TalkKatie Commits to Nothing in 2019, Part 16
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(Appropriate image as I assume I'll be reading a lot on my Kindle while my physical library is unorganized, with half of it still in boxes from the move!)
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.
2019 BOOKS COMPLETED
Off my shelf (pre-2019): 20
Off my Kindle (pre-2019): 17
97. Mr. Fitwilliam Darcy by Abigail Reynolds (3 stars)
96. By the Rivers of Babylon by Nelson DeMille (3 stars)
95. The Bird Artist by Howard Norman (4.5 stars)
94. Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston (audio) (4.5 stars)
93. How to Manage Your Home without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White (3.5 stars)
92. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (3.5 stars)
91. We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis Taylor (audio) (3.5 stars)
90. The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne (3.5 stars)
89. Red at the Bone by Jacqueine Woodson (5 stars)
88. In the Dark by Deborah Moggach (4.5 stars)
87. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (4 stars)
86. Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore (4 stars)
85. Divided in Death by J.D. Robb (4 stars)
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)
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
10. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
11. Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry WInfrey (audio)
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)
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)
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)
So I guess I should stop borrowing from the library and concentrate on my own books?!?!
Welcome to the new thread!
ETA: OMG I'm first! That hasn't happened for ages :-) Your first thread in the new house!
>6 katiekrug: Yeah, good luck with that :-)
Let's not lose sight of the shores of reason, Katie.
Happy new thread!
Happy new thread and best of luck getting everything done in your new home!
I've never done a watch-a-sports-thing-at-a-bar-while-eating-a-meal thing. Despite me complete lack of enthusiasm for the sports part, it does sound cozy and nice...
Will the new place mean that The Wayne more frequently busses it so you won't need to pick him up as often?
>16 rosalita: - I don't mind being mistaken, however briefly, for Susan as she is one of my favorite LTers (hi Susan!).
We didn't stay for the whole game, but it was fun.
>17 scaifea: - Hi Amber! We enjoy all sorts of sportsball, and when you're guaranteed a friendly crowd all rooting for the same team, there is a nice camaraderie.
At least for now, he's happy with the bus. It can be a bit dicey in the winter, but the bus stop is just down the block from the house, so it's super convenient. And when it all runs on time, it's faster than the train. He takes a private bus line, rather than NJ Transit, so the seats are super nice and there is wifi.
The Yankees won last night 5-1 and swept the Twins (sorry, Erik). I told The Wayne that tickets to one of the ALCS games would be an acceptable anniversary gift/celebration. We'll see if he does anything with that :)
>18 katiekrug: Hi Katie! :-) Your evening sounds like fun. And hooray for the bus for TW! They are pretty popular here from Kent especially. Many routes come into London via Canary Wharf before going on into central London. And having a seat just for you and wi-fi is so much nicer than being squished standing up on a train.
I, of course, have a 15-second walk to my office :)
Isn't it purty?
>28 katiekrug: yes, purty indeed, and it's hard to resist a sale ...
Divided in Death by J.D. Robb
Oooh, this was a good one. I enjoy this series, and this entry was one of my favorites. There was angst, but it was realistic and nicely resolved.I appreciate how consistent the series is - the perfect read when I want something entertaining and not too taxing. Onto #19 (eventually)!
Everyone hates the Yankees because they are (often) successful. Cry me a river. The entire point of professional sports is to win.
I'm trying to exercise some restraint re: the couch, especially since I"m trying to sweet talk The Wayne into going to an ALCS game :D
Chesterfields are an investment. ALCS tickets are a gift.
Try that one. It usually works for me.
What might the rules for No!vember be? I'm making no promises whatsoever.
That sofa is delicious. Also sofas are not presents, they are impossible to wrap.
>37 charl08: - No matching footrests, unfortunately.
>38 ELiz_M: - Well, he has a cardboard box with a towel in it. Isn't that majestic enough?!? Actually, my one concern over the couch is that it's velvet, and his hair will stick to it like glue!
>39 msf59: - I've only read one Winterson, Mark - Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit - but I really liked it.
>41 jessibud2: - The unpacking wouldn't be so bad if I had a couple of more pieces of furniture. I need a buffet/hutch/cabinet for the living room, and a new TV cabinet. And a few other minor things. I am resigned that some things will just have to remain in boxes for a bit - at least until after November when we won't be paying rent AND a mortgage :)
>42 brenzi: - Thanks for the validation, Bonnie. I am currently crouched, ready to pounce... Just haven't done it yet :)
>43 EBT1002: - Thanks, Ellen!
>44 Helenliz: - I'm not sure what the rules are, Helen - I stole the idea from Susan. I am just planning to not borrow any library books for the month. We'll see...
My No!vember rules are:
No reserving stuff from the library, and suspending any holds that can be suspended. However, if, like me, you can't suspend hard copy holds, you can read whatever comes in during the month if you have reserved them beforehand.
Also no random borrowing of new/clean/interesting things just because you happen to be passing and you have no self-control.
And that's it! The aim is to read my own books. I'm not doing badly this year, but I've bought more than I've read, which is Poor.
I'll *see* the couch every day and enjoy it that way, as the living room is open to the foyer and front door. I just meant I wouldn't be sitting on it all the time, as we spend most of our time in the kitchen/family room. (And the secret attic - just kidding!)
... a purty new sofa, perhaps?!
Don't you love how we are all enabling you, Katie?
>50 norabelle414: - Noted, Nora! Leonard has a million places to sleep, including two beds, a couch, countless boxes, a bunch of chairs, etc. But he would look pretty cute on that purple sofa...
>51 BLBera: - Your vote has been tallied, Beth :)
Glad Nina struck the right note for you at the right time!
But a WAD of warning especially for women of things-that-you-must-not-do.
Or just stay in the American corporate enclaves and keep your head down.
I just had to order a new passport and I was sort of sad to give up my last one with all the cool stamps from Poland and Switzerland and Czech Republic and other places.
>55 magicians_nephew: - Our office in Dubai organizes lots of things in SA, so I'm sure I'll get a bunch of do's and don'ts. I am hoping I won't be there long enough to get into any trouble! And yes, most of my time will be in Dhahran which is dominated by the Saudi Aramco compound where Western ex-pats feel perfectly at home.
Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
This was a fun romp set in England 1879-80. Annabelle, the daughter of a vicar, is one of the first women to study at Oxford. She also gets involved with suffragettes, and of course, a duke. The chemistry between the two was excellent, and Dunmore nicely wove in some information on the early women's rights movement. All in all, a very entertaining read.
I loved all things Bradbury when I was young, and that included Something Wicked This Way Comes. (Dandelion Wine remains my favorite, with The Martian Chronicles also having a special place in my heart). I don't know how SWTWC would come across for me now.
But the re-read didn't thrill me to the bone the way it did when i read it in the "children's room" of the Public Library when i was twelve.
Some books don't age well.
I think the Bradbury might work better for me in print. I kept getting lost during the audio - I usually stick with lighter, simpler things on audio for just that reason.
>65 magicians_nephew: - I think I tried to read it when I was younger, and it didn't grab me then. Maybe it's just not meant to be!
I'm still enjoying Washington Black and started Waiting for Tom Hanks on audio. It should be a light and diverting listen.
Not much happening on this end beyond the usual work, unpacking, and sorting. I'm meeting a friend for dinner tomorrow night in the city and then going to see Macbeth at the Met Opera. Looking forward to it!
Enjoy Washington Black.
I put Red at the Bone on hold the other day. I agree that she is becoming a favorite author.
I hope to start it tomorrow.
>74 EBT1002: - Hi Ellen. I am happy to leave the Bradbury behind me. I might try it in print at some point.
I have less than 100 pages to go in Washington Black, and I am still enjoying it.
Looking forward to the Woodson!
>75 charl08: - I guess I should read up on the anti-slavery campaigners, Charlotte! I'm mostly just along for the ride with WB as my knowledge of the era and issues is somewhat limited.
We saw Verdi's Macbeth, which will not go on my list of favorites. The production was gorgeous, of course, but I didn't love the music. At the intermission, Liz gave us a quick tour backstage, and my friend - a great opera lover - was in heaven, so that was a great treat.
And I splurged on a car service home which has now spoiled me for all other forms of transport :)
Today was a lot of puttering around the house, laundry, a trip to the grocery store. The Wayne made chili and we watched a couple of episodes of The Great British Bake-Off. Now I'm watching the Yankees-Astros game and catching up on LT.
Front row (l-r): me, Jim, Liz
Back row (l-r): Marianne, Judy
Ooo ooo where are y'all up to in GBBO?
Do Yankees fans bring Maple Trees into the stadium when Paxton is pitching? Mariners fans did so when he pitched for Seattle.
>79 richardderus: - What is "the Sicilian Vespers" pray tell? Otello? I saw that at the Dallas Opera, and despite it being at the Dallas Opera, it was quite good ;)
We've watched through dessert week...
>80 EBT1002: and >81 EBT1002: - I went to bed after the 9th inning, and am glad they did. I hate staying up for extra innings and then LOSING. Grrr...
Not sure about the maple trees. I take it he's Canadian?
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
I very much enjoyed this historical novel about a former slave making his way through the world. The meaning of identity and home are explored through the beautifully drawn character of Wash who must figure out how to live in a world where, despite being free, his character and value are always weighed against white men. I especially appreciated the tension caused by the "white savior" element and Wash's confronting the complicated truth about his escape from slavery.
There is adventure and scientific exploration, danger and brutality, and burgeoning love and acceptance. It all hangs together well, thanks to Edugyan's strong writing and her wonderful title character. My only quibble is that Wash's narrative voice sometimes does not fit with what we know about his background, education, and experience.
P.S. Oh good, I enjoyed Washington Black, too. I still have some quibbles about the
Yes, Paxton is Canadian. We called him The Big Maple when he pitched for the Mariners. P was very upset when we traded him away; the Mariners are really good at trading talent away from the team. Sigh.
>83 katiekrug: I'm glad you enjoyed Washington Black. I share both your quibble and Joe's, but overall I thought it was a great adventure.
>88 jessibud2: - It's a good read, Shelley. To "spoiler" something, you just type the less than symbol then the word spoiler and then the greater than symbol at the start of what you want to hide and the same at the end of what you want to hide, but add a / before typing spoiler. (spoiler) (/spoiler) but instead of parentheses, use the less than and greater than pointy ones. It's very handy :)
Desserts week! Michael's meltdown, and the gloriously queer snapback, "The CHEEK!" from pink little Henry! What a pistol that kid is.
Re: everybody's quibble, it made me so mad the book went from 3-1/2 stars to 2-1/2 stars and lost its review.
And I think I might abandon Waiting for Tom Hanks on audio. I thought it would be cute and fun and light, but the narrator is annoying and it's a little too cute - or trying too hard to be.
I'd agree with The Wayne. I am utterly bumfuzzled why Rosie's still in this thing myownself.
I spent decades in close proximity to an opera-buff clan. I also worked for Riverrun Press, whose opera list was stellar. And I'm a Verdisto. La traviata reliably brings me to tears. Libiamo...well...I'm misty just typing it.
Had I been as enamored as all y'all were with Washington Black, maybe I'd've been more interested in making the effort to at least review it, but it went from "yeah, okay" to "You. Are. Fucking. KIDDING. With. This."
>98 msf59: - Thanks, Mark.
>99 ELiz_M: - Hi Liz! Thanks again for the backstage tour Saturday. Eileen was thrilled! I was, too, but it was new for her :)
>100 richardderus: - I guess I'll have to keep an eye out for it.
>101 Familyhistorian: - I'm going to try to continue with it, Meg. We'll see...
>102 lauralkeet: - Thanks, Laura!
And I did give up on my audio, and started a new one - We are Legion (We are Bob) which some of my non-SF-loving friends have liked. So far, so good...
>108 vivians: - The first baseball game I ever went to was a Mets game, so I have a soft spot for them. It was 1986, the year they won the World Series, and I was a big fan :)
I'm kicking you for giving up that apartment, too!
I'm still really enjoying In the Dark, set in London during World War I. I did read the first chapter of Red at the Bone last night, as I like to try to get the next book started before the last one ends. I find this helps me not waste time between books. The Woodson promises to be good - and a quick read at under 200 pages!
The Wayne has a team event tonight, so I'll probably treat myself to dinner out or delivery, depending on how bad the rain is.
"Maybe this was the moment when I knew I was a part of a long line of almost erased stories. A child of denial. Of magical thinking."
"She felt red at the bone - like there was something inside of her undone and bleeding."
In the Dark by Deborah Moggach
Moggach has written a wonderfully researched and compelling World War I novel that barely ventures outside the confines of South London. Eithne Clay runs a boarding house full of doomed and damaged people. While her husband is at the front, she is assisted by her son, Ralph, and their maid, Winnie. Through this misfit group of people, Moggach tells the story of the homefront - of deprivation, uncertainty, tragedy, and the human cost of war, even for those far from the action. Her characters are well-developed and the story moves along at a good pace. I became invested in the characters and loved the ending. A really good read.
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
I can’t do this book justice. It’s a lyrical exploration of family, expectation, and disappointment. Stories are shared from various points of view - Melody, just turned 16; her mostly-absent mother; her loving father; and her devoted grandparents. Through short vignettes, we learn of the complicated history of these characters, how they are connected, and how they pull against the obligations of those connections. It’s beautifully done. In under 200 pages, Woodson gives us a complete portrait of one family coming to terms with disappointed expectations, the burden of history, and unintended consequences.
good seeing you Katie at the drive by meetup
Book club was okay last night. There were some new people who had a lot of inane things to say, which I found annoying.
Our co-lo at work is experiencing some sort of outage, so I can't connect to the VPN which means I can't really do any work except answer emails. And it's Friday, so there are very few of those. I am scheduled to take the afternoon off, so it's turning into an easy day for me. I plan to get a pedicure and then stop in at the local indie bookstore to treat myself to something. Maybe a hard copy of Red at the Bone since I want it in my personal library...
This weekend, The Wayne and I are hoping/planning/intending to move the rest of our kitchen stuff from the rental house. And since I need a break from move-related weekend work, I am meeting a friend for "Open Studio" day at an artist's "village" late Saturday afternoon.
Hope the Saturday plans are smooth, and the decent read turns good. I am about ready to review an excellent Not-the-Booker nominee, Flames by Tasmanian writer Robbie Arnott, with as loud a warble of delight as I can muster. Excellent.
When I got home, I emptied some boxes and futzed around and now I'm watching the Yankees game.
A good day!
Nice work at the bookshop!
>136 Berly: - Hi Kim - good to see you!
>137 charl08: - The side tables were for the couch we bought a month or so ago for the family room. Not to be confused with the purple couch I want to get for the living room which I have not purchased because I currently have no where to put it because boxes :)
It has a great setting - the Upper Peninsula of Michigan - which Dionne describes beautifully.
ETA: Am now reading Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman.
Flames is outstanding in its Tasmanian-tinged magical realism. I was up until 2am finishing it. I've posted a para from my blog review because this is gonna take all day to write, revise, and titivate. What a delight this quarter's reading is shaping up to be!
>143 DeltaQueen50: - All credit for No!vember goes to Susan, but glad to have you aboard! No way could I commit to not buying books - good for you!
>144 rosalita: - Thanks, Julia. I think we will need all the luck we can get. Why don't you like the Astros? I have a soft spot for them because I've been to several games while in Houston for work over the years...
Good news: I won't have to stay up late watching baseball next week.
*This is the first decade since the 1910s that won't have the Yankees in at least one World Series. Amazing record.
Today I'll watch my second favorite NY team probably lose, too, but this season is already a lost cause, so *shrug.*
Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours with a friend at an Open Studio day at an artists village in a nearby town. It's an old factory re-worked into artists' studios, and once weekend a year, they invite the public in to tour and talk to the artists. It was really cool. I was on the lookout for work that I'd like to have in the new house and got some ideas. There was one woman who does amazing line etchings that I just loved, as well as a paper artist who produces very intricate pieces using cut, twisted, and otherwise manipulated recycled paper.
I'm still enjoying Practical Magic and have only a couple of hours left in We Are LEgion (We Are Bob).
I've read a few Alice Hoffman's and liked them. One of them was At Risk, which coincidentally is on e-sale today, according to BookBub.
Good luck to the Giants. Now that they've benched Eli (not saying it wasn't time) I don't think I even know who any of the players are. I don't have any of them on my fantasy football team, at least. But I hope they win, just for you. Unless you want them to lose to get a better draft pick. :-)
>154 rosalita: - I saw At Risk was on sale today and checked my catalogue. I already have it :) I am having to replace some Hoffmans, as one box of books went missing when we moved from Dallas, and it contained several Hoffmans, as well as my Winifred Holtbys and Shari Holmans. *sigh*
The Giants had a terrible start and were down 17-0, but they scored twice quickly, so things are looking better. I am witholding judgment on the new QB; I do like our running back, Saquon Barkley, and tight end Evan Engram.
>155 RebaRelishesReading: - Thanks, Reba. When I get things more organized, I will seriously think about a new art piece. I took several cards and postcards yesterday to remind myself of what I liked.
I can hardly wait to get my paws on a copy of Red at the Bone. It sounds wonderful.
I've read a couple of Alice Hoffman works but it has been a very long time. I read Turtle Moon at least a couple of decades ago and I remember loving it but that is all I remember. I gave The Dovekeepers 3 stars in 2013. I just looked back and my review and I wanted to like it more than I did. I'll be interested in how you like Practical Magic.
>158 EBT1002: - Ellen, I think you'll love the Woodson! As for Hoffman, I was not super interested in reading The Dovekeepers. I have a copy and will probably get to it at some point but it was quite a departure from her usual stuff, so we'll see how I like it...
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor
So this is not my usual fare but it came very highly recommended by some trusted sources. I won't try to explain the concept because gobbledygook; I listened to it, and kept listening to it, for the wise cracks and cultural references. My eyes would glaze over during the science-y and tech-y bits, but overall I enjoyed it fine. I don't think I'll read further in the series, though.
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
I really expected to love this one because I'm a Hoffman fan, and many people cite this as their favorite. I was mostly meh about it, though I did love the portrait of a complicated sister relationship. And some of the magical touches were lovely.
>168 richardderus: and >169 jnwelch: - I'm really enjoying The Bird Artist. I have another of his - What is Left the Daughter - on my shelf.
>170 Berly: - I was surprised by how tepid PM left me, Kim. I really expected to love it. Too high expectations?
On audio, I started Zorgamazoo which is a kids book written in verse. I mostly picked it up because it's narrated by ALan Cumming, whom I adore. It's silly and fun and Cumming is brilliant, of course.
Today, I should finish How to Manage Your Home without Losing Your Mind which has had some useful tips that I am trying out. Definitely not my usual book fare, but it's been worthwhile so far.
I also love my husband, The Wayne, who made an honest woman of me 10 years ago today :)
When my wife is asked the secret to our long marriage, she always says, “Because I let him live”. Sensing the truth of this, I don’t argue.😀
>188 jnwelch: - In our scenario, the roles would be reversed. The Wayne puts up with a lot from me :)
How to Manage Your Home without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White
White is a self-proclaimed slob. I am not a slob, but neither am I a neat-freak. And I live with a man whose tolerance for clutter is much higher than mine. So we mostly rub along quite fine together, both compromising a bit to find a (mostly) happy medium. But I figured maybe with a new house, I'd see if I could pick up any tips on new habits/routines to try out to keep things just a soupcon more to my liking (i.e. a little more toward my side on the neat-o-meter).
White provides some useful, totally doable hints about small changes that can make a large impact, even if just providing momentum to tackle bigger challenges. Some of it is common sense (at least to me), but I have committed myself to making sure the sink is clear every night. Few things in life are more depressing than waking up to dirty dishes. Okay lots of things are more depressing, but you know what I mean...
I was more interested in her de-cluttering strategies than her cleaning ones. I do find it noteworthy that she was able to inspire me to try to keep the house clean myself - I have had a cleaning service for 10 years - but we'll see how long that lasts. I did make a lovely color-coded schedule, though :)
Anyway, the single most useful tip I got was to ask myself, when decluttering space, where I would look for something if I was in need of it - NOT where *should* I look, but where *would* I - and then take it there IMMEDIATELY. I will definitely be keeping this in mind while I continue the Great Unpacking of 2019.
Decluttering is an ongoing battle around here, just when we get things decluttered more seems to creep in! I wish you well. 😀
A color coded schedule may be the key. Heh I never had one. Maybe that's what the problem was lol.
My secret to a happy married life is separate bathrooms and time apart. Which makes it sound like we don't get on, but I think we do get on together because we have time apart.
Good luck with the continued unpacking and doing your own housework. I have a cleaner who is worth her weight in gold. Her coming to clean once a week has the added benefit of making me tidy up once a week. OK, so it's usually a mad dash round on a Tuesday night, but otherwise it probably wouldn't happen!
>191 jnwelch: I think you are onto something with that smart ass assessment, Joe!
>192 lauralkeet: - Thanks, Laura. I feel you about the clutter!
>193 brenzi: - I am investing very little mental space into sticking to the schedule, Bonnie. If I do and it works, great. If not, no harm, no foul, time to call the cleaning service.
>194 richardderus: - We'll see if it works!
>195 Helenliz: - Helen, I am right there with you about separate spaces (not necessarily bathrooms, though we do now each have our own) and time apart. We have many things in common, but we also have some separate interests, and we are both free to pursue those without the other feeling neglected.
I won't be surprised if I'm back in the cleaners' rotation in the near future :)
>196 Familyhistorian: - Meg, that does seem odd to have two such similar kinds of events on top of each other. I hope you don't collapse trying to take advantage of it all!
>197 RebaRelishesReading: - Thanks, Reba :)
I finished two books yesterday, so have started two new ones today: the audio of The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough and on Kindle, the old-school suspense/thriller By the Rivers of Babylon by Nelson DeMille.
Congratulations on 10 years of wedded bliss, Katie. After 47+ here, I can attest to the wisdom of "separate bathrooms and time apart." It's really swell to come home to someone who's been missin' ya, as I reckon you know quite well.
I agree with Jim - any book that people say reminds them of The Shipping News goes right on the wish list to be acquired soon. It has been a long time but I absolutely LOVED The Shipping News. I have thought about rereading it but I have worried how the second read, from a different place in life, would be.
Belated Happy Anniversary, Katie and Wayne!
Good luck with the declutter/keep the home clean thing. This very afternoon I sent my son upstairs and told him he could not leave the house or play a game until he found his bedroom floor again and then vacuumed it. He has sooooo many piles of laundry to do!! LOL
>204 laytonwoman3rd: - Hi Linda! Yep, space and time apart is key, at least to our happy marriage!
>205 EBT1002: - Ellen, it reminded me of the Proulx only in the oddness/quirkiness of some of the characters. The story itself is much different, but still excellent. I hope you like it when you get to it.
>206 ronincats: - Roni, I might check out her decluttering book, as that was what I found most interesting/potentially useful. Thanks for mentioning it!
>207 Berly: - Hi Kim - Thanks for the anniversary good wishes. Poor Jack - so much work, what's a boy to do?!? ;-)
I'm enjoying my current reads, and planning what to tackle during No!vember, when I'll read off my shelf/Kindle, with no library books. Also wondering how early is too early to plan what to take on our trip to Dallas for Thanksgiving... Heh.
Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston
This audio was read by Alan Cumming, which should really be review enough, because Alan Cumming is funny and brilliant and I love him. It's a kids book about a little girl with an evil guardian who discovers monsters living underground, and she goes on an adventure. It's written in verse and is rather clever and I sometimes found myself snorting out loud. Also, Alan Cumming narrates it (did I mention that?) and it's a wonderful listen.
The Bird Artist by Howard Norman
Set on Newfoundland in 1911, The Bird Artist tells the story of Dorian Vas who confesses to a murder on the first page. This isn't a mystery or suspense novel, though. It's a portrait of a particular time and place, people by odd characters that I grew to love. Why Dorian ends up killing the lighthouse keeper is slowly revealed, as are the after effects of the act. But what Norman seems really to be concerned with is how community can both shelter and confine. I can't describe it well, and it's an odd little book, but I really loved it.
Happy belated anniversary.
>217 ffortsa: - LOL, Judy. Nope, you didn't need to mention the cost of space in NYC! I think the space issue has a lot to do with what one is used to. We seriously thought about trying to downsize and get rid of a lot of stuff and live in the city, but we knew even if we could manage to shed ourselves of things, it would be hard to get used to being on top of each other. Of course, being right in the city means one has a ton of space just outside the door, so.... Anyway, what works for one pair won't necessarily work or be required for another :)
>218 msf59: - Hiya, Mark! Give Zorgamazoo a try, especially if you want to pad your numbers - you'd finish it in less than a work day since it's so short :)
>219 charl08: - I love lighthouses, Charlotte. I once had a secret ambition to be a lighthouse keeper...
>220 karenmarie: - Thanks, Karen!
All good wishes to you!
Hope you're getting some good reading time in this weekend!
>224 richardderus: - It was a nice, low-key day.
>225 bell7: - Hi Mary! The G-Men continue to disappoint. Oh well. There's always next year :)
I did do a bunch of reading, at least...
There are advantages to being married to a non-book-reader - all the shelf space is mine. *smile*
I assume you've alphabetized by author last name. So what's next: by first name within each letter? Will you also organize by title where you have multiple books by the same author, and if so, will you do so alphabetically or in publication order?
>229 lauralkeet: - I do alphabetize by author last name, so the next step is to get each letter sorted within itself, if that makes sense? Right now, it's just a bunch of, for example, books by authors whose last name starts with "B" together, but within that, it's chaos. When I have multiple books by the same author, I tend to alphabetize by title, but I might do publication order instead...
I'd love to be able to put all the books in one place, which we did in our last aplce, they entirely lined on wall of the dining room, it's was an excellent visual.
Isn't it fun to organize books?
* We don't need a formal dining room, so I need to decide what to call it. It's open to the living room, so I may just call the whole thing the living room. Or maybe call it the library, since it's dominated by the shelves... Eventually, I plan to get a chaise longue and good reading lamp in there.
I am virtually sitting on my hands here, trying not to book a ticket and come over to help you organise stuff. Whether you like it or not :-)
And if Susan shows up I really think you need to open up the book-organizing party to all and sundry. I mean, I'm just a short train ride away.
But if you want to come up and help, feel free! The Newark train station is a short drive away :)
O GREAT AND ALL-KNOWING ALGORITHM HEED THE DISTRESS CALL OF THESE THY OBEDIENT *snort* well anyway DAUGHTERS IN THEIR HOUR OF DARKEST MOST OBSESSIVE ORGANIZATIONAL NEED AND REMOVE TRUMPLETHINSKIN FROM THIS PLANE OF EXISTENCE TOUT DE SUITE
>247 richardderus: - Ha - love it!
>248 ronincats: - I agree, Roni, but Susan's self-imposed embargo on travel to the US does not mention Pence, so.... :)
>249 Helenliz: - There's always room for more, Helen, but we need to *focus* on the obstacle preventing Susan's visit.
>250 scaifea: - The anticipation is almost as much fun as the doing, isn't it, Amber? *rubs hands together gleefully*
Do you keep favorite books in a separate space/book case/shelf/other special designation?
I kind of want to, but favorite books are often by a favorite author, and I likely have lots of their works and hate the idea of not keeping an oeuvre together. On the other hand, I like the idea of having a special collection of some of my very favorite books.
What do y'all do?
One section for TBR and new books.
One section for books we like to show off and brag about.
One Book to rule them all, One Book to find them,
One Book to bring them all, and in the comfy chair bind them,
In the Land of Reading where the Good Light is.
What does seem to work is to keep all books by a favorite author in a separate, favored place, like all the Walter Mosley or Murakami books. Then they're easy to find. I'm probably going to end up moving some books around again!
>260 rosalita: - Julia, I deaccessioned A LOT while packing up for the move, but I still have a ton of physical books. I don't buy a ton of them anymore so hopefully the mass will slowly decrease...
>261 magicians_nephew: - Thanks for the feedback, Jim! And I love your imrovised verse at the end :)
>262 jnwelch: - Worse fates than to
>263 Oberon: - I like the idea of turning some books out like that, Erik, but then I think of the shelf space I would lose..... Hmmm....
>233 katiekrug: I like the idea of 'Library', since shelves, reading chaise, good reading lamp…
>252 katiekrug: I get the itch for Darcy and Lizzy time occasionally, too – I scratched it this week with the 1980 BBC production of P&P. lizzied mentioned preferring that version to the Firth-Ehle one, so I checked it out. Better in some ways, less so in others. Definitely worth watching, though, and I’ll watch it with daughter when she’s home for Christmas break so we can compare the two.
Congrats on your excellent October reading month.
>258 katiekrug: I finally took over daughter’s playroom several years ago, calling it Karen's Retreat, and all ‘read’ books except for some sets are there, but everything’s mixed - fiction and nonfiction. All tbr books, reference books, and some sets (partially read and tbr) are in the Library, Parlour, and Sunroom, also mixed.
The saving grace is location tags. I put a book wherever it fits when it comes into the house. Once I've read it, it goes to the Retreat and the tag gets changed to its new location. I like seeing my books in whatever order I found shelf space for them, but via tags can find all books by a particular author or tagged genre.
>266 charl08: - I should probably set more books free, Charlotte. I've already come across a few while unpacking that I've decided I will never read and should just let go.
>267 karenmarie: - Thanks for chiming in on the book organization question, Karen! I will probably continue to alphabetize mine, if only because I enjoy the process. I'm buying far fewer physical books these days, so the shifting to fit them in isn't too onerous.
I saw some of the comments about that 1980 P&P production on your thread. I think I saw it years ago on VHS tapes from the library. This would have been well before I read the book itself and before the Firth/Ehle production. I am planning to rewatch it soon. Currently, the Keira Knightley version is my favorite :)
I found a relatively cheap business class fare (and it's on BA so I'll still get miles!!) so at least I'll be traveling in style.
I didn't get much reading done yesterday. The Wayne and I had a mid-week date night and then watched the end of Game 7 of the World Series. Go Nats!
I'll probably start a new thread today...
I'm still hovering over the 'buy' button for flights to Cape Town. I really need to get on with it before the price goes up again. (It won't be business class, sadly. I can dream though!)
Consider this message my hand pressing down on yours to click the "Buy" button. Travel is essential for mental health.
The books are good, thanks!