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Katie Commits to Nothing in 2019, Part 17

This is a continuation of the topic Katie Commits to Nothing in 2019, Part 16.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Oct 31, 10:39am Top

"Leaving Autumn" by Jeffrey Hull


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: Today, 2:42pm Top

(Print) (Audio)

Off my shelf (pre-2019): 23
Off my Kindle (pre-2019): 17

103. Wallflower at the Orgy by Nora Ephron (audio) (3.5 stars)
102. The Upright Piano Player by David Abbott (4.5 stars)
101. Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller (audio) (3 stars)
100. Later, at the Bar by Rebecca Barry (4 stars)
99. The Rhetoric of Death by Judith Rock (4 stars)
98. The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough (audio) (4 stars)
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)

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)
12. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Edited: Oct 31, 10:41am Top


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)

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, 10:41am Top


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, 10:42am Top

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 31, 10:42am Top


Oct 31, 10:47am Top

Oct 31, 10:55am Top

Happy Halloween, Katie! Happy New Thread! I love the Hull topper.

Oct 31, 11:01am Top

Ooo, that topper...wow.

I'll leave this one to ring in the Thinning Time with appropriate gravity:
Blessed Samhain!

Oct 31, 11:08am Top

Happy Halloween, Bill, Mark, and RD!

Oct 31, 11:12am Top

Happy new thread, Katie!

Which house will you be handing out candy from?

Oct 31, 11:16am Top

>11 MickyFine: - Hi Micky! We are at the new house full-time now (just need to move a bit more stuff from the old one) so I'll be greeting trick-or-treaters here. Not sure how many to expect - the weather is pretty bad, our neighborhood is kind of small, and our house is the last one on a dead-end street...

Oct 31, 11:25am Top

>12 katiekrug: Perfect. I'll be by with my pillowcase later. ;)

Oct 31, 11:30am Top

^Ha! I remember our kids using pillow cases as candy bags.

Happy New Thread, Katie! What a lovely topper.

Oct 31, 11:52am Top

>13 MickyFine: - I'll save you the good stuff!

>14 jnwelch: - Thanks, Joe!

Edited: Oct 31, 12:57pm Top

Happy new thread, Katie! I hope your trick-or-treaters are well behaved.

Oct 31, 1:05pm Top

>16 susanj67: - I hope so, too, Susan!

Oct 31, 3:13pm Top

Oh, Katie...I just saw Feliks Kaparchuk's autumn tree. I think the video might be of special interest to you.

Oct 31, 3:53pm Top

>18 richardderus: - I admit to jumping through the video, given it's length. He is.... very.... sooooothing.....

Oct 31, 4:00pm Top

I am participating in Susan's NO!vember, during which one commits to saying no to the things preventing one from accomplishing one's reading goals. In my case, I am saying NO! to library books and will read exclusively from my own shelves, whether physical or electronic (but preferably physical). I may check out e-books of books I own, however, if, for instance, the print size or heft of the book makes the Kindle version preferable.

I have suspended all the holds I currently have at my 3 library systems, so I won't be tempted by anything coming in :)

Oct 31, 4:03pm Top

Happy new thread, Katie!

Oct 31, 4:09pm Top

Happy new thread. Love the thread topper, that's quite beautiful.

Oct 31, 4:55pm Top

>19 katiekrug: Heh, yeah two hours of painting with those lovely strong elegant hands and his soft voice...well...insomnia go away!

>20 katiekrug: An excellent idea. No holds until after the new year for me!

Oct 31, 5:38pm Top

Well if only I could suspend my holds, I would be joining you both.

Happy new thread.

Oct 31, 6:10pm Top

>20 katiekrug: That's impressive, Katie. Good luck!

Oct 31, 8:06pm Top

Happy new thread!

Oct 31, 8:16pm Top

>20 katiekrug:. Whoaaaa there. Let's not get crazy here lol.

Oct 31, 8:17pm Top

Happy new one!

Nov 1, 5:33am Top

Happy new thread, Katie! So how many treaters did you get?

Nov 1, 8:22am Top

>21 karenmarie: - Thanks, Karen!

>22 Helenliz: - The topper certainly says "November" to me, Helen...

>23 richardderus: - TWO months of no holds?!?! Good for you!

>24 charl08: - I believe you, Charlotte :)

Nov 1, 8:24am Top

>25 lauralkeet: - Thanks, Laura!

>26 drneutron: - Thank you, Jim!

>27 brenzi: - Only for a month, Bonnie. Just to see if I can do it :)

>28 figsfromthistle: - Thanks, figs!

>29 scaifea: - Hi Amber! We had a grand total of.... wait for it.... 15. 15 kids. What a waste of time. I don't know if it was the weather (it wasn't actually too bad but everyone was convinced it would be awful), the location, or what. Disappointing!

Nov 1, 8:27am Top

Yesterday, I decided to pause in my current read and pick up a Halloween-appropriate book - The Haunting of Hill House. It started a bit slow, but I'm enjoying it more now.

Nov 1, 8:54am Top

Hi Katie - Happy new thread. I love, love, love the topper.

Your first Halloween in your new house. Did you get any trick-or-treaters?

Nov 1, 9:30am Top

>33 BLBera: - We got very few, Beth. Not sure if it was the dreary weather (wimps!) or our house location...

Nov 1, 9:58am Top

Two good books on sale for Kindle this month: Black Water Rising by Attica Locke and The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters.

Nov 1, 11:51am Top

Other good stuff on sale:

The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh
We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash
The Devil and Webster by Jean Hanff Korelitz

and one of my all-time favorites of the last few years:

Black River by S.M. Hulse

Nov 1, 12:15pm Top

Well, poop. I just got an email from the Free Library of Philadelphia that they will no longer be issuing pay-for-access cards. Once my card expires, I'll be down to "only" two systems I can borrow from. *sad face*

(Though, tbh, most of their e-library stuff was also available from at least one of my two local systems. It was just nice to have the extra option!)

Nov 1, 12:20pm Top

>37 katiekrug: Katie, poop indeed :-( The more libraries the merrier. Still, at least you have the NYPL :-)

Nov 1, 1:18pm Top

>37 katiekrug: Wayne can get a Brooklyn Library Card (Brooklyn Public Library's card is free for anyone that lives, works, pays property taxes, or attends school in New York State) or you could apply for an out-of-state BPL card (Non-NYS residents may apply for a Brooklyn Public Library membership and enjoy access to our extensive selection of Articles & Databases and eBooks. There is an annual, non-refundable $50 fee for out-of-state cardholders).

Although why I am encouraging this, with the ever-increasing wait times on eMaterials, I do not know.

Nov 1, 1:24pm Top

>31 katiekrug: If you gave out really good stuff, maybe the word will get around, and next year more kids will knock or ring. (Though why anyone would WANT that....) We had a grand total of 7 kids, all but 2 of them under the age of 7, so that was fun. We're rarely home on Hallowe'en, but we decided to skip the party we usually go to because of the weather, which as you say, did not turn out to be quite as horrific as predicted. But the idea of sitting in a tent with pouring rain, thunder and lightning and wind gusts up to 50 mph just didn't appeal to these old fogies. Of course we did miss Uncle Mike's marvelous pulled pork sandwiches... (We don't actually know Uncle Mike...our hosts always say "Uncle Mike made the pulled pork", and I assume he's there somewhere, whoever he may be.)

Nov 1, 1:34pm Top

>40 laytonwoman3rd: Unseen Uncle Mike, huh?

But ..... Uncle Mike's been dead for FIFTY YEARS!

Nov 1, 1:49pm Top

>38 susanj67: - Oh, well. Guess I'll find another use for that $50.

>39 ELiz_M: - And Liz comes through with a use for the $50! I wonder if The Wayne could get a card without going in person? It was like pulling teeth to get him to get the NYPL card....

You read way smarter stuff than I do, so even if I join, I don't think we'd be in competition for much :)

>40 laytonwoman3rd: - I'm actually okay with not having them - I just didn't know what to expect this year, so I was prepared. Next year, I'll probably just go to a happy hour or something since we don't seem to be in demand!

I love the Uncle Mike bit!

>41 norabelle414: - Dun dun DUN!

Hi Nora!

Nov 1, 1:54pm Top

>41 norabelle414: Could be....

Nov 1, 3:01pm Top

Your attention please, fellow #GBBO fancier...the final has dropped! And I assure you that a drool-catcher is urgently necessary for the signature bake.

Nov 1, 4:20pm Top

>37 katiekrug: Bummer. But in my experience you're not missing much. The Kindle waiting lists are so long, and take FOREVER.

Nov 1, 4:47pm Top

I was disappointed to get the FLP email as well. In my case, the statewide consortium of small Iowa libraries does its best but is not great for much other than the very new or very popular. Oh, well. At least my membership runs through March 2020.

Nov 1, 8:59pm Top

>44 richardderus: - Planning to watch it tonight! As soon as The Wayne gets off the phone with his mom (it's her birthday)....

>45 lauralkeet: - I think the only time I've checked anything out from there was when there wasn't a wait. I often check out books I own in print but would prefer to read on my Kindle, so it's more back list stuff.

>46 rosalita: - I thought of you when I got the email, Julia, since I think you were the one who initially told me about the FLP. Maybe you could look into the Brooklyn Public Library option?

Nov 1, 9:00pm Top

I couldn't gin up much enthusiasm for The Haunting of Hill House so I've DNFed it and will release it into the wild. Back to The Rhetoric of Death!

Nov 1, 9:01pm Top

Slightly belated happy new thread, Katie.
Have a great weekend.

Nov 2, 9:27am Top

>47 katiekrug: I might look into the Brooklyn Library option, but I also could take this as a sign that I should read more of my own books!

Nov 2, 10:00am Top

Back to >44 richardderus: briefly. I'm surprised you found all that chocolate drool-worthy!

>49 PaulCranswick: - Thanks, Paul!

>50 rosalita: - Well, yes, but where's the fun in that? ;-)

Nov 2, 10:03am Top

I finished up the audio of The Johnstown Flood this moring. Good stuff - 4 stars. I think this may actually be the first McCullough I've read... Not sure what audio will be next.

It's a lovely day here - very sunny and brisk, which is my favorite weather. I'll be doing some unpacking and laundry and other fun stuff today. Tomorrow, we are taking a break from house transition stuff and spending most of the day in the city, so I need to be extra-productive today!

Nov 2, 10:09am Top

>51 katiekrug: I wasn't particularly taken by the chocolate-ness but I was utterly enchanted by the *beauty* of (two of) them! Steph's Black Forest cake was gorgeous and David's Armagnac-fest with its gorgeous mirror ganache was to die from! I mean, for!

Nov 2, 10:40am Top

>52 katiekrug: Goodness, Katie, the first McCullough you've read?! He's one of my favorites. IMO he can make anything interesting. One of the first I read was The Path Between the Seas about the building of the Panama Canal. I'm not really interested in the "how" of big construction projects but we were going to be cruising through the Canal so I thought I should know more about it. I found his book fascinating. Since then I've read all of his books (except the one that is really a collection of talks he's given) and found them all interesting. The one about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge is really good too and that is close enough you could visit it.

Nov 2, 11:15am Top

>52 katiekrug: I suspected you were a secret marathoner! Enjoy the race ;)

(I will be avoiding the city and sticking to my section of Brooklyn, although the marathon clears our borough fairly early.)

Nov 2, 12:00pm Top

>53 richardderus: - OIC. That makes morse sense :)

>54 RebaRelishesReading: - I have both the Panama Canal and Brooklyn Bridge books on hand, Reba. I'll get to them eventually!

>55 ELiz_M: - LOL, Liz! I had gotten tickets to see Nick Offerman at the Beacon Theater and didn't think about the marathon until too late. I'm hoping we'll be well out of the way of it, but I should check the route just to be sure...

Nov 2, 11:48pm Top

>20 katiekrug: That is a brilliant commitment! Good luck with tackling some of those books on the shelves.

You are getting very close to the century mark!

Nov 3, 1:25am Top

Happy newish thread, Katie! Too bad about the dearth of trick or treaters at your new house. I would be glad to have that evening back.

Nov 3, 4:05pm Top

*snerk* wandering the trackless wilds of Brooklyn, hm?

Nov 4, 10:48am Top

Your city day looked great - all that walking! I neglected all the alerts and drove in to see my mother. The am was no problem, as everyone else seemed to obey instructions, but going home was a nightmare.
Still, a terrific day to be in the city - the marathon atmosphere was so uplifting.

Nov 4, 2:49pm Top

>57 EBT1002: - Hi Ellen! Yep, almost to 100 books. Not that I'm counting or anything... Heh.

>58 Familyhistorian: - At least I'll know for next year, Meg, and I won't plan to be at home :)

>59 richardderus: - Yes, sirree. The wilds of Brooklyn were lovely!

>60 vivians: - We didn't have any marathon-related issues until the end of the afternoon when we were looking for a place to get a quick drink before our dinner reservation. We were around 75th and Amsterdam and everything was super crowded.

Nov 4, 2:55pm Top

As alluded to above, The Wayne and I spent yesterday in the city. I had gotten tickets to see Nick Offerman in the evening, and we decided to make a day of it (of course, a day means the afternoon... There is no getting The Wayne to make an early start unless absolutely necessary!). We took the train in and had lunch at a pub in Midtown and then took the subway to Brooklyn to walk around Prospect Park, which was lovely. The weather was perfect - mid 50s and sunny. The park itself is gorgeous, and we had a great time exploring it. After a couple of hourse there, we got coffee and people watched in Grand Army plaza and then got the subway back to Manhattan. We went to the Upper West Side because The Wayne wanted to walk along the river before dinner, so we took a little stroll through Riverside Park. Then we got dinner and went to see Nick Offerman, who was hilarious and charming. All in all, a good day. And my FitBit says I got about 20000 steps and walked almost 10 miles, but that doesn't seem possible. Still, my feet were sore and I was super stiff getting up this morning!

I took today off and have spent some time unpacking and organizing. The kitchen is almost all done. I did manage to get several boxes unpacked and cleared off a counter that had disappeared under random stuff, so I feel good about that. And with no boxes on the floor, it seems so much bigger!

Nov 4, 3:00pm Top

One of the pics I took at Prospect Park.

Nov 4, 3:10pm Top

>63 katiekrug: Hard to believe it's in Brooklyn!

Nov 4, 3:13pm Top

>64 richardderus: - Seriously!

Nov 4, 6:14pm Top

Prospect Park is beautiful

Nov 4, 7:22pm Top

We also forgot to check the marathon date when we arranged for tickets to "The Great Society" at Lincoln Center theater. The subway trip home punished us a bit for walking out at intermission by being jammed with marathoners - we waited for two trains to pass. BTW, don't bother seeing "The Great Society". If you're in doubt, read the NYTimes review.

Nov 4, 8:19pm Top

>63 katiekrug: That is approximately 2 blocks from my apartment.

Nov 4, 11:46pm Top

>63 katiekrug: That is a lovely park. It reminds me of some of the amazing parks in Seattle.

Nov 5, 5:39am Top

Whoa, that sounds like an amazing day! Slightly jealous of the Offerman show...

Nov 5, 6:55am Top

>62 katiekrug: >63 katiekrug: Sounds like an absolutely perfect day! Good for you guys!

Nov 5, 9:03am Top

>66 RebaRelishesReading: - Agreed!

>67 ffortsa: - I hadn't even heard of The Great Society, Judy, but I will be sure to avoid it!

>68 ELiz_M: - Nice, Liz! Do you go there a lot?

>69 EBT1002: - It was a nice outing, Ellen. Good to see something different/new.

>70 scaifea: - The show was great, Amber, but how could it not be? :)

>71 msf59: - It was a very nice day, Mark, thanks.

Nov 5, 9:07am Top

The Rhetoric of Death by Judith Rock

A Jesuit-in-training arrives in Paris to take up a teaching position and on his first day, one of his pupils disappears. The disappearance sets off a string of events that pull Charles deeper into a mystery involving the King, Huguenots, the Catholic Church, and possibly, some of his own Jesuit colleagues. This was a good mystery, with one development that had me rolling my eyes, but overall, it was an excellent read. The real star is Rock's obvious knowledge and impeccable research. She brings 17th c. Paris to life with fascinating detail. This was the first in a trilogy, and I will look for the next one.

4 stars

Nov 5, 9:09am Top

Now reading:

On my shelf since 2012!

Nov 5, 3:53pm Top

>62 katiekrug: "There is no getting The Wayne to make an early start unless absolutely necessary!" Ha---I have the same thing going on in my house.

>63 katiekrug: Gorgeous!

Nov 5, 9:55pm Top

>75 laytonwoman3rd: Me too...but it's both of us :)

Nov 5, 10:55pm Top

>73 katiekrug: *sigh* *trudges off to Ammy to spend $3*

Nov 6, 10:34am Top

>76 RebaRelishesReading: Well, I admit it's kind of "catching"...although at heart I'm really a morning person.

Nov 6, 12:30pm Top

>75 laytonwoman3rd: - I find it a bit frustrating, as it shortens the amount of time we have to do anything! Grrrr.....

>76 RebaRelishesReading: and >78 laytonwoman3rd: - It's definitely "catching"!

>77 richardderus: - I hope you enjoy it!

Nov 6, 12:34pm Top

Later, At the Bar by Rebecca Barry

The cover calls this "a novel in stories" but I don't think it's really a novel. As a collection of vignettes of small-town life centered on a bar, it's a wonderful read. Barry has real compassion for her characters who continually mess up, make bad decisions, and bemoan their lot in life. Her gentle touch and humor humanize them, though, and make them seem very real. It's a great example of how linked stories can tell a larger story of something universal. A quick but meaningful read.

4 stars

Nov 6, 1:48pm Top

>80 katiekrug: Likeable treatment of unlikeable people? Yeah...that needs thinking before getting...but certainly tempting.

Nov 6, 1:50pm Top

>81 richardderus: - I wouldn't call them unlikeable, really. Some of them are lovely, just screwed up and not smart or hopeful enough to figure out how not to be, if that makes sense.

Nov 6, 2:20pm Top

>82 katiekrug: Oho, yes that makes perfect sense to me. That makes a positive difference to me.

Edited: Nov 6, 2:21pm Top

>82 katiekrug: Double post! Sorry.

Nov 6, 2:29pm Top

You are welcome to double post on my thread anytime. *smooch*

Nov 6, 3:00pm Top

Oh my, Later, At the Bar sounds like my kind of book, Katie. Adding it to the WL.

Full disclosure: back in my much younger days, I worked as a bouncer at a local bar. (When problems came up, I was a talker, not a fighter - and got away with it, thank goodness).

Nov 6, 3:06pm Top

>86 jnwelch: - I can't see you as a bouncer, Joe, except for the rare talker kind!

I'd be happy to send you my copy of the book, if you'd like.

Nov 6, 3:45pm Top

Happy not-so-new-anymore thread, Katie. I am too far behind to catch up.

Nov 7, 6:56am Top

Morning, Katie!

I can't really see Joe as the bouncer type, either...

Nov 7, 9:11am Top

>88 jessibud2: - No worries, Shelley, there's not much new over here :)

>89 scaifea: - I can see him looking sternly at anyone misbehaving and asking them "What would Buddha do?" though!

Nov 7, 9:12am Top

Not much to report. I've started reading The Upright Piano Player, which I bought in hardcover in 2011 when I heard about it here on LT. And it's been languishing on my shelves ever since. So far, No!vember is going well, and I'm enjoying exploring my own library :) And TURPP is an intriguing read, so the hits continue...

Nov 7, 9:50am Top

>91 katiekrug: Are you exploring while sorting ('cause I think you had them on the shelves already)?

Edited: Nov 7, 9:58am Top

>87 katiekrug: Being a bouncer: it was my size. If you were someone who didn't know me back then, I looked the part. If you did know me, you brought up books. :-) In fact, at that time in my life, I was managing a bookstore during the day and was a bouncer at night on the weekends. I was a customer there before I became the bouncer - great bar that's no longer with us, darn it.

Thanks for the offer on Later, at the Bar. Too late! I snarfled it up. But I appreciate the thought.

Nov 7, 10:39am Top

>91 katiekrug: Ooh...that was a good one.

Nov 7, 11:34am Top

>92 RebaRelishesReading: - I haven't done much sorting, Reba.... I was focused on getting them on the shelves!

>93 jnwelch: - I hope you like the book when you get to it, Joe! It's a quick read.

>94 laytonwoman3rd: - I'm liking it, Linda. About a third of the way in so far.

Nov 7, 11:36am Top

Blerg. I got a jury summons for January. For 2 days before I leave for Saudi Arabia, so I've asked for a deferment. I'm happy to do my civic duty, but with my luck, I'd get selected for some long-ass trial :-P I was always excused very quickly in Dallas because I knew one of the ADAs...

Nov 7, 12:36pm Top

>91 katiekrug: Your TURPPitude is noted, jury evader.

Heh. I slay me.

Nov 7, 12:57pm Top

That's the way to set up your books, Katie, read them as you see them and then move them along making more shelf space for others.

Nov 7, 1:39pm Top

>97 richardderus: - *groan* and *giggle*

>98 Familyhistorian: - I am feeling very accomplished, I must say, Meg!

Nov 7, 8:43pm Top

>62 katiekrug: It sounds like a lovely day. And good for steps too!

>73 katiekrug: I'll look for this one. I like a good historical mystery.

Nov 7, 8:49pm Top

*Groan* I just got a summons as well. For early December.

Nov 8, 2:59am Top

>96 katiekrug: I found jury duty both really really interesting and really really boring. The interesting bit being the 3 times I got called to be on a jury. The really really boring bits being the waiting to be called or dismissed for the day - moral of the story take several books! I made the foolish decision on my first day to turn up looking smart - and promtly got myself elected foreman. I was easily the youngest person in the room!

In the UK there are different versions of the oath you can swear for those of different religions and none. Is the same true in the US?

Nov 8, 5:24am Top

>96 katiekrug: I get summoned all the time and I have never even made it out of the waiting area! My husband has served on two juries. I'd like to do it once, but I also want the timing to be right. Hope you get out of yours.

Nov 8, 5:33am Top

I was summoned right before my final viva. I was glad to have a good excuse!

Nov 8, 8:20am Top

>91 katiekrug: Katie, I'm so pleased No!vember is going well for you! Bummer about jury duty. I've never been called, but like you I'd worry about getting some super-long-running case.

Nov 8, 9:07am Top

>100 BLBera: - Beth, I'd be happy to send you my copy of The Rhetoric of Death if you'd like...

>101 ronincats: - They don't ive you much warning there, Roni.

>102 Helenliz: - I wouldn't mind getting to serve, Helen, but I will keep in mind not to dress too nicely! I do like the waiting time in the jury room for reading :)

>103 Berly: - The Wayne got to serve on a jury in truancy court in Dallas once. But otherwise, neither of us has made it out of the waiting room. Wait, that's not true. I was part of a group sent to a court room at Dallas criminal court, but was released when my friend, Brandon, turned out to be the prosecuting attorney!

>104 charl08: - What's a viva, Charlotte?

>105 susanj67: - I appreciate the nudge to focus on my own books, Susan. I may do this a couple of times a year from now on...

Nov 8, 9:10am Top

Sunny and cold Friday here - only going up to the low 40s for a high. I'm getting caught up on work (finally!), which is a good feeling. Still really enjoying The Upright Piano Player and should finish it tonight or tomorrow. I will finish my current audio Patience and Sarah for sure today, as I have less than an hour left.

Nov 8, 5:28pm Top

Gaia, Queen of Ants by Uzbeki giant Hamid Ismailov is a deeply weird book. Set in Eastbourne. Not Uzbekistan. Or not most of the time anyway. I'm a little surprised to report that I like it.

Spend a lovely weekend!

Nov 8, 6:42pm Top

>106 katiekrug: Thanks so much, Katie. I would love it! Do you have my address? I'll have to return the favor one of these days.

Nov 8, 8:33pm Top

>108 richardderus: - Have a good weekend yourself!

>109 BLBera: - It's yours, Beth! I do have your address :)

Nov 8, 9:17pm Top

Oh mercy mercy me, Miss Katie, the GBBO folk have dropped the Christmas and the New Year's rematches from this past year and the. show. stoppers.

My show was stopped three separate times over the six bakes.

Nov 9, 10:19am Top

>111 richardderus: - Coincidentally, we watched one last night - the Christmas episode with Jane, Flo, whathisname, and Liam (maybe my favorite baker ever)!

Apparently, this year's holiday episodes will include one with the cast of Derry Girls and I. Am. Here. For. It.

Nov 9, 10:22am Top

I finished up The Upright Piano Player and it was a gem. I'm still collecting my thoughts about it and hope to write more later.

I also finished the audio of PAtience and Sarah which was pretty 'meh' but I appreciate why it has a bit of cult status.

New books started: Wallflower at the Orgy on audio and American War in print.

Still chilly here, but with lots of sun. I'll be doing some unpacking and organizing today - I am not convinced I will ever finish!

Nov 9, 11:31am Top

>112 katiekrug: I loved Prue saying how fond her memories of Liam's pancake cake were...it's the reason I like the returning-baker shows so much, the past triumphs and disasters are all the more fun.

Nov 9, 3:43pm Top

Muchas gracias, Katie. I will return the favor one of these days.

Nov 11, 8:15am Top

>114 richardderus: - I'm sad I have no more new episodes to watch :(

>115 BLBera: - No worries, Beth. Now I just need to find it - everything is still at sixes and sevens around here...

Nov 11, 8:26am Top

After a good weekend of mostly puttering around the house, I'm back to work today. Not much to report on the reading front - I am enjoying both my audio (Wallflower at the Orgy) and print book (American War) but haven't made much progress in either. Must do better!

Nov 11, 8:32am Top

>117 katiekrug: Katie, I'm finding that without the pressure of due dates I am struggling to read lots. Maybe it's the same for you?

Nov 11, 8:53am Top

>118 susanj67: - I don't think so, Susan. I didn't make much progress on the books this weekend because there is so much to do around the house. We are going away in a couple of weeks for Thanksgiving, and I really want to have things more organized, so I've been prioritizing that.

Edited: Nov 11, 3:53pm Top

>106 katiekrug: I had to talk about my PhD to two experts for two hours and then they decided if I / it was good enough. Cold sweats just thinking about it...

Nov 11, 9:46am Top

Hi Katie!

>117 katiekrug: Yay for Nora Ephron. I haven’t read this one, but I have 3 books of essays of hers that I’ve read. I've added WatO to my wish list.

Nov 11, 9:58am Top

>120 charl08: - That does not sound like fun, Charlotte! I was clearing out some papers this weekend, and came across stuff from the "thesis" I had to write as part of my semester in Washington, DC at university. We had to defend our thesis to 3 professors when we returned, and I remember it being nerve-wracking!

>121 karenmarie: - I had thought this would be a collection of humorous essays, Karen, but it's actually magazine pieces she wrote in the late 1960s. I'm only on the first one, but despite being somewhat dated, her writing is so good, I don't really care!

Nov 11, 10:08am Top

Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller

Originally published in 1969 and inspired by the relationship of a real painter and her "companion" in the 19th century, Patience and Sarah tells the story of two very different women who fall in love and decide to try to forge a life together in the early 1800s. I can see why it has almost cult status, and it was probably rather shocking and revolutionary at the time of its publication, but I just found it kind of boring. The narration on the audio, however, was very good.

3 stars

Nov 11, 10:15am Top

The Upright Piano Player by David Abbott

I loved this short novel. It opens with a terrible tragedy and then goes back in time. Henry Cage's life slowly unravels - divorce, retirement, physical violence - and we learn, as he does, that even the most ordered life can't escape the chaos of the universe and actions of others. It's a heartbreaking tale, as the tragedy from the beginning shadows the whole rest of the book. The writing is beautiful, and Henry is a fully developed, wonderfully realistic creation.

Linda (laytonwoman3rd) wrote a review that does the book justice much better than I can, so do seek it out on the book page.

4.5 stars

Nov 11, 11:12am Top

Oh, so you watched the New Year's one too! I was glad that the winner they chose was who it was. But I want a pistachio genoise with blackcurrant buttercream with vigour and intensity now.

Nov 11, 11:28am Top

>125 richardderus: - Yes, that combination was intriguing!

Nov 11, 12:05pm Top

Today is Veteran's Day in the US - a less solemn occasion than Remembrance Day (our equivalent is Memorial Day in May).

I have two special veterans in my life - my sister-in-law, Tristan, and her husband, Scott, who both served in the US Marine Corps, and continue to serve our country as civilian employees at the Pentagon. Thank you, Tris and Scott, and all our veterans!

Edited: Nov 11, 1:26pm Top

Hi, Katie. I hope you had a nice weekend. I just remembered that I had read The Upright Piano Player way back in 2011. I recall it being a good read but also sad and heart-breaking.

Yep, it is snowing again in Chicagoland. WTH??

Nov 11, 2:14pm Top

>128 msf59: - Sorry about your winter blast, Mark. We are getting some tomorrow.... I wouldn't mind if I could stay at home, like I usually do during the work week, but I'm actually taking tomorrow off and have several errands to run!

Nov 11, 3:12pm Top

>127 katiekrug: Thanks for the explanation of Veterans Day and Memorial Day, Katie. I didn't really know what they were about before.

Hope it doesn't snow too much and make your errands tomorrow difficult.

Nov 12, 11:52am Top

>130 Familyhistorian: - So far, no snow, Meg. I think the forecast has changed and it will just be cold. The temperature has been falling - it was about 50F when I got up this morning, and now it's 35F.

I got my hair cut and am now bumming around, killing time until I have to go over to the rental house to wait for the Habitat for Humanity guys to come take the furniture we are donating (a couch, two bookcases (!), a wine cabinet, and two bar stools).

I also need to stop by the library in our "old" town to renew my library card...

Nov 12, 12:04pm Top

We got a little bit of snow here in DC today! Just a few flakes.

Nov 12, 1:17pm Top

Hi, Katie. I seem to have nodded off for a minute and zzzzzzppp, a hundred posts snuck past.

I enjoyed the various jury-duty stories. For almost 45 years, we've lived in a corner of Lehigh County that's served by a post office just across the county line in Berks. The county court administrators compile lists of potential jurors by zip codes, using, of all things, the state's data base of licensed drivers. I never was called for jd in Lehigh, but I was in Berks, where I could duck out because I didn't live in that county.

I did get called for federal jury duty in Philadelphia (at least an hour's drive away), but was released 'cause I was (and still am) over 70.

I know of two federal grand jury "conscripts". One had to travel 50 or more miles to Philly one day a week for more than a year. The other presumed the courts would cancel because of snow, so after getting out of his driveway and through the snow-clogged streets, he went to work instead of court, arriving mid-morning. To find two U.S. Marshals waiting to escort him to his civil obligation.

Nov 12, 2:23pm Top

They seem to have their act together in New York - either you get on a jury or they send you home after one day.

I've been on two juries - found the process fascinating and the results in both cases unsatisfactory.

Maybe that's how its supposed to be

Nov 12, 10:47pm Top

>134 magicians_nephew: CA has the one-day rule too (if you aren't on a jury at the end of that one day you're finished) -- we can also reschedule ourselves if we get called for an inconvenient date. So much easier than years ago when you had to go and sit there all day every day for a week and had to call and ask to be rescheduled if you couldn't do the date originally assigned.

Yesterday, 6:57am Top

Confidential to katiekrug: Happy Match Day 1, Katie! Welcome to the woodchipper that is A rundle.

Yesterday, 8:31am Top

>132 norabelle414: - Ooh, I'm jealous! We got nothing.

>133 weird_O: - Hi Bill! I don't know anyone called for federal service. Yikes! re: your friend who was met by the Marshals. Lesson learned!

>134 magicians_nephew: - Here, you have to go for two days or one trial. There is a number to call the night before to see if you have to go in, which is handy. I wouldn't mind serving, and I certainly don't mind going in. It's important.

>135 RebaRelishesReading: - Hi Reba! I am trying to reschedule my service, since it's right before a trip and God forbid I get picked for a trial that would make me miss my work obligations.

>136 rosalita: - I told The Wayne I was going to get chewed up and spit out in Rundle A, Julia... We'll see how it goes. It's fun no matter what!

Yesterday, 8:46am Top

I served on a death penalty murder trial in 1995. It was a sad, tragic, and sordid case of a husband wanting the insurance money on his wife and enticing a young man with "sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll" to actually commit the murder. Mitigating factors outweighed the extenuating circumstances so he's serving a life sentence for first-degree murder. The husband plea-bargained to second-degree murder.

Yesterday, 9:48am Top

>137 katiekrug: It can be brutal, but I try to stay focused on my own performance in terms of number of correct answers each day, and less on how no matter how many I get right, whoever I'm playing has one more. :)

Also, I think The Wayne got promoted this season, too? Congrats to him as well!

Yesterday, 10:20am Top

>124 katiekrug: Thank you for the nod, and the reminder of what a good book that one was.

Yesterday, 12:56pm Top

>138 karenmarie: - That must have been so hard, Karen.

>139 rosalita: - I surprised myself today by getting 4/6. Of course, my opponent was good at *everything* so I'll probably end up losing :)

I will pass on your congrats to The Wayne!

>140 laytonwoman3rd: - It was definitely a keeper for me, Linda.

Yesterday, 12:58pm Top

I'm really trying to do work, but I keep sneaking in watches of the impeachment inquiry hearing. Nerdy career diplomat types are my favorite. #georgekent4ever

Yesterday, 1:04pm Top

A lie about a consensual blowjob got these yahoos so frothingly furious that they couldn't see straight, and actual criminal acts of treason against the US that cost innocent, unknowing people their lives have them doing Muppet arms while screaming fakefakefake.

I just can't. I watched the media burn Nixon at the stake. There's my partisan bloodlust slaked for good.

Yesterday, 3:44pm Top

>143 richardderus: - It's like a car wreck I can't look away from.

Yesterday, 9:37pm Top

>142 katiekrug: Nerdy career diplomat types are honorable public servants whose value to this country cannot be underestimated, even in the best of times. So why do I feel that Trump is going to get away with this? I guess because the Republican Party has been turned upside down and on its head and there's no one with the spine to do the right thing. I would love to be proved wrong Katie.

Today, 6:33am Top

I watched a bit of it yesterday, too. At one point a woman intervened to make a point of order and I'm sure the guy in charge referred to her as "the gentlewoman".

Today, 8:26am Top

>145 brenzi: - I would love for you to be proved wrong, too, Bonnie.

>146 susanj67: - Yes, they often address each other as "the gentleman" or "gentlewoman," sometimes with their state attached, as in "the gentlewoman from New York"...

Today, 8:56am Top

Wallflower at the Orgy by Nora Ephron

This is a collection of magazine pieces from the late 1960s. The subject matter is somewhat dated, but it was still enjoyable thanks to Ephron's wonderful writing.

3.5 stars

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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