Katie Commits to Nothing in 2019, Part 16
This is a continuation of the topic Katie Commits to Nothing in 2019, Part 15.
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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): 18
Off my Kindle (pre-2019): 15
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)
2019 BOOKS COMPLETED
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)
2019 BOOKS COMPLETED
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 :-)
>6 katiekrug: *snort*
Let's not lose sight of the shores of reason, Katie.
Happy new thread!
Happy New Thread, Katie! It's a good thing that unpacking books is fun, right?
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!
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!
>13 katiekrug: Sorry, I realized belatedly that this was not, in fact, Susan's thread. Enjoy your clinch party!
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?
>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.
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 :)
>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.
>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 :)
Happy new thread, Katie! Looking forward to seeing your reads whether they're off your own shelves or not. :)
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!
>25 ronincats: - Hi Roni! Yeah, it's kind of a good news/bad news situation right now :)
>19 katiekrug: There is a good reason the rest of the civilized world hates New York sports teams.
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?
>27 Oberon: - Yeah, yeah, I know. How dare a talented team stoop to winning... ;-)
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 ...
>28 katiekrug: Very pretty. I say sales sometimes override the best laid plans. :D
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)!
>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
>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.
>28 katiekrug: YOU may not use the room often, but what about Leonard? Surely he deserves napping place as majestic as he is!
Happy New Thread, Katie! I hope the week is off to a good start! I am loving Frankissstein. I NEED to read more Winterson.
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.
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.
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.
>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.
>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...
>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.
>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!)
>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?
Count me on Team Sofa, please! I'm also on Team Leonard-Requires-That-Sofa-For-Napping
>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!
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?
>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.
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.
>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.
I'm also Team Couch and awaiting a photo of Leonard stretching out, claws extended...
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.
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.
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.
>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!
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?
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!
>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.
>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.
I did like Washington Black, Katie. Lots of parallels to some well travelled anti-slavery campaigners, too. Hope you have a good week!
>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.
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
>77 katiekrug: Looks like a great meet up and Jim looks like the cat that got the cream.
>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?
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.
>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?
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.
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
Hi Joe! I agree about
>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.
Adding my quibble-sharing to the conversation! I enjoyed the book but agree with your quibble, Katie, as well as Joe's.
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!
>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 :)
>89 katiekrug: - Great, thanks! I have made a note of that so I will remember!
>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.
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.
>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."
>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
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.
>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.
>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.
>99 ELiz_M: Wow, I hope you're right! It's a good tale, its multivarious politically inspired bowdlerizations notwithstanding.
>96 katiekrug: I love that you acted on that burst of creativity Katie! Your secret is safe with us 😀
>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!
>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.
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...
>106 katiekrug: What a hoot that series was! I'm still convinced that drneutron is secretly the author. It's just...him.
>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!
>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!
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.
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."
>111 katiekrug: you finished it already? Wow, that was fast. I'm really glad to see you liked it so much.
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.
>112 lauralkeet: - It's under 200 pages, Laura, and reads really quickly with different POVs. I think you'll love it!
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.
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.
Hiya, Mark! I think Red at the Bone would be great on audio. Just sayin'... :)
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...
Adding Red to the Bone to Mount TBR
good seeing you Katie at the drive by meetup
My book club meets tonight to talk about Washington Black. I'm curious to hear what others thought of the ending...
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!
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.
Oh, and my current read is The Marsh King's Daughter which is decent so far.
Sounds like an excellent short Friday. Hopefully your weekend is a mix of productive moving things and some more relaxing down time. :)
>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.
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!
>134 katiekrug: Fair Warning: This week's GBBO results could cause cerebrovascular crises in the fully invested viewer.
>134 katiekrug: Did I miss that you bought the new couch?
Nice work at the bookshop!
>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 :)
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.
>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!
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.
Hi, Katie! Good luck to the Yankees tonight. I really don't want the Astros to win.
>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...
>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.
>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 :)
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).
>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.
>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.
>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. :-)
>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.
>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.
You need a backup team to cheer for, Katie. I usually have one because Minnesota teams are usually not any good.
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.
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