm Top

I have some other books I want to read....but also now I want to read the sequels to Dealing with Dragons.... hmmm

52foggidawn
Aug 19, 8:56am Top

>47 norabelle414: I love that series so much.

53libraryperilous
Aug 19, 11:55am Top

>50 norabelle414: I've put it and Tam Lin (via curioussquared) on this week's to borrow list. I'm excited to read both. Thanks, Nora and Natalie, for the book bullets!

54norabelle414
Aug 21, 11:06am Top

I'm almost done with The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and really loving it. Next I think I will read The Wangs vs. The World, because it was mentioned on NPR's 100 Favorite Funny Books this week. I'm on the library holds list for Bunny by Mona Awad, which was recently covered by a podcast I listen to, but the list is very long so it will be awhile. I figured while I was putting holds on library books I could get on the list for Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng, who just won a Hugo award, only to find out that my library didn't have it! So I requested that the library order it, and now I think I'm going to order myself a copy along with the next two Becky Chambers books and The Truth About Animals by Lucy Cooke, which is the next zoo volunteer book club pick.

55norabelle414
Aug 23, 4:01pm Top

Things at work have been stressful so I haven't quite finished any books yet. I have been waking up at night worried about what Rory is doing (running around, playing with toys, meowing, using the litterbox) and whether the neighbors will hear/notice. The night before last I had a dream that I was trying to illegally keep a lion in my apartment as a pet and I was really stressed about getting caught.

My computer arrived on Monday and it's fine. When I was downloading updates and programs and stuff it was taking a very long time and I noticed that my wifi is *astoundingly* slow. I found an old ethernet cable and my wired internet speed is 80Mbps and my wifi speed is 2Mbps. Yikes. I'm paying for 75Mbps and while I wouldn't expect it to be that fast all the time, it's been between 800kbps and 2Mbps for several days. I've tried all the usual things - unplugging things and plugging them back in, changing the wifi channel, factory reset - to no avail, so I guess my next step would be either getting a new router or calling Verizon, who would probably give me a new router and charge a bunch for it.

A bit of family drama going on right now too.

But this should be a relaxing weekend! I've got nothing to do but my friend's birthday dinner tomorrow night, so I will definitely get some reading done.

56foggidawn
Aug 23, 4:05pm Top

>55 norabelle414: Sorry about your stress! I hope you can find plenty of time to relax this weekend.

57norabelle414
Edited: Aug 24, 11:08am Top



13. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

A motley crew in a patchwork spaceship make their living picking up odd jobs creating tunnels through space. Some of them get along better than others, but they're all still family. After hiring a new space-administrator (with a dark past), the captain decides they're finally ready to take on a big, high-profile, high-paying job - tunneling through space to connect galactic society to a new alien species - one with a history of violence.

This is the warmest, loveliest space travel story I've ever read. It's much more about the characters than it is about dramatics, and it was such a joy to spend time with. Although theoretically it shares a lot of DNA with other contemporary space operas like Ancillary Justice and Leviathan Wakes, I connected with it much more than I did with either of those books. Aside from a few scenes, most of the drama of the story comes not from thrills but from ethics and empathy - how different species with different mores interact with each other, and how to make decisions in a truly diverse culture. There are a lot of politics involved, but they're the politics of social justice, not who will get elected to what powerful office. Chambers does such a great job of creating character and backstory for alien species and the individuals within them. The Wayfarer crew feels instantly familiar. Highly highly recommended.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (5/5)

58norabelle414
Aug 24, 12:05pm Top



14. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Vol 1: BFF by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, and Tamra Bonvillain

Nine-year old inventor Lunella Lafayette has Inhuman DNA, the result of alien Kree meddling in the human bloodline thousands of years ago. This means that if she's exposed to the cloud of terragen gas hovering over Manhattan, her home, she'll turn into .... something else. Lunella doesn't want to be anything but herself, so she spends all her time inventing a way to protect herself, and everyone else with Inhuman DNA, but in the process accidentally brings a T. rex forward in time to 2016. Whoops!

A very enjoyable comic. Lunella is very fun, and the art is fantastic. There's some backstory going on with Devil Dinosaur and the Neanderthals (?) that travel through time with him that I didn't understand, (apparently Devil Dinosaur was an existing Marvel character from the 70s that just hung out in his normal time period) but Lunella's charisma more than makes up for it.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ♥ (4.5/5)

59MickyFine
Aug 24, 12:58pm Top

Sorry for to hear about the life stress but glad to see you've had some excellent reads to escape into.

60bell7
Aug 24, 6:30pm Top

I came to say almost exactly what >59 MickyFine: said :)

61leahbird
Aug 26, 9:33pm Top

>57 norabelle414: That sounds delightful. A bit like the family dynamic of Firefly but with less stealing and more social justice. Perfect!

62norabelle414
Aug 26, 10:46pm Top

>61 leahbird: Yes I was definitely getting strong Firefly vibes, but there are more aliens and they are just freelancers, not criminals.

63libraryperilous
Aug 27, 11:54am Top

>57 norabelle414: I liked The Long Way immensely. As you say, it's a cheerful adventure with good politics. I read it around the time I read The Goblin Emperor, and it struck me as similar. Both authors were interested in kindness, to both their characters and their readers. The other two books in the Wayfarers series didn't quite work for me, but I think I may have wanted too much from them. I'll be interested in your thoughts if you read them.

Hope the stress is a bit less for you soon, Nora.

64norabelle414
Aug 27, 12:09pm Top

>63 libraryperilous: I've been warned about the subsequent books not featuring the same characters (albeit after I ordered them) so I'm hoping I can keep my expectations tempered and just enjoy them.

65ChelleBearss
Aug 31, 10:23am Top

Sorry to see that you are stressed and dreaming because of it! Hope you get to relax this weekend

66libraryperilous
Aug 31, 12:38pm Top

>64 norabelle414: Fingers crossed for you! She has a novella, To Be Taught, If Fortunate, not set in the Wayfarers universe, out in September. It sounds interesting.

67norabelle414
Aug 31, 10:54pm Top

Well, I was planning to read and relax and go to bed early on Friday night, but then I got a call from my dad at 5:30 that he had to have emergency retina surgery and needed someone to pick him up from the hospital at 7:30, which ended up being more like 9:30. I got home around 11:30 and was too amped up to sleep much.

Today was the National Book Festival all day. I met up in the morning with WildMaggie, then saw:
V. E. Schwab
Seanan McGuire
Ann M. Martin and Gale Galligan
Nathan Englander (who I saw incidentally so that I could get a good seat for the next session)
and the grand finale of Emily Wilson and Madeline Miller

I got home at 8:45 and I'm exhausted! Hopefully tomorrow can be quiet and relaxing.

68drneutron
Sep 1, 8:51pm Top

Glad you got to see some good authors at the Book Fest. I wish I could have been there.

On another note, D and I are watching Carnival Row on Amazon Prime. If you have it, I think it’s definitely a series you’d like.

69bell7
Sep 2, 7:31am Top

>67 norabelle414: Sorry to hear about your dad's emergency surgery, but glad you had a great time at the National Book Festival. It felt a little weird not to be there this year, but I'll try really hard to keep my dogsitting schedule free next year :) Hope you had a quiet Sunday to catch up on rest!

70norabelle414
Sep 3, 11:20am Top

I missed both of you being there!

>68 drneutron: I use Amazon Prime sometimes (one or two months a year) and I have that one on the list to watch when I do! Thanks for the rec!

>69 bell7: Thanks Mary! He's physically doing fine but his life is a little weird right now. He has to spend most of his time laying face down?? Thankfully he already owned a massage table with a hole for his face.

71LauraBrook
Sep 3, 11:44am Top

Hi Nora! A big fat "no thanks, universe" to all of the stress in your life. Hope your week is off to an okay start, and give Rory a smooch from me!

72norabelle414
Sep 3, 1:15pm Top

I received an order of books last Thursday:

The Truth About Animals by Lucy Cooke
A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng

I did not buy any books at the Book Festival, partly because I had no one there to enable me *cough* and partly because the books I was interested in I either already own (Circe, The Odyssey) or they were not the author's most recent books and thus were not available (Seanan McGuire, V.E. Schwab)

I did get my copy of The Odyssey signed by Emily Wilson, which was very exciting.

The panel with Emily Wilson and Madeline Miller was good, except that the moderator, Alberto Manguel, was not good. He asked each of them to read particular scenes from their books several times to compare them, which is not a good choice for a 50-minute session, and at one point he asked Madeline Miller to read the last page of Circe?? She refused after the audience protested loudly. Then he interrupted people who were asking questions to tell them to hurry up (which then caused them to take longer to ask their question)

But Wilson and Miller themselves were great, and the panel is definitely worth watching when it's available online.

73norabelle414
Sep 3, 1:15pm Top

>71 LauraBrook: Thanks Laura! Will do.

74norabelle414
Sep 3, 4:08pm Top

Other things I've been doing lately:

On Thursday I went to a live taping of the NPR news quiz "Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me". The guest was local hero Jose Andres, and he (and the rest of the show) was extremely funny.

I watched all of season one of Gentleman Jack and loved it. It's like lesbian Poldark.
Ramy was very good. I think the hyper-specific autobiographical series genre is pretty saturated at the moment (Shrill, Special, Better Things, etc.) but this one does stand out from the crowd.
Season 2 of Derry Girls was just as great as season one.
I finished all 3 seasons of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, which is leaving Netflix in mid-September (presumably for Acorn or PBS Passport or wherever the new spin-off show is airing)
Season 3 of GLOW was very interesting, though I am not terribly happy with some of the decisions they made. Rhonda/Bash and Ruth/Sam are both very uninspired choices, though I liked where they ended up eventually. I liked the episodes that got more specific, like the one about Tamme's back, and I loved Sheila's arc.
I watched a new show on Hulu (in the US) called This Way Up, a kind of Fleabag-ish story about a young woman trying to get her life back on track after a trauma. I really, really loved it.

75norabelle414
Sep 4, 9:22am Top

I'm working on reading The Wangs vs. The World, but it's slow going because I hate all of the characters. It's kind of a cross between Crazy Rich Asians and Schitt's Creek, which seems like it would be very much my jam, but almost all of the book is spent wallowing in the thoughts of genuinely awful people, with no respite. I have figured out how to skim over the especially egregious parts, though, so I should be done soon.

76MickyFine
Sep 4, 12:38pm Top

Oof, hate reading sucks. Hopefully your next book is way more enjoyable.

77norabelle414
Edited: Sep 7, 10:43am Top

I finished The Wangs vs The World, review to come. I also read Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!, Volume 2: Don't Stop Me-Ow. I started reading Impostors by Scott Westerfeld, because I got an ARC of the sequel at ALA, but after 50 pages or so I realized that while it is technically a new series, it's set in the same world and after the events of the Uglies series, which I haven't finished. So back to the library it goes.

Now I'm reading Captain Marvel: Liberation Run by Tess Sharpe.

78libraryperilous
Sep 8, 3:05pm Top

>75 norabelle414: I tried Wangs and noped out. Everyone is terrible, in an edgelord way that feels like it's very common in literary fiction these days. I'm not the right reader for those kinds of domestic dramas, so I probably was harsh.

>74 norabelle414: My mom and I enjoyed the Miss Fisher series. I gather the books are fun reads, too. I read a comment online that described the TV show as 'wardrobe porn.' The costumes definitely were my favorite part.

Congrats on the Emily Wilson autograph!

79norabelle414
Sep 8, 9:49pm Top

>78 libraryperilous: I'm glad it wasn't just me! I thought it would be like Schitt's Creek, which I really love, but nothing much happens in the book except extensive flashbacks of people being terrible. I did enjoy the ending but it wasn't worth the journey to get there.

I've read a couple of the Miss Fisher books and I did enjoy them. Definitely recommended if you like cozy mystery books.

80libraryperilous
Sep 10, 2:16pm Top

>79 norabelle414: Schitt's Creek looks like tons of fun, judging by the .gif usage it gets on Twitter.

I'm intrigued by the Fisher series especially because I gather it's rather different on the romance front. I'll check out the first couple of books. Thanks for the rec!

81norabelle414
Edited: Sep 12, 9:10am Top

I was having weird trouble with Talk last night. Anytime I tried to post the message below, it would say "duplicate post", and also wouldn't let me post any message that was more than a couple words long. Odd.

82norabelle414
Edited: Sep 16, 1:51pm Top

Due to Murphy's Law of Library Holds, I have to rearrange my reading schedule:

Loki: Where Mischief Lies (library)
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge
Captain Marvel, Vol 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More
Captain Marvel: Liberation Run (library)
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! Vol 3: Careless Whiskers (library)
The Truth About Animals
Down Among the Sticks and Bones (library)

I am dog-sitting for my brother this weekend, and next weekend I'm traveling to Wisconsin to attend a family wedding, so I should get some solid reading time.

I also received an LTER book today: Almost Human: The Story of Julius, the Chimpanzee Caught Between Two Worlds.

83bell7
Sep 12, 9:19am Top

>81 norabelle414: I had the same issue last night, and even tried to reply to your post asking if anyone else was having trouble. I was hoping they'd show up today but apparently not.

84norabelle414
Sep 12, 9:27am Top

>83 bell7: They must be in the ether somewhere, because I still got the "duplicate message" notice when I tried to post >82 norabelle414: this morning.

85bell7
Sep 12, 9:31am Top

>84 norabelle414: Oh weird. I had replied to someone on my own thread and tried to reply to yours, kept refreshing Talk and then gave up *shrug*. I was afraid of losing a longer message if I were to try to write up a review or anything.

Hope you have a good weekend dogsitting!

87norabelle414
Sep 13, 11:58pm Top



15. The Wangs vs. The World by Jade Chang

Charles Wang emigrated from Taipei to Los Angeles in the late 70s, and used his father’s business connections to build a makeup production empire and become very, very rich. Then, in the Great Recession of 2008, he lost everything. Charles packs up his second wife and their housekeeper, checks his youngest child out of her expensive boarding school, and leaves his foreclosed house to drive across the country. They pick up the middle Wang child, Andrew, from college, on their way northeast to the home of the oldest child, Saina, in upstate New York. When they get there, Charles plans to return to China, where he technically never lived, to reclaim the land stripped from his ancestors by the communists.

I struggled to write a plot summary of this book that sounded at all interesting. There’s a lot of aspects to the story that seem like they could be interesting, but never pan out to anything. Ostensibly, the Great Recession is the cause of the Wangs’ downfall, but actually Charles just made a bad business decision, against the advice of his business advisors, and stupidly bet his whole house and his children’s multi-million dollar trust funds on it. I couldn’t see any actual connection to the Great Recession besides the timing. The characters are deeply unlikeable - Charles cheats on his wife constantly, his wife Barbra hates everyone, and eldest child Saina cheats on her boyfriend with her ex-boyfriend who she knows just got another woman pregnant. Being in any of their heads is very unpleasant. I did enjoy the ending, but it was not worth the trip to get there.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ (3/5)

88foggidawn
Sep 14, 7:37am Top

>87 norabelle414: Thank you for reading that one so I wouldn’t have to. I kept seeing comparisons to Crazy Rich Asians, but it sounds safe to skip it.

89norabelle414
Sep 14, 8:06pm Top

>88 foggidawn: I thought it was going to be similar to Crazy Rich Asians, or Schitt's Creek, but it feels totally different! I didn't find any of it funny at all.

90norabelle414
Sep 15, 12:03am Top



16. Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!, Vol. 2: Don't Stop Me-Ow by Kate Leth, Brittney L. Williams, Megan Wilson, and Rachelle Rosenberg

Patsy's childhood rival Hedy hired Jessica Jones to investigate Patsy, not knowing that they used to be friends. Whoops! Though of course Patsy doesn't remember that they were friends. She-Hulk got very badly injured in "Civil War II" and Patsy is worried about her. Hedy tricks both of Patsy's ex-husbands into attacking her. A villain named Black Cat is jealous of Patsy, and sends her cronies to kidnap one of Patsy's friends.

This issue was extra long (6 issues instead of 4 or 5) and very episodic, and I loved it. I wish Patsy and her friends could live forever, but unfortunately the next volume is the last.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ♥ (4.5/5)

91norabelle414
Edited: Sep 16, 3:29pm Top

Another library hold is being shelved right now!!! I didn't freeze it last week when all my other holds came in because I was number 19 on the list for 9 copies but Murphy struck again. Will I ever learn??? (no)

92libraryperilous
Sep 16, 5:04pm Top

I like to view my library holds as potential TBRs, not absolute TBRs. It makes it less stressful and more like a smorgasbord when they all hit at once. Sometimes I just return all of them unread and place them on hold again. :)

93norabelle414
Sep 16, 5:12pm Top

>92 libraryperilous: I definitely want to read all of them, but I don't have the time when they all come in at once! I try to prioritize the ones that can't be renewed but I always end up sending something back to the library half-read and then when my turn comes back up again, I've half-forgotten what I already read.

94MickyFine
Sep 19, 3:48pm Top

After a week away on vacation, I've got a Murphy's Law of Holds level of books to take home for Mr. Fine. I managed to set up my reading life so no holds came in while I was away (except for one DVD). Of course, now I've placed a bunch of holds so we'll see how that goes. :)

95klobrien2
Edited: Sep 23, 9:27pm Top

>92 libraryperilous: >93 norabelle414: >94 MickyFine: I feel the same way about library holds! Just today I picked two up, and because people were waiting for them, and I have so many books in the works, I handed them back and requested again. Maybe I'll clear up the logjam soon!

Karen O.

96libraryperilous
Sep 22, 3:56pm Top

>93 norabelle414:, >94 MickyFine:, >95 klobrien2: I tried to manage my holds by not placing any new ones, but I went through my active TBR a couple of days ago. The library has more of them than I expected, so ...

Fingers crossed they also order at least one of the five suggestions I submitted.

97norabelle414
Sep 23, 3:38pm Top

>94 MickyFine: I managed to not have any holds come in while I was out of town! Where is my medal?

>95 klobrien2: My library does let you "freeze" holds, but sometimes I forget! Or I don't freeze them because I think it will be ages until my number comes up. And then if I do freeze them, I always forget to unfreeze them ...

>96 libraryperilous: I have an extremely bad habit of keeping my unowned-TBR list as library holds! I do not recommend!!

98MickyFine
Edited: Sep 23, 3:43pm Top

99bell7
Sep 23, 3:51pm Top

>97 norabelle414: My library also lets me freeze holds, but I still have a total hold limit of 20. I currently have 10 books checked out which is stressing me out some, so I've frozen all 13 holds I currently have and I'm going to try very hard not to add to that while I read over the next few weeks! (Two of them are books I'd returned unread and put new holds on already...)

Nice job on not getting holds in while you were away ;)

100norabelle414
Sep 23, 4:01pm Top

>98 MickyFine:

>99 bell7: Very briefly last week I had 9 books checked out (limit 10) and I was getting very anxious about what would happen if two more holds came in!! But now I'm down to a much more reasonable 5 checkouts.

101MickyFine
Sep 23, 5:24pm Top

>100 norabelle414: Library nerdery: does your library have limits per format?

102norabelle414
Sep 23, 5:51pm Top

>101 MickyFine: Unsure. They definitely have separate limits for e-materials even though the e-materials show up on the general checkouts page, which I do not care for. It gives me a heart attack every time I see a book on the checkouts page that is not in my physical stack of library books.

103libraryperilous
Sep 23, 6:48pm Top

For real though, her dress is gorgeous. I've never seen the show, but she seems pretty rad.

>97 norabelle414: Ha! Right before I read this comment, I had cancelled several holds. And shortly before that I had nuked my TBR. It was all just too much!

104MickyFine
Sep 24, 11:36am Top

>102 norabelle414: Resisting the urge to librarian out and explain why both those things are true but no one asked. :) Good luck with getting through the stack of things!

105norabelle414
Sep 30, 4:14pm Top

Dog-sitting went very well. My brother and sister-in-law are doing a fantastic job of training their dog and he's very well-behaved now. He was raised in a breeding/kennel situation so he was not used to being around people or indoors, but now he's fine with almost any person once he gets to know them. He's totally out of the crate at night and when alone in the house. He doesn't chew things up but he does like lightly carrying around items that smell like his people (including the remote control??)

My family trip to Wisconsin also went well. My brother and sister-in-law and I stayed at my mom's house for a couple days. On Friday we went to see Taliesin (Frank Lloyd Wright's house), Saturday we went to the farmer's market and then to my uncle's wedding. Sunday everyone else went to a Brewers Game and I went to the Milwaukee Zoo.

This past Thursday was the start of the theater season; I went to see Jitney, the 1970s entry in August Wilson's Centennial Cycle. It's pretty similar to last year's Two Trains Running, which is about a diner in the 1960s that is about to be torn down, while Jitney is about an illegal cab company that is about to be torn down. There's similar themes of tight-knit neighborhoods, climbing the class ladder, and young-ish black men recovering from incarceration. The similarities don't make either less enjoyable, though.

106norabelle414
Sep 30, 9:35pm Top



17. Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee

When the Asgardian Loki was a teenager, his father Odin saw a vision of one of his sons raising an army against him. Loki tried to sneak a peek but it didn't really matter - he knew it would be him committing treason and not his perfect hero brother Thor. Now that he's an adult Loki can do no right in his father's eyes and eventually gets himself banished "assigned" to Midgard - a boring, magic-less realm called Earth. Loki arrives in 1890s London to find an epidemic of living death - possibly caused by magic. He teams up with the lowly, distrustful agents of S.H.A.R.P. to understand the cause of the mayhem and earn his way back to Asgard and his father's good graces.

Pretty good, if shallow (as these Marvel YA novels tend to be). I am not a huge Loki fan, and I can't tell if I would like this book more or less if I was. (Though he is canonically bisexual, and frequently gets chastised for wearing women's heels, which I believe would be popular with his fandom.) The 1890s setting, with magic, is very cool. The ending is by far the most interesting part of the story - there basically isn't one. Loki confesses what he's done, and Odin says he is going to declare Thor to be the heir to the throne (which Loki already knew was going to happen). Odin asks Loki what he's going to do next, and then the book stops. It's fascinatingly open-ended. Recommended if you're into it, but if you're unfamiliar with the current popular representation of Loki/Thor, don't start here.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

107PaulCranswick
Sep 30, 11:06pm Top

>106 norabelle414: Marvel are doing a great job of cashing in on the success of the Thor movies, Nora.

108norabelle414
Oct 1, 10:52am Top

>107 PaulCranswick: I don't know how much a book counts toward cashing in on such a huge franchise, but they definitely got my library to order copies and I'm sure it adds up.

109norabelle414
Oct 1, 2:06pm Top

Reading Update:
Almost done with Bunny by Mona Awad. A weird book.
Next I hope to read Captain Marvel, Vol 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More (mine) and Captain Marvel: Liberation Run (library)
Today is publication day for Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia, and I'm number one on the holds lists.
Starting to think about what books I want to bring with me on my next trip, 15-20 October.

TV Update:
It's new TV season! I've watched the first episode of a bunch of new shows.
All Rise - A show about a female judge. It's fine. It's got Wilson Bethel in it.
Bob Hearts Abishola - The guy from Mike & Molly has a heart attack and falls in love with his Nigerian nurse. It's bad and stalker-y.
Bluff City Law - A corporate lawyer returns to her estranged father's famous social justice oriented law firm. It's fine. Kind of a reverse Burden of Truth.
Prodigal Son - A criminal profiler is very good at profiling serial killers because he is a sociopath and his father was a serial killer. It's fine. I'm 85% sure no one on the show knows what "prodigal" means (or at least they're catering to people who don't know what "prodigal" means?). Michael Sheen plays the serial killer father and it's been interesting seeing fans for whom Good Omens was their primary exposure to him go nuts over this.
Emergence - A small-town sheriff finds a mysterious girl who is on the run from the government and secretly has electricity powers. It's fine for now but I don't have high hopes. It's basically Stranger Things without all the good or enjoyable parts. But it does have Allison Tolman in it.
Mixed-ish - Another spin-off of Black-ish, about Bow's mixed-race hippie family in the late 80s/early 90s. It was fine but I'm worried it's going to lean too hard on nostalgia instead of actual story/characters.
Stumptown - An adaptation of the graphic novel. An alcoholic, gambling-addicted Iraq War veteran starts a PI business but everyone thinks she's a screw up. Surprisingly clever and funny? Stumptown is a nickname for Portland, OR so it's a little weird and everyone talks about coffee constantly. Cobie Smulders is delightful, of course, and Nick Miller from New Girl plays a bartender on the exact same set as his bar from New Girl, which I find hilarious.
Carol's Second Act - A divorced, retired teacher goes to med school and starts as an intern. Better than I thought it would be but still traffics in stereotypes about millennials (they don't know what anything is!) and doctors (they're heartless!). But all the characters are nice to each other and all the actors are charming.
Evil - A pragmatic psychologist and a Catholic priest(?) team up to investigate possible demonic possessions, which are definitely not real, right? A very good pilot. Great acting by Katja Herbers, Mike Coulter (Luke Cage), Aasif Mandvi, and Michael Emerson (Lost). Definitely recommended if you liked The Exorcist (2016-2018)
Sunnyside - A disgraced ex-city-councilor decides to redeem himself by helping a rag-tag group of immigrants get their citizenship. A surprisingly great pilot! Kal Penn is charming, and the members of the study group are complex and funny without being stereotypes. Also Bill Nye is in this pilot for almost no reason?? except to utter the words "I'm really more of a science guy".
Perfect Harmony - A disgraced ex-choir teacher moved to his wife's Kentucky hometown and then she died, and he gets drunk and agrees to conduct a rag-tag church choir. An astoundingly bad pilot. The show could end up being good, but this pilot tries to cram a movie's worth of plot into 22 minutes, and is terrible at conveying information. Seems like someone wrote it in about 20 minutes while high on caffeine. What is Bradley Whitford doing in the lead role of this?
The Unicorn - A widowed father is still a total mess a year after his wife died, so his friends tell him he needs to start dating. There's a disconnect here. The idea of a widowed dad being a hot commodity in the dating world is entertaining, but I don't know what that has to do with him cleaning his house and cooking dinner and setting boundaries for his kids. Seems like his friends are just assholes who don't want to hang out with a single guy?

I had free Epix last weekend so I watched almost all of Pennyworth, a show set in 1960s London about Batman's future butler Alfred Pennyworth when he was young. The pilot and the first few episodes were amazing, but then Alfred's fiancee gets killed off and it goes very sharply downhill. He spends the rest of the season moping around and doing nothing. Incredibly boring.

110libraryperilous
Oct 1, 4:03pm Top

LOL, Michael Sheen is a great actor! Wait, he's fifty?!?!? Where does the time go?

111norabelle414
Oct 1, 4:10pm Top

>110 libraryperilous: He is! The grey hair looks good on him.

112MickyFine
Edited: Oct 2, 11:32am Top

>109 norabelle414: Oooh, Wilson Bethel. I assume on a legal drama he has to wear more clothes.



I read your spoilers on Pennyworth and now I'm less inclined to watch if it ever makes its way to Canadian Netflix. Ah well. My list on there is massive anyway.

113norabelle414
Oct 2, 2:15pm Top

>112 MickyFine: Well, it's only on episode 2! He also does not have a southern accent, but he does have daddy issues.

Re: Pennyworth, the pilot and the first few episodes are so fantastic it would be worth it just to watch those. You can pretend it's a movie!

114MickyFine
Oct 2, 2:39pm Top

>113 norabelle414: Duly noted!

116libraryperilous
Oct 5, 8:04pm Top

Ooh, good haul! I love Hild—an all-time favorite. I've heard tons of good things about the Lady Astronaut series and The Sparrow. My mom read The Other Einstein and really liked it.

117The_Hibernator
Oct 5, 9:44pm Top

I loved The Screaming Staircase. That's a good series. :)

118norabelle414
Edited: Oct 6, 10:57am Top



18. Bunny by Mona Awad

Lonely creative writing graduate student Samantha completely resents her classmates - a close-knit clique of four perfect rich girls who call each other "bunny". One day the bunnies invite Samantha to one of their mysterious parties - the Smut Salon - and Samantha leaves her co-dependent best friend Ava to fall into the bunnies' weird, disturbing world.

This could have been so good, and I could have loved it. The intersection of the twee and the macabre is where I live, but I do NOT live on the cul-de-sac of "this doesn't make sense". A lot of interesting threads are just dropped (the school is in a city so dangerous that no one can go outside at night and there are beheadings on a regular basis, but that's only mentioned once or twice and never directly addressed.) The bunnies seemed like they could be interesting, Stepford-Wife villains, but somehow they're not well drawn enough to be automatons. And in the end, it turns out that almost nothing in this book was real, which could have been compelling if the story was good but since it's not everything just collapses into a puddle of boring.
Nothing in this story feels fully formed (literally or figuratively), and while that might be the point it is deeply unsatisfying to read. It is, in the end, about the stories we tell ourselves when we are very lonely, but I really wanted there to be more here.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ (3/5)

119norabelle414
Oct 6, 11:15am Top



19. Captain Marvel, Vol 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More by Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez

Captain Marvel and Iron Patriot (Rhodey) find a cryo-chamber hurtling toward Earth. It contains a young alien woman, and Captain Marvel sets off to deliver her back home. Upon arriving on the planet (after running into the Guardians of the Galaxy along the way), Captain Marvel discovers the cryo-woman's people are refugees whose planet was destroyed by the Builders. Another civilization has granted them sanctuary on an uninhabited outer planet, but the refugees are being abused by their hosts and Captain Marvel will NOT stand for that.

The general plot of this story is easy enough to follow, but there is SO MUCH backstory that I do not know at all. I don't know who the Builders are, or who the Galactic Alliance is, who J'Son is or who the Spartax are. That didn't affect my understanding of the overall plot, but there were lots of references I didn't get.
The art fantastic. This six-issue collected volume is very structured; there's a teaser at the beginning and the plot is wrapped up at the end. Enjoyable to read, except for all the references I didn't get.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

120MickyFine
Oct 7, 12:19pm Top

>115 norabelle414: Shirtlessness! Huzzah! Also, very nice library sale haul.

>119 norabelle414: Glad to see you enjoyed that one. I'm tempted to dive into Captain Marvel but all the backstory intimidates me. I have the same feeling about X-Men.

121norabelle414
Oct 7, 1:51pm Top

>120 MickyFine: There were some parts that I skimmed because they were a lot of backstory that I didn't understand. (They might be Guardians of the Galaxy-related backstory? Some Googling tells me that the Big Bad, J'Son, is Peter Quill's dad. I saw the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie but I found it very boring and don't remember a lot.)
I might try going back to the beginning of the previous iteration (Captain Marvel Volume 1: In Pursuit of Flight by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios) to see if that's an easier place to start.

122norabelle414
Oct 7, 2:07pm Top

I'm going on another trip, Oct 15-22. Trying to decide what books to bring with me.
I still don't have Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts in my hands even though it was published last Tuesday. The library still lists it as "in processing". Maybe they're behind on processing because of the book sale?

I've still got a ways to go on the holds list for Wayward Son, so I'm picking up Carry On to re-read in preparation.

123norabelle414
Oct 7, 4:09pm Top

More TV:

Almost Family - A US remake of the Australian show Sisters, about the adult daughter of a famous fertility doctor who finds out that her father used his own sperm to impregnate dozens and dozens of patients in the 1980s. I watched Sisters this summer and really enjoyed it. Almost Family is not nearly as good. The father comes off as much more of a creep, Brittany Snow is not believable as a weirdo, etc. Everything about it is just slightly worse. But I'll keep watching for awhile to see if it gets better.
Workin' Moms, season 3 - not as good as season 2
Batwoman - a very pilot-y pilot. But am I ever going to not watch an Arrowverse show? No.

Still watching:
All Rise
Mixed-ish
Stumptown
Evil
Sunnyside

Dropped after episode 2:
Bob Hearts Abishola
Bluff City Law
Prodigal Son
Emergence
Carol's Second Act
Perfect Harmony
The Unicorn

Also still watching my usual shows:
The Terror, Bless This Mess, black-ish, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The Good Place, Just Roll With It, Raven's Home, Saturday Night Live, The Durrells, Poldark, Supergirl, Mr. Robot

124MickyFine
Oct 8, 11:45am Top

>122 norabelle414: Depends on how your library does things. In my experience, it's pretty rare for a book to hit a library bookshelf any earlier than a week or two after its publication date but I know the systems you use are much bigger than any I've worked for so maybe they've got a quicker turnaround.

Going anywhere exciting for your trip?

It is going to be SO LONG before I get to try Batwoman. We're getting closer to starting new seasons on our Arrowverse viewing (we've finished Supergirl season 1) but it'll probably still be a few more weeks before we've wrapped up Legends s1, Flash s2, and Arrow s4.

125norabelle414
Oct 8, 11:56am Top

>124 MickyFine: Turns out my library had listed the publication date as last Tuesday but it's actually today. Annoyance level back down to zero.

I'm going to Texas, spending a few days with my paternal uncle in Austin, then going to my mom's husband's son's wedding in San Antonio. It should be a good time but I'm very tired of traveling.

126MickyFine
Oct 8, 12:48pm Top

>125 norabelle414: Hopefully you've got a hermit weekend booked for shortly after you get back. :)

127norabelle414
Oct 23, 11:56am Top

I did not get much reading done on my trip, as expected. I did finish knitting a dishcloth with bluebells on it to give to my aunt and uncle. I was planning to make four of them but the pattern was VERY DIFFICULT and it did not come out looking like it was supposed to. So they just got one. I also started knitting another dishcloth, which is much easier.

I'm going to return unread several of the books I have out from the library (Captain Marvel: Liberation Run, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Patsy Walker Vol 3) just because they're staring at me from the coffee table.

Reading Plan:
The Truth About Animals (book club book; must finish by Nov 1)
Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts (library; should return by Nov 1 (but probably won't))
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge (LTER)

TV Update:

Unbelievable: Netflix fictionalization of a ProPublica article about a woman who was raped in 2008, but no one believed her, juxtaposed with the story of two detectives investigating a serial rapist in 2011. Really sensitively handled. Great acting all around. The first episode or two should be watched with care; there's no graphic imagery but it is very emotional. Everything after that is cathartic, systematic police work. I'm not a fan of true crime, but this isn't sensationalized in any way. I intended to watch it slowly but once I got to episode 3 or 4 I just kept going through the end.
Raising Dion: Netflix show about a mom whose husband disappeared in a science experiment and now discovers that her 8yo son has super powers. Very good acting all around, including (but not limited to) Michael B. Jordan as the dad (in flashbacks) and Jason Ritter as the best friend/godfather. I've only watched 2 episodes so far but I hope I have time to give it the attention it deserves soon. It scratches the Stranger Things itch (minus the 80s nostalgia).
The Politician: Ryan Murphy's Netflix show about a rich private high school boy's campaign to be class president and go to Harvard so he can eventually become US President. I've watched the first 3 episodes. Every character on this show is very dry and emotionless? And they're all so blandly pretty that it's hard to tell them apart. I find the show uncompelling but Ryan Murphy shows are easy to let wash over you while you're doing something else.
Nancy Drew: Very bad. No resemblance to anything Nancy Drew besides the name. It's like Riverdale (which I also don't like) stripped of anything fun or funny.
Press: PBS airing of a BBC drama about the staff of two newspapers - a highbrow paper struggling to make money and a lowbrow paper struggling to be taken seriously. I'm very picky about modern-set PBS dramas; this one is fine but not great.

I've heard several people say that Emergence is good so I might give it another few episodes (I previously dropped it after 2).

128MickyFine
Oct 23, 2:04pm Top

Yay! Nora is back! I missed you! Ok, one sentence without an exclamation point to avoid looking like a psychopath.

I watched the first episode of iZombie on Netflix last week. I think it'll be my "I'm home alone today" show for now. So progress on it will be VERY slow.

129norabelle414
Oct 23, 2:13pm Top

>128 MickyFine: I've been here! Just not posting on this thread while there's exciting stuff going on over here.

The first two seasons of iZombie are really fantastic, but then it kind of peters out. Sounds like a good "I'm home alone today" show.

Speaking of which, before I left (while I was knitting) I watched Bridget Jones' Baby. It was... a movie.

130libraryperilous
Oct 23, 5:19pm Top

>129 norabelle414: Good stuff! I'm excited for less tabs at the top and I like the new color scheme.

I have a couple of users on that thread blocked, and I made the mistake of clicking and uncovering one of their comments. Of course, it's not a constructive critique, it's an "LT is MY Precious, you are Pure Evil for changing anything" type of comment. Like, humans do find change difficult, but, also, your brain adjusts in a few weeks if you try something new.

131norabelle414
Oct 23, 10:57pm Top

>130 libraryperilous: Oh yeah, I have several of them blocked too. I click through to see what they say but the extra click is a reminder that I know I'm going to get frustrated with them and it's my own fault for clicking to see their post.

This is how every announcement of every LT feature goes:

Tim: We're going to do change X. What do you think?
One User: Ok as long as you don't take away our ability to do Y (completely unrelated thing)
A Million other Users: OMG no why are you going to take away our ability to do Y???????

132libraryperilous
Oct 23, 11:21pm Top

>131 norabelle414: I caved and regretted it instantly. "You blocked them for a reason, Diana!"—me, two milliseconds later.

Also, in addition to fearing small changes and, as you've noted, freaking out over unrelated things, there seems to be quite a bit of snobbery re: Goodreads. I don't like Goodreads, but lots of people do and use both sites. It doesn't make sense to think that every change is going to turn LT into Goodreads. Plus, adding some social features probably would be fun!

LT's staff are super hands on and accessible, and it's obvious Tim cares what users think. He always seems to get shouty feedback from a very small number of hardcore, longtime users, and they make it difficult for him to push back. It feels like it's the same 5-10 people every time.

133norabelle414
Oct 23, 11:48pm Top

>132 libraryperilous: I am one of the most anti-goodreads people you will find, but the internet in 2019 is the internet in 2019. A lot of sites look similar. LT looks like Goodreads looks like Facebook looks like Ravelry looks like Mint looks like whatever. (I don't know what cool people do on the internet.) They look that way because looking that way works, and people expect them to look that way.

They're not even adding features at the moment, just changing how the header looks!

I find it funny that there was an article a few weeks ago about how Amazon hasn't much improved Goodreads since they bought it and has essentially left it to fester, and then people on LT are complaining that changing LT will make it too much like Goodreads.

134norabelle414
Oct 24, 10:05am Top

Well..... I finally did the thing I've been scared of doing for years. I returned the wrong library book. I had a stack of three books to return and I thought the middle one was Captain Marvel: Liberation Run but actually it was Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts. So now I'm back down to number 15 on the holds list.

135MickyFine
Oct 24, 10:58am Top

>129 norabelle414: Ah. I like to be surprised so I haven't dipped my toe there. Also all the things you and Diana noted will probably keep me away.

>134 norabelle414: Noooooo! Hopefully you make your way back to the front quickly.

136libraryperilous
Edited: Oct 24, 1:15pm Top

>134 norabelle414: Oh, oof. Sorry that happened to you. Well, at least you know you can survive the scare.

>133 norabelle414: I'm not cool on the internet either. I visit LT and Twitter regularly, and that's about it. I'm trying not to use Twitter as much, because the 2020 Democratic primary is much less stressful when I'm not around social media.

ETA: I've now caught up on the latest comments on the troublesome thread, and I have been amply reminded of why I blocked the Talk About LibraryThing group itself in the first place.

137norabelle414
Oct 24, 1:44pm Top

>136 libraryperilous: There are usually really great conversations in the Talk About Librarything group, but anything involving the slightest change can get testy. I do think it's important for saner people to speak up, so Tim knows there are plenty of people who will not leave the site because there's slightly more dark red in the navigation bar, or whatever.

138leahbird
Oct 25, 1:37am Top

I usually go on those threads to say "Good job team" almost regardless of whether I have thoughts or not. The couple of screamers that ALWAYS have reams of negative things to say are just the worst gatekeepery types.

My only constructive criticism was that I hate the colors. But the world will keep turning and I will keep coming to LT even if everything stays red 🤮

139norabelle414
Oct 25, 12:12pm Top

>138 leahbird: The negative screamers do bother me, but I find them less annoying than the people who go completely off topic to ask for some random other (usually complex) feature that has nothing to do with the topic at hand, or the people that assume that because LT is adding feature A that means they are going to get rid of feature B. Or people who insist that absolutely every feature must be optional.

140libraryperilous
Edited: Oct 25, 1:01pm Top

>138 leahbird:, >139 norabelle414: That was exactly why I left my "I like it!" comment and my silly request for a new nav bar color on the Pirate site. I had typed a longer comment, but I realized it would not affect the people to whom it was aimed in the slightest.

>135 MickyFine: I would feel surprise if they reverted the site back to its previous iteration tomorrow, because I remember nothing about how LT looked before the last change that had people on their fainting sofas. I'm sure I'll forget what the current version looks like after the next one goes live. :)

On a side note, it almost is time for SantaThing—yay!—and I chuckled at the thought of how pear-shaped a thread of proposed SantaThing changes would go.

Edited: missing word

141norabelle414
Oct 25, 1:26pm Top

>140 libraryperilous: You can technically still revert back to the old version at the bottom of the widgets page: https://www.librarything.com/more/widgets
There are still people on this site who lose their minds at the idea of having to convert to the "hideous" "new" (2013) version. The idea that a website would maintain access to a previous version just for some people is so wild.

I don't usually agree with what lorax says (or how they say it) but I'm glad they brought up the fact that the color that people are comparing to excrement is, in fact, the color of some people's skin and so maybe people should examine their choice of descriptors.

I think they do put up a thread for suggested changes to SantaThing, after SantaThing is over. (Which is the correct time to do it, imo.) I don't participate anymore but when I did it would really bother me that I couldn't access the descriptions from my previous year's entry.

142libraryperilous
Oct 25, 2:13pm Top

>141 norabelle414: Yes, I've never felt the need to revert or even revisit it. Thanks for the link. I'd forgotten where to find it. LT has so many Easter Eggs. In this new thread, Tim nixes keeping old versions, so they're going to have to deal with it. What a weird thing to expect on the internet.

Agree about lorax's usual way of posting, but good on them correcting that. *goes off to look at that thread* Oh, god, how awful. Plus, everyone is just repeating themselves. I've red xed it.

I'd like not to have to code paragraph breaks in my SantaThing entry. A better matching algorithm would be nice, but I doubt it would ever be any kind of priority—understandably. I've only had one year where I had to pick for someone whose requested books were both outside my scope and unpleasant for me to deal with. I managed to do it and then snagged an orphan to have fun with later.

143norabelle414
Oct 25, 2:40pm Top

>142 libraryperilous: I had two years in a row where my santee had signed up for LT only to do SantaThing and had zero books in their account and it was so frustrating and unrewarding that I just stopped. I still like making recommendations and snagging orphans, though.

144leahbird
Oct 25, 10:33pm Top

>141 norabelle414: I didn't see that comment of Lorax's (because at this point I scroll past, I just can't) but I appreciate that inclusivity.

145_Zoe_
Oct 26, 8:19am Top

people who go completely off topic to ask for some random other (usually complex) feature that has nothing to do with the topic at hand

Noooo, but this is the only way to get Tim to consider a feature. RSI threads just get completely ignored, so you have to strategically catch his attention by finding some possible link to a thread he's actually reading :P

146libraryperilous
Oct 26, 9:50am Top

>143 norabelle414: Oh, that would be frustrating! I'm trying something new with my entry this year. I've made a wishlist account and am going to ask for books off it. I know people feel that takes the joy out of picking, but I'm so behind on 2019 releases I want to read. I have around 75 titles on the list, so there's enough variety, I hope.

>145 _Zoe_: Optimistic of you to think even this strategy will work :)

147norabelle414
Oct 26, 1:58pm Top

>145 _Zoe_: I do not believe that telling Tim that you don't want wishlisted books to count in "all collections" on a thread about the design of the top navigation bar is a good way to get him to see that, and it's incredibly frustrating for those of us who ARE interested in providing feedback on the design of the top navigation bar.

>146 libraryperilous: If you have 75 books on your wishlist then you will definitely be surprised by which 2-4 of them you end up getting ;-)

148libraryperilous
Oct 27, 10:57am Top

>147 norabelle414: For sure. I'm up to 100+, so the Santa also should not have any reason to grumble. Lots of choices for them to make :)

149norabelle414
Nov 1, 11:04am Top

Last night I saw Right to be Forgotten by Sharyn Rothstein at Arena Stage. An awkward 28yo PhD student can't get a job or a social life because a mistake he made when he was 17 has developed a life of its own online. He hires a very enthusiastic lawyer to help him sue the tech companies that won't remove his search results, but the line between privacy and free speech is never easy to navigate. A good play; complicated, morally ambiguous, and timely.

We were supposed to see Newsies at Arena Stage on November 7, but my dad has a conflict so now we're going on December 4th so I have to wait a WHOLE MONTH :-(

150Ape
Nov 1, 1:21pm Top

The last time I participated in Santa Thing (which, I believe, Nora gifted me!) my Santa sent me books from the small publishing company they worked for. They basically used Santa Thing to sell their own books. Lame!

151norabelle414
Nov 1, 1:35pm Top

>150 Ape: I had forgotten about that! What a bummer.

152norabelle414
Nov 1, 2:27pm Top

Tomorrow's Zoo Volunteer Book Club meeting is at the same time as the Nationals victory parade downtown, so probably no one is going to show up. Which is a bummer! Because the book is excellent.

Here's what we're reading in 2020:
Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
Raising America's Zoo: How Two Gorillas Helped Transform the National Zoo
In the Shadow of Man
Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?
A History of Rock Creek Park: Wilderness & Washington DC
Oryx and Crake

153libraryperilous
Nov 2, 10:24am Top

>150 Ape: Oh, that's awful! I can't imagine being that self-centered and forward about it.

>152 norabelle414: I have the Frans de Waal book on my TBR.

154norabelle414
Nov 4, 12:48pm Top

On Saturday the book club had a great discussion of The Truth About Animals by Lucy Cooke, which was unanimously beloved. I'll review it soon.

The schedule for 2020 went over well. There was some excitement about the Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake, which is surprising to me because there was push-back when I suggested including an occasional fiction book, and no one showed up to the meeting back in May to discuss The Bees. Probably because everyone in DC has been reading The Handmaid's Tale/The Testaments lately. I printed up a schedule and posted it in the volunteer lounge, emailed it to the rest of the board, and

I'm a little concerned about Raising America's Zoo and A History of Rock Creek Park, which are both local-interest books from small publishers and I'm not sure what their availability is like (I already own both books).

I'm also struggling to find any books about nature by authors of color to add to our list in the future. Does anyone have any suggestions?

155libraryperilous
Nov 7, 5:56pm Top

Most of the scant few nature books by POC I have on my TBR are academic press titles. I do have Lauret Savoy's Trace on my TBR, but it's about geology. I believe J. Drew Lanham has written some books about birding.

156bell7
Edited: Nov 7, 7:50pm Top

Glad to hear the book discussion went so well! I haven't read any books about nature by POC authors to be able to recommend them, but I looked up what I could to find some...

Black Faces, White Spaces by Carolyn Finney talks about why so few visitors to national parks are African American
Enrique Salmon is an indigenous ethnobotanist who wrote Eating the Landscape
Then there's The Colors of Nature edited by Alison Hawthorne Deming, a collection of essays

I also found a syllabus for a course on African American Nature Writers that includes Tar Baby by Toni Morrison as well as other books, short stories and a film I hadn't known about.

It's... really very few, sadly. This is stretching things a bit (okay, enormously) but author Nnedi Okorafor is super into insects. It doesn't come into her fiction really, but it does in her tweets and *might* be in Broken Places & Outer Spaces but I haven't read it yet so I'm not sure.

157MickyFine
Nov 8, 2:58pm Top

Finished season 2 of The Flash last night and while I only have to wait a week until we start the new season (just have the last two episodes of season 4 of Arrow to finish up before we start new seasons of things) but I still have so many questions? Why Barry??? If you stop your mom's death are you even still able to be the Flash and stop the murder in the first place? Is there going to be evil Welles again? Will Wally end up being the Flash since Barry logically shouldn't be? Will we still get as much Joe? And on and on. Just thought I'd share my rantings with you. :)

158norabelle414
Nov 8, 4:12pm Top

>155 libraryperilous: Thanks! I've put Lauret Savoy and J. Drew Lanham on my list.

>156 bell7: Thanks so much! Those look great. I've already got N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season on the list under the hand-wavy guise of "climate change??"; I'll keep an eye on Nnedi Okorafor too to see if there's any nature/conservation that comes into her future work.
I'll just be adding these to a list that the other members will vote on so I think it's fine to add books that are a bit of a stretch.

>157 MickyFine: You're thinking too hard! It doesn't make that much sense, just go with it. Because he's dumb. Kinda. Kinda. Kinda. Yes.
I'm so excited for you to start season 2 of Legends!

159MickyFine
Nov 8, 5:09pm Top

>158 norabelle414: Me too. Although I was very sad that Captain Cold died in the first season and I'm hoping we'll get a typical (for comics) return from the dead because he's probably my second favourite character on that show; my first favourite is Heat Wave (even though I can NEVER remember his superhero name).

160norabelle414
Nov 8, 5:23pm Top

>159 MickyFine: The best part about the Arrowverse is that anyone can come back at any time :-)

They almost always call Heat Wave "Mick" or "Rory", the latter of which is very confusing when Arthur Darvill is also on screen!

161MickyFine
Nov 8, 5:36pm Top

Yes, because Arthur Darvill will always be Rory to me no matter how much they try to make Rip Hunter work *sigh*.

162_Zoe_
Nov 8, 7:57pm Top

>160 norabelle414: >161 MickyFine: And then there are those of us who pay no attention to television or actors, momentarily confused about why this person will always be Nora's cat.

163norabelle414
Nov 8, 10:19pm Top

>162 _Zoe_: Lol that too! But Rory Pond (the cat) was named after Rory Pond (the Doctor Who character), played by Arthur Darvill who was later on a different show with a character named Mick Rory who is always called Rory, so it's all connected.

164libraryperilous
Nov 9, 1:46pm Top

Oh, definitely the cli-fi trend in SF and fantasy will yield some interesting titles. For historical fiction, there is Washington Black, Slave Old Man, and Landfalls (Naomi Williams).

If your book club is amenable to poetry, Camille Dungy, Tommy Pico, and Aimee Nezhukumatathil are good choices. Dungy also edited the anthology Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry.

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