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RebaRelishesReading in 2019 - 4th quarter

This is a continuation of the topic RebaRelishesReading in 2019 - 2nd quarter.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Sep 30, 9:57am Top

A swan family and narrow boats on the Kennet and Avon Canal

Sep 30, 10:04am Top

Whew, I got this thread titled correctly for a change :)

I'm a Californian by birth and by residence although I've lived in Arizona, Connecticut, the Netherlands, England and Ireland at various times in my life. I've been a member of Library Thing for 12 years and this is my 8th year in 75er's. Checking the threads is still a joy as is meeting friends from the thread in real life. Book people are generally really good people I have found :)

I spend my summers at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York where more and more I concentrate on enjoying the music presented by professionals and graduate students participating in the summer program. There is also a visit by an author once a week which is often very good.

I read mostly fiction with a large helping of biography thrown in. A couple of years ago I finished a personal challenge to read all of the Pulitzer Prize winning fiction and earlier this year I finished another to read the entire Harry Potter series (with encouragement from Chelle, thank you Chelle). I've also challenged myself to read the Pulitzer wining biographies but I don't seem to be making much progress on that score.

Edited: Nov 8, 5:50pm Top

What I've read this year:

1. Georgia by Dawn Tripp****1/2
2. The Library Book by Susan Orlean****
3. Cinnamon Gardens by Shyam Selvadurai****
4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling****
5. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (audio)****
6. Snobs by Julian Fellowes ***1/2
7. Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes**** (audio)
8. The Chosen by Chaim Potok****

9. If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? by Alan Alda***1/2 (audio)
10. Night in Bombay by Louis Bromfield****
11. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley***
12. Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue by John McWhorter****(audio)
13. The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons*** (audio)
14. The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand** (audio)
15. The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton****1/2 (audio)
16. Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O'Connor** (audio)
17. A Little History of Philosophy by Nigel Warburton**** (audio)
18. The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley** (audio)
19. Feeding the Dragon by Sharon Washington*****(audio)

20. Us Against You by Fredrik Backman****1/2 (audio)
21. A Mind of Her Own by Paula McLain**** (audio)
22. That Month in Tuscany by Inglath Cooper**** (audio)
23. The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton****
24. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling****1/2
25. Elephant Company by Vicki Constantine Croke*****(audio)
26. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling****1/2
27. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling*****
28. Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday**

29. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn **** (audio)
30. Moloka'i by Alan Brennert ****1/2
31. The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai ***1/2
32. A Place Called Freedom by Ken Follett ***1/2
33. Milkman: A Novel by Anna Burns *

34. Book Towns: Forty-five Paradises of the Printed Word****
35. Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount****1/2
36. Tin Man by Sarah Winman ****1/2
37. In the Distance by Hernan Diaz ****1/2
38. The Pioneers by David McCullough ****1/2
39. A Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith ****(audio)
40. The Mango Bride by Marvin Soliven ****
41. A Taste for Vengeance by Martin Walker **** (audio)
42. Honolulu by Alan Brennert *****

43. White Banners by Lloyd C. Douglas ****
44. Doc by Mary Doria Russell *****
45. Invitation to Live by Lloyd C. Douglas ***1/2
46. The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan****
47. Epitaph by Mary Doria Russell*****
48. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler*****

49. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent ****
50. In the Shadow of Death: A Chautauqua Murder Mystery by Deb Pines ***1/2
51. Art as a Way: A Return to the Spiritual Roots by Frederick Franck ***
52. Selected Prose of Robert Frost edited by Hyde Cox and Edward Connery Lathem ***
53. The Ensemble by Aja Gabel ***1/2
54. Geographic Influences in American History by Albert Perry Brigham***
55. A World Lost by Wendell Berry****
56. Christmas on the Island by Jenny Colgan****(audio)

57. Brookland by Emily Barton****
58. Andrew's Brain by E. L. Doctorow***1/2
59. Mother Tongue by Demetria Martinez ****
60. If Today Be Sweet by Thrity Umrigar *****
61. The Fourth Man by Howard Moody ***1/2
62. Among English Hedgerows by Clifton Johnson****
64. The Storyteller's Secret by Sejal Badani***** (audio)
65. A Place in the Sun by Lois and Louis Darling ***

66. The Middle Heart by Bette Bao Lord****
67. A Women's Life by Susan Cheever****
68. Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark by Jane Fletcher Geniesse****
69. About Grace by Anthony Doerr***
70. The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland by Dan Barry****1/2
71. Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music and Family by Daniel Bergner*****
72. One Hundred Names for Love by Diane Ackerman****
73. Dear Mrs Bird by A J Pearce****1/2
74. Last Train to Istanbul by Ayse Kulin ****
75. A Dashing Duke for Emily by Hanna Hamilton **

76. Sanditon by Jane Austen****
77. Educated by Tara Westover****1/2
78. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead ****1/2
79. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett****1/2
80. A Better Man by Louise Penny ****
81. The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives **** edited by Viet Thanh Nguyen
82. Swimmer Among the Stars by Kanishk Tharoor **
83. Wetware by Craig Nova**
84. Daily Life in Holland in the Year 1566 by Rien Poortfliet*****

85. The Rains Came by Louis Bromfield****1/2
86. The Colors of All the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith****(audio)
87. The Women of Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell*****

Sep 30, 10:06am Top

Now the thread is open for visitors. I hope I get lots of them!!

Sep 30, 10:08am Top

Well here I am first up and hopefully the first of many.
Happy new thread, Reba.

Sep 30, 10:12am Top

Wow, a visitor! Welcome Paul, nice to see you :)

Sep 30, 10:15am Top

Only two minutes after you declared your thread open, Reba - I couldn't have been much faster!

Sep 30, 11:07am Top

I've been in LibraryThing since 2008 and it is only recently that I have started to try to find out where people are and do the Meetup Thing. I have found that I enjoy it immensely and like you said, Book people are generally good people and so much fun. I still smile when I think of that lunch at your house with Bonnie and Imri. One of these days, I will get my own thread and see what happens as far as meetups go. In the meantime, I enjoy visiting others threads.

I really enjoyed the posts from England and think this hike was quite an accomplishment. I hope that you and your friend will do one like it next year. Your hike prompted me to do some research, and I found that I am also interested in doing something like this. The idea of trails as part of the National Trust amazes me and I have to congratulate the English for taking to it so whole heartedly. They have the most miles of National Trails of any of the nations in Europe! Other countries have a system of National hiking trails, but none as many miles as the UK. France has more miles of canals that are open to commercial tourist barges, but not hiking trails.

Thanks for putting me onto the idea of these walking trails.

Sep 30, 11:39am Top

Happy new thread, Reba!

Sep 30, 11:52am Top

>8 benitastrnad: A friend from here tells me there is something called the Inn to Inn walk in Vermont. You might look into that. If you're interested in U.K. walks, the company we used was Contours. They did a great job setting it up. One absolutely critical part to me was that they arranged to have our suitcase moved from accommodation to accommodation so we only had to have day packs on our backs (and even those felt rather heavy sometimes). I understand that the Inn to Inn program does the same thing.

All of that said -- it was a great experience. I challenged myself and was able to do it. I don't, however, plan to do it again...at least for a while and probably in Vermont if so. :)

Meet-ups, however, I hope to do many more times!

>9 susanj67: Hi Susan. Thanks for visiting early :)

Sep 30, 3:01pm Top

Happy new thread Reba. Sad to hear you won't be doing another English walking tour. I was hoping to sell you on the delights of the Leeds - Liverpool. Vermont sounds lovely though.

Sep 30, 8:00pm Top

Happy New Thread, Reba! You said you are home--is that in Chataqua or San Diego? If the former, as I suspect, when are you heading this way?

Oct 1, 1:55am Top

Happy new thread, Reba. I hope you saw my post on your last thread. If you didn't I said it must be great to finally be home but then I read that you are off again on Saturday. I hope the leaves change for you. They are starting to change here a bit.

Edited: Oct 1, 5:15pm Top

>11 charl08: Hi Char! I might consider a 4 or 5 day, 5 or 6 miles per day version but I really think I'm done. It was great, I'm glad I did it, but I don't need to do it again.

>12 ronincats: You're right Roni-- home to New York. We're leaving for San Diego on Nov. 5 but going to Indiana to visit cousins, then Oregon to see baby grandson, then San Francisco to mind the fur-grandkids while son and lady travel and then home Thanksgiving weekend.

>13 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. We're getting some tiny touches of color here in western NY but hoping things are further along to the north and east of us.

Oct 1, 7:51am Top

Happy new thread!

Congrats on reaching the 75 book mark :)

Oct 1, 11:06am Top

Happy new thread!

Oct 1, 3:21pm Top

Happy new thread, Reba!

>14 RebaRelishesReading: I presume you mean 5 or 6 miles a day?
Sounds like you have a busy scedule until returning to San Diego.

Oct 1, 3:53pm Top

Happy new one - love the topper picture.

Oct 1, 5:22pm Top

Sanditon by Jane Austen****

This volume contains three relatively unknown works by Jane Austen. Lady Susan was written by Austen before she became well know. It is believed that The Watsons was begun during "an unhappy period" in Bath and abandoned after her father's death. Sanditon was the last work she started and never finished because of her death. Even though none of them are complete or as polished as her main works, they are still a delight to read.

Oct 1, 5:25pm Top

>15 figsfromthistle: Thank you Figsfromthistle :)

>16 drneutron: Thanks Jim

>17 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita -- LOL, yes, I meant 5 or 6 miles

>18 charl08: Thanks Char :)

Oct 1, 9:26pm Top

Happy new thread, Reba. Congratulations on passing 75.

Oct 2, 7:55am Top

>21 BLBera: Thank you Beth :)

Oct 2, 7:56am Top

I ran across this on Facebook this morning. Just had to share it:

Oct 2, 8:49am Top

Happy new thread, Reba, and congratulations on hitting the 75 books mark!

Oct 2, 12:00pm Top

>24 kidzdoc: Thank you Darryl :)

Edited: Oct 2, 12:08pm Top

>23 RebaRelishesReading:
I loved this. It describes me so well. I get so lost in bookstores and I don't want to ever come up for air. I think that in the last two days I have added about 50 new titles to my TBR list in LT. I will never get them all read.

Oct 2, 7:20pm Top

>23 RebaRelishesReading: I felt the same way when looking at it. I suspect most of us here would feel that way too. I've always thought myself a little odd for feeling so happy at the thought of an anticipated book waiting for me. I glad I'm not alone.

Reba, you've been doing some great reading. Congratulations on hitting 75!

Oct 3, 2:38pm Top

>26 benitastrnad: Hi Benita, glad you liked it. Other than that I usually only have one "real" book and one audio book going at a time it describes me too.

>27 Oregonreader: Hi Jan. Thank you! Good to see you.

Oct 3, 2:47pm Top

Educated by Tara Westover ****1/2

What a riveting book! Tara was raised by a mentally-ill, religious fanatic father and a totally subservient mother who didn't allow her to go to school or visit doctors. Her "home schooling" revolved around a very few books found acceptable by her paranoid father and a literal interpretation of the Bible. Nevertheless, she persevered. I'm so glad I finally got to it and that I read it when I had time to devote to it. Started it yesterday afternoon and finished it this morning.

Oct 3, 5:53pm Top

>29 RebaRelishesReading: ohhhhh that was a good one Reba.

Oct 4, 8:39am Top

>30 brenzi: Indeed, Bonnie :)

Oct 4, 12:09pm Top

Here is some news to brighten your day! It came in my Friday newsletter from Publisher's Weekly.

New tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on certain goods imported from the European Union will include books. According to Section 4 of a new directive from the U.S. Trade Representative, printed books, brochures, leaflets, and lithographs produced in Germany and the U.K. will be subjected to a 25% tariff beginning October 18.

The new tariffs, which cover up to $7.5 billion of products imported from the E.U., were in response to the E.U. providing subsidies to Airbus. The World Trade Organization signed off on the right of the Trump administration to impose the tariffs.

The first reaction to the tariffs came from Stephen Lotinga, chief executive of the U.K.’s Publishers Association, who said: "We are deeply concerned about this development and raised it immediately with the Department for International Trade and the Intellectual Property Office. It is completely unacceptable that book exports are collateral damage in an unconnected trade matter. We will continue to argue in the strongest possible terms against tariffs that could be damaging to the trade and are in nobody's interest."

The new E.U. tariffs come as the U.S. publishing industry continues to grapple with the ramifications of earlier tariffs placed on books and related products imported from China. Although the Trump administration opted not impose 25% tariffs on virtually all books made in China, 10% tariffs were levied September 1 on trade, professional, and educational books. Other categories of books, including religious books, bibles, and children’s picture books either received a delay in the imposition of tariffs or were granted an exception.

Oct 4, 1:00pm Top

>32 benitastrnad: There are so many things raging through my mind right now that I'll just leave it at ^%()*^%^#$%!!!

Oct 4, 2:11pm Top

Happy new thread, Reba!

Oct 4, 6:51pm Top

>32 benitastrnad: Is there no end to the outrageous acts committed by this administration. Every day another new outrage. We can't be rid of them soon enough.

Oct 6, 3:21pm Top

>34 katiekrug: Thank you Katie -- welcome home! Hope you're making progress with the unpacking :)

>35 brenzi: Thee will be no end until the administration ends -- and even afterward we will probably keep discovering new ones for a long time.

Oct 6, 3:23pm Top

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead****1/2

Speaking of outrages! Here is a fine novel based on outrages from Florida's racist past (I'm assuming things are better now but don't really know). It was sickening to read but well done and providing important information. A highly recommended book.

Oct 8, 1:10pm Top

I wholeheartedly agree with the recommendation!

Oct 8, 5:59pm Top

>38 drneutron: Thank you Jim :)

Oct 9, 5:54pm Top

>23 RebaRelishesReading: I love it!

>33 RebaRelishesReading: Ditto, Reba.

>37 RebaRelishesReading: I must get to this one soon!

Oct 10, 2:22pm Top

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett****1/2

I loved this book! Perhaps because I'm on vacation, or perhaps for some other reason, but I liked it better than Commonwealth. My only criticism would be that I didn't really like the final, wrap-up, chapter. It seemed somewhat like an after thought, or hurried "I guess I have to say what happened to everyone" -- whatever, that chapter didn't work for me but the rest of the book was wonderful imo.

Oct 10, 3:23pm Top

We've been leaf-peeping in New England this week. The weather has been wonderful (except one rainy day) and the leaves are at their peak so it's been a big success. Today we crossed over into Quebec in part to visit Knowlton, where Louise Penny lives and which is reportedly the inspiration for Three Pines. It's a nice little town although not much like my image of Three Pines and it doesn't even have a bookstore!! It is trying to take advantage of their most famous resident and has a literary festival coming up Oct. 12 - 20 at which Ms. Penny is featured along with several other authors (Shelagh Rogers, Sheree Fitch, Kim Thuy, Barry Estabrook, An-Marie Macdonald, Guy Vanderhaege and K.D. Miller). I would be so tempted to come back except it's an 8 1/2 hour drive and I've been away a good bit recently. Had I known about it before, though, this trip could well have been pushed off for a week.

Here are some shots of Knowlton.

These signs are in many shop windows in town.

"Downtown" Knowlton.

Ok, there were two more that I wanted to include but one is sideways and won't respond to any tricks I know to change and the other responded by turning upside-down rather than sideways. So I'm going to leave them out (they're in my member gallery if you really, really want to see them).

Now I'm going to go and start reading A Better Man by one of my favorite authors :)

Oct 10, 4:38pm Top

>42 RebaRelishesReading: Hmmm not my picture of Three Pines at all Reba but maybe it's the flavor that Penny has captured. At any rate I would've loved to attend that literary festival just to see Guy Vanderhaeghe, Ann Marie McDonald and Louise Penny. Oh my what a lineup. Love so many Canadian authors.

Oct 10, 7:34pm Top

>43 brenzi: I'm still a bit tempted I must admit. Kim Thuy's presentation is about Vietnamese food and includes a buffet lunch, which also sounds good.

We went into "The Buzz' which seems to be attached to the bakery next door and where we had some lovely soup, sandwich and pastry. The waitress said Ms. Penny comes in often and usually has a "bowl of hot chocolate" (I did too and it was very good). I started A Better Man and there at the bottom of page one was Myrna having a "mug of hot chocolate" then on page 32 they go to visit the home of a missing woman in Cowansville, which is another small village we passed through very near Knowlton. I'm having a great time looking for details I can recognize now.

Oct 10, 8:14pm Top

>32 benitastrnad: This man has to go!! >: (

>37 RebaRelishesReading: Loved The Nickel Boys, too!

Oct 11, 1:50am Top

>42 RebaRelishesReading: Knowlton sounds like an interesting place to visit. Too bad you couldn't take in the literary festival. I notice that you listed Shelagh Rogers as an author. She would more likely be an interviewer and a well known personality in her own right as she is a broadcast journalist heavily involved in the literary world. Just saying her name immediately brings her voice to mind.

Edited: Oct 12, 7:21pm Top

>45 Berly: Hi Kim -- good to "see" you

>46 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg -- yes, Shelagh Rogers' contribution is to be "in conversation" with Louise Penny for two hours :) I want to be there :(

Oct 11, 10:40pm Top

Hi Reba! Some good reading. I have to get to the new Ann Patchett

Oct 12, 2:51pm Top

>47 RebaRelishesReading: Shelagh Rogers in conversation with Louise Penny would be good. I've seen Louise Penny twice but Shelagh Rogers would have made it even better!

Oct 12, 7:22pm Top

>48 banjo123: Hi Rhonda -- Thanks, I've been enjoying and do recommend the new Ann Patchett

>49 Familyhistorian: I'm really sorry we aren't going to be there, Meg. I'll watch and see if they do it again next year maybe.

Oct 13, 3:32pm Top

>41 RebaRelishesReading: Looking forward to reading this one, Reba.

How nice to find a new book festival - hope you get there next year. Every year I want to do Wigtown, I might make it in 2020...

Oct 13, 5:37pm Top

>51 charl08: Yes, yes I would love to do Wigtown. We were discussing whether to go to U.K. or Germany/Switzerland/Netherlands next fall...I'll have to check and see when Wigtown is :)

Oct 13, 5:45pm Top

A Better Man by Louise Penny****

A young woman is missing and her father is worried but at the same time a huge storm is coming at just the wrong time and widespread flooding is likely. Gamache is about to take over as head of homicide because Jean-Guy is moving to France. This is not only a "who-done-it" but also a book about abuse within families and about family connections in general.

For the first time I really paid attention to Penny's short sentences and she certainly does use a lot of them. I found that many of them just made the dialog sound more natural to me and others seemed to make points hit "home" harder. By and large I decided they don't bother me much (whew! because I would hate to give up Three Pines lol).

This isn't my favorite Louise Penny novel but I still enjoyed it a lot and am looking forward to the next one :)

Oct 14, 8:27am Top

Happy Thanksgiving to Canadian friends! We spent hours in traffic in Toronto yesterday helping you celebrate :)

Our leaf-peeping trip was lovely. We had perfect weather (except one rainy day) and the leaves were at their peak. I am glad to be back in our New York home however because we spent too many hours in the car. Three weeks from today we'll head back west and spend even more days in the car...but I'm not going to think about that right now.

Oct 14, 8:36pm Top

Hi Reba, thank you for posting all those lovely photos of your walking trip in England. I am so proud of you for hanging in there with sore feet. Your trip to "Three Pines" also sounded like great fun. You should plan a meetup around the book festival next year.

>41 RebaRelishesReading: I recently finished and loved The Dutch House. I even liked the ending!

Oct 14, 11:52pm Top

>54 RebaRelishesReading: Good of you to spend time in Toronto to help us celebrate Thanksgiving, Reba. I missed out on the fun because I am south of the border. I had totally blanked Thanksgiving weekend from my mind and was surprised by the crowds in the grocery store just before I left.

Oct 15, 9:21am Top

>55 Donna828: Hi Donna. Thank you. I'm rather proud of myself too :) "Three Pines" is a two-day drive from here and I doubt we'll do it again next year (actually we're thinking about going to the U.K. and including a visit to the Wigtown Book Fair in that trip). A meet-up there would be fun though.

>56 Familyhistorian: I knew Canadian Thanksgiving was in October but hadn't focused on what date until we were already in Toronto. When I realized I thought we would be OK since we were traveling on the middle day of a three-day weekend and I expected people to travel to their holiday location on Saturday and back home again on Monday. I'm not sure where all of those people were going on Sunday but it was a mess!

Oct 16, 10:04am Top

It's cold and raining and I have a cold (poor me) so I'm planning to spend the day in my soft, warm bathrobe trying to catch up on some of the things that have to be done before we leave for CA and, maybe, doing some reading this afternoon.

Oct 18, 12:03pm Top

I spent a lovely day with Sharon Stewart yesterday. We went to Birmingham so I could get my TSZ pre-Check paperwork done. I told her about your latest trip to Canada and that you were getting ready to start heading back to San Diego. I think that Sharon will be staying later in New York next year. This fall was brutal here in Alabama weatherwise and was very hard on her. Yesterday was our first fall day with temperatures in the 60's. We talked about you and your trip to England. Sharon was curious about how you did in the walking.

Oct 18, 12:40pm Top

So sorry to hear you aren't feeling well, Reba! Take care of yourself.

Oct 18, 3:44pm Top

>59 benitastrnad: Hi Benita! Good to hear from you. I guess Sharon's decision depends on which end of the weather scale she is most comfortable. One reason I like staying here is that the hottest month of the year in So Cal is September and I don't like heat but it's been in the 40's and rainy for the past two days and is topping out about 49 today although it isn't raining today and is even sunny this afternoon. I love "cozy" weather when I can wear sweaters and sit by the fire but I know that isn't everyone's idea of delightful (Hubby thinks it's much too cold this week for example). As to the walking, I did well. The first day was pretty challenging because it was the longest day, the paths were difficult and at the end not well described or marked. Other than that I was tired when we reached our lodging but not exhausted and I was ready to hit the trail the next morning. It was a great trip and I think we're both glad we did it.

>60 ronincats: Thanks Roni. The running nose stage only lasted one day and now I'm hoarse and coughing but I don't feel all that bad besides it was lovely to have a reason to sit by the fire and read on two cold, rainy days :)

Oct 18, 3:47pm Top

The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives edited by Viet Thanh Nguyen****

This is a collection of essays by well-known writers who have been refugees at some point in their lives. The essays are very well written and provide some new perspectives on the refugee experience. Well worth a read.

Edited: Oct 20, 8:52am Top

Our Chautauqua master bath is going to be redone over the winter and I've been having a hard time making choices about materials. It currently has a creepy whirlpool tub that is getting ever harder to climb over the side of in order to take a shower so it really must happen. Today I finally went to buy the one item I knew for sure I wanted and that is the plank vinyl flooring we have downstairs. In the shop, however, I found some tile I like a lot that was a remnant at a really good price so things suddenly started falling into place. Good thing since we leave here in just over two weeks and everything has to be ordered or purchased by then.

Oct 19, 2:53pm Top

>63 RebaRelishesReading:
Funny about the bathroom. I went to play games at a friends house on Thursday night and she just renovated both of her bathrooms. She also found some tile at Loew’s that she loved and it turned out it was discontinued. However, they had enough in the store to do her main bathroom so she got it. She also got a good price!

But then she had to take time to figure out what she wanted for the second bathroom. Both turned out well.

Oct 20, 8:55am Top

>64 benitastrnad: It's amazing how much mental energy this tiny bathroom is taking! I'll be glad when it's finished -- and hope I like the result!

Oct 20, 9:59am Top

Hi Reba! Our new house has 2.5 baths and all need to be updated at some point, as does the kitchen. I am simultaneously looking forward to it and dreading it :)

Oct 20, 10:57am Top

Hi Reba!

A very belated happy new thread and congrats on reaching 75.

>19 RebaRelishesReading: I’m seriously toying with the idea of a Jane Austen read next year – all 6 novel and a sweet little volume that contains Sanditon and 4 other works, deleted chapters, etc.

>23 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks for sharing. It describes me perfectly, too.

>29 RebaRelishesReading: Educated was an amazing book. Harrowing, depressing, and ultimately victorious.

Sorry you’ve been sick and hope that you’re much better now. Have fun with the final planning stages on the bathroom.

Oct 20, 1:22pm Top

>66 katiekrug: We redid two of the 2 1/2 baths in our last place in San Diego. We did them one at a time so we always had a functioning shower but it was still a mess. Somehow I didn't find it so difficult to make choices then though. Anyway, good luck with your some-point redo's -- it's a pain but it's worth it.

>67 karenmarie: Thank you Karen. I'm feeling much better and am grateful this cold seems to be moving through pretty quickly. I love Austen and have read all of her books twice (except the ones in the Sanditon volume I just bought). I know you'll enjoy it.

Oct 20, 7:00pm Top

I got an incredible bargain this weekend. I went up to Birmingham to get my TSA Precheck paperwork done and on the way home stopped to see what Sur La Table had on their bargain sale racks. Low and behold, there were two 2500 Vitamix blenders marked down from $499 to $399. I did not buy them, but the more I thought about it the more I decided I should purchase one because Who ever sees Vitamix blenders on sale!? I drove back yesterday and purchased one. Then, after a visit to the Yarn Shop, I decided that I should buy the other one for my sister. When I got there the store clerk was nice enough to point out to me that the display model was also marked down and that this last weekend was an extra 30% off. I got the second blender for $270. I am not sure about the math on this purchase but the receipt says that is what was charged to my credit card account - so I’m happy.

I cleaned off part of my counter and set up my blender this afternoon. Now I only have to get my yogurt and make my Smoothie for tomorrow. I drink Smoothies for breakfast most mornings so I will use my purchase all the time.

Oct 20, 10:34pm Top

That is excellent! I use my Vitamix regularly too. It's not a wonder machine - it's just a very good blender - but it is a very good blender.

Oct 21, 10:22am Top

>69 benitastrnad: Congratulations Benita! It's always fun to get a bargain (and extra fun for your sister -- is it going to be for Christmas?)

Oct 21, 10:56am Top

Reba, I hope the cold has packed up and gone. Good news that your bathroom plan is coming together, though. I had to move out when I had mine done, as I have just the one. My chief wish for my next place to live is a second bathroom, or even just a guest loo.

Edited: Oct 21, 12:56pm Top

I am about 25 pages from the end of Shanghai Faithful: Betrayal and Forgiveness in a Chinese Christian Family and this has been a great book. I spent a good deal of time reading it over the weekend, and I can't wait to tell you guys about it. It is published by an Academic publisher - Rowman & Littlefield - and shouldn't be a readable book. But it is. If you liked Wild Swans by Jung Chang this book tags along with Shanghai Faithful and Shanghai Faithful gives great insight into China during the 1960's and the Cultural Revolution.

Oct 21, 6:50pm Top

Swimmer Among the Stars by Kanishk Tharoor**

I read this short story collection because it counts for my CLSC list but I really didn't enjoy it. Probably partly because I'm not a big short story fan but also because the stories were rather strange and way over my head I'm afraid :(

Oct 21, 7:01pm Top

>72 susanj67: Thanks Susan. The cold is fairly well gone. I'm still coughing a little but I'm counting myself as "oner it". How's your headache doing?

>73 benitastrnad: I had to smile when I read your post because an Aussie friend gave me Wild Swans several years ago but I still haven't read it. Perhaps I should dig it out when I get home.

The bathroom project: We went to big box today and ordered the shower pan, the shower door and the vanities. While we were there we also bought the faucets, towel rods, and a new light. After I got home I realized we forgot door/drawer pulls, a grab bar and a TP holder. Dropped Hubby off after that outing (he can only stand so much shopping) and went to the flooring/tile store to order the counter top for the vanity. There are some questions they are going to have to get input on from supplier so I picked the material but didn't get completely finished. Bottom line is we're making a lot of progress but it seems that every time we take a big step forward someone moves the finish line a tiny bit. Nevertheless we WILL have this sorted before we leave!

Movie: We finally went to see Downton Abbey last night. We chose the 6:25 p.m. showing at a local mall which closes at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday so when we arrived things were pretty quiet there. There were 6 of us in the theater (at least we weren't totally on our own like you were, Susan) and when we came out we found the doors locked!! We looked around and found doors with "panic hardware" on them so we were able to get out of the theater but then we found the mall doors leading to where we parked locked. We saw another couple from our theater exiting through doors on the other side of the mall and we were able to get out there but then had to walk completely around the mall to get to our car. You'd think they might want to cancel that Sunday evening showing!

Oct 21, 8:13pm Top

>75 RebaRelishesReading: Good Lord Reba what an awful way to end Downton Abbey! That's unbelievable. I would've been on the phone to mall management today. Just unacceptable.

Oct 22, 4:46am Top

>75 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, I'm glad the cold has mostly gone. I'm fine today, thanks.

Oh no re the Downton experience! That must breach all sorts of regulations too - having people inside a locked building is a health and safety hazard as well as very annoying for the people. (I suppose at least the walk right around the mall would have been good for your steps). What did you think of the film?

Oct 22, 9:23am Top

>76 brenzi:, >77 susanj67: i guess we weren't actually locked in since we did find doors that opened but I'm sure glad I wasn't fleeing anything/anyone!

The movie was OK but not great imo. It was fun seeing all of the cast/characters again and having their futures redefined. The story line was pretty thin though, I thought.

Oct 26, 1:44pm Top

Wetware by Craig Nova**

Briggs is a biotech engineer for Wetware, a company that manufactures human clones who are destined to do unpleasant jobs humans don't want to do but Briggs starts adding things like a sense of humor, intellectual brilliance and the ability to have feelings.

I don't generally read science fiction so I'm probably not a good judge but I wasn't impressed by this book. It shows creativity in thinking of this future but the characters didn't engage me and the end left me totally cold.

Oct 26, 6:09pm Top

No science fiction for me either Reba. I'm happily ensconced in India right now, we'll, not happily exactly but a very compelling read....The Space Between Us.

Oct 27, 5:53am Top

>75 RebaRelishesReading: Yikes! Glad you found your way home, Reba.

Oct 27, 8:33am Top

>80 brenzi: Hi Bonnie -- hope you're enjoying fall. My favorite season by far so I'm really enjoying being here for it. One good thing about CLSC reading is it gets me out of my box a little -- even if only to confirm that I'm happiest with my usual reading :) Books in India I generally like however.

>81 charl08: Thanks Charlotte -- me too :)

Edited: Oct 27, 6:03pm Top

Daily Life in Holland in the Year 1566 by Rien Poortvliet*****

Rien Poortvliet was a wonderful artist who wrote and illustrated several books in his lifetime. I remember him from my time in the Netherlands when he did a TV special about rabbits and hares, illustrating as he talked. To this day I know the difference between the two thanks to that magical and instructive show. We stayed in an inn in the Shenandoah Valley last spring that had been in constant use since 1795 and they had this book of Poortvliet's available in one of the lounges. It looked interesting so I ordered a copy and spent a delightful afternoon today reading it, and savoring the beautiful illustrations, by the fire.

Edited: Oct 27, 7:47pm Top

I started listening to a new work of historical fiction - Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin on my way up to Birmingham yesterday. So far I like the book and the narrator is doing a great job. This is not great literature but it is good reading/listening. I’m glad I ran across it on the shelves of the public library the other day.

I like it when LT readers tell bout where they learned about a book and why they picked it up.

I am getting ready to spend my Sunday evening with Masterpiece Theater on PBS. It has been a cool and rainy weekend down here and i will be watching TV and doing some crocheting on a Christmas gift.

Oct 28, 8:53am Top

>84 benitastrnad: Hi Benita! Sounds like that might be a great book for walking. I may add it to my growing list of Audibles. What is on Masterpiece now? Since we stream I lose track of what is being broadcast at any given time. We're watching season 9 of Doc Martin -- one of my favorite shows.

Oct 28, 9:10am Top

>84 benitastrnad: So, I went ahead and bought it :)

Oct 29, 1:30pm Top

>86 RebaRelishesReading:
I am really getting into it and the recorded version is very well done. I am listening to it on my commute so it will take me a couple of weeks to get through it. You will probably be done with it before me.

Oct 30, 9:57am Top

>87 benitastrnad: You'll probably finish first because I won't start for a while yet. It isn't one for the two of us to listen to on the drive west and then when we get there I will probably listen to a couple of others that are lined up before I start it but I do a lot more audio in San Diego because I walk more there so its turn will come :)

Nov 1, 8:13am Top

Educated is that sort of read!

Snagged the book funny to send to my book group!

Reba! You are backsliding in the book image department! Hardly a one image came through for me! If no one has uploaded the cover you can just do "copy image address" pop it in the 'grab' place and bob's yer uncle, darlin'

Oh I do love Doc Martin -- we're saving that for the depths of winter.

Nov 1, 8:46am Top

>89 sibyx: Oh Lucy, I do wish I understood better what you mean :0. I can't remember how I got the image addresses except for the last one but maybe I'm getting them from the LT ones in "add books", is that the problem?

Nov 1, 8:52am Top

So we're planning to leave Chautauqua on Monday and drive west on 90 to Oregon. Hubby is most worried about hitting snow but I keep telling him "it's only November, won't be a problem" so this morning I open the curtains and find snow on all of the surrounding roofs with dustings under trees and bushes on the ground -- yikes!! He isn't down yet but I'm afraid he's going to freak!! That after we lost power just seconds after agreeing it was time to go to bed last night. He was still feet-up in his power recliner (quite a struggle to get him out of it). It's VERY dark here when there are no street lights and it's cloudy. I made my way to a flashlight so we were OK getting upstairs and into bed but still, I'm beginning to think it's time to go back to San Diego :)

Nov 1, 9:35am Top

>90 RebaRelishesReading: - I can see all your book cover images, Reba. It's not just one thing that causes problems - a person's browser, operating system, etc. can make them disappear. Sometimes I can see them on my laptop but not my phone or vice versa.

Safe travels next week!

Nov 1, 11:06am Top

Umm, you know they had snow in Denver, Oklahoma and Kansas this week, right? Better check those weather maps!

Nov 1, 12:08pm Top

At this time of year the weather all along the north is changeable. Just check the weather every day and make adjustments as necessary. You can mosey along to San Diego along whatever route makes itself presentable. Right?

If you are going along I90, my sister lives in Bozeman, MT as does an LT friend. I believe that there is also an active LT'er in, or around, Missoula. Are you up for Meetups?

Nov 1, 12:16pm Top

Reba, I can also see your pictures (I can't see *mine*, but yours are fine LOL). Like Katie, I can see different things on different devices. So. Annoying.

You would have been so proud of me this morning - I made five purchases at the mall using just my phone :-) I would have used it for the other two as well, but I had loyalty cards so I had to get my purse out. I'm going to see if the loyalty cards will go onto Google Pay. I put one on there, but I don't remember now exactly how I did it, and I didn't need that one today. It's so nice to just get my phone out of my pocket and pay - no searching for my purse in my bag. And I owe it all to you and your good example :-)

I hope your drive back goes OK - we'll all be following along :-)

Nov 1, 12:20pm Top

How is the bathroom remodel coming? Do you have all the pieces and parts ready?

Nov 1, 4:05pm Top

>92 katiekrug: Ah, good to hear, Katie. Since I really don't know what to do about it I think I'll just keep on keeping on and hope it works most times for most people. (Sorry Lucy :( )

>93 ronincats:, >94 benitastrnad: Hi Roni and hi Benita! Fortunately we plan to be well north of those places (LOL). Actually we're going to Oregon first and then to San Francisco (visiting all of the "kids"). We will be in Bozeman but just a quick over-night so I'm afraid no meet-ups this trip. We will watch the weather maps as we travel but we have all-wheel drive and good tires so I'm comfortable we'll be fine. When we left to get the car serviced and run some errands about 9:30 this morning we found the car covered with an inch or so of snow. Hubby was able to laugh, even when I pelted him with a snowball while we were cleaning it off. (I don't think he knows that there are flakes falling as I write this though :>)

>95 susanj67: I'm so glad you're liking it, Susan!! I agree about just pulling your phone out of your pocket and "Bob's your uncle" :) The whole 2 1/2 weeks I was in the U.K. I think I only used the physical card once. It's getting better here but the U.S. is still well behind the U.K.. Thanks for good driving wishes. I'll try to post every day or so.

>96 benitastrnad: The errands I referred to were to pick up the tile, adhesive, grout and flooring. With that now safely stored next to the stairs we have everything in house except the big pieces (shower floor, shower door, vanity and vanity counter) which will be delivered in a couple of weeks. The contractor will be here to accept the delivery. So work hasn't begun but we committed to the design decisions made. Whew!! The actual work will be done sometime over the winter while we're not here. Contractor's like to do as much "outside" work as they can before winter really sets in so I'm not sure when he'll start here but it doesn't matter as long as he finishes by next May.

Edited: Nov 1, 6:25pm Top

Oh I didn't realize you'd gotten some snow down there Reba. No snow here but really cold and windy. I wore my winter parka for my walk today which is a first for the season. The whole deal with hat and gloves too.

Have a good trip back to San Diego and of course you know there was snow in Chicago I'm sure.

Nov 2, 12:32am Top

Safe travels, Reba! Your road trip sounds like fun. I still have an ambition to see more of the US (especially the national parks). Maybe one day.

Edited: Nov 2, 10:35am Top

>98 brenzi: Thanks for the good wishes, Bonnie. I can imagine you needed your whole winter outfit to walk though. It was 34 (1 in celsius) degrees on our back porch this morning. No snow though and yesterday it wasn't much. In fact, the biggest deposit was on the car. I did hear about the snow in Chicago but I'm trusting that means there won't be any next week :) See you next summer.

>99 charl08: Thanks to you too Charlotte. We enjoy the road trips and this is a route we've not been on in many, many years so that should be fun. Just hope there's no snow to worry my Hubby!

Nov 3, 9:11am Top

Safe travels, Reba. Fingers crossed that you avoid snow.

Nov 3, 9:12am Top

Safe travels.

Edited: Nov 3, 9:21am Top

The Rains Came by Louis Bromfield****1/2

My father owned four matched sets of books for as long as I can remember and when he died in 1971 they became mine. They were 1) a selection of "classics", 2)books by Steinbeck 3) books by Lloyd Douglas and, books by Bromfield. I had never heard of either Douglas nor Bromfield so for many years they sat unread on my bookshelves (I didn't even put them into Mt. TBR because I didn't plan to read them). When I decided to read the Pulitzer fiction winners I discovered Bromfield (Early Autumn 1927)and decided to read my father's books.

The Rains Came is set in a prosperous Indian state in the 1930's. The Maharajah is a caring and progressive man who has worked throughout his long life to make life better for all of his subjects by eliminating the caste system and providing education for everyone. The main characters are drawn from all nationalities and religions and they and their relationships are complicated and realistic. The book begins at the end of the dry season and everyone is waiting anxiously for the rains to come...and they do! This is a 600 page epic of dealing with nature, and society, and self. Bromfield deserves to be remembered.

P.S. Sorry about the uninspiring cover but, as one of a set, the cover on my book really is uninspiring.

Nov 4, 6:25pm Top

We got everything buttoned up at Chautauqua and were on the road by 8:30 a.m. I'm always sorry to leave our little NY nest but I am looking forward to family visits on our way back to San Diego and am looking forward to taking up our California life again. Downer was a notification mid-morning that a mysterious charge had been applied to our checking account. Poor Hubby has spent half the day (it seems) trying to figure out what it is and what to do about it (because we are now convinced that it was an error or scam). Didn't do much to make the first day of our road trip fun :(

Nov 4, 9:09pm Top

What an awful way to start out your trip Reba. I hope it gets straightened out.

Nov 5, 9:23am Top

>104 RebaRelishesReading:, >105 brenzi: Thanks Bonnie. Hubby spent an hour or more on the phone when we got to our hotel and finally found out that it was our home owners insurance that had been given to a new company and had the rate doubled! The new company offered "California fires" as the reason for the huge increase, never mind that we live in the middle of the city and no where near any possible wild land fire. He asked the agent about other options and they found a different carrier (Liberty) who offered a rate only somewhat higher than last year so it's all worked out OK.

Nov 6, 8:42am Top

Insurance companies can be the very devil, Reba. I’m glad you and Hub got it sorted.

There’s a pretty fair ancient movie of that Bromfield title out there somewhere.

Nov 6, 9:59am Top

>107 bohemima: I knew there was at least one film made from it (several of his books were turned into films I believe) but haven't seen it. I should look for it some time.

Nov 6, 10:04am Top

The Colors of All the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith**** (audio)

Hubby and I enjoy listening to The Ladies' No. 1 Detective Agency books when we travel and started this one on our New England trip last month. We finished it on our way to Indiana yesterday. This time Mma. Ramotswe is pressured to run for city council by her friend Mma. Potokwane who is strongly opposed to a new hotel that is proposed. Another minor thread is a case in which the Agency is trying to find out who "knocked over" an elderly doctor with their blue car. As always a simple story but so full of wonderful characters and clues to Botswanan culture that it's a pure delight.

Nov 6, 12:15pm Top

>109 RebaRelishesReading:
I like listening to those books as well. The reader is excellent! And brings such color and life to the stories. I love reading in this manner while I am traveling. It makes the miles go by so quickly.

I finished listening to Mistress of the Ritz and it was really good. Historical fiction isn't all that hot right now in the reading world, but I really liked this one. The narrator is probably the reason why. She was excellent in this production. She made the book come alive.

Nov 6, 5:43pm Top

>110 benitastrnad: I have Mistress of the Ritz on my phone too but that one won't be Hubby's "thing" so I'll listen to it while walking once we're in San Diego. On my own right now I'm listening to Deep Down Dark which is about the mining cave-in in Chile a few years ago. It's excellent!

Edited: Nov 6, 5:58pm Top

It's cold in Chicago today but still we took the bus and then the "L" into the city for two of our favorite "traditions", a visit to the Art Institute and lunch at Berghoff's. It was a most successful trip and I learned that you can use Apple Pay on the busses and "L" trains in Chicago too :)

(OK, I'll fess up...these photos were taken in 2016, last time we were in Chicago. I didn't get any new ones today)

Nov 7, 5:49pm Top

We had a short day today -- drove to Oak Park to tour the house where Hemingway was born and lived to age 6. The guide had an amazing store of facts and stories which were most interesting so it was well worth the 40 minute or so drive from the hotel. We arrived a bit early for our pre-booked tour so had a nice time walking around the lovely neighborhood -- well I had a nice time, Hubby was freezing. Don't know why, it was 32F/0C and not all that windy :) Tomorrow we move on to Wisconsin where the forecast I saw yesterday was for 21F/-6C. As long as we don't hit a blizzard....

Nov 8, 3:02pm Top

Drove to Tomah, Wisconsin today with lovely snowy scenes along the road (none ON the road though thank goodness). Highest temp we saw was 27F/-3C. Since the road was dry and sky was sunny (most of the way) hubby was comfortable and it was a nice drive.

Roni, our hotel is around the corner from an Albi -- I'm tempted to check ;>

Nov 8, 6:00pm Top

The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell*****

I am so grateful to my LT buddies who introduced me to Maria Doria Russell this year! Her books are well researched, well written and delightful. This one tells the story of the 1913 strike at the Calumet & Hecla mine in Michigan's upper peninsula and the role played by the wives, mothers, and sisters of the miners. I checked WiKipedia and found that the story told is indeed accurate (I should have known, right?) and it's the story both of the greed and callousness of the company but also a beautiful story of female strength and courage. Highly recommended.

Nov 8, 6:44pm Top

>115 RebaRelishesReading: Yay for Mary Doria Russell Reba. She's just the best historical fiction writer. My favorite remains A Thread of Grace but they're all just so good.

Nov 9, 6:09pm Top

>116 brenzi: Hi Bonnie. I haven't read A Thread of Grace (since I just discovered Russell a couple of months ago). Looks like that one had better go on the wish list :)

Nov 9, 11:45pm Top

Safe travels, Reba! And let me know if you have time for a meet up when you are in Portland.

Yesterday, 8:15am Top

>118 banjo123: Thank you Rhonda. I've been thinking about how nice it would be to meet up since we decided on our homeward path but I just don't see how it's going to be possible this trip. We arrive Thursday afternoon or evening daughter #1 is taking us to a play Friday evening, we're baby sitting grandson on Saturday and leaving on Sunday. So, sad though it makes me I think I'm going to have to skip it this trip :(

Yesterday, 8:45am Top

Safe travels, Reba. It sounds like after a rocky start, you are having a smooth journey.

Edited: Yesterday, 3:56pm Top

In Wisconsin (above) it was in the 20's but roads were dry and skies were blue. In Minnesota and eastern North Dakota it was in the 50's. Today temps started at 28 and dropped to 21 by noon, and it was wet and slick with "winter storm warning" messages along the road :( so instead of going to Gillette, WY as planned we stopped in Rapid City, ND where it is now seriously snowing. Good news is that we got a beautiful room for a great price and the hotel has a restaurant attached so we can shelter here in comfort until this nonsense is over :)

Yesterday, 5:35pm Top

>121 RebaRelishesReading: Oh, my goodness! Hope you have plenty of reading while you wait out the weather. I will be sorry not to see you in Portland, but that is very understandable.

Today, 6:33am Top

Aw, Wisconsin! Cold and snowy, but with clear roads and skies sounds exactly right. I loved how many sunny days we had in winter there and miss that now that we're back in Overcast Ohio.

Today, 6:50am Top

Reba, I hope your books last longer than the snow :-) Wisconsin looks very pretty up there :-)

Today, 9:31am Top

>122 banjo123: Rhonda, >123 scaifea: Amber, >124 susanj67: Susan. I spent yesterday afternoon listening to Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free (which is very, very good) and knitting. I also have 1947 in the hotel with me (having a hard time getting into this one) and two bags of unread books in the car so I will be fine. Last night from dinner time to bedtime it was snowing sideways outside though so I was not inclined to go get any of them but the sun is shining this morning so I could probably get to the car if I really needed to...but doubt I will. Tomorrow temps are supposed to be well into thaw range and we expect the roads to be cleared by then so we can continue west.

Today, 11:50am Top

Deep Down Dark sounds terrifying. Thanks for the reassurance re the two bags of books - I feel you will be OK. Hope the weather improves as predicted.

Today, 6:15pm Top

>125 RebaRelishesReading: I hope you stick with 1947 Reba. I thought it was one of the most fascinating books I'd ever read.

Today, 6:59pm Top

>126 charl08: Deep Down Dark really isn't frightening because you know at the beginning how it all ended (with everyone getting out safely). I won't summarize it yet but I will say it's one of the best books I've read this year and beautifully read as well.

>127 brenzi: Thanks for the encouragement Bonnie. I plan to stick with it and hope it'll grab me soon. Or maybe it's just not the right time for me.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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