TalkKatie Commits to Nothing in 2019, Part 16

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75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Katie Commits to Nothing in 2019, Part 16

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Edited: Oct 31, 2019, 10:38am

(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.

Edited: Oct 31, 2019, 10:40am

(Print) (Audio)

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)

Edited: Oct 31, 2019, 10:40am


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)

Edited: Oct 31, 2019, 10:41am


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

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

15. Enlightening Delilah by M.C. Beaton (audio) (3 stars)
14. The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut (4 stars)
13. The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie (4 stars)
12. Murder in an English Village by Jessica Ellicott (audio) (2.5 stars)
11. The Garden Party by Grace Dane Mazur (4 stars)
10. In the Sea There Are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda (audio) (3 stars)
9. The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld (4 stars)
8. The Governess Game by Tessa Dare (4 stars)
7. Blood on the Forge by William Attaway (4.5 stars)
6. Boo by Neil Smith (audio) (3 stars)
5. The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwan (3.5 stars)
4. Good Neighbors by Ryan David Jahn (4 stars)
3. A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh (audio) (3.5 stars)
2. By the Book by Julia Sonneborn (3 stars)
1. Going Back by Penelope Lively (3.5 stars)

Edited: Oct 31, 2019, 10:41am

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

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

(Anything below 2 stars is unlikely to be finished)

Edited: Oct 7, 2019, 3:29pm

So I guess I should stop borrowing from the library and concentrate on my own books?!?!


Welcome to the new thread!

Edited: Oct 7, 2019, 4:11pm

Hi Katie!

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 :-)

Oct 7, 2019, 4:26pm

>6 katiekrug: *snort*

Let's not lose sight of the shores of reason, Katie.

Happy new thread!

Oct 7, 2019, 4:32pm

>7 susanj67: and >8 richardderus: - Oh ye of little faith!!

I will be practicing No!vember for sure, just to prove you wrong :)

Thanks for the new thread wishes...

Oct 7, 2019, 5:12pm

Happy New Thread, Katie!
Good luck unpacking those boxes!

Edited: Oct 7, 2019, 5:54pm

This message has been deleted by its author.

Oct 7, 2019, 6:53pm

Happy New Thread, Katie! It's a good thing that unpacking books is fun, right?

Oct 7, 2019, 6:58pm

>10 EBT1002: - Thanks, Ellen! Unpacking's the pits...

>11 rosalita: - Julia? Julia! Come back!

>12 jnwelch: - If it were just the books, Joe, I'd be in heaven! But the books are taking a back seat while I try to clear some room and figure out furniture placement and furniture purchases :-P

Oct 7, 2019, 6:59pm

Looks like we'll be headed to our favorite pizza/Italian joint to watch the Yankees mop up the Twins. The Wayne'll be home around 8:00pm (he's taking the bus so no train station runs for me!) and the game starts at 8:40, so a bit of a late night... But yummy food! And drinks! And baseball!

Oct 7, 2019, 8:33pm

Have a fun night! It's always good to get away from monumental organizing tasks. Much better than hiding under the covers.

Happy new thread and best of luck getting everything done in your new home!

Oct 7, 2019, 8:51pm

>13 katiekrug: Sorry, I realized belatedly that this was not, in fact, Susan's thread. Enjoy your clinch party!

Oct 8, 2019, 5:28am

Happy new thread, Katie!

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?

Oct 8, 2019, 8:35am

>15 Familyhistorian: - Thanks, Meg! It'll get done, I just have to be patient :)

>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.

Oct 8, 2019, 8:39am

I am waiting on a tree service dude to arrive and give us an estimate on some work that needs to be done. We have big, beautiful trees in the backyard, but the one closest to the house needs to be trimmed back, and all of them need to be thinned out a bit, preferably before winter and ice and heavy snow...

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 :)

Oct 8, 2019, 8:40am

>16 rosalita: But this lost message didn't show up on my thread either :-(

>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.

Oct 8, 2019, 9:34am

>20 susanj67: - Hi Susan! The bus is pretty convenient. After a few stops around here, it runs express into the city to the main bus terminal. Then he just has a couple of stops on the subway and a 5 minute walk to his office.

I, of course, have a 15-second walk to my office :)

Oct 8, 2019, 11:56am

>21 katiekrug: you're just bragging...

Oct 8, 2019, 12:36pm

Happy new thread, Katie! Looking forward to seeing your reads whether they're off your own shelves or not. :)

Oct 8, 2019, 12:59pm

>22 richardderus: - Moi?

>23 MickyFine: - Thanks, Micky! I've already written myself a big note to remember NO!vember :)

Oct 8, 2019, 1:04pm

Whoops! I stopped in yesterday, pregame, but didn't say anything as I was on my tablet. Happy New Thread, Katie! This must be a hard time to be working from home, as every time you look up you can see stuff you are longing to unpack or organize. But that 15 second commute is great!

Oct 8, 2019, 1:06pm

>25 ronincats: - Hi Roni! Yeah, it's kind of a good news/bad news situation right now :)

Oct 8, 2019, 1:08pm

>19 katiekrug: There is a good reason the rest of the civilized world hates New York sports teams.

Oct 8, 2019, 1:08pm

Ahem. My purple chesterfield (not this one but very similar) is on sale, and I really feel like I need it. Now. But I told myself the living room would be one of the last things I dealt with, since we will rarely use it. What to do? What to do?

Isn't it purty?

Oct 8, 2019, 1:09pm

>27 Oberon: - Yeah, yeah, I know. How dare a talented team stoop to winning... ;-)

Oct 8, 2019, 1:10pm

Hi Katie! TW's bus sounds like a great improvement over the train commute, especially because it stops close to your house.

>28 katiekrug: yes, purty indeed, and it's hard to resist a sale ...

Oct 8, 2019, 1:34pm

>28 katiekrug: Very pretty. I say sales sometimes override the best laid plans. :D

Oct 8, 2019, 1:54pm

>30 lauralkeet: - The bus is great, when it runs on time. It's not terribly consistent, but then, neither is the train...

If it's on sale, I feel like maybe it's a sign from the universe?

>31 MickyFine: - I say the same thing, Micky. Now to convince The Wayne...

Oct 8, 2019, 1:56pm

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)!

Oct 8, 2019, 2:09pm

>27 Oberon:, >29 katiekrug: You mean the Yank-mes and the Giant Flaming Jagoffs, I'm sure. How dare teams with billions to spend not allocate at least 75% of it to the less fortunate! in life, so in sports...

>28 katiekrug: Sale = buy!! NOW!!

Oct 8, 2019, 2:30pm

>34 richardderus: - ... and every other professional sports team, and corporation, and a bunch of hypocritical religious groups... The list is miles long. The shade thrown at NY sports teams is inexplicable to me. Except for the Yankees, all our teams suck at the moment.

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

Oct 8, 2019, 2:50pm

>35 katiekrug: Sadly, for a fan, they are pretty dismal these days. The shade's always been thrown. The teams are rich, the records are there...envy, envy, envy.

Chesterfields are an investment. ALCS tickets are a gift.

Try that one. It usually works for me.

Oct 8, 2019, 3:46pm

Ooh, pretty couch! Does it come with matching footrests?

Oct 8, 2019, 3:50pm

>28 katiekrug: YOU may not use the room often, but what about Leonard? Surely he deserves napping place as majestic as he is!

Oct 8, 2019, 5:22pm

Happy New Thread, Katie! I hope the week is off to a good start! I am loving Frankissstein. I NEED to read more Winterson.

Oct 8, 2019, 6:15pm

Love that couch! Sales rule!

Oct 8, 2019, 7:08pm

Happy (not-so) new thread, Katie and congrats on the move. I always find the unpacking and settling in much more stress-free than the front end. It's the part that makes it fun, making the house a home. Before the move is just one big fat stress-fest.

Oct 8, 2019, 9:08pm

Love that couch Katie. Sales are there for a purpose. Otherwise why do I follow certain clothing sites watching for the best time to pounce? Looks like your time to pounce has arrived.

Oct 8, 2019, 11:33pm

>28 katiekrug: That is one lovely sofa. Methinks you need it.

Oct 9, 2019, 12:58am

Happy new thread, Katie. If there's less than 50mposts I can get away with that, right?
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.

Oct 9, 2019, 8:25am

>36 richardderus: - I like that strategy for the tickets/couch. We'll see...

>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.

Oct 9, 2019, 8:28am

>40 ronincats: - Ha! Thanks, Roni.

>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...

Oct 9, 2019, 8:41am

>28 katiekrug: Katie, that is *so* purty! But can I advise against buying something beautiful for a room you will hardly use - enjoy your nice things every day! Don't be like one of my great-aunts who kept the curtains closed so that the sun wouldn't fade the carpet. Awesome sofas are for sitting on and feeling awesome yourself.

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.

Oct 9, 2019, 8:45am

>47 susanj67: - I don't borrow a ton of hard copy books from the library, so the struggle will be not to take out any of the e-books/audios on my long lists. But I can do it (she said sort-of confidently)!

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!)

Oct 9, 2019, 8:49am

>46 katiekrug: The unpacking wouldn't be so bad if I had a couple of more pieces of furniture. I need ...

... a purty new sofa, perhaps?!

Don't you love how we are all enabling you, Katie?

Oct 9, 2019, 9:18am

Count me on Team Sofa, please! I'm also on Team Leonard-Requires-That-Sofa-For-Napping

Oct 9, 2019, 9:44am

>28 katiekrug: Go for it, Katie!

Happy new thread.

Thanks for the Bookish Life of Nina Hill recommendation; I enjoyed it. It was just right for a busy time.

Oct 9, 2019, 1:03pm

>49 lauralkeet: - I meant more like things that would store things, but I appreciate the enablement (is that a word?)!

>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!

Oct 9, 2019, 1:04pm

Welp, looks like I'll be going to Saudi Arabia in January. Not a place on my bucket list, but hey, a new stamp in my passport... Yay?

Oct 9, 2019, 1:23pm

>53 katiekrug: It's different. I've got a cousin in law (if that's a thing) who has been based out there as air crew for the last few years. It looks impressiuve, but I know what you mean, not on my bucket list.

Oct 9, 2019, 3:44pm

There was an article in the New York Times a few days about about Saudi Arabia opening its borders to more "Tourist" visitors and not only allowing business and tech people in.

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.

Oct 9, 2019, 3:47pm

>54 Helenliz: - Indeed. I'll be there for two meetings being held in conjunction with a conference so won't see much other than the airport and the hotel... Story of my life!

>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.

Oct 9, 2019, 3:57pm

Happy new-is thread!

Oct 10, 2019, 3:52am

I'm also Team Couch and awaiting a photo of Leonard stretching out, claws extended...

Oct 10, 2019, 8:30am

>57 drneutron: - Thanks, Jim!

>58 avatiakh: - Vote tallied, Kerri :)

Oct 10, 2019, 8:33am

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.

4 stars

Edited: Oct 10, 2019, 8:35am

I've now started Washington Black for my book club next week. About 40 pages in, and I'm enjoying it.

ETA: I can't seem to muster up any enthusiasm for the audio of Something Wicked This Way Comes. I may try it in print at another time, but for now, I'll be moving on to something else.

Oct 10, 2019, 9:58am

Washington Black was a good read, and you've intrigued me with Bringing Down the Duke. There was some background on the suffragette movement woven into Finding Dorothy, too, and I'm such an Anglophile.

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.

Oct 10, 2019, 11:03am

Happy new thread, Katie!

Oct 10, 2019, 11:27am

Thanks, Darryl!

Oct 10, 2019, 12:25pm

one of my book groups took a look at Something Wicked This Way Comes last year partially on my recommendation.

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.

Oct 10, 2019, 2:22pm

>62 jnwelch: - Hi Joe! BDtD was a fun historical romance. I wouldn't read it if you are looking for much depth into the suffragettes, but it was enjoyable :)

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!

Oct 10, 2019, 7:42pm

Happy new thread and home!! Will there be a new couch, too? : )

Oct 10, 2019, 7:45pm

>65 magicians_nephew:, >66 katiekrug: Sometimes we age out of certain reads, even ones that age well in and of themselves.

Oct 11, 2019, 12:51am

Ooh, the couch - cat conundrum. Will the couch still be on sale when you no longer have to pay rent, Katie, or maybe it will show up in January sales. Are you willing to gamble?

Oct 11, 2019, 8:51am

>67 Berly: - Hi Kim! There will (eventually) be a new couch... :)

>68 richardderus: - Agreed.

>69 Familyhistorian: - I doubt it will still be on sale, Meg, but it wasn't hugely expensive to begin with, so...

Oct 11, 2019, 8:52am

Happy Friday, friends!

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!

Oct 11, 2019, 3:05pm

Just got notified that my hold on the new Jazqueline Woodson, Red at the Bone has come through! Guess I know what I'll be reading when I'm done with Washington Black. This will be my third Woodson - I am fast becoming a fan.

Oct 11, 2019, 7:19pm

>72 katiekrug: a friend from one of my RL book groups recommended the new Woodson to me and I'm on the list at my library. But I think yours is the first LT buzz I've heard about it, you trendsetter, you. I eagerly await your comments.

Oct 12, 2019, 4:38pm

>61 katiekrug: I read Something Wicked This Way Comes last year for Halloween and I seem to be in the minority who just didn't care that much. I remember it pretty well, though, so that says something positive about the work.

Enjoy Washington Black.

I put Red at the Bone on hold the other day. I agree that she is becoming a favorite author.

Oct 13, 2019, 3:49pm

I did like Washington Black, Katie. Lots of parallels to some well travelled anti-slavery campaigners, too. Hope you have a good week!

Oct 13, 2019, 8:25pm

>73 lauralkeet: - Such a trendsetter I am!

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.

Oct 13, 2019, 8:34pm

I had a good weekend! Yesterday I went into the city and had a last minute meet-up with Jim (magicians_nephew), Judy (ffortsa), Marianne (michigantrumpet), and Liz (ELiz_M in Club Read). Marianne was staying with Jim and Judy over the weekend, so it was great to have a chance to meet her. We only had about an hour, before the 3 of them were off to dinner and a play, and my friend and I were off to dinner and the opera. Liz works at the Met, so she was off to work!

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

Oct 13, 2019, 9:12pm

>77 katiekrug: Looks like a great meet up and Jim looks like the cat that got the cream.

Oct 13, 2019, 10:14pm

>77 katiekrug: A fun day indeed! I agree about Macbeth. The music failed to transport me. The Sicilian Vespers, equally umm welllll grim shall we say, is much more to my musical taste. And nyah to its many haters.

Ooo ooo where are y'all up to in GBBO?

Oct 13, 2019, 11:41pm

We were watching the Astros-Yankees game when P wanted to change the channel to see something else. I could have gone downstairs to watch more but laziness struck.... So when we went away it was 2-2 and Verlander had just been taken out. What a game!

Do Yankees fans bring Maple Trees into the stadium when Paxton is pitching? Mariners fans did so when he pitched for Seattle.

Oct 14, 2019, 12:03am

Back to the game.

Extra innings. Free baseball!!!

Oct 14, 2019, 8:12am

>78 PaulCranswick: - It was a great albeit brief, visit!

>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?

Edited: Oct 14, 2019, 8:46am

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.

4 stars

Edited: Oct 14, 2019, 8:50am

Sounds like a great meetup and weekend, Katie. Love the photo. I wondered who Liz was. I used to participate in Club Read, but couldn't handle the additional time it took. Darryl still does, I believe. The Great British Bake-Off is fun and soothing, isn't it. Debbi watches religiously, and I enjoy the times I join her for it.

P.S. Oh good, I enjoyed Washington Black, too. I still have some quibbles about the abrupt, somewhat unsatisfying ending; I have to think about his narrative voice sometimes not fitting.

Edited: Oct 14, 2019, 9:01am

Hi Joe! I agree about the abrupt ending. I thought maybe I was missing something...

Oct 14, 2019, 9:20am

>82 katiekrug: I also went to bed after the 9th inning.

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.

Edited: Oct 14, 2019, 9:26am

Adding my quibble-sharing to the conversation! I enjoyed the book but agree with your quibble, Katie, as well as Joe's.

Oct 14, 2019, 9:50am

Re Washington Black. I own it but have not yet read it. A friend of mine read it and is urging me to get to it so we can discuss that *quibble* you mention. Interesting, though, I had the same issue with Esi Edugyan's first novel, Half-Blood Blues. I really enjoyed it but felt the same about the same - I don't know how to do that spoiler thing to hide my words. Sorry if this sounds ridiculous because of that!

Oct 14, 2019, 10:07am

>86 EBT1002: and >87 lauralkeet: - Glad I'm not alone with the quibble(s)!

>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 :)

Oct 14, 2019, 10:42am

>89 katiekrug: - Great, thanks! I have made a note of that so I will remember!

Oct 14, 2019, 12:18pm

>82 katiekrug: I vespri siciliani was an earlier Verdi opera that some h8rs got a big down on back in 1855 and nobody's ever bothered to reassess the work since, except that the Overture is popular among orchestras as a programmer.

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.

Oct 14, 2019, 2:55pm

>90 jessibud2: - :)

>91 richardderus: - My opera knowledge is sadly lacking, obviously.

I *love* Henry. And also Michael. And the other cute gay guy - David? The Wayne is sad that Priya went home.

Oh, yikes! All the way down to 2.5? It would have been 4.5 for me except for the quibbles.

Oct 14, 2019, 2:57pm

I've picked up In the Dark by Deborah Moggach for my next read. I was going to start the new Jacqueline Woodson but felt like reading a print book for some reason. This one is set in London during WWI, and it's already pulled me in.

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.

Oct 14, 2019, 3:35pm

>92 katiekrug: Ah, David...the new Brendan. Just a tad bit controlling and perfectionist. I found it perfect he's married to a Bulgarian guy. (Noted in the EU for being gay-for-pay and willing to be whatever it takes to get the heck outta Bulgaria.) See the Spanish film Los novios bulgaros. No, really, I mean see it, get it and watch it. Hilariously funny, sad, touching, and grotesquely underknown in the US.

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."

Oct 14, 2019, 3:59pm

>94 richardderus: - Liz of Club Read, who works at the Met, gets free tickets to a lot of performances and is kindly taking me to see La traviata in January :) My first exposure to opera was thanks to the movie, Pretty Woman, and I *may* have squealed the other day when I realized La traviata was the opera Vivian and Edward go to see. #shamefullyuncultured

Oct 14, 2019, 4:02pm

So this is kind of fun but weird. I randomly started writing today (I think it started as a work avoidance exercise), and now I have 5 pages drafted of a story that's been kicking around inside my head. Nothing literary, just a contemporary romance that I've been thinking about. I am feeling so accomplished, though also guilty because I have a job and I pretty much neglected it this afternoon. Oops.

Oct 14, 2019, 4:06pm

>95 katiekrug: *SQUEE* You get to see La traviata at the Met!!! That is *out*stand*ing*! I hope you love it, ever heartstring-twanging, sentimental OTT overblown three-hankie moment of it.

Oct 14, 2019, 6:45pm

>77 katiekrug: Hooray for the Meet Up. Nice looking bunch!

Good review of Washington Black. I also loved that book.

Oct 14, 2019, 10:21pm

>91 richardderus: The Royal Opera House did a production of Les Vêpres back in 2013. It seems to be of rentable size and I wouldn't be surprised if it shows up in the US in he next few years.

Oct 14, 2019, 10:39pm

>99 ELiz_M: Wow, I hope you're right! It's a good tale, its multivarious politically inspired bowdlerizations notwithstanding.

Oct 14, 2019, 11:39pm

Great meet up photo, Katie. I agree with your take on the ending of Washington Black. Not what I was expecting. >96 katiekrug: Writing is considered by some to be work you know. But seriously, 5 pages is a good start. Do you think you'll continue?

Oct 15, 2019, 7:29am

>96 katiekrug: I love that you acted on that burst of creativity Katie! Your secret is safe with us 😀

Oct 15, 2019, 7:55am

Nanowrimo is just around the corner. Just saying...

Oct 15, 2019, 7:58am

>97 richardderus: - I shall be sure to report back :)

>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!

Oct 15, 2019, 7:59am

>103 Helenliz: - I thought of that, Helen! I think I might try to do it - not a specific page/word target, but a commitment to write every day.

Oct 15, 2019, 8:01am

I'm trying to get an early start at work this morning, so I can watch the Yankees game at 4:00pm guilt free.

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...

Oct 15, 2019, 9:08am

>106 katiekrug: What a hoot that series was! I'm still convinced that drneutron is secretly the author. It's just...him.

Oct 15, 2019, 10:20am

>106 katiekrug: I was a Yankee fan growing up but my household has since been corrupted by the insidious influence of a Long Island-born spouse who can only watch the Mets (pathetic, right?) Your (real) Met adventures sound wonderful. I just love being around Lincoln Center, no matter what the performance. I'm still kicking myself about giving up a W70th Street apartment in 1981!

Oct 16, 2019, 8:29am

>107 richardderus: - It's a lot of fun so far, RD. And yes, I could see Jim writing this :)

>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!

Oct 16, 2019, 8:33am

The Yankees lost *sigh*. Tonight's game is likely to be rained out, so hopefully they can re-group.

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.

Edited: Oct 17, 2019, 8:14am

I finished In the Dark yesterday afternoon (4.5 stars) and Red at the Bone last night (5 stars). Both were, obviously, excellent, but the Woodson is something special. And such a pretty cover!

"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."

Oct 17, 2019, 8:50am

>111 katiekrug: you finished it already? Wow, that was fast. I'm really glad to see you liked it so much.

Oct 17, 2019, 8:53am

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.

4.5 stars

Oct 17, 2019, 8:53am

>112 lauralkeet: - It's under 200 pages, Laura, and reads really quickly with different POVs. I think you'll love it!

Oct 17, 2019, 9:12am

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.

5 stars

Oct 17, 2019, 9:45am

Sweet Thursday, Katie! Hooray for Red at the Bone. I loved her previous 2 books and it sounds like she just keeps getting better. I hope I can get to it soon.

Oct 17, 2019, 9:47am

Hiya, Mark! I think Red at the Bone would be great on audio. Just sayin'... :)

Oct 17, 2019, 10:16am

Added both to my library queue...just what I needed, more books.

Oct 17, 2019, 11:06am

Sweet Thursday, Katie. >115 katiekrug: Oh good, I just started Red at the Bone. Five stars!

Oct 17, 2019, 11:12am

Great comments on both In the Dark and Red at the Bone, Katie. I have a library copy of Red at the Bone, which I hope to get to before it's due. First, though, I have to finish In the Woods for my book club. My reading has slowed because of school work.

Oct 17, 2019, 11:14am

>118 vivians: - Yay! Hope you like them both.

>119 jnwelch: - I think it's my only 5-star read of the year, Joe :)

>120 BLBera: - Boo to school work, Beth. You will zip through the Woodson. Sneak a couple of hours this weekend - it can be read in one sitting.

Oct 17, 2019, 11:15am

If anyone wants to read In the Dark, I'd be glad to pass it on... I bought it used, so it's slightly beat up, with a cracked spine...

Oct 17, 2019, 11:19am

Good to know, Katie.

Edited: Oct 17, 2019, 3:01pm

Adding Red to the Bone to Mount TBR

good seeing you Katie at the drive by meetup

Oct 17, 2019, 3:44pm

>111 katiekrug: and >113 katiekrug: both sound great Katie - adding them to the wishlist! Thankyou.

Oct 17, 2019, 4:02pm

>123 BLBera: - :)

>124 magicians_nephew: - Always great to see you, Jim! Hope you like RatB when you get to it.

>125 charl08: - You're welcome, Charlotte!

Oct 17, 2019, 4:03pm

My book club meets tonight to talk about Washington Black. I'm curious to hear what others thought of the ending...

Oct 17, 2019, 4:04pm

Oh! I meant to ask if there are any fans of the Netflix series 'Dead to Me' out there... I don't watch a lot of TV, but this one has me hooked. Christina Applegate is terrific. I'm only up to episode 4, so no spoilers please!

Oct 18, 2019, 9:15am

Yankees lost :( Houston could clinch it tonight - not sure I can bear to watch...

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.

Oct 18, 2019, 9:16am

Oh, and my current read is The Marsh King's Daughter which is decent so far.

Oct 18, 2019, 11:55am

Sounds like an excellent short Friday. Hopefully your weekend is a mix of productive moving things and some more relaxing down time. :)

Oct 18, 2019, 12:21pm

>129 katiekrug: Heh. The universe is conspiring to give you an extra day of rest so be delighted.

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.

Oct 18, 2019, 7:11pm

>131 MickyFine: - Hi Micky! My day was great, even if work came back online and I had to do a little bit :) Looking forward to the weekend...

>132 richardderus: - The reprieve didn't last long, but I close up shop at 12:30 and had a lovely afternoon.

I'll look for your comments on Flames...

Oct 18, 2019, 7:13pm

This afternoon, I went shopping for some house stuff - quilt for the bed, laundry hamper, a couple of side tables for the new couch... Then I got a pedicure and stopped at the local indie bookstore, where I purchased copies of Girl, Woman, Other, The Dutch House, and Red at the Bone.

When I got home, I emptied some boxes and futzed around and now I'm watching the Yankees game.

A good day!

Oct 18, 2019, 7:54pm

>134 katiekrug: Fair Warning: This week's GBBO results could cause cerebrovascular crises in the fully invested viewer.

Oct 18, 2019, 10:07pm

Hurray for the meetup!!

And the burst of writing creativity.

I really need to read Washington Black

I LOVED the Bobiverse--hope you do, too.

>111 katiekrug: Oooh! Why didn't I read your thread BEFORE I went to Powell's today? I love Woodson. WL-ed Red at the Bone.

Happy weekend wishes. : )

Edited: Oct 19, 2019, 11:23am

>134 katiekrug: Did I miss that you bought the new couch?

Nice work at the bookshop!

Oct 19, 2019, 11:35am

>135 richardderus: - Oh, I don't like the sound of that! Will proceed with trepidation...

>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 :)

Edited: Oct 19, 2019, 11:41am

I've been zipping through the books lately - finished another one this morning. The Marsh King's Daughter was a decent enough quasi-thriller with literary pretensions. Some of the writing was good, but I couldn't warm up to the main character and so can't rate it more than 3.5 stars.

It has a great setting - the Upper Peninsula of Michigan - which Dionne describes beautifully.

ETA: Am now reading Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman.

Oct 19, 2019, 12:03pm

>139 katiekrug:. Oh good. I hope it works for you. I liked Practical Magic a lot, and Rules of Magic was good, too. I want to read more by her, including her new one.

Oct 19, 2019, 12:07pm

>140 jnwelch: - I've read several by Hoffman and liked them all. Blackbird House might be my favorite - it's linked stories set on Cape Cod.

Oct 19, 2019, 12:35pm

>139 katiekrug:, >140 jnwelch:, >141 katiekrug: I liked the Magic ones fine. I haven't had such good luck with others of Alice Hoffman's.

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!

Oct 19, 2019, 5:35pm

Hi Katie, I am thinking that I will join you in No!vember. I only get two or three books a month from the library so my No!vember will be all about not buying books, especially Kindle books.

Oct 19, 2019, 7:44pm

Hi, Katie! Good luck to the Yankees tonight. I really don't want the Astros to win.

Oct 19, 2019, 8:12pm

>142 richardderus: - I'm a Hoffman fan, but I can see she wouldn't appeal to everyone. I love your enthusiasm for Flames!

>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...

Oct 19, 2019, 9:14pm

>145 katiekrug: I'm not sure. Something about them just rubs me the wrong way. It's probably a holdover from when they played in the National League in the same division as the Cubs.

Oct 19, 2019, 9:17pm

Ah, that makes sense.

Go Yankees!

Oct 20, 2019, 12:08am

I'm looking forward to seeing what you think of Practical Magic, Katie. I read Rules of Magic and liked it but was told (I think it was Joe that said this) that the first book was even better. It is on my shelves but then so are many, many (too many) other books, which are vying for my attention.

Oct 20, 2019, 10:14am

>148 Familyhistorian: - Hi Meg! The Hoffman jumped to the top of my To Read list because LT brought it up when I did a random "Roulette" pick. It seemed seasonally appropriate :)

Oct 20, 2019, 10:15am

>134 katiekrug: Nice haul, Katie.

You were right about Red at the Bone; it's wonderful and it was a fast read. In fact, that is my only complaint -- it was too short. And I never say that about books.

Oct 20, 2019, 10:23am

Bad news: The Yankees lost and will not be going to the World Series.*

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).

Oct 20, 2019, 10:25am

>150 BLBera: - Hi Beth! I'm glad you liked the Woodson so much. I didn't think it was too short - I felt like she was able to give a complete portrait of the family with a minimum of words. I wouldn't have minded longer, since I loved it, but I didn't feel like anything was missing, if that makes sense.

Oct 20, 2019, 10:27am

>151 katiekrug: It must be the season for open studios; we just went to one near us last weekend. At last year's event we picked up a couple pieces from one artist, and this year we ended up buying another from the same guy. I like the idea of supporting someone local.

Oct 20, 2019, 11:02am

>151 katiekrug: Sorry about the Yankees, Katie. I saw that stat about their World Series appearances streak on Twitter, and it is amazing.

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. :-)

Oct 20, 2019, 1:30pm

>151 katiekrug: Your open studio visit sounds great. Glad you found some artists you may feature in your new place. I like the pieces you've shown us in the past so can't wait to see what new things you collect.

Oct 20, 2019, 2:16pm

>153 lauralkeet: - I like to support local artists, too, Laura. There was some great talent at the open house yesterday. I wish I had an endless budget :)

>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.

Oct 20, 2019, 9:15pm

You need a backup team to cheer for, Katie. I usually have one because Minnesota teams are usually not any good.

Oct 20, 2019, 11:24pm

Sorry for your Yankees' loss (not really but I do feel your pain -- being a sports fan is damned hard sometimes!). I went to bed in disgust after they tied it in the top of the 9th. Then today we didn't even watch the Seahawks. Instead we went to the volleyball match on campus. Our Cougs were up 2-0 and then lost the next three sets. Like I said, being a sports fan is damned hard sometimes! Oh, and that stat you noted about the Yankees is remarkable!

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.

Oct 21, 2019, 8:19am

>157 BLBera: - Well, the Wayne is a Dolphins fan, so I usually root for them, too, but they are even worse than my G-men!

>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...

Oct 21, 2019, 11:36am

>134 katiekrug: The Dutch House is incredible and one of the most beautiful covers!

Oct 21, 2019, 9:49pm

Nothing interesting to report, just wandered in to say hi.

Oct 22, 2019, 8:04am

>160 Dianekeenoy: - It is a lovely cover, isn't it, Diane? And I've loved every Patchett I've read, so I'm excited for this one! Nice to see you!

>161 richardderus: - Hi there, my friend!

Oct 22, 2019, 8:08am

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.

3.5 stars

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.

3.5 stars

Oct 22, 2019, 8:18am

I started two books last night - The Bird Artist by Howard Norman, and How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White. The latter is an attempt to figure out how to establish some good new habits in the new house :) We'll see!

Oct 22, 2019, 8:19am

Hi Katie! The Swallows isn't really wowing me, so if you were looking for something to move down your list then that might be a choice.

Oct 22, 2019, 8:22am

Ah, good to know, Susan - thanks!

Oct 22, 2019, 12:09pm

Bob (We Are Bob)! I'm glad you gave We Are Legion a try. The wisecracks and the cultural references are the big draw anyway.

Sorry to hear that Practical Magic didn't work better for you, but I'm glad it had some redeeming moments.

Oct 22, 2019, 12:51pm

Ooo, The Bird Artist! I expected Norman to be bigger than he turned out to be...commercially speaking, he's still working (The Ghost Clause is his latest, it's on my Kindle), but he doesn't enter into prize discussions or film deal notes or suchlike. I thought for sure he would.

Enjoy the read!

Oct 22, 2019, 5:47pm

I loved The Bird Artist, too, and like Richard, envisioned a more high profile career from Norman.

Oct 22, 2019, 8:19pm

>163 katiekrug: I am glad Bob won you over, at least for one book. ; ) Practical Magic is not one of my favorites by Hoffman -- we can agree on that one.

Oct 23, 2019, 8:22am

>167 jnwelch: - Hi Joe! They were both perfectly fine reads, just nothing I got too excited about :)

>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?

Oct 23, 2019, 8:25am

As I noted above, I am enjoying The Bird Artist. It's set on Newfoundland in the early part of the 20th c. Some very quirky characters, reminds me a bit of The Shipping News.

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.

Oct 23, 2019, 10:26am

>172 katiekrug: Two strong value propositions read, then! And I agree about Alan Cumming. He's a delight.

I reviewed Sweet as Cane, Salty as Tears at last.

Oct 23, 2019, 10:40am

Happy Wednesday, Katie. Glad to hear you are enjoying The Bird Artist. I would like to read more of his work.

Oct 23, 2019, 11:18am

>173 richardderus: - I've seen Cumming twice doing cabaret-style shows. He's wonderful!

>174 msf59: - Hiya, Mark! Good to have you stop by.

Oct 23, 2019, 11:55am

I really enjoyed The Bird Artist...and I agree, it does feel similar to The Shipping News. I've read a couple of Norman's other books, and I met him in person 10 years or so ago. He's an odd duck (see what I did there?), but I enjoy his writing. I have one or two more of his books on my TBR shelves, but I don't think I'm up to date on all his work. Thanks >168 richardderus:, for mentioning his latest title.

Oct 23, 2019, 4:00pm

>176 laytonwoman3rd: - Unless something changes drastically with this read, Linda, I will definitely be seeking out more of his work!

Oct 23, 2019, 4:01pm

Gosh, it's a perfect autumn day here - 65F, breezy, sun-drenched. I think I might go sneak some reading time on the deck with a glass of wine... And then I'll work on unpacking some more books :)

Oct 23, 2019, 4:31pm

I dislike almost all of moving, with the exception of unpacking books. Enjoy both that and the wine.

Oct 23, 2019, 5:01pm

>176 laytonwoman3rd: de rien, ma amie

Oct 24, 2019, 8:34am

>179 Helenliz: - You'll get no arguments from me, Helen!

>180 richardderus: - Ahem. *mon amie (because amie starts with a vowel). xoxo

Oct 24, 2019, 8:36am

The Bird Artist just gets better, and I'm totally loving it!

I also love my husband, The Wayne, who made an honest woman of me 10 years ago today :)

Oct 24, 2019, 8:41am

Happy anniversary!

Oct 24, 2019, 9:08am

Happy anniversary, Katie!

Oct 24, 2019, 10:44am

>182 katiekrug: Happy anniversary, Katie and The Wayne!

Oct 24, 2019, 10:49am

Hope you have some celebration plans! Enjoy this gorgeous day.

Oct 24, 2019, 11:05am

>181 katiekrug: Huh I know that but failed to think it through. Durn.

>182 katiekrug: Yay! Ten years!

Oct 24, 2019, 12:28pm

Adding my Happy Anniversary wishes, Katie!

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.😀

Oct 24, 2019, 12:32pm

Thanks for the good wishes, everybody!

>188 jnwelch: - In our scenario, the roles would be reversed. The Wayne puts up with a lot from me :)

Oct 24, 2019, 3:26pm

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.

3.5 stars

Oct 24, 2019, 3:46pm

>189 katiekrug:. Could it be that the common link among 75ers, who get along so well, isn’t reading books, but instead is being a smart ass?

Oct 24, 2019, 4:09pm

Happy anniversary, Katie & Wayne!

Decluttering is an ongoing battle around here, just when we get things decluttered more seems to creep in! I wish you well. 😀

Oct 24, 2019, 6:14pm

Happy Anniversary Katie and Wayne!

A color coded schedule may be the key. Heh I never had one. Maybe that's what the problem was lol.

Oct 24, 2019, 6:45pm

>190 katiekrug: That's life-changingly excellent advice pithily stated. Kudos to her for giving it, you for taking it.

Edited: Oct 25, 2019, 3:05am

Happy anniversary!
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!

Oct 25, 2019, 9:22am

Belated Happy Anniversary, Katie! You and the Wayne look good together. So, after reading your take on Practical Magic I will lower my expectations when I eventually add it to my reading mix. Not that that will happen any time soon. I am behind on my reading because of all the things that are happening this week. I don't know why they have the Vancouver Writers' Festival at the same time as the Surrey International Writers' Conference but I drive myself crazy trying to do both.

>191 jnwelch: I think you are onto something with that smart ass assessment, Joe!

Oct 25, 2019, 9:39am

>182 katiekrug: Ahh :) Happy anniversary!

Oct 25, 2019, 9:58am

>191 jnwelch: - You might be on to something there, 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 :)

Oct 25, 2019, 10:02am

We had a lovely dinner out last night at a great local place (link for those of you, like me, who love to peruse menus: The Wayne came home a little early from work and brought me flowers, so that was nice :)

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.

Oct 25, 2019, 12:57pm

Happy Friday, Katie.

Oct 25, 2019, 3:47pm

Any book that reminds people of The Shipping News jumps right to the head of the line on my TRB pile The Bird Artist.

I will keep you posted.

Oct 25, 2019, 4:14pm

>200 BLBera: - Happy Friday back, Beth.

>201 magicians_nephew: - Oh, do let me know what you think of it, Jim. It must be something about Newfoundland to inspire such interesting characters and stories. I need to try a Michael Crummey next - I believe his writing is also set in Newfoundland.

Edited: Oct 25, 2019, 6:30pm

Wait....are you saying you've never read Michael Crummey?? Oh Katie, please do yourself a favor and try Galore which was just excellent. Just so good. And thanks for reminding me that I must get back to him. I have several on my shelves/Kindle.

Edited: Oct 25, 2019, 7:04pm

Hmm....another LT friend sent me 2 of Michael Crummey's, including Galore, just a couple months ago. Bumping THEM up the list, now.

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.

Oct 25, 2019, 7:23pm

Happy Anniversary one day late, Katie and Wayne!

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.

Oct 25, 2019, 10:22pm

>190 katiekrug: Oooh, Dana White! I love her outlook. I'm one like her, who saves up cleaning for PROJECTS (hate cleaning, love projects) and benefitted from her insights. Her Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff is also good and is (or at least, was) free to borrow if you are a Prime member.

Belated Happy Anniversary, Katie and Wayne!

Oct 26, 2019, 12:45am

>182 katiekrug: Happy 10th Anniversary with the Wayne!! He gets points for the flowers, too. : )

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

Oct 26, 2019, 10:30am

>203 brenzi: - I haven't read Crummey, Bonnie, but I have a couple of his on my shelf (including Galore!) thanks to people warbling about him on here :)

>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?!? ;-)

Oct 26, 2019, 10:33am

Oct 26, 2019, 10:33am

It's another sunshine-y day here. We'll be making a run over to the rental to get the rest of our kitchen stuff. Might go see a movie tonight, but it'll be a game-time decision.

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.

Oct 26, 2019, 10:35am

Oct 26, 2019, 10:39am

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.

4.5 stars

Oct 26, 2019, 10:44am

>212 katiekrug: Oh, it's an ear-read! So who's the narrator? You really should tell us in your review. It's *very* important to know when deciding to ear-read a book whose voice will be mellifluating it to you.

Oct 26, 2019, 10:45am

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.

4.5 stars

Oct 26, 2019, 10:46am

Oct 26, 2019, 3:17pm

>214 katiekrug: You convinced me, Katie. Onto the list it goes.

Happy belated anniversary.

Oct 26, 2019, 5:01pm

Ah, separate bathrooms and separate spaces. Jim and I are working out how to not have that in a one-bedroom apartment with two retirees. So far no one has died. Space in NYC is very expensive (I didn't have to say that, did I?) so until we win the lottery we plan to stay put, and put up with each other.

Oct 26, 2019, 6:21pm

Happy Saturday, Katie. Hooray for a favorable response to The Bird Artist and you get me with a BB, with Zorgamazoo. Looks like a lot of fun.

Oct 27, 2019, 5:50am

>214 katiekrug: Was thinking this sounded familiar - and that's because I have read it. Goldfish memory. I love the cover you've posted there. There's something about a lighthouse.

Oct 27, 2019, 9:01am

Belated happy anniversary, Katie.

Oct 27, 2019, 9:22am

>216 BLBera: - I hope you like it, Beth!

>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!

Oct 27, 2019, 9:23am

Grey and rainy today. Perfect day for puttering around the house and watching football. I am currently ensconced on my end of the recliner sofa with my feet up and a cup of coffee beside me. I do not anticipate moving any time soon!

Oct 27, 2019, 9:42am

>76 katiekrug: What a wonderful meet up photo! Today is grey, cold and rainy here in Pennsylvania as well. I've been on an organizing mania lately. I've even gone through many containers of books and given about 50 to a local library. Sheltie Lilly and I will stay inside and relax.

All good wishes to you!

Oct 27, 2019, 10:35am

>222 katiekrug: Perfection! My last swig of coffee has just gone down. I'm browsing, then plan to dive back into my reads...The Wolf and the Watchman is SO. GRISLY.

Oct 27, 2019, 5:43pm

Goodness, I'm behind at least an entire thread of yours! Haven't quite caught up on everything, but happy belated anniversary and it's just as well I had to work today during a football game that will not be named.

Hope you're getting some good reading time in this weekend!

Oct 28, 2019, 8:49am

>223 Whisper1: - Hello, Linda. The weather eventually improved here, and we ended up with sun, which was a nice surprise. I've also been organizing books, which is always fun!

>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...

Oct 28, 2019, 8:52am

I'll be finishing up the DeMille today and need to decide what's next. I've gotten all my fiction unpacked and on the shelves. It's alphabetized by letter, so that all the A authors are together, all the Bs, etc. but within each letter, it's still all scrambled. I'll get it properly alphabetized eventually.... Now I need to figure out the nonfiction. I've reserved the two built-ins in the living room, but I don't think it'll all fit. Plus, The Wayne is making noises about his books, but since he rarely reads them, I don't see why they should take up valuable space ;-)

Oct 28, 2019, 8:55am

Good luck getting your fiction sorted within letter and your nonfiction figured out.

There are advantages to being married to a non-book-reader - all the shelf space is mine. *smile*

Oct 28, 2019, 9:26am

>227 katiekrug: within each letter, it's still all scrambled

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?

Oct 28, 2019, 9:34am

>228 karenmarie: - LOL, Karen!

>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...

Oct 28, 2019, 9:37am

Oh yes, I remember that discussion, what's going where? We have almost all the non-fiction and ones that make us look good in the study downstairs. His study has all his books (and no organisation whatsoever - best just not to look imo). The spare bedroom has all the rest of the fiction.

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.

Oct 28, 2019, 9:46am

>231 Helenliz: Had to smile at "no organization -- best not to look". My Hubby has all of his books in the study (which used to be his study until I moved in a year or so ago) and they're just like that. "My" books are in the living/dining room and our bedroom (and those are all of the rooms we have). Fiction on one wall in the LR, non-fiction one wall in the dining area and religion/philosophy, poetry and travel in the bedroom. Fiction is just like yours, Katie, and I get there by the same process initially by first letter and then I go back and alphabetize within the letters. Non-fiction is by subject, not exactly Dewey decimal but sort-of along those lines.

Isn't it fun to organize books?

Oct 28, 2019, 9:50am

>231 Helenliz: - My books are everywhere - I have four tall bookshelves in the dining room*, two large built-ins flanking the fireplace in the living room (that's where the NF will go), two built-ins in the family room, a small case also in the family room, three bookcases in the guest room, one in the office, and three on the landing on the 3rd floor. I wish I could have them more together, but it is what it is...

* 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.

Oct 28, 2019, 9:51am

>232 RebaRelishesReading: - It is fun, Reba! Also fun to talk about :) I should have noted that the NF will be organized by subject, not author. When I get to unpacking it. When I can reach the shelves. Someday.

Oct 28, 2019, 9:53am

>230 katiekrug: thanks Katie!

>233 katiekrug: I need to decide what to call it
I like "library," but if you want to go all Jane Austen you could call it a parlor. Either way, I love the idea of using it as a comfy reading space.

Oct 28, 2019, 11:02am

>235 lauralkeet: Ooh yes, I vote for "parlor", "drawing room", or "state room"

Oct 28, 2019, 11:11am

well if one were especially posh, one would have a withdrawing room. It would be where the lady of the house would escort her lady guests while the men smoked after dinner. Sounds like this might be the lady of the house's room, so perfect. >:-)

Oct 28, 2019, 11:42am

So many options, Laura, Nora, and Helen!

Oct 28, 2019, 12:04pm

>233 katiekrug: Also, don't forget that bookcase in the attic.


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 :-)

Oct 28, 2019, 12:32pm

You know you are always welcome, Susan!

Oct 28, 2019, 1:13pm

>239 susanj67: If you go, can you also hire a film crew? Reality TV gold right there...

Oct 28, 2019, 1:33pm

>241 charl08: Charlotte, are you suggesting that I might be obsessive and bossy and stand around at Heathrow going "Why is the plane late when there are things OUT OF ORDER in New Jersey?"

Because that would be very likely...

>240 katiekrug: Thanks Katie! Roll on 2021 (fingers crossed).

Oct 28, 2019, 2:33pm

Oct 28, 2019, 4:20pm

>237 Helenliz: ooh, yes, I like that one too. So many choices, Katie!

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.

Oct 28, 2019, 4:22pm

>244 lauralkeet: - Susan is just tormenting me, because she refuses to come to the US while That Person is still in The White House. And I refuse to leave the books unorganized for that long, so.....

But if you want to come up and help, feel free! The Newark train station is a short drive away :)

Oct 28, 2019, 5:10pm

>244 lauralkeet: Oooh, a book-organizing flash mob at Katie's house! Count me in. :-D

Oct 28, 2019, 5:12pm

>245 katiekrug: *light bulb*



Oct 29, 2019, 12:06am

Only problem is Pence is just as bad. Smarmy SOB. Can we remove them both from this plane of existence?

Oct 29, 2019, 1:57am

If there are commissions being taken I can think of another we could add...

Oct 29, 2019, 5:44am

Ooooh, bookshelf organizing! *happy sigh* I should be able to do that soon, too; Tomm's nearly finished building my floor-to ceiling shelves...

Oct 29, 2019, 8:18am

>246 rosalita: - How fun would that be?!?

Hi Julia!

>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*

Oct 29, 2019, 8:23am

Yesterday, I picked up (actually, checked out from the e-library) Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World - a re-telling of P&P in which Elizabeth is forced to accept Mr. Darcy's insulting first proposal. It was cute, but the Lizzy in this did not bear much resemblance to the Lizzy in the original. And all the misunderstandings got really repetitive. But it scratched an itch I was feeling for a little Darcy and Lizzy time, so I'm satisfied. I finished it this morning. October has been my best reading months in a looooong time, with 15 books completed, 1 in progress, and 2 DNFs.

Oct 29, 2019, 8:57am

>252 katiekrug: Yay for good reading months! May the trend continue.

Oct 29, 2019, 9:38am

>233 katiekrug: On British house hunting shows they often call a cozy space a "snug" -- that might be an option :)

Oct 29, 2019, 12:00pm

>242 susanj67: "Why is the plane late when there are things OUT OF ORDER in New Jersey?" Oh, thank you....this image is going to carry me through my day! (May I suggest just a little foot-stamping?)

Oct 29, 2019, 2:02pm

>253 richardderus: - Thank you, kind sir.

>254 RebaRelishesReading: - I love "snug," Reba, but I'm not sure it fits. The room is kind of open to other parts of the house. My reading corner, though, may become known as my snug!

>255 laytonwoman3rd: - Foot-stamping is never out of place!

Oct 29, 2019, 2:03pm

I just bought Halloween candy for Thursday night, and I've already had two pieces. *sigh*

Oct 29, 2019, 2:06pm

Question for my peeps:

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?

Oct 29, 2019, 3:07pm

I have a plentiful supply of milk crates as book cases...makes them easy to move around if the cleaning staff need to get into a deep corner...and one of them is specifically for my mostest-favurytest-bestest bookiewooks.

Oct 29, 2019, 3:17pm

>258 katiekrug: I'm getting to the point where the only hardcopy books I'm going to own are my favorites. I have been deaccessioning like crazy over the past couple of months, and it feels really good, to be honest. So, I guess that makes me a 'no' on having a special place for favorite books. :-)

Oct 29, 2019, 3:48pm

One section for faves and books we reread

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.

Oct 29, 2019, 3:53pm

I do keep favorite books in our family room and back room, but I'm reconsidering. The problem is the one you mention - when I'm looking for one by an author I've got on alphabetical shelves in the basement, and it's not there, I've got to remember to look at least two other places. I think I'd be better off keeping them all together.

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!

Oct 29, 2019, 4:31pm

>258 katiekrug: No but then several of my favorite books are parts of series and I want to keep the series together. I do, however, tun favorite books out to display them on the shelf - especially if the cover is attractive.

Oct 29, 2019, 8:03pm

>259 richardderus: - Thanks, Richard! The milk crate is handy, too, if you have to flee quickly. You'll know exactly where to find your most precious possessions!

>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 fondle organize books, Joe ;-)

>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....

Oct 29, 2019, 9:22pm

Ah, the dilemma of how to sort your books. I keep all my non-fiction in category order in my basement and the fiction has its place in no particular order in my room (it's kind of taking over my room to be honest). I have some favourite genres that I have read in a separate bookcase for mostly fiction in the spare room. It's double deep on the shelves and my favourites can be found in that bookcase except for my Heyers which live at the back of the shelves in my bedroom's walk in closet. The problem with this system is the search for particular unread fiction but then it does lead to some wonderful finds.

Oct 30, 2019, 4:15am

Love the discussion of books and organising them - I've filled up my shelves (again), so need to be thinking about sorting them out and setting some 'free'!

Oct 30, 2019, 9:26am

Hi Katie!

>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.

Oct 30, 2019, 9:48am

>265 Familyhistorian: - Unexpected finds are always good, Meg!

>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 :)

Oct 30, 2019, 9:49am

Yesterday, I started reading The Rhetoric of Death by Judith Rock, a historical mystery set in 17th c. Paris. So far, so good.

Still plugging away at The Johnstown Flood on audio. It's very good, I just haven't had much listening time lately.

Oct 30, 2019, 10:03am

>256 katiekrug: Oh good! I'm glad you like it. I would love to have a place that could be called "the snug" :)

Oct 30, 2019, 10:07am

>269 katiekrug: Have you ever read the Aristide Ravel series, Katie? It starts in 1786 Paris and moves through the Revolution. The Cavalier of the Apocalypse is #1; La Alleyn is a delightful author.

Have a lovely cloudy showery day!

Edited: Oct 30, 2019, 10:14am

>270 RebaRelishesReading: - :)

>271 richardderus: - I think I have a copy of Cavalier, Richard. I'll have to dig it out.

ETA: I have it on my Kindle!

Oct 30, 2019, 11:28am

>272 katiekrug: Yay! I hope you'll like it as much as I did.

Oct 30, 2019, 12:32pm

>261 magicians_nephew: Ah, now I understand how he organizes his books. Mine are much more alphabetical and categorical. The two sets do cozy up to each other on occasion.

Oct 30, 2019, 3:42pm

>273 richardderus: - No promises as to when I'll get to it.....

>274 ffortsa: - Mystery solved! Glad I could help :)

Oct 30, 2019, 3:44pm

I've booked my flights for my desert getaway in January... *eye roll*

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.

Oct 30, 2019, 3:57pm

Hi Katie, I've come with belated Happy Anniversary wishes (my 41st was two days ago) and an early Happy Halloween hello! My knee is still out of commission but is allowing me a few minutes longer at the computer. I have a big outing planned for this afternoon when my husband takes me out to the library and to buy some milk!

Oct 30, 2019, 10:29pm

>264 katiekrug: So I turn books outward in front of a full shelf. I can't stand shelve books two deep so I am not losing shelf space (though I am obscuring a few books with the ones turned outward that are in front of them).

Oct 31, 2019, 8:45am

>277 DeltaQueen50: - Hi Judy! I"m sorry your knee is still plaguing you :( But yay for field trips to the library!

>278 Oberon: - Ohhhh, I get it now. That might work. I will definitely give it a try once they are organized within letter.

Oct 31, 2019, 8:49am

Gloomy and rainy here - the kiddos are gonna need some umbrellas tonight!

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...

Oct 31, 2019, 9:31am

>278 Oberon: I don't get it. Can we have a picture?!

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!)

Oct 31, 2019, 10:03am


Consider this message my hand pressing down on yours to click the "Buy" button. Travel is essential for mental health.

Oct 31, 2019, 10:40am

Sweet Thursday, Katie. Hooray for the Nationals! I am happy for them. I didn't watch much of it, but it sure sounded like a helluva series. I hope those books are treating you well.

Oct 31, 2019, 10:45am

>283 msf59: - Oops, almost missed you, Mark! It was a great series, and Game 7 did not disappoint.

The books are good, thanks!

Nov 1, 2019, 11:32pm

>281 charl08: Here you go:

There are books (themed African art) behind the Benin book.
This topic was continued by Katie Commits to Nothing in 2019, Part 17.