Katie Commits to Nothing in 2019, Part 15

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75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Katie Commits to Nothing in 2019, Part 15

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Edited: Oct 7, 2019, 3:26pm

"Autumn Glow" by Jacobus Baas


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: Oct 7, 2019, 3:27pm


Off my shelf (pre-2019): 17
Off my Kindle (pre-2019): 14

84. Brazen and the Beast by Sara MacLean (4 stars)
83. Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West (audio) (3.5 stars)
82. Dancing Girls by Margaret Atwood (3.5 stars)
81. Reader, I Married Him by Tracy Chevalier et. al. (4 stars)
80. Where Memories Lie by Deborah Crombie (4 stars)
79. Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery (audio) (3 stars)
78. The Chain by Adrian McKinty (3 stars)
77. God Help the Child by Toni Morrison (3 stars)
76. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu (4 stars)

75. The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton (audio) (4 stars)
74. The Body Lies by Jo Baker (4 stars)
73. Plainsong by Kent Haruf (4.5 stars)
72. The Courtship by Grace Burrowes (audio) (2.5 stars)
71. Heartburn by Nora Ephron (audio) (5 stars)
70. Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal (3.5 stars)
69. Janesville by Amy Goldstein (audio) (3.5 stars)
68. The Chatham School Affair by Thomas H. Cook (3.5 stars)
67. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman (audio) (4 stars)
66. A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole (3 stars)
65. A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie (3 stars)
64. Good Luck with That by Kristan Higgins (3.5 stars)
63. Norwegian by Night by Derek B. Miller (4 stars)
62. The Big Burn by Timothy Egan (audio) (4 stars)
61. Tin Man by Sarah Winman (4.5 stars)

DID NOT FINISH (Year to date)
1. Eucalyptus by Murray Bail
2. Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck
3. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
4. Census by Jesse Ball
5. Nickel Mountain by John Gardner
6. In the Language of Miracles by Rajia Hassib
7. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
8. Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis
9. Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

Edited: Oct 7, 2019, 3:28pm


60. Bleachers by John Grisham (audio) (3.5 stars)
59. Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen (4 stars)
58. The Total Package by Stephanie Evanovich (audio) (3 stars)
57. The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths (3.5 stars)
56. Star of the North by D.B. John (3.5 stars)
55. Life on the Leash by Victoria Schade (3 stars)
54. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (audio) (3.5 stars)
53. The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant (audio) (4 stars)
52. A Hero's Guide to Deadly Dragons by Cressida Cowell (audio) (3.5 stars)
51. Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash (audio) (3 stars)
50. Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins (3 stars)
49. Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington (audio) (3 stars)
48. The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh (3 stars)
47. I Can't Complain by Elinor Lipman (audio) (3.5 stars)
46. How To Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry (audio) (4 stars)

45. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows (4.5 stars)
44. Water Like a Stone by Deborah Crombie (4 stars)
43. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (audio) (3.5 stars)
42. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms (3.5 stars)
41. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson (audio) (3.5 stars)
40. Imagined London by Anna Quindlen (3 stars)
39. These Truths by Jill Lepore (4.5 stars)
38. The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye (4 stars)
37. Nine Women, One Dress by Jane Rosen (audio) (3 stars)
36. Black Out by Lisa Unger (2 stars)
35. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (audio) (4 stars)
34. Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward (4.5 stars)
33. The Wet Nurse's Tale by Erica Eisdorfer (3.5 stars)
32. Unbelievable by Katy Tur (audio) (3 stars)
31. Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler (audio) (3.5 stars)

30. Drop Shot by Harlan Coben (3 stars)
29. All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue by Sophie Jordan (audio)
28. A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin by Sophie Jordan (audio) (4 stars)
27. American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson (2.5 stars)
26. The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley (audio) (3 stars)
25. Inheritance by Dani Shapiro (4.5 stars)
24. Kings of the Earth by Jon Clinch (4.5 stars)
23. The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit (audio) (4 stars)
22. My Name is Venus Black by Heather Lloyd (4 stars)
21. My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan (audio) (3 stars)
20. Anything for You by Kristan Higgins (3.5 stars)
19. Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss (4 stars)
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)

Edited: Oct 7, 2019, 3:28pm

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: Sep 6, 2019, 11:45am

CARP! I saved too many spots.

Edited: Sep 6, 2019, 11:44am

And with that, we are open for business!

Sep 6, 2019, 12:02pm

Yay! Happy new thread Katie. The image at the top is lovely and autumnal. I'm hoping we get an Indian summer but even I can't deny the season is on the turn.

Sep 6, 2019, 2:17pm

Happy New Thread! I'm forever behind on most everyone's threads, but at least today I'll be able to delurk early and say Hey!

Sep 6, 2019, 2:28pm

Happy new thread!

Sep 6, 2019, 2:47pm

Hope you have easy travels back home! Any interest in Colson Whitehead on 12/31 at Symphony Space (Upper West Side)? There's also a great program there in January with Colm Toibin and Min Jin Leediscussing The Age of Innocence - I might get tickets for that too.

Sep 6, 2019, 3:00pm

Jacobus Baas gets my seal of approval. That's gorgeous!

Are you BakeOffing when you get home? Biscuit week was weird. Well, weirder than usual. This is not the week for arachnophobes.

Sep 6, 2019, 3:11pm

Happy new one

Sep 6, 2019, 3:14pm

>7 Helenliz: - Hi Helen! I've had my extension of summer by coming to Dallas for a week :) I'm ready for fall!

>8 mahsdad: - Hey Jeff! Thanks for de-lurking.

>9 drneutron: - Thank you, Jim :)

>10 vivians: - I am NOT going into the city on New Years Eve (is that really the date?!?!). But the Toibin-Jin sounds interesting and might get me to FINALLY read TAoI. What's the date in January? I am back here in Dallas the week of MLK day.

>11 richardderus: - We watched the first episode last weekend, so will tune in for the second sometime this weekend, I'm sure. I usually like biscuit week, so now I'm worried....

>12 figsfromthistle: - Thank you, Anita!

Sep 6, 2019, 3:51pm

Happy new thread, Katie! Looking forward to hearing all about settling into your new house.

Sep 6, 2019, 3:58pm

Happy new thread, Katie. Love the autumn painting.

Sep 6, 2019, 4:26pm

Happy new thread, Katie!

>1 katiekrug: Such a lovely painting, so I HAD to do a search for the artist. The painting is for sale, I wish I had the funds to buy it.

Sep 6, 2019, 6:09pm

Congrats on the new thread!! And on 75!! Love your topper!! Okay, that's enough enthusiasm for now. ; )

Sep 6, 2019, 9:26pm

Happy New Thread, Katie. Love that autumn topper. Congrats on hitting 75. Our magic number.

Sep 6, 2019, 9:47pm

Happy new thread, Katie.

>1 katiekrug: That is a lovely topper.

Sep 6, 2019, 9:48pm

>13 katiekrug: That was a tough goodbye last week. *I* felt the weaker show-stopper Jamie's slapped-together thingummy should have left, not the cool waterfall!

No worries until the show-stopper this week. But it's from exactly who you think it'll be from.

Sep 6, 2019, 10:17pm

Happy new thread, Katie!

Sep 6, 2019, 10:43pm

Happy new thread, Katie. Hope you are feeling better now that you are home. See you soon.

Sep 7, 2019, 7:12am

Happy New Thread, Katie!

Sep 7, 2019, 12:04pm

I've lost track of if you're at home or not - but wondered if you'd seen Dina Nayeri is in NY for a reading this week. I heard her speak in Liverpool and she was really good (must pick up her book again).


Sep 7, 2019, 4:41pm

Beautiful autumn painting to top off your first autumn thread, Katie.

Sep 7, 2019, 4:47pm

Thanks for the new thread wishes, everyone, and I'm glad that painting is so appealing :)

I'm not going to respond individually - forgive me - but I am dead tired and not feeling great. My flight home was delayed, but I am home, so hopefully I'll start feeling better soon!

Have a great weekend, friends.

Sep 7, 2019, 4:52pm

No need to respond individually to "happy new thread" posts, Katie. At least, I think that should be an LT etiquette thing -- it's nice of us all to stop by and get your thread warmed up but you hardly need to say individual "thank yous."

I have a friend who said that jet lag mimics the flu. I think it is sometimes true. Rest up and feel better soon!

Sep 7, 2019, 9:09pm

Happy new thread from me, too. Not necessary to respond. I hope you feel better soon.

Edited: Sep 8, 2019, 7:01am

Sorry you're feeling grim, Katie.

I brought chicken soup...

Sep 8, 2019, 10:09am

After a good night's sleep, I am feeling somewhat more human :)

We have a busy Sunday planned - house stuff, possible couch shopping, laundry, football, fun, fun, fun.

Yesterday on the plane, I finished Moxie which was delightful. I'd love to see more people read it. Yes, it's YA, but it tackles important issues about girls and boys, double standards, misogyny, feminism...

A quote:
"{Feminism's} not a bad word. After today it might be my favorite word. Because really all it is is girls supporting each other and wanting to be treated like human beings in a world that's always finding ways to tell them they're not."

Also, describing her high school early in the morning:
"It seems like a cavernous, creepy space on the outskirts of some parallel universe, full of the spirits of teenage dreams that died sad, tragic deaths involving multiple-choice quizzes and prom-night disasters."

Moxie is on sale for Kindle for $2.99.

Sep 8, 2019, 4:10pm

Love your topper and that quote from Moxie - I might buy it, even though I'm not fond of YA. And I'm glad you're home and hope you feel really well soon.

Sep 9, 2019, 10:24am

>31 ffortsa: - I found it better written than a lot of YA novels, Judy. It was a fun, quick read.

Sep 9, 2019, 10:27am

Welcome home - oops, the Colson Whitehead is 12/3. And the January event is 1/21.

Sep 9, 2019, 11:00am

>33 vivians: - January is out, but I think I can do the Whitehead! Are you for sure going?

Sep 10, 2019, 12:08pm

We now have lovely new berber carpet in the family room of the new house. I can't believe how much better it looks. I'd post pictures, but it's a pain and I don't feel like it right now. They are on FB and IG, though (yes, I know, not everyone is on those platforms, so sue me ;-) ). It's gotten me very excited to do more improvements and how awesome this house is going to be. I'm already plotting the new kitchen, which will be a spring project, I think.

In books, I started Anne of Avonlea on audio, mostly because I wanted something easy. It's not my favortie of the Annes, but it'll do. And I am almost done with God Help the Child by Toni Morrison, which is good (of course) but not destined to be one of my favorites.

Sep 11, 2019, 5:26am

Woot for new carpet! Tomm has decided that the next project after finishing my bookshelves is to tear up the carpet in his office and put down hardwood floors. It's a smaller space, so and easier first try before other, bigger change-to-hardwood areas in the house.

Sep 11, 2019, 7:47am

>35 katiekrug: woo hoo for new house improvements! Remind me, have the movers been scheduled yet?

Sep 11, 2019, 10:09am

>36 scaifea: - Woot! indeed. It looks SO much better. I actually prefer hardwood floors, but this room abuts the dining room (which will be something else when we move in) which has beautiful, real hardwoods, and there was no way I could match them, and I didn't want mismatched, so decided to go with a nice, low pile berber. I wasn't sure about it, but it looks great and I like how cozy it has made the family room. We installed some hardwoods in our house in Dallas and it took *FOREVER* to do a small hallway, but that's mostly because The Wayne's estimation of his own abilities exceeds the reality :) I'm sure Tomm will be way better at it!

>37 lauralkeet: - Funny you should ask, Laura. We just scheduled them yesterday. They will come on the 24th of this month, which is the day I leave on my next trip, so I don't have to deal with any of it. YAY!

Sep 11, 2019, 10:12am

I finished God Help the Child last night. I gave it 3 stars. It's good, because of course it is, written by Ms. Morrison, but it didn't quite hang together well for me. I'm still glad I read it, but it won't join Beloved, Sula, and The Bluest Eye in my pantheon of favorite Morrisons.

I'm now reading a thriller - The Chain by Adrian McKinty - which is off to a good start.

Sep 11, 2019, 10:57am

>38 katiekrug: YAY MOVERS!!

>39 katiekrug: McKinty's story is the pull I needed to request The Chain from the library. I'm fifth on the holds list.

Sep 11, 2019, 11:12am

>40 richardderus: - Thanks for sharing that article! I had no idea...

Sep 11, 2019, 11:54am

>40 richardderus: Thanks for the link to that article, BigDaddy! That is just so cool. I am a huge fan of his Sean Duffy books set during the Troubles in Ireland. I can't believe he wasn't making a living off of those - they are full of fabulous. And excellent on audio. Just saying...I know you don't do audio, but Katie does.

Hi, Katie. *waves madly* I love the idea of your Berber carpet, which I cannot see because I am not on any other social media...*sniff* Your comments about The Wayne's estimation of his abilities made me laugh. Craig resembles those comments.

Sep 11, 2019, 12:03pm

>42 Crazymamie: - Holy CARP, it's Mamie! I will move the photos here just so you can see. That way you will have to come back :)

Miss you, my friend, and only hope regular life and nothing bad is keeping you busy!

Sep 11, 2019, 12:09pm

Old carpet being removed:

New carpet installed:

Camouflaged Leonard:

Sep 11, 2019, 12:37pm

That looks great, Katie! Also, if you need to match it to anything and you don't have offcuts, you'll be able to take Leonard along and say "Please match it to the back of this cat". Good thinking!

Sep 11, 2019, 12:55pm

Oh, I love how it looks!! Thanks for posting the photos. I am touched. And Leonard in stealth mode is awesomeness.

Thanks for missing me - 2019 has been kicking our butts. Mostly annoying trivial things when looking at the Big Picture, but also something truly awful. On the bright side, we also had something full of wonder, so I guess life mostly tries to balance things out. That being said, I will be beyond thrilled if 2020 decides to behave itself.

>45 susanj67: Your post made me laugh, Susan!!

Sep 11, 2019, 1:28pm

>45 susanj67: - Susan, I don't like to brag, but I am obviously a genius ;-)

>46 Crazymamie: - I don't like the sound of "truly awful" but "full of wonder" sounds good. I will keep my fingers crossed for 2020 for you. xo

Sep 11, 2019, 1:50pm

It...it...can't BE!! Mamie!! Wow, I'm so glad to see you posting here.

I'm sad about the tragedy and delighted by the wonder, so I'm left all a-dither. Just happy to see you here.

I'm also a berber boy AND a fan of the natural-cotton color, so I give my personal Seal of Approval to the new carpet.

Sep 11, 2019, 2:11pm

>48 richardderus: - Awwwwww. He looks kind of like Leonard when he gets his belly rubbed :)

Sep 11, 2019, 4:27pm

>38 katiekrug: Thanks Katie, moving day will be here before you know it. I love that TW is willing to deal with it all on the day.

Sep 12, 2019, 9:10am

>50 lauralkeet: - I love it, too, Laura! *grin*

Sep 12, 2019, 9:12am

Boring day of work today, followed by an LT meet-up! Meg (familyhistorian) is visiting NYC with a friend, and Judy (ffortsa), Jim (magiciansnephew) and I will meet them for dinner. Looking forward to it!

Sep 12, 2019, 9:13am

Say hi to Meg for me! And enjoy the meetup, Katie!

Sep 12, 2019, 9:15am

Crikey! I'd not let mine take over moving day, there'd be a risk we'd end up in the wrong house and I'd never find anything in the kitchen.
Last time we moved, Mum came and unpacked my kitchen and, with the exception of a very few things, every thing was just where I'd have put it. There wasn't much we agreed on absolutely, but where to put the saucepans was clearly one of them. >:-)

>46 Crazymamie: howdy stranger! So glad you've got your head above water.

Sep 12, 2019, 9:43am

>54 Helenliz: I share your feelings, Helen! The last time we moved, one of my daughters was home from uni and took over the kitchen organizing. She did a fabulous job and also came up with the brilliant idea of a box labeled "check this s**t" which held items she "allowed" us to hang onto for a year to see if we actually needed them. Turns out she was right, and one year later we threw all but one small gadget away!

Sep 12, 2019, 9:46am

>46 Crazymamie: *waves* Nice to see you on the threads a little :)

>52 katiekrug: Have a great time at the meet up!

Sep 12, 2019, 10:20am

>53 jessibud2: - Will do, Shelley!

>54 Helenliz: - Well, he's not going to do all the unpacking, I expect. But the kitchen is more his domain anyway. The only problem would be if he tried to organize my books :)

>55 lauralkeet: - Laura, was it Kate who organized for you? If so, wouldn't she like to escape Brooklyn for the day and come over to Jersey to do mine?!?! :D

>56 bell7: - Thanks, Mary! Hope you are feeling better.

Edited: Sep 12, 2019, 10:30am

Hi Katie!

Great before, after, and Leonard pic. We love Berber carpets and have them in most of the house - in hindsight we should have gotten them in all of the house where we don't have hardwoods and tile.

Your meet up sounds like lots of fun!

Sep 12, 2019, 10:41am

>57 katiekrug: heh heh it was Julia but actually, she and Kate recently moved into a shared Brooklyn apartment. Perhaps if the price was right, LOL!

Sep 12, 2019, 11:36am

>58 karenmarie: - Hi Karen! I went over to the house after work yesterday and walked around on the carpet in my bare feet. I love it. If I ever do more carpet, I know what I want :)

>59 lauralkeet: - How considerate of them to decide to live together so parental visits are easier :) If things get dire, I may reach out for help - ha!

Sep 12, 2019, 12:38pm

Moving. U.G.H.

Other than that, I hope your a/c is blasting and the drippy air is chilled enough to endure the day.

Sep 12, 2019, 1:21pm

>61 richardderus: - Our second floor unit actually died yesterday, so last night was a bit warm for sleeping. It's all fixed now, though!

Sep 12, 2019, 2:14pm

>62 katiekrug: GAAAK

I'd've slept downstairs! It's so sticky. That last clutching grab of hateful summertime's humid stinking zombie-fingers.

Tomorrow and Saturday we're in for the kind of fall weather I adore!

Sep 12, 2019, 2:25pm

>63 richardderus: - It was warm, but not too bad. All the windows were open and we have a good fan. We'd also had a lot of wine, so sleep came easily :)

Edited: Sep 12, 2019, 5:52pm

Sweet Thursday, Katie. Hooray for a Meet Up. I have had the honor of meeting Jim & Judy but I hope to meet Meg one of these days. Enjoy!

BTW- I will be stopping in Asheville next week, for a quick stop. The first time I have been back since Booktopia.

Sep 12, 2019, 7:10pm

Wait I must be seeing things. Did you actually say you were going to let your wonderful husband manage the move on his own while you're out of town? No I must have read it wrong.


Omg that is what you said Katie. Bwahahaha

Sep 13, 2019, 9:57am

>65 msf59: - Hiya, Mark! We had a great time last night. Picture below...

Have fun in Asheville. I so want to go back. If time and plans allow, go to Biscuit Head!

>66 brenzi: - I sure did say that, Bonnie. I'm not "letting" him - I certainly don't want to do it!

Sep 13, 2019, 10:00am

Front row (l-r): Judy (ffortsa), Meg (familyhistorian), Meg's friend Rhea (probably spelled wrong...)
Back row (l-r): Jim (magiciansnephew), me
Photo credit: The Wayne

We had a fun dinner last night with lots of chatter, middling service, and good food. Book people - and specifically LT people (and friends!) - are the best people.

Sep 13, 2019, 11:58am

Thanks for sharing your meet up photo, Katie!

>44 katiekrug: That old carpet looks disgusting - what an improvement!

Sep 13, 2019, 12:13pm

>69 BLBera: - Hi Beth! The meet up was fun, as always :)

Yes, that carpet was Not Nice. It's amazing how much better it looks now.

Sep 13, 2019, 4:16pm

It was a fun meet up, Katie. It was great to meet all of you!

Sep 13, 2019, 4:29pm

>68 katiekrug:. Great! So glad you all could get together!

Sep 13, 2019, 7:18pm

Happy new thread!
Great meet-up pic!

Sep 13, 2019, 8:34pm

>68 katiekrug: That looks like a fun group!

Edited: Sep 14, 2019, 1:46pm

I thought it was odd how quiet your thread had gotten; I figured you had been swallowed by Texas or some such, but it turns out I un-starred the wrong thread :(

I'm so excited you will complete moving this month AND not have to deal with the actual movers yourself!!! But I'm saddened that you will mos likely be too busy packing to come to the Brooklyn Book Festival on Saturday Sunday. :'(

(I posed my thoughts on the BBF on Judy's thread : http://www.librarything.com/topic/309902#6921402)

Sep 16, 2019, 7:28am

>68 katiekrug: The next best thing to actually attending a meet up is to get to see a photo (thanks for the name/username labeling!) and hear that it was a success.

Sep 16, 2019, 8:46am

>71 Familyhistorian: - I'm glad we were able to get together, Meg! Hope the rest of your time in NY was good!

>72 jnwelch: - Me too, Joe!

>73 ChelleBearss: - Thanks on both counts, Chelle :)

>74 rosalita: - It was!

>75 ELiz_M: - Hi Liz! I'm glad about the moving too, for sure. I won't be able to come to the BBF - it's our last weekend to get a bunch done before the movers come AND I leave Tuesday for 9 fun-filled days in Calgary for work :( One year, I'll get there....

>76 karenmarie: - Glad to oblige with the photo, Karen. I forget who remembered we should take one...

Sep 16, 2019, 8:49am

Happy Monday (ugh)!

We had a busy weekend with more house stuff, and then football yesterday. Both of our teams (Giants and Dolphins) are terrible, but I still like to watch. The Wayne continued to work while I lazed about.

We did manage to go shopping for a couch for the family room and were successful in finding what we wanted. It will be delivered tomorrow.

And I finished a book, so all in all it was a good weekend.

This week I have lots of work to get done, but now I can work from my new office, as we got everything set up and the internet connected. It's so nice to have windows and natural light in my work space.... :)

Sep 16, 2019, 9:08am

This move is really happening isn't it? Carpet, movers, couch, new office -- woo hoo! The new office space sounds nice too. IIRC you've been working out of your basement, so I can understand the desire for a better view (and lighting).

Sep 16, 2019, 9:10am

The Chain by Adrian McKinty

This was very readable and well-paced, but the dialogue was so wooden and the premise so ridiculous, that I ended up not loving it. When a child is kidnapped, the only way to get her back is to pay a ransom and kidnap another child. Victims become perpetrators and The Chain continues. I don't mind suspending disbelief for well-written thrillers, but after a strong start, this just became laughable and I was almost hate-reading it by the end. I'm probably being generous in my rating.

3 stars

Sep 16, 2019, 9:11am

>79 lauralkeet: - Hi Laura - yep, been working out of my basement bunker, and boy howdy, had that gotten old. My new space has windows on two sides, one of which overlooks the street so when I don't want to work, I can watch the world go by :)

Sep 16, 2019, 9:44am

Keep up the good work, Katie. You are getting it done! All of it.

I myself am doing just okay. Reasonably good day at a book sale Saturday. Already reading Bonk, 'cause, you know, Mary Roach. Making progress—slow, but steady—in Ceremony.

Sep 16, 2019, 11:04am

>81 katiekrug: that sounds nice Katie! This new house is such a win for you guys.

Sep 16, 2019, 12:24pm

>82 weird_O: - I saw your haul, Bill - looked better than "reasonably good!"

>83 lauralkeet: - We just love it, Laura, despite all the updating it needs.

Sep 16, 2019, 1:20pm

Great progress on the move.

Are you planning on attending the Brooklyn Book Festival? Liz (Eliz_M) is going but I'm out of town that weekend. Rats. Anyway, if you do plan to attend, you might meet up with her.

Sep 16, 2019, 1:25pm

>85 ffortsa: - Liz asked that very question in >75 ELiz_M:! I can't go, as it's the last weekend before the movers come, and the last weekend before I leave on a work trip :(

Sep 16, 2019, 2:27pm

Glad you got out to t meet-up. They’re such fun. Love hearing about your house progress. How exciting for you to come home to your new home after your trip.

Sep 16, 2019, 9:16pm

>81 katiekrug: My new space has windows on two sides, one of which overlooks the street so when I don't want to work, I can watch the world go by :)

Or go for a walk! Sweet!

Sep 17, 2019, 5:22am

Woot for an office with a view! the window in front of my desk doesn't look out upon mountains or anything, but I still love the homey, residential view and the sunlight.

Sep 17, 2019, 9:26am

>87 RebaRelishesReading: - Reba, I am looking forward to having everything in one place, even though I know it will be chaos for a while!

>88 brenzi: - That too, Bonnie, though if I actually leave the house during work hours, I feel slightly guilty. People sometimes think working at home is a joke, but I find that I am way more conscious of always working and being available than I ever was in an actual office environment :)

>89 scaifea: - Woot indeed!

Sep 17, 2019, 10:05am

I admire people who have the discipline to work from home. My husband was disciplined when he worked for Nortel from home. Me - I'd probably think I needed to clean a closet, or do some baking, or whatever. *smile*

Sep 17, 2019, 10:41am

>91 karenmarie: - Karen, it definitely took a while to figure out how to make it work. Some days are easier than others!

Sep 17, 2019, 11:03am

>91 karenmarie: I love working from home, it's the freedom. I usually wfh 3 days a week. I have a lovely study with a 180 degree window overlooking the garden. It's great during the winter when you don't see a lot of daylight.

Sep 17, 2019, 11:40am

>93 Helenliz: - I will also admit that I like being able to do laundry while working :)

Sep 17, 2019, 4:19pm

>94 katiekrug: oh yes! The ability to put a load of washing on the line and be able to nip out and bring it in if it starts to rain is fab.
The downside is that my dearest husband has a tendency to order things to be delivered on days he knows I am in - and they must have a 6th sense for when I am on the phone!

Sep 18, 2019, 1:04am

>77 katiekrug: All of our trip to New York was great, Katie. It was great to meet up with you all. Good luck with the rest of your move and your wonderful trip to Calgary!

Sep 18, 2019, 9:22am

>95 Helenliz: - My husband tends to think because I work from home, I can do all sorts of things during the day. I have to remind him that I am actually working and expected to put in a full day!

>96 Familyhistorian: - I'm so glad you had a good time, Meg! It was great to finally meet you.

Sep 18, 2019, 9:27am

I should perhaps give a short update about The Books.

I am almost done (I feel like I've been saying that for a while now...) with Anne of Avonlea on audio. Very little of it is familiar, though I know I read it way back when. I think most of my Anne memories come from the Megan Follows production which I watched as often as I could. Anyway, it's fine but I don't love it.

I've started Where Memories Lie, the 12th in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series. This may be my favorite series that I'm currently involved with. They are just so good. This one is proving no exception.

I am also making my way through Reader, I Married Him, a collection of short stories inspired by Jane Eyre. I'm quite enjoying it, and have only encountered one dud in the 9 or so I've read so far. The stories vary widely in themes and settings, which is fun.

And every now and then, I read a story in Dancing Girls by Margaret Atwood. The stories are consistently excellent, but rather odd, so I find about one a week or so is enough.

Sep 19, 2019, 11:16am

Dancing Girls sounds interesting, Katie. I'm also a fan of the Kincaid/James series. Can't wait for the new one!

I hope we get to see a picture of your office at some point. It sounds lovely.

Sep 19, 2019, 11:19am

>99 BLBera: Beth, I have a NetGalley of the latest Crombie, A Bitter Feast, and it's killing me to have to read my library books that are imminently due instead of that one! Soon ...

Sep 19, 2019, 11:57am

>99 BLBera: - The office is lovely compared to the basement bunker. Otherwise, it's just a room with desks :) But I'll take a photo when The Wayne finishes getting everything set up.

>100 rosalita: - That is some admirable self-restraint, Julia!

Sep 19, 2019, 11:58am

Finally finished Anne of Avonlea on audio. Meh. Too many annoying kids (that Davey brat and angel-child Paul Irving got on my last nerve). Not enough Gilbert.

3 stars

Sep 19, 2019, 12:14pm

Hi Katie, I am back from our driving trip and now trying to catch up with everything. We will be home for a a couple of weeks and then off to Vancouver Island. I love your new carpet. We had a nubbed Berber in our family room at our old house and I loved both the look of it and how easy it was to keep clean. There is definitely a feeling of autumn in the air right now, it's funny how quickly the season changed.

Sep 19, 2019, 12:36pm

>102 katiekrug:" Not enough Gilbert." Agreed.

Sep 19, 2019, 1:00pm

>103 DeltaQueen50: - Today is a lovely fall day, but tomorrow and this weekend look like the last gasp of summer - highs in the mid 80s. Boo. Nice to see you, Judy!

>104 charl08: - There is never enough Gilbert :)

Sep 19, 2019, 1:17pm

Here by the sea, we're in the mid- to upper-70s all week next week. I'm okay with this...not that the Weather Goddess stopped in for a check or anything....

I'm recovered at last from a couple days with Rob in Williamsburg. A less-than-forty-mile round trip was *exhausting* even though it didn't take place all on one day! Thank goodness for restaurants having "dark days" on Mondays. I'm also envious of your destination...Calgary...though not of your need to work while there. I've never been to Calgary! I'm drooling after the FB photos.

I belong to Instagram, I oughta use it sometimes. Hm. *smooch*

Sep 19, 2019, 1:20pm

On thw way to work this morning I had an orange warning light on the dashboard. No, nothing to do with my driving; it was the low temperature warning, it was 4C. By the time I drove home it was 22C, so it's certainly coat in the morning and carry it home time of year.
I'd go for a bit more summer.

Edited: Sep 19, 2019, 1:26pm

>106 richardderus: - Calgary is pretty meh. Of course, I've only ever been there for work, so I'm probably a terrible judge. What FB photos made you drool?

You should use Instagram. It's a nice diversion when one is needed :)

ETA: I'm glad you got some quality time with Rob!

>107 Helenliz: - It was high 40s (sorry, can't do the conversion) this morning, and I was rather chilly without a coat. I love it though. Summer can head on out now, as far as I'm concerned!

Sep 20, 2019, 1:12am

>105 katiekrug: A last gasp of summer would be very welcome here. It was a shock to the system to return to cold soggy weather on Monday after walking around Central Park in the warm sunshine on Sunday.

I lived in Calgary for almost a year once and don't have fond memories. I hope that you have a better time there than I did but, from what I hear, it has improved somewhat from when I lived there.

Sep 20, 2019, 9:05am

>109 Familyhistorian: - I'll be working 9 days straight while there, and with that being the case, I might as well be anywhere I guess... And I am looking forward to seeing my colleagues, so yay for that.

Sep 20, 2019, 9:09am

Not much to report. Work is really busy, but I'm reading when I can (still the Crombie mystery and collection of short stories). I started the audio of Shrill by Lindy West yesterday. I am enjoying her humor and her frankness.

This weekend is clearing out the dressers and such - any furniture with stuff in it - so the movers can move the furniture on Tuesday. Packing up my clothes is a bit complicated, since I also have to pack for my trip, so I can't just pile stuff into boxes. *sigh*

Leonard has made his permanent move to the new house (he had visited before), and seems to be doing well. He was all skittish and skulking around yesterday evening, but this morning he's playful and seems more relaxed. He also likes all the boxes strewn about the place :)

Sep 20, 2019, 10:21am

Awww, if Leonard is happy, it'll be all good. I bet he is enjoying the boxes, nothing so funny as a cat in a box. So is his current favourite one that's too big or too small?

Sep 20, 2019, 3:14pm

>112 Helenliz: - He likes the small book boxes which are about the perfect size for him. It's funny to walk by and see his head sticking out. I'll have to try to get a photo.

Sep 21, 2019, 8:00am

I had a cat who loved shoe boxes. I never had the heart to tell him he was too big for the box

Sep 21, 2019, 9:03am

I had a cat who loved a Kleenex box when he was young. It was fun to see his head poking out.

I'm glad Leonard has settled in.

Sep 21, 2019, 9:13am

Happy moving, Katie! Your new house sounds like it is full of possibility! And you have an above-ground office!

Sep 22, 2019, 12:00am

The carpet looks nice, Katie. And I think it was very nice of you to choose carpet into which Leonard can lose himself. I'm glad he is settling in; moving is hard for felines.

I just cruised through the photos on my laptop to see if I could find a photo of Edgar or Abby in a box. I know I have such photos as both of them were typical cats in their love of boxes. We always had a cardboard box in the corner of our living room in Seattle. It was just part of the decor.

Sep 22, 2019, 3:10pm

>114 jessibud2: - Too cute, Shelley!

>115 karenmarie: - That must have been something to see, Karen :)

>116 BLBera: - The house is great, Beth. We are both excited to be in our own space and to plan for some renovations...

>117 EBT1002: - Well, Ellen, now that I want to take a photo of him in a box, he doesn't seem interested in getting into one! I did snap him on Friday sitting in the plastic bin I use for paper recycling in the office...

Sep 22, 2019, 3:14pm

Busy weekend getting ready for the movers to come on Tuesday. I was also trying to pack up clothes while also packing for my trip. I think I have things sorted out now :)

The Wayne is over at the rental house doing some more packing of his computer stuff. I have a bunch of laundry to do (and football to watch!) so am having some Me time.

I am almost done with two books, and am thinking of saving them to finish on the plane on Tuesday, as I think they'll go quickly and help make the flight go by. It's only 5 hours to Calgary, but it would be nice to have some compelling reading to keep me company.

Sep 22, 2019, 3:42pm

Hope you have a pleasant and successful trip and that your lovely new home is ready for you to settle right into when you get back.

Sep 22, 2019, 5:14pm

Safe travels, Katie. I hope the weather is nice.

Sep 22, 2019, 6:13pm

Happy Sunday, Katie. I hope you enjoy your time in Calgary. I have never been.

Sep 22, 2019, 7:31pm

>119 katiekrug: ...but what will you *do* for tonight's reading? Or tomorrow's? Just...not? *uncontrollable shuddering*

Edited: Sep 22, 2019, 9:58pm

Safe travels and happy moving, Katie!!

By the way, apparently the feline box thing is not limited to our domestic breeds.

Edited: Sep 22, 2019, 10:05pm

And I don't get a kickback for this, truly I don't. But I will say that this is the best $35 I've ever spent for my cat(s). Both Edgar and Abby LOVED the ScratchLounge.
Silly and thankfully short YouTube Video

Sep 23, 2019, 8:42am

>124 EBT1002: Ha!

Jeez, Katie, what a packed time for you. With 9 straight days of work?! Yikes. I hope it all goes as smoothly as possible.

Sep 23, 2019, 8:50am

>124 EBT1002: That's fabulous!
Hope the trip and the moving both go according to plan.

Sep 23, 2019, 9:28am

>120 RebaRelishesReading: - thanks, Reba! I expect when I get back, I will walk into chaos. The Wayne is not great with organizing :)

>121 BLBera: - Thanks, Beth. It's supposed to snow part of the time I'm there. WTF, Canada?!?! Trying to figure out how to pack a coat...

>122 msf59: - Hiya, Mark, and thanks! This will be my 3rd trip to Calgary, and 4th to the general area (I had a meeting in Kananaskis once).

>123 richardderus: - Silly man! I started something new to tide me over :) I just find the ends of books usually read really fast, so I think it will be good to have that for the plane.

>124 EBT1002: - Love it!

>125 EBT1002: - Hmmm, very intriguing, Ellen. Leonard has a scratch pad/roller ball toy that he loves. The scratching bit looks similar to that, so I bet he'd love it.

>126 jnwelch: - Good times, Joe (she said sarcastically). Yep, 9 days. 10 if you count both travel days. 4 days of Board meetings and 3 days of annual conference, and one day (Wedensday) to get organized and oriented before the hordes descend. Blerg.

>127 Helenliz: - Thank you, Helen. I hope so, too :)

Sep 23, 2019, 2:07pm

>128 katiekrug: It's supposed to snow part of the time I'm there. WTF, Canada?!?! We believe in weather variety, Katie, and Calgary does so more than most places in Canada. I can remember taking a trip back from Ottawa in May one year. It had been 40C in Ottawa (hot) but had snowed in Calgary the day before. So on our stop over we saw people in winter coats. We were just glad we weren't leaving the airport to go out in the cold as Vancouver had much more civilized temperatures. Have a pleasant trip.

Sep 23, 2019, 3:16pm

Omg snow???
*dies of jealousy on a 93F degree day*

Sep 23, 2019, 3:27pm

>128 katiekrug: Welcome to fall in Alberta! :P

Sep 23, 2019, 3:54pm

If you want snow, Katie, don't take a coat. If you do take a coat, it'll be warm and sunny and that coat will be just another needless, useless burden. I'm sorry, that's just the way it is.

Hope it'll be a productive trip for you. And that you'll be surprised, upon your return, that Your Wayne will have gotten all the family goods unpacked, felicitously placed, and neatly put away.

Sep 23, 2019, 4:26pm

>129 Familyhistorian: and >131 MickyFine: - I don't wanna go! Waaaaaahhh.......

>130 norabelle414: - It's unseasonably warm here, too, Nora. That doesn't mean I want to be traipsing through the frozen north in my work clothes... :)

>132 weird_O: - Good advice, Bill. And re: the unpacking - I can almost guarantee that won't happen! But it's fine. It'll get done eventually.

Sep 23, 2019, 7:08pm

Best wishes for your trip to Calgary, Katie. I have to admit that Calgary is not one of my favorite cities but those that live there seem to love it. Hopefully, if it does snow it won't stick - it's far too early to be thinking about winter!

Edited: Sep 24, 2019, 11:56am

Ha! Should have come to Edmonton. We're going to be chilly this weekend but no snow in the forecast (right now) until much later next week. :P

Sep 25, 2019, 12:03pm

>134 DeltaQueen50: - Hi Judy! Calgary is okay, no great shakes. But there are definitely worse places to be!

>135 MickyFine: - I am told it won't amount to much, which is good. Just going to get cold!

Sep 25, 2019, 12:10pm

Greetings from Calgary! I had an uneventful flight here, went to our office yesterday afternoon, and had a great dinner with one of my favorite colleagues. Today, I am working and getting ready for the fun to begin tomorrow. And by fun I mean crazy busy days.

I did manage to finish a book on the plane, and am shortly to finish another one, so yay for that.

Sep 25, 2019, 12:36pm

>137 katiekrug: Uneventful flights are the best. Have a good (busy) time working.

Sep 25, 2019, 12:46pm

Thanks, Helen!

Sep 25, 2019, 12:48pm

I take it back. I LOVE Calgary. Meetings+Conventions Calgary just had a gift delivered to my hotel room. That never happens. Our meeting planners always get cool stuff, not me. But I'm now the proud owner of a Calgary mug, beautiful little art print, some fancy cookies, a Starbucks gift card, and a white chocolate cowboy hat.

So lovely and thoughtful.

Sep 25, 2019, 1:58pm

Yikes...I lost ya' there for a while. Glad to see the moving is proceeding well, and you're enjoying Calgary. That's a place I'd love to see, although not from conference rooms and hotels, gifty swag nothwithstanding.

Sep 25, 2019, 2:30pm

>141 laytonwoman3rd: - Hi Linda! The Canadian Rockies are magnificent, so a trip to the region is well worth it.

Sep 25, 2019, 2:31pm

I forgot to mention that the movers came yesterday and everything went well, so now The Wayne can get busy unpacking - ha!

Edited: Sep 25, 2019, 3:00pm

Depending on where you are downtown, friends of mine posted drool-worthy photos of desserts from Cafe du Centre in Calgary. It may be worth exploring if you want to indulge your sweet tooth.

Sep 25, 2019, 4:36pm

>143 katiekrug: Good gravy!

Sep 26, 2019, 12:33am

>142 katiekrug: The Rockies can also be seen from the province on the other side, Katie. Just saying.

Sep 26, 2019, 6:45am

I'm glad your trip is going well and that Calgary has exceeded your expectations. And hooray for movers! You'll have so much fun settling in.

Sep 26, 2019, 4:20pm

>140 katiekrug: I think the Calgary meet and greet people work overtime. When we came through Calgary to go to Banff they had live music in the airport simply to entertain us while we stood in the endless lines that is airline travel these days. Your lovely gift package sounds like it was conceived by the same sort of people.

Sep 26, 2019, 5:43pm

Hope your trip goes well and you get some downtime after all that work - yikes!

Btw, the Giants game we're eyeing this time is Oct. 20 if they don't completely suck by then (at least one more win?), but it seems likely at this point that I would just come down the day of the game and go back home without staying over. Any interest in potentially getting a pair of tickets and meeting up with tailgaters? (I know it might be a bit of a longshot...)

Sep 27, 2019, 8:08am

>144 MickyFine: - I will try to check it out, Micky!

>145 richardderus: - :)

>146 Familyhistorian: - True, true.... :)

>147 lauralkeet: - I am looking forward to going home for a variety of reasons, Laura, including getting to finally settle in!

>148 Oberon: - They've been great, Erik. Very warm and welcoming.

>149 bell7: - Thanks, Mary, re: the trip. I think the only game we'll be going to is when they play Miami in December because The Wayne is a Dolphins fan and we can wear dueling hats!

Sep 27, 2019, 8:09am

Tired, so tired. I slept like carp last night - and I have no idea why. I just kept waking up. Blerg. Super long day today - first meeting at 7:30 (and I have to be there for 6:45) and dinner until about 10:00 tonight. It's gotten cold here, and snow is expected over the weekend, but I am assured it will just be some flurries....

Sep 27, 2019, 6:18pm

Hey Katie...week 5 of GBBO dropped, and was it a surprise result! I can't wait until you get a chance to see it.

Sep 28, 2019, 8:52am

>152 richardderus: - I think I am now three - maybe two - weeks behind on GBBO, Richard. I'll have to have a little binge when I get home!

Sep 28, 2019, 8:53am

I survived yesterday - all went well and dinner was amazingly good. I had arctic char larb, line-caught Atlantic cod with lovage cream, peas, mint and spinach, and a chai panna cotta for dessert. Delicious!

We start today at 8:00am and go until 6:30pm. But there is no dinner planned so I may get some room service and retire early. I'm tired!

Sep 28, 2019, 12:07pm

It sounds exhausting, Katie. How lucky that the Wayne will have everything unpacked and in its place for you when you get home. 😁

Sep 28, 2019, 9:58pm

Still in Calgary, eh? The weather map tonight suggests that more than just snow flurries may be heading your way. Hope you get out of there okay!

Sep 29, 2019, 1:43am

Our weather included predictions of snow for Calgary and parts of BC, Katie. I hope you brought a warm coat.

Sep 29, 2019, 4:26am

Hi Katie! Calgary sounds very busy, but the gift basket was a lovely touch. Excellent news about the movers - has TW sent any pictures of everything neatly put away? :-)

Sep 29, 2019, 11:38am

Glad to hear that your trip is going well, glad to hear that The Move is under control by The Wayne.

Sep 30, 2019, 10:28am

My friends down in Lethbridge are posting pictures of the massive snowfall they've had down there. Hoping Calgary got a much lighter dose and your trip out of town goes smoothly.

Sep 30, 2019, 10:31am

Snow flurries in September. Wow!

Oct 1, 2019, 10:11am

Hope you get a chance to rest after the meetings - sounds like your plate was really full. I'm leaving tonight for our annual conference and will also be experiencing the long days and hotel incarceration. At least I'll get the CE credits I need and maybe some airplane reading time!

Oct 3, 2019, 10:56am

Are you home yet? Totally caught up in re-arranging what the Wayne arranged without you? Or snowed in in the Rockies?

Oct 3, 2019, 12:40pm

I've been thinking about you and hoping you are not buried under a snowbank! I saw some pictures of Southern Alberta and the snow was up to peoples' thighs. My husband and I were just there the week before - luckily we got out of there before any snow started!

Oct 3, 2019, 4:38pm

Hi All! At the airport to fly home tonight. I'll catch up over the weekend 😀

Oct 3, 2019, 6:36pm

Safe travels, Katie!

Oct 3, 2019, 6:55pm

Hey, no-seatmate-havin' lucky lady, see you soon.

Oct 4, 2019, 1:40am

I bet you are glad to get out of that cold, snowy place, Katie!

Oct 4, 2019, 6:15am

Hope you're home and the house is tidy and toasty warm. Well 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

Oct 4, 2019, 6:33am

Happy Friday, Katie! Welcome home! Do you have a long weekend, to rest up? Did you manage any reading?

Oct 4, 2019, 11:17am

>155 BLBera: - Hi Beth! It was exhausting. But it's over now and I got to sleep in my own bed last night, which was heaven.

>156 ronincats: - Hi Roni! We got several inches of snow, but luckily they know how to deal with it up there. After a couple of days, it went up into the high 40s and everything (mostly) melted. There were a lot of people at our conference who had never seen snow, and it was kind of fun to watch them take endless pictures...

>157 Familyhistorian: - I didn't get too cold, Meg. I did forego wearing the skirt I had brought, though!

Oct 4, 2019, 11:20am

>158 susanj67: - No pics from The Wayne, Susan. Getting home last night, I understood why. Lots of work ahead for me!

>159 karenmarie: - The Wayne handled the move like a pro, Karen. As expected, he didn't really put anything away or try to organize it, so it's a bit chaotic now. I'm taking today as a do-nothing day, and will start to tackle it tomorrow.

>160 MickyFine: - Calgary didn't get all that much, Micky. And by the time I left yesterday, temps had been in the 40s for a few days, so everything went smoothly.

Oct 4, 2019, 11:24am

>161 PaulCranswick: - I guess it's not that rare up there, Paul. It did, though, amount to more than originally expected.

>162 vivians: - Where is your conference, Vivian? I ended up finishing a few books, but only because I was well along in them when I left :)

>163 laytonwoman3rd: - I was neither home nor snowed in at the time of your message, Linda! But I'm home now and very glad for it!

>164 DeltaQueen50: - Hi Judy - Calgary didn't get that much. Maybe about 4 inches? It was kind of fun - except for Sunday night when I had to trudge through it...

Oct 4, 2019, 11:28am

>166 jnwelch: - Thanks, Joe! All went smoothly :)

>167 richardderus: - Thanks, RD! Some lady moved into the aisle seat, but I still had the middle seat free which was nice... I'm not a big fan of Air Canada - the seats were rather uncomfortable. The leg room was okay, but I had paid for one with extra leg room. $60 - highway robbery!

>168 Familyhistorian: - It wasn't snowy anymore by the time I left, Meg, but I sure am glad to be home!

>169 Helenliz: - Ha! You nailed it, Helen.

>170 msf59: - Hiya, Mark! I did manage some reading and will report on that in a bit... I am taking today as my comp day. I worked 11 straight days, and we get half a comp day for each weekend day worked (oh so generous *eye roll*). I'll probably take another day sometime next week, too, but that will come out of my PTO.

Oct 4, 2019, 11:29am

Hope I didn't miss anybody! Thanks for keeping my thread warm :)

Oct 4, 2019, 12:15pm

Welcome back, Katie! I giggled at the colleagues taking pictures of the snow. New Zealanders (from the North Island, at least) would totally do that :-) Enjoy your day of time off :-)

Oct 4, 2019, 12:59pm

>174 katiekrug: Highway robbery is all things air travel in Canada these days. Both Air Canada and WestJet have now implemented fees for being able to choose your seat... for every plane you get on. If it's a short flight, it's under $20 but longer flights the fees get higher. For my upcoming flight to Maui in January I think it was $70 to pick your seat. On top of the $50 you pay to check any luggage. And the already ridiculous fares for air travel in Canada. End rant.

Glad you're back and enjoy your do-nothing day.

Oct 4, 2019, 1:04pm

>174 katiekrug: I paid $213 (US) for extra leg room one way on my United Buffalo - London flight. Air Canada sounds like a deal :)

Oct 4, 2019, 1:41pm

>176 susanj67: - We also had lots of conference attendees who'd never seen snow, Susan. The Nigerian contingent was especially captivated and wonder-struck. It was fun to see.

>177 MickyFine: - I was also shocked to learn that after upgrading my seat, I didn't even get a free drink, Micky! I thought American airlines were bad... I don't usually have to pay to check a bag because I mostly fly AA and my status gets me waived bag fees. And then my suitcase yesterday was overweight, and they wanted to charge me CAD 100, so I just stuffed a rain jacket and pair of shoes into my backpack. Work would have reimbursed me for the overweight bag fee, but I had the room so decided to be a responsible employee. For once ;-)

>178 RebaRelishesReading: - That's crazy, Reba. There are horror stories about all airlines, but I seem to hear them most often about United, so I avoid them. Having lived in Dallas so long, I try to fly American Airlines and its partners to maintain my status with them. I think the most I ever paid for the extra legroom was $85 one way.

Oct 4, 2019, 1:48pm

As a shortie, extra legroom is one thing I'm never going to have to worry about. >:-)

Oct 4, 2019, 2:06pm

>180 Helenliz: - That is one advantage!

Edited: Oct 4, 2019, 2:06pm

I finished 4 books while away (note, they were all "in progress" when I left, so it's not as impressive as it might sound!):

Where Memories Lie by Deborah Crombie - 4 stars - another excellent entry in the series. A solid mystery reaching back to World War Two and excellent character development. If you haven't already discovered this series, give it a whirl (but note the first is rather weak).

Reader, I Married Him by Tracy Chevalier et. al. - 4 stars - A strong collection of stories by contemporary female writers inspired by Jane Eyre. Some of the connections were tenuous at best (and some I could discern no connection at all!), but there was only 1 true dud in the bunch. I dipped in and out of this one and really enjoyed it.

Dancing Girls by Margaret Atwood - 3.5 stars - Like so many story collections, this one was comprised of some winners and some also-rans. No real losers, which speaks to Atwood's strength as a writer. All dealt with the female experience in some way, and while some seemed rather dated (the collection was published in 1977), for the most part, I found all the stories readable and relevant.

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West (audio) - 3.5 stars - Lindy West is a cultural observer/critic, perhaps best known for taking on rape culture and especially rape "jokes" in comedy and for her unabashed body positivity. She is also a proponent of open discussion of abortion and other "women's" issues. This collection of essays was funny and bittersweet at times, and also rage-inducing and thought-provoking. The audio was read by the author, which I always enjoy with this kind of book.

Oct 4, 2019, 2:06pm

Nice of you to come back home. Everyone missed you. Even me.

Oct 4, 2019, 2:07pm

>182 katiekrug: - Thanks, Bill :)

Oct 4, 2019, 2:39pm

>182 katiekrug: All above average! Darn good for vacay reads. I am incapable of staying sanely angry when reading about rape...still the only crime I'm willing to accept deserves the death penalty...so Lindy West and I don't stand much chance of becoming acquainted.

Oct 4, 2019, 3:32pm

>182 katiekrug: Lindy West was a keynote at a conference I went to a few years ago and she was a great speaker but I haven't tackled any of her books yet. Glad you enjoyed your time with her.

Oct 4, 2019, 8:57pm

When you come to watch dessert week's episode, be sure to have something absorbent to hand for the showstoppers.


Oct 5, 2019, 12:01am

Have a great weekend, Katie.

Oct 5, 2019, 9:32am

>185 richardderus: - Yeah, I've had a run of pretty good reads. Now I've probably jinxed it :-P

>186 MickyFine: - I'd like to hear her speak in person, Micky. She has a new book coming out in November, I think it.

>187 richardderus: - We watched the dairy episode last night. Had to watch on T-Dubb's laptop because he still hasn't set up the television...

>188 PaulCranswick: - Thanks, Paul.

Oct 5, 2019, 9:34am

I had a quiet day yesterday and finished another book. We went out to dinner at our favorite pizza place and watched the first few innings of the Twins-Yankees game. I was in bed by about 9:30 and had another good night's sleep, so I feel ready to tackle some house stuff today.

Oct 5, 2019, 9:43am

Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean

After a bit of a slow start, I ended up really enjoying this historical romance set not in high society London, but in the mid-19th century London of Covent Garden and the Docklands. It's the second in what I think is intended to be a trilogy (I haven't read the first - sorry Susan!) about half-siblings traumatized by events in the past.

I follow MacLean on Twitter - she is a smart and sharp observer and commenter on feminism, privilege, #metoo, and all things romance novel. Some of that can be found in this novel, but she manages to incorporate a more modern viewpoint into the story without it being too jarring. And while many of the usual tropes of the genre are here, MacLean refuses to use any that would undermine her feminist heroine.

BatB can be read just as a regulare romance novel, but I enjoyed seeing how MacLean turned some of the conventions on their head. And I really loved her heroine, Hattie.

4 stars

Oct 5, 2019, 10:01am

Have fun with setting up the house today, Katie. Strangely, I love the packing and set up that goes along with moving. Maybe because I have had so much practice. At one time my ex and I moved about every 6 months and had everything down pat.

Oct 6, 2019, 5:40am

>191 katiekrug: Katie! I saw what you wrote there. Oh yes.

But I looked up MacLean and bought A Rogue By Any Other Name, which is the first one in another of her series. Well, it was 99p. How could I not?

I hope you now have a working TV and the box mountain is starting to look less scary. Leonard must be having an excellent time, though :-)

Oct 6, 2019, 3:33pm

Have fun getting settled, Katie.

Oh, and go Vikings! And Twins!

Oct 6, 2019, 5:25pm

>182 katiekrug: Re the Crombie....since you say the first one is weak, is it OK to start with the second in the series? Or is there stuff in the first one you kinda need to know?

Oct 6, 2019, 5:33pm

Oh, I like Maclean. Adding this one to the pile. I've not read Lindy West, will have a look out for her stuff.

Oct 6, 2019, 5:51pm

>192 Familyhistorian: - Thanks, Meg. Slow progress, but progress. We have too much stuff!

>193 susanj67: - Hi Susan. I have TV, though only what we can get through the antenna at the moment. No streaming services as of yet. The Wayne needs to run a new electrical circuit in the basement to get his internet switch set up, so we can get a dedicated signal in the family room. Or something like that. Lots of boxes, and Leonard is in heaven!

>194 BLBera: - We've still lots to do, Beth, but it feels goo to have (most of) our stuff in one place again. Even if I can't find half of it ;-)

You got the victory over the Giants, but it'll be an uphill battle for the Twins. If the Yankees go to the ALCS, we are going to try to get tickets.

>195 laytonwoman3rd: - Hi Linda - I think you can skip the first, but don't tell Susan. The series is really about the two main characters, and Gemma only shows up at the very end of the first. I hope you like it - I think it's a great series!

>196 charl08: - This was my first MacLean, Charlotte, but I'll be reading more for sure.

Oct 6, 2019, 7:09pm

>191 katiekrug: No Macleans on sale on Ammy here, but the library has a bunch of her books. I put Wicked and the Wallflower on hold.

Good luck with the unpacking/organizing!

Oct 6, 2019, 9:08pm

>197 katiekrug: The Twins have had such a great season, I hate to see them go down in the first round. But, as a Minnesotan, I am used to disappointment re: our sports. Except, of course, the Lynx!

Oct 7, 2019, 8:51am

>198 ronincats: - That particular MacLean is the first in the trilogy, of which I read the second. I am thinking of going back and reading it. The third comes out next year.

>199 BLBera: - They could still turn it around with some success at home, Beth. We'll see. I am trying to resist the temptation to go out tonight to watch the game.

Oct 7, 2019, 8:53am

Back to work today. Ugh. So much to do. And when I leave my office, I see how much work there is left to do with unpacking. Double ugh. Wish I could just crawl under the bedcovers and ignore it all!

I may finish my current read tonight. Depends on if we go out to watch the baseball game. I've started Something Wicked This Way Comes on audio, but haven't gotten very far.

Oct 7, 2019, 12:14pm

>201 katiekrug: That icky space where the entire weight of both jobs, work and Responsible Adulthood, lands on your back...oh, the joy.

Have fun at the game party tonight!

Oct 7, 2019, 12:51pm

I know the "crawl under the bedcovers" feeling! My conference (in Denver) was exhausting and I think I'll try to remember next year that I need some recovery time after. Plus I never read as much as I hope to on these things.

Oct 7, 2019, 2:12pm

>202 richardderus: - Icky indeed! My head hurts...

>203 vivians: - Our annual conference is in Denver next year :) Recovery time is essential. I wish I had more of it.
This topic was continued by Katie Commits to Nothing in 2019, Part 16.